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  • Small Debt, Big Trouble
  • Small Debt, Big Trouble

    It's not the luxurious private schools that are generating student loan defaults -- it's the community colleges.
      It's not the luxurious private schools that are generating student loan defaults -- it's the community colleges.
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  • Back to Work
  • Back to Work

    Meet the region's skilled but undervalued workers.
      It%uFFFD€™s mid-January, and a handful of well-dressed recruiters offer stale jokes, resume tips and details on open jobs %uFFFD€” call center positions, a machine operator, 25 part-time softball umpires. Facing the recruiters are about two-dozen job seekers at a %uFFFD€œSpeak With Employers%uFFFD€%uFFFD event.
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  • Levies Break
  • Levies Break

    Funds that help keep poor school districts afloat are in danger
      But, for all the community support, they arenâeuro;™t a rich district âeuro;” not like Bellevue or Seattle. Most of Deer Parkâeuro;™s students are poor enough to qualify for free or reduced lunch. But itâeuro;™s low-income districts like Deer Park âeuro;” not Bellevue or Seattle âeuro;” that may lose a crucial funding stream.
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  • The Crumb Tax
  • The Crumb Tax

    Financial traders get a piece of every pie. Let’s get ours.
      Now a municipal bond is hopelessly quaint in our era of mortgage-backed derivatives, hedge bets against European debt and every other way paper can be packaged, traded and profited from. But what if, in this time of screaming public needs, there was a silver bullet solution to be found in Sherman McCoyâeuro;™s little slice of cake?.
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  • Gloom and Doom
  • Gloom and Doom

    Washington's governor on the $2 billion hole, a new sales tax and that one guy ... what's his name? The new mayor of Spokane?
      Legislators already cut $4.5 billion from the stateâeuro;™s books earlier this year. Now the governor has called them back to cut another $2 billion. Sheâeuro;™s proposed cuts of $652 million from human services, $97 million from education and $30 million from corrections, among others.
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  • From the Mouths of the Legislators
  • From the Mouths of the Legislators

    Spokane's state lawmakers talk about the special session
      Compromise. Much can be expected from the month-long special session that commenced Monday in Olympia. Hereâeuro;™s what Spokaneâeuro;™s lawmakers (with the exception of Republican Rep. Larry Crouse, who did not return our calls or emails) had to say about the $2 billion budgetary amputation they must perform over the next 30 days.
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  • Let Me (Re) Count the Ways
  • Let Me (Re) Count the Ways

    The election continues. Plus, Spokane angles for 737s.
      Spokane could become home to the new BOEING 737 MAX, the most recent version of the aircraft manufacturerâeuro;™s best-selling airliner. After a study done last month by the Washington Aerospace Partnership said Washington was competitive to host the new factory, Spokane-area leaders began angling to get the factory here.
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  • Church And State
  • Church And State

    As the recession reduces education budgets, local churches come bearing manpower and funds.
      Rowan McLean, a 7-year-old in a cartoon vampire shirt at Sheridan Elementary, has been going through some pretty tough times lately. Her parents are divorcing. Sometimes she feels lonely at lunch. She gets in trouble occasionally. But on Tuesdays she sees Kristy, and everything’s all right.
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  • Booze Battle
  • Booze Battle

    Costco is pushing an initiative to privatize liquor sales in Washington. Sound familiar?
      “It ends the outdated sale of liquor by the state in Washington,” says Kathryn Stenger, spokeswoman for the Yes on 1883 Coalition. “The state does really strongly promote the sale of liquor when their core function should just be enforcement and oversight and regulation.
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  • Class Warfare
  • Class Warfare

    If Congress doesn't act, you can say hello to a new lost generation.
      It all brings to mind the exchange Senator Pat Moynihan had with the senator who rose to call America’s tax code a “disgrace to mankind.” Never at a loss for the perfect rejoinder, Moynihan answered: “The Ethiopian famine is a disgrace to mankind; our tax code is about average for mankind.
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  • Downplayed
  • Downplayed

    Ten stories the mainstream media ignored in the past year, according to Project Censored
      The rundown of stories Project Censored calls attention to this year serves as a reminder that mainstream media outlets favoring the superficial over the substantive don’t give us all the information we need.
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  • Help Needed
  • Help Needed

    The president's jobs bill would be a shot in the arm for North Idaho.
      But let’s hope Congress won’t be slow to act on the president’s jobs proposal. September means back to school, back to work, back to normal. Only who knows what “normal” really is anymore? The new normal for Congress appears to be gridlock, or do-nothing, or nothing doing.
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  • Shooting Up
  • Shooting Up

    Amid skyrocketing demand, Spokane's only needle exchange cuts back its services.
      When Gifford got to the oddly shaped room in the oddly shaped Spokane Regional Health District building, there was a line of people, all carrying their used syringes in coffee cans, brown purses and paper bags. Everson sat behind a table, helping them count out their wares.
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  • To the Last
  • To the Last

    Rick Perry just doesn't understand Social Security.
      For some Republicans, the 75 years we’ve lived with FDR’s social safety net has been a time of interminable pain — the biggest nail in the coffin of the great, up-by-your-bootstraps America. For most, however, it’s a fight that’s long been over — after all, two-thirds of America wants Social Security as-is.
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  • Compared to What?
  • Compared to What?

    What Obama could have (and couldn't have) learned from the Clinton years.
      Rivlin left Congress with three warnings. First, she urged that stimulus money be focused directly on short-term needs — aid to state governments, extension of unemployment benefits, money for “genuinely shovel-ready” projects and a “payroll tax holiday.
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