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Community Comment

Spokane City News August 5, 2008

Good morning, Netizens...

Isn't it wonderful to live in the City of Spokane where our heartfelt messages of disdain and contempt can be heard by members of the City Council? During last night's City Council meeting, had Mayor Mary Verner had her way, we could have been headed for a vote in November which could have put Spokane citizens in the red another 16 million dollars. Granted, our city infrastructure certainly needs a new police evidence room, shooting range and an animal shelter, but in our fair city, the only people who actually seem to have disposable income in these tough times are city employees, most of whom appear to have better income and benefit packages than the rest of us that struggle to make ends meet.

Fortunately the members of the City Council, Councilman Steve Corker joined council members Mike Allen, Bob Apple, Al French and Nancy McLaughlin rejected Verner's proposal.

What seemed particularly illuminating, after reading the news of the vote, is that Cip Paulsen, who attended last night's meeting, said he came to testify regarding the former Costco store on Third Avenue for possible consideration. It appears his father owns that building, and that the City offered to pay $4.75 million for the building and parking lot earlier this year. After the council vote, Paulsen said he was angered that Shogan did not open the debate to public testimony.

Of course, I am utterly delighted to see such civic-minded, Gawd-fearing citizens such as Cip Paulsen III showing up wanting to testify at the City Council meetings. Given allegations of his past involvement in drug sales, prostitution and other nefarious dealings, including a long run of “interesting” encounters with the Spokane Police Department Special Investigations Unit at the former Sam's Barbecue Pit, 528 E. Second,
once operated by Caask Thomas, I am delighted beyond words to see that Paulsen has the interests and hopes of the City of Spokane at heart.

Speaking of that dive, perhaps the City of Spokane in its unquestionable intellect could find a suitable use for the former Sam's Barbecue Pit, a husk of a building that still squats beside East Second, empty and an unattractive eyesore in the community since its closure in 1993. Don't you think the building could serve quite nicely as a headquarters for the Regional Drug Task Force? That would serve both justice and my warped sense of humor with equal authority. Of course, I seriously doubt if Cip Paulsen would show up to testify in favor of that proposal if it ever made it to the City Council, as it remains to be seen whether or not he still has an interest in that property or its future.

[Portions of the historical record were obtained from Police Files the Spokane Experience 1853-1995
 By M. Kienholz, The Spokesman-Review and The Used Kharma Lot news archives 1993-95]

Dave Laird

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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.