BUSINESS AND LABOR
Seems the show must go on elsewhere
They did it to us again. And again, we let them get away with it. For the second year running, one of G&B;’s Best of Broadway shows, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Music of the Night,” canceled its Spokane performance because it failed to allow rational time between city performances.
Both productions were booked through the same Eastern company whose people undoubtedly consider us as just one step removed from Justus Township.
Last year, Spokane was wedged between Cleveland and Tucson. This year, it’s between San Diego and Toronto. And it’s always Spokane that is canceled, not one of the other cities.
What a bunch of wussies lacking even an ounce of pride. Where is our dignity? Spokane seems never to learn that the only way to hold an Easterner’s respect is to react immediately to overbearing intimidation with a 2-by-4 laid up smartly alongside their head; this tends to get their attention and they really can then be very nice people who are willing to deal in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
The point is to never let them feel they possess the upper hand, as this firm’s track record seems to presume.
In my heart, I would vote for a permanent blackballing of future dealings with this company. However, if G&B;’s pocketbook overcomes its sense of honor, then here’s an idea: Demand that the firm provide G&B; a travel schedule surrounding each future Spokane performance.
If it then looks like Spokane’s dates are a bit tight, demand a performance bond, to ensure compliance.
Self-respect will always outshine coin in the long view. Charles M. Morris Spokane
Bonus policy could buy grief
The article, “Top WWP executives get maximum bonuses,” (News, March 29) revealed that senior executives for Washington Water Power divvied up several hundred thousand dollars in bonus money. The company paid bonuses because of “improved corporate performance.” WWP enjoyed an increase in earnings, an increased stock price and a rise in wholesale electric revenues.
WWP’s executives receive large salaries to manage the corporation efficiently and profitably for shareholders. I disagree with a policy of giving them a bonus for doing what they are supposed to do. If the company suffers a decline, do executives give money back?
If WWP does well it is because everyone in the organization is doing their job. If the corporation pays a bonus to Rob Fukai for doing his job, why not pay a bonus to line workers for doing theirs?
A customer service representative successfully handling customer problems every day should qualify for bonus money.
Rewarding a few individuals for the work of many is an affront. It is unfair to those who contributed to the success of the organization but did not receive additional financial recognition. It is a statement that the effort of a few is more important to the organization than the contribution of everyone else.
Ignoring the contribution everyone else makes to the corporation is dangerous. Over time it will lead to a breakdown in teamwork and cause loyalty to the organization to erode.
I recommend Washington Water Power reward everyone or no one. Tom McArthur Spokane
GRASS FIELD BURNING
On balance, onus is on farmers
I attended the grass burning symposium with an open mind to all sides of the issue. I respect and admire the farming community. We can’t live without the services and products they provide. I also respect and admire those working toward improvement of air quality. We can not survive without clean air.
After listening to all the informative presentations and the question-answer period, I came away feeling that the farmer could do without burning his fields.
The reasons: I strongly question their effort made over the past 30 years to find an acceptable alternative. Other industries have had to make changes and they have survived. So should the growers of grass seed.
I do not see the financial hardship of farming without planting Kentucky bluegrass with its need for burning. Farming takes place all over the country. Do they all plant bluegrass to make farming economically feasible?
We should not live with the fear of pesticides in our aquifer and PM-10 in our air, if farming has to be done differently. I have faith in our farmers and in the research scientists that they can and will find a solution.
Lastly, lungs are not renewable organs. We must give them all the protection we can. Lucy Reiner Spokane
Burning ban seems illogical
Is it really so awful when a farmer burns his grass fields once a year, on a day when the winds carry the smoke away from the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene corridor?
Could we even say that the most sensitive instruments we have would be able to detect smoke which was 10 to 20 miles away, being carried by the wind away from our larger areas of population?
Contrast this with the smoke from our fireplaces and exhaust from our cars, buses and trucks. What about those days when we get a dust storm out of the southwest and tons of topsoil get into our air? Are we using logic or emotions in solving our air quality problems? Dick McInerney Spokane
LAW AND JUSTICE
Drug sweeps protect the good
I am a senior in high school. Just recently I heard of the drug search at the two Coeur d’Alene high schools. I strongly support the administration’s efforts to end drug use at schools.
Although some people are disturbed by this, they shouldn’t be. The police are protecting all students by improving the learning environment. I know the search won’t stop students from using drugs, but it hopefully will stop the dealing at schools. Chelsea Clark Spokane
Drug suppression end justifies means
Re: “Cops, drug dogs hit high schools” (March 16). Why don’t some kids and parents stop worrying about their cars and start worrying about the fact that at some schools, like the two that were searched in Coeur d’Alene, there is a big drug problem?
Having surprise searches at high schools that have a record of drug problems lets parents, kids and their community know there is a growing relationship between kids and drugs. Maybe if kids wouldn’t do drugs at all, searches of cars and their possessions wouldn’t be necessary.
Most everyone realizes drugs are becoming more and more prevalent and dangerous. Everyone seems to be clamoring for something to be done about them. Well, finally, something is being done.
With the police coming in at surprise moments, maybe kids won’t be stupid enough to have marijuana in their cars.
Yes, some kids and parents are complaining that having searched is an invasion of privacy, but we have to look at the big picture. I know I’d rather have drugs out of my school than worry about my Beretta being scratched.
Those who don’t do drugs should quit whining and realize that the police and their dogs are the good guys who are just trying to help. Jessica Daniel LaCrosse, Wash.
Chenoweth’s slips are showing
The legal principle which has long held that “ignorance of the law is no excuse” should also apply to members of Congress, who make laws.
Idaho Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth’s excuse for her recent vote for the line-item veto is a good illustration of that principle and an embarrassing example of the art of the flip-flop.
During her campaign she was a front-row flag waver in support of the Republican “Contract with America.” One of its major points is the line-item veto.
Once elected, she discovered there is a sitting president who is not of her party. Moreover, this president, if reelected, may well use the line-item veto to block her party’s continuing efforts to dismantle health, welfare, education and environmental protection laws. Now she opposes the line-item veto.
But last week, when Republicans put the measure up for a vote, like a good party player, she changed her mind again and voted for the line-item veto.
Again, she discovers her error too late. She loudly complains to the press that she was unaware of just what she was casting a vote for and really still opposes the lineitem veto.
Perhaps if Chenoweth were to spend more time studying the legislation she votes on and less time making self-serving speeches designed to attract media attention and appease her right-wing, fringe group supporters, she might better represent all of the citizens in her district. Russ Moritz Sandpoint
One bad turn brings on another
Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., spoke for two and a half hours against the line-item veto, with great elegance and lots of truth. It is a large giveaway of power to the executive branch, namely the president, perhaps more than our founding fathers wanted.
Our legislative branch has no one to blame for this lineitem veto except itself. The pork barrel has to be capped and the senators and representatives don’t have the courage or desire to do so. This being the case, the only solution is the line-item veto. Remember, guys, you brought it upon yourselves. James A. Nelson Spokane