Monday, January 13, 2014

What We've Been... cheering and jeering

Posted By on Mon, Jan 13, 2014 at 1:59 PM

A little secret: Those of us who write for the Inlander usually don't read the Cheers and Jeers. It's nothing personal. We just don't get around to it every week. But we know you all love them, so here's what we've been cheering and jeering:

Cheers to restaurants that post their specials and tap lists online in some way. It would be great if everyone got on board with using Taplister or something central like that, but it’s still excellent when individual restaurants and bars post updates on social media. One example: Saranac Public House posts their beer selection at least once a week on Facebook, and more than once I’ve been motivated to stop by after seeing that they’ve got something on tasty on tap. Same with their food specials. Manito Tap House is another place that consistently posts new brews on Twitter with the hashtag #ontapspk. Both places have reliably good selection, but knowing the specifics makes a difference.

Jeers to property owners who don’t clear their sidewalks during the winter. Sure, it might just melt, but then it will probably re-freeze into a jagged hellscape of ice and misery. It’s not just families who have to make time to go shovel — some of the least-maintained sidewalks I’ve seen are outside apartment buildings or businesses that ought to have a plan for snow removal. The City of Spokane has this endearingly earnest video about it, which makes it clear that property owners shouldn’t just clear their sidewalks as a courtesy. They are liable for injuries: “If someone trips or falls, then they are responsible for that.”


Cheers to Spokane Poet Laureate Thom Caraway for taking his chance in front of the City Council last week to read two poems about the real Spokane. A few months into Caraway’s time as the city’s first poet laureate, we’ve seen that he writes about the Spokane we all see — the poverty, the struggle, the potholes — but it would have been easy to come up with something a bit more polite when asked to visit council chambers. Instead, Caraway read one poem (written by another local poet) about the hypocrisy many believe exists in the city’s sit-lie law, draining the air from the room as several very pro-sit-lie council members listened. The other, one of Caraway’s own, told of Spokane’s dual personalities, of its beauty and its pitfalls.

“Mark Rypien and Ryne Sandberg, Jimmy Marks and Kevin Coe. It’s never one thing with you, Spokane. Like a good book, something is always in tension with something else,” he read from his piece, “Sometimes I want to give you a hug, Spokane.”

See Caraway read both poems by clicking here and then on “city council meetings,” then on the Jan. 6 city council meeting video.

Jeers to the Coloradoan reporter who, as his state made history and opened the nation’s first legal marijuana stores this month, bought some legal pot on the newspaper’s tab and then promptly “surrendered” it to the local sheriff’s department. (Video here.) Not only was his purchase perfectly legal in Colorado, but we’re living in an era where newspapers are struggling. I’d argue there’s no room in the budget to flush $27 on a purchase that could have come in handy on the next long production night.


Jeers to all those people who excitedly pick up the Inlander every week, but only read the Cheers, Jeers and I Saw Yous. Now I, like any man, have my weaknesses. I enjoy the occasional Cheer, Jeer, and I Saw You, in moderation, like anyone else. But there’s so much more. Forget working out, reading more or telling your family you love them every day – make this your New Year’s Resolution, CheerJeer readers: Flip through the Inlander every week and read at least one article that doesn’t consist entirely of an anonymous man pining for a total babe he saw at Walmart but couldn’t quite work up the courage to talk with her. Maybe, for some strange reason, my article on zoning changes doesn’t grab you? Well, then turn your attention to the movie reviews or the food writing or the City Hall beat. Read about local police reform or state-wide political battles or struggles of the local music scene, about the suffering poor or the slimy rich. Read something in the Inlander that doesn’t feel like it must end with an sad, happy or winky face.

Cheers to the fine roadway construction workers who extended Summit all the way to Monroe, making my commute that much shorter, and me that much less late.


Cheers to DayQuil Daytime Sinus Relief, Arm & Hammer nasal spray, Halls sugar-free cough drops, Zicam Rapidmelts, Kleenex and sunflower butter for being with me during this time of congestion and despair.

Jeers to the infirm devil who bequeathed his sickness upon me. (Cough, Daniel, cough. No, seriously, I’m coughing. Daniel, pass me a tissue?)


Also, half-jeers to staff writer Jacob Jones who suggested this idea and then didn't contribute. See previous What We've Been posts here.

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