September 30, 1996 in Nation/World

Public Periscope

Compiled By Jim Camden From Staf
 

Letting the nuclear cat out of the bag

For decades the folks at Fairchild Air Force Base have played the Pentagon game on their nukes: They neither confirm nor deny the existence of such devices on that or any base at any time. It’s one of life’s little fig leaves that covers very little - the Russians never thought the B-52s were gassed up and ready to go to drop chocolate bars on Moscow … After the B-52s left, there was some public speculation that the nukes would go with them. But again, Fairchild could neither confirm nor deny, et cetera, et cetera. But now we can be pretty sure that the nukes stayed even though the bombers left. And the source is, ta-da, the base newspaper, Global Warrior, and the folks in uniform who write for it … “Welcome Nuclear Surety Inspection Teams” proclaimed a headline atop a recent issue. A story explained that inspectors would check “all aspects of our nuclear weapons program to include safety, security and reliability” … So unless the inspectors were just looking for a place for the Pentagon to park some spare nukes at some future date, it could be said the base was blowing the nuclear whistle on itself. Seems is the operative word here, because when asked about this, a base spokeswoman said, “I can neither confirm nor deny … ” They passed their inspection, by the way.

He’d leave town on a rail

After years of waiting on the wrong side of the railroad tracks, drivers who use Argonne Road in the Valley should get relief next month from the 80-train-a-day problem. The long-awaited project to thread the road under the tracks will be finished Oct. 14 as planned, said Dennis Scott, county public works director … People are getting so anxious that “if we miss this (deadline), I might as well say goodbye, I’m done,” Scott told commissioners this month.

Submitted for your approval

County commission meeting regular Marvin Newcomb recently suggested Spokane County ignore the annual change from daylight-saving time back to standard time on the last Sunday in October … Sorry, said county attorneys who checked on the matter. Only the governor can authorize such a move, and only during a war or other disaster. But it got Commissioner Steve Hasson thinking. Sort of. … “I’d like to examine having a ‘Twilight Zone,”’ he said.

Life in the real world

Spokane resident Kurt Scholz recently asked Spokane City Council members why they didn’t fire missing-in-action Councilman Chris Anderson … “How many people here can miss 14 weeks and still keep their job?” he said. Scholz lives on a $7,000-a-year disability salary - not even half the $18,000 a year taxpayers give Anderson, he said. “We’re living under two different sets of laws - the people who live out here and you all.” … Mayor Jack Geraghty was sympathetic to the argument but explained it was a legal matter: The city charter allows Anderson or any council member to be gone up to six months before the seat becomes vacant. “We are as frustrated with this situation as you,” Geraghty said.

Park numbers

City officials are blaming the weather for a dip in revenues at Riverfront Park last summer. It totaled about $2.5 million, 6 percent below the 1995 record take. … Before opening the park attractions up for their half-price appreciation days last weekend, they had sold 11,000 season passes and 24,000 day passes.

, DataTimes MEMO: Public Periscope, published Mondays, is compiled by Jim Camden from staff reports. If you’ve got a question about local government, growth or development, we’d like to help you find an answer. You can write us c/o The Spokesman-Review, Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210. Or e-mail to jimc@spokesman.com. Or send a fax to (509) 459-5482. Or call Cityline at 458-8800 on a TouchTone telephone, then press 9120 to leave a message.

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’ve got a question about local government, growth or development, we’d like to help you find an answer. You can write us c/o The Spokesman-Review, Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210. Or e-mail to jimc@spokesman.com. Or send a fax to (509) 459-5482. Or call Cityline at 458-8800 on a TouchTone telephone, then press 9120 to leave a message.

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


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