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Base needs overestimated

Desiring to keep Fairchild Air Force Base open, the Spokane County Commissioners are considering restrictive zoning ordinances surrounding it. This makes good sense, but these restrictions overestimate what is required for Fairchild to fulfill its mission.

I grew up on the West Plains. I recall when Fairchild stood constantly ready to respond to a nuclear threat, and remember the painful moments of the crash in 1994, the thoughtless hospital shooting, and the indefinite departure of the B-52s.

I feel connected to Fairchild, want it to remain open, and don’t advocate for development that interferes with Fairchild’s operations.

My concern is that these proposed restrictions are not reasonable, and many do not increase the likelihood Fairchild will remain open. The severity of the restrictions results from studies based on assumptions that were improbable, if not impossible.

These assumptions assume returning a dozen B-52s to the base, and adding 26 of the new KC-46A tankers at a wartime operational level. So, I ask the county commissioners to consider the needs of Fairchild, but to balance those needs against the impacts to citizens, and the lost land use rights, if these restrictions were to be adopted.

John Whitehead

Spokane Valley

Wrong health care Rx

I am for national health care, with a minimum coverage for all citizens. Citizens could also buy private coverage to increase coverage. However, this would be a program run by the government, and supported by taxes.

The “Obamacare” individual mandate forces you to buy a private product, or pay a fine and still have nothing. In law, everything sets precedents. If the government can force you to buy one private product, what would stop them from forcing you to buy others?

The argument “everyone needs health care sometime” doesn’t make sense. It’s like saying everyone needs transportation, so everyone must buy a car, or you pay a fine and walk. Or everyone has to die sometime, so you have to buy burial insurance, or you pay a fine and we donate your body to science.

The other mandates are within the powers of Congress to levy taxes, or regulate industries or commerce. The Obamacare mandate does neither. Most of the rest of the law regulates an industry, so it should be fine.

But I could be wrong. If so, start looking at burial insurance.

Jon Stanescu Sprague, Wash.

Portrayal of city hypocritical

The local media portray Spokane as a community that welcomes freedom of speech, supports equality, and abhors discrimination; hardly a reflection of reality and very hypocritical.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day the media extols the community’s “solidarity” against discrimination while the community honors those whose actions have made discrimination and racial profiling the law concerning employment, promotions and admission to educational opportunities, except in sports where ability trumps the race card.

Our community ostracizes politically incorrect or personally offensive free speech.

Some media make fun of those who oppose school bonds and levies, while supporting such taxes for the good of the kids. The fact that bonds and levies support educational, racial, social and economic discrimination is never presented.

The fact that funding basic education is a state, not local, responsibility is not made clear to voters. Neither is the fact that many supporting local taxation personally benefit from taxpayers funding the educational-industrial complex.

The media should examine their actions supporting racial, social and economic discrimination when they present issues to voters.

Citizens may want to think carefully before supporting parades and taxes that encourage intolerance and educational, racial, social and economic discrimination.

John Axtell

Valley, Wash.

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