Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Posted By on Tue, Dec 26, 2017 at 9:13 AM


ON INLANDER.COM


NEWS: For many Marshall Islanders, health care is hard to come by in the fallout of nuclear bombs dropped by the United States in the first place.

NEWS: A new program for deaf and hard of hearing students has transformed Franklin Elementary in Spokane.

IN OTHER NEWS

Suspected robber killed by police
Spokane police officers showed up to a Safeway in north Spokane, where a man was suspected of robbing the store at gunpoint. Police tracked the suspect and then shot and killed him when he ran away, police say. (KXLY)

Let the past die
Developers are planning on tearing down three 110-year-old homes in a historic neighborhood on the lower south hill, putting a new "high-end" apartment building in its place. (Spokesman-Review)

Making a push
Thinking Republicans — even Cathy McMorris Rodgers — may be vulnerable, Democrats plan to contest virtually every House seat in 2018. (Inlander/New York Times)

How 'bout them potatoes
Idaho — yes, Idaho — is the fastest-growing state in the union (Washington is fourth). Wyoming, Idaho's neighbor, is dead last. Why is this? Well, according to this analysis from the Washington Post, the answer has to do with coal and natural resources.

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Friday, December 22, 2017

Posted By on Fri, Dec 22, 2017 at 10:08 AM

click to enlarge If you're not heading to a party or First Night Spokane, consider the following options.
If you're not heading to a party or First Night Spokane, consider the following options.

WHERE TO DRINK & DINE THIS NEW YEAR’S EVE

Don’t wait until the last minute to make plans for how you’ll ring in 2018, or you’ll probably find yourself out of luck. For a few suggestions of where to start, here’s a short (and by no means comprehensive) round-up of some events around the region to close out the new year in a festive spirit.

Head to Coeur d’Alene for an intimate New Year’s Eve Dinner at the Greenbriar Inn’s 315 Martinis & Tapas. The restaurant is opening at 4:30, and suggests that guests make reservations as soon as possible to secure their preferred dining time.

Make a night of it at the Coeur d’Alene Casino and start the 1990s-themed evening with a special dinner at Chinook Steak, Pasta & Spirits. A three-course dinner for two is offered at $65, and the menu features grilled flatbread, a surf ’n’ turf entree and eggnog pie for dessert. Reservations are recommended. Other festivities throughout the evening include costume contests, giveaways and dancing to music from live DJs.

Go back in time a little further to the disco decadence of the 1970s with Mirabeau Park Hotel’s themed shindig, offering a dance party, special NYE dinner in Max at Mirabeau (happy hour runs from 3-6 pm, with dinner served from 5 pm to close). Tickets to the festivities are $30/advance and $35/door, and gets you entry, party favors, raffle entries, access to a nacho bar and a champagne toast at midnight.

For a quieter, classy evening out, consider reservations at Santé Restaurant & Charcuterie. The esteemed restaurant’s chefs have created two tasting menus ($95/person) of six courses each, with a glass or wine or cocktail and a glass of champagne. Call 315-4613 to make reservations.

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Posted By on Fri, Dec 22, 2017 at 9:37 AM

click to enlarge Councilwoman Karen Stratton has sought to protect city employees, but her involvement in the city's internal decisions has sometimes frustrated and angered them. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
Councilwoman Karen Stratton has sought to protect city employees, but her involvement in the city's internal decisions has sometimes frustrated and angered them.

Parking wars
An angry parking lot argument, sparked by an Inlander story, between Karen Stratton and a former city union leader resulted in an HR complaint filed against Stratton early this year. While Stratton was completely cleared, Stratton still says she tries to avoid the complainant.

Propooperty rights

The neighbors of an Eastern Washington farmer are stoked that he's agreed not to spread biosolids — which include human waste (like from the toilet) on his property.

In other news...

Jolly Rogers
How Rogers' Lori Wyborney took on the challenge of getting more kids from the most low-income high school in Spokane to go to college. (Spokesman-Review)

The fallacy of simply 'teaching men not to harass'
Sexual harassment training, the Spokesman-Review's Shawn Vestal writes, won't do much to fix the spate of sexual harassment. (Spokesman-Review)

Unhealthy glow
Seven Hanford worker homes are being inspected for radiation, the Associated Press reports. (KREM)

We still haven't seen Trump's tax returns, by the way
Trump signs the Republican tax bill, handing corporations a massive financial win, exploding the deficit by at least $1.5 trillion and (temporarily, at least) slashing tax rates for most Americans.  (New York Times)

Crushing wave approaches
Republican leaders are feeling pretty queasy about the direction the 2018 elections are heading in. (Washington Post)

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Posted By on Thu, Dec 21, 2017 at 3:30 PM

click to enlarge Karen Stratton says she has tried to avoid former M&P president David Lewis after an argument that led to an HR complaint filed against her - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
Karen Stratton says she has tried to avoid former M&P president David Lewis after an argument that led to an HR complaint filed against her

An Inlander article about possible appearances of conflicts of interest in City Hall sparked a tense elevator interaction and an angry parking lot confrontation between City Councilwoman Karen Stratton and former city union leader David Lewis back in January, a recently obtained Inlander records request reveals.

The verbal altercation left Stratton feeling frightened and Lewis feeling threatened. Lewis filed a bullying/harassment complaint against Stratton two days later.

"On January 27th, at approximately 1:45 pm, I received a threatening statement from Councilwoman Stratton," the complaint from Lewis said. "After reflection, I consider this as an instance of bullying/harassment rather than verbal assault.”

The HR investigation cleared Stratton of any wrongdoing. Still, the damage from the argument and ensuing HR complaint remains nearly a year later, with Stratton saying that she now intentionally avoids Lewis.

Here's a more detailed rundown:

A year ago the Inlander interviewed David Lewis, Homeless Management Information System manager with the Community, Housing, & Human Services Department, for a story called "Family Ties. "

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Posted By on Thu, Dec 21, 2017 at 2:51 PM

click to enlarge City of Spokane Wastewater Treatment Plant Maintenance Mechanic Kevin Johnbrow drives a tractor to spread biosolids, produced by the treatment plant, on a field at Carstens Family Farm in Reardan, Wash., Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
City of Spokane Wastewater Treatment Plant Maintenance Mechanic Kevin Johnbrow drives a tractor to spread biosolids, produced by the treatment plant, on a field at Carstens Family Farm in Reardan, Wash., Friday, Sept. 15, 2017.

Neighbors who didn't want "sewage sludge" to be applied on land above the canyon where they live north of Davenport are celebrating after their neighbor, a farmer, agreed not to use biosolids in that area.

Earlier this year, a group of Mill Canyon residents created the informal committee "Protect Mill Canyon Watershed" to get word out about their concerns over the safety of biosolids, the stuff that's left after wastewater is treated, which can be used to add nutrients to crop soils.

The move followed an application by a Western Washington company called Fire Mountain Farms, which wanted to apply biosolids on fields owned by their neighbor, farmer Garry Rosman. Many of the neighbors spoke out against the plan during a hearing last fall, and formed the opposition group this spring when it looked like the Department of Ecology might approve the plan.

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Posted By on Thu, Dec 21, 2017 at 9:04 AM


ON INLANDER.COM

Camera man
See 2017 through the lens of the Inlander's staff photographer, Young Kwak.

Red alert
No Democrat has won more than 40 percent of the vote in Eastern Washington's bright red 5th district. But that could change according to a recent CNN poll, which means Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers could be in for a fight.

Spoiler alert
Let's unpack the new Star Wars, shall we?

Weed is good
Looking at you, Butch Otter. The World Health Organization recent announced that certain cannabis extracts such as cannabidiol (CBD) should not be illegal, and could in fact be used to treat diseases. CBD is a non-psychoactive extract of marijuana that has been used to treat epilepsy. Earlier this year, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter vetoed a bill that would have allowed kids with severe epilepsy to receive CBD treatment. (Idaho Statesman)

IN OTHER NEWS

Tax man
House lawmakers passed a $1.5 trillion overhaul to the U.S. tax code — the first major rewrite in 31 years. So whose taxes are going up? And whose are going down? (New York Times)

Smell this
Can Washington pot farmers survive air pollution control regulations? (Spokesman-Review)

#MeToo at the opera
World renowned opera conductor Charles Dutoit has been accused by four women of sexual assault. One of the women has accused Dutoit of throwing her against a wall in his dressing room, sticking his tongue down her throat and shoving her hand down his pants. (Associated Press)

Kelley convicted
Former Washington state Auditor Troy Kelley was convicted of nine felonies, including tax fraud. (KING 5)

Hot in here
Rapper Nelly is being sued by the 22-year-old woman who accused him of rape earlier this year. Prosecutors did not file charges against the St. Louis-based musician, born Cornell Haynes Jr., when the alleged victim refused to cooperate. The woman's attorney says she decided to sue Nelly after he accused her of lying about the incident. (Seattle Times)

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Posted By on Wed, Dec 20, 2017 at 1:21 PM

click to enlarge For the past decade, Cathy McMorris Rodgers has crushed every Democrat who's challenged her. This year may be different.
For the past decade, Cathy McMorris Rodgers has crushed every Democrat who's challenged her. This year may be different.

It would take a tsunami-sized blue wave to topple a Republican like Cathy McMorris Rodgers in the solidly red 5th district in Eastern Washington. A Democrat hasn't won more than 40.4 percent of the vote in her district in the past decade.

But some recent polls are triggering tsunami warnings.

A recent CNN poll gave Democrats an 18-point advantage on a generic ballot over Republicans. And while that poll still looks like an outlier, the average poll still gives Democrats more than a 12-point advantage.

"I’ve been eying this district for the last few weeks,"  Dave Wasserman, U.S. House editor of the Cook Political Report, tells the Inlander about Cathy McMorris Rodgers' district. "You know, ordinarily, it would not be a seat that would come into play, as you know. These are not ordinary times, politically."

Right now, McMorris Rodgers' district has a Cook partisan voter index score of R+8. That means that her Eastern Washington district is about 8 percentage points more Republican than the rest of the country.

According to New York Times data wonk Nate Cohn, a Dem margin of +18 moves the partisan voter index score by about 9 points in the Democrats' direction. Theoretically, that's enough for a Democrat to win.

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Posted By on Wed, Dec 20, 2017 at 12:42 PM

click to enlarge Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Just about everyone who went to the movies last weekend saw the new Star Wars movie. No surprise there. Boasting the second largest opening weekend ever (behind only — you guessed it — The Force Awakens), it'll certainly take the No. 1 spot again this week, but a slew of high-profile releases are hitting theaters in the next few days to jockey for second place behind The Last Jedi.

Here are your non-Star Wars movie options.

Opening today

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN
A lavish, Moulin Rouge-y musical fantasy inspired by the life and career of P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman), the circus empresario who created modern showbiz as we know it. The splashy songs are co-written by Oscar-winning La La Land lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Rated PG.

JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
The magical board game from that 1995 Robin Williams movie returns to the big screen, this time in the guise of an old gaming console that pulls some high schoolers into its perilous world. Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black star as the kids’ in-game avatars. Rated PG-13.

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Posted By on Wed, Dec 20, 2017 at 9:28 AM

click to enlarge The Republicans late Tuesday night pushed through a tax bill that adds $1.5 trillion to the national debt over the next 10 years. - PETE MAROVICH/NEW YORK TIMES
Pete Marovich/New York Times
The Republicans late Tuesday night pushed through a tax bill that adds $1.5 trillion to the national debt over the next 10 years.

ON INLANDER.COM

Baking fails and how to cope

Baking DIY holiday gifts can lead to more stress than you bargained for. Here's one fairly fail-safe option.

Gonzig-zagging into the holidays
Miss the Gonzaga game like many of the students who are already gone for Christmas break? Will Maupin's got your recap right here.

IN OTHER NEWS

Suspect at large in fatal South Hill shooting

Police are still looking for a suspect, described as a black woman in her mid-20s to mid-30s, after a shooting that killed a woman and left another man in critical condition Tuesday afternoon. (Spokesman-Review, KREM)

Tax cuts all around (and a bigger bill for all)
Republicans in Congress passed major tax reform, which is expected to give many Americans and corporations tax cuts next year, but is also expected to increase the national debt by $1.5 trillion over the next decade, The New York Times reports.

Ecology can't enforce major parts of Clean Air Rule
A judge ruled that without approval from the Legislature first, the Washington State Department of Ecology can't enforce much of Gov. Jay Inslee's Clean Air Rule, intended to cutback on greenhouse gas emissions, The Seattle Times reports.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Posted By on Tue, Dec 19, 2017 at 11:46 AM


If you're a butcher, a baker, or a candlestick maker, chances are you've got at least one person you plan to make something for this holiday season.

The hope is that these gifts from the heart and the labor of our hands really mean something to the folks we share them with.

And we benefit in turn. Homemade gifts save us from many painful hours of shuffling between cranky, last-minute shoppers, trying to drown out the bad Christmas songs playing on repeat as we find ourselves staring for far too long at inspirational mirror art that says "You have so much to live for," and for a brief moment in that shopping purgatory think, "Do I, though?"

A good bake can save lives, people.

But sometimes, when the pressure is on, despite our best efforts, everything can go wrong.

Take macarons.

I made these notoriously difficult, crunchy egg-white meringues for the first time a few months back, and despite my dread, they turned out pretty much perfectly:


But that was when I had no plan for them.

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