Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2016 at 5:31 PM

click to enlarge 5 Seconds of Summer at the Spokane Arena Tuesday night.
5 Seconds of Summer at the Spokane Arena Tuesday night.

Tuesday night, I chauffered a 12-year-old to the 5 Seconds of Summer show at Spokane Arena, where she joined a few thousand of her peers, many of whom had just had their first day of school. 

I knew virtually nothing of the band beforehand, save their Australian background and claims of loving pop-punk bands like Green Day. That proved true enough — they played Green Day and Blink-182 before they hit the stage, and their 20 or so songs leaned heavily on the tropes of the genre: short tunes, singalong choruses, many exhortations for fans to sing along. 

While it's been awhile, I saw many so-called "boy bands" years ago, acts like Backstreet Boys, O-Town and 'N Sync, thanks to being in this line of work. And it was striking how some things have changed in teeny-bopper world, even as other aspects remain the same. To wit:  

CHANGE: Prices are outrageous. This isn't news to any music fan, I know, and the ticket prices weren't particularly bad for 5 Seconds of Summer. Still, they were high enough to keep the arena less than half full. A hundred bucks for a hoodie? Fifty bucks for a T-shirt? 

THE SAME: The audience for a boy band, predictably, was about 90 percent adolescent girls. The other 10 percent on hand? Probably an even split between moms and dads. 

CHANGE: As a general rule, I always think bands are dumb when they play more-established/better bands as their warmup music before hitting the stage. Think Nickelback playing Zeppelin. 5 Seconds of Summer gambled on that by playing the aforementioned pop-punk bands as well as fellow Aussies AC/DC. But they also played their own song over the loudspeaker before taking the stage! Their "Girls Talk Boys" to be specific, only to actually play the song live, like, an hour later. 

CHANGE: In the olden days of 'N Sync, 98 Degrees and the like, the audience was content to scream their collective heads off at the boys on stage. Now, every move was well documented via phone camera — moves of the 5 Seconds boys, and moves of the audience members and their friends taking selfies from every conceivable angle. #SelfieCulture is definitely a different aspect of the boy-band phenomena. 

THE SAME: The fans have favorites. Each band member took over the mic at various points and was greeted with vociferous cheers from the kids who have him as their favorite. Whether it was drummer Ashton Irwin cajoling the seated folks to storm the floor, or singer Calum Hood crooning a ballad, guitarist Luke Hemmings taking a solo or bassist Michael Clifford simply emoting — they were met with some deafening squeals, even with a sparsely populated arena. 

CHANGE: Unlike those dancing, prancing boy bands of yesteryear who relied on choreographers, songwriters and various svengalis for their fame and fortune, it's easy to imagine 5 Seconds of Summer actually lasting a while as a band. Sure, they're poppy, but they actually play instruments, and their between-song banter (complete with the occasional swearing) was pretty endearing and seemingly off-the-cuff. Those old boy bands were so meticulously crafted that nothing seemed spontaneous. 5 Seconds of Summer might be just as much a product as a band, but they could conceivably evolve into something more someday.

Their fans obviously will. 

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Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2016 at 4:50 PM

Judge James L. Lawless (left) and the man convicted of his 1974 murder, Ricky Anthony Young
Judge James L. Lawless (left) and the man convicted of his 1974 murder, Ricky Anthony Young

The absence of DNA evidence is not enough to exonerate a man convicted of murdering a Franklin County judge in 1974.

Neither is the presence of someone else's DNA enough to absolve the man whose fingerprint was found on bits of packaging containing the pipe bomb sent to Judge James J. Lawless' chambers, according to Benton-Franklin Superior Court Judge Jackie Shea Brown.

Shea Brown's decision in the decades-old case comes after a request from the Seattle-based legal clinic Innocence Project Northwest to test several pieces of evidence for DNA in the hope that it would clear Ricky Anthony Young of Lawless' murder.

Lawless died in his Pasco, Washington, chambers after opening a package wrapped in brown paper, triggering the bomb. The package was address specifically to Lawless. Inscribed next to his name was the word "personal." 

Young was given a life sentence with the possibility of parole. His earliest possible release date is 2031.

Leading up to the pipe bomb murder, Lawless and Young had crossed paths before. 

A 19-year-old Young appeared before the judge on a burglary charge in 1971. Young faced 15 years in prison, but Lawless offered him a deal that knocked his sentence down to a year in jail and five more on probation.

After his release, Young was again a suspect of arson and drug crimes in 1974. Lawless was to decide on Young's probation violation just days before the package arrived in his chambers.

It took two trials to convict Young of the murder (the first ended in a hung jury and the second was bolstered by testimony of a jailhouse snitch, must to the frustration of Young's defense attorney Sid Wurzburg.)

Since his conviction, Young has maintained his innocence — that is, until 1994, when he confessed to his involvement in the crime. In an affidavit, Young wrote that he helped build part of the bomb, but had no role in the final assembly or mailing the package. Young also identified co-conspirators, but he is still the only person to be charged in the judge's murder.

It was Young's written confession that Shea Brown cited in her decision to deny DNA testing. 

"The court finds this affidavit to be key, credible and persuasive evidence of the defendant's guilt," Shea Brown wrote in a letter to Young's attorneys. 

The Inlander wrote about Young's quest to exonerate himself last year. Afterward, Young sent us a letter saying that confession was "a total fabrication," and a ploy to get a face-to-face conversation with the Franklin County prosecutor. 

Clearly, that backfired. 

Attorneys for the Innocence Project Northwest did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2016 at 9:46 AM

click to enlarge Despite promises made by Sean Hannity, Trump is not actually filled with candy - PIÑATERIA RAMIREZ
Piñateria Ramirez
Despite promises made by Sean Hannity, Trump is not actually filled with candy


The cost of firing gently encouraging the resignation of a police chief 
We've updated our tally of the cost of the city's legal defense and independent investigation into the forced resignation of former Police Chief Frank Straub: The price tag is already higher than it cost paying Straub's base salary across all three years of his tenure.  And that's for a lawsuit that a judge determined was groundless. 


Would you Pig Out In The Park? Would You Pig Out With a Lark? 
The Spokesman has a guide to Pig Out In The Park, the event intended to make up for the calories we burned during Hoopfest and Bloomsday. [Spokesman-Review]

No, but close. Obama has commuted the life sentence of a Spokane meth dealer to 20 years. [Spokesman-Review]

The Rich Kids Across The Lake 
Why the wealthy tenants near Camp Lutherhaven are tut-tutting a big boat garage they find unsightly. If something isn't done, they're threatening to escalate matters to tsk-tsking. [CDA Press]


The Trumps are going to Mexico!
In a last minute decision that shows just how fun and spontaneous Donald Trump can be, the presidential candidate who's spent a year insulting Mexicans is heading to Mexico to meet with the Mexican president. I just watched the second season of Eastbound and Down so I'm assuming Trump's trip will be exactly like that, with Sean Hannity playing the Stevie role. [Washington Post]

Neo-pros and Neocons 
Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war leader against George W. Bush isn't much of a fan of hawkish Hillary Clinton either. [Independent Journal Review] 

Trading Assad for Otter
The city of Boise has more Syrian refugees that New York City and Los Angeles combined. [NYT]


Stranger Kings
The AV Club's resident Stephen King scholar Zack Handlen has a touching essay about the power of horror — and nostalgia — in Stephen King's IT.  [AV Club]

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 9:13 AM


Who speaks for Condon recall? The recall petition filer? The #RECALLCONDON page? The Daiquiri Factory guy?

Pat Benatar strolls down memory lane with a night full of hits 

Spokane City Council changes Columbus Day 
The second Monday in October is now Indigenous Peoples' Day in Spokane. Last night city council voted to join a handful of other cities that have changed Columbus Day from a day honoring the controversial explorer to a day honoring native people. (Spokesman-Review)

Idaho panel split on Medicaid expansion
A group of Idaho lawmakers tasked with finding a way to provide medical insurance for those too poor to qualify for healthcare exchanges are split on a solution. Half of the 10-member panel opposes expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Others have suggested more modest approaches. (Idaho Statesman)

Did Earth just receive an alien signal?
Astronomers have turned their instruments on a star 94 light years from Earth after a Russian telescope detected a strong signal that could be coming from "a civilization with capabilities beyond those of humankind."

RIP Gene Wilder
Gene Wilder, an actor known for his roles in films such as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Blazing Saddles, is dead at 83. 

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Posted By on Mon, Aug 29, 2016 at 3:29 PM

click to enlarge One of the three Facebook pages focused on recalling Condon
One of the three Facebook pages focused on recalling Condon

As every organizer knows, the trouble with grassroots movements is you can't always determine how the grassroots grow. 

It happened to the Occupy Wall Street movement, where protests against corporate power and bank bailouts produced competing groups with contradictory messages.

It happened to the Tea Party, where a slew of Super PACs preyed upon activists to get rich without actually doing much to advance Tea Party goals.

And it's happened to Black Lives Matter, where a movement that preaches non-violence was tarred with a few isolated protestors chanting "What do we want? Dead cops!"

So this, from the very beginning, has been a challenge for the effort to recall Spokane Mayor David Condon. 

Ben Rall, a Spokane Green Party activist, says he was in Pensacola, Florida, on a military tour when the news broke last November that the city had hidden sexual harassment allegations against its former police chief until after Mayor Condon's re-election. 

Rall started the #RECALLCONDON page shortly after, more than 8 months before CPA David Green submitted an official recall petition. 

"Within three days, we were up to 600 people," Rall says. 

click to enlarge The message the woman who led the Jim West recall sent a #RECALLCONDON page administrator. - FACEBOOK.COM SCREENSHOT screenshot
The message the woman who led the Jim West recall sent a #RECALLCONDON page administrator.
It attracted plenty of attention: Environmental activist Mara Spitzer, one of the page's administrators, says that Shannon Sullivan, the woman behind the 2005 Jim West recall, contacted Spitzer a few months ago, and told her that she was there if she needed any advice. 

On Aug. 1, Sullivan tagged Spitzer in a photo of a school of small fish teaming up to eat a larger one. "DON'T PANIC," it said. "ORGANISE.

"I think she was just saying, 'Organize'," Spitzer says. "Just an encouragement thing. That’s the way I took it. Trying to encourage the recall."

But over the past year, without a clearly identified leader, the page became a clearinghouse for anti-Condon links and screeds. For example, Rick “Harpman Hatter” Bocook, a top-hatted street musician with a penchant for feuding with downtown business owners, flooded the page with pictures of his anti-Condon sidewalk chalk art. 

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Posted By on Mon, Aug 29, 2016 at 10:38 AM

click to enlarge Somewhere up there Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo are rocking out. - DAN NAILEN
Dan Nailen
Somewhere up there Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo are rocking out.

In case anyone attending the Pat Benatar Northern Quest show Saturday was unaware of the significant role she and her songwriting partner/husband Neil Giraldo played in '80s-era rock and pop music, well, the couple proved happy to help out. 

Before they even took the stage, the crowd got a lengthy biographical film about their history, both personal and professional, that included plenty of video clips from the early days of MTV when Benatar was one of the only female faces gracing the channel, and one of the most potent voices on rock radio as well. 

Benatar and Giraldo also talked — a lot — throughout the show. About the songs. About each other. About their influences. Lots and lots of talking. A few songs in, as Benatar told the crowd the band's current road trip is the "We Live For Love Tour," named for her 1979 debut album In the Heat of the Night, she informed the audience — a near sell-out — that this month marks the 35th anniversary of MTV (she had the second video ever played, "You Better Run"), the 36th anniversary of her Crimes of Passion album, the 37th anniversary of the start of her musical partnership with Giraldo, and the 34th anniversary of their wedding anniversary, noting with a joke, "Of course, I was only 12" when they got hitched. 

Whew. Did I mention there was a lot of talking? 

Thankfully, when Benatar and Giraldo got down to business with their backing band, they offered a far more convincing case for historical significance to American rock music history than anything they said between tunes. 

The 63-year-old Benatar still has rock-solid pipes, and the songs she and the guitar-man hubby she calls "Spider" wrote and performed together through the Reagan era filled arenas and airwaves then and still sound pretty great now. 

The opening trio of "All Fired Up," "We Live for Love" and "Invincible" came rapid-fire before the delicate piano intro of "Promises in the Dark" opened up into the familiar riff-rock favorite. 

The least-familiar tune of the night was the mellow "In These Times" from an acoustic album the pair made in 1997, Innamorata. Other than that, it was hit after hit, including "We Belong," "Heartbreaker," "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" and, of course, "Love is a Battlefield." 

"One of the great things about being around forever is you have a plethora of stories to tell," Benatar said before talking about being holed up in a cheap Oklahoma City hotel when she saw MTV hit the air, a nice way of introducing "You Better Run." 

Among the pleasant surprises were a brief foray into some of Benatar's '80s peers, including Rick Springfield's "Jessie's Girl" and an acoustic cover of Prince's "When Doves Cry." 

About the opener
Melissa Etheridge is no typical opener, and she delivered a strong hour of her straightforward rock full of her hits like "I Want to Come Over," "Come to My Window" and "I'm the Only One." Apparently she didn't realize she had 90 minutes to play, because after a big goodbye an hour in, Etheridge and her band came back for 30 minutes they filled mostly with an epic jam and a drum solo. Not exactly her strong suit. 

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Posted By on Mon, Aug 29, 2016 at 9:37 AM


THIS WEEK: Boy bands, pig-outs, Zombie flicks, Schweitzer Fall Fest and more
ARTS & CULTURE: Z Nation crew shooting around Spokane, including in Inlander's backyard


Spokane schools adopt new discipline policy
In hopes of decreasing its high rate of suspensions, Spokane Public Schools has unveiled a new student discipline policy that puts new emphasis on communication and staff training. (Spokesman-Review)

Fire rages in central Washington
Officials have ordered evacuations as a fire in Chelan County has grown and threatened homes. (KXLY)

Drug maker offers cheaper EpiPen
In response to a steep price increase of a potentially life-saving allergy auto-injector, Mylan is offering a generic version of the device at $300, half the price of the brand name version. However, critics say more  could be done to make EpiPens more affordable. (Reuters)

Lightning strike kills hundreds of reindeer
In Norway, government officials are reporting that an unprecedented 300 reindeer have been left dead in the wake of a lighting storm.  (ABC)

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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Posted By on Sun, Aug 28, 2016 at 1:00 PM

click to enlarge Schweitzer Fall Fast is Labor Day weekend.
Schweitzer Fall Fast is Labor Day weekend.

Well, that was fast. Given the end of August and start of football season, I guess we can go ahead and say we're in the fall. But we can do our best to take advantage of the last strains of summer this week with some good times found in our event listings and Staff Picks. 

Here are some highlights of the week ahead: 

Monday, Aug. 29

SPORTS & OUTDOORS | The Spokane Indians are in their final homestand of the season (at least until the playoffs), so head out to Avista Stadium for a game against Hillsboro at 6:30 pm. 

Tuesday, Aug. 30

LIVE BANDS | Boy-band alert! The 5 Seconds of Summer show at Spokane Arena was seemingly announced when the Aussie lads in the group were still mere fetuses, and the day is finally here. Ready your carpools. Here's a fan-shot taste of what's in store. Bring earplugs, parents: 

Wednesday, Aug. 31

FOOD & DRINK | The annual mix of fair-food grub, music and games hits Riverfront Park once again — yes, it's opening day of Pig Out in the Park! It's year 37, so celebrate with a fried Twinkie or something. 

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Posted By on Fri, Aug 26, 2016 at 3:34 PM

click to enlarge Dracula capes can be cool, Ghosland Observatory shows.
Dracula capes can be cool, Ghosland Observatory shows.

Ghostland Observatory’s Aaron Behrens and Thomas Ross Turner create pop music, sprinkled with glorious flashes of rock and soul, that will make you dance long into the night. Their shows often employ laser lights and flashy capes, and their steadfast fans are beyond ecstatic that they’re back from a hiatus. The Austin, Texas, duo is currently out on tour, one of their first since 2012, when they stepped away from the band (Behrens pursued a side project), only playing a few select shows here and there over the years. They’re playing the Knitting Factory Friday night starting at 8 pm. Who knows when they’ll be here next? You probably should go.

Girls do rock! And the Girls Rock Lab is a local program set up specifically to help give girls the opportunity to set free their rock ’n’ roll sensibilities. Through week-long workshops, volunteers work with girls ages 8 to 16, helping them write songs, start bands, practice and perform, all in a safe and collaborative environment. On Saturday at 7 pm, participants share the Bartlett stage with talented local female bands Mama Doll, Phlegm Fatale, Windoe and Violet Catastrophe for a final showcase. While the show is free, donations to the program are encouraged. 

Bringing in headliners Afroman and Bowling for Soup (who doesn't want to relive the early 2000s?) is the largest Green Fest yet, going down at Black Diamond in Spokane Valley. The event also includes more than 20 local punk and rock acts beginning at 11:30 am. Cost is $20. 

Pat Benatar
and her guitar-playing husband Neil Giraldo, are back in to prove that they do indeed belong together. Their Northern Quest show starts at 7:30 pm Saturday, with tickets starting at $45. Opening for the pair is super awesome rocker Melissa Etheridge

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Posted By on Fri, Aug 26, 2016 at 12:16 PM

click to enlarge A group of Z-Nation actors hop on a cart for a ride down to a shooting location near the Spokane River.
A group of Z-Nation actors hop on a cart for a ride down to a shooting location near the Spokane River.

On Thursday, the cast and crew behind Syfy's hit zombie series Z Nation assembled in Kendall Yards to shoot a scene for the show's upcoming third season. The Inlander managed to sneak a peek at the set and grab some details on the scene in question.

Several trucks had parked in the barren, dirt-covered area on Summit Parkway just off Monroe, and crew members went about their duties as carts carried people and equipment to and from the shooting locations. Filming occurred on either side of the Spokane River. Fully-costumed cast members sauntered about in ragged clothing, carrying realistic-looking firearms and in many cases sporting elaborate makeup jobs (though no zombies were present).

Marc Dahlstrom, one of the show's producers, chatted with us about the scene, which is intended for inclusion in the thirteenth episode of the show's third season.

"It's a scene that's taking place kind of under the Monroe Street Bridge," Dahlstrom says. "There's that circle roundabout overlook to the Falls, and we've made it basically an encampment where our heroes and some other guys trying to save the world have gathered to plot the next step on what they need to do to save mankind and kill all the zombies."

Much of the main cast assembled on-set for the scene, including Keith Allan, who plays the virus-immune Alvin Murphy, and Kellita Smith, the actress behind protagonist Roberta Warren.

Z Nation's third season premieres on Syfy on September 16. Keep an eye out for filming around downtown today. And check below for more of the photos we snapped on and around the set.

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Witness to Wartime: The Painted Diary of Takuichi Fujii @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 16
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