Homeland Security is using unmanned drones to monitor the U.S.-Canadian border in Washington. (SR)
Retail sales were up throughout Washington in 2011...except in Spokane. (SR)
The Spokane river is getting mighty high. (KXLY)
King County deputies find a man wanted for the killing of his wife and daughter dead inside an elaborate hillside bunker. (Seattle Times).
Today in bored rich people: Australian billionaire wants to rebuild the Titanic. (LA Times)
Jimmy Kimmel's performance at Saturday's White House Correspondent's Dinner pissed off some people. Of course.
"You guys are WAY better than Portland!"
And, of course, everyone went crazy. That's what the singer of Tomten said to the voracious crowd last night at Mootsy's during The Inlander's Volume Pre-Party.
Goddamn. That was a good time, right? We were stoked to see the place butts-to-nuts full with diehard music fans (including a few half-naked men?), and to hear three local bands (plus one amazing touring band) play the most precise and perfect sets we've heard in long time.
If you missed it, we also announced this year's SIX Bands to Watch. That's right: six. This year, our committee — a group of local writers, bookers and unrepentant fans — had a hard time choosing the usual five. After two months of deliberation and research, we picked the 2012 Inlander Bands to Watch:
Tim Blood & the Gutpanthers
Local revivalists, French-inspired goth, a North Idaho rave DJ, a diehard group of Moscow punks, a horror folk band that's converting the masses and one of the hardest working metal bands in the Northwest. I'd say that's a great batch. You can read all about them in our May 24 Local Music Issue.
In addition to this year's Bands to Watch — who are headlining six shows at our first ever Volume Local Music Block Party — Patrick Kendrick, of Platform Booking, also announced some of the rest of the 35+ plus bands playing the June 1 extravaganza:
Dead Serious Lovers
House of Ghosts
The Soul and the Machine
BROTHERS OV MIDNITE
Duck Duck Suckerpunch
Whiskey Dick Mountain
David Plell & the Ultra Peach
Belt of Vapor
Drag Like Pull
Wristbands are just FIVE DOLLARS if you buy them in advance (they jump to $10 the day of the show), so get yours reserved now. Many shows ARE all-ages, and final schedule will appear in the May 24 issue. Watch inlander.com/volume for details as they emerge.
If last night was any indication of how fun Volume will be … lets just say you might want to bring extra pants. DANCING PANTS, SILLY.
Dozens of fake ID's seized around Gonzaga (KXLY)
Man pleads guilty of bilking investors of $2.5 million (SR)
We're throwing a block party June 1!
Sigh: U.S. economic growth slows (NYT)
Lehman elite stood to get $700 million (L.A. Times)
As if day tornadoes weren't shitty enough: night tornadoes (ST)
See you again
FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT
Jason Segel just can't get out of Midwest. The How I Met Your Mother Minnesotan character moves to Michigan with his fianceé (Emily Blunt) for a two-year engagement that stretches longer than he expected. Co-written by Segel and director Nicholas Stoller, the plot entertains with Segel's hilarious comedic timing.(AS) Rated R
In a role he was born for, Sean William Scott plays a local tough guy who gets into a fight in the stands of a semi-pro hockey game and gets invited to join the team as an enforcer. The guy, basically, who gets paid to beat opposing players up. He’s not a misanthrope or a jerk. He’s nice to his girlfriend and is just glad to be on the team. At Magic Lantern (LB) Rated R
On the eve of WWII, Nicholas Winton, orchestrated the release of 669 blacklisted children out of Nazi-controlled Czechoslovakia. This documentary recounts that story, as well as tracing the effect it has had on subsequent generations. At Magic Lantern (LB) Unrated
THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS
Edgar Allen Poe becomes prime suspect in a series of murders when a mysterious killer copies Poe's fictitious horror stories. A Baltimore detective teams up with Poe to clear his name and solve the case. The stakes raise when Poe's love is targeted. John Cusack, as Poe, rocks the cape, especially in those foggy, Baltimore streets. Directed by V for Vendetta's James McTeague. (AS) Rated R
We just realized something. The Inlander's office is literally in the heart of Spokane's local music scene. Every night of the week, there's live music happening right around us — and this year, we decided we want in on it. We're throwing a block party.
For the past three years, we've thrown a one-night local music extravaganza on one big stage — and it was awesome. But we want more.
This year, in conjunction with our Local Music Issue, we're throwing a one-night festival on Friday, June 1 with THIRTY FIVE bands playing — including this years Inlander Bands to Watch.
For a five-dollar wristband, you get to run in and out of six downtown venues all night, seeing as many of those 35 bands that you want.
Totally worth it.
We're partnering up with our buddies over at The Stranger to sell wristbands to this event — and you can click here now to buy yours now and pick it up the night of the show.
Tonight we're kicking off the block party with our FREE VOLUME PRE-PARTY at Mootsy's. That's when we'll announce the bands that we chose as this years Bands to Watch, too. And we'll let you in on a little secret: there's more than last year. Join us tonight at about 8 pm for performances by Ultra Peach, BBBBandits, Tomten (from Seattle) and Mirror Mirror.
Holy shit. This is going to be fun. Are you ready?
**Our block party will have several all-ages shows, but some venues will require a 21-and-over ID for entrance.
MAC director fired (SR)
Comedian Jim Gaffigan coming to Spoketown
Shooting on lower South Hill (KHQ)
Woman dies in 'random' Seattle shooting (Seattle Times)
Ex-Liberian president convicted of war crimes (NYT)
Mullahs & Masturbation: When clerics turn sexologists (FP)
People Under The Stairs
Coaches vs. Cancer — Spokane announced earlier this week that comedian Jim Gaffigan would be headlining this year's event at the Fox.
The nonprofit, a longtime partner of The Inlander, will be hosting its big annual event on Aug. 24-25, to raise funds for cancer research (it's raised close to $4 million since 2002). Details on Gaffigan's appearance are still scarce, though.
To whet your appetite, here's Gaffigan on whales, blubber and body image, from his new special, Mr. Universe.
It's perhaps not surprising that Daryl Romeyn, the former Spokane weatherman, hedges his forecast slightly when asked about whether he'll run for Mark Richard's vacant County Commissioner seat.
"It looks like I’m going to be doing County Commissioner," he says, but he qualifies it by saying he's that the "90-percent" level. He reckons he'll put a press release together soon.
In 2010, Romeyn surprised local Democrats by beating their pick -- Clyde Cordero -- in the primary for a U.S. House of Representatives spot. He went up against incumbent Cathy McMorris Rogers. but she won with about 64 percent of the vote.
For the past two years, Romeyn has been considering running against her again. But his plan -- to build up name recognition in the meantime -- hasn't panned out, he says. Now Rich Cowan, the creator of North by Northwest productions, is running against McMorris Rodgers, and Romeyn is heavily leaning toward competing for County Commissioner.
He's a bit disappointed, he says, that Richard isn't running. While Richard was the incumbent, he says, he also had a record that Romeyn was looking forward to criticizing.
"I’ve seen my property taxes go up probably 40 to 50 percent," Romeyn says. He also says his experience as a weatherman will give him insight into how to save money on road construction and maintenance.
Ironically, if Romeyn and John Roskelley are the two Democratic competitors, that means that we'll have a race where both Democrats are criticizing the Republican status quo by calling for lower taxes and more fiscal responsibility.
Meanwhile, State Rep. Matt Shea, another name mentioned in speculation over who would run for commissioner, has announce he'll seek a third term in his current job instead.
While reporting on this week's cover story, "The Last of the Herd," I found it remarkable how many people could get so riled up over a couple dozen caribou hanging out on the edge of the U.S. border. Animals, no less, that people rarely see.
But the plan to designate a critical habitat for caribou lies at the intersection of a bunch of conflicting groups: local government, federal regulatory agencies, Priest Lake's recreation economy, wildlife conservationists, and the animals themselves. Fireworks are inevitable any time so many interests smash into each other, but the discussion has benefits, too. It brings up big questions, like what role government should play in protecting endangered species. Or how much leeway local communities should have in deciding how their land is used for snowmobiles or logging.
While the policy discussion hooked me from the start, there was adventure, too. Exploring towns like Ione and Bonners Ferry, Idaho, as my travel companion and I drove a giant loop around the Selkirk Mountains. Driving into British Columbia and hiking the backcountry in avalanche areas, searching for a practically invisible animal with antlers like bony arms.
I learned a lot about conservation, snowmobiling, wildlife and all the ways people depend on public land. And I had a blast exploring the region. Hopefully you'll get that from my story. Read it here.
Each Wednesday on Bloglander, we give you a taste of happy hours going on at bars around town that night. (Read previous posts.)
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