Inside Opinion

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

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Archives: May 2008

May
31st

Spamalicious!


The News Tribune ran an Associated Press story Thursday about how sales of Spam and other lower-cost foods have increased as folks deal with tighter budgets. Alas, the price of Spam is also up – about 7 percent from this time last year. An average 12-ounce can costs $2.62.


I suspect this much-mocked lunchmeat has many more fans than one might suspect. It’s very popular, for instance, among Hawaiians and other Pacific islanders. In Hawaii, Spam is on McDonald’s breakfast menu. And at L&I Hawaiian Barbecue (a

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May
31st

Revenue task force members speak

Members of Metro Parks’ controversial revenue task force will get a chance to defend their work Wednesday at the City Club of Tacoma’s monthly dinner.


The evening is billed as an opportunity for the volunteer task force members to weigh in on the uproar over their work to identify revenue-generating opportunities for the parks district.


It’s worth remembering that the controversy didn’t stem from the task force members’ ideas as much as it did the poor job the parks district did in spreading the word. Neighborhood councils didn’t hear anything about the task force until

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May
30th

Tacoma to letter writer: That stink isn’t us

Morgan Alexander’s letter to the editor last Saturday about the sewage smell on the Ruston Way waterfront got some notice at City Hall. In his weekly report to the council, City Manager Eric Anderson attributed the stink to rotting wood waste from the waterfront’s industrial past:

Interim Public Works Director Mike Slevin reports that the North End Treatment Plant is an advanced primary plant and has an odor control system that was installed in 1997. … Odors are emitted occasionally from the plant premises during the loading of sludge trucks; however, this is fairly minor because the amount of the odor emitting surface area that is exposed to the air is fairly small. Odors can also emanate from the rag bins but these are enclosed and only emit gas to the outside air when the doors to the area are open. This rarely occurs except when the bins are being loaded onto trucks….

Most often odor complaint times match up when Tacoma experiences a low tide. This is because the Mason creek area was once home to at least one large sawmill. Pictures of the area from the early days of Tacoma show sawmills built on piers. At that time, common practice was for sawmills to dump their wood waste (sawdust, bark, etc.) directly into the water. The decomposition of wood waste in salt water, which is a low oxygen environment, creates sulfurous compounds (rotten egg smell).

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May
30th

Don’t weep for Florida Democrats

One of Hillary Clinton’s more plausible-sounding arguments for seating all the delegates from the disqualified Florida primary comes down to: “The Republicans made us do it.”


That is, Florida’s Republican legislature forced the state Democrats to accept the Jan. 29 primary date that ran afoul of the Democratic National Committee’s rules. So don’t punish Florida Democrats for something the conniving, vote-stealing, chad-contesting Florida GOP foisted upon them.


But the argument is merely plausible-sounding. It falls apart when you look at the history.


The early primary – designed to upstage Iowa and New Hampshire – was

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May
30th

Weekend editorials: Music education, urban wasteland, citizen patrols

Saturday

It may come as little comfort to Tacoma parents fighting cutbacks in school music education offerings, but theirs is a fight that’s going on all over the country.


Sunday:

1. A little planning could have made all the difference in the Tacoma Mall area, which is now marred by haphazard townhouse development and an appalling lack of playgrounds.


2. After five years of bloodshed, the formidable weight of the U.S. military is barely holding Iraq together. Next door, the United States appears completely out of options in dealing with Iran’s apparent drive for a nuclear

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May
29th

So who isn’t a crapweasel?

Jonah Goldberg, whom some of you may remember as a columnist we recently dropped, opened his new rant about Scott McClellan with this gem of a lead:


Not since America’s most revered feckless crapweasel, former Vermont Sen. James Jeffords, switched parties have Beltway Republicans been more eager to sew a half-starved ferret into someone’s body cavity.



If Goldberg had come up with a sentence like that more than once a year, we never would have dropped him.


Anyway, he got me going on the word “crapweasel,” which I’d never run into before. (To what

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May
28th

The gig’s up for Semaj

It was kind of funny a year and a half ago when 9-year-old Semaj Booker bluffed his way past Sea-Tac Airport security, then sneaked on, not one, but two Southwest flights all the way to Dallas.


On his second attempt, Tuesday, it wasn’t funny anymore. This is looking less like derring-do than a pint-sized punk getting an early start on a career of petty crime.


Maybe the appearances on “Inside Edition” and “The Dr. Phil Show” went to his head. After that, maybe being just another 10-year-old seemed a little dull.


Whatever. Semaj got

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