Inside Opinion

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

NOTICE: Inside Opinion has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Inside Opinion.
Visit the new section.

Archives: Nov. 2008


Conduct unbecoming a justice

The following editorial appears Monday in the print edition.

Justice Sanders’ outburst was hardly judicious
Yelling ‘Tyrant’ at the short-timer attorney general isn’t the best way to express a difference of opinion.

State Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders may not have violated any judicial canons when he yelled "Tyrant! You are a tyrant!" at the U.S. attorney general during a speech last week in Washington D.C.

But he sure violated the rules of common sense and courtesy.
Sanders’ voice is clearly caught on tape, as is Attorney General Michael Mukasey’s startled expression. Mukasey later fainted – it’s not believed to be related to Sanders’ outburst – but he has since recovered.

Read more »


Mumbai attacks a timely reminder of terror threat

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

News from Mumbai was an unwelcome guest at many a family’s Thanksgiving last week, a disturbing demonstration of terrorism’s continued threat.

A series of coordinated attacks on India’s financial capital had left 143 dead as of this writing. India is no stranger to terrorist bombings, but the scale and organization of last week’s attacks distinguishes them.

The terrorists apparently were prepared for a standoff. On Friday, two days after gunmen struck luxury hotels, a train station and other spots frequented by tourists and foreigners, Indian commandos were still struggling to end the siege.

Read more »


Have Obama, will sell

McClatchy Newspapers has a story about how merchandise with a Barack Obama tie-in is selling like hot cakes.

A quick Google search turns up an interesting Web site that chronicles the “35 Wackiest Weirdest Barack Obama Merchandise You Can Actually Buy.”

Items include a lifesize cardboard cutout, an Obama action figure, Barack bobblehead (hmmmm, I know someone in the newsroom who would love one of these) and a birthday card that has Obama saying, “Can you have the greatest birthday ever? Yes! You can!”

Read more »


For the weekend: Terror in Mumbai, a mouthy justice at home

Sunday: News from Mumbai was an unwelcome guest at many a family’s Thanksgiving last week, a terrifying reminder of terrorism’s virulent and continued threat.

Monday: There he goes again: Justice Richard Sanders doesn’t know when to bite his tongue.

If you have comments or questions about these topics, please email them to Editorials represent the consensus view of The News Tribune’s editorial board.

Want to sit in on a daily ed board meeting? Email to make an appointment.


Another candidate for school name

My colleague, Kim Bradford, and I worked up pro-con editorials running today on whether a new Tacoma middle school on the East Side should be named after Barack Obama. (I argue yes, she argues no.)

In checking with education reporter Kris Sherman, we learned that only two Tacoma schools are named for people of color. Do you know who they are? See below for the answer.

Another African-American candidate officials might want to consider is ragtime great Joe Jordan (pictured). I know that his name is on the Lincoln High School arts center (along with that of Lincoln alum and trumpet virtuoso Ray Cummings). But he’d be a good candidate for greater recognition. He collaborated with W.C. Handy, led military bands during World War II and was a successful Tacoma businessman. Read more about him here.

So which two Tacoma schools are named for people of color?
See below.

Read more »


Pro-con on Obama Middle School idea

This pro-con, by editorial writers Cheryl Tucker and Kim Bradford, will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Should Tacoma school be named for Obama?

YES: The Tacoma School District could mark a historic first and inspire students
to reach for the stars.

Tacoma School Board member Kurt Miller has a great idea: Put President-elect Barack Obama’s name on a middle school under construction on the city’s East Side.

The district’s naming policy would have to be modified. Current rules require a person to be dead at least two years or to have a served a presidential term before a school is named after him or her. There’s a good reason for that policy: A living person or untried president could do something in the future to cast a shadow on the school.

But the historic nature of Obama’s election warrants rethinking the policy – or at least making an exception. There is precedent: Henry Foss was still living when Foss High School was named for him. And the district could always rename the school in the unlikely event that Obama messes up royally.

Read more »


Happy Thanksgiving

We here at the TNT Opinion Desk give thanks for:

&bull Readers who don’t go ballistic when they read opinions that differ from theirs.

&bull Thoughtful debate in the comments on our blog postings and editorials.

&bull Letter writers who keep it short, civil and timely.

&bull People who are passionate about their community and spend countless hours trying to improve it.

&bull Sunshine laws.

&bull Elected officials who give us so much editorial fodder to work with.

&bull Callers who phone to complain that

Read more »


Distress up, income down: Giving needed

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

Thanksgiving is an ideal day to celebrate human generosity. Our communities need a holiday-sized helping of it now.

Economists have recently confirmed that the United States is officially in recession. Some point to early indicators of a particularly severe recession.

But South Sound nonprofits have been seeing the indicators for months. United Way of Pierce County, for example, maintains a hotline number – 211 – to connect people who urgent needs to agencies that can help them.

The line got 6,400 calls last month, an increase of 20 percent over the previous year. In July, the average caller had 1.5 "needs" – requests for shelter, food, utility assistance, etc. In August, the average hit 3.2, reflecting a surge in distress.

Basic sustenance is in shorter supply. The FISH Food Banks of Pierce County handled 31 percent more requests for food through September compared to 2007 – and was simultaneously hit with a 26 percent increase in the price of food.

The Emergency Food Network, which supplies most of the county’s food banks, routinely receives large quantities of goods from supermarkets and other stores. But retailers are feeling the squeeze, too, and some can’t give as much; one major donor has had to cut back from 80,000 pounds to 20,000 pounds a week. The network recently had to spend $30,000 to make up for the decline in donations.

That sums up the perverse cruelty of an economic downtown. When hard times come, more people are in need, and their needs are greater. But those same hard times make it harder for donors to give.

Read more »