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Sunday, April 5, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Public Periscope

By Compiled Jim Camden From Staf

A mess not of our making

Some members of the state Transportation Commission were puzzled Thursday at the sight of hundreds of mangled car bodies along Interstate 90 in the Spokane Valley. One West Sider wanted to know why the view of Spalding Auto Parts wasn’t screened long ago, under Lady Bird Johnson’s highway beautification project … “I don’t think people would appreciate us spending money on fences instead of asphalt,” replied Jerry Lenzi, the regional chief for the state Transportation Department … Perhaps Lenzi forgot that until 1990, the view was screened, by full-bodied Austrian pines planted 25 years earlier under Mrs. Johnson’s program. Then federal officials decided about 100 of the pines were traffic hazards and ordered them felled after workers miscalculated the distance between the trees and the pavement … Many of the poplars planted to replace the pines have died. Others are skinny and sickly.

Tower of power

A few folks have wondered why the Spokane Mountaineers, who were marking the second anniversary of the kidnapping of local psychologist Donald Hutchings, were not allowed to hang a yellow ribbon from the Riverfront Park Clocktower as originally planned. Instead, they tied ribbons around the footbridge behind the Convention Center. Nice, but nowhere near the visibility … The answer can be found in the minutes of last month’s meeting of the Park Board’s Riverfront Park Committee: The anniversary is deserving of attention, the panel said, but “staff does not want to set a precedent as far as using the Clocktower in this way.”

No comment

After a lengthy and often contentious discussion recently on the River Park Square redevelopment, frequent city critic John Talbott asked the council members - excluding Cherie Rodgers - to resign from office … He listed several supposed conflicts of interest as reasons the six should step down. Rodgers wasn’t on the council when major votes related to the project were taken … Talbott was the last person speaking at the public forum. After listening to his speech, a sullen-looking Geraghty said simply, “That completes the forum,” and gaveled the meeting to a close.

A thoughtful gesture

The Spokane City Council plans tonight to declare Wednesday Atomic Veterans Day in honor of veterans who “were subjected to a bombardment of ionizing radiation,” a resolution says… The tribute goes on to ask that the federal government officially recognize these veterans by granting them service-connected medical and disability benefits.

What’s up?

The status of Spokane’s economy and its likely future will be the topic of the issues breakfast Wednesday sponsored by the Citizens League of Greater Spokane and KPBX radio … State Sen. Lisa Brown, Washington Water Power vice president Pete Kerwien, and development consultant Tom Agnew have a weighty topic: “What’s driving our economy and how will this affect regional development, family wage jobs, neighborhood revitalization and preservation of Spokane’s urban core?” The meeting’s at 7:30 a.m. at Cavanaugh’s Inn At the Park, 303 W. North River Drive.

Getting involved

The city of Spokane is looking for three people to fill slots on the Bicycle Advisory Board, one for the Construction Review Board, and a state certified general real estate appraiser for the City/County Historic Landmarks Commission. Deadline for all positions is Friday; applications available on the fifth floor of City Hall, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.

, DataTimes MEMO: Public Periscope, which is published Mondays, is compiled by Jim Camden from staff reports.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Compiled by Jim Camden from staff reports

Public Periscope, which is published Mondays, is compiled by Jim Camden from staff reports.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Compiled by Jim Camden from staff reports

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