Mike Baker

The Associated Press

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Boeing Incentives
2:01 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Boeing To Throw Party To Thank Lawmakers For Tax Incentives

File - In this Nov. 11, 2013 file photo Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, center, adjusts his glasses as he prepares to sign legislation in Seattle to help keep production of Boeing's new 777X in Washington.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Boeing lobbyists are throwing a "thank you" party for lawmakers who helped provide the company with billions in tax breaks.

An invitation obtained by The Associated Press shows Boeing executives will host a reception for lawmakers on Tuesday evening. The event will take place at a house across the street from the Capitol campus and is slated to thank lawmakers for their efforts on the 777X airplane talks.

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Bertha, The Boring Machine
11:05 am
Wed January 22, 2014

3-Foot Chunk Stuck In Bertha, Seattle Tunnel Machine

On Jan. 5, 2014, crews started drilling 5-foot-diameter metal shafts in front of the Bertha.
WSDOT

Crews have found a hard object more than 3 feet wide lodged in the tunneling machine that's currently stalled 60 feet under the city of Seattle, officials said Wednesday.

The large object is either a boulder or piece of concrete that got stuck within the massive spokes of the machine called Bertha, said state Department of Transportation spokeswoman Laura Newborn. Crews have also found metal and plastic piping in the machine but have not concluded what exactly has been causing problems for the machine.

"None of these things in and of themselves is enough to slow the machine down," Newborn said.

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Legal Marijuana
12:06 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

State Lawmakers: No Tax Breaks For Pot Production

File image
AP Photo

Some lawmakers in Washington state want to prevent marijuana producers from qualifying for agriculture tax breaks.

A state House committee heard a bill Tuesday that would block the new marijuana industry from tax breaks for 10 years. Officials estimate that the industry could otherwise qualify for three dozen different tax breaks, largely surrounding the agriculture industry.

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Pension Funds
1:33 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Dozens Of Wash. Pensioners May Have Been Overpaid

Washington retirement officials have identified dozens of pensioners who may have received excessive retirement payments.

The Department of Retirement Systems said Friday it is in the process of reviewing 98 cases in which someone may have improperly received pension payments while working in another government job. 

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Business
12:50 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Inslee Bemoans Corporate Incentive Competitions

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks about the upcoming legislative session, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the AP Legislative Preview in Olympia, Wash.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wishes states weren't in constant competition to provide financial incentives in order secure jobs from big companies.

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Transportation
1:15 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

State Needs $170 Million More To Finish 520 Bridge

On Oct. 16, 2013 Kiewit-General crews prepared for the fourth cycle of pontoon construction in Aberdeen by placing the massive formwork into the casting basin.
WSDOT

State officials say they need $170 million more to complete a replacement of the Highway 520 floating bridge on Lake Washington.

The Washington State Department of Transportation said Wednesday that an agency error on pontoon design error is consuming most of the project's reserve funds. Lawmakers had capped the project budget at $2.72 billion, but state transportation officials are now asking the Legislature to raise that to $2.89 billion.

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Same-Sex Marriage
9:19 am
Tue January 7, 2014

2nd Gay Worker At Eastside Catholic School To Marry

Supporters of Mark Zmuda are seen rallying last month.
Alex Garland

A gay woman hired to choreograph a Catholic school musical says she recently got engaged to her partner and is nervous about how school leaders will handle the news.

Stephanie Merrow is working on her second musical for Eastside Catholic School in Sammamish, where vice principal Mark Zmuda was recently forced out of his job for marrying his partner.

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Boeing Decision
6:46 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

On Eve Of Union Vote, Machinists Protest Boeing's Latest Offer

Ashley Gross

Several hundred Boeing machinists and supporters gathered in a Seattle union hall Thursday to urge members to reject Boeing’s contract offer.

The rally came on the eve of a crucial vote on what Boeing has called its best and final offer. Acceptance of the labor deal by some 30,000 local machinists would guarantee 777 assembly work for the Puget Sound area.

But local union leaders are urging members to reject the offer, saying the workers are asked to make concessions even though the company is having a profitable run.

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Boeing Decision
12:59 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Some Workers Set To Reach $100K Pay In Boeing Deal

AP Photo

Boeing's contract proposal to machinists in the Puget Sound region would likely increase some workers' annual base salaries to more than $100,000 in the coming years.

The offer going to a vote this week would slow the growth of machinists' wages starting in 2016, but workers would still get regular cost-of-living adjustments and an additional 1 percent raise every other year.

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Boeing Decision
2:11 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Union Chief Says Boeing's Latest Offer A $1 Billion Gain

File image
AP Photo

The international president of the machinists union says Boeing's revised contract offer is an improvement of more than $1 billion.

In a letter to union members, Tom Buffenbarger said the offer that workers will consider next week is a significant improvement over a contract the union rejected last month.

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Aerospace
10:38 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Wash. State Courts Airbus Amid Boeing Tension

File image
Bob Edme Associated Press

Even as they try desperately to hang on to Boeing Co., officials in Washington state have been courting the main competitor of the aerospace giant.

During the past several months, state officials have traveled to the U.S. headquarters of Airbus SAS in Virginia, moved to connect Airbus with Washington state suppliers, and signed a five-year confidentiality agreement with the company to allow further exploration of business opportunities, according to records obtained by The Associated Press under public disclosure laws.

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boeing decision
9:46 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Machinists Union Mulls Having Members Vote On Boeing Offer

In this artist's concept provided by The Boeing Co. is the 777-9X, the largest of the aerospace company's new family of 777X jetliners.
The Boeing Co.

A machinists union is mulling the logistics of having its members in the Puget Sound vote on a proposed contract from Boeing Co., even after local union leaders said they couldn't recommend it to their members.

International Association of Machinists spokesman Frank Larkin said the union has been hearing from hundreds of members demanding an opportunity to vote on the contract to secure work on the 777X airplane.

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living wage initiative
12:12 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

SeaTac's $15 Wage Initiative Poised for Victory

In this Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 photo, wheelchair attendant Erick Conley, left, assists an elderly passenger heading overseas at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac, Wash.
Elaine Thompson Associated Press

A campaign to set a $15 minimum wage in the city of SeaTac is poised for victory.

King County officials are expected to certify the election Tuesday after counting some straggling votes that likely won't change the outcome. The measure involving workers in and around Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has steadily expanded its lead in recent days and held a 77-vote advantage on Monday afternoon.

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boeing decision
5:36 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

Boeing Solicits Bids from States for Site of 777X Production

Boeing's 777 assembly line in Everett, Wash.
Ashley Gross KPLU

Boeing Co. is soliciting bids from more than a dozen locations that want to build the new 777X airplane.

Company spokesman Doug Alder said Saturday that requests for bids began going out Friday. Boeing wants the proposals returned in a few weeks, and the company hopes to make a final decision early next year.

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living wage initiative
1:28 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Problematic Ballots May Decide Fate of SeaTac's $15 Wage

In this Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 photo, 16-year veteran skycap Fred Harris prepares multiple baggage tags for a traveler at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac, Wash.
Elaine Thompson Associated Press

Dozens of problematic ballots may determine the fate of an initiative to establish a $15 minimum wage for many workers in SeaTac.

The ballot measure was winning by just 43 votes Tuesday as officials in King County resumed counting ballots. There are likely hundreds more votes to count due to the lengthy ballot-collection process caused by the state's vote-by-mail system.

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