Tag Archives: Business

WA Ecology Dept: Salad Oil as Dangerous as Crude Petroleum Oil

WA Ecology Dept. now fears salad oil as much as crude oil

The Washington Department of Ecology (DOE) has found a new villain.

Tossed on your salad greens.

DOE doesn’t see vegetable oil as any less of a threat to the environment than crude petroleum oil.  And they are ready to act on their latest fears.

The agency proposed in mid-January that short-line railroads in Eastern Washington that haul animal fats and vegetable oils will have the same requirements as interstate crude oil carriers.

Railroads that haul vegetable oils already must follow rules set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

But apparently the state didn’t trust the EPA to control all their imagined  hazards associated with transporting closed containers of  Saffola.

DOE has given no evidence that food oils have caused environmental damage, or are any conceivable threat that requires new regulations. Continue reading WA Ecology Dept: Salad Oil as Dangerous as Crude Petroleum Oil


Dairy technology: happy cows, clean environment, and better milk

Better dairies through technology

Washington’s family dairy farmers are finding creative new ways to use technology to produce a higher quality milk at a lower cost.

That is particularly important now, with world dairy prices again sinking downward.

Our state’s dairy farmers also work to make the best use of dairy manure, while minimizing the farm’s impact on the environment.

Robotic milking

Austin Farm
Austin Farm, 320 Elma Gt Rd

Austin Dairy Farm near Oakville has been in the family for nearly 140 years.  They are located just west of the southwest corner of Thurston County, right off Highway 12 at 320 Elma Gate Road.

Austin Farm produces certified organic milk for Organic Valley.  They are proud to be a Washington Dairy Farmer’s “Dairy of Merit.”

In a move that would have astounded his grandparents, Jim Austin brought robotic milking to their farm, with the DeLaval automated milking machine.  The video below features the Austin family and their farm, and explains how this dairy technology works.

Besides saving Austin Farm a lot of money in the long run, the machine makes for happier cows, a superior product, and a more sanitary operation.

Continue reading Dairy technology: happy cows, clean environment, and better milk


From City to Farm – Technology Explodes Minimum Wage Debate

Lost opportunities from wage fight

Socialist Kshama Sawant-Seattle City Council
Socialist Kshama Sawant-Seattle Council

Across Washington State and the rest of the country, the battle over hiking the minimum wage continues to heat up.

Governor Inslee proposes that our state’s minimum wage should be $13.50 an hour.

Seattle’s socialist City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant campaigned and won on a fifteen dollar an hour minimum wage.  SeaTac also has a $15 minimum wage.

New organizations are quickly springing up to promote the $15 proposal, each with a different spin.

Chicago’s Fight for 15 includes a host of other initiatives along with the $15 minimum wage, including unions and women’s rights.

15Now.org explains that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz makes $9, 637 an hour, compared to his employees. Continue reading From City to Farm – Technology Explodes Minimum Wage Debate


How Fight for 15 will lead to ‘Smart Dining’ and less jobs

“Smart Dining” outsmarts Fight for 15

Unions have focused their “Fight for 15” minimum wage movement on food service workers in large corporations.  Across the country, support has been growing.

Ironically, those big corporations are the most prepared to compensate for increased labor costs with “Smart Dining” — replacing workers with machines.

Restaurant chains are incorporating Smart Dining that will hedge against rising labor costs.  Chilis, Applebees, and Buffalo Wild Wings have already begun using table tablets for many waiter tasks, as demostrated here:

Continue reading How Fight for 15 will lead to ‘Smart Dining’ and less jobs


Kent hair braider defeats WA Dept. of Licensing

In the current political climate where government agencies shut down small businesses for irrational reasons, an African hair braider’s victory in Kent last year is a small but welcome blessing.

The mission of the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) is to advance public safety and consumer protection.  So how did this agency get tangled up in a federal lawsuit about hair braiding?

In June 2014, hair braider Salamata “Sally” Sylla filed a federal lawsuit against the Washington DOL, because the agency had ordered her to either get a cosmetology license, or shut down her business.  Sylla was represented in her lawsuit by the Institute for Justice.

Sylla sought a judicial order requiring the department to adhere to its own stated policy that African, or natural, hair braiding does not require a cosmetology license. Continue reading Kent hair braider defeats WA Dept. of Licensing