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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WSU student found dead, Wiltjer finds NBA home and morning headlines

Posted By on Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 9:13 AM

Kyle Wiltjer
  • Kyle Wiltjer


ARTS & CULTURE: Are you too old for trick-or-treating, but too young to have kids to take trick-or-treating? There are other options


Tragedy at WSU
A 21-year-old Washington State University student was found dead inside the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity in his bed yesterday. The student, Brock Lindberg, was a junior studying business administration. The death is still under investigation. (KHQ)

Bridge celebration
Local officials are excited about a pedestrian and bicycle bridge that will connect the University District with the East Sprague Avenue area. "This is a project that will change the landscape of the east part of Spokane," says Mayor David Condon. (Spokesman-Review)

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Local holiday hijinks to celebrate Halloween throughout this week

Posted By on Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 12:50 PM

If you're looking for something to do to celebrate Halloween other than trick-or-treating or carving pumpkins, check out one of these local events — if you dare!


The Rocky Horror Show
This cult classic fave is brought to life this season at the Spokane Civic Theatre. Full of sexual escapades, boisterous humor and unconventional relationships, this fantasy tale is rated for mature audiences. Through Nov. 5 • Thu-Sat at 7:30 pm; Fri-Sat at 11 pm; Sun at 2 pm • $25 • Spokane Civic Theatre • 1020 N. Howard St. 


The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
This show by the Theater Arts for Children takes a fun look at an adaptation of the play by Washington Irving. With a goofy schoolmaster and the Headless Horseman, this is a spooky tale not to miss. Through Oct. 30 • Thu-Sat at 7 pm; Sat at 3 pm; Sun at 2 pm • $10/adults; $8/student, military, senior • Theater Arts for Children • 2114 N. Pines Rd.

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Monday Morning Place Kicker: 'Hawks make history, Eags and Cougs roll

Posted By on Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 11:13 AM

If you managed to stay awake through Sunday night's Seahawks/Cardinals OT non-thriller, congrats! You witnessed a little history, although not necessarily exciting history. Thankfully there were some better games through the weekend to make up for that prime-time clunker. 

Let's break it all down: 

Even Pete Carroll can't believe what he saw Sunday night. - SEAHAWKS.COM
  • Even Pete Carroll can't believe what he saw Sunday night.

The Seahawks traveled to Phoenix to take on their division rival Arizona Cardinals, and the result was a 6-6 tie — the first tie in Seahawks franchise history! That's pretty much the most exciting aspect of a game that featured a lot of great defense, particularly by the Seahawks against the Cardinals relatively competent offense. The 'hawks, though, looked downright anemic on offense, and quarterback Russell Wilson just doesn't look himself with that leg injury. Oh, and both team's kickers missed potential game-winning chip shots, so that old adage about special teams being just as important as offense or defense certainly rings true today. 
The big takeaway: The Seahawks are still in first place in the NFC West, and head to New Orleans for a game against the Saints Sunday. 
What to say to your Seahawks-loving friends today: "Of course I stayed awake for the whole game!" 

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Walking Dead, Seahawks, Dakota protests and other news to start your week

Posted By on Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 8:56 AM

• THIS WEEK: Monty Python vets, genius poets, rhinos, Soul Pimps and more
• CONCERT REVIEW: The 1975 sparks energetic frenzy at sold out Spokane stop
• NEWS: More than a quarter of all Spokane County jobs fall below the Initiative 1433 minimum wage threshold

During last week's Trump Wall rally at WSU, a protester knocked a phone out of the hand of a Trump supporter. The protester, an as-yet-unnamed student, could face criminal charges.  

Who will die? Answer: viewers, a little bit.
  • Who will die? Answer: viewers, a little bit.


The Walking Dead premiered its seventh season last night with a gory, brutal episode, picking up at last season's cliffhanger, with the newest warlord, Negan, threatening to bash someone's head in with a barbed-wire-wrapped baseball bat. He kept his word, and we all got to see the hamburger-y result. More than one critic (and fan) likened it to "torture porn." Nevertheless, the show's cycle continues: After beginning to feel safe, our favorite characters have been reminded that there's always someone worse out there, someone who actually enjoys the new world.  

The Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals battled it out Sunday night in the desert. It was about defense, pass rushers, punters and kickers. The game would go into overtime, where each team added a field goal, bringing the score to 6-6. That's where it'd end, in a tie. There were no touchdowns, but hey, no one lost.

William "Bo" Kirk (seen at right), 41, was last seen Saturday night leaving work at Northwest Specialty Hospital in Post Falls. His truck was later found on fire. (KXLY)

A homeowner claiming a trespasser refused to leave his yard shot the man in the leg, and when the authorities arrived, the wounded man wouldn't cooperate with first responders, according to KXLY. The man died at the scene. 

A bus returning from a casino crashed into a tractor-trailer on Sunday near Palm Springs, killing 13 people and injuring 31, according to CNN

More than 100 activists were arrested over the weekend while protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. Law enforcement also shot at a drone flying overhead after a helicopter pilot monitoring the protests felt threatened by it.
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Sunday, October 23, 2016

CONCERT REVIEW: The 1975 sparks energetic frenzy at sold out Spokane stop

Posted By on Sun, Oct 23, 2016 at 3:29 PM

  • Chey Scott
Near the end of The 1975's 90-minute set, a bra was ceremoniously thrown onto the stage from somewhere in the audience. Which wasn't terribly surprising as the mostly female crowd of teens and 20-somethings seemed to hang on every word that heartthrob/frontman Matthew Healy — who occasionally paused to sip from a glass of red wine and steal drags from a cigarette — was singing.

Spokane's reaction to seeing the ultra-popular British pop-rockers the 1975 this past Saturday night was something reminiscent of millennial Beatlemania. As simply a casual fan of the band's upbeat yet broodingly lyrical music, I confess that I felt a little bit like a fraud while observing the crowd's frenetic reaction to the band's first-ever Spokane show, which sold out soon after being announced months ago. I didn't know the names of, nor the words to, most of the songs minus a few favorites. But standing on the side of the crowd — along with some bored chaperone moms on their iPhones while waiting for their teen daughters — I could easily affirm that back when I was a teen or even during my college years, I definitely would have been one of those young women screaming and jumping up and down with my friends in reaction to the opening chords of this or that song.

Despite feeling a little disconnected from the crowd's hype, this show was unmistakably worthwhile. The sound production and the band's stage setup, with bright light-projection pillars that backlit them in epic fashion and washed the crowd in blue, pink and red, were some of the best I've ever seen from groups playing the Knitting Factory. Also, considering the viral popularity of the 1975, and how quickly this show sold out, it seems obvious the concert could have easily moved to a larger venue, like the Spokane Arena's Star Theater. Just sayin': more tickets (even at $44 a pop) would have been sold.
  • Chey Scott
While most of the concertgoers seemed more than content just to see and hear the Brit rockers live, I couldn't help but feel that their interactions with us — Healy spoke little between songs — was less than genuine. Spokane was yet another stop on another long U.S. tour, at another venue again filled with a starstruck, mostly female audience. (To the bros in the bar emphatically jumping up and down and singing to the opening numbers of the night, I salute you.)

Yes, Healy did say something to the effect of they'd never been to Spokane (I think he pronounced it Spo-cane, but you know, there was lots of screaming...) and they appreciated such a warm welcome. After slowing things down halfway through for a bit of an interlude, however, he did get on the celebrity soapbox to deliver the following proclamation, which I did my best to frantically make note of:
"I know we're here as a distraction... but the thing is, this year in England we completely fucked it up and in a nutshell, what it was is that a younger generation expected an older generation to be responsible…. We expected them to make the right decision and they didn't…. The situation in America is that we're all very, very close to a very fucked up situation. It's easy for me to say fuck Donald Trump. Every night we see thousands of intelligent liberal people... What I mean is, you have to vote or you're fucking dumb. Don't vote for Donald Trump." 
And of course, the crowd (many in attendance may be voting in their first presidential election) went wild.

After breezing through hit after hit from both of their chart-topping records, the quartet took a brief break before heading back out on stage for a three-song encore to end the night. As the crowd slowly filed out of the venue (why does the Knitting Factory not offer more than one exit from the venue to expedite this?!), a line for the merch booth grew, winding down the long hallway leading to the entrance. The energized vibe of the crowd was palpable. These Brits left Spokane swooning.
  • Chey Scott

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THIS WEEK: Monty Python vets, genius poets, rhinos, Soul Pimps and more

Posted By on Sun, Oct 23, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Monty Python founders Eric Idle (left) and John Cleese are coming to Spokane Friday.
  • Monty Python founders Eric Idle (left) and John Cleese are coming to Spokane Friday.

We're barreling toward the end of October and Halloween, so get your costumes prepped and pumpkin-spice drink of choice prepared to hit the town. There are plenty of options in our event listings and Staff Picks for your perusal. 

Here are some highlights of the week ahead: 

Monday, Oct. 24

FILM | Gene Wilder had so many iconic film roles in his life that it’s hard to pick just one that best represents the man’s incredible comedic chops. While you can certainly make the case for Willy Wonka, I’m going with Dr. Frederick Frankenstein from Mel Brooks’ 1974 flickYoung Frankenstein — although he would prefer if you pronounced it “Fronkensteen.” It's showing at the Bing Crosby Theater tonight. 

LIVE MUSIC | Get your roots-music on with the mighty fine Jared & the Mill, headlining a show at The Bartlett. Here's a little sample: 

Tuesday, Oct. 25

WORDS | Gonzaga political science lecturer Sean Swan is featured at a free talk on Europe at a Crossroads in the school's Magnuson Theatre. 

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Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
SpookWalk in Browne's Addition

SpookWalk in Browne's Addition @ Browne's Tavern

Fri., Oct. 28, 7-8:30 p.m., Sat., Oct. 29, 7-8:30 p.m., Sun., Oct. 30, 7-8:30 p.m. and Mon., Oct. 31, 7-8:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

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