Inside Opinion

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

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Tag: Bonney Lake


Johnson for Bonney Lake mayor, Stuard for Sumner City Council

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Many incumbents on local city councils and school boards are facing no primary opposition this year — and some are even running unopposed. Not so in the East Pierce County cities of Bonney Lake and Sumner, where every incumbent up for re-election has at least one opponent.

However, only two races will be on the Aug. 6 primary ballot because they have at least three candidates running. The top two vote-getters will advance to the Nov. 5 general election.

In Bonney Lake, Mayor Neil Johnson is being challenged by longtime City Councilman

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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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Our choices in Bonney Lake and Sumner council races

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

The city councils in the neighboring cities of Bonney Lake and Sumner share the big problem facing many cities in Pierce County: how to keep providing services citizens expect in the face of declining revenues.

That’s a challenge that isn’t likely to go away soon, forcing cities’ leaders to be creative and make sometimes painful choices. City council races in both Bonney Lake and Sumner offer voters some fine candidates well-equipped to address those challenges.

• In Bonney Lake, Planning Commission vice-chair Katrina Minton-Davis is running against  former commission member Quinn Dahlstrom,

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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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Newland’s sound track record bodes well for Cascadia

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

For 20 years, the Cascadia planned community has been a dream on the horizon, high on a plateau between Orting and Bonney Lake in East Pierce County.

Thousands of people would live there, and because it would be largely self-contained – with a variety of residences, workplaces, schools and shopping – it wouldn’t add significantly to local traffic congestion.

It was the community of the future – planned, not hodgepodge like most of the development in Pierce County.

But the dream came crashing to earth in the recession – along with the housing industry, banks’ ability to lend money and and people’s ability to borrow it. Cascadia was caught in the crunch; HomeStreet Bank foreclosed on developer Patrick Kuo in 2009 after he defaulted on $75 million in loans.

Now there’s hope that the state’s largest planned community will start moving forward again. The new owner, Newland Real Estate Group of San Diego, is a highly reputable developer with a 43-year track record of building planned communities all across the United States.
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WSU forest plan will benefit Bonney Lake

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

A proposed deal for divvying up the Washington State University experimental forest between the City of Bonney Lake and private development looks like one the city shouldn’t pass up.

Today the 147-acre forest is closed to the public and generates no tax revenue. But if the City Council agrees next Tuesday to the rezone needed to implement the proposed development agreement, Bonney Lake would get: 47 acres for a much-needed park and site for a YMCA, tax revenue from medical offices and 600 new homes, improvements to 36 intersections to offset traffic impacts of those new homes, a north-south connection between Highway 410 and South Prairie Road, and jobs related to building all those projects.
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For Bonney Lake: McKibbin, Swatman and Lewis

Few local governments have weathered the economic downtown as well as Bonney Lake, thanks in large part to growth in recent years that fueled tax revenues and allowed the city to build up a comfortable rainy day fund.

But the city is experiencing growing pains from that growth – heavy traffic, development disputes – and it’s an issue for several candidates running for three City Council seats in the Nov. 3 general election.

The News Tribune editorial board’s choices are in boldface.

• At large, position 1: When City Councilman Dave King decided against running for re-election in Ward 1, fellow Councilman Dan Swatman filed to run there – opening up his at-large position.

Randy McKibbin, owner of a dog-grooming business in the city, is an outstanding candidate. He’s lived in Bonney Lake since 1973 and has impressive civic leadership credentials: 10 years on the Planning Commission (he’s the current chairman), founding board member of Beautify Bonney Lake and past president of the Bonney Lake Chamber of Commerce. Read more »