Friday, July 22, 2016

Initiative that would raise minimum wage, require sick leave makes ballot

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2016 at 4:32 PM

An initiative that would raise the state’s minimum wage to $13.50 over the next four years while giving Washington workers paid time off to deal with illness has qualified for the November ballot.

  • Caleb Walsh illustration

On Friday, the Washington Secretary of State’s office announced that its Elections Division had completed its random sample of the 345,907 signatures turned in for Initiative 1433  and found “that the measure easily exceeded the bare minimum of 246,372 valid signatures needed to qualify for the ballot.”

“This issue crosses geographical and political divides,” said Carlo Caldirola-Davis, campaign manager for Yes on 1433, in a prepared statement. “When voters hear about Yes on 1433, they know it's good for our workers, our families and our economy.”

The measure, if passed, would allow workers to accrue paid time off at a rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked. Employers would be required to start offering the benefit to employees 90 days after they start work. The time off can be used to address domestic violence, illness and injury. It can be used for mental and preventative health reasons, as well as to care for a family member.

The other provision of the initiative will phase in an increase of the state’s minimum wage from its current $9.47 an hour (already one of the highest in the nation) to $13.50 by 2020. After that, an annual cost-of-living adjustment will kick in.

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Trump nominated, bus fare hikes and other headlines as you end your week

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2016 at 9:27 AM

Spokane's daily paper will get a new editor.
  • Spokane's daily paper will get a new editor.


Concert review:
Chris Cornell mesmerizes for three hours at The Fox
InHealth: Trump, Harry Potter and Spokane Vegfest

Curly appointed new editor of S-R
The Spokesman-Review's new editor will be Rob Curley, who will be taking over the position in mid-September. However, the pick is not without controversy. 

Ombudsman down to two
The selection committee for a new police ombudsman is down to two candidates.

STA board approves fare increase
Riding the bus will be more expensive a year from now. The Spokane Transit Authority board voted to increase the fare from $1.50 to $1.75. The hike will go into effect July 2017.

NBA throws elbow to North Carolina
The NBA has announced that it won't hold its 2017 All-Star game in Charlotte over North Carolina's controversial law that requires transgender individuals to use the bathroom that aligns with their biological gender. 

Ailes Out
Roger Ailes, a former Nixon operative who remade TV news, will step down as head of Fox News amid allegations that he sexually harassed employees. 

Trump is nominee
Donald Trump accepted the Republican Party nomination for president last night. Here are highlights of his speech. Here is the full transcript.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

INHealth: Trump, Harry Potter, empathetic reads and Spokane Vegfest

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 2:28 PM

Spokane Vegest is this weekend
  • Spokane Vegest is this weekend

Trump versus Harry Potter 
Your impression of the the Republican presidential candidate may be influenced by whether you’ve read a Harry Potter Book.

So says 
a new study to be published in the special election issue of PS:Political Science and PoliticsTitled “Harry Potter and the Deathly Donald,” the study found that approximately equal numbers of Democrats, Republicans and Independents have read Harry Potter books, but for each book read, respondents’ impressions of Donald Trump were reduced by two to three points on a 100 point scale. The effect was nearly cumulative; for those who had read all seven books, their estimation of Trump could be diminished by 18 out of 100 points. 

“It may simply be too difficult for Harry Potter readers to ignore the similarities between Trump and the power-hungry Voldemort,” writes the study’s author Diana Mutz, PhD, a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Actually reading the books was key; watching Harry Potter movies had no effect on opposition to Trump. Read more here

Encourage empathy
Reading fiction, but not non-fiction, seems to help people develop empathy.
“Similar to people who improve their flying skills in a 
flight simulator, those who read fiction might improve their social skills. Fiction might be the mind's flight simulator,” says researcher Keith Oatley in the Trends in Cognitive Sciences journal. Oatley’s team tested the ability of people to read the expression in 36 images of people’s eyes. Those who read fictional books scored significantly higher. Read more here

The finding was similar to research we reported on in InHealth, showing those who watch high-quality TV drama are more empathetic. 

Veg Out
Grab your reusable market bags and head to the third-annual Spokane VegFest this Saturday. Enjoy live music while you learn more about an “animal-friendly lifestyle,” and browse the offerings of more than 100 vendors and exhibitors. At 2 pm, Rich Roll, one of 2009’s 25 Fittest Men in the World, according to Men’s Fitness magazine, will talk about his vegan lifestyle. Spokane Community College from 10 am to 6 pm.

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CONCERT REVIEW: Chris Cornell mesmerizes for three hours at The Fox

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 10:31 AM

Chris Cornell spent his birthday in Spokane Wednesday, delivering an unforgettable three-hour show. - DAN NAILEN
  • Dan Nailen
  • Chris Cornell spent his birthday in Spokane Wednesday, delivering an unforgettable three-hour show.

Any worries that a Chris Cornell show delivered primarily solo, accompanied by an acoustic guitar, would be less satisfying than seeing the Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman in full, electrified rock god mode were quickly dashed Wednesday when he casually took the stage at the Fox Theater and waved to the audience before picking up a guitar. 

The reverence fans have for Cornell was obvious considering the standing ovation he got before playing a note — and several more that seemed to occur after every other song. The man possesses one of the best voices in rock, and if Wednesday's show proved anything, it's that Cornell has as much of an exciting future ahead as he has a storied history that began as a leader of Seattle's so-called "grunge" movement, continued to global superstardom and more recently settled into a solo career that has him exploring all manners of sonic approaches to his songwriting. 

Cornell spent three hours delivering 28 songs Wednesday night as he celebrated his birthday in Spokane, as well as the announcement earlier in the day that the Temple of the Dog project Cornell did with members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden in 1990 would commence its first-ever tour this fall. 

The set was filled with songs from throughout Cornell's career, most of them accompanied by a story about the song's origins, or a funny non sequitur that showed a guy known for dark lyrics has a wicked sense of humor. There were also plenty of unexpected covers, including Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U" early on to Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" in the encore as the show approached midnight. 

Chris Cornell at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox. - DAN NAILEN
  • Dan Nailen
  • Chris Cornell at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox.
In between, it was a tour de force of skilled showmanship and stunning vocals. Several songs came from his most recent solo album Higher Truth, including the show-opening "Before We Disappear" and night-closing title track, as well as the love song "Josephine" Cornell said he began writing as a love song for his now-wife 14 years before he finished it. 

Surrounded by guitars and effects pedals, as well as an on-stage turntable Cornell used to warm up the audience with some Marvin Gaye and to accompany his stirring version of "When I'm Down," Cornell never stayed in one spot for long. He roamed the stage on one song, sat on a stool the next, and occasionally called out multi-instrumentalist Brian Gibson to add some texture to songs via piano, cello or, on "Nearly Forget My Broken Heart," some mandolin. 

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Spokane chief candidates questioned, ambulance chasers and other headlines

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 9:27 AM


— How lawyers and chiropractors use public records to badger you after an accident. This week's cover story is about the modern day ambulance chasers. 
NEWS — Tiny houses for the homeless in Spokane Valley? 
MUSIC — Jody Piper's hair was on fire, literally. 
ART — Time to submit nominations for the 2016 Spokane Arts Awards.


• The remaining two candidates for Spokane's police chief were put through the ringer yesterday. A full day of interviews with various community panels, capped with a public interview at the West Central Community Center. The third candidate, Seattle Police Department Captain James Dermody, withdrew from consideration inexplicably. (Spokesman-Review)

• Say what you want about Ted Cruz, but it took guts for him to not endorse Donald Trump during his convention speech.

• A federal appeals court struck down a Texas voter ID law, saying it's one of the strictest in the country. The law that requires voters to present one of several forms of government issued ID, violated the Voting Rights Act, the court ruled.

• The Spokane County Courthouse was evacuated for a second time in two weeks after courthouse employees had "reactions" to an unidentified substance in three letters. A fourth letter was sent to the prosecutor's office. (KXLY)

• Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich fired a deputy accused of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a woman he failed to arrest. The woman reportedly had a felony arrest warrant. The deputy's name is Riley Quine. (KXLY)

• Police in Miami shot a caretaker of an autistic man playing with a toy truck in the street. The man who was shot is black and was reportedly unarmed.
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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Spokane Arts wants your nominations for the 2016 Arts Awards

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 3:44 PM


Know any outstanding artists, arts supporters, arts educators or volunteers in Spokane's creative community? Chances are, many of you out there do, and now is the time to nominate them to be recognized for their work.

The 2016 Spokane Arts Awards honors outstanding community members' contributions to our regional creative economy and culture. Four award categories — leadership, collaboration, imagination and inclusion — will be presented during the 2016 Create Spokane Costume Ball at the Washington Cracker Co. Building on the evening of November 5.

Though the presentation of the 2016 Spokane Arts Awards won't happen until later this fall, nominations are needed by an August 15 deadline, less than a month from now.

Who to nominate? Besides artists, arts supporters, educators and the like, also consider arts-centric businesses, organizations, donors and even neighborhoods, "... or any other entity which you feel deserves recognition. Emerging or established, young or old, on the edge or in the center — we welcome any nomination that celebrates the wealth of participation in Spokane's arts ecosystem," the call for nominations says.

Find the nomination form here, and also know that you can submit more than one person or organization for consideration. For inspiration and ideas, here's our story on last year's Arts Awards winners.

Also, if you own a local business, gallery or other arts-supporting locale, don't forget that August 15 is also the deadline to apply to be a participating location on the Fall Art Tour, happening Oct. 7-9.  Find out more about that opportunity here.
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CONCERT REVIEW: The Avett Brothers fired up Airway Heights with their raucous Americana music

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 12:30 PM

The seven-piece Avett Brothers band sounds like they've been making music together since birth.
  • The seven-piece Avett Brothers band sounds like they've been making music together since birth.

He's trying to explain to his family why this music effects him so greatly. 

"They talk about Brooklyn and heading north and road trips and love ... and these words mean so much more," he says, talking in the Northern Quest Resort and Casino foyer just after last night's Avett Brothers show lets out.

And it's true, this young 20-something who wants his parents and siblings to understand what the Avett Brothers mean to him is going to have a challenging time when bringing up the band's lyrics. That song he's describing, "I and Love and You," repeats the title wording over and over. Many of their tunes implement "la la la's" and "ohhh's." It could come off as simplistic to some. Devout fans can have trouble defending their infatuation.

But the Avetts' stage show is the place where it all makes sense. After 16 years together, they are tight, and loose, and emit a profound energy that draws people in. Last night, the seven-piece group rocked the Northern Quest outdoor concert space, keeping the audience, full of everyone from young 20-somethings to senior citizens, completely mesmerized for more than two hours.

They arrived on stage playing "The D Bag Rag," a lively instrumental song off their 2003 album A Carolina Jubilee — always a favorite as Seth Avett gets to show off his mad kazoo skills. They kept on with the upbeat tunes, playing the spit-fire "Talk on Indolence" and also "Live and Die." Through this part of the set both brothers bounced and stomped around; they weren't afraid to look a little ridiculous. 

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On day Chris Cornell plays Spokane, first-ever Temple of the Dog tour announced

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 11:03 AM

Chris Cornell plays Spokane tonight on his 52nd birthday.
  • Chris Cornell plays Spokane tonight on his 52nd birthday.

Pretty big day for long-time Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, owner of one of the best voices in rock. 

First and foremost, of course, is his sold-out headlining show at The Fox in Spokane tonight. If you don't have tickets, there are some bumping around the internet at jacked-up prices

Second, it's Cornell's 52nd birthday today, so expect a massive round of "Happy Birthday" at the show tonight, even if I have to start it myself. (Here's a Billboard article celebrating Cornell's "10 Times His Voice Blew Us Away.")

The biggest news, though, is the announcement of the first-ever tour by Temple of the Dog, the circa 1990 Seattle supergroup made up of Cornell and his Pearl Jam buddies Mike McCready, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament, as well as drummer Matt Cameron, who plays in both Soundgarden and Pearl Jam.

The group famously came to be in the aftermath of the death of Andrew Wood, Mother Love Bone's singer and friend to all involved, and was best known for introducing much of the world to Eddie Vedder for the first time on his duet with Cornell on "Hunger Strike:"

The tour is only hitting five cities, and three are on the West Coast: Los Angeles, San Francisco, and best for us Inland Northwesterners, Seattle on Nov. 20. 

There's a special ticket pre-sale for fans signed up to the Ten Club, Soundgarden and Chris Cornell email lists up and running and running through July 27. Tickets go on sale to the general public at noon on Friday, July 29. So jump on there if you want to make the trip from Spokane. 

$1.50 from each ticket sold will benefit the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation and an additional $1.50 will benefit Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy Foundation.
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School lawsuits, SPD chief candidates arrive, Carson's Satan obsession and morning headlines

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 9:49 AM

Ben Carson thinks Hillary Clinton might inject a little Satanism into the White House.
  • Ben Carson thinks Hillary Clinton might inject a little Satanism into the White House.


The state's superintendent is suing several school districts, including Spokane

A prosecuting attorney in Kootenai County won't be disciplined for his racist social-media posts. 

We talked to a Washington "standup economist" about his proposal for a carbon tax

Vancouver, WA, took a symbolic stand against oil refineries. 


Maybe his Google calendar didn't update
One of the finalists for the Spokane police chief job didn't show up for his interview this morning. (KXLY)

Power switch
Fairchild Air Force Base had a change of command yesterday. (Spokesman-Review)

A bit extreme
A Coeur d'Alene man allegedly tried to run over his wife, a month before his trial for a vehicular manslaughter charge. (CdA Press)


They really did it
Former game-show host and serial bankruptcy artist Donald Trump is officially the nominee of the Republican Party to be leader of the free world. (Washington Post)

The original didn't copy Michelle Obama
According to reporting by the New York Times, the original text for Melania Trump's speech Monday night didn't include those pesky plagiarized portions. 

Ben Carson is still around
And he somehow connected presumptive Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton with Satan. Oh, Ben. We missed you. (CNN)
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

State schools superintendent sues seven districts over funding

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 4:38 PM

Randy Dorn is running out of ways to force the Legislature to fully fund education
  • Randy Dorn is running out of ways to force the Legislature to fully fund education

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn has threatened this year to take dramatic measures to force the state Legislature to fully fund K-12 education. First, he said he may run for governor. Then, he threw out the idea of shutting schools down entirely. 

But Dorn's announcement today is more than a threat. Dorn has filed a lawsuit against the state and seven school districts in Washington, including Spokane Public Schools, demanding that schools stop using local levies to pay teacher salaries. 

In a statement, Dorn says, "this is not a step I want to take," but that the Legislature has failed to fully fund education even four years after the 2012 McCleary decision, a state supreme court ruling mandating the state do so.  

Because of the lack of state funding, Dorn says, school districts use local levies to help pay teacher salaries. In Spokane, according to the lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court, these supplemental contracts add 12.49 percent of salary to teachers with 23 years of experience or less, and 14.69 percent to the salary of teachers with 24 years of experience or more. 

These local levies, he argues, lead to unequal teacher pay across districts and allow wealthy districts to hire the best teachers. Dorn believes this is unconstitutional, so he's leaving it to the court to decide. 

"Some may be critical of my lawsuit, especially those from wealthy districts who benefit from the status quo," he says. "As your state superintendent, I have not taken this step lightly. Instead of blaming the messenger, critics should demand legislators and the Governor fulfill the constitutional obligations they have shirked for too many years." 

Besides Spokane, the districts named in the lawsuit include Seattle, Everett, Bellevue, Tacoma, Evergreen and Puyallup school districts.

Kevin Morrison, spokesman for Spokane Public Schools, says no one from the district can comment until they have a chance to review the lawsuit. However, he says the district remains committed to the need for full and ample state funding of basic education, and says legislative action to fully fund basic education is "imperative."

Jenny Rose, president of the Spokane Education Association, says she doesn't think the lawsuit came at a good time. She says she is confused about why the lawsuit was filed in the first place. 

"That's the part I'm struggling with. If the Legislature can't fund McCleary, how are they gonna fund this lawsuit?" she says. "I don't know if he's doing it for publicity, or publicity to fund McCleary, but I don't think it's the time or the place to be doing this." 

She notes, however, that if the Legislature was fully funding K-12 education, then the local levies would not be necessary. McCleary mandates that a the state fully fund basic education by 2018. That includes funding of teacher salaries and raises by that time. 

Last August, the state Supreme Court ordered the state pay $100,000 a day because of its lack of progress on funding education (that money is supposed to go toward education spending). The Supreme Court then ordered last week that the state show its progress in fulfilling the requirement. Lawmakers have already spent billions to address McCleary, but would likely have to spend billions more to fulfill the mandate. 

In the lawsuit, Dorn — who is not seeking re-election this year — says use of local levies "enables the Legislature to evade its duty to amply fund education," and that they violate the state constitution. 
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