I believe in you

Dear Pullman, I am your daughter. I am your sister. I am a mother. Please stand with me. Hold my hand. Say out loud, with me, together with one voice, Black Lives Matter, and because Black Lives Matter, we must end racism now. Do not sweep the message under the rug by co-opting it, by putting a kind and pretty face on it, by tokenism. Standing together and speaking with one voice is not negating other lives, it is affirming all lives.

Say it loud, say it together with one voice, with unity, with love. Black Lives Matter. I believe in you.

carol ndambuki


Off on the wrong foot

The words we use are important. In July 2020 a group of citizens worked in an effort to “demand a Black Lives Matter mural in downtown Pullman.”

In an online petition they stated that, “The project would be executed by local artists and volunteers, and allows for our community to come together in this time of needed change, reform, and healing via artistic expression.”

During the July 14 city council meeting, the Daily News said the same citizens “made it clear their support is not for the Black Lives Matter organization, but for Black Lives Matter as a civil rights movement.”

In the mural idea created by Jiemei Lin and chosen by the public, there is no distinction between the two. I see the problem with that.

I think “demanding” a mural during a time of social turmoil, even if badly needed, probably set things off on the wrong foot. It caused our local leaders to become reactive, instead of being able to be proactive.

Regrettably, protocols weren’t followed, and mistakes were made. It’s hard for people to come together in a community when one group is demanding something, even if the thing they are demanding is very good.

I agree with Ms. Lin that a mural recognizing the suffering of black people in Pullman is very important. Social justice and reform are too important for this work to die in rhetoric.

I hope that all concerned are able to create a project that does allow our community to come together for change, reform and healing through art. It’s just going to take some working together to make it happen.

Laurel Nickels


An ‘alternate river’

The article “Scientists: Breaching dams is necessary” (Daily News, Feb. 23) describes the need to help salmon survival, a need clearly shown by good data.

Dam breaching is recommended but no data is given or available to be sure breaching would solve the problem. Mud and pollutants have built up during decades of ‘quiet water’ in the reservoirs. Removing dams will leave decimated canyons of polluted mud banks making for higher than normal pollutants in the water. Will the less-healthy water cut salmon returns and prevent survival? If we just breach the dams we don’t reach the answer quickly. The fish could be extinct before we do.

I suggest an “alternate river,” clean with fast flow that could be seasonal by opening input gates wide during the time of smolt migration down river. That will be expensive. If breaching is offered (also expensive) money-conscious people and politicians will not want to add expense of a clean fast path — they will gamble and let the fish die if the breaching slow answer is unfavorable.

A clean fast route could be built while the dams remain. The canal would go from just above the highest upstream dam (Lower Granite) downstream on the shortest low curvature path to the next lower dam. That would be repeated to the other dams in turn and perhaps a final 30-mile Ice Harbor to Lake Wallula speed run. Smolt travel time would be much less than present and a bit shorter and faster in cleaner water than through a canyon left after breaching.

There would be loss of some electricity generation during migration, but nuclear plants and non-fossil fuel alternatives can be built to compensate. The good minds of fishery biologists and engineers can plan the diversion of fish into the alternate river for the fastest and smoothest path fish can tolerate.

Jack Garland

WSU chemistry emeritus


This is not management

I experience fear and loathing each time the Idaho Legislature is in session, waiting to see how they will give themselves power over us, needlessly spending taxpayer dollars, making it harder to put citizen concerns on the ballot, permanently removing marijuana as an effective and necessary medical treatment, and torturing wildlife.

I thought it couldn’t get any worse than enshrining hunting and trapping in the state constitution, but Jeff Siddoway’s bill is about as bad as I’ve ever seen.

Not only does the proposed legislation allow endless and open-ended killing of wolves to get the number down to 500, it would allow every devious, cowardly and cruel method of killing at man’s disposal. And there are many.

If classified as “predators” wolves could be killed year round with no limit — in addition to being trapped, snared and shot most of the year as they are now, they could be shot from airplanes and helicopters, and chased with snowmobiles and ORVs.

This is not management, this is not science, it is the 1930s all over again. This is bloodlust and irrational fear and hatred. It would cause total chaos and disruption to any pack stability wolves have managed to establish in the midst of constant human manipulation and harassment that has occurred ever since endangered status was lifted. It makes no sense. It is despicable.

Susan Westervelt


Losing perspective

Scotty Anderson, your Feb. 20 conclusions were short-sighted in “Not yet charged up about the idea of electric cars.”

When it comes to anything progressive — global warming protections, solar and wind power, electric cars — Anderson and his adoring readers lose perspective. Scotty writes his gas cars have radios and heaters, but leaves an unwritten intimation that electric cars do not (psst, electric cars also have GPS). Anderson also writes, electric cars are incapable of traveling for more than 45 minutes, but later, confusingly, says they have a range of 300 miles.

For clarification, U.S. News and World Report, et al, says most electric cars have a range of 200-600 miles. Anderson reports, currently, country trips in electric cars present challenges. Not for long. Design specialists, certainly not Trump cultists, are preparing to change the dynamics.That’s why, until technology overcomes a few minor mileage/recharge limitations, local use of electric cars is best. Fortunately, we live in the perfect area. Despite this issue, locally, there’s plenty of charge to go anywhere, including Spokane and back. On one charge.

Once engineers figure out how to harness electricity using rotating wheels, as well as other innovations, Anderson’s limitations of cross country travel are resolved.

Could people own both a gas and electric vehicle? Affordability for one car is problematic. An inclusive federal program could change that. Hybrids could also help provide solutions. In addition to electric cars, a similar program on solar and wind powered water heaters could drive a revolution of change. But, when the government gets involved, many closed-minded individuals squawk irrational fears of socialism (we have much greater fears from fascism).

Unfortunate for everyone, including Anderson and “conservative” acolytes, energy producers are blind because of overwhelming profits through unfair tax laws.

Jim Roach


BLM messaging

Black Lives Matter might be a clever phrase but it also stands for a private political organization. So, I can understand why it’s an issue as Pullman City Council considers it for a mural.

I didn’t realize that BLM is so heavily engaged in political theater until I read their seven demands. Surprisingly BLM does not prioritize the heartfelt issues that matter most to black people. If we listened to Malcolm X, he pinpointed the need for strong families, self-responsibility and fatherhood. When he spoke of power it wasn’t to overpower the opponent so much as it was to use one’s own power to create a comfortable life, businesses and self-governing, rather than immersing oneself in victimhood. Wouldn’t it be more sensitive if BLM included in their aims the programs which would foster fatherhood training, recreation programs for kids, a variety of schools and tutoring to help the children, vocational training and journeyman jobs. These goals are more focused on the anguish of both Blacks and whites. Spike Lee’s movie, “Do the Right Thing,” emphasized this to the tune of “I Got the Power.” This is so different from the messages of BLM.

Franci du Pont


Against Senate Bill 1110

The citizen ballot initiative in 2018 to expand Medicaid was passed by 61 percent of Idaho voters. Now, 103,000 Idahoans have comprehensive health care during this pandemic. A bill to make it much more difficult to pass ballot initiatives is making its way through the Idaho Legislature. It is already difficult to get an initiative on the ballot by requiring 6 percent of registered voters in 18 legislative districts.

Many volunteers throughout Idaho in both rural and urban settings collected 70,000 signatures to get it on the ballot in 2018. Registered voters voted “yes” in 35 of Idaho’s 44 counties to expand Medicaid. This new law would make the requirement 6 percent of registered voters in every one of Idaho’s 35 legislative districts and make it nearly impossible to succeed.

Senate Bill 1110 would effectively take away the right of ordinary citizens to pass a ballot initiative. This right to propose law is guaranteed in the Idaho Constitution. If the Legislature wants to deny this right to its citizenry, they should go about it by proposing a constitutional amendment to be voted upon by the voters of Idaho.

Please write Gov. Little to veto Senate Bill 1110 which would take away this constitutional right. Email Little or call (208) 334-2100 and ask him to veto Senate Bill 1110 if it reaches his desk.

Mary Jo Van Gerpen


Voting reminders

There have been recent letters to the editor expressing surprise and dismay that conservatives continue to question the results of the election. Actually, all Americans have good reasons to question the integrity of the election. Here is one example:

A study was done of people using the internet in several battleground states during the 2020 election. The study showed that Google gave liberal users reminders to vote, and sent no such reminders to conservative voters. 773 study participants voluntarily allowed their internet use to be monitored with special software. The software allowed the recording of exactly what each participant was seeing as he or she used the Internet at home. The software recorded fleeting content such as reminders on Google and Facebook home pages, search suggestions and news feeds.

The author of the study, Robert Epstein, said, “we have indeed found evidence of bias … we found that, during the week of October 26, that’s quite close to the election, only our liberal field agents were getting vote reminders on Google’s homepage … among those who identified themselves as conservative, not a single person saw that reminder on the home page. … Google home page screen is seen in the United States 500 million times a day. If that kind of reminder was being used systematically over a period of time, it affected more than those who voted on election day, it affected those who sent in mail-in votes, it affected who registered to vote.”

Robert Epstein has a PhD from Harvard. He is editor in chief of Psychology Today. This news is verified by numerous interviews he has done, including with three U.S. Senators, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah. These Senators wrote a letter describing their interview to Google CEO Sundar Pichai. It is on their government websites.

Lois Johnston


Correction and apology

Facts matter, and I want to correct an error in my recent letter. The bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019 (H.R. 763) proposing a fee on carbon to encourage market-driven innovation of clean energy technologies was not passed in the House of Representatives. It’s still in committee. I apologize for submitting misleading information.

Pete Haug


Idaho property tax relief

I’ve been following various property tax relief bills in the legislature this session. One bill wants to turn everything on its head and use the Consumer Price Index to calculate property tax, and another wants to allow counties only a percentage of new construction value, thinking that will reduce local budget levies. Neither of these options will provide any significant tax relief for homeowners no matter how they spin it.

However, there are ways, already on the books, to give every homeowner property tax relief. Rather than freeze the homeowners exemption, we could return to indexing the exemption as it relates to the fluctuations in the market. If the legislature had not frozen the Homeowners Exemption in 2016, Latah County residents would now be able to deduct $150,000 from the assessed value of our homes before their taxes were calculated, instead of the current fixed exemption of $100.000. The same is true for the Circuit Breaker Program that helps homeowners who are dealing with reduced income or health care costs. The state of Idaho has not adjusted this property tax exemption for over 20 years and that is inexcusable. How we care for those who are struggling in our communities is a measure of who we are as a society.

These two processes I’ve mentioned are in place right now to provide immediate, targeted property tax relief. Why is the legislature reluctant to use them? They certainly know about these programs, and have been encouraged to consider these options. But they look the other way.

Property values continue to increase. Please contact those in power at the state house to make your voices heard. We need to address property tax relief, and we need to do it in a meaningful way that is fair to all of us.

Henrianne Westberg


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