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In Brief 

by Pia K. Hansen

Brighter Smiles -- SPOKANE -- The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, which has been roaming the streets since 2002, will add dental work to its medical services beginning Jan. 5.

Previously, the Care Mobile has provided physicals, treatment of minor injuries and illnesses, vision and hearing screenings, as well as immunizations for children and those not yet 21.

Dental services will only be available when the Care Mobile is stationed at Rogers High School on Mondays. Dr. Peter Joss, a retired dentist, will be providing services together with two dental hygiene students from Eastern Washington University's dental program.

Services focus on preventative measures such as sealant, fluoride treatment and dental education. Parents must make an appointment for a checkup.

"It is free. But for folks who have insurance, that's great, too -- we take most major insurance plans," says Charlene Clark, assistant dean for instructional resources and extended college activities at the Intercollegiate College of Nursing. "We won't be doing fillings or any other kind of restorative work, but we will be making referrals for those children who need more work done." She adds that there are a number of dentists who participate in the program and that some will provide their services for free.

"It's up to the individual dentist how the payment part is worked out," says Clark.

Care Mobile services are provided every day; dental services, only on Mondays. Call 324-7291.

Fishing Stories -- SPOKANE -- The Upper Columbia River Group, which is part of the Sierra Club, is hosting local author Paul Quinnett at a wine, fly fishing and Spokane River event on Sunday, Dec. 28.

"Quinnett has written several books on fly fishing. He's an amazing angler, and he'll be talking about the river, the aquifer and probably tell some fish stories as well," says Chase Davis, spokesman for the Sierra Club. "We have this amazing area on the river, basically in the middle of the West Central Neighborhood, just a few minutes from downtown -- this little fishery or wilderness. And it's been ignored for too long by agencies and programs. It's in dire need of a little help."

Other than talking fly fishing and listening to great tunes performed by the duo Sidhe, participants can expect an update on the state of the river and the aquifer.

"We're hoping this will be sort of a call to action for the new year," says Davis.

Idaho and Washington state just recently received a $500,000 federal allocation to begin a joint study of the underground aquifer, which provides drinking water for about 450,000 people in this area.

"This is a very good baby step," says Davis. "But we shouldn't forget that it's taken two to three years to get to the point where we have the money to even begin this study. It will cost at least $3.5 million to complete it."

Davis says both Washingtonians and Idahoans should be prepared to see water conservation programs enacted in the future.

"Home Waters: the Spokane River and Aquifer" takes place on Sunday, Dec. 28, from 4-6 pm. at Caterina Winery, 905 N. Washington St. Must preregister. Cost: $10. Call 744-9859.

Changing of Guards -- SPOKANE -- Mayor-elect James E. West was sworn in at a ceremony at Grant Elementary School on Dec. 23 at 4:30 pm. West and his mother both graduated from Grant, so the choice of school was straightforward.

"Grant obviously has a special place in my heart," said West in a statement announcing the ceremony. "I'm hoping that just one child from Grant will get excited about the future knowing that I started right where they did."

Newly elected city council members Bob Apple and Joe Shogan were also sworn in on Dec. 23. Their ceremony was held at City Hall in the council chambers.

Brad Stark, the newly elected council member for District 2 (south) also took the oath on Dec. 23, but his ceremony was held in the lobby of the Davenport Hotel.

Finally, Council President-elect Dennis Hession will take his oath of office on Dec. 30 at 6 pm at Gonzaga University's Jundt Art Museum.

The new city council will be getting together for a retreat on Jan. 24, with the agenda and location to be announced.

Publication date: 12/25/03
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