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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Sunday, January 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Guest Opinion

Opinion >  Guest Opinion

Dawn Sidell: We can choose to prevent isolation and abuse of children with disabilities

On December 18th, The Spokesman-Review reported on a young woman severely affected by autism and enrolled in Shadle High School’s ABLE (Autism Behavior Learning Environment) program, and her father’s efforts to obtain accountability for injuries resulting from, he alleged, poor behavioral management, inappropriate isolation, and general practices of abuse and neglect. (“Dad alleges autistic daughter mistreated at Shadle Park.”) Video of a related incident was posted on YouTube, showing police escorting another student in that program into an ambulance because of behaviors deemed unmanageable by school staff. The video has since been pulled off the internet, but its images stay with me, and call me to ask how things might have turned out better for these children. I know from my own son’s experience that we can choose to do better.

Opinion >  Guest Opinion

Annemarie Frohnoefer: New jail won’t solve societal problems

Five years ago Spokane County invested “hundreds of hours of public and agency testimony, research and hearings” toward the creation of “A Blueprint for Reform.” At more than 250 pages, the document is available for review on the county’s website. “The Blueprint” is often cited whenever criminal justice reform re-enters the community spotlight. Such was the case earlier this month when Chad Sokol reported on Spokane County’s need for a new jail ( “French: It’s time to build new jail,” Jan. 3). In the article, county Commissioner Al French proposed building a new jail. He mentioned, “this can has been kicked down the road for too many years,” before adding that he needs to know an exact number of beds. The implication is that once the number is known then building can begin.
Opinion >  Guest Opinion

Dr. Francisco R. Velazquez: The future of health care reform

In my role as a medical doctor, I’ve seen the power of medicine to transform lives. And as a physician executive, I’ve had to pay close attention to the bottom line in the delivery of health care services. Balancing considerations of patient cost and access while maintaining the systemic resources necessary to support research and innovation is no easy task.
Opinion >  Guest Opinion

Craig Mason: License people, not guns

I understand the urban perspective, and I understand the experiences and beliefs of ardent Second Amendment defenders. This essay suggests a mutually respectful response to the excess of gun murders in America.
Opinion >  Guest Opinion

Linwood Laughy: Time for BPA to act on dams

The Bonneville Power Administration’s challenges include a disappearing California market for BPA’s surplus energy, aging assets requiring major capital investment, and the rapid expansion of Northwest wind and solar capacity, among others.
Opinion >  Guest Opinion

Spencer Gage: Tiny homes could solve homeless problem

Spokane is currently growing at a rapid rate, adding 20,293 members to our community from 2016 to 2017, according to, a site focused on the population of different communities around the world. Although a growing community is beneficial to Spokane, there are many persistent problems that occur with growing cities all over the U.S., one of the most pressing being homelessness. On trips to Seattle, I’ve seen giant homeless camps all over town, and it makes areas of Seattle look uncared for. Spokane soon could be headed for the same fate, for I am starting to see more homeless on the streets, sleeping on sidewalks covered in blankets or in tents. It’s a common myth that many homeless people choose to live their life on the streets, but according to, a website where people can volunteer and help those in need, only 6 percent of homeless people choose to be homeless. That means 94 percent, given the chance, would love to turn their life around, and a tiny-home community provides the perfect opportunity to do so.

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