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Sunday, April 5, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2012

FILE-A couple kiss each other during a snowfall in Florence, Italy, late Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2005. (Lorenzo Galassi / Associated Press)

Vasari's code? DaVinci's masterpiece?

As a person who once lived a fairy-tale year in Florence, Italy, I love to hear news from that city. It feels like news from home. So when the Associated Press reported that perhaps the hunt has ended for DaVinci’s unfinished mural titled “Battle of...

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SUNDAY, MARCH 11, 2012

An aerial view of Kabul city is seen from atop a hill as a street dog walks in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, May 27, 2011. (Mustafa Quraishi / Associated Press)

Only silence 

What motivated a US soldier to kill Afghan civilians over the weekend? The victims were mostly women and children, who slept. As a teen I would ask my dad about the Viet Nam war as black and white footage played across the evening news. “It’s...

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SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 2012

Larkins Lake is nestled below Larkins Peak in the Mallard-Larkins Pioneer Area of the St. Joe National Forest. (Rich Landers)

Lost...and found

Margaret Page, 41, was found alive in a New Mexico national forest. Page had been in the woods for nearly a month. She was found in her sleeping bag – with her cat. She survived on a limited amount of food and water from a...

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THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 2012

The remains of a recent snowfall cling to the docks at a boat launch on the Kootenai River in Bonners Ferry on Thursday. (Kathy Plonka)

Alike in life and death

The twin sisters who were found dead last month in their California home do have family – and those cousins have been located. The two women were once starlets – a term from their era – and then left the spotlight for a life of...

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MONDAY, MARCH 5, 2012


Forty-milligram tablets of the drug Lipitor. Associated Press
 (File Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

What's a woman to do?

The FDA has raised questions about the side effects of statin drugs: diabetes and memory loss.Oh, great. When you come from a family where diabetes is closing in on you from both genetic sides and your cholesterol is high, even when you eat like a...

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FRIDAY, MARCH 2, 2012

Glen Campbell (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

Gentle on our minds

Glen Campbell will play to a sold-out crowd Saturday night in Airway Heights – at Northern Quest Casino. Campbell has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and is on the road doing what he loves best – singing and enjoying his fans. Campbell’s wife and their...

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THURSDAY, MARCH 1, 2012

U.S. singer Lady Gaga stands in platform shoes during a press conference ahead of her showcase concert at the Marina Bay Sands on Thursday July 7, 2011 in Singapore. (Wong Maye-e / Associated Press)

Name this voice...

“I want to make that clear. This is: I am now a woman, I have a voice in the universe, and I want to do everything I can to become an expert in social justice and hope I can make a difference and mobilize young...

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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 29, 2012

A stand of prairie grass is silhouetted against the sun as temperatures approached 90 degrees in Carmel, Ind., Tuesday, July 19, 2011. (Michael Conroy / Associated Press)

Grief upon grief

The report in today’s New York Times reveals that body parts of some of the 9/11 victims were incinerated at the mortuary at Dover Air Force Base and then released to a landfill. If true, this information only adds to the grief and anguish of...

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SUNDAY, FEB. 26, 2012

Director Woody Allen poses during a photo call for "Midnight in Paris," at the 64th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France. Allen was nominated Tuesday for an academy award for best director.  (Associated Press)

And the Oscar goes to...

The wise and experienced…and a bit older…actor: Christopher Plummer …and the Oscar goes to the nominated-17-times…Meryl Streep…and the evening was hosted by…we all love him…Billy Crystal…and the best picture goes to… a silent film. Has anyone under 40 ever even seen a silent film before...

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SATURDAY, FEB. 25, 2012


Anne Lamott will be in Spokane next weekend to read from her works, including her latest book, "Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith." 
 (Courtesy of Mark Richards / The Spokesman-Review)

Anne Lamott ~ urban grace

Anne Lamott arrived in Tacoma for her evening talk at Urban Grace Church. Her truth-telling- no-matter-what stories and edgy wisdom gave the audience reason to sigh, ponder and affirm: we are in this life together. I sat in the front row and listened like I...

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THURSDAY, FEB. 23, 2012


In this photo provided by the Washington State Patrol, Gov. Christine Gregoire talks Tuesday in Olympia about appointing John Batiste, right, chief of the Washington State Patrol. Batiste is currently deputy chief of the Port of Seattle police.
 (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

Trooper killed

Another law enforcement person has been killed in the line of duty. Early this morning a Washington State Patrol trooper was performing a routine traffic stop. The trooper called in the stop and when the dispatcher did not receive a status check from the trooper,...

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MONDAY, FEB. 20, 2012

Presidents' Day...why?

I am “of a generation” that remembers the two holidays for two presidents - before the merge. In my childhood, it did not matter where the holidays landed – mid-week or not, we remembered the men for whom the holiday was set. You know, before...

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SATURDAY, FEB. 18, 2012

In this Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, file photo, Artist Whitney Houston performs onstage at the 37th Annual American Music Awards in Los Angeles. Houston died Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, she was 48. (Matt Sayles / Associated Press)

She rests...in peace

Whitney Houston was celebrated and honored and remembered…for hours… as her family and friends memorialized her life. The service was attended by 300 mourners, including Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Hudson, Diane Sawyer and Houston's cousin,...

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FRIDAY, FEB. 17, 2012

Amanda Knox motions to supporters shortly after her arrival Tuesday. (Associated Press)

Writing to save a life

Amanda Knox has a book deal - and hopefully a chance to pull her loving parents out of the debt they plunged into when they lived through her four years of incarceration. The legal fees, the travel expenses, the cost of supporting themselves while seeking...

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THURSDAY, FEB. 16, 2012

A rainbow from a morning thunderstorm paints the background for an American flag in Lawrence, Kan., Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011. (Orlin Wagner / Associated Press)

Perspective and grace

Mary Matsuda Gruenwald was 17-years-old when she was taken with her family to her first assembly center. Like many Americans of Japanese ancestry, she spent time in an internment camp during World War II. Once freed, she eventually joined the cadet nurse corps. She wrote...

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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 15, 2012

The Redmon Stars and Moon vinyl hamper in blue, perfect for the nursery.

Cycling into the future

The new washing machine arrived today. I really was sad when the 26-year-old Maytag was hauled away. That old machine had three buttons – for water temperature – and three options for washing cycles. It was a “top loader” and on the shelf above I...

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TUESDAY, FEB. 14, 2012

Heart-shaped hand pies can be filled with favorite fillings for a hearty family dinner on Valentine’s Day.

Who was Saint Valentine?

Good question. Lots of answers. Sometimes it is best to imagine the answer: Saint Valentine was the perfect, thoughtful lover or even a magical cupid who causes one’s object of affection to return that passion. However, Valentine was most likely someone we are less likely...

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MONDAY, FEB. 13, 2012

Wildfires in central Washington make for a spectacular sunset over Spokane, Wash. on Friday evening, Aug. 1, 2008, as the sun tries to burn through the smoke plume of thousands of acres that have burned over the past few days. (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)

From engineering structures to sentence structure

Our Boomer generation has been busy about seeking new adventures as we age. Meet Kathleen Flenniken, 51, a former Hanford engineer, turned poet. Washington state’s poet laureate, 2012-2014, that is. Flenniken earned engineering degrees from WSU in 1983 and from the University of Washington. She...

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SATURDAY, FEB. 11, 2012

In this Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, file photo, Artist Whitney Houston performs onstage at the 37th Annual American Music Awards in Los Angeles. Houston died Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, she was 48. (Matt Sayles / Associated Press)

Whitney Houston, 48, dies

Her voice was sultry and strong; her smile, beautiful. Her life – a bit tumultuous. Whitney Houston died on the fourth floor of the Beverly Hilton Hotel, on the eve of the Grammy Awards, which she was to attend. Houston was at the prime of...

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An Israeli child plays on a swing at sunset in the northern Israeli city of Haifa, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009.  (Tara Todras-whitehill / Associated Press)

The right rights

Two sweet, innocent children will be buried today. Their father murdered them. The story has been in all media sources over the last week. The blame, the questions, the speculation are the subject of every lead story in the local news. I have questions far...

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FRIDAY, FEB. 10, 2012

A pound of smoked ribs and pile of cole slaw are on the relatively new barbecue menu at the Bulldog Tavern near Gonzaga University in Spokane.  Chris Luce, a veteran barbecue pit boss, now cooks at the Bulldog and smoke various meats, even cheese and onions, for the new barbecue menu. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

A rose is a rose...is a tavern

The hangout for many Gonzaga alums was called The Bulldog. We drank beer, bantered our various philosophical viewpoints and made out in the booths (Well, I didn’t, but I witnessed those whose passion increased as they sipped the suds.) The iconic landmark is in search...

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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 8, 2012

SNAP says Borax makes an effective--and earth friendly--laundry detergent. As your washing machine fills with water, add a half cup of Borax and a half cup of "washing soda" (both available in the laundry aisle), then add your clothes.

Awash in grief 

Our relationship lasted almost 26 years. Reliable, always willing, a tacit understanding of our roles. We were together over all the holidays, birthdays and sometimes the relationship required lots of attention or relied on the simple rhythm of daily life. Suddenly, the relationship is over....

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SUNDAY, FEB. 5, 2012

Mary Oliver: pay attention

Mary Oliver was the featured keynote speaker at Seattle University’s fourth annual Book Festival on Saturday. Like most authentic human beings, she was humble, direct, quietly confident in her work – and a bit humorous. She read the favorites: The Journey, Wild Geese. And she...

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THURSDAY, FEB. 2, 2012

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.