School arsonists committed a cowardly crime

The OlympianJanuary 13, 2014 

Local contractor Michael Harrison wipes down the damaged exterior of Nova School on Saturday afternoon in Olympia. Unknown suspects had set a trash can on fire.



What makes someone try to burn down a school? According to the FBI profile, the typical arsonist — who isn’t torching a building for insurance purposes — is either younger than 18 or in their late 20s. They are usually white males, and the vast majority have a below-normal IQ. But, of course, the FBI admits law enforcement doesn’t catch most arsonists, so perhaps the smarter ones got away.

Other experts say arsonists have anger problems, and sometimes revenge is the motivation. We think it’s a cowardly crime and hope the fire-setters at two South Sound schools get caught, smart or not.



The city of Olympia and Thurston County held a joint work session a week ago to address the continuing problem of discarded needles in the downtown core, and the growing heroin problem in our community, especially among middle-income kids. At least the two jurisdictions have started talking about a dirty-laundry-topic that everyone has ignored for too long.



Remember when Donald Trump was leading the right wing’s obsession to prove President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the U.S.? What are the odds they’ll turn that scrutiny on one of their own presidential candidates, Sen. Ted Cruz? Turns out, Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father, which made him an automatic dual citizen.

Now Cruz is trying to renounce his Canadian citizenship. We’re surprised. We thought he’d want to cross the border for some real low-cost, single-payer universal health care.



The New York Daily News, known for its splashy and biting tabloid headlines, went over the top with news reports that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration had closed bridge lanes to purposely cause traffic jams as political retribution. “Bridge eats away at Prez hopes,” they wrote, referring to the governor’s weight. “Fat chance now, Chris,” they went on, adding in his 2016 presidential aspirations.

The Daily News’ lampooning aside, this is the type of political scandal that sticks with people and undermines confidence in good elected officials.



Hundreds of high school students from around the state competed on their knowledge of the U.S. Constitution at the Capitol Campus over the weekend. The annual competition, called We the People, is a project of the federal Center for Civic Education. The state winner travels to Washington, D.C., to compete on a national level. Seeing young people get excited about the Constitution gives us hope for this nation.


Not one student from Thurston County competed at We the People, nor have they ever. It’s disappointing that school districts in the state’s capital city don’t offer this opportunity. The Center for Civic Education has even offered local educators free textbooks.

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