Our Voice: Grateful for a community that seeks solutions

The City of Richland is looking to expand the existing dog park at Badger Mountain Community park and could look at adding a second off-leash dog park.
The City of Richland is looking to expand the existing dog park at Badger Mountain Community park and could look at adding a second off-leash dog park. file

Solutions come with time. Some are in the process, yet to unfold, while still others are part of our awareness, knowing something can be done. We’re grateful to a Tri-City community that resolves to find answers and embraces strategies to bring about results.

Richland dog park

Build a 5-acre off-leash dog park, and they will come. But right now, dogs and pet owners are coming in healthy numbers to Paws-abilities Place dog park and finding only half of the promised area ready for a good romp.

Because the park’s grass is difficult to maintain with its high use, Richland sees a solution and is looking to expand its 2.5-acre dog park and adding another in north Richland.

Thanks to the Tri-City Dog Park Society, $35,000 for the second phase of the dog park has been committed.

The city would pay $100,000 if approved in 2016. In the meantime, the park’s grass, with a few brown spots here and there, invites dogs to run hard and play hard while grateful pet owners dream of more grass to come.

John Dam Plaza stage

Come spring 2016, a new HAPO Community Stage will be completed in the southwest corner of Richland’s John Dam Plaza.

It has taken longer than expected for construction to begin, but now there’s even more to be thankful for. The project got a boost when the state Recreation and Conservation Office pledged an additional $300,000.

Now there will be additional features included with the 2,350-square-foot stage with amenities and orchestra pit.

But not too far in the future, 1,500 to 2,000 people will sit in a bowl around the stage — a cool solution for a better view — where they can enjoy music and films. Spring can’t come soon enough.

Diversity training

When the lights go down for a romantic comedy or a Shakespearean drama, theater-goers may feel an emotional connection with the characters.

But some in the audience may not be able to identify with the traditional players on stage. Still, others may not have the means to even attend.

Someone who hopes to find a fix for that problem is Ellicia Elliott, artistic director of a local theater company, The Rude Mechanicals. She will be going to a new training program through the Oregon Shakespeare Festival aimed at increasing inclusiveness, equity and diversity in theater arts.

We’re grateful she is looking for a better way for people to connect in a shared arts experience.

PNNL awards

“Fill ’er up” may take on a new meaning when Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s innovative process is used to create car parts that are strong but lightweight and make vehicles more fuel-efficient.

The process has earned the Department of Energy lab in Richland one of two awards from the Federal Laboratory Consortium Far West Region for partnering with industry and developing new technologies.

The second award was for super-computer software that might help research issues ranging from brain cancer to the formation of bacterial colonies.

We’re grateful that PNNL is solving problems that will make our lives better.