Richard Elfers

Columnist reviews Enumclaw candidate answers | Rich Elfers

What did you think about the answers to three questions in last week’s Courier-Herald from the City Council candidates? Dennis Box, the managing editor, and I felt it was important to show our readers whether the candidates possessed the skill of critical thinking by answering difficult political questions. They were asked to comment about the direction the city of Enumclaw should take in regard to fixing our streets and utilizing the Expo Center. The candidates had to work hard to formulate solutions. City officials and school district staff were contacted for answers.

Enumclaw City Council candidate debate – Part II

Editor’s Note: For the second week City Council candidates for positions one, three, five and seven responded to three in-paper debate questions presented by the editorial department and columnist Rich Elfers

Enumclaw City Council candidate debate Part I

Editor’s Note: City Council candidates for positions one, three, five and seven responded to three in-paper debate questions presented by the editorial department and columnist Rich Elfers.

City Council shift could come to Enumclaw | Rich Elfers

Have you seen all the signs for candidates and issues around town? Many deal with contestants running for the Enumclaw City Council. Four seats are open and changes are going to happen no matter who wins. I have hopes that the changes will bring a paradigm shift for the council.

Rich Elfers | Enumclaw City Council Position No. 3 | Shelby DeVol and Mike Sando

Serving on the City Council is an important job that deserves our best people. In order for you to decide which candidates can best serve the city, I’ve asked four questions of each candidate.

Rich Elfers | Question and answers Enumclaw City Council Position No. 7 | Hoke Overland and Sean Krebs

This is my second column on Enumclaw City Council candidates: Position 7, Sean Krebs vs. Hoke Overland.

Rich Elfers | Enumclaw City Council Position No. 5 | Thomas Mann

My goal has been to better inform the voters. Democracy only works when voters have enough information to make good decisions. This is one of the chief functions of a free press – to provide accurate information.

The influence of geography on politics | Rich Elfers

Approximately 60 percent of the people who live within the city limits of Enumclaw vote Democratic while 40 percent vote Republican. Yet, if you go into unincorporated King County, the numbers are almost exactly reversed. Why is that?

Political landscape has a lot to do with geographic landscape | Politics in Focus

Every year, when I travel to visit my friends and family in eastern Washington and Montana, I’m shocked to see how geography affects political attitudes.

The politics behind Mount Rainier National Park | Politics in Focus

What part did politics play in the creation of Mount Rainier National Park? To answer this question I used information from the book, "Mount Rainier Wonderland: An Administrative History of Mount Rainier National Park."

Can conservation and capitalism walk hand-in-hand? | Politics in Focus

Which is more important, saving the environment or creating new industries and jobs? This issue was one of the main themes recently in PBS’s six-hour presentation on the National Parks and how they came to be.

National parks spurred political debate| Rich Elfers

Which is more important, saving the environment or creating new industries and jobs? This issue was one of the main themes recently in PBS’s six-hour presentation on the National Parks and how they came to be.

Conflict needs healthy resolution | Rich Elfers

I bet I can predict how you deal with conflict. How can I do that? Because there are only five possible ways: avoidance, accommodation, compromise, competition and collaboration.

The five ways of handling conflict | Politics in Focus

I bet I can predict how you deal with conflict. How can I do that? Because there are only five possible ways: avoidance, accommodation, compromise, competition and collaboration.

Modern world short on virtue | Rich Elfers

Do you know the seven virtues? The ancient Greeks gave us four of them: prudence, justice, temperance (restraint) and courage. The Bible adds: faith, hope and love.

Whence virtue? | Politics in Focus

Research has shown that if we think about certain virtues when we are confronted with difficult issues, our personal behavior changes as a result. If, for example, we read about the virtue of honesty before we make a decision about a moral issue, we are more likely to act honestly.

Union seeking more influence | Rich Elfers

Why does it appear that unions and political parties are starting to support candidates for nonpartisan races? Why would I be thinking that, you might ask?

Are non-partisan endorsements a sign of ‘mission creep?’

Why does it appear that unions and political parties are starting to support candidates for nonpartisan races? Why would I be thinking that, you might ask?

Arctic ice melting more rapidly than predicted | Politics in Focus

Arctic ice is melting even more quickly than scientists predicted. At this time last year, an area the size of Venezuela (350,000 square miles) had melted at the North Pole. According to the article, “The Coming Arctic Boom” by Scott Borgerson in the July/August 2013 Foreign Affairs, the melting of the ice is supposed to make Arctic summers ice free by as early as 2020 – a rapid increase from the original 2070 prediction.

A brief history of The Pill | Politics in Focus

By 1962, 1.2 million U.S. women were using the Enovid birth control pill. By 1963, the numbers almost doubled, according to a PBS timeline. Between 2006 and 2008, 82.3 percent of American women aged 15 to 44 were using an oral contraceptive pill (Centers for Disease Control). Today, between 80 million and 100 million women worldwide are using The Pill.