Our editorials only occasionally stray from local topics. Plenty of pundits are already pontificating on every move made in Washington, D.C. Why add our voice to the din?
But certain events are so momentous, so universal in their impact, that we feel compelled to jump into the conversation. The death of Osama bin Laden was that sort of event. The news touched every American, and many turned to impromptu street demonstrations, social media and other outlets to express their views. By now, it’s a safe bet that virtually every editorial board in America has weighed in, too. If nothing else, the fact that we’re all on the same topic unites us as Americans. We don’t necessarily share the same views on the issue, but we’re all talking about the same thing.
The topic is so big that we may stray from our local focus for a second time this week. President Obama’s decision not to release photos of bin Laden’s corpse has added new fuel to the national debate. We agree with the president; releasing the photo would cause more harm than good.
We’re still interested in local topics of course. Last month’s defeat of school bond measures in Pasco, Prosser and 13 other districts around the state is cause for concern. Voters may have had good reasons for opposing the measures, but that won’t ease overcrowding or replace antiquated facilities.
Pasco Police Chief Denis Austin is retiring. It’s hard to argue with the department’s record under his watch. We plan to wish him well.
Some Burbank residents are questioning an assessment for Walla Walla County’s storm water system since their neighborhood has no storm drains and probably never will. On the other hand, everyone benefits from keeping pollutants out of our streams and rivers.
We were impressed by the story Carl Wilkens, former missionary and relief worker in Rwanda during the violence of 1990s, told young people at Richland’s Southside Church and Delta High School. Any light we can shine on acts genocide can help eliminate this evil from this planet we share.
It looks like some decent weather might have finally arrived but not before spring’s late start hammered Mid-Columbia farmers. We’ve been complaining as much as anyone about the cold, but at least our livelihoods don’t depend on getting our tomatoes planted.
Congratulations to Walla Walla for converting an old industrial site into a venue for Shakespeare’s plays and other performing arts. This will be welcome addition to the Mid-Columbia’s cultural life.
The screening area for the Tri-City Airport may be expanded. We may already have the nation’s most convenient airport, and this plan promises to make it even better.
The Richland City Council is weighing options for a master plan to cover downtown redevelopment. This is a worthwhile exercise. Anything good that happens has to start with a vision.
Franklin County is trying to block the release of jail information to an inmate infamous for using the state’s open records law to harass government officials. The courts need to zealously protect the right to access public documents, even when it’s an inmate exercising that right. But some jailbirds are using it as a blunt instrument for inflicting pain. They ought to be stopped, as long as we can do it without trampling on legitimate rights.