Boeing hears from FAA
Boeing says it is already taking steps to implement recommendations from the Federal Aviation Administration on how best to develop new airline models and work with contractors around the world, according to The Seattle Times. The FAA wants Boeing to establish better communications with its contractors, maintain closer oversight of their work and carefully track the key steps in designing its planes. The agency's recommendations grew out of the 787 Dreamliner's early battery troubles. The plane gets good marks overall from the FAA. Its report calls the 787's design fundamentally sound and says the plane is meeting performance expectations. Still to come: a report from the tougher National Transportation Safety Board, stickler when it comes to safety issues.
Flat employment rate: Good news?
The unemployment rate in Washington state for February stayed at 6.4 percent, same as January. The Employment Security Department said that employers created an estimated 2,500 jobs in February with more people jumping into the job market (likely attracted by what they saw as widening opportunities). "Bottom line: The unemployed had a somewhat better time finding work last month," a department blog posting said.
Sawant on $15
Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant wants to give small business and non-profits three years to phase in a proposed $15 per hour minimum wage, while forcing other businesses — read that: "big business" — to begin paying the higher rate next Jan. 1. Sawant posted a press release to that effect on Wednesday, after raising the idea in a speech over the weekend. Dominic Holden of The Stranger sees a welcome bluntness in Sawant's press release statement — a shift from a lot of her council talk, which he finds "so mealy-mouthed that you've got to read between the lines to decipher their implications." One pointed example from the press release: "Big businesses have not shown their faces in the debate, and they are glad as long as they can hide behind small businesses."
Oprah and Starbucks: Together at last
Starbucks and Oprah Winfrey are joining forces to promote tea, charities and each other. In an announcement during the company's annual shareholder meeting at the Seattle Center on Wednesday morning, Starbucks revealed a new tea: Teavana® Oprah Chai Tea. The eponymous beverage will be sold in both Starbucks coffee shops and the company's Teavana shops. Puget Sound Business Journal called the Oprah-Starbucks tie-in the highlight for shareholders who were already quite pleased with the company's financial report. Based on the Starbucks announcement below, Howard Schultz and Oprah were also enjoying themselves.
Mark Driscoll swears off social media
Speaking of celebrities, Mars Hill pastor Mark Driscoll says he needs to get back to being a minister. Driscoll recently sent a letter to members of his popular Seattle-based church apologizing for a scheme to get his "Real Marriage" book on a New York Times Best Sellers list. Joel Connelly of seattlepi.com says Driscoll is promising to stay off social media for the rest of the year. “I don’t see how I can be both a celebrity and a pastor, and so I am happy to give up the former so that I can focus on the latter,” Driscoll wrote. He also said Jesus Christ has led him to realize "that my angry-young-prophet days are over." Amen.
Remembering the KOMO victims
Richard Sherman, a 38-year-old public health employee, remains in serious condition at Harborview, where he is being treated for burns he suffered on Wednesday when his car caught fire in the KOMO-TV helicopter crash. But MyNorthwest reports that Sherman continues to improve. The chopper's pilot and passenger were not so lucky. This KOMO video reminds us of the loss of helicopter pilot Gary Pfitzner and news photographer Bill Strothman — and the difficulty for KOMO news personnel to cover such a personal tragic story.
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