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Opinion >  Letters

Letters for May 6, 2022

UPDATED: Fri., May 6, 2022

Unnatural gas potent greenhouse gas

One day, our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be shocked to learn people like us actually lived in houses that were built like kindling on top of noxious gas lines, pumping air pollution into their homes and communities and making them sick with asthma and lung disease.

That day just got a little bit closer when the Washington State Building Code Council passed a commercial code that will restrict the burning of fossil fuels in newly built commercial and multifamily homes. This was the right first step – not only because two years ago we bought a home with a dangerous gas leak the prior owners were apparently living with, but because so-called “natural” gas is a potent greenhouse gas that warms our planet, leading to more wildfire, heat waves and drought.

Our children should have the opportunity to live in a healthy home that doesn’t make this crisis worse. They will come to think of the burning of fossil fuels as incredibly unnatural.

Next, we’ll need to ensure the electrification of new residential buildings, too.

Claire Richards


City Hall not a public forum?

Spokane Valley City Attorney Cary Driskell said banning newspapers from the City Hall lobby doesn’t violate anyone’s First Amendment rights because City Hall isn’t a traditional public forum? The idea that City Hall isn’t a public forum makes it clear that those who voted to ban newspapers believe citizens have no right to address government and that the elected officials aren’t responsible to the public.

The council members who voted against this measure are far from liberal. This is another example of the core of the GOP moving to an insular, cultlike view of the world, where everyone who doesn’t goose step in line should not have a voice.

If City Hall isn’t a public forum, then nothing is. They want to act as a junta, doing what they want without doing anything other than pandering to their reactionary base and fighting against anyone who has the temerity to disagree.

David A. Teich

Spokane Valley

Making the homeless less comfortable

Mayor Nadine Woodward thinks we should make the homeless “less comfortable” apparently on the assumption that their discomfort will motivate them to improve their circumstances.

I ran across a man sleeping on a downtown sidewalk on a recent morning. He had no blankets or sleeping bag. His only “shelter” was a couple of pieces of cardboard. My immediate thought was how we might motivate him by making him less comfortable. The answer, of course, was to take away his cardboard so that he might have an incentive to pursue a better life.

I believe we citizens should personally participate in advancing the mayor’s compassionate agenda, but I regret to say I did nothing. Now I am feeling a bit guilty. I will endeavor to be a better person in the future. And I hope other concerned citizens will actively work to help the homeless by making them more uncomfortable. There are a range of options – we can take away their blankets, their tents, maybe even their food and meds. The task will be easier come winter. Mother Nature will do the trick so long as we remain committed to improving the lives of the homeless by making sure there is no emergency shelter.

George Critchlow

Spokane Valley

If the shoe fits

Steve Vance’s comments (“Homeless shelter conflict,” April 27) are spot on – especially considering the glaring conflict of interest between Mayor Woodward and developer Larry Stone. Stone is likely licking his chops over a lease deal with Spokane to rent his recently purchased commercial building for a megashelter space. The same Larry Stone who produced “Seattle Is Dying,” and a hefty contributor to Woodward’s campaign. Conflicts of interest indeed!

Warehousing hundreds of traumatized, high-need homeless is not a wise use of taxpayer money. Neither is sweeping folks from one location to another, nor is imprisoning people for nonviolent “crimes” related to being unhoused, poor and disenfranchised from mental health, substance abuse, shelter and employment services. A “one-shoe-fits-all” model isn’t going to fit the varying needs for unhoused people. Successful solutions variations are being implemented and utilized in communities around the nation. Those seeking meaningful, humane, sustainable and fiscally responsible solutions must implement those strategies known to work.

This challenge requires multiple solutions. Those holding the purse strings of taxpayer monies, making decisions, setting policies, who care deeply that Spokane is an inclusive community valuing the dignity of each human person must rise to this challenge now. We must support areawide space for humanity’s most basic need: housing – be it a sanctioned encampment, pallet abodes, transitional supported and affordable permanent housing. Given the chance, most unhoused want to regain capacity and engage in meaningful ways as contributing members of society. Let’s come together to make that happen!

Marilyn Darilek


More expensive, less efficient paper

A couple of weeks ago, I received the invoice for my subscription to the paper edition of The Spokesman-Review. I was amazed to see that the price had risen, since my last renewal six months ago, another $104, to $494 for the next six months — and that’s six paper editions a week! Sure, I get the e-edition every day, but I don’t like reading the “paper” on a computer or tablet screen. If I did, I’d subscribe to just the digital edition and save money.

But to add insult to injury, so to speak, the paper copy has been delivered late 20 times this month, averaging 90 minutes late; and it’s been delivered late 31 times in the past six months. I’d be interested to know just what the S-R is doing with the big bucks they’re charging for a home subscription. It certainly isn’t being used to employ carriers who will get the job done on time. When the paper is delivered late, I don’t get to read it until after lunch. If you’re going to charge so much for delivery of the paper, how about giving me my money’s worth? Or how about a rebate for every day the paper is delivered late?

William Stickler

Spokane Valley

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