Collaboration in Civic Spheres

“Did You Fall For the Green Light Bulb Scam?”

by Matt Rosenberg July 8th, 2014

Guest writer at the Washington Business Alliance blog Catalyst Jeannette Strole Parks asks Did You Fall For The Green Light Bulb Scam?

Unless we all return back to an agrarian, locavore lifestyle growing cotton, making our own clothes, tanning leather, cobbling shoes, growing crops, and going to bed at sunset, the trajectory is set. Small wonder the U.S. Energy Information Administration…projects 56 percent growth in global energy consumption between 2010 and 2040, fueled by developing nations and a continuing reliance on fossil fuels.

While global leaders struggle with that, the developed world must continue to do what it can and should. Innovation and energy-saving devices are great, and if the U.S. government could just step aside, forward-thinking inventors would eventually design a better light bulb, that consistently performs as touted, saves energy, doesn’t assault my eyes, and doesn’t rely on dangerous materials.

Read the whole thing.

“Technology Industries Spread Wealth in Washington State”

by Matt Rosenberg July 2nd, 2014

Writes the Executive Director of the Technology Alliance, Susannah Malarkey, at the Washington Business Alliance’s blog Catalyst.

“Through multiplier effects, technology-based employment and associated economic activity support a total of nearly 1.4 million jobs across all sectors of our economy, equivalent to 42 percent of total Washington employment. That 42 percent represents retail, recreation, construction, and financial and legal services provided by more than 920,000 people in our state thanks to the growing presence of tech.”

Read the whole thing.

“Seattle Women In Software Design: Student Improves on King County Web App

by Matt Rosenberg June 30th, 2014

“Ever find yourself puzzled over how to properly recycle or dispose of unwanted household and business wastes? For King County residents, there’s a new web app for that! It was engineered by Audrey Carlsen, a Seattle woman who took on the project as the capstone of her six months of intensive classroom instruction with the Ada Developers Academy.”

Read the whole thing at Catalyst, the blog of the Washington Business Alliance.

Catalyst: “Coming To King County – The Next Generation of Open Data”

by Matt Rosenberg June 18th, 2014

From Catalyst, the blog of the Washington Business Alliance, an exclusive peek into the next generation of open data at King County, from Assessor Lloyd Hara.

….many of the portals provide mapped visualization of one variable, but rarely integrate multiple information sources such as property values, education outcomes, crime, and census data. This problem occurs at the federal, county, state and local levels. The result is missed connections between related data trends, which can contribute to governance shortcomings. Billions of dollars could be wasted on ineffective programs because of the lack of correlation of key data among various government agencies. Communities are less informed and engaged because of data silos.

Hara then details a new open data strategy and tool set that his office expects to unveil next year.

Read the whole thing.

Catalyst: “Only One in 14 Washington State Public High Schools Offers AP Computer Science”

by Matt Rosenberg June 12th, 2014

From Catalyst, the blog of the Washington Business Alliance, a second part of their probe into how to get more computer science courses into public high schools in Washington State. An excerpt:

“Out of 709 public high schools in Washington, only 51 of them offer an Advanced Placement (AP) computer science course. When a student engages in rigorous high school computing curriculum via the AP courses it unlocks multiple career paths and the prospect of lucrative compensation.…..State Rep. Monica Stonier (D-17th), Vice Chair of the House Education Committee, advised advocates of computer science education to focus on identifying high performing programs around the state. “We’ll look at what’s working, identify the markers of a successful program, and then use that as an entry point.”

Read the whole thing.

Catalyst: “UW Start-up Developing Better LED Bulb”

by Matt Rosenberg May 29th, 2014

Catalyst, the blog of the Washington Business Alliance, reports on a University of Washington start-up that’s developing a cheaper, greener LED bulb.

…the phosphors in LEDs are made from rare earth elements, exacting a toll on pocketbooks and the environment. LumiSands uses silicon instead, the main component of “common beach sand,” notes one of the principals. The company is still in R&D but hopes to go to market within several years. And the market is growing.

Read the whole thing.

Catalyst: Data Viz of Obesity in Washington State’s 39 Counties

by Matt Rosenberg May 28th, 2014

From Catalyst, the blog of the Washington Business Alliance, here’s a data visualization of obesity prevalence in Washington state’s 39 counties over a seven-year period.

From 2004 through 2010 in Washington state’s 39 counties, obesity was most prevalent in Adams, Cowlitz, Lewis, Gray’s Harbor and Pacific and least prevalent in San Juan, King, Jefferson, Whatcom and Chelan. Among the most improved were Klickitat (25th lowest to 11th) and Ferry (28th to 8th). Nationally Washington state is close to the middle of the pack: ….the state for the same seven year stretch had the 23rd lowest obesity rate of 50 states. However even the worst-performing Washington counties have slightly lower 2004-2010 obesity prevalence rates than the latest-reported average rate for the U.S., of 34.9 percent.

See the whole thing.

Catalyst: Obesity Rates in 50 States, a Data Visualization

by Matt Rosenberg May 27th, 2014

The Washington Business Alliance’s blog Catalyst recently published a data visualization of obesity rates in 50 states over seven years.

More than a third of U.S. adults are classified as obese and annual medical costs to the nation are $147 billion, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. A Catalyst data visualization developed in partnership with Tableau Software of Seattle shows the five least obese states from 2004 through 2010 were Colorado, Hawaii, California, New Mexico and Connecticut, and the five most obese Mississippi, Louisiana, West Virginia, Alabama and Kentucky. Washington was 23rd lowest of 50 states over the seven years and showed little movement annually. States showing marked improvement included Georgia (38th best to 27th) and Alaska (35th to 24th).

See the whole thing.