Inside Opinion

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

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Archives: Sep. 2007

Sep.
30th

America, where are you?

You’d think – after the Iraq debacle and any number of lesser blunders elsewhere – that people abroad would have stopped thinking of the United States as the first responder of the world.


You’d think. Buried in the Associated Press’ coverage of demonstrators being beaten by soldiers in Myanmar was this plea from an unidentified onlooker:


“Why don’t the Americans come to help us? Why doesn’t America save us?”


The poor guy must have been watching too many documentaries on the Normandy invasion. Hasn’t he noticed that we Americans haven’t been doing a spectacular job of saving

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Sep.
29th

‘Math doctors’ from Texas called in

The state has turned to experts from the University of Texas for help in straightening out the math standards used for the math portion of the state’s WASL test.


The Texas team will lead revision of the state’s K-12 mathematics learning standards – a task to be finished in four months. The work starts next week.


Poorly developed math standards get much of the blame for high failure rates on the math part of the test required for high school graduation.


The standards are supposed to determine what students at various grade levels should know and

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Sep.
28th

They come to bend our ears

Here’s our current schedule of editorial board meetings with outside groups.


Oct. 2, 10 a.m. No on Referendum 67 campaign


Oct. 3, 9:30 a.m. Save NE Tacoma, re Northshore project


Oct. 3, 3 p.m., Spiro Manthou, candidate interview


Oct. 4, 10 a.m. Citizens for a Better Ballot, Kelly Haughton, Richard Anderson-Connolly, re charter amendments


Oct. 8, 2 p.m., Julio Quan, backers of Tacoma’s Proposition 1, universal health care


Oct. 8, 3 p.m., United Way leaders, re early learning initiative


Oct. 10, 10 a.m., Historic Tacoma, historic preservation efforts.


Oct. 11, 10 a.m.,

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Sep.
28th

RCV backers take the offensive

Spotted this sign on my way to work this morning. It’s a reminder that eight Pierce County charter amendments will be on the Nov. 6 ballot. it’s unusual to see yard signs on charter amendments.

Citizens for a Better Ballot, the group that campaigned last year for ranked-choice voting – also known as instant-runoff voting – is behind the “No on No. 4″ signs. Proposed Charter Amendment No. 4 would delay the county’s first ranked-choice voting election until 2010.

Note the “Pick a Party” tag on the sign. That’s a reminder voters opted for RCV at least in part as a reaction to the demise of the states’ blanket primary. With RCV, there is no primary – just one election in which the winners are determined in a process of elimination.

RCV proponents want to remind voters how much they hate “pick a party” voting in closed primaries.

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Sep.
28th

Another children’s museum controversy

Tacoma’s not the only city with a controversy over siting a children’s museum. Chicago, well known for its support of museums, is also debating the issue.

Chicago’s case is a little different: whether it’s appropriate to put a private, pay-for-entry children’s museum in the city’s public Grant Park. And there’s also a racial element that I don’t think applies to Tacoma. But the basic issue is the same as the controversy over the proposal by the Children’s Museum of Tacoma (which also has an admission charge) to build a new facility on the Thea Foss Waterway: the potential loss of open space.

The land the museum wants to build on in Tacoma was purchased with money set aside for preservation of open space. Opponents want the Foss Waterway Development Authority, the owner of the property, to find a different location for the museum.

Here’s the Associated Press article.

Residents oppose plan for children’s museum at popular park along Chicago lakefront
By CARYN ROUSSEAU
CHICAGO (AP) — Nestled between Lake Michigan and downtown skyscrapers, Grant Park is the crown jewel of the city’s lakefront, a mile-long ribbon of green that draws local residents and tourists alike.

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Sep.
27th

Sounder southbound, all aboard

People have been waiting a long time for Sound Transit to launch its first “reverse commute” – i.e. Seattle-to-Tacoma instead of Tacoma-to-Seattle – Sounder run.


Or maybe not.


The reverse commute’s maiden voyage Monday attracted only 44 passengers from up north in the a.m. Tuesday’s ridership fell to 25 coming south. Wednesday, it was 32.


The numbers weren’t impressive, but they’ve got nowhere to go but up. The people at Sound Transit remain bullish. Linda Robson of the agency’s media relations office had this to say:


“What’s important to note is that each year

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Sep.
27th

Billboard blight in Northeast Tacoma


Northeast Tacoma residents must be seething about this billboard that popped up recently at the corner of Norpoint Way and 29th Street Northeast.


I just about fell out of my car when I first saw it. The sign, mounted on a big pylon only a few feet from the streetcorner, all but slaps you in the face as you drive up the hill on Norpoint Way. I hate billboards in general, but this one is the most offensively located billboard I’ve ever seen.


The billboard stands on the

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