Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

NOTICE: Inside Opinion has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Inside Opinion.
Visit the new section.

Tag: Boeing


One of those shuttles belongs at Museum of Flight

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

NASA will be passing out space shuttles in a year or two. We want one.

By “we,” we mean the Pacific Northwest, a region whose fortunes have been tied to aerospace since William Boeing launched his Model 1 seaplane in 1916.

The Museum of Flight at Boeing Field – which displays more than 80 fascinating and historically significant aircraft – is one of the nation’s great showcases of aviation. As it phases out the shuttle program, NASA is looking for homes for the Atlantis, Enterprise and Endeavour. This is a marriage made

Read more »


Memo to Patty Murray: You misquoted me

For the record: I never asked Dino Rossi if if he thought Boeing workers should have a level playing field.

Patty Murray’s campaign has been making hay for more than a week now about Rossi’s response to a question I posed during the Senate candidates’ joint appearance at The News Tribune last week.

I have resisted weighing in until now. I have my own theories why Rossi answered the way he did, but it’s not for me to try to explain his answer. Only he knows what he was thinking.

But last night, I caught Murray’s new ad that includes footage of our endorsement interview – and puts words in my mouth.

Read more »


The WTO makes the case against an Airbus tanker

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Is that all you got, WTO?

Americans rooting for the Boeing Co.’s success have been waiting apprehensively for a World Trade Organization’s ruling on whether the U.S. government has been unfairly subsidizing the aerospace company’s commercial jets.

The answer, announced last week, was yes. According to the arbiters of international free trade, Boeing’s jets have benefited from about $5 billion in illegal assistance.

Two billion dollars of that is a 10-year-old, recycled complaint about a federal tax advantage that has long since been rescinded. The remainder, roughly $3 billion, includes

Read more »


Red wolves’ spiffy new digs

Now that my nieces are all grown up, I don’t get to the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium as much as I used to. In fact, the last time I went was in 2004, when the zoo opened its Sumatran tiger exhibit.

So I was pleasantly surprised Wednesday at the opening of Red Wolf Woods, the lovely new exhibit for the zoo’s mated pair of red wolves, Ocean Blue and Graham, and three other animals. The landscaping at the zoo seems lusher than I remember – with welcome signage on the plants. I was able to swing over to the Asian Forest Sanctuary and see the incredibly cute new tiger cubs, Bima and Mali, as they romped around and nursed on mother Jaya. If you haven’t seen them yet, go soon. They’re getting big fast.

Back at Red Wolf Woods, the mated pair in the new 7-acre exhibit seemed to be enjoying themselves, loping gracefully all around the natural setting, which includes a flowing stream, trees and grassy knolls. The crowd that came to see them at the opening didn’t seem to intimidate the pair, which exhibited playful behavior that looked a lot like courtship. That’s good news for zookeepers, who hope the pair will have a litter this spring. Read more »


WTO ruling against Airbus is a win for fairness

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

The United States took a risk five years ago when it decided to press a trade dispute alleging European Union countries were providing illegal subsidies to Boeing’s rival.

The gamble paid off – at least for now.

The World Trade Organization ruled this week that Airbus benefited from improper government loans made at below-market interest rates.
Without the government support, the panel concluded, the European company would have had to take on massive debt and would have been a “much weaker” company ill positioned to build the A380 superjumbo jet.

The aerospace giant also might not have been able to vault past Boeing in 2003. The illegal subsidies allowed Airbus to offer more models than it might otherwise have, costing Boeing market share in some countries. The WTO found that Boeing suffered substantial lost sales from 2001 to 2006.

“The governments of France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom have caused serious prejudice to the United States’ interests,” the ruling said.

Read more »


No more do-overs for Air Force tanker

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

At some point, the Air Force will replace its Eisenhower-era fleet of aerial refueling tankers. Just don’t count on it happening anytime soon.

On Friday, Pentagon officials said they will consider extending a May deadline to allow a European aviation giant to bid for the $35 billion tanker contract.

European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. isn’t sure it wants to bid, mind you. EADS, the parent company of Boeing rival Airbus, is just looking for more time to weigh its options.

Three additional months, to be exact. Three additional months, in a controversy-riddled saga that’s been unfolding for nearly nine years. By the time the Air Force could get around to awarding a contract, the process would have stretched nearly a decade.

Read more »


Boeing, going, gone – now let’s get to work

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

Politicians may play the eternal optimists, but even they couldn’t feign surprise at Wednesday’s announcement that Boeing will begin assembling commercial jets omewhere other than Washington state.

Boeing hardly could have been more clear about its intentions to locate the second 787 Dreamliner production line elsewhere. By the time the workers at its newly acquired assembly plant in South Carolina voted to decertify their union last month, the decision was probably a fait accompli.

The chance to build planes without the threat of work stoppages that have plagued the company’s Puget Sound operation apparently proved too enticing to pass up. The tax breaks and low-interest loans approved by South Carolina lawmakers this week may have just been the sweeteners.

Read more »


Boeing’s got the aces in match with Machinists

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

No union likes having its back against the wall, but that seems to be where the Machinists union stands right now on the question of keeping 787 Dreamliner production in Washington.

Boeing has been ostentatiously talking to South Carolina about building a second 787 factory line in Charleston – in a nonunion plant – instead of Everett, where the plane is now being assembled. South Carolina lawmakers are offering the aerospace company a sweet package of incentives. Boeing’s Chicago-based corporate leaders are within days of deciding between Everett and Charleston.

Meanwhile, company and union leaders have been quietly discussing Boeing’s central condition for sticking with Everett: a no-strike guarantee good for 10 years. The Seattle Times reported Tuesday that those talks aren’t making much progress.
Boeing is reportedly pushing for what in most cases would seem a reasonable alternative: binding arbitration.

Like any union, though, the Machinists are loath to give up their nuclear weapon. They’ve reportedly also thrown another – far bigger – issue into the mix, pushing for a promise that the successors to the 737 and 777 will also be built in this state.
The union appears to be putting more chips on the table than its cards warrant. Keeping 787 production here seems a large enough goal without throwing the 737 and 777 replacements into the deal.
Read more »