Friday, January 6, 2017

January's First Friday arts events happening tonight — and next week

Posted By on Fri, Jan 6, 2017 at 3:21 PM

If you missed seeing David Wang's pastels last month, the artist's work is displayed through January at Liberty Ciderworks, which hosts a second reception Jan. 13. - DAVID WANG
  • David Wang
  • If you missed seeing David Wang's pastels last month, the artist's work is displayed through January at Liberty Ciderworks, which hosts a second reception Jan. 13.

Today is the first Friday of the month — and the new year — but tonight's events as part of downtown Spokane's First Friday monthly arts walk are happening a little differently this time.

Although several of First Friday's regularly participating venues are indeed hosting receptions this evening for the artists' they're hosting, event organizer Downtown Spokane Partnership has moved the "official" event to next week, on Friday, Jan. 13. Because of the recent holidays, many businesses that usually participate had asked DSP to hold off one more week to give them (and all of us) a break from the hustle. Others, however, have agreed to host two weekends' worth of receptions to celebrate participating artists, with events tonight and again next Friday.

Because of this change, the Inlander is running a listing of all First Friday venue and artist information in next week's paper, on stands Jan. 12. However, we have also listed as much of this information as is now available on our website, at our permanent First Friday event page: inlander.com/firstfriday.

Artists like Carol Schmauder are looking beyond winter for Avenue West's January show, "Thoughts of Spring."
  • Artists like Carol Schmauder are looking beyond winter for Avenue West's January show, "Thoughts of Spring."
We'll continue to update our listings with more information as we receive it from DSP and the venues. For those who plan to wait to make their monthly arts stroll next weekend, the good news is that the weather forecast is looking to be a little less icy cold.

Also, next month's celebration breaks format again, when the big new Spokane Arts event (taking the place of the winter Visual Arts Tour) called SATURATE takes place the first weekend of February, the 3rd through the 5th. The redesigned event seeks to showcase the city's diverse yet under-recognized artists of color. Venues and artists are encouraged to apply to participate on Spokane Arts' website.
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Troy Bruner, former chair of the Ethics Commission, says most complaints filed for "less virtuous reasons."

Posted By on Fri, Jan 6, 2017 at 3:11 PM

Until recently, Troy Bruner was the chair of the City of Spokane Ethics Commission - PHOTO COURTESY OF TROY BRUNER
  • Photo courtesy of Troy Bruner
  • Until recently, Troy Bruner was the chair of the City of Spokane Ethics Commission

Until he ran up against his term limit last month, local psychologist Troy Bruner was the chair of the city of Spokane's Ethics Commission, the group that spent months and months assessing the handful of ethics complaints leveled against Mayor David Condon.

Bruner's proud of the commission's work over the six years he served, but in a phone call conversation with the Inlander this week, expressed frustration with many of the complaints the ethics commission dealt with.

"There are valid complaints where someone is a concerned citizen and believes there’s an ethics violation. But those are in the minority," Bruner says. "There are other less virtuous reasons the majority of complaints are filed. They are often motivated by an attempt to get attention or to grandstand, or to use the Ethics Commission as a feeder to get public notice."

Sometimes, he says, the complaints come from "eccentric individuals," like anti-government types who believe the entire government is corrupt.

"We have a few complaints that appear to be from mentally unstable individuals, that ramble on and on about conspiracy theories [about] little mistakes," Bruner says.

In the future, Bruner suggests that the commission be given the ability to quickly dismiss unreasonable complaints, in the same way that a judge has the right to bring a case to a quick close with a "summary judgment" ruling.

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Winter health woes, glaucoma awareness month and more

Posted By on Fri, Jan 6, 2017 at 10:00 AM

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Winter Woes Are Upon Us

The research is in and it turns out cold weather is not that great for your health. While cold weather may make you less inclined to think violent thoughts, you are also less inclined to be kind and forgiving. Intimacy is out the window, but that might be okay since your skin is like sandpaper anyway. And just as the risk for falls and serious injury is real, so is the increased risk for getting sick with a cold or the flu.

Annoying optimists try to put a positive spin on it —“Cold weather reduces the number of tree-killing bugs!” “It’s great for sleeping!” But there’s really not much to like. Still, the days are getting longer and in just a few months your driveway may feature bare pavement again.

Blindsided 
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January is glaucoma awareness month and if you think you don’t have it, you may want to think again. The NIH reports that 50 percent of people who have glaucoma don’t know they have it. That’s because early on, there are no symptoms, just gradual damage to the optic nerve that eventually causes blindness. Only a doctor’s eye exam can rule out the disease.

If you’re over the age of 60 (or age 40 if African American), or have a family history of glaucoma, get screened. Early detection and treatment can save your vision.

Peanut Possibilities
Life-threatening reactions to peanuts (and school offices filled with epi-pens) may someday be a thing of the past. New research sheds light on how parents can help children avoid a peanut allergy simply by introducing peanuts into babies’ diets at a very young age.

Try Out Fitness
Now's the time to sign up to sample a workout class at Spokane Health and Fitness Expo. Here’s a chance to try something new— from KangooJumps to Bootcamp to Pound.Rockout.Workout. There’s no need to stick with a dull workout routine in 2017. Seminars are also offered on an array of nutrition topics, including how to make nut milks. $8 admission includes unlimited classes; Spokane County Fair and Expo Center, January 14-15.
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Pot farmers fire back, Stella's closes, murder suspect arrested and morning headlines

Posted By on Fri, Jan 6, 2017 at 9:31 AM


ON INLANDER.COM

• COVER:
It what surely will go down as one of the most horrific years in recent memory, there were actually a few high points. Spokane got a new (hopefully long-term) chief of police, the real estate market heated up, the local literary, stand-up comedy and dining scenes are thriving and Native American art is finally getting more mainstream attention that it deserves. Check out our cover story this week: How far have we come?

NEWS: Pot farmers ask Spokane County to lift the temporary ban on outdoor grows.

MUSIC: Washington state native Joseph Hein and his backing band (Lucas Brookbank Brown and Fancy Boy) take the stage at the Observatory tonight for an evening of folksy Americana. Enjoy.

FOOD: Beloved Stella's Cafe will close its doors for the final time at the end of the month. The plan is to merge with sister restaurant Ruins. Check back for more details.

IN OTHER NEWS:

Suspect apprehended
Spokane County Sheriff's detectives, with the help of U.S. marshals, arrested a man Thursday in connection with the brutal murder of Bob Tester, the nephew of Montana Sen. Jon Tester. Police believe John Arthur Radavich stabbed and beat Bob Tester to death with a wood-splitting maul. Bob Tester had reportedly assaulted his 17-year-old girlfriend the day before his death. The girl told Radavich, her ex-boyfriend, about the assault, which investigators believe prompted the killing. (Spokesman Review)

Mall shooter charged
The suspect in the Cascade Mall shooting that left five people dead last September could face the death penalty. Prosecutors charged Arcan Cetin, 20, with five counts of aggravated murder. Gov. Jay Inslee has placed a moratorium on the death penalty in Washington state. (Seattle Times)

Chicago attack broadcast via Facebook
• Four people charged in Chicago in a brutal attack that was broadcast on Facebook Live appear in court today. The racially charged video shows the assailants, ages 18 to 24, cutting the scalp of the 18-year-old victim and forcing him to drink from the toilet. The apparent attackers, who are black, also yell obscenities about Donald Trump and "white people" as they punch and kick the mentally disabled teen, who is white. Here's the video. It's graphic. (Chicago Tribune)

About that wall
• President-elect Donald Trump is still insisting that Mexico will pay for the wall. In an interview Friday, he announced plans to initially pay for the wall along the county's southern boarder with taxpayer money. "We're going to get reimbursed," Trump said. (New York Times)
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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Cannabis farmers ask Spokane County to lift moratorium on new outdoor grows

Posted By on Thu, Jan 5, 2017 at 5:05 PM

Cannabis farmer Crystal Oliver wrote a letter to county commissioners opposing the temporary ban on new pot farms - HECTOR AIZON
  • Hector Aizon
  • Cannabis farmer Crystal Oliver wrote a letter to county commissioners opposing the temporary ban on new pot farms

Before Spokane County Commissioners passed a temporary ban on new pot farms, they never heard what cannabis farmers thought about it.

But now, farmers are making sure their voices are heard.

More than a month ago, Spokane County Commissioners purposely passed a temporary ban on new outdoor cannabis farms without telling anyone. The goal, said Commissioner Al French, was to not to attract too much attention that would lead to a rush of aspiring farmers obtaining permits before the ban went into effect.

But not telling anyone the ban was on the agenda also ensured that cannabis farmers would not show up to express their opposition to the move. So now, that's exactly what cannabis farmers are doing. In an effort to force the county to change its mind on the six-month moratorium for new outdoor pot farms, the Cannabis Farmers Council wrote a letter to commissioners French, Shelly O'Quinn and Josh Kerns today that accompanied a 14-page report explaining how the moratorium will hurt the local industry.

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Stella's Café to close and merge with nearby sister restaurant Ruins

Posted By on Thu, Jan 5, 2017 at 4:02 PM

Chef Tony Brown gained a notable following with the debut of Stella's back in 2012. He opened the nearby Ruins in 2014, but now plans to combine the two in Ruins' spot. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Chef Tony Brown gained a notable following with the debut of Stella's back in 2012. He opened the nearby Ruins in 2014, but now plans to combine the two in Ruins' spot.

This Thursday afternoon, we learned the owners of a favorite local lunch spot just north of the Spokane River plan to close their doors a final time on January 31.

But fear not, Stella's Cafe fans — owners chef Tony Brown and his parents Steve and Marti Brown plan to reincorporate the cafe's familiar sandwich, soup and pastry options into their nearby sister restaurant, Ruins.

A major factor cited for Stella's closure at 917 W. Broadway, where it's been located for the past five years in a rustic and eclectic space, is the end of the restaurant's five-year lease.

It's not clear yet how Stella's and Ruins will combine as one in the latter's diminutive space on the corner of Monroe and Mallon, just two blocks away, but the Browns plan to soon announce how they'll meld Stella's fresh sandwich menu with Ruins' cocktails and ever-changing, themed, tapas-style menu.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for an update on Stella's/Ruins new united future in the Inlander's food section, and in our Entrée food newsletter.

And for those who will surely miss making a mid-day pitstop at the original Stella's, mark your calendars — the last chance to visit the space is fast approaching, with a final day of business set for Tuesday, Jan. 31.
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EWU's Cooper Kupp named FCS Offensive Player of the Year

Posted By on Thu, Jan 5, 2017 at 11:18 AM

EWU receiver Cooper Kupp is the national offensive player of the year.
  • EWU receiver Cooper Kupp is the national offensive player of the year.

The season might not have ended exactly as Eastern Washington's players and fans wanted thanks to a freakish play at the end of their semifinal matchup with Youngstown State, but there is still plenty to celebrate from the Eagles' season.

Top of that list is a successful senior campaign by star wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who today was awarded the Offensive Player of the Year award for a season that featured him making 117 receptions for more than 1,700 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also ran for several hundred more yards and a few more TDs.

Kupp was just one part of the Eags' prolific offense, but his decision to return for his senior year rather than going to the NFL set the tone for an entire team dedicated to trying to win a national championship. The fact they fell just short does nothing to detract from Kupp or the team's efforts.

Kupp is currently training for the NFL draft and won't attend the FCS national championship game in Texas to get the award in person. He's a four-time consensus All-American and ended his career with more receiving yards than anyone in college football history, at any level.

The NFL draft, where we'll learn where Kupp with be catching balls next year, runs April 27-29.
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Botched sexual assault investigation, pesky busker moves indoors and morning headlines

Posted By on Thu, Jan 5, 2017 at 9:19 AM

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ON INLANDER.COM

NEWS: How North Idaho College officials failed to investigate an alleged gang rape, and instead turned on the 17-year-old accuser.

MUSIC: Music writers Laura Johnson and Dan Nailen break down who is scheduled to play in Spokane, and who might come through the Lilac City's music scene this year.

RIP: Local arts icon Steve Gibbs died New Years Eve. He was 64.

IN OTHER NEWS:

• A notorious busker moves inside to escape freezing cold temperatures and draws ire from local businesses and security guards. (KXLY)

• A third bank robbery in past two weeks in Spokane has police scrambling to find the thief(s) and draw any possible connections. (KREM)

• A federal judge in Seattle declined yesterday to get involved in a labor conflict over police reform between the city of Seattle and its captains and lieutenants union. U.S. District Judge James Robart said he would not allow constitutional policing to be "held hostage" to collective bargaining. (Seattle Times)

• Julian Assange and Donald Trump don't think the Russians hacked emails to influence the U.S. presidential election. (New York Times)

• Unapologetic about killing nine black worshipers in South Carolina, convicted killer Dylann Roof told jurors during his sentencing hearing that he is not mentally ill and feels no remorse.

"I would like to make crystal clear I do not regret what I did," he wrote in a white supremacist manifesto while in Charleston County jail after his arrest. "I am not sorry. I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed." (New York Times)
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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

McMorris Rodgers' ethics, Trump's mockery, more morning headlines

Posted By on Wed, Jan 4, 2017 at 9:36 AM

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HERE

Cathy would have if she could have
You might have heard about the kerfuffle in the House of Representatives yesterday, where Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers chaired the closed-door meeting of Republican representatives that ended up closing down an office dedicated to keeping government ethical and working with whistleblower complaints from workers in "the swamp." At least, the GOP briefly shut down the Office of Congressional Ethics, until a bevy of citizens called to complain about the action, and President-elect Trump questioned the timing of the action via Twitter. McMorris Rodgers told KIRO/Cox Media should would have supported changes to the ethics office if they were part of a larger package of rules changes. (Spokesman-Review, AP, KIRO)

This guy looks familiar
The same man was caught on video robbing credit unions inside two Spokane Safeway stores, and he appears to be the same guy who robbed similar outlets in Utah a little while ago. (KXLY)

The state can take a break
A Spokane man on death row for murdering two women 20 years ago died of an apparent heart attack. He was one of nine inmates on death row in the state, where Gov. Inslee has suspended all death sentences from being executed. (KREM)

THERE

He just won't stop
President-elect Trump took to Twitter, as he is wont to do, to mock U.S. intelligence agencies and their accusations of Russia trying to influence the election. Also Tuesday, Wikileaks main man Julian Assange claimed Russia didn't provide his group with Democratic National Committe emails. (CNN)

Healthy debates
President Barack Obama is meeting with Democrats to figure out some ways to protect aspects of the Affordable Care Act, while Republicans are meeting to figure out ways to get rid of the legislation that provided more than 20 million previously uninsured Americans with health insurance. (Washington Post)

Off the rails
A Long Island Rail Road train derailed this morning in New York City, injuring more than 100 commuters. (New York Times)

What would have happened if he lost?
Minnesota Gophers football coach Tracy Claeys recently led the team to a win over WSU in the Holiday Bowl. Now he's out of work after being fired essentially for supporting the players who decided to briefly boycott all football activities as a means of supporting 10 suspended players accused of sexual assault. (ESPN)
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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Trump questions GOP ethics move, bicyclist killed and morning headlines

Posted By on Tue, Jan 3, 2017 at 9:13 AM

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ON INLANDER.COM


THIS WEEK: Pac-12 hoops, Scablands reading, First Friday and more.

IN OTHER NEWS

Bully fighters
Watch out, bullies. There's a new biker group in town called Little Guardians of the Children, and they're looking to fight bullying in Spokane-area schools (by being a safe place for bullying victims to go to and forcing bullies to reconsider their actions). (Spokesman-Review)

Family builds huge snowman
As the Inland Northwest is bombarded by snow and dropping temperatures, one Spokane Valley family has figured out to make the best of it: A giant, 18-foot snowman. (KREM)

Deadly New Year's crash
A woman who crashed into and killed a bicyclist New Year's Day near Airway Heights could face a charge of vehicular homicide. (KXLY)

House guts ethics office, Trump tweets
After GOP House members voted to gut an independent congressional ethics office, Donald Trump wrote, on Twitter, that Congress should instead be focusing on "other things of far greater importance," without really saying he disagreed with the move. Now, after public outcry, House Republicans have withdrawn the ethics changes.

On his own

Dylann Roof, who has been found guilty of slaughtering nine people during a Bible study at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, will represent himself in the sentencing phase.
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