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Dave Ward — Employees author new vision for your PUD

In creating a strategic plan, many businesses and agencies go outside of the company to find solutions for the future. They bring in consultants, professional planners, people with a history of creating strategic plans, but without a real understanding of the organization or the industry. But that is not the only option. When it comes to outlining a vision for the future, sometimes the best way to do it is to tap the wealth of knowledge that you have under your own roof.

U.S. can do more to spur job growth

On Thursday we learned that the U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in June, concluding the largest first-half-year for job growth since the late 1990s. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate has fallen by nearly 4 percentage points from its peak of 10 percent in October 2009, with the pace of decline doubling in the past year to the fastest drop in nearly three decades.

House members offer economic incentive for ocean research

Working on the water in our corner of Washington state is a way of life. Every year, shellfish farmers along the coastlines we represent collect and harvest the seafood that ends up on dinner plates and store shelves across America and around the world. There are also the commercial and recreational fishermen who have sustained jobs for generations. Fishermen and shellfish growers are woven into the fabric of our economy. It’s safe to say that Washington state is the nation’s seafood breadbasket.

Supreme Court balances clean air against clean law

In a decision that was a legal defeat for the Obama administration but may well be a practical victory, the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative justices voted 5-4 to block the Environmental Protection Agency from a creative-yet-practical interpretation of the Clean Air Act that would have let the EPA significantly increase its regulation of greenhouse gases.

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My TOWN Coalition — Showing up matters

In being selected as a priority community for the Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative (through the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery), Hoquiam has been targeted as a “community in need.” I admit that it was hard to wrap my head around this finding because we have a lot of great students and staff in the Hoquiam School District and positive things happening in the community as well. I now see this as an opportunity to make a positive change.

College is still a good investment bet

A Labor Department report released this week finds that the share of young people enrolled in college by the October after they graduate from high school has tumbled in the past few years. From a high of 70.1 percent in 2009, it was down to 65.9 percent in 2013. Other reports have found similar declines in enrollment for the entire universe of college students, not just those coming directly out of high school.

George Will — A counter for hysterics in Michigan

Robert Griffin, now 90, who rose to be second in the Republican U.S. Senate leadership, was defeated in 1978. Since then, only one Michigan Republican, Spencer Abraham in 1994, has been elected to the Senate and for only one term. Evidence that former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land might end this GOP drought is that Democrats are attacking her for opposing “preventive health care.”