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Quad City Herald
Brewster, Washington
May 28, 1998     Quad City Herald
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May 28, 1998

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Papa 2 OO The following mrti/ee m not neeeerily the vlewe of me Quad Cily Herald or Ire employeee. May 28 1998 Quad CiHemM Citizen lawsuits are an environmental wild card by Don C. Bruueil President Association of Washington Business Sometimes you can try to do everything right and still end up doing something wrong. Nowhere is this more true than in the complex world of environmental regulation. Case in Point: J. L. Darling, a small Tacoma company that makes writing paper. It's owners, brothers Scott and Todd Silver, always tried to be good environmental stewards. In 1994, they switched to a more expensive solvent called Toluene because it prevented the formation of a hazardous residue during the manufacturing process. They used it for two years until they discovered an even more environmentally friendly solvent. But their decision to use Toluene would come back to haunt them. When the Silvers began using Toluene, they filed the necessary forms with state and local agencies. But they didn't realize they also needed to file with the federal EPA under the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). Two years after they had stopped using Toluene, the Silvers received a letter from a local aUomey who informed them that they had violated EPCRA by failing to file the federal form, and were about to he sued by a small environmental group called the Waste Action Project (WAP) for penalties of $25,000.00 per day, plus attorneys' fees and costs. The attomey did not mention that his partner was a board member of WAR The EPA declined to prosecute, but WAP demanded a settlement of $2,500 in attorneys' fees (for two letters and a meeting) and a $6,000 contribution to a non-profit group. When the Silvers turned to AWB for helD, they were directed to the Seattle law Fn'm of Preston Gates & Ellis, who took the unusual step of representing the Silvers free of charge. When the Silvers' attorney warned the environmentalists that an upcoming Supreme Court decision might leave WAP liable for costs and attorneys' fees, they promptly dropped the case. WAP folded just in time. In March, the Supreme Court ruled that citizens could not bring suit for Apaperwork violations that had been corrected. Many state and federal environmental laws allow for citizen lawsuits, and there are legitimate "bad guys" who deserve to get sued. Unfortunately, some environmental groups forego those battles in favor of targeting small fLrms who can't fight back. Faced with a prolonged court battle over a minor technical violation, those small companies simply pay up. This situation must change. Business owners should consider hiring a consultant to ensure they fully comply with environmental laws. And even more importantly, mainstream environmentalists should speak out against environmental groups which abuse the law and give genuine citizen lawsuits a bad name. You don't have to believe in Jesus Christ to be a Republican by Adele Ferguson It was really something. There stood Rep. Scott Smith of Graham,ardent pro-lifer, superconservative, telling one of the most hidebound Christian right groups in the state that you didn't have to believe in Jesus Christ to be a Republican. Actually, Smith had been invited to keynote the Republican convention on the subject of Initiative 200, eliminating gender and race-based preferences in hiring, etc., and he gave a pitch for it. But he moved quickly to a subject being taken around the state now by GOP leaders as they face elections in which they barely hold the Senate and have a passel of House members retiring or running for other offices. They further have the problem of disenchanted Republicans who say the party hasn't lived up to its promises when it took the majority nationally and in the slate House in 1994, and in the House and Senate in 1996. They threaten to withhold their contributions. Add to that the American Heritage party putting some sugar in the GOP gas tank this fall by running candidates who can't win but who would divert Republican votes. Republican primary winners could be clobbered in November when the third party candidate siphons off votes that normally would have gone to them: It's a Democratic dream come true. So Smith is one of the rescue squad on the wail to convince Republicans where their loyalties should lie. He skirted the issue of abortion, the burr under the saddle of the diehards who insist all Republicans oppose it totally or forego endorsement and support, but he said there is not one issue that makesor breaks a Republican. "I am pro-life," he said, "but is belief in Jesus Christ our Savior a prerequisite to being a Republican? I say no. Former Rep. Gene Goldsmith, a Jew, voted Republican. A lot of good Republicans left the party because they said Republicans hadn't done enough. But we got rid of President Clinton's health care program right here in Washington State, and we did it with a Democratic governor. We revamped the welfare rolls, got a whole new juvenile justice system, passed a whole slew of DUI laws, lowered taxes over $1 billion. Sure, we failed on a couple of things, but we haven't given up." The GOP is a big tent, said Smith. "Do we want more conservatives? Yes. But we need more main streamers too. If you take just the right wing conspiracy wackos like me, we have no majority. Fiscal conservatives have no majority. Liberals have no majority either. I am thankful for the moderates because we can't keep the majority without each other. We don't have to agree on every issue. When you expect 100 percent voting with you, it's time for you to run, because the only 100percent voting you'll get is you." Smith got his message across because the convention adjourned without passing a litmus test for candidates, i.e., you vote our way or else. ' What Smith said is what he and state chair Dale Foreman are saying "every chance we get," House Speaker Clyde Ballard told me. "I spoke to all the Republicans, committeemen and women, county chairs, about the things we accomplished. We've done a lot no one thought we could do. I had staff make up a list of key items over the past four years that's a dozen pages. If we had not been in control, these issues would never have received a hearing from Democrats.You can only be successful in changing things if you're in control." As for the I0 or 12 super conservatives who have formed a caucus of their own in the House to push their own agenda, i.e., ban on partial birth abortions, etc., "I believe in conservative issues," said Ballard. "I look at what we can do together, not what this faction or that faction can do." An the American Heritage party? "They may probably create problems," he sai'l, "but electing Democrats is not going to advance their cause." (Adele Fcrgusou can be reached at p.o. Box 69, Hansville, Wa., 98340.) 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. Response to fire hydrants Letter to the Editor Response: Mayor Bonnie House As a former resident near the city of Brewster "Thank Godt"No longI I just read an interesting article in your local newspaper about "Fire Hydrants[" Fact # 1 - Weather mud, residue. Fact #2 - Un-proper fitted underground pipelines; usually due to weather, mnd slides, etc. or possible city ignorance (Not Fire Dept.)l Fact #3 - City reservoir holdings! Fact #4 - It is virtually impossible to blow out all fire hydrants at the same time[ Dabl And I can hardly believe that there is enough man power to ever attempt this, for it would take nearly 100 persons strategically placed all over the city for hoursl Dah[ I certainly have compassion for your city residents that had to go through the process of unsightly toilet bowels and the concerns they may have! You certainly made yourself look like a Hero for your concern over this matter and then in the process nearly persecuted a man; Mr. Mike Webster City Fire Chief and the Brewster Fire Department for their efforts in helping you and your city for safety measures[ I sure wished where I lived we had volunteers. This letter you wrote to the Editor does not make the Mayor out to he appreciative and ifI did not know better, it sounds more like a "Lets pass the bnckt" and pat yourself on the back! Politics, politics (I think that is a start!). If I lived in your city I Would start a petition to see how many people would like a new mayor that stands behind her government! Hah. Maybe if this letter gets published someone might come up with a idea for thist I personally think your volunteer fire dept. should have a public apology by the Mayor and learn how to find out facts before opening mouths! L.C. & Mary McBride 1704 S. Cook St. Spokane, WA. or Flagstaff Arizona Fire Dist. #9 Thank GOd Babies mlnlllll May 17 - a boy, Javier, to Macrina Corrales and Javier Garcia, Brewster. May 23 - a boy, Dustin, to Angela and Daniel Stolp, Bridgeport. I Ouad City Herald tatfOlief 1901 Ike VaUance Editor & Publisher Doris Vallance Office Manager Win. E. Vallance Associate Editor Cheryl Schweizer Staff Writer John Cleveland II Sports Barb Gibb Subscriptions Rod Webster Advertising Teri 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. 1 YEAR SUBSCRIPTION Okanogan $18.00 Washington State $22.00 Out of State $27.00 Out of Countw 32.00 Single Copy ,50 Subscriptions must be paid in advanc Notice of Church entertainments where an admlmion fee is charged, cards of thanks, resolutlon of condo- lence or notices lnteuded to promote private business of any kind must be pakl for at regular rates. High notes and down sidesat Pateros School Dear Ike, Pateros School District is undergoing some very wonderful and exciting changes. We are advancing greatly in our technology, careers & discipline programs and Essential Learning Requirements, all dramatic changes. Also this year, two very involved and dedicated people will no longer be serving the dislrict, changes we regret. Both these faces are associated with "What's right with Pateros Schools." Both people will be missed but will always be successful in Whether they pursue. Kathy Rogahn was a school board member for 15 years. A very long time to attend to school bills, problems, policy, people. So many positive changes occurred during her tenure. She acted as contractor for the new shop building, organizing numerous volunteers to get it done. She served with three different superintendents and was mentor to many, new board members. While on watch, several school board goals were accomplished while the budget stayed intact. She wan't afraid to ask the tough questions it took to be a good board member, always acting on what she thought was best for the district and students. Thank you Kathy, for your long community service to the Pateros School District. Joe Worsham has been one and the same with the Pateros Billygoats and Nannies, for a generation. He wag presentateveryPaterosfunction,school concerts, carnivals, and sports events. He wore several hats while at Pateros, principal, head football and baseball coach, athletic director, and librarian. Besides being, the guiding light as High School principal to students and staff, he has won numerous awards for outstanding football and baseball coach. He was the "B" schools proponent at the W.I.A.A. meetings and provided all the schedules for all the seasons' sports. Joe and his wife Jeanne, Pateros Kindergarten teacher, raised three children here and still have their fourth in school. You could always count on Joe for a corny joke to precede a Pateros School event. He, his jokes, and his vast dedication to our school will be greatly missed. Good luck, Joe, and thank you. Sincerely Yours, Beverly Zwar, Chairman Pateros School Board Brewster park area not entirely city's Dear Ike, Thank you for your article of last week concerning the city's plan to develop an area on West Main Avenue into a park for our citizens. I feel the need to clarify one point concerning this topic. The vacant area mentioned in the article is not owned entirely by the city. Owners of the area are the city of Brewster, which owns the majority of land, and the Brewster Triad Corporation, which owns a smaller section. John Pariseau of theTriad Coqxlation has not only agreed to let the city develop the area, but has also provided a generous monetary donation to help move the project forward. Please publish this clarification in your next edition. Sincerely, Bonnie House, Mayor City of Brewster Fire department not responsible for black water Dear Editor, After reading the finger-pointing letter from our illustrious mayor of Brewster, I found myself contemplating exactly who or what she was trying to blame. It seems that black waterrunning out of the fire hydrants around town cause quite a stir down at city hall, as it should have. For those who are not aware, the hydrant water is the SAME water that flows through our pipes into our houses. It was implied that the Brewster VOLUNTEER Fire Department didn't have a clue as to what they were doing flushing the hydrants. That it wasn't done "correctly". I also heard that the main reason was that the Fire Dept. opened all the hydrants at the same time, which disturbed the sediment in the city water lines to flow out all these open hydrants. Why is all that sediment in there anyway? The funny part is that only one hydrant was opened at a time and upon opening, the black water flowed freely. I should know, I was the one who opened that hydrant. It also came to my attention, that the Fire Dept. is no longer allowed to use the fire hydrants for training, flushing, or anything else that is non-emergency use. The Fire Dept. is only allowed to use the hydrants in an emergency situation. So it goes to stand that we now can only "simulate" opening a hydrant and "simulate" connecting the hoses and "simulate" pumping water toput out a fae. I wouldn't wunt to be the one whose house is on fire and have that fu-e crew pull up and "simulate" putting it out. And without realistic training ,'it becomes very hard to teach new crew members what they have to do in a real situation. Remember, all the Vtre Dept. members are volunteers. Without them your insurance rates would skyrocket, everything you have worked for all your life could go up in flames simply because the Fire Dept. didn't know what or how to attack a fire because they could not do realistic training. I pay too much for taxes and insurance now and am extremely fortunate to have so many who give up their own time to volunteer to protect our city and district: Most take it for granted that the Fire Dept. will always be there, and in most cases they will, but take a look at what's happened to Pateros, their Dept. is down to just 4 people and a handful of high school volunteers and if they don't get some help they could close... Do you, as a citizen of Brewster want that to happen?... I for one don't... I appreciate what we have and I think that city officials should take a long hard look at what is best for the citizens of Brewster and not the city officials. Oh, and another thing, for those of you taxpaying citizens of Brewster and Okunogan Fire District #5, the Fire Dept. pays a hydrant fee, yes a hydrantrental fee tothecity of Brewster of several thousand dollars a year, which comes out of the VOLUNTEER Fire Dept. budget. This rental fee, as I understand it is for maintenance of the hydrants i.e. keeping the weeds clear, flushing them twice a year, lubrication for the valve ports, painting, replacing worn hydrants, etc. And guess who is supposed to perform these maintenance actions?... You guessedit theBrewstercity maintenance crews. So my suggestion to you madam mayor is simply this.., if we can only nse hydrantsin an emergeneysitmtion... then the Fire Dept. should only have to pay hydrant rental to the city of Brewster in those same emergency situations... Also be it known that this letter is no way shape or form states or im plies the position of the Brewster VOLUNTEER Fire Dept. It is solely my personal opinion and in no way reflects the position of the Brewster Fire Dept. Any rebuttal or reply should be addressed to me personally not the Fire Dept. J.D. Smith P.O. Box 1288 Brewster, WA. 98812 Sometimes we get nice letters Ike, Doris & Staff, Thank you for your hard work to bring your community the news and human interest stories. Your paper brings the community together. It also keeps us out-of-towners up to date on the home town happenings. Best wishes through the coming yearl Keep up the good work. Rich Barrutia Spring Concert Dear Editor, We wish to congratulate and thank Mrs. Noe and the Pateros school students for an enjoyable spring concert. Mrs. Noe's professional leadership and the students response and performance were excellent which our community may well be proud of. Laura Ferguson, Alice Bohun, Phyllis Dalrymple, & Lila Duval Vehicle accident claims life of Bridgeport girl A 14 year old Bridgeport girl was killed when she was thrown from the van she was riding in Friday evening, May 22. Charges of furnishing liquor to minors and manslaughter are pending against her father. Chelsea Smith, also known as Chelsea Stanger, was one of a number of passengers in a van owned by her father, Alan Smith, 36, Bridgeport. Smith was not driving; "he had been drinking most of the day, as had been most of the kids (in the vehicle)," said Okanogan County Sheriff Jim Weed. According to the teenagers, Smith had shared liquor and marijuana with them; most of the group had been together since early afternoon. The van was driven by Kisha Schwiekert, 17, Omak. She had no license but had not been drinking. Weed said the group was on Omak Lake road, traveling to Nespelem, when the accident occurred. One of the van's tires was low and apparently they were on their way to Nespelem to fill it with air, Weed said. The van was east of Omak Lake when it began to slide as Schwiekert drove around a comer. Alan Smith grabbed the wheel; the van went out of control and rolled over, coming to rest on the passenger side. Chelsea Smith was thrown from the vehicle and died at the scene. The remaining passengers were taken to Mid-Valley Hospital in Omak, where they were treated and released. They were Kalen Phillips, 15, Bridgeport; Ricky Crowl, 17, Bridgeport; Justin Miller, 14, Bridgeport; Geraldine McDonald, 17, Okunogan, and Malcolm Carson, 19, Nespelem. Alan Smith was arraigned Tuesday, May 26 on one count of manslaughter and five counts of furnishing intoxicants to minors. Bridgeport Honor Society inducts four Students Vidal Areiniega, Teresa Notes, Delia Hemandez, and Todd Perkins havebeen chosen to beinducted into the Bridgeport Torch chapter of the National Honor Society. To be selected for National Honor Society a student must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 throughout high school and maintain this GPA for the duration of his or her high school years, the student also must demonstrate characteristics of scholarship, leadership, and service. This year the Bridgeport Torch Chapter of the National Honor Society inducted Vidal Arciniega of the class of 1999, and Todd Perkins, Teresa Flores, and Delia Hemandez allofthe class of 2000. The current members of the Bridgeport Torch Chapter of the National Honor Society are Melissa con't on page 4