SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2012


Help stem Mexico violence

The death toll is higher than ever in the streets of Mexico as a result of rival drug cartels. Citizens were in fear after 49 bodies were found lining the street. Forty-three of them were men and six were women. Many of the bodies were severely mutilated. Bodies have been showing up in streets after gangs lay them there to scare off their rivals.

This is not the first time this kind of thing has happened. Last year, it was estimated that every half-hour someone was murdered because of these drug cartels. There is a death toll of 47,515 in Mexico. This drug war is becoming too big of a problem for it to be ignored like it has been. People are being murdered daily, yet it’s just a blip on the news.

This tragedy needs to be recognized before it’s too late. The United States needs to help Mexico to end the bloodshed in their streets. The innocent people that have to live in these areas, the people that are afraid to leave their homes, they are the real soldiers.

Steven McCracken


Noise ordinance is nonsense

OK, now we have a new enforcer on the streets issuing tickets for noise. What total nonsense. OK, since there are these sensitive citizens who cannot enjoy music, I declare Pig Out in the Park to be canceled. Then we demand no music at the powwows, etc. No concerts anywhere in Spokane.

Folks, how long must the few spoiled oranges be tolerated with this silly City Council? We in the county need to be able to vote for Spokane mayor and City Council.

Joseph Fitzpatrick


Ease up on buskers

I read an article about the downtown Spokane buskers and wondered why store owners were getting so riled up over the fact that some people make a living by making beautiful music.

If the musicians were not very good, I could understand, but most of the buskers are professional musicians who are only trying to make a few bucks doing what they love. As a fellow musician, I know the feeling of wanting to share your talent.

I liked what Rick Bocook said when he was talking about how the complaining businesses should just get soundproof windows because they are already in the noisiest section of downtown Spokane.

Furthermore, the proposed law is complicated because the policemen that would be enforcing this law would have not only differing opinions on what “plainly audible” is, but also how far away 100 feet is if they are guessing the distance. Plus, instead of complaining to the city about the noise, why not just politely ask the musicians themselves if they would turn down their amplifiers a little bit and make it easier for everyone?

Just don’t smother the happiness and joy the buskers spread to passers-by.

Aric Williams


Publicize Junior Lilac Parade

The Junior Lilac Parade, 61 years young, is filled with the youth of our area. Did you see it advertised? Youth come from Colville Junior High, Chewelah, Logan Elementary, Camp Fire USA, Boy and Girl Scouts, North Pines Middle School, Garry Middle School, Evergreen Middle School, Greenacres Middle School, Spokane Shadow Youth Soccer, Horizon Middle School, Deer Park Middle School, Shaw Middle School, University Elementary School, Cheney Middle School, Mountainside Middle School, Kennewick Middle School, Medical Lake Middle School, to name a few.

I didn’t see it advertised until Friday’s entertainment section, with the route on Page 8. It is said throughout April, “Our Kids: Our Business,” but when it really comes down to it, is it the revenue? It is a self-sustaining parade, funded by the entries.

Why not publicize the Junior Lilac Parade? It really is a celebration of youth.

P.S. I hope to see the combines the wheat farmers use next year. They are awesome!

Cathy Gunderson


Be safe at pools

I am a returning fifth-year lifeguard at a city of Spokane water park. With pool openings just around the corner, I would like to discuss something dear to myself and colleagues. Pools are a great place to have fun, but they are equally dangerous. I want to stress that lifeguards cannot be guaranteed to catch every incident. Please do not think that because lifeguards are attending the pool, your child is guaranteed to come home. You play an equally active role keeping your child safe as we do.

If your child is not a strong swimmer, actively watch your child in the pool. Sit on the side or, better yet, get in. Keep in mind children want to copy their older siblings, and older siblings want to play in deeper water. If you have an infant, do not talk with other parents. I have rescued babies in just inches of water because the parent sitting next to them was distracted.

Lifeguards work long hours and it is exhausting and stressful. We want everyone to go home safe at the end of the day, and we thank the parents who value their child’s safety.

Grace E. Hanberg


Alternative energy exciting

I don’t think Tom Horne (“Wind projects expensive,” May 12) is looking at the bigger picture when it comes to wind power. To be built in the first place, they create high-wage construction jobs. The maintenance cost is more high-wage jobs. With the vast supply of wind and water energy in the Northwest (which can always be shipped off to California or Las Vegas), we have the opportunity to become the “Appalachia” of the Industrial Revolution (i.e. coal) or the Texas/Oklahoma of the oil boom. But with an earth-friendly resource.

We have a base of technology employers (Boeing, Microsoft and others); with some help from our elected officials, we could draw manufacturing of solar/wind generation (G.E., Westinghouse and others).

As for the Avista increase, look no further than boardroom greed.

If we keep our minds open to all that wind, solar, and hydro and hydrogen production can offer, and the role our region and our children could have in this exciting 21st-century opportunity, what an amazing future we have.

Craig Everson

Newport, Wash.

Kudos to pilots

The May 14 Spokesman-Review was a great edition, in particular the articles about Nobel winner Archbishop Tutu, Columbia University janitor/student Gac Filipaj (Montenegro refugee) and the article about the Angel Flight pilots.

Unfortunately, you failed to report the names of the local pilots who have donated their time, aircraft and money for these “Mercy Flights.” They actually prefer anonymity. They consider it a privilege to participate, but I believe that they deserve to be recognized as some of our local heroes and “good will ambassadors,” and I feel privileged to know some of them: Bill Webber, Ric Webber, Paul Redmond, Dr. Terry Judge, Dale Bosworth and Tim Lewis. I hope I didn’t miss any.

Dave Hamer


Say no to coal

For too long we have let big business rule our lives, and transporting dirty coal through our state to sell in places like China is just another one of those instances. We need to say no to dirty coal. Whether the coal is burnt in our state, our country or in another country, we all share the same air.

If the air is polluted in one area in the world, all suffer the consequences. Also, if coal passes through Spokane on its way to terminals on the coast, Spokane will suffer doubly because the fine dust from the open cars will be spewed along the railroad route, making our air even dirtier.

I know on days that the pollution count is high in Spokane, I suffer along with others who have respiratory problems, so if we have an additional load on the air pollution, there will be more days that we suffer from a variety of respiratory ailments.

Say no to dirty coal and yes to green energy for Washington and our country.

Sue Orlowski


Executive branch too powerful

A word about the National Defense Authorization Act: In middle school, I was taught that there are three equal branches of federal government. I wonder if the Education Department will start informing our youngsters that the executive branch now holds all the cards.

It can imprison an American on American soil, without indictment, due process or sentence. Never mind a trial by jury. So much for judicial review and juries of peers. In a nutshell, NDAA can never be overturned because a judge or jury will never hear it. NDAA is here to stay. Sinister genius, you have to admit.

The legislative branch effectively nullified a block of its own powers by simple fact that it is Congress’ responsibility to make law, and now our elected legislators have no power to decide on what charges a person can be imprisoned. Congress has no real power when it comes to armed conflict, either. Congress and the judiciary now hold ceremonial roles.

The worst losers with NDAA are the people. Our greatest power, the jury, is no longer a right, and guaranteed. Woe to us as that loss inevitably extends to all proceedings.

We can now officially put a fork in the Constitution. Enjoy!

Kristopher Lummus

Naples, Idaho

All drivers were beginners

In her May 15 letter, Danielle Huffman proposed that the age of 16 is too young to drive, and that teens should not begin driving until 18 or 19. She cites a study that reports “the crash rate per mile … is twice as high for 16-year-olds than it is for 18- and 19-year-olds.”

Huffman then claims that “Driving takes diligence, concentration, skill and maturity. These skills do not come overnight, they take time to develop.”

With all due respect to Huffman, where does she propose we teens develop “diligence, concentration, skill and maturity”? The reason that 18-year-olds have fewer crashes is that they have been driving and thus possess those oh-so-desirable traits Huffman refers to.

If teens didn’t start driving until 18, their skill level would be equal to those who start at 16. The only way for teens to gain experience is through practice and more practice.

It’s the age-old dilemma: My mother won’t let me drive until I’m more experienced. But how can I get more experience when she won’t let me drive?

Chris Reichert


Obama endorsement great

On May 10, it was announced in The Spokesman-Review that President Barack Obama had decided to endorse gay marriage. Many people may say that it is against the Bible to accept same-sex relationships, but I think it is great!

Everyone deserves to live the way they want and to be happy, and if marrying someone of the same sex is what makes somebody happy, then they should have the chance to do that. The only difference between a heterosexual and homosexual relationship is the intimacy. I have a mom and a dad, and their intimate life is completely separated from my life and anyone else’s. Why should this be different with people who are gay?

We are all people and if someone claims that the Bible says it’s wrong or that God didn’t intend people to be that way, how are we to perceive Deuteronomy 14:8: “The pig is also unclean; although it has a split hoof, it does not chew the cud. You are not to eat their meat or touch their carcasses.”

Maybe we should outlaw eating pork before we outlaw gay marriage, because it’s obviously a sin.

Victoria Bjordahl


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