Letters to the Editor

Letters: Oct. 25, 2019

Vote no on I-976 and its sponsor

In his guest opinion (Oct 20), career initiative sponsor Tim Eyman used the word “dishonest” 11 times in supporting I-976. This from a man who has his own serious issues with integrity. See Seattle Times Sept 13 article.

Please vote NO on I-976.

Gary Miller, Richland

Williams right for Richland board

I am writing in support of the election of Kari Williams to the Richland School Board Position 4.

Kari is highly qualified having a master’s degree in education and has taught as an elementary teacher. She has served on the Instructional Materials Committee for the Richland School District and was co-chair for the Richland Citizens for Good Schools during the recent bond campaign. She and her husband are the parents of five young children. She advocates for our community’s values, our teachers, our paraeducators and developmentally appropriate curriculum for our students. While a student at the University of Utah, Kari served on a committee to select a new university president.

Endorsements for Kari include: Benton County Republican Party; Brett Amidan, former RSD School Board member; Rep. Brad Klippert, 8th District; Ron Higgins, substitute teacher in the Tri-Cities and Republican PCO; Kimberly Heath, Benton County Republican State Committeewoman; and Kristen A. Jenson, M.A., founder of Project Young Minds and best-selling author of Good Pictures and Bad Pictures.

Please vote for Kari Williams.

David C. Hedengren, Richland

Reject I-1000, discrimination

Vote against discrimination. Vote Reject on Referendum 88 (Initiative 1000).

Backers of Initiative 1000 (affirmative action) assure you it is nondiscriminatory because it prohibits preferential treatment in recruiting and contracting. Not so. True, it says preferential treatment is prohibited, but then formally defines “preferential treatment” in a way that departs from a plain language understanding of that phrase [see Section 3(11)(d)]. Because of this definitional sleight of hand, the Initiative allows giving protected category candidates preference over equally qualified non-protected candidates. Perhaps more importantly, it allows (and encourages) recruiting aimed at protected categories. Recruiting aimed at members of certain protected categories is no different than recruiting aimed at white, non-Hispanic males. Both are discriminatory.

Historically, affirmative action was created to assist minorities in overcoming discrimination. Ironically though, the initiative allows for affirmative action assistance to a supermajority of Washingtonians. Based on sex, race and ethnicity alone, about 2/3 of Washingtonians fall into the Initiative’s protected categories. Including those who are otherwise disabled, over age 40, or fall into other categories would only add to that majority, leaving a small minority excluded from protected status.

Remedying discrimination with legalized discrimination is not a solution.

Rick Engelman, Richland

Patel family prove immigrants’ value

For those who doubt the importance and contribution of immigrants to our community, I encourage you to read the front page story in the Sunday Tri-City Herald (Oct. 20) about the Patel family and their successes and plans to make our community an even better place to live. According to the story, the family began by buying and operating small, run-down motels in the area. Their plans for $85 million development in Kennewick will bring residential, office, retail and a much needed performing arts center to our community. The Patel family currently employs 250 people in their six lodging businesses in Washington and Oregon, and their new development will definitely bring many more jobs, tax revenues, diversity, and vitality to our community.

Mike Stipe, Richland

U.S. needs to back off Cuba stance

My first visit to Cuba in 1997 evolved into a fascinating learning experience about a culture striving to maintain its unique identity. Discovering how their society has been impacted, when Cuban people have no grudge against the American people, was an eye-opener.

U.S. blockade policy was designed as a tool to punish their country because Cubans demanded the sovereign right to be independent of traditional U.S. global dominance.

Since Cuba does not pose a threat to U.S. national security, the principle of sovereign equality of states was the overriding concern in this matter. The complexity of this situation can be understood only through the lens of personal, one-on-one communication; not the negative media opinion expressed by U.S. politicians with “an ax to grind.”

The right to self-determination of independent nations to freedom and equality is the foundation that forms the basis for diplomatic, peaceful negotiations between governments with different political, social and economic goals. Instead, U.S. foreign policy violates the code of conduct originating in the UN Charter declaring such truths to be recognized.

While no other governments approve of extra-territorial interference in their internal affairs, Cuba remains a beacon of hope for the downtrodden, oppressed peoples of the world.

Richard Grassl, Pasco

Ammo not only thing that kills

I’m sure you are aware Walmart has decided to discontinue sales of several different calibers of ammo. This decision was made to prevent some shooting deaths in the U.S.

There are a couple of other products that could be discontinued for that same purpose, a rope having a breaking strength of 100 pounds or more will be eliminated to help prevent deaths from hanging. Magnifying glasses will no longer be sold because an arsonist could use a magnifying glass to concentrate the rays of sunlight on objects that burn easily such as paper or dry leaves. Tires go on vehicles that kill citizens every day.

Mike Mehren, Hermiston

Pot tax could have paid rate increase

If you live in Richland and want to know why your electricity bill is larger than ever before, despite the fact that we’ve had a mild summer, you can blame the Richland City Council. The council claimed they needed to raise our electricity rates by 8 percent in order to generate $2,607,000 (the amount needed to cover the Bonneville Power rate increase). But, that’s not true; the Council could have made up the shortfall with tax revenues from a marijuana tax.

Green2Go, the marijuana store in Finley, generated over $7 million in excise tax revenue in 2017 alone. Which means, if the puritanical Richland City Council wasn’t so adamantly opposed to marijuana stores, we could have gotten most of that tax revenue. The Council didn’t need to raise the rate; they just preferred to raise rate over collecting marijuana tax revenue.

Besides ignoring the hefty revenue from marijuana stores, the Richland City Council is also creating a black market for THC vapes. And it is these black market THC vapes that have been the cause of many of the recently reported medical problems, including some deaths. So not only did the Council raise our electricity rate needlessly, they’re also encouraging a black market to flourish with dangerous THC vapes.

Jack Edwards, Richland