Inside Opinion

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

NOTICE: Inside Opinion has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Inside Opinion.
Visit the new section.

Tag: Lakewood


Simpson’s our choice for Lakewood City Council

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

The leadership in Lakewood must be doing something right. Of the four City Council seats up for election this November, only one – the sole open seat – is being contested.

Three first-term council members – Mike Brandstetter, Mary Moss and Jason Whalen – are unopposed. That’s a far cry from years past when Lakewood often saw fiercely fought campaigns against incumbents.

The open Position 5 seat was vacated by Doug Richardson when he was elected to the Pierce County Council. Former council member Helen McGovern-Pilant was appointed to fill the position,

Read more »


Immigration, drug cartels and a Lakewood murder

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

Still need a reason to look kindly on immigration reform? Would a defeat for Mexican drug cartels do the trick?

Some Americans might still have the perception that Mexico’s depraved drug lords are pretty much preoccupied with fighting each other and their government, with some thuggery spilling over into Arizona and other border states.

If only. Cartel operatives and contractors have thoroughly penetrated the United States, and many of them are Mexican criminals who camouflage themselves as ordinary Mexicans who crossed the border for jobs. The fact that so many of the

Read more »


Health takes a hit with Parkland fluoride decision

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

How can a public utility buck a national trend in health care? Unfortunately, folks served by Parkland Light & Water are about to find out as that system moves toward no longer fluoridating its water supply.

Prevention is the focus in health care now as a way of keeping health care costs at least somewhat under control. That makes sense: Spending a little up front to prevent ailments can often prevent having to spend much more later to treat those conditions.

Fluoridation of public water supplies is one of the most important preventive steps that can be taken; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranks it as one of the 10 most Read more »


Help – not jail – for Pierce County’s mentally ill

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

They’re called the Top 55, which sounds like a good thing. It’s not.

They’re revolving-door customers of the Pierce County Jail – repeat offenders who have also had contact with the mental health system. Many have a history of substance abuse.

As a group, the Top 55 puts an inordinate financial strain on the jail, which is facing a $4.2 million shortfall. Each has gone to jail at least five times in the past 12 months, and in 2012 they accounted for 5,499 days in the facility.

Because of their mental health

Read more »


Spanaway’s on the state’s tourism map, but not Lakewood?

We got an email notice today that the Washington Tourism Alliance has released its 2013 official Washington State Visitors’ Guide. The new print guide is linked to, the official state tourism web site.

Just out of curiosity, I wanted to see what the state website had to say about Lakewood, where I live. Needless to say, I was underwhelmed.

Go to the website, click on Regions and Cities, then on Metro Seattle (which includes King, Pierce and Thurston counties). Then click on Lakewood, and up comes a map – which designates the city with just

Read more »


Fluoridation: Where the real tax savings are

I was in my middle twenties before I knew what a cavity was. My friends had them; I almost felt left out.

I happened to have spent my early years in Madison, Wis., one of the first cities to have its water supply fluoridated.

Our editorial today argues for restoring Medicaid dental coverage for poor adults. That would cost the state something on the order of $30 million and the federal government more, since it would be paying for a further expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Total Medicaid dental in Washington could come in at something north of $90 million per biennium.

That cost might be pared in the future if all of Washington’s cities adopted fluoridation, which the U.S. Centers for Disease controls has called “one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.” One study cited by the American Dental Association estimates that every $1 invested in fluoridation saves $38 worth of dentistry later.

Close to two-thirds of Washingtonians benefit from fluoridated drinking water, but a few bastions of enlightenment – including Olympia, Spokane and Bellingham – remain holdouts.
Read more »


Lawmakers should intervene in rail dispute

Map shows Point Defiance Bypass route adjacent to I-5. (WSDOT)
Map shows Point Defiance Bypass route adjacent to I-5. (WSDOT)

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

A decision by the Federal Railroad Administration on the controversial Point Defiance Bypass is great for Amtrak. But it could be an economic blow to the future of several South Sound communities and add to the transportation nightmare thousands of commuters already face every day.

And it’s all to shave a few minutes off of Amtrak trains’ time between Seattle and Portland, and run a few more trains on that route. That’s an unacceptable tradeoff.

On Monday, the FRA gave the go-ahead to the $89 million bypass project that would reroute Amtrak trains from along the Puget Sound shoreline through South Tacoma, Lakewood and DuPont. A three-year study found that the project – which would extend by 3.5 miles the rail line now used by the Sounder train to Lakewood – would not adversely affect the environment.

Perhaps, but sending high-speed trains down tracks that cross at-grade intersections would certainly lead to accidents, huge traffic disruptions and economic impacts, especially to Read more »


Power outage created huge traffic snarl in Lakewood

I was one of the many drivers who got caught in the huge traffic snarl caused by the fairly widespread Lakewood power outage Wednesday. Read our story here.

The intersections at Orchard and Bridgeport along South 72nd-74th Street (it changes names, a Lakewood thing, I think) were virtually at a standstill because the signal lights were out. At rush hour, when the outage occurred, both intersections are heavily congested with two lanes of traffic in both directions, as well as turn lanes.

At least drivers were slowly getting through the Bridgeport intersection, thanks to a firefighter directing traffic. The

Read more »