Wednesday, August 1, 2018
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — New deal sets starting pay for Edmonds teachers at $62,688 — Teachers in Edmonds public schools are in line for pay hikes of as much as 20 percent under a tentative agreement reached Monday. Starting pay for a first-year teacher would be nearly $63,000 a year, with salaries for veteran instructors topping $114,000 under the accord negotiated between the Edmonds School District and the Edmonds Education Association, which is the teachers union. The proposed new pay scale ensures the district’s classroom teachers are amongst the highest paid in the state.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Yakima school employees show up in force over salary offer — Dozens of Yakima School District employees and their supporters crammed into a monthly board of directors meeting Tuesday night to urge administrators to offer staff a fair salary increase for the 2018-19 school year.
► In the (Aberdeen) Daily World — Commissioners again shoot down attempt to open union negotiations to the public — Grays Harbor County Commissioner Wes Cormier’s most recent attempt at a resolution opening the county’s union negotiations to the public failed to garner a second and was declared dead. The issue drew a large crowd providing input to the commissioners, the majority of them union members and leaders arguing against the resolution.
► In today’s Seattle Times — KeyArena renovation takes next step with announcement of general contractor Skanska Hunt — Proponents behind what will now be a $700 million renovation of KeyArena say the increased project cost is largely attributable to upgrades implemented to make the venue a “top-third” revenue producer for both the NHL and NBA. They announced a new Skanska/Hunt joint venture as general contractor for the two-year renovation.
ALSO at The Stand — New $700 million Seattle Center arena will be union built, run
► In today’s Seattle Times — ‘He was the best of us’: Police and community honor fallen Kent Police Officer Diego Moreno — Officer Diego Moreno, 35, died in the line of duty early on July 22. He was remembered Tuesday as an exceptional police officer, a dedicated family man and a loud, fun-loving friend who lived life at 1,000 miles per hour.
► From McClatchy — Concerns about farmworker shortage grow — It’s nearly apple-picking time in Washington’s Yakima Valley. Cherry season will be around for a few more weeks, and a bounty of other fruits and vegetables are maturing on branches and in fields. Just one problem: A shortage of workers to bring in the harvest.
EDITOR’S NOTE — The principal source of this story is Dan Fazio, executive director of the Washington Farm Labor Association, a group that is actively suppressing farmworker wages while profiting from the federal H-2A program for importing foreign farmworkers. He has a financial interest in declaring a worker shortage. IF one exists, in a free market farmers would raise wages to attract workers. But the agriculture lobbyists quotes in this story have a different solution: make it easier to import cheaper foreign H-2A so-called guest workers, which is what the second half of this “news story” is all about. C’mon, McClacthy!
► In the Spokesman-Review — Ballot returns lag behind 2014 primaries (by Jim Camden) — For all the talk about a blue wave of voters that might wash over the 2018 elections, it seems appropriate to mention that turnout in this year’s primary is lagging behind where it was in 2014, the last midterm.
EDITOR’S NOTE — C’mon, people! Get those ballots in — and Vote Union!
► In today’s Seattle Times — A crowded field vies for 34th LD Senate seat — The retirement of state Senate Majority Leader Sharon Nelson has triggered a scramble to fill her seat in the 34th Legislative District. It’s been 18 years since the seat has been open in an election, and 11 candidates are vying for the job as the Aug. 7 primary nears.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Shannon Braddock, deputy chief of staff for King County Executive Dow Constantine, has earned the Washington State Labor Council’s endorsement in this race.
► From The Olympian — GOP Senate hopeful Marty McClendon said Catholic opponent in 2016 race was ‘anti God,’ Muslim — McClendon, who was running for lieutenant governor against Democrat Cyrus Habib at the time, called his Iranian American, Catholic opponent “anti God” and appeared to question his religion.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Emily Randall, a community organizer, has earned the WSLC endorsement over McClendon in the 26th LD Senate race.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane GOP chairwoman defends white supremacist at tea party meeting
► In today’s NY Times — Facebook finds fake accounts trying to muddy 2018 campaign — The social media network has identified coordinated political influence campaigns using fake accounts to influence the midterm elections on issues like “Unite the Right” and #AbolishICE.
► From KUOW — Wildfire risk prompts emergency declaration for Washington state — The National Guard is gearing up to help fight wildfire in eastern Washington, and Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a state-wide emergency.
► From the EOI — An illustrated guide to paid sick days and paid family & medical leave — A brief, easy-to-read illustration of paid sick days and paid family and medical leave, two new programs to help Washington workers balance family, health and their jobs.
► In today’s Columbian — Inslee weighs in on 1-5, I-205 tolls proposed by Oregon — Since Oregon announced its intent to develop a tolling plan on Interstate 5 and Interstate 205, Gov. Jay Inslee has been relatively silent. He is silent no more.
► In today’s Columbian — Herrera Beutler plans public conference call
EDITOR’S NOTE — Where’s Jaime? Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-3rd) hasn’t appeared in person at a town hall meeting with her constituents in more than a year, but she’s hosting another “tele-town hall” on the phone Wednesday, Aug. 8 at 5:25 p.m. If you live in the 3rd Congressional District, click here to sign up and participate. But be prepared to be muted if you want to ask any tough questions.
► From CBS News — Trumka says that Trump’s tariffs have gone too far — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who has previously praised tariff measures implemented by President Trump, said that he believes protectionist actions “should be taken with a rifle and not a shotgun.” “There were far too many countries, and so it lessens the effectiveness of tariffs as a way to enforce trade agreements,” Trumka said about Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum.
► In today’s Washington Post — President weighs plan that would more than double proposed tariffs on China — The plan, which has not been finalized, would impose a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion in Chinese imports and could drive up costs on a wide range of consumer goods.
► In today’s NY Times — Trump’s crony capitalists plot a new heist (editorial) — It seems that last year’s $1.5 trillion tax-cut package, despite heavily favoring affluent investors and corporate titans over workers of modest means, was insufficiently generous to the wealthy to satisfy certain members of the Trump administration. So now Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin offers an exciting plan to award an additional $100 billion tax cut to the richest Americans. Thus die the final vestiges of this president’s pretty little narrative about being a populist hero.
► In today’s Washington Post — Trump administration widens availability of skimpy, short-term health plans — The Trump administration issued new insurance rules early Wednesday to encourage more Americans to buy inexpensive, skimpy health plans originally designed for short-term use. The policies will be available for 12 months at a time, up from a current limit of three, and customers will be able to renew them for additional years. The short-term plans do not have to cover pre-existing conditions and certain kinds of health care that the Affordable Care Act requires.
► From The Hill — Poll: Majority backs ObamaCare, disapprove of Trump on health care
► In today’s NY Times — ‘Short-term’ health insurance to Trump. ‘Junk’ to Democrats. — The Trump administration cleared the way for the sale of “short term” health insurance policies that do not comply with the Affordable Care Act and do not have to cover people with pre-existing conditions.
► In today’s NY Times — After years of quiet, Democrats talking about health care — A potent campaign theme has emerged, with a particular emphasis on pre-existing conditions.
► From HuffPost — CNN’s Jim Acosta warns anti-media hostility is going to get someone hurt — CNN’s Jim Acosta was met with a familiar scene on Tuesday at President Donald Trump’s rally in Tampa, Florida: shouting crowds and middle fingers.
► From The Hill — Trump claims picture ID is required to buy groceries — The president claimed that a photo ID is required to buy groceries as part of his argument for introducing stricter voter ID laws.
► From MarketWatch — America’s 1% hasn’t controlled this much wealth since before the Great Depression — A family needed an annual income of $421,926 to be part of the 1% nationally, a new study finds, but in some states the threshold was higher. The top 1% of Americans took home more than 22% of all income in 2015, the study found. That’s the highest share since a peak of 23.9% just before the Great Depression in 1928.
► From The Guardian — Accidents at Amazon: workers left to suffer after warehouse injuries — Vickie Shannon Allen, 49, started working at Amazon as a counter in a fulfillment warehouse at Haslet, Texas, in May 2017. Now, she has become homeless after a workplace accident left her unable to do her job. Nor is Allen alone. A Guardian investigation has revealed numerous cases of Amazon workers suffering from workplace accidents or injuries in its gigantic warehouse system and being treated in ways that leave them homeless, unable to work or bereft of income.
► In today’s Washington Post — Inside the Tesla Factory: Burning cash, and trying not to burn out — The ambitious $50 billion automaker has not made a profit in 15 years, and it is running through billions of dollars — and testing workers’ limits — as it races to build futuristic electric cars.
► From Bloomberg Law — Trump aide’s clash with Labor Secretary slows policy actions — The sharp contrast between a Trump policy assistant and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta has led to executive branch friction and slowed workplace policy moves, sources tell Bloomberg Law. Even as Acosta has united with Ivanka Trump on job training and apprenticeship efforts, he has clashed with White House labor adviser James Sherk on matters ranging from personnel appointments to regulatory policy. The common theme: the labor secretary avoids actions that would be perceived as overtly hostile to workers or could land him on the losing end of a lawsuit, whereas Sherk is viewed as a hardliner, pro-management voice who favors aggressive deregulation and government downsizing.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.