The Wenatchee World

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Ukraine abandoned

At his first press briefing after the beheading of American James Foley, President Obama stunned the assembled when he admitted that he had no strategy in Syria for confronting the Islamic State. Yet it was not nearly the most egregious, or consequential, thing he said.

Demographic role reversals

In my fantasy world, public relations professionals send me pitches extolling the virtues of the “white Robert Rodriguez.”

An eye on the Baltic States?

The Islamic State is a nasty problem that can be remedied if its neighbors, assisted by the United States, decide to do so. Vladimir Putin’s fascist revival is a crisis that tests the West’s capacity to decide.

Legal marijuana, let it be, let it be

For the time being, your city can ban marijuana shops, just as it can ban other things that annoy its citizens and give its regulators palpitations. It can even ban things state law specifically accommodates and licenses, as long as it’s not a head-to-head conflict or the Legislature didn’t say shut up and take it. City-by-city NIMBYism gets a pass.

No, oil won’t stay in the ground

They blocked the tracks in Everett Tuesday. Protestors, highly trained, erected an 18-foot teepee over the rails while compatriots cheered from a nearby overpass, the Everett Herald reported. A woman in a yellow parka and green hardhat, identified on Facebook as Abby Brockway, a “high flying climate activist” from Seattle, sat at the tippy top of the teepee, holding a pair of illegible signs and trailing a banner that said “Cut Oil Trains Not Conductors.” She raised a mandatory clenched fist. Others sat in folding chairs on a crossing or ...

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.