► Snowmageddon 2012 — Today, please remember the dedicated public works employees who are geared up for another big day (and night) of work to make our roads safe and to keep the snowmelt flowing smoothly. It is difficult, sometimes dangerous, work. So “give ’em a brake” and a thumbs-up.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Hanford budget to remain steady, PNNL’s might dip— Hanford can expect reasonably level funding for the foreseeable future, says a DOE official. But Pacific Northwest National Laboratory could face a possible decrease in federal money in the near term, which could require some small-scale layoffs.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Experts positive about Tri-Cities’ economic future— Health care and social assistance, manufacturing and educational services are expected to lead the anticipated job growth, says one analyst.
► In today’s Wenatchee World — Lacy less convinced that sales tax is the answer — East Wenatchee Mayor Steve Lacy is taking a step back from his Town Toyota Center bail-out proposal. He wants to find out if it would cost his city more to hand over sales tax revenues for 15 years or to be sued by spurned investors.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Neither a borrower nor a lender be, in Wenatchee.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Officials say, without funding, five ferry routes would be scuttled — Ferry service between Port Townsend and Coupeville, and on four other routes in the state, could be eliminated under a worst-case funding scenario presented by transportation officials.
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Consultants propose sweeping changes to ferry fares — A study presented to the Transportation Commission recommends the state ferry system slash the number of different fares from 643 to 84 and integrate various means of payment.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Charter schools measure revived, debated in Senate — Those wanting to lift the state’s ban on charter schools ran smack into opposition Wednesday from teachers, principals and school board members.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Bill would require costly ballot initiatives to identify a funding source — The bipartisan group of legislators has proposed a state constitutional amendment that would require any initiative expected to cost the state or local governments more than $5 million to include a tax increase or a new tax to cover the new spending.
EDITOR’S NOTE — That’s fine, as long as we also require any initiative that cuts state revenue by more than $5 million to identify what public services will be cut.
► In today’s NY Times — Boeing departure shakes Wichita’s identity as Airplane Capital — Barring some unexpected act of salvation, this is how Boeing leaves Wichita after eight decades as one of its biggest employers and most prestigious brands: in a trail of broken promises and bitter recriminations. Some believe the departure of Boeing will be damaging only symbolically because the company sold off its much larger commercial division here, now called Spirit Aerosystems. But others, worried about an eroding identity and a declining share of the market, ask whether this time is different.
► At HeraldNet.com — Boeing: Snow won’t stop jet production in Washington — Boeing is operating on normal schedules at its jet factories across the Puget Sound region, says a spokeswoman.
► At AFL-CIO Now — Romney: Out of touch with Mainstream America — First, multimillionaire Mitt Romney told a group of jobless workers he’s also “unemployed.” Next, Romney thought there was no problem in stating publicly that he likes to “fire people.” Now, the Republican presidential wannabee proved yet again how out of touch he is with mainstream Americans by showing the extent to which he’s a member of the elite 1%. In South Carolina yesterday, Romney admitted he pays “around” a 15% tax rate, while earning $364,000 a year in speaker’s fees alone — an income he described as “not very much.”
► In today’s Washington Post — Romney faces mounting pressure to release tax returns now — Unanswered questions about his wealth threw the GOP presidential front-runner’s campaign off balance and threatened to undercut his message in the final days before Saturday’s potentially decisive primary in South Carolina.
► In today’s NY Times — The 1% and that 15% (editorial) — Romney does not have to apologize for his wealth. But he cannot keep trying to conceal just how much the tax code has been tilted in his favor.
► In today’s Washington Post — Where are the Republican populists? (E.J. Dionne column) — Members of the Tea Party insisted they were turning the GOP into a populist, anti-establishment bastion. Yet in the end, as Mitt Romney’s rise underscores, the corporate and economically conservative wing of the Republican Party always seems to win.
► At TPM — Perry bowing out, will endorse Gingrich
► At MSNBC — Santorum comes out first in Iowa
► At Politico — AFL-CIO’s Trumka slams Obama’s Jobs Council — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka filed a stinging 1635-word dissent to the “Road Map to Renewal” adopted by the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Trumka also charged that the 27-member panel Obama appointed, which is dominated by business and finance leaders, isn’t diverse enough to be making “balanced” policy proposals to the president.
ALSO TODAY in The Stand — Citing flawed focus, AFL-CIO’s Trumka dissents from Jobs Council report
► At AFL-CIO Now — Ugly in Indiana — Republican House members in Indiana are doubling down on their push to pass a “right to work” for less law.
► In today’s Indianapolis Star — Fear grows that ‘Right to Work’ impasse will affect Indianapolis Super Bowl 2012— Wednesday, labor union protesters filled the Statehouse with chants of “Occupy the Super Bowl.”
► In The Nation — DeMaurice Smith on why NFL players’ union opposes ‘right to work’ — NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith: “This bill has nothing to do with a “right to work.” If folks in Indiana and that great legislature want to pass a bill that really is something called “Right to Work,” have a constitutional amendment that guarantees every citizen a job, that’s a “right to work.” What this is instead is a right to ensure that ordinary working citizens can’t get together as a team, can’t organize, can’t stand together and can’t fight management on an even playing field.
► In the NY Times — Invitation to a dialogue: ‘Right to Work’ laws — The New York Times invites readers to respond to this letter for our Sunday Dialogue about ‘Right to Work’ (for less) laws. Write in! firstname.lastname@example.org
► At AFL-CIO Now — New AFL-CIO campaign highlights how ‘Work Connects Us All” — Viewers in Austin, Texas, and Pittsburgh are getting the first public look at a new AFL-CIO television spot, “Work Connects Us All: America’s Unions.”
Rounding out the campaign’s features are social media and online ads, and a dynamic, interactive website, www.WorkConnectsUsAll.org.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 9 a.m. These links are functional at the date of posting, but sometimes expire.