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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Staff > News > Sue Lani Madsen > Stories
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Most Recent Stories

News >  Spokane
June 1, 2019, 5 a.m.
An author who speaks out against gentification fails to make a rational case for denying access to transit, parks and odorless summer nights just to keep the rent low.

May 25, 2019, 5 a.m.
“How are the children,” Victor Rivas Rivers asked, quoting a traditional Masai greeting. It’s a measure of the health of the community. When children grow up experiencing abuse first or secondhand, they and the community are not well. And now we have data on how unwell.

May 18, 2019, 5 a.m.
“Our commitment is to continually making things better. You can’t wake up every morning frustrated,” advised Jeff Thomas, CEO of Frontier Behavioral Health. Actually, you can, but it’s not healthy. Not for you or your family member living with mental illness. Last week’s column describing one family’s frustrations with the mental health system resonated with many families.

May 11, 2019, 5 a.m.
He is now officially homeless. Thank you, mental health care “system,” you have done it again.

May 4, 2019, 5 a.m.
Once again, the Washington legislature adjourned without agreeing to pay its fair share of election costs. “Could have been worse, but still not a good session for local government. They have no love for us,” said Lincoln County Commissioner Scott Hutsell.

April 27, 2019, 5 a.m.
When Keith Whittington studied the impeachment process in graduate school, he figured no one would ever be interested in such a dusty old topic. Then President Bill Clinton was impeached.

April 20, 2019, 5 a.m.
Everything went according to plan at the Cathedral of Notre Dame last week. Except for the part where a fire broke out.

News >  Spokane
April 13, 2019, 5 a.m.
The child care crisis is about to get worse in Washington after new rules go into effect on August 1.

News >  Spokane
April 6, 2019, 5 a.m.
Let’s say you want to start a new business after retirement, and you do it the American way. You get a business license and liability insurance, check state and local regulations. You hire your son as an employee and set up an L&I account to pay the required taxes and state insurance fees. And then you get a call for an audit.

March 23, 2019, 5 a.m.
A blue sedan turned into the side street as our patrol car pulled up to the stop sign, the driver frantically waving for attention. It had so far been an uneventful ride-along with Cpl. Erin Blessing of the Spokane Police Department on an ordinary afternoon last summer.

March 16, 2019, 5 a.m.
What do you get when a state bureaucrat, two ranchers and a pair of environmentalists walk into an Olympia hearing room? Sometimes, a consensus for policy change. Unfortunately, the Governor’s focus is heavy on social services and climate change, a little light on natural resources this year.

News >  Spokane
March 2, 2019, 5 a.m.
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act has exposed the Democrats’ greatest political vulnerability with young voters

Feb. 23, 2019, 5 a.m.
An attention-seeking actor was arrested this week for allegedly staging a fake hate crime. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson was clearly outraged when he held a news conference to announce the charges against Jussie Smollett for filing a false police report. Besides the demands on scarce Chicago Police Department resources, Johnson was angry at the chilling effect Smollett’s lies would have on future victims.

Feb. 16, 2019, 5 a.m.
Blowing and drifting snow made it impossible to get home from Spokane last Saturday. It was a tough day, and not because of the weather. Five judges interviewed 19 high energy young women for the Lilac Royalty Scholarship Court. There were only seven openings, and twelve girls to be disappointed. I was one of the judges.


Feb. 2, 2019, 5 a.m.
Less than a month old and the Spokane fair elections ordinance has already drawn fire. The target is its chief proponent, City Council President Ben Stuckart.

News >  Spokane
Jan. 26, 2019, 5 a.m.
Going viral can be deadly. In “The Great Influenza,” a history of the 1918 pandemic, author John M. Barry describes a century of research to isolate the origin of the deadly influenza virus. It only took four days to track down the source of the Covington High vs. Nathan Phillips virus, but it was already too late to undo the effect.

News >  Spokane
Jan. 19, 2019, midnight
Spokane Councilman Breean Beggs described it as “the end of the beginning.” In opening remarks at the last in a series of four housing policy forums, Beggs pointed to the “suite of ordinances” passed at Monday’s City Council meeting as a first step in removing barriers to new multi-family and infill housing.

News >  Spokane
Jan. 5, 2019, midnight
Independent cattle producers have a problem with the proposed U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). It’s the same old NAFTA rules with a new name.

News >  Spokane
Dec. 29, 2018, midnight
The brief December interregnum is over. For political parties and elected officials, the end of one campaign means it’s time to launch the next. A dozen candidates have already filed with the Public Disclosure Commission for the 2019 municipal elections in Spokane County.

News >  Spokane
Dec. 22, 2018, midnight
Local talk radio personality Rick Rydell has been off the air in Spokane for two years. He abruptly announced he was taking a sabbatical from KXLY in December 2016, amid speculation over a pending appointment in the Trump administration.

News >  Spokane
Dec. 15, 2018, midnight
It’s possible to develop decent policy without formal stakeholder meetings or a multiyear million dollar study by experts. But it’s difficult-to-impossible without a good definition of the problem. A problem statement was lacking at last week’s public meeting on future housing policy for the City of Spokane.

Dec. 8, 2018, midnight
If you’re unfamiliar with the phrase, or with the acute hearing of dogs, a dog whistle refers to a sound pitched so high only a dog can hear it. When applied to politics, it’s often just another way to insult people.

News >  Spokane
Dec. 1, 2018, midnight
Mom always said people don’t really change as they get older, they just get more and more like themselves. Apparently so do countries.

News >  Spokane
Nov. 24, 2018, midnight
Food, glorious food. The centerpiece of every holiday. Whatever your Thanksgiving tradition, food is the constant whether it’s turkey with sausage stuffing or vegan roasted pumpkin with riced cauliflower dressing. What could be more basic to human existence and thus worthy of thanks?