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Letters for June 20, 2024

Community loses cultural institution

I am writing to express my disappointment over the impending closure of KEWU, the city’s only jazz station, operated by Eastern Washington University. This decision marks a significant loss for our community, which has greatly benefited from the cultural and educational opportunities the station provided.

For many years, KEWU has been a beacon of jazz music, offering a diverse range of programs that have introduced countless listeners to the rich, vibrant world of jazz. The station has not only been a source of entertainment but also an invaluable educational resource. Through its broadcasts, many in our community have gained a deeper appreciation and understanding of jazz – a genre that is a fundamental part of America’s musical heritage.

Moreover, KEWU has served as a platform for local jazz musicians, providing them with the exposure and recognition they might not have otherwise received. The station has been instrumental in nurturing local talent and fostering a sense of community among jazz enthusiasts in our region.

The closure of KEWU is not just a loss of a radio station; it is the loss of a cultural institution that has connected us to the broad array of jazz music.

I urge Eastern Washington University and the broader community to reconsider this decision and explore alternative solutions to keep KEWU on the air. Whether through increased funding, community partnerships, or volunteer support, I believe there are ways to sustain this invaluable resource.

John McKee

Nine Mile Falls

Monson will continue coaching tradition

Thank you for the great story about Don and Dan Monson (“Big Mons and Little Mons,” June 16). My friends and I were fortunate to have been coached and mentored by Don at his first position at Cheney High School. He was a wonderful model for a lucky group of young people “back in the day.”

In the early 1960s, Don taught junior high math as well as coaching basketball and baseball at Cheney High. In addition, he was surrounded by a number of great coaches and leaders. Bob Everson and then Jim Hatch were the football coaches. Don was the basketball coach, assisted by Hatch. Don also was the baseball coach. Eldon Engel was the wrestling coach. And George Fisher was the long-time principal corralling them all. These were exceptional men and coaches from the old school. We were indeed blessed to have been molded by these outstanding individuals.

Your story made it clear that Dan will continue this coaching tradition. It is so fitting that it will be continued in the community where it began.

Bob Crabb


Nethercutt exemplified dignity

I was very sad to hear of George’s Nethercutt’s death.

I had the privilege of growing up in Spokane in the 1950s and 1960s in a bipartisan home. By that I mean, we had relatives and friends from both sides of the political aisle. I had an uncle who ran for mayor of Spokane, only to be defeated by Dave Rogers. Dave remained a friend of the family.

Another uncle back East was best friends with Chief Justice Warren Burger. When my uncle died, Justice Burger was his pallbearer. A cousin worked as an educational consultant for Al Gore’s campaign.

Tom and Heather Foley were longtime friends, and George Nethercutt became a friend, too.

When I was working on a project a few years ago to name a playground after Candy Rogers in Spokane, I turned to Nethercutt. I knew he cared deeply about children, their safety and protection. Nethercutt had the depth and compassion to understand that Rogers’ tragic death held deep meaning for all of us then, and now. We knew nothing about personal safety in 1959 and we were all at risk. We just didn’t realize it.

Tom McArthur, an aide to Nethercutt, eloquently read his statement of support at a hearing in Spokane. Nethercutt knew that Rogers’ life and death changed us then and continues to. He understood why honoring her is the dignified and honorable thing to do.

Nethercutt was a truly elegant man. Rest in peace, sir.

Sara Ferris

Coeur d’Alene

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