Friday, March 8, 2013
► In today’s Olympian — Sequestration could cost Washington state tens of millions — The cuts, which began taking effect March 1, are expected to carve almost $83 million out of state-administered programs over the next seven months. The timing and effects vary by program.
► From AP — State House approves Voting Rights Act — The state House passed a measure Thursday to reform representation of minorities in local elections, over the objections of Republicans who said the measure was unnecessary and potentially costly. The Washington Voting Rights Act passed on a nearly party-line 53-44 vote. Rep. Chris Hurst (D-Enumclaw) joined Republicans in opposing the measure.
► In today’s Columbian — House Republicans seek transportation reforms — State House Republicans say they would be more willing to support a broad transportation funding package if the Legislature passes Republican government reforms, which include suspending the state’s Growth Management Act in some counties.
► In today’s Columbian — Rep. Moeller explains why prevailing wage is good
► In today’s NY Times — Looming cuts add to problems at Hanford nuclear site — As Washington’s new governor, Jay Inslee, swept onto the site on Wednesday for a hard-hat tour and a briefing, and federal officials warned of layoffs from budget cuts rippling through the federal Department of Energy. “I’m very disturbed that at the very month that we have six new leaking tanks of radioactive material, the sequestration hits, which could result in the furlough of several thousand people,” Inslee said.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Union offers plan to help save Hanford workers’ jobs — The Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council has proposed a memorandum of understanding that could save some jobs if enough HAMTC workers volunteer to take paid and unpaid leave, said Dave Molnaa, HAMTC president. A similar agreement more than eight years ago saved HAMTC jobs, helping Molnaa persuade contractors to sign on now, he said.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — SPEEA can’t ‘extract’ more from Boeing without a strike — Contract ballots were mailed Thursday to 7,500 Boeing Co. technical workers, whose rejection of the company’s offer would “almost certainly lead to a strike,” union leaders say.
Negotiators for the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace have “extracted everything we could” from Boeing without calling for a strike, they wrote in a letter sent Thursday to members. Technical workers will have until 5 p.m. on March 18th to return their ballots to the union.
► In today’s Seattle Times — NTSB report shows Boeing’s battery analysis fell short — The NTSB report seems to question the thoroughness of the testing outsourced to contractors Thales and Securaplane. It notes there doesn’t seem to have been any testing of the charging system and battery together as an integrated system inside the airplane.
► In today’s Seattle Times — For the Dreamliner, the fix is definitely not in (by Jon Talton) — The company’s government-relations chief, Tim Keating, has worked to keep lawmakers, in the loop. He has brought Boeing’s engineers to several meetings on Capitol Hill in recent weeks. But no doubt the informing includes the threat of layoffs if the Dreamliner isn’t flying soon. Only one firing needs to happen to persuade everybody that Boeing is changing its ways: Chief Executive Jim McNerney needs to be shown the door with no golden parachute.
► From AP — Boeing books orders for 27 new jets
► In today’s Columbian — Union workers at Port of Vancouver stage hourlong work stoppage — The deadlock between union dockworkers and United Grain Corp. found another boiling point Thursday as both parties clashed over the use of Port of Vancouver property, a morning incident that halted all work at the port for an hour and stirred a fresh round of accusations.
► In today’s News Tribune — Nurses, Tacoma General pin hopes on fifth mediation session — Nurses and hospital officials at Tacoma General Hospital are hoping a new session with a federal mediator scheduled for March 28 will help the two sides reach a new labor pact between the hospital and some 650 nurses represented by the Washington State Nurses Association.
► In today’s Daily News — After revamp, Longview Fibre expecting big things — After spending $15 million on a major paper machine upgrade, Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging officials say they are boosting production of the company’s fastest-growing product, slashing energy costs and improving the bottom line.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Worker quits Arlene’s Flowers in Richland — Arlene’s Flowers owner Barronelle Stutzman considered it a matter of conscience to refuse to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding. Now one of her employees considered it a matter of conscience to refuse to continue working for her.
► At AFL-CIO Now — Jobless rate edges down to 7.7%, economy adds 236,000 jobs — The 236,000 jobs created reflect 35 straight months of positive job growth. But the number of long-term unemployed (those who are jobless for 27 weeks or more) was unchanged at 4.8 million. These people account for 40.2% of the unemployed.
► At Yahoo! News — White House: Jobs report shows economy ‘gaining strength,’ but… — …look out for the impact of across-the-board spending cuts known in D.C. as “sequestration.”
► In today’s NY Times — The market speaks (by Paul Krugman) — Stocks are high, in part, because bond yields are so low, and investors have to put their money somewhere. It’s also true, however, that while the economy remains deeply depressed, corporate profits have staged a strong recovery. And that’s a bad thing! Not only are workers failing to share in the fruits of their own rising productivity, hundreds of billions of dollars are piling up in the treasuries of corporations that, facing weak consumer demand, see no reason to put those dollars to work.
► In today’s Washington Post — Airline workers criticize new TSA policy on small knives — The Transportation Security Administration disregarded the safety of airline passengers and workers with its decision to relax carry-on restrictions beginning next month, according to labor groups representing airline workers.
► “Who loves ya’, baby?” That was the trademark line of actor Telly Savalas, best known as the 1970’s lollipop-sucking TV police detective “Kojak.” Apparently, this women does. A lot. Today in creepy music history, the entire staff of The Stand presents Savalas’ spoken-word rendition of “If,” which hit No. 1 on the UK singles chart today in 1975. Watch as Savalas smokes and drinks his way right into her heart, compelling her to roll right over the ashtray into his arms. As we also celebrate International Women’s Day today, let’s all be thankful that “You’ve come a long way, baby.”
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.