Wednesday, April 15, 2015

WW: Leg enacts sweeping reform to state pot laws, Obama talks ganja in Jamaica

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 3:30 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]

After months of hearings, debates, amendments, votes and more hearings, marijuana as we know it is about to change in Washington state. Although the dust is still clearing, the cannabis business community is clearly pleased about this development, while medical marijuana advocates are calling on the governor to veto the legislation.

Yesterday, a final version of SB 5052 passed out the Senate and is on its way to Gov. Jay Inslee, who hasn’t definitively said if he will sign it.

One of the central goals of the bill is to bring the state’s freewheeling medical marijuana market under more regulation by combining it with the recreational market, all of which will be overseen by the newly redubbed Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Control Board. The bill would also create a voluntary registry for patients and allows recreational stores to obtain a medical endorsement so they can serve medical patients.

Proponents of the bill say it’s needed to close down shady medical dispensaries that they say are undermining the recreational system by selling tax-free pot to non-patients. However, medical marijuana advocates have expressed concerns throughout the process that responsible dispensaries, which offer advice and medicinal products to patients in a way recreational stores can’t, would also be swept away.

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CAT FRIDAY WEDNESDAY: SHS hosts a baby shower Friday for the tiniest spring arrivals — kittens!

Posted By and on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 2:55 PM

It's still the beginning of the annual period from spring through late summer that animal welfare workers refer to as "kitten season" — the time of year when the most un-spayed female cats become pregnant and give birth. Even though it's early, the Spokane Humane Society has already taken in around 150 kittens born this spring, and that number will exponentially increase in the coming months.

The event offers information on how to become a foster parent for homeless kittens born this year. - SPOKANE HUMANE SOCIETY
  • Spokane Humane Society
  • The event offers information on how to become a foster parent for homeless kittens born this year.

To spread the word that these kittens rely heavily on the community's support during their early stage of life, SHS is hosting its first ever Kitten Shower this Friday evening. The event is just what the name implies — a baby shower, but for homeless kittens. The concept has proven to be a successful way for animal sheltering organizations across the United States to collect much-needed supplies and to teach the community about the intensive process of caring for kittens until they're old enough to be adopted (usually around two months). 

The drop-in event this Friday, April 17, is happening from 6-8 pm at the Northeast Community Center (4001 N. Cook, in the Hillyard neighborhood). Those interested in learning more about fostering kittens for the Humane Society are invited to attend, as well as anyone who wants to support the shelter's efforts to raise kittens — many without mothers — from their earliest days. The shelter is collecting donated supplies that are in demand this time of year (see a list of requested items below). 

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Community groups urge senators to move on Washington Voting Rights Act

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 12:42 PM

In a letter sent to Washington lawmakers Monday, 44 community groups pushed lawmakers to pass the Washington Voting Rights Act (WVRA), which passed the House and Senate Government Operations Committee, but is currently stuck in the Rules Committee. 

"The WVRA makes local government more accountable to the people it serves," the letter reads. "Currently, some communities do not have a voice in local government. The WVRA provides tools not currently available in the law to provide solutions. The WVRA does not mandate proportional representation or district-based elections, but instead will give local communities an equal opportunity to elect officials who represent their needs and interests, helping to make elected bodies truly representative."  

The bill allows for district-based local elections and would give members of protected classes, such as racial or linguistic minorities who feel disenfranchised by at-large elections in Washington a way to take legal action in a superior court without the high costs of a lawsuit in district court. 

A federal district judge recently ruled in one such suit brought by the ACLU against the City of Yakima. In that case, the judge ruled that Yakima must conduct future city council elections using its seven geographical districts. The decision came down in February and cost the city nearly $1 million in legal fees. Additionally, the ACLU has since asked for $2.8 million to cover its own legal costs.

When asked if the ACLU's request for the additional $2.8 million from the City of Yakima was just adding insult to injury, ACLU spokesman Doug Honig said no. He adding that the federal Voting Rights Act contains a provision that allows for legal costs and fees to be paid to the prevailing side.
According to previous Inlander reporting, Robert Douthitt, a member of the Board of Directors for Spokane Public Schools, says he has concerns that some standards and language in the bill are too ambiguous. 

"What does equal opportunity mean in the context of a really, really small [protected] class," Douthitt said previously. 

Staff writer Jake Thomas contributed reporting to this post. 
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Local laughs, serious chops and a movie that really ties the night together

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 9:55 AM

We have a bevy of opportunities sure to please every taste in your household in our event listings and Staff Picks, so go ahead and do a little perusing. 

Here are a few highlights I found for Wednesday, April 15: 

FILM | I have quite literally lost count of how many times I've seen The Big Lebowski, and that's not just because The Dude and I share a passion for certain intoxicants. I'm guessing you love it, too, considering how popular The Inlander's first screening of it was last spring at The Bing. Tonight, it's back for Suds and Cinema: The Big Lebowski, complete with cheap beer, free ice cream and an after-party. Hit that link for the details.

| Local comedian Andy Woods goes the extra mile for his laughs as the creator of "Jay Shingle's Comedy School: A Seminar on Comedy," tonight at Baby Bar. 

LIVE BANDS | Even if you don't love acoustic music, you'll find a lot to like if you check out multi-instrumental master Tony Furtado at The Bartlett, with Bob Riggs opening. Here's a sample of Furtado's style: 

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MB: Changes to pot regs, football star convicted of murder and dogs sitting on cats

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 9:09 AM


Orchard Prairie mom failed to raise tax dollars to improve the historic school and gymnasium. (Spokesman-Review) 

There's been a few changes to marijuana regulation in Washington state passed by the state senate and sent to the governor. (Spokesman-Review)

Teen charged as adult in long list of violent crimes. (Tacoma News Tribune) 

Shar Lichty throws her hat in the ring for Spokane mayor. (Spokesman-Review) 


Aaron Hernandez, former New England Patriots' tight end, convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life without parol. (Associated Press) 

E.U. accuses Google of antitrust violations. (New York Times)

A NASA astrophysicist named an asteroid after Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate for her work promoting girls' education in Pakistan. (CNN)

Buzz Aldrin is doing that space thing again. This time he's reaching out to Mars. (CNN) 


Read this about a Kurt Cobain documentary. (New York Times)

The boy in the "Success Kid" meme is now eight years old and trying to get his dad a kidney. (Buzz Feed) 

This year is the 150th anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Check out these fascinating articles from JSTOR Daily: "Forgetting Abraham Lincoln" and "What Role Did Laura Keene Play on Abraham Lincoln's Last Night?" (JSTOR Daily)

And may we present: Dogs sitting on Cats (Huff Post):  

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Everybody have their Big Lebowski costume ready?

Posted By on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 3:25 PM


Hey there, dude. How is your costume coming along? You getting ready to sculpt that goatee or pin back the hair you've been strategically growing out since the first time we did this thing a year ago? Bowling ball polished? Beer money secured in one of the many pockets on your Walter Sobchak vest?

Good to hear. If this isn't making any sense, you should know that we're hosting our second-annual Suds and Cinema Presents: The Big Lebowski Wednesday night at the Bing Crosby Theater and it's gonna be one hell of a time, OK?

Doors open at 6 pm so you can get a beer and do some people watching, with the costume contest beginning at 7:30 pm, followed by the movie. It's $4 at the door and beers are also $4. Here are even more details.

There will be beer from Perry Street Brewing — who just announced a pre-party they are calling, in the parlance of our times, "rad" — before and during the film, so please arrive thirsty. Brain Freeze will also be on hand with free ice cream in flavors inspired by the film.

As if that's not enough truly far out fun, you can head to the Rain Lounge at Scratch following the movie for a special White Russian after-party featuring the locally made vodka of 21 Window Distillery.

We'll be cranking the Creedence inside the theater and fear not, there will be no Eagles.

Now, back to the issue of the costume. We don't want you to stress, so here are some tips we dug up from AltDaily for some easy Lebowski costumes. Click here for a complete guide — but below is a sample.

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Best of Broadway 2015-2016 schedule announced

Posted By and on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 1:29 PM

Disney's Newsies - is one of the highlights of the 2015-2016 Best of Broadway season coming to Spokane.
  • Disney's Newsies is one of the highlights of the 2015-2016 Best of Broadway season coming to Spokane.

Singing newsies, mythbusters and magic highlight the lineup of Best of Broadway shows heading to Spokane for the 2015-2016 season, announced today by WestCoast Entertainment. Season tickets for the series are already on sale, with three prices depending on where you want to sit at the INB Performing Arts Center: $167.50, $284.50 or $336.50. 

This year's slate for the Best of Broadway includes: 
Riverdance, Oct. 22-25
A Christmas Story, Dec. 3-6
The Book of Mormon, Jan. 26-31, 2016
42nd Street, March 24-27, 2016
Beauty and the Beast, April 5-6, 2016
Disney's Newsies, May 2-9, 2016

In addition to these productions of first-time visitors and return engagements, the Best of Broadway series includes several one-off shows throughout the season. Ticket sales for these shows will be announced at a later date. For 2015-2016, the Best of Broadway specials include: 

All Hands on Deck, Sept. 13
I Love Lucy Live on Stage, Oct. 2
Shaping Sound, Oct. 30
Hal Holbrook in Mark Twain Tonight!, Nov. 14
Snarky Puppy, in collaboration with the EWU Jazz Dialogue, Nov. 20
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis, Nov. 22
Mythbusters, Dec. 11
Shanghai Circus, Feb. 7, 2016
The Illusionists: Live from Broadway, Feb. 13-14, 2016

Also announced was the next season of National Geographic Live!, a touring series of speakers, concerts and films that hits up major cities every year with a new round of stories from adventurers of the world. In Spokane, there are generally four speakers a year, all on Tuesday evenings, and who present their stories on stage at the INB Performing Arts Center. Season tickets are on sale now right here, for $106, $122 or $146. 

The Nat Geo Live! schedule for 2015-2016 includes: 

The Search for Life Beyond Earth, Nov. 3. Kevin Hand is an astrobiologist, and speaks on his career seeking out extraterrestrial life forms. One of his main jobs at the moment is to create instruments that have the ability to travel to Jupiter's moon Europa and possibly indicate that life forms exist there.
On the Trail of Big Cats: Tigers, Cougars and Snow Leopards, Feb. 9, 2016. Photographer Steve Minter discusses and shows off his work photographing big cats all around the world.
Where the Wild Things Live, March 8, 2016. Photographer Vincent J. Music tells of his many obscure assignments and his most recent work with animal photography.
Sufferfest: 700 Miles of Pain and Glory, April 19, 2016. Cedar Wright recounts his adventures when he climbed, biked, repelled and journeyed through Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado.

If you're interested in what the National Geographic Live! series is all about, it's not too late to catch the final speaker from the 2014-2015 season. Next Tuesday, at 7 pm, explorers Cory Richards and Mike Libecki present "Untamed Antarctica." The two discuss their adventures attempting to climb seemingly inaccessible territory in Antarctica, and share photos from their journey. 
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TUESDAY TASTE: Big scares, Big Eyes, new live Eels in week's new releases

Posted By on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 11:04 AM

Every Tuesday, we delve into the week's new music and DVD releases to let you know the best way to spend your dollars. It's called Tuesday Taste, and here are some samples of the best this week has to offer: 


Arizona-based Calexico consistently creates sounds and songs that sonically stretch well beyond their little corner of the world. The group, led by Joey Burns and John Convertino, are regular collaborators of Neko Case, and their new album Edge of the Sun is another excellent set of music. Here's a taste: 

 leader E (aka Mark Oliver Everett) has always been one of rock's great experimentalists, crafting a catalog that veers from genre to genre, and using an ever-changing lineup to capture the sounds in his head. The new live album Royal Albert Hall is an excellent primer on Eels music, spanning 28 songs that show Eels to be true treasures of modern rock. Fun sidenote: Journey's ex-singer Steve Perry was a semi-member of the band last year. Here's a sample from the live set: 

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Live reggae, photo classes in the Garland, and Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day!

Posted By on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 10:03 AM

We have a feast of awesome activities at your fingertips via our event listings and Staff Picks, so go ahead and give those a look-see when you can. 

I did just that, and found these highlights for Tuesday, April 14: 

FOOD & DRINK | It's Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day! 'Nough said. It starts at noon.

VISUAL ARTS | The Spokane Art School in the Garland District has a workshop on Photoshop for Photographers taught by Roger DuBois starting Tuesday night and running Tuesdays through May 19.

LIVE BANDS | The Knitting Factory hosts SOJA as the Virginia-based band brings their pop-reggae thing to town. Here's a sample: 

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MB: Gas-tax hike, trip to Mars and Tulsa reserve deputy turns himself in

Posted By on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 9:27 AM


Washington Legislature's proposal would raise gasoline tax 11.7 cents over the next two years. (Spokesman-Review)

Spokane murderer will get a hearing for early release almost 25 years later, thanks to a 2012 Supreme Court ruling. (Spokesman-Review)

A falling construction slab killed a young couple and their infant son Monday. (Seattle Times)

This guy is one of 100 finalists to go on a mission to Mars


Nigeria's President-elect promises to free the 200+ schoolgirls who've been abducted by Boko Haram, if they're ever found. (New York Times) 

Former Blackwater guards sentenced to long prison terms for killing unarmed Iraqis. (New York Times)

Was a 78-year-old woman with severe Alzheimer's able to consent to sex with her husband? (New York Times) 

The reserve deputy in Tulsa turned himself in after accidentally killing a suspect with his service pistol. (Washington Post) 

Jordan Spieth became one of the youngest Masters winners ever last weekend, and his caddie is a middle school math teacher. (Washington Post)


After 27 years as a DEA informant, a former Medellin cartel official wants to call it quits. (Huffington Post)

Virginia students are being reported to law enforcement for behavior that can be dealt with at school. (Center for Public Integrity)
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