When Gov. Jay Inslee decided last year to significantly increase the estimate for Washington state fish consumption — a number used to calculate the trace amount of toxic chemicals allowed in water — we feared it would result in unreasonable water quality rules.
The state Legislature is now in its second overtime, which leaves less than a month for lawmakers to approve a budget so state government is funded when the two-year budget cycle begins July 1. If not, the government will start shutting down and many employees will be let go until a deal is reached.
As the city of Walla Walla seeks to curb problems in its two downtown parks, it is wisely focusing on the source of the problem — unacceptable behavior.
Walla Walla Community College’s middle name is Community, so it shouldn’t be a surprise the college has come up with another clever program to help those living in the Valley.
Soccer, the most popular sport in the word, is a game that continues to grow in the United States as generations have now played it and have come to embrace it. Soccer has also seen huge growth in the Valley.
The road to legal marijuana in Washington state has been trickier to navigate than Alder Street (through construction and yet-to-be-fixed potholes), but the state Liquor Control Board — the agency put in charge of regulating the cannabis industry — is making real progress.
To have a roundabout or not have a roundabout, that is the $3.9 million question — and it’s one that has a lot of folks in the Walla Walla Valley fired up.
The park, sited on the Snake River, is an easy drive to the east from Walla Walla. It offers access to the river or an opportunity to simply enjoy being near the river.
The folks in Milton-Freewater are generating ideas and energy aimed at revitalizing the city only a few miles from Walla Walla across the Oregon border.
Those elected to the state House and Senate like to feel in control, and they are in matters such as approving the state budget and setting state policy.
Timing is everything — particularly in politics.
People often point to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as an example of what’s wrong with government.
Think of the five hot-air balloons floating over Walla Walla last weekend — on what would have been the usual date for Balloon Stampede had the festival not been moved to October — as a gesture of good will.
Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed carbon emissions tax is once again in play, this time being pushed by Senate Democrats in the current special session of the Legislature.
The current debate over teacher pay in the state Legislature isn’t as much about the amount, but who is picking up the tab — at least in the eyes of the state’s Supreme Court justices.
The Oregon Legislature is poised to lift the arcane ban on customers pumping their own gasoline, but only in the more rural areas of the state.
A curriculum review committee at an Idaho school district has recommended the use of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” for classroom instruction be restricted.
Having a new, state-of-the-art track at Walla Walla High School will be great for the students and, ultimately, the community.
The Fourth Amendment was enacted by the Founding Fathers to prohibit unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. It requires warrants for searches to be approved by judges and supported by probable cause.
Before Walla Walla County commissioners agreed to raise the sales tax one-tenth of 1 percent to fund mental health and chemical dependency treatment programs, they insisted on a detailed plan of action.
Dangerous, radioactive nuclear waste has been accumulating at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation since World War II despite a promise by the federal government to clean up the site.
State lawmakers returned to Olympia last week for a special session — some of them with their campaign war chests newly restocked. And, as a result, some of the votes taken as the House and Senate approve the state budget could feel tainted.
The Walla Walla City Council’s preferred approach to dealing with the problems at downtown’s Heritage Square park — usually disorderly conduct and alcohol and drug use — is sound.
A 12-year battle over government confiscation of raisins — yes, raisins — could change the way farm production has been regulated since the Great Depression.
State Auditor Troy Kelley was elected to office over two years ago despite ethics concerns.
The state Attorney General’s Office is asking the state Supreme Court (and it’s doing so in a very nice tone) to let lawmakers finish the current legislative session now going into a 30-day overtime before deciding whether to impose contempt sanctions for not fully funding basic education fast enough.
Smartwatches are the latest thing to capture our attention, and the market for the devices is poised to explode. The much anticipated Apple Watch shipped on Friday.
Serving on a local school board or city council can be rewarding, but not in the monetary sense. Those elected to these posts are paid nothing (literally).
Washington state voters approved the legalization of marijuana well over two years ago after being sold on the idea it would be a way to reduce crime.
The $11 million St. Michael’s Haven project at the local Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center is exactly the type of endeavor that’s needed to provide real, long-term help for homeless veterans.
Income tax is the third rail in Washington state politics.
Judges are supposed to judge and legislatures are supposed to legislate. Pretty simple, right?
The state Legislature, well aware the public is not wild about tax increases, is nevertheless moving toward raising the gasoline tax 11.7 cents a gallon over the next three years.
Perhaps American Rivers — a Washington, D.C.-based environmental lobbying group — should invite Chicken Little (“The sky is falling, the sky is falling”) to aid its cause. After all, this group seems to thrive on hysteria.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn took the lid off a can of worms this week. He suggested — out loud — the state could make dramatic progress toward the goal of fully funding basic education by transferring local levy dollars into the state general fund.
Too often state lawmakers are behind the cultural curve when new products hit the market that have serious implications in society.
When traveling the highways of the Pacific Northwest, Oregon — and its 65 mph speed limit — is like a speed bump.
The state Supreme Court’s ruling Thursday that convicted murderer Benito Gomez did receive a public trial in Walla Walla County Superior Court, meaning his conviction stands, is justice.
Using a smartphone for any reason while driving except navigation (and then only in a hands-free mode) is just plain foolish. Every study makes it clear that talking, texting and surfing the Internet with phone in hand is as dangerous as driving drunk.
State legislators (as well as city council members and county commissioners) are elected to represent the people. That means making decisions — difficult decisions — based on an understanding of the issues and reasoned analysis of public input.
Is this the year the Seattle Mariners (and their long-suffering fans) win the World Series?
Public employees, by definition, work for the public. It’s the taxpayers who are their bosses, which is why it is critical the public has access to government records and other pertinent information about employees performing duties.
Washington state’s five public universities and its one public college, Evergreen, received record-breaking numbers of freshman applications. Applications at the state’s public institutions increased by an average of 10 percent.
This week Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law legislation that allows a second medical school in Washington state.
The state budget is a long way from being settled as the Democrat-controlled House and the Republican-controlled Senate fire politically charged salvos from one side of the Capitol to the other (metaphorically speaking) trying to sway public opinion to their spending plan.
When the federal minimum wage was created in 1938, the Great Depression was lifting. Congress approved the minimum wage as a way to protect workers who did not have significant bargaining power.
Officials at a California school district dodged a showdown with the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday over their decision to ban the American flag on T-shirts worn by students, but that doesn’t mean they made a wise call. Far from it.
Washington state voters have made it clear, over and over, they want to make it more difficult to raise taxes. Initiatives have been approved that mandate a two-thirds majority in the state House and Senate to raise taxes and fees.
The federal No Child Left Behind law, although well-intended, has been a disaster.