OUR READERS' OPINIONS - 06/05/10

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Edison is complete - and a great value

As principal of Edison Elementary, I feel obliged to address concerns that were discussed in the June 2 edition of the Union-Bulletin.

The design of the new school was a collaborative effort that included parents, community members and staff working with the architect. There were many meetings when people shared their aspirations with the architect, who in turn would bring revised drawings to the next meeting.

Building a facility that supports best instructional practices to promote student achievement guided our decisions. In any construction project, every desire cannot be met. Disappointment that a stage/performance area was not included is understandable, but the decision was to purchase risers and a sound shell to be used for performances in the gym, which is consistent with common practice in all of the elementary schools.

The district's performing arts auditorium, which can be accessed by all schools, is located at Walla Walla High School.

Space for Homelink, our district's connection with home-schooled children, was included in the first design for the new Edison, but when the bond failed in 2006, the district chose to balance student population at the six elementary schools with Edison having three classrooms at each grade level rather than two, not leaving space for another program. In the second bond proposal in 2007, Homelink was never included as part of the new building.

The school was built on a tight site resulting in parking and traffic flow challenges.

After a committee including parents and community members consulted the city, the Fire Department and the district's transportation department, it was decided to switch buses to the front of the building and private vehicles to the back.

Bus drop off and pick up works well, and the congestion in the back of the school in the afternoon lasts about 10 minutes from dismissal bell until the last car leaves campus, which is an acceptable time frame.

Excluding warranty issues that are being addressed, the new building is complete.

Students have state-of-the-art technology in every classroom, an outdoor science center, an outdoor amphitheater for performances and instruction, a cafeteria that can be used for art classes and a quality gymnasium that is excellent for school and community use.

In short, the district got a great value for its investment; one that should last another 75 years.

Nancy Withycombe

Edison Elementary principal

Baccalaureate speech veered to nasty politics

On Monday evening, I attended the baccalaureate ceremony and prayer service for Walla Walla High School Class of 2010 at Cordiner Hall. U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers was the guest speaker.

Her speech started out very graciously. She spoke of the importance of family and faith. She had three main points she told the class: To welcome the unexpected events that happen in life as blessings and an opportunity for growth; to keep your faith in your journey through life; and to be "responsible citizens."

All very nice ideals, but it was this last point that veered from being inspirational to nasty politics. As she started to spout statistics railing against the "current administration," it sounded like a cross between a tea party rally and a campaign stump speech.

Regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, these politically-charged remarks are neither appropriate nor appreciated in this setting of young Christians preparing for graduation and getting ready to go out into the world.

As a Christian in politics, I believe she needs to be reminded of the Scripture in Hebrews 13:17, "Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you."

I believe that Ms. McMorris Rodgers believes that Scripture only applies if you are a Republican.

Leslie Hamilton

Walla Walla

Stanfill has given much back to community

Your front-page story on barber Bob Stanfill ("Half-century of hair" May 28) told only his troubled past, but left out his real contributions to this community. I remember Bob when I was a student at Walla Walla University (then Walla Walla College) back in the mid-1960s soon after he opened his shop in College Place.

In the hippie heyday of uncut, unkempt long hair, Bob gave styling demonstrations for men's hair and encouraged guys to look their best. In the mid-1970s Bob was elected to the College Place City Council and was instrumental in establishing the mobile home park at Larch and Lamperti streets.

Giving back has always been part of Bob's philosophy, and he taught barbering at the Washington State Penitentiary for 18 years. He raised two sons who are a credit to him, one a teacher and school administrator, the other a manager of a Christian TV station.

I'm thrilled to be back in the Walla Walla Valley and getting my hair cut at Bob's Styling Salon. We should forget Bob's past and celebrate what he has done and is doing for this community.

Edwin A. Karlow

Walla Walla

Not much about Walla Walla is great

In response to Jerry Zahl's how-great-thou-art letter. He has got to be kidding.

The only great thing about Walla Walla, especially its schools, is when everybody gets in the car, you look at each other and say, "Great! We're leaving."

Final cut, freeze frame, end of picture.

Susan Moulton

College Place

Dog leashing at Bennington Lake

Over the last 25 years, I have enjoyed walking my dogs around Bennington Lake and during that time, I have never encountered any problems with unleashed dogs.

During evenings and weekends, my wife, Connie, and I take our weimaraner (Abby) out for a run and we've never had an incident with her, but I am always ready to put her on a leash if needed. There are a lot of people riding horses near the lake and because they may spook easily, I will put a leash on Abby.

The Walla Walla Valley provides many areas to walk your dog on a leash including the path to Rooks Park, Pioneer Park, Murr Field, Whitman College and countless other places. I feel it is important for dogs to not only get their daily walks but also be able to walk and/or run free. This freedom is what Bennington Lake provides.

Finally, dogs off the leash get along better with each other than two dogs confined to leashes. If you don't believe me, go to the dog park (where they do not allow leashes) and watch the dogs run, play and socialize.

Doug Beckel

Walla Walla

Moss has been styling hair for 60 years

I thoroughly enjoyed the story about Bob's Styling Salon. We bowl with him.

But Ramona Moss of Ramona's Cut N Curl has him beat by 10 years. Last week, she celebrated 60 years styling hair and is still going strong. Congratulations to Ramona, too!

Janet Berley

Walla Walla

Letters welcome
Our address is P.O. Box 1358, Walla Walla, WA 99362.
If possible, e-mail letters to letters@wwub.com.

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