At first I was excited to see Richland plans to build a stage at John Dam Plaza. If you've ever been there for an event, outdoor movie, Live at Five concert or political rally, you've seen a mound of dirt (covered with grass). Not much of a stage.

But then I got to thinking, what is a big stage needed for? Community theater has the Richland Playhouse one block away. Big theater has the high school stadium about four blocks west. Little stuff can rent the Uptown Theater or other venues. Why does Richland need a professional stage?

I guess I should let them answer that, but I will say the town I grew up in had a stage that every year was a free play on July 4 or something put on by the community theater group. If something like that gets started, I'm really excited. The town I went to college in had live concerts in the park that welcomed big name acts like Black Keys. If Richland does that, I'm excited.

Otherwise I'm confused. What do you think?