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Ballots in the mail, farm strike ends, feeding hungry corporations…

Thursday, July 18, 2013




vote-button► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Ballots will be mailed today — Ballots are on their way for the Aug. 6 primary. This year’s primary features all partisan races for county, city and municipal office that are up for election and any nonpartisan race with three or more candidates.

EDITOR’S NOTE — If you live in the 26th Legislative District, the Washington State Labor Council has endorsed Sen. Nathan Schlicher to retain that seat in the special election. The WSLC doesn’t make endorsement recommendations on local races, but many of the AFL-CIO’s Central Labor Councils around the state do. Click here for links to the CLCs’ websites and/or contact information to find out who the labor-endorsed candidates are in your community.




► From AP  — State picks up 9,800 jobs in June — Private sector hiring was estimated to have increased by 15,700 jobs, while government saw a dip of 5,900 jobs last month. The state’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.8%. Since June 2012, when Washington state’s unemployment rate was 8.2%, the state has gained about 67,000 jobs. The state’s unemployment rate remains well below the national unemployment rate of 7.6%.

ALSO at The Stand — U.S. Chamber: Washington state great for business

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Hanford negotiations to continue after failed vote — “(Workers) will not accept substandard wages, benefits and working conditions from the contractors or DOE,” said Dave Molnaa, president of the Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council. HAMTC is an umbrella organization for 15 of the unions performing work at the Department of Energy’s Hanford nuclear reservation. Negotiations will resume July 30.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — PNNL to cut 50 to 75 positions — The Department of Energy national lab in Richland will make as many of the cuts as possible through natural attrition — such as retirements — and voluntary layoffs.

farmworkers-strike-130716► At Slog — Striking Haagen Dazs berry pickers return to work — More than 150 farmworkers at Sakuma Farms in Burlington have returned to work picking berries, for now. The workers walked off the job last week demanding better wages and treatment by bosses. The farm is a major supplier of berries to Haagen Dazs ice cream. Negotiations between the strike committee and farm management are still ongoing. “There may be another work stoppage if negotiations halt,” says Tomas Madrigal, a farmworker organizer from Communidad a Communidad based in Bellingham.

LEARN MORE about Communided a Communidad at

► In today’s Olympian — Officials advise Hoquiam’s Harbor Paper workers to find new jobs — WorkSource Grays Harbor hosted a series of “rapid response” meetings for the unemployed mill workers Tuesday to inform them of their unemployment benefit rights. It’s been nearly five months since the mill was shut down, and the company has been silent regarding future plans.

► In today’s News Tribune — Hoopla with flag, national anthem opens Walmart store in Tacoma — Haggen Inc., owner of Top Food & Drug, has been an early casualty of the Walmart store that opened Wednesday. The company said recently that Walmart’s presence was a factor in the decision to shutter its store in a shopping center next to Walmart.

► In today’s Columbian — Walmart opens first Neighborhood Market in Vancouver




Tom-wait-what► In today’s Seattle Times — Poll: Voters give lawmakers a D+ — Washington state voters were not impressed with the work of this year’s legislative session, according to a new Elway poll. The poll gave especially poor marks to Sen. Rodney Tom’s Majority Coalition Caucus. While 41% of respondents to a January poll said they expected the coalition to make progress more likely, just 21% on the new poll said the coalition had a positive effect on the Legislature.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Teachers’ ‘typical work day’ comes under scrutiny — Tucked deep in Washington’s new two-year budget is money for a study to find out what a “typical work day” looks like for thousands of teachers toiling away in the state’s 295 school districts. Lawmakers specifically want “an estimate of the percent of a teacher’s typical day that is spent on teaching-related duties and the percentage of the teacher’s day that is spent on duties that are not directly related to teaching.”

► In today’s News Tribune — Sen. Karen Fraser’s husband dies in Alaska — Tim Malone, 78, the husband of Sen. Karen Fraser, has died in Alaska while accompanying his wife at a Pacific Northwest Economic Region meeting.




► In today’s News Tribune — Pierce County, state officials discuss Boeing retention work at aerospace summit — As a global company, Boeing ultimately may spread its commercial aircraft manufacturing activities far beyond the Puget Sound area and its new assembly site in South Carolina, Washington’s chief aerospace recruiter told a gathering of aerospace industry executives Wednesday. It may locate plants overseas, he says.

► At Politico — NTSB offers clues in Asiana crash — Early indications are that the pilots of the Korea-to-San Francisco flight just didn’t notice in time that they were flying too slowly and undershooting the runway — a conclusion reinforced each day that the NTSB briefed reporters last week.




perez-thomas-L► At AFL-CIO Now — Labor secretary nominee Tom Perez receives 60-40 cloture vote — In a 60-40 cloture vote Wednesday, the U.S. Senate ended debate on President Obama’s Labor Secretary nominee Tom Perez. This means the nomination will move to a full Senate vote, which is expected today. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: “Working men and women will be well served by President Obama’s choice of Tom Perez to lead the Department of Labor.”

► In today’s NY Times — House votes to delay two requirements of health care reform — Defying a veto threat from President Obama, the House on Wednesday passed bills delaying two crucial parts of his health care overhaul that require most Americans to have insurance and many employers to offer it.

► In the P.S. Business Journal — Rep. McDermott: We need individual health insurance mandate — The congressman points to Washington’s own experiment in 1993, when the state attempted its own reform without an individual mandate.

► From AP — Senators reach deal on student loan rates — After weeks of negotiations, Senators reached a deal Wednesday to retroactively reduce some student loan rates and to change how many of the federal loan rates are calculated.

► At Politico — Immigration could hinge on August recess — The White House and its immigration reform allies are banking on the August recess as their next — and possibly last — major opportunity to compel House Republicans to act.

► At Mother Jones — These ads could finally break the GOP on immigration — Key Latino voters are now hearing directly about the House Republicans blocking comprehensive reform. New ad campaigns, including several funded by SEIU, aim to break the conservatives’ obstruction.

lobbyists► In The Hill — K Street lobbyists storm Capitol Hill offices to rescue tax breaks — After years of planning, hired guns for industry are prowling the congressional corridors, going door to door in search of senators who will fight for tax breaks and deductions that are at risk of being wiped from the code. The stakes couldn’t be higher for K Street firms or their clients, who fear being on the short end if a tax reform bill emerges in Congress — and losing millions of dollars in the process.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Ballooning food-stamp rolls highlight ideological divide — The number of Washington residents receiving food stamps has doubled in past five years, largely because of the recession. Whether you’re reassured by the public aid or troubled by the spending is the crux of an ideological battle in Congress over the farm bill.




► At — Colbert: If poor people want food stamps they should become massive corporations


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