Inside Opinion

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

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Archives: July 2011


Fire districts need voter support

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

The ability of several Pierce County fire departments to respond quickly and professionally to emergencies hangs on the outcome of the Aug. 16 election.

Five fire districts are asking voters to renew their support for existing tax levies. Three of the measures fund emergency medical services; the other two are reauthorizations of taxes that cover basic operational expenses.

All deserve voter approval.

Read more »


Re-elect Cook to Bethel board

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

Voters in the Bethel School District face something of a dilemma.

Joy Cook, a four-term school board member, is seeking re-election. She’s been an astute advocate for children and should be a shoo-in for another stint on the board.

Only problem is that Cook might not be living in the district much longer. Her husband has accepted a job elsewhere, and she says she will eventually follow him once she cleans out their house and sells it.

Read more »


Roundup of our endorsements

The following are News Tribune editorial board endorsements in the Aug. 16 primary. An asterisk (*) denotes an incumbent. A double asterisk (**) denotes an incumbent by appointment. Names are listed alphabetically in dual endorsements.

To read the endorsement editorials, go here.

Tacoma City Council
District 1: Joe Atkinson

Tacoma School Board
Position 3: Dexter Gordon
Position 5: Karen Vialle

Puyallup City Council
At-large: Nicole Martineau and Steve Vermillion
District 1, Position 2: John Hopkins

Puyallup School Board
Position 2: Therese Ngo Pasquier

Sumner City Council
Position 4: Jon Swanson**

University Place

Read more »


When casting ballots, ignorance is dangerous

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Here’s the polite way to put it: Voters who’ve done their homework on the candidates and issues deserve a warm glow of civic virtue as they fill out their ballots.

A less polite version: Citizens who don’t have a clue should either educate themselves or leave the job of self-government to the better informed.

Consider the unfortunate fact that Will Baker and Robert Hill are the sole challengers of, respectively, Ryan Mello and Lauren Walker, sitting members of the Tacoma City Council.

Baker and Hill both have criminal records. Hill stalks women, has grave mental health problems and appears fixated on guns. Last December, he was convicted of stalking; in 2008, he was convicted of felony forgery.

Despite the forgery conviction and a string of arrests, Hill ran for Pierce County sheriff that year; he finished far behind Sheriff Paul Pastor but won 52,000 votes and beat out a third candidate.

Repeat: 52,000 people in Pierce County voted for a felon instead of a professional law enforcement executive. Maybe they liked his name.
Read more »


Honda and Peterson are our choices in FWay races

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Susan Honda

Federal Way voters have two races on their Aug. 16 primary ballot – for open seats on the City Council and the school board. Fortunately, they have some good candidates to choose from.

The two candidates receiving the most votes in each primary race will advance to the November general election.

Four candidates hope to replace outgoing Mike Park on the City Council, but only three deserve voters’ consideration: retired nurse Susan Honda, businessman Roger Flygare and sales manager Mark Koppang. The fourth, Scott Sparling, does not appear to be actively campaigning. Read more »


Swanson for Sumner City Council

A Sumner City  Council race  has drawn three solid candidates, but neither challenger makes a compelling argument for replacing the current seat holder, Jon Swanson.

Swanson, who originally ran for election against Councilman Matt Richardson and was then appointed to the council after Richardson stopped attending council meetings this year, owns a vending machine company.

He chaired the Sumner Planning Commission before his appointment and also has served on the Sumner Downtown Association, the YMCA Steering Committee and the Sumner School District’s jobs task force.

Swanson is level-headed and has shown a willingness to work cooperatively with council members with

Read more »


Our choices in Puyallup council, school board races

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

The Puyallup City Council’s personality-driven feuds could cool considerably with the introduction of several new faces this fall.

The selection of a new city manager last year has already done much to de-escalate the tensions among council members. But the factions – or at least a public perception of them – seem destined to endure as long as the nameplates on the council dais remain the same.

That is guaranteed to change come January, when the council gets at least three and possibly four new members, thanks in part to the city’s new term limits.

The wild card is Nicole Martineau, who chose to run for an at-large seat rather than defend the District 1 position the council appointed her to last year.
She’s facing heavy opposition from three other candidates, but none is better than Steve Vermillion. Read more »


Atkinson for Tacoma council; Nye for UPlace

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Two candidates rise to the top in the primary elections for Tacoma and University Place city councils.

In the four-way race for Tacoma’s Position 1 – now held by departing council member Spiro Manthou – Joe Atkinson is the candidate most likely to help shore up the city’s shaky finances and focus on job creation in the private sector.

Position 1 represents a district that covers Tacoma’s West End and part of the North End; it reaches south to University Place and east to North Proctor Street. Seeking the seat, along with Atkinson, are Karen Smitherman, Anders Ibsen and Carl Alexander.

Alexander, a small business owner, isn’t running hard. Smitherman and Ibsen, in contrast, have mounted well-funded campaigns replete with endorsements from organized labor and the Democratic establishment.
Read more »