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Opinion / Columns

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  • Washington can't wait

    League of Women Voters of Mason County|Jan 13, 2022

    Call it climate change, or global warming: we are seeing the effect of carbon we put into Earth’s atmosphere with our industrial emissions, traffic and razing of tropical rainforests. Warming is coming far more quickly than scientists predicted even a few years ago. Top climate scientists are studying the relationship between global warming and extreme weather. Consider what we have seen in recent months: ■ Multiple tornadoes and thunderstorms that devastated the Great Plains and upper Midwest. The Dec. 15 tornado that left a 223-mile path of...

  • Remember the parents who sent their children to war

    Ardean Anvik|Nov 11, 2021

    On Veterans Day we honor our veterans but we must also honor the mothers and fathers who sent their sons and daughters to war. Edgar Guest (1881–1959) wrote the book Poems of Patriotism in 1942. My maternal grandmother loved Edgar Guest poetry. My Uncle Dave, her oldest son, was a tail gunner on a B-29 when President Harry S. Truman authorized dropping the atomic bomb on Japan. When he returned from combat, Grandma gave him a book of poetry by Guest. Twenty years ago, I visited my Uncle Dave in Bozeman, Montana, arriving on Sept. 10, 2001. T...

  • A damnable, detestable comparison

    Justin Johnson|Oct 21, 2021

    Imagine a crisp, cool fall morning, much like this one. Blue skies mingle with a patchwork of clouds, a slight breeze stirs the air. In the streets, families gather. It's the first week of September 1942. The Lodz Ghetto, created after the German invasion of Poland, is home to more than 200,000 Polish Jews. In the morning stillness, dread fills the air. Jewish parents are ordered to turn over all children under 10 and all adults over 65. Within a week, more than 15,000 children will have been...

  • 'If it Ain't Country, I Ain't Drinking'

    Kirk Boxleitner|Oct 21, 2021

    In my spare time, I think up titles for country-western songs. The practice provides an opportunity to explore the themes that country-western music is known for. Here are some: “My Boyfriend’s a Dirty, Low-Down, No-Account, Lying, Cheating, Bird-Dogging Fool, But I Hate Him Anyway” “You’re the Grout in My Log Cabin of Love” “There’s a Deer in My Beer” “Eating Beans, Splitting Seams” “I Have High Friends in Low-Cut, Acid-Washed Jeans” “He Stole My Heart So I Stole His Smokes” “My Liver’s Liv...

  • Local elections have major effects on our lives

    Paddy McGuire|Oct 14, 2021

    It’s that time of the year — and I don’t mean Halloween or Thanksgiving. It’s time for a general election to select the people that will guide the city council, and school, port, hospital, water, and fire boards, that have a very big impact on our lives. Local elections matter! This year, you have a new tool to help you make your choices: a local voters’ pamphlet. I am thrilled that we offer this tool to help voters make good choices about the candidates and the measures on the ballot. The local pamphlet is something that my predecess...

  • Thursday afternoon football

    Kirk Ericson|Sep 23, 2021

    Someone on Mary M. Knight's six-man football team must have missed a block because his teammate yelled at him after the play was whistled dead. "Jiminy Christmas!" the teammate hollered. "Are you scared of him?" I laughed. "Jiminy Christmas!" That's a weird oath for a teen to use in the year 2021. What else lives in that boy's vocabulary? "Ye gods?" "By crikey?" That comment carried easily across to the sidelines and across Mary M. Knight's football field, a field bordered on three sides by fore...

  • Long live the librarians

    Kirk Ericson|Sep 16, 2021

    Banned Books Week starts at the end of September and National Librarian Day is coming up April 16, so how about we get a jump on being thankful for libraries and librarians. A library is one of the few indoor places in this nation where you can expect to be treated fairly regardless of how much money you have or what color you are. Rich people, poor people, people without shelter, the old and the young get the same treatment at libraries. Libraries are a testament to this nation’s egalitarian s...