News

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Important things to remember when it gets way too hot this weekend

Posted By on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 2:38 PM

The latest weather forecast for the next seven days has projected highs a bit lower than initially expected. - KXLY
  • KXLY
  • The latest weather forecast for the next seven days has projected highs a bit lower than initially expected.

Hide yo' kids, hide yo' self — from the sun's ungodly heat, that is — 'cause it's going to be pretty unbearably hot this weekend, and into next week. Pretty shitty timing considering it's HOOPFEST, and IRONMAN weekend, arguably the biggest outdoor sports weekend of the year for the Inland Northwest.

Let's also not forget that all of Washington state was declared in a drought back in May, due to non-existent snowpack levels in the mountains, which now means many Northwest streams and rivers are at all-time flow lows

To combat the weekend heat, Ironman organizations have moved the start time of the race up a half-hour, from 6 am to 5:30 am. Plus, there are many places to escape the heat-radiating asphalt in downtown Spokane if you're heading to Hoopfest.

The Spokane Convention Center hosts Spokane Fanfest, offering free access to the center's restrooms and tables (you can also pay to rent a table or a room). Food trucks, a beer garden and live music round out the weekend event, open Friday through Sunday.

Meanwhile, the downtown branch of Inland Northwest Bank (INB) is also opening its doors to the public as a place to cool off between games, but note that you do need to pick up a ticket to gain entry from an INB location before the event. Tickets are only available on a first-come, first-served basis since space is limited. The hospitality area is offering free food, beverages, massages, a kid's area and athlete warm-up zone.

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One thing that isn't getting more expensive: sex-for-hire

Posted By on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 11:08 AM

ECONOMIST
  • Economist
Around the world, sex workers are charging less per hour for their services than they were a decade ago, according to an analysis by the Economist. Last year the Economist compiled 190,000 sex-worker profiles from review forums. They found that the average price per hour for sex had fallen from $340 in 2006 to $260 in 2014. Street-walking prostitutes typically charge a lot less for their services and their customers don’t rate them on persnickety review sites, so they would likely not be included in the average. The Spokane Police Department's ongoing enforcement efforts along East Sprague allow a peek at what sex sells for locally:

Officer Caitlyn Anderson was working decoy duty May 8. "My duties were to pose as a prostitute working the area in front of Pete's Auto and being available for any potential customers," writes Anderson in her incident report. At 8:40 pm a man pedaled by on a bicycle.
"You working?" the guy on the bike asked.
Anderson ignored him; he came closer.
"How much for a BJ?"
"What?" said Anderson.
"I'll give you $5 for a blow job."
Anderson agreed to meet him in the alley and signaled for the backup team to take the bicycle-riding cheapskate into custody.

An hour later, Officer Marie Rosenthal was pretending to be a prostitute in front of Pete's Auto when a Ford Mustang cruised by, slow. The driver nodded at Rosenthal, circled the block and stopped in the middle of the road. Rosenthal walked over to the car.
"You want a date?" she asked.
He did.
"I opened the passenger door and asked him if he wanted a blow job or were we going around the world," writes Rosenthal in her report.
"A hundred fifty for a BJ," said the driver. He then refused her invitation to meet in the alley and sped away to be taken into custody.

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MB: Supreme Court upholds Obamacare, Hoopfest brackets and the Affleck Curse

Posted By on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 7:44 AM


HERE


Adrian Dominguez officially resigned from the Police Ombudsman Commission Wednesday, but he did not go quietly. (Inlander)

A Sprague teenager pleaded guilty to kidnapping a local toddler. (Spokesman-Review)

The Ironman Coeur d'Alene triathlon is moving to August next year, and there will be a new triathlon in its traditional weekend. (Inlander)

Hoopfest released its brackets for 2015. (KREM)

THERE

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, once again, rejecting the argument of a conservative group that only people in states who set up their own health care exchanges should get federal subsidies for health care. (Washington Post)

President Obama teamed up with Republicans to get the trade legislation he wanted, but at what cost? (New York Times)

Ben Affleck took down another franchise—this time his performance got PBS's Finding Your Roots suspended. (BBC)

The Boston Marathon bomber was sentenced to death Wednesday, and finally spoke to his victims. (CNN)
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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dominguez quits Ombudsman Commission: "Process has been anything but fair"

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 3:04 PM

Adrian Dominguez: Not a fan of the Office of the Police Ombudsman investigation. - EASTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY PHOTO
  • Eastern Washington University photo
  • Adrian Dominguez: Not a fan of the Office of the Police Ombudsman investigation.

Tomorrow, the City Council will hold a special session to consider the recent resignation of Adrian Dominguez from the Office of the Police Ombudsman Commission. His resignation is the third departure of the five member committee, after Kevin Berkompas and Rachel Dolezal, to come after a scathing investigation found several commission members had behaved in harassing and destructive ways. 

Adrian Dominguez, an epidemiologist with the Spokane Regional Health District who once led the writing of this huge report, was singled out several times in the report. He was accused of breaking open public meeting requirements:
Comm’r Conklin informed us that Comm’r Dominguez contacted her on May 5 in order to ensure she would be voting for the 360 Degree Evaluation proposal that was on the agenda for that evening. Comm’r Conklin advised Comm’r Dominguez wished to obtain Comm’r Conklin’s support for the proposal because he was unable to attend the meeting, but wanted to be assured there would be three affirmative votes. Without Comm’r Dominguez’ third vote the proposal could not be passed. Comm’r Conklin stated it appeared that the Named Commissioners had agreed to support the proposal before it was presented to Comm’r Conklin and Comm’r Richter at the May 5 meeting.
In particular, Dominguez was singled out for his "unprofessional" treatment of the complainant over her failure to put the reimbursement of his travel expenses ahead of other Office of the Police Ombudsman business. The clash between the two, witnesses said, became heated. 

One email from Dominguez to the whistleblower rambled angrily: 
Yes I do have a problem with your choice to put other OPO business before paperwork you received on a Friday, thus pushing it to be completed on the following Monday or Tuesday (as you cannot recall which day it was ... I'm going with Tuesday). I still have yet to received [sic] check. Again you don't seem to not [sic] acknowledge my frustration. Yes there is a lack of communication. If you did not have time to do the paperwork then you should have said so. Again, you don't seem to understand this. I don't need to talk to anyone. What's done is done, however I did not know you reported to Theresa Sanders or Tim Szambelan. So is what I'm hearing [sic], if we have a problem we need to talk with Theresa Sanders or Tim Szambelan? I will be talking with Rachel and Kevin about this matter. This process is not working and needs to be resolved.
He was also accused of bias against police officers and of using OPO resources inappropriately. 
[The complainant] reports Comm’r Dominguez began having office hours in the OPO while he was on administrative leave from the Spokane Regional Health District. Although Comm’r Dominguez insisted he was not there to “babysit” ...  his practice was to come to the OPO for several hours at time, set up his laptop and work on other matters. [The complainant] observed that on several occasions Comm’r Dominguez used the printer/copier in the OPO to make large numbers of copies for non-OPO business.

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MB: Naming WSU med school, America's homegrown terrorists, Palin unemployed

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 7:32 AM


HERE

There's an effort to name the new WSU medical school in Spokane after Elson Floyd, the school president who died over the weekend. (Spokesman-Review)

Spokane is preparing for the insane heat coming our way this weekend by setting up cooling centers for folks needing a spot to cool off. (KXLY)

Some members of the Marks family, well known to Spokane natives as the Gypsy family with long-running disputes with the city, are suing the governor, Spokane mayor and pretty much everyone else in Washington. (Inlander)

The Coeur d'Alene Ironman adjusted its schedule due to the heat wave hitting this weekend. (Inlander)

THERE

Many states are ramping up their own anti-gay laws in anticipation of the Supreme Court's gay-marriage ruling. (AlJazeera-America)

Roughly twice as many Americans have been killed on American soil by homegrown American terrorists and white supremacists than by Muslim jihadists in the years since 9/11.  

Sarah Palin and Fox News are breaking up. (CNN)
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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Spokane Home Builders Association endorses Ben Stuckart for Council President

Posted By on Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 4:20 PM


The Spokane Home Builders Association is known as being one of the most powerful conservative groups in the city of Spokane.

Last year, when former Inlander writer Heidi Groover explored the nature of the group, City Councilman Jon Snyder called them "basically an arm of the Republican party in the city." They even endorsed far-right Spokane Valley Rep. Matt Shea (and his opponent, Josh Arritola.) And they've previously endorsed John Ahern. So it's no surprise that they've endorsed Mike Fagan for Spokane City Council or Arne Woodard for Spokane Valley Council.
Spokane Home Builders Association government affairs director Michael Cathcart
  • Spokane Home Builders Association government affairs director Michael Cathcart

But it is surprising that the Home Builders opted to endorse the liberal City Council President Ben Stuckart over Ahern.

It isn't the first time the Home Builders have thrown support toward a liberal — Groover noted they gave a small donation to former Mayor Mary Verner's 2005 race for city council. And government affairs director Michael Cathcart has objected to the label of "conservative."

"It’s a non-partisan race," Stuckart says. He's clashed loudly with the home builders on issues like vesting and growth, but notes the way he and the home builders have worked together on in-fill development issues.

"I made sure to include them in the sick-leave stakeholder group," Stuckart says. "I think this does go to show that you may not align with someone — but if we can work together on bigger issues that affect Spokane, we’re all the better for it." 

But for the Home Builders, why not a dual endorsement, like with the Shea/Arritola race?

"Our endorsement committee looked at the race, and I think they tend to prefer not to do dual endorsements. We’ve done them. But we prefer not to. I think they looked at the race and said, you know, it just makes sense to support the council president, " Cathcart says. "He’s reached out to us quite a bit. We feel like we’re building a relationship with him. He’s the front-runner in the race, there’s no doubt about that."

Even on areas where they clash — as with sick leave — Cathcart appreciates the way that Stuckart has sought to include their input. And there's another reason the Home Builders endorsed Stuckart:

"Really, if we are going to see Spokane grow and flourish we’re going to have to have some sustained leadership," Cathcart says. "Hopefully we’ll have four more years of continuity."

And in a city that hasn't reelected a Mayor since 1973, continuity is a rare commodity. 

The entire endorsement is posted below. Emphasis added. 
If Spokane is going to realize any long term vision, we need sustained leadership. This means not just re-electing the Mayor, but re-electing the Council President as well. Some continuity will go a long way for our City and, despite their differences, Mayor Condon and Council President Stuckart appear to work well together. It’s no secret that, throughout his first term, Council President Stuckart and our Association haven’t always seen eye-to-eye. However, we have found more and more willingness by the Council President to work with us and ensure our points of view are part of the conversation.

It’s our desire to continue exploring the opportunities to work with the Council President, especially in the areas we agree, such as: publicly opposing Envision Spokane’s anti-business/anti-growth initiative proposals; working to develop an available and buildable lands study; and efforts to incentivize in-fill development and allow urban style projects in and around our centers and corridors. In addition, the Council President voted last year in favor of the ordinance, backed by the SHBA, which eliminated Spokane’s Copper Pipe Mandate. Although we have disagreements, we appreciated his willingness to appoint us to the Mandatory Sick Leave Workgroup. It is encouraging to hear him say he only wants a very minimal sick leave policy and that he wants to leave minimum wage discussions to the state.

It’s our hope that the next City Council will focus on economic growth and development and we want to be right there working with them to advance those goals.

We are supporting Ben Stuckart, but we want to be clear that we maintain the utmost respect for his opponent John Ahern. John served his constituents well during his decade long tenure in the Washington State House of Representatives and we supported his 2013 bid for a Spokane City Council seat. John has been a friend to the Association and we wish him well, but we do not believe that he is the best candidate in this instance.

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Infamous Gypsies going after governor, Spokane mayor, Rosauers and entire state of Washington

Posted By on Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 11:59 AM


You might remember the Marks family. Back in the late 1980s, Jimmy and Grover Marks sued the city of Spokane in federal court for police raids on two Marks family homes. 

According to a New York Times article about the suit, police "ripped gold-plated false fingernails from women's hands, removed earrings from a 5-year-old girl and even searched a baby's diapers." 

All told, police seized $160,000 worth of jewelry and $1.6 million in cash from the family of Gypsies, some of which was sewn into family quilts. It took hours to haul away. The legal battle that ensued lasted a decade and ended in settlement as the city was waiting for a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on felony charges against the family. Those charges were dismissed, and the city paid the family $1.43 million. That amount was considered one of the highest settlements for a police misconduct case in the nation. (The city of Seattle just settled a police-abuse case for $1.97 million last week.) 

A few months ago, Tommy Marks filed another lawsuit, mostly written by hand, this time against the entire state of Washington. Tommy Marks claims that police throughout the state have been harassing him and his family for the past 21 years as payback for the settlement, according to court documents. (The suit names the state of Washington, Governor Jay Inslee, Sen. Patty Murray, Rep. Kathy McMorris Rodgers, Rosauers Supermarkets, Spokane Mayor David Condon and Spokane Council President Ben Stuckart, among others, as defendants.)

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MB: Mielke drops out, van explodes in Shadle, Puffy beats down and Patsy comes back

Posted By on Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 7:46 AM


HERE

Todd Mielke is dropping out of the competition to become the next Spokane County CEO. (Spokesman-Review)

There was a 10-acre brush fire at Spirit Lake that had firefighters anxious through Monday afternoon. (KREM)

A van exploded in a Shadle Walmart parking lot. (KHQ)

Summer in Washington is looking ripe for stink bugs. (Seattle Times)

THERE

South Carolina's Republican governor called for taking the Confederate flag off the state's capitol, a reaction to the recent church mass shooting in the state. (CNN)

Sean "Puffy/Diddy/P.Diddy/Puff Daddy" Combs beat down one of his kids' football coaches — at  UCLA, where his son is a junior in college and a player for the Bruins. (Washington Post)

President Obama went on Marc Maron's WTF podcast and some people are freaking out over his use of "the n-word." (Atlantic)

SORT OF HERE

Patsy Cline is going to become the first country artist and first female artist to return to the stage via hologram. Crazy. (BBC)
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Monday, June 22, 2015

Photographer's perspective: The unlikely origin of a 2010 Rachel Dolezal photo

Posted By on Mon, Jun 22, 2015 at 3:43 PM

Rachel Dolezal in 2010 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Rachel Dolezal in 2010 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

I was working on a story about the closing of Parkside Bistro and Pub on May 7, 2010. The Coeur d’Alene restaurant was slated to be closed and demolished to make way for a park extension. I took a few photographs of then owner Kevin Eskelin inside the restaurant before stepping outside for a few more photos.

Rachel Dolezal came by and engaged in conversation with Eskelin, who was an acquaintance. The restaurant was near the Human Rights Education Institute, where Dolezal worked. As the two spoke I snapped a few photos of her, knowing that the photos wouldn’t be used for the story about the restaurant closure.

Why take the photo? Dolezal was already somewhat of a public figure in the Inland Northwest because of her outspoken work at the Human Rights Education Institute and the apparent discovery of a noose on her front porch.

As photojournalists, we often take photos of public figures when we work on stories, even if they aren’t part of the story we are working on at the time. They might be at an event we cover or are present when we are working on a story about something else. Those typically photographed for archive use are politicians, business leaders, and community leaders and activists. They are called archive photos, that can be used in later stories if necessary. Due to deadlines and accessibility, public figures may not be available for a photo when a story includes them. So we generally take a photo of a public figure when they are available.

After years of collecting virtual dust on an Inlander server, the photo was found and included in a cover section profile of Dolezal.
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MB: WSU president dies, Portland's luxurious beards, and Taylor Swift outmuscles Apple

Posted By on Mon, Jun 22, 2015 at 7:39 AM


HERE

WSU President Elson Floyd died from cancer over the weekend just two weeks after starting a leave of absence to battle the disease, and the Pullman campus is in mourning. (KXLY)

The sister of a motorcyclist who died in a crash with an STA bus — a crash ruled a suicide — doesn't believe he was trying to kill himself. (Spokesman-Review)

One of the Pasco police officers involved in shooting Antonio Zambrano-Montes in February has resigned. (KREM)

THERE

The leader of a white supremacist group who inspired South Carolina church shooter Dylann Roof has donated tens of thousands of dollars to several of the Republican presidential candidates, including Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum. (New York Times)

The now infamous prison escapees in New York had their DNA discovered in an upstate cabin. (CNN)

Jordan Spieth, a 21-year-old, won the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay on Washington's west side on Sunday, just months after winning the Masters. (Seattle Times)

Taylor Swift might actually be more powerful than Apple — the company changed its policy on paying artists and record labels available on its new streaming service when the pop star wrote a public letter chastising them. (BBC)

SO HIP IT HURTS

Portland hosted the Rose City Beard and Mustache Competitoin, and the photos are amazing. (Oregonian)
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