Thursday, September 30, 2010

My journey, for you to play around with

Posted By on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 4:19 PM

As most Americans are now aware, I recently circumnavigated the fair city of Spokane by foot, bike and oar. The point of the whole endeavor was to see what lies on Spokane's edges and then tell all about it in The Inlander. The 70-plus miles took me four days, and now the product has arrived. 

Check out my story here.

For those of you who find reading to be a bit much, check out this spectacular interactive map, complete with my route, and a ton of pictures and sounds I captured along the way.

Map Nick's Route
Explore the map to see the city's present-day boundaries (in red) and Nick's route around the city (in blue), and click on the icons to see pictures along the way, read Nick's blog posts and hear sound captured on-scene.


View Walking the Boundary in a larger map

For a bit more fun, watch Spokane grow below. You don't even have to add water! 

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Trailer Thursday!

Posted By on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 3:58 PM

This week: The world's most original horror film, a legitimately wonderful film about child vampires, an adoption thriller and a film that critics — not our critic, but some critics — are calling the defining film of the decade (the last one, this one's too early to call). Peep:

CASE 39
Finally! A new plot for a horror movie! Case 39 features a child — a young girl named Lilith — haunted by demons and in need of a’rescuing. Now, that might sound familiar. Maybe it’s somewhat similar to The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, The Omen, Children of the Damned, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Poltergeist I II & III, The Sixth Sense, The Shining, The Ring, Children of the Corn, and The Grudge. But this one’s different: It’s got Bradley Cooper. (TH) Rated R | SHOWTIMES

LET ME IN 
The American remake of the Swedish art house horror hit Let the Right One In is a rarity: a remake that gets it right. A young girl (Chloe Moretz) and her dad (Richard Jenkins) move into a dreary apartment complex, where a young boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) has no friends and hides out from bullies. The catch: She’s a 12-year-old vampire who needs a friend. Grisly violence mix with an unexpected sweetness. (ES) Rated R | SHOWTIMES

LIKE DANDELION DUST
Little 6-year-old Joey is a mild-mannered boy, raised in a well-to-do suburban home. Only one day he and his family find out there’s a problem with his adoption papers: The pregnant mother didn’t trust her incarcerated alcoholic husband, never told him about the child and forged his signature. Now he’s caught between two families, and it’s up to the courts to figure out where he’s going to end up — not necessarily where he belongs. At AMC (DH) Rated PG-13  | SHOWTIMES

THE SOCIAL NETWORK
Director David Fincher (Fight Club, Se7en) and writer Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, The West Wing) give us their swirling, flashback-filled version of the founding of Facebook in the dorm room of angry Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), who eventually became the youngest billionaire in history. With Andrew Garfield, Rashida Jones, and Justin Timberlake. (ES) Rated PG-13 | SHOWTIMES

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Buddy strums, Evita croons, and Bali Ha'i is calling

Posted on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 1:34 PM

You spent all summer at the lake; now you need some cultcha.  How about trying one of the following plays and live performances? They're like 3D movies except that, you know, they're actually in 3D.

Get in at the birth of rock 'n' roll in Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (at Spokane Civic Theatre through Oct. 24 — this week, Thurs-Sat at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 2 pm). (See photos and reviews of Buddy here and here.) 

Politics is "the art of the possible." That's what Juan Peron thought, anyway, and he was dictator of Argentina (even if he did almost lose his nerve before his wife Eva told him to man up). Lake City Playhouse's production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita (Thurs-Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm), amid all the pretty tunes, actually adds to your knowledge of world history (so you can get all smug with the history buffs and musical-theater Gleeks). (See photos and reviews of Evita here and here.)

Thirteen ways of looking at a 10-minute play: That's what's coming up in "Hit and Run IV," a two-hour, one-after-another festival of 13 short (and often comedic and absurd) plays, performed by a whole slew of local actors at Auntie's Bookstore (Main Ave. and Washington St.) on Saturday, Oct. 9, at 2 pm. Three of the playlets (which range in length from 7-12 minutes) take place inside a snowglobe, inside a closet, and inside a living hell. (This mini-play festival will be an Inlander Pick in our Oct. 7 issue.) Tickets are set at actors' favorite price: free.

Bali Ha'i is calling. The national tour of South Pacific opens in Spokane next Wednesday, Oct. 6, at 7:30 pm at the INB Center and continues through Saturday, Oct. 9. (See our preview here, and check out the tour's official website.) 

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LUNCHES AND PUNCHES 4: Sit back and watch the bomb go off!

Posted on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 1:23 PM

And our $10 gift certificate to Neato Burrito goes to Ellie Roduner Ellison, who was the first person to most-correctly identify this week's casualty. Sweet. 

Now let's do this!

A big thanks to everyone who wrote in with their guesses. Some of you got really close!

Note: Lunches and Punches will be taking a sabbatical next week, but we'll be back on Oct. 14 with more food destruction. 

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New books from Jon Stewart and David Sedaris

Posted on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Books: They make you smart. Well, not if you don't read attentively.

Anyway, here are some recent and upcoming releases to exercise your brain:

Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War, by Andrew J. Bacevich (Metropolitan Books, Aug. 3)
U.S. military planners assume that world order depends on our spending much, much more than any other nation on defense and our maintaining huge military bases and hundreds of thousands of troops in a semi-permanent state of readiness. Lt. Col. Andrew J. Bacevich (U.S. Army, Ret.) wants us to ask: What if those assumptions are wrong?

Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard, by Liz Murray (Hyperion, Sept. 7)
Dad's a drug dealer; Mom's a cokehead; they tend to disappear on binges; the apartment's a mess. Soon Mom is dead and Liz is living on the streets. Somehow, she gets scholarships and earns an Ivy League admission. And yes, it was a made-for-TV movie. But the book's better. I mean, this girl graduated from high school in just two years — while she was homeless.

Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge's View, by Stephen Breyer (Knopf, Sept. 14)
Originalism is not determinative: so much for Scalia and Thomas. Breyer advocates a more pragmatic and less fundamentalist approach: The social and political circumstances of those affected by a legal case should be considered by judges — not just their legal situation, narrowly interpreted. As an example, Breyer explains how the same constitutional principles led to distinct handling of Japanese internment camps and the prison at Guantanamo.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Book): A Visitors' Guide to the Human Race, by Jon Stewart (Grand Central Publishing, Sept. 21)
Humanity is extinct — but at least we were thoughtful enough to leave behind a nice coffee table book for any aliens who drop by in the future. In Stewart's book, creationists come in for some derision. So do Earth's advertisers — who, when sales dropped precipitously, "could fall back on a desperate gambit: offering a quality product at an affordable price. But this was strictly a last-ditch effort.”

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, by David Sedaris (Little, Brown — Sept. 28)
Personified animals: Whatever they say, the satire's built in. Take the final story, "The Cat and the Baboon," in which the former is the client and the latter just has to suck up to the customer. The baboon had just been to some marsh rabbits' wedding, during which the rabbits wrote their own vows, "carrying on that their love was like a tender sapling or some damn thing." All of which recalls Sedaris' fascination with marmots when he last visited Spokane. (No marmots, alas, in this book.) Illustrations by the Olivia guy, Ian Falconer.

** The author pictured above is neither Sedaris nor Stewart. Yet as an associate at the firm known as SCOTUS, he arguably has nearly as much political power as Stewart.

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College News Roundup: Sleep, and dream of war

Posted By on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 10:43 AM

Ugh, kidnappers and drug lords ruin everything A Whitworth Jan Term trip to Mexico has been relocated, on account of that whole massive kidnapping, firefight, and drug war thingy. The trip will now takes place in Peru, which, while more expensive, has the added benefit of having llamas. (Whitworthian)

The Sandman's sand A sleep researcher at Washington State University has identified the stuff that turns the switch of sleep on. Turns out, it was adenosine triphosphate the entire time! The little scamp... (The Daily Evergreen)

Cram session There's nothing like a recession to send your college enrollment skyrocketing. Can't find a job? Maybe it's time to get a degree. This is especially true for a two-year community college. At North Idaho College, for example, enrollment rocketed up a full 12.16 percent this year. (The Sentinel)

If we can have peace in the Crosby Student Center, perhaps so can the Middle East Last week, Gonzaga University celebrated their first "peace week," during which students, residents halls, and several social justice clubs advocated for world peace. Sadly, despite their best effort, wars still happened around the world. Maybe next year, guys. (Gonzaga Bulletin)

Sexual assault lawsuit Gonzaga University was sued in federal court by a woman claiming that, in 2007, after she was sexually assaulted, the Gonzaga administration failed to respond appropriately. The lawsuit further alleges that "there is is a pattern of discrimination at Gonzaga against assault victims." Gonzaga denies the charges, but won't comment further. (Gonzaga Bulletin)

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Bike lanes in action

Posted on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 9:53 AM

So, I just wrote a story for this week's paper about the new bike lanes and "sharrows" being painted on downtown streets. In the story, a number of the city's best bike minds — people who spend a lot of time on the streets and have long been in the trenches, trying to build Spokane's bike infrastructure — question the way the city is applying these lanes and sharrows, saying that in some cases they're confusing and even unsafe. 

Bike blogger John Speare agreed with my own informal assessment that as cool as they look, bike lanes might not have been the best solution for the stretch of Riverside Avenue where The Inlander's office is located, for instance. True, they exceed regulation width. But on a street with a lot of parking turn-over, the lanes could put cyclists right in the dreaded "door zone." A better idea might have been to paint sharrows here, alerting motorists that this is a common bike route without encouraging cyclists to drive so close to the parked cars.

We published the story late yesterday. 

First thing this morning, a young woman burst into our office asking to use the phone. She had just been riding in the bike lane on Riverside Avenue when an older woman stepped into the lane from behind a parked car. The two collided, the older woman was injured, an ambulance and fire truck were summoned. 

We don't know anything more than that, but it begs some questions: 

  • Should there be bike lanes here? Would a sharrow have been better? Or nothing at all?
  • Assuming the above is true (we can't confirm it), who is at fault? And what can be done to prevent such accidents in the future?

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MORNING HEADLINES: Remember, remember the fifth of November

Posted on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Cuts in action The Department of Social and Health Services is cutting almost 400 positions and trimming back its mental health and long-term care programs, among others. Stock up on bed pans and mood stabilizers, people. (SR)

WSU threatens secession WSU President Elson Floyd told the guv and legislature to step off yesterday. "I must tell you," he said during his annual State of the University address, sounding like a bad-ass, "I am tired of being on the defense." Then he jumped on top of the podium, dived into the audience and crowd-surfed all the way to Olympia where he bombed the capitol dome like Guy Fawkes. (WSU)

Chillax, Spokies Late last night some dude tried to steal a rack o' beer from a Zip Trip and then stabbed the clerk who attempted to foil the oh so Spokie robbery. Classy. And, somehow the Spokie fever hit Moses Lake, where a funeral home owner was shot by her estranged husband when she was mowing the lawn at a cemetery. Creepy. (KXLY) 

Obama loves Dylan But is the feeling mutual? (Atlantic Wire)

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LUNCHES & PUNCHES 4: Name that culinary casualty

Posted on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 8:30 AM

It’s Thursday morning. That means it is time once again for Lunches and Punches, the weekly video series in which we take a delicious local lunch and destroy it for shits and gigs.

(See our previous videos, in which BLTs were pummeled, gumbo peppered and burgers blended. For being the first to most correctly guess those victims, Bloglander readers took home gift certificates to Brooklyn Deli, the Elk, and Dick's.)

Here’s this week’s unlucky contestant:

Can you guess...

  • what it is,
  • where it came from,
  • and how we destroyed it?

If so, email joels [at] inlander [dot] com by 2 pm today. When we post the video at 2:30, revealing the answer, we’ll announce the lucky winner.

Buon appetito!

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hump Day: Happy hours for tonight

Posted By on Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 3:37 PM

Each Wednesday on Bloglander, we give you a taste of happy hours going on at bars around town that night. (Read previous posts.)

Reminding everyone that October means it's time to celebrate the micro brew. Oktoberfest joints all over Eastern Washington will be offering beer tastings and bratwurst in honor of this European tradition throughout this month. Coeur d'Alene will be beerafied this first weekend in October. Across downtown Coeur d'Alene, German beer and food will be served up alongside fancy mustard.

The Screaming Yak will be offering brats and beer this weekend. For this Wednesday's happy hour, the Screaming Yak is offering $1 domestic bottles, $3 Captain Morgan drinks, $4 Crown Royal. $2.75 pints of Blue Moon and $5.55 appetizers from 3-6 pm. 

At Lit'z, (which also happens to be hosting their very own Oktoberfest mid-October) $4 will get you a shot of any whiskey—including top shelf, $2.75 domestic bottles of beer,  50 cents of pitchers, $3 well drinks. Offered until 7 pm.

In the Valley, the Brass Faucet is offering $3 wells and $2.50 drafts for happy hour.

At Scratch in Coeur d'Alene bottles of wine are half priced. We recommend going for the Coeur d'Alene Cellars Mourvedre or the Canoe Ridge Chardonnay.

In downtown Spokane Agave will be having a Wednesday celebration of their own. Premium wells are $5, a house margarita is $5, a glass of house red or white is $4, domestic beer pints are a dollar, import draft pints are $3.50. Known for their amazing Mexican food, they are offering a lobster quesadilla for $7, smoked pork ribs for $6, Kalbi short ribs for $4, tuna ceviche for $7, chorizo steamed clams for $6, sweet potato fries for $4, carne asada or chicken tacos two for $4, chipotle grilled prawns for $7, pear and arugula salad for $4 and chicken or beef burritos for $7. This goes on until 6 pm and from 10 pm-midnight.  

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