Thumbs up to dressed for success at Paterson schools

Thumbs up to the Paterson School District for requiring students to wear school uniforms for four years.

Admittedly, the district's small size -- about 100 elementary and middle school students -- is likely to make it easier to implement a stringent dress code.

Paterson students can wear any of five colored polo shirts -- light pink, light blue, light gray, white or forest green -- with jeans, slacks, capris or shorts.

But the benefits are compelling enough to get larger districts like Prosser to take a closer look at school uniforms.

The savings to parents are one important consideration. In Paterson, families buy the shirts from the district for $7.50 apiece.

Beyond the financial considerations, school officials said student disciplinary incidents declined 85 percent after the first year of the uniforms, with fewer incidents of bullying and fewer students acting out.

With those results, it's no wonder other districts are considering similar policies.

Here's to dreamers

Thumbs up to two as yet unnamed sponsors who've pledged $1.5 million to help open the 100-year-old Carousel of Dreams at the Southridge Sports and Events Complex in Kennewick.

The Three Rivers Carousel Foundation told the Kennewick City Council last week that the two sponsorships mean the nonprofit will be ready to start construction soon and begin operating to the 44-horse carousel in June.

The horses were bought in 2003 and restored to mint condition, but the project languished ever since.

That changed in January, when a group of business and community leaders revamped the foundation and promised to complete the effort.

We never doubted this can-do committee, but it's still gratifying to see such rapid progress after years of uncertainty.

Much ado about nothing

Thumbs down to election chiefs around the country who have elevated public concern over the non-issue of voter fraud to a level that simply isn't warranted by the facts.

It's especially galling that it has become a partisan issue, driven by Republican officials in key battleground states.

Every American has an interest in clean elections, and despite all the fuss and fury, the evidence shows that's what we're getting.

Extensive searches for illegal voters in Colorado and Florida, for example, resulted in numbers that amount to fewer than one-tenth of 1 percent of all registered voters in either state.

Last year, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler estimated that 11,805 noncitizens were on the rolls but his investigation found just 35 who have voted -- that's out of nearly 3.5 million registered voters.

Zero would be a better number, but 1-in-100,000 is pretty close. No more time and money should be spent on an effort that yields so few results.

Democrats and Republicans have enough real issues that divide them. There's no need to make up new ones.

Thumbs down: Quint-Cities anyone?

Thumbs down to the more than 900 residents of would-be Doughnutville for letting their emotions trump good sense.

They signed a petition to form new city out of an island of county land in the Riverview area because they're unhappy with Pasco's plan to annex their properties.

The city wants to annex the 4-square-mile Riverview Island area using authority granted by utility agreements with residents who wanted city water and sewer connections.

Now, some of the residents don't want to live up to the agreements they made with Pasco in exchange for city services.

How can they in good conscience continue to accept those services?