By Rich Landers
Feb. 26 – Mike Gibeau, an internationally recognized grizzly bear specialist who spent more than three decades with Parks Canada, is retiring June 3 and the federal agency has no plans to replace him, just as the agency did not replace science manager Cliff White when he retired more than a year ago.
Conservationists say these decisions indicate that Parks Canada has a declining interest in science programs.
By Gary Crooks
According to the Tax Foundation, Washington is 29th in the country when it comes to state and local tax burden. Idaho is 28th. Nationwide, these taxes fell, on average. We already know the federal burden is lower. Note that taxes have fallen more than income. Taxpayers haven’t had it this good since the 1950s.
Wonder if Mr. Eyman will continue to call Washington one of the highest taxed states. And don’t fall for that old trick where federal taxes are included. That’s just a reflection of the number of people with high incomes and the Fed’s progressive rates. They would pay those amounts regardless of where they lived (assuming the same income).
By Jonathan Brunt
Feb. 23 – Spokane Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin’s landslide re-election victory in 2009 has made her name pop up as a possible candidate for just about any local office.
Last year, she was courted by Republicans to run for state Legislature. She declined. She had left open the possibility of running for mayor against Mayor Mary Verner. But McLaughlin said this week that she has decided not to run for mayor or City Council president.
Republicans see her as a candidate who appeals to the conservative and moderate wings of the party. Not only that, she’s easily carried a Democratic-leaning council district that voted for Barack Obama in 2008.
“I believe I would make a very good mayor or council president but my passion is for Spokane and other cities to be financially sustainable,” McLaughlin wrote in an e-mail. “For this to happen there needs to be strong advocacy at the state level to help slow down/ eliminate unfunded mandates and to continue work on cost containment strategies for our general fund.”
Translation: The city needs help from state government to keep its expenses down. McLaughlin is active in the leadership of the Association of Washington Cities and is in line to become the group’s next president.