Our Voice: Thumbs up to Tri-City athletes

Giving athletes

To the Tri-City Americans and Fever players who go out of their way to support the community.

Recently, 14 members of the Tri-City Americans hockey team helped set a near record for food sorted and boxed at Second Harvest in Pasco. In roughly 2 1/2 hours they organized onions, potatoes and cabbages, ending up with 25,668 pounds of fresh produce ready for distribution. The food will help create 21,390 meals for the less fortunate in the Tri-Cities. Community service is encouraged on the team, and it is estimated the players log in more than 2,500 hours of volunteer work. They visit patients in hospitals, work with Habitat for Humanity and are involved in reading programs at various elementary schools in the area.

Players with the Tri-City Fever football team have a similar generous spirit, as they brightened the day for children in Tri-City hospitals who were going to miss out on Halloween fun. They too, volunteer throughout the community, assisting in after school activities for kids and donating their time for a variety of worthy causes.

These athletes are not only dedicated to their games, but to the community as well.

New Flag

To the brave man who was willing to scale the top of the Blue Bridge to replace the flag.

The bridge had been without a flag since August when the state Department of Transportation discovered the cable that hoisted it up and down had become frayed from normal wear. The state managed a way to take it down, but needed a special person to climb the 50-foot pole, fix the system and replace the flag. Jim Phelan, a 62-year-old steeplejack from California, was hired for job. He said he has been climbing professionally since he was 13 years old and scaling the flag pole was just a typical day for him.

That may be, but steeplejacks are a rare breed and we are glad state officials were able to find him. The Blue Bridge is just not the same without the flag on top.

Defacing parks

To the “artist” who recently went on a spree painting images on rocks and boulders at eight national parks and then documenting her work on Instagram and Tumblr. A woman from New York state is suspected of defacing areas of Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, Yosemite, Death Valley, Joshua Tree national parks in California, Rocky Mountain and Colorado national parks in Colorado and Zion and Canyonlands national parks in Utah.

The backlash has been furious on the Internet and naturalists and hikers are wanting justice. Investigators with the U.S. Attorney’s Office are considering charges.

It’s one thing to be bold and naive enough to think your paintings won’t take away from the natural beauty of pristine land formations, but to show them off on social media really is not thinking things through.