We're proud to be part of the Mid-Columbia, and it's no surprise to us that our friends and neighbors are being nationally recognized for their selflessness and service.
For example, Energy Secretary Steven Chu honored a big list of workers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for what Chu called service "above and beyond the call of duty."
You don't have to look far to see the good works of people in our community. But apparently that aura can be seen around the world.
Help from the Mid-Columbia is felt as far away as Fukushima, Japan; the Gulf of Mexico and Kazakhstan.
Never miss a local story.
The Tri-Cities is a great place to live because many people here have the attitude of "giving back" and "paying forward."
Everyone knows that exercise it good for you. A couple of laps around the track does wonders for your mental outlook. Everyone also knows that you should check with a doctor before starting any new exercise regime.
We suppose that mean that some of us aren't healthy enough to get in shape.
We have think that most people with cystic fibrosis probably wouldn't even want to run, let alone try to get clearance to do so.
So hats off to Richland High School's Sidney Bullock. As a freshman, she is third on the Bomber cross-country squad. We have to wonder what the next three years will bring.
We're impressed -- not because she runs, although that is an amazing feat. (We know lots of people do it, but it's a little mystifying to think people run long distances for pleasure.)
And our awe extends beyond living with a chronic disease -- which we also recognize a lot of people do and do well.
The thing we are most impressed with is that for Sidney, it seems to have never occurred to her not to run. Here's a girl doing what she loves.
We love to see that.
Coming to a screen near you
We doubt that Mr. Movie is going to give Counting Ballots in Franklin County very high marks. The plot is a little bit of a snoozer. At best it will be open the envelope, count the ballot, repeated tens of thousands of times.
We don't suspect any suspicious behavior at the counting place, but, being able to watch the vote counting live on the internet increases transparency and public confidence in the election process.
It's also fun to be able to "be at" the courthouse while the ballots are counted without leaving the comfort of your home.
Benton County added this feature last year and got about 150 views. (Although we wonder why Benton County could do it for $100 and it cost Franklin County $9,000).
This is the kind of show that is worthy of the public attention and we give it five stars.
Leading by example
We're eager to see how other government agencies in the Mid-Columbia will emulate the example set by Kennewick and Richland.
The two city halls have saved taxpayers $750,000 by combining efforts for purchasing supplies, equipment and services.
John Noble, who oversees purchasing as a shared employee for the two cities, describes the purchasing partnership was a lot of work but worth the effort. We agree, and no doubt, taxpayers do too.
"It's the kind of opportunity we need to keep looking for," noted Kennewick Councilman Don Britain. If by "we" he means Kennewick, Britain's thinking is too narrow.
This valuable and smart collaboration needs to be the rule, not the exception.