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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Complaint cites S-R attorney

The Spokesman-Review

A Spokane journalist said he has filed a complaint against The Spokesman-Review’s lawyer for what he believes is a conflict of interest over the River Park Square redevelopment project.

Tim Connor, who writes for the online publication Camas Magazine, contends attorney Duane Swinton and his firm Witherspoon Kelley had a conflict because he served simultaneously as the newspaper’s legal adviser on issues such as open meetings and public documents and as the counsel to the mall development companies that were negotiating aspects of the project with the city of Spokane.

The newspaper and mall development companies are owned by Cowles Co. Connor sent copies of the complaint to the newspaper with a news release saying it was filed Monday with the state Bar Association. Judy Berrett, a spokeswoman for the Bar Association, said court rules prohibit the organization from commenting on whether complaints are filed.

“Anybody who might have an ax to grind against an attorney could file a complaint,” Berrett said.

Swinton said he believes the complaint is “without merit because there was no conflict of interest.”

– Jim Camden

Watering restrictions issued

For residents along the Little Spokane River who are growing accustomed to summer irrigation restrictions, the time is now.

Letters being sent this week will ask 125 junior water-rights holders to stop watering lawns and gardens. Ecology officials say the restrictions will continue throughout the fall.

Jani Gilbert, spokeswoman for the Washington Department of Ecology, said it’s the seventh consecutive year of the restrictions, which are triggered by low water.

“We don’t have a lot of angry calls,” said Gilbert. “People are starting to understand that the river goes down and we need to protect the river and the fish habitat.

River flow last week was 5 percent below the regulatory limit set in 1976.

– Jessica Meyers


West Side has rainy July

As Eastern Washington remains dangerously dry, Western Washington is getting drenched.

Seattle is on pace for one of its 10 wettest Julys on record.

The National Weather Service office in Seattle’s north end recorded .44 of an inch of rain Sunday alone – slightly more than Spokane International Airport’s seen all month – following .22 inches Saturday. That was a record for each day.

The coastal town of Hoquiam saw record totals of .99 inch Saturday and .75 Sunday, while 1.60 fell Saturday at the Quillayute airport in the rain forest west of Forks.

Sea-Tac International Airport gets an average of .79 inches of rain in July. But with a week left in the month, the airport so far has received 1.41 inches.

In contrast, Spokane International has had .42 inches of rain so far this month, with blue skies in the forecast, according to the National Weather Service. Typically, the airport would have seen .60 inches by now and .76 by the end of the month.

– Staff and wire reports

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