Cashmere Valley Record • September 22, 2010
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Opinion Bill Forhan Publisher
Cashmere Record’s online site converting to paid service My kids are always quick to tell me that the Internet is free. That’s largely true but it is also true much of the content found on the Net isn’t worth the time viewers invest. The Net will provide you with a bottomless well of information on any and every
subject – much of it wrong. It is also true that most newspapers today are suffering from declining circulation much of that attributed to the availability of free news on the Internet. Like most things in life, generalities about these issues do not always provide the real truth of the matter. Circulation in metropolitan and regional newspapers is declining. That has been true for decades. The Internet is just one more nail in the coffin of a business model that has been losing favor with readers. Community newspapers on the other hand have experienced renewed life as technology has reduced their costs of production and enhanced the quality of their products. For these newspapers the Internet offers an opportunity to further improve the timeli-
ness and quality of their service to their local communities. For the last year we have offered the Record online for free. That free service will end on Oct. 1. Some will see this as just another example of a greedy capitalist trying to line his pockets with money from content that should be free and cancel their subscription. That is regrettable. Truth is the subscription price will not make us rich but will help us to continue to make improvements to the Web service. Building and maintaining these sites takes time and money. Oddly enough, our staff need to make a living as well and expect to be paid for the time they work to develop the content. Our competitor down the road wants to develop a local
Web service with free labor. We wish them luck in maintaining the quality and consistency of content that we endeavor to provide. There will still be some free content available on the siteclassified advertising is just one example. And we will be adding more free content as we upgrade the site. Content that is available nearly everywhere for free will continue to be freely available on our site. But local news content that is developed by our staff such as city council reports, school district news and local sports will only be fully available to paid subscribers. Paid subscribers to the Cashmere Valley Record will continue to have full access to the site as part of their newspaper subscription. Online only sub-
scriptions will be available to out of state subscribers who currently get their print edition up to a week late. The truth is that advertisers, who now pay for most of the cost of providing a local newspaper, still expect their advertising rates to be based on the print edition’s circulation. As we approach our 10th anniversary of publishing the Cashmere Valley Record we hope that you will join us in our continuing efforts to improve the quality of the products we bring to the community. My wife and I may live in Leavenworth, but we have actively supported Cashmere through community organizations ever since we took over in September of 2000. Bill Forhan can be reached at (509) 548-5286 or publisher@ leavenworthecho.com.
Political lies will empty your wallet Adele
Ferguson Syndicated Columnist I see the Seattle Times decided to rattle Bill Gates Srs’ cage in its editorial column instead of sticking The Truth Needle into him. The Truth Needle is what The Times calls its investigations into claims made by political candidates and campaigns. They’ve zeroed in on U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and Republican challenger Dino Rossi so far. You know, Patty takes credit for stopping the feds from awarding a $35 billion aircraft tanker contract to a foreign company
thus giving Boeing another shot at a bid. The Times responds that she was “mostly right” although she goes a bit far in giving the impression she was a Lone Ranger and did it all by herself. Rossi got the needle for claiming she voted for every spending bill in Congress since 2004 and The Times tells us she voted against four consecutive budgets starting in fiscal 2004 when Republicans controlled the House, the Senate and the White House. Actually, I don’t know why it matters since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that candidates were not required to tell the truth about their opponents but The Times has taken it upon itself to help us voters distinguish between fact and fiction. But back to Bill Gates Sr., who appears in a television ad that
touts Initiative 1098, proposing a state income tax of 5 percent on annual income above $200,000 for individuals and $400,000 for couples, the supposed sweetener being a cut in the state property tax by 20 percent and an increase in the Business and Occupation tax credit for small businesses to $4,800. He never utters the dreaded words state income tax. “I love Washington,” he says. OK, can’t argue with that. He certainly has every reason to. “That’s why I helped write Initiative 1098.” Middle class families have been struggling, he says, so 1-1098 will tax higher earning folks plus giving tax breaks to property owners and small businesses. The proceeds will be over $2 billion a year to improve education and health care. “Only 1.2 percent of the wealthiest will pay more. Sup-
port 1-1098. It’s good for Washington.” 1-1098 is good for Washington like earthquakes and forest fires are good for Washington. In an article in The Times by a couple of King County business organization execs, Mike Sotelo and Craig Dawson, we learn that the very business owners Gates claims to want to help, are hit the hardest. Almost 70 percent of those earning $200,000 are small business owners, they say. Also, we lost 130,000 jobs here last year, but mostly in the private sector. The state lost 3,100, local governments 1,900 and the feds added 1,900. The Times zaps Bill Jr.s’ pop for not calling it a tax increase and not explaining that the property and B and 0 tax cuts are chickenfeed. It’s something else that Gates Sr. doesn’t say, however, that needs to be repeated over
and over between now and Nov. 2. He knows but the average voter forgets that while the Legislature can’t monkey with an initiative for two years after passage, from then on it’s open sesame. I’ve seen a few letters to the editor praising 1-1098 because the big earners will pay it. Boy, are these people in for a surprise if, God forbid, it passes. Our lawmakers would adjust the rate down into the middle class as soon as it’s possible to ensure a more stable return. We would all be paying it. The property tax cut and B and 0 tax increase would be rewritten to restore the bucks there too. I don’t think it will pass. We’ve said no four times before. We’re not stupid. Adele Ferguson can be reached at P.O. Box 69, Hansville, Wa.,. 98340.
Article VI, para 3: “ no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Later, but added quickly after the Constitution was ratified, this further, clearer statement: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ” which was later extended to apply also to the states). In different times and places, religions have been and can be foundations of governments. This applies to Christianity and it applies to Islam, as to others. I can certainly agree with Ms. Vinje that people should not be killed for their religion, and should be able to practice their religions freely. I hope Ms. Vinje agrees with me that the things that distinguish our country from others are the values expressed in the U.S. Constitution, including freedom of religion and separation of church and state. That freedom and that separation apply to all.
Failing to follow it is to fail our country. While Americans are of different colors, ethnicities, religions and dates of immigration, I believe this says it best: “We may have come on different ships, but we are all on the same ship now.” Let us treat one another with respect and kindness. Peace be unto us all. Nancy M. Miller Leavenworth
NFIB Poll shows big support for busting state liquor monopoly Submitted by Tony Malandra A little less state influence over martinis, Mars bars, and Mountain Dews would be a healthy change of everyone’s budgetary diet, according to some final poll results on November ballot initiatives taken by NFIB of its membership. NFIB is the representative group for the state’s small business owners who employ more working Washingtonians and generate more jobs than big businesses ever have or ever will. By a margin of 79 percent to 16 percent, with 5 percent undecided, NFIB-member small business owners support passage of Initiative 1100, which would end the state’s monopoly on hard-liquor sales and open up retailing opportunities to a greater pool of licensed providers. Ending one monopoly, however, does not mean handing it over to another, which is why 54 percent of small business owners oppose Initiative 1105, which would run all hardliquor sales through licensed distributors only.
“Our members believe consumers should be able to directly purchase hard alcohol through a variety of private sector providers, such as manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, clubs, as well as distributors,” said Patrick Connor, Washington state director for NFIB. Last month’s fax and e-mail poll of 8,000 NFIB members in the state also found big support for Initiative 1107 (79 percent Yes, 17 percent No, 4 percent undecided), which would repeal new taxes recently imposed on bottled water, candy, and gum and reverse tax increases on soda pop. In the final question of the poll, 81 percent of NFIB-member small businesses intend to vote No on Referendum 52, which would put a stop to the Legislature’s plan to spend $500 million for weatherization and other energy efficiency projects on public buildings at a cost to taxpayers of nearly $1 billion over 30 years. Fourteen percent will vote to uphold the bond measure, 5 percent were undecided. “Small business believes that these so-called ‘green’ jobs
lawmakers pay slavish devotion to in their incessant and meaningless rhetoric should be self-starting, self-funding, and self-sustaining like every other enterprise, not subsidized by a generation of taxpayerfinanced debt,” said Connor. On two previous NFIB-member ballots, small business owners have come out in large support for Initiative 1053 requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to increase taxes and for Initiative 1082 breaking the state’s monopoly on the sale of workers’ compensation insurance. Initiative 1098, essentially asking small business owners if they’d like to pay a new state income tax on top of everything else, was not balloted because of its obvious response, according to Connor. NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information is available online at www.NFIB.com/newsroom.
Letters to the editor Peace and freedom In her letter Sept. 15, Ms. Vinje mistakes my criticism. While I agree that she should have fully quoted her sources, my comments point out that the sources cited within the source she used (and failed to cite) do not say what they are there presented as saying. My earlier letter commented on the first set of statistics, so let me use the second set as a further example and another kind of error. These statistics refer to Christian deaths. Her sources are Barrett & Johnson, World Christian Trends AD 30-AD 2200 (note that this work’s field of coverage extends to AD2200, a date almost 200 years in the future – perhaps expressive of its intentions rather than its substance?) and Moore’s History of Asia Minor. For purposes of discussion, accepting Barrett & Johnson’s figure of 9,121,000 Christian martyrs killed by Muslims from 33-2000AD as accurate, the site quoted by Ms. Vinje then adds Moore’s estimate
of 50,000,000 (did somehow that 50,000,000 occur outside the time span of 33-2000AD of her first source?). Then, African Christian martyrs are thrown into the mix. Ms. Vinje’s source takes all these numbers (which are grim enough) and adds them together to create an even more immense number. While I would have to look extensively into methodology and original sources to establish the validity of the numbers, I am clear that adding a presumably valid count to another presumably valid count of the same does not create a doubly valid count: it creates a misrepresentation. When a source is so easily taken to task, its reliability is clouded and everything it presents becomes suspect. The motivation of those who put together such statements must be questioned. In the early days of America, often Christianity was not only a religion but a government. Only professing members of the
church were enfranchised (the governance of the Massachusetts colonies are examples of this), and members of some religions were excluded from the communities altogether. For many years, many colonies/states had state churches, to which all residents paid taxes no matter what their personal beliefs. Where did this lead? To events like the Salem witch trials, which all agree now were a phenomenon of mass hysteria from some buried-inhistory-or-psychology cause. Not to mention the moral violation practiced on one’s fellow citizens by forcing contribution to a religion which they did not support. Such are the sources of violence. Recognizing that religion was one absolute over which people would fight and fracture a community, one of the wisdoms of our Founders was to separate church from state, and to guarantee all religions freedom to practice, and to remove religious tests from political practices (Constitution,
Two things The county is quiet on reducing property tax assessments due to the drastic reductions in property values. They did raise them under the banner of drastic increases in value before the bubble broke. Second, I warned everyone a couple of year’s back, in this forum, that we could expect to be taxed on all our assets and savings. Did you notice the frantic printing of money? The value of the dollar is dropping daily. Feel the tax yet? Richard Curtis Leavenworth
Cashmere Valley Record - Sept. 22, 2010