Wednesday, April 13, 2016
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Intalco aluminum smelter in Ferndale to stay open — Alcoa and the Bonneville Power Administration have reached a new power agreement that will keep the Intalco Works smelter going through Feb. 14, 2018. It is considered a major breakthrough, however, in keeping the smelter going past June 30, when operations were scheduled to be curtailed. A curtailment would mean the loss of 465 jobs.
► In today’s Columbian — Vancouver oil terminal foes ask port to cancel lease agreement — Port CEO Todd Coleman set the tone for that possible death of the terminal with his recommendation that the commissioners reject a contract change that would increase the prospect of the Vancouver Energy project’s survival. The commission appears split on that contract change, with one in favor, one opposed, and one undecided.
► In the P.S. Business Journal — Sea-Tac hires 90 private security contractors for summer travel crunch — Port of Seattle commissioners voted to hire the temporary help to ease long lines during summer months at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
► In today’s News Tribune — New CEO to take over troubled Western State Hospital — Western State Hospital will soon have a new leader, following a tumultuous period of patient escapes and notices that the state-run psychiatric facility is violating federal regulations. Cheryl Strange will become the new CEO of the mental-health hospital in Lakewood on April 25, replacing Ron Adler. Gov. Jay Inslee announced Tuesday that Adler had been terminated earlier in the day.
► In today’s News Tribune — Western State Hospital’s new CEO has her work cut out for her (editorial) — It promises to be a daunting challenge for Strange, but on paper she seems to have the credentials suited to the task.
► From WFSE — Washington Federation of State Employees endorses Gov. Jay Inslee for second term — Gov. Jay Inslee won the unanimous endorsement of elected delegates to the Early Endorsements Conference of the 40,000-member Washington Federation of State Employees/AFSCME Council 28 on April 9 in Seattle. Inslee earned praise for his support of collective bargaining rights, state employee contracts and against budget gridlock that threatened a shutdown of state services.
► In today’s Wenatchee World — Rep. Hawkins to campaign for Sen. Parlette’s seat — State Rep. Brad Hawkins (R-East Wenatchee) announced he will run for the Senate seat opening when Sen. Linda Evans Parlette leaves office at year’s end.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Tri-City businessman aims to unseat Rep. Larry Haler — A Tri-City restaurant co-owner will run for the seat currently held by Richland Republican Larry Haler. Steve Simmons, a Republican, will formally announce his candidacy today.
► In today’s NY Times — Why I’m supporting Bernie Sanders (by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon) — I am the first senator to endorse Bernie Sanders for president. A big reason: The outlook for kids in my working-class neighborhood is gloomy.
► In today’s Washington Post — Cruz likely to block Trump on a second ballot at the GOP convention — Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is close to ensuring that Donald Trump cannot win the GOP nomination on a second ballot at the party’s July convention in Cleveland, scooping up scores of delegates who have pledged to vote for him instead of the front-runner if given the chance.
► In today’s NY Times — Trump, losing ground, tries to blame the system — Donald Trump and his allies are engaged in an aggressive effort to undermine the Republican nominating process by framing it as rigged and corrupt, hoping to compensate for organizational deficiencies that have left Trump with an increasingly precarious path to the nomination. Their message: The election is being stolen from him.
► From TPM — GOPers face wave of threats from Trump fans incensed by delegate counts — Death threats — including threats that describe death by hanging. References to where you live. Not-so-subtle allusions to your family. These are just some of the reports coming in from low-level GOP officials around the country about the threats they claim to have received from pro-Trump forces.
► From the Hill — Dems see Trump, Cruz putting more Senate seats in play — If an unpopular Trump or Cruz loses in a rout, Democrats see Senate seats in Arizona, Missouri, Iowa and North Carolina coming into play in addition to a half-dozen seats that have long been targets.
► From AP — Paul Ryan is not running for president — or passing a budget — House Speaker Paul Ryan’s national stature is such that he had to call a news conference to deny he wants to be president. Back on Capitol Hill, he’s about to blow through a statutory deadline to pass an annual budget, a major embarrassment for him and House Republicans.
► From Politico — The GOP’s budget fail — Not long ago, Congressional Republicans said authoring and passing a budget were the basics of governing. They flew into open rage when Harry Reid’s Senate Democrats took a pass on advancing a fiscal blueprint, and threatened to withhold lawmakers’ pay as a punishment. And they convinced voters to return them to power because they would make Capitol Hill work again… Now, they won’t just miss the April 15 budget deadline by a day or two. There’s a better-than-even chance that the House and Senate will never pass a budget together, and there’s an even better chance that neither chamber will pass a budget before the election.
► From The Hill — Supreme Court meetings fail to sway Republicans — Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland was back on Capitol Hill Tuesday trying to win over GOP senators, but there’s little proof the administration’s charm offensive is working.
► From The Hill — Poll: Most want hearings for Supreme Court nominee — Nearly two-thirds of Americans want the Senate to hold hearings for President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, according to a new AP poll.
► From AFL-CIO Now — What Columbia can teach us about the TPP — In the past five years, 126 trade unionists have been assassinated in Colombia. This is in addition to 74 other murder attempts. Investigations have produced almost no indictments or convictions… The United States gave Colombia trade benefits before it ever demonstrated meaningful implementation of its promises to protect working people. Once Colombia received those benefits, the modest progress it had been making plunged. Congress should take note of the failure of the plan to protect working families in Colombia as it considers the promises made about the TPP’s power to protect working people’s rights in countries like Malaysia and Vietnam.
► From NBC News — Nearly 40,000 Verizon workers go on strike — Nearly 40,000 Verizon workers walked off their jobs Wednesday. Workers representing the CWA and the IBEW began their strike at 6 a.m., gathering in midtown Manhattan and at more than 20 other locations from Massachusetts to Virginia. The workers’ contract expired in August, and management has yet to negotiate satisfactory terms as Verizon pushes for ways to manage pricier health care for its retired and current workers and “greater flexibility” over its employees.
► From CWA — Verizon workers strike to save good jobs and ensure quality service for customers — The Verizon strike will be by far the largest work stoppage in the country in recent years.
TAKE A STAND — Click here to sign a petition telling CEO Lowell McAdam that you stand with Verizon workers.
► From Huffington Post — Low-wage workers plot their next ‘Fight for $15’ strike — Workers employed in low-wage industries plan on taking to the streets on Thursday to continue their call for a $15 minimum hourly wage and union rights. But this time around, workers in fast food, day care and airports will be joined by a new group of agitators: hospital workers.
ALSO at The Stand — ‘Raise the Alarm’ for workers Thursday in Seattle, statewide
► Today from the Chattanooga Free-Press — NLRB upholds union vote at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant — The NLRB today denied Volkswagen’s request for a review of last year’s election in which a small group of Chattanooga employees agreed to be organized by the United Auto Workers.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.