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February 12, 1998     Quad City Herald
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February 12, 1998
 

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Enjoy the country, learn its language by Adele Ferguson Since the 1990 census says 94 percent of Americans already speak English, what, I asked Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, is the purpose of your Official English bill? To save the cost of printing official documents in numerous languages, or to encourage immigrants to learn English faster? "The whole point is to encourage them to learn English," said Benton. "English is the language of opportunity. If you are proficient in English, you have a much better chance of getting what this country ofters." Government, he said, is such a do-gooder in printing such things as voters' pamphlets and driver license manuals in various languages"that it does the public a disservice by giving them a reason to not learn the language. What incentive is there for you to learn English if you can do business in your native tongue?" Benton stressed that his was NOT an English Only bill as much of the media refers to it, but an Official English bill, meaning it only applies to official public documents and records and official public meetings. It does not apply to foreign language instruction in the schools or elsewhere, and it does not apply to safety, health or emergency services. Yet there was Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson at a Senate Education Committee hearing saying it will expand the bureaucracy. "We want kids to feel it's critical to learn English, but value their cultures," she said. A Pasco student worker testified that there were many homes where the parents didn't speak English and everything had to be translated, which brings up my reading of why there is such a resistance to Official English or English Only bills, variations of which now have passed in 23 states. Just as welfare spawned a gigantic industry that depends for its own jobs on the dependency of its "clients," the non-English speaking population has generated an industry of interpreters and advisers. Every newcomer whobecomes an English-speaking resident is a client lost. Driverlicenses, forexample, are published in Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese. A non-English speaking applicant must provide his own interpreter. If applicant and interpreter can satisfy the requirements of the tests, bingo, license, even if that's ALL the applicant knows. Example: Sen. Benton got a letter from a Battleground man who told of being stranded at the bottom of a hill in the last snowstorm, and while waiting for a tow truck, saw his own truck plowed into by a motorist who slid down the hill. That driver, said the man, "had a driver's license but not even a basic understanding of English, so I couldn't get insurance information. An officer appeared who told me he had just warned the guy not to attempt going down the hill but he didn't understand English and went anyway." There are 182 languages recognized in Washington (327 in the U.S.), said Sen. Benton, and the move is toward making it easier for people to avoid learning English, rather than vice versa. The city of Sunnyside has just decided to translate its meetings and agendas into Spanish, which is odd, considering Hispanic parents in Texas and California---not the Hispanic interpreter industry, but parents--are pushing for ways to have their children learn English faster. They KNOW it is the key to success. Voter pamphlets here are printed in English, Spanish and Chinese. In Canada, says Sen. Benton, it cost $6.7 billion between 1980 and 1990 to oblige the dual language requirement of English and French. With the U.S. ten times the population of Canada, a similar policy accommodating only two languages would cost $60 billion over ten years, he said. If Benton's bill passes the Legislature, it goes on the November ballot and the propaganda machine already is cranking up to call it racist and divisive. When Education chair Sen. Harold Hochstatter asked a witnesse why she didn't want a commonality of language, she snapped that it would be a "forced commonality." Gee, too bad, somebody wants to "force" people to learn to speak the language of the country they chose to make their new home. (Adele Ferguson can be reached at P.O. Box 69, Hansville, Wa., 98340.) Ouad Ci Herald QUAD CITY HERALD J " LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The following Letters to the Editor are not necessarily the views of the Quad City Herald or its emPloyees. User fees on public lands Editor, In 1996 Congress authorized the U.S. Forest Service and other U.S. agencies to begin a 3-year test to see if Americans would willingly pay fees to enjoy our public lands. (PL-I04- 134). This includes Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, as well as the U.S. Forest Service. For more information on User Fees see http:// www.wildwilderness.org. The House Subcommittee on National Parks and Public Lands in Washington, D.C. has scheduled Public Hearings for Thursday, February 26, to consider making the User Fees permanent on a nationwide basis ahead of the previously stated September 1999 deadline, which would severely limit any future chances for public input. The subcommittee must hear from you by Feb. 23 for your input to be in the official record. If you care about this issue, please writea brief letter or postcard and state your opposition to user fees on public lands, asking that the budgets oftheabove named Federal agencies be increased so our public lands can be maintained with our tax dollars, without user fees. This is our chance (possibly our last chance) to really make a difference and actually be heard. If you care about this issue, please write todayl Now is not the time to wait for someone else to do it. If you are a government employee who has been reluctant to express your opinion on the fees, this is a chance to make your opinion as a private citizen known to Congress. Address your letters and cards to: Congressman James Hansen Subcommittee on National Parks and Public Lands 814 O'Neil House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Sincerely, Richard Tingelstad P.O. Box 1324 Twisp, WA. 98856 599,997-4425 i Unfair Mexican apple duty threatens Washington exports OO by State Senator George Sellar, R.East Wenatchee Mexico is the single largest export market for apple producers both in the state of Washington and nationwide, representing between $75 and $100 million in sales. In September 1997, Mexico imposed a 101.1 percent preliminary duty on U.S. red delicious and gold delicious apples because of an anti-dumping petitionfdedby theChihuahuaRegionalAgricaltural The following a are not necetsadly the views of the Quad City Herald or its employees. Association of Fruit Producers. The tariffessentially doubles the price of U.S. apples in Mexico. U.S. Senator SladeGorton hascalled forretaliatory trade action.Alengthy hearing in Mexico in January ended with no major breakthroughs and reports indicate that Mexico is unlikely to lift the tariff anytime soon. Gorton suggests we impose trade barriers of our own against Mexico. At the state level, I have introduced a memorial to congress requesting they work with the President and the U.S. Trade Representative to take all necessary actions to ensure removal of the tariff so that Washington apples may regain their competitive position in the Mexican market. This memorial was heard in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on February 6 and may be scheduled for a vote on the Senate floor soon. According to the Washington Agrinews Service, Mexican law dictates that their commerce officials reach a final decision regarding the dumping charges and the tariff by mid-February. Mexico is an important market for Washington What is employee misconduct? by Don C. Brunell, President drugs in a company truck. He is warned by his boss, butiscaught Association of Washington Business The stories are all too common. * A construction worker takes the company truck to a bar on his lunch hour, gets drunk and drives it back to work. He is fired again - this time with liquor in the tack. He is fired, but - over the employer's objections- he is granted unemployment benefits. A DSHS employee caught in a federal investigation pleads guilty to extorting money from refugees to get formisconduct, betqualifiesforunemploymentbenefitsbecause them on public assistance rolls. Over the protests of the owner had not explicitly informed the employee be forehand DSHS,an administrative law judge grants the man unemployment that it was im.lxoper to get drunk aad v fl3e company iruck benefits. Fortunately, following press coverage and a on company time. ' ....... "". ............. pubhe outcry, the ruling  overturned. .... ' An employee of a fence building company is caught with What'sinvolvedhereisthedefinitionofemployeemisconduct. Under state law, if an employee .COUNT .THE H EARTS apples. For the last two years, the Washington Apple Commission has been expanding its efforts in Mexico by purchasing television ads throughout Mexico and placing billboards in major cities. Last year, Mexico purchased 5.5 million boxes of our apples. Wemust work together to strengthen ourrelationship with Mexico by encouraging them to eliminate this 101.1 percent preliminary duty. Only then will our nations be able to enjoy the mutual expansion of our agricultural wade. Count alithe HEARTS throughout this issue of the Quad City Herald. Count the number of hearts (you must be able to identify each heart) throughout the paper. Place your total in the heart below and bring to our office or send to P.O. Box 37, Brewster, WA. 98812, by Friday, February 20, 1998, 5:00 p.m. Correct entry will receive a $25.00 gift certificate from the Quad City Herald. flip Name: Address: Town: answer in the heart provided. Phone: If there is more than one correct entry, we will draw for the winner. Entry must be received by Friday, February 20, 5:00 p.m. Quad City Hera 509-689-2507 1-800-201-2507 Fax 509-689-2508 525 Main Avenue P.O. Box 37, Brewster loses his or her job as a result of their own misconduct, they are not eligible for unemployment benefits. On the surface, it seems simple enough. But in the state bureaucracy, nothing is simple. The current definition of misconduct requires not only that the employee must have acted willfully, but that the conduct actually harmed the employer's business. So, unless the workers who were driving drunk or under the influence of drugs and alcohol actually ran over somebody in the company truck - no harm, no foul- they get unemployment benefits. The Association of Washington Business is urging legislators to redefine "misconduct" in order to make employees more accountable for their actions, and to require that people who are collecting unemployment benefits actually look for a job. That doesn't seem too much to ask. V t Y Pateros sewer options con't from page 1 flowing through it, and doesn't work very well because of its design. The disinfection system also is too small for the amount of water flowing through; in addition, its electrical system suffers occasional brea!owns, $1qdge.is supposed to ![atWbly clty lfOte it is removed m.the pla city does not meet the standards because the sludge dewatering system is inadequate. At least one of the drying beds may be cracked and leaking. The report gives the city the option of replacing the aerator, sludge drying bed and clarifier. That would cost at least $450,000, according to the estimates from Varela and Associates. A more extensive rehabilitation of the facility also would fix the lift station, install a new clarifier, disinfection system and sludge drying system. That would cost an estimated $1.15 million. A whole new plant built next to the existing facility would cost an estimated $1.25 million. In a letter sent to residents, city officials said they were not willing to try and pay for such an expensive project just with loan money. Such an arrangement could push sewer rates above $50 per month, Wareham said. The city is looking for grants to offset part of the cost. But city officials are looking for guidance from residents; they want to know what residents think the city should do next. All city residents are invited. Ouad City Herald tab[ita 1901 Ike Vallance Editor & Publisher Published every week on Thursday at Brewster. Washington. Entered as periodocals matter at the Post Office, Box 37 in Brewster, Okanogan oun(y, Washington 98812. Telhone (509)689-2507. Periodicals pstage paid at Brewster, Washington USPS 241-920. Postmaster, pleasesend change of address to Quad Oit Herald, Box 37, Brewster, Wasington 98812. 1 YEAR SUBSCRIPTION Okanogan ,  $18.00 Washington State $22.00 Out of State $27.00 Out of Country 32.00 Single Copy .50 Subscriptions must be paid in advance i i Notice of Church entertainments where an admission fee is charged, cards of thanks, resolutions of condo- lence or notices intended to promote private business of any kind must be paid for at regular rates, The Desk Behind the Editor By Doris Vallance r Some of my old columns are much better than my present endeavors. Such is the case of this one written back in 1988. Just to show how much ! have improved, 1 sat right down this morning and sentmy grandchil'en Valentine's Day cards including a thank you note from Christmas! Son John has progressed also since this writing. He now is a proud home owner, and needless to say all his money, extra and otherwise, is being pumped into home sweet home! I was always going to .... The byline of our busy, 'modern day world professed by all of us. ! was always going to, send a note of appreciation, a cheery get well, or just a telephone call to say, "Hi, how are you?" if you're like me you squander more time in a day than it wtuld take to write ten short personal notes. ! mean now, it's necessary that I sit and stare out the window each morning to make sure the garage hasn't moved, the apple tree still stands, and the driveway still goes around.My indifferent attitude is corapounded by a drawer full of attractive printed cards for every occasion that I simply neglect to sign and drop in the mail. What brought these thoughts to mind. A conversation with Dr. Harold Lamberton, as he stated he had a paved six lane freeway going to hell made up of good intentions. Non,, I doubt that! If my memory wasn't so short I could recall the times ! have received a personal note of congratulations or thanks. A delightful surprise that made my daY! Why do ! not act likewise? "Kindness is generally reciprocal; we are desirous of pleasing others because we receive pleasure from them." . Samuel Johnson. Son John, from Seattle, came home to visit for a couple of short days last week. No, I re- phrase that, he came home because the car needed work, his laundry needed done, and his kitchen cupboards were bare! John is a very busy young man, attending classes and working so his trips home are few and far between. But, we know John is hale and hearty because we get parking ticket notifications on a regular basis. Silly us, we ask why he doesn't renra parking space? Answer, it costs at least $40,00 a month. Son, how much have you paid out in parking tickets? Answer, considerably more than $40.00. Somebody please, can you give me a coherent, sensible reason why?