Letters to the Editor


November 24, 2022

To the editor,

Part of your headline on an article on the front page of the Dayton Chronicle last week mentioned that our town, Dayton, is a town that still believes. I am wondering what we believe in? The reason I ask is that, as many of you may have heard, our County Library here in town is buying, distributing, and displaying for children, books that teach children about sexual practices that are not appropriate for their age level. These books also describe rape, violence, and use foul language.

Many of us have attended library board meetings to protest the placement of these books in the children's area of the library. We have written letters and filled out forms the library requires in opposition to these books being made available in the children's section. So far, all our requests to have the books moved have been disregarded by the head of the library. Further, Mr. Vandenbark blatantly disregards our concerns by promoting such materials in more ways than before such as promoting one of the books through a youth book club, placing them in little libraries throughout town, and also leaving them in places around town for anyone to pick up and read no matter what age that person may be.

We have been accused of wanting to ban books though we have not asked for that. What would be a good solution and what has been requested, is to have inappropriate books removed from the children's area and placed with adult books. Or, they could be placed behind the desk where they cannot be viewed by little eyes. Once content is viewed by a child, it cannot be undone.

The library personnel say that if parents are concerned about what their children may see or check out at the library, the parent should watch over their children while at the library. It wasn't long ago that the library promoted itself as a safe place for children. Our library is no longer a safe place for children with or without parents due to what they may see promoted on a shelf in the children's section.

Which brings me back to the original question: what do Dayton residents believe in? Many of us believe our children's innocence should be protected. I ask that if you do not agree with library policy on this matter that you contact the County Commissions by letter voicing your concerns to: [email protected] or by making comment at one of their Monday meetings. The commissioners appoint library board members and fund it.

Joann Patras

Dayton, Wash.

Letter to editor, (Part 1)

I've lived in Dayton for nearly 30 years and consider this my home town. Actively promoting its health and well-being is paramount for the survival of our community! I applaud the diligence of Table Rock Meat Company of Dayton for rethinking and reshaping how farm-to-table protein is able to be accomplished here. There are no commercially available protein sources that can even hold a candle to knowing where my meat comes from and how it's handled. This is a service that is a MUST in our rural town.

However, I have many questions regarding the meat processing plant that is being proposed on the Port of Columbia ground on Cameron Street here in Dayton: First question: Will there be a feedlot associated with this processing plant? Second question: Will this be a kill facility? Third question: Where will the refuse and unwanted animal carcass parts/offal be kept? And how often will these be removed and the facility sanitized? Fourth question: How will the potential insect, rodent and other pests be managed?

Regarding the first question: My family moved to the Walla Walla Valley in December 1969. We lived in a small house on a dairy farm out near Whitman Mission. Every time the wind blew and/or the weather turned foggy, the stench from the commercial feedlot at Wallula would arrive and permeate the air, even above and beyond the odors from the dairy farm animals. With the predominant weather pattern bringing weather from the west end of our Touchet Valley and heading east, I fear a similar situation will evolve here in Dayton, with the smells and stench becoming very unpleasant to town residents.

Second, if this proposed facility is a kill facility, will the gunshots be heard by those living next to and near the facility? That is not a pleasant sound on a good day! Animals don't want to be killed and there are many times when more than one attempt must be made to cease the struggle of the animal. Additionally, this facility is just across the street from our Boy's and Girl's Club of Dayton. Those children shouldn't be subjected to this type of facility right on the back step of their after-school hangout.

Third, with a feedlot or even a short-term holding facility, there will be feces... much and plentiful in quantity! And if this is a kill facility, there will be much offal which will need disposal. These things do not smell good at any time, however, if left for more than a few hours, the stench grows exponentially. Again, this raises concerns for a less-than pleasant fragrance in the air. It would require daily maintenance, washing and sanitization to keep odors to a minimum. Is that something that can reasonably be an expected part of this facility? I've lived on a farm my entire life. With livestock, there are no circumstances that are 100% for sure. Just when I think everything is as it should be, there comes some sort of surprise situation that knocks out all the plans and leaves me scrambling. Ensuring cleanliness and sanitization is something that must be regularly and faithfully completed.

Fourth, if there are live animals of any type at the facility, the feces will attract rodents and insects. I cannot see a way to deal with the increase in both pest sources and keep current rodent and insect levels as they presently are. Those living in the area of the proposed facility will see a rise in pests as a result of this facility coming to the Cameron Street location.

(Letter will continue in the December 1, 2022 edition of the Dayton Chronicle)

Aileen Warren

Dayton, Wash.


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