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It could have been Hartline. Or Fairfield. Or Starbuck. Not the coffee chain, but the tiny town of less than 150 people in Columbia County. Rural first response is thin in the best of times and stretched beyond capacity in hellacious winds. What happened to Malden could have happened to any of the hundreds of obscure small towns scattered across Eastern and Central Washington.
Unless you are a teacher, were a teacher or live with a teacher, you don’t really know what teachers do all day. Nor do you really understand how much teachers do outside of the classroom.
The organizers behind Referendum 90, which would repeal Washington's new sex education law, set a record in gathering signatures, collecting 264,637 with an all-volunteer effort in 90 days during a statewide shutdown sparked by a pandemic.
What should a mayor’s reaction be if an armed group makes a credible threat of arson against a public building? What if the city abandons the building and militants create an autonomous zone? Hypothetically, picture the South Perry District with stolen police barricades on the streets and 911 response times delayed to homes and businesses.
The Tenants Union of Washington State and the Landlord Association of the Inland Northwest agree Gov. Jay Inslee’s moratorium on evictions is setting the housing system up for trouble. A wave of evictions may push people into homelessness this fall.
When the touchiest issue in American politics burst into literal flames after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Kitara Johnson could not stand by either. She is the mother of five, a U.S. Army veteran – and the catalyst for a Declare Yourself night on Tuesday, giving young people a microphone and an opportunity for their voices to be heard.
It’s hard to justify why restaurants can safely open at 50% capacity and a church cannot. Hand sanitizer at the entry, tape on the floor and blocked off seating for social distancing are equally possible in both locations. And a spirit of self-discipline is essential to staying healthy, virus or no virus.
Gov. Jay Inslee, the presidential candidate, talked of nothing but climate change. Inslee, the candidate for a third term as Washington’s governor, has of necessity been talking nothing but COVID-19 for the past two months. He tied the two together while a panelist at a virtual town hall live-streamed at berniesanders.com on May 13. The event was titled “Saving Our Planet from the Existential Threat of Climate Change,” and fellow panelist Varshini Prakash, executive director of the Sunrise Movement, had just discussed the Green New Deal. Inslee was up next.
“Make new friends, but keep the old One is silver and the other gold.”
We flattened the curve and didn’t overwhelm our health care system. Yay for us! Now what?
The governor’s Tuesday speech was not the speech the governor needed to give to maintain the good will of the people. Saying Washingtonian eight times in 10 minutes is not enough to coach Washingtonians into playing as a team.
Restlessness may turn to revolt without a plan for reopening Washington for business. For Washington families who were living paycheck to paycheck, the economic pandemic is as real a threat as COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines. The Washington Department of Labor and Industries has put out posters, checklists and record-keeping forms. Construction workers are accustomed to complying with safety rules governing nearly every action on site, even if they sometimes roll their eyes. They’re ready. And under Gov. Inslee’s order, construction is shut down unless the project serves some activity on the list of essential services. That’s where the debate starts.
Forecast a blizzard, and lines predictably appear at the local grocery store. This time the blizzard will last until at least May 4, and it’s hitting the entire country.
Now you know how you rate – essential or non-essential. Doctors and nurses, cops and firefighters, grocery store stock clerks and electrical linemen, farmers and truck drivers are all essential. And to the surprise and mockery of many, cannabis retailers.
This year marks the birth of Gen V, for viral. Until a month ago, going viral meant it was cool. Or so says our almost 10-year-old granddaughter, nicknamed V for Genevieve. Now she says a virus is weird.
“Mature Subject Matter – Viewer Discretion Advised” was the warning label on a live broadcast from the Washington House floor this week. The subject was state-mandated comprehensive sex education.
Before the 24-hour news cycle, before the daily newspaper, every community had a weekly – and no breaking news. The news was broken the week before press time and wouldn’t arrive in the mailbox until two or three days after printing. High school sports often lead, no bleeding required.
Trade wars are not new, and farmers who spoke off the record said standing up to China has been a long time coming. They’ll wait it out like an untimely summer thunderstorm at harvest. Explaining farming to a software engineer in San Francisco or an investment trust out of New York is a new kind of risk in a country increasingly divided between urban and rural culture.
Progressives are the special interest controlling the Washington Legislature, and the populist movement is resurging as Restore Washington (www.restorewashington.org). What was started by one frustrated small business owner as a support group for initiative I-1648 in 2019 has continued to grow.