June 9, 1997 in Nation/World

Letters To The Editor

 
Tags:Letters

HIGHER EDUCATION

GU board has done so much that’s good

During the recent crisis at Gonzaga University, the media were given generous access to the causes and motives behind the dismissal of The Rev. Edward Glynn. Subsequent letters to the editor only confirmed what was known all along: the unpopularity of the decision made by the board. The division among the board members on the issue made that decision even more odious.

In spite of that, the board members should not be regarded as villains. Even their harshest critics credit them for the building growth on the campus.

However, their contributions to GU go far beyond that impressive job. Those of us who were around in the 1970s can hardly forget the prospect of GU closing its doors on account of its financial insolvency.

With the arrival of the Rev. Bernard Coughlin as the new president, we witnessed a pervasive sense of financial security. The building boom came later on. Preceding that were a decent increase of salaries, remarkable growth in the endowments, funded chairs, increase in the faculties and new academic programs. A sense of vitality and optimism pervaded the whole Gonzaga community.

We saw higher credentials for the new faculty, stricter criteria for tenure and promotion, greater emphasis on teaching as well as the greater concern for the physical and emotional needs of the students. The national image of Gonzaga that resulted from that is well known.

All of these benefits are due in large part to the advice, dedication, competence and wisdom of people that Father Coughlin selected as the members of the board of trustees. Thomas F. Rukavina professor of philosophy, Gonzaga University

EWU is changing; It’s goals aren’t

Eastern Washington University, like all institutions of higher education and businesses worldwide, is in transition. Forces of community, economics, technology and culture are forcing close scrutiny of all business-as-usual processes.

Transition means change, difficult choices and frustration with constantly changing options. It also means opportunity. Change can be for the better, difficult choices can focus efforts on quality and responsiveness, and changing options can result in creative solutions.

I’m proud to be associated with EWU as it tacks its way through the end of the 20th century. The people there know the waters are choppy and dangerous, and that navigation is tricky. But their destination is clear. EWU will continue to provide high-quality education that is affordable and relevant to our region and our students. EWU has been dedicated to this principle for over 100 years, and will remain so.

Many people will disagree with some of the choices made here at EWU, but there is one thing I am certain of: Eastern’s faculty, staff and alumni care and will always hold the best interest of the students at the core of what we do.

We will preserve our tradition of caring about individual students. Jack L. Fallis Jr., president EWU Alumni Association, Cheney

AIR QUALITY

Saying others do it solves nothing

In their May 30 letter, “Double standard for burning,” Carroll and Edna Mae Schultheis suggest that grass growers are being unfairly singled out by the medical community and Save Our Summers. They imply that it’s somehow hypocritical to regulate grass burning when there are other sources of smoke pollution.

We applaud the Schultheis family for pointing out that smoke pollution has many sources. While grass burning is the major contributor to summertime air quality degradation, we are also exposed to wood stove smoke in the winter and slash and backyard burning in the spring and fall. Now, incredibly, Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt is advocating large-scale prescribed burning in our national forests. Add the smoke from naturally occurring wildfires and you have a serious public health problem.

A recent study ranked Spokane eighth on the dirty air hit parade; only seven cities in the nation have worse particulate pollution.

While many asthmatics or others with respiratory problems may associate their symptoms with air pollution, most of us are unaware of the dangers. We may have stuffy noses, mild coughs, headaches or sinus infections and never connect these problems with bad air. But the risk is very real. Our asthma rates are twice the national average.

Instead of pointing to other sources of smoke as an excuse to continue burning grass, we hope that the grass industry will help solve our air quality problems by not only reducing their own burning but by actively working with the community to find ways to reduce the smoke from other sources as well. Patricia A. Hoffman Save Our Summers, Spokane

VIOLENCE

How could mother let this happen?

Little Amanda Welch, may God be with you. I am praying for you.

I am disgusted with what has happened to that little girl. What kind of a mother leaves her child with a “mean drunk?” This mother should be charged with neglect, child abuse and possibly murder, along with the loser of a human being who is in custody already.

This mother knowingly left an innocent toddler in an unsafe situation. How is this not neglect and abuse? And on top of that, she waits an additional three hours before finally taking this toddler to the hospital. What was she thinking for those three hours? Was she thinking maybe her daughter, who was already in a coma, would wake up and be fine? And then maybe she wouldn’t have to face the fact that her daughter had been possibly killed by her own boyfriend?

I pray that this little girl finds comfort with God, because obviously, her mother and her mother’s boyfriend aren’t capable of it.

I wish I could hold this little angel in my arms and take care of her, but it’s too late for that. God bless you, Amanda. Marcy Russell Spokane

No man is worth a child’s life

When I read the article in the June 5 Spokesman-Review regarding 3-year-old Amanda Welch, I was sickened beyond belief. I could not stop thinking about that helpless little girl who was thrown into the bathtub because she was sick and threw up.

Why was this man watching her? Part of a mother’s job is to protect her children. As far as I’m concerned, she should be put on trial right along with him.

No man is worth the life of a child. I’ll never understand some of these women who leave their kids with any Tom, Dick or Harry they meet. Debbie A. Lewis Spokane

A mother knows, or should

A mother knows when a child is in fear of someone. People like the mother of 3-year-old Amanda Welch, who is in a coma, put themselves and their boyfriends above the children. My disgust for both of them and everyone like them is beyond measure. Lillian P. Flemming Spokane

IN THE PAPER

Wanted: a better travel section

For the last eight years, I’ve read The Spokesman-Review daily. But Sunday after Sunday, my heart beats with hope that this week, just maybe, there will be a travel section.

Some may say, “But there is a travel section.” What I mean is a real travel section. Not about outdoor life, but about getting out to the rest of the world. I want to know the 800 numbers of consolidators. I want interesting travel essays by Paul Thoreaux and James Bryson, or even Becky Nappi and Jim Kershner. I want to know interesting places to see, to stay, to grow in the global village. I really kind of enjoy concrete - museums, cafes, galleries, sea shores, etc. I try to travel each summer, but have to get the Los Angeles Times, Portland Oregonian or The Seattle Times to read interesting ideas about travel.

Why? Some say it’s because we live in God’s country and most people go no farther than “the lake.” I don’t believe it.

Maybe just once you could put travel before outdoors. Maybe once you could create a list of travel resources beyond our limited (and high-priced) city travel agencies. If Spokane is really interested is raising cultural consciousness, perhaps the paper could be a valuable resource for looking at the world outside of Spokane, the Northwest, even the United States.

I realize the word cosmopolitan is hardly ever used in describing Spokane, but it does describe many of its citizens. Couldn’t the paper help this along? John S. Caputo Spokane

Your Turn headline took wrong turn

On the May 31 Roundtable, a letter writer took your staff to task for printing misleading headlines. Across the page in that same edition, a headline writer did just that with a Your Turn column authored by Tom Westbrook.

Guest writer Westbrook had submitted a thoughtful and strong piece regarding the unhappy situation at Gonzaga University. He observed that key people on the board of trustees had made an unwise and unjust decision in insisting on the dismissal of the university president. Westbrook credited moneyed volunteers for their work and financial contributions but indicated that they had overstepped their proper role, made an awful mistake and had subsequently proved intransigent and foolish in refusing mediation.

Unfortunately, the headline atop his piece read, “Greed wounds Gonzaga.” Westbrook made no such claim. Your heading didn’t match his message.

Please don’t throw gasoline on a fire. Jim J. Snider Spokane

SPOKANE MATTERS

‘Spokane Falls’ works for me, too

I agree with Doug Clark’s column of May 22, “Name was right the first time” and his June 3 article, “Name change a worthy idea, readers say.”

Spokane history is rich and history is what builds strong alliances. In the ongoing effort to create and establish an arts and entertainment district downtown, I agree with Clark’s assessment that “Tying a name change into downtown revitalization would generate 1 million watts of national publicity.”

Along with that publicity, would follow the draw and appeal that an arts district has to many businesses from around the country. These are businesses that operate on a nationwide or worldwide scale whose location can be extraneous to the nature of the business, but still be located in a desirable, vital community which draws employees whose priority is quality of life.

Spokane Falls has all that, and more, to offer. We should capitalize on our strengths, not our shortsightedness. The power that is generated by our river should encompass more than electricity.

Spokane Falls is a beautiful name and it’s our birth name. Thank you, Mr. Glover. Let’s be proud of it! Mary Anne Brown Spokane


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