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Editorial Board

Stories by Editorial

Wa-Hi staff members matter, but ultimately voters will decide on bond

It’s hardly a shock 90 percent of the Walla Walla High School staff members favor a bond proposal of some sort to upgrade the school’s facilities.

Whitman women hoops team on a special run

Something very exciting is going on at Sherwood Center.

Lack of drama in raising debt limit is a good sign

Congress raised the nation’s debt limit this week with (relatively speaking) little notice. That’s good.

Walla Walla sheriff has the authority to reorganize office

While the fiscal merits of the reorganization fall to the county commissioners, it is the sheriff — as an elected official — who is responsible.

Turner is an elected official who answers to the voters, and only the voters.

Gay football star’s coming out shouldn’t be such a big deal

Michael Sam’s announcement took guts, but ultimately he will not be the first gay football player nor the last.

Sam's announcement was a gutsy decision as a few bigots will come out from the woodwork to taunt him. But other than that — so what?

Long-term plan for warming shelters in WW makes sense

The community, which has been amazing at meeting emergency demands to help the homeless in freezing temperatures, seems to be moving in that direction.

One of the many things that makes Walla Walla an interesting place to live is the weather.

Voluntary GMO labeling of food sound approach

Proposed legislation to Congress provides that option and ensures labeling standards would be uniform across the US.

Although science has not determined food with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are dangerous, or even unhealthy, some folks are squeamish about consuming those foods.

Rising heroin problem can’t be ignored

Drug overdoses are, sadly, all too common among high-profile celebrities from rock stars to Oscar winners such as Hoffman.

Super victory for Seahawks must be savored

No, you weren’t dreaming. It really happened. The Seahawks did win the Super Bowl on Sunday with a performance so dominating the Pacific Northwest is still stunned.

Businesses should offer sick leave

Sick leave is important. Yet, a proposal in Olympia to mandate sick leave for workers has the potential to do far more harm than good.

Alternative to gas tax should be explored

As technology improves, a day will come when vehicles powered by internal-combustion engines become a rarity.

Police should be made to get warrant to search cellphones

When the Founding Fathers established the Bill of Rights, nobody could envision the type of technology we have today. People in the 18th century knew nothing of cellphones (or landline telephones).

Should the Postal Service be making high-interest loans?

It’s ironic the U.S. Postal Service, an agency that operated at a net loss of $26 billion over the past two years, is considering going into the loan business. Actually, more like the loan shark business.

Legislature, not court, allocates education spending

State lawmakers, whether serving in the Republican-controlled Senate or the Democrat-controlled House, accept that Washington state needs increased funding for basic education.

City Council makes sound call to regulate pot industry

The debate over whether — and how — marijuana will be legalized in Washington state didn’t end with the passage of Initiative 502. It’s still in full swing.

EMS levy essential for quality local ambulance service

Most people spend thousands of dollars a year on insurance — whether for their cars, homes or health. Yet, nobody expects (or wants) to experience the disaster insurance is purchased to cover.

Seahawk fans hungry for a Super Bowl win

The Seattle Seahawks will be landing in Newark, N.J., on Sunday to give themselves a week to focus on winning the Super Bowl.

Voter approval urged for CP school levy

Voters in the College Place School District would be wise to approve the four-year school levy to keep the positive momentum for education in the community.

Public access to government is good for all

A solid proposal in Olympia would require elected officials and government employees to undergo training on public access to information.

When government officials are doing the jobs they were elected or hired to do, it’s easy to get focused on the day-to-day tasks and lose sight that the work being done is for the people.

Increase in overdoses should not be ignored

Last week a 20-year-old woman died of what appeared to be a drug overdose in Walla Walla County. It was the third local drug-related death so far this year — that means in the past three weeks.

Lawmakers should stash cash to fund basic education

The state of Washington must increase the amount of money it provides local school districts to pay for basic education.

Local bans of pot businesses undercut I-502

Some law enforcement officers in Washington state, including the current and former sheriffs of King County, supported the voter-approved initiative that legalized marijuana.

New prison units result of community effort

Two new medium security units at that Washington State Penitentiary — at a cost of $47.5 million — have been completed, which means the future for corrections in Walla Walla is bright. Hundreds of stable, well-paying jobs will remain in the community.

Merging county departments is a prudent move

Walla Walla County commissioners made the right call Monday when they unanimously voted to merge the Public Health and Human Services into a single department — and save taxpayers $400,000 a year.

A new, all-weather track desperately needed at Wa-Hi

Last track season about 190 athletes turned out for the Walla Walla High School varsity track and field team. That’s an impressive number, but not an unusual one for Wa-Hi. The spring sport attracts between 150 to 190 boys and girls year after year.

Funding basic education first requires defining it

Last week the state Supreme Court ordered the Legislature to submit a plan detailing how it will fully fund basic education by 2018.

Tim Eyman’s new initiative is extortion

Mandating state lawmakers approve a constitutional amendment or the state loses $1 billion a year in funding is, on principle, wrong.

Over the past 15 years Tim Eyman has made Democrats (and a few Republicans) in the state Capitol as uncomfortable as a wool sweater on a 100-degree day.

Pay hike for City Hall management sends wrong signal

A majority of the Walla Walla City Council members don’t seem to read the mood of the public.

Officials must implement state’s new pot law

Washington state’s voters approved the legalization of marijuana last year, but a large number of city officials have not embraced the concept.

Alaska Air’s new schedule remains convenient

Convenient, affordable air service is critical for the Walla Walla Valley.

Overzealous border security counterproductive

Often — too often — government employees are unfairly criticized for simply doing their jobs.

Expenses for military could plunder budget

At the risk of being labeled unpatriotic, people need to review efforts to get the military budget under control.

Time limit on new tax increases, breaks makes sense

The approach would force Congress to debate the merits and vote rather than just keep adding things.

Sunsets in nature are beautiful. Sunsets in tax policy can force supporters to provide evidence on why tax or fee increases or tax breaks merit continuation.

Resolution: Take steps to improve self, city, world

This is the traditional time of year to review the past year and to set our sights on the new year. Our desire for improvements led to the creation of New Year’s Resolutions.

Public records battle over sex offenders’ forms attracts attention

A case making its way through the Benton County Superior Court may bring some clarity to whether information about low-level sex offenders contained in registration forms can be released under the state’s Public Record Act.

Freedom of press belongs to school, not student editors

One of the most often quoted — and so often misunderstood — sections of the First Amendment is “freedom of the press.”

Head protection for MLB pitchers worth trying

Pro baseball is said to be looking into giving pitchers options to protect themselves from balls coming off bats at 120 mph.

Player safety, particularly the prevention of head injuries, has become a focus of the NFL. It’s resulted in better helmets and rules designed to limit helmet-to-helmet contact.

9th Circuit Court makes right call in broadcasting proceedings

Live broadcasts of hearings will allow people to see what goes on in court and better understand how justices arrive at their decisions.

From Congress to the White House to the federal court system, officials almost universally claim to be committed to open and transparent government.

Loopholes that allow state pension abuse must be closed

Double-dipping is wrong. Yet, it’s occurring in Washington state.

Those who don’t fit traditional high schools need home

The Milton-Freewater area alternative high school is closing in the fall, leaving about 100 students without a school to fit their needs.

Alternative high schools have become essential. These schools provide options for teenagers who don’t, for whatever reason, fit into the traditional high school model.

Take a shot at rebuilding larger Aviary

The cold, hard facts suggest reducing the size of the Pioneer Park Aviary when rebuilding the facility that’s home to 200 birds of many types and colors.

State welfare reform seems to be working

About 43,000 families in Washington state received welfare in October, which is a 41 percent reduction since 2011. About 73,000 families were on the welfare rolls at that time.

Bipartisan compromise in Congress small but encouraging

In recent years the antics in Congress — by Republicans and Democrats alike — have been juvenile and selfish. The Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate have refused to compromise on anything of importance, threatening to take their ball and go home like a spoiled brat who doesn’t get his way.

Being spoiled rotten is no excuse for criminal acts

It’s been noted by many, and correctly, that the refusal by some people to accept responsibility for their bad behavior is a growing concern in American society.

Expanding downtown parking is worth trying

Parking in downtown Walla Walla — or, to be precise, lack of parking — seems to be a constant concern.

Steps must be taken to curb liquor thefts

Six months ago local law enforcement agencies estimated liquor thefts have increased 175 percent in the wake of the voter-approved initiative that closed down state-run liquor stores. In Seattle, the theft rate at grocery stores — where most of the booze is sold — was described by police as “practically an epidemic.”

Community came through to help the homeless

Winters in the Walla Walla Valley can be cold, but it’s relatively rare for temperatures to dip so low it’s dangerous for people to be outside.

Big federal gas tax hike is poorly timed

The proposal to boost the nation’s gas tax by 15 cents to 33.4 cents would be too much in this fragile economic recovery.

America’s roads do need a massive overhaul. The highways and bridges were built decades ago are showing the wear and tear.

Path cleared to allow cyber sales to be taxed

As Christmas rapidly approaches, folks are shopping bargains as they shop for presents.

Considering merging public services usually worth exploring

Consolidating government services can be more efficient and save taxpayers money. It’s generally a good idea to at least look into mergers between governments — city, county or state — to determine if there is a benefit to citizens.