Monday, June 29, 2015

VIDEO: Hoopfest 2015 — Images from an Inlander intern, and player

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 2:35 PM


When I looked up the weather and saw that the temperatures for both Saturday and Sunday of Hoopfest were going to be in the 100s, I immediately thought about forfeiting my games and spending the weekend at a lake instead of in downtown Spokane. Sadly, this couldn't be the case because my teammates didn't like the idea of wasting the entry fee money.

So, on Saturday morning I loaded up a cooler full of water and Gatorade and made my way to the patch of smoldering asphalt known as my court — as did all of the other people attending Hoopfest.

Despite the heat, Hoopfest ended up having a great turnout. Even ESPN got in on the action and broadcasted live right from downtown. I couldn't let ESPN or our local TV stations do all of the video reporting that weekend, so I grabbed my portable camera and in between games took shots of what was going on around me. If you missed Hoopfest or want to relive the memories, watch this quick video and see glimpses of the action that happened at this year's 3-on-3 tournament.

(And in case you were wondering, my team was not able to go home with a "Champion" t-shirt. Or any t-shirt besides the one you earn for participating.) 

Take a look: 

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THIS WEEK: ABBA, Besties vs. Testes, Poetry Picnic and cosplay on the cheap

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 11:50 AM

Author Sharma Shields emcees the Poetry Picnic at the Moran Public Library on Thursday.
  • Author Sharma Shields emcees the Poetry Picnic at the Moran Public Library on Thursday.

Each week we scan through the Inlander event listings and carefully culled Staff Picks to let you know about some of the best entertainment and activism options of the coming days. Obviously we have a holiday weekend straight ahead, but that's no reason to put off having some fun. Take a look: 

Monday, June 29

COMEDY | The weekly debate-style comedy shows at Underground 15 take on some sexual politics this week when it's teams of women comics taking on teams of men in Besties vs. Testes, going down at 8 pm. And it's free!

COMEDY | Looking for a different kind of summer camp for the kids? The Blue Door Theatre has you covered. A Summer of Improv is a Monday-night class for kids 11-18 that runs through August, and starts tonight. 

Tuesday, June 30

THEATER/LIVE BANDS | The Bing plays host to another in a long line of Australian tribute acts on Tuesday. You've watching the pig fly with Australian Pink Floyd, now get your 70s disco on with The ABBA Show

COMEDY | The Ditch Kids are a local improv group who construct whole scenes from audience suggestions. Read our feature about the group, then check out the show at Jones Radiator. 

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THIS WEEK IN MUSIC: Gregg Allman, Tyler, the Creator, Blitzen Trapper and more

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 10:40 AM


Dude! This week is laced with good music every single day. What a wonderful way to stay cool (in more ways than one).

MONDAY

Tonight, you’ll need to check out Gregg Allman at the beautiful downtown Martin Woldson at the Fox Theater. The legendary rocker is still doing things his own way, choosing to continue performing at the tender age of 67, even after the Allman Brothers Band has called it quits on the touring circut. It’s great to finally have him in town after his Spokane show was postponed last summer. The show begins at 8 pm, features Matt Andersen and starts at $35.
Check out our interview with him here and be sure to read our concert review tomorrow.

TUESDAY
Even in hip-hop terms Tyler, the Creator is pretty crazy. He’s told a fan to eat vomit, he’s incited a riot, he’s every parent’s worst nightmare. And Tuesday, he hits up the Knitting Factory to bring a little chaos to the downtown scene. The show starts at 8 pm, is all-ages and features Taco.
Check out our recent story on the rapper here and also read our concert review on his show come Wednesday.

Over at the Bartlett, the show contending for your heart is Portland indie-rockers Blitzen Trapper. While the band was here about a year ago, they’re back with some spankin’ new songs (ones you won’t have heard anywhere else) Tuesday night. Also expect a couple Neil Young covers thrown in as well — the band's most recent release was an exclusive Record Store Day LP covering Young's seminal Harvest. The all-ages event costs $17 and starts at 8 pm.

WEDNESDAY
The Big Dipper is bringing it Wednesday night with so much rock ‘n’ roll, including the Bay Area-based Stone Foxes and local favorites Hey! is For Horses, Flannel Math Animal and Buffalo Jones. The Stone Foxes have opened for the likes of the Black Keys, Cage the Elephant and ZZ Top, and soon enough, if we have anything to say about it, young bands will proudly brag about sharing a stage with these instrument-swapping roots-rockers. The all-ages show starts at 7:30 pm and is $12 at the door.

THURSDAY
Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas swing back through the Bartlett Thursday. If you’re interested in voices that thrill your soul as well as your ear drums you need to hear the Detroit-based Hernandez belt out her retro-influenced rock tunes. The all-ages show starts at 8 pm and is $12 at the door.

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MB: New heat record, wild fires raging, Greece and Puerto Rico have serious debt issues

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 9:12 AM


HERE

Spokane set an all-time June temperature record this weekend. (Spokesman-Review)

No fewer than 24 buildings have been gobbled up by the wild fire raging near Wenatchee. The 3,000-acre brush fire has forced over 1,000 people to evacuate. (KHQ)

A man and woman were injured in a drive-by shooting in North Spokane this morning; the police are preparing to execute a search warrant on the home the pair were standing in front of. (KREM)

THERE

The Supreme Court ruled that the sedative midazolam can continue to be used in executions. A group of death row inmates from Oklahoma challenged the use of the drug after it failed to render three inmates unconscious before they were injected with the painful drugs that actually killed them. A newcomer to the lethal injection game, midazolam was adopted after the manufacturers of the barbiturates traditionally used in executions began to refuse to sell them for that purpose. (Gawker)

Puerto Rico's governor regrets to inform the world that the island can't pay the $72 billion in municipal bond debt they've accrued. This puts the island — already plagued by crime and a constant exodus of residents to the mainland — in a situation similar to Detroit or Stockton, who also defaulted on municipal bond debts in recent years. (TIME)

Economic meltdown is happening is Greece, too, and it's sending stocks plummeting around the world. (Guardian)

The two prisoners who escaped from a New York prison 24 days ago are no longer roaming the forest. One was shot and killed by a federal agent, the other was shot and captured by the state police. (New York Times)
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Friday, June 26, 2015

State Democrats want indicted auditor Troy Kelley out

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 4:53 PM


It's time for embattled State Auditor Troy Kelley to go, say 29 Democrat legislators in a letter released this afternoon. The lawmakers call on Kelley to "immediately resign your office", citing the State Auditor's "unique mission of auditing how state and public agencies use public resources" and the necessity for Washingtonians to have confidence that their auditor is telling them the facts.

It's hard to trust an auditor to tell anyone the facts when one's personal integrity has been called into question to the degree Kelley's has of late.

Basically, the state auditor protects how all of our tax dollars are spent. He keeps an eye on spending and if things pop up that look shady, he investigates. Except, right now, Kelley isn't doing any of that. He hasn't even been around since leaving for an "indefinite leave of absence" shortly after his personal scandal broke in April

Which is totally appropriate for him as an individual given the disastrous situation he's found himself in. The feds have accused him of stealing $1.4 million from clients of a real estate reconveyance business called Post Closing Department, which he operated from 2003 to 2008. This month, prosecutors presented evidence that his attorney may have advised him on what to do with the stolen money. If that's true, the attorney will become a witness and Kelley will have to find new legal representation in the middle of his complex case. In all, there are 10 charges against Kelley. 

"The State Auditor must be beyond reproach and have the trust of the people of Washington," says the aforementioned letter, noting that Kelley's personal shady dealings make him hard to trust, eroding public confidence in the Office of the State Auditor.

"The State Constitution clearly requires an elected official to execute the duties of the State Auditor. Your inability to execute these duties for an indefinite period raises serious constitutional concerns that we strongly believe must be addressed," it letter concludes. Here is the letter:

Auditor Kelley Resignation Request From Legislators Final 06-26-15

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Appeals court didn't buy Spokane County's UGA expansion explanations

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 4:23 PM

An older proposal for expanding the Spokane County UGA in March of 2013, before the Spokane County increased its population projection.
  • An older proposal for expanding the Spokane County UGA in March of 2013, before the Spokane County increased its population projection.

Want a quick primer on the Urban Growth Area boundaries, vesting, and why that matters for the future of Spokane County? We made a fun explainer using Monopoly pieces.

Feel you already have a decent understanding? Then you'll get the gravity of the fact that, last week, an appeals court confirmed the Growth Management Hearings Board conclusion that Spokane County's expansion of the Urban Growth Area in 2013 was invalid.

To be clear, neither the appeals court nor the Growth Management Hearings Board focused on whether the expansion itself was justified. Instead, before the larger aspects could even be considered, the county's decision was invalidated for failing to live up to public participation standards. 

The county did not fair well defending its actions in court.

"It was a pretty brutal oral argument," says the Center for Justice's Rick Eichstaedt, who has often clashed with the county over growth lawsuits. "At one point the court laughed at the county attorney who was arguing it."

The problem stemmed from how the county, late in the process, changed their projection of future population growth. Instead of using a population projection to calculate how much the Urban Growth Area should be expanded, the court pointed out, it selected their desired UGA expansion first, and then changed their population projection to fit it. 

"I agree with you that, yes, we're saying that the UGA boundary is going to tell us what population projection we have to adopt, but it wasn't simply a 'desire' kind of a decision," the county attorney told the Growth Management Hearings Board. "It was a complex decision that was made, we believe, under the requirements of the GMA."

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Last chance! Take our marijuana survey, win some local cuisine

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 4:08 PM

pot.jpg

You may or may not be aware of it, but Washington is fast approaching the first anniversary of recreational marijuana becoming legal in the state and doors opening on stores throughout the state to provide all manner of smokable, edible, rub-able pot products. 

We're going to have some stories about the first year of legal recreational weed in a few weeks, and we'd like to know what readers think about legalization, as well as their own histories with (or without) marijuana. We've set up a totally anonymous and short survey for readers to take to let us know. You can find the survey right here, and we'll be giving $25 gift cards to four lucky responders to dine at some of the area's best local restaurants as thanks for helping us out. 

So go take the survey right here! And if you'd like to win a gift card, leave us your email on the survey — we'll keep it a secret and just use it for contest purposes. 

We'd also like to hear any great stories from the first year of legalized recreational marijuana. Whether you tried pot for the first time yourself, or had a cousin slip a pot brownie to grandma, we'd love to hear about it! You can tell us your story right here. Again, totally anonymous, but we are asking for your email so we can verify your story. 

Thanks for taking part!
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Interactive chalk mural 900 Horses on display through the weekend

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 2:17 PM

The 900 Horses mural on display at the Spokane Tribal Gathering Place outside of City Hall - ERIN ROBINSON
  • Erin Robinson
  • The 900 Horses mural on display at the Spokane Tribal Gathering Place outside of City Hall

If you haven't checked it out yet, 900 Horses, an interactive chalk mural located right in the Spokane Tribal Gathering Place in front of City Hall, is still on display throughout the weekend. 
dsc_3184_1_.jpg

The mural is a commemoration for the horrific mass slaughtering of horses in in 1858 by Colonel George Wright. Wright ordered U.S. Army Troops to slaughter anywhere between 800 and 1,000 horses to intimidate the local indigenous tribes. 
Pick up liquid chalk and brushes from the tent to fill in one of the 900 stenciled horses.
  • Pick up liquid chalk and brushes from the tent to fill in one of the 900 stenciled horses.

Now, 157 years later, Seattle artist Ryan Feddersen has created an interactive art project to encourage the public to take a second look at the social and cultural historic events of the local community. Fedderson has traced 900 horses on the ground in the plaza with the intention that the public will fill them in. Those interested in participating in the community mural can visit the white tent next to the plaza to pick up liquid chalk and brushes to paint a horse of their own. 

The mural will be on display through Sunday, so stop by when you can. It could be there for a few more weeks, but any sort of rain could wash it away! 
Community members paint their own horses as part of the mural.
  • Community members paint their own horses as part of the mural.

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What will happen with a Washington state government shutdown?

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 1:29 PM


What are you doing at midnight Tuesday? You should be out ringing in the new fiscal year. Meanwhile, the Washington state government might be shutting down. If the legislature can't get the whole budget thing figured out by June 30 — they've had six months so far to do it and haven't — the state government could shut down July 1.

If that happens, more than half of the state's 50,000 employees will be on indefinite stay-home status. All the more reason for end-of-fiscal year debauchery Tuesday night, because, you know, no work the next day for 26,000 people that normally work. State agencies have been prepping for weeks to keep the shutdown from being too much of a disaster. Here are a few of the major shake up areas:

Prison Problems: The Department of Corrections' Jeremy Barclay has been busy making contingency plans for the impending shutdown. "Community corrections will shut down the 30th, it will be suspended," says Barclay. "A lot of our educational programming, those would be suspended." Work programs, too.

Barclay says they won't be cutting inmates loose or anything, though. "It's important that we keep those sentenced to our care away from the public, they will remain," says Barclay. But sex offenders who are currently on round-the-clock GPS monitoring will cease to be monitored. They'll still technically have their monitoring equipment, it's just that the actual monitoring won't be happening 24 hours a day anymore. Aside from that, the gist of the effect on corrections is that prisoners will remain locked up but their days will get more monotonous.

Fish: Fish hatcheries — home to millions of salmon, trout and steelhead who rely on the Department of Fish and Wildlife to feed them — are slated to close. Millions of hatchery fish are equivalent to even more millions of dollars. Salmon and other endangered fish would continue to be cared for.

Fishing and hunting: Planning to go kill some animals or fish and don't have your license yet? Get it before the shutdown — the Department of Fish and Wildlife won't be issuing licenses or Discover Passes until it ends. Of course, enforcement of hunting and fishing rules not related to endangered and protected species will also be on hold, so license scofflaws are unlikely to be ticketed. 

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Where to buy and shoot off fireworks

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 10:04 AM


Although it's illegal to buy, sell and shoot fireworks in most of Spokane County (including within city limits), there are some places where it's allowed. With the Fourth of July around the corner, here's a handy guide for where and when you can buy 'em and where you can shoot 'em, along with some safety tips and injury statistics from 2014. 
 
According to state law, fireworks can be sold starting June 28 (this Sunday) from noon to 11 pm. From the 29th through the Fourth of July, you can buy them from 9 am to 9 pm, but some cities have passed ordinances and set stricter rules. The complete list of Washington cities that allow the sale and discharge of fireworks can be found here. See below for those nearby: 

Deer Park has the least restrictive sales and discharge rules in Spokane County: starting June 28, you can buy fireworks from noon to 10 pm. Then from the 29th until July 3 you can buy them from 9 am to 10 pm, but you can shoot them off within Deer Park city limits until July 1. You have until the July 4 to empty your stash, otherwise you have to wait till next year. 

Airway Heights and Medical Lake are the only other two cities within Spokane County that allow firework sale and discharge. Both cities only allow them to be shot off on the Fourth — Airway Heights from 9 am to midnight, Medical Lake from 9 am to 11 pm. 

Neighboring Stevens and Ferry Counties just north of Spokane allow sale and discharge according to state law, save a few cities. Same goes for Lincoln County, west of Spokane.

Last year the State Fire Marshal's Office documented 432 firework-related injuries and fires. Most of them occurred on the Fourth of July. Property damage totaled $320,240 in 2014 alone, about half of which was to residential property.

"With summer weather conditions continuing to be warm and dry this summer, vegetation is extremely susceptible to fire," says Deputy State Fire Marshal Lysandra Davis. "A small fire can easily get out of control in these conditions." 

A few tips from the State Fire Marshal's Office:
  • Keep a bucket of water or hose nearby. 

  • Don't get drunk or high and shoot off fireworks. 

  • Always set fireworks off outdoors on a driveway or sidewalk. 

  • Don't shoot fireworks at other people. 

  • Don't try to re-light a dud.

  • Don't try to make your own. 
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