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Daily News editorial

Getting engaged

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Usually when we see a large group of residents turning out to protest (or support) something, it is connected to an environmental issue. So we were especially pleased to see so many Kalama residents — some voicing their opposition, some their support — turn out for the city council meeting about that city’s proposed police station.

In November, Kalama voters overwhelmingly rejected a $2.2 million bond proposal to build a new police station in Maruhn Park (65 percent of the voters said no). When members of the Kalama City Council responded only by examining a slate of new funding options for their chosen site, many of those same voters braved the February slush to voice their opposition again.

The ability to protest, to march in opposition, to speak publicly for or against an issue is one of the bedrocks of our democracy. With voter turnout often struggling to break 35 percent to 40 percent in non-presidential elections, it was heartening to see so many residents engaged in what is happening in their community.

Kalama is not a dictatorship

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While we were happy to see so many residents turn out for the Kalama City Council meeting, we were far less happy to see the council decide to move forward with its plans to build a new police station, primarily at taxpayer expense.

Kalama residents have made it clear they don’t want to pay for a new police station. This is not the work of contrary anti-tax hardliners responding with anger to any and all new government revenue. Kalama voted very strongly in favor of a $63.4 million school bond and a replacement levy. And the City Council just approved $2.3 million in water-system work without corresponding public outcry.

While we don’t know exactly what the right solution is for the Kalama Police Department’s inadequate facilities, we urge the City Council to keep looking for other options — other funding sources, other sites — that don’t dip further into taxpayers’ pockets.

Keeping a sense of humor

Not everyone could tackle the discovery of a tumor in their heart with humor, resilience and wit, but that is what Long Beach author Jan Bono has done. Bono perhaps is best known for her contributions to the “Chicken Soup” book series.

In a TDN story published Wednesday, reporter Jackson Hogan recounted Bono’s journey through what for many of us would be devastating. “Bono didn’t wallow in her grief. She instead put the tumor in the crosshairs of her sense of humor,” Hogan wrote. Rather than calling it a tumor, Bono named it Walter.

“He’s just a grumpy old man, and it’s time we kicked him out,” Bono said. “That’s the only way I could take the power out of it, because the word ‘tumor’ scared the heck out of me.”

A brave woman, indeed.

Mining for money

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News of a potential tenant at the old Fisher’s Lane water treatment plant in Longview left many of us here at The Daily News, along with quite a few readers, a bit confused.

In a story published Sunday from reporter Rose Lundy, we learned that MiningSky Inc. plans to harness excess energy from power plants and store it to power supercomputers. MiningSky specializes in cryptocurrency mining.

This kind of mining has nothing to do with the more familiar types of mining. It also has nothing to do with Ascot Resources, the company looking to mine near Mount St. Helens.

If you’ve heard of Bitcoin, you’ve heard of cryptocurrency. Put simply, cryptocurrency is a form of digital money. Put very, very simply, mining cryptocurrency involves converting information into a nearly uncrackable code. All of that computing takes a lot of power, which is where MiningSky comes in.

We don’t know much about the company yet, so we can’t say whether they will be a good fit for the area but we look forward to learning more about them and what they do.

Way to go!

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When Kelso hoops standout Riley Noah was hospitalized for an emergency appendectomy on Sunday, his removal left a gaping hole in the state-bound Hilanders’ roster and game plan. The team gathered to support him, but when Eastside Catholic welcomed Kelso to the Tacoma Dome with a lopsided defeat, it appeared this story would end on a sour note.

On Friday morning, Kelso upset No. 2 O’Dea 57-54, overcoming a 9-point fourth-quarter deficit. At game time, the Fighting Irish were considered the No. 52 team in the nation by MaxPreps. It was an improbable win on a big stage, and it came with an appropriately big reward: the Kelso boys are now guaranteed to bring home state hardware for the first time since 1959. Kelso has already won 22 games this season, and a win over Timberline today would lock in Kelso’s best state finish ever, beating its fifth-place trophy from 1950.

Congratulations and good luck, Scotties. No matter the outcome against Timberline, you’ve already made this year one for the history books.


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