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by MICHAEL BOWEN & r & & r & Freedom of Speech, When Convenient & r & & r & Spokane Parks and Rec is seeking a new sponsor for the Fourth of July celebration at Riverfront Park. Last year's event attracted a little adverse publicity, you see. Something about anarchists picnicking on flags and police fulfilling their duty with gusto. Intriguingly, Parks and Rec has a "vision for this event [which] includes: A Freedom of Speech stage, additional all-day musical presentations, family activities, informational booths, political representation and a variety of vendors, all of whom will support the theme of Americana in Spokane."

So feel free to wave the red, white and blue in the park that day. Patriots, remember that we have fought for our right to think independently. And independent thinkers, remember there's more to changing minds than just pissing people off.

Steelhead and Upland Birds

That's why Lewiston took second place out of 200 towns ranked by Outdoor Life magazine as best places to live in America. It wasn't just the opportunities for hunting and fishing (and the permissiveness of gun laws) in the Idaho town that editors examined, but also the cost of living, schools and hospitals, housing prices, and other measures of quality of life. (In the final analysis, though, they weighted the fish and game stuff at 60 percent of the overall score.) So whether you're stalking black bear, elk or deer; hunting for chukar, turkey or grouse; or fishing for smallmouth bass or white sturgeon, Lewiston is where you'll find hunting and fishing guides lurking on every barstool.

They Deserve a Big Tip

You've heard of a noodle bowl and a rice bowl -- how about a quiz bowl? That was just part of the competition for the restaurant management team from Lewis and Clark High School, which won first place in the Washington Restaurant Association's statewide ProStart Invitational culinary competition for high school students held at the Red Lion Inn at the Park in early March. LC students successfully resolved a real-life restaurant management quandary as a ticking timer counted down. The winners now move on to the national competition in San Diego. In addition, Amanda Wanrow of Rogers High School received the student of the year award and a scholarship from the WRA Education Foundation. Kudos to all!

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