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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
May 12, 2018, 6 a.m.
Isolation, family pressures and economic stress are now recognized as major mental health risk factors. And the rugged Rough Rider image Teddy Roosevelt established as the archetype of American manhood makes it hard for many to seek help.

News >  Spokane
May 5, 2018, midnight
After passage in Congress of HR 3144 on April 25, Rep. Dan Newhouse and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers held an open media call. It was interesting as an apprentice journalist to observe the journeymen at work during a virtual news conference. Public officials want to send messages, journalists don’t want to be messengers. But they send messages in every judgment call required to meet their deadline and word count. Journalists always go for numbers. The House vote was 225-189. In eight newspaper stories surveyed online after the news conference, every one of them grabbed this totally objective yet least useful piece of information, which appeared in the second paragraph in all but The Spokesman-Review, which rightfully buried it.

News >  Spokane
April 28, 2018, 6 a.m.
When politicians come together to address any issue, one question underlies all others: Do we need more or less government to solve the problem?

News >  Spokane
April 21, 2018, midnight
A makeover is underway at the site of Expo ’74, to “update and improve Riverfront Park for the next generation.” The 2018 Farm Bill needs to do the same for food stamps, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Like Riverfront Park, SNAP needs updating.

News >  Spokane
April 14, 2018, 4 a.m.
Whether you describe the future of health care as repealing or improving the Affordable Care Act, there is no simple solution. But there is agreement on the need for change to an increasingly unaffordable and too often physically inaccessible health care system.

News >  Spokane
April 7, 2018, 6 a.m.
Walk into The Spark on the WSU Pullman campus and it’s clearly all about high-tech high-performance. Except the bathrooms.

News >  Spokane
March 31, 2018, 4 a.m.
What do a psychiatrist turned med school leader, rural American architecture professors, and a Chinese scholar from the walled mega-city of Xi’an have in common with a Spokane urban infill debate?

News >  Spokane
March 24, 2018, 6 a.m.
Rural culture takes pride in self-reliance. Bureaucracies are built on the cult of the expert from out of town. They’ve found common ground in eastern Oregon and southern Idaho, collaborating to create a system of Rangeland Fire Protection Associations to coordinate the equipment and expertise of local ranchers with fire-fighting agency experts.

News >  Spokane
March 17, 2018, midnight
American producers have filed a lawsuit to support free trade and protect consumers of their product.

News >  Spokane
March 10, 2018, midnight
Two weeks ago, this column highlighted the post-Columbine Rachel’s Challenge and Sandy Hook Promise programs. Both organizations offer evidence-based training to teachers and school staff, with proven effectiveness. They focus on intercepting self-destructive young people before they turn into school shooters or suicide statistics by creating school cultures of connectedness.

News >  Spokane
March 3, 2018, midnight
But there is no longer any reason for an employer to provide bookkeeping and bill paying services. And change has public sector unions scared spitless.

News >  Spokane
Feb. 24, 2018, midnight
After yet another school shooting, the Washington Legislature is again moving the bill to support what experts say works.

Feb. 17, 2018, midnight
We could learn a few things from our cousins in Canada about designing and building infrastructure.

News >  Spokane
Feb. 10, 2018, midnight
HB 2587 purports to be about simply adding fee disclosure requirements for special deputy prosecuting attorneys appointed by an elected county prosecutor. But the bill isn’t about transparency, it’s about revenge.

News >  Spokane
Feb. 3, 2018, midnight
Apollo Fuhriman loves his job. He’s from the government, and he’s helping. His job is finding regulations to eliminate. “We look at regulations, guidance documents, anything the federal government touches that we can streamline, cut, reduce or make easier, better and faster to use by small business.”

News >  Spokane
Jan. 27, 2018, midnight
It’s called the “father factor.” It’s at the root of every negative cultural measure – children twice as likely to drop out of high school, more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, seven times more likely to become a teen pregnancy statistic. Addressing the overwhelming consequences of absent fathers was the focus of the Spokane Fatherhood Initiative’s 2018 conference last Saturday. The initiative seeks to build stronger dads and stronger families. “Spokane as the birthplace of Father’s Day is a good place to energize the fatherhood movement,” said Ron Hauenstein, SpoFI chairman.

News >  Spokane
Jan. 20, 2018, midnight
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wasn’t on the Supreme Court when Roe v. Wade was decided 45 years ago. But in 1983, she wrote a dissenting opinion in a subsequent abortion case. “The Roe framework ... is clearly on a collision course with itself ... As medical science becomes better able to provide for the separate existence of the fetus, the point of viability is moved further back toward conception.” Given the rapid pace of advancement in medical science, that collision may well come before Roe v. Wade’s 50th anniversary.

News >  Spokane
Jan. 13, 2018, 6 a.m.
Bureaucracies never die of natural causes, they have to be killed. Otherwise they keep funding studies to defend their turf.

News >  Spokane
Dec. 30, 2017, midnight
Lack of skepticism spreads fake news in the ongoing civil war of words. This time it was progressives who got snookered.

News >  Spokane
Dec. 23, 2017, midnight
It’s not only sports programs that seek recruits. At Leadership Spokane and the Washington AgForestry Foundation, the next few months will focus on recruiting. So will a new startup called LeaderBuild. All seek to make a difference by strengthening individuals as servant leaders. A century ago, leader was a title and leadership merely described a leader’s activities. In his book “Leading People From The Middle,” Whitworth University’s President Emeritus William P. Robinson writes that under new definitions of leadership, “it doesn’t matter whether you serve as the mayor or the village idiot, you can still provide leadership ... influencing from among, rather than above, below or in front of one’s group.”

Dec. 16, 2017, midnight
She hopes to provide “a modicum of water for rural landowners.” Not adequate water, a modicum. A smidgen. A pittance. A drop in the bucket.

News >  Spokane
Dec. 9, 2017, 6 a.m.
Initiative 502, which legalized marijuana in 2012, requires the state to support education programs with “medically and scientifically accurate information about the health and safety risks posed by marijuana use.” The state would do well to evaluate Spokane’s success.

News >  Spokane
Dec. 2, 2017, midnight
Predicting the future accurately is impossible. Government planning is doomed to fail, according to Randal O’Toole, author of “The Best-Laid Plans.”

News >  Spokane
Nov. 25, 2017, midnight
A 70-year-old Thanksgiving tradition needs disruption. The pair of turkeys presented by the National Turkey Federation could have provided meat for the White House table, but alas, President Trump pardoned Wishbone and Drumstick last Tuesday.

News >  Spokane
Nov. 18, 2017, midnight
The conversation on sexual harassment has been stifled since 1998, when the leader of the National Organization for Women defended a man in executive position who took advantage of women under his authority.