Our readers' opinions - 05/15/11

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Second high school should be considered

The question I really want answered from the Walla Walla School District: How long do we plan to keep this a one high school town?

If the current student population is at 1,900 now (per the U-B editorial) what will the student population be in 10 years or 15 years? When do we start considering a second high school?

It's not hard to read the writing on the wall that athletic continuity (to phrase it delicately) is certainly playing what some would consider too large a role in the debate.

Has there been discussion about other options for high schools?

What about a magnet-style high school with a focus on technology, math and science or the arts? A smaller high school with a specific focus would not have to field any athletic teams -- athletes in attendance would still compete for Wa-Hi.

Other districts in Washington state have used such a model with great success and have high schools that regularly receive national recognition.

Bottom line, before we just move forward with a debate about what a new Wa-Hi should look like, let's make sure we look at all of our options -- and that should include building a second high school.

Mike Herman

Walla Walla

Perhaps octopus should hold wine bottle

In my opinion, the city of Walla Walla needs to lighten up!

I find it laughable (not in a good way!) that city officials say they value Bob Catsiff's Inland Octopus and hope it will stay in Walla Walla, even if the well-recognized purple octopus is eventually forced down. If the City values Mr. Catsiff's business, punishing him sends the wrong message!

I'm sure the citizens of Walla Walla appreciate the wonderful things done to restore and preserve our historical downtown area. It truly is a pleasure to spend time downtown.

However, isn't there room for a bit of whimsy? Does a purple octopus peeking over a castle wall inflict any harm on our community? I think the city is taking itself too seriously!

As far as I'm concerned, the purple octopus is art, not a sign. It's not offensive. I don't think it detracts from the downtown area at all. I always smile when I see it.

If the citizens of Walla Walla were given any say in this matter, I believe it's very likely the purple octopus would stay.

Letters to the U-B certainly offer proof the cute plum pal has a lot of support, perhaps far more support than the extremely bright yellow faade just up the street! Of course, the city has made it clear that letters to the U-B haven't changed the city's determination to continue to fine Mr. Catsiff.

I repeat, the city of Walla Walla needs to lighten up!

There are far worse problems in Walla Walla than the harmless purple octopus!

Our streets are in deplorable condition! Navigating them is a nightmare! The former Blue Mountain Mall has become the Blue Mountain Eyesore! By the way, if the city is so concerned about appropriate signs, how about removing those that point the way to something that looks as if a bomb went off in the middle of it?

Some citizens wonder if the city is far more encouraging to wineries than other businesses. Well, it's interesting that a winery can bring a burlesque troop to the downtown area, while the purple octopus is deemed a nuisance.

Maybe, if those purple tentacles were holding a wine bottle and a wine glass, things would be different!

Roberta Bardsley

Walla Walla

Why wasn't bid Laden captured?

More paradoxical conjecture to think about.

It's a foregone conclusion that Osama bin Laden deserved to be executed. However, with all the "righteous" demands from the left for American justice by trial (note our Injustice Department, our "tax cheater" led Treasury Department, "Stumble Bumble" Homeland Security Department that claims our borders are safe and secure), all while our own people are being murdered on their own land.

If the individual killed was the real bin Laden, and if he was unarmed as is now being reported, would it not have been more prudent to capture him alive, to eliminate questions as to the truth of who he was and what happened during the incident. That way he could be imprisoned at Gitmo, tried by a military tribunal as an enemy combatant and properly executed.

The way this was handled, based on Obama's history (untruthful, inconsistent, deaf) and command, to kill an unarmed man, regardless of his evil deeds, could be construed as murder. Therefore, isn't there as much blood on Obama's hands as the ones who pulled the trigger? I do wonder if he sleeps well at night, bending the rules of his own liberal ideals in exchange for political expedience and his own re-election plans?

Everyone in the world, or at least the U.S., knows President G.W. Bush laid the groundwork to get bin Laden. Remember, Saddam Hussein was captured, tried, convicted and hanged by Iraqi court order during Bush's watch.

I am a Vietnam veteran and I certainly support the troops and I'm very happy that bin Laden is gone, but "if" he was unarmed and if there really wasn't much of a firefight (if any), then who started the stories? Where are the pictures? Who is accountable?

Obama? Yes!

Think about all the promises, lies and mistakes this president and his cronies have made the past two-plus years, in "our" White House.

Oh yes, lest I forget, didn't Obama promise more than two years ago that Guantanamo would be closed immediately, and the budget would be balanced soon? Uh, how's all that working for us ?

Something for all to consider.

Robert Phillips

College Place

Attack should have been in newspaper

Early morning on May 5 my daughter was attacked by two young men in College Place. She was hit, kicked, thrown to the ground and had her clothes torn.

Emergency medical services and the College Place Police Department did respond, which is not my issue. My issue is to the fact this has been happening in this area and there has been no notification to the public.

My daughter is a strong 21-year-old woman ... thank God. She was able to fight back and her assailants ran. It is unfortunate they ran. However, I am glad she was safe.

Walla Walla and College Place, if this is happening to young women, any woman, we as the public need to know! We have colleges in both towns and people to protect!

Come on, if we can read of the purple octopus daily I am sure we can find some room in the U-B for this! Let's write to what's important to our community! Please!

Jami Smylie

Walla Walla

Always consider the source

My friend "W" says he deserves credit for the famous Babe Ruth home run, not the Babe.

I asked "W" "how can this be. He hit it, you didn't and it was in front of a large crowd of witnesses.

Then "W" told me he was with the previous baseball administration and he had used enhanced hardball techniques on "the Babe" to give him the secret home run formula. "W"'s reasoning was that if anyone gets the glory it should be him and his crowd. "After all," he said, "we had to work so hard to fabricate a baseball season in the Middle East and if it hadn't been for that little white lie about fireworks after the game we probably would not have had a season at all."

I looked at my friend "W" and was truly set back by his words. They seemed to have no humanity about them, only a cruel selfish context like perhaps a petulant child not getting his way. I was consoled by the wonderful wisdom of my mother when she used to say, "Consider the source of the speech to which you are listening."

Mom is always right and, with that thought in mind, I laughed and said good bye to my friend "W."

Steven Leroy Rusch

Walla Walla

Volunteer to make a difference

Recently, I attended the Friends of Children of Walla Walla breakfast, which reminded me of the many needs right here in the Valley. Friends' vision is "Improving lives and communities -- one child at a time."

As the immediate past president of our local Exchange Club and chairperson of this year's Baker Boyer Ducky Derby, I'd like to share another mentoring program -- it is called the Home Team Parent Aide Program.

This program matches well-trained mentors to parents who want to improve their parenting skills, which benefits not only the children in their families, but our communities as well.

How can we support programs like Friends and the Home Team Parent Aide Program? Through a local fundraiser, the Baker Boyer Ducky Derby, organized and presented by the Exchange Club of Walla Walla. This fundraiser supports both of these mentoring programs and other youth activities in our Valley. All proceeds stay in our community. If you want to find out where you can buy a ticket, go to our website and look for "ticket outlets" wwexchangeclub.org.

The date is May 21, the location is Walla Walla Community College behind the baseball-softball fields, and the time is 11:30 a.m.to 3:30 p.m. It's a blast to watch 20,000 ducks float down Mill Creek.

Tickets are one for $5, or five for $20. And don't forget -- it's for kids, it's all for kids!

I'm sure you've heard this story before, but it is relevant to our mission:

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.

Approaching the boy, he asked, "What are you doing?"

The youth replied, "Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them back, they'll die."

"Son," the man said, "don't you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can't make a difference!"

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said, "I made a difference for that one."

Volunteer today for a better tomorrow and make a difference for that one!

Judy Hicks

Walla Walla

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