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Posts tagged: Doug Clark

Clark: A Massacre That Didn’t Happen

February 12 in a still-snow-buried Spokane passed quieter than the Denver Broncos locker room after Super Bowl XLVIII. Did you notice? Did you care? I did. I’ll admit I even held my breath a time or two as the Big Day approached because, well … You never know. Which is the point, naturally. Nobody can know – especially the boobs who put out that titillating and trashy online tale last fall that began like this: “The next mass shooting will take place on February 12, 2014, in Spokane, Washington.” Remember? I forgive you if you don’t. Memory loss, I’m convinced, is an unavoidable side effect of our so-called Information Age. Day-by-day. Hour-by-hour. Minute-by-minute/Doug Clark, SR. More here.


Clark: Free Speech Shields Bar

When I heard that a Spokane bar was serving “Date Grape Koolaid,” I knew the morons running this joint would eventually need my help. And sure enough, the Daiquiri Factory, 121 N. Wall St., is now in trouble up to its highballs. I’m not talking about the blowback from the many good people who are rightfully aghast that a business would be so callous and cavalier as to sell an alcoholic drink that makes sport of sexual assault. No, the real threat to the Daiquiri Factory comes from Kraft Foods representatives. Seems the corporation takes a dim view of having their iconic Kool-Aid brand associated with a sick play on the words “date rape”/Doug Clark, SR. More here.


Former Kootenai Co. coroner pens book

I couldn’t help but experience a phantom twinge when I heard that Dr. Robert West was including me in a book he’s writing about his many years as a deputy coroner and the coroner for Kootenai County.

Dr. West did give me a vasectomy, after all.

Not as a coroner, fortunately. The Harvard-trained MD and vascular surgeon had a well-established private practice in Coeur d’Alene, too.

I only bring up my misery to show how the man had his hands in, well, a lot of sensitive arenas during his long and respected career.

West is 78 now. He retired as coroner in 2011 and stepped away from his private practice about eight years prior to that .

During a phone call the other day, the good doctor assured me that he was intending to quote from one of my columns and not from my medical charts.


So why would a county coroner write his memoirs? Doug Clark, SR

Do you enjoy reading memoirs? Got a favorite?

Clark: Downtown Spokane Lacking

Here’s what Doug Clark observed on Friday, when he took a State of the (Spokane) Downtown tour.

  • 11:03 a.m. – Barely away from the newspaper, my travels lead me to two large and foot-flattened piles of excrement (Human? Wildebeest?) plopped in the middle of the sidewalk on Lincoln Street, across the street from the Agave restaurant. Is this City of Choice material? Don’t think so.
  • 11:05 a.m. – Heading east on Riverside Avenue, I pass a urine-stained doorway and arrive at the corner of Post Street and Riverside in time to chat with an amiable security guard. “You should have plenty to write about, believe me,” he says, when I tell him what I’m up to.
  • 11:10 a.m. – The words barely leave his lips when an obnoxiously loud young woman in bright blue drools the world’s longest loogie onto the sidewalk. It’s a bad choice in any civilized culture, but none of her loitering pals, about a dozen hard-looking street toughs, seems to mind. Full column here.

Question: Do you avoid downtown Spokane, if you can help it?

Clark: Shorty Dealt Crack? My Eye

So 88-year-old Delbert “Shorty” Belton was really a lowdown Spokane crack dealer. And not only that … The old World War II veteran was a crooked crack dealer who tried to chisel Kenan Adams-Kinard and Demetruis Glenn, the two 16-year-olds who are accused of robbing and beating Belton to death outside the Eagles Club one night last week. Yeah. That’s the ticket. I’ve heard plenty of shaggy dog tales over the years. But this one? This is the flag waving at the summit of Mount Absurd. Tell you what, though. I don’t have a crystal ball. So, if there’s any truth to this hateful accusation, I’ll put on a pink tutu and take a long, slow walk of contrition through River Park Square holding a sign that says, “Boy, was I wrong about Shorty.” Maybe some cops will join me/Doug Clark, SR. More here.


Steady Work Best Policy Nearing 90

Joyce Stefanoff is retiring at the end of summer, although she’ll concede to anyone who asks that she’s not sure if she’s quite ready to hang it up. The problem is that Stefanoff loves her job and all it entails. She loves driving her candy-apple red Lexus downtown each day from her home on the South Hill. She loves riding one of the Lincoln Building elevators up to her office on the fourth floor. She even loves getting the coffee brewing for Berge Borrevik, her employer. And if that doesn’t sound all that newsworthy, consider this. Stefanoff turns 90 on Aug. 10. This trim woman has worked for New York Life Insurance Co. agents in Spokane since 1955, back when Eisenhower was president and some guy named Willard Taft was mayor/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: How do/did you know when it was time to retire?

Clark: ‘Red Dawn’ For Weak Minded

Whoever came up with the supermarket “impulse buy” had a sucker like me in mind. I can’t stand in a checkout line without grabbing a candy bar or a tube of lip balm or another box of mints from the goodies that have been put there to tempt the weak and simple-minded. That’s how I wound up owning a copy of “Red Dawn,” the documentary about Spokane being invaded by North Korea. It was in a box of “previously viewed” DVDs that was located suspiciously close to my checkout line. A few minutes later, I was $7.99 poorer and cursing my lack of willpower/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: What unnecessary product displayed near a checkout counter are you most likely to buy?

Clark: Fly Fishing Tests Patience

A river of emotions ran through me on Sunday. Foolishness. Humiliation. Shame. That about covers them. My return to fly fishing after a 30-year absence wasn’t what anyone would describe as triumphant. “It looks like bait,” exclaimed my lovely wife, Sherry, between gasps of laughter at my catch of the day. I can’t understand it. The movie in my head had me hauling a monster trout out of Black Lake after a prolonged, Hemmingwayesque battle. Reality, as you can see from the photograph, turned out to be a sardine that, judging by its stunted growth, was probably a smoker. True, it probably didn’t help for me to yell “Fish ON!!” like an excited little girl/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

DFO: The first and last time I flyfished was during the first week after my arrival in Kalispell, Mont., a guest of the last newspaper publisher C. Patrick King. We did so behind the Hungry Horse reservoir in Northwest Montana. Fun day. Got in some huckleberrying, too.

Question: When did you last flyfish?

Clark: Too Much Prison Hanky-Panky?

Not to frighten any of you, but I predict the entire region will soon be clobbered by a tsunami-sized crime wave. And all because of what’s been going on at Airway Heights Correctional Center, the horndog hoosegow of Eastern Washington. Mark my words. Criminals will be getting themselves purposely arrested so they can get in on some of that Airway action, and who can blame them? For the second time this spring, one of the prison’s female staff members has been accused of having carnal relations with an inmate. So much for prison as a deterrent/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Huckleberries can't figure out why prison staffers would get entangled with prisonsers. Can you?

Clark: Spokane Had Brush w/Bomber

SR columnist Doug Clark writes of Spokane's brush with a Boston Marathon carnage during the 2011 annual Martin Luther King Jr. march:

Three years ago, Spokane had its own brush with a backpack bomb and human evil. A novel I read recently spoke of how life and death are sometimes separated by the thinnest of circumstances. That was certainly the case here on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 17, 2011. I shudder to think how different things would have been for us were it not for three temporary workers who were pulling a shift for the city’s Public Utilities District: Mark Steiner, Brandon Klaus and Sherman Welpton. Ring a bell? Didn’t with me, either. More here.

Question: Have you ever narrowly escaped death?

Bloem Vs. Clark In Xmas Ring-Off

I always knew I’d one day have to step in and do the mayor’s dirty work. Not that I’d characterize helping a charity as dirty. But when Spokane Mayor David Condon wimped out, The Salvation Army emailed me to ask if I would “serve as Mayor Pro Tem” in its annual red kettle Ring Off against Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem. Who am I to dodge the Army? Well, except for the time I ran off to college in 1969, that is. So mark your calendars for Dec. 15. That’s the day you’ll want to stop by the Spokane Fred Meyer store on Thor, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. I’ll be there along with a soon-to-be-named “Dream Team” of yuletide jingle-janglers. … Meanwhile, over in the Lake City, Bloem and her minions will be ringing away at the Fred Meyer. The less said about the opposition the better. The contest is simple: Whoever raises the most money wins bragging rights/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Who do you think'll win?

Ultramarathoner Goes Out On Top

Time now, adventure lovers, for another episode of Misner Madness. But first, let’s pause a moment to absorb the following shocker. Bill Misner, the Spokane ultrarunner who has logged more mileage than Madonna’s bedsprings, has decided to hang it up. “I’m retiring,” announced Misner during a morning phone call. “That’s it. “Oh, I’ll still run for fitness,” he added after a moment. “But to get into that national level of competition … “It’s a full-time job.” Flashback to Moab, Utah, earlier this month. The 72-year-old captured the gold medal for his age group in what is dubbed the “mother of all marathons.” Which means that Misner’s going out on top, something few champs have the common sense to do/Doug Clark, SR. More here. (SR file photo)

Question: What's your strategy for going out on top?

Clark: Otto Zehm Finally Gets Justice

It’s a good day, Spokane. There’s no snow in the potholes, the river’s still running and Karl Thompson Jr. is already ensconced in a federal lockup on the other side of the state. Sorry, but you won’t find me joining the gripers and grousers who are sore about the ex-cop getting just 51 months for his unwarranted and vicious attack on Otto Zehm six-plus years ago. I’ve been beating this drum too long for that. I remember too well the lonely days when our do-nothing county prosecutor, Steve Tucker, refused to touch this case as if it were radioactive. I remember, too, that the city’s official and shameful position was that Thompson did nothing wrong and that Zehm was to blame. I was just some kook columnist ranting in the paper about a lost cause and giving away 5,000 Otto buttons to keep people from forgetting. Oh, boy, do I remember/Doug Clark, SR. More here.


Clark: In Praise Of Vote-By-Mail

Being a stodgy traditionalist, I’ve groused and griped plenty about Washington’s vote-by-mail system. Sure, I realize our impoverished postal system needs to sell every stamp it can. But the long, slow trickle of ballots by mail can’t compare to the joys of going to the polls on Election Day. Not to mention that the smiling ladies who ran the polls would always give me a cookie. But that’s the way life crumbles, I guess. It’s time to stop complaining and focus on the many benefits that come from having two weeks to hunt for where you put your damn ballot so you can fill it out and get it in the mail on time. To help out I have spent literal minutes creating the Top 10 Advantages of Voting by Mail/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Do you think the control freaks running the Idaho Republican Party would ever allow vote-by-mail and risk the possibility that they might attract more voters by doing so?

Clark: A Race That Keeps Giving

The tipster called me midday Friday with two eye-popping political developments, namely that 4th District state legislative candidate Amy Biviano appeared topless in a 1995 Playboy magazine spread. Five words immediately came to mind. “Well, it’s about damned time!” (Contractions don’t count.) See, I’ve been around politics a long time. And the mantra of every politician is that they have “absolutely nothing to hide.” Which always turns out to be an utter falsehood when candidate so-and-so is found to be heavy into cross-dressing or addicted to toilet stall sex in airport men’s rooms. And those are just Republicans. So this is the first time in my recollection that a candidate really does have NOTHING TO HIDE!/Doug Clark, SR. More here. And: Previous thread: Topless photo? confidence building

Other SR weekend columns:

Question: If you had the right stuff to pose for Playboy/Playgirl, would you?

Clark: Restaurant Biz Not For Timid

There are probably quicker ways to wind up in the poorhouse or on a psychiatrist’s couch, but running a restaurant has to be right up there. Research shows that three out of every five eateries will close in the first three years of operation. And in the past week or so, we’ve seen two Spokane restaurants call it quits: Beignets, a relative newcomer to the downtown dining scene, and C.I. Shenanigans, a fixture here for 30 years. But today’s column isn’t about dishing out grim news. This story is about celebrating a Spokane restaurateur who beat the odds and has the ulcers to prove it. His name is Jim Rhoades. He emailed me the other day to proudly announce that Rock City, the grill he owns at 808 W. Main Ave. with his wife, Rose, will turn 20 on Friday/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Any of you out there ever try to run a restaurant — and lived to tell about it?

Clark: Avista Keeps Wanting More

The Spokesman-Review’s most oft-repeated headline reappeared the other day on our Business page. “Avista seeks hike in rates.” This time it’s our North Idaho friends who are getting the treatment. But it doesn’t matter where you live in this great Ingrown Empire. Avista love is spread around pretty much equally. In fact, in the last 100 or so years, a small forest has been chopped down just to make the newsprint needed to carry this headline and variations like it, including … “Soaring Avista rates beat Rover to Mars.” And … “Avista CEO salary hits new record; any guesses who’s gonna pay?” No research has been done to calculate how many gallons of ink have gone into printing these rate hike headlines/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Are you as tired of Avista rate hikes and rate-hike requests as columnist Clark?

Certain Mysteries Best Left Unsolved

The latest hiccup in the quest to turn up Jimmy Hoffa fell flatter than a Keebler elf in a trash compactor. No moldy Hush Puppies or bits of decomposed leisure suit were tweezed from the dirt dug out of a backyard in suburban Detroit. I couldn’t be more relieved. The whereabouts of the missing union boss is one of America’s most cherished unsolved mysteries, and I’ve been holding my breath ever since these snoops started digging. Frankly, I enjoy guessing where Hoffa wound up after he disappeared from outside a restaurant back in July 1975. Was he offed by a hit man and then buried unceremoniously under a freeway or sports stadium? Did the Mafia stick him under a Veg-O-Matic and then feed the pieces to the fishes off Long Island? Or is Hoffa hiding out in a rest home somewhere, playing canasta and swapping yarns with Elvis and JFK?/Doug Clark, SR. More here. (1957 AP file photo of former Teamster president Jimmy Hoffa)

Question: How many rememberJimmy Hoffa?

Clark: Beware Of Falling Students

It’s been inspiring watching Wazzu revitalize itself. Images of rioting students and Dumpsters ablaze from years gone by have all but faded from public memory. Gone, too, are the days when Washington State University made the list of the nation’s top party schools. New coach. New attitude. Cougar days are here again. There’s just one blemish left for Cougdom to take care of. Just a thought: I’d like to see university officials take some of the money they’re pumping into those cheesy “Wave the Flag” commercials and put it into a gravity awareness program. Similar to getting a driver’s license, every fraternity and sorority member would be required to study hard and take an oath vowing to not break the law of gravity/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: How do you account for all the students who have fallen from fraternity windows and roofs at WSU and UIdaho?

Clark: Mayans May Have Been Right

Today we’ll examine the importance of the “bug-out bag” and how much Spam you’ll need to cram into it in order to survive the coming collapse of civilization as we know it. Before getting to that, however, I feel I owe an apology to any dead Mayans who may have been offended when I scoffed at their predictions that the world will end shortly before Christmas to avoid the rush. All that 2012 doomsday hocus-pocus seemed silly when I wrote about it last spring. Enough troubling events have happened since then to make me think that those long-gone Mayans maybe knew something. It’s been one sign of the apocalypse after another this summer/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Do you see signs that the apocalypse is almost upon us?

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D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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