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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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1-666-How's my driving?

A relative got her new license plates in the mail and the first numbers were 1666 The numbers 666 are associated with all sorts of dark things to do with the devil, the end of the world, general evil, etc. See explainer here. Anyway, this…

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ILE--Referee Earl Strom keeps Houston Rockets Calvin Murphy, left , from getting any closer to Sixers George McGinnis duirng a game in Philadelphia in 1978. Strom, a 29-year NBA official who whistled  calls against players from Wilt Chamberlain's generation to Michael  Jordan's, died Sunday at his home after a long illness at the age of 66. Strom, who retired after working the 1990 NBA Finals, had undergone  surgery in January for a malignant brain tumor. At center is Rockets Dwight Jones. (13) (AP Photo/file)

Basketball as metaphor 

Long before he got sick and died, my dad -- who was a relatively well known lawyer in Spokane -- would say, "When I die, the guys gathered at the coffee shop will say, 'Too bad about Joe Nappi. (Pause). And look at the time!…

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Defining brain death

The Religion Link website has an interesting discussion going on about what constitutes brain death and the end of life. Here's an excerpt or read the whole thing: Caring for people in the final stages of life is one of the most expensive aspects of…

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MONDAY, MARCH 28, 2011

Prisoners of peace

The Plowshares Five were sentenced today in federal court. While 250 supporters kept vigil outside, U.S. DIstrict Court Judge Benjamin Settle handed down their sentences - effective immediately. (About the photo: Demonstrators outside the federal courthouse in Tacoma pray before a sentencing hearing for the…

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FILE - This Tuesday, Aug. 21, 1984 file picture shows Geraldine Ferraro at a news conference in New York. A spokesperson said Saturday, March 26, 2011 that Ferraro, the first woman to run for vice president, has died at 75. (Suzanne Vlamis / Associated Press)

My Geraldine Ferraro moment

In 1984, I worked for USA Today in Washington D.C. and was part of a team covering the presidential race that year. The day after the Ferraro VP candidate announcement, the paper sent me and a photographer to her congressional office. We chatted for about…

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SUNDAY, MARCH 27, 2011

From plowshares to prison

On Monday, March 28 five peace activists will be sentenced in Tacoma, Washington for crimes committed on November 2, 2009. Each defendant faces possible sentences of up to 10 years in prison. The five were found guilty of trespass, felony damage to federal property, felony…

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Hearts of stone

While Susie Stephens is memorialized through planting trees, a family in Olympia memorialized their son with river rocks. Carved with his name, "Zack," on each stone, the three-inch rocks were given to friends to take and leave at travel or favorite destinations. The family felt…

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You can't take it with you

One reality we all face -- rich, poor or middle -- is this: When you die, you can't take any of it with you. Not the millions of dollars in the bank. Not the furniture, the cars, the McMansions. Death is the final, and great,…

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FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011

Lewis and Clark High School drama students, Liz Connelly, 17, and Jon (cq) O'Grady hang messages on one of six trees along 6th Avenue between Washington and Stevens Streets, March 25, 2011 in Spokane, Wash.  After hearing about the Spokane Public Schools' replanting project, Nancy MacKerrow (right), of Spokane, whose daughter, Suzie Stephens, an LC grad who was killed while crossing a street and hit by a bus in 2002, helped gather students from the drama, advanced art ecology, special education, debate and Japanese Club to plant trees and adorn them with tree-grams. MacKerrow head sup the Susie Forest project and has organized the planting of 119 trees in Spokane and through out the world in honor of her daughter.  (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Growing grief: The Susie Forest

Nancy MacKerrow, a Spokane woman, lost her daughter Susie Stephens in 2002 when she was hit by a bus in St. Louis. She was 36, a bicyclist, a mountain climber, a world traveler and an activist, ironically, for the rights of pedestrians and bicyclists. Nancy…

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Abe Vigoda is alive

My work colleague Gina told me there is a simple website devoted to tracking whether Abe Vigoda, a longtime character actor, is alive or dead. Every day it updates. He's not sick. It's not a death watch thing, just a weird Web thing. Unbelievable. But…

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I wish I'd said...

Jean Payne died March 14. The Nine Mile Falls woman was famous in early development circles for her work at Community Colleges of Spokane. She established 80 preschools in Eastern Washington. In her retirement years, she published the Lake Spokane News Forum in Nine Mile…

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Tear Soup

While soft foods may contain a comforting recipe for dinner, this book contains a recipe for the days when your heart aches and longs for comfort following a loss. "Tear Soup" is a great resource for children as well as adults. The story uses the…

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Soft foods during grief

Our first column ran today in The Spokesman-Review. And one of the QAs concerned what food to take to a grieving home. Go for the soft stuff, the column advises, because sometimes in crisis and grief it feels like a lot of work just to…

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MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011

"Big Love" bites the dust

Don't know how many Big Love fans are out there. The HBO series, about a polygamist family, had its series finale last night. The husband, played by Bill Paxton, (shown here in an AP file photo) is murdered by a crazy neighbor at the end.…

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FRIDAY, MARCH 18, 2011

What age do you wish to live to? 

In our newspaper yesterday, an Associated Press story reported that the U.S. life expectancy had reached the all-time high -- 78 years and 2 months. For a few years now, I've floated a theory with any futurist types I interview. I tell them I don't…

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Say thank you now

My husband taught English literature for more than three decades at Gonzaga University, retiring a few years ago. Once every few years, a former student writes to thank him for a certain class or certain help and guidance long ago. One letter awaited us on…

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Are we enough?

Today's news: "…the region north of Tokyo where officials say at least 10,000 people were killed…whole villages and towns have been wiped off the map…at least 1.5 million households lack running water…Japan is facing its worst crisis since World War Two." In the 1977 film,…

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MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2011

"It can't be helped"

Several years ago, at a cultural event at Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute in Spokane, a Japanese-American man being honored talked about the survival method he used during the war. He fought for the US in a Japanese-American unit. He said when they faced an adversity,…

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SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011

Simple kindness

Thirty-five years ago Rebecca and I spent our junior year of college in Florence, Italy, with 90 other students. We explored, we pondered, we traveled, and we studied. Friendships grew deep. Last week we received an e-mail telling of the death of a classmate's mother.…

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"A Widow's Story" is powerful reading

I'm about halfway through Joyce Carol Oates' memoir A Widow's Story and it's a stunner. She lost her husband of 48 years in about a week after a lung infection took him down. Every chapter is filled with insight into widowhood, as I've heard from…

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Spending the night in a parking lot

On vacation in Hawaii, we were under an evacuation order two nights ago, when the tsunami threatened the islands. We have a family group here and so we loaded in baby and toddler and adults in two vans and headed for higher ground, which turned…

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FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2011

Global grief 

Today our hearts are heavy as we witness the aftermath of Japan's devastating earthquake. We remain in solidarity with the people of Japan as they face the days ahead. Even when we know no one, even when the land is not our own...we grieve for…

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Here comes everybody 

At Ash Wednesday services we sit in reflective quiet. Well, almost. Our developmentally-challenged parishioners break the cadence of our liturgical rhythm with little screeches of joy, melodic squeals, a few beats after the hymn has ended. No matter. The priest pauses to hear their prayers,…

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.