Is the 4th of July really here already? That means one editorial topic is assured regardless of this week’s poll results. We’ll continue our relatively new tradition of publishing a short civics quiz on the Independence Day editorial page. It’s a fun reminder that the celebration is about more than hot dogs and fireworks.
Speaking of civics questions — Does the Second Amendment guarantee individual or collective rights to bear arms? Trick question, it’s both according to Supreme Court. It’s an appropriate interpretation of the Constitution.
Closer to home, Gov. Gregoire is looking for ways to deal with the latest predictions for another round of budget cuts to keep the state in balance. The Washington Federation of State Employees has sued to block the state from one cost-cutting measure — furloughing workers for 10 days over the next 12 months. Unions in private industry make concessions when times are tough. Government workers could take a lesson. Even closer to home, Pasco’s population is booming and so is the rest of the community, albeit at a little less frantic pace. Let’s not forget that what goes up can come down. Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but long-term prosperity means replacing Hanford cleanup jobs. Let’s not lose focus.
The first lawsuit filed by environmentalists against windfarm plans aims to stop construction off Cape Cod. That’s far afield, but the irony is amusing. More importantly, the dispute illustrates the limitations of “green” power and the need for a comprehensive national energy strategy that meets the nation’s needs and cuts greenhouse gas emissions. If there’s a way to do it without nuclear power, we haven’t seen it.
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Richland plans for a $1.8 million overhaul of John Dam Plaza is a good investment. Enhancing our quality of life is key to our economic future.
Sheriff Larry Taylor wants a chance to see if a partnership with West Richland can help cut the costs of animal control in Benton County. We continue to have a lot of unanswered questions about the shelter and program, but there’s no reason not to let Taylor explore options.
A panel of judges says federal law prevents the Obama administration from unilaterally dropping Yucca Mountain from consideration as a nuclear waste repository. The judges are right, but this issue is going remain a political football at least through November.
Roses and thorns for the Kennewick Irrigation District this week. The settlement with the district’s ex-treasurer is an irritating reminder that some really poor decisions were made. The new director and new board members deserve a chance, but there are holdovers too. On the other hand, plans for the new Red Mountain diversion project are promising. Increasing the number of irrigated acres this highly prized wine-growing area will benefit the entire community.