October 31, 2016
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Election update: Eight days to go; ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 8

Ballots are due in just over a week as the election of 2016 draws to a close. The results will define the 2016 legislative session, from the governor who proposes the budget and brokers agreements, to the parties and leaders in both chambers of the statehouse. It will also decide the make-up of the state Supreme Court, an increasingly important element shaping the state’s legislative and budgetary process.

A new Elway poll released last week shows Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee in the lead over his Republican Challenger, Bill Bryant (although history shows that polls don't always predict the winner -- Attorney General Rob McKenna had a lead over Inslee at this point four years ago.) Seattlepi.com cites the poll and notes that Bryant is within striking distance of the incumbent, reporting that 46 percent of voters support Inslee and 42 percent support Bryant with 5 percent of undecideds leaning toward Inslee and 3 percent toward Bryant.

"The governor's race looks closer than it has been," Joni Balter wrote in Crosscut, citing a new poll by KCTS-9/Crosscut. "The poll shows Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee leading Republican Bill Bryant only by 6 percent."

SeattlePI.com columnist Joel Connelly makes the case for Bryant's gubernatorial campaign, saying, "Bill Bryant as Governor would bring fresh air and fresh perspectives to a state government mired in atrophy," adding that Bryant's record as a reformer on the Port of Seattle commission "yields hope that Bryant can get beyond partisan rancor and once again make Olympia a place for working out society's compromises. By contrast, Inslee has brought to Olympia the style and harsh rhetoric of the Congress where he served for 15 years."

Races for state Supreme Court are also attracting plenty of attention -- and money. Challenger Dave Larson, a municipal court judge in Federal Way, is benefitting from a major advertising push against incumbent Justice Charlie Wiggins. Michael Davis, who is running the Citizens for Working Courts PAC, said many employers have been frustrated by decisions from the high court, and wanted to support a "pro job growth" candidate.

“Some have finally said ‘now we have a really strong candidate in Judge Larson,’” Davis said.

AWB has endorsed Larson, as well as Kittitas County Prosecutor Greg Zempel in their races to unseat current justices on the state’s high court.

Meanwhile, AWB-endorsed candidate for state superintendent of public instruction, Erin Jones, received The Seattle Times’ endorsement. The editorial board writes that “Erin Jones is an inspirational leader who could take Washington state’s education policy to the next level…”

AWB has a quick video voter guide on its endorsements in major statewide and judicial races and positions on three initiatives.

A full list of AWB's election endorsements is online.

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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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