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NO on I-1125, Occupy WA, EGT loses in court…

Today’s news links:



► In the Everett Herald — I-1125: A formula for more gridlock (editorial) — It is soundly opposed by the state’s major business groups and employers, including Boeing and Microsoft, for good reason. They know that with per-capita gasoline consumption dropping, and gas-tax revenue along with it, alternatives are needed to pay for our road infrastructure and keep commerce moving. Viable tolling options must be one of them, especially for major projects. I-1125 would wipe out the truly effective ones, leading to more traffic delays throughout the region.

► In the Seattle Times — Save road projects: Vote NO on I-1125 (editorial) — It would mess up the 520 project. It would mess up the Columbia River bridge project at Vancouver. It would even mess up Sound Transit’s plan to run light rail across I-90. That is a mess too large. Please vote no on Initiative 1125.

► In Sunday’s Seattle Times — Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman backs I-1125 — He has plowed nearly $1.1 million of the $1.35 million raised into the campaign. there’s no question the measure’s attack on light rail is important to him. He spent years trying to kill light rail outright. And when that failed, after Puget Sound-area voters in 2008 approved extending light rail north and south of Seattle as well as to the Eastside, he’s tried to prevent it from reaching Bellevue.




David Freiboth of the M.L. King County Labor Council addresses Occupy Seattle protesters at Westlake Park on Friday, Oct. 7.

► In Sunday’s Seattle Times — Occupy Seattle: Sunshine, speeches, 2 arrests — Hundreds of peaceful protesters rallied and marched through downtown Seattle as part of an ongoing Occupy Seattle demonstration against what they called corporate domination of America, with crowds approaching 1,000 supporters at midday. Labor leaders threw support behind Occupy Seattle and similar protests last week, and unionists appeared to make up about half the Saturday crowd.

► From KOMO News — Union members, middle class join Occupy Seattle protest

► Also see, from Working Washington: Today (Monday) at 5 p.m., airport workers, janitors, health care workers and others will offer support for Occupy Seattle and hold a vigil calling on Congress to take action to create good jobs. This is part of growing national support for the Occupy movement from workers, union members, and regular people across the country who know the economy just isn’t working.

► In Sunday’s News Tribune — About 200 gather in Tacoma for anti-Wall Street demonstration — The free-form “Occupy” protests that began on the East Coast last month arrived in Tacoma on Friday when about 200 people marched down Pacific Avenue, banging on cowbells, waving signs and chanting.

► In Sunday’s Bellingham Herald — Protesters block downtown Bellingham streets in ‘Occupy’ protest

Washington’s 99% on Facebook: Occupy BellinghamOccupy OlympiaOccupy Seattle (website) – Occupy SpokaneOccupy TacomaOccupy Tri-CitiesOccupy WenatcheeOccupy Yakima

► In today’s NY Times — Panic of the Plutocrats (Paul Krugman column) — The Occupy protests have already elicited a remarkably hysterical reaction from Wall Street, the super-rich in general, and politicians and pundits who reliably serve the interests of the wealthiest hundredth of a percent. The way to understand all of this is to realize that it’s part of a broader syndrome, in which wealthy Americans who benefit hugely from a system rigged in their favor react with hysteria to anyone who points out just how rigged the system is.




► In today’s Olympian — Two bidders want to control state liquor distribution — Two applicants met a Sept. 30 deadline for laying out their proposals for leasing the state’s liquor warehouse. Now Gov. Chris Gregoire’s budget office will consider whether either bid should be accepted. Retail liquor stores would not be affected.

► In today’s Olympian — Reykdal weighs run for Auditor — First-year state Rep. Chris Reykdal says he is formally considering a run for state auditor. His goal would be to expand the auditor’s performance-audit activities to include a look at tax-breaks to see if they are delivering benefits to the state.

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — College officials in Whatcom County brace for mid-year budget cuts




► In the (Longview) Daily News — Judge denies EGT request for summary judgment, sends matter to arbitrator — The Port of Longview and longshore union won an important round in their ongoing battle with the EGT grain terminal Friday, but a decision about whether the union is legally entitled to work there still is months away. The judge rejected EGT’s request for summary judgment based on its claim that its contract with the port does not obligate it to hire the ILWU. He wrote that EGT was “acutely aware of the Working Agreement, and of the Port’s belief that it established union longshore jurisdiction over the property to be leased — both on the docks and on the land side of the facility.”

► In today’s Yakima H-R — Numbers of long-term unemployed rising in Yakima County — The number of long-term unemployed — defined by the state as more than a half year — has grown in Yakima over the past two years while dropping statewide. Unemployment hovers above 10% in the county. Manufacturing jobs have shrunk, while many of the area’s other jobs may not be enough for some people.

► In the Columbian — Premiums will lower paychecks at county — Starting in 2012, Clark County employees will pay, for the first time, a 7% portion of their health insurance premium. They also have higher co-pays. Plus, hours and pay have been reduced for about 200 employees after 270 positions were cut.

► In the Columbian — C-Tran lays out cuts if Prop. 1 fails — The tax hike would raise an additional $8 million to $9 million to keep existing bus service intact. Should the measure fail, C-Tran has said it will need to cut total service by about 35% to make ends meet.

► In the Wenatchee World — Firefighters go public with budget concerns



► From AP — Deficit Supercommittee!™ struggles as clock ticks — After weeks of secret meetings, the 12-member deficit-cutting panel established under last summer’s budget and debt deal appears no closer to a breakthrough than when talks began last month.

ALSO SEE — Super Committee: We want JOBS, not cuts

► In today’s NY Times — Recession officially over, incomes kept falling — In a grim sign of the enduring nature of the economic slump, household income declined more in the two years after the recession ended than it did during the recession itself, new research has found. Between June 2009, when the recession officially ended, and June 2011, inflation-adjusted median household income fell 6.7%, to $49,909. During the recession — from December 2007 to June 2009 — household income fell 3.2%. The finding helps explain why Americans’ attitudes toward the economy, the country’s direction and its political leaders have continued to sour even as the economy has been growing.

► In today’s LA Times — Obama’s jobs panel includes job-cutting executives — On Tuesday, President Obama will meet in Pittsburgh with the business and labor leaders he has chosen to counsel him on job creation. But many of the chief executives have cut American jobs and adopted tactics that weaken organized labor — even as their businesses post record profits.

► In The Hill — House bill would block OSHA regulations; AFL-CIO cries foul — Sparking criticism from organized labor, House Republicans have unveiled a spending bill that would block the Obama administration from issuing controversial workplace safety and health regulations.

► In today’s NY Times — Labor talks in Detroit go social — Although contract negotiations still take place in private, Web sites and social media have provided faster, more accurate and more inclusive communication.

► From AP — Dream Act becomes law in California — Illegal immigrants can now apply for state-financed scholarships and aid at state universities after Gov. Jerry Brown signs the second half of a legislative package focused on such students.




► In today’s NY Times — The myth of voter fraud (editorial) — It has been a record year for new legislation designed to make it harder for Democrats to vote — 19 laws and two executive actions in 14 states dominated by Republicans, according to a new study. As a result, more than five million eligible voters will have a harder time participating in the 2012 election. There is almost no voting fraud in America. And none of the lawmakers who claim there is have ever been able to document any but the most isolated cases. The only reason Republicans are passing these laws is to give themselves a political edge by suppressing Democratic votes.


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