Reconsidering Hope Solo Day
The day after 1999 Richland High School graduate Hope Solo won her second consecutive Golden Gloves award, given for being the World Cup’s top goaltender, Richland city officials announced there were no plans to honor her. In 2008, Richland had a Hope Solo Day after she led the United States to an Olympic gold medal in Beijing. Hundreds attended a rally, and Solo was presented a certificate and crystal plaque. Her athletic prowess is undeniable. It’s her image off the field that likely drove the original decision not to honor her. She was arrested for domestic violence in June 2014 after an altercation with her half-sister. Charges were later dropped because witnesses refused to testify, but the national attention left a stain on her reputation. She also was suspended from the team earlier this year after her husband was arrested for DUI while she was in a team van. There’s no doubt she has made some less than stellar decisions off the field, but if we believe someone is innocent until proven guilty, then there’s nothing in these incidents that overshadows her super-star status. We’re glad Richland Councilman Terry Christensen last week suggested the city reconsider its position.
Healthy and diverse economy
Benton and Franklin counties are expected to have the third-highest work force growth rate of the state’s 12 regions through 2023 after posting the largest growth trend in the state since 1990. For years, this region has worried about the post-Hanford economy, and while Hanford remains a major player, agriculture, health, education and manufacturing jobs are growing. Regional economist Ajsa Suljic said having five major industries is unique. Most communities have two or three.
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Flightpath to the future
Boardings at Tri-Cities Airport continue to grow, flights are being added and the Port of Pasco is in the midst of a $43.7 million remodel and expansion of the terminal. A decade ago, few would have predicted that type of growth. That’s why it’s a bit surprising to see the city of Pasco propose an expansion of its urban growth area to an area that might infringe on the airport’s ability to expand in the future. Trading the potential for the future growth of this vital economic driver for tracts of housing is a bad trade. Franklin County commissioners delayed voting on the request until this week. We hope they don’t take action that will limit our future.