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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

VIDEO: Battle of the Cheap Eats Inlander food experts

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 2015 at 4:05 PM

One sunny afternoon, two interns went to three Spokane eateries in search of items to stump the best Inlander foodies. They brought back three deliciously cheap meals to the second floor of the Inlander building in Kendall Yards, and challenged Mike Bookey and Laura Regester's knowledge of this local fare.

They sat them down in a meeting room, blindfolded them, and pressed record. Who will be the best at determining the restaurant of origin and price of these foods? Will they miss their mouths when they eat? Is that chicken or beef? Watch and find out, and check out links to all the Cheap Eats 2015 stories below: 


New and Cheap, a roundup of great, new cheap grub options in Spokane. 
Rolling Goodies, a look at the latest food truck sweet deals
Burger Brawl, in which Inlander staffers eat every burger from Zip's at once. Every. Burger. 
Just Desserts helps you find sweet treats on the cheap. 
The Nicest Price is free, and here's where you can find free food. 
Hot and Cold, where to find great deli deals. 
Keeping It Classic. Or Not, a showdown between old-school favorites and cheap rising stars on the scene. 
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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Even Trump gaffes can't discourage Spokane native competing for Miss USA 2015

Posted By on Wed, Jul 8, 2015 at 11:06 AM

2015 Miss Washington USA, Kenzi Novell - MISSWASHINGTONUSA.COM
  • 2015 Miss Washington USA, Kenzi Novell

There's been quite a few headlines regarding the Miss USA pageant lately. With Donald Trump in the spotlight for his racist remarks and the announcement of NBC's decision to not air the show, the actual contestants have been overshadowed by controversy.  

Normally, we wouldn't care, but in this year's pageant, Washington State is represented by Spokane native and Gonzaga University graduate Kenzi Novell. This year's Miss Washington was born and raised in Spokane, and has spent the majority of her life living here. She attended Lewis and Clark High School and then went on to Gonzaga, where she majored in public relations. This hometown gal completed her first year of college at the University of Washington, but said she was drawn back to GU because of the small class sizes and the community feel. "You're not just a number there" Novell said of Gonzaga.  

During her time in college, the 24-year-old Novell was part of the Gonzaga Bomb Squad, a hip-hop dance team that performs regularly at men's and women's basketball games, as well as events like new student orientation and flash mobs at Riverfront Park. Novell claims that she is country girl at heart, but wanted to try something new, so she tried out for the hip-hop group over the traditional dance team. 

It is actually through dancing that Kenzi got involved in pageants in the first place. When she was younger, her dance teacher taught choreography for a pageant that needed participants. When she got word of the event, Novell says her competitiveness got the best of her and she had to try out. Now, 17 pageants later, she's heading to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to compete for the national title of Miss USA. 

On TV its seems like everything is so fluid. We see all of the beautiful pageants queens under the lights and in front of the cameras, but is there ever anything that goes wrong behind the scenes? Novell said she's had a few mishaps — the main one being a white, see-through swimsuit that she didn't realize was translucent until the day she was supposed to wear it. After running to the store and sewing in an extra layer, Novell said she fixed everything and was able to continue on like nothing was wrong. 

Novell says she is looking forward to this pageant, even amidst the drama from Miss USA owner Donald Trump. After hearing the news that NBC and Univision would not air the show, Novell said, "It was a surprise and it was kind of unfortunate. But we [Miss USA participants] all rallied together and will make the most of it." She says she is very thankful for Reelz, the independent TV network, for picking up the show so that her family here in Washington that can't make it to Baton Rouge can still watch the show. 

Once all is done and the pageant has wrapped up, Novell says she can't wait to return to Spokane. Asked the first thing she will do once she gets back, she immediately said she will stop by Jacob's Java on the South Hill for one of their specialty cheese bagels. 

The Miss USA pageant will air on Reelz on July 12 at 5 pm Pacific time. Here's a look at Novell's official contestant video: 

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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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Friday, June 26, 2015

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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Friday, June 19, 2015

You've seen our marijuana survey, now tell us your story from Year 1 of legalization

Posted By on Fri, Jun 19, 2015 at 3:55 PM

Many thanks to those of you who took the time to fill out our totally unscientific survey about Washington's first year with legal, recreational marijuana stores. If you haven't done it yet, please do! You can find our marijuana survey right here, and it's just 15 questions long, so it won't take long at all. And it's totally anonymous. 

In addition to the survey, we'd like to hear your stories, in your words, about the first year of legal recreational marijuana in Washington — the good, the bad, the ugly, and the hilarious. 

Did you learn anything new? Did you find out edibles are NOT your thing? Did you find a pot brownie perfect for getting through Thanksgiving dinner with the family — or for sharing with grandma? Did you meet someone famous on a munchie run? 

Go right here and tell us your story
for potential use in an upcoming issue of the Inlander

Any stories we use will be anonymous, but as you'll see, we need your name and email to confirm. Again, go right here and write us a tale of your experiences with legal pot the past year. 

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As Spokane city pools open Monday, SRHD launches Pool Safe campaign

Posted By on Fri, Jun 19, 2015 at 2:45 PM

Witter Aquatics Center
  • Witter Aquatics Center

The first official day of summer is this Sunday, and that also means the official opening of Spokane pools isn’t far behind — in fact, it’s just a day later. All City of Spokane pools open on Monday, June 22, and it’s about time! Since the weather forecast isn't looking to cool off any time soon, get ready to suit up and pack your floaties. But before heading out to one of the six Spokane city pools, don't overlook safety.

As summer begins the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) is launching a Pool Safe campaign, reminding everyone of the risks at pools. Safety both at home and at public pools is critical, even more so with the littlest water splashers. In the United States, drowning is a leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 4. But don’t overlook someone older. For people of all ages, drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death. While these numbers sound scary, drowning is entirely preventable, and awareness is the first step to prevention.

The Pool Safe campaign asks swimmers and parents to realize that lifeguards can’t realistically always watch every child — responsible supervision from an adult or guardian is key. Bring lifejackets for kids who aren’t great swimmers and teach them to stay away from the pool’s suction drain. Campaign material from SRHD illustrates other important tips for swimming at home and at a public pool. 

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Take our marijuana survey! Win free food!

Posted By on Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 10:00 AM


Washington state is coming up on the one-year anniversary of recreational marijuana stores first opening their doors. The Inlander would like to know about the habits and attitudes of our readers when it comes to all things pot-related, so we put together a little survey. It's a short one, just 15 questions, and all your responses will be anonymous — although, if you're game for talking to us about your experiences during the first year of recreational legalization, there's a place for you to indicate as much at the end of the survey

We'll be collecting responses for the next two weeks, so tell your friends and pass it around! We'll also be picking four random responders to win $25 gift cards to some great local restaurants. 

You can start the survey right here!
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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Spokane's downtown growth as shown by Google Street View

Posted By on Tue, Jun 16, 2015 at 5:21 PM

Though Spokane is nowhere near the level of urban gentrification happening at the moment in its larger, Pacific Northwest siblings Portland and Seattle, we've all taken notice of the changes in our downtown core and the surrounding neighborhoods. Besides the obvious impact on the region's economic health, urban development like the projects featured here are making the Lilac City a more desirable place to live, work and visit.

To highlight many of these changes, the Inlander went out to capture the "after" images of several Spokane buildings and sites that have been developed, renovated or restored in the past decade. Using Google Street View's historical image feature, we grabbed the "before" images of these sites to offer a side-by-side comparison. This project isn't comprehensive yet, and unquestionably may become an ongoing, occasional feature on the blog. We're open to suggestions readers have of other recently changed places in their neighborhoods; send them to [email protected]

Kendall Yards

Remember when the Yards was just an empty stretch of nothing? We sure do, as the Inlander was one of the first to move in to the new downtown neighborhood, back in the summer of 2013, on the north bank of the Spokane River. With a front seat to all the change here since, we've seen tons of housing added, the construction of the new Centennial Trail connection to downtown and around a dozen or so other local businesses and restaurants moved in and joined us. 

Above: Before the Kendall Yards development sprung out of the old railroad yard grounds, in September 2011, it looked like this. - GOOGLE
  • Google
  • Above: Before the Kendall Yards development sprung out of the old railroad yard grounds, in September 2011, it looked like this.

Today, the entrance to Kendall Yards at Monroe and Summit Parkway looks like this, but more changes are soon to come, including a traffic light. - CHEY SCOTT
  • Chey Scott
  • Today, the entrance to Kendall Yards at Monroe and Summit Parkway looks like this, but more changes are soon to come, including a traffic light.

Above: In October 2013, this was the view outside the Inlander's front door on Summit Parkway. - GOOGLE
  • Google
  • Above: In October 2013, this was the view outside the Inlander's front door on Summit Parkway.

This is the view we see today, and Kendall Yards isn't done growing yet. - CHEY SCOTT
  • Chey Scott
  • This is the view we see today, and Kendall Yards isn't done growing yet.

Batch Bakeshop
Just a bit north of the Kendall Yards core, the historically troubled West Central neighborhood is seeing some promising revitalization, too. While not quite the definition of gentrification just yet, the neighborhood has already begun to benefit from the arrival of its southern neighbor, Kendall Yards. Last fall, local baker Mika Maloney debuted her storefront for Batch Bakeshop, which had been a vendor at the South Perry Farmers Market since 2011. The quaint shop now has a home — a formerly vacant, early 1900s building at 2023 W. Dean — that absolutely oozes character, charm and delicious aromas.

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Free rides! Live tunes!: "Thank You Spokane" celebration at Riverfront Park Saturday

Posted By on Thu, Jun 4, 2015 at 10:25 AM

Riverfront Park is hosting a "Thank You Spokane" celebration on Saturday.
  • Riverfront Park is hosting a "Thank You Spokane" celebration on Saturday.

Love a day at the park, specifically Riverfront Park? This Saturday is designed for people like you, as the City of Spokane Parks and Recreation Division throws a day-long "Thank You Spokane" party that includes free rides all day for the first 10,000 people, as well as raffles, $1 hot dogs, live music from local artists and a beer garden. It all gets started at 10:30 am and runs until 6 pm. 

You might be thinking, "Thank me? For what?" Well, nearly 70 percent of you (at least those of you who voted) spent Election Day last November helping pass a  $64-million bond geared toward a number of improvements that will revitalize downtown's sprawling playland. Those improvements are slated to begin after Labor Day. 

In a release this week, Park Board President Chris Wright called the event "our way of expressing our gratitude to the community for supporting the revitalization of the centerpiece of our community." 

So, what's in store? Here's the schedule for the day: 

10:30 am — Attendees can get their wristbands for riding the park's attractions all day long, as well as collect raffle tickets for prizes including a park season pass, five aquatic passes and five passes for 18 holes of golf at all four city courses
10:45 am — City and park leaders speak
10:55 am — The raffle is held for those prizes
11 am — The park attractions open and you can grab $1 hot dogs and a special edition No-Li beer at the Fountain Cafe as the Sehome High School Band performs. 
1 pm — Hear music from local bands Fusbol, Left Over Soul (L.O.S.) and Nu Jack City with Max Daniels
6 pm — The party is over, but there is plenty else going on around town, like Cherry Poppin' Daddies at the Red Lion Hotel at the Park starting at 6 pm.  UPDATE: Cherry Poppin' Daddies has been canceled. 
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Sunday, May 31, 2015

How to love and date like the Bachelorette

Posted By on Sun, May 31, 2015 at 9:03 AM

JJ tries to impress Kaitlyn with his sense of humor on a stand up comedy date - PEOPLE.COM
  • JJ tries to impress Kaitlyn with his sense of humor on a stand up comedy date
Kaitlyn Bristowe commenced with the dating on ABC's the Bachelorette Monday night. Didn't have time to watch? Here's a few lessons about love and dating inspired by the episode:

Have a simple back story. Something that can be boiled down into a single word, say “dad” or “orphan” or “widower”. Don’t have one? Use a gimmick, like arriving in a cupcake with wheels, instead. Then, you can be “cupcake”.

Share the long version of the back story, in its entirety, as soon as possible. Have you had something totally awful or tragic happen? Just put it all out there on the table. First date, first conversation, whenever. Divorce? Death? Multiple broken legs? Yep, these are all hurdles surmounted and character builders and — most importantly in the Bachelorette context — sympathy-getters. Worst case scenario, your date won’t be able to deal with your past. Then you can be like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ “guess she/he just couldn’t accept me for me” and move on.

Kisses are better on rooftops. Kaitlyn says kissing on the rooftop is “next level”. Who is even going to argue with that? One might even say top level. Above top level. Oh, the possibilities.

Act REALLY EXCITED about everything! No one wants to think the date they planned is lame. If someone is taking you on a date, be excited. Done it before? Don’t even go there. It leads to all kinds of messy conversations no sane person wants to have on a first date. Or ever. Kaitlyn takes the excitement thing up a notch: Every date she goes on is the BEST DATE SHE’S EVER BEEN ON, in her entire life. Boxing? YES! Underwater photo shoot? YESSSS!!! Stand up comedy with comedian Amy Schumer? YES, YES, YES!

Wait at least a month to start an argument about… anything! If, during the second conversation you’ve ever had, you get into a bonafide argument about nothing…. ABORT. Things will probably not work out under any circumstances.

Dating is better with alcohol. Getting to know people is infinitely more entertaining with alcohol. Say no to coffee, yes to drinks.

Want to date like Kaitlyn? You can do pretty similar stuff right here in Spokane.

Boxing: The first date involved eight guys, Kaitlyn and a rendezvous at an abandoned-looking warehouse that turned out to be a boxing gym.

“Boxing is a lot like relationships: it takes focus, discipline, commitment,” says coach Laila Ali. Also, sometimes you get knocked out. Get back up. Recover. Or need emergency services.

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