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Editorial Preview — Nov. 3-10 smoking ban and nuclear reactor's woes

It’s a relief to have the election behind us and some time to start thinking about editorials on other topics.

Top of mind are electric rates. Some of the projections for increases are frightening, especially in this fragile economy. We have meetings scheduled next with Benton County PUD and the Bonneville Power Administration to learn more. What questions would you like to see answered?

Pasco and Richland are both looking at creating public development authorities, although for considerably different purposes. We’re most intrigued by Richland’s idea to help WSU Tri-Cities build a wine science center. The project is a good investment in the region’s economic future but probably won’t get done without the city’s help.

We have some sympathy for Kennewick Housing Authority tenants who must stop smoking or move, but the nearly yearlong grace period is time enough to make other accommodations. The must beneficial, of course, would be to quite smoking. Maybe Tri-City health officials can jump in with a special smoking cessation program to help out.

Franklin County is working with the federal Bureau of Land Management to finally provide permanent and public access to the Juniper Dunes. This is a welcome move that’s been a long time coming. The impetus is now on users to be good stewards.

Teenage pregnancy rates in come Mid-Columbia counties are double and triple state average. We don’t have any wisdom on that issue, but know that these young parents and their babies face additional challenges. We’re using our weekly Fast Focus feature to solicit ideas from readers on this topic.

If you missed The Associated Press report on mismanagement of public housing, take the time to read it now. Here’s a link. Most of the time we stick to local issues, but the abuse AP uncovered is infuriating. The now-defunct Richland Housing Authority’s $500,000 accounting problem was a drop in the bucket.