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Matter of Opinion archive for June 2008

MONDAY, JUNE 30, 2008

The 1970s: We were richer then?

(The cast of The Brady Bunch is shown in this 1975 AP file photo)From a Sunday column by Robyn Blumner:The work of Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren indicates there is a coming collapse of the middle class. Warren compares the median American family of 1970...

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Loose Thread Monday

(A jogger runs into the sunset along High Drive. S-R Archive photo by Christopher Anderson.)When you move away,you see how much depends on the pace of the days—how much depended on the haze we waded through each summer, visible heat, wavy and discursive as the...

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Our Saturday view

Saturday's editorial called for an update of the 1872 mining act, which is virtually the same as it was in that year, over 13 decades ago.Times have definitely changed, and while mining isn't dead, it needs to learn to share space with equally important uses...

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FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008

Letter: Is art worth it?

The picture of the Olympic Sculpture Park on the Seattle waterfront (Sunday Outdoors and Travel section) blows my mind. What am I looking at? Is it a gigantic waste of money called "art"? Is it an example of West-Side excess that should have been devoted...

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The Drive to Live

Got a link to a video of a man dying of ALS (Lou Gering's disease) who has spoken out against a proposed intiative in Washington state that would allow people with terminal illnesses to end their lives with prescription drugs. The initiative might be on...

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Our view: Guild vote good start

In today's editorial, we have commendations and concerns for the police ombudsman plan, which now goes to the City Council for consideration. Considering Spokane's history of failed police oversight plans, this is definitely a good start. We hope the Police Guild's excessive power in the...

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Exxon-Valdez: 19 years later

The Supreme Court just drastically cut the punitive damages for the 1989 Exxon-Valdez disaster off the Alaska coast. Story here.I don't imagine this ruling will be popular with the people, many of whom are already angry at oil companies for the exponential growth in gas...

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Our view: New laws in our best interest

Today's editorial alerts dishwasher owners and mobile-phone-using drivers that their habits are going to have to change, by law, starting July 1. To the complainers we say drivers' safety and a clean river are worth forgoing that phone conversation and using your favorite detergent.What do...

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TUESDAY, JUNE 24, 2008

Letter: Transportation values

Thursday, June 19, a headline on the Spokesman's front page proclaimed, "Americans rein in road time." Inside, the editorial exhorted Idaho to spend money on highways. A disconnect? Old thinking?Idaho's transportation department (ITD) does not invest in meaningful bicycle, pedestrian and transit infrastructure. Unfortunately, its...

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Loose thread Tuesday

The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may...

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MONDAY, JUNE 23, 2008

Pew Religion Study: Part II

(Steve Carell, left, plays Evan Baxter, who's appointed by God, played by Morgan Freeman, in "Evan Almighty" to build an Ark. AP Photo)The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released today the second part of its U.S. Religious Landscape Survey.Some highlights, reported on Pew's...

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The Big ... Knitting Factory

Through the office window I watched workers take down the sign above the entrance to the Big Easy on Friday -- now I'm watching them install a new one which renames the concert house "The Knitting Factory." Speaking of knitting, here is your Monday loose...

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FRIDAY, JUNE 20, 2008

The Nature of Evil

(Photo of Charles William Smith courtesy of Benewah County Sheriff's Office)When I read the horrific story of the abuse of 3-year-old Kyra Wine of St. Maries, I wondered once again about the nature of evil.As our story reported today, "Benewah County sheriff's deputies found the...

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We have miles to go

It wasn't planned that way, but today's front-page story about gas-saving driving practices has a direct tie-in to today's editorial, "Going the distance."As motorists drive less, they pay fewer gasoline taxes, making it harder for local, state and federal governments to build and maintain roads...

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Wrong number courtesy

Earlier this afternoon, I dialed a number I thought belonged to an economist and though his answering voice message was brief at the other end (no identifying characteristics), I left a message, explaining the information I needed for an editorial.About 10 minutes ago, a kind...

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Boeing Boeing

The Government Accountability Office has called on the Air Force to reopen the bid process by which a combine involving Northrop Grumman and the French aircraft maker Airbus to build the U.S. next refueling tanker. Here's a news release from GAO.Washington (state) officials are delighted....

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TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2008

Do you care?

The state Department of Health will hold two hearings next week in Spokane County to hear community feelings about the prospective sale of Deaconess Medical Center and Valley Hospital and Medical Center. The department is to make a decision this fall as whether to approve...

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Letters: Gas shortage

Excerpts from two letters that ran today:Oil production has peaked for dozens of nations in the last decade (U.S. production peaked in 1971), while global demand continues to rise. It's simply supply and demand. If the American public wants somebody to blame for the current...

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MONDAY, JUNE 16, 2008

The drum beats a little quicker

In California today, the first same-sex marriages were to take place since the state Supreme Court held that limiting marriage to man-woman combinations was unconstitutional. In San Francisco, a long-lasting lesbian couple, now in their 80s reportedly were to be first.All this activity is said...

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Natives and Newcomers: Join the Dialogue

(Photo by Brian Plonka/S-R)We launched our Natives and Newcomers Dialogues Sunday. We see it as a way for readers to eavesdrop on some of the conversations we've been hearing about the future of Spokane. It's an exciting time.Bill Simer -- a shareholder in the Spokane-based...

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SUNDAY, JUNE 15, 2008

Sunday's editorials

Squabbling between the city of Spokane and Spokane County is no way to resolve annexation questions. For the region's sake more cooperation is needed, as "Mayor on right tract" notes.Meanwhile, "A new Spokane story" observes that a second-class attitude that has hampered Spokane for years...

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FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2008

"I Knew I Was Different"

Hope everyone out there had a chance to read a beautifully written guest column on today's letters pages by Phillip Brock, administrator of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane.It's about his journey as a gay man growing up with the knowledge he was different. It...

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And when they get behind closed doors ...

Executive sessions are fine. Check that, legal executive sessions are fine. So how do we know they're legal? Well, they could be recorded and if a judge were persuaded that a violation occurred, then the veil could be lifted.But most government leaders dislike that bit...

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Letter: School lunches

(...) Several years ago, I was a school administrator when the head of food service contacted me. Her job was to have families prove their income in order to have their children stay in the program. The results shocked me. Three families were checked at...

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A Matter of Opinion is really a matter of three opinions – those held by the people responsible for the opinion pages of The Spokesman-Review. Check in regularly to find out what they’re up to, what they think and where they differ and to joust with them if you want.

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