“Aqua Park arsonists story silly” was the letter to the editor in my local Gazette Record that caught my eye on July 3. After the first reading of the scathing review of our county officials’ efforts in law enforcement and fire investigation, I merely thought that the author, Wayne Bedwell, was missing the point of the entire article. However, upon reflection of the editorial, I realized that the author was exhibiting a significant ideological difference in our culture here in St. Maries in keeping small problems from becoming bigger issues.

Mr. Bedwell’s editorial criticism of Idaho’s means of the protection of property strikes me as a very callous and elitism position. Perhaps in Poulsbo, Washington, where the author resides, the prevailing culture disregards things such as starting fires that can do damage. Perhaps he feels that only a fire that destroyed property or potentially even life, would have warranted investigation. Perhaps he feels that our local public servants should have the foresight to know which crimes being committed – will directly result in serious damage. Perhaps he doesn’t believe in catching problems when they are small and dealing with them to prevent future actions that could cause different outcomes.

As a local resident who supports Sheriff Resser, Fire Lieutenant Masterson, and Investigator Blubaum (ridiculed in the article), I applaud their efforts in stopping a thoughtless act from developing into a serious issue. I much prefer crimes being stopped before they are carried to fruition.

I have confidence that the juveniles (who shall fairly remain nameless) apprehended in this incident will be dealt with in a fair manner. And if the suspects are found guilty, I am hopeful that our legal system will provide the needed disincentive from further such actions – mainly that they learn their lesson and grow from this. If the suspects are found innocent, I am hopeful that the efforts of the investigators(mocked by the editorial), will lead to future learning lessons for those involved once identified.

Perhaps Mr. Bedwell and other armchair judges in Poulsbo, Washington should get more involved in improving the conditions plaguing Seattle (within spitting distance) than the affairs of another state’s small, peaceful town. And should Mr. Bedwell or any other residents of urbanized Washington choose to visit our lovely town of St. Maries, they can take enjoyment in our small town’s charm, serenity, and security. Although, I would recommend that they do no attempt any acts of arson while visiting.

Donna Henson

St. Maries

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