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613 7th Street
Prosser, WA  99350

August 24, 2016
Don C. Brunell - Business Analyst, Writer and Columnist

Guess who was among the first to welcome our Olympic athletes back home from Rio?  None other than the IRS.
For U.S. athletes, winning an Olympic medal comes with pride, glory and a hefty federal tax bill.  
According to TIME, Michael Phelps owes over $55,000 in federal income taxes for his five gold and one silver medals earned at the recently concluded summer games. 
Inslee Statement on DEA's Marijuana Decision

Olympia - Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statement today on the Drug Enforcement Agency's decision today not to reschedule marijuana in its listing of illegal substances under the federal Controlled Substances Act.
 "I am disappointed that we don't have a national standard for at least medical marijuana.
Letters To The Editor

Dear Editor;
Concerning the Ward Gap Fire on July 31st.  We are so thankful to still have our house.   We owe so much to so many people. We are so thankful for the friends and neighbors who were here helping us.
A man from the fire dept. coma by and told us that they could not help as the trucks were busy elsewhere which is understandable due to the size of the fire.  We did the best we could with the hoses until we just had to go down to the barn and watch.  Due to the heavy smoke we were unable to see the house.
So we were praying that the wind would change, a water tanker truck came up the driveway.  The driver said, "Where do you want me to go"? Due to the smoke it was difficult to see the road but I said "up there"! He drove up our drive and disappeared in the smoke.
We watched with a sinking feeling as our garden shed burst into flames and the shrubs and trees caught fire.
The two men in the truck were doing their job! Soon they came down, turned around and went back up the other side. 
We were all concerned for our son Ryan who stayed up at the house and helped.
When the truck came back down the driver said, "I think you can handle it with the hose now". I asked him his name and he said Doug Rasmussen," and left.
The neighbors quickly got busy with hoses from the house faucets and we connected hoses to the irrigation pump down at the barn and went to work spraying shrubs, trees and hot spots.  So may helped that we really to thank but I am afraid I'd leave someone out.  I have to mention Fred Lamb and his son Nick, Brian Steinmets, Bob Womach, Brian Beaver, Jerry Crum and Dave Donavan. Thanks so much!
It's all over now except for the cleanup and restoration.  We have extra hoses and do not know to whom they belong. Please come and claim yours.
If anyone know who drove the truck and to who it belongs please let us know.  We owe them a trip to McDonalds.  I know there were many other homes saved that day too, but this is our story.  Again, then to all and for answered prayer.

Wendell and Charlotte Weld
Forum                                         August 17, 2016
Dan Newhouse - Congressman
Watching the Olympics has been exciting for millions of Americans who root on their fellow citizens to see if years of grueling training will pay off on the world stage. For the athletes who worked to earn gold, silver, and bronze medals, we can imagine a wave of personal fulfillment and pride from representing our country. For the less physically-gifted of us, personal accomplishment will likely not come from an Olympic medal.

Prosser City Council

The Aug. 9 Prosser City Council meeting opened with an earnest request from citizen Lolli Essary to approve her call to light the Wine Country Road Bridge. The lighting would be for awareness of those suffering Ovarian and Breast Cancer and the bridge would be lighted through the months of Sept. and Oct. 2016. Council unanimously approved the request.

Letters To The Editor

"From us at the Fire House"
Letter to the Editor:
This year, prior to July 30, 2016 has been a very busy and demanding year.  We have covered over 29 Public education events of which have included approximately 750 children.  Topics discussed during those events: fire safety, summer safety, and firefighters in bunker gear familiarization. 
2016 is already ahead of our usual average run/call count and we do not see that changing or slowing down as we progress further into the summer and then into the wintery months.  The week covering July 30 August 7, 2016 was for the most part a blur for most of us.  Some had been up for just shy of 48 hours straight covering both the North end of our boundary on the Range 12 fire and then of course covering the South end of our boundary at the S. Ward Gap Fire.  Prior to both fires threatening our boundaries, resources and apparatus were moved accordingly.  While crews were on the Range 12 fire they heard the tones for Benton County District #5 in regards to a fire on the ridge south of Ward Gap.  Over the next hour or so they monitored the radio traffic and kept an eye on the fire.  Once they noticed the column coming from S. Ward Gap Fire, they requested the IC to allow them to abruptly leave in order to travel to and help suppress the S. Ward Gap Fire.  While in route, crews immediately knew resources would be scarce due to being spread out all over the local area and region as well so a quick decision and phone call was made to request state resources, specifically immediate air support. 
The following is some Ward Gap Fire Information and Stats:
NWIMT (Northwest Incident Management Team) Type 3 was sent to take over the fire and was requested by us at approximately 1630 on 7/31/2016. We had approximately 178 residential homes, just in "the black" area alone and DID NOT lose a single one; though we did lose 2 minor structures. We had 0 reported civilians injured and 0 emergency responders injured. At the peak, we had 143 firefighters on scene, 82 pieces of fire suppression apparatus, and 6 aircraft (3 rotors, 2 heavies, and 1 platform). Approximate acreage burned: 5000. We took the fire back over at approximately 0800 8/4/2016.
None of these stats would be possible without the dedication and commitment from local resources such as: the many and various Police Departments and their Officers, The City of Prosser and their many different sub-divisions, the Prosser School District, Mustangs for Mustangs, Prosser Emergency Medical Services, our many different brothers and sisters of the all fire services who were here to support our efforts and initial attack and most importantly EACH AND EVERY SINGLE CITIZEN who helped support us during the event and after.  Be it a thank you, a wave, a donation of water and/or food, a hug, a hand shake, or one of many who helped in the sack lunch assembly line.  We will never be able to thank everyone for their efforts personally and unfortunately we have missed someone in this as well and we apologize for that but just know…
If you are interested in applying to become a volunteer and help support this community on a whole new level, please contact Captain Dormaier 509-786-3873,
tdormaier@westbentonfirerescue.org, or swing by the station and see us personally.

Todd Dormaier
Something in the pool
Dear Editor:
I don't always get to go to the public pool but my kids do. I had Dad responsibilities during the day this last week so I can tell those of you who may not know the following: The staff is great. The facility is great. The city support is great.
You know what is not great? Kids pooping in the pool. Seriously, I'm not even sure the free swim diapers are such a good idea, now it's just hidden poop in the same water as me and nobody likes a poop tea bag. Hey look! There's a kid still in diapers but that doesn't have one on and you are carrying them around in your arms while ignoring them completely... and Hey! - What is that? I'll tell you what that is… a (censored). Now they have to close the pool, get everyone out, end swim classes early, etc. So I ask you Prosser… Can we implement a fine for parents if their kid poops in the pool? Maybe a "Poop probation" list? Age requirement? Parental common sense test? I don't know… Unfortunately, I have heard this is far from a rare occurrence. It's enough to give you the… ah never mind.

Peter Cole

Go see Tom
Dear Editor,

We are blessed to live in a wonderful city!  There are not many towns, across America, where you still get that comfortable feeling of being in the mid-1950s; Prosser fits that bill.  About a month ago, I went to see Tom Denchel, telling him that I wanted to buy a Dodge Hellcat.  He not only owns Tom Denchel Ford but Tom's Country Dodge, in Hermiston.
When I told him that I wanted him to donate part of his profit, from the car, to the Clore Center, he said that he would need to talk with his wife, Linda.  (Smart guy!) He came back with the response that he would not only donate $5,000 to the Clore Center but he would lower the price of the car, by another $5,000, to me.  I was astounded.  See if you get that kind of response, from a dealer, in one of the large cities!
Tom is Prosser, through and through.  We can all be proud to support our local businesses. Go see Tom; you will be happy that you did and go see the wonderful new Clore Center.  What a treasure!

Dick Olsen,
Prosser Boy

Thank you!!!
Dear Editor;

Thank you,
We, the Commissioners for West Benton Regional Fire Authority, would like to say thank you.  Thank you to our brave and valiant WBRFA fire fighters.  Thank you to all those Fire Departments across the state that sent units to help contain and mop up the Sunday, July 31 Fire.  We knew of the potential for high fire activity, but, I do not think anyone could have imagined how big and fast this situation became nearly overwhelming. 
We began fighting this fire at around 1PM with our units and from neighboring districts.  Mind you that some of those resources were also out assisting with the Range 12 Fire on the Rattle Snake Range.  The decision to call for state mobilization was made around 4:30 PM, as it became very apparent that we were in need of many more resources to prevent the imminent loss of property and life.  We received the air support to make water drops from three Helicopters and two air tankers.  These units were crucial in the efforts needed to stop this beast which was rapidly growing before us.  The terrain and the weather affected both the growth of the fire and hindering of fighting the fire.  The efforts to fight this fire included immediate evacuation, pump and role firefighting and back burning.  These are all tactics effectively use throughout the operation.  As most of the community watched in amazement and disbelief of the homes that were directly threatened and saved, our brave firefighters fought on.
The community response was immediate and coordinated.  With networking, offers to help get those out of harms way, offering of places to stay and loading and boarding of livestock quickly took place.  The community also started a drive to bring food and refreshments to the firefighters.  Many families and local business contributed throughout the event.   When one of the firefighters walked into the station meeting room, he was nearly brought to tears when he had seen all the donations filling the room.  Our community is one that comes together. It comes together in both big and small ways.  Thank you to all that made the job of fighting this fire a little easier.  Businesses also continued to give to those mobilization units that remained to finish mopping up until the day they left. 
Again, thank you for all you have done.  You make it a pleasure and an honor to serve as Commissioners for your West Benton Regional Fire Authority


Jay Boyle
Fire Commissioner
West Benton Regional Fire Authority
Dan Newhouse - Congressman
Don C. Brunell - Business Analyst, Writer and Columnist