Inside Opinion

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

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Tag: Puget Sound Partnership


A needless shadow over Puget Sound cleanup efforts

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

It was probably inevitable that a Washington Post report on congressional earmarks would turn up something on U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair.

As a veteran member of Congress who has risen to leadership roles, he’s as well-positioned as anyone to bring home the bacon – more politely known as earmarks – to his district and state. For most folks, that’s fine – a perk that goes along with having a congressman with lots of seniority. Read more »


Puget Sound Partnership isn’t winning public trust

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

Puget Sound is in serious need of cleanup. It’s also in serious need of a cleanup agency that the public trusts to oversee the job.

On that score, the Puget Sound Partnership is failing. Its management practices invite skepticism and undermine its own mission to secure money for the Sound’s rescue.

First came the May state audit that found cost overruns, failure to follow the law in awarding no-bid contracts and wrongful use of state money on gifts.

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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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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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