Inaugural Ball? -- Diana Wilhite, newly elected city council member in Spokane Valley, Wash., called the other day. She says the official incorporation day for the newborn city has been set for March 31, and that the council is in the process of setting up an appropriate celebration.
"We are exploring the possibility of having an inaugural ball, maybe inviting the Governor and the mayors from the surrounding cities," said Wilhite. "One thing is for sure, we're going to have a big splash."
Uh-oh, we can already hear the naysayers complain about government spending gone out of control. Better not have too much fun.
Until then, the city council meets every Tuesday at 6 pm at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague Ave. The new city can be reached at 921-1000.
Rising Again -- We were happy to pick up a copy of The Rising Times from a downtown vendor the other day. In case you forgot, this is the homeless newspaper that actually lets its impoverished vendors make some money selling it. The paper costs $1 when you buy it, but the vendor paid only 20 & cent; to get it off the press. So come on Spokane, pony up the dough -- here's a poverty initiative we can all participate in.
695, 747, 800... oops, 807 -- Don't sign that check to Tim Eyman just yet. The tax crusader's latest initiative has a new number: It's I-807, not I-800 as expected.
"Any checks we receive from today that are made payable to I-800 will be returned and need to be changed and mailed back to us," Eyman wrote in his latest mailing.
We're waiting this one out. We'll get ready to donate when they finally finish this thing off by offering an initiative to eliminate all taxes and public services once and for all.
Widening Dispute -- Now that the media frenzy surrounding the closing of the Monroe Street Bridge is subsiding, perhaps it's time to take a fresh look at that other road-building controversy -- the widening of I-90. The Spokane-based Citizens for Sensible Transportation Planning, which opposes the widening of the freeway through the East Central neighborhood, took its message across the mountains recently. In a Dec. 18 guest editorial in the Seattle Times, John Covert, a founding member of CSTB, wrote, "If taxpayers are going to fund a $1.4 billion project, the money should solve a legitimate, existing problem (of which there are many to choose from, especially in the Puget Sound area)."
It's a savvy bit of lobbying -- since the CSTB is having little luck getting public officials here to take up their cause, why not get stuck-in-traffic Seattle to fight the project?