Renaming of old highway not done properly
Unfortunately, Walla Walla County was made well aware of the potential for the confusion it was causing when renaming the old portion of Highway 12 "Old Highway 12," but went ahead regardless.
When the county came up with that name, a number of business owners along the highway wrote several letters to the county commissioners warning that it would cause problems with locals and tourists who would not know where the "Old Highway 12" began and ended or which Highway 12 they were on. Emergencies that need to be responded to happen and confusing visitors does not enhance their impression of the Valley.
In fact that is why the County Code, adopted by the commissioners, prohibits assigning road names that are similar to the names of other roads in the county. Seconds can count in an emergency and the time that it takes for a dispatcher to determine the location of a confused cell phone caller can be the difference between life and death.
All of the signs in the world are not going to make it clear to an infrequent user of the highways which Highway 12 they are on - they will simply know they are on Highway 12. The notion that signs parallel to the road and an article in the U-B are going to help locals, and particularly visitors to the Valley, figure out which Highway 12 they are on is absurd.
Throw in Heritage Road and confusion reigns.
It is a mystery as to why the county knowingly ignored not only the prohibition in its code regarding similar road names, but also the public process set forth in the code.
When this was pointed out, instead of admitting that errors were made and correcting the problems, officials dug their heels in and blundered on.
The fix is to go back and follow the code. Sadly, to do so now will burden property owners with the hassles of yet another name change and citizens with additional costs.
However, it may be the only choice if public safety is truly a priority.
Yet another attack on conservatives
Indications are that Barack Obama's call for civility goes unheeded in his own camp. Attacks on conservatism continue at a feverish pace. Progressive activism, aka hypocrisy and nasty tactics, is steadfast in its determination to discredit conservatives.
The latest weapon in the progressive arsenal is Credo Mobile, yet another division of the progressives' warfare against those who disagree. The material recently arriving in my mail box leaves no doubts about Credo's agenda. As soon as I saw the photos of Sarah Palin and Dick Cheney, along with the heading, "Is your phone working ... for the bad guys?" I knew that another attack has been launched.
Credo describes itself as "America's only Progressive phone company." On one of its websites, Credo proclaimed, "CREDO Mobile Action is a network of activists utilizing the power, convenience and speed of mobile phones to make social change. With a progressive president in the White House and progressive majorities in both the House and Senate, we may think our work is going to be easy. But right-wing obstructionists are gearing up to stop progress in its tracks, and we have to be prepared to fight."
Credo needs to update its proclamation, since the progressives are no longer the majority in the House, and suffered losses in the Senate. However, progressives still intend to fight, and will use any tactic, including the popularity of cell phones.
Credo warns that AT&T and Verizon Wireless "have contributed to political candidates who are pro-war, anti-environment and anti-choice." Credo criticises AT&T for being "the top contributor to the House Tea Party Caucus." Verizon Wireless is criticized for backing tea party candidates.
I'm not saying that Credo doesn't have the right to push its progressive agenda, using cool cell phones to entice. Credo can support the ACLU, multi-pro-choice groups, etc.
But nasty attacks on conservatives show just how scared the progressives are. Constant insults and fact twisting indicate desperation. Still, some people will probably sign on with Credo, thereby doing their part to, as Credo says, "making the world a better place."
Besides, those who join Credo's fight will receive free Ben & Jerry's ice cream each month for a year! Wow!
I wonder how many conservatives and tea party folks buy Ben & Jerry's ice cream? Credo should check into that.
Bill aimed at social work is a concern
I am concerned about state House Bill 1043 that is aimed at "protecting consumers by assuring persons using the title of social worker have graduated with a degree in social work from an educational program accredited by the council on social work education."
I am soon to be a 2011 graduate of the Wilma Hepker School of Social Work and Sociology at Walla Walla University. In a master's level social work degree program we are required to learn how to best meet the needs of clients in terms of therapy, mental illness, family issues, life transitions and more using evidence-based practices.
However, in Washington state, consumers are not given the assurance of whether or not their "social worker" is properly educated. For example, social workers given charge of the best interests of children may or may not be educated in child or family therapy or behavioral sciences.
The parents of that child trust social workers to do the right thing simply because of their title. Additionally, with the growing concern of mental illness, the public must understand the importance of having a properly educated professional assessing the needs of a mentally-ill individual.
I am writing this to ask that the Union-Bulletin cover this important bill during the 112th session of the Legislature. We have a dynamic program at Walla Walla University and it is important that our newspaper bring this bill to the awareness of the residence of Walla Walla County as well as our state representatives.
Not only is this an ethical issue, but also because our university is training students at the highest level, albeit with the risk of having to compete with non-professionals who are allowed to use professional titles.
Have we no pity for defenseless innocents?
As I read the article in the Jan. 20 issue of the U-B regarding the physician in Pennsylvania charged with the murder of seven infants born alive during attempted abortions, I found it very disturbing.
Personally, I do not believe in abortion; I believe in the sanctity of life which is God-given. However, I'm fully aware that many do not hold that belief, and that I have no words that would likely change their minds.
I find it very troubling as I contemplate the procedures for terminating these unwanted pregnancies, especially in the late-term or partial-birth abortions, somewhat described in the Jan. 20 article regarding legal abortions. Studies show there is overwhelming evidence the fetus is fully capable of experiencing pain at 20 weeks of gestation, if not earlier.
My concern is, are they given anything for the pain as their lives are terminated?
I am proud to be an American and proud we are considered to be one of the most civilized countries in the world. We consider the rights of almost everyone: There are women's rights, gay rights, the rights of minorities, the rights of the terminally ill to die without pain and with dignity, the rights of war criminals to be interrogated humanely and the rights of the condemned to be executed without undue pain and stress. We even have laws regarding the treatment of animals. These are all issues that definitely, in my opinion, need to be considered.
Why is it, in our civilized country, these precious little ones, not unlike those Jesus held in his arms and blessed, are shown no compassion when their lives are taken from them? May God forgive us.
If we have no pity for these defenseless innocents, we have no right to criticize other nations for their abuse of human rights.
Don't leave sex predators alone with women
I am serving life without parole under the three strikes law here at the Washington State Penitentiary. I have been in prison for 16 years on this sentence.
I am appalled by the murder of officer Jayme Biendl at Monroe's prison. Her murder was a horrible, senseless act allegedly perpetrated by a sick sexual predator who has done nothing but attack women his whole life.
In the Feb. 6 editorial section I read Lydia Whipple's opinion. I feel her anger, too, but her anger/opinion on one issue is misguided. She characterized the suspected killer as a lifer who should have not been in a medium custody setting based solely on his sentence as if this was in some way the cause that needs curing.
I spent over a decade in close custody before going to medium. The chapels are run the same, the problem was deep inside of him and he was, and is, a sick sexual psychopath who was allowed to be alone with his prey, a woman.
Most three strikers are in prison for a variety of crimes that revolved around drugs or in some way stealing property or money to obtain drugs. Robberies, burglaries, etc. Sex offenders are different.
Any expert will tell you, they don't change.
Lifers are also, as a group, the best behaved and most productive prisoners. Medium custody here is behind "the walls" and is very secure. The answer is not to spend millions making life hard for hundreds of well-adjusted lifers who are not sex offenders.
The answer is this. You don't let a pedophile coach Little League and you don't let sexual predators alone with women in prison.
Staff does great job at Pioneer Park Aviary
Joanna Lanning taught us some very great things about the Pioneer Park Aviary.
I think that we should keep the Aviary. Here is why:
The animals are very beautiful and the staff does a great job raising the animals and their eggs, so why quit now. I say keep the Aviary, keep the beautiful animals and most of all let them have a home, the home in Walla Walla .
Weekly section of U-B hard to read
I enjoyed your featured writers in The Walla Walla Valley Weekly, but not the "grayscale" of some of headers, etc., that they were printed in. Both my daughter and I found this section of the Tuesday U-B hard to read.
I suspect these might have been done in color for the website.
Walla Walla must keep Aviary
Well, I’ve got to tell you that I dislike the fact Walla Walla is thinking of closing down the Pioneer Park Aviary. That is my favorite place to go in Walla Walla.
Why? Because there was a lot of different animals there I had never seen before. Not a lot of people get to see an Aviary at a park. There are a lot of animals there I just absolutely love watching.
Also, I love getting to know the facts and their history. Also I just love watching the turtles swimming around like there’s no tomorrow. The animals are always happy and nice to me, but maybe that’s because I have a connection with animals.
Most people don’t understand that when you make a tourist attraction that you would make a goal to keep that there and not close it. I know hundreds of people love the Aviary.
If I could prove to you we do care about the Aviary I would. I would get people to sign their names to save the Aviary. I would even lead a fundraiser to help those poor animals.
People, open your eyes here. You’re going to lose hundreds of tourists from all around the world.
My aunt and my cousins came all the way here from Australia just to see us and take us to the Aviary and play at the park. Lots of people took their kids there and I could just see the excitement in their eyes and in their facial expressions.
There are countries, towns and cities that don’t have this opportunity to have an Aviary. So tell me this what are they going to do now if they don’t have the money to go to a zoo?
Also, Walla Walla would make a lot of animal lovers happy. They would thank the city for keeping the Aviary.
I think you get the point. I hope you can understand what Walla Walla is going to lose.
Set an example! Hold people accountable
In the Feb. 6 U-B, Norm Osterman’s submission regarding gun ownership has left me scratching my head.
Mr. Osterman shared his belief that "gun-rights people" are afraid to let even the most insignificant reforms toward gun ownership be enacted.
What rating scale determines whether and to whom a rule or law is insignificant?
To legal gun owners who obey present gun laws, any new or proposed gun legislation is significant. Significance depends on which side of the fence you stand.
For instance; Washington state is presently eyeing legislation to stop issuing drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. Although I am personally in favor of the proposal, as an Oregonian, it is relatively insignificant to me. However throughout the state and nation, there are people who feel this is just another step toward restricting their rights.
Beyond the fact that gun ownership for law-abiding individuals is constitutionally legal and illegal immigration is not, does anyone else see a similarity here?
Much in the same that new laws aren’t necessary if the existing laws were to be enforced.
From his letter, it can be derived that Mr. Osterman disagrees with the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court and its findings that the Second Amendment guarantees individual gun ownership rights, still believing that the Founding Fathers were referring only to the arming of militias.
In an attempt to justify his belief, he goes on to ask how many gun owners today belong to a "well-regulated militia?" One could argue that in the grand scheme of it all, the law-abiding gun owners of this nation are in fact themselves a well-regulated militia spread across this great land. Ready to fight for and defend their families, homes, freedoms and country using the very weapons the Second Amendment allows them.
Mr. Osterman boldly assures us that given the Supreme Court’s decision, gun owners are in no danger of having their guns taken away. Don’t you believe it!
Anti-gun lobbyists see this decision as a temporary setback. They will continue to push and the fight will go on. And don’t fool yourselves, if guns with 32-round magazines had been available in the 1700s they would have been owned and accepted because, back then, the person, not the weapon, was held accountable for his actions with swift and just punishment.
It’s called an example! We should try following it sometime.
Article on vegetarian eating and kids was lopsided
Some time ago the U-B ran an article by Carolyn Butler titled, "Keeping an eye on nutrition key with vegetarian kids."
I found that rather lopsided ... it sounded as if we didn’t need to keep an eye on any other kids — just the vegetarians. I believe you should be much more worried about those who aren’t vegetarian because of the many problems such as allergies, obesity, headaches, constipation, fatigue ... the list goes on .. . that a diet that contains meat, milk and junk food cause.
She also states, "It’s important to look for clues and assess whether this choice to be a vegetarian might reflect an underlying eating disorder." What?
Our country’s obese kids who eat any and everything unhealthy would not then also be considered having an eating disorder? So it sounds like we just need to be worried about the vegetarian kids eating a healthy diet, not the junk-food junkies.
Instead of worrying what we need to add to the vegetarian’s diet, we need to decide what we need to remove from the rest of the kids’ diets. She needs to look into the health studies of both groups and then tell us who is unhealthy.