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Opinion >  Letters

Letters for May 11, 2022

UPDATED: Wed., May 11, 2022

Here we are

Here we are! Here we are, facing three worldwide potential disasters: Russian nuclear threats, a climate-based catastrophe and a deadly pandemic that may or may not have begun to decline. And what do the “true believers” on the Supreme Court do? They unleash a firestorm on our country by leaking their intent to abolish women’s rights by overturning Roe v. Wade! For what purpose? For what purpose? Why now?

Dr. Janet Norby


Nearest blue to you

“Near Nature, near perfect” needs to quickly be retired as our city motto and replaced with “Spokane, Nearest Blue to You.” As a Spokane Valley liberal I’m a glass half full kind of guy and now feel we need to capitalize on the once in generation tourist opportunity created by the inevitable overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Trigger laws In Idaho, Montana, Utah and the Dakotas completely banning abortion regardless of circumstances go into effect as soon as the decision is released. Giving our Convention and Visitors bureau little time to prepare an advertising campaign. I suggest targeting the poorest women forced into pregnancy and women horrified by their loss to make medical decisions regarding their own bodies.

This tourist draw could fill in the winter gap after Hoopfest and Bloomsday.

Discounted lodging and subsidized travel for the poorest. First class: Davenport, Churchill’s, crisp linen and white table cloth packages for the wealthiest. And of course, a rapid Washington resident package for these states smartest and most entrepreneurial women wishing relocate. We could call this the “To hell with you idiots, I’m moving to Washington package.” It is urgent that the bureau get on this pronto. There is money to be made and we are competing with California and Oregon.

Blake Albretsen

Spokane Valley

Long-term housing provides long-term solutions

Mayor Woodward aims to “make homelessness less comfortable.” There is nothing comfortable about being homeless or temporarily sheltered, and House of Charity 2.0 won’t “move people out of homelessness.” Temporary shelters are like offering a Band-Aid for a severed artery – a real solution is long-term housing, first. Providing housing without barriers reduces costs by 60% per person after one year. It costs more to leave the homeless unhoused than it does to provide permanent housing.

The homelessness crisis is linked to the affordable housing crisis. The majority of the employed population can’t afford to buy a home, rental vacancy is nearly zero, low-income renters are priced out, and there is an inadequate supply of diverse housing. One out of every 6 families in Spokane is living at or below the federal poverty line – miss two days of work or have a car break down and you could be knocked into homelessness. For most, homelessness is not a choice.

Trauma, mental health and substance abuse disorders are often the result of homelessness; unsheltered individuals are more likely to be disabled, to have been abused as a child and are disproportionately people of color. We did not get to this level of crisis because of individual choices alone, but because the system we all take part in has led us here. Housing-first initiatives are an effective and sustainable solution to homelessness, making homelessness “less comfortable,” is not.

Margaret Ogden


Senior driving

After driving in a spring downpour from the Valley to downtown I finally realized what the kids have been telling me for years. “Grandpa you’ve got to turn in your car keys and stop driving.” This is also for those strong-willed Grandmas out there.

I think the state should have a mandatory age of 80 to turn in your driver’s license. You can’t drive until you pass a state test and I think that when you turn 80 it’s time to be tested again. In this day and age with all the new folks coming to town it only makes sense that us seniors be tested to make sure of our capabilities. Once that has been reestablished then we would be eligible to drive again.

It only makes sense! Think of all the family squabbles it would end. Lets see what the Legislature says about it.

Norman Ellefson


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