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Sun., June 10, 2012


MLK street perplexing

I, for one, am puzzled, perplexed, and, yes, irritated by the June 2 Spokesman-Review editorial, “City’s racial struggles are finally put in King’s name.” The clear inference is that Spokane and its citizens were racist and against civil rights until Martin Luther King Jr. came along and we, at last, named a street after him, just like so many other cities have done.

Is it not incongruous and, yes, even hypocritical that the editorial makes no mention whatever of the fact that years ago Spokane elected as mayor the late James Chase? Chase was an honest, well-respected businessman, and when duly elected was a popular, efficient mayor. Likewise, the editorial makes no mention of Roberta Greene, a dedicated Spokane city councilwoman who was, like James Chase, an African-American.

I am by no means belittling the work and life of Martin Luther King Jr., but I am disgusted when too often we jump onto his bandwagon and forget all about those who, with much less fanfare and recognition, also do a great deal to break down walls of prejudice and discrimination.

In my humble opinion, society shows much more progress in civil rights when it recognizes and respects the daily, where-the-rubber-meets-the-road lives of the lesser-knowns than it does when it gloats, “Look at us, we named a street after Martin Luther King Jr.!”

Ken Campbell

Deer Park

Romney, Trump a perfect pair

Well, folks, your Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, has been anointed by the egotistical blowhard “The Donald” Trump. If this is an example of who thinks Mitt should be president (after all, Donald’s favorite hymn is “How Great Thou Art”), we should definitely take a second look at President Barack Obama.

Mitt fits in well with this group of people, the upper class, who don’t have a clue how the rest of us Americans live. The middle class, the poor, the disabled, the disadvantaged and seniors will take a hit so his friends can continue to live the life they’re accustomed to. They vowed to destroy this president ever since he took office, no matter who gets hurt. Rep. Paul Ryan has proposed $700 billion in cuts to social programs by eliminating senior Meals-on-Wheels, 300,000 children’s free meals, cuts to women’s health, Social Security and Medicare cuts, and to use that money to give tax cuts to “The Donald and Friends” and Mitt, who has endorsed this budget.

Think before you decide!

Ed Hollow


Laying off wrong worker

Mr. Mayor, it would seem to me that with all the many, many city employees making $60,000 and up, we could afford to retain the one individual on the payroll (Weights and Measures) whose responsibilities are that which ensure we, the citizens of this city, are not getting ripped off at the gas pump and the grocery check stand.

We could have paid for this guy with the money our previous mayor did not accept from her authorized salary.

Steve Carr


Art imperative to city

As a longtime supporter of the arts in this region, I feel obliged to comment on the proposed measure to cut the already minuscule budget for the city Art Department, and in turn to eliminate the position of its director.

Karen Mobley, the director, has worked for many years to build the status of art in Spokane. The shows she hangs in the City Hall gallery have been remarkable in their variety and scope, and her outreach to the community extends not only to the schools but also to civic organizations and all who call on her.

She knows every artist. She can reach any of them at any time. Art by volunteer committee can’t do that, and no committee member would work the long hours Karen does. None has her expertise. She is a true advocate, dedicated to her task. A city the size of Spokane needs such a person, and without a doubt, Spokane needs the Art Department she leads.

With the loss of the art curator at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture and of the Art School, Spokane is left with only the local college art departments, the private galleries and the businesses that sometimes show artists as a bonus. The gallery at City Hall is open and beautiful and already there.

Surely the city budget writers can find a place in their collective heart for a poor relation, the Art Department, to limp along. It may be troublesome to deliver art out of City Hall, but it is imperative to the cultural life of our community.

Jody Sahlin


Don’t support charter schools

I was astonished to read The Spokesman-Review’s endorsement of charter schools.

Didn’t you know we already have them? They were invented right here in Spokane about 80 years ago. They are called alternative schools. They exist for each student, one at a time. They have teachers who are energetic, innovative and effective. For decades, they have been where the needs of each student come first, where impossible ideals become practical realities.

A look at charter schools reveals two fatal flaws in your endorsement:

1. Most of them report struggling to achieve success and falling short.

2. For many, their first principle is their profit margin. Many are cash cows for corporations outside our state.

It’s simple. Why spend money on charter schools that, based on their own reports, are not working? And why do this, especially in a time when we don’t fully fund the schools that we have?

I urge voters to avoid signing this initiative. And I urge you, the editors of our newspaper, to reconsider your ill-informed editorial support for a failed idea.

Finally, I urge you to support our alternative schools and traditional schools.

Mike Page

Nine Mile Falls

Relocate fire station

I have thought this for years, and now I think it is time to move Fire Station No. 1 over to the east side of University Road, halfway between Sprague Avenue and Appleway Avenue. The traffic lights could be adjusted to eliminate traffic at University and Sprague, and also University and Appleway.

This should cut the response time going north, east and south. It would add only a few seconds going west. This will free up the property where the present station is located for purposes that are not so critical. This should give the firemen better timing where most of the population lives. Is it possible to remodel the building that is presently located at this proposed site for this purpose?

Paul M. Davis

Spokane Valley

Keller has integrity

I have known Larry Keller for over 12 years, including working under his leadership for seven of those years. He is a man of uncompromising honor who puts others before himself and demonstrates integrity in all that he does.

He not only helped Cheney Public Schools maintain their status during tough economic times, he led it into the future. I have had the opportunity to listen to Keller speak on several occasions. Each time I am impressed with his grasp of the issues the Spokane and West Plains areas face, and his vision on how best to address those issues.

Keller is definitely a leader for the people. Let’s elect a leader for us. Vote for Larry Keller for state representative, District 6, Position 2.

Suzann Miller


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