Inside Opinion

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

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Tag: Eatonville


Save Eatonville’s Roxy Theater

In today’s editorial, I mention a “crowd-funding” campaign to save Eatonville’s Roxy Theater. The owner is trying to raise $20,000 toward the $70,000 cost of converting to digital projection.

So far the online campaign hasn’t gotten much steam. As of Friday, only $1,040 had been raised. The deadline is Jan. 14.

If you’re interested, here’s the site. Eatonville’s Dispatch has an article on the status of the overall campaign; to read it, click here.


Our endorsements in Pierce County Council races

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

At least three faces on the Pierce County Council will change after the Nov. 6 election, but the political makeup of the council is likely to remain roughly the same with Republicans outnumbering Democrats. The only question is whether the GOP majority is 5 to 2 or 4 to 3.

• The District 2 race won’t affect that equation; it’s between two Republicans – incumbent Joyce McDonald, a former state representative from Puyallup, and Jeffery Hogan, the mayor of Edgewood. The district also includes Sumner, Milton and Northeast Tacoma.

Hogan’s main issue with McDonald has been her strong support for creating a flood control district that could levy a small countywide tax aimed at preventing and mitigating flood damage. Given the vulnerability of so much of the district to a catastrophic flood, her position makes sense.

Hogan could be a viable candidate for this position in four years, when McDonald term-limits out. But for now, district voters should stick with the incumbent (they gave her 68 percent of the vote in the primary). She works hard for their concerns and deserves a second term.

Here are our endorsements in the other council races – all open seats:

Read more »


Our choices in 2nd and 25th District legislative races

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

Democrats have their work cut out for them if they hope to win back seats in two Republican-leaning East Pierce County legislative districts.

Even the fact that the D’s have two standout candidates might not be enough. In recent years, the 2nd and 25th districts’ legislative seats have gone almost all Republican, with the only Democrat remaining being the 25th’s Jim Kastama. He’s running for secretary of state instead of for re-election to his Senate seat, so the two districts might turn completely Republican in November.

• In the 2nd District, incumbent Republican state Sen. Randi Becker of Eatonville is seeking a second term. She’s being challenged by another Republican, James E. Vaughn of Orting. In 2008, Vaughn ran as a Democrat against Congressman Dave Reichert. Read more »


Our choices in three Pierce County Council races

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

The Pierce County Council is getting a major makeover this year. Three of its seven members are term-limiting out at the end of this year, and a fourth is seeking re-election. So at least three new faces will be on the council come Jan. 1, 2013.

Of the four races, three will be on the Aug. 7 ballot, with the top two vote-getters in each contest going on to the Nov. 6 general election. The fourth race – District 6 (Lakewood, Steilacoom, Dupont) – has only two candidates, so it will be decided in the general election.

District 2 (Northeast Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner and Edgewood) – Incumbent Joyce McDonald, a Puyallup Republican and a former five-term state representative, is seeking a second term on the council. She should get it. The only woman on the county’s governing body, McDonald is a pragmatic consensus builder who knows the district well. She has played an important role in the county’s ability to weather the recession without drastic layoffs or cutting the public safety budget. Read more »


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.
Read more »


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 »


The real election season shifts into high gear

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

The primary ballots haven’t all been tallied yet – thanks to the requirement that they only need to be postmarked by Election Day. But some things are already clear.

Just because it’s more convenient to vote now that the election is all-mail doesn’t mean people are suddenly voting in much higher numbers. As of Thursday afternoon, turnout was a lackluster 27 percent. In the last off-year election (2009), turnout was 19.2 percent.

Turnout this year wasn’t helped by the fact that voters in some communities might not have had much to get

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Once again, officers down

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Angry man, violent history, gun. Once more that combination has produced a shocking attack on South Sound police officers who were just doing their job.

As of this writing, Kent Mundell – one of the two Pierce County deputies shot near Eatonville on Monday night – was in critical condition and clinging to life at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The other, Sgt. Nick Hausner, was seriously wounded but expected to survive. Both are married with children.

The man who reportedly ambushed them, 35-year-old David E. Crable, may have gotten 10 shots off at very close range before being killed himself. Under the circumstances, it seems a miracle that both officers were still breathing – however badly wounded – when rescuers reached the scene. Stopping Crable while under a hail of bullets was a considerable achievement.

There is no good time for police officers to be shot, but the timing of this attack couldn’t have been more traumatic. It’s only been a few weeks since four Lakewood officers were surprised by a gunman and killed at a Parkland café. That wound hasn’t begun to heal. Now the horror of that atrocity has been revived and amplified by yet another vicious, senseless, homicidal attack on officers who were trying to protect the public.

In this case, Mundell and Hausner were shot on a domestic violence call, reportedly in the very act of protecting Crable’s brother and daughter from him. Like the professionals they are, they were working to defuse the situation; shortly before being shot, they had reportedly offered to end the dispute by driving Crable home. For their trouble, they got a pistol emptied at them.
Read more »