Reporter John Trumbo's story of March 14 described in detail a list of superlatives for the Tri-Cities.
The list included great jobs, rich history, competitive sports, wine (lots of wine), low housing costs and growth.
Plus lots more.
The question is why?
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What makes this place so special?
A hundred years ago, a newspaper editorial writer composing a piece like this probably would start with the arrival of the railroad, especially here in the West.
For the past 50 years or so, Hanford would have been a quick and justified choice.
What is it now?
There is no one answer.
For growth we're inclined to give a good deal of the credit to Gary Crutchfield and the Pasco City Council for starting a housing and commercial development rush that might propel their city from third to first place in the Tri-Cities in the near future. It's already second.
Good weather, sunshine and patience have paid off -- usually -- for the wine industry in this entire region.
But the essential ingredient for grapes, for growth, for prosperity in general, golf courses from horizon to horizon and an outstanding reputation as a place to raise a family is the people -- the ordinary and extraordinary citizens who live here.
Call us local cheerleaders; we don't mind the label.
People around here, even the ones without Ph.D. after their names, usually are smart and careful.
They weigh risks and take them when the odds are right.
The four cities of Richland, West Richland, Kennewick and Pasco communicate, collaborate and cooperate.
Consolidation? We'll save that one for another editorial.
We cheer each other on.
We dream pretty big.
For evidence, look at Road 68 and at our excellent airport in Pasco. Look at the parks being maintained and developed in all of our cities.
Look at the hopes for the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center, a major tourist attraction and educational facility when it comes.
We now have a four-year university and a four-year college where 20 years ago we had neither.
We have a reliable transportation system, combining buses, taxis and Dial-A-Ride vehicles that open up distant venues to people with transportation needs.
And, on top of it all, we are generous.
Maybe not everybody. Maybe not all the time.
But agencies for the hurting and those with disabilities in the Tri-Cities do better than most.
Let's not forget our natural resources, either.
Three rivers come together here, draining mountain ranges a half-continent apart.
Although every harvest can be a struggle, our farmers seem to thrive.
And the view is measured in miles, not blocks.
We are indeed blessed.