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from [email protected] & r & & r & Risk Mitigation Hurts & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & R & lt;/span & obert Herold's article ("Weighing Risks," 6/5) was an excellent analysis and truly struck a raw nerve. Excelsior Youth Center is a treatment center for emotionally abused and neglected adolescents. Our agency also provides chemical dependency treatment, alternative education, foster care and other services with the sole intent of reconnecting kids to their future. We are fortunate to have a swimming pool on campus that provides great recreational opportunities for our clients. The pool is fully licensed and has been for 30-plus years. An 8-foot-high fence surrounds the pool with sections covered with vines that are at least 30 years old. We are a nonprofit agency that relies on a portion of our annual budget from community support.





We too have to respond to the rules and regulations, which mandated a fence with smaller openings. Consider the following cost of compliance with this mandate:


& lt;li & Remove existing fence and install new fence, $2,000 labor & lt;/li &


& lt;li & Remove vines to install new fencing, $1,500 & lt;/li &


& lt;li & Purchase new fence, approx. $3,500 & lt;/li &


& lt;li & Rental of equipment to perform job satisfactorily, $250 & lt;/li &





So this mandate cost our agency close to $7,000. The only silver lining came from a community partner that provided the new fence for no cost. As the new fence is installed and the vines have disappeared the only true change in appearance is more of an institutional look, something we try to avoid. This might appear to be a small cost for a risk-free initiative but it truly is risk mitigation. Costs too high. Benefits too low.





Robert Faltermeyer


Executive Director


Excelsior Youth Center


Spokane, Wash.





Massage Is Honorable


& lt;span class= "dropcap " & H & lt;/span & onestly, "Parking in the Rear" (5/29) is one of the poorest articles I have ever read in The Inlander. First of all, the beginning summary is awful: "The city aims to take happy endings out of your therapeutic massage." What is that trying to say? Second, happy endings and therapeutic massage shouldn't even go together. And third, the photo in the article looks like a seedy and unprofessional setting, where one might expect a happy ending. It looks as if she is a victim of some sort, which massage practitioners certainly are not. So perhaps this woman is giving off the wrong vibe and now she wants to punish those of us that are professional and ethical.





I have been a licensed massage practitioner for eight years, practicing full-time, seeing 20 clients per week; that's a lot of massage, you do the math. In that time I have encountered less than five clients who have acted inappropriately. Ethics and professionalism is up to the therapist and if these ladies can't seem to figure that out, they should find a new line of work. City regulations are only going to make more money for the city and will have little to no effect on the clientele these women encounter or in stopping inappropriate "spas" from functioning.





If these women cared about the profession they should insist that local papers such as this one include license numbers in their ads for massage therapy, and look at themselves and wonder what they may be doing to attract such negative clientele.





Mariah Neeson, LMP


Spokane, Wash.





Give a Bike a Break


& lt;span class= "dropcap " & B & lt;/span & ike to Work Week, in mid-May, was a great opportunity for the community to come together for a common cause. Cycling is the perfect exercise with the advantage of saving on gas and easing commuter congestion. As a recreational cyclist, I know the benefits as well as the dangers of biking on the open road. But after riding around Spokane, I am learning some disturbing things about our beloved Lilac City, which makes me reconsider my commuter options.





Riding your bike in Spokane is like playing the video game Frogger -- dodging potholes, pedestrians and behemoth SUVs are goals of the game. But unlike the video game, motorists are playing for keeps with no way for do-gooders to win. Of course not all drivers are like this; there are, on occasion, ones who just want to give you a push -- with their bumper or honk the horn in support, maybe shout encouragements like "get the f*** on the sidewalk, a**hole."





Cyclists are forced to share the road with uncanny motorists, too busy multitasking to realize they're crowding bicyclists off the road. Drivers need to be aware that more bikes will be sharing the road as people turn in four wheels for two. Lack of bike-lane maintenance and driver education is no excuse to place other people in danger. Common ground must be found for the safety of all commuters.





Cyclists are not riding to inconvenience drivers; rather, they desire to coexist. When cyclists and motorists clash, motorists win. So drivers, next time you are in a rush and you see a cyclist, remember that you will not save any time with your reckless disregard for life. Slow down and give them some room to breathe.





Ben Bersagel


Spokane, Wash.

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