Thumbs up to Pasco City Council for vote to annex

By the Tri-City HeraldNovember 5, 2012 

Thumbs up to the Pasco City Council for voting to annex a piece of the so-called "doughnut hole," creating a potentially insurmountable obstacle to some residents' plans for starting a new city.

The annexation brings about 1,400 people into Pasco, shrinking the remaining island of incorporated county land to fewer than 3,000 residents.

The numbers are significant because state law requires newly formed cities to have at least 3,000 residents. If the proponents of a new city can't stop Pasco's move, their movement is dead.

The Mid-Columbia doesn't need another government entity. Pasco council members did the right thing for all the city's residents, including the 1,400 newest ones.

Protect and serve

Thumbs up to the Kennewick City Council for focusing budget talks on maintaining public safety and other crucial services.

The city has been responsible with the public's money, eliminating 31 jobs since 2005, even as population grew by 18,000 during the past decade.

The city's proposed budget for the next two years includes $650,400 to add three police officers to target gang activity.

The additional officers will allow Kennewick police to keep up with the city's increasing population without pulling officers off the gang detail, said Kennewick Police Chief Ken Hohenberg.

It would be a mistake to ease police pressure on gangs in the Tri-Cities. The consolidated effort here has kept gang violence well below the levels nearby communities are experiencing.

Kudos to Kennewick for making the city's anti-gang initiative a priority during budget talks.

One more day

Tumbs down to the lies that permeate this year's campaign ads.

Campaigns and PAC's supporting the presidential candidates get the most scrutiny from independent observers.

The Christian Science Monitor points out that if you Google "lies in 2012 presidential campaign ads," you get 224 million hits.

But that article is more than a month old. We tried it ourselves Friday afternoon and got 340 million results.

The Annenberg Public Policy Center's website, FactCheck.org, is still trying to keep up with all the lies. From its latest report:

"Both sides in the presidential race are making one last push for votes with false and distorted claims on television, radio and even in text messages."

Here are a couple of examples the organization's fact-checkers are citing:

* A liberal super PAC's radio ad in Ohio twists Mitt Romney's words by having him say six times: "I'm not concerned about the very poor." He actually said: "I'm not concerned about the very poor; we have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I'll fix it."

* A conservative super PAC falsely claims in a TV ad that President Obama's health care law "creates an unaccountable new board that can cut Medicare benefits with no notice -- and no one, not even Congress can stop it." Here' the problem -- it is not "unaccountable," it cannot "cut Medicare benefits" and Congress can vote to "stop" its proposals.

We're glad we have two thumbs, because an ad for gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee deserves special recognition because it hits close to home.

The TV spot, paid for by the Our Washington PAC, takes passages of newspaper endorsements for Inslee's opponent Rob McKenna and twists them to imply support for Inslee that doesn't exist.

The Herald editorial board, for example, favors McKenna in the race, but we acknowledged that both candidates have a wealth of experience.

Our Washington's ad shows the Herald's logo and partial quote from our editorial taken entirely out of context, while the voice over states, "newpapers laud Inslee's wealth of experience."

That's stretching the truth beyond recognition. Wednesday can't get here soon enough.

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