LILACS to Tom Armitage, who wrote a great letter to The Spokesman-Review where he advocates for calling the Opera House the Opera House. That’s what we all call it anyway; no one EVER says First Interstate Center for the Arts. As he says, it’s not a center, it’s a single stage. If they want to call it the First Interstate Opera House, that would be fine by me, but no one is going to call it FICARTS.
LILACS to Mullen Technologies for bringing their electric sports car plant to West Plains. Remember when the Tango made some noise here, as a single seated super narrow car? It seemed cool but it never took off. We think Mullen is better funded, and Al French did a great job of setting up an agreement with them where the county owns their facility rather than just GIVING them tax breaks.
LILACS to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazetter for giving free iPads to all their subscribers (over 36,000) if they agree to keep their subscription going at the same rate they’ve been paying. Not sure how long they are asking people to subscribe in order to get the free iPad, but it shows you the lengths some publishers will go to in order to beat the decline in print advertising. We don’t plan to do that anytime soon, and the more print outlets that pack up, the more of the market will be left for the survivors. We do hope people don’t take the gadget and run.
SWEET LEMONS to the Spokane Police Department for setting up “stings” by placing great looking bikes in front of the Safeway store on Mission and Hamilton and just waiting for thieves to cart them off. We have such mixed feelings on this: on one hand, we salute ALL efforts to decrease property crime, but we can’t help but feel a little sorry that people are going to jail for a crime that was manufactured. The argument that the bikes would be stolen whether planted or not makes sense, but it seems a little questionable to place temptation directly in front of people.
LILACS to the Downtown Spokane Partnership for equipping the Downtown Security Ambassadors with bulletproof vests. Some think it makes downtown look uninviting and militaristic; but we think that most citizens will view them as making downtown safer. The ambassadors are always polite and helpful and—well, great ambassadors for downtown. Now we only hope that none of them ever have to use their vests to deflect a blade or bullet.
LEMONS to the levels of hysteria on both sides of the Drag Queen Story Hour at the downtown library. Both sides dug in their heels, calling each other names and not really taking the time to listen to the other side. Our take: Drag is not blackface nor particularly demeaning to women, but we acknowledge that some women do find it offensive because it may be caricaturing womanhood. That said, we do think that most of the Drag art form is highly sexualized, and not appropriate for children in a public space.
LILACS to the Airway Heights Correction Center for adopting the Redemption Project, where prisoners-for-life help pass along their stories and advice to younger potential lifers. Prison is a breeding ground for a lifetime cycle of crime, and those in the Redemption Project get a chance to make a difference in younger prisoners’ lives before it’s too late. We feel everyone has value and everyone can, and should, be able to contribute to society if they desire to, including—perhaps, especially—those who have no way out.