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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Opinion

In their words …

The Spokesman-Review

“As far as looking back and whipping myself with chains or gouging my eyes, you can’t do that.”

— Idaho State Sen. Dick Compton, who, as a Kootenai County commissioner in 2000 voted in favor of BNSF Railway Co.’s controversial diesel refueling facility where two leaks already have been reported since September when it began operation.

“People get jerked around and told to go to hell, and there is no penalty for the bureaucrat because the fines get paid by the taxpayers.”

— An assessment of Washington’s open records laws by former real estate broker Armen Yousoufian who spent $150,000 and nearly eight years fighting with King County officials over access to records about a publicly funded study justifying demolition of the former Kingdome to be replaced with new stadiums for Seattle’s professional baseball and football teams.

“I took an oath of office to uphold the constitution and laws of the state of Washington. I can’t invent it as I go along.”

— Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed, explaining that he merely complied with the law in certifying the contentious 2004 gubernatorial election, over which an unsuccessful effort was launched to recall him from office.

“They’re creating a community out there. It’s a fire danger. It’s a mess. It’s illegal. This area is not set up for camping.”

Mike Hamilton, president of the Dishman Hills Natural Area Association, commenting on homeless people’s use of the wooded area in the Spokane Valley as shelter.

“I think our actions speak to how seriously we take it.”

— Spokane School District Superintendent Brian Benzel, describing officials’ reaction to allegations about a sexual relationship between a high school student and a teacher, who has resigned but will be paid through the end of the year and will have no reference to the incident on his final evaluation.

“Wrong — improper — looks bad — Shirley working for lawyers.”

— From meeting notes shared by managers of the Hanford Environmental Dose Reconstruction study, expressing anxiety over the fact Shirley Gydesen, information resources task leader on the study, which was supposed to obtain impartial information about radiation releases from Hanford, was also working with attorneys preparing to defend lawsuits against her employer by people claiming the releases harmed them.

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