After years of blues, rock and lots of dancing, the music at Bluz at the Bend is ending this week.
Earlier this month owner Maryanne Snyder announced the business, which had been for sale for several months without a buyer, would close down. In the announcement, Snyder cites personal issues and other financial commitments.
“Maryanne Snyder, Don Parkins and the entire staff of Bluz at the Bend would like to thank each and every one of our faithful patrons for your years of support and caring,” the announcement says. “This has been a wonderful experience for all.”
The last hurrah is tomorrow, April 25, with Sammy Eubanks performing and a retirement party (from the restaurant industry, anyway) for Parkins.
Uncle D’s Comedy Underground — upstairs from Bluz — will continue to have professional comedians every Friday and Saturday, along with open mic night on Thursdays.
The day after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, Grantland.com (a sports and narrative journalism hub) ran this essay from Charles Pierce about the scene and the lingering question of what it means for the future of the race.
The Washington Post's Ezra Klein wrote about the perseverance of marathon runners.
The New York Times compiled a simple, but powerful look at one image from the Boston finish line as one of the blasts went off. It pairs portraits of those in the photo with audio and writing about how they felt and what they did in that terrifying moment. (Also from the Times, an essay about why we've been so obsessed with the suspects' online lives.)
Much of the other coverage of the bombings has focused on the media's mistakes and the public's efforts at vigilantism. The Atlantic breaks down how misinformation about the suspects spread so far and fast, and this week's Chicago Public Radio show "This American Life" starts with the story of one of the Redditors who combed through photos and video of the scene looking for people who could be suspects.
There hasn't yet been as much from West, Texas, where the death toll from a massive explosion at a fertilizer has reached 14 with 200 others injured, but Reuters has reported that the Department of Homeland Security was unaware that the plant housed 270 tons of ammonium nitrate (they're supposed to be notified if a plant has 400 lb or more of the substance). Bloomberg reported that the plant's last OSHA inspection was in 1985, leading some to speculate about lax regulation for the disaster.
Texas Monthly has a fascinating story about another disaster — the deadliest industrial accident in American History in Texas City way back in 1947 — and what lessons it may hold for the West story.
Mother Jones wrote about a tiny Czech bakery that kept operating as the town burned to feed victims and volunteers.
Find more GOOD READS over here.
Giving all of Washington state full-day kindergarten isn't easy. (SR)
In the halls of Washington State University, a naked man lurks. (Daily Evergreen)
A shooting shakes Browne's Addition. (KREM)
A woman goes missing in Post Falls. (KXLY)
Officers come from across the country to attend the funeral of the MIT officer shot by the Boston bombers. (NYT)
The federal government spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep open bank accounts without a dime in them. (WP)
The Associated Press's twitter account was hacked — and the errant message it sent out had political consequences. (The Atlantic Wire)
What you might not know, however, is that this film invented a sport called van surfing. Essentially, all you need is a van (a delivery truck will do, if you find yourself vanless) upon which to stand while your unreliable friend drives through busy suburban streets. I'm not finding any hard statistics but it's almost impossible if the inclusion of van surfing in Teen Wolf didn't lead to the death of at least one impressionable teen in the 1980s.
Don't van surf. It's terribly illegal, not to mention tacky. And, just because Michael J. Fox does something, that doesn't mean you should. I mean, you wouldn't travel back in time just because of Back to the Future would you? Time travel is hella dangerous! Probably more dangerous than van surfing.
So, yeah, don't do this. Instead, watch videos of it and shake your head at the recklessness that was 1985 in America.
And yes, there are idiots who actually tried this.
Idaho's health-exchange board just started meeting, but already, here come the lawsuit threats. (SR)
An investigation shows a contractor at Hanford should have known the double-walled tank was leaking a lot earlier. (King 5)
The last drive-in movie theater in Eastern Washington is about to close. (KXLY)
Israel has officially accused Syria of using chemical weapons against its own people, while the international community twiddles its thumbs. (NYT)
Max Baucus, Montana's long-time Democratic Senator, will retire rather than seek re-election. Baucus has polled poorly recently, and made waves by predicting the implementation of Obamacare would be a train wreck. (Washington Post)
Thor, has a new movie coming out. That's right, the fourth best Avenger!
A couple of updates from local talent on this sunny Monday afternoon.
First up, female emcee Jaeda (who The Inlander named a Band to Watch in 2010) dropped a brand new video this week for her song "The Real Thing." If you've seen Jaeda perform, you'll remember this song — it's one that always seems to get the crowd dancing and singing along. And it's the perfect introduction to her positive, stress-free brand of hip-hop.
Also, local rock outfit Tabletop Joe kicked out a video for its song "Last Time I Saw You" in the last couple of weeks. It's a cute, sing-song track — and the video shows the band driving around in a VW van and stopping in a Spokane alley to jam out to a bunch of friends.
And in case you haven't heard it, Cathedral Pearls released a new track recently, called "Give Lend Share." You can hear it here. The band also announced today that they'll have a new eight-song record out on May 14. Watch the band's Bandcamp page for that to pop up.
Also, not to toot our own horns or anything, but did you see the news about our Volume lineup this year? We think it's going to be one heckuva good time. Check out the artists playing this year on the event's Facebook page, and be ready to buy tickets online this Thursday.
If you're a local musician with a new song, video or piece of news you would like to share, send it along to leahs at inlander dot com.
A few weeks ago I wrote about the renovations at Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe on the Washington State University campus. The counter setup was adjusted during spring break to improve customer flow — now you can gawk at the ice cream case without holding up the registers — and the seating area is being expanded by absorbing the outdoor patio area.
So this weekend the renovation took a big step forward with the installation of the new front windows. You can see how it's turning out on Facebook, where the creamery posted the photo below and lots of others. Pretty soon it’s going to be hard to remember how it used to be.
In a ceremony at L&I headquarters, officials will read the names of workers who died in 2012 from job-related illnesses or injuries. Family members of deceased workers will also be invited to ring a bronze memorial bell in honor of their loved ones.
About 65 workers will be recognized during the ceremony, including Danny Bergeson, who we wrote about in October after he died while trimming trees on a prison work crew in Stevens County. Officials say the investigation into Bergeson's death continues.
Washington state has observed Worker Memorial Day since 1990. Labor & Industries started holding its annual memorial ceremony in 1993.
Details on the event, with information on some of the workers being honored, is available at the L&I website.
UPDATE: The Spokane Regional Labor Council will also sponsor a local event this Saturday. A workers memorial ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday along the Centennial Trail in Mission Park in Northeast Spokane.
"The purpose of the ceremony is to honor those that died and to bring public awareness to the importance of workplace safety," writes Beth Thew, secretary-treasurer for the Labor Council.
The ceremony will also honor Washington military personnel who died last year. The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 51, Military Order of the Purple Heart and Fairmount Memorial helped organize the event.
A public picnic will be held in the park after the ceremony.
Eyman's PAC, Voters Want More Choices, announced the new effort in an email today. Eyman is well known for pushing initiatives in nearly every election cycle, most notably the supermajority law, requiring two-thirds of the state Legislature or a public vote to approve raising any taxes. Because the Legislature can annul new laws after two years, Eyman has put the measure on the ballot repeatedly. It passed for the fifth time last fall, but was then struck down as unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court in February.
"We were angry when House Democrats, cheered by the Governor, sued the voters to overturn this voter-approved law. We were furious when 6 judges took away a protection that 1.9 million people supported," Eyman writes in the announcement. "But when you really think about it, they probably did us a favor because we were never going to get a permanent solution (a constitutional amendment) until the temporary solution (a law) was no longer an option. That’s where we’re at now."
The new initiative keeps the annual approval for tax increases on the ballot and makes all tax increases imposed by the legislature after Jan. 1, 2013, temporary, limiting their duration to one year. It would also require the state voters' pamphlet to include how the governor and legislators voted on tax bills. The policies would all expire once a constitutional amendment requiring supermajority approval for any tax increases appears on the ballot.
Here's the full initiative text, from the Washington Secretary of State's list of proposed initiatives for 2013:
A Spokane County District Court Judge reminisces about Afghanistan. (SR)
A big bump in the beer excise tax could give local breweries a wicked hangover. (KXLY)
Idaho starts the messy task of creating state-based health-care exchanges. (CdaPress)
After all the embarrassing "breaking news" mistakes from media outlets, journalists are doing amazing, in-depth work on the aftermath of the Boston bombing and subsequent man-hunt. (Washington Post; Boston Globe; New York Times)
Former Newport, Wash., actor-turned-Broadway-superstar Cheyenne Jackson stars in the (pretty hilarious) Onion News Empire pilot on Amazon.com. All in all, it's a pretty brilliant parody of Aaron Sorkin's self-important The Newsroom. (Amazon)
Where's the pic of the guy with the magnificent beard?
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