I just wanted to thank The Inlander for the coverage of the primary election. I felt like The Inlander did a better job than some of the other media of providing unbiased coverage of the elections this last month. But I would ask that the coverage be timely and come out prior to the primary ballots coming out. By the time you guys covered the South Hill race, ballots had been out for almost two weeks.
And thank you for not endorsing candidates in the election. I think media endorsements of elections weaken and discredit the participating media. The media should provide information about the candidates and leave it to people to make their own decisions (as The Inlander did). Hopefully you will continue coverage of the general election without endorsements. It better allows the public to trust your reporting.
I do wish that you could have provided a bit of space for the candidates to write a comment on their own. Most of the interviews given were related to what the reporter in particular wanted to cover that moment.
Finally, I have to ask about the general nature of our election system. We have a system set up where you fight for donations, and then spend the funds to get your "name" out. But it lacks a focus on the need-to-know actual information about the candidate. As an example, a big part of the race is buying street signs and making sure people see your name. But these voters may not even know anything about the candidate. But just remember their name. Everyone talks about how we need more information and discussion on the issues. But we need to figure out solutions on how to get there from here.
Lastly, we need to stop having political signs on public property and right-of-ways. We don't let candidates put signs in schools or parks, and we should stop letting them put them on any public areas. Signs on private property are a reflection of people's right to free speech. Signs on public space are an eyesore.
District 3 City Council candidate
Faces from the Otis
Ever since first hearing about new plans for uprooting even more downtown Spokane citizens -- the ones who don't have the means to pay for some schwanky new condo -- I have wondered how all this will play out. How many more low-income places can our city allow to be demolished without a well-thought-out alternative for these residents? It doesn't take a genius to realize that displacing folks who are struggling (with mental illness, or convictions, or addictions) is not likely to have a pretty effect on our community.
Thank you, Inlander, for the great coverage you provide on these topics with regularity. And thanks especially for representing the Otis residents themselves and not just the developer and the city ("Voices from the Otis," 8/16). Excellent work.
Kate Vanskike Smith
Spokane Valley, Wash.
We're Not All Felons
In the article, "Voices from the Otis," (8/16), Big John said, "What I would tell Spokane is... how can I put this? ... Us poor people are just like you but without the money. We're not rich snobs like you are but we are rich in friendships with the people who live here. People who buy condos ... they look at us like we don't exist," he says.
He and his ilk are not like the rest of us. Many people do not have felony convictions. We get better jobs and opportunities because we stay out of trouble and out of prison. For the sex offenders who are going to be displaced from the Otis, you are there because law-abiding people do not want you around their kids. Maybe civil commitment is where you belong.
Yea on All-Day K
Thank you so much for your article on all-day kindergarten ("All-Day K," 8/30). It is about time that Washington woke up and realized that half-day K is not doing justice to our 5-year-olds and working families! My daughter was fortunate enough to attend an all-day private school starting at 3 years old and -- within the first four months -- was reading and writing. I then put her in public school for half-day kindergarten (all that was offered) and she literally had to dumb herself down to be on par with the other children, not wanting to stick out. Not only did she get just two and a half hours of learning, she then had to spend the entire rest of the day until after 5 pm at Express.
Don't get me wrong, I love the Express program and the staff -- they do a great justice to our kids and working parents -- but the money that parents are paying for after-school Express could go towards funding all-day kindergarten. I don't know too many working moms who have the luxury of picking their child up at 11:30 am and still holding a full-time job.
I truly hope to see all-day kindergarten implemented in all Spokane elementary schools soon.
Anticipating defeat at the ballot box, the Republicans planted the seed -- no impeachment. However, after the election last November, the American people sent a very clear message: Bring home the troops and impeach the administration. Nevertheless, it does not appear that those elected (re-elected) got the message.
We read about the lies (all public knowledge) to get this country into the Iraq war. Now, Jeffrey Smith [has] covered the release of the Pentagon Report in the Washington Post ("Hussein's Prewar Ties To Al-Qaeda Discounted," 4/6/2007). A further report by the Johns Hopkins Institute verified that more than 650,000 Iraqi civilians [were] killed. We are approaching 4,000 U.S. military lives lost and thousands of young Americans maimed for life while simultaneously destroying our military.
I reread the Articles of Impeachment for President Clinton on sex. However, in view of the known fabrication for this war, the only answer for this administration is impeachment. We failed to complete impeachment on Nixon (Watergate). Nor did Congress initiate an impeachment inquiry on Reagan (Iran-Contra). Thus, the impulsion for imperialism. Impeachment is the correction mechanism to ensure that future individuals adhere to the law within the Constitution of the United States.
In the book The Genius of Impeachment, John Nichols reminded us that "the wisdom of James Madison prevailed and with the view that impeachment was an indispensable provision for defending the American endeavor -- and the American people -- against the incapacity, negligence or perfidy of the chief Magistrate."
I am expecting this House to perform its duty and hope that the [following] 2006 quote from Rep. John Conyers means something: "I have a choice. I can either stand by and lead my constituents to believe I do not care that the President apparently no longer believes he is bound by any law or code of decency. Or I can act."
Edward Thomas Jr.
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