Editorials

A little compromise for a sweet little guy

It was almost exactly a year ago today that the Herald published an editorial entitled, "Springtime for Cooper."

The editorial, of course, was about a move by Kennewick American Youth Baseball to build a baseball facility near Canyon View Elementary School and name the field in honor of Cooper Larson.

Cooper was a boy in love with baseball. But his time was short. He died of a rare brain stem cancer in 2008.

Still, his last days were made happier as players on the team he hoped to join the next year gave him a uniform and honored him in every way.

He was buried in the uniform.

The Herald editorialized favorably on the plans to build new seating and improve the field where Cooper would have played. We gave readers e-mail addresses and phone numbers to use if they wanted to donate to the cause.

Then a problem developed.

Neighbors signed a petition against improving the field. They said it will bring more traffic to what is already a busy youth baseball complex. And they worried about the lights.

There's also some dispute about a fence being locked when no one is using the field but that's really a false issue.

All kinds of public spaces, from taxpayer-funded buildings to open spaces, are locked up when not in official use to protect against vandalism. This argument is grasping at straws.

The sponsors, to their credit, have scaled back their plans and eliminated any additional lights (the fields there are already bright enough).

At a school board meeting this week, the sponsors and the neighbors were heard.

The board asked both sides to meet to try to work out a compromise.

The youth baseball group has already demonstrated that it is willing to compromise -- by doing so.

Neighbors may not put it this way, but from the outside it seems they are more concerned about the complex being there at all than about the sprucing up being done in Cooper's name.

If that is the case, then we hope they will recognize that and try some compromising of their own.

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