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Opinion >  Letters

Letters for November 28

Please quarantine after travel

Dear Spokane Community of K-2 students:

I teach kindergarten in Spokane and would like to humbly ask that if you choose to travel outside of Spokane or gather with members outside your family for Thanksgiving, please consider self-quarantining your K-2 student before sending them back to school.

You, of course have the right and privilege to do as you wish, but my colleagues and I do not since we will be teaching in person. Some of us fall into high risk categories and/or have spouses or immediate family members with risks or are unemployed or work with the elderly and therefore cannot risk exposure.

My colleagues and I are concerned about the health and safety of our own families and of our children in our classrooms and their families. Please be thoughtful to our health, our families’ health and our classrooms’ health and QUARANTINE if you travel.

Wendy Fitzgerald


It’s a stretch

Sue Lani Madsen’s “silly Liberals” condescension is on full display in her November 20th op-ed (“Seattle, convince us ‘backward-thinking people’”), in which she takes King County to task for the Seattle Times’ hiring of a diversity editor.

I agree with Madsen that Seattleites generally look down their noses at eastern Washington. I grew up in Seattle and plead guilty to such behavior. I now live in Spokane and am annoyed by criticism from friends and family who have never spent time here. Her conflation of the Times’ hiring of a diversity editor with attempts by King County to flip eastern Washington blue, however, is a stretch and dismissive of the existential threat that people of color have experienced under the Trump administration, which has supported and been supported by many with racist and xenophobic ideologies. That has a huge impact on cities like Seattle, with its large racially and ethnically diverse population. I suspect that not being notified of turkey raffle results impacts the lives of Lincoln County residents significantly less than the racism and xenophobia championed by the Trump administration has had on those of people of color. It is shameful to use that analogy.

King County is not Lincoln County, and the former exposes its ignorance in not understanding the latter; however, failure to understand the lack of political, social and economic inclusion for people of color and its impact on their lives, both inside Lincoln County and out, is likewise ignorant.

Gregory J. Cunningham


Compensation needed for COVID closures

COVID-19 has presented governments with an unusual case of what appears to be the exercise of eminent domain; and so far, without adequate, or ‘just’ compensation.

Eminent domain is the power of government to take private property for public use without the owner’s consent. In a Supreme Court ruling in 2005 the court held the term ‘public use’ should be understood to mean ‘public purpose’.

The proliferation of mandatory work stoppage and stay at home orders issued by many jurisdictions should logically fit within the definition of a government taking private property for public use. Simply put, various jurisdictions have forced businesses to close and fire staff. This has been to safeguard us all. That sounds like a public use to me; and the action was taken unilaterally and without the explicit consent of those directly affected. Businesses have failed and individuals bankrupted.

That government can take property with just compensation is a very old legal construct; based on the idea that the taking is to benefit the entire community, therefore the entire community should make whole the owner of the property taken. It is unjust to make a few pay the cost of a benefit to all.

The same consideration applies to the actions of governments to cause substantial financial losses to companies and individuals for the benefit of us all. The cost of compensation must be included in the decision to seize assets. We must make them whole. Otherwise, this is theft, not ‘just’ government action.

Bob McKean

Liberty Lake

Amazon pharmacy lacks personal touch

I wish to register my disappointment in learning that Amazon is planning to open a mail-order pharmacy to offer delivery of prescriptions. I see this as a great disservice to our local pharmacies and to the public they serve.

Years ago when my late wife was being treated for major health issues, we were “regulars” at Shopko Pharmacy on South Regal. I was there so often picking up medicine that I got to know the staff quite well and appreciated their friendship and professionalism. On one occasion I delivered a new prescription and presented it to Michelle. In a couple of minutes she came back to the counter and said, “Mr. Williams, I have to call the doctor.”

I asked if there was a problem and she said the drug being prescribed could cause an adverse reaction with another drug my wife was already taking. She needed to verify if this was really what she should be given. At the end of the call, the doctor admitted the error and he ordered a different medication. I was so grateful for her intervention and for her action on our behalf. Just one example of the service I always received from Shopko South Hill.

I fear, if people sign on to this program, they may sacrifice having a local pharmacist who knows and understands their condition for the convenience of delivery from the “Amazon Elephant in the Room.”

Bigger isn’t always better!

Jerry Williams


Rodgers’ deaf ear

The Spokesman Review’s article by Orion Donovan-Smith and Tom Sowa’s letter to the editor, both appearing in the 25 November SR issue, motivated me to write this comment.

Tom, you are “spot-on” when you commented on Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ skill and adeptness in avoiding definitive answers to questions. That is why I stopped voting for her in the past two elections (regardless of her opponent).

However, in my opinion, there is a specific reason why she passively supports President Trump refusing to concede to President-Elect Biden (unlike her Republican contemporaries – who remain silent or speak out against it). She is smart enough to recognize that the Trump support base is the very core and key to her winning future re-elections. So, she will continue to turn a deaf-ear to President Trump’s antics, shenanigans, and devilry while in the final stages of his lame-duck presidency.

Forrest Diehl



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