Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 4:49 PM

The air-conditioned auditorium at Central Valley High School filled with badge-wearing Republicans eager to hear Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich's take on domestic and international threats and the war against police. Also, the "myth" of police militarization.

Knezovich's presentation of the "True Threats" facing our community, in brief:

Sovereign citizens: You know, those people who live in the United States but refuse to acknowledge the authority of the state. They carry documents declaring all this and are increasingly likely to resort to violence, Knezovich says.

The myth of police militarization: Knezovich scoffed at the "myth of police militarization." Which isn't to say that his department hasn't received helicopters, an MRAP and 57 M16s from the Department of Defense’s 1033 surplus-war-gear program. But his office needs those things, he said. They have long been up against a dizzying array of foes.

Just ask the U.S. Attorney: "The U.S. Attorney is in the audience, folks," said Knezovich, nodding towards Michael Ormsby, who was seated stage-side. "And he will tell you that the FBI is probably the most tight-lipped organization in the world, and they will talk about nothing. You have no idea what those men and women that serve you on a daily basis have prevented in this county. You have no concept. And I’m going to get into some case studies that happened in Spokane. We didn’t know about it — nope. Why not? The FBI doesn’t talk about cases. Right?" 

Ormsby nodded.

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Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 11:39 AM

Some music just begs to be heard in a hot, muggy roadhouse, where the sweat drips off the beer bottles and the dancing fans alike. Gregg Allman's sound is a perfect example, whether leading his own band or playing with the Allman Brothers Band, as he mixes gritty Southern blues, rootsy rock 'n' roll and more than a dash of funk and soul. 

Allman's show at the pristine Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox was pretty much the polar opposite of a dank, smoky club, but Allman and his eight-piece backing band did their best to evoke the down-home vibe that propelled him to stardom back in the '60s and early '70s alongside his brother Duane, and eventually landed him in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Pulling songs from throughout his career, Allman created 90 minutes of music that took the audience on a trip that was both adventurous and nostalgic. 

Allman took the stage with a slow ramble to the front shortly after opener Matt Andersen delivered his own blues-heavy set — one that proved popular judging by the line of people buying his CDs between acts. Allman entered waving at the crowd and looking a bit gaunt before he plopped down behind his Hammond B-3 organ and led his charges through an instrumental intro that opened up into "It's Not My Cross to Bear," a tune from the Allman Brothers Band's self-titled 1969 debut. The slow blues was a bold way to kick off a show where no doubt many expected a raucous dance party, and it was an ideal way to showcase Allman's voice — a strong, gruff instrument that belies the 67-year-old's slight stature. 

Like many songs to come, the "Cross" also featured a searing guitar solo from Scott Sharrad, who Allman would later introduce as the musical director of the group that also included two percussionists and three horn players, as well as the remarkable piano man Peter Levin. Considering Sharrad was tasked with ripping out some of the most classic of classic-rock riffs, guitar parts created by Duane Allman and Dickey Betts that have stood the test of the time, the man proved up to the task, easily incorporating their urgent rhythms and wicked slide parts throughout the show. 

Allman followed up "It's Not My Cross to Bear" with "I'm No Angel," a song from his 1986 album of the same name that I recall being a overly produced, way-too-slick addition to his catalog. Seeing that song on MTV as a kid kept me from getting into the Allman Brothers Band for years. I'm happy to report the song has aged better than I'd ever expect thanks to the straightforward approach taken by his band, and the addition of an excellent horn section. Of course, I'll never be able to separate the song from one of Amy Poehler's greatest Saturday Night Live moments in my mind. 

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Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 9:18 AM


The Spokane NAACP is moving on following the whole Rachel Dolezal debacle, president Naima Quarles-Burnley told those in attendance at the group's Monday meeting. The NAACP has a 95-year legacy in Spokane. (Spokesman-Review)

Four million bees spilled along I-90 near Coeur d'Alene when the tractor trailer carrying them tipped over. It is unlikely there will be any survivors; casualties will be removed by dumptruck. (KHQ)

There will be no government shutdown in Washington. Legislators came through in the clutch and approved a $38.2 billion two-year state budget. Also, Gov. Jay Inslee is happy and released a statement indicating his intent to sign off on the budget this afternoon. (King 5)


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been throwing its weight around on behalf of big tobacco. Officials have been sending letters to governments around the world in an effort to dissuade them from enacting anti-smoking laws. (New York Times)

The FBI and the ATF are taking over the investigation into the recent string of suspicious fires at black churches in the South. (VICE)

Even though Bahrain is really awful on human rights, the State Department announced we're going start selling them guns again. The State Department issued a statement indicating that Bahrain is an important ally in the "counter-ISIL campaign". (The Intercept)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced his decision to pursue the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. (CNN)

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 2:35 PM

When I looked up the weather and saw that the temperatures for both Saturday and Sunday of Hoopfest were going to be in the 100s, I immediately thought about forfeiting my games and spending the weekend at a lake instead of in downtown Spokane. Sadly, this couldn't be the case because my teammates didn't like the idea of wasting the entry fee money.

So, on Saturday morning I loaded up a cooler full of water and Gatorade and made my way to the patch of smoldering asphalt known as my court — as did all of the other people attending Hoopfest.

Despite the heat, Hoopfest ended up having a great turnout. Even ESPN got in on the action and broadcasted live right from downtown. I couldn't let ESPN or our local TV stations do all of the video reporting that weekend, so I grabbed my portable camera and in between games took shots of what was going on around me. If you missed Hoopfest or want to relive the memories, watch this quick video and see glimpses of the action that happened at this year's 3-on-3 tournament.

(And in case you were wondering, my team was not able to go home with a "Champion" t-shirt. Or any t-shirt besides the one you earn for participating.) 

Take a look: 

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Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 11:50 AM

click to enlarge Author Sharma Shields emcees the Poetry Picnic at the Moran Public Library on Thursday.
Author Sharma Shields emcees the Poetry Picnic at the Moran Public Library on Thursday.

Each week we scan through the Inlander event listings and carefully culled Staff Picks to let you know about some of the best entertainment and activism options of the coming days. Obviously we have a holiday weekend straight ahead, but that's no reason to put off having some fun. Take a look: 

Monday, June 29

COMEDY | The weekly debate-style comedy shows at Underground 15 take on some sexual politics this week when it's teams of women comics taking on teams of men in Besties vs. Testes, going down at 8 pm. And it's free!

COMEDY | Looking for a different kind of summer camp for the kids? The Blue Door Theatre has you covered. A Summer of Improv is a Monday-night class for kids 11-18 that runs through August, and starts tonight. 

Tuesday, June 30

THEATER/LIVE BANDS | The Bing plays host to another in a long line of Australian tribute acts on Tuesday. You've watching the pig fly with Australian Pink Floyd, now get your 70s disco on with The ABBA Show

COMEDY | The Ditch Kids are a local improv group who construct whole scenes from audience suggestions. Read our feature about the group, then check out the show at Jones Radiator. 

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Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 10:40 AM

Dude! This week is laced with good music every single day. What a wonderful way to stay cool (in more ways than one).


Tonight, you’ll need to check out Gregg Allman at the beautiful downtown Martin Woldson at the Fox Theater. The legendary rocker is still doing things his own way, choosing to continue performing at the tender age of 67, even after the Allman Brothers Band has called it quits on the touring circut. It’s great to finally have him in town after his Spokane show was postponed last summer. The show begins at 8 pm, features Matt Andersen and starts at $35.
Check out our interview with him here and be sure to read our concert review tomorrow.

Even in hip-hop terms Tyler, the Creator is pretty crazy. He’s told a fan to eat vomit, he’s incited a riot, he’s every parent’s worst nightmare. And Tuesday, he hits up the Knitting Factory to bring a little chaos to the downtown scene. The show starts at 8 pm, is all-ages and features Taco.
Check out our recent story on the rapper here and also read our concert review on his show come Wednesday.

Over at the Bartlett, the show contending for your heart is Portland indie-rockers Blitzen Trapper. While the band was here about a year ago, they’re back with some spankin’ new songs (ones you won’t have heard anywhere else) Tuesday night. Also expect a couple Neil Young covers thrown in as well — the band's most recent release was an exclusive Record Store Day LP covering Young's seminal Harvest. The all-ages event costs $17 and starts at 8 pm.

The Big Dipper is bringing it Wednesday night with so much rock ‘n’ roll, including the Bay Area-based Stone Foxes and local favorites Hey! is For Horses, Flannel Math Animal and Buffalo Jones. The Stone Foxes have opened for the likes of the Black Keys, Cage the Elephant and ZZ Top, and soon enough, if we have anything to say about it, young bands will proudly brag about sharing a stage with these instrument-swapping roots-rockers. The all-ages show starts at 7:30 pm and is $12 at the door.

Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas swing back through the Bartlett Thursday. If you’re interested in voices that thrill your soul as well as your ear drums you need to hear the Detroit-based Hernandez belt out her retro-influenced rock tunes. The all-ages show starts at 8 pm and is $12 at the door.

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Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 9:12 AM


Spokane set an all-time June temperature record this weekend. (Spokesman-Review)

No fewer than 24 buildings have been gobbled up by the wild fire raging near Wenatchee. The 3,000-acre brush fire has forced over 1,000 people to evacuate. (KHQ)

A man and woman were injured in a drive-by shooting in North Spokane this morning; the police are preparing to execute a search warrant on the home the pair were standing in front of. (KREM)


The Supreme Court ruled that the sedative midazolam can continue to be used in executions. A group of death row inmates from Oklahoma challenged the use of the drug after it failed to render three inmates unconscious before they were injected with the painful drugs that actually killed them. A newcomer to the lethal injection game, midazolam was adopted after the manufacturers of the barbiturates traditionally used in executions began to refuse to sell them for that purpose. (Gawker)

Puerto Rico's governor regrets to inform the world that the island can't pay the $72 billion in municipal bond debt they've accrued. This puts the island — already plagued by crime and a constant exodus of residents to the mainland — in a situation similar to Detroit or Stockton, who also defaulted on municipal bond debts in recent years. (TIME)

Economic meltdown is happening is Greece, too, and it's sending stocks plummeting around the world. (Guardian)

The two prisoners who escaped from a New York prison 24 days ago are no longer roaming the forest. One was shot and killed by a federal agent, the other was shot and captured by the state police. (New York Times)

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 4:53 PM

It's time for embattled State Auditor Troy Kelley to go, say 29 Democrat legislators in a letter released this afternoon. The lawmakers call on Kelley to "immediately resign your office", citing the State Auditor's "unique mission of auditing how state and public agencies use public resources" and the necessity for Washingtonians to have confidence that their auditor is telling them the facts.

It's hard to trust an auditor to tell anyone the facts when one's personal integrity has been called into question to the degree Kelley's has of late.

Basically, the state auditor protects how all of our tax dollars are spent. He keeps an eye on spending and if things pop up that look shady, he investigates. Except, right now, Kelley isn't doing any of that. He hasn't even been around since leaving for an "indefinite leave of absence" shortly after his personal scandal broke in April

Which is totally appropriate for him as an individual given the disastrous situation he's found himself in. The feds have accused him of stealing $1.4 million from clients of a real estate reconveyance business called Post Closing Department, which he operated from 2003 to 2008. This month, prosecutors presented evidence that his attorney may have advised him on what to do with the stolen money. If that's true, the attorney will become a witness and Kelley will have to find new legal representation in the middle of his complex case. In all, there are 10 charges against Kelley. 

"The State Auditor must be beyond reproach and have the trust of the people of Washington," says the aforementioned letter, noting that Kelley's personal shady dealings make him hard to trust, eroding public confidence in the Office of the State Auditor.

"The State Constitution clearly requires an elected official to execute the duties of the State Auditor. Your inability to execute these duties for an indefinite period raises serious constitutional concerns that we strongly believe must be addressed," it letter concludes. Here is the letter:

Auditor Kelley Resignation Request From Legislators Final 06-26-15

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Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 4:23 PM

An older proposal for expanding the Spokane County UGA in March of 2013, before the Spokane County increased its population projection.
An older proposal for expanding the Spokane County UGA in March of 2013, before the Spokane County increased its population projection.

Want a quick primer on the Urban Growth Area boundaries, vesting, and why that matters for the future of Spokane County? We made a fun explainer using Monopoly pieces.

Feel you already have a decent understanding? Then you'll get the gravity of the fact that, last week, an appeals court confirmed the Growth Management Hearings Board conclusion that Spokane County's expansion of the Urban Growth Area in 2013 was invalid.

To be clear, neither the appeals court nor the Growth Management Hearings Board focused on whether the expansion itself was justified. Instead, before the larger aspects could even be considered, the county's decision was invalidated for failing to live up to public participation standards. 

The county did not fair well defending its actions in court.

"It was a pretty brutal oral argument," says the Center for Justice's Rick Eichstaedt, who has often clashed with the county over growth lawsuits. "At one point the court laughed at the county attorney who was arguing it."

The problem stemmed from how the county, late in the process, changed their projection of future population growth. Instead of using a population projection to calculate how much the Urban Growth Area should be expanded, the court pointed out, it selected their desired UGA expansion first, and then changed their population projection to fit it. 

"I agree with you that, yes, we're saying that the UGA boundary is going to tell us what population projection we have to adopt, but it wasn't simply a 'desire' kind of a decision," the county attorney told the Growth Management Hearings Board. "It was a complex decision that was made, we believe, under the requirements of the GMA."

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Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 4:08 PM

You may or may not be aware of it, but Washington is fast approaching the first anniversary of recreational marijuana becoming legal in the state and doors opening on stores throughout the state to provide all manner of smokable, edible, rub-able pot products. 

We're going to have some stories about the first year of legal recreational weed in a few weeks, and we'd like to know what readers think about legalization, as well as their own histories with (or without) marijuana. We've set up a totally anonymous and short survey for readers to take to let us know. You can find the survey right here, and we'll be giving $25 gift cards to four lucky responders to dine at some of the area's best local restaurants as thanks for helping us out. 

So go take the survey right here! And if you'd like to win a gift card, leave us your email on the survey — we'll keep it a secret and just use it for contest purposes. 

We'd also like to hear any great stories from the first year of legalized recreational marijuana. Whether you tried pot for the first time yourself, or had a cousin slip a pot brownie to grandma, we'd love to hear about it! You can tell us your story right here. Again, totally anonymous, but we are asking for your email so we can verify your story. 

Thanks for taking part!

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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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