Thursday, August 1, 2013
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Gateway Pacific coal terminal to get sweeping review; opponents cheer decision — Whatcom County and its state and federal partners announced Wednesday that they will require a sweeping review of Gateway Pacific Terminal’s environmental impacts – a significant victory for the coal terminal’s opponents. Among the impacts that will require study are greenhouse gas emissions from coal burning, traffic impacts from coal trains and human health impacts.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Haggen to close stores in Bellevue, Shoreline — The Bellingham-based grocery chain Haggen said it will close its stores in Bellevue and Shoreline in the next six to eight weeks.
► In today’s News Tribune — Pierce Transit board cancels planned service cuts — Pierce Transit board of commissioners rescinded Wednesday major service cuts planned to start next month, but they cautioned their vote only delays the inevitable.
► In today’s Olympian — Providence St. Peter trims number of LPNs — Providence St. Peter Hospital will trim the number of its licensed practical nurses to 16 from 25 as part of an internal restructuring, a hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday.
► In today’s Columbian — Judge rules proposed anti-light-rail initiative invalid — A proposed initiative to prohibit the city of Vancouver from using any resources to promote light rail exceeds the scope of local initiative power, Superior Court Judge John Nichols ruled Wednesday.
► At Slog — City Council candidate arrested Kshama Sawant arrested defending homeowner from eviction — Months after serving an eviction notice, King County Sheriffs officers finally showed up at construction worker Jeremy Griffin’s South Park home this afternoon, leading to the arrest of Seattle City Council candidate Kshama Sawant and other protestors participating in an eviction blockade.
ALSO today in The Stand — Sheriff evicts Seattle ironworker; SAFE protesters arrested
► In today’s News Tribune — Summer of spending continues in 26th LD race — Two candidates for state Senate and their allies have spent almost $600,000 trying to persuade voters — and they are most likely just getting started. The biggest share of spending comes from Republican Jan Angel, who has spent more than twice as much as Democrat Nathan Schlicher, according to campaign-finance reports the candidates submitted for the period that ended Tuesday.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Feds give laid-off Boeing workers a big helping hand — Local Boeing workers who’ve lost their jobs will receive substantial additional federal unemployment benefits after two unions at the company sought aid under a program for employees laid off due to outsourcing and foreign trade.
LEARN MORE about Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits by watching this 2011 video produced by the Washington State Labor Council.
► From AP — State losing 9 weeks of unemployment benefits — Washington state’s long-term unemployment benefits will decrease by nine weeks next month, state officials announced Wednesday. Officials with the Employment Security Department said that the decrease was triggered because the three-month average of the state’s unemployment rate was below 7%.
ALSO at The Stand — Long-term unemployed in Washington to lose 9 weeks of benefits. Also see local coverage in the (Longview) Daily News.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Lawmakers start work on school funding report — On Wednesday, a panel of Republican and Democratic lawmakers began crafting a report for justices on steps taken in the legislative session to comply with the court’s directive handed down in the lawsuit known as the McCleary case. The report is due Aug. 29, after which the coalition of school districts, parents, teachers and community groups that sued the state will get a month to respond. Then the justices will consider both filings and weigh in.
► In the Seattle Times — GOP state Rep. Matt Shea attends Idaho event warning of economic collapse — State Rep. Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley) has created a bit of a buzz nationally after reportedly warning people attending a northern Idaho rally about the “inevitable” collapse of the U.S. economy.
EDITOR’S NOTE — The Coeur d’Alene Press reports that Shea “is actively perpetuating a conspiracy that the government has plans to disarm Americans and round them up into concentration camps run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.”
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — State looks at safety of Hanford short shipments — The state of Washington is taking a close look at how the Department of Energy transports waste from the Hanford nuclear reservation to a nearby treatment plant, a recent inspection report indicates.
► From AP — Audit: Washington caregivers failed background checks — Nearly two dozen people who failed criminal background checks were allowed to work with developmentally disabled clients in Washington state, according to a state audit released Wednesday.
► At Politico — Transportation funding bill faces GOP opposition — A measure awarding generous funding to road and bridge projects, community development grants and housing help for the poor is running into stiff Republican opposition in the Senate. The bill appeared likely to fall prey Thursday to a filibuster by Republicans unhappy that the legislation breaks through budget limits required by automatic spending cuts known as budget sequestration.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Sound familiar?
► At Huffington Post — House GOP leaders halt debate on austere budget measure as Rep. calls sequester ‘unrealistic and ill-conceived’ — House GOP leaders Wednesday halted debate on an austere measure that was full of cuts to transportation and housing programs and community development grants, a setback for their budget strategy of embracing the stark spending levels dictated by automatic spending cuts known as sequestration.
► At AFL-CIO Now — Sorry, Mr. President, Amazon isn’t the place to go for jobs — In his speech in Chattanooga, Tenn., yesterday, President Obama rightfully called out for an increase in jobs that pay high wages and offer good benefits, what he called “middle class jobs,” and for a focus on creating manufacturing jobs. While those are laudable goals, Obama chose to give a speech about these topics at the Amazon Chattanooga Fulfillment Center, a location that neither pays those good wages and benefits nor is a place that offers manufacturing jobs.
► At TPM — Poll: Kentucky voters want McConnell out — New poll numbers released Thursday suggested that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is entering his reelection campaign next year facing two perilous obstacles: an electorate that wants him out of office and a viable Democratic challenger.
► At Politico — Senate panel approves job training bill — The Senate took a step toward overhauling job training and vocational education Wednesday, with a rare bipartisan committee vote for a bill to streamline federal job training and other vocational programs but the bill’s future is uncertain.
► At Huffington Post — Low-wage workers falling even further behind in economic recovery — Millions of low-wage workers who have been gainfully employed during the long economic downturn are still being victimized by it. Few classes of workers are doing especially well at the moment, but those who were already at the bottom of the wage scale find themselves slipping more than others. A recent analysis by the National Employment Law Project found the biggest losses in real wages during the economic recovery have been concentrated in low- and middle-income job categories. In other words, any nominal raises that many workers received have been wiped out by inflation, essentially leaving them with less money to cover their bills.
► In today’s NY Times — A day’s strike to raise fast-food wages — From New York to several Midwestern cities, thousands of fast-food workers have been holding one-day strikes during peak mealtimes, quickly drawing national attention to their demands for much higher wages.
► In today’s San Jose Mercury News — Unions may issue 72-hour notice to strike if no progress is made in BART negotiations — BART and its unions resumed negotiations Wednesday as management revealed it had not budged from its latest economic offer for the past month, another sign of how far apart both sides appear to remain ahead of the deadline to avert a Monday shutdown.
► From Time magazine — Immigration debate brings strange bedfellows — and new hope — to Washington — “It’s nice to be back here amongst old friends and enemies,” Senator John McCain said Tuesday morning as he opened a discussion on immigration at the Washington headquarters of the union powerhouse American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). His comment earned a trickle of awkward laughter from the audience, which included congressional staff members, some undocumented Hispanic youth known as “Dreamers” and a slew of reporters eager to watch the Republican make a begrudging alliance with organized labor.
ALSO at AFL-CIO Now — McCain: Path to citizenship must be ‘fundamental element’ of immigration reform
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.