Opinion

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"Library greatly benefits ClintonClinton residents are to be congratulated for the dedication and perseverance they displayed in the long, hard undertaking that resulted in Saturday's opening of the Clinton Library.It's a nice building located on an attractively landscaped lot perfectly situated at Dan Porter Park, just up from the post office and across the street from the hardware store, grocery store and several other businesses.Beginning now, the library will be a vital part of downtown Clinton, giving it a real sense of community. Parents can check out a novel while their kids peruse picture books, or they can look up information in the encyclopedia or on the Internet. Plenty of fond childhood memories will be created in the Clinton Library and a new generation of public library supporters will be created. We take public libraries for granted, but without the support of taxpayers they would not exist.Sno-Isle Regional Library did its part, providing reference works, magazines, a collection of 4,000 mostly-new volumes, computers, Internet access, staffing, and of course its impressive access to regional resources. With today's technology, you can get almost anything you want at the Clinton Library.Frlends of the Clinton Library made it all possible and they are charged with the ongoing task of maintaining the building and helping Sno-Isle in other ways. So they will need as much or more community support as ever. To find out how you can help, call 321-2655 or 341-4468.More reason to act like NebraskaThe frustration level has hit the point where we're compelled to write our now-annual plea to follow the proud state of Nebraska and adopt a unicameral (one house) legislature.The Washington State Legislature has once again proved its ineffectiveness, perfectly illustrated by its reaction to Initiative 695. You remember I-695. It was approved by voters last November and left a $750 million annual dent in the state budget. The state is otherwise rolling in dough, so it wasn't like we had to lock the doors on the school houses.Our leaders in the House and Senate could have come up with a plan to deal with I-695 even before the legislature convened in January. After all, they had two months to talk it over. Then January arrived, and after 60 days of the regular session they still had no consensus on I-695. So they called an expensive special session which is still in progress. Maybe they'll come up with a solution now that golfing weather is improving.I-696 is only the tip of the iceberg. Hundreds of bills were introduced in both the Senate and House and only a tiny fraction will become law -- most are frivolous, but several important bills are killed just because some obscure committee co-chair in the House doesn't like it. After all, it's not like we run this state like a democracy.Eliminating the Senate or the House would slash government costs, reduce the number of bills that citizens have to worry about, and place the remaining political shenanigans more in the public eye.It works in Nebraska. We need an initiative to amend the constitution to make it happen here. Tim Eyman, are you listening?"

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