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A Matter Of Opinion

Wed., July 25, 2007, 9:57 a.m.

Cry me the Spokane River

On Saturday, I spent all day on the river as part of the Dragon Boat Races sponsored by the Spokane Parks Foundation. There were more than 40 teams of racers who paddled in competitive heats. The really good teams took just a little over a minute to run the course. Our all-women (and most of us slightly older women) took a little longer. In fact, we came in dead last, but we had a blast anyway.

I remember thinking at our practices (which lasted about an hour each) how nice it was that so many people would experience the river in the intimate way you do while on a boat. The more people who know the river, the more people who will become activists for her care.

So I was saddened, and I know I'm not alone, to read in a story this morning that "Firefighting water tainted with oil ended up in the Spokane River after flowing into storm drains during Monday's spectacular blaze at a fuel depot in northeast Spokane, officials said Tuesday."

The river is vulnerable in ways we can't even imagine...

(Tony Wadden photos)

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