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In their words

“I share your concern, and I apologize for the fact that I have to apologize again.”

– Deputy Secretary Gordon Mansfield of the Department of Veterans Affairs, responding to U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., about evidence that the agency had tried to conceal the incidence of suicide among U.S. veterans.

“We are not going to arrest ourselves out of child abuse.”

– Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, agreeing during a televised forum that prevention is an essential part of any strategy for combating child abuse.

“Most forums are adversarial, and people are barking like dogs at each other.”

– Director Phil Cernera of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s Lake Management Department, describing the challenge facing an effort to get Kootenai County leaders talking civilly about issues involving human rights and environmental protection.

“It’s straight out of the movies. Bruce Willis can do it because he doesn’t have to worry about people shooting back with live ammunition.”

Andrew Goddard, father of a student who was wounded in the shooting incident at Virginia Tech a year ago, criticizing the idea of allowing people to carry concealed weapons on college campuses.

“As long as you know any ophthalmologist that’s wearing glasses, don’t get it done.”

– Long Island attorney Steve Aptheker who suffered severe side effects from Lasik surgery that made his vision worse rather than better.

“I was surprised at how much heartburn some shooters gave us over such a common sense proposal.”

– Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission member George Orr, about target shooting restrictions proposed for Bureau of Land Management property near Fishtrap Lake southwest of Spokane.

“We’re back to old-school lending, where buyers actually qualify for their mortgage, which is a good thing.”

Lisa DeBrock, manager of the Washington state Housing Finance Commission’s Homeownership Division, talking about the more stringent borrowing requirements put in place following the subprime market difficulties.

“A human swimmer is not too unlike a seal.”

– Shark expert Richard Rosenblatt of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, theorizing that the shark that killed a 66-year-old swimmer at Solana Beach near San Diego last week may have been confused.

“You may not accept it, Mr. Kahn, but you will serve it.”

– Federal Judge William Terrell Hodges, responding to Eddie Ray Kahn, one of actor Wesley Snipes’ co-defendants in a tax-evasion case, after Kahn declared he didn’t accept the judge’s authority to sentence him to 10 years in prison.

“It’s a very sad day for Wendy’s and our family. We just didn’t think this would be the outcome.”

Pam Thomas Farber after the hamburger chain founded by her father, the late Dave Thomas, was sold to the owner of Arby’s in a multibillion-dollar deal.


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Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.