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‘Totally avoidable’ ● ‘Less everything’ ● ‘It’s only teenage wasteland’

Friday, October 18, 2019




► In today’s Seattle Times — ‘Totally avoidable’: state faults, fines companies in collapse of Seattle tower crane in April — The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries on Thursday faulted three companies for April’s deadly crane collapse in South Lake Union, finding that workers prematurely removed pins and left the tower vulnerable to a gust of wind that brought it crashing down over one of Seattle’s busiest streets. Workers from several companies were disassembling the crane used to build Google’s new campus when it collapsed on April 27, killing four people. The catastrophe brought home with shattering force the potential hazards of the tower cranes that have become a fixture of the city’s skyline and construction boom.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Having trouble getting your student loan forgiven? Bob Ferguson wants to hear from you — If you’ve got student loans and have been having trouble getting the public-service loan forgiveness you were promised, Washington state’s attorney general wants to hear from you.




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Workers at Angel of the Winds Arena wait years for contract — Angel of the Winds Arena is not an easy place for a rigger to work. Stagehands at the Everett arena describe balancing on an 8-inch rounded beam as they attach lighting and video equipment in the rafters. Amid safety concerns, workers joined a union organizing movement (IATSE) among riggers employed by Rhino Staging NW, a subcontractor that frequently supplies riggers and stagehands for shows at the Angel of the Winds Arena and other venues in the region. The union is fighting for higher wages and health care, which they say is an industry standard. James Conway, 56, has been rigging with Rhino for about three years. He called the company, “the sweatshop of the industry… You start working with these other companies and you realize you’re doing the same kind of work (with Rhino) for far less of a price and less benefits and less safety … less everything.”

► In the (Centralia) Daily Chronicle — 100 years later, documentary ‘Labor Wars of the Pacific Northwest’ still stirs emotions — Saturday’s screening of “Labor Wars of the Pacific Northwest” at the Chehalis Theater managed to stir up some members of the crowd, and left impassioned and intrigued viewers fighting for ground in a pointed question-and-answer session in the film’s wake. If history has taught us anything over the previous century since the infamous Centralia Massacre, that’s just the way things go when area residents get to talking about Wobblies.




► In today’s News Tribune — We endorse: A ‘no’ vote on I-976. Tim Eyman swings a butcher knife in $30 car tabs rerun (editorial) — Pierce County residents would pay a steep long-term price that Eyman avoids talking about: Roads and bridges would fall deeper into disrepair. Arteries connecting industries to the Port of Tacoma would stay clogged. Unfinished transit projects would disrupt communities. Eyman’s overriding goal is to sabotage Sound Transit, but with I-976 he’s wielding a butcher knife so indiscriminately, he’d bleed transportation projects at every level. Statewide, the transportation budget would incur a nearly $5 billion loss, affecting everything from the State Patrol to the ferry system to the long-awaited completion of state Route 167 to the Tacoma Tideflats…. Voters should resist Tim Eyman’s recycling of a simplistic slogan. They should reject his latest effort to break Washington’s transportation backbone. And $30 car tabs should be buried in a time capsule, along with that orange shirt.

► In the (Longview) Daily News — Kelso, Longview would lose significant street repair funds under I-976

► In the Peninsula Daily News — Jefferson Transit opposes I-976

…plus — Clallam Transit board opposes I-976, citing service cuts

► In the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin — Approval of R-88 would benefit Washington (editorial endorsement) — I-1000 allows the use of affirmative action measures in state employment, contracting and public education, including outreach and recruitment to minority candidates. However, it does not allow the use of quotas. It also prohibits preferential treatment — defined as using factors such as race or gender as the sole criteria for selecting a less qualified candidate over a more qualified candidate. That’s a reasoned approach to this issue…

Approval of R-88, and thus I-1000, won’t create a massive shift in state hiring and college admissions. It will, however, offer reasonable steps to allow the state to seek out minority and female candidates, which should ultimately make Washington stronger.




► In today’s Washington Post — Impeachment inquiry shows Trump at the center of Ukraine efforts against rivals — Over two weeks of closed-door testimony, a clear portrait has emerged of a president personally orchestrating the effort to pressure a foreign government to dig up dirt on a potential 2020 political rival — and marshaling the full resources of the federal bureaucracy to help in that endeavor.

► In today’s NY Times — Mulvaney says, then denies, that Trump held back Ukraine aid as quid pro quo — Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, threw the Trump administration’s defense against impeachment into disarray on Thursday when he said that the White House withheld nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine to further President Trump’s political interests.

► In today’s Washington Post — Mulvaney’s comments on Trump and Ukraine couldn’t have been clearer (editorial) — He said Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine, money that had been appropriated by Congress and was desperately needed to resist Russian aggression, in order to induce the government of Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate a conspiracy theory to advance his personal political agenda. “We do that all the time with foreign policy,” Mulvaney said with stunning brazenness. “I have news for everybody: Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy.” … It was a quid pro quo. It was corrupt. And his chief of staff confessed it, in the cynical expectation that Republicans would not hold Trump accountable. If Mulvaney is right, our political system will be grievously damaged.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Nothing but crickets from Washington Republican Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-5th) and Dan Newhouse (R-4th). As the damning evidence continues to mount, they’ve said little except to accuse Democrats of playing politics with the impeachment inquiry. When the Ukraine story first broke, Newhouse parroted talking points defending Trump after they were accidentally released by the White House communications staff. His Sept. 25 statement said there was no evidence yet of quid pro quo. Now that the president’s chief of staff has admitted there was — and told America to “get over it” — will Newhouse continue to put politics before patriotism by rising to the defense of a corrupt president? Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-3rd), the only one of the three Republicans who is already facing a tough challenger in next year’s election, told the (Vancouver) Columbian that Mulvaney’s comments detailing the quid pro quo have “raised additional questions.” Yeah, like, when am I going to get my updated talking points?

► From The Hill — Trump’s Doral resort to host G-7 summit next year — The United States will host the 2020 Group of Seven (G-7) summit on June 10-12 at Trump National Doral, a resort property near Miami owned by Trump‘s family. Critics argued earlier this year that the selection would be a clear violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits presidents from accepting payments from foreign countries, U.S. states or the federal government.




► In today’s NY Times — We don’t need to raise taxes to have ‘Medicare for All’ (by Lindsay Koshgarian of the Institute for Policy Studies) — Over 18 years, the United States has spent $4.9 trillion on wars, with only more intractable violence in the Middle East and beyond to show for it. That’s nearly the $300 billion per year over the current system that is estimated to cover Medicare for All (though estimates vary). While we can’t un-spend that $4.9 trillion, imagine if we could make different choices for the next 20 years. We’ve identified more than $300 billion in annual military savings alone that we could better invest in priorities like Medicare for All, working with a national grassroots movement called Poor People’s Campaign.

► From the AP — Energy Secretary Rick Perry says he is resigning by year’s end




► In today’s NY Times — Union says GM strike won’t end until workers vote on deal — The longest strike against General Motors in half a century isn’t over yet. Leaders of union locals voted Thursday to approve a tentative contract agreement with the automaker, but said the strike — already a month old — would continue until workers voted to ratify the deal.

ALSO at The Stand — GM strike goes on; UAW members will vote

► In today’s Chicago Sun-Times — New proposals on the table, but Chicago teachers strike enters Day 2 — Chicago teachers will forge ahead with day two of their strike after spending Thursday picketing outside schools, rallying and marching through downtown streets and, for a couple dozen, continuing to work toward a deal with city and schools officials. Both sides said small steps were taken as negotiations continued through Thursday evening

► From Vox — Teacher strikes are changing. The Chicago walkout proves it. (by — Teachers want more than a pay raise — they want bold, transformative investment in the Chicago public education system. They also want more affordable housing in the city for students and teachers. That’s something no teachers union has demanded in recent contract negotiations. “We mean business,” Stacey Davis Gates, vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union, told reporters on Thursday. “It cannot be about politics and personalities. It’s got to be about shifting and transforming the infrastructure of inequity.”




► Tomorrow night, The Entire Staff of The Stand will be attending The Who’s concert at the Seattle Mariners’ stadium (sponsored by ______). We suppose that venue’s availability is one of the fringe benefits of having a baseball team with the longest post-season drought in all of professional sports. Bonus: as of this week, the Mariners are the only team in the major leagues that has never made it to the World Series. Anyway, yeah, we vowed we’d never again go to a stadium concert. And yeah, they’re old. But if you’re wondering whether the band can still deliver at a venue that big at that age, here’s your answer.

P.S. Tickets are still available.

The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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