Arrow-right Camera


Sat., March 17, 2012


Track tax-cut claims

Imagine a bill sponsored by Republicans to lower Idaho corporate taxes and income taxes on top earners in Idaho. Wow, go figure! Talk about responsible governance during times of state deficits.

House Majority Leader Mike Moyle claims this to be “probably the best economic development bill we’ve seen all year.” Good. Even though I am cynical, and doubt the efficacy of this bill along with the true motivation behind its endorsement, I genuinely hope the economy is stimulated.

So the 17 percent of taxpayers affected by this legislation, which I figure are the ones executing the so-called “economic development,” shouldn’t be surprised when an article is written in the future which tracks all the economic developing they have implemented.

I hope the local newspapers take it upon themselves to make this story a top priority and continue to report and feature updates regarding the fiscal impacts of this bill, and let the politicians know they are being held accountable.

Steve Lacombe

Spokane Valley

Limbaugh was right

Folks, like him or not, Rush (Limbaugh) was correct. We’ve seen a whole generation of selfish people grow to expect the government (read taxpayers) to support their deviant lifestyles. I don’t know about you, but knowing that these horribly mistaken types are able to pursue their choices, well, I darn well object to having to pay for it.

Milton D. Nelson


Details matter in reviews

Regarding the new classical music reviewers at the Spokesman: I’m grateful for their fresh perspectives and their eagerness. They are clearly preparing by doing a lot of listening and research.

One could argue about what the proper role of a critic is, but I would like to caution them both about being too specific and too personal when making strongly negative comments, because some dangers lie therein.

For instance one recent review mentioned the symphony flutist not attending to the markings in Petrouchka. The 1947 version used in that concert has no such markings. Another recent review lectured us about improper conducting technique. Conducting technique varies widely, and in any case mattered more 75 years ago, when players had several weeks of rehearsal for each concert. Players then could watch a conductor more closely than they can now, when each concert has only three to five rehearsals.

A good conductor in 2012 is measured by his ability to work intensely and efficiently, with careful attention to important interpretive details during very limited rehearsal periods. If the orchestra sounds good by concert time (good ensemble, with appropriate tempos, dynamics, balance and articulations), the conductor has done his job competently, his appearance on stage notwithstanding.

Greg Presley


Romney not a conservative

For all those who voted for Mitt Romney in the Washington and Idaho caucuses, I’m wondering: Why? If it’s because you’ve got the idea that he’s conservative, I wish you’d done your homework better (if you did any) before you headed to your caucus. If you had researched his record and history dating back to his father’s time as Michigan governor, you’d have found that he’s about as conservative as President Barack Obama.

Since it looks like he’ll probably end up being the Republican candidate, you’ve given the majority of Americans a choice of voting between two socialists, either one of which is going to tax and spend this country into bankruptcy.

Gee, thanks a lot. See you in the soup kitchen lines.

Kelli Burton

Medical Lake

Stop needle exchanges

“I know that ultimately the addiction is my choice,” says a 44-year old woman from Spokane. “But I had to survive. It’s so hard.” When I read this, I was sickened to know that our money is supporting her choice for narcotic use.

In Spokane County, the death rate from prescription drug overdoses is 12.8 per 100,000 people, according to health records. Controversial programs are standing up against this issue. Promoting needle exchanges for enabling drug use is not the example we want to set for the next generation. Our priorities need to be on other programs. It is only as difficult as we make it.

If the addictions are decreased, fewer people will be diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, and less money is spent. Dr. Joel McCullough says that fighting HIV/AIDS is a multisector effort. The effort we put in is only as strong as the outcome we get out.

Anna Mattingly


City wronged undercover cop

Dan Newlun was an undercover police officer for the city of Spokane. The city knew undercover cops had to be rotated out of this work based upon independent studies cited by their own consultants. They never shared this with Dan Newlun. They completely ignored it.

The city had access to information on the dangers of the new drug form that was crack cocaine, which led to instant addictions. This was never shared with Dan Newlun. Dan had smoked pot and snorted cocaine in his undercover drug work with no addiction and assumed crack would be the same.

The city ignored the policy of having other officers nearby who could break in if too much time expired in the drug buy. Dan Newlun was left to operate on his own. Drug dealers wanted proof he wasn’t a cop by insisting on use of the drug.

Dan Newlun was a hero. He wasn’t out writing traffic tickets. He was taking down dangerous armed drug dealers and saving countless people from drugs. I was proud to represent this man.

Greg Staeheli


Nuclear weapons for sale?

Let’s be realistic. Iran, like North Korea, will be willing to starve its people in order to have nuclear weapons, thus all the sanctions in the world won’t deter them. And, with the Obama administration not seriously considering any military action to prevent it, the Iranians will, eventually, obtain nuclear weapons.

Combine this with President Barack Obama’s recent announcement that he desires to reduce our nuclear arsenal by 80 percent, and I now can suggest the perfect solution to the president. Why don’t you just sell them the weapons? This would fit the Obama Doctrine perfectly. It would reduce our arsenal, increase exports and raise money for his domestic socialist agenda. It would eliminate all remnants of American exceptionalism and level the playing field around the world.

Just think of all the customers. Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Venezuela, perhaps Sudan, and even a few Mexican cartels might be interested in having a few. It would be a lot cheaper for them to spend a few hundred million buying them from us instead of spending billions to build them on their own.

Unless, of course, those pesky Israelis spoil it all for him.

Randall W. Babin


Obama’s mother remarkable

The Montana judge who forwarded a racist joke to his friends because he doesn’t like President Barack Obama didn’t really insult Obama, but he certainly insulted the president’s mother, who was a remarkable woman.

Anyone who wants to know the truth about her should read the book “A Singular Woman.” She accomplished a great deal in her life, besides giving us a president.

Dorothy Carter


Oil companies tank economy

It is so sad with the economy the way it is today, and with so many people out of work, that gas prices just keep going up and up and up.

It will force people to stay home instead of taking well-deserved vacations that they so desperately need, or be able to go out and find the jobs to cover their living expenses.

To me, it is the greed of our oil companies that make this such a bad situation that we are all in at this time. I wish they had more compassion to help the people around the world deal with the economic problems, instead of making them worse by raising the gas prices so out of proportion.

Lynda Palmer

Moses Lake

Paul is inconsistent

Substance in some of the letters supporting Ron Paul seems lacking. This is a man who says he advocates free trade but opposes every free trade agreement. He boasts of being a right-to-life champion, yet his plan allows abortion on the state level. He is one of only four Republicans who support earmarks. Paul’s been a critic of welfare for years, but he voted against extending welfare reform in 2002.

Ron Paul says he’s against gay marriage, but he voted against the amendment to define marriage as only between a man and a woman. He’s at the forefront of the anti-vaccine movement, and he’s a doctor who took the Hippocratic Oath to “Prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.”

Paul opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He voted against it on its 40th anniversary. This law allows black people to eat at the lunch counter and says that they cannot be turned away from hotels.

And he is a man who claims to be a champion of individual liberty? He doesn’t believe that education or health care are rights; they have to be earned.

Ron Paul, Mr. Inconsistency!

Joe Speranzi


Police problems abound

I pick up my local paper and read police problems, more police problems. Déjà vu, and plenty of fodder for editors and columnists! Most citizen focus is directed to the immediate problems. Now the Brad Thoma case, with community unrest hyped by The Spokesman-Review. Before that we had the unresolved Otto Zehm case, firehouse sex case, resurrection of a detective’s drug use, and other items from the archives too numerous to mention.

There are two common themes: First, city government denial and efforts to risk-manage the problem, generally resulting in blowback. Second, the minions at The Spokesman-Review tower publicize the problem beyond reasonable reporting. There is no in-depth investigative reporting. If the city image is tarnished, the Review’s hounds are unleashed and the wild-hair syndrome governs.

In addition to the above problems is the claim of no resources to investigate property crimes, with the third theme being the alleged failure to manage limited resources. The solution is clear: First, recognize the problem; second, direct limited resources; and third, hold people accountable.

In short, hire a police chief who is allowed to run his or her department without overriding interference from City Hall.

Bob Allen

Retired police officer


Treppiedi serves city well

Castigating Rocky Treppiedi by accusing him of not adequately representing the citizens of Spokane and the Police Department is pure nonsense. If the truth were known, Rocky is the victim of vicious innuendo and misconceptions.

He has done the job the city hired him to do! That is representing the interests of the citizens of Spokane to the fullest extent of the law. Rocky is an exceptional attorney. Honest, loyal and competent are only a few positive adjectives that describe him.

An example of his competence: Instead of the city acquiescing to fraudulent lawsuits and paying plaintiffs nominal sums to encourage them to go away, a counter would be filed to dissuade those who would seek undeserved compensation.

Another includes skillfully handling the scurrilous $49 million Gypsy lawsuit brought against the city in the 1980s. The public has no idea how much he has done to mitigate the city of Spokane’s liabilities.

Choose another scapegoat.

Shame on Spokane for your ignorance, arrogance and short-sighted attitude toward a man who has dedicated his life and career to public service to promote justice on your behalf.

Michael F. Yates


Click here to comment on this story »


The Wednesday Slice question

Did you ever hide under your bed covers as a kid and listen to a transistor radio after you were supposed to be asleep, and slowly scan the AM dial ...