Our Voice: Thumbs up to Doc for keeping his pension promise

Walking the pension talk

To Doc Hastings for refusing his congressional pension.

Early in his 20 years as the 4th Congressional delegate, Rep. Doc Hastings made a promise not to accept a congressional pension. He is retiring at the end of this year and has said no to the $53,000 pension.

Only two other member of Congress have chosen that path, former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and Rep. Ron Coble of North Carolina.

In Doc’s case, we’re glad to see a politician keeping his word.

We would like to see others follow his lead, if they’re in a financial position to do so.

Little dangers

To protecting kids from e-cigarette poisoning.

In general, electronic cigarettes are considered safe — for adults — who use them properly. Well, they’re at least safer than real cigarettes.

Some say — it’s only vapor; it’s a nicotine delivery system; it helps people quit smoking.

But little kids, ages 1-3, have been able to poison themselves with these reportedly harmless products — mostly by ingesting the liquid nicotine the device uses.

State officials want to make that harder for them to do that by making the product less attractive and by packaging it in harder-to-open containers.

Inconvenient? Yes. Worth the effort? Absolutely.

Low marks

To ranking in the bottom quartile of the aging survey.

The Tri-Cities didn’t rank high in the Successful Aging survey. We were 188 out of the 252, although we did improve from the last ranking of 222 two years ago.

You can see the survey results online at www. successfulaging. milkeninstitute.org/.

The survey is designed to help people find ways to “successfully age in place and engage with their communities.”

Kennewick’s Mayor, Steve Young — and about 100 other mayors from around the country — have accepted the challenge to do better next time. Pasco and Richland mayors have yet to sign the challenge — but more are joining in every day. You can see these results online as well.

The survey points out strengths in our community and deficits. Of course everyone feels better with a feel-good story, but targeted, constructive criticism is helpful.

According to the survey, we need more health facilities for our aging population including Alzheimer’s and hospice care.

The survey looks at 84 indicators. It takes in the whole picture.

We’re above the national average for wellness, but trail in the other seven categories. We hit a dismal low in health care, almost 13 points behind the national average.

We can do better than that.