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Letters for Nov. 14, 2023

Time for studded tires to go

A letter in the Nov. 8 paper makes a reasonable point that studded tires should now be banned (“Studded tires wreaking havoc”).

AWD and 4WD vehicles have been available long enough that anybody who wants to tackle the South Hill when it’s icy can afford an older model, especially if they drive near the curb where more gravel gets thrown by traffic (a trick I learned while driving bus for STA).

Philip J. Mulligan


Not a one-size-fits-all solution

Every single human being has worth. Every single human being deserves to be housed, deserves safety and community. Every single human being has a story to tell. The question is whether or not we are willing to listen. Homelessness is complicated. There are no simple, easy, one-size-fits-all solutions. Perhaps we are asking the wrong question when considering our unhoused population. Rather than asking what can we do with them, we should be asking how did we fail them.

Janet Mann


What’s the plan?

What’s the plan? The U.S. supports Israel so it can destroy Hamas with our taxpayer money, military, and expertise, while many injured Palestinian kids are watching the loss of their moms, dads, sisters, and brothers in the thousands. Most likely those traumatized children will grow up to replace the Hamas fighters, or a similar organization under another name.

I met one of those children at Iowa State University way back in 1968. His family owned a two-story house on the Mediterranean in 1948 which was confiscated without compensation and used as a government building, then they were forced into a refugee camp. He was furious as most of us would be if that happened to us.

This war is worse than kicking the can down the road, it is setting up the world for violence and conflict in the future.

Ceasefire now. Peace now.

Nancy Street


Members of Congress should not support terrorism

The Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives who voted to select Mike Johnson as speaker have placed themselves in a chain of support for Hamas terrorists. They support Mr. Johnson who supports Mr. Trump who supports Mr. Putin who supports the government of Iran which supports Hamas. They should have done better. That any member of Congress would support terrorism, however remotely, is appalling. They have disgraced themselves, their party, and every single person who voted for them.

Michael W. O’Dea


Suggestion for Jefferson Elementary plaque

Most people know Thomas Jefferson as the third president of the United States, a Founding Father, and drafter of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson advocated against international slave trade, signing an act prohibiting slavery in 1807.

While we acknowledge the good he has done for this country, it’s immoral to allow naivete.

Jefferson enslaved 600-plus people. These people were subjected to brutal abuse by Jefferson and his overseers.

Shortly after Jefferson was sworn into office, he broke the Treaty of New Echota, which ensured Native people their land. He’d made a deal with the state of Georgia, trading land for the promise of displacing Native people. The erasure of Native American people and culture, aided by Jefferson’s presidency, is irreversible, as only 2% of todays U.S. population is Native.

We suggest a plaque be installed in Jefferson Elementary, acknowledging positive and negative impacts Jefferson had on our world today. Here’s our draft:

“While the good doings of Thomas Jefferson are recognized by the American people, it is valuable too, to recognize those he directly tormented in his life, and the structures of systemic oppression he solidified, which continues to harm marginalized communities today.

“It is imperative that all are enlightened about our country’s past. As Hasan Kwame Jeffries quotes, “If we don’t remember the past, we will continue it.”

As SPS students, we value hard history, and want knowledge about who we honor with monuments. We will work with BIPOC leaders finalizing our proposition.

Albert Johnson and Sadge Jaggar



Algae bloom in lower Snake River

Rewilding the lower Snake River is the best inclusive solution for all involved, especially wild salmon and steelhead. A healthier ecosystem will provide longer-term benefits compared to the status quo. Replacing energy, transportation and irrigation is feasible and affordable. A warming climate will continue to degrade the 140 miles of unhealthy reservoirs.

Thirty miles of toxic blue-green algae appeared in the lower Snake this fall. Alex Fremier, an environmental science professor at Washington State University, said the bloom on the Lower Snake is “unusually large” for a river. Dammed waters and blooms are certainly connected.

No toxic algae were observed in the free-flowing Snake above Lower Granite reservoir.

Bert Bowler


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