Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

PUYALLUP: Speak the truth or say nothing

Letter by Rebecca A. Condra, Puyallup on May 12, 2010 at 4:12 pm with 10 Comments »
May 14, 2010 9:02 am

Re: ” You just can’t make this stuff up” (letter, 5-10).

The “Puyallup Citizen’s Watchdog Group” is bad-mouthing Valley Arts United. Their “vocal leader,” Dave Churchman, is sending vicious e-mails to City Council members and the newspapers. They refer to us as “a Who’s Who of bottom feeders living on the teet of the taxpayer” and as “Valley Tarts.” I find this highly offensive.

Yes, Arts Downtown, a member organization of VAU, has received grants from the city. This grant money did not come from Puyallup taxpayer money. It came from the hotel-motel tax paid by visitors to Puyallup. This money is required by state law to be used to further tourism in Puyallup.

VAU has more than 100 volunteers who put in thousands of hours a year to do things for our community. The outdoor sculpture gallery organized by Arts Downtown pulls people into Puyallup where they spend money and generate revenue for the city.

Over the years, we’ve raised thousands of dollars for the Fish Food Bank. We have given hundreds of dollars in prizes for the Dan Vesey Art Show, which features student artists. These are just a few examples of ways we give back to our community.

What has the Citizen’s Watchdog Group done lately for the community besides point fingers, call names, and spout half-truths or lies?

(Condra is chairperson of Valley Arts United.)

Leave a comment Comments → 10
  1. “It came from the hotel-motel tax paid by visitors to Puyallup.”

    Making a wild guess that there is a reason your an “Artist” !

  2. In bad economic times the right always takes on the arts and the poor and the disabled. It’s kind of like scrambling for the last cookie.
    Their ideology is ‘If it doesn’t make sense to us lay it waste’.
    What makes sense to them are their cars that explode and pollute the Gulf of Mexico and Obama conspiracy theory that would baffle the most educated theoretical physicists. I’ve never seen one brew a half way decent cup of tea.

  3. beerBoy says:

    The letter would have been better without the last sentence which makes the writer seem a bit petulant (understandably so, but public relations require you to take the higher ground).

  4. Thank you for all your service Dave Churchman. Without your group the Valley Arts United would have gotten their quiet, secretive free rent space on the first floor of the new building. McLean was ousted in large part to your groups work uncovering his backdoor dealings and involvement with groups like this. Please give us info on here how to join your group. I live on South Hill, and work downtown. Our city needs to change course.

  5. “In bad economic times the right always takes on the arts and the poor and the disabled…”

    Yes, that’s true. In fact “the right” would like to see artists and homeless people shipped to an island, Cuba perhaps, where they can paint and panhandle their way into glory.

    Good grief.

  6. mdchristia says:

    Ok so where did I miss the memo where artists are now equivalent to homeless people? I am an artist and live very well. I do this because I am also an art teacher. VAU is a great organization that was introduced to me in high school by my beloved art teacher Debbie Munson. She also inspired me to become an art teacher. The VAU supports the Dan Vecey Art Show which is perhaps one of the only ways a student artist can show their work to the public. I just don’t agree that we should constantly be cutting the arts and that we artists are all “left wing liberals.” It’s just not true.

  7. ValleyTarts says:

    Valley Arts lists itself as a “non profit” while it is in fact a “political action committee”. Its leadership is stacked with special interest individuals who are perpetually wining and dining the Puyallup Mayor in order to get favors. A portion of their funds does come from the motel tax, but it is not supposed to be the sole recipient of those dollars. Far more worthier causes (Daffodill Parade etc) get less funds due to VAU’s “politicking”. But when you add in the other real tax funded dollars, it becomes corrupt. VAU gets direct cash and services from City Hall on top of this motel grant. Plus of course the free rent at City Hall coming soon on our dime.
    As in Watergate, “follow the money” and you will find corruption. Campaign contributions, special housing development “considerations” for one of its Board Members etc etc etc. The deck is stacked against taxpaying citizens when Puyallups City Attorney siys on the VAU Board.
    Ms Condra and Puyallup’s Mayor Turner love to spend other peoples money, as one pays none and the other minimal Puyallup property tax.

  8. ValleyTarts says:

    Puyallup citizens welcome all to attend Puyallup Council meetings held on alternate Tuesdays at City Hall. These are also on the web and on Comcast On Demand. One of the major accomplishments of the Watchdog Group was the televising of Council Meetings as Mayor Turner fought against them for years. Afraid of the wider public becomming aware of her actions (personal property tax avoidance, redistricting voting districts, outlawing free speech) the list goes on. But beware, if you are vocal, it can be costly. One of our group wrote a letter in the TNT last month regarding the Mayor’s scam, and within 2 hours had his business vandalized. (Puyallup Police Case 10-003151) Others have been fired from their employers and been physically threatened. Ms Condra, look at the police report !!!!!!!! Shameful.

  9. Valley-I’ll start showing up. Yeah Turner is an idiot. Watched one of the council meeting from March 22nd I believe. Brian Devereaux from the school district gets up and says that multifamily units have .2 children per unit, single family units have .7 children per unit. From this Turner says she has always wanted multi-family to pay the same school impact fees as single family! 2.5 times greater the concentration of children in single family, and she is literally chasing multi-family development out of the city. Watching McLean refuse to discuss the “rental” agreement for VAU to get all that space for free was amusing before he was sent away on his golden parachute. I’m not afraid of a little vandalism:). I do feel bad for the vandal that attempts it though……

  10. ValleyTarts says:

    How about this for a solution ? As Ms Condra claims her org is so charitable, she can twist her co-chair’s arm and have him donate to the cause. VAU can take up residency rent free at one of his vacant office rentals. His eyesore (Meeker Landing) on E Pioneer remains mostly vacant since its completion.
    So, put up or shut up VAU, charity begins at home ! How about it Mike ?
    Do your bit for the PAC. No need to thank me for the idea, it was not mine but someone far smarter.

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0