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Clark: South Hill magazine could use more glitz, less filler

Sun., Oct. 6, 2013, midnight

In this time of texts, tweets and emails, about the only actual mail I get are boring bills, report cards from Avista branding me an energy pig and postcards from businesses that are dying to cremate me.

(Note to Neptune Society: Be patient, you ghouls. You’ll get your chance soon enough!)

So imagine my surprise to open the mailbox lid Friday and find a copy of “South Hill Life.”

I didn’t know there was a magazine aimed at Spokane South Hillers like me, and Pete Kennedy’s “Message from the Editor” explained why on page 5.

“Welcome to the first issue of South Hill Life, a magazine devoted to what’s happening in your neighborhood and city,” wrote young Kennedy, whose fresh-faced photo accompanied his greeting.

“If there’s one thing we’ve found in putting this issue together, it’s that people in Spokane step up.”

Unless you’re on the City Council, that is, which is more about sitting down and nodding off.

I did learn something from reading all 30 pages of this maiden issue.

South Hill Life doesn’t know beans about this glamour-filled life we live on the trendy and affluent South Hill.

Heck, Pete doesn’t even tell us whether he’s a Saxon or a Tiger. What’s up with that?

Whenever two South Hillers collide, the first words even before hello are: “Where’d you go to high school?”

And speaking of content, some of what passes for news in this magazine is bland and stale, like the fact that mutts were allowed to swim in three city pools – last August.

Other stories are just canned filler.

Take the feature on how “super-nutrients” are good for geezers.

This article from the BPT News Service (whatever that is) is completely out of touch with the target audience.

Whoever wrote it should have presented the South Hill formula for nutritional aging, namely Lindaman’s coconut cream pie, that amazing bread they serve at Luna and marbled juicy rib-eye steaks from Egger’s.

And get this: Throughout the magazine, readers are asked to “Tell Us What You Think.”

See, right there I know something’s fishy about South Hill Life. Anyone who lives here knows enough to never ask me what I think.

Well, I think South Hill Life needs to step up if it actually intends to do the South Hill justice.

First off, the magazine should change its name to something that more reflects our status and allure.

South Hill Confidential, say.

And with all due respect to Pete, he should get some better journalism in the next issue.

I don’t want to do his work, but I’d like to see some real reportage on stories such as …

• How Ham on Regal Wrecked My Marriage: A tell-all look at the lust-filled side of Ferris High School’s annual parent-acted musical fundraiser.

• Banished and Shamed: The true story of a Trader Joe’s patron who dared say “NO!” to reusable shopping bags.

• Grand Swift Auto: Confessions of a lead-foot who wantonly disobeys Grand Boulevard’s 20 mph speed limit near Manito Park.

And as a bonus, South Hill Confidential could showcase a hot “Soccer Mom of the Month.”

Example: High Drive resident Amber, 38, has three boys, a Lexus hybrid and a mild Costco addiction. She Zumbas regularly and gets a gel manicure every other week.

Best of all, men, Amber says she’s looking for a new “special guy” to fill the void in her life.

“Especially after what happened last year at Ham on Regal, the bastard.”

Now that’s a magazine South Hillers could appreciate.

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

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