December 20, 2009 in City

Doug Clark: Make a donation while you’re buying a gift

By The Spokesman-Review
Jesse Tinsley photo

The bike in the back is a 20-inch multispeed Trek MT60. The pink bike is a Trek Mystic, also a 20-inch, with a single-speed hub. They are being auctioned and the proceeds will go to The Spokesman-Review Christmas
(Full-size photo)

Deck the halls. Cue the carols. Freeze the fruitcake.

It’s time for Santa Clark – The Sequel.

A few days ago I told you our Convention and Visitors Bureau named me as the Jolly Old Elf in a local version of Clement Moore’s classic poem, “ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

And that was the end of my role as Jolly Old Elf, I figured.

Then two gorgeous new youth bicycles rolled into The Spokesman-Review lobby. The bikes are donated by Geoff Forshag (pronounced for-shay) and Bruce Abbotts, the good-hearted co-owners of Two Wheel Transit, 1405 W. First.

“We wanted to participate in a meaningful way,” Forshag said of his intent to give the bikes to the newspaper’s Christmas Fund, which every year distributes a sleigh load of toys, food vouchers and books to the needy.

Trouble is, the fund is designed to take monetary donations, not expensive individual items.

So an editor asked me if I might use my Santa powers to help find some good homes for the aforementioned bikes.

You all know how I am with editors.

They say, “Jump!”

I say, “Foxtrot or rumba?”

So here’s the deal. I’d like to auction off these two bikes to the highest bidders. All proceeds will go directly into our Christmas Fund coffers.

Here’s what you’re bidding on.

The pink girl’s bike is a single-speed Trek Mystic. Retail value: $220.

The blue boy’s bike is a multispeed MT Track 60, also made by Trek. Retail value: $310.

Both bikes come with lifetime warranties on their 20-inch frames. They are recommended for children ages 8 to 10.

So there you have it. Maybe you know a child who’d love a new bike for Christmas. Maybe you’d like to help the Christmas Fund. In that case, think of the bike as a premium, like those tote bags you get in a public radio pledge drive.

Just contact me via the information below by 5 p.m. Monday. Make sure to leave your name and phone number. I’ll even toss in an autographed CD to sweeten the deal.

Ho. Ho. Ho.

Turning to news …

I was so relieved to read Friday that the state had finished its much-awaited review of the homicidal maniac’s dramatic flight for freedom in September.

Phillip A. Paul, as you might recall, was on an Eastern State Hospital-approved field trip to the Spokane County Interstate Fair with a number of other criminally committed patients at the time of his vanishing act.

But now the verdict is in. After three months, a panel of eight experts has unveiled the shocking truth.

Mistakes were made.

Well, slap me silly and call me Alice.

Why, who would have ever imagined that what occurred at the fair might have been the result of Eastern State errors such as inept procedures or ill-trained keepers?

Wow. Who knew?

The review panel has been asked to stay together so they can look into other unfathomable mysteries such as, do seat belts really save lives and are puppies really the cutest darned things you’ve ever seen?

Next up, however, panel members will attempt to answer that old question:

Does the sun really rise in the east?

A panel member who asked not to be named said the group hopes to release its solar investigation findings as early as 2014.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at

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