Thumbs up to Zirkle Fruit

Thumbs up to Zirkle Fruit for its energy conservation efforts. Wouldn't we all love to lower our power bill? Even a little bit? But 35 percent?

The Prosser plant made a dozen improvements, including installing some new fans, that paid off to the tune of an $800,000 refund from Benton PUD.

It kind of makes you want to climb up in the attic and put down another layer of insulation.

Conservation has to be part of our region's energy portfolio. We're all wasting electricity somewhere. Industry and residents need to look at ways to use less power.

The good news is, the less you use, the less you pay. So there is some real incentive for doing the right thing.

Riding the wave

Thumbs up to bringing a proposed regional aquatics center to within another lap or two away from the ballot. Pasco officials have found an alternative site (after the proposal for converting TRAC fell through). The voters are expecting to see a proposal for the project on their ballot as early as next year.

This is an idea that has been a long time in coming. The community has been tossing it around for at least 20 years. And with each meeting of the Regional Public Facilities District board, it gets closer to the public actually being able to make its voice heard.

It looks as of we'll soon see whether the community wants to open its wallets or if the idea is all washed up.

We're fumed

Thumbs down to lies and more lies.

We're dismayed that not only were California refineries open when they reported they were closed earlier this year, but that the West Coast consumer's gas price spiked because of the alleged shutdowns while the refineries were actually stockpiling fuel.

Aside from the fact we don't like being lied to, we also don't care much for being robbed.

There's a feeling of patriotism when you pull together and muscle through something, let's say a 50 cent per gallon price increase, because the nation needs you to.

That feeling turns to betrayal pretty quickly.

It's no wonder gas -- and gas prices -- are so volatile. Liars are manipulating the market.

Twinkie yum

Thumbs down to no more Twinkies.

OK, after that initial shock, let's clarify that Hostess has announced bankruptcy, but it is expecting to find a buyer for its more popular items, i.e., Twinkies.

Wow. That was a close call.

Eliminating Twinkies from our food chain might be good for some of our waistlines -- although we bet most people could replace those calories with something else pretty quickly -- but it would also be the loss of an American icon.

It also says something unpleasant about our society though, that as soon as the first announcement was made people were buying up all the remaining supply and scalping them on eBay.