YAY: JIMMY CARTER
Some of our former presidents are getting frail. But few have led as productive, vital lives after serving their country than has Jimmy Carter, the onetime Georgia peanut farmer who won a Nobel Peace prize in 2000 for his global humanitarian and human rights work after leaving office. We were greatly saddened to hear last week that cancer spread to his brain.
Carter’s illness comes a month after President George H.W. Bush, our oldest living former president at 91, was released from a Maine hospital after breaking a bone in his neck.
Now 90, Carter is still a religious man and spoke with grace, intelligence and humility about his medical predicament. Carter said he’s more at ease about what might happen than expected, but we wish him — and President Bush — good recoveries anyway.
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BOO: WILDFIRE DEATHS
Three U.S. Forest Service firefighters died Wednesday near Twisp in the growing conflagration of forest fires that has swallowed more than 400,000 acres of land in Eastern Washington and literally millions across the West. At least 18 Washington fires have outstripped traditional resources, prompting help from Joint Base Lewis McChord and even a call by the state Department of Natural Resources for volunteers.
As is typical when first responders die in the line of duty, Gov. Jay Inslee’s office plans to order the flag lowered to honor the fallen on the day that services are held.
YAY: FROZEN GET PROGRAM
The Legislature wisely moved to cut tuition rates for public colleges this fall and in 2016. Unfortunately, that means some who purchased prepaid-tuition credits in recent years from the Guaranteed Education Tuition program might see their investment value fall below what they paid. A GET committee agreed last week to freeze the program to new buyers and to allow about $60 million in refunds to some who purchased credits during the past four years. More steps are planned to protect investors.
YAY: WOMEN RANGERS
Congratulations to 1st Lt. Kristen Griest, 26, of Connecticut and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, 25, of Texas. The two women broke another societal barrier, becoming on Friday the first women graduates of the U.S. Army’s Ranger School training. A total of 117 soldiers passed the grueling physical tests that require strength, fitness and perseverance. Their success highlights a Department of Defense quandary that may be decided this fall: Are there combat roles that women should be excluded from serving in?