The guest opinion of Amber Waldref and Robert Truckner, M.D., makes the baseless statement of increased rail coal traffic on the horizon “without any benefit to our city.” What a laughable statement to anyone retired, working or looking to find a local job in the railroad industry. All trains passing through Spokane stop to change crews, most of whom live here and use local services, own property and support our struggling local economy in a significant way with good-paying union jobs with good benefits. These benefits include excellent medical coverage, allowing us to support the jobs of those such as Dr. Truckner himself. Many have forgotten or are not aware of the thousands of current and retired railroad workers that live in this city and region. It seems to me we would want to create more jobs in our region, so I would like to remind the Spokane City Council to consider the increased employment opportunities for Eastern Washington and North Idaho when they debate “concerns regarding health, economic and environmental effects” as the opinion states. I believe the environmental effects to be minimal, and the health and economic benefits to be greatly beneficial for reasons stated above.
President, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Local 443