The Wenatchee World

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Conservation pays us back

It is an investment. Conservation of precious land in its natural state, construction of trails and parks for recreation or access, preservation of wildlife habitat or farmland — they fit the definition. They all involve the commitment of funds with expectation of a return. Call it a profit if you like.

Time to change the way our city votes

A federal judge in Seattle has ruled that the process of electing the city council of Yakima violates the Voting Rights Act by its design — making it nearly impossible for a Latino candidate to win an election and a seat. The non-Latino majority “suffocates” the Latino minority, Judge Thomas O. Rice ruled. There are differences, but Wenatchee’s circumstance has striking parallels. It is time to take heed, before change is forced, and lay the groundwork for a truly representative electoral system.

Later school starts may be the answer

As schools get going, it’s interesting to note when high schools start make a difference in student learning. Circadian rhythms are the reason, pushing teenagers to sleep later and stay up later at night.

The court looks down the hill

We stand at the crest of the great, legendary slippery slope. It awaits, very slick. All we need do is take a step down.

Yes, we have the courage to do hard things

One of my first visits outside the state Capitol as governor was to Crestline Elementary in Vancouver. A fire had recently reduced the school to not much more than a charred pile of rubble. More than 500 students had to go to other schools while Crestline was rebuilt, a significant disruption to the sense of normalcy that so many of us take for granted.

The tale of two Highway 97s

I notice that a new website touts tourism along Highway 97 in British Columbia and south of the border. That effort has a long history.

Accountants say bad/good ahead

This kind of news is really too boring to be scary. Here come the government accountants with a lot of charts and projections showing what might happen in 2024 if we are dumb enough to stay a dumb as we are today. Oh boy. Hit the lights.
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Putting the brakes on the Great Northern’s electric history

When the Great Northern Railway opened its big tunnel through Stevens Pass in 1929, it electrified the whole line from Wenatchee to Skykomish. The Appleyard in south Wenatchee became the maintenance center for the electrics, and Joe Gaynor became head of it.

Link Transit provides a valuable community service

Rufus and I rode Link yesterday — a half-hour trip in town, and another half-hour to East Wenatchee — as part of a promotional event for the public transit system’s city shuttle buses.
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Compassion given, lessons learned on the streets

For the past six months, John Brett has been walking in the dark underbelly of San Francisco at night providing crisis assistance and the gift of listening to drug addicts, sex workers, those with mental illness and people down on their luck.

Street lights can afford to be more efficient

“What’s the future of some 3,000 sodium vapor street lights in Chelan County?” I asked Andrew Grassell of the conservation department of Chelan County PUD that question.

Nasty milfoil shouldn’t wait

If milfoil grew on dry ground the way it grows under water we likely would blast it with any herbicide even close to safe. Imagine, wide swaths of open land rendered unusable and impassable to people or their vehicles by a tall-growing plant, a noxious weed so prolific it reproduces wherever bits and pieces hit the ground. That is happening in our rivers and lakes.

Precious credibility

“When something like this happens, the local authorities, including the police, have a responsibility to be open and transparent about how they are investigating that death and how they are protecting the people in their communities,” said President Obama in his reaction to the tragic mess in Ferguson, Mo. Open and transparent — Obama gave a calm and measured response, but he was absolutely right. If only the police in Ferguson had chosen honesty and openness instead of secrecy and selectivity, things might have been different.

Yes, honor Senn

On Wednesday this page published a plea from Wenatchee’s Anne S. White to name the interchange at the junction of Highways 97 and 2, commonly known as the Big Y, for the late Department of Transportation Regional Administrator Don Senn. It was inspiring. What better way to honor such an exemplary public servant than to place his name on a well-functioning piece of civil engineering art like the Peshastin interchange?

A taste of what the world wants

I’ll be honest. I was trying to find a good excuse to mention, with all possible subtlety, that the fourth annual North Central Washington Wine Awards is coming this very Saturday to Town Toyota Center, and if you have even a passing interest in wine or food this event is not to be missed.

Stopping the worst people on earth

Baghdad called President Obama’s bluff and he came through. He had refused to provide air support to Iraqi government forces until the Iraqis got rid of their divisive sectarian prime minister.