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Quotes & amp;amp; Notes 

by Inlander Staff
Forget What We Said Before -- What was it, just two months ago that Republicans had their panties in a bunch over the fact that entertainers -- entertainers! -- actually had opinions. The Dixie Chicks were booed for questioning the president, Sean Penn was mocked for his fact-finding mission to Iraq and Tim Robbins wasn't allowed to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame's showing of Bull Durham. These were their just desserts, we were told by many a blowhard pundit -- they deserved these merciless spankings for stepping out of line. Entertainers were put on this Earth to amuse us -- period.

That is, of course, unless they are Republican entertainers. After all, how else can you explain the glee over Arnold Schwarzenegger's run for the governor's mansion in California. (OK, it's not much of a run, really -- Maria can start ordering new curtains any time.) By the standards these folks set, shouldn't Arnold be vilified by every talk jock on the dial? How is Arnold's case any different?

Once in a Lifetime -- You know, we don't give near enough ink to the cosmos. But this item might help make up for our oversight. In the next several weeks, if you're outside at night, you might want to look up. Mars is getting closer to the Earth than ever before. Astronomers have calculated that it will be closer than it's been in at least 5,000 years and perhaps as long as 60,000 years. Of course, this means you'll be able to see it better. On Aug. 27, the Red Planet will get closest, at just under 35 million miles away. If you just have to catch those American Idol repeats instead, don't worry, because you can catch the same show when Mars gets that close again -- in 2287.

Much Ado... -- Earlier this week, Mayor John Powers visited local media to give an update on the parking garage litigation. He and special counsel Laurel Siddoway were releasing the results of a study, recently filed in federal court, that they will offer as evidence at trial come April. The city's consultant calculated that at the time the Spokane Downtown Foundation bought the parking garage for $26 million, it was really worth $10.5 million. This isn't exactly news, as such numbers have been floating around for years. What is news, however, is the fact that a separate city engineering report claims that the garage is falling apart already and needs $1 million in repairs.

But here's what caught our attention: Since the city's defense started, 18 special reports have been written, 100 people have been deposed and more than 150,000 pages of documents have been reviewed.

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Publication date: 08/14/03
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