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Letters for July 24, 2022

Mayor Woodward should try being homeless

Mayor Nadine Woodward claims, on behalf of the city, that “We make it easy to be homeless.” If that’s such a desirable way to live in Spokane, perhaps she’d like to give it a try.

Jim Price


Somewhere else doesn’t exist

My father drank his way out of our house. Mom got him a furnished room in a building with other men who’d done the same. It was ugly, sad and smelled awful, but it was a roof over his head and a lock on the door.

Mom tried, but fought mental illness. When I was 19 I had to leave. I made $100 for the week at a movie theater and put $50 down for a week on a tiny hotel room. No deposit, no ID. Family is supposed to be a refuge, but for too many, it’s a trap. Foster care is worse. It’s hard to trust any person or agency. Many mean well but don’t understand the claustrophobia.

There are wildlife refuges; there needs to be a place set aside for feral people. I had Times Square and Hell’s Kitchen, but most of those places are gone and tent cities now abound. Spokane had the Carlyle that housed 75 people with mental illness. There were SROs at the bottom of the hill from Sacred Heart. All gone now. You had a free standing Clubhouse program for people with mental illness, now closed. The Fountain House clubhouse program in NYC eases people into housing and jobs.

Mayor Woodward, take a trip east and take a tour of the program, it would not only help with homelessness, it would greatly help the labor shortage. I suggest protecting a tiny piece of the city for the poor.

Nancy McCormick


Response to Sue Lani

As a retired educator, I appreciated Sue Lani Madsen’s column (“State’s schools failing mandate to teach morality, patriotism,” July 14) on RWC 28A.405.030, a law of which I was unaware. But, the column also troubles me. Emphasis on “morality” and “patriotism” sets the stage for shouting matches more often than reasoned dialogue. Talk conducted within these two highly charged ideological frameworks usually ends up denying, challenging and usurping justice, truth, temperance and humanity.

Equally troubling is Madsen’s decision to overlook what she knows about critical race theory and use the “shorthand” anyway. If discussions on educational policy and curricula are to be fully and fairly informed, shorthand references to critical race theory must be abandoned because CRT has been transformed into a political sledgehammer. Madsen’s column perpetuates a rhetorical practice that is the antithesis of critical thinking and informed deliberation.

Additionally, the statement that current curricula “denies the existence of objective truth” is absurd, but serves well as another political dog whistle. Same with “Feelings are more important than facts.” And the suggestion that “identity politics” is responsible for undermining civilized society is highly problematic. For most of U.S. history, vast sectors of the population have been shunted aside, their rights denied, and the responsibilities, duties of citizenship refused to them. These truths must not be buried.

Many people seem to misunderstand what is being taught in the schools these days. What is needed is serious conversation, not shouting matches with shorthand slogans bandied about or simple tests administered at school board meetings.

Elaine Harger

Spokane Valley

Morality mandate

How ironic. Sue Lani Madsen opens her July 14 column berating teachers for failing to follow the law and teach their students morality and patriotism. Then she pivots to a tired rant about critical race theory.

A true patriot sees the whole of their country, its greatness and its warts. And looks to make it better not by denial, but by working to improve it.

Seems like most who rail against CRT want schools to forget about our country’s history of enslavement and racism as teaching it might make students “uncomfortable.” Yet how can morality be taught without discussing things which are amoral? Like slavery and racism. I’m sure the irony is lost on her.

P.S. Parents have always held school boards accountable. Not by ranting and raving, not by threats, not through stacks of misguided, wasted paper. But through civil discourse and the most powerful of our accountability tools: the ballot box.

Jim Sackville-West


Nightmarish consequences with a fetus

Laws declaring “a fetus is a person” and “termination of pregnancy is murder” will create nightmarish consequences, especially for women and men who oppose abortion and want to give birth, and especially for the 20% of pregnancies that end in miscarriage.

Coroners and prosecutors will investigate each miscarriage to determine if there was “lack of care” or some conduct that caused the miscarriage, and then determine if the death was accidental, or “negligent homicide, or reckless or intentional murder.” Your private life will be publicly scrutinized. Husbands can be prosecuted, even if they believed they were trying to protect the fetus. In a public criminal trial, a jury will “second-guess” your decisions.

Aside from miscarriages, if there is probable cause of fetal harm, a court could impose restrictions on any pregnant woman, like those who might over-eat, smoke, or need supplements, medications, or cancer treatments. A court could prohibit travel and certain medical treatments, and even order continuous monitoring until the baby is born.

And if there is probable cause that the fetus might not survive to term, a court could order the “involuntary premature delivery” of a fetus, to save the fetus, even the parents oppose. Courts can reject expert medical opinions and overrule parental wishes, as they do when removing children from homes in cases of parental abuse or neglect. To protect fetal life, a court could order that a pregnant woman risk death.

Myron Schreck

Moscow, Idaho

President Biden

It was said in January 2021 that “if it is not broke, Biden will break it.” Truer words were never spoken. His administration has defied logic in its actions. His energy decisions alone have had a devastating effect on our economy, national security and world peace. His commitment to a nonexistent “green utopia” has allowed India, China and Russia to pollute and prosper and OPEC nations to grow richer while Americans suffer, presumptuously thinking that we can affect “climate change.”

The president boasts the most diverse Cabinet in history. It would be true if just one of them were competent. Most have no experience in the departments that they head. The VP and entire cabinet are incapable fools, lacking the motivation, knowledge and ability to do anything but harm.

Our economy is in shambles, our border is open, and crime is out of control. Some may say that the president is well-intended, but by adhering to progressive dogma, he has managed to break every thing he has touched. He has a history of dishonesty, hypocrisy and is linked to family corruption. The fact that he is probably in mental decline makes it even more alarming. Other than Sen. Manchin, no one in his party will step out to stop his destructive agendas.

We cannot get out of this mess unless we honestly assess where we are and what we must do, All we seem to get is denial and blame shifting, along with weekly “new plans.” A first step would be a common sense long-term energy plan. That would put fossil fuels back in play as a key energy source by using natural gas, and drilling, transporting and refining oil.

Jeff Reyburn


Evident truth

We hold these truths to be self-evident …

Not so much.

I’m a 71-year-old white man. In my lifetime I’ve had to come to grips with the assassinations of JFK, Bobby, Martin, Malcom. I’ve been fed the fears of the Cold War, the deceits of Vietnam, the disillusions of Watergate, the innocuous grin of Jimmy Carter, the sanguine trickles of Reagan, the arrogant indiscretions of the Clintons, the “read-my-lips” hypocrisy of the Bushes, the glimmer of Obama’s unrealized hope, the lies and chaos of the Trumplicans, and now the pitiful capitulations of Biden. It’s hard to swallow.

And yet, as a second generation poster child American dreamer, I’ve thrived. So what am I complaining about?


It appears we’ve given up on the goal of creating a more perfect union. Society is imploding. We’ve succumbed to subjective truth. Many Americans feel threatened by replacement theories. Daily violence is the perceived answer. Malicious narratives abound. The essential tenet that no one is above the law is on the brink of extinction. In fact, the only evident truth is that self-interest trumps everything.


But if the epigram, In God We Trust, means anything, it is my fervent prayer that we’ll come to realize our survival rests on our ability to rely on each other, and for that to happen truth must become self-evident.

Tim Williams


Abraham Lincoln

In 1838, Abraham Lincoln spoke these words, “As a nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide.” Ironic, isn’t it, that the party of Lincoln can’t wait to pull the trigger.

Bruce Market


Heart is broken for Uvalde

My heart is broken for all of Uvalde. The people of Texas are as wonderful as any in the U.S. But in Texas, Republicans permit toxic chemical plants near elementary schools. Winter before last, thousands of citizens froze and some to death due to a lack of upgrade for weather change with Republicans in charge who insist there is no global climate disruption. Abbott cut $200 million from Texas mental health services but now says it’s the solution to mass shootings while ensuring military weaponry is readily available; all while declaring Texas is the Second Amendment Sanctuary State. Now, while they (Abbott, Cruz, Patrick, etc.) ensure that emotionally challenged 18-year-olds can still obtain military weapons, the faulty leadership comes to light while they are so quick to criticize any critique from anyone else.

It is not mean or insensitive to immediately question the leadership before funerals, as the same errors will occur without correction. School is out. Many day care centers, kid sporting activities, Scouts, and camps are fully engaged and we do not want a one-hour delay before stopping the user of a high velocity and capacity military weapon in mass murder of any, especially children.

Ed Terhaar


Keep Vicki Dalton

Regarding the June 20 article referring to a requested review of our 2020 election (“Republicans call for review of 2020 Spokane County election”), Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton answered questions thoughtfully, expertly and thoroughly. Her professionalism throughout her 20-plus years of service was in plain view and the transparency required of her office evident.

In 2001 and for a few subsequent years, I served as a volunteer election observer of ballot processing and counts. Along with observers of both parties, I first went through a training session. I served during the second 2004 recount for governor. I recall Secretary of State Sam Reed, R, visited Spokane during this period. He was quoted as saying if all the counties were run as well as Spokane, there would be no problems or doubts about the accuracy of the counts. Let’s keep Vicky Dalton as auditor and maintain the confidence in our county election process.

Diane Crow


Idaho GOP chair’s inflammatory statement

At the Idaho Republican Convention last weekend, elected party chair Dorothy Moon stated, “We have to make sure with the Democrats coming at us with full force that we have our barriers up, our guns loaded…” Her comment was inflammatory and irresponsible. Threats against political opponents are never justified and this speech could easily incite violence.

With 28 years of Republican supermajorities in the legislature, it is nonsense to stoke fears of an assault by Democrats, literally or figuratively. Instead of mindless fear mongering, Moon’s time would be better spent mobilizing the party around providing actual solutions to real problems Idahoans face.

I urge Idahoans to read both the Democratic and Republican platforms and resolutions. In June, Idaho Democrats endorsed a platform centered on providing quality education and school facilities, an economy that rewards hard work, justice for all, accessible mental and physical health care, strong democratic institutions that prevent corruption, support for rural communities, and protection of our vital natural resources. These documents can be found at: I assume the newly revised GOP platform and resolutions will be posted in the near future:

Please take the time to read these documents before voting on Nov. 8.

Kathy Dawes

Moscow, Idaho

Stefanie Collins for prosecutor

I am pleased to recommend Stefanie Collins for prosecutor.

I worked alongside Ms. Collins for three years as the court liaison for the Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative Unit at the Department of Corrections. I have worked in the criminal justice system for the past 25 years and have worked with many prosecutors; Ms. Collins stands head and shoulders above the rest. Her research is always thorough and her presentation of the facts, as well as her sentencing recommendations, are spot on. She is brilliant in the court room – a sight to behold. She is always prepared for court and her capacity to familiarize herself with each case is nothing short of amazing. In this very busy world, Ms. Collins is quick to return a call or an email; she is approachable, kind and always willing to listen or help when asked. Ms. Collins is also generous with her knowledge of the law which improved the way in which I did my job. I learned so much just sitting next to her and listening as she presented. She is a brilliant and conscientious woman who not only cares about justice, but also cares deeply for victims of crime.

Ms. Collins, as prosecutor, will result in accountability for those who commit crimes as well as support victims of such crimes. I am honored to know her and call her my friend. Please vote for Ms. Collins as she will give her blood, sweat, and tears to make Spokane a safer place to live.

Jodie Oldham


Electoral Count Act

The foundation of our democratic republic is each individual’s right and ability to participate in secure, free and fair elections. Our representatives should be working to bolster trust in this foundational institution as well as upholding the norms that have ensured our democracy up to this point. We look to our legislators to set aside partisanship and work to update our current electoral legislation to prevent the overturning of the people’s will.

The Electoral Count Act of 1887 guides the electoral process; however, its antiquated and confusing language creates vulnerability to abuse and exploitation. Updating and clarifying the ECA does not change the election process. Instead, it would clearly define the process and eliminate loopholes. As the events of Jan. 6, 2021, become clearer, it is imperative that we act quickly to update the ECA and create a text that is coherent, definitive, and able to ward off any ill intentions in upcoming elections.

It is the responsibility of the government to ensure the protection of its citizens. One way this is done is by ensuring the peaceful transfer of power after an election. Updating the ECA would help create stability during this vulnerable time. We call on our elected officials to prioritize strengthening the guardrails of democracy to maintain stability following future elections by updating the Electoral Count Act of 1887. Each individual deserves to trust the election system and to know that the will of the people will be honored and accepted.

Patty Roylance

Nine Mile Falls

Haskell must go

I see where Spokane County Prosecutor Larry “Do Nothing” Haskell is running for re-election. The old Fifth Canon of Ethics of the American Bar Association reads: “The primary duty of a lawyer engaged in public prosecution is not to convict, but to see that justice is done.” Obviously Larry has never seen that canon, and even if he did, I highly doubt Larry would even understand it. Larry also doesn’t know anything about accountability. Since taking office in 2015, we’ve had enough of Larry now to last several lifetimes. Yes, he’s on the ballot, but I have just one question: Does that mean we have to vote for his racist wife, Lesley, too?

Dan Keenan


Welcome to Spokane

For many who are moving here, that welcome wish is accompanied by a hope that your out-of-state driving habits become less dangerous. As a 35-year resident I’ve experienced more close calls this year from rude, discourteous, fast drivers, many with out-of-state plates. Again welcome, and please become more courteous Lilac City drivers.

Larry Lanning


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