Thursday, October 27, 2016

HEAR THIS: Brand new tunes from Runaway Symphony, Scott Ryan, Stevie Lynne and more

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2016 at 5:14 PM

Runaway Symphony has some big announcements.
  • Runaway Symphony has some big announcements.

As always, the Inland Northwest music scene continues to churn out new and impressive tunes. All of which you should be listening to right now. 

Recently, there's been some huge changes for the dudes of symphonic folk act Runaway Symphony. Within the last year, all four of the guys have gotten married and dispersed to Seattle, Minnesota and Spokane, with only one staying in Moscow. Yet drummer Jason Oliveira says the band has no intention of stopping. Earlier this month they released their first single off their new album and also announced they'd allegedly have one of their songs in the upcoming Owen Wilson film Bastards. The new album is full of that organic rock sound that garnered them attention when their first album came out, before they went more electronic on their last EP. 

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U.S. care quality stagnant, freakishly fit birds and martinis for river health

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2016 at 4:16 PM

Spokane Riverkeeper Jerry White is one of the folks you'll likely find at the Dirty Martinis for Clean Water benefit Nov. 4. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Spokane Riverkeeper Jerry White is one of the folks you'll likely find at the Dirty Martinis for Clean Water benefit Nov. 4.

One Step Forward…

With new technologies, treatments and near-miraculous medications, you might think health care in the U.S. has been continuously improving. But you’d be wrong. A new study looking at representative samples of thousands patients from 2002 to 2013 showed that fewer than half, 42 percent, were receiving recommended treatment, though satisfaction with access to care and physician communication grew. ”The take-home for patients: there is likely recommended care that you are not receiving but should, and there is likely extra care that you are receiving and could be harmful to you," says study author Dr. David Levine.

A Toast to the River
Did you know the Spokane River flows 112 miles, encountering seven dams along its route from the Post Falls Dam to Lake Roosevelt? Or that as many as 17 species of fish call the river home? Show your support for a “fishable and swimmable” Spokane River at the Dirty Martinis for Clean Water event on Friday November 4.

Swift Humans and Swift Birds 
A common swift
  • A common swift
The Spokane Swifts Running Club is offering the opportunity to get out of the house and burn some extra calories before the food debacle that is Halloween. The Monster Dash Fun Run at Manito Park, sponsored by the Swifts, is this Sunday Oct. 30. Registration begins at 8:30 am, with the adult 5K at 10 am, and a kids' race at 11 am.

The bird-variety swift is in the news after research revealed that European swifts spend virtually their entire lives in flight; some of the birds studied as they migrated from Europe to Africa and back did not land a single time in 10 months. Yet they live up to 20 years. “In that time, the bird could have flown the equivalent distance to the moon and back seven times.”
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Renowned poet Heather McHugh reads Saturday for EWU's Visiting Writer Series

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2016 at 3:31 PM

Nationally acclaimed poet Heather McHugh comes to Spokane this weekend for a free public reading of her poetry at Auntie’s Bookstore. The Saturday presentation, beginning at 7:30 pm, is the next installment of the 2016-17 Visiting Writers Series organized by Eastern Washington University’s Inland Northwest Center for Writers.

A fitting work to explore before McHugh's upcoming visit is the poem “The Size of Spokane," originally published in Hinge and Sign: Poems 1968-1993 (1994), a collection named a "Notable Book of the Year" by the New York Times:

“The baby isn't cute. In fact he's
a homely little pale and headlong
stumbler. Still, he's one of us—the human beings stuck on flight 295 (Chicago to Spokane)...”

“...So! it's light
amazing him, it's only light, despite
some three and one
half hundred people, propped in rows
for him to wonder at…”

McHugh was first published in the New Yorker before she became a graduate student at the University of Denver. Her first book, Dangers, now one of 13 titles from McHugh, was published when she was 29.

In addition to poetry, McHugh has published books of essays on poetry, and translations of famous writers. Throughout her career, she's accumulated many awards, grants, and fellowships for her works, including grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, a Guggenheim fellowship, a MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant," and one of the first United States Artists Awards.

Currently, McHugh is the Milliman Distinguished Writer-in-Residence and teacher at the University of Washington in Seattle. She also teaches in the MFA program at Warren Wilson College as a visiting faculty member.
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The Game brings his rap game to Spokane next month

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2016 at 12:23 PM

Hate it or love it, the Game will bring his talents to Spokane.
  • Hate it or love it, the Game will bring his talents to Spokane.

The contracts are freshly signed: the Game is officially coming to Spokane next month to headline the brand new Northwest Fall Fest. While the original Facebook event announcement said the Game was performing the first weekend of November, event coordinator Anthony Kistenmacher, aka Demon Assassin, who's also performing, has now confirmed the concert for Friday, Nov. 18.

Held at Riverside Place (the former Masonic Temple), the festival will also feature Baby Eazy-E — yes, Eazy-E's (RIP) son — along with a ton of regional and local rappers like SOK, OTD, King Skellee, Ill Mafia, CTS Savage Nation, Young West, Kenda Locc and C-Dubb. Performances will run over two stages and begin at 6 pm, running late into the night. 

You'll remember West Coast rapper The Game from his early days as one of Dr. Dre's protégés, when he hung out with 50 Cent — adding vocals to "This is How We Do" — and then fell out with 50 Cent in the mid-aughts (although the two allegedly reconciled just last month), but he's still making music. Last year's "100" featured Drake and garnered more than 52 million plays on Spotify. This month, the rapper released the brand new 1992, which commemorates the L.A. riots and has some critics touting it as his best work since his debut album, The Documentary

Tickets for the event begin at $37. Get those here. 

We at the Inlander hope this is the start of many more music events at the underutilized Riverside Place. 

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Spokane is Reading with author Anthony Marra tonight

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2016 at 10:02 AM


On Wednesday evening, friends of the Spokane County Library District and fans of this year’s Spokane is Reading featured author Anthony Marra met at the Moran Prairie branch to see him in conversation with local author Jess Walter

“I don’t think Marra is a Russian surname,” Walter joked at one point, referring to Marra’s choice to focus on the former Soviet Union in his recent work.

The following conversation wove in and out of Marra’s writing and into his life, occasionally revealing a surprising frankness regarding his audacity in writing about something he isn’t personally attached to.

The special limited attendance event (only 25 spots were available) revolved mostly around Marra’s last two books, his short story collection chosen as this year's Spokane is Reading book, The Tsar of Love and Techno, and his novel A Constellation of Vital Phenomenon.

While in college, Marra said, he fell in love with the “wealth of Russian literature,” and became fascinated with absurd stories that evolved out of the broken systems of the Soviet Union. Moments from his books, such as the painting censor in Tsar, are real historical details, a result of years of research on Russian history.

Marra spoke at length about the moments in his Russian travels which impacted the books. In response to a question from Walter about the use of humor in the book, Marra recalled his Russian friends using humor to diffuse legitimate fear, joking about threats to throw him in the trunk of a car to alleviate his fear of being kidnapped.

Perhaps my favorite part of the conversation was something that the two initially tried to shy away from; Walters started the night with an anecdote about “shut up” talk, which is what his wife calls intense literary talk. It was truly a pleasure listening to the two men, both incredible craftsmen, opine on what makes for effective structure, what the difference is between short stories and novels, the undervalued role of humor, the “audacity of ignorance” and so much more.

Ultimately the conversation returned to audience questions, and folks were able to ask Marra about particular characters and moments from the books. Though Marra said “it’s never good to interpret your own work,” he was gracious and patient, and attentively gave each of his explanations.

Marra and Walter both assured the small audience that each of the coming events happening this Thursday will be different, and I would highly recommend going to see Marra speak. The free public events today are at 1 pm at the Spokane Valley Event Center, and at 7 pm at the Bing Crosby Theater.
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Spokane's lost and found, missing man found dead and more headlines

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2016 at 9:24 AM


NEWS: The mayor and Spokane City Council have called a truce two months after the fiery Frank Straub/public records fallout.

Ben Folds
  • Ben Folds
MUSIC: Ben Folds is in Spokane this weekend. If you're lucky, he'll teach you a little piano before the show.

LOST AND FOUND: BB guns, single gloves, paperbacks and undocumented weed. These are just some of the items occupying the Spokane Airport's lost and found. Staff writer Laura Johnson went scratching through other wastelands of unwanted and forgotten things. Click here to see what she found.


• A missing Coeur d'Alene man was found dead
near Hayden Creek, Post Falls Police confirmed yesterday. William "Bo" Kirk went missing last Saturday following a shift at Northwest Specialty Hospital in Post Falls, where he was a radiology technologist. Authorities found Kirk's burning truck at 9:43 p.m. Saturday. His body was found about 8 miles from the blaze. Click here and here for video of what appears to be two individuals in Kirk's truck withdrawing money from his bank account. (Spokesman-Review, KXLY)

One juror in the Ammon Bundy trial was dismissed yesterday after being accused of bias. Bundy is facing charges for his part in the takeover of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon. (Seattle Times)

• WSU nose tackle Robert Barber did not practice yesterday, which could indicate that his suspension for his involvement in a fight at an off-campus party will stand. (Spokesman-Review)

If you missed Fox News' Megyn Kelly putting former House speaker Newt Gingrich in his place, it's worth a click (below). Kelly's relentless challenging of Gingrich has some media critics speculating about a new era for the conservative network. (New York Times

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Spokane producer returns to premier documentary about skiing in national parks

Posted By on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 4:42 PM


There is a tradition in the snow-sports industry that's been around for a couple decades now, and it pops up around this time of year. It's the ski film — a collection of guys and gals tossing themselves down treacherous terrain and untouched powder fields to fuel the excitement for the impending season. 

You've probably seen these — and seen a lot of them — and many look the same, have nearly identical indie hip-hop soundtracks and feature the same ski-porn shots of young athletes ripping it up and saying "stoked" in every sentence.

John Stifter, a native Spokanite and former editor of Powder magazine who now heads up Powder Productions, had seen enough of them, too. He loved to watch big-time skiers do their thing, but when he set out to executive produce his company's first film, produced along with KGB Productions, he wanted to make a documentary that featured skiing, and not just another "ski film."

The result is Monumental: Skiing our National Parks, a film that takes you deep into the history of not just the Parks Service on the occasion of its 100th birthday, but also brings us back to the early days of skiing at these protected lands. The film's premier tour brings it to Spokane on Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7 pm at the Fox Theater in Spokane.

"It’s not a hype film. It's not going to make you excited to buy a season pass, but I would hope for people to take away an appreciation and an acknowledgment of our public lands, specifically our national parks, and to advocate for their protection," says Stifter, who grew up in Spokane, graduated from Gonzaga Prep and spent some time working at Schweitzer Mountain Resort.

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Dreamed of penning a novel someday? Get ready to start NaNoWriMo!

Posted By on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 4:19 PM


NaNoWriMo = National Novel Writing Month.

Maybe you've been hearing about it, or already Googled the phrase and its accompanying hashtag. But you're going to see a lot more about NaNoWriMo in the coming weeks. (If you're saying the abbreviated version out loud, it's pronounced "nan-o-rye-mo.") 

The 18th annual event challenges writers of all ages and abilities to work toward the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel between Nov. 1 and 11:59 pm on Nov. 30. This year's theme is "Your Novel, Your Universe."

The first NaNoWriMo event was held in 1999, and in 2005 the program received nonprofit status. Since then, hundreds of books written during the month have been published, including some major bestsellers. Sounds crazy ambitious, right? But talk to any local writer you know, and they've likely participated in a past NaNoWriMo and would encourage anyone else to do the same.

NaNoWriMo's executive director Grant Faulkner sums up why the program is for everyone:
“Too many people think they’re not a ‘creative type,’ but to be human is to be a ‘creative type.’ NaNoWriMo teaches you to believe that your story matters, to trust the gambols of your imagination, and to make the blank page a launching pad to explore new universes. That’s important because when we create, we cultivate meaning. Our stories remind us that we’re alive, and what being alive means.”
To get inspired and fired up about the daunting yet doable task, the Spokane County Library District is offering two days of National Novel Writing Month prep workshops this weekend: Sat, Oct. 29, from 10 am-6:30 pm and Sun, Oct. 30, from 1:30-4 pm.

The following list of local writers and authors administer workshops on both days at the library's Moran Prairie branch: Mary Cronk Farrell, Kelly Milner Halls, Maureen McQuerry, Stephanie Oakes, Kris Dinnison, Bruce Holbert, Rachel Toor, Eli Francovich, Claire Rudolph Murphy and Sarah Conover. 

Workshops on the schedule
cater to all genres, offering a range of tips and techniques that may be effective tools for you. Attendees can learn how to interview sources for nonfiction work, or discover whether or not to outline an idea before putting words on the page. Both days of workshops are free and open to all, but participants are asked to register online in advance.

So, what's your NaNoWriMo story going to be about? Get ready to write!
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Broken bells, broken hearts and other breaking headlines

Posted By on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 9:58 AM

How did Encyclopedia know who broke the bell at McEuen Park? Turn to page 45 for the answer!
  • How did Encyclopedia know who broke the bell at McEuen Park? Turn to page 45 for the answer!


Ski Free — or at least reasonably close to free 
The Inlander's Snowlander guru walks you through how ski obsessives can get the best deals. 


Valley Guy
Spokane Valley has a new city manager. [Spokesman-Review]

Brewster's Millions

Developer Rob Brewster, who sputtered out in Spokane four years ago, has returned with a new project revitalizing an old school. [Spokesman-Review]

Bell Basher

Who vandalized the Veterans Bell in McEuen Park? [KXLY]


Like some kind of... Sexmonster!
Newt Gingrich, who has been married three times and doggedly pursued Bill Clinton during his sex scandal, accuses Fox anchor Megyn Kelly of being "obsessed with sex." He also tries to get her to call Bill Clinton a "sexual predator." [Washington Post]

The Trump Tapes... but not the one you're thinking of

Tapes reveal Trump's deep insecurity about losing his status. Like, imagine how humiliating it would be for him to lose the election. 

Tears and Laughter
What happens when you're celebrity comedian Patton Oswalt — and you suddenly lose the love of your life. [New York Times]
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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Join the Alliance: Getting more bang for your skiing bucks

Posted By on Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 11:30 AM

Matt Gibbs taking in the view while using the Powder Alliance beneft at Bridger Bowl outside of Bozeman, Montana.
  • Matt Gibbs taking in the view while using the Powder Alliance beneft at Bridger Bowl outside of Bozeman, Montana.

Three years since its inception to local skiers and boarders, the Powder Alliance is constantly growing. Currently, there are 15 resorts over nine states and three countries. Regionally, Schweitzer Mountain and Whitewater in British Columbia are among the elite list.

The basis of this "add-on" season-pass benefit is that you get three days* of skiing at partnering resorts with your unlimited pass if your home resort is in the program. This year, Kiroro in Japan was added, and that resort boasts some of the best snow on the planet.

Dig Chrismer, marketing manager at Schweitzer Mountain Resort, says “having the flexibility to get out an explore other mountains outside our region is fantastic.”

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Washington State Chinese Lantern Festival

Washington State Chinese Lantern Festival @ Riverfront Park

Through Oct. 30

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