Hello, it's 02:24AM April 19, 2015

Guest Editorial: State park system hangs in balance as Legislature negotiates budget

We often hear from people how much they love their state parks. Here in our area, people mention picnicking at beautiful Yakima Sportsman State Park or taking in some history at Fort Simcoe State Park near White Swan. Right now, the Legislature is negotiating a state budget for 2015-17. Behind the scenes, the fate of our much-loved state park system hangs in the balance between two budget approaches. Things aren’t s …

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Guest Editorial: Rural teachers deserve equal state salary funding

Should Yakima County teachers receive the lowest state salary funding in the state? State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn announced a plan April 14 for regional salary funding for teachers that could do just that. The State Supreme Court’s McCleary decision says it’s the state’s responsibility to fund teacher salaries as part of basic education.Dorn along with the chairs of the Legislature’s appropria …

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Esther Cepeda: Why Latin America events matter

CHICAGO — Here’s a shocking news story you probably haven’t heard about: American soldiers and contractors based in Colombia are alleged to have sexually assaulted dozens of young girls between 2003 and 2007, with some of the attacks being taped and sold as pornography. These accusations were included in an 800-page report released in February by the Colombian government and the rebel group FARC, detailing their 50-ye …

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Trudy Rubin: Iraqi’s visit tests whether U.S. has Mideast policy

The visit of Iraq’s Prime Minister Haidar Abadi to Washington last week tested whether the White House has any Mideast strategy beyond a nuclear deal with Iran. Even administration optimists have revised naive hopes that an accord would stabilize the region. “We can do two things at the same time,” Secretary of State John Kerry told the PBS Newshour, meaning negotiate while standing up to Iranian interference in Yemen …

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Election 2016: The woman trap

WASHINGTON — Here we go. If you’re a woman who might prefer someone other than Hillary Clinton as the next president of the United States, you’re a self-loathing, anti-woman traitor. Already, women I know report that they’re feeling the heat from their more-liberal friends. Not a Democrat for Hillary? Good luck leaning forward, at least in this town. I’ve heard from a few readers along the same lines. Here’s a bracing …

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George Will: ‘Sustainability’ lowers higher education

WASHINGTON — Syracuse University alumni are new additions to the lengthening list of persons who can stop contributing to their alma maters. The university has succumbed — after, one suspects, not much agonizing — to the temptation to indulge in progressive gestures. It will divest all fossil fuel stocks from its endowment. It thereby trumps Stanford, whose halfhearted exercise in right-mindedness has been to divest on …

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Esther Cepeda: A shock talk on kids and alcohol

CHICAGO — An altercation was rising in the living room where my two teen sons were getting on each other’s nerves near the end of a weekend of marathon TV-watching. I was summoned by my older son, who needed the voice of reason to prevail in an argument he was having with his kid brother: “Mom,” he whined, “Come in here and tell him that vodka tampons up the butt is a thing.” Vodka tampons ... in the nether regions? …

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Kathleen Parker: Hillary Clinton falls into generation gap

WASHINGTON — Americans, perhaps more than anyone, worship the future and resent the past. This is never truer than during a political season. It doesn’t matter whether the past (meaning all of four years ago) trumps the present — or whether the future carries a whiff of embers and smoke — we gallop into tomorrow like a dog who mastered the screen door latch, and find little worthy of regard in yesterday. All of which …

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Doyle McManus: Obama has yet to seal Iran deal

President Barack Obama faces two serious problems as he tries to protect his still-unfinished nuclear agreement with Iran from congressional tinkering — or destruction. One is the ferocious opposition of Republican hawks who view the deal as insufficiently tough on Tehran. The other is nervousness among Democrats who view the deal as promising, but politically risky. First, the GOP. Not a single prominent Republican h …

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Containing Iran’s nuclear intoxication

WASHINGTON — This week brings a constitutional moment illustrating a paradox of Barack Obama’s presidency. The catalyst of the drama is legislation proposed by Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, asserting Congress’ foreign policy responsibilities and prerogatives. The paradox is this: Obama’s disdain for constitutional etiquette — his contempt for the institutional self-restraint that enable …

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Guest editorial: STEM investments bring opportunity, growth

By Patrick D’Amelio Washington STEM Innovative companies across the state such as Avista (Spokane) and Zulily (Seattle) have made Washington one of the leaders in the country in the concentration of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs. However, our education system is facing challenges to keep up with the demand to produce a diverse and world-class workforce. According to the Boston Consulting Grou …

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Esther Cepeda: Free trade carries unhealthy impact in Latin America

CHICAGO - Speaking recently at an economic forum, Richard Trumka, the outspoken president of the AFL-CIO, asked this about free trade: “Is our trade policy working for America’s workers and for our nation as a whole? And the simple answer to that question right now is no, it isn’t.” Trumka was addressing the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership that the Obama administration is attempting to fast-track through Congr …

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Kathleen Parker: Rolling Stone gathers dirt — on itself

WASHINGTON — “As we asked ourselves how we could have gotten the story wrong ...” Thus read a Rolling Stone editor’s note attached to a post-mortem story on the false story it published last fall about an alleged gang rape by members of University of Virginia’s Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. Such statements extract all the oxygen from the air that serious journalists breathe. “A Rape on Campus,” which raised flags among o …

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Baseball field’s new name honors two local legends

By Jerry Ward Parker Youth & Sports Foundation The April 18 Yakima Valley Community College baseball doubleheader will start on Parker Field, but end on a newly renamed Parker Faller Field, a tribute to two men who have done so much for Yakima sports. The original Parker Field was built in 1937 for a minor league baseball team the Pippens, owned by Shirley D. Parker, a Yakima High School graduate who became a trial …

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WIAA’s false savings deny athletes state experience

By Andy Affholter and Robi Raab On March 27, Harlan Kredit’s was quoted in the Yakima Herald-Republic in “Superintendents’ poll supports 16 tourneys.” A long-time WIAA Board member, Mr. Kredit was addressing a poll taken by state school superintendents about the WIAA’s spring of 2010 decision to change the state basketball tournament format from 16 teams to eight teams. The board then cited concerns about falling …

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George Will: Ham-handed ham-sandwich justice

WASHINGTON — What began as a trickle has become a stream that could become a cleansing torrent. Criticisms of the overcriminalization of American life might catalyze an appreciation of the toll the administrative state is taking on the criminal justice system, and liberty generally. In 2007, professor Tim Wu of Columbia Law School recounted a game played by some prosecutors. One would name a famous person —“say, Mothe …

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Esther Cepeda: Saving boys is not zero-sum game

CHICAGO — I just finished reading “Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men,” written by Dr. Leonard Sax after years of seeing sullen boys in his medical practice fail to thrive. “From kindergarten to college, (boys are) less resilient and less ambitious than they were a mere 20 years ago. In fact, a third of men ages 22-34 are still living at home wit …

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Kathleen Parker: Delicious tales of White House

WASHINGTON — The new tell-all, “The Residence,” featuring intimate anecdotes collected from past and current White House staff members, is absolutely delicious — and utterly lacking in nutritious content. Just as desserts should be. Washington political writers, meanwhile, have been tearing through lists of revealed secrets thinking to themselves: OMG, this is disgusting trash! Why didn’t I write it? Or was that jus …

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Trudy Rubin: Decent Iran deal better than no deal

Get a grip, people. President Obama is touting the framework deal with Iran as the diplomatic triumph of the century while its critics claim it threatens Israel, us, and the world. Could everyone please take a deep breath? The deal’s historic value won’t be determined before many key missing pieces are (or aren’t) fleshed out in ongoing talks, or before we see if Iran agrees to these conditions. We won’t know whether …

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George Will: Take a swing at baseball trivia

WASHINGTON — Visiting a struggling pitcher on the mound, Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver advised, “If you know how to cheat, start now.” Be advised that Googling is cheating as you try to identify: (1) The player who compiled at least 400 total bases in five different seasons (no one else did it in four). (2) Which three players hit 500 home runs but never struck out 85 times in a season. (3) The last player …

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Atlanta lesson: Don’t cheat in education

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Thursday. Children learn what to do — and what not to do — by watching adults. Nowhere is that truer than in the classroom, with teachers serving as role models for students. In Atlanta on Wednesday, however, the city’s schoolchildren learned an important lesson by watching what a jury said about some of the school district’s former educators. It said they …

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Esther Cepeda: Hispanic voters want what we all want

CHICAGO — We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: Hispanics show poorly at the polls. According to a new analysis by Latino Decisions, a Hispanic political research organization, the 2014 midterm elections — when Republicans took control of the Senate — saw generally low voter turnout. But among Latino registered voters, it was even lower. For instance, the research notes that Hispanic voter turnout in Florida was o …

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Each rail spill proves there’s cause for alarm

Hardly a month goes by without news of a train derailment that spills oil or of an underground pipeline that leaks somewhere in the nation. We’ve been lucky that most had relatively minor impacts. Increasingly, however, we are seeing major accidents that pollute the land or rivers or that threaten public health and safety. In February, a train carrying 3 million gallons of North Dakota crude oil derailed in West Virg …

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Rare accidents garner headlines while media ignores safety record

Just like commercial airlines don’t make headlines for the thousands of flights that reach their destination safely each day, you won’t see much media coverage of the stellar safety rate achieved in all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. But it’s a reality with direct bearing on public policy. Our nation’s liquid pipeline system transports more than 14 billion barrels of crude oil and petroleum produc …

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Indiana’s misguided law sparks dishonest debate

The back-and-forth over Indiana’s supposedly anti-gay Religious Freedom Restoration Act has all the hallmarks of contemporary American politics. Rather than trying to narrow the areas of disagreement, widen them. Take for granted your opponent’s bad faith. Get the courts involved. Above all, ground the dispute in axioms that rule out compromise. What does this law actually say? You could have read a surprising amount …

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George Will: Cruz is not man that Republicans need

WASHINGTON — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was born in 1970, six years after events refuted a theory on which he is wagering his candidacy. The 1964 theory was that many millions of conservatives abstained from voting because the GOP did not nominate sufficiently deep-dyed conservatives. So if in 1964 the party would choose someone like Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, hitherto dormant conservatives would join the electorate in num …

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Esther Cepeda: The driving force of Hispanic audiences

CHICAGO — Gina Rodriguez, the star of “Jane The Virgin,” recently issued a call to action for Hispanics who bemoan the lack of diversity in Hollywood: She wants us to watch more shows starring Hispanic characters. The Golden Globe-winning actress told Fox News Latino that Hispanic representation in TV and films is still lacking. “I do think that the Latino community can rise and come together and start watching ‘Jane’ …

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Yakima mayor suggests alternative to state Voting Rights Act

By Micah Cawley Yakima has been embroiled in a federal Voting Rights Act lawsuit for over two-and-a-half years. Anyone who has been involved in litigation knows it can be painful. It gets more complicated, and rather uncomely, when you consider the passions and tensions that occur when racial issues collide with politics. Nevertheless, there are political solutions in Olympia that potentially could remedy much of this …

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Kathleen Parker: Freedom works both ways in Indiana

WASHINGTON — Excited protests against Indiana’s recently passed religious freedom law have highlighted both America’s growing support for same-sex marriage and our apparent incapacity to entertain more than one idea at a time. The law in question is a version of the 1993 federal Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA) signed by then-President Clinton. Nineteen states have versions of the law and another 11 …

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Doyle McManus: Cruz pays premium for ACA gaffe

When Sen. Ted Cruz, the conservative firebrand from Texas, launched his presidential campaign last week at the Rev. Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, he earned grudgingly glowing reviews from otherwise skeptical pundits. The very next day he drove straight into a pothole on his already-narrow road to the Republican nomination: Obamacare. Obamacare was supposed to be one of Cruz’s selling points. When it comes to den …

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George Will: Remember past when contemplating Clintons

WASHINGTON — An abscess of anger seems to gnaw at Hillary Clinton, but the reasons for her resentments remain unclear. The world’s oldest party, which governed the nation during two world wars and is the primary architect of America’s regulatory and redistributive state, is eager to give her its presidential nomination, in recognition of ... what? The party, adrift in identity politics, clings, as shipwrecked sailors …

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Inviting struggle, sharing power in D.C. politics

The relationship between the White House and Congress on foreign policy has often been called “an invitation to struggle.” The last two years of the Obama administration are shaping up as a classic example of that tension. In one sense, that’s healthy. The American system was deliberately designed to separate powers and balance competing institutions. But in another sense, it’s very dangerous. In a rapidly changing an …

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Kathleen Parker: On a wing and a prayer: Flying is a leap of faith

WASHINGTON — The apparently intentional downing of a Germanwings airliner by the co-pilot has us riveted, as commercial plane crashes usually do. In each terrible instance, we put ourselves in the cabin, imagining what our last thoughts or actions would be. Would we close our eyes and pray? Would we scream? Would we seize the person next to us, desperately grasping at one last human connection? What is it like to real …

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George Will: Who says economics is hard?

WASHINGTON — Every day the Chinese go to work, Americans get a raise: Chinese workers, many earning each day about what Americans spend on a Starbucks latte, produce apparel, appliances and other stuff cheaply, thereby enlarging Americans’ disposable income. Americans similarly get a raise when they shop at the stores that made Sam Walton a billionaire. The ranks of billionaires are constantly churned. Most of the per …

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Esther Cepeda: An ode to the joy of inspired teaching

CHICAGO — Writing in the Wall Street Journal, David Gelernter, professor of computer science at Yale and a former board member of the National Endowment for the Arts, made the following bold statement in response to a student’s wondering about why anyone should give a hoot about Beethoven: “You must know Beethoven’s music because no one has ever said anything deeper about what it means to be human, to look life and de …

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Byron York: Does high-tech need overseas workers?

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, believes passionately that the United States needs more skilled foreign workers. He has long advocated increasing the number of so-called H-1B visas, which allow those workers to come to the U.S. for several years and, in many cases, work for lower wages than current employees. Schmidt is frustrated that Congress hasn’t done as he and other tech moguls want. “In the long list of stupid pol …

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U.S. ponders next move with Israel

When President Obama began his second term — the time presidents traditionally build foreign policy legacies — he had two major projects in the Middle East: a nuclear agreement with Iran and a peace settlement based on a Palestinian state. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu planted himself firmly in the way of both. Much has been made of how the two leaders lack personal chemistry. But it’s worse than that; on …

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George Will: Social inequality’s deepening roots

WASHINGTON — The rate of dog ownership is rising ominously. How can a profusion of puppies be worrisome? A report from the Raymond James financial services firm concerning trends in the housing market explains: Increasing numbers of women “are adopting dogs for security and/or companionship,” partly because of “the great education divide.” Since 1979, the report says, the number of women going to college has accelerat …

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Fed patience may be low — but so are its interest rates

The following editorial appears on Bloomberg View: The Federal Reserve’s policymaking committee is no longer saying it will be “patient” about returning to a more normal monetary policy. Does this mean the U.S. has moved a step closer to its first increase in interest rates since the recession? It shouldn’t — and Chair Janet Yellen said it doesn’t. Vocabulary aside, the Fed’s main message and the uncertainties sur …

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Esther Cepeda: Reading beyond the stars, stripes and chili peppers

CHICAGO — The Economist’s recent special report on Hispanics has stoked Latino ire with a cover featuring the stars and stripes composed of denim, stars and red hot chili peppers. The magazine is an unabashedly cheeky publication — as likely to title an article about quantitative easing after a Britney Spears song “Hit me baby one more time,” as it is to put a graphic picture of two angry camels copulating on a cover …

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Trudy Rubin: Israeli leader successfully plays on fear

Israelis are attributing Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s surprise election triumph to the fact that he ran a “gevalt” campaign. The Yiddish word gevalt is the equivalent of “Help!” — a cry for rescue at a critical time. And facing a possible defeat as voting day neared, Netanyahu wooed disaffected voters back to his right-wing Likud party by fear-mongering to the max. He raised the specter of an Arab horde (Israel’s Arab …

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Next for Netanyahu: U.S., Israel need to restore relationship

The surprising victory of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the polls last week represents a remarkable personal triumph, making him one of the Jewish state’s longest-serving leaders. Now, let the fence-mending begin — as hard as that may be for both the Israeli leader and his American counterpart. There’s no love lost between Netanyahu and President Obama. Neither is big on charm offensives. But personal p …

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Kathleen Parker: We’re in no race to talk about race

WASHINGTON — I’m standing in the Starbucks line behind 10 other sleepyheads waiting to order my tall skinny cappuccino, otherwise known as a shot of coffee described as I wish to be. Absolutely no one is talking about race. In fact, no one is talking at all except to mumble an order while checking email. I confess I’m not usually here at this 8-ish hour but ventured out in a springtime snowstorm to investigate the c …

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Ohio Gov. Kasich ready to take field

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ideas fly from Gov. John Kasich like sparks from a flint. While explaining his prison reforms, he interrupts himself midsentence — his sentences, like some E. E. Cummings poems, are unpunctuated — to praise a Delaware church that buys prom dresses for low-income high school girls. His spirit would add spice and his policies would add substance to the Republican presidential contest. But only if Jeb Bu …

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Kathleen Parker: Media take up Clinton on her dare

WASHINGTON — Amid all the verbiage about Hillary Clinton’s email, one irrefutable fact emerges: Polls will drive us crazy before the Clintons do. The latest CNN/ORC poll shows that a majority of Americans (51 percent) think the email controversy is “serious,” yet 57 percent would be “proud” to have her as president. So what are we to conclude? Nothing. As former Texas Gov. Rick Perry commented recently: “I was a fron …

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GOP letter to Iran not illegal, but not smart or helpful, either

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a rising conservative star, persuaded 46 fellow Republicans to sign a letter to Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei et al warning that Congress could revoke any nuclear deal that President Obama makes. But as one of Napoleon’s ministers said of a decision that went awry, it was worse than a crime; it was a blunder. Notwithstanding yelps from overwrought Democ …

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George Will: Life, science prove value of families in escaping poverty

WASHINGTON — In the mid-1960s, a social scientist noted something ominous that came to be called “Moynihan’s Scissors”: Two lines on a graph crossed, replicating a scissors’ blades. The descending line charted the decline in the minority male unemployment rate. The ascending line charted the simultaneous rise of new welfare cases. The broken correlation of improvements in unemployment and decreased welfare dependency …

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