1. Sightline offers 10 lessons from Vancouver, B.C.'s efforts to encourage family-friendly housing in the city, including: The need for "sanctuary space" (that is, space that gives residents, including kids, the ability to retreat from family members that isn't a small bedroom), and the need for more downtown school and daycare opportunities.
2. The New York Times reports that the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that McDonald's, the world's largest hamburger chain, is a "joint employer" under federal rules, rather than a small business, even if the owner of the McDonald's restaurant is technically a franchisee.
What that means is that in cities and states, like Seattle, where the minimum wage is higher than the federal $7.25 an hour, and where small businesses are exempted from that wage, McDonald's will have to pay the higher minimum—in Seattle, $15 an hour by 2021. McDonald's plans to fight the NLRB decision.
Mayor Ed Murray was asked about the decision at a press conference today (his minimum wage law is being contested by franchiees in court who say the Seattle deal shouldn't apply to them). Murray says the NLRB decision "sent the message" that the compromise he reached "got it right" and franchisees are not separate from their larger company, though he said the ruling didn't have a direct affect on the case.
3. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, according to Grist, you're gonna be screwed by climate change. Specifically, Grist reports that atlhough "the Pacific Ocean will both slow down temperature rise in the Pacific Northwest and stave off heatwaves (as compared to the rest of the country) and "precipitation will remain high (as rain, if not snow).
4. The Seattle Times has the news that Dr. David Fleming, who "pushed [the] boundaries of traditioal public-health work" as head of Seattle and King County's Public Health Department, has resigned from his position, citing the fact that even some core functions of the agency will be elimated under ongoing budget reductions. King County Executive Dow Constatntine has appointed Patty Hayes, director of the county's community health services division, as Fleming's interim replacement.
5. Over on city council member Mike O'Brien's blog, high-school senior Maddy (no last name given) reports on the negative impacts of gas-powered leaf blowers, which the council is considering in a study that will be taken up by council member Tom Rasmussen's committee in September.
Maddy writes: "I am hopeful that this study, requested by Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, will get more than a hearing and that it will lead to actual change."