U.S. POSTAL SERVICE
► In today’s Washington Post — U.S. Postal Service plans to close hundreds of facilities to save money — The USPS has yet another plan to save money — but it might make snail mail even slower. It announced a plan Thursday to close hundreds of facilities that sort the mail as part of a four-year effort to cut $20 billion, slash hundreds of thousands of jobs and permanently reshape itself as a leaner organization.
► In today’s Herald — USPS may close Everett processing center — Employs 290 people.
► In today’s News Tribune — Tacoma could lose mail processing center — Employs 286 people.
► In today’s Olympian — Tumwater mail processing plant could close — Employs 120 people.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Pasco mail center on the chopping list — John Michael Wald, president of APWU Local 2293, which represents about 87 Pasco postal employees said dismantling the mail network and reducing services does not seem like the way to fix financial problems.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Mark your calendars for Tuesday, Sept. 27. The four employee unions of the USPS will conduct rallies that day in every congressional district in the country to urge support for H.R. 1351, a bill that fairly addresses the financial crisis facing the Postal Service. The Stand is still compiling details on the events in Washington state. Look for those details shortly.
TACOMA TEACHERS STRIKE
► In today’s News Tribune — Court hearing, bargaining session and rally will keep both sides busy — Striking Tacoma teachers remain off the job despite a court order that told them to report for work, and schools are closed for a fourth straight day as the teachers union and school district prepare for a courtroom face-off today. Teachers also plan a rally this morning at the school district’s downtown administration building.
EDITOR’S NOTE — For updates, stay tuned to www.WeTeachTacoma.org.
► In today’s News Tribune — High school students march in support of teachers — High school students from throughout Tacoma marched Thursday around the school district’s downtown administration building.
► At SeattlePI.com — Poll: Tacoma supports striking teachers — The SurveyUSA/King poll asked, “In general, do you support the strike?” 51% said they did and 44% said they didn’t.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Count the Seattle Times editorial board among the minority, which dedicates today’s editorial to scolding striking teachers outside their ever-dwindling circulation area.
► In today’s Olympian — Special session all but certain after $1.4 billion revenue loss — Gov. Gregoire all but called for a special legislative session to begin before the next revenue forecast, due Nov. 17: “The November forecast may bring more bad news so we can’t wait until the start of session in January to take action. Today’s forecast demands that we again take action.”
► In today’s Olympian — State’s school district brace for even more cuts — Politically perilous targets include all-day kindergarten for poor children; money that property-poor districts get to supplement their levies; bonuses for certified teachers – and teacher pay, which already took a 1.9% cut.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Officials call for more training, less regulation to land Boeing 737 MAX — State officials Thursday promised to beef up aerospace training in the region and reduce regulatory hurdles to manufacturing expansion in a bid to secure Washington as the place where Boeing will assemble the 737 MAX. Proposals discussed so far center on more funds for aerospace education as well as removal of policy obstacles — such as environmental regulations — to new manufacturing operations. Tayloe Washburn, Gov. Gregoire’s senior adviser in the effort dubbed Project Pegasus, said: “It’s obviously the worst possible time (to put together an incentive package), but no government can just keep cutting. You have to figure out how you are going to grow jobs.”
► In today’s Seattle Times — Rep. Mark Miloscia to run for State Auditor — He announced Thursday he’s running to replace Democratic state Auditor Brian Sonntag in 2012.
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Federal judge rules ILWU in contempt of court — U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Leighton said he would fine the union, the amount to be determined by a company analysis of vandalism from a Sept. 8 raid at the terminal. EGT officials said they expect to have a damage estimate by the end of the month. Meanwhile, Cowlitz County Sheriff’s deputies have made six more misdemeanor arrests related to the Sept. 7 union longshore protest at the EGT grain terminal in Longview.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Also see Here’s why Longshore workers are so angry (Sept. 8)
► In today’s Seattle Times — Post of Seattle’s short-haul truckers struggle to make a living — Truck drivers who serve Seattle’s busy shipping port say they’re losing patience with chronically low pay and poor working conditions. For years, they’ve asked for better working conditions and higher paychecks — even hinting at going on strike. On Thursday, 10 drivers took the stage at a larger labor-environmentalist rally outside the Westin Hotel, where hundreds of officials gathered for the American Association of Port Authorities convention. The drivers displayed a mock $400,000 check to drivers from Port of Seattle CEO Tay Yoshitani, whose annual pay is close to that amount.
► At SeattlePI.com — Construction worker killed at McGuire demolition site — The man in his 40s was operating a Bobcat loader on the 22nd floor to push debris down a chute when he was suffered severe neck trauma. L&I is investigating.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Port of Skagit supports Cherry Point terminal – but not at their expense — Port commissioners said that they generally support plans for a major shipping terminal at Cherry Point, but only if the project’s proponents can lessen the impact on Skagit County’s transportation system.
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Poulsbo firefighters, management ink labor deal — About 17 months after negotiations with management began, Poulsbo’s firefighters finally have a contract. Under the terms, firefighters won’t take a pay increase until at least 2013.
► In today’s NY Times — Bipartisanship of the wrong kind (editorial) — It’s not just Republicans who are opposing President Obama’s jobs program. Americans need Democrats to step up now and stop cowing in the face of Republican tirades against government help. Economists have estimated that Obama’s plan, if fully adopted, could create 1.3 million to 1.9 million jobs next year. Despite poll after poll showing that Americans support tax increases on the wealthy, Democrats have failed to act. In 2010, with majorities in both houses of Congress, they did not even vote on letting President Bush’s high-end tax cuts expire.
► In today’s NY Times — Approval of Congress matches record low — Congress faces historically low approval ratings, with just 12% of Americans now approving of the way Congress is handling its job, matching its all-time low, recorded in October 2008 at the height of the economic crisis, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. Voters are more disapproving of the Republicans in Congress than they are of the Democrats, with just 19% approving of Republicans, compared with 28% that approve of their Democratic counterparts.
► In today’s LA Times — Southern Calif. grocery workers give notice to end contract — The move by UFCW officials for Southern California supermarket employees at Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons brings them closer to their first strike since 2003. They hope it prods the grocery firms to wrap up a new deal.
► In today’s Washington Post — Senate leaders reach deal to avert another Senate FAA shutdown — A bill that extended funding for the FAA and for highway and transit projects bogged down unexpectedly this week when Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) objected to restrictions on how states spend the money. Senate leaders promised him that the restrictions would be dropped from a long-term highway funding bill expected next year.
► At Huffington Post — Obama won’t include Social Security reform in recommendations to Supercommittee!™ — Jilted by Republican leadership during the deficit-reduction talks that accompanied the debt ceiling debate, the Obama administration is now pulling back an offer to put Social Security reform on the negotiating table.
► At Huffington Post — Wisconsin Gov. Walker eyed in corruption scandal after raid on aide’s home — The raid comes amid an ongoing secret Milwaukee County investigation that reportedly focuses on whether county staffers in Walker’s office did political work on the taxpayer dime.
► In today’s Washington Post — Republicans rewriting election laws in ways that could hurt Democrats — They have curbed early voting, rolled back voting rights for ex-felons and passed stricter voter ID laws. Taken together, the measures could have a significant and negative effect on Obama’s reelection efforts if they keep young people and minorities away from the polls.
► In today’s NY Times — Free to die (Paul Krugman column) — The incident (GOP debate crowd cheering the suggestion of just letting the uninsured die) highlighted something that I don’t think most political commentators have fully absorbed: at this point, American politics is fundamentally about different moral visions. Compassion is out of fashion, which makes the modern conservatism a deeply radical movement, one that is hostile to the kind of society we’ve had for the past three generations — that is, a society that, acting through the government, tries to mitigate some of the “common hazards of life” through such programs as Social Security, unemployment insurance, Medicare and Medicaid.
Are voters ready to embrace such a radical rejection of the kind of America we’ve all grown up in? I guess we’ll find out next year.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 9 a.m. Make this electronic “clip service” your first stop each morning! These links are functional on the date of posting, but sometimes expire.