Respectful beginning for well site solutions

YAY: Civil problem-solving

People are passionate about how to solve the problem of crime at the Artesian Commons park, and how to make it a place where everyone feels safe and welcome. The threat of a park closure brought lots of people to the city council last Tuesday night.

The discussion was remarkable for its civility, and for its focus on meeting the needs of street people, local businesses, and people who come to collect water from the well. It was a great beginning to what clearly will become a longer search for solutions.

BOO: Support for torture

A Pew Research Center poll found that only 30 percent of Americans clearly oppose our government's use of torture. Twenty percent aren’t sure, and — most shocking and discouraging — just over 50 percent think it was justified.

We agree with Sen. John McCain, who says harsh interrogation methods “not only failed their purpose - to secure actionable intelligence to prevent further attacks on the U. S. and our allies - but actually damaged our security interests, as well as our reputation as a force for good in the world."

YAY: Alpine Lakes

In a final act of isolated productivity, the 113th Congress approved the expansion of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area, extending federal protection to another 22,000 acres of pristine public recreation land.

BOO: Federal law making

We laud the Alpine Lakes expansion, but scrunch our noses at how the measure got passed. It was slapped onto a bill addressing several Pentagon-related matters, such as weapons purchases and pay raises from troops. The Alpine Lakes expansion couldn’t have been more unrelated.

YAY: Sharon Foster

After announcing her retirement as head of the Washington Liquor Control Board, Sharon Foster said what she couldn’t say as a member. She called the privatization of liquor sales by citizen’s initiative (read: Costco), “the dumbest thing we ever did in our state.” True that. Spirits cost more. Costco and other big chains have squashed mom and pop stores. And determined teenagers, and others, have found shoplifting is an easy way to get their booze.

YAY: Good bosses

Everyone wants to work for a good boss, and the South Sound has lots of them. The Thurston County Chamber recently recognized three: Dr. Yong Liu, Microbiology laboratory director at the state Department of Agriculture; Rae-Lynn Bidon, the CEO of Olympia Orthopaedic Associates; and, Steve Hall, the Olympia City Manager. Congrats to these good role models.

DUH: Men are idiots

It’s official now, the Male Idiot Theory is correct, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal. The study examined recipients of the Darwin Awards, founded by a University of California graduate to recognize people who “have died (or sterilized themselves) in the conduct of an activity that is so stupid, pointless and predictably self-destructive that they can truly be said to have done humanity a great service … by removing themselves from the human gene pool.” About 89 percent of the awardees are male.