September 23, 2019
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Construction crews work around the clock to fix lock near Bonneville Dam

Construction crews are making progress on fixing a damaged lock near the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River, The Columbian reports.

First workers lowered an excavator into the 100-foot deep lock to break up the concrete sill that developed cracks over time. The sill is a 50-foot wide concrete slab that meets the gates of the lock to manage the water levels. Now the old sill has been removed, and crews are drilling new holes into a 25-foot thick concrete foundation. The holes will hold rebar reinforcements for a new, stronger sill to help manage water levels so boats can pass through the lock.

“The lock is the only way for large boats to pass the adjacent Bonneville Dam, and the closure has brought river traffic to a standstill,” reporter Anthony Macuk wrote. “To make matters worse, it’s the middle of the wheat harvest season, when barges make frequent trips down the river carrying millions of tons of grain to the Port of Vancouver and other export terminals.”

The new sill will have three times as much internal steel as the old one, which went into service in 1993 when the lock opened for business. (It replaced the original lock, built in 1938.)

“It’s not a massive project,” said Col. Aaron Dorf of the Army Corps of Engineers. “It’s just a lot of getting it right.”

A video of the crews at work can be viewed here.

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Arguments Against a State Income Tax

An income tax is not in our best interest

By Washington Treasurer Duane Davidson

Today, we are at a point where Washington legislators need to reexamine their financial practices and consider the consequences of their actions that have led some to consider establishing a state income tax.

The historically unpopular notion of introducing an income tax is not exactly new to Washington, yet it has seen growing interest from income tax supporters in big city government and from certain state lawmakers who would pass income tax legislation if given the opportunity.

As Washington State Treasurer, four-term Benton County Treasurer, and licensed CPA for over 25 years, I have cultivated an automatic sense of duty to advocate for fiscal responsibility. When I see such disregard for taxpayers, my obligation is to stand up for what is right on their behalf.

Many of the legislature's self-induced financial woes have readily available remedies that do not involve raising taxes or adding an income tax, making it apparent to me that as a state we have some serious financial issues within our legislative practices we need to start addressing...

Taxing income would weaken Washington's thriving economy and reduce our capacity to compete for business. We need to agree on improving our habits and reigning in state debt before considering the addition of new taxes. An income tax is not in our best interest.

Read the full guest column in The Tri-City Herald