Monday, November 30, 2015

Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 12:14 PM

There are a lot of great things about country music, from the narrative-style of songwriting that thrives in the genre to how good most country artists treat their fans. But there is a scourge upon the country landscape and that scourge is "bro-country."

Consider the show Northern Quest Resort & Casino announced today a welcome dose of "girl power" for country fans as Jennifer Nettles drops by Spokane March 4 to headline the CMT Next Women of Country Tour. Tickets range from $65 to $95 and go on sale Saturday at 8:30 am via the resort's website

Nettles is no up-and-comer, having established herself as co-founder of Sugarland and by racking up more than 22 million album sales since 2004, winning Grammy, ACM and CMA awards and performing with the diverse likes of Beyonce, Bon Jovi and Lady Gaga. 

What caught my eye in this lineup is the next name on the bill. Brandy Clark has earned many accolades of late for co-writing Kacey Musgraves' "Follow Your Arrow," and earlier this year was nominated for Grammys for Best New Artist and Best Country Album for her debut album, 12 Stories. While many non-country fans didn't know her before the Grammy ceremony, her performance with Dwight Yoakam was one of the highlights of the show: 

Hold My Hand by Dwight Yoakam with Brandy Clark Grammys 2015 Performance from None V on Vimeo.

The other "next women" featured at the show are Lindsay Ell, a 26-year-old Calgary native who was named one of Rolling Stone magazine's "10 Artists You Need to Know," and Tara Thompson, a Tennessee native who is currently recording her debut album after making noise in Nashville songwriting circles. 

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Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 12:08 PM

click to enlarge Spokane Mayor David Condon and Frank Straub, before he was forced out as police chief.
Spokane Mayor David Condon and Frank Straub, before he was forced out as police chief.

Retired U.S. District Court Judge Michael Hogan will launch an investigation into the city's handling of the situation surrounding the forced resignation of Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub.

Mayor David Condon and his top administrators have faced criticism for their handling of allegations of sexual harassment lodged against Straub, shifting explanations given to the public for a police spokeswoman's transfer to the Parks and Recreation Division, and the timing of the fulfillment for a records request made by the media.

Condon announced that Hogan will begin the inquiry Tuesday into the process followed by the city after former police spokeswoman Monique Cotton accused Straub of sexual harassment, complaints from police leadership against Straub and the fulfillment process for a request for public records. 

"Personnel matter [sic] are sensitive and present unique challenges," Condon said in an email. "Part of making sure employees are treated fairly and appropriately is learning where we can improve and where there might be gaps." 

The pickle that the mayor's administration now finds itself in has drawn criticism City Council President Ben Stuckart, who called for an investigation into the possible "cover-up" of alleged sexual harassment. 

Tonight, city council members plan to discuss questions of honesty and fairness within Condon's administration. 

Hogan has investigated city business for Condon before. In 2013, Condon hired Hogan to look into former Police Chief Scott Stephens' demotion after Straub was hired, and in 2006 Hogan was involved with the settlement between the city and the family of Otto Zehm, who died after a run-in with former Spokane Police officer Karl Thompson.  

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Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 10:18 AM

click to enlarge University of Colorado at Colorado Springs police officer Garrett Swasey.
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs police officer Garrett Swasey.

The attack on a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic last Friday left three people dead, including one police officer, a devoted mother of two and an Iraq war veteran. Nine others were injured. The five-hour standoff between a lone gunman armed with an AK-47-style assault rifle and police comes after an anti-abortion group released controversial videos of Planned Parenthood employees earlier this year. 

The anti-abortion group, the Center for Medical Progress, has denounced the attack, according to a statement from the organization's head, David Daleidan. Other anti-abortion groups such as Focus on the Family and the National Right to Life Committee, have spoken out against the attack as well.  

Although authorities are still investigating the gunman's motives, the attack has fueled the national debate over abortion and gun control. 

Who were the victims? 

Garrett Swasey, 44, was a six-year veteran of the campus police at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He was married with two young children, a son and a daughter. Swasey was a competitive figure skater, and a pastor at a local church before starting his career as a cop. 

His widow released a statement saying in part: "While the nation knows Garrett as a hero who gave his life for others, he was also a devoted husband of 17 years, and a wonderful father to his two children. His greatest joys were his family, his church, and his profession. We will cherish his memory, especially those times he spent tossing the football to his son and snuggling with his daughter on the couch." 

Jennifer Markovsky, 35, a married mother of a young son and daughter, went to the clinic that day to support a friend when she was killed. Markovsky's father told the Denver Post that she was always the "most lovable kind hearted, just always there when I needed her." 

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Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 9:05 AM

This week's not-to-miss events
Meet your barista
ICYMI: The Cougs reflect on their Apple Cup loss

• World leaders gather today in Paris to talk about climate change
Without real action, the world's trajectory will continue on its dangerous path — science says.

• The power may be back on, but the effects are still being felt
Cleanup is ongoing, some families are still looking for new housing and others are waiting for the all important cable TV to return. (KXLY)

• The first trial in Freddie Gray's death starts in Baltimore today
The Black Lives Matter movement will be following it closely.

• The Seahawks win in crazy game against Pittsburg
Seattle can still make the playoffs as a wildcard team.

click to enlarge SEAHAWKS.COM

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Posted By on Sun, Nov 29, 2015 at 1:00 PM

So, you survived a (hopefully) fun-filled Thanksgiving weekend with the friends and family — congrats! It's not easy. But now we're looking down the barrel of December, with all the holiday hijinks that entails. Better make some time for yourself among all the frivolity, so check out our event listings and Staff Picks for some great things to do this week.

Here are some highlights of the week ahead: 

Monday, Nov. 30

LIVE BANDS | The Bartlett is hosting what is sure to be one of the best shows of the early winter with a bill featuring two artists who could easily be headliners, Sallie Ford and Tacocat. In Sallie Ford, you get a rootsy songwriter who's ditched her old band and moved into a confident and intriguing new direction. And in Tacocat, you get a candy-colored pop-punk quartet that will make it feel like summer. Check out our story about Tacocat, and give 'em a listen here: 

Tuesday, Dec. 1

COMMUNITY | Here's a fun night out for the puzzle-loving adults out there. Spark is hosting Code-Cracking with Cumberbatch, where you can have a few drinks, try to crack a few puzzles and watch the excellent 2014 film The Imitation Game, in which our man Cumberbatch helped bring WWII to a close through his code-breaking genius. 

Wednesday, Dec. 2

WORDS | Holocaust survivor Carla Peperzak, who worked for the Dutch resistance during WWII and helped hide some of Amsterdam's Jewish population from the Nazis, will talk about her experiences at a special event at the MAC, which will be paired with a screening of a documentary called With My Own Eyes, about other Northwest Holocaust survivors. 

LIVE BANDS | Chewelah native and almost-native son to Spokane Allen Stone saw the release of a fine new soul-fueled album, Radius, earlier this year, and now he comes through roughly a year since his last Spokane show for a gig at the Knitting Factory. Here's a sample of his new album: 

Thursday, Dec. 3

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Posted By on Sat, Nov 28, 2015 at 10:00 AM

For a traditional Ethiopian coffee experienced in a large café setting, The Service Station in North Spokane is the place to be. With a spacious seating area equipped with tables, bar-style seating and oversized arm chairs, this gathering place is the perfect amount of cozy and business. 

Since 2011, Alan Roll has been a part of the team at The Service Station, moving from serving coffee into his current position as general manager. 

click to enlarge KAILEE HAONG
Kailee Haong

INLANDER: How did you end up at The Service Station?
ROLL: Good close friends opened up this place, actually. Since then, it's changed hands a couple times, but I'm here because I love The Service Station. I was first hired on in January 2011 and I worked for about a year. [Then] I had a massive brain injury. After recovery, I came back to work for a little bit, then I moved for a year. I came back as a supervisor, and I am actually now the general manager. 

What made you want to get into coffee?
I'll start by saying I've always drank coffee. I think the things that have caught my eye about coffee in the past is the art that can be intertwined along with just a simple cup of coffee. What caught my eye here was the statement about what The Service Station is. The fact that friends owned it, and also I was just waiting tables which I had done for some time, so a nice change of scenery was appropriate, and I couldn't have asked for a better scene right now. 

What's the most rewarding thing about working here?
Oh, the guests. Absolutely, hands down. I have met so many new people, family, friends — I would not be here if it wasn't for the people here. I'm here for the people. I love people, I absolutely love people. I thrive on it. 

Any current coffee trends you've been noticing?
People are actually really getting away from what a genuine cup of coffee is. A cup of coffee is what everybody drinks, but it's so done up now. You're not even really tasting the coffee anymore. Even just a single solo macchiato shot with a dab of cream and a little bit of caramel, that happens maybe once a day. You want a great cup of coffee and you really want to taste what you're drinking— I wish there was more of that. We are falling away from what an actual cup of coffee really is.

Do you have a favorite memory of working here?
I don't know if I have a specific memory. I have so many good ones, there aren't any bad ones. If anything, I would just have to revert back to my guests.

click to enlarge KAILEE HAONG
Kailee Haong

Have you had any really memorable customers?
Mary. I love Mary. She's a teacher, I want to say at Brentwood. I might be wrong on that, and I don't even know her last name. But I know her drink, I know what bagel she gets. She is definitely hands-down my favorite. She's brought me a plant.

What is your favorite thing to drink here?
Oh, it'd have to be my drink. It has actually gotten outside the counter and people actually come in and order "the Alan." What it is, is a drip coffee with horchata, brown sugar, cinnamon and a splash of almond milk.

What is your favorite food item here?
The chicken panini. 

What are some of your hobbies?
Actually, I do some odd-ball art, I'd have to say. I like to decoupage many things. Just to start, giant canvases. I have some hanging on my wall in my home, like 4-feet-by-5-feet. I have a table top that I've decoupaged. I'm also a complete plant fiend. I even have one of my aloe vera cactuses in here. I love nature, so when the weather is appropriate, hiking, walking — all over the place.

If you could describe the coffee shop in one word, what would it be?

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Posted By on Sat, Nov 28, 2015 at 7:57 AM

Washington State Athletic Communications

The Washington State Cougars were unanimous in acknowledging they played horribly in Friday’s Apple Cup. However, the Cougars almost matched their sky-high turnovers total when offering varied theories behind their wretched performance.

Following are five explanations – one per lost fumble – the 20th-ranked Cougars came up with following the unranked Huskies’ 45-10 romp at Husky Stadium.

Linebacker Jeremiah Allison: “They wanted it more than we did.”

Quarterback Peyton Bender: “We just didn’t come out ready to play.”

Running back Jamal Morrow: “We just didn’t finish the game.”

Offensive tackle Cole Madison: “We waited for it (control of the game) to come to us. It never did.”

Coach Mike Leach: “We played wide-eyed.”

Let’s toss in two bonus explanations for a total of seven, which matched WSU’s turnovers.

Leach: “We need to find a way to coach these guys better, because we didn’t have them ready to play.”

Madison, asked if he agreed with Leach that coaches didn’t do a good job of preparing the Cougars for the game: “I guess not. It showed on the scoreboard.”

Leach and Madison deserve points for honesty. However, Madison lost points for overlooking the obvious – no coach in history has ever made a turnover – and Leach lost points when he watched his team get thrashed every which way for 3-1/2 hours, then declared, “We’ve certainly beaten teams that are considerably better than Washington this year.”

So much for losing with class. Leach also showed questionable judgment in explaining – sort of – the absence of quarterback Luke Falk.
“Luke chose not to play,” Leach said, “and we chose for that to be the case.”

Thus, Leach made it sound as if Falk had a choice in the matter. Multiple sources connected with the Cougars say Falk suffered a concussion – his second head injury in as many games – last Saturday against Colorado.

Leach, of course, almost never says a word about player injuries. Nothing changed Saturday in that regard, and Leach wouldn’t even say when he decided to give Bender his first college start.

“That’s definitely none of anybody’s business in here,” he told a roomful of media.

Bender, a redshirt freshman, said Leach told him last Sunday he would start against the Huskies. So much for Leach’s latest game of secrets with the media and, therefore, with the fans who make his $2.75 million annual salary possible.

Leach always says he does not want to use injuries as an excuse, but he did say the Cougars “had some understandable distractions” this week. Presumably, he was referring to considerable public and media focus on the playing status of Falk, all of which Leach could have prevented by going public with the news he gave Bender last Sunday.

Oh well. As superbly as Falk has played this season, it’s doubtful he could have made a 35-point difference, though Bender did throw a pair of second-half interceptions that were returned for touchdowns. The Huskies’ impressive young defense also returned a fumble for an interception in the final half.

“Late in the game,” Leach admitted, “we gave in.”

And Bender’s performance?

“He started off pretty good, but as we collapsed as a team, he collapsed.”

And the offense as a whole?

“A dropped ball here, a fumble here, a missed pass there, a missed block there.”

And the defense?

“I don’t know how many times we had ‘em third-and-long. The whole day, third-and-long, third-and-long. We’d let ‘em off the hook.”

And the special teams?

“I don’t really know if we blocked anybody on special teams today or not. I know we didn’t on kickoff returns. We’ve got to be tougher as a team.”

One of WSU’s toughest players, star wide receiver Gabe Marks, left the game in the final minutes with an apparent leg injury after being tackled and landing awkwardly. Marks’ status for Washington State’s bowl game is uncertain. Ditto for the three other offensive starters who sat out Saturday, presumably with injuries: Falk, offensive tackle Joe Dahl and slot receiver River Cracraft.

WSU’s depth has improved substantially during Leach’s four years on the job, but no team can lose four players of that caliber without a negative impact. The worst of teams can continue to fight, however, and the Cougars went down meekly against their arch-rivals. The seven turnovers were a season high; the 10 points, 288 passing yards and 319 total yards were season lows; the five lost fumbles were one short of the school record.

The Huskies, meanwhile, tied school records by recovering five fumbles and returning two interceptions for touchdowns. Washington also recorded a third consecutive win over WSU. The Cougars have never – not once – won more than two in a row against the Huskies. That’s not easily done when you’ve played an opponent 108 times since 1900.

Allison and Bender referred to the Huskies as “a great team.” That seems a bit overboard for a 6-6 squad that finished 4-5 in the Pac-12 Conference. Washington looked great on Saturday, but as Bender noted, “When you turn the ball over seven times, it’s hard to win. 

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Posted By on Fri, Nov 27, 2015 at 5:24 PM

It’s rivalry weekend around the nation and there’s a lot more on the plate than Thanksgiving leftovers. Here’s some of what’s on deck and what it could mean for some of your favorite college football teams.

Ohio State vs. Michigan
This rivalry runs deep. Back to the Toledo War deep. The Ohio governor went so far as to ban pleated khakis and use of the “M” word this weekend. But this great rivalry will mean more than bragging rights. If Michigan State wins (see next paragraph), then neither of these teams will be going to the Big Ten Championship.
Watch: 12pm ET on ABC

Michigan State vs. Penn State
Don’t change the channel after the Buckeyes and Wolverines face off. Michigan State, who conquered OSU last weekend and snagged a last minute win against big brother Michigan, takes on Penn State on their own turf. If Michigan State loses, then Urban Meyer or Jim Harbaugh could still have a shot at the playoffs. If the Spartans win, then they have a seat at the Big Ten Championship table.
Watch: 3:30pm ET on ABC

The game will take place at USC’s Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which UCLA is closer to than its own stadium. Needless to say, this is a tight rivalry. Even though neither team was too hot this season, a win could mean an appearance at the Rose Bowl and a Pac-12 South division title.
Watch: 3:30pm ET on ESPN2 or ABC

Alabama vs. Auburn
Auburn has the home advantage, but will need a lot more than that to beat the No. 2 Alabama. The Iron Bowl got its name because games were played in Birmingham, which was a hub for iron and steel, where the the largest stadium at the time resided. Besides bragging rights, a win here could mean a spot in the Southeastern Conference Championship game.
Watch: 3:30pm ET on CBS

Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State
Check out the rivalry wikipedia page and see all of the red on the wins-losses history for the Bedlam Series. It isn’t predicted to be very different this year. But just because the Sooners are favored and their injured golden boys will be playing doesn’t mean Oklahoma State can’t put up a win. This win could mean the Big 12 title for the Sooners, but Oklahoma State has the talent to dismantle that.
Watch: 8pm ET on ABC

Florida State vs. Florida
Another instate rivalry. The teams will be getting dirty in The Swamp and this meet-up could have implications on bowls and the SEC Championship. If the Gators defeat the Seminoles and win the SEC championship game next week, it’s the playoffs. If Florida State wins, they could end up in one of the “New Year’s Six Bowls,” depending on results the following weekend.
Watch: 7:30pm ET on ESPN

Stanford vs. Notre Dame
There are a lot of questions concerning who will win in this match-up, what will this mean for bowls, and perhaps playoffs. There’s one thing that will be a clear as that Irish crystal sitting on top of that California redwood trophy the winner will take home: The loser is out of playoffs. Simple as that. The winner takes home the Legends Trophy, and maaaaybe has a shot at playoffs.
Watch: 7:30pm ET on Fox

Heat up that mountain of food, slip on your jersey and put your feet up. You’ve got a full Saturday ahead.

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Posted By on Fri, Nov 27, 2015 at 11:00 AM

click to enlarge A body camera - MITCH RYALS PHOTO
Mitch Ryals Photo
A body camera

As the Spokane Police Department releases another wave of body cameras to patrol officers, a new report released this month tells how the 25 officers who participated in the department's body camera pilot program feel about the new technology. 

The pilot program lasted from Sept. 1, 2014 until Dec. 31, 2014, and the report documents officers' and citizens' reactions to cameras during that time only. Most of the 25 officers felt body cameras were a good tool that may have contributed to de-escalation of some situations, though there were some concerns (detailed below). 

Since the pilot program ended, SPD has been rolling out cameras periodically. Ninety officers got cameras in June of this year, and by Dec. 4th, 154 of the 220 originally purchased cameras will be in use. By the first of the year, 200 cameras will be issued to patrol officers. 

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Posted By on Fri, Nov 27, 2015 at 10:35 AM

click to enlarge Puscifer headlines the INB Performing Arts Center on Sunday.
Puscifer headlines the INB Performing Arts Center on Sunday.

Work off some of those Thanksgiving calories by catching some live tunes this weekend. There's a surprising amount of gigs offering you the chance to get out and rock out. 


Get your holiday madness off to full roar with a visit from the bombastic Christmas-loving metalheads in Trans-Siberian Orchestra, who are hitting the Spokane Arena tonight. Here's a sample: 

If you'd rather delay the inevitable onslaught of holiday events, head to the Knitting Factory for a night of hard-rock featuring All That Remains, Devour, Sons of Texas and Audiotopsy.

And if you're over Sandpoint way, catch some cool Canadian hip-hop at The Hive, courtesy of Sweatshop Union


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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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