When the country’s second-largest lumber producer tries to take the U.S. Justice Department to the Supreme Court over a forest fire that started under the distracted gaze of a watchtower forester – who at the time was reportedly peeing on his own bare feet – you can expect a few sparks to fly. You also might want to sit down, take out a scratch pad, and prepare to be entertained.
Last week a major piece of congressional legislation was signed into law that will dramatically change the way we fight wildfires here in Washington. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Sen. Maria Cantwell, the federal government has finally passed a wildfire fix that improves funding security for not just fire programs, but for many other discretionary programs of the U.S. Forest Service through 2027. I’ve lived in the Methow Valley for 25 years, and recently retired from a long career as a Forest Service biologist. As part of my job, an additional assignment each year included helping respond to our region’s increasingly intense wildfires. I raised three sons here in Okanogan County, and all three eventually served as wildland firefighters – with one now serving as a recruit at the North Cascades Smokejumper Base.
Can we bring more attention to recreational management on the middle of the Little Spokane River? Should this become a linear park connected with state park lands downstream? The Fairwood community is asking these questions.
When I watched the national walkout of students, there was one little elementary girl holding up this sign (it's almost bigger than she is) that said, "Am I Next?" How terrible that our students, large and small, should wonder that?
Voters have the right to know who’s paying for a politician’s campaign. This is why we’ve sponsored the Washington DISCLOSE Act, which stands for “Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting a Light On Spending in Elections.”
We have got your back. We are the lady shopping at your grocery store. We are the couple in the booth across from you at the restaurant. We are the young gentleman two rows ahead of you at the movie theater. We are the older gentleman walking in the mall.
How did it come to this? How was Mark Zuckerberg able to prance the globe vacuuming up the ad revenues that rightly belonged to the news organizations providing his content? How did he not notice the unauthorized use of Facebook subscribers’ data by the Trump campaign? And how did he get away with making billions off the undermining of democracy while playing the carefree adolescent in a T-shirt? The first two questions are now under investigation. The last one, the role of techie fashion in advancing confidence games, is today’s subject. Let’s take a look at accused Silicon scamster Elizabeth Holmes.
I was on the phone this week with my Russian friend Val, trying to plan a trip to Moscow, but all she wanted to talk about was Sunday’s tragedy in Kemerovo – and how disgraceful it was that CNN International ignored this disaster because of nonstop coverage of Stormy Daniels. Kemerovo is a Siberian city where at least 64 people, two-thirds of them kids, died from a fire in a mall cinema because the doors had been locked and the fire alarm shut off. The children were frantically text-messaging their parents and screaming for help into cellphones. One fifth-grade student, Maria Moroz, posted: “We’re burning. It’s probably goodbye.”
Before Wednesday evening, I’d never seen a single episode of “Roseanne.” But in the interest of cultural commentary, I cranked up my ABC.com app to see what all the fuss – and the extraordinarily high ratings – was about. Here’s what I learned. 1) It’s knowing.
Tom Foley's political life certainly exemplified "the idea that we all work together for the common good." ("Foley movie would shine light on political civility," (Jim Camden, The Spokesman-Review, March 19, 2018).
I am so impressed with our president and his solution to the opioid epidemic. After appointing an expert task force on the drug crisis headed by former governor and loyal supporter Chris Christie to study this issue and look for answers, he has cut through the rhetoric to propose "the death penalty for all drug dealers." There were some other proposals that will get a little money, maybe. But, the man is a genius to put his finger on the perfect answer.
TRANSITIONS -- The Outdoors Blog is evolving. After nearly 41 years as Outdoors editor at The Spokesman-Review, Rich Landers has officially retired. He will continue writing occasionally as an Outdoors ...