Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

Opinion / Editorial


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  • Our view: Smiley is the best candidate

    Updated Oct 11, 2022

    For Washington residents, the decision on who to vote for in the race for U.S. Senate should be a no-brainer in the Nov. 8 general election. The fact that incumbent Patty Murray, a westside Democrat, doesn’t want to debate Republican political newcomer Tiffany Smiley should be enough to chose the challenger. But there’s a lot more to Smiley than her bold challege of the well-funded, career politician. Smiley has a story to tell. It’s a story of standing up for what’s right. It’s a story of defending her family and farming....

  • There's still a lot to be thankful for

    Updated Nov 25, 2020

    Yes, Gov. Jay Inslee has issued new orders shutting down your favorite gym and movie theater, and limiting service at your favorite diner or watering hole. Yes, you’re directed to wear a mask when you go in public. And yes, there’s another run on toilet paper and paper towels (in some parts of our state). But it’s Thanksgiving. It’s time to count your blessings. You’re in America. You live in the greatest, most prosperous country the world has ever known. You have housing opportunities, electricity, running water and emplo...

  • Editorial: Why I'm voting to reject Initiative 976

    Brandon Cline, Managing Editor|Updated Oct 17, 2019

    When it comes to state initiatives on the 2019 general election ballot in Washington state, one of the most important decisions voters will have to make is on Initiative 976, the Tim Eyman-sponsored initiative that would, among other things, set vehicle registration fees at $30 and do away with local vehicle fees that are used to fund local infrastructure projects. While the proposal seems dream-like, the reality of the situation is anything but. If I-976 were to pass, a report from the state’s Office of Financial M...

  • Editorial: How The Journal plans to cover crime

    Brandon Cline, Managing Editor|Updated Jun 27, 2019

    Well, it’s pretty rare to hear directly from me in editorials in back-to-back weeks. In last week’s issue, I had the pleasure of introducing The Journal’s new full-time reporter, Jeremy. In his 10 or so days on the job so far, Jeremy has dove headfirst into several stories of importance to our community, including the news of a Ritzville man who has been charged with first degree rape by the Adams County Prosecutor’s office. Jeremy, along with myself, carefully reviewed court documents of the case that we received after s...

  • Editorial: Celebrate Memorial Day by making a difference locally

    Brandon Cline, Managing Editor|Updated May 16, 2019

    Memorial Day weekend is often a time for families to take a break from the monotony of everyday life, to pack into their cars, RVs and trailers for an extended weekend of camping, or maybe just staying at home for a weekend of relaxing and barbequing with friends and neighbors. According to a study from Wallethub, about 60% of Americans planned to barbecue over Memorial Day weekend in 2018, the second largest barbequing holiday behind only the Fourth of July (73%). Some 41.5 million Americans planned to travel over Memorial...

  • Editorial: Bring on the new year!

    Brandon Cline, Managing Editor|Updated Feb 1, 2019

    First of all, I’d like to apologize for how sparse this issue might seem. Christmas fell on a really bad day—a Tuesday—for our newspaper this year, the day where I usually sit down and spend most of the day putting the newspaper together on InDesign. I was back home in Goldendale from Dec. 22 through Christmas, and arrived back in Ritzville very early Wednesday (Dec. 26) morning. So the paper you are reading now was mostly put together on Dec. 20 and 21, believe it or not. Second, I figured that it might be appropriate for a...

  • Allow me to introduce myself

    Brandon Cline|Updated Oct 11, 2018

    Hello, devoted reader. I am Brandon Cline, the new managing editor at the Ritzville Adams County Journal. I never really know what to say when I write these articles introducing myself, but here goes nothing. I was born and raised in Goldendale, Washington, a town that is roughly an hour south of Yakima along the Washington-Oregon border with a population of about 3,500 people. There are no traffic lights in Goldendale, the Goldendale Observatory State Park hosts one of the largest public observatories in the United States...

  • RDDA, Rankin deserve high praise for theatre’s rebirth

    Stephen McFadden|Updated Apr 10, 2014

    If viewing a major motion picture is the goal, you can do that anywhere. If what you seek is to combine a bit of nostalgia with modern entertainment, then the venue you select must be carefully chosen. Ritzville has always had a diamond in the rough with The Ritz Theatre. These days the Ritzville Downtown Development Association has taken great steps to transform the theatre into a true performance venue, a precious gem for this rural community. The soft opening in late March was a showcase of the theatre’s future potential,...

  • Community response overpowers Mother Nature’s wrath

    Stephen McFadden|Updated Sep 19, 2013

    Without question, the best news when the storm subsided Sunday evening was that no one was seriously injured or killed. There was notable property damage to homes and public facilities, but everyone walked away relatively unscathed. While many were left in the dark as a result of power outages, no one lost their homes or their lives. In the morning light on Monday, a true testament to community became clear. Volunteers began arriving at Ritzville City Park and Ritzville Municipal Golf Course to help clear the massive amount...

  • The Journal’s pictures are one of this business’ retail products

    Stephen McFadden|Updated Sep 12, 2013

    Photographers are faced with a very difficult situation these days. Especially if their pictures are what they rely on to cover their living expenses. Not to mention the extraordinary cost of their equipment. The advent of smart phones with reasonably advanced camera technology means everyone is now a photographer. Not necessarily a professional photographer just the same. For photojournalists, portrait photographers and wildlife and landscape photographic artists, that means we face a major shift in terms of how our work...

  • Voting is a civic duty we should all take more seriously

    Stephen McFadden|Updated Jul 25, 2013

    Overall, voter turnout in Adams County fluctuates wildly depending upon the nature of the election. For instance, one of the best voter participations on record in recent years was the November 2012 General Election when 75.76 percent of voters sent in their ballot. The 2012 primary election, when the county’s new superior court judge was elected, went a bit differently. Only 45.9 percent of registered voters participated. A meager voter turnout should never be the case. Preservation of a democracy relies on the p...

  • This is the right time to invest in new hospital

    Stephen McFadden|Updated Jul 18, 2013

    A new public hospital is a weighty investment requiring careful consideration rather than swift emotional reactions or knee jerk negative responses. This is an expensive long-term investment we all must give careful, rational consideration to. A few key questions should be considered. Are we willing to pay what it will take to ensure the best possible care locally in a medical emergency? If we don’t invest in a new hospital, will millions in renovations to the existing hospital be the best investment of taxpayer dollars? W...

  • Division Street closure a necessary inconvenience

    Stephen McFadden|Updated Jun 27, 2013

    Just about every day someone expresses their frustration over the closure of Division Street. Folks are frustrated and fed up with the inconvenience of the blocked roadway. If you’re accustomed to zipping up or down Division, sailing along the straightaway east and west from one end to the other of the city, the chain link fence, caution tape and barricades are aggravating. Imagine the impact it has had on Steve and Vicki Poling and their small business, a daycare located within the closed portion of the street. Moms and d...

  • Choose your words carefully, use constructive criticism

    Stephen McFadden|Updated May 2, 2013

    Question the actions of local government as often as you like. Elected leaders and publicly funded administrators should not be allowed to operate without oversight. The beauty of the system in Washington is that government must be transparent and accountable as established by state law and repeatedly supported by judges in Washington courts. The public records laws and the Open Public Meeting Act provide certain assurances that the public will be allowed to monitor elected officials and public entities. This is needed and va...

  • City infrastructure upgrades a necessity

    Updated Apr 25, 2013

    This summer the City of Ritzville will undergo a rare phase of construction, primarily aimed at improving aging infrastructure — streets, water mains, sewer lines and the drilling of a new domestic water well. The project list is long, complicated and expensive. It requires a multitude of funding sources. Grants, loans and increased user fees are among the various sources of funds being utilized by the city for the purpose of updating a substantially outdated infrastructure. Work will continue throughout the summer (watch f...

  • Constantly rising newsprint costs lead to narrower Journal

    Stephen McFadden|Updated Jan 3, 2013

    It was inevitable. Sooner or later the printing plant in Cheney was going to follow the rest of the industry and move to a narrower roll of newsprint. If you are a subscriber to a daily newspaper, such as the Spokesman-Review or the Tri-City Herald, then you have already experienced a major cosmetic change. This week, your community newspaper is following suit. As a result, we have used the opportunity to freshen up some of the paper’s design elements while making adjustments to the new dimensions. This week’s edition include...

  • Yes Virginia, and everyone else, there is a Santa Claus

    Stephen McFadden|Updated Dec 20, 2012

    (Editor’s Note: Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York’s Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps. “DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE S...

  • Vote, it’s important

    Stephen McFadden|Updated Oct 25, 2012

    The outcome of the General Election will result in new directions for the nation, the state of Washington, Adams County, and individual cities and towns. We encourage you to carefully consider the choices on your ballot and vote for the candidate of your choice and to support or oppose the various measures as you see fit. Voting is an individual right and privilege — don’t waste it. While the national and local economies are unstable and have contributed to uncertain times, that is no reason to live with your head firmly pla...

  • Show support for your community, attend the fair, rodeo

    Stephen McFadden|Updated Aug 30, 2012

    It’s easy to say you support your community. It’s easy to be an armchair quarterback and critique how an event or organization operates or forecast its success or failure. But if you don’t get involved, you truly can’t say you have supported your community. You certainly haven’t helped to ensure the longevity of any of its valuable events and activities. You are also missing an opportunity to play your part in helping to ensure that our small rural communities continue to have good, wholesome family events for future ge...

  • Take time to understand the age of Ritzville's infrastructure

    Stephen McFadden|Updated Mar 1, 2012

    Ritzville is aging. To the point where major investments will likely be needed in order to continue delivering critical services to residents. The current economic conditions of the state and nation don’t make this a good time to be facing major investments. We can all expect to be asked to help pay for these improvements. Two agencies are planning critical town hall meetings. You should make plans to attend them. Each meeting will deliver valuable information about the condition of two extremely important pieces of i...

  • Hospital must remain viable, community healing should come to the forefront

    Stephen McFadden|Updated Feb 9, 2012

    More than one person, in more than one venue or discussion, has suggested East Adams Rural Hospital is at risk of suffering its own demise. True, more than one argument has been made to suggest the district has crossed into uncertain territory, or that it is floundering in hostile waters. However, unless the aforementioned individuals know something the rest of the taxpayers do not know, there’s no evidence the hospital is destined for certain death. We’ve heard elected leaders of the district and the administration say they...

  • Local levy support critical for our schools

    Stephen McFadden|Updated Jan 26, 2012

    A year ago, while visiting Olympia, Gov. Christine Gregoire told us the state’s finances are in poor shape, forcing difficult decisions that will ultimately result in decreased funding for our communities. One year later, it’s happening again. The financial crisis is worsening with a $1.5 billion deficit on the table. The next financial forecast for the state is due on Feb. 16 and some believe the deficit will grow to $1.7 billion or higher. Gregoire is recommending major cuts, including a proposal to take almost $40...

  • Merry Christmas to all, on this a generous season of giving

    Stephen McFadden|Updated Dec 22, 2011

    The press deadline for The Journal is Wednesdays, and this week was no different in many cases. One glorious addition to the early morning start of our day was the presence of the sun and a brilliant blue sky. What a treat for everyone after being blanketed by fog and stagnant air for the past few weeks. The crisp morning air, the sunshine glistening on the frozen trees and the bright blue skies makes for a great morning — an energizing boost in the final days and hours before the arrival of the biggest holiday of the year ...

  • Enjoy the turkey, don’t eat too much pie and remember to give thanks

    Stephen McFadden|Updated Nov 24, 2011

    Today is the day we set aside to give thanks. Just how we accomplish the task is as diverse as the makeup of our country. The freedom to celebrate our way is one of the reasons our country is a great place to live in. Many of us will use this day to consume copious amounts of holiday fare, ultimately succumbing to a mandatory Thanksgiving Day nap. A good portion of us will warm by the glow of our flat screen televisions as football rules the day. Others will gather their children in the morning and share in the tradition of...

  • Journal’s website to become subscriber-based offering

    Stephen McFadden|Updated Aug 25, 2011

    There is a tremendous amount of time and effort involved in gathering news, feature stories and pictures for a weekly newspaper. Producing a community newspaper is a labor of love, one that has been accomplished in Ritzville for 125 years. The Journal is the prime source of community news for Benge, Lind, Ritzville and Washtucna. Delivering local news, sports, features and local advertising is our specialty. It’s what a community newspaper is meant to do. A National Newspaper Association survey recently determined that 73 p...

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