Friday, December 3, 2010

Reporter's Notebook

Steve McDonagh can be reached at

Focus on the necessary

This week Senator Joe Zarelli set the table, if you will, for what will be coming at us from Olympia over the next several months. All in all, it was a fairly well reasoned and responsible approach. Not everyone (including me) agrees with 100% of the cuts proposed by the Republican Senate Caucus, nor is there ever going to be 100% agreement about what we need to cut. One thing we can and must all agree on is that cuts to the state budget are a necessity.

We have been hearing it from businesses for the past three years: “Let’s get back to basics and identify core competencies and necessary costs” – these are the steps private business has taken to deal with a shrinking and stagnant economy. Clark County and the city of Vancouver are no different – both have made difficult budget cuts.

Yesterday, I received an email from the Vancouver School District about the effect of past cuts and warning of more to come. It’s time for Olympia to do the same. And while the state operates and funds many worthwhile programs, in a time of disappearing revenue it is necessary to reduce or cut programs that are not essential to the operation of state government or the well-being of the impoverished and disabled.

As business owners and state residents, it’s your job to let the legislature know which programs you think are necessary and why. Focusing on the necessary instead of railing against the unnecessary, will keep lawmakers focused on the goal at hand, instead of getting wrapped up in the emotional arguments for various laudable but perhaps unnecessary programs.

We all have a different perspective and we aren’t going to agree on all of the cuts that will eventually be made. But in the end, if we provide constructive input and keep the focus on funding basic, core and necessary state functions, we’ll get a budget that will serve us all well. We’ll end up with a budget that can help us come out of this “recession” in better shape than many other states.

Friday Fish Wrap (with the usual homage to Herb Caen)

Nelson Holmberg firing the first salvo in the “email Apple Cup”… …”just saying”….. Meanwhile Arch Miller proudly waving the Orange and Black as he drives around town……Jason Beatty a purple and gold photoshop wizard……Stephanie Hadley getting the word out….Kenny Vance running (figuratively) roughshod over Clark County’s Finest ….. Temple Lentz, busy, busy, busy,.. too busy, …… Greg Siefert keeping the masses informed…… Shay Shinall thanking for well deserved recognition…. Mike Pomeroy praising the promised land and looking for another…… Lisa Lowe and Don Russo spreading holiday cheer whilst working the room…..Things looking upward at Skyward??..... Big Al’s turning bars into stadiums….. GO COUGS !!

Editor’s note: Don’t forget GO DUCKS! One more win to go. :)

Web Developer's note: Go Dawgs!