Boeing bargaining chips, prison for profit, NO refunds…

Wednesday, September 23, 2015




► From the CALENDAR at The Stand — Town Hall Meeting to Save the Public Airwaves — Speculators have bought KING 5 TV in Seattle just as the federal government is ready to auction off broadcast frequencies to the highest bidder. Join Kshama Sawant, Nick Licata, and Nicole Grant, and others to learn what can be done to save KING 5 and the other local TV stations at a Town Hall Meeting on TONIGHT (Wednesday, Sept. 23) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Walker Ames Room, Kane Hall, at University of Washington in Seattle. Click for details.




► This morning from AFP — Boeing sells China 300 planes, agrees to plant, says report — US aerospace giant Boeing has reached deals with Chinese firms to sell 300 aircraft and set up a completion center in China, state media and its local partner said Wednesday, as President Xi Jinping began a visit to the United States. The Xinhua report, datelined from Seattle where Xi on Tuesday started his first U.S. state visit, gave no details of the models bought by a group of Chinese companies or the value of the sale.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing plans to intensify global collaborations, says new CEO Muilenburg — New Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg in Seattle Tuesday offered a vision of the jet maker as a sprawling multinational enterprise that intends to build ever deeper industrial connections across the globe.

► In the P.S. Business Journal — Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO: China deal won’t result in layoffs in Washington — Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner sent a letter to employees Tuesday reassuring them that whatever the deal is — and he was vague about the details — that it won’t affect employment levels or result in layoffs in Washington state.

► In the P.S. Business Journal — Machinists union leader: ‘Boeing uses our jobs as bargaining chips’ — “This is not about China,” said Jon Holden, president of Machinists District Lodge 751, “but all the aerospace jobs here that Boeing transfers around the country and the world.” Those moves, he said, create less capacity here and make it harder for the Puget Sound region to compete in the long run for future airplane programs, whether that competition is with facilities in China or in the Southern U.S. “We understand the need to sell airplanes,” Holden said, “but when Boeing uses our jobs as bargaining chips, that’s something we can’t support.”

ALSO at The Stand — Boeing’s plan to shift work to China “causes great concern”




► From KUOW — What should Seattle CEOs say about Chinese factories? — David Hyde speaks with University of Washington philosophy professor Michael Blake about the moral responsibilities of business leaders who meet with China’s President Xi Jinping during his visit to Seattle.

ALSO at The Stand — A time to reflect on U.S. role in Chinese workers’ exploitation (by Lynne Dodson)

► From KUOW — Solar supplier warns of big layoffs if trade dispute drags on longer — Solar company REC Silicon Tuesday warned of big layoffs at a factory in central Washington if a trade dispute between the U.S. and China drags on much longer.




► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Kelso teachers’ union, school district closer to contract — Striking Kelso teachers and the school district seemed to edge closer to a contract agreement, but a legal issue was holding them up Tuesday night and school has been canceled today.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Don’t blame school district employees for any cuts (by Shawn Vestal) — It took Spokane school administrators one week to shift from saying they were glad to be able to give raises to classroom aides, whom they’d been paying Wal-Mart wages, to blaming employees for “budget cuts” that might drive up the price of school lunches and district child care. It was an astonishing show of bad faith. It was also an astonishing show of bad math.

► In today’s Seattle Times — 101-story skyscraper on Seattle’s Fourth Avenue proposed — A Miami-based developer is proposing a 101-story mixed-use building at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Cherry Street that, if built, would be Seattle’s tallest skyscraper and the tallest on the West Coast.

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — CH2M Hill to close its Bellingham office — Citing a downturn in the oil and gas industry, CH2M Hill has announced it is closing its Bellingham office. The closure will impact 120 employees.

► In today’s News Tribune — TPU director keeps his job after Tacoma Council’s 7-1 vote — Tacoma Public Utilities Director Bill Gaines will keep his $338,229/year job for another two years, after a 7-1 City Council vote Tuesday night. Many urged the council to fire Gaines because of how they say he has managed Click Cable TV.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub forced out — He was forced to resign Tuesday following complaints about his combative leadership tactics.




► In today’s Seattle Times — State prisons chief leaving for private corrections job — Bernie Warner, head of the state Department of Corrections, is stepping down on Oct. 16 to become vice president of corrections at Management & Training Corp., a Salt Lake City-based private prison company that operates 27 facilities in eight states. In May, Warner signed a contract with The Geo Group, a private corporation that runs prisons around the world, to house up to 1,000 male Washington inmates at its prison in Michigan.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Despite Supreme Court ruling, charters may get some tax money — As the state Supreme Court considers motions asking it to reconsider a ruling that prohibits charters from receiving public money, the schools may continue to get it.

ALSO at The Stand — Charters ruling is a rebuke of the privatization agenda

► From AP — State’s disclosure commission names new director — The PDC announced that Tacoma lawyer and former assistant attorney general Evelyn Fielding Lopez will lead the agency.

► From AP — State health exchange premiums will now go directly to insurer

► In today’s Seattle Times — Tim Eyman’s lucrative initiative game (by Danny Westneat) — With his kickback scheme, Eyman allegedly took resources intended for one cause and steered it to another. And then he concealed it, presumably because the donors would be furious. That’s double deception. I bet he also didn’t want the public to know he made four hundred grand in a year. Makes it tougher to sound a populist plea for help from future donors. But the part about how he loaned money anonymously to a charity, which then used some of it on his ballot measure campaign — well, practically everybody’s doing the “dark money” scheme these days… Tim Eyman didn’t invent this dark money trend. He tried to exploit it. People may not like this (I sure don’t), but the Legislature keeps punting on bills to end dark money in local politics. So it’s hardly being treated as a pressing crime. Maybe we need a citizens initiative — a real one, with actual citizens.




► In today’s NY Times — Senate Republicans take steps to avert a government shutdown — Senate Republican leaders on Tuesday took the first steps to avert a government shutdown by scheduling a vote on a temporary spending measure that would keep agencies functioning through Dec. 11.

► From AP — Government shutdown could cut off food stamps — A government shutdown Oct. 1 could immediately suspend or delay food stamp payments to some of the 46 million Americans who receive the food aid.

► In today’s NY Times — Bernie Sanders joins rally of striking federal workers to call for wage increase –The Vermont senator joined a rally of striking government workers on Tuesday at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Washington, and pressed Congress and President Obama to heed Pope Francis’ call for social and economic justice.




► In today’s NY Times — Starbucks falls short after pledging better labor practices — Last year, Starbucks vowed to provide store employees with more consistent schedules from week to week, and to post their schedules at least 10 days in advance. The company said it would stop asking workers to endure the sleep-depriving ritual known as a “clopening,” which requires them to shut down a store at night only to return early the next morning to help open it. But Starbucks has fallen short on these promises, according to interviews with five current or recent workers at several locations across the country. Most complained that they often receive their schedules one week or less in advance, and that the schedules vary substantially every few weeks. Two said their stores still practiced clopenings.




► In The New Yorkers’ Borowitz Report — Kochs demand Scott Walker return $900 million — For the Koch brothers, who purchased Walker earlier this year, the demand for a full cash refund reflected how badly their relationship with the formerly promising candidate had deteriorated. According to an aide familiar with the phone conversation between Walker and the Kochs, the industrialist brothers were “not amused” that the Governor had blown through millions of their dollars to become the choice of only one per cent of likely Republican voters. “I’m not going to sugarcoat it,” the aide said. “The Kochs were pissed.”


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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