Thursday, September 27, 2012
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Cowlitz County retries ILWU president — The international president of the longshore union is back on trial in connection with last year’s labor dispute, three months after his last District Court trial ended in a hung jury. ILWU President Robert McEllrath of San Francisco is charged with obstructing a train — a misdemeanor — on Sept. 7, 2011. In a two-day trial in June that was attended by longshore workers from around the world, the jury failed to reach a verdict.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Re-read The Stand’s Sept. 8, 2011, posting — Here’s why longshore workers in Longview are so angry (more than 4,000 Facebook “likes!”) — to recall how the greed of an international conglomerate subsidized by Washington taxpayers set off this dispute. Given its resolution, ask yourself what the %#&@ is Cowlitz County doing wasting precious resources retrying a misdemeanor?
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Will Northwest grain talks have ripple here? — Negotiations between union dockworkers and grain handlers are coming down to the wire at six Northwest grain terminals, but local port officials say they don’t expect the labor situation to have any immediate impact in Longview or Kalama. The EGT and Kalama grain-handling contracts, though, are becoming a major sticking point in the negotiations involving the Portland, Vancouver, Seattle and Tacoma grain terminals. The contracts expire Sept. 30.
► In today’s Seattle Times — SPEEA, Boeing at loggerheads before decisive vote — All signs point to a heavy rejection of Boeing’s first contract offer to its white-collar engineering union when mail-in ballots are counted Monday. That will leave the two sides squared off in an increasingly hostile confrontation over the future of 23,000 local SPEEA members. Management warned Wednesday it might move future work out of the region if it can’t keep down the cost of engineers. Meanwhile, the union is contemplating a strike.
► In today’s NY Times — Europe to seek sanctions against U.S. over Boeing subsidies — The European Union inched closer to an open trans-Atlantic trade war on Thursday, saying that it would ask the WTO for the right to impose up to $12 billion in annual trade sanctions against the United States in retaliation for subsidies to Boeing which Brussels says give the plane maker an unfair advantage over its European rival, Airbus.
► From AP — Boeing’s McNerney: Fewer CEOs planning to hire — Jim McNerney, who is also chairman of the Business Roundtable, said CEOs are worried about the impact of “fiscal cliff” budget cuts and tax increases that are set to take effect at the start of next year.
EDITOR’S NOTE — You’re doin’ a heckuva job, Congress.
► At PubliCola — McKenna campaign goes negative — To date the negative campaigning in the Inslee-McKenna race has been left to the independent expenditure campaigns. No longer. The latest ad from the McKenna campaign itself attacks Inslee for voting for “more government” and “bigger deficits.”
► In today’s Seattle Times — Teacher’s union focuses on governor’s race, not charter schools — “I think it’s pretty clear that we have a real priority in making sure that we get someone elected as governor who will put kids first,” said Mary Lindquist, president of the Washington Education Association.
► In The Stranger — Voters take prejudice to the polls — A University of Washington researcher examines why a white candidate swept the vote in Eastern Washington.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Lawmaker now backs WSU in Everett — For years, the road to a four-year university in Snohomish County ended at the feet of state Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe (D-Bothell). No more. She has thrown her full support behind Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson’s dream of opening a branch campus of Washington State University by 2020.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Death of BPA lineman from Yakima under investigation — A 34-year-old Bonneville Power Administration lineman originally from Yakima has died after falling from a transmission tower near the Montana-Idaho border.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Everett school salary increases OK’d by board — The Everett School Board has approved salary increases for about 140 employees, including administrators, principals and non-unionized workers, but so far has been unable to reach an agreement with SEIU.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Comcast to hire 140 in Snohomish County –Citing the high cost of business in California, the company says it will move some 1,000 call-center jobs from Northern California to call centers in Washington, Oregon and Colorado.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Washington households see sharp wealth divide (by Jon Talton) — The well-off are doing very well in Washington, according to a new study from the state Office of Financial Management, which studied the distribution of income, wealth and taxes across Washington households from 2005 to 2009.
► From AP — Obama touts ‘economic patriotism’ in new pitch
► In today’s Washington Post — Medicare working to boost Obama in swing states, poll finds — Voters in three critical swing states broadly oppose the sweeping changes to Medicare proposed by Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and, by big margins, favor President Obama over Mitt Romney on the issue.
► At Huffington Post — NFIB exposed: ‘Voice of Small Business’ is a front, group charges — The left-leaning Center for Media and Democracy has posted on NFIBexposed.org, its new website, a study that reveals how consistently the NFIB lobbies on issues that favor large corporate interests rather than small-business interests; its thoroughly partisan agenda; and the millions it receives in secret contributions from groups associated with Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers.
ALSO TODAY at The Stand —‘Small’ NFIB gets GOP funders’ big bucks — Here in Washington state, the NFIB’s legislative agenda for 2013 mirrors that of big insurance industry lobbyists… Likewise, the non-partisan organization’s Save America’s Free Enterprise PAC is hard at work right now trying to elect “pro-small-business candidates” to Washington’s State Legislature — 70 of whom are Republicans and none of whom are Democrats.
► In The Hill — Postal Service to default — again — The agency had been widely expected to default on this month’s scheduled $5.6 billion prepayment to the Treasury Department for future retiree benefits, and rushed on Wednesday to assure customers that business would continue as usual.
ALSO at The Stand — APWU: Congress manufactured Postal Service ‘crisis,’ now must fix it
► In The Hill — Senate Republicans join suit against NLRB recess appointments — The White House has argued that the Senate was in pro forma session at the time, which entails just a gaveling-in and -out of session every three days while senators are essentially on recess. Critics of the recess appointments say the Senate was in session at the time and that the president went beyond his constitutional powers.
► This morning from the Washington Post — NFL, referees reach deal to end lockout — The NFL completed an eagerly awaited deal with its referees Wednesday night to end its lockout of the sport’s regular officials and pave the way for them to return to the field starting with tonight’s game in Baltimore between the Ravens and Browns.
► In today’s Washington Post — NFL owners’ greed is destroying the game (by E.J. Dionne) — Could there be a better object lesson in the arrogance of the very rich and the value of the labor performed by line workers whose contributions usually go unnoticed and unappreciated? No wonder the NFL finally seems eager for a deal.
► This morning in The Onion — NFL fans excited to finally bitch about regular referees
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 9 a.m.