George Le Masurier, Publisher
Jerre Redecker, Senior Editor
John Dodge, Columnist
Mary Gentry, Community Representative
Doug Mah, Community Representative
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Years of underfunding the preservation and maintenance of our state’s roadways and bridges have created a rapidly deteriorating transportation system that is quickly becoming a liability to public safety and Washington’s economy. To remedy this situation, the Legislature must pass a 10-year transportation investment plan before it closes this frustrating 2013 legislative session.
High school seniors in all seven Thurston County school districts excitedly are participating in graduation ceremonies this month. It’s a time for families to celebrate their graduate’s achievement and for seniors to begin their adult lives with all of its freedoms and responsibilities.
Based on my 18 years of experience with the Olympia Gospel Rescue Mission, I have come to regard homelessness as a mind-and-heart issue that leads to a geographical issue that we call homelessness.
YAY: GIVE ’EM BANKS
Weak economies make it difficult for able-bodied people to find steady employment. It’s twice as hard for people with disabilities. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the national unemployment rate in April was 6.9 percent for people without disabilities. It was nearly double – 12. 9 percent – for those with disabilities.
The frequency of sexual assaults against women in the military, and the disregard of their severity by senior officers, continues to inflame Congress. Senators on the Armed Services Committee questioned whether the whole military justice system should be overhauled. The House companion committee passed a measure to prevent officers from reversing convictions of rapists. It looks as if a long list of new legislation will try to change the military’s culture of protecting sexual offenders.
For 12 years, Washington and Oregon have been on opposite sides of the Columbia Basin salmon deadlock. But Washington’s new governor, Jay Inslee, is the right leader at the right time to partner with Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber so the two states can lead the Northwest to shared and lasting solutions for salmon, energy and agriculture.
State House Democrats offered an olive branch to Senate Republicans this week, hoping to break the deadlock in budget negotiations before the end of the special session next Tuesday. The Republicans snapped the branch in half, apparently rejecting it without serious consideration.
The latest crisis down at Olympia City Council is a rather stinky issue: dog poop.
While state lawmakers sit idle, waiting for their respective party’s budget writers to find an acceptable compromise before the special session ends Tuesday, lobbyists for the giant discount retailer Costco are hard at work. They are once again trying to rewrite the state liquor laws in their favor.