Gonzaga's student section is a finalist for the Naismith Student Section of the Year Award. Photo by Brett Bollier
Some years everything goes your way. For Gonzaga, it's one of those years. This week Gonzaga continued its domination of all things basketball when the Kennel Club, Gonzaga's student section, made it to the final round of the Naismith Student Section of the Year Award.
“From the Kennel Club standpoint … its real nice to know that we're being recognized nationally,” says James Lumia, a Kennel Club board member. “It's something pretty awesome, especially when you look at some of the other program names up there.”
The national competition started with 158 schools representing 25 conferences. It's now down to eight schools for the top spot. The winning school receives $10,000 to be used in its general scholarship fund, and the winner will be announced on March 8.
Initially, schools compete based on voting. Gonzaga's Kennel Club aggressively promoted the voting using social media and word of mouth, Lumia said. The contest allows people to vote once every day.
“It's a little harder when you're going up against some of these big state schools,” he says.
However, now that the final eight have been selected, the winner will be determined by the Naismith Board of Selectors. According to a press release, the board reviews the student section by looking at the club name, attendance, photos, videos and a “write-up submitted by the nominating school.”
“Coach Few has mentioned on many occasions that the Kennel Club and the fan base in general plays a role,” Lumia says. He attributes the Kennel Club's success in the Naismith competition to their refusal to give up.
“Kind of like the team, it doesn't matter what the odds are,” he says. “We don't back down.”
Last year Gonzaga made it to the semifinal round.
Gonzaga plays Brigham Young University tonight at 8 p.m., in Provo, Utah. The game will be on ESPN 2.
Thai Bamboo on the opening night of Spokane Restaurant Week. Photo by Young Kwak
We're almost to the weekend, kids. Survive the home stretch with a satisfying meal and some entertainment afterward.
The Drowsy Chaperone The Civic presents a musical comedy about gangsters, booze and romance in the 1920s. 7:30 pm • $22-$29 • Spokane Civic Theater, 1020 N. Howard St. • spokanecivictheatre.com
Where to Dine:
Clinkerdagger, 621 W. Mallon Ave., $28
O'Doherty's Irish Grille, 525 West Spokane Falls Boulevard, $18
Charley’s Grill & Spirits, 801 N. Monroe, $18
Speech and Debate at Interplayers Enjoy this dark comedy about teenagers discovering secrets about one of their teachers via social networking. 7:30 pm • $15-$28 • Interplayers Theatre, 174 S. Howard St. • interplayers.org
Where to Dine:
Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar (South Hill or downtown), 4320 S. Regal St. or 808 W. Main Ave., $18
Steelhead Bar and Grille, 218 N. Howard St., $18
WHY? Finally, nothing stands in the way of Spokane and Yoni, from acclaimed alt-hip-hop group, WHY? Astronautalis and Dream Tiger open the show out North. 7:30 pm, doors open at 7 pm • $12 advance • The Center of Spokane, 6425 N. Ligerwood
Where to Dine:
Thai Bamboo, 5406 N. Division St., $18
Mackenzie River Pizza Co, 9255 N. Nevada, $18
Cafeteria Man This documentary focuses on public school lunch reform, has been selected for many film festivals and even features the First Lady. We recommend that you watch it before dinner — you’ll skip the burger and think gourmet. 6 pm • Free • The Book Parlor, 1425 W. Broadway Ave.
Where to Dine:
Rock City Grill, 808 W. Main Ave., $28
Central Food, 1335 Summit Pkwy., $28
With nearly 400 different dishes on the collective Spokane Restaurant Week menu, it would take larger stomach (and budget) than we’ve got to try every dish. But here are a few that caught our eye for vegetarians, and we’ve got more lists — including one for “meat,” you carnivores — right here.
1. Grill Eggplant Parmesan at Maggie’s South Hill
Menu says: Just that, “eggplant parmesan.”
We say: Maggie’s is a South Hill gem and a place that knows how to treat vegetarians right.
2. Gnocchi at Saranac Public House
Menu says: House made vegan potato gnocchi tossed in warm thyme vinaigrette with a lemon cashew cream sauce.
We say: Not only is this creative take on pasta vegetarian, it’s also one of the only vegan options on the collective Restaurant Week menu.
3. Quinsotto at MAX at Mirabeau
Menu says: Vegan Butternut Squash & Red Quinoa shitake mushrooms, lentils, coconut milk, candied pepitas.
We say: This is the kind of flavorful vegan concoction that makes a lump of meat look positively drab.
4. Roasted vegetables stuffed manicotti at Charley’s Grill and Spirits
Menu says: Oven candied carrots, celery, onions, peppers, folded with garlic ricotta stuffed in a pasta shell. Topped with house marinara and Italian cheese.
We say: Sounds tasty, but the biggest plus is getting to follow it up with peanut butter pie. Counts toward your daily protein, right?
5. Baked Vegetable Phillo at Hills’ Restaurant
Menu says: Baked Vegetable Phillo with cheeses, mushrooms, herbs and more, served with jasmine rice.
We say: You might not have noticed this one since it’s not listed in the print guide. So, take notice.
Also, vegetarians getting discouraged by the abundance of steak, chicken and salmon should note that both Clover and Thai Bamboo specifically offer tofu as an option in at least one entreé.
When I tackled the story of Spokane’s innovation, beneath it all, there was a lot of pessimism and frustration. Could Spokane ever crackle with the enthusiasm and momentum of a truly innovative economy like Silicon Valley? Would young people stay and try to innovate in Spokane, or head off for swankier pastures?
One solution, a possible piece of momentum, was something called Startup Weekend. Here’s a snippet from the story:
Website developer Dan Gayle stands before 100 people in a Gonzaga University lecture hall, knowing that he only has one minute to make his pitch.
But for 20 seconds, he doesn’t make a sound. He just dances, shaking his butt, pumping his arms, with only nervous laughter and whoops from the audience as a soundtrack.
“I don’t dance. I’m not a dancer,” Gayle says. “I just let myself go free, swinging my arms around like what I think dancing looks like.”
Gayle is awkwardly dancing as part of his pitch at Startup Weekend. Startup Weekends are global phenomena that began in Seattle: engineers, marketers, designers and business experts gather together, pitch ideas, form into teams, and then have 54 hours to turn all that into an actual product.
Gayle’s idea, Busta Booty — an app that would use the iPhone’s internal sensors to track how much you’re dancing — was voted best overall at the September Startup Weekend event.
Gayle is 31, but most of his team was far younger. “I had all the young people, high school students, college students, and we were competing against professional business people,” Gayle says. “And I won. I kicked their butts.” And the job offers, he says, streamed in.
Only two have happened in Spokane so far, but Startup Weekend is inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Earlier last year, Luke Baumgarten, tackled Startup Weekend more directly. “Everyone gets five minutes. To summarize andadvocate for the previous 54 hours of work, you get a lousy 300 seconds," he writes about the final presentation. Since we published, startups like Pixel Buddy and Barter’s Closet, both made by sons of Spokane entrepreneurs, began at a Startup Weekend.here. This time, says Spokane Startup Weekend founder Brett Noyes, they’re collaborating with the health care community, hoping to bring the medical and tech community together.
“The two communities that aren’t interacting will actually start interacting,” Noyes says.
Just want to watch? Don’t, Noyes says.
“Come and participate,” he says. “Everybody’s got a skill that could somehow be put to use.”
A controversial decision from the state Supreme Court this morning to knock down the voter-approved Washington law requiring a two-thirds "supermajority" vote for tax increases somewhat appropriately received support from two-thirds of the court.
Justices voted 6-3 for the majority opinion, declaring the supermajority requirement "unconstitutional" because it conflicted with the legislature's powers in the state constitution. The court did not rule on a separate issue over voter referendums.
The case, the League of Education Voters v. the state of Washington, stemmed from the Tim Eyman-backed Initiative 1053 that voters approved in 2010. Several similar laws have also passed voters to require a two-thirds vote for approval.
"Today we hold that article II, section 22 [of the state Constitution] prohibits either the people or the legislature from passing legislation requiring more than a simple majority for the passage of tax legislation — or any other legislation," the majority opinion states.
Eyman, an anti-tax activist who has pushed several voter initiatives on the issue, released a statement arguing Washington voters had repeatedly supported legislative limitations on tax increases for 20 years. Most recently, he notes, voters supported I-1185 that reinstated the two-thirds requirement for raising certain taxes.
"Almost 2/3 of voters approved the 2/3-for-taxes vote requirement in November," he says in the statement. "That's 1.9 million voters. It passed in every county and received overwhelming support in every legislative district outside Seattle."
Justices Barbara Madsen, Susan Owens, Mary Fairhurst, Charles Wiggns, Steven Gonzalez and Tom Chambers signed the majority opinion. Justices Charles Johnson, James Johnson and Debra Stephens signed dissenting opinions. Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud did not participate.
The majority opinion affirmed lower court rulings that the supermajority requirement fell within the jurisdiction of the court's authority.
"We conclude that the Supermajority Requirement's constitutionality is justiciable because the requirement has nullified the legislator respondent's votes by preventing the passage of tax legislation that received a simple majority vote," the opinion states.
Two dissenting opinions questioned why the state Supreme Court would take on the issue now after leaving the decision to legislators in the past. Justice James Johnson calls the decision a "blatant rewrite of our constitution," adding:
The majority opinion emphasizes the Supreme Court had not passed judgment on the concept, just the conflict with the state constitution. The opinion says legislators could always change the constitution.
"Our holding today is not a judgment on the wisdom of requiring a supermajority for the passage of tax legislation. Such judgment is left to the legislative branch of our government," the opinion states. "Should the people and the legislature still wish to require a supermajority vote for tax legislation, they must do so through constitutional amendment, not through legislation."
The Inlander asked a handful of local public figures to tell us about their Spokane Restaurant Week experience, and what they look for in local dining. Read more responses and other previous coverage here.
Last Saturday, Spokane Public Schools Superintendent Shelley Redinger and her husband went out to eat downtown at Scratch. She chose the signature salad followed by the butternut squash ravioli with grilled shrimp, and her husband opted for the Caesar salad followed by the tri tip with fried potato cake and vegetables. For dessert they selected the creme brulee and brownie sundae.
“All of our food was outstanding and the service was wonderful,” Redinger says.
She also answered a few more questions from The Inlander.
What kinds of food did you love as a kid, and what kinds of restaurants and cuisines do you prefer today?
As a kid, I loved homegrown vegetables, fresh fruits, and seafood.
As an adult, I prefer locally grown foods and meals prepared from scratch with fresh local ingredients. I enjoy many different kinds of restaurants, from more informal, café settings to fine dining. I don’t have a strong preference for a specific cuisine, but rather love sampling the many different cuisines locally available. Of course, with our 10-year-old son in tow, any place serving pizza tends to top our list.
How was your experience at Scratch, and what do you think of Spokane Restaurant Week?
Scratch has a very nice, comfortable atmosphere and the staff was excellent. Our server, Michael, was delightful and provided great service.
Spokane has a wonderful array of restaurants. The restaurant week event seems like a great way to expose diners to many of the gems throughout the area.
Police are investigating a possible connection between two child-luring attempts near Hamblen Elementary School, one on Tuesday and one last December. (SPD)
Idaho leads the nation in the percentage of workers who earn minimum wage, and Democrats in the state say decades of Republican policies are to blame for making education a low priority. (Idaho Statesman)
The U.S. is offering direct aid, in food rations and medical supplies, to the Free Syrian Army for the first time. Previous help was only for providing basic civilian services in parts of the country under rebel control. (NYT)
Have you seen those viral videos of goats yelling like humans? Now there’s a goat-yelling remix of a Taylor Swift song. (Gawker)
At around 3 pm today, a bearded man dressed from head to toe in white clothing stood in the crosswalk at Wall and Riverside Avenue in downtown Spokane. Above his head he thrusted a sign that read "CIRCUMCISION CRUELTY TO BOYS."
But it wasn't his sign that every passing car or pedestrian was staring at. It was the giant red stain at the crotch of his pants.
The man, whose legal name is Brother K ("K stands for kind," he says), drove here from Sacramento, Calif., to lead an anti-circumcision demonstration at Grand Pediatrics, a South Hill children's clinic, tomorrow morning. Brother K, 65, says he first became aware of the Spokane clinic after seeing a Facebook post from a nurse practitioner there that read, "Did my first circumcision on Friday … watch out boys … here I come."
Brother K says that post went viral — attracting ire from anti-circumcision activists from around the globe — before it was removed.
"It’s like she’s gloating. She’s enjoying it," he says. "She has no appreciation that she’s ripping open a human penis."
"Right now if you did to a girl what you did to a boy, it would be a major, major felony. You would go to jail."
Brother K has been part of the long-running anti-circumcision movement since the 1970s. And after seeing the Spokane nurse's post, he felt impassioned to travel here to demonstrate at the clinic tomorrow. He says the nurse's post enraged him because of "the fact that we see a woman who is preparing a lengthy career in circumcising boys."
Though Brother K was holding his sign silently and only standing in the crosswalk when the light was red, he was certainly getting attention. Drivers slowed to take photos. As we talked, a tall young man walked up and said, frankly, "I kind of agree with you!"
He says he will attend a large-scale protest of circumcision practices in late March for Genital Integrity Awareness Week. Outfits like his — all white with just a red spot at the crotch — are what he and his fellow protestors wear, he says.
For now, it looks like he and 11 others have RSVP'd to the Facebook event for tomorrow's protest.
The Inlander contacted Grand Pediatrics to speak with the nurse, who they say is currently on vacation. An office manager says she was aware of the original posting, which has since been removed. The clinic was not aware of any demonstration plans.
As we wrapped up our conversation with Brother K, a girl with pink hair walked past, muttering "your dick's red, by the way."
He shrugged her off.
"We’re gonna hold the circumcisers' feet to the fire," he says. "People are outraged."
Sure, it's Wednesday, but arrival of hump day means we're more than halfway to the weekend. So in honor of the upcoming weekend why limit yourself to just dinner or a show, when you could do both? Here are a few non-culinary events happening tonight, coupled with a few nearby places participating in Spokane Restaurant Week.
Yo Gabba Gabba Live Believe it or not, Yo Gabba Gabba is fun for both adults and kids, plus rap legend Biz Markie is now a band member. 6 pm • $26-$46 • All-ages • INB Performing Arts Center, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
Where to Dine:
Windows of the Seasons, 303 W. North River Dr., $28
Luigi's Italian Restaurant, 245 West Main Avenue, $28
Spencer's, 322 N. Spokane Falls Ct., $28
Saranac, 21 W. Main Ave., $18
The Price is Right Live Here's a chance to win some prizes as part of a live audience — no studying required. 7:30 pm • $43-$53 • Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, 1001 W. Sprague Ave.
Where to Dine:
Stacks at Steamplant, 159 S. Lincoln St., $18
The District Bar, 916 W. 1st Ave., $18
Scratch, 1007 W. 1st Ave, $28
Rakim with The Flying Spiders, St. Cule, DJ Freaky Fred Known as The God Emcee, Rakim is rumored to have collaborated with Pharrell and has harsh criticism for the lyrical content of current hip-hop. He wants to "lose the garbage and rebuild our scene." It'll be interesting to see him back this up. 8 pm • $25 • 21+ • Red Room Lounge, 521 W. Sprague Ave.
Where to Dine:
Herbal Essence, 115 N. Washington St., $18
Post Street Ale House, 1 N. Post St, $18
Bistango Martini Lounge, 108 N. Post St., $18
Congratulations to our Yo Gabba Gabba Coloring Contest winner, Amelie! She gets the opportunity to attend the Yo Gabba Gabba event at the INB Performing Arts Center tonight at 6 pm.
Amelie, age 5 — “We liked how bright the colors were, and how she filled in all the areas that needed to be colored,” say the judges. Notice the artist’s attention to accuracy of the character’s colors, but also that she’s not afraid to color outside the lines.
“They all did great, considering their ages — and we wished we could have picked them all, but we didn't have enough tickets to give away," the judges added. Here are some additional favorites:
Patrick, age 2 — This work is reminiscent of an early Pollock or Rothko. Keep doing your thing, Patrick.
Andrew, age 5 — Do I see a double rainbow? I think yes.
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Jethro Tull. Soundgarden. Melvins.