Inside Opinion

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

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Archives: Sep. 2009

Sep.
26th

A post-Russell call to arms for the needy

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

The announcement that Russell Investments is departing Tacoma next year has a lot of people wondering what to do in its wake.

Here’s one prescription for guaranteed results: Give to Sound Sound nonprofits.

Perhaps nowhere will Russell’s absence be felt more acutely than among the social service agencies that relied on the generosity of Russell’s head office and employees.

Read more »

Sep.
25th

Parental apathy over swine flu

This is disturbing: A poll of 1,678 U.S. parents found that only four in 10 are planning to get their child immunized against the H1N1 virus.

Less than half of those people who aren’t getting their kids vaccinated told the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital that they are not worried about their child becoming ill with the virus. That leaves a whole lot of other parents who appear to acknowledge their kid could get sick, but still won’t give them the shot.

Washington state’s decision yesterday to suspend its rules about the levels of mercury

Read more »

Sep.
25th

The Secretary of State’s petition saga continues

When we last visited the unfolding political drama over Referendum 71, it had been revealed that the Secretary of State’s position that R-71 petitions could be released unredacted was something of a recent development.

Now comes news that the fight over R-71 petitions might have spurred an enterprising political operative to try to get copies of old initiative petitions while the getting’s good. The Secretary of State has received a request from someone trying to determine the costs of obtaining petitions for several initiatives dating back to 2000. Tim Eyman has sent a letter (pdf) to the Secretary

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Sep.
24th

Some banks getting too greedy with big fees

We’ve all done it at some time: unwittingly written a check or used a debit card for an amount greater than what’s in our checking account.

But banks that once charged $10 or $15 to cover the overdraft may now be charging upwards of $35 – and not warning customers of the pricey new fees.
They have good reason: Overdraft fees are now a big revenue source for many banks and credit unions. In fact, for some it’s their most important source now that customers are borrowing and charging less. This year, they stand to make a record $38.5 billion from charging overdraft fees. That’s more than Americans spend on buying major appliances.

Although some banks are starting to back away from big fees on overdrafts, too many Americans are getting dinged by these stealth costs. Now several members of Congress plan to introduce legislation to address what some of them are calling consumer “rip-offs.” Read more »

Sep.
24th

Cantwell offers healthy Rx for Medicare

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

The fundamental dilemma of health care reform isn’t whether to adopt a public plan or extend coverage to the uninsured – important as those discussions are.

The core problem is how to stop squandering so much money on needless treatment that doesn’t help patients. If the dollars followed results instead of procedures and visits, there’d be better results and fewer wasted – and costly – procedures and visits.

If the waste were pared out of the system, it would be far easier to cover the uninsured, run a cost-effective public plan, help companies maintain coverage for their employees, offer affordable premiums to individuals, etc., etc. It all hinges on costs.

Read more »

Sep.
24th

A case of CYA in Jaycee Dugard investigation?

The editorial board at our sister paper, The Sacramento Bee, is justifiably taking after state and federal officials who are refusing to release parole documents relating to Phillip Garrido who is accused of kidnapping and raping Jaycee Dugard in 1991.

How Dugard went undetected for so long is of legitimate interest to a lot of people. But the government agencies are refusing to release records that would shed light on how often parole agents visited the home and whether they knew that a young woman was living there. (Strangely enough, federal authorities did release documents that lauded Garrido for

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Sep.
23rd

Boot Capitol displays, don’t deter gatherings

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

Officials at the state Department of General Administration desperately want out of the Christmas wars, and who could blame them?

The agency has had the dubious pleasure of refereeing the annual ritual of rival creeds jockeying for space at the state Capitol in the hopes of outdoing one another.

Read more »

Sep.
23rd

Speaking of Obama

It can’t have helped the president to get such an enthusiastic endorsement from Moammar Gadhafi at the United Nations today. The Libyan dictator suggested that America make Obama president for life – not quite how we do things in this country.

Gadhafi also said Africans are “proud that a son of Africa governs the United States of America.”

The birthers must be twittering about that line.