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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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Our new WordPress blogging platform

Hi Friends,

After a bit of a hiatus, Spokane Watch is back.  If the site looks different, it is because I recently moved it to WordPress.   I transfered  as many of the posts and pages as I could could from Soapblox to our new WordPress blogging platform .  –Bryan E. Burke, Administrator

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New Jail? No Deal!

By Stillwalkn

A new jail will not make us safer. But it will make us poorer. It will cost every resident of the county nearly $3,000 over the course of the project. I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford an increase in my taxes unless it’s absolutely essential.

What would make a new jail absolutely essential? Would it be an overflow of dangerous violent offenders, so many we would be renting beds in other jails because we had no room for them in our existing jail? Even if this was the case, and it is NOT, we could still explore more cost-effective options, like remodeling existing buildings. If the state can do that, why can’t the county?

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Debates and Non-Debates

When is a debate not a debate? When it is a joint press conference!

Because that is what passes for a debate for candidates these days. It is a collection of one minute and thirty second sound bites that some candidates handle with varying degrees of success.

The point is that we learn very little about the candidates grasp of the issues or their overall philosophy in these little snippets of information.

In a classic form of debate the opponents ask question of each other and put forth their assertions in blocks of five minutes or more. In that kind of format lightweights like a certain congresswoman we know would run out of gas before the time was up. The major disadvantage of longer blocks of time is that television doesn’t accommodate very well, an attention span of anything longer than an eye blink. The other part of that is that there are few candidates who are interesting to watch and listen to for more than 60 seconds.

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