You don't have to be a recognized community leader to do some good in the community.
While it's true that many of the noteworthy events that go on in the Mid-Columbia are initiated by "the usual suspects," an awful lot of projects are created, manned and maintained by well-intentioned citizens who rarely make headlines.
Basin City teen honored
Cadet Colonel Skeetz Guilbeau. That has a nice sound to it. We're inspired by this young man's accomplishment of attaining the highest rank possible in the Civil Air Patrol.
He is the sixth cadet from the Tri-Cities since the early 1970s to become a cadet colonel. Fewer than 30 cadets from Washington have achieved that rank.
And if Bonnie Dunbar is impressed, we're thinking it's a pretty big deal.
The Yakima-Valley-rancher's-daughter-turned-astronaut has been around the world a time or two, literally, and we respect her opinion. We also admire the way she encourages youth to push themselves at every chance she gets.
From the sounds of it, Basin City's Skeetz Guilbeau has been pushing himself for the last six years to earn his latest rank. He sounds like an ordinary kid putting in extraordinary effort.
What a great example for the grownups.
Connell women fosters dogs
While we're on the subject of extraordinary effort, we have to mention Carrie Adams' struggle to upgrade Connell's dog pound (which dogs likely won't have to spend as much time in, because she's also working on a foster program for the area).
A lot of us see a need and set about complaining.
Not this woman.
Adams saw a need and set about improving the situation. She solicited donations of insulation, concrete and other supplies, then made the project happen.
Now, she's looking for families to help foster dogs while they await adoption. Interested volunteers can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're thinking she also will make this a success.
Humane Society moves
On the topic of helping dogs, the Humane Society has made a spectacular leap to their new digs, partly possible because of one huge, extraordinary donation.
It's a move that is long overdue.
Their new facility is significantly larger than their old one and better equipped.
It has more space inside and out. And there's a Phase 2 in the works that would include a low-cost spay/neuter clinic.
At 10,000 square feet, the building still doesn't meet the need for displaced pets in this community. That remains a big problem that will either take a big solution or lots of little ones to solve.
Problem solvers welcome.
Wounded Warriors ski trip
It's nice that the Wounded Warriors program provides services for some military personnel. It's going the extra mile, however, to include the whole family.
It's an important service.
The people who serve our country sacrifice a lot. They give of their time and talents, and risk life and limb.
Their families are also affected.
The weeklong ski trip to Colorado should give nonskiers a new skill, injured skiers new hope and the family some new (happy) memories.
B Reactor tours
Thirty-three lucky students from Delta High got to tour B Reactor last week. And more schools have tours scheduled.
We've been out to the reactor. It's a fascinating piece of our history and one that is impossible to describe adequately from a distance.
Thousands of people have seen it. About 8,000 adults visit the site each year -- from almost every state and 36 countries.
But until earlier this month, tours were restricted to the grownups.
We're glad more of our community members -- especially the younger ones -- are getting a chance to see this piece of history.
And we encourage learners of all ages to take the tour if you get the chance.
It's nice to see a story in the news about a Northwest tribe and an public agency coming together.
Such cooperation recognizes efforts on both sides to be respectful of each other. It's just a lot nicer way to do things than the alternative.
Tim Arntzen, executive director for the Port of Kennewick, summed it up when he said, "The port is becoming better friends with the Umatilla tribes, and we're trying to strengthen our relationship with them. We know that it is part of their original homeland."
We hope for more of these stories in the future.