October 31, 2016
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Small businesses have one month to prepare for big changes to federal overtime rules

Major changes to federal overtime and salary rules go into effect on Dec. 1. Across the nation, small businesses are scrambling to prepare for the changes. Now is the time to make a plan for compliance. To help, AWB is offering an hour-long webinar explaining the new overtime rules on Nov. 10 that is open to both members and non-members. Read more »

Olympia vote on income tax could launch major test case on statewide income tax

A ballot measure in the capital city could change the tax debate in Washington. If City of Olympia Initiative No. 1 is approved, it could set up a test case that could lead to an income tax statewide. In fact, a former state Supreme Court Chief Justice and mayor have warned the local measure is flawed, unworkable and illegal. Read more »

New charter school in Walla Walla to begin enrollment

Willow Public School, the first charter school in Walla Walla, has begun an enrollment drive and will soon begin recruiting teachers. The school, which is free and open to all students, is expected to open in September 2017.
Read more »

AWB VP Gary Chandler to speak at annual meeting of the Columbia Basin Development League

The Columbia Basin Development League is asking for $20 million in federal funds to reduce the cost of finishing the East Low Canal, which will bring Columbia River water to replace declining well water in the Odessa Subarea. Gary Chandler, AWB's vice president, government affairs, will give the keynote address at the group's annual meeting this week.
Read more »

Mark your calendars: Holiday Kids' Tree lighting set for Dec. 2

Olympia's favorite holiday tradition returns Friday, Dec. 2, at 6 p.m. The AWB Holiday Kids' Tree Project has raised more than $370,000 since 1989 to buy Christmas gifts for families in need across the state. Join the lighting of the state's tree and consider donating to this festive and heartwarming project. Read more »


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Focus on Sustainability

Delivering the Future: How UPS Is Pursuing the Possibility of Sustainable E-Commerce

By Jim Bruce, senior vice president, UPS

At UPS, ours is anticipating the direction of e-commerce and staying ahead of it, because we believe that e-commerce will profoundly impact the development of our cities, lifestyles and business.

The question is whether e-commerce will improve or diminish global sustainability. We think it can go either way but are optimistic about the possibility of real improvement. Which way it goes depends on a number of factors: 1) Can we create a sustainable global delivery network? 2) Will people rely on that network enough to lessen reliance on personal vehicles and to increasingly live in decongested, pedestrian-friendly cities? And 3) Will cities begin to view e-commerce as essential to their sustainable future? Truly, a "yes" to these three questions would be transformative to our cities and global carbon-reduction efforts...

Read more at the National Association of Manufacturers blog
Washington's Hydropower Is No Laughing Matter

Who needs those old dams?

By Tracy Warner, editorial page editor, The Wenatchee World

They had a good laugh over it, the reports said. What a knee-slapper. Candidates for the United States Congress, at a recent climate change forum at a Ballard brewpub, indicated through their mistaken answers to a simple question that neither has any idea where electricity comes from. What a hoot...

Electricity doesn't just show up. It is not produced by flights of fancy, moonbeams, cool articles in Wired or a Harry Potter character waving a wand. It required the intense effort of generations, the labor of tens of thousands of people, and investments in the multiple billions to produce enough electricity to supply Seattle and provide the energy without which its thriving economy wouldn't be worth a 500K RAM chip from a 1984 IBM PC.

To feed the city energy there are hundreds of turbines, turning ceaselessly through the power of falling water from the great river of the West, harnessed by blocks of concrete so large we can scarcely imagine larger...

Of course, you don't get rid of such assets. You don't speak of it, even in jest.

Read the full column in The Wenatchee World
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