Court is holding state lawmakers accountable

YAY: Contempt order

Late last week, the Supreme Court of Washington held the Legislature in contempt for failing to provide a plan to fully fund basic education, as our state constitution requires. This isn’t surprising. In 2012, the Court directly ordered the Legislature to develop a plan to fully fund its own definition of basic education by 2018. They are not on track to meet that deadline.

The Legislature could easily get back on track if it simply met the funding goals lawmakers themselves approved five years ago.

The Legislature has failed to do so primarily because Republicans in the state Senate have refused to consider new revenue options to fund the billions of additional dollars that will be required. The justices are simply holding lawmakers accountable for upholding the state constitution, to their own legislation and to the children of Washington.

YAY: Showing appreciation

For 52 years, members of the Olympia Yacht Club have shown their appreciation for people who have served in the military by providing a day of fun and relaxation on a South Sound private island. Forty-two yacht club boats filled with 400 military families traveled last week to the club’s Home Island in Pickering Passage east of Shelton. Our region reaps many benefits from the military presence of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and since 1962 the yacht club has been saying thanks for all of us.

BOO: NFL vs. Rice

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should resign. His inept or possibly deceitful handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence incident is an insult to American values, women everywhere and to the thousands of other NFL players who respect women and abhor abuse.

Goodell announced several years ago that he was personally taking on the task of setting a higher standard for player’s personal conduct on and off the field. Apparently that was just rhetoric, because he has failed miserably on an important moral issue.

YAY: Preserving land

This is Conservation Week in Thurston County. The County Commission proclaimed the week to recognize the decades of work by local land trusts: Capitol Land Trust, Nisqually Land Trust, South of the Sound Community Farm Land Trust, Chehalis River Basin Land Trust and Creekside Conservancy. We applaud these organizations and their dedicated volunteers.

YAY: New water source

The City of Olympia will soon transition its water supply from McAllister Springs to the McAllister Wellfield, about a mile upstream. The wellfield will provide city residents with greater capacity, and a source less susceptible to the dangers posed by contamination, fuel spills and rising sea levels. Just as importantly, moving the city’s water supply protects McAllister Springs, located on Nisqually Tribal land. For hundreds of years, the springs have been a spiritually significant site, known as “Medicine Springs.”

BOO: Summer’s over

Do not lament the passing of summer, or fear winter’s approach. When the autumnal equinox arrives in the Northern Hemisphere at 10:29 P.M. EDT on Sept. 22, it will bring crisp air, a colorful floral display and ripening grapes to fill your cups. Don’t retreat indoors, but engage nature to enjoy these lingering, blessed days of sunshine and cooler temperatures.