Sunday, November 7, 2021

Political Sunday: Snake River Dam Editorials and Sports Radio Goes Political

Snake River Dams Opinion Pieces:

Over the years various newspapers across the Pacific Northwest have put out editorial opinions on the lower four dams on the Snake River and printed guest opinion columns (disclosure - I wrote a guest opinion piece for the Bellingham Herald on the Snake River dams 20 years ago). The Columbian out of Vancouver, Washington published an editorial on the lower four dams (in-our-view-new-approach-is-needed-to-save-iconic-salmon). The editorial suggests breaching the dams "warrants serious consideration". The Columbian included a quote from another newspaper editorial from the Walla Walla Union Bulletin. Part of the quote stated "The water from a free-flowing Snake would flood farms, roadways, homes and even cities." 

Since the initial Walla Walla Union Bulletin editorial, the Union Bulletin corrected the Editorial and has a correction statement at the end stating "The Snake River dams do not provide flood control as previously stated."  

My take-away is that the Columbia Editors do not have a good understanding of the lower Snake River dams, otherwise they would have readily noted that the Walla Walla Union Bulletin statement about flooding made no sense. The Columbian error is somewhat forgivable; the Snake River is far upstream from Vancouver, Washington and one might assume that the nearby by Walla Walla paper would have a better understanding of the lower Snake River. Alas proximity to the dams may be a hinderance to understanding them, and the Union Bulletin editors credibility on this issue should be greatly diminished.    

Fall Back:

Note - I live just a bit south of the 49th parallel and pretty far west in the time zone.  

In my work I drive a fair bit to field sites. I listen to NPR, CBC and sports radio depending on where I am and the time of day or evening. The sports radio folks (KIRO) are generally pretty good at navigating through that political wickets. One of the conversations I heard on sports radio this past week was introduced as a political subject that all red and blue folks could support: a proposed bipartisan bill to allow states to remain on daylight savings sponsored by Washington Senator Patty Murray and Florida Senator Marco Rubio. The radio host was fully supportive of the bill. I support it as well. 

My rationale is that every fall I ease into getting up in the dark as the days grow shorter and sunrise slowly moves later into the morning. By the end of October I am getting up in complete darkness. I am not a fan of getting up in complete darkness, but I got used to it. With falling back an hour I have to restart the process or simply get up earlier (the same time by ignoring the clock all together). All in all getting up in the dark in the winter is not that big of a deal, but the sudden darkness at 5:00 pm is the part of the time switch I find to be very undesirable, and as the winter moves on, the late darkness moves to 4:00. I am on the west side of the time zone - it is even worse for those on the east side. 

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