• The $20 car tab charge proposed in Electric City is just the latest swing of a very large pendulum. We love services, we hate taxes. Government tries to meet our needs, then gets shot down for spending too much. That’s how initiative king Tim Eyman makes a living, as he was doing when he convinced voters to hack off the huge excise fees we used to pay for our car tabs. Yes, they could be excessive, but they did pay for stuff, including some of Electric City’s (and others’) road work.
By the way, at a newspaper conference in Yakima last week, several newspaper people mentioned that municipalities they cover were also wrestling with the $20 tab issue. It’s not just Electric City.
• For weeks, we’ve been breathing smoke from several fires in the state, some of which has been spotted by satellite over the Atlantic. The fall early morning dew smells like soot. Utilities, including Coulee Dam’s, must replace wooden power poles at annoyingly high and unanticipated costs. Saved from the dramatic ravages of the flames, we still have to deal with the mundane aftermath of a lightning storm.
• The local Rotary Club’s persistence in pursuing its goal of a handicapped-accessible fishing pier is admirable, if surprisingly necessary. (Full disclosure: I’m a Rotarian.) The project began as a relatively easy one a dozen years ago, when state government had more money; Rotary would be a community partner.
Now the money is raised and the project’s end in sight. Kudos to all those who cooked or ate spaghetti or participated in all the other fund raisers along the way, and to the club presidents who made it happen. Thanks, too, to the Columbia Basin Foundation, for seeing the project worthy of $10,000 in grants.
• People who want chickens in town must be mindful that some don’t. One must assume that there are good reasons for most cities banning livestock within their borders. There was a time when our ancestors kept the family cow in the house. I doubt anyone would advocate that, but might allowing chickens in town be a tiny step back toward that direction?
— Scott Hunter publisher and editor