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Toss the Bums Out


I recently [came] upon some serious investigation that the Madison Apartments, the Otis [Hotel] and the Community Building were all being turned into condos. Which gives me mixed feelings. I was first enraged at the thought that three major low-income apartment complexes were essentially being eliminated. But that's capitalism, and it seldom has concern for the 30 percent who live a substandard existence de facto, due to social Darwinism. I'm happy to see Spokane cleaning up and improving, but it seems more like it's sweeping its economic problems under the rug and ignoring the real issues. Like using HUD funds to subsidize a mall downtown that serves the upper class? Wasn't that supposed to go for low-income housing as well?





All I'm saying is that the infrastructure is still flawed and the economy is (and will always be) propped on the back on the working class. Those have-nots get a raw deal as it is -- it's a friggin' insult to us to face even more insult to injury. Ante up that HUD money and build them more apartments. They at least deserve that. Because I think if this gets out to your minority "market," those Californians will have a taste of socialism. And that always leaves a bad taste in your mouth.





Strong words? This is reality. This is truth. It's often very ugly and however it is pushed, it ends up leaving the entire community looking like assholes. But what do I know? I'm just another workhorse.





Heylel Shalem


Spokane, Wash.





Komix Rool!


I have been reading the Inlander movie reviews recently. I have noticed that the person or persons doing the reviews sucks at it. I do not know what they base their scale on, but I have seen most of the turkey-labeled movies, and they are not as bad the reviewer says they are. In fact, some of them were quite good.





For example, The Fantastic Four was a great comic book movie. Comic book movie. These movies, as you might know, are based on comic books. As far as I know, no comic book has ever won a Pulitzer Prize. These movie adaptations are not going to win best picture anytime soon. These movies -- like most movies -- are being made to entertain people. So who cares if the dialogue is not that great? Go read a comic book and you will see that the dialogue is a lot of times simple and often cheesy.





Lastly, before your reviewer(s) make a review they should probably do some research. Your reviewer(s) wrote that the villain (Von Doom) died in the first movie. However, Von Doom did not die in the first movie -- but even if he did, comic books are notorious for bringing characters back under some of the most ridiculous and absurd conditions. Lastly, I could write better reviews than the person(s) writing them now. I hope you're not paying them.





Andrew Beyer


Spokane, Wash.





Damming It


On June 8, Washington state unveiled plans to build the Crab Creek Dam, which will cost taxpayers $3 billion and flood 28,000 acres.





The Crab Creek Dam will drown 19,000 acres of state and federal land dedicated to wildlife (including the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge), drown endangered steelhead habitat, drown beloved fishing lakes, and drown 8,600 acres of farm land.





Really? Another dam for the world's-most-heavily-dammed river, the Columbia?





The Crab Creek Dam is symptomatic of water policy in crisis. Other symptoms include water-mining basalt aquifers in the West Plains (near Spokane), Odessa Subarea, and Pullman (WSU); massive giveaways of water rights to municipalities at the expense of rivers (aka 1338); and the Washington Legislature funding a small army of dam planners.





The correct diagnosis is the first step to treatment. We are at the end of the "water frontier" in Washington -- and throughout the Columbia River watershed, nationally, and globally. Global warming will hasten water crises on the water planet.





Drowning Crab Creek with a dam is another colossal mistake in Washington water policy. To learn more on what you can do to save Crab Creek and reform water policy, visit www.celp.org. Get involved.





John Osborn, M.D.


Spokane, Wash.





BRIGHT Idea


Thank you for the very helpful and positive article regarding BRIGHT that appeared in the May 31 Inlander ("A Bright Idea?"). I appreciate very much the thoughtfulness and the points of view of those commenting.





I do feel the need to note that, while the idea evolved casually and has been an enjoyable process, the BRIGHT proposal is neither cavalier nor capriciously considered. Well over 100 professional hours have been spent in researching, reading, reviewing, and consulting with people regarding this idea. A large number of people were involved in the formation of the idea, prior to forming the nonprofit corporation two years ago. It's also a proposal that's been supported by such people as Dr. Brian Benzel, the Superintendent of the Spokane School District, as well as a number of other community leaders.





We've come to learn in the past year that a somewhat similar program began in Kalamazoo, Mich., called the Kalamazoo Promise. This project was totally funded by private contributors. The Kalamazoo Promise is a tuition plan for all who attend Kalamazoo schools. If one attends kindergarten through high school, the Kalamazoo Promise pays for 100 percent of four years of college tuition.





The effects of the Kalamazoo Promise have validated many of our hopes for the BRIGHT proposal. They find that the program can be funded for approximately $3 million a year. It's well received by students, many of whom are staying in high school longer and increasing the graduation rates. It has had a profound economic impact on Kalamazoo, Mich. Real estate prices, for example, are up 10 percent, with similar growth in employment, retail sales, and most importantly, the development of new businesses and business endeavors in Kalamazoo. These benefits are attributed to the effects of the Kalamazoo Promise. The faltering economy of Kalamazoo has revived, to the extent that the governor of Michigan has announced the plans to create nine "promise zones" throughout the state of Michigan and economically disadvantaged areas.





Although helpful for the individual, the positive effects for the community in both gathering new citizens and businesses relocating to a new area -- as well as ensuring that Spokane graduates are offered at least the opportunity to pursue additional education to meet today's minimal standard for training -- is, to us, an exciting one. We hope others will participate with us as we proceed to the next step, that of more precise research regarding this initiative.





Again, thank you for your thoughtful comments.





Mark Mays, PhD, JD


Co-Chair, BRIGHT


Spokane, Wash.





The Inlander welcomes letters on all topics, but priority is given to those commenting on subjects raised in our pages. Always include a name and daytime phone number for confirmation. Contact us at [email protected] The letters we publish represent the views of their writers, not ours.

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