In his new book, West of Here, novelist Jonathan Evison takes readers back to one of the last unexplored territories of the American West: Washington state's Olympic Peninsula. The novel centers on the story of a fictional town in the Pacific Northwest, told from the perspectives of the people who first settled there and their modern-day counterparts, who now have to live with the decisions that their ancestors made. In essence, the book is a conversation between past and present, between hopeful settlers and modern-day strugglers.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told a Senate banking panel that the Fed has marginally upgraded its forecast for the U.S. economy, which it now expects to grow at a rate from 3.5 to 4 percent in 2011.
On Capitol Hill, Bernanke also spoke about the gold standard, the dollar — and gave the GOP's proposed spending cuts some political cover.
After focusing for weeks on his proposal to strip public employees of collective bargaining rights, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker unveiled his full budget proposal Tuesday — a plan that cuts $1.5 billion in aid to governments and public schools and government but avoids any tax or fee increases, furloughs or widespread layoffs.