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Federal grants puzzling

Recently, the towns of Latah and Waverly received federal grants to build new sidewalks and curbs. Very few people live in these towns, and the people who do live there seldom use these beautiful new expensive sidewalks. One could describe these sidewalks as beautiful new “sidewalks to nowhere.” But, somehow, there is always a down side to a good thing. Waverly is about to lose its post office due to a lack of federal funding.

Not to be outdone by its neighbors, Tekoa is requesting its very own something to nowhere, a $946,000 bridge, no less. One can only hope that Tekoa has better luck keeping its post office than Waverly did.

Jack Hordemann


Reversing teen obesity

“Healthy Enthusiasm” (Feb. 24) was appropriately titled regarding Kootenai Medical Center’s teen health and fitness study. Volunteers are lining up, eager to test an idea by Shawn Burke and Pamela Owen (co-owners of Post Falls U Aim High Fitness and Nutrition). They propose to bring a web-based gadget, bodybugg, to schools for daily feedback on diet and fitness targets. Still unknown is how this product will keep teens on a lifelong healthy path.

It will take a societal effort to reverse the damage done by fast food, video games and unhealthy choices that have become childhood norms. North Idaho College faculty and nursing students recognize that information is the first step. They assisted study recruitment by performing body-mass index screenings at Lake City High School. The vast majority of overweight students (97 percent) wanted to join the study. Twenty will have the chance.

Commitment from the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health (our grantor), Coeur d’Alene School District, and University of Idaho and Washington State University researchers have made it possible to study this idea. Solutions are needed for the 12.5 million overweight U.S. children who are headed for significant health problems. Let’s hope we can find some answers.

Marian Wilson, MPH, RN

Coeur d’Alene

City right to fight

Fifty years ago, my next-door neighbor told me that “a bad settlement is better than a great court case.” That neighbor was Judge Willard Roe, one of Spokane’s finest judges. For 50 years, those wise words have served me well.

Now comes former officer Brad Thoma with his lawsuit, another in a long line of pathetic lawsuits against Spokane’s taxpaying citizens. Thoma is like a broken record, blaming everyone except himself for his own cowardly actions.

For my tax money, I am happy to support the city on this defense, and I applaud our City Council for their unanimous decision to fight this cancer of irresponsibility. I also applaud Doug Clark and Shawn Vestal for keeping sanity alive in The Spokesman-Review commentaries.

My suggestion to our mayor is to file a countersuit against Thoma for the same amount of money. The suit and countersuit will take a long time to resolve but, if Thoma is smart, he will heed the words of Judge Roe and walk out of town.

Taking responsibility for one’s own actions is an addiction like any other. Let’s all support our city legal staff with that argument, and make it prevail.

Chris Kopczynski



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.