by Inlander Staff & r & Good News & r & Good news for Stalinist purging enthusiasts this week. Spokane Public Schools is getting cold feet over a new Washington state history textbook that features a half-page bio on Jim West, saying it brings up too many hard-to-explain questions. Questions, no doubt, like "Why can't I go to the library on a Monday?" and "Why do I have to pay to swim?"

The town of Millwood's sizeable sex offender community has finally found a leader it can believe in. After feeling up his daughter in 1982 and serving three years' probation, Robert Paul Mankin is running for mayor. It won't be an easy sell. But then, it could be a natural fit -- you gotta handle a lot of boobs in city politics.

King County posted a Help Wanted ad for an elections superintendent on June 22, and the response has been overwhelming (cue cricket noises). No takers so far. Bueller? Bueller? No one wants to take on that mess. Strangely, not even Dino Rossi.

Bad News & r & Smokey the Bear has been crying in his mead all week, as four major fires have eaten tens of thousands of acres across Eastern Washington, conflagrations have whipped up throughout North Idaho and a Spokane rug business went up in flames on Friday. Last weekend's HempFest didn't help air quality, either.

Great. Not only is he a ruthless, child-killing ass and possible serial killer, but Joseph Duncan's also a computer expert. Authorities are finding it difficult to crack the code on the encrypted online journal in which Duncan has said he really spoke his mind. As if all that demon stuff in the other journal weren't freaky enough.

Irony of the Week: A double dose. China is hiring Americans to work on its railroads. What's more, the company they've picked to upgrade their high-speed rails for the 2008 Olympics, United Coatings, is from Spokane -- a city that has tried for years (unsuccessfully) to build light rail. The brain drain continues.

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