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April 9, 1998     Quad City Herald
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April 9, 1998
 

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l The following articles Me not necessarily the views of the Ouad City Herald or its employees. Nobody ever really owns their home by Adele Ferguson It occurred to me once again, as I eyed the two big tax bills due this month, income and property, that you don't own your own home any more. No matter thai one of the high points of your life was or will be the day that precious deed is in hand. not in some bank's vault, and you say, OK, we did It. we finally paid off the mortgage, this place is OURS. WE own it. You dreamer you. You never thought for a minute that the taxes on that home would rise so high that you would be paying for it all over again in a matter of only a few years or the government will take it away from you. OK. I know g0vemment services are costly and I deplore our inability as taxpayers to force efficiencies, but why does the heaviest burden fall on the homeowner? I stress HOME owner. KitsapAssessorCarol Belas has what shecalls herABCDEFGH speech, which backs that premise. Belas heads the bipartisan group of 10 county assessors who have asked the state Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional that part of Referendum 47 of last year that caps annual property valuation growth at 15 percent. That's unless the appraised value exceeds assessed value by more than 60 percent, in which case it's phased in over four years, rather than beingpaid all at once. Belas's group argues that this will benefit areas that have spurts of growth value, like waterfront, but because the total in tax collections doesn't change, it shifts what these people won't pay to somebody else. "But home owners," said Mrs. Belas,"are the only ones who are taxed 100 percent market value. Here's my ABCDEFGH reasoning: A is for agricultural land, which, if it qualifies as income producing, can get a tax reduction. B is for business which also is not taxed 100 percent. The governor signed a law last year exempting business from being taxed on intangibles (i.e., the reputation of a Burger King cannot be included in its value). C is for community. We don't tax community centers, churches, non-profit places. D is for death. Cemetaries are exempt. E is for nvironment, and ecologically sensitive areas are not taxed at 100 percent. F is for forestland, which can get a 99 percent tax break. G is for government, courthouses, city halls and the like which are exempt. H is for homeowner, and are you taxed 100 percent? You betcha! There is a senior citizen exemption but it doesn't affect many." Those exemptions should be reviewed, she said. because surplus revenue in the state's coffers, thanks to Initiative 601, proves somebody's paying too much and it's the homeowner, who should have it returned. So how about reviewing those exemptions? I asked Senate Majority Leader Dan McDonald, who is credited with putting value averaging in Ref. 47, and what do you think about the assessors' lawsuit? "Those in glass houses better think about throwing stones," said McDonald. "This (value averaging) is modeled after the assessors' four-year valuation cycle, so we're only doing what the assessors are doing themselves. I got tired of going to meetings and telling people that. on the average, their values went up 6 percent, and having some little lady in the back of the room say, 'I don't care about average, I care about ME and my value went up 80 percent!' I'd look at her papers and, sure enough, she was right. By God, when we do this, we have something in it for that little lady. Yes, there will be a slight shift in tax burden, but this is for those folks that have a huge runup in value. It's not just the rich people." And do you think the exemptions are worth looking at? "Absolutelyl" said Mc Donald. "Tax churches and cemetaries? When I put that bill in, I'm going to put it in under your name." Go ahead, I said, I think the home owners will be all for it. (Adele FergusotA can be reached at P.O. Box 69, Hansville, Wa., 98340.) Customer service makes the difference by Don C. Brunell, President Association of Washington Business Picture this scenario. You have a large family, do a lot of baking and your oven catches fire. It is beyond repair. You check Consumer Reports and settle on the replacement. When you go to the appliance store, the salesman says, "Yep! That's a great oven and if you order and pay for it today, we'll have it shipped to our store no later than Friday--and here is the guy who can alter the hole in the wall so the oven fits. Just give him a call and we'll coordinate the rest." So you fork over $900 bucks on Wednesday, thinking you'll have the oven delivered on Friday and installed on Monday, as the "oven-fitter" promises. You take Monday morning offso you can be home when the oven fitter arrives. He calls and says he's on his way over. Then he calls from the appliance store telling you the oven hasn't arrived and is on back order. So, you call the appliance store and the salesman--who already got your $900--says, "Don't worry, Somebody else's oven just like yours will be here next Wednesday and we'll coordinate with the oven-finer and have it installed that day. Wednesday comes, you've taken another day off work to be there. No call from the appliance store or the oven-finer. So, you go to the appliance store and the manager says, "I can't help it because those ovens are on back order the distributor didn't put it on the truck today." Is it any wonder why businesses go out of business? Why didn't the salesman check to see if the oven was in stock? Why didn't the salesman coordinate with the oven-fitter like he said? Any why didn't the salesman call and tell you the oven wouldn't be arriving when it was supposed to so your boss doesn't get frustrated with you because you're off work and taking care of personal business? Maybe if more business owners asked those questions while the doors are open, they wouldn't have "going out of business" sales. SUPERINTENDENT'S CORNER Benefits of Summer School by Supt. Jim Kelly, Brewster School District iFor some time, the general feeling about summer school has been that thisextminstruction providesadditional educational opportunily rather than an actual level of education, such as a grade or semester. This philosophy suggests the parent should be to the child as the gardener is to the plant. Think about what the gardener does for the plant. Because he or she studies how a plant naturally grows, he or she provides the conditions to help it grow stronger, faster, and to a greater extent than it would under normal conditions. The gardener knows and respects the attributes of the plant and understands what it will take to fully develop its unique potential. He or she does not mandate, dictate, or coerce the plant. Heorshe facilitates growth bysupplying extra care and providing conditions which best suit the plant's nature. The "condition" which summer school creates for students is the opportunity foryoung people to discover and develop their potential by taking advantage of time outside the normal school period. All students want to learn, grow, and develop their potential. They want their energy and effort to make a difference,--for themselves and others. However, the education experience some students receive during the regular school year may be less than rewarding and may leave them frustrated., That's why participation in sum mer school can help meet two vital student needs. The fgst need is the opportunity to continue learning, thereby creating an extension of the regular school year and decreasing students' "forget factor"orregression during the summer months. Inaddition, the summerschool experieneeoften provides young people with an option of enrolling in classes which are either remedial or designed to provide enrichment experiences. The second need is the opportunity to develop interpersonal skills in a much less intense or demanding environment than encountered during the regular school year. Parents and educators may also find that summer school provides students with an opportunity to develop new friendships and extend current peer relationships. In addition, many young people find new educational interests as a result of the summer school program. People, like businesses, know that they can improve. Nevertheless, educators, students, and parents often interpret a call for improvement-- when introduced in the form of summer school--as an indictment that they have been unsuccessful in doing their job, wbetherit was teaching, learning, orproviding suplxxt This is a percept ion that can be changed by helping people respond favorably to the idea that summer school programs represent a learning opportunity that is attractive, exciting, and stimulating--and that makes good educational sense. Contact Jim Frey, Summer School Director in Brewster, at 689-3419 (ext. 304) to inquire about summer school opportunities which may be available. We will offer courses in Math, Reading, and Language skills. High school offerings include Washington State History, Reading. Math, and Driver Education. Summer school may be just what your child needs to maximize his or her educational experience. Parent Tips: "Good parenting and good teaching is loving and listening, sharing and supporting--it is being passionately human." Check with your child's classroom teacher to see if your child has acquired the prerequisite knowledge and skills to be successful at the next grade level. Discuss your child's strengths and weaknesses in depth. Then identify potential courses from which your child might acquire needed skills. Discuss with the classroom teacher how our summer school program will fit intoyourchild'soverall educational plan. Investigate any potential area of instruction prior to making a summer school decision. QUAD CITY HERALD d LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The following Letters to the Editor are not necessarily I views of the Quad City Herald or its employees. Washington, D.C. has little time for constituents Dear Editor, During the second week of March, I was part of a delegation that traveled to Washington DC. I left brimming with hope, bolstered by the belief that everyone has a voice in our government and excited about our long-standing appointments to see Dec Hastings, Jennifer Dunn, Patty Murray and Slade Gorlon. I returned frustrated and deeply concerned about the future of our region. Our first stop was Dec Hasling's office, where an aide was to give us a private tour of the capital. The aide was ill and our group of four had been forgotten. No problem, we said, we will take our own tour of government in action. We obtained passes to the Senate, stood in line, checked our cameras, endured metal detectors and searched of our purses and persons, and finally entered the Senate Gallery. As we sat down, the Senate stood up. They had adjourned. OK. It's only 12:30. Let's go to the House. We collected our cameras, went to the House side, ran the same gauntlet of security. We were finally ushered into the House Gallery at 12:45. The House adjourns at 12:50. We learned later that most members of Congress call it a week on Thursday and return Tuesday morning. Nice work if you can get it. The next day brought our first appointment, with Dec Hastings. Little did we know that he would be the only lawmaker to listen to our litany of concerns, all of which seem to fall on the deaf ear being turned toward the voices of rural America. Our list included: 1. We cannot sustain unfunded mandates. 2. We live on the fifth largest river in the world, yet we have no access to water. 3. The Safe Drinking Water Act presents small municipalities with astronomical bills for testing and filtration systems. 4. The Endangered Species Act is wreaking havoc on our agriculturally based economy. 5. The Davis Bacon Act, which requires prevailing wages on federally funded projects, forces cities to pay exorbitant wages and, in most cases, caused projects to cost twice as much, which in turn allows fewer projects to be funded. I fully realize that "we sold the farm" back in the 70's with the acceptance of the Boldt Decision. Unfortunately, no one seemed to consider the affect this and other decisions would have on the rural population 20 and 30 years down the road. It is time to reflect and revise. After our visit with Dec Hastings, we trooped over to Jennifer Dunn's office. She failed to show up for our appointment, although we had made it six weeks in advance, confirmed it and traveled 3000 miles to keep it, We saw one of her aides. On we tramped to Patty Murray's office. SenatorMurray gave up, perhaps, five minutes of her time, which did not make up for the arrogant and uncaring attitude we received from her aide. The next day, we presented ourselves to Senator S lade Gorton "s office. We're sorry, said his aide, Senator Gorton is far too busy to meet with you. Then, to add insult to injury, I crossed paths with a 25 year career bureaucrat. These people do us the most harm. Not only do they not have a clue about rural life, but they question its necessity.. After 1 explained to Ms. Bureaucrat the reason for our trip, she told me that when (not if) our dames are removed, we would no longer enjoy our low electricity costs. This seemed to give her particular glee. She went on to express her belief that farms have served their purpese, and would probably be unnecessary in 15-20 years. She expects cloned livestock and test tube produce to replace us. Since she fives in an artificial world, I am not surprised that she is counting on artificial food. But I didn't expect to end my trip standing in silence as our employees plot a future without us. Sincerely, Bonnie House, Mayor City of Brewster Babies License office closure The Department of Licensing reminds motorists that the Chelan Driver Licensing Office will close at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, April 10, 1998. The office will resume regular hours on Monday, April 18, 1998. The Chelan office hours are 8:30 a.m. until4:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday an d Friday, 9:30 a.m. until 4:30p.m.Thursday, closedon Saturdays and holidays. March 25 - a girl, Josie, to Melissa and Daniel Tindall, Winthrop. March 26 - a boy, Alejandro, to Maria and Alfredo Ruiz, Bridgeport...: ., March 29 - a boy, Amul fo, to Leticia Perezand Arnulfo Mercado, Brewster. March 29-agirI, Mariela, to Vicenta and Emigdio Tones, Pateros. Brewster Police Department March 15: Ernesto Cavajal, Okanogan, reported someone had damaged the paint on his vehicle while it was parked outside the Rio Theater. Okanogan County Public Utility District workers reported that Seven lights on the walkway along the banks of the Columbia River had been damaged; lenses and bulbs were broken and items were removed. The case is still under investigation. March 18: Corey Riggan, Brewsier, reported that someone threw a rock at his car while he was driving on SR 97 at Brewster Plaza. The rocks came from the direction of the Plaza; in the same incident, a paint ball struck a van driven by Riggan's wife. The rock thrown at Riggan's car broke the windshield, causing about $700 damage. March 21: Meliton Valdovinos, 34, Brewster. was cited for fourth degree and resisting arrest after a fight at Triangle Texaco. March 27: A 16 year old Brewster boy was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. March 28: Elisio Cruz, 25, Brewster, was cited for driving while under the influence of intoxicants. Alejandro Oregon, 28, Bridgeport, was cited for driving while under the influence of intoxicants. April 2: Minda Stahlberg, 46, Bridgeport, was cited for driving while under the influence of intoxicants. April 4: Chico Bercier, 19, Bridgeport, was cited for being a minor in possession of alcohol. April 5: Juan Barcenas, 19, Brewster, was arrested for fourth degree assault, domestic violence. Douglas County Sheriff's Office March 31: A 16 year old Mansfield boy was cited for driving without a valid driver's license. April 5: Three 17 year old boys and one 16 year old boy were cited for being minors in possession of and consuming intoxicants. Shane Housden, 18, Bridgeport; Patrick Morris, 18, Brewster, and Charles Bordaner, 19, Brewster, also were cited for being minors in possession of and consuming intoxicants. They were cited during a party at a home on State Street on Bridgeport Bar. ;" a" ' Quad City Herald -_..stab[Ulie[ 1901 lke Vallance Editor & Publisher Doris Vallance Office Manager Wm. E. Vallance Associate Editor Cheryl Schweizer Staff Writer John Cleveland [I Sports Barb Gibb Subscriptions Rod Webster 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 to Quad City Herald, Box 37, Brewster, Wasington 98812. I 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 Notice of Church entertainments where an admission fee is charged, cards of thanks, resolutions of condo. lance or notices Intended to promote private business of any kind must be paid for at regular rates. The Desk Behind the Editor By Doris VaUance For several weeks, well maybe months my head was made up to clean the oven. An absolute disasterfi'om pure neglect over a long time. Always the oven information book has been on a shelf under the phone.Actually there are three sheh'es behind sliding doors, not glass, need l say m ore as to the state of condition of these hidden s heh'es.My goal for this SatuKlay, some weeks back, was shbly bright, clean oven. My search for the dumb book was useless, absolutely gone, nowhere to be found, and now 1 have three sheh'esfull of JUNK all over the floor to be sorted. To keep, to not keep, why did I keep? The day wore on, the oven stayed unclean, and l found no book of instructions. In fact several other sheh,es were also searched, but being somewhat smarter, and total lack of no time, ! cautiously picked through reams of stuff, not taking anything off the sheh,es. Even lke joined the search with suggestions and a look or two. Saturday, I again had my head made up, the oven will get clean today or else A telephone call made to Webster Furniture, please can you give me an idea of what to do? With fi'iendly patience she told me to set timer, lock dent; push this', set that, she thought, but all ovens are just a little different and mine is several years oM. 1 tried, a half hour later it is still blowhlg cOM. Somethhzg not right. I evet went to the car, drove to the furniture store, to see for myself. Hem,ens,they am all so new, so different. By now, one would imagine I should just get out the oven cleaner can spray the darn thing and start scrubbing. Not this oven, just the thought and I have to go sit down and rest/ One last try, will I succeed? lf l push this button, this handle goes into lock position, hmm, just maybe. For some reason, I know not why, ! opened the oven door and would you beliewe what l saw-a complete set ofinstructions on how to clean oven printed on the door! I laughed at myself, just how darn dumb can I get /