Inside Opinion

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

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Tag: Thurston County

Sep.
10th

Wyman, for a secretary of state all voters can trust

Kim Wyman

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

In a perfect world, the position of Washington’s secretary of state would be nonpartisan. That way, it would be harder to accuse the office holder – the state’s highest elections official – of playing party favorites.

But it is a partisan position. So the next best thing would be to elect someone who is not highly partisan and has a record of inspiring confidence in both Republicans and Democrats. Say, someone like Sam Reed – a Republican who has been elected three times in a state that doesn’t elect very many Republicans to statewide office.

But Reed is retiring. If voters want to replace him with someone who embraces his brand of nonpartisan professionalism, they should elect the candidate he is endorsing and who is following in his footsteps by first serving as Thurston County auditor: Kim Wyman. Read more »

July
5th

Check out online voter resources and get educated

Ballots will be mailed out in two weeks for the Aug. 7 primary, so it’s time to buckle down and start doing your homework on the candidates.

The News Tribune’s online primary election guide is a great resource for researching South Sound races. You can generate a sample ballot or just click on “65 races” or “217 candidates” to look at campaigns you’re particularly interested in. One nice feature is that you can click on two candidates’ photos and up pops a side-by-side comparison of their backgrounds, qualifications and answers to questions posed by our newsroom political team.

If you’d like to hear from the statewide candidates in their own words, the secretary’s of state’s office and TVW have collaborated on an online video voters’ guide. Read more »

June
12th

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 »

Aug.
21st

Pierce County and cities should seek consistent fireworks laws

"Safe-and-sane" fireworks were on sale at a Thurston County stand in 2010. (Staff file photo)

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

Pierce County Councilman Dick Muri recently summed up what’s wrong with the county’s lax fireworks law:

“It’s not Independence Week that I know of,” he said, referring to the fact that residents of the unincorporated county can legally set off “safe and sane” fireworks for 11 hours daily during the eight days between June 28 and July 5. Muri is part of a County Council committee exploring whether to reduce the hours and days fireworks can be set off or to ban them outright.

If shooting off fireworks truly is an expression of patriotic fervor, celebrating July Fourth’s role in the nation’s history, why allow it more than a week before Independence Day? Or the day after?

“We could maybe at least keep the carnage down to one day,” Muri sensibly suggests.

That would be more in keeping with neighboring counties. Fireworks are limited to July 4 in unincorporated King County and to July 3 and 4 in Thurston.
Read more »

Feb.
8th

JBLM traffic crunch: Pain Congress can help remedy

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

Drivers stuck in the increasingly heavy traffic around Joint Base Lewis-McChord can take some comfort from a new report commissioned by Congress. It not only recognizes their pain, it suggests ways to alleviate it.

Most prominently, the National Research Council’s Transportation Research Board urges Congress to move quickly to fund road improvements in communities most affected by expansions at military installations – including JBLM – either by special appropriations or by reallocating unused stimulus funds. We second that recommendation.

Much of that new traffic on Interstate 5 near JBLM is a result of the military implementing the base closure and realignment plan (BRAC) approved by Congress in 2005 – which is taking units from bases scheduled for closure and distributing them to 18 others that are expanding. Read more »