Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Morning Headlines -- Food and money

Posted By on Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 7:29 AM

Before "Obamacare" -- Faced with the threat of the federal government doing it for them, Idaho begins to set up its own health care exchanges, letting consumers and small businesses compare costs and benefits across the system. (SR)

Sunday snacks -- Free meals have long been available for low-income students during the school day, but what happens during the weekend? In Couer d'Alene, lunches are now being placed in backpacks and given to some kids to take home. (KXLY)

Grandma's got a gun? -- An adult home has had its license revoked after DSHS determined the caregiver wasn't locking up him guns correctly. (KREM)

Wanted: Rich Kids  -- As colleges struggle financially, more focus has been given to find students who don't need financial aid. (NYT)

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Good morning, Earth

Posted on Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 7:21 AM

YouTube user yesterday2221 has stitched together still images taken from the International Space Station to create a time-lapse video of sunrise over the horizon of the planet.

yesterday2221:

Visible cities, countries and landmarks include (in order) Vancouver Island, Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles. Phoenix. Multiple cities in Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. Mexico City, the Gulf of Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, El Salvador, Lightning in the Pacific Ocean, Guatemala, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Lake Titicaca, and the Amazon. Also visible is the earths ionosphere (thin yellow line), a satellite (55sec) and the stars of our galaxy.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Spokane professors screen, discuss important films at Magic Lantern

Posted By on Tue, Sep 20, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Tomorrow night, the Spokane International Film Festival (SpIFF) begins its Professor Series at the Magic Lantern Theater. On select Wednesdays through November, local professors will present classic and contemporary films and engage audiences in Q&A sessions about the art and history of film.

Pete Porter, an assistant professor at Eastern Western University and a programmer for SpIFF, will host The Big Lebowski on Nov. 9. He said that finding other presenters for the series wasn't difficult, because people were very interested in sharing films they thought were important — especially those that don't get the exposure they should. 

Porter said he hopes the series will stimulate a lot of discussion about film and its possible themes. For example, "A History of Violence is about the mystery of the past and what it means to be a person," he said. "There are multiple layers that people can really enjoy." 

Even for people who have seen these films before, Porter gives three reasons why they should see them again:

  1. You're a different person now than when you saw them the first time.
  2. Most people have only ever seen these films at home or on a computer, and it makes a huge difference to see them projected in 35 mm. (When Porter saw a 35 mm projection of The Big Lebowski after only ever seeing it on DVD, "there was a completely different register of the texture that the characters were living in. It might seem like a cinephilic thing to say, but it's actually really important.")
  3. The discussion allows people to meet others who are also interested in film and in the specific topics explored. "Really, it's a community event."

The Professor Series starts on Sept. 21 at 7 pm. Individual film tickets are $7 ($5 for students), and series passes are $30 ($20 for students). Tickets and passes are available at the Magic Lantern Theater box office. 

The screenings include:

A History of Violence, Sept. 21, 7 pm

Pulp Fiction, Oct. 5, 7 pm

Run Lola Run, Oct. 19, 7 pm

The Big Lebowski, Nov. 9, 7 pm (running for a week)

King of Hearts, Nov. 16, 7 pm

For more information about the films and professors hosting them, please visit http://www.spokanefilmfestival.org/events.HTML#prof 

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MORNING HEADLINES: Fire and war

Posted By on Tue, Sep 20, 2011 at 8:15 AM

Rent-an-actual-cop — A program that allows off-duty cops to make extra money for themselves and their department, it turns out, is costing more than it's taking in. (SR)

Shorter bus — To save money, six bus routes have been cut, but what does that mean for low-income people come this winter? (KXLY)

You burn it, you buy it — Good news, weaved-basket fans! The fire that crews rushed to put out at Pottery Barn was a false alarm. (KREM)

Forever war — In what is widely seen as "not good" for the peace process, the Afghan Peace Council Chief was murdered in his home. (NYT)

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Monday, September 19, 2011

SEEN IN SPOKANE: Wait, what study?

Posted on Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 10:21 AM

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MORNING HEADLINES: War, bears, and scantily-clad women

Posted By on Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 7:17 AM

Door, Boot, Freedom -- A  contractor, and former Navy Seal, recounts how he escaped a prison in Tripoli, Libya (SR)

Like your women like you like your coffee -- A local TV station continues its hard-nosed coverage of the bikini barista issue, with the obligatory investigative photo galleries. (KREM)

Grizzly details -- After a wounded bear attacked and killed a hunter near Bonners Ferry, Idaho, the friend and the father of the hunter reveal their thoughts. (KXLY)

Field of battle – The McEuen field controversy in Coeur d’Alene continues, as Team McEuen defends themselves, arguing they fulfilled the contract to the city as promised. (CDAP)

Nyetflix – After consumers revolted and stock prices dove following a price hike, the Netflix CEO apologized and now, announces it will split the company in two, with Netflix concentrating on streaming and the company sending out DVDs given the hilarious sounds-like-a-failed-social-network name of “Qwikster.” (NYT)

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Friday, September 16, 2011

THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC!

Posted By on Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 1:40 PM

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TONIGHT!

There's a guy named Dustin! And it's his birthday! In honor of this momentous occasion, nine bands will be putting on a show at the Hop!, in an event that can aptly be described as "a show with a shit-ton of bands, many of them quite good." Get prepared for the musical fury emerging from the bad-asses of Lobster Jaw, as well as some others, like True F.O., Into the Storm, Jazz, the Pecan Sandies, Lash, Stress, the Sissies, and La Muerte Vive. In true Hop! form, the show is all-ages, starts at 7 pm and costs a mere $5. 

So Gavin Rossdale was all, "Oi! I want to make beautiful music with my amazingly successful band, Bush, once again. What say you, gents?" And half his band was all, "Uh, n'thanks, sir. We have to be with our families and what-have-you," and then Gavin Rossdale was all, "On with you, then! I'll just find some other people for my amazingly successful band! Pip pip!" So that's pretty much exactly how it went down. We wrote all about it here. So now Bush is touring and promoting their new album (their first in a decade) called The Sea of Memories. You can see Rossdale in all his sexy, accented glory tonight at the Knit. It costs ya $25-$28. All-ages. 

SATURDAY!

It's all about the networking, man. Link up with the creative community at yet another one of the Baroque Network's fabulous parties. This time, the theme is "Endless Summer." You can expect to find over 15 vendors, a fashion show by local designer Kadra Evans, a photo booth, local artists, a nonprofit showcase, and four sweet bands: Ocean, Horse Thieves, Monuments and Cathedral Pearls. Head to A Club at 5:30 pm for the event, music starts at 8:30. You gotta pay $5. Worth it.

Out of nearly 150 auditions, just 16 acts have been carved out of the mass to compete in Spokane's Got Talent for the grand prize of ... the chance for another audition! It's not totally a crap deal, because the contestants — with talents ranging from comedy to fire dancing to singing — are getting an all-expenses-paid trip to audition for the national show, America's Got Talent. Which can make you famous. Nice. The live show here should be cool — anything can happen. Mess-ups? Almost certainly. Nervous vomiting? We wouldn't rule it out. An unlikely winner emerging from the group, who then goes on to represent Spokane by achieving national superstardom? Technically it's possible. Go to the Bing at 6 pm, pay $12-$15 and be any age.

So, randomly they'll be, like, six different pianists playing seven different concerts in just over a week round these parts. You can read about this "accidental festival" here, where you can also learn the details for all these concerts because, frankly, I'm not typing all that out. 

SUNDAY!

It's interesting to see how band quarrels play out in different genres. Last week, we made a bunch 'o fun of the weird business between Brian "Head" Welch and his explosive relationship with Korn. Well, this week, we're looking at the opposite of that — Oxford, Miss., band Colour Revolt. After the quiet yet painful departure of their bandmates, founding members Jesse Coppenbarger and Sean Kirkpatrick decided to spin all the negativity into a completely stellar, passionate album called The Cradle. you could write it off on their indie-kid sensibilities, or their failure to use MTV as a mediator, but anyway you spin it, they made some damn good lemonade out of some apparently very sour lemons. Check them out at AClub alongside Color Music, Drag Like Pull and Monuments. 7 pm. $8.

There's more piano stuff! See link above.

No big deal, but Devin Peralta of the Cobra Skulls pretty much wrote an entire album in three weeks from an icky hotel room in Reno, Nev. Then the band learned the whole thing in eight days before recording. It was all very punk rock. You can read all about the details here. Anyway, they'll be playing some music with Lack of Respect, PowerChief and the Grocery Boys at the Hop! starting at 7 pm. All-ages. Pay $8.

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MORNING HEADLINES: Change of venue, and a new extreme sport

Posted on Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 8:18 AM

Trial could move — The attorney defending Spokane Police Officer Karl Thomspon filed a motion to move the trial due to attention from media and politicians. (SR)

No to Monroe — A proposal to revitalize Monroe from the river extending two miles north has met a cool reception by the neighborhood. Some fear the construction will disrupt their businesses. (KREM)

Extreme couponing — Need more money? Grab your scissors and clip your way to a European cruise or the Caribbean. Or the Spokane Valley library, where a class on couponing will be held on Sept. 23. (KXLY)

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

TRAILER THURSDAY: Drive Godard, Drive! edition

Posted By on Thu, Sep 15, 2011 at 3:50 PM

BUCK
The horse-training doc returns. At Magic Lantern. Rated PG

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DRIVE
Ryan Gosling is a usually even-tempered guy who fixes cars by day, drives them for dangerous movie stunts, and is a wheelman for robbers at night. Though there are bursts of outrageous action and violence, this is more of a ’70s-style character study of a loner “hero,” his possible love interest (Carrey Mulligan), his can’t-catch-a-break boss (Bryan Cranston), and a couple of vicious heavies (Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman). Oddly, we don’t get to know anyone too well. But this is another example of truly original and very atmospheric filmmaking from Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson). (ES) Rated R

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FILM SOCIALISME
Director Jean-Luc Godard has been challenging cinematic norms for decades, declaring “film is dead” and finding inventive ways to manipulate it. Film Socialisme continues that journey. Blending all sorts of digital media and audio into an incoherent flurry of scenes, it takes the viewer from a cruise ship to a service station to a slew of fragmented snapshots of European civilization. The thesis is left hidden and impotent, but Godard fans will delight. At Magic Lantern (EW) Not Rated

I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT
Sarah Jessica Parker is a finance exec and a mother of two children, married to a recently unemployed architect (Greg Kinnear). She wants it all — to be the attentive mother, the working woman, and the loving wife. But when new developments stretch her even thinner, she must comically prioritize. Hasn't Tina Fey been doing this schtick for half a decade now? (EW) Rated PG-13

THE LION KING
Hamlet of the Serengeti gets freshened up in honor of the imminent 3D Blu-ray release. Fly across majestic plains and duck around murderous stampedes as theaters release a 3D version of the animated classic for a limited time. Having been convinced that he was responsible for his father's death, lion cub Simba flees his kingdom to live in shame. Learning the truth as an adult, he returns to claim what he once gave up. If nothing else, relive the glory days of Jonathan Taylor Thomas. (EW) Rated G

THE RIVER MURDERS
Remember spotting Christian Slater, Ving Rhames, and Ray Liotta all over town last year? Well, the Spokane-made movie is out now. When his ex-girlfriends pop up as victims of brutal murders, Liotta must put his detective skills into high gear before his captain (Rhames) and an FBI agent (Slater) become too comfortable making Liotta the prime suspect. Rich Cowan of The Basket fame directs this new thriller from North by Northwest Productions. At Magic Lantern (EW) Rated R

STRAW DOGS
Pacifistic intellectual David (James Marsden) moves to the South with his wife, Amy. Her rugged ex-boyfriend is hired to repair their home and eye-molests Amy ad nauseum, prompting David to politely fire him and his buddies. They don't go quietly. A remake of the 1971 film of the same name, this one also aims to find a man's breaking point in order to prove that even the gentlest human has the potential for brutality. (EW) Rated R

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TREE OF LIFE
The return of Terrence Malick’s story about a family in Waco, Texas, which also manages to be about the beginning of the world and the end of it. At Magic Lantern. Rated PG-13

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SpokAnimal won't bite on the new SCRAPS facility

Posted By on Thu, Sep 15, 2011 at 2:29 PM

The city of Spokane has promised that if voters pass a bond to construct a new shelter for SCRAPS at Broadway and Havana, they’ll use SCRAPS for animal control. All strays in the county will be sent to the new building. But what happens to the other two animal shelters — those run by the Humane Society and SpokAnimal?

The Humane Society has already signed on to partner with SCRAPS, County Commissioner Todd Mielke announced at a press conference this morning. It will remain its own entity, with its own shelter, but will likely have a presence — such as offering animals for adoption — at the new SCRAPS building.

The county was talking with SpokAnimal, asking them if they’d be willing to consider a similar partnership, Mielke said. The answer was no.

“They have made that offer,” says SpokAnimal Director Gail Mackie. “It doesn’t work for us. We told them that at the offset.”

SpokAnimal has a state-of-the-art veterinary clinic, Mackie says.  Transporting animals across town from the SCRAPS facility would just put added strain on them.

In fact, Mackie says SpokAnimal will officially offer a 10-year contract to the city of Spokane tomorrow to continue animal control services. No need to raise taxes to build a new facility. This is despite the City Council’s official commitment to pursue a partnership with SCRAPS.

“SpokAnimal is interested in continuing animal control to the city of Spokane,”  Mackie says. “We’ve made that quite clear to staff members meeting after meeting. We are ready today, to continue our contract with the city.”

After all, if the city of Spokane starts using SCRAPS for animal control, SpokAnimal is left funded only through donations and adoption fees. That said, SpokAnimal isn’t officially opposing the bond.

“I think we’re just going to present ourselves as a different option, without the tax increases,” Mackie says. “People have to decide for themselves.”

If the bond doesn’t pass, the rest of the county will be stuck with the current aging SCRAPS building increasingly insufficient for the county’s needs.

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