January 22, 1996 in Nation/World

Public Periscope

Compiled By Jim Camden From Staf
 

Courthouse cat-and-mouse game

That paragon of tabloid television, “Inside Edition,” reportedly was skulking around the Spokane County Courthouse for a story on Rick Birnel, the Valley man who stabbed his wife to death in what he claimed - unsuccessfully - was self-defense. Seems it wanted to catch a confrontation between the victim’s mother, Mary MacInnes, and Superior Court Judge Kathleen O’Connor over the 5-year sentence Birnel received for second-degree murder. … Not eager to oblige, O’Connor told her bailiff to keep the doors to her courtroom locked when it wasn’t in session and keep visitors out of her chambers. Her Honor also asked deputies to escort her to her car one evening last week, a request deputies refused. Instead, O’Connor’s bailiff brought her car to a courthouse door so the judge could make a speedy getaway. … Deputies did, however, ask security guards to let them know if a camera crew came through. They said they wanted to make sure nothing weird happened. … Amusing as this all was, the judge probably could have avoided such stealthy conduct by simply granting an interview to the camera crew to explain why she stands by her sentence.

Snow news is good news

Most of Interstate 90, from the East Coast to Seattle, was snow- and ice-packed Friday morning. Still, we appreciated the sign cautioning westbound drivers approaching downtown Spokane of “Icy conditions ahead.” … The flashing lights looked so festive through the falling snow - when we dared take our eyes off the road. … And thanks to the city’s Street Maintenance Division for sending out a memo at 6:20 a.m. Friday warning us, “The city’s streets are in poor condition at this time.” Although, by the time we reached the office to read the fax, we already had concluded that.

A first for Murray

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., was appointed to the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee last week, making her the first woman - let alone the first mom in tennis shoes - ever to serve on that panel. … Washington state has some 665,000 veterans. Murray herself is not a veteran, but her father was a disabled vet.

Home, home on the page

Citizens for County Libraries, which is pushing a $7.6 million Spokane County library bond for capital improvements, is taking to the Internet to plead its case. It has set up a home page with information about the bond issue. There’s a certain logic in this because part of the bond issue would pay for a new computer system for the county’s nine libraries. … Type in http://www.iea.com/(tilde)millerp/ to reach the Web site.

Emily Post on the campaign trail

Unhappy with the tone of presidential politics, the National Parents Association says it will rate the candidates for civility - or a lack thereof - this year. Each month, it promises to score the candidates on how they follow the 10 Commandments of Good Manners. … Among those commandments? Don’t criticize or complain, listen before speaking, speak with kindness and don’t embarrass others. No word yet on whether there’s a local chapter willing to drop in on local government meetings.

Getting involved

The city of Spokane has an opening on its Park Board and is asking for applicants who meet the following criteria: active in community groups, broad knowledge of park needs and interests of city residents. Oh, and management experience to review reports also would be nice. Apply at the mayor’s office by Feb. 2.

, DataTimes MEMO: “Public Periscope,” published Mondays, is compiled by Jim Camden from staff reports. If you have a question about government, growth or development, we’d like to help find an answer. Write us c/o The Spokesman-Review, Box 2160, Spokane 99210, or send us a fax at 459-5482 or e-mail at jimc@spokesman.com. Or call Cityline at 458-8800 on a Touch-Tone phone, then press 9120 to leave a message.

This sidebar appeared with the story: HOT TOPICS Wednesday City Plan Commission will decide whether that unnamed grocery store can be built at Third Avenue and Thor Street. 1:30 p.m., 2nd floor, City Hall.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Compiled by Jim Camden from staff reports

“Public Periscope,” published Mondays, is compiled by Jim Camden from staff reports. If you have a question about government, growth or development, we’d like to help find an answer. Write us c/o The Spokesman-Review, Box 2160, Spokane 99210, or send us a fax at 459-5482 or e-mail at jimc@spokesman.com. Or call Cityline at 458-8800 on a Touch-Tone phone, then press 9120 to leave a message.

This sidebar appeared with the story: HOT TOPICS Wednesday City Plan Commission will decide whether that unnamed grocery store can be built at Third Avenue and Thor Street. 1:30 p.m., 2nd floor, City Hall.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Compiled by Jim Camden from staff reports


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