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Letters To The Editor


Mature behavior not strong point

I find few things in life as disturbing as the arrogance and stupidity of people who, by intent or accident, have become “parents,” yet don’t possess the common sense or parenting skills to raise a dog, let alone a human being.

Too often I’ve seen children left in cars unattended, and every year you read about the sometimes disastrous results of this dangerous practice. Children die from heat and dehydration, have been kidnapped and injured from a variety of circumstances where parents leave them for a “few minutes” while they just “run in to (fill in the blank).”

I don’t understand. Why take the risk? There is nothing on this earth as precious as a child, and they are not replaceable.

Paul Sorensen demonstrated by his actions, his comments regarding Officer Brookshire in this newspaper, and his reported verbal abuse of the same officer at the airport that responsible, mature behavior is not his strong point. His attorney’s “bad hair day” comment regarding Officer Brookshire is just as grade school as well.

I’ve been to the airport. If you can check in three people and four bags in under 15 minutes, you don’t have to go to Disneyland - you’re already there! Besides, there’s no time limit that determines stupidity.

Sorensen was lucky this time, but I doubt he learned anything. Hopefully he will before his regrets overcome his arrogance, because then it will be too late. David T. Bray Spokane

Sorensen should be in court

I was appalled when I read that Paul Sorensen wants money and an apology from the Spokane Airport and their employees. I’d like to see Sorensen in court facing charges of child abandonment and endangerment.

Sorensen asks how long it takes to check in three people and their luggage. I have the answer: A lot longer than five minutes!

I have a few questions for Sorensen:

How long does it take for a child to choke? How long does it take to break into a car and steal a child?

If Sorensen thinks that those two things could not have happened in the amount of time he left his 2-year-old girl alone in the car, he is sadly mistaken.

Sorensen thinks he’s a great dad because he takes his children to Disneyland. Jack the Ripper could have done that.

A father is a man who would never intentionally place his child in danger. Sorensen did just that. He is not a great dad, he is a criminal. He should be in jail, not on the air. Linda G. Waddell Spokane

Responsibility needs to be taken

It is amazing how few people are willing to take responsibility for their actions. Paul Sorensen was recently cited for leaving his 2-year-old daughter alone in an illegally parked car. Claiming the officer “badge-happy,” Sorensen believes the officer and the airport are wrong.

Take responsibility for your judgment, Mr. Sorensen. Being a bit of a celebrity does not put you above the law, nor does taking your children to Disneyland make you a good parent. Jim C. Jenson Spokane

Bad things can happen quickly

It is unfortunate that The Spokesman-Review would waste front-page news space on a father who obviously does not care about his children. Officer Carol Brookshire has more concern for this man’s (Paul Sorensen’s) child than he does.

Children should never, ever be left alone in a vehicle. I don’t care if it’s for two seconds; bad things can happen very quickly - carjackers, car theft, heat stroke, etc.

And if Sorensen expects us to believe that it takes only five minutes to check in bags, he should step back into reality.

I commend Officer Brookshire for her vigilance in avoiding a possible disaster, and I condemn Sorensen for being an uncaring father. Guy E. Cappucio Spokane


Nature causes global warming

Well I guess I’d better try to educate The Spokesman-Review some more. Your front-page story of July 15 regarding global warming is bunk! (“Hot enough for you? Wait”)

Where do the alleged scientists get the information they use to base their claims? I’d like to know how they can make a prediction that they know is based on lies. The 1/2 degree Fahrenheit rise is as natural as sunshine or rain. The temperature rise is caused by the fact that we live in a solar system that has a variable star called the sun. The sun goes through regular cycles. The 11-year sunspot cycle and 22-year drought cycles are well known. The fact that the Earth has gone through regular periods of ice ages and warm periods is well documented and totally normal.

Stick around for 10,000 or so years and you’ll be seeing glaciers in Riverside State Park.

Has one of these scientists ever told you about the Foundation Sea Mounts? This is a chain of active volcanoes off the coast of South America. There are over 1,500 volcanos in the chain. Remember what Mt. St. Helens did to us? Think about what 1,500 hot volcanos can do to the temperature of the ocean.

What about the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, an active volcanic crack in the Earth that runs from the South Pole past Iceland? These are the natural causes of global warming, not puny mankind. Try as hard as you can, you can never come close or surpass Mother Earth and Father Sun as they control the thermostats of our environment. K.L. Osborn Spokane

Is the Earth really warming?

“The sky is falling!” said Chicken Little (now doing business as the Environmental Defense Fund).

According to Julian Powers (Letters, July 5) and Paul Nitze (Roundtable) evidence of global warming is clear and compelling and we terrible humans are causing it. More than 2,400 scientists (fewer than 1 percent of the scientists in just the United States) and President Clinton say so.

Inconvenient fact: Monthly mean global temperatures from 1979 to 1997 drawn from infrared satellite data readings for the lower troposphere show a gradual decline of minus .02 degree Celsius. (Satellite data is more reliable than surface readings. Paving weather station parking lots, for instance, probably raised official temperature readings enough to account for the .1 degree Celsius rise in average annual U.S. surface temperature since 1900.)

Inconvenient fact: If one lays a chart of the sun’s solar magnetic cycle - an indirect indicator of the sun’s total radiant output - over a chart of the Earth’s surface temperatures since the 11th century, as derived from measurements of carbon 14 and beryllium 10 in ancient trees plus ice core data, the two match very closely. In other words, global temperature has gone up and down right along with changes in sun output for the last 900 years.

Amazing. Should someone tell the president?

Inconvenient fact: Increased carbon dioxide in our air has resulted in just one verifiable environmental change and it isn’t temperature. Trees and other plants (which need carbon dioxide) are growing faster. Most farmers will agree that isn’t all bad. Curt Messex Cheney


LC should be applauded

The Spokesman-Review articles on drug testing for athletes at Lewis and Clark High School did a good job of exploring the challenges and concerns that a testing program must address. The articles were less successful in suggesting to your readers that athlete drug use is a problem unique to Lewis and Clark.

In establishing a drug test program for athletes, Lewis and Clark takes advantage of two key factors. First, the school is next door to Deaconess Medical Center, which provides the resources to do the tests. Second, Lewis and Clark is blessed with an administration and teaching staff willing to step forward and deal with the substance abuse problems faced by all of our schools.

As a community, we should applaud, support and learn from Lewis and Clark’s efforts. Ron Wendle President, LCPTSG, Spokane

LC drug program misdirected

Measures taken to discourage chemical abuse by our students deserve our support. However, actions taken to impose a drug testing program at Lewis and Clark High School are shortsighted and misdirected.

If this program is worthwhile, testing shouldn’t be restricted to just LC athletes. While receiving more attention, athletes are no more important than other students. LC has no greater or lesser problem than other schools. This problem reaches across all groups in any student population. To put this program in place only at LC implies a major problem.

Students participating in extracurricular programs must pledge that they won’t abuse chemical substances. This pledge, also signed by the parent, is a symbol of mutual trust. It’s hypocritical to “voluntarily” require students to submit to drug testing. Students opting out will be guilty by inference. If this pledge is so lacking in credibility that it must be reinforced by testing, it shouldn’t be required. Demonstrating distrust of our students invites them to offend.

Drug testing does not detect alcohol - the most abused of all substances. Potential for alcohol addiction because of early abuse is well documented. Drug testing encourages pledge violators to use alcohol.

Violations, in conjunction with a student’s activity and of their pledge, should reactively involve the school. Outside of this, the parent(s) should be responsible, as indicated by their signature on the pledge. In this regard, the parent has pledged to act honorably too.

Students, looking to us as role models, must not be saddled with misdirected programs designed mostly for their PR potential. Larry S. Reid retired assistant principal, Spokane public schools


New bridge of questionable value

It seems to me that the Lincoln Street Bridge project has caused a lot of misinformation by Phil Williams. At first we were told that it would cost $23 million and now it is over $36 million and growing. We were not told that Salty’s would be destroyed. Only after Clinkerdagger’s had started the leasing process did we find out that the city had to have that property. Williams’ story on that was not very believable.

Now we find out that some of the Ronalds’ property is required by this project! I suspect that Williams knew this all along and was trying to get the City Council to condemn the property for library view reasons in order to get a better price. This never made any sense to me.

If the City Council is really interested in developing the downtown core, wouldn’t the Ronalds’ plan, which would locate people downtown, be far better for that than vacant property with a view? The city took this dispute to court and did not like the jury decision on the price, and the famous city attorneys say fight! These famous attorneys also told us that the Marks family would never get a dime.

The way the Ronalds’ have been treated, I hope they stick to their plan. You want the property, you pay the value. If not, let us build the condominiums.

I believe this bridge is of questionable value at this price and think that condominiums and a restaurant would be of much greater value for the taxpayers. You don’t suppose that this bridge is required by the River Park development project do you? H. Wayne Lythgoe Colbert

Council should run city, not lives

The City Council has banned fireworks because they are a fire hazard, and firefighters whine that they’re overrun by calls every Fourth of July. Last time I checked, responding to calls was a firefighter’s job.

If we’re going to ban fireworks because they’re hazardous, we’d better ban cars. Those are dangerous too. And food - can’t have people eating food, it can hurt them; everyone has heard of E.coli. And for Pete’s sake, don’t let people breathe; we do have bad air around here.

City Council, please stop being my conscience and do what I elected you to do - run the city, not my life.

If my rights are limited due to fireworks being a fire hazard, let’s look at the big picture. Cut out the Fourth of July and what do you have? Smokers tossing lit cigarettes out their cars in the middle of summer when the grass is dry and ready to ignite. I believe that 365 days of “the world is my ashtray” is more dangerous than one day of fireworks. Are cigarettes banned? Of course not. That would violate the rights of smokers.

If you don’t want to spend tax money to put out fires caused by fireworks, allow fireworks only on private property. I’d happily take financial responsibility for any damage caused by my celebration. I am a responsible citizen. Don’t punish me.

I will continue to take my family and our money to Stevens County on the Fourth of July, where my right to responsibly celebrate still exists. Michae’l E. Alegria Spokane


Dog Patch devalues property

John Craig’s June 25 article did not say that Dog Patch “is only woman’s personal hobby,” but it is her personal business in a residential area. Dog Patch is the second of four houses on approximately five acres each, on a private road, 12 miles from Colville, Wash.

Dog Patch occupies about two acres. The adjoining property owners’ houses are located more than 500 feet from Marble Valley Road, which carries normal county road traffic. A small herd of cattle graze in a field across the road. Other than deer, there isn’t much wildlife in this area.

Tasker believes Dog Patch is beautiful. To the neighbors, it looks like a circus. Would you like to live 100 feet from 40 or more barking and whining dogs? This is a beautiful area, but the presence of Dog Patch devalues property by at least 25 percent. None of the other neighbors in this area that I checked with seem to know about any breeding kennels with 25-40 dogs within a 4-mile radius.

Tasker claims that neighbors shoot guns for hours. In a recent harassment suit against Tasker, the judge stated that any shooting of firearms was to last no more than a half-hour, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The neighbors abide by the judge’s decision.

Tasker stated that her business is “at no charge to our community.” Did she forget that she dumped more than 200 dogs at the Colville dog pound in the past six months, costing Steven’s County taxpayers more than $7,000? X. Raymond Hickey Colville, Wash.

Movie entertaining, not insulting

I would like to respond to Jodi Habel’s letter about the movie “Jurassic Park: The Lost World.”

Habel underestimated the intelligence of at least the majority of the people who watched that film. I believe that most of the people in the theater were clapping because of the spoof on the old Godzilla films. True, most of the people in this area only know and/or grew up knowing white people. But there are also quite a few who grew up with many different races, me being one of them.

Also, I would like to point out that the majority of people eaten in the movie where white! The movie was not meant to be insulting to Asians, or any other race for that matter. It was made for entertainment value - not to start racial controversy. Rebecca L. Mullin, age 14 Hayden Lake, Idaho

Tags: Letters