Saturday, September 30, 2017

Posted By on Sat, Sep 30, 2017 at 11:26 AM

click to enlarge The Scorpions' Klaus Meine (left) and Matthias Jabs - DAN NAILEN
Dan Nailen
The Scorpions' Klaus Meine (left) and Matthias Jabs

With more than 85 years of touring and recording experience at the Spokane Arena Friday night between the respective careers of the Scorpions and Megadeth, one could be forgiven for thinking the guys on stage wouldn't be able to deliver the same kind of show that made them arena-filling rock stars.

Instead, both bands exceeded expectations. They might rely a little more on killer graphics flying across massive video screens than their own ability to scamper all over the huge stage, but the sound remains the same for both, whether you're talking about the pop-tinged hard rock of the Scorpions or the intricate thrash riffs of Megadeth.

The Scorpions headlined the festivities, and rather than simply churn out a greatest-hits set, the German crew that originally formed in 1965 joyfully delved into some deep corners of their catalog, like a medley of pre-American-fame '70s tunes ("Top of the Bill/Steamrock Fever/Speedy's Coming/Catch Your Train") illustrated with an explosively trippy, colorful set of visuals that captured the tinges of prog-rock peeking through the music.

They played three songs from their 2015 release Return to Forever (show opener "Going Out With a Bang," "Rock n Roll Band," "We Built This House") and of course hammered the show home with a barrage of their biggest hits from the MTV era; the set-closing "Blackout" and "Big City Nights" led to an encore of "No One Like You," "Still Loving You" and "Rock You Like a Hurricane."

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Friday, September 29, 2017

Posted By on Fri, Sep 29, 2017 at 4:49 PM

click to enlarge Attorney General Bob Ferguson - FILE PHOTO
file photo
Attorney General Bob Ferguson

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson today affirmed his commitment to the lawsuit 15 states and the District of Columbia are bringing against the Trump administration over ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to a packed courtroom at the Gonzaga University School of Law.

Ferguson spoke to a large crowd, mostly comprised of Gonzaga law students, about the legal and constitutional arguments involved in the case. He began his presentation by stating that the Trump administration has no reason to rescind the program.

“No court in our country has said DACA is illegal,” Ferguson said.

Until Trump took office, the Department of Justice protected DACA, but overnight there was a change, Ferguson said. He referred to this decision as “arbitrary and capricious” and a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.

The state Attorney General’s Office had been preparing a suit against the Trump administration over DACA before the decision to rescind the program was announced, Ferguson said. Since January, the Attorney General’s Office has filed 15 cases against the Trump administration, four of which were successfully litigated and resulted in rulings against the administration.

He compared preparing litigation to a game of chess.

“You always want to know what your opponent is thinking,” Ferguson said.

But he said his opponent in these cases, President Trump, is not a predictable person.
The main arguments in the lawsuit rest on statutory and constitutional violations. The Trump administration has violated both the Administrative Procedure Act and the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and while these arguments are not as flashy as constitutional ones, they will be critical to successful litigation, Ferguson said. He also cited violations of the Fifth Amendment’s Equal Protection and Due Process clauses as reasons for reversing the administration’s decision to end DACA.

Ferguson noted the importance of other organizations’ support of the lawsuit. He cited Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, the University of Washington, and Washington State University as being active and supportive in the state’s litigation. Earlier this month, WSU President Kirk Schulz said the university would aid Bob Ferguson in legal action regarding DACA.

As the case progresses in federal court, Ferguson remains hopeful the courts will side with the 15 states and District of Columbia.

“A courtroom is a great equalizer,” Ferguson said. “You can’t tweet your way out of a courtroom.”

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Posted By on Fri, Sep 29, 2017 at 12:55 PM

It's been six years since Major Margie (with a hard "g" as in "You go, girl") Witt's arduous battle to keep serving with the military came to a close.

After she was discharged for being in a relationship with another woman, the Air Force flight nurse, who lived in Spokane for years while serving as a reservist on McChord Air Force Base near Tacoma, became the face of one of the most important cases leading to the repeal of the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

Witt and her now-wife Laurie Johnson's story is laid out in the pages of Tell: Love, Defiance, and the Military Trial at the Tipping Point for Gay Rights, co-written by investigative journalist Tim Connor.

Witt and Connor will launch the book right here in Spokane, at Auntie's Bookstore, on Tuesday, Oct. 3, and those who pick up a copy can expect to read about plenty of familiar names and places. 

"I really wanted to launch it there as a big thank-you to my friends in the community for being so supportive of me," Witt says.

Working with Connor, Witt says she wanted to tell the story largely from the perspective of friends and others who knew her, and people who experienced the trial from the outside.

"Because that’s what mattered under Don't Ask, Don't Tell, was everybody else’s opinion of me," Witt says. "Not my performance, not what I did, but how I affected everyone else around me just by being gay."

Witt's respected time in the military came crashing down in 2004, when the ex-husband of her partner emailed the military to say that Witt had an affair with his wife before their divorce was final, and pointed out that before that, Witt had been in a relationship with another woman for years.

The military focused on the allegation that Witt was a lesbian, which her former partner verified.

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Posted By on Fri, Sep 29, 2017 at 11:32 AM

click to enlarge Tonight, the Cougars will be clad in new uniforms notable for their lack of crimson and abundance of dark gray. - WSU ATHLETICS
WSU Athletics
Tonight, the Cougars will be clad in new uniforms notable for their lack of crimson and abundance of dark gray.

It's been circled on the calendar, and noted a month ago by the Inlander. Now it's here, and everyone has an opinion about what's going to happen tonight in Pullman, including Las Vegas bookies.

Southern Cal and Washington State enter tonight's game at Martin Stadium (7:30 pm: ESPN, KXLY 920 AM) in familiar and unfamiliar positions, respectively: the Trojans where they expected to be, undefeated (though not untested) at 4-0, 2-0 in the Pac-12, ranked No. 5 in the country in the latest Associated Press poll. The Cougars are where they hoped to be, thanks to a cardiac-kids fourth-quarter finish and a 47-44, triple-overtime victory over Boise State 20 days ago; also unbeaten through four games, 1-0 in conference, though against a lesser schedule than USC, with all four games on the Palouse.  Wazzu is ranked 16th in the AP poll, the highest it's been in 14 years.

One thing the Cougs don't have on their side? History.

This series — it's nowhere near a rivalry — is one of the most lopsided on the West Coast, or anywhere else: the Cougars have played the Trojans 71 times dating back to 1921, and won nine times, managing four ties, which won't be a possibility tonight.

That's not to say the Cougs don't have a chance — far from it. But they have to play better, in all three phases, than they did in dominant victories against the Big Sky's Montana State, the Mountain West's Nevada, and Oregon State, after one month the Pac-12's patsy.

The Trojans, who have an overtime victory of their own (in double OT, two weeks ago at home against Texas), have otherwise stacked the wood at the Coliseum, with an unimpressive season-opening win over Western Michigan and a dominant conquering of Stanford, a much better team than the Broncos, who were hard-pressed to beat Idaho at home. Last week, SC won by 10 at Cal, pulling away late to break a fourth-quarter tie, as the Trojans did in their opener.

Many believe this game will come down to the quarterbacks: WSU's record-obliterating senior Luke Falk and USC's Heisman-friendly sophomore phenom Sam Darnold. But more than that, it comes down to the ability of the Cougars and Trojans' respective offensive lines — and tight ends, and running backs — to protect their teams' most important assets.

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Posted By on Fri, Sep 29, 2017 at 9:35 AM

click to enlarge Former WSU College Republicans president James Allsup became widely condemned on campus for his role at last month's "Unite the Right" Charlottesville rally — yet has also developed an alt-right social media following. - WILSON CRISCIONE PHOTO
Wilson Criscione photo
Former WSU College Republicans president James Allsup became widely condemned on campus for his role at last month's "Unite the Right" Charlottesville rally — yet has also developed an alt-right social media following.


The campus culture wars are back in session
How Trump, social media, an alt-right student and an outraged campus left has amped up campus tension at Washington State University.

"Alt-right" turns
Conservative pundit Ben Shapiro explains why a small number of college conservatives are falling in with white nationalists.

Looking for affirmative consent
A controversial sex-ed curriculum developed by a Planned Parenthood affiliate is going before the Spokane Public Schools board again.

Food fight
Restaurant Wars returns! You can be the judge of various tasty morsels.

Shut the flu
InHealth: The flu is back; here's where to get a shot, for you and/or your child.


Papini's campaign careens forward
Though city prosecutor Adam Papini was arrested for driving drunk in June near Cheney with his 10-year-old son in the back seat, he's still on the ballot for a Spokane Municipal Court judge position. (Spokesman-Review)

Price no longer right or employed
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, under fire after racking up at least $400,000 in travel bills for chartered flights, announced his resignation. (New York Times)

Loophole brigade
One man's loophole is another man's tax break, so D.C. lobbyists are scrambling to preserve the breaks under threat from the Republican tax plan. (New York Times)

Cuban crisis
After a wave of mysterious attacks in hotels that have harmed at least 21 Americans, the State Department is warning U.S. citizens not to travel to Cuba, and is withdrawing more than half of its Havana embassy personnel from the island. (Washington Post)

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Posted By on Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 3:54 PM

click to enlarge Conservative pundit Ben Shapiro argues that the connectivity and anonymity the internet provides — combined with a backlash against identity politics — has resulted in some college students being drawn to the "alt-right." - GAGE SKIDMORE
Gage Skidmore
Conservative pundit Ben Shapiro argues that the connectivity and anonymity the internet provides — combined with a backlash against identity politics — has resulted in some college students being drawn to the "alt-right."

Conservative pundit Ben Shapiro — the sharp-tongued, fast-talking, former Breitbart News editor-in-chief — had already published his first book, Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth, before he turned 21.

Today, Shapiro is 33 and has the most listened-to conservative podcast in the country.
But while a lot of what Shapiro has written has taken aim at what he sees as the excesses of the campus left, the Inlander wanted to explore Shapiro's take on the campus right.

In other words, how has the right on campus changed since his undergraduate days at UCLA?

"They've become louder. I think they've become more militant in their approach," Shapiro says. "I think a lot of that is good. I think a lot of the students are willing to take the fight to the left on campus by having [conservative] speakers."

But Shapiro has also noticed the rise of a small group of students whose fights with the left have morphed into a different sort of ideology.

"One thing that is sort of unfortunate, is there are certain right-wingers on campus that have become more reactionary than conservative," Shapiro says. "Reactionary means just 'enjoying drinking leftist tears.'  Conservative means actually promulgating a conservative agenda. Actually pushing smaller government and individual rights and that sort of thing."

He says he is seeing a presence of "alt-right" students on campus, though he stresses that it remains a very small minority on college campuses.

"It's mostly kids who are reactionary and driven into the idea that, if it pisses off the left, it must be good," Shapiro says. "It's troll-y and it's jovial."

We spoke with Shapiro for this week's cover story about the campus culture wars on the Washington State University campus. Much of the tension and conflict at WSU has been driven by James Allsup, the former WSU College Republicans president-turned-"alt-right" social media star. Allsup's planned speaking role at the Charlottesville, Virginia, "Unite the Right" rally — watch the video he took of the march here and draw your own conclusions — resulted in calls for him and the College Republicans to be punished.

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Posted By on Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 3:01 PM

click to enlarge The 2017 version of Restaurant Wars features 18 restaurants from across the Inland Northwest. - COURTESY KRIS KILDUFF
Courtesy Kris Kilduff
The 2017 version of Restaurant Wars features 18 restaurants from across the Inland Northwest.

Pick a “side” during this weekend’s second annual Restaurant Wars

After it surpassed expectations during an inaugural run last year, the second inception of the local culinary competition and showcase known as Restaurant Wars is back, with more restaurants, more entertainment and more space.

Happening this Saturday, Sept. 30, on the outfield of Avista Stadium (last year’s debut event along Summit Parkway in Kendall Yards proved to be too small), the 2017 version of Restaurant Wars features 18 local restaurants (compared to last year’s eight; scroll down for a complete list) from across the Spokane area.

With those featured eateries separated into three “rations” categories — vegetarian, meat and gastropub — guests have the option to purchase tasting tickets for one, two or all three categories. Tickets ($17 each/advance; $20/gate) to each category offer six 3- to 4-ounce small plates from each category’s six restaurants.

Restaurant Wars organizer Kris Kilduff cautions that only 1,000 tickets per category are being sold, so those who plan to go to this year’s event should consider pre-purchasing online to ensure they get access to the categories of their choice. Remaining tasting tickets will be sold at the event, offering free admission and other attractions to entertain guests who choose to sample as many bites as they can, as well as people who want to enjoy a fall day outside.

The eight-hour, all-ages event includes a live music lineup, an on-site farmers/vendor market — including local food trucks, if you’re still hungry or miss tickets to one category — and a beer garden with nine local breweries and one cider maker.

The competitive nature of Restaurant Wars comes in the form of voting, both by guest judges and ticket holders, who have the option to vote for their favorite dishes in each of the three tasting categories they sample. One event-wide winner will also be chosen, Kilduff says.

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Posted By on Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 2:51 PM

click to enlarge A World Health Organization report confirms that the world is running out of antibiotics. "Antimicrobial resistance is a global health emergency that will seriously jeopardize progress in modern medicine," says the WHO Director-General.
A World Health Organization report confirms that the world is running out of antibiotics. "Antimicrobial resistance is a global health emergency that will seriously jeopardize progress in modern medicine," says the WHO Director-General.

Get some lunch!
Ever noticed that not eating lunch can lead to, shall we say, extreme eating later in the day? "Skipping — or scrimping on — meals can lead to overeating later on when steadily growing hunger reaches primal levels," says Seattle Times nutrition columnist Carrie Dennett. "I say it's time to take back lunch. Instead of stoically working through the lunch hour, eat your lunch (away from your desk, ideally), then go for a short walk, meditate, people watch, run an errand or start learning a new language (there are apps for that)."

Hello, flu season
If you were postponing getting a flu shot until October, you may want to go ahead and roll up your sleeve. There have already been several cases of the flu, including one hospitalization, in Spokane County. Last year, 315 Spokanites were hospitalized with flu-related complications; 14 of them died.

The Spokane Regional Health District has teamed up to offer free vaccines for kids at the following locations: CLICK HERE for information on where to get vaccines for adults.

Childhood vaccinations and flu shots for children:
Thursday, Oct. 12, 1-4 pm
Reardan Elementary, 245 S. Aspen

Tuesday, Oct. 17, 3:30-6 pm
Farwell Elementary, 13005 N. Crestline

Childhood vaccinations and flu shots for children and adults
(sponsored by the Rotary Club):

Tuesday, Oct. 24, 3:30-7:30 pm
Garfield Elementary, 222 W. Knox
Logan Elementary, 1001 E. Montgomery
Stevens Elementary, 1717 E. Sinto

Antibiotics in peril
As if there isn't enough bad news already, a new report from the World Health Organization confirms that "The world is running out of antibiotics." Among the issues: very few antibiotics are in development stages, and even fewer are designed to be given orally, a critical component for rapidly responding to an outbreak. "There is an urgent need for more investment in research and development for antibiotic-resistant infections, including TB, otherwise we will be forced back to a time when people feared common infections and risked their lives from minor surgery," says Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of Ethiopia, who became the first African Director-General of the WHO earlier this year.

In InHealth: Read more about making the most of the antibiotics we currently have.

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Posted By on Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 1:59 PM

A Spokane Public Schools advisory committee on Wednesday doubled down on its choice of the "Get Real" sexual education curriculum developed by a Planned Parenthood affiliate in Massachusetts.

The Human Growth & Development Citizens Advisory Committee initially chose the curriculum toward the end of the past school year after a months-long process. But in June, days before the Spokane Public Schools board was set to vote on whether or not to adopt it, citizens and the Spokane County Republican Party expressed concerns about the curriculum. Those concerns centered around the fact that Planned Parenthood helped create it.

School administrators sent the decision back to the advisory committee, composed of members representing various community, religious and health groups. But on Wednesday, during the committee's first meeting of the school year and after a two-hour debate, they decided in a 9-3 vote to reconfirm the "Get Real" curriculum for grades 6 through 9, with those dissenting encouraged to detail their concerns. That will leave it to the school board to decide whether or not to adopt it.

"We reconfirmed what we did last spring, and now we have more voices from the other side that the school board can deal with, because they're the ones that ultimately have to make the decision to move forward on this or not," says committee member Dr. Hershel Zellmen, who represented the Spokane County Medical Society during the meeting. "I think we're in a good place."

Not everyone on the committee agrees with that. The meeting was spent debating whether or not to reconsider the "Get Real" curriculum. A few members pushed for the committee to read through it chapter by chapter, something that likely would require additional meetings.

While the vote to approve it in the spring was unanimous, two members of the committee who dissented on Wednesday were absent at the time: local pastor John Repsold and David DeWolf, representing Life Services of Spokane. A third member, Jason Soucinek, representing ministry Project Six19, voted for the curriculum in the spring but since has changed his mind. All three dissented in the final vote Wednesday to reconfirm "Get Real."

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Posted By on Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 9:42 AM

The election of Donald Trump emboldened the "alt-right," inflaming campus conflict at Washington State University. - CODY COTTIER PHOTO
Cody Cottier photo
The election of Donald Trump emboldened the "alt-right," inflaming campus conflict at Washington State University.


POLITICS: How campus culture wars in the age of Trump and Twitter have reached a fever pitch at Washington State University — and elsewhere.

COUNTY COMMISSION: Gov. Jay Inslee picked Mary Kuney to fill the Spokane County Commission seat left vacant by Shelly O'Quinn, who resigned in June. The two remaining commissioners, Republicans Josh Kerns and Al French, could not agree on a replacement, punting the decision to Inslee, a Democrat.

AMAZON: Spokane likely won't be the new home for online retail giant Amazon, despite the Spokesman-Review's best efforts to convince its readers otherwise.

MUSIC: Quentin Tarantino, a landmark Supreme Court First Amendment case, and the Portland-based pop-punk band the Slants in the middle. The band plays an all-ages show at the Big Dipper next Tuesday.


If the coin landed on tails, Caleb Sharpe told detectives, he would abandon his plan "and never think about it again." It was heads; now the 15-year-old is accused of shootings in Freeman High School's hallways, killing one classmate and injuring three more. Court documents indicate he was obsessed with documentaries about school shootings. Yesterday, prosecutors added 51 new assault charges, in addition to murder and attempted murder, for other students impacted when the accused boy opened fire on the morning of Sept. 13. (Spokesman-Review)

Iconic Hugh
Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy and a symbol of America's 1950s sexual revolution, has died of natural causes. He was 91. (Esquire, New York Times)

False legacy
The effect of fake news on Twin Falls, Idaho, and why the city still hasn't recovered. (New York Times Magazine)

Poisoned meat in CdA
Police in Coeur d'Alene are looking for the person who is leaving pieces of poisoned meat around the North Idaho city. The tainted meat may be connected to cats attacked with metal blow darts over the past two years. (Spokesman-Review)

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Dressing the Abbey: The Iconic Wardrobe of Downton Abbey @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 2
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