Inside Opinion

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

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Archives: Oct. 2006


Steve Cofchin’s promise

Who’s Steve Cofchin? you ask. He’s the nearly anonymous Republican sacrificial lamb running against Congressman-for-life Norm Dicks in the 6th District.
steve cofchin

That’s why I was startled to see an email from a national organization ptiching an
oped piece "that mentions your local congressional candidate, Steven Cofchin." High name recognition, there.

Turns out Cofchin (pictured) is one of only four Washington congressional candidates who have signed something called "A Promise to Our Children and Grandchildren."
(List here).

Read on for proof that neither Congressman Adam Smith nor The News Tribune exists.

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Weekend editorial lineup


Quick Takes: A collection of brief comments on the week’s news.


America’s troops and their famlies, including many of our neighbors in the South Sound, are bearing a difficult burden and performing superbly as we fight in Iraq. But our troops – and the nation – have suffered from a failure of leadership in the White House.


The historic preservationists trying to get the City Council to block the demolition of Tacoma’s First United Methodist Church should give up. The church has a right to decide what to do with the building,

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Obama touts I-937

Backers of the Clean Energy Initiative (I-937) scored a coup: an endorsement from hot pol Barack Obama, the senator whose face is showing up on magazine covers all over the



At a rally Thursday in Bellevue to boost the campaigns of Sen. Maria Cantwell

and 8th Congressional District candidate Darcy Burner, the Democrat from Illinois said: "I-937 is a vital first step in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. By passing I-937 in November, Washington will join 20 other states in charting a

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Endorsement wrapup Sunday

We’re already getting calls from readers asking when our advisory ballot – the complete list of our election endorsements – will appear. Some of them have been taking it to the polls with them for years. Others want to know so they can vote the other way. We’re happy to please.

The list will run Sunday on the main editorial page. Starting Sunday, it can be found online, along with previously published endorsement editorials, at


Friday editorials

Bitter clashes over school closings have cost the Seattle School District its superintendent and plunged the district into chaos. Tacomans, who will face closure recommendations for at least two schools in November, should do everything they can to avoid following Seattle’s example. The key is putting the overall interests of the schools ahead of neighborhood priorities.

We endorse Norm Dicks and Adam Smith for re-election in the 6th and 9th districts, respectively.

About our editorials:

If you have comments or questions about these topics, please email them to Editorials represent the consensus view of The

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Record voter turnout predicted

Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed is predicting record voter turnout for the Nov. 7 general election.

Reed’s forecast for 67 percent turnout of registered voters would top the 1982 record of 66.72 percent for an even-year, non-presidential election.

Hotly contested U.S. Senate and House races, statewide ballot measures and county-level races are one factor. But Reed also notes that 34 counties now vote entirely by mail, which boosts turnout. In the September primary, 93 percent of the registered voters who cast ballots did so by mail.

Pierce County still has both polling places and mail

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Renewables that didn’t cut it with I-937

Initiative 937, on the state ballot this fall, is meant to encourage Washington utilities to invest in renewable energy – environment-friendly, non-global-warming things like wind and solar power. See our endorsement of the measure, which ran Sunday.

It would require utilities, with some wiggle room, to get 15 percent of their electricity from renewables by the year 2020. One of the initiative’s mysteries (for me anyway) was its unwillingness to let utilities count any future hydro power projects toward that quota, including environmentally benign "low impact" hydro, and its exclusion of black liquor, a byproduct of pulp mills. Both are renewable and at least potentially benign. The mystery deepened when I discovered that Green-e – an environmental outfit that certifies power sources as earth-friendly – was willing to certify the above.

So I asked K.C. Golden, a policy director for Climate Solutions who is closely associated with the measure, for an explanation. He in turn forwarded my email to two other people behind I-937, Bill LaBorde and Danielle Dixon of the Northwest Energy Coalition. I wound up with three answers. For my query and their responses, read on:

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Editorial cartoons + animation = Very funny

Pulitzer Prize-winner Walt Handelsman of Newsday has long been one of my favorite editorial cartoonists for his wry wit and willingness to take swipes at both sides of the aisle. He’s recently expanded his repertoire to include animated cartoons, which are available at the Newsday Web site.

Picture 7.jpgHere’s the latest, a poke at the Mark Foley scandal set to Michael Jackson’s Beat It. Don’t read it. Don’t read it/If he sends you e-mail, delete it/He’ll ask you what you’re wearing. Does it fit tight/Don’t open that message. That stuff just ain’t right.

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