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November 13, 2013 at 6:21 PM
Nov. 14 UPDATE: Machinists voted a resounding no to Boeing’s contract offer.
Sketched Nov. 13, 2013
This morning I took my sketchpad to the aerospace worker’s union hall in Everett, where thousands of Boeing machinists stood in line throughout the day to vote on a company contract. For the most part, the atmosphere was pretty somber, which is understandable when you consider what’s at stake. Boeing is threatening to build the 777X airliner somewhere else if the union doesn’t approve the contract. That could mean the region would lose more than 50,000 jobs in the next few years. (Seattle Times aerospace reporter Dominic Gates has all the details on that.)
Still, a few machinists had not lost their sense of humor. James White, a 17-year Boeing employee who works on the 777, was dressed as Captain America. “Sometimes someone has to stand up and lead the charge,” he said. Nearby, another machinist held a cardboard sign with a picture of Yoda and this slogan: “Vote No You Must.”
According to some machinists I talked to, the union, which has more than 30,000 members, is split about 60-40, with the majority rejecting the contract because it will cut benefits they have fought very hard to get over the years. Of the more than twenty machinists I talked to, only two said they voted to approve the contract and they did not wish to be identified.
For many, the issue means more than just working at Boeing. The contract represents “another nail in the coffin for middle class America,” said Mark Braun, a 27-year Boeing veteran encouraging others to vote against it.
This group of Boeing buddies includes Brian Duff, 53; Charles Kauffman, 51; Matt McEwen, 30; and Chelsea Kauffman, 20, who is Charles’ daughter. “If we let Boeing take our benefits away, other companies will follow,” said Duff.
Amanda Ferrara, a 27-year-old mechanic, expressed her view with these words: “We need to fight for what we have. Keep the benefits going for the people coming after us — our children and grandchildren.”
Robert Mahan expressed disappointment at the way the company presented the contract terms. “We didn’t have enough time to chew on this.” He wished there had been a little bit more give and take, more time for negotiation.
August 27, 2010 at 7:13 PM
Sketched Aug. 24, 11:52 a.m. [Click sketch to view larger]
The flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln provided a picture-perfect view of the Puget Sound as I sketched and chatted with new sailor Kayde Williamson, 20, of Moses Lake. The Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fueling) Airman is one of more than 5,000 personnel serving on the Everett-based aircraft carrier (see earlier posts Tuesday and Thursday.)
Williamson said Washington’s mountains never looked as beautiful to her as they did when the carrier docked at its home port last week after completing an 18-day drill off the coast of Southern California. Of her first experiences on the ship since joining the Navy a few months ago, she pointed out how friendly everyone is and how much she misses the food from home. “My mother is a really good cook … I’ve been eating a lot of salads,” she said. “You learn to appreciate things.”
The carrier is expected to go on deployment “within weeks,” according to the ship’s public affairs officer Lt. Cmdr. William Marks.
I can’t imagine how hard it must be for Navy families to see their loved ones sail away, especially when they go on six-months overseas deployments.
I don’t have any relatives in the Navy but my family is connected with some Navy families through MOSS (Mothers of South Snohomish). Like they already do, I will follow the activities of our locally-based aircraft carrier through their page on Facebook from now on. It’s at www.facebook.com/usslincoln.
Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fueling) Airman Kayde Williamson on the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln
Back to school: I’m still in search of an interesting back-to-school tale worth sketching. If you know of anyone going back to school to start a new career, or you are one of them perhaps, don’t hesitate to contact me at gcampanario at seattletimes dot com or via Twitter or Facebook.
Coming up: Have you heard of Storefronts Seattle? It’s a community effort to bring back to life vacant retail spaces around Pioneer Square and the International District. A few of these spaces will be temporarily occupied by selected local artists or art groups who applied to the program. Next week I’ll be meeting and sketching some of them. Stay tuned!
August 26, 2010 at 12:11 PM
Sketched Aug. 24 at Everett’s Naval Station [Click sketch to view larger]
On Tuesday, I showed you a view of the USS Abraham Lincoln from the streets of Everett. The aircraft carrier already looked big from afar, but it was even more imposing from Pier Alpha at Everett’s Naval Station, so enormous that I had trouble sizing up the proportions so it would fit on my sketchpad.
It’s easy to be impressed by a ship of this caliber. Yet, what I find more interesting is the number of people who serve on it, more than 5,000. The Naval base is actually the second largest employer in the county — Boeing is the first one.
A handful of civilians also come along on deployments, said public affairs officer Robyn Gerstenslager. They include a college professor who teaches classes to the crew, a Xerox technician, a fitness instructor/personal trainer and an NCIS agent. No sketchers though.
I wondered if the Navy would have a program similar to the Army Art Program, but Gerstenslager said they don’t have a dedicated sailor-artist on board. That’s too bad since the opportunities to document life on the ship with sketches seem endless — I could have spend all day roaming around and drawing everything on sight. With so many sailors on board, I bet there are more than one or two drawing enthusiasts already doing that — hint: if you’re one of them, e-mail me your sketches, I’d love to see them!
The number of sailors serving on the carrier made me think about all the people who have family ties to the Navy personnel. It must be hard for them to see their loved ones sail away when they go on deployment.
Gerstenslager said they started a Facebook page last year to help families stay in touch with the crew. It has 10,994 fans as I type this post, a few thousand less than the USS Carl Vinson. “We are trying to see who can outdo each other,” quipped Gerstenslager, whose team of petty officers produces a newspaper and a TV show they share on the page. “Anyone who becomes a fan on Facebook can see it,” she said.
I already clicked “like” and look forward to following our Puget Sound based carrier on Facebook.
It’s a fact: All Navy ships fly the First Navy Jack instead of the Union Jack to honor those who died in the Sept. 11 attacks. Related story: First Navy Jack flies until the end of war.
More sketches from the USS Abraham Lincoln: On Friday I’ll post the sketches I did on the flight deck of the carrier, where I met airman Kayde Williamson, 20, of Moses Lake. She said the experience on the ship is like “hanging out with 5,000 of your closest friends.”
August 24, 2010 at 6:46 PM
Sketched at 3:56 p.m. in Everett, WA. [Click sketch to view larger]
I live in Snohomish County and have visited Everett a number of times, but I didn’t know that an aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln, had its port there — I just learned that during Seafair’s Fleet Week.
The warship, which employs more than 5,000 Navy personnel, just returned to Everett last week after several months of training exercises off the coast of Southern California. Public affairs officer Robyn Gerstenslager said it will go on deployment sometime in the fall.
After a visit to the ship this afternoon –stay tuned for more sketches- I drew this view from Pacific Avenue.
Everett residents must feel incredibly well protected having this awesome vessel in their backyard. I do too!
May 26, 2010 at 3:56 PM
May 11, 4:59 p.m. [Click sketch to view larger]
Last time I drove by this intersection in Everett I decided to stop for a sketch. High Flying Espresso is at 112th Street SW and Airport Road — have you gone by it?
I see many coffee kiosks around Snohomish County all the time but this one caught my eye. The cup of coffee on the roof looks as if it is ready to take off.
I later talked to the business owner, Linda Thomas, who said the cup used to be part of a float in a parade in Seattle. When Thomas and her husband sold the original structure 10 years ago, they kept the cup to put it on top of the new stand. “It’s become a landmark,” said Thomas. “People will say ‘meet me at the cup.’”
Drive-through coffee kiosks in suburban Seatttle seem to be everywhere now, but that wasn’t the case when High Flying Espresso opened in 1991. “We were the first one in the area,” said Thomas. “There probably wasn’t one any closer than 5 miles to us, probably 10 miles.”
A lot has changed since then, but not our craving for coffee.
February 5, 2010 at 4:37 PM
Feb. 4, 5:45 p.m. [Click on sketches to view larger]
With the Vancouver Games just days away, the Comcast Community Ice Rink in Everett is busier than normal. Coach Melani Young said they see an increase in participation every four years “because everybody wants to be Apolo Ohno.” People come here to take speedskating, figure-skating and first-timer classes all year round.
I certainly could use one. My first time on the ice last month didn’t go so well and I turned in my skates after 30 minutes.
But this week I was encouraged seeing 5-year-old Makenna Reed zoom around effortlessly. Stu Reed said it was just the fourth time his daughter had been on the ice.
I also learned that there’s more to skating than just mastering the sport. For instructor Sandya Nath, ice skating is a lot like life. “No matter how many times you fall, you get back up and try again,” she said.
I may have to put those skates back on.
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