Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Find the Inlander's Annual Manual on stands now

Posted By on Wed, Sep 2, 2015 at 5:18 PM

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With the bittersweet end of summer comes many other exciting things: football, cooler weather, fall harvests, scarves, pumpkin spice everything (if you're into that) and the Inlander's Annual Manual

Yep, our huge annual guide to all things Inland Northwest is on stands now, so get out and pick one up before your local Inlander rack runs out. If yours does, don't worry — you can still come grab a copy of it and the latest issues of the Inlander and InHealth magazine at our handy dandy rack just inside the front door of Inlander HQ in Kendall Yards. We'll try and keep racks filled through September, but don't wait too long.

Inside the 2015 edition, you'll find the typical AM fare, updated to include all that's new or has changed in the past year: a statistical overview of the region and its people in our annual report section, a snapshot of the growing local education scene and guides to all our region has to offer in food, drinks, arts, shopping and recreation. 

This year's issue also features an all-new design — we think it looks pretty classy and streamlined. So pick up an Annual Manual and go discover all the awesome experiences and places that makes the Inland Northwest special. 


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[Updated] Lichty says Office of Police Ombudsman is "the mayor's mess"

Posted By on Wed, Sep 2, 2015 at 5:05 PM


Mayoral candidate Shar Lichty blasted Mayor David Condon’s handling of the Office of Police Ombudsman, saying that he broke his promise of bringing greater accountability and transparency to the Spokane Police Department.

In a blistering press release issued earlier today, Lichty, an organizer with the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane, faulted the mayor failing to negotiate with the Police Guild in 2013 to give the Office of Police Ombudsman better independent investigative authority. She also faulted Condon, who ran in 2011 on a platform of bringing greater oversight to the police department, for failing to fill the ombudsman position, which has sat vacant since January.

“It’s the mayor’s mess because he ran on that platform and it’s arguably what he won his election on,” says Lichty.

Lichty points out that in May, City Council passed a resolution calling on the police ombudsman selection committee to come up with a list of three possible interim candidates for the ombudsman position until a permanent replacement could be found. She also faulted the ombudsman selection committee, noting that it was chaired by city attorney and Condon appointee Nancy Isserlis, for failing to look into the backgrounds of the three candidates for ombudsman. She specifically took issue with Allen Huggins, who made controversial comments on the website of the Wall Street Journal, being made a finalist.

“They didn’t vet the applicants if Huggins was a finalist,” she says.

Lichty also questions why Andrea Brenneke, a Seattle attorney with a background in restorative justice, didn’t even get an interview after applying for the position.

Councilman Jon Snyder, a Condon foe who chairs the council’s public safety committee, also faulted the mayor for why the city hasn’t had a permanent ombudsman since January. He says the reason he was given by Isserlis for no interim ombudsman candidates being offered was because no one was qualified.

“That’s just patently false,” says Snyder. He says that he wouldn’t support Huggins for a permanent position, but pointed out that he lives nearby in Idaho and could have served as an interim.

The mayor did not respond for comment. 

City spokesperson Brian Coddington, who stressed he was not speaking in a political capacity, says that the mayor’s office has had conversations about having a process for selecting an interim ombudsman in case the position should fall vacant.

As for why Brenneke wasn’t considered, he said that committee examined the ombudsman applicants and she didn’t have support on the selection committee. He also noted that the mayor wanted the selection process to unfold independently of him.

“The mayor has been very intentional about staying out of that process and not even meeting the candidates,” says Coddington. 

Condon says that his administration has put more oversight and citizen confidence back into the Police Department, noting it’s implemented the recommendations of the Use of Force Commission report, collaborated with the U.S. Department of Justice on reform of the department and has begun training equipping officers with Crisis Intervention Training and body cameras.

“We see the confidence in our Police Department growing substantially,” says Condon.

He also says that the family of Otto Zehm, a man who was killed by Spokane police, has endorsed his campaign.

As for the delay in finding an ombudsman, he says that the commission wanted to first reexamine the job description and the whistleblower complaint in June further derailed the process, which he has been independent of. 
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This guy is serious about the Cougar-Husky rivalry

Posted By on Wed, Sep 2, 2015 at 4:29 PM

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Football season is coming. In fact, it's coming tomorrow afternoon when a slate of games appear on national television and, locally, Idaho takes on Ohio University down in Moscow.

You should be excited about your team, and clearly this individual is stoked on the Cougars. We've blurred out the license plate number as to keep any diehard Husky fans from tracking down this person who wants to remind you that one of the most notorious serial killers of all time went to the University of Washington.

This is true, Bundy did, in fact, graduate from Washington in 1972. He also attended the University of Utah's law school, so if WSU ever develops a rivalry with the Utes, the driver of this dusty Mazda may need a bumper sticker or something to supplement this — let's admit — over-the-top taunt.

Mr. Mazda can likely be found down in Pullman on Saturday when the Cougs take on Portland State.
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WW: Legalization mascot up in smoke, weed prisoner walks free, pot studies

Posted By on Wed, Sep 2, 2015 at 11:52 AM

Welcome back to Weed Wednesday, your weekly dose of pot news. Wondering what this is about? Click. Looking for our previous marijuana coverage? Click. Got a question or tip? Email me at [email protected]

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Last week, ResponsibleOhio, the group that is driving a November ballot measure that could legalize marijuana in the Buckeye State, unveiled its mascot “Buddie,” an anthropomorphic marijuana bud with six-pack abs, a cape, underwear outside of his pants and a big “B” on his chest over an outline of Ohio.

After the group posted the photo to its Facebook page (which appears to have been taken down), it drew comparisons to Joe Camel, an infamous cartoon character critics claimed was used to entice children to take up smoking, reports Cleveland.com.

Buddie drew complaints from a children’s advocacy groups, saying that it sent the wrong message to kids. The Weed Blog ran an article titled, “‘Buddie The Marijuana Mascot’ Might Be The Worst Idea In The History Of Marijuana Politics.”

The offending mascot now appears to have been scrubbed from ResponsibleOhio’s website. .

Here’s the news elsewhere:

Health officials in Denver continue to quarantine pot that’s been treated with pesticides not approved for use.

According to a recent study, college students are more into smoking weed than cigarettes.

According to another recent study, marijuana may lower sperm count.

According to yet another recent study, marijuana may not be shrinking your brain.

Jeff Mizanskey, who spent 20 years on a life sentence for a nonviolent marijuana charge, is a free man.
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The seasons change early for sports fans as Spokane Indians legend Steve Garvey visits

Posted By on Wed, Sep 2, 2015 at 11:07 AM

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Summer officially has a few weeks left, technically speaking, for for sports geeks near and far, the fall arrives with the start of football season, and the end of baseball season. 

While the major leagues have months left in their season, the Spokane Indians are in the midst of their final homestand, with games tonight and Thursday against Everett to cap off a season in which the team full of prospective Rangers scuffled at times, playing basically .500 ball while developing skills that will lead the vast majority of the team to other squads in the Texas Rangers farm system in 2016. 

Steve Garvey, one of the team's all-time legends dropped by Tuesday night to throw out the first pitch before the Everett series opener, pausing beforehand to chat with local media types about his role on the legendary 1970 Spokane team that won the Pacific Coast League championship. It was a team loaded with future major league players — it was, after all a AAA team at the time — including Doyle Alexander, Charlie Hough, Bill Buckner, manager Tommy Lasorda, Bobby Valentine, Davey Lopes and Garvey, who arguably had the best major-league career of them all. He was the 1974 National League MVP, a 10-time All-Star and a World Series champ before he was through. 

The affable Garvey went on to some fame hosting events like ski races (hilariously skewered by the Cheap Seats guys) and currently runs a communication company when he's not traveling around acting as an ambassador for the national pastime. 

He called Spokane "part of my history," and that 1970 team "arguably the best in minor-league history" in an interview with The Inlander. Garvey got famous for his excellent defensive play at first base when he hit the majors, but in Spokane, he was still a third basemen with a wild arm that he had injured playing football at Michigan State. He attributed the 1970 team's success to the fact many of the guys on the team had moved up through the Dodgers minor-league system together, giving them some continuity in their roles, if not the towns they were living in. 

Dodgers manager Walter Alston gave him a chance to play first base and pinch hit, and Garvey took advantage with a couple of knocks in his first major-league game, and "that was the beginning of my career, really." 

"I tell the guys now, it's takes a good four or five years to really get it" and stick in the major leagues, Garvey said. 

He called himself part of a wave of first basemen, along with the likes of Pete Rose and Chris Chambliss, who weren't all 6'4" and swatting home runs, instead turning the position into a place for great defensive players and athletes who could also hit to all fields. 

"I used to feel just as good digging a ball out of the dirt with the bases loaded than getting a two-run double," Garvey said. 

The kids now are bigger, stronger and faster than in his day, Garvey acknowledges, "but do they play the game as fundamentally sound?" Anyone who watches baseball regularly knows the answer to that. 

This was Garvey's second consecutive year throwing out a first pitch for the Spokane Indians, and it sounds like he'll always welcome the opportunity to return. And he has a strong strategy as an older gentlemen throwing out that first pitch: "Arc. Arc is the key. You don't want to bounce it. You'd rather hit the screen." 

BRING ON THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Believe it or not, college football season is already off and running. The Montana Grizzlies, one of EWU's rivals in the Big Sky, knocked off the No. 1 team in the nation and four-time defending national champion North Dakota State in a thrilling opener on Saturday. 

Watch for the Inlander's football preview in this week's issue arriving Thursday, with a look at all the area teams. The University of Idaho opens their season Thursday night in Moscow (and our own Mike Bookey will be there), and Eastern battles former QB Vernon Adams, Jr., and Oregon in Eugene on Saturday. Washington State plays Portland State Saturday in Pullman. 
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MB: Whitworth students in blackface, Baltimore protests, push for County cop ombudsman

Posted By on Wed, Sep 2, 2015 at 9:58 AM


HERE 

Whitworth University students posed in blackface and posted it to Instagram. They were supposed to be the Jackson 5. (KXLY)

Proponents of independent police oversight will present 1,000 signatures to the County Commissioners today in support of a county ombudsman. Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich says the effort is a tactic by his political opponents. (Inlander, Spokesman Review) 

Spokane City Council approves "parklets" by vote of 5-1. (Inlander) 

THERE 

Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland announced her support of President Obama's Iran Nuclear deal, the final vote needed to survive a congressional challenge. (CNN)

Emails released by hackers reveal Sony Pictures altered the script and marketing of the new film "Concussion," which depicts death and demential football players endure from head injuries, to appease the N.F.L. (New York Times)

Activists and police prepare for protests in Baltimore as hearings in the death of Freddie Gray begin today. (Baltimore Sun)


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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Spokane City Council signs off on "parklets"

Posted By on Tue, Sep 1, 2015 at 10:28 AM

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Parklets — small parks about the size of two parking spaces — could be coming to downtown Spokane and throughout the rest of the city.

Last night, Spokane City Council passed a resolution requesting Mayor David Condon’s administration work with the Downtown Spokane Partnership, downtown’s business association, to implement a 60-day parklet demonstration.

The idea was spearheaded by a nonprofit organization Yes (You Express Studio). The group’s president José Barajas told the council that parklets, which were championed in San Francisco, will include seating, bike racks and vegetation.

“But one thing that it does is that is serves as a platform or as a stage for cultural events: music, dance, performance,” he told the council. “It not only does that, but it encourages people walk and to shop and to stay downtown.”

Barajas said that his group surveyed downtown businesses to see what they thought about the concept. While most thought it was a good idea, he said some were concerned about losing parking. He said his group could install a parklet in two hours and disassemble it an hour.

“One thing to know is this is all privately funded,” he said, noting that Yes will cover all the insurance and maintenance on the first parklet, which could be installed between Stevens and Washington streets. Yes will also monitor who uses it.

Responding to a question from Councilman Mike Allen, Barajas said that there is no incident of a car running into a parklet in cities where they’ve been installed and they’ve exceeded Seattle’s safety standards. Barajas was also asked by Councilman Mike Fagan about how parklets would be affected by Spokane’s sit-lie ordinance, said that the parklet would be watched by Yes and nearby businesses to prevent any vandalism or unsavory activity.

Barajas said he hopes parklets will eventually spread throughout downtown and across the city after the pilot project.

“I’m very fond of this idea because I love Spokane,” said Barajas. “I think it’s a hidden gem.”

The five people who spoke during the public comment period all seemed to like the idea. Even civic gadfly George McGrath, who is typically opposed to almost everything the council does, noted that the parklet “looks good.” But lefty activist Alfredo Llamedo told the council that he would use the parklet to challenge the city’s sit-lie ordinance.

“I intend to get every homeless person I can find to sit in this structure,” he told the council.

“We’ll sleep in them; we’ll camp in them,” he said. “This will be fun.”

The resolution passed 5-1 (Council President Ben Stuckart was absent), with Fagan voting no. 
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MB: Possible teachers' strike, still no gay marriage licenses in KY, murder rates rising

Posted By on Tue, Sep 1, 2015 at 9:36 AM


HERE 

A Spokane public accountant was indicted on federal tax fraud and evasion when he failed to report $1.7 million in income and filed fake personal tax returns. (Spokesman-Review) 

Spokane Public School teachers start school this week with the looming possibility of a strike as soon as this Friday. (KREM) 

Mayor David Condon released his 2016 capital and operation budget proposals Monday. (Spokesman-Review)

THERE

A federal judge ruled that employers can refuse to provide insurance coverage for contraception based on moral, not just religious, beliefs. Judge Richard J. Leon wrote that religious groups' special exemption amounted to "regulatory favoritism." (The Boston Globe)

A Kentucky Clerk is still denying gay marriage licenses despite the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges earlier this year. (CNN)

Murder rates are on the rise in many U.S. cities . Milwaukee, St. Louis and Baltimore are the top three. (New York Times)

POLICE 

A video of police shooting a man in San Antonio appears to show that he had his hands up when he was shot. (KSAT)

Crime and punishment could be a major issue at the center of the 2016 presidential campaign, as several Republicans, including presidential candidate Ted Cruz, are stepping up their pro-police rhetoric in the wake of the shooting of a Texas police officer. (Dallas Morning News)

A bipartisan group of Senate Judiciary Committee members is expected to announce a deal meant to relieve overcrowded federal prisons. The bill would give judges more discretion in sentencing nonviolent drug offenders, and well-behaved inmates could earn time off their sentences. (The Daily Signal)
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Monday, August 31, 2015

THIS WEEK: Heroes of Dirt, Bach, Biters, Melvins and pigging out all weekend

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 11:28 AM


In an instant it seems like we've gone from insane heat of summer to fall. Maybe it's the kids going back to school. Maybe it's the break in the smoke. Whatever the reason, it feels like a new season is upon us, so take a gander at our event listings and Staff Picks often to see what's happening all autumn. 

Here's a crash course in the week ahead, going into Labor Day weekend: 

Monday, Aug. 31

COMMUNITY | Today at Shadle Park, it's Doggie Dip day at the pool! Just be sure to bring your pup a towel, it's chilly outside from 5-7 pm. 

FOOD & DRINK | These last gasps of summer also mean, better get to storing your summer veggies. Spokane Valley Library is hosting a free class at 6:30 pm on Pickling Summer Vegetables

Tuesday, Sept. 1

MUSIC EVENTS & CONCERTS | It's time for Bach @ Barrister, a new concert series at Barrister Winery where Northwest Bach Festival Artistic Director and renowned cellist Zuill Bailey joins with guitarist David Leisner. Expect a program full of works by Schubert, Leisner, Saint-Saëns and Paganini. Concertgoers will receive an autographed CD with their ticket price. It also happens Wednesday. 

FOOD & DRINK | Hey home brewers, the Inland Brewers Unite Social Night drops by the latest spot for a tasty beverage in the Garland District, Filt

Continue reading »

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CONCERT REVIEW: Huey Lewis & the News brought a bar band vibe to town

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 10:35 AM

Huey Lewis & The News love their sunglasses.
  • Huey Lewis & The News love their sunglasses.

There are a few things about Huey Lewis & The News that makes the band better than your average oldies act touring around in 2015. 

First, of course, is a jumbo-sized catalog of hits to draw from when they hit the stage. Huey and his charges were so prevalent on the radio and MTV in the '80s that they can easily play a show of nothing by recognizable crowd-pleasers, as opposed to some legacy bands who try to stretch their three big hits into a 90-minute show. They can't resist throwing a few new tunes in the set, of course, but they don't have to pad the set with junk. 

The band also has a great sense of humor about being an oldies band, with the affable frontman making several good-spirited jokes about his own age, and that of his audience, as well as the tendency of classic rock crowds to hate hearing new music from their favorite old bands. To wit: At one point, after asking how many in the crowd had seen the band before, Lewis said, "I know some people have seen us before. And I know how they feel. 'I'm tired of the old stuff. I want to hear the new stuff!'" That was a pretty funny way to introduce one of the few new songs delivered at the sold-out show at Northern Quest Resort & Casino Sunday night, a so-so tuned called "Her Love is Killing Me." 

The biggest advantage Huey Lewis & the News take to the stage in 2015, though, is that the band is fully capable of sounding exactly as they did during their heyday three decades ago. Back when they were megastars, they were pretty much a bar band with a really good-looking frontman, playing straightforward rock 'n' roll tunes that nodded to soul and R&B here and there. In 2015, Huey is still a pretty good-looking dude, the hooks remain the same, and band (abetted by a horn section) sounds great playing a set of monster hits, well-chosen covers and those few new songs. 

With stars visible for the first time in recent memory, and a chilly bite in the air that definitely felt like fall, Lewis and Co. took the stage to the heartbeat of "The Heart of Rock and Roll," a song that is not only one of the band's biggest hits, but gives them the opportunity to shout "Spokane!" in the spot typically held for "Detroit!" 

"If This Is It" and "I Want a New Drug" came in rapid succession, and the band had the crowd on its feet from the get-go, where they stayed through a show that included an excellent a cappella mini-set mid-show, a staple of Lewis and the band through the years. The band's take on "Little Bitty Pretty One" was excellent, and a primo example of how the band reaches backwards to rock's early years to forge their own pop-rock style. 

Longtime members of the News, guitarist/saxophonist Johnny Colla and drummer Bill Gibson got some big love from the crowd when Lewis introduced the band, as did lead guitarist Stef Burns, who spent the night stepping forward for surprisingly raucous guitar solos song after song; there were moments I thought the show was turning into a tribute to Carlos Santana thanks to the repeated focus on Burns' guitar. 

Among the highlights of the show were "Jacob's Ladder," "Heart and Soul" and "It's Alright," and the reggae-tinged "While We're Young" was the best among the yet-to-be-released songs that the band delivered. 

Opening the show was a surprisingly spry Eddie Money, who laced a set full of hits like "Baby Hold On to Me," "Shakin'" and "Two Tickets to Paradise" with some true enthusiasm for the casino's outdoor venue: "I'm up 150 bucks!" 

There are still a couple of shows left in Northern Quest's "summer" season, but be forewarned, it was pretty damn cold by the end of this trip back in time with Huey and Eddie. Dress accordingly if you hit "Weird Al" Yankovic or the Yes/Toto show.
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