Fredrickson is right person for Port job
I am writing this letter in support of Mike Fredrickson for re-election to the Port of Walla Walla.
I served with Mike on the Walla Walla County Planning Commission. I was impressed with his knowledge of the area and his concern for the citizens of this county.
When he addressed issues that came before the Planning Commission his comments showed he had carefully researched the item and his work experience provided invaluable insight for the Commission. His solutions reflected sound judgment and concern for those involved.
Mike's opponent subscribes to the need for change in the Port District and goes about it through public criticism. My experience has been that board members who are antagonistic and seek change through public criticism don't make good board members.
There are other ways to create change that don't involve disruption.
Since Mike has been a Commission member, the Port District has published minutes on its website for each meeting. Another change closer to our pocketbook has been a reduction in the Port's levy from $.44 per $1,000 to the current levy of $.375 per $1,000 of assessed. Meeting times include both day and evening meetings to better accommodate the public.
Meetings have been held at various locations in the county to accommodate people living in the different areas. Among many other activities, the Port has been actively involved in retention of the VA hospital, encouraged the changes to U.S. Highway 12, and is working to retain employment at the Washington State Penitentiary.
I would like to see the Port District continue work to insure that existing businesses stay in Walla Walla County and that potential new businesses consider Walla Walla County as a good place to conduct their activities. In these troubled economic times you can bet other communities are trying hard to encourage business development in their areas and we need to meet those challenges.
Our Port District has a big job ahead to retain and recruit good business and it needs a good commissioner to do that job. Mike Fredrickson fills those needs. I plan to vote for Mike in the upcoming election for these reasons.
A change is needed at Port of Walla Walla
I have worked closely with two executive directors and the staff of the Port of Walla Walla for over more than 20 years, providing construction expertise for several of its major construction projects and more than 50 of its small works construction projects.
Our relationship has always been cordial and professional.
I am appalled by the current executive director's recent unprofessional behavior. It is the talk of the town and has caused havoc with the Port's staff.
The Port commissioners, including Michael Fredrickson, are well aware of this situation and have done nothing to correct this unhealthy situation.
Now is the time for the Port to have a new commissioner to re-establish an effective, cohesive Port team.
Barlow Corkrum is the person who will make this happen.
Please join me and vote for Barlow for Port of Walla Walla commissioner.
Ego-driven decision making?
During a special City Council meeting held Oct. 3, a $200,000 revenue stream badly needed by the Walla Walla Public Library to maintain current staffing and service levels, was rejected.
This was a 6 percent increase over the amount negotiated last year by the city and the Walla Walla Rural Library District. Walk-in checkout and computer privileges for RLD residents at the Walla Walla library would continue. In short, there would be more money for city library operations than last year (if the city maintained its contribution), with no additional obligation for service outside the city.
Negotiators City Manager Nabiel Shawa and Mayor Barbara Clark set the tone of the Council meeting with heated remarks. Negotiations were characterized as "broken" with the RLD efforts made "not in good faith."
The Council was urged to reject the current RLD counter-offer, to end negotiations, and to discontinue walk-in service for RLD residents. Council member Dominick Elia asked whether it might be prudent to continue negotiations, accept the $200,000, and maintain current library staffing and open hours for the residents of Walla Walla. He was the sole abstention among members of the Council present.
Following the vote, city library Director Beth Hudson was directed to begin withdrawal proceedings from WALNET and to manage the purchase of and migration to a stand alone library catalog and circulation system by Jan. 1, 2012.
Clearly, it is the Walla Walla community in general, city library staff in particular, that will feel the impact of our library going it alone with the city as its sole source of funding.
Personally, I do not see the logic in rejecting an outside revenue stream that, over the years, the city library has used to stabilize services to Walla Walla patrons in the face of declining contributions from the city's general fund. However, the city's orchestrated decision to cancel the RLD contract may well clarify for city residents the critical need for dedicated, adequate and sustainable funding for core library services.
As a property taxpayer in Walla Walla - I do not expect the RLD to represent my best interests - I expect the city to do so. Future Valley library cooperative efforts and continued work toward consolidation need to move forward with informed, honest and positive participants.
Please help with local food drive
With the Realtors food drive coming up very soon, I feel it is incumbent on us all to try to make this drive as successful as possible.
With winter coming on the pressure on our local food pantries becomes, to a great extent, overwhelming. As president of St. Vincent de Paul of Walla Walla I can attest to the leanness of food stuffs in our pantries and at Blue Mountain Action Council food warehouse. It's bad!
We at St. Vincent use the money generated by our retail store to keep us going by buying food locally, but that is a finite amount every month, therefore we depend on those in our community to help us and other pantries to keep up with the demand we are experiencing.
At St. Vincent de Paul we were the benefactors of a wonderful gift of food collected by the kids and staff of Assumption School. They have done this in the past without prompting, but on their own. All the schools in our area are like that. The kids are great!
With the government cutting back on what it buys and how much it buys, all communities are going to have to care for their own who are needy. The "other guy" isn't going to help as much any more.
The infinite wisdom of the governments is simply amazing. What is amazing though is our kids, the schools and organizations such as the Realtors' group. Please help its food drive coming up. You will be helping families throughout our area. Walla Walla always comes through.
Buyer beware! Avoid the lure of phishing attempts
As a local business owner, I have seen many kinds of scam/fraud/phishing attempts. From email to print classifieds and Internet ad sites, they come in many forms. While covert and alluring in their appeal - low price, great features - scammers will say anything to get you to fall into their trap. For those of us who use Internet advertising regularly, we spot the red flags more easily. Misspelled words, bad grammar and being out of the state/country are only a few.
Recently, there has been an increase on the local level. One of the scam attempts is to take exact phrases from ads and rerun them using the same item at a much lower price. The scammer claims to be the actual owner, but is out of the state/country and the reason you're seeing the other ad at the higher price is because they paid someone to advertise it for them, but they now want to cut them out of the loop. They use all advertising mediums to try and lure us in.
I have heard from other local businesses that also have been seeing these scams. There is not much recourse for us. Flag the ad, report it to the proper authorities and then - do nothing. I always hope that no one falls for their tactics.
Some online listing sites have warnings, but even the Union-Bulletin does not place warnings in its classifieds. In fact, I would estimate that of the 30 or so advertising sources that I use, I have only seen a warning on about 5 percent of them. I believe there should be a warning to let you know at least three things: Don't wire transfer any funds. Don't enter any type of agreement unless you are able to meet the owner or a representative in person. Don't give out your personal information over the phone or email.
Please be very careful in your rental housing searches, job searches, used car searches and any other type of ad that you may come across, because they target all kinds. The only way that these scammers are successful is if someone falls prey to their tactics. Only we as consumers can stop these scammers. If they are unsuccessful at luring us in, maybe, just maybe they will finally stop phishing.
Fredrickson is an active listener
My reasons for voting to re-elect Mike Fredrickson.
First of all, Mike is dedicated to the position and has proven his dedication over the last six years. He is passionate and has that "fire in his belly" for role as Port commissioner.
Mike's face lights up when topics involving the Port are brought up and he cares deeply about his role. It has been my experience that when people are this passionate about their position, they end up going above and beyond the call of duty and give 110 percent to the job.
I have found this to be the case with Mike. The Port's and Mike's long list of accomplishments and numerous statewide awards in the last six years is remarkable.
Secondly, Mike cares what people think and will stop and listen. People want to be heard and he gets that. He has invited and encouraged public comments and input.
Mike will stop what he is doing and take the time to listen to what people have to say, regardless of the setting. I like being heard, especially by an active listener with an open mind, such as Mike.
Please join me in voting to re-elect Mike Fredrickson as Port commissioner. He has done a great job thus far and I believe the best is yet to come!
Drivers on cellphones put others at risk
It should not be a surprise to anyone that using your cellphone while driving is dangerous unless you have been living under a rock. It is in fact illegal to do so in Washington.
I am reminding people because so many of my fellow Walla Wallans ignore this law. Every single day I drive in this town I see more than one person breaking the cellphone law.
There are many studies to show this is as dangerous as driving while drunk. If I was seen driving down Main Street drinking a beer while driving there would be outrage. Driving fatality rates increase while driving with a cellphone attached to your ear just like driving while drunk. Why can't we have the same penalties?
Distracted driving is worse than drunken driving because your judgment is not impaired. You are choosing to put all of our loved ones at risk, including your own, because of your self-inflated estimation of your own importance.
It is arrogant and selfish to drive without paying attention to the road. You should lose the privilege to drive under the same terms as if you were driving drunk. I have witnessed people driving on the wrong side of the road, driving directly at me while clearly texting.
We could pay for another officer or two in Walla Walla. Put someone in street clothes walking down one of our busier streets and have him watch, then radio the offenders in to a nearby officer in a patrol car. We could give out multiple tickets an hour. We would all be safer and increase revenue for the town. It is pretty easy to prove, all cellphone calls are recorded.
You are not so busy you do not have the time to pull over.
Pull over or let that call go to voicemail. If you can't, consider the fact you might be an addict.
This is another fact, people can get addicted to electronic communication. I am not against electronics. I have all the wonderful gadgets a person could want, I even have a smart phone. They are useful tools.
I just find it disgusting that others are willing to put my family at increased risk and blatantly break the law. They should face a severe penalty for this, because clearly the enforcement and penalties currently in effect are not nearly enough of a deterrent.
Fredrickson has a proven record
I found Don Fleming's letter to the editor dated Oct. 9 right on target. A candidate's record of community service is important and matters when you're running for office.
Mike Fredrickson's community service record has been impressive. His ongoing work on the Washington State Penitentiary Task Force is critical in preserving as many correctional and support staff jobs as possible. He was the only elected official to attend and speak at a town hall meeting regarding the Department of Corrections plans to eliminate jobs at the penitentiary. He specifically challenged the leadership of the Department of Corrections regarding its plans to eliminate jobs in Walla Walla and its disproportional impacts on the Walla Walla Valley as compared to other correctional communities in the state.
Mike is currently serving on the governor's blue ribbon transportation panel. He is one of five members on that panel from Eastern Washington. He has also served several terms on the Walla Walla County Planning Commission.
Community service requires time commitments and making sacrifices. It isn't uncommon to see Mike's office light on late at night. He understands the importance of being involved in community service activities and is willing to make the necessary sacrifices. He has Walla Walla County's best interest at heart.
Mike proudly attended and graduated from WSU. In order to give back to his alma mater, he's been an active Cougar Club member. He's currently serving as the president.
For six years Mike has been on the board of directors of the Sustainable Living Center. The Sustainable Living Center's mission is (from its website) - "We serve as an information center to enable the efficient use of resources today to ensure sufficient resources tomorrow. We do this through education, outreach, and partnerships."
Mike Fredrickson has been an effective Port commissioner and has a proven record of community service and involvement. We should recognize Mike Fredrickson for his commitment to our county by re-electing him to the Port Commission.
New perspective needed on City Council
As a longtime resident of Walla Walla I am very disappointed the U-B chose to endorse Jerry Cummins for Walla Walla City Council.
I have nothing personally against him and I am sure he is a fine, upstanding citizen, but it's time someone who has lived a life outside the confines of the city step in and try to get us back to where we should be, someone with a fresh perspective, someone who came here albeit only a few years ago, who is not part of the good-old-boys network, who can see room for improvement and decide not what's best for the image of the Council, but rather what's best for the city.
Often when I find myself out of town, I wind up on conversations with my family about how things are done in whatever city I am in at that moment in comparison to Walla Walla. These can be simple things like in Yakima the traffic lights are sideways to bigger issues such as in Ellensburg there seems to be no graffiti or outward appearances of gang activity. It is often the outsiders' perspective that facilitates change the most.
Albert Einstein defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result," yet we continue to vote into office the same people time after time and are disappointed when the result remains the same.
My family is proud to endorse Dick Swenson for City Council, Position 4, and I am eager to not only hear his ideas for change but to know he is the one who will be listening to the people of our city and will do what's right.
Dick has no intention of making the Council his career, but rather views this opportunity as a chance to serve the city that welcomed he and his wife four years ago. Please join me in my support of Dick and exercise your right to vote in November.
Clark asks impressive questions
I am writing on behalf of Barbara Clark, who has been an outstanding member of the Walla Walla City Council and is running again for her position.
If you have had an opportunity to attend a City Council meeting, you would be impressed with the questions she asks and the obvious "homework" she has done for the meeting.
And furthermore, she has been the lone female Council member for many years. Please join me in making sure she will continue to be a Council member by voting for her on the upcoming election.
Loving life will keep you young
The best of times when you got your first job, or when you received your first raise, or when that special girl said yes to your proposal of marriage.
Then again when your mother-in-law called and said she was going to visit, or perhaps when she called and said she wasn't going to visit. When you went on a picnic and there were no ants, or when you went camping and your cheek- pinching aunt walked through poison ivy. Oh the joy when it rained the day you were to go shopping with your wife, or when you got to change the baby's dirty diaper for the first time.
The best of times are different for everyone. Just cherish each one, because they will become memories to sustain you in golden years and provide you with a chance to laugh and remember the days that used to be.
Just love the best of times in your life, they will keep you young and you won't have time to worry about no raise in your Social Security check.
Rex W. Miller, Sr.
Deliver mail three days a week
Prior to mechanization, the average distribution rate for letter mail was 35 per minute. Mechanization doubled the rate, eventually reaching about 750 per minute with mail in delivery sequence.
Pasco environs could not produce enough volume to utilize the full capability of mechanization. Mail was drawn from other Post Offices. As recently as 2010 I was accused as the "one who screwed up Walla Walla mail."
I fully understand their loss. "Deja vu." Current proposals suggest moving this mail to Spokane. A current proposal would delay mail one day. Millions of dollars, perhaps billions, were saved in the first proposal.
With the availability of high-tech - email, iPhones, Facebook, Twitter, iPads, TV, online banking - we have instant communications. I rarely collect my mail more than twice a week at no inconvenience. Saving jobs for jobs sake is socialism, the demise of the republic.
Further is a proposal is to eliminate Saturday delivery. Current real need suggest three days a week might be ample. Raise the wages, the savings will provide it, go to three 10-hour days. USPS should develop security online accounts similar to banking. Consider the possibilities.
Vote for mental health services was thoughtful and farsighted
I want to praise Walla Walla County commissioners for their recent vote on the proposal to ensure local mental health services. That was an appropriate, thoughtful and farsighted decision about how to deal with the dangerous combination of increasing mental health problems and decreasing public resources with which to deal with them.
Theirs was a powerful act of leadership and should be applauded by all county residents.
Also, I am appreciative of Department of Human Services Director Daryl Daugs for keeping this issue before the commissioners and providing an impressive stream of follow-up information.
The campaign and the commissioners' vote made me proud to live in our community.
Council member Fred Mitchell does what's best for Walla Walla
I have known Fred Mitchell for 18 years and I believe we should re-elect him to the Walla Walla City Council, Position 6.
Fred is a person of character who truly cares about Walla Walla and the people who live here. Fred is an individual who looks at the issues that face this community and makes his decisions based on what is best for our community.
It is without reservations that I offer my support to Fred Mitchell and I encourage you to do the same.
Port Commissioner Fredrickson is invested in Walla Walla's future
I believe one of the Port of Walla Walla's primary missions is to attract new investments to the Walla Walla Valley. Not an easy task. If you are a Port commissioner asking a business or individual to invest in the Walla Walla Valley, would you not expect that Port commissioner to have led by example and be directly invested in Walla Walla's future?
According to Port Commission candidate Barlow Corkrum in a recent radio interview, he has elected not to invest his money in Walla Walla. His exact quote was "I have no real estate responsibilities in Washington state. All my investments are in South Carolina." Apparently he has found South Carolina as a good place to invest his money.
By contrast, Port Commissioner Mike Fredrickson does not own any real estate in South Carolina. He does own several properties in the Walla Walla Valley, however.
Would it not make sense to re-elect a Port commissioner who owns real estate in the Walla Walla Valley than to elect someone who believes South Carolina is the best place for his investments.
The choice is clear, Mike Fredrickson is invested in Walla Walla's future. He is an owner of a local small business. He has been an effective Port commissioner.
During his term, substantial progress has been made in four-laning U.S. Highway 12. The Port is also helping small start-up businesses through the Port's wine incubator program. Mike has a positive track record involving himself in community volunteer activities in the Valley.
Please join me in voting for Mike Fredrickson for re-election to the Port of Walla Walla Commission. He in invested in Walla Walla's future, Mr. Corkrum has elected to invest in South Carolina.
Barlow Corkrum will carefully utilize our local tax dollars
Barlow Corkrum knows how to separate wheat from chaff. Likewise he knows good public policy from bad and under his stewardship many of the problems at the Port will be cast off like debris blown out the back of a combine.
Electing Corkrum to the Port Commission is a sound move as he'll carefully utilize our tax dollars in a fair and balanced fashion to help craft sensible economic development strategies that should benefit the entire county. Mark your ballot for Corkrum.
Barbara Clark acts on issue of long-term importance
For two decades I served on the city of Walla Walla's Water Advisory Committee with Barbara Clark, starting with its first monthly meeting. It was Barbara who urged the 1989 Walla Walla City Council to create a committee to look for solutions to the problem of declining water levels in the city's wells.
As a result of the committee's work, the expertise of Pat Jungmann, who was one of the original committee members, and the follow-through by city staff, Walla Walla is now one of the few cities in the Pacific Northwest with an aquifer recharge program.
The excess winter water of Mill Creek is being put into our deep basalt aquifer, bringing our wells back up to their former levels and giving us water security.
Barbara's creative problem solving on the city Water Advisory Committee includes not only water quantity, but also water quality. She is sensitive to the costs of water treatment.
To me, this exemplifies Barbara's ability to identify and act on issues of long-term importance as well as her commitment to cooperative processes. These examples could be multiplied dozens of times.
During my years on the committee I observed Barbara's friendly, respectful and collaborative style, which is essential for an effective public official.
We need to keep Barbara working for us on the City Council, and I hope you'll join me in voting for her.
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