Court helps veterans gain control of thier lives

July 14, 2014 

veterans_court

Former Army Ranger Rino Costa of Tumwater gets a hug from his daughter, Ciarra, 8, as he listens to a fellow participant during the weekly Veterans Court session in Thurston County District Court in Olympia on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. "This is the best thing I've ever done," said Costa, who graduates from the program in November.

TONY OVERMAN — Staff Photographer

YAY: Veteran’s Court

Thurston County led the state and the nation in helping veterans regain stability in their lives. Too many women and men return from life-changing battlefield experiences – most recently from Iraq and Afghanistan – with post traumatic stress disorder, and slip into destructive behaviors. While holding service members accountable, veteran’s court helps people resolve their underlying issues.

Those who put their lives on the line for America deserve no less.

BOO: Bad target choices

Archery can be many positive things: a fun sport, a means of meditation, a way to develop eye-hand coordination, an enticement for young people to move away from the computer screen and into an activity. But why does it have to include the simulated killing of African and North American animals, some of them on the list of endangered species? Why is that more fun than hitting a bulls-eye?

We think the recent well-attended archery tournament at the Capitol City Rifle and Pistol club could have chosen more appropriate traditional targets.

BOO: City Light CEO

It was bad enough that Seattle City Light CEO Jorge Carrasco asked for a raise above his $245,000 salary – it could have boosted his pay by $120,000 – but worse that he lied to a reporter about doing so. Other troubling aspects of this schmozzle include an $47,500 branding campaign for a publicly owned utility, and a city council concerned about income inequality and trying to raise the minimum wage to $15 over a three-year period that briefly considered giving Carrasco a $60,000 increase.

YAY: Watchdogs on ferries

State Reps. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, and Larry Seaquist, D-Gig Harbor, should receive an award of merit for questioning a decision of the Washington State Ferries. The pair raised a red flag several months ago that some vehicles would scrape the ramps on the state’s new 144-car ferry, the Tokitae, which recently went into service on the Mukilteo-Clinton route.

They were right, and the ferry system management was wrong. The problem is real.

We support Seaquist and Smith in their request for Gov. Jay Inslee to conduct a review of WSF management, operations, contract management and other related issues.

BOO: Cost of congestion

American commuters wasted an estimated 38 hours and 19 gallons of fuel sitting in traffic in 2011, according to transportation experts. Congestion on major roadways costs the average commuter about $818 a year, if you include time lost at work and at home with families. A nation that hopes to compete in a 21st century economy needs a 21st century transportation system. But neither Congress nor the state Legislature seemn inclined to fund it.

BOO: “Duking” it out

Like the heirs of other dead celebrities, the late John Wayne’s family wants to market a brand of bourbon named “Duke,” which was the actor’s nickname. But Duke University in North Carolina objects, saying it could cause confusion and diminish the value of the institution’s name. Really? We doubt anyone buying a bottle of booze featuring the actor brandishing a rifle above the phrase, “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do,” is doing it for educational purposes. However, we do envision a proliferation of empty “Duke” bottles decorating dorm rooms.

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