Letters to the Editor

I found the two articles by Sheri Boggs and Pia K. Hansen about living on minimum wage in the June 14 edition of The Inlander to be very interesting.

Unlike many others who may have read them, I was not shocked by some of the facts that were presented. As an organizer for Sheet Metal Workers' Local 66, I am consistently meeting construction workers who are being exploited. Even though these workers may work fairly steady in the physically demanding construction field, they still cannot provide for their family a health care plan or a basic retirement plan, let alone a "livable wage."

When one considers the extra strain on our local economy in the form of subsidized lunches for school children or public assistance for these working families, how much is getting that lowest bid on a big contract really saving us? I'm fearful that if the current trend continues, we are creating a whole generation condemned to retiring on welfare.

The building and construction trades' labor unions are working hard to organize the unrepresented workers who are engaged in our respective trades. We are trying to get out the message of putting working families first.

By nature of the construction business, the bid process is a race to the bottom. So when a strip mall goes in, the developer, real estate agent, architect and general contractor all get their piece of the pie.

Without an organized labor force to protect the integrity of the wages, benefits and working conditions, the community as a whole suffers.

I applaud the articles that you choose to publish as well as the work of the community group, the Spokane Alliance.

Kolby Hanson

Spokane, Wash.

To Ted McGregor and Robert Herold, thanks for sharing your latest editorial perspective on the River Park Square garage problem in your commentary in the June 21 edition of The Inlander.

While I concur that the central sticking point appears to be the Cowles' insistence that they not put another dime into the project, I think that most of their critics believe that they drove the bargain that they want the other principals to live up to.

It would even appear that the critics may already think that the garage is responsible for street and library funding problems, instead of turning downtown around and putting real money into city coffers.

Those would be the same folks who might have thought there were better ways to revitalize downtown than having the city enmeshed in the parking garage deal, whether they were right or wrong about that.

I can't say if that would just be the viewpoint of an ungrateful minority, but the composition of the current City Council would seem to suggest that if it is a minority, it's a large one indeed. If that is the case, it does not seem so clear that many citizens would not blame Mayor Powers for failing to settle with the developers after a campaign that seemed to indicate he would prove more adept at it than was former Mayor Talbott.

Might the state of prevailing sentiments also be such that the developers are resigned to a public relations nightmare which they may have always considered secondary to recouping on their investment?

Philip J. Mulligan

Spokane, Wash.

Earth to Advice "Goddess": Reading your response to "Prey for Love" in the June 21 edition of The Inlander helps me understand why the war between the sexes is so intractable.

Your brand of self-styled "goddess" should have remained in the Paleolithic, where your "advice" might appear less retro. (Aside to American women: if you have to call yourself "goddess," then you ain't.)

You and your sisters don't have the balls to face rejection like men, so your advice to one who does (Amazon girl) is to return to the "silly cha-cha" of covert and highly ambiguous female signals as a way of indicating their interest in men.

Men who don't measure up to your standards of aggression, and pursue women on their own are "scaredy boys." It's fascinating how whenever males resist submitting to women's inexhaustible supply of rules, a brief questioning of manhood is all that's required to herd men back into line. It shows how pathetic American masculinity has become.

Like your compatriot sisters, you have no idea -- none -- of male experience in feminized America. The problem with basing sexual advances on subtle female signals and notions is that they are easily misread, retracted and denied. In a case of miscommunication, the woman walks off with nothing worse than an inflated ego. But in liberated America -- where the personal is political and the prisons teem -- all shows of male interest are subject not only to rejection, but to charges of harassment, stalking, assault or rape, depending entirely upon the interpretation of the female.

That means real court cases, real firings, real fines and very, very real bars and broken lives for males not interpreting signals correctly.

Yeah, you've come a long way, baby. You demand by force of law that mens' power be shared with you, but you cling to your own sources of power with matriarchal fervor, denying that they even exist. Advisers -- especially goddesses -- tell people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear.

Ray Remark

Colville, Wash.

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