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Saturday, August 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Down To Earth

Another Green Monday

Every now and then Spokane City Council chambers resemble a circus. The scary kind with delusions of civic fascism about sustainability and local news making pretensions by tactical citizens. (Congrats!) “Make the hard decisions you were elected to make. Don’t make the equivalent decision of negotiating with Hitler,” said Spokane Valley resident Grant Rodkey at the testimony for Envision Spokane’s Community Bill Of Rights initiative because, as you presumably learned in elementary history, that one angry German dude was all about keeping water quality sufficient to sustain wild plants and animals. Uh-huh.

Luckily, we have The Spovangelist to lighten up the proceedings. The blog has properly created a cliff notes report for last Monday. Read at your own risk. Still, controversy surrounding the initiative is misguided; neighborhood rule is even rooted in conservatism. And the notion of an economic cataclysm or a “Soviet Spokane” will emerge if the bills passes is absurd; we read it as sensible growth. Similar to the Sustainability Action Plan, the dialogue has brought front and center the way Spokane can be disconnected from big picture thinking in terms of environment and economy. In regards to Mr. Rodkey’s comments, this point hits home where Spokane has outsourced its growth to the cul-de-sacking of the Valley.

This should be a wake-up call for local environmentalists to come together before the November 3rd general election. A Spokesman editorial hinted at the “vigorous debate” between now and then. But we always encourage the voices out there skeptical of environmental solutions and community innovations that we so passionately believe would help us all live together more happily and effectively in an increasingly crowded and challenging planet to keep speaking up. You'll make news at the Down To Earth blog, no need to thank us.

Environmentalists that are NIMBY's - not in our defintion.  Excuse us while we pick on Seattle a little here (which may be a theme this week)  but an interesting article on the Seattle PI last week explored the question, "Can you be an envrionmentalist and a NIMBY?", by looking at the attiutudes of so-called environmentalists who talk about stopping urban sprawl and the eco dangers that exist because of, but who want nothing to do with density when it's in their neighborhood.  For instance Ballard - where the writer reminds people, "real cities are hard to park in," when advocating for denser housing. It's a fascinating look at growth, sprawl and when believing in one thing clashes with actually believing in one thing - read more from the PI HERE, and for the inspiration of this article, check out this article on the same issue from the East Bay Express HERE. 

Friends of the fish? The proposed Spokane River whitewater park hit a hurdle after city officials said a study will be required on the impact of the redband trout population. Friends of the Falls, who are leading the project, hope to start construction next year near the Sandifur Bridge. “It was not expected by us, said Steven Faust, the Friends of the Falls executive director, in the S-R. We are trying to learn more about it.” Read HERE.

As American as apple pie.  Who out there doesn't enjoy pulling the old Buick into the driveway and splashing soapy water all over it on a hot weekend afternoon?  Well Mother Nature for one, as all of that runoff from your car washing adventure, with its soap, grime and metals from the car, are reaching rivers and streams and harming the fish and other aquatic life in them.  Here in Washington, officials are considering numerous ways to deal with this - right now education and awareness is the leading strategy.  The EPA is urging people to keep soapy wash water out of storm drains and telling residents to either take their car to the carwash, or wash the car over gravel or grass to filter the dirty water.  Read more HERE.  

Walter Cronkite, R.I.P.

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Down To Earth

The DTE blog is committed to reporting and sharing environmental news and sustainability information from across the Inland Northwest.