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Sunday, June 6, 2004


Here's a list of all stories that were posted online June 6, 2004

Residents remember a leader with clear vision
Ronald Reagan touched lives in the Inland Northwest and shaped their political leadership as he was helping to reshape the world.

Cold War’s demise, conservative values defined 40th president
WASHINGTON – Ronald Reagan, an actor-turned-politician whose sunny disposition and ardent conservatism transformed American politics and lifted the nation's spirits, lost his 10-year struggle with Alzheimer's disease Saturday. He was 93.

Reagan was major force behind Soviet breakup
Former President Ronald Reagan left as his greatest legacy to the world a role in helping accelerate the end of the Cold War. The global competition between the United States and the Soviet Union, which consumed both nations for 46 years, cost hundreds of billions of dollars and led to building of the most destructive weapons ever known, reached a peak during Reagan's White House days and then expired only a few years after he left office.

A day of narrow survival
In the skies above Normandy, in the waters off its shore, in the towns and villages of France, tens of thousands of people waited 60 years ago – waited and hoped.

Roadside bomb kills two soldiers in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Iraq – A roadside bomb killed two American soldiers and wounded two in a series of attacks Saturday against occupation forces and their Iraqi allies, while tensions eased in the Shiite holy cities of Najaf and Kufa just weeks ahead of the transfer of sovereignty to the new Iraqi government. Related stories

Personal items from WWII grace new site
WASHINGTON – Intimate remembrances are appearing amid the World War II memorial's cool granite and bronze: An American flag that graced the coffin of a father gone to war. Black-and-white photos, in pewter frames, of young men in uniform. Silver dog tags, ribbons, even a Purple Heart or two.

Lottery numbers
Saturday's Washington Daily Game: 421. Saturday's Lotto: 1-7-14-23-34-42. Two winners. Next jackpot $1 million.

France rolls out red carpet for American D-Day veterans
PARIS – French officers pinned the Legion of Honor on the chests of 99 former American soldiers Saturday, thanking them at a pomp-filled military ceremony for helping to free Europe from Nazism 60 years ago.

Bush, Chirac narrow differences, but don’t erase them
PARIS – President Bush and President Jacques Chirac sought to move beyond bitter differences over Iraq on Saturday, with both suggesting a U.N. deal on post-occupation Iraq may be close. Still, the French leader reiterated his doubt about America's justification for the war and said the situation in Iraq remains “extremely precarious.” Related stories

Rumsfeld: U.S. losing war against extremists
SINGAPORE – The United States and its allies are winning some battles in the terrorism war but may be losing the broader struggle against Islamic extremism that is terrorism's source, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Saturday. Related stories

German vet sends son to reconcile
LA CAMBE, France – Weak from lung cancer, 79-year-old German veteran Theodor Baas couldn't risk the trip to Normandy. His son came instead to hand deliver the elderly man's message to the wartime enemies who haunt his dreams.

Counterfeit bag ring busted by feds
NEW YORK – Federal officials busted a multimillion-dollar leather handbag counterfeiting operation and arrested 14 people Thursday.

She’s an alumna, but 75 years late
NEW YORK – Seventy-five years after she passed an entrance exam to Barnard College, Dorothy Height became an alumna Thursday.

Hairs’-width ‘dream fossil’ is earliest non-blob creature found
At a quarry in southern China, researchers have discovered the oldest known ancestor of all creatures that have a left and a right, a front and a back, a top and a bottom.

Politics stalls U.S. ratification on law of sea
WASHINGTON – The Defense and State departments both want it. So do the oil and mining industries. Environmental groups are clamoring for it.

Deforestation aggravated floods that struck in Haiti
MAPOU, Haiti – Named after a sacred tree in the Voodoo religion, this Haitian village has few remaining mapou trees and a scant number of others on its surrounding mountains.


Respect across the spectrum
From all corners of the planet, the eulogies streamed in – a barrage of quotations and orations for the president known as the Great Communicator, the man whose enemies and friends agreed changed the world.

Visits to Spokane popular
Ronald Reagan visited Spokane several times over the course of his public life, ranging from an appearance as “Ronald Reagan, Star” in 1959 to a presidential visit in 1986 on behalf of a campaigning Republican. His wife, Nancy Reagan, also came to Spokane in 1984 for the dedication of the Nancy Reagan CareUnit at Deaconess Medical Center.

D-Day 40th anniversary speech moved veterans
In one of the most memorable speeches of his presidency, Ronald Reagan stood at the beaches of Normandy 20 years ago today and described how Army Rangers on D-Day had scaled cliffs and defeated enemy troops who were firing down on them.

Thatcher pays tribute to ‘great American hero’
LONDON – He called her “the best man in England.” She once said he was “the second most important man in my life.”

A diversity of roles
Ronald Reagan's boy-next-door quality as an actor brought him film roles as diverse as the victim of an evil surgeon in “King's Row” and the college professor who experiments with raising a chimpanzee in the comedy “Bedtime for Bonzo.”

Health ailments didn’t diminish positive attitude
Ronald Reagan, who at 69 was the oldest man ever elected president of the United States, maintained a thumbs-up demeanor for the public during several bouts with illness during and after his presidency.

Letter to America
Text of letter written by Reagan in November 1994 announcing he had Alzheimer's disease:

Retired beyond reach of spotlight
LOS ANGELES – The day George H.W. Bush took over the Oval Office in 1989, the Gipper returned to Reagan Country beaming with an aw-shucks smile and dreams of chopping wood and riding his horse at his mountaintop ranch.

Cheap gas from war? It’s just opposite
BAGHDAD, Iraq – While Americans are shelling out record prices for fuel, Iraqis pay only about 5 cents a gallon for gasoline – a benefit of hundreds of millions of dollars of subsidies bankrolled by American taxpayers. Related stories

Hospital can offer little as Iraqi children die
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Three-month-old Ali twists his emaciated body and cries – but barely a sound comes out of his mouth. He's so sick from diarrhea and dehydration that his mother fears he won't make it. Doctors aren't sure either. Related stories

Eight militants killed in Afghan battle
KABUL, Afghanistan – U.S. troops and warplanes attacked Taliban rebels besieging a remote checkpoint in southern Afghanistan, an Afghan official said Saturday. Eight militants were killed. Related stories

Iraq details relationship with U.S.-led military
PARIS – Secretary of State Colin Powell said Saturday that Iraq's new prime minister has written a detailed letter to members of the U.N. Security Council spelling out the relationship between the new Iraq interim government and U.S.-led military forces. Related stories

Armored bulldozer driver found dead inside
GRANBY, Colo. – Friends said Marvin Heemeyer hadn't been seen much lately, and now they know why: He was turning a bulldozer into an armor-plated vehicle that was impervious to SWAT team bullets.

Once-reluctant student pulls through
There were moments when a high school diploma seemed elusive to Matthew Atkinson.The Spokane teen got off to a bad start when he first came to North Central High School. He hardly paid attention in class, didn't turn in homework, didn't really care.

Health clinic under investigation
Inside a Spokane Valley clinic, a 76-year-old man fearlessly sticks out his finger to allow “Dr. Meagan” to draw a sample of his blood in a procedure that costs $125.

Make festivals part of your summer fun
Summer's here, and we all know what that means. It's Festival Time! Every township, hamlet and trailer park has filled each weekend for the next three months with some sort of dorky theme-based jamboree. It's all designed to lure you – the witless vacationer – into communities where you will be entertained by marginally talented nimrods and drained of your tourism cash.

Democrats vow to fight
TACOMA – In a day that started with an angry blast at Wal-Mart and a dancing, 70-foot puppet of a spine, cheering Democrats on Saturday vowed to fight for widespread health coverage, more money for education and an end to the U.S. occupation in Iraq. Related stories

Ceremony celebrates Idaho trail
Dan Jolibois left Plummer at 3 a.m. Saturday by the light of the nearly full moon.

The art of combat choreography
Mike Winderman considers himself a peaceful man despite his propensity for punching, stabbing and slapping. Cross him and he'll most likely turn the other cheek. Insult him and he'll retort softly in vocabulary well beyond most people. But, yell “Action” and Mike swings or slices or kicks at a designated target with alarming deadly force.

Woman suspected of forging petition names
LEWISTON – Authorities are searching for a Lewiston woman suspected of falsifying signatures gathered for a political petition in support of allowing gambling machines at horse tracks.

Week in Review
The ongoing war in Iraq, which has claimed more than 800 U.S. servicemen and women, made Memorial Day services more poignant than usual for many Americans. The dead have included three Inland Northwest residents. An estimated 500 people gathered at Memorial Gardens for one of four Memorial Day services in Coeur d'Alene. They stayed to hear a speaker read the names of all veterans buried at the cemetery, and to witness a low-elevation flyover by a KC-135 refueling jet from Fairchild Air Force Base. There were similar ceremonies in towns throughout

It’s worth checking one’s own campaign reports
Here's a tip for prospective candidates from someone who learned it the hard way: When you or someone from the staff check out your opponent's campaign reports on the Public Disclosure Commission's Web site, spend a few minutes checking yours. Related stories

Club opts to pay $31,000 more than fined
BOZEMAN – The Yellowstone Mountain Club chose to pay $31,000 more than its set penalty of $200,000 when given a list of environmental projects to support, including a $200,000 Environmental Impact Statement.

Raining on their parade
A deluge of rain dampened the West Valley Days community carnival but didn't douse the spirit of some local residents, who arrived wearing rain slickers and holding umbrellas.

Smokejumpers first must make team
WINTHROP, Wash. – Red-faced and sweating, 10 recruits at the North Cascades Smokejumper Base gasp for breath as they drop for push-ups in the middle of a country road, just midway through their morning 6-mile run.

Post Falls wants to divert wastewater onto land
Post Falls wants to irrigate 500 acres of farmland on the Rathdrum Prairie with treated wastewater to reduce the amount of effluent it dumps into the Spokane River.

No charges for officer in shooting
NORTH BEND, Ore. – The Coos Bay police officer who shot and killed an unarmed student at Southwestern Oregon Community College won't face criminal charges or professional discipline for his actions.

Richland principal on leave
RICHLAND – A Richland School District principal now on paid leave made numerous inappropriate and sexual comments to employees, a consultant for the district said.

Readers should demand good journalism
Insist on good journalism. That's the part that you, the reader, should bring to your relationship with this paper. In my previous column, I described how I saw the role of the ombudsman. This time the focus is on you and what you should expect and even demand from this newspaper.


Brothers killed in car crash
MANSFIELD, Wash. – Two East Wenatchee brothers were killed Saturday morning when their vehicle went off a road in the Jameson Lake area in Douglas County.

Wedding marks new start for recovering addict
SEATTLE – As a recovering drug addict, Keith Lowery was used to being in courtrooms.

Boone, Franklin lead Mariners past White Sox
SEATTLE -- It hasn't been a lot of fun lately being Bret Boone. Boone refuses to make excuses for his season-long hitting slump, but he could compile a long list. He hasn't felt good in weeks because of a strained hip flexor that has destroyed his sense of a good swing. The recent illness of his grandfather and hospitalization of his pregnant wife have complicated his mind further, although he says Ray Boone is doing better in San Diego after suffering a stroke, and so is Suzi Boone, who is due to Related stories

Tampa forces a Game 7
CALGARY, Alberta – The Tampa Bay Lightning were as good as guaranteed. Martin St. Louis, the one-time Calgary reject, knocked in a rebound in the opening seconds of the second overtime and the Lightning forced a decisive Game 7 in the Stanley Cup finals by beating the stunned Calgary Flames 3-2 Saturday night.

Former Cougs dot Arena League
It isn't exactly the NFL, but Calvin Schexnayder believes the alternative is pretty darn good. Chris Jackson got over the strange feeling of seeing walls instead of sidelines to make a name for himself by catching footballs indoors. Related stories

Smarty schooled
NEW YORK – Belmont, you ol' heartbreaker, you did it again. Smarty Jones lost his Triple Crown bid and his perfect record when Birdstone ran him down near the finish of Saturday's thrilling Belmont Stakes, toppling his chance to end a record 26-year drought without a winner of thoroughbred racing's most coveted prize.

Notebook about youth sports will appear weekly
Is there an end to sports seasons for today's young athletes? It doesn't seem like it.

Cantwell’s throw best in world
GRESHAM, Ore. -- U.S. shot putter Christian Cantwell raised his arms in victory -- then went to check the tape measure to confirm what he already knew.

A Triple Crown debate
WHICH IS HARDER TO WIN, the Triple Crown of baseball or the Triple Crown of horse racing?

Storm prevail on late basket
Betty Lennox got the opening she needed for the Seattle Storm. Lennox hit a running jumper with 0.9 seconds left to give visiting Seattle a 65-63 victory over Sacramento on Saturday night.

Today’s menu

Els takes control at The Memorial
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Ernie Els could sense his lead in the Memorial getting away. He heard the cheers for Tiger Woods ahead of him and K.J. Choi behind him. He watched Fred Couples pour in a couple of birdies to catch him. It was time for the Big Easy to respond, and he did just that -- by hooking his tee shot so far left on the par-5 11th that it landed on the other side of the creek.


On the air
For Sunday, Jun 6, 2004

Kupets, Patterson co-national champs in gymnastics
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Americans are so deep they have not one, but two national champions.

Coria, Gaudio to meet in All-Argentine final
PARIS -- This is the breakthrough Grand Slam. No matter which of the Argentines wins today's men's final at the French Open – third-seeded Guillermo Coria or unseeded Gaston Gaudio – it will mark the third year in a row that the winner grasps his first major.

Myskina keeps her cool
PARIS -- Anastasia Myskina knows how it feels to fight herself more than her opponent. She knows how it feels to get so frustrated that the urge rises to toss a racket or scream or even just give up.

Two wins keep Huskies alive
Stellar pitching by sophomore Matt Kasser and freshman Kyle Parker on Saturday allowed Washington to advance to the championship round of the NCAA Oxford (Miss.) Regional baseball tournament at Swayze Field.

Flames’ Gelinas nearly won it
CALGARY, Alberta – Martin Gelinas nearly won another series for the Calgary Flames, this time with a deflection off his skate.

Gagne’s record sparks debate about best streak
Los Angeles Dodgers closer Eric Gagne consistently has dominated batters for nearly two seasons, fueling not just a record but a debate about how his 76 consecutive saves rate with other great streaks in Major League Baseball history.

MLB drags its feet on solving draft problems
Only now, five years after disbanding the separate National League and American League offices, is Major League Baseball even starting to make the slightest acknowledgement that it is one group.

Do Mariners keep Garcia or dangle him?
He can be a man of many moods on the mound. But he's already one of the best pitchers in baseball, on his way to becoming absolutely dominant. Related stories

Competition flourishes this season
Commissioner Bud Selig has said it many times. In his dream baseball world, every team leaves spring training with a chance of playing in October. Every fan has hope that their team will be the last one standing as the leaves fall to the ground.

Saturday’s NL games
Cardinals 10, Astros 4: At St. Louis, Jim Edmonds overcame a sore right ribcage, drove in four runs and threw out a runner at the plate to lead St. Louis past Houston. Jeff Kent's single in the third extended his career-high hitting streak to 20 games.

Prior’s return gives highly thought of Cubs a boost while other key players continue to heal
The Chicago Cubs have suffered through a devastating series of injuries that dragged them almost to the bottom of the National League Central standings, but the return of pitcher Mark Prior on Friday might signal the beginning of a major recovery.

Saturday’s AL games
Red Sox 8, Royals 4: At Kansas City, Mo., David Ortiz, Mark Bellhorn and Kevin Youkilis hit two-run home runs to help Boston snap a four-game losing streak as the Red Sox beat Kansas City.

No surprise Colorado site of sex scandal
BOULDER, Colo. – It has been described as the “perfect storm” of scandals, a cloudy concoction of sex, drugs, alcohol, race, gender and a major administrative power failure.

Birdstone camp sorry party spoiled
NEW YORK – For jockey Edgar Prado, his upset of Smarty Jones in the Belmont Stakes lacked some of the joy that usually comes with victory.

Team Smarty disappointed but proud of their champ
NEW YORK -- The ride of their lives ended in shock, silence and tears. Roy Chapman stood up from his wheelchair from the start of the Belmont Stakes and held his hand to his mouth as Smarty Jones raced down the backstretch, seemingly in command just a few strides from winning the elusive Triple Crown.

Rupp embarks on a track life after high school fame
PORTLAND -- Light on his feet and graceful, Galen Rupp seems to have little in common with the late Steve Prefontaine, the barrel-chested Oregon track legend tragically killed in a car accident in 1975.

Mayfield plans to be out front
Jeremy Mayfield has no plan to finesse anybody today at Dover International Speedway. It will be full speed ahead for the polesitter of the MBNA 400.

Billups says watch out for Detroit
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Chauncey Billups knows that few people outside the Detroit locker room think the Pistons can beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals.

De La Hoya, but barely
LAS VEGAS -- Oscar De La Hoya thought he had it all planned out. The only thing he didn't plan on was Felix Sturm putting up such a fight.

Manufacturing good will
WENATCHEE, Wash. -- The gritty sweat-and-work ethic that helped power Alcoa's Wenatchee Works plant has not been wasted in the nearly three years the smelter has been idle.

An open book
Stu Evey isn't as busy as he used to be, 25 years ago. When he was an executive vice president at Getty Oil in Los Angeles, Evey managed numerous deals and dozens of projects.

Coming Monday
Most 20-somethings aren't taking advantage of the tax-deferred savings available through 401(k) programs, studies show. Reasons range from the fact that fewer than half work at companies that offer the programs, to the young peoples' vision of retirement as a far-off time.

Cash-hungry car owners fill tanks with veggie oil
WESTON, Conn. -- As car owners across the country grapple with pumped-up gas prices, some are turning to their favorite restaurants for a solution: recycled vegetable oil.

In Spokane, relocation can speak volumes
Spokane's leaders have bemoaned the flight of corporate headquarters from downtown since Expo folded its tents in 1974. Well, in the case of the banks, anyway, that's changing.

Week Ahead

Business Beat

Convergence taking over in the world of gadgets
Like many other 28-year-old men, Ming Ma bought a Microsoft Xbox to play video games, but soon after the Los Angeles-based systems administrator brought the console home, he realized it was a lot more versatile.

Top Level Domain
The concluding part of a domain name, for example, the .com, .net or suffixes.

Netizens clamoring for Gmail
Google's controversial Gmail e-mail service, under invitation-only testing on the Internet, is the toughest ticket in town.

by the numbers

Foot Frenzy
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Forget the image of paunchy video gamers holed up in a dark room, surrounded by sticky Twinkie wrappers and empty soda cans.

Magix MP3 Maker 2005 Deluxe

The players
The downtown arts-and-entertainment scene is vibrant -- yet also volatile. Words like “eviction” and “bankruptcy” have been bandied about. Here's an update, as of this week, of the status of the four major entertainment venues in the west downtown area:

Downtown, it’s rockin’
A strange artistic alchemy is taking place on the streets of downtown Spokane. Almost without fanfare, a three-block area has blossomed into a true, big-city-style arts-and-entertainment district. The catalyst, without question, has been the Big Easy Concert House, which opened in February and has regularly drawn crowds of 1,000 to 1,500 (even on many weeknights) to its location a block west of the Davenport Hotel.

Do it for your bowels’ sake
Baby boomers' aging could be a bonanza for area farmers who grow lentils. As people get older, they tend to become more interested in, um, the digestive arts. And lentils are nothing if not a boon to what TV commercials gently refer to as “regularity.” Related stories

Perfectly OK to say you have partner, family
Dear Carolyn: I have been in a same-sex partnership for 10 years now, and we're very much in love. In social situations, I constantly meet people who ask, “Are you married yet,” or, “Do you have a wife and kids,” or other fairly innocent questions.

In her head, Linda still travels to the beat of a different drum
Linda Ronstadt says sex is sullying the potential of the music biz. “A wave of sexual hysteria has swept the country,” observes the 57-year-old singer.


Civic board gets earful at meeting
ABOUT 40 PEOPLE showed up at the Spokane Civic Theatre's board meeting on Wednesday and many of them administered what can only be described as a public tongue-lashing.

Sketch artists
In the late 1970s, a group of improv comedy actors from Chicago and Toronto teamed up to star in one of the greatest sketch comedy series ever seen on North American television.

What have those ‘SCTV’ regulars been up to lately?
Here's what the “SCTV” regulars have been up to since the series ended:

Music charts

Lavigne’s second missing ‘heat-seeking hooks’ of first

Making jazz cool
MTV rarely covers jazz, but Jamie Cullum is a different story. A recent MTV News segment included an enthusiastic thumbs-up from superproducer Pharrell Williams. He was so blown away by Cullum's jazz version of his hip-hop hit “Frontin' ” that he pronounced the 24-year-old singer-pianist “definitely our kind of people.”

‘Wonderland’ will have you rooting for its students
This is how much you're going to care about the high school students Michael Bamberger introduces in “Wonderland”: You'll want to know what happens to them, and whatever it is, you'll want it to be good.

‘Super Size Me’ creator signs book deal
Morgan Spurlock, creator of the documentary “Super Size Me,” has signed a book.

‘Double Play’ combination of baseball history, imagination
At the age of 72, more than 40 years since publication of his first book, best-selling mystery writer Robert B. Parker has written his finest novel.

Ivar Nelson new EWU Press interim director
It comes as no surprise, but Eastern Washington University has hired Ivar Nelson, former director of the University of Idaho Press, as interim publisher of the EWU Press for the 2004-05 school year. It comes as no surprise because Nelson had been considered the favorite for the job more than a month ago. The hiring became official last week.

Best-selling books

Fate of ‘Sopranos’ characters in one man’s hands
NEW YORK -- Poor Adriana: Scuttling on all fours across dead leaves in a forest until Silvio, Tony Soprano's consigliere, popped her with two shots.

What a deal – nation caught in grips of Poker Craze
Be advised that a Poker Craze is sweeping the nation. Almost every night there are poker tournaments on television. And if you think that watching people play cards on television would be boring, I have three words for you: Correct-O-Mundo.

Ride to aid Cancer Patient Care
The 11th annual Loreen Miller Bike Ride to benefit Cancer Patient Care will be next Sunday beginning at Mt. Spokane High School.

Canine-gene research may help lives of humans
What does the huge Alaskan Malamute, arctic sled dog of the frigid northern tundra, have in common with the diminutive Pekinese, pampered lap dog of Chinese nobility? It turns out that they are among the most ancient breeds of dogs, splitting their lineage from the wolf centuries ago.

Spokane calendar
Today Conscious Living's 14th annual Celebrating Body, Mind and Spirit Expo – Features 60 speakers and 125 exhibits that includes ideas, services and products to inspire a healthy body, mind and spirit, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Spokane Convention Center. Admission is $6/day, $10/weekend. Co-sponsored by Knudtsen Chevrolet, Northwest Noetic School of Massage, The Inlander, PEACH Safe Foods and Contact Talk Radio. Call 624-1873 or visit for

Idaho calendar
Entertainment Pend Oreille Chorale and Chamber Orchestra – presents Haydn's “Lord Nelson Mass” at 7 p.m. at the Seventh-day Adventist Church at 2555 W. Pine St., in Sandpoint.

Just a spoon away from adolescence
Boring. Big family dinners are boring for kids. I remember this. I remember being 10 and finding ways to amuse myself. I learned how to get a spoon to stick on my nose. Then I refined the technique and got one to stick on my chin and two on my cheekbones. I taught these important tricks to my nieces and nephews as they reached the age to get bored at big family gatherings.

Truth about sexes and lies
Do men lie more than women? Researchers say no. Some believe women lie more than men.

Wild women
The freedom to take off the apron and shoulder a pack -- a surprisingly recent development in the timeline of outdoor pursuits -- has put women outside on equal footing with men.

Bird beak deformities on increase in Alaska
JUNEAU -- A bird beak deformity first recorded among black-capped chickadees near Anchorage has been increasingly seen in crows in Southeast Alaska, broadening an already mysterious phenomenon.

Outdoor leadership class to be offered
The expeditions led by Lewis and Clark and Shackleton had it. The Donner Party didn't. Skilled outdoor leadership can mean the difference between fun and mutiny, understanding and lawsuits, life and death.

Field Reports

Harbinger of treasures
ABERDEEN, Wash. -- Thousands of purplish-blue jellyfish washed ashore recently along the beach at Ocean City.

Gulf Islands’ best offerings include nature, tranquility
SATURNA ISLAND, British Columbia – The woman behind the counter at the general store seemed nice enough, so I popped the question.

Woodinville a regional gourmet getaway
 A WINE, BREW AND FOOD PARADISE sits amid the soaring forests on the hills and dales just south of Woodinville. This Seattle suburb is home to a pair of colossal wineries, a brewery and pub, the region's most celebrated restaurant and a Northwest-style lodge and spa -- all clustered next to one another in the lush Sammamish Valley.

Small town surprise
After days traveling the back roads of Oregon, where the word “town” defines just about any setting with a general store, gas station and antique shop, the little town of Joseph in northeastern Oregon comes as unexpected as a ball gown at a hoedown.

Happy birthday, Steilacoom
When residents of Steilacoom, Washington state's oldest incorporated community, set out to preserve its mid-19th century heritage by gaining recognition as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places, no one suspected that one of the town's greatest treasures lay in a local orchard.

You won’t go home disappointed
During a cruise in Tahiti, the appeal of watching dolphins frolic in turquoise waters warm enough to bathe in was just too good to pass up, particularly when the tour excursion operator assured everyone that he was 99 percent certain we would spot the graceful creatures that afternoon.

Stay in an agriturismo to help with harvest in Italy
Q. My husband, 5-year-old son and I would like to travel to Tuscany or Umbria this fall to help harvest grapes or olives. How can we arrange this?

Luxury rental homes come with concierge
Thinking of renting a luxury home this summer? Luxury leader Abercrombie & Kent is betting you'll pay extra for one that comes with a helper on call.

Ways to save during summer trip to Europe
Europe is most expensive in summer, but you can shave hundreds of dollars off your trip.

As an American in Paris, Polly Platt has ‘savoir flair’
Anyone who feels uncomfortable in France (Francophobes excluded) ought to read Polly Platt. Her books, “French or Foe?” and “Savoir Flair! 211 Tips for Enjoying France and the French,” start with the premise that this is an excellent country but it takes some getting used to.