Letters to the Editor

Letters: Nov. 1, 2019

REA announces candidate picks

The election for Richland School Board is extremely important to the students and employees of the Richland School District as the board members will be selecting a new superintendent to lead the district for many years to come.

The Richland Education Association Executive Board recommends the following candidates because of their dedication to student well-being, support of school employees, inclusive coalition building, transparency, critical thinking and questioning: Rick Donahoe (Position 3), Jay Clough (Position 4), and Rama Devagupta (Position 5). Mr. Clough and Ms. Devagupta have also been endorsed by the Washington Education Association, which represents 85,000 public school employees across Washington State. Please vote for Rick Donahoe, Jay Clough and Rama Devagupta for Richland School Board.

Ken Hays, President, Richland Education Association, Richland

Herald election picks annoy him

The more things change, the more they stay the same, apparently.

In 2012, I canceled my Tri-City Herald subscription over the lame reasoning the Editorial Board used in endorsing Mitt Romney for president. Two weeks ago, responding to the nationwide appeals to support your local newspapers because they are dying, I resubscribed. It’s another election season and the Editorial Board is again using poor logic in its endorsement of Brad Anderson for Richland City Council. Attendance is key.

To pass my class, 8th graders had to simply 1) show up, 2) do the work, 3) turn it in. Anderson with his absences doesn’t “show up.” As chair of the Richland Arts Commission, I removed people who failed to meet attendance standards. Seems that standards are lower now; you are giving Anderson a pass on his absences. You didn’t endorse Lisa Thomas because she failed to show for an endorsement interview, but Anderson’s lack of attendance is less egregious and somehow excusable?

No, your endorsement should have gone to Shir Regev who has put forth a plan (co-opted by Anderson, BTW) for switching from citywide elections to more representative district elections. And will show up for meetings.

Richard Ruether, Pasco

Editor’s Note: Brad Anderson told The Herald the missed meetings were for medical reasons, including illness and a family member’s surgery, and one meeting was missed so he could attend his daughter’s high school senior awards ceremony.

Richland needs a teacher on board

If you haven’t made up your mind, the deadline to vote is upon us and here’s some help.

Richland School Board could use the experience of a teacher. A teacher on the school board this last couple of years could have made a difference and reduced the confusion and distrust that now plagues the board. Rama Devagupta is the candidate who will make that difference.

Rama is a scientist and science teacher who continues to pursue her own education through her summer research at PNNL for a Murdoch Grant that will benefit her students. Rama brings her love of learning, experience as a teacher and problem solver, respect for students and colleagues, to the Richland School Board. The school board will be the better for her and Richland families, teachers and students will see positive change.

Vote for Rama Devagupta for school board.

Chris Mesford Kenoyer, Richland

VJ great pick for port commission

I am writing in support of VJ Meadows for Kennewick port commissioner.

I have known VJ for over 50 years and know her to be a caring and conscientious member of the community. Her qualifications for leadership are exemplary, and she would have the best interest of the community served by the port at the center of her decisions. Her work with the Richland Chamber, Fluor and others gave her great leadership and teamwork skills. She is well respected throughout the Tri-Cities and has a broad spectrum of experience.

I ask you to join me in support of VJ Meadows for Kennewick port commissioner, District 2.

Paula Beardsley Glenn, Richland

Influence greatest in local elections

A few days before the election my theory that I repeat to anyone who will listen is this:

Concentric Circles of Control. I can strongly influence things in my own house, then in my neighborhood, then in my city, then in my county, then region, then state, and so on. I care about the things closest to me and these things I can be involved (in).

Elections locally are most impactful. You get to decide the vision and quality of the city you live in, the school board your family will be educated by, and the economic viability of your region.

As a woman, I know the responsibility my sisters before me fought for. It’s time to do your civic duty.

Go, right now to your mail pile, and let’s fill that ballot out.

Richland, City Council, Randy Slovic, Shir Regev, Phillip Lemley; School Board, Rick Donahoe, Jay Clough, Jill Oldson; Port of Benton, Roy Keck; West Richland, City Council, Kate Moran; Kennewick, City Council, Chuck Torelli, Jim Millbauer; School Board, Diane Kaul Sundvik, Ron Mabry; Port of Kennewick, Tom Moak. Pasco, City Council, Zahra Roach; School Board, Jesse J. Campos, Scott Lehrman.

Vote for a better Future.

Dori Luzzo Gilmour, Richland

I-976 may hurt para transit

Many times a week I depend on our para transit system to get me to the store, the gym and to my many doctors appointments. I am blind, but I share the bus with people having quadriplegia, people on respirators, people with kidney failure going in for dialysis and all manner of others with disabilities and failing health.

Because of our current limited transit resources, we are all under constant threat of having our services suspended. Each year increased efficiencies in the system make me shiver in my shoes that I will be the next participant to lose service. Please vote against I-976 and thus support current funding levels for our para transit system.

And, if you are one of those who always think first about the money in their wallet and thus feel it imperative to vote for this initiative, you might consider offering a ride once in a while to your blind neighbor or the friend who needs to get into the clinic for dialysis.

Frank Cuta, Benton City

Williams cares

As a teenager I remember my dad running for Richland School Board. He chose to serve because he cared about what was happening in the district where his children and their friends attended school. He diligently served for eight years helping to strengthen our community and families. He didn’t serve because he wanted to further a political career. Now, I see the same reasons Kari Williams is running for Richland School Board Position 4. She cares about our community. She cares about our school district and what is being taught. Having earned her Master’s degree in Education and having taught for several years, she knows what it’s like to be in the classroom. We need a teacher’s voice on the school board. We need someone who is not looking for political gain, but for what is best for our teachers, students and families.

As a substitute teacher in the district, I see some of the challenges the children and youth are facing. Our district needs school board members who are willing to stand up and speak out for our children and community. Kari Williams has my vote for Richland School Board Position 4.

Kristin Sorensen Hunt, Richland

Get your ballots filled out, sent in

If you haven’t sent in your ballot, please do. Our education is vital for building the future of our world. Who we choose to represent the school board is important for not only our children and our teachers but also shows who we are as a community. We should strive to be respectful, caring and open people.

Please read what the school board members have said. Rama Devagupta has been a supportive teacher and attentive member of our community. She deserves to represent those who do not see themselves in local leadership but need to be there. Our community deserves educated, passionate voters. Do some research and make your opinion.

Juniper M. Dulaney, Richland

Devagupta clear choice for board

Rama Devagupta is the clear and logical choice for Richland School Board. It is essential that we put some new leadership in the district after the fiasco of the past year and a half with the assistant superintendent. Rama has the experience in education and would bring a much-needed educator point of view to decisions that affect the classroom.

Additionally, I have been impressed with how passionate Rama has been since announcing her candidacy. She has been relentless in learning about all the issues and initiatives in our district, attending events and seeking out the opinions of her future constituents. I am confident Rama will hit the ground running and is the best choice for the Richland School Board.

I encourage all of you to vote, and to vote for Rama Devagupta!

Steve Perez, Richland

Scientist chooses to vote Devagupta

I am one of the thousand scientists living and raising a kid in Richland. Work is what brought me here. The quality of life and the quality of schools are what is keeping me here.

It is particularly important to me that the schools are STEAM focused and prepare students adequately for the competitive job market they will enter one day. I wish I had time and energy to get more involved and volunteer in my son’s school, and I don’t. But I just voted for Rama Devagupta for Richland School Board, knowing that our kids will be in good hands and she will be a strong advocate for science as an experienced science teacher to guide curriculum choices, among other things. I met her and heard her speak at the candidate forum. I was positively impressed by this humble and smart lady. We scientists rarely take the time to stick our neck out and get involved in public service, but we can at least ensure STEAM remains the foundation of our education system by electing STEAM candidates.

Please join me in voting for Rama for Richland School Board Position 5, and don’t forget to turn in your ballot by Nov. 5.

Cigdem Capan, Richland