Community center under-utilized

Monday, June 28, the temperature hovered around 80 degrees. The parking lot at South Hill Park was full. Budding baseball players were abundant on the park's ball fields.

The community center? It stood locked and empty. Only a lone janitor partook of the emptiness.

Doors locked, lights off? On a warm summer evening and kids on summer break? What is the purpose of a community center but to offer a cool place to play and socialize?

Not true of Sunnyside's new "state of the art" community center. It sits empty (not only Monday but several, if not most, nights I have driven by).

I am dismayed at the perceived under-utilization of this new facility. I've read and heard of a very small number of programs being offered at the center. But what exactly are the offerings for the youth and others of the community during the dog days of summer, beyond a very important meal program?

Why does the splash pad lay dry? Where are the vast programs, equipment, staff and more that the Washington State Migrant Council (with a multi-million dollar budget) promised in its proposal to manage the community center? Where is the landscaping that was to be completed by the managing agency? Why are there multiple brown spots in newly laid lawn? Why is one revenue source, concessions, ignored during the summer ball season at South Hill Park? So many more questions to ask.

Why is the Sunnyside Community Center not a more inviting place to those utilizing South Hill Park on warm summer evenings and to the community in general?

I know for a fact that this not the vision that the Community Center Planning Committee had for such a facility. Is political meddling going to come back and bite someone in the proverbial "rear end?"

/s/ Greg Uberuaga, Sunnyside


Let us take a moment to reflect about the millions of babies whose lives are being violently ended while still in the womb; babies whose futures should have been left in the hands of their Heavenly Father.

Surely He gathers them to Himself, weeping as He comforts them. He points to that little boy and says, "He was to be a scientist, and perhaps I would have given him the key to unlock the cure for cancer. And the little girl over there might have been the doctor who eradicated AIDS."

He picks up a tiny hand and strokes the fingers and says, "These tiny fingers would have played music that would have thrilled the souls of thousands."

He kisses a little cheek and whispers, "This mouth would have spoken words about me to a world that is dying in sin."

He caresses tiny toes and speaks of feet that would have carried words of peace to world governments.

"This little soul," He says, "Would have taught your grandchildren, loving and caring for them along the way. And that one over there would have stood by you in line at the grocery store, turning to smile and brighten your day."

As He looks across the vast ocean of tiny beings whose futures He knows would have touched our lives, He grieves for them and wonders why we aren't grieving, too.

His beautiful face looks at us and He extends His arms with nail-scarred hands, and through His tears He says to you and I, "In as much as you have done it unto the least of these my brethren, you have done unto me."

The preceding appeared in our church bulletin and I thought it was worth sharing with your readers.

/s/ Bob Story Sr., Sunnyside

Fireworks display

People of Sunnyside heard of the need for donations to pay for the fireworks on July 4th and really stepped forward!

I want to thank all the business owners who accepted donation jars and cans for their help in the effort to collect donations, but especially those people who donated. Through your efforts, we were able to collect more than $700.

I am also very pleased with the firemen's donation of $500, the Pioneer Picnic Association's $160 and Elmer Schilperoort's donation of $160.

It just shows that the people of Sunnyside are capable of great things and can be very proud of themselves this 4th of July. So enjoy the display because we all made it happen.

/s/ Carol Stone, Sunnyside

Pugs found

Last Thursday night at 7 p.m., we received a phone call that our two pugs had been found in Grandview. We would like to express our deep thanks to the family who found them and called us to return them home.

Honesty is hard to come by these days. Thank you for putting our family back together.

We would also like to thank the Sunnyside police officers, dispatchers, the Humane Society and animal control officer who worked so diligently for their return. Special thanks to friends and acquaintances who looked everywhere they went for the dogs, and to those who called in sightings. Also, thanks to the business owners who displayed our posters.

/s/ Tommy Dekker, Sunnyside


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