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When I graduated from nursing school five years ago, I worked for an agency in New York City’s foster care system. I believed I was helping families. But what I saw there was not a system working for children’s best interests, but one that was quick to separate children from their parents be…

Holiday Happenings is a daily roundup of giving opportunities and events taking place from Thanksgiving week through New Year's Day.

The listing agent for the Victorian home featured in the “The Goonies” film in Astoria, Oregon, says the likely new owner is a fan of the classic coming-of-age movie about friendships and treasure hunting, and he promises to preserve and protect the landmark. The 1896 home with sweeping views of the Columbia River flowing into the Pacific Ocean was listed in November with an asking price of nearly $1.7 million. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Jordan Miller of John L. Scott Real Estate says the sale is expected to close in mid January. Miller says the new owner, a self-described serial entrepreneur, will make his name known at that time.

Scientists along the West Coast are seeking action to help sunflower sea stars recover from catastrophic population declines. The Astorian reports experts say a wasting disease epidemic that started in 2013 has decimated about 95% of the population from the Aleutian Islands of Alaska to Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. The source is unknown, but some say warming waters due to human-caused climate change could have triggered the outbreak. The National Marine Fisheries Service is expected to announce by early next year whether the species should be listed under the Endangered Species Act. Without sea stars to keep them in check, sea urchins are causing a troubling decline in kelp forests that provide food and shelter.

Jennifer Bereskin dropped out of high school when she was 17 because her family was homeless, and she needed to get a job. Couch surfing with friends in Everett, Lynnwood and Seattle, her dreams of college were put aside. The Seattle Times reports a proposal coming before the Washington Legislature next year aims to break the cycle of poverty that’s trapped families like Bereskin’s and lift low-income residents toward a path of financial independence. The Washington Future Fund would create a pool of money that every child born under the state’s Medicaid program, Apple Health, could access a portion of upon adulthood to use toward homeownership, education or pursuing a small business.

Republican Joe Kent’s campaign says it intends to request a machine ballot recount of all counties within southwest Washington state's 3rd Congressional District. The Columbian reports a statement from Kent's campaign Friday says they believe a second tabulation is in order because of the close margin between the two campaigns, technical issues with the signature verifications software, and the obligation they have to supporters to ensure certainty about the outcome. The Kent campaign didn't respond to the newspaper's request to clarify its signature verification software concern. Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez pulled off a victory against Kent, a far-right “America First” ex-Green Beret who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump.


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