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Don't Hate Oscar--Cintra Wilson's "Oscar Rant" in the March 28 edition of The Inlander got me thinking. Hate, resentment and envy of rich, successful people is pointless, but not unusual. There have always been and always will be celebrities; it's not an American invention, after all, but the attachment of celebrity status to movies is. However, I cannot imagine a world without movies. I can imagine a world without television, though.


If you don't appreciate the celebrity status of Oscar attendees, then don't watch the show. In fact, if you would like to cure the world of celebrity-hood and stardom, then begin by switching off your television. Better yet, throw your TV away, give it to the Goodwill or just shoot it.


Movies, by themselves, do not fuel the celebrity and hype of its stars half as much as the boob tube and all the billions of people who watch its year-round programming about scandal, gossip and similarly useless garbage.


If you hate celebrity, and you don't make money complaining about it, then don't watch TV. I don't even own one.


And before you accuse Hollywood of Aryan leanings -- an industry begun by Jewish immigrants, by the way, check your film history books -- look around you here in the oh-so-homogeneous Northwest. Not exactly a racially diverse area. Hollywood, like every industry in the world, produces for market demand. Fortunately the market has widened to include and award wonderful talents like Halle Berry and Denzel Washington. That's the way it should be.


Juliette Dudnelly


Spokane, Wash.





Save the Salmo--Several areas of the Colville National Forest (CNF) northeast of Spokane remain wild, with old growth trees, native grasses, and huckleberries. There are also deer, elk, moose and black bear and several threatened species like gray wolf, grizzly bear, mountain caribou, lynx, wolverine, fisher, marten, big-ear bats, northern flying squirrels and bull trout. No roads, no rail, the hand of man a distant thought.


In the mid '80s, about 36,000 acres of the CNF's Salmo Priest were protected by a demonstration wilderness bill. This served as the catalyst for Washington leaders and citizens who can now document facts, showing the immediate need for a real and reasonable investment in a CNF Wilderness Protection Bill.


In Washington's national forests, 188,000 jobs derive from recreation versus 4,100 from the timber industry. And rural tourism and recreation continue to expand, while resource-based industries stagnate. Washington's Department of Natural Resources documents that 4 percent of the state's timber harvest comes from national forests, and that negligible impact will flow from a sound wilderness protection proposal for Eastern Washington.


A sound proposal would designate one-third of the CNF as a protected wilderness area, including the Kettle Range, Abercrombie Mountain, Quartzite (or the Cedar Cathedral), Grassy-Top Mountain and HooDoo Canyon.


Tom P. May


Spokane, Wash.





Avista, Right; Inlander, Wrong--Pia Hansen's article "Avista, Yes; Sierra Pacific, No" (4/4/02) contains errors that I would like to take the opportunity to correct. Without citing any sources, the story claims that poor management led to a "bailout" for utilities such as Avista. The story claims that customers are footing the bill in many cases for energy market speculation gone bad.


That is not what happened in Avista's case, and we strongly disagree with this implication.


Power was purchased to serve customers during a time of extreme volatility in the energy markets and when Avista's own generation was at the lowest on record because of a drought.


Professionals, who for decades have been able to bring the lowest possible prices to our customers, found themselves in a situation that was beyond anyone's experience. Most western utilities were in the same position. Avista has an obligation to serve its customers regardless of market prices, and our energy supply managers did all they could to maintain reliable energy at as reasonable a price as possible.


While almost every utility in the region has raised its rates (some by nearly 60 percent), Avista has asked for and received one of the smallest rate increases. Our prices are still among the lowest to be found anywhere.


The article fails to mention that the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, the Industrial Customers of the Northwest and the Washington Attorney General all agreed on the settlement that allows Avista to recover a major portion of its costs.


Hugh Imhof


Avista's Media and Information Manager


Spokane, Wash.





Ban Weed Killers--A chemical from Dow Agri-Sciences that should never have been released into the environment has brought ruin to Spokane's municipal composting program. The chemical is clopyralid, a weed killer used on residential lawns that keeps on killing -- not just weeds, but farm and garden crops -- years after and miles away from its original application.


Now the City and County of Spokane are contemplating a total ban on the use of these chemicals in order to save the municipal yard waste recycling program, and to protect farmers and gardeners from the disaster of crop loss due to clopyralid contamination.


The yard waste recycling program in Spokane has had its challenges, but the concept is environmentally friendly and does save taxpayer money. It's not right that pollution from a Dow chemical is allowed to threaten us this way.


I urge you to contact city and county officials and support a ban, not just on clopyralid, but also on picloram and other persistent pesticides that can migrate off their application sites.


Chrys Ostrander


Davenport, Wash.

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