Better Than Bangladesh? -- While pundits and columnists from Washington State's major papers take their jabs at the most recent legislative proposal to split the state in half, at least one news state outlet seems to be taking it seriously. Seattle's The Stranger ran a cover story last week supporting the proposal, offered up by Republican state senator Bob Morton, relishing the idea that the West Wide could "cut the rubes loose" and become "one of the most progressive states in the nation."
But what of Eastern Washington? After interviewing locals in Colville (who apparently believe that West Siders are, somehow, hording gobs of money from them), reporter Sandeep Kaushik leaves her readers with a quote from an unnamed Democratic politician, who says, "It wouldn't be creating a 51st state. It would be creating a new Third World country." Does that depress anyone else?
Whichever One You Like -- As the debate over whether Wal-Mart will open a super center in Pullman continues, the company's PR professionals are spinning all sorts of information -- some of it a little contradictory. In an article in last Saturday's Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Wal-Mart spokesman Eric Berger was quoted saying, "Towns in Washington where there are Wal-Marts are thriving because of the customers we bring to the area," referring to "spillover" for other businesses.
But in the same article, reporter Michelle Dupler writes, "Berger said a large store with one-stop shopping is what Wal-Mart customers want," indicating the point of a super center is that customers don't have to go anywhere else.
So which is it? The spillover effect or one-stop shopping?
The Sudsy Truth -- A little outfit by the name of the Beer Institute sent us a report recently on how beer makes life better -- as if we need any convincing.
According to their latest figures, 90 million Americans regularly enjoy a nice, frosty beer -- responsibly, of course, and all of legal age. But while you're contemplating that golden, bubbly brew and that foamy cap, consider this: Life as we know it would probably cease to exist without beer.
Brewers, wholesalers, retailers and suppliers contribute more than $160 billion to the annual United States economy, according to the Beer Institute report, adding 1.8 million jobs, too. (Although the calculation on the cost of hangovers is suspiciously missing.)
And overall, beer drinking is up since 2001 by 12 percent.