fatherof5 1 week, 2 days ago on Letter - Solution doesn’t have to be new building

This letter: "If the bond as currently proposed is passed, who is going to be the watchdog for the voters to see that money is returned to the voters?"

Response: um, the law? It's written into the bond.

This letter: "This project could be fast-tracked to be ready for the students when they return in the fall if the district desired to have it done this way."

Response: My goodness, why do these people care enough now to write letters, but did not care enough over the past year to attend the many, many public meetings where they could have learned that this idea is not at all close to being possible? At all.

(breathe, fatherof5, breathe....)


fatherof5 1 week, 2 days ago on Letter - Here’s how we can pass all school bonds

I like your thinking, Doceo. This letter has hit on a good idea.

I think I will pay taxes for the roads within 5 miles of my house, but not beyond. I will also only pay for the closest fire station and police station. If you vote "no" on this bond, but your kids come to Wa-Hi at some point in the future, there will be special portables for your kids so that the "good" classrooms are designated for families that care.

Since I don't want my taxes going to the FDA, I will get only the experimental medicines that haven't been tested, but think how much money I'll save. I will also try to only breathe the air that has smog, and not the air that is cleaner due to environmental regulations.

Also, if you own a local business and vote "no" on these school bonds, you can't hire Wa-Hi grads because it wouldn't be fair for you to benefit from the quality education they received that I supported, but that you were unwilling to help pay for.

Yes, this makes a lot of sense.


fatherof5 1 week, 3 days ago on Letter - Dare to say no to Wa-Hi bond

Funny. I like it when we're all Bill Anderson. (but I'm afraid I don't know anything about the CP takeover had their bond failed.)

I wish I were confident that the "major bond" to which you refer in 2018 would pass. Many of the no voters from last year said they would support a phased approach, and many of the yes voters said they didn't want to wait another five years before doing anything at all. That's a whole lot of kids passing through the system during the next five years without the benefits of any of these improvements. So, the compromise of taking this step this year was offered with the hope of benefiting students sooner, but still meeting the tolerances of the voters.

Finally, not-Bill-Anderson, as you weigh your decision, I'd ask you to believe me that there is no mystery about what life will be like after the 300-400 CP students leave. We KNOW Wa-Hi will need these science classrooms for the remaining 1,500 students. We KNOW the rest of the classrooms in the academic and science buildings will still be too small for 32 kids per class and will still lack HVAC. We know that the drama program still won't have a classroom, nor small practice rooms for the music groups, nor a fitness room for PE that isn't in a tin shed. Whether 200 kids leave or 500 leave, CP honestly doesn't affect any of those things. But all we're talking about this year is science. The need for those science rooms won't change in four years, either. Without CPHS, they'd be building 11 or 12 rooms, so they've already accounted for the loss.

That's my input...which you've heard before. Good luck with your decision! :)


fatherof5 1 week, 3 days ago on Letter - Upcoming student, teacher and class reductions

I appreciate that this is a respectful letter with a rational argument against the bond (i.e. it doesn't refer to litter in a parking lot, nor does it disparage district officials or allude to conspiracy theories). It does, however, miss a few key points.

First, the elimination of portables and ultimate completion of Wa-Hi's remodel is not a "long-range objective." Those portables should not be there for another decade or two or three. Presumably, the next bond will be proposed in four years when the Edison bond is retired. No one wants this dragging on for another generation.

Second, when the 16 portables are mercifully put to pasture, and the 60 (?) or so classrooms in the current science and academic buildings are enlarged (thus reducing the total number of them), there will be significantly fewer teaching spaces on campus. Contrary to Mr. Muller's argument, the ten new science classrooms proposed in this bond will be needed. They are part of the comprehensive plan that includes the loss of 350 students to College Place. Otherwise, the extra space would need to be found by expanding exterior walls of existing buildings to the edges of the current outer corridors, which was an unpopular and more expensive aspect of last year's bond.

Third, the construction of this new building was the least expensive of the options to fix the science classroom dilemma. Remodeling was estimated last year at $15 million (ADA compliance would not have allowed a partial remodel).

Finally, a new building - as opposed to a remodel - offers virtually no educational disruption to students during the year + of construction.

I appreciate Mr. Muller's thinking, but I believe he is just missing a couple of pieces of the equation.


fatherof5 1 week, 4 days ago on Letter - 20th century or 21st century science classrooms?

It has been frustrating to read some anti-bond letters from people, who are likely well-intentioned, but who haven't done the proper research to make the claims they make. Sure, it would be great to buy a brand new pick-up for $10k, but it's not going to happen. similarly, it would be great to remodel these buildings for a few million here and a few million there, but it is a fantasy.

Mr. Ahrens is correct in this letter about the costs of building new vs. remodeling. How do I know? Because the district hired professionals to make these determinations, and this is what those professionals determined.

A fine letter, Mr. Ahrens.


fatherof5 2 weeks ago on Letter - Evolution vs. creationism: Round 10 (or more)

My wife and I saw the new "Noah" movie this weekend. It isn't a spoiler to reveal that at one point in the movie, Noah, who is a 10th generation descendant from Adam, tells his children the story of Creation. What I really enjoyed this segment was that the visuals for the "let there be light" etc. included a big bang-like explosion, followed by the formation of the stars and the planets. The third and fourth and fifth days could easily have taken millions of years in this video montage as "The Creator" separated the waters from the land, and caused the "beasts of the field" to evolve.

What I noticed was that there was no dogma for Noah that necessitated that the six days were literal. The point for Noah was that he had a Maker. Period.

For me, a literal 6,000 year-old earth without evolution is not an option. It ignores the fact that Hebrews told and understood stories in metaphor. More importantly, it ignores obvious scientific facts. Most of the Christians I know have no problem reconciling a Creator with evolution. They accept evolution like they accept gravity and a round Earth.


fatherof5 2 weeks ago on Letter - Real names should be used on U-B website posts

Interesting. A good example of this occurs at www.fieldgulls.com, which is the main blog site for Seahawks fans. There is a long-established code of conduct for the posters there. The code includes no discussion of religion or politics (which wouldn't apply here), no "rosterbating" (which is the free-flowing fantasy discussion of "what if we traded for Payton Manning AND Adrian Peterson AND ... " and no use of LOL, BTW or other non-standard English abbreviations.

Only a few there have the power to ban, but everyone has the power to flag. You learn pretty quickly there or else you're out. I'm not sure any of us would or should be given such powers, but perhaps we could negotiate a code among the regulars and join up to educate transgressors?

The challenge is that at fieldgulls.com, not only can they enforce the rules, but they have a common cause that joins them (i.e. the Seahawks). I'm not sure we have that.....beyond a mutual desire for civility. Maybe that's enough?


fatherof5 2 weeks, 2 days ago on New science building is a must for Wa-Hi

This is a great summation of so many of the letters we have seen here. The real challenge should be in 2018 when it seems likely that a more comprehensive Wa-Hi bond will be proposed that will replace the expiring Edison bond. That Wa-Hi (and Lincoln?) bond will have great merit. This one, though, should be a slam dunk for the reasons stated in this editorial.

I believe the citizens of Walla Walla will do the right thing here.


fatherof5 2 weeks, 2 days ago on Idaho school district bans book by Sherman Alexie

Sometimes I forget that primitive cultures still exist in the U.S., and then I am reminded of Idaho.