Making headlines this morning:
- Boeing Windfall for Thousands of Workers
- Seattle Reconsiders Parking Rate Hikes
- Another Effort to Legalize Marijuana
- Sports "Star" Winners Announced
Bonuses for Boeing workers
More than 48,000 Boeing workers be handed incentive bonuses next month. The windfall, averaging about $5,000 per employee, is the result of solid profit gains last year, according to The Seattle Times' Dominic Gates:
Despite lower revenue in 2010 than a year earlier and higher-than-expected spending on the 787 and 747-8 programs, Boeing booked $4.5 billion in pretax profits.
Commercial airplane workers will get nearly three weeks pay in bonuses; defense workers a little more than two weeks pay. The Herald of Everett's Michelle Dunlop reports union machinists aren't part of the deal:
Nearly 25,000 machinists received a lump sum payment of $1,500 each in November, based on the union’s contract with Boeing.
The airplane maker reported revenues of more than $64 billion last year.
Seattle City Council: Think Again About Parking Rates
A backlash against higher street parking charges in Seattle has city leaders reconsidering the proposed hikes. The city council wants the transportation department to modify the new fees after business owners and residents complained about negative impacts on neighborhoods. Publicola's Erica Barnett reports:
Some council members, the DSA (Downtown Seattle Association), and other business and community groups have expressed skepticism about the department’s findings, asking city staffers to do more analysis of the parking stats before raising rates.
Earlier this month, transportation officials announced meter rates would go up in nine neighborhoods starting in February. Spots in Pioneer Square, downtown and First Hill would cost as much as $4 an hour.
You May Be Voting on Pot Legalization
Backers of a plan to make marijuana legal filed a petition with the Secretary of State yesterday. The coalition calling itself "Sensible Washington" has until July to collect 241,000 signatures to put idea before voters this fall. Chris Grygiel at Seattlepi.com reports backers believe they learned from a failed attempt in 2010:
This year's attempt includes a new provision that would require the state Legislature to adopt civil regulations on marijuana use, sales and possibly taxation.
Grygiel writes the lessons of California's Prop 19, which was defeated last year, are also fresh: let lawmakers work out details of how to regulate it.
Meanwhile, state lawmakers are considering a bill to allow pot sales at state liquor stores, an idea that will get a hearing in Olympia during the current legislative session.
Northwest Sports Stars Honored
It was a black-tie and formal night for the northwest's biggest sports names at Benaroya Hall Wednesday. The 76th Annual Sports Star of the Year banquet.
Tim Lincecum, former UW pitching standout and San Francisco Giants star, won the award in the professional category. Apolo Ohno, the speedskater, and Seattle Pacific distance runner Jessica Pixler took top male and female honors, respectively, in the amateur category.
Sportspress Northwest provided a live webcast from the event. As Bob Sherwin reports, the banquet was salvaged after its longtime sponsor, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, folded print operations:
With the P-I demise in March 2009, the tradition was in jeopardy. But with the help of the Seattle Sports Commission and this year’s sponsors Root Sports (the new name for FSN) , the event has endured in a new venue that drew almost 1,400 attendees.
Felix Hernandez took the award for "Sports Story of the Year," just days after receiving his Cy Young Award in New York.