Our Voice: Thumbs up to hospitality degree as Washington State University Tri-Cities

Pairs well with wineries

To the new hospitality degree at Washington State University Tri-Cities.

As the Mid-Columbia expands its tourist offerings, it only makes sense to train professionals in the field of hospitality. We need this skill set. Why not produce it locally?

The new bachelor’s degree will do just that.

Restaurants, hotels, wineries — they’re all beneficiaries.

Making someone’s stay pleasant will encourage return visits, so it’s good for the community. Providing an education to help businesses thrive will have a ripple effect on the Mid-Columbia.

We long have been a hub for science. Part of that success is the synergy that comes from having educational and employment opportunities align. Now that is happening in the hospitality department.

The hospitality degree will complement WSU Tri-Cities’ wine science degree and their soon-to-open wine science center.

We see this as a great next step to continue to diversify our economy.

Respected instructor

To Columbia Basin College Assistant Professor Doug Hughes.

The director for CBC’s surgical technologists program has been recognized as one of the top 15 instructors in that field.

It’s a degree this board didn’t know much about, but apparently is an integral part of any surgery and an important check in patient safety.

What impresses us even more than the work of surgical technologists, though, is the way an instructor can help a whole class be successful and transfer that enthusiasm to his students, rather than trying to weed people out of the profession, said one of his students Kara Dougherty.

In addition to encouraging students, he is building partnerships in the community.

Landlord trouble

To skirting the rules and taking advantage of the vulnerable.

The man who owns the Sun and Sand mobile home park in Mattawa has not had his day in court yet. But he’s accused of some pretty scummy practices.

If he’s guilty, we have to wonder how someone could leave other people in such undesirable living conditions.

Rather than bring his rental units up to city safety standards, he is accused of creating a sham paper sale and then allowing — or forcing — his tenants into substandard living conditions.

Worker housing is scarce in Mattawa. It must be tight if people are willing to put up with leaking windowsills that cause rot, water damage on walls, holes in the floor and infestations of cockroaches and bedbugs. According to court documents filed by the state attorney general, in one unit, a roof caved in and the hole in the roof was not repaired for more than a month.

We wonder how many other people suffer indignities like this. We hope this is an isolated case. But if not, we hope this action sends a message to others who may be operating below board.