LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - The mall mess: Can the U-B lead the way?

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In February we watched in horror as our Europe-bound suitcase got caught in a security morass at the Walla Walla Airport. It arrived three days later. But that was only a suitcase.

On July 11, the U-B told of 15 people stranded because of a security backlog. It made a difference, too. Passengers are saying that because of the article they are arriving earlier for their flights.

Then on July 21, the U-B ran an article about Michael Mastro, the bankrupt but still high-living former investor in the Blue Mountain Mall. What's this got to do with the airport? Simple. It's another case where ordinary people have been hurt. And now it is a dreadful eyesore. In short, it's another mess that needs attention.

After our luggage incident, I tried to find out what it would take to install a CTX (X-ray) scanner at our airport so that checked baggage wouldn't have to be hand searched. It was a pain trying to track down the right people. I'll skip the details, but in the end, Jennifer Skoglund, airport manager, and Paul Schneidmiller, Port of Walla Walla commissioner, were very helpful.

I've concluded that a citizen's task force could help us address those complex issues where business interests and government regulations affect us all. Ordinary people often don't have a clue where to start. It's too easy to fuss and fume but do nothing.

Recently I heard a thoughtful European assess American politics: "Europeans tend to be very critical of your presidents and politics," he said. "But you have the amazing ability to fix what's broken."

So let's be American and fix what's broken in our Valley. A citizen's task force could make a difference. Maybe the U-B could lead the way.

Alden Thompson
College Place

Link: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2012384405_mastro18.html

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