Inside Opinion

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

NOTICE: Inside Opinion has moved.

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Archives: Aug. 2009

Aug.
31st

Obama’s Plan B for nuke waste: Hanford

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Washington doesn’t have the geology to store high-level nuclear wastes. Too much groundwater; too much risk of radioactivity spreading into aquifers and the Columbia River.

Such was the verdict of the scientists and policymakers who rejected Hanford as a nuclear waste dump more than 20 years ago. But President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are fast reversing that verdict.

Their goal is to kill a planned permanent nuclear waste repository in Nevada, not create one in Washington. But it’s the same difference.

Hanford, the nuclear reservation in Eastern Washington, is already saddled with thousands of tons of intensely radioactive reactor-core byproducts. All of it was supposed to be buried in bone-dry caves under Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. Terminate the Yucca Mountain project, and you eliminate what was supposed to be the destination of Washington’s reactor wastes as well as wastes from more than 100 other reactor complexes across the United States.

As McClatchy Newspapers’ Les Blumenthal reported Monday, the Obama administration has no Plan B for Yucca Mountain.
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Aug.
31st

Quieter, cleaner, safer skies? Sign us up

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

Boeing 737s land at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport many times a day, but a recent 3 a.m. arrival was something special.

An Alaska Airlines jet touched down carrying 40 engineers and technicians who were on hand to witness a test run of the future of air travel.

Their landing was characterized by a short approach, a smooth descent, and minimal chatter between the pilots and air traffic controllers. In other words, it was anything but ordinary.

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Aug.
31st

With Scott Carson’s retirement, Washington loses a Boeing champion

Today’s announcement that Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Scott Carson will be retiring by year’s end has to be considered another blow to the region’s effort to secure the second production line for the troubled 787. Carson, a WSU grad who joined Boeing in 1973, made no secret of his passion for a competitive Boeing Company, famously telling leaders of business and government at the Prosperity Partnership’s annual meeting that “location is a choice.”

As important, Carson remained deeply committed to the belief that the company could succeed here in Washington. Now, with critical decisions being made, our

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Aug.
31st

Tuesday’s editorials: Hanford nuclear waste dump, better technology in the skies

Hanford was rejected as a permanent high-level nuclear waste storage site in the 1980s. Now Harry Reid and Barack Obama look like they plan to make it one anyway.

The FAA’s long-promised GPS-based air traffic control system, which recently got a test run at Sea-Tac, is good for the environment, good for travelers and good for airport neighbors.

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

Want to sit in on a daily ed board meeting? Email cheryl.tucker@thenewstribune.com to make an appointment.

Aug.
31st

Introducing a new name, blog system

Along with a new blogging systems and URL, Inside the Editorial Page is changing its name to Inside Opinion. Please go here to check out the new site.


Make sure to update any bookmarks or RSS feeds you had pointing to our old system as they will no longer work.


New blog URL: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/opinion

New RSS feed: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/opinion/feed

New Atom feed: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/opinion/feed/atom

Aug.
31st

New blog system at Inside Opinion

We’re switching to a new blogging system here at The News Tribune and hope you’ll like the changes. We also hope you’ll try it out and give us your feedback.

A few of the changes you’ll notice:

• We’ve separated content and advertising by implementing the right ad column you’ll see on the rest of our site and a left content “widget” column.

• In that left column, we’ve added a tag cloud that shows the most blogged current topics. The tag cloud also allows us to streamline our category lists which got out-of control after awhile (sorry about

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Aug.
30th

A lurking menace on the Internet

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

You want spooky? Here’s spooky.

Every computer geek in the world knows this already, but non-geeks ought to be aware of the worm called Conficker. This rogue software has infected computers throughout the world by exploiting a chink in Microsoft’s Windows operating system. Computer security experts don’t know who devised it or what it does – other than replicate itself relentlessly on unprotected machines.

Each infected machine has become what is called a "zombie" – a computer that can be secretly controlled through the worm. All of these machines are networked, potentially empowering Conficker’s controllers to make them all work in tandem to wreak some kind of international havoc.

What kind of havoc is anyone’s guess. Many believed Conficker would spring its tricks on April Fool’s day, but it didn’t. Some fear it might suddenly erupt with a tsunami of spam – but that’s just speculation.
What Conficker has mainly done is lurk, like a sleeper agent, on untold millions of computers.

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Aug.
29th

Ballot no place for propaganda

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

The first rule of writing a ballot title is to plainly, accurately and neutrally describe what the measure would do.

The second is to give voters the benefit of the doubt.

Pierce County violated the first but observed the second in settling on ballot language for three charter amendments that voters will consider in the November election.

Two critics of those proposed amendments have challenged the county in court, saying the ballot titles are confusing and prejudicial. They are half right.

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