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I have been reading letters to the editor regarding Walla Walla High School. It appears there are citizens who feel that our children have plenty to work with and do not need such extravagant extras as bathrooms and air conditioning.

Some voters seem to believe the school district does not exist for the purpose of educating our children, but rather to cheat the taxpayers and squander their hard-earned dollars. It’s clear to me that this tiny letter in this one newspaper is not going to change the minds of those citizens.

If only there were some way for these voters to be heard. If only the school district leadership was accessible to the public and willing to answer questions, allay concerns, have an honest and forthright conversation. If only voters had the opportunity to tour Wa-Hi and see what huge changes in the learning environment could be wrought with small changes to the infrastructure. If only they could tour some completed projects and talk to administrators and teachers to get some first-hand accounts of the positive and lasting effects of a carefully executed project.

But, alas. There is no way for people to see classrooms crowded with more and larger children than they were ever designed for, where teachers cannot physically navigate to the back of the room. They can’t observe how cold classrooms are in winter, and see kids trying to do work with coats and scarves hampering their movement. They can’t witness the frustration of science staff trying to teach advanced placement curriculum without the space or equipment to safely carry out required labs.

Oh, wait! Perhaps they could phone the school district office and speak with the communications director or superintendent. Maybe they could attend a Patron’s Tour, get a free lunch and speak with administrators, teachers and students. It’s possible they could make their way to any number of public meetings to get information and ask more questions. If that’s not enough, maybe they could visit wwps.org to watch video tours and interviews.

Since it’s clear these measures aren’t enough opportunity or information to change the minds of certain voters, I’m relying on the rest of you to immediately mark your ballot with a “yes” vote and return it now.

Katie Christianson

Walla Walla

Comments

barracuda 1 year, 10 months ago

Ms. Christianson RE: ..........."Oh, wait! Perhaps they could phone the school district office and speak with the communications director or superintendent. Maybe they could attend a Patron’s Tour, get a free lunch and speak with administrators, teachers and students. It’s possible they could make their way to any number of public meetings to get information and ask more questions. If that’s not enough, maybe they could visit wwps.org to watch video tours and interviews."
.

Well I have done these things.... (except for the free lunch) And guess what... I believe it is a good idea for a remodel... JUST NOT NOW! So I and my family and friends voted no.... Sorry.

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ImJustSayin 1 year, 10 months ago

Exactly! "No" votes don't equate to not caring, they equate to a lack of $$$$ during these pitiful economic times. If there were more jobs here, more people would move here....buy homes...and contribute to the property tax roll. Once this votes fails, the attention should be turned to the non-leaders of this community who don't lift a finger to promote economic growth.

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namvet60 1 year, 10 months ago

This vote is like a carny sham - you throw the little one out and then hit with the big one - relating to the levy(tax) that was pushed by the same people last year and then now the all important construction tax! Now if this vote had been pushed last year they knew they would never get the smaller levy(tax) item to pass but be voted down. I think both really have a problem with common sense.

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fatherof5 1 year, 10 months ago

namvet, your "carny sham" accusation is nonsense. Levies pay for certain expenses, bonds pay for others. The levies keep coming to pay for things the community wants, but the state doesn't pay for, such as elementary music. They aren't a set-up for bonds. That's just silly.

ImJustSayin and Barracuda, if I understand your comments above, your argument is that the remodel IS needed, but we can't pay for it NOW. Well, that's good, because we don't have to pay for the whole thing now. The bond is stretched out over 20 years. We are pulling out of a recession now and, who knows, we may be in another one 15 years from now. You can never plan a 20-year bond for a 20-year stretch of great economic times. Who has a crystal ball? Those stretches of 20 straight boon years don't exist historically. So, you figure over 20 years, we will have better times and worse times. The facts show that 2012 was a heck of a lot better than 2008 or 2009 or 2010. Most economists think 2013 will be better too. So, if now isn't the time, then when? In fact, the time to start this project IS now.

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barracuda 1 year, 10 months ago

My opinion? When we only have to pay for one school bond at a time.... We have several other bonds going on at this time... and we need to pay some bills first! .

Sorry, but we voted based on our pocket books not our emotions. I also, dont have a lot of confidence (based on last fiasco election/bond) in our school board.

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fatherof5 1 year, 10 months ago

barracuda, I grant you that there are limits on what is fair to ask taxpayers to pay. In fact, the taxpayers in College Place and most other regional districts have chosen to pay higher rates for their bonds than we have in Walla Walla. At some point it is too high. Where is that limit? That's where we may disagree. If you follow your suggestion of one bond at a time and do the math, it doesn't work. Here's why: We have ten schools. How long should each bond be? 10 years? If they are 10-year bonds, then we will get to each school once every 100 years. Do you think that works? Even 5-year bonds get to each school every 50 years, and we've seen what has happened to Wa-Hi after 50 years.

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namvet60 1 year, 10 months ago

Were coming out of the recession? Do you live in the US of A? Wages stagnant and prices going through the roof! I'm well aware of money is going into schools and that's like putting a car on a 10 yr note - it's wore out before it's paid for. With this increase it would raise your property taxes by half going to the school system.

You keep up the wants but never give any explanation other than they are nonsense. Really?

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fatherof5 1 year, 10 months ago

I said your conspiratorial "carny sham" accusation was nonsense...and it is. I don't know what you mean by "any explanation other than they are nonsense." To what is "they" referring?

As for "prices going through the roof" what are you talking about? While it actually shows the rate of inflation slowing in 2012, the Consumer Price Index shows the same overall trend upward over the past few years as we've had for 30 years. There's certainly no sudden surge. Here's a URL: http://www.ssa.gov/oact/STATS/cpiw.html

Yes, the recovery is painfully slow, but any economist will tell you we are in a recovery, whether you like it or not. You can't just make stuff up.

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namvet60 1 year, 10 months ago

It must be nice if you have a job that gives you a regular wage increase to think that the recession is receding. Now if you can believe that going to this government website and believe that they will give you a true grip on this economy while running up deficits of a trillion dollars a year I've got some ocean front property for a reasonable price bordering the Yellowstone Park.

As for conspiratorial carny sham - that you don't seem to understand my made up stuff you apparently haven't been around but hang out at the High School. If this construction bond was put forth last year instead of the levy tax it may have passed with flying colors but you would never have gotten the smaller levy tax passed this year. So you run the smaller levy tax and get it passed and then run the big one ($70 million worth) you will find that people get a little tired of pay pay pay till they have to tighten there belts for an issue that can be put off until some of these other bonds are paid off.

What happens if this bill goes through that raises the amount for exemption for seniors which will drop the added cost on younger people? What about the young couple with a newborn child looking to live the American Dream and try to purchase a home but the propety taxes keep them from so there goes the American Dream. Now this in itself is a hypothetical but not made up if you can think beyond your propaganda.

Now I'm getting a little tired of trying to explain something to somebody that lives by the scripted propaganda that you keep harping on and I'm not to sure about some of these people that are out waving these yellow signs. When you are traveling through an intersection at a stop light and you have this person running out in the crosswalk waving this sign and then beating feet back when the light changes . Does that sound like a stable person to you?

Just a little something that there is no way that I could make this up but then again if somebody states something other than what you are preaching that person obviously makes thing up!

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fatherof5 1 year, 10 months ago

Amazing. You can look at the Consumer Price Index, which is scrutinized and quoted by the top economists in the country (left, right and moderate), and namvet from Walla Walla somehow knows it's all a sham, whereas all of the experts are fooled. There is no fact in the world that will penetrate the reality you have created for yourself if that fact doesn't match what you believe.

Unlike you, my perception of the recession has nothing to do with whether or not I have a job. It is based on a much wider reality. For you though, everything runs through your personal lens. If your own life gets harder, then you think the whole world is falling apart. Period.

This is why you can't even acknowledge some of the good that this bond will do. You live in a black and white world. I recognize that an increase in property taxes will not be easy for everyone, even if our school taxes remain lower than many of our neighbors. At the same time, I also recognize that the investment in our schools pays dividends in many ways, including improved property values and a better educated populace. There are pros and cons. I just believe the pros outweigh the cons.

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namvet60 1 year, 10 months ago

What the economist doesn't tell me is: price of fuel - healthcare costs - income taxes - payroll taxes - state taxes - sales tax - food costs - and that's just the short list that I know what I'm paying. I handle our bank account and your telling me everything is coming up roses? I have checked property taxes around us and if you think WW property taxes are low I'm amazed. I also live in a credit debit world and I do use black ink and red ink and that lifestyle is telling me the recession hasn't even taken a breath yet. I do know that some of the Right to Work states are starting to show some upswing in there economies but it most certainly hasn't hit WW!

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ImJustSayin 1 year, 10 months ago

Namvet60... you're wasting time debating dad of 5. Any business show or publication reports on a daily basis the sad state of this economy and most get it. Rebuttals of now old talking points is not going to get this thing passed. I look forward to the next proposal that hopefully omits items such as a new soccer field, a new track, parking lot, etc.

On a very simple level, if this town can't afford 50 grand to fund the aviary, the writing should be on the wall.

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fatherof5 1 year, 10 months ago

Perhaps the voters will value kids more than birds. I'm just sayin...

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namvet60 1 year, 10 months ago

fatherof5 - to beat a dead horse here is a little bit of news on your ending recession submitted and presented most recently. Low and behold it is coming from your CBO and there forecast for 2013 is GDP growth at 1.4% - unemployment rises to 8% (not counting persons that have elected medicad coverage due falling off unemployment benefits) - citizens to lose healthcare due to costs exceed 7 million. Now if this indicates the end of a recession you should really find somebody to explain what creates growth. I believe you just need the government to support you meaning the taxpayers!

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fatherof5 1 year, 10 months ago

Most economists say the GDP growth slowdown is primarily attributable to reduced government spending, which should please you, as the annual budget deficit is expected to shrink this year. The overall economic trends over the past few years are indisputably upward, but frustratingly slow. You just picked out the two most negative aspects of the report. You conveniently left out: "CBO anticipates that underlying factors in the economy will spur a more rapid expansion beginning next year."

By definition, the recession ended in 2009, but we are still seriously feeling it and likely will for a few more years. It was a deep hole and Congress has been largely worthless in their inability to find common ground and act.

By the way, is it my CBO? I will have to tell my wife. She will give me one of those looks again like when I brought home a puppy. But this will be harder to explain.

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namvet60 1 year, 10 months ago

fatherof5 - checked with a friend in Kennewick and asked about property tax - his home assessed value at $50,000 more than my domain and his property taxes as of today is $200 less per year than mine. Now if this sham bond goes through that will increase my property tax by more so when your throwiing figures around maybe you should take more into consideration other that bogus propaganda about the new school as a tourism draw and incentive for intelligence.

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