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by Michael Bowen & r & & r &

And She Was UFO-Abducted

We may live in an information glut, but we cool -- we know how to detect spurious info. That must explain why, when an Arizona alt-weekly wrote a bogus story about Anna Nicole Smith's "secret Native American love child," CBS News gobbled it up -- and why the Phoenix New Times was offered $500,000 for photos of the non-existent baby. US Weekly, Court TV, Access Hollywood -- oh, yeah, they've got their standards.

Red and Silver Maples Forever

Would you pay 10 bucks to be remembered by your grandchildren? The National Arbor Day Foundation will send you 10 foot-tall seedlings of distinct shade trees as unusual as the thornless honeylocust and the tuliptree (along with this month's planting instructions) in exchange for that nominal fee (just a buck a tree!). Visit or write 100 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City NE 68410 by April 30. Some day, your grandkids will reminisce about when the river birch was knee-high.

Place an Order Skyward

We reported with some sadness in our Best of the Inland Northwest issue two weeks ago that Dick's Hamburgers founder Abe Miller was in poor health. Though we didn't find out until later (the day we sent to the issue to print, in fact), Mr. Miller passed away at age 92. We'll remember the former tree-topper, miner, butcher and merchant marine -- who ran Kirk's and the Panda Drive-In, then opened Dick's in 1965 -- with every Whammy for time immemorial.

Top Dozen

Spokane Civic Theatre's version of Stephen Sondheim's Assassins is one of the 12 best community theater productions in the nation this year. That's according to the American Association of Community Theater, which will host the national competition in Charlotte, N.C., where director Troy Nickerson will take his cast on June 20. Cheers!

Best of Goofs, Part Deux

Our Best Of issue overflowed with awards -- and mistakes, apparently.

We misspelled the name of the No. 2 barista in our area. She works at Brews Bros. on Ruby Street, and her name is Laura Linnenkamp.

In our Last Word photo essay, "Honor Roll on a Roll" (3/29/07), we neglected to mention that the fellow chatting with Mayor Dennis Hession is Sammy Eubanks (Best Local Musician).

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