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In their words

“The firing squad, hanging, the electric chair and the gas chamber have each in turn given way to more humane methods, culminating in today’s consensus on lethal injections.”

– Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the 7-2 majority in a U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding lethal injection as a constitutionally permissible method of capital punishment.

“I came back and said, ‘You know, we really ought to watch this guy. He’s going places.’ Yeah – the death chamber.”

– Veteran Associated Press reporter David Ammons, who is leaving his job in Olympia for a position with Secretary of State Sam Reed, recalling his initial reaction to a bright young political aide named Ted Bundy, who later was executed as a serial killer.

“The Libertarian, Green, Independent and Progressive parties can sell their office furniture and computers, because they will never again see their names on a meaningful ballot in our state.”

– Washington state Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz, predicting that the state’s new top two primary election structure will end the ability of third-party candidates to appear on general election ballots.

“I’m just trying to understand different opinions and communicate … between people who won’t communicate with each other.”

– Former President Jimmy Carter, who was under fire last week for his plans to meet Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal during a Middle East tour.

“We are deeply ashamed.”

– Pope Benedict XVI, talking to reporters covering his trip to the United States about the priest sex abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church.

“He’s been pope for three years and a top Vatican official for three decades. Expressions of remorse and promises of reform … ring pretty hollow at this point.”

David Clohessy, national director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

“Prison is punishment enough. We’re not here to punish them even more.”

– Food Services Manager Joe Williamson of the Stafford Creek Corrections Center near Aberdeen, where inmate-prepared meals are popular with both staff and prisoners.

“This is the vulnerability of the nonprofit sector. It’s a feel-good kind of thing, so there’s always this huge sense of betrayal when something untoward happens.”

– Board of directors president Paul Bodin of Mid-City Concerns’ Meals on Wheels, discussing an investigation into possible embezzlement from the local nonprofit organization.

“It was sort of like going into a grocery store and buying a pop and a bag of chips. You paid for the pop, but you still owe for the chips.”

– Kootenai County Commissioner Rick Currie, bracing residents for an extra property tax obligation many will have to pay to compensate for an erroneous earlier billing.

“I could buy land in Venezuela with that money.”

– Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, declining to reveal the precise amount of a large fine assessed against him by Major League Baseball for accusing an umpire of conducting a vendetta.

“I’m scared, and I don’t mind saying so.”

– Yakima beekeeper Eric Olson, describing the potential impact on crop production of a fungus that is destroying bee colonies, including 80 percent of the hives he has placed in Western Washington.


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Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.