April 7, 2012 in Opinion

Letters

 

Vote no on Measure 1

Vote no on Measure 1.

I vote yes on school bonds and levies, but I’m voting my pocketbook this time around because I love C.I. Shenanigans. I’ll bet out-of-towners love it, too. Where are the geese going to snack?

Anyway, they tore down the coolest Mexican restaurant in town for the first phase, but losing Shenanigans is just too much. They could have built it in the parking lot across the street and made everyone happy.

And why didn’t they tell us about their Phase 2 plans when siting it in there in the first place?

Save Shenanigans. Vote no.

Anne Marie Burk

Spokane

Needle exchanges are sound

In his March 12 letter to the editor, Don Brockett stated that the Spokane County Health District’s syringe-exchange program enables injection drug users. In fact, extensive evidence, including eight federally commissioned studies, shows that the presence of a syringe-exchange program does not increase the use of illegal drugs among participants, and that effective programs actually increase the numbers of injection drug users referred to and retained in substance use treatment.

The issues of addiction, and HIV and hepatitis transmission related to injection drug use, remain serious public health challenges. Scientific research continues to define the unique role that syringe exchange can play as part of a well-designed, comprehensive prevention strategy.

Brockett also stated that possession of drug paraphernalia is illegal. Possession of sterile paraphernalia is legal and has been for some years.

Brockett said, too, that providing syringe exchange teaches addicts there are no consequences to their use. The primary focus of a needle exchange is harm reduction, which is an evidence-based and nonjudgmental approach to reducing the consequences of drug use. It accepts the reality of drug use in society, and minimizes consequences by providing several options, from teaching safer drug use strategies to abstinence.

Lynn Everson

Spokane

Quit denying health care

In his April 1 column, Gary Crooks nailed the reason the United States currently has the 37th best health care system in the world, according to the World Health Organization. We are the only industrialized nation that continues to deny that citizens have a right to quality health care. We can easily provide that care at a reasonable cost through private insurance, if our elected officials would stop playing the game of “if it’s not my idea, then it must be bad.”

We also need to get rid of worthless terminology, like “Obamacare,” and “socialized medicine,” the best example of which is the Veterans Administration.

Daniel J Schaffer, MD

Spokane

Repeal poses questions

If the U.S. Supreme Court decides in its wisdom that the government cannot force any citizen to purchase health insurance, just think of the ramifications.

Surely, it would follow that we can no longer be forced to buy motor vehicle insurance, obtain driver’s licenses, or pay fuel, sales or income taxes. The list of forced payments is endless. How would the court get around this conundrum?

Our government can be faulted with the language on this absolute need for every citizen to be included in any workable health care system.

Any hint of force, however necessary for the general good, gets the right wing seriously bent out of shape.

All countries with excellent health care service avoid this minefield simply by funding it out of, or tossing it in with, general income tax. Taxing oil companies and the billionaires would cover it.

Roger Slater

Mica

I am a parent in the Reardan-Edwall School District, and support the new bond issue.

The Reardan-Edwall School District hasn’t passed a bond issue or made major improvements to the buildings since 1978. Maintenance costs are rising each year as more and more significant repairs are made on an emergency or temporary basis.

Adding insulation and new mechanical systems will allow better operating-cost control. New electrical systems will provide more than one or two outlets per classroom. Yes, that’s right, we have elementary classrooms with one outlet. Think of all the changes in technology since Jimmy Carter was president.

Science labs, handicapped accessibility and new classrooms for junior high students are other significant needs. Adding a fire sprinkler system will enhance safety and protect our investment. We need to pass the bond issue and reinvest in our facilities.

The group bombarding voters with opposition to school bonds is headed by a Spokane businessman and failed congressional candidate. He does not live in our district, and has not visited our schools. He simply opposes all public school funding.

Please support this reasonable remodel of our existing schools, to allow our children a safer facility in which to learn.

Joe F. Weinand

Reardan, Wash.

Keep Riverside schools strong

Vote yes for kids in Riverside schools.

Voters in the Riverside School District will make an important decision April 17 that will affect each of our 1,525 students.

The Washington state Supreme Court ruled in January 2012 that: “The State has failed to meet its duty … by consistently providing school districts with a level of resources that falls short of the actual costs of the basic education program” (McCleary v. State of Washington).

A “yes” vote will support many popular programs that state funding does not. Examples include elective courses in medical sciences, music, advanced courses, welding and wood shop.

The district has taken big steps to cut costs, starting with overhead. Administrative salaries were decreased by 3 percent. Teacher salaries were reduced by 1.9 percent. It reduced both classified and teaching positions.

Many of you are proud of our graduation rate of 94.5 percent, which ranks in the top one-third of all districts in Washington. Still, there is more work to do to increase skills.

Help us do this by supporting a conservative budget that funds a program designed to give all of our kids a leg up on life.

Dan McMahon

Deer Park

Council strays from duties

Are they kidding me! The City Council is taking up the subject of gay marriage! I thought the City Council’s job was to fill potholes, etc.

Richard White

Spokane Valley

Scientists to blame

In an interview, Gordon Gauchat (March 30) speculates that the most educated conservatives most acquainted with the views that question the credibility of scientists and their conclusions have “stronger ideological dispositions than people who are less educated.” I have found the opposite to be true. Educated conservatives base their views on objective experience, and can tell you why they believe what they do.

Gauchat should also look at his data. A more complete version of this article on the Internet included a graph showing moderates also don’t have much trust in science. The explanation might be in another article from the Internet that said only 11 percent of the results of 53 “landmark cancer research studies” could be replicated. In science, if a study cannot be reproduced reliably, it is wrong.

That article says, “So, what is the problem? Scientists often ignore negative findings that might raise a warning, cherry-picking the results and putting the best face on their research. The practice involves many parties – not just the scientists – in the research process who turn blind eyes to questionable actions.”

My experience indicates this is pervasive and that is why I have little confidence in science as presented today.

W.C. Rust

Wallace

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