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Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 12/7/05

Matt Gibeau, 21, blows smoke rings while smoking a hookah at Fire and Earth, a hookah lounge in Olympia, Wash. Tuesday. The hookah lounge will have to end smoking of the large pipes starting just after midnight Wednesday as the voter approved smoking ban in all public places across the state takes effect here. The business will continue to sell hookahs, smoking supplies and gifts/APhoto.

1. In a historic special election, two-thirds of Spokane voters voted to recall Mayor Jim West as the result of allegations that he abused his office trying to woo young gay men here.

Related: West said today that he's "at peace" after recall here.

2. David Horsey/PI pens why he believes the economy is flying high here.

3. John Olerud, the soft-spoken former Mariner and WSU ballplayer, has retired after 16 seasons, the Boston Red Sox said Tuesday, here.

4. A new state study shows the majority of people diagnosed with a rare form of asbestos-related cancer over a 23-year period lived along Montana’s railroad routes, according to Lynnette Hentzei, The (Kalispell, Mont.) Daily Inter Lake, here.

5. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously today against a disabled Seattle man that the feds can seize Social Security benefits to pay old student loan debts here.

6. IMHO-NW: Rebecca-Nappi/Spokesman-Review (Sale of Knight-Ridder chain), Joel Connelly/Seattle PI (Mount Rainier Beer National Park?), Missoulian (Jettison Patriot Act), Danny Westneat/Seattle Times (Losing our battle for Christmas spoof), and Kaisie Brede/St. Maries Gazette-Record (Embrace winter).

Olympian Online Poll: 37.6% of respondents plan to spend between $25 to $75 per family member this Christmas.

*Racist fliers litter the streets of Ridgefield, Wash., after a black officer claims he was discriminated against after he was fired here.

*All lanes of I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass will be open by mid-next week here.

*WSU student commits suicide here.

Orbusmax Special: 3-year-old Wenatchee boy still not ready for jury duty here.

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.