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Vlieger served Sunnyside well

For the last, nearly, eight years Sunnyside has been well served by a public official. Don Vlieger has at many times, at his expense, forwarded the city's needs above self.

Though firm, he has always had the facts and has been trustworthy in his stewardship regarding the public's pocketbook.

From his and Karen's donation of the property for Centennial Square to the pathway, to the 4th of July event and the furthering of the purchase of the Monson property, Don has had a vision and has had the willingness to lead, tutor and sacrifice in behalf of this citizenry.

Thanks Don for your integrity and service and thanks Karen and family for supporting him and in turn, us.

/s/ Bruce Ricks, Sunnyside

Councilman

won’t be missed

I read today that Don Vlieger has quit the Sunnyside City Council. I'm just wondering who is going to tell Mike Farmer and Bruce Ricks what to do and say now. And I wonder who will tell the city manager who he needs to fire next.

I think Don is leaving because there are no feedlots to buy, city utilities to privatize and no more city department heads to fire. And I think we have all the bronze statues we can handle.

I think it is great that he's gone.

/s/ Eric Stanton, Sunnyside

Focus on youths’ achievements

I would like to express my appreciation for the article the Daily Sun News did on Chris Mejia's senior project. So often we focus on all the negative things the youth in our area do. Your article provided a positive story and showed what can be accomplished if our youth will only use their energy towards something positive.

Chris's project was a huge undertaking, but it has truly been a beautiful asset to the entrance to Grandview.

A huge "thank you" to Chris and to the Daily Sun News for the front page story. I know there are other senior projects that warrant some newspaper space. Let's focus on the youth who deserve some recognition for the good things they do in our community.

/s/ Lucy L. Dykstra, Grandview

Take the time,

get the facts

I am writing in regards to the chaos going on in the elementary school in Mabton. I am not saying that I am for Principal Fabian Castilleja to stay or for him to go, but I'm someone who needs to make a point.

As a teacher and a parent of a child who attends the school I am saddened and mad. I am mad about the comments made about our school, that the elementary hasn't had good communication until this year. NOT TRUE. When Julie Schmick was principal she welcomed students into her office, had breakfast with them and knew them on a first name basis.

Also, I think parents need to be informed of what is going on before speaking. People are taking the word of a few outspoken parents that get mad if they don't get their way. Also, these outspoken parents only target parents who are not in tuned with what is going on in the school. I can say when the fliers were being passed out at the first meeting I was told I didn't need one and that it didn't pertain to me. EXCUSE ME! I have a child that has been at this school for three years and subbed as a teacher in Grandview.

Also, who gives these outspoken people the right to speak for all the parents? I know I didn't, because I have my own voice and can speak. Also, if I have questions, I ask, not make accusations about people without knowing the facts.

These outspoken parents are not thinking of all the aspects of what a principal does. That person has to manage, budget and conduct observations of teachers in the classroom. Yes, I agree that knowing the students and spending time with them is great, but what about the curriculum the school uses, making sure teachers are on task and paraprofessionals are on task? Also, what about making sure our paraprofessionals meet the guidelines for the 2006 school year or they will be out of a job. I guess the outspoken parents forgot about these people who have lived and worked in this community for over 10 or 20 years.

I am saddened to think that parents feel that Fabian Castilleja is the only positive role model for our kids. I don't agree. We have teachers with the same background who teach our students.

I also think if you want your kids to have good role models, then look at yourself first.

As for the comment on Mabton being a guinea pig for new teachers and administrators, that is fine with me. People need to get their start somewhere and why not be in a community that has great students and staff members?

Also, keeping your kids out of school is wrong. The only person you are hurting is your child. And a little note: there is a state law call the Becca Law. How many parents are willing to keep their kids out of school for the rest of the year at the risk of being turned into child protective services? I guess we will have to wait and see.

Just to let parents know, because you don't know the facts doesn't mean you should listen to rumors or outspoken people. Take the time and get the real facts behind what is going on and make your own decision.

/s/ Shannon Pierce, Mabton

Cinco de Mayo entertainers treated shabbily

Saturday, May 7, several groups of children went out to perform as they do every year at the Sunnyside Cinco de Mayo festival, but this time they were put aside because "they weren't famous enough to be put on the schedule of events."

I guess the new coordinator of events didn't feel that this town had any real talent to be seen or heard. What was this person thinking? That we don't have talented kids who play beautiful music, who are dancers and singers and some who know karate?

Children who spend time and energy trying their best to do what they love to do will take a chance when it comes along to show their parents, friends, relatives and the community what they have been practicing. So to ignore these children who have tried so hard to present their efforts was wrong. They deserved the same chance as any person who shows talent.

There were three different groups of children who were waiting for their chance to perform, and they never got that chance. After weeks of practicing and preparation, and trying to get the event coordinator to send the registration form to get on the schedule of events, nothing was received. These children were ignored and that made them feel belittled.

When we went to the Chamber of Commerce they were happy to help, they even scheduled the children earlier so everyone could perform. However, when it came time to perform, the people in charge of the sound system never showed up. After trying to locate them and never reaching them, the first group went and brought their own instrument from school and began to play. They did excellent with the instrument and sang brilliantly. The other group also had to go out and get their own sound system to be able to perform. It was halfway through the second group's performance when the sound people finally decided to show. Even though they saw that the children were performing, they showed no consideration and began to set up and play their own music loudly, all the while the children were in the middle of their performance. The children couldn't be heard when singing and the audience couldn't hear the music that the children were dancing to. On top of that, they still had the nerve to constantly ask the group to "please finish" and "please leave" because they were the real "good music" and that we were only in their way.

How dare you! Who do you think you are? The children were not the ones who were late. Sorry the children weren't good enough or famous enough to be taken seriously.

How dare you! We are part of this town. To be told to please finish up was distasteful. To take these shining moments away from the children was wrong. These people work in a radio station and don't know about these children's efforts to come out and have the courage to perform in front of the community.

We know that the other performers went out of their way to give a performance, too, but be a little more considerate next time. You weren't the only ones that day waiting for their turn.

Believe me, there were a lot of families and friends who were there watching and listening to what you were doing, and that also goes to the person who was in charge of the events.

/s/ Francis Castaneda, Sunnyside

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