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Respect public service ● Let the voters decide ● Now ‘more robust’

Thursday, March 28, 2019




► In today’s Seattle Times — Two dead after gunman opens fire in North Seattle, carjacks vehicle — The driver of Metro Route 75, Eric Stark, was hailed as a hero for backing the bus out of the area, despite his wounds, and driving to safety. None of the 12 passengers was injured… Stark, the bus driver, suffered a gunshot wound to the torso, but was able to walk to a gurney, according to Kenneth Price, president of ATU Local 587.

► In the Yakima H-R — Memorial for fallen Kittitas County sheriff’s deputy is Thursday — A memorial service for Kittitas County sheriff’s deputy Ryan Thompson is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Thursday at Nicholson Pavilion, 715 E. Dean Nicholson Blvd., on the Central Washington University campus in Ellensburg. A law enforcement procession will travel through town starting at 12:25 p.m.  People are expected to line the route.

► In today’s Olympian — Western State Hospital fined by state for assault of nurses — Washington’s largest psychiatric hospital has been fined $4,900 by L&I for failing to protect workers from assaults by patients.In one of the assaults, a patient bit off a portion of a nurse’s ear. In the others, the nurses were pushed to the floor and stomped by patients.




► From the AP — Education funding continues to bedevil state lawmakers. Proposed fixes have problems. — The Democrats who control the Washington state Legislature want to allow public schools to raise more money from local property taxes, but opponents say the proposals could resurrect the funding inequities that led to the McCleary case. SB 5313, which is pending in the Senate, would enable the 295 school districts in 2021 to collect up to $800 million more per year through operating levies.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Higher operating levies would only happen if local voters approve them. To prevent “funding inequity,” we have established an artificial lid that blocks certain (mostly urban) school districts from raising the funds that local voters want to pay to ensure quality schools. We thought conservatives like to “let the voters decide.” If the state does its job fully funding a basic education, why block local communities from choosing to supplement that funding? Because others choose not to?

► A related story in today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane school board’s ‘procedural step’ lays groundwork for staff reductions under looming budget cuts — While hoping for the best from Olympia, the Spokane Public Schools board is preparing for the worst in the face of a projected loss of $43.5 million in levy revenue. That could mean layoffs for dozens or even hundreds of employees.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Democrats are in charge but GOP is helping steer the debate — In the House, Republicans are the disrupters. They seem to be lying in legislative wait for opportune moments to slow, detour or derail the majority’s machine. Ultimately for them success will be measured by which bills die, are amended or never get voted on.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing details its fix for the 737 MAX, but defends the original design — Boeing on Wednesday mounted an effort to win back the trust of airlines, safety regulators and the flying public and get its 737 MAX back in the air. The company described detailed changes to the jet’s flight-control software and what its engineers have been doing since the recent fatal crashes of two airplanes. While declaring that will make the system “more robust,” it denied the changes mean the original design was inadequate.

► In today’s Washington Post — Boeing, initially defensive, now ‘humbled’ by 737 MAX crisis — Boeing’s shift in tone — CEO Dennis Muilenburg said in a statement this week the company has been “humbled” — reflects growing pressure on the company’s bottom line as its fleet of jetliners sits idle at airports. It also comes as airlines that have placed orders for hundreds of additional 737 Max jets begin to question those investments.

► In today’s Seattle Times — FAA chief stands behind Boeing 737 MAX certification, confirms it delegated part of review to the planemaker — He fiercely defended the agency’s oversight of the Boeing 737 MAX Wednesday, insisting during intense and sometimes combative Senate testimony that the agency retained final authority over approval of the plane’s safety.

► And yet, from the AP — FAA to revamp oversight after two deadly Boeing crashes — The FAA plans to revamp oversight of airplane development after the two deadly crashes of Boeing’s new 737 MAX raised questions of whether the FAA has gone too far in letting companies regulate themselves, a Transportation Department official said Wednesday.

► In today’s News Tribune — Boeing’s success, safety and credibility are vital for Tacoma area (editorial) — The South Sound has a lot hanging on a full recovery by Boeing, stunned by a pair of catastrophic crashes of the same jet model under similar circumstances in less than five months.




► In today’s Washington Post — Mulvaney pushes the health-care fight Trump wants despite GOP’s misgivings –Mick Mulvaney is trying to achieve as acting White House chief of staff what he never could as a conservative firebrand in Congress. This week he helped persuade Trump to get behind a legal effort aimed at striking down the Affordable Care Act over the objections of some in the administration and Republican leadership on Capitol Hill.

► From The Guardian — Judge blocks work requirements for Medicaid in Arkansas and Kentucky — A federal judge has ruled that Medicaid work requirements undermine the program’s mission of providing health care for the needy, dealing a blow to the Trump administration.

► From Now This — People are throwing up at work without paid sick leave




► From HuffPost — SEIU wants a strong labor movement. Just maybe not inside SEIU. — Staffers at the union’s D.C. headquarters say the organization is trying to break its own staff union through hard-nosed bargaining. In a sign of the staff discontent, 92 percent of those who cast ballots voted in favor of the strike authorization… An SEIU spokesman said management welcomes the staff flexing its muscle with a strike authorization vote, calling it a show of the collective power they champion at the organization.


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