Our Voice: Community involvement requires working together

August 15, 2013 

Early morning fire

One Kennewick man is alive today thanks to a handful of kids who were up when much of the world sleeps.

A fire broke out at 2:20 a.m.

Two teens who were driving by saw the flames, called 911 and started looked for a hose to douse the fire.

The children at the neighbor's house were also awake playing computer games and smelled smoke. They woke the adults in the house.

The teenagers and the neighbors worked together to contain the flames. When the firefighters arrived they pulled a man -- slightly burned, but still alive -- from the house.

Sometimes people stand on the sidelines, either through paralysis or panic. In this case, people did all the right things.

The first thing to do in an emergency always is to call 911. Check. In the case of the neighbor kids, they told an adult right away. Check. Despite the temptation, never enter a burning building. Check.

It's impossible to know what each of us would do in an emergency until that time actually comes. But we're thankful that these people were thinking clearly in the middle of the night, despite the heat of the situation.

Thank goodness for night owls. We're pretty sure the man pulled from the fire, Steven Murphy, feels the same way.

Carousel continues

It's getting closer all the time.

We are starting to see the fruits from some of the community's combined efforts. The next one on the radar is the Carousel of Dreams.

It's been 12 years in coming.

After a couple of setbacks.

But the community has made it work.

Grassroots contributions have given individuals a sense of ownership. The accumulation of small donations has been essential. And large donations from generous benefactors finally have gotten the project off the ground.

Without rehashing the whole history, it's fair to say that the end product will be a joint effort.

Things rarely turn out in the end looking exactly like the original vision. But it takes a vision to get things started. Often it requires flexibility to bring things to completion.

We're thankful for both of those qualities in the Mid-Columbia.

Fair affair

It's that time of year. Even though it's still warm, school is about to start ... but not before the Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo takes the stage.

The parade is Saturday in downtown Kennewick. The Demolition Derby is Monday. And the fair starts in earnest on Tuesday.

We have two excellent pieces of advice about the fair: 1) Go. 2) Take the bus.

Ben Franklin Transit provides direct rides from Kamiakin High, Lampson Stadium, TRAC, Pasco's 22nd Avenue Transit Center, Richland's Knight Street Transit Center and the Tulip Lane Park & Ride.

The bus is air-conditioned, cheap to ride and gives you front-door service.

If you choose to disregard our suggestion, be sure to notice the happy and contented looks of the bus passengers as they fly past you when you are trying to get out of the fair parking lot.

At that point, feel free to think to yourself, "I should have listened."

Our other piece of advice is simple. Go to the fair. Take someone you like. Enjoy it.

This, arguably, is our summer high point. There's something for the whole family.

It is a community event that's worthy of a truly great community.

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