Our readers' opinions - 9/05/10

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Will tax dollars fund development?

Assuming the Planning Committee advises the City Council to approve the Provenance Development of 265 homes on the east side of Walla Walla, there are serious defects to address. I question how attuned Council members are to what will end up being a substantial investment of tax dollars over several years.

The beneficiaries are the developer and the new homeowners. The losers will be home and business owners in the one-plus-mile radius who will be impacted by large traffic increases. Quiet suburb streets will become arterials for hundreds of daily commutes.

The streets immediately impacted -- Wallace, Merrill, Hawk, Assumption, Garrison, Green and a small section of Alder Street that runs in front of Assumption School -- form a network that will feed the 1,500-plus new trips daily toward Isaac venue or Alder Street. A light will be put in at the Alder/Tausack/Assumption junction.

Once the 265 homes are occupied the traffic rating of that new intersection will an "F." It is presently a "C."

A stub can be bridged over Yellowhawk Creek and disperse traffic onto Hawk Street going north and south toward either the new light or Garrison Street. Garrison traffic wishing to head downtown will bypass the new "F" rated intersection by continuing west on Garrison to Green then south to Alder.

These streets are not arterial. They cut through quiet neighborhoods. These communities will see their property values and quality of life drop.

This is happening not because of the developer. Its plans in general are solid and since Walla Walla has no impact fees (Why not?) the city will pick up the vast majority of expense to work this out.

Will we see taxpayer money spent to mitigate these traffic issues instead of being used for other projects such as a much needed swimming pool?

Every member of the City Council should be held accountable for how they vote. The development site and type of construction is fair. What isn't involves the failure to plan access without disrupting the community and the existing arterials will not support the traffic increase.

The east side will degrade from this.

The Development Department needs to go back to the developer and negotiate out several things, including:

  1. A real green belt, not a steep hill side. This means fewer homes.
  2. A cost sharing that fairly supports the city's and developer's responsibilities.
  3. Protection of our existing neighborhoods.

City Council meets Sept. 8.

Brad Riordan

Walla Walla

Do away with federal pork

First, the change in the comic section is atrocious. The old, interestingly funny ones were great!

Second, it never ceases to amaze me that people just don't understand. A lot of people are crowing about the large tidings of government money brought to the fine state of Washington. But think about the amount of large tidings also taken to the other states.

Taking into consideration the percentage brought into Washington is minimal compared to all of the pork scattered across the U.S. Now if you give some thought that all of this pork is paid for by the good ol' taxpayers, how much is your share distributed to the rest of the states?

Your taxes are paying for research on: Ants in India, monkeys on cocaine, overpasses for deer, tunnels for turtles and best of all the $1 billion highway tunnel in Boston (how many of you have driven through it?). Now that's just a few, so what would happen if the state governments got off their duffs and earned their money by finding projects to benefit the state and put bonds together to build these same projects that are being funded by these large tidings of the feds.

It would certainly be cheaper than supporting the whims of the entire Congress and Senate.

I think that all bacon, i.e. pork, should be taken out of the hands of the feds and cut the roles of same to a minimal force.

The country could run just fine with the military and a small oversight committee that would be overseeing the portions of government that actually need to be there.

Of course that committee would have term limits of a short time frame and be impeachable by the citizens of the good ol' U.S.

It would sure save the taxpayers a lot of money and the economy probably wouldn't be in the shape it is in! Doing away with this welfare lifestyle and redistribution of wages certainly wouldn't hurt anyone and even get some to look for work!

Myron Wallmow

Walla Walla

Christians must demand respect

There are so many good Muslims in our country. But as with anything, all we hear about are the radicals and the crazies as there are in all religions and cultures.

I do not agree with adding another mosque in New York or anywhere. These mosques are being used by terrorists and radicals, per the newspapers and news programs. But there is an unbroken history of official acknowledgment by all three branches of government of the role of religion in American life. The Constitution does not require a complete separation of church and state.

It affirmatively mandates accommodation not merely tolerance of all religions and forbids hostility towards any. Anything less would require the callous indifference we have said was never intended by the Establishment Clause. This hostility would bring us into a war with our national tradition as embodied in the First Amendment's guarantee of the free exercise of religion.

Our Bible and Jesus preach peace, love and acceptance and our Founding Fathers created this country on that concept. The Muslims expect and demand we give them the respect for their beliefs.

So we as Christians need to demand the same respect for our beliefs. We as a nation of Christians need to demand the same respect from atheists as we demand from the Muslims.

It is time that we Christians stand up and stop the disrespect we are getting from the special-interest groups that permeate our nation and in our government.

Lydia Whipple

Walla Walla

Change in U-B comics hasn't worked well

I, too, am upset with the change in the comic section.

I have waited some time to voice my opposition to the changes fearing that "change" was the real villain. Unfortunately, time has not changed my mind.

The comics are not the highlight of receiving the U-B any longer. And I find it very interesting that the editors do not choose to respond in any fashion to all the comments that have been made.

Just another example of making the changes in a vacuum that hasn't worked well, but will continue to no advantage.

Cathy Wiese

Milton-Freewater

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