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In their words

A selection of quotations from people in recent news stories, big and small

“It went from the usual dinner party of 10,000 people to about 25,000 in 30 minutes.”

– Pig Out in the Park founder Bill Burke, recalling 1999 when an acclaimed musical group attracted a dramatic turnout at the annual downtown Spokane event where free entertainment augments a festival of food vendors.

“We thought we had a quiet community. Now it’s not unusual to drive this community and see a ‘Kill Duncan’ bumper sticker on a nice car. I can never even guess the reach of the effect on this community by this killer.”

– Kootenai County Sheriff Rocky Watson, after a federal jury and judge decided Joseph Duncan should die for the kidnap, abuse and murder of Dylan Groene.

“I die 100 times when I think about this. I think if she had cancer it would be better than to die like this.”

Bassaad Salman, mother of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl who was intercepted by authorities in Iraq before a bomb she had been duped into wearing could be detonated.

“I keep thinking, ‘Did the corps fix the levees?’ ‘Is my house going to flood again?’ ‘Am I going to have to go through all this again?’ ”

– Chalmette, La., resident Evelyn Fuselier, awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Gustav three years after Hurricane Katrina left her house under 14 feet of water.

“There aren’t a whole heck of a lot of bad guys there left to fight.”

– Marine Gen. James Conway, saying security duties in Iraq’s once volatile Anbar province can comfortably be turned over to Iraqi forces.

“Of course it is safer in Batumi. There are no Russians here.”

– Ajara region Gov. Levan Varshalomidze, explaining why the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Dallas and its escort sailed to Batumi to deliver relief supplies to Georgia rather than Poti, the original destination, farther north on the Black Sea coast.

“Because there’s a 24-hour cable news cycle.”

– MSNBC newscaster Nora O’Donnell, after fellow commentator Patrick Buchanan asked, in the wake of Barack Obama’s formal nomination, why carefully stage-managed political conventions are treated as breaking news.

“The intrusiveness of a body-cavity search cannot be overstated.”

– Federal Judge Sidney R. Thomas of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a decision holding that body searches are unconstitutional unless there’s substantial reason to suspect contraband.

“As far as I’m concerned, teachers were trained to educate my children, not carry a gun.”

– Harrold, Texas, mother Traci McKay, whose children attend school in a district where employees are authorized to carry firearms.


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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.