OUR READERS' OPINIONS - 10/10/10

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Support urged for Mark Franklin

I am supporting Mark Franklin for sheriff for Columbia County because I have seen Mark's care and concern for the youths of this community and for the safety of all its citizens.

Mark is very proactive and volunteers his time for many community programs and events. Mark serves as chairman of the Columbia County Community Network and is vice president for the Coalition for Youth and Families.

He volunteers his time to make presentations at the school and to interact with our youths. I have known several kids who have turned to Mark in a time of personal crisis because they know he is there to listen and to help them figure out what to do next. Mark cares for this community and is willing to do the work to make it a safer place to live and work.

I have talked with Mark about some of his plans to help make Columbia County a better place to live and work. Mark is a dedicated professional and figures out how to get things done.

Mark has had extensive training in investigation, search and rescue, domestic violence intervention, sexual assault victim support. He often attends these trainings on his own time and money.

Considering the fact we are already experiencing gang activity and there is a growing meth and drug problem we cannot afford to sit back and let things be. We need someone with energy and courage to tackle the tough problems. Someone who will respond immediately when someone goes missing or a business or home is broken into.

Nancy Butler

Dayton

It would be great pity to lose Pioneer Park Aviary

I have volunteered at Pioneer Park Aviary since 2000 when I moved to Walla Walla.

I was born in this town, raised in Southern California, worked in Portland and returned after my retirement. I have been feeding and cleaning up after the birds in the pheasant houses for most of the time I have worked here.

This is an achievement for a city girl who didn't even know there was a difference between pheasant food and duck food. When I have to slog through the ice and snow to feed the birds, I think I must be crazy.

Pioneer Park has quite a history. It was laid out by the sons of the man who designed Central Park in New York City and at various times has featured a cow pasture, a golf course, a water reservoir, a deer park, an outdoor swimming hole, band concerts, a garden club, a trout hatchery and many other things. I am told the current Aviary is a great improvement over what was here before. (Applause for the Lionesses.)

It would be a great pity to lose a resource that is appreciated by so many people. Joanna Lanning would be devastated if the Aviary is closed, but it may not come to that. It has been a privilege to work there and I hope things work out for the best.

Jean Pennington

Walla Walla

Recommendations for Oregon ballot

It is that time to again give my political view of the measures you will be voting on in a few weeks. I will also give my choices of a few candidates who are up for election.

Measure 70: Expansion of the State Veterans Home Loan program to include older vets and spouses of service members that died in action. YES.

Measure 71: Annual sessions of the Legislature. Why would we want these people to have a crack at us every year after what they have done to us every other year. Raised the budget 46 percent in the last few sessions at the same time we see our highest unemployment in years. NO.

Measure 72: Allow the Legislature to incur new general obligation debt. Are we crazy.? NO.

Measure: 73: Increase minimum sentences for certain crimes. We cannot afford to keep our prisons open now, in fact the state is in the process of closing one right now. Now I would vote for the death penalty but not this. NO.

Measure: 74: Create a legal marijuana system. Do not need a reason. NO.

Measure: 75: Allow private casinos in Oregon. We have enough criminals in Salem taking our money, do not need anymore outside of Salem. NO.

Measure: 76: Continue lottery funding for state parks beginning in 2014. All the Parks Department has done is buy more land but spent none of the money in fixing up our present parks. It does not deserve it. It needs to go back to its original intent, economic development. NO.

We need new blood in the political arena. Chris Dudley for governor (No political baggage). Jim Huffman for U.S. senator (No political baggage, also believes in the Constitution). Chris Telfer for Oregon state Treasurer (She knows how to balance the check book, which this state badly needs in the treasurer's office). Greg Walden for U.S. representative. He has done his job. Greg Smith and Bob Jensen for state representatives, that's a given.

Remember when you get your ballot, do not throw it in the corner and forget it. Open it and fill it out and mail it in.

This will be the most important vote you will ever cast in your life.

James Burns

Weston

Vote responsibly for WW County sheriff

Just having returned from our annual extended summer sojourn, I have been perusing the highlights of the past three months issues of the U-B.

Without question the opinion page was a priority on my list of things to do! Alas, as I scanned each editorial page, I became extremely distressed to notice the number of California transplants who had immigrated to this, at one time Mecca of peace, trust, tranquility and safety.

As I perused the opinions, I was made aware of the number of residents who were so intimately associated, both professionally and socially with one of the Walla Walla County sheriff candidates, John Turner who was born and raised in Los Angeles, educated in Southern California and had spent his entire professional life in California with brief stints in the "box" (Middle East) as a military consultant.

When calculating all of his accomplishments (as stated in his guest column, Sept. 26) during his 46 years on this Earth, I question his need to seek new experiences, but not perfecting his qualifications toward a position as a rural community sheriff and/or even as chief of LAPD.

Reading the glowing resume Mr. Turner expounded upon in his guest column certainly portrayed self-delusional recollections, as he reflected on his great-grandfather and regular trips to Walla Walla (assuming two weeks in the summer) to visit whom?

I routinely spent annual leaves in the summer (two to three weeks at the family farm) irrigating, baling hay, help to harvest corn or wheat and tend livestock at my in-laws farm in Wheatland, Wyo., during a period of 48 years.

Did that qualify me to be a farmer? No, to my father-in-law I was still a "concrete cowboy" with little or no knowledge to assume the responsibility of a farm.

Within the cadre of Mr. Turner's ardent supporters, how many have experienced results relative to his leadership, administration and command skills? In my opinion selecting John Turner as sheriff would be analogues to selecting a rookie flight-line mechanic in military aviation to become the next commanding officer of a deploying fighter squadron ordered to war zone duties.

As a military retiree with 42 years experience serving in 20 levels of pay grade responsibilities, I have observed numerous individuals desiring to start at the top or mid-grade, reeking irreparable disaster along their path down. Wallpapering a town with an unknown name does not a sheriff make. However, experience speaks volumes with sound results and clarity! Please vote responsibly!

Reuben T. Tsujimura

Walla Walla

Fiscal responsibility is needed

Currently, there are 16 million tea party members, including the Walla Walla Tea Party Patriots. That wasn't the case just 24 months ago. They did not come together to waste their time or have somewhere to go.

Bit by bit, each one came to realize this country's current rulers have taken extremely troubling steps down the road to socialism. That it's OK to saddle, not only our generation, but future generations with exploding debts that cannot be repaid. The tipping point is far closer than most think, when the interest payments alone will consume most of the the nation's wealth produced.

First, acknowledging my situation. A genetic disease led to a kidney transplant putting me in the ranks of the limitedly productive in my 40s But not my wife. We managed to raise and educate three kids inspite of the medical and financial burdens with only one income.

Are we unique? Hardly. Many families have their own story of adversity. However, we were not victims of drug addiction, alcoholism nor did we drop out of elementary/high school, leaving us unfit for employment.

But without a doubt there is a segment that willfully choose unproductive, self-destructive lives.

Critics of previous letters posed several questions that they felt were not answered. My letter was an initial step of several; addressing fiscal responsibility first. Dozens of books have addressed those questions, making it difficult to concisely respond in just a few paragraphs. But in large measure we agree with Steve Singleton's recent comments on taxation, limited government and freedom.

However, without fiscal accountability, the rest quickly turn academic in the ensuing chaos and anarchy.

The entitled insist it is OK to steal from the productive to raise the standard of living of the unproductive or entitled.

Check out what government employees are getting paid these days. Howmany are taking early retirement through disability has increased? How many have health-care programs that are unmatched in the private sector?

Is the private sector unemployment is three to five times the percentage rate of the public sector?

Answer the question, has the integrity and value system of elected or appointed government officials improved or declined in recent decades past?

And finally, don't expect me to answer your questions when you are ignoring a daily dose of the answers or are too apathetic to seek them.

It is past time for we the people to take our country back to reality.

Way past time.

Kenneth D. Emerson

Walla Walla

Sheriff Hessler has restored integrity to office

I have known Walt Hessler and Mark Franklin for many years. I worked with Mark at the Walla Walla County Sheriff's Office from the time he was hired until he left and moved to California.

I have lived in the Dayton area since Mark returned and has been employed by the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. Mark brought a friend from California he worked with in security at the San Diego Convention Center and this individual was also hired as a deputy.

Later when Sheriff LaTour retired and a new sheriff was appointed, Mark was appointed captain. A short time later Mark got his friend appointed sergeant and his nephew hired as a deputy. Nepotism on a department this small is not a good thing, between the three of them they made up a third of the commissioned officers.

Mark's nephew seems qualified for the position but the sergeant was not as time soon proved. The sergeant not only brought disgrace to the Sheriff's Office but was an embarrassment to the citizens of Columbia County. This information was known by other law enforcement officers around the state as well as in his own department. This incident was well publicized by the Union-Bulletin.

When the voters found out what was going on within the department they responded overwhelmingly and voted for new leadership.

While this and other things were going on Mark was second in command and directly in control of patrol and investigation. Mark had to either know, or was oblivious to what was going on around him. Because of this and other problems within the department at the time, I don't feel Mark has the judgment or other qualities of leadership needed for a position of this responsibility.

I hope the voters of Columbia County reject the remnants of the past administration and continue with a sheriff who has restored the integrity and harmony of the department, is honest, professional and has the leadership qualities necessary to give the citizens of Columbia County the best law enforcement which the deserve.

I urge you to re-elect Walt Hessler as Columbia County sheriff.

Rod Bailey Sr.

Dayton

Leave Octopus mural alone

I am 16, and though I do not live in Walla Walla I know many people who do, I also like the store Inland Octopus, so I believe I have the right to voice my opinion in the matter of the "Octopus mural."

The fact that some people are getting upset about a mural they say does not fit in with the historical look of Walla Walla is annoying, I do not see anything particularly non-historical looking about the mural, and it looks much nicer then the boring white wall that used to be there.

What is really appalling, though, is taxpayer money paying for metallic eyesore and other similar pieces of public art scattered about Walla Walla. These are by no means what I would call historical looking, and if these are acceptable, then there are no grounds for complaint about the mural.

Overall I think the City Council should let the matter rest. Just because people do not like something does not mean you should destroy it, and surely there are more important issues for the Council members to spend their time and energy on.

Jordan Henderson

Dayton

When voting, consider windmill construction

According to the Bonneville Power Administration transmission website, most of the new windmills being built in Washington are owned by California utility districts, which naturally demand in consequence of their investment that electricity sent to California from Washington be renewable.

Windspeed data published by BPA clearly shows these new windmills are producing no electricity, so the California energy demand is filled by Washington's hydro power. In recent months, it is dramatically shown in BPA's graphs that all of the electricity supplied to Washington consumers comes from coal and gas. Obviously, new Washington windmill construction results in dirtier Washington air.

For cleaner air, vote for state candidates who will halt the construction of windless windmills by ending renewable energy tax credits, and vote for federal candidates who see the fallacy of mandating renewable energy standards.

Jim Thorn

Dayton

News of swastika resonates in Poland

This letter concerns the swastika image recently found burned into the grass at Heritage Park.

I have spent the past two years as a student in the Walla Walla Valley, and although I have only spent a combined total of 18 or so months in the Valley, I consider it my home. I love its natural beauty, small-town feel, diverse cultural offerings and vibrant intellectual community.

I am currently teaching English in Poland, and while I am enjoying my time here, I am also counting the days until I can return to the Walla Walla Valley.

Just this morning, I was walking down the main street of my small town and thinking about what it would have looked like 70 years ago.

Surely this town had Jews, and surely they were targeted by the Nazis and taken to the Warsaw Ghetto, only 45 minutes away. Perhaps they were eventually taken to Auschwitz, which is five hours away.

How did the non-Jewish residents react, I wondered? Did they make an effort to support their Jewish neighbors? Or did they stand by, telling themselves that it was just a temporary measure or an isolated incident?

I don't mean to imply that anything on the horrific scale of the Holocaust might recur. But with that sort of history all around me here, I find the Walla Walla swastika incident especially alarming.

I would urge readers to show their support to Congregation Beth Israel and reassure its members that this is a safe community for their culture and beliefs, telling those who drew the swastika that their actions are not welcome or appreciated.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

Rebecca Brothers

student, Walla Walla University

Podkowa Lesna, Poland

Show progressives who is boss

Well, Congress has certain ly shown us what it thinks about the voters, the citizens of the United States of America. It recessed without voting on the income tax cuts that have been in effect for several years. Congress is going to let the Bush tax cuts expire.

This little action is going to put so many more people out of work. So many more businesses will be hurting. These progressives don't really care about us, the United States citizens, here in the trenches. They seem to feel they are kings and queens, and we are their slaves and subjects.

Well, it is time, ladies and gentlemen, to show these progressives who really is the boss in this country. We need to make sure every incumbent who is a progressive or a liberal Republican is not put back into office. We need to replace these people with people who value this country, who value our founding forefathers and the principals upon with this country was founded.

We need to let them know who really are the ones who control this country.

Please ladies and gentlemen, mark your ballots the first of November and send them or take them into the election center. We cannot let this beautiful country of the United States of America fade into history as a dream of what it use to be.

Sharon Benzel

Walla Walla

The voters are fed up

Tax cuts vs. deficit spending. In this article offered in the Perspective section of the U-B Sept. 5 issue, the rather patronizing L.A. Times author appears to have mistakenly limited voter focus and support to one of two worn out economic platforms; either the tax cuts and give away programs pushed through by the Republican Party for Wall Street, big banks, insurance companies, big industry and internationalists during the latest eight years of their administration, or the ensuing fear laden cries of economic collapse that spooked Democrats to blindly support deficit spending to save Wall Street, big banks, insurance companies, big industry and internationalists.

Which of these choice are better for the common voter, which is worse - who care?

Believe me, voters want real economic choices and realistic solutions to current economic problems, not mindless political rhetoric, time-wasting debate and obvious acts of obfuscation over/concerning the rusted hulks of yesterday's political wastelands. Enough smoke and mirrors!

Instead we will demand via our vote that politicians behave as adults, as heads of our collective American household and that they determinedly face the stark reality of our economic situation.

We all know that hard choices must be made to clean our house. This is a given. Politicians need to standup and recognizing that poor and the middle-class Americans are tired of having the rich and powerful, their lobbyists and political lackeys systematically lie to us and undermine the values, ethics, wealth and citizen well being that made our nation great.

Politicians beware of the American vote, particularly this election. Many of us are fed-up.

Rick Barnett

Walla Walla

Dedication to duty

My family has been blessed, with living in Walla Walla County for four generations. We support the local businesses for both goods and services to keep the money in Walla Walla.

My family, as others have, has always done some type of local volunteer service to this community. Being local is what I would like to write about.

I watched as people in the grandstands, stood and applauded, as Sheriff Humphreys was honored at the Fair for his 30-plus years of service to this area.

Why did they all applaud? Because Sheriff Humphreys had proven his loyalty, the respect of his peers, dedication to duty, and the trust of the citizens of Walla Walla.

Capt. Bill White has also been a local law enforcement officer for over 30 years. He has moved up the ranks and has always supported and served the citizens of this area. One just has to ask the members of law enforcement to find out the great respect Capt. White has earned.

To receive the respect of your local peers is the greatest proof of one's integrity. How does one gain that trust and integrity? By having a proven ongoing relationship with all local officials, law enforcement, emergency services and the citizens.

Capt. White has always had an open door policy with staff, law enforcement, emergency services, businesses and the citizens of this area. Capt. White has always listened to the issues, problems and concerns of citizens and local law enforcement then researched the budget, applied for grants if needed and then initiated the programs.

Capt. White has put into play a long list of programs to help law enforcement and the citizens of Walla Walla. His list of specialized schools relating to administration and law enforcement is impressive.

Capt. White is a quiet man but extremely dedicated to his profession and to the citizens of this Valley.

Capt. White, with his specialized schooling and experience, could have transferred to another agency for more money within his career but he has always maintained his loyalty to serve the citizens of the Walla Walla Valley.

Capt. White has proven his loyalty, great working relationship, compassion to duty, the trust and respect of his peers and his dedication to keep the citizens of this great valley safe.

I am honored to cast my vote for Capt. Bill White for sheriff.

James Riggs

Touchet

Murray's tactics are sneaky

Patty Murray is obviously desperate. Most Democrats are these days. It appears that desperation has become an excuse for dishonesty.

I've read Petulant Patty's campaign literature. According to Murray, Dino Rossi isn't a good guy. In a failing effort to prove this, Murray uses the inaccurate, silly, worn out Obama tactic of blaming President Bush for all the mess in America, while doing far more than hinting that Rossi is just like Bush. For crying-out-loud! Pardon me while I yawn!

In one of her recent ads, Patty Murray accuses Dino Rossi of not caring about the loss of Boeing jobs, due to "illegal foreign subsidies" that have put the contract for an Air Force tanker "in jeopardy."

Murray's ad states that Rossi was asked if Boeing workers "should have a level playing field." According to Murray, Rossi replied, "No, not as far as I'm concerned." Well, that sounds bad. But the truth is, Rossi's comment was taken out of context.

During an editorial board at the Tacoma News Tribune, Rossi made it clear, in a lengthy statement, that he's definitely for Boeing all the way, and will fight for Boeing's jobs. Rossi also said there has to be the "right playing field."

Rossi was specifically asked if he thinks the World Trade Organization's rulings in this matter should be a factor in the awarding of the Air Force tanker contract. That's when Rossi said, "No, not as far as I'm concerned, no."

Patty Murray still refers to herself as the "Mom in sneakers." It was a cute slogan way back when, but has since lost its charm. If Patty wants to continue wearing sneakers, that's fine, but she's not winning any points by being sneaky!

Roberta Bardsley

Walla Walla

Franklin will stay ahead of crime

My wife and I moved to Dayton six months ago to retire. Good friends of ours had encouraged us to move here because Dayton is such a wonderful place to live.

Indeed, it has been that and more. One of the first people we met was Mark Franklin. He and his wife came by to welcome us to town. We learned that Mark and Shelley, even thought they did not grow up here, are very involved in Dayton and consider it their home.

Our grandchildren like to visit Dayton. They can do things here like safely walk to the bakery themselves to get ice cream. Although seemingly idyllic, I know that crime does happen here, and it takes work to keep it as safe as possible.

Although we do not like to think so, Dayton has burglaries, domestic violence, child abuse, drugs and some emerging gang activity. Property crime has risen four years in a row under the current administration.

That is why I am voting for Deputy Mark Franklin. He has the training and abilities to keep the Sheriff's Office ahead of the crime.

In this day and age, to keep a community safe for families, law enforcement needs to be always working behind the scenes and active in the community so my grandchildren and ours can enjoy a quality of life so many dream about.

Mark Franklin is proactive, not just reactive, in his plan to keep Dayton the wonderful community in which we chose to live.

Please join me in voting for Mark Franklin for Columbia County sheriff.

Bryan L. Nott

Dayton

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