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The Slice: In honor of George Washington’s actual birthday

When there have been enough presidents to provide unique names for the other 49 states (at least on an honorary basis), what would you guess Idaho would be called?

Adams? Jeffersonia? Harrison? Reagan? Trump? East Washington?

Let’s move on.

Co-worker of the month: Here’s my self-nomination. This happened before 7 a.m., a few days ago.

A colleague who was the second person into the newsroom appeared over by the City Desk. From opposite ends of the newsroom, we exchanged greetings. Then I returned my attention to the tasks at hand.

A little while later, I started getting repeated phone calls from the same number. Three or four of them.

I often let people leave a message when it’s the start of the day and I’m just trying to get in gear. And that’s what I did.

Shortly after that, I heard a persistent banging sound. It seemed to be coming from across the floor. It was loud but not unprecedented. The building maintenance folks sometimes tackle potentially disruptive projects early.

Now, in my defense, it did not occur to me that the sound could be coming from the newsroom security door, which can be opened only with an employee ID badge. In any event, my City Desk colleague, who I cannot see when both of us are seated, was much closer to the door.

At some point, I checked my email. It showed that I had a message from the fellow over at the City Desk.

The mental light bulb flashed on. I stood up and instantly saw that he was outside the see-through security door, wanting to get in. Apparently he had exited the newsroom shortly after arriving, leaving his ID badge at his desk.

There are security guards at the Review Tower who could have let him back in the newsroom. But I suppose he assumed my journalist’s curiosity would eventually be roused by his rattling of the security door.

Boy, I’ll tell you, being the first person in the newsroom carries a lot of responsibility. I once had to call the editor of this newspaper – and get his wife to wake him up – to report that an insanely offensive headline intended to be a joke had somehow gotten into that morning’s paper. But that’s another story.

Today’s Slice question: On this date in 1980, who around here found himself surrounded by the group of people most clueless about hockey – and about the extent to which the “Miracle on Ice” was truly mind-blowing?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email How many free throws would you make if you had 20 chances?

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