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Horse Heaven hearing | Be Heat Smart… it’s the law | Help Hawaii

Monday, August 14, 2023




► From the Tri-City Herald — WA public hearing set on large Tri-Cities wind farm — A public comment hearing is set on the proposed Horse Heaven wind farm project, but not everyone will be allowed to speak. The hearing, which will be virtual, is scheduled for 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 23. Administrative Law Judge Adam Torem will hear concerns about the proposed project that would stretch 24 miles along the Horse Heaven Hills from south of Finley to south of Benton City. The project has the support of unions whose members would construct the project. It would provide not only good-paying jobs close to home for Tri-Cities workers, but also tax revenue to Benton County.

The Stand (June 9, 2022) — Tri-Cities trades unions reach deal to build Horse Heaven

► From KIMA — Ostrom mushroom farm fined for underpaying H-2A workers — A company who previously owned a mushroom farm in Sunnyside, now being fined for not properly paying their H-2A workers. Those workers are non-immigrants who can perform non-agricultural labor or services here in the U.S. In a press release, the company who used to own this mushroom farm in Sunnyside is now being ordered to pay more than $130,000 in fees with nearly $60,000 of that will going to 62 employees.

TODAY at The Stand Mushroom workers to rally Aug. 31 in Seattle — Join Windmill (formerly Ostrom) Farms, UFW’s Teresa Romero for mile-long “living billboard” and solidarity rally.

► From the Seattle Times — Book battles are raging nationwide. A WA library could be nation’s first to closeBook battles are raging across the nation, but none have carried the kind of stakes as the one here in Dayton, a one-stoplight farming community in the southeastern corner of Washington. For the county’s only library, the battle has turned, quite literally, existential: Voters will decide in November whether to shut it down.




► From KING — Extended heatwave to bring hot temperatures and high fire danger to western Washington — The most pronounced heatwave of the season began Sunday and is expected to last through Thursday. During this five-day stretch of abnormally warm temperatures, high temperatures will climb in the mid to upper 80s and lower to mid-90s for many areas.

► From KIMA — Yakima braces for scorching week: Triple digit temperatures trigger excessive heat warning — Temperatures are expected to get up to 103 to 109 degrees with Tuesday afternoon being the hottest.

EDITOR’S NOTE — On June 27, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) adopted updates to Outdoor Heat Exposure rules to prevent heat-related illness and reduce traumatic injuries associated with heat exposure. The adopted rules include requirements for shade, rest, and acclimatization, and lowers the temperatures at which some preventive actions must be taken. Visit L&I’s Be Heat Smart for more information.

► From KING — Washington firefighters who died in the line of duty honored in statewide memorial service — Family and friends of seven fallen firefighters gathered on Sunday at the Washington State Fire Training Academy for the annual Washington State Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial Service. Those honored are listed below.

► From the Seattle Times — Jim Walsh, state representative from Aberdeen, elected as state GOP chair — State Rep. Jim Walsh, of Aberdeen, was elected leader of the state’s Republican Party on Saturday, ahead of the 2024 elections in a blue Washington where Democrats control the governor’s mansion, all statewide offices and both chambers of the state Legislature.




► From KOMO — What you need to know with the federal student loan payment freeze ending Aug. 31 — After more than three years, the pause on federal student loan payments will end on Aug. 31. The COVID-related relief program suspended payments, froze interest, and prohibited collections for about 43 million Americans. As the moratorium lifts, interest will start accruing again on Sept. 1. The first payments will be due in October. If you want to make a September payment, you’ll need to contact your servicer by Aug. 31.




► From the AP — Hawaii mourns the dead in ferocious wildfires while officials warn the full toll is not yet known — Twenty dogs and dozens of people will make their way through neighborhoods reduced to ash, searching burnt out cars and homes for the dead. With the toll at 96, this is already the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Many union members and their families are affected by this wildfire. Here are the ways to help if you can:

●  Please donate to the Hawaii State AFL-CIO Labor Community Services Program/Hawaii Employees Lifeline Program. Contributions must be made by check to: Hawaii Employees Lifeline Program, attn. Cathy Lederer, 888 Mililani Street, Suite 501, Honolulu, HI 96813.

●  Alternatively, you can donate to the Union Community Fund. Credit card contributions can be made at Send checks payable to the Union Community Fund (note in the memo line: “Disaster Relief Efforts”) to: 815 Black Lives Matter Plaza NW, Washington, DC, 20006.

► From NPR — UPS union negotiated a historic contract. Now workers have the final say. — Rank-and-file union members are casting their ballots until August 22. For the deal to go into effect, it needs to pass by a majority vote.

The Stand (July 25) — Teamsters announce historic tentative contract deal at UPS

► From The Hill — Counterproposal pauses negotiations in Hollywood writers strike — The Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers came to the negotiation table for the first time Friday since the union went on strike in early May. However, talks were paused after AMPTP offered a counterproposal to the writers union’s requests.

► From The Guardian — Los Angeles hotel workers’ strike ignites backlash among academics — The union representing thousands of hotel workers on strike in Los Angeles is clashing with the American Political Science Association, a group of political scientists, over a request to move its gathering out of the city. It has sparked tensions within the  group, as members – experts in power and politics – are dissenting over how they ought to respond.

► From the Philadelphia Inquirer — Philadelphia Orchestra singers unionize — After members of the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir signed union authorization cards indicating their desire for the American Guild of Musical Artists to bargain on their behalf, a “card check” on Thursday determined that a majority answered in the affirmative, and now the singers will be represented by the union.

► From the Daily Bruin — At LA stop, Staff the Front Lines bus tour encourages careers in public service — The AFSCME tour aims to address the understaffing crisis in public service by encouraging qualified individuals in underrepresented communities to apply for open positions.

► From KSL — Utah Farm Bureau President arrested for assault, investigated for human trafficking — A Utah man arrested for assaulting a farmworker is now being investigated for human trafficking. The man, identified as Ron Gibson, is the President of Utah Farm Bureau Federation.


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

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