Friday, April 30, 2010

Posted By on Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Break out your bowler hat and monocle for tonight's steampunk-themed release party of Thuy-Dzuong Nguyen's multimedia novel The Truth Lenders at Empyrean. Nguyen's book weaves a crazy story about free speech, crustacean vending machines and talking pterodactyls. And the musicians who made music for her book will play tonight's party: Kevin Long and Band, Ross Robinette and former Spokane musician/producer Joe Varela. (Note: Dane Ueland has canceled his appearance at the show.) Read our story about Nguyen's book here. All-ages. $5. 7 pm.

She's a lady but she's tough on the mic. Jaeda, the sole lady in local hip-hop collective Bad Penmanship, takes the stage tonight at Sunset Junction to support One Gun Galleria's CD release show. One Gun — the musical project of Elijah Mink — was supposed to release this CD months ago but put the brakes on for various reasons. He says it's on for real tonight. Read our review of Mink's record, If You Hear Birds Chirping it's Going to Be Clear here. 9 pm. $5. 21

Cannibalistic spirits and warring frost-clans collide tomorrow night at the Blvd. It's your one-stop-shop for pure, unadulterated metal ecstasy: Priestess, Bison BC, Black Cobra and High on Fire. The feeble-minded will not survive. The madness starts at 7 pm. $10. 21 .

For those willing to run Bloomsday with a hangover (or for those just looking to wear a silly workout costume and get drunk), Booze Day has arrived. It's a downtown bar pub crawl that starts and stops at Empyrean, and if you complete it you get a t-shirt and a dance party by the Booze Fighters, Voodoo Church and the Longnecks. The "run" starts at 5:30 pm and will cost you $12. Gotta be 21 to run.

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Posted By on Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 12:44 PM

Our region's most famous mega-fauna made it to cable TV last night. Yes, even Stephen Colbert thinks the idea of giant worms who spit and smell like lilies — even though scientists found out they don't smell or spit — are awesome. Read our story about the University of Idaho scientists' find here.


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Posted By on Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 7:57 AM

Pink slip time It's that season again: The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming and Spokane Public Schools is laying employees off. This year, because of dwindling enrollment numbers due to birthrate ebbs, eighteen Spokane School district employees received pink slips. They will likely be hired back before the school year starts. (No teachers were permanently laid off last year, despite the large numbers of pink slips issued.)

The smell of asbestos in the morning Spokane International Airport's facing a fine due to violating as many as six health and safety rules during an innovation project. 

To the seekers of swag It's Bloomsday trade show day. If you're running, report to the Convention Center. Even if you're not, you can get free stuff.

Trial three The trial of three Idaho men accused of hate crimes starts today. This is the third time that that sentence has been true for the same men over the same incident.

The resurrection of Crist Florida Governor Charlie Crist was going to lose his primary race to be the Republican Senate candidate. He saw the polls, he heard the pundit. So he did what any of us victory-hungry politicians would do — pull a Lieberman.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Posted on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 3:37 PM

Far be it from us to take lightly the entire genre of mano-a-mano, mayor-versus-mayor epic challenges, wherein civic pride is put on the line over some obscure sporting event, such as the Super Bowl — or in this case the even more obscure participation in the 2010 Census.

Yes, the month-long contest to see which city — Spokane or Spokane Valley — had the highest percentage of returned census forms is finally over and, dear readers, we know it has been tough on y'all to hold your breath for this long.

In the slim chance you don't remember this bet, the mayors met out at the fairgrounds and posed in boxing gloves for a media audience of exactly one person (and I swear to you I was only there to ask about an entirely different story) with the bet being that the loser had to wear a t-shirt chosen by the winning mayor.

Finally, you can exhale. Take a deep cleansing breath and ... unleash a mighty groan of frustration because the result IS A TIE!

According to the official returns, both cities have a census participation rate of 76 percent. (Whew, am I glad I quit procrastinating and mailed mine back on the very last day!) In the spirit of such things, Spokane Mayor Mary Verner and Spokane Valley Mayor Tom Towey decided each would wear the t-shirt the other had picked out.

Towey got the worst of this bargain as Verner picked out a lovely pink tee.

Maybe it's just our big-city bias over here at The Inlander, or maybe it's the dimples, but admit it: Verner looks way cuter¬† in that two-tone, sporty Valley t-shirt. And Towey, who is quoted in the press release saying, “Pink isn’t one of my favorite colors, but since Mayor Verner is one of my favorite mayors, I’m going to wear it proudly.”

Well, dude, put it on.

Can't wait to see how they top this for the 2020 census.

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Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 8:14 AM

UnGrounded After the whole "schizophrenic killer escapes on field trip to fair and is found with a scythe in his backpack" incident, Washington state suspended field trips for mental patients. Now, those patients are allowed to go on field trips again, though only four patients at a time. (AP)

"Whoops" didn't cut it Speaking of that little incident, its fallout is still falling. Seven employees have been punished — including a temporary suspension without pay — but none were fired. (S-R)

Hospital battle The fight between Deaconess and Sacred Heart continues. Deaconess had previously helped defeat Sacred Heart's request to be able to build more beds. Now, because Rockwood Clinic is forwarding more patients to Deaconess, Deaconess is arguing against an even more modest Sacred Heart expansion. (S-R)

A dreadful row The final British election debate is today. Tune into BBC America to see if Prime Minister Gordon Brown can recover from calling a traditional voter from his own party "bigoted." (NYT)

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Posted on Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Seattle Weekly's blog, the Daily Weekly, took on The Seattle Times yesterday, calling it "subconsciously sexist."

In question were The Times' bios of the 11 finalists for the city's top cop position. Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick is one of three women finalists for the job. 

"Of the eight men up for the gig, nary a negative word is written. All you get are promotions and accolades," the blog wrote. "Contrast that with how The Times treats the three women in the running."

The Times mentioned the police guild's recent no-confidence vote in Kirkpatrick, and other criticisms against Des Moines Police Chief Judy Bradshaw and the former chief of police for Elgin, Ill., Lisa Womack.

The same level of criticism, the blog noted, was lacking for the male candidates.

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Posted on Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 10:21 AM

KREM's surprisingly cheery coverage of what looks like a raging house fire in Oregon has made FAIL Blog, the insanely popular online chronicler of blunders and mistakes. Check it out on their site here.

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Posted By on Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 7:38 AM

EMS is a yes That Emergency Medical Service levy with the wave of dire scenarios outlined if it didn't pass? It passed.

No confidence vote not quite as confident That no-confidence vote from the police guild in Chief Anne Kirkpatrick comes with a big asterisk: About 80 members didn't cast ballots at all. That means that while more than half of those voting voted "no-confidence," less than half of all guild members did. (Got that?)

Big money Thomas E. Lee Partners, an equity firm from Boston, just gave the financially challenged Sterling Savings bank a shot of adrenaline. The firm is investing $134.7 million in the Spokane-based bank. Sterling still needs to raise a lot of money to raise to remain independent, but it's a start.

Cops of Spokane past The Spokane Law Enforcement museum, detailing the history of Spokane's police force, opens today. The very first Spokane police officer badge number, from the early 1900s, will be on display.

Oil and water As the oil spill off the coast of Louisiana nears land, the Coast Guard will attempt to set at least some of the spill on fire, hopefully burning it up before it causes further ecological damage.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Posted By on Tue, Apr 27, 2010 at 4:55 PM

University of Idaho scientists proved naysayers wrong with their recent discovery of two Giant Palouse Earthworms — though they weren't quite as giant as they once thought. The newly discovered worms — one adult, one juvenile and three little cocoons of newly-hatched worms — are the first to be successfully collected and found in decades. Read our story on the newly discovered GPE here, and in the New York Times.¬†

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Posted on Tue, Apr 27, 2010 at 10:52 AM

Finally, something comprehensible in the debate over financial reform — sexism!

Forget derivatives, commodity futures and the Securities and Exchange Commission, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (that's right, our senator) finally broached the topic of why only good old boys are running the debate. (Emphasis on the "old" and "boy".)

According to Politico, Cantwell called out Sen. Chris Dodd, chair of the Senate Banking Committee, and demanded he incorporate elements of Sen. Blanche Lincoln's reforms into his financial reform package. Lincoln, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, had already been ignored by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and many felt her ideas were being dismissed out of hand. In a closed door Democratic policy meeting, Cantwell said Lincoln's ideas on derivative reform better be included in a reform bill. Or else.

"It was tough, pointed," Politico quotes an observer as saying. "It was about jurisdiction, but also gender." 

"She's one tough lady," Lincoln said about Cantwell. "I think she was feeling a lot of the same sentiments that a lot of us were."

Read more here

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American Inheritance: Unpacking World War II @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through May 23
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