Thumbs up to good sports

Weather for wine

To a great grape-growing season.

People who appreciate vineyards and grape harvests are thoroughly satisfied with this year’s production. And we’re giving it a big thumbs up.

A lot of work — and some luck — goes into a great vintage. Anyone involved in agriculture takes a certain chance on the weather and other out-of-our-control events.

So when the right conditions align for a record-breaking season, followed by another record-breaking season, it’s worth getting excited about.

We’re looking forward to looking back at 2014.

Sportsmanlike conduct

In an era when sports is often too full of misdemeanor and athletes too seldom known for proper demeanor, how refreshing it was to read of the spirited but respectful rivalry between state’s two best high school cross country teams.

The runners from North Central and Kamiakin high schools chased one another doggedly around the state meet held recently at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco. And at the day’s end, when North Central’s team edged Kamiakin for the state title, both their coaches and athletes had nothing but praise for their opponents.

North Central coach Jon Knight and Kamiakin coach Matt Rexus, long keen opponents, run consistently outstanding programs.

Kamiakin’s Andrew Snyder, who finished third, said afterward, “We tried our hardest. To win, we had to be in just the right spot. We just weren’t able to perform.”

About that, he wasn’t quite right. He and his teammates performed admirably. They, and the runners from North Central, are a credit to their schools and their communities.

Please don’t text the bears

Yellowstone National Park is a place for the to buffalo roam, not cell phones.

The cost of installing a $34 million fiber optic line through Grand Teton National Park and into Yellowstone to satisfy our appetite for ever-more bandwidth, must be measured in more than money. Not only is it unnecessary, it’s quite simply a bad idea.

True our society is dependent, even addicted, to our technology. That’s all the more reason for us to occasionally unplug. The connections we make in places like Yellowstone should be with nature and the people with are with, not a digital device.