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Morning Press: Overtime rules; Women’s World Cup; Whole Food petition; Summer concerts

After a mostly gray weekend, what kind of weather is headed our way this week? Check out our local weather coverage.

Here are some of the top stories of the weekend:

L&I proposal would drastically change state’s overtime rules

Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries unveiled a set of proposed changes to the state’s overtime rules last month, proposing a substantial overhaul that has the potential to affect hundreds of thousands of paychecks statewide, including workers in Clark County.

The changes aim to provide what L&I characterizes as a long-overdue update to the state’s salary threshold for overtime-exempt workers, which hasn’t been updated since the 1970s.

“So many things have changed in those 40 years,” says L&I spokesman Tim Church.

Learn more about the proposed changes.

Successes, snags in VFD’s race against clock

An annual report on response times from the Vancouver Fire Department found that the agency struggled to hit its targets in 2018, despite major investments in two new stations.

However, the data show that last year’s relocation of Fire Station 1 to the Uptown neighborhood on Main Street and Fire Station 2 to Norris Road did slightly speed up responses compared with the year prior.

In a report to the Vancouver City Council, Fire Chief Joe Molina said the slow response times came down to travel — as the city’s population continues to boom, its arterial roads become increasingly clogged with traffic, making it difficult to reach a scene within eight minutes.

Read more about what is improving and where the agency missed their goals.

Shoppers launch campaign to keep Whole Foods Market in Vancouver

Local residents disappointed by the closure of the Whole Foods Market in east Vancouver have begun campaigning to save the store — but in a new location.

Shoppers were informed two weeks ago the Whole Foods Market in the Mill Plain Plaza shopping center — the only Whole Foods in Clark County — is scheduled to close on or around Aug. 18.

Several shoppers on social media said they hoped the company could find an alternate location for the store. One took it a step further by creating a petition urging the company to consider relocating the store to the downtown Vancouver area.

Read about the likelihood of the plan.

World Cup veteran Ellertson loves seeing U.S. women make headlines

Former U.S. Women’s National Team soccer player Tina Ellertson gets emotional watching this year’s team.

She recognizes the history, the growth and the magnitude of the past few weeks that positioned the U.S. on the doorstep of a fourth World Cup title. The U.S. plays the Netherlands at 8 a.m. Sunday in the World Cup final in France.

“There’s a lot of women who have paved the way so these young women could shine,” said Ellertson, a Vancouver native who coaches club soccer for FC Salmon Creek. “This team sees all that came before them, and they get it. It’s a special thing.”

Ellertson was a member of the national team that took bronze in the 2007 World Cup. She retired from soccer in 2014, and has focused on her coaching career since. She is also an assistant for the U.S. junior national team and a scout for the national team.

Read more as Ellertson reflects on her World Cup trip and cheering on this year’s team.

Celebrate summer with concerts, movies in Vancouver

After July 5, the city’s annual lineup of free summer concerts and movies proceeds as usual. Music is headed for Wednesday lunchtimes and Thursday evenings in Esther Short Park, plus Sunday evenings in Columbia Tech Center Park; movies are scheduled for Friday nights at dusk in various parks. (The daytime Wednesday concerts tend toward mellow, featuring light classical sounds, bluegrass, singer-songwriters and world music; the Thursday and Sunday night shows star rockin’ tribute and cover bands that will try to make you get up and boogie.)

Get the full schedule of free and fun summer entertainment.


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