Thumbs up to Kennewick's healthy solution for Grace Clinic

Thumbs up to the Kennewick City Council for finding a way to allow Grace Clinic to move into the former Benton Franklin Health District office on Canal Drive.

The health district had been in that location for years and was allowed to stay even after the city changed the zoning ordinances in that neighborhood. Once the health district moved to west Kennewick, however, the building was zoned for "light industrial" and sat vacant.

Grace Clinic, a nonprofit that offers free medical, dental and mental health services to low-income people, wanted to expand its services and move into the old health district site, but had to figure out a way to fit in since the zoning change. The clinic and city staff agreed to a "business park" designation, which will allow the clinic to operate but won't conflict with how the surrounding properties are used. The new location will allow Grace Clinic to expand its services and save about $68,000 a year in rent.

It's reasonable for the old health district building to be used for medical services once again, and it's good Kennewick officials found a way to make this work.

Branching out

Thumbs up to a new library branch in west Pasco. Mid-Columbia Libraries officials say construction could begin within the month and the new building might be ready by January. The new branch will be built by developer Dennis Ginis on Wrigley Drive as part of a larger development.

West Pasco has erupted in growth, and it's time people who live there had a library close to home. This is an exciting development, and it's great to hear the project is moving along.

Thumbs down

Dumb and dumber

Thumbs down to Senate candidate Todd Akin for his idiotic statement that women's bodies shut down and protect them from getting pregnant after a "legitimate rape," and a double thumbs down for the media frenzy that wouldn't let his comment die.

There are so many more important issues facing the country, primarily the sour economy, yet the absurd comment by the Missouri congressman was the priority story among television, radio and the internet -- repeated over and over again.

Akin said something stupid. It makes sense to point that out, but it's nonsense to dwell on it. Please, let's move on.

Top of mind

Thumbs down to any American who doesn't care about our troops still fighting in Afghanistan and dying at the rate of one soldier a day. The Afghan conflict has been going on for 12 long years, and people have stopped paying much attention, even though there are an estimated 80,000 American troops over there still doing their duty.

The war isn't mentioned much in the campaign rhetoric, and most people just don't seem that concerned about it.

Americans need to turn off the snooze button, wake up and remember we have soldiers sacrificing their lives for ideals we take for granted.

The troops still need moral support from home.