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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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An ill wind blows

As I read the Dec. 31 Roundtable Guest Opinion, I kept saying to myself, “Are you nuts?” Then, when I got to the end, it all became very clear. The author is right in the middle of what I call the biggest legal money-laundering scheme of our generation: wind energy.

I have been watching wind energy in California since (Gary) Hardke’s Cannon Power Group started in 1979. At first we joked about what rich doctor got a huge tax break for investing in a turbine. Then, when our electric rates quadrupled, it ceased to be a joke.

Wake up, people. Wind energy is very good for those in on the scheme. The rest of us can watch our electric rates rise higher than the turbines.

Rick Kiesz

Thornton, Wash.

Science confirms warming

As he so often does, George Will in the Jan. 1 Spokesman-Review distorts two issues facing the nation in 2012:

Even if the United States is now a net exporter of petroleum product, for U.S consumers at the gas pump this will still be, in effect, the same as imported petroleum products because it will be sold to the highest bidder on the global market.

Will seeks to perpetuate the false myth that human-caused global climate change, and how it applies to the Keystone Pipeline, is a political issue invented by progressives. In fact the greenhouse theory is and always has been scientific, dating back to the 18th century.

The warning that Keystone, if it becomes a reality, will mean game-over for the climate wasn’t made by a political progressive, but by Dr. James Hansen, one of the most knowledgeable climate scientists to be found anywhere.

Rob Keenan

Mukilteo, Wash.

Jury nullification needed

If judges continue to deny affirmative defense in medical marijuana cases in spite of medical marijuana laws, jury nullification is the only hope for change.

With so many citizens being arrested for marijuana, I feel that it is time for people to know the meaning of jury nullification. Judges almost never inform prospective jurors of this option.

Jury nullification is a constitutional doctrine allowing juries to acquit defendants who are technically guilty but don’t deserve punishment. When a jury disregards the evidence and acquits an otherwise guilty defendant, it has practiced jury nullification.

If the judge fails to provide the wording of the law or you think the law is a bad or unconstitutional law or a good law being improperly applied, or there are other factors that would make you regret a vote to convict someone, then it is your right and duty as a juror to vote “not guilty” even if you are the only juror who does so and therefore hang the jury.

The prisons are being filled with innocent people for a plant that the citizens voted for in the state of Washington. The courts continue to ignore the will of the people.

Gloria Cole

Reardan, Wash.

Eyeglasses help available

A recent article reported on the fact that the Union Gospel Mission is prohibited from dispensing used eyeglasses. A more recent letter bemoaned that fact and is right.

However, the community needs to know that any local Lions Club will purchase new eyeglasses for those who are income-qualified. The same is true of refurbished hearing aids. Anyone interested should contact the Spokane Central Lions at (509) 328-6900 any weekday between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. The Central Lions will send an application or refer the caller to the proper club.

Moreover, Lions collect used eyeglasses for redistribution. They are sorted by prescription and sent to Lions clubs in Third World countries. Also, Lions collect used hearing aids for our hearing aid bank, where they are refurbished and distributed in the same way the clubs distribute glasses.

The Lions motto is “We Serve,” and this is one of the many ways we do.

Sanford E. Gerber


Put 5th District first

We see her all the time on TV: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers dutifully standing strategically behind or next to Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in an easily-seen-through attempt at painting the GOP as all-inclusive. The problem is that the men do all the talking, while McMorris Rodgers stands quietly by like a demure wallflower.

I say that Washington’s 5th District deserves better. We may not garner much attention from the national media, but the people of Eastern Washington represent the heart of America as much as any other region. These fiercely independent, pioneer-spirited people deserve a representative whose focus is Eastern Washington, not the national Republican agenda.

McMorris Rodgers has spent her entire time in D.C. voting in lockstep with the GOP and performing as a stage prop for its leadership. And what has she brought to the working people of her district? Virtually nothing.

We need a representative who will put the people of Eastern Washington first.

Devin Barber


Be your own superhero

As we sit here waiting for Superman, our state’s antagonistic budget cuts are threatening our city’s most vulnerable citizens. As struggling families cope with the denial of necessary funding, I am compelled to look toward the too-often-forgotten children and think to myself, what about them? Who will care for them as their parents labor at minimum-wage jobs, floundering to provide the essentials? Where will the frightened children go when they’re ripped from their unsafe homes? Who will comfort them?

These questions are real and are becoming even more of a reality as our state government continues to cut funding from programs such as the Department of Social and Health Services. Organizations like the YMCA and the Salvation Army have to turn away those whom they are called upon to serve. What will we do if places like Sally’s House and other resources for our children disappear?

Let’s not sit here waiting for Superman, worriedly questioning the outcomes if he doesn’t come. Instead, let’s choose to stand up and fight for our city’s children by voting in their favor, or by donating our time and resources to programs that serve them.

Please join me, for if we don’t, who will?

Michaela Brown


Treat texting like DUIs

Recent studies have implied driving while texting or using a cellphone without a hands-free device has a similar effect on attention as driving at a 0.08 percent sobriety level. These conclusions lead me to believe the same laws should pertain to those convicted of cellphone distraction as to those convicted of DUI.

I have a feeling there would be fewer people texting and talking if the possibility of a multihundred-dollar fine, a minimum of a day in jail and increased insurance rates combined with SR22 financial responsibility requirements were on the table.

Probably there would be more arrests as well due to the amount of revenue generated by such laws.

I’m just sayin’!

Steve LaCombe

Spokane Valley

Jensen-Byrd sale distressing

As an alumnus of Washington State University, I was dismayed to read that the regents of my alma mater voted to sell the historic Jensen-Byrd Building to a developer who plans to demolish it. In accepting the proposal of a Texas company, the university rejected a viable plan from Ron Wells, an architect and developer with a proven track record of adaptive reuse of historic buildings.

WSU’s Pullman campus is enriched by the presence of distinctive late 19th- and early 20th-century buildings that were renovated to meet 21st-century needs. Shouldn’t the same foresight apply to WSU’s emerging Spokane campus?

Kenton Bird

Moscow, Idaho

Bicyclists pay for roads

The Dec. 29 Spokesman-Review editorial, “New leaders must find right balance for streets,” claims that “the extra costs [for Complete Streets] – if there are extra costs – will fall exclusively on motorists until bicyclists and other users pony up.” It is wrong to claim that cyclists, pedestrians and transit riders do not pay their share.

First, the vast majority of Spokane’s cyclists own and drive cars. The gas taxes we pay go to the state and federal government to fund highways. Tab fees go to the city for street maintenance. The same is true for the walkers and transit users who own and drive cars.

Second, the street bond issue that is funding the bulk of our street work is paid for by everyone who lives in Spokane. Homeowners pay property taxes that fund this work. As a landlord, my renters paid the property taxes through their rent. Anyone who pays sales tax contributes via the city’s general fund.

To suggest that drivers either pay their way or are subsidizing other road users demonstrates either a profound ignorance or a willful attempt to deceive. Such distortion by one of the more prominent voices in the community does considerable disservice to all involved.

Bradley Bleck


Clark wrote the truth

Look, Doug Clark may not be, colloquially speaking, the most loved guy in the Inland Northwest, but he isn’t the most hated individual either. I would say he is mostly loved.

The Dec. 31 letters from Darrin Coldiron, Dick Pierce and John Black intimate that Clark and The Spokesman-Review are advocating discord and should be ashamed. Ashamed for what? Printing the truth!

Clark has a job to do just as Karl Thompson Jr. had, only Clark is not violating or breaking any laws in writing about a convicted criminal, no more than the three writers are. Are they suggesting the Review’s constitutional rights to free speech and freedom of the press should be stifled? Think about it. Are these letters to the editor merely positive dialogue, discussion, dissertation and down-to-earth communication, and Clark’s are negative discourse? Please!

Doug is a grown man, but in the sense of the Peter Pan syndrome sort of way. Is that so bad, Darrin?

He wields his club, only in a different manner than Dick’s. His verse is bad, but John’s is admirable, if I’m “free” to say so.

Thompson won’t be liberated soon (?), but he will still have his freedom to speak.

David J. Rosenbeck

Medical Lake

Guild supports lawful acts

Former Spokane police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick said that she “will never look the other way” and she “will not turn a blind eye to misconduct.” I expected nothing less from her. I do not support misconduct by Police Guild members. When discipline matches the offense, I support the discipline. I do not support overly harsh discipline.

Kirkpatrick said that she didn’t understand this particular guild’s leadership. She also said that my values were in opposition with those of this community and “who we are as police officers.” Truly, she did not understand me. I am sworn to uphold the city policies and the law (including civil law). When those are violated in the process of disciplining a Guild member, I believe it is a “battle” that I’ve sworn to fight even when unpopular.

The Guild opposed the unlawful way that the changes were made to the Office of Police Oversight Ordinance. If Kirkpatrick thinks the Guild was “fighting” she misunderstands “bargaining.” The Guild has not been in hiding. We have been on the front lines protecting our members from unlawful actions, and we will continue to do that. Defending people from unlawful actions is what we do as police officers!

Ernie Wuthrich

Police Guild president


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