Our Voice: We're grateful for things past, present and future

Many of us live in the Mid-Columbia because we are somehow tied to either agriculture or Hanford -- or our relatives were. At the same time, the Mid-Columbia is looking to the future. We have a history worth recognizing and a bright future.

Out of self-interest, we all must be interested in a post-Hanford economy.

Today we're grateful for where we've been and where we're going.

A step back in history

October marks the 70th anniversary of the B reactor groundbreaking and the birth of the atomic age. Plutonium from the reactor eventually lead to the end of World War II.

All October, activities will be dedicated to recognizing that part of our history. Included in these activities will be B Reactor and T Plant tours.

The B Reactor produced the plutonium for the world's first nuclear bomb, and the T Plant was the first chemical processing and separations plant of its kind in the world. It separated plutonium from fuel rods irradiated at B Reactor.

It's easier to get out to the B Reactor than it used to be. If the right laws meander their way through Congress, B Reactor will be part of a national park and tours will become routine. The T Plant is scheduled to be part of that museum complex.

At this point, however, we're willing to wager not many have seen the inside of the T Plant. It, too, tells a piece of our history -- and our future.

All considered, Hanford is mysterious. A person cannot just decide to go sightseeing, jump in the car and visit the historic sites within Hanford's boundaries.

One day, these artifacts from the Manhattan Project will be more accessible. In the meantime, the October tours are your best bet.

Tickets are on sale at www.ourhandfordhistory.org. Other activities for October include a James Bond-themed dinner and academic lectures.

We're grateful to live in an area that is rich in history. This is a great time for all of us to learn more about the place we call home.

LinkedIn recognition

Social media is the way many people communicate with each other. It's a source for news and networking. For many people, it's how they learn about job openings and how potential employers recruit top employees.

Companies who embrace the digital world will be able to attract a whole different field of workers.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory recruiter Rob Dromgoole understands this new way of thinking. In fact, LinkedIn, the networking site popular among professionals, has recognized Dromgoole's efforts.

In addition to recruiting, he sees the possibilities of scientists using LinkedIn to share their research and collaborate.

Social media can be a little intimidating and quite intrusive. It is certainly misused. But overall, we're grateful for the connections that it allows us to make with one another.