Thursday, November 30, 2017

Posted By on Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 1:53 PM

click to enlarge Marian Wilson, assistant professor at WSU's College of Nursing - COURTESY OF WSU
Courtesy of WSU
Marian Wilson, assistant professor at WSU's College of Nursing

Though it's commonly used by Spokane-area patients battling opioid addiction, marijuana may not actually help with symptoms of depression and anxiety during treatment, new research from Washington State University suggests.

"It appears as if it's not working the way [patients] think," says Marian Wilson, assistant professor with WSU's College of Nursing.

The research was published in the journal Addictive Behaviors. It offers insight into how and why people battling opioid addiction in the region use cannabis, and whether or not it works.

Wilson surveyed 150 patients at two different clinics in the Spokane area that provide medication-assisted treatment, which uses drugs like methadone and Suboxone to treat opioid addiction. About two-thirds of the patients in the survey had used marijuana in the past month — some for recreational purposes, but some to self-medicate for help with pain, sleep, depression and anxiety that are all commonly experienced during opioid addiction treatment. The survey asked patients to give measures of pain, depression, anxiety, self-efficacy and cannabis use.

Wilson found that those who used cannabis had a stronger relationship between pain and mood. In other words, if they were in pain, they were more likely having a bad day if they reported themselves as cannabis users. Additionally, those who used cannabis had less confidence in managing their emotions.

"It would suggest that they're not using cannabis appropriately to treat the mood, and perhaps using it as a Band-Aid or as a fix-all," Wilson says. "It doesn't look like it was helping with those symptoms."

Wilson stresses that more research needs to be done on the topic, noting that this was a self-report survey study, not a randomized controlled trial. And the research doesn't speak to other ways marijuana can be used along with opioid treatment. For instance, opioid death rates in states with legalized medical marijuana, other studies have shown, are 25 percent lower.

"We don't want to just say cannabis is great, use that instead," Wilson says. "Because it comes with its own set of problems. We know smoking is never good, no matter what type. We need to be cautious and learn more about treatment effects."

It suggests patients may want to re-evaluate whether using marijuana to treat symptoms of pain, depression or anxiety is helping or hurting. There may be a place for marijuana in addiction treatment symptoms, she says, but more research needs to be done to find out what it may be.

"They need targeted therapy for the symptoms they're experiencing," Wilson says.

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Posted By on Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 12:06 PM

click to enlarge Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Awards season is really heating up: The National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle have named their choices for the best of the year, and the Gotham Awards were handed out over the weekend. But it's another slow movie week, with no new wide releases to speak of.

What we are getting: A couple of acclaimed arthouse films, and a classic that returns to big screens 20 years after its debut. Here what's opening.

NOVITIATE (at the Magic Lantern)
An exploration of sin, faith and religious discipline set in the early 1960s, when a young woman (Margaret Qualley from The Nice Guys) escapes a troubled home life and starts studying to become a nun. Oscar winner Melissa Leo co-stars as the punishing Mother Superior. Rated R.

When her daughter is murdered, an angry mother (Frances McDormand) erects a trio of uncouth billboards calling out the local police department, causing a stir in her tiny town. In his review running next week, critic Seth Sommerfeld praises the film's all-star cast, but sayswriter-director Martin McDonagh’s script is tonally inconsistent. But if you liked McDonagh's previous films (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths), you'll probably dig this one, too. Rated R.

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Posted By on Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 11:24 AM

click to enlarge Oh so delicious, but potentially dangerous.
Oh so delicious, but potentially dangerous.

Cookie Don’ts

As tempting as it is to sneak a bite, or six, of cookie dough when you’re making cute holiday treats, you might want to think twice about it. A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week showed tasting uncooked food can make you dangerously sick.
“We’re not trying to ruin people’s holidays but we want them to be aware of the risks,” said Samuel J. Crowe, the lead author of the study and an epidemiologist with the division of food-borne, waterborne and environmental diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The bacteria is not uniformly distributed in a two-and-a-half pound bag of flour,” he said. “A small amount could get you really sick. I’ve had E. coli and salmonella and it’s pretty darn unpleasant.”

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Posted By on Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 9:44 AM


Ladies and gentlemen of the jury
Lawyers have been allowed to discriminate during jury selection for hundreds of years. Here's how Washington state is trying to change that.

Hollywood's Reckoning
The outpouring of sexual harassment scandals from Hollywood will change the movie-making business, but how?

Little Dancer Boy
Meet the young boys dancing in this weekend's performance of the Nutcracker.


If you use a cell phone, read this
Does the government need a warrant to get your cell phone records? That is one major question facing U.S. Supreme Court justices in Carpenter v. United States, a case involving a man who was sentenced to 116 years in prison for participating in armed robberies.

The prosecution was able to place Timothy Carpenter in the vicinity of the robberies with records showing when his cell phone connected with cell towers. But they did not get a warrant to obtain the records.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Posted By on Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 9:06 AM


THE FUZZ: In The Fuzz, Mitch Ryals brings you law enforcement-related stories from around the Pacific Northwest, including Spokane Police Chief Meidl on police reform, Oregon's rape kit problem, and what happens if police don't believe assault victims?


Lauer fired after "inappropriate sexual behavior"
NBC fired "Today" show co-host Matt Lauer after the company got a complaint detailing "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace" Monday night, and after the New York Times had reportedly been looking into numerous accusations against Lauer for weeks. (NYT, CNN)

Man killed in Spokane police shooting
After a man opened fire on police responding to a domestic violence call in Hillyard, the officers shot back and killed him, KHQ reports.

Wheels on at least one bus go 'round
Bus drivers are on strike in Seattle today, but one driver appeared to literally break the picket line by driving a bus through it, The Seattle Times and other Seattle media report.

"It's OK to be..."
More posters stating "It's OK to be white" were plastered on Washington State University's campus, but people had altered them to say things like "It's OK to be gay" or "Love will always win" before staff removed the stuck-on signs Monday, The Daily Evergreen reports.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Posted By on Tue, Nov 28, 2017 at 4:02 PM

We’re in the final hours to purchase tickets to No-Li Brewhouse’s FrostFest on December 9.

The annual event is centered around the release of 12 speciality beers that include five barrel-aged beers, three hazy ales and variants of No-Li staples.

This year, FrostFest is moving from the brewery to the Spokane Arena concourse. With the added space, No-Li has turned the festival into a full-fledged “winter carnival” featuring ice carving, fire dancing, a lumber jill and other performers. The concourse will be split into four sections, with each entertainment theme pairing with the beers on tap.

For $30 you get a t-shirt, tasting glass and five four-ounce pours. An additional $10 will land you a ticket to the Spokane Chiefs vs. Seattle Thunderbirds hockey game taking place after FrostFest. Ticket sales end Tuesday at midnight and are available through TicketsWest.

A portion of the ticket proceeds go to benefit the Illuminating Courage monument — a Washington State Fallen Heroes memorial for the region’s military members killed during service.

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Posted By on Tue, Nov 28, 2017 at 10:15 AM

Welcome to The Fuzz, featuring a rundown of law enforcement-related news from Eastern Washington, North Idaho and elsewhere throughout the Pacific Northwest.

This week: SPD makes a splash in the national police reform conversation, King County sheriff is accused of sexual assault, Spokane missed out on federal grant money to hire more cops, Oregon struggles to meet rape kit testing deadlines, and what happens when police don't believe rape victims?

1. Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl starred in a New York Times article

Chief Meidl spoke highly of the U.S. Department of Justice's collaborative reform program deigned to help rebuild community trust in local police departments.

"As a C.E.O. of a law enforcement organization, you'll appreciate having an outsider come in and give you advice," he told the Times.

SPD has seen a 62 percent drop in complaints and a 29 percent drop in nondeadly use of force incidents since the department entered into the program in 2014, the Times reported.

SPD entered into the program under former Chief Frank Straub's command, and was given 42 recommendations, including changes to policy and better tracking of uses of force. The DOJ promised the department and the citizens of Spokane a final report card on SPD's progress. After the administration change, under U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the DOJ announced the final report isn't coming, despite pleas from Meidl and Mayor David Condon.

Earlier this year Sessions redirected the collaborative reform model, saying it "led to the unintended consequences of a more adversarial relationship between DOJ and the participating law enforcement agencies," according to a background document given to reporters in September. Meidl has said that the program was truly a collaboration.

2. King County Sheriff John Urquhart could be charged with sexual assault

The Renton Police Department is recommending sexual assault charges stemming from accusations that Urquhart groped a former male deputy in 2014.

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Posted By on Tue, Nov 28, 2017 at 9:22 AM


SPORTS: Gonzaga typically does well around Thanksgiving, and the PK80 tournament this year was no different.


Banned the box
Spokane City Council voted 5-2 to "ban the box" within the city, meaning even private employers will face fines for asking about an applicant's criminal history before an interview starting in 2019. Advocates at the council meeting last night said the move will lift a significant barrier for felons hoping to find jobs. (Spokesman-Review)

Real news
In a desperate effort to discredit the Washington Post, a conservative organization called Project Veritas had a woman approach the Post and say that she was impregnated as a teen by Roy Moore, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Alabama accused of child molestation. But the Post, after making attempts to verify her story, found out it was fake and confronted her. (Washington Post)

Covering all bases
The iconic U.S. Pavilion in Riverfront Park will remain uncovered, aside from some covering underneath, the Spokane Park Board decided. (KREM)

Making it easier for the rich
Republicans are pushing their tax bill through Congress, and as they hit roadblocks, they're increasingly adding more tax breaks for the wealthy to the bill. (New York Times)

Trump's bad joke
In front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson, President Donald Trump held a ceremony for families of Navajo war veterans and took the opportunity to call Sen. Elizabeth Warren "Pocahontas," to the disappointment of the Native Americans. (Associated Press)

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Posted By on Mon, Nov 27, 2017 at 11:50 AM

click to enlarge Silas Melson didn't hit double figures in Portland, but he had some huge plays in the Thanksgiving weekend tourney. - LIBBY KAMROWSKI
Libby Kamrowski
Silas Melson didn't hit double figures in Portland, but he had some huge plays in the Thanksgiving weekend tourney.

It might not be as timeless as entering a tryptophan-induced coma or trying to avoid political conversations with your extended family, but watching Gonzaga win games has become a bona fide Turkey Day tradition. Mark Few has led the Bulldogs to 33 wins, and just nine defeats, in tournaments taking place over Thanksgiving week.

Every step of the way on the program’s climb from Cinderella darling to championship contender, Gonzaga has made great use of these early-season tournaments.

In Few’s first seasons, when Gonzaga was still seen as a fluke rather than an elite national program, these tournaments served as rare opportunities to compete against the teams Gonzaga aspired to be. As Gonzaga developed into a perennial NCAA Tournament participant the Zags went from hunter to hunted in events like the Maui Invitational and Orlando Classic. Over the past few seasons, as Gonzaga’s level of success began to rival any program in the country, their performance around Thanksgiving became equally impressive.

Gonzaga won three Thanksgiving tournaments between 2012 and 2016. But none of those tournament fields could hold a candle to the one they’d face in 2017. So here was Gonzaga, as good of a program as exists in college basketball, firmly middle of the pack in the biggest, best early season tournament field in the sport’s history.

Ohio State, which fell to Gonzaga 86-59 in the opening round, boasts an endowment of over $3.5 billion. Texas, which fell 76-71, spent over $171 million on athletics in 2016, according to USA Today. And Florida, which needed two overtimes to defeat Gonzaga, is ranked No. 6 in the polls and very nearly upset top-ranked Duke on Sunday.

Gonzaga was not only asked to take part in the greatest event of its kind, Gonzaga excelled in it.

On Thursday it was Josh Perkins, who hit six of nine three pointers and electrified the crowd with amazing efficiency. On Friday, a career-high 39 points in a warrior-like performance from Johnathan Williams led the way for the Bulldogs. And Sunday, with 20 points and nine rebounds off the bench, was a coming out party for Rui Hachimura.

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Posted By on Mon, Nov 27, 2017 at 10:27 AM

click to enlarge One of the few times WSU running back Jamal Morrow was seen vertically in Saturday's Apple Cup. - WSU ATHLETICS
WSU Athletics
One of the few times WSU running back Jamal Morrow was seen vertically in Saturday's Apple Cup.

The weekend football action was largely forgettable — especially for WSU fans — but at least the Seahawks salvaged things with a workmanlike plod through the Niners. Let's break it down:


Regular Inlander readers might know that I picked the Cougs to beat the Huskies in Seattle on Saturday.

Um, ya, that didn't happen.

Instead of a thrilling showdown between two rivals, viewers were "treated" to another beatdown, this one ending up 41-14 in favor of UW, and the score actually makes the game seem closer than it really was. WSU senior star quarterback Luke Falk threw three interceptions, the Cougs' leading rusher Jamal Morrow gained all of 11 yards on the day, and defense's leader Hercules Mata'afa got ejected from the game before halftime. Maybe he was as sick of watching the proceedings as viewers at home were by then, thanks to the 24-0 halftime score and the utter one-sidedness of the game. The rest of the Cougars defense didn't do too well, either, giving up 192 yards and four touchdowns to Huskies running back Myles Gaskin.

The 2017 Apple Cup marks five wins in a row for the Huskies, and the Cougs have given up at least 40 points in each of the last three, while their offense has been exceedingly meek in the face of the UW defense. Hard to see how things will get better for the Cougs in this series. If they can't hang in a year they have an outstanding defense and record-setting quarterback, why would we think things will improve?

The loss lands the Cougs in third place in the Pac-12 North for the season and sends Stanford to the conference championship game. Up next for the Cougars: Waiting to see what bowl game they get, and whether alleged "genius" coach Mike Leach gets poached by another program. After Saturday, a few more Coug fans might be okay with that.


Idaho's chances of making a bowl game in their last year in the Sun Belt Conference were already gone before they played New Mexico State on Saturday, so give the Vandals credit for hanging tough and only losing 17-10, despite being outgained by nearly 200 yards. Two turnovers in the game's first six minutes killed the Vandals when the Aggies turned them into a 14-0 lead. The Vandals close their season Saturday with a game at Georgia State. 


You probably haven't heard many people saying that lately, and the ratings are lagging this season, but with a major pause in college football until bowl season arrives, the Seahawks are all we got around here.

On Sunday, Seattle hung in the playoff and division race by plodding their way to a 24-13 win on the road against 1-10 San Francisco. The Seahawks now stand at 7-4 overall, a game behind the division-leading Rams, after Russell Wilson threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third. Up next for the Seahakws is a nationally televised home game against the hottest team in the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles. The game is Sunday at 5:30 pm on NBC.

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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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