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In their words

“I have sat here for three years now in the Legislature in Olympia, and I’ve seen us do tax cuts and tax cuts and tax cuts for wealthy people and businesses. This is a tax cut for people who really need the help.”

— Washington state Sen. Craig Pridemore, D-Vancouver, sponsor of legislation that would augment the tentative federal economic stimulus package by giving a 10 percent match to low-income Washingtonians who claim the federal Earned Income Tax Credit.

“We’ve been choked, choked.”

— Palestinian mother Umm Fadi, 40, explaining the effect of a seven-month Israeli economic blockade that was undermined when a wall between Egypt and the Gaza Strip was penetrated.

“I like to go where there are no roads. It makes me feel lucky, to feel like living is worthwhile.”

— Spokane photographer John Latta, describing the enjoyment he finds in Idaho’s roadless areas, which could be curtailed by a plan that the state is asking the federal government to approve.

“The thing that really scares me is people are afraid, and they’re arming themselves. Pretty much anymore the neighbors are keeping the curtains pulled and the doors locked.”

— Nampa, Idaho, resident Dick Mottram, president of the Maplewood Homeowners Association, noting that some of his neighbors have purchased guns out of concerns over ex-convicts moving into transitional living facilities nearby.

“We are following land-use practices that have gotten all the major cities into trouble. And shame on us, because we can see it.”

— Homebuilder Jason Wheaton, talking about the need for a reasonable means of providing revenue to pay for roads necessitated by new home developments.

“You have potholes over there in Spokane that could eat an elephant.”

— Coeur d’Alene City Councilman Ron Edinger, saying the problems with his city’s streets are minor compared with conditions in Spokane.

“Information walks through the door every day.”

— Spokane County sheriff’s Capt. Jim Goodwin, explaining a program in which decks of playing cards with details about unsolved crimes and missing persons cases will be given to inmates who might have information that would help authorities.

“I wouldn’t want my dog on the back porch. That thing goes straight down.”

— Idaho’s first lady Lori Otter, telling the Governor’s Housing Committee one of the reasons she thinks the hilltop Boise mansion donated to the state by her husband Butch’s former father-in-law, J.R. Simplot, would not be a suitable permanent home for Idaho’s governors.

“We find it to be offensive for us to be on the same list with countries like Iran and China. Quite frankly, it’s absurd.”

— U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins, reacting to a training manual for Canadian diplomats that identifies the United States as a country where prisoners may be tortured and abused.


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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.