Sunday, April 21, 2013

Watch Teen Wolf with the Inlander, learn everything about life

Posted By on Sun, Apr 21, 2013 at 11:14 PM

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On Wednesday night, we're welcoming you to drink some great local beer with us while watching one of the best bad movies of all time.

That movie, of course, is a little flick called Teen Wolf and I wrote about it at length in this week's paper.

It's all happening at the Bing Crosby Theater and here are the details.

You might think Teen Wolf is just a silly '80s movie, but that's where you're wrong. What other film gives you the sort of advice dished out by the film's coach Bobby Flinstock? He's the guy who gave us the three rules to live by. Watch below and then we'll see you on Wednesday.


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Friday, April 19, 2013

CAT FRIDAY: The cats of Austin, Texas

Posted By on Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 3:48 PM

Hello, friends!

First of all, let me apologize for leaving you hanging last Friday without any breaking cat news. This week’s post should explain the lack of any new Cat Friday material last week, as well as make up for any CF withdrawals you may have experienced during that time.

I recently spent a very enjoyable week in the gorgeous city of Austin, Texas, visiting family. It was my first time in the Live Music Capital of the World, and as any cat lady/cat blogger should do when traveling, one of my goals while there was to visit the animal shelters. I spend time regularly with the cats at one of Spokane's shelters, so it interested me to see what the animal shelters in a big city like Austin were like. Of course I also had to get a cat fix somehow while on vacation. Thankfully, though, I also stayed in a house with four very adorable cats during the trip. It was a pretty cat-tastic time.

To fill ya’ll in (yes, everyone in Texas uses this phrase) on Austin and its amazing animal sheltering system, there are two main no-kill shelters there: the Austin Humane Society and Austin Pets Alive! In doing some research on Austin’s shelters I was ecstatic to find out that Austin's leaders (the 13th largest city in the U.S.), supported by a resolution passed by its city council, are trying to make it a no-kill city, meaning all adoptable pets find homes. In more detail, this means that at least 90 percent of pets taken into shelters are adopted back out into homes, and no animal that’s deemed healthy or treatable upon entering the shelter is euthanized solely for lack of space or because it’s not adopted in a designated time period.

The Austin Humane Society was the first shelter I visited during my stay. The shelter’s website says it was founded in 1952 and is the city’s largest, longest standing no-kill, nonprofit animal shelter. Pretty impressive.

As we entered the building, the first thing I noticed was the large glass walled area that looked into several small, free-roaming cat rooms. There were perches and cubbies and catwalks in the rooms with beds and blankets for the kitties to nap on. As we passed the windows to the main entrance, a lanky Siamese-mix jumped off her perch and meowed at us through the window. I applaud AHS for this awesome design choice – visitors are forced to see all these cute, adoptable cats right when they walk into the building!

The entire facility was very clean and organized. On a hot, humid Austin day it was cool and air-conditioned inside to keep the animals comfortable. Banks of individual, plexiglass-paned cat kennels in a U-shape are the first thing visitors see once inside the shelter. Despite the fact that we couldn’t readily access these kitties and open up their kennels to pet them, all of the cats were easy to view and had cards on their kennels with their names, ages, genders and other cute facts. In a big, busy shelter like AHS, limiting access to the cats no doubt helps to reduce their stress levels since people interested in adopting or interacting with them would need to request access to the cats.

The first thing visitors to the Austin Humane Society see is a big wall of adoptable cats. - CHEY SCOTT
  • Chey Scott
  • The first thing visitors to the Austin Humane Society see is a big wall of adoptable cats.

While I may be one of the most ardent cat lovers out there, I do have a soft spot for all animals and we took a tour of the dog kennels at AHS as well. Just like the cat areas, the dogs’ individual kennels were clean and comfortable. What stood out most was how calm all of the dogs were.

Austin’s other well-known nonprofit no-kill shelter is called Austin Pets Alive!, and that organization is run almost entirely by volunteers. APA! is located just south of downtown Austin, and only recently moved into a facility that it shares with Austin’s municipal animal control, Austin Animal Center. One of APA!’s main focuses is pulling at-risk animals from other shelters that do euthanize for time or space.

The brightly-painted buildings at APA! created a cheery, welcoming feel, with a color scheme of bright orange, lime green and highly contrasting hues. The various buildings at the facility were surrounded on the perimeter with what had to be 100 or more dog runs; all of which were full. The runs featured both indoor and outdoor sections, and most of the dogs were in the open-air part of their runs. A roof over the outdoor part of the runs kept them out of the heat of the sun.

A view of the indoor/outdoor dog kennels at Austin Pets Alive! - CHEY SCOTT
  • Chey Scott
  • A view of the indoor/outdoor dog kennels at Austin Pets Alive!

The first building we visited housed cats in free-roaming cat rooms and in banks of individual kennels on the walls. Visitors could take the cats out of their kennels to hold or pet them, and a small room in the back allowed visitors to bring a cat back to play in a more quiet setting. We chose a skinny little female tabby who must have been newly admitted because she lacked a kennel card telling her name and age. She devoured the treats we gave her preferred to be petted rather than play with the toys in the room.

We spent some time visiting this calm little tabby who appeared to be a new arrival at the shelter. - CHEY SCOTT
  • Chey Scott
  • We spent some time visiting this calm little tabby who appeared to be a new arrival at the shelter.
A second, separate building held cats that were quarantined because of ringworm infections. Ringworm is a highly contagious fungal infection that both cats and dogs can get – and humans – so animals with it need to be kept away from non-infected animals. It’s treatable, but takes significant time to treat in most cases. It impressed me that APA! had an entire building dedicated to housing ringworm-infected cats because many shelters don’t have adequate time or resources to treat cats with ringworm. The ringworm ward was cozy and clean, and the cats were in large, communal kennels the size of large closets. A group of six cats all sat snuggled together on a large window sill.

The last cat area at APA! we visited was the Feline Leukemia ward, which houses cats who have tested positive for the feline leukemia virus. The virus compromises the cats’ immune systems and ability to fight off disease, among other complications. It’s highly contagious, so cats who are FeLV+ need to live alone in a one-cat household, or only with other FeLV+ cats. Many cats succumb to the disease within 3-4 years of onset, largely due to complications that arise from other infections or disease, so these cats are hard to place for that reason, too.

The idea behind the FeLV+ ward at APA!, which looked like a small house that was completely outfitted for cats, is that many of the cats there will live the rest of their lives there; though a bulletin board on the wall with photos of the room’s current and past residents indicated that many former residents of the ward had been adopted. At the FeLV+ ward, we met several very friendly kitties who wanted nothing more than to play or be petted by visitors. None of them looked or acted differently than any healthy cat I’ve seen, and it was heartwarming to know that they had a safe, cozy place to stay while waiting to find a real, permanent home.

APA!'s ward for Feline Leukemia-positive cats is a cozy, calm sanctuary. - CHEY SCOTT
  • Chey Scott
  • APA!'s ward for Feline Leukemia-positive cats is a cozy, calm sanctuary.

Both visits to Austin’s large no-kill animal shelters were enlightening and worthwhile because of the apparent and sincere value the city places on its homeless animals. If a city as large as Austin can make no-kill sheltering a standard practice – which is no easy task – it seems that with the right policies and programs in place, other cities – like Spokane – could achieve the same. 


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EPA plans next 10 years of Silver Valley clean-up

Posted By on Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Ed Moreen, project manager with EPA, at Kellogg water treatment plant. - JACOB JONES
  • Jacob Jones
  • Ed Moreen, project manager with EPA, at Kellogg water treatment plant.

Once producing half of the nation's silver supply, the Idaho Silver Valley has historically lived and died off of the minerals pulled from its hills. As we wrote in this week's issue, the Environmental Protection Agency has spent 30 years and a half billion dollars trying to repair the habitat destruction and mining contamination that has long plagued the valley.

The EPA has overseen a broad range of projects to isolate or remove heavy metal contamination in the soil and waterways. The agency released a 10-year implementation plan in February (114 pages) to outline upcoming clean-up projects at the Bunker Hill Superfund Site.

The most ambitious new project will increase the size of the agency's water treatment plant in Kellogg to collect and treat contaminated ground water.

The plant, pictured below, now only treats mine drainage from the nearby Bunker Hill Mine, about 2 million gallons a day. The design phase of the expansion should finish next year.

Here are a few photos of the treatment plant:

Brown mine drainage is treated with lime to settle metal out of the water. - JACOB JONES
  • Jacob Jones
  • Brown mine drainage is treated with lime to settle metal out of the water.
Catwalk over clarifier tank. - JACOB JONES
  • Jacob Jones
  • Catwalk over clarifier tank.
Moreen above clarifier tank. - JACOB JONES
  • Jacob Jones
  • Moreen above clarifier tank.
Sludge vs. treated water in clarifier tank. - JACOB JONES
  • Jacob Jones
  • Sludge vs. treated water in clarifier tank.
The closed Bunker Hill Mine sits near the treatment plant in Kellogg. - JACOB JONES
  • Jacob Jones
  • The closed Bunker Hill Mine sits near the treatment plant in Kellogg.

The EPA has also overseen remediation efforts, to clear out and replace contaminated soil, at more than 6,000 separate properties. Here's a former mill site that crews cleared of contaminated dirt and backfilled along the riverbank with new soil:

Crews removed contaminated soil and rebuilt riverbanks at abandoned mill site. - JACOB JONES
  • Jacob Jones
  • Crews removed contaminated soil and rebuilt riverbanks at abandoned mill site.
EPA team manager Bill Adams stands in a damaged flood plain near Wallace. - JACOB JONES
  • Jacob Jones
  • EPA team manager Bill Adams stands in a damaged flood plain near Wallace.
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Record Store Day is tomorrow!

Posted By on Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 1:13 PM

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When we called Bob Gallagher at Spokane's 4000 Holes record store to see if he's doing anything for the sixth annual Record Store Day tomorrow, he had two words for us: "Big time."

Each year, artists create special tracks or releases just for the day. Participating stores buy the records and CDs they want and sell them only for that day. Some stores do live music and giveaways along the way.

Gallagher says his store will have about 400 new titles for sale. Other local shops are participating in varying capacities:

Recorded Memories will have some of the special releases and, depending on the weather, a sidewalk sale. 

The Bachelor Pad will have a half-off sale on some records and boxes of others for 25 cents each. If the weather's nice, they'll have food and beer in their backyard patio.

The Long Ear in Coeur d'Alene is offering 20 percent off vinyl and CDs, 22 percent off everything else they sell and extra price cuts if you share their Record Store Day ads on your Facebook. 

(Search the full list of participating stores here. If you know a participating local location we missed here, comment or email me at heidig[at]inlander.com.)

For Gallagher, it's a huge day for business because of the sought-after special releases that bring dedicated fans to browse and stand in line (this year, he says, look for the new Flaming Lips and a live Built to Spill album).

"This is the most wonderful thing to happen to the music business," Gallagher says. "I'll be paying back taxes and past due rent with this."

(By the way, that awesome poster above was designed by the Inlander's own Derrick King.)


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Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk declares for the NBA draft

Posted By on Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 11:40 AM

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This shouldn't be a surprise — Gonzaga big man Kelly Olynyk has decided to forego his senior (fifth year) season for the Bulldogs and head to the NBA.

One site has Olynyk looking like a mid-first-round pick while others have posted him slightly higher than that. Either way, it looks like he's heading for a big pay day.

There will be some hardcore Zags fans shocked by this news, but they really shouldn't be. Olynyk's surprise breakout year after a strategic redshirt season showcased a perfect bouquet of NBA-ready skills, even if the Zags couldn't get far enough into the tournament to give him an even bigger stage to prove his worth to NBA executives. Also, and perhaps most importantly, the guy has already graduated. He's got his degree and a chance to play in the NBA — he'd be nuts to stick around.

Yeah, you could say that the Zags now have a some serious shoes to fill under the basket, considering Elias Harris is graduating. But don't forget — Sam Dower is back next season and so is work-in-progress Przemek Karnowski. Either of those guys could prove to be all WCC big men. So fear not, Zag Nation.

Now, let's remember the greatness of the best damn looking Canadian ever to hit the hardwood in Spokane. 


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Earth Day and other ways to celebrate our planet

Posted By on Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 11:22 AM

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The weather forecast doesn’t look so great for tomorrow, but it’s hard to get too upset about rain when you’re celebrating the Earth. Here’s a list of Earth Day celebrations and some other upcoming events related to this week’s issue on going green.

SATURDAY, APRIL 20

Earth Day Celebration

The organizers of the annual Earth Day Celebration in downtown Spokane are serious about personal responsibility and minimizing waste — but they’re also serious about fun. Food! Music! Vendors! And don’t forget to come dressed as your favorite non-human animal for the annual Procession of the Species. Bike or take the bus if you can, since parking cars ain’t free.

9 am to 4 pm • Downtown Spokane on Main Avenue between Division and Browne Streets (aka the block with Main Market, Boots, Zola, Saranac, Merlyn’s, et al.)

Sandpoint Earth Day Celebration

The annual festival features live music, food, drumming and activities for kids. There’s also a 5K run earlier in the morning, and films throughout the weekend.

11 am to 4 pm • Forrest M. Bird Charter High School • 614 S. Madison, Sandpoint

Moscow Hemp Fest

Not exactly an Earth Day thing, but there will be plenty of folks who would like to make Idaho greener.

10 am • East City Park • E. 3rd Street and S. Monroe Street, Moscow

SUNDAY, APRIL 21

Coeur d’Alene Earth Day Fair

Bring the kids and learn about ways to help the environment in your everyday life. Local businesses and organizations will participating. The Kootenai Environmental Alliance has other events to check out, too.

Noon to 3 pm • Coeur d’Alene Library • 702 E. Front St., Coeur d’Alene

Dishman Hills Earth Day

If you like to celebrate Earth Day by getting dirty with some actual earth, help out building new trails at the Dishman Hills Natural Resources Conservation Area. Come dressed ready to work on trail restoration, planting, fence installation and other projects. Register online here.

Noon to 4 pm • Camp Caro at Dishman Hills Natural Resource Conservation Area • 625 S. Sargent Road

THURSDAY, APRIL 25

Wilderness Film Fest

Some Gonzaga students want the Scotchman Peaks of North Idaho and Montana to get protected as an official federal wilderness area. Two films about the area will be introduced by representatives from the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness.

7 to 9 pm • Jepson Center, Wolff Auditorium • Gonzaga University

SATURDAY, APRIL 27

Spring Compost Fair and Arbor Day Celebration

In this week’s issue we told you how it’s not really that hard to start composting. It will be even easier for you hands-on learners if you sign up for the spring compost fair and learn from master composters. (You even get a starter bin if you complete the activities.)

11 am to 2 pm • John A. Finch Arboretum • 3404 W Woodland Blvd.

National Take Back Initiative

Properly getting rid of unneeded prescription drugs is important for curbing abuse, but it’s also critical for our drinking water. Don’t flush pills down the toilet, turn them over to law enforcement official for the the National Take Back Initiative. You can actually drop off medications any day at the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement agencies, but on April 27 they’ll also take them at the Hayden City Hall and other government buildings, no questions asked. Search for locations here.

Free State Parks Weekend

In recognition of National Parks Week, you can visit state parks without a Discover Pass all weekend. There’s not another free day after this for more than a month.

SUNDAY, APRIL 28

Another free state parks day. Cross your fingers for great weather.


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MORNING BRIEFING: Boston bombing suspects and this insane week

Posted By on Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 7:15 AM

HERE

A baby was born at a Spokane Valley fire station. (S-R)

A counselor at the Airway Heights Corrections Center resigns after getting caught having sexual relations with an inmate. (KXLY)

Pullman is switching to single-stream recycling, too. (Moscow-Pullman Daily News)

BOSTON

Ummm, where to begin? If you turned off the news yesterday evening and didn’t compulsively check Twitter every hour of the night like I did, you missed out on a lot of action and misinformation. Here’s what we know now:

The two suspects — now identified as young brothers originally from Chechnya — led police on a violent chase, and one suspect was killed in a street shootout with police in neighboring Watertown. (Boston Globe and NYT)

A campus police officer at MIT was shot, and later died. (MIT News)

The whole city of Boston is on lockdown while officials try to capture the remaining suspect. (Boston Globe)

Check out this map to make the places and sequence of events less confusing. (NYT)

ELSEWHERE

Twelve people are confirmed dead in the Texas fertilizer factory explosion, a number of them firefighters and EMTs. (WSJ)

Two men are arrested in Billings, Montana, after four people died in a mobile home fire. (AP)

The artist who made the cover for Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon died at age 69. (BBC)

It’s snowing like crazy in Minnesota and flooding in other places in the middle of the country. (USA Today)

The heartwarming future: A boy who 'lived as a robot' while recuperating in the hospital. (BBC) 

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Inside the Waste Management SMaRT Center

Posted By on Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 11:11 AM

With the recent switch to single-stream recycling in Spokane, workers at the Waste Management SMaRT Center sort recyclable products to be shipped to different places to be converted to new products. You can read more about it here. Photos by Young Kwak.

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Bale Picker Rick McHenry removes items that don't belong from a bale of paper.

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Small Equipment Operator Art VanDusen moves a bale of paper. 

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Heavy Equipment Operator Justin Duncan uses a front loader to move recyclables into a feeder. 

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Bales of recyclables wait to be shipped.

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Presort Lead Jameel Henricksen, right, and Sorter Jerome Thomas remove plastic bags from the conveyer belt.

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Conveyer belts move recyclables throughout the SMaRT Center. 

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Sorters Myron Flanagan, left, and Martez Williams process cardboard recyclables.

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Sorters process recyclable materials.

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Sorter Eddie Roberts processes plastic recyclables.

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Sorter Ashley Clevenger processes paper recyclables. 

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A baby goat at Inlander HQ

Posted By on Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 10:31 AM

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It’s an excellent day here so far at Inlander HQ because we were visited by a baby goat. The little guy, called Tiny, is only a couple of weeks old. Technically he was sent to our publisher, but we still got to hold him.

The annual “Send a Friend a Goat” event raises money for the Wishing Star Foundation, a regional nonprofit that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. You pay $50 to send a goat to an unsuspecting person. (You can also purchase goat insurance to make sure you don’t receive one, though I have no idea why you would do that.)

If you didn’t receive a goat this year, you can also see them or bring children to pet them this Saturday. The carnival/petting zoo goes from noon to 3 pm at A to Z Rentals, located at 10903 E. Sprague.

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MORNING BRIEFING: Explosion at a Texas fertilizer factory

Posted By on Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 8:15 AM

HERE

Police arrested a drive-by shooting suspect after he crashed his car in north Spokane. (KXLY)

WSU instructor David Warner was released from Sacred Heart. (KXLY)

A federal district court judge testified, as a victim, against a South Hill burglar. (S-R)

ELSEWHERE

As many as 15 people are dead in fire and explosion at a Texas fertilizer factory. The explosion injured more than 100 and flattened several blocks of homes and businesses. (LA Times)

Letters containing ricin were sent to President Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi; the man arrested may be an Elvis performer. (CNN)

Investigators of the Boston Marathon bombing have found clear video of potential suspects, and will probably release images to get public help on identifying them. (NYT)

Pretty much every major gun control initiative championed by President Obama fell apart on the Senate floor. (WaPo)

A sinkhole in Chicago swallows three cars. One person was badly injured. (Chicago Tribune)

LIGHTER NEWS

TIME Magazine releases its 100 Most Influential People of the year, most of whom are celebrities. (USA Today)

Colorado man paints his own traffic lines at an intersection he considers too dangerous. (KJCT)

Washington officials get a crash course on pot. (AP)

Bieber redeemed! Anne Frank’s stepsister is the latest to speak out in defense of Justin Bieber’s guestbook comment that he hoped Anne Frank would have been a “Belieber,” because she probably would have been. (Gawker)

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have a new video everybody is talking about:

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