Letters to the Editor

Letters: Nov. 3, 2019

Mailman a hero for Richlanders

Our mailman Steve is indeed our super hero. Last Tuesday morning, two vicious dogs terrorized the neighborhood up and down our short street. One of the dogs bit my wife. Fortunately, Steve was on duty at the scene. He called 911 immediately. If it weren't for Steve, the consequences could have been much worse. Shortly before that, Steve saved a dog and another lady menaced by the same dogs. We appreciate Steve’s deed, and regard him as a “superman in a mail lorry.”

Many thanks are also due to Richland Police and Fire Departments for their timely response. The animal-control officer showed up later, and quarantined the dogs. Richland relies on the Animal Control Office under the City of Pasco; therefore, Richland may not be aware of numerous animal-control matters within the city. Our city should take a more active role addressing serious issues before something really bad happens. These two dogs should be considered dangerous. They probably got out of the backyard over the fence or through a broken board. We do not want them back to the neighborhood after the quarantine. There are many young children living in this area and walking to school every day.

Oliver Wang, Richland

Mattis, Bolton owe another service

As a Vietnam veteran, I am grateful that former Defense Secretary and local hometown hero Gen. Jim Mattis, remembers us and supports broader veterans and community causes. But there is another service that he can and should provide.

Jim Mattis should explain and comment on President Trump’s national security decisions that impact U.S. security and our troops — decisions such as announcing a U.S. troop withdrawal in Syria, only to redirect almost half of the troops back to Syrian oil fields and the remainder possibly to Iraq and Saudi Arabia. What does Trump’s betrayal of our Kurdish allies and forfeiture of U.S. influence in Syria to Russia mean for Israel’s security and our interests in the Middle East? Mattis and former National Security adviser John Bolton can break this down for us. They should speak up.

Col. (Ret.) Felix Vargas, Vietnam veteran, Pasco

Pasco license fee could build bridge

Over the last few days, the paper has run some articles on ways being considered to reduce the traffic problems facing Richland. As you read their solutions for this problem, all but one does nothing to reduce the amount of traffic flowing through Richland; overpasses do nothing to reduce the traffic. They may move traffic faster, but that’s it. The only real solution is a bridge over the Columbia River north of Richland, but the cost seems to be prohibitive.

The cost of all the other solutions doesn’t solve the problem, so why spend the money at all unless it helps to solve the problem? They could always add a $20 fee to Pasco’s car tabs as they did for Richland residents to pay for the bridge over the Yakima, as those in Pasco would mostly be using the bridge over the Columbia River. I’m sure that would take care of most of the cost of the project.

Rick Budzeck, Richland

Soroptimists have awards program

Soroptimist International of Three Rivers is one of two local Soroptimist International clubs. The club members work hard each year to raise funds to help women and girls in our region be the best they can be. As one part of this effort we announce the 2020 Live Your Dream Education and Training Awards for Women.

The SI3R club annually offers two $3,000 awards and the application deadline is Nov. 15. Applications are independently judged. Awards are announced in January 2020. Winners are automatically eligible for possible awards at the regional and national level.

Applicants are eligible if they are a woman with primary financial responsibility for themselves and their dependents; are attending an undergraduate degree program or vocational skills training program and can demonstrate financial need.

More information is available at http://www.si3r.org/live-your-dream. Live Your Dream Award applications are available online at bit.ly/LYDA-apply where they are secure and private. Thank you for helping us promote this opportunity to deserving women in our community who are eager to make their lives and the lives of their families the best they can be.

Valerie Moffitt, SI3R Live Your Dream Co-Chair, Pasco

Pancreatic cancer month is coming

November is Pancreatic Cancer Month and Nov. 21 is World Pancreatic Cancer Day. Join me and others and wear purple to support and bring public awareness to facts about pancreatic cancer.

Here are some of the facts:

- in 2019, an estimated 56,770 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the U.S., and more than 45,750 will die from the disease.

- Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, surpassing breast cancer.

- Pancreatic cancer is one of the few cancers for which survival has not improved substantially for more than 40 years.

- Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. For all stages combined, 91% of pancreatic cancer patients will die within five years of diagnosis – only 9% will survive more than five years.

- Family history of pancreatic cancer, chronic pancreatitis, alcohol use, obesity and diabetes are risk factors.

- Pancreatic cancer is a leading cause of cancer death, largely because there are no detection tools to diagnose the disease in its early stages.

- Pancreatic cancer has been underfunded for decades and receives less than 2% of overall cancer research funding.

Wear purple!

Molly Harker, Pasco

Where did missing mascots all go?

I am a basketball official of over 45 years. I have been to every high school in the Tri-Cities and Yakima Valley. I remember seeing mascots at high schools. Pasco had a person dressed as a Bulldog. Kennewick had a person dressed as a Lion. It is all gone. The only place I have seen a mascot is at the Tri-City Americans Hockey. I was doing a basketball tournament at Riverview Baptist High School, and there it was, a person as a Razorback mascot. I don't know if it was a boy or girl as the mascot, but it was a good one. The mascot fired up the crowd and the spirit of the game came to life. I almost cried. When did we lose our high school mascots in the Tri-Cities?

If you want to see a good mascot go to Riverview Baptist basketball game and see one. Well worth the time.

Richard Nicacio, Pasco

Alas, alack, how’d we get off track?

The newsmakers today seem to be illegitimate, junior high quality.

Instead of radiating their supposed college background, they present poor political bias (one-sided arguments without proof) and show blatant disregard for honest history. Our Constitution was designed and enacted by superior men, which is why our country became great. Now we have many working against unity with lack of data and often rumors, trying to sway the public into changing or violating the Constitution.

The people don't remember how difficult it was to get a really superior Constitution. Why have other countries adopted ours unless they could see it was vastly superior? And now we have many morally weak congressmen concealing bad behavior or willing to overtax us or sell their souls for position. Why are they charging this president with racism but not some former presidents? Isn't it probably because they resemble each other? I keep hoping we can find good leaders, not the usual self-serving. I think we have many, but the parties avoid most of them while letting inferior workers in on the good salaries. Especially we are poorer because of greedy journalists and lack of educational training. Lack of honesty often goes unpunished.

James C. Langford, Richland

Roasters sited at wrong location

In what universe did the city planning department, the building inspection office and the traffic engineer draw the conclusion that it is a good idea to put a Roasters Coffee at the intersection of West 27th Avenue and Vancouver Street. As it is now, cars back up for blocks and blocks during school traffic hours. It is abhorrently apparent that tax revenue is the driver, not common sense.

Another bad decision coming out of the city offices; it’s becoming a pattern! New management is needed or closer oversight before approvals are given.

Don Taylor, Kennewick

Veterans event was spectacular

On Oct. 25, the Columbia Basin Veterans Center hosted a “Welcome Home” celebration for armed forces veterans who served in-country during the Vietnam War. Sponsors of this event included several significant employers in the Tri-Cities, including Leidos and Battelle, as well as numerous local businesses and individual contributors. The keynote speaker was Gen. James Mattis, a Tri-Cities native and most recently, Secretary of Defense.

The turnout at the Three Rivers Convention Center was spectacular, in the face of minimal advertising, and exceeded all planning estimates. Over 900 people attended, with approximately 700 of those being veterans of military service, and a large portion of the latter were in-country veterans. While there is broad diversity among those who served and survived, the unity displayed in supporting each other because of a common sharing of experience with war, was humbling and uplifting.

Thank you to the Veterans Center, to the numerous supporters and sponsors who made this event happen, and to the professional staff at the Convention Center for their help in making this long-overdue “Welcome Home” event run smoothly. Well done!

Robert Peterson, Richland

Hanford highway needs upgrade

How many people must die on the Hanford Highway (240) before something is done? How many lives will be lost, in the months and years, to come? This is outrageous, The “highway of death” has taken 100s, if not thousands, of lives, over the years. How many children will be left without parents, in the years to come due to two-lane highways. Two-lane roads that have a speed limit over 40 mph should be outlawed. All that government money, and they can’t build a road that doesn’t kill.

Come on, enough is enough, get a clue.

Dominick Lombardi, Kennewick

Letter’s source not peer reviewed

A recent letter to the editor contended that scientists from all over the globe agree that humans play a major role in climate change. To support this point of view, articles from Time Magazine were cited as though Time were a peer-reviewed scientific publication. That’s like citing the L.A. Times as a reference for the role of straws as the major source of pollution in the world.

Mike Mehren, Hermiston

President missing important virtues

C.S. Lewis, a Christian author, warned us about a dystopian future where “men without chests” ruled “by their digestions.” These odd phrases have incredible relevance today. Lewis was referring to the need to teach virtues – such as integrity, honesty, courage (shared values – “the chest”); otherwise the result will be rule by self-interest (“their digestions” such as conceit, greed, self-centeredness). We now appear to live in such a world. And we, collectively, must reject it.

We must hold our leaders to a higher standard – not being a criminal is hardly the appropriate measure. The Office of the President of the United States is a position of trust and great power. What the person in that office says matters and what is said should be appropriate for the stature of the office. Someone who claims the privilege of being innocent until proven guilty should not make unfounded accusations. Someone who claims to care about our national security should not undermine it by attacking our intelligence community. Someone who claims to care about voter security should not invite foreign influence in our elections.

Many supporters say he just talks that way. Well, he shouldn’t. And we shouldn’t allow it.

Theresa Bergsman, Richland

Congress leads in TB, AIDS fight

Global Fund raises $13.92 billion to fight AIDS, TB, malaria, Tri-City Herald, 10/10/2019. This letter is to recognize and thank Sens. Murray and Cantwell and Congressmen Newhouse for their support and for the example of the good that can come from bipartisan action. The Congress, on both sides of the aisle and in both the House and Senate, came together to continue U.S. leadership in combating HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria worldwide. In 2001, the nations of the world formed the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Since its founding, the Global Fund has saved 32 million lives, including millions of children, who are particularly susceptible to the ravages of malaria.

The nations and NGOs meet and pledge their funding commitments every three years. This occurred on Oct. 10 for the eighth time when France hosted the Replenishment Conference. The U.S. pledged 4.68 billion dollars over three years to sustain and grow the Global Fund. Other nations and non-profits pledged a total of $14 billion dollars, the largest global commitment ever made and, as a result, 16 million people who would have been lost to disease, will be saved.

Stan Moon, Richland