Ron The Cop

A lie told often enough becomes the truth.

May 28th, 2008

Cross-ownership rules must be preserved…

Here’s a post from Mike Fitzsimmons of KXLY Spokane, WA regarding media cross-ownership.  Dick Adams and I posted comments in Mike’s thread as this relates to the Cowles Co media domination in the Spokane Market.

Ron the Cop


Cross-ownership rules must be preserved…

I’m Mike Fitzsimmons with commentary on 920-KXLY…

The U.S. Senate voted without debate last week to invalidate the Federal Communications Commission’s decision last December to loosen the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule. The move was led by Senate Democrat Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, and Washington Democrat Senator Maria Cantwell,who argued that media consolidation has already led to a lack of localism and diveristy, and any further loosening of rules is uncalled for. Senator Maria Cantwell charged that the FCC rule had been rushed through notwithsanding many dissenting views, and the FCC’s media-ownership-rule review was not sufficiently vetted by the public.

The long-standing ban on newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership was engineered with good reason. Too much influence over public opinion in any community is unhealthy, and in most U.S. communities, newspapers already have tremendous power to shape public viewpoints. We know firsthand in Spokane about what can happen. The River Park Square story in Spokane, was deliberately and unethically under-reported by the Spokesman Review and one television station in our community, to protect the family that owned the mall and the media outlets. Imagine what might have been possible had this local media powerhouse controlled many more sources. The public might not have learned about this fiasco at all.

In my judgment Congress has not gone far enough to protect unbiased truth from reaching the people. I would prefer to see the consolidation of media ownership restricted much more than merely prohibiting newspaper interests from gabbing broadcast properties. I’d like to see stricter limitations on all owners to a reasonable percentage of any broadcast market, never to exceed 25%. That isn’t going to happen, of course. Far too much would have to be undone to make that happen. Still, at the very least, the FCC should be discouraged from any further relaxation of cross-ownership rules.

With commentary on 920 – KXLY



Mike Fitzsimons hits the nail squarely on the head with his Commentary re “Cross-Ownership rules must be preserved.” KXLY, for years was the only local TV station that honestly reported on the River Park Square scandal. I hope the citizens of Spokane realize KXLY lost hundreds of thousands of dollars by keeping the public informed regarding the RPS heist. I can remember vividly, the other local TV stations regularly advertising the RPS mall, yet I can not recall any of them reporting how the taxpayers were swindled. KXLY is to be commended for not compromising the truth! I`m sorry to say KXLY paid the “PRICE” in advertising money.
Thanks, Mike and KXLY. WELL DONE!!

I too concur with Dick Adams. I’m a recently retired law enforcement investigator from a large Southern California agency. I retired after serving for some 35 years. Twenty of which were as an criminal investigator (detective) of which five were in an economic/financial crimes unit. My wife and I relocated to the Spokane Area for it’s many excellent attributes.

I was a regular listener and caller to the Mark Fuhrman Radio Show. The Fuhrman Show was an important independent news voice for the Spokane Area. Unfortunately Fuhrman was axed much like KXLY’s Tom Grant was who was also cutting too close to the bone regarding a “dark little secret” in Spokane.

I have never witnessed in my entire law enforcement career the systemic level of political/governmental corruption that exists in Spokane. Part of the reason why this corruption exists stems from the Cowles Co Media domination in this market.

I’m am currently doing research in preparation to filing a FCC complaint regarding the Cowles Co cross- media stranglehold. Below is my current operating hypothesis. Please feel free to read other informative pieces at the Friends of Mark Fuhrman Blog. Because of my probative questioning in the S-R Blogs, I’ve been now banned from posting in all S-R Blogs by S-R Editor Steve Smith.

Det. Ron Wright (Retired)
Riverside PD, CA

AKA “Ron the Cop” a regular caller to the Fuhrman Show


The Cowles Co. is a privately held family trust headquartered in Spokane, WA. The Cowles trust owns newspapers, TV stations and produces news for TV and radio stations that it doesn’t own. The Cowles trust owns or controls a substantial amount of real property in the Spokane Region including the Downtown Core. The matriarch of the Cowles family, Allison Stacey Cowles, is married to, Arthur Ochs “Punch” Sulzberger, the patriarch of the Sulzgerger family that owns the NYT. The Cowles Co through its controlling ownership of media, through intimidation and extortion of the media it doesn’t own in Spokane, has very successfully concealed the criminal acts of an ongoing criminal enterprise of which it is at the heart.

In a series of quasi public/private development projects in Downtown Spokane, there is a clear pattern and practice where “tainted” public financing was used to enrich the pockets of a group of individuals at the expense of the public treasury. The Cowles Co was the principal developer of River Park Square (RPS). RPS is one of these developments where fraudulent bond transactions were involved. Ms. Jo Savage tragically fell to her death after her car broke through a concrete parking barrier in the RPS parking garage. Both former Sheriff Bamonte and I believe there is reasonable cause to believe that Ms. Savage’s death was a First Degree Manslaughter under WA law because of criminal negligence by the owners. Local authorities did not pursue this case. There is arson/murder death of a fireman in a building fire that preceded another public project, the Spokane Transit Authority’s Transit Plaza, that has some of the “usual fingerprints” of this criminal enterprise.

I believe based on my training, education, and investigative experience there is an ongoing criminal conspiracy in Spokane where a group of individuals at different times have acted individually and or in concert to commit criminal acts with the knowledge and approval of this group headed by the Cowles Co. The Cowles Co, its surrogates, have systemically co-opted and or corrupted governmental officials both elected and appointed including the sitting US Attorney for the Eastern District of WA. The normal political and governmental controls have failed because of being so thoroughly co-opted and/or corrupted by this incestuous, insidious, and malignant ongoing criminal enterprise As I wrote recently to the Spokesman-Review Editor Steve Smith including an email I sent to a S-R investigative reporter (S-R is owned by the Cowles Family Trust):

. . . S-R is nothing more than an instrumentality of the Cowles Co’s ongoing criminal enterprise to cover it’s criminal activity. This is done by it’s active self-censorship of stories and censorship of comments in S-R blogs. This information is highly detrimental to the owners that would otherwise inform the public. The public once alerted, educated and informed would hold their elected/appointed officials accountable for their criminal acts who have been systemically co-opted/corrupted by this ongoing criminal conspiracy.

The Cowles Co through intimidation also controls the flow of adverse information in other media they don’t own. When this is not successful, it silences reporters or other voices cutting too close to the bone by squelching them through a series of unfair subtle business practices and/or by violating the fundamental regulatory scheme of the FCC. While beyond the scope of this complaint, in my opinion a compelling FTC antitrust case can be made regarding a clear pattern and practice of unfair business practices carried out over many years by the Cowles Co et al that has given it an unfair competitive advantage over other businesses both new or established in the Spokane Regional Market. There are high costs associated for those who would choose to challenge the Cowles Co market domination. New businesses are similarly deterred from locating here because of “the company town” nature of Spokane. This is nothing more than organized crime without the Sicilian surname that must not be tolerated and must be eliminated.

May 21st, 2008

BREAKING – AP – He Says, She Says: The Propaganda War Continues in Iraq

HT Confederate Yankee

I’m taking the liberty of posting Bob Owens’ piece in its entirety. If this is in fact another media myth we need to quell this quickly. This goes to the heart of the issue of objectivity, honesty, reliability, and predictability of reporting by the AP. This is goes along with the excellent piece by Steve Boriss at PJM.

PJM- Is the AP Good for America?

and posts by AJ Strata of The Strata-Sphere:

The rise or fall of Muqtada al-Sadr as reported by the MSM

While the New/Alternative Media may be the new Wild West with the ability of a distributive collective network with almost limitless parallel processing power (The Blogos), it’s fact checking resources are far superior to that of the MSM and is essentially free. I believe we will see a blending of the New Media with the MSM in a positive collaboration in the years to come.

Other significant pieces by Steve Boriss:

The Power of New Media on the Presidency

News Without Reporters

Ron the Cop


He Says, She Says: The Propaganda War Continues In Iraq

Associated Press reporter Bushra Juhi:

Two Iraqi officials said the shooting occurred about 5:30 a.m. in the Obeidi neighborhood after three roadside bombs targeted joint U.S.-Iraqi troops. But the U.S. military said its forces were not involved in any events in the area.It was not clear who opened fire after the explosions. Eleven bystanders were killed and one person wounded, one of the police officials said. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to release the information.

AP Television News footage showed the body of a man in a track suit covered by a blue blanket and another body in a blood-spattered wooden coffin nearby.

AFP offers a near identical account also claiming 11 bystanders (innocence implied) were killed, in accounts obviously coming from the same Iraqi police sources. Insurgents and their sympathizers have routinely masqueraded as police officers throughout the war, and news outlets have dutifully published their accounts, many of which we later determined to be entirely false.

SGT Brooke N. Murphy, MNF-I PAO, responded immediately to these claims via email:

We can definitely state there was no IED attack on a U.S.-Iraqi convoy in Obeidi at dawn this a.m. That’s not talking about any particular area, we do not discuss ongoing operations. I can state we specifically target those committing a violent act or about to commit a violent act.We would warn residents against moving toward any engagement, especially
when armed. We absolutely do not target law-abiding Iraqi citizens.

So there were not 11 (innocent) bystanders killed. Who died? Anyone? As a matter of fact, yes.

Murphy then sent a breaking MNF-I release that states that 11 Iranian-backed “Special Groups” forces were killed in New Baghdad:

Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers have killed 11 Special Group (SG) criminals in an ongoing operation in the New Baghdad security district in eastern Baghdad, May 21.MND-B Soldiers observed as a special groups militant, armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, exited a sports utility vehicle. The individual scanned the area and motioned a suspicious truck forward. Then Soldiers then watched as the militants emplaced an improvised-explosive device.

They engaged the suspect with small-arms fire and killed him.

Nearby, MND-B Soldiers encountered four SG militants, who were armed with AK-47 and RPK rifles, travelling in a SUV. They engaged the vehicle and killed the four militants.

MND-B Soldiers engaged and killed another SG militant carrying a rocket-propelled grenade. At another location in New Baghdad, MND-B Soldiers noticed a SG militant armed with a modified AK-47, who was conducting reconnaissance from a vehicle in a suspicious manner. The Soldiers engaged the armed SG militant and killed him.

Nearby, MND-B Soldiers spotted a militant in an alley. The SG militant moved away from the alley, holding an AK-47 in a firing position. An MND-B Soldier engaged and killed him. Another SG militant, who was driving a tan SUV in New Baghdad, made several passes by MND-B Soldiers.

He stopped the vehicle and attempted to hand an AK-47 to his SG militant cohorts. An MND-B Soldier shot and killed him.

Who do you trust to have the story right, the anonymous media robo-calling police sources, or a named Army soldier issuing formal releases?

May 18th, 2008

PJM- Is the AP Good for America?

HT Pajamas Media

Here’s something to ponder this morning. Here’s another excellent article by Steve Boriss.


Is the AP Good for America?


This AP-supported journalism culture deprives Americans of their birthright as codified by the Founding Fathers. The purpose of the First Amendment was to establish a country with maximum free expression and debate — a multitude of voices competing in a freewheeling marketplace of ideas. Jefferson himself created a partisan paper to challenge Alexander Hamilton’s partisan Federalist newspaper. The concept of a single set of news stories and angles is the antithesis of the Founders’ vision.

But lately, the AP hasn’t been working so well for its members either. Before there was an Internet, AP member papers could freely share their stories amongst themselves without worrying that their readers could access them from other sources. Now that the Internet allows readers to find AP stories from many different sites, local papers are left with little content that appears to be exclusive, and thus little reason for their readers to subscribe.

May 12th, 2008

The rise or fall of Muqtada al-Sadr as reported by the MSM


Kudos to the S-R for continuing its series of reporting on two Idaho twins now serving in the Gulf

This is an update of my earlier post regarding:

Is the New Media forcing accountability of the MSM wire services?

I sent this email to the S-R regarding there continuing series by former S-R Reporter James Hagengruber.

Ron the Cop


Kudos to Hagengruber on his embed coverage on the Marine twins from our area. This is the kind of reporting that the New/Alternative Media has been doing all along on the ground in Iraq. The MSM for a number of reasons has reported a skewed view of the war to the American people. The downside is that the enemy has at times using our media has achieved what it can’t do in head to head combat with boots on the ground – undermine the continued political support and will of the American people. This is documented at a site supported by a group of bloggers – Media Mythbusters and Blog.

The latest is the glass half full or empty with regard to reporting on the state of Muqtada al-Sadr and the Mahdi. See this latest report from AJ Strata of The Strata-Sphere below. While not in the typical journalistic prose Strata does make a point.

Ron the Cop

Marine learns deployment
offers no promise of war

James Hagengruber
May 11, 2008

Email received from AJ Strata re his new post at The Strata-Sphere:

I have never seen such blatant lies spun out of the liberal news media as
that which has greeted the news this weekend that Sadr and the Mahdi Army
are suing for peace. They are surrendering their right to have medium and
large weapons (i.e., being disarmed), Iraqi security forces will take over
control of all areas in Iraq, and only those who did not take up arms and
fight the government are free to restart their lives. There are no
concessions on the government.

Yet Time mag called this surrender a victory for Sadr! And the IHT
reports on how the locals began to turn on the Mahdi Forces, yet cannot
see who won the battle!

The big question is who controls the rogue forces of the Mahdi. If we
learn from all this that Sadr doesn’t have control of these fighters, that
someone else does, it will not be a ‘win’ for Sadr. This media myth needs
to be busted ASAP.



AJ Strata has these follow-up pieces regarding the coverage of al-Sadr:


Propaganda Runs Rampant As Iran, Islamicists And The Liberal Western Media Find Common Cause

OK, call me dense. Call me Pollyannish. Call me an optimist. I have hedged for years in calling the liberal western news media allies of the enemies of freedom and democracy. I have hinted their actions would make one wonder, but I have also given them some leeway by acknowledging that in the heat of politics one can make horrible decisions that hurt their own country and help its enemies. My example of this kind of fervent stupidity is Neville Chamberlain, who tried to appease Hitler and Nazi Germany by signing treaties that did nothing more than sanction Germany’s earliest acts of conquest and give the Nazi regime time to mass one of the most destructive military forces the world had ever seen at that time. Chamberlain was a dupe, but he was not a traitor.

Read More


Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr Has No Control Over Mahdi Militias

Posted by AJStrata on May 11th, 2008

Well, that did not take long. While Time magazine declared Sadr and his Sadrists victors in their efforts to surrender and sue for peace with the Maliki Government, I asked the core question about events in Iraq – who controls the Mahdi Army, Sadr or Iran? Well, if you go by the NY Times it clearly is not Sadr:

Read More


Truce Or No Truce With Sadrists In Iraq?

Like everything in life the surrender of the Mahdi Army to the Iraq rule of law, as defined and imposed by the duly elected government under Prime Minister Maliki, is not cut and dry – or instant. It seems the final form of the agreement was just signed by representatives from each Shiite camp – which means any side that violates the agreement will be shown to be inept, at best.

Read More


AJ Strata has this update:
the myth that Sadr City is a hot bed of Sadr support has been busted.
Found a report that one of the Iraqi divisions leading the fight against
the Iranian backed Mahdi is lead and populated by Sadr City Shiites.

Why is this not on the nightly news? (I know the answer….!)


May 9th, 2008

UPDATE – S-R Editor Steve Smith bans RBT from all S-R Blogs

I sent this letter to S-R Editor Steve Smith after he banned me from all S-R Blogs that I previously posted here.

I intended to post this letter sooner.

Ron the Cop


Certified US Mail

April 11, 2008

Steve Smith, Editor
999 West Riverside Ave.
Spokane, WA 99201

Re: Your email of April 8, 2008

Dear Mr. Smith:

If your were referring to my recent email to S-R Reporter Jonathan Brunt regarding the STA Transit Plaza and the Zukor Building arson/murder fires, I meant what I said, “ . . . if the shoe fits – wear it.”

Mind you Downtown Spokane can go many years without having three and four alarm structure fires. And yet circa 1980 there were several (See S-R article). Of special note was the District 81 School Adm Bldg arson fire. The Cowles Co real estate firm purchased shortly after this property. The new Nordstroms is now located on this property. The District 81 administration was relocated to another Cowles Co building downtown.

Another noteworthy arson fire was the Zukor Bldg right where the STA Transit Plaza now sits. There’s an interesting civil suit between the owners of the Zukor Bldg and their fire insurer that’s worth a read (See attached PDF). Tragically there was a fire captain killed in fighting this fire. An arson murder has no statute of limitation. If the feds are seriously digging into dirt in Spokane now that US Attorney McDevitt has recused himself, I’d be sweating a little. In my professional experience there are no coincidences in criminal conspiracies. Of course this is my opinion.

Investigative reporters and criminal investigators share many common tools and techniques. In one way we differ is the manner we pose probative questions to potential witnesses and suspects. We all seek the truth and ultimately serve the public. I won’t restate my operating hypothesis outlined in the Brunt email but I will say from my review of the Camas Magazine documents there is a clear pattern and practice in a series of public/private projects in Downtown Spokane where “tainted” public financing was used to enrich the pockets of a few individuals at the expense of the public. Based on my training, education, and investigative experience this is an ongoing criminal enterprise where individuals at different times have acted together in concert to commit criminal acts and/or individually carried out with the knowledge and approval of this group. This by definition, Mr. Smith, is a criminal conspiracy.

In my review of the circumstances and evidence I believe there is reasonable cause to believe a similar MO is apparent in the STA Transit Plaza Project. I don’t know who burned out whom in the Zukor Building arson fire or in the District 81 Building arson fire but some of the same individuals clearly economically benefited from these fires. Generally if anyone aides, abets the principals in the commission of these acts, with criminal knowledge personally benefits, conceals information and/or impedes the investigation is criminally liable. As a criminal investigator I most assuredly would be asking probative questions to seek the truth. I would in a heartbeat use as a “hammer” as any cop would who wasn’t green behind the ears, that Captain Hanna was killed fighting the Zukor Building fire. I would make it very clear this was an arson/murder fire and further ANY involvement could bring criminal liability for murder under the general felony/murder rule. This applies as well to the Savage death in the RPS Parking Garage that both former Sheriff Bamonte and I believe was a negligent homicide arising to the level of a first-degree manslaughter in Washington.

Mr. Smith marginalize if you wish the collective information and work of Tim Connor, Larry Shook, former Sheriff Tony Bamonte, former Councilperson Cherie Rodgers, Tom Grant, Mark Fuhrman, and a long list of others. And now you’ve chosen to marginalize me. For my entire law enforcement career I have been involved in the investigation and prosecution of complex criminal fraud conspiracies. I have included my updated bio and this summary of my more significant investigations. I would invite all to read and decide based on my education, training, and experience as to my credibility. As I said in the Brunt email it is my professional opinion that the collective work of these individuals stands alone on its face. This information should warrant the immediate impanelment of a federal grand jury to compel testimony of reluctant witnesses who either through fear, intimidation and/or complicity would not freely come forward to unravel this Gordian knot. Perhaps since US Attorney Jim McDevitt has now recused himself this process will go forward. I should note McDevitt’s recusal was the direct result of the Mark Fuhrman Radio Show and not from anything in the pages of the S-R.

Mr. Smith marginalizing the messengers is a ploy often used by attorneys when the facts do not support their case to “blow smoke” to confuse the jury. This is the trap that Mark Fuhrman fell into laid by F. Lee Bailey in the OJ Simpson murder trial. If you dispute any information in this collective work, please do enlightened and inform the citizens of Spokane. You are in “check” Mr. Smith. The question is and remains as I challenged in my email to Brunt, “. . .Will you and the S-R do the right thing?”

. . . Perhaps it would be a good time to follow the S-R’s new Code of Ethics (Independence Section)? The operative question is the Code of Ethics merely a PR ploy or will Smith and/or Graham take it to heart and do the right thing?

I should also add in addition to the above Duane Swinton and Whitherspon & Kelley should recuse themselves from any involvement in this matter in representing the interests of the S-R and its owners. [Emphasis added]


Det. Ron Wright (Retired)
Riverside PD, CA

PS: I’m somewhat encouraged that the S-R has now filed a public request for the Lewis documents. I might add I can now confirm that Mayor Vener has been in touch with Mr. O. Yale Lewis and plans to meet with him. This is yet another story that was first broken on the Mark Fuhrman Radio Show and was only belatedly reported in the S-R.

cc: Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, County of Spokane, WA
Mayor Mary Verner, City of Spokane, WA
City Council, City of Spokane, WA
US Attorney Jeffrey C. Sullivan, Western District of Washington, Seattle, WA
Agent Frank Harvill, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Spokane, WA
Sgt. Ken Wade, Washington State Patrol, Spokane, WA
Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, City of Spokane, WA
Acting City Attorney Pat Dalton, City of Spokane, WA

May 6th, 2008

BREAKING – KXLY has new July 4th tape up on their site


S-R Reporter Jim Camden has a new story running re a new police tape of last year’s 4th of July demonstration that resulted in several arrest by SPD. Seems the last defendant was about to go to trail when a new police tape surfaced. Here’s a comment I just sent to Camden:

KXLY has a portion of the new tape of the incident on July 4th. I’m not going to comment on the incident itself but the defense does have an issue re this tape not being turned over during normal [pretrial] discovery. If this tape shows this defendant complying with a lawful order of police baring any other evidence to the contrary, the defense has a case for dismissal.

Ron the Cop


This just went up at S-R web site.  Here’s a comment I sent to S-R Reporter Camden on his previous article.

Ron the Cop


Mr. Camden,

Kudos on your follow-up article on the “missing” tape.  Just thought I would share some insights that may have not been apparent to you as a former insider.

There are a number of constituencies with multiple agendas coalescing around this story. Just read the threads at S-R Blogs “A Matter of Opinion,” and “Community Comments.” The main issue is the transparency of both the Spokane Sheriff’s Department and the Spokane Police Department because of past professional and ethical lapses regarding transparency.  With the election of Sheriff Knezovich and the appointment of Chief Kirkpatrick much positive change is occurring.  As a former police union president of a force of some 340 sworn officers I understand the issues surrounding the current “ombudsman” discussion.  While I would support the police guild in their efforts to protect the due process rights of their members, because of past credibility issues with the public trust there is a need for compromise to regain that trust.

This latest issue will be seized on by the various factions as a justification for their positions.  I’m sure by now you’ve realized I’m not a fan of entrenched public bureaucracies in carrying out their missions as charged by the public.  With this said there are nuances in this latest story that the public needs to know so that they can make informed decisions regarding their governmental agencies.

This is definitely a classic example of “left/right” hand within the law enforcement community.  Having some experience with JTTFs here’s some internal dynamics that has some relationship to the Global War on Terror.  From your report it appears that the two detectives were “on loan” to the FBI Spokane Regional JTTF.  There are memorandums of understanding (MOUs) between agencies that supply personnel to these task forces that delineate  command and control.

Generally the JTTF chain of command structure is federal and they control the release of info on their active investigations.  This is why their “work product” may be kept separate from normal police evidence “chains of custody.”  Also from past experience with JTTFs in general they are oftentimes “one way” in communicating with their local and regional law enforcement partners.  This “stove piping” of our intel community is one of the major contributing factors as to why our enemy was successful in carrying out 9/11 attack.  You can read more of this in a piece I wrote a number of years ago:

The Traditional Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice Paradigm is Ill Prepared to Fight this War on Terror

From your report the two detectives were assigned to gather intel with who Travis Riehl was associating.  The other police on the scene may have been completely unaware of their presence.  The interesting dilemma here brings up a discussion on “sources and methods” regarding intel gathering. Generally the FBI has very involved guidelines before surveillance can begin on a US citizen engaged in “terrorist activities.”  If criminal prosecution is anticipated and this is the goal of the operation then the methods employed must meet our due process standards or  intel and evidence gathered in any further law enforcement action would be inadmissible in a subsequent criminal trial under the exclusionary rule against that individudal.

Since Riehl I’m assuming is a US citizen methods employed would need to follow US Constitutional guarantees and case law safeguards.  If Riehl was hypothetically being watched for contacts with international terrorists operatives, all bets would be off if criminal prosecution of Riehl was not the goal.  This is a fine line to walk as I explain more fully in my piece above.  When a terrorist cells becomes operational and launches an attack it’s a moot point re criminal prosecution because the guilty parties are dead.  The goal needs to shift to prevent the attack in the first place and not to respond and prosecute after the fact.

This is the dilemma poised by an embedded asymmetrical enemy that seeks our total destruction within our intel agencies who gather information outside the normal parameters of our domestic law enforcement agencies.  These are the discussions surrounding the FISA courts and the ability of the Commander in Chief under his separate war powers under the US Constitution to intercept communications of the enemy.  Think about it for a moment regarding the consequences of our ability to intercept and  decode the German and Japanese codes in WWII.  The results of the battles of Midway and the Coral Sea may have gone the other way.  Our Constitution was never intended to be a suicide pact.

Bottom line is that these are issues that may have been mudding the waters regarding the release of  this new tape.  If there is exculpatory information in this new video then this should trump any other issues.  If the Riehl investigation was ongoing and it’s disclosure would compromise the investigation, a compromise conceivably could have been worked out “in camera” with the hearing judge to provide the critical footage in the local criminal trial.

Ron the Cop
Friends of Mark Fuhrman


Fourth of July protest charges dismissed

Staff reports
May 9, 2008

The City Prosecutor’s Office will dismiss criminal charges against Michael C. Lyons, the remaining defendant in the Fourth of July protest incident, according to the Spokane Police Department.

“Since additional video surfaced in the case on Monday morning, more documents that were not part of the prosecution case file have been identified,” according to a news release sent at 5:09 p.m. today. “While acknowledging that the documents themselves in no way diminish the strength of the City’s case, the City Prosecutor has concluded that it no longer makes sense to continue to try the patience of the Court for misdemeanor charges.”


Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick and City Prosecutor Howard Delaney will review internal policies “to ensure more effective interaction in such cases,” according to the news release.

Kirkpatrick fully supports her officers in this matter, according to the release.

“I am disappointed that we are unable to move forward and present our case in court,” Kirkpatrick said.

Mayor Mary Verner agreed.

“Our police officers acted professionally and with restraint in the park last summer,” she said in the release. “Their actions were commendable on that day, and I am sorry that we will not be able to proceed in court.”

May 5th, 2008

Of Wackaloons, nutsos, crazies, and little green men

S-R Editor Steve Smith has a number of endearing euphemisms he has used to marginalize those who would argue that RPS was a fraud on the public treasury. Mr. Smith has banned me from all S-R blogs:

We are under no obligation to provide space to someone who flatly and without the least bit of evidence, disregarding the laws of fairness, decency and common sense, accuses our owners of manslaughter, arson and murder and the rest of us of being accessories.

Your lunatic-fringe rants and baseless conspiracy theories don’t belong here. You will claim censorship. Hogwash. You can peddle your nonsense wherever you like. Just not here.

I find it interesting that the Inlander found these words to describe Tim Connor and Larry Shook of Camas Magazine in describing them in commissioning a report on the Spokane incinerator project (previous post):

Larry Shook is the former co-publisher and editor of Spokane Magazine. A veteran journalist and editor, his reporting has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek and The Washington Post, among other publications. Shook has written major investigative articles on Hanford, pesticides, forestry, the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project and efforts to protect Spokane area groundwater and lakes. He is the author of three books and the winner of a National Book Award.

Tim Connor is a veteran public interest researcher who specializes in environmental health issues. A former associate editor at Spokane Magazine, his reporting has appeared in a variety of national and regional publications, including The Oregonian, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and the Atlanta Constitution. Since 1992, he has been a member of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Advisory Committee on Radiation Research. He is the author of Burdens of Proof, a 1997 report examining scientific and social issues associated with health studies on populations exposed to environmental pollution.

Shook and Connor are best known for their investigative reporting in the early-1980s focusing on plutonium production at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation – work that ultimately led to the 1986 disclosure that Hanford facilities released radiation into the air in the 1940s and ‘50s.

Shook and Connor were commissioned by the Northwest Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) to study Spokane’s waste-to-energy plant. In the name of public awareness, The Inlander approached NEEF and offered to publish its complete, 12,000+-word report – an offer the NEEF Board accepted. The Inlander, which has offered the City of Spokane space in next week’s edition to respond to the findings of this report, plans to follow up on this story in the coming weeks with its own reporting.

Ron the Cop


May 5th, 2008

Spokane – Civic protest goes digital (Regional Solid Waste System)

There is a new citizen journalism site in Spokane. We can sure use some more. This group is bird dogging the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System. The group has a tongue and cheek site that has “crunched” the numbers of the incinerator and it doesn’t add up. S-R Reporter Jonathan Brunt has written two articles recently, one on recycling and the other on the new civic protest website. I wrote this kudos to Brunt (Below).

Tim Connor and Larry Shook more recently of Camas Magazine fame regarding the RPS bond fraud wrote this piece on the Spokane incinerator project a number of years ago:

Burned: The Life & Times of Spokane’s Incinerator

Ron the Cop


Good article. As you know Camas Magazine does much the same thing re other projects in Spokane:-) I’m a fan of recycling but the program here makes it difficult to do so. The recent article where you can pay more to recycle paper just illustrates this point. The fact that we are shipping green waste out of the county is absurd. There’s something fishy about the incinerator too but I haven’t had the time to look into it. Perhaps it has to do with the take out price of electricity purchased by Avista.



Civic protest goes digital

A cleverly designed website critical of how Spokane manages regional trash disposal has put city officials on the defensive. It claims, among other things, that utility customers have been overcharged and provides a bogus refund claim form that the city is blasting as an attempt “to deceive Spokane consumers.”
Competing websites: Official city site | Protest site

May 2nd, 2008

STA sales tax ballot measure


Email to S-R Lynn Swanborn letters editor regarding her post at S-R’s “A Matter of Opinion:”

Letters: STA tax

Watch this space (and the Opinion section) for pro and con arguments on the STA and emergency communication sales tax ballot measures. Here are excerpts from a couple of letters in today’s Roundtable:

According to the STA board, the STA reserve fund is at $58 million. This is an agency that is basically funded by sales tax that we voted for. Fifty-eight million dollars in reserve is more than Liberty Lake’s, Spokane Valley’s and Spokane’s reserve funds added together. (…)I don’t think that having $58 million in reserve is taking care of and being good stewards of our tax dollars. It’s just plain taking our tax dollars. Vote no on any more money to these money-grabbers. Fifty-eight million dollars – they should be ashamed. — Dan Allison, Spokane

Transportation and growth management are inseparably linked as essential elements of community development. Therefore, it is critically important to our region’s future that we support transportation options that are affordable, sustainable alternatives to automobiles and petroleum fuels. Meanwhile, the community should pursue options for separately electing a regional transit board of directors rather than relying on appointed officials. Conditional support, i.e., a sunset clause, should be applied to the STA leadership and not to the necessary funding. — K.C. Traver, Spokane

There seem to be a lot of mixed feelings on this issue. Do you support public transit in principle but oppose this particular tax? Or, do you support the tax but still seek revisions of STA’s administrative structure? Or, none of the above?

(S-R file photo)

Posted by Lynn Swanbom | 30 Apr 9:51 AM | Comments (8)



Since I’ve been a very bad boy lately, Mr. Smith has killed my mike switch. I’ve been doing serious research on the STA Transit Plaza. There is now discussion that this was a bad location for this transit hub. The folks in the Sterling Bank Bldg have major issues with the cliental at the Transit Plaza. There is serious talk of it being moved. The STA Transit Plaza cost the taxpayers some $20M and is only valued by the assessor at around $5M. And yes I’m familiar with the design issue of the building as it relates to its current value. The costs of this project were inflated and top dollar was paid for the property. There is evidence to suggest that property acquisition leading up to this project was staged by Cowles Co intermediaries. And yes I’m still digging on the arson/murder fire at the Zukor Clothing Store where Fire Captain Hanna was killed. As I said before an argument can be made this project was steered to this less than adequate site.

I would vote for this proposal if it had a “sunset clause.” Without a “sunset claude” this is too much of a funding bundle that can be steered to less than desirable projects. The smart money is that the STA fund surplus will be used to fund light rail in Downtown corridor over to Kendall Yards. While the concept is nice, the density to support such a move is not there without a big public subsidy. Given that the Cowles Co own a lot of property that would directly benefit from such a light rail program this smacks of past runs on the public treasury to benefit a few individuals at taxpayer expense.

As I suggested “tongue in cheek” a few days ago, the cute little trolleys with wheels would be much more cost efficient if we must have a San F ambiance in Downtown. If it doesn’t pan out there won’t be a huge loss that again will be on the backs of the taxpayers. If these trolleys run full, then we can talk. The streets we’re already paying to rebuild won’t have to be torn up again.

Ron the Cop

[NOTE: Attorney Michael Ormsby of RPS fame has now been retained by the STA. If anything this should be a cause for concern. Ron the Cop will vote yes for Crime Check though. I’ve heard the “powers that be” in Spokane don’t really want it as it will cause an increase in the crime rate that perhaps is now understated]


The STA Pro View:

Friday, May 2, 2008

Wayne Williams: Buses help business

To help drive economic development, vote yes on STA funding

For business, buses are a necessity. That is why I support the sales tax re-authorization for Spokane Transit Authority. Continued funding for public transportation means no increase in taxes. Should you choose to join me in supporting this effort, you will pay no more for public transportation than you do right now.

As chairman of Greater Spokane Inc., the combined Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council, this vote is all business for me. Transit service is essential to our growing metropolitan area. Transit and mobility services make the Spokane region more attractive to outside investment and continued growth of existing companies. When businesses contemplate a move to our region or consider a major expansion, a key consideration is our region’s available infrastructure. That includes transit services that will link their new work force to business locations throughout the region.


For those of you who don’t ride the bus, or have employees who make use of the service, I encourage you to think of the multiple public goods that transit service provides. Buses transport patients to doctors’ appointments and hospitals. Buses provide an inexpensive option for the elderly and individuals without access to personal vehicles. Public transportation connects our first-class universities with students from throughout the region.

Spokane Transit Authority has been a diligent steward of our tax dollars and has produced results that include increasing ridership by 9.4 percent to 7.9 million fixed route rides. Service has improved to many areas including Spokane Valley, north Spokane, Liberty Lake, Medical Lake, Cheney and Airway Heights. Ridership in some areas has increased by as much as 85 percent! Accountability measures have included televising STA board meetings, conducting opinion surveys and the formation of a Citizen Advisory Committee designed to solicit regular input. . .


The STA Opposing View:

STA lacks accountability

Hold out for sunset provision; vote no for now on STA funding

Pro and con

This is the second of two guest columns about a transit funding proposal that will appear on the May 20 ballot. On Thursday, Wayne Williams, chairman of Greater Spokane Inc., argued in favor of the proposal.

It is critically important that Spokane voters see through the expensive public relations campaign by the Spokane Transit Authority and vote against the transit sales tax extension this May 20. The real issue in this election is the lack of the sunset provision, which makes this tax permanent. A “no” vote will bring this tax issue back to voters in November with a provision for the public to vote again on this tax in four years.

A “no” vote is not a vote against public transportation, it is a vote for accountability in public transportation. Buses and service to the needy and people with disabilities are becoming more important as gas prices increase. The public needs smaller buses, flexible routes and changes to respond to our changing world.


The accountability of an election to renew this tax every four years brings out the best performance possible in this essential service. Without the accountability of a sunset provision, the STA has no incentive to improve service and make changes that we need to improve public transportation. Waste and mismanagement characterized STA before the passage of the current 0.3 percent transit tax increase. It was important this increase was made subject to voter reapproval in five years.

The downtown Transit Plaza is a monument to the poor decisions made by the STA when it had limitless funds and no accountability. This organization has powerful special interests that oppose change and efficiency. . .


Our sheepdog, Dick Adams, guardian of the public treasury has these comments in a letter to the editor running in today’s S-R:

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Letters to the editor

Don’t fall for STA stunt

I hope the citizens recognize that the administrators of the STA are asking voters to increase the amount of money they receive every year from now on. In my opinion, the STA has been a cash cow for most of the 25 years I’ve lived in the Lilac City. Talk about reckless spending habits.

Take note of the names listed on the STA plaque inside their building and you’ll see former elected Spokane city officials who also voted to finance the River Park Square mall and parking garage. We can thank them for strapping the residents of Spokane into debt for the next 25 years for a garage and had the audacity to sign off on the reckless spending binge to build an obsolete STA Plaza building.

Vote no on the STA ballot. Show the administrators we’re not suckers. These characters even placed the STA ballot question on an early spring ballot so if it fails they will merely put it on the ballot this fall. The usual bureaucratic stunt – I think it shows arrogance.

Dick Adams


Matt Monroe a semi regular on the Mark Fuhrman Show wrote the LTE to the S-R.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Letters to the editor

Remember the Plaza

In response to Public Policy and Parking Manager Andrew Rolwes of the Spokane Downtown Partnership’s May 3 letter, “Transit needs permanent funding”:

Mr. Rolwes, it boggles the mind how you can honestly state, “STA is an effective steward of public funds,” considering the STA Plaza cost $20 million-plus in 1995 dollars and is not worth $3.5 million in 2008 dollars. Perhaps this is why no other transit authority in Washington state has conditional funding; none has a $20 million monument to stupidity in downtown Spokane. Granted, STA has made strides since 2004 but not to the degree that deserves no voter oversight. The sunset clause on the 2004 authorization funds is exactly what made STA more responsive to riders and taxpayers.

Without a sunset clause, STA will quickly devolve to its wasteful pre-2004 policies. Mr. Rolwes, if you truly wish STA to prosper, join me and thousands of others and vote no on your ballot. The STA board has already indicated that sales-tax reauthorization will be before the voters by July 2009 if defeated. Maybe this time, a wiser, humbler STA board will include a healthy sunset clause to nourish a healthier STA.

No sunset, no accountability; no way, STA.

Matthew W. Monroe