Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

Opinion / Guest Column


Sorted by date  Results 1 - 25 of 271

  • Honor kin of those killed in service

    Don C. Brunell|Updated May 21, 2024

    On Memorial Day, we traditionally honor Americans in our military who gave their lives in battle for our country. It is called the “Ultimate Sacrifice,” and they died protecting our freedoms and keeping us safe. In recent times, we have acknowledged our citizens in uniform who continue to suffer with permanent combat emotional and physical scars. They are alive largely because our battlefield survival is dramatically improving, and our accompanying rehabilitation expands. Thi...

  • Someone paid for your freedoms

    Roger Harnack|Updated May 21, 2024

    Disappointingly, many Americans are worried about silly first-world problems like where to go boating or what to barbecue over the upcoming weekend. Too many view this upcoming three-day break as an excuse to eat, drink and party, never giving a thought as to why Memorial Day is observed. So while you’re anxiously awaiting the long weekend, take time to remember, understand and plan to observe Memorial Day. Memorial Day is dedicated to the men and women killed while serving i...

  • Consequences of breaching the Snake River dams

    Jason Mercier|Updated May 14, 2024

    The Snake River dams are critical to the infrastructure of our region, providing not only reliable power but also many other economic benefits. Removing these dams would have many negative impacts. You don’t have to take my word for it. Here are some of the findings from the multi-year public process in 2020 conducted by The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, and Bonneville Power Administration:: “[Breaching] would not meet the objective to Provide a Rel...

  • Family caregivers won't benefit

    Elizbeth New|Updated May 14, 2024

    The May 1 meeting of a WA Cares oversight commission should be must-see-TV, as it made one thing super clear: There is going to be a lot of disappointment if WA Cares remains a mandatory program funded by 58 cents (or more) of every $100 a worker earns. Not only will some workers not qualify for the money they're being told should give them peace of mind about possible long-term-care needs, Washingtonians who do qualify for a WA Cares benefit won't be able to fully choose how...

  • Senator Padden deserving of award

    Sen. Mark Schoesler|Updated May 7, 2024

    You might recall that a few weeks ago, I wrote about my colleague, 4th District Senator Mike Padden of Spokane Valley, who announced he is retiring when his current term ends, rather than seeking reelection in November. Although he cares about several legislative issues, Mike especially has been focused on crime and public safety, which is why he has served as either the chair or ranking Republican on the Senate Law and Justice Committee for many years. During our years...

  • State benefits from Alaska oil

    Don C. Brunell|Updated May 7, 2024

    Recently, President Biden launched the second phase of his attack on domestic oil and gas production by effectively blocking leases in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve. That follows last year’s reimposed ban on exploration in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. Both actions are ill-advised. In the Wall Street Journal, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, a Republican, quipped: “the Biden Administration has imposed more sanctions on Alaska than it has on Iran.” The Interior Departm...

  • Gov. Inslee's EV program is like spending $1,125 on latte

    Todd Myers|Updated Apr 30, 2024

    Gov. Jay Inslee wants to buy 8,767 people a $1,125 latte. Metaphorically, at least. Inslee’s new program to subsidize the purchase of electric vehicles is so wasteful at reducing CO2 emissions, it is the equivalent of paying that absurd amount for a 16-ounce latte. On Earth Day, Inslee announced a $45 million program to subsidize the purchase or lease of electric vehicles. The program is targeted at those making 300% of the federal poverty level or less, which amounts to $...

  • Representatives to be missed

    Don C. Brunell|Updated Apr 30, 2024

    Too many pragmatic Democrats and Republicans in Congress are retiring at a time when we need them most. Two are from Washington: Reps. Derek Kilmer, D-Olympic Peninsula, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers R-Spokane. McMorris Rodgers and Kilmer cut their political teeth in the state Legislature. While they faithfully followed their parties, they found ways to come together on issues vital to our state. McMorris Rodgers was elected to Congress in 2004 and Kilmer in 2012. Recently,...

  • Tax funds being used to market tax policy

    Todd Myers|Updated Apr 23, 2024

    As Washington’s CO2 tax, known as the Climate Commitment Act, heads to the ballot this fall, this logo highlighting projects that received funding from that tax will become more prevalent. And you are paying for it. The use of taxpayer-resources to promote the CO2 tax follows the decision by the Legislature to send one-time checks of $200 to utility customers funded by the Climate Commitment Act just two-months before the November election. It is part of a pattern we are l...

  • Defending Western civilization

    Aaron Klein|Updated Apr 23, 2024

    On July 13, 2012, President Obama was giving a speech in Roanoke, Va., and said this: “Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.” Those three sentences sparked a brush fire in that year’s presidential election that he spent the next few weeks trying to walk back. But while the third sentence tried to take credit away from entr...

  • Study: capping rent costs won't help

    Mark Harmsworth|Updated Apr 16, 2024

    In a backwards approach to helping tenants, the Federal Government is capping rent increases on subsidized housing at 10% in a bid to reduce the cost of rental properties. The result, should the measures be adopted, will be exactly the opposite and rents will go up. When you place caps on rent, instead of letting the market drive the pricing, the supply of rental property declines and the result is higher demand and higher prices for rent. There is a short-term impact to...

  • Two bad bills signed into law

    Sen. Mark Schoesler|Updated Apr 2, 2024

    Each year, for a session lasting either 105 days (in odd-numbered years) or 60 days (in even-numbered years), legislators gather in Olympia to introduce, debate and vote on bills. While many people focus their attention on what the Legislature does each year, there is one final and crucial step in the legislative process that happens – the governor decides whether to veto part or all of a bill, or let it become law. Since this year’s legislative session ended March 7, Gov...

  • Small farms declining

    Madilynne Clark|Updated Mar 26, 2024

    Farm numbers across the U.S. are dwindling and the mountain states are no exception. Our country lost 7% of farms from 2017-2022, and all of the mountain states were above the national average. As a farmer in the region, I understand the stress of this profession, and if our country continues on its current trajectory our region's agricultural future looks bleak – more consolidation and less food security. From 2017-2022, Idaho, Montana, Washington and Wyoming all experienced...

  • Why no Easter lily tours?

    Don C. Brunell|Updated Mar 26, 2024

    Easter is when potted Easter Lily plants start showing up in nurseries and supermarkets like poinsettias during the Christmas season. They adorn the altars and pulpits of most churches on Easter Sunday, but why don’t sightseers flock to fields to enjoy the spectacular sea of white blooms? The answer is a small group of family lily farmers who are bulb producers. They need to clip the flowers to concentrate the plant’s nutrients on bulb development. Fields of white flowers on...

  • Session a mix of success, disappointment

    Mark Schoesler and Joe Schmick and Mary Dye|Updated Mar 19, 2024

    The 2024 legislative session is now in the history books. After 60 days, in which 201 House bills and 180 Senate bills passed the Legislature, we can report a mix of great successes and disappointments. We fought hard for public hearings on all six citizens' initiatives to the Legislature. Closer to the end of the session, Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate reluctantly agreed to hear three of the measures but sent the other three initiatives to the November...

  • Lawmakers miss salmon opportunity

    Todd Myers|Updated Mar 19, 2024

    The legislative session is over, and it had the potential to be very positive for salmon recovery. There was bipartisan support for habitat restoration. Legislators also had a huge amount of money to allocate because the tax on CO2 emissions generated far more money than anticipated. Despite that, the Legislature failed to make significant progress on salmon. It is one more wasted opportunity to protect an iconic state species. The most glaring example of the failure is in...

  • Tree farms are part of climate solution

    Don C. Brunell|Updated Mar 12, 2024

    As climate change concerns grow, researchers are turning to family tree farmers for assistance. They have been helping for a century, but their efforts have gone unrecognized. The American Tree Farm program has emphasized sustainability and managing lands for water quality, wildlife, wood, and recreation. In recent years, it has included climate change. According to the American Forest Foundation, families and individuals collectively care for the largest portion of forests...

  • 'Climate agenda' to cost you $20,000

    Shelly Short|Updated Mar 5, 2024

    Eleven years ago, when we started debating the climate agenda in Olympia, I sat on a study committee we called the Climate Legislative Executive Workgroup and asked an unpopular question: How much good will these policies do and how much will they cost? How dare I ask a question like that? The fate of Mother Earth was at stake. No expense was too great. Today, we are starting to get an idea of the cost. How would you like to pay $20,000? How about $50,000 or more? This is how...

  • Beef cow type, then and now, Part 2

    Don Llewellyn|Updated Mar 5, 2024

    Welcome to 2024! Where has the time gone? It seems like yesterday that I was thinking that graduating from high school in 1977 would be an eternity in the future. Now I appreciate what they meant when my elders used to say they wish they could go back to days gone by. Oh well, with a little optimism, the future can be pretty good too. Last month I started the discussion of 70 years of change in beef cow type. Now, let’s continue but from the perspective of how the evolution o...

  • Small, but impactful wins

    Judy Warnick|Updated Feb 27, 2024

    Let me begin with some political realities about your state Legislature. Republicans, and I am one, are in the minority. The Senate Republican Caucus, of which I am the chairwoman, has 20 members. Our Democratic colleagues have a 9-vote majority in the state Senate, which makes our jobs representing rural values and needs a challenge. Most Senate majority members are from King County and Seattle. So, their world view is different. I do my best to communicate the very real...

  • Cleansing sewage essential to water

    Don C. Brunell|Updated Feb 20, 2024

    In Washington, this year we hope to again escape the historic droughts plaguing other parts of the world. The Columbia River water system flowed at normal levels in recent years which is good for our agriculture, hydropower generation, barging, local water supplies, and fish and wildlife. However, 20 years ago we faced the same severe drought that is afflicting the world’s major river drainages including the Colorado River. That water scarcity forced factories to close, f...

  • State needs more law officers

    Jeff Holy|Updated Feb 13, 2024

    There was a time many years ago when our state was generally safe and did not have a serious crime problem. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, that was then and this is now. Washington is among the nation’s leaders in several crimes, including auto theft and retail theft. While the nation’s violent crime rate dropped slightly from 2021 to 2022, our state saw an increase, according to the FBI. According to a report by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chi...

  • California too costly for our economy

    Mary Dye|Updated Feb 13, 2024

    Several days ago, the Wall Street Journal issued a report about California’s “soaring electricity rates.” Average residential rates for investor-owned utility customers have surged by 72% to 127% over the past 10 years. About 2.5 million households in California are behind on their bills, averaging $733 in arrears. According to the Energy Information Administration, California has the second highest average retail price for electricity at $.22 per kilowatt hour. Fuel price...

  • Charting a Sustainable Energy Future

    Matt Boehnke|Updated Feb 6, 2024

    As Washington stands at a pivotal moment in shaping its energy future, it becomes increasingly clear that adopting sensible, forward-thinking solutions is crucial for a reliable, cost-effective, and environmentally sound power grid. It's time for our state to embrace energy policies that genuinely prioritize the well-being of its residents. The Power Washington plan, a comprehensive strategy I advocate for, is designed to confront and resolve critical issues within our energy...

  • Take 'Gotcha!' out of records requests

    Joe Schmick|Updated Feb 6, 2024

    When state voters adopted the state’s Public Records Act in 1972, they wanted to make sure state, county and city governments operate openly and are transparent to the people. They recognized the best way to ensure transparency and accountability is to require most government records are made available to the public. The PRA, however, was never intended to help some make money at the expense of governments. Unfortunately, there are a few “vexatious requesters” who learn...

Page Down

Rendered 05/25/2024 02:14