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If you missed the last McMorris Rodgers v. Pakootas debate. . .

Oct. 30, 2014 5:21 p.m. - Updated: 5:24 p.m.

You can watch it on the web, at KHQ's Decision 2014.

The debate was sponsored by Greater Spokane Incorporated, the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce and the West Plains Chamber of Commerce Thursday afternoon at The Lincoln Center. The candidates touched on the economy, jobs, immigration and Fairchild Air Force Base.

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Pakootas, McMorris Rodgers have final debate today

Oct. 30, 2014 1:17 p.m. - Updated: 2:29 p.m.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Democratic challenger Joe Pakootas have their third and final debate today at the Lincoln Center.

The debate is sponsored by Greater Spokane Incorporated, the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce and the West Plains Chamber of Commerce, a lineup that might be considered a home-field advantage for the incumbent.

The two debated in Walla Walla early this month, and at KSPS-TV last week. To see the video of the televised debate, click here.

The debate starts 4 p.m. at 1316 N. Lincoln St. Admission charge is $10.

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Finalists for Huntington Park plaza

Oct. 30, 2014 9:27 a.m. - Updated: 10:26 a.m.

The city's plan commission recommended three names for the new plaza next to City Hall to the City Council this week, and the names reflect recent history and Native culture.

The commission, which has been discussing the names since July, suggested naming the plaza after John Moyer, a local doctor and politician who died this year; King Cole, a key figure in Expo '74; and the Gathering Place, which would be written in both English and Salish.

The City Council will consider the recommendations and make the final decision on naming the plaza on Nov. 10.


Plenty of money for general election, not so many votes

Oct. 29, 2014 5:35 p.m. - Updated: 5:35 p.m.

OLYMPIA – With control of the state Senate in the balance, legislative candidates could pull in record amounts of money. Some ballot measure campaigns also are spending heavily as the election deadline approaches.

Their fates may be decided by a relatively small number of voters. Early turnout is light throughout the state, and less than half of Spokane County’s eligible voters are expected to return their ballots. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.


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Spokane Valley No. 1 “centrist” city? USA Today says so

Oct. 28, 2014 4:55 p.m. - Updated: 4:55 p.m.

Local readers of USA Today might have been pleased recently when the city of Spokane Valley was mentioned in one of those trendy “list” stories as No. 1. But they may have been incredulous that it topped the list it was on.

Spokane Valley was listed as the nation's best city for political “centrists”.

That's right, the Spokane Valley, which currently has no Democrats running in its legislative races, where candidates for nonpartisan municipal offices proudly mention their Republican affiliation — and sometimes vie for being a better Republican than the opponent — and have so few Democrats that some D precinct caucuses could be held in a phone booth, if one could find a phone booth. Yes, that Spokane Valley.

USA Today got the Centrist List, as well as the most conservative and the most liberal list, from the Livability Website, which seems to have compiled its rankings with some bad information. . .

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Waldref’s letter, Cannon’s response and McKinney’s local connection

Oct. 28, 2014 11:15 a.m. - Updated: 11:27 a.m.

Out of the $13 million in federal grant assistance the city of Spokane doles out every year, about $3.6 million comes from a type of grant aimed at homelessness referred to as McKinney funding.

Today, we wrote about some difficulties the city's Community, Housing and Human Services department has had since its creation more than two years ago, including the loss of Salem Arms Community Housing as a partner.

It turns out that McKinney funding, which Salem Arms relied on for some of its housing, has its origin story in Spokane.

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act was sponsored by U.S. Rep. Tom Foley in 1987, and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. At the time, Foley was the long time Democratic representative of eastern Washington and the House Majority Leader. Two years later, he would be elevated to be Speaker of the House and second in line to the presidency, only after the vice president. In 1995, after 30 years in office, he was defeated by George Nethercutt, and succeeded as speaker by Newt Gingrich. Foley died last year.

According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, the McKinney act “was the first – and remains the only – major federal legislative response to homelessness.”

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WA Post views Z factor in 6th Lege District race

Oct. 27, 2014 8:26 p.m.

Only a few legislative races in the hinterlands merit a story in the esteemed Washington Post. So the candidates in the 6th Legislative District Senate race might count themselves lucky.

Or maybe not. The story spends quite a bit of time on zombies.

It details Democratic challenger Rich Cowan's work with North-by-Northwest, which brought Z Nation to Spokane, and Republican Sen. Mike Baumgartner's questioning of the state tax preference that helps bring film projects to Washington. It also makes assorted various references to zombies that have become part of the political lingo in recent months. 

At times it seems as though the Post thinks  folks in the 6th might actually mark their ballots based on their feelings about the undead.

But at least it has a reference to a scintillating story about a zombie-themed protest at the state Capitol a few years back. So we give it a thumbs up.


State, county lose round in PCB dispute

Oct. 27, 2014 4:40 p.m. - Updated: 5:26 p.m.

OLYMPIASpokane County’s new wastewater treatment plant will need a new permit that measures the amount of a cancer-causing chemical it’s putting in the Spokane River, a Thurston County Superior Court judge ruled.

Judge Eric Price agreed with a state Pollution Control Hearings Board that the wastewater facility is adding polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, to the river in the water it discharges after treatment. He also agreed that PCB reduction provisions of the current discharge permit are so inadequate they must be replaced with numeric limits. . . 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

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Last call for voter registration

Oct. 26, 2014 2:37 p.m.

Washington residents who want to do something about the prospect of poor turnout for the November election but aren’t registered to vote have one last chance. If they are eligible – American citizens, state residents, over 18 and haven’t lost the right to vote by being convicted of a felony or a mental commitment – they can still sign up.

But they have to do it Monday, in person, at the local county elections office. In Spokane County, that’s at 1033 W. Gardner Ave. (conveniently located between the courthouse and REI just off Monroe Street). Can’t do it on line or by mail. And this is the absolute, final, no spit Sherlock chance to register before election day.


Sunday Spin2: Is WA ‘the bluest state’?

Oct. 26, 2014 8:34 a.m.

The Hill, meanwhile, came up a with a formula that declared Washington the nation’s bluest state. We could be more comfortable about that title if its researchers had been a bit more diligent in their research. . . 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

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