Our Voice: We’re thankful for people who are willing to help

Pro bono work

We’re grateful for people like Judge Vic VanderSchoor and attorney George Telquist. The Legal Aid Society honored the pair this week at its annual recognition of Mid-Columbia lawyers who either support the organization or donate their time to represent low-income clients.

And they’re not alone.

The society has assigned 102 cases to pro bono work this year.

Although these are the honorees this year, we’re grateful for everyone who is willing to help someone else.

Leaders in training

A program like Kennewick High’s Air Force JROTC probably will interest some youths in a future military career. It certainly will develop leadership skills in teenagers that can transfer into many areas of their adult lives. And, possibly best of all, it keeps kids off the streets and teaches them self-mastery and discipline.

All of these bonuses benefit the cadet individually and the community as a whole.

It’s a program worth keeping an eye on and supporting when you can.

Keeping youths engaged solves many of society’s problems. School clubs, church groups and community service opportunities provide kids with a sense of belonging.

We’re grateful for these organizations in our community.

Mural mystery

Thank you to the city of Pasco for preserving the mystery mural found in a basement during a demolition project.

More than 60 years ago, Japanese immigrant Harry Yamauchi wanted to educate young people about his homeland. He painted the 9-by-8-foot scene to pique their interest, and taught them Japanese culture and language. His grandchildren say the mural outlasted the kids’ attention spans.

It’s regrettable that as part of the assimilation process in a new country, young people often forget their heritage.

We appreciate Pasco making the effort to preserve a part of its history that it didn’t even know about until a passerby alerted the demolition crew that it was there — behind a steel plate.

The Lewis Street overpass is going to make a difference in the future of downtown Pasco. It’s a great time to be remembering the city’s past.

E-cycling success

It’s likely you have some old tech gadgets around the house. Perhaps there will be even more of them after Santa stops at your house.

People love new technology, but are a little unsure of what to do with their old computers, TVs and such.

For one thing, hard drives might have sensitive information on them. For another, many electronics contain toxic materials that we really don’t want in our landfills.

In 2006, Washington passed a state law that requires electronics manufacturers to pay for proper recycling of old electronics.

The program has recycled more than 250 million pounds of electronics with 240 collection sites around the state.

We’re glad to see the program paying for itself and reducing toxins in our landfills.