Thumbs up, thumbs down

Thumbs up Planetarium contributor

To the Community Enrichment Foundation, which is a joint venture between Windermere Tri-Cities and Hapo Credit Union, for its generous contribution to the new planetarium at Columbia Basin College in Pasco.

The foundation's $100,000 gift will help bring kids to families and families to science. It's a very nice pairing.

We apologize for overlooking them last week and look forward to hearing more about their investments in the future.

Reaching toward the stars

To the homeschoolers' Home Link vision of building a to-scale model of the galaxy in the Tri-Cities.

Most of us don't really understand the galaxy; it's hard to get your mind around something that big.

We do, however, understand that just as the Earth revolves around the sun, projects revolve around funding, and that part of the package isn't complete yet.

But we like the idea.

We like using the students to develop and design the project. And we like that the community would have access to it.

Thinking about it

To Coyote Ridge for trying to tackle the problem of recidivism and giving those most likely to reoffend the tools to change their behavior.

We're interested to see how the pilot program, Thinking for a Change, plays out in the long run. It's hard to make lasting changes -- any dieter will confirm that -- but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try.

We are concerned for programs like these, however, in our state's ongoing budget crisis. When you're dealing with changing someone's impulses, you're talking about a long-term process.

We fear that when it's time to trim the budget some more, pilot programs might be the first ones to go -- regardless of their potential.

Thumbs downCupboard is bare

To our depleted food banks, although it's not their fault. The state is cutting food stamp benefits for 400 families in the Mid-Columbia, creating an ever-increasing burden on already-strained resources.

It's good for the state budget. It's bad for those families' budgets.

Many of the people that use who food bank are families that work, but can't make ends meet. Some of the clients are highly skilled workers who have been laid off.

This community is good about stocking the food banks. As a whole, the heart of the Mid-Columbia is very generous. But we have to wonder how long this is going to hold out.

It is to the point where we have to teach people how to fish, and give them a pole and stock the pond -- in addition to putting a can of tuna in their pantry -- to get them back on their feet.

Stolen Valor Act

To liars -- especially people who lie about receiving military honors.

We aren't lawyers so we really can't argue the legality of the Supreme Court's recent decision to dismiss the conviction of Xavier Alvarez, who lied about being a decorated veteran, but that just seems wrong.

People who earn that distinction shouldn't have to be in the same boat as the frauds.

Sometimes the aftertaste of the First Amendment that we love so much is a little bitter.