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Spokane mayor not taking sides in WSU, UW battle over medical education

Spokane City Hall may be on the verge of having two separate and potentially competing legislative agendas for the first time in memory.

The priorities unveiled last week, which included backing for Washington State University's bid for its own medical school, represent only the City Council's agenda, said mayoral spokesman Brian Coddington.

Mayor David Condon hasn't taken sides in the battle between WSU and the University of Washington, which wants to expand a five-state physician training program in Spokane. Coddington said the mayor simply is backing state support for expanded medical education here regardless of which university takes the lead.

The distinction could put Spokane's lobbying corps in a bind when the 2015 session opens in January since the city may end up with two competing sets of priorities. Condon is expected to issue the official city legislative agenda later this year.

Spokane backs WSU medical school plan over UW proposal

Spokane City Hall is backing crimson over purple.

The city announced this week it will help Washington State University lobby the Legislature for money to begin establishing its own medical school on Spokane’s Riverpoint campus. The WSU request for $2.5 million in startup funding over the next two years is among the city’s top three legislative priorities for the upcoming 2015 session.

Although the city also is supporting the University of Washington’s pledge to expand its medical education program in Spokane, it’s not among the top priorities.

The state’s two leading universities, after partnering for years on a shared medical education program with a branch in Spokane, are parting ways and will battle it out in the Legislature next year for money to pursue their own vision of how best to train doctors.

WSU wants its own Spokane-based medical school that relies on forging community partnerships with hospitals around the state to train physicians who’d be encouraged to practice in under-served regions of the state. The UW, which has one of the best medical schools in the country for primary care training, proposes aggressively expanding its Spokane satellite branch, which currently operates in facilities that WSU wants to use for its medical school.

Spokane has long sought expanded medical education opportunities at the Riverpoint campus as part of an overall push to strengthen the local economy and help ease physician shortages in rural communities.

But until now, city and other community leaders had largely avoided taking sides.

Pac-12 basketball power rankings

From Pullman — The first third of the Pac-12 basketball season is over and the conference is starting to take shape. The Pac-12 has four teams that comprise the first tier, with a noticeable drop off in talent among the remaining squads. Some teams have been bitten by injuries, while others have had unexpected stars emerge. Arizona is clearly at the top of the conference, USC is clearly at the bottom and it's becoming apparent which teams will contend for spots 2-4 in the conference, and which won't. 

Our Power Rankings took a look at where the Pac-12 stands today, after the jump.

Christian Caple: He’s baaaaaaacckk

From Seattle — Former Spokesman-Review reporter Christian Caple now covers the Washington Huskies for the Tacoma News Tribune. That means he'll be in the booth for tomorrow's Apple Cup. Caple was generous enough to share his knowledge of both teams by answering five questions about Friday's game.

Read on, after the jump.

WSU’s Pac-10 loss to UW, the day after


A little inside baseball. While you're sitting at home watching what was a spectacularly entertaining basketball game last night, either jumping with joy or firing the remote into the coach pillows, there were about 10 people in the Staples Center who were just trying to survive. And, no, they weren't on the court. Read on.

WSU falls to UW 89-87


Klay Thompson set a handful of tournament and school records Thursday night, including a Pac-10 tournament best 43 points. But the 89-87 loss to Washington cut him deep, that much was obvious in the locker room afterward. Read on for more.

WSU leads 40-32 at halftime


There wasn't a knockout delivered in the first half, but there were a few blows by both team. And Klay Thompson, answering the question whether he would press, delivered most of Washington State's. The junior wing, who missed the last Cougar game serving a one-game suspension, took 15 shots in the first half, buried 6 of them (including 4 of 7 from beyond the arc) and posted 18 points. … That offset 13 points by UW freshman Terrence Ross in his first start. The Huskies started a smaller group, sitting Aziz N'Diaye and using three wings with Isaiah Thomas. It worked to some extent, as they shot a better.than-usual-against-WSU 41.4 percent, hitting 5 of 14 from long range. … Faisal Aden added an offensive spark, putting up eight points, though he is still struggling from 3, missing both attempts. … The Cougar zone (they played a majority of time in their 2-3) again seemed to make Thomas more of a distributor (six assists) than a scorer (5 points on 2-of-6 shooting). … OK, that's about it until I get my story posted some 90 minutes after the end of the game. Until then … 

Some pregame thoughts from Staples


We've been watching hours and hours of basketball here at the Staples Center and it's cemented some thoughts we've had for a while. So we figured we might as well share those thoughts before tip, which is in less than two hours or so. Read on.

WSU, UW have long wait until tonight’s game


The Internet connection at the motel was about as fast as my 40 time, so what usually takes an hour or so took twice that this morning. Though I got about 11 naps in while pages were loading. Anyway, it's done now on this first day of the Pac-10 tournament – the final Pac-10 tournament – for Washington State. Read on.

WSU waits; UW loses a player

COUGARS • UPDATE 10:10 A.M.; 3:45 P.M.

The Pac-10 men's basketball tournament begins today at the Staples Center, but not for Washington State. No, the Cougars get another day of practice and another day of rest for point guard Reggie Moore's ankle. Read on.

• UPDATE 2: Reggie Moore's ankle has improved enough that he's expected to play Thursday. Moore practiced Wednesday. 

WSU on way to LA


We're in SeaTac watching the departure board diligently as our flight to Los Angeles has already changed gate and time more than once. But while we have a few minutes, we're trying to get our post finished. … Sorry, didn't get it done. Most of what you'll read on the link was finished on the flight. Read on.

WSU’s Thompson reinstated


Just got done talking with Washington State coach Ken Bone and Klay Thompson's suspension lasted one game. The junior was reinstated Monday after practice and will start Thursday night against Washington. Read on for more.

Thompson, Casto earn All-Pac-10 honors


We were on the drive down to Pullman for Ken Bone's teleconference when the Pac-10 released the all-conference teams. Real quick, Klay Thompson was first team, DeAngelo Casto was second team and all-defensive team member and that's it. UPDATE: We have more on the All-Pac-10 team on the link, along with Bone's comments on Thompson and Moore's status. He said he'll make a decision on Thompson by tomorrow morning and Moore may, only may, practice today. Read on.

WSU gets back at it today


Monday mornings are usually good for a excellent cup of coffee – like everything, my wife Kim is so much better at making coffee than I am – and a few links. Today is different. No, the coffee is more than excellent, sublimely smooth would be a better phrase (hey, a compliment here and there keeps a marriage running). But there are a few more links than normal to pass along. If you've got a good cup of joe, read on.

Brit paper puts UW at 4th-best U.S. public college

AP - The Times of London says the University of Washington is the 23rd best university in the world. In the newspaper’s higher education list, UW is the fourth-best American public college.

The universities are ranked on 13 factors, divided into five categories of teaching, research, citations, industry income and international mix.

No. 1 on the list is Harvard, and 15 of the top 20 universities are from the United States. The top American public university is the University of California, Berkeley, in the No. 8 spot, followed by UCLA nd the University of Michigan.

Blanchette on UW proposal

One injury update before we post John Blanchette’s column on the UW’s proposal to renew the series with Gonzaga. Bol Kong is battling an ankle injury so we’ll have to see if he participates in Saturday’s Kraziness in the Kennel.

Blanchette leaves no doubt where he (and many in GU Nation) stand on Washington’s offer. Read it here.

Vandals fall to Huskies, 42-23

Just filed an unedited game story from Idaho’s 42-23 loss to Washington. You can read it below in extended entry.


Cougars’ last-ditch effort to head off tax dollars for UW stadium? Small plane circling the capitol…

A small, single-engine plane is circling the state capitol, trailing a huge banner reading “NO HUSKY STADIUM BAILOUT TAX!”

(Click the read-more line for another photo.)

Gay Marriage Pro-Con Stirs UW

At Vox Box, Blogmistress Erin Daniels tells of a flap on the University of Washington campus, triggered by a pro-con debate re: gay marriage in the college newspaper. You can read the pro-con arguments (take particular note of the cartoons that ran with them) here. The anti-gay marriage column and cartoon triggered a record 651 letters to the editor, many of which were published in eight full pages of a subsequent student newspaper edition. Also, the Graduate and Professional Student Senate demanded an apology from the paper and the firing of some Editorial Board members. Earlier this month, Editor Sarah Jeglum told readers that the paper would not issue an apology, in response to the Senate demands. You can read it here. You also can read Vox Box’s version of the hubbub here.

QUESTION:  What do you think?  Should the paper apologize?

FSN and the Holt hire - plus hoops


It was, seemingly, a huge day yesterday for Husky fans. The hiring of former Idaho head coach Nick Holt as defensive coordinator was such a big deal that Fox Sports Northwest televised the press conference – twice. Read on for more on that and some basketball notes.