Government shut down lurks again

U.S. Rep. Denny Heck warned months ago that this year’s Congress would be defined by its fall over a series of policy cliffs, some of which might kill valuable programs or wreak havoc in our communities. So far, the Olympia-based Democrat has been right. More ominous, Heck is predicting that a government shutdown is likely to happen in the next month or two over party differences concerning the House-approved defense budget.


Reform coming for justice system

Having accurate information about a Superior Court or District Court defendant’s potential risk to the community is vital for Thurston County judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and the police. So is knowing which services an accused person might need for help with mental health or substance-abuse issues that, in some cases, are a contributor to the criminal actions that land a man or woman in jail and court.


There’s uneasy peace living on the Ring of Fire

The West has been on fire all month, with dream homes falling to a combustive punch, wild horses seared by flame and suffocated by smoke, even a rare “firenado” dancing across a landscape in which 7 million acres have been burned this year. It was shocking to be lazing through the rituals of summer at Lake Chelan, one of the world’s most beautiful bodies of water, in Washington’s eastern Cascades, when wildfires arrived.

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