Opinion - John Laird
Next month, Clark County voters will receive ballots by mail, featuring varying combinations of 119 candidates, including 41 Republicans, 29 Democrats, several hybrid and offshoot affiliations and numerous candidates running in nonpartisan races. It's not too soon for voters to start doing their research.
Three long trips in five weeks implanted powerful reminders that Clark County is the best place in the world. I often wonder if the grumpiest people around here are the folks who don't travel much. When you hunker down in your comfort zone, you lose a point of reference. Slowly, the nest becomes not so comfortable, and complaints come too easily. Traveling allows comparisons.
Notes, quotes and anecdotes while wondering why many people who are screaming for a public vote on light rail are also screaming against a public vote on a tax levy to pay for parks:
Americans would be better served if Congress were run like a jazz big band. Popularity ratings of our national ruling body would soar from the current all-time low to the heights of approval enjoyed by countless jazz big bands that have decorated American music for nine decades.
Any way you slice it, $3.1 billion is a lot of money. That's the projected cost of the Columbia River Crossing, replacing the Interstate 5 Bridge and extending light rail two miles from the Expo Center in Portland to Clark College in Vancouver. Add the estimated annual upkeep of light rail in Vancouver (about $2 million or more), and the overall financial burden intensifies. It's easy to see why some people insist the CRC is just too expensive.
Notes, quotes and anecdotes while wondering why Rush Limbaugh spends so much time insisting he’s not “a racist, bigot, sexist, homophobe”:
Every technological advance -- gunpowder, cameras, cars, airplanes, the Internet -- has brought both benefits and detriments. Combining two technologies seems to magnify the best and the worse. A car with a GPS increases navigation, but driving and texting can be deadly.
Welcome to the first day of spring. Yeah, I know, the calendar insists the first day of spring was a month ago, March 20 to be exact. And we’re weeks into the blossoming and bulb-bursting showcase. But for many of us, spring doesn’t really arrive until we stop using the weather as an excuse for avoiding yardwork.
Two words of advice to Republicans who are trying to figure out women: Stop digging.
Notes, quotes and anecdotes while wondering -- since Republicans castigate the Hilton Vancouver Washington as a repulsive monument to government waste -- why did they hold their county convention there?
Lewis and Clark are properly credited for conducting one of the most consequential journeys in the history of exploration. They opened the American West to development by people of European ancestry. Miraculously, they managed to do this without tweeting OMG every five minutes along the way.
Nine years ago this month, I barely knew Mill Plain from Fourth Plain. But I knew Clark County was where I wanted to live, work and play.
As Americans become increasingly polarized politically, it seems we’re losing our capacity to listen. We’re too busy interrupting each other to consider opposing views, too insecure in our own ideologies to believe other ideas might be more compelling.
Trivia question: What do Richard Nixon, Paris Hilton and the BP oil firm have in common?
Many liberals in Southwest Washington are quick to label Jaime Herrera Beutler as a puppet of the Republican establishment. That characterization is untrue, as you’ll see a little later. But first, let’s examine the charge for exactly what it is.