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Opinion >  Letters

Letters for Aug. 14, 2022

Homelessness in West Hills

The article “Project for homeless draws ire of West Hill Neighbors” (Aug. 7) misses the main point. This is not your typical NIMBY opposition. The West Hills has been supportive of housing for the disadvantaged. We registered no objection to the proposal for two large apartment complexes for recovering addicts by Ascenda and for multiple units of (currently under construction) low-income housing by Catholic Charities at the bottom of Sunset Hill. The problem is that having agreed to multiple low-income housing complexes in the rapidly developing West Hills Neighborhood, we now find ourselves in the immediate planning stage for one low-restriction motel at the top of the hill (1½ miles up the same road) and one large (low-restriction) pallet living space at the bottom of the hill. Another hotel may soon be for sale at the top of the hill. These projects have stopped at least two commercial projects (one apartment complex and one retail/apartment complex). West Hills is a vibrant neighborhood, but has an increasing crime rate due to the many homeless living in the woods within our neighborhood.

Placing between two and five additional buildings with well over 200 new homeless on a 1½-mile stretch of road, which already has a large unserved homeless population, does nothing to improve the plight of the existing homeless in the area while creating many of the same problems that exist in the Camp Hope complex.

Rick Clapp


That was fast

In response to: “Alternative to Camp Hope,” July 22.

Wow, that was fast!

The Spokesman-Review article dated July 22, “Alternative to Camp Hope” states that plans were being fast tracked to open a low-barrier shelter in the West Hills neighborhood. News to residents of West Hills.

Exactly two weeks later and money has been turned over to purchase the Quality Inn on Sunset Highway, changing it from a tax-paying, for-profit hotel to a nonprofit property run by Catholic Charities.

Making these impactful changes to the neighborhood in secret has put residents on the defensive and created a reactive environment, raising concerns about a sudden influx of hundreds of new neighbors, not to mention safety, zoning, environmental impact, etc.

This area is already short of essential services, businesses and transportation. The last City Council meeting (Aug. 2) revealed there has been a slow growth in the works with local developers planning to build taxable, affordable units, some with retail in West Hills, yet if a low-barrier shelter arrives those plans and tax dollars will go away.

The fact that these neighborhood-altering plans are being pushed through and funded quickly and in the shadows isn’t ethical, acceptable or neighborly.

Thanks to The Spokesman-Review for shining a light and breaking the story. It’ll be interesting to see if the media or the neighborhood can keep up with the changes being made in secret.

Elizabeth Oakes


Vote against authoritarianism in November

The trend of the national Republican Party toward right-wing authoritarianism should have all moderate Republicans upset. The fact that the Republican CPAC recently held in Texas had as a keynote speaker Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who suppressed Hungary’s democracy, should be alarming to all who uphold American values and freedoms.

Our democracy may no longer exist in the future because you did not stand up and vote to preserve it. In Washington, it is simple to vote and yet only 20% of Spokane County bothered to vote in the primaries. You need to VOTE in November to preserve our democracy, even if that means voting for a Democrat for a couple of years until the Republican Party returns to common-sense American values and freedoms. In the future, previous Republicans could easily run in Democrat primaries in order for you to vote and make that party more moderate again. We have to exercise our right to vote to create change in either party.

Nan Weaver


CMR earns low rating

The Pew Research Center data from a January poll shows a massive gap in political sentiment pertaining to climate change. Only 11% of Republicans/those leaning Republican think climate change policy should be a top policy priority while 65% of Democrats/those leaning Democratic believe it should. Which brings me to our local congresswoman, who is fond of claiming she leads the way on environmental and conservation issues. Does she really? The League of Conservation Voters gives her an appalling 5% score out of 100%. By comparison, our two Democratic Senate members earned scores in the low 90% range.

Their research into congressional voting records is an eye opener. It clearly demonstrates that GOP congressional members consistently earn miserable scores for their voting records. Don’t be fooled by CMR’s posturing. It’s a bald-faced lie.

Bruce Market


Still waiting for McMorris Rodgers

Cathy McMorris Rodgers is running for a 10th term in Congress and I think everyone should vote for her. I know what you are thinking: She has been in Congress for nearly 20 years and things have become worse every year. You are no doubt trying to think of anything she has actually accomplished in the last 20 years and can’t think of anything. However, I believe her 10th chance will be the charm and she will finally fulfill all the promises she has been making for the last 20 years. So vote for McMorris Rodgers!

Ed Guise


Pick your poison

Which is worse? All kids from both teams at a soccer match winning a trophy because “there are no losers, just winners,” or an adult acting like a 6-year-old crying because he knows he just lost in a game of Candy Land and refuses to admit it. Then throws a pathetic little cry baby fit, yelling at everyone that the other kids cheated, were out to get him and that he actually won. Which is worse?

Jason Ernsting

Nine Mile Falls

Political planets

One planet assumes we all are born roughly equal in abilities and everyone is treated fairly. The other assumes a wide range of ability and that things are not equally fair for all.

One planet assumes that government provides very little of value other than military defense and should be restrained as much as possible with some big exceptions. The other planet feels government can and should establish justice and promote the general welfare for all.

One planet believes fiercely in individual rights and competition. “You’re on your own” and “I can do whatever I want.” The other planet believes passionately in mutual responsibility and community. “We’re in it together” and “we should create a society that works well for all.”

One planet wants a single authoritarian leader who will save them from perceived threats to “their” country. The other planet is committed to democratic processes designed to include and serve all citizens.

Finally and sadly, one planet often relies on opinions, outright lies and conspiracy theories to explain things. “Climate change is not man made” and “the election was stolen.” The other planet strives to draw on science and facts. “We are the primary cause of climate change” and “the election was secure and accurate.”

I know which planet I want to live on. Please think carefully this November about which one you do.

Dan Distelhorst


Pure nastiness

The Monday editorial cartoon by Jack Ohman of the Sacramento Bee was as low as you go and was not worthy of publishing in The Spokesman-Review. To feature the death of President Trump’s ex-wife and to equate this with a political issue has no place in our regional newspaper. Maybe it’s acceptable in California, but even there it should be recognized as being in poor taste.

I urge the editorial staff to screen editorial cartoons just as they would letters to the editor.

Michael Palanuk

Liberty Lake

Two takeaways

Two takeaways from the Aug. 9 edition of The Spokesman-Review.

One, the lack of any Page 1 story regarding the FBI serving a search warrant on the property of the former President of the United States demonstrates a fatal misunderstanding of the meaning of hyperlocal journalism. The fact that a former American president is suspected of criminal behavior is unique and of paramount importance to every citizen of this country, including every human being in the Inland Northwest. To ignore it is shameful.

Two, Steve Blewett’s letter to the editor, “Threats to democracy,” is befitting of a student and teacher of pure journalism. It is a succinct, concise and accurate answer to all of the ignorant and misinformed people who get their news from a newspaper that places a story about free lunches on its front page on the very same day.

Seabury Blair Jr.

Deer Park

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