The Southern California wildfires are fast becoming one of the biggest natural disasters in modern U.S. history (certainly in terms of people evacuated and property affected, if not lives lost). Today’s headlines reflect it. In this morning’s New York Times an article poses the burning (sorry) question:
“Victims in Wildfire’s Path Say, ‘Why Me?'” (It’s an unanswerable question, of course, unless you’re Glenn Beck.)
The Washington Post has a good piece on why the nearly one million evacuees (as of last night) have it a lot better than Katrina’s survivors in 2005. At the football stadium in San Diego where some 20,000 refugees are camped, it’s no Superdome. It’s orderly, food and Starbucks (gag) is plentiful, the National Guard is on hand (and not threatening to shoot the victims of the natural disaster). What are the differences? The fires are capricious, hitting here and there in neighborhoods rather than destroying the whole region; the region itself is wealthy, the suburban hillside neighborhoods in the fires’ paths often more so; the National Guard was already nearby, guarding the Mexican border against, um, Mexicans. Oh, and, as a separate N.Y. Times article points out, this time the White House and the federal government have scrambled to respond. But, according to the L.A. Times, the locals are already grumbling that the region was woefully unprepared for the cataclysm.
Locally, Neil Modie at the P-I (as well as a story in The Olympian) confirm that Dino Rossi will announce his campaign for governor Thursday in dual appearances in Issaquah and Spokane. (We know, (u)SP reported this Monday, and it’s not like we don’t trust their accuracy, but, well, we don’t.) The Bothell Times reported yesterday that Rossi was “expected to” announce Thursday, and leaves it at that today. In this season of surprises, no word yet as to whether Dino’s stump speech will differ one iota from his Forward Washington Foundation “nonprofit” days.
A KING-5 poll shows the “Roads & Transit” Proposition One in a dead heat. Oddly, KING-TV didn’t make the obvious connection with another of its own stories (which KIRO-TV and the Times also had): while Prop One contains ballyhooed maintenance money for local bridges and infrastructure, that doesn’t include Tacoma’s 11th Street Bridge east of downtown — a 92-year-old bridge that WSDOT abruptly shut down permanently on Tuesday because, according to state engineers, it’s in such a state of disrepair that it could fail at any time. The city charges that it’s the state which has been responsible for maintenance, or lack of it, on the bridge.
For some reason, both dailies think it’s a big deal this morning that a Metro bus driver is going to be fired for causing a fatal accident last April.
The Times takes an almost sympathetic look at the oddly viable candidacy of Richard Pope.
And, in the category of “The Treacle Gets Earlier Each Year,” the P-I today has a
heartwarming syrupy Mary Swift column (does she do any other kind?) on a retiree who makes Christmas more cheerful for homeless kids. A. Week. Before. Halloween. Diabetics, it’s going to be a long season.