Carol Smith credits a Samaritan with saving the life of her husband after a hit-and-run motorist knocked him off his bike as he commuted home along Johnson Point Road on Feb. 17.
The passerby, who was not publicly identified, comforted Lee Smith with a blanket until firefighters arrived. Smith suffered a dozen broken bones in his leg, back, ribs, neck and nose.
Thurston County sheriff’s detectives now are on the trail of a suspected hit-and-run driver after a reserve police officer, who read about the accident, heard a man in a bar telling a suspicious story about hitting a deer with his car.
Lee Smith continues to recover at home.
No one can mistake Hillary Rodham Clinton for an open government advocate. She used potentially vulnerable private email for official business while serving as secretary of state, limiting public access to public messages.
Her decision looks ill-advised. We expect more from a veteran of government and likely Democratic presidential candidate.
YAY: UNITED WAY
United Way of Thurston County reports that its February fundraiser hauled in $165,000 to help charitable causes. The group said more than 350 supporters joined its sixth yearly Straight from the Heart winemaker dinner held near Rochester at Lucky Eagle Casino and Hotel. Well done.
YAY: JOB GROWTH
The latest job reports show 295,000 jobs were added in February, marking the 12th month in a row with at least 200,000 jobs and a 60-month jobs expansion, which is welcome news.
The troubling fine print in the jobs report showed wage growth barely budged, and 178,000 people dropped out of the workforce. We need more employment and wage growth.
BOO: OLYMPIA PORT
Port of Olympia Commissioner Sue Gunn has missed public meetings since December as she recuperates from open heart surgery. But now another commissioner, Bill McGregor, is refusing to excuse her absences.
Gunn says she’ll return later this month, but if she is absent without being excused for 60 days, she loses her job.
Surely this could have been handled more humanely.
YAY: STINGRAY LIMITS
A bill is moving through the Legislature to ensure judicial review when police want to use so-called Stingray devices to track phone calls. House Bill 1440 from Republican Rep. David Taylor of Moxee requires a warrant authorized by a judge in nonemergency cases.
The bill, approved unanimously in the House, responds to a problem created by Tacoma police, the lone state police agency known to possess such a device. The Stingray simulates a cell tower site in order to capture locations and other data from a cellphone.
YAY: TAX REFORMER
Credit Rep. Drew MacEwen, R-Union, for taking a stab at the state’s business and occupations tax that weighs heavily on startups and struggling small businesses. HB 2150 is one piece of a needed larger discussion about the state tax code; it gets a hearing in the House Finance Committee on Friday.
The B&O tax is levied on receipts, not profits, and MacEwen proposes to spare about 285,000 enterprises from the tax by offering new choices of deductions worth up to $500,000. The bill is designed to make no net change in total state tax receipts and would replace myriad tax codes with only four rates. MacEwen’s bill leaves tax rates unchanged for agriculture and aerospace.