Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ballot proposal would change how Spokane mayor's salary gets set

Posted By on Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 2:10 PM

While most city officials seem open to a proposal filed today to change how the mayor’s salary gets set, Spokane city council members may conflict over the timing of a ballot measure that would put the matter before voters next year.

Councilman Mike Fagan filed a ballot proposal today that would alter the city’s charter to have the Salary Review Commission, the same entity that sets the city council’s salaries, evaluate and set salary for the mayor. The issue arose earlier this fall after a preliminary budget included a $7,000 raise for the mayor.

Councilman Mike Fagan - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Councilman Mike Fagan

“It’s very, very simple,” he says. “All we’re proposing is using the same mechanism [as applies to the council.] That is as simple as you can get.”

City council members had voiced strong opposition to the mayor’s proposed raise, sparking a strong public debate over whether the existing charter rules still served as the best method for determining salary.

Mayor David Condon has since declined the raise and the city council on Monday approved a 2015 budget that stripped out a number of proposed raises for city officials and exempt employee positions.

Meanwhile, Fagan scheduled three public forums on the issue, noting a total combined attendance of just 10 people. In hopes of putting the issue before voters on the February ballot, he hurried to file a proposal this week for the council.

“I made the decision to step forward and address the issue myself,” he says.

The ballot proposal would shift responsibility for the mayor’s salary to the Salary Review Commission. Fagan noted that commission might have to be restructured to ensure an impartial decision, but he felt it would be the best alternative. The mayor proposed a similar change recently as part of an Affordability Plan.

“It’s something that the mayor supports,” city spokesman Brian Coddington says, “and it’s probably the next step in the conversation.”

Council President Ben Stuckart says there has not been much prior conversation, arguing Fagan filed the proposal without bringing it through the regular committee process. Stuckart says he doesn’t oppose the idea, but opposes the way it has been rushed through the process.

“The timing needs to be discussed," he says.

Stuckart explains Spokane Public Schools and Spokane Transit Authority officials have contacted him about the potential impact on their upcoming ballot measures. The council president says the salary issue unnecessarily “muddies the water.”

When the proposal comes before the council, Stuckart says, he plans to argue for delaying the issue until the ballot in August. Fagan says he doesn’t understand why Stuckart would let schools or the STA dictate how the city operates.

“Changing the charter is really, really an important thing,” Fagan says. “If this was as hot-buttoned as everybody says it was, why are we pushing this back to August?”

The council will likely discuss the issue in greater detail next week.


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Celebrating 60 years of spreading the "stoke"

Posted By on Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 11:45 AM

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The Sports Creel is celebrating a birthday that most specialty sporting good stores never see.

Harry Larned first opened the doors to this Spokane Valley staple on March 19, 1954. Throughout the years, the store has remained family-owned and operated – three generations of Larneds have worked there, in fact. Harry’s daughter, Lin, would eventually take over the operation and marry Herb Genteman. One of their two sons, Micah, would follow the family legacy, growing up and making the store a big part of his life. He would eventually meet his wife, TJ, in the store. Currently Herb, Lin, Micah and TJ are the core members of the Creel team.

The location has hardly changed and as Micah describes, “The original location was pretty close to our current location. We’ve always remained within a stones throw (near the intersection of Sprague and Pines).”

Over the past 60 years, the Sports Creel has adapted to the incoming big box stores, other specialty retailers opening and closing and the growth of the Valley. Through the 60 years, they have carried everything from high-end fly-fishing equipment, Chris Craft wooden boat kits and was at one point the largest Hobie cat dealer in North America. “We have sold everything,” Micah says.

But from day one, they have always sold snow skis. “We are now focused on selling stuff for the things we do (and love to do),” Micah adds. The Sports Creel has made its footprint in the Inland Northwest as one of the best special ski and water sports shops.

Throughout the years, the Sports Creel has remained competitive with stores that have the budgets and staff to be open day and night, seven days a week. Herb adds that the last 60 years have been “a survival of the specialty ski shops. Lots have come and gone.” But the Sports Creel has remained a fixture. Happy Birthday, thanks for helping spread ‘the stoke’ for the last 60 years, and cheers to 60 more!
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Tiffany Patterson and gumdrops!

Posted By on Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 11:21 AM

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BEHIND THE COVER: This week's holiday-inspired cover comes from local artist Tiffany Patterson. We asked her what she loves about Christmas time:
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"The holidays held so much magic for me as a child. It seemed fitting to imagine all the wonderful events this season being witnessed through the eyes of a little girl. I grew up in a Weimaraner family, but through truly lovely friends have come to know the charm of Pugs. Christmas sweaters and snorting tiny dogs seemed to go wonderfully with drooling over candied covered houses and enthusiastically hurling yourself down fluffy snow covered mountains."
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WHAT'S UP TODAY? The Grinch and Star Anna arrive in Spokane

Posted By on Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 10:31 AM


It's Thanksgiving Eve, and that means it's a mid-week chance to rage, full-on. Or at least get out of the house. We have a ton of event listings always at your disposal, as well as Staff Picks chosen by our in-house professionals. No time to poke around? We can help. 

Here are some things worth considering for Wednesday, Nov. 26: 

THEATER | How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical opens its Spokane run Wednesday night, and seems a fine way to get into the spirit of hanging with more family than you'd prefer on Thanksgiving. You can read a bit more about the production in our story on holiday shows

LIVE BANDS | Seattle's Star Anna is here to spend a couple night at Jones Radiator, so if you can't catch her Wednesday, consider a stop after downing some turkey on Thursday. Here's our interview with the young rocker, and here's a bit of what you can expect: 

KARAOKE | Open mic with T & T for all you aspiring musicians at Geno's, on a night when the audience will likely be friendlier and/or more drunk than a typical Wednesday. 
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MB: Ferguson protests spring up in Spokane and across the country; FDA requires calorie counts

Posted By on Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 9:40 AM


HERE


More than 200 people rallied outside Spokane City Hall last night in solidarity with protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. (Inlander)

Former deputy Spokane County prosecutor Marriya Wright won't do jail time for helping a criminal avoid arrest. (S-R)

The city of Spokane was found guilty yesterday of wrongly firing a city employee who suffered a stroke. (S-R)

THERE

In the wake of the recent grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson, protesters staged demonstrations in more than 170 cities across the country. (CNN)

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had heart surgery this morning. She is expected to be discharged within two days. (NBC) 

The Food and Drug Administration is requiring chain restaurants and other eating establishments to post calorie counts on their menus (NYT)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVE!

Let's all listen to this holiday classic. 


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Photos: Solidarity Action for Ferguson

Posted By on Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 7:40 AM

More than 200 people attended Solidarity Action for Ferguson march and rally last night in response to Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson not being indicted for the shooting and killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. After a "die-in" in front of Spokane City Hall, symbolizing Brown's body being left in the street for hours after his death, marchers walked from City Hall to the STA Plaza and back chanting "no justice, no peace" and "hands up, don't shoot," among others.

Local NAACP chapter President and Inlander commentary contributor Rachel Dolezal, left, draws a chalk outline around her 20-year-old son Isaiah Dolezal as part of a "die-in" in front of City Hall. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Local NAACP chapter President and Inlander commentary contributor Rachel Dolezal, left, draws a chalk outline around her 20-year-old son Isaiah Dolezal as part of a "die-in" in front of City Hall.

Jackie Vaughn, bottom, walks down W. Spokane Falls Blvd. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Jackie Vaughn, bottom, walks down W. Spokane Falls Blvd.

Twenty-year-old Isaiah Dolezal, right, carries a Pan-African flag as his 13-year-old brother Franklin Moore walks along his side down W. Spokane Falls Blvd. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Twenty-year-old Isaiah Dolezal, right, carries a Pan-African flag as his 13-year-old brother Franklin Moore walks along his side down W. Spokane Falls Blvd.

Fred Ward, center, Jackie Vaughn, right, and others walk down N. Wall St. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Fred Ward, center, Jackie Vaughn, right, and others walk down N. Wall St.


Restoration Church Rev. Andre Dove, bottom, walks down Wall St. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Restoration Church Rev. Andre Dove, bottom, walks down Wall St.

Marguerite Wright, center, chants while walking down N. Wall St. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Marguerite Wright, center, chants while walking down N. Wall St.

Kellie Crawford, center, and others walk down W. 1st Ave., chanting "hands up, don't shoot." - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Kellie Crawford, center, and others walk down W. 1st Ave., chanting "hands up, don't shoot."

Yuri Borges chants while walking down W.1st Ave. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Yuri Borges chants while walking down W.1st Ave.

Lanae Dedmond, right, and others chant while walking down S. Post Ave. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Lanae Dedmond, right, and others chant while walking down S. Post Ave.

Marchers approach the STA Plaza on W. Sprague Ave. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Marchers approach the STA Plaza on W. Sprague Ave.

Phillip Baker, center, marches with his hands up while chanting "hands up, don't shoot" on W. Sprague Ave. in front of the STA Plaza. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Phillip Baker, center, marches with his hands up while chanting "hands up, don't shoot" on W. Sprague Ave. in front of the STA Plaza.

Phillip Baker, left, chanting into a megaphone and Lanae Dedmond, center, walk down N. Wall St. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Phillip Baker, left, chanting into a megaphone and Lanae Dedmond, center, walk down N. Wall St.

Jacob Johns, center, carries his 2-year-old daughter Lily while walking down W. Main Ave. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Jacob Johns, center, carries his 2-year-old daughter Lily while walking down W. Main Ave.

Nia Rivers, center, walks down W. Main Ave. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Nia Rivers, center, walks down W. Main Ave.

Chare Gilliam chants while walking down N. Lincoln St. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Chare Gilliam chants while walking down N. Lincoln St.

Participants gather in front of City Hall after marching. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Participants gather in front of City Hall after marching.

Eight-year-old Jonathan, center, and his 11 year old brother Gabriel, right, hold candles in front of city hall. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Eight-year-old Jonathan, center, and his 11 year old brother Gabriel, right, hold candles in front of city hall.

Nineteen-year-old Joshuena Williams, center, leads a chant in front of City Hall. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Nineteen-year-old Joshuena Williams, center, leads a chant in front of City Hall.

Israel Jones, center, holds a sign in front of city hall. - YOUNG KWAK
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  • Israel Jones, center, holds a sign in front of city hall.

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THIS LONG WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Pre-Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving and post-Thanksgiving shows

Posted By on Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 12:24 AM

WEDNESDAY
If Thanksgiving is all about family, the night before Thanksgiving is about hanging out with all of those friends who are back in town for the long weekend. The Knitting Factory has that figured out with its upcoming annual Butterball Bash. The headbanging lineup includes Seattle sludge metal group Witchburn and Spokane rock acts Seven Cycles, Deadones USA, Elephant Gun Riot and Free the Jester, who just released their debut EP last month. It’s time to rock hard before hitting that big turkey feast and Black Friday. The free ($5 for minors) all-ages show begins at 7:30 pm.

Every time singer-songwriter Star Anna goes on tour she eats at Denny's. There's comfort in familiar cuisine and she appreciates any menu that includes a respectable pun (Moons Over My Hammy is a favorite). This Thanksgiving she'll eat at the 24-hour diner again thanks to a two-date stop in Spokane next Wednesday and Thursday. The shows begin at 8 pm and is $5. Read the full story here.



What better way to eat an amazing burrito at Neato Burrito, then to do so while listening to electronic music? The Baby Bar plays host to the Thanksgiving Eve DJ Party featuring DJ Case, Stone Tobey, Kain Bridge One and Da III. The beat-filled show starts at 9 pm and is free.

THANKSGIVING
Last year, at an impromptu Mootsy's Thanksgiving show, the other guys all realized Aker needed a rock band behind his wailing, soulful vocals. Months later, Pine League was formed. The local rock band plays Mootsy’s again Thursday. Just roll down there whenever your family festivities have hit a lull.

FRIDAY
Friday evening, after you’ve eaten a sufficient amount of leftover turkey-filled sandwiches, hit up the Big Dipper for an evening of local metal acts. (I’ve heard hardcore music actually helps with digestion). The bands include Over Sea Under Stone, Lions Beside Us and Banish the Echo. The all-ages show is $8 at the door and starts at 8 pm.

SATURDAY
The Knitting Factory brings in that breezy California singer-songwriter sound Saturday with Eric Hutchinson, Tristan Prettyman and Nick Howard. The show starts at 8 pm and is $20 at the door.



Local kick-ass metal acts Cold Blooded, Progenitus and I Hate This City play the Rock Your Socks Off Benefit organized by the Modified Dolls, a nonprofit founded by “modified” — i.e., pierced and tattooed — women and dedicated to charity Saturday. Bring socks for the House of Charity and nonperishable food items for Second Harvest. The show starts at 10 pm at Underground 15.



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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

TUESDAY TASTE: New MST3K, Drunk History and Soundgarden rarities among new releases

Posted By on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 11:37 AM


Every Tuesday we let you know the best of the week's new music and video releases to help you decide how to spend your hard-earned cash. It's a slower week due to Thanksgiving, but there are a few things worth your consideration. Check 'em out: 

MUSIC

There are plenty of live sets, greatest-hits collections and "expanded editions" of old albums coming our way, as there always are this time of year. Two you might want to consider: 

Soundgarden, Echo of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path. This triple-disc set is broken down into sets of originals, covers and "oddities," and will surely thrill long-time lovers of the Northwest crew more than introduce many new fans to their thud-rock sound. You'll get the full version of "Birth Ritual" from the Singles soundtrack, among other goodies. 

Rick Ross,
Hood Billionaire. The second release by the gangster poet follows on the drug-slinging themes of Mastermind from the Grammy-nominated MC. 

MOVIES & TV


We're not going to lie — it's pretty slim pickings on the new release front for home video. There's the testosterone fest of Expendables 3, featuring Sly Stallone and a bevy of action stars young and old (and older). There's the sci-fi of The Giver, Tyler Perry's attempt at blending Christmas mirth and his Madea character, and the "wait, wasn't that in theaters, like, last week" flick A Merry Friggin Christmas, but I prefer to pretend Robin Williams never made that one. 

For my money, the only worthwhile releases this week come from television. 

Drunk History, the web series-turned-Comedy Central hit is one of the most entertaining half-hour shows to hit television in a long time. It's a collection of increasingly drunk comedians waxing on about important moments in history, and their rambling is then re-enacted by performers ranging from Jack Black to Winona Ryder to Kristin Wiig — it's a who's who of funny folks. The concept might leave you skeptical, but give it a shot. Now you can get the first two seasons of the show on DVD. Here's a bit of what's in store: 

Mystery Science Theater 3000: Vol XXXI: The Turkey Day Collection captures four episodes of the show — two from the Comedy Central era hosted by Joel Hodgson, and two from the Sci-Fi Channel era hosted by Mike Nelson. The four movies included and skewered by MST3K's Tom Servo and Crow are Jungle Goddess, The Painted Hills, The Screaming Skull and Squirm. Here's a look: 

And if you're looking to drive any lingering relatives or friends from the house after your Thanksgiving meal, consider popping in the ridiculously lengthy Lars Von Trier flick Nymphomaniac, a two-parter being released on video as a "director's cut" this week. The overabundance of Shia LaBeouf should be enough to get you some peace and quiet in no time. Take a peek: 

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WHAT'S UP TODAY? Visions of Nepal and a Griswold family Christmas

Posted By on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 10:09 AM


Happy Tuesday, people! There's a lot happening in our neck of the woods, judging by our event listings and carefully curated Staff Picks. If you haven't had a chance to peruse the options, let us lend a hand. 

Here are some highlights from our listings for Tuesday, Sept. 25: 

WORDS | Auntie's is hosting a little conversation and slide show by Ric Conner, co-owner of Ganesh Himal Trading, called "Looking Back, Looking Forward: A Retrospective Slide Presentation Celebrating 30 Years of Fair Trade in Nepal." It's a long name for what is sure to be a cool look at the Himalayan country. 

KARAOKE | Got relatives in town, and the need to get them out of the house for a little while? Karaoke is a good way to delay any holiday drama, and you can get your singing on at Underground 15 Tuesday night. 

FILM | The Totally Tubular Tuesday film selection this week at the Garland Theater is the under-appreciated National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. The third installment of the Chevy Chase vehicle is better than the second and the fourth, and introduced Juliette Lewis to the world before she went all bad-ass in her rock band and Natural Born Killers. Here's a look at a fine way to kick off the Christmas season on the cheap: 


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Ferguson: Calm down... for what?

Posted By on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 9:39 AM

A rally last night in Seattle. - TIFFANY VON ARNIM
  • Tiffany Von Arnim
  • A rally last night in Seattle.

Sadness quickly turns to madness when the loss of one of our sons and brothers is minimized and coded away in polite legal terms with no intention of returning what was taken, no attempt at apologizing for the damage done. Life meets death in the streets, where walking, shopping, driving, talking, playing on the playground or listening to music can be deadly these days… just being black in America.

The flames erupting in Ferguson are the fires burning in the hearts of mothers of black sons in this nation. We cry for the life nurtured inside us those nine months, for the years of tending and mending our child, for the brief pride we felt in his manhood before the light left his eyes. We tell our sons to walk with both eyes open, hands visible and quick feet ready to run. We advise them to keep receipts for everything they purchase, speak politely and dress sensibly. We hoped that the toil of our ancestors would have freed them from the curse of these limitations and the threat of harm, and we dreamed that we would never awake to feel this pain. 

Dolezal.jpg
If tomorrow isn’t promised to my sons, to our black sons, why should they dream? What hope can we offer them tonight, the night when several hundred years of misogynoir and disrespect for black human life comes crashing in on us? I feel disconnected from my body as I write this. No words come to me as I search for promises I can’t give. Grief becomes rage as the names and faces of unarmed black boys and men recently killed scan through my mind: Kimani Gray, Kendrec McDade, Ervin Jefferson, Timothy Russell, Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Ezell Ford, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Patrick Dorismond, Timothy Stansbury, Jr., Aaron Campbell, Victor Steen, Steven Eugene Washington, Wendell Allen, Travares McGill, Ramarley Graham, Oscar Grant, Orlando Barlow, Alonzo Ashley… Even our heroes, Malcolm and Martin, were taken by bullets in their prime.

Where do we go from here? People who have not felt the lash of centuries of oppression beating down on their backs tell us to keep calm and carry on. What insanity makes those in power imagine they have any idea what the logical response should be? What psychosis perpetuates the myth that if we listen to “both sides,” we will somehow find the truth, as if the hunter and the hunted, the dead and the living, could be consulted with a fair and even outcome.

When my youngest son was 5 years old, an adult once asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. He said, “A dog.” Laughing, the person said, “Oh, you mean you want to be a veterinarian?” “No,” he said, “I want to be a dog, because dogs have a life without worry.” The adult said, “Well, you know that’s not possible for you to be a dog.” Looking very serious, my son said, “Well, my mom said I can be anything I want to be when I grow up, and I think a lot of dogs have it easier than a lot of people.” Now that my son is 13, I sit him down to remind him of his early insights and, amid a swell of emotion, I tell him that, in America, a black 16-year-old who killed a dog was sentenced this summer to 23 years in prison, while a white police officer who was nearly 30 years old will not even face charges for killing a black teenager.

And, as the answers and questions blur together, I tell him that I cannot talk anymore about history or courts or reasons on this night. For a moment, I just need to hold him without words.  ♦

Rachel Dolezal, formerly of the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d'Alene, is president-elect of NAACP Spokane and teaches courses in art, Africana history and culture at area universities.


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