Risks don't always pay off -- thanks for taking chance

We appreciate people who are willing to take a risk to help someone else. Maybe that means cleaning garbage off the bottom of the Columbia River or cleaning criminals off the streets of the Mid-Columbia.

However they serve, we are grateful for their efforts and gratified by their willingness to do the right thing.

Take the plunge

Even on the hottest of our summer days, the water in the Columbia River is cool. It is always, let's say "refreshing," to take a dip. But going in the water, intentionally, to pick up trash on New Year's Day, that's got to be downright cold.

The story interests us in two ways. One is that the Atomic Ducks Dive Club is willing to clean up other people's trash and protect our waters. We're sure that's frustrating, but also rewarding.

And secondly, if you dress for the occasion, you can enjoy the outdoors all year round.

Too many of us want to hibernate during the cold months of the year. Generally speaking, that's a bad idea. Fresh air and sunlight improve your health and your mood.

Put on a coat (or a wetsuit if you're swimming in the Columbia) and go outside to play.

We, the students

We are historically impressed with River's Edge High School's showing in the "We, The People" competition. This week, River's Edge is representing the Mid-Columbia in the next round of competition.

We, the editorial board, suspect that the kids who participate on these teams from the different schools know more about the Constitution than most adults. It's good for each of us to be educated about this fundamental document.

We admire the students who participate and their teachers. We wish them luck.

Russell Wilson

To everyone who missed seeing Russell Wilson when he played for the Dust Devils, it's too late now.

True we can't claim the Seahawks standout quarterback as one of our own. But he was here for that one summer, so we're willing to latch on to him ... just a little.

It's an exciting time to be a Seahawks fan. Every playoff game is one more bonus.

But also it's fun to see Russell Wilson in the game.

People love to cheer for a winner. Whether the Seahawks keep advancing or not, Wilson is the kind of man who is a solid, decent person. He's a winner. We're cheering for him -- our (sort-of) native son.

Tipsters give aid to police

We're glad to live in a community where people look out for each other. Safety makes a place livable.

We're also interested to know that of the 95 people who were arrested last year through tips to Crime Stoppers, only 19 financial awards were paid out.

We can see how some people might want to retain their anonymity when it comes to helping the police find a fugitive. Maybe their motivation is personal safety, a sense of justice or the community good.

Whatever the case, we're encouraged by people getting involved to put criminals behind bars. And we're intrigued by the number of guys already behind bars who are helping locate people the police are looking for.

Siblings united

The story of family members separated from each other for 35 years and then reunited on national TV is a sweet one.

Anyone who has tried to contact an old friend knows there's a lot of information on the Internet. If you have the right information to start with, like their current name and what state they live in, you can sometimes find someone.

It's a little more challenging to find someone that you've lost since childhood with no idea what name they go by or where they are.

It's inspiring that the Steve Harvey show took up the challenge to find the last link in this family's chain. (We're pretty sure if you have the right tools, like money, you can hire the right person to find about anything.)

However, thinking about this story makes us grateful for people in our lives.

We're also impressed with the siblings' determination to turn around and help other people find their lost family members.

Our families, in whatever form they are, shape who we are. It's good to belong somewhere, whether that's in a family or a larger community.