Monday, August 28, 2017
► In the Seattle Times — Wenatchee waits and wonders about aluminum smelter’s future — The off-again, on-again history of Wenatchee’s massive Alcoa aluminum plant has left the city and former workers unsure about its prospects, even as ingot prices climb to levels that previously sustained one of the Northwest’s last surviving smelters.
► From AP — Judge refuses to block Seattle Uber, Lyft driver union law — For the second time this month, a federal judge has rejected a challenge to Seattle’s first-in-the-nation law allowing drivers of ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft to unionize over pay and working conditions. U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik late Thursday rejected a challenge brought by 11 drivers, saying their claims against the law were premature or too speculative. He earlier rejected a challenge brought by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the companies. The organization is appealing that decision. The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which represents the drivers, said Friday that it too would appeal.
► In today’s Columbian — Washington firefighters battle blazes across states after early start to season — A wet spring followed by an unusually hot and dry summer brought an early fire season to the Pacific Northwest.
► In today’s Columbian — Washougal district, teachers split on pay, benefits — The Washougal Association of Educators and Washougal School District are still in negotiations on a new teachers contract as the district nears the start of a new school year. The current contract expires Thursday.
► From KUOW — At 70, Metro’s bus driver of the year says ‘I love everyone’ — This weekend marks James Turner’s 35th anniversary with Metro. Raised mostly in Seattle (Garfield High School class of 1965), he comes from a family of drivers — his sister, son, daughter, four nieces and a cousin all drive Metro buses.
► In the Seattle Times — Paul Ryan picked the most awkward spot in America to argue for corporate tax cuts — Uh, Mr. Speaker? I hope you looked around on your Seattle visit. Because there’s probably no place where big business is less in need of a big tax break. And no company that’s already had more than its fair helping of them than Boeing… We’ve all got to help pay the bills, you know? With the economy doing fine, unemployment low and corporate profits over the moon, what possible rationale is there to add to the national deficit right now with huge corporate tax cuts?
► From PubliCola — 45th District independent is voting for Manka Dhingra — Manka Dhingra, the Democratic candidate running to be the next 45th District state senator, is already the frontrunner in the high-profile, high-stakes race that could will determine party control in Olympia come November. Now Parker Harris, the independent candidate who received 7 percent of the votes in the primary, says he’s voting for Dhingra — likely another boost to her campaign if she were to take some of his supporters’ votes.
► In the News Tribune — Is Olympia lawyer the Democrats’ champion in complaint-filing war? — A conservative activist has been taking aim at Democrats and liberal groups for the past year, filing at least 120 complaints saying they’ve broken Washington state’s campaign-finance laws. Now, attorney Walter Smith is turning the magnifying glass around, saying conservative crusader Glen Morgan and a group he leads have committed some of the same financial-reporting violations.
► In today’s NY Times — States dare to think big on climate change (editorial) — Washington, D.C. is in denial, but states are forging ahead and taking action on their own.
ALSO at The Stand:
Alliance for Jobs & Clean Energy campaign kickoffs continue — Events set for this week in Anacortes, Vancouver, Shoreline and Yakima.
FIGHTING FOR LOWER WAGES
► In the Washington Post — Thousands in St. Louis likely to see wage drop with new law — Thousands of workers in St. Louis will likely see smaller paychecks starting Monday, when a new Missouri law approved by the Republican Legislature takes effect barring city governments from enacting minimum wages different than the state minimum.
► From Vice — Republicans are forcing St. Louis to lower the minimum wage it just raised (video) — VICE News interviews workers and business owners in St. Louis, where the minimum wage was raised last May, but will revert back to $7.70 an hour, due to state labor laws.
► In the L.A. Times — Illinois governor vetoes bill to raise state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour — Republican Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed a bill that would have raised the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022, arguing that it would hurt businesses and ultimately reduce jobs.
► From TPM — Trump-McConnell feud sets the stage for a September from hell — Because Congress ate up so much of the year with a failed push to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they have an extremely narrow time frame left to pass a budget, raise the debt ceiling, reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Flood Insurance Program and appropriate funding to stabilize Obamacare’s marketplaces. This would be a challenge even with full support from the White House, but it becomes nearly impossible with a president whose spasms of rage, loose grasp of policy, and itchy Twitter finger threaten to derail the delicate deal-making process. Here comes the September from hell.
► From ABC News — Trump leaning toward ending DACA program for undocumented immigrants brought to U.S. as children — President Donald Trump is leaning toward ending a U.S. immigration policy the Obama administration started for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, according to multiple sources. His decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program could be announced this week.
► In the NY Times — Latinos express outrage after Trump pardons Arpaio — Few of President Trump’s actions have touched a nerve among Latinos across the political spectrum in the United States quite like his pardon of Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona sheriff who was found guilty of criminal contempt after defying a federal judge’s order to stop targeting Latinos based solely on suspicion of their immigration status. And this from a president who has called Mexican immigrants rapists, attacked a judge over his “Mexican heritage” and repeatedly vowed that Mexico, instead of American taxpayers, would pay for a wall on the southern border.
► From AP — Trump says Canada, Mexico being ‘very difficult’ on NAFTA — Trump is accusing Canada and Mexico of being “very difficult” at the negotiating table over the North American Free Trade Agreement, and threatening anew to terminate the deal.
► From The Hill — Mexico to Trump: We will not negotiate NAFTA through social media
► From Splinter News — Unionized college faculty are winning themselves a lot of money — Unions are not just a feel-good sort of thing to do. New research about higher ed unions shows just how much workers have actually gained from organizing, in a short period of time.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Find out how YOU can join together to negotiate for better wages and working conditions.
► From PBS NewsHour — An Obamacare win: No ‘bare counties’ for health insurance next year — An insurer has stepped up to sell individual health insurance policies to the last county in the United States without coverage in 2018, signaling the resilience of an Obamacare market that had been forecast to fail.
► In today’s Houston Chronicle — A weary Houston likely to endure catastrophic flooding through Wednesday — As of Monday morning, up to 40 inches of rain had fallen on northeast Houston alone. Another 20 inches are possible in the area before Tropical Storm Harvey moves further east.
► In the Houston Chronicle — How to help victims of the Texas storm
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.