ELECTION LETTERS Richland bond: Yes

January 23, 2013 

As a former middle school parent of Chief Jo Middle School and a current high school parent at Hanford High School, I am voting for this bond in February and want to encourage you to vote yes.

This bond will replace three elementary schools that are all more than 40 years old. Safety concerns for the young students and teachers in buildings that are so old are needed to be addressed. We don't need marble counter tops and heated floors in the hallways, but we do need to have buildings brought up to current codes, heating and cooling systems upgraded, classrooms better structured to meet improved learning needs, more avenues for current technology to be installed, etc.

I feel when a student is in an environment that is freshened, there is a better feeling of safety and security and they can concentrate on learning -- even being more excited to learn. They notice when the older siblings have better school buildings to go to.

The Richland School District Homelink program also needs its own space. It is currently being housed in a local church. While this is very generous, is not the same as having a set building. Please vote yes on this school bond issue.

JEANETTE STOFFEY,

Richland

Richland bond: Yes

I support the Richland School Bond! Since my arrival here in 2001, the population has grown and the need for more schools in south and west Richland is obvious.

As an engaged parent, I know the issues that are facing each school my children attended (Sacajawea, Chief Joseph Middle School and Hanford High School). I had not realized the population has grown so much that the new schools such as White Bluffs, Wiley and Badger Mountain, have burst at the seams. New families moving into these school zones must have their children transported to another school quite a distance away, because there is simply no room in their neighborhood school.

In addition to the overcrowding in south and west Richland, the central Richland schools need attention. My older son attended the old Hanford Middle School and High School, and now my youngest son is profiting from the last bond of 2003 and attending the "new" Hanford High School. Distractions like the heater/AC not working or water fountains that are not drinkable and classrooms that are falling apart during class, is an environment that no student should have to experience.

MICHELE BRACCIA

Richland

Richland bond: Yes

The Tri-Cities has a laudable history of providing its citizens and their children tremendous education opportunities. Our children have excelled and have become leaders in our communities and our nation. They have often done this despite the facilities we have provided them.

The current bond before us addresses the gaps in providing adequate and safe facilities to provide an environment conducive to the education possibilities of our area. We need to be proud of our national recognition as one of the greatest places to raise children. This bond lets us live up to this reputation and expectation. (Note: The benefit of this reputation is and will be reflected in the increase values of our homes and properties.)

The elementary schools planned to be replaced have served us well, but they were constructed before the handheld calculator and internet were invented. They were built to codes that have been recognized as deficient in providing adequate safety for their occupants (our kids).

Please vote yes on the school bond to give our children safe schools to afford the best education possible. Our parents did it for us.

ALTA CLEAVENGER

Richland

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