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S-R changed coal tune

What on earth accounts for the sudden flip-flop in the position of The Spokesman-Review regarding the solid wall of coal trains scheduled to come through our town?

In September, the S-R editorial board wrote that “coal export permitting should look at all impacts” on Spokane. These will include tons of coal dust, deadly accidents and dangerous delays at train crossings, noise pollution, harm to downtown development, and adverse health effects on children and the elderly.

Now, the S-R has changed its tune with an editorial titled, “Coal train impact study should have tight focus,” which dismissed out of hand any damage to Spokane. The tons of coal dust, for example, are not our concern, since the effects will be worse on the port terminal communities. (I cannot follow the logic either, but that is what the Spokesman wrote.)

As for impacts on traffic, we will build more overpasses; we have plenty of money, right?

In September the S-R thought that a broad “cumulative review of all the port projects” was appropriate, but three months later such a review is “not realistic.”

Why did the Spokesman sell out its own subscribers to the big coal companies?

Larry Cebula



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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.