Monday, February 6, 2017

Nodland Cellars now a members-only winery, and you can join for free

Posted By on Mon, Feb 6, 2017 at 4:55 PM


Bigger isn't always better.

That's one of the lessons winemaker Tim Nodland learned as he watched his award-winning Nodland Cellars wines grow from a garage hobby to a commercial entity to a full-blown tasting room in downtown Spokane, complete with food and live tunes.

After a couple years of work to get his tasting room open in February 2016, Nodland poured his last glass at his downtown spot at the end of January after deciding that the production demands of the popular spot were simply too much if he wanted to keep the quality of his wines at the award-winning level.

"Wine was always an art for me," Nodland says, "and it seemed like it was getting too far away from that."

Nodland takes pride in the hand-crafted nature of his wines; he picks the grapes, puts the labels on the bottles, basically does every step of the process himself. The demands of managing a restaurant and booking music for the tasting room — in addition to working his "day job" as an attorney — made him feel like the artistry of winemaking was being lost. If anything, the tasting room proved too popular for him to sustain a wine-production level that he felt comfortable with, and "it's easier to make quality wine in small batches," he says.

Nodland Cellars won't be disappearing, but it is becoming a members-only winery. That means no more tasting room, and no more finding Nodland bottles in area stores. Nodland will focus on making 150-to-200 cases of wine each year, available only to members, and that's it.

You can sign up as a member for free until the spaces fill up, and membership certainly has its privileges. Namely, dibs on getting the first chance to buy some of Nodland's wines as they're released throughout the year.

Nodland is back to making wines in the Spokane Valley space where he first started making larger batches after leaving his garage in 2005, and now he gets to focus on the grapes and the amazing Washington soil and weather that makes what he believes is some of the best wine country on the planet. What he doesn't have to think about is ordering more food supplies or hiring new staff.

"I have the freedom to be more of the artists of the wines," Nodland says of post-tasting room life.

It's all about the wine, as he always wanted it to be.

The Nodland Cellars tasting room downtown poured its last glass at the end of January. Terra Blanca has taken its place in the Chronicle Building.
  • The Nodland Cellars tasting room downtown poured its last glass at the end of January. Terra Blanca has taken its place in the Chronicle Building.

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Weekend hoops: No. 1 Zags keep rolling; EWU, Idaho hanging tough in Big Sky

Posted By and on Mon, Feb 6, 2017 at 10:40 AM

Silas Melson (center) stepped up with Nigel Williams-Goss injured and unable to play Saturday. - AUSTIN ILG
  • Austin Ilg
  • Silas Melson (center) stepped up with Nigel Williams-Goss injured and unable to play Saturday.

It wasn’t a good weekend for teams ranked in the top 10 of the AP Poll.

When No. 1 Gonzaga’s starting lineup was announced Saturday evening, and point guard Nigel Williams-Goss wasn’t in it, there was reason to fear that Gonzaga would be the seventh team ranked in the top 10 to lose on that day. But instead the Zags (24-0, 12-0 WCC) showed why they’re the top-ranked team in the nation with a 90-55 dismantling of Santa Clara.

Just two days after the team needed a superhuman performance from Williams-Goss to survive against BYU — the junior scored 24 points in the second half, on a sprained ankle which kept him on the sidelines Saturday — Mark Few’s squad would have to go without their star.

“It was great,” Few said. “It created an opportunity for the next man up.”

That next man up was Silas Melson, who got his fourth start of the season. Melson scored only four points, but he accounted for just one missed shot and made no turnovers. Most importantly though, he played lockdown defense on one of the best scorers in college basketball: Santa Clara’s Jared Brownridge.

“I don’t know how many times we’ve played him [Brownridge] now, 10 or 11,” Few said. “That might’ve be the best job we’ve done on him.”

Brownridge, who averages over 18 points per game, managed just 13 on Saturday.

Scoring 90 points might lead people to overlook the defensive effort Gonzaga put forth against the Broncos. But that defense is the very reason this team made it through a tough week unscathed, unlike virtually every other team near the top.

On Thursday against BYU the story was Williams-Goss. It was that Gonzaga has a point guard who deserves to be in the conversation not just for the Bob Cousy Award, which is given to the best point guard in the country, but for national player of the year award as well.

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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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Sunday, February 5, 2017

THIS WEEK: Nat Geo Live!, Tim O'Brien, Dead Horses and more

Posted By on Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Nat Geo Live! Ocean Soul stops by Spokane on Wednesday.
  • Nat Geo Live! Ocean Soul stops by Spokane on Wednesday.

A world of entertaining opportunities await in our event listings and Staff Picks, so don't let the snow, cold or any rodent's predictions of lengthy winter get in your way.

Here are some highlights of the week ahead:

Monday, Feb. 6

WORDS | Author Tim O'Brien pretty much reached legendary status with his book The Things They Carried, but he's written plenty of amazing work since. Monday night, he'll host a free reading as part of Gonzaga's Visiting Writers Series. Read our interview with O'Brien here.

Tuesday, Feb. 7

TRIVIA | Join the Humanists of the Palouse crew for a night of brain teasers dedicated to science and reason that’s also a preamble to the group’s annual Darwin on the Palouse event on Feb. 11. Tuesday, it's Darwin on the Palouse Trivia, a celebration of science and reason hosted by Mick Wilkes and including categories like “GMOs” and “Vaccinations.” In other words, leave your Simpsons quotes and knowledge of Journey lyrics at home, and maybe pick up a science book before you go.

Wednesday, Feb. 8

COMMUNITY | In the past 50 years, 90 percent of big ocean fish have disappeared, and dozens of other saltwater species are on the brink of extinction. As part of the fascinating third season of National Geographic Live! series, award-winning National Geographic underwater photographer Brian Skerry shares what he’s captured on film and seen with his own eyes, presenting both stunning and heart-wrenching images that offer a true portrait of our planet’s oceans in his show Ocean Soul.

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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.

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THIS WEEKEND: Belt of Vapor is back, Ayron Jones brings it, and more

Posted By on Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 11:10 AM

Ayron Jones and his band The Way headline The Big Dipper on Saturday.
  • Ayron Jones and his band The Way headline The Big Dipper on Saturday.

There's a whole lotta great music going on this weekend in the Inland Northwest, so make a point of perusing our music listings to find some close to you — just in case the snow makes travel a big sketchy.

We have a few options below, but first a little public service announcement:, a favored online music sampling and buying site among all your favorite bands, is having a benefit sale all day today. All the site's proceeds for music bought today will be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union. Pretty cool. How go shopping.

Here are some music highlights of the weekend


For many, Las Vegas means glitzy casinos and garish poolside parties, and concerts by either faceless DJs at sweaty nightclubs or oldies acts like Wayne Newton and Celine Dion. But every city has a seedy underbelly, and it’s hard to imagine a more appropriate soundtrack for Sin City’s dark side than Meade Ave, a metal crew named after a street dedicated primarily to adult shops and dirty warehouses. The band has seen a few lineup changes since forming in 2013 — hey, the metal life is rough — but a newly solidified four-man lineup is preparing a new album, Stitching The Torn, for release this spring. The sound? Classic metal crunch that recalls the likes of Judas Priest or the thrashier moments of Iron Maiden on tunes like “The Hangman’s Toll.” They're playing at The Pin! and the cover is $10.

Over at The Observatory, Seattle indie punks Ramona play a show with Boat Race Weekend, Lucky Chase and Wake Up Flora.


Ayron Jones and the Way played Volume last spring, and the Seattle blues-rock crew has officially achieved "next big thing" status in their hometown. That typically means good things ahead. Read our interview with Jones and check out the show Saturday at The Big Dipper. Cover is $10.

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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.

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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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