Bomber Mascot Controversy
Issue # 30 ~ 08/30/01
Today's comments submitted by:

Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson (54), Gordon McDonald (56)
John Adkins (62), Don Andrews (67)
>>From: Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson (54)

Aaron Johnson (82) has hit the nail on the head, so to
speak.  If you want another cliché, how about "out of the
mouth's of babes ...?"  Sorry, Aaron, but you are
somewhat younger.  However, I do think you are right when
you write that this little donnybrook came about as the
result of the cavalier attitude of a party or parties

Yes, good manners and civility require that notification
be made, AND an offer made toward resolution.  It would
seem that neither was the case; just a pre-emptive strike
and consequences be damned.  Had such actions been taken
in some other country, nothing would be said about the
"removal" and the "donor" would more than likely wind up
in some gulag.  The result, here in America, was a bit

Perhaps the thinking on the part of the school
administration was that if we just get rid of the
"thing" no one will be the wiser and life will go on.
That didn't happen, and we know the rest of the story.

While I have not served as a member of a school board, I
have served on budget committees and found the process
enlightening.  There can be collusion between some board
members and the superintendent which, if unchecked, could
be seen as detrimental.  Unless, of course, someone pops
that balloon.

The time has now come to back off the rhetoric and do
some serious planning.  How do we, as Bomber Alumni, get
the message across to the school board, the
superintendent, and Burt Pierard's notorious "Gang of
Four", that the "Bomber" belief system is something to
reckon with.

It has to begin with a majority of the school board's
looking very long and hard at the superintendent's
agenda, and, somewhere down the line, giving him a vote
of "no confidence" or just not renewing his contract.
Dismissing school teachers is something else.  The best
analogy I can give is the reason NASA in the early
sixties wanted to name the next missile "Civil Servant":
they felt they couldn't fire it, or get it to work.

Keep the good thoughts, and may the Spudnut be with you.
-Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson (54)
>>From: Gordon McDonald (56)

It is time to quit whipping the dead horse (mascot
issue).  Either decide if you are going to pursue getting
the mascot bomb accepted by the school or follow some
alternate plan, such as installing it at the entrance to
the city or mounting it on a vehicle -- or whatever.  My
guess is that the issue will die as soon as a new
'cause' is brought to the table.  All that is happening
now is just 'yadda - yadda'.

-Gordon McDonald (56)
>>From: John Adkins (62)

There has been significant discussion related to the
school board's position of "vote your conscience" or
"vote the will of the constituents".  Elected officials
are constantly faced with this issue, and there is no
question that it can be difficult.

The discussion has been ongoing since the early days of
our republic, and will surely continue into the
foreseeable future.  Precisely, the issue comes down to
the will of the people -- and their reactions to elected
officials that do not pay heed to that will.  Elected
officials risk the support of the electorate when they
choose a course in opposition to the will of the
electorate.  That is a political reality.

My position is pretty simple: in the next election,
School Board members do not have my support.  School
Board members have clearly demonstrated that the goals
they pursue are not the goals I pursue.  Before someone
attacks that as a "one issue" statement, let me add that
I have opposed only one school bond issue put before the
Richland voters -- and I fully expect to oppose the same
issue again.

The other issue that I have found compelling is the
historical revisionism surrounding this whole issue.  I
believe that a thorough review of the research papers
made available by Ray Stein (64), Burt Pierard (59), and
Keith Maupin (47) will convince the majority of readers
that there is a conscious effort by a group of people to
remove the bomb as a symbol of the school, and supplant
it with "The Day's Pay".  To this end this group of
people have manipulated, hidden, and withheld information
from students attempting to find relevant information
regarding "Bomber History".  The proof of that is a
reading of the events occurring at the time of the
installation of "The Day's Pay Mural" and the fly-over of
the World War II Bomber at a High School graduation.
Members of the Richland High School staff gave students
incorrect information, and those staff members were
absolutely aware that the information was incorrect.
Specifically -- students were told that the name
"Bombers" was accepted at Columbia High School before the
bombs were dropped on Japan.  (We know, of course, that
the bombs were dropped in August and the name change
occurred in October of 1945.)  There is absolute
indisputable proof of this in the Sandstorm issues of
1945 (which, by the way, are not available to Richland
High School students, only to the staff member who has
the series held in his office).

There has been a good deal of negative rhetoric regarding
the vocal reaction of the attendees of the school board
meeting to the final decision of the school board.  There
are two issues that caused that outburst, and the school
board should not be surprised at that reaction.  The
school board's decision in absolute opposition to the
comments made by the public was the first issue; the
second is much more troubling to me.  Members of the
school board spent over an hour listening to comments by
at least 20 community members then responded from
prepared statements.  School board members: if you don't
respect our input, do not expect any respect from us.

The last items I will address here are statements made by
the superintendent and board members to the attendees of
the Richland School Board meeting.  The statements were
something to the effect that it is too bad there wasn't
this kind of involvement in our school bond drive.  In my
personal case, I felt that the school bond was a poorly
constituted program, and I did not support it.  However,
it is a giant leap of faith for the superintendent and
the school board members to assume that everyone in that
room was a non-supporter or non-participant in the
election because they didn't come to a school board

-John Adkins (62) -- Richland 
>>From: Don Andrews (67)

Before my family moved to Richland in October of '64, my
sophomore year, I thought of myself as a proud "GRIZZLY"
from Sunnyside.  The mascot at that time at Sunnyside
High School was an eight-foot tall stuffed Grizzly bear
that was transported to away games in a horse trailer.
It would be a shame if they no longer had that Grizzly
for it was a symbol of great school pride.  I doubt that
the school board would feel it was too BIG, or that
animal rights people would object because, after all, it
is a "MASCOT" not a symbol of killing animals or anything
else that people can construe into a meaning.  This for
sure is in my past and I can only be a "BOMBER" for it is
true "Once a BOMBER, always a BOMBER!!!!!!!!!

This brings me to the "MASCOT" of Col-Hi.  "BOMBERS" have
the most pride of any group I have EVER seen or been part
of and I am truly blessed to be a part of.  The PRIDE
that "BOMBERS" have goes way beyond school pride.  It is
pride of Community, Our Past, Our Future, Day's Pay,
Spudnuts, the Great Pacific Northwest (i.e., Seattle,
Portland, Albany, Vancouver U.S.A., Poulsbo, etc.) and so
many other things that each and every "BOMBER" holds
close to their heart.  The ONE thing that always comes to
the surface is that being a "BOMBER" is being part of a
very big FAMILY and the PRIDE that family has is the
greatest in the world.  What ever our BOMB looks like it
is our "MASCOT" and the symbol of our "FAMILY PRIDE" and
will be forever.  Thank you "BOMBER FAMILY" for all of
the memories past and memories to come.

-Don Andrews (67) -- Ridgefield, WA
That's it for today.
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