Tri-City Herald: Thumbs up to new PNNL director’s vision

Ready for next step

To PNNL’s new chief Steve Ashby and his vision for the Northwest.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has a new director, and he is clarifying the lab’s direction.

Times of transition are a good time to re-access progress and set goals for the future.

Ashby’s focus is to improve the lab’s visibility on a national level and to define the Northwest’s reputation as in intellectual powerhouse.

The last 50 years have established a good base to build on. We know PNNL is a national jewel. We’re excited about every chance to let it shine even more.

Collegiate child care

To Washington State University Tri-Cities for recognizing a student need.

WSU Tri-Cities is attractive to older students partly because they don’t have to uproot their families to get more education.

Providing for a family makes education all that more important, but it also can make it harder to get to class.

Anyone who has tried to juggle work and school knows it’s tough. When you throw family in there, things can get really challenging.

A task force has recently recommended child care on or near the campus for students. It’s a good idea.

It will help parents get the education to better provide for their family, and it sets an example and expectation of education for their children.

Achieving schools

To the 11 Mid-Columbia schools that recently received state recognition for their achievement and progress.

Almost a dozen area schools have been recognized for making progress and half of them are receiving accolades for the second year in a row. This means their consistent efforts to improve are paying off.

Schools in the Kennewick, Kiona-Benton City, North Franklin, Othello, Pasco, Prosser and Richland districts made the grade.

State Superintendent Randy Dorn said, “We know schools are doing great work and are getting better at serving all students every day.”

We agree. Educating our kids is a big and complex job. We’re happy to celebrate moving in the right direction.

Life and death

To the FBI’s forensic specialists who have given flawed testimony for a 20-year period.

It is disgraceful that 26 of 28 elite FBI forensic specialists exaggerated matching hair results. In the 268 cases reviewed so far, witnesses overstated the matches in ways that favored the prosecution in 95 percent of the cases. We have to wonder if this has led to wrongful convictions.

Thirty-two of these convictions led to the death penalty and 14 of those have been executed or died in prison.

In this country, you’re supposed to be innocent until proved guilty. It’s unthinkable that we are using lies to prove that guilt.