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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sue Lani Madsen: Representative’s tribal visit is a reminder that we have a system that works, even when it works slowly

Conflict or the potential for conflict attracts more media attention than harmony. That explains why some events on Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ calendar this week received news coverage, and others slipped silently by like a sockeye traveling up the Columbia River. Or the parts of the river that still have salmon. There was potential for conflict in the Spokane Republican’s two-hour meeting with the Spokane Tribal Council. The reservation is the only consistently blue precinct in Stevens County, with less than 21% of voters supporting McMorris Rodgers in 2018, compared to 75% countywide. But it was a collaborative session, not the kind of political theater generated inside and outside too many town hall meetings.

Sue Lani Madsen: How are the children?

“How are the children,” Victor Rivas Rivers asked, quoting a traditional Masai greeting. It’s a measure of the health of the community. When children grow up experiencing abuse first or secondhand, they and the community are not well. And now we have data on how unwell.

Sue Lani Madsen: The glimmers of hope for mental health

“Our commitment is to continually making things better. You can’t wake up every morning frustrated,” advised Jeff Thomas, CEO of Frontier Behavioral Health. Actually, you can, but it’s not healthy. Not for you or your family member living with mental illness. Last week’s column describing one family’s frustrations with the mental health system resonated with many families.

Sue Lani Madsen: Opposition to I-1639 gets personal

On Monday, a meeting set up by a statewide grassroots group called “Washington Strikes Back 1639” drew more than 100 citizens to the Davenport Memorial Hall in Lincoln County, as farmers, teachers, ranchers, nurses, small business owners, elected officials and law enforcement officers all shared concerns about protecting their civil rights.