January 27, 2013 

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This letter refers to the letter from Steve Clark on Jan. 9, "Where's Christmas Banner?"

I agree with Steve wholeheartedly! When Hanukkah arrives, print "Happy Hanukkah" in bold headlines. The same with other religious holidays. Does it hurt anyone to recognize a religious holiday?

NANCY JEWELL

Richland

Mandatory gun training

The Herald's Jan. 15 editorial advocated expanded firearms training, for which the editorial board is commended.

I suggest that the Herald's editorial position be expanded to make firearms safety training a high school graduation requirement. This ensures that those do wish to handle firearms, and those who do not but may in the future, are trained to safely handle them. Perhaps the training could be made a part of the course on the Constitution, if one is taught as a requirement for graduation.

LOUIS RODGERS

West Richland

Cheap scare tactic

"Checks for seniors might be in jeopardy," shouts a recent Herald headline. If the debt ceiling is not lifted by the Republicans, said President Obama, seniors and veterans will not get the checks they depend on each month to maintain their existence.

What a cheap tactic for Obama to use! Instead of using the threat of the vulnerable not receiving their monthly checks, why not threaten those in Congress and the occupant of the Oval Office with no pay checks? Why not ground Air Force One and shutter Camp David?

A few of the light bulbs in the White House could be turned off and those elegant evenings in the White House aired by PBS could be canceled. Serve hotdogs on paper plates at the dinners, make Obama and all members of Congress fly coach. Drain the White House swimming pool. Ground all those helicopters and bring all troops overseas home.

But stop the cheap ploy of using seniors and veterans not receiving pay checks to shame the Republicans into raising the debt ceiling when the issue of spending cuts has not been resolved.

Shame on you President Obama. That is such a cheap scare tactic!

ROBERTA TAYLOR

Pasco

School chaperones

I'm an ordinary parent with teens. In the news again today is a report about another person's ongoing sexual abuse of minors -- British television personality Jimmy Savile.

I would like to share a recent experience with a local school district. I was voluntarily serving on a committee to address "grinding" at school dances.

A staff member at a dance committee meeting commented that parent chaperones attempting to enforce the school no-grinding policy had ruined the atmosphere of the recent dance and stated that the dance floor activities would be better handled by professionals.

When I expressed concerns about this attitude I was rebuked and removed from the committee. My message was this kind of attitude voiced in front of student committee members was uncomfortably Sanduskian to me as a parent.

Parent chaperones are appropriate, and replacing parents with professionals is a red-flag to me. I appealed my removal to the superintendent and the principal and apologized for the hyperbole.

The appeal was denied as I was seen as being slanderous and a threat to the safety of the staff member. This causes me to question: Is it better to be hypervigilant for kids' safety or hypervigilant to protect adult reputations? When a concern cannot be expressed without immediate sanction, these kinds of situations will continue to occur.

SHELLY HANSEN

West Richland

2013 taxes

This year is going to be a big-dollar year, especially for low-income earners and senior citizens. The largest percentage of your after-tax dollars will be going to education and entertainment.

Your local and unelected and elected officials at all levels of government will be taking more and more of your money. The school district wants millions for three new schools and various other expenses! These are required because of growing student population while at the same time Washington voters have approved charter schools that will take students from the conventional public schools, thereby reducing the need for new buildings, saving us millions of dollars.

City governments want millions for an aquatic park that the City of Pasco has agreed to buy the land for (aquatic parks are subsidized by the hundreds of thousands of dollars each year across the country).

As for the Citizens of Pasco, they will continue their annual subsidy for TRAC. Planning for the aquatic park proposal is conflicted in that the two major planning groups have members with conflicting interests representing different constituencies.

It would be well for all citizens to take special care this year in how they vote their tax dollars. At least locally we have a choice.

Think! Ask questions! Talk to your elected representatives! Discuss it with your neighbors! And then by all means vote.

JOHN TALBOTT

Pasco

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