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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Tuesday, October 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Letters To The Editor


Conversation misrepresented

Preparing for finals at Gonzaga University and The Spokesman-Review not being required reading, it was only today that I became aware of charges against me by Mrs. Thomas Moore. All are false. It is unconscionable that your paper would print such derogatory statements without calling me first.

I called the Moores with Tom’s resignation and knowing he had cancer. I did not know he was imminently terminal. During our conversation, Mrs. Moore told me Tom was comatose and dying, and the reason he switched parties was to ensure that Mike McDowell would get Tom’s assessor position.

She said McDowell had run the office for the past year, calling Tom at home for approval of important matters. Mrs. Moore said it was she, not Tom, who was angry with “his precious Democrats.” Apologizing, I attempted to end the conversation, saying I would issue a release about Tom’s party switch.

She asked me to wait until Wednesday because she wanted to keep Tom’s illness quiet and because she expected him to pass on by then. I agreed and asked if she would be willing to call me when Tom passed so I could notify Democratic Party members. She said no but that she would have McDowell call.

I did not harass Mrs. Moore for 20 minutes. She was grieving, hurting and angry, and she needed to vent. Considering her emotional distress, it is understandable she misconstrued or took out of context our conversation. Linda J. Payne Coeur d’Alene

Teachers, board giving their all

As parents of children in Coeur d’Alene schools and teachers of the district, we appreciate all of their teachers who have prepared our children so well for high school. We could name quite a few who have helped our children through life-changing learning.

We both take our teaching jobs very seriously and put our hearts and souls into each classroom. Parents we deal with have been very supportive.

It’s obvious there are some folks who spend a lot of their time thinking and criticizing all we have done and are trying to do with the kids. For those of you who have so much extra time and are so unhappy with the educational system in Coeur d’Alene, come into the classroom and work for a day or even an hour. Handle the stress, the special needs and in some cases the lack of help we receive from some homes, and then criticize us.

Currently, we have a board that is treating our teachers and administrators like the professionals we are. We applaud the job we are doing together! Anne M. & Carl A. Couser Coeur d’Alene

Fox fails English test

I was encouraged when I read the story about a press release issued by state Superintendent of Public Instruction Anne Fox (“North-South Notes,” April 5).

It seems as though Fox once again butchered accepted norms of English grammar, spelling or both while praising an initiative she was promoting. Was I encouraged about the condition of our public schools with Fox at the helm, you might ask?

No, not quite. I was encouraged at the prospect that Fox may no longer be allowed to re-enter Kootenai County under the terms of Commissioner Ron Rankin’s English-only edict.

By God, this man may be on to something after all! Michael R. Kennedy Coeur d’Alene

Tobacco story rehashed the obvious

Another one of your ridiculous headlines in The Spokesman-Review (“Industry debated tobacco ethics in 1978,” April 4).

Is that news, when it’s common knowledge that every second-grader and the whole world always knew that tobacco was bad for the health? Who didn’t know that its use was habit forming? So, what is the point, unless it is just trying to boost circulation by constantly agitating people against people? Is it any wonder that we have warfare in our schools and in our streets?

But as long as stirring up the races and classes pays off, the paper will continue to stir them. I hope it never gets to rock throwing and rubber bullets. George B. Valentine, Sr. Rathdrum, Idaho

Opt for sporting events over festival

Apparently, the Sandpoint City Council is going to renege again on a decision concerning The Festival at Sandpoint.

First, the council revised a decision that 1995 would be the last year for the festival at Memorial Field. It came up with a compromise giving the festival through 1997. Now, it has come up with yet another compromise, this one giving the festival until 2000 and beyond.

Within 10 years, sporting events will no longer be held at Memorial Field. It will be a permanent festival site. It also appears that the only way nearby residents or any other private citizen can get representation from the council is to take it to court. It has become very apparent that the council members will not stand by their decisions.

The council should concentrate on attracting regional sporting events, tournaments and such, to Memorial Field. It could do this by improving the grandstand and spectator facilities and by promoting it. The playing field is one of the best in the Northwest.

This would benefit Sandpoint’s economy much more than the festival does. There would be teams and spectators coming to Sandpoint for the competitions all summer long. This would mean many people staying in the Sandpoint area for possibly a week or more at a time, instead of just a few people staying overnight. It would virtually eliminate the problems created by the festival. A.B. Kellogg Sandpoint


Get serious about uninsured drivers

In the past two years, my family has had two vehicles trashed by uninsured drivers.

My son’s claim was refused because the owner’s insurance excluded anyone under 25 and the driver was a 20-year-old relative. I filed a claim against our insurer.

I don’t consider the other car insured as the coverage was null but the vehicle was on the road.

An uninsured motorist ran a yield sign and hit my husband’s 1996 pickup. The guy was arrested, but again, my insurance company must pay. We’re out a $100 deductible and use of the truck.

These are our first claims in 30 years of buying insurance. Neither was our fault. My company is great about this but its rates will reflect these claims in all future policyholders’ bills. Legal drivers all pay for the uninsured drivers.

Can’t something be done? When we license our cars each year, couldn’t we be required to send along a proofof-insurance card? Mortgage lien holders are notified if home insurance is canceled. Can’t the Department of Motor Vehicles set up a similar program?

Lenders require proof of insurance on financed vehicles. Paid-for, usually older, cheaper cars, easily sneak by without coverage. They tend to belong to people who can’t - or won’t - buy liability insurance. Thus, these drivers aren’t concerned with earning the gooddriver rates the rest of us strive for.

And, they meet their restitution obligations after causing an accident as well as they met their insurance obligations beforehand.

I’m tired of sharing the road with scofflaws and paying for their mistakes. Sharon Traber Nine Mile Falls

Hospice volunteers among the best

April 13-19 is National Volunteer Week. I write to thank some of the most dedicated volunteers in our community, those of Hospice of Spokane.

Most people know that Hospice provides a very special kind of care for terminally ill persons and their families. It’s less known that if it weren’t for volunteers, our hospice could not function. Even the federal government recognizes the importance of volunteers in the delivery of hospice care by requiring that Medicare-approved hospices utilize volunteers.

Hospice care is provided through an interdisciplinary, medically directed team. While our hospice employs paid professionals, we also rely on volunteers to provide assistance at all skill levels.

Nationally, about 100,000 people serve as hospice volunteers. Last year, they gave well over 5 million hours to serve terminally ill patients and families. Locally, more than 100 persons donated approximately 6,500 hours and saved clients and Hospice of Spokane over $50,000 in expenses for 1996.

No task is too big or too small for our volunteers. But often, the most important thing they can do is just be there for patients - to hold a hand, offer a smile or just listen. It’s not easy work but the personal rewards are enormous.

Our hospice is growing and more persons seek our help. We have a constant need for new volunteers.

Meanwhile, we should all be grateful to Hospice of Spokane volunteers for the wealth of time and compassion they give for the betterment of our community. Jim Edwards, director of volunteer services Hospice of Spokane

Rape victim’s story helpful

I commend staff writer Jamie Tobias Neely for her poignant and sensitively written article, “A survivor’s story” (IN Life, March 16).

As director of the Spokane Sexual Assault Center, I am aware of community attitudes that perpetuate myths and misconceptions about sexual assault. In this article, sexual assault survivor Julie Shiflett addresses several of these issues. I thank her for her courage and strength to speak out candidly.

First, it’s important for all of us to realize that rape is about power and control. Sexual violence is how the offender makes the victim feel humiliated and degraded. No one asks to be raped or deserves to be.

Secondly, sexual assault often has long-lasting effects on victims and family members. It’s important to realize that just because you can’t see the psychological wounds does not mean that the victim has recovered. Oftentimes, victims mask their pain because it’s too difficult to deal with. We must be respectful of how the victim copes with healing.

This heinous crime has no boundaries. Prevention efforts can empower us in dealing with this crime before it happens. With support, advocacy and treatment from trained professionals, we can make a difference by helping victims regain normalcy.

Help is available through the Spokane Sexual Assault Center. Victims of sexual violence can call our 24-hour crisis line, 624-RAPE. You are not alone. Susan Fabrikant, director Spokane Sexual Assault Center

Hold elections on April 15

With the approach and arrival of the April 15 income tax deadline, rushing to file our returns, we wonder at the bizarre nature of this income tax monstrosity.

This is the tax code that provides an earned income credit for poor folks without dependents - unless the taxpayer is under age 25.

This is the code that requires business vehicles, regardless of age or condition, to be depreciated over the same number of years - unless they’re used on an Indian reservation. This is the code that allows a shareholder to deduct the expenses of a proxy fight - unless done for personal reasons.

From age discrimination to racial prejudice (called preferences, I’m sure), to just plain silly, our tax code has it all. Why? Because we’ve made it more than just a tax system.

A senator put it best when he describes our tax philosophy as “don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax that fellow over by that tree.” Add the belief that the tax system should be used to promote good causes (translation: reward powerful interests), and punish wealth (unless from municipal bonds or government subsidies), and you begin to understand what it’s all about.

Every election, our leaders promise reform. Every year, they forget those promises. I have a suggestion. Since our indignation reaches its peak about this time each year, let’s schedule elections and tax day on the same day - and see if our leaders get the message. Jim Shamp Cheney

Wordcount: 1947
Tags: letters

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