On July 30th, the largest tunnel boring machine in the world began digging the tunnel that will replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct underneath Seattle. Three weeks later the machine stopped. It wasn’t malfunctioning parts or bad planning that held up the project, it was unions fighting over four dirt-hauling jobs.
Estimated to progress at six feet per day, the machine has only traveled 24 feet, four days worth. It is expected to progress at about 35 feet per day once in good soil underneath downtown.
On Saturday, Lynne Varner of The Seattle Times wrote an informative editorial about Rainier Beach High, a Seattle school that serves mostly poor and minority students. Varner notes something remarkable:
“Rainier Beach successfully persuaded the Seattle School District to exempt it from forced teacher placements.”
There is a great editorial in today’s Seattle Times on increasing the minimum wage. Iconic Seattle-based business Dick’s Drive-In is featured as the best argument against a government mandated increase of our state’s already-high minimum wage.
Raising the minimum wage is a hot topic in the news right now. Voters in the City of SeaTac will decide in November whether to increase wages for workers in that city’s hospitality and transportation industries to a minimum of $15 per hour, fast food workers are striking for higher pay, and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is
On September 18, 2013, Joint Legislative Audit & Review Committee (JLARC) is holding a hearing regarding a forensic accounting audit on the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project. Washington Policy Center has been among the first of those calling for a fraud audit. A timeline of events leading up to the JLARC hearing follows:
News from Madison yesterday delivered another blow to union executives seeking to restrict workers’ rights to freedom of speech and association. Wisconsin courts have again upheld Act 10, the law that made Wisconsin the latest right to work state by bringing equal access to workplace freedom to all employees in the Badger State.
In November the people of Washington will vote on Initiative 517. The measure would make several changes to state law concerning signature gathering for initiatives and referendums. Initiative 517 would increase the time period for gathering signatures, require that proposals that receive an adequate number of valid signature proceed to the ballot, change the penalties for interfering with signature gathering, and increase the number of locations, both public and private, where signature gathering can occur.
Today, in Yakima, the State Board of Education unanimously voted to give Spokane Public Schools the authority to open charter schools. With this vote, Spokane Public Schools, Washington state's second-largest district, of 28,000 students, will become the first district in the state to offer parents a charter school choice.
Yesterday Governor Inslee launched a new initiative, Results Washington, the latest announcement by a governor to improve state government and the public schools. Governors Gary Locke and Christine Gregoire tried similar initiatives.
A month ago, Senator King (R-Yakima) announced a listening tour at seven different locations in the state to talk about a potential transportation tax package. It has now increased to ten due to public demand. I am glad Senator King and others are involving the general public on any potential legislation involving a tax increase. The updated schedule is listed below:
September 17, 2013 - Stevenson Elementary - Bellevue, WA 6-9 p.m.