Opinion

Washington citizens deserve better than broken promises, budget gimmicks fr

It’s no secret Washington is in a financial hole. The current budget is still $600 million in deficit and the projected spending gap for the 2011-13 budget is nearing $5 billion. We believe it is past-time to take bold actions that put our state on solid financial footing. State government needs to get realistic about what we taxpayers can afford, and what we can’t.

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Oroville school doesn’t belong on ‘persistently low-achieving’ list

I would like to clarify the information that was published in last week’s Gazette-Tribune about the Oroville schools as well as point out that we had a very productive board meeting last week that was not reported on, except for one item. I was more than a little disappointed that only one item from our meeting was given any attention. We actually honored our board members, as Tonasket did, and had some excellent reports given, yet our headline was very negative. For complete and accurate board meeting agendas and minutes please visit our district’s website at www.oroville.wednet.edu.

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Out of My Mind 24

President of China’s visit brings up some interesting data

With U.S. debt on a skyward trajectory the question ofwhether we want to be even more beholding to those from whom we seek financingis being constantly raised. And usually when the question is asked the countrythey specify is China. However, with the visit of President Hu to the UnitedStates, some interesting information is starting to trickle out about just whohas more to lose should relations between our two countries go awry.

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The tragedy of making heroes out of criminals

It seems many are trying to use the tragedy in Tucson to lobby for limitations on free speech or increased limits on the sale of guns and ammunition. As usual we seem to want to allow the acts of the most disturbed and antisocial members of our society to set the limits on the freedom of the most responsible.

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Out of My Mind 23

Dialing back the rhetoric

The shootings in Arizona were a tragedy that shouldn’t havehappened. No one who is elected to public office should be in fear of beingkilled for serving his or her constituents. And no one that goes to see theirelected official should have to fear being killed by gunfire. With the killingof innocent bystanders and the serious wounding of U.S. RepresentativeGabrielle Giffords some of our public servants might think twice before meetingwith the electorate and that too would be a tragedy.

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Time to re-examine the Department of Ecology

One of my liberal critics has been obsessing over the last few weeks for me to “come clean and recognize that the climate change scientists involved in the climategate scandal have been cleared.” Sorry, ain’t going to happen. I read with interest many of the press releases and “news” stories about the decision of various commissions and panels who have examined the facts and decided none of the scientists involved did anything wrong.

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Out of My Mind 22

2010, the year that was

Each year as we look back at some of the top headlines thatmade up the front pages of this newspaper we see a diverse number of topicsover the year and 2010 was no exception.

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Labor Statistics

A few inconvenient truths for my liberal critics

None of my columns has stirred quite as much reaction as my recent comments regarding our “overpaid state employees” and their “growing and unsustainable wages and benefits.” Of course most of the respondents were unwilling to “go on the record” with their comments. They simply wanted to let me know that my opinion was not based on fact and that it was just another example of the useless ramblings of a greedy and selfish business owner.

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Out of My Mind 21

Time to welcome innew decade with new year

The end of 2010 marks the end of the first decade of the21st Century – with the dawning of 2011 it’s time to welcome in a new decadealong with the new year.

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Reader complains about my BS (Bumper Sticker) editorial

A reader took me to task this week for “hitting a new low” by describing a WS – Window Sticker as BS – Bumper Sticker. Apparently, the writer is so sensitive that he fails to appreciate the humor. He concluded his 550 word response with the following; “Hereby cancel my subscription to the Echo” and You do not have my permission to use any of this in your newspaper. This is between you and me.” Too bad, he actually had a few valid points.

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