Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Profane cop assigned desk duty, Yemen bans U.S. ground missions, and other Wednesday news

Posted By on Wed, Feb 8, 2017 at 9:59 AM


The GOP is not happy with Sen. Elizabeth Warren
  • The GOP is not happy with Sen. Elizabeth Warren

For what will it profit a Jimmy if he eats the whole world, but loses his soul?

Jimmy Eat World is coming to eat the world of Spokane in April.


To be fair, the guy did threaten to shoot him and his kids
A cop is put on desk duty for a year for cursing at a suspect. (Spokesman-Review)

One of the few websites with a "Black Crime" tag
Shawn Vestal suggests that Breitbart News may not have entirely pure intentions in its less-than-accurate accounting of what happened with Muslims in Twin Falls. (Spokesman-Review)

But how does it compare to the InSlander?
Jim Kershner runs down the history of the "Socialist-Review" moniker. (Spokesman-Review)


The nerve of that woman

The GOP silences Elizabeth Warren for daring to question the character of Jeffery Beauregard Sessions by reading from Martin Luther King's widow. (Washington Post)

You'll Never Raid In this Town Again

After a botched raid, Yemen won't allow ground missions by U.S. forces. (New York Times)

Nordstrom Und Drang

Donald Trump takes it to the enemy — Nordstrom. (Fortune)
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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Teen killed in Post Falls crash, DeVos faces Senate test, and morning headlines

Posted By on Tue, Feb 7, 2017 at 9:16 AM


FOOD: Nodland Cellars is now a members-only winery, but you can join for free.


Train crash kills girl
A 15-year-old girl was killed and a 17-year-old boy was seriously injured after a train hit their car early this morning on their way to school in Post Falls, Idaho. (KHQ)

Raccoon troubles
Small business owners have plenty to worry about, and raccoons pooping and urinating in their building so much that you have to shut down shouldn't be one of them. Yet that's exactly what Amanda Hansen says happened to her business, Dance Street Ballroom, and she blames the city for not doing anything about the problem. (Spokesman-Review)

Get vaccinated
Spokane's mumps outbreak isn't going away. The Spokane Regional Health District has confirmed 152 mumps cases in the county, and more are likely to come. (Spokesman-Review)

You said ban
A panel of 9th Circuit judges will hear oral arguments from the Trump administration and Washington state attorney general's office, as the Trump administration has appealed a Seattle judge's ruling to halt Trump's ban on refugees and immigrants from seven mostly Muslim countries. (Seattle Times)

Teaching her a lesson
Senate Democrats are doing all they can to stop Betsy DeVos from becoming the next education secretary, as the Senate is scheduled to vote on her confirmation today. Two Republican senators are joining Democrats in attempting to block her, which would result in a tie that would be broken by Vice President Mike Pence. Update 9:30 am: DeVos has been confirmed as education secretary:

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Monday, February 6, 2017

Fried food and friends, immigration ban updates, and morning headlines

Posted By on Mon, Feb 6, 2017 at 9:27 AM



WHAT'S UP: A National Geographic underwater photographer gets people talking about species extinction; The Things They Carried author Tim O'Brien hosts a free reading; and check out a free night of roots-music goodness with Dead Horses and N. Sherman.

FOOD: This Wednesday's Fried Chicken and Local Beer night at The Yards Bruncheon offers a twist on classic dinner pairings.


Patching things up
There's newly repaired pavement on Interstate 90 in Coeur d'Alene, from about Northwest Boulevard east to a mile past the Sherman Avenue interchange, after a midwinter thaw opened up potholes, mostly in the heavily traveled right lanes. (Spokesman-Review)

That on-again, off-again immigration ban
The ban is on hold until the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals receives "for" arguments from the U.S. government (has until this evening to file) and "against" arguments from Washington state and Minnesota (already filed). Some predict this battle is going to the Supreme Court no matter what — here's an analysis of the impending legal showdown.

Trump doesn't seem to be taking the whole "checks and balances" thing well, and spent the weekend directing the country to blame "so-called judge" Robart (confirmed by former-President George W. Bush) and the entire court system if something bad happens due to ongoing immigration, even though the same strict vetting procedures remain as before the ban. (CNN, The New York Times)

Tech nerds unite
Over 95 behemoth companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter oppose Trump's immigration ban, saying it "violates the immigration laws and the Constitution" in their court motion filed Sunday night. (CNN)

"I'm here to swallow gum and I'm here to take names!"
This weekend's SNL episode went from pretty good to unforgettable with Melissa McCarthy's unannounced guest appearance as the shrill, angry, gum-chewing Press Secretary Sean Spicer. It managed to be funny rather than sad, thanks to McCarthy's stellar performance and some handy props. (The Atlantic)

Patriots win fifth title in first overtime Super Bowl
Turns out Super Bowl odds are still somewhat trustworthy, even if polls aren't — the Patriots headed into the Bowl as three-point favorites, and indeed rallied from their 25-point deficit to defeat the underdog Atlanta Falcons 34-28 yesterday. (CNN)

Have a great week!
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Friday, February 3, 2017

Washington AG successfully halts Trump's immigration order — for now

'The Constitution prevailed today.'

Posted By on Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 4:42 PM

A federal judge in Seattle today suspended the enforcement of President Donald Trump's controverisal ban on immigration.

U.S. District Judge James Robart's ruling halts enforcement nationwide and will stay in place until he hears Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson's lawsuit challenging certain provisions of Trump's order.

In the lawsuit, Ferguson, a Democrat, asks the judge to declare provisions of Trump's immigration order unconstitutional. That order indefinitely bans all Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. and temporarily halts immigrants coming into the country from seven Muslim majority countries.

Ferguson argues that the order violates the Constitution's guarantee of due process, equal protection and religious freedom. If successful, Trump's order could be declared unconstitutional nationwide.

Trump's Justice Department attorneys argued that the President was within his power to protect national security. DOJ lawyers also argued that foreign nationals have no constitutional right to enter the U.S.

"The Constitution prevailed today," Ferguson said. "No one is above the law — not even the president."
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Why Spokane's police ombudsman says SPD is violating city law

Posted By on Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 3:19 PM

Police ombudsman Bart Logue - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Police ombudsman Bart Logue

Spokane's police ombudsman is supposed to review internal investigations involving serious complaints about officers' conduct and allegations of excessive force. That duty is an essential part of the city's independent police oversight strategy.

However, Bart Logue, the city's ombudsman, says he's found at least 12 cases from 2016 that were not forwarded for his review and ultimate "certification." That failure, Logue argues, "could indicate intent to willfully disregard SPD policy as well as the [Spokane Municipal Code]."

"When one thing is suspect, it's all suspect as far as I'm concerned," Logue says. "It comes down to whether or not I have access to internal affairs that I'm supposed to have. And I think at the beginning of this year it was clearly no."

Spokane Police Lt. Steven Braun, who was formerly in charge of the Spokane Police Department's internal affairs office, failed to deliver 12 investigations to the ombudsman, one of which included allegations of excessive force, Logue says.

Logue, in a letter to SPD Chief Craig Meidl, writes that Lt. Braun "unilaterally" decided that the ombudsman did not need to review one IA investigation that originated as a complaint to the ombudsman's office. The complaint accused a non-commissioned employee of being rude during an interaction with a citizen. Logue only discovered that the case wasn't returned for his review during a year-end audit of his office — after the 180-day timeframe for SPD to impose discipline.

Concerned, Logue then audited all internal affairs investigations completed under Braun's supervision and discovered the 11 other cases. Logue says he will not be signing off any of them.

Assistant Chief Justin Lundgren says that the investigation into the non-commissioned employee's rude attitude was not forwarded to Logue because the employee could not have been suspended, demoted or terminated, even if all accusations were true.

"This investigation did not qualify as an OPO involved investigation," Lundgren says. "By definition, those are serious violations that could result in suspension, demotion or discharge."

That may not true for at least some of the 11 other cases that Logue uncovered. An investigation into excessive force, for example, does come under Logue's authority.

In his letter to Meidl, Logue requests that SPD conduct a "full and complete audit" of all internal affairs cases within Logue's authority, which Meidl agreed to do, Logue says.

Going forward, Lundgren adds, the department is willing to forward investigations to Logue that may not rise to the level of discipline.

"Citizens of our community must be able to trust SPD takes every complaint seriously, will treat complaints fairly, and thoroughly investigate complaints," Logue writes.

You can read the letter in its entirety below:

020217_Violation of Ordinance and SPD Policy by Mitch Ryals on Scribd

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An 1889 U.S. Supreme Court case sets precedent for Trump's immigration order

Posted By on Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 11:46 AM

Exactly one week after President Donald Trump signed an executive order restricting entry into the United States based on religion and national origin, a federal judge in Seattle will hear arguments on a temporary restraining order to suspend its effects. The restraining order was filed by Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, along with a lawsuit seeking to have provisions of the order declared unconstitutional.

As U.S. District Court Judge James Robart hears arguments today, the precedent dates back to a U.S. Supreme Court case from 1889.

"It's been a long while since we've tried to exclude people based on what we would consider a protected class — be it race, national origin, religion or gender," says Jason Gillmer, a professor at Gonzaga University School of Law who studies constitutional and immigration law. "So these old cases that date to the 1880s and 1890s have never been overturned [by the court]. Really since World War II, we haven't been a country in the business of excluding people based on protected classes."

Ping's certificate for re-entry to the U.S.
  • Ping's certificate for re-entry to the U.S.
Chae Chan Ping arrived in San Francisco in 1875. He lived and worked there for 12 years, until, in 1887, he boarded a ship for China, his home. Ping carried with him a certificate that ensured his safe return to California.

In 1888, he was denied entry back into the U.S. and was detained on the steamship that carried him from Hong Kong. His case — known as the Chinese Exclusion Case and others, reached the United States Supreme Court.

Ping first arrived in the United States after a treaty between the U.S. and China established a friendly relationship and encouraged immigration.

One section of the agreement highlighted the "inherent and inalienable right of a man to change his home and allegiance, and also the mutual advantage of free migration."

During Ping's time in the U.S., however, Americans began to change their minds and chipped away at the flow of Chinese immigrants coming into the country. With the U.S. facing economic depression, Congress moved to restrict Chinese immigration specifically, despite the fact that economic woes had nothing to do with Chinese workers. Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, which suspended Chinese immigration for 10 years.

Continue reading »

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No, the graffiti on the Spokane GOP headquarters is not a hate crime

Posted By and on Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 10:00 AM

  • Courtesy of the Spokane GOP

The graffiti scrawled across the front windows of the Spokane County GOP office is not being investigated as a hate crime, despite original reports.

"It doesn't meet the requirements of a hate crime," says Spokane Police Capt. Brad Arleth, who is in charge of the police investigations division. "I think right now with everything going on across the country, there's a little bit of confusion. People start throwing around the term 'hate crime' for things that are politically motivated or motivated by a difference of opinion, but that doesn't fall under the hate crime statute."

The crime is being investigated, though, as malicious mischief — a misdemeanor.

Stephanie Cates, the Spokane County GOP chairwoman, posted about the graffiti on the Spokane GOP website Sunday, Jan. 29. "Refugees welcome" and "Nazi Scum" was written across the office's windows.

She announced that she filed a report with the Spokane police, and questioned whether vandalism motivated by political affiliation should be considered a hate crime.

Continue reading »

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Crazy in love, solving homelessness, diverse art and morning headlines

Posted By on Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 9:43 AM

click image See art inspired by Salish folktales (above), interactive video installations and more at "Saturate," a visual arts tour this weekend focused on artists from ethnic or cultural minorities. - ART BY RIC GENDRON
  • Art by Ric Gendron
  • See art inspired by Salish folktales (above), interactive video installations and more at "Saturate," a visual arts tour this weekend focused on artists from ethnic or cultural minorities.


The city of Spokane may be on the cusp of solving homelessness — and for those who are still homeless, the solution can't come fast enough.

CULTURE: Visual arts tour "Saturate" highlights cultural and ethnic diversity in Spokane and artists of color at the event from Spokane Arts, in place of First Friday for February.

SNOWLANDER: The Engerbretson duo, father Jeff and daughter Amie, have built successful careers based on their mutual love of skiing.


This is ourselves... under pressure
The No. 1 Zags survived the challenge from BYU on Thursday night, winning the tense match 85-75, though not for lack of nail-biting in the final stretch. (Spokesman-Review)

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
The Atlanta Falcons will face off against the New England Patriots this Sunday at 3:30 pm in Houston. Halftime performer Lady Gaga says she'll put on a performance people will "never forget" — hopefully not in the Janet-Jackson-wardrobe-malfunction way from 2004's Houston Super Bowl. (USA Today)

Alternative idea: Relive the Seahawks' 2014 Super Bowl win with an ice-cold No-"LI". (YouTube)

Queen Bey expands her hive (and breaks the Internet)
Beyoncé, 20-time Grammy winner and she of 1,000 nicknames, announced Wednesday on Instagram that she's having twins, earning her the world record for most-liked Instagram post. It was a social media dream: A post by Beyoncé, with good news in this new age of despair, and on the first day of Black History Month. Her release of a pregnancy photo album yesterday was just a victory lap. (Instagram, Huffington Post)
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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Why House of Charity refuses to feed most panhandlers

Giving money to panhandlers, Catholic Charities Director Rob McCann says, condemns them to living in addiction

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 3:36 PM

Catholic Charities director Rob McCann says the intention of those donating to panhandlers may be compassionate — but the result is destuctive - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
  • Young Kwak photo
  • Catholic Charities director Rob McCann says the intention of those donating to panhandlers may be compassionate — but the result is destuctive

"Please, for the love of God, don't give money to panhandlers," says Rob McCann, director of Catholic Charities.

This, mind you, is not coming from a cold, heartless businessman. This is coming from the director of one of the agencies in Spokane that's fought the hardest to reduce homelessness.

McCann is a key figure in our story this week, where he talks about how close Spokane is to solving homelessness by not just providing shelter, but actually providing homes. Shelters like House of Charity have dramatically expanded the number of homeless people they shelter. But as generous as House of Charity is, they draw a clear line when it comes to certain panhandlers.

"If we know that you are a chronic aggressive panhandler, we will not serve you food at the House of Charity. That's hardcore!" McCann says. "We serve everybody at the House of Charity."

The organization generally won't give an apartment at a place like Father Bach Haven, either, McCann says. It's proof of how much McCann views panhandling as a destructive act, both to those who panhandle and to the community as a whole.

There are only about one or two dozen panhandlers working the streets of Spokane, McCann says. Catholic Charities generally knows who they are, he says, where they live and the tactics they use.

Continue reading »

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Trump disses Australia's prime minister; groundhog may not be qualified climatologist

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 9:39 AM

There have been other diplomatic incidents involving Americans and Australia, to be fair.
  • There have been other diplomatic incidents involving Americans and Australia, to be fair.


Immersion therapy

Spokane Public Schools will offer a Spanish-immersion language course this fall, ja?

Scandal! Art Director Derek Harrison has a terrible secret: The first concert he went to was Nickelback.


An education in politics
The state Senate passes a major overhaul of school taxes and spending — but don't expect the Democratically-controlled house to like it much. (Spokesman-Review)

Short change
Rep. Shelley Short's rep spot will be filled by her legislative assistant as she heads to the state senate. (Spokesman-Review)

So-called "scientists" question the infallible wisdom of the groundhog. (Spokesman-Review)


Don't forget Australia

The Bart Simpsonification of the American Presidency continues as Trump insults and badgers Australia's prime minister. (Washington Post)

Prayer and intercession
On the National Day of Prayer, President Donald Trump offers a prayer — for Arnold Schwarzenegger's Celebrity Apprentice ratings. (Fox News)

Let us politic
Trump proposes allowing preachers to preach politics from the pulpit without risking their tax-exempt status.  (New York Times)
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