Inside Opinion

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

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Tag: Puget Sound cleanup

May
14th

Pleading poverty, passing out mahogany

In the scheme of things, the misspending the state auditor found in the Puget Sound Partnership is petty stuff. There was no fraud, and such waste as there was appears in the order of tens of thousands, not hundreds of thousands of dollars. In government circles, that probably passes for budget dust.

But any sloppiness with money doesn’t reflect well on an agency whose mission, cleaning up Puget Sound, is waaaaay underfunded.

You’d think somebody would anticipate the image problems it would run into when the public learned that it bypassed competitive bidding requirements and spent scarce money

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April
26th

Good news on health of bay, waterways

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

The latest reports on the health of Commencement Bay and Tacoma waterways offer at least two valuable lessons when it comes to the environment:

• It is possible to make significant progress even on sites so terribly polluted that they get on the federal Superfund list.

• And ongoing, aggressive prevention efforts are needed to keep a site from becoming polluted all over again.

The reports from the state Department of Ecology and the City of Tacoma are mostly positive, painting a picture of continuing improvements on most fronts while reminding us that turnaround efforts still have a long way to go.
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Feb.
10th

Polluters’ tax a good idea gone wrong

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

Environmentalists looking for money to clean up Puget Sound hope to make well-placed friends by offering a generous cut of the take.

They’re promising $150 million this year alone to help lawmakers balance the state budget. All the Legislature has to do is nearly triple the tax on petroleum, pesticides and other chemicals.

What’s not to like, right? The environmental lobby gets to lock down a funding source for clean water projects, lawmakers get a “green” solution to their budget woes, and no one’s the worse for the wear – well, except those big bad oil companies.

Wrong. Environmentalists, in calculating what they could sell in Olympia this year, ignored other political realities – specifically those surrounding the state budget. They’d be lucky to ever see much of the money once they whetted lawmakers’ appetite for it.

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