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Moral Leadership: Gay Marriage and Legalized Pot

Well what do ya know.  The lion share of Washington State voters now say they are supporters of gay marriage and legalized marijuana use.  Washingtonians now favor gay marriage and  legalized marijuana use by 20 percentage points and 19 points respectively, according to Public Policy Polling.  Hats off to all the courageous people who have been fighting for these issues for decades if not longer and who had to endure scorn, ridicule, and sometimes worse.

It appears that some voters in Washington State had the heebbie jeebies about gay rights and pot smokers in 2012, and they just could not get themselves to vote for it.  I suspect many of them even knew in their gut that a “yes” vote was the morally correct one.  Now that both of these have passed, the issues are no longer as taboo.  That is what progressive moral leadership does.  It changes people’s world view in favor of human dignity and civil rights.

In 2012 Washingtonians voted to approve gay marriage by 8 points. Now voters in the state say they support gay marriage by 20 points, 56/36. 78% of voters say that its being legal has either had a positive impact on their life or no impact at all, with only 22% claiming gay marriage has affected them negatively. Also 65% of voters in the state think gay conversion therapy should be illegal to only 14% who think it should be allowed. Majorities of voters across party lines- 78/6 with Democrats, 63/14 with independents, and 51/27 with Republicans- think conversion therapy should not be allowed.

Also in 2012 Washingtonians voted to legalize marijuana usage by 12 points. Now voters in the state say they support marijuana being legal by 19 points, 56/37. 77% of voters say marijuana being legal has either had a positive impact on their life or no impact at all, with likewise only 22% claiming marijuana legalization has affected them negatively.

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Wamend.LincolnRally(By Stacey Cossey) Saturday, April 25th marked the launch of Wamend’s Initiative 735: Get BIG Money out of Elections!   Over a hundred Spokane and Northeastern Washington citizens took to the streets to protest the ‘big’ money that is flowing into our political system, influencing the outcome of our elections.

Ordinary citizens carried signs, marched across the Monroe Street Bridge and gathered around the statue of Abraham Lincoln.  In a statement of political art, Abraham is seen to ask “Whatever happened to a government of, by and for the people?”while the people reply “Get BIG Money out of Elections!”

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jacina rally

Photo Credit to Richard Bocook

That was the message at noon today, Friday, by the community and business owners on the double digit block of West Main Ave, downtown Spokane. Last Friday, a transgendered woman, Jacina Carla Scamahorn was assaulted, inside of Boots Bakery, at 24 West Main Ave.  The series of events that followed paints a picture of the Spokane Community that, as a whole, does not tolerate violence or bigotry against gays and transgendered.

Within days, the community demand quick action by the police.  On Monday evening, around a hundred citizens showed up at the scheduled Spokane City Council meeting to voice their outrage and ask for a quick action by the Spokane Police.  On that same day, Spokane Police posted online pictures of suspects that were capture by surveillance cameras, and local media covered the incident.  By Tuesday, Spokane Police arrested two suspects, 45-year old Adam Flippen and 43-year old Marc Fessler.

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breean head

Breean Beggs

I have admired Breean Beggs for a long time.  It is good see him involved in the public debate about why Sean Oie’s killer was released. I am also intrigue about Breean Beggs’ candidacy for Spokane County Prosecutor. Read the rest of this entry

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Different Drummers is a brisk paced family drama that is powered by the bond of friendship between two ten-year old boys who support each other no matter what. Just like Steven King’s “Stand by Me”, Different Drummers reminds you of what it was like to be ten years old and hanging out with your best friend – the best time in the world; the kind of laughs, adventures, mishaps, and “big” trouble that you just can’t match at any other time of your life. Co-writers and co-directors Don Caron and Lyle Hatcher capture that so in this story about the younger Lyle Hatchers childhood friendship.

It is also one of the best films that the Pacific Northwest has recently produced. If you doubt that Spokane writers, directors, and actors could do that, look at the seven awards they have already racked up. Different Drummers premiers this Friday at the AMC theaters in Spokane, WA. Drummers can also be found on Facebook. Read the rest of this entry

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Photo Credit: Center for Justice

(By guest contributor Tim Connor) It has now been almost five months since voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 1 in Spokane, the city charter amendment that requires the City to have an independent police ombudsman. And, yet, we still don’t. Ombudsman Tim Burns’s continues to be shackled by the terms of a 2008 “interim” agreement negotiated behind closed doors between former Mayor Mary Verner and the Spokane Police Guild. He cannot conduct the independent investigations that are now required by the city charter, nor can he issue the independent reports that Proposition 1 requires.

And the question is: Why not? Read the rest of this entry

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Mark Hamilton's house at 217 E. Pacific Republican Pastor Mark Hamilton, who was essentially called a liar by one of his church members, was thrown off the ballot and found ineligible to run for Spokane City Council in 2013.  Why?  Because Carol McGirk and Cathy Gunderson filed a complaint with Superior Court that Hamilton was not eligible to run for office.  Read the rest of this entry

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KYRS Thin Air Community Radio

About KYRS

KYRS-Thin Air Community Radio is a non-profit, non-commercial community station on 88.1 & 92.3 FM & streaming at kyrs.org. Since 2003, Thin Air Radio has served the Spokane area with diverse arts, culture, news and music, filling needs that other media do not, providing programming to diverse communities and un-served or underserved groups. Our signal reaches more than 300,000 people, in parts of five counties and nearly to the Canadian border. We have 60 locally produced programs, all hosted by volunteers, including the only locally produced youth and environmental programs, an Arts program, Native American, Spanish language, African-American, Asian, Russian language, Iranian-American, open poetry, a senior’s program, LGBT, women’s issues and much more. Our music programs span the genres and highlight local and independent artists. KYRS was twice voted #2 Best Radio Station in the region by readers of the Inlander weekly. Read the rest of this entry

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Mt. Spokane State Park Logging Permit Withdrawn

Mt. Spokane, one of our community’s most valuable natural areas has been under constant pressure by development and logging.  Today, the mountain won a reprieve.  The Spokane County Department of Building and Planning decided to withdraw its permit that authorized logging on the western part of Mount Spokane State Park.  This decision will help prevent the further fragmentation of the remaining old-growth forest on Mt. Spokane .  It will also preserve important Biodiversity Areas and Corridors, Riparian zones, and Moose, Elk, and other wildlife habitats.  Below is the press release issued today by The Lands Council and here is a link to their website.

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Candidate Mark Hamilton Ineligible for Spokane City Council?

2005-06-07 23.58.22Conservative candidate Mark Hamilton is finding out that there is more to winning and loosing elections that just the vote count on election day.  Often times it comes down the details of the law.   In fact, Hamilton could lose his race for the Spokane City Council against sitting Councilwomen Amber Waldref months before the first ballots are mailed.  It looks like Mark Hamilton is not a legal resident of the City Ward in which he is running to represent.

The picture to the right is the house in which Mark Hamilton is presently residing. The problem for him is that he has only been there for a few months . . . not long enough to meet the eligibility requirements to run for office.  (The story is also being covered at EWPolitics on this page). Read the rest of this entry

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