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A Matter Of Opinion

Archive for November 2008

Our View: Why the Y mess?

The city of Spokane has gotten itself into a fine mess with respect to the YMCA property in Riverfront Park.

What would like to see happen now?

Our View: Be vigilant with germs

Nasty superbugs have staked out hospitals nationwide. Health-care professionals and patients need to be on guard.

Know anyone who became infected at a hospital?

Changing attitudes about smoking

Smoking has certainly lost its societal cachet. That’s a good thing. I grew up in a family of smokers. Some still do.

Did you ever smoke? Do you still? Want to quit?

Think I’ll skip the turkey this year

Check out the background scene during this interview with Gov. Palin.

Friday’s Loose Thread

Sarah Palin. I don’t have a point, just trying to boost our page hits.

Thursday’s Loose Thread

Seems like only yesterday it was Wednesday. Before you know it, tommorrow will be Friday.

Any thoughts?

Wednesday’s Loose Thread

Got a rare glimpse of the Zags last night, but because of parking issues, it was 12-0 when I got there. That was as close as it would get. Doug rooted for both teams. Always objective.

What’s on your mind today?

Our View: Prop. 8 backlash

We’re sympathetic to equal rights for same-sex couples, but concerned that bitterness will drown out a positive message for change.

Washington’s university presidents raking it in

And, no, I don’t mean leaves.

According to the list, Emmert’s compensation for the year ending June 30 was nearly $888,000. That put him second at public universities, behind only his one-time mentor, E. Gordon Gee, of Ohio State University.

Floyd ranked 17th among public-university leaders but was ascending rapidly. “His 2007-8 compensation, $623,000, did not include a $125,000 raise he received in August, which would make him the country’s sixth-highest-compensated public-university president,” the Chronicle wrote.

The Chronicle story does not include another benefit: if Floyd stays until 2012, he gets a $500,000 retention bonus.

And Emmert’s numbers do not include his side jobs, which earn him an additional $340,000 a year.

Monday’s Loose Thread

Use this thread to comment on concerns that arose over the weekend.

Western Washington and the KKK


Did you know that this liberal bastion was the scene of large Klan rallies in the 1920s? The Washington Historical Society has photos here. Gives new meaning to Hood Canal.

Here is a Seattle Times article on the UW research about the Klan and its influence. There weren’t many African Americans to terrorize back then, so the Klan focused on Catholics, Jews and people who looked different.

This description has modern-day echoes:

Klan leaders appealed to people’s Christianity, their patriotism and a fear of foreigners.

Meanwhile in North Idaho, there’s this swell dude in need of a history intervention.

And over in Rexburg, schoolchildren traded “The Wheels on the Bus” for “Assassinate Obama”. Sigh.

Photo/Washington State Historical Society

Thursday’s Loose Thread

It’s over the hump
but not quite there
Thursday’s arrived
And nobody cares
Me

What’s on your mind? Feel free to rhyme.

Smart Bombs: Fear itself

It wasn’t pretty watching Democrats run from the possibility of an income tax during the election. Sorta like watching Republicans backtrack on privatizing Social Security as the markets tank.

Tuesday’s loose thread

Just a little note to get you riled…or not.

Yesterday and today we’ve received a dozen or more letters which are not identical in wording but are so parallel in tone and sentiment that it’s blatantly obvious this is a staged letter-writing campaign. Basically: Do your job, Congress, impeach Bush and Cheney while you still can. The point is contrived, and the letters are going to the “not used” file.

OK, your turn now. Weigh in on whatever moves you.

Monday’s Loose Thread

Three thoughts, then it’s over to you.

1. You know, I probably ought to get out rake those leaves pretty soon. I’d hate to miss the chance at that chore if a big wind were to blow in.

2. I don’t suppose the forecast calls for wind. Or is that wishful thinking?

3. When I sat in on an analysis of what global warming would mean for the Inland Northwest, the state’s climatologist Philip Mote said one result would be rainy Novembers (as opposed to snowy), which are bad for the snowpack. That, in turn, would have implications for water storage and hydropower. Just sayin.

Smart Bombs: O-Boomerang

Cleaning up that Obamanation, and other tidbits from last week.

See you in the news pages


This is a sad day here in editorial board land. Lynn leaves us. She is such a loss for our newspaper. A young, bright talent.

I am leaving the board to return to the newsroom to report full-time on social services. So it will remain to Gary and Doug to put out the opinion pages each week.

In 2007, we had what we called then “The Dream Team.” It was Jamie Neely, Lynn, Gary, Doug and me on the board. And Stacey and Steve were part of the board, too. Our meetings were lively and large. We had some good discussions and some heated arguments. We are all quite different, but our personalities blended. And, believe it or not, we sometimes felt short-staffed, especially around vacation time.

And then last November, Jamie took a voluntary layoff. This year, Lynn’s came. And as of Tuesday, I’ll be back “upstairs” in the newsroom.

It was great while it lasted. And now, we all move onto different challenges.

I loved being part of this blog and will be one of its faithful readers.

And I may start a new blog up in the newsroom after I settle into my new beat.

But for now, it’s good-bye to this part of my journalism career. And good-bye to the team and especially, a sad good-bye to Lynn.

Loose Thread Friday

What’s on your post-election brain?
Blog lines officially open.

True or false?

1. Africa is a continent.

2. NAFTA is made up these countries: United States, Mexico and Columbia.

3. “Jobs” has three letters.

If you read only one article today …

… make it this one by Jim Camden.

Hear Tom Westbrook read the Obama letter here. The slideshow is so poignant.

And if you’re interested in politics, put Camden’s blog on your “favorites” list.

Wednesday’s Loose Thread

Well, that was quite a night. The thread below is election-related. You can put other commentary here.

Election projections

I have to admit, I’ve always thought election projections were pretty funny — kind of like airfares. Where do they come from?

This screen shot is only one of myriad examples where you just kinda say, “Huh?” If there are 0 percent precincts reporting, how did they get vote percentages? If the percentages are right, how the heck did they call it the way they did?

Of course, they’re not usually wrong in the end. But there is a mystery behind it somewhere, and it’s probably one I’ll never be in on.

“Your vote counst”

That’s what the latest dessert creation on the Cake Wrecks blog tells us, anyway. Maybe it was a Magritte-esque expression of what I’ve heard from many people who don’t believe their vote makes any difference.

Most of our AMOO readers clearly have voted or will vote. But do you think it’s just a matter of principle and symbol, or do you think each vote is an indispensible fraction of the world-shaping whole?

While you’re at it, make a prediction of which side’s voter fraud allegations will have more weight.

Loose Thread Tuesday: Election Day!

Anyone else out there feeling like this is Christmas Eve? That same kind of anticipation. The surprises under the tree — the surprises happening right now in the voting booths.

Found myself choking up watching Obama vote in Chicago and again listening to Palin on the radio being interviewed after she voted in her hometown in Alaska. So I was a bipartisan choker-upper this morning.

Any other emotions floating out there this day? No matter what happens, will be one for the history books.

The enduring campaign myths

Here’s a fact-checking article on the claims made by Obama-Biden and McCain-Palin in the final days.

Jamie Neely’s column from Sunday

Jamie Neely’s grandfather just died. He was 103! Was his healthy diet part of the reason for his longevity?

Read her column here.

Any longevity tips out there?

Loose Thread Monday


Anyone feeling the anxiety/tension/excitement in the air?

It’s palpable. In 36 hours, we should know our next president.

Here’s hoping. And what’s on your minds?
Blog lines are open.

Sunday editorial: Speak up on Plaza

Sunday’s editorial urged interested citizens to contribute their feedback on Spokane Transit Authority’s proposed redesign of the downtown Plaza. Now that ridership has skyrocketed, the interested public is much larger. Some of the intentions of the $20 million building didn’t pan out, and it is wise to adjust accordingly, but STA needs to go about it carefully and listen to what it hears during these public input sessions.

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