February 14, 2018
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613 7th Street
Prosser, WA 99350
Letters to the Editor
Prosser City Council
Prosser City Council
School M&O,
Educational Levy Passage
Dear Editor;
Please vote on the M&O, Educational Levy for the Prosser School District. The deadline to vote is Feb. 13th. Please vote YES to support the high-quality programs that our school district provides for our community, children, and their futures. The continued community support of our schools and children is deeply appreciated.
Also, as of Feb. 2nd, the final concept design of the new high school was presented to the public. I believe it will be a true pride point for our community.
Jack & Sue Schroeder,

The Janus Decision Will Have Far Reaching Effects

Dear Editor;
I've been at Prosser Hospital for 10 years and I know what it takes to give great care to my patients.  I enjoy working at a smaller hospital because I am able to deliver personalized care to those in my charge. 
On February 26, our United States Supreme Court will hear a case called Janus about whether or not public employees like me—yes, since Prosser is a public hospital we are public employees—should be able to have all-in strong unions.  Anyone who could be a patient at our hospital should hope that the court finds in favor of strong unions.  The great quality of care in our public hospitals depends on it.
When I arrived as a new nurse back in 2007, my co-workers were just forming the union we have now.  We formed our union to ensure fair overtime pay, having enough time to rest in between shifts, and issues with being called back to the hospital in non-urgent situations.  These sound like typical employee issues, but each of them is also a critical patient care issue. 
Anytime that a nurse is working an exorbitant number of hours and unable to go home and get a reasonable amount of sleep, it's a safety issue.  It is not safe for a tired nurse to care for a patient let alone many patients.  Increasing overtime pay is both fairly compensating us for our time and creating a deterrent to the hospital against using overtime staff instead of hiring more nurses to ease workloads.
After we formed our union and gained a fair contract, we stood together to earn a more competitive pay rate, better overtime pay, and we established a policy to where a nurse is excused from work if they don't get 8 hours of sleep before the next shift.  Now, because of our union, management is required to exhaust all options so that nurse can be safe next time they work.  Each of these are investments in providing great care for our patients.
Through the work of our union we've created a strong working relationship with management.  We respect the hospital and understand that we're here to work together to deliver the best patient care possible.  The best way to achieve that is to make sure that nurses are treated fairly and with respect.
Together with our union we were able to address all these important issues so that we could go back to caring for patients.
With our union on the line, though, we're looking at what's really at stake.  If we didn't have a union any more, management could make decisions without our input.  Without our advocacy for safe staffing, staffing issues could become a concern again to the point where patient loads could become unsafe.  Our patient care expertise would be less important in decisions and our community would feel the impact. Also, without a union contract with established and competitive wages and raises the hospital may find it's not longer able to recruit and retrain the great nurses that make up our staff.
Regardless of what the Supreme Court decides, we nurses are sticking together in our strong union.  As nurses, we're devoted patient advocates and no court case can hold us back.  Nurses deserve to be treated fairly and with respect and our union means we can ensure that.  With our union we can create conditions that are ideal for working and healing.  Every patient has a lot to lose if we lose our union rights.

Christopher Huston,

Concerns about Education

Dear Editor;

A Jan 25, 2018 letter to the editor caught my attention. The letter was entitled, "Comments Cause Concern for Safety of Students. "The letter relayed a Dec. 4th incident when two students were overheard talking about shooting up the Senior High School. It described the frustration of a local parent at the inaction of any official… for weeks… now a couple of months. The parent further cited a Washington State law that prohibits such speech and deems this bizarre conversation as criminal.
Yes, dear parents, someone's child fixed their lips to say they would like to shoot up out school, but don't worry because the school has a "Resource Officer." For anyone over 50, this is a cop. Yes, there are cops moonlighting in government schools. After such an incident the standard operating procedure of this cop is to have a shuck-n-jive interview with the student, perhaps talk to a parent, check "social media", but mostly ride that clock of the state gravy train.
Back in the stone age of the 1970's, Office Terrance Gobbel would have had a "Come to Jesus meeting." The transgressor would have been jacked up by the collar, arms flailing, and feet dangling. Meanwhile, Officer Gobbel would've been booming commands and expectations, instilling a fear of God and man; and ejecting a fair amount of spit. The newly repentant would hope-n-pray nothing went amiss in the hood because Officer Gobbel had given fair warning. Then Officer Gobbel would go back to singings and the rest of the congregation would rejoice because they were TIRED of the sinner.
Any child that would plot the demise of their fellow students is an idiot. Let's just hope they are not from a long line of idiots. Evidently, the miscreants have too much time on their hands. The parent's job quickly becomes making their life a living hell. Teen-types who are tired mentally and physically do not have time to daydream monstrous plots. Parents need to STOP BEING LAZY and DO YOUR WORK. Meanwhile, good students and the rest of the general public are TIRED of playing "This week in stupid."
Did anyone else see the irony of the January 25th letter on the same page as the concern letter as a plea for more money for the government school? Hmmm…more money? Really? Government school officials who could not find a way to discipline the above student, indicated miscreants because the pie chart, graph or other implement of paper-pushing did not fit their personal agenda; but they needed more money to carry on. In a ranking of education in over 20 countries, the US did not rate in the top 1. Maybe 5th or 6th - please forgive lack of recall.
More money is not the problem. In some areas we spend $14,000 on average per student per year. A private school can easily operate on $5,000. Taxpayers should collectively be humming. The first order of business would be the Teacher's Union, Administration, tenured "educators," Prosser Police Dept, and Government School Board who should go buy some shovels and cover their ambition, which is causing a terrible FUNK. Second, parents insist appropriations follow the student. SCHOOL CHOICE. Third, school should be for the pursuit of an education-not an indoctrination camp or social petri dish. If you are a student at a government school I suggest you ignore propaganda, read to educate yourself, stay busy, and try to learn skills on your own.

Miss Renee King
Letters to the Editor