Monday, April 10, 2017

What we know so far about the shooting deaths at a Southern California elementary school

Posted By on Mon, Apr 10, 2017 at 5:11 PM

Gunfire in a San Bernardino, California, elementary school classroom today has left three people, including an 8-year-old student, dead in what police are calling a murder-suicide.

The boy, Jonathan Martinez, was airlifted along with another student to a hospital, where he succumbed to injuries. The second student, a 9-year-old who has not yet been identified, is in stable condition, the Associated Press reports.

Both students were reportedly standing near their teacher, 53-year-old Karen Elaine Smith, in a special needs classroom in North Park Elementary School when her estranged husband opened fire with a high-caliber revolver.

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Idaho libertarian conservatives furious about Otter's vetoes of licensing, civil forfeiture

"Governor Otter hasn't a Republican bone in his body," says Idaho State Rep. Vito Barbieri

Posted By on Mon, Apr 10, 2017 at 3:22 PM

Butch Otter's veto pen continues to rankle groups like the Idaho Freedom Foundation and the libertarian magazine Reason.
  • Butch Otter's veto pen continues to rankle groups like the Idaho Freedom Foundation and the libertarian magazine Reason.

A very long time ago, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter ran as a libertarian conservative. But these days, a lot of libertarian-leaning conservatives view him with something closer to contempt.

"He had a real opportunity to demonstrate that he is on the side of liberty," says Wayne Hoffman, director of the Idaho Freedom Foundation. "He failed miserably."

The most recent outrage: Otter's vetoes of a cosmetology licensure bill and a civil forfeiture bill. Both are key issues for libertarians, who argue that requiring licenses for jobs like "barber" or "makeup artist" end up punishing entrepreneurs and newcomers, in order to artificially shield established businesses from would-be competition.

Meanwhile, when they look at civil forfeiture — where police can seize cash and other personal property without a conviction if they suspect it may be connected to certain crimes — they see serious due-process violations.

"Idaho Governor Flips Off Libertarians With Both Hands, Vetoes Asset Forfeiture AND Licensing Reforms," reads a headline at the libertarian Reason magazine. The subhead reads: "Is he trying to make libertarians angry, or is he just a puppet of special interests?"

North Idaho Rep. Vito Barbieri is not exactly a libertarian. (Here he is expounding on Islam a couple of years ago, for example.) But a recent Facebook post showed just how little respect some conservatives have for the Republican governor.

"Governor Otter hasn't a Republican bone in his body, acting more like a public school teacher bent on growing the Administrative State over public interests, than a Statesman with character, guts, and vision," Barbieri writes. "[Republicans in Name Only] like Otter put State needs first, Administrative bureaucrats second, and taxpayers last. It's too bad we have to wait two more years to put this self-proclaimed libertarian cowboy out to pasture."

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Earthquake warning tested in WA, Gorsuch sworn in, and morning headlines

Posted By on Mon, Apr 10, 2017 at 9:19 AM


Through wind and rain and snow
Friday brought winds gusting up to 44 mph in the region, and anyone up around 7 am this morning probably caught sight of the SNOW — yes, SNOW — that quickly turned to rain. The National Weather Service says it could get up to a high of 50 degrees today, and thunder/thunderstorms are possible.


States fight predatory student loans
  • Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson is taking on Navient.

Washington state is fighting Navient, the student loan lender that split from Sallie Mae in 2014, claiming that Sallie Mae made tons of private loans that were expected to default in order to build better relationships with schools and receive more government-guaranteed loans, The New York Times reports. (NYT)

Before the big one
A Bothell company is among the first in Washington to get access to a system that warns of earthquakes just before they happen, and while it isn't ready for the public yet, firms along the West Coast are figuring out the best things to do in the seconds or minutes before a big quake, The Seattle Times reports. (ST)

Treating addiction in Montana
A 1970s Montana law that was designed to spread treatment centers for drug and alcohol abuse throughout the state by limiting them to one state-approved provider per area has had the unintended affect of limiting access for people in some areas, the Billings Gazette reports. That law was recently changed, so more people should be able to get treatment close to home starting this summer. (Billings Gazette)

Full-court press
Judge Neil Gorsuch took oaths to fill the ninth seat on the Supreme Court Monday, more than a year after Antonin Scalia died, leaving a vacancy on the court. The U.S. Senate debated who should fill the seat for several months, stonewalling former President Barack Obama's nominee, judge Merrick Garland, and confirming Gorsuch, President Donald Trump's choice, last week. (Washington Post)

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Friday, April 7, 2017

It's gettin' windy out there: gusts up to 50 mph expected Friday afternoon

Posted By on Fri, Apr 7, 2017 at 1:02 PM

It won't just be the folks on the coast who are hit hard with wind today: Drivers on Highway 2 and I-90 should expect strong crosswinds as a deep low-pressure system moves through Washington, according to the National Weather Service.

Winds between 20 mph and 30 mph are expected, with gusts up to 50 mph, a wind advisory warns, which can make driving difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles.

Spokane International Airport had gusts up to 44 mph before 1 pm, according to NWS data.

The wind advisory, in effect until 8 pm tonight, impacts the entire region.

Here's a list of nearby places the NWS expects will be impacted: Omak, Okanogan, Brewster, Bridgeport, Oroville, Nespelem, Waterville, Mansfield, Pullman, Colfax, Rosalia, La
Crosse, Oakesdale, Tekoa, Uniontown, Ritzville, Grand Coulee, Odessa, Wilbur, Coulee City, Moses Lake, Ephrata, Othello, Quincy, Spokane, Cheney, Davenport and Rockford.

The service also said that flooding and landslides might be a risk this weekend, as storms bring plenty of rain to the area.
  • National Weather Service Forecast for April 7, 8, and 9

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Gorsuch confirmed, missile strikes on Syria, and other morning headlines

Posted By on Fri, Apr 7, 2017 at 10:15 AM

A rampaging horde of runners invade the Centennial Trail. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
  • A rampaging horde of runners invade the Centennial Trail.


Mariners solemnly hold up tradition of "meh"
So far, the Mariners are the same mediocre team we've come to know and tolerate.


Life's not an '80s college comedy, creep
No, it's not OK to walk into a Gonzaga dorm and photograph women showering.

Not everyone is happy about the county commissioners' recent raise.

A Declaration of Gor
Having refused to hold a hearing for Merrick Garland, Republicans moved down to the next Supreme Court justice in line, alphabetically (by first or last name!) and confirmed Neil Gorsuch.

Politicians, their words, their actions, and Syria
Trump condemned Obama for considering attacking Syria. Obama said that he'd managed to get rid of Syria's chemical weapons peacefully. But when Syria used another round of chemical weapons this week, Trump attacked Syria. And if you didn't want war, you should have voted for — wait, it looks like Hillary Clinton called for the exact same action.
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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Spokane judge invokes Trump's 'pussy' grabbing, Senate filibuster likely to fail, and more headlines

Posted By on Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 9:20 AM


NEWS: In weighing whether a teenager was sexually motivated when he grabbed a 15-year-old girl's genitals, a Spokane judge invoked President Trump's "pussy"-grabbing example.

MUSIC: A local musician, inspired by the jazzy tunes of New Orleans' French Quarter, aims to bring some of that rhythm to the Bartlett on a monthly basis.

MONROE STREET: Man, people have some strong opinions about what should and should not be done to the North Monroe Street corridor. While some fight for nostalgia, others want to transform the strip of restaurants, bars, barbershops and a hip new coffee roaster.


• Children of a woman shot to death by her husband have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the man, who is their adoptive father. Dwayne Thurman, a former military member and reserve sheriff's deputy, claims he accidentally shot and killed his wife, Brenda Thurman, while he was cleaning her pistol. The Spokane County Sheriff's Office is still weighing criminal charges against Thurman. (Spokesman-Review)

• Senate Democrats' unprecedented attempt to block Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, with a filibuster will likely be in vain. Republicans have vowed to exercise the so-called "nuclear option" of changing longstanding chamber rules to sidestep Democrats' attempts to obstruct. A final vote is expected Friday. (New York Times)

• How the Seattle Police Department investigates hate crimes. (Seattle Times)

• The headless body found in the Snake River belonged to a man who had been missing since 2008. (KXLY)

• Before baseball players were superstars making millions, they hustled for extra cash as vaudeville entertainers. (The Atlantic)
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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Spokane judge cites Trump's 'pussy' grabbing in decision on assault of young woman

Posted By on Wed, Apr 5, 2017 at 1:24 PM

In citing Trump's example, as well as other pop-culture figures, a Spokane judge said children "watch these public figures to determine what's hip, what's okay, or what's acceptable."
  • In citing Trump's example, as well as other pop-culture figures, a Spokane judge said children "watch these public figures to determine what's hip, what's okay, or what's acceptable."

Is grabbing a girl's genitals inherently a sexually motivated act?

That was the question facing Spokane Judge James Triplet last month in deciding the seriousness of an assault on a 15-year-old girl. In unraveling this question, Triplet invoked President Donald Trump's boasting about grabbing women's genitals.

"Our president openly brags that he can grab women by the pussy — his words — whenever he wants to, because that's what people who are powerful and rich get to do," Triplet said from the bench after finding a 17-year-old boy guilty of an assault that involved grabbing a female classmate's crotch three times.

But citing a lack of evidence — as well as other pop-culture references such as hip-hop artists grabbing their crotches during a
Saturday Night Live performance and Justin Timberlake exposing Janet Jackson's breast during a Super Bowl halftime show — Triplet absolved the teenage boy of any sexual motivation attached to the crime.

"The bottom line is that there are so many things in our society and culture that are done that cross the line regarding appropriate behavior," Triplet said. "Yet our society allows that risqué and sexually explicit behavior to be modeled to our children, who are developing physically, emotionally, and with respect to their maturity. They often watch these public figures to determine what's hip, what's okay, or what's acceptable."

The case raises questions about boundaries between young, adolescent boys and girls, and the extent to which popular culture is responsible for blurring the lines of appropriate behavior.

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WA poet laureate in town tonight, sci-fi could save us, and morning headlines

Posted By on Wed, Apr 5, 2017 at 9:19 AM


FOR FUN!: Tonight you can catch Washington state poet laureate Tod Marshall at the North Spokane Library. Find out when and read more about his latest project here.


Bannon booted from council
President Donald Trump's chief strategist Stephen Bannon was removed from the National Security Council in a reorganization Wednesday, Bloomberg reports. (Bloomberg)

Loose bolts could make for sticky situation
  • Daniel Walters Photo
Almost 24,000 track defects were found in government inspections of the nation's railroads that carry crude oil over the last two years, according to the Associated Press. The kinds of defects found, including loose bolts and worn rails, have led to oil train derailments and massive fires in locations across the country, including Oregon and Montana. (AP)

Birth of Bertha
In case you missed it, Seattle Twitter was kind of freaking out yesterday as the world's largest tunnel drill finally reached the end of the tunnel she's been making for years. The tunnel will be used for a double-decker highway system. (Seattle Times)

Science our way out of it
As climate change does not appear to be slowing, scientists aren't hedging bets on the world's population reducing its greenhouse gas production, but instead are looking at possible scientific solutions to prevent damaging warming, the New York Times reports. Fill the atmosphere with aerosols? Make clouds more reflective so they keep more heat from the sun out? Eduardo Porter tells us it may not be the stuff of science fiction for much longer. (New York Times)
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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Who to blame for the Zags' loss, Supreme Court showdown, and morning headlines

Posted By on Tue, Apr 4, 2017 at 9:17 AM

Gonzaga fans were justifiably angry after last night's loss. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Gonzaga fans were justifiably angry after last night's loss.

Go ahead, Zags fans. Blame the refs. Blame them for making what was supposed to be the best game of the year the ugliest. Blame them for the missed calls. Blame them for the fouls on Zach Collins that didn't look anything like a foul, for forcing him to sit out a game he was having a major impact on.

Or blame the missed layups and the missed free throws. Blame the turnovers that nobody forced, gifting North Carolina points that could have been ours. Blame the balls that slipped through our hands in the most crucial moments.

Blame the ankle of Nigel Williams-Goss. Blame it for leaving him hobbled before he would have the most important shot of his life blocked.

Blame the Tar Heels. Blame Joel Berry II for answering every Zags run with a clutch three-pointer. Blame Justin Jackson for finally figuring out that the easiest way to score over the smaller Williams-Goss was in the paint.

Blame whatever you want. There are endless reasons why Gonzaga came up short in the national championship. But for everything that went wrong last night, so much more went right in Gonzaga's unbelievable run this season. As John Blanchette with the Spokesman-Review says, we won't forget the loss, but we also won't forget this team.


Another win for North Carolina
The NCAA says the state is no longer banned from hosting future championship after the state repealed its so-called "bathroom bill" that required people to use the public restroom corresponding with the gender on their birth certificate. (CNN)

Law and Order
Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered his staff to review whether law enforcement programs follow the President Trump's emphasis on law and order, threatening efforts by the Obama administration to improve police and community relations. (New York Times)

Gorsuch nomination
Democrats have the votes to filibuster Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court, so it's up to Republicans to decide if they want to exercise the "nuclear option" and change Senate rules to confirm Gorsuch. (Politico)
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Friday, March 31, 2017

Flynn wants immunity, Gonzaga is actually pronounced "Gon-ZOG-ah" and morning headlines

Posted By on Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 9:41 AM

My main man Abraham Lincoln beholds Spokane - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
  • My main man Abraham Lincoln beholds Spokane


Pictures... that move?!
Inlander staffers talk about what they've been watching recently.

Did they ever find what that something was about Mary?
Find out at the Inlander's Cinema night

Looks like ya got a bad case of malware, son.
Could computers diagnose you better than doctors could?

The Alton Boy
Alton Brown ate a bunch of food all along North Monroe yesterday.


Kneel before Zog
KXLY shows that it's Gonzaga that has been mispronouncing Gonzaga all these years.

The Firefighter and the Firing
Back in 2012, a Spokane Valley firefighter was fired for sending a series of emails, despite being told not to. Were they racist? Sexist? Conspiratorial? Nope. They were about the Spokane County Christian Firefighters Fellowship group. Now, a lawsuit from him is heading to the State Supreme Court.  (Spokesman-Review)

Building up an Immunity

Michael Flynn wants immunity in exchange for his testimony about collusion with the Russian government. (New York Times)

Everything Dolezal is New Again

The Daily Show takes on the Rachel Dolezal thing again. (Slate)
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