Bus strike | Boeing profits | Heck on unions | Rising Medicare costs

Wednesday, January 31, 2018




► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle school-bus drivers planning to strike Thursday — School-bus drivers in Seattle are planning to strike over labor contracts beginning Thursday, meaning some 12,000 students may need to find different ways to get to school. Teamsters Local 174, the union representing Seattle Public Schools’ 400 bus drivers, announced the strike in a news release Tuesday evening, saying it will “likely impact all yellow bus service” throughout the district and last until it reaches a deal with Seattle’s school-bus contractor, First Student.

ALSO at The Stand — Seattle school bus drivers will strike Feb. 1

MORE coverage from KING 5KIRO 7, and the Seattle P-I.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Hanford workers moved to new offices. But radioactive contamination found again. — Radioactive contamination was found outside a Plutonium Finishing Plant office trailer, after plant workers were relocated to that office and other offices farther from the plant… Careful surveys for radioactive contamination have been conducted at the central Hanford plant since a spread of radioactive contamination was discovered after the demolition of the most contaminated portion of the plant in mid December.

► In today’s P.S. Business Journal — Email suggests New seasons will slow pace of new stores, remains committed to seattle locations (subscription required) — A group made up of labor unions and other organizations on Monday raised questions about New Seasons Market’s commitment to opening new stores in Seattle, pointing to a leaked document purportedly sent to employees by New Seasons CEO Wendy Collie.




► From KNKX — Inslee calls on lawmakers to ‘step-up’ and pass carbon tax — Inslee has proposed a $20 per ton tax on carbon emissions starting in 2019. The tax could raise more than $3 billion over the first four years. But Inslee said he’s not wedded to the specifics of his proposal. He just wants lawmakers to get behind the idea and pass it.

► In today’s Columbian — Vancouver Energy raps governor over oil terminal rejection — Vancouver Energy said Inslee endorsed a “faulty recommendation” by the Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council and that the state body that evaluated the terminal proposal for four years is “setting an impossible standard for permitting new energy facilities in the state.” In November, EFSEC took the highly unusual move in its near 50 years of existence to unanimously recommend the governor deny the project. In most other large energy projects it has evaluated, EFSEC has approved them outright or approved them with some conditions.

► In today’s Seattle Times — #MeToo in the Legislature: Harassment complaint process ‘is not reflecting women’s experiences’ in Olympia — Instead of being investigated by a neutral party, like a human-resources manager, harassment complaints in the state Capitol are reviewed by partisan staff members, as well as administrative and legislative leaders.




► From Bloomberg — Boeing is booming: Profit soars with help from U.S. tax cut — Lower taxes are combining with record jetliner deliveries to fuel the cash gush at Boeing. The aerospace manufacturer has pledged to return the equivalent of its free cash flow to investors through an $18 billion share buyback program and 20 percent dividend increase approved by directors in December.

► From Reuters — Boeing forecasts sharp rise in profit, jet output in 2018 — Boeing on Wednesday forecast full-year profit well above Wall Street estimates as it looks forward to its busiest year ever for plane deliveries. Boeing forecast core profit would rise to $13.80 to $14.00 a share in 2018, ahead of analysts’ average estimate of $11.96.




► In today’s Washington Post — Trump’s call for unity slams into reality of political divisions — President Trump, whose first year in office saw near-constant turmoil and division, issued a call for unity in his address. But the tone was sharply at odds with the combative manner in which he has conducted his presidency — and the tension between Republicans and Democrats was evident as Trump spoke.

► In today’s Washington Post — Trump’s immigration, infrastructure plans meet swift resistance — The president’s pledge to “extend an open hand” to both parties rammed quickly into the reality of a largely gridlocked Congress — and a deeply polarized Washington.

► From Reuters — Trump pushes hardline immigration policies even as he urges unity — He pushed a hard line on immigration, insisting on a border wall and other concessions from Democrats as part of any deal to protect the children of illegal immigrants.

► From The Hill — Kennedy rebuts Trump: ‘This is not who we are’ — Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) took on Trump on issues as diverse as immigration, health care, trade and wages, using the Democrats’ official response to the State of the Union address to hammer the president’s first-year track record as a descent into moral chaos and partisan division.

► In today’s Washington Post — A divisive and misleading State of the Union (editorial) — Have a president’s words ever rung more hollow? In his first State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Trump spoke of “what kind of nation we are going to be. All of us, together, as one team, one people and one American family.” Yet Trump could not avoid, even for an hour, lacing his address with divisive references to hot-button issues and graceless attacks on his predecessors… More to the point, he offered little reason to hope that his second-year policies would be more constructive than those of his first.

► From The Onion — Stephen Miller rewards self after day of speechwriting with trip to see children in local ICE detention center




► From C-SPAN — Rep. Denny Heck on the importance of unions — During a special order hour discussing the Supreme Court case, Janus v AFSCME, Congressman Denny Heck (D-WA) spoke of the importance of strong unions to American families.


► From Politico — Trump’s top health official traded tobacco stock while leading anti-smoking efforts — The Trump administration’s top public health official bought shares in a tobacco company one month into her leadership of the agency charged with reducing tobacco use — the leading cause of preventable disease and death and an issue she had long championed.

► BREAKING from HuffPost — Head of CDC steps down after purchasing tobacco stocks

► From HuffPost — Top Republican admits gerrymandering could help GOP keep control of the House — The congressman running the National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of the House GOP, just said openly that partisan gerrymandering could help his party retain control of the House in November.




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Medicare costs take big bite out of Social Security income — New analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation has found that out-of-pocket heath care costs for Medicare beneficiaries are likely to take up half of their average Social Security income by 2030… What if policymakers try to shift even more costs onto them?

EDITOR’S NOTE — That’s the plan.

► From NBC News — More than 50,000 American bridges are falling apart — Using government data, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association compiled a report showing that 54,259 American bridges are “structurally deficient.” So many bridges are in need of repair, says the report, that if placed end-to-end they’d stretch nearly from New York City to Miami. And experts say that at the current rate of repair or replacement it would take 37 years to fix all the bridges.

► From KIRO 7 — Which Puget Sound bridges are the most structurally deficient?

► In today’s Seattle Times — Petition asks cities to avert bidding war, refuse tax breaks for Amazon’s HQ2 — A group of economists and urbanists have signed a letter asking cities to refrain from offering “egregious tax giveaways” to lure Amazon’s second headquarters.

► From the Guardian — All workers need unions – including those in Silicon Valley (by 


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

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