Our Republic

Our Republic

Not just another small town heroin tragedy
This could be a story about heroin in the heartland, about lives torn apart by a cursed and powerful drug devastating small-town America from Washington state to New Hampshire.



Opening New Doors

A Spokane college fills a need for refugees and international students, while changing how English is taught around the world
In Donetsk, Ukraine, Tanya Koval built a life for herself. During her early 20s, she went to school, visited museums, frequented the theater and hung out in local parks.


Coming to Terms

County, activists reach agreement on longstanding Urban Growth Area conflicts; plus, new developments in the death of Ryan Holyk
BORDER TRUCE For 18 months, Spokane County and several groups of neighborhood activists had been locked in a tug-of-war behind closed doors, ordered to hammer out an agreement on four long-running land-use fights.


The Last Stand

Riverfront Park's sparsely attended IMAX Theatre remains on the chopping block, but could its biggest fan save it?
If Riverfront Park's renovation had stuck to the initial timeline it outlined for the state last year, it already would be too late. The park's iconic five-story IMAX Theatre already would have been under demolition, and nothing anyone said could have stopped it.


Beneath the Surface

Will changing conditions in Lake Coeur d'Alene stir up its toxic history?
Adrienne Cronebaugh, executive director of Kootenai Environmental Alliance, stands at the bottom of Tubbs Hill in Coeur d'Alene. The surface waters are clear, she explains, but deep beneath them are the remnants of a prosperous, toxic and bygone era of North Idaho that she and others worry could threaten the area's future.


Resigning Women

HR director is the third female staffer to leave City Hall since April; plus, a plan to halt coal and oil trains in Spokane
LOWE GOES Spokane Assistant City Attorney Erin Jacobson resigned in April.


Fighting Words

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich has threatened one of his most persistent critics with a defamation lawsuit, and not for the first time
Ron Wright sometimes gets it wrong. Throughout the past eight years, the 64-year-old retired detective from California, who calls himself Ron the Cop, has cast a critical eye on high-profile police investigations via blog posts, email blasts and in some cases, face-to-face conversations with the Spokane County sheriff.


Corrective Actions

How Spokane Public Schools is trying to solve its student discipline problem
For the second day in a row in mid-October, René Bross got a call from Ridgeview Elementary about a problem with her 10-year-old son. She feared it was another altercation with his teacher, like the day before.


Running a Fine Line

North Central's boys cross country program was found to have wrongfully recruited kids; is it possible that coaches don't actually know the rules?
Even though the North Central boys cross country team has won a record-breaking 10 straight state championships, coach Jon Knight says he would have quit a long time ago if his program was only about winning. "That's not what makes me tick," he says.


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Felonious Judgment

A community of hope and restoration can be ours with fair chance hiring
People are catching on to the fact that we live in one of the most prison-prone nations in the world, with nearly 30 percent of our adult population having a criminal record, according to FBI estimates. The numbers show that being so quick to lock people up does little to prevent future crime, and can actually backfire by hardening criminals in toxic prison environments.


Pot Shots

Trail Mix: Marijuana as a campaign issue, and Spokane gets a debate
'Makes People Stupid' Mitt Romney, the Republican Party's 2012 presidential standard-bearer, has made it clear that he can never support DONALD TRUMP, his party's presumptive nominee for president, as a result of the real estate mogul's business practices and inflammatory remarks.


Exemption Wars

Idaho's battle's over how to pay for state services is back on
What with schools out, trees greening, graduations and wedding celebrations, June is bustin' out all over with happy talk. But June 20 in Idaho is the deadline for paying property taxes to the counties — and what a wet blanket that casts over the bubbling June picture.


Cyber Campaigning

Trail Mix: Hillary trolls Trump, makes history
The Online Battlefront When HILLARY CLINTON, on Twitter, told DONALD TRUMP to "Delete your account" after he criticized her endorsement from President Barack Obama, the internet responded predictably.


Love is Love is Love

The power and limits of the arts, and of ourselves
Early Sunday morning, 49 people were murdered at a crowded gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Any additional description I am capable of providing leads to mere redundancy.


The Voodoo Campaign

Supply-side economics has powered GOP presidential campaigns, but that may be ending with Trump... or not
Since 1980, the GOP domestic agenda has been based on, in one form or another, "supply-side economics." In a nutshell, that has included:


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Green Zone

Unlikely Pair

Microsoft teams up with cannabis financial technology company
Two of the state's greatest forces — Microsoft and marijuana — are teaming up in the name of cannabis compliance.

Green Zone

What's Hot?

Marijuana news from around the state
Data breach affects Washington pot applicants: The personal information of an unknown number of marijuana license applicants was accidentally released in May after the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board responded to a public records request. The data sent to activist John Novak, founder of 420Leaks.com, might have included Social Security numbers, financial information, driver's license numbers, tax information and attorney-client privileged information, according to TheCannabist.co.

Green Zone

Fact or Fiction

Marijuana-related claims proven, disputed, disproven in recent studies
As the marijuana industry grows, so too do the number of studies being conducted about its effects on users, including dental health, DNA, and teen usage rates and related behavioral problems. The research is always evolving, so take these results with a grain of salt.

Green Zone

Willie's Weed

Country singer Willie Nelson gets help from a local processor
One Washington processor is getting a country kick after partnering with country music legend and legalization advocate Willie Nelson on his new company, Willie's Reserve. The company is working with growers and processors in Colorado and Washington, including Spokane's Growing Like a Weed, an I-502 producer/processor located in the Mountain Dome Winery building, to grow product it can then package under the Willie's Reserve name.

Green Zone

Up and App 'Em

Marijuana-related apps educate, evaluate and entertain
I n recent years, apps have worked their way into nearly every aspect of our lives. From listening to music and getting around to working out and dating, (say it with me now) there's an app for that.

Green Zone

More Than Enough

State's grow canopy meets medical and recreational marijuana demand, new study finds
Anyone worried about the impending alignment of the medical marijuana market with the recreational market can breathe a little easier, as a recent study from the University of Washington finds that the state's current marijuana grow canopy is more than big enough to meet both medical and recreational demand. The UW-based Cannabis Law and Policy Project found that Washington needs between 1.7 million and 2 million square feet to satisfy the medical marijuana market, and that the state's currently approved grow canopy, or square footage, of 12.3 million square feet will cover Washington's medical and recreational markets.

Green Zone

Delivering the Goods

Subscription boxes bring marijuana and hemp accessories to consumers' doors
Interested in food, wine, beauty products, arts and crafts, vinyl or socks? There's a subscription box for you.

Green Zone

Jokes and Tokes

Sober comedians get high, then perform again
It's all fun and games until a comedian gets high. Then it gets interesting.

Green Zone

Females to the Front

Companies are creating products for a growing group of consumers: women
As the social stigma behind cannabis lessens as more states legalize — or begin the process of legalizing — marijuana, more and more female consumers are making themselves known on both sides of the sales counter. Leafly.com reports that they've seen a 35 percent increase in female visitors in the past two years, and groups like Women Grow, which has nearly 40 chapters across North America, including one in Seattle, have formed to educate and empower women in the cannabis industry.

Green Zone

Targeting Kids

The Department of Health's new marijuana prevention campaign reaches out to teens
The Washington State Department of Health recently launched "Listen2YourSelfie," a marijuana prevention campaign targeted at 12-to-17-year-olds with the tagline "Remember what's important and forget marijuana." "We're committed to keeping all of our young people safe and healthy," Secretary of Health John Wiesman said in a press release.

Green Zone

Licensing Loophole

Local medical pot dispensaries say Seattle businesses are taking their retail licenses
It won't be a happy 4/20 for the owners of two local medical marijuana dispensaries, who say that a loophole has allowed businesses from Seattle to receive licenses meant for Spokane dispensaries, forcing their businesses to shut down come July 1, the date the recreational and medical marijuana industries merge. Victoria Robinson, owner of the Peaceful Choice, and Kathy DePriest, owner of Evergreen Premier Medical, are frustrated by what they see as Seattle business owners trying to force them out of their zoning.

Green Zone

Smokin' Deals

Local shops offer big 4/20 deals
For the thrifty smoker, 4/20 is like Black Friday: a day to score big while keeping wallets happy. Here's a roundup of sales from local dispensaries:

Green Zone

Form Frustration

Some medical marijuana patients are peeved because of an invasive section on a state form
The state's medical marijuana authorization form — more specifically, one section on that form — is reaching into TMI territory for some users. The section in question, titled "Attestation of Healthcare Practitioner," states in part, "I am licensed in the state of Washington and have diagnosed the above named patient as having the following terminal or debilitating medical condition..."

Green Zone

Changing Course

Liquor and Cannabis board revises rules again following public input
Following comments from the public last fall, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board has once again revised proposed rules before the medical and recreational marijuana markets align in July. This batch of revised rules, which follow revisions the board made in January, removes a few requirements and adds more specific language to a handful of proposed rules.

Green Zone

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Recent Comments

  • Re: Felonious Judgment

    • The Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance was passed in Austin on March 24th of this year…

    • on June 27, 2016
  • Re: Opening New Doors

    • Excellent article. With the onset of an increasingly interconnected world, and wherein connection becomes increasingly…

    • on June 25, 2016
  • Re: Our Republic

    • This is so heartbreaking my condolences to both families. It's a parents worst nightmare. My…

    • on June 25, 2016
  • Re: Coming to Terms

    • Follow the trail around forensic analyst Jarrod Carter. There is a relationship somehow between how…

    • on June 25, 2016
  • Re: Felonious Judgment

    • Brian A..... Asking a columnist, especially a progressive liberal one, to back up their statements…

    • on June 25, 2016
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  • A Thin Résumé

    With zero experience in the public policy arena, Donald Trump needs to start listening to those who do have it
    • Jun 9, 2016
  • Felonious Judgment

    A community of hope and restoration can be ours with fair chance hiring
    • Jun 23, 2016
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