Alternatives to Styrofoam

In Inland 360 (Feb. 4) editor Jennifer K. Bauer muses that future archaeologists will see “evidence of our need to find escape through food during this time.” She is referring to the massive and increasing amount of Styrofoam food containers heading to our landfills every day. By now everybody should be aware that much of this material and other plastics end up in our oceans and rivers, where they are ingested by fish and other animals. Scientists have found plastic in the flesh of salmon from the relatively pristine waters of the Arctic; plastics are becoming part of our diet. A conservation group, Fauna and Flora International, estimates that a staggering 12.7 million tons of plastic reach our oceans every year and have deleterious effects on at least 500 marine species.

There are alternatives to Styrofoam food containers. Restaurants that care about our environment and the health of our planet should be using them. Consumers should insist on it.

Antone G. Holmquist


Impunity is not unity

When Republican lawmakers call for post-election “unity,” it’s clearly short for “impunity.” After months of spreading lies about election theft, actively encouraging division and conspiratorial thinking, and then acceding to insurrectionist demands by voting to not certify Biden’s win, they impudently demand forgiveness while not showing an ounce of contrition. We know precisely how interested they’d be in unity if their coup had succeeded. All they truly want is to avoid accountability so they can try the same thing when they lose the next election.

For four years, Republicans have branded Democrats as radical, socialist, anarchist, America-hating enemies of the people (Democrats being something other than people, apparently). They stonewalled Democratic legislation, stole a seat on the Supreme Court, and packed the judiciary with conservative judges after refusing to consider Obama’s nominees.

They finally tried to steal the presidency through force and now have the gall to accuse Democrats of being “divisive” for not assuming a moral high ground they never even considered. How can Democrats forgive people who won’t even admit to, let alone apologize for, their actions?

Republican pleas to “move on” are like those of a man who beats his wife and then asks to just “start over” instead of owning up, apologizing and changing his behavior. If we agree to act like nothing happened, we become complicit in our abuse and ensure its repetition. Codependency is not a valid approach to governance. Moving forward requires accountability and iron-clad assurances that this sort of thing won’t happen again.

Forgiveness is divine, but enabling your abuser is self-destruction. We should allow those who will repent and change, but if we want to stop the next coup from succeeding, there must be consequences for the supporters of the last one.

Ryan Urie


The difference

In his column Feb. 3, Dale Courtney claimed that Democrats have challenged vote counts in the Electoral College in years past in the same way that Republicans recently challenged votes in states won by President Biden. He distorts actions by Democrats, however, that were very different from Republican efforts to keep ex-President Trump in office in spite of losing a free and fair election.

After the votes were counted in the 2020 election, ex-President Trump claimed that he had won and large numbers of Republicans supported his claims. This claim of victory in spite of losing the election is in marked contrast to the actions of all defeated Democratic presidential candidates, who conceded defeat promptly after major news sources predicted their losses in the Electoral College.

Many Republicans continue to support the big lie that ex-President Trump won in 2020 — even senators, members of Congress and leaders in both houses of Congress either support the lie or waited months to acknowledge the truth of defeat in the smallest of voices.

Democrats have drawn attention to issues of voter suppression during the counting of votes in the Electoral College in elections past, but only long after their candidate had conceded defeat.It is insisting that Trump won the election that makes the actions of ex-President Trump, Republican leaders, and a mob that took this belief to extremes so dangerous.

John Anderson


Check out radio station

I read with great interest the opinion piece written by Susan Dente Ross. She gives a strong voice to the pitfalls of our media and attempts to educate the public about the responsibility of being informed by truth in a democracy. Therefore, it is important to pay close attention to the biases of media outlets, not only who owns them but also the kind of news they choose to report.

I am proud to serve on the board of the Palouse’s own local station KRFP 90.3 FM because it vastly expands the information we normally get from the news. It is a “nonprofit organization dedicated to the progressive values of peace, justice, democracy, human rights, multiculturalism, environmentalism, freedom of expression and social change. The station is characterized by volunteer involvement in all aspects of its operation.”

The news program Democracy Now is aired every weekday and “provides an independent news program featuring international journalists, grassroots leaders, independent analysts, as well as ordinary people directly affected by world events and U.S. policy.” Since it does not accept funding from advertising, underwriting, or government agencies you will be listening to news that is unique in its perspective and choice of topics. KRFP also covers all local events so you can stay informed about community affairs. I am hopeful that this will broaden your understanding of the multitude of events taking place in our world today. Check it out.

Katherine Keener


Vaccine process ‘easy-peasy’

My wife and I received our first Moderna COVID-19 vaccine last week in Lewiston at the North Central Idaho Public Health Department. We arrived a few minutes early for our appointment, where a National Guardsman greeted us in the parking lot. Two guard members opened the doors for us to enter the building. We quickly passed through the various stations to check in, register and receive our shot. We went to two final stations to get our appointment for the second shot and waited 15 minutes to make sure we didn’t have an anaphylactic reaction. It was, as a friend said, “easy peasy.” It was well organized and staffed by knowledgeable and friendly helpers who ushered us through the process. We are grateful to the health district and its employees and volunteers, and the National Guard, who made this possible.

Michael Kyte


Biden helps Malden

President Biden has responded with disaster relief for two small towns in Whitman County burned to cinders last fall. These federal dollars were denied by then President Trump due to a grudge against Washington State Governor Inslee. No doubt some of those folks who will now get to rebuild in Malden voted for Trump. It may be hard to say thanks to a Democrat for releasing these much needed funds. I urge the Washingtonians who see President Biden through Trump’s glasses to take another look.

Zena Hartung


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