Washington's proportion of residents under age five was 6.7%, and 25.7% under 18, and 11.2% 65 or older. Three recent studies by the Washington State Department of Ecology showed toxic chemicals banned decades ago linger in the environment and concentrate in the food chain. So, don't worry about bringing too much formal wear. With this much variance in one state, gardeners do well to know which zone they live in. [123], Washington has a system of state highways, called State Routes, as well as an extensive ferry system which is the largest in the nation[124] and the third largest in the world. The Cascade Mountain Range also impedes transportation. The wildflowers are often still in bloom, and temperatures are mild. [149], High school juniors and seniors in Washington have the option of using the state's Running Start program. Previous ships had held that name in honor of George Washington. The Cayuse and Chinook passes east of Mount Rainier also close in winter. [128] Residents of Vancouver have resisted proposals to extend Portland's mass transit system into Washington. Together, We Can Lead. Major factors determining Washington's climate include the large semi-permanent high pressure and low pressure systems of the north Pacific Ocean, the continental air masses of North America, and the Olympic and Cascade mountains. From the Cascade Mountains westward, Western Washington has a mostly Mediterranean Climate, with mild temperatures and wet winters, autumns and springs, and relatively dry summers. The growing season is 150 to 200 days long, but because Zone 4 summers are temperate (highs average from the low 60s to the 70s), plants take more time to develop. Fort Nisqually, a farm and trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company and the first European settlement in the Puget Sound area, was founded in 1833. [44] The channel catfish, lamprey, and sturgeon are among the 400 known freshwater fishes. Washington was considered a part of the 1994 Republican Revolution, and had the biggest pick-up in the house for Republicans, who picked up seven of Washington's nine House seats. Fall, especially, is a great time to see the city since temperatures are usually in the 50s and 60s. [88] The Vietnamese and Filipino populations of Washington are mostly concentrated within the Seattle metropolitan area. Summer days west of the Cascades rarely rise above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and winter is fairly pleasant. The state land mammal is the Olympic marmot. There are 140 public airfields in Washington, including 16 state airports owned by the Washington State Department of Transportation. Tacoma is home to thousands of Cambodians, and has one of the largest Cambodian-American communities in the United States, along with Long Beach, California, and Lowell, Massachusetts. The high mountains of the Cascade Range run north–south, bisecting the state. Significant business within the state include the design and manufacture of aircraft (Boeing), automotive (Paccar), computer software development (Microsoft, Bungie, Amazon, Nintendo of America, Valve, ArenaNet), telecom (T-Mobile US), electronics, biotechnology, aluminum production, lumber and wood products (Weyerhaeuser), mining, beverages (Starbucks, Jones Soda), real estate (John L. Scott, Colliers International, Windermere Real Estate, Kidder Mathews), retail (Nordstrom, Eddie Bauer, Car Toys, Costco, R.E.I. Semi-arid conditions occur in much of eastern Washington with the strongest rain shadow effects at the relatively low elevations of the central Columbia Plateau—especially the region just east of the Columbia River from about the Snake River to the Okanagan Highland. Marcus provided medical care for the Native Americans, but when Indian patients—lacking immunity to new, "European" diseases—died in striking numbers, while at the same time many white patients recovered, they held "medicine man" Marcus Whitman personally responsible, and murdered Whitman and twelve other white settlers in the Whitman massacre in 1847. Growing zones help gardeners figure out which plants, flowers and vegetables will thrive, which will likely not survive the winters, and when to plant. [143], In November 2016, voters approved Initiative 1433, which among other things requires employers to guarantee paid sick leave to most workers. Named for George Washington, the first U.S. president, the state was made out of the western part of the Washington Territory, which was ceded by the British Empire in 1846, in accordance with the Oregon Treaty in the settlement of the Oregon boundary dispute. 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