Postcard From Miami -- I am a former resident of Spokane, and I miss the Inlander every day. Your wonderful articles, the best written with a humanistic slant, convey not merely the information but the feeling of the subject. Now that I don't live there anymore I find (when I log onto www.inlander.com) that the articles add a further, unexpected touch: They remind me of what it felt like to live there.
In particular, the articles written by your longtime Arts and Culture editor, Sheri Boggs, convey a real sense of wonder and love of place. Pieces she's written on restaurants, concerts, books (her article on Harvey Pekar, published 4/8/04, was great), wineries, and so on are always well-written and organized, but also always contain that particular personal touch, which shows she enjoys learning and writing about her subjects and her town.
Many of your writers have that quality, and I applaud The Inlander for allowing its staff to keep that spark of creativity in their work, rather than promote the watered-down journalism we've grown used to in national magazines and newspapers.
Miami Beach, Fla.
Nader Debater -- Bill Clinton appointed Michael Powell to the FCC, and George W. Bush made him chairman. Democrats baffled by Ralph Nader's popularity need only look at the fact above.
John Kerry voted for the war in Iraq, No Child Left Behind and the Patriot Act: all pillars of Bush's strategy. Do you all hope that Kerry will be different, that he will clean up the very cesspool he has been an enabler of for so many years?
Otis Orchards, Wash.
Tribal Talk -- I was pleased the Inlander chose to print the guest editorial "Tribal Trouble" in your 4/8/04 issue. As a Native American woman, along with all other Native peoples I know, most of us do not aspire to become a part of the so-called "melting pot." We only desire to retain our individuality. Our choice, guaranteed to us by the Freedom of Religious Act of 1978, finally allowed us the opportunity to continue to follow the teachings, culture and heritage of our own nations and ancestors, which are only one of the very many kinds of religious choices in this great country. All other Americans are afforded these same rights.
These are small groups of special interest individuals who "decided" to reside and live in Indian Country and on reservation lands under their jurisdiction. That was their choice. Rather than pay taxes to the state, they do not wish to pay taxes to "those Indians." We must never forget that Native peoples ceded away most all of their lands, and wish to keep what small reservations and ways of living we have remaining protected.
We need each one of us of every color and religion to stand with us, and to contest the few vocal opponents of our people and our treaties -- negotiated formal, legal contracts between sovereign nations according us our constitutional rights, in exchange for most of our land.
As Coeur d'Alene Tribal Chairman Ernie Stensgar recently said, "We've been here thousands of years and we look forward to thousands more, with beautiful surroundings that we can appreciate together."
Our culture has much to offer to anyone who wishes to listen and learn.