Boeing gets FAA's OK
The Federal Aviation Administration today approved Boeing's 787 design modifications for fixing the battery problems on the new airliner. The FAA said it will issue a final directive to airlines on making the changes and it will "closely monitor" the installation of the new design. A New York Times report suggested that approving the changes today may help smooth things for the FAA at a National Transportation Safety Board hearing next Tuesday and Wednesday: "The agency could argue that, if the risks were underestimated initially, the new battery system should prevent that from happening again." Airline travelers will certainly hope so.
NBA Commissioner David Stern says the pro basketball league will reach a decision in early May on moving the Sacramento franchise to Seattle, according to the Sacramento Bee. A committee of NBA owners will make a recommendation in advance of the meeting.
Stern said he expects a final offer in a day or two from a Sacramento group bidding to buy the team from the current controlling interest, the Maloof family. It wasn't clear if the bid would include a non-refundable down payment, like that of the Seattle-based group led by Chris Hansen, the Bee said. Earlier today, as Levi Pulkkinen at seattlepi.com reported, the Maloofs sent a letter telling the NBA that Seattle is the only viable option and suggested they want no further dealings with the Sacramento group. And Seattle wants to be a part of this league, why?
Dysfunction in congressional delegation
Even Washington state's congressional delegation seems to have lost that collaborative feeling, as seattlepi.com's Joel Connelly portrays clearly in a D.C-datelined column. As he notes, Republican Rep. Doc Hastings of Pasco won't even give a hearing to a bill from fellow Washingtonian and Republican Rep. Dave Reichert to protect more wildlands in eastern King County. It's a sorry state of affairs, but Connelly offers a bit of inspiration at the end:
As poet Terry Tempest Williams reflected Wednesday night at an Alaska Wilderness League dinner, "The eyes of the future are looking back at us. They are urging us to see beyond our own generation."
Metro and the state's competitiveness
The House Transportation Committee held a hearing in Olympia today to review House Democrats' proposed increase in funding for state transportation. King County and Seattle officials stressed the economic advantages of funding state highway projects and financing Metro Transit; spending they called critical for Washington's economic competitiveness, job creation and opportunity. Kenmore Mayor David Baker said some suburban Metro riders would simply be unable to get to their jobs if Metro service is cut 17 percent. Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien warned that the cuts would force more drivers onto Seattle streets, increasing congestion and impeding commerce and job growth. "If we lose this transit funding, we are in danger of cutting off that job growth at the knees," O'Brien said.
Bellevue Mayor Conrad Lee and Sea-Tac Deputy Mayor Mia Gregerson argued for the economic advantages of new funding to finish projects on such routes as I-405, Highway 509, Highway 167 and the 520 floating bridge. Lee said projects on 405 and 167 "will reduce some of the state's worst traffic congestion and speed economic recovery for the state."
Looking up in Tacoma
State Farm insurance has signed leases to take over the former Russell Investments headquarters and part of a nearby building in downtown Tacoma, The News Tribune reported this morning. About 300 people will be hired this summer, but there appear to be plans to hire up to 1,100 sometime in the future. Tacoma's economic development director Ricardo Noguero said the new hiring would encourage more jobs and, particularly, provide a spur for downtown housing.
Friday: Truly done with work
Duane Campbell is leaving Microsoft after a career in which he quietly became what Todd Bishop of Geekwire calls a "coding legend." Campbell came to Microsoft from Tennessee 28 years ago. A hard worker, he found himself moving up in management, but soon realized he'd rather do what he loved: coding. If he had a spare hour, he might tinker with the code to make Word work a little faster or better. Campbell gives such great advice on how to have a rewarding career that, by the end of Bishop's story, you'll likely be cheering for Campbell — and his whole family.
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