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Farm Bill passage helps central Washington farm country

Last week, Congress voted 369-47 to pass the 2018 Farm Bill, sending this critical legislation to President Trump for his signature into law. The agreement sets us on a better path for our country’s farmers and ranchers, for our rural communities,...

 

Christmas wreaths help ease pain

Christmas is a difficult time for anyone grieving the death of a loved one. It is especially hard when they were slain in the line-of-duty while protecting our country. It hit home again last month when Army sergeants Eric Emond, 39, Brush Prairie, a...

 

Letter to the Editor: H.E. Gritman Senior Center not going anywhere

Dear Ritzville Community, First of all, we want to dispel rumors pertaining to the closing of the H.E. Gritman Senior Center. We have no plans to close the Senior Center. We believe it is too important, not only to our seniors, but to our community...

 

Legislative Commentary: Dec. 13, 2018

Dear Friends, Here on National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, when we remember those who lost their lives in Hawaii on this day 77 years ago, there is another reason to think of George H.W. Bush, our nation’s 41st chief executive. The attack on...

 

Commissioner Walker provides EARH update

As the year draws to a close, here are some odds and ends of updates on District business. In late November, the District held a Strategic-Planning session. Normally, such sessions try to lay out goals, and strategies to meet those goals, for a...

 

Good economic news sprinkled with caution

The good news is Washington’s revenues continue to grow and projections for the next couple of years appear promising. That is welcome news, but it is sprinkled with caution about introducing new taxes. Our state’s Economic and Revenue Forecast...

 

Science should determine federal listing of gray wolf

The recovery of the gray wolf is a success story for the Endangered Species Act, and the best available science should determine whether species remain listed. I am proud that the House voted last week to approve of legislation I co-introduced with...

 

Legislative Commentary

While this year’s election season is over, as I mentioned in last week’s commentary, the general election itself isn’t wrapped up quite yet. As of yesterday the outcome of elections for two Senate positions was still up in the air. Hopefully... Full story

 

Thanksgiving and a divided America

Thanksgiving is a wonderful American holiday. But as we celebrate it in 2018, we do so as a deeply divided country. This has been very evident with the recent midterm elections. Although the two main political parties seem to be drawing further and...

 

Immunizations make a difference

One of the consequences of Venezuela’s economic ruin is infectious diseases are reaching epidemic proportions and spreading to neighboring Latin American countries. Venezuela, a country of 30 million people, sits on large oil reserves but when...

 

Sen. Mark Schoessler

Cell phones have their place, but it can be nice to step back in time by going to a place where my phone simply won’t work. Recently I let my legislative staff know that I would be out of range for a few days, and headed for the Blue Mountains and...

 

Thanking a wonderful community, from the Osborn Family

Michelle Erdman Stumpf and Kellie Thompson Ottmar came together to put on a silent auction benefit dinner for us. A group of women—Shanon Davis, Marianne Lazenby, Kellie Ottmar, Michelle Stumpf, Brittany Dew and Karen Jacinto—all came together, p... Full story

 

Changes needed at EARH

First, I would like to clarify that the correct name for the foundation is East Adams Rural Healthcare Foundation, not Hospital Foundation. Whoever is running the website for EARH needs to get Kellie Ottmar and I off the website as being officers of...

 

Costs matter in hiring equation

While both sides argue over the merits of Seattle’s escalating minimum wage, there are other issues, such as the total cost per worker, which enter into hiring equations. When employers look to add or retain workers, they must not only consider... Full story

 

100th anniversary of armistice shows importance of honoring fallen heroes and today's veterans

November 11th of this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I. Over the course of that conflict, 116,516 American military personnel lost their lives. The deadliest battle in U.S. history was at Argonne Forest, from S... Full story

 

Legislative Commentary

I’ll start with a good word for our regional Department of Transportation folks and the contractor who got the overpass at the Tokio interchange on Interstate 90 repaired and back open this week, ahead of schedule. The bridge that was damaged (in...

 

Portland Shipyard Building is wave of the future

When our military is viewed as an employer, it has the same problem as the private sector; attracting qualified people to fill jobs. In today’s vibrant economy, there is an abundance of “Help Wanted” signs. Even though our armed forces have...

 

Honoring Central Washington angels

Last week, I met a couple angels in the Tri-Cities. No, really: I had the opportunity to sit down with James and Angie Sessions of Pasco. A few years ago, James and Angie were inspired to become foster parents after learning about the foster care sys... Full story

 

Portland Shipyard Building is wave of the future

Shipyard workers in Portland are building the first commercial-scale wave energy buoy which, if it works, could be part of a system providing electricity to communities along our nation’s coastline. Vigor’s shipyard has a $6.5 million contract... Full story

 

Largest COLA increase in seven years provides certainty for Social Security recipients and veterans

Every calendar year, Social Security Administration (SSA) automatically calculates the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for beneficiaries based on the consumer-price index, which measures changes in the price level of a defined set of consumer goods... Full story

 

Legislative Commentary

Knowing Cougar Nation, it was no surprise that the highway detour on State Route 26 east of Othello had zero effect on turnout for this past Saturday’s WSU-Oregon football game. And once the ESPN network announced its popular “Gameday” show...

 

now is the time for action

Boy oh boy, it sure sounds dire when you read the fliers from Initiative 1631. It will be hard to pay all the price hikes the big oil companies say we will pay, even though the oil companies are making billion dollar profits. Don’t forget to... Full story

 

Lend a helping hand to those who help us

Your Hospital District is but one of a number of organizations in east Adams County that are concerned, to one degree or another, with health care. Few if any of those organizations have the kind of budget that similar organizations in non-rural... Full story

 

Simple math and common sense

The October 18, 2018 article that appeared in the Journal, “Immigrants in Washington: A profile for the Midterms” (furnished by the American Immigration Council), espouses the following “immigrant” contributions to our state economy via... Full story

 

Answer to prayer: Pastor Brunson joins list of captured Americans freed

Americans across the country and of all faith backgrounds can celebrate the return of our fellow citizens held unjustly overseas –some for practicing their faith. Many prayers have been answered. In October 2016, on the night of his eldest son’s...

 

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