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  • Commentary

    Charlotte Baker|Feb 22, 2024

    Have you noticed the same ol’ message; that of what is constantly rehearsed in the media over and over and over again, has become so very tiresome? It sure has with me. I am tired of hearing how awful the right is, and, in turn, how awful the left is, and how they are wrong and we are right and vice versa. It seems for the last two decades, the ability to express one’s opinion has been slowly and methodically stifled. An opposing opinion becomes racist, transphobic, antisemitic, misogynistic, or whatever the latest trend is to close the door of...

  • Letters to the Editor

    Feb 22, 2024

    To the editor, While driving down the road to I-90 from Cheney, I saw KC 135 refueling planes circling around Fairchild Airforce Base. It occurred to me that there are many military airplanes waiting to be deployed. These airplanes could be used to avoid further starvation and death in Gaza by airlifting food, water, and medicine in this war-torn region. And, to help Americans to honor our value for human life, we could send hospital ships like Mercy Corp, to the Mediterranean Sea to treat...

  • Olympia Update

    Rep. Mary Dye|Feb 15, 2024

    OLYMPIA–Several days ago, the Wall Street Journal issued a report about California's "soaring electricity rates." Average residential rates for investor-owned utility customers have surged by 72% to 127% over the past 10 years. About 2.5 million households in California are behind on their bills, averaging $733 in arrears. According to the Energy Information Administration, California has the second highest average retail price for electricity at $.22 per kilowatt hour. Fuel prices in C...

  • Letters to the Editor

    Feb 15, 2024

    To the editor, To our community. We are troubled by the potential divisiveness of this upcoming election year. With all the wars, genocide, disinformation, the potential of Artificial Intelligence, any of which, could disrupt our democratic process. While we are thinking globally here, let’s think about how we can act locally, As a community shouldn’t we try living in harmony. If harmony is not the right word, should we consider, civility, respectfulness, kindness, or courtesy at the very least. In our small community shouldn’t we strive for u...

  • Olympia Update

    Senator Mark Schoesler|Feb 8, 2024

    By Sen. Mark Schoesler Eastern Washington has several beautiful and popular state parks, including Steptoe Butte and Steptoe Battlefield in Whitman County, plus Lyons Ferry and Palouse Falls south of Washtucna. Unfortunately, Washington State Parks oversees these parks. It's unfortunate because the agency has a history of bumbling in our part of the state. The latest example is the news that WSP will close the restrooms at the top of the Steptoe Butte State Park Heritage Site. While I'm happy...

  • Letters to the Editor

    Feb 8, 2024

    To the editor, My name is Cap Perry, and I am the Track Coach in Oakesdale. One thing I take pride in for my track program is teaching my girls to work hard, compete and above all - be good sports. We've always had wonderful comments during our season from other teams and we take pride in that. This time I want to return that to your girls and let your community know how they impacted our community during their recent game here in Oakesdale. I can tell that it starts with your coach. I said...

  • COMMENTARY

    Loyal Baker|Feb 1, 2024

    WAITSBURG– A giant in the community left us last week, but not without leaving a legacy for future generations. S. R. Hevel, M.D., "Rog," died peacefully at his Orchard Street home in Waitsburg on January 27. He doctored three generations of residents of Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley and was one of several local medicos who were instrumental in the success of Dayton General Hospital. I counted Roger as my doctor until he retired, and that included a small number of silk sutures, o...

  • Olympia Update

    Feb 1, 2024

    OLYMPIA–When Washington's voters adopted the state's Public Records Act (PRA) under Initiative 276 in 1972, they wanted to make sure that state, county, and city governments operate openly and are transparent to the people. They recognized the best way to ensure transparency and accountability to the citizens of Washington is to require that most government records are made available to the public. The PRA, however, was never intended to help some make money at the expense of governments or o...

  • Letters to the Editor

    Feb 1, 2024

    To the editor, Residents of Dayton School District and Citizens of Columbia County, your vote is a personal decision. The results of elections have consequences. Some consequences are more quantifiable than others. Taxes collected that help fund the school are easily measured, and impact any property owner. How the school spends the money in its budget is public record, and also very measurable. The board and administration can be held accountable to spend your tax dollars on the highest...

  • OLYMPIA UPDATE

    Rep. Mary Dye|Jan 25, 2024

    "The possibility of a global environmental apocalypse has been dominating headlines and exercises a powerful hold on the imaginations of millions of people," according to optimist and author Marion L. Tupy. Headlines of imminent catastrophe are resulting in public policy driving our nation and our state as well as many other western economies to the brink. OLYMPIA–The Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA), passed in 2019, and the Climate Commitment Act (CCA) of 2021 form the architecture for t...

  • Letters to the Editor

    Jan 25, 2024

    To the editor, The Dayton School District is putting forth two tax levy measures, an Educational Programs and Operations Levy (EP&O) and a Capital Levy, on Election Day Tuesday, February 13. Both are replacement levies. The prior levies were voted in 2020 and are now expiring. These are not new taxes. Both levies would run for four years, to be collected in 2025-2028. I am sure none of us enjoy paying taxes, however there are several issues I am rationally considering, and I encourage other...

  • Olympia Update

    Sen. Mark Schoesler|Jan 25, 2024

    OLYMPIA–The main event during the opening week of this year’s legislative session was Gov. Jay Inslee’s annual state of the state address. I was surprised he did not pull a muscle from patting himself on the back so often as he addressed legislators, statewide elected officials, and Supreme Court justices. Inslee said, “I’m happy to report we have been, we are, and we will always be the strongest state in the nation,” adding “in fact, the state of our state is stronger than ever.” Not to rain on the governor’s self-congratulato...

  • OPINION

    Todd Myers|Jan 18, 2024

    What happens when cold temperatures move across the Northwest, there is less natural gas power available, and wind disappears? We found out on Saturday, as Puget Sound Energy (PSE) had to ask customers to conserve to keep the grid stable. It is a case study of the need to ensure Washington has energy sources that can be turned on when needed, and of the need to empower consumers by making energy prices transparent. As temperatures plummeted across Washington state on January 13, PSE sent a...

  • COMMENT

    Jan 18, 2024

    By Jillian Linster Interim Policy Director Center for Rural Affairs Across the country, lawmakers are gathering in their respective state capitols and Washington, D.C. to begin another year of debating and passing legislation. The democratic process is something America prides itself on and one that requires input from citizens to thrive. While the process for public input varies by state, there is one commonality that exists-lawmakers need to hear directly from their constituents on issues...

  • Letters to the Editor

    Jan 18, 2024

    To the editor, Usually, you have zero say about taxes. But this February, you have opportunity to say No to a tax, when the Dayton School District puts forth two special levies seeking to extract from taxpayers, beginning in 2025, $1.41-$1.48 per $1,000 of assessed home value for a Replacement Educational Programs and Operations Levy AND $1.50 per $1,000 assessed home value for a Replacement Capital Levy for Technology, Safety, and Facility Improvements. Often, school levy supporters like to...

  • GUEST COMMENTARY

    Jan 11, 2024

    By Eric McKeirnan Guest contributor Not so long ago I submitted a piece to the paper for consideration. Not my best stuff, I would agree. My really good stuff is sitting in a short stack on the right corner of my desk. The paper labeled my submission as a "rant." I thought I understood the meaning of the word rant, but I looked it up in my dictionary just to make sure. My book is a Webster's dictionary, copyright 1942. Rant- (noun) 'High sounding language without dignity of thought, boisterous,...

  • Guest Commentary

    Dec 28, 2023

    By Greg Hall Certified Substance Use Disorder Professional Blue Mountain Counseling Dayton Happy New Year! For some maybe. For others it is just another day. Another day of wondering how they are going to get what they need. I don’t mean food, shelter or clothing. I mean alcohol and/or other drugs. There is a lot of misinformation in the area of drug and alcohol dependence. One such myth is that people do drugs to get high. Although this is true in the beginning for some, after a certain amount of time, alcohol and drug use become a need and n...

  • OPINION

    Pam Lewison|Dec 28, 2023

    A great many farmers and ranchers identify with Paul Harvey’s iconic poem, “So God Made a Farmer,” but this time of year, I prefer the editorial from Francis B. Church, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” Whether you read Paul Harvey’s poignant poem or Francis Church’s editorial to set the tone for your holiday season, both point to the need for belief and hope. Harvey wrote, “And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, ‘I need a caretaker’ – so God made a Farmer....

  • Letters to the Editor

    Dec 28, 2023

    To the editor, Recently in a volley of texts with the editor we each made case of how to handle and how best to respond to the way the leadership is destroying our country, and how best to showcase their talents. My subtle way to bring light to the situation was to take a twenty-inch, three-day old, dead sucker fish and slap them silly across the face with it. I interpreted the editor's solution, as to shaking a finger at them while having a stern look on our face and tapping our feet angrily....

  • OPINION

    Todd Myers|Dec 21, 2023

    Washington's new tax on CO2 emissions ended up adding about 43 cents per gallon of gas for 2023. The final price was reduced by several market interventions by Department of Ecology staff, but prices are likely to increase next year. Ecology staff released the results from the fourth-quarter auction of CO2 emission allowances. The settlement price was $51.89, a significant drop from the previous auction price of $63.03. The average tax on CO2 in 2023 ended up at $54.74 per metric ton, which...

  • Letters to the Editor

    Dec 21, 2023

    To the editor, Christmas season is upon us. From the time we were children, most of us heard carols, sung songs, sent cards with, "Peace on Earth, good will towards men." Yet, we humans continue the violence and killing. This year it is especially terrible because it is taking place near the headquarters of religions that claim peace and where Jesus was born. Concerning the war on Gaza, experts keep saying that the situation is very complicated and solutions do not come easily. The conflict has...

  • OPINION

    Mark Harmsworth|Dec 14, 2023

    While January 8, 2024 is the first official day of the Washington State legislative session next year, things are already happening in Olympia. Legislators have the ability to ‘pre-file’ bills to get new legislation into the hopper ready for consideration in January and things are already happening. One such bill, Senate Bill 5793 (SB 5793), filed by Senator Saldaña (37th Legislative District), would expand Washington State paid sick leave law adding new qualifying events including work site...

  • Letters to the Editor Encouraged

    Dec 14, 2023

    The Letter to the Editor space on the opinion page provides a forum for local residents to express their opinions and concerns about matters of public interest as part of the "community conversation." Letters may be mailed to Letter to the Editor, 163 E. Main Street, Dayton, WA 99328. Pomeroy and Garfield County residents may email the editor at [email protected]. Dayton and Columbia County readers may email letters to [email protected]. Please include a telephone number and...

  • Commentary

    Dec 7, 2023

    By Luis Franco, senior loan specialist, Center for Rural Affairs The holiday season is right around the corner and it comes with great news. According to a Gallup survey, 74% of holiday shoppers said they expect to pay about the same amount or more on holiday gifts this year compared to last. Moreover, 23% of shoppers said they choose one retailer over another because they want to support small and local businesses in their community. Small businesses are essential to rural America. When buying from local small businesses, you are supporting...

  • OPINION

    Mark Harmsworth|Dec 7, 2023

    OLYMPIA–If you are not an employer, you may not care about exempt and non-exempt employee salary ranges, but changes to an obscure state law is causing many employers to lay off staff and reduce available working hours, so you might want to pay attention. Washington State requires employers to pay non-exempt employees (those employees that don't meet several thresholds the state defines) overtime for every hour worked. Over the last few years, the minimum salary threshold to qualify as an exempt...

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