No justice for 2-year-old Rustin Atkerson

The last adult found responsible for the death of a child due to child abuse in Douglas County, that I know of, is still roaming the streets of East Wenatchee and Wenatchee free as a bird.

Elected prosecutor Gordon Edgar didn’t want to spend the time or the money to try Elaine Angelica Hurd for the death of her 2-year-old son Rustin Atkerson. Edgar let Hurd out of jail after only 16 days of her one year sentence for criminal mistreatment… Mistreatment!? Mistreatment that ends in death is murder.

Two-year-old Rustin is dead. So, Tyler Vance Metcalfe doesn’t have much to worry about. Then again, he’s a man and batting his eyes at the prosecutor and acting weak and helpless might not work.

Elaine Angelica Hurd showed up in court pregnant again and Gordon Edgar advocated for her instead of standing up for his own client Rustin Atkerson, the dead 2-year-old.

We have our own swamp to clean up.

The mission of The Wenatchee World is to engage, inform and inspire NCW communities.

Don’t we as community members have a right to be informed of the dealings of our elected officials and to be informed of who has been let loose in our communities?

Karen Atkerson


Teach flag etiquette

Concerned that the story about the Hand in Hand agent was using a real flag as a face mask and table cloth.

Hopefully, they teach flag etiquette in the citizenship classes they discussed in the article.

Carol Loranger


Standing up for our police

I speak in support of our noble people of law enforcement — because no one else seems to have the courage to do so. They are the scapegoats for a hateful mob, obsessed with injustices that ended long before their births.

Officers’ jobs have been made impossible, yet they are expected to appease our minions, whose desires change as fast as the weather. Their actions are recorded/reviewed frame by frame for hours, yet they possess micro-seconds to make life-or death decisions.

When they are shot down inside a coffee store, they receive a nice funeral, but there are no demonstrations to follow. Hundreds of them die yearly, sometimes due to their fear to confront or react. Most politicians shed a tear for a day and then forget them.

Their lives are as expendable now as our soldiers in Vietnam once were. We’ve learned little.

They are our fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, sisters, and brothers and are vital members of healthy communities. They are out there serving us holidays, weekends, late at night. They don’t sleep so that we may. They run into what others flee, deliver babies, find lost children, pull others from fires.

The vitriolic fraction of our masses speaks loudly for all of now, it would seem. If their narrative is unchallenged, they may get their way. Eliminate police departments from our major cities? The cancer will spread. The silent majority will deserve that, if so.

Chaos will soon erupt. The politicians will call it “a summer of love.”

Steven Martin


Looking forward to a new governor

On June 6 governor, you gave your approval for thousands of protesters to assemble and march on your city. You said they had a right of assembly.

At that time, residents of Chelan and Douglas counties were limited to groups of three to five people with 6-foot social distancing required.

The double standard is evident.

Your protesters proceeded to pillage, break windows, steal, rob, and damage stores with untold dollars of damage. They ruined the downtown Seattle retail core again.

The next day, your protesters moved across the lake to Bellevue and continued their rampage of destruction.

We have protesters in our two counties too, governor, we are law abiding, hard-working compliant citizens. We protest the inability to open our businesses, work, serve our customers, pay our bills or go to church. We see our friends’ businesses closing as the weeks go by with no help from you.

Your lack of leadership has now resulted in a “Sanctuary” takeover on Capitol Hill. Is there no end to your missteps?

I cannot wait for November!

Corinne Hannon

East Wenatchee

Include Latinx leaders in Health District decisions

Latinx agricultural workers in Chelan/Douglas are suffering COVID 19 at a disproportional rate.

Too often, community members dismiss the implications of this disparity. However, our community needs to work together for solutions that benefit us all. First, because those suffering are our neighbors. In addition, because these neighbors’ essential work benefits us all. And finally, if the risk of infection continues unabated, it will extend to all of us.

The Chelan-Douglas Health District is working on a short timeline to develop mitigation plans to address this concern. Unfortunately, the proportion of those at the table with background to represent the needs of Latinx agricultural workers falls far short of the Latinx portion of the general population, and even shorter of the percentage of those impacted by the disease.

The CDHD is taking steps to expand conversation with more of the knowledgeable and dedicated Latinx leaders in our area. This work must be characterized by meaningful dialog and protocols that intentionally develop trust.

It takes time and a receptive posture to build collaborative solutions. Too many policy making groups simply check a box indicating that all minority groups have been consulted.

Thoughtful and capable Latinx leaders are eager to share their gifts for the benefit of all. I believe that their collaborative leadership will improve outcomes with regard to the pandemic, and will accelerate the development of a robust multi-cultural community where each of us can flourish.

Millie Watkins


Take down the Skookum Indian sign

The Skookum Indian sign must go.

Located at Wenatchee Avenue and Ninth Street on the Office Depot building, this was a sign for a fruit warehouse.

It is far past the time when gross caricatures of races should be used. The defense of it being part of Wenatchee’s history is simply not adequate justification for this racist sign to exist.

Instead of closing our eyes every time we drive past the Skookum Indian’s moving eyes, it is time for all of us to open our eyes to the symbols we have allowed to continue in our own community.

Take it down! This sign represents our past not our present and definitely not our future. We are better than this.

L. Anne Conrad


Creating a legacy one act at a time

The virus rages, the brown and black among us rage over centuries of injustice, the right and left rage to the point of dismantling democracy, but every once in a while, there is an island of peace in this chaotic world.

I just came from the Fred Meyer grocery store. On the bread aisle, a 30-ish man passed me and spoke briefly and gently to his two small children. I thought that was nice at the moment, but there was more to come.

As we drove toward the exit of the parking lot, I saw the same man, standing by his truck holding out what appeared to be a bag with some of his groceries. He was talking to an older, frail-appearing gentleman who seemed to be down on his luck. After a moment of convincing, the fellow nodded his head, accepted the parcel and walked up toward the street, apparently on foot.

And the best part?

His two little kids were watching. Now that, my friend, is why the human race has survived thousands of years of savage competition. That … is a legacy. A legacy that his children will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Happy Father’s Day, sir.

Steven Aguilu


Listen to the voices of change — and then act

I am a 74-year-old white woman. I lived in Seattle for 35 years before coming to Wenatchee 20 years ago. My “significant other” of 30 years was black and a business owner. I explain this to state that the exact same struggles of 50 years ago, during the civil rights movement, are the causes for the protests today.

These protests were precipitated by the murder of an innocent black man by the police, but the underlying issues of systemic racism are the same. 50 years! And that’s just in my lifetime.

I am tired of explaining to relatives, friends and acquaintances that the loss of property (the riots) is an understandable (though of course regrettable) piece of the revolutionary fervor necessary for significant change to occur.

The reasons underlying the loss of property, human lives, are what’s important. It is time for fundamental change, and black, brown, indigenous, and other minorities have the absolute right to be angry in their demands for radical change. It is long overdue. And we are blessed that this movement is by and large peaceful.

We need to all hope, and more importantly work towards, systematic changes in policing, economics, education and health care.

It needs to happen now, not be left to yet more committees and commissions. Otherwise, I believe, we will be a country that has truly abandoned our core values of “justice for all.” And we will all suffer.

The voices for change are starting to be heard now, let’s work so that they continue with the actions that result in fundamental progress. All the information is out there, much of the work has been done; we just need to listen and then implement the difficult and widespread systemic changes and reforms that are necessary.

Betsy Pierce


What it really means to be an American

I would like to share a post making its rounds on social media:

I want you to know that I am educated enough to know that I could be asymptomatic and can still give you the virus.

No, I don’t “live in fear” of the virus; I just want to be part of the solution, not the problem.

I don’t feel like the “government is controlling me;” I feel like I’m being a contributing adult to society and I want to teach others the same.

The world doesn’t revolve around me. It’s not all about me and my comfort.

If we all could live with other people’s consideration in mind, this whole world would be a much better place.

Wearing a mask doesn’t make me weak, scared, stupid, or even “controlled.” It makes me considerate.

When you think about how you look, how uncomfortable it is, or what others think of you, just imagine someone close to you — a child, a father, a mother, grandparent, aunt, or uncle — choking on a ventilator, alone without you or any family member allowed at their bedside. Ask yourself if you could have sucked it up a little for them...

I will add one of my own: I am an American. True Americans (not those who claim they love America but hate Americans) come together and help their communities with preparation, protection and survival, rescue and recover, repair and rebuild, or whatever it takes to come thru to the other side.

I would also like to comment that it made my heart and stomach sick to say the least when I saw a young lady dressed in full scrub uniform shopping in Fred Meyers without a mask. Seriously?! I only can hope that she does not work in long-term or home healthcare. I hope she will be more professional in the future.

Sherri Morrow

Rock Island

Trump supporters: I feel your pain

Trump supporters of Wenatchee, I feel your pain. It can’t be happy time to see your favorite Xenophobic Narcissist-in-Chief lose favor and plummet in the polls.

The lack of the emperor’s clothes is not a pretty sight. It must be further salt in the wound to have only local television news available from liberal Seattle and nationally from all but one network: Faux News. And for those who harbor white nationalist endearments, this moment in history, long overdue, must be particularly painful.

Fortunately, our children are finally learning in school what we didn’t: When our founders declared that all men are created equal, they exclusively meant “men.” It took women another 150 years to gain the right to vote, and African Americans nearly 200 years to enjoy their civil rights — changes that came about only by civil disobedience and bloodshed such as we are now experiencing again. God willing, this will be the beginning of the end of intolerance and hate.

When our president and his loyalists chant “Make America Great Again” it begs the question: To what greatness should we return? One also has to wonder how Christian faith and hate can occupy the same mind.

It is my prayer that those who suffer from such an affliction can find peace, and if not, at least not poison the minds of their children and their future.

William Mark

East Wenatchee

Intimidation at march violated our rights

In response to Dominick Bonny’s incredible and factual opinion piece on the vigilantes intimidating peaceful protesters: Right, the Second Amendment is their excuse but it does not allow intimidation or threats and is a clear violation of our laws in Washington state as Dominick pointed out:

“There’s a lot of talk about how these armed people were not breaking the law, but I would say that there’s a fair case to make that they were. Let’s look at this relevant section of Washington state code 9.41.270”

Then we heard or saw on NCW Life and in The Wenatchee World, a Douglas County official proudly say he responded to “rumors” that there would be trouble and he had not talked with local law enforcement in regard to these rumors, per his interview. Actually, the President of the United States on public television brought up these rumors and reminded all of their Right per the Second Amendment a week ago and to use it.

Call to Arm. A President spreading rumors, acting illegally, and locals brandishing firearms per the Second Amendment illegally intimidating the peaceful residents and children of our Wenatchee Valley exercising their First Amendment right.

Not only illegal, this is Fascism and how it starts eating away at states and countries. This kind of history can not repeat itself. Do not bury your heads in the sand.

Something is very wrong that this was allowed to happen not only by local police departments along with county commissioners. Possibly because no “Formal Complaint” was filed by anyone is their excuse? I hope each and every one that was threatened or intimidated will come forward and file complaints, particularly if you have good descriptions and vehicle license plate numbers. Washington state laws can not be ignored and are there to protect you, not the vigilantes.

Lets stop this before it eats away at our wonderful Wenatchee Valley. Along with using your voice in your vote this year, we are saying: No, not in our valley or our country!

Shawnee McCartor


Minds shut tight

Rufus Woods’ column on June 12 on the protest march and assembly because of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis was thoughtful and poised.

Thank you, Mr. Woods and The World. The fact that such a wide range of people are protesting in so many cities across the U.S. — and the world — raises the hope that change might be possible, this time.

The fact that the march was targeted by local citizens exercising their Second Amendment and open-carry rights made me feel right at home. As an old gun-nut from the 1940-60s Malaga, I know the language of these self-appointed guardians of other people’s property. Likely they said to each other, “They start anything, we’ll finish it,” anticipating a riot at any time, alerted as they were by a handful of alarmist politicians and columnists.

Even from my home in Minneapolis, I can imagine these eagle-eyed cowboys prowling the edges of the protest parade, AK-whatevers slung across their shoulders, pistols holstered on hips but at the ready. Bold talkers who might have been just slightly embarrassed when they returned home after having guarded the streets from the students, the kids, the moms and pops, those black people, those white people, the old ladies and the old men, the smiling but serious people who’ve seen police brutality before and know from real vigilantes — the kind that string “other” people up, who kneel on their necks until dead — and are tired of having to march out in the sun all over again for a cause that should have been cured a hundred years ago. But still isn’t.

Those self-righteous guys protecting life and property didn’t get to protect anything from anybody, but at least they got to lock and load, proving only that there are still a lot of minds shut tight.

William Price

Minneapolis, Minnesota

How long will we live in fear?

I commend Jeanna Deal for the Safety Valve letter, Thursday, June 11, “Consistency in Inconsistency.”

How long are we going to continue living in fear? I feel there has been more harm done and will continue to be done to our economy, emotional and mental well being and education of all school age children than the harm of COVID-19 itself.

The inequity of what is essential and non-essential is deplorable. Why are liquor stores essential when grocery stores have the same thing?

Face masks, social distancing, hand washing are reasonable precautions. However, giving $10,000 per day fines to businesses the governor determines as non-essential who want to be open for business to make a living for themselves and their employees is not reasonable.

Compliments to Eastmont School Board for letter sent to Governor Inslee advocating and with sensible reasoning for need to have students return to traditional school setting this fall.

Carleen Elliott


STEM is a key to the future

This spring, I graduated from Cashmere High School. Due to COVID-19, my friends and I are missing opportunities to celebrate graduation in front of our families. However, one bright spot is that I was selected as a Washington STEM Signing Day recipient.

Like athletes who sign with a college, STEM Signing Day honors graduating high school seniors who are committed to following a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education and career. On June 16, 17, and 18, I can celebrate my accomplishments with my family, friends, mentors and other STEM students from across Washington.

My dream is to use my STEM education to recreate, advance, and invent in the technology field with a Computer Science degree from the University of Washington.

COVID-19 has made the value of STEM education clear. This crisis proves that technology is so important as we move more online. It shows the value of science to address the challenges our world faces. This affects everyone.

Washington STEM Signing Day and my commitment to the future gives me hope that I can aim for my dreams and even be part of the solution to future problems that society may face. I hope you aim for your dream, too.

Asher Neuneker