Thursday, February 28, 2013

Gonzaga's student section finalist for national award

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Gonzaga's student section is a finalist for the Naismith Student Section of the Year Award. - BRETT BOLLIER
  • Brett Bollier
  • Gonzaga's student section is a finalist for the Naismith Student Section of the Year Award.

Gonzaga's student section is a finalist for the Naismith Student Section of the Year Award. Photo by Brett Bollier

Some years everything goes your way. For Gonzaga, it's one of those years. This week Gonzaga continued its domination of all things basketball when the Kennel Club, Gonzaga's student section, made it to the final round of the Naismith Student Section of the Year Award.

“From the Kennel Club standpoint … its real nice to know that we're being recognized nationally,” says James Lumia, a Kennel Club board member. “It's something pretty awesome, especially when you look at some of the other program names up there.”

The national competition started with 158 schools representing 25 conferences. It's now down to eight schools for the top spot. The winning school receives $10,000 to be used in its general scholarship fund, and the winner will be announced on March 8.

Initially, schools compete based on voting. Gonzaga's Kennel Club aggressively promoted the voting using social media and word of mouth, Lumia said. The contest allows people to vote once every day.

“It's a little harder when you're going up against some of these big state schools,” he says.

However, now that the final eight have been selected, the winner will be determined by the Naismith Board of Selectors. According to a press release, the board reviews the student section by looking at the club name, attendance, photos, videos and a “write-up submitted by the nominating school.”

“Coach Few has mentioned on many occasions that the Kennel Club and the fan base in general plays a role,” Lumia says. He attributes the Kennel Club's success in the Naismith competition to their refusal to give up.

“Kind of like the team, it doesn't matter what the odds are,” he says. “We don't back down.”

Last year Gonzaga made it to the semifinal round.

Gonzaga plays Brigham Young University tonight at 8 p.m., in Provo, Utah. The game will be on ESPN 2.

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THURSDAY: Dinner and a...

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Thai Bamboo on the opening night of Spokane Restaurant Week. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Thai Bamboo on the opening night of Spokane Restaurant Week.

Thai Bamboo on the opening night of Spokane Restaurant Week. Photo by Young Kwak

We're almost to the weekend, kids. Survive the home stretch with a satisfying meal and some entertainment afterward.

The Drowsy Chaperone The Civic presents a musical comedy about gangsters, booze and romance in the 1920s. 7:30 pm • $22-$29 • Spokane Civic Theater, 1020 N. Howard St. • spokanecivictheatre.com

Where to Dine:

Clinkerdagger, 621 W. Mallon Ave., $28

O'Doherty's Irish Grille, 525 West Spokane Falls Boulevard, $18

Charley’s Grill & Spirits, 801 N. Monroe, $18

Speech and Debate at Interplayers Enjoy this dark comedy about teenagers discovering secrets about one of their teachers via social networking. 7:30 pm • $15-$28 • Interplayers Theatre, 174 S. Howard St. • interplayers.org

Where to Dine:

Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar (South Hill or downtown), 4320 S. Regal St. or 808 W. Main Ave., $18

Steelhead Bar and Grille, 218 N. Howard St., $18

WHY? Finally, nothing stands in the way of Spokane and Yoni, from acclaimed alt-hip-hop group, WHY? Astronautalis and Dream Tiger open the show out North. 7:30 pm, doors open at 7 pm • $12 advance • The Center of Spokane, 6425 N. Ligerwood

Where to Dine:

Thai Bamboo, 5406 N. Division St., $18

Mackenzie River Pizza Co, 9255 N. Nevada, $18

Cafeteria Man This documentary focuses on public school lunch reform, has been selected for many film festivals and even features the First Lady. We recommend that you watch it before dinner — you’ll skip the burger and think gourmet. 6 pm • Free • The Book Parlor, 1425 W. Broadway Ave.

Where to Dine:

Rock City Grill, 808 W. Main Ave., $28

Central Food, 1335 Summit Pkwy., $28

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Caught Our Eye ... Vegetarian Restaurant Week

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 2:35 PM

With nearly 400 different dishes on the collective Spokane Restaurant Week menu, it would take larger stomach (and budget) than we’ve got to try every dish. But here are a few that caught our eye for vegetarians, and we’ve got more lists — including one for “meat,” you carnivores — right here.

VEGETARIAN

Quinsotto from MAX at Mirabeau
  • Quinsotto from MAX at Mirabeau

1. Grill Eggplant Parmesan at Maggie’s South Hill

Menu says: Just that, “eggplant parmesan.”

We say: Maggie’s is a South Hill gem and a place that knows how to treat vegetarians right.

2. Gnocchi at Saranac Public House

Menu says: House made vegan potato gnocchi tossed in warm thyme vinaigrette with a lemon cashew cream sauce.

We say: Not only is this creative take on pasta vegetarian, it’s also one of the only vegan options on the collective Restaurant Week menu.

3. Quinsotto at MAX at Mirabeau

Menu says: Vegan Butternut Squash & Red Quinoa shitake mushrooms, lentils, coconut milk, candied pepitas.

We say: This is the kind of flavorful vegan concoction that makes a lump of meat look positively drab.

4. Roasted vegetables stuffed manicotti at Charley’s Grill and Spirits

Menu says: Oven candied carrots, celery, onions, peppers, folded with garlic ricotta stuffed in a pasta shell. Topped with house marinara and Italian cheese.

We say: Sounds tasty, but the biggest plus is getting to follow it up with peanut butter pie. Counts toward your daily protein, right?

5. Baked Vegetable Phillo at Hills’ Restaurant

Menu says: Baked Vegetable Phillo with cheeses, mushrooms, herbs and more, served with jasmine rice.

We say: You might not have noticed this one since it’s not listed in the print guide. So, take notice.

Also, vegetarians getting discouraged by the abundance of steak, chicken and salmon should note that both Clover and Thai Bamboo specifically offer tofu as an option in at least one entreé.


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Invent ______ at Startup Weekend this Friday

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 2:30 PM

When I tackled the story of Spokane’s innovation, beneath it all, there was a lot of pessimism and frustration. Could Spokane ever crackle with the enthusiasm and momentum of a truly innovative economy like Silicon Valley? Would young people stay and try to innovate in Spokane, or head off for swankier pastures?

One solution, a possible piece of momentum, was something called Startup Weekend. Here’s a snippet from the story:

Website developer Dan Gayle stands before 100 people in a Gonzaga University lecture hall, knowing that he only has one minute to make his pitch.

But for 20 seconds, he doesn’t make a sound. He just dances, shaking his butt, pumping his arms, with only nervous laughter and whoops from the audience as a soundtrack.

“I don’t dance. I’m not a dancer,” Gayle says. “I just let myself go free, swinging my arms around like what I think dancing looks like.”

Gayle is awkwardly dancing as part of his pitch at Startup Weekend. Startup Weekends are global phenomena that began in Seattle: engineers, marketers, designers and business experts gather together, pitch ideas, form into teams, and then have 54 hours to turn all that into an actual product.

Gayle’s idea, Busta Booty — an app that would use the iPhone’s internal sensors to track how much you’re dancing — was voted best overall at the September Startup Weekend event.

Gayle is 31, but most of his team was far younger. “I had all the young people, high school students, college students, and we were competing against professional business people,” Gayle says. “And I won. I kicked their butts.” And the job offers, he says, streamed in.

Only two have happened in Spokane so far, but Startup Weekend is inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Earlier last year, Luke Baumgarten, tackled Startup Weekend more directly. “Everyone gets five minutes. To summarize andadvocate for the previous 54 hours of work, you get a lousy 300 seconds," he writes about the final presentation. Since we published, startups like Pixel Buddy and Barter’s Closet, both made by sons of Spokane entrepreneurs, began at a Startup Weekend.

This Friday, there’s another Startup weekend. Sign up here. This time, says Spokane Startup Weekend founder Brett Noyes, they’re collaborating with the health care community, hoping to bring the medical and tech community together.

“The two communities that aren’t interacting will actually start interacting,” Noyes says.

Just want to watch? Don’t, Noyes says.

“Come and participate,” he says. “Everybody’s got a skill that could somehow be put to use.”


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State Supreme Court strikes down two-thirds taxing law

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 1:17 PM

WASupCt.jpg
A controversial decision from the state Supreme Court this morning to knock down the voter-approved Washington law requiring a two-thirds "supermajority" vote for tax increases somewhat appropriately received support from two-thirds of the court. 

Justices voted 6-3 for the majority opinion, declaring the supermajority requirement "unconstitutional" because it conflicted with the legislature's powers in the state constitution. The court did not rule on a separate issue over voter referendums.

The case, the League of Education Voters v. the state of Washington, stemmed from the Tim Eyman-backed Initiative 1053 that voters approved in 2010. Several similar laws have also passed voters to require a two-thirds vote for approval.

"Today we hold that article II, section 22 [of the state Constitution] prohibits either the people or the legislature from passing legislation requiring more than a simple majority for the passage of tax legislation — or any other legislation," the majority opinion states. 

Eyman, an anti-tax activist who has pushed several voter initiatives on the issue, released a statement arguing Washington voters had repeatedly supported legislative limitations on tax increases for 20 years. Most recently, he notes, voters supported I-1185 that reinstated the two-thirds requirement for raising certain taxes. 

"Almost 2/3 of voters approved the 2/3-for-taxes vote requirement in November," he says in the statement. "That's 1.9 million voters. It passed in every county and received overwhelming support in every legislative district outside Seattle."

Justices Barbara Madsen, Susan Owens, Mary Fairhurst, Charles Wiggns, Steven Gonzalez and Tom Chambers signed the majority opinion. Justices Charles Johnson, James Johnson and Debra Stephens signed dissenting opinions. Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud did not participate.

The majority opinion affirmed lower court rulings that the supermajority requirement fell within the jurisdiction of the court's authority. 

"We conclude that the Supermajority Requirement's constitutionality is justiciable because the requirement has nullified the legislator respondent's votes by preventing the passage of tax legislation that received a simple majority vote," the opinion states.

Two dissenting opinions questioned why the state Supreme Court would take on the issue now after leaving the decision to legislators in the past. Justice James Johnson calls the decision a "blatant rewrite of our constitution," adding:

"The majority disregards the importance of individual rights as the centerpiece for the state constitution and our populist roots; illogically construes the plain language of article II, section 22; and fails to consider historical evidence that establishes that the provision simply sets out a quorum requirement. The supermajority requirement created by I-1053 in no way violates our state constitution."

The majority opinion emphasizes the Supreme Court had not passed judgment on the concept, just the conflict with the state constitution. The opinion says legislators could always change the constitution. 

"Our holding today is not a judgment on the wisdom of requiring a supermajority for the passage of tax legislation. Such judgment is left to the legislative branch of our government," the opinion states. "Should the people and the legislature still wish to require a supermajority vote for tax legislation, they must do so through constitutional amendment, not through legislation."

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Out for Spokane Restaurant Week: At Scratch with Superintendent Shelley Redinger

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 11:17 AM

The Inlander asked a handful of local public figures to tell us about their Spokane Restaurant Week experience, and what they look for in local dining. Read more responses and other previous coverage here.

The chef's table at Scratch earlier this month. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • The chef's table at Scratch earlier this month.
shelley_redinger.jpg

Last Saturday, Spokane Public Schools Superintendent Shelley Redinger and her husband went out to eat downtown at Scratch. She chose the signature salad followed by the butternut squash ravioli with grilled shrimp, and her husband opted for the Caesar salad followed by the tri tip with fried potato cake and vegetables. For dessert they selected the creme brulee and brownie sundae.

“All of our food was outstanding and the service was wonderful,” Redinger says.

She also answered a few more questions from The Inlander.

What kinds of food did you love as a kid, and what kinds of restaurants and cuisines do you prefer today?

As a kid, I loved homegrown vegetables, fresh fruits, and seafood.

As an adult, I prefer locally grown foods and meals prepared from scratch with fresh local ingredients. I enjoy many different kinds of restaurants, from more informal, café settings to fine dining. I don’t have a strong preference for a specific cuisine, but rather love sampling the many different cuisines locally available. Of course, with our 10-year-old son in tow, any place serving pizza tends to top our list.

How was your experience at Scratch, and what do you think of Spokane Restaurant Week?

Scratch has a very nice, comfortable atmosphere and the staff was excellent. Our server, Michael, was delightful and provided great service.

Spokane has a wonderful array of restaurants. The restaurant week event seems like a great way to expose diners to many of the gems throughout the area.

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MORNING BRIEFING: DEA raids in Spokane, child-luring, minimum wage and aid to Syrian rebels

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 9:12 AM

HERE

DEA agents raided homes around Spokane this morning and seized narcotics and weapons as part of a “larger, federal drug raid.” (KXLY and KREM)

Police are investigating a possible connection between two child-luring attempts near Hamblen Elementary School, one on Tuesday and one last December. (SPD)

An anti-circumcision advocate who traveled from California drew attention downtown yesterday and plans to protest a South Hill pediatrics clinic today. (Inlander blogs)

NEAR

Idaho leads the nation in the percentage of workers who earn minimum wage, and Democrats in the state say decades of Republican policies are to blame for making education a low priority. (Idaho Statesman)

The 21-year-old man fatally shot by Seattle police earlier this week had schizophrenia and was childlike, his neighbors say. (Seattle Times)

ELSEWHERE

The U.S. is offering direct aid, in food rations and medical supplies, to the Free Syrian Army for the first time. Previous help was only for providing basic civilian services in parts of the country under rebel control. (NYT)

TOTALLY UNNECESSARY

Have you seen those viral videos of goats yelling like humans? Now there’s a goat-yelling remix of a Taylor Swift song. (Gawker)

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Circumcision protester targets South Hill pediatrics clinic

Posted By on Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 5:08 PM

circumcision_1.JPG.jpg

At around 3 pm today, a bearded man dressed from head to toe in white clothing stood in the crosswalk at Wall and Riverside Avenue in downtown Spokane. Above his head he thrusted a sign that read "CIRCUMCISION CRUELTY TO BOYS."

But it wasn't his sign that every passing car or pedestrian was staring at. It was the giant red stain at the crotch of his pants.

The man, whose legal name is Brother K ("K stands for kind," he says), drove here from Sacramento, Calif., to lead an anti-circumcision demonstration at Grand Pediatrics, a South Hill children's clinic, tomorrow morning. Brother K, 65, says he first became aware of the Spokane clinic after seeing a Facebook post from a nurse practitioner there that read, "Did my first circumcision on Friday … watch out boys … here I come."

Brother K says that post went viral — attracting ire from anti-circumcision activists from around the globe — before it was removed.

"It’s like she’s gloating. She’s enjoying it," he says. "She has no appreciation that she’s ripping open a human penis."

Brother K says he fundamentally objects to circumcision practices — a practice that is becoming more and more controversial among new parents.

"Right now if you did to a girl what you did to a boy, it would be a major, major felony. You would go to jail."

Brother K has been part of the long-running anti-circumcision movement since the 1970s. And after seeing the Spokane nurse's post, he felt impassioned to travel here to demonstrate at the clinic tomorrow. He says the nurse's post enraged him because of "the fact that we see a woman who is preparing a lengthy career in circumcising boys."

Though Brother K was holding his sign silently and only standing in the crosswalk when the light was red, he was certainly getting attention. Drivers slowed to take photos. As we talked, a tall young man walked up and said, frankly, "I kind of agree with you!"

He says he will attend a large-scale protest of circumcision practices in late March for Genital Integrity Awareness Week. Outfits like his — all white with just a red spot at the crotch — are what he and his fellow protestors wear, he says.

For now, it looks like he and 11 others have RSVP'd to the Facebook event for tomorrow's protest.

The Inlander contacted Grand Pediatrics to speak with the nurse, who they say is currently on vacation. An office manager says she was aware of the original posting, which has since been removed. The clinic was not aware of any demonstration plans. 

As we wrapped up our conversation with Brother K, a girl with pink hair walked past, muttering "your dick's red, by the way."

He shrugged her off.

"We’re gonna hold the circumcisers' feet to the fire," he says. "People are outraged."


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WEDNESDAY: Dinner and a...

Posted By on Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Bartender Levi Alford pours a beer at Post Street Ale House on Sunday. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Bartender Levi Alford pours a beer at Post Street Ale House on Sunday.

Sure, it's Wednesday, but arrival of hump day means we're more than halfway to the weekend. So in honor of the upcoming weekend why limit yourself to just dinner or a show, when you could do both? Here are a few non-culinary events happening tonight, coupled with a few nearby places participating in Spokane Restaurant Week.

Yo Gabba Gabba Live Believe it or not, Yo Gabba Gabba is fun for both adults and kids, plus rap legend Biz Markie is now a band member. 6 pm • $26-$46 • All-ages • INB Performing Arts Center, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.

Where to Dine: 

Windows of the Seasons, 303 W. North River Dr., $28

Luigi's Italian Restaurant, 245 West Main Avenue, $28

Spencer's, 322 N. Spokane Falls Ct., $28

Saranac, 21 W. Main Ave., $18

The Price is Right Live Here's a chance to win some prizes as part of a live audience — no studying required. 7:30 pm • $43-$53 • Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, 1001 W. Sprague Ave.

Where to Dine: 

Stacks at Steamplant, 159 S. Lincoln St., $18 

The District Bar, 916 W. 1st Ave., $18 

Scratch, 1007 W. 1st Ave, $28

Rakim with The Flying Spiders, St. Cule, DJ Freaky Fred Known as The God Emcee, Rakim is rumored to have collaborated with Pharrell and has harsh criticism for the lyrical content of current hip-hop. He wants to "lose the garbage and rebuild our scene." It'll be interesting to see him back this up. 8 pm • $25 • 21+ • Red Room Lounge, 521 W. Sprague Ave.

Where to Dine:

Herbal Essence, 115 N. Washington St., $18

Post Street Ale House, 1 N. Post St, $18

Bistango Martini Lounge, 108 N. Post St., $18

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Yo Gabba Gabba Coloring Contest Winner Announced!

Posted By on Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Congratulations to our Yo Gabba Gabba Coloring Contest winner, Amelie! She gets the opportunity to attend the Yo Gabba Gabba event at the INB Performing Arts Center tonight at 6 pm.


WINNER_Amelie_Age4_crop.jpg

Amelie, age 5 — “We liked how bright the colors were, and how she filled in all the areas that needed to be colored,” say the judges. Notice the artist’s attention to accuracy of the character’s colors, but also that she’s not afraid to color outside the lines.

“They all did great, considering their ages — and we wished we could have picked them all, but we didn't have enough tickets to give away," the judges added. Here are some additional favorites:


Patrick_Age2_crop.jpg

Patrick, age 2 — This work is reminiscent of an early Pollock or Rothko. Keep doing your thing, Patrick.


Andrew_Age5_crop.jpg

Andrew, age 5 — Do I see a double rainbow? I think yes.


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