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Shelton Mason County Journal
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April 10, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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April 10, 2014

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Thursday, April 10, 2014 - Mason County Journal - Page A-5 Three questions for Shelton Editor, the Journal Right now I have three questions -- two for the city or city attorney. No. 1: I have read where a fence and signs were to be built to keep people out and limit the exposure of the many chemicals. If so who's liable if someone goes over the fence? No. 2: Is there a law on disclosure of fact? It might be nice to know about Goose Lake and chemicals. No. 3: One would won- der what's taking so long on cleaning up Goose Lake. Af- ter all it's only been 35:plus years. Conley Watson Shelton Taxpayers havespoken on Pioneer school bond Editor, the Journal In reference to Ione Vra- bel's letter last week, "Tax- payers can't afford Pioneer's bond," you're right, Ione, they will continue to push us until it passes. It's apparently of no con- cern to school officials that these ballots have been printed and sent out to 6,400 voters at taxpayer expense. As you will notice, only the school bond is on the ballots and of the 6,400 voters, maybe a third or a half will bother vot- ing. This is what they count on -- low voter turnout. Our daughter is the prin- cipal of a parochial school in California, which is older than Pioneer. The only dif- ference is that the principals have taken steps through the years to do maintenance and improvements as need- ed. It's about time that public schools took a long, hard look at themselves. We are all tired of throwing money their way. Val Reineman Shelton Pioneer should focus on education Editor, the Journal In a recent edition of the Mason County Journal, the superintendent of the Pioneer School District announced the current bond proposal was the result of the "board listening to the community." Appar- ently, the prior four failed at- tempts in the past two years have nothing to do with the wishes of the community. In reality, the community is in- terested in a quality education for the children of the Pioneer School District. I find it disingenuous for the board to continue to spend time, effort and money in repeated attempts to pass this bond when it seems the real effort should be directed toward improving the quality of education the student re- ceives. In comparing Pioneer's kindergarteners through eighth-graders with other dis- tricts in the state, Pioneer is rated in the lower level of the state's ranking, and the per- formance for 2013 was lower than that of 2012. At the same time, the district has one of the more favorable student-to- teacher ratios, which does not correlate to its performance. Without exception, voters of the district are concerned for the safety of the school buildings and that is why we voted in favor of the opera- tion levy in February. I would surmise many voters live in homes older than the school, and with proper maintenance and care they will last for many years to come, as should the school itself. If an increasing student population were a major rea- son for new construction, the board would have a more rea- sonable argument. However, the student population is less today than it was 10 years ago. Perhaps it is time for the school board to face the fact that Pioneer has less than ac- ceptable results in its perfor- mance and should publically come forth with a plan to im- prove the quality of education our students are entitled to receive. Information related to my comments can be found by searching the Internet, includ- ing the Washington State Re- port Card, issued by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. D. L. Stave Shelton Pollution issues do not go away Editor, the Journal The Shelton'City Commis- sion meeting March 17 giving an approval for the Shelton Hills development was a trav- esty. I am putting aside the obvious environmental issues, and focusing on the ordinance requirements to be met as a "planned action." The requirements are given in the SEPA Handbook, which states that all the substantial environmental issues have been adequately addressed. This requirement, according to the ordinance, was predi- cated on the information given in the SEPA, EIS, DEIS and FEIS. However, in reading these documents, it shows that references, statements, assertions, conclusions and presumptions are not based on truth but misinformation, and none of the environmen- tal issues have been adequate- ly addressed. Therefore, the ordinance is not a "planned action," so how can it be a le- gal document? Once again, the pressure from special interest has trumped over the health and welfare of the community. The terrible landslide in Oso has some cautionary similarities in Mason County. Since 1949, there had been earlier landslides and studies warning of a disaster waiting to happen. The powers that be apparently did not feel it was worth their time and effort to take precautions. Mason County also has had studies and information about all the contamination of our water, land and air, but it is brushed aside. Heavy polluting industries are allowed on our Class I Critical Aquifer Recharge Ar- eas (which are extremely sus- ceptible to contamination). Pollution and contamina- tion do not go away. They remain while more and more are added each year. Mason County has gained the name of "the toxic dump." If and when a liability turns up because the city of Shelton allows lermitting without cleaning up hazardous sites, Goose Lake, the ravines and the C Street landfill, remem- ber this meeting. Also, drivers may be inter- ested to know of the response to a question I asked concern- ing the traffic handling at the Wallace Kneeland Boulevard overpass. When construction of the big box store or stores begins but before the overpass is reconfigured, a stop sign or a stoplight will be installed to handle the additional traffic and trucks to and from the site during construction. That should make life interesting trying to get on or off the exit / entrance. Patricia Vandehey Shelton Pioneer School needs repairs Editor, the Journal OK, let's ignore the fact that the school has some con- struction dating back to 1952, so there is likely asbestos throughout some areas. Let's ignore the often-leak- ing roof as buckets are cheap. However, after years of water seeping into the structure, the likelihood of toxic mold being breathed on a daily ba- sis is almost assured; pity the poor children that already suffer from allergies and asthma. Most children have to leave the classroom area to use the bathroom. That child is unsupervised on a totally unsecured campus. In light of what has transpired around the country the last few years, this we cannot ignore any- more. If there is an emergency at Pioneer Intermediate/Middle School, not one parent can rest assured that their child is safe, because it is impossible to se- cure the sprawling buildings. How can we as parents and grandparents sleep at night? Vote yes for the Pioneer Bond to give our children just the basics of what they de- serve. Jeff Watson Shelton Pioneer bond doesn't make sense for voters Editor, the Journal Once again, Pioneer School District officials are touting a bond issue that would junk five buildings and spend an estimated $23.8 million on new facilities to replace these buildings and to expand the primary school. And once again, the school board has illegally used taxpayer funds to try to in- fluence the outcome of the election. If you are a voter in the dis- trict, you recently received a full-color brochure, paid for by all of us as district taxpayers, in which the district's superin- tendent claims that replacing the middle school building is "our only option." Of course, it is not. The district has the option of continuing to maintain the existing buildings. However nice it would be for all of us who live in older houses to junk them and build some- thing new, most of us would not do so. Certainly, the school board members, if they had to pay most of the cost out of their own pockets, would reach the same conclusion. The district advertises the bond issue as costing us $1.25 per $1,000 of assessed value. Though it is not stated in the brochure, it should be recog- nized that if we approve the bond measure we may need to spend more than $1.25 per $1,000 assessed value for 20 years, particularly if home values continue to decline. If the bond is approved, we will be committed to paying the debt, and if this means a high- er tax rate than estimated by the district, we will be stuck with it. But the fundamental ques- tion is whether it is worth $23.8 million to move fourth- and fifth-graders from the middle school to the primary school. In my view, the benefits do not outweigh the costs, and I urge a no vote on April 22. In- stead of engaging a real edu- cational reform, the district remains on bricks and mortar. John Diehl Harstine Island Easter Sunday Worship 7 am - Sunrise Service Under the "Big Top" _,7 oh.. on the Church Property, comer of McCreavy & Dalby Rd. ,.ie*a.,--" 8:30 am & 10:30 am Services o'T,  Union Fire Hall, corner of 3rd & Seattle St. k  If'  New Community Church of Union -r,,.j , 951 E Dalby Rd., Union WA 98592 ''" 360-898-7855 NCCY@hctc.com Iwww.theNCCU.org