Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Police chief candidates speak, protests in NC and morning headlines

Posted By on Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 9:30 AM

*Results may vary. May not represent the final police chief pick. Void where prohibited.
  • *Results may vary. May not represent the final police chief pick. Void where prohibited.


Opiate of the masses 
How a drug could help opiate addicts stabilize before getting long-term treatment. [Spokesman-Review]

Is that your Meidl answer? 
The police chief candidates are back at it again, talkin' at forums, and answerin' all manner of questions

The Fosters

Five years ago, I dug into the broken Washington state foster care system. Now, InvestigateWest takes another look at the system — and still finds it a mess. [InvestigateWest]


One man's hero is another man's Bin Laden. 
The alleged NY bomber's personal hero is Bin Laden. Me, my dad's my personal hero. Not Bin Laden. [New York Times]

Violence begets violence 

The shooting of an allegedly armed black man in North Carolina leads to violent protests. [Washington Post]

Please rise for President Bauer's Todd VanDerWerff thought the new TV show about Keifer Sutherland building the government up from scratch was pretty awesome. [Vox]
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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Trump Jr.'s Skittles, Tulsa cops kill unarmed black man, WSU may rethink athlete arrests and morning news

Posted By on Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 9:11 AM


: Former city attorney Nancy Isserlis is digging into the Straub investigation, and more specifically, into investigator Kris Cappel herself. 

: Our own Chey Scott really thought she would like Netflix's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. But in the end, she was let down. 


Football priorities
Following three felony arrests of WSU football players last week, and the media attention sparked by coach Mike Leach's accusation that his players are being targeted by police, and the fact that apparently none of those players have been disciplined by the team at all — one player has been expelled by the school and still played on Saturday — WSU president Kirk Schulz says the school may reconsider how it handles athlete arrests. Of course, that can't happen until after the season. (Spokesman-Review)

Budget plan
Mayor David Condon wants to address property crime in Spokane, so he's calling for an increase of 16.3 percent in funding to do so in his 2017 budget plan. And it's a budget the Spokesman-Review really wants you to click on, apparently, since the entire body of the article links to it. (Update: they fixed it)

The image tweeted by Donald Trump Jr. yesterday
  • The image tweeted by Donald Trump Jr. yesterday
Skittle controversy
Donald Trump Jr., remarkably, may be getting more media attention than his father this morning (but probably not) because of a tweet. The tweet had a picture of a bowl of Skittles, and asks, "If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful? That's our Syrian refugee problem." This has caused outrage because, as many have pointed out, refugees are not pieces of candy

Terror suspect found
Ahmad Khan Rahami, the suspect in bombings Manhattan and on the Jersey Shore, was caught yesterday following a manhunt. 

Shooting of an unarmed black man
Video surfaced yesterday of a white Oklahoma police officer shooting and killing a black man who can be seen walking away from officers with his hands up seconds beforehand. The officers were responding because the man's car had stalled. 
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Monday, September 19, 2016

TV: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, new to Netflix, leaves questions unanswered

Posted By on Mon, Sep 19, 2016 at 4:55 PM

The BBC's adaptation of Susanna Clarke's popular book was engaging, but misses the mark in some major ways.
  • The BBC's adaptation of Susanna Clarke's popular book was engaging, but misses the mark in some major ways.

After breezing through the incredible first season of Stranger Things, and also recently tearing through the thrilling The Night Manager (which won an Emmy last night), this past weekend I faced the challenge of what to binge-watch next. After a cursory scroll through Netflix's homepage, there was one title that caught my eye: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, new to the streaming service this month.

No one wants to waste a weekend binging a show that ends up being terribly written or produced, so after a quick check on Rotten Tomatoes (90) and Metacritic (73), I was satisfied that jumping into this seven-part miniseries from the BBC, released last year, would be worth the time. A brief summary of the show had me sold, too — a tale set in an alternate historical universe, early 1800s England, in which magic is real but has been seemingly lost on the British Isle for the past 300 years. Two magicians, the show's title characters, set out to bring magic back into a respectable status fit for the "modern era." 

The series is adapted from a 2004 bestselling novel of the same name by British author Susanna Clarke. As a major fan of both period pieces and anything relating to sci-fi and fantasy, I thought, this is it — this is my next series to obsess over!

However, after finishing off the seventh and final episode last night, I was left quite disappointed, confused and let down by my high expectations for the magical world of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.

While I've not read Clarke's epic, 800-page novel that the series was adapted from, I have to hedge a guess that many of the world's intricate details — such as background on the multitude of its characters — simply did not translate well to screen. Though I can't imagine this story would have been better served if condensed into a feature film-length format. Nor does it seem that more episodes were needed to fill in the gaps.

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Isserlis's lawyer is using public records to dig into the Straub investigation — and the investigator

Posted By on Mon, Sep 19, 2016 at 4:13 PM

Basically like this, but more exciting. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO ILLUSTRATION
  • Daniel Walters photo illustration
  • Basically like this, but more exciting.

Nancy Isserlis is no longer the city attorney of Spokane. Kris Cappel has already completed her independent investigation into the way the City of Spokane handled the resignation of former Police Chief Frank Straub. 

But a fight between the two over the Cappel report's conclusion has continued. Cappel had accused Isserlis of intentionally withholding crucial documents until after the election. Isserlis, through her attorney, accused Cappel of defamation.

And now, in a poetic touch, both sides are gathering ammunition through the City of Spokane public records process — the same records process that Isserlis has been accused of impeding. 

On August 19, John Spencer Stewart made a huge records request to the city of Spokane, focusing — not on Straub — but on Cappel's investigation. Stewart, part of the team that successfully defended Isserlis in the lawsuit filed by Straub against her and other city officials, requested a vast variety of documents pertaining to the investigation, including:
"email, text messages, voice messages, telephone logs which including the time and date of telephone calls made and received, and any other form of communication between and among City employees, City Council members including, but not limited to, Council President Ben Stuckart and their staff, the investigation liaison group of four (Laura DeBacker McAloon, Brian McClatchey, Breean Beggs, and Rick Romero), and the Kutak Rock, LLP." 
On Aug. 29, Stewart followed up with the clerk's office, clarifying that he wanted his request to go back as far as when "discussion of the engagement of a private investigator or firm [first] took place."

He also requested the curriculum vitae for Cappel and any other members of her investigatory firm who may have authored the report.

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Monday Morning Place Kicker: WSU demolishes Idaho, EWU magic & Seahawks no longer score TDs

Posted By on Mon, Sep 19, 2016 at 11:40 AM

Hey there sports fans. Here's hoping everyone had a great weekend of football watching, but if you missed out, let's get you caught up.

On a blustery evening out in Cheney, things did not go well for then-8th-ranked EWU to start out. The Eagles were down 24-7 at halftime to 10th-ranked Northern Iowa in a game in which all-universe wide receiver Cooper Kupp sat out with an injured shoulder, and their starting quarterback Gage Gubrud had been benched.

But then Antoine Custer, a freshman, took back the opening kickoff of the second half for a touchdown and backup quarterback Reilly Hennessey led a number of miraculous drives that culminated in Eastern lining up for a field goal that would put them up by a point. Then this happened:
Boom. Eagles win 34-30. They are now ranked 4th in the FCS ranks.

There was a only one way things could get worse for Washington State's football program on Saturday, and that would be if they lost to historically terrible Idaho in the Battle of the Palouse.

The week leading up to the game included the following: 
• Head Coach Mike Leach calling his team a "junior college softball team"
• Leach indicting the everyone-gets-a-trophy culture that's apparently ruining humanity and, in turn, football
• Leach claiming that the Pullman Police Department was conspiring to arrest his football players
• Three more WSU players getting arrested for various physical altercations

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Hero thieves, villainous football players and other morning headlines

Posted By on Mon, Sep 19, 2016 at 9:38 AM


Ready to Rummmmbbllle
Mayor David Condon wants to see fewer of these. Thieves, not hamburgers.
  • Mayor David Condon wants to see fewer of these. Thieves, not hamburgers.
Our education reporter has a big summary of all the trouble that the fightin' Cougar football players have gotten into off the field

Piping Up 

We have a roundup, complete with pictures, of the recent North Dakota pipeline protests

Slammin' and Jammin'

Tonight's head-to-head poetry slam and other cool events this week


Shea's Shade
Rep Matt Shea and Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich's long-running feud continues, with Shea speculating, without evidence, that a sheriff's deputy was tied to a triple-homicide case. [Spokesman-Review

Unthickening Thieves
Mayor David Condon wants to pour more money into fighting property crime, and hopefully finding my three stolen bikes. [Spokesman-Review]


A Spokane Paralympian has won gold — and broken the world record— in the discus throw. Nice work all around, people. [KXLY] 


Water under the Bridge over Troubled Water

Yeah, prosecutors say, Chris Christie totally knew about the bridge lane closures. And so does the defense. [New York Times

The Heroes of De Blasio's New York

Thieves in New York and New Jersey helped foil a terrorist's bombing attempts. [DNAInfo]

If the glove fits...

The People vs. OJ wins big at the Emmy's. [The Atlantic

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

THIS WEEK: Dolly, Dierks, Destroyer, craft beer fest, Fiesta Spokane and more

Posted By on Sun, Sep 18, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Tacocat headlines a show in Spokane Tuesday.
  • Tacocat headlines a show in Spokane Tuesday.

You can ward off the oncoming cold seasons by staying active — it's true! And by "active," I mean by getting out and about for some fun that you can find in our event listings and Staff Picks. 

In the interest of collective warmth, here are some highlights of the week ahead: 

Monday, Sept. 19

WORDS | The Spokane Poetry Slam is changing formats to feature a head-to-head poetry tournament, with the audience deciding who wins. This Monday's edition is the first, so taking your judging (friendly judging, but still judging) seriously. Also part of the evening are performances from two Portland poets, Jane Belinda and Jamie Mortara. 

Tuesday, Sept. 20

FESTIVAL | The annual WSU Humanitas Festival kicks off Tuesday, bringing all manner of cool events and activities to the Pullman campus. Be sure to check the schedule and see something stunning, mmmkay?

LIVE BANDS | The oh-so-entertaining Seattle rockers Tacocat have been through the area a couple times in recent years, and I've heard nothing but great things about their shows. Tuesday, they headline the Bartlett, where they'll be joined by Dude York. 

COMMUNITY | It's time for another Pop-up Power Hour, where you can mix and mingle with all manner of nice folks at the Lincoln Building in downtown Spokane, while enjoying a drink and a nosh. 

Wednesday, Sept. 21

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Saturday, September 17, 2016

What one member of the Spokane Tribe saw at the ND pipeline protest

Posted By on Sat, Sep 17, 2016 at 8:00 PM

  • Photo courtesy of Alex Flett

Since this August, hundreds of Native American tribal members and environmentalists have been protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, an oil pipeline that could carry half a million barrels of crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois each day.

The project is near the reservation of the Standing Rock Sioux. The tribe says that pipeline would desecrate its ancestral homelands that include gravesites. They also say that a breach in the pipeline would be environmentally catastrophic and would jeopardize its drinking water.

Last week, a judge ruled that the project can proceed. But the Obama administration intervened, effectively pausing work on key portions of it. For many supporters of the Standing Rock Sioux, the pipeline’s construction is about tribal sovereignty and environmental protection.

David BrownEagle, vice chair of the Spokane Tribal Business Council, made the trip to North Dakota along with photographer Alex Flett, who shared some photos with us. BrownEagle spoke to the Inlander about what he saw there. His remarks have been edited for clarity and brevity.

Inlander: What did you see there?

David BrownEagle: I saw beauty, power and communities coming together.

What was beautiful and powerful?

All the people coming together: different races, backgrounds. The young people stepping up. The young people leading the rally at the state capitol on Friday and Saturday.

Were you protesting the whole time?

I don’t know if “protest” is the right word. There was also a number of canoes from an Alaskan tribe. People came down with canoes. The Kalispel, the Coeur d’Alene, the Colville and other tribes from the coast, they came over because it was the protection of water so they paddled down the Missouri River.

There were a number of tribal flags and some bands from Canada. The roadway into the camp had flags all around. It was beautiful.

If it wasn’t a protest, how would you describe it?

I would say it’s an awareness that our planet is suffering. It was like all the awareness in the United States came to a head with the Standing Rock Sioux. I think we as a people in this country and all people are realizing that our resources are limited and we are finally figuring that out. And the awareness in North Dakota is really bringing that to the forefront finally. It’s been going on for years but it came to the forefront.

I was at Seattle City Council and I spoke up there and they brought a resolution there and it was unanimous.
  • Photo courtesy of Alex Flett
Does the situation in North Dakota speak to any issues here?

Well, one is the crude oil and the shipment of oil through our community and how it might get into the water.

I remember Spokane River was pretty polluted years ago. It’s getting better.

It sounds really positive, but wasn’t there violence?

Part of that violence — my understanding is, I was reading one of the newspapers — is that the security they hired they were looking into if they were even licensed.

That was the violent part the protestors were very, very peaceful. It was really nice when the protesters went by the highway patrol and they shook their hands.

Is there anything about the situation there that is of particular significance for the Spokane Tribe?

You know about the uranium mine and the impact it had on our river? That’s having an impact and the radioactive material we’re finally getting cleaned up, but it will be years and years.

What are you hoping will happen?

What I hope will happen is more and more people will become aware of the impact we're having on our water, our air and on our ground.

I think there’s an awareness growing that it is going to have an effect on the future. Maybe not on you, but our children and our grandchildren, they will suffer more than we do.

  • Photo courtesy of Alex Flett

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Nearly two months later, Pullman police make arrests in brawl involving WSU football players

Posted By on Fri, Sep 16, 2016 at 5:48 PM

Mike Leach made headlines this week when he accused police of targeting his players when making arrests - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Mike Leach made headlines this week when he accused police of targeting his players when making arrests

Earlier this week, Washington State University head football coach Mike Leach accused the police and media of targeting his team following two arrests of his players. 

"Unless we are supposed to believe that these football players fought themselves, then there are numerous other guilty parties. That is clearly the case. If any of these allegations are true, I have not read anyone else's name in the newspaper," Leach said, calling it a "double standard" to only focus on football players, "then drag their name through the newspaper with a bunch of irresponsible comments." 

Today, Pullman police announced that they'd be recommending charges against four people involved in a brawl at a party in July; two of those people are football players. Lineman Robert Barber and defensive end Toso Fehoko were arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault, a felony, and then released today. Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins said the police were recommending charges of disorderly conduct for two other people involved; Dylan Rollins and Pedro Diaz. 

But it wasn't the police, nor the football team, who first handed down discipline following this fight. It was WSU's Office of Student Conduct earlier this week, making the decision to expel Barber. The Spokesman-Review has reported that Barber will continue to practice while he appeals the expulsion. 

Jenkins says police interviewed more than 60 witnesses before making the arrests. More than 20 of those were football players, though not all were at the party during the altercation. 

We wrote about this brawl, and how victims wanted the players held accountable, weeks after it happened. Alex Rodriguez, who suffered a broken jaw during the fight, said that the fight started when he tried to kick everyone out — between 80 and 100 people — after a group of football players kept lighting fireworks. Rodriguez says he saw his roommate, Jackson Raney, get knocked down by a man with a sleeve tattoo, red shorts and a black sleeveless shirt. That was captured on cellphone video used by police in their investigation.

Raney briefly went unconscious and awoke with EMTs standing over him. Police say Barber was the one who hit him. Diaz saw this as well, and told the Inlander in August that he fought back as people were "throwing fists everywhere." Police say Diaz and Rollins provoked the fight. 

Meanwhile, Rodriguez was punched in the head by Fehoko, police say, knocking Rodriguez to the ground. Rodriguez was then hit by "unknown subjects" while on the ground, according to police. Rodriguez had to have wires in his jaw for weeks, and will have metal plates keeping it together for the rest of his life. 

In August, Leach said the whole situation was "overblown," that the stories coming out were "ridiculously inaccurate reflections of the events that night," and asserted that "nobody does a better job of addressing, taking care of players and using team discipline than our staff."

Leach accused police of targeting football players earlier this week following the arrests of linebacker Logan Tago, on suspicion of robbery and assault, and safety Shalom Luani, who was arrested on suspicion of felony assault.

It set off a national debate: Do Pullman police target football players?

Many who closely followed WSU football say it's been an issue for years. TV reporters who have covered the team say coaches have previously complained about it off the record, and that Leach is just the first to go public.

A KXLY reporter claimed that "people in Eastern Washington who have been here a long time or went to WSU are not really disagreeing with what he said." She posed the question to local sports personality Dennis Patchin, who said "there's a feeling on that campus that the police are looking for things that are involving college students at Washington State University." A KIRO TV reporter in Seattle said "no one close to WSU football program will deny the overbearing, sometimes unfair, nature of Pullman Police on team." The controversy has made headlines in USA Today, FOX Sports, and others. It's been a talking point on ESPN and ESPN's Outside The Lines program. 

Athletic Director Bill Moos, WSU President Kirk Schulz and Pullman Police Chief Jenkins met yesterday to discuss the tension. Driving the controversy is a statistic that 31 football players had been arrested in the last five years, the most of any college football program.

At the bottom of a story yesterday, the Seattle Times said a website called "breaks down the facts behind WSU's 31 arrests in the last five years." The Seattle Times wrote that the number looks worse than it really is.

The post on began by stating that of the arrests, "nearly 50 percent (14 of 31) were for broken tail lights, snow balls and the like" — a statement that is, at best, misleading. In fact, nobody was arrested for a broken tail light, according to our review of the arrests. A broken tail light may have been why a player was pulled over before being handed charges of DUI, MIP, or giving false information, which are all actual charges police arrested players on.

The post is correct, however, in stating that it appears none of the arrests — including several for felony assault — resulted in a felony conviction. 

Jenkins, in a press conference Friday, says that since the arrival of Leach in 2012, he has "seen improvment in athlete behavior in the community." 

"I applaud them for the work they have done," Jenkins says. 

Moos says he does not think police were targeting football players. 

"We expect them to behave in a manner representative of the uniform they wear," Moos says. 

The athletic department's policy is that any student athlete charged with a felony cannot represent WSU in competition until it's been resolved in court. So far, none of the four players arrested in recent weeks have been charged by prosecutors. Moos said all players should be considered innocent until proven guilty. As for whether they'll play in the game against the University of Idaho on Saturday, Moos says he'll leave that to Leach. 

"We're talking about a couple people out of a pretty large population of student athletes," Moos says. "We've got fabulous coaches who are disciplinarians, and I think we have good character for the most part." 
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THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Blink-182, PorchFest and more

Posted By on Fri, Sep 16, 2016 at 1:59 PM


You may have seen Coeur d'Alene singer-songwriter Ron Greene out and about at many restaurants and live music spaces across the region, including Arbor Crest Wine Cellars, playing a mix of covers and his own tunes. But tonight, the artist releases a new album, In Honor Of A Critic, full of his own original works at the Bartlett. Openers include Shelby McKinnon and Justin Brache. The show starts at 8 pm and is $10 at the door.

Blink-182, the band you grew up with rocking out to 
Blink-182's new lineup now includes Alkaline Trio guitarist/vocalist Matt Skiba.
  • Blink-182's new lineup now includes Alkaline Trio guitarist/vocalist Matt Skiba.
“All the Small Things,” “The Rock Show” and “What’s My Age Again?,” has returned to the spotlight with a new record aptly called California, which went No. 1 when it was released in July. They'll play the Spokane Arena tonight showing off their new lineup, along with other emo/punk acts A Day to Remember and All-American Rejects. The show starts at 7 pm and tickets start at $25. While the trio is sure to play the hits, their new stuff will certainly be on display as well (see below). 


Head to Spokane's West Central neighborhood Saturday afternoon to hear 20 musicians and poets perform on 17 various porches, all you have to do is walk around to hear a new sound. That's right, PorchFest is back to help promote community building in the economically diverse neighborhood. The performances are all free and run from 3-7pm. 

“We’re gonna need a big space,” thought local pop auteur Nick Swoboda after his little sister asked him to perform at her Sweet 16 celebration, reports Connor Dinnison. She’ll get her wish: the Knitting Factory will host Emma’s Birthday Bash this Saturday, featuring a headline performance by her brother along with many others. Swoboda’s intricately crafted, genre-bending productions, nimble wordplay and confidence behind the mic are the results of hard work; he writes, produces, engineers, records and runs a mixing/mastering service out of his home studio, even doing audio/visual work on commercials for clients like STCU. The show starts at 8 pm and is $10 at the door.

Also, the Spokane Symphony kicks off its season this Saturday with its first classics concert.
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Spokane-Cagli Sister City Ceremony

Spokane-Cagli Sister City Ceremony @ Doubletree Hotel

Sat., Oct. 1

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