Our Voice: Thumbs up to educating future voters

Civic-minded educator

To Chiawana civic teacher Rob Gutierrez’s engaging approach to teaching.

A quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin, says “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” This model should transfer well to Chiawana civics students.

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman recently honored Gutierrez for being the state’s Outstanding Civics Educator.

Last year his students arranged for a congressional candidate debate — something this board was unable to do — and his students were active in a mock election.

Many adults complain about young people’s apathy toward politics, but here is a teacher who is engaging and encouraging future voters.

Being engaged in the process is what a civics class ought to be about — real hands-on experience.

We’re interested in seeing the Franklin County election rolls when theses kids start turning 18.

‘Power’ful bills

State Senator Sharon Brown has been busy this session working nuclear energy bills through the Legislature. Three have passed the Senate in recent days. One adds nuclear energy to the Green Power Program. If enacted it would include carbon-free nuclear power on the list of alternative energy sources included in the state’s voluntary program.

Another aims to educate science educators about nuclear science and technology, with the goal of putting more students on the career path in the nuclear energy field. This is an understaffed field with well-paid jobs.

The third bill would bring small modular reactor production one step closer to the Tri-Cities. Again, this would feed the economy, create local jobs and provide a source of clean energy for our state and beyond. Several neighboring states already are pursuing this.

All of these bills still need to pass the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.

We encourage them to look beyond party lines to see a prosperous future for Washington.

Letter to Iran

To the Republican Senators who wrote an open letter to Iran.

People much better versed in constitutional and international law have plenty to say about the 286-word letter that 47 Republican Senators wrote to Iran. We won’t debate the legality of it here — whether or not they have the right to do what they did.

But we are left scratching our heads at their motivation. No matter how you spin it, it can only be one more step at trying to undermine President Obama.

It is discouraging to us that Senators who are elected to represent the United States have sunk to the art of international trolling rather than helping this country build bridges. Very disappointing.