I am writing in response to the excellent article: "Meth Busting" by Pia K. Hansen (8/30/01). The issues concerning meth use, particularly among our youth, in our society and more particularly here in Spokane have been discussed in many public forums. In any survey of the problems confronting our community, I am reasonably sure that meth use would rate high (albeit not up with potholes in our roads, but in the top five).
I personally have not read or viewed anything locally discussing this problem that would rival this article. This is exactly the kind of piece that fulfills the promise a paper like The Inlander can provide to a community.
Hansen, through the interviews with Mary, the former user, and Lynn Everson from the treatment side, puts a human face and story to the issue. Their reflections move the discussion forward by more richly describing the issues, and beyond the moralizing and "just say no" dialogs that have stalled the discourse.
I found the quote by Mary on what she would say to users today, and then her further reflection that when she was 13 she would have seen that statement and the person who made it as a "loser," particularly illuminating.
The message from Ms. Emerson that linked the use of drugs, prostitution and street life to abuse is quite important both to our practices of marginalizing these people and in conceptualizing how we as a society or local community might begin to address this issue. Child abuse prevention has to be a central piece of any successful strategy to address the meth problem.
The article by Lin Adler, "A U.N.-free zone," in the September 6 edition of The Inlander mistakenly implicated the Libertarian Party as a supporter of the La Verkin, Utah, ordinance that "requires that all United Nations supporters to affix a sign to their homes and business that says 'U.N. work conducted here.'"
The Libertarian Party is committed to America's heritage of freedom: individual liberty and personal responsibility. The La Verkin ordinance is clearly an infringement on personal freedom and anathema to Libertarians.
The article also mentioned the ordinance passed in the neighboring town of Virgin, Utah, that required all households to own a gun and ammunition.
The Libertarian Party firmly and unequivocally supports our constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and vigorously opposes all gun control ordinances. This Virgin, Utah, ordinance makes more practical sense than the victim-disarmament laws that spawned that town's protest. But that ordinance is also an infringement of personal liberty and is thus not welcomed by Libertarians.
While it would hard to argue with the success Brett Sports has enjoyed in Spokane, the common theme has always required a considerable concession by the city/county to underwrite/support the facility/operational costs of Brett Sports (as discussed in "Privatize it," 9/6/01).
It also has resulted in the identity loss of community assets, which have been sold by Brett Sports with no remuneration. The Indians Stadium (now Avista Stadium) and Albi Stadium, as well as the future sports complex, belong to the taxpayers. If every new business that moved to Spokane got reduced rent, facilities and all the gate revenues, I'm sure we could attract lots of new businesses. This is even a better deal than Nordstrom got! Imagine if promoters could use the Opera House or Arena at no charge, and keep all the money from the ticket sales, concessions and parking! Spokane would have every facility filled every day. Albi Stadium has a name.
What's next? Maybe we could sell Riverfront Park to Cingular, or rename The City Hall building the Cracker Jack Civic Center. What Bobby is asking for is a free ride: "Hey Spokane, give me the key to your Mercedes and a full tank of gas, and I'll return it to you when it needs repairs. But hey, look at all the money you're saving not having to wash and wax it! And look at all the people I've taken for a ride. Oh, by the way, I hope you don't mind, I sold the front doors to an advertiser."
We're already reeling from one sucker punch. It's bad sportsmanship to hit a city when it's down.
Having just returned home from two years in the Central European region comprised of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, my first edition of The Inlander contained the moving story of Eva Bialogrod (8/16/01), a Polish survivor of the Holocaust. It was an excellent piece of writing by Jerry Hughes, and a clear indication that your always-great weekly continues to excel.
Your article by Robert Herold ("Behind the times," 8/30/01) was one of the best we have read on River Park Square. The downtown business leaders haven't yet realized that their "Good Old Boys Club" is no longer effective. They no longer own the Council. Your mention of the two women with their raised eyebrows and "tut-tuts" was right on. Neither has had an original thought or made a constructive statement since this debacle started.
Pat and Don Ericson