Our Voice: Thumbs up to Port of Pasco's approach to airport expansion

November 25, 2013 

columbia drive mobile home park kennewick

Carl Isaacson, owner of Columbia Drive Mobile Home Park in Kennewick, stands next to a spool of power cable being used to upgrade the park's electrical system.

KAI-HUEI YAU — Tri-City Herald

Wait and see

To Port of Pasco commissioners for knowing better than to count their chickens before they're hatched.

Even after the Federal Aviation Administration moved the Tri-Cities Airport terminal remodel up in priority, increasing its chances of receiving an $8 million grant next year, port officials have continued to take a conservative stance on paying for the $43.5 million project.

The port is proceeding with plans to double the size of the Pasco terminal using annual Airport Improvement Program payments from the FAA. That source of money has been reliable since the program was created in 1987, and the project is too important to put on the back burner.

If the grant comes through in the spring, the timetable for the remodel can be adjusted. In the meantime, Port of Pasco taxpayers and Tri-City air travelers will benefit from the commissioners' cautious approach to funding the airport expansion.

Better safe than sorry

To Kennewick officials for shutting off power to the Columbia Drive Mobile Home Park.

We are sympathetic to the plight of the park's residents who were left without electricity during a stretch of cold weather. But shivering in the dark beats going up in flames.

City officials said they were forced to shut off power after the park's owner, Carl Isaacson, repeatedly ignored requests to bring the electrical system up to code.

Kennewick Fire Marshal Mark Yaden told the Herald the electrical system was on the verge of "catastrophic failure."

By Friday afternoon, repairs had been made and power restored to 21 of the park's 24 trailers, and work on the remaining three was expected to be completed soon, most likely during the weekend.

The anger and frustration expressed by park residents are understandable. But we can only imagine how much more anger would result from an electrical fire if the city had failed to act.

Fourth R -- Running

To today's kids for lacking the physical stamina their parents possessed at their age.

An analysis of studies on millions of children around the world finds they don't run as fast or as far as their parents did when they were young.

On average, it takes children 90 seconds longer to run a mile than their counterparts did 30 years ago. Heart-related fitness has declined 5 percent per decade since 1975 for children ages 9 to 17, according to the American Heart Association.

That's bad news, but the blame probably belongs to adults -- and mostly Chinese adults.

The decline in fitness seems to be leveling off in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and perhaps in the past few years in North America, the study found.

However, fitness continues to fall in China, and fitness has remained fairly consistent in Japan. About 20 million of the 25 million children in the studies were from Asia.

China's Education Ministry data show that in 2010 male college students ran 1,000 meters 14 to 15 seconds slower on average than male students who ran a decade earlier. Female students slowed by about 12 seconds in running 800 meters.

Experts and educators blame an obsession with academic testing scores for China's competitive college admissions as well as a proliferation of indoor entertainment options such gaming and web surfing for the decline, The Associated Press reported.

In the U.S., schools should strike a balance between academic success and physical well-being of American kids.

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