November 16, 2015
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Manufacturing Summit highlights innovations, focuses on the future

From a pair of 3D printers to a Mars rover prototype and a quad-copter drone, last week's Manufacturing Summit had plenty of new technology on display. Perhaps most impressive to many attendees, however, was a panel discussion with young upcoming manufacturing and engineering leaders from the state's innovative high schools and colleges. Read more »

Manufacturing Excellence Awards given to state's industry leaders

The future is bright for Washington's manufacturing sector. From innovations in agriculture and craft brewing to industry-leading operational and environmental standards, this year's winners are setting a high bar for quality and innovation. Read more »

What's ahead for I-1366? Supreme Court review could linger until midst of legislative session

Initiative 1366, which will lower the state's sales tax if the Legislature doesn't forward a constitutional supermajority tax measure to voters for approval, will go before a superior court judge for review. The timeline means the Legislature will likely face major questions about a potential budget hole from the initiative. Read more »

Donations to AWB's Holiday Kids' Tree project make season brighter for rural, low-income families

Now is the time to consider contributing to AWB's Holiday Kids' Tree project, which benefits rural fire districts around the state by providing funds to help needy families in their communities. The funds help Christmas happen in homes where it would not otherwise be financially feasible. The tree-lighting ceremony will take place in the Capitol rotunda in Olympia on Friday, Dec. 4, at 6 p.m. Read more »


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Slowdown Hurt Everyone

Congress Must Act On Ports

By The Editorial Board of The Columbian

Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Yakima, has brought about legislation that would trigger federal involvement in port disputes. In introducing the bill named Ensuring Continued Operations and No Other Major Incidents, Closures or Slowdowns -- ECONOMICS -- Newhouse said, "We must take the lesson of the most recent ports slowdown to heart that two parties cannot hold hostage the nation's economy." Among the co-sponsors are Republican Washington lawmakers Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dave Reichert.

In February, the International Business Times reported that the slowdown was costing the U.S. economy about $2 billion a day, and others have asserted that it contributed to anemic national economic growth at the end of 2014 and through the early months of 2015. That impact was particularly strong in Washington, the nation's most trade-dependent state, a fact that makes legislative action especially pertinent to the region and calls for the rest of the area's congressional delegation to support the proposed bills.

Click here to read the full editorial in The Columbian
An Educational Monopoly

Is Public Education a 'Natural' Monopoly That Needs to Be Broken Up?


By Sean Gill, research analyst at the University of Washington's Center on Reinventing Public Education


There are many reasons why education does not fit the definition of a natural monopoly. Schools are human-driven enterprises. They are hugely dependent on people -- that is the teachers who are so important to education. Yes, schools have to have buildings and textbooks, but these capital costs don't outweigh the cost of labor.

Further, education is the provision of learning and knowledge -- it is about as far away from the definition of commodity as possible. My neighbors and need exactly the same electrical service -- an electron is an electron. But learning can take an infinite number of forms, based on children's needs and interests.

A top-down, centralized approach isn't going to meet these needs and interests.

Click here to read the full blog post via the74million.org
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