November 9, 2015
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Weyerhaeuser acquires Plum Creek, making it the largest private landholder in nation

Two timber companies, Weyerhaeuser and Plum Creek, announced this week they are joining forces. The $8.4 billion acquisition by Weyerhaeuser will make the company the largest private landowner in the country at more than 13 million acres of timberland.
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U.S. employers add nearly 300k jobs in October, most since December 2014

In a bit of good economic news, U.S. employers added 271,000 jobs, which is the largest burst of hiring since December 2014. It puts national unemployment at roughly 5 percent, much lower than many counties in Washington state. This development also sets the stage for the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates next month.
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Alcoa closes Washington smelters as global aluminum prices drop from worldwide commodities glut

Washington's once-thriving aluminum smelting sector is now a memory. Last week Alcoa announced that it would shut down the state's last two remaining aluminum smelters as global commodities prices continue to tumble.
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State restaurant group announces support for statewide minimum wage increase 'done the right way'

In the wake of a patchwork of local minimum wage hikes in Seattle, SeaTac and now Tacoma, the Washington Restaurant Association announced last week it will support an increase to the state's minimum wage, if it's done "the right way."
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Signing ceremony for new Manhattan Project National Historic Park set for Tuesday in D.C.; Kennewick event will take place Thursday

Federal officials will hold a signing ceremony in Washington, D.C., tomorrow to formally establish the new Manhattan Project National Historic Park, which will include Hanford's historic B Reactor and Manhattan Project facilities at Los Alamos, N.M., and Oak Ridge, Tenn. On Thursday, the public is invited to the formal launch of the park in Kennewick.
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Check your inbox: AWB members have opportunity to weigh-in on organization's strategic plan

A brief survey was sent to AWB members last week asking for input on the association's strategic plan -- AWB 2020 -- currently underway. The nine-question survey will serve as a guide to moving AWB forward in a thoughtful, member-focused direction.
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Take Veterans Day on Nov. 11 to honor military men and women for their service and sacrifice

Annual Veterans Day this Wednesday is our opportunity to thank our service men and women, and their families, for their service and sacrifice for our nation. And, it's a good time to remember how valuable a veteran can be as an employee after leaving military service.
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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.
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Children Need Options

Parent Perspective: Making A Non-Political Case For Charter Schools

By Linda Sikora

I know there are funding issues and administration issues and legislative issues and union issues... all the "yeah buts" that people stake their positions on so vehemently. Here's my "yeah but" -- I wish we could channel that passion differently, I wish the "opposed" people could have the experience I had today... to see a child's eyes light up and watch her confidence emerge. It was one of those soft, seminal moments in my life. In that moment, I knew this child's life, her trajectory, could completely change. Sometimes, the biggest changes start small -- one child at a time, one school at a time. We can figure this out, people.

Please don't close these schools.

Click here to read the full blog post via the Washington State Charter School Association
Reauthorize Ex-Im Bank

Businesses Languishing Without Ex-Im Bank; Congress, Reauthorize It

By The Seattle Times editorial Board

Hilliard's Beer is gaining popularity in Sweden, where the Seattle-based brewery planned to expand sales this year. It has also received interest from distributors in Toronto and London.

Those opportunities are now on hold since Congress failed to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank last summer.

Elected leaders must end the ideological battle over Ex-Im and revive this vital tool for U.S. companies to grow exports overseas.

Hilliard's Beer is one of hundreds of exporters that used Ex-Im to secure loan guarantees and credit insurance for international sales. The shutdown has resulted in more than $9 billion worth of deals lost, said U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.

A lot more is at stake -- last year the bank completed $27.4 billion in transactions and supported 164,000 U.S. jobs.

Click here to read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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