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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Some things change and some do not

The Seattle Seahawks no longer hold preseason training camp in Cheney.   

But countless people still talk on cell phones while driving.

A whole bunch of guys still offer as original analysis things they heard last night on ESPN.

There are still so-called rugged Westerners who benefit from agricultural subsidies but want to do away with virtually every federal program except the one that benefits them.

Lots of people continue to think they are great at imitating accents despite the fact that they clearly are not.

And we're still carving away at what little wilderness remains. 


Burglars wheel away bakery’s safe

Burglars used a wheeled dolly to steal a safe from a Spokane Valley bakery early today or Wednesday, police say.

Employees at Oroweat Bakery, 5424 E. Sprague Ave., believe the theft occurred between 6:45 p.m. Wednesday and 7 a.m. today. An employee arrived at 7:30 a.m. to find the garbage man standing by the unsecured front door.

Police believe the burglars disassembled the front door locket, then rifled desk drawers and files before pulling the "large and heavy" safe from its concrete fixture and rolling it outside on a dolly, according to a news release by Sgt. Dave Reagan. The safe contained cash, business keys and paperwork.

Police also are looking for tips on a burglary that occurred early Wednesday at Spokane Quik Lube,  14704 E. Sprague.

Police responded to an alarm about 1:45 a.m. and found loose change scattered on the floor. The manager said the suspect entered the officer but did not steal cash.

Anyone with information on the burglaries is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Marijuana dispensary trial begins today

A groundbreaking trial for the area's medical marijuana dispensaries is set to begin today in Spokane.

Scott Q. Shupe, 56, faces felony drug charges stemming from a 2009 police raid at Change, a pot dispensary he operated on Northwest Boulevard, near Maple Street. 

Prosecutors have said they believe dispensaries are illegal because they distribute marijuana to more than one patient.

But pot advocates note that the statute technically states a caretaker can provide to one person “at any one time.” Owners of medical marijuana dispensaries use that interpretation to justify their businesses; Shupe says he only sold marijuana to one patient in the business at a time.

The investigation began when a detective saw a TV news article about the business.

“The news story advised that Scott Shupe dispenses marijuana and that he grows, possesses and sells marijuana and that ‘it’s all perfectly legal,’” according to search warrants used in the September 2009 raid.

Shupe is represented by Frank Cikutovich. Teresa Border is prosecuting. Judge Tari Eitzen is presiding. Opening statements are expected this afternoon or Tuesday morning.

Trial for Change codefendant Christopher P. Stevens, 37, is scheduled to begin April 11.

While Spokane County authorities say the dispensaries are illegal, dozens are operating in the area, including one on Northwest Boulevard that offers to deliver.

Hail to the Chief

Barak Obama will officially become the President of the United States on January 20, 2009.  It is probably the first inauguration in my lifetime that I have been keenly interested in and excited about.  It’s like Christmas, New Years, wedding days, and birthdays all rolled into one.  It is a phenomenally historical event.  All this mainly because he is black.  I write that with a little ill-ease.  Is it racist to think this is a special occasion because of the color of one’s skin?  At any rate, it is an awesome time.  It is always hoped that the United States is, well, united, in its diversity, in its people, in its two parties.  We are entering a time of great opportunity for change.  As in inaugurations in the past, we are always stepping forward on new ground, a blank page before us to right wrongs, and set lofty goals, and go onward to the future with dreams, hopes, prayers, wishes.  Mr. Obama speaks of change with a positive force.  And change is what we desperately crave.  Now is the time to open the door to the future and leave past what is past.  May this presidency fulfill those dreams and aspirations that every single president has had before him – may this presidency be a resounding leap to a positive future.  May all the best of all the presidencies behind him, be the support and springboard for a future of opportunity and excellence.  Hail to the Chief, President Barak Obama, and God bless the United States of America.

Friday Quote - Barack and Climate Change

Bill McKibben, author, climate activist, and member of Grist’s board of directors: “Hey, congratulations, or condolences, or whatever’s appropriate. I know you’re focused on that financial meltdown, but it’s the meltdown meltdown that is going to define your two terms in office, Mr. Obama. How you deal with it may be the key to our economic recovery, but even more to the recovery of our stature in the world. We need a deal — but it’s a deal that has to reflect the new crucial piece of information about the planet. According to the scientists at NASA — your scientists, now — that world doesn’t work right above 350 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere. Now that you’re done with 270 electoral votes, that’s the number that’s got to focus your thinking.” 350.org It’s barely been a week since Senator Barack Obama became President-elect Barack Obama but given the current volatile environment there isn’t much time for him to sit back and enjoy the accomplishment. A recent story in The Washington Post credits Obama as being positioned to quickly reverse several Bush actions. A team of advisers have compiled a list of, “about 200 Bush administration actions and executives orders that could be swiftly undone to reverse White House policies on climate change, stem cell research, reproductive rights and other issues, according to congressional Democrats, campaign aides and experts working with the transition team.” For example, “the president-elect has said he intends to quickly reverse the Bush administration’s decision last December to deny California the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles, ‘effectively tackling global warming demands bold and innovative solutions, and given the failure of this administration to act, California should be allowed to pioneer.’” The aforementioned Bill McKibben thinks Obama can most effectively show the world his intended commitment to climate change by showing up in Poland next month for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, and in doing so, “electrify the international talks over carbon.” But perhaps the boldest step towards reversing the last 8 years of ineptitude will be then President Obama’s actions in Copenhagen in December of 2009 when the world meets to come up with a successor to the Kyoto treaty – the international effort Bush “walked away from weeks after taking office.” It is there that many feel, “will represent the last legitimate shot the world has at putting itself on a new carbon regime in time to make any difference.”

Tuesday Video - The Get a Grip Edition

Wake Up, Freak Out - then Get a Grip from Leo Murray on Vimeo. For your Tuesday video viewing pleasure enjoy this 11-plus minute animated clip from Plane Stupid activist Leo Murray titled, “Wake Up, Freak Out – then Get a Grip. Imagine the worst case scenario of climate change – this video will lay it out for you. Packed with science and a violin playing polar bear, this video is an eye-opener (as if people needed that) and a wildly entertaining clip. Murray’s take home message: “It is now very clear that in order to actually win the fight against climate change, making big changes to the way we each live our own lives is not going to be enough; we’re also going to have to actively confront powerful vested interests who will stop at nothing to prevent the changes we need from taking place. We have to be more than just consumers.”

Party with the Goracle Tonight!

Daily Tip #353 Sort of. That Goracle is a sneaky one, you see. Sometimes he’s a hologram. Sometimes he’s a webcast. But he’s always there. From Power Vote: The fight for clean energy has many fronts, but the most crucial one at the moment is the ballot box. No one understands this better than our favorite Nobel Peace laureate, Al Gore. He’ll be inspiring thousands on a live webcast Wednesday night, October 29th, at 8 p.m. Eastern. The event is hosted by Power Vote, a national non-partisan effort to elevate the discussion of climate change in the 2008 election, and by the We Campaign. Find out how you can attend a webcast party HERE.