October 5, 1997 in City

Letters To The Editor



Chamber seeks dialogue on ‘inclusivity’

The Spokane Area Chamber of Commerce will host a special meeting for its guests at the Sept. 16 annual meeting. If you were unable to attend on Sept. 16 but are interested in constructive and meaningful dialogue about the annual meeting and a discussion about inclusivity in our community, you are invited to attend the Oct. 8 luncheon meeting.

For information about the lunch, call Judith Mason at 459-4110 or Libby Barnes at 459-4109.

Richard G. Hadley, president/CEO Spokane Area Chamber of Commerce


Stay the course - re-elect Geraghty

As primary results indicate, The Spokesman-Review’s endorsement of Jack Geraghty for mayor was wise and a reasonable reflection of the citizens of Spokane.

When you look at and appreciate virtually every significant public initiative that has made life better for people Spokane over the past 30 years, Geraghty has been a part of it. He’s among the people who’ve shaped the city and positioned it for a prosperous future.

I urge you to continue looking forward with the people of Spokane. Look to Geraghty for confident, reasoned and effective leadership. Stay the course in supporting the re-election of Mayor Geraghty. Hugh Davis Spokane

Sabey got a gem, not a derelict

Jonathan Swanstrom Sr. (Letters, Sept. 25) stated he wants certain city officials to stop taking negative shots at NorthTown owner David Sabey.

Well, Swanstrom, you took a negative shot at my family, the former owners of NorthTown, when you stated, “Sabey rode in on a white horse and saved a crumbling shopping mall.” Let’s look at the facts. Our family spent millions remodeling and covering NorthTown in 1984. We had a lovely dedication ceremony in the fall of that year, with Gov. Booth Gardner cutting the ribbon.

I’m sure my uncles and cousins, who spent countless hours selecting materials and overseeing that remodeling take serious exception to your comments.

By the way, NorthTown had already been the finest and largest shopping mall between Minneapolis and Seattle, and Salt Lake City and Edmonton, long before Sabey purchased it. That Sabey chose to tear down a beautiful five-year-old remodeling job and start over was his choice. But crumbling? Surely you jest. Nancy Dixon Martin Veradale

One bridge more than we need

After reading so much pro and con concerning the Lincoln Street Bridge, I went downtown and looked at the proposed site. I can’t believe anyone would even consider building a bridge there.

First, why do we need another bridge? The only reason I can imagine is because Post Street will be closed due to the River Park Square project. This closure will make it hard to travel via the Post Street Bridge.

If having another bridge is urgent, open the Howard Street Bridge.

I liked the idea of the letter writer who suggested another bridge next to the Maple Street Bridge. This sounds logical. I would divert heavy truck traffic away from congested areas. Heavy trucks do more damage to our roads than weather does. We can’t control the weather but can do something about trucks.

Any time city leaders can get federal or state taxpayers’ money, we’re going to get a project whether we need it or not. Our leaders have tunnel vision; all they see is money, money, money.

I urge all intelligent people to get involved in local politics. We need you. Another thought: If and when we get a north-south freeway, will we need yet another bridge over the river? Alice C. Johnson Spokane


We don’t need another bad, costly law

Many proponents of Initiative 676 stress that because of the trigger lock provision, it will protect our children from handgun accidents.

The trigger lock provision is a minuscule portion of a very carefully drafted handgun registration and licensing law. The initiative specifies that any handgun being sold or otherwise transferred must have a trigger locking device on it, but only during the transfer. It does not require the device be on the gun in the home, in the field, in a vehicle or at a shooting range. I fail to see how this provision will prevent shooting accidents or protect our children.

I have read the bill in its entirely several times and would encourage anyone considering voting for this initiative to do the same. It creates an enormous bureaucracy that will cost all taxpayers additional taxes and will cost every law-abiding handgun owner great personal expense.

This initiative is not about safety or child protection. Please read it before you vote. I think you will agree Initiative 676 is not what Washington citizens need or want. Col. Tommy G. Brown U.S. Air Force (retired), Spokane

Education better than faulty device

Re: The Initiative 676 mandate that there be trigger locks on all transferred handguns.

Several weeks ago, a KXLY News 4 team with Debbie Armstrong was at Sharp Shooting to film a piece on the safety of trigger locks. During the filming, Robin Ball, owner of Sharp Shooting, demonstrated that with a trigger lock on a firearm, the gun is unsafe and can be made to fire. After placing the trigger lock on an unloaded handgun, moving the trigger lock caused the hammer to fall. It would’ve fired if the gun had been loaded. This apparently surprised the news team, but their comment was that there must be other trigger locks that won’t do this.

All trigger lock manufactures state that trigger locks must not be used on loaded firearms. I wonder what the I-676 supporters will have to say after the first death from a handgun with a trigger lock on it?

Finally, if I-676 supporters are really interested in firearm safety for children, perhaps it would be better to teach kids how to safely handle a firearm. They teach sex ed in school; maybe firearm ed should be added.

If we taught kids how to safely handle a firearm, accidents would decrease. Paul A. Claussen Spokane

I-676 patently unconstitutional

I watched a debate on KSPS recently and was dumbfounded by a League of Women Voters representative. She said Initiative 676 is not a constitutional issue. Apparently, she has not read Article I, Section 24, of the Washington state Constitution.

The Constitution prohibits the state from erecting barriers to the ownership and possession of firearms in “… defense of himself, or the state…” In other words, the state cannot “impair” one’s right to self-defense.

I-676 guts a vital part of our Constitution. It requires any citizen desiring to exercise their right of self-defense to get permission from the state (Department of Licensing) in order to exercise that right. The initiative decrees that anyone desiring to own, or who currently owns, a handgun to pay a tax (read, license fee) and pass a test.

I recall a period of time in our history when some states required citizens to pay a tax and/or pass a test in order to vote. I’m sure one of their arguments was paying a tax and taking a test doesn’t prevent anyone from voting. The courts disagreed.

To paraphrase an old saying, those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it. Who would have thought the League of Women Voters would support poll-taxing a basic human right? History is indeed repeating itself. Paul G. Murray Newport, Wash.

‘Absurd proposition’ a complete waste

The police chief and sheriff are on opposite sides of the issue of disarming the population. Interesting, given that we know it’s going to cost lots of taxpayer money to implement and maintain this absurd proposition. Every few months the sheriff goes to the commissioners for more money. Now he wants to take on more work?

Remember, once that trigger lock is on, it takes some time to remove. Most thinking folks would not have the gun and key adjacent to each other. So, in comes the perpetrator, wild-eyed, bent on robbing and beating up the homeowner. Hey Ma, where did we put the key for this thing? Do you suppose the intruder will have his trigger lock in place? Don’t bet on it! Charles E. McCollim Spokane


Smoke’s a bully that takes away fun

I am almost 11 years old, and I was born with cystic fibrosis and asthma.

Because of the grass burning, there are many things I can’t do. I can’t go outside during recess, if I make it to school. I can’t play outside with my friends. I can’t go outside to play with my dogs and cat. I can’t ride my new bike. I can’t play in my tree house with my friends. I can’t play basketball. I can’t say no to the IV’s, blood draws and all the medicines. I can’t be a kid. Derek J. Hardt-Uphus Spokane

Why do people put up with this?

I’m looking at a beautiful fall day. Blue sky, sun - and smoke rolling in over Newman Lake.

I’ve only lived here less than a year, coming from the West Side. My sister-in-law goes into the hospital several times a year here during the burning season. She has a very serious asthma condition. She left the state and her family in September to escape the smoke.

I can’t for the life of me understand how a small group of farmers and a large company have so much power over the lawmakers in Olympia. It is even worse than being around people who smoke. We have laws to keep us from having to breathe that smoke. The burning here in Spokane and the surrounding areas affects so many more people who cannot get away from the smoke.

Why don’t the people here care? The air in Spokane is high on the list of dangerous air in the nation.

I just heard on TV that the grass burners have found a loophole in the law for stopping burning in 1998. Why doesn’t this surprise me?

Also, Sen. Patty Murray won’t become involved because her people say it’s not a federal issue. If this is the case, then why does Idaho smoke keep crossing the border to Newman Lake and vice versa?

We need clear air. It’s our right. Lynn J. Woehrle Newman Lake

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