Monday, December 22, 2014

Trivia tests, open mics and a Prodigal Son

Posted By on Mon, Dec 22, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Even with Christmas just days away, we have plenty of events for your consideration, and Staff Picks chosen by our crew of savvy professionals. 

Here are some highlights from our listings for Monday, Dec. 22: 

TRIVIA | Test your skills against some brainy folks looking for a good time with trivia night at Press. Jones Radiator has some tricky trivia going on Monday night as well. 

OPEN MIC | Get your pipes ready and get ready to impress at open mic night at Underground 15. Christmas carols are probably okay, just this once. 

VISUAL ARTS | Amen, Amen: Religion & Southern Self-Taught Artists collects an amazing batch of Southern folk art that uses religious imagery. The show only has a couple more weeks at the Jundt Galleries on the Gonzaga campus, so get there to see cool works like Elijah Pierce's Prodigal Son

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MB: Idaho's gay-marriage debts, info on NY cop killer and Dr. Evil returns

Posted By on Mon, Dec 22, 2014 at 9:38 AM


Inlander reporter Jacob Jones had an interesting interaction with one of the country's torture architects. (Inlander)

Tuesday is the last day to enroll in Washington health insurance that kicks in Jan. 1. (Inlander)

Idaho is on the hook for more than $400,000 in attorney fees for its fight against gay marriage. (S-R)


Seattle sheriff's deputies are wearing black armbands in solidarity with the slain NYPD officers. (Seattle Times)

New information about the New York cop killer is coming out. (New York Times) 

For a few moments at least, Saturday Night Live was funny again as it took on the North Korean hackers. Check it out: 

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Tuesday deadline to buy health insurance for coverage beginning Jan. 1

Posted By on Mon, Dec 22, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Review your options and select your coverage at
  • Review your options and select your coverage at

Haven't gotten covered for 2015? Tuesday, December 23, is the last day to purchase a qualified health plan through Washington's insurance marketplace for coverage starting on Jan. 1. The deadline to sign up is at 5 pm. 

Despite technical glitches on Washington Healthplanfinder — including one that erroneously cancelled about 6,000 customer accounts — more than 55,000 people have signed up for or renewed their health insurance using the website. 

Visit to enroll in or renew your coverage. For questions or assistance enrolling, call customer support at 1-855-923-4633. Remember: the penalty this year for opting out of coverage is $325 per adult or 2 percent of taxable income, whichever is greater.

Open enrollment ends on Feb. 15. 

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Thoughts on Gonzaga's annual Battle in Seattle (they won, by the way)

Posted By on Sun, Dec 21, 2014 at 9:01 PM

Gonzaga handled Cal Poly, dispatching the Mustangs 63-50, on Saturday night in the 12th annual Battle in Seattle at KeyArena. To which Seattle Zag fans seemed to collectively shrug their collective shoulders.

The Battle in Seattle was once one of the highlights of any Gonzaga season, but unfortunate scheduling in the past couple years has led to less the marquee competition and sucked the excitement from KeyArena. While the Zags drew 16,241 in the 2012 Battle in Seattle versus Kansas State, they only mustered 11,741 for Cal Poly (though that’s an increase over the abysmal turnout for South Alabama last year: 9,140).

It’s hard not to jump to the conclusion that a section of the Seattle GU fan base is a little spoiled. Cal Poly, really? Why would I go to the game when it’s just gonna be a blowout? Seattleites don’t live and breathe Zaga hoops on a daily basis like Spokane residents. That’s not to say Battle in Seattle isn’t a community event for local alumni. Nearby KeyArena the Seattle Center campus, the Gonzaga Alumni Association’s Seattle Chapter hosted a pregame social at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. The event drew between 900-1,000 for drinks, food, photo opportunities, and pseudo reunion festivities.

While Gonzaga tickets are worth their weight in gold in Spokane and the fans bring the passion, the fervor has seemingly dissipated along that stretch of westbound I-90 over the recent years.

As coach Mark Few noted, “There’re a lot of people from Spokane, every year, that come over to (Battle in Seattle) because they can’t get into our games over there,” adding, “Obviously, it would’ve been great to have this one in Spokane, instead of here. But we kind of suck it up and do it for those other reasons.”

There’s also something incongruous about the lack of excitement on the west side, because it’s still mostly Gonzaga that’s the real draw, not the opponent. KeyArena would not be packed for Kansas State versus Seattle University. So shouldn’t a Zags team in ranked in the Top 10 rally fans to attend (after all they were only ranked #14 when they played K-State)? 
As the final tune-up before conference play, the game itself provided a decent preview of how many WCC games will likely go this season. Przemek Karnowski led the way with 16 points and 8 rebounds, with Kevin Pangos matching The Karnovore’s 16 points, including 4 3-pointers.

And while the game was never in doubt, the Zags had enough stretches of careless play, dumb turnovers, and missed open shots to keep the score closer than it should be. It also highlighted a few flaws that seem to haunt every Bulldogs team. The undersized Gonzaga guards struggle mightily when trying to pass into the post, which is especially an issue when the team’s best scorer and passer – Karnowski – consistently gets good position against his smaller opponents. They were especially flustered when Cal Poly’s 1-3-1 zone defense began to press and trap the GU ball handler outside the arc.

While the tilt against Cal Poly was Gonzaga’s last scheduled game at KeyArena this year, don’t count on it being team’s final trip. It’s not a lock, but all signs point to the Zags making a return trip in March, as it’s one of the sites the NCAA tournament
And you won’t have to worry about those games being undersold or lacking intensity.
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Friday, December 19, 2014

Face to face with Spokane's CIA torture architect

Posted By on Fri, Dec 19, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Arches and pillars line Bruce Jessen's home south of Spokane. The former Air Force psychologist helped design the CIA's controversial interrogation program. - JACOB JONES
  • Jacob Jones
  • Arches and pillars line Bruce Jessen's home south of Spokane. The former Air Force psychologist helped design the CIA's controversial interrogation program.

A red tractor idles in the courtyard of Dr. Bruce Jessen’s massive $1.2 million home south of Spokane. Pillars and stone arches line the entryways. Red ceramic tiles cover the roof of the estate. When the former Fairchild Air Force Base psychologist and now-infamous architect of the CIA’s brutal interrogation program steps out, he freezes for a moment before realizing I am just a reporter. He’s a little on edge.

“There’s a lot going on,” he tells me last week. “It’s a difficult position to be in.”


Jessen explains nondisclosure agreements prohibit him from discussing the newly released CIA torture report, despite what he called “distortions” reported in the press. Polite, but clearly upset, Jessen notes he has a “No Trespassing” sign near the end of his driveway. As he heads toward the tractor, he adds an ominous observation.

“You know, they didn’t prosecute Zimmerman,” he says.

In hindsight, this seems a clear reference to the legality of deadly force in so called “stand your ground” situations. So that’s where his mind went. At the time, I thought he was alluding to something in the new CIA report that I was not familiar with. His comment confused me, but did not scare me.

For the record: Reporters hate cold-knocking on someone’s door. But Jessen had rejected calls from all across the country, so it was a last resort. When I happen to catch him taking out the trash, he acknowledges he would like to “set the record straight,” but can’t. While his colleague Dr. James Mitchell has contradicted aspects of the report, Jessen says Mitchell is a smarter, better public speaker. The pair's company reportedly received more than $80 million for its work at the CIA. Jessen still declines to comment further.

“There’s nothing more I can say,” he says.

Jessen then shakes my hand to end the conversation. I wish him a merry Christmas, but ask once more if there was anything he would like to add. He suggests I leave while we are still on “amiable terms.” Then he closes the door of the tractor cab and puts the machine in gear.

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THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Bartlett Christmas, Broken Thumbs debut and Elton Jah’s final show

Posted By on Fri, Dec 19, 2014 at 2:01 PM


There was a time on American TV when famous people (i.e., Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, Julie Andrews and the Osmonds) made Christmas specials, and people couldn’t get enough of them. Times have changed, but the Bartlett continues that tradition, sans the TV aspect, by inviting many of their favorite local acts together for the first-ever Bartlett Christmas Special. Guests of honor include Water Monster, Marshall McLean, Mama Doll, the Holy Broke, Caroline Fowler, Scott Ryan and Windoe, along with emcee Derrick Oliver and poet Mark Anderson. Expect original Christmas songs tucked between holiday classics. And prepare yourself for a sing-along portion. The show is sold out starts at 8 pm, so start hoping for a Christmas miracle if you don't have a ticket. Take a listen to some of what will be played tonight here.

The Broken Thumbs, who have been together since June, are finally performing for the first time tonight. The lineup for the Big Dipper show also includes the Failsafe Project, Elephant Death Riot, Cameron Moore and DaethStar. Get there at 7:30 pm and bring $12 if you haven’t already bought tickets. Read our story on the band here.

Since 2011, Elton Jah and his band have played all of the classic Elton John hits, including Jah’s favorite, “Rocket Man,” with a reggae beat. Saturday night at nYne, that’s all coming to an end as the group plays its final show. The band plans to be reincarnated in the near future as a different type of classic act, so be on the lookout for that. In the meantime, take advantage of this last show and an ugly sweater Christmas contest, featuring $100 in prizes. As “Candle in the Wind” put it: Elton Jah, “Your candle burned out long before your legend ever did.” The show starts at 9 pm and is $10.

The Hop’s raucous Nightmare Before Christmas series sees its final show Saturday. This time, the huge number of local acts includes: the Ongoing Concept, Jedediah the Pilot, Extortionist, Age of Nefilim, Verbera, Cold Blooded, Projections, Resverie and Serpentspire.

Celebrate the shortest day of the year at the Big Dipper’s Winter Solstice Party. The lineup includes local rockers Phlegm Fatale, Mirror Mirror and Lost Masters. The show begins at 7:30 pm and is $3. Things are going to get loud! 

Bret Michaels, man. He’s still alive and performing at casinos all around the country. Check him out at Northern Quest Resort and Casino Sunday at 7:30 pm. Cost runs between $55 and $75.

The Colourflies released their new 23-track CD on Tuesday, but they’ll do it all again at Sunday’s Jingle Bell Rock and Metal Fest at the Knitting Factory. The Backups will also release their brand new EP that night. Other local acts on the monstrous lineup include: Scorch the Fallen, Heart Avail, Amnija, the Expo, Rylei Franks, Over Due and Burning Clean. The show begins at 6 pm and $10.
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Royal Tenenbaums or Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure? Vote on it

Posted By on Fri, Dec 19, 2014 at 1:03 PM


Because we believe in democracy and freedom and Santa Claus, among other things, here at the Inlander, we let our readers vote on the movie we'll be screening for the January 21 installment of our Suds and Cinema series.

Thanks to everyone for voting, BUT, we need a little more help because there was a virtual tie for first place. So, you have until noon on Monday to vote for the movie you'd like to drink beer to in a few weeks at the Bing Crosby Theater.

It's a showdown between the 1989 classic time-travel odyssey Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and The Royal Tenenbaums, the Wes Anderson-directed explosion of quirkiness that launched a few million kids into film school.

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Sci-fi laughs, classic films, and a little vino would be keen-o!

Posted By on Fri, Dec 19, 2014 at 10:10 AM

We have a slew of event listings available for your perusal every day, and some carefully chosen Staff Picks as well. Don't have time? No problem. 

Here are some highlights for Friday, Dec. 19: 

WORDS | Sci-fi is a genre ripe for satire, and Ron Dakron is your man to provide it. He'll be talking about his latest novel, Hello Devilfish!, Friday night at Auntie's. 

FILM | If you're down on the Palouse Friday evening, you have the opportunity to see the Frank Capra holiday classic It's a Wonderful Life on the big screen of the Kenworthy. 

FOOD & WINE | The folks from Robert Ramsay Cellars are on hand for a wine-tasting at Vino! A Wine Shop. Over at Rocket Market, it's a Small Vineyards Wine Night

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MB: STA expansion plan, Seattle cops' body-cams, and Dr. Oz is full of ...

Posted By on Fri, Dec 19, 2014 at 8:03 AM


Another monster-length meeting in local government as the Spokane Transit Authority board spent four hours Thursday deciding to send a $300 million expansion plan involving a sales-tax increase to voters this spring. (S-R)

E-cigarette shops aren't too stoked on the governor's plan to impose a massive tax hike on vapor products. (KREM)

Former congressman and current Inlander columnist George Nethercutt is making the rounds voicing support of the president's plan to normalize relations with Cuba. (KXLY)


The Seattle Police Department is getting on board the body-cam train this weekend. (Seattle Times) Spokane has been there, done that. (Inlander)

Turns out Dr. Oz and other TV physicians are wrong in their medical advice about half the time. (Washington Post)

Soccer's governing body is going to release its report on corruption in the game and how World Cup venues are selected. (Al Jazeera America)

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Weekly report: Cutting WA carbon, national parks and top outdoor gift guides

Posted By on Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Palouse Falls, along with several other Northwest waterfalls, were featured in a national list. - JACOB JONES
  • Jacob Jones
  • Palouse Falls, along with several other Northwest waterfalls, were featured in a national list.

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 tips to national environmental disputes. We’ll also try to include some scenic photos. Feel free to pass along suggestions or curiosities celebrating the Great Outdoors.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee outlined an ambitious plan for cutting greenhouse gases this week, proposing a Carbon Pollution Accountability Act — a billion-dollar cap-and-trade program tied to transportation. (Grist/Seattle Times)

University of Washington tool lets you calculate your potential carbon tax charges. (UW)

Wildlife officials confirm wolves have killed at least one sheep belonging to a Whitman County commissioner. (NW Sportsman)

Meanwhile, Washington range rider program finishes another season with no livestock lost to depredation. (Conservation Northwest)

Palouse Falls, other Northwest waterfalls featured in travel guide. (Conde Nast)

GAO report says Hanford Nuclear Reservation tanks continue to deteriorate. (AP)

But those other facilities involved in the Manhattan Project may be made into national parks. (CNN)

Speaking of, enjoy the largest expansion of national parks and wilderness areas in 40 years passes as part of defense bill. (CNN)

Conservation group calls for reintroduction of grizzly bears to Selway-Bitterroot mountains. (AP)

Fish poaching in Grant County results in minimal consequences. (S-R)

Hiking the new Dishman Hills trail to “the Cliffs.” (OutThere)

Rare footage of Selkirk caribou from Northeastern Washington. (City Light)

Tribal fisheries recognize outgoing WDFW director. (NWIFC)

Portland’s pot-eating deer named Sugar Bob. (WW)

And some munchies for deer in wildfire damaged regions of Central Washington. (NWSportsman)

Seattle group wants to compost dead people. (Yahoo)

What will they think of next? New phone app predicts Yellowstone geyser eruptions. (NPS)

Some amazing photos of national parks covered in snow and ice. (Daily Mail)

A few of Stephen Colbert’s top ecology segments. Last show tonight. (EcoWatch)

First Nations offended by proposed British Columbia dam. (Globe and Mail)

This dog will go skiing in Patagonia with you. (Adventure Journal)

ONE WEEK TO CHRISTMAS: Here are a few outdoorsy gift guides for the Wild-inspired thru-hiker or lumbersexual on your list — Snowlander - Outside Magazine - Backpacker - and an insider wishlist from Gear Institute.

And what are the historic chances of getting a white Christmas? (NOAA)

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