Our Voice: Thumbs up and down

Hard work pays off

Thumbs up to one of Southridge High's valedictorians, Gianna Nino, for working hard and making hard choices.

Nino plans to attend Stanford University in the fall.

She has been awarded a Gates Millennium Scholarship to help with any gap in the funding between what Stanford will give her and what she needs.

Academically, she has worked hard to get to this point. She grew up speaking Spanish and has had to learn English at school in Umtatilla.

She moved to a new high school during her sophomore year and participates in sports, excels in band and tutors other students.

She supplements the family income by working alongside her mother in the fields in the summer.

Here is a girl who knows the meaning of hard work and focus.

With credentials and fortitude like that, Nino had her choice of several schools. It likely was difficult to choose one far from home.

One thing we can guarantee her is that more challenges are ahead.

Life is like that.

But that hard work and can-do attitude will help her to succeed.

Congratulations to a deserving young woman.

Fumble in the Senate

Thumbs down to our 50 senators who have the time and inclination to petition the National Football League about changing the name of the Washington Redskins.

The issue is divisive and clearly dear to the heart of many people.

The turf war is escalating mainly between team owner Daniel Synder and Oneida Indian Nations.

The football team claims the name honors Native Americans. The Oneida say it is a dictionary-defined slur and is offensive.

It is unclear how the majority of Native Americans feel about the name and logo.

Both sides claim to have the support of tribes.

We want to know more from the many people who make up the Native American nations before we weigh in.

But for now we will say how does the name of a football team rise to the top of the Senate's agenda with budget deficits and foreign relations and domestic tranquility and neglected veterans and military engagements and a slew of legislative activities that are going nowhere fast.

Racism and perceived racism are discussions we need to have in this country. We must show respect for others. This has been and will be an ongoing topic.

In the meantime, the Senate needs to be working on its assigned tasks.