WASL unreliable

The State Board of Education (SBE) and your legislators are about to "marry" the state's children to an abusive partner, the WASL—a high stakes but unreliable, invalid test that will unfairly determine which kids move up and which will be pushed aside.

All who testified at the SBE's May 12 meeting objected to the impending nuptials, including parents, minority educators and parents representing Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans, the teachers union, special educators, parents of special education students and the non-union Northwest Professional Educators that focuses on students and professionalism.

Instead of calling off the wedding before anyone gets hurt, officials plan to tell your children to go back to their abusive partner, not once, not twice, but four times! Not only that, WASLs are being piloted in additional grades, promising further reductions in students' instructional time.

A messy divorce is inevitable, but only after the state wastes millions of dollars and lives too precious to count.

Parents and taxpayers must demand that officials can the WASL for cost effective, reliable performance measures that help children, not hurt them. They can call legislators at 800-562-6000, the SBE at 360-725-6025 or go on-line to

Prevent this ceremony or soon you'll be searching for your nearest shelter for the educationally abused.

/s/ Cindy Omlin, Executive Director, Northwest Professional Educators, Spokane

Blood drawing

The Red Cross blood drawing held May 4 was sponsored by the Washington Food Services Association - chapter 56. Rose Nesmith was the chairperson.

We had 64 presenters and two first-time donors. Fourteen were unable to give, leaving 50 units collected. Because of their efforts, 150 people will have another chance at life.

Many thanks to the sponsors for donating the delicious cookies and juice, and the Yakima Valley Dairy Women for the ice cream bars. Thanks, too, to the United Methodist Church for the use of its hall, Max of Washington Corrugators for displaying the banner at Centennial Square and Bob Story for publicity in the Daily Sun News.

And then there are the volunteers whose services are always appreciated: Alice Benedetti, Myrtis Lang, Ella Mae Lochner, Phyllis Morris, Maxine Means, Evelyn Murray, Renee Murray, Tana Brotherton and Accordia Horn.

A special thanks to all the donors, who are the lifeline for the flow of blood in the Valley.

Hope to see everyone at the next blood drawing on Tuesday, July 6, at the United Methodist Church in Sunnyside, from 1 to 6 p.m.

/s/ Marie Handy, Sunnyside American Red Cross blood drawing chairperson

School record

For 18 years I've skimmed the local sports section with an eye out for the girls track results. Being a highly competitive person I like to see how race times during my "glory days" match up with our current speedsters.

At the beginning of each season I'm curious about which young lady might race by my old times. I'd always hoped that when my 300 hurdles record was shattered, and it was demolished, that the new record holder would be someone that I know. Last weekend, Hilary Van de Graaf not only won the District title in the 300 low hurdles, a grueling race, but she established a new school record—and left me in the dust!

Way to go Hilary! I'm proud to have such a well deserving young lady take my place in the record books.

/s/ Erika Barrom, Sunnyside

SVID water

Since I don't do very well speaking to a public group, I am giving my thoughts about the latest development by "some" of the City Council on the subject of irrigation water through SVID (May 10 Daily Sun News story).

Obviously, some of the Council haven't read all the letters the DSN has received on the subject. They may recall, I have written a few of these letters concerning SVID and its practices, including the takeover of Snipes Mountain Irrigation District. I really think the Council needs to do more research into what they are proposing to do with SVID.

First of all, I do agree that the $250 charge for hook-up is not a bad price. But, even so, you have to have more than one hook-up in an area to get on their priority list. So, while you may have the

funds to hook up, your neighbor may not, and you will not get priority over an area with more than one hook-up.

Second, I priced all of the equipment necessary to complete getting the water from the outlet provided by SVID to your existing irrigation system, whether it be automatic sprinklers or hoses. Here are a few of the costs: $254 for a one-horsepower pump, $62 for a filter, $11 for a screen, $13 for pipe (may vary for each lot), $50 for fittings (may vary for each lot), $100 for a meter (available only from SVID) and $38 in taxes. The total: $527. This is provided I do all the work myself.

What about the cost for those who can't do it themselves? Plus, you must buy a backflow prevention unit so that city water and SVID water do not mix—that's at least another $100.

I agree you would save money in the long run, maybe, or until SVID raises its rates again.

Please get more information before jumping into this.

Another point, Councilman de la Cruz brought up the raise in the assessment from Snipes to SVID. SVID has the practice of charging for a minimum of one acre, no matter how small your parcel is, it is charged at the one-acre rate. Yet, if you have 1.1 acres you are charged 1.1 times the 1-acre rate. Most of the parcels on Harrison Hill are less than one acre. This unreasonable minimum charge is what prompted me in the first place to try to change SVID's practice. But, as with any bureaucracy, my attempt was futile, though I believe the hook-up rate is, in part, attributable to my and my fellow property owners' attendance and comments at SVID meetings. Thank you again to all those who accompanied me to those meetings.

Finally, "We all have to pay for some things we don't get," a quote from Mr. Jim Trull in reference to SVID charging a minimum 1-acre charge for all parcels: this quote was in an article written by Joanna Luft when she was a reporter for the Daily Sun News. Many thanks to Joanna and the Daily Sun for their coverage of those meetings and this subject.

One last thought, I hope this letter again angers the citizens of Sunnyside. Having to pay for more than what you receive, as stated by Mr. Trull, really doesn't cut it. You should only have to pay for what you are entitled to receive, and, if that is less than one acre, so be it. Charges should be based on parcel size only.

/s/ a disgruntled citizen, David Hansen, Sunnyside


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