Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Archives: May 2006

May
31st

Al Gore, movie star

There’s no talk of an Oscar yet for nearly-president Al Gore, but there’s lots of buzz in the local environmental community about his new feature-length documentary on global warming, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Climate Solutions, a Seattle-based group advocating “practical solutions to climate change,” urged everyone on its email list today to see the movie when it opens Friday in two Seattle theaters. The group’s “action alert” calls it a “must-see” movie and notes that a strong opening weekend is vital if the movie is to have a long local run.

Talk about packing the house. The flick is

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May
31st

The perils of debt

The TNT ed board has long been worried about the huge runup in the national debt and unrestrained spending under the Bush administration.


An editorial in The New York Times the other day noted a scary statistic: In 2001, foreign interests held 30 percent of the United States’ publicly held debt in the form of U.S. Treasury bonds. Today, it’s 43 percent. During the Bush administration, 73 percent of new government borrowing has been from abroad.

See the editorial here.

May
30th

Our 30-day rule for letters

A reader complained to the TNT’s reader representative today that we slipped up on enforcing our 30-day rule for letters to the editor. She cited letters on May 3 and May 24 responding to syndicated columnist Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times.

We checked and found that the letters were from two different people commenting on two different Kristof columns. That’s not affected by the 30-day rule.

Here’s how it works: If your letter to the editor is published in The News Tribune, we won’t publish another letter from you until 30 days have elapsed. Sometimes we’ll

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May
30th

What about those dams?

Two visitors from groups that favor breaching four federal dams on the Lower Snake River to help endangered salmon runs met with the editorial board today. Their pitch was a little different from what we’re used to hearing from this camp.

Instead of simply advocating dam-breaching, they argued the four states involved – Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana – should agree on a comprehensive study assessing all of the options for saving salmon on the Columbia-Snake river system. In other words, let’s find out for sure if the enviro’s claim that breaching would be a cheaper solution over the

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May
26th

Tempting…

Buried in the press coverage about Regence BlueShield sending out disparaging letters about 480 doctors who didn’t make the cut for a new health plan are the details that make doctors justified in worrying their patients might switch to a Regence-approved provider. The plan requires no monthly premiums, no deductibles and just $10 copays for doctor visits. I didn’t think those kind of health plans existed any longer.

May
26th

Why we don’t save enough

I hated to miss a National Press Foundation seminar on retirement issues held last week in Washington, D.C. The four-day program was chockablock with informative talks by experts on Social Security and our looming retirement savings crisis.

But NPF has put the speakers’ Power Point presentations online, along with dozens of useful links for readers who really want to dig into the subject. Just go here.

May
26th

Par-tay with NASCAR!

Despite a lack of interest from the Legislature, Kitsap County leaders haven’t given up on bagging a NASCAR track. Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman Friday announced he will chair a local task force to explore ways to use the proposed speedway for events besides motor racing. (See the backers’ website here

NASCAR would use the speedway only two weekends a year and hold a regional race one weekend a year.

Bozeman and his colleagues might also consider whether the county jail is big enough. The May 17 Wall Street Journal carried a page one story (sorry, for WSJ

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May
26th

What’s in a name?

Speaking of Alaska oil drilling, the name of the U.S. House legislation that would open up the Arctic refuge was notably creative: “American-Made Energy and Good Jobs Act.”

You can find the breakdown on the House vote here. This site, www.govtrack.us, is a good way to find out how various legislators voted on bills.