Inside Opinion

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

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Category: In the works


How do you read us, opinion readers?

Gentle readers,

We know you like to talk back to us. Here’s your chance to tell us how to make you happier.

The Tacoma News Tribune and its sister McClatchy newspapers around the country are studying ways to improve our opinion sections, both in print and on our websites. We’re collecting ideas from our readers and letter writers, and we’d like to know about your reading habits – and what you think of us.

Please take a few moments to fill out a short survey available online. Make sure you click on your region (Tacoma, for example) in Question

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New way to submit and view letters to the editor

On Thursday, change is coming to the letters to the editor – both in the way letters are submitted to The News Tribune and how they are published.

The e-mail address that many writers have used for submitting letters – – is being discontinued. Instead, writers will submit their letters via an easy-to-use online form on The News Tribune’s website. The URL is

The form allows writers to suggest their own headline and includes a word counter so they know when they reach the 250-word limit.

Letters will be published in two ways: Some of the letters we

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Coming Thursday: Polluters’ tax, vaccine-autism link

Here’s what we’re planning for tomorrow:

A proposed polluters’ tax is a good idea gone bad. Communities need money to deal with stormwater runoff, and a case can be made for taxing those who make and use the products that cause pollution. But diverting the bulk of the tax to the general fund to help cover shortfalls in other programs portends mischief.

A paper published in a prominent British medical journal triggered a wave of anxiety among parents about vaccinating their children, fearing it would increase the risk of autism. The research has been repudiated, but unfortunately the damage has

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Coming Wednesday: Law enforcement disclosure bill, Lewis-McChord merger

Here’s what we’re working on for tomorrow:

A bill to exempt law enforcement officers’ birthdates and photos from public disclosure is gathering speed in the Legislature. It is an incongruous response to the shootings of six police officers that will only serve to weaken the public trust by eroding accountability.

The merger of McChord Air Force Base and Fort Lewis is part of a healthy national move to consolidate military installations and push inter-service cooperation.


Coming Wednesday: Adult family homes

If you haven’t read the Seattle Times’ Seniors for Sale investigation, you should.

We’re planning an editorial for tomorrow about the report, which drew heavily from a newspaper-created database of adult-family-home enforcement actions from 1995 through 2009. Among the findings: An adult family home here in Tacoma holds the dubious record of amassing more serious violations than any other home that remains open for business. The Times’ findings bolster the case for protecting the vulnerable in the state budget and also point to the need for DSHS to make it easier for families to do their own due

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Coming Tuesday: Lawmakers’ taste for secrecy, Roach’s one tantrum too many

Here are the editorials we’re writing for tomorrow:

A common thread among several attempts to reform government and public schools this year is a sense that such efforts would work only if allowed to operate in the dark. Nothing could be further from the truth.

State Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, is legendary in the Legislature – but not in a good way. Just about anyone who has worked with or for her there over the years has anecdotes about her tantrums or examples of verbal abuse. There’s even a name for it: being “Roached.” Her behavior has gotten her into

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Coming this weekend: Fighting child porn, making light rail work

Here’s what we’re working on for Sunday and Monday:

It’s not easy to prosecute those who view child pornography, but it could be a little less difficult if the lawmakers passed legislation requested by state Attorney General Rob McKenna. That legislation would give law enforcement an upgraded set of tools to fight despicable crimes whose evidence is shared across secretive computer networks.

A fight’s brewing in Bellevue that will affect how useful Sound Transit’s light rail is to South Sound users. The Bellevue City Council, backed by powerful downtown and anti-light rail interests, wants the line to either skirt downtown

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Coming Thursday: State of the Union reaction, Tacoma Narrows tolls advice

For tomorrow, we’re writing editorials reacting to the president’s State of the Union speech and giving our take on Narrows Bridge tolls. We’re waiting on the president to speak before we decide the direction of that first editorial. As for the bridge, we’re arguing that Tacoma Narrows tollpayers are different from the future Highway 520 tollpayers in a couple of important ways and should be treated differently. What the state treasurer defines as a healthy reserve would make a lot of Narrows tollpayers sick.