September 6, 2012 |

Letters to the Editor

Public engagement system gets input on transportation

This summer, the Washington State Transportation Commission launched the Voice of Washington State (VOWS), an innovative web-based public engagement program, which includes seven regional discussion forums and a survey panel. Currently, the Northeast Washington region is critically underrepresented on the forum and the survey panel. All of the state's transportation commissioners, including myself, are reaching out to residents and urging them to log on to www.voiceofwashingtonstate.org to sign up and share input on how to improve our transportation system.

The Northeast Washington VOWS online discussion forum is good for our community because it's a place for Spokane County residents to publicly share, vote and comment on regional or statewide transportation ideas. You can share your opinions about any part of our transportation system, including: highways, mass transit, freight and high-speed rail, ferries, barges and even aviation. Similarly, through the survey panel, citizens can contribute their opinions by taking occasional surveys on transportation policy, funding and tax issues. The state needs this information in order to understand the priorities and opinions of Washington state residents.

The ultimate goal is to gather public input on Washington state transportation policy and funding, and to inform the statewide discussion and decision-making process. The governor and Legislature will be briefed on the results of both the forums and surveys at the start of each year before the Legislative session begins.

In short, we want and need to see a stronger representation in Northeast Washington to ensure the input gathered is balanced and reflective of statewide views and interests. You can help by sharing your transportation ideas today. There is a limited window of opportunity to impact the state's future decisions on how future revenues will be invested. Log on to www.voiceofwashingtonstate.org to share your feedback for how to improve Cheney and Spokane County's transportation system.

Joe Tortorelli

Washington State

Transportation Commission

Commissioner,

Spokane County

Wisdom found in political reforming

Philosophy, which is the study of thoughts, generally speaking, and Wisdom, which is the behavioral application of philosophy directly into our daily lives, are at present the only means visible that can lead the great citizens of America into becoming even better individuals, which in turn will improve our society.

So, our national and most state governments barely function, if at all. Using an analogy, dispensing with severely unwise politicians at all levels is similar to being on a seagoing vessel engaged with a severe storm in the middle of winter.

The path is dangerous, and a successful transit over a vast distance is not guaranteed. Nevertheless, the wise will always know what is waiting for him/her on the other side of the storm, which is long overdue political and economic reformation by allowing all legal American citizens of this great country to have direct domestic political decision making power (on the six to 10 truly important domestic issues) via the ballot box.

Politicians and judges would be delegated to the sidelines, with the authority to observe only, while we decide which is right for our stagnating nation and ourselves.

Is anyone willing to sign up for such a perilous voyage?

Ray Gattavara

The Sungate Alliance

Sumner, Wash.

Thanks for support during family loss

The Cox family would like to thank everyone for their love and support during this traumatic time of losing a husband, father, papa, brother and uncle. Gary would have been very happy with the Life Celebration in his honor on Saturday.

I would like to thank the Nations for all their help. It was greatly appreciated. And to everyone that helped thank you so much for caring and the paramedics and Cheney Fire Department who worked so hard. We love you all.

Pat Cox

Cheney

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