June 17, 2012 in Opinion



Quality of life a choice

The June 10 dignity article by Curtis Johnson (“Put real dignity in choice to die”) deserves some research on the part of our medical and legal institutions in order to let “medically assisted” be put into practice. Johnson is so correct in stating that his gift will save other lives.

Now in my 90s, I have been blessed with good health, but have observed too many friends with mental or physical conditions who want to depart but are unable to do so with dignity. Quality of life is a freedom of choice for all ages. The solution lives in a real empathy for those who realize their personal situation and wish to deal with it.

“Life is not life until it lives,” Oscar Hammerstein wrote. “A bell’s not a bell ’til it rings. A song’s not a song ’til you sing it. Love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay. Love isn’t love ’til it’s given away!”

Roger Cochran


Firefighters lower premium

I recently received the yearly bill for my homeowner’s insurance policy. The current bill was half the cost of my bill from last year, so I called the insurer to verify that a mistake had not been made. They told me that the reason my bill had decreased such a substantial amount was due to the fact that my local fire department had received a much higher rating from whatever agency performs that task.

Therefore, I tip my hat to the firemen who work so hard to get the higher performance rating that keeps my insurance rates low. I will vote for every levy that is on the ballot to support these fine professionals.

Fred McBride

Newman Lake

Jones a true inspiration

I read with huge interest the May 5 story you wrote about a longtime friend of mine, Kim Jones. Very, very good article. Twenty-five years ago, Kim was my running coach and under her mentoring I ran about 20 marathons as a large man. It was a great thrill reading your article and remembering that not only is she a great runner, but also a great person.

She was Spokane’s “hometown” girl in our hometown race. I am so happy that you mentioned her book, “A Dandelion Growing Wild.” I had lost touch with Kim many years ago as she moved up in her career and did not know about her recently published book.

Of course, I would find all the details of her racing career of great interest. I knew her during that time. What the book really did was show that when a person is dedicated and persistent, they can move mountains. Kim is not only a hero to us because of her running, but because of all the heartache she endured to reach her goals, things many great athletes did not endure.

I encourage anyone who possibly can to get this book, and read Kim’s story and really read how one woman triumphed against seemingly insurmountable odds. Kim is a very sweet and unassuming person who will move your heart.

Michael R. Etten


Personal liberty assaulted

I would like to respond to Donna Kuhn’s June 9 letter (“Religious liberty under assault”). Kuhn seems to feel that marriage equality is an assault on religious liberty. I disagree. I believe that the efforts by the religious community to impose their beliefs on all people, religious or otherwise, is an assault on personal liberty.

Kuhn laments the fact that citizens have to “expend energy to undo lousy legislation.” The other side to that argument is that the Defense of Marriage Act passed in 1998 over the veto of then-Gov. Gary Locke is lousy legislation. The church turned marriage over to the state long ago. Martin Luther, John Calvin and the early English Puritans all declared marriage to be a civil affair and a worldly matter (“History of Marriage in Western Civilization” and “Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/History of Marriage”).

Marriages in early history were often nothing more than a business transaction in which the bride and groom had little or no voice. The issue of marriage equality should be decided by our legislators and judges with an eye to protecting the rights and freedom of all people, not by religious groups or popular vote.

Dustin Stum

Spokane Valley

Department worth its weight

On June 2, the newspaper published an article by Jonathan Brunt that described Spokane’s proposal to eliminate the city Weights and Measures Department. A few days later, a local TV news program broadcast an article on the same proposal. Several gas stations that were overcharging their customers were listed. None of these gas stations was deliberately cheating customers. Poor gas pump maintenance was the cause.

Without the inspections by our city’s single Weights and Measures Department employee, those gas pumps would still be overcharging their customers. No doubt numerous other examples exist of how this one person has kept things honest for the consumers who drive Spokane’s economy.

Yet Spokane officials are seriously contemplating liquidating a government service that truly benefits both city citizens and city visitors. Spokane officials think it is all right to dump this responsibility on the state of Washington. This is wrong when our state is also experiencing budget issues and service reductions. Eliminating our city’s Weights and Measures Department is wrong.

The record clearly demonstrates how wrong this proposal truly is. The successful work of our City’s Weights and Measures Department must continue.

Duwane Huffaker


Snyder is a winner

Jon Snyder gets my vote for 3rd District legislative seat. He deserves yours. As his soccer coach for 12 seasons, I watched a boy develop into a man with character and integrity. Jon had superior physical skills, with amazing on-field instincts, but more impressive, as the designated team captain (every season his teammates voted Jon leader) was his ability to somehow instill in his teammates self-confidence at the perfect time during the game. His leadership abilities spilled over into sportsmanship, fair play, and the unusual character attribute to make his teammates feel successful.

We had a good team and were undefeated many seasons, but we always carried humility on and off the field. Jon’s example played no small part for his mates acquiring this admirable piece of human integrity. More than one game ended with us so far ahead that Jon and his teammates were more concerned with the other team’s feelings than the final score.

Jon is a winner. He possesses the personal characteristics I want in a political representative, especially in these critical times when a true leader is required to inspire compromise, fair play, and still carry that ball to the back of the net.

Rick Galloway


The war on truth

The war on women continues as the U.S. Senate, blocked by Senate Republicans, fails to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

No job is as demanding, responsible, unpaid yet rewarding as that of a mother (simultaneously nurse, teacher, entertainer, cook, chauffeur and housekeeper). It is a luxury if she does not have to work to supplement her income. But if needed, she takes on another job. She gets up at dawn, takes the children to day care, picks them up after work, and starts her second shift.

Hilary Rosen justifiably challenged Mitt Romney after he acknowledged his wife as his source on women’s economic concerns. Hilary correctly observed that Ann Romney “hadn’t worked a day in her life,” meaning she never had to bring the proverbial bacon home, but was roundly chided for saying so.

So, while one mother drives “a couple of Cadillacs,” another hunts for bargains as her car sits in the shop. Does one truly understand the economic struggles of the other? Hilary, you don’t have to apologize. Speak out. The truth is on your side. All women need you, especially now, because we don’t just have a war on women – we have a war on truth.

Halina Slobodow


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