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: Tacoma


Stop outrageous lawsuits against crime victims

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

It’s bad enough that Larry Shandola gunned down Paula Henry’s husband, Robert, in a Tacoma parking lot, then tormented her for five years as authorities sought enough evidence to get him convicted in 2001.

But now, as he serves a 31-year sentence for the 1995 killing, Shandola has found a way to keep on hurting Henry. He’s suing her, two of her friends and a victim’s advocate for $100,000 each, alleging that they violated his privacy rights and inflicted emotional distress.

The lawsuit is outrageous, but it’s accomplishing exactly what Shandola probably hopes it would do: allow him to continue inflicting pain and suffering from behind prison walls. Read more »


State Farm expansion would be a big deal for Tacoma

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

‘Like a good neighbor”? For downtown Tacoma, State Farm might be “like the best neighbor ever.”

Still stinging from the loss of Russell Investments, which had 1,100 employees at its peak about a decade ago, Tacoma now stands to gain about 2,000 jobs if State Farm expands on its existing presence in DuPont.

According to The News Tribune’s Kathleen Cooper, the insurance giant is finalizing plans to take over Read more »


Mom’s boyfriend may be hazardous to child’s health

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

For some young children, the person who poses the greatest potential threat isn’t the registered sex offender who lives a few streets over.

No, the danger may be much closer to home: mom’s boyfriend, especially if he lives with her. The problem even has a name: abusive-boyfriend syndrome.

On Wednesday, 19-year-old Jake Musga was charged with the first-degree murder of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son, whom he was baby-sitting in a downtown Tacoma hotel. The child, who was covered with bruises, was killed by blunt force trauma to the head and abdomen. Musga also has been charged with raping the little boy.

If the authorities are correct, this tragedy would be an almost classic example of the syndrome – taken to its worst possible outcome. 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 »


Mixed-use projects are tools in fight against sprawl

Conceptual drawing shows proposed mixed-use project in Tacoma’s Proctor District. (Courtesy of Rick Moses Development)
Conceptual drawing shows proposed mixed-use project in Tacoma’s Proctor District. (Courtesy of Rick Moses Development)

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

Not a big fan of urban sprawl? Then you should like mixed-use development – the kind of project being considered for Tacoma’s Proctor District.

“Project 28” is still at a very early stage and apparently not a done deal . But it already has folks in Proctor talking after a conceptual drawing of a six-story project appeared online. There’s concern that adding 135 apartments to the neighborhood would increase traffic, affect parking and displace existing businesses.

This project might never materialize, or it might go forward in some variation of the conceptual plan. Regardless, mixed-use development is part of the future; it’s what cities have to do more of if they’re to accommodate the growth we know is coming to the region. Read more »


Boe’s light rail option deserves a (quick) look

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

The Tacoma City Council has complicated an already complex decision on light rail in Tacoma. That’s OK – as long as it doesn’t also derail the decision.

Some background:

The regional transit package Puget Sound voters approved in 2008 didn’t give Pierce County a rail connection to Sea-Tac Airport and beyond. But the county did get a consolation prize: a promise to expand Tacoma Link, the small electric rail line that already runs from the Tacoma Dome north through downtown Tacoma.

The Sound Transit board is now poised to make good on

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 »


Third Tacoma AIA seems like anti-inebriation overkill

NWS0220_TACCOUNCIL_pThis editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Tacoma’s two Alcohol Impact Areas – where merchants are prohibited from selling certain cheap, high-octane beverages – have had success in decreasing public drunkenness within their boundaries.

But the success is only partial if they’re just pushing that problem into other parts of the city.

That’s apparently what’s happened since formation of the Urban Core District in 2001 and the Lincoln District in 2008. Many of the chronic inebriates who can no longer buy their mind-numbing rotgut head north or west into neighborhoods that aren’t in either AIA. Alcohol-related police calls have risen there as have emergency medical calls – which often are for people who have passed out drunk.

The problem has residents in the North End and the West End now seeking approval for their own AIA.

Tough luck, South Tacoma and University Place. If the Tacoma City Council gives the go-ahead for its third and geographically largest AIA, and the state Liquor Control Board agrees to it, your neighborhoods will be next in line for the overflow – and the problems that go along with that, including increased panhandling, homeless camping and public intoxication. Read more »