Rise in local shootings

On April 12, Mayor Woodward spoke to the local news about the rise in local shootings, and in doing so, essentially accused the judicial system of not doing its job. Her statement appears to be based on information from the police chief that police officers are arresting people only to be released from jail by judges.

A review of publicly available information reveals that nearly all those arrested in relation to shootings, murders and stabbings since September of 2021 are still in jail.

Mayor Woodward should lead, not follow. Judges and others who work within the judicial system are dedicated and valuable public servants. They strive every day to better their community. Placing blame on them for the rise in shootings is reprehensible and offensive. It reveals a lack of wisdom and accurate information. Frankly, I am concerned and shocked that the mayor made such a representation to the public.

The United States is a country that balances peoples’ rights and freedoms with the need for public safety and strives for the fair and impartial disposition of justice. Each and every defendant is seen in court and release conditions are evaluated and determined based on a weighing of factors that can be found in Washington State Court Rule 3.2. Judges make these decisions based on the law.

It is the job of law enforcement to uphold and enforce the law, not undermine it because one does not agree or lacks a wider perspective.

Summer Rife


Camp Hope

Since the city evicted Camp Hope from its property onto Washington State Department of Transportation property, my property near Camp Hope has suffered many thousands of dollars in damage from acts of vandalism.

The first homeless guy I took in (back in the ’80s) peed on my carpet; he had to go. Last summer a homeless guy was pooping in the alley behind my property, he was having troubles and it took a long time, he didn’t clean up after himself. Camp Hope must go.

Studies have shown that construction of I-90 wreaked havoc on the East Central community. I have a few suggestions for WSDOT. Be a good landlord and evict your current tenants. Be a community builder and build back better what you’ve torn down. Become a partner with the community by investing some nickel in something that looks more like Kendall Yards than Camp Hope. No fancy eateries like Kendall, but maybe include some space for a food court for local cooks, chefs and bakers, a nicely appointed park and plaza, and pop-up clinics. Mixed-use housing with a percentage reserved for low income tenants could help revitalize East Central.

WSDOT, we need you. Partner up, and please build back better.

Jerry Bishop


Drug abuse in Spokane

Spokane has one of the highest drug abuse rates in Washington. It’s obvious that there should be a solution but it’s not as obvious what that solution should be.

Often rehabilitation is the go-to for addiction. This seems to be the wrong way to go about it. Rehabilitation has long been a “fix” for addicts, but it’s often not noticed that rehab frequently is only a temporary fix to a constant disorder.

A better name for addiction is “chronic relapsing disorder.” There is no permanent cure, and any ex-addict is subject to relapsing.

The issue is that rehab treats addiction like something that can be cured with one treatment. You go in, get clean and leave better. That style doesn’t work for many people in or out of recovery.

If addiction was prevented before it was able to develop, there would be less of an addiction issue, and consequently it may be easier to find a better solution than rehab.

Spokane’s drug issue would likely reduce if we reintegrated education programs like DARE into high schools, but without scare tactics.

Drug education is typically aimed at scaring kids away from drugs, but children, especially teens, don’t react well to scare tactics in education.

If we put back some of the lost programs or created new ones that used better education methods than fear, it could prevent a lot of addiction and consequently bring down the issue.

Nevaeh Damitio


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