Citizen Editorial

Submit your viewpoints on local happenings and current events.

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The views expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of the staff, management or owners of KMAS News Radio.

Citizen Editorial: The Man With Two Hats And Three Faces

We have in our County of such unusual  cases,
 A man with two hats and three different faces.
He holds both a Commissioner and  State Senator seat,
But many times misses when the commissioners meet.
There are many who doubt it can really be done,
To do two fulltime jobs, and  a  business to run.
But there is still  another conundrum to solve,
What face does he use as he constantly revolves?
To change and adapt to what group he is talking,
He will be what you want, and say without balking,
“I’m a Democrat, Independent or Republican” he will cite,
Then just  choose the right face to get them to bite
And reels them in like fish on a line,
But their only use is  to  make him shine.
“I will work very hard.” he says , with a thrust  his chin,
“But maybe,  much, much later, for now I must win.”
You may ask what we have for all his years,
Lawsuits and a  sewer that  bring us to tears.
The resident’s wallets hold less and less money
To pay for these debacles that aren’t very funny.
He collects for two jobs but works about  one and a half.
If we all could do that, how much we would laugh.

To “Joe Citizen”, “I’m a Democrat”. He say with a grin,
 But I’ll  change to Independent in order to win.”
The issues are no matter for he knows the score,
And votes  Republican, because he’s that to the core.
All the smiling, and handshaking and promises he makes,
Are not for us poor peons,  we don’t have what it takes.
Ever ambitious, and ever alert he ferrets out those,
Who will advance his career, and the issues he  chose.
 There is no care how hard some are struggling,
To keep family  together no matters how troubling.
So think before voting is this who we need?
Or Irene Bowling  who’s ready to lead,    
Who gathers information and is determined to learn,
How to make sure our welfare  is  the major concern.

Patricia Vandehey, Shelton

July 21, 2014

Citizen Editorial: Campaigning or Bullying?

Reports of missing signs, false accusations, dredging up past actions that have no relevance to the campaign, and name calling in our political campaigns smacks of the classic definitions of bullying; "A person who hurts or brow beats those who are weaker". Why would any of our political candidates behave in those tactics or that manner? Are they unable to describe their own accomplishments and their own good behavior to brag about? How about a candidate that can stand behind their own positive actions and good deeds? And can/will articulate the progressive good actions they have and will take to improve their government, community and place in life? ... Just saying, look in the mirror, that's not a beauty mark!

Jerry Eckenrode, Hoodsport

July 17, 2014

Citizen Editorial: Can Soccer Become Mainstream?

The first half of the 2014 baseball season has come to an end. There are my angles I could find to write on the Mariners. They are having one of their best seasons in the last decade, but as I attended their last game before the All-Star break, my thoughts turned towards another sport. On this particular July day, both the World Cup final and the Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers soccer game were happening. That got me to thinking – what can soccer do to appeal to more non soccer fans?

I will be the first to admit that I think soccer is boring most of the time. Amongst my friends, I have often been the naysayer when discussing the merits of the world’s most popular sport. But why do so many people worldwide have such an affinity for it when I think I’d rather go watch my grass grow in my front yard? There has to be something soccer can do to appeal to the perfect non soccer audience – i.e. me. Below is a list of the top five things the world of soccer could do to bring excitement to their sport.

5) Hold a World Cup every 2 years instead of every 4.

The World Cup this year was probably the best soccer I’ve ever watched in my life? Why? Simple: national pride. The whole country was talking about their home soccer team and excitement was everywhere as to what the U.S. men’s team would do and how they would perform. It is great exposure for their sport, but it only happens every 4 years. Soccer needs to take more advantage of this boon to their sport and increase it to every 2 years.

4) Do penalty kick shootouts instead of extra time after 90 minutes in a scoreless game.

Faithful soccer fans hate the penalty kick shootout deciders, but to the non-soccer fan, this is, by far, the most exciting part of soccer. When fans have watched a game for 90 plus minutes without a score, they need something to root for. It’s hard to watch a 120 minute game and for the final score to be 1-0, which happened often during the World Cup. If the score is scoreless after 90 minutes, they should go straight to penalty kick shootouts. This will reward the fans for sticking with the game for 90 minutes and provide the perfect one-on-one action that exists in baseball, football, basketball, and other popular sports.

3) Get rid of stoppage time.

As a non fan watching a soccer game, it drove me nuts to not be able to know when the game ends. It’s supposed to end at the 90 minute mark. However, the clock never stops, so anytime there’s an injury or penalty, the referee will add time to the clock, but not tell the fans. At least that’s my understanding. So we get past the 90 minute mark and we’re just waiting for a whistle at that point. This lost my attention quickly. The most exciting part of football, at least to me, is when a team is down with less than two minutes to go in the game and they are trying to drive and score a touchdown before time runs out. They’re competing against the opposing team’s defense, sure, but they’re also now competing against the ticking clock. The ticking clock adds so much drama and intensity to the end of a game. Soccer doesn’t have this, and it should.

2) Flop less

A “flop” for those non sports fans out there, is when a player takes an intentional fall or over exaggerates an action to try to get the referee to call a penalty. Basketball does it almost all the time – soccer does it more. There are some nasty spills and slide tackles in soccer. But there are other times I watched when the player hardly even got touched and went flying five yards down the field. This leads to a lack of credibility in your sport. I was always taught, as a sports fan, that if a penalty does occur, let the ref call it, but keep on playing as best as you can. That’s called sportsmanship. The lack of sportsmanship shown on the soccer pitch during the World Cup led me to not want to watch some of these players.

1) Have ONE league – and only play games in this league

This is the biggest one out of all of them. The number of different types of games the teams play makes it almost impossible to follow. There are aggregate matches (where the score is combined over two games to create an overall winner) there are friendly matches (that don’t count towards a league season, but happen during the season), and there are various tournaments that don’t have anything to do with the regular season that teams will compete in. All of this leads to a very confused fan. Soccer should have one league that really matters. Some will argue that they do have MLS (Major League Soccer). That’s great, but when those MLS teams play against non MLS teams during the season or play games that don’t really matter towards the MLS season, it makes it really hard for the casual fan to keep track. Take a cue from MLB, NFL, and NBA and have your teams only play league games during the league season.

I will be the first to admit that I am not the largest soccer fan, but all soccer fans I talk to (and they’re probably the nicest fans I know) will say they want to bring awareness and a larger fan base to their sport. Something needs to happen in America in order for this to happen, however. Even if they took just a couple of these suggestions, soccer would be far more accessible to the non soccer fans like me.

Shane Rivers, Centralia

July 15, 2014

Citizen Editorial: Twenty Ways For The County To Cut Costs And Increase Revenues:

1) Reclaim tidelands held under dubious ownership and lease them to shellfish growers.
2) Support a more equitable property tax on privately owned forest lands.   
3) Dissolve the costly and redundant Commissioner Support Services Department.
4) Fire the director of Human Resources for negotiating employee contracts the county can’t afford.  
5) Support an increase in the retail sales tax.     
6) Lift the moratorium on Cannabis growers.  
7) Hire a contract attorney to draft a vendor agreement that better protects the county from lawsuits.
8) Support a tax levy shift.  
9)  Adopt performance measures for all departments and enforce them through budget allocations.  
10) Promote Mason County to biking, hiking, kayaking and running clubs in neighboring urban areas.   
11) Create a ‘Community Benefit Criteria’ for properties under consideration for open space designation.    
12) Hold onto marketable surplus property until economic conditions improve.
13) Replace county owned gas-gobblers with fuel efficient vehicles.
14) Don’t apply for ‘Matching Grants’ until the source of matching funds has been identified.
15) Create a ‘Salary Advisory Committee’ for elected officials.
16) Partner with the city to reduce costs of maintaining like facilities (Ex.: water and sewer).
17) Revisit designated timberlands 3 years after harvesting to assure they still qualify for tax exemption.   
18) Reconsider the cost of courthouse security in its current form.
19) Install a suggestion box in the lobby of the county administration building.
20) Other cost-saving suggestions involve installing governors on thermostats, the efficient use of county vehicles and offering employee furloughs, when conditions permit.       

I’m sure there are many other worthwhile cost cutting and revenue generating suggestions; these are just the ones that came to mind while waiting for my grilled cheese sandwich to melt. I’d be happy to flesh these (and others) out, for anyone who is interested.

Tom Davis, Shelton

July 14, 2104

Citizen Editorial: Time For Change In The Senate

Voters in the 35th Legislative District should choose Irene Bowling, Democrat, in the State primary on August 5th if they want to see the Legislature break out of last year’s holding pattern. Irene has operated a small business for over 30 years and has a long history of involvement in her community. Her family were loggers and shipyard workers. She is a straightforward Democrat who prioritizes the needs of hard working people ahead of corporate and special interests. She says we deserve a Legislature that will actually pass a transportation package, a capital budget and will finally fully fund education. She will bring new energy and ideas to a state government that has lately been a model of inactivity. Much of that inactivity was caused deliberately by her opponent, Tim Sheldon who has enjoyed a 24-year career in the Legislature. This part-time Mason County Commissioner and rogue Democrat bolted his party, destroying its Senate majority and formed a coalition with minority Republicans in exchange for the plum position of President Pro Tem of the Senate. In the 2014 session, this resulted in a near record lack of serious accomplishments. Sheldon collected the full amount of both his Senate and county commission salaries and boasted of the record achieved by his coalition.

Irene Bowling pledges that, she will fight with everything she has for schools, the environment, responsible leadership in the Senate, and families. Vote for change on August 5th.

Vote for Irene Bowling.

Toby Kevin, Shelton

July 10, 2014