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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Saturday, May 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Letters To The Editor


Editorial clear on what we’re doing

I appreciate Opinion Editor John Webster’s March 8 editorial, “Solid proposition deserves approval.”

Webster’s comments provided needed balance, especially after Spokesman-Review staff writer Craig Welch had erroneously written that I siphoned transportation money away from Spokane’s proposed North-South freeway for new Puget Sound ferries.

Welch ignored the facts and instead wrote an article which encouraged regional warfare over transportation funding. I had asked him not to pit the ferries against Spokane because it wasn’t true and did a disservice to everyone.

We’ve worked to address all the needs statewide - urban congestion, farming roads, ferry transportation, freight movement and economic development to entice new business or allow existing businesses to expand. Ferry routes are our I-90. We must fix both as well as the regional needs across the state.

Webster’s editorial highlighted what Welch omitted - that Spokane will receive millions of dollars to address its needs. In Webster’s words, “Consider the outcome for Spokane. It’s huge.”

We are committed to finding long-term solutions for projects like the $2 billion North-South freeway. We have also provided funds to all major Spokane corridors including the North-South freeway, the proposed beltway and major I-90 congestion relief projects.

I’m glad Webster took the high road on this issue. He recognized our plan for what it is: a fair and balanced approach that will, with the voters’ approval this fall, address the most critical transportation needs in our state - Spokane’s included. Rep. Karen Schmidt, chairwoman House Transportation Committee, Bainbridge Island


Beware of anti-gun propaganda

Re: “When it comes to guns, consumers beware” (Feb. 2). I realize this article originated with the Los Angeles Times, but since you printed it I wonder whether you approve of firearms being including under Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations. I disagree and believe this idea is another attempt by outfits like Handgun Control Inc. of Washington, D.C., to deprive Americans of legitimate firearms ownership.

No one has any excuse for being ignorant of established rules when owning or using firearms. For more than 130 years, the National Rifle Association has offered lessons on safe use and storage. Some firearms manufacturers, dealers, shooting ranges, police associations, sportsmen’s clubs, high schools, colleges, Scout troops and federal agencies have provided such training. We can look in the Yellow Pages, contact any of them, ask questions and start learning. Guns in a home are the responsibility of the owner and his family, not the state.

Law-abiding, intelligent gun owners resent being lumped with the careless ones who blame everyone but themselves when tragedy occurs. Anti-gun and antigunowner attitudes and the harassment that go with them must cease. Our Second Amendment liberty must continue as a guarantee, as must the four liberties in the First Amendment and those in the remainder of the Bill of Rights, dating from 1791. Lillian O. Forster Spokane

Eddie Eagle program dangerous hype

In “Readers favor NRA program for preventing gun violence” (Bagpipes, Feb. 5), interactive editor Doug Floyd cites the Eddie Eagle “gun safety” program. Our recently released study, “Joe Camel with Feathers,” details how the National Rifle Association, with its Eddie Eagle program, is following a trail blazed by the tobacco industry.

Concerned parents should not take at face value NRA claims that the program protects children. Like the tobacco industry’s Joe Camel, Eddie Eagle is designed to put a friendly, “cool” face on a dangerous product. By leaving out the safety risks and portraying guns as an adult custom, Eddie Eagle actually strengthens the appeal of guns as a marker of maturity. Effective public safety warnings must warn of the risks, i.e. cigarettes cause cancer. Eddie Eagle never warns of what can happen if you disobey his alleged safety chant. Such an approach would run the risk of harming the NRA and the gun industry’s future customer base. Studies show that future shooters must start by their teens or they’ll be lost to the industry forever.

Eddie Eagle’s funding source is the NRA Foundation, which in 1994 and 1995 alone received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the gun industry. As an article handed out as a promotional flyer by the NRA Foundation succinctly puts it, the NRA Foundation “is a mechanism by which the firearms industry can promote shooting sports education, cultivating the next generation of shooters.” Translate that to future customers.

The reality is that Eddie Eagle is not a gun safety mascot but a gun industry salesman. Josh Sugarmann, executive director Violence Policy Center, Washington, D.C.


Phone companies seeking Net gains

A proposal has been placed quietly before the Federal Communications Commission that would allow telephone companies to charge for every minute spent on-line. This charge would be in addition to the monthly fee paid to the Internet service provider.

There is much more at stake here than just cyber-chatting with little Johnny in Alaska. Marshall McLuhan wrote, “World War III will be a guerrilla information war, fought by the military and civilians alike.” If access to the information on the Internet becomes prohibitively expensive, the war will already have been lost, and the Internet will be nothing more than another toy for the rich. Margaret E. Koivula Spokane

Know your rights to not be bothered

Donna Butterfield (March 10) defends the telemarketing industry by saying that she only intrudes on our privacy while representing Fortune 500 companies. She goes on to justify her actions by insisting they are “just trying to do our job and earn a living, the same as you.”

Drug dealers, pimps and prostitutes can say pretty much the same thing about trying to earn a living, and they don’t interrupt my dinner hour. Yes, there is a difference, as Butterfield’s business is still legal, but you can change that quickly enough for yourselves by using existing federal law.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)(Title 47, U.S. Code) allows you to demand that you be placed on her company’s “do not call” list. They must maintain this list and honor your demand pursuant to federal law. Subsequent phone calls by that firm are violations and may result in civil penalties of $500 per violation.

If most of us would take advantage of this law and stop allowing these people to call us, they would be forced into other ways to earn a living. You may also demand under federal law that they send you a copy of their written donot-call policy and they must comply. Remember this on every call, and you can feel good that you are creating gainful employment for telemarketers while generating extra revenue for your Postal Service at the same time. Dennis G. Vick Spokane

All types of nurse should be united

As an employee of Sacred Heart over the past 12 years, I have built many friendships and I’m surrounded with upstanding co-workers.

I enjoy my job as a licensed practical nurse and am proud of the positive attitude reflected throughout the medical center. All disciplines, nursing to pharmacy, lab, food services, housekeeping and many others just as important support staff work as a team and benefit the patient. The registered nurse is a huge part of this team system.

I respect and admire the RNs and know how hard all disciplines of nursing work. I know the RNs aren’t out to demoralize any of the care givers. The point is, stretching RNs out with acutely sick patients to the point of making him or her feel unsafe. The issue is not that nurses’ aides or LPNs are not good enough. The RN, like all health care workers, has ethical and moral values to uphold.

Let’s stand up for each other and not let administration, with their designer suits and color coordinated apparel, draw us against one another. After all this is over, we’ll still be working side by side and administration people will still be unseen in their offices, sipping lattes and planning company-funded retreats. I support the RNs. Pam J. Cook, L.P.N. Newman Lake


Language barrier at work

There seems to be a belief among supporters of creationism that an open debate between creationists and evolutionists should be staged. I suppose the idea is that a debate would produce a glorious victor, finally settling the issue. Although this is a nice thought, it just wouldn’t work.

The reason is simple: both sides speak a completely different language. Creationists speak the language of faith, a difficult language to master and easily lost if not constantly practiced. Evolutionists (and all other scientists) speak the language of the scientific method. It’s also a difficult language to master and can become garbled sometimes by a scientist’s personal biases. Each of these languages is, in its own right, valid and important. But we must remember they are very different from each other, and you can’t argue with someone if you don’t speak their language. Seth D. Brewington Spokane

Yes, let both sides be considered

Amongst the many letters regarding creation vs. evolution, one writer a high school student, no less demonstrated uncommon good sense. The student said, “We need to hear both sides of the story.”

Go to the head of the class!

Allowing only one viewpoint to be presented may be acceptable to Marxists and liberals but it’s not the American way. Students need to be told that there are several theories about the origin of life, not just evolution theory. Curtis E. Stone Colville, Wash.

Don’t allow evolution monopoly

A system which does not allow any competition is a monopoly. Evolution must not become a monopoly in the school system.

If the idea of creationism scares people because it is “religious” or talks about God, these people themselves are denying their children the right to hear both sides of an argument.

Children are the juries of life because they will be the next generation of leaders. If they do not see the entire trial that is going on, their parents, who did not allow creation a fair hearing, will be called biased and stubborn.

As for creation only existing “in the ambiance of religious faith, i.e. a belief that does not rest on logic or on evidence,” any human being who can judge any knowledge for itself can see there is evidence. See it, that is, if any such person were to listen to the evidence Christian Scientists are trying to display. Give them a chance, they might surprise you. Thomas D. Bechard Spokane


Singer was well worth telling about

Kudos to Kent Leach (Letters, March 12) for chastising The Spokesman-Review for not covering the awesome performance given by Jillian at the Spokane Brewery in February.

I, too, was blown away by her strong performance. Apparently so were the people from Art on the Green, who’ve contracted to bring she and the Los Jovenes del Barrio salsa band to this area later this summer.

As far as I’m concerned, this was an overlooked chance to promote downtown activities. A critical mistake. Carol A. Allen Spokane

President’s conduct matters

In response to those who believe nothing is at stake in the matter of Bill Clinton’s alleged sexual escapades because the economy is good or because it isn’t our business, I suggest they think it through some more.

What message are we giving our young when we pretend there is nothing wrong if the chief executive of our country cavorts with young women in the White House? You may think young people are not paying attention, but I have news for you - they are. If they see the holder of the highest office in the land behaving the way they know they could not hope to get away with, we cannot be surprised when they do not take admonitions to conform to decent behavior seriously.

If a middle-aged policeman is caught having sex with a young citizen, consenting or not, we wouldn’t care a whit if he was otherwise competent in his job. A married business executive putting the moves on a young clerical woman beholden to him for her job (by definition, sexual harassment) would be given no pass just because his company’s sales were up. Nor would a good SAT score cause a parent to wink at drug use.

To the asinine “who cares?” response of so many of our citizens, I urge them to think it through and stop contributing to the coarsening of our culture. Jim Paget Spokane

Righteous nonsense is still nonsense

I think someone stated this before, but apparently Kimberly A. Utke (Letters, March 11) didn’t read it. Utke (and also letter writer Penny Lancaster) asserts that rapists used pornography, therefore people who use pornography are rapists. This is fallacy.

Just because I do act A then do act B, it doesn’t mean anyone who does act A will do act B. That just doesn’t make sense.

Suppose I go into a convenience store, buy a bag of chips, go home and beat my dog. Lancaster and Utke’s logic would have it that anyone who buys chips would have a tendency to beat their dog.

It may be that pornography is a gateway of sorts to rape and other violent crimes, but you’ll have to prove it. To do that, you’ll have to take about 200 men from the general population who use pornography and 200 men from the general population who don’t, then study them for as long as necessary. I don’t think you’d find anything, just because there aren’t that many rapists. Will D. McGinty Spokane

Government overreacts to protest

Shortly, one of the finest people I know will surrender to the federal prison in Sheridan, Ore. His crime? Walking onto an unrestricted military base carrying a white cross, in a peaceful, solemn protest asking the U.S. Army to close the School of the Americas.

Paddy Inman, along with 24 other teachers, ministers, priests, nuns, grandmothers, veterans and other people of conscience, will begin serving six months in prison on March 23 and pay a $3,000 fine for walking onto public property. They, unfortunately, had the temerity to challenge the government.

Anti-government? Hardly. A number of these protesters have earned Purple Hearts; one has a Congressional Medal of Honor.

Whether one agrees with their position or not, the sentencing is absurd. Their supposed crime is a petty misdemeanor, in the same category as failure to pay a parking ticket, littering and minor traffic infractions. The SOA25, at their own expense, traveled to Georgia to petition the government for redress of grievances. For this, the federal government will spend thousands upon thousands of tax dollars for their arrest, conviction and incarceration.

At the two-day trial, there were more federal marshals than defendants. None of these people have any history of criminal behavior. (Inman has never had even a speeding ticket.) None pose any threat to others or were considered flight risks. In fact, every one of them has devoted his or her life to serving others and has nothing personal to gain from their act of conscience. Go figure. Teri Jingling Mead

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