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Pia K. Hansen 

  • Third Time's a Charm?

      There are 234 miles of arterials and 612 miles of residential streets in Spokane, and, yes, most of them are slowly crumbling away under cars, buses and trucks every day. By the latest estimate, the city needs about $200 million to fix th
  • Spokane, We Have Liftoff...

      When the first LaunchPad event was held at the Holley Mason Building back in February 2001, Spokane got quite a wake-up call. Not only was the place decked out with red carpet runners and lights illuminating the fa & ccedil;ade of the newly renova
  • Time to Pay the Fare

      On Sunday, thousands of runners took the bus to get to the start of Bloomsday. A $1 sticker guaranteed a ride to and from outlying parking areas and a chance to mingle with fellow Bloomies. Yet taking the bus downtown may not be an option
  • In Brief

      Scouting for a New Place -- SPOKANE -- The local Girl Scouts are proving that they are always prepared for a challenge as they take on not just the renovation of an old building, but also a $2.5 million fund-raising campaign. The Girl Sc
  • Power-Pulling Puppies

      So you're walking your pooch quietly down the sidewalk, allowing adequate sniffing time at fire hydrants, low bushes and benches. You're thinking to yourself, "Gosh, I'm so lucky I adopted Cuddles from the pound -- he really is a nice dog"
  • Room at the Inn?

      A name like the Sunset Inn conjures images of rolling hills, blushing skies, stellar views and cowboy tunes. That isn't quite the scenario at Spokane's Sunset Inn, a motel located on Sunset Boulevard roughly halfway between downtown and t
  • Can We Help?

      I was having dinner at the Italian Kitchen a couple of months ago with a friend of mine. Not being really familiar with the menu, and trying to make a good impression, I went with the lasagna. I love lasagna -- I mean, what's more perfect
  • The Motions Carry

      It was strangely quiet at City Hall Monday night, prior to the Spokane City Council meeting. In the "good old" River Park Square days, when critics and supporters filled the chambers, the half hour before the meeting was the best time to
  • In Brief

      Cross Steps Down -- SPOKANE -- On time and on budget -- that could very well be the new slogan for the Public Facilities District (PFD), the entity that's in charge of building the convention center expansion. The PFD Board has lost a few
  • In Brief

      Playfair Purchased -- SPOKANE -- The city council passed an emergency budget ordinance Monday evening, allocating $6,361,216 from the sewer fund to the purchase of Playfair Racetrack. The site of the racetrack is being considered as one l
  • In Brief

      Expansion Update -- SPOKANE -- The Public Facilities District gave a project update on the convention center expansion on Tuesday afternoon, and as expected, it didn't go down without a few fireworks. "We have a limited budget of $96 mill
  • Too Quiet?

      There was a time where every Spokane City Council meeting almost guaranteed a headline in the next day's paper or a spot on the evening news. Words like "disrespect" and "dysfunctional' were often used to describe the way council members
  • Met Madness

      Although it took place at a basketball arena, it was nothing like March Madness -- or perhaps, in its own way, that's just what it was. On Monday morning, about 1,000 of Metropolitan Mortgage's creditors met with the reorganization team an
  • Grow-Your-Own-Meds

      Cliff Chadwell didn't think he was doing anything wrong. The Spokane Valley resident has been suffering from multiple sclerosis, and since 2000 he's been smoking marijuana to alleviate the pain and the muscles spasms that tear through his
  • Final Stretch

      It doesn't even smell like horses anymore. The barns are empty, and the half-doors to the stalls are left randomly open or closed, swinging on hinges nobody will ever grease again. On the backside -- in the room where the jockeys used to w
  • Business Guide - Sterling Savings Bank

      When Harold Gilkey and Bill Suppee got together to start Sterling Savings and Loan back in 1983, they got off to a fast start. They set up office at 120 N. Wall St. -- not far from where Sterling's new downtown headquarters is located toda
  • Business Guide - Next IT

      Say you're planning a trip to Canada but aren't quite sure where you want to go. You log on to the travel agency's Web site and tell the computer that you'd like to go to Calgary, or perhaps Ottawa. The computer then asks you what you'd l
  • Business Guide - Matrical

      Kevin Oldenburg had a problem. While working at the chemical giant DuPont, he needed an automated system to handle and store, say, two million compounds at a time. This is not an uncommon situation in the medical field, where researchers
  • Business Guide - Manufacturing Jobs

      Everyone is talking about job creation. President George W. Bush is releasing statistics to show how many jobs his policies will create -- although nobody can quite agree on what that number is, exactly. Meanwhile, his Democratic opponents
  • A Big Boost For SIRTI

      It was standing room only in the boardroom at SIRTI on Tuesday morning. All three county commissioners, Mayor Jim West, City Council President Dennis Hession, Betsy Cowles, Rep. George Nethercutt, the presidents from all area colleges and
  • Al Sharpton

      He has defeated Howard Dean, Wesley Clark and Joe Lieberman (when Lieberman was still in the race), but so far, only once. In the South Carolina caucuses, Alfred Charles Sharpton Jr. -- better known as the Reverend Al Sharpton -- came in a
  • Wesley Clark

      There is one overriding theme to Wesley Clark's life, and that's a call to protect the country. Born in Chicago in December 1944, Clark soon moved to Little Rock, Ark., after the death of his father. In Little Rock, his mother got a job a
  • John Kerry

      A couple of weeks ago, ABC's Good Morning America was visiting with the Democratic candidates. On the screen was this little dark-haired woman giving orders about what food this particular candidate was to eat all day. "No," said the wo
  • John Edwards

      Born to a middle-class Methodist family in Seneca, S.C., in 1953, John Edwards grew up in Robbins, a small town in North Carolina. His mother, Bobbie, ran a small business and also worked in a post office; his father, Wallace, was a texti
  • Howard Dean

      Born in 1948 in New York City to affluent parents, Howard Dean's life is one of overseas study and old school country clubs. Dean's father, a stockbroker, and his mother, an art appraiser, had three other sons; one is a market researcher,

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