Thursday, March 23, 2017

$10 theft trial results in less punishment for teen

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 3:14 PM

Spokane County Superior Courthouse - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
  • Young Kwak Photo
  • Spokane County Superior Courthouse

Mike stole $10 from a kid living with him in a group home. The 17-year-old then ran to the gas station and bought energy drinks and Sweedish Fish. He told the clerk to keep the change.

He was arrested and charged with theft, though Mike says he paid the money back after he got caught. His public defender suggested he would do community service in exchange for dismissing the charge. But the prosecutor rejected the deal, and a case over $10 worth of allowance went to trial.

"We offered to pay the $10 back again and do community service," says Megan Manlove, the public defender. "That would have benefitted the community more than a trial that cost all this time and effort. I would say we've spent at least a couple thousand or so prosecuting the case. Not really sure what the point of it is."

Mike was found guilty at trial, but actually ended up with less punishment than if the prosecutor would have agreed to let the kid do community service instead.

Deputy Prosecutor Stephanie Collins, who supervises juvenile prosecution in the Spokane County Prosecutor's Office but did not handle the case herself, says she is not aware of the offer to do community service, adding:

"We look at each case individually, and consider how to hold someone accountable, what's best for the community and the offender," Collins says. "And in this case, what's best for the offender, before he goes into adult court, is to hold him accountable for his behavior."

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WSU's pioneers, science-student flameouts, & prepping for Spokane Bike Swap

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 2:48 PM

Women work side by side with men in early WSC chemistry lab. - WSU NEWS
  • WSU news
  • Women work side by side with men in early WSC chemistry lab.

Pioneering Women

At a time when women were often not even accepted to colleges in the eastern United States, Washington State College (now WSU) welcomed them. After all, there weren’t that many people clamoring to go to college in the remote West.

A new exhibit at the school’s library in Pullman features some of the university's "women of distinction." Among them: Josephine Hopper Woods, the daughter of German immigrants who earned a degree in pharmacy in 1899, then shifted to chemistry, and went on to become the school's first woman to earn a graduate degree in 1908. Neva Martin Abelson graduated in 1934 with a degree in chemistry and went on to earn a medical degree from Johns Hopkins University, and in 1942, she and Dr. Louis K. Diamond developed the Rh factor test that’s used to screen all pregnant women to this day.

“Ambitions and Intellect: Pioneering Women at WSU,” runs through June in Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections in the Terrell Library at WSU. Hours are 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

C’mon kids! Learn to fail!
It’s spring and that means area high school seniors are receiving acceptance letters (or that surely undeserved rejection) from colleges and universities. But are even highly successful high school kids prepared for the rigors of scientific study in college? "Many students who began science degrees with me switched to other majors the first time a project failed. One failure and they were gone," writes Sara Whitlock in an essay on Whitlock says our national scientific endeavors will suffer if college students don't learn to deal with failure.

Clean out the garage
Have a bike you no longer need? Donate it to the Spokane Bike Swap and Expo by April 7. Children’s bikes are especially needed. Or, for $5 you can also register to sell your no-longer-needed bike (an 8 percent consignment fee applies to sold bikes). But the Swap and Expo may be best for those in the market to buy. Organizers anticipate there will be more than 700 bikes to choose from. Last year’s event raised $36,000 for the Friends of the Centennial Trail. Find more about donating and selling bikes, as well as opportunities to volunteer at the event which occurs on April 8, at the Spokane Bike Swap website.
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Tonight's STRFKR show is canceled

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 1:25 PM


STRFKR, the popular L.A.-based psych-pop band, has had to cancel tonight's concert at the Knitting Factory. According to the band's social media accounts, they've broken down en route to Spokane.

"We hate cancelling shows," their Facebook post reads, "so this is a huge bummer for us. We'll def make it up to you on the next tour."


According to that same post, online purchases will be automatically refunded; for any other inquiries, contact the Knitting Factory at 244-3279.

Read the Inlander's interview with STRFKR frontman and songwriter Josh Hodges here.
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Healthcare, plagiarism, March Madness and other morning headlines

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 10:10 AM


NEWS: Medicaid patients could be hit hardest by changes to the country's health insurance.

MUSIC: Foo Fighters' guitarist Chris Shiflett is taking a break to explore some more twangy tunes.

JOURNALISM: Has a veteran Spokesman-Review reporter been putting his name on other people's work?


Bongs not bombs
A suspicious package left at a gas station near downtown Spokane yesterday turned out to contain weed and pipes, not explosives. (Spokesman-Review)

Deadly attack on British Parliament
The Islamic State is claiming responsibility for an attack Wednesday that ended with three people dead. The assailant, identified as Khalid Masood, was born in Britain and had been investigated previously for connections to violent extremism. (New York Times)

Make America Great Again
But with baseball. The U.S. beat Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic championship. (SB Nation)

March Madness
The college basketball tournament starts back up again today. Zags tip around 4:30. (
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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

CONCERT REVIEW: Coathangers, Birth Defects deliver raucous punk at Observatory

Posted By on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 4:13 PM

The Coathangers play their garage punk sound to an active Tuesday night crowd. - TUCK CLARRY
  • Tuck Clarry
  • The Coathangers play their garage punk sound to an active Tuesday night crowd.

The Coathangers’ songwriting relies on a veil of playful satire, but there's a core of biting truth underneath the silliness in all their songs.

That truth was apparent halfway through the band’s blaring Tuesday night set at the Observatory, when drummer Stephanie Luke fought back tears during a song’s fill. She had recently discovered the loss of a friend and fellow drummer and tried to jolt herself back into the thick of the set.

“If you or someone you know does heroin, don’t do it,” Luke said. “It’s not hard. That’s what these songs are about.”

The Atlanta band quickly went back into their sway-inducing garage punk, but songs like “Watch Your Back” went from reading as playful breakup songs to inspiring visions of having to close off relationships and harmful lifestyles. Topics that seem like simple boilerplate in typical garage-rock retrovision have inspirations rooted in these artists' realities.

The band skillfully played within the trappings of garage rock while pushing punk stamina, a tightrope affair they’ve mastered over their decade-long project. Guitarist Julia Kugel yelped and crooned during many of the straightforward riffs while Luke paired her drumming with a raspy growl reminiscent of punk long gone.

Luke’s vocals played best during songs like “Follow Me,” where her blistering tom rides paralleled her anthemic hit-the-road lyrics, and Kugel’s power chords chugged along the whole way. Kugel’s yelps excel in the more garage-meets-surf-rock that is found all over their latest release Nosebleed Weekend. A highlight showing off the band’s carefree tendencies came in their closing song “Squeeki Tiki,” where Kugel dropped the Jaguar guitar and pumped a squeaky toy for the song’s bridges.

The night was full of supersonic buzzing as the other touring band, Los Angeles’ Birth Defects,

 challenged the rainy Tuesday night crowd to match their thunderous thrashing punk sensibilities for a fast-paced forty-minute set.

Birth Defects raised the ante for how loud and heavy the small Observatory could get - TUCK CLARRY
  • Tuck Clarry
  • Birth Defects raised the ante for how loud and heavy the small Observatory could get

Holding their power chord-wielding axes on their pelvises for much of it, Birth Defects were as heavy as it got Tuesday night. It was hard not to bob your head during their raucous set, even if you stood in the back.

The Ghost Ramp (run by Nathan Williams of Wavves) label’s thrashers turned beer swiggers into chuggers within a single face-melting breakdown. Substance abuse and late nights are the center of the band’s 2015 album First 8 Mistakes. Unabashedly on the nose, songs like “Drugs” and “No Sleep” were given an extra gear when played live by the sweat-drenched guitarists and writhing bassist.

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A Washington state judge asks Homeland Security to back off immigration enforcement at courthouses

Posted By on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 3:13 PM

Washington state Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst
  • Washington state Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst

An apparent uptick in federal immigration enforcement in and around local courthouses in Washington has the state's top judge concerned about a chilling effect on equal justice for all.

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst wrote an open letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly (embedded at the bottom of this post), calling for him to curtail enforcement on courthouse campuses.

"In many locations around our state, a courthouse is the only place where individuals are ensured of a trusted public forum where they will be treated with dignity, respect and fairness," Fairhurst writes. "This includes victims in need of protection from domestic violence, criminal defendants being held accountable for their actions, witnesses summoned to testify and families who may be in crisis."

She continues: "The fear of apprehension by immigration officials deters individuals from accessing our courthouses and erodes this trust, even for those with lawful immigration status."

Citing reports of ICE agents milling around courthouses from attorneys and other judges, Fairhurst calls for Kelly to designate those campuses as "sensitive locations," where immigration enforcement is limited. Other "sensitive locations" include schools, places of worship and hospitals.

Judges in neighboring states have raised similar concerns.

• California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye also wrote a letter to Kelly and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, asking that immigration arrests at courthouses stop altogether.

• A judge in Oregon allegedly helped an undocumented immigrant escape immigration agents through the courtroom's backdoor. Multnomah County Judge Monica Herranz is currently under investigation after a federal prosecutor filed a complaint.

The defendant in that case pleaded guilty to a DUI in a deal that suspended his sentence and placed him in a diversion program. He was arrested two weeks later at a follow-up hearing, according to the Willamette Week.

• And ICE agents in El Paso, Texas, arrested a women immediately after she obtained a protective order against an allegedly abusive boyfriend. The woman was in the U.S. illegally, NPR reports.

"These developments are deeply troubling because they impede the fundamental mission of our courts," Fairhurst writes of the situation in Washington state. "Which is to ensure due process and access to justice for everyone, regardless of their immigration status."

Kelly John Dhs Ice 032217 by MitchRyals on Scribd

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Is this SR reporter committing 'old-fashioned plagiarism' or just aggregating?

Posted By on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 2:30 PM

Longtime Spokesman-Review outdoors reporter and editor Rich Landers has for more than 40 years written about everything from bear spray guidelines to rafting season in Idaho.

But what readers may not realize is that while many of his stories are thorough, well-reported pieces of journalism, the award-winning journalist and well-known regional outdoors expert has also repeatedly presented other writers’ work as his own.

Over the last few months, the Inlander has found several instances going back through 2016 where pieces “By Rich Landers” did not give credit to the source of quotes or entire sections of prose.

Most recently, the Spokesman-Review published on Sunday a story under Landers’ byline about Idaho’s rafting outfitters getting excited for the upcoming season.

Landers’ story begins: “Mother Nature blessed Idaho with deep snow in the mountains this winter, ranging from 98 percent to 180 percent of normal statewide, setting up an outstanding year for fishing and whitewater boating on the state’s world-class rivers.”

What’s not clear to anyone but the reporter is that this exact sentence came from an online article by the Idaho Outfitters & Guides Association. Landers only changed the word “Idaho’s” to “the state’s.”

In fact, 355 words of Landers’ 458-word article in the Sunday Spokesman-Review were reproduced verbatim from the association’s piece, including quotes from four people who the association interviewed but Landers apparently never did.
What Landers' rafting story looked like in Sunday's Spokesman-Review.
  • What Landers' rafting story looked like in Sunday's Spokesman-Review.

Journalism professionals who were shown examples of Landers’ articles that appeared to have copied previously-published sources say that Landers committed a cardinal sin of journalism: plagiarism.

“It certainly looks like old-fashioned plagiarism,” writes Indira Lakshmanan, the Newmark Chair in Journalism Ethics for the Poynter Institute.

When asked for comment, Landers said in an email, “Most of the stories you cite evolved from my blog. They all include information from other sources or publications. They all cite the source at least once in the story with hot links to the complete text of the original story or publication. They all have a great deal of additional perspective or information from my reporting.”
But journalism professionals agree, attribution is needed throughout a piece, not just in one place.

"In cases where language used is exactly like that used elsewhere, or close to it, I tell students that they should always attribute the source (with quotation marks, if exact language). No one expects a reporter to be an expert on every issue. It is a strength – not a weakness – to cite other sources clearly and coherently," writes James McPherson, chair of communication studies at Whitworth. "With a young writer, I might assume ignorance of appropriate standards, but Landers has been at this far too long, in my view, for that to be a valid excuse."

In the case of the rafting story, Landers says he added enough information to the piece for it not to go under the byline of the association.

"I can’t remember another time ever that I used the lead from a release, but this one worked and I went with it. I changed and added qualifiers to the media release such as the possibility of quick snowpack meltoff – enough that it couldn’t be under the byline of the IOGA," Landers writes. "That said, the information in the story was attributed to the outfitters or Stuebner."

The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics is clear on standards for plagiarism, summing it up in four simple words: “Never plagiarize. Always attribute.”

The examples of copied text found by the Inlander include more than just sections of writing that’s been lifted from press releases, which some could argue are, by design, meant to give reporters material to use.

“Journalists have a long history of using information from press releases and from wire copy, so in that sense this isn’t new,” writes Elizabeth Blanks Hindman, an associate professor in Washington State University’s Murrow College, whose research focuses on media ethics. “So what he’s doing doesn’t necessarily violate journalistic practice. Nevertheless, transparency is a good thing, and journalists should be very, very clear about their sources of information. In that regard, these stories could be better.”

The Inlander asked Lakshmanan, “Have standards changed in the digital age to the point where this is acceptable?”

“I would not say that the rules have changed in the digital age,” she writes. “On top of apparently copying other reporters’ work, it is also wrong to take wholesale material from press releases without attribution - whether it is on a digital website or not.”

Back on Dec. 18, readers who saw Landers’ piece on recommendations for carrying bear spray might not have realized that full paragraphs of that piece had already been published in The Missoulian five days before.

In that case, Landers attributed two paragraphs of reporting to The Missoulian, and did expand the story with original reporting, but the piece heavily lifted sections of reporting without attribution.

A side-by-side comparison — showing Landers’ story on the left, with the Missoulian’s Rob Chaney’s piece on the right — shows sections of 15, 35, 55 words in a row that are verbatim from the other article; and the string of exactly copied words would be longer had a few changes not been made:
Made with's free comparison tool
  • Made with's free comparison tool

Journalism students are taught early on that when someone reads a quote in an article, they assume the writer spoke with that person. To not cite that someone else did that interview is deceiving.

When it was pointed out that a piece credited to Landers about a pack horse surviving for six weeks in Wyoming used quotes, without attribution, from a report in the Jackson Hole News & Guide, Landers said the report had improperly been pulled from his blog.

“The pack horse story was picked up by our news editors from my blog, which had a hot link to the original story plus an ongoing discussion based on comments on social media,” Landers writes. “The story as it appeared in print should have had a 'Staff and wire reports' byline. I mentioned this the next day to at least one editor.”

Often in the Outdoors Blog, Landers, like many reporters compiling materials for online posts, will summarize a story from another publication, link to it, and paste some or all of the story into the blog, but clearly indenting the text to indicate that entire portion comes from another source.

In print, that distinction is lost.

The Spokesman's managing editor, Joe Palmquist, defended Landers in a written statement this afternoon: “I have worked with Rich Landers for 28 years. He has the highest regard for original reporting and recognizes the value of those stories to our readers. On a daily basis, the news media uses published stories to localize and edits them (shorten or expand), but Rich Landers always gives credit to the original story and publication. Regarding press releases, every day, the news media does indeed read, refine, check and use information from press releases.

"There was one instance where the copy desk did use one of his blog items and it was used in print. Rich’s byline was mistakenly added. It was clearly attributed on the blog and in print, but we regret his name was put on that story.”

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How the Trump budget would (and wouldn't) impact Greater Spokane County Meals on Wheels

Killing the Community Development Block Grant program wouldn't gut Meals on Wheels — but it still could hurt.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 1:46 PM

In this 2013 photo, Meals on Wheels volunteer Ed Eichwald drives to make a delivery in Coeur d'Alene. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
  • Young Kwak photo
  • In this 2013 photo, Meals on Wheels volunteer Ed Eichwald drives to make a delivery in Coeur d'Alene.

The Greater Spokane County Meals on Wheels isn't just about delivering meals — though last year, they delivered 264,000. Sometimes, it's about saving lives.

That's happened twice this year alone. Meals on Wheels volunteers have come to the door to discover that elderly meal recipients had had a nasty fall.

"With one, a driver heard some moaning through the door," says Pam Almeida, director of the local Meals on Wheels for the last 18 years. "And we were able to call the fire department to get in."

Last year, volunteers saved seven lives, Almeida says. And then there are the lives Meals on Wheels has saved by delivering air conditioners during heat waves or simply by giving the elderly someone to talk to for a moment. 
During the heat wave a few years go, Meals on Wheels brought air conditioners to overheated families.
  • During the heat wave a few years go, Meals on Wheels brought air conditioners to overheated families.

"Loneliness can kill," Almeida says. "Our drivers are often the only person somebody will see in a given day. Human contact is such a necessity."

It's no wonder, then, that potential cuts to Meals on Wheels sparked by the Trump budget even has, say, Colin Kaepernick concerned. But a lot of the tone of the coverage has suggested that the entire Meals on Wheels program hinged directly federal funding. That's false.

The most direct way that the local Meals on Wheels would be hurt by the Trump budget is through its elimination of the Community Development Block Grant program.

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Teen's family speaks about wrongful death settlement, attack in London and other morning headlines

Posted By on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 9:35 AM


NEWS: "I don't have any faith or trust in our local government. I know that they'll just do whatever they need to do to cover their own ass." — The family who recently settled with Spokane County over the death of teenager Ryan Holyk in 2014 speaks out for the first time about Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich's statements on the case.
Ryan Holyk's family
  • Ryan Holyk's family

Holyk's mother has created a fundraiser and scholarship in his name.

MUSIC: The band TOOL will play the Gorge on June 17. Tickets go on sale Friday.

MUSIC: Didn't make it to see the Meat Puppets on Monday? Dan Nailen's got you covered, with a review of the show: "There's a certain joy in watching grizzled old punks smiling at each other as they play to a packed club." Read more here.


Possible terror attack in London
Police were treating an attack in London as "terrorist incident," after multiple people were run over Wednesday and a police officer was stabbed outside Parliament, the BBC reports. (BBC)

Whipping for health
Republicans are trying to gather enough votes plan to repeal Obamacare and replace it, but there are still holdouts. (Politico)

Money problems
With rapid inflation, Argentina's banks are having trouble storing all of their "increasingly worthless banknotes." (El Pais)
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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ryan Holyk's mother remembers her son with annual fundraiser and scholarship

Posted By on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 4:06 PM

Carrie and Norm Thomson (center) during an annual fundraiser in memory of their son. - COURTESY OF RYAN HOLYK'S FAMILY
  • Courtesy of Ryan Holyk's family
  • Carrie and Norm Thomson (center) during an annual fundraiser in memory of their son.

After the initial phone call, a harrowing 10 days in the hospital and the wrongful death lawsuit that dragged on for two years following Ryan Holyk's death, his family is finally finding some peace.

Since the 15-year-old was struck and killed, evidence shows, by a speeding Spokane Valley deputy in 2014, his family has put on a fundraiser called Ryan's Ramble. The events vary each year — from a fun run to last year's hot dog grill and silent auction. The proceeds are donated to Marissa's Lids for Kids, an organization that provides underserved kids with bicycle helmets and raises awareness about helmet safety.
Ryan Holyk
  • Ryan Holyk

This year's event will be May 20 at Daley's Cheap Shots in Spokane Valley. There will be a cover charge, a silent auction, a raffle and a corn hole bags tournament. The event is all-ages.

"I started this because I wanted something positive to come out of this situation, and I had to find something else to focus on," Thomson says. "I just wanted a day of positivity and helping our community."

The past two years have been so successful, Thomson says, that some of the proceeds this year will go toward a service-based scholarship in her son's memory. This would have been Ryan's senior year of high school.

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Saber-Toothed Cats: Evolution and Ecology of a Mammoth Predator

Saber-Toothed Cats: Evolution and Ecology of a Mammoth Predator @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Wed., March 29, 7:30 p.m.

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