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Opinion >  Letters

Letters for Nov. 11, 2022

Nov. 11, 2022 Updated Fri., Nov. 11, 2022 at 8:09 a.m.

911 calls to be put on hold

Let me get this straight. Spokane Regional Emergency Communications came to Spokane city and county some years ago and promised they could improve dispatch times, which would also improve response times. Part of this could be done by paying new dispatchers less than those being paid already on the job. The previous dispatchers could join SREC dispatchers but not receive a pay increase until the SREC dispatchers caught up with them. Some agreed and some either quit or retired.

Now SREC cannot get enough dispatchers to do the job. If fewer dispatchers are on duty and the call volume has increased to the extent some calls will be put on hold, looks like estimated three minutes. Now how is SREC going to save money and improve dispatch times? Did the residents of the city of Spokane and the entire Spokane County save any money and if so, where did the savings go?

These type of takeovers happen all over this country, but after a while there turns out to be not the benefits promised.

Maybe the county and the city of Spokane should look into this and buy bus or plane tickets for SREC and send them packing.

Rodger Smith

Retired dispatcher

Nine Mile Falls

City crosswalk art

An Oct. 31 Spokesman-Review article on the $300K City Council project to paint rainbows and other designs on six crosswalks in an effort to “build up community identity,” “traffic calming” and make “drivers more alert” seems completely asinine. Try using our funds to fix the streets, improve the parks, enhance local libraries and above all, support law enforcement for public safety.

The idea is just as nonsensical as forgiving student loans of people making upward of $125,000-$250,000 annually and passing the costs to other non recipient taxpayers. The best we can do is make the approving City Council members read the quoted 2001 government study that concluded “crosswalk art had no discernible effect on safety” and then vote the bums out of office.

Politicians at all levels have lost their connection to the populace and common sense.

Joseph Harari


Affirmative action

The Supreme Court is considering whether public and private institutions can discriminate on the basis of race. Specifically, the practice of Harvard and the University of North Carolina granting preferences to certain applicants (Blacks, Hispanics and Natives) and imposing caps on others (whites, Jews and Asians).

The New York Times, in an email of daily news, laments that the vast majority of Americans, including Blacks, Hispanics and Asians, oppose “affirmative action,” a code phrase for quotas and preferences. If so, the question arises, how, over the years since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 supposedly outlawed racial discrimination, have these practices have become widespread? The answer is simple. The elites who dominate the media, educational system, corporations and courts simply decided they were immune from rules, law and consent of the governed. Their self-defined intellectual and moral superiority gave them that privilege.

Bill Manuel


Wasting tax payer funds

On Oct. 24, the Spokane City Council voted to give $973,000 (intended for traffic calming) to Spokane Arts to spend on street murals ($673,000) and six crosswalks ($300,000). The first crosswalk will be a rainbow design representing LGBTQ pride. The other five are undecided at this point. Council member Zack Zappone, who pushed to secure the funding said, “The sky is the limit.” Apparently, he thinks Spokane taxpayers have unlimited funds. City Council member Jonathon Bingle said a standard city crosswalk costs about $500. For $973,000, we could mark over 1,900 crosswalks to better alert drivers and pedestrians instead of six. Does this make sense to you? Is our homeless problem solved? Is Camp Hope gone? Is there an abundance of affordable housing in Spokane? Are the potholes on your street filled? Are your property taxes too low?

According to the Twitter account of Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer, from Oct. 1 to Nov. 3, 2022, there have been 23 auto vs. pedestrian incidences at intersections around Spokane. Nine of those locations have no marked crosswalks.

I applaud council members Bingle and Michael Cathcart for voting against this waste of taxpayer funds.

Rich Zywiak


There’s more to it

Following are two quotes from the S-R’s Oct. 28 article “County sees rise in RSV, influenza cases: “Health officials encouraged everyone to continue to wear masks in crowded indoor settings and get vaccinated against COVID-19.” “Receiving an updated COVID-19 booster is the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19.”

I have more to say on this topic than the word limit allows, but I’ll do my best. It is sadly disgusting that the quotes above quite well sum up the same tired message we’ve been receiving from “health experts” for about three years now. It’s the same shallow message.

Any honest official and probably many grandmothers can tell us there are scads of things we can do to promote good health other than what our highly paid “health experts” continue to harp upon. Such as “eat your vegetables, stay away from tobacco and booze, get plenty of sleep, drink lots of pure water, don’t be overweight and exercise regularly in ‘keeping’ with your age.” And pray tell, how do you expect to take in lots of fresh air while breathing your own exhaled breath over and over with a mask?

I’m “no health expert,” just a 91-year-old geezer, but I’ve lived by the above year and year after year and I’m in the lead of my age group in the Bloomsday run. Granted, nowadays I don’t have to be fast, just out live most of the other old geezers and geezerettes. Believe me, there’s a lot more to it than getting shots and wearing masks.

Ken Campbell

Deer Park

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