Our Voice: Thumbs up to business in downtown Kennewick

Getting things moving

To the state Senate for passing the transportation package.

Last Monday the state Senate approved a $15 billion transportation revenue package with a 27-22 bipartisan vote. It is now up to the House to come up with its own bill.

The Mid-Columbia stands to benefit from this package with projects like the Red Mountain interchange near West Richland, the Lewis Street overpass in Pasco and the Duportail Bridge in Richland — which are a part of the Senate proposal and we would like to see them in the House plan, as well.

No doubt that’s what motivated the Richland City Council to offer a 5-0 support for the bill. Council members said they weren’t thrilled about the proposed 11.7 cents a gallon gas tax. We doubt anyone is.

No one likes paying more for gas. Everyone likes good roads and safe bridges. It’s hard to have one without the other.

Quick sale

To Meier Architecture and Engineering for bringing its business downtown.

Anyone who has sat with a house for sale knows the anxiety of playing the real estate waiting game.

When Kennewick Irrigation District announced in January it was selling its downtown office, we hoped for a quick sale. That now appears to be a done deal.

While Southridge and Vista Field are getting a lot of play lately, we’re glad to see some action in downtown Kennewick as well. The Tri-Cities have many community pockets. It’s important to the health of the community that they all stay vibrant.

We welcome Meier and its 50 employees to downtown.

Readers and writers connect

To the continued efforts of our LitFest and Cavalcade of Authors committees.

The Mid-Columbia Literary Festival is a chance for the community to learn from and interact with authors. The Cavalcade of Authors connects students with authors of youth and young adult books. Both have events this week.

The Cavalcade lectures on Friday are coveted events and not every student gets to go. Only the first 50 students from each school to read four of the authors’ books can attend. It’s a great event.

LitFest events are open to the public and spread out over the course of several months, with a lecture from author Allen Johnson Tuesday night at the Richland library. A complete schedule can be found online at http://bit.ly/tclitfest.

Of course we’re biased, but we love readers!

Gorge gorging

Last year’s Chinook salmon survival rate in the Columbia was 55 percent. It was 69 percent in 2013 and 82 percent the year before. It’s declining quickly and steadily.

The National Marine Fisheries are fingering the increasing number of seals and sea lions enjoying the fish buffet in the Columbia River as the culprits.

It’s a problem. We need a solution. Soon.