Features

Get Northwest Grain Shipments Going Again

by Seattle Times Editorial

Gov. Jay Inslee jeopardizes the smooth flow of wheat exports from Washington ports with a decision that essentially shuts down one of the state’s most important grain terminals. The dispute is about hiring practices — should the union decide who works, or should employers do the hiring?

Pension Council Sets Contribution Rates That Will Jump Up in 2015 for State Workers, Taxpayers

by BRAD SHANNON | Olympian

The impact on budget writers in the 2015-17 biennium is still expected to be significant – up to $100 million, according to House Appropriations Committee chairman Ross Hunter, D-Medina. But Hunter said the phase-in reflects the philosophical approach taken on other pension changes in order to make the step-up in payments easier for local government, state budgets and employees.

If Only the U.S. Had Stayed Out of WWI

by DAVID A. STOCKMAN | Japan Times Op-Ed

On the 100th anniversary of World War I, President Reagan’s budget director writes, “Indeed, absent Wilson’s crusade, there would have been no allied victory, no punitive peace — and no war reparations…Likewise, there would have been no Hitler…”

Washington State, U.S. Department of Education Still at Odds Over ‘No Child’ Law

by AP | Oregonian

Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s plan to give schools a break from student-testing mandates in the federal No Child Left Behind law appears to be working in 42 states and the District of Columbia. Only one state has actually lost the flexibility Duncan began promoting in 2011: Washington. Duncan has told Washington the state can have its waiver back anytime it wants to change its teacher-evaluation system.

Blue Crush: How the Left Took Over the Democratic Party

by DOUG SOSNIK | Politico Magazine

A former Bill Clinton political strategist writes, “Even if Hilary Clinton runs, her candidacy won’t preempt the party’s eventual takeover by the activist forces.,,The Republican Party’s inability to adapt to America’s cultural shifts and demographic changes is creating an enormous opportunity for Democrats. However, in an age of political alienation where the majority of Americans lack faith in their institutions in general—and their federal government in particular—Democratic activists will need to reconcile the public’s desire for smaller government with their own progressive impulses.”

Gov. Inslee Asks Businesses to Help Shape Climate Change Policy

by AWB Business Watch (business)

Inslee called for businesses to contribute their expertise, acumen and knowledge of technological capacity to the formation of draft climate change policies. AWB VP Gary Chandler noted, “Our biggest issue that you will hear us talk about is competitiveness. We’ve got to make sure that our manufacturers stay competitive with those in other states.”

Investigator: Children’s Hospital Ex-Hearing Judge Was Untruthful

by Carol M. Ostrom | Seattle Times

A report says an administrative judge in the state insurance commissioner office was untruthful and misleading about events that led to her suspension; her lawyers say the investigator cherry-picked facts and wrongly castigated Patricia Petersen for standing up for judicial independence.