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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

CAT FRIDAY WEDNESDAY: SHS hosts a baby shower Friday for the tiniest spring arrivals — kittens!

Posted By and on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 2:55 PM

It's still the beginning of the annual period from spring through late summer that animal welfare workers refer to as "kitten season" — the time of year when the most un-spayed female cats become pregnant and give birth. Even though it's early, the Spokane Humane Society has already taken in around 150 kittens born this spring, and that number will exponentially increase in the coming months.

The event offers information on how to become a foster parent for homeless kittens born this year. - SPOKANE HUMANE SOCIETY
  • Spokane Humane Society
  • The event offers information on how to become a foster parent for homeless kittens born this year.

To spread the word that these kittens rely heavily on the community's support during their early stage of life, SHS is hosting its first ever Kitten Shower this Friday evening. The event is just what the name implies — a baby shower, but for homeless kittens. The concept has proven to be a successful way for animal sheltering organizations across the United States to collect much-needed supplies and to teach the community about the intensive process of caring for kittens until they're old enough to be adopted (usually around two months). 

The drop-in event this Friday, April 17, is happening from 6-8 pm at the Northeast Community Center (4001 N. Cook, in the Hillyard neighborhood). Those interested in learning more about fostering kittens for the Humane Society are invited to attend, as well as anyone who wants to support the shelter's efforts to raise kittens — many without mothers — from their earliest days. The shelter is collecting donated supplies that are in demand this time of year (see a list of requested items below). 

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Friday, April 3, 2015

CAT FRIDAY: Cats troll the world this April Fools', and we wish it was real

Posted By on Fri, Apr 3, 2015 at 12:14 PM

April Fools' Day is an unrelenting online troll fest these days. Since cats rule all corners of the web, it's appropriate that some of the best viral pranks this year featured cats front and center. Some of the feline-centric jokes this year were so damn good, it's depressing to cat lovers that they're not real, especially in a world where cat cafes are a thing, and anyone's cat can give Grumpy a run for her money. 

Just pushing the envelope of "it could be real" was a totally genius prank pulled by the Colorado Springs Independent alt-weekly, which actually went as far to put its joke on the cover of its April 1 issue. You can see why some readers took it seriously. The Independent used the opportunity to make light of an issue facing city developers improving a park site, which has been found to be contaminated with asbestos.

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Perhaps the most viral joke this week was the clever ploy pulled off by Groupon: Grouber, an Uber-like ride service that replaced humans with feline drivers and was pitched as a service for Groupon users heading out to redeem an offer. With catchy copy like this, who could resist? 

Our drivers are spayed, neutered and have no reason to curl up in your lap and make it awkward. Trust us, these cats are cool. And every Grouber experience should be a paws-itive one.

Grouber cars are purportedly directed by a red laser beam projected from the front of the car that plots the trip's route, since you know — cats + laser pointers. 

Grouber from Groupon on Vimeo.

As much as both cat lovers and the indifferent laughed and admired the legitimate attempt of these two well-pulled pranks, this next one has no reason to not be real someday. 

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The supposed launch of a cat-proof sofa from Ikea is also something that should and could be real, but sadly isn't, yet. 

Microsoft got into the game, too, with Office for Cats, a suite of products called PowerPounce, OneNap and Meow. 

Cats are (for good reason) not being trained to become seeing-eye-pets to guide blind people

Music streaming service Rdio is also not partnering with famous cats to release a new cat-centric music service, Rdio-Meowz.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

How to get the most out of the Inlander's mobile site

Posted By on Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 3:01 PM


The Inlander recently revamped our mobile site — making it more beautiful and more powerful — and for those who haven't explored its depths, we wanted to give you a quick tour. 
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FIRST... SAVE A SHORTCUT ON YOUR PHONE 
When you first visit Inlander.com on your phone, it should automatically direct to our mobile site (m.inlander.com). Once there, it should ask you if you want to install "this web app on your phone" — meaning you'll save a shortcut on your home screen that automatically takes you to Inlander mobile. (It will look like any regular app that you've downloaded, and it will automatically launch the site when you hit it.)
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If for some reason your particular browser doesn't give you a prompt to save the site to your home screen, you can manually save it by hitting the button seen here or a similar one, and then following the prompts to "add to home screen." If you're an Android user, it's as simple as going to Inlander.com on your phone, hitting your menu button and finding the "add to homescreen" link, as explained here


ON THE HOMEPAGE
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First, you'll probably notice beautiful, big photos and our great articles. Then you'll see buttons to things you'll use time and again. Search the region's best, most comprehensive listings for restaurants; sort for the nearest locations and by category, neighborhood and name. Search our database of events by category, neighborhood and featured ones selected by staff. Do the same for live music. Or you can also figure out what's playing at the movie theater nearest you.

Scroll just a little, and you'll see our Top Stories. Scroll a bit more, and find our Latest Stories. Scroll again, there are featured events. Down a bit farther, you'll see the most recent slideshows.


ON BLOGLANDER
The Inlander's blog, Bloglander, is where you find the very latest stories — including regular features like "What's Up Today," "Weed Wednesday" and "Cat Friday."


DIG DEEPER 
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Hit the navigation button in the top left and find short cuts to everything else: Read all of our stories from Best Of; browse through a variety of recent slideshows; enter to win free stuff in one of our contests; or peruse our issues archives to find a story in a particular edition.   
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Behind the cover: Fish Fight

Posted By on Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 11:30 AM

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It is always a tricky dance on how to illustrate a story on our cover.

Does it call for a photo? Does it call for an illustration? There is not steadfast rule.

It involves a lot of hashing out with the writer and boiling the idea down to one image. For this week's cover story about how the Spokane Tribe lost its fishing rights due to the Grand Coulee Dam, I felt an illustration showing a dead fish and a trickle of water would convey the scope of the story, or at least scratch the surface. 

Look for the new issue hitting the streets Wednesday night and Thursday morning. 
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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Are you an Inland Northwest foodie? Prove it with this quiz!

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 10:45 AM


We all know that Spokane's food scene has amazing things happening. How well do you know the history?

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Monday, March 30, 2015

We're bringing The Big Lebowski back to the Bing

Posted By on Mon, Mar 30, 2015 at 12:19 PM

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Oh, hey there Suds and Cinema lovers. We just wanted to let you know that the next installment of our venerable beer-meets-awesome-movies series is in response to the many, many loyal fans who asked us to bring back one of last year's films...and that film is The Big Lebowski.

Last year, we had one hell of a night at the Bing Crosby Theater when we screened the film to almost 700 folks, many of whom were dressed in the costume of their favorite characters. And we're hoping to recreate that magic by again having the freshly one-year-old Perry Street Brewing provide the beer for the event on April 15. The beer flows at 6:30 pm and the movie follows at 7:30 pm.

As always, entry is $4 and beers are $4, too.

And, yes, we'll be hosting a costume contest for several categories, including Best Dude, Best Walter and several other wild card categories to be announced later. There's also an after-party at Rain Lounge featuring White Russians made with Spokane's own 21 Window Vodka. During the movie, you can feast on special Lebowski-themed ice cream flavors from Brain Freeze Creamery.

If you're not into the whole remembering things without electronics thing, here's a link to the official Facebook invite. Let us know if you're coming, man.

Here's a look at last year's Lebowski night. It was far out.

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Audition to be a Z Nation zombie Saturday

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2015 at 3:29 PM

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Ever want to be on TV? Start practicing your best zombie moans and hobbling walks tonight, because locals are being cast as undead extras for the second season of Syfy's Z Nation series being filmed in and around Spokane

The last local audition session for the show is being held tomorrow, Saturday, March 28, from 9 am-4 pm in Spokane Valley, at Redeemer Lutheran Church. Interested actors must be at least 18 years old and live in Washington state. There's a $5 fee if you're not with a talent agent or don't have a Casting Networks Account.

Pre-registration for tomorrow's auditions is open online until 6 pm tonight, but those who miss this deadline can still show up — just be prepared to wait. 

While the next season of the Walking Dead lookalike is set to resume filming in Spokane later this year, the future of the Z Nation's impact on regional film industry professionals and actors in the coming years is a less clear. Right now, a bill in the state legislature (SB 6027) is seeking to boost Washington's film incentive program, which industry advocates argue is necessary for projects like Z Nation and others to continue being made in the Evergreen State.

Washington's film incentive program essentially offers cash rebates for qualifying productions made within state borders. Funded by a portion of the state's business and occupation tax liabilities (corporations/individuals can choose to contribute to this fund, getting a dollar-for-dollar tax credit, up to $1 million), qualifying productions can apply to get 30 percent of what they spent here back from the state.

That fund, however, is currently capped at $3.5 million, making Washington's the fifth smallest incentive program in the nation — well behind many other states with enormous incentive pools for filmmakers. It's why so many movies are made in Vancouver, British Columbia (which has no cap on its incentives), and other states like Alabama, Louisiana and New Mexico. As of now, Washington Filmworks, which oversees the program, has already received more requests than it can award to qualifying projects seeking to get some money back in return for the economic impact of locating work in-state.

The bill being considered (no vote on it has been set yet; the current session ends on April 26) would gradually boost Washington's program to an annual cap of $10 million by the year 2019. This increase would result in a $3.5 million loss in state revenue during the current budget biennium and a $17 million loss during the 2017-19 biennium. These numbers are the biggest factors working against the request for an increased program cap, as state lawmakers work to balance the state budget while maintaining basic programs.

Film industry supporters from around the state testified on Wednesday during a Senate Ways & Means hearing (captured in the video below), including several Spokane residents whose livelihoods rely on their home state remaining competitive with its neighbors, like Oregon. Our southern neighbor caps its program at $10 million a year, allowing it to sustain several ongoing projects for films and television series. 

Earlier this month, a group of Spokane film workers also traveled to Olympia for a film lobbying day, taking the capitol by storm with a horde of Z Nation zombies. 


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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Think you know Spokane-area movies? Take this quiz!

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 12:08 PM

Select a movie on each slide that was filmed in or around the Spokane area.

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Friday, March 20, 2015

CAT FRIDAY: Notable runners up for "Best Local Cat" in the Best Of readers poll

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 1:43 PM


We had no idea what to expect after placing one of the most unusual questions on the ballots for this year's Best Of the Inland Northwest readers poll: Best Local Cat. 

The unlikely odds this question ended up on the ballot was actually in part thanks to this writer, who, in testing last year's online voting system, half-seriously responded to last year's "Best question we didn't ask?" with a cat-themed inquiry.

Early predictions around the Inlander office were a runaway victory by Spokane's most influential famous cat — Keyboard Cat. Yet, surprisingly, it was not Keyboard Cat who took the ultimate title, but a petite little tabby named Laney, who resides at a long-time local business, Dan's Barber Shop. I had the lovely opportunity to write about Laney in this year's Best Of issue (scroll to the bottom of the linked page for her story).

Omar Little is a feisty little guy. - ROBIN HAYNES
  • Robin Haynes
  • Omar Little is a feisty little guy.
Once the ballots were tallied, Charlie Schmidt's Keyboard Cat (who we profiled about a year ago) landed the second-place spot, followed by an unforeseen unknown in third place, a spunky rescue cat by the name of OMAR LITTLE. Pets outside of the public eye were an obvious trend in responses to this question. To find out more about Omar I tracked down his owner, Robin Haynes, a principal at the Spokane office of the law firm Witherspoon Kelley.
 
The name Omar Little may sound familiar to some — Haynes' named the cat after a stick-up man who robs drug dealers on the HBO crime drama The Wire

"He's a little gangster with a lot of personality... it's like living with a little panther," Haynes notes. "He likes to punch you in the face with his paw to get you to feed him because his bowl being empty is a problem."

Omar was adopted in 2012 at 11 months old from the Spokane Humane Society, after he'd already been in three different homes and returned to the shelter each time. At the shelter, he was known as Henri. Haynes says that while there, shelter staff taught him to play fetch, walk on a leash and do other tricks for treats. Omar is currently featured on this year's SHS desk calendar, for which he had a professional photo shoot.

Haynes is a huge fan of The Wire, and Omar's little brother is also named after a gangster character in the show. Wee-Bey, however, is Omar's total opposite. Haynes calls him the "shyest cat ever."

Scrolling through the hundreds of nominees for "Best Local Cat," I was intrigued to learn more about a few other cats with pop-culture namesakes. And in an age where cats seem to have just as good odds as humans to nab 15 minutes of fame, it's time to let the world know about some of the Northwest's most interesting feline personalities.

ZAPHOD BEEBLEBROX
 
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Owned by
: Jerry Schutz

Age: 2 years

Adopted from: Humane Society of the Palouse, in March 2013. (This was after Schutz found the cat wandering around his home, sneaking inside repeatedly for several hours. Once it was determined the cat was a stray, Schutz made it official.)

Name inspiration: President of the Galaxy from Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Jerry writes, "As you may recall Zaphod Beeblebrox has two heads — the one without brains who signed the order to blow up the Earth, and the intelligent one that got him elected president, running the 'Don't Vote for Stupid' campaign."

If Zaphod could communicate his surprise at being nominated, what would he say? “Don't try to understand me, just be grateful that you felt the warmth of Zaphod Beeblebrox's aura on your wonderstruck face.”

SQUEEZE BOX
 
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Owned by
: Sarah Knutson

Age: 9 years

Adopted from: In September 2006, he was a kitten living at a barn in Montana where Knutson boarded her horse. He loved people, and didn't like to hang out with the other cats on the farm, so the barn owners asked if anyone would take him, and she couldn't resist.

Strangest quirk? "I swear he is a dog in cat's clothing. He begs for food, patrols the house, and waits at the door for me to come home. He is always happy to see me and follows me everywhere."

If Squeeze Box could communicate his surprise at being nominated, what would he say? He would wonder if there was food involved, particularly ice cream, which is his favorite.

CATRICK SWAYZE 
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Owned by
: Jonathan Manfredonia

Age: 1 year; his birthday was on St. Patrick's Day

Adopted from: SpokAnimal, in September 2014 

What is his strangest quirk? "He's the most seductive cat I've ever met. He immediately jumps into the lap of anyone who comes over, and swoons them into heavy petting with his big, innocent eyes and baritone purr."
 
If Catrick could communicate his surprise at being nominated, what would he say? He would quote the other Swayze from Point Break, "Little hand says it's time to rock and roll!" 

CHUPACABRA
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Owned by
: Elliot Stoll

Age: Around 6 or 7 years

Adopted from: Partners for Pets, in September 2010

Nicknames: The Chupacabra, Chup (choop), Chalupa

Strangest quirk? "Her need to announce herself with a series of meows when entering a room. However, her frequent vocalizations are what makes her unique. She's an extremely well-behaved cat, and we're glad to have her."

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RON BURGANDY 

Owned by
: Nathan and Lisa Smith

Age: 9 years

Adopted from: SpokAnimal, in March 2006

Name inspiration: "The first Anchorman came out while we were in college. We were looking for something unique with some personality, and this fit the bill. Ron Burgundy has a classy way about him."

Favorite thing about him? "He likes to be where the action is, but he is not too clingy. He has also developed a special bond with our Weimaraner, Yoda. For instance, he likes to hide behind walls and surprise him when he walks by."

If Ron could communicate his surprise at being nominated, what would he say?  Undoubtedly, he would be asking where the afterparty is.


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Friday, March 13, 2015

Tickets still available for Ham on Regal

Posted By on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 12:08 PM


Since the school opened in 1963, there's been a Ham on Regal show at Joel E. Ferris High School on the South Hill.

The variety show features parents and school staff for a big ol' night of comedy, music and whatever else the Ham Players decide to throw at their audiences. The proceeds from Ham on Regal, which last year topped $100,000, go to benefit a variety of programs not  fully funded by the district and are distributed to staff through an application process.

The show runs all weekend and tickets are still available for all three nights (7:30 pm tonight, 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm tomorrow). You can get those tickets at the Ham on Regal website.

A little history behind the beloved event:

Ham on Regal was born in the fall of 1963, with the opening of Joel E. Ferris High School. Two parent-teacher groups combined to put together a show that would raise funds to support school activities. The success of the show truly bonded the two groups and laid the foundation for the tremendously strong parent-school community we now enjoy at Ferris.

The Ham on Regal Players acquired its name from the title of the 1969 production. While searching for a name for the show, the chairman suggested “Ham on Regal” because the school faces Regal Street. Since then, the troupe has been known as the Ham on Regal Players or "Hams" for short. The five decade long venture stems from the work of thousands of parents and teachers over the past 52+ years. 
And here's a promo for this weekend's show.
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