Double-Duty -- As you may have gathered, this issue you're holding is good for two weeks instead of one. That's right, The Inlander is taking a week off. So you'll just have to reread back issues or something to keep the withdrawal from kicking in. Otherwise, just stay in bed until Jan. 9, when our next issue hits the stands. Nothing much will happen, we promise.
Voice of Dissent -- Sure, it's fun to join the dogpiling onto Mike Price in the aftermath of his decision to leave Wazzu for Alabama. Yes, they should have held on the decision until Jan. 2 -- that's just more bad karma for the Crimson Tide. But how about a kind word for the old coach? When the dust settles, Price will be remembered as a distinguished Cougar coach not because of wins (which were sometimes hard to come by during his tenure) but because of how he treated his players. The guy really cares about the kids, and it has always been easy to see.
One of the Cougs was quoted saying he found out college football was a business when Price announced his decision. Part of us wants to say, "Welcome to reality, kid." But you can see why he was so surprised, since Price did often run by different rules than other coaches. So put us down for being happy when old friends do well for themselves. But we'll also feel the righteousness along with the rest of Cougar nation when Price, sometime soon in what will be some tough years, looks back on his time and Pullman wishes he had never left.
But as you'll see in our Rose Bowl coverage, now is the players' time. Let's not let this bitter pill overshadow the game of a lifetime for this bunch of Cougs, who earned thier shot at glory.
Bookworms Beat Bureaucracy -- That rumble you just heard was the sound of a bureaucratic barrier falling. Since 1995, if you've been living in the City but hoping to borrow materials from the County library system -- or vice versa -- you've had to pay an extra fee. No more. Starting Feb. 3, library patrons in one system can obtain a library card for the other system at no charge. If, perchance, you've read your way through all 545,000 items in the City's collections, then you can get a start (gratis!) on the County's 460,000 volumes. (The county system now approximates the city's in size, and costs are roughly equitable -- that's why the agreement was finally concluded.)
The City and County will still have separate catalogues -- you'll have to conduct two distinct searches for any one item -- and the rules and regs for each library system will differ. But at long last, the two library systems have worked out their differences -- much to the benefit of local readers.