January 2, 1995 in Nation/World

Public Periscope


Star wars

Did anyone notice anything peculiar about the picture of outgoing Sheriff Larry Erickson in uniform in last Friday’s paper? …First, Erickson hadn’t worn his uniform in about 15 years. With his retirement from the sheriff’s office imminent, he decided to spiff up in his dress greens…To do that, he went out and spent $25 to accessorize his outfit - five stars for his shoulder insignia. Why five? He didn’t want to be outdone by Spokane Police Chief Terry Mangan, who wears three stars…Which makes us wonder: Will there be a run on stars if Mangan reaccessorizes his dress blues?

All the news that fits

The newspaper has chided the Police Department about its occasional lapses in providing what we consider timely information. So it is with great appreciation that we note police Lt. Steve Braun went beyond the call of duty last Thursday after the department pulled off a 2 a.m. drug bust at a downtown hotel…He topped the department’s press release on other incidents with a note that he was preparing a press release on the bust.

Squeakiest wheels getting greased

Some county managers may be feeling envious of the crowds a few departments can muster to demand more money for favored programs. The sheriff’s and parks departments got increases for 1995 after rallying supporters…When County Engineer Ron Hormann was told to trim $450,000 from his $52 million road budget to be spent on salaries for deputies, he offered to cut his snowplowing budget. “Can I take it out of something that’s going to bring in a large number of people?”…Unlike the sheriff, who is elected, Hormann reports directly to commissioners. They aren’t likely to go for that.

If she knew then what she knows now

If she had it to do over again, outgoing Commissioner Pat Mummey said recently, she wouldn’t have moved so far from the city. She and her husband moved to 10 acres near Four Mounds before she realized what suburban sprawl was doing to traffic and air pollution…”People are going to have to change the way they feel about where they live,” she said…Mummey’s replacement, Phil Harris, has an even longer commute to the courthouse from his 10 acres near Nine Mile, which is pert’ near in Stevens County. Commissioner Skip Chilberg and his family also are countrified, living on land near Deer Park where they hope someday to grow fruit trees…That makes Steve Hasson, a Valley resident, the board’s “urban” voice.

The toast of Washington state?

Finally, some good news for Gov. Mike Lowry: A new statewide poll says a majority of voters think he has a good idea to sell the state’s liquor stores to private business…When Elway Research Inc., of Seattle asked 405 registered voters about the plan in mid-December, 36 percent said they strongly favor it. Another 22 percent said they favored it, with some reservations. Only 12 percent said they strongly oppose it…Support is strongest in the far western counties, weakest here in Eastern Washington.

New digs for Nethercutt

New Congressman George Nethercutt will be taking the oath of office Wednesday in the other Washington, but supporters who couldn’t afford the time or the airfare to head east will be celebrating at his new Spokane office…Nethercutt is returning the district’s main congressional office to the Federal Courthouse, at Riverside and Monroe. His staff will be in Suite 594, which will be the scene of an open house starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

And speaking of offices

Former House Speaker Tom Foley will maintain an office on the second floor of the Farm Credit Bank Building, spokeswoman Janet Gilpatrick said…Unless, of course, new Speaker Newt Gingrich and the Republican Congress decide that traditional expense is one they want to cut from the budget.


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