Thumbs up to the brainiacs at Hanford High School

Hanford High recently earned a threepeat at the Department of Energy's Regional Science Bowl.

The members of Hanford's winning team are Jonah Bartrand, Chenguang Li, Sathvik Ramanan, Sean Thompson and An Wang.

They went up against Richland High School in the final round of the tournament. Kudos to the Bombers for taking the silver.

Topics cover biology, chemistry, mathematics, energy, physics and earth and space sciences.

Hanford has won the eight-hour long competition, which includes 20 local and regional teams, for three consecutive years.

The winning team advances with an expenses-paid trip to DOE's National Science Bowl from April 24-28 in Washington, D.C.

Big Brother

Thumbs down to the Federal Communications Commission for proposing an analysis of news content from newspapers, websites, radio and TV to determine whether the media is doing its job.

Faced with an outcry, the FCC chairman said he would amend the effort to assess whether the news media were meeting the public's "critical information needs," The Associated Press reported

But removing questions that critics had deemed invasive doesn't go far enough.

The proposal needs to be stomped out for good.

The FCC said it wanted to assess the coverage of eight "critical information" subjects, including public health, politics, transportation, the environment and "economic opportunities."

As the survey was originally designed, government researchers would have asked reporters, anchors and news managers at as many as 280 news organizations to describe their outlet's "news philosophy" and about how they select stories.

Media watchdogs are important, and there are dozens of organizations representing interests across the political spectrum posting critiques online every day.

That is needed and welcome. But it's not the government's job to decide how well the media functions.

Anything along those lines by the government would have a chilling effect that undermines the First Amendment.

This proposal was never likely to get very far, but shame on the FCC for ever floating it.

Double shame on the agency for failing to quash it completely.