I ran in the first Bloomsday in May 1977, through the encouragement of Don Kardong. It has been a tradition in my family of four generations ever since. I met Jon Neill about five years ago. His enthusiasm for running is remarkable. He has so much knowledge and great experience of running. He helped the cross country kids at Hutton Elementary School. He is an avid runner. His knowledge and organization of Bloomsday has been remarkable.
Jon was the perfect individual to take over as director of Don Kardongs’s position for the Bloomsday event. He dealt with the COVID-19 crisis and Bloomsday excellently. I’m shocked to hear that the Bloomsday board of directors has asked him to step down. It was terrible and I am concerned the Spokane Bloomsday event will suffer without him.
Jon’s smiling face and personality, his energy for togetherness, his kindness and his running knowledge is second to no one. I speak on behalf of many Bloomies who feel the same.
The five board members (Al Odenthal, Dori Whitford, Sarah Ranson, Michael Kiter and Mark Starr) who voted to strip Bloomsday race director of his title and duties owe our community some answers.
What areas of responsibility was Jon lacking in? Or, what duties was he not fulfilling?
What was the plan if Jon accepted a different role?
What was the plan if Jon resigned?
When the decision to vote came up, Sarah Ranson should not have been involved. She should have abstained or not been allowed to vote. She is moving to Michigan after this year’s race and told everyone on the board. Why did you move forward with your decision by a five-four majority knowing Sarah was moving?
Not one of the five of you have commented or answered these questions. I hope the sponsors, volunteers and supporters of Bloomsday will hold you accountable. Why won’t you be transparent with the community that supports you?
Former Bloomsday board member
Abstinence has endless benefits
It is disturbing to see Spokane’s infatuation with alcohol. Not many years ago, studies showed that alcohol caused far greater damage in America than all the illegal drugs combined. Our “war on drugs” ignores one of the biggest killers of all: alcohol. Chris Young was the main attraction at the Pavilion, Oct. 29 festival, to encourage people not to take fentanyl. Yet, in his song “At the End of a Bar,” he promotes spending time in a bar and drinking tequila so “you can find your future and look for answers. At the bottom of a glass, hell, sometimes that’s where it all starts.” Just because alcohol is “legal,” we ought not sensationalize it and make it appear a normal part of life. In doing so, the antidrug festival ignores the major harmful effects of alcohol. Effects that destroy families. I know.
Dear reader, how many people in your life have been damaged or destroyed by this major killer? How many of your family or friends have been negatively impacted by the damaging effects of alcohol? Young’s song celebrates alcohol. Such promotion of alcohol by Chris Young has no place at an antidrug festival. Many famous people no longer drink alcohol. In July, a major magazine ran an article entitled “25 proudly sober celebrities who say quitting alcohol changed their lives.” Ask any graduate of a 12-step program and they will tell you that total abstinence from alcohol has endless benefits.
Cannon Streetcar Historic District
To the owners of the properties located in the potential Cannon Streetcar Historic District (boundaries are approximately Sixth to 13th avenues and Lincoln to Walnut streets): I hope that all of you are interested in preserving the current look of our neighborhood.
There are some misconceptions as to development in a historic district. My understanding is that new buildings may come up and old buildings may be replaced with the idea that the new or remodeled ones will have to blend in with the character of the older buildings. This doesn’t affect the zoning as it exists now. It will impact mainly any work intended to be done to the building’s façade. There are tax or grant benefits for most of the homeowners wanting to improve their properties as well.
The people agreeing with the historic district (and voted yes already) are going to be very thankful to the ones that haven’t voted yet if they vote yes.
Please be aware that the deadlines are postmarked by Nov. 11 or delivered in person by Nov. 14. However, if your ballot is not sent in or delivered by those dates your non response is counted as a no vote. You will find a lot of information and you may print a ballot (click on BLANK BALLOT) at historicspokane.org/cannon.
Let’s show that Cannon can!
Transition to EVs
The government is clearly pressing the American people to make the transition from gasoline powered vehicles to electric vehicles. While the intended cleaning of the environment is good for all of us one can’t help but wonder what the end game is.
As more and more people switch to EVs, we will see gas stations begin to close. The EVs will then put an enormous strain on our existing electricity grid which is already close to being maxed out in some parts of the country. Does this mean we will build more power generation plants? If we build more natural gas and coal plants to power EVs, what have we accomplished in terms of cleaning up the environment? The power plants in America are mostly fueled by natural gas and coal. The rest is nuclear and hydroelectric. The government does not want fossil fuel plants as they are too dirty. They don’t want nuclear as it is too dangerous. They want to breach dams to help fish. How then do we expand the power grid? We are a long way from wind and sun picking up the slack.
Is there a plan in place in Washington, D.C., that can spell out how this great transition will work out? Just sayin!
City Council redistricting map
Three volunteers appointed by the mayor and approved by the City Council, were tasked with redrawing City Council district boundaries. This committee worked over several months drawing, debating, researching and surveying. At the end of this process, a dozen maps were trimmed to one and they presented their choice. Now the City Council has trumped their work and adopted a map drawn by one of its own? Why did they even bother with this sham process? Wouldn’t even the appearance of partisanship be enough to tip the scales to the map that was unanimously recommended by a three-person panel specifically asked to do this work? This appears to be yet another example of our City Council’s micromanagement, this time for political gain.
I was dismayed to read in Oct. 30’s newspaper that a majority of our City Council members voted to accept a redistricting plan for City Council elections that was contrary to the plan unanimously put forward by a group of appointed citizens who spent countless hours reviewing various options. This action dishonors the work of the redistricting board members and is a direct assault on the ideal of good government. The council majority’s action in this matter makes efforts by citizens appointed to serve on boards of this nature irrelevant. If the council majority had its way, we should just do away with citizen involvement in these types of decisions and let the politicians have their way. This is not the kind of government that our founders had in mind.
I appeal to those in the council majority on this issue to reconsider and vote to approve the unanimous recommendation of the redistricting board. If they do not, then we the people should do all that we can to see that those on the council who voted in the majority on this issue are removed from office at the next City Council election.
No dog park, they listened
I want to thank the Park Board and Parks and Recreation Department for listening to our neighborhoods and deciding against the three proposed dog parks in District 2, Underhill, Lincoln Park and Hazel’s Creek.
After four meetings, petitions, pictures and impassioned pleas, our voices were heard and our votes counted. It was tons of work yet worth every moment. I met wonderful people from those who fought with us to save our parks to those who saved them. The best outcome that could have happened was when those we thought were foes became allies who are helping us to get our parks declared natural areas so this never happens again. Thank you one and all.
Spending $973,000 for colorful crosswalks and street murals?
I’m certain the young families standing in line to get free food and the homeless living on the streets will greatly appreciate the art.
What planet are these City Council people from?