Monday, July 6, 2015

THIS WEEK: Bike Prom, Kris Dinnison book release, Cheney Rodeo and more

Posted By on Mon, Jul 6, 2015 at 1:15 PM


The short Independence Day week is in the rearview, but there is a full week of fun ahead, and you can find myriad options for entertaining yourself and your friends in our event listings and Staff Picks. 

Here's a cheat sheet for the week ahead: 

Monday, July 6

TRIVIA | Why not start the week off with some quality time with friends, challenging your knowledge of all things arcane? Trivia nights at Bon Bon and Jones Radiator and Press all offer plenty of fun, along with some tasty beverages. 

Tuesday, July 7

WORDS | Spokane writer, teacher, librarian and small business owner Kris Dinnison celebrates the release of her debut young adult novel, You and Me and Him, with a throwdown at The Bartlett. Read our story about Dinnison right here. The party also includes readings by poet Lauren Gilmore and live music by the Go Man Gos.

LIVE BANDS | Buddy Guy is a straight-up legend, a Rock n Roll Hall of Famer and blues legend whose furious guitar style made him stand out from the crowd right from the start when he cut his teeth in Chicago's scene. Guy is playing The Fox Tuesday night, joined by young cat Quinn Sullivan. Here's a look at Guy and his style: 

Wednesday, July 8

LIVE BANDS | Drop by the Wednesday night market at Kendall Yards and get into the Rock the Nest Concert Series, a free batch of tunes this week featuring musicians from the Girls Rock Lab, as well as Windoe, Perenne and the Angela Maria Project. 

FILM | The Bing plays host to the Seattle Children's Film Festival Wednesday night, a show that features 17 short films appropriate for kids 5 and older, and able to thrill people of all ages with their creativity and heart. It starts at 7 pm, and is only $5. The program will run again Saturday at 11 am at The Bing. 

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MB: Fires everywhere, Greece votes ‘no’ on austerity and U.S. women win World Cup

Posted By on Mon, Jul 6, 2015 at 9:13 AM


HERE

New Spokane NACCP President, Naima Quarles-Burnley, just wants people to move on already. (Spokesman-Review)

The Cape Horn fire in Idaho has grown to nearly 2,000 acres.  Fires raged all over the area throughout the weekend thanks to lightning, rogue fireworks and natural causes. (KHQ)

Seriously, it’s so dry, even a Washington rain forest is burning. (Seattle Times)

THERE

Greece votes ‘no’ on more austerity measures, causing its finance minister to resign. (The Guardian)

The U.S. Women’s National team won its first World Cup title in 16 years this weekend in Vancouver, B.C. (USA Today)

The Grateful Dead held their final concert ever. (New York Times) Now Deadheads will have to find something else to do with their lives. 
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Thursday, July 2, 2015

PLAYLIST: Tunes to get you ready to celebrate Independence Day

Posted By and on Thu, Jul 2, 2015 at 12:00 PM


There are a lot of overwrought "patriotic" songs masquerading as inspirational, but the ol' U.S. of A. has also moved many artists to actually come up with some killer tunes. We've collected a few of our favorites here, and we'd love to hear what songs you feel capture the spirit of the country. Let us know in the comments below. 

In the meantime, dig in to some sonic goodness slathered in the stars and stripes to help you get ready for the Fourth of July festivities

Let's start with arguably the best version of the national anthem from semi-recent memory, courtesy of Whitney: 

The Godfather of Soul? Yup, he dug living in America, and appearing in camp classic Rocky IV, where this song comes from: 

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MB: Killer robot attack, serial arsonist and advice on blowing things up

Posted By on Thu, Jul 2, 2015 at 9:00 AM


HERE

Kootenai County detectives are on the lookout for a serial arsonist who they suspect has ignited eight brush fires this week. The fires have all been in or around Hayden, Idaho. (KREM)

Spokane County Prosecutors slapped former Pasco cop Richard Aguirre — who stands accused of killing a woman 29 years ago — with a new witness tampering charge after he allegedly tried to contact an ex girlfriend. (Spokesman-Review)

Inland Northwest dwellers are buying more cars; popular picks include trucks, SUVs and crossovers. (Spokane Journal of Business)

Headed to Coeur d'Alene to celebrate the 4th of July? So are 30,000 other people and the CdA downtown association is recommending revelers plan their parking strategy in advance to avoid headaches.  (CdA Press)

THERE

This just in for the 4th of July: advice on blowing stuff up from three professional firework technicians. (VICE)

ISIS continues to loot ancient archaeological sites in Iraq and Syria and make big bucks selling the pilfered antiquities on the black market. (New York Times)

A 22-year-old worker at a Volkswagen production plant in Germany was killed by a robot. (The Guardian)

BP will pay $18.7 billion to make up for that time in 2010 when the Deepwater Horizon spilled millions of barrels of crude oil all over the Gulf of Mexico. (Wall Street Journal)
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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Why Sen. Andy Billig voted against freezing the $2 billion class-size initiative

Posted By on Wed, Jul 1, 2015 at 6:19 PM


Today, Gov. Jay Inslee signed what looked like a balanced budget, but left with a $2 billion question mark. 

Blame the class-size initiative, narrowly passed by voters last year. Initiative 1351, which did not specify any source of funding, was basically ignored in the budget-writing process by the Senate, the House and the governor. 

Sen. Andy Billig
  • Sen. Andy Billig
Instead, the Legislature set out to delay the implementation of the initiative by four years. The liberal House, controlled by Democrats, easily gathered the 2/3rds votes necessary to delay the law. When I spoke with Sen. Michael Baumgartner yesterday, he expected the Senate, controlled by Republicans, to easily follow suit. But Rich Wood, spokesman for Washington Education Association, cautioned leaping to such conclusions. He knew what he was talking about. 

Come this morning, the celebration about the initial budget had turned to anger. On Twitter, state Sen. Michael Baumgartner, who had been celebrating the victory for students in the operating budget, was calling Sen. Andy Billig and several other Democrats liars. Billig had refused to vote for the bill to be delayed. 

"Reckless, irresponsible Senate Ds break budget deal, decide to play [Russian roulette] with poor to try to again force tax increase," Baumgartner wrote on Twitter.  "Budget now $2B out of balance and illegal. Chaos." 

He told KIRO radio the same thing.
 
"Half the Senate Democrats kept their word, the other half decided to play politics," Baumgartner said. "There was a huge fight among the Senate Democrats on the floor...and the whole thing broke up."

In the late afternoon, I caught up with Billig to ask him what happened. Did he have an agreement, then go back on his word?

"Absolutely not. Absolutely not," Billig says. "That’s a complete fabrication." If there were agreements of any kind, Billig says he wasn't told about them. 

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WW: Legal weed law tweaks good for pretty much all parties

Posted By on Wed, Jul 1, 2015 at 2:59 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]


Vicki Christophersen, executive director of the weed lobby group Washington CannaBusiness Association (WACA), has been wrangling hard all legislative session for a solution to many of the I-502 kinks — crazy taxes, fewer retailers than anticipated, grey market medical marijuana dispensaries — that have threatened the future of the nascent marijuana industry. “If House Bill 2136 doesn’t pass, the industry is not sustainable,” marijuana producer Cip Paulsen told the Inlander last week. The industry got its solution yesterday when Gov. Jay Inslee signed HB 2136 into law, modifying several aspects of I-502 and eliciting a collective sigh of relief from stakeholders across the board.

"As of today there is 37 percent point-of-sale tax on all product," wrote Christophersen in an email message sent to WACA members this morning. "This is likely to be a little clunky as the transition occurs."

The most important bits of HB 2136:

No more double-tax scenario: A 37 percent tax will be tacked on at point-of-sale. "Tax used to be counted towards income," says Liquor Control Board Communications Director Brian Smith. "It's really going to help the bottom line for producers, processors and retailers." 

Cities are winners, too: The state will start sharing revenue with local jurisdictions; this should lift moratoriums and bring shops to markets where they've been frozen out.

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CONCERT REVIEW: Where’d you go Tyler, the Creator?

Posted By on Wed, Jul 1, 2015 at 12:58 PM

At Tuesday night's Tyler, the Creator show, the MC skipped out on an encore. - LAURA JOHNSON
  • Laura Johnson
  • At Tuesday night's Tyler, the Creator show, the MC skipped out on an encore.

It could have been a combination of things: the heat, tiredness, perhaps he was hangry. Whatever the reasoning, Tyler, the Creator didn’t come out for an encore at last night’s Knitting Factory show to the disappointment of his fans.

No artist is required to do anything, and coming back out to do just one more song isn’t necessary. Maybe we shouldn’t expect it. But seriously? Besides festival shows where there isn’t the time, I can’t even think of the last time I didn’t see an encore for a big show. The rapper was only out on stage for a little over an hour, and last night he left his audience wanting more.

The neon-clothed kids (and these really were kids — there was a row of waiting parents in cars after the show let out) had already lined up outside well before 5 pm for a show that wouldn’t start until about 8:30 pm. Once inside, they packed in, excitedly waiting for a guy many parents would freak out over if they ever read his lyrics.

Taco — not to be confused with this Taco — warmed up the stage for his man Tyler, spinning a bunch of Jay-Z, Lil’ Wayne, Kanye and more. Then out of nowhere, the artist burst onto the stage as if blasted out of a canon  going straight into the song “Bitch Suck Dick.” Ah, yes. Joined by Jasper Dolphin, a fellow Odd Future cohort, he glided quickly around the stage. Sometimes there was gangsta swagger, other times he looked like an adult man throwing a tantrum.

After that first song he moved into the part of the show where he spoke to the audience. He called out one dude for using a selfie stick, he pointed out one woman's outfit whose hair looked like big Minnie Mouse ears.

“Have I been to Spokane before?” he asks a cheering crowd. “I guess it 
LAURA JOHNSON
  • Laura Johnson
must have been a long time ago. What do you do around here? It looks like nothing.”

And with all of these sweet things to say, the MC moved into more crowd-pleasing songs like the slow “IFHY” (perhaps his answer to Eminem’s “Stan”), the money-motivated “Smuckers” and the pedophilia-vibing song “F—-ing Young / Perfect.” For everything he did, the audience fist-pumped and jumped and cursed him and sang along with nearly every word.

Right around 10 pm, he stripped off his white T-shirt, thanked the crowd and peaced out … never to return.

But even if Tyler wasn’t interested in being in Spokane any longer than he needed to, let it be known he worked his ass off with the songs he did do. There were breaks between tunes that lasted almost a minute just so he could catch his breath and towel off the gallons of sweat pouring out of him. He was scary, he was raw, he made all the faces. He was even kind enough not to incite a riot. 

People had a lot of fun Tuesday night, and even with Tyler leaving straight to his hotel right after, that feeling of abandon while his catchy music was pumpin’ is what everyone will remember. And that’s what they should remember.
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MB: Fireworks danger, required vaccines and doctors leaving Greece

Posted By on Wed, Jul 1, 2015 at 9:25 AM


HERE

The Spokane Tribe has partnered with the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and hopes to open a branded casino in Airway Heights. They're still waiting on a signature from Gov. Jay Inslee to determine if they can build a resort casino at all. If Inslee does green-light the development, the Spokane Tribe says it will create 5,000 new jobs. (KREM)

Spokane County settled a lawsuit brought by the father of a mentally ill man who was denied medication while in custody at the Spokane County jail. The suit hinged on a public records law violation and was settled for $27,000. (KXLY)

Fireworks are super-dangerous this year. Everything in the state is dry and hot and ready to catch on fire; we've had 300 brush fires so far this year. Plus, fireworks aren't even legal most places in Spokane County. Choose people and houses over fleeting entertainment. (Spokesman-Review)

THERE

Californians can't decline vaccines based on 'personal beliefs' anymore thanks to a new law. Kids whose parents choose not to have them vaccinated — assuming there's no bona fide medical reason — will not be allowed to attend public school. (VICE)

Jeb Bush has made a lot of money since leaving the Florida governor's office, as evidenced by his newly released 33-year archive of tax returns. He's earned about $29 million since 2007 through speaking engagements, consulting and investments. He's also paid 36 percent of the last three decades income in taxes, setting him apart from past presdiential hopefuls like Mitt Romney who managed to keep far more of their income than the average American. (NPR)

Following in the footsteps of other highly educated professionals, doctors are leaving Greece en masse. "The country is hemorrhaging talent, as professionals in medicine, engineering and academics flee for a better economic climate and more stable employment," reports the New York Times. Since 2010 Greece has lost 3 percent of its population — about 300,000 people in total — as many as 5,000 of them doctors. Yikes. (New York Times)
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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich vs. ISIS, white supremacists and the ACLU

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 4:49 PM


The air-conditioned auditorium at Central Valley High School filled with badge-wearing Republicans eager to hear Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich's take on domestic and international threats and the war against police. Also, the "myth" of police militarization.

Knezovich's presentation of the "True Threats" facing our community, in brief:


Sovereign citizens: You know, those people who live in the United States but refuse to acknowledge the authority of the state. They carry documents declaring all this and are increasingly likely to resort to violence, Knezovich says.

The myth of police militarization: Knezovich scoffed at the "myth of police militarization." Which isn't to say that his department hasn't received helicopters, an MRAP and 57 M16s from the Department of Defense’s 1033 surplus-war-gear program. But his office needs those things, he said. They have long been up against a dizzying array of foes.

Just ask the U.S. Attorney: "The U.S. Attorney is in the audience, folks," said Knezovich, nodding towards Michael Ormsby, who was seated stage-side. "And he will tell you that the FBI is probably the most tight-lipped organization in the world, and they will talk about nothing. You have no idea what those men and women that serve you on a daily basis have prevented in this county. You have no concept. And I’m going to get into some case studies that happened in Spokane. We didn’t know about it — nope. Why not? The FBI doesn’t talk about cases. Right?" 

Ormsby nodded.

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CONCERT REVIEW: Gregg Allman brought his Southern-fried rock to The Fox

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 11:39 AM

DAN NAILEN
  • Dan Nailen

Some music just begs to be heard in a hot, muggy roadhouse, where the sweat drips off the beer bottles and the dancing fans alike. Gregg Allman's sound is a perfect example, whether leading his own band or playing with the Allman Brothers Band, as he mixes gritty Southern blues, rootsy rock 'n' roll and more than a dash of funk and soul. 

Allman's show at the pristine Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox was pretty much the polar opposite of a dank, smoky club, but Allman and his eight-piece backing band did their best to evoke the down-home vibe that propelled him to stardom back in the '60s and early '70s alongside his brother Duane, and eventually landed him in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Pulling songs from throughout his career, Allman created 90 minutes of music that took the audience on a trip that was both adventurous and nostalgic. 

Allman took the stage with a slow ramble to the front shortly after opener Matt Andersen delivered his own blues-heavy set — one that proved popular judging by the line of people buying his CDs between acts. Allman entered waving at the crowd and looking a bit gaunt before he plopped down behind his Hammond B-3 organ and led his charges through an instrumental intro that opened up into "It's Not My Cross to Bear," a tune from the Allman Brothers Band's self-titled 1969 debut. The slow blues was a bold way to kick off a show where no doubt many expected a raucous dance party, and it was an ideal way to showcase Allman's voice — a strong, gruff instrument that belies the 67-year-old's slight stature. 

Like many songs to come, the "Cross" also featured a searing guitar solo from Scott Sharrad, who Allman would later introduce as the musical director of the group that also included two percussionists and three horn players, as well as the remarkable piano man Peter Levin. Considering Sharrad was tasked with ripping out some of the most classic of classic-rock riffs, guitar parts created by Duane Allman and Dickey Betts that have stood the test of the time, the man proved up to the task, easily incorporating their urgent rhythms and wicked slide parts throughout the show. 

Allman followed up "It's Not My Cross to Bear" with "I'm No Angel," a song from his 1986 album of the same name that I recall being a overly produced, way-too-slick addition to his catalog. Seeing that song on MTV as a kid kept me from getting into the Allman Brothers Band for years. I'm happy to report the song has aged better than I'd ever expect thanks to the straightforward approach taken by his band, and the addition of an excellent horn section. Of course, I'll never be able to separate the song from one of Amy Poehler's greatest Saturday Night Live moments in my mind. 

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