Friday, August 19, 2016

People keep stealing the giant toy eggs from Spokane Valley's Discovery Playground

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 2:08 PM


People think it's fun to take these eggs from their home. - CITY OF SPOKANE VALLEY
  • City of Spokane Valley
  • People think it's fun to take these eggs from their home.
A giant, fiberglass egg that children play on has disappeared from Discovery Playground in Spokane Valley.

This is the third time at least one of the eggs has been stolen since the playground opened in 2010, and park officials are getting frustrated. 

"It's very frustrating and it's disheartening, because every time they are taken it creates a real void. This is one of the areas people like to play on and use," says Mike Stone, Spokane Valley Parks and Recreation Director. 

In 2010, two eggs were taken but then spotted by a citizen and returned. Then, a month ago, all three eggs were stolen by a group of minors before one of the kids posted a picture of a giant egg on Instagram. In that case, the city got a hold of the parents, and the eggs were returned, Stone says. 

This time, only one egg was taken — the one that wasn't made to look broken, Stone says. It was discovered to be missing Thursday morning. As of Friday, there are no leads as to who took the two-foot-high, cream-colored egg.

A police report has been filed, but Stone is hoping someone from the community will once again identify the egg-thieves so it can be returned to the Eagles' Nest play area. The eggs are typically bolted to the ground and anchored in concrete, so Stone suspects it had to be a group of people who lifted it up and carried it away.

The three eggs cost about $9,000 total
when the playground was built, Stone says. 

This has been a rough year for vandalism in Spokane Valley parks, according to Stone. People have been setting fires in public restrooms, carving and damaging picnic tables and using graffiti. And now, another egg theft. 

"It's been a very tough year," Stone says. "I've been in this business long enough, you go through periods of depression, frustrations, trying to figure out what the motivation is and why these things are happening ... we're not happy." 

Anyone with information should call the Spokane Valley Parks and Recreation Department at 509-688-0300 or email [email protected] 
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Why Raise Up Washington believes it's worth ditching the exemptions from Spokane's sick leave policy

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 1:09 PM

April Sims, signature drive director for Raise Up Washington, Olympia helped the group turn in more than 340,000 signatures to qualify I-1433 for the ballot in July - PHOTO COURTESY OF RAISE UP WASHINGTON
  • Photo courtesy of Raise Up Washington
  • April Sims, signature drive director for Raise Up Washington, Olympia helped the group turn in more than 340,000 signatures to qualify I-1433 for the ballot in July

This week we have a story on the fact that, if Raise Up Washington's Initiative 1433 passes, Spokane would not only see its minimum wage go up, it would see its controversial sick-leave policy expanded from three or five days to seven days, with the exemptions and exceptions to the law eliminated.

The exemptions were championed by council members like Karen Stratton, though not without opposition. 

“I’m arguing you to, this is still watering it down,” then-Councilmember Jon Snyder had said in January, punctuating his words by pounding the council dais. “We’re making it complicated. We’re adding exemptions.”

This week we chatted with Carlo Caldirola-Davis, campaign manager for Raise Up WA, and Jack Sorensen, the initiative's communication director, about each of the Spokane sick-leave policy's major exemptions, and why the Initiative 1433 doesn't include them.

"Our coalition recognized that every worker in Washington should have access to earned paid sick leave, full stop," says Caldirola-Davis.

So was it a mistake for Spokane to pass its more modest sick leave policy less than a year before the voters voted on the state ballot initiative? 

"That is not for us to expound upon. You’d have to ask someone local that question," Caldirola-Davis says. "I think it’s important to recognize that the important work that happened in Spokane and Seattle and other cities was a precursor to 1433. Everything that has moved the ball on paid sick leave has been a positive step toward 1433."

1. The exemption: 
Small businesses with under 10 employees only have to allow employees to use up to three days of sick leave a year, while businesses with 10 or more employees have to allow workers to use up to five days of sick leave a year. Seattle also has different standards for smaller businesses that would be impacted by the initiative. 

Why the Spokane City Council included the exemption: Stratton says she was very concerned about the impact of the initiative on small businesses. 

"I think there’s a lot of fear for smaller businesses, the mom-and-pop businesses that have a niche or doing what they want to do and they’re making ends meet," Stratton says. "That’s going to pose a big challenge." 

She thinks about the great small-town restaurant in Springdale, the town one of her parents came from, and how they would cope with bigger regulations.

"You worry, how are they going to make it?" Stratton wonders. 

Why Raise Up thinks we should ditch it: Sorensen argues that public health concerns don't simply disappear when you have fewer than 10 employees. 

"Let’s say I am a restaurant owner and I have eight employees. It is still vitally important to the workers and the community to [provide enough paid sick leave]," Sorensen says. "Seventy percent of all norovirus outbreaks start with food handlers." 

City Council President Ben Stuckart says he was fine with losing the exemption, calling the 10 employee cutoff "arbitrary." 

2.  The exemption: 
Spokane's sick leave policy wouldn't apply to the people working the building trades, like construction workers. 

Why the Spokane City Council included the exemption: Stuckart says he spent a lot of time listening to stakeholders and people at public forums expressing concerns with the policies. One clear message he came away with was the unique aspects of the construction industry. Construction workers are often very migratory, moving from one job site to another and frequently switching employers. This can turn tracking sick leave information into a regulatory nightmare.

"It’s virtually impossible for them to track [sick leave information] when it’s migratory like that," Stuckart says. "I thought that was a good exemption, I’d talked to a lot of people in the construction industry since then, and everybody seemed to get that." 

Why Raise Up thinks we should ditch it: 
"I hear that point," Caldirola-Davis says. "Our rebuttal would simply be that construction workers needs to earn paid sick leave just like every other worker in Washington."

The Raise Up Washington team points out that sick leave can't be taken until 90 days on the job, and that it's earned with time. In fact, under the Raise Up Washington sick leave policy workers would actually earn sick leave a little more slowly than under Spokane's policy. Spokane's policy allowed workers to earn an hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, while workers under the Raise Up policy wouldn't earn an hour of sick leave until they work 40 hours.

3. The exemption: 
Spokane's sick leave policy wouldn't apply to startups during their first year of business. 

Why the Spokane City Council included the exemption: "I’ve heard from startups. It’s the hardest for the first year," Stratton said when introducing the amendment to the City Council last year.  To help startups survive without having to navigate the regulatory hurdle of a sick leave policy, Stratton thought a one-year delay would be reasonable. 

Why Raise Up thinks we should ditch it: They argue the issue should be looked at from the worker's perspective. 

"I think fundamentally, whether you're a worker at a startup or a worker at Boeing, if you’re sick or you have a child that’s sick, you need to stay home from work and be with the child," Caldirola-Davis says. "No worker should have to choose between going to work sick or missing a paycheck."

They also argue that sick leave mandates have been put in place in nearly two-dozen other cities, including San Francisco and Seattle, and say that studies have not shown major negative impacts on employers or employees.

They point to left-leaning business groups like the Greater Seattle Business Association and the Main Street Alliance, who have supported the policy. 

"If you ask small business owners, they’ll tell you that high turnover can be a huge cost of running a business," Sorensen says. And he believes this initiative, with its minimum wage hike and mandatory sick-leave policy, will actually help employers by reducing turnover and saving on training costs.

However, the decision to not include exemptions to the policy has given the opposition an argument to use against it. Here's a statement from Don Skillman, spokesman for Northwest Initiatives, the campaign opposing 1433.

“I-1433 is a blunt force instrument that fails to accommodate seasonal industries, like construction, that can't afford this new mandate. It's a one-size-fits-all proposal designed for downtown Seattle that the rest of the state can't afford to absorb.

At least the City of Spokane's ordinance recognizes the need to exempt certain industries and puts an annual cap on the amount of leave that can be accrued and used. Initiative 1433 is poorly crafted and should be rejected so cities can choose the approach that works best for their communities.”
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The Spokane Symphony's new season features Harry Potter, a scary silent film and romantic Rachmaninoff

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 11:15 AM


The Spokane Symphony is busy the next few weeks, playing their annual crowd-favorite shows at Arbor Crest Wine Cellars and then Pavillion and Comstock parks. These outdoor concerts help celebrate the fading days of summer, but it's the upcoming season — performed mainly indoors at the Martin Woldson at the Fox Theater that we're most looking forward to. 

Below are the performances you'll be remiss to miss. Get all your ticket information here. 

Opening Night
Sept. 17-18
You may recall the flying whale scene in Disney's Fantasia reboot back in 2000. That animated vignette was set to the music of Respighi's Pines of Rome, which the Spokane Symphony will perform to close out its opening weekend performance of the 2016-2017 season. You can choose to imagine whales bursting through clouds while listening to this piece, or ruminate on something else. Either way, the final minutes of this will take your breath away. The weekend also features master violinist Philippe Quint (who once left his $4 million Stradavarious in the back of a New York taxi cab) playing the U.S. premier of the "Tropoi" Violin Concerto.

The Rach 2
Oct. 8-9
It's  one of the most obvious piano concertos out there, and one of the best. So when the New York Philharmonic Artist-in-Association pianist Inon Barnatan comes to play Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2, you'll need to go hear it live. The piece is romantic to the core. Plus, any Celine Dion fans out there will recognize the interlude from her version of "All By Myself."

Beastly Mahler
Oct. 22-23
Gustav Mahler is a beast of a composer, giving musicians a full body workout from start to finish. And his Symphony No. 3 is the most monstrous of them all — clocking in at nearly two hours, it is the longest piece played by most orchestras around the world today. Calling the performance A Hymn to Nature, the Spokane Symphony enlists the help of the Symphony Chorale, the women of the Whitworth University Choir, the Spokane Area Youth Choir and alto soloist MaryAnn McCormick. Your mind will certainly wander during this one, but it will be worth it in the end. 

Wands (batons?) at the Ready
Oct. 29
John Williams' Harry Potter film scores will soon be on full display just in time for Halloween. That's right, the Spokane Symphony is playing selections from all of the Potter films and, similar to last year's Star Wars event, people are encouraged to dress up. As part of the interactive event, concertgoers can also select a Hogwarts house to be a part of. The 2 pm matinee show is best for kids, and the 8 pm performance is more so for adult fans. 

Intersect
Nov. 4, Jan. 13, March 10
Ditching the name Symphony with a Splash, this year's collaborative event series is now called Intersect. The program looks to reel in folks who may not have been to a symphony show before, combining the talents of local artists, chefs, bartenders, pop musicians and of course the Spokane Symphony, who will largely play modern works here. Check out the Astor Piazzola piece being played for the tango-themed Intersect evening. 

Phantom, Still 
Feb. 4
Even today this face is scary.
  • Even today this face is scary.

Before Andrew Lloyd Webber came around, there was the 1925 silent film version of Phantom of the Opera, among others. Continuing its Symphonic Film at the Fox series, the symphony will perform the soundtrack as the scary black and white masterpiece appears on screen. The makeup alone is enough to give you nightmares. 

The Russian Soul
March 25-26
At just 25, American violinist Benjamin Beilman comes to Spokane to perform one of the most technically difficult works of all time — Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major.  The composer only wrote one violin concerto in his lifetime, probably because he put all of the things in this one piece. 

The other Requiem

May 6-7
The final classical concert of the season closes out with the operatic Verdi's Requiem, which is about as full scale as possible with choir and soloists accompanying. The below clip is beyond terrifying and perfect to play loudly in the morning when no one in your house is getting out of bed. There's no way you can fall asleep listening to this one. 

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More police chief drama, an Olympic apology, Trump's new tact and other headlines as you end your week

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 10:48 AM


ON INLANDER.COM


INHEALTH:
Pain meds and pregnancy, cancer and alcohol, kids and Ironman
NEWS: Kate Burke, Sen. Andy Billig's assistant, files to run for Amber Waldref's city council seat next year

inl_spokanepdannouncment080116_mg_0509sm.jpg

More drama on police chief confirmation
Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart says  he'll vote against confirming Craig Meidl as Mayor David Condon's pick for police chief. Meidl says he still wants the job. 

U.S. Olympics Committee says sorry for "distracting ordeal"
After members of the U.S. swim team fabricated reports that they were robbed at gunpoint in Brazil, the U.S. Olympic Committee has issued an apology. 

Trump tries out new campaign strategy
While campaigning in North Carolina, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump apologized for, at times, "saying the wrong things."

Gawker will shut down
Facing a crippling judgment from an invasion of privacy lawsuit, the gossip website Gawker will cease operations next week. The lawsuit brought against the website was funded by tech billionaire Peter Thiel and has raised concerns over the ability of the rich and powerful to silence media outlets. 

U.S. officials say Iran payment was leverage
The U.S. State Department said that it paid a $400 million debt to Iran after the country released prisoners. U.S. officials say the payment was used as leverage but wasn't a ransom payment. 
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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Pain meds and pregnancy, cancer and alcohol, kids and Ironman

Posted By on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 at 4:35 PM


Pregnancy and Pain Medication
ct-sc-nw-tylenol-pregnancy.jpg
New evidence may lead pregnant women to think twice about taking acetaminophen, commonly known as Tylenol. Although usually considered safe for use during pregnancy, a study released just this week found women who took acetaminophen were much more likely to report years later that their children had hyperactivity, emotional difficulties and behavioral problems, as compared to women who did not take acetaminophen while pregnant. The new study was large, with more than 7,500 women participating, and researchers attempted to correct for various criticisms arising from other studies, which have hinted at links between prenatal acetaminophen and asthma, and acetaminophen and autism. Researchers say the benefits of treating pain and fever during pregnancy need to be weighed against the potential risks.

Cancer and Alcohol?
The recent news that alcohol causes cancer was alarming to many, partly because of the researchers' unequivocal assessment of their findings. They emphatically wrote: "There is strong evidence that alcohol causes cancer at seven sites in the body and probably others. Current estimates suggest that alcohol-attributable cancers at these sites make up 5.8% of all cancer deaths world-wide. Confirmation of specific biological mechanisms by which alcohol increases the incidence of each type of cancer is not required to infer that alcohol is a cause.”

But one Harvard doctor isn't too impressed: "This study isn’t going to become part of my discussion about the pros and cons of alcohol consumption." Here's why.

InHealth writer Linda Hagen Miller also wrote about the topic in her story "Rethinking Drinking" for a recent issue.

IronKids
Ironman weekend in Coeur d’Alene is upon us. While the real action on Sunday will belong to highly trained athletes, kids ages 3-14 can get a taste of the event by participating in a .5- or 1-mile IronKids fun run on Saturday, Aug. 20, at 9 am, at McEuen Park. Registration is $15 at ironman.com.
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Kate Burke, Sen. Andy Billig's assistant, files to run for Amber Waldref's city council seat next year

Posted By on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 at 11:07 AM

Kate Burke, former Peirone Prize winner, has filed to run for city council. - PHOTO COURTESY OF KATE BURKE
  • Photo courtesy of Kate Burke
  • Kate Burke, former Peirone Prize winner, has filed to run for city council.

Kate Burke, the legislative aide for state Sen. Andy Billig, has already filed to run for Spokane City Council next year. This, to be clear, is an idea she's been kicking around for a really long time. 

Nine years ago, the Spokesman-Review reported that Burke "loves this city and aspires to sit on its City Council." 

“That’s one idea," said Burke, then 17. "I want to mix it up.”

But now she's made her quest official, she tells the Inlander. City Councilwoman Amber Waldref runs up against term limits next year, leaving her seat in District 1 open. Burke aims to replace her. 

Last year, Burke filed to run for the board of Spokane Public Schools, but withdrew her application. But this time she says she's serious: She's 27, and says she's perfectly set up to be able to devote the time to the grind of the city council.

"I don’t have a family," she says. "I don’t have anything that’s taking away from my work."

According to the Public Disclosure Commission, she's already raised $2,000 from her parents, $500 from her sister-in-law, and $100 from state Rep. Marcus Riccelli, a Democrat from Spokane. 

If she wins, she'd represent District 1 — which includes the impoverished Hillyard and East Central neighborhoods — alongside conservative Councilman Mike Fagan. 

Burke grew up in Spokane and moved to the city's District 1 in March. Since then she's begun to get a sense of how the district differs from the rest of the city. 

"I’ve lived on the South Hill and lived in West Central. It’s a different vibe and different feeling," she says of the district. "I’ve seen the hardships that it’s going through. You hear about Hillyard every once in awhile — you don’t hear about the rest of the district, and the people that live here. It’s so disconnected with the city."

Beyond addressing high property crime rate, she identifies the streets as an area that could use improvement. 

"We have a lot more arterials than people think," she says. "We need a lot of traffic calming implementation here." 

In 2014, the Inlander awarded Burke the Peirone Prize for her flurry of activist and non-profit activities. That included Project Hope, a community garden tended by kids from West Central; the Lands Council, an environmental activist group; and the Edible Tree Project, a non-profit she started, tasking a squadron of volunteers to collect unpicked fruit from local orchards and deliver it to food banks.  

Burke would actually be the second Peirone Prize winner to compete for City Council in the District 1. Last year, council contender Randy Ramos ran, but was easily bested by Fagan. 

While Burke is much more liberal than Fagan, she says she highly respects the connection Fagan has with his constituents, and wants to emulate that. 

"I think he’s one of the people on council that I look up to," Burke says. "He takes it seriously that his constituents are important to him. I think I can really mirror-image that as well."

Asked about the council's recent flip-flop on its legally dicey ballot measure to address oil and coal trains coming through Spokane, Burke agreed that oil trains presented a safety hazard to Spokane. But she's also spoken with the lobbyist from BNSF Railway in her role as Billig's legislative assistant, and says it's important to try to involve the railway in discussions of how to address the  dangers of transporting volatile oil.

"If I’ve learned anything from working for Sen. Billig, it's that those type of controversial issues are better dealt in conversation with people who are working closely on the issues," Burke says. "I think having a respectful sit-down with BNSF and talking with them, and asking them hard questions, and trying to come up with a respectful solution between the two groups — I think you can accomplish a lot more."

Burke also expressed frustration at the apparent unwillingness of city council members to actively push for a conversion of Main Avenue to a two-way street. The two-way Main idea has a lot of enthusiasm from business owners on the Community Building block near Division, but faces powerful opposition from property owners the west, including the Cowles Company and Bennett-block owner Dru Hieber. An attempt by City Council Ben Stuckart earlier this year abandoned initial efforts to leverage a stakeholder group in order to conduct a study into the idea, instead hoping that general streetscape improvements on Main could accomplish many of the same goals.

But Burke believes the council should be fighting for the conversion. 

"I think that when a large portion of the city wants something, I think it should be something that is advocated strongly for," Burke says.
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How an Idaho doctor broke bad, gubernatorial debate and Condon has reached a 'boiling point'

Posted By on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 at 9:26 AM


ON INLANDER.COM 
Rafael Beier
  • Rafael Beier

COVER: How a church-going Mormon doctor broke bad. Rafael Beier's descent into expensive cars, women and drugs.

CULTURE: Arcade games, booze and hotdogs. That's all you need to know.

NEWS: The departing superintendent of schools in Washington, Randy Dorn, talks about the future of public education in the state.

IN OTHER NEWS: 
• As a recall effort against Mayor David Condon is just beginning, he says he has reached a "boiling point" with the whole Straub thing. Condon also criticized the media's coverage of the scandal at City Hall, saying it's "good for business." You can watch part of an interview Condon gave on the Mike Fitzsimmons show here. (KXLY)

• In her report into the forced ouster of former Chief Frank Straub, Kris Cappel concluded that former City Attorney Nancy Isserlis and her office withheld public records until after Mayor David Condon's re-election last November. Following the report, Isserlis rebuked Cappel, and demanded an apology. Yesterday, Cappel fired back. In her letter, Cappel accuses Isserlis of using "diversion tactics" and cites a "reliable source" who told her Straub admitted to an affair with Monique Cotton, the former spokeswoman who accused him of sexual harassment. (Spokesman-Review)

• Gov. Jay Inslee squared off against gubernatorial opponent Bill Bryant during a debate in Spokane yesterday. (KXLY, The Stranger)

• Thirteen people are dead and about 40,000 homes damaged after severe flooding in Louisiana this week. (New York Times)

• Two U.S. Olympic swimmers, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz, were removed from their flight back to the States and detained in connection to reports of being robbed at gunpoint by a man claiming to be a police officer. (Washington Post)

• Seven Chicago police officers are accused of making false reports after another officer, Jason Van Dyke, fired 16 shots at 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, killing him. Van Dyke is charged with murder, and CPD's police superintendent has called for the firing of the seven officers who ostensibly tried to cover it up. (New York Times
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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Report: Washington students graduate with less debt than in other states

Posted By on Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Students who take out loans in Washington state graduated with an average debt load lower than the national average.
  • Students who take out loans in Washington state graduated with an average debt load lower than the national average.

Don't skip class. Study hard. Pick a major. Graduate. Then, pay off the tens of thousands of dollars you owe in student loans. 

If you used student loans from a university in Washington, however, you may have less of a debt load than other graduates. According to a new report released by LendEDU, borrowers in Washington who graduated in 2015 had an average debt load of $24,997 — about 12 percent lower than the national average of $28,400. Washington's figure is the 11th-lowest in the nation.

For comparison, the state with the highest averaging borrowing per student was Connecticut, at $36,865. Utah had the lowest rate at $18,772. 

LendEDU is an online marketplace that helps students refinance their loans. The report was created using financial aid data from Peterson's

As tuition nationally has steadily increased in the past decades, Washington, in its 2015-17 budget, became the only state to decrease tuition. Tuition was reduced by 20 percent at Eastern, Western and Central Washington Universities in the last two years, and by 15 percent at University of Washington and Washington State University. 

Continue reading »

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Casper Fry giving "farm-to-table" a new meaning with upcoming dining event

Posted By on Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 12:30 PM

Casper Fry's chefs are briefly exiting their familiar abode for the Swine Dining event.
  • Casper Fry's chefs are briefly exiting their familiar abode for the Swine Dining event.

Anyone who's ever felt that the farm-fresh eggs, milk and meat available at organic grocery stores still don't hit quite close enough to home should consider attending an upcoming event hosted by local restaurant Casper Fry, dubbed "Swine Dining."

For this special occasion, the chefs behind the southern fusion eatery are venturing outside the doors of their south Perry home to deliver a dining experience that is, in the written words of Casper Fry co-owner Ben Poffenroth, "a farm to table six-course meal on the farm itself." The event takes place at local CasaCano Farms, located just off the Palouse Highway, on Monday, Aug. 22, at 6 pm.

Swine Dining will, fittingly, see a pig, raised this year on the host farm, pit-smoked and taking center stage as a recurring element in several of the dishes served. The courses include a collection of mouth-watering pork delicacies, from smoked pork shoulder to baby back ribs in apple barbecue sauce, as well as lighter fare such as a tomato salad with vinaigrette, and grilled romano beans. Poffenroth says that most ingredients present in the meal are sourced right from CasaCano Farms.

$75 buys one access to all six courses plus a cocktail, and covers tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and can be made by calling Casper Fry. 

If there's ever a time to overeat and feel good about doing so, Swine Dining is it.
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Recall charges against Condon, Trump shakes up campaign and more headlines

Posted By on Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 9:06 AM

Recall charges were filed against Mayor David Condon Tuesday. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
  • Recall charges were filed against Mayor David Condon Tuesday.

On INLANDER.COM 

Recall Response
Recall charges have been filed against Mayor David Condon — we take a look at the arguments that a Superior Court judge will assess

Every Ted Has His Bill 

Thursday night, catch Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure at a Very Special Suds and Cinema.

The Dream of the '90s is Alive In Spokane

Check out a single show starring Vanilla Ice, Salt-n-Pepa with DJ Spinderella, Color Me Badd, Coolio, Tone Loc and Young MC, coming soon to the Spokane Arena


HERE

They're Both Nice Folks

At a public forum, attendees seemed to like both candidates for the police ombudsman. (Spokesman-Review)

And Then There Was Nun

The "Iron Nun" doesn't seem too excited by the Nike commercial starring her.  And here's our take. (KREM/Inlander

All's Fair in Love and Fair

The Kootenai County Fair might be audited. Again. (CDAPress)

THERE

Manafort Destiny

With journalists exposing the pro-Russia ties of Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, Trump hires two new campaign managers. Their advice to Trump: Stop being such a stiff! Cut loose and speak your mind once in a while! (New York Times)

The Democratization of Cyberwar

You too may be able to download powerful NSA hacking tools. Have fun, and try not to alter the course of the country too much. (Washington Post)

Gold Hoarder 

Simone Biles wins her fourth gold, making her basically a modern day Michael Phelps. (The Atlantic)
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