Clark County voters have repeatedly spoken against idea; try something new
Apparently unable to determine whether or not the horse is dead yet, Clark County commissioners are moving ahead with their exploration of a home rule charter.The idea of such a charter was rejected by voters in 1982, 1997, and 2002, and yet the citizens of the county can't kill it. Commissioners last week agreed to add discussion of the matter to the agenda for an upcoming public hearing.
But until questions of job creation vs. revenue loss answered, don't approve it
Any reasonable, well-considered plan for creating jobs is deserving of examination and discussion.Such is the case with the Clark County commissioners' proposal to expand cuts to county development fees. Commissioners have discussed plans to reduce several fees for burgeoning business developments, and further discussions are scheduled.
Emerald House saves the green;county persists in lost cause
Cheers: To the Planet Clark Emerald Green House. The latest effort by Evergreen Habitat for Humanity is a model of energy efficiency. In fact, it is green enough to be on track to earn the Emerald designation, the highest award for energy efficiency conferred by the National Association of Home Builders. Assuming it wins certification, it will be the first Emerald home in Clark County.The new home, located in the Northeast Hazel Dell neighborhood, was recently open for a tour before being turned over to homeowners Dennis and Shari Ziesemer. The lighting is energy efficient. Rainwater is collected from the roof into barrels, which in turn water the garden. The hot water outlets are near the water heater, reducing heat loss in piping. And there are many other admirable features. Perhaps the best is the affordable cost of the home -- $129,000 -- compared with the very expensive homes that are generally constructed to green standards. It's comforting to think you can be environmentally conscious without having millions in the bank.
Perks from lobbyists, taxpayers' pockets never seem to end for legislators
There is, they say, no such thing as a free lunch. Yet that traditional axiom apparently is lost on state legislators.
Stabilizing the future of farming is just one reason for Congress to act
Agriculture annually plows $40 billion into the Washington economy and sustains more than 160,000 jobs. Thus, it is vital to our state for members of Congress to set aside partisan differences and pass a new farm bill. The current one expires Sept. 30; last year's effort stalled because of differences between Senate and House versions on cuts to the federal food stamp program.
Replacing administrator will require plenty of research and deliberation
Clark County commissioners deserve praise for devoting ample time, attention and deliberation to replacing County Administrator Bill Barron. The position — basically the manager of county government as overseen by county commissioners — is too important to local residents for commissioners to rush this process.
Here, in Mount Vernon, and in B.C. congestion in commercial trade is costly
Many Clark County residents might not know much about Prince Rupert, B.C., and for good reason. It's a city of only about 13,000 people. But the more you learn about Prince Rupert, the easier it is to understand why the Port of Vancouver and the Port of Portland avidly support the Columbia River Crossing and the commercial trade improvements the project offers.Prince Rupert boasts the fastest-growing container terminal in North America. Located on the coast in mid-British Columbia, it's the closest North American port to Asia. And it's the deepest ice-free harbor in North America. Shippers are attracted to both of those attributes.
True meaning of Memorial Day is not limited by clocks or calendars
The drawing to the right leaves no doubt: Today, a grateful nation mourns. Americans pause to honor those who died protecting the freedoms enjoyed in the greatest nation ever.That priority must prevail, more so than any of the trivialities that come with a three-day weekend.
Columbia River Crossing debate intensifies after Skagit River accident
What is the likelihood that the Interstate 5 Bridge linking Vancouver and Portland will fall into the Columbia River, as happened Thursday evening with the I-5 Skagit River Bridge near Mount Vernon?No one is sure, but every local resident shudders at the possibility. There's a good chance the impact here would be much more catastrophic. Our twin bridges carry an average 128,600 vehicles daily, whereas the Skagit River Bridge averages 70,925 daily. If that kind of tragedy happened here at 7 p.m. on a weekday -- near the end of 60,000 commuters returning home to Clark County -- we can't imagine escaping without fatalities, as was the fortunate outcome Thursday.
Fisher invests itself in Camas;Kaiser's HIV testing forgets key step
Cheers: To local investment by Fisher Investments. The company's owner and CEO, Ken Fisher, confirmed this week that he'll construct a second office building on his budding corporate campus in Camas. The $17 million he'll spend on the structure will bring Fisher's total investment here to $47 million.The five-story building will be large enough to accommodate 700 workers. Fisher already employs 445 in Camas and has room for 150 more in its current building, so the second structure suggests employment may top 1,000 here in a few years. That would vault Fisher toward the top of the list of private employers. Because Fisher is a financial services firm, many of its employees are highly educated and earn a good living, so the jobs will have an above-average economic impact.
Legislators must resist the temptation to raid state emergency funds
Don't let this week's weather fool you. Washington state is nowhere near a rainy day, at least not economically speaking. State Treasurer James McIntire made that stern pronouncement in an April 25 letter to legislators, warning them against tapping the state's "rainy day" fund to solve lingering budget problems.
Ongoing DOJ scandal illustrates why public's right to know must be protected
President Barack Obama was described in a Tuesday Seattle Times editorial as "the worst modern president for press freedom." We concur with that assessment.
Now it's time for the legislators to do their part and support the CRC
After the Legislature failed to complete its work earlier this year, Gov. Jay Inslee dispatched several signals indicating he would participate more aggressively in the special session. On Monday, he did precisely that, vetoing $81 million in funding for the Columbia River Crossing not because he doesn't support the CRC, but because he wants the Legislature to match the $450 million Oregon has committed to the project. Inslee sees "no wisdom in expending (the $81 million) if the state of Washington does not contribute its share of funding necessary to complete the project.
Voters have numerous choices as council candidates prepare for battle
Every politician — regardless of party or position — needs to be challenged by opponents. It's good for the elected officials to not only be held accountable but to respect and even fear that process as he or she works for the voters. And it's good for the electorate to not only have choices but to leverage the electoral process as an ominous reminder throughout the term of office.
State has a long way to go in deciding how Initiative 502 will be implemented
Even after 46 pages of initial draft rules were circulated by the state Liquor Control Board on Thursday, the path to marijuana legalization remains fraught with uncertainty.Marijuana sales could begin in Washington in early 2014 and, to its credit, the board has worked rapidly and diligently trying to steer Washington through unprecedented tasks. Staffers have spent eight months studying, deliberating and charting this course after voters approved Initiative 502 last fall. Many of the rules announced last week add bits of clarity to this confusing issue, but as cannabis lobbyist Ezra Eickmeyer was quoted in The News Tribune of Tacoma, "This is when any potential fighting actually begins."