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Daily News editorial

Kalama City Council

(thumbs down)

Kalama Police Department staff definitely deserve a location that doesn’t interfere with their ability to do their jobs. That’s not what this is about.

No, what we take issue with is the way the council went about moving forward with its plan to accomplish the goal.

As TDN reported Feb. 8, the Kalama City Council responded to the packed house their meeting drew by stalling. Council members decided their top priority should be going into a closed executive session on an unrelated topic for half an hour before addressing the police station.

The council then went ahead and passed the plan unanimously before opening the floor to public comment. The council’s behavior makes one thing clear: They were not interested in hearing the concerns of the people they represented.

We have to echo the words of one Kalama local overheard at the meeting: “Oh, baloney!”

Road workers

(thumbs up)

Working on roads means dealing with a lot of tough conditions. Between the long hours, strenuous work and feeling drivers go flying by you, it can be a pretty thankless job.

City and county road crews are never needed more than when snow hits the area, as it did this week. Because so few people in the area own snow tires or other traction gear, the work of the road crews is extremely important in getting schools and businesses back to functioning normally. On top of that, keeping highways such as I-5 clear is important to the economy of the entire West Coast.

Trying to do all of that at once is a huge task, but they are willing to tackle it every time. We’d like to say thank you to the city and county road crews and the state Department of Transportation workers who drove sand trucks and plows to push back the snow.

Synthetic opioids

(thumbs down)

We reported in our Thursday edition that some law enforcement agencies have started to abandon field chemical tests in the face of potent synthetic opioids becoming potential dangers to officers. Rather than risk skin exposure to substances such as fentanyl, which quickly can lead to illness or death, these drugs are being sent to overworked crime labs.

Dozens of police officers have become ill from exposure to these super-concentrated substances, and in 2016, more than 20,000 people overdosed on them in the US alone, including Tom Petty and Prince.

Drug Enforcement Administration Agent James Shroba said the problem doesn’t just extend to people suspected of opioid abuse, and that fentanyl is cropping up in everything they seize, even marijuana.

While these drugs were developed to alleviate pain for cancer patients and other people with terminal conditions, their abuse has gotten completely out of hand. At some point, we need to ask the pharmaceutical giants who invented fentanyl if it really was necessary to make a super-opioid 50 times more powerful than heroin.

Courts once ruled cigarette companies could be held responsible for the effects their marketing campaigns had on getting people to use and abuse their product, so here is hoping they decide the same for opioid manufacturers.

USA women’s hockey

(thumbs up)

The Olympic Games in Pyeongchang have been as exciting as we hoped this year, providing the close finishes and high drama we expect from a competition of the world’s best athletes.

The games aren’t over until Sunday, but it seems like it will be hard to top the nail-biting finish of the gold medal match in women’s hockey. With the Americans considered the underdog to our neighbors to the north, the USA and Canada put on a contest that had us all on the edge of our collective seats.

With USA trailing by a goal for much of the game, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson snuck in a crafty trick shot past Canada’s goalie to tie things up late in the third period. When the American squad was hit with a key penalty with just 1:35 left to play, it seemed like things might be lost until goalie Maddie Rooney saved her team’s hopes for the gold and forced a trip to overtime.

One 3-2 shootout win later, the USA Women’s Hockey Team pulled off an incredible upset and redeemed themselves for their heartbreaking loss to Canada four years ago.

That was an incredible game by everyone, on both sides. Here’s to every one of you!


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