The Wenatchee World

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Lo58° Mostly Clear

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Hi77° Breezy

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Wednesday

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A disaster that’s not bad enough

This can be awkward, asking the government for help. Gov. Jay Inslee recently asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency — FEMA — that our charred segment of Washington be declared a major disaster and therefore eligible for various forms of federal assistance. His request was granted, but only for Okanogan County and the Colville Tribes, and only for so-called “public assistance,” which is not assistance for the public, but aid to public agencies with infrastructure bashed or carbonized. FEMA denied Inslee’s request for assistance to individuals, even for Okanogan County ...

When it’s oil vs. food, we burn

Selling agricultural commodities is a kind of dance, with time limits. Once the sale is consummated, the clock starts. The buyer needs it on time, because customers don’t pay for empty shelves. Food is often perishable — faster is fresher, and fresher is better. Then, with bulk commodities like grain, loaded on ships and sent to the far corners of the globe, there are schedules to meet, and promises to keep. The owners of ships don’t like to see them sitting around waiting for the cargo. Delays due to a ...

Congress, do right by fire budgets

By now we are accustomed to Congress doing nothing. Our expectations are very near zero, but we are not yet fully numbed. To see so many elected leaders standing by, thumb twiddling as the West burns, pains us greatly. It is maddening that a natural disaster of on the scale of this year’s fires will produce no action out of the ordinary, and that emergency funding to fight them can be brushed off as a budgetary annoyance.

The Miller example

It is difficult to drive up Wenatchee’s Miller Street without dismay. The pavement is only months old and already melted into ruts of oily black crud between strips of sandy gray gravel and pockmarked intersections. It looks awful. It contributes to the nagging feeling that our local infrastructure is slowly degrading.
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Baptism by wildfire for Red Cross leader

It has been a baptism by wildfire for Nicolle LaFleur, executive director of the North Cascades and Apple Valley chapters of the American Red Cross.

Gathering to watch history

We gathered around the cheap black-and-white television to watch history, 40 years ago today. There were just a handful of us, college students who shared the rent at this run-down house near campus. We had been enjoying the leisurely pace of a summer semester, now suddenly interrupted as the world turned upside down.

Meeting crisis with chaos

Immigration is not easy, legal or illegal. This is particularly true when the would-be host nation has a government that cannot function, run by people who cannot solve even simple problems, much less decide monumental issues like who stays and who goes.

The lake, clear and wonderful

It’s morning on the lake. You can see the sun is already baking the south shore. It glints off the cabin windows and turns the mountains green and gold. It’s early, but the air feels warm. The sunglasses are handy as you plant yourself in the plastic chair by the dock, and take a first sip of coffee. There’s barely a sound. The downlake breeze is dying, ready for the usual midday calm. The water is empty, nothing to see but a gaggle of geese that honk as they take ...

The line between truth, sensitivity

When photographer Mike Bonnicksen asked me to look at one of his photos early one morning last week I knew there was a decision to be made. I can’t recall him ever asking for my thoughts on a photo of something like a person tending to a flower garden.

Remembering the ‘forgotten war’

It is often said — perhaps not often enough — that war accomplishes nothing. It is true, mostly, but as I was reminded recently, not always.