Looking Back reviews opinions published in The Spokesman-Review during this week in history.
USS Pueblo, Jan. 25, 1968
North Korea’s stunning capture of the USS Pueblo prompted this S-R editorial.
“What was the mission of this ship at this particular location? Why did the captain apparently allow an easy takeover? Was the Soviet Union or Red China inspiration for this daring gesture of defiance? How will our naval authorities rescue the Pueblo and its crew? What can we do to prove to North Korea that piracy of this kind does not pay?
“In view of the past ‘credibility gaps’ within the Johnson administration, how can we be sure that officially reported facts are believable?”
Postscript: As it turned out, the ship was spying off the North Korean coast. After 11 months of brutal captivity, the crew was released. North Korea turned the vessel into a tourist attraction.
Roe v. Wade, Jan. 24, 1973
The S-R editorial board praised the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that struck down anti-abortion statutes in 46 states.
“As a forthright decision in a bitterly controversial field, it is almost unique. It is a decision that forces absolutely no one to act against her own wishes. Those who oppose abortion are clearly not compelled to have one. Similarly, those who are not opposed are not compelled to use the back alley methods forced upon them in the past.
It went to to say: “One state governor regretted ‘this additional intrusion by the federal government into matters the state should resolve.’ This is curious reasoning. It is not involvement, but rather the cessation of involvement.”
Taxing times, Jan. 24, 2005
The S-R editorial board weighed in on the consequences of two anti-tax initiatives.
“Spokane is laying off firefighters, police officers and other workers. It is cutting back library hours and raising parks and recreation fees. The city is facing a serious budget crisis that is affecting its ability to deliver basic services. So are Yakima and Walla Walla. And Seattle and Tacoma. And Bremerton and Bellingham. And Mansfield and Bridgeport. And, well, just about any city or town in the state.
“About 90 percent of the municipalities surveyed by the Association of Washington Cities said they have serious financial problems; 82 percent say it will get worse; 73 percent say their budgets are in worse shape than they were five years ago.”
The editorial noted: “During that period, two of the main revenue sources for cities have been pinched. The state’s motor vehicle excise tax was reduced to a flat $30 per year and Initiative 747 limited property tax increases. The association estimates that cities lost $100 million when the MVET was repealed and that I-747 will amount to a $136 million cut to cities by 2007.”
It continued: “As essential services are cut back, people across the state have directed their ire at local governments. But they’re missing the bigger picture. The funding leaks sprung by initiatives such as I-695 and I-747 are widespread, and the state hasn’t responded with funding tools that could plug the holes.”
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.