A practical step to fix shameful state of mental health care here

All around us, you see the evidence. In communities around Washington, you see major unmet needs when it comes to helping the mentally ill. You see it in our burgeoning homeless population, where mental health issues and drug addiction reinforce each other. You see it in families struggling to secure care for a loved one, […]

All five countywide port commissioners are from Seattle. Is that fair?

One way we measure the health of our representative democracy is if citizens feel someone is advocating for them and their interests. People want to know that someone from their area, who experiences daily life like they do, represents them to a government body. From that perspective, some are questioning how representative the Port of […]

2018 Legislature: The “don’t expect too much” session

Gov. Jay Inslee already rolled out his supplemental budget proposal and laid out his legislative priorities for 2018. He wants a carbon tax, and he wants a quick ramp-up of teacher salaries. Legislative leaders…well, they’re not really leaping to embrace Inslee’s agenda. I’m not talking about Republican legislative leaders; there would be nothing surprising about […]

Lawmakers, admit it: There’s no good reason for your public records exemption

With limited exceptions, you’re allowed to see just about everything government does in this state. From state agencies to your local port commission, if government does it, you can request to see it. But there’s one big, glaring omission: The state Legislature. If you request records from a lawmaker, you’re likely to be denied. That’s […]

It’s about time: Let’s ditch the Daylight Saving switch

If you went solely by social media posts from March and November, you’d conclude that Daylight Saving Time (DST) is massively unpopular. The twice-yearly clock adjustment is particularly irksome to parents of young children – they never get that promised extra hour of sleep in the fall – and anyone who starts their week by […]

Dems run the show. What now for state government?

Well, it happened: With a flip of one seat in Tuesday’s election, Democrats will now control the state Senate. Manka Dhingra, the Democratic candidate to succeed Republican Sen. Andy Hill in the 45th District, emerged victorious, so now Democrats will control both houses of the legislature and the governor’s office. The result in the 45th […]

Free trade isn’t academic: Washington farmers need new markets

Everything we do has an opportunity cost, as hopefully some patient civics or economics teacher once instructed you. If I go to the Oregon-UW game tonight, I can’t go to the 7:30 Garth Brooks concert at the T-Dome. If WSDOT spends $100 million on a new bridge, that’s $100 million it can’t spend on new […]

Wait, voters can’t say whether drug injection sites are OK?

A judge ruled Monday that an initiative to ban drug injection sites in King County cannot go on the February ballot as planned. The Seattle Times reports: “Letting voters decide whether to ban safe-injection sites would infringe on the power of the King County Board of Health, King County Superior Court Judge Veronica Alicea-Galván ruled […]

Upcoming gov. union case might actually take dissenters seriously

If you want to elicit a visceral reaction from a government employee union official, there’s an easy way to do it. Just bring up Franklin Roosevelt’s famous quote that “All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.” They don’t like that quote […]

Standing up for free speech on campus and against the speech police

There’s at least one upside to this era of political turmoil and partisan churn: It is certainly offering a lot of opportunities to discuss free speech. It’s unfortunate that even football is a source for division instead of unity now. But after the initial shock of the tit-for-tat between the president and NFL players – […]