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Thursday, July 31, 2014

10 things you'll regret not doing this summer

Posted By on Thu, Jul 31, 2014 at 10:30 AM


Regret is real, and it’s not only reserved for that tattoo you got on a whim last weekend. The recent stormy weather that quickly gave way to the present unbearable heat has reminded us that the sun won’t stick around forever. And frankly, we don’t want to let the impending autumn hit you with the regretful realization you didn’t take advantage of the summer months' abundance of activities. Now is the time to get out there and enjoy every sunny minute, and we’ve got a few ideas to keep in mind. Remember that ridiculously fat issue we put out back in June? The Summer Guide has already directed many readers to hiking trails, food trucks, brewery tours and more over the past couple months. But there is still so much more that we wouldn’t want you to miss…
Our Summer Guide issue came out almost two months ago, but there's still plenty left to do before fall hits.
  • Our Summer Guide issue came out almost two months ago, but there's still plenty left to do before fall hits.

1) Take me yourself out to the ball game. If you haven’t hit the grandstands yet this summer, make sure you get your ticket for Spokane Indians baseball game. There is a quintessential summer ambiance established when you can smell hot dogs, beer, and sunscreen all at once. An eight-game streak is happening right now, with home games every day through this Sunday, Aug. 3, so check the schedule out and pick your game.

2) Upon moving to the area about three years ago, I spent one of my first weekends exploring the Route of the Hiawatha Bike Trail. Its path is a dirt-covered, abandoned railroad near Wallace, Idaho, winds through a gorgeous stretch of forested hills and tunnels. It's downhill for the majority of the ride, which allows riders to really enjoy the scenery. If you’re feeling ambitious and/or slightly insane, turn around and pedal your way back up those 15 miles for a leg-burning but rewarding workout (don't worry, there's a shuttle back to the car, too).

3) After a long, hot summer day, there’s nothing quite like sitting down, kicking back and listening to some tunes. Outdoor concerts are the perfect activity when the sun sets late and the heat of the day finally cools off. Neighborhoods all across the region are hosting concert or film series this season. The upcoming Festival at Sandpoint (it kicks off next Thursday, is always an outdoor music highlight of the summer. If you've yet to catch a Saturday night film at the South Perry Summer Theatre, August's showings include Raiders of the Lost Ark (8/1), The Hobbit (8/9), and Frozen (8/23).

4) Grab a table at one of this year's new sidewalk patios downtown. Recently-granted permits to several local establishments extend seating outside in a development that should benefit the overall culture of downtown. Sip on a cold drink at the Blind Buck’s stylishly small patio, or post up right out front of the mall at River Park Square with an iced coffee or ice cream.

5) Camping via canoe combines two of our all-time favorite things — boating on the water and sleeping under the stars. Plan a site on the lake where you can paddle to the shore to set up camp, and then hop in the water with your canoe or kayak. It’s adventurous and refreshing, and a perfect excursion for a night out in nature

Enjoy a tasty treat from Fannie's Ice Pops, often found at the South Perry Farmers Market on Thursdays. - MATT WEIGAND
  • Matt Weigand
  • Enjoy a tasty treat from Fannie's Ice Pops, often found at the South Perry Farmers Market on Thursdays.

6) Treat yourself with something cool and refreshing, like a cold brew coffee from Indaba or a fruity flavor from Fannie’s Ice Pops. These treats can quench your thirst and keep you cool when the weather's hot, but their appeal sadly decreases as the temperatures do. 

7) Two words: Cannon. Ball. No, you are never too old for this. And you shouldn’t let a summer pass by without practicing your careful form and ability to soak everyone around you with an epic splash. Hit one of the local aquatic centers for a dip in the afternoon with the whole family. If you want to avoid the chlorine, take to one of the many local lakes. Tubbs Hill on Lake Coeur d’Alene is a perfect spot for your annual cannon balling to take place.

8) Though it was just a week ago we experienced that havoc-wreaking wind storm, temperatures have once again spiked back into the high 90s, causing us to perspire like crazy all over again. Three of our favorite air-conditioned activities? The MAC’s 100 Stories exhibition, the IMAX in Riverfront Park, and Mobius Children’s Museum and Science Center.

9) Go explore our beautiful state parks on one of the upcoming Free State Park Access Days. Between Riverside State Park and Mt. Spokane State Park, all outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy biking, hiking, rafting, outdoor photography and jogging. We appreciate these beautiful parks all year long, but we really love when we can roam the area for free. Also keep an eye on our ongoing, seasonal “Outing” series for reviews and suggestions on specific outdoor adventures.

10) If there is one regret that we feel certain you shouldn’t experience, it’s missing out on the fresh and local produce from our region's bountiful farmers markets. These markets are hosted in communities across the Inland Northwest, and are a perfect opportunity to appreciate our region's agriculture while biting into a delicious piece of fruit and other fresh produce. A personal favorite is the South Perry Farmers Market on Thursday evenings, which includes artisan crafts and food carts alongside the produce.
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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Too Hot? Just Think "Winter"

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2014 at 11:13 AM

Working in customer service, many of my interactions this week have centered on the heat. Yes, we’re sweating. No, I can’t work functionally in my converted attic apartment. Maybe you’re ready for it to be over. Maybe I am too, but I annoy myself when I complain a lot, so I am taking up a new strategy. Keeping in mind that we live in an extreme climate, singing “Turn, Turn, Turn” in your head might be a good first step. If you’re like me, it’s not enough. It’s time to turn to magical thinking and self-hypnosis.

If you’ve lived in Spokane for more than six months, you know about our winters, their unending fury, and their frosty air. The mist in the background of this shot from Mt. Spokane two winters ago is the air I’ve been fantasizing about today. Can you conjure up what it feels like to inhale that sharp air?

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Next, I’ll work on trying to be grateful for all of the things about winter that are lacking right now. If you were me, in January of this year taking this picture, your wool socks would be giving way to the snow that snuck in through the top of your boots. The desire to find more winter beauty to photograph would be waning in competition with the numb feeling spreading from toes to ankles and the realization that it’s a mile and a half walk back to warmth and blankets. You might stink this week, but you’re probably not numb from cold. Great news!

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In short, I’ll be going to my unhappy place a lot this week. Remembering my hatred of being cold and my impatience with winter’s stranglehold on the Inland Northwest can spark an appreciation for near-nudity, vinyl related discomfort, and hot pavement. Here are a few more visual aids for your own experiments in self-hypnosis. We’re going to get through this, Spokanites!


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Marathon swimmer attempts 34-mile swim of Lake Pend Oreille today

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2014 at 8:19 AM


While the rest of us sit inside at our air-conditioned desks or do whatever else we can to stay cool today, it's fair to say Elaine K. Howley has the most strenuous plan to beat the heat. The 45-year-old open-water swimmer is attempting a solo, non-stop swim of the length of Idaho's largest lake, Lake Pend Oreille — a total of 34 miles from the southern tip at Buttonhook Bay up to Sandpoint's City Beach in the northwest. 
Ultra-marathon swimmer Elaine K. Howley.
  • Ultra-marathon swimmer Elaine K. Howley.

If Howley is successful, she'll be the first person to do so. It's expected to take the Boston-based ultra-marathon swimmer between 17 and 20 hours to complete her journey if conditions are fair, but could take as many as 24 hours if the water is choppy. Follow Howley's progress throughout the day via the Sandpoint Online Facebook page, which is posting frequent photo and video updates of her swim. 

Howley's impressive resume includes the "Triple Crown" of ultra-marathon, open-water swims — solo crossings of the Catalina Island channel (20.4 miles), the English Channel (21 miles), and a circumnavigation of Manhattan Island (28.5 miles). Adding to her swimming skill set is certification as an ice swimmer. She completed a 1-mile swim in Boston Harbor's 41-degree water in December 2012 without a wet suit.

As she swims today, Howley is supported by an experienced boat and kayak crew, though rules of the Marathon Swimmers Federation (which she co-authored) state that a swimmer may not touch the boat or any crew members, and may not wear a wetsuit. The latter shouldn't be an issue as Lake Pend Oreille averages a surface temp of 65-70 degrees this time of year.

The marathon swim is in part helping to promote the upcoming Long Bridge Swim, a 19-year Sandpoint summer tradition that helps raise funds for swimming lessons and aquatic safety. Participants in the annual event, this year on Sat, Aug. 2, swim the length of the bridge over a 1.76-mile stretch of the lake near Sandpoint. Long Bridge Swim founder Eric Ridgway challenged Howley to swim Lake Pend Oreille to help promote aquatic recreation in the Sandpoint area and the Long Bridge event

“We have such an incredibly beautiful lake here that I am sure that we are going to have many more open water swimmers coming in the years ahead to take on the challenges of this fresh water playground,” Ridgway told Sandpoint Online.

KEOKEE PUBLISHING
  • Keokee Publishing

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Monday, July 28, 2014

PHOTOS: The First Pacific Northwest HOG Rally

Posted By on Mon, Jul 28, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Lone Wolf Harley Davidson hosted the first Pacific Northwest HOG Rally this weekend at its 11-acre complex. The rally was host to over 1,600 registered bikers, along with locals and 121 volunteers. Bands, food, beer and local vendors in the biking community were also part of the event. 

Over 1,600 riders registered their bikes at Lone Wolf Harley Davidson for the Pacific Northwest HOG Rally. - MATT WEIGAND
  • Matt Weigand
  • Over 1,600 riders registered their bikes at Lone Wolf Harley Davidson for the Pacific Northwest HOG Rally.

Suzzi, a stuffed monkey, belonging to Fred Taylor, always sits on the back of his motorcycle. - MATT WEIGAND
  • Matt Weigand
  • Suzzi, a stuffed monkey, belonging to Fred Taylor, always sits on the back of his motorcycle.

Becky Rohwer, left, ride leader, demonstrates to the bikers the hand signals that everyone will use. - MATT WEIGAND
  • Matt Weigand
  • Becky Rohwer, left, ride leader, demonstrates to the bikers the hand signals that everyone will use.

Over 1,000 motorcycles sit on the grass at Lone Wolf Harley Davidson while their owners enjoy the Pacific Northwest HOG Rally. - MATT WEIGAND
  • Matt Weigand
  • Over 1,000 motorcycles sit on the grass at Lone Wolf Harley Davidson while their owners enjoy the Pacific Northwest HOG Rally.

A rider fixes his jacket before he approaches the start of the "slow race," a race where riders drive as slowly as possible on a set course. - MATT WEIGAND
  • Matt Weigand
  • A rider fixes his jacket before he approaches the start of the "slow race," a race where riders drive as slowly as possible on a set course.

About 170 riders took part in the final ride of the Pacific Northwest HOG Rally at Lone Wolf Harley Davidson. - MATT WEIGAND
  • Matt Weigand
  • About 170 riders took part in the final ride of the Pacific Northwest HOG Rally at Lone Wolf Harley Davidson.

A band preforms for the crowd at Lone Wolf Harley Davidson for the Pacific Northwest Hog Rally. - MATT WEIGAND
  • Matt Weigand
  • A band preforms for the crowd at Lone Wolf Harley Davidson for the Pacific Northwest Hog Rally.

Lone Wolf Harley Davidson played host to the Pacific Northwest HOG Rally and over 1,600 registered riders. - MATT WEIGAND
  • Matt Weigand
  • Lone Wolf Harley Davidson played host to the Pacific Northwest HOG Rally and over 1,600 registered riders.

Carolyn Fritz, of Phoenix, has her boot polished by Angie Spencer of Black Sheep, Harley Davidsons For Christ, at Lone Wolf Harley Davidson. - MATT WEIGAND
  • Matt Weigand
  • Carolyn Fritz, of Phoenix, has her boot polished by Angie Spencer of Black Sheep, Harley Davidsons For Christ, at Lone Wolf Harley Davidson.

Volunteer Jake Varela flips burgers at Lone Wolf Harley Davidson for the Pacific Northwest HOG Rally. - MATT WEIGAND
  • Matt Weigand
  • Volunteer Jake Varela flips burgers at Lone Wolf Harley Davidson for the Pacific Northwest HOG Rally.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Inlander and Time magazine: Our homage

Posted By on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 1:00 PM

We wanted to acknowledge, for those not paying close attention, that this week's Al French cover is an homage to Time magazine. We saw their cover design on May 19 for another strong character, and we simply couldn't resist making a version of our own. (No, we don't think Putin and French have much in common, besides being ambitious and powerful in their own way.) Kudos to the Inlander's art director, Chris Bovey.  
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

PHOTOS: Cowboys, calves and wild horses at the Cheney Rodeo

Posted By on Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Hundreds of people gathered under the hot Cheney sun to watch the Cheney Rodeo on Sunday, July 13. Fans cheered and yelled as brave cowboys rode wild horses, roped calves and took down bulls.

Barely holding on at the Cheney Rodeo. - MATT WEIGAND
  • Matt Weigand
  • Barely holding on at the Cheney Rodeo.

A cowboy chases a calf, in which he will rope and tie up in the fastest time. - MATT WEIGAND
  • Matt Weigand
  • A cowboy chases a calf, in which he will rope and tie up in the fastest time.

10-year-old May Withrow, center, watches the Cheney Rodeo with her father, Al. - MATT WEIGAND
  • Matt Weigand
  • 10-year-old May Withrow, center, watches the Cheney Rodeo with her father, Al.

A cowboy jumps off his horse and takes down this bull by the horns. - MATT WEIGAND
  • Matt Weigand
  • A cowboy jumps off his horse and takes down this bull by the horns.

Flying high. - MATT WEIGAND
  • Matt Weigand
  • Flying high.

The Armed Forces display the flags. - MATT WEIGAND
  • Matt Weigand
  • The Armed Forces display the flags.

Katherine Merck, Miss Spokane Interstate Rodeo - MATT WEIGAND
  • Matt Weigand
  • Katherine Merck, Miss Spokane Interstate Rodeo

The Cheney Rodeo Flag Team rides into the BiMart Arena with the flags of the companies who have sponsored the Rodeo. - MATT WEIGAND
  • Matt Weigand
  • The Cheney Rodeo Flag Team rides into the BiMart Arena with the flags of the companies who have sponsored the Rodeo.

... Just a little bit longer... - MATT WEIGAND
  • Matt Weigand
  • ... Just a little bit longer...

Family time with the Gerards. - MATT WEIGAND
  • Matt Weigand
  • Family time with the Gerards.

Two herders ride to help a cowboy off of his horse. - MATT WEIGAND
  • Matt Weigand
  • Two herders ride to help a cowboy off of his horse.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

CAT FRIDAY: Too many cats

Posted By on Fri, Jul 11, 2014 at 4:42 PM


Today's post isn't going to be the most uplifting, but this information needs to be shared.

There are too many cats in Spokane.

During the first week of the month, between July 1-6, the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Services (SCRAPS) took in a total of 234 animals — 145 cats and 89 dogs. Many of the dogs were brought in following the Fourth of July fireworks, and a large percentage have since been reclaimed because their owners had the foresight to microchip or ID tag their pets. Yet, during the same 6-day period last year, SCRAPS took in roughly half as many animals — 43 dogs and 59 cats. 

The cats, unfortunately, haven't been as lucky as their canine cohorts. SCRAPS moved into its brand new, centrally-located facility (6815 E. Trent Ave.) about a month ago — a facility that includes 100 cat kennels; twice as many as its former building — but with all these new feline residents, the shelter's cat room is full. A video by KHQ news shows just what that's like, as cats beginning crying out for attention as soon as the photographer and SCRAPS director Nancy Hill walk into the room. 
Molly (4220) is a sweet, friendly adult calico currently waiting for a home at SCRAPS. - COURTESY OF SCRAPS
  • Courtesy of SCRAPS
  • Molly (4220) is a sweet, friendly adult calico currently waiting for a home at SCRAPS.

In the video, Hill credits the recent influx to one thing: owners are not spaying and neutering their cats. Though it is indeed kitten season, and all the kittens ending up in shelters are irresistibly cute, adorable and playful, they're going to grow up and many of them, sadly, will end up back in a shelter.

There is a little bit of silver lining in this unfortunate situation. Earlier today SCRAPS shared on its Facebook page that 58 total dogs and cats have been adopted since the shelter announced an ongoing adoption special to help find homes for its wave of new residents. From now until Sun, July 13, all animals — dogs, cats, puppies and kittens — have their adoption fees waived. Adoptees just pay the $15 cat or $25 dog licensing fee for their new pet. You really can't find a better deal. All pets come spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. The regular adoption fee for cats under 6 months is $62.70; cats older than that are $40 and all dogs are $87.04. SCRAPS is open tonight until 5:30 pm, tomorrow from 10 am-5:30 pm and Sunday from 10 am-5 pm.

This post might have raised some questions about what to do if you find a homeless animal, like a litter of kittens that seem to be living outdoors on their own. Back at the beginning of "kitten season" we featured some local shelter staff's tips on what to do if you find homeless kittens.

Just yesterday, an Inlander staffer found a tiny grey kitten wandering around her front yard panting in the heat. He's luckier than many other kittens — he's already spoken for and saw a vet this morning who gave him a mostly clean bill of health. The first and best thing to do if you find a kitten, like Inlander staffer Gail did yesterday, is to ask around your neighborhood to see if anyone's missing a cat. Posting a "found" notice in on Craigslist with details about the cat and photos is another way to try and reunite the cat with its family. While you're at it, scroll through the "lost" pet posting to see if any match the description, too.

If you're not able to house the cat while trying to find its owners, you can take the animal to SCRAPS where it will be impounded and also scanned for a microchip. Unfortunately, the chances of it being reunited with an owner after being brought the shelter are staggeringly low. Less than 5 percent of cats entering shelters end up being reunited with their owner, compared to 26 percent of dogs. 

The bottom line is — if you're able — do as much in your power to help a lost pet find its owner if the animal doesn't have a tag, microchip or a searching owner.

Pet overpopulation is a shared issue in every community. Encourage people you know to spay and neuter their pets, and to get a microchip or collar for their pets if they let them outside, even supervised. You never know when accidents may strike. If money is an issue, there are many resources to help paying for a spay/neuter surgery, not limited to: SCRAPS's free spay/neuter vouchersSpokAnimal's and the Spokane Humane Society's low-cost clinics; along with the many services offered by Pet Savers.
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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

S’mores marshmallows toasted or torched? What you told us

Posted By on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 10:41 AM

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This week’s Outdoors Issue inspired our latest entirely unscientific food preference poll: What’s your s’more style — marshmallow carefully toasted or intentionally engulfed in flame?

A reminder, first of all, that if you have intentions to go make s’mores around a rustic campfire somewhere in the Inland Northwest this summer, check for burn bans and fire rules first.

Now, the results: Maybe it’s impatience or maybe we just enjoy setting things on fire, but the majority of comments were in favor of marshmallows purposely set ablaze.

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A number of commenters volunteered a preference for the other ingredients, too, with suggestions of Oreos instead of graham crackers and the addition of Nutella. Mr. Goodbar was suggested as a chocolate of choice, but the most frequent recommendation was to use a Reese’s peanut butter cup as the chocolate layer.

On the spectrum of toastiness, some say they go for flames more than once on a single marshmallow. The most specific and intriguing response in the “Both/Depends” category came from Vintage Hill:

Depends on the wine you are having. A nice late harvest Semillon made dry likes the golden brown version with a milk chocolate bar. Same with a Cab. Sauv. but change the chocolate to a darker bar, even for some very tannic CS’s bittersweet is the call. Burn it and you are in Cab Franc country all the way.

We've previously tallied responses on hot vs. iced coffee, leftover pizza and favorite fries condiment from Zip's.


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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Worth the effort: Testing out Riverfront Park's free Wi-Fi

Posted By on Wed, Jul 2, 2014 at 3:44 PM

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Offering 45 free minutes daily, Riverfront Park's new, outdoor wireless Internet service is worth figuring out how to set up. The park launched the new Wi-Fi services, provided by Spokane-based Ptera wireless, in time for last weekend's Hoopfest activities. The initial coverage area stretches in a triangle shape from City Hall east to the corner of the INB Performing Arts Center, and then up to the Pavilion.

After I had gone through the registration process, I was able to walk around the park and even across Spokane Falls Boulevard before losing my connection. Before you can enjoy the new hot spot though, you'll have to go through a little bit of a process. Here's our step-by-step instructions on how to get logged in.

Once "Riverfront Park Free Ptera Wifi" has been selected from your list of Wi-Fi options, the login screen should pop up.

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If your Wi-Fi setting is set to auto-login (on iOS), which it probably is, then you'll have to follow the steps shown to turn that off. After that is done, reconnecting should make a new login screen appear:

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Scroll down to register through your Facebook, Twitter or email. Once you get to the next screen, you can click "done" in the upper right corner and begin enjoying your 45 minutes of free Wi-Fi. Additional time is available to purchase. We were even able to stream videos via the connection with no problem.


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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

VIDEO: Rafting the Spokane River and this week's Outdoors Issue

Posted By on Tue, Jul 1, 2014 at 1:14 PM

We've finally gotten that hot streak of summer weather that makes it seem impossible to stay inside. To help you out the door, we will release our Outdoors Issue this week with expert advice for novice campers, the latest in outdoor gear, trip planning tips and a guide on taking better photos of the beautiful Inland Northwest. Check newsstands Thursday.

The Inlander editorial staff got into the spirit early with a soggy rafting trip down the Spokane River last week. Enjoy some of the footage our art director got by strapping a GoPro to his raft.


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