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Walmart is Detroying Us

(Posted for Keith Milligan) In 1976, I was working at a small family owned hardware store in Covington, LA. It was enough to  support me and my new family until Wal-Mart came to town. My hrs. were cut in half which caused considerable financial hardship on me as the sole provider, at the time, of our young family. Needless to say, I don’t shop at Wal-Mart, with such a negative impact on my personal finances caused by their arrival into my hometown at the time.

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Rob McKenna won the first debate? I don’t think so

Rob McKenna has been making his rounds with the outlandish claim that he won the first debate with candidate Jay Inslee for Governor of Washington.  The debate occurred in Spokane two weeks ago.  Maybe McKenna thought  it was a contest to be the most annoying, or the most elitist, or perhaps who could bash middle-class American’s the hardest.

To quote one audience member who was at the Jay Inslee vs. Rob McKenna debate, Rob McKenna was apparently “blaming homeowners for the financial crisis.”

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NeuroPolitician has some things to say about the Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna gubernatorial debate in Spokane last week.  He did not like it much.  I have to agree.  Political debates usually put me to sleep.

Candidates rarely say anything interesting.  Candidates know that debates rarely influence the outcome of races, except when one of them screws up big time.  Therefore, in this era of gotcha politics, candidates are incredibly cautious in debates.  Typically, one or both sides insist on no cross questioning, no outside cameras, and no questions from the audience.  Consequently, political debates usually end of being exactly as NeuroPolitician describes below. You can read his entire post that was prompted by the Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna gubernatorial debate on his blog.

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Candidate for Governor, Jay Inslee, recently spoke to community leaders in Spokane.  Jay Inslee placed an emphasis on job creation and matching our educational system to the needs of the work force in Washington State.  As a U.S. Congressman, Jay helped create millions of jobs  accross the country through his vote for the Stimulus Bill.   An example right here in Spokane County, is the Demand Energy Project in Liberty Lake.

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Rich Cowan gained my respect.

Okay.  He already had my respect.    Rich Cowan is an accomplished professional who has brought hundreds of jobs to Spokane through his business North by North West.  Of course I admire that.

This last week he gained my respect in a more significant way.  I now know a bit more about the “stuff from which he is made.”

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Denny Dellwo announces run for the Legislature

This is great news for anyone that holds a fondness for the working class, tolerance of one’s neighbors, restoring the state budget, and the general idea of sanity.  Democrat Denny Dellwo is challenging incumbent John Ahern for the 3rd Legislative District Seat in Spokane.

Denny should be a very strong candidate, and the eccentric Ahern appears vulnerable.  Dellwo was elect to the  Washington State House of Representatives years ago, but then chose not to seek re-election. He instead wanted to go back to the private sector. Now he is eager to return to public service.

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Ben Stuckart off to a great start

Spokane Council President Ben Stuckart has hit the ground running to address the issues on which he campaigned.  Police reform is on the top of his agenda.

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New Spokane County Jail Will Not Be on the 2012 Ballot

It came as no surprise, but it is now official.  The County of Spokane will not be placing a construction bond on the 2012 ballot to finance their proposed new Spokane County Jail.

New Spokane County Jail

Back in 2011, the Spokane County Commission and the Sheriff’s Department were planning to place their construction bond on that years’ ballot. However, they retreated from that election year as well. There was and still is a growing public reluctance to spend tax dollars on massive new public works projects like a new Spokane County Jail when alternatives have not been fully explored.

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You know . . . sometimes you meet another person and realize you have met a great human being.  While speaking in Spokane oationn the need for police reform, retired Seattle Police Chief, Norm Stamper, gave me that much respect.  It was not because of his accomplishments, knowledge, or oratory skills.  While significant, these are not the source of his exceptionalism.

It is his humility and courage behind it.  Norm Stamper has the self-honesty to share his own mistakes and lessons learned, and do so in a way that compels others to examine their own life and strive for self improvement.  In the movement for police reform, Norm Stamper is a leader in the best possible way . . . by example.

In the video to the right, Chief Stamper discusses the time he falsely arrested a citizen out of power lust, and how having to confront what he did changed him into the reformer he is.

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Occupying St. Paddy’s Day in Spokane

St. Paddy’s Day has been celebrated in different ways by different people.  Sometimes, it has been used as a day of protest in the Irish tradition of fighting the establishment as this video documents.  Of course, the most common tributes to Irish culture have usually been parades, bagpipes, and partying.  It was also occupied by Occupy Spokane.

For 1,000 years, St. Paddy’s Day was a religious day of observance of Saint Patrick and celebrated with Irish bacon and cabbage.  It became more secularized when Irish Immigrants formed the Charitable Irish Society of Boston and held the first St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 17th, 1737 to draw attention to their plight.

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