The Wenatchee World

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Columbia treaty: Time to move

The Columbia River Treaty turned 50 Tuesday. In 1964 the United States and Canada signed the agreement that has been praised around the world as a model of international resource management. The recent anniversary was less a celebration of the past than a welcome of opportunity. They come not to praise the treaty, but change it.

Attacking poverty

The first step has come — to acknowledge that poverty is a community problem, not something for someone else to fight or to hand off to distant government. The second step is to join together, to collaborate in a community strategy to break the cycle of poverty that sadly is often passed from generation to generation.

Bank gets a stay

The Export-Import Bank of the United States, crucial to the economy of a trade-dependent state like Washington, has been given a reprieve. Congress last week voted to extend the bank’s charter to June 30, 2015.

In Scotland, they won’t forget her

In 1984 I was at a crossroads somewhere in County Durham in the north of England, a solo tourist with nothing much to do. I was dropped off by my English hosts, to fend for myself while they tended to their jobs. After a few hours of perusing Durham Cathedral, checking out Saint Cuthbert’s shrine and the tomb of Saint Bede the Venerable, the major attractions, I wandered through the surrounding cemetery and assorted monuments.

Where do we get the money?

It is becoming the accepted view, despite the occasional contradiction and naysayer, that Washington and its government does not have enough money. It needs to tax more, tax higher and tax soon, and if properly done it will skim off the top and inject into the bottom.

Get this movie out of my head, please

I am sorry for this tardy review of a movie a year old, but what I saw has my brain locked in a fit of obsession. It is driving me crazy. I know of no way to break it without confession. I must save myself.

Legislature called to duty

It is now the Legislature’s turn to act. It is the Legislature’s turn to keep its commitments, to meet its constitutional duty to make ample provision for the education of all children. Between now and the final gavel of 2015 there must be a titanic shift, a historic compromise, monumental work of statecraft, to accomplish what the constitution requires.

Is there danger?

Everyone should be troubled by thoughtless motorists speeding through school zones when children are present and warning lights flash. There also are many troubled by the thought of being monitored by a profit-making company’s speed camera reaping a financial harvest for the city of Wenatchee.

Fireworks, yes

The best Fourth of July fire prevention plan may be a fireworks show. Good for East Wenatchee Mayor Steve Lacy for seeing the possibility and endorsing city support for a regional fireworks show and a joint Independence Day celebration on the riverfront. Good for the city of Wenatchee for contributing $5,000 and asking other entities do the same. Good for the newly formed Independence Day Celebration Committee, which is soliticiting funds to build an endowment to fund a community fireworks display and celebration in a sustainable way.

Health care costs again the topic

I am a midterm baby boomer, and as such I spend too much time thinking about health care, mostly about how much it costs. As a baby boomer I have grown and aged in a kind of charmed bubble, where nearly everyone was my age or close to it, and we were all thinking about the same things. It seemed that way, anyway. Shared topics followed the typical life progression, I think, starting somewhere around 1975 — sex, college, stereo, job, spouse, house, mortgage, children, school, college, debt, 401(k), keep ...

Gluten gives rise to much good

I have many personal failings I’d rather not discuss at the moment, but I will admit to something rather shocking. I like gluten. I eat gluten regularly and enjoy it. Not only that, I admire gluten for its role in the development of civilization, for its miraculous qualities that allow a paste of powdered grain and water to stretch like a rubber band, blow up like a balloon, to multiply in volume and feed the masses their daily bread.

Scots, think this over carefully

They make notes in some cubbies of the English press, that Americans are oblivious and quite possibly stupid when presented the possibility of the end of Great Britain. When Britons note some of the economic and political ramifications that surely will be felt on this side of the Atlantic should Scotland choose independence, Americans say “Golly. Wow” and then return head to sand. We don’t believe Scottish fantasies come true.

New life at Parkside

The old Parkside nursing home on Cashmere Street will host a shower Wednesday. It is a shower of the gift-giving kind, in conjunction with an open house at the new and welcome Parkside Apartments, hosted by the Women’s Resource Center. The shower portion of the festivities will perhaps attract some donated furnishings for the new studio apartments. What’s more important is what these new apartments will provide — shelter for the weak and homeless, for people suffering from mental illness. People who once had nowhere to turn, now do.

Pears, only the best

We are accustomed to bragging about the fruit grown in North Central Washington, but with all the apples and cherries it is sometimes easy to overlook the fact that the center of the pear universe lies somewhere in the Wenatchee Valley. Yes, Wenatchee to Cashmere to Dryden to Peshastin to Leavenworth, absolutely the best pear orchards in the world. No brag, just fact.

Leave legislation to the lawmakers

The patience of the Washington Supreme Court has been tested. The justices have had it, or just about. That much came through last week during the historic show cause hearing over the celebrated McCleary school funding case. To be decided is whether the state of Washington and its Legislature will be held in contempt for failure to meet judicial instructions and deadlines, and if they are found in contempt, what punishment would be appropriate and effective.

College still pays, if you do it right

Children you have known, your own or the offspring of friends and acquaintances, the tykes that only recently transformed from adorable droolers into puzzling adolescents, have suddenly passed through another astonishing metamorphosis. They are young adults.