The ruling did not come as a surprise. Even Tim Eyman, the creator of Initiative 1366, had acknowledged that it might not pass muster in the courts, so Thursday’s unanimous state Supreme Court decision voiding the measure was predictable.
Cheers: To the local economy. Because we are still a little skittish and cautious in the wake of the Great Recession, any good economic news is worthy of cheers. So it is impressive to hear that Vancouver’s sales-tax revenue was up 15 percent in 2015 from the previous year. And that the city’s revenues exceeded forecasts by 2 percent. And that city expenditures were slightly below projections.
Predictably, the journey to legalized marijuana in Washington has been accompanied by a few bumps in the road. Introducing an industry that produces more than $300 million in annual revenue is bound to create some unforeseen problems. But while the Vancouver City Council is wise to tap on the brakes, however slightly, the primary shortcomings with legalized recreational use for adults can be laid at the feet of the Legislature.
What happens in Portland doesn’t stay in Portland. At least not when it comes to air pollution or water pollution or other environmental concerns. All of which makes last week’s developments surrounding Bullseye Glass in Portland of interest to those on the north side of the Columbia River. On Thursday, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown ordered the company to stop burning toxic metals in unfiltered furnaces.
Cheers: To a visit from Gov. Jay Inslee. Vancouver’s waterfront project warranted a look this week from the governor, leading him to proclaim that the area will “put this community on the map.” We like to think Vancouver has plenty of attributes that put it on the map, but the $1.3 billion waterfront development will certainly help.
I know many Clark County citizens are happy about the recent dissolution of the county’s Department of Environmental Services (and Don Benton’s job as department head along with it), but they are not considering the disturbing trend that has developed with the advent of single-point decision-making regarding departmental reorganizations.
This editorial-writing stuff can be serious business. After all, pontificating about taxes and bathroom rules and politicians doing stupid stuff leaves little room for levity. So when a headline such as “UFOs: ‘Open-minded’ Northwest is fertile ground for cosmic buzz” appears in The Seattle Times, well, it touches our whimsical side.
The much-maligned Affordable Care Act — colloquially known as Obamacare — is imperfect. But the basic premise, the idea of making health insurance available for all at a reasonable price, remains valid and valuable.
In a recent editorial for The Hill — a newspaper that covers Congress — Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, got right to the point. “Zika is not a theoretical threat,” she wrote. “It is very real, and scientists are warning that it could have catastrophic impacts right here in the U.S.”
Even after 130 years in Vancouver, the Washington State School for the Blind and the Washington School for the Deaf are working to remain relevant. But with changing times and changing mores, it would be instructive for the Legislature to examine the usefulness of the schools that have been located just east of downtown Vancouver for more than a century.