Sunday, September 14, 2014

PHOTOS: Last Day at the Fair

Posted By on Sun, Sep 14, 2014 at 5:52 PM

For a week and a half, bands have played, demolition derbies have taken place, children have competed in Mutton Bustin', animals have been judged and petted, championship vegetables and fruits have been on display, and pigs have been raced, among other things. An estimated 190,000 guests are expected to pass through the entrance gates at the Spokane County Interstate Fair by the close of business on September 14.

Guests ride the 1001 Nachts ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Guests ride the 1001 Nachts ride.

Tae Thomas, left, and her 7 year old daughter Imari ride the Viper. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Tae Thomas, left, and her 7 year old daughter Imari ride the Viper.

7 year olds Alicia Comer, left, and Addy Donahue shoot water cannons at the Balloon Race booth. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • 7 year olds Alicia Comer, left, and Addy Donahue shoot water cannons at the Balloon Race booth.

10 year old Isiah Coe looks at a hive at the Inland Empire Beekepers booth. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • 10 year old Isiah Coe looks at a hive at the Inland Empire Beekepers booth.

In their horse costumes Buddy and Fame, Earl Baze (Simon), right, and Jason Rariden (Curly), second from the right, entertain 3 1/2 year olds Isla Stephens, left, and Harlan Foster. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • In their horse costumes Buddy and Fame, Earl Baze (Simon), right, and Jason Rariden (Curly), second from the right, entertain 3 1/2 year olds Isla Stephens, left, and Harlan Foster.

6 year old Ben Michelson rides during a Mutton Bustin' competition. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • 6 year old Ben Michelson rides during a Mutton Bustin' competition.

Columbian Sheep stand in a pen during a Mutton Bustin' competition. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Columbian Sheep stand in a pen during a Mutton Bustin' competition.

6 year old Isabelle Stiles falls off a sheep during a Mutton Bustin' competition. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • 6 year old Isabelle Stiles falls off a sheep during a Mutton Bustin' competition.

Gene Moe walks his 1 year old llama "Simpaticos Queen of Hearts" to a Llama Halter Class Judging. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Gene Moe walks his 1 year old llama "Simpaticos Queen of Hearts" to a Llama Halter Class Judging.

The All-Alaskan Racing Pigs race. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • The All-Alaskan Racing Pigs race.

10year old Mae Sorokin pets Shetland Sheep. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • 10year old Mae Sorokin pets Shetland Sheep.

9 year old Julia Vietzke, left, pets a 2 1/2 year old Holland Lop rabbit, "Hershey", belonging to Taija Gardner-Bullis, right. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • 9 year old Julia Vietzke, left, pets a 2 1/2 year old Holland Lop rabbit, "Hershey", belonging to Taija Gardner-Bullis, right.

Jana Koller, right, shaves an 8 month old cow belonging to William Keifer, left. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Jana Koller, right, shaves an 8 month old cow belonging to William Keifer, left.

The view west is photographed from the grandstand. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • The view west is photographed from the grandstand.

Meagon Harrington, right, holds her 3 year old daughter Payton as Jim Simanton runs model trains at the Inland Northwest Rail Museum, - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Meagon Harrington, right, holds her 3 year old daughter Payton as Jim Simanton runs model trains at the Inland Northwest Rail Museum,

Jason Gamache, right, feeds a Boer Goat as his 4 year old son Landon looks at another goat. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Jason Gamache, right, feeds a Boer Goat as his 4 year old son Landon looks at another goat.

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

PHOTOS: Hot Air Balloon Ride

Posted By on Sat, Sep 13, 2014 at 9:04 AM

The lack of wind meant traveling only 4.1 miles. But the hour-long ride over Spokane Valley aboard hot air balloon Spokane At Its Finest brought a relaxing end to the week. The sounds of the city hummed below, leaving the ride relatively quiet except for the occasional" whoosh" sound when balloon Owner Forey Walter turned the burners on. The three passengers and I looked over the edge of the basket, taking in the expanse of land surrounding us. Spokane At Its Finest will take part in the 7th Annual Balloons Over Valleyfest next weekend.

Chaser Dan Torkelson, right, and Pilot and Owner Forey Walter remove the basket from a trailer before a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Chaser Dan Torkelson, right, and Pilot and Owner Forey Walter remove the basket from a trailer before a hot air balloon ride.

Pilot and Owner Forey Walter climbs into the basket before a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Pilot and Owner Forey Walter climbs into the basket before a hot air balloon ride.

Chaser Dan Torkelson attaches shroud lines to the basket before a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Chaser Dan Torkelson attaches shroud lines to the basket before a hot air balloon ride.

Pilot and Owner Forey Walter, left, and Chaser Dan Torkelson unfurl the envelope before a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Pilot and Owner Forey Walter, left, and Chaser Dan Torkelson unfurl the envelope before a hot air balloon ride.

"Spokane At Its Finest" is inflated before a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • "Spokane At Its Finest" is inflated before a hot air balloon ride.

Pilot and Owner Forey Walter pulls on a shroud line as the envelop is inflated before a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Pilot and Owner Forey Walter pulls on a shroud line as the envelop is inflated before a hot air balloon ride.

"Spokane At Its Finest" is inflated before a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • "Spokane At Its Finest" is inflated before a hot air balloon ride.

Pilot and Owner Forey Walter, left, turns on the burners as Gary Lynch, right, and Gail Bongiovanni hold onto the envelope before a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Pilot and Owner Forey Walter, left, turns on the burners as Gary Lynch, right, and Gail Bongiovanni hold onto the envelope before a hot air balloon ride.

Pilot and Owner Forey Walter turns on the burners during a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Pilot and Owner Forey Walter turns on the burners during a hot air balloon ride.

Passenger Shane Copenhaver photographs the landscape during a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Passenger Shane Copenhaver photographs the landscape during a hot air balloon ride.

Passengers Jim Alford, left, and Tabina Al-Deik watch the landscape during a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Passengers Jim Alford, left, and Tabina Al-Deik watch the landscape during a hot air balloon ride.

The view east is photographed during a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • The view east is photographed during a hot air balloon ride.

Pilot and Owner Forey Walter, left, points out landmarks to passenger Shane Copenhaver during a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Pilot and Owner Forey Walter, left, points out landmarks to passenger Shane Copenhaver during a hot air balloon ride.

The view northwest is photographed during a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • The view northwest is photographed during a hot air balloon ride.

Pilot and Owner Forey Walter turns on the burners during a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Pilot and Owner Forey Walter turns on the burners during a hot air balloon ride.

Pilot and Owner Forey Walter turns on the burners during a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Pilot and Owner Forey Walter turns on the burners during a hot air balloon ride.

Pilot and Owner Forey Walter looks towards a landing spot at the South Pines Cemetery during a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Pilot and Owner Forey Walter looks towards a landing spot at the South Pines Cemetery during a hot air balloon ride.

Passenger Tabina Al-Deik looks at the landscape during a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Passenger Tabina Al-Deik looks at the landscape during a hot air balloon ride.

Pilot and Owner Forey Walter eyes the landing spot at South Pines Cemetery during a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Pilot and Owner Forey Walter eyes the landing spot at South Pines Cemetery during a hot air balloon ride.

Chaser Dan Torkelson, top, pulls a line attached to the basket during the landing at South Pines Cemetery. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Chaser Dan Torkelson, top, pulls a line attached to the basket during the landing at South Pines Cemetery.

Balloons Over Valleyfest Committee Chair Stephanie Hughes guides the basket to the final landing spot at South Pines Cemetery. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Balloons Over Valleyfest Committee Chair Stephanie Hughes guides the basket to the final landing spot at South Pines Cemetery.

The envelope deflates after a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • The envelope deflates after a hot air balloon ride.

Pilot and Owner Forey Walter, left, and Chaser Dan Torkelson deflate the envelope after a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Pilot and Owner Forey Walter, left, and Chaser Dan Torkelson deflate the envelope after a hot air balloon ride.

Pilot and Owner Forey Walter, center, packs the envelope into a bag with the help of Chaser Dan Torkelson, left, and Gail Bongiovanni after a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Pilot and Owner Forey Walter, center, packs the envelope into a bag with the help of Chaser Dan Torkelson, left, and Gail Bongiovanni after a hot air balloon ride.

Balloons Over Valleyfest Committee Chair Stephanie Hughes, left, and Pilot and Owner Forey Walter tie the shroud lines before packing the last of the envelope into a storage bag after a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Balloons Over Valleyfest Committee Chair Stephanie Hughes, left, and Pilot and Owner Forey Walter tie the shroud lines before packing the last of the envelope into a storage bag after a hot air balloon ride.

(Left to right) Passengers Shane Copenhaver, Jim Alford, Tabina Al-Deik, Chaser Dan Torkelson, Pilot and Owner Forey Walter, Balloons Over Valleyfest Committee Chair Stephanie Hughes and Gail Bongiovanni toast after a hot air balloon ride. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • (Left to right) Passengers Shane Copenhaver, Jim Alford, Tabina Al-Deik, Chaser Dan Torkelson, Pilot and Owner Forey Walter, Balloons Over Valleyfest Committee Chair Stephanie Hughes and Gail Bongiovanni toast after a hot air balloon ride.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Justice Dept issues “best practices” as Spokane Police demo body cams

Posted By on Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 5:05 PM

A test model of the Taser Axon Body camera now being used by the Spokane Police Department. - JACOB JONES
  • Jacob Jones
  • A test model of the Taser Axon Body camera now being used by the Spokane Police Department.

With local police officers testing new body-worn video cameras, Spokane Police Department officials hosted a demonstration of the technology today, explaining the limitations of the cameras and the importance of crafting a careful policy. The U.S. Department of Justice meanwhile released a 92-page report outlining “best practices” for implementing body cameras.

Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub stressed the need to proceed “slowly and deliberately” on introducing body cameras. The department launched a four-month pilot program with 17 officers on Sept. 1. Straub says he hopes the initial testing will help officials work out issues with policies and practices while giving the community time to learn and offer feedback.

“The department made a promise to the community that we would have a very extensive conversation about body cameras,” he says.

Straub cited a number of expected benefits, including better officer accountability, increased citizen compliance and improved transparency, as shown by a study from the Rialto Police Department in California. But he also raised a number of sensitive scenarios in which recording officer interactions would be unethical, dangerous or potentially unconstitutional.

“We have to have three or four months of very slow, very methodical, very deliberate public conversation about this,” he says, adding, “These things just keep popping up, these little issues.”

Local media representatives go through video simulations wearing the cameras. - JACOB JONES
  • Jacob Jones
  • Local media representatives go through video simulations wearing the cameras.

News media representatives had a chance this morning to run the new cameras through a number of simulations. TV and newspaper reporters put on utility belts and walked through video encounters with armed individuals. Police officials then played back the video to demonstrate what they can and cannot see.

“This isn’t going to be a perfectly edited COPS video,” Lt. Kevin King says.

Police also played out a single scenario from different angles to show how some cameras might pick up some things while others won’t. They explain that when officers physically grapple with a subject, the video can become violently shaky even when the use of force in minimal.

“What these video cameras are recording,” King says, “and what you’re going to see are still not what the officer sees and what he feels, what he hears and what he’s experiencing while he’s out on the scene.”

The new camera models, the Taser Axon Body, measure about 3 inches long and weigh about 3.5 ounces, slightly lighter than an iPhone 5s. The battery should last 12 hours and it is intended to record visuals and audio comparable to what human eyes and ears can detect.

Straub says the department will “ramp up” its number of officers wearing the cameras in January after completing the pilot program and developing a final policy on camera use. The department will host a large community demonstration on Oct. 30 at Gonzaga University.

Community advocates have voiced frustration with the department’s policy process, saying public input should be incorporated throughout the process. Many have listed concerns with aspects of draft policies, saying they need key clarifications.

Straub says body cameras represent largely uncharted territory that will require the department to adapt its policies as it learns what works best. He says the department must also abide by state laws on “two-party consent” involving the recording of private citizens.

“There are no national standards,” he says. “There never will be because of the idiosyncrasies of state law. … There is no magic bullet with these things.”

Despite distinct local challenges, the Department of Justice today released an in-depth report on preliminary “best practices” for using body cameras. The report includes testimony from police leaders across the country with some initial findings on how to introduce body cameras to both officers and communities.

"When implementing body-worn cameras,” the report states, “law enforcement agencies must balance … privacy considerations with the need for transparency of police operations, accurate documentation of events, and evidence collection.”

Department officials compiled a list of 33 recommendations for collecting, storing, and tracking video data as well as how to engage the public on the issues. Many recommendations involve providing clear guidance on when officers must record or may not record interactions.

"In terms of when officers should be required to activate their cameras,” the report states, “the most common approach is requiring officers to record all calls for service and law enforcement-related encounters and activities, and to deactivate the camera only at the conclusion of the event or with supervisor approval.”

The report acknowledges the need for some officer discretion on when to record potentially sensitive encounters, but stressed those incidents should be carefully documented through writing or supervisor approval.

Other recommendations include:

• Policies should clearly outline unauthorized uses of body camera footage and discourage the recording of other officers during non-law enforcement-related interactions.

• Policies should designate which personnel must or can wear cameras to clarify who may be responsible for recording incidents.

• Officers should announce they are recording, whether required to by law or not, because it helps citizens recognize they’re accountable as well.

• Administrators should track how video is used by department or court to monitor usefulness.

Spokane includes many, but not all, of the recommended protocols in its most recent draft policy. The DOJ report also noted officers were the most likely to embrace the technology when they believed it to be a tool for collecting additional evidence or quickly contesting complaints.

"Like other new forms of technology, body-worn cameras have the potential to transform the field of policing,” the report concludes. “To make sure this change is positive, police agencies must think critically about the issues that cameras raise and must give careful consideration when developing body-worn camera policies and practices."


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THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Perry Street Shakedown, Pine League, Atmosphere and more

Posted By on Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 4:50 PM

You have two more weekends of summer left to enjoy. Get out there and listen to outdoor live music while it’s still possible. Indoor live music is also an excellent choice. Rock on.

TONIGHT, TONIGHT
The MAC pulls out all the stops with tonight’s Begin Again! showing off two cool local acts, the Camaros and Pine League, at its outdoor amphitheater. $5 gets you into the show and the museum gallery to take a look around. The event runs from 6 pm to 8 pm.

Zeus — the crazy Toronto-based math rock band, not the head god of all Greek Mythology — hits the Bartlett tonight. Wild Pacific opens for the band.The all-ages show starts at 8 pm and is $10.

The Big Dipper is hosting a benefit concert for KYRS with local acts the Bettys and Gorilla & Rabbit making loud noises from the stage. The all-ages show starts at 8 pm and is $5. 

The Booze Fighters. Now that is a fantastic band name. The group is reuniting tonight at the Baby Bar and playing along with locals Von the Baptist and Dem Empire. The show/birthday party is free and starts raging at 10 pm.

SAT/SUN
The Perry Street Shakedown is yet another local music festival, but it’s important to take advantage of the outdoor opportunity while you still can, before winter hits. This festival is essentially the South Perry District’s answer to Elkfest: It’s free, all-ages and includes local and West Coast talent. Saturday, the first-time festival lineup includes local acts Lavoy, Real Life Rockaz and Folkinception, and ends with blues-rock act Scott Pemberton Trio out of Portland. Sunday, expect local bands Big Red Barn and Flying Spiders, and also Blind Willies, out of San Francisco, and Five Alarm Funk from Vancouver, B.C. The event will naturally include fine selections from Perry Street Brewing Co. The festivities go from 2 pm to 10 pm daily. 

SUNDAY
Minneapolis hip-hop duo Atmosphere (see below) storms the Knitting Factory Sunday, bringing along with them the amazing Prof (see below). Dem Atlas and DJ Fundo are also on the bill for the all-ages show that starts at 8 pm and is $25.   



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CAT FRIDAY: SCRAPS waives cat adoption fees this weekend

Posted By on Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 4:38 PM

The Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) is overrun with cats! While I'd personally love nothing more than to go there right meow and snuggle them all (it's been a rough week), these kitties all need homes. Throughout this summer — the height of kitten season — SCRAPS has taken in hundreds of cats, but all of its partner rescue groups are full. 

Izzy, a shy young female who came to the shelter after being trapped. Pet ID No. 6715. - SCRAPS
  • SCRAPS
  • Izzy, a shy young female who came to the shelter after being trapped. Pet ID No. 6715.

Because SCRAPS is the contracted animal control agency for the City of Spokane and all of Spokane County, the organization takes in nearly all stray animals, in addition to owner-surrendered pets. While SCRAPS works hard to place animals with other shelters and rescues in the region, pet overpopulation makes saving every single life nearly impossible. What I'm trying to say here is that perfectly adoptable pets are euthanized in Spokane because there is simply no room for them. It's a hard truth to swallow.

To find homes for its overflowing kitty residents, this weekend SCRAPS is offering waived adoption fees for all cats — including kittens. Adoptees just have to pay for the $15 county animal license for their new friend, which comes home spayed/neutered, microchipped and vaccinated.

The special runs today, Sept. 12 (the shelter closes at 5:30) and Saturday, Sept. 13, and the shelter is open from 10 am-5 pm. SCRAPS is located at 6815 E. Trent, and its phone number is 477-2532.

Look at all these cute little cats just waiting for you to take them home! (The thumbnail image for this post is of Domino, a very friendly adult male. Pet ID N. 6956)

Buddha is a spayed adult female who's very calm and relaxed. Pet ID No. 6624. - SCRAPS
  • SCRAPS
  • Buddha is a spayed adult female who's very calm and relaxed. Pet ID No. 6624.


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We all watched "Z Nation" and here's what we thought

Posted By on Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 3:32 PM

artsculture2-1.jpg
Yesterday afternoon, fueled by an inordinate amount of accidentally vegetarian pizza and Diet Dr. Pepper, nearly all of our editorial department sat down and watched the first episode of the Spokane-shot SyFy channel show, Z Nation. 

The show debuts tonight at 10 pm on SyFy, and if you haven't heard, it's about zombies and people who try desperately not to either become a zombie or get eaten by zombies. So yeah, it's a zombie show. I wrote a little about how it wasn't, ya know, horrible, in this week's paper. I actually used the phrase "pretty good" — which I now regret having watched the show a second time. I'd like to downgrade my assessment to "not that bad."

But we needed to focus-group this thing.

The screening was interrupted frequently by people asking questions like, "Does every zombie show have to exist in a world where none of the characters have ever seen a zombie show?" and waxing philosophical with observations like, "This is the part where man becomes more of a threat than the zombies." There was also a lot of laughter, which we're still not sure the Z Nation producers were looking for.

THE WALKING DEAD COMPARISONS
One aspect I can appreciate is that it doesn't require dealing with as much, um, "thinking" or "feeling" as the inevitable comparison partner The Walking Dead. As memory serves, even the Dead pilot evoked actually caring about the characters, while Z Nation seems like it's going to be all about the action. Kill them zombies! Get Murphy to California! Watch out for that infected baby! I really hope it continues that way, because efforts to make the viewer care instead of just enjoy for its popcorn-cheesiness probably won't go so well given the low caliber of the acting, and the ridiculous (lack of) special effects. Another bad note — having DJ Qualls turn into Mr. Pump Up the Volume DJ at the end. Yikes! No. More baby zombies. Less DJ Qualls. And no thinking, dammit! (Dan "The New Guy" Nailen)

Z Nation isn't really doing anything new, which might not be bad. Zombies ascended on the popularity of straight-forward horror classics like Night of the Living Dead or Evil Dead — stripped-down, gore-splattered, who-will-die-next survival thrillers. Z Nation seems to serialize that concept. Sure the premiere has pacing problems, laughable dialogue ("I hate moral dilemmas!") and some stereotypical characters, but it moves quickly and keeps the zombie slaughter coming. Hopefully, the series can dial in the tone, which seems to ping-pong from serious drama to camp a little too liberally. If so, it might easily replace your Saturday night horror-flick marathon. (Jacob "Thunderbeard" Jones)

WEIGHING THE GOOD AND THE BAD

Pros: cool old guy, no one yelling "Carl!," zombies getting their entire brain shot out of their head, zombies getting hit by a truck, school bus full of kid zombies, lake zombies, zombie baby. Cons: All of the dialogue, WHY ARE THEY WASTING SO MUCH AMMO?, no sharks. (Heidi "Save the Bullets" Groover)

On the second time around, I thought I'd recognize more of Spokane. I also thought there would be more sweaty sexy guys, because television has taught me they make the best zombie killers. (Mike "Father of Zombie Baby" Bookey)

Z-Nation-trailer-teases-new-Syfy-series-zombie-baby.jpg
THOUGHTS ABOUT ZOMBIE BABIES

Zombie babies will forever haunt my dreams. (Deanna "Sasquatch" Pan)

Based on the order of events, we assume baby Z was infected during the scene where one of our human heroes fights off another perfectly-timed zombie-after-zombie filing into the room. There on the floor sits the baby (still human) in his carseat as zombies run around dying everywhere. It’s important to note the age of this infant is pre-walking stage. But when the baby tragically becomes infected, he suddenly has immediate abilities to walk, run, and zip all over the place like a freaky demon of nightmares. We all seemed too enthralled by its mere existence to care, but it seems Z Nation has no cut- and-dry rules when it comes to zombie behavior, and as a zombie-themed show that might bother you, too. (Chey "Whiskers" Scott)

DANIEL WALTERS PROVIDES A SERIOUS LOOK AT THE SHOW, BECAUSE HE'S A REAL TV CRITIC

Here’s the problem with Z Nation. It’s not bad enough to be so-bad-it’s-good, and not good enough to be so-good-it’s-decent. In other words, you can’t watch Z Nation in the same fun way you watch, say, Sharknado. There won’t be crowds on Twitter hate-watching Z Nation, mocking every mockable moment.

That’s not to say there aren’t mockable moments. There are are a quite a few, if you’re in a RiffTrax sort of mood, but overall, the essence of Z Nation isn’t cheese. It’s more derivative if anything, pumping out the darkness and dreariness of Walking Dead with none of the craft that makes that show occasionally tense and suspenseful. So when the corny moments do come – there’s a zombie Bride of Chucky scene that’s sublime – it’s something of a relief.

While recognizable actors Harold Perrineau (the Michael that yells WAAAAAALT all the time on Lost) and DJ Qualls (the scrawny dude from Road Trip) do make appearances, both are miscast. Perrineau is a fine actor, but pretty much any of the other actors, including Qualls and the tiny infant, would be more believable as a badass Delta Force agent than Perrineau.

And Qualls just doesn’t display the weirdness that his character needs. As an actor, he’s capable of that weirdness. As a show, Z Nation is, too – it just needs a little more of it. (Daniel "Don't Give Me a Nickname" Walters)

NOW MORE ZOMBIE BABY!

 
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OUTLANDER: Tonight's Northern Lights, fishing news and the Huckleberry pack

Posted By on Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 2:38 PM

The Bowl & Pitcher rock area of Riverside State Park, which will have free admission on Sept. 27. - JACOB JONES
  • Jacob Jones
  • The Bowl & Pitcher rock area of Riverside State Park, which will have free admission on Sept. 27.

OUTLANDER serves as a weekly round up of Inland Northwest outdoor recreation and natural resources news. This feature will highlight a wide variety of issues and events, ranging from camping stories to national environmental disputes. We’ll also try to include some scenic photos. Feel free to pass along suggestions or curiosities. The Inlander looks forward to sharing and celebrating the Great Outdoors.

Wildlife officials, wolf advocates and ranchers have clashed over the Huckleberry pack and the killing of at least 24 sheep in Stevens County. The conflict has ended with one breeding female wolf killed and nearly 1,800 sheep moving off the grazing area. See our story in this week’s issue along with an in-depth guide to additional context and resource materials. (Inlander)

Astronomers predict a better-than-usual Northern Lights display TONIGHT across the Northwest. (Accuweather)

Still from webcam on Bonneville Dam. - USACE
  • USACE
  • Still from webcam on Bonneville Dam.

Anglers have rejoiced over record-level chinook numbers running up the Columbia River, more than 67,000 fish in a single day. See a live webcam of fish passing through the Bonneville Dam. (S-R/USACE)

State parks officials have announced a “free day” (no Discover Pass required) for Washington state parks on Sept. 27. An open house will also be held for a new equestrian arena at Riverside State Park. (State Parks)

Washington officials say this year’s fire season is one of the most destructive on record. (Reuters)

Montana firefighters rescued obscenely adorable mountain lion cubs from wildfire. (Missoulian)

Environmental groups in Idaho threatened a lawsuit this week over a federal program that kills thousands of “nuisance” animals each year. (S-R)

Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife has continued to update its Fish Washington website to include new information on “high lakes,” which have nothing to do with marijuana. (WDFW)

The folks at the U.S. Department of Agriculture highlighted two Northwest habitat rehabilitation efforts, one in Chewelah and another in Idaho. (USDA)

As hunting season ramps up, Field & Stream has compiled some surprising and impressive game cam images. (F&S)

So, Yosemite National Park continues to burn, but wildland firefighters have also had issues with dangerous bear encounters. (LA Times) The latest on the fire. (NPS)

Also, remember Outlander is now on Twitter, so check that out for additional updates.


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The Onion in Spokane: 'Don't write 'revenge' in blood in the conference room'

Posted By on Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Screen_Shot_2014-09-12_at_11.29.42_AM.png

Spokane is once again The Onion's dateline choice — this time for a morbid news brief about a company reminding disgruntled employees they should not, in fact, scrawl "revenge" in blood in the conference room everyone has to share. (We trust you to know this already, but we have to say it: The Onion is satire.)

From the story:

“Most of you are already familiar with this rule, but just as a refresher, it’s directly against company policy for an employee to use blood to write ‘revenge’ on the conference room walls, door, or table,” wrote Shumaker, emphasizing that it did not matter if the word was rendered in human or animal blood. “Remember that we all use this room, and it’s inconsiderate to force your colleagues to delay their meeting to scrub ‘revenge’ off the whiteboard or windows.” Shumaker added that any employee who wanted revenge should simply carve the word into the forehead of his or her supervisor.

Happy Friday, fellow office dwellers!


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MORNING BRIEFING: Teacher texts, toilet shooting and wildfire bears

Posted By on Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 9:09 AM

HERE

Proposed Liberty Lake heating wells raising concerns about water contamination. (S-R)

A prominent Spokane attorney faces investigation on rape allegations. (KXLY)

A Sandpoint middle school teacher has retired after sending inappropriate text messages to a student. (KHQ)

THERE

Washington Supreme Court holds state Legislature in contempt for failing to provide funding for public education. (Seattle Times)

At least 11 children in Idaho hospitalized with severe respiratory illness possibly linked to enterovirus 68. (Idaho Statesman)

Utah elementary teacher injured when her concealed handgun discharges in bathroom stall killing innocent toilet. (AP)

ELSEWHERE

Firefighters battling flames in Yosemite National Park also facing risky encounters with bears. (LA Times)

Navy pilot missing after two fighter jets crash into western Pacific Ocean. (NYT)

US steps up sanctions against Russia in continuing Ukraine conflict. (BBC)


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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Share your experience with mental illness

Posted By on Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 2:49 PM

click image state_of_mind_logo.jpg

Here at the Inlander, we've spent the year looking at mental health care in our region. The stories in the "State of Mind" series have covered issues ranging from how patients are treated at Eastern State Hospital to the difficulty of getting care to people in rural North Idaho to the treatment prisoners receive — or don't — while at the Spokane County Jail.

While the system is fraught with challenges, we also know there are many people in our community with mental illness and living productive, vibrant lives. To tell those stories, we need your help. We'd like to talk to people in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho who have experienced mental illness and are interested in sharing their stories.

If you are interested in sharing your story with an Inlander reporter for possible publication in our newspaper, please fill out the form below. We'll be in touch shortly.


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