Our readers' opinions - 06/13/10

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Frank Brown not 'hard' to get along with

I do not know the whole story behind the complaints against our county coroner, but with the elections coming up in November it does not surprise me that someone is having a rough time of it with the coroner.

I have known Frank Brown for many years, never have I known him to be one who was "hard" to get along with.

I am a volunteer firefighter for Walla Walla County Fire Protection District No. 8 and during the times I have observed him, while he is working, I have only known him to be very professional and compassionate.

I am sure following the rules and regulations are just as important to a coroner as they would be for an officer of the law. Again, I am sure the time allowed for the coroner to do his job is not and never will be "fast" enough for someone who is hoping to solve a crime. Nor do I believe it would be "fast" enough for someone who needs to have a "death" certificate in their hands right now at this moment.

Death is never a happy occasion and waiting for the results from the coroner must seem like forever.

Again, I do not know the whole story behind the complaints against our county coroner, but with the elections coming up in November it does not surprise me that at this time someone is unhappy with him.

I applaud our coroner and know this is not a job that brings a smile to your face. He must have one of the most stressful jobs there is. But it is a job of his choosing and one he does in the utmost professional manner and still filled with compassion.

I appreciate Frankie for a job well done.

Patti Townsend

Dixie

It is time to fix Rose Street

Interesting letter to editor Tuesday describing the new sign directing traffic to our wonderful Blue Mountain Mall. Sears and Shopko, to their credit, have hung in there and are great places to shop.

Too bad we let someone scam us into the mess we have there now.

After our unfortunate visitors find they have only two places to shop, they then must traverse the "obstacle course" called Rose Street. It is an abomination and an embarrassment to our city. If not driven with a great deal of care, it is easy to ruin a tire or throw your front end out of alignment.

I recall in the mid-1980s a percentage of taxes were to go to the upkeep of our streets. Surely that money was not spent on our streets or they would not be in the deplorable condition we find them in today.

Those of us using Rose Street on a regular basis find it hard to miss all of the potholes and ruts on this well-traveled street. Think of all the people coming into our city who are not familiar with this road. What must they think as they come into our town for the first time?

I say well-traveled as it is one of the busiest streets in Walla Walla. I am sure our City Council knows this as surely it reads the counters placed on this road. Trying to access Rose Street from Avery Street or some of the other streets takes up to 5 minutes. There are hundreds of people living in the area whose only way out of their homes is by way of Rose Street. It is also a main access into Walla Walla from College Place, U.S. Highway 12 and now Myra Road.

We have seen huge amounts of money spent on Isaacs and 13th avenues, as well as many others that are very much less traveled. Many of us are getting very upset about the complete disregard for this major access to Walla Walla.

It is time to work on this road!

Leon L. Olsen

Walla Walla

More water spilled over dams will hurt fish

Last week a coalition of environmental and fishing groups sued the Department of Ecology. It wants more water spilled at the Columbia and Snake river dams thinking it will increase salmon survival.

When I went to work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a fish biologist in 1971, the burning environmental issue was that spill at dams caused gas supersaturation that killed the salmon.

The Corps installed more turbines at the dams (water passed through turbines does not entrain air), installed spillway deflectors to prevent water from plunging down deep in the stilling basins where air became supersaturated in the water, and completed upstream storage dams so high flows could be reduced by storing flood waters for release in the summer.

When the fishery agencies wanted more spill in the 1990s so fewer fish were transported around the dams, the Corps designed overflow spill gates for the eight Corps dams. Water going under normal spill gates shoots out 50 feet below the surface of the reservoir expanding instantaneously and entraining air. For juvenile salmon passing under the gates, it is like a scuba diver popping to the surface from 50 feet down.

Once in the water, the supersaturation persists for miles from one dam to the next. Fish take it in and their blood becomes supersaturated with gases too.

Bubbles form in the blood and thin tissues around the eyes or in the mouth or on the cheeks. Bubbles can form in capillaries in the gills or in the blood stream killing the fish outright. External bubbles burst and become infected.

Supersaturation in the blood can have narcotic effects making escape from predators less likely. Adult fish can hit spillway gates as they shoot under or hit their heads as they pass through orifices in the fish ladders.

In the 1970s, the Environmental Protection Agency and state water quality agencies adopted 110 percent supersaturation as a safe standard to protect the fish. Since then, the fishery agencies and tribes have decided those standards are too low.

For the past two decades, the environmental agencies have given the Corps waivers to operate up to 120 percent. Now this group is suing to do away with the standards altogether.

Scientists who have studied this problem think that is a very dumb idea. If the plaintiffs win, they will kill more fish, not save more fish.

John McKern

Walla Walla

Negativity for art

What happened to the land of dreams? What is all this foggy and chilly negativity when you don't allow local artists to show their art at your place? Why don't Walla Walla business owners just say: "Bring in your art. If we sell it we might charge you a commission?"

People seem so scared of trying new things; their faces are all wrinkles and their shoulders seem shrinking tight when they reply to an art show request by saying: "We don't do this. We only show our own things."

What is this "thing" of yours? In times like this we should help each other. Why not promote art in Walla Walla, in our lives, in our stores, in schools, in hospitals, in banks, in churches?

Yes, what about Christian art? Open up your wings and fly! Why make it so difficult or make it so complicated? Since before Christ artists are the soul of a democratic society, not beggars. And what about the Art-Walk tour? That is ridiculous. Why don't they open this opportunity to all the artists in Walla Walla and maybe squeeze in also the ones coming from Waitsburg, Dayton and Touchet? Mamma mia!

Lidia Friederich

Walla Walla

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