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Letters To The Editor


Bingo plan: Whole area will win

Re: The April 2 article about whether non-profit organizations in our Coeur d’Alene-Post Falls community might suffer if a new bingo operation were to be implemented at the Greyhound Park.

Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene chambers of commerce, fraternal clubs, veterans groups and various support groups that promote tourism are all classified as non-profit by Idaho law.

I recognize the concerns of some charities, but the big picture must be considered. The park will bring benefits of tourism and conventions, helping the business community. As more and more visitors spend money here, businesses also flourish and spend their money here. Residents, businesses and the many registered charities all stand to gain.

As a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, I understand the public not recognizing these groups as non-profit. But the public should understand that these groups not only raise funds for their own needs but also raise appreciable amounts for the many registered charities and after-school activities in our communities.

I have also worked with Children’s Village for several years. I understand the need to attract funds to sustain its very worthwhile operation.

Most Greyhound Park bingo players will probably come from Washington and Canada. Ultimately, all Kootenai County businesses and charities will derive benefits from this new operation that will more than offset the concerns of some local organizations that rely on their own bingo parlors. Dick Wandrocke Coeur d’Alene

Bay sick with terminal progress

Such tranquility in Cougar Bay. Side-of-the-highway illegal parking as local fishermen trash the area in the spring. Shotgunners banging away all fall at geese.

Bureau of Land Management and wildlife, what a mix. Take a close look at the heron, geese and osprey now, folks. When they get done and civilize the area, what will be left?

Oh yes, when you take a look, please don’t stop. Just drive by, slowly! Lee Lewis Coeur d’Alene

Many helped us during, after fire

A couple of weeks ago my house caught on fire because of an electrical short in the kitchen. Due to our smoke alarm, we are alive today.

I have never seen so many firefighters as were trying to beat that fire. Their courage, compassion and stamina cannot be expressed with words.

We lost one of our family pets, but one firefighter went back into those flames and rescued another. Ramona Mobbs helped revive our cat. If it weren’t for firefighters, we would all feel a lot less protected in our daily lives.

The Red Cross came quickly to help us in our state of shock. They provided us with a place to stay that night.

Needless to say we woke many neighbors and want to thank them for their help. We especially wish to thank Susan Thomas for opening her house and providing us with clothes and a coat.

This kind of tragedy is heartbreaking, but it also is heartwarming to know so many kind people are there and ready to help.

A thousand thanks to all of you. Susan and Mike McIver Post Falls


Golf among the tee’d off set

Spokane County golfers are earning a reputation as being some of the meanest and nastiest around.

With letters such as Denis O’Farrell’s (“Golf-wise, there goes the neighborhood,” March 20) and the recent public hearing with the commissioners, it’s easy to see why. O’Farrell’s inference that unless you belong to a men’s or women’s club, you don’t belong on the golf course or will “hack it up” if you do use it, is a prime example of their current attitude. Are all members of the Hangman Men’s Club this spiteful, or just their president?

I do not play golf but my husband does. He has tried to get a Saturday morning tee time at MeadowWood for over a year. That has not been possible because he chose not to join a men’s club.

Now that county management has stepped up to the plate and eliminated the $25-per-year county club memberships, many of those involved have seen fit to place another attack on the county commissioners. They seem to forget that this unfair practice was a privilege granted by Spokane County and as such the county has the right to establish other tee times as a normal course of management. That is good, fair management. What a novel idea!

My family thanks the commissioners and county management and I hope this trend of fairness to all the public in other governmental matters continues.

One other thing. If the men’s clubs are looking for a new name, may I suggest Grumpy Old Men? Ann Marie Schultz Spokane

Officials, don’t blow opportunity

It is my understanding the Department of Ecology has earmarked $100 million for use by the city and county. This grant has strings attached. The city and the county must agree and make the proper requests.

My information is that this is for a 20-year overall plan at the rate of $5 million a year, to be matched with local money. The money is for sewer construction and renovation.

The time for making a commitment for the money is fast running out. If a decision is not made as to how the money is shared between the areas of government, then at least one year’s worth of that money would be lost or postponed.

City and county planning departments are near agreement. The holdup is not a dispute concerning who gets how much, but the preparation of an interlocal agreement to submit to city and county politicians.

The final decision has to be made by a committee of the City Council and county commissioners. If we lose this money because of the politicians’ egos we are really in a sad state. There is an impact of $10 million a year for 20 years, when the matching funds are considered.

If necessary, let’s appoint an arbitrator and get on with it. We are all very interested in saving our aquifer. The entire county and city are affected by this apparent turf battle. Richard B. “Dick” Hopp Spokane

Our punk experience was just that

Re: “Inner sanctum/Spokane church’s basement provides much-needed home for punk-rocking teen crowd” (IN Life, March 23).

Had Staff Writer Joe Ehrbar checked with someone at Manito Temple he would have found out why this group no longer meets at our facility.

Sara Bonabum lacks experience to extol the values of respect. Had the group not been given a measure of respect it wouldn’t have been allowed to use our building to start with.

They were told no alcohol was allowed on the premises, yet after the first meeting we found beer cans inside the building.

Our insurance does not cover this type of gathering; we would be held liable if underage drinking was found there. Had Bonabum and her peers found the time to police the gathering they could have gotten rid of the bad apples before they spoiled the whole barrel.

Respect isn’t an entitlement, to be awarded to all alike. Respect is a two-way street. You have to earn respect before you get to travel on it.

The morning after their last meeting there were beer bottles and cans inside and out. Beer had been spilled or poured onto the floor, which is of gymnasium-grade maple, and two cans were mashed on the floor. A clock designed for the Eastern Star organization was missing from the wall.

I spent more than two hours cleaning off the filthy language and pictures that were sprayed and chalked over about a quarter of the parking lot.

This is the type of respect we got from them in return for allowing them to use the facility . Oliver Forester Manito Temple maintenance


Beating not hard to understand

I see your paper and editorial cartoonist are at it again.

On the so-called beatings in California, no one castigates the people who were breaking the law by failing to stop, driving 100 mph, intentionally running into other cars, breaking up the canopy on their truck and throwing it at other cars, and fleeing from the police for over an hour. The police did not kill or maim the two people.

Who wouldn’t have been frustrated?

Is this what our country is coming to? Making lawbreakers heroes and putting our police in jail? Eugene Fields Electric City, Wash.

Too many ready to pounce on officers

When our Marines were shot at in Haiti they immediately destroyed the police garrison the gunfire came from. Everybody understood that if they had not dealt with the situation the way they did, similar incidents would have mushroomed. The public supported our troops, and rightly so.

When Mexican gangsters penetrate our territory, ignore our Border Patrol, provoke a dangerous chase that puts our public in peril and then one of them receives a well-deserved, albeit televised, beating, the reaction of a small but vocal part of our public and of some spineless politicians is amazing. The impression is that the criminals were not in the truck but in the police car.

This is not an isolated incident. It seems like a well-known, acceptable pattern: If a law enforcement person or institution makes a mistake, it is immediately blown out of proportion and publicized repeatedly. The people and/or institutions are relentlessly attacked. Yet criminals have a lot of ears willing to listen to them and understanding abounds.

This attitude can have grave consequences. If our law enforcement people and institutions must face hostility at every turn, if the predominant atmosphere they are forced to live and work in will be distrust and hatred, they quite logically become paralyzed.

They serve the public. Yes, we are their boss. But could anybody perform under a boss who offers only mistrust and hatred? Peter C. Dolina Veradale

Deputies shouldn’t have been needed

Let’s see if I have this California issue correct.

1. Two foreign citizens are in this country illegally.

2. The foreigners are breaking the law.

3. The foreigners are fleeing from the police for 70 miles at up to 100 mph.

4. When the foreigners are apprehended, they do not follow police instructions.

Now, because of an overreaction from the frustrated deputies, the illegally present foreign citizens are suing the United States, California or someone because of the treatment they received while resisting arrest.

It doesn’t matter why they are suing, the American taxpayers will end up with the bill.

Wake up, America! If our elected officials had been protecting our borders as they are required to do, this incident would never have happened.

The media are having a field day on the action of the deputies rather than having a field day on our government for failing to protect the borders. Why should sheriff’s deputies, rather than the appropriate federal agents, be pursuing and apprehending illegal aliens?

Perhaps President Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno have all their troops at Ruby Ridge, Waco, Bosnia and Montana instead of where they should be! Ron Garrett Spokane


Judge should follow a higher law

It is difficult to understand how Federal Judge Stephen Reinhardt, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, as talented and well informed as he is reputed to be, could make such a wrong decision about the Washington state ban on assisted suicide.

The Washington state law was correct. All laws and all judicial decisions depend for their validity upon conformity to Divine Law expressed in the Decalogue given to Moses by God. The Washington state law passed that test. It was morally, socially and validly right. The court’s decision failed it.

God is the author of life and death. Since we possess free will, the individual has the option - not the right - to kill himself/herself. But that option is morally very wrong. Its perpetrator risks eternal damnation. No one has the right or the option to morally assist suicide. To do so violates Divine Law.

The ruling issued by Judge Reinhardt invades the province of God. It is hoped that it will be decided to be an error by a higher court of this nation. Our nation deserves much better than Reinhardt’s decision. F.T. Westmeyer Coeur d’Alene

What have we come to?

When did this country become a police state? When has it ever been all right for private property to be searched without probable cause? When did the law change from innocent until proven guilty to guilty until proven innocent?

I can’t believe that free U.S. citizens are just taking police searches of their children’s and their private vehicles without probable cause for doing so. Or maybe “probable cause” now means that because a survey says there is a problem in one area of society, the police, CIA, FBI or ATF have the right to exterminate that part of society. Take away the people’s pride, humiliate them and make them powerless to explain or correct the problem.

I can’t believe the parents and equal rights and liberty groups aren’t raising the graves of our ancestors over the Coeur d’Alene Schools’ decision to search parked cars, without violations.

What next? If we have teenage children will police be able to tap our phones and search our homes in the name of drug-free schools and saving our children?

I can’t believe people aren’t standing up to protest this unconstitutional behavior. Have our law enforcement officials become so powerful that we’re willing to be coerced into giving up our rights to privacy and freedom of choice?

I am not a militant or a member of any group. I am a parent who is incensed that officials are getting away with taking away the basic human right to privacy. Who will save our great nation from itself? Terri Anderson Pinehurst

Reform the judiciary

What type of people do we get to reside on the bench to interpret our state laws? From what I and many others have experienced, in all but the simplest cases are inconsistent, disinterested, egotistical and biased decisions.

How do we end up with these people? By talking to people and using logic and reasoning, this is the conclusion I have come to: We are given the bottom of the pile to pick from!

In most cases, why would any successful lawyer choose to become a judge and receive 50 percent less income, specifically if they are in their mid 30s to early 40s and starting to reach their full potential? This type of lawyer has realized his potential and looks toward the governmental security of lower pay and decent retirement benefits along with maintaining his ego.

If we have our state senators and legislators, who are everyday people like you and me, making the laws, then why is it mandatory that one be a lawyer to become a judge? Are they the only ones capable of knowing right from wrong? I don’t think so!

There are two options open to this problem: Take the lawyer restriction off for being a judge; or make it mandatory for every lawyer to sit as a judge for three months, on a revolving basis the way we citizens must participate as jurors.

This would eliminate incompetent judges and lawyers from our judicial system and save our cities, counties and state from paying retirement pensions. Ed Worzala Sandpoint


Beast that attracts radioactivity

There is a new breed of animal in Idaho, but I don’t know if it’s on the endangered species list yet. It’s called a Larry Craigopottamus.

Luckily, it’s easy to identify. You see, every election year it changes its spots. This year, the Craigopottamus has changed its spots on nuclear waste. It’s hoping that voters will forget what it looked like a few years ago when it tried to undercut Gov. Celil Andrus’ attempts to stop nuclear waste from coming to Idaho. Nice try but totally transparent. It’s high time we in Idaho put the Craigopottamus on the extinct list.

One last word of caution. If you come upon a Craigopottamus, be careful. It’s mean, sneaky and if it bites you could get a bad case of Potomac fever. Julie McCoy Moscow

Tags: Letters

Top stories in Idaho

Federal agency approves Idaho field burning rules

UPDATED: 12:41 p.m.

Federal officials have approved Idaho’s request to loosen field burning rules that backers say offer more flexibility to disperse smoke away from people but that health advocates say will lead to breathing problems for some area residents.