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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Tuesday, June 2, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Letters To The Editor


Grandfather’s reaction unbelievable

I could not believe my eyes when I read your story on the reaction of the grandfather to the little girl who died (“Delays add to grief,” July 14).

Many people have to wait for laboratory and other test results over the weekend, since the facilities that perform them are closed. Talk about pure hell, while waiting for Monday to find out if your child or loved one has a life-threatening disease and how to proceed with treatments. People have to deal with this all the time.

I do not know nor have I had any dealings with the coroner, Dr. Dexter Amend, but it sounds like he tried to speed things up. Why is it his fault that there was nobody available to do an emergency autopsy, especially since Spokane Regional Health District epidemiologist Dr. Paul Stepak did not consider the situation for the general public an emergency?

Then there is finally the threat of a lawsuit by the grandfather. Isn’t it amazing how a few (or more) dollars will cool the “pure hell” he claims he experienced in Spokane? Elge E. Genther Nine Mile Falls

Tyson symbolizes larger problem

I am totally nauseated at the hyperbolized response to the Tyson-Holyfield bite incident by the public and the Nevada Boxing Commission.

Sure, Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear. So what? The man shows again that he’s an animal.

Has the public, in its pursuit of barbaric entertainment, forgotten that the man is a convicted rapist? Where was all the exaggerated concern when he committed that repugnant and evil-spirited crime?

Has the boxing commission, in its quest of the almighty dollar, somehow overlooked Tyson’s fall to the lowest level of humankind by the perpetration of such a foul crime?

Our society seems to have lost its humanity in the effectuation of barbarity masked as a sport. What will be next? Will we recruit prisoners, convicted of the most barbaric crimes, reduce their sentences and put them in the boxing ring for our blood lust and enjoyment? Ronald D. Stewart Cheney


Fund what you want to encourage

Re: “‘Just say no’ sex ed funds pose dilemma” (news, July 10):

Family planners (Planned Parenthood, Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States) have been at the public trough too long. Why squeal over a measly $50 million to teach abstinence for all 50 states annually? The misleading $250 million is for five years.

Let state health departments that don’t understand abstinence or have too much peer pressure from their contraceptive friends decline the funds. They can’t teach how to resist peer pressure anyway. Of the $400,000 spent on contraceptives, 42 percent goes to unmarried teens ($168,000) annually.

Sex education should happen in school. But they object, insisting on keeping their contraceptive advertising campaign in sex education classes. No formal abstinence training, only formal lessons on how to have sex using different devices. These greedy contraceptive providers can’t conceive of the notion that abstinence works. What are they afraid of? Reducing pressure for singles to have sex, fewer sexually transmitted diseases or lost funding?

What do we want more of: kids having kids or kids having self-control? Fund what you want to encourage. Quit squealing, or Congress should take away all your swill. Randy H. Benn Spokane


Keep fire fueled on tobacco issue

I enjoy The Spokesman-Review’s coverage on the tobacco issue. I hope you and the state of Washington keep fueling the fire.

It looks as though the politicians and lawyers are cutting a sweet deal for the tobacco companies. It looks good on paper but is actually easy for a $50-billion-a-year industry to handle.

I really don’t understand why anybody would defend the tobacco companies and blame the person they addicted with their product. They are being allowed to sell an addictive drug and will be until 2009. Why would anybody - politicians, lawyers, the general public - defend the selling of an addictive drug?

I hope Washington takes a much harder line than the rest of the country. I hope the state will not limit the tobacco companies’ liability. Do not protect them from lawsuits. Do not allow any nicotine products to be sold over the counter. I hope taxes on tobacco products of any kind will be quadruped. The extra tax money could be used for education and roads. Lloyd L. Zimmerman Spokane

Gulf veterans need more than thanks

As a Persian Gulf War veteran, I read the July 6 article concerning Ashton Satterlee’s pesticide poisoning with great interest. According to Dr. Howard Platter of the Spokane Veterans Affairs Hospital, many of the symptoms suffered by those who served in the Persian Gulf strongly parallel those of pesticide poisoning. This article supports Platter’s theory.

I was diagnosed with bronchial hyperactivity upon my discharge from the Marine Corps in January 1994. Since then, my lung problems have advanced to full-blown asthma and I also suffer from fibromyalgia, depression and chronic fatigue.

I am one of the lucky ones; I am receiving treatment from the VA and am currently rated as 60 percent disabled. Many other veterans are not being treated and have given up the fight to be treated for the illnesses caused by their military service.

Staff writer Karen Dorn Steele mentioned the danger of migrant workers who were exposed to these terrible pesticides. I remind the citizens of this area that the very people they thanked five years ago for fighting in the Gulf War now need more than thanks. They need treatment, compensation for their losses and retraining for work they can do within the limits of their disability. Wendy L. Hulings Cheney

Being alone traumatic in itself

Re: the Paul Sorensen airport incident (Spokesman-Review, July 15 and 17):

In addition to the obvious dangers of leaving a child unattended in a car, there is another issue that no one addressed. What about the child who wakes up to find herself alone in a car with no notion of where she is, how she got there and where her family might be? Time is meaningless to a small child alone under such circumstances, and whether the time was for the stated five minutes or the more likely 15-plus minutes, it would have seemed like forever.

I hope the child slept through the whole incident. Believe me, memories like that create demons a trip to Disneyland cannot erase. Marge M. Huntington Veradale

Safe alternatives available

Perhaps the next time Paul Sorensen takes a family trip, he will consider having a friend drop him off or use the airport shuttle and skycap services. This will make leaving his children unattended for any length of time unnecessary.

As for attorney John Lamp’s comment regarding Carol Brookshire, “I don’t know if she had a bad hair day or what.” That comment could help people decide which Spokane attorney they should not hire. Mary C. Austin Spokane

Unattended car could be menace

One important fact about the Paul Sorensen flap has been totally overlooked: security.

The no parking regulation is designed as an anti-terrorist tool. An unattended vehicle is favored as a way to deliver a bomb. But the baby? Next time, it might be a very realistic doll that appears to be a sleeping baby.

As a member of the flying public, I believe airport security should be ready to tow unattended vehicles right away. Is it going to take a tragedy here to shake us out of the small-town attitude? Lois J. Schulte Spokane

Curbside checking is the answer

Here’s a news flash for Paul Sorensen: There is a curbside baggage check-in.

It is very simple. Give the porter your tickets, your baggage and show him your picture. Go park your car. Round up your kids and go back to the porter. Retrieve your tickets with baggage claim tickets attached. Give the porter a couple of bucks. Go get boarding passes. Get on the plane. Voila! No embarrassment. Carole F. Bonvallet Spokane


Lack of common sense should be illegal

“… he often hears suspicious noises at night.” That was the most appalling part of the July 17 article, “Man shoots wife while sleeping.”

I am a registered gun owner, I have a concealed-weapon permit and I am a firm believer of people’s rights to bear arms. But Kenneth Hermsen should be put in jail. Period.

We have to have accountability here. He took the life of his wife Michelle, a young nurse and mother of 6. What else do the people at Clackamas County sheriff’s office need to file criminal charges?

Maybe I am being naive, but I think there ought to be a law for stupidity and utter lack of common sense. Our thoughts are with the children and grandchildren and we hope they can somehow survive the stupidity of their father. Frankly, his teary recount of his wife and what she meant to him only turns my stomach, for I don’t believe a man who has no common sense. Neither should his peers.

He may not be charged in a court of law, but he will have to find a way to look his family in the eyes. Bob Tadjalli Medical Lake

Statement all wrong

I just can’t stand it when someone makes a statement without any basis in fact, especially when it is wrong. Walter Becker (letters, July 16) wrote that the Supreme Court has “repeatedly ruled that the Second Amendment applies to the militia, not individuals.”

Over and over, starting with United States vs. Cruikshank in 1876 and most recently with United States vs. Verdugo-Urquirdez in 1990, the Supreme Court has stated just the opposite; that the Second Amendment applies to “the people.” In fact, in the first case cited, the court recognized that the right of the people to keep and bear arms was a right which existed prior to the Constitution. The Second Amendment guaranteed only that the right shall not be infringed by Congress.

I realize all of the anti-gun nuts out there wish that the Second Amendment didn’t exist, but you might as well accept it because fortunately it does. If all of the anti-gun nuts would focus their collective energy on the root causes of problems instead of trying to pass more useless legislation (Initiative 676) maybe some real improvements would be forthcoming. Mike R. Scalera Spokane


‘Adam’ comic violent entertainment

In Brian Basset’s “Adam” comic strip of July 14, Adam rejects a video game as being “way too violent” for his young son, but then selects a game for him called “Stealth Fighters Over Baghdad,” stating that it “looks pretty cool.”

It is difficult to imagine anything more violent than Stealth bombers over anywhere. Torture? The Holocaust? The fact that 1.9 Iraqi children die of starvation every hour? How about the fact that every two seconds a human being dies of starvation? (This statistic lends a whole new dimension to that three-minute microwave meal, doesn’t it?)

When such a violent and sick cartoon can be presented to any society as entertainment, that society is indeed horrifyingly violent and sick. Margaret E. Koivula Spokane

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