Our Voice: Thumbs up/thumbs down

Making the world go round

Thumbs up to the Umatilla tribes for joining the Carousel of Dreams effort. Their $10,000 donation will help with the flooring, the custom cabinets and the donor wall. It's another example of various groups working together for our community's benefit.

The carousel has been a long time in coming. And it will be here for a long time to come.

Individuals and groups who donate now are buying a piece of history. Tiles and other sponsorships are still for sale for people who want to be involved. Email carouselfoundation@ live.com for more information or you can call Dwight Marquart at 509-736-9900 or Randy Wacker at 509-713-6445.

Always room for improvement

Thumbs up to being ahead of schedule on water cleanup.

The Department of Energy already has exceeded its fiscal-year goal on removing chromium from the Hanford groundwater.

Its goal for this fiscal year was 550 pounds by Sept. 30 and already it ha removed 680 pounds. Overall it doesn't sound like a lot, but a little bit of chromium goes a long way when it comes to water contamination.

The cleanup is impressive.

We are impressed both by the new technologies and the improved efficiencies in the older plants.

It is interesting to us that one of the older plants now is operating at 150 percent of the capacity it was designed for and that DOE officials acknowledge their pump and treat systems are more efficient because of input from their operations, maintenance and engineering staff.

Hats off to people who are looking for -- and finding -- better ways of doing things ... together.

Fight fire with firefighters

Thumbs down to fire-lighting vigilantes who lost control of the "back burn" they weren't supposed to light.

Three Washington men have been charged with arson for lighting fires that were intended to slow the progress of the Okanogan wildfires.

They probably meant well, but the outcome was destructive and dangerous.

A back burn is sometimes used by fire prevention specialists to eliminate forest fire fuel. It's meant as a controlled burn and is only authorized by firefighting officials.

Allegedly the men were told to not start the fires and did so anyway. In one case the back burn accidentally destroyed a neighbor's property. In another case it nearly trapped firefighters.

If these men are found guilty, the penalty is stiff.

It's a case for the courts to decide, but there's a lesson in there for us all.