Speak Out -- If ever there was a time to mobilize for the arts, that time is now. Proposed budget cuts recently announced by Mayor Jim West in order to address a deficit of $6 million would effectively disable or eliminate such popular arts programs as the twice-annual Visual Arts Tour, the valuable "Find Art" campaign, the www.spokanearts.org Web site and the Chase Gallery. The Washington Arts Alliance has formed an Alert Center where concerned citizens can both read updates on the city's "state of the arts" as well as craft e-mails of their own to the mayor. For more information or to participate, visit www.wsartsalliance.com
Vroom! Vrooooom! -- Here in the Bin, we sometimes don't know hot rods from Hot Pockets. Which is why we occasionally need for readers to tell us things like "the K & amp;N Filters/Goodguys 3rd Great Northwest Nationals (Aug. 20-22) is no everyday cruise-in -- it's the biggest hot rod event of the year!" The Spokane Fair & amp; Expo Center will host thousands of modified rods, customs, classics, muscle cars and trucks, as well as representatives from The Dukes Auto Club (which, incidentally, has been around since 1948 and is one of the oldest car clubs in the nation). And finally, you can't miss Danny Vernon, an Elvis Impersonator so good he merits his very own Danny Vernon Fan Club. Specializing in "Young, Hot Elvis," Vernon calls his show "The Illusion of Elvis" and promises all sorts of swively hipped, pouty-lipped gyrations. For more information, visit www.good-guys.com.
Enter Stage Right -- CenterStage Artistic Director Tim Behrens has announced a full slate of events at his arts complex on West First Avenue. In addition to six dinner theater productions -- the first of which is a musical about pioneer women, Quilters (Sept. 16-Oct. 23) -- there will be nine World Music Nights and three dates featuring the Spokane String Quartet. For the first time, subscribers will be able to purchase season tickets to CenterStage, mixing and matching combinations of three, six, nine or 12 dates in whatever manner they wish. Musicals, plays, international and classical vibes -- it's a cornucopia of artsy fun! Call 747-8243.
Top of the Pops -- This just in: The winners of the recent Pop Star USA competition (which took place in Spokane) are Kimi Saffer from Walla Walla and Kenneth Andrews from Spokane. In addition to both winners getting a recording studio package from College Road, Saffer is on her way to the American Idol auditions in San Francisco on Oct. 5. As for Andrews, he's headed to Chicago for a special recording session with an industry professional. Congratulations!