YAY: WOLF HAVEN
Consider it a sign of Wolf Haven International’s success that the wolf sanctuary near Tenino’s Offut Lake is restricting visits by the public starting this month, requiring appointments.
The move is meant to improve the setting for wolves as the organization seeks global accreditation from the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.
We trust staffers that the site’s 50 wolves will benefit and that visitors will also find the better-planned experience more enjoyable.
BOO: FBI IN THE SKY
There is always security in knowing our FBI is on the lookout for bad guys, and the skies should not be off-limits. But the notion the agency’s civilian air force could be used to monitor on-the-ground activities of law-abiding citizens is a worry, particularly given the technological capacity several U.S. agencies have had to collect bulk telephone data. The FBI insists its eavesdropping does not include phone data, but Congress would be right to insist on safeguards.
YAY: BARBIE’S FLATS
The Guardian reports that the new “Fashionista Barbie” has adjustable ankles so she is no longer on tiptoes for life, and can wear flat shoes. What a relief. She is, after all, in her mid-50s now.
Of course, a fashion wave has its limits, and the Cannes Film Festival lags Barbie in breaking out of sexist fashion tyranny. The recent festival required women who attended to wear high heels.
They should talk to Barbie.
YAY: DROUGHT UPSIDE
The West may be drying and water shortages rife in places like California, but there’s a silver lining. Prospects for wine growers in Washington, the No. 2 state for wine-grape growers, are getting better as growers switch from more water-intensive crops like apples.
Warming climates in Oregon and Washington also are opening new territory for growers. Wine-grape acreage grew 20 percent, or 50,000 acres, since 2010.
BOO: WORLD SOCCER
Sepp Blatter, top official with the global soccer organization FIFA, is finally stepping down in a bribery scandal that engulfed more than a dozen high-level members of the body that decides which countries are chosen to host lucrative World Cup finals.
The U.S. Justice Department filed indictments two weeks ago amid a worldwide crackdown, and legal papers indicate that in one case $10 million was paid to senior FIFA officials for their vote giving the 2010 World Cup to South Africa.
YAY: OLYMPIA PORT FORUM
Credit the Port of Olympia and commissioners Bill McGregor and George Barner for doing the right thing. They scheduled a very open public process that played out last week with interviews of eight candidates seeking appointment to the vacancy left by former commissioner Sue Gunn.
Gunn resigned while under pressure to return to duty after open-heart surgery. A decision on her replacement is due June 10.
BOO: EX-IM BANK FOES
The U.S. House of Representatives seems to love political theater so much it doesn’t care what the ticket price might be. In their ideological zeal to promote free markets and kill off the Export-Import Bank, some GOP leaders are disregarding that a June 30 bank shutdown could needlessly reduce exports.
On the other side are U.S. Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.) and most of our state’s federal delegation, which understands: The bank helps guarantee financing for exports in a way that other major governments do for their industries; jetmakers, farmers and many small businesses are helped; and taxpayers have not lost money on the deal.