Mighty strange case of poverty
I was interested in Scott McClellan from US West Communications contending his company didn’t make enough money in Washington state last year.
Richard D. McCormick, president and CEO, made $8,217,000 last year.
Charles Lillis, executive vice president, made $4,342,000 in 1996.
Solomon Trujillo, executive vice president, made $3,568,000.
Charles Russ III, executive vice president, made $2,456,000 in the same period.
These four men made more than $18.5 million in the year McClellan says his company didn’t get enough out of our state. These figures don’t count these gentlemen’s golden parachutes, which guarantee them millions more when they leave the company.
I’m having a little trouble sympathizing. John C. Parsons Colville, Wash.
NFL behind taxpayer rip-offs
The voices of dissent to construction of a new football stadium for the Seattle Seahawks must not be drowned out by the cheers of Paul Allen, who sees nothing wrong with having Washington state taxpayers subsidizing a field of schemes and a new sports palace.
The problem is not with the Kingdome but with the out-of-control economics of the National Football League, which has allowed player salaries to skyrocket and has forced owners to raise prices and search for new revenue sources.
Washington state taxpayers, confounded by the massive scope of urban ills, are being asked by Allen to follow social programs similar to the decline of the Roman Empire - dispensing bread and circuses to appease the public.
I am not a football fan. But even people like myself who don’t get all tingly at the sight of well-upholstered men running into each other at high speeds should wonder at the high price for their latest spectacle. Helen D. Duey Rice, Wash.
State taxation is outrageous
I am writing in reference to the tax process to which I have just been subjected. The fees required to license the two vehicles I moved to Washington are cause for alarm.
I have a vehicle that I purchased from a salvage yard. It was declared totaled by an insurance company. I was taxed at its full value. The annual tax on this vehicle will be about $500. Incredible!
What becomes of these revenues? Better roads? Better highways? Not hardly. It goes into a black hole of unaccountability known as the general fund.
This annual tax is unjust. Hard-working middle class and retired fixed-income people cannot afford the exorbitant tax burden put upon them and inexplicably perpetuated by their elected, supposedly people-serving officials. Why does an educated and intelligent electorate allow such nonsense to continue?
This is a great state with great people who have been duped into allowing themselves to be taxed and assessed fees beyond reason. Olympia should give the deserving electorate intelligent and responsible leadership. This is one tax law that deserves to be repealed. Barry W. Foster Spokane
Enforce our way to better streets
On my way to work today, dodging potholes, it hit me - the solution to fixing our streets!
What if the Spokane Police Department were to give tickets for speeding, tailgating, stop sign running, red light running, failure to use turn signals, pulling out in front of other cars and driving slow in the fast lane?
Each day on my commute to and from the office, I see people run the same stop sign and speed down Indian Trail going 45 mph to 50 mph, instead of 30 mph to 35 mph limits posted.
And don’t forget the ever-present car hanging on my tail.(By the way, if you are on my tail, it doesn’t make me go faster. I slow down!)
Take all of the money that the city would receive from the citations and use it to pave the streets. We would have beautiful streets and maybe people would learn to obey the rules of the road. Nancy J. Keller Spokane
It’s all in the timing, which is bad
I continue to be amazed as to the weekday time of day that street maintenance, street resurfacing and trash-recycling pickup occurs on the North-South arterials of Maple and Ash for those of us living on the North Side.
This activity routinely occurs during morning and afternoon traffic rush hours. We must not have any City Council members or other elite officials traveling on any of these routes during a rush hour.
Observing the sweat and grimaces of the men and women performing this work while dodging cars zipping by at unsafe speeds caused me to wonder why they would subject themselves to these conditions. Is it their fault?
No, most likely it is the fault of inept supervision and lack of planning.
Private industry would not exist if work was performed in such a fashion.
My suggestion is this: plan ahead. Perform this much-needed work in off-peak hours. It will make me happier and it will create a safer environment for all. Kerry F. Luciani Spokane
LAW AND JUSTICE
Blame laws that hobble parents
If Dary D. Liepelt (“Make ineffective parents pay,’ Letters, May 19) is a parent, he should know how hard it is for parents to “take control” of their children.
In the late 1970s or early 1980s, a law was passed that effectively tied parents’ hands. They could not use physical force on their children for fear of being arrested. This gave a lot of power to children. They could call the police and tell them their parents were beating them, and the parents could be arrested for child abuse.
This didn’t stop real child abusers, but it certainly stopped the non-abusive ones cold.
As for “Do you know where your child is?” today, with this law still in effect, who listens to mom and dad?
If you think parents should pay for what their child does, why not demand that control be returned to parents?
With the cost of living so high, parents have no choice but to both work to make ends meet. If anyone should have to pay, it should be the ones who have taken parental control away from parents.
If Liepelt is a parent, I hope his children are young enough that they still listen to him when he says no. Betty A. Randall Moses Lake
IN THE PUBLIC EYE
Flinn case a shame,
The first sentence of the May 17 New York Times editorial concerning Lt. Kelly Flinn best expresses the view of most: “This has got to be one of the saddest ways for a promising military career to crash in flames.”
It is deeply disappointing to see any promising young person blow it.
In view of Flinn’s earlier record, as well as her notoriety as the first female B-52 pilot, a measure of extra consideration was probably extended to assure her continued success. No commander relishes the idea of failure. No one would willingly invite the attention of ever-hungry media.
Would there be all the furor if Flinn were male? Would the media be equally accommodating in providing a young male officer as much exposure? The notion that some common sense was not exercised or that discreet advice was not offered in order to quietly resolve the case is difficult to imagine, much less believe.
What was taught during four years at the academy as a point of departure?
The military is not comparable to society in general. It exists for other than social purposes, requiring a level of trust, discipline and control well beyond what’s expected in society. Compassion is not first among its missions.
What, specifically, should changed laws and rules ordain? What conduct would be officially sanctioned? In any effort at changing rules, beware the law of unintended consequences. Finally, if Flinn has been abused, shouldn’t those responsible be investigated and prosecuted, if appropriate? Jim F. Smith, colonel, Air Force, retired Spokane
Slap at Maxey uncalled for
We saw in the paper recently H.L. Potter’s narrow, backward-thinking comments about Carl Maxey (“Maxey off on another lame crusade,” Letters, May 12).
We back Maxey 101 percent. We have known him since 1974 to be an intelligent, broadminded individual.
A person who convicted criminal is made to pay his or her debt to society. Once that sentence is served, the debt is paid. They are therefore free and clear. Why should they continue to pay? If you break the law and are punished, would it be fair 10 years later to make you pay again? Jesus said to a crowd, when a whore was brought before him to be stoned to death, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Also, “There but for the grace of God go I.” Karen A. and Monte R. Willy Spokane
Coulston a great humanitarian
Before any judgment is rendered, judicially or publicly, I and a group of fellow health care workers point out that Dan Coulston, M.D., has been an asset to this community and the entire Northwest.
He has been one of the few advocates for AIDS patients and has exemplified the highest standards, professionally and morally, to those of us who work with him. We often see him as he follows trauma cases. We believe and will continue to believe there is more to the story than was reported May 21.
Coulston is the best intensivist this community can offer, in addition to being a great humanitarian. Pam M. Ferguson, C.H.U.C., Spokane
Here’s a name for Ivins to try
I was struck by the Irony of Molly Ivins’ column appearing on the same day as the Supreme Court decision on the Clinton-Paula Jones affair.
Want a name to take, Ivins? Try “Paula Jones.” Want a rear to kick? Try Bill Clinton’s. It should be easy to find, since it’s naked and hanging out about a mile. In Ivins’ beloved Texas vernacular: Double dare ya, darlin’! Do whuuuut? Raymond J. Fadeley Spokane
Centennial Trail built for everyone
I want to correct the impression of several persons that the Centennial Trail was intended to be a bicycle commute route.
The trail was first proposed by local businessmen as a recreational trail. This idea was behind their efforts to obtain local support and funding.
When bureaucrats from the West Side became involved, the character of the trail changed. There were not-so-subtle attempts to seize rights of way across private property. The trail design changed so that horsemen (a group of early supporters) could not use the trail. In fact, I was at a meeting in which a West Side bureaucrat glowingly spoke of the trail becoming like Seattle’s Burke-Gillman Trail, which now is a bicycle commuter trail.
The Centennial trail was designed as a recreational trail and still is just that. It’s open to walkers, little kids and old codgers with canes. A certain university’s track team, which had a habit of running people off the trail, was called to heel. The trail’s purpose is to provide access to the Spokane River for all, including the handicapped. That’s why it cannot become a bicycle commute trail. Bike commute speeds are not 5 mph to 10 mph.
Bicyclists, Rollerbladers, skate boarders, etc., can use the trail to get from point A to point B. They just have to take it easy, enjoy the river and allow everyone else on the trail to enjoy it too. Barbara Morrissey Spokane