Friday, March 31, 2017

Posted By on Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 9:55 AM

If you're looking for a little Friday pick-me-up, Google Maps has brought back a Ms. Pac-Man game styled to the streets around you.
A screengrab of Google Maps' Ms. Pac-Man game Friday, March 31

Open your maps app (update it first if needed) and you'll find a pink bubble with Ms. Pac-Man above your usual options on the right.

Click that and you can waka waka waka your way through the streets of Spokane.

Start where you are, or if, like the Inlander, your location doesn't have many side streets, drag the map to another location with a more complicated street grid to make the game more interesting.

A heads-up for anyone wanting to discreetly play at the office: the sound may play even if your phone is turned to vibrate, so you might want to pop headphones in first.

click to enlarge Here's what you'd see if playing the game from The Inlander's office today. - SCREENGRAB OF GOOGLE MAPS
Screengrab of Google Maps
Here's what you'd see if playing the game from The Inlander's office today.
click to enlarge Drag the map to other parts of the city to switch up the game. - SCREENGRAB OF GOOGLE MAPS
Screengrab of Google Maps
Drag the map to other parts of the city to switch up the game.

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Posted By on Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 9:41 AM

click to enlarge My main man Abraham Lincoln beholds Spokane - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
My main man Abraham Lincoln beholds Spokane


Pictures... that move?!
Inlander staffers talk about what they've been watching recently.

Did they ever find what that something was about Mary?
Find out at the Inlander's Cinema night

Looks like ya got a bad case of malware, son.
Could computers diagnose you better than doctors could?

The Alton Boy
Alton Brown ate a bunch of food all along North Monroe yesterday.


Kneel before Zog
KXLY shows that it's Gonzaga that has been mispronouncing Gonzaga all these years.

The Firefighter and the Firing
Back in 2012, a Spokane Valley firefighter was fired for sending a series of emails, despite being told not to. Were they racist? Sexist? Conspiratorial? Nope. They were about the Spokane County Christian Firefighters Fellowship group. Now, a lawsuit from him is heading to the State Supreme Court.  (Spokesman-Review)

Building up an Immunity

Michael Flynn wants immunity in exchange for his testimony about collusion with the Russian government. (New York Times)

Everything Dolezal is New Again

The Daily Show takes on the Rachel Dolezal thing again. (Slate)

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 5:01 PM

Get out your hair gel and start practicing those 7-Minute Abs exercises: The Inlander's next Suds and Cinema event will feature a screening of Peter and Bobby Farrelly's raunch comedy classic There's Something About Mary.

We'll be taking over the Garland Theater on the evening of April 14, serving up a selection of beers from Iron Goat Brewing and some custom Mary-themed flavors (might I suggest Franks and Beans?) courtesy of Brain Freeze Creamery. Doors open at 6:30 pm, and the movie starts around 7:30. Our December screening of Christmas Vacation sold out handily, so plan to arrive early.

The Farrellys' third film following Dumb and Dumber and Kingpin, There's Something About Mary was an unexpected smash, grossing $176 million on a budget of $23 million. It was a critical success, too: Gene Siskel named it one of the 10 best films of 1998, and AFI later ranked Mary 27th on its list of the 100 funniest American comedies. It's an indisputably hilarious movie, but it's all the more hilarious when you're watching it with a boisterous audience.

The event is 21+, so leave the kids at home. And after the movie, stick around for a party in the theater lobby hosted by Bon Bon, complete with a DJ, beer station and drink specials. Our sponsors for the evening are Horizon Credit Union, Sprint, Iron Goat Brewing and Brain Freeze Creamery.

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Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 2:27 PM

click to enlarge Having trouble sleeping? There might be an all-natural answer.
Having trouble sleeping? There might be an all-natural answer.

Having trouble sleeping?

The People’s Pharmacy reports this week that motion-sickness bands worn on the wrist may help even stubborn insomniacs drift off to la la land. The bands stimulate an “acupressure point called the Inner Gate that is said to alleviate anxiety and promote sleep.” Don’t want to shell out money to test the hypothesis? A Pharmacy reader suggests taping a dry kidney bean on the same spot.

Read more about ways to finally get some rest.

Computers and Doctors Better Together?
A fascinating article in The New Yorker by Siddhartha Mukherjee explores the use of artificial intelligence in diagnosis. Scientists are “teaching” machines — through a process called “deep learning” — to recognize and categorize diagnostic images.

“A dermatologist in full time practice…will see about two hundred thousand cases during her lifetime. The Stanford machine’s algorithm ingested nearly a hundred and thirty thousand cases in about three months.”

The potential power of machine diagnostics led one researcher to state, “They should stop training radiologists now.”

Mukherjee, who won the Pulitzer prize for his book The Emperor of All Maladies, has a more nuanced take, noting that medicine involves not just identification of the problem, but also a process of cooperative problem-solving between doctor and patient; a process that may be helpfully augmented in the future by ever-wiser machines.

Hunger Run
No foolin'. April 1 is Saturday, and the weather is actually shaping up to look a lot like spring— the forecast calls for mostly sunny skies and high near 60 degrees. A perfect day to go for a run, and feel good about helping the hungry while you are at it. Choose a 5 K or 10K at the second annual Hunger Run at Plante’s Ferry Park at 9 am. The event benefits Second Harvest and the Union Gospel Mission. Register online by 6 pm today for $35, or register in person the day of the race or at specified days and times at various packet pick up locations. See the Hunger Run website for details.

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From nature docs to comedy, and superheroes to cinematic masters

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 12:25 PM

Welcome back to the Inlander staff's semi-regular rundown of the cool and worthwhile things we've been into lately: words we've been reading, shows we've been watching, music/podcasts we've been listening to, games we've been high-scoring, and tasty treats we've been drinking/eating. This week, we're nerdin' out about some of the best moving pictures — a range of genres — to binge watch:

Find past installments of "What We've Been..." here.

click to enlarge Legion embeds an effective commentary about stigmas of mental illness.
Legion embeds an effective commentary about stigmas of mental illness.
In this age of endless superhero mega-franchise reboots/prequels/sequels, it can be hard to stand out. Especially so if general audiences are not well-versed in the intricately nuanced universes of said franchises. But with Legion, the latest episodic installment in the Marvel cinematic universe, you really don't have to know a darn thing about the X-Men to understand and to enjoy the show. In fact, not knowing anything, or very little, about the mutants may just be what makes Legion so good. (It's better, for sure, than its ongoing Marvel universe counterparts on Netflix telling the origins of the Defenders: Luke Cage, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist.)

In part, Legion stands out because, as a self-contained story, we hear nothing about the X-Men of notoriety. No one mentions Wolverine, Storm, Professor X, etc. Instead, this story, in the simplest terms, revolves around a group of specially-abled mutants who are just trying to figure out how to control their powers/abilities while hiding from a militarized government that's hellbent on destroying them, or using them to its advantage. On the surface, Legion is a story about ostracized underdogs trying to find their place in the world, yet it also serves as careful commentary on the cultural stigma of mental illness. Main character David Haller (aka Legion, though we never hear him referred to by this name; and played wonderfully here by Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey and Beauty and the Beast fame) has been told all his life that he's schizophrenic, when, in fact, his symptoms have manifested as part of his inherent mutant powers.

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Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 10:44 AM

After asking fans to share their suggestions of where he should drink and dine while stopping in the Lilac City this spring, Alton Brown was spotted at a handful of North Monroe businesses Wednesday ahead of his evening INB show, Eat Your Science.

It turns out a few of Mr. Brown's stops were to places he also visited last time he was here; Coeur Coffeehouse and Ruins (though in 2015 he sampled Chef Tony Brown's sandwiches at the former Stella's Cafe, which has since merged with Ruins).

The known coffee connoisseur was spotted at both Vessel Coffee Roasters and Coeur, ordering a cortado at each. He spent his midday meal sampling a burger, sandwich and cocktail at Ruins. Brown also made a pit stop at North Monroe's Giant Nerd Books, where he shared a cryptic photo on social media asking fans to guess his location. Many wrongly guessed Auntie's Bookstore.

Brown's stop in Spokane was a quick one, and he was in Boise by this morning for the next stop on his national tour.

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Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 9:21 AM

click to enlarge Have you been to the Bromuda Triangle of Spokane?
Have you been to the Bromuda Triangle of Spokane?


NEWS: This Spokane Public Schools science and technology program is testing social and academic boundaries by putting middle school students into high schools and teaching them a college level curriculum. And it's working.

NIGHTLIFE: Most of the time, Main Avenue and Division Street is a relatively inconspicuous corner of downtown Spokane. But Friday and Saturday nights, the strip of bars pulse with people of all ages. Sticky floors, sloppy dancing, greasy pizza and lots and lots of drunk people. It is the 'Bromuda Triangle.'

MAYOR David Condon's take on the long anticipated culture audit of the Spokane Police Department.


See you in court
The City of Seattle is challenging the constitutionality of President Donald Trump's executive order that will withhold federal funds from cities who refuse to assist federal immigration enforcement. (Associated Press)

Shifty Characters
The Spokane Police Department has shifted its investigative focus away from fraud cases and dedicated more resources to investigating property crimes and chronic offenders. (Spokesman Review)

Bathroom Bigotry
North Carolina's controverisal bathroom law, which requires people to use the public bathroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate, cleared the first hurdle on its way to partial repeal. Critics say the deal doesn't go far enough to protect LGBT individuals. (CNN)

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Posted By on Wed, Mar 29, 2017 at 4:25 PM

click to enlarge An ugly photo of an ugly lot that may become a gorgeous trailhead - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
An ugly photo of an ugly lot that may become a gorgeous trailhead

How do you turn a dull, frumpy parking lot into a gorgeous homecoming queen? Makeover, of course.

Everything is still in flux, and things could change. But the plan sounds like it could do for the area directly north of the Monroe and Post Street bridges what Huntington Park did for the Avista property below the Post Street Bridge.

With a city council resolution Monday night, the city moved toward a plan that could result in a new climbing wall facility and the jumping-off point for three different local trails.

It starts with the Bosch Lot.

Way back in 1975 — a year after the World's Fair — the city acquired a little over an acre northwest of Riverfront Park using Department of Housing and Urban Development and Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office funds. The intent of using the funds for that lot, according to City of Spokane Chief Financial Officer Gavin Cooley, was for recreation.

Instead, the lot became, well, a parking lot. Not exactly the highest and best use for recreation.

More recently, the lot has been turned into a big pit so the city can install a combined sewer overflow tank, part of the city's huge plan to stop dumping so much wastewater directly into the river.

That's the boring (but important) stuff. The cool stuff comes next.

"It won't be a vacant parking lot anymore," City Council President Ben Stuckart said at the council meeting Monday. "The owner of Coeur Coffee has always wondered why we have kept that a vacant lot, because it will help that whole area if we have buildings on there and not a vacant parking lot. It's a beautiful area. And now is the opportune time to
as we're building to CSO tank to move forward on that."

First, the city would like to sell or lease some the Bosch lot to a private developer to construct a climbing wall facility. The facility would include public parking.

"Parks has been talking about this ground on the North Bank," Cooley says. "What if we put a climbing wall on this property?"

Ideally,  the thinking goes, the sale or lease would generate enough revenue to help pay for a host of other improvements in the immediate area. The rest of the lot, and the currently closed section of Bridge Avenue between Monroe Street and Post Street, would be turned into a trailhead.

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Posted By on Wed, Mar 29, 2017 at 3:58 PM

Tuesday, Spokane Valley City Council unanimously passed a resolution affirming it as an "inclusive city" where discrimination is not tolerated.

The resolution received support at the meeting from Spokane NAACP President Phil Tyler and members of the Spokane County Human Rights Task Force. The resolution declared that "discrimination of any form is not and shall not be tolerated," and that "all individuals, families, and businesses are welcome so that they may flourish and prosper within its boundaries."

This comes two days after the city of Spokane approved a human rights ordinance. But Spokane's ordinance is different than Spokane Valley's resolution. Spokane's ordinance is more comprehensive, including updates to its own rules and outlining protection and enforcement of civil rights under municipal code. Spokane Valley's resolution, on the other hand, mostly re-affirms Washington's nondiscrimination law, the state constitution, and the Valley's commitment to inclusiveness.

Spokane Valley councilman Ed Pace says that's not insignificant.

"It's not trivial, what we did," Pace says. "It's us standing up and saying, 'we really believe this stuff.'"

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Posted By on Wed, Mar 29, 2017 at 3:18 PM

click to enlarge The ski area expansion at Mt. Spokane is another step closer to reality after a court decision Tuesday.
The ski area expansion at Mt. Spokane is another step closer to reality after a court decision Tuesday.

It was okay for Washington state to designate a portion of Mount Spokane for recreation, which will allow for a new ski lift and runs, according to a 2-1 Court of Appeals decision posted on Tuesday.

In 2014, the state Parks and Recreation Commission found that part of an 800-acre site on the northwest side of the mountain could be used for recreation, a portion could be used for things like backcountry skiing, hiking and other activities already taking place, and protected a portion as natural forest area. New ski runs would go on a portion of the 279 recreation acres.

In Tuesday's decision, two Washington State Court of Appeals Division II judges found, as did a superior court judge, that the Commission did not act arbitrarily or capriciously in classifying that portion of the mountain as recreation land.

Those appealing the Commission's decision, including the Lands Council and environmental groups, with support from the Spokane Tribe, argued that the classification went against the Commission's own policies, "ignored the evidence of the area's natural resource value," and ignored the cultural resources guidance of its policies, but the court disagrees, according to the decision.

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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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