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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).

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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.)

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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

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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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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

On day Chris Cornell plays Spokane, first-ever Temple of the Dog tour announced

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 11:03 AM

Chris Cornell plays Spokane tonight on his 52nd birthday.
  • Chris Cornell plays Spokane tonight on his 52nd birthday.

Pretty big day for long-time Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, owner of one of the best voices in rock. 

First and foremost, of course, is his sold-out headlining show at The Fox in Spokane tonight. If you don't have tickets, there are some bumping around the internet at jacked-up prices

Second, it's Cornell's 52nd birthday today, so expect a massive round of "Happy Birthday" at the show tonight, even if I have to start it myself. (Here's a Billboard article celebrating Cornell's "10 Times His Voice Blew Us Away.")

The biggest news, though, is the announcement of the first-ever tour by Temple of the Dog, the circa 1990 Seattle supergroup made up of Cornell and his Pearl Jam buddies Mike McCready, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament, as well as drummer Matt Cameron, who plays in both Soundgarden and Pearl Jam.

The group famously came to be in the aftermath of the death of Andrew Wood, Mother Love Bone's singer and friend to all involved, and was best known for introducing much of the world to Eddie Vedder for the first time on his duet with Cornell on "Hunger Strike:"

The tour is only hitting five cities, and three are on the West Coast: Los Angeles, San Francisco, and best for us Inland Northwesterners, Seattle on Nov. 20. 

There's a special ticket pre-sale for fans signed up to the Ten Club, Soundgarden and Chris Cornell email lists up and running and running through July 27. Tickets go on sale to the general public at noon on Friday, July 29. So jump on there if you want to make the trip from Spokane. 

$1.50 from each ticket sold will benefit the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation and an additional $1.50 will benefit Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy Foundation.
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Friday, July 15, 2016

Rounding up the weirdest headlines from the past week of Pokémon Go madness

Posted By on Fri, Jul 15, 2016 at 1:44 PM

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Since its launch last week, the entire world has been utterly transfixed by the new phenomenon that is Pokémon Go.

Here at the Inlander, we headed out to meet Spokane's huge fanbase of players, easy to spot all over town with phones held in front of them, taking pictures of imaginary beings unseen to the rest of us.

Naturally, the free-to-play game has spurned countless headlines, reporting positive effects like getting video game junkies off their butts and outside, as well as the more unfortunate news — people sustaining injuries in the process of upping their Pokémon numbers. Even when you think you've heard it all, some of the following headlines we came across are pretty astounding:

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Out and about in Riverfront Park with Spokane's Pokémon Go players

Posted By on Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 4:28 PM

Tyler Zoesch and Daniel Moreno set an in-game lure to attract Pokémon Go characters to an area of Riverfront Park. - ANDRA MOYE
  • Andra Moye
  • Tyler Zoesch and Daniel Moreno set an in-game lure to attract Pokémon Go characters to an area of Riverfront Park.

By now, you've seen them everywhere: Kids and adults of all ages, slowly meandering through the parks and neighborhoods, heads down and eyes glued to their phones. Every so often, they stop — smartphone raised as if capturing an image of some ghostly presence, unseen to observers' eyes.

Add one more Pokémon to the Pokédex. 

Since launching just a week ago, the augmented reality app Pokémon GO has taken hold of our collective attention, spurring myriad media analyses, think pieces, subreddits, Facebook groups and filling your social media feed with friends' reactions — excitement for finally catching the elusive Pikachu, as well as incredulity that the game is seemingly everywhere (it actually is).

A PokeStop near the Post Street Bridge in downtown Spokane provides free, in-game resources like Poke Balls (needed to catch Pokemon) and Poke Eggs.
  • A PokeStop near the Post Street Bridge in downtown Spokane provides free, in-game resources like Poke Balls (needed to catch Pokemon) and Poke Eggs.
For the uninitiated, Pokémon GO uses a Google Maps overlay to create a reality-rooted game world, in which actual landmarks, businesses and other places become map points that serve as in-game locations, where players must physically travel to "collect" Pokémon, level up their characters and find in-game resources. Your phone's GPS system then locates you inside the game world so you know where to find these map points. Also, it's free to download and play on Android and iOS devices.

Whether you're on board or not, the game has truly ignited the pop culture world. So earlier today, several of us here at the Inlander decided to get out and meet some of the local players getting into the game, while also catching a few Pokés of our own. We headed to Riverfront Park, a hotbed for players eager to nab the other-dimensional Pokémon who pop up along its paved paths with regularity. 

First, we run into Tony Mowatt, who's been playing the game for the past several days, logging between 8-9 hours, he estimates.

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Friday, July 1, 2016

THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Blitzen Trapper, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Radkey and Fourth of July

Posted By on Fri, Jul 1, 2016 at 11:47 AM


Are you staying in town too this weekend? Or did you just stumble into town? Here are happenin’ music shows you’ll want to check out in the next few days.

FRIDAY
Blitzen Trapper keeps on touring, and this time they're in Sandpoint.
  • Blitzen Trapper keeps on touring, and this time they're in Sandpoint.
If it seems that Blitzen Trapper is always touring through Spokane, know that the Portland-based rootsy rock act is here about once a year … or more. Blitzen Trapper just hit up the Bartlett, but if you missed that show, it’s time to haul buns to the Hive in Sandpoint tonight. Cost is $15 and it all begins at 9 pm.

Radkey, who play the Bartlett tonight, doesn’t want you to think of their rockin’ three-piece as some sort of shtick. Yes, they’re three brothers — Dee, Isaiah and Solomon Radke — and they did start the band five years ago as teens, but they mostly want you to notice their extremely catchy garage punk tunes. Originally from St. Joseph, Missouri, where they were home-schooled, listening to their father’s punk-filled record collection over and over, the group’s career took off in 2013, when after a South By Southwest festival performance, they were signed to tour Europe. Last year’s debut, Dark Black Makeup, shows off the band’s strengths — Dee’s beautiful baritone, paired with driving rhythms and memorable melodies. Cost is $10 at the door at 8 pm.

SATURDAY

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