Arrow-right Camera

Community Bill of Rights back

Robbing Peter to pay Paul is what passes for environmental protection today, as highlighted in The Spokesman-Review Dec. 16 article “City hopes to extend sewage outflow deadline.”

In the early 1970s, the national goal was to eliminate pollutants, including raw sewage, from entering waterways like the Spokane River. What’s happened instead is continued degradation of the environment.

Our environmental protection efforts merely regulate our use of nature, such that we end up sacrificing one ecosystem for another. After 40 years of the Clean Water Act, things are in a horrible state today and projected to get even worse.

Only political will can break this dead-end cycle, the kind demonstrated in 2011 in Spokane when voters nearly adopted the Community Bill of Rights – Proposition 1. Prop. 1 recognized the river and aquifer’s right to exist and flourish free of harms like raw sewage, and empowered we, the people, to be their advocates.

We need a fundamental shift in how we protect the environment, not more pass-the-buck schemes. If you haven’t already signed the petition to put the Community Bill of Rights back on the ballot in 2013, please do so.

Kai Huschke



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.