September 30, 2019
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Bonneville lock reopens to barge traffic

With the Northwest’s wheat harvest picking up, there was good news last week as a critical navigation lock reopened Friday on the Columbia River, three days ahead of schedule. The lock allows barges and other freight traffic to bypass the Bonneville Dam. It had been closed since Sept. 5 for emergency repairs. With the lock closed, international trade had been stymied between the Pacific and the areas upstream of the dam.

“All of the grain has been collected into these ports, and it’s ready for shipment,” Northwest News Network correspondent Anna King said. “And a lot of the countries have been waiting for these new wheat products to come out. And they’re ready to re-up their stores.”

Eight million tons of cargo moves inland on the Columbia and Snake river systems each year, according to the Associated Press. A full 53% of U.S. wheat exports were transported on the Columbia River in 2017. The Columbia-Snake River system is the top American gateway for U.S. wheat and barley, and the number 2 export gate for corn.

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Freeways Aren't Free

The Times recommends: Reject car tabs Initiative 976 and its devastating effects

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

In his latest ballot measure, initiative promoter Tim Eyman is overreaching again. He conjures a fantasy world in which Washington's transportation infrastructure is complete, efficient and everlasting.

The real-life Initiative 976 is a direct threat to Washington's well-being. It would cut repairs to streets and bridges of 62 districts across the state, delay voter-approved mass transit in mid-construction and cost taxpayers more money in the long run. The statewide transportation budget, including highway construction and the State Patrol, would be shorted $4 billion over the next decade.

Little wonder large employers including Amazon, Alaska Airlines and Microsoft, business groups, city and county officials, unions and environmental concerns oppose I-976...

Nothing about I-976 is a good idea, in terms of responsible governance or prudent money management. Eyman asks voters to buy a falsity that there's some miraculous way to fund our state's backlog of bridge, road and transit needs. Because the courts cannot end this toxic nonsense quickly enough, voters must reject I-976 themselves.

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times