Daily News editorial

Neighbors in Need: The 2017 Neighbors in Need campaign has ended. Each year, the NIN campaign runs from Thanksgiving Day through Dec. 31. We continue to receive donations for a week or two into the New Year, but the campaign officially is over.

The goal this year was to raise $60,000 to help feed local people in need. Although the final donation tally isn’t in, the campaign donations currently are $58,500, making this year another great year of generous donations.

Looking back at NIN’s history, we found some interesting facts. Before 2009, NIN consistently raised $30,000 to $40,000 per year and reached $50,000 only once. Since 2009, NIN donations have averaged more than $57,500 per year with 2011 being the all-time high of $68,250.

From a larger perspective, Neighbors in Need has raised more than $1.3 million since its inception in 1987. Since 2009, NIN has provided $500,000 to local charities.

Thank you to everyone who donated to Neighbors in Need this year. We appreciate – and are grateful – for your generosity. The newspaper pays all administrative costs, so every dollar donated will go to help feed local people who otherwise may go hungry.

Great stuff.

Pioneer Lions and football: Members of the TDN editorial board were invited to attend the Pioneer Lions meeting earlier this week. The meeting was fantastic and we were honored and thankful for the chance to meet and talk with a wonderful group of people.

The Pioneer Lions, much like other local service groups, do great things for our community. The Lions are probably best known for providing the Christmas lights display at Lake Sacajawea during the holidays. In addition to being passionate about giving back to the community, the Lions are pretty fired up about football.

College football bowl games were a hot topic at the meeting. Club members mainly joked about how bad the Pac-12 teams played in bowl games, particularly how poorly the Washington state teams performed.

Eight of the Pac-12 football teams participated in a bowl game and the record for those teams in the games was pretty lackluster – one win and seven losses. By contrast, the Big 10 teams performed the best with a record of seven wins and one loss.

Discussing which team is better than another is what it’s all about for football fans and the passion Lions members have for college and pro football was on display at the meeting.

Some Lions club members were upset with this year’s performance by the Seahawks. Though rumors have been flying around the internet regarding whether Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll will retire, the Lions mostly grumbled about how poorly the team played this year.

Football aside, Lions club members were just as passionate about their accomplishments helping the local community.

We appreciate the chance to meet everyone and thanks again for the annual Christmas lights display!

New Year brings change: Earlier this week, Kelso City Council members decided to oust Mayor David Futcher in favor of Nancy Malone, who was elected mayor by a 4-3 margin.

In our view, Futcher has done a good job as the mayor representing Kelso. The change in leadership was somewhat of a surprise, and it may – or may not – indicate a rift in the council.

Jim Hill, Jeff McAllister, Larry Alexander and Malone are the four council members who voted for Malone. That leaves Kim Lefebvre, Mike Karnofski and Futcher (who will continue to serve as a councilman) as a potential minority group.

We are confident the Kelso City Council will work together to benefit citizens. To name a few issues, Kelso needs jobs, economic development, affordable housing and street repairs.

Time will tell.

Hoof rot: We learned in Wednesday’s edition of The Daily News that hoof rot research is progressing at a snail’s pace. TDN reporter Jackson Hogan wrote a story about researchers at Washington State University having trouble finding a scientist with the right background to lead the program.

A spokesman for the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine indicated the university still is collecting and reviewing applications for the position. “As you can imagine, there aren’t a lot of hoof disease experts in the world, so our advertising for this is extensive,” spokesman Charlie Powell told Hogan.

We appreciate that it is not easy finding someone with such a unique background who wants to move to Pullman, Washington, to do research, but we would like to see the research get going. Elk herds in Southwest Washington have been hit hard with hoof rot for years, with no end in sight.

This is frustrating news for conservationists, hunters and environmentalists and we’ll keep you posted.

Heavyweight boxing champ: Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson has partnered with investors to break ground on a cannabis resort. With marijuana consumption now legalized in the state of California, Tyson and his partners chose to develop an area in the Mohave Desert, reportedly about 110 miles north of Los Angeles.

We’re not sure what the name of this new venture will be, but it should be interesting. Tyson has led quite a colorful life, from winning the World Boxing Council heavyweight championship back in 1986 when he was barely 20 years old to going to prison after being convicted by a jury of raping a Miss Black America beauty pageant contestant.

Some people might say: Only in California.

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