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Letters for Nov. 3

In support of Measure 1

For years we have known that Spokane’s justice system needs reform. Voting for Spokane County Measure 1 will provide the ongoing, necessary funds to do this. Proponents and opponents agree on major points: One, improved facilities are needed. The current jail was built in 1986 when our population was about 350,000; now it’s about 550,000. Both the current jail and Geiger facility are outdated and too costly to operate or just renovate. Two, significant funding is needed for programs for rehabilitation such as mental health and addiction treatment and job training. Three, our current system too often fails in meeting the ultimate goal of rehabilitation because too much emphasis is on incarceration.

One main concern about Measure 1 by both sides is the lack of enough details on how the money will be spent. We do know that the county will receive 60% while the cities in the county will share 40%. Moreover, one-third must go to criminal justice, which includes new facilities, but the remaining two-thirds would be available for all of the programs that are needed to help individuals improve their lives.

Even if Measure 1 passes, it will be five years before facilities are completed and needed programs fully implemented. We have been talking about reform for years. I am tired of waiting and hope you are too. Please join me in voting “Yes” on Measure 1 and then putting pressure on our elected officials to make sure that programs for rehabilitation receive the necessary funding.

Gretchen McDevitt


Hesse for Fire District 8 commissioner

I’ve had the opportunity to work beside Commissioner Greg Hesse for a number of years. He has served through a period of unprecedented growth in a diverse district. Throughout this time he has demonstrated thoughtful decision making regarding the challenges of growing the fire department while balancing financial realities and community needs. Please consider retaining him as a Spokane Fire District 8 commissioner so he can continue working to grow a people centered and financially responsible organization.

Andy Rorie


We Believe, We Vote organization

I would like to offer We Believe, We Vote director Dale Whitaker a bit of vocabulary remediation (“Having faith in the system,” Oct. 24). A person’s “true character” (his wording) is not revealed by whatever established religion he or she has chosen to follow. Though deeply felt, an individual’s spiritual faith beliefs remain a matter of opinion, and nothing more. Likewise, “a moral and just society” is not dependent upon people’s formalized religious observations, but rather their devotion to a basic code of human decency.

When I reflect on a person’s character, and ponder what I would like to see in a moral society, I look for honesty, kindness, compassion and respect for others, personal courage, a dedication to hard work, and a premium put on serious study that creates an openness to new ideas. Those are the real human values (another term the Christian right has co-opted).

To immediately dismiss a potentially helpful political candidate who may very well exemplify these character traits I mention simply because they don’t ascribe to your opinions on issues derived strictly from your religious beliefs is narrow minded at best.

I doubt I will be able to change any We Believe, We Vote members’ minds about their organization’s practices, but at the very least, could they please get a grip on their terminology?

Warren Wheeler

Nine Mile Falls

Democrats’ irresponsible spending

The true, obvious and immediate existential threat to every American’s livelihood, standard of living and perhaps very life is the national debt, deficits, and by extension the Democrat Party.

Deficits are already creating inflation and destroying your standard of living. In addition, the national debt recently surpassed $33 trillion. Biden and the Democrats will add $2 trillion more in the next 12 months in a time of no pandemic relief, major crisis or war, and will continue to add trillions more each year. With inflation driving interest rates higher, interest on the debt is rising exponentially each year and is projected to cost over $1.5 trillion annually within a few years.

Democrats in Washington giggle at such talk and then advocate student loan forgiveness, trillions in spending to support their importation of seven million illegal aliens, and of course climate change. Democrat voters cheer them on. Republicans, lacking the progressive media’s megaphone, are only heard gently whispering about the issue, but they do understand the issue as evidenced by their recent talks in budget negotiations where again Democrats giggled and said heck no to spending restraint.

Republicans fear attacking full on knowing voters like gifts from Uncle Sam (spending). However, given overwhelming support by voters and demands to right the ship, I believe Republicans will act, but only with overwhelming election results. Democrats will certainly only punch more holes in the Titanic. Vote Republican like your life depends on it, because it does.

David Barnes


Mike Johnson nominated by CMR

Thank you to The Spokesman-Review for pointing out that Spokane’s representative in Congress is the one who nominated Mike Johnson to be speaker of the House of Representatives. As we all watch this election-denying, anti-LGBTQ, anti-abortion rights, anti-Ukraine person take the gavel, take on board that it was the increasingly MAGA-ized Cathy McMorris Rodgers who said he had “the heart and the mind to bring hope and healing.” And remember it next November.

Robin Rauzi


Israel and Palestine conflict needs de-escalation

Casualties are skyrocketing, allegiances are forming, and hatred is building with each new day of the latest Israeli and Palestinian conflict. The Biden administration and our country’s No. 1 priority should be to de-escalate the current situation across Israel and the Occupied Territory of Gaza.

Hamas’s attack on Israeli citizens on Oct. 7 was horrific. I liken Hamas’ indiscriminate killing with that of a school shooter who shoots the innocent to make a point. Inexcusable, hateful, evil.

Israel’s response to Hamas’ attack has also been horrific. More than 3,000 Palestinians have died from Israel’s bombardment of Gaza. Israel is commanding citizens in northern Gaza to evacuate to southern Gaza, where there are no living accommodations, water, fuel or water resources and where Israel is still conducting airstrikes. This response treats Palestinian civilians as if they are dispensable, collateral damage; as if their deaths are a justifiable means to destroying Hamas.

The United States has stood by Israel’s side for years. It is important that the United States also stands for justice, recognizing the sanctity of life for both Israeli and Palestinian civilians. It is time for Biden to take a stand, not just take sides, and to de-escalate this war.

Elizabeth Melville


Why does S-R print mostly negative articles about the right?

When I read this article that’s spun in a negative light (“Five things to know about House Speaker Mike Johnson,” Oct. 26), what I saw was five reasons I am a fan of Mike Johnson being voted in as our new speaker of the House.

Sorry to most likely offend some, but I, for one, miss the country I grew up in and Mike’s record would lead me to believe that he does as well. He’s a young, smart articulate man who I believe will do great things. But The Spokesman-Review chose an article from the Washington Post that cherry-picks five things that the left will love to spin as all negatives.

I am tired and scared for the direction this liberal progressive administration is taking us on. I have faith that Mike Johnson, Jim Jordan and Comer will get to the bottom of the gross corruption our current Biden administration and family have been getting away with all the while the DOJ, FBI and others covering their behinds.

This is going on in our local communities and elections as well, so please study the candidates and ask yourself if the liberal left candidates will make our community a better place, or just more of the same we’re getting from our president and his administration. Less freedom and more government control. What stove, furnace, AC unit, car, water tank etc. do you want to have? Are you OK with the big government making those mandatory decisions for you? Open your eyes and vote with your heart, not the party line.

Rick Richard


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