Quick takes from the Tribune Editorial Board...
Not everybody’s getting laid off. Wednesday’s Tribune reported that Orbital Sciences Corp. was to have broken ground Thursday on an 82,000-square-foot expansion of its rocket development and production campus in south Chandler, which will create office and engineering for 300 new employees.
And not only jobs. New real estate development is part of this, too. Our story further reported that the expanded buildings are part of a new 74-acre mixed-use development, the Waters at Ocotillo, to include condominiums, retail outlets, restaurants and other commercial uses.
An Orbital spokesman told reporter Ed Taylor that the reason for the expansion is that Orbital is doing more business with government.
Government, along with health care, are among the few major employers that are growing in this difficult economy.
While we’re happy about the jobs and the commercial opportunities, we’re not entirely thrilled about the reasons.
Gov. Janet Napolitano deserves universal praise for her unflagging commitment and leadership to expand literacy among Arizona children by giving away nearly 1 million books — and doing so without costing taxpayers a single cent.
Some politicians have a bad habit of launching programs that garner vote-winning publicity, and then abandoning their pet projects as soon as the media cameras turn away. But Napolitano and her staff built a book giveaway program from scratch in 2003 and then have sustained and expanded it over the past six years.
The program targets first- and fourth-graders, features Arizona authors and Arizona stories, and has been paid for entirely by donations from private businesses with significant Arizona investments.
And as each new book is released, Napolitano takes the time to visit a school or two and read the complete book to attentive classes. Sure, these schools trips provide more opportunities for flattering media attention.
But it’s also true that Napolitano’s personal touch likely makes a real difference. Every time a child is inspired by a visit from the governor to get into reading, the fabric of our entire society is enriched a little more.