Sunday, December 4, 2016

THIS WEEK: RALLY, Santaland Diaries, East Sherman release party and more

Posted By on Sun, Dec 4, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Local rockers East Sherman celebrate a new EP this week.
  • Local rockers East Sherman celebrate a new EP this week.

The holiday season is in full swing, with just a few weeks to go before Christmas, so peruse our event listings and Staff Picks for all kinds of ways to keep the kids and visiting relatives entertained. And go ahead and pick out something nice for yourself, too.

Here are some highlights of the week ahead:

Monday, Dec. 5

LIVE BANDS | Bow before the power of the D! Well, half of Tenacious D, anyway, as the incredibly talented and hysterically funny Kyle Gass brings his Kyle Gass Band to the Big Dipper. Read Inlander music editor Laura Johnson's interview with Gass here, and give his band a listen as they cover Steely Dan:

Tuesday, Dec. 6

COMMUNITY | The creative minds with local arts organization Terrain quickly saw a local need to safely express and unite to share some of the emotional responses to this year's election, and the result is RALLY, an impromptu, community-driven art show opening tonight.

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Friday, December 2, 2016

What we know so far about next year's Tinnabulation Music Festival

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 5:38 PM


Spokane has hosted all sorts of music, arts and food festivals, certainly, and even a World's Fair, but we haven't had anything quite on the level of Tinnabulation Music Festival. Next September, the new festival's organizers plan to bring in a handful of national touring acts to Riverfront Park and the Spokane Convention Center, along with regional and local talent to fill out a 50-plus band lineup. The music and arts festival will run Friday through Sunday, the weekend following Pig Out in the Park.

Tinnabulation — taken from the term tintinnabulation, which means the sound of a bell ringing (the Clocktower was the major inspiration here) — is Matt Meyer's brainchild. Currently the event manager at the Spokane Convention Center, Meyer says he's been working to bring the large-scale festival to fruition for the last couple years, but that's meant convincing park planners, financial backers and more to get his vision off the ground. That the park is under construction has also made things tricky.

"My goal with this event is to help the park and Spokane in general," he says. "We want to have one more event, one last bash before summer ends."

At $150 for a three-day pass, the price tag may be a large pill for some Spokanites to swallow, but Meyers is optimistic that this will work. "It’s 50 bucks a day, and you’ll be able to see national touring bands throughout the days," he says.

Looking at other major festivals' ticket prices, this cost is quite comparable. Seattle's Bumbershoot was $225 for a three-day weekend ticket last year and Portland's MusicfestNW Project Pabst was $90 for a two-day pass.

At this point, the lineup won't be announced until May 1, with tickets going on sale May 19. And Meyer says he plans to stick to alternative, hip-hop and rock genres. He declined to comment on bands he may already have booked.

The Inlander is a sponsor for the event and our own Volume music festival will still hit earlier in the summer, this time June 2-3.
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Read notes local churchgoers wrote after Trump's election to show love to local refugees

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 3:30 PM

This week we have a story on how the friends, family and teachers of refugees are standing up in defense of their neighbors, survivors of war and devastation who Donald Trump's son has compared to poisonous Skittles.

And sure enough, just a few hours after we'd sent the story to print Tuesday, Trump decided to share some more of his early morning thoughts on refugees.

But in this week's story, I didn't want to focus on outrage over Trump or even on debunking misconceptions about American refugee policy. I wanted to focus on what Spokane was doing to show the people already here — many who'd gone through hell before every getting here — they were loved.

A lot of these were relatively small acts that nevertheless can matter a lot.

Like the notes that three churches — Branches, Salem Lutheran and The Porch — wrote to local refugees.

Brent Hendricks, head of the refugee employment and assistance organization Global Neighborhood, says he got the idea from a former volunteer who'd moved to Nebraska. The volunteer was teaching English as a Second Language to refugee woman, noticed some of them were really freaked out after Trump's election, and so asked some of his colleagues to write little notes of support.

He decided to steal the idea and emailed a few churches he'd partnered with.

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THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Wreck the Halls with Bret Michaels, Kyle Gass Band, Wild Child and more

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 1:47 PM

Bret Michaels is here to wreck your halls.
  • Bret Michaels is here to wreck your halls.

Anyone trying to get into that Christmas spirit should check out tonight's show at the Big Dipper. The music venue is hosting a Pre-Holiday Get Down celebration with the help of local funky/blues acts Cattywomp, Ragtag Romantics and Dionysus and the Revelry. The all-ages show is $7 at the door and starts at 7:30 pm.

Of course you associate Bret Michaels with Christmas ... except probably not. Oh well, Michaels (sans the rest of Poison) comes through the Spokane Arena Saturday with a large crew of '80s hair metal acts for Wreck the Halls. The show includes RATT, Dokken, L.A. Guns, Warrant and Jack Russell's Great White all for $39 or $59. But that's the price you pay for a little nostalgia. Check out our interview with RATT drummer Bobby Blotzer right here. And for those looking for even more sweet '80s nostalgia, this week's cover story has plenty more where that came from.

Jeremy McComb's Christmas Extravaganza kicks off for its seventh installment this Saturday at Post Falls' Nashville North, of which country singer McComb is a part owner. The evening features a bunch of Nashville songwriters including Rick Huckaby, who's written songs for Thomas Rhett and Trace Adkins, along with a few other surprise guests and Nashville North local favorite Luke Jaxon. The show, which starts at 6 pm, is $10 and proceeds go to the Post Falls Food Bank.

The KGB is coming! The Kyle Gass Band, that is. Monday, the one-half of Tenacious D that you're less likely to recognize comes to the Big Dipper along with his California cohorts for a night of lunacy and ridiculousness. The show begins at 7:30 pm and is $15 the day of. Openers include Hey! is For Horses and Supervillain. Be sure to read our interview with the singer-songwriter right here.

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Healthier health insurance, cutting-edge radiology and new issue on the street

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Former EWU professor Larry Kraft, 91, is one of six local athletes profiled in the new issue of InHealth illustrating a workout/life balance.
  • Former EWU professor Larry Kraft, 91, is one of six local athletes profiled in the new issue of InHealth illustrating a workout/life balance.

InHealth new issue on stands now!
Six local athletes-who-work share the secrets of balancing a career and fitness.

Healthier Health Insurance
In spite of all the political fretting about health insurance, NPR reports that the number of Americans who report they are struggling to pay medical bills has "plummeted" — down by 22 percent in the last five years.

In Washington State, the health plan exchange is "thriving" according to a report by the Wakely Consulting Group. Each Dec. 1, state law requires a formal update on the health of the Washington Health Plan Exchange. This year's report showed the exchange has attracted more insurers, creating more competition and stabilizing rates. "We hope our experience informs federal discussions as we transition to a new administration seeking to repeal the ACA,” says the Exchange's CEO Pam MacEwan in a press release.

The Spokane Shriners Hospital opens a new radiology suite Friday.
  • The Spokane Shriners Hospital opens a new radiology suite Friday.

On the Down Low

The Shriners Hospital for Children in Spokane is cutting the ribbon today on a new radiology suite, with equipment designed to dramatically lower the dosage of radiation children receive from imaging. Shriner's new imaging system, unique in Washington state, can decrease radiation exposure by as much as 85 percent over the course of treatment.
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NIC settles rape lawsuit, slain Tacoma cop identified and morning headlines

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 9:49 AM


• GIFT GUIDE: Books, music, video games. You need presents, we got ideas.

• POLICE: Public records reveal the mood back in August when Mayor David Condon tapped then-Asst. Chief Craig Meidl for top cop.

• SEXUAL ASSAULT ON CAMPUS: North Idaho College settled a lawsuit with a woman who accused the school of disciplining her, and not her alleged attackers, when she reported she was gang-raped at an off-campus party.


• Members of the city's Ethics Commission are crying foul after Mayor David Condon asked former city utilities director Rick Romero to help shape Condon's policy goals in his final years in office. The Ethics Commission has already rejected Romero's employment because of a city policy preventing retired employees from coming back to City Hall within a year. (Spokesman-Review)

• Retired Marine Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis is President-elect Donald Trump's pick as secretary of defense. Mattis has been critical of President Barack Obama's strategy in the Middle East. (New York Times)
Slain Tacoma police officer Reginald "Jake" Gutierrez
  • Slain Tacoma police officer Reginald "Jake" Gutierrez

• A Washington Department of Corrections worker says he was a scapegoat for the agency's sentence-calculating glitch that ended up releasing several prisoners early. David Dunnington, an IT business manager, was identified in a report as one of the six employees who contributed to the DOC's delay in fixing the problem and was demoted. (Seattle Times)

• The Tacoma police officer who was shot and killed Thursday while responding to a domestic violence call has been identified as Reginald "Jake" Gutierrez. Witnesses say he sacrificed himself to protect his partner and the wife of the man who allegedly shot him. The 38-year-old alleged shooter has not yet been identified. (Tri-City Herald, Seattle Times)

• Public colleges and universities in Washington state have to beef up their adjudication process when a student faces expulsion, according to a state Court of Appeals ruling. Only 12 of the 27 public institutions of higher education are giving students a chance to defend themselves, the court found. (Seattle Times)
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Thursday, December 1, 2016

In August, Stuckart suggested "recall" as consequence for mayor not submitting Meidl for council approval

Posted By on Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 12:56 PM

Things may be smooth now, but records reveal new insights into the turmoil frothing around the Craig Meidl appointment back in August - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
  • Things may be smooth now, but records reveal new insights into the turmoil frothing around the Craig Meidl appointment back in August

Records requests, at times, can be like time capsules from a different era. So sure, now things are pretty chummy — the council passed the mayor's budget quickly and unanimously on Monday.

But back at the beginning of August?

Well, that was a different, more chaotic time. A trove of emails obtained by the Inlander last week centered on the days leading up to Police Chief Craig Meidl's initial appointment, illuminate a few interesting things:

1. City Council President Ben Stuckart suggested a "recall" was the proper consequence if the mayor refused to seek confirmation from the city council.

It's important to consider just how tense things were back then: Meidl's initial appointment had come less than a week after the controversial report had been released about how the mayor had handled issues surrounding the previous police chief, Frank Straub. The report concluded that Mayor David Condon's administration had intentionally withheld documents about sexual harassment allegations about the chief until after the 2015 election. Condon fervently denied this.

The sudden appointment of Asst. Chief Craig Meidl, which bypassed the lengthy process other police chief candidates had gone through, tossed fuel on that fire. In particular, the mayor suggested he would not be seeking city council confirmation. At least not at first.

"Unfortunately, I made the difficult decision to not bring Chief Meidl for confirmation at this time out of an abundance of caution and concern for him and his career," Condon wrote in a statement to council shortly after. While he maintained he would eventually seek council approval, he did not lay out a timetable.

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Sasquatch! Music Festival announces headliner early

Posted By on Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 11:26 AM

We're praying for more awesome bands to join Frank Ocean at Sasquatch! 2017.
  • We're praying for more awesome bands to join Frank Ocean at Sasquatch! 2017.

It's hard out there for a music festival these days, even one  as established as Sasquatch! What once used to sell out tickets in mere minutes has recently seen fewer concertgoers walk through its doors. But for Sasquatch! 2017, promoters have already announced a few key developments that have the power to reignite people's interest in the annual Memorial Day Weekend Gorge Amphitheatre event.

Just this week, it was confirmed that mega R&B superstar Frank Ocean will headline the 2017 festival. Having just released his new album Blonde to critical acclaim, Ocean will head out on tour next year. This is a huge get for the festival that has also hosted visionaries such as Beastie Boys and Kanye West. We can only hope the rest of the lineup, which won't be announced until early next year, will be just as thrilling.

The other big change for the 2017 addition of the festival is that it will only be three days instead of the usual four — which, as I've stated for years, is the best decision ever. That means the shows will run Friday through Sunday (May 26-28), giving festival goers the entirety of Monday (Memorial Day) to recover, pack and head on their merry way.

For those looking to pick up some awesome Christmas gifts, the three-day early bird GA wristbands will cost $275 each, or $295 when those run out, until Dec. 4 at 10 pm. Otherwise, regular-price tickets go on sale January 28.

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NIC settles lawsuit with woman who says school ignored her gang-rape

Posted By on Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 10:45 AM


North Idaho College has settled a lawsuit with a woman who accused the school of disciplining her, and not her alleged attackers, after she reported being gang-raped near campus.

The woman's attorney, Rebecca Rainey, confirmed to the Inlander that North Idaho College settled the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court, for $75,000.

The college did not admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement. In a statement, NIC spokesman Tom Greene said NIC settled to "limit the costs and distraction associated with lengthy litigation." It was paid through insurance and does not impact the school's operating budget.

"The settlement agreement expressly acknowledges that NIC denies any liability or wrongdoing regarding [the woman's] allegations in her lawsuit. [The woman] further agreed that the settlement was a compromise of doubtful and disputed claims and that she agrees to release NIC from any claims and to dismiss the current lawsuit."

The woman was a 17-year-old freshman at NIC in November 2013 when she says the assault took place. She was falling in and out of consciousness from intoxication, but says she recalls three men she knew sexually assaulting her. At one point, she says one man raped her, as another stood by "asking for a turn" before he did, too, according to the lawsuit.

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The 80s, support for refugees, Tacoma police officer killed and morning headlines

Posted By on Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 9:38 AM


As fear and anxiety over what a Trump presidency means for refugees, local residents find ways to show support.

MUSIC: No, it's not the former Soviet security agency, man. It's the Kyle Gass Band, or KGB. They're at the Big Dipper next Monday, and you should check them out.

THE 80s: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, leg warmers, synthesizers, the original Nintendo and, of course, Devo. For these reasons and more, we still love the 80s.


• A Tacoma police officer was shot and killed last night while responding to a domestic violence call. The 45-year-old officer has not yet been identified. The suspect, who was reportedly using two children as a shield, was killed by a Pierce County sheriff's deputy after an 11-hour standoff. Both children, 11 and 8 years old, are not injured, according to news reports. (News Tribune)

• A 10-year-old Spokane County boy is the 9th child in Washington state diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a polio-like disease (though the state Department of Health website cites 12 possible cases). Officials can identify no clear underlying cause. (Seattle Times)

• The police officer who shot and killed Keith Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina, will not be charged. The district attorney who announced the decision cited a "cocked" .380 semi-automatic with Scott's DNA on it as evidence that the officer's use of force was justified. A "generally peaceful" protest broke out after the DA's announcement. At least four people were arrested, according to news reports. The Charlotte Observer has published a trove of evidence officials used to make their decision. (Charlotte Observer)

• It's a longshot, but at least two Washington state electors have pledged to try and deny Donald Trump the presidency. (Seattle Times)
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RALLY @ Washington Cracker Co. Building

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