Thumbs up for 9 tanks down

Thumbs up for only 140 more to go.

While progress seems slow in emptying the underground storage tanks for high-level wastes at Hanford, the good news is that there is progress. Tanks eight and nine have been emptied so far this year, and DOE is expecting to get two more cleared out by October.

It's taken nine years to get the first nine tanks emptied. To stay on target, DOE needs to empty seven more in the next two years.

We think it can do it.

Often, the hardest part is getting started -- whether you're trying to lose a few pounds or break Earth's gravitational pull.

More fuel is used in the first few miles of a space launch than is required for the rest of the mission.

Following that line of reasoning, we're hoping that hardest part of is over and the next seven tanks empty smoothly.

Extending its Reach

Thumbs up to the nice surprise when you put on your winter coat that's been hanging in the closet all summer and you find $20 in the pocket.

We're guessing it also feels good when you stumble on an extra $700,000 for your project.

We have been longtime supporters of the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center.

That project has hit a few jolts and starts, and we've been holding our collective breath to see if they can pull it together.

We're happy to see some leftover stimulus money is going to be able to be put toward the project.

It will ease the burden on the community and give the Reach a little bit of room to breath.

Feeling the heat

Thumbs down to supplementing the popcorn industry. We like popcorn. It's yummy, and it counts as a whole grain.

We are not, however, crazy about the idea of the feds spending money on promoting the product overseas.

Call us crazy, but we think the popcorn growers ought to pick up the tab for encouraging international clients to buy their goods.

That's how most of the other commodities operate.

The real hunger games

Thumbs down to hunger. We all know that somewhere in the world a child goes to bed without food.

We don't like to think that it happens in the United States or in the Mid-Columbia, but it does.

The technical term for not having enough food at all times to sustain active, healthy lives for all family members is "food insecurity."

And as a nation, we have 700,000 more people trying to cope with food insecurity this year than we did last year.

A little paragraph in the paper on Friday said that the percentage of people's income that is spent on food is actually going down.

That's good news for most of us. But for the other one in seven, well, it doesn't help put dinner on the table tonight.

Sometimes we fail to see the other guy's problem. Consider donating to a food bank.