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Thursday, January 23, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Guest Opinions

William Perry Pendley: BLM plays crucial role in solving natural mysteries

Oklahoma actor, performer, cowboy and Depression-era political pundit Will Rogers once declared, “It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.” Whether he meant to or not, he could well have been opining about anthropology (the study of past human cultures) and paleontology (the study of ancient life). Discoveries weeks ago on federal land administered by the Bureau of Land Management prove Rogers’ point. For decades, the scientific consensus was that, about 13,000 years ago, “the first Americans” traversed a now-submerged land bridge called Beringia across the Bering Sea between Asia and Alaska. From there, they and their progeny spread across North and South America over the next few millennia. This conclusion was based on the 1929 discovery of a human-occupied site near Clovis, New Mexico, and the presence there of fluted projectiles, hence “Clovis points.” Since then, “Clovis points” have been found throughout the American West – including my home state of Wyoming – and Texas and as far south as Venezuela. Thus, as to the origins of the first Americans, case closed.

Guest Opinion: Trade deal will benefit small business

With the U.S. Senate passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) last week, Washington small businesses are one step closer to benefiting from the trade agreement. Considering Canada and Mexico are the U.S.’s largest trading partners combined with our state’s shared border with Canada, the impact of the USMCA is substantial to small firms in Washington state.

Christine Johnson and Marie Cini: The future of work is gray. Here’s how Community Colleges of Spokane is dialing back the clock

Have you heard of the Gray Wave? Odds are your boss has, your human resources director has and so has your CEO. It’s not made of water. And it’s not political – it’s people. Specifically, Baby Boomers. For years, America’s largest generation has remained employed, contributing to the workforce economy well past their retirement age, many of them working in trade industries long forgotten by a STEM- and technology-focused higher education. But experts predict the wave will soon crash. Over the next five years, three quarters of 143 human resources managers surveyed in 2018 by Willis Towers Watson – a risk-management and insurance brokerage company, in a paper circulated by the National Bureau of Economic Research – reported their companies would face “significant or moderate challenges from late retirements.”

Read more guest opinions »

Michael Ramirez cartoon

Syndicated Columns & Other Voices


Downsides of moving downtown

Now, the idea of having football downtown certainly has a few pluses, but fans will now have to pay for parking and even more importantly, the impact of all of those high-schoolers in the downtown area and in particular the park itself could be huge.

Look at the graphs

In a Jan. 6th letter a writer touted a Washington Post story (not personally verified) in 1990 predicting a 3 degree Fahrenheit world average temperature rise by 2020. The letter writer smugly points out that the rise has only been 1 degree F. That is wrong.

Social Security perils

A brief history of one of the many social programs started by FDR: during the Great Depression from 1929 to the beginning of World War II, the socialists, communists and labor unions were on the verge of starting a revolution (Russia had already had one in 1917) if the federal government did nothing to help the plight of the masses of U.S. citizens. So FDR taxed the big corporations and the rich. After World War II the corporations and the rich took their revenge. All of a sudden the Russian communists were the new enemies of the USA, even though they were our allies to defeat the National Socialist Party (Nazis). Next came the socialists and the unions.

Ditch that lackadaisical attitude

Get involved in your community. Be the person who will question leaders who want us to do as they say. Without interference and direction from our citizens we give policy makers little or no resistance, or support if appropriate. Battles are worth fighting if they do something extra for our community,

Take it from Kurosawa

Re: our recent contretemps with Iran. In Akira Kurosawa's classic film "Yojimbo," the two rival factions of the town rush out onto opposite ends of the main street, scowling and making war cries. As they advance closer and closer to each other brandishing their weapons and hurling invectives, it becomes clear both sides are really afraid to fight. They are more interested in appearing manly and not losing face, and the skirmish ends without bloodshed.

Not-so-new Pavilion

Just finished reading your article,“A new iconic structure" (Dec. 28, 2019), about the U.S. Pavilion makeover. The boosterism is a bit over the top, considering you could call this the Park Department’s great failure.


Editorial: Don’t gut public records laws to serve public sector unions

State lawmakers must take perverse pleasure in keeping Washingtonians in the dark. Having returned to Olympia, Democratic legislators are pushing a sneaky bill that would wreak all kinds of havoc when it comes to accountability and public employees. House Bill 1888 would exempt public employees’ birthdates from the state Public Records Act. The state Supreme Court last year ruled that birthdates must be released. If someone wants to know when Gov. Jay Inslee was born, that information is only a public records request away. Of course, one could just check Wikipedia, which reports his birthday as Feb. 9, 1951, but he’s the governor. The state employs more than 66,000 people, most of whom aren’t prominent enough to have a Wikipedia page. Then there are tens of thousands more public employees in local governments who fall under public records laws.


The tragedy on Silver Mountain is a reminder of the high risks involved – and the importance of preparing for what you hope never happens.