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More Max problems ● Deplorable detention centers ● OK to rig elections

Thursday, June 27, 2019




► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Kennewick teachers say neighboring districts pay more money. Here’s their plan to get raises. — Chris Kenoyer joined about 75 of her fellow teachers outside the Kennewick School District’s administration building Wednesday. The Southridge High School English teacher and union representative has seen firsthand what the higher pay in neighboring school districts means for teachers. “If you see across the river that you can make $5,000 more per year, why would you stay?” she said, referring to Richland and Pasco school district salaries.

► In today’s News Tribune — Who pays the price for Tacoma’s failed charter schools? Kids do (editorial) — Charter school skeptics just got an “I told you so” moment handed to them with a bright red bow. Destiny Middle School is the second charter school in Tacoma to close at the end of this academic year. In January, Soar Academy announced it was calling it quits. Both Tacoma schools cited low enrollment and financial struggles.




► From Bloomberg — Boeing falls as FAA orders more Max changes to address new risk — Boeing tumbled after tests on the 737 MAX revealed a new safety risk, prompting U.S. regulators to order additional design changes to the grounded jetliner. The FAA discovered that data processing by a flight computer on the jetliner could cause the plane to dive in a way that pilots had difficulty recovering from in simulator tests, according to two people familiar with the finding who asked not to be named discussing it.

► From the AP — Airline group advocates more training for Boeing 737 Max — A trade group representing hundreds of airlines pushed again for additional training on Boeing’s 737 Max plane and for a coordinated effort to ensure the safe return of the aircraft after two deadly crashes. If additional training is required, including the possible introduction of simulators for the Max, it could come at a tremendous cost to Boeing.

► From Reuters — Southwest Airlines extends 737 MAX cancellations through October 1 — The airline had previously planned to keep the jet, grounded in March after a second fatal crash in five months, off its flying schedule through Sept. 2.

► In today’s Washington Post — Long before the Max disasters, Boeing had a history of failing to fix safety problems — Years before two Boeing 737 Max jets crashed in Indonesia and Ethiopia, U.S. regulators found a pattern of recurring safety problems with the manufacturing giant. During a trip to Japan in 2015, an auditor with the Federal Aviation Administration discovered a Boeing subcontractor was falsifying certifications on cargo doors for hundreds of 777s and had been doing so for years, according to interviews and government documents. Back in the United States, Boeing mechanics were leaving tools inside plane wings, precariously close to the cables that control their movements. Workers also were improperly installing wires in 787s, which could increase the risk of shorts or fires, FAA officials found.




► From the AP — State senator complains of inherent bias at caucus meetings — A Washington state senator said her comments to a chamber of commerce audience about experiencing “hate, sexism, racism and misogyny” during closed-door Democratic meetings was a reference to coded language she hears everywhere, including the caucus room. Sen. Mona Das (D-Kent), whose family moved to the U.S. from India when she was an infant, said Wednesday she was talking specifically about the use of terms like “those people” and other language that seeks to distance people in diverse groups.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — State and top fed official at odds over Hanford high level radioactive waste — A top Department of Energy official is fighting what he says are misconceptions about a new policy on which Hanford and other nuclear weapons complex waste must be treated and disposed of to the stringent standards required for high level radioactive waste.




► In today’s Washington Post — The father and daughter who drowned at the border were desperate for a better life, family says — “They wanted a better future for their girl,” María Estela Ávalos, Vanessa’s mother, said. They traveled more than 1,000 miles seeking it. Once in the United States, they planned to ask for asylum, for refuge from the violence that drives many Central American migrants from their home countries every day.

► In today’s NY Times — Asylum officers’ union says Trump migration policy ‘abandons’ American tradition — A union representing federal asylum officers said in a court filing Wednesday that the Trump administration’s policy forcing migrants to wait in Mexico while their asylum cases are decided risks violating international treaty obligations and “abandons our tradition of providing a safe haven to the persecuted.”

► From Reuters — Attorneys ask court to intervene against U.S. over migrant kids’ detention conditions — Attorneys for migrant children asked a federal judge to hold the U.S. government in contempt of court for “flagrant and persistent” violations of the terms of a 1997 agreement that governs the treatment of children in immigration detention. They requested immediate action be taken to remedy the “deplorable” conditions.

► From Politico — House heads toward vote on amended border package, McConnell says Senate bill ‘only game in town’ — The House will vote Thursday on an amended emergency border aid package, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear that his chamber won’t consider the new version, teeing up a game of chicken just before the holiday break by saying his chamber will only consider its own version.

► And this MUST-READ in today’s Washington Post — Who’s behind the law making undocumented immigrants criminals? An ‘unrepentant white supremacist.’ — The provision of federal law criminalizing unlawful entry into the United States — which some Democratic presidential candidates now want to undo — was crafted by an avowed white supremacist who opposed the education of black Americans and favored lynching, which he justified by saying, “to hell with the Constitution.”




► BREAKING from Reuters — Supreme Court rejects limits to partisan gerrymandering — In a major blow to election reformers, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday rejected efforts to rein in the contentious practice of manipulating electoral district boundaries to entrench one party in power by turning away challenges to political maps in Maryland and North Carolina. The justices, in a 5-4 decision with the court’s conservative in the majority and liberals in dissent, ruled in a decision with nationwide implications that judges do not have the ability to curb the practice known as partisan gerrymandering. Justice Elena Kagan dissented for the court’s liberals. “For the first time ever, this court refuses to remedy a constitutional violation because it thinks the task beyond judicial capabilities,” she wrote.

► BREAKING from Reuters — U.S. Supreme Court blocks Trump’s census citizenship question, for now — The U.S. Supreme Court handed Trump a significant defeat on Thursday, ruling that his administration did not give an adequate explanation for its plan to include a contentious citizenship question on the 2020 census and preventing its addition to the decennial survey for now.

► From Politico — Appellate court raises new threat to Obamacare — A federal appeals court this afternoon questioned whether Democratic states and the House of Representatives have the right to appeal a court ruling that declared all of Obamacare unconstitutional. In a surprise move that legal experts said added an unexpected threat to Obamacare, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asked who — if anyone — has standing to appeal the December lower court ruling after the Trump administration recently sided with red states who brought the lawsuit.




► From NH Labor News — Hundreds of thousands demand, “No vote on NAFTA 2.0 until it is fixed” —  Unions, consumer, environmental, faith and other organizations launched a “No Vote Until NAFTA 2.0 Is Fixed” day of action Tuesday with an event in front of the U.S. Capitol headlined by members of Congress, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka — fresh off a Midwest NAFTA rally tour — and civil society leaders. Activists delivered petitions signed by hundreds of thousands of Americans nationwide.

ALSO at The Stand — Democratic presidential hopefuls agree: Not this NAFTA

► From Reuters — Canada and Mexico may be open to tweaking USMCA — Canada and Mexico may be open to a limited renegotiation of aspects of the United States-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement to satisfy U.S. lawmakers’ concerns, a top U.S. Democrat said on Wednesday, opening the door to its passage in the fall.

► From Government Executive — EPA unilaterally imposes new union contract slashing telework, easing firing — The Environmental Protection Agency has cut off negotiations with its primary union and informed the labor group it will unilaterally implement a new contract, stripping away many of the rights and privileges employees currently enjoy and setting up yet another legal battle between the Trump administration and the federal workforce.

► In today’s Washington Post — Whistleblower says VA ordered fake appointments to cut waiting list — The Department of Veterans Affairs moved to fire a psychologist one day before she testified at a hearing about alleged misconduct at the agency.




► From NBC News — SoCal grocery store members vote in favor of authorizing strike — “Southern California grocery workers voted in large numbers, and overwhelmingly rejected the unfair terms that have been proposed by Ralphs, Albertsons, and Vons,” said UFCW Local 770 President John Grant. The contract between the union and the companies expired in March. The strike authorization vote means union negotiators have the power to call for a strike, if deemed necessary.

PREVIOUSLY at The Stand — Puget Sound-area grocery workers are taking action for better jobs, lives — For the latest on local grocery negotiations, visit

► From the Star Advertiser — Hawaiian Airlines flight attendants hold first major union protest in 20 years — At least a couple of hundred Hawaiian Airlines flight attendants on Wednesday held their first major Hawaii labor demonstration in nearly 20 years to protest protracted negotiations over a new contract.


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