Warm water blob
Groups continue to want to tear down the Snake River Dams because it may help fish return numbers. There is no guarantee that will happen. What if billions are spent tearing the dams out, denying water storage, electricity, irrigation and commodity transportation, recreation and many other assets the dams offer, and it doesn’t work. Then what? The smolt and fingerlings that are taken by barge to the waters below Columbia River dams have a survival rate in the high 90%. Yet many don’t return from the Pacific Ocean. The National Park Service educates and informs people who really want to know what is happening about the “warm water blob” that has formed in the North Pacific Ocean waters from Oregon to Alaska. In a nut shell it depletes cold-water food organisms that feed the ocean’s fish population. For years the cod fishery has dropped off, dead sea birds have been washed ashore, all for the lack of nourishment. This same water is where our salmon and steelhead try to survive. That is why the undammed rivers are seeing critically low returning fish numbers too. This is affecting the entire oceanic and river ecosystem. I hope the fish can make it through the gauntlet to get back to the rivers, but if they can’t survive at sea they won’t even make it to the dams. Please educate yourself and learn about the warm water blob. Don’t let the dam’s assets be destroyed in the hopes that the returning fish numbers will increase.
Mayor Nadine Woodward is quoted as saying at her July 6 news conference that, “we make it easy to be homeless in Spokane.” Nothing could be further from the truth. As a former night manager with the Cannon St. shelter of Spokane, I have interacted and talked in depth with hundreds of homeless people. I have not met one of them who would agree with such a callous statement. To the contrary, the city of Spokane has made it very hard to be homeless. It has failed continually to provide enough shelter beds for the existing homeless much less the wraparound social services needed to lift them up out of homelessness. If the mayor would take the time to talk to the homeless and include them at the table of decision-making she would find the answer that she claims to seek to this question: What do the homeless need? They would answer, “We need someone to care, we need affordable housing, we need living wage jobs, we need access to health care.” Why is the mayor not working on these issues? Rather than advocating for stronger “sit and lie” laws and building fences under railroad bridges to keep out the homeless? The mayor needs to wake up and smell the coffee.
Re electing Larry Haskell
Primary elections are coming. All races are important but one particular race in Spokane for county prosecutor, I believe is extremely important. Larry Haskell is running for re election and has three challengers. However, from past events involving Haskell, re electing him would be a serious mistake and do an injustice to the citizens of Spokane. In 2017 Haskell attended a “Spirit of America Rally” which was a Trump rally. Haskell was quoted saying to the crowd “take our country back and resist the resistors” as reported by several media outlets. Security was provided by Oath Keepers and 63rd Lightfoot Militia. Both are anti government far right militia groups. Remember the name Oath Keepers from the January 6 capitol insurrection?
In 2019 Haskell attended a conservative secessionist 51st state rally. Matt Shea was involved in this effort to have eastern Washington become the state of liberty. Protestors of the event were confronted by armed citizens.
It has been widely reported Haskell’s wife made racist comments and identified as a white nationalist on social media. In a 2022 interview, Larry did admit that his wife made a racist post. Haskell has denied any knowledge of his wife’s beliefs and postings. Where there is smoke there is fire, an inferno in this case.
The Inland Northwest’s image is still plagued by racists, white supremacist’s, anti government militia groups. Larry’s previous actions are very unprofessional and questionable. This is not the person who should be the country prosecutor.
“Pig Heart” is great!
Shawn Vestal’s story, July 3, “Pig Heart” is a tiny masterpiece! Wow!
As a retired RN who cared for very critical patients, I loved it. The story rang so true. The interaction between the characters is deceptively simple but profound.
I know many of your readers complain about Mr. Vestal’s “vitriolic, liberal writing.” Well, I hope they all read this little jewel of a short summer story and agree that it is deeply human and heartwarming.