Tuesday, October 21, 2014
► In today’s Seattle Times — Puget Sound region’s commute times worsen — Increasing delays are documented in the state’s annual Corridor Capacity Report. For I-5 commuters, annual delay per person increased three hours from 2011 to 2013 — from a total 5 hours, 27 minutes, to 8 hours, 40 minutes.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Pilot program aims to monitor, evaluate social service contractors — The Children’s Administration at Washington’s DSHS works with hundreds of contractors throughout the state. All receive the same fees no matter the quality of services they provide. A 2012 law directed the Children’s Administration to shift from fee-for-service payment to performance-based contracting. The Empire Health Foundation is negotiating to launch a pilot program in Spokane to monitor contractors.
► In today’s News Tribune — Federal judge will hear strip club performers’ privacy plea — A court hearing Thursday will pit Washington state’s Public Records Act against the free speech and privacy protections laid out in the U.S. Constitution. U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Leighton could decide whether to allow Pierce County to release the business licenses of workers at a Parkland strip club — an action the employees say would violate their privacy and threaten their ability to continue working.
► In today’s Olympian — Lawmakers get OK for free trips; Pam Roach cleared — An ethics opinion will give state lawmakers more leeway to accept all-expense-paid trips.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle didn’t hold firms accountable on sick-leave rules, report says — During the first 16 months of Seattle’s law requiring businesses to provide paid sick time to workers, the city received 143 employee complaints that it considered worth looking into, according to the Office of the City Auditor. But the city didn’t routinely investigate the employers in question or seek fines. Instead, it mostly sent advisory letters and businesses received zero fines.
► From KPLU — Seattle City Auditor: No more kid gloves for violators of sick leave ordinance — A city department has enforced Seattle’s mandatory sick leave ordinance mainly by sending violators a polite letter. Now the city auditor says it’s time to get tougher.
► From AP — EPA: Whatcom’s oil refineries among top polluters in state — Whatcom County’s oil refineries were some of the biggest polluters in Washington state last year, according to the latest data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
► In the Seattle Times — Ban lead in ammunition to protect those who frequent gun ranges, and their families (editorial) — Gun enthusiasts and gun-control advocates alike should be able to rally around a simple idea: A job at a gun range shouldn’t make you, and your kids, sick.
► In today’s Columbian — Oregon Iron Works to make 40 to 50 hires for project — Oregon Iron Works, which last week announced that it won a major contract for steel fabrication work on a $1.9 billion transit hub in San Francisco, also said last week that it will employ some 40 to 50 people for the project over a two-year period at the company’s manufacturing plants in Vancouver and in Clackamas, Ore.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Romac Industries expands foundry in Sultan — Romac Industries completed a $2.7 million expansion of its foundry in Sultan. The Bothell-based company manufactures pipes for the waterworks industry and sells its products around the world.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing revising tanker development schedule — Boeing is revising the planned development schedule for the Air Force’s 767-based KC-46A refueling tanker, though insisting that the tankers will still be delivered on time.
► From KUOW — Some lobbyists play key role in state’s campaign financing — Environmentalists, unions, trial lawyers and business interests may be among the top political spenders in Washington this election year, but there’s a group of influential players who don’t necessarily show up in the campaign finance reports. Lobbyists. They often work behind the scenes to guide campaign contributions on behalf of the interests they work for. It’s another way that lobbyists exert their influence over the political process.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Former Sen. Slade Gorton launches anti-Didier PAC — Former Republican U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton is leading the effort to expose what the PAC calls Didier’s “weird and extreme views,” and purchased $55,000 in advertisements to spread that message.
► In today’s NY Time — In raising immigration, GOP risks backlash after election — Some Republicans are questioning the cost of their focus on immigration. Campaigning on possible threats from undocumented immigrants — similar to claims that President Obama and the Democrats have left the country vulnerable to attacks from Islamic terrorists and the Ebola virus — may backfire after November.
► In the Oregonian — What voters should care about in November (by Laura Terrill Patten and Tom Chamberlain) — From paid sick days and a living wage to equal pay and, ultimately, retirement security, we deserve to know if a candidate who’s asking for our vote will work hard for our families and prioritize the changes it will take to make sure Oregon women and working families have a fair shot at getting ahead, not just getting by.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.