Inside Opinion

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

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Tag: Des Moines

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 »

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.
Read more »

June
30th

Injuries, fires are sad scourges of 4th festivities


Charlene Peyton stands by her burned house in the Gig Harbor area. Errant fireworks ignited it while she was away last July 4. (Peter Haley / Staff photographer)

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

You don’t need a calendar to know that the Fourth of July is soon upon us.

Fireworks stands have popped up like weeds all over the South Sound, and some customers are indulging in premature “celebration” – even though it’s illegal altogether in some cities and restricted in most others as to which kind of fireworks can be shot off and when.

For some folks, the Fourth – and several days before and after – is an opportunity to indulge their inner pyromaniac under the guise of being patriotic Americans. They gleefully plop down a wad of cash at fireworks stands for goods that can blow off a finger or two, put out an eye or set the neighbor’s roof on fire.

For the rest of us, though, the Fourth often means disturbed nights, frazzled nerves, fear of accidental fire, and pets that might need to be medicated and restrained so they don’t run away  in fright. Some people dare not leave town if the weather is dry, but instead stand ready with hoses in case the neighbor’s fireworks display gets out of hand.
Read more »