Big red wagon
"The Red Wagon is
a symbol of childhood. It can be filled with a child's hopes and dreams or
filled with their burdens. Millions of American children need our help to pull
that wagon along. Let's pull together."
—America's Promise founding chairman
Gen. Colin L. Powell.
Sunnyside is a Community of Promise. We promise to fufill
five promises to our youth: caring adults, safe places, healthy starts,
marketable skills and opportunities to serve.
We recently shared our BIG red wagon with the community. I
would like to thank Danny Mendoza for taking this on as his Eagle Scout
project. This was not an easy task and we appreciate his determination.
We would also like to thank the following for their
contributions in helping with this. They truly showed that this is a Community
of Promise for our youth: Tim Bardell/B-7 Engineering; Daniel Guillen, Roger
Roudebush and Canam/Sun Steel; Tom Dolan/YV Technicals Skills Center and SHS
fusion technology class who put in over 2,000 student hours putting this together;
the Sunnyside School District; Dave Waller and Star Trailers; Les Schwab;
American Wheel; Valley Manufactured Homes; Boy Scouts Troop #623; Venture Crew
#623; the Sunnyside Police Department; the City of Sunnyside and Ron Hochhalter
and Advanced Collision; Dave Shrewsberry and Standard Paint and L&M
Thank you for your time, contributions and showing that you
care about our youth.
/s/ Lisa Fairbairn, Director, Sunnyside's Promise
This past weekend was a busy one for Sunnyside and
surrounding communities, as the Chicano/Latino State Softball Tournament was
held at SunnyView Park. Thirteen teams came to Sunnyside to participate in this
traditional gathering of softball players.
The fields at SunnyView Park have been a topic of discussion
in the last few weeks. Those fields have been in poor shape for most of the
year. What many people don't know is that our softball association and the
soccer association pay to use those fields, even though SunnyView is a city
park. As spokesman for the softball association, we don't mind paying usage
fees, as long as the fields are properly maintained, which in turn could
possibly attract more teams and generate more revenue for Sunnyside.
In a recent meeting with Bob Stockwell, Mitch Ziegler, Joan
Niemeyer and Jim Bridges, we all discussed this tournament and how we could
work together to improve field and park conditions. I would personally like to
say to all involved, I sincerely thank you for your hard work.
Mitch Ziegler and his work crew did a tremendous job, in a
short amount of time, and got those fields in playing condition. His work crew
brought in extra trash cans, picnic tables and greened up the outfields.
All too often, usually complaints are all that's heard, but
a pat on the back should be given to all those involved.
SunnyView Park has the potential to become a top notch Lower
Valley sports complex. Imgaine what kind of revenue can be achieved. By working
together to promote and/or sponsor events like this, businesses in our
community will greatly benefit, as some did this last weekend.
I will continue to work hard to promote our Sunnyside
community. Contact me if you're interested in helping to achieve this goal.
/s/ Bob Sarmiento Sr., Sunnyside (830-5727)
The situation in Mabton is depressing enough without your
reporter, Julia Hart, playing favorites with the existing board.
Her first article (Aug. 23) following the board meeting
specifically referred to Hispanic interpreters translating for Spanish
speakers. This was an obvious deception, as anyone who attended knows. The
article made it sound like the district provided translators. Friends and
frustrated parents interpreted for each other. There were no certified,
professional translators present and provided for by the district. In fact, the
board has refused (after six months of promises) to provide translators, which
makes Ms. Hart's coverage even more a slap in the face.
Again, in a follow-up article on Aug. 26, Ms. Hart implied
that somehow I was to blame for not getting myself on the agenda. Let me be
clear. I requested to be on the agenda publicly at the July school board
meeting and was contacted twice by the superintendent's secretary the week
before the August board meeting. I was not put on the agenda at the
superintendent's direction. The Mabton superintendent and school board has
tried every way possible to keep me and other community members quiet by not
allowing public input at board meetings, in violation of district policy #1430.
Consistently, the Mabton School Board has not obeyed its own policies.
Mr. Guzman, the board chair, begins each meeting in a
different fashion. Sometimes he opens it for public comment and sometimes not.
He says public input can only be on agenda items and only in question form. It
is clear that he does not know his own policy because policy #1430 does not
limit what visitor presentations can be about. As community members we never
know when we can address our concerns. Our frustrations grow because when we do
get a voice, it falls on deaf ears.
Other parents have come to me to address their concerns
because they are afraid of retaliation against their children. They are nervous
about speaking in public or they simple don't know the process. Some are
Spanish speaking and need the help of a translator.
If Ms. Hart has to be assigned to Mabton, please remind her,
as a journalist, she needs to report the news objectively, no matter how she
personally may feel about me or parents of Mabton.
/s/ Rachel Ruelas, Mabton