Bomber Mascot Controversy
Issue # 22 ~ 08/20/01
Editor's Note:

I rejected a submission today; the contributor really
ought to have known better than to have submitted it.  It
comprised 8 words -- a total of 42 characters including
spaces and punctuation -- and .... the complete text of a
(copyrighted) TCH editorial.  Not a link to the
editorial, but the actual text of the editorial;
evidently the contributor expected me to publish the

Sunday's TCH published eight "Letters to the editor"
which concerned themselves with the bomb controversy --
insofar as the paper does not deign to make such material
available on-line, I shall get the letters scanned and
make them available to the readership.

The following three links to the TCH pertain to the Bomb

The report of the meeting.  It is reasonably accurate.

The editorial published after the board's decision.

The composition of the TCH Editorial Board.


-Richard Anderson (60), Editor
Today's comments submitted by:

Walt Smyth (Bomber Dad), Anna Mae Dyken (Grandma Bomber)
Dick Roberts (49), Jim Doyle (49)
Rick Woods (49), Dick Pierard (52)
Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson (54), Sandra Ferency Welch (55)
Gordon McDonald (56), Wife of Walt Morgan (60)
John Adkins (62), Sandra Genoway (62)
Jim House (63), Rafael Alcazar (64)
Dena Evans (64WB), Patricia de la Bretonne (65)
Fran Teeple Wolf (68), Patrick Goble (71)
Sharon Benedict Isaacson (71), Diane Carpenter Kipp (72)
Jim Anderson (72WB), Jerry Lewis (73)
Mike Davis (74), Jenny Smart Page (87)
>>From: Walt Smyth (Bomber Dad)

[The following letter was published on March 2, 1950 in
the ultimate issue of the Richland Villager weekly
newspaper. -ed]

James W. Phillips
Richland Villager

Dear Jim:
   I should like to take this opportunity to express my
personal appreciation to you and the loyal members of
your staff for the full cooperation given me and the
Board of Directors during the past few months.  We all
realize that there have been moments of and sometimes
days of despair when we have been openly criticized for
what we have considered to be honest and honorable
   It is with a great deal of pride and satisfaction that
our publication has weathered this criticism without
having to apologize in any way for what we have done.
   We can now anticipate a barrage of additional slurs,
slanderous statements and untruths from the Tri-City
Herald and we deeply regret that we will be unable to
reply to anything that might be said through the medium
of a non partisan public spirited publication such as the
   I therefore state now and for the future that I,
personally, and the members of the Board of Directors of
Villagers stand on our past performance and trust that
the people of this city will understand that our action
in suspending the publication of the Villagers was done
only in the best interests of the membership of
Villagers, Inc.
   I, personally wish you and your staff members the best
of luck in whatever activity you may elect to pursue in
the future.  I am confident you will succeed.
   Best personal regards.
          W. D. SMYTH
          Villagers, Inc.
>>From: Anna Mae Dyken (Grandma Bomber)

Now I am wondering if the "powers" of our school board
will try to defame the Star Spangled Banner ------- "And
the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

-Anna Mae Dyken (Grandma Bomber)
>>From: Richard "Dick" Roberts (49)

I was up bright and early Wednesday morning to find out
the outcome of the RHS school board meeting.  I am sorry.
To all who attended the meeting and otherwise expressed
their opinions and worked on the campaign, thanks.  A
special thanks to Burt Pierard and Roy Ballard for their
hard work, determination and dedication.  It's hard to
convince someone when their minds are closed.  If you all
find a candidate for the election coming up in November,
Carol and I will send some $$$ to help out.

One of the board members who voted in favor of the gift,
but was concerned about the size, may have provided an
opening for some negotiation for future consideration. If
you find a suitable candidate, perhaps you could huddle
and come up with a compromise that would find a favorable
and more positive icon (scaled down bomb perhaps?) for
the Bombers.  It could provide a good platform for
winning the election.

-Richard "Dick" Roberts (49) ~ from Grover Beach, along
                             the central coast of
                             California, where the air is 
                             cool and balmy and some of
                             our politicians are too.
>>From: Jim Doyle (49)

To: Irene Hays (and your pal Jim Anderson (WB))

Oh ........... never mind!

-Jim Doyle (49)
>>From: Rick Woods (49)

It would be interesting to hear the reasoning behind the
three board members' decision on the mascot subject.
Also, just where were they in '44 and '45?

-Rick Woods (49)
>>From: Dick Pierard (52)

Quite a donnybrook in Richland, I would say.  And the
deciding vote was cast by a board member who was a HOME
SCHOOLER?  Come on now, gimme a break!  If a person
hasn't got the guts to send her kids to the public
schools, what in the world is she doing on the school
board?  Moreover, I found the Tri-City Herald poll
amazing.  The lines were so jammed I couldn't get on
until 2:00am (my time in the East) to cast my vote, and
then it was running 93% to 7%.  If I were in the school
board majority, I think I would be considering not
running again.

-Dick Pierard (52) 
Professor of History Emeritus, Indiana State University
>>From: Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson (54)

Now that the dust has settled, and the "vote" cast,
perhaps we can put this behind us.

However, one fellow alum seemed to take us to task
because we vocally supported the "cause" but we DID NOT
offer such support to the school bond issue.  Out of the
120 or so alums who attended the meeting on the 14th, I
wonder how many were registered voters in the Richland
School District.  Those who were not, but merely
exercising their right to "free speech", could not vote
either way in the bond issue; but most certainly could
support the "pro-shell" majority of alumni on this issue.
It's not that we DON'T support the bond issue, we just
couldn't vote because some of us neither live or are
registered in the district.

In a previous issue I asked the question about a "townie
alum" running for the board.  I was not the only one to
ask this question; and I am sure that the other parties
also received the same answer as I did.  Needless to say,
there is one amongst us who has "stepped up to the
plate", "thrown his hat into the ring", "joined the
fray", etc., ad nauseum.  What surprises me is that this
individual did not "toot his own horn" in these pages.
Since this individual chose not to, I will not be the one
to "out" him/her on this issue.  All I will say is that
it was a surprise, and not the person I suspected might.
I can only hope there will not be a press conference
called in some "notable" place to make the announcement
of candidacy.  Somehow the Uptown Tavern does not strike
me as being politically correct, if you catch my meaning.

But, I assure you, this person is not a "one trick pony";
there are other issues on the slate.  So, as a "non"
Richland voter, I urge all of you who live in the
Richland School District to get out the vote, support
this candidate, and on election day, come early and vote
often for the candidate of our choice.  I can only hope
that this person will NOT be the best candidate money can

Bomber Cheers to all,
-Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson (54) ~ Albany, OR, where the
                            weather has warmed up and the 
                            hot air balloons are flying.
>>From: Sandra Ferency (55), married to Robert Welch (55)

Yes, it [the Bomb] should be in the school.  It is our

-Sandra Ferency (55), married to Robert Welch (55)
>>From: Gordon McDonald (56)

The board has spoken (but not listened) -- for the
moment.  I suggest an action plan to go forward on this

1. Find a better, even more visible, place to put the
bomb.  I think the entrance to the city -- somewhere down
on George Washington Way would be good.  It should be
mounted on at least a twelve-foot pedestal (above the
reach of Lions and Bulldogs).  Maybe a small flower
garden around it and a professional sign proclaiming
'Home of the Richland Bombers' with a small plaque saying
'Donated by loyal Bombers -- past and present'.  If a
local committee is formed to do something like this I
will be the first to contribute $50 to help with the
costs.  I suppose you'll have to get permission from the
city council, but with the right approach they would
probably be more agreeable.  Surely, the school board
could not veto this idea.

2. When a school board election is imminent, make sure
that the city populace knows to do the 'politically
correct' thing.  Of course that is to throw out the
close-minded school board members who voted not to accept
the bomb.  I'm sure that being a school board member is a
thankless job, but if you want to be properly represented
you'll have to do it yourself.  The discussions about
this whole affair prove that there are some intelligent,
obviously well qualified people who could easily handle
the job.  Well, OK -- it also showed that there are a few
people there who are only half prepared for a battle of

3. Maintain a vigilance on any activity aimed at changing
the nickname.  A question: who has the right to change
the nickname?  Is it the school board, the school
administration, the present students, anyone who has ever
graduated, or who?

-Gordon McDonald (56) ~ Massena, NY
>>From: Alice Morgan, wife of Walt (60)

I am only the lowly wife and mother of former Bombers,
but I suggest Bombers organize and donate to the cause of
having magnets made with the Bomb on them.  These magnets
could be about a foot square and students wanting to show
their support for the Bomb can proudly sport these
emblems on the side of their cars.  My daughter was a
member of the class that put the Day's Pay on the gym.
Will it get the hatchet next?  What about finding a
member of a Bomber class who will allow the Bomb to be
installed on his/her lawn?  Preferably as close to the
George Washington Way entrance to Richland as possible.
Better yet, pool resources and buy a spot where it can be
permanently installed.  After all, it represents our town
as much as it does the school.  Then a sign can be
LIVES WERE SAVED BY THE BOMB"  ----Erected by the
Richland Alumni----.  This might ensure that no school
board in future -- after you loyal supporters are history
-- do away with your beloved Bomb.

Personal note: I have my own memories of my own school
but I am thankful for the Bomb.  I had half-brothers who
were in the war.  They were fortunate enough to come

-Alice Morgan, wife of Walt (60)
>>From: John Adkins (62)

Last night (08-17-01) I became aware that some threats
and insinuations of threats of injury have been made to
some people that have expressed positions in opposition
to the placing of the bomb shell casing at Richland High

I encourage anyone who receives a threat of a personal
nature to report that threat to the proper authorities.
If I become aware of the identity of anyone making such a
threat, I will take all actions available to me to stop
it; I will endeavor to have names published; I will
forward any proof available to law enforcement agencies.
Lastly -- I would no longer make myself available to
further promotion of the placement of the bomb shell

-John Adkins (62)
>>From: Sandra Genoway (62)

Dear Bomber Alumni,

I like the idea of the green and gold car to carry the
bombshell mascot, too.  I also like the idea of planting
the bombshell mascot in a yard across the street from the
school administrative offices.  Why don't we try to get
someone to allow the car with the mascot on it to be
parked there, and then when the need arises to take the
mascot someplace it can just "go"; but it must be
returned to the driveway or street parking place.  (Be
sure to check out the city ordinances on leaving an auto
parked in one place for so many days -- like they have in
the Seattle area -- so you don't get towed away, if
Richland has any such stupid ordinance.  We don't want to
give THEM any bait to use, you know.)

What do you all think?

-Sandra Genoway (62)
>>From: Jim House (63)

Dateline: Richland, WA -- August 2099

The last living Richland Bomber died yesterday.  Services
will not be held following the Richland School Board's
refusal to honor her family's request to have her ashes
spread at the base of the hill below the old high school.
She was a proud Bomber to the very end and never
begrudged the class that voted to change the name and
mascot after she graduated.

In an interview last week, she recalled the changes that
had occurred over the past century.  She was proudest of
the reaction of the loyal alumni, who graciously accepted
the name change, rationalizing that the new generation
was not worthy of the Bomber tradition, because they just
didn't get it.  She was amazed how the alums had
organized a weekend celebration that rivaled the renowned
Y2k event.  She giggled when she recalled some old fool
who had come from Texas and was continually babbling
about the women in the room next to his at the Desert
Inn.  Amazingly, the School Board had granted permission
for the Bomber Alumni to come to the school and remove
all Bomber memorabilia.  A procession of over a thousand
alums silently removed each plaque, certificate,
accommodation, trophy, photograph, and record that made
any reference to Bombers.  The Board was thrilled that
this was done at no cost and agreed this was a gift they
could graciously accept.

The alumni had spontaneously raised enough money to buy
the lot next to the old Spudnut Shop so it could be
enlarged to include a Bomber Memorial room to hold all
the memorabilia.  Soon thereafter, an arsonist burned the
location.  He was not only intent on destroying the
Bomber memorabilia but also wanted to destroy the Spudnut
Shop.  He considered it to be an immoral den where a
century ago hypocritical scientists had taken their
families after church on Sundays following a week of
manufacturing plutonium.

Fortunately a few trophies, a pep club picture, and a
photograph of a Wall of Fame star of the 60's (and Bomber
historian) were saved and are still prominently displayed
at Denny's where they seem to be protected by some
special aura.

The old Bomber recalled how rapidly things transgressed
following the name change.  For some unknown reason
academic achievement at RHS deteriorated faster than the
sports programs.  No one had anticipated that.  There was
a mass exodus across the river.  The population dwindled
such that Richland High was closed and grades 1 through
12 were consolidated at the Hanford School.  Ironically,
that school was changed to Columbia after protests about
the evil that the Hanford name represented.  Their mascot
had also been changed to the Beavers, although recent
debate over the origin of that name may lead to its
demise soon.  (If these matters were so important to the
School Board you would think they would document the

The Old Bomber's final thoughts were what she had heard
about the debates in 2001 over the Bomb, Plane, and Cloud
symbols.  Because they were overwhelmingly outnumbered,
those who opposed those icons had shown tremendous
courage expressing their views.  Even more impressive was
that, despite their differences, the opponents exhibited
a mutual Bomber Love with their classmates because what
they all ultimately shared was a special experience at a
great school, if not an object.

After interviewing the Last Living Bomber it was evident
that she had experienced something special the residents
of Richland today and historians may never really
understand.  I envy her.

Cub reporter for the Herald,
-Jim House (63) ~ Houston, TX
     I have violated the frequency and length rules so I
     am prepared to serve a suspension.
>>From: Rafael Alcazar (64)

Although I attended Col-Hi (yes, Col-Hi) for only two
years, it has remained with me since then.  Not only the
school, my classmates, teachers, etc, but also the town
and the people who lived there and who, in the great
majority, had worked all their lives at the Hanford

It is not possible to either change or "dress down"
history and life.  It does not make any difference
whether or not it may be considered "politically
correct" by those who are there now.  The name and the
"mascot" are simply a part -- in truth and in concept --
of that history which made us all (who went to Columbia
High School) who we are today.  That cannot be changed
either.  I do not think any of us wants this to be
changed in any way.

I have already voted in the TCH poll, and urge those of
you who have not, to do so.  If those Bombers who live in
Richland still want to really be heard, election time is
the time to vote OUT those who would see the core of the
school history changed.

Still a Bomber after all these years, and proud of it.

-Rafael Alcazar (64) 
>>From: Dena Evans (64WB)

After sending my vote in on keeping the mascot, I went
into the Tri-City Herald newspaper archives.  How many of
you have read any of the articles under keyword-bomb?
There are at least 11 pages that have articles with the
word "bomb" in them.  I didn't have the chance to read
all of the articles on the first page, but what I did get
to read was very enlightening.  Talk about the "bomb"
being part of our history.  If it wasn't for the "bomb"
the city of Richland would still be a desert area, with
few inhabitants.

-Dena Evans (64WB) ~ From Pittsburg, CA where it is in
                 the mid  90's, and getting hotter as it
                 nears the weekend.
>>From: Patricia de la Bretonne (65)

To: Steven Lewis

Very well said.  Thank you.

-Patricia de la Bretonne (65)
>>From: Fran Teeple Wolf (68)

To: Gary Behymer (64)

Yeah, I read that piece of caca on Friday afternoon.  I
decided to vote in the poll even though I'm only a
"Richlander at heart" now.  I thought it would be fun to
take a minute and see what was on the Herald website.
The Kennewick Man, a few job offerings, scanned the
Business Section, and then that opinion piece.

I hate it when editors get on their high horse and
chastise a group of people for standing up for
themselves, whether I agree with the group or not.  And
the jab about how such a large group of people had the
audacity to turn out for something the editors called
trivial when they can't be bothered to vote to spend more
money on their school system really got to me.
Apparently, the editors do not recognize making a no vote
count twice (in a way, because you'd vote no plus you
don't add to the number of voters required to make a
majority vote) as a viable political tactic.

I honestly don't think the Richland School Board would
appreciate it if you 120 people started regularly
attending their meetings and voicing opinions on other
matters as well as the mascot.  Hint, hint.

I readily admit I am prejudiced about the Washington
education system.  Our business has many teachers for
clients, we have one employee who has worked for us off
and on for 10 years in her spare time doing computer
work, a sister-in-law who retired this year as a
superintendent, a daughter-in-law whose parents are a
high school principal and a teacher, respectively.  With
our in-laws, this subject is right up there with politics
and religion.

Bomber cheers,
-Fran Teeple Wolf (68)
>>From: Patrick Goble (71)

After attending the school board meeting and hearing how
the board members were SO CONCERNED with the size of the
bomb and how it would affect young kids I think it's time
for something that will get right in the school board's
face.  Hanford has always had a lot acronyms throughout
the history of the area.  From AEC to DOE so NOW IS THE
TIME FOR A NEW ONE.  Sorry if you are too sensitive for
this one but here is my new acronym to stick in the
school board's face: FRIAB.

-Patrick Goble (71)
>>From: Sharon Benedict Isaacson (71)

Please remove my name from this daily e-mail.  I am for
the first time in my life embarrassed to be a Bomber.  I
mean really .... have we lost our minds?  Those of us who
live here in Richland should be mad as hell that we can't
get a school bond passed in this community .... but
instead we're up in arms over whether to strap a symbol
of destruction to the gym foyer floor.  I, for one, can't
read this stuff any more.  Let's grow up and make a
difference in our community .... a REAL difference.

-Sharon Benedict Isaacson (71)
>>From: Diane Carpenter Kipp (72)

To: Roy Ballard (63), and to all bomb devotees

Sorry Roy, but I respectfully disagree.  If I had cancer,
I would realize that chemotherapy was necessary and would
save my life, but when the therapy was over and I was
better, I wouldn't put memorials to chemotherapy around
my house.  I'd want to forget the side affects, the hair
loss, the nausea.  I'd prefer some kind of representation
of life to remind me that I had survived and the war was

My analogy is probably clear, but I'll reiterate -- the
bomb did the dirty work that had to be done.  But people
created the technology, people masterminded peace after
the bombs were dropped.  And the bomb was dropped to save
many people (through the deaths of others), and to uphold
principles such as liberty, etc.  Why can't we remember
the people, the sacrifice, the intelligence, the
principles?  Why focus, and use as a symbol, a tool that
however necessarily, brought horror, destruction, death?

I've never been a soldier.  But if I were, I can't
imagine that my devotion (emotional, not practical) would
be to my weapon, other than its use as a tool to preserve
my life, and to preserve the liberty of my comrades, my
country, and my family.  And if I died on behalf of my
country, I wouldn't want a replica of a gun on my
gravestone.  I'd want a flag to represent freedom, or
some kind of thank-you from my family or country, or some
other symbol of what the gun enabled, NOT THE GUN ITSELF.

That's what I don't get about any of you bomb devotees.
Where's the talk of freedom and sacrifice and brilliance
and love of country?  Where's the reverence?  Where's the
respect?  Where's the gratitude?  Why do you love the
tool more than the people or the principles?  If anyone
can answer this for me, I'll appreciate it.  And as I
already expect you to say that the bomb symbolizes those
things, please tell me why a bomb?  What bombs do is
ugly.  Why not have our children go to school with a
positive reminder of what was achieved?  Do you not see
how simplistic and primitive the mental path is, "the
bomb killed lots of people, so they gave up, so we won,
so no more of our people died"?  Raise yourselves to a
higher level!  Think about freedom, and peace, and

If you work hard all your life to have enough money to
buy a cabin in the mountains, at Christmas do you send
friends a picture of the cabin, or of the paycheck stubs
that enabled you to buy the cabin?

I can't help but wonder if a bomb isn't easier/more fun
to focus on, rather than gratitude, intelligence, honor,
liberty, sacrifice, etc.

If anyone has kept reading this too-long note and intends
to reply, I'd sure appreciate it if you address the
points I am making, and don't just nit-pick about some
mistake of mine that doesn't change the point.  I've
watched you do that to others.  (Remember pointing out
that the dropping of the bombs did not constitute the
world's worst disaster?  So what if it was 3rd or 65th or
122nd?  It didn't change the writer's point -- it was a
horrific incident!)

(Get it?)

-Diane Carpenter Kipp (72)
>>From: Jim Anderson (72WB)

Yessir, we showed the WHOLE WORLD how we do things over
here in Richland at that board meeting!  Them outsiders,
they come in here and try and take our BOMB away, and you
got a fight on yer hands, by golly.  We look mighty smart
standing up there and screaming at the top of our lungs
at those outsiders, and we even made that one lady on the
board cry, ain't that great?!  Somebody sez she ain't
really an outsider, but I think that's just a big PC lie.
All them PC left-wingers, and that liberal left-wing
press, why they try and make us out to be stupid and just
a bunch of sad angry people with nothin' else better to
do than go to school board meetings and disrupt the whole
thing, but we know that's just a PC lie.

I know, I know, there's a lot of people, the PCers, who
are gonna complain about us and ask how come we cain't
muster all this energy when it comes time to support the
school in real ways, like support the levy, or by
attending school events, or by volunteering at our kid's
school, but everybody knows that if a levy passes, why
we'd have less money to spend on our guns and huntin'
gear!  That, and they'd just use it to teach their sex-ed
and push that gay agenda they got.

Now I know we lost this here battle, but we'll fight all
the way and git them outsiders thrown off the board.  And
if anybody writes in to this here internet web thing and
disagrees with us, well then we'll attack them too!
We'll holler at 'em right here on this site, and we'll
send 'em nasty e-mail, and we'll make it clear as a
pitcher that even though we ain't got much goin' on in
the way of smarts, we can sure yell loud!  Then everyone
will respect us, and everyone who disagrees with us will
be afraid to write in cuz then they'll git harassed.
Ain't that the American way, where the majority rules,
and everybody else gets yelled at?

-Jim Anderson (72WB)

[Note: Jim Doyle's comment was inadvertently published in
Sunday's Sandstorm; Jim Anderson sent this comment. -ed]

To: Jim Doyle (49)
RE: your nice thoughts

Thanks, Jim, for your warm thoughts; my pal Irene Hays
and I appreciate your support.  In this crazy, mixed-up
world, it's always nice to know there are people out
there like you to help us through!

-Jim Anderson (72WB)
>>From: Jerry Lewis (73)

Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson (54) says, "The better solution
is to select a candidate who not only shares your views,
but is someone who is more than a 'one trick pony'" and
goes on to ask for volunteers from the [e-mail] list.  In
my opinion, that's asking for a 'one-trick pony' as most
of the respondents are riled up about only one issue.
How many Bombers who are ready to step up to defend the
bomb are ready to spend hours and hours going to meetings
and studying *all* of the issues that the board must
consider?  Maybe that's the problem with 'one-trick

Stephen Lewis (69) points out that the bomb doesn't look
like the Fat Man at all, and I realized that I voted for
placing the bomb in the TCH poll without really looking
at the facts of exactly where it was going to be placed
and its effect on the area.  I wonder how many others
here did the same?

Mike Davis (74) goes on to say, "Three people ... decided
the issue, ignoring an overwhelming majority!  That is
not the role of an elected official."  And then he
continues, saying that if that's not wrong, he's been
teaching the wrong thing for 20-odd years.  When I went
to school at RHS, I learned that while representatives do
represent their constituents, they also have an
obligation to take unpopular decisions when they think
they are right.

While the public comments were overwhelmingly in favor of
the placement of the bomb, they represented a small, if
fervent, group of constituents.  The board was elected to
serve the whole community and most importantly to make it
possible to accomplish the ultimate goal of the school
district -- to educate the youth of the community.
Despite the strength of sentiments here, this issue is
not central to the main job of the school board.

How many people here are willing to look at the facts and
consider the option that the three board members might be
right -- the bomb might not be appropriate for the area?
I suspect not too many.

-Jerry Lewis (73)
>>From: Mike Davis (74)

To: Ken Staley (68)

Not looking for slaves, just representative government!

-Mike Davis (74)
>>From: Jenny Smart Page (87)

Unfortunately, the deadline for filing for the school
board positions open this fall has already passed.  Two
people filed for Mary Guay's position (Mary, and one
other), and three filed for Meg Weiss's position.  (As
someone previously stated, Meg is not running for re-
election.  However, Richard Anderson (60) is, along with
two others).  Before you go off exploding about how come
the filing deadline is done and gone already, let me
remind you Tri-Citians that a paid advertisement from the
State Superintendent ran in the TCH for about three
weeks; the TCH editorial board ran at least one full-size
editorial encouraging people to file as candidates, and
(I think) one small reminder editorial; and the TCH ran
daily updates and articles about who had filed for what
and when for about 6 days, with reminders of "only XX
more days until the last day for filing."

It's also unfortunate that so many left the school board
meeting on Tuesday, storming out with the battle cry of
"we need to have some of our 'own' on the board."  I say
unfortunately, because if you had hung around for the
last 45 minutes of the meeting, you could have seen a
different side of the board -- the one where they grapple
with budget problems, facility problems, transportation
successes (they do do some things right), personnel
situations (another success), construction successes,
etc. etc.  I've seen, on several occasions, the "other"
things these people have to deal with.  Its a thankless
job -- literally.  And, I believe, this incident aside,
that these people are trying to do what's right.  When
was the last time any of you sat through a couple
consecutive school board meetings, and followed along
with the situations it is faced with every other week?
When was the last time you wrote a letter or made a phone
call to a board member and THANKED them for the
increasing test scores of our district (which have come
about due to recent changes in curriculum, staff, etc.),
or for the beautiful new(er) schools that have been
completed UNDER BUDGET and ON SCHEDULE?  Or for a
transportation department that is finally operating in
the black, after years of not doing so?

I don't agree with the final outcome of the school board
vote on Tuesday.  I think many of the "reasons" that were
stated for declining the gift were awfully lame.  But I
also think that before so many of you start shouting
recall or lawsuit or whatever, that you look around at
what else these people have accomplished in the last few
years.  There are many good things that have happened in
our schools under this board and superintendent.   (And
before you who don't like my stance on this -- and you
know who you are, as I've heard from you before --
lambaste me as a "board lackey", go to the next three
meetings first, and get a different view.  I am not some
groupie of the school board; it's just that I've seen a
bigger picture of what they face).

And, as I stated the other day, I really think the
bombshell will serve its purpose much better if kept as a
"personal" item that can be transported to ANY event.
(If it's bolted to the gym foyer floor, how's that gonna
help cheer the team on at the state football tourney in
Seattle?)  And, I believe, it would be a continual
challenge to keep it from being vandalized there -- think
about the "challenge" it would present to other school
senior pranksters in "stealing" our bomb -- kinda like
the JB's Big Boy of years past, or the lion from KHS.
Mount the thing on a car, or on a platform that could be
placed in the bed of a truck, and it could also be in
parades.  Surely, among the 100+ alums at the meeting the
other night, a schedule could be worked out to where at
least one person could volunteer to take the shell around
-- certainly there's at least one of these alums who is
at each football or basketball or baseball game or
whatever, who is capable of driving the "bombshell car"
or tying it down in the back of their truck (I'll
volunteer my truck for at least one game or parade a
year).  This situation may actually be a blessing in
disguise, folks.

-Jenny Smart Page (87) ~ West Richland
That's it for today.
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