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Shelton Mason County Journal
Shelton, Washington
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March 13, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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March 13, 2014
 

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I was always a few minutes late and a wonderful man, Moody Bacon, would help me pull the covers off the pool. I have tons of memories of the pool and could go on and on. But, aside from the kids who were pool groupies like me, the pool value is immeasurable to Shelton and Mason County. There are not many local places kids and families can go for wholesome activities. As far as I know, there is no other pool in Mason County. This is not just a school district problem; this is a community problem. Where else can kids go for swim les- sons? With all the water in the area I would think swim les- sons are pretty darn important. It seems to me that there has to be a way to raise some extra funds, even from the community and from people who have left the community but still love the pool. I live in Colorado now and our neigh- borhood pool also struggles to stay open due to the high cost of pool upkeep and insurance. I know it isn't cheap. Closing the pool would be an easy way to balance the school district's budget but in the long run it is the wrong decision. Mollie Lusignan Zaring Centennial, Colo. Pool teaches students to work hard Editor, the Journal I can honestly say that I would not be the man I am to- day were it not for the Shelton High School pool. Not only be- cause the pool was the origin of my glory days as a Highclimber swimmer -- the Shelten High School pool taught me how to lead, how to work with people with different opinions and values; how hard work pays off and even, unfortunately, how to deal with disappointment. It's where I learned to swim. It's where I had my birthday parties. It's where I swam thou- sands of miles during workouts. It's where Mr. Crater took his PE class for our "swimming unit." It's where I had my first job as a lifeguard and swim- ming teacher. In fact, I owe my first kiss to the Shelton High School pool. But, when the go- ing gets tough, close the pool. I have heard this so-called solu- tion far too many times in my life. I know that swimming pools are hard on a district budget. I also know that pools can bring huge returns, but sometimes those returns take a while. As I work with young people today, as a parent, a teacher, and a public school profes- sional development specialist, I constantly draw on lessons I learned at the Shelton High School pool. Don Martin, my swim coach at Shelton High School, taught me that swimming pools are not just for swimmers. As he prepared a team of high school students for a summer of teaching swimming les- sons, he reminded us that we live around a lot of water, and while some of these kids may never join a team, we're giv- ing them a skill that may just save their life some day. It is impossible to know how many lives have been saved because Shelton High School pool. It is also impossible to know how many lives may be lost because the Shelton School Board could not find a way to keep the pool open. My story is not unique. The gutters of the Shelton High School pool would overflow with stories of young men and wom- en who benefit from the lessons learned from Doug Hanna, Brian Boetcher, Chris Myhre, Don Martin, Jon Fobes, Chuck Clausen, Rob Phelan, Chad Youngquist and everyone who has served as a coach, leader or manager at the Shelton High School pool. I may have moved away from Shelton, but I know that commtmities like Shelton have few places where kids can go for a positive, active and fun experience. Closing the Shelton High School pool will rob the community of just such a place. Before you close the doors, I implore you to explore every option for community part- nerships, alternate operation hours, and public fundraising. Listen to your community. The people of Shelton and Mason County do not want to see the Shelton High School pool dosed. Sean Valley Brier Responses to letter provide no solution Editor, the Journal My recent letter to the edi- tor suggested we were wrong to walk away from Adage. Adage would have provided renewable energy with controlled pollu- tion. Today the logging slash burns provide us with uncon- trolled pollution and wasted energy. Of the four responses to my letter, only Mr. Robbins understood my argument. Other responses included an autobiography, a history of the controversy and an offer of three boxes of opposing mate- rial. What I did not get was an alternate solution to our energy needs. Perhaps whale blubber could replace electricity for lighting purposes. Many forms of energy are buried in controversy. Wind turbines kill birds. Renewable energy programs do not include hydroelectric - evidently rain is neither renewable nor dean. Oil and coal (and Adage) are dead. Drilling on public lands is denied thus lessening the amount of natural gas. One opposing writer, Ms. Vandehey, said "only" 24 per- manent jobs would be created with Adage. To the employed, I guess "only" 24 jobs is not significant; Mason County has "only" 10 percent unemploy- ment. She also said operators must be highly skilled which does not now exist. Microsoft and Boeing require highly skilled workforces and develops them locally. Apparently she does not believe Mason County residents are up to that task. All this is moot as Adage is history. What we have now is uncontrolled pollution from the slash burns with no energy cre- ated. There are three options: Continue slash burns and its pollution. Allow forest fires to 'fix' the problem. linint,e loin as they did with the (now discredited) spotted owl issue. I would like the Chicken Little environmentalists to stop their "Sky Is Falling" opposi- tion chants and instead provide solutions that do not require me to live, stacked like cord- wood, in the slums of Seattle. We need more doers and fewer nay-sayers. Ardean A. Anvik Elma (Star Lake) History still important in today's world Editor, the Journal Traveling can be one of the most rewarding and educa- tional experiences of life. For a number of years we have been privileged to have two history teachers from Oakland Bay Junior High here in Shelton who have put time and effort into developing the eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C. This trip has become a right of passage for many of our local youth. As this years president of History Boosters, I have visited with many parents and students who have been in- volved in past years. The No. 1 comment is "my son/daughter is still talking about their trip today" or "it was the greatest experience of my life." Why history? History is the only topic taught in every school that can engage students of any interest, and help them in understanding and tackling human problems in the real world. In history, there is truly something for everyone. His- tory is political, artistic, social, economic, scientific and much, much more. History can be seen and touched, read and written, made and remem- bered, everyone is apart of his- tory. Most importantly, the study of history builds the critical skills students need to become responsible citizens and effec- tive leaders. Researching and discovering new information, as well as reading, and com- municating that information effectively: these are the skills that make someone successful in business, civic life and even sports. As History Boosters, we en- courage you to support our local kids by joining us at Oakland Bay Junior High on March 15 For Tip Your Top Hat to Our Future Leaders. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for a live and silent auction. Tickets may be purchased at Sage Book Store and Blooms By The Park. There will be food, fun and mu- sic by the C-Strings. Keith Hansen Shelton City biting off more debt than it should Editor, the Journal It seems there is a good chance the city is going to move forward with the $7 million loan for water system up- grades. I had hoped that com- mon sense would break out. That means, given the usual Thursday, March 13, 2014 -Mason County Journal- Page A-5 DsLraxe%ers of goverrun%en% agency loans, the city will be obligated to an annual payment of about $430,000. Interest ex- pense over the life of the loan will be about $5,890,000. So the city, over the life of the loan, will spend about $12,890,000 of the citizens' money for $7 million in non- urgent upgrades. I have a better idea. Pri- oritize the projects. Bank the $430,000 per year. When enough has accumulated to do the highest priority upgrade, get it done. Keep saving and do- ing the upgrades as the money is available. It has been some years since I was politically active. But if this is adopted, that will change. First, I will ac- tively and vigorously campaign against any water utility rate increases. If you are so irre- sponsible with my money as to enter in this loan, you have no business with any additional money. Second, I will actively and vigorously campaign for the opponent of any commis- sioner that voted in favor of loan. Reg Hearn Shelton Republican have done enough damage Editor, the Journal In answer to a recent column by Leonard Pitts tiffed "Sin- cerest sympathy for the filthy rich" -- Fd send crying towels but the thread count probably wouldn't be up to their stan- dard. (I wonder if the Walton Family shops at Walmart?) It's amazing how the Repub- licans in Congress bow down to these people, trying to repeal all regulations, be it prevent- ing spills involving the oil and chemical companies with their contamination of aquifers and the coming Keystone Pipeline, mine disasters taking peoples' lives and threats to miners if they reveal safety issues, banks taking peoples' homes and don't get me started on Wall Street. Why don't some of the execu- tives and owners go to prison? How much is a life worth? Then there is the former Republican nominee for president (who is probably planning another run) whose business is buying companies, firing the workers, sending the jobs overseas, putting the proceeds in offshore ac- counts while paying little or no taxes, then has the nerve not to reveal what he paid in taxes while planning to be president. Can you imagine the screams and howls by the righteous right if Obama had done that? But then, we must remember to feel sorry for the picked upon uber-wealthy. We've already heard how influential the money organiza- tions are. You are not really voting for a candidate, you are voting for complete 1 percent control. Also, a big percentage of bills brought forward are written by lobbyists for the interests of the 1 percent. This should be curtailed. Everything must be offset per Congress regarding the reinstatement of unemploy- ment insurance, who is going to repay the U.S. taxpayers for the $25 billion cost of the Republicans' little govern- ment shutdown fiasco? Forfei- ture of their wages, perhaps? Ha. Like that would ever happen. We need to rethink subsidies and make the 1 percent and big corporations pay their taxes. We also have the parsing of the CBO Report on ObamaCare -- an "a-ha!" moment. You'd think there was an election in the offmg. God help us if the Repub- licans take over the Senate. They've done enough damage to this country with control of Congress. Just saying. Sharon Valley Belfair American Legion celebrates anniversary Editor, the Journal In March 1919, U.S. troops stationed in France after the end of World War I gathered in Paris to establish a veteran's or- ganization that would be called the American Legion. This year, the legion celebrates its 95th anniversary. In 1923, to honor one of our own who served in that war, Fred B. Wivell memo- rial Post 31 was chartered. The American Legion's goals are to welcome returning vet- erans, providing fellowship and support, fosterina respect and love for our constitution and our national flag, supportin4; the Pledge of Allegiance and promoting an attitude of patrio- tism in our youth. But above all, we exist to honor all those who have served honorably in our military forces. One of the ways we strive to do that is by assisting them in obtaining the education needed to become contributing members in a ci- vilian society. In the 1940s, the American Legion was instru- mental in the establishment of the GI Bill of Rights. Several functions designed to foster that attitude of pa- triotism in young people are through our participation and support of the NJROTC / NNDCC programs and the boys' state program in the local school. The Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion spon- sors the girls' state program for young ladies. Finally, the Mason County Veteran's Service Office (VSO) is staffed by a contingent of volunteers (all veterans or relatives of veterans), who provide assistance to veter- ans of Mason County in filing claims for benefits earned by their military service. The VSO volunteers are available three days a week (Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays) between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. in the Memorial Hall building be- hind the Post Office building. Thanks to the American Legion, our returning veterans can get the assistance they need in returning to civilian life after their sacrificial service to our nation. Robert Stone Commander, Post 31 Shelton see LETTERS, page A-6