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Letters To The Editor


One point shy of a real solution

In response to the Oct. 17 article, “Youth violence tackled,” about Mayor Jack Geraghty’s six-point program:

Listed are more police, tighter curfew, coordination in targeting juvenile problems, fighting the problem locally in neighborhoods, a youth task force and enforced laws about kids and guns.

I agree that all of those have to happen. The problem is, the most important aspect of dealing with youth violence was left out: the family. Kids with problems always come from families that don’t work very well.

If we refuse to address the root of the problem and continue to adhere to the theory that building more prisons will take care of the problem, then we’re going to continue to have the problem.

I hope Mayor Geraghty and his group will take a look at teaching families how to work better so we don’t have these problems to begin with. Dick Silk Spokane

Air Force Band concert terrific

Thanks to The Spokesman-Review. What a delight and great surprise for my family when we attended the U.S. Air Force Band concert at Shadle Park High School auditorium. Plus, it was free for the request of four tickets. Can’t beat that.

It was a well-attended show, and I was glad and proud to be there. It sure would be nice if sometime in the future more people could be more aware of the opportunity, too. I hope it will be possible for all of us to hear this magnificent band again soon. Alice Bailey Spokane


Pass Liberty school bond

Concerning the Liberty School District Bond issue:

Although it has been almost 30 years since my daughter graduated from Liberty High School, one does not forget or overlook the importance of quality education and preparation for college and the future.

An increase in growth in the school district since Liberty was built has created a most critical situation. Our facilities simply are not adequate to handle this growth.

In order for our country to progress and prosper in the proper way we must provide the best possible education for our children.

Please, support the future leaders of our communities and country by voting yes on Nov. 7 for Proposition S. Gordon Lederer Latah

Author’s ideas hardly benign

The Jack Canfield self-esteem workshop, sponsored by Spokane School District 81 and Dr. James Slack should cause concern for parents and teachers for several reasons.

Unfortunately, few teachers look into the real writings of Jack Canfield. “Chicken Soup for the Soul” is a compilation of texts from other authors. A look at Canfield’s other books and curriculum guides gives a picture of a man who is into a lot more than hugs.

Canfield makes use of guided visualization and advocates having children choose “inner guides.” He refers to this in his own words as “a powerful psychological tool.”

Teachers who use Canfield’s techniques are at best breaking a trust that’s been given them by parents to provide a sound academic education. At worst, teachers could be finding themselves held accountable for practicing psychotherapy without a license. Muriel Tingley Medical Lake, Wash.

Generous gesture valued, valuable

These comments are yesterday’s news to those of us who are honored enough to refer to Dr. Jim Slack as a friend, or to have interacted with him in his orthodontic practice, but I’m compelled to publicly recognize him for his recent commitment to improving the lives of children in Spokane.

On Oct. 13, Slack brought to Spokane nationally acclaimed speaker and author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” Jack Canfield, to inspire an audience of School District 81 students and their parents. Not just because his speaker selection was outstanding or because exposure to such an uplifting experience can positively influence listeners for the rest of their lives do I want to acknowledge Dr. Slack.

On behalf of many who know him, though, I want to applaud his unconditional financial commitment to bring this program to us. He did this completely without contribution from others. His life-long practice of selflessly helping others improve their lives leaves the rest of us in awe. Terry Sullivan Spokane


Dirty old free spenders exposed

Re: The Legislature’s vote on the stadium for the Mariners: It seems that our new crop of Republican conservative legislators, while wearing the topcoat of a conservative, have just flashed us the message that they are in fact taxand-spend Democrats in disguise. Don Holschen Spokane

Salmon regulations make no sense

1995 just closed on what is thought to be another record Pacific commercial salmon season. That’s right, another record!

While the numbers aren’t in for the 1995 season, it is expected to join 1993 and 1994 as record seasons all exceeding 1 billion pounds. The bad news for commercial fisherman continues as the ex-vessel pricing continues to average around $.50 per lb. just as in 1994 and 1993. The worldwide glut of salmon on the commercial market continues resulting in the lowest prices in years.

Surprising? It’s true. Washington state produces only about 30 million pounds, or 3 percent, of the Pacific salmon catch. Over 90 percent of the fish caught in Washington are caught commercially despite repeated studies showing recreational fishing creates over six times the economic benefit per fish.

Only bureaucrats at the Department of Fish and Wildlife can possibly explain how record commercial salmon harvests, severe cutbacks in recreational fishing and salmon restoration projects costing hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars can exist all at the same time.

If we are to pay for the fish, we should at least by able to fish for them, as opposed to dumping them on an already glutted commercial salmon market. James M. Sackmann Selah, Wash.

R-45 ensures future benefits

We need to ask ourselves what our priorities are for wildlife management. The way we manage our wildlife now will affect whether our children will ever see a black bear, a bald eagle, a chinook salmon or a trumpeter swan.

If we want to keep these precious resources in the state of Washington, it is important to pass Referendum 45.

The first priority for management should be science-based policies for the preservation of natural resources. The Department of Fish and Wildlife needs to have a clear and consistent way to implement these policies.

Unfortunately, right now, there are two competing authorities in charge of managing fish and wildlife. Power struggles and inconsistent authority take up too much time.

My priorities are for Washington to remain rich in fish, birds and wildlife. That’s why I’m voting yes on Referendum 45. Norman Richardson Yakima

I-640 it’s not a keeper

Initiative 640 seems to address the salmon crisis of the Pacific Northwest, but appearances can be deceiving. It looks to be a logical solution to the salmon problem, which is why we all should take the time to read and understand it.

I-640 would eliminate only one of several groups that rely on fishing for a living: the non-tribal commercial fisher, while Native Americans, Canadians, Oregonians and sports fishers will all still be fishing. Plus, they would raise their quotas. How can this be an effective way to conserve salmon?

I have gone out on my husband’s boat many times. We are allowed to set the net in limited areas, which are based upon salmon surpluses. These areas are strictly controlled by quotas. Once the total quota is caught, the fishery is closed.

Thousands of businesses and public interest groups are opposed to I-640, including the Washington League of Women Voters, the Washington State Labor Council, government, media and some elected officials.

If I-640 passes, $750 million in revenues will be lost (that has been proven to be a conservative figure) along with 20,000 jobs statewide. Most importantly, not one salmon will be saved.

Vote no on I-640. Kara Nelson Bellingham

If passed, R-48 ends inequities

There’s been a lot of recent hype over the “devastating” effects predicted by the environmental groups’ economic impact study of the property rights initiative, even though very little of this study is valid and trustworthy.

Even ignoring the obvious bias of the study’s main financial contributor, one cannot ignore the fact that the actual complete study has never been released to the public. All the doomsday predictions of a bankrupt bureaucracy then are actually nothing more than incomplete assumptions, biased excerpts and hearsay.

Referendum 48 was designed to provide solutions to serious inequalities in current land use regulations. Bureaucrats are telling ordinary citizens just like us to fence off significant portions of their land, to leave it idle and useless, to continue paying property taxes on it. Unfortunately, it’s the senior citizens with their little nest eggs, young families looking for affordable housing, individual property owners and first-time home buyers who are hit hardest by the insensitivity.

I guess the study was just too concerned about whipping up a public frenzy to consider fairness, constitutional rights, justice and other equally important American ideals.

Please don’t allow the opposition’s untruths and exaggerations to fool us into missing this rare opportunity to restore fairness to our constitutional property rights. Vote to approve Referendum 48. Chris Dixon Spokane

Unchallenged, points slant news

In a story on Oct. 15, Lynda V. Mapes wrote, “Cities and towns expect to generate comprehensive impact analysis every time a property owner seeks a building permit, zoning change, or other use of their property.”

Not so.

That very point was addressed in a recorded colloquy between Reps. Dale Foreman and Mike Padden last year to help establish the legislative intent of Initiative 164, now Referendum 48. Judges consider legislative intent to decide if a plaintiff has a case worthy of being heard as well as in deciding the case.

According to the colloquy, no such analysis will have to be generated.

Mapes also wrote that “cities” think Referendum 48 will require taxpayers to pay for all the maps, plans and studies that developers and businesses now pay for when developing their property. That isn’t true.

Section 5 of Referendum 48 just says the government can’t make a property owner provide or pay for such things if they’re to be used to consider restricting the use of private property for public use. In other words, the man to be hanged doesn’t have to buy the rope.

By repeating such clearly false claims without comment, Mapes is carrying water for the opponents of R-48, who are relying on scare tactics to defeat it. I’m reminded of something said by Bob Woodward of Watergate fame, “If someone says the moon is made of green cheese, a journalist ought to ask for proof.” By that standard, Mapes doesn’t qualify. Al Haslebacher Otis Orchards

Reject thorny R-48 at the polls

For its projected cost to local governments in the billions; for the likelihood of tax hikes to finance it; for the fact that it will jeopardize the environment; and for its status as a law so vague and eccentric even land use lawyers can’t interpret it - Referendum 48 makes a compelling case for voter suspicion.

I wish to expose yet another facet of the measure, in the form of a parable: Far to the south of Washington state, in the Galapagos Islands, there lives a population of birds whose behavior mirrors that of Referendum 48 supporters. The cactus finch survives entirely upon its namesake. That is to say, without the pollen, nectar, fruits and seeds of the cactus plant, the finch dies out. Curiously, some of this breed have developed the habit of destroying their food source. When visiting a cactus flower, they carelessly snip the stigma, rendering the host plant sterile. In a good cactus year, the finches get by. In a bad year, they starve.

Like cactus finches, the financiers of R-48 want to reward individual whim at the expense of the flock. Responsible citizens will know this law for a turkey and reject it at the polls. Robert Schnelle Ellensburg


Charities target of double whammy

All through the current Congressional session and before that during the 1994 campaigns, we repeatedly heard candidates and lawmakers - now in the majority - sing the praises of private enterprise, community involvement and personal charity as alternatives to the cost of funding federal social programs for the needy. They quickly and conveniently pointed to nonprofit organizations and churches as the solution to their social budget reductions.

“Get the government out of the welfare business and let Americans do the right thing” was their rallying cry.

Sounded great. Obviously, the public bought into it when the election results were announced.

And then the Istook Amendment was introduced. While the majority in Congress is moving to eliminate or reduce all programs that help the disabled, students, elderly and poor, they are at the same time making life miserable for the very organizations they are asking to shoulder the burden of their budget reductions. To add salt to the wound, they have exempted for-profit organizations and contractors from the amendment.

Am I the only American who sees the contradiction and lack of common sense in this amendment?

While we need to carefully evaluate both the cost and efficiency of our social programs, we cannot stand by while organizations designed to help the less fortunate of our society are literally gagged because their disagreements with current legislation and their lobbying efforts on behalf of the people who rely on their help might make legislators uncomfortable. Enough! Yvonne Lopez Morton Spokane

Pope’s way is the better way

Cal Thomas’s Oct. 11 column, “Pope’s Message was worth hearing,” was uncanny in its identification of the precise essence of two events that occurred on opposite sides of the U.S. in early October.

In San Francisco, New Age intelligentsia: Gorbachev, Thatcher, Bush, Sagan, Turner, etc., struggled to organize the outlines of a new order of the world based on the concept that man is capable of creating a heaven on earth without God.

In New York City, Pope John Paul II: He urged listeners to work for a new civilization based on the gospel of Jesus Christ. It will come, he said, when the Holy Spirit renews the face of the earth; but only after the shedding of blood by many martyrs. He encouraged people to work and pray against abortion, violence and pornography; and to stand up for the lives of the sick, the aged, and the handicapped; and for marriage and family life. “Stand up for purity,” he implored.

Which of the two visions will prevail? Clearly, the atheistic, materialistic model proposed by the San Francisco group is diametrically opposed to that proposed by John Paul II. The battle between the two camps for the shape of civilization in the third millenium appears hopelessly lopsided. Nevertheless, John Paul II seems to draw on a hidden resource that compels him.

“Be not afraid!,” he exclaimed in Central Park, “The power of the Holy Spirit is with you.” J.K. Vogel Rathdrum, Idaho

Tags: Letters

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