Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Posted on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 3:34 PM

The liberal national politics blog, Talking Points Memo, today aired local objections to Barack Obama's pick for U.S. attorney in Eastern Washington.

Quoting liberally from a recent Spokesman story, TPM reiterated criticisms against Mike Ormsby for his role in the development and construction of River Park Square.

The story's got some legs at this point, but could it sink Ormsby's nomination? 

Check it out here.

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Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 12:23 PM

When I first heard that the Satellite Diner was offering a new Skinny Girls’ menu, promising to help me look great in my swimsuit just in time for summer, I honestly thought it was some kind of joke. While healthier eating options are becoming de rigueur, the menu seemed incongruous to me at a diner known for serving up calorie-laden breakfasts to late-night party-goers.

The Skinny Girls’ menu features several “waistline-conscious appetizers” and sugar-free cocktails. Low-calorie libations include a sassy Skinny Bitch Margarita and the Berry Blast — weighing in at a hefty 8 calories. The Little Black Dress section of the menu features wines by the glass — no offensive names involved.

“You can’t offer the menu to everyone,” says server Robin Glenn, who doesn’t want to suggest that her customers should be watching their figures. She has learned how to tactfully offer the new, lighter-fare menu: “We just say we have a healthy menu, called Skinny Girls, but it’s for everyone.” Glenn explains that the menu was inspired by owner Colleen Freeman, who has celiac disease and wanted some healthier options for diners.

When I ordered the Jezebel Chicken Skewers ($8), there was some commotion in the kitchen, several cooks gathering around the grill. I thought they might be comparing me to the shameless biblical queen. Turns out, they were discussing how the dish should be prepared: It seems I was the first customer to order from the week-old Skinny Girls’ menu.

The skewers arrived with the promised “wildly delicious sweet and spicy Jezebel sauce,” something akin to orange marmalade and sweet chili sauce combined. The chicken was a bit simple for my taste, but my 4-year-old son enjoyed every bite of his Skinny Girl lunch. The menu also offers Vietnamese-style spring rolls, shrimp cocktails and a Mediterranean plate with hummus, roasted peppers and olives.

They’re clearly still getting their skinnier house in order over there, but it’s nice to know there are options besides the bacon and cheese omelet and smothered fries. Not that I’m thinking about my swimsuit body when I’m in the Satellite. But if I were…

Satellite Diner, 425 W. Sprague, is open Mon-Fri 7 am-4 am; opens at 8 am on weekends. Call 624-3952.


Posted on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 9:04 AM

UPDATE: The original video got yanked from YouTube, but CBS has now posted clips of Ms. Stout's appearance.

Pam Stout can check another New York institution off her list. The British-born president of the Sandpoint Tea Party, who last month was featured in an extensive New York Times piece about the tea party movement, faced off with David Letterman on the Late Show last night.

The interview (see below) was civil, sincere, and mostly serious. Letterman, who has spent the last six months in a teeth-bared battle with tea party darling Sarah Palin, showed gracious restraint with Stout, even when Stout mentioned that Palin might be a candidate for president in 2012. In fact, Letterman — who claimed (perhaps disingenuously) that he knew little of the movement — said he sympathized with the tea party sentiment that things weren't going well in America. But, he asked, might they not be getting a little bit better? 

"Unfortunately, no," Stout replied. "We need business to succeed. There's no jobs without businesses." This won her a hearty applause, as did the assertion that the country needs to regain its sense of individual responsibility. "We need to give that back to the people," she said. "We need to give them a sense that America is a great place to live and that you can succeed. To be satisfied with living on welfare in public housing — to me, that's sad." 

But Letterman stole some applause, too, especially when Stout asserted that refusing to bail out failed auto companies and banks would have allowed healthier, more robust companies to come to the rescue. "There'd still be a need for cars," she said. "Somebody else would start producing more and those jobs would be retained."

Letterman was quick with a reply: "It would be China. And these jobs would be gone forever."

Check out the video for yourself:

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Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 7:59 AM

Right to a speedy mistrial The legal proceedings for three Idaho men men accused of hate crimes, which started yesterday, has already been declared a mistrial. A 911 call — giving crucial opinions on key aspects of the case — was played before prosecutors got a chance to lay out the case.

The perils of pastries Man's best friend — the donut — became man's worst enemy yesterday when two children attempting to bake homemade donuts set their house on fire. Everyone was OK, though the donuts are presumably still missing.

License to drill Remember Sarah Palin's chants of "drill, baby, drill?" Now its President Obama's turn to do the chanting. The White House is proposing opening large stretches of land along the Atlantic, the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and northern Alaska to drilling.

Studlovers, rejoice The deadline to remove your winter studded tires — or face a fine — has been extended to April 10 due to heavy snowfall in the Cascades.

End of the line Because of his unique tattoos, investigators were able to identify the body found in the Spokane River as Christopher Schelling, a Spokane fugitive wanted for car theft. So far, no signs yet of how, exactly, he ended up dead in the river.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Posted on Tue, Mar 30, 2010 at 12:49 PM, a sister publication of Slate, published a story on Friday outlining five weird tax laws from around the world. Among them were taxes on mooncakes in China and online strippers in Sweden, plus a tax break for studying witchcraft and wizardry in the Netherlands.

But the one that really caught our eye?

"Income earned by writers, composers, visual artists and sculptors from the sale of their works is exempt from income tax in Ireland in certain circumstances."

Introduced in 1969, the clause originally declined to set an income ceiling, allowing — as the article points out — super-groups like U2 to make millions in tax-exempt income. Once they ratcheted the income ceiling down to $200,000, U2 moved its operations to the Netherlands.

Granted, Ireland has a long and rich history of literature, music and other arts, but the U.S. is no slouch. Considering the increasingly difficult task of making a living off your art, could a similar loophole here help grow a new generation of American writers and musicians, sculptors and painters?   

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Posted By on Tue, Mar 30, 2010 at 9:17 AM

See? The little Sasquatch Festival mascot is sad. You know why? Because Live Nation's Ashley Graham sent word out this morning: Sasquatch 2010 is sold out. While past Sasquatch Fests have sold out, Graham says this was the fastest sell-out in the eight years the Memorial Day weekend festival has been around.

So if you want to catch Massive Attack, Ween, They Might Be Giants or the Pavement reunion, you'd better start hitting eBay or Craigslist for tickets. 

Sigh. Who wants to hang out with stinky, dancing hippies like this anyway?

Right. I do, too.

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Posted By on Tue, Mar 30, 2010 at 7:55 AM

It's Fun to Tear Down the... In a 4-3 vote, the Spokane city council finally decided what to do about the YMCA. No, sadly, not "anti-gravity dodgeball." They're going with the old plan: Use conservation funds from Spokane County to help pay down the $4.3 million debt. Then, tear the sucker down.

Medical Merge In Idaho, Kootenai Health's three urgent care clinics will combine and evenly share operations with North Idaho Family Physicians' two urgent care clinics. The thinking is that merging would reduce overhead costs and give each doctor a larger patient pool to serve from.

Executive Pay Cut If you lost your job or saw a drastic reduction in your paycheck this year, don't feel bad. Just think how Idaho governor C.L. "Butch" Otter feels. The Idaho State Senate slashed governor pay from $115,348 to a paltry $110,734 a year.

Wind Fall Those bursts of wind yesterday took their toll. Avista reported 24 separate power outages, affecting more than 2,800 people across Spokane and Coeur d'Alene.

The Littlest Victories Dude! The Large Hadron Collider is finally colliding hadrons. You know what this means? Either a) the resulting collisions let us learn more about subatomic particles and, perhaps, ourselves, or b) all those Michael Crichton novels were right, and, by playing God, science has doomed us all.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Posted on Mon, Mar 29, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Effective today, George Green has been appointed as executive artistic director of Lake City Playhouse in Coeur d'Alene. 

The current artistic director at Lake City, Brian Doig, will stay on through June as an artistic consultant to Green (and to help Green, as Doig says, "figure out where the staples are").

Green's already engaged in marketing for CdA's community theater: He has announced that tickets for the final three performances of Amadeus (April 1-3) will be sold on a buy one, get one free basis. Visit or call (208) 667-1323.

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Posted on Mon, Mar 29, 2010 at 3:23 PM

Due to a back injury that will require minor surgery, Melissa Gilbert will not perform in Little House on the Prairie (at the INB Center, April 8-11). 

Unfortunately for local musical theater fans, Gilbert will miss only the Spokane week of the national tour. After surgery in Los Angeles, she'll return to the show when it arrives in Sacramento on April 14.

Gilbert has been playing Ma Ingalls opposite Steve Blanchard as Pa; for the Spokane performances, the part of Ma will be performed by Blanchard's real-life wife, Meredith Inglesby. 

Visit or or call (800) 325-SEAT. 

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Posted on Mon, Mar 29, 2010 at 11:13 AM

We just uploaded this new photo slideshow to Luke Baumgarten's story about MONTH, the 23-day art installation at the Kolva-Sullivan gallery, which wrapped up this last weekend. To read the full story, go here.

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Witness to Wartime: The Painted Diary of Takuichi Fujii @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 16
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