Our Voice: Thumbs up and thumbs down

April 6, 2013 

Public comment

Thumbs up to the Port of Kennewick for inviting the public to comment on the future of Vista Field.

Port officials are in the uneviable position of deciding whether to keep the airport open or close it. Either way, someone will be unhappy.

We had our say about the matter last week. Even if the board doesn't follow our recommendation, at least we got our "comment period."

It's important for leaders to listen before they make a decision. And it's important for the community to feel like they were heard.

If you have any interest in Vista Field, make a point to attend the special commission meeting at 7 p.m. April 17 in the Bechtel Board Room at the Tri-Cities Business and Visitors Center, 7130 W. Grandridge Boulevard, Kennewick, to both hear and be heard.

Sky safety

Thumbs down to air-traffic control furloughs.

An annoucement Friday afternoon postpones the closing of 149 air traffic control towers until mid-June.

The closures were set to start this week. Five of these towers are in Washington, including our neighbors in Moses Lake.

The extension will give communities a chance to try to cover the gap, if they want.

What we're not hearing much about is the furloughs for the towers that remain open.

In 2011, 1,895 air-traffic control errors were reported.

USA Today reported in March that the FAA has a team of 16 staffers to investigate the "high number" of mistakes. They say they have a plan to reduce that number.

We don't know exactly what that plan is, but we can't imagine furloughs are going to make the skies any safer.

One online commenter made the snarky remark wondering if those responsible for the sequestration will be flying in the next few months.

It's a good question.

Governor's budget

Thumbs down to Gov. Jay Inslee's budget proposal.

We hate to say we told you so, but ... we did have this discussion a few months back.

Both candidates for governor said they would balance the budget without raising taxes. Then-Gov. Chris Gregoire said it couldn't be done. We asked the hopefuls about it when they were on the campaign trail.

So last week Gov. Inslee presented a budget proposal with $1.2 billion in "tax changes," i.e. making some temporary taxes permanent and ending some tax exemptions.

It kind of sounds like raising taxes to us.

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