Machinist leader: Heal the divide
After a 76 percent lead in the vote for Jan Holden, the new president of Seattle-based District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), has his sights for improving the divisions among local members. Many on both sides of a bitter fight over 777X contract concessions to Boeing are still upset about the vote that occurred in January. Holden tells The Herald that his mission is to improve members' faith in Lodge 751’s system. He says it will be a tough undertaking, especially in view of the difficulties that organized labor faces nationally. But Charlotte Garden, a professor and labor law expert at Seattle University's School of Law, suggests that broadening labor's focus with more social justice activism can help re-engage members. — H.W.
The city of Seattle has hired its first "startup liaison": local tech leader Rebecca Lovell. The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that she has a background in business and philanthropy and now works as a professor at the UW and a startup mentor for companies in the TechStars accelerator program. Picking up on a saying from University of Washington computer guru Ed Lazowska, she says new businesses improve the community. — K.H.
Schultz steps up for vets
Wednesday evening, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced a $30 million gift to veterans of the (apparently unending) War on Terror. Schultz wants the money to be spent on job training and on research into treatment of traumatic brain injuries, which afflict thousands of returning vets. “I say this with respect, more often than not, the government does a much better job of sending people to war than they do bringing them home,” Schultz told CBS News. American troops have been coming from Iraq and Afghanistan for, oh, 11 years now. But better late than never. Gold star for Howard. — M.B.
Justice Jim Johnson tells The News Tribune that his health-related resignation doesn't mean anything so dire as people may have suspected. He said he's been hit with two problems: He's facing a hip surgery and he has a treatable but serious blood disease. He's planning to keep active, including following through on a commitment to travel to Ukraine in June. And, after a course treatment, getting back to marathons and bicycling. — J.C.
New Science Building at UW Bothell (strap on those safety boots)
For the first time in 10 years, there is a new building being constructed at UW Bothell: Discovery Hall. At 11:30 a.m. Thursday morning, Gov. Jay Inslee dedicated the new building, which will not only offer an impressive increase in space (430 classroom seats, 250 laboratory seats), but also an assortment of energy efficient features: “gearless traction elevators, passive chilled beams, displacement ventilation”…to name but a few. Elevators sans gears don’t sound particularly appealing, but surely they’ll save us some energy. Right? I won’t be the first to try – but by the fall Quarter of 2014, Discovery Hall should be up and running. If one of you brave souls feel compelled to touch beams that have been chilled or ride elevators that have been stripped of gears, let me know how it goes. — K.H.
TB: a scourge that's hard to eliminate
Tuberculosis remains tricky; one cough can spread infection to another. And those infected might not know, since TB remains dormant most of the time. With World TB Day coming up Monday, Public Health-Seattle & King County notes that the last serious outbreak here was in 2002-2003 among the homeless population. In King County, however, we continue to have a higher rate of TB infections than the national average, with 114 reported in 2013. Since the 1960s TB has been kept under control with a six- to nine-month antibiotic schedule. However, patients with drug-resistant TB must undergo treatment with “second-line” drugs, often costing $100,000 to $200,000 — painful side effects included. — H.W.
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