June 21, 2011 in Opinion


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The Spokesman-Review invites original letters of no more than 200 words on topics of public interest. Unfortunately, we don’t have space to publish all letters received, nor are we able to acknowledge their receipt. We accept no more than one letter a month from the same writer. Please include your daytime phone number and street address. The Spokesman-Review retains the nonexclusive right to archive and republish any material submitted for publication.

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Spokane, WA 99201

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Spraying puts Idaho at risk

Idaho state Parks and Recreation is jeopardizing the public health (and that of wildlife and pets) by continuing to spray the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes with pesticides.

On June 10, at approximately 11 a.m., pesticides were sprayed on the route through Osburn. No signs were posted or warning given before spraying began. However, signs and warnings do not protect people from exposure; these carcinogens should be prohibited everywhere along the route.

Exposure to pesticides is linked to cancer and Parkinson’s disease. Numerous children who use this route are especially susceptible to developing cancer from exposure to these chemicals.

The state puts more importance on killing weeds than it does on public health. These carcinogens are incompatible with health and exercise, the primary purpose of the route.

Calgary and other Canadian cities have banned the use of pesticides in their parks. The national parks have banned the herbicide 2,4-D, a major cause of cancerous tumors in dogs. 2,4-D is commonly used along the route.

Pesticide manufacturers are making high profits off Idaho, which is ignorant of their hazards. Without a doubt, not one state official ever read Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” the classic account of the danger of pesticides.

Fred Bardelli

Osburn, Idaho

Introductory offer

Recently the city started charging a tiered water usage rate. After some not-so-difficult research I was able to find studies that rated the Spokane aquifer capable of supplying water to 4.5 million users, 10 times the current population of the area.

I believe that water is a human right and the “tiers” should be:

First tier for residential users, as stated by the city should be free. People should be able to use enough water to clean their kids, clothes, dishes, flush and water a small lawn at no cost!

The next should be set to a reasonable rate just high enough to discourage stupid waste.

The third tier should not exist for residents, but commercial rates should be set so as not to discourage necessary use but high enough to discourage waste.

We should not be balancing the city budget on the backs of the poor and working poor. There is no water shortage and no reason to raise rates on anyone.

Gail Gerlach


Money growing on dry trees

Only a politician (Spokane City Councilwoman Amber Waldref, guest opinion, Jun 12) could spin that water rates are not increasing. Basic service rate for water/sewer has increased in the past year so that it now costs around $100 before we use any water. What do you do with all the money?

Also, since high users will pay a lot more, and I am sure this is the reason for the graduated rates, you will be collecting even more. I suppose you would like for all lawns/flowers to dry up – then you can impose a fine for not maintaining your property. Of course, if people really do conserve more and pay a lower rate, then will you add a user fee as they want to for people who conserve gasoline by driving hybrids?

With the rates charged for basic service I think an audit is needed or for you to explain where all the dollars go.

Howard Parrett


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