Some of the more interesting fodder from the weekend’s editorial pages:
• The Spokesman-Review criticizes Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle for vetoing a bill to give same-sex couples the same rights as married couples. “Exaggeration and fear-mongering are regular features of political campaigns, but wouldn’t it make sense for opponents of equal rights in other states to take a look at ours to see what has happened? … In reality, the extension of rights and benefits to all citizens has been quiet and dignified.”
• The Longview Daily News reacts to news that U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., thinks it may be time for Congress to weigh in on red-light cameras. “… we would argue that Longview and other cities can manage just fine without direction from Congress. Almost 500 cities have taken the plunge to date, according Oregonian writer Charles Pope’s comprehensive report on red-light cameras this past Tuesday. None report having been fleeced by private vendors, despite the absence of the federal standards that DeFazio says are needed.”
• The Olympian editorial board expresses “serious concerns” about Intercity Transit’s ballot measure for an additional two-tenths of 1 percent sales tax, but still endorses the measure.
The concerns: “IT is midway through its contract with union workers who make up 72 percent of its work force. The contract with the Amalgamated Transit Union gave workers a 4 percent increase in 2009, 3.5 percent increase this year and another 3.5 percent increase in 2011. That’s 11 percent over three years at a time when Thurston County, for example, trimmed its work force by 12 percent.” The bottom line: “This editorial board, too, is split on the ballot proposition, but the majority thinks that an economic recession is not the time to scale back transit services to vulnerable populations who rely on the buses to get them to work or school.”
• Citing a report by the Higher Education Coordinating Board that more than 15,000 students who qualified for State Need Grant funds didn’t get them, the Yakima Herald-Republic dings lawmakers for allowing tuition hikes of up to 14 percent. “The tuition hikes did exactly what critics had claimed they would do: limit access to higher education.”
• No community in this state has potentially more at stake in the fight over Yucca Mountain than the Tri-Cities near the Hanford nuclear reservation. The Tri-City Herald rebukes the Obama administration to fighting the construction of the nuclear repository: “Usually administrations employ foot-dragging on projects they disfavor rather than out-and-out defiance of Congress. This time, DOE has taken money intended for the construction of the repository and is spending it on the unlawful termination of the project. No excuses are offered. No rationale. Just raw arrogance and a display of power.”