Thursday, January 29, 2015

Neko Case heads to the Bing in April

Posted By on Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 4:21 PM

Neko Case’s upcoming quick-run tour ravages through the Pacific Northwest this April hitting Bend, Bellingham, Vancouver, B.C., and yes, Spokane. April 20, Case’s caravan stops at the dark and more intimate Bing Crosby Theatre, where fans can easily sit while listening to the indie Americana singer-songwriter (who’s also a part of the New Pornographers).

The dates correspond perfectly with the re-release of her fantastic 2006 album Fox Confessor Brings the Floor, which comes out on a limited-edition red vinyl for Record Store Day April 18.

Case, who grew up in Tacoma, has the sort of voice that beats you over the head with strength and poetic grace. Her 2013 release The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You was her most intimate and haunting yet. She last toured through this area performing at 2014's Sasquatch! Music Festival. 

If you’re not already, follow this lady on Twitter. You’ll be privy to such gems as:

@NekoCase “If someone's mullet is TOO crazy, are you allowed to cut it for them while they sleep?”
@NekoCase “I need a police escort to the toilet.”

Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10 am and are $35. Go to for more information. 
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A guide to 12th Man booze

Posted By on Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 4:09 PM

You should bring something to drink to that Super Bowl party on Sunday. That's just what you do, because if you're old enough to drink, you're old enough to realize that when someone invites you to their home to watch a game as enormous as this, you bring something to drink. Those are the rules.

Thankfully, there is no shortage of entrepreneurs looking to set you up to sip your way to a Seahawks victory. Here's a quick guide to the possibilities.

This Seattle brewery does some excellent brewing across the board, but caught our attention last season with their 12th Can. It's a pale ale brewed with delicious Cascade hops that's extremely session-able (that means you can have more than one) with a 4.5 percent ABV. Get these 16-ounce cans cold, like really cold, in a cooler pre-game and it will reward you throughout the contest.

Available in six packs of 12-ounce cans, there's a cool story behind this beer, brewed by Dick's Brewing in Centrailia, Wash. The guy who came up with the idea for the beer is former Seahawks kicker (1982-1990) Norm Johnson. It's a little lighter in flavor than most pales and the ABV of 4.5 percent is equally tame, but it's another solid game beer and available in most grocery stores.


You don't need to settle for one of these beers if you'd rather get a harder-to-find, draft-only brew for the game. Just put it in one of these special 12th Man growlers currently available at the South Hill location of Growler Guys, the new beer filling station we told you about a couple weeks ago. They are also giving away a Marshawn Lynch jersey to one lucky customer, so get in there. If you need some ideas as to what to put into that growler, here's a list of beers currently available.

If the first half is anything like the NFC Championship, you might need something a little stronger than beer to keep your nerves at bay. This Gig Harbor-based distiller is in its second year of distributing its Batch No. 12, a collection of three different craft spirits. There's a bourbon, a rye whiskey and a vodka. Heritage even gives you instructions on their website on how to make Skittles-infused Vodka, on honor of Marshawn Lynch's favorite "power pellets." It's not the complicated. You basically just put the skittles in the bottle and shake it.

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Start your drooling, the Inlander Restaurant Week menus are now public

Posted By on Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 11:05 AM

Braised Chicken from Durkin's Liquor Bar.
  • Braised Chicken from Durkin's Liquor Bar.

We might still be a few weeks away from the beginning of Inlander Restaurant Week, but it's never too early to start strategizing how you're going to take advantage of Spokane's biggest culinary event of the year. 

Almost 100 restaurants — 97 to be exact — are taking part in the third edition of Restaurant Week, which starts on Feb. 20 and runs through March 1. Yes, we know that's longer than a week. We wanted to make sure there was plenty of time for readers to take full advantage of the special fixed-price, three-course menus available for either $18 or $28. 
Pastrami Duck from the Wandering Table.
  • Pastrami Duck from the Wandering Table.

Cruise through the Restaurant Week website, and you can plan your culinary attack by area of town, or by the type of cuisine or price, and there's an incredibly easy guide to show you how this whole thing works. The most important thing to remember is the need to make a reservation as early as possible, because the restaurants will fill up. But if you do end up having to wait a bit for a table, you can always have a drink from one of many local distilleries, breweries and wineries involved. 
Cuban Pork Sandwich from the Backyard Public House.
  • Cuban Pork Sandwich from the Backyard Public House.

Between now and Feb. 20, study up at the Inlander Restaurant Week site, look for a guide around town, and start building a healthy appetite. You're going to need it. 
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Artist swap, climate change, and a megashow at Spokane Arena

Posted By on Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 10:07 AM

The weekend approaches, and we have all manner of events available for your perusal, as well as Staff Picks to guide you to something cool. 

Here are a few highlights from our extensive online catalog of to-dos for Thursday, Jan. 29: 

VISUAL ARTS/COMMUNITY | A really cool idea here: the Spokane Artist Trading Card Meeting is part of a national movement in which artists create small original works and then swap them, building collections of contemporary art that are really something special. Check out how it goes down at Boots Bakery Thursday night. 

ETC | Concerned with climate change and the use of trains to move resources throughout the region? Join some like-minded folks at MickDuff's Beer Hall in Sandpoint to hear about Coal Trains & Climate Change

LIVE MUSIC | Eric Church is a megastar in the country realm, and his live shows are more like full-blown rock extravaganzas. Fans and newbies alike should be entertained by his theatrical production at Spokane Arena. Halestorm opens the show. Here's a bit of his music: 

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MB: Hirzel's firing and Comcast name-calling

Posted By on Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 9:42 AM


Spokane Deputy Brian Hirzel, known for shooting Pastor Wayne Creach, has been fired for misusing a patrol car. (Spokesman-Review)

STA considers adding express bus service from Spokane to Coeur d'Alene. (S-R)

A bill from Spokane Comcast customer, who is not, as his Comcast bill would indicate, named Asshole Brown, goes viral. (KREM)


The rise and fall of New York Speaker Sheldon Silver. (New York Times)

In France, prisons help foment extremist Islamic ideology. (Washington Post)

We're still talking about inflated footballs. (NYT)


In the 1940s, the big free speech battle was over the radio airwaves. (The Atlantic)
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Chief says Spokane police not getting any more military equipment

Posted By on Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 9:23 AM

The Spokane Police Department doesn’t have much military equipment and it’s doesn’t intend to get any more. That’s the takeaway from a correspondence between the city’s Human Rights Commission and Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub.

In December, the commission wrote a letter to the chief raising concerns over the “militarization of the police,” a topic that rose to prominence in the unrest over the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.

Across the country, police departments have used a federal program to acquire military equipment. Critics of this trend argue that putting more military equipment in the hands of police leads to law enforcement behaving more like an occupying army instead of a force that’s supposed to work with communities to keep them safe.

“In Spokane, preliminary analysis suggests that people of color and low income residents have shouldered the brunt of this trend,” reads the letter. “While we understand the need for police to be prepared for the worst, we also see potential problems that can arise from funneling military equipment to local police departments. Most notably, research, that is included in this letter, has shown that increased militarization of police decreases the level of trust between the police and the community they are serving and can lead to a greater spiral of violence that disproportionately affects minority communities.”

The letter goes on to recommend the department adopt greater transparency on the type of military equipment it has received, as well as how it assess risks associated with dealing with people with mental illnesses. The letter also called on the department to track the race of primary suspects in SWAT call outs.

In January, Police Chief Frank Straub wrote back stating that the police department received ballistic helmets in the late 1990s, which are no longer in use and have been replaced by helmets purchased from police equipment suppliers.

In 2010, the department acquired a “peacekeeper,” which is used to rescue civilians and/or police officers from dangerous environments.

“The helmets and peacekeeper are the only military equipment obtained by the Spokane Police Department,” reads the letter from Straub. “We have no intention of obtaining additional equipment from the U.S. military.”

The letter also mentioned that police undergo crisis intervention training to better deal with situations involving mentally ill individuals, and that the department already tracks the race of all persons contacted by police officers.

Earlier this week, the commission discussed the response from the chief. While they praised his quick response, several members wanted more information on what other type of equipment fits the definition of “police militarization,” and to specifically address officers wearing battle dress uniforms, which resemble military garb. In the past, Councilman Mike Fagan has suggested that having more traditional uniforms would improve relations between the police and the public.

The commission is drafting another letter to the chief.

Human Rights Commission Letter on Police Militarization

Chief Response to Human Rights Commission, Blaine Stum 010815

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Local UFC athletes celebrate a weekend victory, prep for upcoming bouts

Posted By on Wed, Jan 28, 2015 at 3:03 PM


She's back! 

Spokane's own Julianna Pena — the fiery mixed martial artist who's become a fan favorite since landing a contract in 2013 with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) as champion of its 18th consecutive The Ultimate Fighter competition series — is getting back into the cage this spring.

The classically beautiful and deeply motivated athlete hasn't been able to compete since that November 2013 victory. Pena sustained a devastating knee injury one year ago while training at her Spokane gym, Sikjitsu, and initial predictions were that she might never return to the sport. Those sentiments, however, only made the relentlessly determined Pena — one of a small percentage of women in a sport dominated by male athletes and fans — push herself even harder to make a full recovery and return.

And just yesterday, the UFC announced Pena is indeed scheduled to return to the ring on April 4, against a recent UFC newcomer, Russian fighter Milana Dudieva. What's remarkable about that matchup, however, is that Dudieva most recently fought Pena's teammate and training partner, Elizabeth Phillips, at a hotly contested matchup in Macau, China, last summer. (Read our feature on Phillips and Pena written just before that event.)

Continue reading »

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WW: Washington State Legislature thinks about marijuana; Jamaica is about to change law on pot

Posted By on Wed, Jan 28, 2015 at 2:19 PM

Welcome back to Weed Wednesday, your weekly dose of pot news. Wondering what this is about? Click. Looking for our previous marijuana coverage? Click. Got a question or tip? Email me at [email protected]

The Washington State Legislature is in full effect, and some lawmakers have pot on their mind as they scramble to get bills pushed through before the session ends.

Perhaps the most notable weed-related topic this session are attempts to bring greater clarity to the state’s freewheeling medical marijuana program and its relationship to the restrictive recreational market. One proposal that’s getting attention is the idea of essentially folding the medical program into the recreational. Proponents of the idea say that it makes no sense to have a largely untaxed and unregulated medical market running parallel to a tightly regulated recreational market. Opponents says that it will undermine the medical marijuana market, which patients rely on for medicine.

Here’s a smattering other marijuana-related bills lawmakers are pondering:

SB 5417 would direct more marijuana tax money to local governments. Jurisdictions that have banned marijuana shops would get none of it.

SB 5002 would make it a traffic infraction to posses an open container of marijuana in a car where it could accessed by the driver or passenger.

HB 1041 would allow people who have a marijuana-related misdemeanor on their record to apply to get it vacated because the drug is legal now. A similar bill introduced last session ended up going nowhere after pushback from prosecutors.

SB 5051 would allow marijuana businesses to deliver their products right to your door.

HB 1650 would allow law enforcement to auction off pot and concentrates that have been illegally grown or produced.

SB 5493 would establish that cannabis health and beauty aids (which are pot-enhanced products intended to enhance the health or appearance of the user that don’t cross the blood-brain barrier) shouldn’t be regulated like pot.

Here’s the news elsewhere:

The American Academy of Pediatrics, citing how a pot conviction can ruin someone’s life early on, is calling for the decriminalization of marijuana while also concluding that some kids could benefit from medical use of the drug.  

Which recreational pot shop in Washington is the highest grossing (drum roll), it’s one right next Oregon.

In Ohio, activists are saying that a marijuana legalization initiative will “positively, absolutely be on the ballot” in 2015.

Apple says it won’t allow marijuana apps on its App Store.

After the feds announced last year that tribal governments can make their own pot laws, one tribe in Mendocino County, California (of course) will start growing its own medical marijuana.

Jamaica looks like it’s poised to decriminalize marijuana. Decriminalization is not the same as legalization, but still.

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Killer talk, local tunes and outlaw country on the Palouse

Posted By on Wed, Jan 28, 2015 at 10:24 AM

Happy humpday, folks! You can find myriad ways to get out and about to celebrate making it halfway to the weekend in our event listings and Staff Picks

Here are a few of the highlights for Wednesday, Jan. 28: 

LIVE MUSIC | People on the Palouse have it really good on Wednesday as the excellent Whitey Morgan and the 78s drop by John's Alley in Moscow for a show. If you like old-school outlaw country, Morgan is for you. This is a fine excuse for a midweek road trip for anyone in Spokane or Northern Idaho. Here's a bit of Morgan doing his thing: 
LIVE MUSIC | In Spokane, Mootsy's is hosting a fine show, too, courtesy of Mirror Mirror, the Smokes and Loomer. 

COMMUNITY | Humanities Washington is hosting what is sure to be an intriguing discussion in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in France. The Think & Drink session hosted by Shann Ray will discuss "killer cartoons" with political cartoonist Milt Priggee and David Fenner, an Islam expert from UW. 
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MB: Jan Quintrall resigns while Michelle Obama rocks the Middle East

Posted By on Wed, Jan 28, 2015 at 9:55 AM


Jan Quintrall, Spokane's beleaguered division director of business and development services, resigns from the city. (Inlander)

Autism intervention will be studied in Spokane County. (SR)

In our new issue hitting the web today and the streets Thursday, we have a story about controversial "instant-racing machines" that are supposed to be historical horse-race wagering machines, but look a lot like slots: Turns out, the Idaho State Racing Commission head, the guy who regulates the machines in Idaho? He's simultaneously a lobbyist for a track in Wyoming. (Idaho Statesman)


Months after Bergdahl, another prisoner-trade-for-hostage deal is offered. (NYT)

Finally, a story where Michelle Obama's fashion choices are actually newsworthy. (Washington Post)

The Atlantic takes on the housing vacancy story that no one's talking about. (The Atlantic)


Seattle has figured out a way to get its residents to compost food waste — shame those who don't. (The Atlantic)

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Spokane Artist Trading Card Meeting

Spokane Artist Trading Card Meeting @ Boots Bakery & Lounge

Thu., Jan. 29, 5:30-7 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

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