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Letters To The Editor

Sat., July 1, 1995, midnight


Ham-fisted CPS makes enemies

On June 23, I had the displeasure of witnessing Child Protective Services stoop to an all time low. Unfortunately, I was not alone.

At the learning center where I work, my kindergarten students anxiously observed CPS and county and city law enforcement officials conduct an ugly seizure of infant and toddler siblings from a parent. The removal began inside our center during rest and nap time without moral or ethical regard for the eyes, ears and feelings of any other small children or staff.

After my supervisor requested CPS and the parent exercise discretion and exit the main building, the grim scenario escalated and lingered outside my classroom annex. Did CPS actually believe the parent of those two babies would silently and calmly step aside while they drove off with her children? Obviously, CPS people deem their style of abuse as something to be preferred over alleged parental abuse, and it’s all conducted under the guise of doing their job!

We had nowhere to retreat to so as to escape this messy event. At one point, as the toddler broke away from the adults and tried to run to his mother, some of my students began cheering him on. It was like a scene out of “Free Willy.”

I have added CPS to my list of mismanaged and inconsistent government agencies. When all you dogooder social workers look yourselves in the mirror, ask yourselves the real reasons why thousands of citizens are choosing to arm themselves against our Big Brother government. Dixie Lee Laehn Spokane

Killing Operation Aware a mistake

On June 14, while we read that the state wants to spend more for jails and wants to build a new ball stadium, one of the most effective drug awareness programs we ever had was apparently cut out. Operation Aware, which stressed the use and misuse of all kinds of drugs, real friendships, anger management and refusal skills, came closer to helping a child “just say no” than any of the other programs we have had in my fourth-grade classroom.

It is a real shame to lose this effective program. When we were encouraged to vote for the state lottery, our governor assured us that our schools would become the best. We have only seen cutbacks since we were duped into voting for it. Eliminating Operation Aware and laying off 11 of Spokane School District 81’s excellent, hard-working people is definitely a big mistake.

It makes me wonder why we brought in the lottery, why we keep spending more for criminals and less on crime prevention, and why we vote for some people who are now in office in our state. Joanne Miller Spokane

Speak up to effect desired changes

There have been many letters to the editor regarding the omissions of some state agencies in not doing a proper search of records and people’s backgrounds. These were in regard particularly to cases involving the abuse of children and background checks of foster parents. Many suggestions have been made that “they” are not doing their jobs accurately.

These people are only following the limits of “our” laws. “They” cannot change the laws, but “we” can change them - by writing or calling our representatives.

The names, addresses and phone numbers of your representatives are all listed in your telephone book. If you aren’t too lazy and really want to change the present laws, get busy.

Remember the story of Blaze, the pony found near the railroad tracks in Benton County back in December? Over 400 people called the state Agriculture Department in one day, and 200 people called Gov. Lowry, trying to get something done so the horse wouldn’t be auctioned and probably slaughtered. The Legislature changed the law to let the Whitesell family (of Paterson, Wash.), which found the horse, keep him and shower him with tender, loving care.

All of you out there can change the laws if you want to. Do something about it by voicing your opinion. Ruth G. Hammack Cheney


Defense insults common sense

This is regarding the June 22 article on David Pelletier (“Defense says father didn’t know better,” June 22).

If I understand the facts correctly, Pelletier was frustrated with his new baby’s cries, was at a loss as how to quiet her, and then used his well-muscled, strong arms to lift this defenseless 3-month-old baby over his head and throw her as hard as he could. If I further understand the facts, Pelletier’s defense seems to be that he took this action because he had no formal training in how to care for a baby.

I am amazed at this insane excuse. When my son was a newborn, he cried and cried and cried. Sometimes he wouldn’t stop for hours. I would simply hold him, feed him, change him, walk him, sing to him, love him. I did all the things that came natural to any adult comforting an infant.

I didn’t have any parenting classes or formal training on caring for an infant, but it never once occurred to me to pick up my precious baby (using all of my grown-up strength) and throw his defenseless and fragile body as hard as I possibly could to stop his cries.

Mr. Pelletier must be insane, but if he is not insane, then he is a monster. Linda Nelson Spokane

Attorney only doing his job

Re: Dale Stegman’s June 28 letter, “Stupid defense mustn’t get by,” regarding the David Pelletier infant abuse case: Defense attorneys are hired or appointed to defend accused persons.

While it appears Pelletier is justly accused of this heinous crime, he is still entitled to be defended until otherwise proven guilty. The attorney’s suggestion that the baby’s life could have been saved by a parenting class is more likely than not his only defense. However ludicrous that may be, it’s a defense attorney’s job to defend.

Thank God there are court-appointed attorneys available for the wrongly accused. Lori Michels Spokane


Make fine Columbia series a book

The Columbia River Chronicles were wonderful, and Staff writer Dan Hansen deserves to be congratulated for a job well done.

We will surely make these a part of the family history I’m getting together for our children, since their dad and his family came from Old Kettle Falls. You should put all these articles together in book form. Lois Batson Spokane

Give us break from Priggee

Without being disrespectful, I would like to comment about Spokesman-Review political cartoonist Milt Priggee.

The Opinion Page is dominated by size, priority placement and visual impact of the Priggee cartoons, six days per week. His views are one way - predictable, nasty and vicious. They are not conducive to civil discourse.

I do not question his right to those views or the right of The Spokesman-Review to feature them in a prominent manner. But, six day per week? How about three? Donald B. Morrison Spokane


‘60 Minutes’ misleads about AIDS

A couple nights ago, on “Sixty Lies a Minute,”I saw one of the most outlandish distortion of facts about AIDS that could be imagined. It was blatant effort to build a case to defraud the government and the public by convincing legislators to pass laws to force people to take worthless tests and drugs.

There is no test for the HIV virus until antibodies are developed. This can be months or years after infection has occurred. There have been numerous studies in the United States and Britain that have proven the drug they were promoting is absolutely worthless. Since the test doesn’t show anything until antibodies show up, many people with AIDS have been given a clean bill of health and others who don’t have the disease have had their lives ruined by a positive diagnosis.

The object of the program was to convince the public and legislators that these useless products were necessary to protect the public health. This was a truly trashy effort to extract profits from the government and the public. Dr. Leo K. Lindenbauer, D.C. Spokane

Get past salmon obsession

In the last few years, several “Eastern” species of fish have become very popular in this area.

Walleyes have become very widespread. Lake Coeur d’Alene has northern pike and muskelunge, or muskies. Maybe instead of spending untold millions of dollars in attempts to save the salmon runs, every one of which seems to end in failure, we should spend some money on planting northerns, muskies and walleye behind these dams, then regulate water levels as much as possible to help them spawn and reproduce.

I’m certain the fishermen out catching these types of fish will agree with me. Ed Weilep Spokane

Pickup bed death trap for pets

In the morning while I was driving to work, I witnessed an easily preventable tragedy.

While traveling down the freeway at 55 mph, a young man let his dog ride in the open back of his pickup truck. The dog jumped from the truck at that speed, and the vehicle behind him struck the poor animal. Of course, in Spokane County, it’s illegal to let an animal ride unrestrained in the back of a pickup truck. The tragedy could have been prevented if the law had been obeyed.

With the upcoming summer months, I sincerely hope that everyone will keep their dogs in the cab of the truck - or leave them safely at home - to prevent similar mishaps. Deanna Knudson Spokane

Tags: Letters

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