Our Voice: Thumbs up to Pasco and Richland voters for supporting children

Voters in Richland and Pasco school districts approved bond measures to ensure continued access to a quality education for thousands of children.

Richland's $98 million bond passed with a comfortable 65 percent approval from voters in initial tallying Tuesday night.

It wasn't clear whether Pasco's $46.8 million bond would clear the required 60 percent hurdle until the second day of counting.

But when counting was finished Wednesday afternoon, the measure was leading with around 61 percent of the vote.

The money is needed by both districts to upgrade aging facilities and build new schools to accommodate rising student populations.

In this tough economy, it's remarkable that so many in our community are willing to voluntarily raise their taxes to help our kids.

Breathing easier

Thumbs up to the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility for shutting down its last furnace used to destroy chemical weapons.

The Metal Parts Furnace started incinerating nerve agent bombs in September 2005, helping bring a permanent end to the threat these weapons posed to the Mid-Columbia.

More than 1 million pounds of chemical agent and more than 100,000 munitions were destroyed in the furnace.

The disposal facility had four furnaces for processing all of the bombs, projectiles, spray tanks and ton containers in the stockpile. One furnace system was used to destroy rockets and mines, and two others were liquid incinerators used to destroy the bulk of the agent extracted from the munitions.

In addition to processing the larger munitions, the Metal Parts Furnace was used to burn secondary waste, everything from used protective suits to filters and life support air hoses.

The Northwest is a safer place to live because of the work completed at the facility.

Credit unworthiness

Thumbs down to the credit reporting industry for making significant errors inside an often impenetrable black box.

About one in 20 consumers had significant errors on their credit reports that could cause them to pay more for consumer credit, according to a new Federal Trade Commission report.

Four of five people who took steps to fix errors with one of the three major credit reporting companies -- Experian Information Solutions, Equifax and TransUnion -- actually got their credit report changed.

That means 20 percent of those trying to fix errors failed to get their credit reports changed. That's an unacceptably large failure rate.

The report found that only about 2.2 percent of credit reports contained errors that were likely to change credit scores enough to cause consumers to pay higher rates for loans.

That's only reassuring if it's easy and quick for the victims to correct the errors. For one in five of them, it's not.