4/2: Richard Wakefield, Poet and Professor

By sam No comments

This briefing features professor and poet Richard Wakefield. He shares his advice for aspiring writers and consumers of literature, and reads a poem about a piece of western Washington history and culture.

Interview begins at .


  • Washington’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction has stated that an April Fool’s joke circulating on social media suggesting that the governor is requiring all students to repeat this year’s grade next year is not true. No such declaration has been made. Schools remain closed at this time.
  • The Employment Security Department of Washington State has publicized that systems are being updated to reflect CARES Act expansion of benefits by mid-April, at which point those eligible will receive retroactive payments for both the weekly benefit amount owed as well as the additional $600 per week.
    • Unemployment benefits will be paid from the time people separated from their job or otherwise became eligible under the CARES Act, not from the time the application was submitted or approved.
    • Information and updates can be found at esd.wa.gov.
  • Some recipients of Basic Food Assistance will see an increase in their benefits through DSHS. Recipients will get the difference between their regular monthly benefit and the maximum amount for their household size. Households that already receive the maximum benefit amount will not see an increase.
    • Individuals who are just now applying for benefits in March and April will receive the maximum household benefit amount once their application is approved.
    • Benefits do not have to be paid back and do not affect any recipients’ immigration status.
    • Emergency benefits for March will show up on EBT cards on April 4, and households who already received their regular April benefits on April 1st through 3rd will receive the April supplement on April 4. Those who receive their normal benefits on April 4-20 will receive the additional amount on the usual date they receive benefits.
    • Recipients can call the number on their EBT card to check the balance or access their client benefit account at www.washingtonconnection.org.
    • The DSHS Customer Service Contact Center can be reached at 1-877-501-2233, but the department urges you to check for the latest COVID-19 benefits-related information on the agency Facebook and Twitter accounts or at dshs.wa.gov.
  • The Washington Health Benefit Exchange is extending the current special enrollment period for individuals who are uninsured through May 8th. Coverage will start May 1, 2020 for customers who enroll after April 8.
    • Those with questions or intent to enroll can call the Customer Support Center between 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday- Friday at 1-855-923-4633;Language assistance and disability accommodations are provided at no cost.
    • You can also visit WAHealthPlanFinder.org.


  • Tacoma Public Utilities is delaying a 2% rate increase on power by three months. The increase will go into effect July 1 instead of April 1.