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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Spokane Humane Society's "Pawlitics" puts twist on election to help pets

Posted By on Thu, Oct 13, 2016 at 4:54 PM

Cat person or dog person? Every vote for your species counts!
  • Cat person or dog person? Every vote for your species counts!

Put aside your differences regarding the two-legged candidates running for presidential office this election cycle. The real question is at hand: Are you for the Democats, or the Repuplicans? 

For its newest fundraising and community awareness campaign, the nonprofit Spokane Humane Society is asking the community to cast their votes for the four-legged species of their preference. (Full disclosure: I volunteer there on a semi-regular basis to snuggle and socialize cats; and my adorable floofy cat Dellie is an SHS alumna... which means you also might guess which party I'm for here).

The main goal of the campaign — launched earlier this week at Pawlitics.net — is to get the public to interact with the shelter in a fun way, while learning more about its mission and the need for financial support to carry out that mission. Another angle of the program is to emphasize responsible pet-ownership behaviors, which in turn helps lower the number of animals in shelters.

"This political, two-legged campaign is not something anyone is excited about, so in an attempt to grab onto some of the fever that's been boiling over, we thought this would be a nice way to have a laugh and take a break," says Jenna Carroll, Spokane Humane Society outreach and volunteer coordinator.

On Pawlitics.net, users can vote for their favorite Democat or Repuplican party candidate vying for positions like "Senat-grr" (this week's featured race) and "Secretary of Plate" (one of the races to come).

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Workaholics Adam DeVine heading to Spokane on standup tour

Posted By on Tue, Oct 11, 2016 at 10:00 AM

adamdevine_spokane_web.jpg

Workaholics fans of the Inland Northwest rejoice! Adam DeVine is coming to Spokane in the spring on his "Weird Life" standup tour. 

Granted, some of you might know him not from Workaholics, but from his roles in the Pitch Perfect movies, as a nanny on Modern Family or from the recent Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. Whatever the case, Devine will be doing a one-man show on Wednesday, March 1, at the Bing Crosby Theater. 

Tickets for DeVine go on sale Friday at 10 am via TicketsWest outlets and the Knitting Factory. They are $39.50 for floor seats, $29.50 for balcony, and there will be a limited number of early-bird tickets available for $19.50. Head over to DeVine's Facebook page for more info on that, although I had a hard time finding it. Try calling the 800-325-7328 and ask the TicketsWest folks for the deal on early-bird tickets. 

Here's a bit of DeVine paying tribute to another act that recently played Spokane: 

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Attention Gilmore Girls fans: Luke's Diner comes to Spokane Wednesday

Posted By on Tue, Oct 4, 2016 at 2:10 PM

Expect Indaba Coffee to look a little different come tomorrow morning. - FACEBOOK
  • Facebook
  • Expect Indaba Coffee to look a little different come tomorrow morning.

That's right Gilmore Girls fans, a small piece of Stars Hollow comes to Spokane Wednesday as Indaba Coffee transforms into Luke's Diner. As part of a national coffee/TV mashup celebration, honoring the day Gilmore Girls originally aired back in 2000 on the now-defunct WB network, Indaba is one of only 250 coffee shops in the country selected to participate in this event, and the only one in Eastern Washington.

In coordination with Netflix — the streaming service is rebooting the classic show with four extra-long episodes premiering the day after Thanksgiving — Indaba Coffee plans to offer 250 free cups of coffee between 7 am and noon at both locations (downtown and in Kendall Yards). 

Obviously, you can't expect the gruff and plaid-clad Luke Danes (Scott Patterson) to be there in the flesh, but the baristas will most likely be decked out in hats and aprons and the coffee cups and sleeves will have an extra special treatment. 

This is a great time to sit down with friends and family alike to discuss your predictions for the upcoming Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. Will Rory choose one of her ex-boyfriends (Jess, obviously), or will she forge ahead as a driven journalist without any man by her side? Are Luke and Lorelai finally married? Will Emily ever stop being annoying? Does Lane ever get to leave Stars Hallow? More coffee, please! 

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Comedian, Emmy winner Louie Anderson heading to Spokane in March

Posted By on Tue, Oct 4, 2016 at 12:33 PM

Louie Anderson headlines The Bing on March 30.
  • Louie Anderson headlines The Bing on March 30.

Long-time standup comedy favorite and recent Emmy winner Louie Anderson is heading to Spokane for a show at the Bing Crosby Theater in March. 

The show is on Thursday, March 30, and tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 am via TicketsWest outlets, the Knitting Factory website or by calling 800-325-7328. Tickets are $28.50 for balcony seats, and $36.50 on the floor. 

Anderson made his debut on The Tonight Show in 1984 and immediately became a favorite of host Johnny Carson. Aside from his non-stop tours doing standup, largely about his Minnesota upbringing and oversized family, Anderson created a hit children's show in the mid-90s, Life With Louie, and also was host of Family Feud for a few years. 

Most recently, Anderson won a 2016 Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role on Baskets, playing the mother of twin sons played by Zach Galifinakis. The man has range!

Here's a bit of Anderson doing his standup thing: 


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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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