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Opinion >  Letters

Letters for Sept. 8, 2022

Life expectancies vary by geographic locale

The finding that ZIP code, i.e. where you live, has a significant role in health, was first noted in Spokane in 2012 with the release of the Spokane Regional Health Department’s report “Odds Against Tomorrow.” Looking at data from 2000-09, an almost 18-year difference in life expectancy was found between two communities separated by only a few miles. East Central community members had the second lowest life expectancy and a difference of more than 11 years with the same comparison community. More than 10 years later, data suggest it’s only gotten worse for East Central citizens with a more than two-year decrease in their life expectancy and a difference of 15 years with another Spokane community only a few miles away.

Social factors contributing to health are not experienced equally according to social position and poorer communities experience worse health outcomes across generations, leading to health inequities based on race and socioeconomic status. The health effects of where people live are also mediated by the distance needed to travel to access health services and transportation resources, leading to missed or delayed health care appointments, increased health expenditures and poorer health outcomes. Community health centers bring needed health services as well as others, such as food and nutrition, transportation and employment to the people by removing geographic barriers that are often rate limiting. The long-standing adverse impacts on the health of the East Central community will only be improved when its members have improved access to essential care.

Bob Lutz


EV purchase benefits only a few

Our household earns less than $79,000 annually (before taxes) and in no way could we afford an electric vehicle, even with tax breaks and subsidies. From recent web searches, buyers of EVs enjoy up to $7,500 in tax incentives and, if you search further, get an additional $4,500 if you buy a union-made vehicle.

In addition, EV buyers pay no gas taxes to maintain our roads. Add to this what the government is paying for recharging stations to support electric vehicles. Add to this tax breaks given to manufactures. All these benefits are paid for with our taxes and at no benefit to the people who can’t afford an EV … the middle class.

Mike Levers


Our planet, democracy are at stake

Our democracy and environment are at stake, and Cathy McMorris Rogers does not have the courage or ethics to speak up about it. Her comments and voting record reflect loyalty to Donald Trump’s autocratic vision. At Cathy’s town hall she skirted around her ethical position for promoting the 2020 election Big Lie, denying it was stolen but claiming there were “irregularities.” Her examples of rule modification due to the pandemic, such as mail-in ballots, were disingenuous. She could not give actual fraud examples because there were none affecting the election outcome through multiple audits, recounts and lawsuits. She stated she voted to certify the election without mentioning she did so only after far-right Republican insurrectionists representing antisemitic, racist, misogynistic and white supremacy ideologies threatened her on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol.

She failed to explain her ethical opinion about Trump’s stealing of and refusing to return classified government White House documents, saying only that FBI retrieval of documents was weaponized for political purposes. Private citizen Trump is not above the law. As ranking member of the Energy and Commerce committee, Cathy has outsize influence on environmental law if Republicans retake the house.

She consistently votes against renewable forms of energy, clean water, public lands, clean air and environmental justice. The League of Conservation Voters gives her environmental actions a 5% lifetime score. Cathy’s concluding reading of the Preamble to the Constitution was in jarring contrast to questions she answered. Vote accordingly to save our democracy and our planet.

Mary Ann Gibson


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