Our readers' opinions


Kudos to the staff at our public library for its gesture of honesty!

I filled my little coin purse full of dollar bills and quarters to do some Xeroxing at the library. Well, having done my intended chore of Xeroxing I left, forgetting to take my coin purse full of its monetary content.

So, the next day when I returned to the library to possibly locate it a staff member handed it to me - still full of its monetary content. Now that is visible honesty! What would deter a staff member from emptying the monetary contents prior to my return and hand me my empty coin purse?

Pure honesty is the answer!

Library staff, take a deep bow.

Polly Lehmann

Walla Walla

Don't deduct tax payments from bank accounts

HB 2962 was approved recently by state representatives. The measure passed by vote of 76 to 22.

State Reps. Terry Nealey of Dayton and Maureen Walsh of College Place voted for it. They want tax payments automatically deducted from your bank account.

Terry Nealy just got elected and he did not predict anything of this nature in his campaign. People should keep this in mind when Terry Nealy and Maureen Walsh come up for re-election. After all they were supposed to represent us, the people of their district.

So is this what we the people want? I don't think so.

Ione Talbott

Walla Walla

Olympic opening ceremonies fantastic

Does anyone know if the Olympic Hymn has changed since 1948? The reason I ask is because when sung at the Canadian opening ceremonies last week I didn't recognize it.

In 1948, when the Olympic yachting trials were held in Torbay on the English Channel, the massed choirs of the area (in which I participated) sang the Olympic Hymn "Non Nobis Domine."

I have a recording of this event, albeit the record is very scratched. It needs a special needle to play it I believe. I haven't played it in years.

Speaking of the Olympic Games I think the opening ceremonies were absolutely fantastic, and certainly equaled if not surpassed those of Beijing. Great job Canada.

Deirdre King

Walla Walla

Failing water system will cost homeowners

I appreciate all the coverage the U-B is providing concerning the city's failing water systems. However, I haven't read an article explaining that each homeowner is financially responsible for the lines running from the street to their house.

Since the city's lines are almost all failing it would make sense to assume homeowners' lines are failing also. I imagine a lot of homeowners are unaware that this type of repair can be very costly and homeowners insurance does not cover the cost.

Amy Martin

Walla Walla

State inmates are already working

In response to Roberta Hutchins' Feb. 7 contribution to this column,

Each suggestion is terrific, however, with few exceptions they already exist.

Offenders are employed in many everyday industrial type jobs. These offenders make the uniforms worn by the state's correctional officers as well as the khaki -colored jeans, shirts and jackets issued to offenders across the state. They work in metal fabrication and welding shops to create items ranging from bunk beds, lockers, shelving systems and an endless list of other items for the state. And yes, they make license plates.

When you visit a park and sit at a picnic table or use a campfire pit, chances are, it was built by an offender at the penitentiary. They all generate revenue.

They are employed in warehouse and shipping positions, as well as custodial, laundry services, landscaping and facility maintenance jobs.

Farming operations include hay and wheat production, pheasant rearing for wildlife enhancement and recycling of institutional waste such as cardboard, plastics and composting of food waste. All of the equipment and machinery operated by offenders.

Baked goods are prepared on site by offenders, as is all of the cooking and food preparation.

Workers are paid a small respective wage that allows them to purchase personal and convenience items. Offenders who earn a wage are required to contribute to any outstanding legal fee obligations that may initially have been incurred by the state.

All workers are supervised by staff. To maintain employment, they must exhibit a good, reliable work ethic and stay out of trouble while incarcerated.

In return, they get money to spend, self respect, trade skills and the opportunity to occupy their minds and hands in a positive manner while serving their time.

When it existed, the dairy produced milk, ice cream, butter, etc. at no additional outside costs to the community. However, it was forced to close for multiple reasons including pressure from private and corporate vendors who weren't being included in the market share. Now all dairy items are purchased from outside sources.

Most of the fights we hear about are spawned through racial or gang tensions that no amount of work or duty will deter.

Staff members do their best each day, and the penitentiary has taken deep cuts, but in the end, freedom doesn't come free and neither does the job of keeping the bad guys locked up and the community safe.

Jeff Hayes


Spending decisions near Burbank questioned

I am just one of many voters concerned with our state's economy. Being a devoted voter and father in a small community, I know what it's like to function on a tight budget. This brings me to why I'm writing this letter.

I, like most of the residents in Burbank, know that U.S. Highway 12 is notorious for accidents along the stretch of road between the Snake River Bridge and Hansen Loop.

My concern comes from what most consider a lack of planning or just poor government spending. It seems to a lot of folks that it might be wiser to invest in 10 road signs and poles to hold said signs and lower the speed limit to 35 mph in the area of discussion as in many rural communities such as Touchet, Waitsburg, Dayton and so on.

This is as opposed to spending millions of dollars putting in unwanted round-a-bouts and virtually wasting our money that was already spent on the Humorist Road and Highway 12 intersection. The way most of us see it is we pay our taxes to be spent wisely, not wasted and we already pay to have law enforcement patrol our streets and highways. Would it not seem to you that having a 3- to 5-mile stretch of road be patrolled a little more be a smarter expenditure as opposed to the millions of dollars the project planners are about to spend?

This subject is very important to our community and our state. It was horrible to see Francisco's Restaurant taken out to do the remodeling of the highway. That is already done, but now what is going to happen to the two convenience store/gas stations that many residents depend on for things we need?

I guess what I'm asking for is someone to explain to me how reducing the speed is less cost effective than increasing the amount of money we could potentially save and use elsewhere to maybe help our youth programs or even help deplete part of our huge state deficit.

I completely understand I'm no rocket scientist nor do I claim to have all the right answers, but it does seem like we're spending money we've already spent once. Now we're going to spend even more.

Mike Hyde


Those with small land holdings contribute

Question No. 4 on the Umatilla County Department of Land Use Planning Survey asks: "Do you feel that re-establishing the minimum parcel size in the EFU-10, EFU-20, EFU-40 zones would benefit you? Please briefly explain your answer."

My question back to Umatilla County is: "What would you benefit by disrupting these long established small land holdings?"

The land that I purchased years ago is what I want to keep!

Are there some property rights being trampled on here?

So, we are "small potatoes." Not everyone can afford to grow wheat or apples, but we do have a history. Most of us are good stewards of the land, we contribute an essential niche to the economy and maintain the rural/agricultural community. That is why we all came here in the first place.

To other small land owners I would say, if you would keep your farm tax deferral, raise some chickens or a couple of goats, pasture horses or raise a steer. It's a simple "yes" to question No. 4.

A lot of small potatoes make a good pot of soup.

Gerry Seagrave


Valley Transit is hiring! Hmmm

I was thumbing through the local newspaper last night when my wife yelled out, "Don't look in the classifieds" (and then she started chuckling).

She knows full well now I'm going to look. She knows which buttons to push.

Well there it was big, bold letters VALLEY TRANSIT. It appears Valley Transit is looking for drivers.

Coincidence or not, seems fishy to me. It was just a few weeks ago the infamous wisdom of the people decided Valley Transit needed money for maintaining its vehicles.

You weren't really that naive to think that's what it was going to be used for. It's going into someone's pocket via raises, more drivers and buses to congest our streets even more. There's so much guaranteed income coming in Valley Transit has what we in America call job security.

Valley Transit officials, if you start getting headaches looking for ways to spend all that money, here's one ... build turn out stops. Just one guy's opinion. Do I hear a who-yaw or crickets on a summer's night?

Steve Brown

Walla Walla

Letters welcome

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

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