LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Reporting of sheriff's presentation unfair


The first core value recently claimed by the U-B is "We value accuracy." Why then, does it make such a slanted statement as, "At what was supposed to be a meeting to introduce the Walla Walla Sheriff's Foundation, Sheriff John Turner instead unveiled his intention to ask for a $2 million increase in his budget."

Those were not mutually exclusive: The whole meeting did introduce the Foundation -- the law supporting its existence, the history of other sheriffs' foundations, the needs and benefits -- followed by discussion of the department's future needs and current resources in terms of equipment and personnel.

Yes, Turner said an increase in funding is needed, and he specified both what and why. Turner spoke for more than an hour, and the U-B reported a very small fraction of what was covered, reporting nothing of what was presented about antiquated equipment; an abandoned, valuable, fairly inexpensive resource (canines); and the possibility of a reserve program (at the cost of $2,500 for training and outfitting -- a bargain!), among many other things that could help the department serve the county more effectively.

Turner addressed a brand-new organization formed to support his department, but the U-B ignored the background, context and even the vast majority of the content of his presentation! How unfair to Walla Walla to have such inaccurate reporting, which, coincidentally, served as the straw man to the editorial the next day against an increase in funding!

If the U-B is going to be so strongly against it, at least have the honesty to state what the lack of funding means, exactly. What won't get done?

Walla Walla can't have things both ways, and the U-B has a responsibility to report all of what is presented, not just the part that, cast in a certain narrow light, will sell more papers.

It is disheartening to see so clearly for myself that the U-B cannot be relied on because I might have believed the U-B had I not attended the meeting. I am appalled first at the U-B's misrepresentation and, second, at its editorial posturing. We don't need a publication that wants to present itself as a hero; we need one which values accuracy.

Angie Alden
Walla Walla


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