Letters to the Editor


Tower Trip

Your humorous headline ("Condo A Go-Go," 4/12) provides a light note to this otherwise grim tale. Once again a Spokane City Council has rolled over and played dead in the face of an oncoming developer. This is just the latest in a series of councils that feels that Peaceful Valley is a waste of space that could be better used for high density dwellings, the taller and more tightly packed the better.

The underlying story -- council bulldozes community in exchange for promise of $$ -- has been repeated countless times, and I will not waste further print space on it here. What I do find fascinating is the way that our council members fool themselves into believing that they are doing a good job by the taxpayers.

After eloquent testimony by PV spokespersons and individuals at the April 2 meeting, there could be no doubt in anyone's mind that a 17-story tower was not wanted. Seems clear enough -- we don't want it. Don't build it.

Then, at the following council meeting on April 9, Verner pipes up with a wonderful "compromise" with the air of pulling a rabbit out of a hat. She suggests an amendment that requires the developer to consider possibly maybe putting a coffee shop or farmers' market into the street level of the tower. Does anyone notice a disconnect here? The vote is unanimous. The worst part of it is I think they truly believe that they are doing us a favor.

Watch the body language of our council members -- it is very revealing. When developers and their representatives are testifying, we see polite attention. When it is the turn of the affected taxpayers -- aka voters -- to speak, the attitude turns nasty. Council President Shogan gets very snappy and the general attitude becomes one of "Let's get this over as quickly as possible so we can get back to business." PV resident Mike Dale, who had his allotted three minutes all planned out with a closely reasoned argument, was cut off at half that time.

I would have had more respect for the council if they had just debated the issue and decided (albeit wrongly) on the merits of the case, rather than putting forward this bogus amendment. Suggestion: vote the blighters out!

Lukas van der Walde

Spokane, Wash.

Chain of Fools

Way to go, Spokane! I just got the new Inlander, with the reader poll results. It reads like an advertisement for corporate America. Spokane says "not in my backyard" about Wal-Mart building on South Regal, we say we support Ma and Pa places, but we would rather have cheap convenience. Wal-Mart will come to the South Hill because our reader poll results reflect that we will support the franchise Starbucks over The Shop. We support P.F. Chang's over Ming Wah. Baskin-Robbins over The Scoop. Subway over Brooklyn Deli.

So put your money where your mouth is, Spokane! If you wanna be like Seattle or Portland, who have all the great eclectic stores, start eating and shopping locally and shove your Venti Caramel Machiatto up your ass! Do not talk about how cool a place is, tell your friends about it, then walk by it. Come in and buy something, talk to the owner, who will probably be the one making your coffee drink.

Elissa Sullivan

Spokane, Wash.

Another Dam Story

Here we go again at the breaching of the four Snake River dams. Your "Pulling the Plug" article (Feb. 28) is both revealing and misleading.

If Kevin Taylor was as ambitious on the main reason for building the dams -- No. 1 was for an economical means of transporting goods on the river roadway system -- as he is for tearing them out, we would have something to talk about.

He is using Mr. Burkholder as a pawn -- sorry to say -- for his story. If we really believe in the "Inconvenient Truth" by Mr. Al Gore, we wouldn't even consider pulling the plug.

The truth is one tugboat with two engines can transport four barges of grain, which represents about 530 truckloads of grain down the 547-mile river highway through eight locks and dams to Portland, Ore., from Lewiston, Idaho, thus saving 518 or so trucks using fuel and tearing up our roadways.

Recreational cruise boating isn't even mentioned in the article.

What we really should consider is the feasibility of adding 23 or more flood-controlling spring run-off water storage reservoirs above the Grant Dam, so in July through September, water can be released into the system when peak generation is needed to meet the air conditioning season.

It is to note that the Bumping Lake Dam on the American River and the West Falls Rocks Dam on the Teton River are water storage reservoirs releasing water in summer months to aid irrigation, rafting and generation of power in the Greater Yakima River Basin area, and ultimately aid in maintaining river flows on the Columbia River systems.

Salmon were in decline long before the first dam. The Bonneville Dam was constructed on the Columbia River in 1938. Fish wheel devices were outlawed in Oregon in 1926 and in Washington in 1934. Astoria was noted as the Canned Salmon Capital of the World in 1890.

Read Those Snake River Dams, by Earl Roberge. The bottom line is removing Lower Snake River dams could cost Northwest rate payers $400 million to $550 million annually (BPA). Mr. Reed Burkholder's solution is rather costly.

Carl A. Nyborg, Jr.

Elk, Wash.

It's Not Cows

I saw in March 22's letters to the editor, a Spokane person is blaming cattle for methane and nitrous oxide and cattle waste for most of the problems the world has with methane and is urging folks to avoided eating beef. Big business -- the cause of most, if not all, the real toxins -- has such a media force for defocus and distortion: to blame the cow is just another example of bureaucratic nonsense.

People need to understand that when understood and used properly, the cow is a valuable and wonderful animal that serves and assists us in many ways. To our "Cow Pollution" person, the passion is good, but the cause is not the cow nor is she a contributor of consequence. We need to remember the truth is some place in the middle of all the "focus group propaganda" and critical thinking is based on all the facts.

Solutions to pollution lie in appropriate consumptive use. The awareness of the problems we face is important, and the few who show anger and anxiety can help wake up the herd. We need to look at consumption and business practices, education, health and our own way of looking at problems. The way we see a problem can be the problem.

Barb Rodgers

Davenport, Wash.