Wednesday, April 23, 2013
► In today’s Olympian — Hundreds attend Worker Memorial Day service — Joe Bartkowski died doing something he loved: driving a big rig. Gov. Jay Inslee shared Bartkowski’s story during Tuesday’s Worker Memorial Day service at the state Department of Labor & Industries. Inslee described him as a hero. The service honored 66 people who died in 2012 from workplace injuries or accidents in Washington state. They included National Park Rangers Margaret Anderson and Nicholas Hall, who lost their lives in Mount Rainier National Park, and Washington State Patrol trooper Tony Radulescu, who was shot and killed while making a traffic stop on state Route 16 near Gorst in February 2012.
ALSO at The Stand — Worker Memorial Day events across Washington this week — Events are scheduled today at UW in Seattle at 11:30 a.m. at UW, today at 5 p.m. in Everett, and tomorrow at noon in Tacoma.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Monroe hospital levy passing — Voters in east Snohomish County appeared on Tuesday night to be strongly backing a proposal to double their annual financial support of Valley General Hospital in Monroe.
► In today’s Daily News — Port of Longview posts another record year for revenue — Fueled by grain exports, the Port of Longview tripled its net operating income in 2012, posting its fifth consecutive record revenue year and capping a remarkable rebound from near insolvency.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Stephanie Bowman to join Seattle Port Commission — The Port of Seattle Commission has added Stephanie Bowman, 44, a former manager of federal government affairs for the Port of Tacoma. Bowman was selected from seven finalists to fill the seat vacated by Rob Holland.
► In today’s Seattle Times — House Democrats drop proposal to make beer tax permanent — House Democrats today dropped a proposal to permanently extend a beer tax that’s due to expire this summer. They also killed proposals to eliminate a tax break for stevedoring, impose a sale tax on janitorial services and eliminate a tax exemption for insurance agents. Combined, the proposals would have raised around $165 million in additional tax revenue.
► In today’s Olympian — Private company negotiating for management of state’s ‘e-government’ — State government is negotiating a contract to outsource website work the specializes in “e-government,” but the Legislature could stand in its way.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Lawmakers expand use of EpiPens by school nurses — The state Legislature gave its final approval Tuesday to a bill aimed at allowing school nurses to administer a potentially lifesaving allergy medication in an emergency.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing profits beat expectations despite 787 difficulties — The Boeing Co.’s first-quarter profit rose 5.3% and beat analysts’ estimates as increased deliveries for 777- and 737-model jets made up for the halt in buyers picking up Dreamliners while that plane was grounded.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Boeing avoided some unpleasant timing with these profit numbers by announcing LAST week that it was laying off hundreds of engineers. Those are the folks who have cleaned up the dog’s breakfast that company management made of the 787 through outsourcing. And as Boeing eliminates their jobs, SPEEA reports that it continues outsourcing engineering work to Moscow. And this just weeks after taking away the defined-benefit pensions of all new engineering and technical hires. Way to share your success with the people who made it possible, CEO McNerney! (He just got a huge increase in HIS defined-benefit pension to go along with a 20% pay increase to $27.48 million a year. Lovely.)
► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing: Tests of 787 batteries should have been tougher — At an investigative hearing into the 787 Dreamliner battery’s design Tuesday, Boeing conceded its certification testing fell short and needs to be tightened in the future.
► From AP – Boeing sees early May restart of 787 deliveries
► At TPM — Why Obama’s stealth Social Security cut is bigger than it seems — Last week, while the national media turned its attention to the events unfolding in Boston, the Congressional Budget Office released a report that under normal circumstances have received much more scrutiny. It found that prices rise faster for seniors than for the population at large — which means slowing the growth of cost of living increases will particularly disadvantage seniors, who are already seeing their living costs outstrip their benefits.
ALSO Today at The Stand — Urge our U.S. Representatives to oppose ‘chained CPI’ cuts — Rep. Jim McDermott is the only member of Congress from Washington state who has signed the resolution opposing Obama’s proposed “chained CPI” cut. Contact your Representatives and urge them to co-sponsor it!
► At AFL-CIO Now — 28-year inspection gap at deadly Texas fertilizer plant ‘stunning indictment’ of OSHA’s underfunding — The West, Texas, fertilizer plant, where a fire and explosion last week claimed at least 14 lives — including 11 firefighters and EMTs — and injured more than 200, was last inspected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 1985. There are some 2,200 OSHA inspectors for the country’s 8 million workplaces and 130 million workers. In Texas, OSHA conducted 4,448 inspections in the past fiscal year, a pace that would mean it would visit every workplace in 126 years.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Three years after deadly Anacortes Tesoro blast, federal investigation remains incomplete — With industrial safety in the news after the horrific April 17 fertilizer plant blast in Texas, U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen and other members of the Washington congressional delegation are pressing for results from a federal investigation into the April 10, 2010, refinery explosion that killed seven Tesoro workers in Anacortes.
► In today’s NY Times — FAA says furloughs delayed 1,200 flights — The furlough of air traffic controllers delayed more than 1,200 flights on Monday, the first weekday of the unpaid leaves, the FAA said Tuesday as lawmakers criticized the agency for how it was handling the automatic budget cuts.
► In today’s NY times — Budget cuts, minus the inconvenience (editorial) — Republicans encourage a sequester affecting the poor, but they are furious about travel delays. Just read the Twitter feeds of their leaders. On Tuesday, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, proposed replacing the sequester for five months with unspent money from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those savings may not represent real money, but the idea is no more illusory than the Republican fantasy that billions can be cut with no real effect to the country.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.