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Letters To The Editor

Wed., Oct. 29, 1997


Geraghty stands by his convictions

Four years ago I supported Jack Geraghty for mayor. Not long after the election, a land-use issue involving property that I owned came before the council. The council twice supported my position in formal actions, while Geraghty spoke firmly against me. He was open, clear and consistent about his feelings toward my proposal.

Although I was unhappy at not receiving his support, I had to admire his adherence to his principles. Since then, I have observed him showing the same integrity, leadership and evenhandedness in dealing with issues before the council.

I will vote for Geraghty again on Nov. 4.

E. Al Payne Spokane

Criticism of Sabey not called for

Now that Mayor Jack Geraghty has started negative advertising against his opponent and a “Seattle developer,” I would like to point something out to the mayor and the voters.

Sabey Corp. (a.k.a. Seattle developer) spent millions of its own dollars to rebuild Northtown Mall and turned it into a thriving enterprise that has created hundreds of jobs and produced thousands of dollars in tax revenue for the city of Spokane.

So, mayor, how would you fund your own pet projects downtown, such as River Park Square and the new parking garage if not for the income generated by this Seattle developer?

My vote is going to someone who cares about all of Spokane, not just a few city blocks downtown. My vote is going to John Talbott. Lynn F. Madison Spokane

Beware of ‘practicing contrarian’

Re: the race for mayor. A practicing contrarian does not a consensus builder make. Be wary, Spokane. Larry R. Clark Spokane

Stay the course with Geraghty

We have set a course to refurbish and reinvigorate our downtown area. Plans are made and the work has started. Our streets are being repaired, slowly but surely.

Now, we will pick a leader-spokesperson for the next four years. Jack Geraghty has done a very critical job. He is honest, forthright and has served us well.

His opponent is not known, except for his nearly continual presence at City Council meetings as a member of the infamous “Gang of Nine” naysayers. The fact that he’s bankrolled by Dave Sabey makes the entire enterprise suspect. Sabey should promote his Northtown patch and cease denigrating efforts being made downtown.

As for our choice for mayor, we need to stay the course with Geraghty. We can do without Sabey’s handpicked pal. Maury B. Hickey Spokane

‘Don’t need another Chris Anderson’

Please don’t vote for John Talbott. We don’t need another Chris Anderson, and we don’t need a puppet for Seattle’s Dave Sabey, who’s against any downtown improvements so more people will be forced to go to his Northtown Mall.

Talbott was for the Lincoln Street Bridge and now he is against it because Sabey doesn’t want any improvements to other north-south streets that may take a few vehicles off Division and by his mall.

Vote for Jack Geraghty, who listens to everyone’s ideas and has always been dedicated to all the Spokane areas and their people. Paul B. Dougherty Spokane

Time to replace ‘weak leadership’

Weak city leadership continues. Where are Mayor Jack Geraghty’s and incumbent City Council candidate Phyllis Holmes’ comments on Phil Williams’, the director of engineering services, affair?

Williams’ responsibilities currently include a critical study of the waste-to-energy plant, the unneeded Lincoln Street bridge, a lawsuit against the city over the Colbert composting facility because of a company he hired, and an almost $50 million maintenance center.

City Manager Bill Pupo knew of the possibility of a strong conflict of interest last year but said nothing to the mayor or City Council. Now, Pupo puts Williams on paid leave and assigns Deputy City Manager Pete Fortin to investigate Williams. Pupo works for the mayor and council, and he should be the one told to leave City Hall while an independent party investigates this very serious situation. Again, our so-called leaders insult our intelligence by having us believe that Williams will be investigated fairly and honestly by an employee who works directly for the city manager.

Would a policeman, fireman or street worker be put on paid leave for a serious conflict-of-interest situation potentially costing taxpayer funds and possibly causing health problems?

Geraghty and Holmes must exit on election day for showing weak leadership and endorsing this “fox watching the hen house” city management.

I am almost embarrassed to say I live in Spokane. What next? Jonathan Swanstrom Sr. Spokane


McAnn’s attitude last thing we need

Joanne McCann’s demeaning and condescending remarks to members of the NAACP at a candidates forum are outrageous.

Her actions seem to call into question whether she is even worthy of serving on the Spokane School District 81 board.

McCann referred to her largely African American audience as “you people.” Then she told them she has serious concerns about affirmative action.

It’s puzzling why she would be so troubled by affirmative action in a community where people of color make up less than 4 percent of the population.

McCann is just the opposite of the kind of person needed on the school board. She sounds more like a bridge to the 19th century. Bill First Spokane

Powers that be afraid McCann’s right

I was disgusted to read in your paper that school district employee Hugh Davis is working on the campaign for Don Barlow, who is running for my local school board. However, I’m not surprised. In fact, nothing the employees of my school district do anymore surprises me; it just makes me ill.

Gary Livingston, our wonderful district administrator, states this is not a conflict of interest. He is obviously taking a page from President Clinton’s play book, which says it’s OK as long as it’s not illegal, even if it is immoral and unethical. And this guy is running things down at the school district office.

The reason they’re afraid of Joanne McCann is because she really is for true basics and true academics and true accountability. What a breath of fresh air! That is what parents want.

When McCann says she will use programs proven to work, that just scares the heck out of Livingston because then he will have to revise his most recent budget that calls for three times the amount of money to be used on experimental and pilot programs than in the last budget.

And all those remedial programs that we now need to help teach our kids to read won’t be needed anymore because we will be using that dirty word “phonics,” which has been proven to work best. Wow! Just think of all the money the taxpayers will save.

That’s right everyone; just think, and vote for McCann. Kathy M. Olfs Spokane

McCann’s record rules her out

Our representative government depends on an educated public. Providing schools to educate the public is a primary function of government. Ensuring that every citizen has an equal educational opportunity is paramount. Joanne McCann represents a threat to public schools.

First, she has only taught in private schools, has sent her children to private schools and currently, she home schools her granddaughter.

A thinking person wonders how she can possibly be an advocate for public schools with so little actual involvement in public schools and a clear aversion to her family being educated in public schools.

Don Barlow, on the other hand, has experience as a counselor and administrator in public schools and his children have attended public schools, putting his actions where his beliefs are.

Barlow’s statement that “a quality education is the most important gift we can give our children” is a positive voice for public education. Elect Barlow to the school board on Nov. 4. Shirley M. Snyder Spokane


Join law officers in opposing I-676

I oppose Initiative 676, although I’m simply amazed by the writers of letters in support.

The majority I’ve read who oppose write concerning regulation excesses, freedoms of the American public, rights to privacy, etc. Those in support seem to find it necessary to inform the public of how “their opponents” are fearful, ignorant, money-hungry, political zealots, biased beyond the light of day. Hmmm.

Are you aware that the vast majority of the law enforcement community in Washington state opposes I-676?

Read the I-676 text, then vote. Bruce D. Landahl Elk

I-676 ‘blatant’ grab for freedoms

Initiative 676 is a very bad idea. Proponents may be well-meaning, but most do not see any value in gun ownership. Therefore, they don’t care if the rights of gun owners are taken away.

The problem is, though, that the government is already far too intrusive in our lives. An erosion of rights hurts all of us sooner or later. Personal freedom opposes government control. To allow any more personal freedoms or rights to be lost hastens the loss of other freedoms.

Part of the responsibility of owning a gun is to learn to handle it safely. Adults must make sure that everyone living under the same roof is trained on how to handle guns safely. If you have a gun, you must make sure that children are safe and protected from harming themselves or others. This is an individual responsibility. The government should not reach into the home to control this.

Removing guns from the hands of law-abiding citizens will not stop the flow of guns into criminals’ hands. Gun control laws do not work. They cannot affect those who disobey the law anyway.

The use of a gun in the commission of a crime should be punished severely. We must address the causes of crime, not inanimate objects.

This wolf’s initiative is masquerading in the sheep’s clothing of promoting children’s safety. It is the most blatant attempt yet to grab our guns and make us criminals for gun ownership. Vote no on I-676. James K. Wilson Spokane


Hunters, don’t shoot at just anything

I’ve worked in the woods for 10 years. I’m one of the guys with a vest that has tons of pockets and gizmos.

Regardless of the weather, time of year or day of the week, I go into the woods alone. I’ve worked in griz country, seen cougars, black bears and moose, but every fall I get scared. Hunters are the most dangerous animals in the woods. They think they are the only people in the woods, but that is not true. Foresters, geologists, and who knows who else are out there breaking brush to make a buck.

Please do not shoot me. Please hunt sober and don’t shoot anything you can’t name.

I was a quarter mile away from a 14-year-old boy who was critically injured by his 16-year-old hunting partner in southeast Idaho three years ago. I watched a guy stop his truck just to shoot a survey stake I just put in. Hunters are crazy, and I don’t trust them.

I am out in the woods, off the road, off the trail earning a living. Please know your target. How hard can it be to tell the difference between an elk and a human? Don’t shoot at something you think is an elk. Please hunt responsibly. There are people out there every day. Jon S. Waldrup Sandpoint, Idaho

Gun owners critic just doesn’t know

Don W. Crippen’s letter (Oct. 23) is typical of the response of a liberal individual who is ignorant regarding guns and humanity in general. As is typical, he shows this ignorance by name calling.

He states, “Responsible handgun owners and flying pigs abound in approximately the same numbers.”

I spent 32 years in law enforcement - 12 as a police officer and 20 as a federal narcotics agent. I have owned guns other than my issued service weapon and have had a concealed weapons permit since my retirement.

As a law enforcement officer, I had occasions where responsible gun owners came to my assistance and several other occasions where law-abiding citizens apprehended criminals because they were armed at the time. To denigrate more than 80 million people in the country, Crippen really displays his ignorance.

If you think I’m also name calling, I point out that the dictionary defines ignorant as “unaware and uninformed.”

Thank God for the law-abiding handgun owners of the country! Harold W. Davidson II Sandpoint


Time was, people really knew poverty

When I read the recent article about the rise in the number of children living in poverty, I did so with anger and remorse. I’m also puzzled about who waves the magic wand and labels children and adults as living in poverty. I don’t believe that anyone who can’t remember the Great Depression and WWII should be setting these magical standards.

During the Depression and WWII, people were thankful to have any type of food. During the Depression it was a money problem and during WWII it was rationing that limited what was available to eat and wear.

My parents owned a small rural grocery store, so I probably saw more than the average person my age. My parents did most of their business in a jot-it-down manner. Sometimes, people paid their bill on a monthly or even yearly basis.

The difference between that time and the ‘90s is that in the old days, people bought necessities for cooking and wearing. I can remember when printed 50-pound flour sacks became some article of clothing. Patching and hand-me-downs were very common. Shoes were worn with cardboard liners when holes appeared in the soles. Getting new heels and half soles was almost as thrilling as getting a new pair of shoes.

Look at the size of the ready-to-eat food shelves in a grocery store and then look at the sections where they have the basics. Because I spent so many years in our store, I am probably more observant than most shoppers, and one thing I have never seen is a shopper buying basic foods with food stamps. When I see junk food and heat-and-eat foods being purchased with food stamps, it makes me wonder just how hungry these people really are.

One other glaring difference is that during the Depression and WWII, most people had pride and hesitated to ask unless they were desperate. That’s not true today. Gerald W. Ray Spokane

District grateful to Nethercutt

Citizens of the Fifth Congressional District appreciate and thank Rep. George Nethercutt for his decision to forgo campaigning for the U.S. Senate. It is commendable he will campaign for re-election to the House.

I would be remiss not to emphasize the good judgment, political influence and leadership he has displayed during his two terms in Congress, and his statesmanship in shaping policies concerning agriculture, lumbering, fishing, military, clean air, pure water and the environmental problems. Although these are so vital to the district, many constituents and residents of the entire state and nation are aware of the fairness and concern for their civil rights. All people, regardless of heritage, color, place of birth, religion or lack of religion receive very good representation. A big thank you is also due to the rest of the Nethercutt family for the many times he has been away from his family. Lloyd D. Martin Cheney

Tags: Letters

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