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 22, 2020

Forgetting our history

As we all observe the craziness in the United States the last few weeks one can only wonder how the rest of the world sees the U.S.

Apparently, we have learned nothing in the last 60 years! As a young person I had to take many courses in some kind of history in school. Washington State history, twice – once in middle school and once in high school. American history, civics, world history, etc. It does not appear that today’s youth have had to take any of these history courses – at least that is how it appears to me. Tearing down buildings, burning cars and flags, dismantling statues! If we continue to do all of these things in the name of “equality,” we will surely destroy ourselves!

When you try to erase the lessons of the past instead of learning from them to fit a certain narrative you are doomed to repeat things you are so much against.

Carol Scheurer

Spokane Valley

The Christian way

We celebrate KHQ’s conversations on racism and police. Thank you.

To Christians, we suggest four steps in this time of crisis. It is not a quick fix, but a continuous process.

1. Lament. As Christians we “lament,” a biblical word meaning to “grieve creatively.” We grieve the sin and sorrow in the world: the racism, hatred, anger, lust and unbelief. We grieve sickness, death and sorrow. We bring our tears to the Lord and lay them at his feet.

2. Repent. As Christians, we confess our own sins to the Lord: our prejudice, hatred, self-pity, lust, greed and pride. We humble ourselves before God. Only the cross of Christ can absolve sin.

3. Listen. As Christians, we listen to the Lord, to our family and friends, to those of different races and backgrounds, and to our own conscience. We pray fervently, asking God, “What am I to say or do?”

4. Act. As Christians, we do what God calls us to do: pray, speak up, visit our neighbors, seek out those in need, support causes that lead to reconciliation and peace.

There is hope. It’s a long process leading to the cross of Christ and his resurrection. God, give us faith, hope and love.

Don and Laverne Meekhof


Love one another

Dear fellow Americans and people of the world: All of this turmoil that we are now experiencing is causing us to be like a large, out-of-control bus speeding down a steep hill toward a lake, and if it is not stopped we will soon be in the lake killing us all.

I believe the only way this chaos can be stopped is for all of us to start following the teachings of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. He tells us in the Bible, in Luke 6:27-31: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; … Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” (NASB).

Pray for President Trump and our other government officials that they would set the example, showing all of us how to love and respect each other. I’m afraid if we can’t get the present turmoil under control, that big bus that we are all on will be in the lake and we will all be in more trouble than we are in now.

Jesus told His disciples in John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” We all need to do that.

Bob Mattila

Brush Prairie, Wash.

When I think of safety

When I think of protection, I think of the police department and the firemen. When I think of rescue, I think of the police department and the firemen.

Granted, there are some people who shouldn’t be police, priests, coaches, teachers, mothers or fathers. But, by and large, we are the lucky few. Here in the U.S., we should respect our police and at least, pray that they always stay safe from harm.

E. H. Wilson



I find it interesting that our “elected officials” defend the “right to assemble” and ignore the “right of the people to bear arms”! The Oxford Dictionary of English definition of “vigilante” concludes with “typically the legal agencies are thought to be inadequate”! Now where would these “vigilantes” get that idea? Minneapolis, Seattle, New York? My last thought; neighbors and friends, please do not re-elect a single one of these elected officials who would deny us the right to protect our families and businesses when they are unable or unwilling to do so.

Carl Smith


ZIP codes and health

I agree with Ken Hills’ basic statement that there should be less politics and more facts regarding Spokane County Health Officer Dr. Lutz’s statement about COVID-19 and minority groups.

What Mr. Hill misses is the fact that the increased stress that people of color face due to systemic racism, which includes low socioeconomic status due to lack of jobs, low paying jobs, hiring resistance, expensive healthy food, poor education opportunities, lack of routine healthcare and preventative medicine due to cost, can cause cardiovascular disease. This also highly contributes to diabetes, obesity and mental health problems. Poor white folks without a family safety net face these issues too, somewhat less.

The body-mind connection is established and ZIP code data shows poorer health in industrial and economically depressed areas. These are facts, not politics. Gender does have differences too that we are now just understanding, but that socioeconomic factors impact health is a well-known fact.

Karen Miller

Nine Mile Falls

Protests encouraging

For those of us who grew up in the 1970s and ‘80s it is good to see the younger generation in the streets in peaceful protest against the racism that our generation tried to speak out against but that persists nevertheless.

While I haven’t felt that it was safe because of COVID to participate myself, I’m so glad that you are speaking out about the problems that you see in police behavior and other issues where we need to grow beyond where we had stalled. Keep up the good work of reminding us that we have a long way to go to be fully what we try to proclaim: everyone is equal.

Kathy Finley


Justice, not just training

It is disturbing to read that the Spokane County Sheriff’s Department, led by Sheriff Knezovich, will be sponsoring a police training in October called, “the mindset bootcamp.” Embracing the tools of violence and intimidation, this training focuses on the mindset of fear, warfare, and “winning.” While the Sheriff’s Department has been run relatively well under Knezovich’s leadership, this news (S.R. June 5th), gives me serious pause to question Knezovich’s commitment to much needed law enforcement reform.

Can’t you hear it? These protests are the result of justice long delayed. They are a response to deep systemic problems built on violence and racism. It’s time for all of us, civilians and police, to address the issues together!

As for law enforcement personnel, while the vast majority of you have integrity, it’s time for you to collectively do the right thing by demanding that your unions and guilds internally reform, or be dissolve. Also, it’s time for prosecutors to stop colluding with the police to protect abusive police behavior.

And no, Sheriff Knezovich, it’s not, (as you said in the June 5th S.R. article) “a few socialist little individuals who don’t understand what it’s really like to be out there”. It’s a deep systemic issue. Surely you know better!

Gary Jewell


Closing of White Elephant

Thank-you to the generations of the Conley family for giving Spokane the White Elephant. It was a wonderfully chaotic place to experience and I will miss it. It takes a lot of grit and determination to build a successful independently owned business. The Conley family remained true to the vision of John Conley Sr, and gave Spokane a truly special place to shop. Cabelas will never come close!

Pamela Bording Gray


Time to stop protesting

A message to all protesters, now that you had your time protesting on America’s streets and breaking the law for being out in large groups, when told to stay home because of Covid-19 and breaking other laws, (rioting and looting), it’s time to shut-up, go home, go back to work or do something useful.

Why are you doing this? A lot of us don’t understand. The truth is you don’t either.

You claim Black lives matter, and they do, but the truth is all lives matter.

You talk about police brutality, but most of you cannot truthfully say this happens to you. The real truth is you are protected by the police and without them, life (if possible), would be miserable.

You say we should kneel to protest our country and its flag. A lot of us say you should kneel to thank God that we are blessed to live under this great flag of America, the greatest country the world has ever seen or will see.

It’s time, regardless of race, religion, gender or politics, to quit complaining and help to build up and protect our great nation, our president, government, and all our citizens.

If we lived by the golden rule we could make our country even greater. I pray to God that we may get back to some kind of reasonable sanity. Please God, bless this country.

Joseph Machala

Kettle Falls

Can’t get graduation back

In response to Trish Edgar’s letter in June 5th Spokesman-Review. Yes our seniors are healthy and life is not fair. However, graduation is something seniors and their families work towards for years. It’s an event that they can’t get back. Some people choose to not have funerals regardless of COVID 19, families can visit new babies and see them grow up. Graduations can’t be done over. We have enough of hard knocks in life, losing graduation ceremonies is not fair. They will survive not having their prom but being able to get your diploma in front of friends and families can’t be repeated. I teach in Cheney School District, we had a drive by celebration on June 5th. Even with the rain there was a huge turn out. The tears and looks of gratitude on the faces of the seniors and parents was worth it. At least we gave them a lesson, that life isn’t fair, but we can help to even the scales.

Kelly Dolan

Medical Lake

Give us some credit

Oh my! I refer to the letter by Joseph Harari and Ronald Garrett (6/4). The political leaders who have driven so many askew by their draconian measures (to use Harari and Garret’s words) did not know, in the early times, whether few Washingtonians or most of us would be sickened by the pandemic. Now we have a peer reviewed study which projects that without the shutdown and other steps taken to contain the virus, 500 million (worldwide) would have been sick. That is 100 times what has happened so far. At that rate, Washington would have had over 100,000 deaths rather than just over 1,000.

We are still unable to identify those who are passing the virus and so we must treat every person as a potential carrier even though that possibility is likely small. When our lives are at risk, we must be careful. There is no second chance for mistakes. We will get past this pandemic. We will be able to live close to normal when we learn to live with this disease.

Governor Inslee and all of us who are working together through these hard times have succeeded against challenging odds. We deserve credit for that.

Allan deLaubenfels

Spokane Valley

The “Chicken Little Syndrome”

Re: “Sidelined by SB 5395,” (Ellen Williams, May 29).

The above entitled letter is baffling, being replete with unsubstantiated exclamations (eg. “Most of us agree that the goal of caring parents is to rear a well-adjusted child” and “A primary teacher’s first responsibility is to inculcate reading and arithmetic.”), vague warnings (eg. “a plethora of sexual practices”, “embed(ed) sexual terms throughout all subjects”) and bizarre illusions ( eg. “When students have learned their colors of turquoise and purple , they are expected to parrot genitalia and nipples.” and “…teachers putting a prophylactic over a banana…”). She seems in a panic ( “I am aghast”) about the proposed WA State mandated sex-educated Bill SB 5395. But a close reading of the actual text of the Bill reveals none of these nightmares to be valid. Local school boards have options as do individual parents.

But what is frightening is that she introduces herself “as a teacher, principal, university professor and parent”. Now if that is indeed true, what that would reflect about the character of our society is indeed terrifying.

Peter Grossman



Obeisance [OF,obeissance obedience.]

A bow, curtsey, genuflection, etc, in token of respect, submission, or reverence; also, deference; homage.–Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary

Across the nation thousands of people watched the rioting in downtown Spokane. They watched the Spokane Riot Police, in a show of “… respect, submission, reverence, deference or homage”, genuflect before the usual mix of communist ANTIFA thugs, terminally ignorant old line Socialists, simply stupid sacking college students, and a sad mix of people just wanting to belong to a group — any group. Of course, this sort of foolishness had absolutely zero effect on the crowd that came to throw bricks, rocks, glass bottles, human feces, and spray the police with blinding oven cleaner.

One might ask, “Where are the adults?” What could possibly prompt leaders of a distinguished law enforcement agency to bow in obeisance to a group of rioting, nihilistic criminals, when their job, the police, is to protect the life and property of the law-abiding citizens? The answer of course is, because that’s the frame of mind of the City Administration: If we’re just nice, and try to establish some common identity, and be friends they won’t hurt too many people, destroy too much of our city, and once this too passes we can resume our banal, pitiful, political lives.

Do our City leaders actually believe prostrating before the mob will in any way influence the outcome of a riot? From one of the hotter corners of Hell, Maximilien Robespierre, himself a member of the Committee of Public Safety, must be chortling in his singed beard. Where are the adults in this city?

Glenn M. Dobbs

Liberty Lake

Matthew 7: 1-5

I read that local higher education leaders are calling for a more equitable community (SR, Roundtable, Guest Opinion, 6/7/20.) Good for them. They write we must not only listen, but act. Right on! They want “real and lasting change ensuring all are treated with dignity and equity.” Fair enough. They express they will never presume to know what it feels liked to be a person of color in America, but do know that persons of color face workplace, community, education, and legal system discrimination. Ok… They opine that it is not enough to “try,” and that we all must make transition society’s prime directive, ending specifically, among other unnamed black life devaluations, “inhuman and unfair law enforcement.” Humm…

This publicly preening, virtue signaling pap is brought to you by three university presidents, one college president and one university vice president. They all appear to be white. Their combined yearly salaries log in north of 1.5 million dollars. Four of the five were hired by appointed boards, the majority of whom are white. Their letter was printed in our only local daily newspaper, inherited and published by the scion of a wealthy white family.

None, have to date, resigned their posts to make way for a person of color. Their letter avoids using the term ‘white privlege.’ I can see why.

William Baxley


Reform how we police

If I knew a victim of sexual assault, would I rather call the police and/or a trained assault social worker to help? If I was dealing with a person with mental health issues would I want to call the police and/or a mental health professional? If I was dealing with someone high on drugs, would I want a drug counselor and/or police officer to come and help? To me, this is what is needed in terms of police reform: different options and different people trained to deal with specific problems ,,, not just the police. We need to “revise public safety” as a recent Spokesman Review article quoted. Trained counselors, trained social workers, trained police etc. are all needed in a society trying to better serve a community that wants “safety, support and prevention”.

Getting rid of the police is not what is needed now but revamping their duties, obligations and tactics and sharing their jobs with other skilled professionals, is.

The uncalled for injury and death to anyone (mostly black people) in the U.S. by police, has to stop NOW. I hope that the Spokane mayor, chief of police, sheriff and police guild are listening to the citizens in Spokane and all over the world when they say that the police, as we currently know them and their duties, has to change NOW.

Barbara Shaw


In need of presidential action

When protesters take over a police precinct and an area of Seattle, it is time for President Trump to call out the U.S. military under the Insurrection Act. In the past, it has been used by presidents:

1. Ulysses S. Grant, to suppress the Ku Klux Klan.

2. Eisenhower, to protect the “Little Rock Nine” African American students enrolled in the Little Rock Central High School.

3. John F. Kennedy, to enforce the desegregation of the University of Mississippi and the Alabama public schools.

4. Bush Sr., invoked U.S. military to stop looting in St. Croix following Hurricane Hugo and to subdue the riots following the police beating of Rodney King.

Americans need to go back to work and to schools, especially college age students. Many business owners and their employees who are hanging on for dear life, with this and the virus shock. To keep their precious businesses in operation, they need government control, not a few dollars handed out to them!

Lillian Moore Lind

Coeur d’Alene


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