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June 27, 1996     Quad City Herald
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June 27, 1996
 

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nlllmm The tollowlng articles are not nocoesarlly the views of the Quad City Herald or its employees. Juns 27 lgg6 Ouad City Hrald John Wayne for: ;tate school dil ector by Adele Ferguson Remember that old western where the town seemed hopelessly out of control until John Wayne rode in, at which a delighted Gabby Hayes exclaimed, "'Somebody has come to town!" Well, take heart, all you parents frustrated over your kids' inability to spell, you teachers frantic over disciplinary problems, and you property owners being squeezed out of your homes by tax-gobbling schools. Somebody has come to town. Actually, he's in Kent. Chris Vance is a King County councilman who is one of eight people running for state Superintendent of Public Instruction to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of AIDS-stricken Judith Billings. He's 34, pretty young, but he considers it just the right age. "I've got a mortgage and two kids," he said. "'One starting kindergarten this fall, and a newborn. I live in a classic suburban subdivision with other young parents. And if there's anybody who "knows what's happening in the schools, it's parents and teachers, not bureaucrats." Vance spent two years in the state House, 1991-93, working on the Education Committee where he co-sponsored school reform legislation to increase academic standards and require accountability from educators to ensure kids meet them. "A diploma should be tied to the same type of standards that lawyers have to meet when they must pass the bar exams before they can get their license," he said. "All across the country, the educational establishment is engaged in passive resistance to this. Some think the purpose of schools is to turn kids into good citizens. An extreme view from some on the right is that the goal is to de-emphasize academics to prepare kids to work in factories." But when he becomes state schools chief, said Vance, things are going to change. The educational aristocracy of the Washington Education Association will no longer run the show. He believes in merit pay for teachers. The old argument against that is who decides which teachers are meritorious? Let the test scores of the kids decide, he says. School levies? "There may have been a time when we underfunded schools," said Vance. "But we have increased spending by 25 percent over inflation, while test scores have gone down. Dollars don't equal learning. Too unuch money intended for use in the classroom is diverted by the administrators, who drive taxpayer- supplied cars. have their own personal computers. beepers and costly equipment while some teachers are forced to pay for their own classroom supplies. We spend way too much on education administrative overhead and we need Io pare the bureaucracy.'" The burden of supporting public education must be shifted from the property owners, he said. The SP1 sits on the Board of Natural Resources which manages tidelands, croplands, timber trust lands. State Lands Commissioner Jennifer Belcher has cut harvests, he said, and SPI Billings has just gone along. "Congress gave us those lands to pay for schools and the SPI, for God's sake, should be an advocate for getting the money. They (the board) are more concerned over protecting the Canadian lynx than schools for kids" What parents want, said Vance, is to know their kids are getting a quality education in a safe environment. without disruption from unruly students. He once co- sponsored a law giving teachers unilateral authority to permanently expel chronical!y disruptive kids, and was laughed at. "But we can't let incorrigibles drag the other kids down." There should be more parental involvement in their kids' education, he said. He supports giving them a choice of schools, letting them see all materials used, and no funny business."lf I found out they were asking my kid such things as do I tell secrets to my mother and father, I'd go up there and beat the crap out of someone." TheConstimtion,said Vance,"givesthe SPI supervision over all matters relating to schools. I'm not going to be like the ones we've had re:endy that got elected and you never heard from them again. I'm going to be aggressive. I'm very young, very traditional. Educators today look with scorn on the little red school house and flash cards, but kids learned the basics then. They're going to learn them again." Your cue, Gabby Hayes! (Adele Ferguson can be reached at P.O. Box 69, Hansville, WA. 98340.) Alaska Goverl00or follows. Clinton's lead on Tort Reform by Don C. Brunell, Pres; Assoc. of Washington Business While most people across the nation were reading about Alaska's wildfires, Alaskan business leaders were scorched by Democrat Gov.Tony Knowles" veto of a comprehensive tort reform bill. The bill, supported by Republican lawmakers, would have capped punitive damages, set up an arbitration system for small claims and established penalties for lawyers who file false claims. Knowles, an attorney, said the bill was flawed by a last-minute clause that applied a $300,000 cap on punitive damages to cases currently making their way through the courts. That, implied Knowles, could endanger the Exxon Valdez settlement. But House Speaker Gail Phillips (R-Homer) suggested the veto was more likely related to the governor's strong support from trial lawyers. I was on a fishing trip in Homer When the Veto occurred, so I began asking Small business owners Wha't they thought about it. Needless to say, they felt burned by the governor. For example, a tee-shirt vendor whose political insights rival those of a small-town barber, was unimpressed with the governor's explanation. "'Even 1 know the Exxon Valdez case is a federal lawsuit and the retroactive cap doesn't apply. Give me a break!" Knowles responded to the criticism by setting up a task force to rewrite and perfect the legislation. Good luck. The Alaska tort reform fight brought back memories of the 1986 battle in the Washington legislature when then-Senators Ted Bottiger and Phil Talmadge tried to kill a tort reform bill pushed by a coalition of business. schools, local governments, hospitals and doctors. When opponents mounted a high-pressure campaign to convince Gov. Booth Gardner to veto Ihe legislation, he agreed to listen to both sides. But unlike Knowles. Gardner made the tough decision, instead of handing it off to a task force. I remember when I talked with Gov. Gardner. he asked how business would view a veto lifiked to a task force assigned to perfect the bill. 1 remember clearly saying, "Governor, this is like the Super Bowl, we may never get here again. So sign it. and if there are problems we can fix them ,later.'" He signed the bill. ,Despite criticism from the press characterizing him as"Booth-the-feint-heart." he took a stand, he took the risk and did what he thought was right. If Alaska had a governor like Booth Gardner, they'd be charting a new course today toward a more balanced legal system instead of giving, trial attorneys another year to mount a campaign agmnst tort reform. eed workshop s( neduled in Mansfield Three credits for pesticide recertification will be available at a ' Noxious Weed Workshop July 2, 7:00 p.m. at Mansfield School. Mary Gilmore from UATNorthwest will speak about weed control around the farmstead, emphasizing the specific weeds found commonly in Douglas County. She will also discuss the ways pesticides work, and why they are effective on plants but have little effect on mammals.. Liquor license approved The Washington State LiquorControl Board has approved the issuance of a class H license, to sell spirituous liquor. beer. and wine for on-premises consumption in conjunction with food sales for Hub Tavern, Inc., at The Hub, 154 Pateros Mall, Pateros. Tom Brannon, WSU Extension agent, will review weed identification and methods for keeping rangeland and pastures vigorous to resist weed invasion. She will discuss designing an integrated pest management plan for your farm. I Babies I II June I 1 - a girl, Grace, Laura Hardy and Keith Wohlford, Winthrop. June 21 - a girl, Dawn, to Jennifer and David Creveling, Methow. June 22- a boy,Christian, to Francisca and Salvador Heruandez, Brewster. June 25 - a boy, Luke, to Dana and Jim Divis, Brewster. June25 - a boy, Miguel, toGuadalupe Garcia and Pedro Munoz, Brewster. , QUAD CITY HERALD J ,. / LETTEoRS TOTH,E oEoDJTOHL i the views of the Quad City Herald or its employees. Ike, Doris, Bill and Quad City Staff. I really meant to answer your survey before this, but as you know, people put things off. I expressed myself verbally to others, and to Q.C. Staff that we were very pleased with the Q.C. Herald. Now, on paper, I will try to express my appreciation for the QCH. First, we do appreciate the coverage of the sports. The write-ups are very good and no bias is shown. The pictures of the sports programs are excellent and the reports are fully covered. I like the editorial coverage also. Doris, I enjoy your personal touch and look forward to reading them. While I don't like the names of my family and family gatherings in the paper, I do enjoy the personal reports on others that I know in the community. Bill does the the photography very well and the write-ups are good. While I now am retired and don't take much part in community activities, I do enjoy reading about them. The editorials by the syndicated writers, I avoid reading -- mainly because I do not like those writers and their pessimistic viewpoints -- Adele Fergesen mainly. The advertising is excllent in fact  I look forward to Thursday's mail-- for the QCH. Thank you, ' Caroline Hymer Fireworks con'tfrompage I The fireworks show will begin // I at dark, Contributors to the fireworks show will get their nameorbusiness listed on the Kiwanis reader board on Main Avenue in Brewster, Westerdahl said. The SAL has set up accounts at either Brewster bank to handle donations or you can contact the American Legion or SAL members Mike Chapman, Tom Flynn, Fred Wilste or Westerdahl. The SAL also will be holding another comedy night to help raise money on June 29 featuring Jay Wendell Walker. Oad City Herald 7.5"tablLfcd 1901 lke Vallance Editor & Publisher Doris Vallance Office Manager Wm. E. Vallance Associate Editor Cheryl Schweizer Staff Writer John Cleveland I1 Sports Barb Gibb Subscriptions Rod Webster Advertising Teri Frost Ad Design Pat Kegley Clerk John Watson Printer Published every week on Thursday at Brewster, Washington. Entered as second class matter at the Post Office, Box 37 in Brewster. Okanogan County. Washington 98812. Telephone (509)689-2507. Second class postage aid 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 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- lence or notices Intended to promote private business of any kind must he paid for at regular rates. State Grange Master Bob Joy says regulation helps rural citizens. Although it is politically correct in an election year to come out for less government and fewer regulations, in many cases government involvement and regulations have worked to the advantageofruml residents according to Bob Joy, leader of the Washington State Grange. Joy's comments came during his report today to delegates attending the opening session of their 107th annual Washington State Grange convention at the Kennewick High School. It was Joy's first address following his election to the top Grange post at last year's convention. "For many people, less government regulation sounds like a good thing," Joy said about agencies and rules that govern utilities. However, "When it comes to deregulating services, rural areas may loose out." Joy singled out the telephone industry and the FederaITelecommunicationsAct of 1996. While acknowledging that effects of the recent legislation on rural customers remains to be seen, he acknowledged that rural areas are more costly for telephone companies to serve. "To avoid the prohibitively high telephone rates that would result from an unregulated industry, the Grange is working to find solutions," Joy said. "We have started a rural telecommunications discussion group with the telephone companies and other rural interest groups. Our goal is to listen to the needs and concerns of various groups and help to develop a plan that everyone can live with. In this case, well thought-out regulation may be ofbenefit to rural telephone customers," Joy said. Joy moved from telecommunications issues to electric and Internet service to rural communities. "It is not good to have the attitude that a person who chooses to live in the rural areas should have to live without," he said. That attitude was prevalent years ago when farmers sought electric service and it is cropping up again when rural people seek Internet access. He recalled the history ofrural electrification and how citizens themselves, through the Grange, had to fight to get low-cost electricity to their farms in the 1930s and 1940s. The electric cooperatives and public utility districts they established then are under a newthreat, Joycautioned.Becaaseofchanges in the electricity industry, market forces are making energy supplied by Bonneville Power Administration less competitive and some larger public power utilities are considering purchasing power from other sources. This, Joy said, will leave smaller PUDs and cooperatives with the responsibility of paying for escalating costs which the BPAis required tO shouldersuch as those associated with restoring fish runs and paying for the Washington Public Power Supply System nuclear plants. "We cannot sit back and allow public power to be eliminated because we refuse to support BPA in the hopes that low-cost power will be available through competition," Joy warned. "Don't sit back and ignore your PUD" or cooperative, Joy urged his Grangeaudience."Thingscan happen quickly and it starts with the elections to the board. Also, it is important to support your PUD system so that they are able to ward off the attacks that are continually occurring. These challenges involveelimination ofpreference so that the private (investor-owned) utilities can have equal access to Bonneville power. If this occurs, the public systems will be unable to compete with the mega-bucks available from those private utilities. This will allow private utilities the benefit of an infrastructure built with public funds without having to spend their own funds. The PUDs would have to raise rates and would still be unable to compete," Joy said. Joy noted that customers of public power systems enjoy local control while they pay an average 28 less for electricity than customers of privately-owned utilities. The effects of deregulation and less government involvement also are felt on the farm. Not only are food and fiber producers having to face attacks from individuals and groups opposed to basic agricultural practices, but farmers are now having to cope with elimination of traditional subsidies without a collateral release of government restraints on free markets. "It is important to remember that without subsidies, many farmers would have been out of business years ago," Joy said. "The elimination of subsidies is not the problem; it is the elimination of subsidies while still controlling markets and production that will be devasting." Adverse growth management regulations, on the other hand, are government actions that are squeezing many farmers, Joy added. While those rules may preserve farm land," theavailability o f farm "land will not guarantee the survival of agriculture," Joy warned. "Without a profit margin, nobody will be able toafford to farm, and in the situation, growth management will only guarantee abandoned, weed-infested land." Last year the G ran ge worked for passage of Initiative 167 and Referendum 48, two measures that would have legislated certain property rights for landowners. Even though the measures did not pass at the ballot box, Joy feels that "the final words have not been spoken" about the issue of property rights. ''The Grange will work to see that a solution is found and implemented" which will compensate landowners for their losses which result from negative controls over uses of private properly. Other topics covered by Joy in his ietigthy address included outcome-based education, our criminal justice and legal system, the rights and responsibilities of families, transportation funding and taxation. He also issued an endorsement of the AG in the Classroom program which trains educators to include basic agriculture education, in their, curriculum. An.olher educational effort, the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation, also received praise during Joy's address. The Grange, which has approximate!y 60,000 members in Washington state, is a fraternal organization composed predominantly of rural and small-town residents. The National Grange was organized in 1867 and the Washington State Grange dates from 1889. The organization is involved in community service and legislative action. The annual convention attracts up to 1,500 people. Quad City Herald POLICE BEAT Douglas County Sheriff's Office June 22: Roger Grissom, 36, Oroville, was cited for third degree driving with a suspended license. The Desk Behind the Editor By Doris Vallance Ike picked up the Texas Tubens, Gregg, Deanna, Shawna,Alicia and Kelsey in Seattle for a week at home. Those teenage girls thought they had come to the end of the earth. No shopping mall, no movie, nothing to do/Even the house inventory of games proved to be very poor in selections. Several times I showed them my list of unfinished jobs - all things to be done before their arrival - somehow that list didn't interest them in the least. Even coming to the QCH didn't enthuse them too much. They already have some of most all the inventory, compliments of grandpa and grandma. Good they all enjoy reading and came with several extra books/ Siblings James, John, Bill and Cathy popped in throughout the week filling the adults' days to capacity. Sister Helen was unable to be with us due to job conflict. And then we have meal time, seating no less than twelve at most all meals. Of course grandma didn't cook quite like morn does it, but it sufficed, for at least twenty minutes, then they were starved again. Deanna has a favorite pastime when she comes home to visit- go through the refrigerator searching for the out dated bottles of whatever. Thinking how smart l am,l spent considerable time carefully going over each shelf, cleaning and disposing of past due items before their arrival. Imagine my surprise, arriving home for lunch one day, being shown a container of margarine, partly used and now covered with dark mold. How did I ever miss that in my cleaning - made Deanna' s day/ We traveled up through the Methow Valley, over the Loup to Omak, drove to Chelan one afternoon, guys got in some golf, and all too soon their allotted time to be with us was gone. They returned to Seattle on Sunday for visiting with Gregg's family until their flight home on Monday the first.