Tuesday, September 25, 2018
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle City Council approves $700 million renovation of KeyArena — The council approved an agreement that will allow the Oak View Group to demolish the existing Key Arena and replace it with a new facility. Demolition of KeyArena could begin this year. A labor harmony agreement will set goals for ArenaCo’s use of apprenticeship labor and women- and minority-owned contractors. Representatives from several Uptown neighborhood groups and the MLK Labor expressed support for the deal Monday.
PREVIOUSLY at The Stand — New $700 million Seattle Center arena will be union built, run
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle City Council gives preliminary approval for UW’s massive growth plan — The UW’s land-use plan for the next decade and beyond calls for 6 million square feet of new construction to accommodate another 7,000-plus students and employees.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle students plan walkout Tuesday in response to teacher transfers — Seattle Public Schools says enrollment projections for the 2018-2019 school year were short by more than 700 students. As a result, 33 teachers will either take a job in their expertise area at another school, or be assigned as substitutes in the same school.
► From NPR — Will Hanford workers finally be safe from toxic exposure? — Last week, the state of Washington, a Hanford union and a Hanford watchdog organization said they have tentatively settled a three-year old lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy over workers being made sick from toxic vapors from Hanford’s underground tanks. A key provision of the settlement requires the testing and installation of new technological systems to detect and destroy toxic vapors from the tanks.
► In the Peninsula Daily News — McKinley Paper plans to start production in September 2019 at Port Angeles mill — McKinley Paper Co. has announced that it will start production in September 2019, ending a curtailment for the mill on Ediz Hook that began in April 2017. Plans to reopen the mill in December 2018 were put on hold last February. Nippon employed 150 workers.
► In the (Everett) Herald — Underdog Boeing wins $2.4B Air Force helicopter contract — The U.S. Air Force says it will turn to Boeing to replace its aging fleet of UH-1N Huey helicopters in a stunning upset against its rival, Lockheed Martin. The Air Force announced it has awarded Boeing’s Arlington, Virginia-based defense division the first phase of a $2.38 billion contract to procure 84 of Boeing’s MH-139 helicopters.
► From NW News Network — Republican Rep. Matt Manweller says he will resign if re-elected — Under pressure to step down following a new allegation of
sexual misconduct the rape of a child, state Rep. Matt Manweller (R-Cle Elum) on Monday said that he would resign his seat if re-elected this November. If he is re-elected, local Republicans would appoint another Republican to take his place in the Legislature come January.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Republican leaders are saying this is a “dignified” resolution: asking their supporters to vote for an accused child rapist with the promise that a different Republican will be chosen for them. Here’s a far more dignified idea: vote for Sylvia Hammond, a respected Grant County farmer, Ephrata School District teacher, and community volunteer. In the meantime, try replacing “Manweller” with “accused child rapist” in the following headlines.
► From the AP — Manweller declines to resign, won’t serve another term
► In the Columbia Basin Herald — Manweller won’t resign unless reelected
► In the Ellensburg Daily Record — Manweller plans to resign if elected in November
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Manweller says he won’t serve another term if elected
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Resume talks to replace I-5’s Columbia River spans (editorial) — It’s good news that — more than five years after lawmakers in the Washington state Senate pulled out of negotiations with their counterparts in Oregon regarding replacement of the Columbia River’s interstate bridges — officials in both states are again talking. Well, they’re talking about talking, but it’s a start. Further delay on their replacement will mean increased costs for both states.
► MUST-READ from Vox — The Brett Kavanaugh confirmation fight is also about the future of the economy (by Matthew Yglesias) — There’s a reason that groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are still backing Brett Kavanaugh despite serious accusations that he sexually assaulted one or more women… One of the biggest questions facing the American judiciary is whether the Constitution allows elected representatives to meaningfully regulate the national economy. Kavanaugh clearly believes it does not: He has called the existence of independent regulatory agencies — notably including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau but potentially the entire alphabet soup of FCC, FTC, CFTC, SEC, FEC, etc. — a “threat to individual liberty.” The truth is quite the opposite — Kavanaugh’s vision, which he shares with Starr and the bulk of the conservative legal academy, is one in which the courts should stand as staunch allies of capital and block any effort at democratic control of big business.
► From The Hill — Kavanaugh’s fate rests with Sen. Collins — Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a prominent moderate voice and one of the Senate’s most conscientious members, is poised to make or break Brett Kavanaugh’s chance at becoming a Supreme Court justice.
► In the Sun Journal — Sen. Collins should reject Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination (by Donald Bilodeau) — Kavanaugh is a threat to the health and retirement security of the 267,000 Maine residents over the age of 65. He has also argued against protections for people with pre-existing health conditions contained in the Affordable Care Act.
► In today’s NY Times — An unhealthy plan to drive out immigrants (editorial) — The Trump administration proposed a rule that would enable it to deny green cards and visas to immigrants here legally who have used public health and nutrition assistance, including Medicaid and food stamps. That rationale is both callous and foolish: Scaring vulnerable populations off public assistance is likely to cost much more in the long run, in part because neglecting preventive health care and basic medical problems makes patients only more expensive to treat down the road. What’s more, Kaiser estimates that more than eight million children who are citizens but have at least one noncitizen parent will be caught in the cross hairs.
► From the AP — AP investigation: Drug prices going up despite Trump promise — President Donald Trump made reducing drug prices a key promise during his election campaign, repeatedly accusing drugmakers of “getting away with murder.” But an analysis of brand-name prescription drug prices shows it’s been business as usual for drugmakers, with far more price hikes than cuts. Over the first seven months of the year, there were 96 price hikes for every price cut.
► In today’s Seattle Times — H-1B spouses’ work ban rule coming within three months, feds say — The Department of Homeland Security has made “solid and swift progress” developing the rule targeting people working on the H-4 visa, which is awarded to spouses of people on the controversial H-1B visa, the Justice Department said.
► In the People’s World — Postal Workers extend bargaining, plan mass action Oct. 8 — The Postal Workers (APWU) and Postal Service management agreed Sept. 20 to extend bargaining for a month after the old contract expired that day, union President Mark Dimondstein said. And in the middle of the talks, APWU, the Letter Carriers (NALC) — each of whom have at least 200,000 members — the Mail Handlers, which is a Laborers sector, and the Rural Letter Carriers will take to the streets on Oct. 8 for a national day of action against the GOP Trump administration’s postal privatization plans.
► In today’s NY Times — The best way for Democrats to win working-class voters (by Matt Morrison of Working America) — Tens of millions of working people harbor a deep skepticism that politicians of either party can deliver any kind of meaningful change for them… Our experience running a large-scale, year-round field canvass reveals a somewhat obvious truth. Beginning the conversation by asking, “What matters to you?” instead of telling voters what should matter to them gets a more receptive audience. Two-thirds of Ohio Trump supporters agreed, when we asked them last summer, with a battery of progressive economic policies, including ending employers’ treating workers as independent contractors, so that they’re not saddled with tax and benefit costs, and measures that make it easier to unionize. They had just never heard any politician addressing these issues… The recipe is simple: credibility derived from listening, compelling solutions, new information that breaks through and thoughtful analytics. And it works with working-class swing voters and disaffected Democrats equally.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.