by Joel Smith

Spreading Like Wi-Fi -- SPOKANE -- It's about time that the national media recognized the technological paradise that is Spokane. The city has been beaming with pride since Time's Oct. 11 feature story, "The City That Cut the Cord," which chronicled Spokane's pioneering use of urban wireless technology. Lev Grossman, the story's author, called the 'Kan "a live-in laboratory where city-employed nerds are crash-testing the wireless technotopia of the future." Wait a minute, you're talking about Spokane?

Now, piggy-backing on the coattails of the Time piece, CNN is featuring Spokane in a segment called "Wireless Life," which will run periodically on the network's various stations through the end of the week.

City officials haven't seen the tape yet, but they say that reporters from the Atlanta-based company came to Spokane during the week before Thanksgiving, collected some stock footage from local news outlets, and spoke with Mayor Jim West and representatives from Vivato and 180 Networks, two companies that got the city on its wireless feet. They also worked with the Spokane County Sheriff's Department and the Spokane Police Department to explore how wi-fi is used in law enforcement.

The "Wireless Life" segments last somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes. City officials estimate that the Spokane coverage will probably command about 10 minutes of that. They also warn that breaking news or other special coverage may preempt airing of the segment. If you don't see it on one of the stations below, at one of the times below, try try again.

On CNN: Thursday, Dec. 9, between 8-9 am and between 11 am-noon; Saturday, Dec. 11, between noon-1 pm and between 7-8 pm; Sunday, Dec. 12, between 2-3 pm. On Headline News: Saturday, Dec. 11, between 9-9:30 am; Sunday, Dec. 12, between 9-9:30 am.

This Little Light of Mine -- SPOKANE -- You've heard of the Shot Heard 'Round the World. How about the Candle Seen 'Round the World? This Sunday night, you can join hundreds of thousands of others around the world in lighting candles to honor and remember children who have died. Beginning in New Zealand at 7 pm local time, families that have lost children, and supporters of those families, will publicly light candles for one hour. As candles burn down in one time zone, they are lit in the next, each beginning at 7 pm, "creating a virtual 24-hour wave of light as the observance continues around the globe" in the words of Jamie Kelp with the SIDS Foundation of Washington, the group putting on the event locally.

The wave of lit candles will reach Spokane's Riverfront Park at, you guessed it, 7 pm Pacific time.

The event is the largest mass candle lighting in the world. The Compassionate Friends, one of the groups putting on the event, says that last year 215 communities across the United States took part in the memorial. Add to that occurrences in about a dozen other countries, including 60 in Germany alone.

For more information, contact the SIDS Foundation of Washington at 456-0505 or the Compassionate Friends at (877) 969-0010.

School of Rock -- SPOKANE -- You've got your Chinese Sky Candy, your Farmin' Army, your Mulligan -- a whole slough of bands lighting up Spokane's nightlife on the weekends. Then there are those other bands out there that you rarely hear about. Because they spend the weekends watching movies and threatening old people's sense of tradition. And on weeknights, they're cramming for tomorrow's algebra test. They're high schoolers, yeah, but some of 'em can rock.

You'll get a chance to check their chops next Thursday, Dec. 16, at Lewis and Clark High School, where a stable of LC student musicians will perform to raise money for the Michael P. Anderson Memorial Statue. Anderson, an astronaut and Spokane native, perished in the Columbia shuttle disaster in February 2003. So far, the lineup includes student acts Jeremy Rouse, the Michaela Alden Band, Four Years Blue, August and Mile Stone.

To date, about $60,000 has been raised toward the statue's total $125,000 price tag.

Ticket prices for the fundraiser were unavailable at press time. The show runs from 6:30-8:30 pm in the school's auditorium, 521 W. 4th Ave., Spokane. For more information, call the school at 354-7000. For more information on the statue, visit

Publication date: 12/09/04

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About The Author

Joel Smith

Joel Smith is the media editor for The Inlander. In that position, he manages and directs and edits all copy for the website, the newspaper and all other special publications. A former staff writer, he has reported on local and state politics, the environment, urban development and culture, Spokane's...