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Common Ground: Unique art program inspires kindergarten student

What professional visual artist Terry Valdez loved about working with kindergarten students at Washington Elementary this spring was their fearlessness in creative expression. Unless it is cultivated early in life, kids tend lose that fearless creativity.

No peace in our time

Of all the idiocies uttered in reaction to Benjamin Netanyahu’s stunning election victory, none is more ubiquitous than the idea that peace prospects are now dead because Netanyahu has declared that there will be no Palestinian state while he is Israel’s prime minister.

Wanapum passes its milestone

It was a crack in a 50-year-old block of concrete. This wasn’t your old retaining wall or front steps. This old concrete block was part of a structure holding back one of the mightiest rivers in the world. Water rushed toward it at 200,000 cubic feet per second, or 90 million gallons a minute, carrying enough energy at that single point to light half of Seattle.

Kasich waits in the wings

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ideas fly from Gov. John Kasich like sparks from a flint. While explaining his prison reforms, he interrupts himself midsentence -- his sentences, like some E. E. Cummings poems, are unpunctuated -- to praise a Delaware church that buys prom dresses for low-income high school girls. His spirit would add spice and his policies would add substance to the Republican presidential contest.
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A GOP adrift in a sea of pointless politics

It’s been just a few weeks since Republicans took full control of Congress, but already it is safe to say they have no earthly idea of what they want to accomplish.

Lost exports, lost opportunity

Small businesses have long been the backbone of our economy in the United States. They help stimulate economic growth at the national level, while creating jobs and contributing to our community. In today’s technology-enabled economy, much of this prosperity is driven by e-commerce conducted by small- to medium-sized entrepreneurs who use technology to reach customers in new geographies. Unfortunately, small Internet businesses like mine are missing out on a huge economic opportunity due to existing barriers to exporting, which is a lost economic opportunity for our country.

Salvage logging and the cycle

There is a nice wisp of nostalgia to this. Fire devastates the landscape. The managers of the public’s timber try to gain something from disaster by selling off the dead and dying in a limited salvage timber sale. The buyers are to cut charred trees while the damaged timber still has some commercial value, before the dreaded post-fire blue fungus stain and other maladies make it worthless for anything but long-term decomposition. They make haste.

Common Ground: Vox Docs: It’s an experience

If you have never attended an independent film festival, you are missing out. This weekend, the Vox Docs festival will be held at Snowy Owl Theater in Leavenworth.