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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Letters for May 2

April 30, 2021 Updated Fri., April 30, 2021 at 5:26 p.m.

Spokane’s legacy of medical innovation

I would like to congratulate Arielle Dreher and The Spokesman-Review for an excellent piece, “Leading from the Heart” (April 28).

The piece well describes the history, the Vision (yes, with a capital V), and the road leading to medications and techniques that today further limit the impact of heart attacks.

In addition, it is a nice bookend to have the advertisement honoring the first Washington State University medical school graduating class appear next to the closing piece on the anniversary of 50 years of cardiac emergency surgery. WSU is an unusual medical school, founded on the shoulders of local practitioners, not only providing clinical experience, but the same clinicians serving as preclinical faculty, providing the foundation for medical education.

It is not well known that the concept of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine evolved from the concerns of visionary local physicians who saw the need for a second medical school located and serving Eastern Washington. Their work with Lisa Brown, Marcus Riccelli and Scott Baumgartner in the state Legislature overcame a number of hurdles. It needs to be said that the business community of Spokane, led by Rich Hadley of Greater Spokane Incorporated, played a vital role in seeing that appropriate funding occurred, to have a vibrant campus now known as the WSU Health Sciences Spokane campus.

These pieces in The Spokesman-Review juxtaposed next to each other serve as a legacy of Spokane community’s commitment to medical innovation.

Hal Goldberg, MD

Providence Spokane Cardiology

Bait and switch

The voters decided to give our money to Spokane Public Schools to replace the Joe Albi Stadium at the same site. That was very clear.

Now SPS is in league with downtown promoters to disregard the voters and build the stadium downtown so that we might possibly get a soccer team here. This sounds like bait and switch to me. Are the voters about to be scammed?

We are constantly warned about scams to be aware of. I believe we are seeing SPS pull a scam right before our eyes. If the stadium is built downtown, how many of us will trust SPS when they ask us for money again? I know I won’t be fooled again.

Paula Smith


A ‘winning’ combination

If a foreign power created a virus to unleash upon us, it would design one easily controlled in its nation, and one that would take advantage of America’s, um, peculiarities.

In most countries, citizens would wear masks or get a vaccine. They would trust scientists and make the simple sacrifices needed to combat the virus.

But here in America, a good percentage of our citizens believe themselves more scientifically qualified than scientists. They are also more knowledgeable about the United States Constitution than constitutional scholars, more knowledgeable about epidemiology than epidemiologists, more knowledgeable about theology than theologians. And the list goes on.

From the validity of elections and the geometric shape of our planet to sex trafficking at pizza parlors, these self-appointed geniuses are the experts. They have attained true knowledge – endowed upon them from Fox News, talk radio, the internet and cosmic radiation transmissions. This “information” is completely verified by the feelings it creates. Their scientific method.

The previous track record of these citizens and the damage they have caused would make most of us feel ashamed. However, these folks have been vaccinated against an ability to feel regret for what they have done to themselves and to the rest of us. It’s that inoculation that propels them on their merry way, destroying America – themselves and the rest of us.

A foreign power bent on our national destruction would give thanks every day for the winning combination of arrogance and ignorance that continually fuels its unwitting agents.

Maeve Griffith


Call them as they wish to be called

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the changing of North Central High School’s mascot. There is a bigger issue at hand. The people that were here before the Europeans are not actually “Indian.” Columbus landed his ship in the Bahamas. He saw people with brown-toned skin, so he assumed he was in India. Subsequently, he referred to the locals as Indians.

We have perpetuated his error for over 500 years. Using “Native American” doesn’t really fit. They were here before this continent was called America. America is named for another European explorer, Amerigo Vespucci. They were native to this continent, not to America.

It is this intrinsic white privilege that somehow, we can call non-Europeans whatever we want, disregarding their own self-identity. What should they be called? First Nations? Indigenous? Aboriginal? As a white, middle-aged male of Irish descent, it is not up to me to say. It is up to the population to express how they want to be identified. Pay tribute to the people who were here first by respecting who they are and addressing them as they wish to be addressed. Whatever that may be.

Tomas Kelley Lynch


We’re not out of the woods yet

In response to Mr. McKean’s letter from April 23 (“Past time for normalcy”): The assertion there is no reason for shutdowns and restrictions ignores some glaring facts. Your “immunity rate” includes people who have been infected and recovered. Yet those people are not immune to the virus and many have been reinfected and then died.

The mortality rate of those under 65 has been rising steadily, as has the number of people in their 20s being hospitalized. There are still 5 million people in Washington waiting to be vaccinated. Your own number said that we have a risk of one-half of 1% of dying from COVID-19; that’s still 25,000 people just in Washington state. I for one think it’s worth it to stay at home a couple more months to save those lives.

Joshua Isbey


Think about it

Imagine you are headed to Albi Stadium for a Friday night football game. The facility is top-notch, with great amenities. After the game, you head to the parking lot and leave. There’s a bit of traffic – school buses, cars and some heading to a nearby bus stop. No big deal.

Now imagine heading downtown to that Friday night game, if the semiprofessional soccer team being courted isn’t using it. As you head to that parking lot there is a significant traffic jam. Perhaps a sold -out (12,000-plus seats) Garth Brooks concert, a sold -out (400-plus seats) Civic Theater play and the football game (5,000 seats) all get out at the same time. Is there any concern about emergency vehicles getting through? Do we want all that congestion?

Seems a specious argument that students of modest means will have a harder time getting to Joe Albi.

That’s assuming they all live near downtown. Certainly there will be good bus service to Joe Albi. School buses will go there for sure. Students will find a way. If you have left a Gonzaga basketball game, you know about traffic jams. That’s one 6,000-seat venue.

A little bird mentioned Walt Worthy would not have built The Davenport Grand hotel if the proposed stadium wasn’t downtown. Fewer hotel stays from high school athletics for sure.

Laurae Sather


They’re not the enemy

A day doesn’t pass without an article either denigrating the police or promising new legislation to prevent them from doing their jobs. I will remind you their job is to protect law -abiding citizens and their property.

A Black girl with a knife is seen by police attacking two people with a knife. They respond in the only manner possible to protect the potential victims by shooting her. An article in The S-R includes one small sentence noting she was attacking two people. The rest of the article was devoted to the fact that cops shot another Black person, further stirring the racial pot. Meanwhile, state and federal legislators are enacting all kinds of laws restricting the use of devices like tear gas, which is a valuable tool to prevent much more serious harm if the police are forced into physical contact with criminals and rioters.

As the pendulum swings ever farther to the left, we are seeing the predictable results. Violent crime, including rioting and homicide, is increasing at a record pace. Fewer people are entering the law enforcement field. Current policemen are demoralized and are refraining from doing their jobs. If you believe, as I do, that 99% of our police are good and want to protect people of all colors, take a moment to thank them on the street. Write your legislators and tell them to revise their priority. Write an editorial like this one. It’s time to make the pendulum swing back to center.

Hal Dixon


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