Editorials

TVW has helped us navigate politics

YAY: TVW TURNS 20

The TVW public affairs network turns two decades old on Friday, April 10. Frankly it’s hard to imagine watching state government politics unfold without the nonprofit’s ever-present cameras tracking the conversation.

Founded in 1995 by Denny Heck, now a congressman, and Stan Marshburn, a since-retired career state government manager, the network has aired more than 30,000 hours of legislative action, Supreme Court proceedings and executive agency actions. It’s become an indispensable tool for watchers of state government.

BOO: INDIANA DISCRIMINATION

Until Indiana moved to amend its new religious freedom law, the Hoosier state in effect had legalized discrimination by letting a business refuse service to patrons their owners might disagree with on religious grounds. But under fire from critics and businesses, Gov. Mike Pence signed revisions into law Friday that bars individuals or businesses from refusing service or goods based on a customer’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson was right not to sign a similar religious objection bill in his state just as Washington Gov. Jay Inslee was correct to issue an executive order, which he rescinded Friday morning, that had barred state-funded travel to Indiana.

YAY: OPENING DAY

It’s time to play ball. And throw life’s cares aside for an afternoon. Today (Monday) marks opening day for the Major League Baseball season and our local favorites, the Mariners, look poised to play even better this year.

Sure, professional sports have lost their bearings with mega-salaries for superstars that defy reason. Teams price tickets out of reach of most families that might want to attend more than a few games a year.

But hope springs eternal before the first pitch. Let’s milk it while we can. Go Ms.

BOO: POWDERED ALCOHOL

Add water, get drunk? The makers of a new powdered alcohol product got federal approval on March 10 to sell their new product, Palcohol, which turns powder into rum or vodka for the convenience of hikers and airlines. It rather sounds like a swig of bitter wretchedness, so we’re not yet convinced the future product needs a formal ban as Senate Bill 5292 provides.

But state Sen. Pam Roach says this is “an incredibly dangerous substance” and six states have banned it. The bill deserves more discussion.

YAY: FARMERS MARKET

Olympia’s Farmers Market kicked off another season Thursday and is marking its 40th year in business. The popular institution on the north end of Capitol Way is open Thursdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through October, and it operates on weekends later in the year. Welcome back!

BOO: TENINO FIRING MESS

It’s too early to say whether Tenino Mayor Bret Brodersen’s firing of police chief John Hutchings was unwarranted. But the move roiled the south Thurston County town last week, drawing a protest at city hall. Broderson said Hutchings overstepped his authority, worked extra hours and hired a reserve officer without approval. Brodersen now must defend his move to the town council.

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