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Letters To The Editor

FROM LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (September 12, 1996): Correction Contrary to the incorrect pronoun used in a Sept. 11 letter, 6th District legislative candidate Kerry Luciani is a man.

SPOKANE MATTERS

A winner in the nerve sweepstakes

I am totally amazed and outraged by the request from Councilman Chris Anderson that he needs a television crew and council chambers to explain why he is not at his desk, doing his job for the people who elected him. Let him pay for it himself.

I object to his using my tax money for this outrageous request. Some people have a lot of nerve, and he gets the award.

Jan Ramer Spokane

Refund unearned money and leave

In attempting to find just the right words to express my feelings about the contemptible behavior of one of our elected officials, I came up with the following:

Hypocrite. Definition: One who expresses feelings, beliefs or virtues one does not hold or possess. Example: Chris Anderson.

Arrogant: Overly convinced of one’s own importance. Example: Chris Anderson.

Insolent: Presumptuous and abrasive in speech and manner. Example: Chris Anderson.

Honorable: Worthy of, or winning honor and respect. Also used as a title of respect for certain high officials; for example, the Honorable Chris Anderson. Honorable?

Well, Anderson could earn the respect of the people of Spokane by resigning the position he was elected to but no longer has time for, and give his full time and attention to supporting his family. He could earn the title of honorable by returning the city wages he collected but did not earn.

If he chooses to do nothing to rectify his recent actions, he’ll be holding both the citizens and his co-workers in contempt and will deserve the title, The hypocritical, arrogant, insolent and dishonorable Chris Anderson, Spokane councilperson in name only.

He could also add this: unelectable. Mary C. Gaddy Spokane

Institute no-show, no-pay plan

In regard to Councilman Chris Anderson’s absence, I think Councilman Jeff Colliton’s proposal to allow only a four-week absence without council approval is great, but it doesn’t go far enough.

Why not pay the City Council members $346.15 per meeting, which works out to $18,000 per year, for meetings they attend. If they aren’t at a meeting, they don’t get paid. Edwin O. Weilep Spokane

Strong-mayor system? Bring it on

Why are our “weak mayor” and City Council opposed to the strong-mayor system for our Lilac City? Simple answer: They all would have to run for office within a year.

The elected bunch, acting City Manager Bill Pupo, City Attorney Jim Sloane and the bond attorneys are sweating tacks this thing will pass. I hope it does. With their voting record and butchered priorities for this fine city, they know their jobs are as secure as a ride over the Spokane River falls in spring on a Jet Ski.

If it does pass, Washington Water Power Co., the Chamber of Commerce and Momentum will be scrambling like squirrels in the bottom of a barrel, trying to pour money into candidates in an effort to keep their stronghold.

Throw the rascals out and make one person accountable for this fine city. Equation: bad job equals out the gate.

Vote yes for a strong mayor. Jonathan Swanstrom Sr. Spokane

Fair admission costs too much

Last year, admission to the fair was $6 and now it’s $7. The cost is getting too high.

I don’t care what the fair board’s excuse is, the people - you and me - have to pay. If the admission were more reasonable, more people would go to the fair. A more-reasonable admission cost would be $5. Byron Davis Spokane

Zap bond and force new approach

Why should homeowners bear the brunt of street repair/improvement costs? Because we are a captive audience?

Contractors’ huge trucks, semis and others pound the asphalt to pieces with their tonnage daily. Other businesses, some from Idaho, also benefit from regular use of city streets.

I am not an expert on revenue raising, but do wonder if some sort of use tax, toll or temporary fuel tax might be feasible to distribute the cost burden more equitably.

I intend to vote against the upcoming bond issue and encourage other homeowners to join me. Perhaps if this issue fails, the City Council will be forced to become more innovative and fair in how it raises necessary revenues. Robert Campbell Spokane

Hasson was right on sewer issue

While I haven’t always agreed with Spokane County Commissioner Steve Hasson, he has it hands down on the really big issues. The key role he played to defeat the single sewer in June 1991 has saved and continues to save the citizens of Spokane County untold millions of dollars.

A key building block of Momentum’s strategy toward total city-county consolidation, the single valley-city sewer was to be run by they city. According to the Journal of Business, July 25, 1991, “Momentum’s strategy on local government, formerly referred to as its city-county services strategy … suffered a disappointing setback when Spokane County voters rejected a single sewer proposal recently.”

When voters learned that the single-sewer proposal would cost homeowners $32 per half acre per month, forever - no cutoff date was supplied - 90 percent of those voting in the Valley said no, while 70 percent elsewhere said no.

Hasson was the only elected official to stand up against the power brokers and take an active role in the campaign to defeat this very blatant power and money grab. If for no other reason, we are forever indebted to Hasson on this issue.

Re-elect Hasson. We need a person of his character in the courthouse. Laurel Durkee Spokane

Hasson much better suited

The Steve Hasson-Kate McCaslin race boils down to who is best qualified, has proven fiscal responsibility and who has the right temperament.

Commissioner Steve Hasson has people who don’t know his background and expertise. Hasson has degrees in urban and regional planning and in physical geography, and has eight years of county commissioner experience. He is more qualified than anyone running for the position. Another rare exceptional quality is that he welcomes public input.

What are McCaslin’s qualifications? She is a professional campaign manager and was paid to run the failed pro-science center campaign. She called our good citizens insulting names because they collected signatures to bring the initiative on the science center to a vote of the people. She didn’t care about the millions it would cost taxpayers and said so on the radio. McCaslin lost her temper easily and on more than one occasion.

We do not want or need an office-holder who is not qualified and whose temperament is unpredictable. Vote for Hasson. He is knowledgeable and accountable to the taxpayers. Mamie Picard Spokane

WASHINGTON STATE

Craswell has excellent ideas

Good for Ellen Craswell! Craswell is good for us. Thanks, staff writer Lynda Mapes, for your Sept. 3 article.

We have to limit government at all levels. I don’t know anyone who wants it unlimited, except maybe a fool. Government is force, control, regulation. We all want freedom and that comes only with as few laws as necessary to protect life, liberty and property - freedom to do your own thing, with responsibility.

Time is ripe for repealing laws, not writing more. Then we shall see progress, for what is the mainspring of human progress but freedom? Check the history of mankind from the beginning to learn the source of true progress.

In shrinking government it is logical to reduce gradually, yearly and fairly - perhaps 5 percent to 10 percent across the board - every agency, every department, including salaries and pensions. Then who can say his or her special interest is being attacked?

Privatize services, that’s the answer - business based on pleasing the customer while making a profit. Assign priorities, cut out waste, balance the budget.

Sound trite? It can be done. Smart homemakers do it every month. Use common sense and logic. It will get you everywhere. Craswell is my choice for governor. Eileen L. Wilson Spokane

Heed West about excessive surplus

Jim West is the only candidate for lieutenant governor fighting to protect us from runaway property taxes.

While his opponents look the other way, West has called for a special session of the Legislature to prevent a needless 4.7 percent automatic tax hike that will take effect in January. That’s almost 5 percent that will be added to any other increases passed by local governments or through bonds and levies.

Right now, our state government has a surplus of over $500 million. If we allow this automatic property tax increase to take effect, those reserves will swell to nearly $750 million.

I admit it makes sense for the state to have some money set aside in case of an emergency or problems with the economy. But it is unreasonable to think that with a cushion of over $500 million, state government needs to take even more money out of taxpayers’ pockets.

Working families deserve a break, and the elderly should not be forced out of homes they worked a lifetime to own, just to pad already overflowing state coffers.

Let’s keep some of our hard-earned dollars in our own pockets for a change. Let’s support a candidate who understands the needs of workers, the elderly and those on a fixed income who can’t afford another increase in their property taxes. Pat Haskins Spokane

Luciani will serve 6th District well

Once in a while we are surprised to find a non-political candidate who is fully qualified for the position they seek. That candidate is Kerry F. Luciani, seeking a position in the 6th Legislative District.

It’s refreshing to see a candidate running on more than one issue. Luciani is seeking a stronger economy coupled with real wage and job growth that will enable us to 1) strengthen the family, by providing a family-sustaining wage; 2) reduce crime; 3) reduce welfare dependency; 4) reduce poverty; 5) improve K-12 education; 6) improve higher education; 7) improve environmental conditions; 8) negate the need for additional taxes; and 9) provide the resources for much-needed infrastructure improvements.

Luciani stresses “economic growth coupled with fiscal responsibility.” In attempting to reach out to 6th Legislative District voters, Luciani has visited nearly 14,000 homes to talk with individuals and listen to their ideas. She is a financial analyst with a master’s degree in business/finance and is well equipped to comprehend the complexities of the state budget. Edward Thomas Jr. Spokane

Smith knows how to work, overcome

3rd Legislative District voters have Democrat Val Smith running for the state House of Representatives. Smith was neither born with a silver potato in her mouth nor does she aspire to be a professional politician. She appears to be the dark horse in a trio of competing Democrats.

Smith’s campaign theme is experience counts. Voters who look at what the candidates possess personally will see Smith is far ahead. She has walked in the shoes of many of the people in the community. As a 45-year 3rd District resident, she knows the issues confronting this community firsthand.

Smith has been a foster child, a child on welfare and a high school dropout. She has been a single, divorced parent, had to struggle to find adequate child care, pay the bills and juggle the demands of work, school and children.

Smith’s done that and moved on to improve her lot in life by getting a GED, spending nine years working and going to school, and earning a master’s degree in social work. As a retired executive of Lutheran Social Services, Smith has lived within a budget, supervised 40 employees and raised a family. Her life experience makes her a frontrunner.

Now retired, Smith has the time to devote to this position that the other candidates do not. She also has the will to make the 3rd District a better place for all of us. Donald H. Skaufel Spokane

PEOPLE AND ANIMALS

Many don’t look beyond favored few

To adopt a pet from the Humane Society, you must fill out a two-page, very detailed questionnaire. Questions cover whether there’s a fenced yard, dog house and ask about past and present pets.

When we have an animal several people want, usually a Pet Saver star, we have to resort to the lottery method. We never actually interview, per se. The application and the person’s demeanor usually tell us all that we need to know.

On Aug. 10, the special pet happened to be a young AKC yellow lab. All applications were reviewed by the director and all the applicants were found to be equally qualified.

The winning application was chosen by a volunteer in the fairest way we could. Those who lost out could have selected a new four-footed friend from the 200 other dogs and cats waiting for a new home - including an AKC chocolate lab and a 3-year-old neutered male yellow lab. We apologize for the fact that not all can win. The person who took this yellow lab home probably thought our method was great.

Those of us at the shelter who deal with the reality that there are not enough homes for all the animals that need a home hope no one goes home empty-handed. The real losers are the ones they leave behind. Dona Van Gelder Spokane Humane Society

No shortage of yellow labs

Re: “Humane Society procedure a sham,” Letters, Aug. 30:

If Carole Bonvallet’s daughter had “won” the puppy, this would have been a wonderful system. The applications do ask about a fenced yard, and all applications that are accepted are for good homes. At that point, they are all equal.

If this family is so enamored of yellow labs, where were they last Saturday when two puppies were available for adoption, an older yellow lab was in one of the kennels and two yellow lab cross-mixes were brought in for immediate adoption? That doesn’t begin to include the chocolate and black labs that are also available. (The old wives’ tale that yellow labs are smarter is just that.)

It’s sad when people are so intent on a particular dog that they don’t even consider looking at the many other wonderful dogs (and cats) that deserve to live.

Yes, people who are forced to surrender their pets expect them to find good homes. However, I wonder how good a home would be provided by someone with tunnel vision who wouldn’t even consider looking at another animal, possibly because it didn’t have AKC after its name. Louise Long Spokane

SCIENCE

Don’t jump to conclusions

In reference to Steve McLachlan’s Sept. 5 letter, “Martian rock assumption flawed”: If any assumption is flawed, it is McLachlan’s.

The scientists involved did not find life. What they did find were fossilized remains of possible life. More testing is under way.

While I agree that on entry to Earth’s atmosphere the surface of the rock would burn away, the inside would be intact. Why couldn’t fossils be found deeper inside the rock? Fossils are found in rock and between rock layers all the time on Earth.

Scientists do sometimes make mistakes. That is why other scientists review claims and try to duplicate the results, to check the findings. First, the scientist forms a hypothesis. Later, after the hypothesis is checked and rechecked for flaws by the scientist and others, a theory is formed to explain the particular phenomenon. This is the scientific method. Evolution is a theory that has undergone this method. Paul Alan Claussen Spokane


 
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