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Nelson’s Nelson Star

For a luscious meal at Itza Ristorante & Pizzeria, we sat down for a bottle of an Argentinan malbec, lasagna and some random fettuccine dish. The best part? Two separate issues of the Nelson Star, the local news that Nelson residents trust the most? There’s no way of knowing. They don’t have a slogan. Besides that minor detail, we enjoyed the 24-page issue with its front page dedicated to Canada Day. The feature article, “What Canada Means to Me.” Jacqueline Van Horne wrote, “Canada is a country where I feel safe and secure. Canada is a beautiful country where I can make my own decisions.” What would an American child say when asked, “What does America mean to you?”

A Sunday morning trip up Hall Street brought us to the beacon of light, the home of the Nelson Star. It was a Sunday afternoon. Not a soul in sight. Closed. Not even a lone scanner lit up the dark room through the window. In fact, it was only one room. (That we could tell). The Nelson Star houses 11-staff members. Only two of them are reporters. My new professional crush may be “Greg Nesteroff”. Not only does he write the public safety beat, but he also writes art features regarding Silver King Dry Ginger Ale. To be fair, he refers to it as an investigation. The staff photo of him is of him sporting a fedora and magnifying glass. But wait, there’s more. He covers the city beat with stories like, “Baldface Rolls out Expansion Plans.” In a single issue he wrote five stories. I’m a fan. He probably does more for the paper that isn’t mentioned in a by-line. 

When I see the flexibility in story topics, I feel very confident in my abilities to switch from a police blotter story to highlights of a city council meeting to something extremely weird in passing in downtown Spokane. In shoe-string budget publications, you have to be flexible like that to provide the least amount and variety of content expected. Did I mention that Nesteroff is his own photographer?

As we walked away from the Nelson Star, we passed the former building for the Nelson Daily News. The Daily News published from 1902 to 2010. It was bought by Black Press and then shut down. Black Press also owns the Nelson Star which switched from a weekly, to a bi-weekly publication. To fulfill the lack of news from the 2010 closure, the Nelson Star is now picking up that slack.

Unlike the Spokane metropolitan media market, which feeds on breaking news, Nelson does not have such a feed. We saw only one police vehicle in town during our entire stay. The front page of the Star’s latest issue featured an article called, “Snagged jacket saved Nelson man from drowning.” An article like that would be shoved to the Northwest section of the Spokesman Review, but would receive the 5 & 6 p.m. breaking news treatment from television stations.

In a moment of emotions as we walked down the alleyways away from the Nelson Star, we said, “let’s buy it”. Our only motive: to move to Nelson.


We’re Going to Florida

Photo Credit: NASA/Tony Gray and Tom Farrar (Edited with Picnik)

On June 1st, I applied for the #NASATweetup with for #STS135. It was a long shot. I’m not the only space geek in the world jonesin’ for a spot next to the big countdown clock to see the final space shuttle launch with my own eyes. 5,500 applied. June 10th came around. Rejection. I didn’t lose hope. There were hundreds, maybe thousands of NASA groupies out there who were in my boat. We wanted another option. I got wind of the #EndlessBBQ and #SVPTweetup. Hope was not loss. I wanted to go. Even if I wasn’t a part of the official tweetup, there were still options.

I needed a travel buddy. I turned to this guy… His name is Mike… He’s kind of cool… I asked him if he wanted to go to a bbq. He said yes. I asked him if he wanted to go to Florida for the final shuttle launch. He said yes. Then we made a blog. This is what happens when two nerds get together. He does the code, I do the content. It’s a beautiful thing. We’ve got our plane tickets and we’re now finalizing our housing situation.

We have a travel blog specifically for this adventure. Please add it to your RSS reader or however you keep up with your morning readings. We’ll be posting space shuttle and travel related information. It’s hosted on Tumblr, but comments are available. I don’t know what else to say, except that… I’m stoked. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and after years of making up excuses, I’m finally doing it.

Cross your fingers that they don’t scrap the launch.

“How was Arizona, Nicole?”

No idea. I spent my entire time on an Indian reservation in the middle of a desert. I did see some cactus’ though! They’re tall and rather… prickly. Their proper name was the Saguaro Cactus. It takes 100-years plus to grow a certain height.

As a foreigner to these desert lands, I learned that cactus are kind of a big deal. They name their streets after them. They decorate them with Christmas lights. Oh, and they police them. Vandalizing a cactus is called cactus plugging. I don’t know about you, but anything with cactus and suspicious behavior seems to always end in tears. Example: The Grundman Incident & “Couple Run From Police and Into a Patch of… Cactus”.

I traveled to Arizona with Silver Auctions for their latest auction at Fort McDowell Casino & Resort. I’ve seen my fair share of classic cars to last me a few months. Under the wings of a former Idaho State Patrol Officer, I learned a thing or two about cars. Specifically: VIN Plates. Just by looking at a car, I could probably tell you where the VIN plate is located and judging by the screws on the plate, I can tell you if its original (round screws) or it’s been replaced (rosette screws). These were life skills that could last me a lifetime.

On my way home, I realized that this trip was way too smooth. On these kind of trips something strange ALWAYS happens to me. Since we were flying over Oregon, I knew I only had an hour or so for that strange incident to occur. Knowing my luck, it would be any second in the form of… well I wasn’t sure. I turned the volume up on my iPhone so David Bowie’s sweet sweet voice could calm my nerves. That’s when it happened. It came in the form of an on-board snack. Or the lack thereof. I was handed a bag of “Plane Crackers” (pun intended). There were no crackers.

It was a bag of air. Oh, the humanity.


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