Public, private partnership provides housing

YAY: Providing housing

Homes First, a non-profit that buys and rehabilitates houses for use as rentals to low income families, recovery programs and people with disabilities turned out 250 people for its first-ever community fundraising event. One of the successes they celebrated was the donation by Wells Fargo Bank of a rundown house in Tumwater, which will be rehabilitated by students at YouthBuild, the New Market Skills Center training program.

BOO: Pot in public

The state of Washington does not permit smoking marijuana in public. But Seattle is easing in the law. The Seattle City Attorney has dismissed 100 tickets for smoking pot in public because they were written by one officer with a personal agenda.

According to Seattle Deputy Police Chief Carmen Best, “It’s not really about writing tickets. We’re trying to educate people.” But would he apply that to other laws like drinking alcohol in public or going through red lights? The city says it isn’t ignoring the law, but are they sliding down a slippery slope?

YAY: NW goes to space

NASA announced a deal with Boeing to build a new spacecraft and rockets, the later in partnership with Lockheed Martin. And SpaceX, a California company founded by the CEO of Tesla autos, will build new cargo-carrying space capsules. American astronauts won’t have to hitch rides with Russians to get to the International Space Station.

BOO: Attacks on officers

The 18 percent increase in felony assaults in Olympia is disturbing enough. But the OPD is reporting that 28 percent of those were attacks on officers or hospital staff. It’s a tangible, direct result of this nation’s and this state’s failure to adequately fund mental health programs.

BOO: Congress, again

The 113th Congress is on track to become one of the least productive – if not the least – in U.S. history. It has enacted only 163 laws in nearly two years, and nearly half of those were mostly ceremonial, such as post office namings. For comparison, the famous “Do Nothing Congress” named by President Harry Truman in 1947 passed more than 900 laws.

It’s sad when the crowning achievement of the 113th Congress’s second year was to avoid another government shutdown.

YAY: School teachers

Next Sunday, Oct. 5, is World Teachers’ Day. Why not seek out an opportunity to tell one of the South Sound’s great teachers how much you appreciate what they do for our children and to create a more educated society.

BOO: Guns out of control

A 9-year-old girl accidently shot and killed a firing range instructor with an Uzi submachine gun. An elementary grade teacher in Utah, who legally carries a handgun, accidentally pulled the trigger while in the school’s bathroom destroying a toilet and piercing her leg. If only these were isolated instances. But accidents like these occur somewhere in the U.S. every day.