Rani Blair-O'Brien & r & Chicago, Ill.
Oil Floats & r & It is noted in the article, "Shaky Future?" (The Inlander, 6/15/06) that the two North Idaho codgers who fear diesel pollution of the aquifer fail to point out two things: 1) Diesel, being a petroleum distillate, is lighter than water -- it floats; and 2) Diesel is digested by many common bacteria found in the soil. (Google "petroleum-eating bacteria" for some insight.)
So the danger really is not with the refueling depot, as opposed to heavy metal pollution of local lakes and rivers from long-abandoned mining operation in Western Montana and North Idaho (some of this pollution originated with the Anaconda Company in Butte, Mont.), or substances spread around this area by the United States Air Force, or the atomic waste left here and there as part of nuclear weapons development, which was carried on in the "fight against communists."
Larry Dixon & r & Spokane, Wash.
From the Editor & r & The Inlander's fascination with the doings at the Spokesman-Review is a given. One of the jobs of the underdog alternative is to tweak the nose of the big guy across the street. Mostly I let the goofy, off-base or even grossly inaccurate observations of your crack reporting staff go without comment. A laugh here or there is really all I have any right to expect.
But I have to say the latest shot requires some response.
The item re: our webcast meetings was generated by a tongue-in-cheek blog entry by Ken Paulman who was tweaking The Inlander in return for a previous shot. The low number of viewers for our webcast on the day noted in your Buzz Bin item exactly matched The Inlander's earlier prediction, so Ken riffed a bit. However, the webcast that morning was the last of our in-house beta tests of our technology. It received no advance notice or promotion and the insiders who were viewing were doing so in order to identify any last-minute bugs.
Our actual debut webcast the following morning drew about 50 viewers locally and from around the country. Numbers have gone up and down since then, more subject to the hotness of the daily news report than anything else.
There actually is a pretty good story in the newspaper's transparency efforts, one picked up by media publications and critics around the country. And much of what we're doing is provoking controversy within a profession that remains conflicted about innovation, about multi-media and certainly about non-traditional experimentation (which may explain your publication's dino-like refusal to enter the digital/web/multi-media age). Doing the transparency story would actually require The Inlander to do some real reporting -- we call it journalism here at the Spokesman -- and that is something I don't expect.
Steven A. Smith & r & Editor, The Spokesman-Review
Brownback Mountain & r & Sen. Sam Brownback is not going to stop pursuing a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
How the hell is anybody's marriage endangered by allowing two men or two women to marry? Before you answer, let me say something: Shut up. I don't want to hear it anymore. This is nothing but bigotry. Your justifications are based in fear and hate, and probably a child's understanding of Scripture.
I have gay friends and I can tell you that their "preference" is not a choice. It's who they are. People are born gay, just like they are born white, black, brown, tan etc. Mr. Brownback, can you make yourself want to have sex with Bill Frist? Probably not. And neither can a gay man make himself want to have sex with a woman. That's the way it is -- stop trying to make them second-class citizens.
Now go pick on somebody else. How about hateful, pious, posturing, loudmouthed, sanctimonious bastards?
Carl David Leeth & r & Spokane, Wash.