Writings and observations

In economic sweepstakes, the Tacoma News Tribune‘s Peter Callaghan writes, “Gregoire made the state’s case with Boeing, but said no to shameless begging.” What? . . . Oregon State Representative Scott Bruun, R-West Linn, says he will run against new Democratic U.S. Representative Kurt Schrader in the 5th. Bruun, on the relatively moderate side of the state House caucus, often gets high marks (sometimes from Democrats), has been a skilled legislator and may make the race high-toned. He may be the best candidate for the general election Republicans could have. But will more conservative possibilities leave him unprimaried? And what of his House seat? . . . Interior’s Klamath Dam plan released . . . Quote of the day, laying the marker in the Seattle mayoral race. From candidate Mike McGinn: “The issue here, though, is big business, the Chamber (of Commerce) and the big construction unions really want that tunnel. And Joe Mallahan is their man. I’ve come into this race, I haven’t needed their support to win the primary. If we build a campaign based on people and ideas and win I think that’s a different type of politics in Seattle and that concerns them. They’ve set the agenda for a long time and they want to keep setting the agenda and I’m suggesting we need to take some different approaches to build for the future.” . . . As Nampa mulls Sunday liquor sales, still banned there . . .

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Northwest

buddys

Buddy’s at Pocatello

It’s been a while since I’ve been to Pocatello, just a little over 30 years since I moved to it the first time, to report politics at the Idaho State Journal. Given the pall over so many places in the Northwest, and Pocatello’s history of never collapsing but often struggling for economic air, expectations for the Gate City on this visit weren’t high.

The city appeared surprisingly prosperous, though. Its commercial districts seemed to be doing well – few empty fronts, plenty of traffic. (They look better right now, as a whole, than Boise’s do.) Maybe one reason is a sort of economic caution. Pocatello isn’t a go-go business town so much as it is a stick-to-business town. That may be paying off.

And some things don’t change at all. 30 years ago, Buddy’s restaurant, near downtown, was sort of locally legendary, most notably (not to disparage the rest of the menu) for their salads, which for this palate remain for reasons hard to describe the best in the Northwest. Glad to see they’re still here. And bearing in mind the surroundings, maybe they will be for a while.

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Idaho