Business, The Police, Media


Last year, the governor’s office issued a flat “no” when we asked if the state would try to land an Airbus manufacturing plant. We figured it made sense if the state was serious about wooing big business, because the same $3.2 billion tax break that Boeing got to build the new 787 in Everett would have to be available to any aerospace company. (See “Airbus America,” July 28, 2004.) It’s apparently a new day, because this year the answer is “yes.” As Michelle Zahrly of the state’s Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development recently told McClatchy Newspapers, “We want to be a center for aerospace, and that is more than Boeing.” This week, state officials and Spokane and Moses Lake representatives were in Washington, D.C., for a briefing on a proposed European Aeronautic Defense and Space (EADS) plant it would locate in the U.S. if the European consortium, parent of Airbus, got a contract to build U.S. military aerial refueling tankers—ironically, a job that Boeing’s 767 line in Everett was supposed to get before it fell apart in another Boeing ethics scandal. The Air Force, under pressure, agreed to rebid the project, and Airbus is the only company in the world that can seriously contend. Why not welcome the overseas entry? It could bring jobs and billions of dollars to the state economy. And with the Pentagon announcement this week that it has found still more questionable defense contracts involving Boeing, Airbus might be a breath of fresh jet exhaust. RICK ANDERSON

The Police

Former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper left the force four years ago after his handling of the 1999 World Trade Organization protests. Now he’s back with a book that preaches the demilitarization of policing—a surprise, perhaps, to critics who felt they had never seen the city’s police more militarized than during WTO. Published by lefty Nation Books, Breaking Rank: A Top Cop’s Street-Smart Approach to Making America a Safe Place—for Everyone is due out in May, according to Says the blurb: “Breaking Rank melds progressive politics with hard-boiled reportage. . . . With provocatively titled chapters like ‘Why White Cops Kill Black Men‘ and ‘Sexual Predators in Uniform,’ Stamper reveals a force that can be racist, corrupt, overly militaristic, chauvinist, yet is also made up of brave and good men and women.” Stamper also opines on gun control, prostitution, and decriminalizing drugs (he’s apparently for it). NINA SHAPIRO


The Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild and The Seattle Times reached agreement Monday, Feb. 14, on how to structure impending layoffs of up to 55 union members. The agreement, approved 278-61 by Times guild employees, allows the paper to create four new newsroom job classifications, which gives it some flexibility in weighing seniority, in exchange for a severance package of up to 52 weeks of pay and up to 18 months of subsidized health insurance, depending on years of service. The paper began accepting “expressions of interest” from guild employees on Monday, and word at the Times is that there might be enough people volunteering to be laid off to head off involuntary cuts, in both the newsroom and in advertising. “I’m optimistic that will be the case,” says business reporter Luke Timmerman, guild unit chair at the Times. The severance package was first offered to nonunion employees, and as many as six newsroom managers have expressed interest. Among them is longtime associate editor and sports columnist Blaine Newnham. PHILIP DAWDY