Letters for Sept. 18, 2022

The fault is not in our stars

As Vestal notes in his most recent column (“Our Living City Mixes Terrific, Terrible Realities,” Sept. 9), “the city’s best live side by side with the worst” and “there’s always been this tension between the rough sides of the city and its aspiring, aspiring side.” His conclusion is: “It is frankly impossible to see a way out of the crisis with the current composition of the public leadership.”

As far as this is true, the dilemma is hopeless. We have chosen this “public leadership” and it is the existential truth that condemns people to personal, local, national and global need. Unless we, the people, “own” problems, nothing can be done to solve or avoid them. As Shakespeare has Cassius say of “Julius Caesar” in Act I, Scene III: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves…”

Only through awareness and appreciation of the holistic, contradictory nature of the human animal can we hope to find ways to deal with its negative, destructive tendencies and “let the light shine”. It is not an easy task because we have so many ways to conspire to escape the inconvenience and discomfort of self-knowledge. But with a purposeful and imaginative education system and a consciously supportive social system, it is possible. Our lives literally depend on it.

Peter Grossman


Expect to lose educators

A second Idaho librarian resigned last week, citing political and religious threats and meanness from religious zealots protesting many books. Expect more librarians to quit. Also, expect censored teachers who have put up with divisive political threats and meanness for three years to leave the profession or leave the state to teach in free states.

Eventually, expect doctors in women’s health care to flee the state. She and other healthcare workers have also endured divisive political threats and meanness for three years. The threat of imprisonment for the “crime” of upholding her oath is incentive enough to practice elsewhere.

There are other states in our failing, fading United States that will experience the same things after passing divisive anti-women, anti-science, and anti-education laws that also join anti-voting laws.

These states must have forgotten that the United States is meant to be free and democratic. Shame on them for doing this to their citizens and their country.

Jennifer Bates


‘The bear’

Talk about the new TV series “The Bear,” the latest entry from a famous Spokane chef features yet another one of the chefs without a beard cover (“Cooking up the truth,” Sept. 9). This seems to be a common theme. I collected whiskers from all the chefs that The Spokesman review promotes and glued them onto the items. Look for them on eBay when the chef becomes famous.

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mike smith


Madsen’s column hits the mark

Madsen’s recent column describing the president’s divisive speeches hits the mark (“Biden’s Speech May Strengthen Both Extremes,” Sept. 8). As the midterm elections approach, hopefully voters can identify the leaders and the party along with the media that continue to polarize and paralyze our nation.

The threats to our country come from misguided economic, social, energy, health and international policies that have led to inflation, rising crime, attacks on the judiciary, suppression of education and increasing tyranny abroad. The list of failures for the party in power is endless. Think immigration reform, increased taxes, and let’s not forget the inevitable blame game. The Russians, the Chinese, the supply chain, corporations, local gas dealers and, most importantly, Trump.

The obsession with the former president reflects an ongoing illness known as Trump derangement syndrome. Democrats and the media continue to use him as a distraction from the realities of 2022 as the party stalks student votes by denying loans, trapping the Medicare crowd in two to three years with drug caps, and more money/taxes on the current inflationary fire.

Make no mistake, Republicans are no angels, and we all know how citizens place politicians and the media, but the hypocrisy of the dictator and his allies deserves critical scrutiny as we head to the polls.

Joseph Harari


water protection

In May, the Spokane City Council passed a Drought Response Measures Ordinance. The ordinance essentially bans watering of outdoor plants between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. between June 1 and October, and limits watering of outdoor plants to four days per week.

Unfortunately, there are no means to prosecute, enforce, or hold individuals accountable. In fact, the leadership mentioned that they didn’t want to punish the community or encourage an atmosphere of neighbors gossiping about neighbors. Then how do we solve the problem? How about spending resources on educating the public?

This sounds eerily familiar after decisions being made in light of Spokane’s rising crime rate and growing homelessness problem. Some decisions are difficult, but must be made for the benefit of the entire community. That’s called leadership.

A recent article in The Spokesman-Review referred to the Spokane Riverkeeper’s urgent call for water conservation. In particular, he mentioned recent monitoring by the US Geological Survey that showed river flows at drought-like levels.

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Our underground aquifer is not limitless and it should be common sense that watering your lawn is futile during the hottest part of the day as most of the water evaporates into the atmosphere. But even after the ordinance is passed, countless violations occur every day from the South Hill to the North Side. These take place in city parks, several businesses, private homes, and even at Fairchild AFB (admittedly in Airway Heights). Again, we need common sense and leadership to address this issue.

Jerry Anderson


Seattle teachers protest for higher wages

Seattle teachers are protesting for more pay. A protester was asked why he was protesting. The protesting teacher says the cost of living in Seattle continues to rise. That’s the fault of the party that elects the west side of the state year after year, the Democratic Party.

As Democrats in government spend more, the cycle continues. Where Democrats are finding ways to collect more from businesses and individuals. They add more tax and regulatory costs to fees that everyone has to pay. Businesses then have to adjust the costs incurred and pass them on to consumers, increasing the cost of living. Look at what our federal government has been doing for the last two years with Biden in the White House and Democrats controlling both the House and the Senate under Pelosi and Schumer.

The failed policies of the Democrats have led to a significant increase in the cost of fuel, along with the inflation we have seen in the prices of goods and services that we all pay for.

What happens when the democratic government spends money? They keep spending and keep getting into debt.

What happens when companies and people spend money? They become aware of their debt and start cutting back on their spending.

It’s sad to see teachers protesting in Seattle, where children are the ones getting hurt. They don’t get their education. Until voters heed my points that I shared, we will continue on this downward path. I sincerely believe it’s time for people to get more conservative and start voting the Democrats out of office.

Todd Schnarr


The Epoch Times is dangerous

The Epoch Times is a dangerous newspaper apparently owned by the Falun Gong religion. Although Falun Gong and the Chinese Communist Party hate each other, they seem united in their desire to see China become the dominant world power. To that end, both work to weaken America.

The Epoch Times normalizes talk of secession or civil war and encourages American self-destruction.

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“Thinking about it, driving through central Tennessee the other day to visit a friend who lives in a rural area and looking at the endless farms with the strong men and women who work the land, we can unabashedly see them call them ‘The Patriots’. I knew they would win in the end, bitter as it would be. They are godly, they are brave, they would persevere, and they are armed and know well how to use those weapons.” (“Would impeaching Donald Trump lead to a civil war?” by Roger L. Simon, Opinion, The Epoch Times, 3-9 August 2022, p. A15)

The Epoch Times is in a hurry. “The second US civil war may have already begun with the arrests of Peter Navarro and Steve Bannon for refusing to speak to the January 6 Committee.”

Will we let foreign influence organs like The Epoch Times lure us into de-listing as great powers, or will we come together and fix what’s broken, like the administrative state?

Wiley Hollingsworth


9/11 reporting

The Spokesman review lost me. September 11th should always be on the front page of Patriots Day. You really messed it up. Not even a mention, but you brought in the new King of England. Priorities. Not the speaker.


Widow of a 100% disabled veteran.

Helen Chabot


No 9/11 coverage

I was very disappointed and appalled to find no coverage of the 9/11 tragedy in the Sunday 9/11 newspaper. They should have been on the front page; This was an attack on this country that should not be forgotten! Why you chose not to treat it is beyond me. News media across the country covered the story.

Robert Arlett


Kudos to Inland Northwest Opera

When I moved to Spokane nearly 15 years ago, I never expected to experience a high professional quality opera performance like the one I have seen elsewhere from some of the most renowned opera companies. In places like New York City, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Munich, London, Palermo, Naples and Savonlinna, Finland. That was my delight earlier this month at Inland Northwest Opera’s production of “La Traviata.” Exquisite vocals by Raquel Gonzalez as Violetta and by Andrew Stenson as Alfredo were perfectly accompanied by the orchestra conducted by John Baril. Can’t wait to see what Inland Northwest Opera has in store for the future. Nothing compares to a live performance of an opera, especially when done well, as I’ve seen here in Spokane.

Janet Grossman


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