Thumbs up to exceptional rodeo

To all involved with the Rascal Rodeo organization for bringing the "Exceptional Rodeo" to Kennewick.

For two hours during last month's Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo, 120 volunteers from Washington and Oregon gave 40 people with special needs a taste of the cowboy life.

And thumbs way up to the buckaroos who tried their hand at roping hay-bale steers, milking wooden cows, straddling bulls made from barrels and riding real ponies and horses.

Their exploits brought smiles to everyone lucky enough to witness the event.

Thumbs up

We like the ring of this

To the Eva Restaurant in Los Angeles for attempting to teach their customers better manners. The eatery is now offering a 5 percent discount to customers who check their cell phones at the door before being seated.

Many people, especially the younger generation, don't seem to see the irony in wanting to stay connected with a cell phone while at the same time ignoring the people right in front of them.

Perhaps this could be the start of a trend for restaurants, and people will re-discover that good company can be the best part of a dining experience.

Thumbs down

Pack it out

To partiers who left more than 3,000 pounds of garbage at the Illia Dunes recreation area on the Snake River near Pomeroy.

The mess prompted the Army Corps of Engineers to close the popular beach at least through Labor Day weekend.

Broken bottles and beer cans in the water and trash left in parking lots and along the road turned the park into a health hazard.

Kudos to the 70 Washington State University students who volunteered to help clean up, but their efforts don't reverse the jeers park users -- many of them reportedly Cougars -- earned with their filthy behavior.

Bad example

To the "How is my kid driving?" app for encouraging people to text while driving if they see a teenager practicing unsafe maneuvers on the public highways.

Unsafe -- like texting while driving, for instance.

The new app allows parents of teen drivers to register the license plate number of their child's car on the website, howismykiddriving.com, then slap a bumper sticker to the car.

The obtrusive sticker asks witnesses to use a smartphone app that lets them report any traffic violations via text.

Reducing the number of traffic accidents involving teenagers is a good idea. Trying to do it by encouraging other drivers to break basic safety rules is stupid.

Thumbs down

Richland stands alone

To Richland for refusing to join Kennewick and Pasco in banning the lighting of fireworks in town.

No law is fully obeyed or enforced, so that's a thin excuse for failing to act.

True, we'll never see 100 percent compliance, but any reduction in the number of people intentionally setting fires in the middle of our desert summer will make our community safer.