Letters for March 29, 2023
March 29, 2023 Updated Wed., March 29, 2023 at 8:16 a.m.
Three cheers for moose relocation
On Friday, personnel from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife professionally, efficiently and humanely relocated a cow moose and her nearly fully grown calf from the Rockwood South Hill Retirement Community campus.
Kudos and a big thank you to the men and women involved in this hard and dangerous work that mostly goes unnoticed and unheralded. They did a great job!
New library lacks charm
I visited the newly remodeled South Hill Library this week and was disappointed in the new look and arrangement. It’s not an inviting or comfortable atmosphere like the former interior was. The white metal bookshelves remind me of a sterile hospital setting. Libraries are supposed to be a place for quiet time and not for play areas that generate noise. I hope the drive-up box for returns is restored soon. What a waste of money for this remodel.
See who supports HR 5 and why
HR 5, the Parents Bill of Rights, passed the House on Friday. A recent column by Sean V. O’Brien, Eastern Washington director of right-wing Washington Policy Center, “We must affirm parents’ rights, put students first” (March 22), explained the bill. Reading the “five pillars of H.R. 5,” one senses that in normal times this legislation, though unnecessary, would seem quite innocent. But these aren’t normal times and the second pillar, “parents have the right to be heard” is being greatly debased by many Republicans.
Perhaps the greatest evidence HR 5 is bad legislation, is that MAGA Republicans and House of Representatives Republicans enthusiastically support it, including Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Liberty Lake City Councilman Chris Cargill, O’Brien’s WPC predecessor. Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and like-minded white parents use it to legitimize their restrictions on what can be taught. In particular, their ban on honest instruction of U.S. racial history. They treat students of color as invisible with no regard for negative effects on them. Student opinion is ignored in general despite polls showing considerable disagreement between high school-age students and those of their parents’ age on MAGA issues, including book banning, COVID regulations, climate change and school shootings (gun control).
Actions by DeSantis as governor and many white parents at school board meetings reek of white supremacy and prospects of Iranian-style morality police.
Support school levies
In a recent letter to the editor (“School levies,” March 24), Jim Kotur demonstrates a lack of knowledge about how school districts are funded in Washington, suggesting that levies aren’t needed, districts should just be more responsible. School district funding is complex, so his lack of understanding of how it works could be forgiven. Though I would imagine his local district provides ample opportunities for its taxpayers to become educated about the details.
What is more unfortunate in his letter, is the intimation that students are not worth the local contribution that a district levy provides. Even sadder, he suggests free lunch is unnecessary because one person told him that some part of the meal ends up in the trash. The naivety of this statement is stunning. Unlike Kotur, I happily pay my property taxes, 33% of which go to the local school district where I live. And of the amount that goes to the district, when divided by the number or students enrolled, it comes out to about 17 cents per student. That seems like a small amount to contribute to my local school district. About 90% of students in this country are enrolled in public schools; to not prioritize their education and future at the local level is short-sighted, for them and for this nation.
Good citizens contributed to my education and I dare say did for Kotur. I am grateful for that. From my perspective, school levies/bonds deserve my support. Kids are worth it, as are the educators who serve them.
Boling column stands out
The “Odd Couple” story by Dave Boling (“An unlikely pair,” March 25) is by far the best article I’ve ever read on your sports pages. Bravo to him and all!
We must know truth about the KKK
I was pleased to read about the book, “A Fever in the Heartland” by Timothy Egan. It chronicles the rise of the KKK in the north in Indiana in the 1920s. The KKK feared the rising influence of African Americans. Southern Italians with dark complexions were suspect of being African. There was a widespread fear of Catholics buying land to replace Protestant whites. The KKK quickly spread across the northern states, including Washington state aiming to defame, discriminate and sometimes do violence.
I was born in 1928 in Pennsylvania into a conservative Protestant family. My saintly grandfather was the author of a Christian book. I admired him deeply.
At age 13, my parents learned the truth about the KKK. They told me that my grandfather and the pastor who baptized me had started the chapter of the KKK. My parents had joined as did most of my aunts. There were no African Americans in this town of 3,000 and no Jews. Catholics were the targets!
In Germany, Hitler was rising. In 1932, he rose to power thanks to the votes of Catholic and Protestant Christians. “America first” Americans supported him! Germans interviewed after the war considered most Nazis to be “good neighbors.”
I spent the summer of 1950 with two former Hitler youth movement members at a church camp. Werner and Rolf still revered Hitler.
The bottom line here is that it’s “good” people who support evil and do so most often unconsciously!