Cheers: As if there were a need for a reminder, two recent Columbian articles pointed out the dangerous but critical work performed by police officers. One article recounted the tale of Vancouver Police Department Officer Dustin Goudschaal, who was ambushed and shot seven times in June but this month returned to work in a modified capacity. The other told the story of a disturbed knife-wielding man, who caused a shutdown of the northbound Interstate 5 Bridge but was talked into peacefully surrendering by Portland police.
As Republicans settle into the captain's chair in Congress, the Export-Import Bank presents them an opportunity to demonstrate they have the ability to effectively steer the ship while simultaneously boosting the economy in Washington.
For state Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, reconciling Washington's medical marijuana industry with the state's burgeoning recreational marijuana businesses amounts to a legislative high-wire performance. There are concerns about patients and customers, about differing tax structures, and about the unregulated nature of the well-established medical marijuana industry — issues that present legislators with a difficult balancing act.
Chalk it up as another self-inflicted wound for the Clark County Republican Party. When the Washington Public Disclosure Commission determined Monday that it found no evidence Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey had violated any laws or had acted unethically in his advocacy for a county charter on last November's ballot, the decision served as a rebuke for the local party. It also served as an example of the misguided intransigence that is emblematic of the Clark County GOP.
Two recent proposals regarding Clark County's relationship with public employee unions are worthy of consideration and should be adopted. Councilor David Madore has brought forth separate resolutions that would: Open to the public collective bargaining negotiations between the county and employees; and institute a local right-to-work policy that would ban unions from compelling public employees to pay dues as a condition of their employment.
Cheers: Southwest Washington legislators, who often find themselves in partisan conflicts, have largely agreed on a list of local priorities for state budget writers. "There are some great projects on there, and a lot of pent-up need," Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, said about a request of $9.3 million for capital projects in the region. The list includes a public park as part of a waterfront development project, as well as funding for construction of a Clark County Aging Care and Resource Center.
The headlines are a misnomer. As Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives this week unveiled a spending proposal to cover the federal government for the next decade, news reports declared that they had proposed a "budget." That is where the subterfuge comes in. Because, rather than being a realistic budget, the document is more of a policy statement, a declaration of values, a statement of principles.
On the surface, a Republican-backed effort that passed the state Senate last week is designed to reduce carbon emissions from the state's utilities. But a little digging reveals a debate that goes much deeper.
The U.S. Supreme Court might as well have sent up flares, sounded a foghorn, and waved the flag. When the court ruled recently on a case ostensibly involving sales tax on Internet purchases, Justice Anthony Kennedy did all he could to grab the attention of Congress.
Because seemingly every week and every month on the calendar has been designated to recognize some social cause — January is "Stalking Awareness Month" and "National Mentoring Month," among other things — it should come as no surprise that we are in the middle of "Sunshine Week."
There is an aphorism in here somewhere. Maybe something about falling off a horse and getting back on. Or something about quitters never winning and winners never quitting. Or, to quote Winston Churchill, maybe a reminder that we must "Never, never, never give up."
Cheers: Some crucial details remain to be worked out, but members of the state Senate have approved a bill that would trim tuition costs at public universities and community colleges. Receiving bipartisan support in a 37-12 vote that moves it to the House of Representatives, the bill stands in sharp contrast to what is happening in Oregon, where proposed tuition increases have drawn protests from students.