There are a great many people in the Northwestern United States who will fall asleep tonight to visions of puny New England defensive backs helplessly bouncing off Marshawn Lynch as he pushes relentlessly toward the end zone. The few brave enough to try to stop him spin in futility as the mighty Lynch pushes them aside like ... like? I am no sportswriter. I don’t have a clever simile here. Like rag dolls, maybe? Like stale cheese puffs? Like mild annoyances? That’s stupid. Like a bull smashing all those dudes ...
At first it seems like a magic trick. You hold this shiny thing up to your mouth and blow. Buzz your lips or puff on a little stick of wood, and out comes a noise. Or you poke your finger at a white plastic key, pull on a string or hit something with a stick. You move your fingers or poke a different key and the noise changes. And then lip buzzers, key pokers and string pluckers make noise at the same time and, with luck, something strange and wonderful ...
It has been awhile. We are not accustomed to so much good economic news, not all at once, so last week’s Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce presentation on regional trends was like breathing our first fresh air in months. It was good news, tempered by the realization that our new prosperity is unevenly shared.
Rep. Cary Condotta, R-East Wenatchee, has introduced legislation to limit citations issued via red-light cameras to no more than $25. How seriously to take this proposal we do not know. What is certain is it is likely to eviscerate the red-light camera business in Washington, chopping the lucrative fines down from the current $124 standard. As with most bills that hack down government moneymaking schemes, this probably won’t get far.
They call it the “Friday-to-Monday” problem, or the revolving door effect. Top state officials work for the people on Friday, walk out the door and walk back in Monday morning as lobbyists, paid to persuade the public agencies they managed days before.
We human beings, so naive, so gullible. We forget so quickly. We are easily lulled into a kind of amnestic stupor. We are warm and secure and beyond well nourished, so much so that the fears that haunted our ancestors have disappeared. Our memories are clean and we are happy and ignorant, and it seems that absent corporate conspiracy or devious government schemes, not much can hurt us.
Imagine, you are the middle of middle class. You are the person whose welfare every politician says they worry about. The president of the United States even named his analytic specialty after you — “middle class economics.” You and your spouse have reasonably steady jobs, your combined incomes pay for your house and mortgage, taxes, transportation, expenses and a couple of kids. Life is not easy, but for now ends meet.
“There are a lot of good people here, on both sides of the aisle. And many of you have told me that this isn’t what you signed up for — arguing past each other on cable shows, the constant fundraising, always looking over your shoulder at how the base will react to every decision.
Imagine, your school is singed by horrible wildfire, four times. Your community is devastated by the fire disaster. Your school building has $2 million in damage from smoke and flame, and you only have weeks, days really, before it has to be safe and ready to educate students. What do you do?
There was another solid step toward regional cooperation and efficiency last week, as the commissioners of Chelan County Fire District 1 voted unanimously to accept the city of Wenatchee’s bid for annexation. The fire district commissioners set the stage for a decision by voters in city and county, likely April 28.
What follows is a rough transcript (very rough, although based on a true story) of Thursday’s Editorial Board meeting, held at an undisclosed location deep inside Wenatchee World world headquarters. For those who don’t know, the Editorial Board is three people who meet once a week for serious in-depth discussions of what topics the newspaper’s weekend editorials will address, and what slant they will take. This was the conversation:
They are dumping Red Delicious in the canyons and sending apples by the ton to the processor. Millions of dollars in sales are lost every week, every day. Overseas customers who would sell Washington apples by the truckload this worldwide holiday season are empty-handed. Workers in the warehouses lose hours or jobs. Truckers seek loads in some other industry. Apples sit in storage, their value falling with each passing day. Naturally, the growers pay and growers lose.
There is some significant news this week relating to the North Central Washington Business Loan Fund, an organization that specializes in providing assistance to small businesses that struggle to get financing through traditional means.