Mural Musings -- As a born-and-raised Spokanite who has moved to Cheyenne, Wyo., coming home for vacation and seeing the article "Off the Wall" (8/28/03) opened my eyes to what Spokane wants to hide.
I am a case manager for a substance abuse treatment center, and the first time I saw this mural it did seem a little distorted. But if you don't just look at it as you are driving by, but stop and view it like art is supposed to be viewed, people would see the truth of what sort of damage is going on. Addicts of any sort who are in a desperate search to free themselves from their pain can see that there is an open door to recovery -- it is right there in front of them.
I don't mean to offend people who don't understand what this lifestyle can do. Before I started to work with people with addictions, I didn't understand it as much as I thought. This work of art shows people that drugs are out there, and that we can help our families and friends who are going down that road of danger.
I support the ministry wholeheartedly and wish that people who drive by would actually pull off the road and see the mural's true meaning.
Substance Abuse Case Manager
Keep the Commandments -- Where were President Bush, Attorney General Ashcroft, Rep. George Nethercutt and all the other "Christian" congressmen when the federal government removed the Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama State Supreme Court building? Why didn't they help Chief Justice Roy Moore in his three-year battle to keep the monument on public display?
When we invaded Iraq, President Bush said the rule of law would replace the rule of tyrants in Iraq. The rule of law in our country is the Constitution and legal system that are based on the Ten Commandments and the Bible. The fourth commandment honoring the Sabbath is recognized in the Constitution, and the fact that the Constitution ends with "in the year of our Lord," reflects the truth of the First Commandment.
Without the Ten Commandments, the rule of law becomes lawlessness and eventually tyranny. As they watched the Ten Commandments being removed, our soldiers must have been asking what they are fighting and dying for: the rule of law or the rule of men?
Comp Plan Was Competent -- The article by Richard Rush in his commentary, "Goodbye Comp Plan" (8/28/03), regarding the major amendment to the Comprehensive Plan, was excellent. I might add that the Neighborhood Planning Process, which will address how commercial areas will expand in their specific neighborhoods, is being overlooked by the City Council.
Rush is correct in defending the years of work by hundreds of volunteers to create a plan that would guide growth in our city. Why is the City Council so anxious to allow this rezone after only two years of the Plan's adoption, when there is no clear intent on what will be built on the property? Why are they ignoring the recommendations to oppose this by their own staff and Plan Commission? By the time this letter is printed, the hearing will have happened, and we will know whether they are willing to support the Comp Plan in the face of an illogical zoning request. It really puts a blemish on the amendment process.
Strong Mayor Is History -- The theme of Bill Stimson's opinion piece, "Making Sense Out of City Hall" (8/21/03), was set forth in his comment: "Spokane had the commissioner form for 50 years. It had the City Manager form for 40 years. It could afford to experiment with the Strong Mayor form for more than three years..."
George Santayana once said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Spokane seems to have forgotten its past.
One hundred years ago, Spokane had a strong mayor and a city council elected from five districts. The council members were perpetually arguing over the distribution of the city's services. When they were not squabbling among themselves, they would be contending with the mayor. In 1910, exasperated citizens voted the system out and adopted the commission form.
About 1915, good government types proposed the council-manager form as a remedy for the corrupt political machines that had gained control of so many American cities. The new system accomplished this by replacing the political spoils system with experienced, professional management with ultimate control vested in an elected city council.
The council-manager form has steadily gained acceptance. Today, a majority of all U.S. cities with a population over 2,500 use the council-manager system. In the 11 Western states, there are 90 cities with populations over 100,000. All but 12 use the council-manager system. About 70 of those cities are between 100,000 and 300,000, and all but four of those use the council-manager form.
Such overwhelming acceptance attests to the soundness of council-manager government.
former Mayor of Spokane
Corrections -- In last week's story on the convention center expansion ("A Decision (Finally)" 8/28/03), Kevin Twohig was mistakenly referred to as a Public Facilities District board member; in fact, he is the PFD's executive director. In our Back to College section, in the preview on Whitworth College, the new Weyerhaeuser Hall was mistakenly pegged as a $1.7 million project. In fact, the building cost $7.1 million.