- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 29, 2008

TODAY ON WASHINGTON TIMES.COM

Chatter: Our coverage team will be at the new Nationals Park for the final spring game against the Orioles.

D1SCOURSE: Patrick Stevens is in Charlotte, N.C., for the East Region final between UNC and Louisville.

THEY SAID WHAT?

“We called him, and we told him he can’t do that.”

— Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan after learning injured center Greg Oden played in a pickup game at a neighborhood gym

POSTCARD FROM SPOKANE, WASH.

Covering the Redskins has required a few trips west to Seattle, but this is Sir Scribble’s first visit to the eastern part of Washington — called the “Inland Northwest” by the locals.

Speaking of the locals, they’ve been snowed under this season. The airport has received 77½ inches of snow, tied for eighth most on record, and the region was under a winter storm watch/warning last night. They’re used to snow but that didn’t prevent the local television stations from acting like their comrades do in the District when a “winter weather event” is fixin’ to occur.

They panic. My favorite video preceding winter weather is when the camera visits the city works department to see whether there’s enough sand to go around. …

Spokane, located 300 miles east of Seattle and 1,140 miles west of West Fargo, N.D., can be described as somewhat hardscrabble, particularly the downtown area. Blocks from Sir Scribble’s quarters is a giant set of grain elevators. Down the road is a real, live general store, named “The General Store.” There’s also Dick’s Hamburgers (“Get A Bag Of Burgers … To Go!”) and two signs that we’re in the Pacific time zone: Carl’s Jr., and, making the trip already worthwhile, Jack In The Box. …

Best sign of the day was spotted while on a walk along the Spokane River yesterday morning. There’s a serious current to the water and several signs warn, “STAY ALIVE. STAY OUT.” …

Don’t know how popular the tournament is going to be tonight. When Vanderbilt started practice yesterday, there were 23 fans in attendance.

Ryan O’Halloran

LIVE CHAT

Tim Lemke took questions from readers yesterday about the new Nationals stadium. Here’s an excerpt from the chat:

Q: What’s the deal with that concrete factory next door? I thought the city was buying up all that land.

Lemke: I think what you’re referring to is the Florida Rock cement plant just south of the ballpark. No, the city is not buying that land. Florida Rock has submitted plans for a mixed-use development at the site that will mesh well with the ballpark and redeveloping neighborhood. But it still needs to go through the full zoning and planning process. Florida Rock had submitted plans long ago, even before everyone knew the ballpark was supposed to be there. But once the ballpark was approved they had to go back to the drawing board. You will see that area redeveloped, but it’s a few years away, at least.

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