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In their words

A selection of quotations from people in recent news stories, big and small

“Tomorrow there’s going to be the same nurses, and the same doctors will still have privileges to practice. What will be different is that the hospitals will have money.”

– Deaconess Medical Center spokeswoman Christine Varela, commenting on for-profit hospital chain Community Health Systems Inc.’s acquisition of financially struggling Empire Health Services.

“He should die with his family . He never gave that to us, but I don’t want to be like him.”

Marsha Ritchey, widow of 1987 murder victim David Ritchey, whose killer, Gregory A. Rowley, has terminal cancer and wants to be released from the Washington State Penitentiary so he can go home to die.

“We need the reports. I’m sorry, this is not a utopia. At some time in our life, I think most of us have to learn to keep copies of something we’ve sent in the mail.”

– Washington Public Disclosure Commission Chairman Ken Schellberg, rejecting legislative candidate Chris Bowen’s insistence that he mailed his campaign financing reports and isn’t responsible if the commission didn’t receive them.

“Officers carry a badge and a gun, and if there’s an allegation against you, you lose those, so yes, officers do fear that.”

– Spokane police Sgt. Dave Overhoff, testifying under a judge’s order in the trial of Detective Jay Mehring on felony harassment charges that grew out of threats Overhoff says Mehring made against Mehring’s wife.

“The decision we are going to have to make is a decision we have been refusing for 40 years to look at open-eyed. The time has come to say these things. The time has come to put them on the table.”

– Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, airing his support for ceding territory on the West Bank if necessary to achieve peace with the Palestinians.

“This officer did everything he could do, and it still cost the city millions.”

– Seattle police legal adviser Leo E. Poort, after the Washington state Court of Appeals ruled the city of Seattle is liable for $1.7 million in damages because a police officer decided to pursue a suspected stolen vehicle that wound up striking and seriously injuring two pedestrians.

“I have a right to endorse anybody I doggone well please. And if they don’t like that, too bad.”

– Pastor Wiley S. Drake, of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., denouncing a 54-year-old federal tax law that prohibits him from using his tax-exempt pulpit to support or oppose political candidates.

“For every one appliance that works, we get five that don’t.”

– Chief Executive Officer Susan Peterson, of GreenHouse Community Center in Deer Park, saying many people use the thrift store’s drop-off point to get rid of junk instead of contributing usable donations.


Top stories in Opinion

Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.