Great American Conversations
                   With The Alumni of RHS
                Issue 86 September 17, 2000

  "They who disbelieve in virtue because man has
  never been found perfect, might as reasonably
  deny the sun because it is not always noon."
                            - Hare

Hear who's talking today:

   Mina Jo Gerry Payson (68)  Dave Doran `72
   Lloyd Swain "66", Brad Wear 71, 
   Barbara Seslar (60), Steve Carson, 58

Let the conversations begin!

Subj:  The Bad Guy Gets It In The End
by  Mina Jo Gerry Payson (68)

I haven't logged in to the Sandbox for quite a while,
 but I do want to put my two cents worth in about
 Harry Potter.  I have read the first three books of
 the series, borrowed from an adult friend, and 
 am waiting for her family to get through book
 four.  Of course, it is the choice of parents what
 their children read.  I have always been very liberal
 as far as that is concerned.  I did make it a point to 
 read along with my children when they were
 younger.  My daughter was enamored with Sweet
 Valley High and the Baby-sitters Club series.  I 
 read those until I couldn't take it any more.  One
 mother asked my opinion of the Sweet Valley
 series because she felt that her daughter was too
 young to be reading such "mature" material.  My
 reply was that there was nothing I objected to for
 my fifth grader and the "bad" characters always
 lost in the end.  We always made a habit of 
 reading before bed for about 20 to 30 minutes. 
 We read a range from Beezus and Ramona stories
 to classics like Treasure Island.  My children and I
 always discussed what they were reading at home
 or at school.  That carries through to today when
 we recommend books to each other and enjoy the
 discussions that ensue from reading common 
 books.  I don't think it matters what your children
 read as long as reading is encouraged and they see
 their parents reading for pleasure at home.  So
 what does this all have to do with Harry Potter? 
 The bad guy gets it in the end!

              - Mina Jo Gerry Payson (68)

                              ~ ~ ~

Subj: Re: The SANDBOX Issue 84
From:  Dave Doran `72

As a new subscriber to the Sandbox I suppose I
 should just observe for a bit but I can't help but
 comment on a few of the views in Issue 84.

I'm not a Clinton apologist but, really, he was
 corrupt when he took office? I may have missed
 some breaking news but didn't Ken Starr fritter
 away $100 million or so and come up with a big
 nothing save for the sex thing? Of course it was
 stupid to lie about it but certainly no worse than
 some of the stupid and illegal things Presidents
 have been doing forever. The Contras, Watergate,
 Irangate and Reagan's own Star Wars all best
 Clinton on my stupid list. And the last time I
 looked there were many more than two candidates
 for Presidential office although I agree that with
 our present system they have a collective fat

I enjoyed the comments on the stock market
 because, of course, hindsight is always perfect. A
 great many stocks have done well and anyone with
 a few hundred dollars to save could have picked up
 double digit returns in any one of a number of
 mutual funds. The economy has been genuinely
 good for anyone who works, saves or borrows
 unless they were stuck in a menial job or put their
 savings in a bank account. 

  My biggest peeve is reserved for that traffic cop
 of the almighty dollar, Alan Greenspan. I can't
 believe that anyone as myopic as a single man
 should wield the power that he does. He wants to
 slow the economy to prevent 'inflation' and, like
 anyone who is single-minded, he does it without
 regard as to the larger consequences like people
 losing their jobs and not being able to buy homes
 and of course he is wealthy enough to be largely
 unaffected. Our economy has an unemployment
 factor built into it thanks to Mr. Greenspan who
 believes that, if too many people have jobs, then
 employers will lose their leverage to fire at will and
 the competition for workers will raise their payroll
 costs. How about a 'rising tide lifting all the boats'
 theory straight from Ron Reagan himself except
 some boats must be left in the mud so one can tell
 that theirs has risen.
                          -Dave Doran `72

                                  ~ ~ ~

Subj:   If It Were Not For Us...
Re: The SANDBOX Issue 82B
From:   Lloyd Swain "66"

WOW>. where is Pat Paulson when we need
 him?..... I don't know about the rest of you..... but I
 am going out to vote... and hope to hell I get it
 right this time...... I love all your editorials.. some
 are just too long to read....mainly because my short
 attention span and the fact that I don't get here
 much... But really... We all need to hold our
 elected officials to task... when we are not too
 busy working.. taking care of a family....and doing
 yardwork....  and helping this robust economy
 grow... and we are the ones you know.....that
 make all of this work..... We're the Boomers... and
 if it weren't for us ... well ... it would be a lot
                      - Lloyd Swain "66"

                                ~ ~ ~ 

Subj:    Doing Great In Texas
From: Brad Wear 71
To Paul Ratsch 58:

I don't know what decade you were in Texas, but
 you need to come into the 21st century.  Yes, you
 can have a second mortgage on your home in
 Texas.  Years ago they were not allowed, primarily
 due to the "Homestead Act" that reduced the tax
 valuation of your property.  Home equity loans are
 a common albeit risky practice for several years

Take a look at any salary rating matrix and Texas is
 up towards the top.  Primarily due to the "High
 Tech" industries that are located in Dallas, Austin,
 and San Antonio.  The salary levels would be even
 higher if we didn't have the Illegal Alien issue to
 deal with.  Contrary to popular belief we live in
 modern homes, have 401K's IRA's, and corporate
 retirement accounts.  Most companies even have
 stock purchase plans. Texas and Washington are
 really closely tied in their economies and their
 industries.  I have met countless people here who
 have lived in Washington, even Richland to be
 specific, that work on some of the nuclear
 facilities.  Seems like no one can get the running of
 these facilities right, (Commanche Peak, South
 Texas Project here), Hanford up there.  There
 seems to be a heavy cross pollination of workers
 from Texas and Washington.  It's also quite
 common in the aircraft industry.  Big B has plants
 here, and partners with several of the other local
 big manufactures.  Quite a few Washington Stater's
 have matriculated down here when the industry
 slowed up there, and Texans have gone up there
 when it slowed here.  Amazing how that works. 
 Most of the local work slow downs occur when
 the unions get involved and force a closure of one
 plant or the other.  Texas welcomes most 
 outsiders, just look at the list of fastest growing
 cities.  Texas has three of the top four.  If we're
 such a bad place to live why are so many people
 coming here?  

To Chuck Monasmith 65:

Richland Vs Dallas

Chuck, I lived in Dallas for several years and would
 rather die a day sooner than live IN Dallas.  The
 taxes are excessive, they have one of the worst
 education systems in the state.  Perpetuated by the
 Texas Education Association (TEA) the state
 education union, the local board, half of which
 can't or won't speak in full sentences. They've had
 four Superintendents in the last five years.  One
 resigned after a long tenure, one sent to prison for
 embezzlement, one fired after eight mos., and two
 interim's that would not take the job due to the
 board.  Salary $260K, nice chunk of change.  The
 boards first question, as well as the local
 communities, when they announce a candidate is
 "What Color is he?"  I find that interesting, What
 should it matter?  Dallas is one of the last bastions
 of Democratic dominance in Texas.  They are also
 the highest Taxed, highest enrollment in Welfare,
 lowest scores on the TAAS tests, second highest
 school enrollment where English is a second
 language.  Now flip that to the city where my
 youngest son goes to school.  Plano, when I
 moved here 22 years ago it was a sleepy little town
 of 37,000.  This years census puts it at 385,000. 
 They have the highest scores in the state on SAT,
 TAAS, ACT, the most scholarships awarded,
 (nation wide), and the most graduates that receive
 IB or AP certificates.  We've also voted some of
 the biggest bond issues dedicated to Information
 Technology and High Tech infrastructure in the
 schools.  All schools are networked with fiber
 optics, pentium III's and the latest software.  My
 son had CNC training in 8th grade.  In 4th grade
 he had his own PC at his desk that was state of the
 art, and it's only gotten better.  Local control is the
 reason.  We would be even better if Ann Richards
 (Ma' Richards) hadn't passed the "Robin Hood"
 amendment.  Take funds from the wealthiest
 school districts and give to the poor.  The concept
 is fine, but when the TEA fights accountability and
 poor schools pay the brother of the superintendent
 or some other relative millions for the same job
 over and over again "what's wrong with this

I'd move back to Richland, it's still home, in a
 heartbeat, if there were jobs there that could meet
 the income I'm earning now.  Will I move back
 some time?  You bet, I love it there.  But for now I
 like it here in TEXAS.  

                Ya'll come down, ya hear. 
                      - Brad Wear 71 

                              ~ ~ ~

Subj:    Comments about Issue 84
From:    Barbara Seslar (60)

Re:  Dick Epler (52) comments re: Bob Carlson's
 "Not a Clinton Lover/Apologist" Comments in
 Issue 82B

I appreciate your well-thought out comments.
  Thank you for expressing them.

                   - Barbara Seslar (60)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Re: The SANDBOX Issue 84
From:   Steve Carson

For Paul Ratsch (58)

Paul, when we first started talking in the Sandbox it
 was about your low opinion of Texas.  Then I
 thought it was because your union people had been
 painting an unfair picture of the state because of
 the "Right to Work" issue.  Today I am not sure
 what is under your saddle but Texas is a cool state. 
 Are some of the people a little "proud" yes and
 that would be their loss.  Relax a little Paul.  There
 are good people and less good people everywhere.  
 Let's focus on the issues that will impact us and
 take the time to become fully informed.  I can't
 wait to have a couple of beers with you and hope it
 is soon.
                    - Steve Carson 58

                                ~ ~ ~

That concludes this issue, folks. Please remember
 to include your class year and maiden name, (if
 applicable), in all correspondence and subscription
 requests.  To join in the ongoing conversations
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 are the Alumni of Richland High School, Richland
 Washington, AKA Columbia High School, 
 representing classes from 1942 through 1999. 
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                        - Al Parker (53)
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