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McMorris Rodgers' behavior is shameful

The news from Washington, D.C., recently that our congressperson, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, voted against extending unemployment insurance benefits, at least through the coming holiday season, to Americans unable to find work - due principally to the decrepit state of an economy desperately mismanaged over the past decade - (who have all paid for their unemployment insurance with each paycheck), suggests several hugely regrettable things.

First, it suggests that a degree from a "Bible college" does not necessarily provide one with the courage or insight to act in a Christ-like manner.

Second, it suggests that the needs of McMorris Rodgers' constituents are not as important to her as toeing the RNC party line. Add this to her efforts to preserve the Bush-era tax cuts for the top 2 percent of wealthiest Americans ($700 billion over 10 years toward balancing the budget) and you have a perfect picture of a politician serving her own party ambitions at the extreme expense of those she supposedly represents. Rep. McMorris Rodgers' behavior is shameful, morally bankrupt and devoid of Christian or any other but a soulless politician's values. I, for one, am taking notice.

Parke Thomas

Walla Walla

Suggestions for WW City Council

I just had my suggestions blasted last evening. I had a thought of our City Council members. Take a trip to College Place to see how its City Council balances the budget. But I see it is short and is also thinking of raising taxes to cover their shortfall.

Raising taxes must be the easiest method for a balanced budget. It must take the least thought process to boost taxes. Another gentleman suggested furlough periods for the employees.

I believe my suggestion of a "contribution" of a $1 a workday would hurt the least. Furlough time is more expensive to the employee. A full day without pay would hurt more. So suggest it first. See what response you get. Then I also suggest you board members make up the rest of the shortfall. Include the business manager. Put that on the ballot and see what kind of response you get.

Now I'm going to chastise you for the way and the reason for this expenditure. You checked other cities to see how much they paid their employees. Now why would that have to be done? The only reason I can see is to buy votes for your re-election. At our expense. That is not your money. It's the taxpayers' money.

You were elected to oversee this money. We expect frugality. You gave the employees a very substantial raise and garnered those votes for sure. I cannot imagine the mayor allowing this to pass through and also the business manager who pays the bill for this needless information.

Now as to Main Street and that mural or painting as you have designated it. Who among you has a degree in art? If no one, then how can you assign any specifics about this "problem?" This business has enough competition, he does not need you on his back.

I hope you all had a pleasant Thanksgiving.

L. G. Valiante

Walla Walla

Dr. Brown will be missed

I recently learned that a management decision and an economic impasse between Providence St. Mary and at least one distinguished physician will result in the loss of yet another doctor from our area.

It is with a heavy heart that I face the imminent departure of Dr. Michael L. Brown, radiation oncologist, from Providence St. Mary Cancer Center. It is nearly impossible to imagine that a physician with such skill and compassion will no longer be associated with this program.

Dr. Brown has been an integral part of the Cancer Center for two decades. Dr. Brown has treated two of my family members for their cancer over the last eight years and now, it is my turn.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June, there was no doubt I would have my treatment at Providence St. Mary Cancer Center - specifically because I knew Dr. Brown would manage the dreaded but the necessary radiation I would face.

I knew Dr. Brown would bring the technical skills, the concentrated precision and the compassionate bedside manner to help me endure the long and sometimes painful treatment.

I knew of his skills by accompanying my family during their treatment, but when it was my turn - I was even more acutely aware of the importance of his skills.

His thoroughness in reviewing my history assured me I would start at the right place. His listening skills gave me the confidence I was a real person to him, not just another chart.

At each weekly visit, Dr. Brown encourages my questions, helps me manage side effects and talks about current and future concerns. One of my greatest concerns is my future in this battle against my cancer - without Dr. Brown.

Having watched him so consistently follow-up with my family, I know that the end of radiation is not the end of treatment. Now it is my turn and I will not have this luxury, the assurance of knowing that I too am in the best hands. Healing with cancer is so much about the trust you have in your physician. It is with a great sadness I will lose this tool in my battle with the departure of such a phenomenal physician.

Dr. Brown, I will miss you greatly.

Jimmie Wilkins

Pendleton

Nurse offers advice for trip to ER

I am an RN and I work in a local hospital. During the process of admitting a patient, we have to ask a lot of questions and ask for a lot of information regarding your health history.

I would like to give some public advice to help make this process a lot easier for the nurse and the patient. It is important for consistency in health care. Sometimes a visit is an emergency and we can't ask questions, and family members don't always know. So while you are able, please try to make a list of all your current medications, the dose, what you take it for, and how often.

Also add to this list any medication or food allergies, chronic conditions like diabetes, and what kinds of surgeries you have had and when. Keep a copy at home and one in your purse or wallet.

The short amount of time that it takes to put this information together is a valuable tool, and can make the admission process go smoothly for everyone concerned. One last word of advice, do not bring your home medications to the hospital with you.

Kelly Hardin

Walla Walla

Support for PFLAG appreciated

It was hurtful to read the letter from Arlene Hiatt (Prescott), "Gay activists turned veterans parade into disgrace" in the U-B of Nov. 28. It is hurtful to realize people do not understand the diversity that is within the current military, and among the many GLBTI (gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, intersex) veterans who have served to give this lady her freedom to think and express those kinds of thoughts.

There are gay and lesbian members of the armed forces, and they have contributed and served honorably in the armies and navies of the world for millennia. There are gay, lesbian, transgender and intersex individuals who are veterans who have served with distinction and honor. The Veterans Day Parade rightfully honors all veterans without discrimination.

PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) is a national support organization for families of gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and intersex individuals. As such, it has, does, and will provide support to veterans and their families. PFLAG did not ask to participate, rather, PFLAG was invited to participate.

As so many people have discovered, they hate someone they actually love. They hated the gay, until someone they loved revealed their true identity. Perhaps their reaction is to hate the gay even more when that happens ... but perhaps they were willing to learn what it means and what is involved and to understand.

Because of DADT (don't ask, don't tell) there are thousands of closeted gay service people currently in the military. Perhaps DADT will shortly be repealed for the discriminatory law it is, and so there are many discoveries to be made by families as these currently "invisible service persons" can have both the opportunity and courage to come out and be the full-citizens that they rightfully are ... and be a loved and loving member of their family ... and be respected by their country for their service as veterans.

I appreciate Walla Walla, the various veterans' organizations and the parade viewers who cheered for PFLAG as they proudly participated in the Veterans Day Parade and honoring their support for the diversity within the military.

Walla Walla, you did proud.

Kenneth James

College Place

Republicans have a lot to prove

Even now, after the election, they still don't get it. They still think that it was a communication problem and that was from Obama's mouth. And we voted for this man, why? How much do the senators and representatives make? What about cutting their pay and their medical? What does it take to make people realize that Obama is out to get America?

I think this election was a referendum on Obama's policies, and all Democrats, their actions, their stupidity, their arrogance and their narcissism. I don't know about the rest of you, but I am 58 and I have already figured out I will probably be working until I die. The Republicans have a lot to prove to us. Let's hope they keep their word.

Barbara Dickerson

Milton-Freewater

Don't doubt patriotism of gays

Whatever happened to the idea that America's veterans fought for our freedom?

This is certainly the many times repeated mantra, justifying all our wars, past and present.

Perhaps this was a reason for PFLAG's presence in the Veterans Day parade.

Depends on your definition of freedom, I suppose.

My husband was a veteran, an enlisted man, not drafted. He would not have found gay participation in anything to be offensive.

It seems that we tend to apply the words "freedom" and "patriotism" only in the narrow context of politics and military might.

For this reason I applaud the gay community for its broader interpretation of what it means to be an American. Freedom is not just a nebulous word for them. It may even be their agenda.

And if you doubt their patriotism, you're wrong. Very wrong.

Susan J. Day

Walla Walla

Downtown used to have much shopping

Looking back at the the good old days when it paid to shop downtown Walla Walla.

Let's begin with shops and stores such as: Cinderella's Womens Clothing, Wade's for Men, Scotty Palmer's Men Shop, Sporleder's, A.M. Jensen, Sears, Penney's, Seil Shoe Store, the Beehive, Bamett's Shoes, Gardeners's, Little's Drugs, Tallman's Drug, Larry's Meat Market, Austin's Market, Beaver's Market, Central Market, Woolworth's, Newberry's, Safeway West Main, Wards and Drumheller's.

How about restaurants, Pete's Cafe, Pollyana, The Silver Dollar, Sheps' Smoke Shop, Jackson Sport Shop, Lutchers, the Red Apple, Keyes Cafe, Coney Island, Pastime, DeLuca's, the Turf and Kelley's.

You could go downtown on Saturday and watch your favorite hero at the Roxy Theater or the Capital and the Liberty.

We had two shoe repair shops downtown and two shoe shine parlors. A.P Romas and Chris Receves ran the Cinderella Shoe Shine Parlor, which is now the Cayuse Tasting Room at 17 East Main.

We now have our coffee houses, wine tasting rooms and our tourist trade, so in the meantime you can shop out of town because their malls are still standing.

On the other hand, we do have flower pots and decorated lamp posts to marvel at while we sip our lattes and sample the new vintage.

R.W. Miller Sr.

College Place

One shudders at the possibilities

Let's imagine the facades of the previously lovely and sedate Main Street in Walla Walla after the mob of fashionably empathic, pigeon-eyed anarchists has triumphed in their individual anarchies and the cartoon is scheduled to remain forever on the face of Inland Octopus.

We'd find cartoons on every building, mostly unlovely cartoons unreminiscent of the old Italian masters, and mostly reflecting the prim or the facetious nature of the store's name, according to the perceptual abilities of the proprietor and the temporary proclivities of the cartoonist.

The function of commercial entertainment is, of course, the beguilement of the prey so the predators may feed, and commerce, of course, is only the science of cheating people.

One shudders to imagine the possibilities inherent in the name, Hot Poop, but this, of course, is fantasy.

David Castleman

Dayton

Some thoughts on downtown issues

The downtown area of Walla Walla is unique because so many of the original buildings here at the beginning of the last century are still standing when we began the next century.

Several of these buildings were restored by individuals who had the foresight to make the needed investment in these buildings to bring them back to their original condition. This was done at a time when the general economy was depressed and the downtown was not a destination. Their efforts are greatly appreciated as it really did help revitalize the downtown area. It also adds to the rich history of the Walla Walla Valley.

A number of people in town, myself included, also appreciate that fact the downtown has remained a functioning real downtown and has not become a homogenized tourist trap.

The controversy surrounding the octopus mural would be understandable if an original facade of a downtown building had been removed to put the mural up. This is not the case.

The mural was put on a flat brick face that was formerly occupied by peeling white paint. Do we really want to head down this path?

Where will it lead us to? In the future will Hot Poop be required to change its name to The Walla Walla Music Company if it wants to continue to operate as a business in the historic downtown core?

We are a nation of laws. Laws can be changed. If you are unhappy with the law and unhappy with the way the city is being run you can change both of these at the same time with your vote. That is what elections are for.

The Blue Mountain Mall - let it be incorporated into the city of College Place, it will probably turn it into a park or a mall.

When I read David Castleman's letter to the U-B I honestly could not ascertain if he was being facetious or serious.

Either way it was very entertaining. I read it several times and laughed out loud each time.

I cut it out and saved it so when I need a good laugh in the future I can read it again. And, yes, I do eat at McDonald's.

Dan R. Drumheller

Walla Walla

Loss of machinist program unfortunate

It has come to my attention recently that the machine shop program at the Walla Walla Community College has been discontinued.

In the early 1990s I spent several years at the Walla Walla VA Hospital and while living in Walla Walla I took classes at the community college in welding and machine shop work.

It was not my intention to become a welder or a machinist but the coursework was simply out of interest.

Allen Harwood was the instructor of the machine shop classes and was outstanding.

I suspect discontinuing the program was based on financial requirements, but it is unfortunate the young people in Walla Walla area will now need to go elsewhere to learn the skills to become machinists.

Robert I. Hustrulid

Spokane

Walla Walla looking foolish

Wow, the letter from Michael Rolland from South Carolina printed Nov. 26 sure hit the nail on the head.

If Mr. Rolland contacts CNN and it puts this story on national news then Walla Walla will look foolish nationwide and not just in Southeastern Washington and Northeastern Oregon?

Several friends who live outside of Walla Walla have called to laugh at how the city is treating this mural/sign. Is there an over abundance of funds in the city treasury to justify spending them on something so trivial?

I don't believe so, but if there are there are more useful ways to spend the hard-earned money from the taxpayers.

The octopus mural/sign adds character to downtown. There are other buildings with paintings on them but I do not remember any big stink about those.

If this cute octopus is forced to be removed, then so should the others. The painting behind Skylite Gallery on Second Avenue is not near as cute as the octopus.

If the law is so vague on what is art or a sign or what permit is required, change the reading of the law, but do not make it retroactive.

Jerry Taylor

Walla Walla

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