Monday, January 16, 2017

No, Spokane's mumps outbreak is not proof that vaccines don't work

Posted By on Mon, Jan 16, 2017 at 3:16 PM

Because a small percentage don't work, but you're still more likely to get mumps without a vaccine
  • Because a small percentage don't work, but you're still more likely to get mumps without a vaccine

Today, the Spokane Regional Health District announced that 44 people in Spokane have mumps, in what SRHD spokeswoman Kim Papich tells the Inlander may be Spokane's worst mumps outbreak in "decades."

The outbreak is becoming a problem that's causing the health district to order students without a mumps vaccination to stay home. And the outbreak is likely to grow — Papich says the health district is investigating about 10 new cases of mumps per day.

But some anti-vaxxers are clinging to the fact that out of the 44 people with mumps, at least 27 actually were vaccinated.

This has thrown comment pages on local news stories into the inevitable chaos expected of every single internet debate about vaccines. You'll find questions like, "If vaccines actually worked, then how come it didn't protect those 27 people from getting mumps?" and "How come there's more vaccinated people with mumps than unvaccinated people with mumps?"

These are questions that can be explained. For starters, nobody is saying that the MMR vaccine works 100 percent of the time. In fact, the vaccine is around 88 percent effective. Still, a person who has received the vaccine is about nine times less likely to get mumps than an unvaccinated person exposed the same virus, according to the health district.

So, how could more vaccinated people have mumps than unvaccinated people? Because, simply, there are more vaccinated people in Spokane than unvaccinated people.

I realize this can be hard to wrap your head around, but stay with me. In evaluating the effectiveness of a vaccine, public health officials assess what they call the virus's "attack rate" among those who are vaccinated and those who are not. That means they evaluate the rate at which each population — vaccinated and unvaccinated — is infected with the virus. The virus infects a higher number of vaccinated people, but at a lower rate, percentage-wise, than unvaccinated people.

Put another way, that means you're still more likely to get mumps if you're unvaccinated.

Consider this example from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Say there are 1,000 people in a community. Most (95 percent) of those people are vaccinated, but 50 are not. The virus attacks only 3 percent of the 950 people who were vaccinated, but 30 percent of the 50 people who are not. In this scenario, 44 people got sick during the outbreak (it's just a coincidence that the CDC used 44 as the total number of infected people). The unvaccinated people were far more likely to be infected by the virus, yet there would be fewer unvaccinated people with the virus (15) than vaccinated people with the disease (29).

This is not a direct comparison to Spokane's latest outbreak and the 44 current cases, in which eight people were unvaccinated. The health district does not know whether or not nine people were vaccinated or not. But the point that health officials have been trying to explain is this: The fact that vaccinated people have the mumps virus should not be interpreted, on its own, as evidence that the vaccine does not work.

Of course, public health officials have been trying to explain this for a while now, and many people remain unconvinced. Let the debate rage on.
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Police shoot man on South Hill, Trump's combative weekend and morning headlines

Posted By on Mon, Jan 16, 2017 at 9:31 AM

Georgia Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights hero, had beef with Trump over the weekend.
  • Georgia Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights hero, had beef with Trump over the weekend.


Spokane police shot and killed a man on the lower South Hill Sunday. Details are still sketchy at best.

Entertainment options this week include a Jewish Heritage film fest, hard rockers Chevelle and a Woman's March on Spokane.


Local loss
Spokane Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza, a Gonzaga grad and booster, was hailed for his fairness in the court and generosity off it. He died on Sunday of complications from a heart bypass. (Spokesman-Review).

Almost at the top
Gonzaga's men's basketball team put a beat down on conference rival St. Mary's Saturday night, and remain undefeated, yet won't be No. 1 in the polls this week. (ESPN)

Get out the waders
Believe it or not, temperatures above freezing are headed to the Inland Northwest, and with them the threat of flooding is on the radar. (KXLY)


Not a racist, nor a historian
President-elect Donald Trump spent the days leading up to today's Martin Luther King Day holiday lambasting a civil rights hero on Twitter and canceling a planned trip to the Smithsonian's African American history museum. (New York Times/NY Daily News).

National intelligence
Meanwhile, Trump and the outgoing CIA director are trading barbs over the Donald's apparent lack of savvy when it comes to Russia (from the CIA's perspective), and the agency's potentially being behind the so-called Trump dossier that Buzzfeed published, full of unseemly things about the president-elect (from Trump's perspective). (CNN)

America's NATO allies aren't too excited about the next president's calling the organization "obsolete." (BBC)

It's Martin Luther King Day

Watch his "I Have a Dream" speech if you can't go the parade in downtown Spokane:

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Few details yet in fatal Spokane police shooting

Posted By on Mon, Jan 16, 2017 at 8:09 AM

Shortly after 12:30 am Sunday, a man was shot and killed by a Spokane police officer.

Neither the name of the deceased man nor the name of the officer have been released. Few details are available at this point, but here's what we know so far from police:

A Spokane police officer contacted a man at 9th and Adams Street in the Cannon Hill area. The man pulled a knife on the officer and ran. The foot chase ended at 5th and Walnut, where multiple officers fired Tasers at the man, according to a news release from the Spokane Police Department. The Tasers did not work, and at least one officer fired at the man, Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl told reporters Sunday afternoon. Meidl added that the man had interacted with law enforcement in the past.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene after an EMT-certified officer gave medical aid. Meidl said at least five officers were in the area when the shots were fired, and no officers were seriously injured.

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office will investigate the shooting, which includes reviewing body camera footage and interviewing officers and other witnesses.

Although we don't know specific details of why the officer initially approached the man, Meidl emphasized that the officer was patrolling in a "hot spot" — an area the police focus their resources in an attempt to reduce the relatively high level of crime. At any one time, SPD focuses on seven hot spots throughout the city, Meidl said.

"We ask our officers to be proactive in those areas," Meild said. "And this is one of those cases where the officer was being proactive in attempting to drive down break-ins in that area. It's a very unfortunate circumstance. It's certainly not the way we would have liked to see the situation go, but we are going to do our best efforts to keep the community safe as well."
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Sunday, January 15, 2017

THIS WEEK: Chevelle, Jewish film fest, MLK Day and Women's March on Spokane

Posted By on Sun, Jan 15, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Chevelle headlines in Spokane this week.
  • Chevelle headlines in Spokane this week.

Start your day celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr., if you have the day off or can get away from the office for a little parade action downtown, then plot a week of fun using our event listings and Staff Picks.

Here are some highlights of the week ahead:

Monday, Jan. 16

SPORTS & OUTDOORS | You can also celebrate MLK Day by taking advantage of one of Washington state's Free State Park Days, and Monday is one of them.

Tuesday, Jan. 17

WORDS | Like to party, but quietly? Spark Central has you covered with its Silent Reading Party. Start a new book or finish off a new favorite, just keep your mouth zipped, mmmkay?

LIVE BANDS | Chevelle has had a sneaky successful career, and the trio comes through for a headlining gig at the Knitting Factory sure to please fans of its hard-driving tunes. Here's a little sample:

Wednesday, Jan. 18

COMMUNITY | The SFCC Black Student Union welcomes poet/filmmaker Donisha Rita-Claire, granddaughter of Bob and Rita Marley for a talk to help celebrate MLK Day.

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Gonzaga and St. Mary's finally face off — and it's all Zags

Posted By on Fri, Jan 13, 2017 at 10:07 PM

Nigel Williams-Goss had a game high 19 points in a beat-down of Saint Mary's.
  • Nigel Williams-Goss had a game high 19 points in a beat-down of Saint Mary's.

It’s still technically winter break at Gonzaga, but a date with arch-rival Saint Mary’s drew the Kennel Club back to campus a few days before classes start up this week. 

After a string of games in front of docile crowds for the holiday break, the students showed a national television audience just how electric this building can be, even in a blowout.

And that youthful  energy powered the fifth-ranked Zags to a 17-0 record by dispatching the 21st ranked Gaels 79-56.

“We know it’s the toughest game on the schedule,” Saint Mary’s coach Randy Bennett said of the annual trip to Gonzaga.

That tough atmosphere came into play in the Zags favor over the final minutes of the first half. After a string of lackluster defensive possessions, Mark Few had his team employ a trap on a Saint Mary’s inbounds play. It frustrated the Gaels and the ball ended up with Johnathan Williams near half court. The junior forward took it to the basket for a thunderous dunk that sent the Kennel into a frenzy.

The building kept rocking as the Zags followed that by forcing a shot clock violation.

Saint Mary’s likes to play slow on the offensive end, with their possessions this season lasting an average of 20 seconds. But if they last 30 ticks, they're served with a violation. Gonzaga’s defense frustrated the Gaels all night, blocking six shots and forcing nine turnovers.

On the offensive end, Nigel Williams-Goss led the way with a game-high 19 points and six assists. Jordan Mathews (16 points), Johnathan Williams (14 points) and Zach Collins (10 points) also scored in double figures. Most impressively, however, was  the Zags' shooting touch tonight.

Of the eight Bulldogs who saw game action before garbage time, only Przemek Karnowski (nine points) shot below 50 percent from the field. Overall, Gonzaga went 65 percent from the field Saturday. And that happened against a strong defense.

Saint Mary’s gave up 56.6 points per game over their first 16 contests this season. The hot shooting Zags needed just 31 minutes to pass that mark.

Gaels’ junior center Jock Landale, an all-America candidate averaging 17.8 points per game, was held to just 10 tonight. The big Aussie went into foul trouble early in the first half, and again in the second, before fouling out of the game late.

When he picked up his fifth and final foul a full throated Kennel Club let a chant rain down on the Gael, “na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye.

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THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Hell's Belles, The Drip CD Release, Standing Rock benefit

Posted By on Fri, Jan 13, 2017 at 2:08 PM

Don't let the cold win! Go out this weekend and find a local concert to crash. Dance along, listen and scream. Let the music warm your soul.

They call themselves audio terrorists, and for 10 years Richland-based the Drip has truly assaulted earholes with their extremely loud metal attacks. Today, the quintet is finally releasing their first full-length album, The Haunting Fear of Inevitability, and they come to the Observatory to share this joy with Spokane fans. This music is for people who enjoy the idea of standing out in a pulverizing thunderstorm with absolutely no shelter in sight. There are crashes and booms galore, along with tons of raging guitar licks pouring down on top of your skull. And when Brandon Caldwell starts screaming, it sounds like the end is truly near — but you won’t care. You’ll just want to keep screaming right along with him, all night long.  The show starts at 8 pm and is $8.

Tonight, the Pin! hosts a huge punk show with Scatterbox, Foxtrot Epidemic, Skunktopus and Bullets or Balloons. The super loud concert starts at 7:30 pm and is $5. For anyone who hasn't checked out the Pin! recently, they now have up and downstairs bars running.

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REVIEW: Pippin soars as high-flying journey of discovery

Posted By on Fri, Jan 13, 2017 at 12:26 PM

Naysh Fox stars in the title role.
  • Naysh Fox stars in the title role.

In the late 1960s, around the time Pippin was first conceived, the notion of "finding yourself" had begun to infiltrate the popular imagination. The job that you were expected to hold from graduation until retirement, the dull routine of domesticity, the strictures of the nuclear family — in the minds of many, these came to be regarded as atavistic barriers to self-actualization. Free yourself from them and, now unencumbered by convention, you give yourself the opportunity to discover true fulfillment. Or even greatness.

Although it's largely (and inexplicably) set during the reign of Charlemagne, Pippin's plot—not to mention its songbook—bears the indelible timestamp of the era that gave rise to it. A young boy finishes university, questioning his identity and his place in the world. He ventures off to war in pursuit of glory. He takes part in orgiastic sex in pursuit of pleasure. He overthrows his father, a powerful leader, in pursuit of fairness and justice. Finally, exhausted by the futility of his quest for contentment, he winds up on a country estate with a young widow and her son. He comes to enjoy it, but he can't shake the feeling that he's destined for something extraordinary. After all, the high-flying troupe of players that encircles the action keeps telling him that.

Pippin's ultimate choice for his life runs counter to the troupe's wishes, of course, and puts paid to some of the more hedonistic stereotypes of its period. In that way, it makes for a refreshing homage to simplicity and anonymity, even though developing an appreciation for those qualities takes a lot of contrasting spectacle.

The nationally touring Broadway production of Pippin at the INB Performing Arts Center offers that spectacle in abundance. It has the acrobatics, illusions, ensemble routines and shameless glam for which this show is renowned, complemented by a top-notch and multi-talented cast of young singers, dancers and actors that is hard to fault. Naysh Fox plays a springy, charismatic Pippin who's delightful to watch; Housso Semon is a commanding Leading Player with a rich singing voice and a graceful, sensual execution of the Fosse-inspired choreography.
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SPD stiffed, Def Leppard booked (again), Roy Murry sentenced and other headlines

Posted By on Fri, Jan 13, 2017 at 9:36 AM


NEWS: Spokane Police billed the campaigns for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. They haven't received a dime for more than $100,000 of police overtime.

MUSIC: Def Leppard, Poison and Tesla are all coming to Spokane this summer.

ART: Check out the Mary Crosses exhibition in downtown Spokane for free this evening. Ross Coates, the Moscow-based artist, says his work pays tribute to female deities, icons and goddesses.


• The U.S. Department of Justice released today a scathing report on the Chicago Police Department's systemic violation of citizens' rights. Among the investigation's most significant takeaways is the fact that police target minorities — specifically black and Hispanic people — with excessive uses of force. The "pattern and practice" is a result of failure to train officers in de-escalation, the DOJ investigation found. And the city of Chicago has policies in place that "impede investigation of officer misconduct." Read the entire report here. (Chicago Tribune)

• Barring a successful appeal, Roy Murry will die in prison. The triple murderer was sentenced to three life sentences, plus 35 years, for killing the family of his ex-wife. (Spokesman-Review)

• Mukilteo shooter Allen Ivanov was sentenced to life in prison for killing three young people at a house party last year. The 20-year-old pleaded guilty to the murders, requiring the judge to impose a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. (Seattle Times)

• Washington's newly elected superintendent of public instruction removed the department from a lawsuit against school districts across the state, including Spokane Public Schools. The lawsuit, filed by Chris Reykdal's predecessor, Randy Dorn, claims that the districts paid teacher, administrator and other salaries with local levy dollars, and argues that doing so is a violation of the state Supreme Court's 2012 McCleary decision. (Columbian)

• Two members of the soul/funk band Tower of Power were hit by a train while walking to a gig in Oakland last night. Drummer David Garibaldi and bassist Marc Van Wageningen were treated at a local hospital. Doctors are "cautiously optimistic" that both men will recover. (LA Times)

• FBI Director James Comey is under internal investigation for his handling of Hillary Clinton's emails and the decision to call a news conference 11 days ahead of the election. The (New York Times)
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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Def Leppard, Poison, Tesla coming back to Spokane this summer

Posted By on Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 3:09 PM

Def Leppard
  • Def Leppard

British classic-rockers just can't get enough of the Lilac City.

Hot on the heels of Elton John booking a gig at the Spokane Arena for the second time in less than three years, hard-rock heroes Def Leppard will do the same. They've scheduled a show for the arena on Wednesday, June 7, and will bring along Poison and Tesla for the show as well.

Tickets for the Def Leppard show are $29.50, $59.50, $79.50, $99.50 and $125, and will go on sale Saturday, Jan. 21, at the arena box office and at TicketsWest locations.

Def Leppard visited Spokane in the fall of 2015, delivering a solid show of old favorites. Tesla was on that bill as well. The addition of Poison is noteworthy as its the band's first tour in more than five years, a pause necessitated by drummer Rikki Rockett's battle with cancer.
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SPD billed Trump, Clinton and Sanders over $100,000 for police overtime — but didn't get a penny

Posted By on Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 2:59 PM

Trump spent plenty of time praising police in his big rallies, but won't pay the Spokane Police Department back what his rally cost the department - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
  • Young Kwak photo
  • Trump spent plenty of time praising police in his big rallies, but won't pay the Spokane Police Department back what his rally cost the department

$100,000 is enough to pay the base salaries for two entry-level police officers. But last year, the Spokane Police Department spent more than that in overtime costs to help provide security for three presidential campaigns that held rallies in Spokane.

Hillary Clinton's appearance by Bill Clinton cost the city $2,793.28. Bernie Sanders' multiple rallies cost $33,318.73. And Trump? A whopping $65,124.69.

In June, The Spokesman-Review reported that the Spokane Police Department billed all three candidates who held major rallies in Spokane, asking for reimbursement.

But, ultimately the Clinton, Sanders and Trump campaigns didn't pay back a dime. Spokane Police Department Spokeswoman Michele Anderson says, as far as the police department knows, none of the campaigns even responded.

Police departments across the country tell similar stories. Dave Levinthal, reporter for the Center for Public Integrity, contacted numerous municipalities that attempted desperately to get the presidential candidates to reimburse them for their costs.

"They sent invoices, they sent bills, they called, they followed up," Levinthal says in an interview with The Inlander. "I don’t think Spokane is unique."

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Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Rally & Unity March

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Rally & Unity March @ Spokane Convention Center

Mon., Jan. 16, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

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