Friday, December 19, 2014

Sci-fi laughs, classic films, and a little vino would be keen-o!

Posted By on Fri, Dec 19, 2014 at 10:10 AM


We have a slew of event listings available for your perusal every day, and some carefully chosen Staff Picks as well. Don't have time? No problem. 

Here are some highlights for Friday, Dec. 19: 

WORDS | Sci-fi is a genre ripe for satire, and Ron Dakron is your man to provide it. He'll be talking about his latest novel, Hello Devilfish!, Friday night at Auntie's. 

FILM | If you're down on the Palouse Friday evening, you have the opportunity to see the Frank Capra holiday classic It's a Wonderful Life on the big screen of the Kenworthy. 

FOOD & WINE | The folks from Robert Ramsay Cellars are on hand for a wine-tasting at Vino! A Wine Shop. Over at Rocket Market, it's a Small Vineyards Wine Night

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MB: STA expansion plan, Seattle cops' body-cams, and Dr. Oz is full of ...

Posted By on Fri, Dec 19, 2014 at 8:03 AM


HERE

Another monster-length meeting in local government as the Spokane Transit Authority board spent four hours Thursday deciding to send a $300 million expansion plan involving a sales-tax increase to voters this spring. (S-R)

E-cigarette shops aren't too stoked on the governor's plan to impose a massive tax hike on vapor products. (KREM)

Former congressman and current Inlander columnist George Nethercutt is making the rounds voicing support of the president's plan to normalize relations with Cuba. (KXLY)

THERE

The Seattle Police Department is getting on board the body-cam train this weekend. (Seattle Times) Spokane has been there, done that. (Inlander)

Turns out Dr. Oz and other TV physicians are wrong in their medical advice about half the time. (Washington Post)

Soccer's governing body is going to release its report on corruption in the game and how World Cup venues are selected. (Al Jazeera America)

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Weekly report: Cutting WA carbon, national parks and top outdoor gift guides

Posted By on Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Palouse Falls, along with several other Northwest waterfalls, were featured in a national list. - JACOB JONES
  • Jacob Jones
  • Palouse Falls, along with several other Northwest waterfalls, were featured in a national list.

OUTLANDER serves as a weekly round up of Inland Northwest outdoor recreation and natural resources news. This feature will highlight a wide variety of issues and events, ranging from camping tips to national environmental disputes. We’ll also try to include some scenic photos. Feel free to pass along suggestions or curiosities celebrating the Great Outdoors.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee outlined an ambitious plan for cutting greenhouse gases this week, proposing a Carbon Pollution Accountability Act — a billion-dollar cap-and-trade program tied to transportation. (Grist/Seattle Times)

University of Washington tool lets you calculate your potential carbon tax charges. (UW)

Wildlife officials confirm wolves have killed at least one sheep belonging to a Whitman County commissioner. (NW Sportsman)

Meanwhile, Washington range rider program finishes another season with no livestock lost to depredation. (Conservation Northwest)

Palouse Falls, other Northwest waterfalls featured in travel guide. (Conde Nast)

GAO report says Hanford Nuclear Reservation tanks continue to deteriorate. (AP)

But those other facilities involved in the Manhattan Project may be made into national parks. (CNN)

Speaking of, enjoy the largest expansion of national parks and wilderness areas in 40 years passes as part of defense bill. (CNN)

Conservation group calls for reintroduction of grizzly bears to Selway-Bitterroot mountains. (AP)

Fish poaching in Grant County results in minimal consequences. (S-R)

Hiking the new Dishman Hills trail to “the Cliffs.” (OutThere)

Rare footage of Selkirk caribou from Northeastern Washington. (City Light)

Tribal fisheries recognize outgoing WDFW director. (NWIFC)

Portland’s pot-eating deer named Sugar Bob. (WW)

And some munchies for deer in wildfire damaged regions of Central Washington. (NWSportsman)

Seattle group wants to compost dead people. (Yahoo)

What will they think of next? New phone app predicts Yellowstone geyser eruptions. (NPS)

Some amazing photos of national parks covered in snow and ice. (Daily Mail)

A few of Stephen Colbert’s top ecology segments. Last show tonight. (EcoWatch)

First Nations offended by proposed British Columbia dam. (Globe and Mail)

This dog will go skiing in Patagonia with you. (Adventure Journal)

ONE WEEK TO CHRISTMAS: Here are a few outdoorsy gift guides for the Wild-inspired thru-hiker or lumbersexual on your list — Snowlander - Outside Magazine - Backpacker - and an insider wishlist from Gear Institute.

And what are the historic chances of getting a white Christmas? (NOAA)


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Detroit rock and soul, local silent cinema and Kenyan dance

Posted By on Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 10:04 AM


Rolling into the last pre-Christmas weekend, and we have some mighty fine events and Staff Picks to help break up your last-minute shopping excursions. 

Here are some highlights for Thursday, Dec. 18: 

LIVE BANDS | If you didn't read our interview with Jessica Hernandez in last week's issue, it's not too late to read up on the Detroit rock 'n' soul belter. Check it out, then consider making your way to The Bartlett tonight for Hernandez and her band The Deltas, along with Heavy Seventeen. Here's a little of what you'll hear: 

VISUAL ARTS | Local arts and technology pros worked with students on the MicroCinema Event, where they will debut some silent films made with original scores and soundtracks right here in Spokane. 

PERFORMANCE ARTS | Tonight at the Bing, it's a rare opportunity to witness some incredible visual arts and dance from the Masai people of Kenya, thanks to the efforts of Nicholas Sironka. It's an event called Friends of Sironka: A Christmas Special, and you should consider it a gift to yourself if you check it out. You might just see Inlander publisher Ted McGregor in the house; he wrote about the group in this week's Publisher's Note
FriendsofSironka.jpg

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MB: Bird flu, Inslee's carbon-emissions plan and not seeing The Interview

Posted By on Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 8:36 AM


HERE

The Catholic diocese of Spokane got the okay to pursue its malpractice suit against the law firm that represented it during its 2007 bankruptcy case. (S-R)

The avian flu has made its way into some Washington bird populations. (KREM)

A Kennewick high school student was killed in an officer-involved shooting in Minnesota. (KHQ)

ELSEWHERE

Gov. Inslee is proposing attacking the state's carbon emissions with an aggressive cap-and-trade plan. (Seattle Times)

A Missoula man was convicted of killing a German exchange student in his garage, a major test of the state's stand-your-ground laws. (Missoulian) 

The U.S. normalizing relations with Cuba leaves North Korea as the last Cold War outlier on America's "Cold War blacklist". (New York Times)

That's probably part of the reason none of us will be seeing The Interview in movie theaters. (CNN)

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

WEED WEDNESDAY: Congress's contradictory approach to pot and the children

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 5:01 PM

WeedLogo.jpg

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 biggest weed news this week was Congress essentially voting to stop sending the feds after medical marijuana users. States that have sanctioned the drug for medical purposes have found themselves in a precarious situation with the drug remaining illegal under federal law, which has been used to prosecute patients. In one of its last acts before going home for the holidays, Congress voted to end that legal ambiguity by passing a spending bill containing an amendment that cut of funding for federal law enforcement agencies to interfere with state medical marijuana laws.

Drug policy reform advocates are applauding the move, but it’s not immediately clear how this will actually play out. Mother Jones has declared that the federal war on medical marijuana is now over. But Reason has a blog post suggesting that the language in the relevant budget amendment is sufficiently ambiguous to still allow federal prosecution of medical marijuana users.

The move by Congress could have important ramifications for medical marijuana users facing federal charges, such as the Kettle Falls Five.

Interestingly, the same funding bill meant to make the feds mellow on medical marijuana also contains a provision to prevent Washington D.C. (the laws of which are subject to approval from Congress) from enacting its voter-approved initiative legalizing pot. The Huffington Post reports that the language of the bill might contain a loophole to allow pot to become legal in the nation’s capital.

Locally, the Spokane County Commission voted to renew its laws that oversee the growing, processing and selling of marijuana in the county, reports The Spokesman-Review.

Elsewhere:

In San Francisco, a yoga studio will allow students to “elevate” their exercise by smoking pot first.

It’s a good idea to give your teacher a bite of your brownie. But it’s a bad idea if that brownie is laced with pot, a lesson a Maryland teen is learning.

Mayor Buzzkill of Seattle is cracking down on a service being called the “Uber for pot.”

Even though pot is more available than its ever been, you can quit worrying about the children. The 2014 Monitoring the Future study, a national survey of youth’s attitudes toward drugs and alcohol conducted annually by researchers at the University of Michigan, has concluded that teen use of marijuana and other substances is down, reports The Washington Post’s Wonkblog.

Speaking of kids using pot, The Denver Post has a long article about families moving to Colorado so their children can use a liquified form of marijuana - for medicinal reasons.
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Watch "Elf" tonight with us and be a good person

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 3:37 PM

How about some more uplifting movie news, rather than read more about this confounding display of cowardice

And that good news is that tonight we're hosting a screening of Elf, a movie starring Will Ferrell as a man-sized elf who says nothing inflammatory about any dictator, foreign or otherwise. It's a totally safe movie and good for the whole family!

The screening benefits Catholic Charities Spokane and also features raffle prizes, a photo booth and a special appearance by Buddy the Elf! The party film is tonight at the Bing Crosby Theater at 7 pm. Doors open at 5:30 pm.

For the $5 entry, you'll also be treated to scenes like this, when Buddy the Elf gets super pumped about meeting Santa:
Or when Buddy the Elf finds the world's best cup of coffee.Or when Buddy the Elf says "Son of a Nutcracker!"
Or when Buddy the Elf unleashes an earth-rattling burp.
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A special Elf, open mics and an invite for cheery writers

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 10:04 AM


We have a slew of event listings for your consideration, as well as Staff Picks selected by our savvy writers and editors. You should really look at all of them, but if you can't, we can help. 

Here are some highlights for Wednesday, Dec. 17: 

FILM/BENEFIT | Tonight at The Bing, the Inlander brings you a special screening of Elf, a most excellent holiday flick. All proceeds go to Catholic Charities Spokane, so head on down! 

MUSIC EVENTS & CONCERTS | in Coeur d'Alene Wednesday, the Northwest Sacred Music Chorale Christmas Concert is going down at the Kroc Center, so if you've yet to hear your fill of holiday tunes, here's a great chance. 

KARAOKE/OPEN MIC | It's a little bit of a scene at the Garland Avenue Drinkery when DJ Scratch N Smith hosts an open mic night. You can make it your scene with your best take on Al Green or Bon Jovi. On second thought — please don't do Bon Jovi.  

WORDS | All local writers and aspiring wordsmiths are invited to join the festivities at the annual Inland Northwest Writers Guild Christmas party Wednesday at Auntie's. Have some punch, hear some prose or poetry. Not a bad way to spend the evening, even for anti-social writer types. 

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MB: CdA arms parades, The Interview's issues, and keep our zombies local!

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 8:07 AM


HERE

Keep our zombies local! Washington film industry supporters want a boost in tax incentives for local productions. (Inlander)

The Spokane City Council had a marathon meeting thanks to a controversial idea about its apprentice program. (Inlander)

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up former Spokane police officer Karl Thompson, Jr.'s case looking to overturn his conviction in Otto Zehm's death. (S-R)

Spokane police are looking for a man who stabbed an acquaintance in Riverfront Park. Were you in the area around 5 pm Tuesday night? (KHQ)

THERE 

The 4th of July in northern Idaho just got a lot more interesting as the Coeur d'Alene City Council overturned its ban on guns at parades. (KREM)

Portland has released a report detailing how the police should deal with the local hip-hop community. (Oregonian)

Got Comcast? If so, your broadband speed is getting the steroid treatment. (Seattle Times)

ELSEWHERE

Have a cigar! The U.S. and Cuba are in talks to reestablish diplomatic ties. (New York Times)

New York theater cancels its premiere of The Interview due to threats of the Sony hackers. (CNN)
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Washington filmmakers plan to ask Olympia to boost tax incentive program

Posted By on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Z Nation was the first episodic series in Washington to receive funding from the state's film incentive program. - JENNA MULLIGAN
  • Jenna Mulligan
  • Z Nation was the first episodic series in Washington to receive funding from the state's film incentive program.

As the 2015 Washington state legislative session approaches, convening in Olympia on Jan. 12, interest groups all around are getting ready to make their cases for increased or maintained state funding. One of those is Washington Filmworks, the nonprofit tasked with managing the state's film production incentive program.

At an annual industry update last week at Nectar Tasting Room in downtown Spokane, Washington Filmworks' Director Amy Lillard, and Board of Directors Chair Don Jensen, shared successes of the year, and the organization's goals for the upcoming session.

Throughout this year, Washington Filmworks provided funding assistance for 13 TV episode (Z Nation), seven commercials, three projects at its Innovation Lab and one feature film (Captain Fantastic). That funding assistance was split roughly in half between projects in Eastern (51 percent) and Western Washington (49 percent).

Combined, projects in 2014 resulted in an estimated $33 million in economic impact for the state. 

However, Lillard pointed out that even with those notable successes, Washington Filmworks was forced to turn away five big projects that would have generated an additional $55 million into the state economy. That's because Washington Filmworks' annual $3.5 million film industry incentive cap was spent by May.

Washington's film incentive program works like a cash rebate for qualifying productions made in-state. Funded by a portion of the state's business and occupation tax liabilities (corporations/individuals can choose to contribute to this fund, getting a dollar for dollar tax credit, up to $1 million), qualifying productions can apply to get 30 percent of what they spent here back from the state. 

Washington's program to encourage filmmakers to work here is the fifth smallest in the nation, but interest in making films here is growing, Lillard told the group of about three dozen at the presentation last Thursday.

"We spent the summer looking to what we can do during the [legislative] session because it's hard to come up with the money," Lillard says. 

While Washington Filmworks plans to ask state lawmakers to increase its incentive budget, Lillard says no official request has been determined at this point. However, if the state were able to take advantage of all the projects interested in shooting here, an estimated $24.3 million in funding assistance would be needed. 

Anticipating the challenges ahead of legislators as they work to balance the 2015-17 biennium budget during the 2015 session, it's going to be a tough battle for everyone. The biggest priorities on the table are education, mental health services and the voter-approved class size reduction initiative.    

Still, Lillard and Jensen urged attendees last week to reach out to their legislators, and to ask them to fight for increased funding for the film incentives.  

"We know it's made a difference in employment," she adds. "We're committed to being transparent, and $24.3 million — is that feasible? I don't know."


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Christmas Tree Recycling @ University High School

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