Generous employee groups
We’re proud of this community’s reputation for generosity, particularly when rank and file employees dip into their own pockets to make the Christmas wish of a child they’ll never meet, come true.
That’s why the employees at the Hanford Waste Treatment Plant, also known as the vit plant, deserve a thumbs up and our gratitude for donating thousands of toys and $35,000 to the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots campaign.
Vit plant employees designated $19,000 of the total donation to the Local 598 pipefitters’ annual Bikes for Tikes campaign. This year, the pipefitters are purchasing and assembling 750 bicycles and helmets for Toys for Tots.
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And their employer, Bechtel, announced that in recognition of vit plant employees’ outstanding safety performance, the company would donate an additional $5,000 to the Bikes for Tikes campaign.
Thumbs up to them and to local businesses Griggs Ace Hardware and Vintners Logistics for their contribution to the effort and to the 400 high school studebution to the effort and to the 400 high school students who helped with the project.
Protecting airline passengers
Airline passengers, as much as they might complain about the long security lines and what some consider rather intrusive searches, know passenger screening is a necessary nuisance. After the hijackings of 9/11 it became apparent that serious steps had to be taken to help ensure the safety of passengers from threats within the plane. Now, the Federal Aviation Administration is taking steps to protect passengers from threats coming from outside the plane.
Monday, the FAA announced new rules that will require nearly all owners of remote-controlled recreational drones to register in a national database. The FAA will introduce the website for registration on Dec. 21; registering will be free for the following 30 days. After that, the fee for individual drone users will be $5 for a three-year certificate of registration. Anyone who owned a drone before Dec. 21 will be required to register by Feb. 19, 2016.
Responsible owners of drones may at first balk at the idea of registration, but laws, in general, are necessary to keep us safe from the irresponsible. The number of close calls between aircraft and drones are increasing dramatically. How dangerous can an 8-pound drone be against a Boeing 747? If one crashes into a cockpit, is sucked into an engine or causes pilots to take evasive action, it’s very dangerous indeed. Registration is necessary in order to track down irresponsible owners. We’re glad the FAA is taking steps to prevent, rather than react to, a tragedy.
Stealing Christmas gifts and spirit
It’s unfortunate that while so many work to make Christmas brighter for others, there’s a few who seem to work just as hard to do the opposite. Thefts of items from cars and packages from porches happens all year but they tend to escalate during the Christmas season. Be diligent about not leaving gifts in sight in your vehicle and if you’re not going to be home to receive a package when it’s delivered see if a friend or neighbor can retrieve it for you. Keep your eyes open and if you see something suspicious, report it to the authorities.