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Editorial Preview — May 13-19

Our frustrations with the functioning of government at various levels is providing plenty of fodder for editorial topics in the coming week. We’ve also noticed some positive developments worthy of comment. As always, you’re encouraged to jump into the conversation.

Benton County commissioners — We’re writing this one for Thursday. Before deciding major policy issues, why don’t’ the commissioners take a deliberate approach that includes full participation of stakeholders and the public? On both the potential fairgrounds sale and the future of the bi-county health district, they’re failing the engage in the discussions needed to make informed decisions.

Library proposal includes west Pasco branch — We never doubted that good provisions would emerge from negotiations between Pasco and the Mid-Columbia Library District but remain baffled by the secrecy surrounding the talks. We’ve seen the library district’s response to our criticism of the process. The district and editorial board apparently have different ideas about transparency.

Columbia Basin College students see tuition climb and classes cut — Community college is still a bargain but increasingly less so because education is the first place the Legislature turns to whenever the state is in fiscal trouble. Lawmakers say education is a priority but their actions make the claim unconvincing.

City councils support plan for Columbia Park — Richland and Kennewick are showing everyone how to play nice. Park improvements may still be a long way off, but the cooperation between cities is a good example for others.

Franklin County fights possible end to private docks — Frankly, the Corps of Engineers could replace every dock on the river with a new fish friendly version for a fraction of what’s already spent on salmon recovery efforts. More to the point is whether predators hiding in the existing docks’ shadows are really a threat to migrating salmon. Richland scientist to be honored for work — We’d never heard of the John Fritz Medal either, but Annette Cary’s article has convinced of the prestige attached to this annual award from the American Association of Engineering Societies. Past winners include Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison and Orville Wright. The selection of Jerry Posakony for his pioneering work in medical imaging technology alerted us to the fact that we too often take the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for granted. World-class scientists are helping improve lives at the north Richland campus every day.

Attorney General mulls Miranda rights revision — The war on terror is different than any other war in our history. We’re not fighting a nation but an ideology, so the old rules don’t apply. How can we rewrite the standards for terrorist suspects to serve both our national security and our democratic ideals?

City steps in to aid downtown Pasco project — If the city and downtown businesses can work together toward a common vision this could be a promising partnership.