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Op-Ed: Politicians are failing us on the economy

A couple of months ago, the Congressional Budget Office issued a sobering report on the U.S. economy’s long-term prospects. Not to put too fine a point on it, we’re headed for the fiscal rocks.

Op-Ed: Singer Vince Gill understands challenges of rural America

Three rural communities in Washington state are finalists in a competition that could be a game changer for their residents.

Op-Ed: Refinancing Kelly Place building is simple solution to simple problem

I am writing to address the significantly negative press coverage the county-owned building at 1520 Kelly Place has received for some time now. The U-B seems particularly interested in portraying the building acquisition and continued operation with a negative bias — and I’m tired of it.

Op-Ed: What research shows about medical marijuana

That cannabis is medicine is old news. What’s good news is that modern research is being done around the world to document the purported therapeutic benefits demonstrated in cannabis’ 4,000 years of medicinal use. This research is being done despite obstacles thrown up for at least the last 25 years by the federal government.

Op-Ed: Walla Walla Valley farms also produce scholarships and grants

“Farm to Table” — food that is locally produced and available directly to consumers — is increasingly popular.

Five myths: The atomic bomb

On Aug. 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Another bomb fell Aug. 9 on Nagasaki. Decades later, controversy and misinformation still surround the decision to use nuclear weapons during World War II. The 70th anniversary of the event presents an opportunity to set the record straight on five widely held myths about the bomb.

Op-Ed: Voting rights laws are moving dangerously backward

Expanded access to health care, new education programs for our youngest citizens, landmark protections at the ballot box: The wave of civil-rights laws that Congress passed 50 years ago broke down barriers for millions of people in our country to more fully participate in their communities and our democracy. These laws — Medicare and Medicaid, Head Start and the Voting Rights Act, respectively — remain at the heart of our country’s commitment to opportunity today.

Op-Ed: Clear-cutting of Mill Creek trail must be reconsidered

It is important for the community to be informed — and concerned — regarding the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s two-year levee vegetation management project that will strip the riparian vegetation from a mile-long stretch of Mill Creek bike trail, one of the most popular recreational trails in the region.

Column: Modernization needed to boost voter participation

The campaigning for next year’s elections is starting to draw more attention, and with it comes a focus on voters and their mood. Which is all well and good, but it leaves out of the equation one large bloc of citizens: people who are eligible to vote, but don’t.

Technology and privacy: A deal with the devil?

In the medieval legend “Doctor Faustus,” a scholar makes a deal with Mephistopheles, trading his soul for the acquisition of magical powers, including invisibility and the power of flight. For 24 years, Faustus enjoys his supernatural edge but, in the end, ultimately has to pay the price to the devil.