Tag Archives: editorial board

Live Editorial Board with District 26 Senate Candidates

This afternoon (Wednesday) we’ll have Sen. Derek Kilmer, defending his Dist. 26 seat in the primary this August, in front of the editorial board with challengers Kristine Danielson and Marty McClendon.

We’re scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. The live feed will be at www.kitsapsun.com/live-video. We’ll archive it at www.kitsapsun.com/videos.

Kilmer‘s the Democratic incumbent from Gig Harbor, Danielson is a Port Orchard resident who filed a “no party” preference, and McClendon is also a Gig Harbor resident, running as a Republican.

Like I mentioned last week, we have some priority questions for the candidates and our community board members also are invited to ask what they’d like to know. But if you have any suggestions, post below and I’ll try to fit them in.


Politicos, It’s That Time Again…

We’ll have an item on tomorrow’s Opinion page introducing this season’s plan for editorial board interviews, but here’s your sneak preview.

Just like the 2009 campaign, our editorial board meetings with candidates will be shown live on our website, and archived for your review. The first is tomorrow at 1:30 p.m., with the three candidates for the 23rd District House seat.

That interview, and all others during the summer and fall, may be seen at www.kitsapsun.com/live-video. In the next few weeks we’ll also get our online elections database together, which we’ve used in the past to allow each candidate to express their views on the issues. Those questions are being prepared for circulation now, and I’ll let you know when the site lives again.

Here’s the piece going in tomorrow’s paper:

OUR VIEW | Political Season Begins on Kitsapsun.com

Well, the season has returned — not summer, despite the solstice passing on the calendar and a bit of warmth on Tuesday, but the start of political campaigning.
On Wednesday we’ll begin showing editorial board interviews live on kitsapsun.com, the second year we’ve added that to the Sun’s annual election coverage that we start planning after filing week is finished. We’re aiming to have all 2010 candidates in contested local races into our office at least once, and in some cases we’ll bring back those before the general election.
We began showing you our election interviews during the 2009 campaign for a few reasons: First, to uphold our mission of transparency by giving our readers a window into what our editorial board’s political endorsements are based upon; and also to offer voters another forum to hear from the candidates and help make an informed choice.
You’ll be able to watch each interview at www.kitsapsun.com/live-video, so bookmark that site and watch this page for announcements as we schedule more candidates. All video interviews will be archived on kitsapsun.com as well as we update our elections information, so if you miss a live discussion you’ll be able to review each candidate’s answers when you receive your ballot.
Our first meeting will be with the three residents aiming for the 23rd District House seat, currently held by Christine Rolfes. That race is between Rolfes, a Democrat from Bainbridge Island; James Olsen, a Republican from Bainbridge; and Aaron Winters, a Republican from Poulsbo.
We’ll begin the interview at 1:30 p.m., and our meetings usually last an hour. Our editorial page endorsements will not be published immediately, rather we’ll wait until closer to the time when voters have ballots in hand for the August 17 primary.
We hope you’ll join us online this week, and stay tuned for more as election season gets going.

Introducing Larry Croix, Community Columnist

Larry Croix didn’t think we’d even read the letter of inquiry he wrote in November 2008 when we issued a call for editorial board members. His humble selling point at the time was that “I am probably very different from the individuals who normally apply for this position.”

Well, there isn’t a mold we look for in community editorial board members, other than folks with a level head, an interest in local issues and the ability to discuss those civilly in a group. We also try to maintain a balance of political viewpoints, backgrounds and place of residence so the county is fairly represented. Larry, seen at left, a retired Port Orchard resident who had been a frequent commentor on kitsapsun.com (and frequent critic of the Port of Bremerton), fit that criteria far better than he had speculated. So we invited him to join the board, and didn’t regret the decision.

Near the end of his one-year term — during which he proved himself to be thoughtful when listening, informed when asking questions, patient in taking a stance and vocal when sticking to a belief —  he asked to write a “My Turn” column.

But rather than returning to posting his opinion on stories after his term on the board expired, Larry offered me more columns. We’ve published a few of them this year. He’s taken a shine to writing and crafting an opinion, and now, 18 months after meeting Larry, we’ll start publishing those more frequently.

Larry is joining our stable of community columnists in Thursday’s paper, and you’ll see his work twice a month on Thursdays for the foreseeable future. I’d invite you to offer any feedback you have, either to me or straight to Larry. Sun Opinion page community columnists — currently Pam Dzama, Larry Little, Rob Woutat and occasionally Roger Koskela — don’t write at my direction or at the behest of the editorial board, so he’ll learn how to deal with that part of having your mug in print.

While I’m on that topic, if you’re interested in joining that group, or know a local writer who would be a good fit, I’m always willing to listen (or read, perhaps). We added illustrator Abell Smith last Sunday, who will draw two cartoons per month for the Opinion page, and more Kitsap voices on that page improves the local conversation and furthers the relevance of the forum we offer. My email address, as always: dnelson@kitsapsun.com.

And to Larry: You didn’t think we’d be interested the first time, but we were and you didn’t disappoint. Now we’ll try it again. How’s that for pressure? (Good luck.)

No Town Hall Likely From Norm (and other notes from today’s interview)

As promised, this morning our editorial board interviewed Rep. Norm Dicks, who is in town during the Congressional recess. If you missed watching the live video, here are the archived versions. (Even broken into two, each will still require your patience as it loads).

Despite the pleadings from some of our letter-writers and community columnist, don’t hold your breath for another town hall meeting anytime soon. Dicks was pretty clear he won’t host that type of forum to continue  debating health care reform, at least until some “implementation” of the new measure has taken place. He was also pretty clear that any such meeting must be constructive, saying “civility needs to be reinforced” in the wake of last August’s heated town hall in Bremerton. He labeled the majority of that night’s crowd the 30 percent of voters who don’t usually back him anyway, and said that anger was not representative of the comments and questions he’s received.

Here’s my quick notes on some the other topics covered, with some markers if you need a cheat sheet to help navigate the lengthy videos:
Earmark reform: “It’s moderate, sensible, but perserves our ability to protect our districts.” He also explained a program in development that would separate for-profit companies applying for federal contracts from the current earmark system, and how that could apply to defense contractors. (13 minutes or so in)
Health care reform: “We had to do something.” Dicks was clearly in support of the bill, but did push for measures to make Medicare reimbursement more equitable across the states. He also said the bill could add 21 community health clinics, like Peninsula Health Care Services in Bremerton, to the district. (19 minutes)
Town hall meetings: See above. (31 minutes)
Stimulus funding: He’s a Keynesian, and wouldn’t be opposed to more stimulus spending on infrastructure, like wastewater system upgrades, or sometime like the old Civilian Conservation Corps model for outdoors projects. (37 minutes-ish)
Climate change: “A huge problem,” with a primary threat for this region being ocean acidification and how it affects shellfish and other marine life. (41 minutes)
Locally: Proposals to keep Hurricane Ridge road open year-round, add wilderness to Olympic National Park, and continued work at the shipyard (47 minutes)

We’d like to have Rep. Dicks in again this year as the campaign gets going, hopefully opposite Doug Cloud, the announced Republican challenger for the House seat. I’ll let you know, and until then we’ll let civility reign here on the desk as well.

— David Nelson

Congressional Run Forces a Column Change

Tuesday’s opinion page did not include a column from Star Parker, who we typically pair with Richard Reeves. Parker has decided to run for Congress, in hopes of representing California’s 37th Congressional District. She’s unopposed in the Republican primary. Given that political involvement, her column will not appear on our pages for the duration of the campaign.

In Parker’s place Tuesday was a column by Ann McFeatters, a Scripps Howard columnist who has covered politics in Washington, D.C. for nearly 25 years. You’ll see McFeatters there for the immediate future, though we may try a few other voices out in that space over the coming weeks and months to see if there’s a better match.
If you’d like to suggest a columnist to see in that slot, or if you have feedback on McFeatters’ work, comment below or send me an e-mail: dnelson@kitsapsun.com.

— Another change you may have noticed on this page over the past month was the addition of a local editorial cartoon, which we’ve published here the past four Sundays.
Abell Smith, a Kingston illustrator, is the man behind that commentary, which has ranged from bikini coffee stands to state tax policy. We’ll feature a fifth from him this coming Sunday. The next decision is whether we retain that local editorial cartoon, a tradition the Sun has been without in recent years. Abell may be our guy, and I’m asking for feedback on that before we make the final call. E-mail address is above if you’ve got something to say.

— Finally, on Thursday morning we’ll host another live online editorial board meeting, so here’s fair warning. Rep. Norm Dicks will be in the Sun office for an interview, which you can tune in to and watch live at www.kitsapsun.com. There will also be a window hosting comments during the video, to allow further discussion between viewers. We’ll begin at 9 a.m.