Turn on headlights in the snow, fog, rain

Since winter arrived on our Palouse, I have noticed the unacceptable number of motorists who do not turn on their lights on their vehicles. For whatever reason, it appears people do not understand that when it is snowing, when it is foggy, when the rain is pouring, y’all need to turn on your lights.

As a pedestrian who walks throughout Moscow daily, usually accompanied by my dog, we need to see you when it’s snowing, raining or foggy. When the sun has not come up, when it has already set, please turn on your lights.

Thankful to have escaped several close vehicle/pedestrian collisions over the last three months, we respectfully ask you to turn on your car/truck/bicycle lights.

Rob Meyer

Moscow

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Let’s do away with the drug prohibition

One of my grandnephews has gotten into hard drugs, according to family gossip. How does that happen? Maybe it happened naturally — there will always be some use of drugs. He got a new girlfriend, then came the drugs.

Again, I admit that maybe that came naturally; a companionship function. If so, I would rather that the relationship had worked the other way — that he had rescued her.

But then, it might be that the power of the black market sucked him in. She needed expensive black market drugs, he was a persuadable young man with a job.

Friend-to-friend marketing is the most effective kind, and when you give people a strong cost-avoidance incentive, they will push drugs for you.

There seem to be two kinds of merchants in the drug market: the upper level people, who are motivated by big money; and the little user-pushers who are motivated by cost sharing. To do that, they draw other people into drug use.

There are other ways to avoid costs. The customer can give the merchant something valuable that he/she acquired by theft. Or he/she can go to a drug party, and have “private conversations” with other customers, making the merchant’s party more attractive.

Well, there’s a third kind of merchant — the professional hunter. A former member of a drug gang told his counselor that they would watch a target, see who her friends were and learn what her interests were. They … then engage her in conversation: “We have so much in common! We’re friends! Come to our party!” And sell to her, friend to friend.

All of the above are the fruit of drug prohibition. Those of us who want to remove those incentives, should join our voices to end prohibition. Let us take control of the drug market; out of the high school bathrooms, and into a government dispensary.

Let’s do it for our loved ones.

Wiley Hollingsworth

Pullman

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Writer parroting false narrative about Ukraine

Jean Durtal’s February 3rd letter spreads disinformation in arguing that the mainstream media obfuscated the truth.

The U.S. did not start a coup in Ukraine by funding terrorists, as Durtal claims. It all started when as many as a million Ukrainians assembled in Kiev to peacefully protest President Yanukovych — another one of Putin’s puppets.

The protests were triggered by Yanukovych’s refusal to follow the people’s will to embrace the West and instead chose to make Ukraine submissive to Russia. Protestors placed flowers in the barrels of the military’s guns; a paramilitary group responded with sniper fire. Undeterred by extreme winter weather, as many as 18 percent of Ukrainian’s population participated in protests at some time over the 62-day, round-the-clock Orange Revolution. Over 100 Ukrainians died. The U.S. might have been too hasty in supporting this Orange Revolution, but this was hardly a coup by U.S.-backed terrorists.

The prosecutor, Shokin, was removed by the Obama administration for NOT prosecuting corruption. Contemporaneous accounts reported that Shokin repeatedly declined to bring prosecutions of elites’ corruption and even hindered such investigations. Republicans of that era rightly applauded U.S. policy that demanded Shokin’s removal, as did our allies, the IMF, Ukrainian anti-corruption activists, and others. Biden dutifully exerted pressure on behalf of the U.S. to remove him.

Durtal is parroting those same congressional republicans who continue to push the false narrative that Biden made a unilateral decision to remove Shokin to protect his son. Hunter Biden admits that Burisma probably hired him to gain influence. Though Hunter Biden showed poor judgement, no laws were broken.

Trump did not coerce Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. Rather, he sought only an announcement of an investigation, which has the sole purpose of raising suspicions. Trump is not a crusader against corruption; he is an expert practitioner. Check his resume.

Mark Kuzyk

Pullman

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A better bill to battle dangers of mercury

Tod Merley’s Feb. 4 letter to the editor raised several important points about pollution and highlighted mercury as a potent neurotoxin. His concern is justified because mercury’s toxicity is well documented. For instance, the EPA’s conservative estimate is that more than 75,000 babies are born each year with a greater risk of learning disabilities because of their mothers’ mercury exposure. So it makes sense to reduce our mercury exposure.

Merley’s letter flagged Washington House Bill 1276 as one step to reduce mercury exposure. However, HB 1276 appears to be more of a political stunt than serious legislation because its language is extreme and inflammatory so is not likely to gain support. But more importantly, HB 1276 is flawed because it only deals with a small subset of mercury exposure. It does not address coal-burning power plants, which account for 44 percent of all manmade mercury emissions in the U.S.

Fortunately, there is already a more effective alternative piece of national legislation (HR 763) that is currently being considered by Congress. HR 763 (energyinnovationact.org) is a revenue-neutral bill that would dramatically reduce carbon emissions (40 percent by 2030 and 90 percent by 2050) and in so doing reduce mercury releases not just from coal, but also from the gasoline, diesel, natural gas and oil combustion mentioned by Merley.

HR 763 has much broader health benefits than reducing mercury exposure. It would improve air quality and reduce the estimated 114,000 premature deaths that occur annually from exposure to particulates, as well as sulfur and nitrogen oxides. Independent estimates of HR 763’s health impact are that it would save 295,000 lives over 10 years.

The sooner we act, the sooner we will see its benefits. Please phone, email, and write to your legislators today and ask them to co-sponsor HR 763 (Senate equivalent S.3791).

Simon Smith

Pullman

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