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Let Nethercutt Breathe - I was sorry to learn that Mr. [Charles] Fisk's visit to Mr. Nethercutt's office shook his confidence in our democracy (according to his letter in the May 2 edition of The Inlander). I have had many contacts with Mr. Nethercutt's staff, all very positive.


Mr. Fisk was "dismayed to learn of his exceedingly busy schedule." No one should be surprised that dropping in his office does not result in a short meeting with the man.


Mr. Nethercutt encourages people to contact him in appropriate ways, goes out of his way to speak to groups, lets voters know when he will be in their area for a public meeting and does his best to meet with as many individuals as possible, just look at his weekly schedule (part of his weekly e-mail sent to anyone who wants it).


As to the "guards and goons" protecting Mr. Nethercutt, I do not think it is our "civil liberties" in danger here, but rather our elected representative. I expect Mr. Nethercutt is pretty important to his children and wife, and he deserves all the protection possible to keep him safe, as well as on schedule. The least we citizens can do is give the man some space, and, if it makes the "goons" happy, keep away from the door to his office.


I have strongly supported Mr. Nethercutt since he first ran for office. His staff is tops. I believe he does what he believes is in the best interest of the citizens he represents. However, because of his recent voting record and public statements, I do not believe his actions are in the best interest of our country and will be working to get him out of office during the next election. But until he is removed by the voters, he is my representative, and a good one at that.


As long as we have a free press where we can share diverse opinions, our way of government will be as strong as we the people want it to be.


John W. Axtell


Valley, Wash.





Parents Should Pay - This is regarding the article titled, "Torpedoed in Mead," which ran in the May 2 edition of The Inlander. I have a solution for all these stupid levy requests that are being proposed by school districts from all over the state. Very simply put: Let the parents who have children in school be the only ones taxed for these levies.


Then maybe they wouldn't be so quick to cry foul when their favorite levies fail. I, for one, think this might make them think twice about trying to float these levies for any reason that might come up. We as taxpayers pay more than our fair share, and it's time to make it even harder to pass levies.


Robert Waggoner


Colville, Wash.





Avista Should Pay - I received a statement from Avista in February which was more than $100 in excess of the previous bill. As nothing inside my house had changed, I checked the outside meter and found that one of the dials kept turning -- even when my furnace was off. I phoned Avista, and they changed the meter. The Avista workman told me that it was the 'quarter dial' that was creating the problem. I expected a refund of the excess charge, but Avista denied it.


Several years ago, an Avista employee phoned me three times to get permission to cut trees that were not in Avista's easement. Each time I refused, but Avista cut the trees anyhow. In that process, they used a wood chipper which covered up the wildflowers and grass with wood chips.


When Avista later upgraded their lines, they filled my creek with soil in order to cross it.


After the Environmental Protection Agency came out and checked the creek on my request, Avista was required to remove the soil from the creek.


During the ice storm in 1996, Avista felled a tree into the creek, but denied that had taken place. Avista was the only ones able to get in there, with that type of equipment to take down a tree like that. Subsequently, so much debris collected on the tree, that the water was diverted into the tall bank which eroded and caused a sinkhole to open up.


I had to get permission from state agencies and the county to take care of that problem. The cost to me was $4,533.58.


Helen Rishel


Spokane, Wash.





Altons Went Too Far - Kudos to The Inlander for the very disturbing article concerning Duane Alton and Mrs. Alton, Ms. Rabe, or whoever she is, which ran in your May 2 edition. They are lucky they live in the USA, where freedom of speech is a right -- even in the sneaky, underhanded way they chose to practice it.


One last thing: It might be a good idea for the Mead School District to check where they get all of the tires for the district's school buses.


Patsy Pinch


Spokane, Wash.

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