Spokane: Best-Kept Secret -- I found the homecoming article ("So Long, Spokane," 3/27/03) interesting, and wish those pursuing it success, but there is a much larger untapped population here who did not grow up in the Inland Northwest, but love the outdoor lifestyle it offers.
I moved here a couple of years ago when Denver became a victim of too much success: too many people on the roads to the slopes, too many people at the trailheads, too much traffic, too expensive. Since then I've met several people who have migrated here from San Francisco, Seattle and Denver for similar reasons.
The biggest hurdle Spokane faces is encapsulated by my wife's business calls and travel, when the inevitable question of where she lives is asked. The response to "Spokane," is usually, "What state is that in?" "Washington," is her response. "So you're in the Seattle suburbs?" She says, "No, we're on the other side of the state." "Oh, you must hate all that rain!" "Actually it's usually sunny over here." "Really? Isn't all of Washington rainy all the time?" "No."
Spokane is the best-kept secret, in one of the most pristine and beautiful areas in the United States. For economic reasons, I hope it is able to change; for personal reasons, I hope it will deal with this "discovery" better than Denver did.
War is Immoral -- I wish to thank you for providing alternative information regarding the war in Iraq. The information I have read in your publication has reinforced a belief regarding war which has been developing in me since 1963. I have come to believe that modern warfare is immoral. I also believe that if my country is preparing to make an immoral action, then it is my obligation as a citizen to speak out against the immoral action. If my country makes an immoral action, the action does not suddenly become moral.
Preparing to go to war was immoral. Actually going to war is also immoral and must also be protested. In this case it is even more urgent to protest. Mr. Bush listed three evil countries, not just one. If he gains approval for this war, then future wars are more likely.
If you object to the war but feel public protest is not the correct way to express your feelings, then I suggest the following alternative. Purchase two copies of the book Poets Against the War, edited by Sam Hamill. Send one copy to Laura Bush, to whom the book is dedicated.
Liberty Lake, Wash.
Strong Case for Strong Mayor -- Let's get the bias out first. I supported, voted for and sent John Powers a few bucks in the last election and will again.
The article, "Powers Persists" (3/20/03), goes through all the difficult times, his virtues, his faults and even his own misgivings that he has been less than a patient man. Your detail and his responses are excruciating. Core services, due diligence, municipal finance, COLAs, bond default, RPS, FTEs and of course the EDC, the Chamber, INTEC and SIRTI.
Hopefully, about 100,000 people will vote in the city election this November, and less than 1,000 will care about anything you asked the mayor. It is fine to have this on the record, but meaningless in the election.
I voted against the strong mayor act last time because it seemed silly to change the system. This time I will vote for it because it is even sillier to change the system again in less than 24 months. Who are the people putting this on the ballot and why? The answer is clear. Many are former city officials and business people who did the garage deal. Now they will try to fool the people with confusion at the ballot box, and rid themselves of a mayor who is on to their duplicitous game.
Powers needs to make his position more forceful. He should beat this stupid idea into the ground. He should make it clear that he can only be mayor for one more term (due to term limits) and that his opposition to this ballot measure is to bring some common sense and honesty to city government.
2004 is Coming -- Mr. Bush, what is your story? First you wanted to invade Iraq because of suspected Al Qaeda connections. Lacking proof, you switched to UN resolution 1441. Now it's to liberate the people of Iraq.
We voters are not stupid. We can see that you finally got the war you wanted. Your reckless actions have trashed our image worldwide, endangered our servicemen and women unnecessarily, killed innocent Iraqis and spawned legions of new enemies who will surely retaliate. Ignoring allies, religious leaders and millions of ordinary people worldwide who want peace, you have opened the door for any country to invade any other country for any reason.
Your so-called foreign policy is a disgrace. You have also trashed our economy, global treaties, environmental protections, the Constitution and even the English language. You push tax cuts for the wealthy while expecting the rest of us to pay for and fight your war. You want to stay in Iraq "as long as it takes." In the meantime, how many businesses will go under waiting for your war to end? How many American soldiers and innocent Iraqis will die? How many retaliatory attacks will we suffer?
You lack the wisdom, foreign policy expertise, social skills, intellect and gravitas that a world leader should possess. You think the American people support you? Remember, a minority popular vote and Florida's election incompetence put you in office. You won't be so lucky next time. As a voter who is gravely concerned about the well-being of our country, I am looking for regime change here in 2004.