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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Opinion

In their words

A selection of quotations from people in recent news stories, big and small

“This is something that had been the stuff of science fiction.”

– U.S. astronaut Michael Barratt, celebrating the taste of drinking water that had been recycled from crew members’ urine and sweat aboard the International Space Station.

“I, of course, don’t think it’s a very good idea to increase the cost to business during this economic climate. It is still in a list for consideration because we are going to have to balance the budget.”

– Spokane Mayor Mary Verner, regarding the prospects of sharply increasing city business license fees to replenish municipal revenues.

“When the president of the United States asks you to step up and serve in a capacity like this, that, to me, is the end of the conversation and the beginning of the obligation to rise to the challenge.”

– Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, a Republican, after being nominated by President Barack Obama to become U.S. ambassador to China.

“With all due respect, the budget reduction proposal being advanced by Dr. (Rodolfo) Arévalo does little to protect instructional programs despite all the rhetoric expressing otherwise.”

– Geology professor John P. Buchanan, director of Eastern Washington University’s environmental science program, saying the school should deal with its financial difficulties by diverting half of the state support of EWU athletics to academics.

“People get on a plane and believe, ‘My purse has been screened, my person has been screened, everything has been screened.’ They don’t realize that in the belly of the plane there’s a lot of commerce that hasn’t been.”

Mark Powers, of the Washington state Horticultural Association, whose members are concerned about delays their perishable exports could incur because of requirements for more rigorous examinations of air cargo.

“It is our people who are dying now from bombs, shells, illness and hunger. …We have decided to silence our guns.”

– Tamil Tigers official Selvarasa Pathmanathan, as the insurgent group announced it was giving up its 25-year battle for independence from Sri Lanka.

“We’re not going to get off Middle Eastern oil by connecting up all the ellipticals all over the country.”

– University of Oregon sustainability director Steve Mital, saying a UO project to generate electricity from physical fitness equipment on campus is more about making a point about renewable energy than making a dent in the community’s power consumption.

“It’s not that everything is perfect, but when you step back it’s a pretty impressive start.”

– Sierra Club deputy national field director Bill Arthur, assessing the shift in environmental policies from the Bush administration to the Obama administration.

“It didn’t matter how I felt, I was excited just to race. That’s the most important thing. I still have that drive and that passion to race.”

– Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps, who set meet records in winning his first two races since competing in the Summer Games in Beijing nine months earlier.

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