Opinion

A view of the Capitol in Washington

Obama’s inauguration ushers in new era for America

Early in the morning on Jan. 20, as night approached its zenith across the Pacific Northwest, I was awakened by a melody from my BlackBerry.

  • Jan 26, 2009
A view of the Capitol in Washington

The following letters to the editor were written in re

The following letters to the editor were written in response to the Reporter’s Jan. 14 editorial, “Making History.”

  • Jan 20, 2009

Finding your way to the zone

We’ve all heard about “The Zone” right? I’m not talking about a special diet or a municipal district. I’m talking about that elusive state of being that you can create within yourself so that you can achieve your potential in performing anything.

  • Jan 20, 2009

Glad You Asked™

The “Glad You Asked” section by Timi Gustafson R.D. has been added in response to questions by our readers about Health and Lifestyle issues. Her regular monthly column will continue as always.

  • Jan 19, 2009

Seattle’s tunnel will cost Kirkland, too

We’ve always suspected some elected officials of having tunnel vision. How right we were.

  • Jan 19, 2009
President-Elect Barack Obama

Making history

Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States on Jan. 20. The election is no doubt historic -- breaking an invisible barrier of race as the nation’s first black president, a voter turnout level not seen since the 1960s, the viability of women campaigning for both President and Vice-President ... and, of course, the absurd amount of time and money spent for all of it.

  • Jan 15, 2009
President-Elect Barack Obama

Madoff played for peanuts

If you’re receiving Social Security, you’re an accessory to a Ponzi scheme. The rest of us are the suckers.

Make eye contact with the homeless

Every homeless person has a mother and a father. They have a story. Friends, siblings, relatives. Successes and losses, joy and suffering, plenty and want, health and sickness. It’s never “what you see is what you get.”

Serve the people, not government

This year Kirkland’s adopted budget is 15 percent greater than the last budget. To say the budget went up because of “unanticipated” expenses, revenue declines, and inflation is nonsense. Are we to believe our elected officials and staff do not know what they are doing? It’s time to ask just whom do they serve, themselves or us.

  • Jan 13, 2009

Winter waterfowl decline, swan influx in local parks

I have had many informal talks with people who have enjoyed winter waterfowl in Juanita Bay Park for years. Many note a decline in the number of diving ducks wintering here, and that previously common ones, such as ruddy and golden-eye, are now quite scarce. Usually we speculate that total numbers may be down, or milder winters enable them to winter further north. However, this year we have had an unusual influx of swans in the Bay. A single bird was here only a few days around Thanksgiving (a scout for a new wintering ground?), but since the Christmas week, up to 20 swans are seen regularly. While reading up on swans, a section on swan feeding behavior unearthed the fact that they are very shallow water feeders, as are the coots, green-wing teal, and gadwalls that are increasing in winter numbers in the Bay. I would be interested in data on siltation into the Bay over the last 10 years, as a possible factor in our changing mix of waterfowl. I did a quick survey of Kirkland’s other waterfront parks New Year’s weekend, finding that the deeper waters off these parks had predominantly diving ducks such as common goldeneye.

Dog parks: A shift in suburban culture

I must announce a momentous shift in the fabric of suburban culture. Not since the invention of track housing and homeowners’ associations has there been such a change. What am I referring to, you may wonder? Is it the rising crime rate in the suburbs? No. Am I perhaps about to look at the amazing efficiencies society has gained since FedEx bought Kinko’s? No. Of course, it’s amazing that I can make copies at the same place that I can pay ten times the amount I’d pay at the post office to ship a package. But that’s not the astonishing transformation about which I write. I am here to tell you that there’s a new center of suburban life: the dog park.

  • Jan 13, 2009

Legislators on the hot seat for the 2009 session

Just days ago, the Legislature convened and faced one of the worse budget shortfalls in state history. How it approaches this task will affect us far into the future.

A bailout plan for struggling newspapers

Even in the year 2050, newspapers will still line birdcages.

  • Jan 6, 2009

Beating out the worst

It was the best of times. But for Kirkland, it was the worst of times. In fact, in the words of Mayor Jim Lauinger, 2008 was downright horrible.

  • Jan 5, 2009

It’s cold out, but state and Kirkland budgets are colder

On his Facebook page (Don’t have one? Too bad, Facebook is almost as much fun as writing provocative columns!) former Rep. Toby Nixon queried about naming this most recent storm. He noted that it couldn’t be called the Hanukkah Eve storm since that name is already taken by last year’s.

  • Dec 31, 2008

The Kirkland City Council recently voted to approve To

The Kirkland City Council recently voted to approve Touchstone Development Corporations’ plan to re-develop Kirkland Parkplace. The project will include multiple eight-story buildings totaling 1.8 million square feet, the same square footage of Redmond Town Center, but on less land.

  • Dec 29, 2008

Kirkland parks are thawing and still thriving with things to do

This period of restriction due to weather disruptions has reminded me of a book I read years ago that examined the relationships of time perception and cultures. In our own culture, time is seen as linear, fast moving, and something we are almost in competition with, but this is not true of all cultures. I suspect many of us got a dose of slower, more cyclical time as our normal schedules were disrupted by weather and bad roads. But it was also necessary, for me at least, to suspend my impatience and relax into the beauty as I fretted about how it interfered with normal, planned activities, and just getting around. The snow was certainly beautiful as it came down, especially at night as it reflected in the street lights’ glow against Douglas firs and rooftops. During the thaw, there’s still much going on around our parks.

  • Dec 29, 2008

What I expect from the New Year

It’s time for another glorious year. While I’m not big on resolutions -- to me, they’re little more than a collection of things that I dare myself not to fail at -- I do like to compile a small list of events I’d like to see happen in the coming year.

  • Dec 29, 2008

Glad You Asked

The “Glad You Asked” section by Timi Gustafson R.D. has been added in response to questions by our readers about health and lifestyle issues. Her regular monthly column will continue as always.

  • Dec 22, 2008

Ways to make your voice heard in year of change

Just weeks ago, on Nov. 4, a record-breaking 3.1 million Washingtonians cast ballots to decide who will lead our state and our nation for the next four years. Registered voter turnout across the Evergreen State this year was 84.6 percent, topping the previous record of 84.5 percent set way back in 1944. Voters instructed the state’s 11 electors to cast their presidential votes for Barack Obama, re-elected Gov. Christine Gregoire to a second four year term, and chose a new Lands Commissioner (Peter Goldmark) as well as a new Superintendent of Public Schools (Randy Dorn). Puget Sound voters also approved the expansion of Sound Transit’s bus, commuter rail, and light rail service.

  • Dec 22, 2008