Friday, November 29, 2013

PHOTOS: Black Friday (really Thanksgiving night) at Shopko on the South Hill

Posted By on Fri, Nov 29, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Around 7:30 pm on Thanksgiving, people began to line up outside of the South Hill Shopko for the Black Friday sales. At 7:57 pm, employees got into position and prepared to open the doors. As the clock struck 8 pm, people rushed in.


Mackay Graper, left, 11, and Robert Graper had lined up outside of the South Hill Shopko at 6:30 pm to be the first customers inside the store. - SARAH WURTZ
  • Sarah Wurtz
  • Mackay Graper, left, 11, and Robert Graper had lined up outside of the South Hill Shopko at 6:30 pm to be the first customers inside the store.
Howard Banks, left, Tina Banks, center, and David Whisenhunt, right. - SARAH WURTZ
  • Sarah Wurtz
  • Howard Banks, left, Tina Banks, center, and David Whisenhunt, right.
The line grows... - SARAH WURTZ
  • Sarah Wurtz
  • The line grows...
SARAH WURTZ
  • Sarah Wurtz

Nathan Burford, left, unlocks the doors as Kelsey Key, center, and Rose Jordan stand ready. - SARAH WURTZ
  • Sarah Wurtz
  • Nathan Burford, left, unlocks the doors as Kelsey Key, center, and Rose Jordan stand ready.


Mackay Graper, left, 11, and Payton Graper, right, 13, were the first two people in the store. - SARAH WURTZ
  • Sarah Wurtz
  • Mackay Graper, left, 11, and Payton Graper, right, 13, were the first two people in the store.

SARAH WURTZ
  • Sarah Wurtz

SARAH WURTZ
  • Sarah Wurtz

SARAH WURTZ
  • Sarah Wurtz

SARAH WURTZ
  • Sarah Wurtz

SARAH WURTZ
  • Sarah Wurtz

SARAH WURTZ
  • Sarah Wurtz

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MORNING BRIEFING: GMO study retracted, zombie comet survives, and no Black Friday deaths reported — yet

Posted By on Fri, Nov 29, 2013 at 10:55 AM

HERE

A house fire broke out at 1 a.m. Friday morning on E. Empire Avenue in north Spokane. Firefighters are investigating the cause. (S-R)

The UW Huskies and the WSU Cougars will face off for the 106th time for the Apple Cup. The game starts at 12:30 p.m. PST. (SB Nation)

THERE

The science journal Food and Chemical Toxicity has retracted a French study linking genetically engineered food to tumor development in rats, citing multiple flaws with the study's design and analysis. (The Star)

The "zombie" Comet ISON is only "mostly dead" after its close encounter with the sun. (NBC)

In Thailand, about 1,000 anti-government protesters stormed the royal army headquarters in the latest demonstration aimed at overthrowing the country's prime minister. (Guardian)

THE STATE OF HUMANITY

So far, no one has died while shopping on Black Friday this year. (blackfridaydeathcount.com
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Thursday, November 28, 2013

MORNING BRIEFING: Happy Thanksgiving Edition!

Posted By on Thu, Nov 28, 2013 at 8:58 AM

IT'S THANKSGIVING!

We, we, we gonna have a good time.

Our resident pet expert Chey Scott has the skinny on what popular holiday foods you shouldn't feed your furry friend. (Inlander)

Contrary to popular belief, turkey won't make you sleepy, but stuffing, potatoes and booze will. (Mashable)

Everything you thought you knew about Black Friday is wrong. Those "door-buster" deals? They're actually cheaper in December. (New Yorker) 

Want to avoid talking politics with your drunk uncle? Here are 11 interesting tidbits about Turkey Day you can bring up to change the conversation and save the day. (Inlander)

Or follow Rob Delaney's advice and just "eat until you go into a coma." (Esquire)

If all else fails, please refer to our Obamacare coverage here. (Inlander)

The Spokesman has 10 reasons to be thankful for living in the Inland Northwest. What would you add to the list? (S-R)




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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Jon Snyder celebrates city council victory with Vision Quest remake

Posted By on Wed, Nov 27, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Screen_Shot_2013-11-27_at_12.14.02_PM.png
Earlier this month, Spokane City Councilman Jon Snyder retained his seat in an election that saw the council move a little to the left.

During his campaign, Snyder ran ads that featured the outdoor-loving councilman making his way through the city by bike.

To celebrate his victory, Snyder is back on his bike, and with help from local advertising firm Boom Creative, made a shot-by-shot recreation of Matthew Modine's epic run through Spokane from the movie Vision Quest. The noticeable difference, of course, is that Snyder is on a bike. Well, that and he's not Matthew Modine.

Here's the Snyder clip:

And the original -- you have to fast-forward through 2 minutes and 50 seconds of awkward dialogue and high school wrestling to get to the running scene.


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CAT FRIDAY: Special Thanksgiving pet safety edition

Foods safe to share with pets this holiday, and what to keep out of reach

Posted By on Wed, Nov 27, 2013 at 11:19 AM

tgivingcats.jpg

As many households sit down for dinner tomorrow, a few members of the family won't be joining us, at least not to eat. 

Our pets.

While we humans are stuffing our bellies full, our furry, four-legged companions are sure to be on the lookout for any delicious scraps of turkey and sides that may miss the intended targets of our mouths. Or, they're hoping to make the leap up to an unattended counter or buffet to have a feast of their own while no one's looking.

Hopefully we'll be the only ones with a belly ache after dinner this year, and our pets, cats and dogs alike — though they maybe a little less satisfied with their Thanksgiving dinner of kibble and water — are no worse off than that.

Turkey and other meats

Avoid letting your pets eat fatty, rich meat scraps, like beef fat, poultry skin and even gravy. Not only can it cause excessive gas, which will definitely gross out your guests at the dinner table, vomiting and diarrhea are other unappealing side effects. It is, however, okay to let Fluffy and Fido try a little bit of lean, white turkey meat (avoid giving pets dark meat, it's too rich). Just remember, moderation is key! Also, make sure whatever you give them is bone-free to avoid choking or internal injury from splintered pieces. 

Cranberries

Both cats and dogs can actually benefit from a sampling of this popular Thanksgiving side dish. Cranberries are full of vitamins, and can help maintain a healthy urinary tract, which can be great for cats who are prone to these types of infections. But there's a catch. Canned and jellied cranberries have too much sugar, so only let pets have a taste if you're cooking with fresh berries. 

Sides

If your cat or dog is a fan of certain varieties of veggies, they can certainly enjoy uncooked and unseasoned carrots, green beans, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes or fresh pumpkin (not canned) as a healthy treat – but only before you drench anything in butter and herbs. Sharing some bread rolls with your pup is also okay, but in moderation and without butter, since bread can cause weight gain pretty quickly in dogs. If you want to create a really special, pet-friendly treat this Thanksgiving, try these pumpkin-based treat recipes from the ASPCA

Packaging and wrapping

Make sure you dispose of any packaging or food wrappers that might be tempting to little kitty and doggy tongues, to avoid accidental ingestion. Likewise, don't leave any delicious-smelling garbage somewhere a pet could get into. Yes, it's cold outside, but it's better to take out any trash with tempting food scraps right away. Ingestion of bones, wrappers or any other kind of garbage can cause intestinal blockage and maybe a visit to the Pet Emergency Clinic — not an ideal way to spend the holiday.

Foods pets should avoid entirely:

Raw bread dough — it can rise in your pet's stomach and cause upset or a serious emergency.
Chocolate — this is an obvious one, and it's present in lots of desserts that will be out on the table during the holiday season. Dogs are more sensitive than cats to an ingredient in chocolate called theobromine, similar to caffeine, which dogs can't metabolize like humans. Symptoms of theobromine poisoning in dogs can include digestive issues, dehydration, excitability and a slow heart rate. Later stage complications include epileptic-like seizures and even death. 
Sage — cats are highly sensitive to this herb, which can upset their tummies and depress the central nervous system.
Onions and garlic — these root vegetables can irritate dogs' and cats' intestinal tracts, cause asthma attacks and damage red blood cells and the liver. 
Grapes, currants and raisins — it's not completely known what's in these berries that's so dangerous to pets, but ingestion can cause serious complications, including hyperactivity, vomiting, and even kidney failure.
Avocado — this fruit contains a substance called persin, which is toxic to most animals and can cause difficulty breathing, congestion, accumulation of fluid around the heart and even death. 
Macadamia nuts — as few as six of these popular nuts, raw or roasted, can be enough to cause negative reactions, like tremors and vomiting. In the worst case, ingestion can cause paralysis or hyperthermia.
Xylitol — the artificial sweetener found in lots of candies, gum, and sugar-free drinks causes an insulin reaction in most animals, leading to elevated blood sugar levels, which can progress to seizures and liver failure. It doesn't take much to be harmful, so keep candy and other goodies containing artificial sugars out of reach.

Sources: Banfield Pet Hospital, Petfinder, Reader's Digest, Paw Nation, Animal Planet
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More local musician's winter tunes selections

Posted By on Wed, Nov 27, 2013 at 10:51 AM

There just wasn’t room for everything in this week’s Winter Tunes playlist article, which featured multiple local artists and the songs they listen to each winter to keep the seasonal blues at bay. Here are even more awesome answers from area musicians.

9. “My Evergreen” by Squirrel Nut Zippers
Squirrel Nut Zippers’ Christmas Caravan album is my must have for winter, and "My Evergreen" is my favorite song. The band is so original; they stand apart for me from all other Christmas music out there. — John Blakesley of Hey! is for Horses

10. "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" by Irving Berlin
Generally, I would say “Summertime,” is our band’s song, but we don't play it between Labor Day and Memorial Day. So strictly from a winter/holiday perspective it would have to be the Irving Berlin song. — Jamie Flanery of 6 Foot Swing

11. "Transatlanticism" by Death Cab for Cutie
Nearly half of our band (including myself) is partly color blind so when winter rolls in the world becomes a sad, muted, dull place. Our call to spring is manifested in the grandiose build when Ben Gibbard is pleading, "I need you so much closer.” — Jason Oliveira of Runaway Symphony

12. "The Blue Sky" by A-ha
I'm not sure why this song makes me feel better in tough times because it is about struggling to fit in and whatnot. I guess it's just nice to know that even the people you look up to go through plenty of struggles in life, which helps. Winter sucks. — Justin Hynes of Summer in Siberia

13. “Stuff the Turkey” by Alien Sex Fiend
In the winter I tend to get pretty grim, I listen to a lot of dark stuff but the one song that definitely gets my spirits up fir the holidays is this one. It's just so silly that it washes all the slushy cold weather and seasonal depression out of me. — Ian L. Miles, singer-songwriter



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MORNING BRIEFING: Spokane Valley's bikini barista ordinance, $15 minimum wage and Obama will pardon a turkey

Posted By on Wed, Nov 27, 2013 at 8:59 AM

HERE

The state has invalidated Spokane County's plans to expand the urban growth area. (S-R) 

The Spokane Valley City Council took a stand against pasties last night, unanimously voting to ban bikini baristas from exposing their naughty bits to the impressionable public for good. (KREM)

The unemployment rate in Spokane County has dropped to its lowest level since 2008. (S-R)

THERE

The $15 minimum wage for SeaTac workers passed by 77 votes. Opponents of the measure are demanding a recount. (Seattle Times)

Top-secret documents show the NSA has been collecting data on the pornography habits of six Muslim "radicalizers," which means they could be spying on your online, uh, proclivities, too. (HuffPo)

A Los Angeles judge has ordered Huy Fong Foods, maker of Sriracha/manna from the gods, to partially curb production until it does something about that sweet, sweet hot-chili smell. Mmm. (NPR)

HUNGER GAMES

Whose life will Obama spare this hallowed Thanksgiving eve — Caramel or Popcorn? (CNN)


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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Zag Watch: Maui Edition

Posted By on Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Kevin Pangos scored 27 points last night against Dayton and 18 against Chaminade today. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
  • Young Kwak Photo
  • Kevin Pangos scored 27 points last night against Dayton and 18 against Chaminade today.
Gonzaga  basketball fans got a dose of pre-Thanksgiving reality dumped on their heads last night when the Zags blew an early lead  and  ended up  losing  to Dayton, 84-79.

For a team not used to losing in Maui, it was a tough one.
The Zags fouled up a storm last night, losing both big men, Sam Dower Jr. and Przemek Karnowski, in the final crucial minutes. Still, GU battled back, making some key baskets but couldn't seal the comeback.

Today, though, Zag Nation nursed its first hangover loss of the season by knocking off Division II Chaminade (the tournament host) 113-81. Seven Zags scored in double figures, with Dower and Gerard Coleman both dropping in 19.

Tomorrow, Gonzaga takes on Arkansas in the fifth place game. It's slated for a 2 pm tip off, and you can catch that on ESPN2 after ditching out of work early because, dude, it's basically Thanksgiving.

Now, some notes...

BIG GUYS
That loss to Dayton wasn't a fluke. Those guys were tough dudes. I think I saw one of them bench pressing David Stockton at one point. This is where the Zags are not excelling. Other than Dower and Karnowski, the team doesn't have much by way of size or strength. I'm sure fans were wishing Mike Hart was still scrambling around last night as Gonzaga got out rebounded 42-32 — and allowed Dayton's 18 offensive rebounds. This will need to change soon – and thankfully help is on the way. Freshman Ryan Edwards (7-foot-1) should be back soon after getting his tonsils removed and transfer Angel Nunez (6-8) becomes eligible on Dec. 20.

ZAG FANS TRAVEL WELL
Not unlike previous years that Gonzaga has gotten an invitation to Maui, there is a strong contingent of GU fans in the stands again this year at the Maui Classic. It's a good fit. It's getting cold, and colder, here in Spokane and Maui is both decidedly not cold and not Spokane. Still, that's no easy (or cheap) trip, yet they get a couple thousand folks down there. This is hardly a new phenomenon for Zag fans.

It was weirdly refreshing, for some reason, to see all those Dayton fans there last night. It's good to know that Gonzaga isn't a lone bastion of intense mid-major (yeah, yeah I know that's a bad word amongst GU lovers) fandom. Dayton packs their home arena every game and has the sort of devoted fans it's easy to believe only exist in the Northwest.

I'm not saying Dayton fans are superior in their travel habits. If the Zags scheduled a game on the moon, I personally know no less than a dozen fans who would begin studying rocket science.

DECEMBER
There's no rest for the weary. After playing three games in three days, GU returns to Spokane to take on Coppin St. on Sunday at 5 pm. That's a lot of basketball and Coppin St. isn't to be over looked. They beat Oregon State on Nov. 10.

They'll have some hard-earned rest for the rest of the week before New Mexico State comes to town on Dec. 7. Then, they are back in the air to head to West Virginia on Dec. 10.

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Turkey talk for the Thanksgiving table

And other interesting tidbits to keep conversation flowing on Thanksgiving.

Posted By on Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 2:48 PM


The Thanksgiving holiday is little more than a day away now, as is the snooze-inducing turkey coma many Americans are going to slip into after (or before, sneaky slackers... ) the plates have been scrubbed. Before arriving at the stuffed state of the holiday, you need to make it through dinner. Here are some fun facts to keep the conversation going amidst all that chewing.

1. There are seven U.S. cities/towns named after many American's favorite Thanksgiving side, cranberries. Towns named Cranberry exist in Maryland, North Carolina, West Virginia and New Jersey, while Pennsylvania is home to three towns paying homage to the red berry.

2. There were 242 million turkeys raised in the United States in 2013. That's a ton of turkey sandwiches, although it's noted that turkey totals are also down by 5 percent from last year. 
cb13-ff24_thanksgiving_draft-7.jpg

3. Another popular Turkey Day side dish, 2.6 billion pounds of sweet potatoes were harvested in the U.S. last year and will be making their way into people's bellies during Thursday's dinner.

4. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday 150 years ago, in 1863, in response to a campaign by magazine editor Sara Joseph Hale. Before that, the only two national holidays were Washington's Birthday and Independence Day. Hale, by-the-way, penned the nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Thanks, Sara!

5. Benjamin Franklin endorsed the turkey. He felt that it was “a much more respectable bird,” than the our nation's actual mascot, the eagle. Franklin was sorely disappointed that it had not been chosen to represent our fair nation. After all, the turkey was, as he put it, “a true, original native of America.”

6. When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin sat down to eat their first meal on the moon, their delicious foil packets contained roast turkey with all of the trimmings.

On to some fun bits about another holiday tradition, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, now in its 87th year.

7. Four new balloons are ready to make their parade debut on Thursday — Toothless from the 2010 animated film How to Train Your Dragon, along with Finn and Jake from Cartoon Network's popular animated series Adventure Time. We'll also see a new-and-improved version of Spongebob Squarepants, plus America's beloved beagle, Snoopy gets his seventh balloon update. This year Snoopy ditches his aviator hat and goggles in favor of his bird buddy Woodstock. Keep your fingers crossed that we'll actually get to see these four and the 50 other parade balloons — the threat of forecasted strong winds in the Big Apple could mean they're not able to take flight.

8. Probably the biggest turkey one will see this holiday season: Macy's classic Tom Turkey float, which stands 21 feet tall. 

9. For all those Hello Kitty lovers out there, it’s her 39th anniversary this year. Her balloon incarnation stands 36 feet tall, 38 feet wide and 50 feet long, and the retro airplane design is a throwback to one of the first Hello Kitty looks from the 1970s.
hellokitty1.jpg


10. More official than any mall visit, the parade's Santa’s Sleigh float marks the official official start of the Christmas season. The final float in the parade showcases Santa’s toyshop as well as a giant ice and granite obelisk supported by ice sculptures of a walrus and a polar bear. 

11. Gone are the days in which only women were enlisted help the nation solve its turkey-cooking fiascos. San Diego food blogger RJ Jaramillo is the first ever-male spokesman for Butterball’s Turkey Talk-Line. Making history, folks.
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MORNING BRIEFING: The city budget is approved, a child is born and some goats wear sweaters

Posted By on Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 9:17 AM

HERE

City Council approved a 2014 budget last night. The new spending plan adds 26 police officers, four firefighters and allots each council member a full-time assistant. (S-R)

A word to the wise: Don't use your credit card next time you shop at Yoke’s or Rosauers. (KXLY)

The "Knockout Game": Terrifying crime wave sweeping across the country — or lazy media meme? Probably the latter. (Inlander)

THERE

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers gave birth to a daughter, Brynn Catherine Rodgers, over the weekend in Washington D.C. (WaPo)

The lead investigator into the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting released a 48-page report yesterday, detailing, among other things, the shooter's mental health history, access to firearms and an obsession with mass murderers. Investigators still don't know why the shooter targeted and killed 20 children and seven adults. (WaPo)

New evidence shows the morning-after pill doesn't work for women weighing more than 176 pounds. (Mother Jones)

GOATS IN SWEATERS

Just because. (Modern Farmer)
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