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Letters for April 17, 2024

Support our local libraries

A huge thank you to Washington state legislators for passing legislation aimed at safeguarding the state’s public libraries, and to Gov. Jay Inslee for signing it into law last month. It makes me proud and grateful to be a Washingtonian, particularly given the recent ramped-up efforts in states across the country – including in neighboring Idaho – to intimidate librarians and limit the books and services libraries provide.

I can’t help but think back to my childhood, when my mother often would take me and my four siblings to the library in the small Idaho farm town where I grew up. The library was tiny but seemed at my young age like a vast book treasure trove. The experience instilled in me a lifelong appreciation for libraries as sanctuaries of unbounded literary exploration and discovery.

My mother went on to eventually become a director, then chairwoman, of the Idaho State Library Board. Were she still alive today, she would be dismayed to see the renewed slew of efforts in that state to restrict and regulate library offerings, even to the point of making it easier for people to sue libraries and collect damages.

I’m hoping for better, less-politicized days ahead for libraries nationally. Until then, the new Washington law–making it more difficult for enemies of libraries to shut them down and enabling a broader population of voters to determine their fate – will provide welcome comfort.

Kim Crompton


Hometowner paper practices politics

The Spokesman-Review is my hometown newspaper. From the time I was old enough to read, and still at 66 years of age. Lately, I’m conflicted on whether or not I should continue my subscription.

My hometown paper has taken away one of my most favorite parts of the paper in not allowing letters regarding the mood of the country in the Letters to the Editor section. That’s an important part of any newspaper.

As an Army wife during two conflicts, we were told in regard to the wars, “You can’t believe the newspapers.” My soldier was on foreign soil. It’s all I had. You’re darn right I read the newspaper, and other people’s opinions of the war.

It’s an election year. I’ve always felt a newspaper was an outlet for different views, followed by confirmation or arguments to the letter writer’s opinion. I really miss that. I believe that most writers have proof to back up their letters. I only pray that politics isn’t playing a part in this.

Laura Hegel


State parks plan wastes dollars

Instead of repaving Centennial Trail, the state parks could use most of this money on other areas. I ride the trail often in good weather and agree there are spots that need repair from root damage and erosion. However, not the whole trail. This is a waste of dollars and resources that could be used elsewhere.

Dave Goebbert


Read up on WSDOT options

Passenger rail service is having a renaissance moment in the form of $8 billion from federal funding.

Yet Washington State Transportation Department is throwing the Amtrak Cascades north-south line in the dumpster. Its Preliminary Service Development Plan options presented are not acceptable, nor in line with plans in place since 1991. See the Pre-SDP plan at

We must demand that the WSDOT plan includes these necessary aspects designed for maximum ridership: Trip time goals of 2.5 hours between Seattle and Portland, and increased train frequencies and infrastructure improvements to ensure 95% on-time performance, including dedicated passenger track with speeds up to 110 mph.

Why would WSDOT suddenly change course? Probably because of the Ultra High Speed Rail proposal. A report to the Joint Transportation Committee last summer put the price of the ultra project (which has no corridor, route or timeline for creation) at $150 billion, according to the consultant independent review at

Supporting Amtrak Cascades improvements will reduce congestion on our roads, help facilitate planning for more service to Eastern Washington, is achievable within 10 years and includes funding right now.

Go to Solutionary Rail before Thursday and sign on to their letter at

Also, email WSDOT directly at, subject line: Amtrak Cascades pre-SDP Comments.

Meghan Anderson


Letters policy

The Spokesman-Review invites original letters on local topics of public interest. Your letter must adhere to the following rules:

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