Inside Opinion

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

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Archives: Nov. 2006

Nov.
29th

No sunshine for solar seller

If Puget Sounders are so green-minded, why won’t they buy solar stuff like solar electric systems and solar-powered appliances? Because it seemed commercially self-serving, we rejected a letter to the editor from a local solar-gear dealer complaining about a lack of business. But it’s an interesting gripe. Here’s part of it:


I have been installing solar here in the Puget Sound area for years for people that really care and want to do their part to fight the global warming threat and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. They are making a real effort but I still get the

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Nov.
29th

Hybrid hype

prius

I’m as interested as anyone in replacing gas guzzlers on the road with more fuel-efficient vehicles – like my Toyota Prius. But exaggerating the popular hybrid’s mpg isn’t the way to do it.


In recent days I’ve seen and heard ads for the Prius bragging that it gets "60 miles per gallon." That may be what the car gets under the Environmental Protection Agency’s ideal testing conditions, but that’s

not what everyday users get. The best I’ve ever gotten in almost two years of ownership is 50 mpg. The

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Nov.
28th

IRV backers see momentum

Pierce County’s instant-runoff voting activists were buoyed by positive editorials that appeared in the Seattle Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer following passage of Charter Amendment 9 on Nov. 7. The Times hopes that King County will join the IRV bandwagon and once that happens, that IRV will spread to the entire state.

They also noted that Minnesota’s largest newspaper, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, recently editorialized in favor of statewide IRV. Minneapolis voters approved IRV for the city earlier this month.

Kelly Haughton, a leader in Pierce County IRV efforts, says IRV backers will work for two bills in the 2007 Legislature. One would allow Pierce County to use IRV for electing the county prosecutor and judges – offices that were not covered by the IRV charter amendment voters approved Nov. 7. The othe would allow all local jurisdictions, not just the county, to use IRV.

Read on for more Haughton comments. Also, check out the comment on this post. The Vancouver Columbian has weighed in with a supportive editorial as well.

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Nov.
28th

wednesday editorials

Holding off on WASL math graduation requirement is defensible in light of evidence that the state doesn’t have its act together on math curriculum. We’re concerned, however, that the state not settle on too narrow a list of math curricula local districts can choose from.


Lakewood’s young police department needs a home of its own. Its operations are scattered among four different locations, affecting efficiency and making it hard for residents to know where to go for services. The city has a plan to build a headquarters building, but council members differ on whether to build to accommodate future

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Nov.
28th

What’s up at the library?

Ran into Tacoma Public Library Director Susan Odencrantz during a quick lunchtime dash into the main branch downtown. Excuse our mess, she said. The front exterior is covered with scaffolding, and inside installers rerranging the shelves and putting in new lighting are violating the quiet rule.


The $1.5 million interior remodeling was long planned, Odencrantz said, but having to replace exterior windows was not. When Main was remodeled 15 years ago, windows were improperly installed, causing chronic leaks. The contractor went bankrupt some time later, so the library was unable to recover any costs. The replacement work will cost

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Nov.
27th

Tuesday’s editorials

The great success of the UWTacoma’s capital fund drive — backers have twice raised their campaign goal — demonstrates how much UWT means to Tacoma. We don’t doubt that the UW’s top brass and state legislators take notice.


The death by radioactive poisoning of a prominent critic of the Russian government is still a mystery, but it adds to chilling suspicions that Soviet-style suppression of dissent is alive and well in Putin’s Russia.


About our editorials:

If you have comments or questions about these topics, please email them to david.seago@thenewstribune.com. Editorials represent the consensus view of

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Nov.
27th

Update on Dan Grimm

Our Veteran’s Day oped piece by Puyallup resident Dale Millican brought an interesting envelope to my desk. The return address was from a Dan Grimm in Puyallup.


That brought a flashback. Grimm is a former state representative from Puyallup (six terms) and served two terms as state treasurer. He left elective politics in 1996 in the wake of questions about campaign contributions he received from financial firms doing business with the state.


As chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Grimm played a big role in establishing the Washington State History Musuem in Tacoma.

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Nov.
26th

Global trade and its discontents

America is nearly always roiled up over its relationship to the rest of the world, and much of the turmoil is focused on global trade. We’re firmly on the “free trade” side of the argument, as we made clear again in our editorial today fretting about Democrats and international commerce. Washington has a dog in this fight: It’s the most trade-dependent state in the Union.


One steadfast opponent of NAFTA and other free trade agreements is the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal outfit. Here is one of its warnings about CAFTA, a mini-NAFTA designed to encourage

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