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Sheila Collins came for a temporary job and stayed to make lasting changes as one of Spokane’s “unsung heroes.”
Seven years ago, Chris Marr was finishing his first term as a state senator from Spokane, serving as Majority Whip and Vice Chair of the Transportation Subcommittee.
OLYMPIA -- Retired state agency executive, county prosecutor nominated to openings on state board that oversees liquor and legal marijuana.
OLYMPIA – Two of the three members of the state board that oversees Washington’s liquor and marijuana laws will step down early next year. That includes Chris Marr, a former Spokane businessman and state senator, who is resigning in January to take a position as a lobbyist. And Chairwoman Sharon Foster has informed Gov. Jay Inslee that she will not accept a reappointment to the Liquor Control Board when her term expires in January.
Potheads, your 15 minutes are about over. TV cameras will not trail you much longer. Newspaper columnists will stop seeking your comments. Tie-dye and Jamaican dreadlock covers will fade from the media spotlight. We will all – I promise – eventually stop making lame jokes about Doritos and Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.”
OLYMPIA – Potential growers, processors and vendors of marijuana will be able to apply for state licenses in one month. On Wednesday, the agency in charge of setting up Washington’s recreational marijuana system approved rules businesses will have to follow to get the industry off the ground.
Total Wine & More, the nation’s largest liquor retailer, intends to build its second area liquor store in Spokane Valley, the company announced Friday. The 25,000-square-foot, $1.7 million retail center will open in time for the holidays.
In one of the biggest turnouts in the state, more than 450 people packed the state Liquor Control Board’s public forum Tuesday night in Spokane to talk about Washington’s baby steps into the world of state-sanctioned sales of recreational marijuana. The clearly supportive crowd at the Spokane Convention Center mostly raised objections to what’s perceived as the bureaucratic red tape set out by Initiative 502, which was approved by 55 percent of state voters and directs authorities to establish a system of production, distribution and sales of marijuana to people older than 21.
It’s impossible to overstate the impact of the Riverpoint higher education campus on Spokane. Today it boasts nine academic buildings, with a new medical school to follow. Five universities offer degrees ranging from business and education to medicine and dentistry. Nearby, technology companies are incubated and medical research takes place. It is an initiative that has taken decades of tireless advocacy, guided by a unified community vision. Following the successful redevelopment of River Park Square in 1999, broad support emerged for an economic strategy focused on developing the Davenport Arts District, Kendall Yards and the struggling East Downtown area bordering Riverpoint. Today, development on the north bank of the Spokane River and the vibrancy of the Davenport District are encouraging. The Riverpoint campus, driven largely by Washington State University’s presence, has seen astounding facility and program growth. Yet the revitalization of East Downtown, despite the commendable efforts of philanthropist/activist Jim Sheehan, has languished. It’s time to assess the reasons why East Downtown is struggling and implement a solution.
OLYMPIA – Washington should abolish the Liquor Control Board and see if a private company can do a better job of managing the state lottery, Gov. Chris Gregoire said Thursday. It should also spread some of the efficiency standards and cost-cutting measures successful in business, known as Lean, across more state agencies, she said in proposing a series of government reforms for the Legislature to consider when it returns next month.
Democrat Chris Marr conceded defeat Wednesday night in the record-breaking million-dollar battle for a Spokane County state Senate seat. Marr made up some ground in the second day of ballot counting against Republican Michael Baumgartner, but he said it was too little to make a difference.