Election letters will soon be flooding into Union-Bulletin

Election season has hit. Candidates are starting to declare ahead of the one-week filing period that begins May 12. On the U-B Viewpoints page and in the Perspective section the campaign letters have started to trickle in. It won’t be long until the dam breaks — metaphorically speaking — turning that trickle into a flood.

WW School Board on the right path to find Wa-Hi plan voters will OK

Board members are weighing options, and wisely plan to seek public comment when the choices are narrowed.

The School Board now accepts voters won’t approve a single bond to fund a total renovation of the buildings on the Walla Walla High School campus. But what will voters support? That’s the $15 million or $25 million or $35 million question.

As the rich get richer ... College costs soar

When President Barack Obama takes a bus tour of colleges and announces reforms related to college affordability, the refrain grows louder that the financial model of American higher education is broken and unsustainable.

Partisan politics should have no role in voting laws

Yet Democrats and Republicans in national and state politics seem to be pushing an agenda with changes to the law. It has got to stop.

The tug-o’-war between Republicans and Democrats taking place in Congress and in state legislatures over voting laws is over politics (and self-preservation), not public policy.

Summer traffic detours are path to progress

The city of Walla Walla has a lot of road projects taking place, many being funded by the sales-tax hike approved in 2012.

To most folks, one road construction project looks like the other. The first thought is generally, “It’s going to be a hassle going around this construction to get where I’m going.” But rarely do people think about what’s being done and why. The city of Walla Walla is doing a little something extra that will give taxpayers a reminder of what their tax dollars are being spent on and, at the same time, let drivers know where construction is taking place so they can plan for it.

No need to rush expansion of cyberspace

The World Wide Web is not controlled by any one government or corporation. And that is one of its greatest assets.

US must stop spending on things military doesn’t want

The latest unfortunate example is a $34 million, state-of-the-art military headquarters in Afghanistan that will never be occupied.

As Congress winces and whines about cutting the federal budget (as do special-interest groups across the political spectrum) in the effort to reduce deficit spending, it’s difficult to understand why the government can’t cut $1 trillion in federal spending over the next 10 years — $500 billion of it from defense.

Try to stay cool when it’s hot

Record-breaking temperatures are expected. Use good judgment to make sure you and your pets don’t suffer in the heat.

It’s been warm over the weekend, but it’s supposed to get hot — as in record-breaking, sweat-inducing hot — today.

United Way's mental health focus is wise

United Way of Walla Walla took a different focus this year, pledging to allocate a large chunk of its donations to reduce problems associated with mental health in the Valley.

Case of the patented gene

WASHINGTON — Angelina Jolie’s genes threatened to kill her. But, for the time being anyway, she doesn’t own them. Jolie revealed this month that she chose to undergo a double mastectomy after testing positive for the BRCA1 mutation. That genetic glitch meant Jolie’s risk of developing breast cancer was as high as 87 percent; her mother died of the disease at age 56. Jolie’s news highlights an arcane but increasingly important question of patent law. As the sequencing of the human genome has expanded the ability to test for such genetic susceptibilities, is the discovery of the gene itself a patentable invention?