Crowded Out

Crowded Out

What a new court ruling means for Washington's mentally ill who have nowhere to go
A Washington State Supreme Court decision last week outlawed a loophole in the mental health treatment system that allowed the state to "warehouse" patients in emergency rooms when space could not be found in psychiatric hospitals — banning an oft-used patch on the region's overcrowded network.

Church and State

Spokane's budget wrangling starts; plus, a Cheney school under fire for religious speech
Budget Season Begins Mayor David Condon unveiled his broad 2015 BUDGET plans last week, emphasizing spending on public safety and promising that, in contrast to massive cuts in 2013, the city won't lay anyone off to make ends meet.

What Didn't Happen

Big endorsements, cash and political power couldn't swing last week's primary election
Here's the thing about primaries: They're lousy at predicting general elections.

Trickle Down

Fifteen hundred miles from the southern border, the Northwest feels the squeeze of the immigration crisis
"We came here because we have to save our lives," she says, sitting next to her husband. Now, they're tasting raw carrots from a paper boat, seated at a long table surrounded by posters about the Founding Fathers, with people chatting in four languages.

'Veto Proof'

Five finalists for an open council position; plus, Idaho's GOP gets a new chairman
And Then There Were Five... The Spokane City Council likes to talk about how non-partisan it is, but those words continue to get harder to swallow, especially for local conservatives.

Swift Hand of Justice

How two recent murder cases ended with guilty pleas in a fraction of the usual time
Juan E. Sifuentez, 33, deserves little, if any, sympathy.

Water Power

A new plan to give the Spokane City Council an edge in its growth battle with the county
The last time the Spokane City Council tried to stop sprawl by withholding public utilities, it spawned condemnation from all three county commissioners and resulted in Mayor David Condon's first veto.

Trial by Fire

Displaced residents start the long road out of "hell" in the wake of the largest wildfire in Washington state history
Two brick chimneys, crooked and lonesome, rise over the charred wreckage of Brad McGaha and Kelley Ralston's former home. Along Old Highway 97, south of Malott in north-central Washington, other solitary chimneys mark other missing houses like fresh graves in an immense cemetery.

Room for Compromise

Why the city could clear the way for Uber and Lyft, but not Airbnb
Under tall pine trees in a quiet South Hill neighborhood, Mari-Pat and Steve Corrigan are inviting strangers into their home. Through an entrance on the side of the house and down a narrow stairway, they're welcome to make themselves comfortable.

Don't Give to the Poor

Spokane and DSP launch "Give Real Change"; plus, Spokane deputies test body cameras
DSP: Just Say No The city of Spokane and the Downtown Spokane Partnership will launch a "GIVE REAL CHANGE" campaign Friday encouraging residents to stop giving money to panhandlers and instead donate to local service providers.

Manager or Activist?

How political should the county treasurer's office be?
On a freezing February day outside the Federal Building, Republican Spokane County Treasurer Rob Chase gives a speech before Spokane Moves to Amend the Constitution, a group pushing for a constitutional amendment to weaken corporate rights and get big money out of politics.

Awards Season

The accolades the Inlander earned this year from regional and national journalism groups
Journalists work for readers, not the awards, but it's still nice to get a pat on the back from time to time. This year, competing against weeklies in the region and across the country, Inlander writers took home honors for stories in several categories, including health, sports, business and economic inequality reporting.

Three-Way Race

Eying a second term, Rep. Marcus Riccelli faces two primary challengers
State Rep. Marcus Riccelli faces a familiar challenger heading into the Aug. 5 primary: Tim Benn, a lifelong Spokanite and day-care owner, ran unsuccessfully against Riccelli in 2012. Also in the ring is Libertarian Randy McGlenn, a recently laid-off information technology worker, in the fight to represent Washington's 3rd Legislative District.

The Bulldozer

To his supporters, Al French's aggressive style is tearing down walls in Spokane County. To his critics, it's burning bridges.
"One of the most effective politicians I've ever worked with," says a current city councilman.

Where There's Smoke

Recovery is coming slowly after fire blackens the Methow Valley
On a normal July Sunday, Alta Lake State Park and the nearby golf course would be buzzing with tourists and recreational users.

'Thinking About His Future'

A life cut short on the Centennial Trail sparks questions about safety
The darkness comes suddenly.

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Recent Comments

  • Re: Rideshare Rumble

    • Boomer sounds like a real idiot. People use Lyft and Uber's APP, not website. So…

    • on August 19, 2014
  • Re: Crowded Out

    • Shame on all the staff and professionals that participated or stood by and allowed patients…

    • on August 16, 2014
  • Re: Church and State

    • Re the speaker at the Cheney Middle school: that's a ballsy response from principal Stark…

    • on August 15, 2014
  • Re: What Didn't Happen

    • Money didn't matter. Something to remember the next time you hear/read/ see somebody have a…

    • on August 13, 2014
  • Re: Swift Hand of Justice

    • This plea AND having Tom Krzyminski head up the PD's office are good things for…

    • on August 8, 2014
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    Power plays in downtown Spokane are not sustainable solutions for the poor
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