Letters to the Editor

Letters: Oct. 20, 2019

RHS marching band exceptional

I just want to share a recent example of why our community has reason to be proud of our Richland schools. I was privileged to accompany the Richland High School marching band and their leadership during their competition in Tumwater where they not only performed highly but demonstrated true sportsmanship and community.

The Richland band’s staging area was on the path that all of the other competing bands traveled on their way into the stadium to perform. Without fail, as the other bands passed by, the Richland band members stood and cheered them on, shouting words of encouragement and wishing them well. Further, when the school’s band leader and bus driver learned that a competing band’s bus broke down on their way to the competition, the Richland team stepped in and picked up the other band and their equipment so they could perform. These students and staff and many more like them give me great hope for the future of our community.

Rick Jansons, Richland School Board

Sundvik the one our schools need

Diane Sundvik is the right choice for Kennewick School Board Position 5. She has 29 years of experience serving nearly 2,000 students, families and staff of KSD. She is extremely knowledgeable about special education laws, funding and personal needs. Diane has experience working with state legislators to improve local and state education funding.

I had the personal experience of working closely with Diane for seven years serving students with special needs. She continually went above and beyond to meet each child’s individual needs. She lives by the motto to always do what’s best for the child.

Electing Diane Sundvik for the school board would benefit our education community tremendously. She believes that our district’s greatest assets are our children, and they deserve the best education we can provide.

Please join me in electing Diane Sundvik for KSD School Board Position 5. She is what our community, children, families and staff need.

Rebecca Hintz, Kennewick

Slovic supports adding sidewalks

Recently I dropped off my 14-year-old daughter at her brother’s house in north Richland. As she exited, she asked, “Know what’s wrong with Richland?” “No, what?” “No sidewalks! This close to a school, and there’s no sidewalks! Same thing around Chief Joe! No sidewalks!” “Did someone talk to you about this?” “No, it’s just something I noticed!”

There is at least one candidate for Richland City Council who shares my daughter’s concern about sidewalks, as well as bike lanes, and liveability generally.

Add to this the candidate’s knowledge about government, her experience as a congreional staffer, her commitment to sound fiscal management and her love for her community, and you’ve got some good reasons to vote for Lillian “Randy” Slovic for City Council Position 1.

Robert McDonald, Richland

Keck right pick for Port of Benton

I’m supporting Roy Keck for Port of Benton Position 1 commissioner.

In his 12 years as a port commissioner, Roy has effectively worked on local economic development on many fronts. As a former TRIDEC Executive Board president and longtime board member, I have worked closely with Roy on Hanford funding issues. His dedication to continued federal funding for Hanford cleanup and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has been instrumental in helping maintain $3 billion in annual funding.

Re-electing Roy Keck will ensure he continues his economic-development work with TRIDEC, the City of Richland and local agriculture interests.

Please join me in supporting Roy Keck for re-election as a Port of Benton commissioner.

Bill Lampson, Kennewick

Vote Mastaler for Kennewick board

Pat Mastaler has the credentials to be a Kennewick School Board member. He understands KSD, works in finance, and he has a business background to be able to understand the complexities of school funding and finance.

Today, school funding is a big issue that affects KSD, as well as all school districts in the state. Pat understands the basics, and when on the board, it will not take him long to grasp the challenges and to be able to provide guidance and suggestions to move forward.

As stated before, Pat understands KSD – he and I’ve worked together for many years on the Kennewick Citizens Bond and Levy Committee and the Citizens Facility Committee. He understands school construction and the functions of bond campaigns necessary to get voter approval. On both committees, Pat has been a valuable team member in providing opinions and suggestions that have been incorporated into recommended plans and programs.

Pat has served in various roles on many volunteer boards which to be successful one needs to be a team player, and Pat is both … successful and a team player.

Kevin Veleke, Kennewick

Herald wrong about RSD race

As a former teacher in Richland I was very disappointed in the Tri-City Herald’s erroneous logic and shortsightedness in recommending school board members. Problems in the district go well beyond hiring a superintendent and solutions to these problems require more educational background and experience.

Kari Williams’ background and experience would be so helpful in tackling these problems. The union may have recommended a candidate but that does not mean that decision was made by the teachers. It is not an indicator of support by the teachers.

There are many teachers who support Kari Williams and were not involved in the political decisions of the union.

It is unfortunate and unhelpful that the Tri-City Herald would recommend the candidate that they had recommended in past political races due to his political experience instead of the candidate without the political training that has the complete set of educational skills and experiences to move our district forward. The School Board should be about education and not politics.

Justin Rhineheart, Richland

McConnell a real political hack

Another political hack job. Well then, who are these political hacks that are spoken of?

In fact, the real “political hack” is Sen. Obstructionist of Kentucky, otherwise known as Sen. Mitch, the coward who is more interested in preserving his longstanding senatorial position rather than taking any corrective action to the administration (the other political hack), either because he is afraid to stand up to the president or because he detests Democrats.

Remember folks, you can’t believe “fake news,” but was it not fake news in 2016 that told us who was our next president? Quite possibly then, perhaps we have on our hands a “fake president”. Or maybe it is just another “turn of the screw” for the occupant of this White House of cards.

David P. Sisk, Richland

Devagupta ideal for school board

A teacher, scientist and a local parent, Rama Devagupta is the ideal candidate for the Richland School Board. With years of experience teaching in our local schools, she understands our local educational situation first-hand. Drawing from her experiences as a parent and a teacher, Rama knows how to work with Richland school staff and what resources they need to best teach our children.

In her classroom, Rama Devagupta sets high expectations and supports students in meeting state standards. Her educational expectations reflect the same excellence that we want the Richland School District to exemplify. I have had the pleasure of sitting in on Rama’s classes and watching her professional interactions with her students. She demonstrates the qualities of an excellent, caring educator who I would welcome as a teacher for my daughters. As a highly educated scientist herself, Dr. Devagupta understands the value we place in the science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics education of our students in Richland.

For the continued success of our schools, we need a school board that understands the challenges our students and school staff face in today’s educational world. We need board members who understand what classrooms look like today.

We need Rama Devagupta.

Elizabeth Van-Clark, Richland

Meadows is teen’s pick for port post

As an upcoming voter that finds interest in local issues, I have concerns. The Tri-City Herald’s recommendation of Tom Moak over the simple notion that his challenger, VJ Meadows, would have a “steep learning curve” on port project doesn’t make sense. People my age deserve better than career politicians who overpromise and underperform. Why couldn’t Mr. Moak get along with everyone if he rates his staff so highly?

Vista Field needs commissioners who are skilled team builders because the Tri-Cities has been nationally recognized as a great place to live and this is important to my future. VJ Meadows is the choice for voters. She is described by the Herald as “a dynamo who knows the value of treating people well.” She is further described as sharp, courteous and well respected in the community.

It is important that voters take note of a candidate’s actions, not empty promises made to become re-elected.

I may not have a voice in this election due to my age, but I am hoping my opinion matters to those who have a voice in my future. Please vote VJ Meadows for port of Kennewick and my future.

Amiah Desgranges, 15, Kennewick High School student

Torelli right pick for Kennewick

Ballots will be in your mailbox soon, and I would like to encourage my fellow Kennewick community members to vote for Chuck Torelli for Kennewick City Council.

Chuck has the qualities of an effective councilman: vision, trustworthiness and most of all, character. In this day and age, that matters. His commitment to community and overall character are why he was chosen to finish out the term of former Councilman Boehnke. It’s time to honor Chuck with a fresh four-year term. I’ve been living in Kennewick for 32 years and I know Chuck will always fight for our community values. He’s not a politician, he’s a fellow community member who has heeded the call to serve our community and many of us appreciate his hard work thus far. Choose character over politics.

Vote for Chuck Torelli.

Leo Perales, Kennewick

Moak thoughtful, gets work done

The Tri-City Herald editorial board got it right by endorsing Tom Moak in the Port of Kennewick commissioner race.

I have known and worked with Tom for over 20 years and found him to be an excellent addition to any organization. In addition to serving on the Port of Kennewick commission since 2014, he has been a Kennewick city councilman and mayor, a board member of the Historic Downtown Kennewick Partnership (HDKP) and is a longtime member of the Kennewick Kiwanis.

In all of those endeavors, he spent many hours outside of meetings to help get the real work done. His honors include HDKP’s Downtowner of the Year and Kennewick’s Man of the Year.

Tom is passionate about improving our community and gives his time and expertise wholeheartedly. His elected and volunteer experience demonstrate his commitment to Kennewick and the port’s entire district. Tom is honest, thoughtful and inquisitive. He makes it a point to understand the organization and its issues and votes his conscience, which may not always be the popular or easy thing to do.

I strongly encourage voters to re-elect Tom Moak to the Port of Kennewick Commission in November.

Linda Esparza, West Richland