Inside Opinion

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

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Archives: Jan. 2008

Jan.
31st

TV Tacoma adopts captioning

TV Tacoma has just done me – and other deaf or hearing-impaired Tacomans – a big, big favor.


Starting Tuesday, Feb. 5, TV Tacoma’s cable broadcasts of Tacoma City Council meetings will offer closed captions, otherwise known as subtitles.


If Mayor Bill Baarsma declares, “Read my lips,” I can read the caption as well as his lips. I’m biased, of course, but I think this is a great step in making city government accessible.


Now it would be just perfect if TV Tacoma would televise council study sessions as well. But city staffers say the small room

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Jan.
31st

More abandoned pets? Not here

Abandoned pets are overwhelming animal shelters in some parts of the country as home foreclosures lead many families to leave their pets behind, according to The Associated Press.


But that’s not happening here, at least not at the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County. Staff there report that in the last three months, they have seen a decrease in animals entering the shelter because their owners moved, became homeless, were evicted or abandoned them during a move. The decline comes at a time when total shelter admissions are rising slightly.


What’s going on? Certainly, our

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Jan.
31st

Kerry to stump for Obama in Tacoma

“Obama in Tacoma.” A guy could elected president with a slogan like that.


Pierce County Democratic Party Chairman Nathe Lawver sends word on campaign events this week for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. (What are we to make of the fact that the local chair can’t spell Obama’s name right?)


The Kerry visit tomorrow for Barak Obama will take place at the

Colored Woman’s Club (I believe that’s on South Yakima), 4 p.m.

2316 Yakima Ave Tacoma, WA 98405


Then, in the interest of equal time, and Dave W. reported this on the blog,

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Jan.
31st

Search for health chief nears decision

Tacoma City Councilman Rick Talbert, chairman of the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health, updates us on the search for a new health director:


We interviewed 6 candidates last week. Three internal and three external. There were also question and answer sessions before a group of stakeholders and a group of health department employees.



The board now has to decide which if any of the candidates should be submitted to the County Executive and The Mayor for final consideration. More comprehensive background checks would also be conducted.



I am hopeful we will

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Jan.
31st

State yanks felon housing grant

We’ve just learned that state officials have withdrawn its conditional approval for a controversial $1.1 millon grant for housing released prison inmates in Tacoma and Pierce County.


The state Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development announced the decision today in letters to C4RJ and the Tacoma City Council.

The letter (PDF file here) cited a number of deficiencies in the group’s application.


The move comes as no surprise to the ed board, which met for two hours with C4RJ leaders Carl D. Jones and Edryce Reynolds Wednesday afternoon.


Aside from the descrepancies

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Jan.
31st

Friday editorials: A fine mess in DUI cases

1. The legal mess over breath test results from bungling (and dishonest) state patrol lab work has us wondering what kind of oversight the agency applies to lab management.


2. The Tacoma School Board and top officials should forget blaming the messenger — the state auditor — and own up to violating the state’s open meetings law and promise not to do it again.


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 The News Tribune’s editorial board.

Want

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Jan.
31st

Rottweilers of the Hilltop

Carl Jones and Edryce Reynolds, two leaders of Citizens for Responsible Justice, came in late yesterday afternoon to persuade us that the Citizens aren’t bad guys.


As in “bad guys who submitted a dubious application that won a $1.1 million grant they’ll use to import a bunch of felons to the Hilltop.”


Jones and Reynolds persuaded us, or me at least, that C4RJ is a well-intentioned group that fervently believes in rehabilitation but is in way over its head.


They overlook important things. They bungle paperwork. They forgot to apply for a renewal of their nonprofit

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Jan.
31st

A scholar’s thoughts on the pagan Catholic

While my colleague Pat O’Callahan was working on today’s editorial about the McNeil Island prison chaplain and his religious quandary, I asked UPS religion professor Judith Kay for her thoughts on the matter.

For instance, I asked, who decides what is a legitimate religion, and how? Here’s Kay’s response:

Hi David,

This is a complicated issue.

From an individual’s perspective, we ought to be free to formulate our own understanding of the universe and ultimate reality, including the nature of God, if there is one, etc. There are limits on this freedom, as there are limits to any freedom—minimally, my religious practice ought to be restricted if it harms others without just cause. (Killing innocents in the name of religion does not make the killing of innocents right.)

Prisoners are perhaps even more need of such autonomy because their spiritual freedom is one of the few freedoms they truly possess. With their bodies imprisoned, their minds and hearts are free to adopt perspectives outside the repression that surrounds them.

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