December 6, 1997 in City

Letters To The Editor

 
Tags:Letters

WELFARE

Think, try and you will do better

I am outraged at how John and Julie Thaemert conducted themselves over the last 10 years while collecting disability and welfare checks.

Why didn’t they think of how their actions would affect their lives in the future? Why did they have at least two of their five children on welfare? If Julie couldn’t use birth control pills, there are other means of birth control that welfare medical coupons pay for.

Why, when John couldn’t work, didn’t Julie educate herself at the local colleges? If they were on welfare, they could have gotten Pell grants, which do not have to be paid back, to finance her schooling while her husband was at home caring for the children.

Was the burden too difficult for him? That brings me back to my point about having children while on welfare.

People need to think about how their actions in the present will affect their future. People on welfare need to take responsibility for their actions. Do I sound coldhearted? Perhaps I am, but I have been in their shoes.

I was on welfare for three and one-half years as a single mom, going to school to learn a trade in order to give my daughter the life she deserved. Welfare paid for it. I met a man, we were married and I used birth control to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. Welfare paid for that. I lived in low-income housing and paid $70 for a two-bedroom apartment. Welfare paid for that. I also worked part time while going to school.

One year off of welfare and graduating from Spokane Community College qualified me for a job earning $25,000 a year. People, get off the pity potty, stop complaining and do something for yourself.

Zsa Zsa Chin Spokane

PARENTING

Columnist’s advice was all wrong

Cathleen Brown’s column of Nov. 24 (“Introducing a clingy child to individuality”) was exceptionally bad. It dealt with an 8-year-old girl who had always spent her days in day care and/or school situations, until 10 months ago, when her mom quit work and has been home full time. The mother wrote that the girl was very clingy and she didn’t know how to handle it.

Brown advised that she “Announce a new program. ‘I want to help you feel more comfortable, without needing me to tell you how much I love you or feeling you have to be close to me.’ Make a big message on her bulletin board describing your love for her. ‘When you want to know how loved you are, just look at my message.’ Don’t offer repeated reassurances, just remind her to read the sign. When she follows you, find an activity that discourages closeness.”

Contrary to what Brown advised, repeated assurances of her mother’s love is exactly what this little girl needs - lots of hugs, kisses and much time spent together. She’s crying out for emotional bonding. What she doesn’t need is to be pushed away with some cold, sterile “program” or a sign on the wall.

Brown should have encouraged this mother to really be there emotionally and physically for this little girl, right now. This window of opportunity may be shut in a few short years.

I think Brown gave cold-hearted, shallow advice designed to keep the mother at arm’s length from her daughter. I hate to think of all the young mothers who might act on Brown’s advice.

Gail A. Frowick Chattaroy

SAFETY

Get to know the ‘No-Zone’

The holiday traveling season is here and we urgently need to continue our efforts to save lives and prevent injuries on our highways.

Alarmingly, more than 250,000 crashes involve cars and trucks annually. The U.S. Department of Transportation is involved in a safety program, Don’t Hang out in the No-Zone, to help motorists improve their road sharing skills and help reduce car-truck crashes. The No-Zone is the area around trucks where crashes are more likely to occur. Avoid crashes by keeping these important points in mind:

There are large blind spots in front and back of trucks and on both sides, where truck drivers cannot see cars.

Don’t linger in side blind spots; the truck driver may need to change lanes quickly.

When passing, maintain constant speed. Don’t cut in front of large vehicles and slow down considerably or brake. Before pulling in front, be sure you can see the entire front of the truck in your rearview mirror.

Don’t tailgate. A truck’s rear blind spot is deep; the driver can’t see your car and you can’t see much, either.

Be alert to trucks making a right turn. Big trucks must swing wide to the left.

If truck drivers can’t see you, the possibility of a collision is greatly increased. Staying in the No-Zone makes it impossible for them to see you.

For a copy of the Don’t Hang out in the No-Zone brochure and more information, please contact our office, (360) 753-9875.

Alene Dickey, No-Zone coordinator

U.S. Department of Transportation, Olympia

There’s no sure safety in propriety

As a society, we don’t blame the victim of robbery. You were carrying all that money, wearing a new suit and someone robbed you? Well, it seems you provoked that poor crook right into a temptation he couldn’t resist. You share responsibility for the robbery.

Sound ridiculous? Why is the victim responsible for the predator’s behavior only when the crime is rape?

As long as women are told that they share responsibility for this particular criminal act, few rape victims will come forward. As long as newspapers and writers blame one type of crime on the victim, rape victims will continue to believe the media will support the perpetrator. Even managing editor Scott Sines’ “other side” was subtitled, “A woman who made bad decisions suffered the consequences.” That hardly appears to be taking the other side, although most of his content does support the theme that there’s no excuse for sexual violence.

None of editorial writer D.F. Oliveria’s rules would prevent a rape. Women get a false sense of security thinking that if they follow a sacred set of rules they will stay safe.

Saying no can help if the case ever gets to court, but it’s not guaranteed to stop a rape.

Being sober is no guarantee a woman won’t be raped; 45 percent of female students haven’t been drinking or using drugs when raped.

Staying with a group, wearing clothes all evening and being with friends provides no guarantee.

Finally, radical feminists are not saying that a woman has a right to change her mind the morning after.

I challenge Oliveria to find an original citation from a radical feminist making that statement.

Carol Vines

Women’s Studies Center, Eastern Washington University

OTHER TOPICS

Troopers deserve chief’s backing

Another example of the squeaky wheel getting the grease is the unfortunate lesson that Washington State Patrol Trooper David Fenn and his supervisor, Sgt. David McMillin, have learned.

The Spokane Indian Tribe leaders feel Fenn was picking out Indians to arrest for drunk driving, so they complained to the Department of justice. Despite the investigation finding of no civil rights violations, these two public servants were punished for doing the right thing. Now, Spokane Tribe leaders have renewed their request for a federal investigation.

I commend these and other officers for doing this job. I hope their superiors will have the fortitude to stand up and defend them. Maybe another person of a minority, say someone like WSP Chief Annette Sandberg, will take a long shot and speak up for the troopers.

Brian Bergevin

Newman Lake

Rush to harsh judgments a disservice

Contempt is generally uncalled for and editorial writer D.F. Oliveria’s writing is no exception (“Sorry, but ecdysiast’s calling is still a very wrong number,” Hot Potatoes, Dec. 2).

Certainly, what these women are doing is wrong. But I see two larger issues.

The first is that, given the choices these women have been confronted with - and none of us knows what those are - did they make the right one? They themselves will have the best judgment about that, since they alone know what they have been through. Sometimes, the only choices we have are between bad and worse.

Secondly, should there be a law against what they do? I think there should be a law mandating the use of seat belts, but I’m sure there are many who disagree. Prostitution is somewhat worse than what these women do but laws prohibiting it have not been effective, unlike the laws mandating seatbelt use.

The Spokesman-Review, by continuing to give public space to poorly thought out, contemptuous opinions like Oliveria’s, does us all a disservice. Please ask for better than this from your newspaper.

Greg H. Simpson Pullman


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