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Cartoon of the Week | That's All, Folks
There are many serious issues to consider during these hot August days. There are the fires that still threaten Eastern Washington; there is war and extreme suffering in the Middle East and beyond. Ebola remains unchecked in Africa. In some parts of the country there is not enough water to irrigate crops. Safe drinking water has been a factor in other places.
On the Island, we are concerned that the changes proposed to our library do not reflect what Islanders want or need. South-end residents who live next to Islander Middle School and/or Lakeridge Elementary School have been concerned about the proximity of new buildings to their homes. The Park and Ride is too small.
Across the lake other issues have come to the fore. While the economy begins to recover, there is a price to pay —there is more congestion. There are more people and more needs. Homelessness and poverty remain at unacceptable levels.
But today, this writer must stop and reflect on the departure of a Reporter mainstay, Jeff Johnson - our cartoonist, who has brought commentary both hilarious and cutting, on our region, its politics and related antics for more than two decades.
Johnson, beyond thinking up subjects for his cartoons or remodeling his house, has been a coach and teacher nearly as long. Over the past ten years, as newspapers have taken a hard hit, people such as Jeff have had their contracts eliminated and his pay cut drastically.
Jeff is a funny and talented guy. He is extremely bright and well-read. Just like you’d expect there is a good deal of attitude and a measure of cynicism as well — everything a political cartoonist should be.
He is a professional. He thinks long and hard about each one, he does his research. And in between, he has produced two cartoons each week. He does most of his drawing at night having spent much of the day working with kids. His last cartoon was mailed to editors this weekend at 3 a.m.
This editor looks forward each week to what Johnson has to say. It is a breath of fresh air, a dose of reality. It is what we need more of — perspective.