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Fire deaths unnecessary

I heard of the tragic, and completely unnecessary, deaths of the Granite Mountain Hot Shot firefighter team in Yarnell, Ariz. Once again, we can observe the consequences of the U.S. Forest Service’s failure to do the job they are supposed to do.

When will people grow tired of watching the south and the west burn every year simply because the Forest Service won’t cut down dead trees and clear brush and scrub? In other words: do their job?

Apparently, the answer to that question is never because nobody is calling the Forest Service’s management of our forests into question. I have no doubt that one massive fire in Colorado and a deadly fire in Arizona will not provide the impetus to get the Forest Service off its keister.

Elizabeth McConnell



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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.