Mayor Ed Murray's all-day symposium on income inequality addressed lots of issues around opportunity, equity and minimum wage improvements — with the ambitious aim of making Seattle a leader in creating greater fairness. Nick Hanauer, venture capitalist and a big advocate for addressing inequality and education issues, kicked off the event with an impressive speech covering a wide variety of points.
Tying education, better family incomes and healthy communities, Hanauer said, "When workers earn enough from one job to live on, they are far more likely to be contributors to the civic prosperity — of your community. Parents who only need one job, not two or three to get by, now can be available to help their kids with homework and keep them out of trouble — in your school. They can look out for you and your neighbors, volunteer and contribute in your school and church." We'll be posting a report from Crosscut's Bill Lucia and more from Hanauer's speech. — J.C.
Boeing wins Japanese plane order
All Nippon Airways placed a big order with Boeing on Thursday: 40 widebody jets worth about $7 billion, according to a Bloomberg News report carried by the Seattle Times. ANA's order includes 787 Dreamliners (the battery problems are in the rearview mirror, apparently), 737-300 extended range models, and the upcoming 777-X. Airbus received an ANA order for 30 single-aisle jets, worth perhaps $1.6 billion. Not bad for a consolation prize. — J.C.
A new Microsoft?
Microsoft announced on Thursday that its Office suite for iPad has finally arrived. The only problem is — it may be too late. For years, iPad users have relied on apps, like Quip or Haiku Deck to serve their writing and word processing needs. Meanwhile, Microsoft – in all its mammoth corporate angst – has remained decidedly undecided: Provide Office for the iPad or push the company's own Surface tablets?
For many, as The New York Times writes, this move signifies a “refreshingly” new Microsoft, “one slowly unshackling itself from an era when all of its major decisions were made in deference to Windows.” But many critics think Microsoft already missed their (figurative and cyber) window of opportunity: Allowing iPad users so much time to adjust to iPads sans Office may mean there’s no turning back. But GeekWire reports even more surprising Microsoft adjustments to reality: Office suite will also appear on Android and be free for all tablets. — K.H.
Suicide prevention beefed up
On Thursday, Gov. Jay Inslee signed Rep. Tina Orwall's bill to strengthen suicide prevention measures. The new law will now make Washington a national leader in suicide prevention, requiring suicide prevention training every six years for some health professionals (including counselors and psychologists). Doctors and nurses will have to be trained once. One factor in the Legislature's backing of the measure: Washington's suicide rate is 15 percent above the national average. — K.H.
Downfall of fake and bake
There's one more thing minors must look to as a coming of age reward: A trip to the tanning bed. Washington is joining a half-dozen other states to ban the use of tanning salons by those under the age of 18. A key player in backing the measure was Republican Sen. Curtis King of Yakima, who told The Seattle Times he hopes to reduce the chances of teens later developing skin cancer. In order to use a tanning bed, you must provide a government issued photo ID. A $250 fine will be issued on every violation for underage use. No longer will you see that artificial orange glow of girls at the junior prom. — H.W.
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