Thumbs up and down for the Columbia Generating Station near Richland.
Federal safety inspectors said five safety violations occurred at the reactor during this year's maintenance shutdown.
All were in the low-risk category, but the public counts on a disciplined approach to reactor operations for its protection. Even minor deviations from best practices is cause for alarm.
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But by the time the Nuclear Regulatory Commission released its report, Energy Northwest had already taken corrective actions. No excuses and a fast response sound about right.
Waste, fraud and abuse
Thumbs down for all who would cheat the government, which ultimately means cheating friends, family and neighbors.
Recent accusations against former congressional candidate Shane Fast involving kickbacks to Hanford employees might ultimately prove untrue.
But the indictment last month of Fast and his nephew are a reminder that others in our community have victimized taxpayers via Hanford to line their own pockets.
Outside of treason, it's difficult to imagine a less patriotic act.
Thumbs up for the Christmas spirit. The twists and turns in the saga of Kennewick's little Christmas weed generated some controversy. But in the end, there were few villains, and a lot of good natured actors trying to balance public safety and Christmas magic.
Thumbs up for state officials. Three years ago, the state's attempt to balance the First Amendment issues of religion and free speech resulted in a flap that disappointed all concerned.
This year, The Associated Press reports that holiday displays by faithful and the anti-religious are co-existing peacefully on the state's Capitol campus.
Ron Wesselius, who helps provide a Nativity scene, has the right attitude about the nearby sign declaring, "There are no gods."
He clearly doesn't agree, but "everyone has the same rights," he said.
Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, was less magnanimous.
It's disturbing that religious displays are taking up state property, she complained.
But allowing others to express their views -- religious or otherwise -- doesn't equal the state's endorsement.
The freedom to do so is our birthright, however.
Spirit of compromise
Thumbs up to Don Brunell, president of the Association of Washington Business.
Brunell and other business leaders had kind words for Gov. Chris Gregoire and expressed a willingness to find a middle path toward resolving the state's budget problems.
"It seems to me that we're moving in a right direction and we're not in a stalemate like in Washington, D.C.," Brunell told The Associated Press.
The state's problems can't be fixed by creating dividing lines populated by inflexible partisans.
The state's business leaders deserve credit for keeping an open mind.