Arrow-right Camera
Go to e-Edition Sign up for newsletters Customer service
Subscribe now
Opinion >  Letters

Saturday letters to the editor

UPDATED: Mon., June 15, 2020

They’re not our enemy

The police are not our enemy. They provide protection for community. Believe it or not, everyone in our community is not a law-abiding responsible citizen. There are people out there that are criminals, drug addicts, alcoholics, thieves and murderers. We rely on our police to protect us from these people. The police put themselves in harm’s way on our behalf. Their ability to react uniformly to all situations is at best difficult.

Criminals do not allow themselves to be politely apprehended. They resist. They fight back. They shoot back. How is it we are so offended when a policeman uses excessive force? Was it excessive? Was it required?

There are strict guidelines for police interaction. When the guidelines are broken or exceeded, the policeman involved is scrutinized for their decision making during the altercation. If they have acted improperly, they are held accountable.

I appreciate the difficult position that the police are placed in every day. The simple act of walking up to a car to ask for a driver’s license is a risk they take.

I want to thank the police for the excellent job they do protecting our community. I hope everyone in our community understand the difficult service that our police provide.

Michael Whittle


Sheriff training

I want to applaud The Spokesman-Review for presenting a well-balanced article that gives us perspective and context to a scheduled training seminar that many of our law enforcement officers will likely attend.

I would urge The Spokesman-Review and other local media outlets to lobby hard to get access to the seminar; the public, and Sheriff Knezovich would be best served if transparency is chosen path.

Because, quite frankly, it is disturbing to think that our officers are going to be listening to someone who believes that, to a properly trained deputy, “Killing is just not that big of a deal.”

It is also disturbing to see Col. Grossman and Knezovich revert to type and attribute the reaction to the death of George Floyd as “the manifestation of left-wing politics” and “socialist little individuals,” and to think that Ozzie is tired of being “bullied” by those nasty old “political rights” guaranteed by that pesky old Constitution.

I am not convinced that the mindset our officers are being trained to adopt is the one that best serves all members of the community.

Michael Nelson


Knezovich’s blindness

I was shocked at Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich’s quotations in The Spokesman-Review and his denial of systemic problems of police abusing the public and journalists nationwide, as well as his ardent support of “Killology” courses for police.

The wish to believe the problem of police brutality is one of “a few bad apples” contributes to the problem, and the courses he promotes create the mentality that police are not only superior to the public, but must suppress the public at any cost. Police are not “warriors” and the so-called warrior mentality is not the proper way for police to approach the public. Looters may be a “few bad apples,” and the rights of all, including the right to life, must be held far above property damage done by looters.

There are many scientific studies showing that what Dave Grossman preaches in his profit-making “killology” courses adds to a culture of fear and escalates violence. Clearly, Sheriff Knezovich’s department needs to start learning the real data. Meanwhile, they also need to start educating themselves with the current facts on the ground. Furthermore, his smear of critics as “little socialists” just shows how terribly biased and ignorant he is. We need a sheriff and a police department that treat citizens with respect and that uphold their oaths to protect our rights.

E. O’Halloran


Peaceable assemblers

A simple question: What is the difference between police officers who stand by and watch while an another officer keeps his knee on an arrestee’s neck until he dies and a group of “peaceful protesters” who stand by while some in the group break into businesses, loot and burn buildings? If you see a difference, you are looking through a different lens than most law-abiding people.

The U.S. Constitution gives us the right to “peaceably … assemble, and to petition …” but along with freedom comes responsibility. When the “peaceable assemblers” decide not to take action to prevent the illegal behavior, they should not complain when police take the necessary action to control it. When told to disperse, so the criminal thugs can be isolated and arrested, the “peaceably assembled” people should leave the area and not engage in mob mentality making the situation more difficult for the police. If they remain they have no one to blame other than themselves.

It would be preferred if there were more “adults” present among the “peaceable assemblers.”

Don Brockett


Managing wolves

Natural colonization is an important process that balances wolf habitat needs with human development. Eli Francovich’s article presented wolf recolonization in Washington as limited by Washington’s wolf mortality. However, wolves within Washington are not the only source for recolonization. Though still being studied by biologists, dispersal from other states is a possibility. Given time, wolves will find their equilibrium.

Still, there are several factors to consider. For example, dispersal rates and distances vary with lethal removal. In Washington, about 19% of the population died naturally or were killed through hunting or self-defense or in response to livestock depredations. In Montana about one-third of the wolf population is removed annually through a combination of hunting, trapping and lethal removal in response to livestock depredations (the latter is a small minority of mortalities).

More information is needed about how to effectively range ride in allotments with low visibility. Organizations like Western Landowners Alliance are actively looking at ways to bring together cowboys, cowgirls and range riders from across wolf occupied habitat to discuss what works, and sometimes just as important, what does not. A lot can be learned from these experienced interactions.

Zero mortality is not the only path to recolonization. Preserving the ability to manage wolves reduces social resistance in communities where the economic impacts of wolves can be high. Learning to reduce depredations and finding the right balance of removal will give wolves a chance to find the path of least resistance that can be hard for humans to predict.

Alex Few

Working Wild Challenge Coordinator

Western Landowners Alliance

Powell, Wyo.

Democratic leaders

Democrat leaders, even Bblack ones, know that to keep their jobs secure they must keep bBlacks “on the plantation.” By promising equality and free stuff, along with labeling Republicans as “racist,” they can be assured of re-election despite the failure – or complete lack – of any program to address the needs of their constituents.

So what to do when an anti-establishment president actually makes bBlack people more self-sufficient? Destroy the economy, of course. When that effort appears to be failing, then start riots and fan the flames of racial division. After that? Disable law enforcement, force ordinary citizens to arm themselves, and provoke their long-hoped-for race war.

We have a stark choice in November: elect a president who will weep at the destruction of the country and will seek – once again – to rebuild it, or one who will rejoice in the carnage and will do anything to maintain the socialist ideal of starving, frightened subjects totally dependent on the ruling elite.

It boggles my mind that people can’t see what is happening. It’s like that old joke – ignorance or apathy? It seems the answer is, “I don’t know and I don’t care.”

David Glass


Mob rule

Democratic Party governors, mayors and other officials, most prominently in Minnesota and New York but elsewhere as well, have made it plain that mob rule of the streets is perfectly OK. As long as it’s their mob.

Bill Manuel


I remember

I remember my Mom taking us to the Liberty Park swimming pool, racially diverse by Spokane standards, rather than the closer Comstock swimming pool, which simply was not.

I remember splashing, swimming, teeth chattering, popsicle eating and having no fear, no differences, just the joy of a shared experience.

I remember my first bus ride in Seattle thinking to myself, “There are a lot of black people who live here.”

I remember my first professional mentor, a bBlack man, whose leadership and impact are still a part of me today.

I remember working in the fashion industry in Los Angeles and New York where the diversity was spectacular, exciting, comforting and abundant.

I remember training in a town outside of Detroit and visiting a mall where I was one of a handful of white faces among hundreds of bBlack faces. I remember my discomfort, my isolation, my difference.

I remember trying to terminate an employee who had blatantly racially profiled some customers for presumed shoplifting. I remember my company saying no. I remember doing nothing.

I remember crying when I saw pictures of our police department sharing and hugging demonstrators outside the courthouse last week. I remember crying later that night when windows were broken and tear gas used.

I remember waking up this morning hoping that I would be that little girl, sitting on the side of a pool, next to a Black girl, laughing and eating popsicles.

Erica Apfelbaum


Violent police

I would like to sincerely thank the 57 Buffalo, New York, police officers who resigned in solidarity when two of their colleagues were charged with assault for pushing a 75-year-old protester to the ground.

By boldly standing up for their beliefs, they have openly demonstrated that they are unfit to serve as peace officers. I hope they find new careers that they enjoy where they pose no danger to American society.

If only all U.S. police who feel the same were to quit, it would greatly improve law enforcement and go a long way to repair the public trust, which a small percent of unsound officers have destroyed.

Carlos Flores


Irresponsible gun owners

People have filled the streets expressing their righteous outrage over another flagrant murder of a Black man committed by a person who had taken an oath to serve and protect. It is disgraceful that someone would have to die to bring attention to and correct something so despicable that it should never happen at all.

Among the people assembled here in Spokane and North Idaho were some who dressed in military gear while carrying semi-automatic rifles.

I call on our mayors, county commissioners and state representatives to immediately pass ordinances and laws banning this dangerous and irresponsible action.

Displaying firearms at a public gathering under the guise of exercising Second Amendment rights is only designed to intimidate and infringe on those exercising their First Amendment rights. If your discernment is so poor that you feel it is appropriate to bring a firearm to an already emotional and volatile situation, increasing the potential to provoke, escalate and engage in a completely unnecessary lethal confrontation, you have no business owning firearms at all.

We have authorized law enforcement to provide for the public safety and the threat to those officers and general public is endangered when misguided untrained, undisciplined fanatics show up waving guns. Those who show up in public gatherings brandishing firearms should be immediately disarmed, their weapons confiscated, their right to bear arms suspended and they should be cited for public endangerment.

Ted Cummings


Thank you, officers

Most of us have been following the news regarding demonstrations and riots after the inexcusable tragedy in Minneapolis. Peaceful marches remembering George Floyd’s senseless death are warranted. Unfortunately, we also see countless posters deriding police officers and shouts of brutality, which the media doesn’t censor.

What is glaringly missing is news about the 99% of policemen who dedicate their lives to the protection of all, including those who deride them. Our police share a vision of “professionalism, integrity and compassion” (Spokane Police Department website). Imagine how angry and hurt they must feel because four feckless brothers violated this vision.

Shouldn’t they too be able to demonstrate? But they can’t. Instead, ever mindful of the harm that may come to them, the 99% do their duty. Silently, they protect even those who hate them.

Think of what they did for Spokane this week. They sent the bullies running. We are safe again. The 99% are doing this all over the county. It’s time to tell that story.

How hard it must be to stand in front of people with signs accusing them of brutality in one hand and bricks or other harmful objects in the other. Yet with the purpose of protecting their right to protest, the 99% are silently doing it. In addition to telling their story it is time for all of us, including the media, to finally say “thanks for protecting us, our cities and our nation.” Thank you to our dedicated officers.

Joanne McCann


Business alert

My wife and I are in our mid-70s and strong supporters of Shop Local and avoiding large chain stores and rateruet???? businesses. In short, we are the people who can support reopening our economy.

Studies have shown that widespread use of masks can decrease spread of the coronavirus in the general population. They also show that when we wear masks, we do so mostly to protect others. So, if we are “all in this together,” we should all be wearing masks.

The next comment is to the business owners: If your employees and customers are required to wear masks, we will come to your store and probably spend money.

On the other hand, we will not support your business if you do not protect our health and the health of your employees.

Ron Wick

Coeur d’Alene

Shea should not pastor

On June 1, The Spokesman-Review reported that “Rep. Shea will transition to role as pastor” at Covenant Christian Church. And yet Rep. Shea takes credit for a document called, “The Biblical Basis for War” that included a prescription for “killing all males” if they did not submit to “biblical law.”

It is astonishing that anyone should be a pastor of a church that claims to be Christian and be diametrically opposed to Jesus Christ on the matter of war and killing.

Many people have argued for war from the Bible, but there is no way of arguing for it from the Gospels.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is clear that those who call him Lord are to reject things that have been said “of old” like, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” Instead, those who want to follow Jesus must love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them. When a woman was caught committing adultery and the men were about to stone her, he defended her saying, “The one who is without sin cast the first stone.”

And Jesus lived by what he taught. He died because he refused to engage in violence against those who were out to kill him. While he was in agony he prayed for their forgiveness. Jesus was in sharp disagreement with violent ways advocated in the Old Testament, his scriptures. You cannot advocate war and killing and claim Jesus as your Lord.

Adam Bartholomew


Referendum 90

The League of Women Voters cares deeply about raising well-informed citizens, and offers here some facts to clear up what appears to be misinformation about ESSB 5395, the Comprehensive Sexual Health Education (CSHE). The League asks voters to decline to sign Referendum 90, which seeks to repeal CSHE.

ESSB 5395 ensures that K-12 students receive age-appropriate information that is medically and scientifically accurate, includes information about abstinence and other methods of preventing unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, as well as avoiding exploitative relationships.

The bill states that K-3 instruction is in social-emotional learning–basic concepts as stranger danger, good/bad touching, and using your words instead of your hands. Instruction, which must be done in health/PE classes, is to be provided at least once in K-3, once in 4-5, twice in 6-8, and twice in 9-12. Section 1(10) of the bill spells out that CSHE is not to “be integrated into curriculum, materials or instruction in unrelated subject matters or courses.”

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction has approved several curricula, and the specific curriculum adopted must follow state learning standards.

An important part of the bill requires a school to allow a parent or legal guardian’s request to have their child excused from instruction in CSHE.

Ann Murphy



Letters policy

The Spokesman-Review invites original letters of no more than 250 words on topics of public interest. Unfortunately, we don’t have space to publish all letters received, nor are we able to acknowledge their receipt. We accept no more than one letter a month from the same writer. Please remember to include your daytime phone number and street address. The Spokesman-Review retains the nonexclusive right to archive and re-publish any material submitted for publication.

Send letters to:
Letters to the Editor
The Spokesman-Review
999 W. Riverside Ave.
Spokane, WA 99201

Fax: (509) 459-3815
Questions?: (509) 459-5430