Friday, September 30, 2016

THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: I Love the '90s Tour, David Liebe Hart, Twin Peaks and Suicide Silence

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2016 at 10:15 AM


In the mood to hear some very strange music about aliens and religion and lost love tonight? Of course you are. Eric Liebe Hart rolls into the Big Dipper tonight with his host of puppets, psychedelic cable access videos and, of course, his awesome dad style. The musical comedy show starts at 7:30 pm, is $13 at the door and includes the rocking stylings of the Smokes along with local improv troupes the Ditch Kids and Midnight Goats. Read our recent interview with the Hart right here. 

Tonight, the Straight out of Hell Tour, including high-flying metal acts Suicide Silence, Whitechapel, Carnifex and Oceano, hits the Pin! and show promoter Ryan Levey says that this is one of the most thrilling shows he's brought in all year — explaining the $30 price tag. The show starts at 6:30 pm. 

As you may remember the Bartlett's own Bartfest, scheduled for this week, was canceled earlier this year. However, two of the festival headliners Twin Peaks and Tops are still here this Saturday to entertain. Chicago act Twin Peaks (whom we wrote about in this week's issue) plays at the Bartlett along with White Reaper starting at 8 pm for $12, while Tops takes over the Observatory along with Super Sparkle and Mini Murders at 9 pm. Cost for that show is $10. 

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Dakota pipeline protests, Trump's Cuba trouble and morning headlines

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2016 at 9:19 AM


NEWS: Idaho Pot activists launch new campaign for medical marijuana
INHEALTH: Aiding Africa, one hip seminar and measuring pain meds' effects on your heart
NEWS: Photos and stories from the front lines of the Dakota pipeline protests
Protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline have drawn thousands. - JEFF FERGUSON
  • Jeff Ferguson
  • Protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline have drawn thousands.

Fagan name-checked in lawsuit
A lawsuit filed by the Washington attorney general against Tim Eyman names Spokane City Councilman Mike Fagan in his role working with the anti-tax initiative guru. The lawsuit alleges that Eyman didn't properly disclose contributions,expenses and loans. The allegations don't concern either of Fagan's campaigns for city council. Fagan denies any wrongdoing. (Spokesman-Review)

Breaking the law against oil trains
Three activists with Veterans for Peace were arrested for blocking the route of an oil train. The protestors said they want Spokane City Council to pass legislation aimed at the trains carrying the controversial cargo. (KREM)

Knezovich continues feud with Shea

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich has sent another letter to the Spokane County GOP demanding that state Rep. Matt Shea be censured for his attacks on the sheriff's office. (KXLY)


Trump goes to Cuba (illegally)
According to a report in Newsweek, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump secretly conducted business in Cuba, violating U.S. law that prohibited trade with the Communist country. (Newsweek)

'Americans are stupid and should do what they are told'
Congressional staff, bureaucrats and think tank leaders think the American public is woefully uninformed and should do what they are told, according to a new study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. (Vice News)

Saudi Arabia headed to court
Earlier this week, Congress overrode a presidential veto of a bill allowing families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for its alleged role in the attacks. Now, lawyers for the kingdom are seeking to limit damage in court. (New York Times)

Musician-actor-puppeteer-comedian David Liebe Hart plays Spokane tonight at the Big Dipper. 
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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Photos and stories from the front lines of the Dakota pipeline protests

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 4:37 PM

  • Jeff Ferguson

As a Spokane Tribal member and full-time freelance photo and videographer, I had been watching what little coverage had been made available on social and mainstream media about the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) conflict with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe near the confluence of the Cannon Ball and Missouri rivers in North Dakota.

Over the summer many Natives from all parts of the country had been heading to the front lines at the standoff and staying indefinitely at several camps near by. I knew there were several tribes and groups from this area who had gone to bring supplies to the “Water Protectors” and support the fight against the pipeline, which opponents argue would harm ancestral lands and threaten the water supply of millions.

Although I had felt drawn to document the efforts of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their supporters, I also felt like a bandwagoner or sensationalist. I didn’t want to go there just to get the scoop. So when I was asked to help drive a supply load over, I felt more like I was purpose-driven and that bringing my camera was secondary. 

My friend who asked me to go had just returned from the front lines and had first-hand accounts of the DAPL security people pepper-spraying men, women and children and siccing their attack dogs on the Water Protectors as they tried to prevent DAPL bulldozers from desecrating sacred ancestral burial grounds. After seeing the footage on his phone and hearing his accounts, I knew I had to go. 

I had heard that none of the Water Protectors were armed and they were all peaceful activists. I had heard there were people from all over the world and everyone who had returned said that it was a very special place and that they had never experienced anything like it. They said there was a sense of unity in the people both Native and non-Native, a sense of solidarity in humanity. 

When I left, I knew I had to meet some of the people who were there and find out who they were, where they were from and what motivated them to be there. I knew I didn’t want an official statement from the movement organizers nor did I want the usual media treatment. So I set out, with an open mind, an open heart, not knowing what to expect except that more than likely it would be a life-changing experience. And it was. 

While we were there, my friend and I went to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Administrative building in Fort Yates, North Dakota, to get a letter asking the Spokane City Council to pass a resolution supporting the efforts of the tribe opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline. They gave us a signed letter from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s executive director. We are set to present this to the Spokane City Council on Monday's meeting.

Regardless of the outcome, we are planning to return to North Dakota with more supplies before winter hits.
Scenes from the Dakota pipeline protests
Scenes from the Dakota pipeline protests Scenes from the Dakota pipeline protests Scenes from the Dakota pipeline protests Scenes from the Dakota pipeline protests Scenes from the Dakota pipeline protests Scenes from the Dakota pipeline protests Scenes from the Dakota pipeline protests Scenes from the Dakota pipeline protests

Scenes from the Dakota pipeline protests

By Jeff Ferguson

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Aiding Africa, one hip seminar and measuring pain meds' effects on your heart

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 1:51 PM


Can't sleep?

Seems like Americans struggle to get a good night's rest these days. Pick up your copy of the October edition of InHealth starting Monday to learn about some new ways to nod off. 

Pain Meds and Heart Failure
A pretty huge European observational study has revealed a relationship between the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (including traditional drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen and COX-2 inhibitors) and the risk of heart failure. Clinical guidelines already urge caution in use of NSAIDs in people who are at risk for heart failure, and recommend that patients who have heart failure stay away from NSAIDs entirely.

But researchers were curious about whether different NSAIDs had different risks and whether the risk was tied to dosages. They reviewed medical records of 10 million NSAID users matched
 with 8 million controls across databases in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Those who had used NSAIDs in the past 14 days were 19 percent more likely to be admitted to a hospital with heart failure than those who had not used NSAIDs in the past 6 months. At very high doses, some NSAIDs were correlated with double the risk of hospital admission for heart failure. The results don’t show NSAIDs cause heart failure, but researchers say the results could help guide clinical practice.

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Idaho pot activists launch new campaign for medical marijuana

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 12:20 PM


A new initiative petition seeking to reform Idaho’s stringent marijuana laws has hit the streets. 

Earlier this month, the Idaho Secretary of State's Office approved a petition that, if passed into law, would create a medical marijuana program in the Gem State. Current Idaho law takes a particularly harsh approach to marijuana compared to neighboring states, which allow some sort of medical use of the drug or have outright legalized it like Washington and Oregon. In Idaho, possession of cannabis is a misdemeanor offense and the state doesn’t sanction the medical use of the drug.

If the initiative qualifies for the ballot and is passed, Idaho will join 25 other states that have a medical marijuana law. The initiative includes a long list of qualifying conditions that encompasses cancer, glaucoma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and others. Patients that qualify for the program established by the initiative can legally possess 24 ounces of usable marijuana and 12 plants.

“We didn’t want to leave anything out,” says Angela Osborn, board secretary for the Idaho Medical Marijuana Association, or IMMA, the group sponsoring the petition. “We didn’t want to leave a patient out; we didn’t want to leave a disease out. We want it super simple and to help as many people as possible.”

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Pay a little less to do the wild thing with Tone Loc

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 10:15 AM

Perhaps when the "I Love the '90s" tour announced a stop at the Spokane Arena, you thought to yourself, "Do I really love the 90s? Do I love them enough to want to check out the odd package that includes one of the biggest one-hit wonders atop the bill in Vanilla Ice, and a slew of pretty solid retro soul, R&B and hip-hop acts?" 

Oh, and Color Me Badd. 

Well, if the price of seeing Vanilla Ice, Salt 'n' Pepa, Tone Loc, Coolio and Young MC (yes, and Color Me Badd) was holding you back, today there's a deal with your name on it. Instead of paying $47.50, or $67.50, or $87.50 (maybe Vanilla Ice washes your car for that price?), you can go to the TicketsWest website between 10 am and 10 pm Thursday and get tickets for $30 — just use the code word "Love"in the promo box, and you'll be on your way to seeing "Bust A Move," "Wild Thing," "Gangsta's Paradise," "Let's Talk About Sex" and a bunch of other tunes that you might vaguely remember from Yo! MTV Raps! and TRL. The show is this Sunday at the arena. 

Really, the price is worth it just to see this tune. Seriously: 

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Condon settles ethics complaint, suicide calls to Spokane police and other news

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 9:08 AM


On the Cover: This week on the cover, staff writer Daniel Walters examines a single street's divide between the West Central Neighborhood and the swanky new Kendall Yards development.

NEWS: Been living under a rock in Spokane for the past year? Here's everything you need to know. (The police chief's potty mouth, the mayor's secret meetings, a botched "investigation," and whether or not public officials were honest about it all.)

FOOD: You guys, Nectar Beer & Wine is opening a second location in the Perry District, and Allie's Vegan Pizzeria & Cafe is also opening a second location on the South Hill. Read about them here.

NEWS: A woman who was allegedly gang raped during an off-campus party in 2013 is suing North Idaho College in federal court for intentionally misleading her about her Title IX rights and not investigating the attackers. 


• Spokane police rush to help someone thinking of suicide about three times per day, according to a new report released by the department. The report is based on 556 "suicidal person" calls from the first half of 2016. (Spokesman-Review)

• Two Lakeland Jr. High students were found with "hit lists" and arrested yesterday. The juveniles, ages 13 and 14, were booked into the Kootenai County Juvenile Detention Center. (KXLY)

• A 14-year-old boy in South Carolina killed his father and then shot two boys and a teacher at an elementary school near his home. All three victims at the school sustained non-life threatening injuries. (CNN)

• A commuter train crash in New Jersey this morning has killed at least 1 person and injured at least 100 more, according to initial reports. (New York Times

• In a case that will directly impact the Washington Redskins, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on whether or not a disparaging registered trademark is protected free speech under the first amendment. (Washington Post)

• Police abuse of confidential databases is rampant nationwide, an investigation by the Associated Press found. 
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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

North Idaho College sued in federal court for its response to a reported gang rape in 2013

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 5:06 PM

A woman who says she was gang raped at an off-campus party in 2013 has sued North Idaho College, accusing the school of forcing her to re-encounter her attackers in her dormitory and of intentionally misleading her about her rights under federal Title IX standards. 

According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, the assault took place when the victim was a 17-year-old freshman at NIC in November 2013. She became intoxicated at the party, but when she was falling in and out of consciousness, she recalls three men that she knew sexually assaulting her, the lawsuit says. 

The following day, the complaint filed in court says that the victim texted her friend — a resident assistant at the time — describing the incident, including how one man was standing by "asking for a turn" during the assault. The 17-year-old also explained to her friend how she felt "disgusted with herself" afterward. The friend notified her supervisor about the incident, and eventually the school's vice president of student services and a campus counselor were both notified.

The lawsuit contends that NIC officials did nothing to investigate the men she says attacked her. Instead, it states, they attempted to convince her to move out of the dorms, and "thereafter punished" her for her actions "in the wake of the emotional and psychological turmoil," the lawsuit says. 

About a month after the incident, the resident assistant at the dorm noted that the victim entered the dorm at 1:35 am "distraught and intoxicated," saying "all she wants to do is drink to forget what happened." Soon after that, the school had her sign a "behavior contract" to address her drinking issue. The school then assigned the resident assistant to track when the victim came and went from the dorm, according to the lawsuit. 

The victim was disciplined by NIC in April 2014 for writing graffiti on the windows that expressed her dissatisfaction with the way she was being treated by the school, the complaint says.

The lawsuit says the school then intentionally misled her regarding her Title IX rights, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. When the victim asked the Title IX coordinator if the assault "qualified" for a Title IX complaint, the coordinator responded that he did not understand what she meant by "qualify for a complaint," but that it did fall under the purview of Title IX and it was his job to investigate all allegations. 

NIC spokesman Tom Greene says the college cannot comment on pending litigation. 

Rebecca Rainey, an Idaho attorney representing the young woman in the case, says her client reported the assault to police the spring after the November assault, but no charges were filed. Rainey says the men involved were not named in the lawsuit because she says the lawsuit is about "the school's lack of response and inaction." 
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Condon strikes deal, avoiding ethics commission hearing over alleged dishonesty

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 5:03 PM

NOW member Sherry Jones explains why she decided to settle the organization's ethics complaint against the mayor, instead of grilling the mayor on his alleged dishonesty - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
  • NOW member Sherry Jones explains why she decided to settle the organization's ethics complaint against the mayor, instead of grilling the mayor on his alleged dishonesty

For over nine months, a crucial question has been hanging before the city's ethics commission: Was Mayor David Condon honest or dishonest when he said "no," at a press conference a year ago, when the Inlander asked him if there had been any sexual harassment complaints "lodged" against former police Chief Frank Straub?

Two months after that clear denial, records revealed that former police spokeswoman Monique Cotton had personally complained to the mayor and City Administrator Theresa Sanders that Straub had grabbed her "ass" and tried to kiss her. 

Since December, the ethics commission, Condon's attorney Jim King, and the National Organization for Women's attorney, Rick Eichstaedt, have been fighting over the minutia of that press conference to determine whether the mayor's comment violated the city's ethics code. 

But just an hour and a half before the mayor was scheduled to be grilled before the ethics commission, NOW and Condon came to an agreement: NOW would withdraw their complaint in exchange for seats on the mayor's  "21st Century Workforce Task Force." Specifically, they'd get seats on "Gender Pay and Equity Report" and the "Sexual Harassment Policies and Procedures" subcommittees, where they would have the ability to weigh on the process modifying the city's sexual harassment, gender equity, and workforce training policies. It would also guarantee mandatory sexual harassment training for city employees.

"This was a very difficult decision for us," Sherry Jones, with NOW, said at a press conference at noon. "Exacting a pound of the mayor's flesh was never our goal. We wanted accountability, yes, but more importantly, we wanted to make sure that sexual harassment complaints never again go uninvestigated."

While Condon had already committed to reform the city's equity and sexual harassment policies, the settlement guaranteed NOW would be able to have input in the process and set a deadline to have the process completed by the end of the year. 

“The city is committed to protecting the well-being of our employees and ensuring they are treated fairly and appropriately, including addressing sexual discrimination and harassment,” Condon said in a press release. “This task force brings a tremendous mix of perspectives that will create a transformational organization to become the employer of choice.”

The settlement, however, did not include an admission of guilt from the mayor and did not include anything to specifically address NOW's concerns about the mayor's dishonesty. 

"We wanted to hold Mayor Condon's feet to the fire on this issue, for sure," Jones says. "On the other hand, are we going to be able to guarantee he's always honest in the future or anyone is? No."

But focusing narrowly on the question of dishonesty, Jones says, wouldn't necessarily have pushed forward the ultimate goal of improving workplace safety and equality for female city employees. 

"The struggle with dealing with the ethics commission is... so what? He gets a $75 fine? What really happens with the result of that?" Eichstaedt says, referencing the small fine the commission leveled against Sanders for being untruthful. "If we want to effectuate systemic change, that might not be the best outcome." 

He also says the agreement also calls for the mayor to review the ethics commission process itself, a process which Eichstaedt says needs reform. 

"It doesn’t have to be a process where you have to lawyer up to file a claim," Eichstaedt says. "If you’re somebody like the mayor and you're the subject of a frivolous claim, you also [shouldn't] have to lawyer up." 

City Council President Ben Stuckart has previously floated the idea of Spokane, like Chicago, having an "inspector general" who would independently conduct investigations and assess ethics hearings. 

By settling, however, it leaves the actual ethical question unanswered: Was the mayor honest or dishonest in his statement to the Inlander? I've combed through the documents filed by King and Eichstaedt, public records, and the massive report by independent investigator Kris Cappel to attempt to summarize the best cases for and against Condon.

The case for "honesty"
In his briefs, the mayor's attorney, Jim King, argues that the mayor wasn't unethical because his statement was true, that all the pieces of evidence" unmistakably show that Mayor Condon was honest the press conference."

At that time, no one had filed an official, formal complaint with the city regarding sexual harassment, King says. 

A second and a half after the mayor's denial, Condon was asked by KHQ reporter Patrick Erickson: "There have been rumors of an inappropriate relationship between the Chief and Ms. Dugaw. Has that been brought up at all? Was that any part of this as well?" 

The mayor responded, "The critical thing is the management style. The issue with the — that you speak of ... there has been no official filings of anything." 

King argues that Condon had no idea that "Ms. Dugaw" was a reference to Cotton's maiden name, and that the mayor's comment, in fact, was a clarification of his response to the Inlander, that the mayor was only referring to the lack of official filings, when he denied there had been any sexual harassment complaints. 

And while King doesn't mention this, City Administrator Theresa Sanders' own notes detailing the conversation she had with Cotton over sexual harassment, quoted Cotton as saying she "cannot be party to a complaint regarding sexual harassment. This person has hurt me enough. I don't want to be hurt by him anymore."

If Sanders' quotes are accurate, it suggests that Cotton herself didn't believe she was making a complaint by bringing her allegations to the mayor and Sanders. She had pleaded with the mayor, Sanders, and city spokesman Brian Coddington to keep her complaint confidential.

For eight of the nine months that this ethics complaint had been argued, the debate focused on the definition of the phrase "complaint," with King preferring a very narrow definition and Eichstaedt preferring a much broader one.  

But when the Yakima County Superior Court Judge Blaine Gibson dismissed the recall charges against Condon, he seized upon another word: "lodged." 

He cited the Inlander's vibrant active verb choice as a reason for dismissing the charge. The verb "lodged," the judge argued, could imply something more formal than a casual complaint. 

"The problem is one of semantics," Gibson said. "I think most people would understand the word 'lodged' to refer to something more formal than simply complaining."

Indeed, the Cambridge dictionary definition of "lodge" includes the definition "to formally make a complaint to an official." Gibson did not believe an issue of semantics met the very high bar required to initiate a recall in Washington state. So it's reasonable to think that it would not meet the standard for "dishonesty" before the ethics commission either.

The case for "dishonesty"
The Merriam-Webster definition of the verb "lodge" includes, "to lay (as a complaint) before a proper authority." 

You better believe that Cotton laid her complaint, about sexual harassment, before to the proper authorities. She met with the mayor himself in her lawyer Bob Dunn's office, and alluded to inappropriate touching by Straub.

She'd discussed her concerns about harassment in a phone call with City Administrator Theresa Sanders, Straub's immediate superior, where she said Straub had grabbed her "ass" and tried to kiss her. She told her she had the texts that could prove it. She alluded to the harassment again, in writing, in a text message. Her allegations were a major reason why she was moved out of the police department and into a position in the parks department.

And Cotton's allegations caused the city to conduct a "limited investigation" into the matter, Cappel found: The mayor and Sanders brought Cotton's allegations to city attorneys, who told Straub that Cotton had accused him of sexual harassment. Straub, according to Condon and Sanders, denied the allegations. 

"He investigated, he disciplined, he moved Monique," Eichstaedt says of Condon. "It smelled, tasted, felt look exactly like a complaint."

Not only that, but you want formal? How about a letter, chock full of legal language to and from her lawyer to Condon and Sanders, intended to "formalize" a request for the mayor to approve a “minor contract claim” of $13,276.89.  

"A promise was made for services rendered, my client relied on those promises, and then performed as requested," Dunn wrote.

And in this letter, Dunn threatened to file a formal legal claim — the first step to a lawsuit — that would accuse Straub of "predatory and sexually inappropriate misconduct and outrageous interactions, including physical and emotional assaults with and against subordinate female City employees" and of "causing and creating a work environment so sexually charged and hostile that it caused the constructive discharge of my client."

And while no legal claim was filed, the Inlander's question was about whether any complaint was lodged, not whether a formal legal claim had been filed. Arguably, a "minor contract claim" memorialized in a letter would count as an official filing. 

Furthermore, the report that the mayor and city council commissioned from independent investigator Kris Cappel refers specifically to Monique Cotton's sexual harassment allegations as a "complaint" more than 35 times

Even when Cappel found that the city had addressed Cotton's allegations effectively, she referred to it, unabashedly, as a complaint.  
Ms. Cotton was reassigned to the Parks Division as a result of complaints she raised about Chief Straub in April 2015. Those complaints included allegations of sexual harassment and offensive and inappropriate treatment by Chief Straub during a meeting on March 31, 2015. Ms. Cotton’s complaints were shared with Mayor Condon in a private meeting at Ms. Cotton’s attorney’s office, and with Ms. Sanders in a series of in-person meetings, telephone calls, and text messages.
In fact, Cappel titles a section of the report "What constitutes a 'complaint?" In it, she notes that the city code doesn't formally define "complaint." She notes that HR has investigated situations based only on complaints made orally. 
While the SPD policy is somewhat ambiguous in that it refers to both “complaints” and “concerns,” the context and references throughout the policy indicate that an employee’s concerns or allegations need not be communicated formally (as in writing or using a specific form) to constitute a complaint.”
Ultimately, the question of honesty often comes down to intent. Did Condon believe that there actually had been any sexual harassment complaint lodged against Straub when he denied it to the Inlander?

But Eichstaedt points out that Condon acknowledges that Cotton's complaining would be a "complaint" in his interview with Cappel. 
Q: Did you consider what she [Ms. Cotton] was telling you – and that is
that she was sexually harassed by Straub. Did you consider that she
was making a complain

A: In the sense I – yes. I turned that over to – to – to Theresa to – to
further take through the process, yeah.

Q: So you did – you did think that Monique was making a complaint? She
was complaining about something?

A: She was complaining about something, yes.

Not only that, he argues, Cotton's claim that she'd been inappropriately grabbed by Straub wasn't the only sexual harassment issue at play from Condon's perspective. 

In Condon's interview with Cappel,  he said that sexually graphic language Straub used in the explosive March 31 meeting with Cotton and several members of police leadership "was very uncomfortable for [Cotton] in a sexual harassment connotation."

According to witnesses, Straub yelled at Cotton that she'd "f—-ed him," made him "look like a f—-ing asshole" and told her she'd "f—-ed him in the ass and broke the d—- off."

And even though Cotton wasn't interviewed as part of the investigation over the March 31 incident, and even though she discussed the issue in the same meetings where she disclosed her sexual harassment, King himself has referred to Cotton's verbal concerns about the March 31 incident as "a complaint" multiple times. 

“The Mayor consulted with the city attorney’s office after receiving Ms. Cotton’s complaint of misbehavior after receiving Ms. Cotton’s complaint of misbehavior of Chief Straub  at the March 31 meeting,”  King said at the recall hearing. 

But there's another issue, beyond whether what Condon said was technically true: Trust. When public officials or reporters feel they've been deceived, they're more likely to be skeptical of statements in the future. 

"I do think that the battle between the press and the administration has sometimes tightened into an insoluble knot, as has the conflict between the mayor and the City Council," Spokesman-Review columnist Shawn Vestal wrote shortly after the release of the Cappel report. 

In a podcast from August, Spokesman-Review reporter Nick Deshais detailed all the ways the city tried to shut down his reporting on the Straub scandal.

“From the very beginning, they’ve come up with any way they can think of to not let this information get out there,” Deshais said. “I’ve got, ‘It didn’t happen.' I got, I’m being 'destructive.' ... They say, “Nick, these are people’s lives. You know, basically trying to put some guilt trip on me that I’m hurting people.”

That's one reason, he said, he casts such a wide net when he files a public records request. He doesn't want public officials to be able to find a way to dance around it. 

“There is a little bit of — when I know people are lying to my face, I kind of want to just prove them wrong,” Deshais said. “We want to get the truth out. [City spokesman Brian Coddington] wants to get a story that makes the city look good [out].”

But as for City Council President Ben Stuckart, who's repeatedly called the mayor a "liar," says the relationship between himself and the mayor has been thawing since the recall was rejected earlier this month.

Last Friday, for the first time in six months, Stuckart says, he and the mayor had a wide-ranging, free-flowing conversation about a slew of different topics.

"We had a frank discussion, the day the recall failed. I think both the administration and council are really eager to move forward," Stuckart says. "We’ve got to hit the reset button. He agreed." 

And Stuckart says that reset starts with recognizing that both have the best interests of the city at heart and choosing to trust each other.

"To me, that means really taking everything at face value and not questioning it," Stuckart says.

Condon and Stuckart, friends again
  • Condon and Stuckart, friends again

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Food Blotter: Second location for Nectar Beer & Wine, Allie's reopens and more

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 3:50 PM

For fans of the region's blossoming culinary scene, several news tidbits crossed our radar today.

This morning, I received a welcome email from Atania Gilmore, owner of the locally-beloved vegan restaurant Allie's Vegan Pizzeria & Cafe, that the second location of her business is opening next week on Spokane's South Hill. After a devastating fire heavily damaged Gilmore's flagship location on Spokane's North Side earlier this year, and she learned that it would take as long as six months for repairs, Gilmore decided to open a second location in the interim. 

Allie's new spot in a shopping center at 1314 S. Grand, Suite 6 — next to Growler Guys — is set to open for business next Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 11 am. In her email, Gilmore says the store will be holding drawings throughout the week for gift cards, and will be giving out cupcakes to customers who stop in.

An artist's rendering of Nectar's new South Perry spot. - HDG ARCHITECTURE RENDERING
  • HDG Architecture rendering
  • An artist's rendering of Nectar's new South Perry spot.

In boozier news, Nectar Wine & Beer is bringing a second location to the hip South Perry neighborhood. Owner Josh Wade, who opened the beer and wine retail store and tasting room in Kendall Yards last year, plans to operate the second spot in a newly constructed, two-story building at 907 S. Perry, on the corner of Perry and Ninth. In a blog post on his website, Wade writes that construction is to start at the beginning of next year, with a targeted opening date of spring 2017. Customers of the Kendall Yards' location can expect to find the same familiar layout and an identical business model at the new Perry store.

Fans of the midday meal that combines breakfast and lunch can rejoice now that the forthcoming Bruncheonette restaurant has announced its expected grand opening date: Oct. 17. By the same folks who run the familiar Couple of Chefs Catering & Food Truck, the new eatery takes over a space just north of downtown, most recently occupied by the Knock Irish pub.

Stay tuned for more news on these spots and other new places to fill your belly around the Inland Northwest by checking out the Inlander's weekly food section online and in print, and by signing up for the weekly food newsletter, Entree
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