Monday, July 18, 2016

THIS WEEK: Chris Cornell, Nick Swardson, Julyamsh powwow and more

Posted By on Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Nick Swardson headlines the Spokane Comedy Club this week.
  • Nick Swardson headlines the Spokane Comedy Club this week.

There's a ton of good things happening this week throughout the area, and you can find more than any person can possibly handle in our event listings and Staff Picks, so check those out!

Here are some carefully culled highlights of the week ahead: 

Monday, July 18

WORDS | It's time for another Spokane Poetry Slam at The Bartlett. It starts at 8 pm, and there's $50 up for grabs for the night's winner. 

Tuesday, July 19

LIVE BANDS | Only the utterly foolish would risk missing what is sure to be one of the best concerts of the summer when The Avett Brothers and Grace Potter team up for a show at Northern Quest. Read our interview with Scott Avett here and listen to one of the tunes from their new album here: 

FILM | Spokane Outdoor Movies drops by Joe Albi Stadium for a screening of Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

Wednesday, July 20
Chris Cornell
  • Chris Cornell

LIVE BANDS | Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell brings his magnificent pipes to the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox for a solo show that will be acoustic-based, but no less powerful than one might expect from his rock background. 

Thursday, July 21

WORDS | Author Jim Lynch swings by Auntie's for a reading from his new book Before the Wind

Continue reading »

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Police killed in Baton Rouge, GOP convention starts today and other headlines

Posted By on Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 9:13 AM

LaShawn Jameison
  • LaShawn Jameison


MUSIC: Blood, fireballs and lasers — KISS played Spokane last weekend. Music editor Laura Johnson will tell you about it.

NEWS: Former EWU football player LaShawn Jameison was kicked off the team and out of school when he was charged with a murder he didn't commit. 

NEWS: Former GU law professor vying for a seat on the state Supreme Court says the court's contentious McCleary decision was wrong.

FOR FUN: We searched the darkest corners of the internet for the strangest Pokémon Go headlines so you don't have to. 

MUSIC: The Avett Brothers play Northern Quest Resort and Casino tomorrow night.

Continue reading »

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Saturday, July 16, 2016

CONCERT REVIEW: KISS brought the noise, pyrotechnics and even patriotism

Posted By on Sat, Jul 16, 2016 at 11:11 AM


Gene Simmons still has blood on his chin. After doing his best lizard impression, spewing fake scarlet liquid from his mouth onto his metal armor and then flying high into the air to rock out on a platform way above the stage, the famed bass player is back on the ground. He struts on his platform boots as if he’s walking around in the lightest Nike tennis shoes. Guitarists Paul Stanley and Tommy Thayer do so as well. They play hit after KISS hit, along with some deeper cuts. Then Simmons breathes a fire ball.

Last night, KISS pulled out all of the stops for their 
KISS co-founder Paul Stanley flew to middle of the arena to sing "Love Gun." He later asked, "Who wants to see my love gun?"
  • KISS co-founder Paul Stanley flew to middle of the arena to sing "Love Gun." He later asked, "Who wants to see my love gun?"
Freedom to Rock tour stop at the Spokane Arena. It was huge and bombastic. Pyrotechnics went off nearly every song, because if you got them, you might as well use them. The very end of the show included lasers, fireworks, confetti, smoke, high-powered fans, streamers and, oh yeah, the musicians played “Rock and Roll All Nite” (two of them doing so while standing on swinging platforms that rotated over the audience). Of course, last week Simmons told the Inlander to expect the spectacle. He did not exaggerate.

From the beginning of the show, when the big KISS curtain fell and the whole band started playing “Detroit Rock City” on raised stage platforms, it was clear what the band came to do. Paul Stanley, who lost his shirt early on, yells into the microphone: “Alright Spokane, you wanted the best, you got the best.”

Throughout the night, Stanley, in a tone somewhat reminiscent of a nagging grandmother, introduces nearly every song. In the process he probably says the name Spokane more times on stage than any artist in history. He explains it’s an honor to play for us and that even though we weren’t the largest crowd (the upper level of the arena was completely closed off), we had the power to be the loudest.

He explains: “We got all the stuff you want to hear. You’re hearing the band that’s in the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. They hate us, but they had to listen to you. And for that we say, ‘thank you.’”

This is a band, together for more than 40 years, who’ve sold over 100 million records worldwide. They’ve played almost every stadium there is, including the smaller towns they hit up for this tour (they’re going to Bozeman tonight) and they know exactly what they’re doing. Sure, they may look silly — these men in their 50s and 60s still wearing makeup and strutting around like royalty. But the whole thing is supposed to be a little ridiculous. It’s about having (pretty family-friendly) fun. Currently, they can still play those awesome standards like “Creatures of the Night,” "Black Diamond" and “I Love it Loud”, so they’re not going to stop yet.

Here were some of the highlights:


Drummer Eric Singer has a beautiful voice and his rendition of KISS’s ballad “Beth” especially showed that off. For this number, they even let him come to the front of the stage. People took out their lighters, swayed and sang along.

The Demon’s tongue
Oh, it was there — red, long and wild as ever. There was even a point where Simmons tried to lick Thayer with the thing, but luckily he was able to evade.

KISS fan Dave Thormahlen was one of the few who was unafraid to go big.
  • KISS fan Dave Thormahlen was one of the few who was unafraid to go big.
ourth of July re-run
And then Stanley went super patriotic. He told the crowd that the military is what holds this country together. The audience started chanting “USA, USA, USA!” He told us the band was donating $150,000 to the Hiring Our Heroes foundation and then invited the Spokane Marine Corps Color Guard to come out and we all recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Then to top it off, KISS plays the “Star Spangled Banner” in glorious electric guitar harmony. “Patriotism is always cool,” Stanley said from the stage.


Where were all of the costumes, people? There was only one group of guys who went full out, nearly tripping over their platforms. Other than that, between a few painted faces and wigs, people simply donned KISS T-shirts. I truly expected more. However, let it be known that the actual costumes worn by the guys on stage were impeccable, the detail brilliant. Their costume seamstress is a genius. Through all of the sweat, the spandex, horns and rhinestones held strong. 

The Spokane Arena nearly outdid themselves with these awesome KISS cookies, and the guys were impressed, posting this on their Facebook page:

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Friday, July 15, 2016

GU professor criticizes McCleary decision as he vies for state Supreme Court seat

Posted By on Fri, Jul 15, 2016 at 4:35 PM

David DeWolf
  • David DeWolf

In the last four years, perhaps no other issue has been more contentious in Washington than the state Supreme Court's 2012 McCleary ruling, which says fully funding basic education is a "paramount duty" of the state.

It demands that the legislature fund all transportation, maintenance, supplies and operating costs, as well as full-day kindergarten and lower class sizes in grades K-3. It also demands funding for staff salaries and raises by 2018. 

Since the ruling, the state legislature has been criticized for failing to meet the mandate, the court held lawmakers in contempt for failing to adequately fund K-12 education, and it then imposed a $100,000-a-day fine on the legislature. Some state lawmakers, however, defend the Legislature by pointing out that it has already made significant investments in K-12 education. 

But David DeWolf, a former Gonzaga law professor, says the state Supreme Court was wrong from the beginning, and that it wrongly interpreted the state constitution in the McCleary case

"They took one sentence — the 'paramount duty of the state' — and from that they extrapolated this wide-ranging authority to, in effect, remake the state budget," he says. "And I don't think that's a legitimate, or even plausible, interpretation of what the state constitution meant."

DeWolf is running for a position on the state Supreme Court in this year's general election. He will try to unseat Mary Yu, a former King County superior court judge appointed to the seat in 2014 by Gov. Jay Inslee. Two other seats on the court are up for election this November. 

DeWolf has also criticized the court for its ruling that state funding of charter schools is unconstitutional. He argues that the plaintiffs in the case did not meet the burden of proof that charter school funding was unconstitutional. For him, the court's rulings on education have jeopardized its relationship with other branches of the government. 

"I don't think in either case the court was authorized to do what it did," he says. "And in both cases it had damaging effects on the education of Washington school children."

DeWolf retired as a full-time professor from Gonzaga following the 2015-16 school year, and he has a consulting practice on the side. He is a fellow at the Discovery Institute, which describes itself as a "hub for scientists, educators, and inquiring minds who think that nature supplies compelling evidence of intelligent design." DeWolf has authored publications on how to teach the "evolution controversy" in schools from a legal standpoint, and says he was quoted on the U.S. Senate Floor by former Sen. Rick Santorum during discussion of an amendment of the No Child Left Behind Act. 

DeWolf says serving on the Supreme Court is one of those dreams that every law student has in their first week of class. All law students, he says, think to themselves "what if I end up in a position of writing opinions instead of reading them?" 

"It's a dream that every lawyer thinks about, and the planets aligned for this opportunity."
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Spokane County Jail inmates no longer on lockdown 23 hours a day

Posted By on Fri, Jul 15, 2016 at 2:19 PM

  • Young Kwak Photo

For the first time in 15 years, most of the inmates in the Spokane County Jail are allowed out of their cells with access to books, TV, showers, the phone, games and the rec room. All floors except 6 West, which holds maximum security inmates, and the all-female floor, are now on direct supervision. 

"The research is very clear that the direct supervision model creates a safer environment inside jails and prisons," says Jacquie van Wormer, criminal justice administrator for the Spokane Regional Law and Justice Council. "There is less stress, less grievances, less serious incidents, less infractions when you have that sort of a system."

Direct supervision is an inmate management strategy where corrections officers interact directly and continuously with inmates to deter problematic behavior.

The change comes after negotiations between the corrections officers' union and jail administration cleared the way for officers to work at both the county jail and Geiger Corrections Center, says jail director John McGrath. 

Previously, corrections officers weren't allowed to float between the two facilities, which created inmate-to-officer ratios that made it unsafe for inmates to be out of their cells most of the day. 

"The population has been kind of stagnant," McGrath says. "So with that we were able to look at current bed space and break down classification levels. We had an abundance of minimum security inmates that we could then relocate to Geiger if we were to send more staff members out there to supervise them." 

The jail's return to direct supervision was also called out among recommendations from the National Institute of Corrections, a federal agency within the Department of Justice. 

NIC's other recommendations touch on policy and procedure revisions, the inmate classification process, healthcare and sanitation. Here are a few highlights: 

• "Ensure that inmates with urgent medical or mental health concerns receive timely health assessments at the jail and/or transferred to the emergency room for these assessments. Within 14 days after the admission to the Spokane Correctional Facility all inmates should receive a health assessment." 

• "Ensure that discharge reports on inmates released to the jail from outside hospitals accompany the inmate to the jail and are immediately provided to the jail medical staff for their immediate review. Similarly, ensure that facility medical information connected with SHUTTLE inmates accompany the inmate to the Spokane County Jail and are reviewed by health care staff." 

• "Improve levels of sanitation throughout the facility. Set and enforce expectation for appropriate levels of sanitation through training of staff and inmates and routine internal inspections." 

• "Continue with refurbishing of housing units. Some units, which have not been recently refurbished are in need of cleaning, painting and repair/replacement of furnishing fixtures." 

• "Provide ongoing specialized training in high risk/liability areas including suicide prevention, managing inmates and mental illness, etc."

• "Work with the union to ensure flexibility in determining when, and if, a second officer is required to be assigned to a housing unit. It is not uncommon, given the proper tools and support, for a housing unit officer in more recently constructed facilities to effectively manage 64-72 inmates in a direct supervision environment." 

Van Wormer says the improvements also come as a result of jail administration's reliance on data and commitment to reducing overcrowding, a requirement of the $1.75 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation

"I think the jail has really improved over the last few years with their use of data, their offender management system and thinking about needed changes through a data lens," she says. "This is a prime example. This happened because of data analysis."

When it was first constructed, the Spokane County Jail was intended to be a direct supervision facility with a 1 to 46 ratio of guards to inmates. With staff shortages and an inmate population constantly pushing past the 462 inmates it was originally designed to hold and past the 188 additional beds added later, inmates were kept locked in their cells almost the entire day on weekdays and were on lockdown all weekend.

"This makes life easier for the officers," McGrath says. "They can interact with the inmates and see how they interact with others. They have more access to normalcy where they can watch the news or go to their cells and take a nap." 
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Rounding up the weirdest headlines from the past week of Pokémon Go madness

Posted By on Fri, Jul 15, 2016 at 1:44 PM


Since its launch last week, the entire world has been utterly transfixed by the new phenomenon that is Pokémon Go.

Here at the Inlander, we headed out to meet Spokane's huge fanbase of players, easy to spot all over town with phones held in front of them, taking pictures of imaginary beings unseen to the rest of us.

Naturally, the free-to-play game has spurned countless headlines, reporting positive effects like getting video game junkies off their butts and outside, as well as the more unfortunate news — people sustaining injuries in the process of upping their Pokémon numbers. Even when you think you've heard it all, some of the following headlines we came across are pretty astounding:

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EWU students who were near violent truck attack in Nice, France are safe

Posted By on Fri, Jul 15, 2016 at 12:28 PM

A group of Eastern Washington University students were at the Bastille Day celebration in Nice, France, when a truck plowed through the crowd and killed at least 80 people on Thursday

All of those students and accompanying faculty members are safe, according to EWU President Mary Cullinan. 

"We join the world in mourning another horrific attack on the people of France," she said in a statement. 

She said 15 Eastern students are studying in Nice this summer. According to the school, many of those students were at the Bastille Day celebration. 

Gonzaga University reports that no students are in France at this time. We're still waiting on an answer from Washington State University. 

A couple EWU students in France have talked to local media. One student, Ari Flos, was a mile away from the carnage, and described how people were "completely panicked" in an interview with KREM

Another student, Ashley Casto, told KHQ she was at the celebration with a dozen other students. She described how people were running while on their phones trying to call loved ones. "I was in panic mode, so I just ran as fast as I could trying to get off the street." 

Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather
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THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: KISS, Phish and the South Perry Street Fair

Posted By on Fri, Jul 15, 2016 at 12:02 PM

Gene Simmons, when interviewed by the Inlander  last week, had this to say about  his band's upcoming show: "Your girlfriend's been lying to you all these years, size DOES count, and we're bringing all of it."
  • Gene Simmons, when interviewed by the Inlander last week, had this to say about his band's upcoming show: "Your girlfriend's been lying to you all these years, size DOES count, and we're bringing all of it."


Bringing a little of that Detroit Rock City action are the aging, yet agile, KISS. Their wild show kicks off at the Arena starting at 8 pm with Caleb Johnson opening. Of course, we’ll be there too looking for the best fan duds, so don’t be afraid to show up dressed for success. The bigger the platform boots, the better. Read Dan Nailen’s interview with the one and only Gene Simmons right here. Rock on!

Hitting the Gorge Amphitheatre for two nights this weekend is Phish. Anyone who’s read Nathan Rabin’s book You Don't Know Me but You Don't Like Me: Phish, Insane Clown Posse, and My Misadventures with Two of Music's Most Maligned Tribes, knows that going to a Phish show means hanging out with a bunch of folks who love the band more than almost anything else in the world. This is a four-piece rock group that hasn’t had many major radio hits, but through decades of playing highly creative and lengthy improvisational sets — each one different than the next, sometimes not turning out so well — they keep their fan base coming back for more unique shows. Three years ago, when Phish was last at the Gorge, we wrote a think piece about the similarities between Phish and baseball fans. Read that here.

A free outdoor show featuring awesome local talent? Yes, please. Starting Saturday at noon the South Perry Street Fair (not to be confused with Perry Street Shakedown) brings in the likes of Marshall McLean Band, Silver Treason, Delbert the Band (coming out of retirement for this weekend and the upcoming Gleason Fest), Super Sparkle, Little Wolf and Grooveacre. This community celebration includes more than 80 vendors and a multitude of activities. Check out the schedule right here.

Seattle-based indie-rock group the Cave Singers come back through the Bartlett Saturday. The band, which includes former members of the post-punk act Pretty Girls Make Graves, is now back in its original form as a three-piece. The show starts at 8 pm and is $17 at the door.

James Taylor is comes to the Spokane Arena Saturday. He’s seen fire and rain, and now you can hear him sing all about his experiences for a mere $65 or $85. Check out one of his songs below that’s actually pretty worthwhile.

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Behind the scenes of our Cheap Eats issue, France terror attack, Trump's running mate and other stories as you end your week

Posted By on Fri, Jul 15, 2016 at 9:42 AM


FOOD: Go behind the scenes of our Cheap Eats Issue
NEWS: A Kootenai prosecutor suggests police should give up on minority neighborhoods
NEWS:  Spokane Valley caps pot retailers at three, lifts moratorium on growers

Terror attack in France
More than 80 are dead and another 200 were left injured after a truck, driven by a terrorist, drove into a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France.

It's official
Presumptive Republican nominee Donal Trump has selected Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to be his running mate. 

Cathy McMorris Rodgers won't be at the GOP Convention

Rep. McMorris Rodgers, the fourth-highest-ranking member of the House Republicans who represents Spokane and parts of Eastern Washington, will stay in Washington rather than attend the Republican National Convention. 

Plan to remove gray wolf from endangered list moves forward
Legislation, supported by McMorris Rodgers, that would remove federal protections for the gray wolf has been added to a House appropriations bill. 

Coeur d'Alene prepares new budget
The upcoming budget for the city of Coeur d'Alene includes employee raises and tax hikes. 
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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Go behind the scenes of our Cheap Eats issue

Posted By on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 4:27 PM


If you're not hungry now, you're going to be soon. That's because you're either going to read our fresh-off-the-press Cheap Eats issue, or due to the fact that all humans need food eventually.

This year's edition of our annual corralling of food from around the region that won't bust your budget or your gut is divided by the way you'll consume these goodies: with your hands, a fork, a spoon, a straw or with some sort of stick.

You can find all the stories right here, along with some valuable utensil history, which will give you ample small talk for your next dinner party. 

Here's a behind the scene's look at our photo shoot for the issue.
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Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed

KuroNekoCon @ Spokane Convention Center

Sat., July 30, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. and Sun., July 31, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

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