YAY: GOOD PROGRAM NOTED
A major national charitable foundation has acknowledged an outstanding program at The Evergreen State College that helps improve the health and future success of young men of color incarcerated at the Green Hill School in Chehalis. The foundation awarded TESC $500,000 to continue its Gateways for Incarcerated Youth program, one of 10 nationwide receiving the award for innovative initiatives.
BOO: WASTING TAX MONEY
One of the brilliant creations by state’s initiative profiteer, Tim Eyman, is forcing taxpayers to spend almost a quarter-million dollars on a program that benefits nobody. For the second year, voters will cast an advisory vote on five tax increases passed during the extended 2013 Legislative session. The votes are not binding and legislators simply ignore them.
Eyman calls the estimated $240,000 spent on the useless exercise “chump change.” A funny description coming from someone critical of wasteful government spending.
YAY: KEEPING COSTS DOWN
Some good news on the higher education front: The Evergreen State College recently announced a reduction in tuition for its Prior Learning From Experience program, which puts older students on the fast track toward a bachelor’s degree. TESC slashed the cost of the program by two-thirds. It’s good news for the program’s returning students.
At the same time, the state’s community colleges — including South Puget Sound Community College — announced that resident tuition would remain flat for the 2013-2014 academic year. After years of steep increases, that is welcome news for students and their families.
BOO: HURTFUL HOAXES
What motivates someone to make fun of human tragedy? It’s unclear how an Oakland, Calif., television station received the fake names of pilots such as “Sum Ting Wong” and “Wi Tu Low,” and it’s unfathomable that the station’s news team allowed them to be aired. Even a cursory reading would have revealed the cruel prank.
We hope Asiana Airlines doesn’t sue the station and create more bad publicity for itself. But we do hope those responsible for airing the names are disciplined, and that the National Transportation Safety Board that confirmed the fake names investigates their origin.
BOO: MORE ON-AIR BLUNDERS
Speaking of hurtful remarks, what was BBC Radio 5 commentator John Inverdale thinking when he said about Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli that she was “never going to be a looker ... You’ll never be a Sharapova.” He never would have thought to make such a comment about the men’s champion. Inverdale also insulted tennis pro Maria Sharapova by suggesting her appearance has anything to do with her success on the court.
BOO: ROLLING STONE COVER
Rolling Stone magazine’s in-depth story on Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is legitimate journalism, but did they have to put his picture on the cover? It makes the terrorist look like a rock star or a celebrity and is reminiscent of the magazine’s famous cover of The Doors’ Jim Morrison. It’s simply bad taste.
YAY: HOUSING STATS
It’s good news for everyone when the housing market reports another indicator of recovery. Northwest Multiple Listing Service reports that the South Sound residential market has had its best six-month start since before the recession, showing a 20 percent gain over last year.
Over in Yelm, it looks like the boom is back. The small town doubled in population from 2000 to 2010, and appears headed toward new growth. City-issued building permits for both residential and commercial construction are on trend to double last year’s figures.