Tax Form. Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich.

We’ve verified that TaxAct’s downloadable 2020 tax preparation software ($20) won't allow a very basic return to be printed or filed if it contains a 1099-G form, and instead insists on a $30 upcharge to proceed. The 1099-G form is primarily used for reporting unemployment income and many family and medical leave payments.

METHOW VALLEY – Brian McAuliffe, a Captain with Okanogan County Fire District 6 (previously a Division Chief before recent changes to the organization’s command structure changed the name of the position), has recently submitted his two week notice of resignation to the District.

With The Methow Valley News recently bringing the attention of a wider audience to this topic by publishing their “snitch list blog” article (available on their site, or archived here), there is some fact checking needed. I will address here the most important concerns.

Photo by Sergiu Nista.

WASHINGTON STATE – The “citizen informer”. It’s very common under totalitarian and authoritarian regimes. After all, there often aren’t enough secret police to watch everyone, all the time. But if everyone in such a dystopian society is watching everyone else, and reporting the arbitrary crimes “to the authorities” in return for extra privileges and approval, plus warm feelings of virtuousness and overall "better-than-thou-ness", well, it’s so much easier for those in control at the top. Never mind all those at the bottom living in constant terror for the pounding at their door.

Grocery Bag. Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas.

Washington’s new state-wide “single-use” plastic bag ban was supposed to be effective on January 1 of this year. In a normal year, such a ban would have no impact on the claimed environmental problems it was supposed to solve, while still being a wasteful, Soviet-style attempt at micro-managing the lives of people in the state. But in an ongoing pandemic state of emergency, it looks particularly out of touch, and becomes an enormously counter-productive piece of legislation. That’s why the Governor, and the legislature itself, are frantically trying to paper over the situation they both created, by repeatedly delaying the ban from coming into effect.