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  • Treaty can wait until election is over

    Roger Harnack|Updated Jul 24, 2024

    Dams on the Columbia River and its tributaries contribute greatly to the way of life here in Eastern Washington. So, when the federal government says it has reached an agreement on proposed revisions to the Columbia River Treaty with Canada, rural residents should say not so fast. On the surface, the “in principle” agreement announced last week looks good for Americans. Under the proposed changes, the U.S. will get to keep more of the power generated on our side of the bor...

  • Restoring Balance to America's Regulations

    Don C. Brunell|Updated Jul 24, 2024

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce looked at the cost of regulations in America and found that excessive protocols are undercutting our economy and costing us jobs. Federal rules alone have exploded, and the Chamber says they cost $1.7 trillion. Unwarranted state labor and employment mandates resulted in a 700,000-job loss. On the other hand, paring back state regulations which exceed federal standards now spawns 50,000 new businesses each year. The Chamber report does not indict...

  • Agencies should be liable for expert bias

    Todd Myers|Updated Jul 17, 2024

    Scientific experts are prone to bias, overestimate their certainty and government systems are not good at adjusting to new science. Those admonitions come from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in a statement addressing the Supreme Court's refusal to hear the case of Charles C. McCrory v. Alabama. In the piece, Sotomayor asks what courts should do when faced with convictions "resting on science that has now been wholly discredited?" The question offer lessons for how...

  • Don't buy into free EV chargers

    Roger Harnack|Updated Jul 17, 2024

    Truck, truck, truck, Tesla. Truck, truck, truck. Here in rural Eastern Washington, the running joke is that the “T” on a Tesla electric vehicle stands for “tourist.” Indeed, the expensive cars, like their electric Toyota and Rivian counterparts, are an oddity easily picked out among rural residents’ pickups, four-wheel drives and older vehicles. But what some rural residents may not realize is that they are paying to charge many of those expensive EVs. Over the last couple ye...

  • Time for gray wolf management to change is now

    Pam Lewison|Updated Jul 11, 2024

    The gray wolf population in Washington state set a reproduction record, growing by an astounding 44 animals in 2023. The state’s wolf population has increased for 15 years in a row and is now at its highest level since it was listed. The question is, what will it take for the state to change its management policy for the predators? Last year we proposed a state delisting of gray wolves in the eastern-most third of Washington state. We also proposed an incremental, local a...

  • Loper decision is a victory

    Paul Guppy|Updated Jul 11, 2024

    The Loper family own Loper Bright Enterprises, a modest New England-based fishing business. They pursue the same dream shared by many Americans – to provide their customers with quality service at a fair price while making a good living. Recently, however, the bureaucrats at the National Marine Fisheries Service had other ideas. The agency’s budget was tight, so they decided to make the Lopers, along with similar family-owned businesses, pay for a government on-board ins...

  • Lawmakers support repealing WA Cares

    Elizabeth New|Updated Jul 3, 2024

    When Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, opened a recent work session for the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee, she said that the state’s law on long-term care was passed by the Legislature on a “bipartisan basis.” As Inigo Montoya said in “The Princess Bride,” “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” The law that created WA Cares, proposed in House Bill 1087, cannot be described as bipartisan legislation. By the time the bill made its way...

  • Hope for health-care access

    Don C. Brunell|Updated Jul 3, 2024

    One of the most vexing problems with our nation’s health care system is getting a timely doctor’s appointment. Our primary care network is overwhelmed. More than 100 million Americans lack a primary care provider. A quarter of those are children and the problem is worsening, according to the National Association of Community Health Centers. Our country has a growing and aging population that will need more care. Combined with an aging workforce of physicians nearing ret...

  • Paid leave costs increasing annually

    Elizabeth New|Updated Jun 20, 2024

    The number of people tapping the taxpayer-provided Paid Family and Medical Leave fund is increasing every year. The paid-leave program was launched in 2020. It imposes a tax on employers and workers, whether or not the workers ever use the program. The money is used to allow some workers taxpayer-paid time off if they have a serious health condition, need to care for people or want to bond with a new child on taxpayers’ dimes. If you build it they will come. And they did. T...

  • Employee stock ownership plans work

    Don C. Brunell|Updated Jun 12, 2024

    Who would have thought that a small Oregon natural grain mill owner’s death would make national news or be the subject of a lengthy feature article in the New York Times? However, 94-year-old Bob Moore’s passing in February did. The Times is published just off Broadway in the heart of Big Apple’s network television and theater district. Moore, with his white beard, wire-rim eyeglasses, newsie cap and bolo tie became a “food poster person” approaching the notoriety of KFC’s...

  • Change Growth Management Act

    Mark Harmsworth|Updated Jun 12, 2024

    Demographia has just published a study, authored by Wendell Cox, that compares the affordability of housing in the international marketplace. The conclusions show that while Washington state isn’t the most expensive, it is on its way to the top spot. What’s sad is it’s all avoidable with some simple changes to state policy. Currently, Seattle ranks 73 out of 100 of the most affordable major cities to live. The study summarizes that the high prices are “largely the product...

  • Union opt out not fully explained

    Elizabeth New|Updated Jun 5, 2024

    Workers can join labor unions. And unions can charge them dues. Some workers are even required to pay a union in order to hold certain jobs. Union membership is a good option for many workers whose ideals line up with a union that represents their interests. There is strength in numbers. However, membership is a bad deal for workers represented by a union with which they disagree about political donations, workplace details or treatment of a worker’s employer. Thanks to the U...

  • Flag remains important to Americans

    Don C. Brunell|Updated Jun 5, 2024

    It is the time of year to proudly fly our American flags. It began with Memorial Day (May 27) followed by Flag Day (June 14) and ends with the “Grand Finale” on July 4. The common thread is “Old Glory” waving in the breeze. In our country there are no symbols more synonymous with Independence Day than our American flag. It is a powerful emblem of our unity, resilience, and patriotism. It is the time-tested bond which binds citizens from all levels of society, ethnic backgro...

  • Staffing Updates, Trends, and Challenges

    Gabe Gants|Updated May 30, 2024

    Believe it or not the end of June marks two years since I took office, and I thought it was time to share another update on what we have been up to at LCSO as well as some growing trends. If I had to pick one word to sum up the most important focus over the last two years, I would go with hiring! Two years ago, we were down 12 positions across both sides of the house with almost zero applicants in sight. This was not something we advertised for good reason, but it did prove...

  • I-2124 could kill WA Cares

    Elizabeth New|Updated May 30, 2024

    Would passage of Initiative 2124 kill the WA Cares long-term program? Probably. It’s super likely that if the state’s new, mandatory long-term-care program was made optional for Washington state workers many would flee, leaving it unable to pay its way in its current form. No argument there. Still, that is what was emphasized when the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee discussed WA Cares in a Tuesday work session. Is the program solvent? And would it be if it becomes vol...

  • Turbines are negative

    Leigh Ost|Updated May 30, 2024

    I wonder if any farmers who signed up for wind turbines did any research of their own or if they have taken serious note of WHY others are raising objections to wind turbines? Research shows that wind turbines have many serious negatives. I also seriously question why farmers in this area consider themselves “poor” when they have so many government subsidies supporting them. How many subsidies do nonfarmers get? So, people, how much is enough? And why is Mill Canyon being targeted? At least half of Mill Canyon is now sur...

  • Someone paid for your freedoms

    Roger Harnack|Updated May 23, 2024

    Disappointingly, many Americans are worried about silly first-world problems like where to go boating or what to barbecue over the upcoming weekend. Too many view this upcoming three-day break as an excuse to eat, drink and party, never giving a thought as to why Memorial Day is observed. So while you’re anxiously awaiting the long weekend, take time to remember, understand and plan to observe Memorial Day. Memorial Day is dedicated to the men and women killed while serving i...

  • How to identify pinkeye in cattle

    Don Llewellyn|Updated May 23, 2024

    Sometimes it takes some thinking to figure out what to write for an article. I try to make the content relevant and applicable to real-world cattle production. Finally, I asked myself, as summer approaches what are the real issues that I faced as a cattleman? One of the summer issues that a lot of us have experienced is pinkeye. It terms of a cattle disease; I think we all can agree that it is both an economic problem, a cattle well-being issue, and a nuisance as well. In...

  • Opposed to wind turbines

    Jamie Mitchel|Updated May 23, 2024

    I have read all your articles in the paper and I find that you are doing a very good job trying to balance both sides of the issues regarding the wind turbine proposal. I am on the side that is totally against them. I think the citizens of this county need to hear from others who have opinions very contrary to the farmers who have signed leases and the wind turbine companies. Plus I find it troubling when the wind turbine companies can’t answer simple questions directed their way. I am the one who asked them about the use of...

  • Pause, please: Misspending is a bad word

    Elizabeth New|Updated May 16, 2024

    This news story on KUOW gave me a hot flash: "'Menopause is not a bad word.' New bill aims to increase awareness, reduce stigma." It highlighted a proposal to expand federal research on menopause, establish a national public awareness program and support improved training for health care providers. The price tag for the Senate bill titled the Advancing Menopause Care and Mid-Life Women's Health Act? $275 million over five years. This is exactly the sort of putting wants ahead...

  • Consequences of breaching the dams

    Jason Mercier|Updated May 16, 2024

    The Snake River dams are critical to the infrastructure of our region, providing not only reliable power but also many other economic benefits. Removing these dams would have many negative impacts. You don’t have to take my word for it. Here are some of the findings from the multi-year public process in 2020 conducted by The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, and Bonneville Power Administration:: “[Breaching] would not meet the objective to Provide a Rel...

  • State benefits from Alaska oil

    Don C. Brunell|Updated May 9, 2024

    Recently, President Biden launched the second phase of his attack on domestic oil and gas production by effectively blocking leases in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve. That follows last year’s reimposed ban on exploration in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. Both actions are ill-advised. In the Wall Street Journal, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, a Republican, quipped: “the Biden Administration has imposed more sanctions on Alaska than it has on Iran.” The Interior Departm...

  • WA Cares may not fund family caregivers

    Elizabeth New|Updated May 9, 2024

    The May 1 meeting of a WA Cares oversight commission should be must-see-TV, as it made one thing super clear: There is going to be a lot of disappointment if WA Cares remains a mandatory program funded by 58 cents (or more) of every $100 a worker earns. Not only will some workers not qualify for the money they're being told should give them peace of mind about possible long-term-care needs, Washingtonians who do qualify for a WA Cares benefit won't be able to fully choose how...

  • Representatives to be missed

    Don C. Brunell|Updated May 2, 2024

    Too many pragmatic Democrats and Republicans in Congress are retiring at a time when we need them most. Two are from Washington: Reps. Derek Kilmer, D-Olympic Peninsula, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers R-Spokane. McMorris Rodgers and Kilmer cut their political teeth in the state Legislature. While they faithfully followed their parties, they found ways to come together on issues vital to our state. McMorris Rodgers was elected to Congress in 2004 and Kilmer in 2012. Recently,...

  • EV program like spending $1,125 on latte

    Todd Myers|Updated May 2, 2024

    Gov. Jay Inslee wants to buy 8,767 people a $1,125 latte. Metaphorically, at least. Inslee’s new program to subsidize the purchase of electric vehicles is so wasteful at reducing CO2 emissions, it is the equivalent of paying that absurd amount for a 16-ounce latte. On Earth Day, Inslee announced a $45 million program to subsidize the purchase or lease of electric vehicles. The program is targeted at those making 300% of the federal poverty level or less, which amounts to $...

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