We deserve more data

Cases and deaths from COVID-19 are rising in Latah County even with vaccinations and it being summer. My husband and I, as well as all our children and eligible grandchildren are vaccinated. We thought that made us safe but now with the delta variant, we are getting uneasy.

Why don’t the local dashboards that show the number of cases and deaths by age, also show how many of those were fully vaccinated versus the number unvaccinated? I believe the public has a right to know. Numbers don’t violate anyone’s privacy. Surely the hospitals and health districts know how many of these cases are breakthrough cases. Statewide and nationally those numbers are reported.

Those of us who got vaccinated to protect ourselves and others, have a right to know what we are dealing with in our community. Why are these numbers not reported? Some businesses are requiring patrons to show proof of their vaccination. Those actions make me more likely to patronize that business. When I get my hair cut, I ask the stylist if he/she is vaccinated. So far all have been. I want to know the status of the person(s) I am doing business with.

I hope that our local newspapers, city officials, and hospital boards will exert their influence to convince Gritman and other area hospitals to be more forthcoming about their COVID-19 patients and how many are not vaccinated vs how many are break through cases. Maybe this information will influence the unvaccinated to get the shot. At least we can hope.

Linda Pike


The Borgen Project

During these past few days, I’m sure we are all bogged down with the world. Just an onslaught of devastating news day after day, I don’t know about y’all, but I often feel defenseless and have no idea how to help.

This past summer, I decided to look around, do something to boost my resume for my future, and instead, I found an organization that could help. I’ll be honest, the main reason I was interested was the founder is a Washington State University graduate but then I learned what the Borgen Project is about.

Basically, the project helps fight global poverty. And get this, they taught me that just a simple email to Congress could create waves through the world. This may sound like an advertisement, but I want to spread the news that you can still make a difference in the sad climate we live in now. Visit borgenproject.org/about-us/ for more information, and make sure to use your voice!

Rahaf Albateni


Would like the ratios

Would someone who cares, please tell us the following: the student/teacher ratios of all the schools in Moscow, both public and private; and their full cost per student?

Wiley Hollingsworth


The future of wheat

The prolonged drought and water reserves bring forward a concern related to the yield of wheat on the Palouse. I came to Pullman in the 1960s from a dry region of Oklahoma and was amazed at how the wheat could stay healthy until harvest during minimal summer rainfall.

I was anxious to get some Washington varieties of wheat, that yield ~100 bushels per acre, back to the family farm in Oklahoma and did send enough for our renter to plant a test acre. It grew well until the hot winds of May and June hit and subsequently shriveled, yielding less than the local early maturing varieties that often yield fewer than than 30 bushels.

My scientist friends state that the wheat yields on the Palouse are directly and precisely related to the amount of rainfall. A rainfall close annually to that on our Oklahoma farm. The difference being the ability of the moisture to be retained by the soil that comes with the Palouse conditions.

Are these conditions being changed by global warming? Is this year a prediction of things to come? We do not irrigate wheat and the aquifers are inadequate anyway. Will we need the water behind the Snake River dams? Whether we realize it or not, agriculture is a mainstay of our economy on the Palouse.

Lee Hadwiger


A reputation for nonsense

In the Aug. 21 Daily News, letter writer Mike Beirens demonstrated his shaky grasp of reality by citing George Washington’s vision of an angel at Valley Forge. This angel supposedly told Washington of three great perils facing the United States in the future. Of course, as with many such tales, this is an entirely made-up fantasy, typical of Mike’s peculiar understanding of American history.

In fact, this story was entirely made up by Charles Wesley Alexander, and published in 1861 (ushistory.org/valleyforge/washington/vision.html). Significantly, the historians there tell the story, properly cited, and urge people not to use it without acknowledging that it is a work of fiction.

Mike missed that memo, so it is not surprising that he decides to compose his own work of fiction, that China will be teaming up with Afghanistan to start a nuclear war with Pakistan, on their way to conquering India. He actually thinks that China has 75,000 troops in Canada and 175,000 troops in Mexico to join up for their final assault on the U.S. I am not joking, and sadly, neither was he. You can file that with the other nonsense he has written in his previous letters to the editor.

Paul Smith


Experimenting fun, useful

Chuck Pezeshki’s column in the Aug. 14 Daily News gives pause to mask wearers. Chuck’s mechanical engineering students can set up a test to prove his theory that masks don’t stop COVID-19.

The students can set up a source of different sized droplets they can “shoot” downwind through various mask type barriers to a collection plate where they can weigh the droplets that get through and do the same with no filters. The results should show the mask fibers did not actually catch any droplets.

Of course, the results might not be what he hoped for, but then that is why experimenting is fun and useful.

Jeff Watt


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