The Wenatchee World

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Online poll results

Here are the results of poll questions on wenatcheeworld.com in the past week and some of the responses:

Regulating trivia

While we ponder how government regulation might lower our risk from flood, landslide, avalanche, volcanic eruption and raging fire, it is deeply comforting to know the federal government has stepped in to save us from the hazards of unpruned lavender.

Lessons learned from a tragedy

The landslide near Oso and tragic loss of life has everyone’s attention. This is especially true for governments with some responsibility for anticipating natural disaster and doing something to minimize the impact on life and property. If any good can come of an event as tragic as the Oso slide, this is one small part.

Studs grind away

If you haven’t switched out your studded snow tires, you are late. The deadline was April 1. Of course, that deadline is too late to avoid the $17.8 million to $124 million in damage that studded tires inflict on Washington highways ... every year. You can stand on any busy street corner in mid-winter and hear them grinding on the iceless pavement. You can see the result.

Education front and center

Last year, the Legislature invested an additional $1 billion for K-12 education without raising taxes as a part of its 2013-15 operating budget compromise. It was the first step toward meeting the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision requirements to provide ample funding for basic education.

Wilf Woods | This opera is worth seeing

Saturday’s Metropolitan Opera performance of Puccini’s “La Boheme” on the big screen at the Snowy Owl performance center in Leavenworth drew a near capacity crowd for the morning session.

Continuing education — on the job

It’s the time of the year when you can’t throw a rock without hitting a parent or a teenager bragging about college acceptance letters.

Wind to get its subsidy, again

They followed the script. The Senate Finance Committee Thursday approved a package of tax breaks that, among other subsidies, extends the wind energy production tax credit for another two years.

Free speech and its regulators

It’s about freedom of speech, and nothing else. It is about government stopping or controlling you when you express your political opinion. It is a debate over when government is justified in limiting how your political views are expressed. It is about two views of freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment. Does the First Amendment forbid government to interfere in political debate, or is government the essential regulator protecting the fullest public expression in the “marketplace of ideas”?

Jeb Bush’s challenge

The human kindling that makes up the flammable Republican base may soon burst into flames, again. Portions of that excitable cohort are looking — some with fawn-like eyes filled with hurt, others with sparks shooting from eyes narrowed like gun slits — askance at other Republicans urging Jeb Bush to seek the 2016 presidential nomination.

Wilf Woods | Just a little pepper primer

Columbus is best known for his voyages, but probably had more permanent effect upon our diet by bringing chili peppers from the Caribbean to Europe.

Democrats acting desperately

H.L. Mencken gets a workout in election years when voters are reminded by pundits of the curmudgeon’s observation that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

Natural disaster will come again

Sept. 5, 1925, must have been another beautiful late summer day in the bustling new community at the mouth of a canyon called Squilchuck. Where the trickling creek flowed into the Columbia, the Great Northern had built a huge switching facility called the Appleyard. Nearby were two hotels filled with workers, a tourist campground near the highway, a cafe, a grocery store, a post office, and new houses leading up the valley, where the orchards were nearly ready for harvest.

Hey, lighten up on the first lady

WASHINGTON — The past couple of weeks have marked a turning point in American ugliness as the mob has turned its full fury on first lady Michelle Obama.