September 24, 2013
Given Olympia’s three-session budgeting fiasco this year, lawmakers should reconsider handing the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board millions of dollars to give away. Most of that money would be better left in the pockets of taxpayers, rather than unwittingly gambling on another shell game with little or no real public benefit.July 22, 2015 midnight read more..
A local history buff wants to make yet another trip to Dead Horse Cliff, but is literally running into a roadblock, again. The information that can be found at Dead Horse Cliff is a significant part of local heritage and history. And an employee who is paid by tax dollars shouldn’t be standing in the way of learning more about our history.June 3, 2015 8 a.m. read more..
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife's new human-wildlife conflict collaboration executive director, Francine Madden, plans to begin her new management position by sequestering the public board established specifically to be a liaison on wolf-related issues. Since she's unilaterally throwing out the rules established for the board, the state should rescind any job offer and find someone willing to truly collaborate with rural residents facing wolf-related issues.May 20, 2015 midnight read more..
As more and more Okanogan County communities welcome ATVs into town, the potential for frustration between those riders and cyclists and drivers will grow. Cyclists have to learn to share the road with other ATV riders, and vice versa.May 13, 2015 midnight read more..
Given drought conditions this year or the potential any year, there is a value to the water stored above Enloe Dam that should be considered before any decision to remove itApril 15, 2015 midnight read more..
This past weekend, I was honored, and humbled, to be one of the speakers at the state Open Government Conference in Tacoma. And while we do our part here at The Chronicle to ensure government meetings and records are open to the general public, I was thoroughly impressed by the efforts of others around our state.March 18, 2015 midnight read more..
We need to rethink the Department of Homeland Security's creation, divest much of the power it has usurped and give autonomy back to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, Federal Emergency Management Agency and others. While we’re at it, disband the TSA.March 4, 2015 midnight read more..
Last week, three bills — two in the House and a companion in the Senate — were filed calling for the study and possible transfer of publicly owned lands managed by the federal government. In short, a handful of senators and a number of Republicans and Democrats in the House want the state to manage the more than 12.17 million acres of land currently under the control of federal bureaucrats.January 28, 2015 midnight read more..
This coming weekend, the state Fish and Wildlife Commission is set to change the sportfishing rules. In short, the new rules will close all of the Columbia River, its tributaries and beaver ponds to fishing “unless otherwise open.” That’s a reversal of tradition.January 7, 2015 midnight read more..
With all the cowboy and country persona emphasized here, it sometimes feels like I’m the only one in the area who listens to hard-rock music. But there are several local hard-rock musicians making a name for themselves elsewhereDecember 31, 2014 midnight read more..
It’s usually easy for me to ask for a few well-deserved gifts. But given the destruction caused by this year’s Carlton Complex wildfire, there are so many things that area residents deserve — and need — that I can’t possibly ask for enough. But I’ll start with a few common-sense requests.December 24, 2014 midnight read more..
Residents of our state did not cede the right to access and enjoyment of public waterways to utilities operating dams on the Columbia or other rivers. But Grant County Public Utility District officials would have you believe they are the sole arbiters of who gets to fish, boat and access a 36-mile stretch of the Columbia River from Wanapum Dam to Rock Island Dam. They are not.December 17, 2014 midnight read more..
Forest Service Road No. 30 is an example of access issues facing those of us who enjoy recreating on publicly owned lands managed by a government agency. It makes you wonder how many public roads with prescriptive rights are now off limits, locked behind a government gate.December 10, 2014 midnight read more..
I’m usually not much of a movie-goer. And I certainly don’t plan to sit around and watch TV when there is life to live and work to be done. But then there are times I can be such a geek. I can sit motionless in front of the big screen or the TV. And on occasion, I can even tune out my favorite hard-rock songs and tune into “Coast to Coast.” Last week was one of those weeks.November 19, 2014 midnight read more..
I’ve often voiced my concern over state agencies continuing to buy land in the name of habitat protection. But rural residents should also be aware of the economic pitfalls that will follow large acquisitions by environmental groups.November 12, 2014 midnight read more..
During the last two months, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife has been flying a fishing proposal for the Columbia River under the radar. That proposal would reverse the way fisheries are managed on the Columbia River, its tributaries and their beaver ponds.October 1, 2014 midnight read more..
Just when you thought the intense discussion over the re-introduction of wolves in Washington state was quieting down, livestock deaths in Stevens County has added fuel to the fire. And the Stevens County Commission has stepped to the forefront of the debate.September 24, 2014 midnight read more..
It’s that time again when you have an opportunity to make sure the “top brass” at the state Department of Fish and Wildlife hear you. The annual Brewster Roundtable is coming up Oct. 1. It’ll run from 6-8:30 p.m. in the Columbia Cove recreation building, 508 W. Cliff Ave., Brewster.September 17, 2014 midnight read more..
The night was Thursday, July 17. A firestorm was coming, but Pateros residents didn’t know it until it was too late. Before the night was over, about 30 homes in the city and adjacent subdivisions would burn to the ground. Later that night and in the coming days, another 41 homes would burn at Alta Lake and other communities that consider themselves to be part of Pateros.July 30, 2014 midnight read more..
Merry Christmas. There, I said it. I didn’t wish you happy holidays or a joyful Kwanzaa. I wished you a Merry Christmas. After all, the holiday predominately celebrated in North America and Europe this time of year is just that, Christmas.December 25, 2013 midnight read more..
My how time flies, at least within the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. In the last few weeks, we’ve reported on the Haeberle family’s dismay at the agency’s attempt to use their ranch to boost Fish and Wildlife’s land acquisition efforts.December 4, 2013 midnight read more..
More than a year ago, I stood in a long line to see “The Hunger Games” on opening night. This past weekend, I was surprised to be one of very few people arriving early to see “Catching Fire,” the next installment of the series written by Suzanne Collins.November 27, 2013 midnight read more..
Covering death in small communities such as ours isn’t an easy thing for any journalist to do. As reporters, editors and photographers, our job is to lay out the facts of tragic events for you, the reader, to get the big picture. At the same time, we need to be sensitive to the family and friends of those who die.November 13, 2013 midnight read more..
Like many people around the country, I’ve been following the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act. And since we live in an arguably economically depressed area of the country, I specifically am interested in finding out how many of my friends and neighbors were benefitting from a program that supposedly would give many health care for the first time.November 6, 2013 midnight read more..
Democrats shut down communications; Republicans keep lines openOctober 16, 2013 8 a.m. read more..
All businesses must change with the times. And The Chronicle is no exception. Don’t panic. You’re still going to get the award-winning local news coverage, photographs and local advertising that you’re accustomed to. And no, our print edition is not going away anytime soon.September 25, 2013 midnight read more..
Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife officials’ ears must be burning. Many area residents are talking about catching them in the act of trying to change wolf-kill rules in violation of an agreement made to pass a law giving the agency more money through license plate sales.September 18, 2013 midnight read more..
The 7th Legislative District Senate debate Monday night shed some light on a hot-button issue that’s sure to come up again. The issue is whether state law should be enacted to require volunteer service for high school students to graduate. Candidate Sen. John Smith said he supports the idea; challengers Mike Brunson and Brian Dansel both opposed it. Smith said mandating community service teaches leadership. He has a point. You don’t have to go very far in our neck of the woods to see who the movers and shakers are. In fact, it’s likely they are volunteering on a number of boards from chambers to rodeos to booster clubs; you get the picture. Dansel and Brunson said schools are in place to teach academics, not how to act as a member of society. They have a point, too. How can you mandate community service, something that is supposed to be voluntarily given? I’ll side with Dansel and Brunson on this issue. Coercing our youth to give s0-called “freely” of their time cannot guarantee leadership. In fact, that’s just the opposite. Leadership stems from making a decision, not being told what to do. If we want our youth to grow and develop, we definitely should encourage them to volunteer in activities they believe in, not order them to “volunteer” in activities and social programs we believe in. The bottom line is public schools were created for one single purpose — to educate students on reading, writing, mathematics and other academic subjects. In supporting that effort, shouldn’t our students choose where to spend their time and effort? Nothing irks me more than seeing parents use children to further political causes they do not understand. Mandating community service can devolve to just that. Given a chance, our high school students will find a way to make our communities a better place to live. But it only becomes better if they choose to do something. Indeed, several students already choose to make their hometowns better. Look at the ranks of the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Civil Air Patrol, etc. and you’ll see they have chosen to join a group that emphasizes volunteerism and helping others. And yes, there are also many students who choose not to be a part of those groups. But having choices is a fundamental building block of American society. Forcing youth into community service is counter-productive to making our communities better and building leadership. Rather than thinking about how to make our communities better, this type of coercion leads to “How can I fulfill another graduation requirement?” I’d rather reward students for taking initiative, than coerce them into helping out a teacher’s or parent’s pet project. Roger Harnack is the editor and publisher of The Chronicle. He can be reached at 509-826-1110 or via email at email@example.com.June 19, 2013 midnight read more..
I spend a lot of my time in my truck driving to remote locations in our county, racing in out-of-state locales and just traveling to travel. Because of that wanderlust, I tend to listen to radio probably more than most people. So, I have an XFM subscription.May 29, 2013 midnight read more..