Dams are more valuable than some want to believe

Mr. Burkholder, the dams provide safety and cheap power to a lot more than removing them would do. Maybe you were not around when the earthen dam at the headwaters of the Snake River broke and caused major concern at Ontario, Ore. I was on the river at Central Ferry when the radio announced the break. There are several dams between there and where I was fishing that slowed and controlled the excess flow. This is fact. That's safety.

The dams create a lake and allow farmers to use this water to produce your food. Not all farmers are near a river, so wells have to be drilled. Where do you think this water comes from? From the aquifer. What do you suppose fills this aquifer? Seepage from the rivers and "lakes" made behind these dams.

Are you willing to starve for the next few years?

If you are not catching fish, maybe you need lessons. Fact is there are more fish through these dams now than in the past.

Now as to needs, there is power to feed, cook, bathe, wash your car, play in, lawn watering. If we rely on you we would remove the dams, and wind power and solar power would supply our homes and factories. Well in the winter when we need heat, and we have fog and no wind, what are you going to do to survive?

Better look for some candles and a fireplace. You have never been in a brownout. Just to satisfy you and Judge Redden? No thanks!

A major trouble, minorities like you are ruling the world and have no long-term vision.

You remove the dams and you will be responsible for the decline in the economy. Just think of how many people will be without work. There are more people relying on this power than you can imagine. You would not be very popular. Not with me.

If the wind is not blowing and the fog has settled in then the solar cells are not producing power and neither will the wind generators. How will this make the economy better and richer? Have you really thought this through?

No power, no work - this enriches the economy? These electric cars, where do they get their power from? The dams provide power consistently, regardless of the weather.

Ask the people living along the Mississippi River. No dams equal floods.

Louis G. Valiante

Walla Walla

WSU does not have varsity softball

In regards to The Seattle Times articles in the Union-Bulletin on June 24 about women's sports and Title IV.

I am a former youth coach, both girls' soccer and softball.

Washington State University does not have a varsity softball team through the athletic department. It is a club sport. Softball is one of women's sports most popular sports.

Why can't Walla Walla's championship girls go to WSU?

James Nostdal

Walla Walla

Let's wait for New York Store investigation

I'm having trouble figuring out exactly why Bruce McCutcheon continues to mention the Constitution in regards to the tragic New York Store incident (tragic for all concerned, not only for Cesar Chavira, who apparently initiated it, but his family and Mr. John Saul as well).

I applaud Mr. McCutcheon's high regard for the U.S. Constitution and feel the same - as do most Americans, especially those of us who have supported it by serving in the military and other government agencies in the U.S. and overseas.

This issue, however, is not about the U.S. Constitution but about Washington state law.

I've seen three letters by Mr. McCutcheon. The first stated, "I do not wish to condemn or convict anyone," but then goes on to do just that in each letter using both innuendo and personal opinion.

Why don't we just await the results of the investigation before making accusations and judgments here on the U-B opinion pages?

The words "vigilantism" and "vigilante justice" appear in the letters along with "premeditation" (twice), "intent," and "judge, jury and executioner." If this isn't prematurely condemning or convicting someone, what is?

Also, why such serious mistrust of our own elected coroner and law enforcement departments that would demand an "outside agency" (FBI or DOJ?) investigate rather than our own city and county personnel?

Regarding my point about law, while I'm no lawyer I do recommend a careful reading of Washington state laws. For example, RCW 9A.16.020 (Use of force - when lawful), RCW 9A.16.030 (Homicide - when excusable), and RCW 9A.16.050 (Homicide - by other person - when justifiable). Google them. They provide an understanding of applicable laws pertaining to incidents such as what occurred at Mr. Saul's business and private residence on May 4.

It is unfortunate we sometimes "jump to conclusions" when tragic shootings occur. A good case in point is the Florida incident in which Trayvon Martin was killed. It's become apparent from photos and a recent video that George Zimmerman was physically attacked with obvious injuries inflicted upon him that very well may have justified a lethal self defense response. In that case, too, final judgments should be postponed.

Let's wait until the open and continuing investigation of the New York Store incident is completed and a legal finding presented to County Prosecuting Attorney Jim Nagle, as mentioned in Sheriff John Turner's press release of June.

Steve Singleton

Walla Walla

Accepting Obama offer would be admitting crime

I would like to ask one question. If you were an illegal alien, would any attorney in this country advise you, as an illegal alien, to sign the new amnesty papers that President Barack Obama is purposing? You would be admitting that you are a felon.

Sharon Benzel

Walla Walla

Concern about legality of ‘Fast and Furious'

Watergate involved a break-in at the Democrat's office in the Watergate building complex during the Nixon presidency.

President Nixon invoked executive privilege. However, in U.S. vs. Nixon (1974) the U.S. Supreme court ruled that the constitutional basis for executive privilege must meet this standard: There must be a need to protect secret deliberations and communications intended ultimately for the president that pertain to military, diplomatic or sensitive national security matters.

Nixon's request was denied by the Supreme Court. President Nixon, facing potential impeachment, resigned and several of his key administrators were convicted and served time in federal prisons.

The Obama administration's gun running into Mexico labeled "Fast and Furious" is much more than a break-in of a rival political party. It involves murder: The deaths of two federal agents and the deaths of almost 300 Mexicans. (The Mexican government was never contacted about this operation).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated there is nothing done in politics that is not planned. The murders were not planned. The rest of the operation was planned. However, the American people don't know at this time how high the involvement permeates.

Apparently, the government's goal was simple: There needed to be more gun control and it would link American gun-shop-sold guns to Mexican crimes to help reinstitute the assault weapons ban.

Thus, there was no need to track the weapons and ammunition. American gun store owners were coerced or threatened by federal agents to comply with selling the assault guns and ammo or lose their federal firearms license.

Whistleblowers were placed under gag order and threatened. One or two did testify, ignoring the order and threats.

Perhaps, this goes all the way to the president (including Homeland Security) and it is no wonder U.S. Attorney General Holder had to ask his boss to institute executive privilege. Holder had stonewalled Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., as long has he could. The illegal activities done via Fast and Furious are felonies and must be investigated and individuals tried outside the reaches of the current attorney general.

The president's invoking executive privilege over Fast and Furious does not meet the Supreme Court guidelines.

How long can the administration keep the felonies covered up? My guess is until the day after the presidential election.

Craig Buchanan

Walla Walla

Federal investigation needed for Chavira shooting

I spent sometime looking through the archives, at the Union-Bulletin. No, not the entire archives, just those from May 4,2012, to the present. Specifically, those dates that had to do with the shooting on East Isaacs Avenue.

The most disturbing was a May 22 article that stated the news director of KTEL (Emily Jaceks) reported three days after the event that Undersheriff Eddie Freyer stated Cesar Chavira had received 47 pellets that entered the back and exited the front. This was confirmed by our coroner, Richard Greenwood.

Now, the official line is, "Oh no, he wasn't shot in the back." I ask, are they telling the truth now or were they telling the truth then?

If he was running away where was there a threat?

Another question: Why was the surveillance tape reviewed and commented on by an outside security firm, and why wasn't it confiscated by the Sheriff's Office at the time of the original investigation? Why was it allowed to be viewed by an outside agency before the Sheriff's Office had an opportunity to view it?

It has been said a bag of belt buckles were found near the body. Is this to say that Mr. Chavira made two trips to the store, or that while John Saul was shooting at him he stopped to get the bag? Or is it something else?

I have read the comments on the editorial page and how everyone wants to call it a home invasion. No, it was not a home invasion, and all the spent shells, were found "near the entryway of the store."

I have read the comments asking, "What are we teaching our children?" And I ask, "What are we teaching them if the laws are not meant for everyone?"

I personally feel the credibility of the Sheriff's Office, Undersheriff Freyer and Mr. Greenwood have been compromised, and feel the resignation of Mr. Freyer and Mr. Greenwood should be immediately forthcoming. I also feel it is time for an independent investigation, and that the Sheriff's Office should request the federal Department of Justice or the FBI step in for a completely honest investigation.

Bruce McCutcheon

Walla Walla

Health-care law should be modified

Looks like conservatives lost this battle with the Supreme Court decision upholding the mandate.

The court upheld the right of the federal government to do this. The law itself still seems foolish and not well thought out.

Here in the aftermath of the battle the liberal victors should see our frustration, but nothing vicious in response. We build a country based on the rule of law.

The Obamacare law can and should be modified. I will vote accordingly.

Terry L Schoen

Walla Walla

Now may be good time to get swimming facility

By now I'll bet most of you have wondered why a bunch of stubbornly determined citizens believe we can get a swimming facility here in Walla Walla.

Call it a pool, call it an aquatic center or a water park, you name it. We just believe our fair city needs a place to have fun and cool off in the summer. (If we ever have one, that is! Will global warming ever get here this year?)

We know our timing is bad, but maybe, just maybe, the negative atmosphere our country seems to be swimming in needs to be redirected. Perhaps the hope that we can redesign the area around Borleske Stadium will give our town a boost it needs.

Have you ever taken a tour of the old Veterans Memorial Pool? Reacquaint yourselves with the fact the surrounding acreage was dedicated to returning veterans so many years ago?

Maybe our timing isn't so bad after all. Perhaps the skeleton of that old outmoded 50-meter tank is just waiting to play dress up! Maybe it's yearning for happy voices, for people getting together again, like the old days.

Let's not just recall how much fun it used to be, let's make it happen again. Surely we can afford it, can't we? I keep wondering who paid for the Natatorium, Graybills and all the other little pools we had years ago. Maybe it's our turn.

I'm looking forward with a positive response to the surprised question from newcomers, "Where's the pool?"

How about the Walla Walla Water Works at our Veterans' Memorial Park? Within walking distance from downtown!

Pat Yenney

Walla Walla

Our readers' opionions

M-F community shows wonderful support

Several weeks ago my husband was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Life as we knew it immediately changed. We wondered how this could happen. He had none of the risk factors.

We worried about how this would affect our family. We have three children ages 10, 13 and 17 who all have close relationships with their dad. Being the associate principal at Ferndale Elementary School, Ron was concerned about how to finish the school year when he needed to immediately start treatment in Portland.

Mostly we were concerned about the outcome. We learned this is a serious cancer that requires aggressive treatment for the best possible outcome.

Although we have lived in Milton-Freewater our whole lives, we had never experienced it the way we have now. It began with our church, First Community in Milton-Freewater, organizing an ice cream social fundraiser. Ron's Ice Cream Benefit Social brought in donations of gallons of ice cream, plus toppings and money to help with expenses related to Ron's treatment.

Contributions to the Richwine Benefit Account, along with all of the cards of encouragement and prayers, have meant so much to our family.

Support from the Ferndale Elementary School staff has been priceless. We are touched in a whole new way by the generosity of this amazing community. We wish everyone could have the same foundation underneath when they head into this kind of journey.

Amy Richwine


Community's support for Lt. Fazzari heartfelt

I extend my sincere appreciation and gratitude to my fellow Walla Walla residents' overwhelming presence, support and loving concern you gave in honor of "one of our own," 1st Lt. Mathew Fazzari.

I have witnessed processionals and gatherings, but none as heartfelt as was displayed by our community.

The presence of our military, state officials, county and city police officers, Sheriff's deputies, firefighters and motorcycle groups were examples of loyalty and respect to a fallen hero. How reverent it was to feel this strong dedication.

The outpouring of strength and courage from our community to the Fazzari family is certainly an indication of our need to care for each other and to cherish our friendships and respect our fellow man.

I am proud to be a part of this community, and I am proud to be an American. Bless you all.

Virginia Herring Mahan

Walla Walla

Alaska makes it tougher to fly in afternoon

Alaska Airlines (formerly Horizon) has released conflicting information about its service to Walla Walla.

It went to a larger plane because it was more fuel efficient. Does that mean the plane uses less fuel than the smaller plane? Or does it mean the fuel/passenger ratio is less fuel used per passenger if the plane is full?

I interpret "more fuel efficient" to mean it uses less fuel, therefore greater profit for the airline if the plane equals or exceeds the passenger load of the smaller plane (37 passengers I think).

So now we have a plane that carries 78 passengers that is more fuel efficient.

This summer Alaska made a decision to cut midday flights on Tuesday and Wednesday. If you are trying to book a flight via the Internet for future travel after August you may find that the afternoon flight to Walla Walla is not an option if it is a joint flight with Delta.

Instead you have only the evening flight option. If you can connect with the afternoon flight the airfare is higher than the evening flight.

Does this mean Alaska is trying to discourage people from flying on the afternoon flight by charging $75 more for it. And why is the afternoon flight not showing up on share fares for/with other airlines?

If you ask me, Alaska Airlines is doing its best to prove the afternoon flight is not profitable to operate, thus justifying a higher fare, which may persuade a customer to select the evening flight to save money. All the more reason to say the afternoon flight is not profitable.

I suggest the Port approach other airlines and make them an offer they can't refuse if Alaska Airlines can't seem to make a profit with more fuel efficient aircraft and record passenger loads out of Walla Walla.

I have done my best to support local air service, but I find it difficult to support local air service if the "not as profitable" air service makes its options more expensive to justify a cut in service. That is how I see it.

So a message to Alaska Airlines is: If I have to drive to Pasco, I will not fly on Alaska Airlines because I have several more options.

Robert Keatts

Walla Walla

Adult Day Care Center: Use it or lose it!

My heart sank when I heard a vital program at the Walla Walla Senior Center will be cut back to three days a week if it doesn't get more clients by mid-July.

My father has been attending the Adult Day Care Center four days a week for the past eight months and it has been a godsend. This program targets seniors with mental and physical limitations. It provides social interaction, physical exercise, a nutritious hot lunch and skilled, friendly staff four days a week.

The staff even helped us arrange funding and transportation (Dial-a-Ride).

Every time I drop by I receive a warm welcome, and I see my father actively engaged.

The Adult Day Care Center prevents caregiver burnout. It is saving our tax dollars by delaying the use of more costly care-giving alternatives. And it is helping seniors maintain their independence and dignity as long as possible.

If you know someone who could benefit from these services, have them call Audrey, program manager, to arrange a visit. Even if you don't sign up, she is a wonderful resource for any family facing the challenges of caring for loved ones.

The Adult Day Care Center needs more clients to keep operating four days a week. Spread the word. Use it or lose it!

Kim Shelton

College Place

Health-care law exposes free riders

One can hear the drumbeat of "tax increase" already. Everyone seems ignorant of the fact that the Affordable Care Act will not raise taxes on anyone who has medical insurance, and anyone who does not file a tax return, e.g., children who earn nothing.

The only people who will see a tax increase are the "free riders" who use the ER for basic medical care. As mentioned previously, the American Heritage Foundation (a somewhat conservative group) noted years ago that those who are free riders impose a hidden cost on all of us who have medical insurance and who pay taxes. ER service is not free, so someone is paying for it. Guess who that might be.

And finally, the government is telling us we must buy medical insurance from insurance companies. What a boon for those paragons of virtue and free enterprise. Government will not interfere in any way with the medical care; the insurance companies already do that job quite well, thank you.

So please stop calling the ACA by the phrase "Obamacare." Please stop inferring governmental interference in medical care when it is already the job of the insurance companies to do that, and please think about the hidden costs of medical care we already bear that will cease being hidden.

Finally, those who claim our country is Christian should read the Sermon on the Mount and note it is written quite clearly there that caring for those less fortunate than us is part of Christianity. Greed is not Christian.

Dick Swenson

Walla Walla


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