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Comment Archives: stories: News & Comment: Comment: Last 30 Days

Re: “Spare Your Change

The author came close to addressing the real problem when she asked "who really benefits from this crusade?". the answer is the same people that created the problem.
Maybe we should have thought about vagrancy before we made our city a dumping ground for geiger and Airway heights correctional, then pushed the mentally ill into homelessness. Business is booming in the Spokane homeless services sector and there are plans to expand. It's in their interest to be the only source of help to the homeless and poor.
There are people in homeless services that go the extra mile after mile after mile for the poor. God bless them but they are compromised by the fact that they also serve the same people that have broken and poisoned everything in our culture out of fear, bigotry and greed.
Panhandling is a symptom. We have to address the disease.

Posted by it'sMeAgain on 08/19/2014 at 6:30 PM

Re: “Spare Your Change

@Brookbank: Are you suggesting that your recovery was due to your ethnicity, socio economic background or hand outs from panhandling? Or was it because you hit rock bottom, got help and put in the tedious work to maintain your sobriety?

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by muddydog on 08/17/2014 at 10:18 AM

Re: “Spare Your Change

I took a large fall from grace after high school in Spokane. I ended up homeless on the streets of Seattle. I was lucky to be a white male from a middle class background with a high school diploma. When things took a turn for the better, society brushed the dirt off me and said essentially, "Get back in there, white boy, we need you." Given my white male status I have failed and been given more than one second chance others would be unlikely to get. Despite Mark Richard, DSP, and the private police forces (euphemistically called private security companies) harassing people in the shadows and in broad daylight, I will continue to reach my hand into my pockets and hand coins and bills to any human being I choose.…

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by DavidBrookbank on 08/16/2014 at 1:50 AM
Posted by DavidBrookbank on 08/16/2014 at 1:33 AM

Re: “While the World Burns

Holy smokes George, I knew where you were headed from the headline ("Obama weak" GOP talking point #34), but did you have to paste in all that stuff from Wikipedia first?

And can you go easy on the stereotypes? "Ruthless Russians" who speak with funny accent, no doubt. All named Boris or Vladimer too.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rocketrog on 08/15/2014 at 12:55 PM

Re: “Spare Your Change

I think that people who read to the final paragraph rather than following their knee-jerk reaction when scanning the article would note that the author is not suggesting that panhandling is positive or sustainable, advocates empowerment and moving out of homelessness, and is really just saying that we need to include everyone in the process. Personally, I think part of the reason downtown is "real tired" as one commenter described it, has to do with the limited vision that's been at the helm of the city for so long. It seems to me that the resources are being controlled by the least creative and efficient among us much of the time. Opening up the process rather than hiding poverty away would be a great first step toward a better strategy. If people want a sterilized, shopping and coffee only experience, they should go to the Mall of America or stay home. Life isn't like that and it shouldn't be.

3 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by taylorrw18 on 08/15/2014 at 10:17 AM

Re: “While the World Burns

George seems out of touch with his commentary on Flight 17. Notice that the furor over blaming the Russians and rebels seems to have died down, since it appears more likely that Ukraine shot down the plane. The bullet holes seem to verify it was shot down by another plane, not a missile. George favors agressive actions by the US, but forgets where that has gotten us in Iraq, Gaza and Afghanistan. Lets not forget we supported the overthrow of a legally elected government in Ukraine before we start yet another war.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mike Petersen on 08/14/2014 at 7:03 PM

Re: “While the World Burns

open your eyes and realize the lies you believe.
While you wear your blue colored tie, innocent Palestinians and Ukrainians die.
These "Bad actors" are indeed benefactors for they do not lie as much as
some countries who play very well the role of saviors while they're really enslaver"s.
"Idly waiting for Europe to solely defend itself". Wow what an understatement.
Why don't you take a vacation from your cozy office from the yards and go to the center
of the conflict in Ukraine. Then ask the locals whats really happening. This is so typical
of American news. When Georgia attacked the ossetian people living in south Russian and massacred
my people almost genocide killing thousands and burning people alive.
Unlike the netherlands Ossetians have under a million population and
yet western news channels never reported that. On the other hand they actually supported
Georgia and masked the whole thing off as if Russia was attacking Georgians, when in fact
they where only defending the minority living within its borders. The almost same thing happened
in Ukraine. Let me guess Mr. George Nethercutt took the same position back in 2008?
Russia is not the enemy! wake up people and please stop reading Mr. blue tie George. He obviously
is brainwashed like most people.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Peaceonearth on 08/14/2014 at 7:00 PM

Re: “Spare Your Change

Very well said! Rather than focus on real solutions to inequality and building a healthy community, the Downtown Spokane Partnership wants to sweep people off their doorstep and on to someone else's - wasting precious time and resources on superficial symptoms of underlying issues that they don't have the compassion or courage to face.

11 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by EdZuck on 08/14/2014 at 1:43 PM

Re: “Spare Your Change

Is Ms. Dolezal suggesting that giving money to panhandlers goes to buy anything other than alcohol, cigarettes and drugs? Is she saying that I'm a hard-hearted elitist looking to sweep away the oppressed from my "Pleasantville utopia" if I don't give money to people so they can get high?

7 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Spokalou on 08/14/2014 at 1:29 PM

Re: “Loitering For All

I like many of the points that writer Luke Baumgarten makes in this article regarding revitalizing downtown Spokane. I agree that downtown Spokane is beautiful and could and should be fixed up to attract new businesses and people to the downtown core. However, the homeless population in downtown Spokane creates an unhealthy environment. Mr. Baumgarten needs to walk around Spokane in the early morning and evening hours to see how the homeless make the downtown core their home. It is an unpleasant sight and unsafe and unsanitary for even the most progressive among us. I do like Luke's revitalization suggestions, and if we want to make it work, we need to also help the homeless in ways that do not include making their bed on the downtown shop keepers covered entryways or sleeping on the park benches.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by ponderosa on 08/14/2014 at 8:24 AM

Re: “Spare Your Change

Instead of pretending that panhandling is a sustainable lifestyle for the poor, Ms. Dolezal might want to consider how Spokane can grow its economy to create jobs for the poor. I am not an expert on economics, but I sure know that allowing the homeless to live on the streets is not going to aid in that effort. Absent the understanding that jobs are better than handouts well intentioned individuals can make all sorts of arguments in support of enabling (in one way or another) the jobless and homeless to continue their self-destructive lifestyle.

16 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by rich on 08/14/2014 at 5:33 AM

Re: “Spare Your Change

I completely disagree with the author of this piece. As one drives on I-90 into the city of Spokane and into the core of downtown, Spokane does not look ordinary. The first thing one sees is the BIG homeless population panhandling on the Freeway exits and inhabiting the downtown corridor. Sorry, that is not what "ordinary" looks like. The homeless situation in both the downtowns of Spokane and Seattle is unhealthy for both the homeless and the other citizens. Has the author given any thought to the negative economic impact the homeless have on Spokane and on downtown businesses? Has the author given any thought as to where the homeless urinate and defecate when making the downtown area their home? Has the author visited Seattle's downtown core recently? It is worse than it has ever been. Overpowering urine smells blow out of alleyways as shoppers make their way down to the Pike Place Market. The Seattle panhandlers are more aggressive than they have ever been. My husband and I spent two nights at the downtown Spokane DoubleTree in June. As we are early risers and walkers, we got to see the homeless sleeping in River Front Park and in the entry ways of businesses. It was definitely off-putting.

I agree with both Rob McCann, Director of Catholic Social Services, and muddydog. There are positive ways to help the homeless population, and it should not include giving them handouts so they can feed their addictions by buying meth, other drugs, and alcohol. Enabling them to do this by giving them handouts is not only not helpful, it actively harms the homeless addicts. It also enables them to continue to live on the streets of our urban downtown business/shopping area, and it has damaged the image and the reality of what used to be "Beautiful Downtown Spokane". Downtown Spokane is looking REAL TIRED and very rough around the edges. The downtown area of Spokane, including the I-90 exits in the downtown area, is in desperate needs of complete revitalization. Let's make downtown Spokane a desirable place where its citizens and tourists can once again enjoy the benefits of a healthy downtown core.

19 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by ponderosa on 08/14/2014 at 5:20 AM

Re: “Spare Your Change

Money given to panhandlers helps to support their addictions. Rob McCann, the director of Catholic Charities, made this point in an article in the Inlander on July 30, 2014. Mr. McCann works with this population, and characterized donations to panhandlers as a "disservice" that causes "chaos, addiction, suffering and even death."

Whether you give money isn't about poverty, it's about enabling. My dad used to say that "The highway to hell is paved with good intentions." And if you know the results of giving money to panhandlers, can you really claim to have good intentions? Is it really an excuse to claim a pure heart and an empty head?

17 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by muddydog on 08/13/2014 at 3:29 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor


I have become sick of reading the Inlander's Film Reviews. More specifically, I have just read the review for the new movie "INTO THE STORM". As a young adult with hopes of becoming a meteorologist (or "Storm-Rider"), I was looking forward to see this new film in theaters. (Only issue is, I had to stay home.) I am angry because (#1) the review kind-of shot down my hopes for what could have been the best tornado movie since 1996 ("TWISTER", 1996) (same year I was born), and (#2) because Mister Scott Renshaw seems to like using the word 'porn' to describes films about which he writes.

As much as he uses the word, the film industry might as well drop every other topic. Certain reviews start to lose their captivating details when people come across random, ridiculous words like that (eg "POMPEII" -- disaster porn; "NEED FOR SPEED" -- car porn; "INTO THE STORM" -- storm porn). It should be known to whoever sees this, including Mister Renshaw, that trying to sound smart by adding senseless words or phrases gets old, real fast. I advise Mister Renshaw to consult a dictionary to find out what the word of interest actually means. And after you do, please keep it and other words of the like out of the Reviews.

Posted by Tiar Atoigue on 08/10/2014 at 1:33 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor

As a former resident of Spokane who grew up long ago in Browne's Addition, I chanced upon a group called Chutzpah playing in the summer concert series at Coeur d'Alene Park. Giant pines and local neighbors kept time with the fun!

Too bad Browne's Addition, save for the area around the Elk, seems to be peeling away. Landlords are sucking every cent out of grand old houses worthy of historic status. The magnificent Clark mansion now sits at the edge of Dogpatch. Pacific Avenue between Chestnut and Spruce look like the Third World.

At least the concert series and Coeur d'ALene Park itself offer some distraction.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Former resident of Browne's Addition on 08/08/2014 at 4:42 PM

Re: “Loitering For All

One needs only to spend a day at Portland's Saturday Market to fully appreciate what is possible. A place where artists, both with and without homes, are celebrated and supported equally. It's truly beautiful. Since moving to Spokane a few months ago, this is the biggest difference I've noticed....The separation between the "community" and the "undesirables." brought on by ignorance and fear. There are some amazing people out walking the streets, just waiting to be invited in to the community, but as long as they are treated as something to avoid and be feared, they will continue to assume that role.

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Brian McDonnell on 08/06/2014 at 11:10 PM

Re: “Loitering For All

I think you should be Mayor. Xxx

8 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Alison Collins on 08/06/2014 at 5:19 PM

Re: “The Salvatori Effect

Yeah, in Spokane our economy is so great, our unemployment rate is so low, our median income is so high, and we have so few citizens in poverty that we can afford to restrict development. We don't need the jobs, the tax base or an influx of new businesses or residents. None of that progress stuff for us, thank you very much.

1 like, 15 dislikes
Posted by muddydog on 08/06/2014 at 4:40 PM

Re: “Loitering For All

Idealism is the luxury of the young. Folks who've been around for a while remember New York in '70's before Ed Koch became mayor and San Francisco in the '80's before Frank Jordan became mayor. Misguided attitudes about homelessness and crime severely reduced quality of life in both cities, and tourism dwindled. The loss of tourism and decreasing retail business in the Union Square area of San Francisco was a major reason Jordan, who was the former police chief, was elected. There were homeless camps in city parks including Union Square, and finally even the uber-liberal citizens of San Francisco had enough.

It may seem enlightened and sympathetic to criticize ordinances against loitering and the efforts to moderate the behavior of habitu├ęs of the STA plaza, but if you ignore those problems you'll have squalor and blight.

8 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by muddydog on 08/06/2014 at 1:31 PM

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