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Letters To The Editor


Expansion plans cause for concern

Thank you for staff writer Dan Hansen’s Jan. 7 article addressing the silence of our county commissioners on the Graham Road Recycling and Disposal Facility. This project has been successfully silent since its inception. It has only been due to the efforts of a few people that it’s being questioned at all.

The article stated that neighbors fear the expansion would threaten their drinking water. It implies a perceived threat. This isn’t so. We don’t fear it will - we know it will.

This illegally sited dump has already violated Environmental Protection Agency maximum contaminant levels more than 30 times in its own test wells over the past two years. The proposed expansion will triple the amount of area of lined cells. Who can predict how much more pollutants will enter the aquifer as a result? This should be cause for alarm.

Our commissioners’ silence is frustrating, to say the least. Even more frustrating is the lack of concern by Steve Holderby of the Spokane County Regional Health District. Holderby is responsible for permitting this landfill and ensuring its compliance with the guidelines allowed by its permit. He chooses to overlook the violations.

All residents of Spokane County should be concerned. When the aquifers from which more than 750 wells draw their water become polluted, county taxpayers will either be paying to ship water to every home or the county will become the proud purchaser of a lot of worthless property. Expansion and development on the West Plains will come to a grinding halt. Joni S. Hensley Medical Lake

Council should try new recipes

I’m an old lady who has done a lot of cooking. You might say that I have tenure in the kitchen, but my cooking is old-fashioned. The old recipes used lots of sugar and fat. Deep fat frying was also popular in the old days.

After inviting company for dinner, I discovered I didn’t have any low-fat or low-sugar recipes. Being a smart old lady, I called one of my young granddaughters and asked for her help. She immediately filled me in on some appetizing and healthy recipes.

Too bad the City Council isn’t as smart as this old lady in recognizing new blood with fresh ideas. Leila Heatherly Garnsey Spokane

Talbott right to get details

I applaud Mayor John Talbott. I was happy to see in the Jan. 16 Spokesman-Review an article about Talbott sending a letter and requesting a meeting with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development in regard to the River Park Square project. Finally, someone is watching out for the taxpayers of Spokane.

Let’s find out all the details before we end up paying through our noses. If common sense had prevailed, maybe this would have been done before buildings were torn down and streets closed. You thought driving downtown was bad before, you should see it now with Post closed.

Thank you, Talbott, I knew I made the correct decision in the voting booth. Nancy J. Keller Spokane


Outbreak might have been averted

My family and I ate a fine meal at Players and Spectators on Dec. 30, so we could have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus.

Because of this concern, I spoke to the management of Players to find out what my family needs to do and what Players is going to do regarding this latest outbreak. What I found out makes me feel a little better and yet concerns me somewhat.

I feel better knowing that not only is Players providing immunoglobulin shots to its current employees and the public, it is having current and all future employees immunized against hepatitis A as well.

A lot of trouble concerning this latest outbreak of hepatitis A might have been averted if county health officials had declared a state of emergency last fall, when the last outbreak occurred. As I recall, one reason mentioned in the paper for not declaring the emergency was so extra costs would not be incurred by restaurant owners and employees. Well, that was penny wise and pound foolish.

Until there is some resolution by the county regarding testing for hepatitis A and other diseases so that food service workers can be certified, I will spend my food and entertainment dollars at Players and Spectators and other establishments that follow their lead in making sure their workers are free of this disease. Jeffrey Knight Post Falls


Harman has shown great potential

Finding a letter by Joan Harman in The Spokesman-Review has long been a treat. When I turn to the letters section, I scan for her name before I read anything else.

Here is the voice of reason and wisdom, while other letter writers are screeching, screaming and leaping from tree to tree. I assumed she was a professional, since she obviously was well-educated.

Your profile of her on Jan. 14 was enlightening, as well as encouraging and sad. Encouraging to know that education doesn’t come from an official course of study, but natural ability and desire. Sad that such a gifted intellect was spurned by our society, in its quest for popular and perky personalities.

I suggest the Review establish a fund for contributions toward Harman’s formal education, with the newspaper matching contributions from individuals. I would be the first to contribute. I also suggest the newspaper hire her as a part-time columnist, so she could give up the dishwashing and complete her education. I’m sure she has more backers than she realizes.

In the meantime, Harman, I’ll bet you could teach writing in some non-degree programs. You are good at it and that means more than any certificate. Sandra J. Lamson Coeur d’Alene

Make Harman a columnist

I am impressed by Joan Harman’s many letters on the Roundtable page. She is a voice of reason among the many harsh, narrow-minded and judgmental letters that appear. I would like to see her become a columnist for The Spokesman-Review, to balance the harsh views of Cal Thomas, Tony Snow and others.

Having learned about the person behind the letters in your Close to Home column, I was surprised at her occupation. She has missed her calling, and I would like to see her doing for a living what she does best. How about setting up a college fund for her? I would contribute. Bill G. Lamson Coeur d’Alene

Aryan whimsy ‘entertaining’

Again, we are treated to the wit and wisdom of Charles R. Hodges, proud member of the Aryan Nations (“Whites must be racist to be safe,” Dec. 31).

I would love another chance to respond to his delusional diatribe but haven’t the faintest idea what he is talking about. His doom-and-gloom racist propaganda, although endlessly entertaining, has nothing at all to do with life in this beautiful, growing and friendly community. Jim K. Spurr Hayden Lake

Was that ‘he’ to be taken literally?

Re: “Health district faces changes,” The Handle, Jan. 15.

Say it isn’t so, Marlo Thompson, that “He doesn’t have to walk on water but it wouldn’t hurt,” referring to a new director for the district. In a state where a female candidate stands a fair chance of being elected to office, do we have to worry about gender bias for appointed positions?

Christian undertones aside, this statement was unfair to the female applicants for the position. Please stick to the posted qualifications when making this appointment and don’t allow the boys-are-born-leaders mentality to seep into our district. Larry Belmont didn’t. Heather Stotts Coeur d’Alene

Beaver as bait? Trapping? Disgusting

On New Year’s Day, I took my four dogs for a walk up the West Fork of Pinecreek. Not far from a pretty little beaver pond we went into a grove of tall, thick trees. In there was a skinned beaver hanging by it’s tail from a branch. Fifteen feet away, my dog, Baby, got her paw caught in a trap. I ran for help and her paw was freed with pliers.

I called the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and was informed that trapping helps control an unbalanced ecosystem, and that animal fur is the warmest material for apparel. Also, the trap involved was the least destructive of traps.

My questions are:

Is the beaver a threat to our ecosystem up in Pinecreek?

Are there any beavers left in the pond?

Is beaver fur keeping someone warm while shopping at the mall?

Is it possible for a child to get his or her hand caught in a trap?

The man in charge of the Pinecreek area said the trapping was done in a legal manner and the beaver was used as bait for bobcat.

He stated hunting and trapping are part of the fiber this country was built on.

At one time, slavery was a part of that fiber. It is time to evolve in a humane way where animal treatment is concerned. Diane M. Maines Pinehurst

Do as I say, you say?

In your Close to Home feature on Joan Harman (Jan. 14), Harman says it’s the true-blue conservatives who “want to bully people into thinking their way.” She goes on to say that, “they’re self-satisfied idiots arguing for their own interests.”

Now, excuse me, but if those aren’t the words of a “self-satisfied bully arguing for her own interests,” I don’t know what is. Bonnie Crigger Cataldo


KXLY should be ashamed

Re: the announcement that Mark Fuhrman will join the staff at KXLY to do a weekly radio show.

We wonder how this or any Spokane media service could make such an astonishing faux pas, insulting our whole community, people of every race. We have nothing personal against Fuhrman, but unfortunate his unfortunate comments brand him as a nationally known racist - well known, even in the wilds of Spokane country.

Undoubtedly, the station will receive public interest, but it is of the sordid, sensational type no station with integrity would stomach. Many of us have already tuned it out in favor of others with a wiser, healthier philosophy. We hope many will join us in boycotting KXLY.

Does it seem ironic that the new talk show host is to begin at the same time we respectfully remember Dr. Martin Luther King? Elena C. Hayes & Darryl K. Gibson Spokane

New TV Week not improvement

Congratulations - you have now shrunk the TV Week so that everything is abbreviated. I couldn’t care less if each page has colors. I would like to know at a glance if the hockey game has teams playing that I want to watch without having to refer back to the front pages.

The movie reviews are so brief, if you aren’t familiar with the movie you could never tell if it is worth watching.

And you refer to the grid in the daily newspaper. It might just surprise you to know that a lot of people take only the Sunday paper. Unless they are lucky like we are, it doesn’t come in time to read it in the morning.

Your daily grid does not list HGTV. Did you know this?

First, you added that infuriating flap of advertising on the comics, then you shrank the comics. What next?

If this is progress, I guess I don’t want it. Virginia M. Hutsell Davenport, Wash.

Thanks for story on ‘sensitive man’

Thank you for your recent article featuring counselor Ric Villabos. In 1995, I had the opportunity to seek the advice of Villabos after a divorce left me in a profound and disabling depression. He reached into my soul with insight and grace, and nudged me onto the path of self-empowerment. I will always be grateful.

I applaud The Spokesman-Review for giving us a window into the life of this kind, gentle and sensitive man. Conrad Baer Spokane


First, try to understand child care

I’m not surprised that the child care plan offered by President Clinton and Congress is causing a national debate. It’s about time!

My concern is that this debate rages on without all of the facts. Opinion editor John Webster’s editorial (“Kids need parents, not paid stand-ins,” From both sides, Jan. 16) is missing many.

Every state regulates and pays for child care in its own way. In Washington, parents, providers and licensors have been working very hard to raise standards and accountability regarding child care. There is poor-quality care out there but that is changing daily. Education and funding will dramatically change the face of licensed care.

I am frustrated by Webster’s generalizations. I wonder if we live in the same city. According to the Pace Report, 45 percent of the jobs in Spokane are service jobs. Who are these “affluent” parents he’s talking about? Where are all the companies that offer flex time, telecommuting and job sharing?

Most of the parents who utilize my service don’t even get paid sick days to take care of their sick children.

Webster also states that an “expert” calls child care “psychological thalidomide” and that kids bond poorly with their parents, etc. I find it amazing that Webster believes child care is terrible for children in every way but fully supports welfare reform that requires children to be placed in child care, regulated or unregulated, so their moms can work full time. Isn’t that a double standard?

Webster’s statements show me he doesn’t understand how child care as a whole works and doesn’t work. Try asking the people who use and provide child care what it needs. Shannon Q. Selland Spokane

Parents should pay for kids’ needs

Government-sponsored health care, government-sponsored day care, government-sponsored higher education, government-sponsored everything, “for the children,” the current politically correct buzz word. Let’s change “government sponsored” to what it really is: taxpayer supported.

I’m sick and tired of hearing about it. Having children is a choice; nobody forces us to have them. How about those of us whose children are grown and on their own, or those who choose not to have children? Why should we be obligated to support someone else’s children?

When a couple cannot afford to have children, yet insist on their “right” to bring children into the world, why should they then expect, and oftentimes demand, that others provide the money to raise and care for them? What’s fair or reasonable about that?

I managed to raise my children, and I didn’t whine about it or expect someone else to pay for it.

Not only do taxpayers support these children with welfare checks and food stamps, we are then expected to buy breakfast and lunch for these same children when they get to school.

How about a few tax breaks for those of us who have lived up to our responsibilities and obligations? How about rewarding us for a job well done? It’s a sad commentary on our political system when hard workers are punished with higher taxes and the irresponsible are rewarded with those taxes. Maybe it’s time we begin teaching our children responsibility and obligation in our schools and drop “basket weaving 101” and how to get government grants. Jeffrey L. Holt Spokane


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