Our readers' opinions - 05/08/11

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Were rules followed for parade?

Approximately eight months ago the now infamous purple octopus made its appearance on downtown's Main Street.

During that time, lots of opinions and heated debate have been expressed. During that time the City Council and the officials involved in making the decisions regarding this matter have steadfastly presented a united front and maintained this is a matter of right and wrong. Aside from it violating the sign ordinance restrictions, the central principle involved is the mural was not approved and it was done without a permit for the right of way on city property.

The premise is that the law was violated and you cannot do this whether your agenda is harmless or not. They were adamant about not setting a precedent for more circumventions of the law, as well as teaching our children to follow the law in spite of their love for the octopus. Despite being a supporter of the octopus, I reluctantly admit they have a valid point. Now I have a bo ne to pick.

I watched the city manager interviewed on a Tri-Cities channel regarding the "impromptu" parade conducted in Walla Walla in response to the death of Osama bin Laden. On Tuesday I picked up the Union- Bulletin and read with interest all of the news regarding this parade, the route it took and the pictures accompanying the articles.

I am not questioning people's reactions, nor their right to express feelings about bin Laden's death. I think the world is better off now that he is gone.

However, I do wonder where the parade permit and accompanying paperwork is for this event. I don't know all of the rules involved with a parade, but no doubt a permit, planning, public notification and traffic safety personnel along the route are a must.

I also wonder who authorized the use of the emergency vehicles I saw in the photo on page A3 and who is paying the wages of those people involved in the parade.

Private citizens having a parade through the city while obeying all traffic laws is a great thing. City officials and employees participating in the impromptu parade while being paid to express their feelings is nothing short of outrageous.

Who in the city are responsible for this and is anyone going to be held accountable for flouting the laws and regulations of this city on their personal whim? What exactly are we teaching our children when emergency vehicles and personnel celebrate the death of a human being in a parade?

Martin Shafer

Walla Walla

Great job on parade

I would like to compliment the city manager on the parade he organized celebrating the bringing to justice to Osama bin Laden. This was done in a very short time, with elements of the Walla Walla Fire Department, Walla Walla Police Department, Walla Walla County Sheriff's Department, veterans organizations, news media, many citizens and even some members of the Sweet "A" car club.

I probably have left some participants out, if so my apologies. Again, a job well done to the city manager!

Willis "Buzz" Logan

Walla Walla

Charge a fee for entering Walla Walla

Where to begin? It's just an idea, but why not set up points of entry into Walla Walla and charge a fee for each vehicle or person to enter. Children 6 and under free and half price for senior citizens.

Then instead of increasing sales tax, tax each beer distributor and each tasting room and winery to provide income to be applied to the treatment of drug, mental and alcohol problems.

How about a sidewalk tax, charge each household for using city sidewalks. Then a student fee for the air they breath while attending our local colleges.

Next pay the chiefs and directors what they are really worth, say about half of what they are being paid now.

It's the peons who are doing the work that needs to be done. They need to be recognized. Where would the city be without them?

Last, let's get off the octopus' back. Instead, let's encourage new business downtown then we could find some excuse to fine them $100 a day.

Then with that money the city could repair the streets. That way we won't have to use horse and wagon to travel around town.

The average citizen may not understand the ins and outs of running a city, but I bet they could do a better job than those who are doing it now.

This letter was smuggled out of a mental institution with great risk, so read with tongue-in-cheek approach.

Rex W. Miller, Sr.

College Place

Power increase comes at bad time

Shame on Pacific Power for raising the power rates. If it needs to balance its budget, why doesn't it take a cut in pay?

I understand the lineman starting wage is $38 an hour.

Now I do understand this is a risky job, but is it any more risky than a police officer or a corrections officer who can be stabbed, bitten, have feces thrown on them, strangled or shot at any moment?

Also I am sure they are not required to take any furlough days (day off without pay) like all our state, county and city employees are doing. So instead of raising power rates, with the economy in such bad shape, why doesn't the president of Pacific Power, whom I am sure has an income more than my mortgage, take a cut in pay and the other employees take furlough days like other places are doing to help balance budgets.

Take an older person, with no increase in Social Security benefits, the rent goes up $25 per month, gas is going up, groceries are going up, now the power is going up. But there is no place for these people to get more money.

And just try to get a job now - that is not going to happen. There are no jobs out there, and no one is hiring anyone over 50. So with the times as tough as they are right now, let's not raise any prices, let's try to balance our budgets and live within our means and get the economy back on track.

N.K. Bennett

Walla Walla

Thoughts on umpires, weathermen and politicians

I enjoyed Jim Buchan's column in a recent Sunday U-B. I agree with him and it got me to thinking. I know of only two professions where you can be wrong more often than not - umpiring and weather calling.

Don't know how to fix the weatherman, but do know how to greatly improve umpiring. Mount a TV camera straight over the home plate and show each pitch on the big screen for the fans to see. They'll make sure the ump calls them right or he'll sure hear about it.

Sorry, I just thought of another profession where the person is wrong an awfully lot of the time, yep, that's right - politicians. Even if we replace them, next term there are no guarantees.

Watch the Mariners this season and enjoy, even if you're a better umpire.

God bless the weatherman and umpires! OK, politicians too.

Tony M. Tabor Sr.

Walla Walla

Visit those in care facilities

National Nursing Home Week, which is scheduled to begin on Mother's Day and end May 14, is a special week where residents, caregivers, families, staff and volunteers honor and celebrate nursing facility life.

This week is a perfect time to visit your loved ones, friends and neighbors at many facilities will be holding special events. If you are unable to visit, please make a phone call, send a card, flowers or even an email - this special attention is guaranteed to make someone's day.

Take this time to reach out and let someone very special know you are thinking about them now and throughout the year.

If you are not a regular visitor, there are plenty of tips and ideas on visiting friends and relatives online. You might find the information at LongTermLiving.com helpful.

It covers such things as planning for the visit, visits outside the facility and who should visit.

Jeanette Holland

admissions/marketing

Milton-Freewater Health and Rehabilitation

Milton-Freewater

No party has monopoly on Constitution

I still find myself wondering how it is that some believe they have a better take on what our Founding Fathers had in mind 240 years ago than the majority of us. I raised this question regarding a letter written by Mr. Singleton published April 11.

In this letter he takes Mr. Osterman to task (this over a rebuttal by Osterman supporting, in part, my reply to Singleton's letter earlier) and alludes to the premise that Osterman, being a Democrat, has an impediment to understanding the Constitution and how said Democrats inaccurately refer to the Constitution as a "living document."

Let's clear up a few things by first returning to the premise I took on Singleton's earlier letter.

You can read all you want, study all you want, yet due to the lack of the Founding Fathers' presence, we are all left to decide (translate, infer, suppose) what the actual intent of the Constitution writers was when they crafted the Constitution.

Yet, there are those, like Singleton, who purport to have the inside edge on understanding their intent, which is ridiculous and awfully self-righteous, self-centered, and especially with the qualifier that political affiliation affords the ability to better understand this intent.

The second part of Singleton's take on the Constitution regarded as a "living document" by those with the intent to bend and twist the Constitution for their own benefit; the Constitution was crafted in much simpler times, and emerging technologies and changes have necessitated the changing of the Constitution over time.

We have added and changed parts of the document to accommodate changes and clarify the intent to reflect the changes time has brought to us.

The Constitution has to be a "living document" for these changes to be made and for the changes that will come as more changes occur in the future.

Unfortunately, there are those who believe they have the upper hand in knowing what's best for the public and look for any chance to disparage others due to their political beliefs.

If Mr. Singleton's party of choice makes changes to the Constitution or interprets it to its standards, that's acceptable, but if you have a different view, you're "bending and twisting" the Constitution to fit your political beliefs.

What a convenient stand to take, and the reason changing the Constitution is a controlled process that no political party can change at its own whim.

Thomas Peacock

Spokane

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