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home : opinion

Quality of life includes sustainable economic growth policy
Chelan County Public Utilities officials have been on tour around the county seeking input to their strategic plan. With a powerful video narrated by a young girl, they remind us that half a century ago local people took bold action to build the dams that now provide abundant, cheap and environmentally friendly power. It's a great story of the ability of a free people to work together to build a better life for themselves and the future generations that call this place home.
Thursday, July 17, 2014 More...

Our best insurance policy
Much as we may hate to admit it and don't want to think about it, our burning of fossil fuels and releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere increases the greenhouse effect. This results in climate change.

It costs us. Local costs include the loss of agriculture in the Yakima Valley as less summer snow melt is available for irrigation because more winter precipitation falls as rain in a warmer climate. National costs include the billions of dollars the U.S. Government spends annually on imported oil and subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, and the trillions of dollars of property value that will be lost as sea level rises, which is subsidized by the National Flood Insurance subsidies.

Thursday, July 17, 2014 More...
Death by government
One of Ronald Reagan's favorite aphorisms was: "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

I thought about these words today when I noticed something less usual in America anymore: innovation coupled to a work ethic and a service-minded attitude. This very combination carries millions of Americans to success, or at least it used to before it got 'helped' so much by government.

Thursday, July 17, 2014 More...
Letters to the Editor
Thursday, July 10, 2014 More...
It's time to give college graduates a future with freedom from debt
The U.S. Senate held a vote recently to bring up legislation allowing student debt holders to refinance old loans at lower current interest rates. The motion to debate the "Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act" (S. 2432) garnered a 56-38 majority but fell short of the 60 votes needed to open debate.

Republicans cast 37 of the 38 "no" votes. Only three Republicans joined 53 Democrats and Independents in voting to debate the bill.

For members of the college and high school classes of 2014, and for past graduates, this effort to tackle the student debt issue is sorely needed. For whether their degrees are in math, science, history or English, our graduates are coming out of college schooled in something else entirely: the crushing weight of student loan debt.

Thursday, July 10, 2014 More...
What's a negative interest rate?
The concept of negative interest rates seems so strange. Can a bank actually charge you for depositing money with them? That's not the way it's supposed to work.

Here's another way to look at it: You pay me; I'll keep your money safe. In this era of low interest rates and freaked out investors, that's essentially what savings accounts have become. When you look at it like that, it doesn't seem quite as strange.

No, your local bank isn't going to start charging you to keep money with them anytime soon. Yes, they'll continue to pay you absolutely nothing. But the European Central Bank is taking that a step further by charging a 0.10% interest rate to banks that hold money with them. The idea is simple: By charging the banks to keep their money with the ECB, hopefully the banks won't park their money there. Instead, they'll start putting that money to more economically productive things, like loaning it out.

Thursday, July 10, 2014 More...

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