Inside Opinion

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

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Archives: July 2007

July
30th

Want to rat on a cow?

I’ve got a lawyer version of “City Slickers” here.


An Auburn couple just sent me a copy of a letter they received last week from a Tacoma law firm seeking information about a December 2005 car vs. cow collision on Military Road near Algona. The cow evidently had wandered on the road in front of a car; the impact damaged the car and injured the driver.


The driver wants to sue, but he and his lawyers in Tacoma don’t know who owned the cow. But the lawyers have a description of the suspects:


There were three

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July
30th

RCV repeal bid dies

News flash from a Pierce County Council staffer:

,

The Rules & Operations Committee just voted 2-0 (Councilmember Lee excused) to postpone indefinitely the executive’s requested ordinance (2007-73) that would have eliminated instant runooff voting and restored the primary election.

July
30th

Vote-by-mail decision put off

The Pierce County Council will put off a decision on going to all-mail voting until next year, council people tell me.


Auditor Pat McCarthy asked the council to approve all-mail voting mainly to ease the burden on poll workers in the November 2008 election, the first to use ranked choice voting for most countywide offices. That decision can be made by council ordinance.


But the council has its hands right now wrestling with proposed RCV-related charter amendments for this November’s ballot. There will be plenty of time to deal with it next year; apparently the question won’t be

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July
30th

Strong field for Utility Board seat

When only three candidates filed applied for a vacancy on the Tacoma Utility Board last month, the City Council’s appointments committee decided to extend the application deadline.


Good move. The council now has a strong field of eight applicants for the post, vacant since Bill LaBorde’s departure at the end of June. He’s moving to Seattle. Mayor Bill Baarsman says the appointments committee will interview candidates tonight; council action might follow in another week or two.


The appointment is particularly important because the Utility Board will be hiring a successor to longtime Tacoma Public Utilities

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July
30th

No RCV amendment needed, Haughton says

Kelly Haughton, a leader in the drive to bring instant runoff voting to Pierce County, insists that no RCV-related charter amendment is needed this fall.


The County Council will consider several election-related charter amendments Tuesday, including one that would repeal the ranked choice voting amendment voters approved only last November. The others would either delay the implementation to 2010 or make other “tweaks” thought necessary for legal reasons.


No tweaks needed, Haughton argues:


In writing the charter amendment for IRV/RCV, we were advised to not write into the charter too much administrative detail. We were aware

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July
29th

Take that, you scummy editor

Part of my job as an editor is saying “no” to people. We reject letters to the editor if they’re not fit for print or lacking in some other way. We turn down articles submitted for our opinion pages if they don’t meet our test of what’s appropriate for that forum. We’re paid to exercise that judgment.


Of course, that means we hear back from some unhappy readers and writers.

For example, here’s the riposte I received after nixing an overlong, overwrought and overly academic opinon piece from local college professor:


You represent another reward and protection

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July
27th

RCV appeal dead on arrival

Pierce County Council Chairman Terry Lee called today to answer a few questions I had about the controversial ranked choice voting charter amendments the council plans to consider Tuesday. (News story.)

We’ll have an editorial on the subject Sunday.


Lee said he favors putting just one amendment on the ballot in November – the one offered by Councilman Tim Farrell. That one would allow voters to rank their top three choices in each race in 2008; by 2010, voters would get to rank all the candidates in each race, provided suitable ballot tabulation software is available

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July
27th

Spare a few bucks for First Night?

Today we have a a guest editorial from Alicia Lawver, one of a plucky band of good citizens with a great cause. Over to you, Alicia:


Please pardon the mass mail, and the clumsy request for donations, but many of you likely know that I’ve been working with the First Night Tacoma-Pierce County board to coordinate the return of this fabulous arts-centric, fun-for-everyone, non-alcohol, fabulous New Year’s Eve bash, which used to be a Pierce County mainstay, and I’m excited to be a part of working to bring it back again.


First Night currently has a generous offer

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