What's underneath the Masonic Temple? Why does the Hutton Building have a walk-in safe on every floor? And what's behind the door behind the garbage goat? Is it garbage?
This new series by videographer Nathan Brand explores the history of Spokane with questions like those. In Episode 1, we find out: What's with those weird bear murals underneath the former Dutch's music shop at 415 W. Main Ave.?
If you know of weird tunnels or other histories mysteries you'd like cleared up, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve been watching the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree for the past month as it was cut from the Colville National Forest, stopped in Spokane and then continued across the country for its place of honor outside the Capitol building.
So it was exciting to see it today, all decked out with handmade ornaments and ready for its lighting ceremony. The bipartisan festivities began at 5 pm eastern time in Washington D.C., and the full video is now posted on C-SPAN. The lucky little guy who got to help flip the switch is Colville first-grader Giovanni Gayner.
But if you don’t feel like watching the full program, here’s the before-and-after. So pretty.
Over the weekend, a few complaints started trickling in to First Night Spokane, the giant family-friendly New Year's bash, about their ads running with the Rush Limbaugh Show on KQNT, a local talk radio station that’s also host to Sean Hannity and and Glenn Beck. Limbaugh is notorious for his sexist, racist and homophobic diatribes, even in the less-than-polite world of talk radio.
First Night Spokane acted immediately, posting this in response to complaints on Facebook:
“First Night Spokane takes pride in being a family friendly, diverse, non-discriminatory New Year’s Eve event in downtown Spokane and in no way condones or supports the comments made by Rush Limbaugh or others associated with the Rush Limbaugh talk show, therefore we are pulling any programming of promotional information regarding our event from this station.”
Executive Director Lona Barnum says it was a swift decision for the board. The organization doesn’t take political stances, she says, but they do care a lot about listening to the community and representing local families.
“We pay a lot of attention to our constituents,” she says.
Nationwide, dozens of other companies and organizations have received similar complaints about their ads running with Limbaugh’s show. It’s part of a liberal grassroots effort, led by Stop Rush and Flush Rush, that took hold in 2012 after Limbaugh called Georgetown University student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” after Republican congressmen refused to let her testify on birth control coverage.
On its site, Stop Rush keeps a constantly updated list of advertisers and their contact information. Companies and organizations that have pulled their ads after pressure from consumers include Disney On Ice, Citibank, CVS, Papa John's, H&R Block and CNN. The activists’ goal is to eventually push Limbaugh off the air for lack of willing sponsors.
Many of the advertisers say they were unaware their ads would run during the show, and that’s what happened to First Night Spokane. Like most ad buys, it was part of a package deal, and Barnum says they’ve learned it’s important to have a discussion up front about what’s acceptable for your organization.
“I think you have to be really clear about who you want to align yourself with,” she says.
As 2014 approaches, you’ll continue to hear radio ads for First Night Spokane on other stations — but no longer with Rush.
The finger pointing and accusations we reported on last week seem to be put to bed with the controversial Dawn of the Donut artwork. The flood of angry responses on DOTD Facebook site seems to have actually paid off. DOTD took down all of their previous logo and have replaced it with placeholder donut pictures.
Today, DOTD posted this on their Facebook:
"We are thrilled to be working with John Sumrow to create a joint project of zombies for our shop and promote his art. Keep checking for updates!"
Likewise, on artist John Sumrow's Facebook page he also posted what appears to be an agreement:
"Just got off the phone with @dawnofthedonutzombie in Spokane WA. We are in talks to resolve the stolen artwork issue. Thanks to all my friends & fans for the support! You guys \m/"
We reached out to Sumrow and he informs us that nothing really has been set in stone yet, but "most likely I am going to remake the artwork for them." Sumrow also notes that DOTD reached out to him and were very humble and apologetic, and that he is going to retain licensing rights.
Anyone who likes the shop the Black Friday “doorbuster” deals will have to eat Thanksgiving dinner quickly this year, because retailers are opening their doors earlier than ever. Walmart’s Black Friday deals begin at 6 pm on Thanksgiving, and many other big stores will be open by 8 pm.
Executives say it’s a response to consumer demand: Consumers would rather stay up late than get up at the crack of dawn. Analysts have pointed out it’s an especially cutthroat market this year because an unusually late Thanksgiving means retailers have fewer days to get people in the door before Christmas.
Not everyone thinks earlier hours are a good idea. Consumers and workers have called executives “heartless” for making employees work on Thanksgiving instead of spending time with their families. Retailers have been quick to say they’re paying workers time-and-a-half, but Black Friday has long been symbolic of big retailers’ indifference to workers’ well-being. (Remember the trampling death at a Long Island Walmart in 2008?) Similar to previous years, workers around the country are planning living wage protests for this Black Friday.
Looking back a few years, it’s clear the momentum for earlier and earlier Black Friday openings took off during the recession years when retailers desperately hoped Black Friday would live up to its name and put them in the black. Online shopping has changed the game, too, but it wasn’t that many years ago that retailers politely waited until 5 or 6 am to open their doors.
This chart shows the Black Friday opening times for several major retailers going back to 2006. (Some stores, like Walmarts, are open 24 hours including on Thanksgiving; times reflect when the Black Friday deals begin.)
You are using artwork that does not belong to you. Pay the creator, John Sumrow, and take it down. How hard is it to draw your own style of zombie donuts?
Artists make a living off their work. TAKE IT DOWN OR PAY HIM! YOU ARE STEALING!
Apparently they feel they don't have to pay for artwork. Apparently that means we don't have to pay for their donuts. They expect free art. So we expect free donuts.
We got in touch with John Sumrow, an Albuquerque-based artist whose work includes zombie-donut drawings and sculptures. He says he would have been interested in having his work associated with the shop if he’d been approached about it — but he wasn’t.
“It pissed me off when they started selling shirts,” he says. “That is my bread and butter.”
He says he got in touch with the company a couple of months ago to point out the work was his. Dawn of the Donut used 99designs, a crowdsourced graphic design site where designers vie for projects, and told Sumrow they’d bought the work through 99designs for $299.
“I tried to play nice, but I kept getting rebuffed,” he says.
People who solicit work on 99designs may not always be aware if a design is directly taken from another artist, and the site warns about checking for stolen work and also offers a summary of copyright law. But it appears that Dawn of the Donut was familiar with Sumrow's work. Sumrow pointed us to the 99designs contest where the company solicited a logo — and it includes his sketch as a reference of what they were looking for. Here’s the request:
This is a theme donut shop logo. Donuts that are zombies, I have a picture of an example of the zombie donuts that I would like to have recreated. Essentially I'd like the logo to be THE SAME AS the cover art to the 2004 movie, Dawn of the Dead, only using the words "Dawn of the Donut". From there you will have to create some donut zombies where that movie art has actual zombies. I have attached reference drawings of donut zombies. The winner is going to have to incorporate both the movie Font with new wording along with original zombie donuts. I"d like the colors to stick as close as possible to the movie art.
We reached out to the shop owner, Missoula-based attorney Martin Judnich, and we’ll update this post if we hear back from him.
UPDATE: Over the weekend, Dawn of the Donut and Sumrow spoke about the issue. Dawn of the Donut has since removed the logo in question from their Facebook page and hinted at an upcoming collaboration.
This story is part of a special Inlander Cat Friday series, Inland Northwest Business Cats, profiling cats who hang out or live at local businesses. Read the previous post here.
It's been a while since we've been able to get out of the office and into the community to report about the cats that help make some local business owners' jobs a little livelier. But the "Inland Northwest Business Cats" series lives on, and we still have a pretty lengthy list of businesses in town that are reportedly home to a feline or two.
We discovered the cats at Interiors by Robin, in the Garland Business District, purely by chance. One evening after seeing a hilarious show at the nearby comedy venue the Blue Door Theatre, my companion and I passed by the next-door business and noticed two very contented cats sleeping near the shop's front window, one lounging on a small decorative bench, and the other curled up right on the other side of the glass. Cat lovers like me don't forget about unusual sightings like that, and I mentally filed the memory for future reference.
Recently, I met the interior design studio's owner, Robin Hoffman, and her two resident kitties, Dolly and Keekee, short for "Keekeelishus."
The two shop cats definitely weren't planned fixtures for the business, Hoffman tells me.
On a frigid January day back in 2006, Hoffman says she was bringing in supplies through the store's alleyway garage door, when a skinny little cat zipped inside to escape the cold.
"I was just kind of torn," Hoffman says. "I already had multiple cats at home so I thought well, she can stay here."
This wasn't the only surprise in store.
"Maybe a month went by, and I noticed kind of a roundness to her belly, and I thought it was just because she’s getting fed and things are getting better for her," Hoffman continued. "Then one day a lady came by and said, 'that cat’s pregnant,’ and I think I was in denial."
Sure enough, weeks later the little stray cat, which Hoffman named Dolly, had her kittens in the back of the shop, surprising an intern who discovered the kittens one morning.
Because Hoffman planned to keep Dolly at the store as its resident kitty — she already had four of her own cats at home — she didn't want the new mother to get lonely. After finding homes for three of the four kittens, she chose to keep a smoke grey male, named Keekee.
The two have certainly made a name for themselves on the block, lined with shops and restaurants, and Hoffman says "everybody knows about the cats on Garland."
"I would say 99 percent of people come in because of the cats, just to pet them," she says.
Sometimes, when they're sleeping in the store window, passersby stop and gawk and Hoffman hears questioning if the cats are real or part of the window display.
When they're not sleeping in the front windows, Dolly and Keekee enjoy hiding behind the numerous wood, carpet and tile displays in the quaint interior design studio, or scratching up Hoffman's fabric sample books. The enjoy keeping her company, since she's usually the only person there all day. Hoffman says the cats usually prefer to lay on one of two leopard print bar stools at a large workspace in the middle of the room, littered with paint and fabric swatches and sketches of floor plans.
If it weren't for Hoffman's decision to let Dolly stay, who knows what would have happened to the pregnant young cat. She's sure the young mother was a stray. She had no collar and no one ever came looking for her, and Hoffman doubts she would have had a more favorable fate on the streets. And while Dolly doesn't always enjoy being around her son, the two still get along well and Hoffman often finds them snuggled up together, napping or grooming one another.
Tell us of any local Inland Northwest businesses you know of that have a part- or full-time resident feline and we’ll consider them for a future profile for our "Business Cats of the Inland Northwest" series! Email suggestions to email@example.com.
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