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Pay nurses more | 777X setback | Record temps… until today

Monday, June 28, 2021




► LIVE from the Seattle Times — Coronavirus daily news update, June 28 — The latest count of COVID-19 cases in Washington totals 450,404 infections (7-day average of new infections per day: 463) and 5,902 deaths.

► From the Oregonian — Hospitals struggle to deal with jammed emergency rooms after exodus of nurses — It’s a recipe for disaster that is unfolding at hospitals across the country: Blend emotionally exhausted caregivers with emotionally disturbed patients, throw in a wave of street violence and the departure of some of the most experienced workers on the wards due to fatigue and burnout, and viola, America has its latest health care crisis. Many employees argue there is another key ingredient added by the hospitals that makes the end result particularly toxic: A penny-pinching mentality that allows the understaffing to develop in the first place.

► From Crosscut — Washington state is reopening this week. Here’s what you need to know — From mask rules to where you can go around town, Crosscut answers your questions about what life without COVID restrictions may look like.

► From the Seattle Times — Pfizer, Moderna COVID vaccines likely to produce long-lasting immunity, study suggests — The findings add to growing evidence that most people immunized with the mRNA vaccines may not need boosters, so long as the virus and its variants do not evolve much beyond their current forms — which is not guaranteed.

The Stand (June 16) — Union members can do this: Get vaccinated! — Ready to get vaccinated? Visit Washington State’s Vaccine Locator to find vaccine appointments near you.




► From the Seattle Times — Citing a serious flight test incident and lack of design maturity, FAA slows Boeing 777X certification — In yet another blow to Boeing, the FAA last month formally denied the jet maker permission to move forward with a key step in certifying its forthcoming giant widebody airplane, the 777X. In a sternly worded letter, the FAA warned Boeing it may have to increase the number of test flights planned and that certification realistically is now more than two years out, probably in late 2023. That could push the jet’s entry into commercial service into early 2024, four years later than originally planned.




► From the Seattle Times — Seattle sets all-time temperature record of 104 degrees — Sunday’s record could be short-lived, as Monday’s forecast is calling for temperatures that could reach 110 degrees.

MORE local coverage of record-setting temperatures in the Bellingham Herald, Columbia Basin Herald, Ellensburg Daily Record, (Everett) Herald, Kitsap Sun, (Tacoma) News Tribune, Peninsula Daily News, (Spokane) Spokesman-Review, Tri-City Herald, (Vancouver) Columbian, and the Yakima Herald-Republic.

TODAY at The Stand Ask Congress to support heat stress standard

► From the Seattle Times — ‘Block the Boat’ would hurt Seattle, not Israel (editorial) — Activists with the “Block the Boat” campaign targeted the ZIM San Diego, which is owned by the publicly traded ZIM, an Israeli-based shipping company. The campaign successfully blocked ZIM vessels from unloading in Oakland and Prince Rupert this month. Thanks to outstanding Seattle leadership, however, the effort failed in Seattle, with its reputation as a reliable international seaport intact.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Two weeks ago, ILWU Local 19 President Rich Austin Jr issued the following statement:

“Our members are eager to work the Port of Seattle’s backlog of ships safely and efficiently, and we also respect the First Amendment rights of those peacefully and non violently assembled near the Terminal 18 gates. We want to help ensure that the situation remains safe for the demonstrators, for our members, and others who use the terminal. We are also encouraging all public agencies to conduct themselves responsibly as they engage the people in this situation.”




► From the Spokesman-Review — Tenants are scared. Landlords are fed up. Despite Inslee’s moratorium ‘bridge,’ eviction worries loom. — Brandi Bennett is just one of millions of Washington residents who have been granted unprecedented protections since Gov. Jay Inslee imposed a moratorium on evictions. But on July 1, they will begin to fade away. As they do, Bennett suspects she will be among the first to suffer.

► From the (Everett) Herald — We are the first line of defense against wildfires (editorial) — One particular investment by the state Legislature this year is worth noting — again — not just for its increased funding for the DNR’s firefighting response but also regarding efforts to prevent wildfires and improve the health and resilience of forests and wildlands. That leaves more immediate action in our own hands. This week’s hot, dry weather is likely to ease, but we are in for a string of sunny days and drier conditions; conditions that we can’t ignore as we approach the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

► From Crosscut — That voting-rights bill Congress rejected? Most of it is Washington law — Many key provisions of the federal For the People Act are already law in Washington state, including the widespread use of mail-in voting, easily traceable paper ballots and same-day voter registration.

► From the Tri-City Herald — Record Hanford budget proposal still far below nuclear cleanup costs, U.S. senator says — The Biden administration has made the highest request in history for environmental cleanup of the Hanford nuclear reservation, said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. But Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said she remains concerned about the long-term cost and schedule projections for the site.

► From the Tri-City Herald — Newhouse co-sponsors bill to ban teaching ‘critical race theory’ — Critical race theory, which emerged in the 1970s, was an effort to examine the law in how it serves the interests of people in power at the expense of others.

EDITOR’S NOTE — CRT is a “controversy” wholly manufactured by Fox News to stoke racial divisions and be used as a campaign weapon by right-wing conservatives.




► From the Oregonian — 2021 minimum wage increase arrives July 1 — Oregon’s lowest-paid workers will be earning more beginning July 1 — as much as $14 an hour for some. It’s the sixth of seven increases the Legislature mandated in 2016, which have steadily raised the state’s hourly minimum from $9.25. Oregon will have one of the highest minimum wages in the nation when the new rates kick in July 1, but the rate varies considerably depending on where you work.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington’s minimum wage is $13.69 per hour ($16.69 in Seattle and $16.57 in SeaTac). A cost-of-living adjustment will be announced on Sept. 30, and take effect Jan 1, 2022, and yearly thereafter.




► From the Arizona Daily Star — Senators, nurses need you to support the PRO Act (by Fawn Slade) — Throughout the pandemic, while governments and employers turned their backs on us, we have fought together against hospital managers to win workplace protections without fear of retribution. This will not only help keep all nurses safe, it will help keep patients safe. That’s why it is critical that Sens. Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema support legislation that would make it easier for nurses and other workers to join a union. They need to demonstrate their support for working families by co-sponsoring the PRO Act.

The Stand (June 24) – Supreme Court’s latest anti-union ruling shows why we need PRO Act

► From the NY Times — Infrastructure deal is back on track after Biden’s assurances — Moderate Republicans said they believed that the $1.2 trillion bill, which they suggested they could now begin drafting, would have enough GOP support to pass the Senate.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Greg Regan, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO applauded the infrastructure deal reached by the president and members of the Senate last week:

“While much work remains to finalize this agreement, TTD looks forward to working with the Biden administration and Congress to ensure that every dollar spent under this agreed upon framework is paired with the strongest labor protections possible that guarantee good jobs and strong worker protections for the Americans who design, build, operate, and maintain our infrastructure.”

► From CNN — Striking an infrastructure deal without investing in child and elder care is a huge mistake (by ) — As the White House and Senate negotiators flesh out an infrastructure plan, it’s workers like Briana Phillips who are at risk of being left out of the improvements the plan has promised. A significant investment in care, including affordable access to high-quality child and elder care, would reach every American. But leaving behind that support would stunt the economic growth infrastructure spending could provide.

► From Politico — Dems prepare for messy budget fight that could derail Biden’s infrastructure deal — President Joe Biden and Senate negotiators took their first big step toward an infrastructure deal last week. Now comes the real monster: approval of the budget that makes it all happen. To secure the votes for a bipartisan accord, Democrats must achieve total Senate unity while walking a political tightrope in the House — where internal spats are already unfolding on immigration, climate and the debt as the party shapes a second spending bill designed to pass alongside the infrastructure compromise. Failure to find party agreement on the separate, larger bill could tank both of them, leaving Biden and Democrats with an infrastructure mess.

► From Roll Call — Unkept promise on elections overhaul leaves Democrats scrambling — It has divided progressives who believe democracy cannot survive without its enactment, a president in Joe Biden who hasn’t used his bully pulpit to promote it as much as they’d like, and moderate Democrats who don’t think it’s worth upending the Senate filibuster to overcome GOP opposition.

► From the AP — Cesar Chavez’s legacy lives on in Biden’s staff, Oval Office — White House staffers are often of a type, hard-charging strivers who crave their own sliver of the limelight or even trade on a famous name. Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Chavez’s granddaughter, is a clear exception as she begins a second tour serving a president, this time as director of intergovernmental affairs for Joe Biden.




► From the NY Times — Black workers stopped making progress on pay. Is it racism? — While African Americans lag behind whites in educational attainment, that disparity has narrowed substantially over the last 40 years. Still, the wage gap hasn’t budged. After a year in which demands for racial justice acquired new resonance, Dr. William Spriggs, a Howard University professor, and others are pushing back against a strongly held tenet of economics: that differences in wages largely reflect differences in skill.


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

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