by Inlander Staff & r & GOOD NEWS & r & Just days after a political think tank deemed Spokane the 143rd most liberal city in the country (yikes!), nervous local conservatives found solace in this little item from the West Side: peace-loving Olympia is saying "no" to the nukes. The city's trying to ban nuclear weapons and materials and city equipment purchased from companies with ties to nukes. Townsfolk have already told the sub USS Olympia to stay away (though it carries no warheads), and in February, the Olympia City Council passed a resolution calling for the end of nuclear weapons by 2020. And you thought Spokane's council was toothless.
Quote of the week: "The president coming here -- now the guy who works as a burger flipper in Denver and who never had any desire to come up here is going to want to see what brought the president here." That's George Dorris, mayor of Donnelly, Idaho, where Bush is vacationing from his vacation in Texas. Clearly, Donnellalians are feeling big in their britches this week.
They're feeling pretty good in Coeur d'Alene, too. While Spokane scratches its head over a $6 million budget shortfall, the Lake City's proposing to beef up its budget by almost one-third. Looks like "quaint" pays.
BAD NEWS & r & The local downtrodden got trodden even further down last week with a double-whammy bad news forecast: Spokane's Truth Ministries homeless shelter will be shuttered by month's end; and a state funding glitch has cut $3 million out of the county's budget for mental health services -- that means suicide response, counseling, medication and emergency hospitalization could be slashed by 10 percent. Not to worry, though: The city's whipping up a plan to end homelessness in 10 years.
If the Army's ever going to buttress its sagging recruitment numbers, it might want to start locally. Like, maybe changing the voice mail message at its north Spokane recruitment office. We called to chat last week; the machine gave the usual "leave your name and number," but then dipped into a low, almost threatening voice. "Enjoy your freedom," it warned us. We will. Right after we change our pants.