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  • Endorsement: Vote in support of school levies

    Drew Lawson|Updated Feb 1, 2024

    It’s the cold of winter. Temperatures hover, apparently, anywhere between -10 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. On a Tuesday, Friday or Saturday night, where do Lincoln County citizens like to spend their time? At a local high school, taking in a high-level basketball game or wrestling meet. What funds those events? Levies. High school students have worked hard on researching agricultural issues, familiarizing themselves with ag-related skills and studying their knowledge of the a...

  • State's energy policies costly

    Rep. Mary Dye|Updated Jan 25, 2024

    “The possibility of a global environmental apocalypse has been dominating headlines and exercises a powerful hold on the imaginations of millions of people,” according to optimist and author Marion L. Tupy. Headlines of imminent catastrophe are resulting in public policy driving our nation and our state as well as many other western economies to the brink. The Clean Energy Transformation Act, passed in 2019, and the Climate Commitment Act (CCA) of 2021 form the arc...

  • Democrats push tax hike bill

    Sen. Mark Schoesler|Updated Jan 25, 2024

    It seems like every year the Democrats, who have voting majorities in the Senate and House, in Olympia introduce legislation to raise or create taxes, no matter how much revenue the state is already collecting from you and other hard-working taxpayers. The Ds are at again this session. The latest proposal from the other side of the aisle that should cause all of us to hide our wallets is Senate Bill 5770, the Senate Democrats’ very costly and long-term property tax increase p...

  • New recourse against wolves

    Pam Lewison|Updated Jan 17, 2024

    There are at least 216 gray wolves in 37 packs in our state. Thirty-one of those gray wolf packs are in North-Central and Northeastern Washington. Senate Bill 5939 – relating to protecting livestock from wolf predation – seeks to give affected livestock raisers a chance to mitigate the confirmed and probable predation deaths of their animals. The bill would allow owners of livestock to monitor a depredation and kill the first gray wolf that returns. The bill lays out the liv...

  • Booking photo RCW needs clarification

    Drew Lawson|Updated Jan 17, 2024

    Unclear language in a few state RCWs may be leading to inequities in the public about the release of booking photos for jail and prison inmates. The main culprit is RCW 70.48.100, which essentially says that booking photos are confidential inmate records and cannot be disclosed without the written permission of the photographed person. There are a few exceptions, mostly surrounding sex offenders. The photo can be released if it depicts in a sex offender, and depending on the...

  • Biden needs to expose Dam plan to reality

    Don C. Brunell|Updated Jan 11, 2024

    The $33 billion secret Snake River Dam plan that President Biden and friends cooked up in the White House basement needs to be exposed to the light of day and thoroughly aired by all. It is time to assess how it might work in the real world rather than wait and see what happens once it is implemented. While $33 billion may seem like “walking around” money to a President who tosses around trillion-dollar programs like horseshoes at the church picnic, the amount is equal to the...

  • Breaching dams isn't the answer

    Updated Jan 11, 2024

    Monumental Dam has a concrete fish ladder. Its lock works for barge. Rather than breach the dam – or others on the Lower Snake River – how about using a tunnel-boring machine to notch an on the side an additional zig-zag fish ladder? The answer is cooperation or compromise – not contempt or hard-headed, extremism on breaching. Sen. Murray, Gov. Jay Inslee and President Joe Biden need to step back and look at the whole picture. Errol Kramer Odessa/Ritzville...

  • Legislative priorities this year

    Sen. Mark Schoesler|Updated Jan 11, 2024

    Monday featured opening-day ceremonies in the Senate and House chambers, followed by a joint legislative session in the House chamber on Tuesday for Gov. (Jay) Inslee’s final state of the state address. Because this is considered a “short session,” fewer bills will be introduced and considered than in last year’s 105-day session. The main objectives for legislators this year will be to create and pass supplemental operating, capital and transportation budgets. For me and my...

  • Reintroduce bill to ban dwarf-tossing

    Updated Jan 11, 2024

    Persons who have dwarfism (also referred to as “little people”) frequently experience employment discrimination. Although they can perform any job task well – often needing only a stool – employers frequently reject them during interview. Bars and strip clubs exploit the resulting financial problems by hiring “LPs” for dwarf-tossing events, where bar patrons pay to physically throw an them in front of a crowd of laughing and jeering customers. LPs very frequently have skeletal (especially spinal) issues requiring multiple su...

  • Supporters have wrong idea

    Elizabeth Hovde|Updated Jan 4, 2024

    Those hoping for tax relief in Washington state in 2024 might want to watch paint dry instead. Current state leadership is choosing to tax us more even in times of budget surplus. Contrast this with the many states, including Idaho, California and New York, who recently chose tax relief for their state residents. Or compare Washington’s tax ways with the state of Oregon, where taxpayers are used to tax refunds of hundreds, even thousands, of dollars in budget years with r...

  • Military money is a Golden Egg

    Don C. Brunell|Updated Jan 4, 2024

    Aesop’s fable warns against killing the goose laying golden eggs. The tale’s origins date to 600 B.C. and tells of the greedy farmer who foolishly killed the prized goose to get to the gold’s source and ended up with nothing. Skeptics in our nation’s capital today quip that politicians are greedy, self-serving and tone deaf and are cooking their own geese and all of us too. Those controlling the “other Washington” have us drowning in debt. According to the U.S. Treasury, w...

  • Dairy farmers push cow power

    Don C. Brunell|Updated Dec 28, 2023

    In the 1990s, “things go better with Coca Cola” was the catchy slogan dairy farmers dreaded. At the time, milk producers were in a head-to-head battle with soft drink giants and losing. Milk consumption had steadily declined over the previous two decades. One key reason was aggressive advertising by bottlers of iced tea, water and pop. In 1993, nationwide milk consumption declined 20% and was down to less than one cup per person per day. So, in 1993 California’s dairy indus...

  • Natural gas code violates state law

    Todd Myers|Updated Dec 28, 2023

    Washington’s State Building Code Council has once again adopted rules designed to eliminate natural gas energy for new residential and commercial construction. The original proposal was modified when a similar regulation adopted by the city of Berkeley, Calif., was overturned by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Like the previous version, the new rules were pushed through the process without providing adequate information about the costs of the new regulations. For exam...

  • Beef Cow Type: Then and Now

    Don Llewellyn|Updated Dec 21, 2023

    This month’s article isn’t so much a Mythbuster, but a retrospective on where we’ve been with cow type and the implications of the changes over time. As I write these lines it’s only several days before Thanksgiving. It is the holiday season and in my line of work, it is really easy to find a lot of things to be thankful for and have hope for a great future in agriculture. I’m the eternal optimist, I also acknowledge that immense stressors are facing our agricultu...

  • Looking a lot like Christmas

    Roger Harnack|Updated Dec 21, 2023

    The Christmas tree is decorated. The gifts are wrapped. There may not be snow outside, yet, but it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And I, for one, am looking forward to our family traditions. Every family has its own traditions; our starts with cutting down a tree, something we did a week or two ago. With the tree up and the lights already on, we’ve moved onto music and movies. Oh, the Christmas movies … Break out the classics – “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Mir...

  • Expand school choice options

    Liv Finne|Updated Dec 14, 2023

    School choice programs give families between $4,000 and $8,000 per student to cover the cost of private education. These programs provide families public assistance to select a private school if their zip-code assigned public school is not a good fit for their child. In the last two years, school choice has exploded across the United States. In 2019, private school choice programs in the U.S. served only 500,000 students, less than 1% of the nation’s school children. Today, 2...

  • Finding the power for Christmas lights

    Don C. Brunell|Updated Dec 14, 2023

    It is that time of year when people put up their outside holiday lights and displays. Judging from our neighborhood they are decorating more than usual. In our country 90 percent of individuals say they plan to celebrate the holidays this year. Total retail sales between Thanksgiving and Christmas are projected to reach $957 billion. The setting for the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is reminiscent of bedecked suburban communities. Clark Griswold decorates every foot o...

  • A chance for civic engagement

    Drew Lawson|Updated Dec 7, 2023

    Do you want to be the Mayor of Davenport? Now’s your chance. Okay, maybe that’s overstating things a little bit. But the citizens of Davenport have a unique opportunity to civically involve themselves in city business, whether it’s by throwing their name in the hat for the mayoral role themselves or by showing up to next week’s city council meeting to voice their opinions to the council on who else should take the Mayor job. In case you’re confused about what I’m even talkin...

  • "Progressive" policies on policing make us all less safe.

    Updated Dec 7, 2023

    As a long-time Washingtonian I am alarmed and scared by the rise in crime in our neighborhoods and cities. Even in broad daylight it can feel unsafe just to go to the grocery store. Basic common sense dictates that fewer police officers make all of us less safe. With the wave of support for defunding the police and protecting criminals – instead of victims- these “progressive” lawmakers in Olympia are failing us and making us less safe. Washington ranks 51st – the lowest – in the country for police officer staffing....

  • Risk insurance premiums out of control

    Rob Coffman|Updated Dec 7, 2023

    For 2024, Lincoln County will be paying over $1,500,000 in risk insurance premiums. This represents a drastic increase of over 83% from just two years ago and 53% over 2023. And… these rates are expected to escalate next year as well, with no end in sight. Next to wages and benefits, risk insurance represents the 2nd largest expense for the county. One might wonder why such dramatic increases are happening. There are multiple factors at play, such as the state legislature p...

  • The 10 best...and worst...Christmas songs

    Drew Lawson|Updated Dec 1, 2023

    As soon as the turkey, stuffing and sweet potatoes are put away on Thanksgiving, it's officially time to turn the holiday calendar to Christmas. Notice I didn't mention mashed potatoes in the list of Thanksgiving foods. That's because mashed potatoes are the worst dish served in a classic Thanksgiving meal. Think that's a controversial opinion? Good. That was just a setup for this column that leans into the Christmas spirit by sharing the 10 best and 10 worst Christmas songs.... Full story

  • What do we have to lose?

    Pam Roach|Updated Nov 30, 2023

    We had a great crop of apples this year and more pumpkins than we could give away. Blackberries from the Westside and home canned cherries from early summer and have we got our pies! America is a land of plenty and we love to eat at ball games, movie theaters and other community gatherings. For some, this lifestyle is catching up to us and we're dealing with extra pounds, which is leading to health problems. We have to find a way to help people stay healthy and avoid terrible...

  • Making their way to America

    Don C. Brunell|Updated Nov 22, 2023

    As we prepare for the upcoming holidays, we must be grateful for what we have and focus on our needs rather than fixate on what we want and crave. Being thankful starts with an appreciation of why our families came to America in the first place---our freedoms and opportunities. Legendary singer-song writer Neil Diamond hit single; “America” was performed in 1981 to help welcome home 52 American hostages that Iranian militants held for 444 days at the U.S. Embassy in Teh...

  • GAO: Bad water is the problem

    Roger Harnack|Updated Nov 22, 2023

    Aren’t you sick and tired of hearing Gov. Jay Inslee and his ilk routinely blame Columbia and Snake River dams for the decline in Puget Sound salmon and orca populations? Despite voluminous information to the contrary, Inslee, Sen. Patty Murray and other extremist environmental politicians continue to push a narrative on salmon decline that is patently false. There should be penalties for being so disingenuous. While there isn’t a penalty for false statements made to app...

  • Winterizing the Cow Herd - Part 2

    Don Llewellyn|Updated Nov 16, 2023

    Editor’s Note: See last week’s newspaper for Part 1 of this series. Feed and Water In winterizing the cow herd, calculation of forage needed to make it through the winter is also a priority. This can be harvested or standing forage. Either way, determination of how much a beef cow will eat is related to her size and the quality of feed (always rely on a forage analysis so that you know the actual quality of the feed you are dealing with). Remember that lactation, body con...

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