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Quad City Herald
Brewster, Washington
February 26, 1998     Quad City Herald
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February 26, 1998

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The following articlN are not necessarily the vlewo o! the Quad City Herald or its employees. Ouad City. Herald Unhappy with the GOP by Adele Ferguson Ellen Crasweil isn't the only elder statesman of the Republican party who is unhappy with the GOP. Don Brazier isn't threatening to jump ship, but it is "irresponsible," he says, for the Republicans to divert hot button issues to the ballot, and it is particularly irresponsible for transportation funding to be one of them. Now. Don Brazier is not your m n-of- the mill ex-legislator--he served in the state House from 1967 to 1969. A Yakima lawyer, he had taken a top managerial post with Boise Cascade in Idaho in 1969 when then-Agomey General Slade Gorton persuaded him to return and be his No. 2 man. Brazier chaired the state Utilities and Transportation Commission for six years. He was a lobbyist until retiring several years ago. Mike Lowry put him on the Public Disclosure Commission, a job he left last year with two years left to serve. saying the PDC was "a paper tiger. Legislators on both sides of the aisle have no intention of strengthening it so it can do its job." So tthis is a guy who has been all around the block in Olympia. He knows the territory, he knows the people. And he is "very, very unhappy," he said, "about Republicans putting all these things, like partial birth abortion (maybe) on the ballot. To be perfectly honest, I do not understand the transportation funding package but the very idea of putting something like that on the ballot, is irresponsible." The GOP proposal chiefly differs from the governor's in that it does not raise the gasoline tax, while his does, but shifts motor vehicle excise tax money from the General Fund into transportation and calls for bonding, which requires voter approval under Initiative 601. "The reason for our form of government, one of checks and balances, is so when the executive and legislative branches are not of the same party, it's up to them to work out a solution," Brazier said. "To put something that controversial on the ballot is not what they were elected for. In fact, he said, taxation measures should not be allowed in the initiative and referendum process. "Putting the property tax on the ballot last year was not good government, but it promised tax relief so the people voted for it. The Legislature should have given that relief. To put that on the ballot was a cop out, an irresponsible cop out." "I guess what Mr. Brazier wants to say," responded House Speaker Clyde Ballard, "is that the public is not smart enough to figure these things out. I have a lot of trust in the public. If we put this on the ballot, it will pass overwhelmingly, as property tax relief did. The public doesn't want more taxes. And referring these matters to the people is part of our : Constitution the last time I read it." Talk persists, I told BaUard, that the reason you have this Wanslxmation package is that state GOP chair Dale Foreman is calling the shots. (Republicans had the votes lined up for a gas tax increase last year but they went south when Foreman publicly opposed it. saying it would wreck their re-election chances). "That's a lie," said Ballard. "Period. We make our own line here. End of story." Senate Majority Leader Dan McDonald wasn't quite as testy in kissing off Foreman's influence. "I haven't talked to him in a month," he said. "It's a long time since I've been told what to do. I guess I've been going on automatic pilot." As for the transportation package, the reason Republicans want to use motor vehicle excise tax revenues instead of raising the gas tax, he said, is because most people think that's what the MVET tax paid on theirannualcar license renewals is for anyway, and are surprised to learn a lot of it is siphoned off into the general fund. It has to go to the ballot because that's required by Initiative 601, which was passed by the people. Personally, I favor raising the gas tax but 1 agree with Foreman that it's the kiss of death for Republicans. So is the alternative irresponsible? I don't know. I think it's called SYA. (Adele Ferguson can be reached at P.O. Box 69, Hansviile, Wa., 98340.) Maternity benefits study tells only half the story by Don C. Brunell, President Association of Washington Business A recent article in the Washington Post touted a report on international maternity benefits by a United Nations agency called the International Labour Organization. The article highlights the generous maternity benefits provided by several European countries, while noting that the United States government mandates only 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave. According to the article, Hungary gives six monthsofpaidleave; Italy grants five months; Canada, 17 weeks; Spain and Romania each allow four months of paid maternity leave. However, the article failed to mention that these same countries have ruined theireconomies with government policies which strangle employers in red tape, mandate extravagant vacation and employment benefits and virtually guarantee employees a lifetime job. ! government leaders are now realizing that their policies have increased prices, killed their competitiveness in the world marketplace and causedrampant unemployment. For instance, while America's jobless rate is 4.7 % unemployment across Europe is two to three times that of the U.S. with Spain posting a Depression-era jobless rate of 23%. Europe's leaders have finally learned that benefits are never free. Someone always pays, and ihat someone is always the employee - either in low wages or high unemployment. Across Europe, governments are gradually reducing mandated benefits, relaxing regulations and encouraging free-market competition. Unfortunately, European leaders also have learned that giving these benefits is a whole lot easier than taking them away. And I'll bet they wish now they would have been more prudent when issuing policies that sound and look good. They now understand that the best way government can benefit workers is to promote free market policies which increase competitiveness, stimulate job growth and expand opportunity. Washington State Senate takes steps to resolve farm worker, housing issue 4, Temporary and permanent housing must be addressed separately by State Sen. George Sellar, R-East Wenatchee Last summer, more than half of the state's 62.300 seasonal workers were without adequatesheiterduring harvest. This disturbing problem could have been solved had the governor chosen to sign a bill giving growers an opportunity toprovidetemporary shelter for their workers. This session, the Legislature is revisiting the farm worker housing issue.Thestam Senate recently approved a bill which addresses the dire need for temporary worker housing during harvest. After Gov. Gary Locke vetoed last year's measure, he visited Wenatcbee to discuss the problem with local growers. Out of this meeting came an agreement to support a new farm worker housing measure with minor changes to the temporary housing code. Throughout the sum mer, legislators visited farm worker housing projects and spoke with growers who were disappointed they were unable to provide temporary housing for their workers. Without the protection of new temporary worker code, many growers feared they would be slapped with a lawsuit for providing shelter that did not meet the state's stringent permanent building code. When the farm worker housing bill came before the Legislature this session, agricultural advocates were pleased to find an acceptable temporary worker housing code that would allow growers to provide for their workers without fear eta lawsuit. Unfortunately, this measure came with come strings. Senate Bill 6168 also included a provision to spend $2 million in general fund money to build permanent, up-to-code housing through the state Housing Trust Fund. The Senate acknowledged the need for farm worker housingmboth temporary and permanent. However, they decided these two very different needs should be addressed separately. The Senate approved SB 6168 as a solution to the state's temporary farm worker housing problems. As it stands, SB 6168 will allow growers to erect temporary shelter for their workers without having to meet the tough standards for permanent housing. These new standards willmake it easier for cherry, apple, and other growers to provide adequate, affordable housing for their workers, many of whom only use that shelter for a few weeks during thesummer months. Funding for permanent worker housing will most likely be debated as the Legislature crafts the 1998 supplemental budget. This must not become an all- or-nothing issue. Temporary farm workers outnumber permanent workers four to one. These workers are not asking forpermanent housing. All they want is aclean,comfortable place to rest during their short stay during harvest. It's time to stop the bickering and allow growers to provide adequate, affordable temporary housing for their workers. QUAD CITY HERALD d LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The following Letters to the Editor are not necessarily the views of the Quad City Herald or its employees. Ask support for Senate Bill 6339, House Bill 2883 Dear Editor, We all should remember from our history studies in school that one of the most important things that has made our country great and has kept it strong is the fact that although we are and have always been the melting pot of the world, we speak one language and every one understands. Being an orchardist, I have had to deal with the problem first hand the past twenty years. Thank GOd for the Hispanics, I know there would have been other problems without them but because the issue has not been pressed a very large percentage of the labor force still knows no or very little English. Not only is this a burden for employers but the schools: medical providers, merchants,churches, law enforcement and neighbors. I know there are other nationalities and languages but I speak of Spanish as that is the one I am acquainted with. Consider all the tax dollars that could be saved plus all the other problems that might be solved if English is made the official language of the state of Washington. I ask all voters to contact their state Representatives and Senators as well as Governor Gary Locke to please support these bills. Sincerely, Ruth Umberger 509-923-2354 Thank you for "Children First" in Pateros Letter to the Editor: On behalf of the Pateros Board of Directors, staff, and especially the students of Pateros School District, I would like to thank the voters of Pateros Schools for their support of the 1999 replacement maintenance and operation levy. Many times you, as district patrons, are reminded about investing in your children through education or investing in children through other state operated programs for at-risk youth. But, I would like to remind you of how much all of us at the school appreciate the family atmosphere, caring, and support that accompanies the students of Pateros School District.Thank you, community, for your investment in your children. Pateros definitely thinks of"Children First" in their thoughts, deeds, and most recently in positive votes. Bob Nolan Superintendent/ Elementary Principal Pateros School District There will be a delay mailing Douglas County Tax Statements Mrs. Mary E. Dodge wishes to advise Douglas County property owners that the mailing of tax statements for real property, personal proPerty and irrigation' ssmets"will'l ;'delayed due to 'a comper sbn'are ohveNion. Eve3jatiempfwill b6 made tO'have the statements inihe:mail before March 15, 1998. If you have questions please feel free to contact Mrs. Dodge at 884-9428 or 745-8525. Republican Caucuses . to be held March 3 ,,., The Brewster/Pateros Republican Precinct Caucus meeting wilbbe. held March 3 at Brewster Heights Packing lunchroom. Chairman Vern Westerdahl will call the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. for Brewster Rural, Brewster 1 and 2, Pateros City, Pateros Rural and Mone 1; 2; 3. The Republican Caucuses begins at 7:30 with a video, and'8:00 for business meeting. There will be discussion of important issues,:an opportunity for everyone attending to fill out a survey form listing their views on issues affecting us nationally, statewide and locally. This is one way to let politicians know what we are concerned about and what we don't like about Congress, the Legislature and the qounty government. Delegates to the County Convention will be elected. The County Convention will be held April 4, 1998 at the Cedars Inn in Okanogan. Baked beans, which were an American Indian dish, became a standard New England Sunday dish because Pilgrims were not allowed to cook on the Sabbath. Beans could be slow cooked overnight on Saturday. Ensuring Food Safety by Congressman Doc Hastings We all want to know that the foods we eat are safe. We made great strides toward this goal two years ago when the food Quality Protection Act was signed into law. This bipartisan legislation reformed the "Delaney Clause," an old food safety law that Protection Act is being implemented. I am very concerned by reports that the EnvironmentalProtectionAgency (EPA) may be implementing the Act in a manner that will force many of our farmers out of business. Recently, the EPA indicated that it may ban entire classes of pesticides and force banned many safe and effective chemical companies and farmers to pesticidesbecauseofoutdatedscientitic argue for their continued use. This standards and analysis, could potentially drive many of our These old standards certainly made sense in the 1950s when scientists had trouble detecting even fairly large amounts of pesticides on fruits and vegetables - - but not in the 1990s. Today's methods can detect even the most minuscule traces of pest control products. That's why we replaced the old Delaney Clause with a consistent and updated safety standard. This standard was designed to protect food quality by allowing the use of pesticides when it is reasonably certain there will be no harm to the consumer. Having the safest and most effective pesticides on themarket is vital to our economy in Central Washington land to the area's agricultural industries. The intent of Congress in reforming the Delaney Clause was to allow our farmers to use improved pesticides that will g eep fruit and vegetables pest free and safe. Unfortunately, problems have developed with how the Food Quality crops, which are considered minor crops in the United States, out of production. The Food Quality Protection Act was never intended to eliminate agricultural production that is dependent upon pesticide use. The Act was m cant to replace an outdated safety standard and increase the tools available for our farmers to grow crops. Banning reasonable and necessary chemical use makes no sense and clearly violates the intent of Congress, which passed the legislation unanimously. I have raised these concerns with the EPA and have requested a meeting to discuss these important issues with the head of the pesticide registration branch of the Agency. I will closely monitor the EPA's progress implementing the Food Quality ProtectionAct to ensure that our faxmers have access to the pesticides they need to keep fruits and vegetables safe for us all. Quad City Herald T, stabllshtd 1901 Ike Vallance Editor & Publisher Doris Vallanee Office Manager Wm. E. Vallance Associate Editor Cheryl Schweizer Staff Writer John Cleveland II Sports Barb Gibb Subscriptions Fred Hanke Advertising "left Chase Ad Design John Watson Printer Published every week on Thursday at Brewster, Washington. Entered as periodocals matter at the Post Office. Box 37 in Brewster, Okanogan County. Washington 98812. Telephone (509)689,2507. Periodicals postage paid at Brewster, Washington USPS 241-920. Postmaster, please send change of address m Quad City 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 Notio, 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 A happy note for us from Herky Balcom of Wenatchee, along with a new address. I quote, I love my paper so I need to receive them. sincerely Herky. Several years back Nita Watson, printer John's mother of Wenatchee, sent an apple cream pie to the QCH crew. It was absolutely delicious, I asked for the recipe. She sent it along with a note stating she got the recipe from a co-worker, Herky Balcom, yeats before. Herky was still living in Brewster at the time I asked for and received this recipe! Something has been missing from our paper so far this early spring. 1 can't believe there is not a buttercup or two to be found by now. Gone are the expert buttercup hunters DarbyZahn,Dr. HaroldandBerniece Lamberton, Jim Wick and Joyce Walburn. No longer with us, moved on, too busy or going to school, whatever, we have no buttercups! Pussy Willows are out, I saw them. 1 had to call Green Funeral Home in Seattle yesterday, imagine my surprise when business was finished the nice lady informed me she and her husband had lived in Okanogan several years back. Helen Maler said her husband Reverend Simon Maier pastored the Hope Lutheran Church here in Brewster for several years. Ill health made the move necessary to Seattle. She stated they just loved living here and they missed the fine people. Somebody handed me this past due note - cute - makes its point. Hello There: I'm the company computer. So far, o.tlLLL know that you haven't been making regular payments on your account. However, if I don't process a payment from you within 10 days, [ will tell a human. j.