Farm bill a bad deal

Sue Lani Madsen’s column, “Sensible reforms need to be part of 2018 Farm Bill,” (April 21, 2018) misleads readers.

The data is clear: This new proposal actually threatens the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that provides food assistance to almost 1 million Washingtonians – especially our rural, disabled and senior community members.

Rep. McMorris Rodgers’ statement that changes to federal asset limits will make more people eligible for SNAP in Washington is untrue. In fact, our state currently has an option that lifts asset limits for participants of SNAP. The Farm Bill would eliminate this option and re-impose a limit that would make it harder for some people to qualify for SNAP.

For example, a person with a low-wage job who owns a car would not have access to the program if the car’s fair-market value is above the new proposed asset threshold.

This partisan Farm Bill will create additional hardship for people in places like Odessa who need a little help to get food on the table.

City Councilwoman Kate Burke


Fact-checking Tommy Ahlquist

I recently saw TV reporters fact-checking commercials of the Idaho gubernatorial candidates. Here is one on Tommy Ahlquist they have not reported.

I listened to one of his campaign speeches to a crowd where he stated “I spent my career for 17 years creating the Faces of Hope Victim Center in Boise, Idaho to take care of victims of domestic violence. Listen. It’s a passion of mine.”

Fact check: Tommy Ahlquist did not have anything to do with the creation of the Faces of Hope Victim Center. The center itself opened 13 years ago, not 17 (as Tommy claims) and the center was created by the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office and many invested partners; he was not one.

Fact check: Tommy Ahlquist was not a partner helping to create the center. Tommy did sit on the Faces board in 2016 for less than a year. Less than a year! Tommy’s personal exploitation of this incredible center says a lot about his ambition – that he is willing to say anything and promote himself so recklessly, regardless of how many can call him out on his alleged Faces participation. Shameful.

Mary Kay Torres


Free market threat to downtown

The story “Developers push for new heights” in the April 28 Spokesman-Review lays it all out.

If we permit unchecked development in downtown Spokane, a lot of real estate outfits are ready to provide that. And shadows over Riverfront Park are certainly not the only drawback. Heads up, Spokane! We’re likely not going to turn into Seattle East, but this is a time for great caution.

Seattle is a good example of a city core that is most uninviting. The wind-swept concrete canyons, traffic gridlock, forced garage parking, compromised public safety, homeless camps and the drug culture – if you’ve not been down there for a time, ask your Seattle friends and relatives how often they go downtown if they don’t have to.

“Let the free market decide” is fantasy, bogus, a scam like trickle-down. Code for the 1 percent’s desire to have it all.

Let the Spokane City Council know that we’re not all in the top economic level. What a lot of Spokane people seem to love about this town is that it is Spokane – and not Seattle.

Our time to fight back is now.

Jim Nelson