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Opinion >  Letters

Letters for April 28

April 28, 2022 Updated Mon., May 2, 2022 at 12:15 p.m.

Leadership needed for salmon recovery

Thanks to Mr. Hayes for speaking out about the dire state of Northwest salmon runs. (“Speak the truth about salmon,” April 3)

We hear a lot of disinformation these days. Our very own Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers continues to spout nonsense regarding salmon recovery in the Snake River system. The people of Washington deserve the truth from our elected leaders, but instead of accepting where we are currently and finding a solution for all interested parties, our “leader” insists that the fish are doing just fine.

In fact, they are not doing fine and are on their way to extirpation from the best habitat in the Lower 48 states.

I get it that people are afraid of losing cooling and heating capabilities with the removal of the lower four Snake River dams, but they are not going to be removed without a firm plan to help those affected by their removal. Upgraded rail lines for farmer’s products, equal opportunity for the irrigators, an upgraded, enhanced power grid. These problems can be solved. Just sit down at the table, Cathy and state what will be needed. Simply saying “no” to dam removal is not leadership.

Imagine a free-flowing Snake River with salmon and steelhead returns that allow harvesting by the Tribes and opportunities for fisherman and guides. Imagine the people visiting the area for recreational opportunities and the increased dollars coming into our communities. These are the visions of our Northwest future. Saying “no” leads nowhere.

Debbie A. Stempf


Rallying the underdog

It’s understandable that Americans want to rally around an underdog, finally agree with their neighbors, leaders and media, and send aid to embattled Ukrainians. It’s troubling, however, so few of us recognize we strain at gnats and swallow camels to assure destruction of Europe’s poorest country. Some local Ukraine flags are inscribed, “America stands with Ukraine.” It would be more accurate to say “Ukraine stands in for America.”

Our leaders aren’t asked to explain motives for the proxy war against Russia, because it’s Russia, and until nukes are used, our costs are less than boots on the ground in the Middle East. Good-hearted optimists send Band-Aids for corpses and batteries for wheelbarrows while our unimaginative government sends sophisticated weapons that encourage doomed defenders and doomed invaders, alike, to be ever more brutal and suicidal. An S-R headline proclaimed “big bucks” raised in Spokane for Ukraine relief. How would you characterize the billions for death and destruction? Veterans for Peace are reminded of G.I.s in Afghanistan, convinced they were helping by building and rebuilding schools which were destroyed within weeks.

Zelenskyy, Putin and Biden are wrong. NATO is wrong. Ukraine defended by violence is Ukraine destroyed. As we urgently invest in our military at the expense of justice, health care and education, no war has been won since 1945. Hundreds have been lost. Millions of soldiers and civilians have been killed. What will we do for the survivors in Yemen, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Gaza and Syria? Perhaps we’ll let them join NATO.

Rusty Nelson


Ammi Midstokke column

Hopefully the S-R and its readers realize what a magnificent writer the paper has in Ammi Midstokke. Her columns every other Thursday are sidesplittingly funny, heart-rending and always eagerly anticipated. But her writing in the April 17 edition (“Finding Meaning in the Highlands”) was particularly marvelous–a truly beautiful piece of prose of world class quality. Congratulations and thanks to her and to the S-R for including her terrific writing for us to enjoy.

John Luppert


The two types of people in this world

I walk to school almost every morning. My walk to school takes me about 30 minutes. Along my walk, I pass by several people each day. Many people are new to me, though some are familiar. With all the people I’ve passed by, I have come to realize that there are two simple types of people I see. The first type acknowledges my presence. The other type are people who don’t! By “acknowledge,” I mean only a greeting.

What I noticed different about these two types of people is their different levels of happiness. The people who acknowledge my presence always seem happy. The people who do not acknowledge others with a greeting seem to not be as happy. To be clear, I’m not saying people are happier when they acknowledge me. People just seem happier when they are friendly to others.

Friendliness and its connection to happiness is a subtle reminder that what you put out into the world, you will get back. So, every day when I walk to school I try to acknowledge every person I pass. Whether that’s by exchanging nods or by saying “Hello.” It may seem strange, but for myself, I get a little confidence boost each time I say “Good morning!” or “Hola!” I recommend to anyone who’s reading this to acknowledge a random stranger as you pass by. Make the connection not just for yourself, but for the stranger. You never know how it may impact their day.

Tyler Vandeventer


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