Sharing the Light

No doubt there are sentient beings more miserable than a writer unable to write.  I just happen to be a writer, so it’s this cubicle of despair that’s most familiar to me. Writer’s block is usually transient. What I tumbled into three years ago was quite different—a prolonged period of depression and grief that left me at a loss for words. Any story, even a modest act of journalism, requires an energy and a confidence that I didn’t have and didn’t feel inclined to fake.

Little bear
“Little Bear” beetle in desert gold wildflowers, near Dry Falls, spring 2015

I still can’t watch the Tom Hanks movie “Castaway” without dissolving into tears at his  rain-drenched scene with Helen Hunt. It’s just so heartbreaking. But the film is also about perseverance and flotation. Somewhere in my dark night of the soul my camera became the paddle for my life raft, so to speak. Continue reading Sharing the Light


One of the larger reasons I’m a Spokanite is because of our stunning inventory of trees. It’s hard to leave them behind for very long. I remember, as a kid, family car rides from Pasco, and how I felt when we reached the tree line near Sprague, and there began to absorb the enveloping greenness and the smell of pines. After the November storm that brought so many of them down, I’ve wanted to frame an homage to trees from photos I’ve taken the past few years. This is that. Treeshine.

The Mayor’s Ruthless Ruse

David Condon strangled police oversight in Spokane. Now he wants to blame it on state law.  

David Condon came to office in Spokane because of how badly his predecessor botched the issue of police accountability. After sailing through the 2011 primary election, former Mayor Mary Verner energized Condon’s campaign by turning remarkably tone deaf  to rising public anger about police conduct in the Otto Zehm tragedy.

Although Condon was something of a political blank page when he took office, it would have been hard to imagine that he could do any worse than Verner on what, then, was the central issue in city politics.

But he has. Continue reading The Mayor’s Ruthless Ruse

Of Mustangs and Warriors

Can wild horses and broken soldiers help each other?

By Larry Shook
Ah Kah Tah is a Blackfeet Indian phrase that means “Going Home.” My friend Earl Barlow, a Blackfeet, told me that.

Ah Kah Tah is also the name Nate Ostrander and I have given to the five-year-old mustang gelding we brought home from the Bureau of Land Management’s wild horse holding facility at Burns, Oregon. We’re going to experiment on both the horse and me.

Here’s our question: can you take a sixty-nine-year old veteran whose heart and psyche have been shattered by war and teach him to train a mustang—a creature arrested in the heaven of open range for the crime of freedom—in a way that gives both him and the horse a new life? Continue reading Of Mustangs and Warriors