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Not all stigmas equal

While reading “Stigma hampers kids’ blood testing” (June 2), I was troubled and dismayed to learn that the fear of name-calling is keeping parents from making the right decisions about their children’s health. I am a third-year law student at Vermont Law School and I am concentrating on CERCLA/water toxic law. Currently, I am a summer intern at the Center for Environmental Law & Policy here in Spokane and I am sickened every time I think about the damage done to the land and people in northern Idaho because of the mining industry.

What is worse than the pollution itself is the inattention citizens may be giving to their children because of the fear of a stigma. It would be more prudent to concentrate on the stigma that would evolve from not being tested than from the test itself.

As for the “blame, shame and guilt” felt by the parents, that is entirely needless. Those emotions should be felt not by the innocent people who happen to live in the Silver Valley region but by the polluters who let this problem evolve despite warning signs that have accrued over the past century.

Emilee J. Syrewicze



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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.