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A Matter Of Opinion

Mon., June 16, 2008, 9:47 a.m.

Natives and Newcomers: Join the Dialogue

(Photo by Brian Plonka/S-R)

We launched our Natives and Newcomers Dialogues Sunday. We see it as a way for readers to eavesdrop on some of the conversations we've been hearing about the future of Spokane. It's an exciting time.

Bill Simer -- a shareholder in the Spokane-based public accounting firm of McDirmid, Mikkelsen & Secrest and megavolunteer -- looked at Spokane past, present and future.

Here's an excerpt:

Q: Will we ever get over our inferiority complex? We're not Seattle. We're not Portland. We're not Boise.

A: We're better than Boise. That's my motto. I don't care if we're ever better than Seattle. I'm a little worried we're not as good as Portland. They have dog parks all over the place. They have good public transportation. But I don't believe we have any reason to feel inferior. I've never felt that. If I worry about one thing, it's that people who could make a difference here spend their winters away and maybe winter goes from October through May.

Q: What do we lose when we lose them?

A: We lose their support of culture. We lose their involvement in political discourse and involvement that might move the community forward.

Q: Snowbirds. It wasn't something that happened when we were younger.

A: In my neighborhood, it was out of the question. It would be nice in February to go somewhere warmer, but does it make this community a little less like home when you do that? Do you split your allegiances?

Please add your thoughts to any and all. Blog lines are open.

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A Matter of Opinion is really a matter of three opinions – those held by the people responsible for the opinion pages of The Spokesman-Review. Check in regularly to find out what they’re up to, what they think and where they differ and to joust with them if you want.