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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Pay a little less to do the wild thing with Tone Loc

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 10:15 AM


Perhaps when the "I Love the '90s" tour announced a stop at the Spokane Arena, you thought to yourself, "Do I really love the 90s? Do I love them enough to want to check out the odd package that includes one of the biggest one-hit wonders atop the bill in Vanilla Ice, and a slew of pretty solid retro soul, R&B and hip-hop acts?" 

Oh, and Color Me Badd. 

Well, if the price of seeing Vanilla Ice, Salt 'n' Pepa, Tone Loc, Coolio and Young MC (yes, and Color Me Badd) was holding you back, today there's a deal with your name on it. Instead of paying $47.50, or $67.50, or $87.50 (maybe Vanilla Ice washes your car for that price?), you can go to the TicketsWest website between 10 am and 10 pm Thursday and get tickets for $30 — just use the code word "Love"in the promo box, and you'll be on your way to seeing "Bust A Move," "Wild Thing," "Gangsta's Paradise," "Let's Talk About Sex" and a bunch of other tunes that you might vaguely remember from Yo! MTV Raps! and TRL. The show is this Sunday at the arena. 

Really, the price is worth it just to see this tune. Seriously: 

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Tour of Gymnastics Champs kicks off in Spokane, and the Olympic men's team steals the show

Posted By on Fri, Sep 16, 2016 at 11:36 AM

Four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles, seen center left in blue, was naturally a crowd favorite.
  • Four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles, seen center left in blue, was naturally a crowd favorite.

After tumbling their way to greatness last month in Rio, Team USA's gymnastics legends headed to Spokane last night to kick off the two-month Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions at the Spokane Arena.

The mostly full Arena audience, which largely consisted of moms and their young gymnast daughters, were treated to appearances by gold medal-winning team members and fan favorites Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez and Gabby Douglas. The team's uneven bars specialist and silver medalist Madison Kocian was not present last night, and as the tour continues for 35 more stops across the U.S., the performance roster is expected to change from city to city.

Joining the 2016 women's team members were all five athletes on the men's Olympic team, along with twin sisters on the U.S.'s rhythmic gymnastics team, Jennifer and Monica Rokhman, the acrobatic gymnastics duo of Tiffani Williams and Axel Osbourne, and world championship medalists on the men's and women's sides. 2016 Olympic trampoline gymnasts Nicole Ahsinger and Logan Dooley were also in the cast of performers, as were past Olympic gold medalists Jordan Wieber, Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin.

While the audience was undoubtedly ecstatic to see live performances by women's team favorites Biles, Raisman, Douglas and Hernandez — evident by the ear-splitting roar when they appeared on the arena floor — the perhaps unexpected stars of the night were the dozen or so male gymnasts, including the five-man Olympic team.
The five-member men's Olympic team gave some of the show's most entertaining performances.
  • The five-member men's Olympic team gave some of the show's most entertaining performances.


In the show's first half, both Biles and Hernandez donned their red, white and blue team leotards to each perform solo their crowd-pleasing floor exercise routines, albeit with vastly toned down or non-existent tumbling passes. The choice to not have these world class athletes perform the high-flying flips and twists that made their skills-packed routines medal winning for Team USA may have been disappointing to the audience, but was understandable as these women will be touring the country for the next two months, performing nearly every other night in a sport that is often physically unforgiving. Let's also not forget the fact that they spent the better part of the past year or more pushing their bodies to the limit in preparation for the Rio Games. 

Fans were also treated to some abbreviated routines and acrobatic skills on the balance beam by the trio of Biles, Douglas and Raisman, and all the women gymnasts in the show displayed their strength and prowess on the uneven bars.

The male gymnasts proved that not only can they defy gravity with their acrobatic skills — they can also dance.
  • The male gymnasts proved that not only can they defy gravity with their acrobatic skills — they can also dance.

Yet the crowd pleasers of the show turned out to be the upbeat and fun-themed performances of the men's team, who showed off their high-flying feats on the high bar during multiple intervals, and also tumbled, flipped and danced quite ably across the floor to various bass-heavy tracks, "Uptown Funk" being one. Throughout its two-hour run, all the lightheartedness of the exhibition style show — and the most impressive acrobatic skills — came from these incredibly fit and handsome 20-something men, much to the benefit of the predominantly female audience. During one segment, the men even invited some of the moms in the crowd out onto the floor to dance with them.

Other noteworthy moments of the Tour of Gymnastics Champions included the carefully balanced acro skills of the male-female duo Tiffani Williams and Axel Osbourne. Much like one might see during a Cirque du Soleil show, Osbourne tossed and balanced his tiny and insanely flexible partner Williams high above the floor with stunning precision and grace. While acrobatic gymnastics is not currently an Olympic sport, the duo won the pairs silver medal during the 2016 World Championships.

Even if we didn't get to see Biles perform her signature tumbling move "the Biles" on the Spokane Arena's floor, it was obvious that just about everyone who attended last night's tour kick off were beyond star-struck. By night's end, the inspired mindset of hundreds of local gymnasts — feeling renewed motivation to work toward their own high-achieving gymnastics dreams — was palpable.
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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Spokane's "Iron Nun" Sister Madonna Buder featured in new Nike commercial

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 4:25 PM


Spokane's Sister Madonna Buder could outlast most of us when it comes to running. In swimming, and biking, too. The 86-year-old Catholic nun has competed in 45 Ironman Triathlons, breaking the world record for the oldest person ever to finish the grueling race, which she obtained four years ago at age 82. 

Now, Buder is the subject of a feel-good commercial by Nike called "Unlimited Youth," which debuted recently during coverage of the Rio Olympics. Check it out below.

The video's narrator (actor Oscar Isaac, recent star of The Force Awakens and Ex Machina) introduces Sister Buder and her athletic endeavors with admiration — though his entire narration is rather awkwardly presented in a tongue-in-cheek tone — as clips of the outstanding triathlete play across screen.

Cutting to a scene of Buder in an Ironman swim cap and wet suit, Isaac says, "Wait, what — Ironman? Oh no, no, no, no, no sister, this is a bad idea, sister. A real bad idea — somebody stop her!"

"Relax, she's the Iron Nun!" a guy in the crowd of racers says.

"But she won't make it, this is an Ironman!" Isaac's voiceover proclaims.

"The first 45 didn't kill me," Buder yells over her shoulder to anyone else ignorant enough to doubt her.

"You've done 45 of these? Okay. Do your think sister, do you your thing."


She's pretty amazing, right? 

Sister Buder is a member of the non-canonical Sisters for Christian Community. She last competed in an Ironman race back in 2015 (though she didn't finish), and continues to stay active with her intense exercise routine.

Nike also produced a behind-the-scenes video that gives more insight into what keeps this amazing woman and athlete going strong, defying expectations for her age demographic.

"The only failure is not to try. Your effort in itself is a success," she says.

Also, don't forget that this weekend, on Aug. 21, Coeur d'Alene is hosting its Ironman race, kicking off early Sunday morning. While Buder isn't participating this year, there are plenty of amazing endurance athletes who could use the support as they push themselves to complete the 2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run.


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It's Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure outdoors with beer and prizes!

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 1:11 PM


Have you ever wondered what film — in all of movie history — provides us with the most accurate depiction of time travel? The answer, dear reader, is Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. We'll share more about that with you on Thursday night at our outdoor edition of Suds and Cinema.

Orlison Brewing will be providing beer and One Tree Cider is also pouring so you can enjoy a cold one while basking in the warm summer evening air in Kendall Yards' Olmstead Park (it's at the far end of the neighborhood, FYI.)

We'll have ice cream from Brain Freeze creamery and food from the 3 Ninjas truck. And sponsor Horizon Credit Union will have some giveaways to help you enjoy that food. 

Speaking of giveaways, you could walk away from this truly excellent event the owner of a new virtual reality setup courtesy of Sprint. Yeah, they're giving away this decidedly futuristic technology — so make sure you enter to win at their booth before the movie starts.

Here are all the important details:
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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Team USA's women gymnasts won gold in Rio; see them in Spokane next month

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 3:11 PM

Simone, Gabby, Laurie, Madison and Aly celebrate their team gold win in Rio. - NBCOLYMPICS.COM
  • nbcolympics.com
  • Simone, Gabby, Laurie, Madison and Aly celebrate their team gold win in Rio.

The Final Five have fulfilled their destiny, living up to everyone's lofty but entirely realistic expectations of becoming team gold medalists in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Tuesday, while most of us were busy at work, the unstoppable quintet of Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian displayed impeccable performances, finishing more than eight points ahead of the silver medalists from Russia. (Click this link to watch routine recaps for the team if you missed any of the action.) 

NBC commentators expressed ceaseless amazement during the competition, event after event, in which the five women continued to outperform themselves compared to their qualification routines just two days earlier. (Check out this sweet feature from the New York Times to see how they pulled it all off.)

With the team gold locked in, next up this Thursday (streaming live starting at noon Pacific Time, with a tape delay airing during NBC's prime-time Olympic coverage) the Greatest Gymnast of All Time, Simone Biles, along with her teammate and now two-time Olympic team gold medalist, Aly Raisman, will vie for spots on the podium in the women's individual all-around competition. (Only two team members per country can compete for the all-around event, which means that even though she placed third overall, 2012 all-around gold medalist Gabby Douglas won't be able to defend her title).

Continue reading »

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State Parks department prepares to unveil new Centennial Trail section

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 11:03 AM

The 60-plus-mile Centennial Trail is a destination for bikers, runners, and more. - CHRIS BOVEY
  • Chris Bovey
  • The 60-plus-mile Centennial Trail is a destination for bikers, runners, and more.

The Spokane River Centennial Trail and the North Idaho Centennial Trail together boast about 61.5 miles of paved, outdoorsy goodness for non-motorized wheelers and runners of all shapes and sizes to explore and enjoy — as of now.

On Monday, August 15, however, the trail's total traversable terrain will expand with the official opening of a new two-mile stretch running from Sontag Community Park to the Nine Mile Recreation Area in Riverside State Park. The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Nine Mile Recreation Area on Monday at 4 pm to mark the occasion, featuring a presentation by park officials and an opportunity for those present to be among the first to set foot on the brand new section of trail.

Established in 1989, the Centennial Trail, named for the Washington State Centennial its opening coincided with, has long been serving as an accessible, multi-use recreation destination for citizens of the Spokane area and North Idaho, and represents an important, literal connection between the two areas.  When the trail's pavement expands, its purpose as a means of connectedness will as well; the new stretch readily welcomes residents of some northeastern Washington pockets into the Centennial Trail community. 

This isn't the first time the trail has seen its mileage increase; in 2013, a gap between downtown Spokane and the West Central neighborhood was filled in, granting Kendall Yards its now-beloved stretch of paved trail. Having already shown to have no qualms with crossing state lines, with time, the Centennial Trail could prove to know no bounds.
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Monday, August 8, 2016

Our favorite thing on the internet today: John Oliver on the importance of newspapers

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 11:07 AM

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There are many reasons to love John Oliver. His snazzy sartorial choices. His soothing British accent, even when he's outraged. His excellent run on The Daily Show before leaving for HBO and his own show, Last Week Tonight

Last night, Oliver gave an impassioned and funny treatise on the importance of newspapers, and the annoyance of clickbait and "Digital First" business models for news organizations. Naturally, we loved it. As did many in the media, who today are filling their websites with stories about Oliver's piece, including The Guardian, Fortune magazine and Vanity Fair

You can see Oliver's piece right here:
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Friday, July 29, 2016

Pokémon Go blew up a couple weeks ago, and it's still going strong

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 1:16 PM


Not to brag or anything, but I recently opened the app while sitting on my couch, and the elusive Pikachu just happened to show up in my living room!
  • Not to brag or anything, but I recently opened the app while sitting on my couch, and the elusive Pikachu just happened to show up in my living room!
Just because you're not being inundated with Pokémon Go-related news stories this week doesn't mean the mobile gaming fad was just a flash in the pan. It's definitely still going strong, including in our local community. The following local events and Poké-gatherings are surely evidence of that.

Later this afternoon, Friday, July 26, from 4-6 pm, Spokane Falls Community College is hosting a Pokémon Scavenger Hunt, with goodie bags going to the first 151 players (that's a cute reference to the fact there are 151 Pokémon to catch in all!) who show up, and prizes will be awarded at 6 pm. Meet outside the SFCC planetarium lawn at 4 to partake in the hunt. Parking on campus is free for this event, regardless of the signage in the lots.

Then, next week, on Saturday, Aug. 6, from 12-3 pm, area players are invited to attend a community Pokémon Go Potluck in Manito Park, to nosh and bond over their love of the game. Players who go should meet at the upper playground, and bring a dish to share. The park is alcohol-free, and it's a family-friendly event, so keep that in mind if you go.

If you're looking for a place to get out of the continuing summer heatwave and still catch some Pokés to add to your collection, the Spokane Public Library has been setting lures at all of its branches. So bring your mobile device and do double-duty as you hunt for your next good read while also seeking out some of the cute little characters.  

If by the time fall arrives you still can't get enough Pokémon Go, and you're a college student at the University of Idaho, a new class that combines pop culture and physical activity is something you shouldn't pass up. The new Pop Culture Games class will "teach students about leading active lifestyles, building teamwork and exploring their communities through games..." according to a release from the university. The class has been in the works for a while, but instructor Steven Bird knew he needed to add the pop culture phenomenon that is Pokémon Go when the game captured our attention earlier this month.
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Thursday, July 28, 2016

How to make sure you're not missing Facebook page's posts, including the Inlander's

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 3:30 PM

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So Facebook went and changed its News Feed algorithm again, and depending on how you use the social media giant to augment your daily interactions, this is either a good thing, or a bad thing.

For media outlets like us, it's a bad thing. The recent round of News Feed changes were implemented about a month ago to prioritize posts by your network of family and friends over the posts of non-human entities you follow, namely pages of businesses and other organizations that also have a Facebook presence. According to Facebook, this change is one that's long been asked for by a large percentage of its more than 1.6 billion users.

However, let's not forget that these days, the majority of U.S. adults — 62 percent — are getting their daily stream of news through social media, with 44 percent of them accessing that news via Facebook. So yeah, news outlets like the Inlander rely a lot on the social media behemoth to disseminate our content. It's the main place where users go to not only connect with friends and family, but to see what's going on in their world, locally or elsewhere. And of all the major social media outlets out there, Facebook is far and away the biggest driver to Inlander content, too. 

Without turning this post in a woeful lament of what an unfortunate change this is when it comes to getting you, dear readers, to actually click and read the stories our staff so diligently toil to produce, let's focus on how you can make sure you're not missing the Facebook page content you really want to be seeing in your feed. (To be clear, we have already seen a noticeable decrease in how many followers are seeing our posts, stories from the print edition and new web content which we share on Facebook each day.)

Continue reading »

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Spokane Brewers Festival looking for folks willing to trade time for beer and gear

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 3:46 PM

sbf.jpg

One aspect of Spokane living that I was totally unaware of before moving to the Lilac City was the booming beer culture. 

Little did I suspect that so many breweries dotted our fair city and the surrounding areas, nor that there seems to be a beer festival of one sort or another virtually every weekend. If it's not a Fresh Hops festival, it's an all-cans festival. Clearly we can't get enough beer around here. 

Enter the brand-spanking-new Spokane Brewers Festival to the lineup. It will have its inaugural celebration of all things frosty and delicious Friday, Aug. 12 and Saturday, Aug. 13 at the Spokane Arena. Besides a bevy of beverages available for the cost of a $7 sampling mug and $1 per beer token, there will be live tunes from local bands tapped by The Inlander and the All-ages River City Root Beer Garden, and there's no admission charged just to check it out. 

Throwing such a to-do requires some serious manpower, and the organizers are looking for volunteers willing to trade some time working for a t-shirt, souvenir mug and 15 drink tokens. The basic requirements: 
• be at least 21 years old
• be able to stand or walk from 3-5 hours at a time
• be able to lift 25 pounds. 

Many volunteers will be pulling taps, so you could end up chatting with friends old and new for a couple hours, and at the end you have more drink tokens than you'll know what to do with — oh, who am I kidding, you'll be drinking lots of beer! Just do so responsibly, mmmkay?

The earlier you sign up, the better shift you'll get, so get to it right here
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