Once again Sunnyside is made to look like a joke to the rest
of Yakima County. I am referring to the little poem by our local councilman,
Bruce Ricks, in the latest editions of the Yakima Valley Business Times and the
Daily Sun News.
Mr. Ricks, please start concerning yourself with city issues
and quit bad mouthing agencies that don't agree with your sanctimonious views.
Not all of Sunnyside agrees with you.
Maybe you should try working with the other agencies and
stop with the "If it's not my way, hit the hiway" attitude. That
attitude alone has cost the city in revenue dollars. No wonder people give our
city a wide berth when it comes to relocating businesses and opportunities.
And to Sue and Rob Rice, congratulations on your new
business. It will definitely be a great asset to the Lower Valley. I wish you
both nothing but success.
/s/ Patty S. Denson, Sunnyside
Stockwell great city manager
I find it most interesting talking to citizens of Sunnyside.
The populace of Sunnyside has so many opinions on so many subjects concerning
our fine city.
Recently, everywhere I go I hear people talking about the
purchase of the Monson feedlot. Several people say the purchase was the right
thing to do, but they should have bought the mill, too. Others say it was a
waste to have bought it at all.
Well, to me it doesn't matter. The smell of manure to me is
much more refreshing than most of this perfume women wear. But if this
community wants to move forward and not become stagnant as far as economic
development goes, it was the right move.
It seems as though being the city manager surely must be a
thankless job. Bob Stockwell has done more for this city as far as economic
development goes than any manager in the last 20 years. He has grabbed the
reins and led the way. I am not saying the others weren't good managers. The
others were more appeasing type managers.
It just seems to me that some groups of people in town want
their projects done immediately. This city has fallen so far behind in the last
decade that it will take time to get to where we should be. I personally think
Stockwell is a great manager and we will see some great movement forward with
this city manager.
But for you that don't, I am setting up a collection at the
intersection of Sixth and Edison. Just throw your money in that manhole. I will
collect the money and buy Stockwell a magic wand!
/s/ Don Padelford, Sunnyside
Image vs. character
Recently, a contributor to this Forum column wrote in
espousing the "presidential charisma" of candidate Kerry. He
specifically referred to how well Mr. Kerry looked and acted in the third
presidential debate. The writer seemed to be most impacted by the image Sen.
In this media saturated culture it seems that image is
"everything." Granted, looks are important but when it comes to
picking a president for our nation we need to look beyond the pretty package.
If we look back at two examples of previous presidents, we
can point to glaringly stark contrasts. Remember Ronald Regan. What a
gentleman. A man with rock-solid principles, a fantastic marriage and a man
whose word was as good as his handshake. Even his enemies, such as Gorbachev,
came to respect him.
Contrast Reagan with Bill Clinton. Even before he won the
presidency, a parade of "bimbos" gave witness to Clinton's marital
indiscretions. Foreign leaders mocked him behind his back. As Commander in
Chief, Clinton gutted the military. For example, he reduced active Air Force
personnel from 650,000 to 240,000 people during his two terms. Many of the best
officers voluntarily took early retirement rather than serve under a man they
could not respect. And then to top it all, he lied in court and to the American
people. His own state took away his license to practice law.
So what does this have to do with the 2004 election?
President Bush is a man of his word. He has principles and
integrity. He stands for what he believes. Our military loves him as Commander
in Chief. And he has a fantastic marriage.
Then there's Sen. Kerry. Fresh from his four-month tour
(others served one year) in Vietnam, he went before a Congressional hearing and
confessed to war crimes while still a commissioned officer. Then he accused
those he served with of crimes against civilians without one shred of evidence.
He has voted against bills supporting new weapons and funding for the military.
Yet, he claims that he has all the qualities to instill loyalty by our soldiers
who daily lay their lives on the line to defend us from those who want to kill
us and take our freedom. Give me a break!
Finally, I want to remind my neighbors how ancient Israel's
leader, David, was chosen. After all of Jessee's handsome sons had been paraded
before Samuel, one little shepherd boy became one of the greatest kings in all
history. When Samuel asked God why He chose David, God told Samuel that
"Men look on the outside (image) of a man, but the Lord looks on the heart
(character) of a man."
/s/ Rick Herndon, Sunnyside
Defending Kerry an attack on Vietnam veterans
I was watching TV the other night when a representative from
the Veterans Administration was asked whether Sen. John Kerry was telling the
truth in 1971, or whether the "Swift Vets for Truth" were. This man
said that John Kerry was telling the truth.
I was shocked. My understanding is that even Kerry has said
that he had no firm knowledge of atrocities to back up what he said back in
1971. He admits that he stretched the truth. So why would one of our
representatives say that Kerry told the truth.
I was in college in 1971 and I remember how hard it hit me
when Kerry told those lies. I also remember that Congress was so upset by what
Kerry had told them that they called in Telford Taylor from Columbia Law
University in New York to investigate the atrocities being committed in
Vietnam. You might recall that Taylor was the chief prosecutor during the War
Crimes Trials in Nuremberg, Germany at the end of WWII.
After Taylor's investigation he said that he found very few
cases of true atrocities taking place in Vietnam. He did say that many times
our soldiers had killed civilians, but in almost every case he investigated he
found that it was not an atrocity at all. He said that these incidents were
very sad and hard for soldiers to deal with, but they were not a crime
according to the Geneva Convention. The civilians were just in the wrong place
at the wrong time, and that the aim was not to kill the civilians just for the
joy of it. In fact, most soldiers felt guilty for having killed innocent people
during firefights. It was not their intent.
In the end Taylor said the Rules of Engagement were
impeccable. He said the Rules of Engagement were so impeccable that he found it
difficult to believe that soldiers would follow them, as it would cost them
their lives to do so. Taylor said that the way in which we fought the war
caused many soldiers to lose their lives, in order that civilians would be
spared theirs. And he said that he felt that was unacceptable during war. In
the end he said the Vietnam War was the cleanest war that America had ever
fought; that it had the fewest atrocities by any measure compared to other
wars; and that he found a renewed sense of awe for those who were fighting the
war, even though he was firmly against it.
To my knowledge no one has disputed Taylor's assessment of
the war with regards to war crimes having been committed by our troops, so why
would one of our representatives say that Kerry was "right" back in
1971, referring to our fellow soldiers as war criminals?
I think John Kerry threw gasoline on the fire back in 1971.
He convinced people that Jane Fonda was right. And that caused the war
protesters to harass the returning soldiers on college campuses at a higher
level than what they had been doing before. I know, I was there. After Kerry
spoke to Congress in 1971 it was very ugly for the veterans who were attending
college and trying to further their education.
In 1971 I remember watching (from afar) an anti-war rally on
campus one day, and watched as the students cheered when it was announced how
many returing Vietnam veterans had committed suicide after coming home. They
truly wanted to see us dead. Their level of cruelty was more brutal than any
acts by infantry soldiers that I had ever seen.
The question remains: why doesn't John Kerry go on TV and
debate these Swift Boat Veterans, and the POWs and the recipients of the Medal
of Honor that have spoken out against him on TV ads? He could end this whole
debate once and for all. He's a very good debater. He had the courage to debate
George Bush, so why not do all Vietnam veterans a great favor and debate these
men as well? They have proven to be honorable men, thus I would like him to
step up to the plate and discuss this whole matter on national TV.
That doesn't sound like much to me, especially if Kerry
thinks he's right.
I wish he would either defend himself against these
veterans, or apologize for what he did. My view is that he needs to apologize
for the lies he told, and the damage that those lies did to Vietnam veterans.
And he especially needs to apologize to family members of those returning
Vietnam veterans who committed suicide when they were unable to stand up to the
attacks committed on them by their peers. It must be remembered that these
veterans returned home physically fatigued, mentally fatigued and spiritually
fatigued. They required nurturing, not the attacks hurled at them.
But still today people come to the defense of John Kerry and
encourage others to continue to attack our veterans. For any defense of John
Kerry is an attack on those who honorably served in Vietnam, and who say that
they are proud of their service in Vietnam, and who also say that they would
serve again if asked.
/s/ Greg Schlieve, Vietnam veteran, Grandview