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Doug Clark: ‘Spofficial’ fun shouldn’t stop with ponderosa

It’s fashionable to rage against the government, what with all the waste, cronyism and ineptitude that seems to always follow an oath of office.

But sometimes our elected officials do come together.

Sometimes they are willing to take a bold stand for the good of the people.

Which is exactly what happened the other night when the Spokane City Council decided that – damn the political fallout – it’s time to make the ponderosa pine the city’s official tree.

As a regular voter and reluctant taxpayer, I can’t tell you how relieved I was to hear this news.

Time and time again, often while bouncing over Spokane’s pitted and potholed streets, I’ve looked to the heavens and prayed …

“When, oh Lord? When will our Spokane leaders find the courage to give the ponderosa pine the grand status it deserves?”

Well, that time, I’m overjoyed to report, has COME!!

And it wouldn’t have happened without brave, foliage-minded council members who would not back down.

Thanks to these heroes, the ponderosa pine will finally share the spotlight with Spokane’s official parade and flower, the lilac.

“Tree at last. Tree at last.

“Thank Gawd almighty, we’re tree at last!”

But why should this attention to minutia end here?

Look around Spokane. I’m confident you’ll agree that this town is riddled with people, places and things that also deserve the “Spofficial” seal of approval.

And this is where you readers come in.

Send me your nominations (via the information below) of what you’d like to make official like the ponderosa pine.

I’ll compile the best and give it to the council for sanctification.

But wait, there’s more.

The top five submitters will win free tickets to my upcoming roast of Mayor David Condon. This first (and possibly last) event takes place 7:30 p.m. at the Bing Crosby Theater on May 15.

I’ll get things started. Here are my Top 20 nominations for Spokane’s …

1. Official Lost Cause – The Seattle Mariners.

2. Official Sinkhole – Spokane County Raceway.

3. Official Noxious Weed – Dalmatian Toadflax.

4. Official City Curse – The Curse of the One-Term Mayor.

5. Official Excuse to Smoke Weed – “Glaucoma, dude.”

6. Official Birthday Boy – Faithful Reader Darrell Rosenkranz, who turns 82 years old on Friday. Congrats to you, Darrell!

7. Official Urban Myth – Tie between Bigfoot and the North-South Freeway.

8. Official Front Yard Car Jack – The Hillyard Cinderblock.

9. Official Outdoor Event Not Needing Port-a-Potties – Spokane Street Music Week (June 9-13).

10. Official Banned Book Man – Author Sherman Alexie.

11. Official Mathematician – John Ahern.

12. Official Herbalist – Sean Green.

13. Official Long Gone Gadfly – The Late Jimmy Marks.

14. Official Suburb – The City of Spokane Valley.

15. Official Mayoral Catchphrase – City of Chumps, I Mean, City of Choice.

16. Official Downtown Nuisance – Davenport Flowerpot Urination.

17. Official Minstrel – Tommy G.

18. Official Sandwich Artists – The Domini Family.

19. Official Architectural Eyesore – The Bulbous Spokane Regional Health Building.

20. Official Wasters of Time and Space – The Spokane City Council.

Columnist Doug Clarkcan be reached at or dougc@spokesman. com or (509) 459-5432.