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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Monday, December 16, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Guest Opinions

Rep. Julianne Young: Public deserves more than half-truths

When issues of importance are on the line, the people deserve more than misleading half-truths. A recent article published by the Associated Press regarding changes to the sex identifier on Idaho birth certificates deserves clarification. This article fails to accurately represent the federal court ruling in F.V. v. Barron. It implies that Idaho was mandated to allow individuals to change the sex on their birth certificate and hints that even the requirement for a minor to have a signature from a professional before changing the sex identifier runs counter to this ruling. All rolled together, this paints a picture of helplessness on the part of state agents responsible for initiating these changes and allows them to conveniently sidestep public objections. This is unacceptable.

Mariya Frost: The gas tax, not car tabs, fund the North-South Freeway, so why is the project being halted?

The Washington State Department of Transportation, under the direction of Gov. Jay Inslee, has released a list of transportation projects that would be deferred due to the recent passage of Initiative 976, which reduces or eliminates car tabs. Surprisingly, the long-awaited North Spokane Corridor (NSC) project, also called the North-South Freeway, which has been promised to voters for decades and was fully funded in the 2015 Connecting Washington transportation package, was on that list. Though it may be easy and convenient to pin the blame on the car tab-cutting initiative, the deferral list is ultimately a product of political choice. State DOT Secretary Roger Millar, under the direction of the Governor, states in a November 26th letter that the purpose of delaying projects that are not yet underway is to provide “the Governor and Legislature more funding flexibility” as they tackle the transportation budget during the upcoming 2020 legislative session. This includes projects that were funded by the 11.9 cent gas tax increase that passed as a part of Connecting Washington – projects like the North Spokane Corridor construction of new lanes between Sprague Ave. and the Spokane River. Some have said that the deferral list includes projects like the North-South Freeway because it is funded by Connecting Washington funds, which included other car taxes and fees. While it’s true that the Connecting Washington package included other increases in taxes and fees, WSDOT confirms that the North-South Freeway is funded solely by the gas tax increase.

Leah Jones: Invest in our kids. They’re worth it

The Invest in Idaho citizen ballot initiative is about investing in our children and the future of our state. A generation of kids has already been left behind. We can’t afford to saddle the next generation with the same problems.

Guest Opinion: Illness from vaping too serious to ignore

Since the first cases of what is now called EVALI (e-cigarette and vaping-related lung injury) were reported in April 2019, more than 2,200 individuals have been sickened, most hospitalized, and more than 40 have died. A 17-year-old underwent a double-lung transplant; the surgeon, with more than 20 years of experience, was quoted by the Detroit News as saying the inflammation and scarring on the boy’s lungs were “… nothing that I have ever seen … It was an evil that I hadn’t faced before.”

Vicky Rosier: Proposals would hurt Spokane’s market

Spokane continues to see record population growth and there aren’t enough rental homes for everyone who needs one. In the last 10 years, 13,000 new residents called Spokane home. That’s an increase of over 6%.

Read more guest opinions »

Michael Ramirez

Syndicated Columns & Other Voices

Hugh Hewitt: Barr’s outrage at FBI warranted

When Attorney General William Barr sat down Tuesday for interviews with NBC News’ Pete Williams and the Wall Street Journal’s Gerard Baker, the attorney general’s argument was not with Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the origins of the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Barr emphasized that he did not disagree with Horowitz’s conclusions, though he deems them incomplete. The inspector general, he noted, faced limits on the scope of his authorities and on the investigatory tools at his disposal. Barr instead turned his attention to the media coverage of “Russiagate.” His criticisms were withering. And deserved.

Dana Milbank: The truth finally gains ground

The ceremonial Rayburn Room just off the House floor has twin chandeliers, twin fireplaces with twin mantels, twin mirrors and twin sets of candlesticks, and twin urns in twin niches. And it was here that Democrats on Tuesday unveiled their twin articles of impeachment: Abuse and Obstruction. Plain and Simple.


Trump pardons war criminals

Just before Thanksgiving our commander in chief pardoned four turkeys: three suspected war criminals and an innocent. Sadly, the innocent was probably slaughtered and plucked as soon as the cameras went dark. The other three, accused murderers who acted so heinously their own military squads turned them in, are now free to dishonor our armed services and provide walking, talking proof that America does not abide by the Geneva Convention.

Look directly to federal laws

I am not an attorney, but may I suggest that readers put aside politics and view the impeachment proceedings as whether or not the president broke federal law.

Stereotyping sports

Three weeks ago, Canadian hockey broadcaster, Don Cherry, was fired after a racist rant. Just recently, a San Fransico 49ers broadcaster was also suspended for allegedly making a racial comment towards the Baltimore Ravens Quarterback. After Don Cherry's firing, many people shared comments regarding who supports or plays these sports.

Birds need our action

You've seen the headlines: Domestic cats kill between one and four billion birds a year in the lower 48 states. Collisions with buildings and wind turbines claim millions more. Three billion birds lost in one generation. According to a recent National Audubon Society scientific study, two-thirds of North American bird species are at risk of extinction from our changing climate. Human actions are taking their toll on our treasured birdlife. Birds reflect the health of the places where we live and they are telling us we must act.

The Komodo dragon bite

The Komodo dragon is a real, actual living monster on Earth. It can grow up to 10 feet long, and weigh over 300 pounds. It can run up to 11 mph. It eats meat. It picks on large animals.

To each their own tool box

We all have a tool box that consists of everything we've observed and learned in our lives. Our tool box is based on our environment, our knowledge, our upbringing, our education and even our indoctrination. Those who continue to base their beliefs and "truths" on false sources continue to spew out these false narratives to family and friends, never realizing that what they are spreading is toxic to society and to this world.