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WA needs new ferries | Party of the rich | Writers prep for strike

Monday, April 17, 2023




► From the Seattle Times — Beached ferry reminder of WA’s aging fleet as state struggles to replace boats — Lawmakers in Olympia have begun to act, budgeting $1.5 billion over 16 years to build new vessels and convert existing ones to be electric. But the challenges of completing the new ships go beyond budgeting. Ballooning costs and workforce shortages could mean Washington does something it hasn’t done in more than 50 years: build the boats outside the state.

► From the Seattle Times — Post McCleary, WA school funding doesn’t add up (by David S. Knight Kendall Fujioka) — The system is not progressive with respect to student race, ethnicity or economic status. While many states provide at least as much, if not more funding to school districts serving higher-poverty student populations and higher percentages of students of color, our state’s finance model funnels more state and local funding to the wealthiest school districts. Districts that serve a higher share of students of color, especially Latina/o students, and districts enrolling more students who are low-income, are systematically underfunded relative to other districts in the state.

► From the (Everett) Herald — State cementing its status as haven for abortion seekers, providers — New laws will expand patient access and bolster provider protections. Rep. Drew Hansen (D-Bainbridge Island):

“I don’t know of any other state that is acting as swiftly, creatively and aggressively to protect reproductive rights in the wake of the Dobbs decision.”

► From Roll Call — Supreme Court halts abortion drug case through Wednesday — The order, from Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., gives challengers to the 2000 FDA approval of the drug mifepristone until Tuesday at noon to respond.




► From the PS Business Journal — Latest Boeing 737 MAX issue expected to delay plans to increase production — The latest production flaw affecting Boeing’s Renton-made 737 MAX line appears likely to hinder its plans to ramp up production of the jet, dealing a blow to the company and its Puget Sound-area suppliers. The issue, which surfaced last week, involves two of eight fittings used to join pieces of fuselages produced by supplier Spirit AeroSystems Inc. of Wichita, Kansas.




► From the Seattle Times — Laid off by Big Tech, then recruited for contract work — at the same place — Those offers, from third-party recruiters eager to place workers at the companies they just left, come with an end date, a lower salary, no benefits and no stock options. For workers the messages range from insensitive to insulting.




► From the Seattle Times — A new WA voice calls out Democrats as the party of the rich, from within (by Danny Westneat) — Washington’s new Democratic congressional sensation Marie Gluesenkamp Perez sure doesn’t dance around when she’s talking about her own party’s core ailment: its elitism. Asked in a recent interview whether Democrats are struggling with “class diversity,” she answered: “Abso-[bleeping]-lutely.”

► From The Hill — Democratic senators favor forcing House vote on debt limit increase — Democratic senators are getting antsy over the lack of progress on legislation to avoid a national default and want House Democrats to begin working on a plan to force Republicans to vote on a bill to raise the debt limit.

► From CNN — Clarence Thomas to amend financial disclosure forms to reflect sale to GOP megadonor — Justice Clarence Thomas intends to amend his financial disclosure forms to reflect a 2014 real estate deal he made with a GOP megadonor – an acknowledgment that the transaction should have been disclosed almost a decade ago.

► Meanwhile, from the Washington Post — Clarence Thomas has for years claimed income from a defunct real estate firmOver the last two decades, Thomas has reported that his family received rental income totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars from a firm called Ginger, Ltd., Partnership. But that company — a Nebraska real estate firm launched in the 1980s by his wife and her relatives — has not existed since 2006.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Looks like he has more amending to do.




► From the AP — Rutgers, unions announce agreement, classes to resume — Rutgers University and union representatives have announced an agreement on a framework for new contracts with several faculty unions, allowing a halt to a five-day strike that was the first such job action in the 257-year history of New Jersey’s flagship university.

► From the LA Times — We can’t afford another writers’ strike. Not Hollywood, not L.A., not the country (by Mary McNamara) — The prospect of enduring a strike that will put hundreds of thousands out of work inside and outside the entertainment industry and cost Los Angeles alone billions of dollars is simply horrifying. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers needs to stop screwing around and come to the table with reasonable responses to the Writers Guild’s core demands for its new three-year contract before the old one expires on May 1. The studios need to stop preparing for a strike and start trying to prevent one.

► From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune — Why factory jobs are attracting more young Minnesota workers — It takes more than 500 employees to produce a million pounds of cereal every day at the Post plant in Northfield, Minn. About 100 of them have been with the company less than a year. Noah Moyer, 22, is among that new class of operators keeping the plant running 24/7. He was just looking for a job with benefits.

► From the AP — Maine freight train derailment, fire injures 3 workers


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