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The Slice: Give him Spokane, and keep the change

It seems like everybody around here wants some sort of change.

You know, more of this. Less of that.

Some say we need a new outlook. Others contend that we ought to go back to the way things were. And so on.

But today The Slice introduces you to someone with a unique perspective. Prepare to meet The Guy Who Pretty Much Likes Spokane Just the Way it is Now.

What follows is a transcript of our exchange. As always, you won’t believe what the interviewee had to say.

Slice: So are you against progress?

The Guy Who…: Not really. I just think Spokane is OK the way it is. There are enough things to do. It’s still pretty easy to get from Point A to Point B. You don’t have to spend all day on a scary tangle of freeways. And the airport is not a daunting labyrinth.

Slice: Would you describe yourself as apathetic?

The Guy Who…: No. I’m just not a perpetual malcontent.

Slice: But certainly you would agree that Spokane has problems.

The Guy Who…: Sure. But compared to what — Fantasy Land? There are problems everywhere. In big cities, the permanent poor have been written off. And lots of little towns might just dry up and blow away. Spokane has challenges, but at least our situation isn’t hopeless.

Slice: So would it be correct to say you are resistant to change?

The Guy Who…: Look, change happens. It’s the natural order of things. A few more bike lanes would be fine. I’m just saying we have it good here, assuming your health and finances are OK.

Slice: But a lot of young people leave.

The Guy Who…: That’s what young people do.

Slice: So are you more likely to side with cranky complainers who long for the good old days or with progressive visionaries who speak of Spokane almost exclusively in terms of its potential?

The Guy Who…: I’m more apt to side with those who realize that these are the good old days and that this is the future we imagined.

Slice: So how is that not complacency?

The Guy Who…: Because I’m not arguing that things should stand still.

Slice: Tell me something you don’t like about Spokane.

The Guy Who…: I fear that our relative lack of racial and ethnic diversity gives bigots the mistaken idea that their attitudes are acceptable here.

Slice: Tell me something you like.

The Guy Who…: I like it when someone tells those people that they are wrong.

•Today’s Slice question: What snacks do you keep at your work station?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail For previous Slice columns, see I’m thinking of sponsoring a newspaper-throwing contest for long-retired paperboys/girls.

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