Friday, August 21, 2015

How to help wildfire victims across the Inland Northwest

Posted By and on Fri, Aug 21, 2015 at 2:44 PM

From Omak west toward the Colville Reservation. - SCOTT A. LEADINGHAM
  • Scott A. Leadingham
  • From Omak west toward the Colville Reservation.

Right now, there are 66 weather alert items on the homepage of KREM 2 news: wind advisories for Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties — some of the hardest hit by the still out-of-control fires burning in the past week (this map shows where all active fires are located) — as well as the ever-present fire weather warnings for basically all of the Inland Northwest, along with blowing dust advisories and poor air quality alerts. The entire region is under a red flag warning, currently in effect until 11 pm tonight, with wind gusts in the Okanogan Valley predicted up to 45 mph.

President Obama this morning signed a Declaration of Emergency for all of Washington state, which sends federal aid our way via FEMA. There's no way around it — the outlook right now, and through this weekend, is bleak. Some are even comparing the current situation to the Great Idaho Fire disaster that happened 105 years ago yesterday, on Aug. 20, 1910, that scorched 3 million acres in two days, killed 87 firefighters and destroyed five towns. 

As unnerving as it is also inspiring, the Washington state Department of Natural Resources has put out a call — for the first time in state history — for volunteer citizens to help on the fire lines. 

While many of us are protected by the concrete embrace of the city, it's too easy to feel helpless or guilty that we aren't able to help stop this unprecedented modern disaster. From monetary donations to disaster relief organizations like the local Red Cross chapters, to dropping off supplies to give our hard-working firefighters' what little relief we can, Inlander staff have complied a list of resources and ways we can all help out during this troubling time:

Where to donate monetary support:

Where to donate items and other physical resources:
  • Joe Pakootas, who ran for election to Washington's 5th Congressional District seat last fall, is helping collect donations to help those displaced by fires around Colville. A list of items needed can be found here, and donors can drop off supplies this Sunday and Monday (Aug. 23-24) between 10 am-3 pm at the Pakootas campaign headquarters in Spokane (1410 W. Dean). Volunteers to transport supplies to Colville on Tuesday afternoon are also needed.
  • Local radio station KEY 101 FM is helping host a donation drive to collect supplies for firefighters at several Spokane and Coeur d'Alene locations, as mentioned via this post on the station's Facebook page. The donation drive is part of a larger effort spearheaded by Spokane resident Katie Marie Rafter, who asks that people please only donate items that are mentioned on the provided list.
Organizations offering animal transport and shelter:

With much of the fires' impact hitting rural areas, humans aren't the only species being displaced.
  • The Washington State Animal Response Team has created a Google survey/application where people can sign up to offer to provide animal supplies, shelter and other resources.
  • A Facebook group started by local citizens called Emergency Displaced Animals and Helpers serves as a resource for those offering to help transport and house pets and livestock affected by fires, and a place for those forced to evacuate to find help.
  • Another Facebook page called Chelan and Okanogan Wildfires Lost and Found Pets is a resource for those whose animals may have gotten loose during an evacuation.  
We know this list is not comprehensive. If you have suggestions of legitimate efforts to support the countless people and animals affected by wildfires, please email [email protected] 
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THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Garageland record store opens, Octapalooza and Naomi Punk

Posted By on Fri, Aug 21, 2015 at 11:12 AM


Olympia punk comes to the Bartlett tonight in the form of riotous three-piece Naomi Punk. The group plays along with Broken Water tonight at 8 pm. Cost is $10 at the door. Read our preview story on the band here.

Note that tonight's Silver Treason and Pine League show at nYne has been canceled. DJ C-Mad will still be there. 

Think of Octapalooza as a continuation of what once was essentially a huge house party at Levi Steverding’s octagon-shaped house in the Hillyard neighborhood. Now, with 18 bands and two stages, Octapalooza is hitting the big time with a new location in Airway Heights. Featuring national touring acts (like headliners 12 Stones from Louisiana) as well as local talent, the goal is to bring in as many types of rock bands as possible. This year is the first time the festival is open to all ages, a perfect innovation, as last year’s event saw kids outside the fences trying to get a view of Norma Jean. Tickets are $20 if you get them now and the show starts at 3 pm. See the full lineup here.

Does Spokane need another independent record store? Garageland owner JJ Wandler, a Spokane native who recently moved back to town, argues that we do, especially one that’s downtown (230 W. Riverside) and includes a bar, vintage store and a sometimes live music space.
“Spokane is currently underserved as far as music and recorded music goes,” Wandler says. “I would even say there’s room for more than just us.”
This weekend, Garageland celebrates its grand opening, with giveaways, snacks, discounts and free live music from local rock acts Whiskey Dick Mountain, at 3 pm Saturday, and Loomer at 4 pm Sunday. Wandler plans to have the store open every day, 10 am-6 pm.

Sunday night at shows are sometimes dead because people would prefer to be in bed or just be boring. Sunday, Baby Bar/Neato Burrito opens its doors to the awesome Australian hard rock band DEAD. Openers for this free show include Drunk on Self Enlightenment and Lazarus Long and some comedy from Matt Slater.
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WILDFIRES: Stories and photos from North Central Washington

Posted By on Fri, Aug 21, 2015 at 10:31 AM

In a fire season such as this, trying to report on each fire individually gives an inaccurate account of the entire situation. Inevitably, though, as fire resources are stretched thin, so is the ability to report on all incidents simultaneously and with the breadth and depth they warrant. Those who try still end up seeing only a piece of the larger story.

As anyone with skin and the most remote connection to media (TV, online, print, radio, whatever) knows, it’s exceptionally hot, exceptionally dry, and exceptionally dangerous in the Northwest this year.

That’s led to more than 70 fires burning over millions of acres in Washington, Idaho and Oregon. (Overviews for each state: Washington; Idaho; Oregon.)

A note on those numbers: 1. They’re out of date the second they’re typed since so much growth has happened over the past three days – and will continue today. 2. The number of fires doesn’t reflect all the fires burning at any given time, just those large enough to be named and traced by the federal fire incident coordination system.

Use the interactive map below from the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center for tracking fires. Zoom in, scroll around, and see all the fires and their current boundaries and areas of spread. 

Procession for Firefighters Killed in Twisp
The three firefighters killed Wednesday in the Twisp River Fire (a branch of the larger Okanogan Complex) were transported by ambulance and procession of emergency vehicles yesterday.

Continue reading »

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MB: Aussies fight fire, would-be prison escapees and Hillary Clinton's emails

Posted By on Fri, Aug 21, 2015 at 9:13 AM


A bed sheet rope was found hanging from federal inmates’ jail cell window, but no one escaped. (Spokesman-Review)

More than 70 firefighters from Down Under travel to the U.S. to help tackle deadly Western wildfires. (KREM) Meanwhile, fires continue to grow. (Seattle Times)

A former North Idaho College administrator said in court he traded financial aid for sexual favors. (KXLY)


Caitlyn Jenner could face manslaughter charges in fatal Malibu car crash. (NBC News)

North Korean troops are ordered to be on war footing after an exchange of fire with South Korea. (BBC)

Reuters found that some emails sent to Hillary Clinton's private email account as secretary of state were of the sort that the U.S. government rules as classified. (Reuters)
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Thursday, August 20, 2015

MB: Three firefighters killed in Twisp blaze and Worldcon begins

Posted By on Thu, Aug 20, 2015 at 8:21 AM


The Twisp blaze killed three U.S. National Forest firefighters last night. (KREM)

Spokane’s skies now look somewhat post-apocalyptic from all of the ash, and air quality conditions are expected to remain unhealthy today. (KHQ)

Police continue to search for a Hayden Lake-area arsonist, suspected of starting 16 fires. (Spokesman-Review)

Sasquan, aka the World Science Fiction Convention, begins today downtown Spokane and nerds everywhere are excited. (Inlander)


North and South Korea have exchanged fire, prompting border evacuations. (BBC)

Nine have been arrested after St. Louis police fatally shoot teen while trying to issue search warrant (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Former president Jimmy Carter announced he'll have radiation treatments on melanoma spots found on his brain."I am perfectly at ease with whatever comes," he said. (NBC News)
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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

WW: Milepost 420 is removed in Idaho, Tacoma closes its medical pot shops

Posted By on Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 9:54 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]

In Idaho, milepost 420 has been removed from highways in the state. The milepost has been changed to 419.9. to stoners kept stealing it.

Tacoma will see most of its 60 medical marijuana dispensaries close in response to a state overhaul of pot laws.

An initaitive to legalize pot in Ohio has qualified for the ballot.

The vast majority of federal money spent on researching pot has been on its potential for abuse. Just a sliver has gone to study its medicinal effects.

The Oregonian, which is a drug-free workplace, is looking for a pot critic.

Randy Simmons, a bureaucrat who helped implement Washington’s pot law, is leaving his post. But not before getting in a few pot shots.
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MB: Ex-Subway spokesman & child porn; first female libido pill; local air quality suffers

Posted By on Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 8:50 AM


The Houston Fire near Airway Heights, which began Tuesday afternoon, evacuated 50 homes and has now reached 60 acres. (KREM)

With so many fires roaring around the Inland Northwest, air quality is reaching unhealthy levels. (KXLY)

Nope! Spokane City Council is not planning a $15 minimum wage ordinance. (Inlander)


Jared Fogle, of all those Subway commercials, is to plead guilty today to child porn and sex with minors. (Indy Star)

The FDA has approved a libido pill for females. (New York Times) It was a long time coming.

The bomb attack that killed 20 people in Bangkok Monday was carried out by a "network", Thailand's chief of police has said. There are currently two suspects. (BBC)

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

UPDATED: Downtown Spokane River access point opens Wednesday

Posted By on Tue, Aug 18, 2015 at 4:16 PM


Fans of the Spokane River can plan on enjoying it even more with new, unprecedented access when the downtown Spokane River access point has its grand opening Wednesday.  

The new access point is located just east of the Convention Center, right underneath the Division Street bridge. The grand opening will start at noon and last about 30 minutes, include a few words from Mayor David Condon as well as representatives from other community stakeholders, and feature children from the Northeast Youth Center paddle-boarding with Outdoor Recreation Supervisors. 

Anyone with non-motorized boats (like kayaks, canoes and paddle boards) is invited to try out the new access point directly after the ceremony. Here’s information on parking and make sure to visit the Spokane River website for a map of access points on the water trail.

City of Spokane Parks & Recreation Marketing and Communication Director Monique Cotton says this new access point shows how city organizations are focused on bringing people to the river.

“This river access point symbolizes our commitment – as a city and as a community – to invest in our greatest natural resource, which is our river,” she says.

Cotton references the Riverfront Park Master Plan as another example of city commitments; the master plan says one of its core principles is “bringing people to the center,” that is, drawing people to the Spokane Falls and the park surrounding it.

“There are very few cities that have a large river running directly through them, and even fewer that have direct access to that river directly in the downtown core,” she says. “It’s a very unique opportunity that we want to celebrate to reconnect with the river.”

The project is the result of collaboration between City of Spokane Parks & Recreation, Spokane Public Facilites, Avista Utilities and the Spokane River forum. It was first visualized in the 2011 Spokane Convention Center Completion Study.

Parks and Recreation and Spokane Public Facilities passed an agreement in Fall 2013 that funded the development of this river access point; the access point then had to clear permitting falling under Spokane Municipal Code (Section 10.19.010, Ordinance C-C-34982 Section 1) which allows permits to be given to access to the south channel between Havermale Island and the South bank known as the forebay. The permitting process officially began in Spring 2014.

Those who want expert guidance on what to do and where to go from the trail can sign up for a $15 guided tour on Saturday, September 5 – all proceeds will go back to the Recreation Fund. More information will be available in the next few weeks at and 

UPDATED, Aug. 24, 2015: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the City Council allowed non-motorized boating west of the Division Street Bridge. That is inaccurate. Spokane Municipal Code allows permits to be granted by the Chief of Police to allow entry in the forebay (which is the south channel between Havermale Island and the South bank). The area allowed to be accessed from the new access point is clearly marked; it is unsafe and illegal to leave this marked area. The post has been corrected to reflect this information. 
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Spokane is Reading's 2015 book and author

Posted By on Tue, Aug 18, 2015 at 2:31 PM


There's still plenty of time to kick back and lose yourself in this year's selection for Spokane is Reading, the 14th annual community reading program.

This year's selection is Station Eleven, a post-apocalyptic best-seller by Emily St. John Mandel. The highly acclaimed, award-winning book is Mandel's fourth, and was nominated for the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award; it also won the 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award. Station Eleven was named one of the 10 best books of 2014 by the Huffington Post and the Washington Post, and a screen adaptation is reportedly in the works.

Station Eleven is a dystopian tale set in the near future, after a pandemic flu kills off most of the world's population. It follows a traveling band of Shakespearian actors and examines the types of relationships that sustain us and the nature of fame. Here's more on the book (which we've just placed an order for) from its jacket:

“An audacious, darkly glittering novel about art, fame, and ambition set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, from the author of three highly-acclaimed previous novels.

One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as The Travelling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.”

Mandel is set to give two presentations in Spokane is Reading's tradition of bringing the authors it features to Spokane — one at CenterPlace Event Center in Spokane Valley at 1 pm, and a later presentation at the Bing Crosby Theater, at 7 pm, both on Thursday, October 29. Both events are free. Auntie's Bookstore will be on hand selling copies of the novel, and the author will meet fans and sign copies of her work following each talk. 

A joint effort by the Spokane County Library District, Spokane Public Library and Auntie's Bookstore, Spokane is Reading began back in 2001 as a community-wide effort to encourage local adults to read and make connections through literature. Last year's book selection was Karen Russell's fantastical Swamplandia! and 2013's event highlighted Seattle author Maria Semple's Where'd You Go Bernadette.

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Local minister acquitted of hate crime; state pays for legal bills, wages lost

Posted By on Tue, Aug 18, 2015 at 12:55 PM

A minister of a local African American church was recently acquitted of two counts of malicious harassment, also known in Washington state as hate crimes. 

Derrick Moore, 51, argued he was acting in self defense when he threw his son, Antonio Moore, and his son's former boyfriend out of his home after he caught them having sex in his shower at 2:30 am. 

Now the state will be responsible for paying the minister's legal bills and wages lost from the days of work he missed according to a law that allows defendants to get paid if a jury finds the they acted in self-defense. 

The incident in question occurred February 6 after Antonio Moore and his boyfriend went out for a night of drinking. When the two men snuck into Derrick Moore's house, he was sleeping, but his wife was awake. She was helping youths from the congregation prepare for a community event the following day. 

Antonio Moore, 21, has a history of drug addiction and other crimes and was banned from the home before February 6 when his 11-year-old brother found a bag of his syringes, his father says. Antonio Moore was allowed to stay there, his father told him, as long as "what he did on the street didn't come into the house." The syringes were the last straw. 

Continue reading »

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