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Opinion / Guest Commentary

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Legislative Commentary: April 18, 2019

Dear Friends, While I spent hour after hour this week debating and voting on legislation in the budget committee and in the Senate chamber, a woman from the town of Snohomish was out in front of the Capitol conducting what she calls a “fast in...

 

Column: Goodbye to last Doolittle Raider, a hero of the Greatest Generation

On April 9th, we said goodbye to a hero of the Greatest Generation. Retired Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Cole, the last surviving member of the Doolittle Raiders, passed away at the age of 103. In the aftermath of the devastating sneak attack on...

 

Pastor's Column: Easter Article 2.0

I recently submitted an Easter article to The Journal that was mistakenly printed early in last week’s edition – and with the incorrect title. When I emailed editor Brandon Cline about it, he apologized and offered to reprint it in this edition...

 

Legislative Commentary: April 11, 2019

Dear Friends, One of the many flaws in the 2019-21 budget proposed a week ago by the Senate’s Democrat majority was that it lacked new funding to allow 20 more students at WSU’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine in Spokane. When the budget came...

 

Column: USDA launches new navigation tools on Farmers.gov

The old saying, “the customer is always right” may hold true as a best practice for business, but it just rarely seems to apply to services provided by the government. In my many conversations with farmers in Central Washington, it is clear that...

 

Business Column: State lawmakers need to re-examine budget before adjourning

Before lawmakers wrap-up their work in Olympia, they should re-examine their hefty new state spending plan. The budget may not be sustainable even with a substantial increase in taxes. It may force legislators to return to the State Capitol to cut...

 

Pastor's Column: Sinners in the hands of a loving God

One of the most famous – or infamous – sermons in American history was preached in 1741 by a Massachusetts minister named Jonathan Edwards. The title was “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” It was the quintessential “fire and...

 

Legislative Commentary: April 4, 2019

Dear Friends, A couple of weeks ago we started using a catch-all term—“Taxapalooza”—to highlight the sheer number of tax proposals put on the table before and during this legislative session. If you were to visit my office at the Senate,...

 

Focusing on justice for indigenous women

According to the Yakima Herald Republic’s special series, “The Vanished:” “A report from the National Institute of Justice found that more than four out of five Native American women have experienced violence in their lives. In 2016, the...

 

Legislative Commentary: March 28, 2019

Dear Friends, This week brought some happy news for those in the Legislature who like to spend, spend, spend. The year’s first state revenue forecast, released Wednesday, basically predicts there should be another $860 million available for the...

 

Legislative Commentary: March 21, 2019

Dear Friends, To get a good sense of how the priorities differ this year between the left side of the Senate aisle and our conservative side, let’s look at what happened Wednesday. That was the “house of origin cutoff” day, meaning bills that o...

 

Column: Honoring Marine Sergeant Dietrich Schmieman

This week, the Tri-Cities community will come together in honor of U.S. Marine Sergeant Dietrich Schmieman of Richland. In a formal ceremony, community members, family, friends, Marine Corps brothers-in-arms, and local leaders will designate the U.S....

 

Business Column: Oil companies betting on electric technology

Across the pond, London-based BP and Netherlands-headquartered Shell are looking to invest in innovative electric technology which is very good news. The two international oil giants, both of which have oil refineries in northwest Washington,...

 
 By Janel Rieve    Opinion    March 21, 2019

Pastor's Column: "Community"

Throughout this Lenten season the focus of our weekly soup suppers is “Community.” The question you may ask though might be, exactly what is “community”? The dictionary definition is pretty simple: community is a group of people who live in...

 

Legislative Commentary: March 14, 2019

Dear Friends, You won’t find me sending a ton of text messages, or using the “LOL” kind of shorthand when I do. But if I had to describe this past week in a text, the abbreviation “SMH” – for “shaking my head” – would be a good choi...

 

Column: Congress must do more to condemn anti-Semitism

A member of Congress makes a hateful remark, and House congressional leaders of the same political party respond by swiftly condemning and then strip that representative of all committee assignments—a severe punishment. If you think I’m...

 

Business Column: Trade issues unite Washington's congressional delegation

Historically, international trade issues have galvanized our state’s congressional delegation. Many wondered if that would still be the case today. Fortunately, it seems to be. While Democrats and Republicans are at one another’s throats on most...

 

Legislative Commentary: March 7, 2019

Dear Friends, We’d been hearing a rumor that Governor Inslee would make an announcement today about his presidential aspirations. When the Democratic majority in the Senate tried to force a final vote yesterday on the renewable-energy legislation...

 

Column: Congress approves landmark bill for Yakima Basin, Okanogan County

‘Gridlock’ might seem to be the best word to describe divided government in Washington D.C. these days. However, last week, despite the partisan differences in the nation’s capital, bipartisanship and pragmatism won in what can only be...

 

Business Column: California wildfires spark debate over underground power transmission lines

November’s Camp Wildfire was California’s deadliest killing 86 people and destroying 14,000 homes along with more than 500 businesses. The financial fallout is forcing PG&E, northern California’s electric utility, to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy...

 

Legislative Commentary: Feb. 28, 2019

Dear Friends, Last week’s commentary mentioned a man who was awaiting Senate confirmation of his appointment to a state commission, despite having lied about his criminal record. I’ll begin this commentary with what a famous radio personality...

 

Business Column: Those pesky tax incentives

Darned if you do, or darned if you don’t! That’s the dilemma elected officials face in determining whether to offer tax incentives for companies to locate in their city, county or state. That conflict played out recently with Amazon’s decision...

 

Legislative Commentary: February 21, 2019

Dear Friends, This fifth week of the 2019 legislative session began with a snow day for a lot of people, due to the 18 or so inches that fell (and stayed) around the Olympia area in a four-day period. But by today, the “snowmageddon” (or...

 

Column: Bipartisan border deal signed by president is significant progress

Last week, Congress came together to pass, and President signed into law, bipartisan legislation that prioritizes securing our border and keeps the federal government open. The legislation may not have provided as much as I would have liked for...

 

Business Column: Amazon an example of growing resistance to corporate incentives

The circumstances leading to Amazon’s decision to scrap its New York City project are trends corporate leaders need to examine closely. There are cultural and political shifts in America which are changing the way business is done. Amazon walked...

 

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