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March 31, 2010 -- Statesman-Examiner (WA)

The Colville Mountain Peace Sign

Colville 'C' Transformed -- Briefly

By Chris Cowbrough, S-E Editor

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One of Colville's most visible and long time icons was briefly transformed into the universal sign of peace early last Wednesday morning.

The Colville 'C,' which for most stands for the community in the valley down below, was changed into a peace sign by three enterprising area residents who said they had been planning the caper for over a year.

Unlike many incidents that have involved the 'C' and lighted cross several feet to the east, there was no vandalism involved this time.

The perpetrators, Peter Quinn, Jack Cabe and Matt Riggan, used 300-feet of Tyvek to design their peace sign. The building material was Quinn's.

The trio undertook their ambitious project shortly before day-break on Wednesday. Their handiwork was in place for local denizens to see for nearly an hour.

The three had planned to design their peace sign under cover of a fog-shrouded morning, but that didn't happen. The morning was clear and cold.

A local resident spotted the three transforming the 'C' and called local law enforcement before heading up the mountain himself. He figured, like a lot of others, that the handiwork must have included the usual acts of Colville Mountain vandalism.

Colville Police caught up with Quinn, Cabe and Riggan coming down the mountain shortly after they had finished their sign of the times (just after 7 a.m.). They were accompanied back to the site, where the trio spent about 30-minutes cleaning up the site and removing their handiwork.

The three were released from police custody shortly thereafter. There were no charges filed.

Quinn, Cabe and Riggan all said their experience with local police was a positive one. Apparently, the officers had a sense of humor.

"All in all, everybody was pretty cool about it," Cabe said, adding that he took part in the project to honor a friend, Milton Spidell. "He was a longtime peace activist and veteran in the community who passed away last year."

Riggan assured those who didn't see the prank as so positive that their plan was always to fill the 'C' with Tyvek and nothing more. There was never any intention to vandalize or destroy the property.

That would have run counter to what they were trying to accomplish.

"The plan was never to deface anything," Riggan pointed out. "The kid who redid the 'C' for his (Colville High) senior project did a great job. The community should be very proud of him. His work gave us a good place to start from."

The 'C' to 'Peace' got considerable internet/Facebook dialogue around the region and beyond last week. The majority appreciated what they considered to be respectful, good, clean fun-with a message we can all embrace.

"We hope what we did makes people think and get a dialogue going," Quinn said.

"What's wrong with a little more peace in all our lives?"

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