Inside Opinion

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

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Archives: Nov. 2008


Coming up: Donors needed, two takes on Obama Middle School

Here’s what you’ll see on the editorial page over the next two days.


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


Should the Tacoma School Board name the new middle school on the East Side for Barack Obama? Two editorial writers square off.

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.


Those $#@&!!!! packages

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s printed edition.

The clamshell backlash finally nears victory
Whose bright idea was it to encase consumer goods
in impregnable plastic oysters?

Somehow, the logic of American retailing demanded 10 years ago that many consumer products be sealed in impregnable plastic armor.

Result: the "clamshell" or "oyster" packages that protect everything from computer mice to MP3 players from the people who bought them.

Typically made of nonrecyclable PVC and welded with epoxy, these transparent packages are simply impossible to open with bare hands. Probably no creature on earth – shark, crocodile, snapping turtle – could rip through the things.

Read more »


Performance audits: Good advice when state needs it most

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition:

State finances are tight, but skipping the next round of performance audits is not the way to cut costs.

Just about everything in state government is sporting a bull’s eye these days as the governor and state lawmakers come to terms with a $5 billion – and growing – budget shortfall.

Nevertheless, it is surprising to see one item among those nominated for the chopping block: the performance audits authorized by Initiative 900.

Perhaps that’s a sign of just how desperate the state’s predicament is. We can see no other reason for suggesting the state auditor stop doing the reviews that help build cost-effective state programs.

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Justice Sanders clams up

Washington Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders is known for speaking his mind and defending his right to do so. But it seems the Tacoma native will neither deny nor admit allegations that he was heckling Attorney General Michael Mukasey at last week’s Federalist Society dinner before Mukasey collapsed.

The Wall Street Journal has the story here. Adam Wilson from our sister paper in Olympia followed up with the justice, who had this to say when asked if he was the heckler:

“As to that, I don’t have

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For Wednesday: Performance audits on chopping block

Brian Sonntag’s performance audits have hit the state’s “do not buy” list. The solution isn’t to cut the audits, but to ensure agencies heed the money-saving recommendations.

Somehow, the logic of American retailing demanded 10 years ago that many consumer products be sealed in impregnable plastic armor. The good news is, the anti-clamshell movement has been making gains. (This was held yesterday to make room for today’s editorial on economic plans.)

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.

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OK, now it’s a little scary

I’ve enjoyed the plummeting gas prices as much as the next person. I did a lot of driving on a recent vacation in Florida, and it was nice not to spend a lot of money filling up the rental.

But now the price has fallen so far so fast that it’s kind of scary. When I drove to work Monday, the price per gallon at the Arco station was $1.86. Nine hours later it had dropped a full 10 cents per gallon, to $1.76.

I’m not complaining, just confused. The price never rose quite that fast. Anybody have an explanation?

UPDATE: Oil prices continued to fall in trading today, and gas prices have fallen to their lowest price since 2004. Here’s the latest:

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The economy and the lame duck

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s printed edition.

Current, future presidents making some good moves
President Bush and President-elect Obama are taking actions
that have already had a soothing effect on Wall Street.

There never really is a good time to have the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

There is, however, a really bad time for it.

That would be in the waning weeks of a lame-duck president’s term while the nation is waging not one but two foreign wars.

The outgoing president could be detached and distracted, reluctant to take forceful action that his successor would have to live with. The president-elect could be bogged down in transition details and hesitant to seem like he’s pre-empting his predecessor who is, after all, still president.

Fortunately, not too much of that seems to be going on.

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