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Watch for northern lights tonight

SKYWATCHING — This is a good weekend for sky watching, with increased solar activity coinciding with clear skies.

Craig Goodwin, pastor of Millwood Community Presbyterian Church and outdoor photographer, captured the photo above at Sullivan Lake and posted this comment Saturday:

The Aurora is active. Should be better tonight and tomorrow, but as always, who knows for sure. This is taken from the shores of Sullivan Lake. Note the shooting star half way through. The moon came up at the end so I shut it down. Yes, that's snow in the foreground.

Photo: Sunset over Spokane River inspiring

RIVERS — If you thought Craig Goodwin, pastor of Millwood Community Presbyterian Church and outdoor photographer, caught  the Spokane River at a masterful moment two weeks ago, you'll be glad he's been going back to the same spot to capture the river in other moods, such as the sunset shot, above.


Photo: Northern Lights over Priest Lake

OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY — It pays to lose yourself watching the stars on a clear summer night.

In the photo above, Craig Goodwin, pastor of Millwood Community Presbyterian Church, sits by the still-glowing embers of a fire some other Priest Lake visitors to Hill's Resort had enjoyed.  But they left at a reasonable hour early Wednesday morning.

Goodwin, who's become entranced with photographing the Milky Way this summer, stayed around past 2 a.m. …. and the Northern Lights were his payoff.

Today’s highlights

Hugh Grim watches from the top of a Fairbury farm windmill tower as his son, Jim, keeps a hand on a guide-line as they use a crane to lift the windmill to the top of its tower Tuesday at the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Happy Halloween! Just remember to limit your sugar intake and everything will be fine. Meanwhile, we can take a look at some highlights from today's Valley Voice in between sugar breaks. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on a "new" 1930s windmill that was just installed behind the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. The Valley was once full of such windmills, which pumped water for farmers. The windmill has made previous appearances at the museum's annual farm show.

The Rev. Craig Goodwin of Millwood Presbyterian Church was recently diagnosed with a form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He is currently balancing his pastoral duties with an aggressive chemotherapy schedule that has him in the hospital for five days every three weeks. He said his diagnosis has given him a new perspective when dealing with people struggling with their own health issues.

The Spokane Valley City Council is moving forward with a proposed ordinance that would regulate the attire of bikini baristas at a business near City Hall who routinely go topless on certain days of the week, wearing only pasties and g-strings. The new law would mandate that their breasts be at least half covered. The proposal is sure to generate plenty of public comment at future council meetings as the ordinance moves through the approval process.

Good Friday, Earth Day Converge Today

Holy Week this year has a surprising twist. The international observance of Earth Day and the Christian church’s celebration of Good Friday converge on April 22. To many in the church this will come as an unwelcome intrusion. I’ve learned in my years as a pastor not to schedule anything that would compete with the rhythms of Holy Week. I’m still reminded occasionally by the keepers of the church calendar about the year I agreed to do a wedding on the Saturday before Easter. I won’t do that again. For others, the threat of this coincidence goes much deeper than potential scheduling conflicts. They will see this as a sacred-secular fault line in an ongoing cultural struggle between two opposing ideologies/Craig Goodwin, pastor of Millwood Presbyterian Church of Spokane, special to CNN. More here. (SR file photo: Pastor Craig Goodwin's book, "Year of Plenty," chronicles the year he and his family consumed only things that were homemade, home grown, used or local.)

Question: Which observance will you participate in today — Good Friday or Earth Day? Or both?

Chicken Revolution

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — After months of debate the Spokane Valley City Council made changes to the city's chicken regulations.Those changes make it possible for people who live with in the city limits to own chickens on small residential pieces of property.

Craig Goodwin has four chickens in his backyard right next to his children's swing set. "They have names, yeah, Eagle, Chrysanthemum, Daisy and Honolulu," Goodwin, a self-proclaimed chicken person, said.

Goodwin says his four chickens produce two dozen eggs a week, but that is the only source of food they supply for his family of four. "I think the general rule is, if you name your chickens, you don't eat them," he said.KXLY.com More here.

What do you think about the urban chicken trend? Do you have chickens in your backyard?