The Stand

‘Every one of those deaths has a story’ ● Biden goes big ● The King of Soul

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Friday, January 22, 2021

 


COVID-19

 

► LIVE from the Seattle Times — Coronavirus daily news update, Jan. 22 — The latest count of COVID-19 cases in Washington totals 296,087 infections (7-day average of new infections per day: 2,312) and 4,065 deaths (7-day average of deaths per day: 14)

► From the News Tribune — Cost of COVID-19: ‘Every one of those deaths has a story.’ Here’s Pierce County’s first (by Matt Driscoll) — Almost exactly one year after the first U.S. case, nearly 400 Pierce County residents have died. — It was a different world back then, Rosella Berreman recalled in December. It had been nine months since her daughter, 50-year-old Shawna Berreman, became the first Pierce County resident whose death was linked to COVID-19. “We really didn’t think COVID was here. You have to understand that,” Berreman recounted. “When (Shawna) first started feeling bad, it was February. They said COVID was in Lynwood. Nobody said COVID was in Pierce County.”

► From the Seattle Times — What to do if you think you qualify for a COVID-19 vaccine — and what to do after you receive it — There is only one topic readers have questions about when it comes to this point in the coronavirus pandemic: vaccines, vaccines, vaccines. This week, FAQ Friday answers questions about what to do if you are eligible to be vaccinated and what to expect after vaccination.

TODAY at The StandWSLC offers vaccination resource for unions

► From the News Tribune — Qualified for COVID vaccine but can’t find it in Pierce County or WA state? Here’s why

► From the Washington Post — Biden order seeks stronger workplace safety rules, signaling a more worker friendly approach — President Biden signed an executive order Thursday to direct federal regulators to issue stronger safety guidance for workplaces operating in the midst of the pandemic. The executive order on “Protecting Worker Health and Safety” seeks to reorient worker safety guidelines and enforcement at the Labor Department’s workplace safety division — the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

TODAY at The StandAFL-CIO’s Trumka: Biden’s OSHA, MSHA order “will save lives”

► From the Washington Post — Biden signs order requiring masks on planes, buses, trains and at airports — His action comes on the heels of a Wednesday order — his first as president — requiring masks on federal property. Together, the two orders come as close to a national mask mandate as his federal powers may allow, leaving it to states and municipalities to require residents to wear masks at a local level. “It’s about damn time our government lived up to its obligations to public health,” said John Samuelsen, president of the Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO.

► From the NY Times — Banished by Trump but brought back by Biden, Fauci aims to ‘let the science speak’ — Using the kind of blunt language that so often infuriated the former president, Dr. Fauci said the health threat from the virus was still “very serious.”

 


EDUCATION

 

► From the Spokesman-Review — Vaccination timeline for teachers in Washington muddied after state rolls out new forecast — Earlier this week, the Washington State Department of Health announced that all school employees, regardless of age, would be eligible for a vaccine as soon as February, provided they were returning for in-person instruction. The news was applauded by educators, administrators and teachers’ unions, not to mention parents who endured almost five months of distance learning. However, with no explanation, the state revised its vaccine flowchart and pushed some school employees – those under 50 and who aren’t considered high-risk – back down the line. In the new timeline, the same group of educators and staff is now forecast to be eligible for vaccines in “spring/summer.”

► From KNKX — King County Court commissioner denies Bellevue district’s temporary injunction request — Amid a dispute over the Bellevue School District’s expansion of in-person learning to young students, the district asked a King County Superior Court commissioner to issue a temporary injunction against its educators union to force them to resume both in-person and live online instruction. Commissioner Bradford Moore denied that request for an immediate restraining order, saying the educators’ move to provide only “asynchronous,” independent assignments to students did not constitute a work stoppage that violated the collective bargaining agreement.

The Stand (Jan. 21) — Bellevue teachers: Pause school openings until vaccines available

► From the Seattle Times — Bellevue School District expands in-person learning — and takes teachers union to court — Some Bellevue teachers called to buildings didn’t show up, and others who teach online didn’t hold live classes Thursday, instead offering activities for students to complete. Their union, the Bellevue Education Association, opposes the district’s plans to bring more K-2 students into classrooms, saying vaccines should be in place first. The dispute landed in court.

► From Tri-City Herald — Pasco teachers union president under fire for linking school reopening to ‘white privilege’ — Pasco Association of Educators President Scott Wilson’s two-minute statement at the Jan. 12 school board meeting linked “free to breathe” and “free to reopen everything” rodeos and rallies with a “culture of white supremacy and white privilege.”

► From the (Everett) Herald — Our viral kindergarten teacher had an inauguration TV cameo — Mackenzie Adams of Lake Stevens appeared on Wednesday’s prime-time special, introducing Foo Fighters. “When I heard Dave Grohl say my name I was ready to pass out,” Adams said Thursday.

 


LOCAL

 

► From the Spokesman-Review — About 150 laid-off Ponderay newsprint workers granted federal assistance — About 150 Ponderay Newsprint Company employees laid off this summer were determined to be eligible for special federal benefits granted workers who have lost their jobs partially due to foreign competition. The federal funds will be administered by Washington’s WorkSource program, which is notifying employees of orientation meetings to explain benefits and application procedures soon, said Bill Messenger, who works for the Washington State Labor Council and helped prepare the petition.

The Stand (July 9, 2020) — IAM, WSLC secure federal aid for laid-off Alcoa Intalco workers

The Stand (July 2, 2020) — Unions win federal assistance for laid-off Boeing workers

► From the Bellingham Herald — WWU contractor Aramark to lay off 183 campus workers — Aramark, which handles the dining services at the university, submitted paperwork to the state announcing it is laying off 183 people, starting March 15.

 


THIS WASHINGTON

 

► From the Columbian — Washington jobless struggle in benefits limbo — Aurora Tapia lost her sense of taste a week before she tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 13. She suspects that she contracted the virus from her job at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, where she worked as a patient access representative. It was the most recent job she’s held. Tapia, 26, has what she calls “long-haul” COVID that leaves her with long-lasting symptoms she still struggles with today. Shortness of breath forces her to sit a lot of the time. But it’s not the worst of Tapia’s troubles. She filed for unemployment insurance in November. But she hasn’t gotten any money and despite filing weekly claims, she’s unsure if she’s eligible for unemployment compensation at this point. Her savings have dried up, and she, her partner and 4-year-old son are stretching every dollar, even conserving shampoo and taking clothing donations to get through a tough time.

► From the Olympian — Record 1,600+ show up for WA Legislature hearing to reopen restaurants, gyms and theaters — A Washington state Senate hearing on a bill that would reopen restaurants and other businesses during the COVID pandemic may have drawn record attendance. More than 1,600 people signed into the committee hearing to participate remotely on Wednesday, with more than 400 of them asking to testify.

► From the (Everett) Herald — Judge weighs Eyman’s fate as civil trial draws to a close — Eyman, a former longtime Mukilteo resident now living in Bellevue, stands accused of using his initiative campaigns to enrich himself and of violating several provisions of state campaign finance laws.

► From Politico — Republicans who impeached Trump are already on the chopping block — Trump’s supporters are mobilizing to exact revenge on the 10 House Republicans who supported impeachment last week, thrusting the GOP into a civil war just as party leaders are trying to move on from the Trump era. Suzie Burke, a Seattle real estate executive who has contributed to Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA, 3rd), said she would “not be helping people who chose to rush to such placating the other side of the aisle.” … “I personally know those Washington State members of Congress who voted to impeach Trump. Our friendship will continue but no more financial support from me. In my view they just retired from Congress,” said Hossein Khorram, a Trump-supporting real estate developer who has previously given to Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA, 4th).

 


THAT WASHINGTON

 

► From the AP — Biden ordering stopgap help as talks start on big aid plan — Biden plans to take executive action Friday to provide a stopgap measure of financial relief to millions of Americans while Congress begins to consider his much larger $1.9 trillion package to help those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The two executive orders that Biden is to sign would increase food aid, protect job seekers on unemployment and clear a path for federal workers and contractors to get a $15 hourly minimum wage.

► From Politico — Republicans bludgeon Biden’s big stimulus plans — Senate Republicans vowed Thursday that Biden’s coronavirus relief bill will not get 60 votes, daring the White House to either compromise with the GOP or use partisan procedural tactics to evade their filibuster.

► From the Washington Post — Right on schedule, Republicans pretend to care about deficits again (by Catherine Rampell) — Republicans laid the groundwork for blocking the Biden administration’s request for more COVID-19 fiscal relief, on the grounds that further spending is not merely unnecessary but also irresponsible. Despite ongoing economic and public health needs. These foul-weather fiscal hawks neglect to mention, of course, that the GOP’s prized 2017 tax cuts added nearly $2 trillion to deficits — back when the economy was doing okay. Nor did they note that — again, before the coronavirus pandemic — the Republican-controlled Senate passed and Trump signed spending bills that added another $2 trillion to deficits… Republicans objecting to Biden’s proposal are not making narrow critiques about technical design. They seem to be writing off the need for more relief entirely, at least now that a Democrat is president.

► From the Washington Post — Biden calls for LGBTQ protections in Day 1 executive order, angering conservatives — On his first day in office, Biden issued a sweeping executive order making it clear that gay and transgender people are protected against discrimination in schools, health care, the workplace and other realms of American life.

► From the Washington Post — Biden’s bold immigration plan would really put America first (editorial) — President Biden has served notice that his ambitious immigration plan is in the first rank of his priorities. Some of his program will be immediately implementable; some may get bogged down in Congress, where many Republicans will regard it as an occasion to brandish the word “amnesty,” red meat for their bases. No matter. Biden’s plan is in keeping with the United States’ best traditions. It responds to the challenge of population stagnation. It would reverse his predecessor’s extravagantly cruel policies. And it is now clear that when it comes to immigration,  Biden is all in.

► From Roll Call — Top budget expert makes case for minimum wage in reconciliationProcedural move would allow a raise to avoid a filibuster and pass with a simple majority in Senate.

► From Roll Call — Congress should use the budget to raise the minimum wage (by Bill Dauster) — Reconciliation helped enact Obamacare and drilling in the Arctic. This one is no different.

► From the NY Times — McConnell seeks delay of Trump impeachment trial — Sen, Mitch McConnell’s call to delay Trump’s trial left the timetable uncertain as party leaders wrangled over the basics of a functioning Senate.

► From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette — Biden picks former United Steelworkers safety official to lead OSHA — Biden has tapped James S. Fred­er­ick, a Pitts­burgh-area work­place safety ad­vo­cate who worked for the United Steelworkers for more than two de­cades, to lead the Oc­cu­pa­tional Safety and Health Ad­min­is­tra­tion, sig­nal­ing tougher fed­eral en­force­ment on em­ploy­ers amid the COVID-19 pan­demic.

 


NATIONAL

 

► From the NY Times — Strike at largest U.S. wholesale produce market threatens supply chain — It is the country’s largest wholesale produce market — described as “Costco on steroids” —and the nerve center for New York City’s food supply, providing more than half the fruits and vegetables that end up in takeout boxes and on restaurant plates and supermarket shelves. But a strike over a $1-per-hour pay raise demand at the Hunts Point Produce Market in the Bronx, the first in over three decades, has dented its operations, leaving some produce to rot and threatening to snarl a normally seamless supply chain. Members of a powerful Teamsters local entered the sixth day of their strike on Friday after negotiations over a three-year contract broke down over pay. The workers, who earn between $15 and $22 an hour, say they deserve a better raise because they are risking their health to supply the city with food during the outbreak. Six workers have died and about 300 have gotten sick after contracting the coronavirus, according to the union.

► From Teen Vogue — AOC skipped inauguration to support a Teamsters union strike in the Bronx — Ocasio-Cortez called for solidarity with the Teamsters Local 202.

► From Vice — Instacart will lay off all of its unionized workersInstacart is firing 10 employees who voted to form the first and only union on the grocery delivery platform at a Mariano’s grocery store in Skokie, Illinois, and inspired other Instacart employees to organize their coworkers at grocery stores around the country. The decision to terminate the employees who unionized with the UFCW 1546 in Skokie in early 2020 is part of a larger series of layoffs that Instacart announced on Tuesday. The layoffs come amid Instacart’s rapid expansion during the Coronavirus pandemic as millions of people have turned to on-demand grocery delivery.

 


T.G.I.F.

 

► Today would have been Sam Cooke’s 90th birthday, had he not been shot and killed at age 33. The legendary soul singer is getting some renewed attention thanks to Regina King’s critically acclaimed new film, One Night in Miami, about a meeting between Cooke, boxing legend Muhammad Ali, civil rights legend Malcolm X, and NFL legend Jim Brown. (Now streaming on Amazon Prime.) Here’s the “King of Soul” in a 1963 television appearance on the “Jerry Lewis Show.” Unfortunately, the big band gives this hit the cheesy Vegas horn treatment, but Cooke’s distinctively smooth vocals still shine through. If you REALLY want to hear the master at his craft, go find Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club (One Night Stand!) AllMusic calls it “one of the greatest live soul albums ever released,” and The Entire Staff of The Stand agrees.

 


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

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