Inside Opinion

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

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Tag: Auburn

Oct.
22nd

School, fire district measures deserve voter support

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

When it comes to ballot measures to be decided Nov. 6, most of the attention has swirled around the controversial referendum on same-sex marriage and initiatives backing charter schools and marijuana legalization.

School and fire district measures might not grab headlines, but they’re vital to a community’s quality of life. Voters from Federal Way and Auburn to the Key Peninsula and the slopes of Mount Rainier have important issues close to home to decide. The News Tribune editorial board recommends that they approve the following measures:
Read more »

June
12th

Many courts need a refresher on open records rights

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.
Location seems to be a key factor in determining whether citizens can successfully obtain public records they’re entitled to by state law.

At least that what News Tribune reporter Sean  Robinson discovered when he requested public documents regarding cases adjudicated in 22 district and municipal courts in the South Sound.
The cases were routine ones that Robinson knew should be made available under state open records law – for free. He asked for the documents as a private citizen to see how the courts’ staffs would respond.

Those responses were all over the map. Hats off to the ones that provided the requested documents in timely fashion: Pierce County District Court and municipal courts in Tacoma, Puyallup, Federal Way, Olympia, Gig Harbor, Buckley and Fife.
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April
8th

Vote yes on 3 out of 4 measures on the April 17 ballot

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

Voters in Eatonville, Auburn, Gig Harbor and Federal Way should have received their ballots by now for the April 17 special election. They’re being asked to fund school operations, roads, and fire and emergency service.

The News Tribune supports all of the ballot measures except the one for Gig Harbor Fire and Medic One. That one would increase the current levy payment by 15 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation – and make the increase permanent.

Like most local service providers, the Gig Harbor department has felt the pain of reduced property tax revenues during the recession. But voters should be wary of an attempt to solve a short-term revenue problem with a permanent tax increase. Read more »

Jan.
31st

South Sounders share Federal Way’s transit frustration

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

Some Federal Way-area officials are so unhappy with Sound Transit that they’re contemplating secession from the tri-county transportation agency. There’s no mechanism for such a move, but that’s not stopping them from talking about it.

Their pain is our pain – to a point.

Sound Transit has determined that sales tax revenues from the South King County sub-area have fallen so steeply that the agency must delay extension of light rail to Federal Way from 2023 to 2034 or later. That delay means that the next light rail leg – to Tacoma – will be delayed as well. Originally projected to be completed by 2029, it’s now looking like sometime in the 2040s.
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Jan.
29th

Support FPierce, Auburn and FWay school measures

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

It doesn’t take a financial genius to understand that there’s no better time than the present to get moving on construction projects: Interest rates are low, and contractors are eager for the work.

That might not be the case for long if the economy keeps improving and costs start rising. So it makes sense for three South Sound school districts to ask voters now to pay for major facility upgrades that can’t be put off any longer.

They make a good case for passing measures appearing on the Feb. 14 ballot, and The News Tribune supports all three. They are:

• Franklin Pierce School District – An article Thursday by The News Tribune’s Debbie Cafazzo outlines the badly needed improvements that would be funded by a five-year capital levy. Read more »

Aug.
21st

Pierce County and cities should seek consistent fireworks laws

"Safe-and-sane" fireworks were on sale at a Thurston County stand in 2010. (Staff file photo)

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

Pierce County Councilman Dick Muri recently summed up what’s wrong with the county’s lax fireworks law:

“It’s not Independence Week that I know of,” he said, referring to the fact that residents of the unincorporated county can legally set off “safe and sane” fireworks for 11 hours daily during the eight days between June 28 and July 5. Muri is part of a County Council committee exploring whether to reduce the hours and days fireworks can be set off or to ban them outright.

If shooting off fireworks truly is an expression of patriotic fervor, celebrating July Fourth’s role in the nation’s history, why allow it more than a week before Independence Day? Or the day after?

“We could maybe at least keep the carnage down to one day,” Muri sensibly suggests.

That would be more in keeping with neighboring counties. Fireworks are limited to July 4 in unincorporated King County and to July 3 and 4 in Thurston.
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