Boeing's engineer exodus
Boeing is moving more of its aftermarket engineering jobs from Bellevue and Everett to Southern California, according to a Seattle Times article today. Though about 375 local engineers now work on "modifying jets for current customers and converting aging passenger jets to freighters", a Boeing rep told the Times' Dominic Gates that "“It’s not to say all those jobs will move.” Less than reassuring words if you happen to be an aftermarket Boeing engineer or their spouse.
Mo' tunnels, mo' problems
Bertha hasn't even started boring yet, but already a host of problems are popping up with tunnel contractors. Publicola obtained and published an internal Seattle Public Utilities email this morning detailing a host of project whoopsies: "'excessive settlement from dewatering,' 'red-alert level' water main 'leaking,' 'failure to notify SPU of illicit discharge ... into Elliott Bay,' 'unusual readings in overflow monitoring system' resulting in a 'third discharge violation,' and 'knock[ing] the the top off of a combined sewer maintenance hole and fail[ure] to notify SPU causing a dry weather overflow.'" Whew, that's a mouthful.
SPU seems none too happy with these issues, supposedly caused by tunnel contracting group Seattle Tunnel Project (STP). They're also less than pleased about STP's repeated stalling and sometimes even refusal to administer fixes to these problems: "Currently WSDOT has shut down STP’s work on the west side of the north portal pit," the email reports. "WSDOT sounds like they are serious about getting STP in line."
Obama's Olson/Kundig vacation
It's nearly August. The time of year when parents book their frantic seize-the-last-of-summer family excursions to the San Juans, the Olympic Peninsula, the North Cascades. The presidential set have their own short-list of getaways: Camp David, Hawaii, Chicago ... and, this summer, Martha's Vineyard, where the first family will reportedly stay in a 5,000 square foot home renovated by none other than Seattle's Olson/Kundig and Rick Sundberg. The Vineyard Gazette reports that a nearby hotel has reserved 70 hotel rooms for secret service agents and five for TSA agents. Which is just a few more folks than Inslee counts in his Yakima entourage.
Phone charge with that Frappucino?
Geekwire reports today that Starbucks has outfitted Silicon Valley cafes with new Duracell Powermats that charge smartphones wirelessly on the tabletop. Smartphones will need to be equipped with a special case ($34.99), to soak up the juice from the mats. Starbucks had a successful trial run with the powermats last fall in select Boston cafes — a good sign that this new feature may be headed northwest next. You'll never have to leave your favorite home office/ hang-out/ romantic rendezvous again. And, while Crosscut does not provide investment advice, if Starbucks is really getting serious about the partnership, this might not be a terrible time to think about buying Duracell stock.
To toke or not to toke
Now that Washingtonians can legally smoke pot, non-smokers downwind want clearer guidelines on public use. Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes is calling for a crackdown on public offenders of the state’s public smoking ban, reports the Seattle Times. Currently, November’s Initiative 502 makes toking publicly a $103 civil infraction, but possession of marijuana has been a low-level priority for police officers since 2003’s Initiative 75. Warnings have been the preferred method of action and as such, no fines have been issued since legalization. Holmes argues that Seattle could really use the money and neighbors are tired of the haze. With August’s Hempfest just around the corner, we’ll see if Holmes’s proposal survives the citywide second-hand high.
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