Truth be known, we have Founding Father John Adams to blame for one of Clark County's ongoing debates. With the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the then-eventual second president of the United States wrote, "It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."
Consternation over what constitutes full state funding for Washington's public schools — and how to pay for it — reflects a complex equation that defies simple answers. But, if we had to boil the issue down to its essence, we might start with a quote from Randy Dorn, the state Superintendent of Public Instruction: "If we want to have a 21st century education system, we should have it for everybody, not just certain neighborhoods."
Cheers: It is, indeed, time to take a fresh look at Vancouver Lake — which means that a change in management of the watershed is most welcome. For the past decade, the city of Vancouver, Clark County, and the Port of Vancouver have spearheaded the Vancouver Lake Watershed Partnership, designed to support and promote the scenic-but-troubled lake. Now, the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership, an Oregon-based nonprofit, will take over those duties.
Leave it up to Congress. That is what Washington lawmakers have effectively said in abandoning efforts to regain the state's waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Yet while the lack of action is open to debate, it further points out the need for some consistency and progress in how the nation approaches public education.
When it comes to questions of government transparency and ethics, the answers typically are exceedingly simple. Because of that, a flap surrounding Pierce County and state lawmakers and the upcoming U.S. Open golf championship near Tacoma amounts to a head-scratching bogey for all concerned.
The old maxim that everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it might prove to be painfully prophetic. As Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., implored recently: "These challenges will only intensify in the coming years. These drought conditions are the new normal; we need fresh approaches to better address these conditions and to prevent imminent economic losses."
The most pertinent issue surrounding recent alterations to the Patriot Act is this: Government officials could point to no instances in which the bulk collection of Americans' phone records prevented a terrorist attack or revealed the planning of one.
Cheers: Whether or not Alexa Efraimson one day ends up in the Olympics, her accomplishments to this point are laudable. Efraimson, a graduating senior at Camas High School who turned professional last summer and therefore bypassed her final year of high school competition, is the fastest middle-distance runner in American history for her age group.