Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Dolezal's a hero, Marco's a Muppet and other bold claims in the news

Posted By on Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 9:10 AM


Spokane's long police ombudsman drought continues, as controversial ombudsman candidate Robert Breeden declines to move to Spokane for a four-month trial period while his past is being investigated. That doesn't mean he's not willing to be the ombudsman. He just wants commitment. 

Smoking is bad for your health.
And the Spokane Regional Health District wants it to be bad for your employment, too. The District has been encouraging companies to discriminate against smokers, hiring non-smokers for specific jobs. They're leading by example. At the Spokane Regional Health District, Smokers Need Not Apply.

Don't threaten to kill two people in your culinary program. Police arrested the guy who allegedly did just that at Spokane Community College.

11-year-old Aiden Kemp is paralyzed from the neck down. So Gonzaga University engineering students are building him a specialized recumbent bicycle for his birthday. 

But do you know who's the real hero? Rihanna says. Spokane celebrity civil-rights superstar Rachel Dolezal

As the Jeb! crumbles in the polls, his friend-turned-rival Marco Rubio looks to benefit. Rubio, young and charismatic, began the race as few Republican voters' first choice. But he's practically everyone's second choice, the New York Times' Upshot blog explains. And as the field winnows down, second choices begin to become first choices.

It's been long established that Mitt Romney is Guy Smiley, but which Muppets represent this year's crop of GOP candidates? The New Yorker investigates, concluding, with good reason, that Donald Trump is Animal.  
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Monday, October 5, 2015

Breeden declines interim ombudsman job; still interested in permanent position

Posted By on Mon, Oct 5, 2015 at 12:26 PM


Robert Breeden declined the offer to serve as Spokane's interim ombudsman. 

The Office of Police Ombudsman Commission voted last week to offer Breeden, who lives in Florida, the four-month appointment. The the five-member commission also voted to send an investigator to Florida to look into allegations surrounding Breeden's treatment of employees while he was the assistant special agent in charge of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in Miami.

"Due to my current personal financial and professional obligations, I cannot accept the interim assignment," Breeden says in an email to commissioners. "But I do remain interested in the permanent ombudsman position, and will gladly cooperate with the additional vetting the Office of Police Ombudsman Commission agreed to pursue."

The commission also voted last week to ask the city council for funds to send investigators to Florida and Victoria, British Columbia, where another candidate, Raheel Humayun, works.  

The next OPO Commission meeting is tomorrow, Oct. 6 at 5:30 in City Council chambers. 
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Monday Morning Place Kicker: Mondays are better with Seahawk games, Cougars struggle, Mariners finally stop playing baseball

Posted By on Mon, Oct 5, 2015 at 12:03 PM


So if you're like me, you don't like Mondays, mostly because of their far-off proximity to the weekend and also because Garfield told you at a young age that Mondays suck.

But isn't it nice on this particular Monday to realize that the day is capped off with a Seahawks game? In case you didn't know, the Seahawks play the Lions on Monday Night Football (ESPN, 5:30 pm) and that's why I started my day by putting out my 12th Man flag, eating a hearty game day breakfast and preparing mentally for the Hawks battle over in Seattle this evening. Oh, and mentally preparing for a productive work day, too, of course.

This got me really pumped up, and it should do the same for you.
Seattle hasn't done so great in prime-time games as of late. There was the Sunday night loss in Green Bay a couple weeks ago and then that whole, uh, Super Bowl thing back in February. But you can take comfort in knowing that the Seahawks are very good when playing on Monday Night Football. In fact, no other NFL team is better than the Hawks on Mondays, not by a long shot. The franchise is 21-8 on MNF, good for a .724 winning percentage — the next winningest record is San Francisco at just .642.

So that's a good sign of how things will shake out at CenturyLink Field tonight. Also good for the Hawks is the fact that they're playing the Detroit Lions who have been very much like the Detroit Lions of old this season, starting out at 0-3. The Lions, though, are not a pushover, despite that record. They have receivers Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, the latter of whom will make his first return to Seattle since leaving the team after the 2013 season. If Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford finds those guys for big plays — of which the Hawks have given up a few, especially in their first two losses — Detroit could hang in there.

Stafford won't have to deal with Seahawks defensive lineman and terrorizing pass rusher Brandon Mebane, though. Mebane is ruled out for the contest with a strained groin. Also on the injury front, there will be no Beast Mode tonight. Marshawn Lynch has an issue with his hamstring and is going to sit out tonight. As a Beast Mode devotee, I find myself strangely OK with this. First off, Marshawn hasn't looked full-speed out there as of late and clearly he needs to rest. Secondly, I don't mind backup running back Thomas Rawls. Sure, he's a rookie from Central Michigan, but he went for 105 yards last week and is a gritty runner.

The Seahawks will need Rawls to be productive in order to set up with passing game, which seemed to finally come to life in the second half of their 26-0 beating of Chicago last week. Hopefully Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse will finally get going. And Jimmy Graham will get the goddamn ball. Don't worry about it, OK?

Hopefully you're in appropriate Seahawks gear at your place of employment today. Kinda like this dude.
Moving on to the college game, Washington State could not pull off the win down in Berkeley on Saturday afternoon, losing to Cal 34-28. It was a frustrating loss for the Cougs, mostly because they had a chance to win against the 24th ranked team in the country. In fact, they had a lot of chances, thanks to some Cal miscues, but Luke Falk and company could not punch it in on a pair of fourth quarter drives that could have put them ahead.

Something to note in this one: Yes, the Cougars are a passing team. Ya know, Air Raid and all that. But holy crap, they only ran for 14 yards in this game. And that was on 25 attempts. So they actually tried to run the ball and that's what they got.

It was the Cougars' 28th loss in their last 29 games against ranked opponents. They head to Eugene on Saturday to visit a struggling Oregon team that is not great on covering the pass — so that could be an upset to keep an eye on.

Idaho went to the deep South — which is where they'll about every other week for the rest of the season, due to their inexplicable membership in a conference of Southern teams — and did not win. The Vandals lost to Arkansas State 49-35 to fall to 1-4 on the season. They tried a new quarterback, Jake Luton, but that didn't help change Idaho's fortune. He threw three interceptions.

They'll try to get their first win against an FCS opponent next week when they head back south to face Troy.

The Seattle Mariners' grand experiment in disappointment came to an end yesterday with a meaningless 3-2 win over the hapless Oakland A's. The win brought their final record for the season to 76-86, which is about 25 wins shy of where a lot of us thought the M's would end up this year.

Can you believe this is the same team that not just hopeful fans like myself, but real live experts thought would make it to the World Series? It looked like they finally had the offense to make it somewhere, but unfortunately Robbie Cano and others forgot how to hit for the first half of the season and their bullpen was like something out of a Roland Emmerich movie. Even King Felix wasn't always that kingly.

Finally, though, the Mariners can no longer hurt us on a daily basis with their improbable extra-innings losses. As for next season? Who the hell knows. They've got a new GM and should have their stars back, but after this year, I have no hope in anything anymore. 
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CONCERT REVIEW: A magical night with Big Gigantic and the Floozies

Posted By on Mon, Oct 5, 2015 at 11:28 AM

The Floozies' Matt and Mark Hill join Big Gigantic's Dominic Lalli and Jeremy Salken for an encore. - MAX CARTER
  • Max Carter
  • The Floozies' Matt and Mark Hill join Big Gigantic's Dominic Lalli and Jeremy Salken for an encore.

As the sun set on another weekend and the city of Spokane prepared for Monday, several hundred blessed few were at the Knitting Factory to witness a night of pure musical fusion. Big Gigantic's Get On Up tour came through Spokane red-hot, and boy did things get funky.

Beauflexx looks on at the stage that he set. - MAX CARTER
  • Max Carter
  • Beauflexx looks on at the stage that he set.
Things kicked off with Beauflexx, a Seattle-native living in Spokane who has played shows and festivals with the likes of Datsik, Steve Aoki and the Dirty Phonics. Setting the stage for the bigger acts isn't always easy, but Beauflexx made it look simple, filling the audience's ears with driving dub step and house beats. Not as funky as the Floozies and Big Gigantic, Beauflexx set the energy high from the start, but one could just sense a longing in the air... a longing for the funk.

When the Floozies took the stage, guitar and drum sticks in hand, the entire atmosphere in the building changed. From the first tasty guitar phrase, there was a sense that something incredible was about to happen. The energy between the crowd and guitarist Matt Hill was palpable as he drank from his beer on stage, grinning from ear to ear. This wasn't your everyday EDM show. This was a concert, with live music and live energy, and the audience was feeling it, on their skin, in their ears and in their hearts. On this Sunday night, everybody in that building was fighting for just a bit more weekend, and for those few hours, nobody had a worry in the world. 

And then Big Gigantic happened. With the honk of a saxophone, everybody in the Knitting Factory found themselves a part of a revolution. It was a climax of euphoria for a music-loving millennial; the integrity of live, genuine music with the thrill of EDM and bass drops. Big G opened with a couple of hits, including their new single "Good Times Roll", and as the main act got into the meat of their set list, I was filled with hope. The whole room was filled with hope. It was as if with every delicious lick played by Dominic Lalli on his iconic saxophone, he was elevating every person in that room to a new level. In a world filled with pop music, cheap hooks and a billion "up and coming" electronic artists, Big Gigantic satiates the desire for music of greater integrity. 

As Lalli and bandmate Jeremy Salken worked their way into the back end of their set with bangers like "Sky High" and "Get On Up", I couldn't help but feel romantic about it all. My love for jazz and funk music was rekindled. After finishing up their set, to nobody's surprise, Big Gigantic was called back for an encore and they didn't disappoint. The curtain call lasted about 15 minutes, including an appearance on stage by the members of the Floozies. 

With the final drop, that evening ended, leaving the audience members to stroll out into the night in bewilderment of what they had just experienced. The echo of Lalli's saxophone seemed to float out into the crisp October air.
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Meet your barista: Promise Boutelle at Caffé Affogato

Posted By on Mon, Oct 5, 2015 at 11:00 AM

  • Kailee Haong

Caffé Affogato, located in the front of the quirky, open-market downtown venue called the Saranac Commons, is an Italian-style cafe, making its debut early this year. Stylistically simple and occupying a small area, the cafe serves a wide variety of beverages, including affogatos, tea and even ice creams. Eastern Washington University junior, Promise Boutelle, has lived in Spokane since she was a child, and has had an inclination toward coffee since the age of 15. You can head downtown and find Promise behind the counter, chatting with customers and making drinks.

INLANDER: How did you end up at Caffé Affogato?
BOUTELLE: We opened in February, and I think I was hired at the end of April. It’s a pretty new cafe still. So, this girl that I actually went to school with, Syd, she worked here from like the very beginning, before it was even a shop because she knew the owner. So I knew Syd, and I saw her posting on Instagram all the time of this cute little cafe and I was so jealous, so I would go in there and get coffee and I kind of just talked my way into it, basically. They happened to be needing a floater, someone who covers shifts every once in awhile, and so I did that and I got the job. I did that for a while, and then the manager at the time had to quit, and then I basically got all of his hours. It worked out pretty nicely.

Do you have any jobs aside from being a barista?
For a long time I was working the espresso stand at Eastern [Washington University], since I go to school there. I’ve worked many barista jobs, but right now this is the only job, and I only want this job because I love it so much.

Do you want to stay in Spokane after you graduate?
No. I mean, don’t get me wrong, this year I’ve actually really learned to love Spokane. I like it way more now than I liked it in high school. In high school, I hated Spokane. I don’t know, I see myself everywhere because I want to travel. I plan on moving to Denmark, I want to live in Canada, I want to live on the West Side — anywhere. That’s the only reason I say ‘no.’ But maybe later down the road.

  • Kailee Haong

What are your hobbies?
I love listening to music, I love going to concerts, I’m going to a concert tomorrow, actually. Purity Ring, it’s at the Knitting Factory. I like going to music festivals like Sasquatch, it’s my thing. I go every year. I love holistic medicine type of stuff; I like plants, gardening. I love like, I don’t know, I love nurturing my body. I love listening to my body, like ‘what does it need?’ or how to I heal it — oh, yoga. I love doing yoga. I’m that typical hippie girl.

Are there any current coffee trends going on right now?
Yeah, that frickin’ latte art stuff. We actually just held a competition, it’s a latte throwdown, I think it was like a week ago. Yeah, latte art is like a huge thing right now. I mean, it’s cool, but I feel like everyone tries to do the same design, and with me, I’m not that good at the free pour, but I love just making it look pretty. It doesn’t have to be that same flower thing, you know? I can do a heart, too.

What’s the most rewarding thing about your job?
Probably just building that customer-barista relationship with each other. Just really getting to know your customers as friends, or as people, because I run into them all the time because I work downtown — I almost live downtown. It’s just fun getting to know them... I get a lot of regulars, but because the cafe is in such a cool spot, people will like randomly just look into it. We get tons of those people, too.

Could you share a favorite memory?
I don’t know. I’ve had so many. I don’t know if I’ve had just one favorite moment, I’ve had a lot. Probably just like laughing about whatever. There are a lot of nice people and it’s just a good atmosphere. Not even just the people I work with, but like the people that work at Mediterrano, the bakery, the brewery guys — they’re all so fun and I feel like we’re just one giant family in there.

Are you a coffee or a tea person?
It depends on my mood, because I’m naturally super energized, so I don’t really need coffee. I mean, I drink coffee probably once, sometimes twice a week, only when I need it. I like both. It just depends.

What is your favorite drink?
I love yerba mate green tea. I love just plain soy lattes, sometimes with like honey and cinnamon. And I love drinking cold brew, only what I’ll do is I’ll steam the cold brew. It’s different than a drip coffee, it’s a lot better for you than regular coffee. I usually prefer hot drinks, so I’ll just steam it and put some honey and cinnamon in it.

If you could describe the coffee shop in one word, what would it be?

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INTERVIEW: Cheryl Strayed on her love for the PNW, how fame hasn't changed her and what's next

Posted By on Mon, Oct 5, 2015 at 10:30 AM


Cheryl Strayed’s 2012 memoir Wild, a story of journeying on the Pacific Crest Trail alone, greatly affected millions of readers worldwide. Last Thursday, the author spoke to a room of more than 1,200 for the YWCA’s annual Women of Achievement luncheon, which raised an unprecedented $285,000 to support victims of domestic violence.

Just before the event began, the Inlander had the pleasure of sitting down with Strayed for a quick 15 minute interview. Here’s what she had to say: 

INLANDER: When you sit down to write, what does it physically look like?
First of all, I don’t sit down to write, I have recently acquired a treadmill desk, so this is breaking news — I don’t think I’ve told a journalist this. I recently bought a treadmill desk; the goal is not to get a workout but that you’re moving. I’ve been walking lately and writing. I do sit down to write also. Really, none of those trappings that Hollywood has represented about writers, I don’t do those. I don’t smoke. I do curse though, I’m famous for that. I really try to find a deep silence, I don’t mean in a literal way, I mean like a silence within the self. Writing takes an enormous amount of concentration and that is exacerbated by the kind of writing. When it’s a deep examination of the human condition, whether that’s my own life or mining my past and experiences and telling the stories or creating the characters and doing that same thing. So that’s hard — it’s hard to achieve that in my life as a mother, I have two kids who are 9 and 11, and also hard being an ambassador for Wild. I write when someone else has my children, when I say to myself “you’ve got to do this.” I love writing, I don’t love anything else quite the way I love writing. But I also resist and dread it and have a lot of anxiety about it. I’ve been writing a bit over the past three years. But 2016 will be a deep return to my work. I have another book coming out this month, but it’s a book of quotations, it’s not that next book. So that’s what I’ll be working on next.

Continue reading »

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Neil, Rachel, Rick, Morty and other important personalities in the headlines

Posted By on Mon, Oct 5, 2015 at 9:57 AM

Oh, hey, I remember her.
  • Oh, hey, I remember her.
The man potentially responsible for the Centennial Trail assaults was arrested after walking into the Downtown YMCA and making strange statements. That's good news because Centennial Trail is a smash hit, as trails go. (KXLY)

A retirement home is found to be utterly infested with bedbugs. (KXLY)

Neil Young, (not to be confused with hero gorilla Mighty Joe Young) played a concert in Spokane this weekend, and gave us an important list of which companies are evil. (Starbucks, Monsanto, and Safeway for starters. Ticketmaster remained curiously absent from his list.) Laura Johnson has more on the sweet sounds of a man who, we hear, was well-praised in the "Spokane Daily News." (Inlander)

KHQ is confused about what Common Core math is. The Inlander explains that while a lot of people hate the way math is being taught and hate the Common Core standards, Spokane Public Schools has actually been moving in a more traditional direction with their new curriculum. (Inlander) 

As awful details keep emerging about the Oregon mass shooting, the Associated Press reports that one survivor was spared to give a package to the police

How Donald Trump tweeted his way to the top of the polls. 

Rick and Morty finished another great season with a typically hilarious, dark and depressing episode. The Hollywood Reporter interviews the co-creators, the weird Dan Harmon and the somehow even weirder Justin Roiland. It's the best show you're already watching if you have any taste in television whatsoever. Then, check out the fan art contest winners.

Saturday Night Live featured a cameo from a beloved Spokane viral sensation!
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Saturday, October 3, 2015

CONCERT REVIEW: Neil Young made his own headlines at Spokane Arena

Posted By on Sat, Oct 3, 2015 at 11:39 AM

Neil Young and Promise of the Real played a memorable and not-too-polished set at the Spokane Arena Friday. - LAURA JOHNSON
  • Laura Johnson
  • Neil Young and Promise of the Real played a memorable and not-too-polished set at the Spokane Arena Friday.

Hoots and hollers come sporadically. If we just call for him, he’ll arrive. But at 7:30 pm, the Friday night show set time, Neil Young still hasn’t appeared on the Spokane Arena stage. Suddenly, darkness. Two people dressed as farmers, complete with overalls, appear front and center. As if in a field, they begin to toss seeds around. Is this a performance art piece? Will Neil Young and Promise of the Real come through the floor of the stage as if grown from the earth?

Instead, a lone spotlight switches to the side of the stage where Young sits at an upright piano, partly obscured by speakers. His unmistakable voice rolls into “After the Gold Rush.” It’s stunning. People settle into their seats, beers in hand.

For his summer tour with Promise of the Real — which includes Willie Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah Nelson (the latter normally plays with his band Insects vs Robots) — Young began his shows alone. Last night, the second night of the group’s West Coast tour promoting their new record The Monsanto Years, was no different. In sparse lighting, Young worked through many of the favorites like “Heart of Gold,” “Old Man” and also “Mother Earth (Natural Anthem)” on piano, guitar and even organ. At 69, his voice was strong and glorious as ever. Those high notes, never eluding him.

About two-thirds of the venue is curtained off for this show, making it feel far more intimate. While the concert is well attended, the edges of the space still have plenty of seats. The people there are the ones who want to be there. It’s a lot of older men and women, many of whom look an awful lot like Young, but also some younger hipster-type fans.

Continue reading »

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KHQ doesn't understand what "Common Core" math is

Posted By on Sat, Oct 3, 2015 at 9:04 AM


Want to get parents angry? Talk about "Common Core" math.

When KHQ told viewers that they were "looking into how Common Core affects your family," the post racked up over 600 shares. 

The resulting story this week attempted to explain what KHQ calls "Common Core" math. KHQ reporter Gabe Cohen drew a contrast on a multiplication problem between "how we learned math" and what he sees as a variety of more complicated methods.

"Parents out there, many of them, are only seeing one formula, and it's this," KHQ reporter Gabe Cohen says. He points to the whiteboard. "COMMON CORE = BIG PROBLEMS."

("What?!" Spokane Public Schools' Chief Academic Officer Steven Gering says as he watches the KHQ video.)

Cohen then talks to a single mom who says the "new math" looks more like a "foreign language." "For so many parents out there, this new method has made homework time a huge headache," Cohen says.

His story repeatedly implies that these methods have only recently appeared in Spokane Public Schools. He introduces a teacher explaining how one method works by saying, "for three years, this bizarre chart has frequented boards here at Lidgerwood Elementary." 

But Matthew Henshaw, director of elementary curriculum at Spokane Public Schools, says none of the methods explored in KHQ’s video are new. They’ve been in use in the district for about two decades.

In fact, KHQ gets the trend precisely wrong. The Spokane Public Schools' "Engage New York" curriculum, based on the Common Core standards, have moved the district in the opposite direction as KHQ implies: The new curriculum de-emphasizes the more conceptual style of teaching math (a source of occasional parental confusion) and focuses more extensively on perfecting the traditional "standard algorithms" — the kind of math you learned growing up. 

"It’s way more traditional," Gering tells the Inlander. "We teach more standard algorithms now that we did five or 10 years ago."

To be clear, there are many legitimate arguments against Common Core. Some teachers, for example, argue that some of the standards are developmentally inappropriate for kids. Others feel that the standards have meant a loss of local control. 

But Common Core has recently become an educational boogeyman, to be blamed for anything in a curriculum, test or assignment that parents don't like. Worksheets and test questions go viral, even in subjects like history that the Common Core standards don't directly address. A lot of times the problem isn't the standard, it's the curriculum supposedly based on the standard.

It's a bit like seeing a blemish on the skin, and blaming the skeleton. 

Blaming, or crediting, the Common Core standards for the "new" way of teaching math is simply wrong. In fact, the debate — often called the "Math Wars" — over non-traditional ways of teaching math has been raging for decades.

In one camp, you have proponents of traditional math, where students are taught one way to do things, and then drilled repeatedly on how to do it. 

On the other side, you have those advocating for "reform," "constructivism" or "discovery" mathematics. Students are taught a number of different ways to solve a given mathematical problem with the goal of understanding the mechanics behind the math. They may be even be asked to try to figure out how to multiply or do long division before they're taught the traditional method. 

The goal of the Common Core was to bring a sort of truce to the math wars and bridge the gap between the traditional and reform models. Some of the traditional math proponents felt they had won an important battle with the standards. The traditional method? The method "you learned?" Where you "carry the one"? The district says that method is explicitly required by the Common Core.

The Common Core doesn't require any of the other non-traditional methods specifically, but it does encourage using a few of those methods to give students different ways to solve problems. Students are supposed to understand what's happening when they multiply, add, subtract or divide, but the Common Core standards give districts a lot of flexibility for how to get there. 

Here's a relevant summary from the Common Core standards website:
Conceptual understanding: The standards call for conceptual understanding of key concepts, such as place value and ratios. Students must be able to access concepts from a number of perspectives in order to see math as more than a set of mnemonics or discrete procedures.
In other words, teachers still may use methods like the "multiplication box" to help kids grasp what's happening when they "carry the one." But Gering says students, once they grasp the general concept, should quickly move on to focusing on perfecting the traditional method.

"Some see it as this new, complicated, 'Common Core," Cohen says in the KHQ report. "But the curriculum hasn't actually changed that much." 

In fact, the curriculum has changed. It's become more traditional. Before the Common Core, the district had previously been using "Investigations," a very non-traditional math curriculum. Many parents hated it. 

"It was very focused on conceptual understanding," Gering says, "and had less of a focus on procedural skills and fluency."

"Engage New York," the new math curriculum used in Spokane Public Schools, shifts the focus much more toward understanding how to use the traditional method, Gering says. Students practice problems. They work on speed. They drill. And while students still might learn from more conceptual methods, Gering says, teachers shouldn't be assigning that kind of homework if kids don't understand it. 

"It’s supposed to be extended practice. They should fly through it," Gering says. "It’s not supposed to be a frustration point."

In truth, "what you learned" is still required by the Common Core
  • In truth, "what you learned" is still required by the Common Core

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Spokane designers 08 Left in national competition; also at Terrain 8 tonight

Posted By on Fri, Oct 2, 2015 at 3:54 PM

  • 08 Left

Spokane couple Ryan and Heidi Miller's wanderlust-tinged design venture, 08 Left, is a finalist in a national competition run by Martha Stewart's homemaking empire, called Martha Stewart American Made.

The Miller's 08 Left is running in the design subcategory of furniture and home accessories, alongside dozens of other makers and artists. This is the second year the couple has entered their work into the competition. Even if it's not selected by Stewart's panel of editors and judges, 08 Left still has a chance to be named overall audience choice winner, as voted by the public. 

The annual competition, running since 2012, seeks to highlight makers, artists and entrepreneurs across the U.S. who are designing and crafting quality products by hand. There are 26 sub-categories within the contest's major focuses on crafts, design, food and style.

Although 08 Left launched last year, the couple are just now showing their contemporary, airport themed art to the local public at tonight's Terrain 8 arts showcase.

A graphic designer by trade, Ryan Miller's love of travel and all things relating to flight is the theme of 08 Left (the project's name refers to a runway destination in airport-speak). Minimalist airport layouts, three-letter airport codes, and finely outlined silhouettes of airport traffic control towers from around the world (including military bases) are showcased on poster prints, throw pillows, T-shirts, coasters and printed onto sheets of metal as industrial-inspired wall art.

"All my life my husband has been obsessed with airplanes — he should have been a pilot instead — and every time we would travel he would stare at airplanes and he knew all the airports so well," explains Heidi Miller. "He's in awe of the whole design of how an airport functions — he just nerds out about it."


While 08 Left's artwork may be a new discovery for many Inland Northwest residents, the couple's work has been picked up by several design-centric blogs and websites, including Houzz, Dezeen magazine, Mashable and Gizmodo. However, some may recognize the Millers for their longer-running, custom card and invitation company, Mango Ink.

Attendees of this year's Terrain arts showcase can see the Miller's 20-by-30 print on metal of the Spokane International Airport, aka GEG, tonight — the event runs from 5 pm to 2 am. It's located near the stairs leading to the second floor, in a narrow hallway. While the piece on display has already sold, Heidi says fans of it can order their own version through 08 Left's website. Prints are customizable by color, she adds, so if the original design doesn't match your decor, let them know. 

If you'd rather pay homage to another airport around the world, the couple also accepts commissions. But with 350+ designs to choose from already, it seems likely you'll find what you're looking for. 

"People who travel want to collect the places they've been, and it's this interesting collection of ways to interpret the world and how beautiful it is, and how the airports are a gateway to that and those places," Heidi reflects.

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SpoYo Festival: Author S.E. Grove @ Bing Crosby Theater

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