by Inlander Readers

Scooter Laws -- The Spokane Police Traffic Unit is tasked with the responsibility of enforcing traffic laws and investigating collisions. We have noticed a sudden increase in the number of motorized scooters, skateboards and other motor-assisted transportation devices on our city streets. To date, we have only had a couple of collisions involving one of these vehicles; fortunately, neither resulted in life-threatening injuries. Our goal is to prevent a serious collision from occurring.

Currently the operation of motorized scooters is not regulated by ordinance. This presents a problem for law enforcement as we try to keep our roadways safe. The Spokane Police Department is working with the City Prosecutor's Office to draft an ordinance that would regulate and restrict the use of motorized scooters and other motor-assisted transportation devices. Our intent is not to eliminate the use of these devices, but ensure their safe operation.

We are asking that operators of motorized scooters be required to wear protective helmets, that they obey traffic and pedestrian laws, and that they not ride on sidewalks or the Centennial Trail. Similar ordinances enacted in other Washington cities have been successful in promoting the safe operation of motorized scooters while protecting pedestrians and the motoring public.

Sgt. Rick Dobrow

Supervisor, Spokane Police Traffic Unit

Spokane, Wash.

Zoned Out -- During the Sept. 14 Post Falls planning and zoning meeting, the committee disregarded a petition signed by 220 neighbors objecting to the commercial rezoning of the northeast corner of Syringa and Mullan streets. By voting in favor of Neighborhood Limited Commercial, Post Falls Planning and Zoning agreed to allow increased noise, traffic, harsh lighting, compromised personal safely and decreased property values.

The corner in question is surrounded on three sides by single-family homes. With the acres of available commercial land on the south side of Mullan, why did the committee feel compelled to force commercialization on their north-side neighbors? Is this to benefit one California development corporation over the detriment of hundreds of homeowners? Is this to increase the tax base of Post Falls regardless of the consequences to the neighborhood? Do we need another gas station, strip mall, major retailer, or grocery store at this location? Who will benefit from the commercial development?

Because the Post Falls City Council makes the final decision on annexation and rezoning, I urge all persons affected by this decision to attend the Post Falls City Council meeting on Oct. 19 and voice their opinions.

Tina Piaskowski

Post Falls, Idaho

Dressing Up W. -- George W. Bush presents himself as a champion of freedom and democracy, a decisive man of action, and a warrior president.

Freedom and democracy are words that I should imagine curdle in his mouth. After the 2000 election, the presentation by various African-American representatives in Congress shows us Bush who was willing to deprive black citizens of their freedom to exercise their democratic right to vote. This puts him in the company of those who used to use terror to accomplish the same thing.

As for the "decisive man of action," who can forget that scene in Fahrenheit 9/11 when he learns of the attacks on the World Trade Center: He was reading to children at the time and instead of calmly excusing himself and going decisively into action, he sits back down for seven minutes. Then our "warrior president" acquiesces to protocol and flies off to Omaha.

And while a real warrior, John McCain, suffered in a North Vietnamese prison camp, our good time Charlie, George W. Bush, couldn't be inconvenienced to show up at his Air National Guard assignment on a regular basis.

George W. Bush likes to "play" things, like "cowboy" and "fighter pilot" (and "president"). We see him at his "ranch" in his "cowboy" boots. Unlike Reagan, I doubt if he has ever been on a horse.

Then, within rowboat distance of San Diego, he comes flying onto the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln in his natty flying suit and announces "Mission Accomplished." What mission? An act of aggression upon a nation without an air force or navy and boasting a technologically helpless and enfeebled army? Come on, big guy.

The 9/11 attack was on Bush's watch. He was the captain, asleep at the wheel, of the ship of state. How bravely our boy denies his responsibility is in keeping with how he denies the reality of the situation in Iraq right now.

George W. Bush is a supercilious "frat boy" president in a time when we need an adult and a statesman. His juvenile expert in "dirty tricks," Karl Rove (along with his media goons), are running this political campaign like it was a practical joke.

What does it say about us in this country that much of the responsible media and apparently 52 percent of the voting public are buying into it?

James Bradford

Spokane, Wash.

Clarity on Reagan -- I'm guessing that Cara Gardner isn't old enough to remember the Carter and Reagan administrations. While Reagan might hold the record for signing the most wilderness bills while in office, the "Politics in the Air" article (9/23/04), gives the impression that he favored the wilderness idea. As with George W. Bush, Reagan either didn't understand or agree with the ecological reasoning behind wilderness. As the 1985 World Book Encyclopedia explained, "Reagan and Secretary of the Interior James G. Watt came under heavy criticism from conservation and wildlife preservation groups. These groups opposed the administration's efforts to weaken a number of laws designed to protect air and water quality, endangered species, and wildlife refuges. Reagan argued that the laws blocked industrial and mineral development needed to create jobs and help the economy. Continued criticism of Watt led to his resignation in 1983."

And President Carter wasn't and isn't a "conservative Democrat."

Sharon Leon

Spokane, Wash.

Will Dan Get Canned? -- It has been suggested that CBS anchor Dan Rather has for the first time in his professional career made an egregious error in judgment following the Bush military documents airing.

However, this is not the first time Dan has found himself anchored to journalistic fiction. Back in 1967, I recall him telling viewers he was convinced that Lee Harvey Oswald, a former Marine marksman who managed to hit everything except the target, was the assassin of President Kennedy.

Dan, like so many over-paid political hacks, sees what he wants to see whenever and however he wants to see it, and the truth be damned.

If Dan had a brain in his head, he'd realize that the documented Bush service record, or lack thereof, speaks volumes relative to W.'s conscious avoidance of his obligation to the National Guard.

Only someone in power with an agenda would seek to embellish that which is pretty much a done deal.

Robert Glenn

Spokane, Wash.

Publication date: 09/30/04

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