Working together brings good things to Tri-Cities

By the Tri-City HeraldOctober 25, 2012 

We like the idea of private/public partnerships. The new Wine Science Center at Washington State University Tri-Cities is a good example of cooperative spirit.

This month, workers are breaking in fall 2013 and in 2014 backers are hoping to be crushing grapes at the center.

That's quick.

But even more impressive is the quick turnaround from planting the seed of an idea to turning the dirt with a shovel.

Unfortunately for our community, some projects, however well intentioned, take years to get off the ground -- if they ever get moving at all.

The wine center defies the obstacles that slowed progress elsewhere. And it was made possible by people working together.

We appreciate all the good things made possible by people working together.

Ports contemplating projects

More projects on our radar this week are the ones being set forth by the port districts.

We have a handful of agencies that are focused on economic development in the Mid-Columbia. They all have a little different target in their sites, but each one contributes to the greater good of our community.

When Sen. Maria Cantwell visited with us last, she used the phrase "coopertition." We like that word, and the healthy balance between cooperation and competition it implies.

Our ports don't ordinarily compete with each other, even though they are tasked with a similar mission. We are interested to see how each one uses its unique resources to accomplish its goals.

The projects discussed in this week's Tri-City Herald are all important. The Walter Clore Center is different from the airport in Pasco, as is redevelopment along Kennewick's Columbia Drive, but we see how they are intertwined to strengthen the fabric of our community.

Women Helping Women

One of the many groups that exist in our community solely for the purpose of helping others is Women Helping Women. The organization holds an annual luncheon to raise money to support women and children in our community.

It lives up to its motto: local dollars helping local causes.

This year's guest speaker also is an outstanding example of working together. Many readers will remember when young Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped at knifepoint from her bedroom in the middle of the night.

Many also remember the day she was returned home nine months later -- and our surprise to learn she was still alive.

Smart told the group she had decided her best revenge is to be happy. She has since founded a foundation dedicated to preventing crimes against children.

She brings an added dimension to the idea of working together to help others. She's not just helping children. She's healing herself by helping others.

Badger Mountain Trail

Hundreds of thousands of trips up Badger Mountain have made this mound of earth a popular attraction in the Tri-Cities. No doubt the Friends of Badger Mountain are the ones to thank.

There are now three trails on the mountain and a flat trail down at the trailhead.

The trail is maintained and constantly improved by people who are willing to work together and willing to share the load with anyone who wants to help.

Lots of people help groom the trails on Badger Mountain, even more people take advantage of the effort.

We appreciate everyone's help. Badger Mountain is a fine example of community cooperation.

If you want to add "trail volunteer" to your resume, find some time one afternoon this week or any Saturday morning between now and the first freeze.

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