Friday, April 28, 2017

"Unicorn" food: a soon-to-disappear fad or something more?

Posted By on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 10:42 AM

The coffee behemoth took full advantage of social media's colorful food photography trend. - STARBUCKS
  • Starbucks
  • The coffee behemoth took full advantage of social media's colorful food photography trend.

In case you missed it last week, everyone on social media was pretty much losing their minds over that "unicorn" Frappuccino from Starbucks.

Apparently you can't even order the pink-and-blue, calorie-exploding (410 calories per 16 ounces, plus 59 grams of sugar) monstrosity anymore; it's described by its creator as follows: "Magical flavors start off sweet and fruity transforming to pleasantly sour. Swirl it to reveal a color-changing spectacle of purple and pink. It's finished with whipped cream-sprinkled pink and blue fairy powders."

OK. Not to be a hater here (I never tried the drink; its sweet-and-sour flavor combo seemed starkly divided between love it or hate it), but what is up with all these rainbow-hued foods? Clearly, I'm behind the curve: This Facebook post from USA Today literally just tried to teach me how to make "unicorn" noodles. And just the other day, a friend shared a photo of her plain bagel that was made less plain by the presence of neon, rainbow-swirled dough.

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Spokane Scoutmaster wins reality show, Ja Rule festival turns into Lord of the Flies, and other morning headlines

Posted By on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 9:16 AM

A gas truck adds fuel to a downtown Spokane gas station near the Tiki Lodge. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
  • A gas truck adds fuel to a downtown Spokane gas station near the Tiki Lodge.

ON INLANDER.COM

The need to fix the need for a drug fix
Washington state will get $11 million to fight opiate addiction, and other health-based headlines.

IN OTHER NEWS

Scoutmaster of the Universe
A Spokane Scoutmaster won $250,000 on a reality show last night. (Spokesman-Review)

Mission accomplished

And with the Davenport thoroughly saved, the Friends of the Davenport disbanded, because they had no more worlds to conquer. (Spokesman-Review)

The Bluff pushes back
One of the landowners who had a road bulldozed through his land on the South Hill bluff is suing the contractor who drove the bulldozer. (KREM)

From Ja Rule to mob rule
Fyre Festival, a luxury music festival in the Bahamas, has lurched into chaos and anarchy. (Pitchfork)

Walled off
It's possible that Trump won't be able to build his wall at all. (Vox)

The Republican health care bill gets the death-panel treatment
The latest, gritty reboot of the Republicans' Obamacare replacement has been canceled again — or at least put on hiatus.


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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Look out, Congress! Here come the moms (and babies); plus, addiction assistance and teaching therapy

Posted By on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 2:24 PM


Strolling Thunder in D.C.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ZERO TO THREE
  • Photo courtesy of Zero to Three

Hundreds of parents, caregivers and little ones in strollers will march in Washington, D.C., on May 2 as part of Strolling Thunder, an event to draw attention to the need for government policies that support families. Spokane mother Katie Zobell will be there, along with her 21-month-old daughter. “My husband and I are doing everything we can to provide for our growing family, but finding quality, affordable child care is a challenge," she says in a statement.

The event is organized by Zero to Three, a global nonprofit organization that works to ensure that babies and toddlers benefit from the early connections that are critical to their well-being and development, with the goals of raising legislators' awareness of brain development during a child's first three years of life, and how legislation and investment in early childhood pays big dividends down the road.

Addiction assistance
Washington state will receive $11 million in federal funds to combat opioid addiction. The funding, which will go toward strengthening the state's program for monitoring prescription drugs, as well as expanding treatment programs, is part of the 21st Century Cures Act signed into law by President Obama in December. The grants were announced by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price last week. All 50 states and six territories received some funding; awards were based on the rates of overdose deaths and the number of people who needed treatment, but were unable to get it.

Read more about opioid addiction in Spokane in the current issue of InHealth.

Teaching therapy
A new outpatient therapy teaching clinic at the Spokane Teaching Health Clinic on Front Avenue opened today (Thursday, April 27). The 5,400-square-foot clinic, a partnership between St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute and Eastern Washington University, will offer clinical experience for physical and occupation therapy students, as well as "state of the art" rehab equipment. Initially, an occupational therapist and physical therapist will provide evaluation and treatment as students look on from a clinic observation room.
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Trump's tax plan, fish cook's beef with homeless people and morning headlines

Posted By on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 9:30 AM


ON INLANDER.COM

NEWS: Idaho miners are standing a few thousand feet above where they would normally be working. They've been on strike for more than a month, and they're in it for the long haul.

MUSIC: Festival season is upon us. Your guide to the best music gatherings in the Pacific Northwest this spring and summer.

KIDS: What happens to kids in Washington state who no one else wants? One boy's three-day journey through three states tells part of the story.

SEAHAWKS: The NFL draft starts today, and the Hawks have several holes to fill.


IN OTHER NEWS:

Chef Chad White: not happy with some of his neighbors.
  • Chef Chad White: not happy with some of his neighbors.
Do you even ceviche, bro?
Man opens restaurant near homeless shelter, complains about homeless people. (KREM)

Bungled bluff road at the center of lawsuit
The forested land along High Drive Bluff that was errantly dug and scraped into a road is now the center of a lawsuit. The landowner is suing the contractor. (Spokesman-Review)

Taxman
The winners and losers in President Donald Trump's proposed tax plan (New York Times) and a more comprehensive guide to the proposal. (The Atlantic)

At death's door
Arkansas is scheduled to execute Kenneth Williams tonight; he will be the fourth man the state kills within eight days. Arkansas had originally scheduled eight executions in the span of a month in order to use up the state's supply of the controversial
sedative drug midazolam before it expires. (The Marshall Project)

A letter written by the 38-year-old Williams, who has killed three people, including a college student and a retired prison warden. He's also reportedly responsible for the death of a fourth person in a vehicle accident.
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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Seahawks have plenty of holes to fill in the NFL draft that starts Thursday

Posted By on Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 4:57 PM


The Seattle Seahawks' run from 2013-15 was built on the wealth of talent they secured through late-round drafting. Russell Wilson, Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman were top-tier players the Seahawks landed in the third and fifth rounds.
seahawks_logo.png

During their run to back-to-back Super Bowls, they benefited from All-Pro talent signed to rookie contracts, which gave them the opportunity to secure free-agent talents like Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett.

After two playoff seasons with divisional-round losses, the Hawks need to restructure their roster with young talent and retool before there is a need for a massive overhaul.

Just watching one game from the 2016 season reveals that a draft priority is trying to fix the offensive line. Last year was the first time that Wilson suffered major injuries. A pectoral injury, ankle and knee sprain could easily be ascribed to running for his life when his blocking broke down routinely.

But the Hawks' loss of depth and potential trades via in-house drama could result in plenty of other high-priority positions to be filled in the draft. Sherman is unhappy with his relationship with the franchise, and GM John Schneider was actively taking phone calls from other teams about him for weeks. Backup QB Trevone Boykin was arrested in Dallas last month for misdemeanor possession of marijuana and public intoxication. He was subsequently arrested for breaking his probation from an incident in 2015, his senior year at TCU. Here are some priorities for the Seahawks throughout Thursday and the weekend.

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Carlyle Care Center to stop providing assisted living for 127 people with chronic mental health issues

Posted By on Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 4:23 PM


By the end of October, the 127-bed Carlyle Care Center will stop providing round-the-clock care to people with chronic mental illness, nonprofit Pioneer Human Services announced to staff and residents on Wednesday, April 26.

The Carlyle, at Post Street and Second Avenue in downt
As of the end of October, the Carlyle Care Center will no longer provide care for 127 people with chronic mental illness.
  • As of the end of October, the Carlyle Care Center will no longer provide care for 127 people with chronic mental illness.
own Spokane, often serves people who would otherwise be homeless, are transitioning out of Eastern State Hospital or Sacred Heart's Adult Psychiatric Unit, are in hospice care, or have a court order to be in a residential care facility, according to Pioneer.

The people who live there, long-term or short-term, are referred in, and often on Medicaid. They receive meals, medications, nursing care, room cleaning, activities and other care.

Because Medicaid rates haven't kept pace with the cost of providing that intensive care, the facility will have to transition and provide a different type of service, says Hilary Young, a Pioneer spokeswoman.

"Like a lot of publicly funded services, rates have not kept pace with the costs," Young says. "It's really expensive."

Some of the residents at the Carlyle already transition in and out in a manner of weeks or months, so some of them would already be on their way to lower-level service facilities, she says. About half the residents stay for more than a year, and the other half stay for less time.

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CONCERT REVIEW: Jimmy Eat World, Beach Slang put the guitars out front at The Knit

Posted By on Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 3:28 PM

Beach Slang nearly stole the show from headliners Jimmy Eat World. - DAN NAILEN
  • Dan Nailen
  • Beach Slang nearly stole the show from headliners Jimmy Eat World.

Tuesday night at the Knitting Factory offered a study in contrasts between headliner Jimmy Eat World and opener Beach Slang.

Both the long-running Jimmy Eat World and four-year-old Beach Slang trade in big guitar rawk, backing vocals that tug at the heartstrings as well as the minds of discerning rock fans, and they largely do it through straightforward tunes that eschew much in the way of modern bells and whistles.

That said, witnessing both bands' sets, it was clear that one had experience, professionalism and a deep catalog on its side, while the other had more youthful exuberance, almost off-the-rails energy and less material to draw from, dropping a couple of winning and somewhat unexpected covers into their set.

While Jimmy Eat World delivered a rock-solid set of two dozen songs spanning their nine albums and nearly quarter-century together as a band, I walked away thinking more about Beach Slang and the genuine sense of danger they brought to their hour on stage.

Led by James Alex (looking resplendent in a velvet jacket, ruffled tuxedo shirt and bow tie), the Philadelphia quartet barreled through songs from their two albums (The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us and A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings), pausing mostly for James to swill more vodka and juice and crack jokes at the expense of various '90s-era bands like Matchbox Twenty and Lit.

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ACLU report highlights unique policing policy in Spokane Public Schools

Posted By on Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 2:47 PM

Spokane Public Schools has made a number of changes to reduce arrests and exclusionary discipline. - JENNIFER DEBARROS PHOTO
  • Jennifer DeBarros photo
  • Spokane Public Schools has made a number of changes to reduce arrests and exclusionary discipline.

Spokane Public Schools does school policing differently than every other school district in Washington. In a new report by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington calling for a reform of school policing, those differences are mostly used as a positive example for other schools.

But for the district, the report still doesn't illustrate the changing culture around student discipline and arrests.

"Though it calls out our best practices, and I think that's positive, I don't think it reflects the situation Spokane Public Schools is in today," says Kevin Morrison, Spokane Public Schools spokesperson.

Since advocates called for a reduction in students being suspended, expelled or arrested in Spokane Public Schools — especially special education students and minorities — the district made a number of changes over the past year focusing on "restorative practices" to punish kids less and instead address the root cause of misbehavior. It's resulted in a reduction in suspensions and arrests, along with changes to district policy.

The most recent change came last month, with a "District and Campus Safety" policy that, among other things, details use-of-force guidelines and encourages officers to use restorative practices when possible.

The ACLU report, called Students Not Suspects: The Need to Reform School Policing in Washington State, used Spokane's policies as an example of what other districts could do.

"I think Spokane has taken significant steps over the past year to make changes to its school policing policies," says Vanessa Hernandez, the report's author. "It's one of the few districts that has a comprehensive policy on training requirements and the offenses for which officers may arrest students and for community complaints."

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Washington AG files lawsuit against Grant County agricultural company accused of sexually harassing female workers

Posted By on Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 12:44 PM


The supervisor at a Quincy, Washington, onion-packing shed is accused of groping his female workers, rubbing his groin on them and "requiring or attempting to require" the women to have sex with him in order to keep their jobs.

Those allegations against Hermilo Cruz and his 
Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Horning Brothers of Quincy, Washington.
  • Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Horning Brothers of Quincy, Washington.
employer, agricultural company Horning Brothers, are the basis for a federal civil lawsuit rights lawsuit brought by the civil rights unit in the Washington State Attorney General's Office.

Neither Cruz, nor anyone at Horning Brothers, immediately responded to requests for comment.

The complaint filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Washington also accuses the company of sexual discrimination in its hiring practices due to a "policy and practice" since at least 2012 of hiring only women in the onion-packing shed, where Cruz is the foreman.

Cruz is also accused of requesting intimate photos and suggestively licking his lips and grabbing his groin. Employees who reported his behavior were "reprimanded, discharged or not rehired the following season," according to a news release from the state AG's Office. Cruz's conduct, and his employer's failure to mitigate it, violate federal and state law, the lawsuit says.

"Low-wage agricultural workers are part of a vulnerable population with limited resources," Attorney General Bob Ferguson says in a prepared statement. "They deserve to be heard. No woman should be forced to accept sexual harassment as a condition of her employment."

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Police Chief Meidl: In Spokane, undocumented immigrant crime is practically nonexistent

Posted By on Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 10:51 AM

In Police Chief Meidl's experience, Spokane has relatively few undocumented immigrants — and even fewer of them are dangerous. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
  • In Police Chief Meidl's experience, Spokane has relatively few undocumented immigrants — and even fewer of them are dangerous.

Last week, we published a story about the controversial response from the Spokane Human Rights Commission over City Councilman Mike Fagan's diatribe against "illegal aliens" during a council meeting.

Fagan's remarks detailed several gory and violent episodes involving assailants who were in the United States illegally. Several members of the human rights commission felt that by using these anecdotes, Fagan was painting a grossly inaccurate picture of undocumented immigrants.

But how about the reality? Is illegal immigration causing an uptick in violent crime or property crime in this city?

Last week, the Inlander called up Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl, and he was crystal clear on the answer.

"We do not have an undocumented immigrant problem in the city of Spokane," Meidl says. "The complaints we are hearing in the community are not stemming from undocumented immigrants."

In his 23 years with the Spokane Police Department, Meidl says that, to his knowledge, he's had a grand total of two contacts with undocumented immigrants.

"One was an assault call unrelated to his documented status," Meidl says. And the other was a neighbor concerned about the way an undocumented immigrant was looking at his kids. That's all.

Just to make sure that his experience wasn't unique, Meidl says he brought in two of his majors and asked him the same question.

"We had over 80 years of experience [between the three of us]," he says. "All three of us had a total of five contacts with undocumented immigrants. The primary reason for these contacts didn't have anything with their immigration status."

For all the challenges that face the Spokane police department, he says, this certainly isn't one.

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