Wednesday, March 4, 2015

WW: Kettle Fall Five (Three?) verdict, God wants legal pot in Texas

Posted By on Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 1:16 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 big pot news this week was the verdict in the Kettle Falls Five (now Kettle Falls Three) case. The case was viewed as a barometer of how far the feds could and would go in prosecuting people for pot-related activities sanctioned at the state level but illegal at the federal level. It turned out that federal law enforcement would go pretty far, but not as far as they would have liked.

The case involves an Eastern Washington family that was busted on federal pot charges for growing medical marijuana. Although medical marijuana is legal in Washington state, and it became legal for recreational purposes since their initial arrest, U.S. Attorney Michael Ormsby pursued federal charges against the family related to firearms and criminal conspiracy, as well as growing and distributing marijuana.

Although Congress passed legislation intended to defund federal law enforcement activities that “interfered” with state pot laws, the judge allowed the case to proceed anyways. Larry Harvey, faced with terminal illness, saw his charges dropped, and Jason Zucker, a friend of the family who was facing a potentially stiffer sentence because of prior pot convictions, took a plea deal.

According to to the Spokesman-Review, the jury gave the defendants a partial victory, dropping all the charges except for manufacturing. The prosecution unsuccessfully asked the judge to have the defendants arrested and jailed. Sentencing is in June, the paper reports.

"The jury saw through the deceit of the federal government and rightly acquitted on almost all charges," said Kris Hermes, spokesperson with Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana advocacy group, in a prepared statement. "This should signal to the Department of Justice that prosecutions such as the Kettle Falls Five are a waste of time and money and, if anything, should be left to state courts." Because marijuana is illegal under federal law, the government exercised its prosecutorial discretion to exclude all evidence from trial related to medical necessity and compliance with state law.

Here’s the news elsewhere:

A man in Washington D.C., which recently (sort of) legalized marijuana, walked into a police station and asked for his stash back.

Six in 10 young Republicans favor legalizing weed, according to a new poll.

According to a guest on Fox News, “crack babies” come from women “smoking this whole marijuana business.”

Texas lawmaker: “God did not make a mistake when he made marijuana that the government needs to fix.”

Shootings in New York City have increased, in part, because of legalized pot, according to the city’s police commissioner.

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Local country singer Brenna Yaeger goes Team Blake on The Voice

Posted By on Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 12:31 PM

The Voice
is back for its eighth season (crazy, we know) and this time one of Spokane’s own made it to the blind audition portion of the program. On last night’s episode, 19-year-old Brenna Yaeger took to the vocal competition’s stage looking more hippie folk artist than the breathy country singer she is.

It took some balls for the Mead High School graduate to sing coach Blake Shelton’s wife’s “The House That Built Me,” as he’s clearly well-acquainted with the song (incidentally, both Shelton and Miranda Lambert have toured through Spokane recently).

But it worked well for her in the end. Adam Lambert and Shelton both turned their chairs for the singer, sparring for her attention on their team. But it wasn’t too much of a contest. She, of course, chose Team Blake — she has his wife’s lyrics tattooed on her foot after all.

Yaeger, who currently works at the General Store on Division, will go on to the battle round portion next, which pits two contestants against each other to ultimately decide final teams.

Only time will tell if she's Spokane's next Cami Bradley, albeit on a different talent competition show.

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Flaming metal, book chats and free folk to go with your whiskey

Posted By on Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 10:31 AM

Happy to be at Hump Day, are you? Just think how much more joy you can bring into your life by checking out all the cool things going on, as evidenced by a stroll through our event listings and Staff Picks?

Here are some highlights I found for Wednesday, March 4: 

LIVE BANDS | Jones Radiator adds a nice bonus to their normal Whiskey Wednesday festivities with live tunes from Arkansas-based Candy Lee, who used a Kickstarter campaign to help her hit the road and take her rootsy sound to the people. That means the show is free to you, and you can use more of your cash on that whiskey. 
LIVE BANDS | When it comes to metal, Sweden loves the stuff, and in In Flames the country has one mighty exporter of electro-tinged metal sounds. They headline the Knitting Factory, and have All That Remains and Wovenwar joining the fun. Here's a bit of In Flames: 
WORDS | The Coeur d'Alene Public Library hosts the Food for Thought Book Club at 6 pm, and all are welcome at 6 pm to discuss Wendell Berry's The Unsettling of America
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MB: Haskell speaks, chicken nuggets lose the antibiotics and trials begin

Posted By on Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 10:04 AM


A transient woman dies after being run over by a wastewater truck. (KXLY)

The former NIC federal aid director, accused of trying to trade financial aid for sex, could face even more charges, like  "lying to a federal agent and misusing federal funds." (SR)

Juror's acquit the Kettle Falls Five on most charges. (SR)

Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell finally sits down for an interview about the controversial Facebook comments of his wife. (KHQ)


McDonald's is ditching the antibiotics in its chicken nuggets. (NYT)

The Boston Marathon Bombing trial begins. (NYT)

The Supreme Court seems divided as arguments over the legality of Obamacare subsidies begin. (Washington Post)


Vox culture editor Todd VanDerWerff has an idea for a new Star Trek TV series, True Detective-style (Vox)
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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Vince Vaughn stocks up, and so can you!

Posted By on Tue, Mar 3, 2015 at 12:02 PM


In design circles, we all know it and we all hate it. Stock art. Those very cheesy photos of people in suits giving each other high fives. Granted that happens here at Inlander HQ on an hourly basis.

Vince Vaughn and co-stars of the upcoming movie Unfinished Business posed for hilarious stock photos, all which are free to use. So feel free to make those awesome motivational posters.

Here you go: 


Continue reading »

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TUESDAY TASTE: Brandi Carlile, Purity Ring and Steve Carell's impressive nose

Posted By on Tue, Mar 3, 2015 at 11:03 AM

Big news arrived in the music world in recent days with the announcement that the day for new releases will move from Tuesday to Friday — in other words, for most people, payday! How it will affect sales remains to be seen, but in the meantime, Tuesday remains big for new music and DVD releases until this summer, and we're here to guide you to the best of the bunch. 

Washington's own Brandi Carlile continues to release top-notch folk-rock with her new album, The Firewatcher's Daughter, a harmony-laden set of 12 songs released on the indie ATO label. Here's a taste: 
Canadian electro-pop duo Purity Ring returns from a jaunt home to Edmonton to record their sophomore set Another Eternity with a strong follow-up to their debut Shrines. Here's a new tune called "bodyache:"

The major release of the day is The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, which is basically the first half of the last chapter of the four-film project. If you're a fan, you've probably already seen it — it made more than $336 million. If you're not, consider checking this out instead: 

Foxcatcher might have a similar name to Mockingjay, but it's a much quieter film, and showcases Steve Carell like you've never seen him, both literally and in the acting sense. If you can get past the dramatic prosthetic schnozz and get into the true story of an odd, wealthy wrestling coach, you'll be rewarded, as Carell was with a Best Actor nomination at this year's Oscars. Mark Ruffalo was similarly honored for Best Supporting Actor. Here's a look: 

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Stirring African sounds, powerful Hispanic filmmaking, and a celebration of Papa

Posted By on Tue, Mar 3, 2015 at 10:01 AM

The temp is a bit colder today, but the sun is shining and all manner of good times are beckoning if you take the time to peruse our extensive event listings and Staff Picks

As I look through them, these events caught my eye for Tuesday, March 3: 

LIVE BANDS | Decades later, most Americans still know Ladysmith Black Mambazo for the group's efforts on Paul Simon's Graceland album, and with good reason. That album was arguably the high point of Simon's long, illustrious career, and the African vocalists were a major reason why. But Ladysmith has decades of music of their own that's well worth hearing, and you'll get to do just that tonight at The Bing. Here's a bit of what you'll hear: 
WORDS | Come to Papa! It's opening day for this year's Hemingway Festival at the University of Idaho, featuring all manner of discussions and readings revolving around the enduring appeal of Ernest Hemingway's work. 

FILM | There will be a free screening of Mosquita Y Mari at the EWU Riverpoint Campus tonight at 6 pm, followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Aurora Guerrero. Here's a trailer for the film: 

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Nudists express concerns about bikini barista initiative

Posted By on Tue, Mar 3, 2015 at 9:23 AM

Last night, Spokane City Council considered what to do with a citizen initiative that would specify what parts of the body can be bared in public. The initiative was spearheaded by a group of moms who want more restrictions on so-called “bikini baristas,” or coffee stands where scantily clad women (or women not clad in anything at all) serve drive-thru customers coffee, sometimes in plain view of children.

Guess who showed up during the public comment period to speak against the measure? If you guessed that the owners of Spokane’s bikini barista stands showed up to call the supporters of the measure a bunch of prudes who were afraid of lady parts and to denounce the initiative as a threat to their business, guess again.
Councilman Mike Fagan has been particularly outspoken about bikini barista. - JAKE THOMAS
  • Jake Thomas
  • Councilman Mike Fagan has been particularly outspoken about bikini barista.

Instead, it was nudists who turned out to tell the city's legislative body that the proposed initiative should be stopped in its tracks before it could rob Spokane residents of their freedom to romp around in the buff.

“The initiative is a broad brush fix for a specific problem, which is the bikini baristas,” local nudist Kathy Smith told the council, adding, “The initiative has unintended consequences and attacks nudists who do not engage in that practice.”

Dave Smith, another nudist who is involved in local nudist organizations, told the council that some of the behaviors the initiative targets are already covered by Spokane's municipal code, and he was concerned that all the nude events held at restaurants, bed and breakfasts and private homes in Spokane could be jeopardized if it became law.

Continue reading »

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MB: Pot trials, gas taxes and another Clinton scandal

Posted By on Tue, Mar 3, 2015 at 8:50 AM


Idaho's expensive boondoggle of a broadband network has collapsed. For many North Idaho school districts, that's a good thing. (Spokesman-Review)

A gas tax increase passes the Republican-controlled Washington Senate. And Democrat Andy Billig voted against it. (Spokesman-Review)

Dispatches from the "Kettle Falls Five" federal marijuana trial by former Inlander reporter Heidi Groover. (The Stranger)

The mural on the empty lot near Division Street has been vandalized. (KXLY)

Hillary Clinton may have exclusively used her private e-mail account when Secretary of State, a choice that could not only have run afoul of public records law, but may have been a significant security risk. (New York Times)

How Israeli prime minister Bibi Netanyahu and American President Barack Obama had their falling out. (New York Times)

Because cities don't track assaults in taxi cabs, we don't know if they're any safer than an Uber ride. (The Atlantic)

House of Cards' third season started pretty unsatisfyingly. Here's why. (Grantland)
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Monday, March 2, 2015

Alton Brown ate his way around Spokane this weekend

Posted By on Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 3:55 PM


Social media was abuzz yesterday with the hashtag #ABRoadEatsSpokane as chef and Food Network personality Alton Brown made his way around Spokane, sampling local offerings from coffee to waffles and banh mi sandwiches.

Brown tweeted, Facebook-ed and Instagram-ed his Spokane eating experiences, stopping at Coeur Coffeehouse, The Scoop, Indaba Coffee and Stella's Cafe before heading to the INB Performing Arts Center for his Alton Brown Live! show that evening.

Indaba manager Evan Lovell wasn't working yesterday morning, but his coworkers tell him Brown ordered a traditional flat white around 10 am.

"He was glad it was a real flat white," Lovell says, adding that some coffee connoisseurs — Brown posts online often about his love of coffee — disagree on the true characteristics of the drink, made from espresso and steamed milk.

After his coffee stop, Brown headed up to The Scoop on the South Hill for breakfast. Scoop owner Jennifer Davis — a huge fan of Brown's work — was doubtful he'd make it to her ice creamery and cafe, but says she planned to be there all day just in case.

"I was just like, you know, this is kind of the place [he'd like]; we have different food, we're off the beaten path and so he could probably check us out."

Shortly after learning of Brown's stop at Indaba, Davis says a woman stopped in to ask if they served breakfast, to which Davis replied that the Scoop is locally known for its liege waffles. She adds, "then I looked out the window and there he was!"

Brown signed Kyle Bowlby's (his nickname is "Chef Freak") cutting board and spoon since the Wandering Table sous chef couldn't attend the show last night.
  • Brown signed Kyle Bowlby's (his nickname is "Chef Freak") cutting board and spoon since the Wandering Table sous chef couldn't attend the show last night.

Lucky for Brown and his crew of two, Davis says foot traffic at the cafe was unusually slow that morning, and as such they were able to enjoy the Scoop's bacon nut, breakfast and minimalist waffles in relative peace.
"He took a super awesome Instagram picture and was able to take pictures of everything for Facebook and was asking about the neighborhood," Davis says.

Later that day, Brown showed off two mouthwatering sandwiches from Stella's Cafe — a classic banh mi and roast beef with provolone, kale and hot peppers.

At some point earlier, Brown also hit up Coeur Coffee just north of the Monroe Street Bridge for an Americano.

To end the day's eating, Brown ordered a long list of items from the Wandering Table in Kendall Yards, and had the food delivered because after his show ended around 9 pm, the restaurant was getting ready to close. Sous Chef Kyle Bowlby says a courier picked up an order of the restaurant's roasted brussels sprouts, crispy cauliflower, spaghetti stuffed meatballs, gnocchi gratin, bacon-wrapped bacon sliders, roast chicken wings, umami burgers and pepper spiced chips.

Since Bowlby had to work the evening shift and thus missed Brown's show, he asked if the celebrity chef would sign an epicurean cutting board and spoon, which the courier delivered back to the restaurant.  




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