June 21, 2012 in Opinion


Letters policy

The Spokesman-Review invites original letters of no more than 200 words on topics of public interest. Unfortunately, we don’t have space to publish all letters received, nor are we able to acknowledge their receipt. We accept no more than one letter a month from the same writer. Please include your daytime phone number and street address. The Spokesman-Review retains the nonexclusive right to archive and republish any material submitted for publication.

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LC con speaker was selfish

Your choice to highlight an unfortunate incident at Lewis and Clark High School’s end-of-year con is disappointing, and has unnecessarily fueled publicity for a student who made a very foolish choice and stole a moment from a student body trying to celebrate accomplishments, not dwell on doom and gloom of society or their future.

As an LC staff member and parent of current and future LC students, I was not shocked that a student chose to use that language. Sadly, we hear it ad nauseam in the school hallways every day. I was shocked that a student would have the arrogance to not only insult his peers by telling them their “eyes are open but they do not see” but also mock and belittle the very teachers who gave him permission to speak in the first place.

Nick Cashaw was given more time than any other student in the con and used it in a very self-serving way. He could have posted his poetry on his Facebook page, continued to rap about his strong feelings about the horrible ills of our world rather than commandeering a microphone to berate others and tarnish a celebration.

Suzanne Maguire


Need more pay data

Jonathan Brunt’s June 9 article, “Firefighter contract negotiations stall,” illustrates a need The Spokesman-Review could fulfill. Readers are not given enough information to decide which side’s case is meritorious.

What are firefighter wages? Brunt says they’re 5 percent below comparable departments, but the cost of living in the areas in question may differ greatly, and 95 percent of average could mean local firefighters are better or worse off than, say, a firefighter in Bellevue. The public generally believes firefighters are well-compensated. But how dangerous is their job? How does workers compensation rate their likelihood of injury compared to occupations in the private sector, and how does their pay compare to those jobs rated as of equal or greater danger than firefighting?

It’s widely reported that public employee pensions are more generous than the private sector’s. How much do firefighters get at retirement, what do they contribute, how many years do they work before retirement? How many of them take an early retirement based on alleged disability?

Would it be more cost-effective for taxpayers if firefighters worked eight-hour shifts, so we don’t have to pay them to sleep at the station?

Do some research. Give us real information!

Gary Olmsted


Charter schools add choice

We were astonished to read the comparison of charter schools and alternative schools by Mike Page in the June 10 paper. Yes, alternative schools have been around for many years for those students dropping out of traditional schools. These students do receive one-on-one teaching and are given another way of getting their high school diploma. Many of those attending the alternative schools have had learning and/or behavior problems.

Charter schools have sprung up in approximately the last 20 years to give parents a more challenging curriculum for their children in a more structured, optimal learning environment. Many are college-bound students. We need these charter schools to encourage and support our future leaders.

As a retired teacher, and wife who also taught in the public schools, having children and grandchildren in public, alternative, Christian, charter, and four being home-schooled, I am thankful for these choices for the betterment of all of our children. Our form of government will not survive without educated voters.

Ron and Mona Jacobson

Spokane Valley

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