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10 reasons to be thankful in the Inland Northwest

Thu., Nov. 28, 2013, midnight

We get it; the news isn’t always pleasant. It can be filled with tales of crime, hurt and malfeasance. But it also includes stories of triumph, hope and achievement. So on Thanksgiving Day, we pause to remember 10 things we’re thankful for this year, in no particular order:

1. New ways to appreciate the Spokane River, with the extension of the Centennial Trail along the river bluff through Kendall Yards and construction beginning on Huntington Park in downtown Spokane.

2. The Gonzaga University men’s basketball team landed in the No. 1 spot on the Associated Press and USA Today Top 25 polls for the first time in school history back in March.

3. The Lilac Festival, Spokane’s annual rite of spring, celebrated its 75th anniversary.

4. Skiers were treated to a before-Thanksgiving opening at several resorts.

5. Single-stream recycling rolled out in Spokane County, giving us the freedom to pitch most of our recycling into one big, blue bin.

6. Equality took a front seat, with the city of Coeur d’Alene following Sandpoint’s lead in banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.

7. A nearly $80 million new health sciences building will be dedicated next week at WSU Spokane, while the University of Washington medical school has expanded the amount of time students can study here.

8. A generous community enabled Inland Northwest Honor Flight to take nearly all the World War II veterans on a waiting list to see national monuments in Washington, D.C.

9. Work is well underway on McEuen Park, a 15-acre showplace in downtown Coeur d’Alene; it’s scheduled to open in late spring.

10. We’re thankful for the myriad contributions of people who are no longer with us – the volunteers, politicians, artists and businesspeople whose combined efforts created the community we enjoy today.