The Wenatchee World

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Investing in parks benefits all

I visit our local state parks regularly in season. Passing the time around a campfire at twilight is a very enjoyable way for a park commissioner to keep current with park patrons’ values. Many of the folks I meet visit their parks time and time again, carrying on a family tradition spanning two, three and even four generations.

Invest now in transportation

Everyone knows our infrastructure is deteriorating, our highways and transportation system in particular. Our national net infrastructure investment, adjusting for inflation and depreciation, is somewhere near zero, said former Treasury secretary and Harvard President Lawrence Summers. So, not only are we not improving the system, we’re not keeping up with maintenance despite extra spending added during the recession. Worse, we are doomed to fall farther behind, with much of the Interstate Highway System nearing the end of its 50-year useful life.

Welcome, Misawa

We were asked to share this recent letter to David Kelts, president of the Wenatchee Valley Misawa Sister City Association, from Misawa City Mayor Kazumasa Taneichi. It touches on some important themes as we prepare to welcome the Misawa delegates this week, and shares the benefits and joys of our long sister city relationship:

Yes, better together

Ballots are due Tuesday in crucial elections to consolidate Chelan County Fire District 1 and the Wenatchee Fire Department. The merger is essential to improved and efficient fire protection in the Wenatchee area. For the merger to take place, a majority of voters in the fire district and city must say yes, in separate tallies. Unless both electorates approve, the consolidation fails.

Obama’s Nixon doctrine: Anointing Iran

In December, President Obama said that he wished to see Iran ultimately become a “very successful regional power.” His wish — a nightmare for the Western-oriented Arab states — is becoming a reality. Consider:

The chairs came right on time

I’ll let you in on a secret. I was not sitting in my pickup at dawn Thursday with a load of folding chairs, jealously watching my chosen spot, prepared to fend off sooners and claim jumpers, ready to move at the strike of 7 to mark my territory and show the world what is rightfully mine. Mine! My parade spot! Keep off!
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Mr. Hughes flies in Washington

WASHINGTON — When postal worker Doug Hughes — otherwise known as the gyrocopter dude — landed his gizmo on the West Lawn of the Capitol, he wasn’t worried about being shot down, he says.
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When bootleggers and Baptists converge

Smoking, said King James I in 1604, is “loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs.” Three years later he planted a colony in Jamestown. Its tobacco enhanced the royal treasury until Virginia produced a bumper crop of revolutionaries, including the tobacco farmer George Washington.

What you don’t know can hurt

From our no-good-deed-goes-unpunished file comes the ballad of Mario Fry. Newly retired, two years ago Fry embarked on his dream of restoring an old home, offering revival to the work of a century past, making it fit shelter for a family and a point of pride for a rising neighborhood. This, we should all agree, is a good thing, for Fry and for many others.
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Confirm Loretta Lynch now

In a sane world, the Republican-led Senate would have confirmed Loretta Lynch as attorney general months ago. But sanity hasn’t been seen around here in some time.

They want the Columbia again

Do not joke about William Shatner. The former Capt. Kirk proposes building a pipeline to divert water from the Northwest to “solve” California’s drought. He’s launched a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter.
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Eastmont abroad

When we read of Eastmont Superintendent Garn Christensen’s volunteer relief trip to Malawi, the first reaction was sorrow at the thought of such horrible, widespread human suffering. The second reaction was gratitude for Christensen’s selfless acts, and for many like him. Those who give of themselves to comfort their fellow human beings in times of strife and tragedy deserve our thanks and praise.

The treaty calls

The Columbia River Treaty, the great-but-dated international agreement governing one of the great rivers of the world, is just sitting and waiting. A year ago the Obama administration and its State Department were asked, reasonably, to prepare to negotiate with Canada to update the treaty and revise its terms. Nothing has happened. Nothing has been initiated. There are no negotiations or even talk of negotiations.

Kelley must resign, now

Auditor Troy Kelley occupies the state office perhaps most reliant on reputation and the appearance of honesty and fairness. Its duty is to protect the integrity of public finances, to ensure tax dollars are spent as appropriated and according to law, that every penny is properly tracked, and to guard that nothing, absolutely nothing, is unlawfully diverted for personal gain. Now Kelley faces a 10-count federal indictment accusing him of, essentially, using tricks, subterfuge and deception to take money due the clients of his real estate records business, then concealing ...