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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Chenoweth Condemns Bombing After Putting Foot In Mouth

Strangely, Aryan Nations leader Richard Butler denounced the Oklahoma City bombing with more fervor than did U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth, R-Idaho. At first, that is. Said the reverend: “We can’t go around bombing people and win.” Butler added that his troops “engage in the hearts and minds of our people” - not warfare. (Hmmmm. Apparently, he’s forgotten that his compound was a spawning ground for The Order and Bruder Schweigen Strike Force II.) Meanwhile, Chenoweth initially was lukewarm in her denunciation: “While we can never condone this, we still must begin to look at the public policies that may be pushing people too far.” Huh? Later, she clarified herself, stating properly that the bombing “was not politics - it was murder.” Open mouth, extract foot.

Board of Education: Any teacher OK for Idaho

Score another one for the dumbing-down process: The Idaho Board of Education has dropped the National Teacher Examination as a measure of teaching competence. Apparently, too many minority candidates were failing the test - 80 percent, according to a very crude estimate based on last names. Critics say those numbers reflect on the test-maker, not the test-taker. Oh, please. This is exactly the kind of nonsense that has affirmative action policies in trouble today. Poorer teachers mean poorer students. That’s as simple as one plus one equals two.

Colorless Hassell deserves raise

Coeur d’Alene Mayor Al Hassell is about as colorful as tapioca pudding - unlike his predecessor, the fiery Ray Stone. No flash. All substance. Sometimes, Hassell works 50 hours a week on city business for his measly $800 monthly pay. That’s not right. He deserves a raise, possibly double his current salary. That level of pay would attract quality candidates but wouldn’t be enough for someone who simply wants a job. Council members probably deserve a raise, too. But their current pay is more in line with other cities of similar size.

BLM wisely seeks Blackwell compromise

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management deserves kudos for trying to accommodate conflicting opinion on Blackwell Island development. Some want the island left in its natural state; others want the public land developed. The BLM wisely has sought middle ground, adopting plans for a major boat launch while scratching a second launch and overnight camping. BLM officials also plan to build a nature trail. The agency will allow a 30-day comment period beginning sometime in June before plans are finalized. But the agency is headed in the right direction.