The population continues to grow on the edge of the Tri-Cities, making it more difficult for crews from Benton County Fire District 1 and Benton County Fire District 4 to reach people. Officials in both districts are asking for more tax money so they can reduce emergency response times in the areas they cover.
In the early 2000s, I was part of a group of scientists that investigated how climate change would affect water-dependent ecosystems in the West over the succeeding 50 years. These are some of the things we predicted:
The message that comes out of the school mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., which is so eloquently voiced by the surviving students, is this: We need to lay off the lame gun-lobby arguments that the “root causes” of mass shootings are mental illness, neurological issues and sloppy law enforcement. Excused as root causes are the massive amounts of lethal firepower present and ever readily available to the American public — well beyond what you see in other (more) civilized countries.
The current influenza epidemic has taken a toll on all of us. Watching the number of deaths increase in a few months has cast a shadow on the Tri-Cities. Although this is the case, the majority of people have yet to be vaccinated.
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In trying to fully fund basic education this session, state Democrats redirected money meant for the state’s reserve fund, thereby skirting the 60 percent approval threshold needed for raiding the rainy-day account. This left Republicans out of the process, and the GOP has questioned the constitutionality of the approach.
Among the recent shootings that have been happening in our country, such as the shooting in Florida, there has been more talk about banning guns. But it’s not the guns’ fault. Having a gun is beneficial for protection and the feeling of safety in your home. Those who have used guns for the purpose of shootings is because they made that decision themselves. They chose to take the gun and shoot it. Some say that kids have easy access to a gun; but that can be prevented. As long as a parent has a gun safe then there is no way a child can obtain access to the gun.
Our president is a practical man and simply addressed the illegal immigration problem by proposing a wall. Perhaps he will address the problem of black market fentanyl from China in a similar practical way (fentanyl killed 20,100 Americans in 2016).
Mark Mansperger’s March 4 piece (We can’t ignore the role of guns in gun violence) doesn’t tell the whole story. Switzerland is No. 2 behind the USA in guns per capita, but has far fewer homicides or mass shootings. Central and South America, despite severe gun control laws, have much higher homicide by gun than the USA.
Joe Fain, a Republican state senator from King County, breaks down how Washington's veto process differs from Congress and the historical fate of bills that have come up against the governor's red pen.
Vetoes and how the Legislature can override them
Skiers launched into the air during ski-lift malfunction