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No disputing Obama’s acting skills

A recent insight proved to me that we have been judging our president by a mistaken standard.

What do you call someone who gets paid for standing in front of a camera with studio lighting and reads from a script (TelePrompTer) that someone else has written?

Answer: An actor.

All this time when we thought Obama was a politician. We were proved to be mistaken.

One of the reasons that most of the Hollywood elite love the man in the White House is because he is one of them. Most (if not all) of them have never written a script, but they are marvelous at delivering emotional orations.

People who have tried to check the incumbent’s college grades and published works in the Harvard Law Review have been unable to find anything.

This consummate actor has apparently bluffed his way to the most important job in the world. All the campaigns and the multiple speeches each and every day amount to routine work for a thespian. It is hard to imagine he could have risen to such heights by hard academic endeavor. Normally people do not make Phi Beta Kappa by good looks and silver-tongue exercises alone. It does make one wonder who is writing his scripts, because the performer is way too busy flying about the world campaigning to have time to concentrate on creating substantive ideas.

We see photos of him in a hard hat strolling through manufacturing plants, pretending to be interested in a process. A similar stroll through the Solyndra plant blew a $650 million hole in our federal budget. Company tours create impressions but precious few jobs for others.

It was chilling to hear him sotto voce tell the Russian president that he needs to get re-elected before he can have the flexibility needed to deal with other nations.

We would be glad to honor him with an Oscar for his theatrical performances and early retirement.

Tom Baker

Waitsburg

Odd Fellows pool is missed

How do I start this?

I miss the Odd Fellows Pool and how it was run! When the pool closed on Dec. 31, 2008, it was a very sad day for many people. I know many seniors swam there and people who were physically challenged, myself included.

I have yet to find a place to swim that was as convenient as it was. In fact, I have been unable to swim since it closed. Those running the pool did their best to keep the water temperature warm enough for those of us who required warmer water, and I know it was a constant challenge, with such an old boiler. It was crowded at times and other times we had it to ourselves.

It was a great place for those of us who do not do well in crowds to exercise, and for some of us the only place. For the most part everyone accepted the abilities of others in the pool, whether it was to exercise or lap swim and we co-existed.

I wish I had the funds to purchase this property, fix the boiler and open this wonderful facility. It is a shame to have no facility available for seniors and physically challenged people who cannot access the YMCA or Walla Walla University, for a variety of reasons.

This idle facility, if opened, could be available to so many seniors and physically challenged people in the Walla Walla area.

Jerry Taylor

Walla Walla

CP school bond a great opportunity

I am a former student of the College Place school system and graduated from Sager in 2000, imagine my delight when I heard that the opportunity is within reach for the children to complete their education in College Place with the addition of a high school.

The proposed College Place school bond will give the children the opportunity to experience maturing into young adults in this unique atmosphere that only College Place can provide. Not only will this generate a much needed remodel (talking from first-hand experience here) on the "historic" John Sager Middle School, but also a brand new facility for Davis Elementary.

With this bond we are given the chance to create a more locally rooted community and to further enhance College Place values and traditions for the children.

Please vote on this important issue April 17.

Lucas See

Newcastle, Wash.

Respect the ideas of others

Something seems to be wrong with many of us, myself included.

I, too, have the sense that things would be better if people on the other side of an argument would just go away. I hear that many liberals think things would work better if the conservatives could be sent somewhere, perhaps anywhere.

Switch the political labels and you have my own inner sense. This is wrong.

I know it is wrong; my Christian faith impels me to respect the ideas of others. To live at peace with them. God help me to listen carefully and with respect to those on the other side.

Terry L. Schoen

Walla Walla

Water park? Parking garage? Fix streets first

What are our city leaders thinking? They want to build a water park and a parking garage before fixing the streets.

I live on a street that makes me travel Highland Road. I presented the signatures of 143 people who want the road fixed. One person had a tire blow out and we are all worried about our cars falling apart.

Please fix Highland Road.

Doris Wood

Walla Walla

A GOP flip-flop on health care

Why we speak and write about health care confuses me.

We get medical insurance to help us when we are sick, not healthy. And why Republicans and conservatives rail against the individual mandate first described by the conservative Heritage Foundation as the "anti free rider mandate" also confuses me.

If you go to the Heritage Foundation website and look for the individual mandate you will read, "When you understand that motivation, you understand why, 20 years ago, individual mandates were the health care solution proposed by conservatives, including the Heritage Foundation."

Gosh, talk about flip-flops on the part of Republicans.

Dick Swenson

Walla Walla

Student pleased with Meadow Brook

Meadow Brook is a great school to attend for many reasons. First of all, people here are so nice. The staff members are friendly and they all care. If they hear about a bully, they don’t hesitate to help.

Another reason that I attend Meadow Brook is because it is easy to find friends. Friends help you through everything.

As a sixth-grader I also like attending Meadow Brook because of the opportunities it affords. I like how the sixth-grade students are able to choose what they would like to do for electives. They get to choose to participate in what they are interested in.

Another thing I like is the challenge that is thrown at us. I feel like through the three years that I have attended this school I have been challenged the perfect amount.

I love that for the kids who want a lot of challenge they have the "highly capable" program available.

So all in all, Meadow Brook is a great school to attend.

Please remember to vote on April 17 for the College Place school bond.

Hannah Rickords

College Place

Destruction of desert is sad

After my wife and I recently were in Seattle, we returned via Vantage for a change. It has been 10 years since we took that route.

We were shocked at what we saw.

At "Desert Aire" it was a joke. No desert in view due to endless fruit orchards, which were at least producing food.

Way down the highway we were horrified to see lots of large, new houses, with large yards, all with board fences, as though the desert never existed!

These houses never produced anything. They only destroyed forever that area’s living desert, with its delicate ecosystem and its wild flowers.

This could have been avoided if multi-story apartments and condos were built to reduce the housing sprawl.

It seems as though the county involved and developers are only happy when they destroy as much of the fragile desert as possible. Also it’s a case of follow the money.

How sad.

David Jenkins

College Place

War in Afghanistan is exercise in futility

What a warped world we live in! Now Americans will possibly become as well acquainted with the word "reciprocity" as they have with "unsustainable" since the "perks" obtained by lobbyists to keep politicians in their lifetime jobs have reached that peak.

The rules of the Geneva Convention and the value of human life certainly varies in its application. Those killed for supposedly offending those who believe in the Koran more than those who defaced it have killed service persons who had nothing to do with it but no "blood money" is ever offered to suggest their lives had a monetary value.

Now Afghans are killing the very people dedicated to mentor them so they can protect their country. And President Karzai not only doesn’t apologize, he appears to condone it and urge us to leave.

To continue to expose the cream of our national youth to jeopardy under these circumstances is beyond either comprehension or understanding.

What an exercise in futility and at what great cost!

Patricia Ross

Walla Walla

Penitentiary work crew appreciated

We should all be grateful to the crew from the Washington State Penitentiary for its hard work in rain or wind in clearing the Garrison Creek area from North Easy Street to the Pioneer Middle School. Before, it was a weed-clogged area that no fish could get through. At high water, it almost flowed over to Whitman Street. Now, the water flows fast and free and fish can swim either way.

Black landscape cloth has been put down on the banks for weed prevention and the trees have been pruned. What an uplift to the neighborhood.

I would like to commend those on the crew for their hard work, which is very appreciated.

Margaret Corcoran

Walla Walla

Wind energy can be well controlled

Last month a letter was published in the Union-Bulletin claiming wind turbines to be incapable of generating enough electricity to power their own insignificant light bulbs.

Yet, (according to The American Wind Energy Association) Washington state wind turbines are able to provide the electricity needed to power approximately 625,000 homes.

The computers, televisions, lights, hot-water heaters, refrigerators, toasters and stoves of more than half a million Washington homes are all powered by wind, a clean, renewable resource.

At a point in time when the world is becoming increasingly anxious about fossil-fuel use, be it for foreign security reasons or environmental concerns, it is refreshing to know that Washington state has been proactive in its development of renewable energy. Driving past the many wind turbine developments east of the Columbia River Gorge, it is nice to see the turbines relentlessly spinning wind into electricity.

Wind turbines have been equipped with technology that allows them to efficiently turn wind into electricity.

Manufacturers have built wind turbines with small computers that measure the speed and direction of the wind, and adjust the turbines accordingly.

Whenever the wind is blowing between 9 mph and 56 mph, the computer adjusts the resistance of the blades allowing the turbines to provide the most amount of energy possible in these very different weather conditions.

Yet, when the wind does blow consistently at high speeds during especially strong storms, the generated electricity can overpower the grid.

This usually occurs when hydroelectric dams, dealing with excess water produced from snowmelt and rainstorms, are already overproducing power.

It is essential for our power companies to find solutions that allow this overproduction to be absorbed more easily.

This could be done by building a smart grid, a system better able to monitor and control excess power, or by connecting our grid to those in other states, such as California.

By taking these measures to deal with the intermittency of renewable energy, wind can stop being used as a backup source of power, but instead as a reliable resource that will allow us to abandon the dirty forms of energy on which we still rely.

Annelise Osterberg

Walla Walla

Time to give back to CP community

As the College Place School District voters receive their ballots this week, I think it is important to revisit some of the conversations that have come forward.

Recently there have been some letters from taxpayers who do not support the current proposed school bond.

I think it is important not to vilify those members of our community who will not, or cannot, support the bond.

Some of these voters simply cannot afford the increase in taxes. And as a person who works a full-time job and works my family's farm, I understand the whole tax conversation.

Not presuming to speak for a "no voter," I think it is probably safe to say that most of these folks are not against kids or their education, but simply against increased taxes in general.

And the beauty of our country is that we all get a vote on these proposals.

I think one of the aspects of the school bond process that has been the most rewarding for me personally is the conversations I have had with members of our community.

The character of College Place is so refreshing to be a part of. In an age of "shocking statements" or just plain poor behavior, the citizens of the College Place School District have always been respectful and very engaging to speak with.

I have had very tough, frank and honest conversations with different members of the community and I can't think of any one instance that ended poorly.

We didn't always agree about the bond, but we all chose to act as responsible adults, and I am very proud to have had my children witness this process and some of those conversations.

Lastly, I recently heard several speeches from students on the subject of strengthening our communities. One student made the comment (and I will paraphrase) - Our communities are strengthened when we all give more back to them than what we take from them.

Out of the mouths of babes come the greatest truths. This is our time to give back to ourselves and our community.

Please join me in supporting our community by voting yes for the College Place school bond.

Doug Case

Touchet

Listening to ‘senior presentations' a privilege

The dozens of adult community volunteers who gathered as panel members in groups of three or four to listen to the required "senior presentations" from hundreds of soon-to-be Walla Walla High School graduates were again privileged to hear stories of magnificent hope in a greater future from students.

These students had extreme diversity in interests And some students overcame great adversity to get to this level.

Strength, courage, hope, drama, peril, success and great educational experiences were shared in 15-minute presentations from each student. They shared family life, best works from student life and career goals.

It certainly was an exhilarating experience for each panel member to be able to listen to these students, evaluate their presentations and to cheer them on to a greater life.

Some of these seniors are taking big, brave steps with very courageous hearts; and one certainly has the feeling that almost all will succeed.

For anyone who might be wondering, this experience is proof that our educational system is working, and working well.

Appreciation goes to the family members, teachers, advisors, administrators and friends who play such a strong role in getting these students "through the system" with a great desire to yet do more.

For those community members who would like to share in this great experience, one can get on the list to be a panel member for presentations to be held in February and March of next year by calling Wa-Hi and asking to be placed on that list now.

The recognition that there are so many capable high school graduates coming from Wa-Hi and Lincoln High School has led to very recent origination of a Walla Walla Public High Schools Scholarship Fund.

This fund will eventually assist students from Wa-Hi and Lincoln with tuition and some other advanced education needs.

The Scholarship Fund will be administered by the very capable Blue Mountain Community Foundation.

Any one can provide support to the fund in any amount, at any time, by contacting the foundation.

Additional details of this newly formed Scholarship Fund will be soon be more widely available.

We are very fortunate to be part of a great community that places huge value in providing sound education.

Jerry Zahl

College Place

College Place should have high school

The College Place school bond is very important to the College Place School District.

If we don't pass this bond we will have to pay out more to Walla Walla School District for it to build a new Walla Walla High School or to redo Wa-Hi as it is outdated and overcrowded.

By removing our high school students it will help Walla Walla to do what it has to do to its high school. It will save College Place School District money and we will be able to control how our money is spent better.

As to teacher salaries, the state will send money directly to College Place School District.

As it is now, College Place School does not get any money for our high school students as it all goes to Walla Walla based on how many students it has.

We still pay Walla Walla out of our levy funds to keep our students from College Place. It wouldn't change the levy that we pass as it is already being assessed, it might even lower it.

I would rather pay $2-plus for our bond than $3-plus for Walla Walla's bond.

Davis is in bad shape. I have worked on it in my working days and it was bad then. I would encourage you to vote for the bond and save money in the long run.

We would be doing ourselves a favor and also Walla Walla a favor.

Don't listen to those who rant and rave that it would cost us more money. Do your own research and make sure you understand the facts for yourself as others may not have done their research and are just mouthing off.

If we have two high schools one should be in College Place. One large overcrowded high school is not better than two small high schools.

This has been shown by research.

Vote yes for the bond.

Bernard Yanke

College Place

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