Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Not so fast: Document undermines mayor's case to pay for Davenport Grand cleanup

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 3:15 PM


A document obtained by the Inlander through a public records request raises questions over the city of Spokane’s claim that it’s legally obligated to make a controversial $318,000 payment to hotel magnate Walt Worthy to cover the cost of environmental clean up at a property now occupied by the Davenport Grand Hotel.

Earlier this month, members of Spokane City Council expressed concerns that the payment negotiated between Mayor David Condon and Worthy violated the Washington state constitution’s prohibition on gifting public funds to private individuals and businesses.

The Condon administration has justified the payment, arguing that because the city had previously owned the property it could legally be held liable for environmental contamination. Paying for the cleanup, according to the argument, would relieve the city of liability. 

But the agreement that transferred the property from the city to the Public Facilities District undermines that justification. The agreement, negotiated in 2003, states that the district, which later sold the property to Worthy in 2013, is responsible for any legally required environmental clean up on the 120,000-square-foot property.

“Why sign agreements to sell someone property and say we’re not responsible for any environmental clean, and then 10 years later say, no we’re responsible?” says Council President Ben Stuckart, who has been critical of the proposed payment. “What’s the the point of that agreement?”

Stuckart says he has not seen a complete legal analysis of the issue from the City Attorney’s Office. The council’s policy advisor is currently examining the legality of the payment to Worthy, he says.

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"Cornucopia of pharmacopeia" case found wanting by loquacious, baseball-loving judge

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 11:31 AM


Last week, a Washington State Appeals court reversed a trial court's conviction and dismissed all drug charges against a man caught in a stolen pickup truck — with a stolen ATV in the bed. 

Heath Wisdom was arrested near Moxee, Washington, when Yakima County Sheriff's Deputy Nate Boyer's automated license plate reader recognized the Chevy pickup as stolen. Before putting the man in his cruiser, he found a meth pipe in his pocket and asked if there were any other drugs in the truck. Wisdom said there was more meth on the front seat. 

Boyer found a black "shaving kit type bag" sitting on the front passenger seat and, according to court documents, could see a wad of cash through a mesh screen on the side of the bag. Boyer then opened the bag and found a "cornucopia of pharmacopeia," the opinion says, including meth, heroin, cocaine and ecstasy. The cash added up to $2,700, and Wisdom admitted the bag was his. 

He was then convicted of three counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count of possession with intent to deliver. Wisdom appealed his convictions on the grounds that Boyer's warrantless search of his shaving kit violated Washington State's constitution against unlawful searches and seizures (Article 1, Section 7).

Last Tuesday, a State Appeals court overturned the convictions. In the majority opinion, Judge George Fearing wrote: "Despite the banality of the facts, this appeal raises a fundamental question concerning whether Washington State will be a police state, in which law enforcement officers employ their own discretion when determining to search property, or a state under which the rule of law with magistrates prejudging the validity of police searches."

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Life is Beautiful, alt-metal at The Pin and philatelists of all stripes gather

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 11:01 AM


Back from an epic holiday weekend? Congrats! With Memorial Day over, it's pretty much summer, so get a look at our event listings and Staff Picks and keep the party going. 

Here are a few highlights for Tuesday, May 26: 

FILM | The Spokane Falls Community College International Film Festival concludes tonight at The Garland with Life is Beautiful, the Oscar-winning Italian flick that made Roberto Begnini and star for about five minutes. It starts at 7:15, and here's a look at the movie: 

LIVE BANDS
| Like your tunes hard and fast? Four Skin headlines tonight at The Pin, and might be just what the doctor ordered. You can hear a bit right here

ETC. | Stamp lovers unite! The Inland Empire Philatelic Society has its monthly meeting tonight at Riverview Terrace, and it's open to all ages and interest levels. 
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Six things I learned at Sasquatch!

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 10:01 AM

LAURA JOHNSON
  • Laura Johnson
Father John Misty should come dance in Spokane soon. - LAURA JOHNSON
  • Laura Johnson
  • Father John Misty should come dance in Spokane soon.
We are now back to our regularly scheduled program. This morning, thousands of music fans exited the Gorge Amphitheater campgrounds after yet another year at Sasquatch! music  festival. They are sunburned, sore, most likely hungover and will need to shower at least twice to get all the grime off. Many of them are headed straight to work today.

As always, it was worth it. Here are six things learned at Sasquatch! 2015.

6. Father John Misty and St. Vincent should do a show together and just dance
These two put on some of the best shows of the whole festival. Saturday night, Father John Misty (aka Joshua Tillman) flung himself around stage in what was almost a parody of rock star dance moves. His depressive tunes rocked harder than expected and he flailed around with great flair (and to great applause). Meanwhile, St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) took over the main stage on Sunday and never let go. Her dance moves included a lot of shuffling around the stage like a robot and bobbing her guitar back and forth. At the end of the set she crowd-surfed, got back on stage and fell over, as if the audience had killed her. So dramatic, both of them. They should collaborate immediately.

Sasquatch! 2015 festival goers getting into their best Warrior Three yoga position Saturday morning. - LAURA JOHNSON
  • Laura Johnson
  • Sasquatch! 2015 festival goers getting into their best Warrior Three yoga position Saturday morning.
5. Kids are capable of paying respect to Robert Plant
There was this small worry (on my part) that people wouldn’t show up for his set. Thankfully, even if kids just barely old enough to drink don’t know who Robert Plant is, they are familiar with Led Zeppelin. Closing out the main stage Sunday night, more people stuck around for the whole show than for Sleater-Kinney or Modest Mouse the nights prior. Anytime the 66-year-old legend left his jambandy solo work for a Zeppelin song with his still-strong voice, the venue sung every word.

4. Sasquatch! is for lovers … and fighters
The general “love” was in the air for most of the festival — couples making out in the grass, or holding each other while swaying to the music (also a discovery of multiple pairs of underwear in a porta-potty). But there were also the unfortunate bursts of outrage that made passers-by incredibly uncomfortable. Girlfriends drunkenly yelling at boyfriends, “You don’t respect me! Do you know everything I do for you?” It makes a person wonder if Sasquatch! is a place for the single or those who left their significant other at home.

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MB: The wars against ISIS, street racing, and Snake People

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 9:37 AM


HERE


A jailed rapist has finally had some of his dilapidated properties fixed up. (Spokesman-Review)

How Spokane's school board candidates feel about the walkout. (Spokesman-Review)

A barn fire kills two in Colbert. (KREM)

A new ordinance aimed at kids street racing (and skateboarding) through Coeur d'Alene parking facilities takes effect. (CDA Press)

THERE

How a longtime Twitter troll finally got banned from the service. (Washington Post)

There's a good reason why the United States is being so cautious in its military strategy against ISIS: The Iraq War. (Washington Post)

Is there no happier day than when two cable behemoths merge? (New York Times)

GENERATION SNAKE

A new app turns all mentions of Millennials into "Snake People," making this Inlander essay a lot more exciting. (Chrome)
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Friday, May 22, 2015

Belief in Bigfoot versus belief in Pete Carroll's Super Bowl call

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2015 at 12:35 PM

Pete Carroll and those, presumably, who still believe he made the right Super Bowl call.
  • Pete Carroll and those, presumably, who still believe he made the right Super Bowl call.

Among Washington state's Seahawks fans, only 13 percent believe Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made the right call to pass in the last-second, game-losing play of the Super Bowl, according to a recently released Public Policy Polling survey of Washington state residents.

That's lower than the 18 percent of Washington residents who believe in Bigfoot, according to the same poll. Still, 89 percent of Seahawks fans believe that Carroll is doing a good job. (Sadly, PPP didn't ask whether Washingtonians believe Bigfoot is doing a good job.)

Other interesting findings from the poll:

- 30 percent of Washingtonians consider themselves "moderates."

- Republicans are slightly (21 percent to 16 percent) more likely to believe in Bigfoot than Democrats.

- 57 percent have a positive view of Starbucks. 

- Despite Windows 8, over two-thirds have a positive view of Microsoft. (And most are prouder of Microsoft than Starbucks)

- Liberals like Starbucks more than conservatives (Though moderates love Starbucks the most of all.)

- 23 percent just aren't sure what to make of apples.

- Husky football fans edge out Cougar football fans, 39 percent to 26 percent. 

- Disapproval ratings for WSU's head football coach are higher (16 percent) than UW's football coach (5 percent.)

- Less than half of Washingtonians want the NBA to return to Seattle.

- But Barack Obama voters are more likely than Mitt Romney to want the NBA to return to Seattle. (49 percent to 42 percent)

Read the whole poll here.
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Euro wine tasting, indie flicks on the Palouse and a retro-cool play at The Modern Spokane

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2015 at 10:05 AM


There's nothing quite like heading into a long weekend, am I right? There are certainly no excuses for being bored, so take a look at our event listings and Staff Picks for some great activities happening all over the Inland Northwest this weekend. 

I'll get you started. Here are some highlights for Friday, May 22: 

FOOD & DRINK | Take yourself a European Wine Adventure as the Rocket Market hosts a tasting for nine new wines from across the pond. 

FILM | The Kenworthy in Moscow is holding a screening of the wonderfully weird Kumiko the Treasure Hunter. Fans of the Coen bros' Fargo, take note. Here's the movie's trailer: 

THEATER | The Modern Theater Spokane opens Boeing Boeing this weekend, a retro-cool comedy. Read our preview of the show right here


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MB: Cat food spilled on I-90, Olympia police protests and Ireland decides on gay marriage

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2015 at 8:52 AM

HERE
I-90 was blocked this morning after two semi-trucks collided spilling cat and dog food all over the highway. The smell is only expected to get worse as the day grows hotter. (KREM)

Hundreds gathered in Olympia to protest a police shooting that wounded two stepbrothers suspected of trying to steal beer. (KING 5)

Washington state’s drought conditions are likely to worsen. Look for dryer, warmer weather this summer thanks to El Niño. (Spokesman-Review)

A Rathdrum man wins $50,000 from a lottery scratch ticket. (CdA Press)

THERE
Irish voters head to the polls today to decide whether to legalize gay marriage. The historic result is expected Saturday. (The Guardian)

Major insurance companies in some states are proposing hefty rate increases for health plans sold under the federal health law. (Market Watch)

Police have apprehended a Washington, D.C., quadruple murder suspect. (Washington Post)

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Salt-n-Pepa in ID, local laughs and tasty treats on South Perry

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 10:02 AM


A slew of fine options for entertaining yourself reside in our event listings and Staff Picks, so go ahead and take a virtual stroll through those when you can. 

In the meantime, here are some highlights for Thursday, May 21: 

LIVE BANDS | Salt-n-Pepa is rolling through the Coeur d'Alene Casino, bringing a whole lotta hits and attitude. Read our preview of the show right here

COMEDY | Watch some pros hone their jokes, or join the fray with some of your own one-liners at the Stand-Up Comedy Open Mic at Uncle D's Comedy Underground. 

FARMERS MARKET | The South Perry Thursday Market is off and running, starting at 3 pm today. Drop by for tasty treats—fresh, brewed or baked. 


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MB: Hillary Clinton emails, David Letterman’s final farewell and Washington’s first dino fossil

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 8:58 AM

HERE
So cool! The first ever dinosaur fossil has been discovered in Washington state. (The Stranger)

Spokane teachers plan to walk off the job May 27, following the lead of many of the state’s other teachers. (KXLY)

Spokane Catholics have a new bishop. (Spokesman-Review)

THERE
Ray Rice’s domestic abuse charges were dismissed. And yes, his wife is still with him. (Baltimore Sun)

The State Department has released the first batch of emails from Hillary Clinton’s private account. (New York Times)

Four presidents and many celebrities said goodbye to David Letterman for his (dry-eyed) final farewell show last night. (Daily Beast) 
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Floods, Flowers & Feathers Festival

Floods, Flowers & Feathers Festival @ Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

Sat., May 30, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

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