Monday, February 13, 2017

Grammys, refugee rally, Trump team scandal and morning headlines

Posted By on Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 9:16 AM



WHAT'S UP: Portland rocker Sallie Ford headlines The Bartlett and former Royal Ballet dancers offer an elegant look at life and death for Valentine's Day; later this week, check out the romantic waltz A Little Night Music, and don't miss the star-powered homage to Jimi Hendrix at Northern Quest Casino.

A new initiative from the Spokane Police Department will aim squarely at reducing an infamous problem in Spokane: property crime.

FOR FUN!: With 11 days to go in their Kickstarter campaign, two Spokane-based game creators have received over $74,000 to fund their fast-paced tabletop game, Dice Throne.


An "A" and "B" conversation
Adele said "Hello" to big wins for album of the year, and record and song of the year,
but made sure Beyoncé got several shoutouts for Lemonade, which earned Best Urban Contemporary Album, and for the expectant diva's show-stopping celebration of motherhood. (The New York Times)

Band together
Thousands of people packed a rally supporting the refugee community on Sunday at Gonzaga, where speakers shared their hopes and fears in the wake of Trump's ban targeting both legal and illegal immigrants and refugees. (Spokesman-Review)

Watch: After four years of vetting and doubts due to Trump's travel ban, Assid Nahi, his brother Habid and their families were reunited at Spokane International Airport on Saturday after arriving from Iraq. (KXLY)

It's probably recorded
Concern is growing about national security adviser Michael Flynn's December call with the Russian ambassador, in which Flynn contradicted White House statements about sanctions against Russia, well before Trump took office. Flynn and the Trump administration have not been able to deny the allegations in recent days. (CNN)

(Un)even flow

Nearly 200,000 people in Northern California have been evacuated due to fears that the Oroville Dam, the nation's tallest, will overflow after a winter of heavy rainfall; crews are assessing the situation this morning. (CNN)

Have a great week!
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Sunday, February 12, 2017

THIS WEEK: Sallie Ford, A Little Night Music, BalletBoyz, Hendrix and more

Posted By on Sun, Feb 12, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Sallie Ford headlines a show at The Bartlett on Wednesday.
  • Sallie Ford headlines a show at The Bartlett on Wednesday.

You can find all manner of worthwhile activities in our event listings and Staff Picks, from protests to pop music shows, so be sure to check those out often.

Here are some highlights of the week ahead:

Monday, Feb. 13

WORDS | Jazz music can be daunting for those of us not well-versed in the form. Jazz historian Ted Gioia is here to help, offering a crash course in Moscow on Monday that's a nice prelude to the upcoming Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.

Tuesday, Feb. 14

MUSEUMS | Tuesdays mean half-price admission to the MAC, so go check out the new exhibit about Ice Age Mammoths and Mastodons. Read all about it here in our preview story.

DANCE | Celebrate a little Valentine's Day action a bit differently with BalletBoyz: Life at the Fox. The group is an all-male dance ensemble founded by former dancers of the UK’s renowned Royal Ballet, and they offer an elegant, funny and sometimes strange take on life and death in this show.

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Car wars: Spokane Police Department creating new task force to fight car theft

Posted By on Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 4:59 PM

Mayor David Condon delivers his State 2017 State of the City address - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
  • Mayor David Condon delivers his State 2017 State of the City address
During today's State of the City speech, Spokane Mayor David Condon announced a slew of new initiatives, including one aimed squarely at an infamous problem in Spokane: Property crime.

The police department is launching a Vehicle Theft Task Force, focusing entirely on reducing the steady stream of car thefts. Spokane may not be in as bad a spot as 2010, when Spokane County ranked fourth in the nation for car thefts, but it's still pretty dismal.

"We're third in the state and there's not a day that goes by where we don't usually have three cars stolen at least," Police Chief Craig Meidl says today. "Sometimes five or six."

And while the city's recently made progress reducing other types of property crime, like burglary, vehicle thefts have been more difficult to address.

"At the beginning of October, we were down in every property crime category. Every single one, except for vehicle thefts and larcenies," Meidl says. "Rather than just sitting there and saying, 'Yep, vehicle thefts are up again,' I just told the command staff, we're going to focus on vehicle thefts. We know we have a problem."

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Local tabletop game makers find fast success for crowd-funded project Dice Throne

Posted By on Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 4:50 PM


When Manny Trembley and Nate Chatellier showed up to the first day of the PAX South gaming convention in Houston last month, the Kickstarter project they set up to fund their game Dice Throne had already reached its modest goal of $15,000.

This happened in less than 48 hours.

Today, with 13 days left in the campaign, Dice Throne has received nearly $69,000 in pledges from more than 1,300 backers.

The Spokane-based game creators were at PAX (a regional version of the all-encompassing gaming convention started in Seattle by the creators of the Penny Arcade webcomic) because Dice Throne was chosen as one of eight featured games for the convention's Tabletop Indie Showcase. There, Trembley and Chatellier spent three days, Jan. 27-29, demoing their game to attendees.
Trembley, left, and Chatellier, demoed Dice Throne at PAX South last month. - DICE THRONE
  • Dice Throne
  • Trembley, left, and Chatellier, demoed Dice Throne at PAX South last month.

Dice Throne is a two- to four-player combat game using unique dice and cards that then interact with a player's chosen hero character; each hero has its own dice and cards that aid it in combat and defense. Fast-paced and quick to learn, the game's basic dice-rolling mechanics are comparable to Yahtzee, but it draws influence and inspiration from other familiar tabletop games, like Magic: the Gathering (the game's turn phases are very similar).

Each hero offers a different style of play, and their fantasy archetypes — the game's four core characters include the Barbarian (a tank-y combat fighter), the Pyromancer (spells and fast direct damage), the Shadow Thief (a poison-flinging rogue), and the Moon Elf (ranged, with damage deflection skills) — will be familiar to anyone who dabbles in such realms.

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THIS WEEKEND: Mike Stern Band, Reel Big Fish and a bevy of Baby Bar shenanigans

Posted By on Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 10:15 AM

Mike Stern plays at SFCC with his band Friday night.
  • Mike Stern plays at SFCC with his band Friday night.

Maybe you're planning a romantic Valentine's Day dinner this weekend, or enjoying the single life with friends. Something all of us can get behind — solo acts and duos — is the fun of a great night out for some live music. Thankfully, there's plenty happening across the Inland Northwest this weekend.


Here’s the thing about a horn section — it almost always makes a song better. Whether you’re talking about soul or funk, rock or reggae, a well-appointed horn section can take already great songs to a whole new level, and make middling songs seem a lot better than they really are. In the mid-’90s wave of ska-influenced acts like No Doubt, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Less Than Jake, having a killer horn section is one of the things that made Reel Big Fish stand out. It certainly helped make a hit out of the SoCal band’s 1997 breakthrough “Sell Out.” They’re still on the road plying their energetic wares, including a tour that includes fellow ’90s refugees Anti-Flag as well as reggae-fied Ballyhoo! and Toronto punks Pkew Pkew Pkew that stops at the Knitting Factory on Friday. Here's a little sample:

Iron Goat Brewing is hosting an EP release party for Buffalo Jones, and Andy Rumsey will be on hand as well for this free gig.

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Mammoths at the MAC, Trump's travel ban rejected (again) and morning headlines

Posted By on Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 9:32 AM


NEWS: Civil forfeiture laws allow police to take cash and property linked to a possible crime without a criminal conviction, and in some cases, without any charges being brought. Efforts at the state and local levels are trying to change that.

NEWS: Students arrested in Spokane Public Schools takes a nose dive.
Museum staff assemble a life-size mammoth - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Museum staff assemble a life-size mammoth

MUSUEM: A massive touring exhibit at the MAC highlights our region's connections to the iconic beasts of the most recent Ice Age.


Temporary travel ban temporarily banned
A panel of federal judges yesterday unanimously upheld the freeze on President Donald Trump's executive order on travel from seven majority-Muslim countries. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who's leading the charge against Trump's travel ban, has some words for the president. Trump's administration will likely appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. (New York Times, Seattle Times)

Pricey healthcare rival
Rep. Tom Price, a longtime opponent of the Affordable Care Act, was confirmed as health and human services secretary. (Washington Post)

An education in education
Fearful of the narrowly confirmed education secretary 's ignorance on public education, a local education leader has invited Betsy DeVos to visit Spokane. (Spokesman Review)

Prison time for drunk driver
A drunk driver who caused the accident that killed one 16-year-old and seriously injured another pleaded guilty in court yesterday. Ramiro Sanchez was sentenced to about 10 1/2 years in prison. (KXLY)
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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Arrests in Spokane Public Schools down 88 percent from last year

Posted By on Thu, Feb 9, 2017 at 3:25 PM


As Spokane Public Schools has turned to restorative justice practices, students are being arrested at a significantly lower rate than past years.

A total of 50 students have been arrested by school officers during the 2016-17 school year through February 8, says Mark Sterk, director of safety, risk management and transportation for Spokane Public Schools. By contrast, 402 students were arrested during the 2015-16 school year by the same date.

That's an 88 percent reduction in arrests.

"I think we were arresting some kids when we didn't need to in the past," Sterk says.

Sterk, former Spokane County sheriff, says in his first year with Spokane Public Schools, 2014-15, he noticed that the number of arrests for the year was somewhere around 800.

"So that's what caused me to start to look at this and talk with school directors about, 'Man, what are we doing?'" Sterk says. "Why are we arresting so many kids?"

It started a discussion with school directors and administrators about what kids should and shouldn't be arrested for. The district determined some of the offenses could be handled through internal discipline within the district, rather than the criminal justice system. And as the district pushed for more restorative justice practices — less punitive ways to address student behavior — that created more alternatives for officers as opposed to simply arresting students, Sterk says.

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National Geographic photographer encourages Spokane audience to understand the oceans' plights

Brian Skerry's work celebrates the sea and highlights its major problems

Posted By on Thu, Feb 9, 2017 at 11:51 AM

Skerry has photographed sharks of all species for the magazine; here is an Oceanic Whitetip next to a biologist. - BRIAN SKERRY
  • Brian Skerry
  • Skerry has photographed sharks of all species for the magazine; here is an Oceanic Whitetip next to a biologist.

Audiences at Wednesday's National Geographic Live! event took a trip around the world's oceans without having to leave the icy streets of Spokane. For the third installment of the series' third season at the INB Performing Arts Center, award-winning underwater photographer Brian Skerry mesmerized with his tales of encountering sharks, whales, seals and other denizens of the world's vast ocean landscapes from behind his camera lens.

For those who missed it, Skerry has been photographing underwater landscapes and its inhabitants for three decades; his work has been widely published in National Geographic, and most recently for the cover story of this February's issue on the centennial anniversary of the U.S. National Parks Service.

This thresher shark is one of countless unintended victims of gillnet fishing. - BRIAN SKERRY
  • Brian Skerry
  • This thresher shark is one of countless unintended victims of gillnet fishing.
Beyond regaling us with tales of how a great white shark ripped apart his camera equipment, and coming face-to-face with a Southern Right whale that had never before encountered humans, Skerry emphasized an important message: ocean conservation works, and we need to protect at least 30 percent of the world's oceans if we want them to survive and thrive for future generations. (Right now, he says, about 3 percent of the ocean is protected from commercial operations like fishing and oil drilling.)

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New issue's must-try soup recipes; plus, how deductibles affect your health

Posted By on Thu, Feb 9, 2017 at 11:14 AM

The new issue of InHealth features four great soup recipes from local chefs, perfect for a snow (or ice) day. Try this Italian Wedding Soup from Clover. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • The new issue of InHealth features four great soup recipes from local chefs, perfect for a snow (or ice) day. Try this Italian Wedding Soup from Clover.

New Issue!
Soup is the new "it" food and the new issue of InHealth is brimming with recipes from local chefs to spark your creativity. Explore bone broth — it can cook all week in your slow cooker. Or a fragrant Ginger Carrot Curry using ingredients you probably have in your pantry. What about a one-pot lentil chili? Or learn the secrets of Clover's Italian Wedding Soup. Bonus? It's packed with healing veggies. We’ve got you covered with four great recipes from local chefs in our brand new issue, online and on stands now!

What’s your health worth?
Would you go to the ER if you thought you were having heart problems? If you have a high-deductible insurance plan, new research shows you might forgo a visit to avoid paying thousands of dollars out of pocket.

Researchers monitored health care decisions after a Fortune 100 company moved 75,000 “well-paid, tech-savvy” employees into high-deductible plans. They found that the employees cut back on all types of healthcare spending, including preventive care, medication and imaging. Even after the company put $3,750 into a health savings account for each employee and provided web-based assistance to compare prices, a researcher says, “We found no evidence that consumers were learning to price-shop after two years of high-deductible coverage.”

InHealth covered the story of a local woman’s struggle with a high deductible insurance plan last year.

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Ice rules the road, Trump nominee dissents, hips don't lie, and morning headlines

Posted By on Thu, Feb 9, 2017 at 9:45 AM

Do your moves match up? Researches mapped dancing women onto avatars which viewers rated, and found that big hip movements hit the mark. - THE NEW YORK TIMES
  • The New York Times
  • Do your moves match up? Researches mapped dancing women onto avatars which viewers rated, and found that big hip movements hit the mark.


What driverless cars mean for you, the Inland Northwest and beyond.

FOOD: Still getting those V-Day plans together? Here's how you can treat yo' self.

Spokane political party leaders hope to harness post-election passion into civil discourse. But so far, there's only been more strife.


"Surprise!" says ice storm
A quarter inch of ice covered the Spokane region after an overnight storm; the weather service's ice storm warning is set to expire at 10 a.m. Check on school closings in your area. (Spokesman)

Sessions scrapes by
Senator Jeff Sessions' confirmation as attorney general yesterday continues the steamrolling Democrats are getting as they fight Trump's nominations. Sessions assumes his role with accusations of racism and disenfranchising minority voters. Meanwhile, Senator Elizabeth Warren's silencing on Tuesday has made her louder than ever. (The New York Times)

He said, he said
Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch confirmed that he did tell Sen. Richard Blumenthal that Trump's  Twitter attack on a "so-called" federal judge was "disheartening" and "demoralizing." Trump accused Blumenthal of lying about Gorsuch's words in another burning 3:00 a.m. tweet. (CNN)

Hips continue trend of not lying
Big hip swings and asymmetric arm and thigh movements make a woman a good dancer, according to a study (and video) published today. Dancing may have developed as a way to show off reproductive quality, and researchers' 2011 study showed women prefer upper body moves by men. It's not too late to apply this knowledge to the dance floor. (The New York Times)
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Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Mammoths & Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age

Mammoths & Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 7

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