Future is bright
For the Mid-Columbia's economic outlook. State regional labor economist Ajsa Suljic told attendees at the Tri-Cities Regional Economic Outlook conference to expect continued job gains.
The Tri-Cities could see jobs increase by 2.4 percent a year through 2014, with the growth rate slowing to 1.6 percent through 2019.
It's a slower trend than some years, but it extends a 20-year run that has outpaced nearly everywhere else in the nation.
We ought to do better than that by capitalizing on some unique resources -- a skilled work force, the transfer of huge tracts of Hanford land for industrial development, enviable quality of life and a reasonable cost of living that's among the most reasonable in the nation.
For the hundreds of hearty souls who jumped into the frigid Columbia River on Saturday to raise money for Special Olympics.
The annual Polar Plunge is the major fundraiser for an organization that brings immeasurable joy to countless children and families in the Tri-Cities and across the state.
To Chuck Spencer, the Hanford tank farms chief who announced his retirement last week after successfully turning around a troubled company.
Spencer was named president of Washington Closure Hanford during a dismal period in the contractor's tenure.
Under his leadership, the company went from scandal-ridden to role model, recently setting a nationwide safety record for Department of Energy decontamination and demolition contractors.
Give us a break
To Mother Nature. Winter storms took at least three lives in the Northwest last week, making the inconveniences the rest of us suffered pale in comparison.
As the week ended, much of the state was bracing for floods in round two of our battle with the elements.
To ignorance about reproduction. A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that a third of teenage mothers who experienced an unwanted pregnancy didn't use birth control because they believed they couldn't get pregnant.
"This report underscores how much misperception, ambivalence and magical thinking put teens at risk for unintended pregnancy," said Bill Albert, spokesman for a national campaign to reduce unwanted pregnancies.
It's appalling that so many teenagers don't understand the consequences of sexual behavior. It's even more appalling to think that some of the males involved know better but chose to ignore the risks.
The good news is that most young people do get it. The overall rate of teenage pregnancies continues to decline nationwide.
Not now, if ever
To lawmakers in Olympia who are promoting a state bank. It's frustrating to see legislators pushing for a new bureaucracy while we're struggling to pay for the ones we've already created.
The state's budget crisis is largely fueled by growth in state government.
Let's get our house in order before we considering adding any new wings.