(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.
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
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
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.
Conservative 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
Washington State Rep. Marcus Riccelli just sent out his first email newsletter to his constituents on February 7. He comments on one of the bills he introduced this session and the growing healthcare sector in Spokane. Read the rest of this entry
Washington State Representative Matt Shea (R) of Spokane Valley wants to change how the State divides up its electoral college delegates for the U.S. President. Currently, the majority winner of Washington States’ popular vote gets all the delegates. Matt Shea wants to divide the electoral college delegates between Eastern and Western Washington. Shea’s idea would likely benefit Republican candidates since Democratic candidates for President usually win the majority of popular votes in the State of Washington and Republicans usually win the majority of votes in Eastern Washington. Read the rest of this entry
There was a memorial potluck honoring Craig Salins this last Saturday January 19, in the Community Building downtown Spokane. Craig Salins was the Director of Washington Public Campaigns and passed away unexpectedly last fall. He was a passionate leader and advocate for campaign finance reform and government by the people, as free as possible from meddling of corporations and special interests. Craig will be missed as a friend and leader.
The evening included the dedication of a beautiful teak bench honoring Craig – to become a sturdy presence in the lobby for activists to rest – or to stand and deliver – to say what they need to say! Regardless, it abutted the 3rd anniversary of the Citizen’s United decision. Also, there was presented a DVD tribute to Craig, prepared by friends Lolly Bates and Mark Early from Seattle, and special guest Ken Dammand, Washington Public Campaigns board member and WAMEND attended.
(Editorial) Police are allowed to investigate themselves. Really, that is the current ludicrous situation. That is now what happens when a citizen files a complaint about the Spokane Police Department. There are no checks and balances. No real oversight. No Transparency. Prop 1 on the Spokane Ballot for the February 12 election would change that.
Prop 1 in Spokane mandates independent investigations of complaints of police misconduct. It also gives average citizens a voice by creating a citizen oversight committee. We need this to prevent another citizen like Otto Zehm from being killed. Here is a video and transcript of Spokane City Councilwomen Amber Waldref asking us to vote “yes” for Prop 1 to support our Spokane Office of Police Ombudsman and giving him or her the authority to independently conduct real investigations. According to Spokane City Councilwomen Amber Waldref, Read the rest of this entry
(Editorial) There will be a proposition on your February 12 ballot to hamstring our Spokane City Council and make it harder for them to do their jobs. Prop 2 is a confusing idea what would allow a small minority (2 out of 7) sitting council member to stop some of it the most important work. It is undemocratic and unnecessary.
Here is a video of Ben Stuckart, President of the Spokane City Council asking for you to vote “No” on Prop. 2 in Spokane and against minority rule.
I am asking you to vote “No” on proposition 2. On February 12 we have an election, and Proposition 2 is a charter change to require a 5/7 majority or over 70% of the people elected to the Spokane City Council to change any existing taxes or any new taxes.
Spokane is the major city in Eastern Washington. For a century, it has been a cultural, economic, and political hub of the Inland Northwest. It was once a railroad town. However, the trains are now few. Our economy has become more centered on light industry and the information economy.
We held the World's Fair in the 70s, and we still host Hoopfest, Pigout in the Park, and the Lilac Festival. If you like small town's that feel big. You will like Spokane.