PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY
Slow down and let live
I have been very frustrated by the driving habits the people of Spokane seem to practice.
Spokane, slow down! What are we in a hurry for? Why risk your life, or the lives of other people to get where you are going maybe two or three minutes earlier than you would have by going the speed limit?
Yes, I realize we are all guilty of going over the speed limit on highways and freeways. But on the side streets and residential areas where children may be present, people are constantly running yellow and red lights, tailgating, not giving people the right of way, not letting people onto the freeway - the list goes on.
I have heard of and seen more accidents lately, all because someone is in a hurry.
And when are those of you who get drunk and drive going to grow up and learn? Drinking and driving do not mix. Ask the dirtball who allegedly killed two people Memorial Day weekend. He’s 30 years old and his life is over. The lives of two young women are over. Why?
Our community is growing rapidly, and with that comes more cars, more traffic, more congested highways and longer periods of rush-hour traffic. Spokane, slow down. Rebecca Issa Spokane
Need wide roads, neighborly drivers
Most of what the editorial board hears is not praise. Mostly, we’re pointing out hypocrisy and misinformation on the Opinion page.
Today, we can really praise Opinion Editor John Webster, not for his editorial, “Environmentalists create lead scare” (June 3), which is true, but for a Hot Seat item about the ducks on Grand Boulevard (“Flatten thy neighbor, but save the ducks,” June 9).
I’ve lived on the South Hill since 1970 and in Spokane most of my life. I bike, walk and drive down Grand. I taught my children to ride bikes here.
It’s dangerous now. I hold rocks in my hand for retaliation as I cross Grand at 38th. That’s where cars speed by to get to a single lane. They won’t stop for you.
Beware, evil motorists; pedestrians are in revolt.
It’s easy to blame the new apartment dwellers or the affluent. But we’ve always had the wealthy and always had renters. We need these people to become, using Webster’s word, “neighbors.”
Webster said, ” We are a sick community.” But ducks don’t need wider roads - people do.
Voters need city officials who aren’t making far more money than most of them, and making more for doing less. James Allen Spokane
Learn about, prevent lead poisoning
Everyone has heard of lead poisoning in one way or another. We usually hear about lead poisoning in our drinking water, but have you ever heard about lead in dust? Amazing where lead can hide.
Children are most susceptible to lead poisoning between birth and the age of 6. Parents can avoid their child’s exposure to lead if they would only receive education on this important illness that affects 1.7 million children in America today. Heidi Alharbi Cheney
What’s it to be, profit or health?
Nate Swinton (“Weigh pros and cons of field burning,” Letters, June 5) claims Staff Cartoonist Milt Priggee and most people in Spokane are misinformed about grass burning. Swinton ought to do his homework.
His pro-grass burning facts were copied word for word from the Intermountain Grass Growers Associations public relations brochure. Research done by Washington State University, the University of Idaho and others has shown that grass seed can be produced without burning.
One alternative to burning is a process called dethatching. This is similar to power raking a lawn. Grass fields that have been dethatched have the same seed quality, purity and seed germinations as fields that have been burned.
Dethatched grass fields have shown no significant increases in weeds or diseases when compared with burned fields.
Research has shown that burning does not stimulate growth. Seed yields are dependent upon the variety of grass grown, whether it is grown on dry or irrigated land, and how much residue is removed from the grass field.
In 1995 the grass growers burned 6,405 acres of bluegrass in Spokane County. This generated more than 844 tons of particle pollutants, carbon monoxide and known carcinogens. Burning is a cheap and easy way to remove field residue.
People must decide if they want to risk suffering long term health effects for the sake of increased profits for growers.
The bluegrass industry decided almost 40 years ago what its priorities are. Cherie L. Rodgers Spokane
Get serious about conserving oil
The letter from Karen Lindholdt (“Oil: Better way is to conserve,” June 10) prompted me to write and express my thanks for making such a good case for oil conservation.
There was a period several years ago when the public was aware of the need for conserving oil and there was legislation that resulted in the production of more-fuel-efficient vehicles.
Lately, the trend in the automobile industry is to provide more horsepower and consequently more fuel consumption. Of course, this has also resulted in higher-priced vehicles and greater profits for the auto industry.
Oil is not a renewable resource. Without conservation, the drive to find and produce it threatens such beautiful public lands as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Consuming less oil also results in less air pollution.
It is shortsighted and self-indulgent for consumers to ignore conservation, buying and driving these vans and light trucks that are not fuel efficient. We must be farsighted enough to push for oil conservation now and find pleasure in other pursuits, rather than in burning up gasoline in grownups’ toys. S. James Perkins Spokane
Sen. Craig offers ‘final solution’
Opinion Editor John Webster’s May 22 editorial should have been headlined, “The final solution.”
Already, green trees are being cut down in national forests across the United States under the current timber salvage law, as are 500-year-old green trees in national forests in Oregon and Washington.
Now, Sen. Larry Craig’s S391 will slam-dunk this massacre by having “sacrifice zones” established in national and Bureau of Land Management forests.
Included in these sacrifice zones will again be healthy, green trees that will be marked for elimination. There would also be no limit as to the number of acres that could be included in these sacrifice zones, and no appeal rights available to the public to stop the never-ending forest health hoax.
Where is there any judicial review to challenge S391 when the Ninth Circuit Court has already ruled that environmental laws have been suspended by the timber salvage law?
S391 wasn’t written for the benefit of the 260 million people who own the national forests that include the last great remaining stands of old growth forests. What it does is institutionalize the destruction of America’s forests. Mike Mihelich Coeur d’Alene
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Dole aborts millions of votes
Bob Dole’s use of words such as “expansive” and “inclusive” is very interesting. To our crushing disappointment, what these words mean is that he considers the killing of unborn children to be a political issue and not a moral issue. With these words he has separated himself from millions of voters.
What good is a platform that begins with a disclaimer? Of what value is a platform that says, “We stand for saving whales!” but begins with, “All who are for butchering whales are also welcome in our party”?
Republicans have called themselves the party of Lincoln. Can you imagine Lincoln saying he was against slavery but those who were for slavery were welcome in his party?
There are few single issues large enough to be the sole reason for voting or not voting for a candidate. Slavery was one of them. The killing of pre-borns is another. The parallels are precise.
As a former delegate to the Republican county convention; as a former delegate to the Republican state convention; as one who voted for every Republican presidential candidate since Goldwater; I find myself without a candidate to vote for. My conscience will not allow me to vote for anyone who cannot distinguish between moral and political issues. Wendell Wagler Moses Lake
AFL-CIO ads just propaganda
I’d like to thank Cathy Gunderson for her humorous letter of June 11, “AFL-CIO campaign a good idea.” Unfortunately, her letter was humorous only due to the ignorance that it perpetuated.
Gunderson stated, “The middle class as well as all voters need to know the facts.” I’ll take her up on that offer. The truthfulness of the AFL-CIO campaign ads are suspect. Gunderson claims that these ads are a part of an “issue-based educational campaign.” But only if your representative is Republican do they show their voting records on minimum wage and education. Following this display of partisanship, the narrator goes on to tell you this 104th Republican-controlled Congress voted for pay raises for its members while voting against minimum wage increases.
Foul! Congress last voted for a pay raise in 1991, when the Democrats had control of Congress. The Washington Post, by far one of this nation’s most respected newspapers, picked up on this the day these commercials aired on television.
By now the AFL-CIO and Clinton administration must hate the Washington Post. Through investigations, the Post found evidence that union fees are going to attack 30 targeted Republicans in the House (to give control back to the Democrats), and that President Clinton, along with labor bosses, orchestrated the government shutdowns.
Next time, Gunderson, find facts before dictating lies as truth, lest you find yourself in the middle of one you can’t defend, let alone justify. Eric M. Gilbert Spokane
Story made players seem thug-like
Depicting the 1996 City Cup Championship as your run-of-the-mill “The Hustler”-type atmosphere was quite exploitative in “Taking their cues on stage” (June 9).
As a woman City Cup participant, it disturbs me to think that coverage of such an event can be so-closed minded and not in tune with the real world of today’s game of pool.
“The players took swigs of beer, drank Coke and coffee, and flicked cigarettes as they prowled around the tables, eyeing the balls.” Give me a break. If the news crew had stuck around long enough to see the real event, other than what they already envisioned in their own minds, they would have discovered how much pool really has changed over the years.
As John Wenglewski, the American Poolplayers Association league operator, attempted to explain, the face of pool has changed and so have the people who play the game. This sport has expanded to include more than mechanics and police officers. It includes such professionals as accountants, hairdressers, computer technicians, business owners, salesmen, and many more.
The individuals who were sent out to cover this event should have had some knowledge of the sport itself. Yes, it is a sport! Very competitive.
In my opinion the article painted a picture of a grungy, dirty, thug type event which hasn’t changed at all. Areas of interest should have included team spirit, team diversity, competition, love of the game and agony of defeat. I found this article to be insulting and very closed minded, as did many members of the APA. Johnnie Harris Spokane
Bear baiting serves good purpose
Is baiting bears any different than using decoys for waterfowl, using a call or a tape of a wounded rabbit for coyotes or even spreading grain out on fields for doves? I don’t think so.
The only difference is that there will not be enough bears harvested throughout the year to control the population
Then there is the question of how we will control the hungry, troubled bears that are going to be pushed out of their territory due to overpopulation. This will become a serious problem for us, the families living in rural areas. We are already experiencing these types of problems with bears and lions.
People in the cities, please consider this before you sign petitions to ban the baiting of bears. J.C. Schultz Nine Mile Falls