OUR READERS' OPINIONS

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Is it wise to spend $33,000 for flowers?

I was reading an article on the front page of March 3 Union-Bulletin discussing projects to spruce up the beauty of Downtown Walla Walla. In this article there was a brief mention of flower baskets to be hung around the downtown area.

The estimate on these flower baskets will be $33,000 for the first year, and an upkeep of $11,000 for each year after that.

Walla Walla's sewer system is near failing and we are spending $33,000 on flowers? With these kinds of spending decisions, it's no wonder our state has a $2.6 billion deficit.

Michael "Miles" Kooreny

Walla Walla

Reid was really criticizing himself, Democrats

I would like to comment regarding the bawling out Sen. Harry Reid gave the Senate Republicans on March 5. According to the report on TV, his statement was: "In the U.S., there is no place for those who root for failure."

The real failure here is the health-care bill itself. So when he made this remark, he was really criticizing himself, Obama and the left-wing Democrats who are pushing so hard for a flawed piece of legislation that will not give the American people the health care they need.

This bill would result in very inferior health care at a price no one can afford to pay.

Richard Ingram Sr.

Walla Walla

A simple fix to health care

I see only three problems with the two bills in Congress. First either bill would easily qualify for the biggest regulatory nightmare of our country's history.

Huge regulation always increases the cost of doing business and who pays for that? Not Uncle Sam, it's folks who pay taxes and folks who pay health insurance premiums.

The second problem is the money. The Congressional Budget Office scores all proposed bills based on what it is given to score. How do you score smoke-and-mirror assumptions?

Several private organizations have scored each bill at twice the CBO amount. To date every social spending program enacted in the United States has cost three to 10 times the original cost estimates. Do you believe this one would be any different?

Finally the third problem is about having enough doctors to see patients who could possibly expand the Medicaid rolls by 30 million customers when the benefits start to roll out of Washington D.C. If you were the doctor or medical facility would you specialize in patients with Medicare or Medicaid or would you opt for seeing folks who have Blue Cross, Group Health or another good company?

Here are better solutions on health care:

1. Make health insurance plans available across state lines. This will increase access by lowering premiums for everyone through good old competition.

2. For the uninsured help them purchase base policies where they have to pay for part of the policy, pay co-pays and deductibles, just like the rest of America.

Folks who don't have coverage don't get medical care unless they take care of the financial details at time of service and sure some will still be on Medicaid.

With private insurance, doctors would be compensated just like other patients, so the docs would be happier to service these folks compared to Medicaid patients.

3. Make all health insurance premiums and health savings accounts tax deductible on the same basis, whether it's the kid across the street or General Motors Corporation.

Yes folks it could be that simple with free-market solutions. No need for government commissions, boards, regulations and political influence in your medical future!

Jim Henderson

Walla Walla

Use common sense to care for pet

It seems every year about this time pet owners start taking their dogs everywhere with them. Many people know that I am an animal lover and also a letter writer.

I was asked to write about owners having dogs in the back of open trucks without being safely contained. This is a worry for drivers following these vehicles because the dog or dogs could jump out into fast-moving traffic and get hurt or killed.

Please pet owners, be concerned about the safety of your animals in open moving vehicles. I know the dogs love to go and ride with their people but please make sure they are safe.

I know I would feel horrible if I hurt a dog that jumped out of a truck and I couldn't stop and I hit and hurt/killed the animal. Our pets depend on us to keep them safe and well.

Another problem for pets is being left in parked cars.

As our weather becomes warmer it doesn't take long for the inside of a car to become dangerously hot inside, even with the windows cracked open. No matter how hard the animals beg to go, please don't take them shopping and leave them in cars in parking lots. Your shopping often takes longer than you anticipate and the poor animal has no way to keep cool when left in the parking lot.

We think we are giving them love and doing what the animals like but this could be a serious problem for pets. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when you have a sick or injured dog to take to the doctor.

We are supposed to be the ones with the brains and should have some common sense when it comes to our pets' care and safety.

Roberta Hutchins

College Place

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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