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Letters to the Editor

Tue., Nov. 5, 2013, midnight

Letters to the editor: Foley was accessible

In the articles by Jim Camden on former House Speaker Tom Foley, I notice one item that was not covered, and that was his accessibility to his constituents. One time, the industry in which I worked had an issue, and we asked for a meeting with Foley. He immediately made time for that meeting, and what a gracious and intelligent person he was. There was no hurry as he listened and took notes on our concerns.

Contrast that to the last few years when, with others, we’ve requested a meeting with our current congresswoman. We’ve considered ourselves lucky to have 30 minutes with her staff. And only under much pressure does she have a town hall meeting in Spokane. Guess that would be the difference between a statesman and a politician.

Stella McDonald


The Spokane County medical examiner’s disclosure of William Berger’s autopsy outcome (i.e. cause of death) is a classic case of restraint asphyxiation. Restraint asphyxiation (anoxia, and/or lack of oxygenation) is in the same classification that killed Otto Zehm.

Etiologically, shutting off the airway, whether it be a “choke-hold” or “lateral neck restraint,” in tandem with “positional asphyxiation” (i.e. William Berger’s body position on the ground), de-saturated Berger’s blood of oxygen; hence, cerebral and cardiac hypoxia/anoxia.

There are lessons to be learned here: This tragedy was 100 percent preventable, and there is training available on how to restrain and neutralize an agitated suspect without killing them. Why did Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich not heed lessons learned from the Otto Zehm tragedy?

Donald Winant


As recent examples attest, we live in a time when political comity and bipartisan collaboration are in short supply. In some political circles, bipartisanship and collaboration are now viewed as treasonous.

Now that he has announced his retirement, this Democrat can say without fear of repercussion that Rep. Larry Crouse is one of the most decent, honorable legislators I have had the pleasure to work with across the aisle in Olympia. Larry and I share little in terms of political views, but he possesses a humility and respect for thoughtful political dialogue that will be greatly missed.

As a freshman Democratic senator working on an energy bill, I recall Larry walking over to my office several times to give me some advice on how I might reach out to his caucus. On one occasion, he even walked me into a House Republican leadership meeting to make my case. It is this respect for a democratic process founded on reasoned debate and the best interests of the citizens that exemplifies Crouse’s legislative career. Plus, he’s a genuinely nice guy. The kind you wouldn’t mind having a beer with (if he drank).

Enjoy your retirement, Larry. You deserve it.

Chris Marr


Eastern Washington University’s board of trustees is considering switching from a quarter system to a semester system, with an estimated $7 million-plus price tag!

Washington State University considered the same change in reverse in recent years, and concluded that the benefits and drawbacks to making the change were not worth the time and huge financial costs. WSU concluded one system was as good as the other, and it was not worth paying millions of dollars to make a change that has no real net benefit.

EWU students, parents, alumni and citizens, please contact the board members and urge a no vote on changing to semesters! If EWU has extra millions of dollars that it doesn’t know what to do with, they should cut tuition rather than make an expensive and basically pointless change to semesters.

Please call the EWU trustees and ask them not to waste millions of dollars!

James Headley


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