Our Voice: Thumbs up to Red Cross volunteers; thumbs down to Dennis Rodman

Helping hearts

To the volunteers in our community.

The Red Cross has a reputation in the Mid-Columbia of offering relief when a disaster strikes. The agency helps families displaced by fires with clothing and shelter. It helps with immediate needs and also get people back on their feet.

And much of the ground work is done by volunteers.

Although people who donate to Red Cross are accustomed to giving their blood or even money, the organization also needs entire bodies.

It needs people to listen, to organize and to respond.

It's a rewarding opportunity for those who are willing and able to serve.

Other organizations in our community have similar needs. We're used to being approached for money or donations; we don't always think about the value of our time.

Hats off to those who volunteer.

More funds, fewer layoffs

To the possibility of a Hanford funding increase.

Announcements have already been made for Hanford layoffs, but it might be a little too soon to be cleaning out the desk.

Some or even all of 350 jobs that are scheduled to go away because of budget uncertainties might be saved by the budget bill working its way through Congress.

People who work at Hanford know there is an employment cycle. They are employed at the pleasure of Congress. But still, the uncertainty takes a toll.

Not knowing is sometimes the hard part.

Although our community's economy is more diversified all the time, what happens at Hanford still ripples through the Mid-Columbia.

So if there's a possibility of more funding, we can get behind that.

Not a slam dunk

We have to wonder if Dennis Rodman is really the guy you want representing your family, or country, in a situation as volatile as our relationship with North Korea.

From Terri Chung's viewpoint, clearly not.

Chung's brother is an American citizen imprisoned in North Korea. He was accused of crimes against the state and sentenced to 15 years hard labor.

Not only has Rodman refused to work with the family to try to free the man, he actually has implied that Kenneth Bae may be guilty. Chung thinks Rodman's comments have made things worse for her brother, not better.

If Rodman were at least in contact with the family or responsive to their requests, it may be a different story.

But how can someone form a judgment and put a man's life at risk without hearing both sides?