We hope you're doing your due diligence to Idaho news because if you're not, you missed a gem this morning.
The Idaho Statesman has this Post Register story about Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's brief film career. Otter starred in a low-budget 1993 Western that ended up released unrated with 10 minutes of sex scenes — additions made long after his involvement, according to Otter's people.
Otter, then lieutenant governor, got involved when he offered his horses for use in the film and the director apparently "liked Otter’s authentic Idaho looks so much, he asked him whether he’d like to read for the part of the corrupt sheriff." Otter's representatives maintain that the script he read at that time was nothing but Idaho wholesome and that the soft-core porn must have been added later. At some point, the movie's working title "Roundup" was changed to "A Time to Revenge." (So good.)
From the story:
Otter, who according to the Statesman appeared in high school and college productions, seemed blinded by the spotlight.
When asked about his movie acting debut in 1993, he told the Statesman, “I’d like to do something like a ‘Lonesome Dove,’ ” referring to the TV miniseries based on the Larry McMurtry novel.
“A Time to Revenge” was released heavily in South Korea and Germany but was not popular in the U.S. [Otter spokesmen Jon] Hanian said that Otter’s first sense of the film’s divergent path came a few years ago when former Nevada governor and U.S. Congressman Jim Gibbons called Otter after having seen him in the movie. At the time, Gibbons was watching late-night TV in a Santiago, Chile, hotel room.
Otter is reportedly fully clothed in all of his scenes. A shame? We'll leave that up to you.
There’s a thing happening on the Internet called Judgmental Maps, where people label maps of their cities with blunt assessments of the different neighborhoods: “Hipsters & Korean BBQ,” “botoxed white people,” “North Face families,” “young active hobos.”
It’s an exercise in cynicism and stereotyping, to be sure, but it’s also about the identity of cities and our sense of place. It’s a counterpoint to the overly simplified notions of cities — Seattle is more than Starbucks and Microsoft, Nashville is more than tourists in cowboy hats.
The best ones point out how isolated we are in our own communities — “poor people in apartments,” “Scary Walmart,” “douchey rich” — and point out the stark socionomic contrasts that get glossed over in cities’ visitors guides and brochures. Plenty of people have also pointed out the maps often reveal more about the person making them than the city itself. The concept has been done before, but this series seems to purposely go for the “typing the first thing that comes to mind” aesthetic.
We briefly put our cynicism to the test by labeling Spokane — and it’s surprisingly hard. Once we put “sparkly jeans” on the Valley and “yoga moms and dad bros” on Perry, we wanted to just put “kinda crimey” on everything else and call it good. And being judgmental isn’t really a thing we want to do anyway. But if you have suggestions, maybe we’ll revisit it...
The people need their guacamole. Or so it seemed when the Internet exploded in rage and disbelief this week over a line in an otherwise mundane risk assessment sent to investors in Chipotle, the popular Mexican fast food chain. It concluded that climate change is affecting the price of some ingredients, like avocados and tomatoes, and Chipotle could be forced to cut out guacamole, at least temporarily.
Chris Arnold, communications manager at Chipotle, tried to deflect the resulting frenzy. “The sky is not falling,” he told reporters.
The sky may not be falling, but 2014 could be the year when global climatic shifts finally hit home for the drastically under-prepared U.S. population. After all, about half of the nation’s food is grown in the region of California most affected by the recent drought, fires and finally flooding this past week. Staples of the American diet like dairy, fruits, nuts and the vegetables that go on hamburgers will be adversely affected by this season. Looking at future seasons, which climate scientists predict will never be significantly less dry again, coupled with the lack of foresight built into industrial agriculture’s basic model, we can no longer deny the urgent need for adaptation and change.
Spokane has only one Chipotle location, but we do have dozens of community gardens, increasing access to farmers markets, small organic farms whose practices sequester carbon from the atmosphere, plans for a food forest from the permaculture community, and a whole lot of wild food spitting distance from downtown if you know where to look.
Second Harvest Food Bank sponsors the hugely successful Plant-A-Row program and Spokane Edible Tree Project is mapping trees and gleaning their fruit and nut bounty otherwise wasted in backyards and forgotten corners around the city. The WSU County Extension office has enjoyed steadily increasing demand for their classes on master gardening, food preservation and small farming in recent years. Empowering young people in West Central, Project Hope has grown from one urban farming lot in 2004 to a 2013 harvest of more than 2,000 pounds of fresh produce.
On Monday, March 24, the Spokane City Council is scheduled to vote on an urban agriculture ordinance that’s been modeled on similar laws in Seattle, Portland, Toronto and Cleveland, in hopes of lending structure and support to an expanding local food base in the city. Though the progress has moved at a pace frustrating for the food-growing set, the ordinance still represents a step in the right direction.
Council President Ben Stuckart kicked off the process in November 2012, and it has continued in a whirl of conversations, meetings, conferences and politics. Stuckart acknowledged that government is not a quick route to change.
“To me, it seems like it’s taken forever,” says Stuckart. “Everything just takes longer the larger a bureaucracy is… You have to make room for as many people to engage as possible, but at the same time there’s a lot of energy behind the status quo.” The public testimony in two weeks should be an interesting indicator of where Spokanites stand on issues of local food. I, for one, hope to hear more about the urgent and critical issues than about the various noises and odors created by the animals permitted in the ordinance.
Whether or not the legislation passes, more people in Spokane need to become directly involved in the production of the food we eat. We need to educate ourselves and our neighbors about creating holistic, self-sustaining systems for food that can adapt to a rapidly changing climate. Most of all, we need to reject the myths of our culture that keep Americans believing that ours is the only way, that industrial agriculture will feed the world, and that everything will be fine tomorrow if we just keep our heads down and press on.
The U.S. is the least food insecure country in the world, but one in five children still experience chronic hunger. At the same time up to 40 percent of all food produced never makes it to a consumer at all. It rots on pallets in warehouses, expires and gets thrown into a locked dumpster at the grocery store. In the food system, bottlenecks in distribution, reliance on transportation infrastructure with no long-term future, and quasi-religious belief in the ability of the market to manage everything create a perfect storm of big problems.
The glimmer of good news in this situation is that we have some degree of choice in the matter. We can choose to change our culture, to change the way we grow our food, to live as part of the planet rather than dominating and destroying it, and we can challenge the powerful myths that hinder our ability to think differently.
Stuckart described urban farming to me as “a peaceful revolution.” Let’s hope that’s true and continue a thoughtful dialogue on how food can be one of the most important parts of how we move into an uncertain future as individuals and as a city. Guacamole is just the beginning.
Taylor Weech is a Spokane writer and photographer. She hosts a weekly public affairs show, Praxis, on KYRS-FM.
Idaho will likely allow concealed carry weapons on campus. (SR)
A bill to require those with a restraining order for domestic violence to surrender their weapons passed the Washington legislature. (SR)
Western Washington's chapter of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers has sworn in a new president. Previous president Tom Wroblewski had been the subject of intense controversy amid last year's vote to reject a contract extension. In January, Boeing workers voted to accept an altered contract. (ST)
Albertsons and Safeway will merge, under an equity group called — seriously — Cerberus Capital Management. (KREM)
The state B tournament means more than $10 million in economic impact for Spokane. (KXLY)
A Ukraine divided against itself is supported by Russia. (NYT)
The trend of Republican leaders passing along anecdotes that turn out not be so true continues. (WP)
Ugh, Millennials. (Time)
Local food trucks are returning to Wall Street tomorrow for the second food truck rally, and the weather can’t possibly be colder than it was in December. Look for Big Pappa’s BBQ, Bistro Box, Couple of Chefs, Jamaican Jerk Pan, Shameless Sausages and Tacos Camargo from noon to 8 pm between Main and Riverside. Lunch and dinner, done.
The second Chapala location, downtown on Third Avenue, is now open with an order-at-the-counter format (like Chipotle or Neato Burrito). Read more about that and the expansion — including a gluten-free baking room — at Alpine Bakery Co. in this week’s Entree newsletter.
The new Irish bar and restaurant in the former Sidebar location near the courthouse is now open — Knockaderry even serves breakfast.
A new restaurant called Brick Wall Bar & Grill is opening in tiny, artsy Palouse, Wash., within the next few weeks.
The Oscar Meyer Weinermobile is going to be back in the area this weekend, with stops at five Walmarts.
Students’ wishes have been granted — Pullman is finally getting a Taco Bell in the former Mongolian Grill space on Stadium Way.
Got a fabulous lentil recipe? Submissions for the annual National Lentil Festival cookoff are now open.
Local ice cream company Brain Freeze distributes around town, but its first shop is opening this spring in Kendall Yards (right across the street from the Inlander!) and they’re now hiring.
The Elk Public House is celebrating 15 years on Saturday with a Deschutes’ Abyss three-year vertical tasting and music from Lavoy.
Pints Alehouse will be celebrating two years on March 14-15 by tapping a new of very limited barrel-aged beers.
Also on March 15, Coeur d'Alene Casino is celebrating its 21st birthday with cake (and specials all month).
We’ve got a little feature on Ramblin’ Road Craft Brewery this week, with an emphasis on some of their beer styles you won’t find at any other local brewery at this point. In the spirit of more unusual brews, Paradise Creek in Pullman just released the Half Stack Gose (pronounced goes-uh), a sour German wheat beer, and Slate Creek Brewing Co. has a new small-batch Scandinavian-inspired heather ale.
Read previous food news here.
Starting tomorrow night, a group of organizers are hosting a hackathon in Spokane aptly named SpoCode. It's the third one this group has hosted.
“The mission from the beginning has been to get developers together because there are no other hackathons in Spokane,” organizer Michael Williams says.
A hackathon, by definition, is an event where a large number of people meet to engage in collaborative computer programming. And though it may be some time before the word “hackathon” doesn’t have that red squiggly line whenever you type it, the meeting of coding minds is becoming increasingly more popular as people all over contemplate how important programming is for being successful in life. Should kids code? Should journalists code? No one knows, but an opportunity for Spokanites to code has presented itself. SpoCode encourages developers to take a look at ways they can improve Spokane and life here by doing just that.
Interest here is certainly growing. “It’s been a lot of word-of-mouth marketing and reaching out to people who’ve been to previous events,” Williams says. “This is the third event, so a lot of developers have heard about it at least.”
The event was initially going to be a 24-hour one, but will instead run from 6 pm on Friday night until 2 am on Saturday morning in the Buchanan Building. At a meeting earlier this week, the organizers – Dan Gayle, Alexa Lohmeyer and Dan McGee working alongside Williams – discussed some of the feedback they’ve received and decided to make some changes to their original plans.
This is Williams’ first time planning the event and he says they’ve “taken a different approach with this one. We’re doing more of a maker event instead of strictly software and programming.” So the event is completely open to people for whom coding isn’t exactly second nature, because people with ideas are always helpful. As long as you’re willing to work on something for the greater good of Spokane and the people who live here, then you’re welcome.
“We’re just trying to get people together to see what they can come up with,” Williams says.
During the first 24-hour event, attendees collaborated to create something tentatively called “Crime Map” to aggregate records of vehicle thefts and break-ins in the area as well as crowdsource crime data and ultimately show which areas it’s not best to park in. Other projects include video feeds of local traffic cameras, an app for visualizing Spokane’s budget and a priority rating system for public issue. This time around, hackers will work on automating things — controlling lights, creating a sprinkler controller board or coming up with projects of their own.
Tickets were originally $20, but have dropped to $5 with the time change, and pizza will be served for dinner tomorrow night. Register through the event's eventbrite page. The website may not be up to date, so make sure to check Facebook for any other updates.
SpoCode • Fri, March 7 at 6 pm until Sat, March 8 at 2 am • $5 • Spocode.org • 28 W. 3rd
Tuesday night, as expected, the hordes of metal heads who packed into the Spokane Arena received a full-on sensory overload as Tool kicked off its national tour. The show continued the venue's streak of bringing in exciting acts to the area.
The tour itself wasn't realized as a promotional tactic for a new album; rather, a chance for Tool to please its many fans with the tried and true material. That couldn’t have been more apparent in Tuesday night's show.
Tool fans the world over patiently wait for the foursome to deliver its long-gestating new studio album. While the writing and recording process for the that work has now stretched to eight years, the band has remained relevant by putting on some of music's most awe-inspiring and visually stunning live events, which is exactly what they did last night in Spokane.
The set list was as follows:
"Hooker With A Penis"
"Forty-Six & 2"
Check out what you missed below:
After months of talking with people interested in backyard farming, Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart has introduced a set of proposed changes to city rules that could make it easier to keep animals and sell produce grown in your backyard.
The changes, on which the council will vote March 24*, redefine which animals are allowed inside the city and who can sell produce grown in their garden. Here are the basics (find the full ordinances and a Q&A from Stuckart at the bottom of this post):
For every 1,000 feet of space on a lot, residents can keep one small animal, like a chicken (no roosters). Every 2,500 square feet allows for one small livestock, like a small breed of goat or pig. To qualify as small livestock, these animals have to be non-meat-producing breeds.
In an attempt to be sure people keeping animals are treating them well and are educated about how to control smell and noise, residents will be required to take a class at Washington State University's Spokane County Extension to get "animal keeping certification." It's worth noting there will be no grandfathering-in of people who already have, for example, chickens at home. Anyone owning chickens or small livestock in the city will be required to take the class. The course will cost $40 per person, meaning it will come at no cost to the city, Stuckart says.
Stuckart is also introducing a "Market Garden Pilot Program," which would allow residents
of community development block grant neighborhoods to sell agricultural products they grow at home. They would be required to get a city business license to do so. The colored areas of the map below show which neighbhorhoods qualify. To zoom in, click here and then on the plus sign next to "boundaries" to see a drop down menu. Click "boundaries" and "community development neighborhood" to see the map.
UPDATE 3/10: The city council voted unanimously at its March 10 briefing to amend Stuckart's ordinance to allow market gardens city-wide. The council also voted to increase the size allowance for the gardens from 4,000 to 6,000 square feet of garden per 21,780 square feet of lot.
If you have feedback about the plans, you can contact council members in advance or testify ahead of the vote on March 24* at 6 pm in council chambers at City Hall.
*An earlier version of this story reported the vote was March 31, but it has now been rescheduled for March 24.
For now, though, let's cut to the chase: With the right amount of land and a course from WSU, you could have a tiny pig in your backyard. So, get educated and then take a look at your future.
All that snow and all that rain created all this flooding in Spokane. And it ate up two cars. (SR)
The investigation into the South Hill murder of Doug Carlile expands to a North Dakota Indian tribe. (SR)
The Idaho Sheriffs’ Association supports letting Idahoans carry concealed firearms on college campuses. (KREM)
Coeur d’Alene man tries to escape police by climbing into an attic crawl space of a Coeur d’Alene car wash.
That nobody-called-the-police-for-the-murder-of-Kitty-Genovese story, fodder for moral theorists and college lecturers everywhere, is basically false. That also goes for fellow famous Psych 101 anecdotes like the Stanford Prison Experiment and the electric Stanley Milgram experiment. Now, when anyone brings one of these examples up, you can be all like, “Actualllllly….” (New Yorker)
Crimea raises the possibility of actually joining Russia. (Washington Post)
How jerk Spider-Man stood up a cancer survivor. (Page Six)
The SAT nixes the writing test, returns to 1600, and takes out all them fancy smart-people words. (NY Times Magazine.)
RISE OF THE PENGUIN
This, thankfully, probably says more about the New York Times' penchant for bogus trend stories than the sartorial direction of our nation. But it's still terrifying. The return of the monocle. (NYT)
In Olympia this morning, the Washington State Liquor Control Board awarded the first license to grow and process marijuana in the state, and it didn't go to one of the many people applying on the liberalized west side. It went to a grower from Spokane.
Sean Green owns a pair of medical marijuana dispensaries in Shoreline and Spokane under the name Pacific Northwest Medical. Green also operates Kouchlock Productions, a dispensary on East Francis that is also the trade name under which he'll grow recreational pot. (The name refers to being too stoned to leave the couch.) The license issued today allows Green to grow up to 21,000 square feet of recreational marijuana.
"Cannabis prohibition is over," Green said after receiving the license, according to the Associated Press. "I'm coming home with jobs, Spokane."
UPDATE: The Seattle Times has reported on several complaints filed against Green by former employees, which he refused to discuss at the announcement today.
Green has been an active voice in Washington's marijuana debate, testifying to the Liquor Control Board about regulations and participating in monthly Spokane City Council subcommittee meetings about local implementation of Initiative 502. He also recently made national headlines when he started accepting Bitcoin at Pacific Northwest Medical only to be rejected by the company he used to convert Bitcoins to dollars because of marijuana's federal status.
The liquor board began accepting applications to grow, process and sell marijuana in November and received 2,800 applications for production alone. They'll continue issuing producer and processor licenses as they are approved in the coming weeks and will then move on to retail licenses. Stores, which will be limited in number and licensed through a lottery process, are expected to open across the state by the summer.
Meanwhile, Colorado's recreational marijuana market has been up and running since the start of the year and is hauling in serious tax dollars for the state. Nationally, unanswered questions remain — banking, for one.
Find more of our marijuana coverage here.
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