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Issue #612

May 1, 2009

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Purple frogs? Sightless amphibians? Things that go bump in the night? Well, maybe not that, but Tidbits has certainly compiled some interesting facts on some pretty weird animals. • One of the most endangered species in the world is the Yangtze river dolphin, locally called the baiji. The dolphin may already be extinct, as a recent survey was unable to locate any dolphins in the river. • The olm is a blind amphibian that can live up to one hundred years. It can go ten years without food and can be found in subterranean waters in Italy and Croatia. • The dugong is related to the manatee. It will perch on its tail in the water and stick its head above – a trait that some researchers believe inspired the myth of mermaids. • A giraffe can clean its ears with its tongue. • A group of geese on the ground is called a gaggle. A group of geese in the sky is called a skein. • The sailfish is the fastest swimmer at sixty-eight mph (109 km/h). • The slowest fish is the seahorse, at .01 mph (.016 km/h). They are also monogamous and mate for life. • Adèlie penguins can live up to twenty years. • The kiwi is also a flightless bird that mates for life and has the most developed sense of smell of modern birds. • Crocodiles are color blind. • Owls are the only bird with the ability to see the color blue. • Giraffes have no vocal chords. • The Purple Frog is an Indian frog that wasn’t discovered until 2003 because of a very unique trait. Purple Frogs live thirteen feet beneath you’ve found the perfectgift, gift,leave leave Once you’ve found the perfect theOnce ground and only come up for two weeks during the monsoon seathe to restus. to We us. We provide: the rest provide: son to mate – making them very hard to find! • Boxes a variety of sizes • Boxes in a in variety of sizes

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The UPS Store centers are independently owned and operated by licensed franchisees of Mail Boxes Etc., Inc., an indirect subsidiary of United Parcel Service of America, Inc., a Delaware corporation. Services and hours of operation may vary by location. Copyright ©2007 Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. 41017740207

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The UPS Store centers are independently owned and operated by licensed franchisees of Mail Boxes Etc., Inc., an indirect subsidiary of United Parcel Service of America, Inc., a Delaware corporation. Services and hours of operation may vary by location. Copyright ©2007 Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. 41017740207

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The UPS Store centers are independently owned and operated by licensed franchisees of Mail Boxes Etc., Inc., an indirect subsidiary of United Parcel Service of America, Inc., a Delaware corporation. Services and hours of operation may vary by location. Copyright ©2007 Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. 41017740207

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of Spokane County, WA


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THIS IS A HAMMER By Samantha Mazzotta

The ABCs of Handsaws Q: I tried using the handsaw my dad gave me to cut a piece of wood, but it’s the most useless thing I’ve ever had. It sawed about half an inch and then stuck, and I can’t get it out. What’s a better kind of saw to get? -- Felicity in Columbus, Ohio

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A: Handsaws require a bit of patience and practice to really get the hang of. And while the majority of do-it-yourselfers eventually invest in power saws to handle cutting jobs, learning to use a handsaw properly is still important. You’ll learn a lot about proper cutting angles and some of the characteristics of different woods. Plus, it builds character, or so my dad used to say. A S E ASY A S The type of handsaw to keep in your toolkit at all times is one marked “general purpose.” This type of saw allows you to cut wood either along the grain or against the grain. (A “crosscut” saw is designed ...... 1, 2, 3! to cut only against the grain.) The blade should be a little more than 2 feet long, with 8 to 10 teeth per - Lifetime Warranty inch (this will all be noted on the label). A good steel blade -- one that’s not too floppy -- and a sturdy - Scratch Resistant wooden handle are essential. - Stain Resistant G RANITE To properly saw a piece of wood, mark it with a line that indicates the spot and direction you want to cut. - Heat Resistant Clamp the wood to a sturdy surface (a workbench or between two sawhorses). Line up the saw with the C OUNTERTOPS mark and begin slowly sawing back and forth, smoothly but firmly. As it cuts into the wood, angle the $200 O FF G RANITE S INK saw at about 60 degrees vertically -- try to maintain that angle. with the purchase of a full kitchen project You will be able to feel whether the saw is cutting smoothly or not; don’t fight or jiggle the saw side to side -- concentrate on a smooth back-and-forth movement using the entire length of the saw blade. (Must present coupon at time of estimate • Expires 5/20/09) Installed in 1-day! Don’t push the saw downward to force the cutting to move faster -- this is one sure way to snag the Granite counter that fits over saw teeth in the wood. existing countertops As you near the end of the cut, be especially cautious. The wood will get wobbly and you’ll need to hold FREE In-Home Consultation one side steady to keep the last bit from splintering; plus, the instant the saw gets all the way through, (509) 931-1115 it will fall downward and angle right back toward you. So don’t saw too furiously at this stage. Again, be patient as you saw. If your arm gets tired, take a break, then back at it. Don’t let frustration get the best of you. The only way to get better at this is to keep doing it.

HOME TIP: A saw blade should be kept sharp, so look for a saw file at your home-improvement store (directions on how to use it should come with the file). Send questions or home-repair tips to, or write This Is a Hammer, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

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FREAKY FAUNA FACTS (continued): • The horn of a narwhal is actually a tusk. It is rare, but not impossible, for a narwhal to have two tusks like an elephant. • The solendon is a mammal in Cuba and Hispaniola that injects venom into its prey through its teeth. It is the only mammal that does so. • The Bumblebee Bat is so small it can fit inside a bottle cap. • The kakapo, a New Zealand native, averages at eight pounds and is the heaviest parrot in the world. There are approximately sixty kakapos left in the world today. • The fish with the glowing antenna in Finding Nemo? That’s a female Angler. The male is 1/20th her size and spends his life attached to and slowly fusing with the female. • A house fly only lives about two weeks! • The heart of a blue while is about the size of a small car. • The echidna and platypus are the only egg-laying mammals in the world. An egg-laying mammal is called a monotreme.

*Must present this ad at time of estimate for discount. • The duck-billed platypus is venomous! • Kangaroos cannot walk backwards. • A hippopotamus can open its jaw so wide that an eight year old could stand up in its mouth. • A sloth can turn its heads 270º. • The Chinese Giant Salamander can grow to the length of an average human! • The Gardiner’s Seychelles frog is the world’s smallest frog. It measures less than half the length of its name when typed. • Elephants cannot jump. • The Mekong Giant Catfish is the largest scale-less freshwater fish in the world. It lives in the Mekong river system in Asia, which spans through the countries of Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. This endangered species can grow up to 650 lbs (295 kg), can live up to sixty years and can reach up to 10 ft (3 m) long. • Armadillo is a Spanish word meaning “little armored one.” turn the page for more!

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of Spokane County, WA

You & Us. Working together to address your financial needs.

safe, and in most cases, they’re both fabulous places to put your money! - Dave

Donald F. Morgan, Account Vice President 601 West Riverside Avenue, Suite 1200 Spokane, WA 99201 509-744-3317

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(banks versus credit unions) ©2008 UBS Financial Services Inc. All rights reserved. Member SIPC.

FREAKY FAUNA FACTS (continued): • The ostrich’s eye measures two inches (five centimeters) – the largest of any land animal! • While it resembles a small bear, the wolverine is actually part of the weasel family. • The Andean condor has a wingspan of 10.5 ft (3.2 m) - the largest of any bird in the world. • A newborn kangaroo can fit inside a teaspoon. • Wallace’s flying frog is a species in Malaysia and Borneo that can glide in the air like a flying squirrel. • The Blue-footed booby is a type of booby, a sea bird, with bright blue feet. The bluer the hue, the more attractive the male is to a female, though both sexes have blue feet. • Xiphactinus Audax was a 17 ft (5 m) fish from the Cretaceous period. It could open its jaws so wide it could have swallowed up to two men at one time. • Fireflies are actually beetles. • Corals are carnivorous. While they can survive off algae, they are also armed with venomous barbs, which they can use to grab small fish. • The ivory-billed woodpecker was thought to be extinct until 2005, when the bird was caught on video in Arkansas. • The tiger is the largest member of the modern cat family. • There is a larger Asian freshwater fish, though scientists fear it might already be extinct. The scaled Chinese Paddlefish can reach up to 23 ft (7 m), but has not been sighted since 2003. • The Giant Squid, with eyes as big as beach balls, is still one of Earth’s greatest mysteries. Scientists show that the average Giant Squid weighs about 440 lbs (200 kg) and measures 33 ft (10 m) in length. The largest Giant Squid ever found weighed 900 kg, nearly one ton, and was measured at 59 ft (18 m). In 2006, Japanese scientists brought a living, female Giant Squid to the surface that measured 24 ft (7 m) long. • The Ozark big-eared bat is an endangered species in the Central Southern United States. They are named for their unique ears, which can be over 1/4th the length of their 4 in (10 cm) body. • Wildebeest is the Afrikaans name for the gnu, a member of the antelope family. Gnu calves learn to walk in a matter of minutes and are able to keep up with the heard after a few days. • The Amazonian Arapaima is a large, scaled, freshwater fish that surfaces to take air. It can stay underwater anywhere from ten to twenty minutes at a time and can weigh up to 440 lbs (200 kg). The End

Dear Dave, We’re completely debt-free, and my husband and I have been very conservative with our investments our entire lives. Considering the current state of the economy, we were wondering if a credit union would be a safer place than a traditional bank for some of our savings. Beverly Dear Beverly, With a traditional bank, you’ve got the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) looking out for you. Late last year, Congress temporarily increased the basic FDIC insurance coverage limit from $100,000 to $250,000. This change is scheduled to remain in effect throughout 2009. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is the FDIC of the credit union world, and they also increased their coverage limits in 2008. The biggest thing you want to look at is the “hassle factor” if your institution goes broke and closes up shop. I haven’t done business with big banks for years, primarily because of the awful customer service you get at most of them. I like local, community banks, and I believe whole-heartedly in credit unions. As a rule, these institutions practice excellent customer service. Plus, most of them didn’t get mixed up the sub-prime debacle. Community banks and credit unions are both


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Dear Dave, My wife and I are a few months away from being completely debt-free, except for our house. Our combined income is about $100,000 a year. We’ve been looking into long-term disability insurance. What is non-cancellable guaranteed long-term disability insurance, and how much should we get? Tim Dear Tim, Ask yourself this question: If I become disabled, how much money will I need to live on? In most cases, the maximum you can get is around $75,000. Since you guys have a pre-tax income of $100,000, you’d be able to live on that, even a little bit less, if something happened to one of you. Check out the tax situation. Historically, employerfurnished disability payments were taxable as replacement income, while payments on individual policies were considered insurance proceeds, and not taxable. This will make a big difference in how much available cash you will be getting. I don’t worry about short-term disabilities, because if you’re debt-free and have an emergency fund, you can handle those. It’s the things that could incapacitate you for years, or even the rest of your life that should concern you. If you get into a bad health situation, non-cancelable, long-term disability is definitely the kind you want as long as the additional premium for such a feature isn’t sky high. But if you can get this for a few more dollars a month, I’d go for it! - Dave * For more great financial advice, please visit

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But now,O Lord, You are our Father: We are the clay, and You our potter; we are all the work of Your hand.

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of Spokane County, WA

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Leaving a Family Tree for Future Generations Have you ever done your family tree? Even if there aren’t any genealogy fans in the current generations of your family, you never know when someone will develop an interest in learning about the family’s history. Here are some things you can do for the next generations: • Identify all photos. If you write on the backs of them, it’s important not to use a ball point pen or anything with a sharp point. Special acid-free pens are available this purpose. It’s best if photos aren’t stored in albums with plastic pages. Instead, store photos carefully in archive boxes with sheets of acid-free paper between the layers. • Scanning photos and putting them onto CD can be a tedious job, but if you have the time and equipment, it’s one way to share

photos while the originals are stored away. You also can have the CDs copied and mailed to family members. • Write or record stories of your life. Make a list of the tales you wish to write down and check them off as you go. Or you can type your stories or put them on tape and ask someone to transcribe them. The point is to get them down somewhere. Consider having copies made to give to family members. If you’ve never done your family’s genealogy, take a class that will teach you to use the Internet to research back beyond the generations you know from memory. In the class you’re sure to learn how to discern which sites have good information and which are likely to have inaccurate information. A class also will let you try out the different genealogy programs that are available and show you how to use family group charts. Let me know if you catch the genealogy bug!

Find exercise classes and activities near you! Or, call 458-7450 – and ask for classes in your zip code

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Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible. Write to her in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send email to (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

VA Home Loan Has in mind that there’s a limit. The VA program won’t Its Benefits If you’ve never used your VA eligibility to buy a home, this could be the prefect time to do so. Between the warmer weather and the current price of real estate, you could find a real bargain. With a VA home loan, you likely won’t make a down payment, you won’t pay mortgage insurance premiums, your closing costs are limited and you could get an even better interest rate than is being offered in the open market. Your first step will be to get your Certificate of Eligibility. You’ll need to complete a VA Form 261880, available online at Gather up your discharge documents, such as your DD 214. You’ll need those, too. The next step, before you ever look at real estate, should be to sit down with a lender who handles VA guaranteed loans. (If you haven’t yet applied for your Certificate, ask your lender if it can do so online. Some can.) Find out the state of your credit and how much of a loan you qualify for. The next step is to find a property you like. Keep

guarantee loans over $417,000 ($625,500 in Alaska and Hawaii.) If you’ve already used your eligibility to buy a house, your eligibility can be restored to buy a second house if the loan on the first one was paid off. If there are complications, such as a buyer assuming your first loan, you’ll need to talk to the VA Regional Loan center near you. In some cases your eligibility can be restored or you may have remaining entitlement, depending on the circumstances. If you’ve never owned a home, consider pre-purchase counseling. For information call HUD at 1-800-569-4287.

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(c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.


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DELI MACARONI SALAD What better to take on a picnic than a macaroni salad. As simple as this one is, people will think you stopped at the deli. 1/3 cup fat-free Ranch dressing 1/3 cup fat-free mayonnaise 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish 1/2 cup small curd fat-free cottage cheese 2 cups cooked elbow macaroni, rinsed and drained 2 teaspoons dried onion flakes 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

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HINT: Usually 1 1/3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni cooks to about 2 cups.

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• Each serving equals: 173 calories, 1g fat, 7g protein, 34g carbs, 558mg sodium, 32mg calcium, 1g fiber; Diabetic Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch/Carb, 1/2 Meat; Carb Choices: 2. Visit Healthy Exchanges at, or call toll-free at 1-800-766-8961 to signup for our FREE monthly newsletter. All you pay is the shipping and handling. This is the only national food newsletter for diabetics, heart/cholesterol concerns and healthy weight loss. (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.


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11410 E. Sprague, Spokane Valley 850 E. Trent, Spokane • 509-535-9517 509-926-5054 Southwest Corner of Trent & Hamilton STORE HOURS: Mon-Sat: 9am-6pm

Next to Halpins STORE HOURS: Mon-Sat: 9:30am-5pm

GARDEN EXPO 2009 ~ GARDENING AROUND THE WORLD! SPOKANE, WA - May 9, 2009 Location: Spokane Community College Lair - 1810 N. Greene St. Free Admission/Parking Presented by The Inland Empire Gardeners - 509-535-8434 - Over 200 garden related vendors. Plant sellers, crafters, artists. Door Prizes, Demos, Educational and Gun Gardening Seminars. Gather ideas for your garden, make purchases for your yard, talk to experts! Latest in garden art and decor, yard furniture, plants, greenhouse, and more.

AGO MUSIC PRESENTS ISSAKAR IN CONCER - May 29 and 30 Location: Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W Sprague, Spokane

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of Spokane County, WA

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of Spokane County, WA


for Sponsoring Adoptable Pet of the week

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Shadow is a fun & loving dog that is both playful & calm when you want her to be. She has lots of energy & would do well with older children. She’s been around other animals but enjoys her loving without them around. Shadow is housebroken & loves to play outside. She really likes to chase balls & Frisbees & she loves car rides. She is looking for is a family that will allow her to cuddle up next to them and be a couch potato. She’s in it for love, are you looking for a new best friend? If so please contact the shelter to get in touch with her foster mom!

Zuzu - Shepherd mix, Pet ID 7443033

Zuzu is a bit shy at first, and since she’s young, she still finds the world a little scary. She’s still a pup and she will need plenty of exercise, attention, and basic training to help her adjust and show her true potential. She is very loving, cuddly and sweet. Petting and cuddling make her feel much better about everything.

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DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I have two small children, and we recently added a new member to our family -- a Cocker Spaniel puppy. “Missy” is adorable, and my kids absolutely love her; however, she is more than I bargained for. I am having a very hard time training her and was thinking about going to a dog trainer who can work on everything from house training to basic commands and even aggression. I have been hearing about a dog trainer based nearby. How do I know if he’ll be a good trainer for my dog? -- Jessica P., via e-mail DEAR JESSICA: Word-of-mouth recommendations about a dog trainer can be very telling, and if the person telling you about him thinks he is good and can help you, there’s a good chance he can. Of course, there are other questions you should ask directly of the trainer when you contact him. Does he belong to a professional organization such as the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (found at www.

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(at participating locations) (not good with any other offer) exp. 6/31/2009 Does he specialize in certain breeds? How much experience does he have training Cocker Spaniels? What is the training format -- one on one with the trainer, or a group setting with pet owners? Can other family members participate in the class? Are there any health restrictions or specific vaccinations required of Missy before she can join? Don’t worry about asking too many questions! Good trainers care about your dog and will do their best to answer them. Working with a professional trainer will be incredibly beneficial for both Missy and you. It’s not only Missy who’s learning how to respond to commands, you also will learn how to respond to Missy’s behavior, how to stop bad habits and how to continue training her long after the sessions end. That’s right -- professional training is not just for your dog, it’s also training for you. That’s why it’s one of the best investments you can make for both Missy and your family. Send your tips, questions and comments to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 328536475, or e-mail them to (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

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No Cure for Heartburn, one gets them. Some feel they are spasms of the diaphragm -- the but Medicines Can Help large, thin muscle that serves as a partition between the chest and

DEAR DR. DONOHUE: In 2004, I had a scope put down my throat and into my stomach. The doctor said I had a hiatal hernia and signs of acid reflux. He put me on Prilosec. It stops my heartburn very well. I have been on it ever since. If I miss two doses, the heartburn returns. Is it safe to take this medicine for long periods of time? -- L.K. ANSWER: Prilosec (omeprazole), Aciphex, Protonix, Nexium and Prevacid are proton-pump inhibitors, the strongest medicines for decreasing stomach acid production. The manufacturers of these medicines suggest a four-to-eight-week course of medicine. The medicines don’t cure heartburn. They suppress it as long as a person takes them. So what’s a person to do when heartburn returns after a course of therapy? Another kind of medicine, like Zantac, can be used. Common antacids often work. Avoiding foods that stimulate acid production is another way to control symptoms. However, if acid reflux is severe, then the proton-pump medicines are the best. Evidence suggests that long-term use might make a person more apt to have a hip fracture. That danger can be partially offset by taking calcium and vitamin D. Many people remain on these medicines for extended periods. You have to make this decision for yourself. The booklet on hiatal hernia, acid reflux and heartburn focuses primarily on the common heartburn problem and its treatment. Readers can obtain a copy by writing: Dr. Donohue -- No. 501W, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Canada with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four weeks for delivery.

abdominal cavities and the muscle that is the principal breathing muscle. Or they might be due to too much food or fluid in the digestive tract. Some believe a decreased blood flow to the diaphragm is the cause. In truth, no one knows. One way to get rid of them is to raise both your arms overhead while taking a deep breath. Then lower your arms while exhaling and simultaneously contracting your abdominal muscles. Another favored treatment is to bend the knee on the side of the pain while pressing your fingers into the painful area. *** DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I have what doctors call black hairy tongue. Can you tell me about it? -- Anon. ANSWER: Black hairy tongue, aside from its looks, is an innocent condition that comes from the elongation of tongue papillae, tiny projections from the tongue’s surface. Gently brushing the tongue three times a day with toothpaste, baking soda or 3 percent hydrogen peroxide can usually get rid of it. If it’s not gone in a month, return to the dentist or doctor for a follow-up exam. *** Dr. Donohue regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but he will incorporate them in his column whenever possible. Readers may write him or request an order form of available health newsletters at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. (c) 2009 North America Synd., Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Kahne Starts Strong for Petty, Dodge With a new team and a new outlook this season, Kasey Kahne is off to a great start with the newly combined Richard Petty Motorsports. And after the first seven races of the Sprint Cup season, Kahne raced back into the top-12 standings (10th after Texas) and after a good showing in Atlanta. “We had a good race. We got behind on that one deal early in the race there on pit road, and it took us a long time to get our lap back,” Kahne said. “We actually ran second to Kurt (Busch) one lap down for over 100 laps in the race. We finally got it (lap) back and ended up with seventh, which I think was pretty good. I think that we were more of a fourth- or fifth-place car on a long run and probably seventh early in the run. It worked out good for us. I’m real happy with where our points are right now.” Kahne says he’s benefited from Petty’s work ethic already this season. “He’s just a cool guy that’s done a ton in this sport. He’s a good guy to have on your side. From my

side -- and I think everybody that sees him at the shop walking around -- he’s an icon. Now that he hangs out there and is part of our teams, it’s exciting and fun. It gives everybody a good attitude.” Kahne’s landed in the top five once, top 12 twice and has averaged about a 14.6 finish. Kyle Busch and Kahne have become Dodge’s top cars at this point in the season. All of the manufacturer’s cars are running with the long-awaited R6 engine. “I think that the biggest thing is that it shows the Dodge teams that, hey, these cars can go fast. I think Kurt (Busch) is showing that. ... I feel like the Dodges did a real good job of making gains. We have a ways to go, but we definitely did a good job up to this point.” With Phoenix ahead -- a track Kahne has not run well at with only one top-five finish and three top-10s in nine races -- the driver says the good weather will add to great conditions for a good race. “To me, it’s a neat place to go (race). We haven’t run that well there,” he said. “We’ve kind of been up-and-down there it seems like. ... Early on (in my career) I did (in 2004). Since then, I haven’t, and I need to step it up there and figure out how to go fast there.”

Monte Dutton has covered motorsports for The Gaston (N.C.) Gazette since 1993. He was named writer of the year by the National Motorsports Press Association in 2008. His blog NASCAR This Week ( features all of his reporting on racing, roots music and life on the road. E-mail Monte at nascar_thisweek@yahoo. com. (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

PHOTO: Kasey Kahne is off to a good start after the first seven races of this season. (Photo: John Clark/NASCAR This Week)

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TIDBiTS of Spokane County, WA Issue #612  

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