Wednesday, November 14, 2018
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle City Council approves police-union contract; deal faces scrutiny by federal judge overseeing reforms — The council, after long debate before a packed hearing, voted 8-1 to ratify the contract negotiated by Mayor Jenny Durkan’s administration with the rank-and-file police guild. The vote came after weeks of intense lobbying by Durkan, who touted the deal as an opportunity to financially reward officers who have gone nearly four years without raises while securing vital reforms such as body-worn cameras and a civilian inspector general with broad oversight powers.
► In the (Longview) Daily News — Study: Kalama methanol project would help fight climate change — The draft supplemental environmental impact statement for the proposed $2 billion methanol refinery draws a surprising conclusion: From a global climate change perspective, it’s better to build the plant than not to build it.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — 2,000 people agree: DOE plan for Hanford tank waste is not good — More than 2,000 people submitted comments or signed petitions critical of a proposal for closing Hanford’s underground radioactive waste storage tanks, according to a coalition of environmental and Hanford watchdog groups.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Starbucks laying off 350 people, mostly at Seattle HQ
► In the (Aberdeen) Daily World — IWW members gather to honor victim of Centralia Massacre — On the 99th anniversary of his death at the hands of a mob, a crew of 15 people — many of them members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) — gathered at the tombstone of Wesley Everest, whose name is etched in local history as one of those killed during the Armistice Day Massacre, or Centralia Massacre.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing considers moving 1,400 jobs to Kent — “We’re in discussions on relocating some current Puget Sound-based positions to Kent which could have the capacity for as many as 1,400 employees,” said a Boeing spokesman. “Planning is still underway and we don’t have any further information to share at this time.”
► In the Columbia Basin Herald — Is Boeing up to something in Grant County? — Jeffrey Bishop, executive director of the Port of Moses Lake, said that recently, several senior Boeing officials, including a long-term planner, visited the hangar Boeing owns at the Port of Moses Lake and where, up until recently, the company has stored parts and machine tools. He said that the company has cleared out its Moses Lake hangar and is “looking at what to do with the facility.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — Meanwhile in the 42nd LD, Senate challenger Pinky Vargas (D) is just 72 votes behind Sen. Doug Ericksen (R) and House challenger Justin Boneau (D) is 131 votes behind Rep. Luanne Van Werven (R). See all of the latest legislative election results.
► In today’s Skagit Valley Herald — Paul’s lead for state House seat shrinks — In the 10th LD, Dave Paul (D) is ahead of Rep. Dave Hayes (R) by 341 votes in the latest count.
► In the (Aberdeen) Daily World — Walsh still leads Frasier in 19th LD state rep race
► In today’s NY Times — The real Florida recount fraud (editorial) — For all the fact-free doomsaying about rigged elections, democracy did remarkably well last week. For that we do have evidence: National turnout was the highest ever for midterm contests in the modern era, states made the franchise more accessible for millions and gerrymandering took a hit at the ballot box. May those important victories, and not baseless claims that undermine the legitimacy of American democracy, be the guiding lights of a recount process that’s as lawful as it is critical to free and fair elections.
► From Politico — GOP congressman sues to stop vote tabulation in undecided Maine race — GOP Rep. Bruce Poliquin has sued Maine’s secretary of state over ranked-choice voting, calling the system unconstitutional as the state elections authority tabulates ballots in Poliquin’s too-close-to-call race with Democrat Jared Golden.
► In the American Prospect — How states can enforce workers’ rights when Trump and his Supremes don’t want to — Government has two ways of making sure its laws are enforced: through investigations and enforcement actions brought by government agencies or through private lawsuits brought by the people harmed. Because states and cities don’t have nearly as many enforcement resources as they ought to in order to monitor compliance with wage-and-hour and discrimination laws, they’ve relied heavily on private lawsuits to give worker protection laws meaning in real people’s lives. The Supreme Court’s Epic Systems decision has taken that away. Progressive states (and cities) need to start thinking creatively about enforcement… One effective approach now being considered involves drawing upon the model of a centuries-old law allowing people to bring special whistleblower lawsuits on the government’s behalf. Laws like the False Claims Act represent elegant and effective ways to expand the government’s resources and serve important public goals, creating create additional resources for enforcement at minimal cost to taxpayers.
► From Yahoo Finance — AFL-CIO chief ‘applauds’ Trump on trade, but gives his record a thumbs down — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka appreciates Trump’s stance on trade, but says, as it stands now, the president does not have a record that helps workers. “I applaud him for his willingness to take on trade and having a different paradigm on trade,” Trumka said. “What we tried to do since day one is call balls and strikes. When he does stuff good for workers, we say it.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO approved a 2017 resolution in support of Medicare for All legislation: “The only commonsense alternative to effectively reform the U.S. healthcare system is to provide universal access to affordable, comprehensive health care regardless of a person’s health status or income, and to provide benefits that include physician and hospital care, outpatient care, dental, vision, and hearing services, rehabilitation, long-term care, mental health care, and prescription drugs to all individuals residing in the United States.”
► From Reuters — House Democrat to probe census citizenship question — Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the lawmaker expected to head the powerful House Oversight Committee in the new U.S. Congress, says one of his first priorities will be investigating why Trump’s administration decided to ask about citizenship on the 2020 census questionnaire.
► From The Denver Channel — Denver considering possible $15 per hour minimum wage for city workers — Mayor Michael Hancock is considering raising the minimum wage for Denver city employees and people who work at businesses operating inside city facilities to $15 an hour.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.