August 25, 2011 in City

Clark: Make Spokane Better ideas include the falls, police card

By The Spokesman-Review

Maestro, may I have an eggroll, please.

I’m in a festive mood today. That’s because it’s time to hand out prizes for the best pipe dreams submitted to my Make Spokane Better contest.

Flash back 11 days. I offered my thoughts on Dimvision Spokane, that smug cadre of social architects who won’t stop meddling until we’re all chugging the Kool-Aid.

Then I asked readers to take a deep pull on their hookahs and send me their community improvement hallucinations.

Well, they certainly did.

I received a flurry of emails like Mark’s, “This morning’s column was full of great visions,” and Mariah’s, “I find this article socially toxic, borderline irresponsible.”

You know, the usual.

It took some time, but I managed to separate the delightfully daffy from the dangerously deranged.

Along with receiving some groovy merchandise, winners will also have the intense pride of seeing their ideas added to the Dimvision edicts, which include downtown unicycle lanes and free family planning for woodland creatures.

According to law, should Dimvision pass in November, the proposals would be added to the City Charter for “three weeks or until Spokane declares bankruptcy, whichever comes first.”

Now about the groovy gifts.

Today’s winners will receive a CD featuring my civic anthem, “Spokane,” a genuine reporter’s notebook and one of my limited-edition buttons: “Politicians, same jerks we hated in high school.”

I give you the Spokane betterment ideas, which have been edited for clarity and comedy.

• Ed Byrnes would change the city’s name to “Spo-Can’t,” but only if the City Council repeals the police ombudsman ordinance.

• Two worthy suggestions from P.J. McGranahan.

1. Stealing red light cameras from intersections is not a crime.

2. All city residents will receive a “No Police Beat-Down” card. (This card can be used to save your life in the event you ever encounter an angry cop in a mini-mart.)

• After wondering whether Dimvision members frequent medical marijuana clinics, J.S. Swanstrom offered three winning ideas.

1. Create a new skateboard category for Bloomsday.

2. Mandatory “over the falls in January” swimming lessons for sex offenders.

3. Add shampoo dispensers to the Riverfront Park fountain for “transient showers.”

• Margaret Blodgett would improve the quality of our education.

Any fifth-grade teacher whose students don’t know basic math shall stand in the center of the STA Plaza and “recite the times table,” she wrote.

Far be it from me to pry. But I have a hunch there’s an ugly school experience behind the Blodgett submission.

• John May didn’t actually enter my contest, but he’ll get a prize anyway.

Here’s why. May wrote to tell me that he was “reading and enjoying” my Dimvision column while anticipating all the nasty letters to the editor that would be calling for my hide.

Then he got to the part where I proposed rounding up Dimvision members and relocating them in Chewelah.

May lives in Chewelah.

“Please do not send the Dimvision members to Chewelah,” he begged. “We have all the Dimwits we can stand for the foreseeable future.”

My bad, John. You’ve made me see the error of my ways.

But where should we send those pesky Dimvisionistas?

• The problem is solved thanks to a poem submitted by 91-year-old Jim Isabell. I can’t reprint all of it due to newspaper constraints about length and rhyming. But the following will give you the idea.

“I’ll write Spokane’s thoughts of Dimvision:

“No ‘Bill of Rights’ our decision.

“It met not the test, it was foolish at best;

“Spokane didn’t need that revision.

“How to stop their foolish profusion?

“Quell their words; their kooky illusion?

“Just send them away to Athol to stay,

“That town is used to confusion.”

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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