We just can't afford health care

The partisan debate about health-care reform has eclipsed the fact that there is a very real problem today with health care in the United States - we can't afford it.

We can't afford it at a governmental level with the costs of Medicare and Medicaid. We can't afford it at an individual level. My wife and I are paying 16 percent of our total income in health-care costs, and we are reasonably healthy middle-aged people with an average income.

While our politicians play partisan politics with the issue, the rest of us struggle to achieve a level of health care that is both adequate and affordable.

Stu Farnham

Walla Walla

Don't hide benefits from veterans

Congress gave many benefits to veterans on behalf of taxpayers to show gratitude for their service. Some of these are medical benefits and some are travel benefits.

Since the Department of Veterans Affairs can't bring a medical clinic to every locations, vets who travel a long distance to find a VA clinic are often entitled to mileage reimbursement. I work at the VA and I was scolded for telling the vets about travel pay. The word at the VA is, don't tell them that! Then every bureaucrat will see dollars fly away!

Well, dear administration people, those are not your dollars. Those are citizen taxes that we gave through Congress to vets. Please don't hide vets' benefits. Give them their due.

Mary Hatzenbehler

Walla Walla

More work to do when short of staff

It's happening a little bit everywhere: An increased amount of responsibilities per employee with no raise or promotion. I'd like to spend a few words of appreciation toward all of those honest workers who are being literally "squeezed" by their companies because of what they call "budget cuts."

They have become the "daily heroes." They cover for two or three employees at a time for the same pay and either the same or half the insurance benefits compared to the 2009. They just do their work and keep going. Their shoulders turn under the heavy weight of their daily stress.

At least, they say, they still have a job. A job that often doesn't even have the flavor of a possible career. They just have more to do. And it is merely quantitative despite of the quality. They smile because they are still nice and because they've got to look professional.

I wonder what is the price they are going to pay for this? How long will they keep going before gaining weight, getting heart disease or even cancer? I wonder how long these companies still think it's OK to pull up the string.

Siddhartha found himself enlightened when somebody told him: "If you make the string too tight, it will break. If you make the string too loose, it will not play." Maybe these companies should think of a more balanced approach for the employees for a better "harmony" at work.

Lidia Friederich

Walla Walla

Support for CP schools appreciated

My appreciation to College Place Public School District voters! Your continued support of the district's school programs and operations levy for another four years is greatly appreciated. The levy received a resounding 65.58 percent yes vote.

I would also like to praise the College Place School District staff members for their tireless efforts in promoting the district and this levy. It is our committed staff who makes the daily difference in lives of our students.

Also, I'd like to acknowledge our PTA for its continued support and partnership with the district. The PTA is truly an example of a positive relationship that benefits both adults and students alike.

We will work very hard to utilize these dollars in a manner that continues to instill an ongoing relationship and trust between the district and the College Place community.

Tim Payne


College Place Public Schools

College Place

Kids with disabilities deserve better

It is really disappointing what is available for our children with disabilities when it comes to their education.

When my son was at Berney School, I was not happy at all with the set up. I accepted it only because his teacher made it a fun place for the kids. She decorated the classroom, making the best out of what was available.

The autism program was moved to Edison School. These kids finally have a classroom that is worthy of them.

But what happens when these kids are transitioned into middle school? We go back to the same type of set up they had at Berney School. Once again, our kids are cramped in a small classroom. What makes matters worse is that all these kids, with different types of disabilities, are mixed together.

The classroom is so small there is barely any room for the wheelchairs to move around. How is that possible? Don't these children deserve better?

It is bad enough they have some type of disability, but must we sell them short by cramming them in a small classroom? We helped the fire and police department get a new building, Edison School was in dire need of a new building and I'm glad they got it.

Why can't our disabled kids get a school that only caters to them and their needs? There are several buildings around town that can be used for this purpose. We can house all the children with disabilities, from pre-K to 12th grade.

Let's help our kids, they deserve better. Am I wrong on this? I do not want my son cramped in a room.

Carolina Dietsch

Walla Walla

Letters welcome

Our address is P.O. Box 1358, Walla Walla, WA 99362.

If possible, e-mail letters to letters@wwub.com.

Letters must be less than 400 words.


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