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Letters To The Editor


Women, be responsible for behavior

Maureen Dowd (“Beware the wrath of working girls,” March 22) through her own personal experience, tried to explain to us why women continue to stay employed in a workplace where sexual harassment is frequent. I believe she clearly portrayed the warped picture that many women paint.

As a woman, I believe my opinion may contradict that of many women who want to see President Clinton’s head on a platter. I do not, in any way, condone what he is being accused of, but I believe that we as women are raising a double standard.

If we want to be painfully honest, the attention we receive from men is quite often flattering and, in some cases, meets a certain need. There have been several situations in which I have been approached or received a proposal that ravishes the definition of professionalism. I needed to get to a place where I had enough self respect and self confidence that I could put a stop to comments and/or gestures, not with a blushing cheek and a giggle, but with a firm command of ingratitude.

I saw Dowd’s article as another woman crying out for pity and special treatment because of her gender. If we are equal, then why do we feel the need to cut ourselves special deals concerning this area? Do you see the contradiction?

Ladies, I believe we need to reevaluate what signals we may be giving through our countenance, our attire and our conversations. If we take responsibility from the beginning, it would save us a lot of trouble down the road. Lisa A. Simmons Spokane

‘South Park’ reviews repulsive

Your teen journalists must be living the good life if they find racism, sexism and violence humorous. I found Kevin Pacheco’s and Melissa Amos’ reviews of the television show, “South Park,” repulsive. It is disturbing to think that these young adults are entertained by narratives about violent deaths, elder abuse, baby-kicking and, of all things, dancing feces. They’re living lives so full of freedom that they have no clue about the atrocities that go on every day in the real world.

Wake up, children, and pay attention! With these ethics you are part of the problem, not the solution. Amos, it is disgusting that you persuade others to follow you by stating that although the show is rude, offensive and degrading, the more you watch it, the more you find it attractive. With this propaganda, you try to convince the reader that the show is OK to watch, and then you end your persuasion by stating that they can “kill Kenny” themselves in upcoming computer and video games. Mr. Pacheco, it is repulsive that you wish you had thought of this first.

You convince yourselves and others that there is some sort of profound statement being made about the real world. The only statement that is being made is that our American teenagers, having been desensitized by the Simpsons as children, are now completely impervious from the banality of evil, and don’t even know it.

God help us all. Leslie Vilhauer Cheney

Parents should know better

I was appalled recently at the movie theater to see parents bring their young children to watch films which are rated for older audiences. Don’t these people understand that maybe there is a reason for these ratings? I was so uncomfortable watching this R-rated film, with these two little girls down in front with their parents, that my husband and I got up and left.

I asked the usher if this was allowed, and of course there are no laws protecting children from the bad judgment of their parents.

It’s not hard to understand why our schools have such a hard time with unruly students when we see poor decisions coming directly from the people these kids trust the most.

I am disappointed with our entertainment industry for not having laws at the theaters to prevent inappropriate actions of parents with unsuspecting children. Sharon Keno Fairfield


Yes, Montana speed limit exists

Prior to the onset of Montana’s busy tourist season, I would like to address all motoring enthusiasts whose driving habits are less than desirable.

Montana does have a speed limit. During the night-time hours the speed limit for all vehicles is 55 mph. During daylight hours the speed limit for all passenger vehicles (yes, that includes SUVs) is designated as “reasonable and prudent.” Pushing 85 mph on a narrow, two-lane highway that passes through a rural district (e.g., scattered human habitation, wild and domestic animals that are not contained) is neither reasonable nor prudent. As your destination is Montana, one would assume that part of all or your purpose is the view the scenery. Well, you will miss most of that at 85 mph, not to mention the extreme danger you pose to any living thing which may inadvertently cross your path.

Tailgating, passing on double yellow lines or blind curves and utilizing expressive digital gestures are not only unreasonable and imprudent, such behaviors are also reprehensible, vicious, boorish, brutal, stupid, hateful and downright rude.

While I am cognizant of the fact that not all Washington drivers are guilty of such exhibitions, I must declare that according to my experiences and those of my friends and acquaintances, we have concluded that fully 98 percent of Washington drivers appear to be culpable of the aforementioned.

If, perchance, any of you are unfamiliar with the literal meaning of the words reasonable and prudent, please avail yourselves of a dictionary and look them up before coming over. P.D. Baxter Troy, Mont.

Boy not responsible for own death

Re: “Blame shifting a common mistake” by Ronald L. Eaton (Letters, date).

According to the Washington State Patrol accident report, the investigators could never determine where Cooper Jones was on the road, since the driver didn’t apply the breaks hard enough to leave skid marks upon impact. Cooper had every legal right to be riding on that highway. A permit was obtained, there were cones and signs posted. The driver passed as many as nine cyclists at the start/finish line and two cyclists on the highway. There were no eye witnesses to the accident. The passenger in the car was looking through the glove compartment and the driver claimed she did not see Cooper. Weather or the straight stretch of highway were not factors.

The Jones family took such profound responsibility that they spent the last seven months working with legislators, lobbyists and Chase Middle School students to pass a much needed law to hold people responsible for their actions. The Jones family spent their time of mourning talking with high school driver education classes on how to be responsible for the cyclists and pedestrians they will encounter on the road. They helped teach a bicycle safety class to an area elementary school, so children can be responsible when using roadways, which is a cyclist’s legal right according to Washington state law.

Before writing an ignorant letter, and adding more pain to this family, Eaton should have checked the facts.

Cooper Jones was in no way - not even partially - responsible for his death. Linda D. Reilly Spokane


Where is the offense?

If you are from Canada, you are Canadian. If you are from Sweden, you are a Swede. If you are from Mexico, you are Mexican. What is the problem? Why is that so offensive? Doris Mussil Spokane

Taco Bell gone over the edge

I think Taco Bell has gone overboard and is now trying to appease the Mexican Americans. They are now offending the white Americans with their latest ad on chimichungas, which shows an “idiot white male that doesn’t know Spanish.”

I think if the Mexican Americans are outraged at the little Mexican Chihuahua dog, the white Americans should be equally outraged and boycott Taco Bell for portraying the white American male as an “idiot.” Gary L. Hicks Spokane


Free parking needed downtown

I received in the paper on Mar. 23, an advertisement for real facts on River Park Square. It was an interesting article and I agree that we have to do something about our beautiful downtown area.

You have to wonder about the leadership of the City of Spokane when they contemplate why the city isn’t viable and why nobody wants to shop downtown. They must have eye blinders on their faces. The main reason I and many thousands of others do not shop in this beautiful city is because we must pay to park. At the malls the parking is free.

Over the past 45 years I have lived in many cities across the United States where they have tempted to improve the downtown area the same way we are. Because they did not give free parking to downtown the area deteriorated. The main issue for most of us is free parking. We like shop and many times we don’t buy anything, but at least it doesn’t cost anything to browse.

How about this suggestion for bringing the downtown area alive. Give free parking to everyone. The merchants can pay a percentage of their profits each month to the parking lot owners for allowing their customers to shop. Close off Riverside, Main, Sprague and Spokane Falls from Bernard to Monroe to all traffic except buses. Build a top over the street between buildings making it a giant mall. I bet you will see the people come in droves. How about it Spokane?

I encourage anyone reading this to write to the editor if you agree or even if you don’t agree. We need the citizens of Spokane area to give the city fathers input on this, and letters to the editor is a great forum for this type of thing. George W. Springer Spokane

Enough about the car, OK?

I’m so tired of hearing and seeing the news media’s subtle complaints concerning Mayor Talbott’s acquisition of a vehicle for city business.

This should be an optional perk for all mayors of our fair city, not requiring a well publicized vote of the city council. All past mayors who have desired a city vehicle (ie. Mayor Sheri Barnard, and others) were allowed to have one without all the hoopla.

Sounds political to me. Paul Henderson Spokane

Development in our best interest

I unequivocally support the River Park Square development. As a long-time resident and business person in Spokane, I offer an observation.

It’s very easy to find fault with new concepts, particularly when the concepts have major economic implications and they require people to function outside of their ordinary comfort zones. After all, there truly is no such thing as a perfect project or one that is without risk, and there are several ways to avoid the resulting uncertainty.

One way is to oppose the project, but offer no reasonable alternative. Another way is to postpone making decisions with infinite evaluations of alternatives. This is known as paralysis by analysis. The simplest way to avoid uncertainly, however, is to simply do nothing at all.

I submit that the real challenge is to fairly assess the benefits and the risks, the pros and the cons, and then to confidently go forward with the best solution.

River Park Square will be a wonderful addition to our downtown and a catalyst for much more economic growth in the future. Is the project perfect? No. Does it address everybody’s desires and concerns for our downtown? No. Is it without any risk to community taxpayers? No. But when balancing all of the issues, is the River Park Square development in our community’s overall best interest? Absolutely.

I remember raptly listening to John F. Kennedy’s eloquent speeches. Something he said will remain with me forever: “Some see the world as it is, and ask why. I see the world as it could be, and ask why not.” Why not, indeed? James S. Correll Spokane

Spokane really cares for elderly

Spokane is one of the friendliest cities in the world. The people here are so caring, especially about us oldsters. Where else do they have chore service which relieves the elderly of the heavy burden of house work, enabling them to remain in their own home or apartment rather than be shunted off to an institution?

The Visiting Nurses Association that is connected with Family Home Care comes in to check on those recently released from the hospital or are still under doctor’s care. They really make almost daily calls, which shows that the city of Spokane does care for its elderly. What a blessed relief to know that there is indeed someone out there who does care for those who can barely manage to care for themselves.

Thank you, Spokane, for your wonderful people and their noble concept of service to humanity. Florence Alexandrowski Spokane

Special thanks to Friendly Sons

I would like to thank the wonderful people at the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick for putting on such a wonderful parade and allowing us to participate. Even though we were a last-minute entry, they were most helpful and accommodating.

You might have seen our group - four super heroes and a villain - and wondered who we were. We had on bright green, yellow, red and blue costumes and we were chasing a boy with a skull head. Unfortunately, as a last-minute entry we couldn’t make a banner, but we are the superhero group “Five Teens Fighting,” Spokane’s first and only superhero group (that we’re aware of).

We members of Five Teens Fighting had a great time passing out candy, giving high fives and hugs, and taking pictures with the thousands who attended the parade. We enjoyed performing for our kids as well as yours, and look forward to participating next year. Tadashi Osborne, executive director Tadashi Station, Spokane

Medium used to provoke responses

In response to Dorothy Carter’s letter of March 23, I feel it is important to more clearly explain the artist’s intent of the message board art work installed in the STA Plaza as part of the international Pop Art exhibition curated by the Cheney Cowles Museum.

American artist Jenny Holzer uses words as art. Her language style descends from slogans and popular saying. Holzer is one of many contemporary artists who have taken Pop Art’s interest in consumer culture further by using mass media technology.

“Selections from Truisms” consists of 20 minutes of messages that strongly reflect political, feminist and environmental issues. She uses this electronic medium to provoke intellectual and emotional responses from an often apathetic public. She wants people to think about the sayings, not necessarily agree with them. In fact, disagreement often provokes more response than agreement. Whether we agree or disagree with her messages, she boldly challenges us to think about her statements and our reaction to them.

Holzer’s electronic billboards often appear in public places, such as New York City’s Times Square. She pushes art out of a museum setting and into public spaces to construct a form of emotional theater and combat public apathy. For this reason, the STA Plaza is an appropriate setting for Truisms.

Please understand that the messages do not necessarily reflect the opinions of either the STA or the museum. Glenn W. Mason, director Cheney Cowles Museum, Spokane

Girl Scouts appreciate support

The Girl Scout cookie sale arrives annually with spring daffodils. We at the Girl Scout Inland Empire Council appreciate the ongoing commitment of friends who support Girl Scout programs by buying cookies.

We want to remind the public that the proceeds from cookie sales remain in our council and are used to provide programs and opportunities for local girls. Our local council serves more than 4,000 Girls Scouts in Eastern Washington and North Idaho.

Thanks again to everyone in the Inland Northwest who supports Girl Scouts during our cookie sale. Lindy Cater, executive director Girls Scouts Inland Empire Council, Spokane


Top stories in Spokane

Freeman students march in unity to honor memory of slain classmate Sam Strahan

UPDATED: 9:38 p.m.

Drenched in sunshine and a sharp spring wind, more than 70 students marched Friday out of Freeman High School behind a “Freeman Strong” banner to the same football field where they sheltered in fear last September following the shooting that killed 15-year-old Sam Strahan and injured three girls.