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The Last Word

It’s no secret that newspapers are struggling in this economy. We’ve seen the venerable Seattle P.I. go on the block with the anticipation no buyer will be found, and it will shut down within the next 30 days or so. We’ve also seen all our local weeklies change from the broadsheet format to the more economical tabloid size, and cut delivery from twice a week to once. Our daily paper, the Kitsap Sun, has shrunk in physical size as well as the number of sections and pages in recent months. All these changes reflect the reality of the newspaper business today. read more »

 

Governor Christine Gregoire finally took a reality check after claiming during the campaign there was no budget deficit, and that we actually had a surplus. She is now looking a nearly $6 billion deficit in the eye — just as Dino Rossi predicted. To her credit, her recently released budget shows across-the-board spending cuts, suspending voter initiatives and borrowing money. So far, Gregoire says raising taxes is not an option, stating flatly, “There is no way to tax your way out of this problem.” That’s unexpected music to the ears of most small businesspeople. read more »

 

While we may or may not agree on the results of the recent election, everyone I’ve talked to is just glad it’s finally over.

This election was perhaps one of the most stridently polarizing experiences of my lifetime. There was no civility, no common courtesy, and no middle ground where the political parties or the candidates were concerned. Absolutely nothing was off-limits, as we became jaded to the sleaziest of personal attacks. read more »

 

Our publication date of Nov. 1, the election of Nov. 4, and the timeliness in which the USPS works, coupled with the probability that most of our readers will have already voted, mean it’s entirely possible many of you may already know the outcome of the election when you’re reading this. For that reason, we decided not to cover any election stories or accept either letters in support of candidates, or ads from them, for this issue. With that said, I’d like to offer some observations on this election.

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In the past, we’ve always done election endorsements, utilizing an ad hoc screening committee made up of an equal number of pragmatic Democrats and Republicans, as opposed to recruiting hardcore partisans in which every candidate selection would result in a stalemate. Over the past 20 years, this approach has yielded some genuinely interesting, usually accurate and occasionally unexpected, results.

However, in my dual role as an elected official, and editor of this paper, I’ve come to the conclusion it’s time to step back from the endorsement process. read more »

 

I was shocked to see Governor Christine Gregoire flat out state on KING 5’s Up Front program, that not only does the state not have a budget deficit, but that it actually has a surplus of $800 million. What’s more, she said it with a completely straight face!

Never mind the fact challenger Dino Rossi has been warning us for well over a year that we will be drowning in red ink by election day in November, predicting a deficit of around $2.5 billion, Gregoire’s own Office of Financial Management now has the number pegged at about $2.7 billion — and growing. read more »

 

One thing this job requires is a lot of reading. One of my observations about both the extreme right and the extreme left, is they are equally close-minded, and rarely open to new information that challenges their beliefs — no matter what the source, or how logical or factual that information may be. I’ve also observed they tend to associate only with people like themselves, who validate their strongly held viewpoints. read more »

 

It’s been interesting observing Governor Christine Gregoire’s aggressive response to a series of recent radio ads paid for by ChangePac, the political arm of the Building Industry Association of Washington , critical of her record on sex offenders and foster care. She hasn’t responded nearly as aggressively on two other ChangePac spots related to traffic congestion and significantly increased taxes. read more »

 

People keep asking me how I like being Mayor and what has changed in my life. The answers are simple: I’m having a great time in a position where it’s possible to actually make a real difference and bring about positive change. What’s changed for me personally is, I now live downtown, after 23 years in quiet, peaceful Manchester. I never realized how much noise living downtown exposes one to, and now know for certain I’d never want to live in a big city.

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