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Letters for March 18, 2022

Let’s do all we can for salmon, steelhead

I’m responding to the article and beautiful photo in Sunday’s Spokesman about our local salmon returns for the upcoming season and the improved runs predicted in the Columbia system (“Salmon run wild,” March 13). I want to give kudos to the folks out every Sunday on the Thor Street overpass in Spokane with banners and signs supporting the salmon and steelhead in the Snake River system that aren’t doing so well. In fact, these fish are well on their way to extinction in just a few years. Idaho Fish and Game reported just 44 adult sockeye returned to Redfish Lake near Stanley, Idaho, this year. They used to have 35,000 return; that is why it’s called Redfish Lake. The lake’s bounty fed the lumbermen working the area in the past.

None of us want to see these salmon go extinct in the Snake system. The beautiful habitat in Idaho is just waiting for their return. Let’s make it so.

Debbie Stempf


Wildfires though the health lens

Like the proverbial story of the six blind men and the elephant, climate change impacts are nuanced. Last summer, a heat wave in Spokane reaching temperatures as high as 109 degrees, and the wildfires that paralleled the event, led to harm and destruction. The city of Spokane opened multiple cooling shelters, provided water and temporary relief. The Spokesman-Review reported 20 heat-related deaths, with the majority occurring among those living in houses without air-conditioning. The Washington Department of Health reported 100 heat-related deaths between June 26 and July 2.

Health risks associated with exposure to wildfires are experienced directly by people who live in the vicinity, as well as by firefighters. Immediate injuries such as from burns, smoke inhalation, eye irritation and heat-related illness may occur. The displacement from one’s homes and community leads to mental illness like depression and PTSD. Children and the elderly, outdoor workers and people living in low-income areas who are unable to access mitigation measures such as filters and air conditioners remain the most vulnerable. The cycle of increasing greenhouse gas emissions leading to extreme weather events such as heat waves can provide fuel for wildfires; however, this can be mitigated by the use of renewable energy.

Climate change impacts ecosystems, livelihoods and health on different levels. In this context, all six blind men are correct, as impacts from climate change vary when viewed from different angles. However, solutions that focus on clean air will benefit us all.

Pragya Rai


Idaho vaults back to the ’50s

Welcome back to the 1950s. For clarification, if a woman in the progressive (yes, sarcasm) state of Idaho has a physician-assisted abortion, said doctor can be sued by any member of that woman’s family for a minimum on $20,000 up until four years following. So, can we assume that if a woman in Idaho believes she has no option other than to perform a self-abortion and dies, any member of her family can sue the state of Idaho for no stated minimum up to four years following her death because of Idaho’s legislative negligence? Also, will the state of Washington be compensated by Idaho when these unprotected women flock to Spokane for safe procedures their state refuses? Seems only fair. Just curious.

You know, it just may behoove folks to pay a lot more attention to who they vote for.

Marcia Green


Airline satire

The recent satire by Gordon S. Jackson about the creation of a new airline specifically catering to “unruly” passengers is likely to produce the response, “why not?” The vast majority of reasonable people would welcome the ability to be freed from having to interact with those seeking their own version of freedom.

In fact, why not carry that a step further and give them their own state. I would suggest Texas, or maybe Florida. If this would also apply to the climate deniers, Florida would be perfect because when the glaciers all melt, most of Florida will be under water. The state motto could be, “How Well Can You Swim.”

Daniel J. Schaffer


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