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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Friday, June 5, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Letters To The Editor

SPOKANE MATTERS

Support Conservation Futures

Interactive editor Rebecca Nappi’s (July 21) editorial, “It takes faith to turn notions into reality,” speaks to this community’s ability “to get things done.” Joe Custer and Denny Ashlock’s vision, the Centennial Trail, stands out as one of those dreams come true.

Now, another opportunity to benefit our community is at hand. This Sept. 16, Spokane County voters will be asked to continue the Conservation Futures program that is now in its fourth year. This program allows our community to set aside agricultural lands, forest producing lands, open spaces and lands that have significant recreational, scenic, social or aesthetic value. Lands nominated for the program must be purchased at fair market value from willing sellers.

Five such parcels have been acquired since the inception of Conservation Futures. These lands provide improved air and water quality for our citizens. As well, they ensure the continued special quality of life that we all enjoy in our town and the surrounding communities of Spokane County.

We have the opportunity to leave a legacy, not only for us but also for those who will follow us. All of this is available for just $6 a year for the average household. Mark Sept. 16 on your calendar. Robbi G. Castleberry Spokane

Program helpful today, for future

Your July 27 editorial about Spokane Horizons and its vision for Spokane’s future was refreshing. Spokane residents do enjoy their trees, parks and open spaces.

On Sept. 16, we have a unique opportunity to add to those parks and open spaces by voting “yes” to extend the Conservation Futures program. This program costs the small amount of 6 cents per $1,000 of property value, or $6 per $100,000.

Benefits we receive are large, such as the 1-1/2 miles of shoreline on Long Lake, the 87 acres of old-growth cedars next to Liberty Lake Park, the eight acres next to Palisades Park in the Rimrock area and the 2.2-acre site once occupied by Riverpark Convalescent Center along the Spokane River.

In addition, any city or county resident can nominate a property for the Conservation Futures program. As we plan for the future, let’s maintain our quality of life by continuing this program. Beverley L. Keating Spokane

Golf event a mixed bag

Congratulations, Indian Canyon! Your efforts in 1996, when Gary Player came to town, really were missed at this year’s event. Unless you held a VIP pass at Qualchan, you could forget eating, sitting and escaping the heat on a very warm day.

What were this year’s organizers thinking? You restricted the restaurant and clubhouse outside deck to VIP ticket holders. People would have loved to have sat a spell in the cool of that room and to have purchased a meal, like we did at Indian Canyon. Instead, we stood on a patio in 94-degree heat and went through a small table set-up to obtain water or any other beverages or snacks.

Why your volunteers were allowed special privileges that the folks who spent $20 a head didn’t get and had no opportunity to acquire is a mystery. A public golf course should be open to the public, even under the special circumstances of the PGA Senior Tour.

KHQ-TV also could pay a little more attention to its public address system. Last year at Indian Canyon, it didn’t work for Gary Player and, at first, it appeared that this year was going to be a repeat performance.

Lee Trevino and the other professionals put on a great show, workshop and shootout. A big thank-you to Tidyman’s and Spokane Transit Authority for the fine work they did in providing parking and transportation for all the spectators. Thank goodness we didn’t need VIP passes for that and the buses didn’t break down. Lyle M. Carstens Spokane

SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION

Basics, not more money, for schools

Parents will be able to tell it’s springtime again next year when their children begin campaigning for the passing of a $70 million bond issue for (District 81) school improvements.

Before you jump on this bandwagon to save our children, consider what our public schools are doing for our children. Then consider the fact that the schools are responsible for more than 50 percent of your current property tax bill and that the schools supposedly are getting a major windfall in revenue from the state lottery.

Don’t forget the significant amount of your tax dollars that the federal government is pumping into District 81. And now it wants more!

Should the district get it, or should it forget this game it is playing with our children and get back to the basics of education? Basics worked in the past and will work in the future. Ask yourself, “How much more can I pay in taxes? What’s the priority? What can I do about it?” John J. Talbott Spokane

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Bicyclists don’t belong on car roads

Despite all the benefits of bicycling, bicyclists simply do not belong on the same pathway as 4,000-pound automobiles. The 12 mph to 15 mph speed of a leg-powered vehicle only impedes the traffic flow of vehicles moving at 30 mph or faster.

If another auto were impeding or disrupting the flow of traffic in this way, the driver would be ticketed. Even motorcycles, which are big losers in car-cycle accidents, are capable of keeping pace with the flow of traffic. If you ask those involved in car-cycle accidents, you will often hear the driver say, “I just didn’t see him.”

Our nation moves by automobile, not bicycle. This is not Southeast Asia. Until bike lanes are a fact of life, anyone who rides a bike on the busy streets of Spokane is putting him- or herself at risk. It’s just that simple.

It’s not just the automobile drivers who are sometimes rude to bicyclists. Over the years, I have encountered many bicyclists who did not follow the rules of the road and ride in a bulletproof manner. Mike D. McMorris Spokane

Deal fails to ruin tobacco industry

The Washington state Investment Board’s decision to keep tobacco stocks in its investment portfolio is yet another indication that the settlement crafted by state attorneys general and the major U.S. tobacco companies is not the “bitter pill” for the industry that negotiators have suggested.

We had Big Tobacco on the ropes, but the settlement, if approved as is by Congress, promises the industry a secure and profitable future.

The state Investment Board considered divestiture of this stock because tobacco looked like a risky investment - the industry was in trouble on a number of fronts. The proposed settlement turned that around by giving the tobacco companies the certainty they need to survive and thrive.

If the board believes the stated goals of the settlement, tobacco would be a bad investment. One of the goals is to reduce underage smoking by more than 60 percent. The only way this industry can continue to remain profitable - thereby returning money to the state’s investment - is to addict new smokers. And virtually all new smokers are adolescents. Whether those kids are here or abroad, if the industry succeeds, it does so by addicting millions of young people to tobacco.

The American Lung Association of Washington supports the alternative to the settlement proposed by former Food and Drug Administration Chief Dr. David Kessler and former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop. The Koop-Kessler plan offers a comprehensive national tobacco policy that is based purely on protecting public health. The tobacco industry’s demands and guaranteed survival are not taken into consideration. Astrid Berg, executive director American Lung Association of Washington, Seattle

Free resource for stuttering help

We applaud Michelle Nicolosi’s July 9 article, “Drug helps stutterers reduce stammering,” and your efforts to shed some light on this complex disorder affecting more than 3 million Americans.

However, your readers should also know how to contact the excellent nonprofit source of help, the 50-year-old Stuttering Foundation of America, which was mentioned in the article on the anti-psychotic agent Risperdal. Readers should also keep in mind that no drug is without side effects.

We provide a nationwide referral list, videotapes, free brochures and accurate information on stuttering written by the leading authorities in the field of speech and language pathology.

For more information, offered free of charge, readers may write us at P.O. Box 11749, Memphis, Tenn. 38111-0749; send e-mail to stutters@aol.com or call our toll-free hotline 1-800-992-9392. Jane Fraser, president Stuttering Foundation of America, Memphis, Tenn.

SUICIDE

It’s a weakness and sinful

Have we become so accustomed to sin that we overlook suicide as one of the most heinous crimes against God and man?

How can anyone esteem as a paragon or even admire as a man of strength someone so weak that he plays God by terminating his own life? If he truly was a great man, then it was murder. E.L. Ripple Spokane

It’s a matter of personal choice

While there has been speculation as to why Carl Maxey committed suicide, I have not heard nor seen the following reason given. After several years fighting the good fight, he was tired and chose to hang up the gloves. This decision was for him to make.

When my time comes to exit, I plan to take my life, but with this exception. Prior to my demise, I will discuss my choice with loved ones and have those who desire to be present at my death do so.

There will be a few, but having room will not be a problem. Bruce C. Harding Pullman

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