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OLYMPIA – Armed with barbecued chicken and ribs, children’s advocates from Spokane made a pilgrimage to Olympia on Monday to urge local lawmakers to look elsewhere when making billions of dollars in budget cuts. Setting the theme: tin cups, apples for a nickel, and a song: the Depression-era classic, “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?”
OLYMPIA – To state Sen. Chris Marr, it’s a simple cost-benefit analysis. The cost: an estimated $18.2 million a year in state road damage from metal tire studs hammering away at concrete pavement.
OLYMPIA – In what one senator described as “Spokane versus Spokane,” health and government officials clashed Monday over a proposal to remove most of the elected officials who now oversee the Spokane Regional Health District. “Unfortunately, our regional health district has been politicized,” Sen. Chris Marr told a Senate committee.
For more than two years, the Spokane Regional Health District has been without a permanent health officer, and the board can’t seem to make up its mind if it wants to keep looking or come up with a different administrative structure. Two Spokane lawmakers, state Sens. Chris Marr and Lisa Brown, are now offering a legislative solution intended to get the district on steadier footing. Their promising plan would establish a health board that relies on professional and technical expertise more than on political finesse.
It has been described as the most ambitious artistic undertaking in Washington state history. A newspaper writer once speculated it could become as significant a tourist attraction as Mount Rushmore. But two decades after Chewelah sculptor David Govedare began work on “Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies,” it remains unfinished, hundreds of thousands of dollars away from fulfilling the artist’s dream for a piece of public art on a barren bluff in the middle of the state.