It always seems so funny to Troy and I when we visit Spokane how frequently residents refer to certain big families by name even when they are not known personally: The Prings, Pounders, Cowles, etc. The latter family is now involved in a sticky complex land development deal with the city that has gone sour (and perhaps bankrupt). The revitalization of the River Park Square Mall which I used to hang out in as a kid and buy gummy bears at the Boehm’s candy store, but now houses an Abercrombie & Fitch and Restoration Hardware – in Spokane (!) – was promoted by Cowles who own the real estate, designed the financing with the city, and run the newspaper and television stations insuring just the coverage they desired on the project.

_She points to the Monroe Street Bridge spanning the Spokane River.

“When I moved here, there was a toll on that bridge,” she says. “It was a dime if you had three people in your car, and 25 cents if you had two or less. The day they took the toll off, 14,000 more people used the bridge.

“That’s Spokane.”_