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Letters from the Community


October 30, 2019

WAGAP’s arrogance is astonishing

It was no surprise that Leslie Naramore, executive director of Washington Gorge Action Programs (WAGAP), asked the Goldendale City Council on Oct. 21 for city money to help fund the local food bank. This is precisely what she said she would do in a Sentinel article when WAGAP strong-armed the Goldendale Food Bank away from Christ The King Lutheran Church in 2017.

According to last week’s Sentinel article, what was surprising—or rather, audacious—was Casey Mills, the food bank director, telling the city council that the establishment of a food bank in Goldendale two years ago saved residents from having to drive to the food bank in Bingen. Excuse me? Goldendale had an established food bank for 30 years, thanks to the commitment, generosity, and hard work of the Lutheran Church and many other Christian congregations and individuals in our community. That Goldendale Food Bank successfully met the needs of hungry local residents for 30 years as a ministry of the church, in a personal and loving way—at no cost to the city.

Mr. Mills told the city council that the increased need for funding is due to increased demand for food—double the need of produce alone in one year’s time. Really? Are we to believe that twice as many local residents are in need of free food since WAGAP bullied possession of the Goldendale Food Bank? Could it possibly be that WAGAP is handing out twice as much food because they give it away without determining the eligibility or need of the recipients? Just asking.

In response to a question from the city council, Ms. Naramore listed the thousands of dollars contributed each year by other nearby communities to support WAGAP food banks and youth center. If you remember, Sentinel readers, Ms. Naramore said in an article two years ago that she would like to open a youth center in Goldendale and would be asking the city for a building in which to house it.

Is this what we want for our community? Do we want WAGAP and other groups coming in and taking over the ministries of our local churches? Do we want the “professionals” to do for us what God calls each of His followers to do, such as feeding the hungry and clothing the poor and offering them the hope that is found only in Jesus? WAGAP cannot meet the spiritual needs of our community, and WAGAP should not be allowed to mentor the young people of our community.

The Goldendale Food Bank belongs back in the loving hands of the local church. And the Goldendale City Council should give WAGAP nothing.

Cheri Harris


Keep the continuity

I would like to draw the attention of voters in our school district to the ballot soon to be voted on.

Our district is in turmoil after being caught in the backwash of the McCleary decision. Thankfully we have tremendously dedicated people currently on the school board who are successfully navigating through the maze of financial difficulties Olympia has dumped on our rural district. There is a long, complicated road ahead for at least the next two years. The school board is in good hands, and we need to keep it that way. Continuity is critical at this time, and our board needs to remain with its current members.

Beth Schroeder is eminently qualified with her credentials in accounting and financial management and is an indispensable asset to the board. Additionally, she is currently chairman, and just as important, she is a longtime resident of the area familiar with, and identifies with, the rural values we cherish. Join me in supporting Beth Schroder for school board position 1 on Nov. 5.

Lyle Ferch


Reject Referendum 88

Referendum 88 claims to help minorities without preferences or quotas. False.

That is what Initiative 200 has been doing for 20 years. Outreach, education and any other measures to increase opportunity for minorities without discrimination are permitted (and extensively practiced) under I-200.

Referendum 88 effectively nullifies I-200 and allows preferences, discrimination, and quotas by an Orwellian change to the commonly understood definition “preferences” and renaming of de-facto quotas.

Please read R-88 carefully; it is as intentionally misleading as it is racist.

The Ballot Title dishonestly says “… affirmative action, without quotas or preferential treatment (as defined)”, but:

Section 3.11(d) defines “preferential treatment” as “using race, [etc.], as the SOLE qualifying factor to select a lesser qualified candidate…”

Thus, absurdly, decisions based 99 percent on race would be perfectly legal, no matter how unjust.

Example: “Contractors wanted; license required, whitey (or Jews, Asians, Blacks, Irish, or anyone currently out of favor) need not apply.”

3.11© permits de-facto quotas if they are called “goals,” “timetables,” or “diversity.”

If you are excluded because of discrimination in pursuit of a “goal”, or “diversity”, it is exactlythe same as being excluded because of discrimination in pursuit of a “quota.”

Section 5 creates a massive unelected, unaccountable “Commission on Diversity Equity and Inclusion” responsible for monitoring, and enforcing de-facto quotas with no meaningful checks or balances.

The central premise of R-88 is that government must inflict discrimination on innocent citizens whenever it suspects that someone else of a “protected” demographic has been discriminated against.

This may (or may not) reduce some arbitrary statistical “disparity” on some quota sheet, but it does not prevent discrimination (It IS discrimination.). Neither does it help individuals who actually were discriminated against.

It only inflicts harm and injustice on innocent people and perpetuates racial animosity.

Reject R-88.

John Alberti



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