Opinion

Thumbs down to ignoring local representation at nuclear waste discussion

Missing voice

To the Bipartisan Policy Center of Washington, D.C., for holding a regional meeting in Richland to discuss the disposal of nuclear waste and failing to have a single Tri-City representative on its panel.

It is odd that speakers from Seattle, Olympia, Washington, D.C., and several tribes were invited to join in a discussion that took place in Hanford’s backyard, but no one thought to add a local perspective to the team.

Members of TRIDEC apparently were invited to attend — not participate — in the meeting, but declined when it was apparent the agenda was stacked in such a one-sided fashion.

The meeting was touted as bringing a “local and national perspective” to the disposal of defense waste and how inaction is affecting Native American tribes.

No one is more “local” than the Tri-City community. No one wants Hanford cleaned up as urgently as those of us who live next door to the nuclear site. No one understands the complexities of dealing with nuclear waste better than those who have been pushing for Hanford cleanup since the Tri-Party Agreement was signed in 1989.

Next time a Washington, D.C., think tank comes to the Tri-Cities to discuss the disposal of nuclear waste, its organizers might want to put some more thought into who is leading the discussion. Adding a truly “local” perspective from the community would have made their meeting credible.

Beyond the line of duty

To police officers who are willing to use their bodies as shields to save others.

Local law enforcement agencies were involved in a tense standoff last week in Kennewick that left one man dead. But the death toll could have been higher.

In addition to the danger the gunman posed to responding officers, two women and a boy escaped from an apartment balcony during an exchange of gunfire. As they made their escape, police used their bodies as shields to protect the trio and escort them to safety.

Police have the duty to serve and proect, but that’s going the extra mile.

Sweetening the pot

To State Attorney General Bob Ferguson for requesting the Liquor Control Board take child-appeal into consideration when crafting marijuana regulations.

As the board creates permanent rules on recreational marijuana, it needs to be certain pot-laced products that appeal to children won’t get into their hands.

Ferguson sent a letter to the Liquor Control Board, saying “As our state implements voter-approved recreational marijuana, it’s crucial that the rules governing it take every measure possible to protect children.”

We absolutely agree.

Ferguson’s angle is to regulate infused products and flavored marijuana concentrate, but we have to ask if there is there even a place for pot brownies or cupcakes?

Adults who want to use pot don’t need the added sugar to coax them. When drugs are disguised as candy, we are essentially inviting kids try them.

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