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Opinion >  Letters

Profits just passing through

Having read the pro/con debate (Nov. 23) on the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, I couldn’t help remembering my days growing up in a little railroad town called Proctor in northern Minnesota. When taconite was king, the trains ran continuously – every 20 to 30 minutes – effectively cutting the town in half.

I remember a couple of deaths and a house or two were lost because the trains held up the emergency vehicles. Tons of taconite pellets still lie on the sides of the tracks from spilling off the tops of ore cars. Now that we import our steel, the jobs are gone, trains are fewer, but the mark remains in the reddish-gray pellets that lie several inches deep along the rail beds.

So, what’s the payoff of coal dust through the Spokane area that’s much lighter than iron pellets and, therefore, can dissipate over a much larger area? As with the Keystone pipeline, I see only a few people benefiting from this venture.

If these projects meant employing tens of thousands with good-paying, sustainable jobs with low environmental and health risks, fine – but they don’t. Not here, anyway. Only those who’ve already reaped billions stand to profit – again.

Jeff Nelson


The Ferguson grand jury decision is a disappointment and a statement on what our society is becoming, but it can also be used as the turning point to make changes that are permanent. See, is it hate that causes fear or is it fear that causes hate that makes people cruel?

I see no civilized reasoning when an action without reason, called bigotry, is allowed to grow. Hate is hate and it is a poison for the person who carries it and the society that harbors it. It requires people like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Craig Watkins, Cynthia McKinney, Farhana Khera and us to stand up and take the anger, frustration and pain caused from the actions of those who are governed by hate and ignorance and turn it into reasoned action to make changes. Take this energy and use it by making changes to the very legal and political system being used against us.

Oh, and you politicians who spew the poison of ignorance and fear and then say that most of the country believes like you do, I’ve got a news flash for you: I don’t know what country you are referring to, but it sure isn’t mine.

Robin Wong


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