Friday, April 19, 2013
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing to lay off as many as 700 engineers this year — The Boeing Co. plans to reduce its engineering workforce by 1,500 to 1,700 people by the end of the year, with as many as 700 engineers facing layoff. Roughly 100 manufacturing engineering employees in the Puget Sound region will receive 60-day notices on Friday.
► At SPEEA.org — Boeing announces reductions in Northwest but fails to mention more outsourcing to Moscow — As The Boeing Co. works to assure the FAA and customers the 787 is ready to resume service, the company on Thursday announced plans to reduce its workforce by 1,500 to 1,700 engineers and technical workers — the same Northwest employees who found remedies to the problems caused by misguided corporate outsourcing. Meanwhile, the company is launching a new push to outsource more 787 engineering and technical work to the Moscow Design Center.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing to slow 747 production on weak demand — Boeing will reduce 747-8 jet production due to lower demand for passenger and freighter aircraft, the company said Friday. The jet maker will cut production from two jumbo jets monthly to 1.75 aircraft monthly.
► From AP — Reports: Boeing Dreamliner could fly next month — The Wall Street Journal reports that the FAA is set to approve Boeing’s fix for the ion-lithium batteries. The 787 has been grounded since mid-January because of smoldering batteries that in one case caused a serious fire. The Journal says the FAA is expected to announce Friday that Boeing’s redesigned batteries are safe.
► From Bloomberg — Boeing adds to director’s duties ahead of shareholder vote — Boeing is adding to the duties of independent lead director Ken Duberstein as it seeks to head off a proposal to split Jim McNerney’s role as both chief executive officer and chairman which investors will vote on in two weeks.
► From AP — Senate transportation budget advances with CRC deal — The State Senate’s transportation budget proposal advanced from committee Thursday after being bottled up over disagreement on funding for the Columbia River Crossing project. The deal to advance the budget plan hinged on withholding almost all of the roughly $82 million allocated toward the bridge project until the U.S. Coast Guard decides whether to issue a key permit. That decision is expected in September.
► In today’s Columbian — Amendment would require audit of CRC — The Washington Senate’s transportation budget would require a forensic audit of the Columbia River Crossing, thanks to one of several CRC-related amendments added to the budget proposal Thursday morning.
► From AP — State employees union says it opposes pension spiking — Groups that represent current and former government workers in Washington state expressed concern Thursday about a plan in the Senate that seeks to prevent sudden increases in pension values.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Union chief: LEOFF-1 firefighters a minority (by Shawn Vestal) — Kelly Fox, president of the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters, thinks that people may not understand a crucial bit of context about pension abuses reported by the AP — the fact that they were entirely centered on a system that was changed decades ago. Fox makes fair points. For my money, the most important thing he does is avoid attempting to excuse the abuses… while attempting to stick up for the basic decency of his members.
► In The Stranger — Seriously, f— you: Rodney Tom is the worst person in Washington (by Anna Minard) — Watching state Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom grinningly dismantle the entire progressive political agenda so he can have the sweetest swivel chair in the Senate has been excruciatingly painful. Especially since he always acts like that’s not what he’s doing.
ALSO at The Stand — Nobody’s crying out for this self-serving Senate Tom-foolery (Dec. 13, 2012)
► At the Washington Work & Family Coalition blog — Will family leave repeal get crammed into budget deal? — The Legislature is moving into its final phase focused on reconciling three versions of the 2013-15 budget before the April 28 adjournment date. And there’s still a threat that the Senate majority will try to cram repeal of family and medical leave insurance into the take-home deal.
► In today’s News Tribune — Budget cuts fall on backs of nursing homes’ skilled care (by Brendan Williams) — With K-12 education funding paramount, the state — by keeping nursing home Medicaid reimbursement based upon 2007 costs through June 2015 — would save no less than $31.4 million. Yet that savings is at the expense of the most vulnerable, and is compounded by the loss of equal federal matching funds. Most of that double-damage would fall upon wages.
► From AP — Sen. Mike Carrell to receive stem cell transplant soon — Republican state Sen. Mike Carrell, who has a blood condition and has been hospitalized since last month, will receive a stem cell transplant from his brother next week.
► In today’s Peninsula Daily News — Nippon Paper, union talks scheduled next month — A federal mediation session has been scheduled for Tuesday between Nippon Paper Industries USA and the Association of Western Pulp & Paper Workers, which represents 130 millworkers who went on a five-day strike beginning March 20.
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Kilmer’s first bills would help workers hurt by furloughs — The first two bills sponsored by U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer would help civilian defense workers and other federal employees deal with the impacts of furloughs.
► From AP — Two fertilizer plants in Washington like those at Texas facility — Both facilities are in the same town of Finley, located outside of Richland in Benton County, and have good safety records.
► In today’s NY Times — Obama’s Labor nominee faces GOP critics in Senate — Responding to sharp criticism from Republicans for his work on housing discrimination and voting rights at the Justice Department, Thomas E. Perez, President Obama’s choice to head the Labor Department, on Thursday defended his record and said that if confirmed, his focus would be on tackling the nation’s high unemployment rate.
► At AFL-CIO Now — Labor nominee stresses ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ — Perez tells the Senate Judiciary Committee: “The mission of the Department of Labor is the mission of America… building ladders to the middle class.”
► In today’s NY Times — The Excel Depression (by Paul Krugman) — What the Reinhart-Rogoff affair shows is the extent to which austerity has been sold on false pretenses. For three years, the turn to austerity has been presented not as a choice but as a necessity. Economic research, austerity advocates insisted, showed that terrible things happen once debt exceeds 90 percent of G.D.P. But “economic research” showed no such thing; a couple of economists made that assertion, while many others disagreed. Policy makers abandoned the unemployed and turned to austerity because they wanted to, not because they had to.
► Thirty-three years ago today, R.E.M. played their first gig at the 11:11 Koffee Club in Athens, Ga. Before disbanding in 2011 as Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, these alternative rock pioneers evolved from mumbling jangle pop (see “Radio Free Europe“) to uniquely surreal adult contemporary (see “Man on the Moon,” an Andy Kaufman homage), with many stops in between. But for the entire staff of The Stand, it’s their Beach Boys tribute “At My Most Beautiful,” a rare straight-up love song, that stands out as an all-time favorite. Enjoy.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.