Inside Opinion

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

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Archives: Nov. 2007

Nov.
29th

Justice for matricide: Harsh and harsher

Daniel Tavares Jr. would have gotten rougher treatment in some places than he did in Massachusetts for the crime that originally put him behind bars: fatally stabbing his mother 16 years ago.


A hypothetical: Had Tavares hacked his mother to death in Texas – not Massachusetts – and spent his subsequent prison time attacking guards and threatening to kill people, would he have been free in Graham, armed and angry, a couple weeks ago?


But ancient Rome made Texas look like Massachusetts. If you killed your mother (or father) there, the penalty was fearsome: You were sewn

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Nov.
29th

In Massachusetts: Angst over Tavares

There’s not much question that Commonwealth of Massachusetts is softer on killers than the State of Washington. Massachusetts doesn’t execute anybody for anything; we’ll very occasionally march a murderer to the death chamber, so long as he volunteers for it.


But some worthies in Massachusetts are seriously upset about the cluster of blunders (see today’s editorial) that allowed Daniel Tavares Jr. to flee the state and land in Graham, where by his own admission he shot a young couple to death a week ago Saturday.


This is a Big Story in Boston, and its connection to Mitt

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Nov.
29th

Regime change at Sound Transit?

Chances are that Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels will succeed Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg as chair of Sound Transit when Ladenburg leaves his county post at the end of 2008.


Nickels is campaigning for the post and will probably get it, Tacoma City Councilwoman Julie Anderson told us this week. Chief editorial writer Pat O’Callahan and I had few minutes with Anderson after Tuesday’s City Council study session.


Anderson, the council’s representative on the Sound Transit board, turned in a low-key performance during the study session. She left it to Ladenburg to address fears that Sound Transit’s planned

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Nov.
28th

Top Murray staffer back in Tacoma

Rick Desimone, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray’s chief of staff for eight years and a veteran of Washington politics, is happy to be a Tacoman again.


Desimone left Murray’s D.C. staff at the end of 2006 and now heads the state office of McBee Strategic, a D.C. political consulting firm with strong Northwest ties. McBee founder Steve McBee worked for U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks for many years, Desimone told me today.


I met Desimone when he dropped by the TNT with Linda Lanham, the subject of my previous post here. I was curious how a top political operator

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Nov.
28th

New role for Machinist leader

The conventional wisdom in Washington politics is that Boeing gets what it wants. But there’s more to the state’s aerospace industry than Boeing, Linda Lanham wants you to know.


Lanham used to be the Machinists union’s top lobbyist in Olympia. Now she’s wearing a new hat as executive director of the Aerospace Futures Alliance of Washington, a new interest group formed to represent 650 other aerospace-related firms employing 110,000 people in Washington.


Lanham dropped by to see the ed board on the eve of a “Governor’s Aerospace Summit” Thursday in Bellevue. Gov. Chris Gregoire and Boeing Commercial

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Nov.
28th

The Eyman-Rossi Axis

Gov. Chris Gregoire and the Dems have taken some hard knocks (from me, among others) for caving into pressure from Tim Eyman to reinstate Initiative 747 in a special session.


Dino Rossi, Gregoire’s Republican challenger-apparent, has escaped much of the flak because there’s no reason to think he’s selling out his conservative principles in pushing to revive I-747.


Rossi’s made a big deal of Gregoire seemingly parroting his own call for the special session – evidence of deficient leadership, he said. But Rossi is starting to look like a parrot himself. His demand for the session followed

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Nov.
28th

Krugman haters, unite!

I’ve had a couple calls recently from readers who can’t stand that conservative jerk Jonah Goldberg and wish we would dump his syndicated column.


I told them we get just as many calls demanding we get rid of that liberal jerk Paul Krugman, the New York Times columnist we also carry in our opinion pages.

Here’s an example, taken from today’s Reader Representative log in the newsroom:


Caller:

John N. (Phone number withheld)


Expectation:

Banish Paul Krugman columns from the editorial page. Reader is concerned that we’re going the way of the PI. He

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Nov.
27th

Lakewood to Tacoma: Get that train rolling

Lakewood’s mayor, Claudia Thomas, doesn’t usually hang with the Tacoma City Council. But she provided the most dramatic moment of its study session today.


Some champions of Tacoma’s Dome District have been pressing the council to try to halt the extension of Sound Transit’s Sounder line – which now ends at the Dome – to Lakewood. They’re mostly worried that the new rails could bisect and blight the area.


Thomas was indignant about yet another delay in delivering commuter rail service to Lakewood, which Sound Transit promised the city way back in the 1996.


“The citizens of

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