Lambert, Moscow City Council showed leadership

I am post-75 and live in Genesee, halfway between Moscow and Lewiston. I want to thank Mayor Bill Lambert and the Moscow City Council for helping save my life. The worst pandemic the world has seen in 100 years was met by an amazing display of technological wonders (vaccines) and a frustrating public denial of expertise from leading state, national and international health experts. Most of their suggestions were hardly new and had been developed and affirmed in the pandemic of 1919-1920.

Moscow’s mayor and council placed two key recommendations, mandatory social distancing and mask wearing, in place quickly. In spite of the usual objections by a small church group and squawking from wannabe politicians, most of Moscow quietly went along. Results; Latah County, population 40,108 (2019), has had 10 COVID-19 related deaths to date.

Compare this to Lewiston in Nez Perce County with on-again, off-again mandates and lots of noisy citizens yelling at council members. Results; Nez Perce County, population 40,408 (2019), has had 55 COVID-19 related deaths.

I realize that the numbers are always arguable. What is not arguable is that Mayor Lambert and the Moscow City Council saved lives and they did this with very little outside help. In fact, it’s an easy sell that several state legislators were actively opposed to what Moscow was doing. Their reward was shutting down the legislature due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

We always hope that leadership will rise to the top during a crisis and Mayor Lambert did exactly that.

Earl Bennett


God is a Calvinist

If we are to believe columnist Dale Courtney (Aug. 28), Doug Wilson’s Christ Church’s 1,400 members, without taking precautions, have survived the pandemic virus free. From this I have to conclude that God is a Calvinist.

This is not main-line Presbyterianism or even the conservative type. In June 2007, the very conservative Presbyterian Church in America overwhelmingly rejected Wilson’s version of John Calvin’s theology.

Most likely, convention delegates did want to engage in Wilson’s “crawling-over-cut-glass” Calvinism. But God obviously favors this extreme on-all-fours-self-flagellating faith, and he has rewarded Christ Church total virus immunity.

No such luck for the evangelicals in North Carolina, who at 98 gatherings in October, contracted 1,594 cases and suffered 21 deaths.

The Calvinist God does appear to favor the Trump-supporting King Jesus Church of Miami. Sunday attendance sometimes tops 20,000, and a good portion of the 4,000 deaths in the county has been traced to this congregation.

Wilson’s Calvinist God obviously disapproves of Big Tent Judeo-Christianity (a recent invention by the way), because Orthodox Jews in New York City and Israel, eschewing COVID restrictions, have died at a much higher rate than the general population.

Leaders of the Serbian Orthodox Church have touted Communion and large religious gatherings as “God’s vaccine,” but hundreds of congregants and two bishops have succumbed to the virus. Wilson’s God was obviously not with them.

South Korea’s evangelicals have also escaped protection. Early in the pandemic the 245,000-member Shincheonji Church was responsible for 63 percent of the nation’s COVID-19 cases.

Clearly, the Hindu gods did not grant virus immunity to the people in India. The same lesson, however, can be learned. Namely, as 10,000 million crowded along the banks of the Ganges and Jamuna Rivers at the Kumbh Mela, not even the great yogis were spared among the tens of thousands new infections.

Nick Gier


Bridge to nowhere

Is the city of Moscow really ready to allocate $1.08 million for a bridge to nowhere? As far as I can see from review of the minutes of the neighborhood meeting on the Edington project, the landowner is going to get a bridge built over the Palouse River with an extension of Conestoga Drive, then push some dirt around, and stand back holding their breath with their fingers crossed in hope.

It is amazing that the idea even made it to the Comprehensive Plan process since there is no actual ‘plan’ at all, let alone comprehensive by any stretch of the word. It’s a plat, that’s it. Legitimate questions raised by the public were met with vague maybes, not sures, and lots of “we’ll have to look into that.” Read the minutes; I’m not exaggerating.

A study of water access or potential new wells? Not yet. Is Avista on board for power? Haven’t asked them. What about all the rock in the way? Uhhh!? Environmental impact study? Nada. Impact of traffic traveling west? Didn’t look into it. How many houses and what kind? Don’t know; the builders can decide. Investigation of sewage load handling? We’ll get to that when someone tells us what they are building.

At this point, the Edington Project is worse than ill-conceived. Consideration of any of the expected details is completely lacking. And yet, the city is charging forward to build that bridge. Just stop for a minute. The city needs to get the details, do the needed studies, and gather the information they need to make a truly informed decision on an actual real-life, fleshed-out plan, that then can undergo a meaningful review process in the public. Otherwise, the plan for a bridge to nowhere should be going nowhere.

Lynn Ate


Do as Trump would want

Former president Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed succeeded. He brought us today’s miracle vaccines. He wants you all to get it. He said, “I hope everyone remembers when they’re getting the COVID-19 vaccine, that if I wasn’t president, you wouldn’t be getting that beautiful ‘shot’ for five years, at best, and probably wouldn’t be getting it at all.” He called it his “beautiful shot.” He wouldn’t lie to you.

If he were still president, don’t you imagine that he would be telling his supporters to get their beautiful shots and be protected? Because he loves you? I believe Trump wants you to get vaccinated.

It was developed so fast, can it be safe? Well, mRNA technology has been in development for longer than a quarter century; one technological breakthrough after another made it ready to use. In Operation Warp Speed, Trump threw billions of dollars at the pharmaceutical companies, and they initiated full-scale production at more than 23 manufacturing plants across the country, producing tens of millions of doses, even before the safety trials were finished. It was a wartime type gamble that paid off handsomely. Trump did that for you. Get your shot.

We will reach herd immunity one of two ways. We can do it quickly, Trump’s way, by getting vaccinated. Or we can let the virus infect our bodies one by one. Trouble is, with each infected body, comes the chance of a mutation (a variant), that will defeat the vaccine, and start the pandemic all over again. Already, we have a variant — the UK variant — that attacks younger people, and with more serious outcomes. Stop the variants. Respect Trump’s major gamble on your behalf. Do as he was imagining you would be doing; get vaccinated.

Wiley Hollingsworth


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