From West Seattle to the White House: Sally Jewell of REI nominated to be Interior Secretary
President Obama‘s nomination today of REI president/CEO Sally Jewell to be the next Secretary of the Interior has a double West Seattle link – she has a residence here, and REI was founded here. If confirmed, Jewell – who also has worked in banking and the oil industry – would succeed Ken Salazar, who had said he would leave Interior next month. West Seattle Blog, 2-6-13.
U.S. overdue for action on public lands
President Obama’s nomination of Sally Jewell as U.S. Interior Secretary gives his underperforming administration an opportunity to correct its weak record on protecting public lands, and leave a legacy for Americans to enjoy in the future. Seattle P-I, 2-6-13.
SPEEA’s Goforth sees union division if Boeing offer is approved
Boeing engineers receiving pensions would be outnumbered by those who don’t in eight years if Boeing’s current contract proposal is accepted, according to Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) Executive Director Ray Goforth, in a video he released Wednesday. Puget Sound Business Journal, 2-6-13.
The drones are already here: How’s the City Council going to deal with this Pandora’s box?
One thing was abundantly clear at Wednesday afternoon’s City Council meeting on Seattle’s police drones. Nobody likes them very much. The ACLU doesn’t like them, the public really doesn’t like them, Council members are skeptical about them (some more openly than others), and even assistant police chief Paul McDonagh kept a measured tone when talking about the latest, flashiest tool in crime-fighting technology. The afternoon’s loudest applause went to Council member Mike O’Brien after he offhandedly mentioned the possibility of forcing the SPD give the drones back. The Stranger Slog, 2-6-13.
Inslee knocks Senate proposals on energy, workers’ comp
Gov. Jay Inslee warned Senate Republicans Wednesday that he opposes several bills that they have introduced on energy and the state’s workers’ compensation system, and is concerned by their reluctance to embrace the national health care law. He said plans by the Senate majority to revamp the state workers’ compensation system would “reduce protections for workers and their families. I think they are unnecessary.” Seattle Times, 2-6-13.
Rivers, Eyman team to limit interference in initiative process
Sen. Ann Rivers, (R-18) has teamed up with initiative advocate Tim EymRiversan on a bill to limit local government interference in the initiative process. SB 5347, which had a public hearing in the Senate Governmental Operations Committee Tuesday, mandates that any local initiative that receives enough signatures must be placed on the ballot, regardless of whether local government officials agree with it. Columbian, 2-5-13.
Murray plans to re-introduce Wild Olympics legislation
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray says she will re-introduce legislation this year that would expand wilderness designations and put areas around Olympic National Park off limits to logging. The legislation covers 126,554 acres of land that would be designated as wilderness. Aberdeen Daily World, 2-6-13.
Study: Washington state has country’s 2nd-best election system
Washington has the second best election system in the United States, according to a 17-indicator index released Tuesday. The Pew Charitable Trusts study touts itself as the “first-ever comprehensive assessment of election administration.” It is based on indicators ranging from voter registration and turnout rates to voting wait time, voting-information look-up tools and absentee-ballot return rate. Seattle Times, 2-5-13.
Surrounded by guns and cameras, Oak Harbor City Council changes course
The members of the Oak Harbor City Council were outnumbered and surrounded by men with guns, but they managed to diffuse the situation with parliamentary procedures. The armed members of the audience ultimately won out at the Tuesday night meeting as the council members unanimously voted to reverse a ban on guns in city parks. Whidbey News-Times, 2-6-13.
Meet Marco Rubio, the new leader of the Republican party
Marco Rubio’s selection to deliver the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union cements the Florida senator’s role as a first-among-equals when it comes to the future leaders of the party, and sets up an intriguing dynamic over the next few years between Rubio and the man he almost certainly wants to replace. Washington Post, 2-6-13.
E-mails imply JPMorgan knew some mortgage deals were bad
When an outside analysis uncovered serious flaws with thousands of home loans, JPMorgan Chase executives found an easy fix. Rather than disclosing the full extent of problems like fraudulent home appraisals and overextended borrowers, the bank adjusted the critical reviews, according to documents filed early Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan. New York Times, 2-6-13.
Group of young immigrants seeks direct path to citizenship for all, regardless of age
A national organization of young immigrants, the United We Dream Network, said Wednesday that it would press for a “direct and straightforward” seven-year pathway to citizenship for all 11 million illegal immigrants in the country, and would not support measures that only offered citizenship to young people brought to the United States as children. New York Times, 2-6-13.
To Think About
Warnings from the trenches
A recently retired high school teacher tells college educators what they can expect in the wake of No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. “Please do not blame those of us in public schools for how unprepared for higher education the students arriving at your institutions are. We have very little say in what is happening to public education.” AAUP, 2-6-13.