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Fix this parking dilemma

Patrick Reeves (June 2) has a valid complaint against Spokane. I park in the area mentioned in his letter, “Parking tickets were heartless,” and frequently see vehicles parked outside of the designated lines. Often, it’s either a vehicle parked back from the meter, which makes it intrude over the back line, or it’s a vehicle that is so long that it can’t even fit in the designated spot. This forces the one behind to park out of the boundary.

Recently, I drove south on Madison Street, from Main Avenue to Fourth Avenue. I saw approximately 30 percent of the vehicles in violation of SMC #16A.61.5906. It was early enough that all of the parking spaces were not full and each individual was at fault. This happens on a regular basis.

Drivers are forced to look for some other vacant space because they don’t want a ticket, or have a long-bed, double-cab truck with a trailer hitch back into their car causing damage amounting to more than a $30 ticket.

Maybe it’s time for the employees who are paid to monitor this infraction make a determination of whom is at fault. Or better yet, tow the vehicle causing the problem.

Donna Lee


Health care misdirection

I recently received a form letter from Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers reminding voters that she had voted against the Affordable Health Care Act, and specifically against the appointment in 2013 of an “Independent Payment Advisory Board.”

She describes this group as unelected bureaucrats who will make changes to Medicare health benefits without congressional oversight, or accountability to the American people. The facts are that this group will be appointed by the president with input from the majority and minority leaders of Congress.

No changes can be enacted that impact patient care. Any proposed changes can be overridden by Congress. And, finally, the board must submit a report annually to Congress on the Medicare program.

What she doesn’t mention is there is currently a Medical Payment Advisory Board that can only make recommendations to Congress. Congress historically has not enacted any of the recommendations. Why? Because of industry lobbyists’ influence over Congress. Thus, the 2013 change to an “independent” board of decision makers.

McMorris Rodgers’ misrepresentations and votes are intended to protect the health care industry, not Medicare patients. Google “Independent 200 Payment Advisory Board” for the facts.

Bob Pritchard


Learn lessons of Zehm

City leaders must learn lessons if any good can come out of the tragic death of Otto Zehm.

Leaders should never attempt to distort the truth. To blame Otto Zehm for his beating was reprehensible. His last words were “all I wanted was a Snickers.”

Leaders should worry more about an independent and thorough investigation than press releases, spins on facts and public opinion.

Leaders must recognize the public expects those responsible to be held accountable. Without accountability, the public recognizes we are all endangered by the awesome power our government is privileged to exercise.

If the truth shows mistakes have been made, leaders need to admit it, sooner rather than later. If leaders deny responsibility, citizens lose trust in their government.

Leaders must put citizens’ interest in truth and justice ahead of the city’s financial interest and the interests of its employees.

Jim Sweetser



Top stories in Opinion

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.