Fish fight, free Nestora, LGBT order, CEO overconfidence…

Tuesday, June 17, 2014




► From AP — Unions join fight over how much fish state’s residents eat — Unions representing Boeing Machinists and mill workers are siding with businesses in a bitter fight over how much fish people eat, and thus how clean Washington state waters should be. The IAM, AWPPW and others are worried a new water-quality standard being developed by the state would hurt jobs and economic development — concerns that Boeing and other industry groups also have raised.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Let science, pragmatism decide water standards (editorial) — The current water quality standard is tied to an assumption that Washingtonians eat on average 6.5 grams of fish per day, which works out to a small filet per month. That’s obviously too low, but the concern is that Washington will adopt the Oregon standard, which is nearly 30 times higher and largely unattainable with current technology. What it might produce instead is an exodus of businesses. A smarter approach would be to allow the current science to guide the process, so that clean-water goals are achievable. Boeing and other businesses, including Spokesman-Review affiliate the Inland Empire Paper Co., are urging the governor to adopt a realistic standard that won’t drive jobs out of the state.

► In today’s Olympian — UW football coach Sarkisian topped all state employees for pay at $2.6M last year — The latest list of salaries in state government shows that, as is typical, college athletic officials, investment fund chiefs and medical school researchers lead the league in top pay.

► In today’s Olympian — Opening up jail negotiations would inform public (editorial) — When will Thurston County start housing prisoners in the new $45 million Accountability and Restitution Center? Nobody knows, because opening the new jail depends on the outcome of negotiations with the county corrections officers’ union, which have been closed to the public.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Pressure mounts to free Renton woman imprisoned in Mexico — Nestora Salgado, of Renton, returned to the small Mexican village where she grew up to help a town gripped by drug-related crime and poverty. Salgado, who was elected as a leader of a local volunteer police force, didn’t imagine the arrests that her group had made would lead to her own imprisonment. For the past 10 months, the 42-year-old mother of three has been detained in a federal prison in Mexico. She has yet to have her day in court, her lawyers say. At a news conference Monday at Seattle University, U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Bellevue) spoke out against Salgado’s ongoing detention without a trial.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Rep. Adam Smith calls for justice for Nestora Salgado

► In today’s News Tribune — Lakewood makes peace with union after 1 1/2 years without contract — After almost two years of negotiations, the city of Lakewood has reached an agreement on a contract with roughly 100 employees (AFSCME 1938), the last and largest in a series of labor agreements in Pierce County’s second-largest city. The contract agrees to a 3 percent cost-of living-increase for 2014, 2015 and 2016, but the raise is not retroactive to 2013.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Mayor rides down the middle with ride-service accord — Ride-service providers Lyft, Sidecar and uberX won’t be limited to 150 drivers on the street at a time under proposed regulations negotiated by the companies and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. The taxi industry will gain new flexibility to compete against the new services.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Council booed after boost to City Light CEO pay range — Seattle’s highest-paid public employee will get a hefty raise this summer. The City Council voted 6-2 Monday to increase the pay scale for Seattle City Light Chief Executive Officer Jorge Carrasco, who currently makes about $245,000 annually.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Bertha to beef up 86 tons, resume drilling in March — The queen-sized repair plan for stranded tunnel machine Bertha includes 86 tons of steel to reinforce the bearing and cutter drive. The boring machine isn’t expected to be back at work until next March.




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Training program rises, falls with Boeing’s fortunes — Four years on, Washington’s showcase effort to train aerospace workers is quietly feeding the industry new talent and helping the under-skilled get family-wage manufacturing jobs.




► In today’s News Tribune — Immigration reform: Still urgent, still impossible (editorial) — The Texas border is now being overwhelmed with desperate mothers with children and lone teenagers who’ve fled poverty and rising violence in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. The number of children has tripled in recent months. All of them have crossed lawless areas of Mexico at extreme risk to their lives; there’s no telling how many didn’t make it. Most will be sent back; others will vanish into the immigrant underworld. This humanitarian disaster is another result of the House of Representatives’ failure to come up with an immigration reform package. Blame House Republicans, but also blame the kind of voter who would unseat a fellow conservative — even a national leader (Cantor) — merely for looking at solutions.

► In today’s NY Times — Innocents at the border (editorial) — President Obama needs to mount a surge of humanitarian care to handle the explosion of young migrants fleeing violence in their home countries.




► At Huffington Post — Obama drafting executive order on LGBT discrimination — President Barack Obama has directed his staff to draft an executive order that would ban workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees of federal contractors, a White House official says. The move is the clearest indication to date that the administration is prepared to take action on LGBT rights where Congress has fallen short.

► In The Hill — Construction union urges Congress to heed poll data on highway repairs, gas tax — A poll commissioned by LIUNA shows a majority of the American people worried about pothole-pitted highways and aging bridges. Yet members of Congress don’t yet seem willing to raise the 18.4-cent-per-gallon tax on gasoline to replenish the Highway Trust Fund, which pays for infrastructure.

► In today’s Washington Post — The data on federal whistleblowing — Data show that concerns of reprisal could trump encouragement to blow the whistle.




► In today’s LA Times — San Francisco leads the way with $15 minimum-wage ballot measure — Mayor Ed Lee last week stood with the full Board of Supervisors, labor and community groups and even a representative of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce to announce a “consensus measure” for the November ballot that would boost the city’s minimum wage to $15. It would reach full implementation before Seattle’s similar increase and contain fewer exemptions.

► In today’s NY Times — Truckers resist rules on sleep, despite risks of drowsy driving — For decades, federal authorities have tried to ensure that truck drivers get adequate rest. But in a business that lives by the clock, miles mean money. Commercial truck operators have resisted, arguing, in effect, that Washington cannot regulate sleep.

► In today’s Philadelphia Inquirer — US Airways ground workers reach accord with merged American Airlines — The 11,000 mechanics, fleet service, maintenance, and other ground workers at US Airways (IAM) have reached tentative three-year contract agreements with management of newly-merged US Airways and American Airlines.

► In today’s Charlotte Observer — ‘Moral Monday’ demonstrators turn up volume; police arrest 19 — Days after persuading a Superior Court judge to suspend some new rules for the N.C. Legislative Building, protesters were back on Monday, raising their voices by many decibels against a state budget and Republican-controlled agenda they describe as “extremist.”

► From AP — Indian factory workers kill CEO over pay — Police say a mob beat to death the CEO of the North Brook Jute Mill in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal. The mob stormed the office of 60-year-old CEO H.K. Maheswari after he denied their request to work and be paid for 40 hours instead of 25.




► At Think Progress — The more a company pays its CEO, the worse its shareholders do — The companies that pay their chief executives the most see the worst results for shareholders, according to a new study, with an average annual shareholder loss of $1.4 billion at the companies with the highest CEO pay. Economists at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business examined 17 years of executive compensation and corporate performance data and found that exorbitant CEO compensation packages breed overconfidence, and overconfidence leads to bad decisions about weakened business performance. Contrary to the common claim that paying executives in stock will improve their management of a firm, the study finds that CEOs who are given non-cash incentive compensation actually perform worse. The negative effects of excess executive pay linger for three years and drag shareholder returns down by between 8 and 11 percent for companies with the most lavish CEO pay packages.




Just 29 seconds into yesterday’s World Cup match between the U.S. and Ghana, Clint Dempsey, the American captain and Sounders FC star, drove right through the defense to score (below). The U.S. won 2-1.


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