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Ugly handiwork

I hope the graffiti boys are happy now that they put their ugly handiwork all over our fences. I'm sure gangs and drugs go hand-in-hand. If only we could send them to Iraq to help the U.S. soldiers instead of spitting on our government. What pleasure do they get by hurting others and their property? Don't they have fathers to guide them as they don't seem to have anyone to raise them the honest way. Guess they don't know any better. Keep it up boys, but remember you have to face our Lord and the be judged someday. What are you going to tell him?

/s/ Bernice Seward, Sunnyside

Volunteers help

If you read the letters to the editor, you probably notice that I am thanking a lot of people and businesses in our community for their involvement with the Sunnyside Parks and Recreation programs and facilities.

Due to the fact that the budget for the department has been cut by 20 percent ($156,730) over the last two years, we are in need of volunteers to help us with programs and maintenance of our parks and facilities. In 2003, the department had more than 625 volunteers working more than 29,000 hours in programs, youth sports special events and maintenance.

I hear a few citizens tell me that they pay too much in taxes and do not use the programs, parks and facilities. Last year, 2003, there were 17,000 participants in our recreation programs and classes for youth, adults and senior citizens, 35,500 used the swimming pool, and approximately 37,500 rented parks and facilities. These numbers total 90,000 individuals that were involved in the programs and facilities that are offered by the Sunnyside Parks and Recreation Department. Over the past five years, the department has provided more programs and maintenance with less funding.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 13-15, at Sunny View Park, a softball tournament was played involving 20 teams. Of the 20 teams, 16 teams traveled to Sunnyside to compete in the tournament. Each team consisted of at least 11 players. If you figure that some players have families that come with them to the tournament, you can guess that each team will have approximately 50 people attending the tournament. Sixteen teams multiplied by 50 people for each team equals 800 people. If, over the three-day tournament, each person spent $25 per day on food, gas and lodging expenses, this would total $60,000 in

business to the City of Sunnyside. The City will expend approximately $32,000 to maintain this park for the entire year. This one example shows the need and rationale to continue support for the parks and recreation programs and facilities.

The City of Sunnyside is very fortunate to have the parks and facilities within our community. The City Council has been very supportive and proactive in maintaining the current assets and expanding with new parks and facilities, such as Centennial Square, Sunny View Park and the new community center.

As summer comes to a close, I want to thank all the staff that has worked to make our parks, pool and programs successful. Joan Niemeyer, recreation assistant; Luigi Rosal, parks maintenance supervisor; Jerry Paeschke, Clarence Roosendaal, Edgar Garcia, Jose Vargas, Felipe Perales and Raymond Mirelez, park maintenance crew; Laura Berkompas and Jane Swindell, summer recreation; Brooks Salazar, baseball coordinator; Michael Sanchez and James Sanchez, youth baseball umpires; Pat Barr, temporary receptionist; Rachel Riojas, pool manager; Leslie Riojas and Ray Romero, assistant pool managers; Anna Henry, Riley Morris, Kasey Hursh, Jessie Romero, Ryan Haringa, Nicholas Howat, Brandi Padilla, Andrea Phillips, Cassandra Romero, Scott Taylor, Kyle Tyler, David Pacheco, Aaron Garcia, Rudy Martinez, Sean Golob, Jordan Golob, Amy Kilian, Derek Dolan, Angie Poff, Stacey Olivarez and David Elerding, pool staff; and Resa Ibarra, Helen Gilliland and Tanner Kellogg, pool cashiers. Patricia Emery, Maribel, Suzy Cruz, Jackie Gilleland and Jackie Zaragoza, all of the Northwest Community Action's on-the-job training program provided the department with receptionist and front desk help during the summer. Jennifer Salazar, Winnie Alverez and Holly Daire assisted with office help through the Sunnyside High School Leadership program.

I would like to thank the members of the Parks and Recreation Commission for the time and effort that they volunteer to serve on the commission. Commissioners include Sam Ramirez, Ellen Bird, Dorothy Aiken, Steve Maltos, Andi Bieber, Mirtha Pearson and Jason Aguirre.

I appreciate the work that all of the staff has done over the past months to make all our programs and facilities successful.

/s/ Tom Byers, director of Sunnyside Parks and Recreation Department

Fee refund?

On Aug. 26, 2004, I met with the Sunnyside City Manager concerning a refund of the ambulance fee the residents of Sunnyside had previously paid. It is my understanding that Mr. Stockwell didn't think we should have such a refund. I pointed out that the city of Kennewick was refunding this fee due to a recent Court of Appeals ruling against Ocean Shores and a possible class action against the city. This would be much more expensive than the refund. Other cities including Richland could follow.

During Monday night's meeting Mr. Stockwell made a reference about Kennewick, but neglected to say Kennewick was giving a refund.

/s/ C. Dale Bailey, Sunnyside

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