Fast Focus: 'What would you like to see state lawmakers accomplish this session?' Free public transportation

January 19, 2014 

I am a lax voter; 99 percent of the candidates I don't know, though suspect, as locker room cynics tell me, they're usually ex-attorneys, people tired of selling cars, or both. And the issues we as citizens are asked to pencil for or against, too, often are obfuscated in a language the average citizen, even a linguist, reads and might rather reach for a potent drink and an olive.

Which means I generally avoid issues of a political nature, for the most part.

What I would like to see this or any state legislature accomplish would never happen, not in my lifetime, probably not in my grandchild's, either. Several come to mind but here's just one: Bring back to Washington state the trolleys that were destroyed in favor of ... turning our roads into congestions of bottlenecks, anxiety, and outright rage. Not only return to this wonderful system of public transportation, but provide every citizen with a free pass for the trolleys, light rail, and buses with the hope light rail could be networked from Ballard to Pullman, from Newport to Bingen and everything in between.

How to pay for this? Raise the gas tax high enough to cover it all. That won't happen. What will happen is adding two, four, or more lanes on each side of I-5, I-90, and others.

So, what did I do with those toothpicks for my olives now that I found the shaker?

-- BINK OWEN, Walla Walla

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