At Our Capacity -- The 400,000 people who depend on the Spokane-Rathdrum Aquifer and the Spokane River are engaged in a war -- a war against environmental terrorism. I, for one, am appalled that industrial waste polluters Kaiser Aluminum, Inland Empire Paper and Avista, who've had a catastrophic effect on the Spokane River, are now attempting to take advantage of the next wave of discharge permits handed out by the Washington Department of Ecology to lower the EPA's water quality standards and pump even more waste into the already asphyxiated watershed.
And if that's not enough, urban-sprawlists like Liberty Lake Mayor Steve Peterson want to OK between 5,000 and 10,000 new homes to drain our river and aquifer even more.
Attention Spokane: A sustainable city is a city that recognizes its limits for growth.
Huffing and Puffing -- The reintroduced wolves are again under attack, this time by the agencies that are tasked with their survival. Proposed regulations by the U.S. Fish & amp; Wildlife Service and the Department of Interior would allow increased lethal control before the wolves have been de-listed as endangered species. Ranchers and other private citizens could kill wolves found attacking livestock on private land without a permit, or by requesting a permit that would be in effect for one year.
State officials could kill wolves perceived to be causing too great an impact on big game populations. Current law allows only relocation of wolves, causing impacts on big game populations.
Wolves will face unregulated killing whether listed as experimental/non-essential or threatened across their entire Rockies range. De-listing requirements should be met before such a level of control is initiated. "Threatening" livestock is too vague, based purely on personal judgment. Wolves aren't decimating big game populations. Deer and elk populations are cyclical; habitat, disease, harsh winters and other predators regulate herd numbers, including humans.
These proposed regulations (Federal Register 3/9/04) are driven by politics, not scientific facts. Comments will be accepted until May 7, 2004, and they must be mailed in or faxed. Please write in support of wolves in Idaho and Montana.
Western Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator
U.S. Fish & amp; Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 223, Deary, ID 83823
Good Show, Bad Match -- Nickel Creek put on a fantastic show at the Big Easy on 4/15/04, and the Big Easy is great for Spokane area concertgoers.
Unfortunately the two did not go well together last Thursday night. The restaurant could not support the quirky "Southwest Airlines" way they allow concertgoers to fill the hall. The seating arrangements were uncomfortable and very limited. The crowd and bar noise overpowered the often subtle and melodious music.
I applaud the folks who brought the Big Easy to Spokane. It will be great for loud dance and party-type shows. Shows like Nickel Creek are better suited to the Met or the Opera House.
What Term Limits? -- George Nethercutt is a politician who gets things done. I have always gotten results when writing him about a problem. He, or a member of his staff, has always followed through. He doesn't just work for the upper class; he works for all of his constituents, including "the little guy."
Lu Anne Nicholson
Terrorism Is Easy -- Now that intelligence officials have successfully obfuscated the reasons why the 9/11 attacks were so easily employed by less than two dozen determined paramilitary adversaries, let us all consider that which actually accounts for an abysmal performance by the CIA and FBI.
For more than 30 years, our nation's policing agencies have been at war with its subjects rather than focusing on genuine domestic threats. I'm referring to the "War on Drugs."
Since 1970, our government has mindlessly depleted a good chunk of the nation's resources as well as trashing the Constitution in a misguided attempt to convince a doltish citizenry that it is fighting something gravely ominous on the domestic front.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the CIA seemingly lacks a mission other than prosecuting an illegal drug-related war in Peru. The likewise foundering FBI has focused its gaze on drug runners and the wacky irrelevancies of the Branch Davidians and Randy Weavers of America. Consequently, the combined attacks of 9/11 could have easily been pulled off by fraternity drunks and meth-heads.
Woe Is Ashcroft -- Recently, The Inlander ran a quite good column, "Learning From 9/11," 4/8/04), concerning who should accept the blame for the terrorists' not being thwarted prior to 9/11. Earlier this week, Attorney General John Ashcroft came before the 9/11 Commission and proclaimed that former President Clinton was fully at fault for why 9/11 happened as it did. Which brings to mind a little ditty titled, "When John Ashcroft bought a little house."
When John Ashcroft bought a little house, woe is me he said, that I did not realize I had bought this house in a high-crime area. Woe is me, he said, that when I bought this house, sight unseen, the doors were swinging open and half off the hinges. There were no locks on the doors and half the windows were missing from their frames. Woe is me that moving all my belongings into this house, I did not fix the doors, I installed no locks, and I fixed no windows. I didn't want to spend the money.
In eight months (the 9/11 terrorist attack) thieves entered my house and stole almost everything! Darn that Bill Clinton (former owner of the house in question) for selling me such a lemon! (A parody based on Ashcroft's actual testimony before the 9/11 Commission.) And a word to Michael Edwards: I don't care whom you prefer to vote for; I know I'm not voting for Bush.
Joan E. Harman
Dalton Gardens, Idaho
Those Lying Liars -- The political circus in California following Governor Gray's ouster has continued in the Democratic primaries. We are being inundated with statements, both positive and negative, of "facts" which cannot be proven and are nothing more than suppositions by selected "experts" we've never heard of before. The accusations were made by John Kerry about the opposition's crookedness -- all while he agrees with everything Ted Kennedy says. Professor Georgette McGregor of UCLA defined verbal communication as: what I said and what you heard; what I thought I said and what you thought you heard; and what I meant to say and what you meant to hear.
As we watch and listen to the political statements and commentaries the next months, keep in mind that we often hear what we mean to hear rather than what is actually said. Admittedly, it is difficult to maintain objectivity when in-depth examination of data supporting statements made or actions taken is inconclusive, as with Bush's military service records. Core believers in both parties will believe what they wish to believe regardless. We can only hope the more rational folks can discern fact from fantasy.