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 By Don Brunell    Opinion    January 22, 2020 

Dams are the Northwest flood busters

A year ago, much of America’s heartland was inundated by Missouri River flood waters. At least 1 million acres of U.S. farmland in nine major grain-producing states were under water. More than 14...

 
 By Bob Valen    Opinion    January 22, 2020 

How 2019 looked weather-wise

Happy New Year to each of you, and welcome to the new Roaring Twenties! I’ll start off by gazing into the crystal ball of long-range weather prediction. The dedicated public servants with the...

 

A few of my favorite places

A person can be defined by the little things he remembers and his favorite places. My parents liked to take drives, and on one of them they would stop at a roadside springs to get a drink of ice cold water. They had a collapsible tin cup that was...

 
 By Jesse Utz    Opinion    January 22, 2020 

It has been a long time coming

Anyone that follows any sport at all knows how special it is when your team finally makes it to the championship game. It does not matter if it is in Little League sports, high school, college or...

 
 By Fred Obee    Opinion    January 15, 2020

Birth records should remain public

The Washington State Legislature once again is attempting to make government records more obscure, this time by trying to shield public employee birthdates from disclosure with the introduction of HB 1888. Rep. Zack Hudgins, of the 11th Legislative...

 

Recognize school board members for their service

By proclamation of the governor, January is School Board Recognition Month. It’s a great time to recognize our elected community members who selflessly give their time and energy in support of high-quality public schooling for our youth. School...

 

Laying the tracks

This is a view of track laying along the upper Grand Coulee in the late months of 1934. Note iconic Pinnacle Rock in the distance. The contractor who built the line, David H. Ryan, had already complet... Full story

 

How presidents get their facts

Here’s a basic truth about people who make decisions about public policy: they rarely have all the facts they want. Yet policy has to get made anyway. No one is confronted more often with this conundrum than the President of the United States,...

 

Hometown papers should keep eye on legislators after Public Records Act win

In 1869, the Daily Cleveland Herald quoted lawyer John Godfrey Saxe as saying, “Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made.” That saying, or variants of it, have been repeated so often that it has...

 

Main Street was a big part of growing up

My earliest and most vivid memories take me back to when I was 6 years old. That was the year I started the first grade, and also when I started to get store-bought haircuts. My father, who could do most anything, cut my hair until he took constructi...

 
 By Jess Utz    Opinion    January 8, 2020

A look back at who we lost in 2019

Every year, as I look back at the lists of the famous people who passed away, there are always a few that shock me. I had not heard, or I just plain missed, that one, and I am flooded with memories... Full story

 

The wrap-up for Trees of Sharing 2019

The annual Trees of Sharing project began Nov. 1 and culminated with the delivery of wrapped Christmas gifts to 115 children in 48 families Saturday, Dec. 14. Thank you to every person who enthusiastically supported this project by purchasing gifts...

 

Threatening freedoms provokes revolt

You don’t know how important your freedoms are until you start to lose them. That’s what is behind the protests going on in Hong Kong. In April the government in Mainland China passed an extradition bill that would allow officials to take...

 

Boxcars full of cement

Cement for the building of Grand Coulee Dam was hauled in by the boxcar full. Thousands of loads were needed for the project. When it was done, the North Dam was built, along with Dry Falls Dam, and w...

 

Boeing needs strong tailwinds

As we launch into 2020 and the ensuing decade, Boeing faces very strong head winds which are major concerns for those of us living in the Pacific Northwest. Things are vastly different now. In my...

 

Working for community is a local business ethic

Don Brunell, who wrote a column on this page, doesn’t know the local Portch family, but he might as well have used them as an example in his column on local business owners who do good for their communities. Like his parents before him, Loepp...

 

Caring local small businesses make ours 'A Wonderful Life'

At Christmas, millions watch the 1946 movie classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” While it is labeled “fantasy drama,” the show gives us a glimpse of reality and reminds us of the importance of... Full story

 

New journalism class at LR is an important development

It was so long ago that carbon paper was at the center of the controversy around my first big scoop. As a junior in a high school journalism class, I’d turned in a story about a very popular teacher who would be resigning at the end of the year, a...

 

Local voices crucial to resetting outdated Columbia River Treaty

In 1964, the United States and Canada ratified the Columbia River Treaty to increase coordination between our countries on power generation and flood control issues, along with critical support of irrigation, navigation, and ecosystem habitat needs....

 
 By Jess Utz    Opinion    December 18, 2019

It's not what's under the tree

Sometimes this time of year can be hard to swallow. No not because of the “Coulee Crud” that seems to hang in the air and embed in everyone’s throat. It is because we see more and more...

 

Bridges shouldn't have to sink to be replaced

Bridges shouldn’t have to sink to be replaced. However, at times that’s what it takes. Too often, new projects succumb to years of fighting among interest groups and endless political bickering. In 2013, opposition killed the Columbia Crossings...

 

Pioneer Millwright William Fleet

By the time the Scheibner Brothers set up their sawmill, William Fleet had been on the land for a while. Born in New York in 1836, at the age of 19 William sailed around the Horn and started a career...

 

STEM, hydrogen and a glimpse of a future

Looking back is much easier than looking forward, but it’s not like no one is trying. Two opinion pieces on this page point to turning points in two different areas of society that will converge at some point to change the future, hopefully for the...

 

Promoting rural STEM education

Science, technology, engineering, and math – more commonly known as STEM – have become some of the most highly demanded careers in our nation’s economy. Schools across the country and in Central Washington have emphasized education programs to... Full story

 

Hydrogen fuel cells gaining momentum

In the coming decade, investors are betting that hydrogen will become a prominent fuel that can eliminate CO2 discharges from the vehicles it energizes. According to the U.S. Energy Information...

 

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