Families Fight Poverty

Concerning poverty, the first question is not how to deal with single-mom families and food stamps, it is how to keep families together.

Since there is a distinct lack of families these days, schools own the task of teaching people to get along for a whole lifetime. Schools need something like required classes in advanced social skills. Psychologists are now good at teaching specific techniques to recognize and respond to aggression in logical ways. Why don't schools teach kids to do it?

Self-esteem is at the core of most personal issues. When people have knowledge of how to handle stressful encounters by speaking honestly and with consideration for another person's situation, they have greater self-esteem. Presently, some kids and young parents think it's really cool to holler insults at each other.

We need to replace the heart and soul that disappeared from the family structure after WW II, when extended families disintegrated. We should encourage school administrators to get off their high horses of tradition, and make it a priority to teach kids to get along in a way that will counteract the madness that TV inflicts on kids.

John Scatchard

Sagle, Idaho

Good News Does Sell

I applaud your section devoted to philanthropy in the Aug. 8-14 edition of The Inlander. I don't know how the conception that good news doesn't sell occurred, as I, for one, am tired of reading about meth houses and squabbles on the City Council. These articles were like a cooling breeze on a summer's day. I know that the term "sells" is not completely applicable as your publication is free to the public, much like many of services of the nonprofits are free to those who can't afford them.

I have heard it said by many of our citizens that they just don't have time to get involved with a service organization. Many of those are, unfortunately, younger members of our community upon whom we depend to lead us in the future. While it is true your family must come first, the community in which your children are raised and the ethics that they are taught are as important in forming their character, as are the lessons that they learn in school and church.

Spending an hour or two a week serving those in need or cleaning up a highway or painting a shelter or helping build a community project can be just as important as putting away money for your child's future education. The lessons that they learn in their community may well determine whether they continue to live in our area when they decide to start a family of their own.

This is your first attempt to list a guide to the "philanthropies and nonprofits of the Inland Northwest" so is it understandable how some organizations such as Diabetes Awareness, Lilac Blind and Lions Low Vision Clinic could have been inadvertently overlooked.

It would be appreciated if all of the service organizations and nonprofit providers, their meeting place, daytime phone number, e-mail address and Web page could be published in your next Philanthropy Issue.

Rob Worley

Lions Clubs International

Spokane, Wash.

Save Downtown's Buildings

Thank you for presenting the articles on downtown building projects in The Inlander ("What's Next?" 7/11/02). It is a vital piece of Spokane's future. I very much enjoy the attention you give to the risk takers and their risks, as well.

I would like to draw your attention to what I say may be the only single-family live/work space in an urban core in the Western Hemisphere. That is my little building at 223 W. Second Ave.

I began this project by buying the building in 1991. I literally saved the building from demolition and spent the next three years renovating the derelict building into what it is today. At the time, the banks were unable to finance the project and I worked "out of pocket" to complete the renovation. I moved myself and my family in the day after my eight-year-old son was born.

Anyway, it is a long story, and I only wish to bring your attention to this small piece of Spokane's core revitalization.

Douglas Davidson

Spokane, Wash.

The Eyman Carnival

Townspeople: Did you hear that Timmy fell into the well a while back? "Golly-gee-willickers!" you say. "Well, Lassie got him out, right?" Well, no. Good girl Lassie proved that she has more smarts and better instincts than many Washington State voters when she decided not to haul bad boy Timmy out by the scruff of his dirty little neck.

You see, Lassie rescues those who are virtuous, moral and sincere. Timmy didn't qualify on any of those counts, so Lassie left him down there to steep -- and hopefully learn a lesson. Did you notice how quiet is was when Timmy was away in the well-hole? We had lots of time to learn our own lessons by contemplating him and his bunkmeisters' misdeeds. And that pseudo-scientific, social-economic project he sold the whole town on -- phew! I suppose we gotta hand it to the lad: He's an astute salesman who profits handily from a thorough understanding of the customer-as-sucker principle.

Anyway, Timmy the Trickster is back in our service! When Permanent Offense's InitiaTivoli comes to town, we can be sure public services and infrastructure will surely decline. We get what we vote for.

James Cranford

Spokane, Wash.