I love it. A protest by "Stand on the Side of Tolerance" is demonstrating against someone they disagree with; objecting to a person's view as hateful/intolerant. OK, you may not like someone's view. You have every right to protest their appearance at an event. But to do so under the guise of "tolerance" seems a little incongruous.
While we are on the subject of class size and the desirability of achieving lower student-teacher ratios, I have to ask is there any data, and by "data," I mean that which is gained by scientifically conducted research that establishes a direct link between reductions in class size and increases in student performance?
Since the first studies were done in 1852, it's been known that a small class size results in better education for students. Every teacher is deeply committed to the success of every child and they know that the smaller the class size, the bigger the impact they can have for each of their students.
With due respect to Beth Owings, regarding her Oct. 16 letter "Charter is a power grab," the new charter is not a power grab. I do not know how such a conclusion can be drawn. Under the new charter, there will be five commissioners representing four separate districts, with the fifth position elected "at large" and representing the entire county. The commissioners will establish policy and pass laws, etc., which the county executive will be empowered to enact. If the county executive does not perform in accordance with the directives of the commission, he/she can be dismissed. The county executive serves at the will of the commissioners.
Remember the last time we were promised "change" would be better? Like we've seen at the federal level, change doesn't always bring a brighter tomorrow, especially when politicians are driving the change for their own agenda and interests. That's why I'm voting "no" on the proposed charter.
Regarding the Oct. 14 story, "Washougal City Council reaches no consensus on oil trains," it's appalling to read Councilman Dave Shoemaker believes stopping oil trains is "out of the question." Out of the question is living (or dying) in the explosions. Are you willing to throw dice, hoping the accident occurs in Vancouver or the Columbia River Gorge instead of here? Don't you also have kids/grandkids that go to schools within steps from the tracks? Do you hate salmon nor care about the Columbia River system and the impact a derailment will have in the Gorge?
I read about Lt. Gen. William Boykin speaking at the annual prayer breakfast. Why is it anytime a Christian has an opinion about the Islam faith or Muslims, they are labeled a bigot? The man has a right to express his opinions. Why is it not OK for Christians to speak out against a faith that has sworn to kill Jews and Christians? I understand that this is not all Muslims. It is reality, however.
Because of her proven background, I strongly believe that Jeanne Stewart is the best candidate for Clark County Commissioner. I think it would be tragic for all of us to not elect someone with her credibility. Our government is rife with agenda-driven representatives. Those who come dedicated to specific issues spend all their time in defense of those issues and obstruction of all other issues. Her opponent is dedicated to hot-button items such as Columbia River Crossing, county charter, oil, and coal, and will be an obstructionist to serious discussions.
I strongly and loudly applaud Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt's and others' decisions to not attend the prayer breakfast. Speaker Lt. Gen. William Boykin doesn't represent views of this community, nor what seemed to be the foundation and history of this breakfast. His belief that we're at war with the Muslim world is pathetically misguided. We're at war with a radical group of extremists using their interpretation to funnel their goals. To say that this position represents the Muslim community is no more accurate than stating the leader of the Antioch Baptist congregation represents the voice and intent of those that are professed to be Christians. Each religion has its history of radical extremism. Christianity, past and present, is certainly among those.
Since Clark County Commissioner David Madore and a few wealthy friends are almost completely funding the "no" campaign to defeat Clark County's proposed new charter; and since their outrageous campaign is so obviously dependent on exaggeration, half-truths and outright lies about provisions of the charter and its affects; therefore, should the charter not pass, can citizens expect anything resembling honest governance from Clark County in the future?
I am tired of analysts, pundits, and the media expressing that people are at fault for our political debacle because we choose not to vote. As an independent, I vote in every election, but I only see Republicans and Democrats listed on the ballot and never a third party candidate. I am tired of the relentless vitriol coming from the Democrats and Republicans. I adamantly refuse to vote for another lawyer, businessman, millionaire or professional politician who doesn't care about constituents; who merely votes in lockstep with his/her party.
Judge Bernard Veljacic is the only Clark Superior Court Judge candidate who has tried cases in District, Juvenile, Superior, and Federal District courts, as well as the state and federal Courts of Appeal. He understands the law, and he understands the courts.
Tony Golik is simply an outstanding prosecuting attorney and is our best choice for Clark County prosecutor. I have known Golik for 14 years and have found him to be an honest, hard-working, and determined prosecuting attorney.
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