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SHS students appreciate support

On behalf of the Sunnyside High School band, orchestra and MEChA Club, I would like to thank Ken, Chad and the crew of Ken's Quick Lube in Sunnyside for the fund-raiser (Nov. 6). I would also like to thank the parents, students and community members who came out and supported our fund-raising event.

The proceeds will be used to help fund goals each group has planned for this school year.

Once again, a big thank you to all involved.

/s/ Greg Herrera, MEChA Club advisor, Sunnyside High School

Give credit

where credit due

In response to Mr. Zimmerman and the group of individuals who signed the letter to the editor on Nov. 17, titled "Little Council," which was in response to an Oct. 27 letter to the editor submitted by Sunnyside Councilman Bruce Ricks. I am compelled to set the record straight so that the public does not misunderstand.

The letter, or poem, that Councilman Bruce Ricks submitted as an Oct. 27 letter to the editor was written solely by Mr. Ricks, not by the City Council of Sunnyside. We need to give credit where credit is due.

To my knowledge, never did the Sunnyside City Council authorize or discuss any involvement in the writing of this letter to the editor.

My reaction to Mr. Ricks' letter was disbelief and disappointment in the content of this letter and its outlandish and disrespectful comments. Regardless of the city's history with these agencies or individuals, good or bad, we as council members have not been appointed to publicly humiliate or degrade any agency or person. I have been to several trainings regarding my role and responsibilities as a city council member, and I have never been told that this type of activity is part of my role in representing the citizens of this community.

I believe that regardless of any history between the city and other agencies or individuals, we must not dwell on these things. We should move on with a more positive outlook on developing future partnerships for our city and strive to maintain those partnerships that have taken years to develop.

God bless you Mr. Zimmerman, Mr. Ricks and all the people who live in this awesome community.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to ask all of you to pray for peace and for all the people who are currently in Iraq.

/s/ Bengie Aguilar, Sunnyside

Small minded?

I recently had the unfortunate opportunity to read the "Little council" letter to the editor (Nov. 17) signed by 17 people, and let me say, I was extremely disappointed, nay, appalled with their comments.

First of all, the last time I checked, Mr. Ricks is not the mayor, therefore he does not speak for the entire city council. Mr. Ricks, just as the ladies and gentlemen were doing in their letter to the editor, was exercising his First Amendment rights. At no time did he say he represented or spoke on behalf of the city council.

To set the record straight, the "city coffers" have not been diminished one iota by the purchase of the Monson feedlot. If you are not familiar with how the land was purchased, I would suggest you contact the city manager, Mr. Bob Stockwell, as I am sure he would be glad to educate you on the facts.

On the comments regarding privatization, I believe I have already made my thoughts clear on this subject. However, for the sake of those readers who did not see my last letter, I will reiterate. I am neither for nor against privatization. I have heard and witnessed both successes and failures when it comes to its implementation. However, in my opinion to overlook privatization simply because it is unpopular would be fiscally irresponsible.

I have to admit that calling me, as well as my colleagues, "small minded" is an extremely bold move on the part of the 17 people who signed the Nov. 17 letter, considering of the numbers I have only personally met one of you, and I find it hard to believe that they would allow you to make such a statement about me. Before you pass judgment, why not come to a council meeting, take the time to get to know me, discuss your issues with me and let me have an opportunity to hear your side, as well as give me the same opportunity to present my side. If after we have talked you still feel the same way, by all means feel free to call me "small minded." I personally feel that name calling and personal attacks are non-productive and only serve to confuse the issues.

As for your comments about having the citizens "stand up" to the "little council," I will close with saying, citizens of Sunnyside, come to council meetings, voice your opinion, it's your right! I, for one, will welcome the opportunity to hear what you have to say.

/s/ James A. Restucci, City Councilman, Sunnyside

Election day disappointment

Nov. 2 (Election Day), my fellow students and several so-called "teachers" disappointed me.

That day I wore a t-shirt that expressed myself. A t-shirt that said on the front, "Today's my birthday, wanna give me a present?" The back said, "Vote Kerry/Edwards."

My t-shirt said absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever. It was my personal opinion. I was clearly under the dress code at my school and under the 1st Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, which states that you have the right to express yourself, the right to opinion and the freedom of speech.

Many teachers read my shirt and whether they agreed or disagreed with my t-shirt, they had no negative comments to say about it. Many even said they liked my shirt and it showed character. But many students and so-called "teachers" had negative comments and actions towards my shirt.

For example, one teacher I have read it, laughed and said, "Bush is better." I didn't care about that because he has his own opinion. But what happened next made me furious. I got up to a presentation that had nothing to do with my t-shirt, in front of the whole class and they started to boo me. Even the teacher joined in. Then, my friend told a classmate to shut up and was reprimanded for it. Can you imagine the embarrassment and humiliation of this happening to you?

This was not the end to my day. I went on to my next five classes and in each passing period and every class there was at least one person or group that said they were going to kick my butt or made a cruel, rude or vulgar comment.

As I said earlier, I was deeply disappointed. I thought I attended a high school that only accepted the best from their students and faculty. I thought we were all mature. Obviously not! The disappointment made me nauseous.

I was ready for some negative comments and the occasional "why do you want them to win," but not for the cruel, rude, vulgar, mean, hurtful and tormenting experience I endured.

Are our taxpayers paying our "teachers" to not practice the 1st Amendment? Are the teachers telling us we can only express their ideals? I felt I should have been able to express myself without consequences.

I hope that people who read this realize one thing—there is freedom of speech and the right to express yourself. Yes, rights do have limits, but I was within those limits. That the students and teachers made rude and vulgar comments was wrong!

I hope that no student has to go through what I had to. Maybe in the future this incident could be handled better. Maybe it won't. I just hope that it will be handled appropriately.

/s/ Veronica Hugie, Grandview High School freshman

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