But the Meetings Run on Time - Some reporters from those other print publications have butted heads with the Public Facilities District's new committees, which are holding closed-door meetings on convention center expansion details. We hate to blow our own trumpet but, well, you did read it here first: We reported back on July 11 that the PFD had formed itself into several two-person meeting groups specifically to avoid the state's open meetings law. The two-person committees are advisory to the main board. It's an effective way to dig through the complex and lengthy details of the convention center expansion. As PFD board Chair Bill Williams told us then, "It's not to subvert anything, it's to get more work done... It's easier to make those decisions without the politics."
We bet it is. However, our government isn't supposed to be quick, so much as transparent and responsive.
Land of the (Somewhat) Free - Okay, so this is a couple weeks old, but there's no statute of limitations on criticizing bad ideas, and this sticks in our craw: All fireworks are illegal in Spokane, and in Spokane County. The powers-that-be underlined the illegality to reporters, resulting in several local "news" pieces on it during the Independence Day weekend. Outlawing fireworks is for our own good, of course. But no place where Big Bro outlaws adults from lighting sparklers can claim to be the land of the free.
SELFRGHTUS - License plate seen on Interstate 90: "2BHOLEE." A more accurate vanity plate might be "2BOBNXS."
There Oughtta Be a Law! - When a new proposal appears on a Spokane City Council agenda, it's almost always Councilman Steve Eugster's doing. That's great. What would be even better would be if he tempered his fire with the ice of logic. Take two resolutions defeated in recent weeks, one to kill two of the mayor's staff positions, the other to strip the transit authority's buses of advertising banners. Problem one: Cutting is best done at budget time, which starts in just a couple months. Problem two: Eugster's a limited-government guy, so where's the sense in slicing out the STA's bus ads -- which bring that strapped agency hundreds of thousands of dollars -- just because they're garish? (Not to mention that the City Council doesn't actually have authority over the STA.) Activism is good; it's even better when seasoned with a dash of restraint.
Bye, Bye Dan - The Inlander's sorry to see staff writer Dan Richardson leave the fold after 10 months on the job. We think he's brought the community some great stories -- along with this column every week -- but now he's moving back to his old stomping grounds in the Columbia River Gorge. Good luck!