Friday, February 27, 2015

CAT FRIDAY: Meet the Internet's latest feline sensation, Atchoum

Posted By on Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 12:38 PM

Though there is no equal comparison and none could take the place of beloved Internet cat leader Colonel Meow, who departed this world a little more than a year ago, the latest Internet cat king bears a striking resemblance to the stern Colonel.

Meet Atchoum, a Quebec native whose piercing orange eyes and majestic fluff are a sight to behold.

  • Instagram user Atchoumfan

Earlier this month, the French-speaking cat broke through several viral sharing sites, and has since shot to the online stardom that only cats can achieve these days. Atchoum's likeness has appropriately been said to resemble to Ewoks, David Bowie in Labyrinth, Elvis, Batman, the Lorax, a Gremlin and a devil. With a little button-black nose and such full face fur, the handsome cat often also resembles a toy dog breed, perhaps a shih-tzu.

The Montreal-based Persian's looks are surely unique, but there's a medical explanation for the floof overload. Atchoum has a rare condition called hypertrichosis, which causes excessive fur growth and also makes his fur much longer and fuller than other members of the feline species and his Persian breed. Knowing this, the translation of his name makes even more sense: Atchoum is French for the onomatopoeia sneeze sound "achoo."

In the past several weeks, the nine-month-old kitten has racked up more than 22,500 followers on his Instagram account, and is set to soon surpass 30,000 Facebook followers. Get with the program and start following him right meow, because Atchoum's star is obviously rising, and you don't want to be late to this party.

With the motto "I'm hairy, not scary!!" who couldn't adore this fancy, fluffy-faced feline?

  • Instagram user Atchoumfan

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Having flash-Bachs: Zuill Bailey thrills unsuspecting fans in River Park Square

Posted By on Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 4:00 PM

"He's world class," beamed onlooker Seiko Miki after Zuill Bailey's Flash-Bach performance in River Park Square. "Though I prefer the more grand scale venues, it's so great that he's bringing this talent to the public like this. It's incredible what he is doing here in little old Spokane." 

The afterglow was undeniable. Though the urban setting of a mall atrium seemed a stark contrast to elegant concert halls, Bailey seemed quite at home simply to be in the presence of listeners. From the front door to the escalators, Bailey's music stopped people in their tracks. Closed eyes and soft smiles covered the faces of listeners young and old as the atrium filled with the soothing sounds of Bailey's museum-worthy cello that seemed to be an extension of himself. As the crowd began to disperse after today's free performance, it was as if they time had stood still for those serene 30 minutes.

Bailey is the suave artistic director for the Northwest Bach festival and is back with even more concerts than last year. Take a look at Laura Johnson's article on this year's Northwest Bach Festival here

Here are a few snapshots from today's concert.
  • Courtney Brewer
Cellist Zuill Baile - y - COURTNEY BREWER
  • Courtney Brewer
  • Cellist Zuill Bailey

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Rosauers employee on Letterman for becoming America's best grocery bagger

Posted By on Wed, Feb 18, 2015 at 12:20 PM

You've heard of pro golf, pro basketball and football...but how about Pro Grocery Bagging?

Every year, the National Grocers Association (NGA) hosts their yearly grocery bagging face off in Las Vegas where baggers from all over the country can compete for $10,000 and the coveted "Golden Grocery Bag" trophy. This year's reigning champion just so happens to be Rosauers employee and Spokane native David Tochinskiy. In between attending classes at SFCC, David amped up his skills at Rosauers in the time since competing in Vegas last year and it clearly paid off for the young man, who works at the chain's Five-Mile store.


In addition to new title as America's Best Bagger, David can also add an appearance on the Late Show to his resumé. Watch miss his segment from last night's episode: 

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Acclaimed expert to speak on indigenous rights in Spokane tonight

Posted By on Thu, Feb 12, 2015 at 12:03 PM

Eastern Washington University has paired with the Washington State University Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service to bring James Anaya, professor at the University of Arizona, to Spokane tonight. Bringing with him a colorful and intriguing past, Anaya will enlighten EWU Spokane with his lecture on the rights of indigenous peoples

Anaya's career has spanned many different titles, but it has always been driven by a great focus on the adversity and injustice indigenous peoples continuously face all around the globe. The largest and arguably most incredible period of his career was spent as a lawyer. After graduating from the  University of New Mexico and Harvard Law School, Anaya set up camp to practice law in New Mexico. There, he fought for the rights of Native Americans and a variety of other minorities living with injustice. 

Throughout his law career, Anaya was a part of — and often a leader of — a number of landmark cases regarding the rights of indigenous people. He was the lead counsel in a case called Awas Tingni v. Nicaragua, in which it was determined that the Nicaraguan government had infringed on the rights of the indigenous Mayagna people by taking over traditional land and resources that should have been guaranteed to them. This was an enormous leap for indigenous rights, and was actually the first time that the Inter-American court for Human Rights had ever come to a decision on land rights that favored indigenous people. He led and won a similar case for the land rights of the indigenous Mayan people in Belize. On top of those and a variety of other cases, Anaya also helped to draft the UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous People, which has been a milestone in government recognition of these specific types of injustices.

A magazine published by the American Bar Association called Barrister recognized his talents early on, featuring him as one of "20 young lawyers who make a difference." Anaya was even appointed the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for five years starting in 2008. He has continued to spread his skill, dedication, and influence around the world, writing a handful of books on the topic and giving lectures in his classroom at the U of A, at his alma mater Harvard, and everywhere in between. 

His lecture, titled "The Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Contemporary World: The Powers of Ideas and the Challenges of Implementation," will recount some of Anaya's experiences in the field of law, as well as look at how the rights of indigenous people have changed and improved since a time much too recently when there were hardly any rights at all. 

The event will take place at 7 pm in Room 122 of the Phase 1 Building at EWU Spokane's campus

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

INK Art Space moving to Kendall Yards this spring

Posted By on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 1:24 PM

A scene from one of last year's Girls Rock labs at INK. - KRISTEN BLACK
  • Kristen Black
  • A scene from one of last year's Girls Rock labs at INK.

The Kendall Yards development perched on the north bank of the Spokane River is growing so fast even we sometimes feel like we can't keep up, and the Inlander sees these almost daily changes right outside its front door. Another new venture is moving in just across the street from Inlander HQ in May, when creative arts education nonprofit INK Art Space is set to relocate. 

Since it was founded last March, INK has been headquartered in a second floor space above the Bartlett (228 W. Sprague), thanks to a subsidized lease agreement with the building's owner, Dan Spalding. There, the nonprofit has hosted a slew of mostly free arts, music and technology workshops and programs for local, school-age kids.

The all-volunteer nonprofit, co-founded by Spalding and Spokane literary icon Jess Walter, has held classes in spoken word poetry, street art, music writing, digital arts and filmmaking, all thanks to local artists and creatives who've donated their time to teach at INK. Many of the free workshops, however, have been taught outside of INK's downtown space at Spokane Public Library branches to better reach underserved communities.

Yet the new Kendall Yards space — INK is actually set to move into a combination of two currently empty street-level spaces (1218 and 1214 W. Summit Parkway) between Mom's Custom Tattoo and MonkeyBoy Bicycles — should help with that aspect, says INK Board President Mischa Jakupcak.

"It's a great neighborhood for foot traffic and kids," Jakupcak says. "Where we’re at right now, around us there isn’t a ton of parking, and it’s not close to neighborhoods where we serve youth. We do a lot of programming with kids from West Central, so we’re nearer to where the kids are."

Kendall Yards developer Greenstone Communities is donating the space to INK through its charitable Greenstone Foundation. The new spot should allow INK to eventually offer a consistent, open-door schedule, whereas now it's typically only open during scheduled events, Jakupcak says. Once the creative space is up and running, she hopes to offer regular after-school programs and tutoring through partnerships with local universities like Gonzaga and Whitworth. 

INK plans to continue partnering with the public library system to host off-site classes, too, among other public venues the nonprofit has worked with in the past year. 

"We're really excited," she says. "We're going to have some tech aspects open to the public and it's really going to be a community center for people of all ages."

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Scenes from SpIFF's opening gala

Posted By on Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 12:04 PM

The Spokane International Film Festival is off and running, and screenings continue through this weekend. Be sure to check out our complete coverage of SpIFF while you decide what films to see. 

Inlander intern Courtney Brewer took her camera to the Opening Gala at the Bing Crosby Theater, which included screenings of regional productions Dryland and Queens of the Roleo, as well as appearances by both films' directors and casts. Author Jess Walter moderated the Q&A sessions, and film fans mingled at the Bing's Ovation Lounge and checked out the SpIFF Posterize artwork. 

Here are some shots from the scene: 
The casts and directors answer questions after the screenings of Dryland and Queens of the Roleo.  From left: Josh Knodel, Matt Miller, Richard Wilhelm and Sue Arbuthnot of Dryland, host Jess Walters, Queens' Dave Jones and Roy Bartlett. - COURTNEY BREWER
  • Courtney Brewer
  • The casts and directors answer questions after the screenings of Dryland and Queens of the Roleo. From left: Josh Knodel, Matt Miller, Richard Wilhelm and Sue Arbuthnot of Dryland, host Jess Walters, Queens' Dave Jones and Roy Bartlett.
Guests mosey through the movie posters on display. - COURTNEY BREWER
  • Courtney Brewer
  • Guests mosey through the movie posters on display.

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Monday, February 9, 2015

One more week to vote online for our Best of Inland Northwest issue

Posted By on Mon, Feb 9, 2015 at 2:24 PM

Once a year, readers' votes determine the Best of the Inland Northwest for a special issue of the Inlander, and that issue is coming soon, hitting the streets March 19. 

The online polls are open, and will remain so for just one more week. Vote here through Monday, Feb. 16 to make your voice heard. 

If you're finding it daunting to think of 40 different local restaurants, shops, personalities and places to fill out your ballot — and you must fill in at least 40 categories for your ballot to count — we have a few suggestions: 

- For the food and dining categories, check out our complete restaurant listings and remind yourself of some of the great meals you've had over the past year. 

- Take a trip through the online version of our Annual Manual, or find a hard copy, to remind yourself of some of our cultural, shopping and dining hot spots in and around the Inland Northwest. 

- If you have a bit more time on your hands, take a deep dive into our archives and check out all the stories printed in the Inlander over the past year.

- Sign up for Inlander newsletters that keep you updated on the fun to be had around the region every weekend, and the latest restaurant news. 
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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Spokane developers launch Kickstarter for Ebola Attack, a "game for good"

Posted By on Wed, Feb 4, 2015 at 12:59 PM

The game is set to launch for iOS and Android platforms. - EBOLA ATTACK KICKSTARTER
  • Ebola Attack Kickstarter
  • The game is set to launch for iOS and Android platforms.

Two Spokane developers are asking for public support via Kickstarter of a mobile game they designed as a fun, interactive way to raise awareness and financial support for one of last year's biggest world issues — Ebola.

Ebola Attack is a mobile (to be launched on both iOS and Android platforms) arcade-style game, by Anna Czoski and Lance Hughes, in which players take on the role of "hero" white blood cells, rushing to defend against the Ebola virus and immunize red blood cells. The game uses tilt mechanics, with the option of an on-screen joystick, to control the playable character.

Ebola Attack's developer duo each have impressive backgrounds writing games and applications — Hughes worked on the popular Adult Swim game Robot Unicorn Attack, and locals walking down west Main Avenue have likely seen Czoski's latest project, a digital installation at Laboratory. Both attended SpoCode's 24-hour Game Hackathon last October, where the idea for Ebola Attack was generated. During that short time, the two were able to produce a working prototype of the game.

Now that its development is mostly complete, the team is looking for public support in the amount of $5,500 to cover various development and marketing costs. The recently launched Kickstarter campaign runs through March 6, and as of this posting a total of $435 had been pledged.
When Ebola Attacks is available to download, plans are for all profits from a paid version to be donated to organizations working on the ground in Africa to fight the virus, like Doctors Without Borders, UNICEF and the International Medical Corps. 

Even though national concern over Ebola's spread has largely diminished — with the U.S. measles outbreak taking its place in the media spotlight — the disease is still prevalent in West Africa. Support to treat and prevent its spread is still needed, the developer team says. 

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Monday, February 2, 2015

Best of the Inland Northwest Readers Poll voting is open

Posted By on Mon, Feb 2, 2015 at 12:26 PM

It's that time of year again, when Inlander readers furiously fill out ballots or online polls to determine the best of the best in the Inland Northwest. 

You can find the 2015 ballot in the current issue (Jan. 29-Feb. 4) or vote online, meaning that voting on your favorite local places, personalities and activities couldn't be easier. We have 48 categories on this year's ballot that weren't there last year; some are brand new, and some are old favorites making a return appearance. 

Many of the new categories reflect changes in and around Spokane, such as "Best Distillery" and "Best Retail Marijuana Shop," and we're expanding the opportunities to vote on your favorite area athletes, giving readers the chance to pick a favorite from Gonzaga, Eastern Washington and Washington State. We have a special focus on Sandpoint this year as well. We even included some questions suggested by readers on last year's poll, including "Best Pho," "Best U-Pick Farm/Orchard" and "Best Place to Take Photos in the Inland NW." Check out last year's winners if you need a reminder of 2014's reader favorites.

A few things to keep in mind as you consider your votes: 
1. We only accept one ballot per person.
2. Ballots must include your full name and a verifiable email address. We won't share your information, it's just to make sure you really exist when you vote for "Best Local Cat." 
3. You must answer at least 40 questions for your ballot to count. 
4. Paper ballots must be postmarked by Feb. 9, and you can only send one ballot per envelope. 
5. We'll reject any ballots that appear to violate the spirit of the poll. 

You'll read all about the winners in our Best Of issue hitting the streets March 19. Happy voting!
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Friday, January 30, 2015

CAT FRIDAY: Vote for best local cat in our 22nd 'Best Of' Poll

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 4:03 PM

Make sure to get your votes in by Feb. 16!
  • Make sure to get your votes in by Feb. 16!

The ballots are live — let the voting begin!

But before you start, know this important fact — for its 22nd year, the Inlander's annual Best Of the Northwest readers poll has a single important question: Best Local Cat. Yes, this is real, and we are serious, however, the story of how this question came to be included on the ballot this year is a little... less serious. In fact, after a brief lapse in memory this writer (aka the only one on staff who writes the Cat Friday blog) realized she is responsible for the existence of the "best local cat" category on the 2015 poll's ballot. What goes around comes around, it seems. (Disclaimer, it was not known during ballot creation that I was the one who jokingly (sort of) nominated "best local cat" as the "best question not asked" on the 2014 Best Of ballot.)   

Before you bust out that pen (paper ballots are included in the current issue of the Inlander, Jan. 29-Feb. 4) or log on to vote online for your own feline friends, hear me out. There are lots of publicly known cats around town, so perhaps choose from the following pool of nominees instead to give a local "celbri-cat" some deserved recognition! 

Bento the Keyboard cat is unarguably Spokane's most famous feline.
  • Bento the Keyboard cat is unarguably Spokane's most famous feline.

Bento the Keyboard Cat is the reincarnation of Spokane's most famous cat, Fatso the Keyboard Cat. Fatso is also the "original" internet cat meme, and should go down in history as one of the Lilac City's most famous residents of all time. Bento may already be an obvious choice for locals who know of his important role in pop culture, but in case you didn't know, we wrote about him last year. His owner is local artist Charlie Schmidt.

A somewhat dormant Cat Friday series profiling local business's resident cats highlights a few other felines in the public eye, like the two cats of Interiors By Robin, in the Garland Business District. Dolly and KeeKee often captivate passersby by laying in the business's storefront, adjacent to the Blue Door Theatre.

While they don't actually interact with the public, the three cats of Spokane Vintage Warehouse (Zoey, Aiden and Zelda) were our first "business cat" profilees, having gained a following by photobombing pictures of the business's inventory, often shared on its Facebook page.

Maddie keeps her officemates company at Design Spike.
  • Maddie keeps her officemates company at Design Spike.

A very special cat often makes the rounds of downtown Spokane web/graphic design firm Design Spike. Maddie was the second profile in the business cat series, and continues to make appearances now and then (when she isn't too cozy to leave the house) at the second floor office in the Liberty Building, above Auntie's.

While we've not profiled (yet) the following kitties, patrons of their business homes should recognize these friendly felines. 

Alfred greets clients at the Cat's Meow in South Perry.
  • Alfred greets clients at the Cat's Meow in South Perry.

Alfred, a three-legged, jet black cat, is the official mascot of Cat's Meow Feline Veterinary Clinic in the South Perry neighborhood. 

In the North Monroe Business District, Laney the calico has been greeting patrons of Dan's Barber Shop for nearly the past decade.

Although Northwest Christian Thrift Store sadly lost its well-known store cat, Mouse, in recent years, Kiera the tortie has been keeping the facility under her careful watch in her stead.

Kiera (right) cuddles the late store cat Mouse, of NW Christian Thrift.
  • Kiera (right) cuddles the late store cat Mouse, of NW Christian Thrift.

Both locations of local business Northwest Seed & Pet have beloved resident kitties. Gertrude, a black, former shelter cat from SCRAPS keeps an eye on things at the East Sprague store, while Wallace and Django keep the store's animals in line on North Division.    

Gertrude became NW Seed's Sprague location mascot after life as a shelter cat.
  • Gertrude became NW Seed's Sprague location mascot after life as a shelter cat.

Wallace the Scottish Fold keeps an eye on things at the Division NW Seed store.
  • Wallace the Scottish Fold keeps an eye on things at the Division NW Seed store.

His counterpart Django covertly keeps an eye on things from the store's plant department.
  • His counterpart Django covertly keeps an eye on things from the store's plant department.

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