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Monday, June 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Paul Turner: Let’s make kids bored again this summer

Some of us are concerned that kids in Spokane have lost their edge when it comes to complaining about being bored. The solution? Try a conversation about local current events.

Everything is Copy: How can I say this so we can stay in this car together?

Mark Twain said many funny, true, quotable things, but among them was not “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything out it.” He simply repeated the quip of …

No astroturf in anti-tax initiative’s grass roots

I-1648 has no paid signature gatherers. No paid staff. No millions in out-of-state money buying an astroturf campaign. But a Facebook page about the initiative has exploded with support, and …

Shawn Vestal: Teachers make lasting, important impressions

As another academic year comes to a close, as schools mark the end of this season, celebrate graduations and promotions, and commence summer vacation, I remember all of my teachers.

Shawn Vestal: Don’t compare a drag queen to a blackfaced minstrel

When people try to co-opt blackface for their own unrelated political aims – by, say, comparing drag queens to blackface performers – it cynically reduces the historical crime of blackface …

Paul Turner: There’s a conspiracy against people writing checks

The last couple of batches of checkbooks I have received are all but impossible to use. It’s a plot. I see that now.

Paul Turner: An exercise to figure out what makes Spokane tick

You’re looking at the newspaper and see a local story that you suspect will generate a letter to the editor. Do you try to imagine the opening sentence of that …

UPDATED: Tue., June 11, 2019, 9:47 p.m.

Sue Lani Madsen: Library’s “Drag Queen Story Hour” not whole story on gender fluidity

Libraries promote reading, but Spokane Public Library’s story-hour theme based on drag queens takes a particular stand on gender fluidity.

Paul Turner: When you gotta go, you gotta go

Traveling in the West is a bit different than elsewhere when the time comes to find a restroom.

Paul Turner: When a city slicker is forced to be an urban farmer

Ever have one of those moments when you are reminded, to an acute degree, that you did not grow up on a farm?

How about gardening for your summer self-improvement project?

As frameworks for self-improvement regimens go, summer’s not bad. Do you have anything in mind for a midyear resolution?

Paul Turner: We all have a different way of welcoming summer

Opinions vary about just when summer begins.

Ask the doctors: Just throw away that E. coli-ridden food

Ask the doctors advice column for Saturday, May 25, 2019.

Sue Lani Madsen: How are the children?

“How are the children,” Victor Rivas Rivers asked, quoting a traditional Masai greeting. It’s a measure of the health of the community. When children grow up experiencing abuse first or …

Shawn Vestal: It’s almost time for our fifth season

Who’s ready for summer? Swimming, grilling, camping, coughing …

Shawn Vestal: Universities should look at their out-of-classroom spending growth before they start slashing budgets

As Eastern Washington University wades into the thicket of budget cutting by 3.5% here and 3.5% there, there’s another percentage that’s worth consideration. One hundred and fifty-five percent.

Shawn Vestal: Avista, whatever that means, should rename itself something meaningful. How about Washington Water Power?

What if – upon the occasion of Scott Morris’ retirement as head honcho – Avista decided to return to the name that is a part of city skyline? The name …

Sue Lani Madsen: The glimmers of hope for mental health

“Our commitment is to continually making things better. You can’t wake up every morning frustrated,” advised Jeff Thomas, CEO of Frontier Behavioral Health. Actually, you can, but it’s not healthy. …

Steve Christilaw: How did it get so late so soon?

Where does the time go?

UPDATED: Mon., May 13, 2019, 6:04 p.m.

Beyond wholesome: When Doris Day was an unlikely sex symbol

For some men of a certain age, the sad news that Doris Day had died rekindled conflicted memories.

Paul Turner: Your approach to dandelions may say a lot about your personality

In the lawn-loving Spokane area, your attitude about dandelions can almost amount to a distinct personality profile.

Shawn Vestal: Life may have hit some wrong notes along the way, but my mom never stopped playing

When I play the piano, I hit a lot of wrong notes. But I’m lucky to know, because my mom showed me, that if I keep trying, I’ll hit more …

Sue Lani Madsen: Thank you, mental health care ‘system’

He is now officially homeless. Thank you, mental health care “system,” you have done it again.

Shawn Vestal: The Morris family’s ‘War on Christmas’ got them exactly what they wanted – publicity

The Christmas-loving Morrises, of Hayden, have again donned their robes as victims of religious persecution.

Paul Turner: Keep your hands to yourself and watch what you say at cookouts

What exactly are grounds for ejection from a Spokane area backyard cookout?

Paul Turner: Losing your phone in the woods would be un-bear-able

As you know, today is the unofficial start of portable toilet season in the Inland Northwest.

UPDATED: Mon., May 6, 2019, 6:36 a.m.

Shawn Vestal: ‘Homeless Island’ idea touted in ‘Seattle is dying’ based on Rhode Island program that isn’t as reported

Perhaps you’ve heard recently of the “genius” of Rhode Island’s approach to homelessness.

Sue Lani Madsen: Road not taken – what didn’t pass in 2019

Once again, the Washington legislature adjourned without agreeing to pay its fair share of election costs. “Could have been worse, but still not a good session for local government. They …

UPDATED: Wed., May 1, 2019, 4:09 p.m.

Steve Christilaw: It’s cliché to point this out, but we don’t care

There are things in life that go together so well that you just can’t separate them.

Paul Turner: Just how well do you know the kid who mows your lawn?

Here’s a guide to quizzing the neighborhood kid before he starts the lawnmower.