It's cliche but appropriate:Stop and smell the roses

May 31, 2012 

We're glad we started doing our little Thankful Thursday experiment. And we're glad it caught on.

We like that there is one day a week when we get to read letters about people's acts of kindness to each other. It reaffirms what we've suspected for quite a while: We're rubbing shoulders with some pretty awesome people.

And we like spending a few minutes each week composing this column. It gives us time to reflect on a few of the reasons why we love the Tri-Cities.

LitFest

Summer is coming. The Mid-Columbia Literary Festival is winding down. Tonight is this season's last chance to listen to a visiting author. We encourage you to take advantage of it.

Garth Stein wrote The New York Times best-selling novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain, about a philosophical dog named Enzo. Hear Stein at 7 p.m. today at Columbia Basin College's Gjerde Center.

Enzo's uplifting story of family, love, loyalty and hope ought to resonate in the Mid-Columbia, where those qualities are valued.

Thanks to the organizers and sponsors (The Tri-City Herald is one of them) who are making this event possible.

Family friendly Richland

We have to admit we're having a little bit of conflict about Richland being in the No. 2 in the nation when it comes to great places for raising kids.

That's partly because we we're vain enough to think we are No. 1 and partly because we're not so sure we want everyone else to know our secret.

We share the sentiments of the city's neighboring mayors when they say this designation is well deserved by the whole community.

We agree that Richland is a great place for families -- as is the rest of the Mid-Columbia.

Life's lesson

One of the reasons cited for Richland's family friendly honor was the outstanding test scores at two of its elementary schools.

We appreciate good schools and students who excel in them. But we also have a soft spot for students who don't excel in a traditional setting.

So we're also grateful for programs like CBC's High School Academy and the Mid-Columbia's alternative high schools that help the nontraditional learner earn a diploma.

Lots of doors are shut to those without an education. We hate to see teens start down that path. And we're glad there are some options when those kids are ready to make a U-turn.

Filmmakers' donation

It's easy to make promises. Following through with them is a little more challenging. Political campaigns come to mind.

One duo that is making good on its promise is the two guys who won the Gain laundry detergent contest last year.

Lance Merkley and Doug Browning made it to the finals in a national contest and voters got to decide who won the $1 million prize.

In addition to a clever ad, the men produced a promise that they would donate some of their winnings. This week they gave $18,000 to Kadlec Neurological Research Center.

We're glad to see people keeping their promises. We hope the idea spreads -- especially come November.

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