Saturday, January 31, 2015

Posted By on Sat, Jan 31, 2015 at 11:49 AM

In August of 2013, when the high end women's clothing retailer Anthropologie announced on Twitter, they were coming to Ann Arbor, Michigan, Twitter user Alyse Neal responded with a request:  "@Anthropologie next stop... Spokane, WA! #pleeeeease???"

A year and a half later, it looks like Neal's about to get her wish. 

A lot of speculation has floated around about the Cowles company plans for several of their downtown properties, with Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie leading the speculation. Yesterday, a permit was issued for tenant improvements (TI) to the Mobius Science Center space in order to do demolition work for a job called "TI for Anthropologie,"

That's about as close as we're going to get until Official Press Releases are issued. 

Anthropologie is a yard stick by which other boutiques are measured by.  In 2010, we praised Lolo Boutique in our Best Of issue by saying "Lolo has all the taste and artsy flair of ultra-trendy Anthropologie, minus the elitist attitude and exorbitant price tags."

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 4:03 PM

click to enlarge Make sure to get your votes in by Feb. 16!
Make sure to get your votes in by Feb. 16!

The ballots are live — let the voting begin!

But before you start, know this important fact — for its 22nd year, the Inlander's annual Best Of the Northwest readers poll has a single important question: Best Local Cat. Yes, this is real, and we are serious, however, the story of how this question came to be included on the ballot this year is a little... less serious. In fact, after a brief lapse in memory this writer (aka the only one on staff who writes the Cat Friday blog) realized she is responsible for the existence of the "best local cat" category on the 2015 poll's ballot. What goes around comes around, it seems. (Disclaimer, it was not known during ballot creation that I was the one who jokingly (sort of) nominated "best local cat" as the "best question not asked" on the 2014 Best Of ballot.)   

Before you bust out that pen (paper ballots are included in the current issue of the Inlander, Jan. 29-Feb. 4) or log on to vote online for your own feline friends, hear me out. There are lots of publicly known cats around town, so perhaps choose from the following pool of nominees instead to give a local "celbri-cat" some deserved recognition! 

click to enlarge Bento the Keyboard cat is unarguably Spokane's most famous feline.
Bento the Keyboard cat is unarguably Spokane's most famous feline.

Bento the Keyboard Cat is the reincarnation of Spokane's most famous cat, Fatso the Keyboard Cat. Fatso is also the "original" internet cat meme, and should go down in history as one of the Lilac City's most famous residents of all time. Bento may already be an obvious choice for locals who know of his important role in pop culture, but in case you didn't know, we wrote about him last year. His owner is local artist Charlie Schmidt.

A somewhat dormant Cat Friday series profiling local business's resident cats highlights a few other felines in the public eye, like the two cats of Interiors By Robin, in the Garland Business District. Dolly and KeeKee often captivate passersby by laying in the business's storefront, adjacent to the Blue Door Theatre.

While they don't actually interact with the public, the three cats of Spokane Vintage Warehouse (Zoey, Aiden and Zelda) were our first "business cat" profilees, having gained a following by photobombing pictures of the business's inventory, often shared on its Facebook page.

click to enlarge Maddie keeps her officemates company at Design Spike.
Maddie keeps her officemates company at Design Spike.

A very special cat often makes the rounds of downtown Spokane web/graphic design firm Design Spike. Maddie was the second profile in the business cat series, and continues to make appearances now and then (when she isn't too cozy to leave the house) at the second floor office in the Liberty Building, above Auntie's.

While we've not profiled (yet) the following kitties, patrons of their business homes should recognize these friendly felines. 

click to enlarge Alfred greets clients at the Cat's Meow in South Perry.
Alfred greets clients at the Cat's Meow in South Perry.

Alfred, a three-legged, jet black cat, is the official mascot of Cat's Meow Feline Veterinary Clinic in the South Perry neighborhood. 

In the North Monroe Business District, Laney the calico has been greeting patrons of Dan's Barber Shop for nearly the past decade.

Although Northwest Christian Thrift Store sadly lost its well-known store cat, Mouse, in recent years, Kiera the tortie has been keeping the facility under her careful watch in her stead.

click to enlarge Kiera (right) cuddles the late store cat Mouse, of NW Christian Thrift.
Kiera (right) cuddles the late store cat Mouse, of NW Christian Thrift.

Both locations of local business Northwest Seed & Pet have beloved resident kitties. Gertrude, a black, former shelter cat from SCRAPS keeps an eye on things at the East Sprague store, while Wallace and Django keep the store's animals in line on North Division.    

click to enlarge Gertrude became NW Seed's Sprague location mascot after life as a shelter cat.
Gertrude became NW Seed's Sprague location mascot after life as a shelter cat.

click to enlarge Wallace the Scottish Fold keeps an eye on things at the Division NW Seed store.
Wallace the Scottish Fold keeps an eye on things at the Division NW Seed store.

click to enlarge His counterpart Django covertly keeps an eye on things from the store's plant department.
His counterpart Django covertly keeps an eye on things from the store's plant department.

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Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 1:28 PM

This week, we tackled the strange slot/horse machine hybrids used to help bolster the dying horse racing industry. Legislators and Idaho's Indian tribes didn't raise much skepticism in 2013 when Idaho State Racing Commission director Frank Lamb described how the machines would allow bettors to view information on historical horse races, bet on winning horses, and then make money off of those bets. 
click to enlarge Frank Lamb, who championed legalizing machines like these, to help save Idaho's struggling horse-race industry, has retired.
Frank Lamb, who championed legalizing machines like these, to help save Idaho's struggling horse-race industry, has retired.

But when the machines began showing up at tracks, full of spinning cherries and animated treasure chests, and horse race information typically hidden deep behind multiple menu screens, eyebrows went up everywhere. To the Coeur d'Alene tribe, it they looked like slot machines that didn't even bother to describe themselves as slot machines. 

While Lamb has insisted he wasn't a cheerleader for the machine, we noted how Lamb, a regulator, championed what the machines could do. 

"I can tell you since the inception of this in Arkansas, it has turned things around for Oaklawn Park," he testified in 2013. "It is amazing, the transformation. I believe it can do the same thing here."

Plenty had been written about Lamb's past on the Wyoming Pari-Mutuel Commission in 2003, when the Wyoming state supreme court ruled that similar machines were illegal. (The legislature later changed the law to legalize the machines.)

What wasn't known was that he was simultaneously being paid to lobby for a track in Wyoming, including advocating for instant-racing machines, while talking up the machines as commissioner in Idaho. The Idaho Statesman revealed that on Wednesday. 
Today, the Statesman reported, he abruptly retired from the position.

Teresa Baker, spokeswoman for the Idaho State Police, confirmed the story. She says that in August, Lamb announced his retirement, and had planned to retire at the end of 2014. But he agreed to stay through the legislative session and help find his replacement. This week, as he and the Racing Commission were hit by controversy, he decided to retire immediately instead. 

"He decided that it was getting to be a bit much," Baker says. "He doesn’t want anything to cast a shadow on anything the racing commission or the Idaho State Police does." 

While a nationwide search has already been conducted for his replacement, a successor has not yet been chosen, and nobody is holding his seat in the interim. 

Lamb's cell number, which had been working last week, has been disconnected. 

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Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 12:28 PM

Before you snuggle into a cocoon of booze and chips on Sunday in honor of the Seahawks, Katy Perry, or both, you should probably consider putting your team spirit to logical use. You'll likely remain buried in various Seahawks paraphernalia all weekend, so why not be rewarded for your supportive garb? Sadly, there are far fewer financial incentives for wearing Katy Perry merchandise, but please don't let that stop you from doing so.

For the Spokane Chiefs fans, you'll want to display your Seahawks pride at the ticket office to receive their special offer of $12 tickets, in section 112. The Chiefs will duel with the Victoria Royals on Friday and the Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday.

The Harlem Globetrotters are also offering a special $12 ticket deal for select games. Time is very much of the essence, though, as the Globetrotters deal only runs for 12 hours - starting today at 10 am and ending swiftly at 10 pm. The $12 deal includes certain tickets to specific games only, so be sure to check their site and use the code TWELVE when ordering tickets.
Should the sweet tooth start nagging you, be sure to grab a scoop (or 12) of Brain Freeze Creamery's limited "12" flavor — a classic blueberry flavor paired with white chocolate chips and cake mix ice cream. Pints are 2 for $12 through the end of the game.

Claiming that "someone deflated their prices," Silver Mountain Resort in Idaho is offering $12 lift tickets on Sunday from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. They will also be screening the big game for all guests.

If a literal high on the slopes isn't exactly your bag, then maybe get a bit more metaphorical by stopping by Cinder. On Saturday and Sunday, you'll get 12% off your greenest possible purchase just by wearing some Hawks gear. Pair your greenery with a bag of Anthony's SeaChips (pictured above), available at De Leon Foods.

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Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 11:32 AM


Nappy Roots just can’t get enough of Spokane, and we’re more than OK with that. They’re back at the Red Room Lounge Friday, bringing their tried and true Kentucky-fried hip-hop along with them. The show starts at 8 pm and is $13. No matter what, we're "Gonna Have A Good Day.”
Local rockers the Finns (who’ll release their first full-length album in March—hear the cat-friendly lead single here) and Dem Empire (check out their awesome EP here) play the Bartlett Friday. These bands are definitely up and coming and completely worth your time rocking out to. The all-ages show is just $5 and starts at 8 pm.

This weekend was originally slated to be the Hop!’s final weekend in business. Now, we know the venue will make it a while longer. Friday, the hard ass metal group Skull Fist takes over the stage (See our story here). Knight of Tears, Mercy Brown and Over Sea Under Stone open for the band. The all-ages show is $7 and begins at 7:30 pm.

Jones Radiator is back in fine form this weekend bringing in two hot shows. Friday, the local rockers Buffalo Jones take to the intimate stage with singer-songwriter Liz Rognes opening. The show starts around 9 pm. 

Practice now. Sway back and forth slowly and smoothly. This is the best way to move to G. Love & Special Sauce’s version of bluesy, folky jams laced with hip-hop. They’ve been doing it this way for more than 20 years, when the trio first crafted their sound back in Philadelphia. After a six-year break, the original lineup has reunited to write and tour behind the 2014 album Sugar, the band’s first record in nearly a decade. G. Love (aka Garrett Dutton) has experimented with solo work, but it’s nothing quite as magical as when the original three are together again. Experience this all Saturday at the Knitting Factory at 8 pm. Cost is $22.50.

Back at Jones Radiator, super fun local rock bands 66beat, Loomer and Phlegm Fatale open up for the Seattle punk act So Pitted. Our advice: Get there way early, it’s going to fill up fast and get mighty sweaty in there. This will probably one of the best shows of the month. 

No, there’s no live music happening this day, are you nuts?! Get out there and support the best football team in the world … We’re gonna win! 

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Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 11:00 AM

If you've ever found yourself slothed out in front of the Roku box watching Bill Murray commentate the movements of a groundhog named Phil and thought if only I were drinking, then you should certainly join many others who have shared this sentiment at River City Brewing this Saturday, Jan. 31, from 3-9 pm, for their second-annual Groundhog Day Prediction Party. With drink specials aplenty, your only job is to wear your predictions on your sleeve — i.e. dress for the season you believe the tricky Philster is most likely to reveal with the presence or absence of his portly shadow.

If summer's your game, maybe you should dig up that cut-off Bon Jovi T-shirt and pair it with those cargo shorts that seem to have too many pockets and some canvas sneakers. If you're pulling for winter (what's wrong with you?), then maybe you should just wear what you were already wearing, only with more scarves and some touchscreen-friendly gloves.

River City will be tapping two kegs of Midnight Marmot Imperial Stout (one poured through the Randall) and one keg of Oako-Coco Nitro for the festivities, in addition to $3 pints and $10 growlers all day. They also have kegs on sale ($39 for a 1/5 barrel...crazy). The festivities kick off at 3 pm and wrap up around 9 pm.

For general Punxsutawney-based inspiration, we of course recommend a bit of Bill Murray circa the 1993 ultra classic Groundhog Day.

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Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 10:05 AM

It's finally Friday! Fret not if you haven't figured out how to celebrate yet, as usual we've got plenty of events and Staff Picks to help you out with the decision. 

Here's just the tip of the iceberg for all of your Friday, Jan. 31 options: 

SPORTS AND OUTDOORS | In the mood to cheer on a local team? The Spokane Chiefs are playing the Victoria Royals at home tonight, and its bound to be a good time. If you've never made it to a game before, cheap hot dogs, constant audience engagement and the chance to see a scrappy hockey fight make it a worthwhile experience for everyone. 

WORDS | If you're looking to spend your night in a calmer environment, head to Auntie's Bookstore for a crazy cool group reading by Stringtown Press. Stringtown Press is a local publisher/press/website of literary work, and quite a few of its contributors will be in attendance to share their work and a great time with the audience. 

COMEDY | Need a to let out a good belly laugh after a long week? Don't miss the last Choose to Lose improv show at The Blue Door Theatre tonight. The show relies on audience suggestions to continue the plot line, making it not only hilarious but engagingly interactive. The best part? Tickets are only $7. 

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Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 9:42 AM


After days of passionate, emotional testimony, the "Add The Words" bill in Idaho dies on a predictable party-line vote. (Spokesman-Review)

A court ruling resurrects the Envision Spokane initiative. (Spokesman-Review)

The nail of the "Drive Hammered, Get Nailed" slogan may soon hit even harder. (KREM)


Almost half of Republicans want to do something about climate change. (NYT)

Romney, after about a month of saucy flirtation with running for president yet again, announces he won't. (Hugh Hewitt)

What's stopping the Secret Service from being reformed? This guy. (Washington Post)


Poverty in America used to mean being really, really, really poor. (Bloomberg) 

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Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 6:41 AM

click to enlarge Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Hirzel
Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Hirzel
Last week, Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Hirzel was fired for improper personal use of county-owned vehicles, the Sheriff's office announced Wedneday. He had been disciplined for similar issues last year.

But most in Spokane County know Hirzel for different reasons — he's been involved in two separate officer involved shootings. The first was on Aug. 25, 2010, when Hirzel, responding in an unmarked patrol car to a vehicle prowling report, confronted Pastor Wayne "Scott" Creach. In a recorded statement, Hirzel claimed Creach had a gun and refused to drop it or get on the ground. After Hirzel hit Creach in the knee with his baton, he said, Creach reached for a gun and Hirzel shot him. 

It took longer than the required 72 hours for the Sheriff's office to release Hirzel's name.

But it was almost a full five days before he was identified as the shooter and it was made public only after questions were raised about why officials were slow to provide details of the fatal encounter.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich fumed over the media leaks concerning the incident. Sheriff's spokesman Dave Reagan inflamed matters when he said, of the slain pastor's son, "I’ve never seen a non-witness be treated so much like an eyewitness. He’s looking at adding zeroes to his check.”

For Prosecutor Steve Tucker, the Hirzel question became a key issue in his 2010 reelection campaign. 
If ever there were a lose-lose choice for Prosecutor Steve Tucker, it is deciding the fate of Brian Hirzel, the deputy who shot and killed an elderly Spokane Valley pastor in August.

If Tucker charges Hirzel with a crime, he risks losing the support of cops and law-and-order types right before the election. If he rules Hirzel did nothing wrong in shooting 74-year-old Wayne Scott Creach, Tucker may add to suspicions that he's too cozy with police and won't hold them accountable.

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Posted By on Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 4:21 PM

Neko Case’s upcoming quick-run tour ravages through the Pacific Northwest this April hitting Bend, Bellingham, Vancouver, B.C., and yes, Spokane. April 20, Case’s caravan stops at the dark and more intimate Bing Crosby Theatre, where fans can easily sit while listening to the indie Americana singer-songwriter (who’s also a part of the New Pornographers).

The dates correspond perfectly with the re-release of her fantastic 2006 album Fox Confessor Brings the Floor, which comes out on a limited-edition red vinyl for Record Store Day April 18.

Case, who grew up in Tacoma, has the sort of voice that beats you over the head with strength and poetic grace. Her 2013 release The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You was her most intimate and haunting yet. She last toured through this area performing at 2014's Sasquatch! Music Festival. 

If you’re not already, follow this lady on Twitter. You’ll be privy to such gems as:

@NekoCase “If someone's mullet is TOO crazy, are you allowed to cut it for them while they sleep?”
@NekoCase “I need a police escort to the toilet.”

Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10 am and are $35. Go to for more information. 

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Reclaiming Culture: The Tlingit and Haida Tribes of Alaska Repatriation @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 2
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