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High Fives All Around

You want a “High-Five Zone”? Awesome! Your 22 ideas for making the Inland Northwest better were great. (“The Ideas Issue,” 1/9/14.) That, coupled with the City of Spokane’s Link Spokane insert about viewing our streets in a 3-D way, made for a really convincing read that our city is capable of reaching new heights.

Many of the homegrown, neighbor-centric ideas reminded me of the nonprofit, Strong Towns (check ’em out at strongtowns.org), which advocates for common sense strategies that focus on community and fiscal responsibility. Let’s show other cities how it’s done!

Meredith Noble
Spokane, Wash.

Exploiting Chimps on Film

Having noticed the great review for The Wolf of Wall Street starring Leonardo DiCaprio, I ask that fans contact the star regarding the scenes where he is appearing with a live chimpanzee. Unfortunately, this chimpanzee, named “Chance,” is owned by the Rosaire-Zoppes, a circus company that is well known for mistreating chimps in its care.

Chance, like all captive, performing chimps, was pulled from his mother as an infant and likely has already suffered other abuse by his owners to make him perform on cue, and will be banished to a cage for life before he’s 8 years old, though he may live another 40 or 50 years. Seeing chimps in entertainment promotes the private ownership of these endangered great apes, and creates misery and danger for them and the public.

To help chimps, please contact ChimpSanctuaryNW.org.

Kenny Casey
Spokane, Wash.

Give Unions a Voice

I have been picking up your newspaper since you have been putting them out. When I go into a store to buy a good or service, I make sure to pick up a copy of your newspaper to sit down and read it. I especially like the news and political commentaries that you include and wish you had more. The only thing I do not like is the fluff pieces by George Nethercutt. To me it is a waste of paper and ink.

I would rather you add the political viewpoints that are held by the local unions. It would help educate us and you would be serving the people of the Inland Northwest a lot better. I am sure if you talked to the Teamsters, Steelworkers or any of the unions that belong to the AFL-CIO; they would gladly point you in the right direction to those who could help you.

Lawrence Schuchart
Spokane, Wash.

It’s In the Constitution

Some will argue that the U.S. is a Christian nation, but our Constitution states in (Article 6, Section 3) “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” This gave equal citizenship to all, regardless of their beliefs.

Our Founding Fathers wanted to make sure that in our separation from England, no religion could make the claim of being the official, national religion of the U.S. Our Declaration of Independence speaks of the “Laws of Nature” and “Nature’s God.” These beliefs came about during the 17th century Age of Enlightenment. The belief was that reason and logical observation of nature are necessary to decide the existence of deity. Even though Thomas Paine, who wrote “Common Sense” and “The Rights of Man,” was a deist, he was considered an atheist because of his attack on the Bible and Christianity.

Max Tuggle
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

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