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Jay Ambrose — Signs of possible healing in Ferguson

We’ve had plenty of rhetorical villains since the fatal police shooting of a black teen in Ferguson, Missouri, grandstanders stirring up fear in vengeful tones, and we’ve ha violence and looting, mostly by nonresidents taking advantage of a tragedy to enrich themselves. But we’ve had heroes, too, and, at the young man’s funeral, we had calls for engaged citizenship and a stop to community disruption.

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Cantor’s defeat is warning to GOP

Be afraid, be very afraid. In February, a top GOP aide explained why immigration reform was never going to happen this year. “The Chamber [of Commerce] and downtown [lobbyists] want it, but they’re not going to primary anyone.” The fear of a backlash from grass-roots conservatives was hard to predict before Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost in a stunning GOP primary defeat, and it has now become more so.

“Bring IT Up” — prevention strategies that work

I am a Student Assistance Professional (SAP) providing substance abuse prevention and intervention services at Hoquiam High School and I am also a member of a local coalition named My TOWN. Recently we have started a marketing campaign advocating for parents to “Bring IT Up.” Studies have shown that when parents talk to their kids about drugs (including alcohol) and encourage antidrug behavior underage use goes down.

Jay Ambrose — The political climate needs a change

Food stamps have never been more popular, economic growth is in the doldrums, average household income remains in a slump, the work force is still shrinking, a third of everyone between 18 and 34 is living with parents, often as a means of rent rescue, and President Barack Obama wants to make things worse.

Tom Malinowski — A silver anniversary no one will celebrate

Twenty-five years ago, it was possible to believe that the contest between democratic and authoritarian ideas of how societies should be organized was ending. East Germans breached their wall; Chileans voted to end the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet; and on June 4, 1989, in Poland, Solidarity won the first round of Eastern Europe’s first free, post-Communist election. But June 4 was also the day Chinese troops put down student-led protests in Tiananmen Square, ending hopes that China would join the changes sweeping the world. Ballots and bullets competed to define the age. The contest of ideas continued.

John Delaney — Giving states a way to reduce emissions

This week the Environmental Protection Agency will take an important step in addressing the ever-increasing threat of climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions when it releases new guidelines under the authority of the Clean Air Act. These guidelines will apply to existing power plants, which produce more than a third of the United States’ greenhouse gases.

Trains and crude oil are too often an accident waiting to happen

The fiery derailment in Virginia recently of a train transporting oil was the latest in a series of alarming accidents involving oil transport in North America in the last year. In 2013, more oil spilled from U.S. trains than in the previous four decades combined _ and that doesn’t include a Canadian spill that incinerated the downtown core of Lac-Megantic in Quebec last year, killing 47.