Our Voice: People putting their minds and backs to work for us

We're grateful today for groups of people who work together to improve our community, some through brains and some through brawn.

Lit Fest

The final LitFest event for this season is at 7 p.m. tonight at the Richland Public Library when children's poet laureate Kenn Nesbitt of Spokane will read his works and field questions. It definitely is a family-friendly event.

The humorous poet is the final author for the 2014 event that has spanned several months of reading, writing and sharing.

An event earlier this week featured two authors who have become successful writing ebooks, which give readers the thrill of the story without the cost of publishing. The crowd stopped asking questions only when the library closed. It is clearly a topic of interest.

LitFest constantly is in a sort of evolution in the Tri-Cities.

Organizers have tried different approaches of bringing events to the public throughout the year or condensed into smaller time spans.

The format changes but one thing that is steady is the dedication to the event.

LitFest promotes reading, which means thinking is sure to follow. Reading brings the community together through discussion and shared experience and it gives would-be authors encouragement.

We're grateful for LitFest and for the volunteers and partnerships that keep it going.

Friends of Badger

The Friends of Badger Mountain put their heart into their work ... and their backs. They are building a fourth trail on Badger Mountain.

They have been working hard this spring and now are forced to take a break until fall.

You might be tempted to wander up and check out the new trail. But Trailmaster Jim Langdon says, "Don't do it." Langdon said using the trail before it's finished will damage it.

But you might want to block out some time on your autumn calendar to help finish the project.

WSU graduation

More than 200 diplomas were awarded from Washington State University Tri-Cities this week.

We appreciate the effort put forth by the graduates and are proud of them.

Some students have to balance families and careers. Maybe it gives them extra incentive, but it also presents added challenges.

Every graduation at WSU Tri-Cities also calls to mind that we are grateful to have that institution in the Mid-Columbia. The community worked hard to get a four-year university here; we're glad to see people taking advantage of this great opportunity.