Letters to the Editor

Letters: May 15, 2019

Want to write a letter to the editor? Here are some tips

Tri-City Herald editorial writer Cecilia Rexus gives some pointers about writing letters to the editor.
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Tri-City Herald editorial writer Cecilia Rexus gives some pointers about writing letters to the editor.

Hard work still works in college

A local student — he started at Columbia Basin College, transferred to WSU, now is graduating from Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences in Yakima — has been accepted into an anesthesiology residency at Cleveland Clinic (No. 2-ranked U.S. hospital).

He did not get there by parental intervention, he was not a legacy admission, he did not have special tutors or board exam coaches. In fact, he worked several years in building supply.

His resume did not fit the template for admission into the University of Washington Medical School. However, The Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences D.O. program saw something. Their basic medical training enabled him to score 96 on the National Medical Student Board exam (that means that of every 100 American medical students sitting for the exam 96 received a lower grade).

There is a lesson here on breaking through the barrier of elitism, legacy entitlement and leveraging with the corruption of wealth. It still can be done. Congratulations, Shaman Whitson.

Robert L. Whitson, Richland

Federal agency abuses children

I am a licensed family therapist. As such, I am also a mandated reporter. This means I am required by law to report suspected abuse to Child Protective Services. But to whom do I report suspected abuse when the suspect is my federal government? And what does it mean to the GOP to pride itself as the party of family values, when it supports an administration destroying families?

The family separation policy of the Department of Homeland Security has resulted in forced separation of over 2,600 children from their families. Of these, over 100 are aged 4 and under. Some were infants still nursing. They have been distributed among 121 shelters in 17 states. Prior to shipping they were caged, lacked medical attention and some have died in our custody. Abuse results in poor academic achievement, difficulty forming secure attachments and antisocial behavior. Are we adding the next generation needing intense behavioral health services? How can we salute the Lady Liberty, whose inscription welcomed many of our relatives?

Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Tom Adams, Kennewick

Put money to work with fire districts

The management of the Benton County public safety fund approved by voters in 2014 has continually been questionable and sloppy. Citizens have voiced concerns on how their tax dollars are spent and if they are even going to the appropriate agencies. County commissioners are notoriously known to sit on huge reserves of this money, unprepared and unwilling to spend it. They will soon hoard in excess of $12 million at the end of next year.

The recent interest of local fire districts for a portion of these funds is understandable and an excellent idea. After all, these brave responders are as important as law enforcement. And it would finally spend the dollars that are just sitting there doing nothing.

Voters probably have figured out by now how they were betrayed, lied to and conned when they initially voted for the public safety fund. The chance of it passing again are slim. Voters have good memories. Let’s spend what we have now on legitimate organizations that will at least benefit Benton County residents while there’s still time.

Gary Somdahl, West Richland

Back better law on Alzheimer’s care

There are more than 110,000 living with Alzheimer’s disease in our state and more than 138,000 family members and friends are acting as unpaid caregivers.

Fellow Washingtonians at the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement Advocacy Forum in Washington, D.C., said Congress was listening to their explanation of the burden that Alzheimer’s places on our state.

This advocacy is important to me because I watched my father die from Alzheimer’s. Throughout the course of his disease, he had help from family caregivers, including myself, and paid caregivers. I know the heavy burden that families carry.

Shockingly, only 1 percent of Medicare beneficiaries with dementia have received a personal care plan available to them since 2017. Advocates asked members of Congress to cosponsor the Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act, new legislation that will give doctors information about how they can develop a care plan for each of their patients.

Please join me in urging Rep. Newhouse to continue to invest in policies that address Alzheimer’s disease as the national public health crisis it is.

Kay Lehmann, Kennewick