Listening Season

Listening Season

How can we argue without deepening our divides?
New Year's is my favorite holiday, nestled in the reflective winter solstice and topped with champagne. In theory, it's a time when we shed habits that no longer help us move forward and begin testing new ways of living, however small.

The Gift of Reading

A new program in Coeur d'Alene is getting books into the hands of the kids who need them most
Most 5- and 6-year-olds take to learning to read like the proverbial ducks to water. Other children find the path paved with painful, stumbling learning blocks.

The Power of Laughter

Publisher's Note
Back in 2009, I wrote that Stephen Colbert, "TV's know-nothing-in-chief," might need to "start planning his next gag." Well, that's why you should never take me to Vegas.

Women's Movement

The Zags are thrilling their fans and filling the stands in a way few women's programs are anywhere
June Daugherty, Washington State women's basketball coach, put it succinctly: the Gonzaga women's basketball program "has an amazing fan base." She's right, of course, but perhaps it's even hit the level of phenomenon.

Cultural Warrior

Publisher's Note
What's all the ruckus? Last month, the office was abuzz when they called me to the lobby.

Sorry, Senator Risch

But transparency isn't the problem with torture
Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee released a report about the CIA's enhanced interrogation program. It made clear that the CIA repeatedly tortured prisoners, received little information of value from it and lied to Congress about it.

A Solid Foundation

Rather than the same old politics, Republicans can start solving immigration issues at the grassroots level
The two biggest stories of the past month — the Ferguson, Missouri, fiasco, and President Obama's unilateral immigration order — have America's attention. Republicans will control Congress in January, but there are ways outside the legislative process to address America's racial divide and its immigration challenge, if only lawmakers — and all Americans — will do so.

Hitting a Nerve

Publisher's Note
There's been quite an uproar over the tiny item in the City of Spokane budget calling for a $7,000 raise for the mayor. David Condon has rejected the raise he never asked for, but not before the flap went into full bloom.

Let Us Breathe

Spokane joins national protests over the failure to indict white officers for killing black civilians
By now, you've probably decided to care, or not care, about the #BlackLivesMatter campaign sweeping America. Translated for black families: You've decided to care or not care about us.

Way Below Average

Presidents from Reagan to FDR make Obama look like a little leaguer when it comes to issuing executive orders
"Lawless." "Czar."

Learning the Handshake

Publisher's Note
It seems like the stories from the old days need to develop a certain patina before we really tune in. Take our World's Fair.

Screw Big Cities

A mid-sized manifesto
Screw big cities. Everybody says big cities are these great, wondrous galaxies that hold together fully formed and diverse constellations of art and culture so broad and deep that one cannot stand at one end and see the other.

Spilled Votes

One last look at the conservative domination of the Idaho elections earlier this month
OUCH! It's hard, very hard, being a Democrat in Idaho.

Making Spokane Pop

Publisher's Note
I found Jerry Schmidt over by the Clock Tower, setting up lights in the near-freezing rain for his latest effort, the Winter Glow Spectacular. Somebody had remarked to him earlier, "Wow, you actually put up the lights, too?"

Size Matters

Class size isn't a silver bullet, but it will help
Earlier this month, Washington voters approved a mandate on smaller class sizes by a tiny margin. When an initiative campaign like this one gathers sufficient interest to reach the ballot, it's safe to say that the public is both interested in the policy and dissatisfied with current representatives' ability to address the issue adequately.

Who's In Charge?

Scott Chesney's removal underlines confusion in our strong mayor system; here's what the city charter says
The curtain opens exposing the Wizard, revealing him as not the "Great and Terrible Oz," but rather just a little old man. Dorothy, dismayed, says: "Oh, you're a very bad man!" To which the Wizard replies, "No, my dear. I'm a very good man. I'm just a very bad wizard."

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Recent Comments

  • Re: Cultural Warrior

    • You can also catch Nicholas in the locally produced "The Immortal Augustus Gladstone" http://theimmortalaugustusgladstone.com and…

    • on December 18, 2014
  • Re: Sorry, Senator Risch

    • Al Nashiri was the mastermind of the terrorist attack in 2000 on the U.S.S. Cole…

    • on December 18, 2014
  • Re: Let Us Breathe

    • Mr Garner was not killed because he was selling loose cigarettes. He died from complications…

    • on December 15, 2014
  • Re: Let Us Breathe

    • Too many people have come to confuse activism with cheer-leading. These marches are great big…

    • on December 15, 2014
  • Re: Let Us Breathe

    • Marie: Mr. Garner did not die because he was black. He was confronted by the…

    • on December 13, 2014
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Most Commented On

  • Game Changer

    Since Condon became mayor, Jan Quintrall has been responsible for some of the biggest changes in the city of Spokane — and some of its biggest controversies
    • Dec 17, 2014
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    Spokane joins national protests over the failure to indict white officers for killing black civilians
    • Dec 10, 2014
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