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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Opinion

Letters

The Spokesman-Review

Selling stadium bad idea

It’s unbelievable Mayor James West wants to put Albi Stadium up for sale. Its use for high school football, concerts, youth activities, religious crusades, etc. will be no more.

If I were the mayor and City Council, I’d be careful what I wish for. Have they ever contemplated the cost in today’s dollars of building a stadium of similar structure? It’s almost inevitable that some years down the road, there will be an occasion where some group will demand a stadium for Spokane if Albi is gone. Maybe the cost to taxpayers (it’s always the taxpayers) will be in the neighborhood of $150 to $200 million or more, if one has checked on stadium costs around the country.

One has to wonder if the mayor has some ulterior motive. Let’s not make a giant, irreversible mistake like River Park Square was.

John W. Dressel

Spokane

Gates undercuts U.S. workers

A recent article in your newspaper summarized an interview with Mr. Bill Gates, in which His Majesty expressed disappointment with the rate at which American college students choose to specialize in information technology (“Gates has major question,” July 19). His own well-known company might have to seek more programming talent in the Far East, said he.

Plenty of those students have watched Dad bring home a pink slip after spending a couple of prosperous decades as an American programmer.

Corporate mergers, outsourcing, “off-shoring” and other moronic practices have reduced the U.S. programming workforce to a joke. If you run a high-end PC system you are very likely running German, Irish or Asian software on Chinese-manufactured hardware. The latest buzz phrase at Gates’ own company is “find something to outsource today!” IBM is replacing $75,000 American staff with $15,000 Indian staff as quickly as possible and our government says this is inevitable progress.

Please spare us from further interviews with people who live on other planets. An interview with one of Gates’ temporary staff (preferably one who now tosses freight on the night shift) would have been much more illustrative.

J.A. Thompson

Spokane

Treason at the top

“Treason Gate” is about a group of neo-cons who forged documents, lied and “fixed” the facts to suit their policy to take our country into war. There is a direct correlation to the Downing Street Minutes. In all of the minutes, British experts were advising Tony Blair that the facts were being manipulated by our government. Ambassador Wilson’s only crime was to present the real facts to the American people.

It is time to wake up. American lives, our country’s treasure, and our honor are at stake here. The act of leaking a CIA agent’s name – to get even – was and always will be an act of treason. For two years, we have seen and heard the spin from the top down. God knows the president cannot admit to making one mistake. I pray that some of you who voted for him will now recognize yours.

L.A. Green

Spokane Valley

Space family supportive

The editorial cartoon of July 23 shows the NASA logo with crossed fingers. The NASA “family” takes the risk of space flight very seriously and goes to every effort to make space flight safe as possible. “Family” is exactly how members of NASA view the crews launching on shuttle and they do everything humanly possible to protect them.

Exploration always has been and always will be risky. We take our lives in our hands each time we fly in an airplane. If our ancestors had failed to move out and explore, we might still be sitting on the ground breaking our food open with a rock.

The crew of Columbia would never want us to cease our journeys into the unknown. The families of Columbia understand the importance of space flight and jointly released a statement endorsing return to flight.

Daily, each of us has been touched in positive ways by spin-offs from the space program.

I think a better representation in the cartoon mentioned earlier would be the NASA logo with folded hands in prayer or well wishes from all of us that owe the folks of exploration a debt of gratitude. Godspeed, Discovery.

Joe Bruce

Spokane

Niger conditions dire

In Tuesday’s Spokesman-Review was an article about the famine in part of Niger in West Africa (“Aid slowly trickling into Niger,” July 26). The country is in dire need of outside help. People are dying every day from hunger and disease brought on by the lack of food. There had been a drought and that was followed by locust infestation. Now the food supplies are gone.

I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger in the 1960s, among the first women to be assigned to sub-Sahara Africa. It is a dry desert country with friendly, proud people. I worked in a health clinic in Maradi in southern Niger, the area of the current problems. Malnutrition was a problem then. It is dire now.

An organization called Friends of Niger ( www.friendsofniger.org) which is made up of former Peace Corps volunteers who served in that country and others who have lived there has a Web site and on it is information about this problem and how you can help. The three organizations working hard there are: World Vision ( www.worldvision.org), Catholic Relief Services ( www.crs.org), and Medecins Sans Frontieres or Doctors Without Borders ( www.msf.org), which has an excellent BBC video of the current situation.

Sue Bracken

President, Inland Northwest Peace Corps Association

Kindness will be passed on

Our grandson, Matt, recently completed boot camp with the Marine Corps and is home on leave for 10 days. We are so proud of him and he looked so good in his dress blues with the white hat and gloves.

Sunday, we attended Mass at St. Aloysius and afterwards went to breakfast at the Village Inn. After a great breakfast, we asked the waitress for our check. She said, “The couple sitting in the booth behind you paid your bill and didn’t want me to tell you until they left.” We were so touched by this random act of kindness and want to thank that couple for their generosity and appreciation for our servicemen fighting for our freedom. We really didn’t even see them and wonder if they were angels!

We hear about so much negative in the world today, but we want you all to know there are still positive, good-hearted people, who care. May God bless you all! We plan to pass this random act of kindness on when we see a serviceman and his family in a restaurant and will do the same for them.

Bill and Janey Reinert

Loon Lake

High hopes for Turiaf

Ten years ago I was diagnosed as having a severe aneurism of the aorta root. Without delay, my regular doctor referred me to a heart clinic. Two days later, surgery was performed. The aortic root was replaced with a synthetic tube. However, damage to the aortic valve had occurred and it had to be replaced. My surgeon elected to replace the valve with a Medtronic titanium valve.

The operation was a complete success. I was able to return to normal life and resume all activities which I had previously enjoyed. Although I was not an athlete and certainly did not engage in the exertion level of the great star of Gonzaga, my normal activities were not curtailed by the surgery.

The comparison of the strenuous activities of a basketball star to an aging retiree may not seem to be an adequate comparison; however, since the surgery returned me to my previous level of exertion, it seems reasonable to assume that corrective surgery for Mr. Turiaf could well result in his return to full performance (“It’s just the way my heart is,” July 23).

As a fan of Gonzaga, I hope the surgery is a complete success and will allow Mr. Turiaf to fulfill his dreams of becoming a great professional basketball star.

David C. Ferguson

Spokane Valley

In step with city’s interests

The Spokane area has some great ambassadors, but most of the citizens are not aware of them. With all the recent “negative” information about Spokane in the news, there are also some positive activities going on.

The Spokane Thunder Drum and Bugle Corps just returned from a three-week tour of the West Coast. In only its first year of competition, this fine group of 14-21-year-olds finished second in its division in the California Open in Sunnyvale. In eight competitions, the Thunder continued to improve its score and impressed the judges and fans.

These 70 young persons represent almost every high school in the area, and are dedicated and talented individuals. They work incredibly hard in all-day rehearsals before the competitive season, and their musicality, discipline, marching precision and outstanding showmanship are a credit to their efforts. These students represent some of our finest young people who will become the leaders of tomorrow.

Thanks to Executive Director Tony DeLateur and the outstanding staff and instructors, Spokane has a truly competitive drum corps. The Thunder will be back again next year, bigger and better than ever, and I encourage everyone to support them and take pride in their accomplishments on behalf of Spokane.

Michael C. Jessup

Colbert

Ethical claims shaky

George Bush promised to bring ethics back to the White House. So this is what an ethical White House looks like? Karl Rove revealed the identity of Valerie Plame to smear her husband who discredited the administration’s Iraq policy.

Ambassador Joseph Wilson revealed evidence that the reason to go to war was based on a falsehood. President Bush finally had to retract the “yellow cake” rationale. But our nation is paying the price for his subterfuge with a quagmire in Iraq, and the dangerous outing of a CIA agent, flushing years of work down the drain and jeopardizing the lives of her contacts. This action is treasonous, unethical, immoral, illegal and actionable.

I’m incensed. And I’m angry and frustrated that no Republican has stepped forward (as Howard Baker bravely did during the Watergate scandal) to exhort his party to hold the administration accountable for a cover up that is at least being allowed by the president.

The Bush administration has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of understanding of history and has condemned all of us to repeat it.

Lorna St. John

Spokane

Self-awareness applauded

I was heartened by Rob Leach’s letter (“Easy to be a liberal,” July 13) on behalf of conservatives, in which he argues that “minds are like toilets.” It’s refreshing to hear from someone who knows his own mind.

Anthony Flinn

Spokane

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