On the Feb. 9 special election ballot, the Spokane Public School board wants voters to approve Proposition 1, a major property tax increase. School officials claim it is merely a “renewal” of the old special levy. This is not true, as shown by our new study, “Spokane Public Schools seek property tax increase as working families and homeowners struggle with lost income and unemployment amid COVID shutdown.” School officials are not being transparent and honest with the public.
Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was bludgeoned to death by a mob of Trump supporters. No one deserves such a death. Officer Sicknick’s political views may have differed from those of the Human Rights Activist Coterie of Spokane (HRAC), but on January 6, the United States shared a single enemy: white supremacists who sought to overtake our institutions. Our institutions are not equitable and they are not perfect. Yet, Officer Sicknick died protecting our democratic process and we condemn the violence used against him.
I’ve spent this year living in two countries with starkly different responses to the virus. I left the U.S. in March for five months, and after a mandatory 14-day complete isolation quarantine, I stepped into an entirely different world. In Taiwan, I witnessed people living relatively unaffected by the virus: businesses are open, schools are in-person and the economy that has remained intact.
When the world takes that unexpected right turn that changes the course of history, they run to the danger. We expect that of the best known, most respected first responders – police, firefighters, EMTs, the military. But journalists are first responders, too.
The hopes of our state’s small-business owners for a return to normalcy with the new year were dashed by not one, but two holiday pronouncements from Gov. Jay Inslee: an extension of statewide business restrictions to Monday, and the release of his budget and legislative proposals.
A large majority of youth across a wide spectrum of races, cultures and classes in the U.S. appears to value aspects of personal success – achievement and individual happiness – over concern for others, and we fear that college admissions processes bear some responsibility.
You’d be forgiven if you thought these days that the public discourse has become something of a shouting match – that volume is prized more than good sense and hollering over each other is more important than talking with each other.