Bear Witness -- In regards to your comments in Q & amp;N and the film review of The Passion of the Christ (2/26/04), the absolute worst thing anyone can do in depicting The Passion is to sugarcoat it. If anyone has a problem with the violence, they need to do some research. Read the Gospels, in any translation, and then look into the crucifixion and punishment tortures of that time period. What happens to Christ was very real and, yes, quite violent. It did happen. People need to see this, Christians and non-Christians alike. We should all be humbled and pained by what happened and definitely shocked by man's inhumanity to man, especially when in the "pack mentality." The goodness and celebration as alluded to in your articles last week are in this movie. It is in the question, "Why did Jesus Christ go through this?" If you're going to review something, look deeply into the whole story. My hat's off to Mr. Gibson for his courage in stepping out and following his heart in telling the real "Greatest Story Ever Told."
Hayden Lake, Idaho
Racing Against Time -- Thank you for the attention that Pia Hansen's article "Final Stretch" (2/26/04) gave to the old Playfair Race Course site. It is indeed tragic to lose our city's historic treasures. The article mentioned that the County is considering that site as a possible location for the new wastewater treatment plant. This is an issue which may deserve more attention.
Currently, our neighborhood is fighting the location of the plant at this site. It is unthinkable for a city our size to have such a prime piece of real estate lost to a non-tax-generating use. The Playfair site is unique in that it is approximately 60 acres (in single ownership) within minutes of downtown, rail, and freeway access. Most cities only dream of having such prime real estate which it can market to prospective companies and developers. The possibilities are so great, and it is such an incredible opportunity for creative investment into the neighborhood, that it is shameful to think that it may be wasted, especially since the treatment plant is meant to accommodate effluent from the City of Spokane Valley and perhaps ought to be located there.
Thank you so much for your sensitivity to our City's needs. If there is any possible way that you could help us draw attention to this issue, we could greatly impact the future of this neighborhood. We haven't much time. Thank you again.
Spencer Guy Grainger
Cow Clarification -- Michael Wren beefed about a claim I made in a guest editorial ("Wise-Use Wedges," 3/4/04) regarding the origin of the cow. Wren must not have looked beyond the names Hereford and Angus when he said the animal originated in England. In fact, it was domesticated some 7,000 years ago in Mesopotamia and later imported to Northern Europe and the British Isles.
Many scientists consider cattle the worst disaster to beset the arid American West since our Euro-American ancestors took over. Cattle, like their relatives the water buffalo, congregate in precious water, fouling streams, trampling banks, stripping vegetation, elevating water temperatures, and displacing native species.
Producing beef on our federal lands has become a culture and a custom subsidized by every American taxpayer, the exclusive privilege of ranchers who own adjacent acreage. However, free-market forces are beginning to open grazing allotments to bidding by non-grazers, a move that promises ultimately to drive the sacred cow from the public trough.
Bad News -- I have been a reader of the Inlander for many years now, but unless I want to check out a movie review or where to have dinner, I can no longer read your paper in search of balanced news, commentaries or editorials.
Where you once had some kind of balance, you are now decidedly, and foremost, an anti-Bush paper. Whether it is the faulty analysis of Robert Herold (remember how he told us about the genius of Howard Dean [who?] and how he was going to beat Bush - just as his head exploded in Iowa), or Tom Tomorrow's incessant pounding - week, after week, after boorish week - of nothing but childlike anti-Bush drivel, you have become a one-dimensional paper that offers little but Democratic talking points - and movie reviews.
It was not unnoticed that as this election year came closer, you added the screech of Arianna Huffington and the down-home silliness of Jim Hightower. And what a surprise! If their commentaries have included topics other than Bush-bashing, I must have missed them. Why just this week, we learned from these towering intellects that we are all going to die - either from mad cow disease or an environmental apocalypse - and the importance of this is it's all Bush's fault!
One final comment: It seems that your section of letters to the editor has gotten smaller and smaller, and it is nearly void of any letters critical of your publication. Is this because you have no critics? If other readers see the pattern I speak of, please speak up and offer your letters to the editor. All I would like to see is some balance.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T -- I read the short but interesting article on EWU's first-ever NCAA tournament appearance (although you had Gonzaga on the cover) and thought you guys have a thing for anything that doesn't speak of working-class folks (Eastern does have a few things going for it) besides basketball. (Although, if you read the local paper, everyone thinks basketball is a religion - oops, did I say something about that other school?)
Well, let's try and see if you will print this. I mean, they are at home just like us...and heaven forbid that we talk about academics or community-minded institutions or the fact that there are more EWU grads in Spokane than any other four-year institution in the region. I guess it's time to give equal time to something other than...the yearly parade of basketball stories.
Lastly, at least the first guy interviewed in "On the Street" had it right. He's following Oklahoma State and yes, his guess was pretty good, as Oklahoma State moves on.
I was in Kansas City and the Oklahoma State fans know a little bit about basketball. They congratulated us and said that we did a great job against their team. I guess you do need to leave your home to get some respect.
Meter Madness -- Mr. Cater, regarding your article "Mad at the Maids" (3/11/04), I have a solution to your problem. If you, and all the other drivers who are mad at Parking Enforcement would park legally, you would never get a ticket. Feed the meter and leave before your time is up. Park with your wheels on the street, not the sidewalk. Park facing the right direction. Do not park in handicapped or no parking zones. Do not block driveways and alleys. Being mad at Parking Enforcement for issuing parking tickets is like being mad at the police for giving you a speeding ticket. You should be mad at yourself for failing to observe the parking signs or keeping track of how much time is left on your meter. The fault rests with the driver, not the person enforcing the law. Parking enforcement does an excellent job downtown and should be expanded to address the parking problems in the rest of the city. The additional revenue you seem to desire could be met by ticketing all the way out to the city boundaries. By writing an additional 100 tickets every day at $30 per ticket, the city could bring in an additional $1,095,000 every year.