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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
Nov. 11, 2017, midnight
While the struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder is real, the stereotype of mental illness as the cause of violence is not. It’s a cringe-inducing link for those who know and love someone who lives with a mental health diagnosis. On Veterans Day, we honor all those who served and came back. Time to honor our veterans further by laying to rest a destructive stereotype, the myth of the veteran as a “ticking time bomb.”

News >  Spokane
Nov. 4, 2017, midnight
It was a case of incredibly bad timing and human error, but not a conspiracy. The Public Disclosure Commission changed the website on October 26th to make it more user-friendly. In the simplification process, the technical team left out two columns of address data in the primary campaign interface.

News >  Spokane
Oct. 28, 2017, midnight
Headlines on the dangers of high-powered opioids are all over the news this week, with scary stories of people who started with a legal prescription and ended seeking illegal heroin. But what changed in the last 30 years to create a crisis?

News >  Spokane
Oct. 21, 2017, midnight
There is a national progressive movement using municipal legislation to drive state and federal policy through the courts. Does Spokane want an increasingly political City Council, or one that focuses on city business?

News >  Spokane
Oct. 14, 2017, midnight
We are notoriously poor at judging risk. We worry most about what we don’t understand, have never experienced or feel most powerless to control. We overlook familiar yet hazardous everyday actions. Risk management experts call this the “risk perception gap.”

News >  Spokane
Oct. 7, 2017, midnight
The eye of the Category 4 storm swept across the center of the island. A U. S. Navy installation recorded a peak gust of 227 mph before it was blown away. The president had been criticized earlier in the hurricane season for a slow response in Florida, and FEMA was on top of this one. Even before the hurricane made landfall in Kauai on Sept. 11, 1992, federal resources were headed toward a staging area on Oahu, only 108 air miles from Hurricane Iniki’s destruction. One of those resources was in the belly of a C-141 cargo plane with two pallets of supplies and 25 medical personnel. One of those resources was me.

News >  Spokane
Sept. 30, 2017, midnight
Nationally known speaker Nonie Darwish, an Egyptian-American immigrant, was featured at this week’s Spokane College Women’s Association luncheon. Thirty years living in a culture based on Islamic values highlighted to her the differences from Western European and American values.

Sept. 24, 2017, midnight
Last Friday night, my fellow panelists and I dutifully arrived early for the taping of “On Point” with Tom Ashbrook. It was Spokane Public Radio’s annual thank you event for underwriters and volunteers. Ashbrook usually hosts his show live from Boston, but is on a “Listening to America Tour.” Spokane was his only scheduled stop west of the Mississippi. The blue team panelists were Peter Goldmark, former Washington state commissioner of public lands, and Cody Desautel, natural resource director for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation. I represented the red team.

News >  Spokane
Sept. 23, 2017, midnight
Instead of working out how to negotiate a labor contract in public, Lincoln County and the Teamsters lawyered up for a fight.

News >  Spokane
Sept. 16, 2017, midnight
A group of health care leaders and policymakers gathered Wednesday afternoon at the Inland Northwest State of Reform Healthcare Policy Conference for one last breakout discussion. The topic was “Building a Post-ACA System in Washington State.”

News >  Spokane
Sept. 9, 2017, midnight
The sensational headlines started before the rain stopped, blaming Houston’s disastrous flooding on its lack of a zoning code.

News >  Spokane
Sept. 2, 2017, midnight
This wasn’t how the school year was supposed to start. The plan was to open bids in July and proceed in August. Construction equipment and temporary safety fencing should have been in place before students arrived this week. And it’s not happening.

News >  Spokane
Aug. 26, 2017, midnight
Tearing down statues is a perverse sort of idolatry, imbuing bronze and stone with metaphysical power.

News >  Spokane
Aug. 19, 2017, 11:07 a.m.
Washington the state is well represented by women in Washington, DC. Both United States Senators and four of our ten Congressional Representatives are women.

News >  Spokane
Aug. 12, 2017, midnight
Students have always been expected to bring their own basic supplies. The cost of fully funding the supplies list for a typical 5th grader is $30 to $60 or more per child depending on the district, not counting gym shoes and a backpack.

News >  Spokane
Aug. 5, 2017, midnight
Declaring healthcare political theater over last weekend may have been premature. A recent column on new bipartisan efforts in Congress referred to Republican reform proposals as “a circus of half-truths and no-truths and obfuscation and skullduggery.” Ironic, considering the author of the Democratic reform said “Obamacare only passed due to the “stupidity” of the American voter and a lack of “transparency.”

News >  Spokane
July 28, 2017, 3:33 p.m.
Finally. Let’s declare the political theater phase of health care reform over.

News >  Spokane
July 21, 2017, 4:43 p.m.
The small public meeting on Wednesday in Colfax was not normal bureaucracy. No charts on the wall with Post-it notes for comments. No three-minute testimony time. It was an honest conversation around a table on the application of science to policy.

News >  Spokane
July 14, 2017, 10:59 p.m.
On Monday night, the Spokane City Council will take up a topic of vital interest to every citizen. Not effective pothole repair. Not timely snow removal. Not how to pay for more police on the beat. Not even weighing in on whether to cover or not cover the Pavilion at Riverfront Park.

News >  Spokane
July 8, 2017, midnight
Camping on Independence Day weekend can mean enduring a thoughtless stranger’s ill-timed fireworks.

News >  Spokane
July 1, 2017, midnight
We have a state budget and if the Legislature does it right, everyone will be a little bit unhappy.

News >  Spokane
June 23, 2017, 10:40 p.m.
It was the former drill sergeant on a February 2017 Heritage Foundation panel discussion who announced, “Biology isn’t bigotry, biology is the truth.” In her opinion, the transgender agenda is not about bathrooms, but about male violence and patriarchal domination of women. She doesn’t care if you call her a bigot.

News >  Spokane
June 16, 2017, 10:19 p.m.
The assassination attempt on an Alexandria, Virginia, baseball diamond reminded all Americans of the dangers our elected officials face. A normal day was interrupted by hatred.

News >  Spokane
June 10, 2017, midnight
The setting was a hotel conference room. A chair with a numbered helium balloon indicated the hot seat as men and women moved from table to table seeking a potential match.

News >  Spokane
June 5, 2017, midnight
Tomi Lahren wasn’t what I was expecting. The best encounters with new people always start that way.