by Dan Richardson

1,189 -- That's the number of Spokane parking tickets issued to jerks who illegally parked in disabled-only spaces in 2001. And there would have been more if two of the six full-time patrol positions had not been empty for two months this fall, says Dave Shaw, city traffic control supervisor. (There were 1,298 disabled-space tickets issued in 2000.)

But beware, scofflaws! Shaw's been authorized to hire a temp patrol officer specifically to cruise the streets for illegal disabled-space parkers. If enough violators are found, the position may become permanent.

Sound and Fury -- The award for the most intemperate speech in the public setting this week has to go to proponents of Spokane Valley incorporation. The city of Spokane raised their ire by filing an appeal with the Boundary Review Board's decision to include the Yardley district within the proposed city limits of Spokane Valley.

The appeal almost certainly delays the expected March incorporation vote -- but is it really "despicable and atrocious," as State Sen. Bob McCaslin (R-Spokane) stated in a news release? Or how about several proponents' threats during a meeting with the city to fight a convention center expansion in the city if the vote evaporates?

Problem with this attitude is, nobody can take their toys and go home. We're already there.

A Tighter Straightjacket? -- Initiative-meister Tim Eyman's resolution is to put I-776 on the November 2002 ballot. Perhaps best described as the Son of I-695 -- $30 vehicle tabs -- Eyman's newest would repeal remaining state vehicle excise taxes and mandate that new vehicle fee increases be subject to a vote. Eyman filed paperwork for I-776 on Jan. 7 and has until July 5 to gather 197,734 signatures, according to the Washington Secretary of State's Office.

Enough to go Around -- Make that two groups of people who made money off Enron before the energy firm went belly up: The company's top executives and their favorite federal politicians. Enron passed out hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions.

Both of Idaho's senators scored campaign candy -- more than $18,000 for Michael Crapo and $7,000 for Larry Craig, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Spokane's George Nethercutt only got a $500 donation.

Not a Win-Win -- He may be a smooth-talker, but no one can ever say Strong Mayor John Powers lacks at least one strong opinion. On the subject of popular initiatives, speaking at his "State of the City" speech Jan. 11: "I say phooey to that."

E-mail your Q & amp;N ideas to

Northwest Winterfest @ Spokane County Fair & Expo Center

Fridays, 5-8 p.m., Saturdays, 4-8 p.m. and Sundays, 3-6 p.m. Continues through Jan. 1
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