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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
September 24, 2014
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1119 Meade Ave. 786-7787
613 7th Street
Prosser, WA 99350
509-786-1711
Remember the rhyme of the Ancient Mariner:  "Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink?"
Even though water covers 70 percent of the Earth's surface, less than two percent is freshwater.   Therein lies the problem.  As the world's population grows, demand for water is increasing; in periods of drought it becomes a crisis. California has been in the grip of a severe drought this year.  As summer ends, we are beginning to see the economic impact and it is staggering.
The University of California at Davis estimates the statewide economic cost of the 2014 drought will total $2.2 billion. That is nearly as much as the value of Washington's 2012 apple production, our states largest agriculture crop.
Throughout our country's history, millions of Americans have served in the Armed Forces to keep our country safe. We can never truly repay these brave men and women for their sacrifice, but we can uphold our commitment to provide care for our veterans.
Like all Americans, I was appalled when stories began surfacing last spring about veterans dying from treatable illnesses while waiting for care from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Initial reports of manipulated waitlists and wait times of more than 90 days for over 57,000 veterans were outrageous.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Gear Up Program
Dear Editor: This week our school district is recognizing the great work of our Gear Up Program. We are very lucky to have a strong partnership with WSU to provide our students some great support in achieving their dreams of going on to post high school education. Working hand in hand with our AVID program and staff, we are giving our students and parents great opportunities. Please join me and our school board in saying thank your to our Gear Up staff:
Bea Roland, Site Manager
Alejandro Romero, Student Achievement Specialist
San Juanita Rivera, Lead Tutor/Program Support
Araceli Fuentes, Tutor
Daniela Whiteside, Tutor
Diana Wilson, Tutor
Again, our sincere thanks for all that you do for our students in Prosser. ;

Sincerely,
Ray Tolcacher, Superintendent
Gayle Wheeler, Board President.

Whatcha going to do with Whatcha got??
Well now we have official speed limit signs on the South River Rd from the boat ramp to the county line. A strong 25 MPH limit. Not a house, walking path, nothing…within 30 yards of the road…but within 50 yards to the south, Bennett Avenue is there with a 35 MPH speed limit. Sidewalks, houses, 'folks' walking…The only reason I can see for the 25 MPH limit on south river road is the surface. There is probably 10 times the traffic on the south river blacktop than on almost any other street in Prosser short of Main Street. But a big factor is probably no tax revenue coming off the south river road arena. Prosser has been patching south river road for a longggggggggg time…since I graduated in 1961 at least.
So my question is, what are we going to do with it…the south river road? We can go slow and not hit the chuck holes, and watch the skunks and raccoons pass over the road on their way to Bennett Ave.)…or perhaps find some finance to resurface it and raise the speed limit to at least 35 MPH.

Bruce Kuhlman
Prosser Taxpayer

Thank You for the Respect
On behalf of Fred Carroll and myself, I would like to thank the 150 Prosser volunteers for their part in the States Day Parade.
On short notice Fred called me wondering if we could come up with at least 150 people to carry banners during the parade. Each banner was of a fallen service person from Washington State. They had given their life for the U.S. of A. in either Afghanistan or Iraq.
Each banner 2 X 3 feet. We had women, men, young people and teenagers, doctors, veterans, business owners, etc. all from Prosser and immediate surrounding areas. The call "Look right here and what do you see?" "This man (woman) died for you and me." "A little respect is all we ask." "That is not too great a task." As I walked beside this formation, I saw and felt the impact of a banner with a name and face instead of simply a number of what servicemen and woman do for our personal lives.
The attitude of the people watching the display of banners was very commendable…the best I have ever seen at a parade in Prosser. Again, THANK YOU, volunteers…and THANK YOU Prosser for your respect…perhaps next year again.

Bruce Kuhlman

School lockdown
Dear Parents and Community Friends:
Just prior to the beginning of school today, the school district was made aware of possible police actions related to a tragic domestic incident outside the city. As a result of that incident, the Prosser Police Department, as well as other county law enforcement agencies were in the general area of the Cottage Court Market and gas station.  This was due to the possibility the person of interest involved in the domestic incident could have been in an apartment complex next to the market.
As result of the police action, and with consultation with the Prosser Police Department, all schools and district offices were asked to perform a lockdown for the protection and safety of students and staff.  At approximately 10:00 am after consultation with the Prosser Police Department, the lockdown was lifted as the person of interest was not in the place the police had thought and there was not an immediate danger to students and staff.  Staff was asked to be aware of any strangers on or near the school grounds.
We want all parents and the community to know that the safety and security of our students is our number one priority.  The district has regular lockdown drills as well as other regular practices to "expect the unexpected".  As a regular activity in our district we have an emergency radio check each week to ensure that we have immediate and working communications with all schools and offices should the need arise for such use. Today was a good example of the use of our emergency radio system to keep in ongoing contact with each and every school and facility.  Along with the emergency radio systems, immediate communication to parents happens with our Flash Alert and Bright Arrow phone and texting systems. Also, any actions are immediately posted on the district website.  I'm very proud of the way our staff responded to this emergency incident.
As always, please feel to contact me should you have any questions. 

Sincerely,

Ray Tolcacher
Superintendent