Sunday, July 31, 2016

Posted By on Sun, Jul 31, 2016 at 1:00 PM

click to enlarge Dar Williams headlines Chateau Rive on Wednesday.
Dar Williams headlines Chateau Rive on Wednesday.

A world of great entertainment opportunities abound at all times in our event listings and Staff Picks, so you have no excuse if your summer is a bummer. 

Here are some highlights of the week ahead: 

Monday, Aug. 1

LIVE BANDS | I saw Hurray for the Riff Raff a couple years back at Bumbershoot, and the New Orleans band led by Alynda Lee Segarra delivers an off-kilter and utterly excellent combination of folk, blues and rock. They headline the Bartlett. Here's a little sample: 

COMMUNITY | Hey's it's Free Swim Week, Spokane! Get swimmin' at the city pools, free of charge!

Tuesday, Aug. 2

SPORTS & OUTDOORS | If you love UFC or are merely curious, head on out to Lone Wolf Harley-Davidson for War at the Wolf, a free night of fights and the chance to get autographs from Spokane UFC stars Julianna Pena and Michael Chiesa. There will be food trucks, a beer garden, vendors and more.

COMEDY | Spokane Comedy's Standup Showdown goes down at The Observatory, where comedians will be called to the stage two at a time to riff on topics in a battle royale-type situation. But funny. 

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Friday, July 29, 2016

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 4:45 PM

click to enlarge The Kendall Yards learning center now bears Spark Central's new logo, which pays homage to our region's rail heritage. - CHEY SCOTT
Chey Scott
The Kendall Yards learning center now bears Spark Central's new logo, which pays homage to our region's rail heritage.

Today was the big reveal.

The creative hub located in the heart of Kendall Yards — on the edge of both downtown Spokane and the West Central neighborhood — that was formerly home to two learning-centric entities, Spark Center and INK Artspace, is now home to just one: Spark Central.

The marriage of the two growing organizations brings both of their similarly aligned arts, literary and education missions under one umbrella. The new Spark Central name not only maintains the community's nickname of "Spark" for the actual venue, but the replacement of "Center" with "Central" is an appropriate nod to its home in the West Central neighborhood, which its programs and resources seek to serve. A new logo of train tracks fading into a sunburst on the horizon also pays homage to the Inland Northwest's rail town history. 

"Spark Central's mission, which is sort of a merging of the other two, is to ignite the creativity, innovation and imagination necessary for people to forge the path to their best future," explains the nonprofit's Executive Director Brooke Matson. 

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Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 1:53 PM

click to enlarge Rendering of aquatic and community center proposed as part of Liberty Lake's Town Square project - CITY OF LIBERTY LAKE
City of Liberty Lake
Rendering of aquatic and community center proposed as part of Liberty Lake's Town Square project

Right now, if you're a Liberty Lake resident, there's a good chance your mayor is standing on a street corner wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses and holding a sign urging you to vote "yes" for a Town Square Project. 

"This is an opportunity. This is an opportunity to invest in our community. It's a minimal cost to our homeowners, but it's a big benefit to the kids, to the people that live here and the people that are yet to come," says Mayor Steve Peterson. 

For nearly two weeks, Peterson says he has been out advocating for residents to vote Tuesday, Aug. 2, for the 30-year bond that would fund a new $12 million, 50,000-square-foot recreation and community center in Liberty Lake. 

Peterson says it would serve as a gathering place for the city — something sorely lacking. 

The project would raise taxes 50 cents per $1,000 of a home's assessed value, or $135 per year for a $250,000 home. The project would ideally be finished by spring 2018, according to the city. 

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Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 1:16 PM

click to enlarge Not to brag or anything, but I recently opened the app while sitting on my couch, and the elusive Pikachu just happened to show up in my living room!
Not to brag or anything, but I recently opened the app while sitting on my couch, and the elusive Pikachu just happened to show up in my living room!
Just because you're not being inundated with Pokémon Go-related news stories this week doesn't mean the mobile gaming fad was just a flash in the pan. It's definitely still going strong, including in our local community. The following local events and Poké-gatherings are surely evidence of that.

Later this afternoon, Friday, July 26, from 4-6 pm, Spokane Falls Community College is hosting a Pokémon Scavenger Hunt, with goodie bags going to the first 151 players (that's a cute reference to the fact there are 151 Pokémon to catch in all!) who show up, and prizes will be awarded at 6 pm. Meet outside the SFCC planetarium lawn at 4 to partake in the hunt. Parking on campus is free for this event, regardless of the signage in the lots.

Then, next week, on Saturday, Aug. 6, from 12-3 pm, area players are invited to attend a community Pokémon Go Potluck in Manito Park, to nosh and bond over their love of the game. Players who go should meet at the upper playground, and bring a dish to share. The park is alcohol-free, and it's a family-friendly event, so keep that in mind if you go.

If you're looking for a place to get out of the continuing summer heatwave and still catch some Pokés to add to your collection, the Spokane Public Library has been setting lures at all of its branches. So bring your mobile device and do double-duty as you hunt for your next good read while also seeking out some of the cute little characters.  

If by the time fall arrives you still can't get enough Pokémon Go, and you're a college student at the University of Idaho, a new class that combines pop culture and physical activity is something you shouldn't pass up. The new Pop Culture Games class will "teach students about leading active lifestyles, building teamwork and exploring their communities through games..." according to a release from the university. The class has been in the works for a while, but instructor Steven Bird knew he needed to add the pop culture phenomenon that is Pokémon Go when the game captured our attention earlier this month.

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Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 12:27 PM

click to enlarge Eric Church brings the cool to this weekend's Watershed Music Festival.
Eric Church brings the cool to this weekend's Watershed Music Festival.


All those good ol’ country gals and guys are headed towards the Gorge this weekend for the first round of the annual Watershed Music Festival. This year, the event expanded to two weekends. This first one is sold out, but there are tickets available for the second. Headliners include Eric Church, Jason Aldean and Keith Urban. The three-day pass is $199 (if only Sasquatch! was so cheap). As it looks to be a scorcher out there this weekend, festival attendees should remember to apply sunblock and drink all the water. Yee haw!

Wrinkles comes to the Big Dipper the night after their CD release party in Missoula, where they now reside. Although the electronic-pop/synth-rock act started back in 2012 in Helena, they often didn’t live near one another thanks to college and jobs. Their new album, aptly titled Separation Anxiety, tells of these woes, as well as exploring the disconnect between real and perceived experiences. Stream the full album right here. Tonight’s show starts at 7:30 pm and is $8.

The Observatory brings in a mostly solo show tonight, which includes musicians from some of Spokane's favorite bands past and present like Vaughn Wood of Von the Baptist, Danny Lopez of Table Top Joe and William Alan of The Toy Garden. Expect some group performances as well. The show is $5 and starts at 9 pm. 

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Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 11:45 AM

For the last six year, the Inlander’s annual Give Guide has given a much-deserved “thank you” to individuals in the Inland Northwest working to make their community a better place.
Once again, we’re seeking nominations from you, our readers, of people who are having a real impact.

After giving nominations a close look, we’ll pick three individuals to receive the Peirone Prize, which comes with a cash award and special recognition in our Give Guide. We know there are dedicated people of all ages working hard to make the Inland Northwest a better place but, in part to encourage younger people to give back, our focus is on individuals under 40 (ish).

Do you know someone working tirelessly in the nonprofit sector on animals, arts, community, social justice, wellness/nutrition, youth, education, environment or another areas? If so, we’d like to hear from you.

If you'd like to submit a nomination, send it to us by August 5 to You can use this form to tell us the person's name and age, and include a few sentences or paragraphs on why you think they deserve to be recognized. If you have any questions, sent me an email at

To get a sense of what we’re looking for, here is a list of winners from past years:

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Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 10:30 AM

click to enlarge A nun frantically seeks medical help for a fellow sister in The Innocents
A nun frantically seeks medical help for a fellow sister in The Innocents

During the opening scene of The Innocents, a group of nuns recite their morning prayers. The camera pans slowly, delicately, to show their faces, simultaneously framing the abbey's arches in striking, patterned fashion. A woman's tortured howl echoes through the hall. Most of the nuns ignore the disruption, but one seems agitated. She neglects to bow at the prayer's end as all the others do.

This scene sets the stage for the film to follow with a brand of concise effectiveness that's rarely witnessed. Despite a total absence of dialogue, it immediately establishes the conflict that anchors the film: the internal clash of religious beliefs with the horrors of reality. 

Soon after the opening sequence, viewers are introduced to Mathilda (Lou de Laage), a French Red Cross doctor working relief in post-World War II Poland. One night, Mathilda reluctantly follows a desperate summons to an abbey, where she finds a nun on the verge of giving birth. Mathilda learns that the nunnery has been ravaged by rape, swept through by a company of Soviet soldiers in the aftermath of the war, leaving many of the nuns pregnant. The abbess (Agata Kulesza) worries that if the Polish Red Cross is notified of the nunnery's state, their violation of religious protocol will be reported, and the abbey will be shut down. Thus, Mathilda finds herself the sole caretaker able to save the nuns' lives while allowing them to salvage their faith. 

Of course, the task proves hardly simple. Mathilda is met at every turn with resistance. Some nuns are terrified to let the doctor examine their bodies, fearing eternal damnation if they break their sacred oaths. It's difficult not to groan at their stubbornness at points; Mathilda's atheistic insistence that the nuns' dire need for medical treatment trumps all potential religious consequence certainly seems the side that viewers are more likely to take in the ideological conflict. 

But The Innocents is careful to temper its portrayal of the situation so as not to come across as condemning religion. Each of its complex, nuanced characters adds a unique wrinkle. For instance, the tragically devout abbess, who boasts probably more shades of grey than anyone else in the film, is a fascinating personality, and viewers will likely find themselves forced to reevaluate their opinions of her over the narrative's course as her motivations are unveiled.

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Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 9:24 AM


NEWS: Straub report cites at least 25 times that city officials were alerted to the chief's concerning behavior
FOOD: Spokane chef advances to final round of vegan cooking competition
FOR FUN! How to make sure you're not missing Facebook page's posts, including the Inlander's
INHEALTH: Counteracting desk time, new energy drinks and farming at home
NEWS: Spokane Valley City Council is finally whole again
NEWS: WA attorney general fires back at state challenging federal transgender guidelines 

Condon not backing down
In the wake of a damning report on the city's handling of the ouster of former police Cheif Frank Straub, Mayor Condon has stated that he's personally done nothing wrong and won't resign(KXLY)

Unkown irritant at Fairchild
About a dozen people mysteriously fell ill at Fairchild Air Force Base yesterday. The cause is unknown, but the building's ventilation system is suspected to be the cause.  All employees sickened have been treated and released. (Spokesman-Review)

Zika arrives in mainland U.S.

Florida officials have confirmed that four people in the Miami area have contracted the Zika virus.

It's official
Hillary Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party nomination for president. Here are highlights from her speech:

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 6:35 PM

click to enlarge Time after time, Cappel's report reveals, police department employees raised concerns about former Spokane police Chief Frank Straub.
Time after time, Cappel's report reveals, police department employees raised concerns about former Spokane police Chief Frank Straub.

The Condon administration can't say it wasn't told. 

Since at least the fall of 2013, questions have loomed around City Hall about police Chief Frank Straub. 

Was Straub a loose cannon who got results? The sort of leader who generated complaints, self-demotions and frustration purely because of his willingness to take, in his words, "decisive leadership and definitive action in a ‘hostile environment'" in order to "break the ‘strangle hold’ these officers had on the department?"

Or was he a destructive boss who, as a newly released investigative report indicates, was abrasive, unprofessional, and verbally abusive, volatile, threatening, demeaning, profane, vulgar? Was he the guy who, as the report concludes, "managed by fear and intimidation," "created a hostile work environment in violation of the City’s general harassment policies" and wielded personnel moves as a weapon to punish employees who crossed him? 

Before his forced resignation, the report by investigator Kris Cappel reveals, the city never conducted a full-scale investigation into that issue. Yet, the Cappel report outlines time and time again when police department employees alerted Condon administration officials — including city attorneys and the Human Resources director — to red flags about Straub's behavior. City Councilman Ben Stuckart said three different employees brought concerns to him. By April of 2015, the mayor, the city administrator, and the chief financial officer had also been told directly about serious concerns about Straub.

Here's Cappel: 
As early as the fall of 2013, the Administration and members of the City Attorney’s office were generally aware that Chief Straub had an explosive temper, that he sometimes mistreated his staff, and that he had an unprofessional management style.

It does not appear, however, that the Condon Administration or the lawyers knew about or fully appreciated the depth and breadth of the SPD’s concerns about Chief Straub’s leadership until the meetings with the Association and the executive team in September 2015. 
Many of these concerns the police department raised echoed complaints that had been made in his previous job in Indianapolis, which he left facing a vote of no confidence. Yet, even as Straub created chaos within the department, sparking self-demotions and transfers, the Cappel report portrays the Condon administration as incurious about why. 

When Assistant Chief Craig Meidl took a three-step demotion in February 2014, "no one from the Condon Administration asked him why he was stepping down" Cappel writes. 

And after Brad Arleth was demoted, Cappel says, the city put out a press release saying it was "mutually agreed-upon under the department’s reorganization." Arleth told Cappel that was false — it was forced. He sent an email to city spokesman Brian Coddington explaining it was false, Arleth told Cappel, but never got a reply back. (In a bit of symmetry, Condon later also referred to Straub's resignation — signed under threat of termination — as a mutual decision.)

The closest the city got to a broad formal investigation into Straub was limited to one incident — a profanity-laced blowup on March 31, 2015. That one was conducted by city attorneys, not human resources. No notes were taken, a major witness was not interviewed, and the inquiry was limited to just that incident — not Straub's overall behavior. 

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Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 4:30 PM

Atania Gilmore, owner of Allie's Vegan Pizzeria, poses with one of her restaurant's signature pies. - MEGHAN KIRK
Meghan Kirk
Atania Gilmore, owner of Allie's Vegan Pizzeria, poses with one of her restaurant's signature pies.

Chef Pavel Nosov, the head chef at locally owned, much-lauded Allie's Vegan Pizzeria & Cafe, recently emerged as a finalist in Round 1 of Vegan FoodService's Vegan Chef Competition. 

Vegan FoodService is a California-based organization that works to connect vegan restaurants with sources for ingredients. In hosting this competition, the organization hopes to "provide innovative chefs a platform to shine with a personal twist on health and taste," as per its website. 

In the first round, participating chefs had to prepare a 
click to enlarge Head Chef Nosov will compete in Round 2 of the competition early this month.
Head Chef Nosov will compete in Round 2 of the competition early this month.
dish with ingredients requested from Vegan FoodService. Their resulting recipes were sent into the organization for judging in a variety of categories by a panel of three professional chefs.

Nosov advanced to the second and final round of the competition, along with four other vegan-food chefs, who were chosen from an entrant pool of 100. Three of the first-round victors hail from California, and one from Oregon. Nosov is the only Washington-based chef to advance to Round 2. 

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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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