Thursday, March 1, 2018

Posted By on Thu, Mar 1, 2018 at 12:19 PM

Melissa Cole, shown here with some of her older work, will showcase her new encaustic works in March at Marmot Art Space.
Melissa Cole, shown here with some of her older work, will showcase her new encaustic works in March at Marmot Art Space.

Melissa Cole
’s art bears much semblance to her personality. It’s colorful, joyful and bursting with life.

Cole says she likes to break common norms in the art world, mixing materials and utilizing her own unique process, a byproduct, she claims, of not attending art school but being self-taught.

Most exhibits have an austere “do not touch” policy, but Cole encouraged me to touch her pieces throughout her new exhibit at the Marmot Art Space. It makes sense to feel her art, because Cole plays with various textures in her work. Her newest technique, encaustics, involves moving around pigmented wax with a blowtorch, a process that requires a steady hand and some patience. This results in a web-like, marbled look on the paintings. Although she is incorporating her own style with encaustics, she was first inspired by Seattle-based artist Alicia Tormey. After a workshop with Tormey last fall, Cole began using encaustics in her own art.

“You have to let go a lot more and just see what happens with your pattern. I’m learning more and more about it each time I do it. It’s very different, which is kind of nice, because it pushes me out of my normal boundaries,” Cole says.

Cole’s vibrant work with encaustics is displayed beginning Friday, March 2, at the Marmot — a gallery special to her as she was the first artist whose work was featured there.

Join her this First Friday as the gallery at 1202 W. Summit Parkway in Kendall Yards celebrates its third birthday from 5-8 pm.

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Posted By on Wed, Feb 28, 2018 at 6:30 PM

click to enlarge Red Sparrow
Red Sparrow

The Oscars air this Sunday, so you only have a few more days if you want to play pre-show catch up. With Get Out and Dunkirk returning to big screens this week, all nine nominees are now playing, and you can get tickets for AMC's two-day Best Picture showcase here.

Other than that, the violent thrillers Death Wish and Red Sparrow are the week's two wide releases. Will we be talking about them next year around this time? Probably not!

The 1974 Charles Bronson exploitation classic gets a 21st-century facelift with Bruce Willis taking the reins as a father who becomes an urban vigilante after his wife and daughter are attacked. Rated R.

As an antiques appraiser makes his rounds from house to house, the narratives of his customers — and their attachments to family heirlooms — begin to weave together in unexpected ways. The all-star cast includes Jon Hamm, Nick Offerman, Catherine Keener and Ellen Burstyn. Rated R.

Jennifer Lawrence as a Russian ballerina-turned-assassin? Sure, why not. She’s sent to take down a CIA operative (Joel Edgerton) in possession of incriminating information on her government, but things get messy when they get the hots for each other. Rated R.

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Posted By on Wed, Feb 28, 2018 at 4:55 PM

Darren Pitcher resigned as acting president of Spokane Falls Community College earlier this week in the middle of a sexual harassment investigation, a spokeswoman has confirmed to the Inlander.

"What I can say is there was an investigation underway, but the investigation was suspended when we received Dr. Pitcher's letter of resignation," says Carolyn Casey, public information officer for Community Colleges of Spokane.

Casey confirmed that the investigation was for alleged sexual harassment, but she would not reveal any other details of the investigation, including how long the investigation had been underway or how many complaints had been made about Pitcher's behavior.

Casey noted that in Pitcher's letter of resignation, which he submitted earlier this week, he wrote that he wanted to have more time to take care of himself. CCS has not released his letter of resignation.

Since the investigation was suspended upon Casey's resignation, no finding of sexual harassment had been made, Casey says.

Pitcher took over as acting president in May, after former president Janet Gullickson resigned to take a job in Virginia. He had worked for Spokane Falls Community College since 2012. Pitcher's role as president was to be temporary while the college conducted a nationwide search for its next president. His resignation means he will not return to his former role as vice president of student services.

Nancy Fair-Szofran will serve as acting president now, as the nationwide search for a new leader continues. She is the Community Colleges of Spokane provost and chief learning officer. Interviews for candidates will begin in March, the college says.

"I have great confidence in Dr. Szofran's leadership and ability to ensure the excellent student-focused work at SFCC continues uninterrupted during this transition," says CCS Chancellor Christine Johnson, in a news release.

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Posted By on Wed, Feb 28, 2018 at 3:50 PM

click to enlarge The author's father and unwitting fashion icon Aleksandr Drokin - ALLA DROKINA
Alla Drokina
The author's father and unwitting fashion icon Aleksandr Drokin

Trends can be daunting, not to mention ephemeral. Like items on a conveyor belt, they come and go and sometimes, voila, reappear. Is there anything that new under the sun anyway? But all of that doesn’t make these fads any less fun to embrace. I’ve been keeping my eye on a particular recycled look for awhile now, asking myself, "Is this the season it finally has run its course?"

Alas, it keeps re-emerging. I deem this the "dad style."

To glean sartorial inspiration for the aforementioned style, think the ensembles of the Seinfeld cast or even an all-American dad, clad for a barbecue or road trip. The term “normcore” gained popularity in 2013, but it’s not obsolete yet. The day my dad and I coincidentally had matching outfits, I congratulated myself because it meant I finally had this concept down. To indicate how amicable this encounter was, not one of us asked the other to change.

So, if you’re down to emulate this anti-fashion movement that is actually, ironically, a prevailing idea in the fashion world, then look no further than these simple and accessible ideas: 


The appearance of fanny packs has emerged everywhere. This functional and pragmatic accessory can be turned into a fun one by selecting a bold color. Think beyond tourism; fanny packs are perfect for concerts, dates or even grocery shopping. Anytime you want your hands carefree while picking out ripe mangoes and your money at your side, try a fanny pack. Also, Hands Carefree and Money at My Side is the name of my upcoming autobiography. Stay tuned.

Model: Jamaica Harding-Washington, Photo: Logan LaDue

According to my personal dichotomy, there are two kinds of dads: those who love to match and those who don’t. Luckily, both are having a moment.

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Posted By on Wed, Feb 28, 2018 at 2:19 PM

Update Thursday, March 1: The Senate passed this bill, and it will go to Gov. Jay Inslee to be signed into law.

A group of Eastern Washington University students are pushing lawmakers in the Washington state Senate to pass a bill that would clearly define the roles of school counselors, social workers and psychologists so they can better be used to screen students for mental health issues and offer preventive care.

A version of HB 1377 has already passed the House and is waiting to be picked up from the Senate Rules Committee for the chance to get a floor vote by the end of this week.

"We don't focus a lot on recognizing the signs of a mental illness when it’s coming on, which is 75 percent of the time by age 24," says Stacie Baylon, one of the students pushing for the bill, who are all getting their master's in social work at Eastern. "This bill basically defines the role of school social workers and psychologists and it starts by recognizing we don't have enough in our schools."

The students say the bill is necessary because without clearly defined roles, school social workers and psychologists are often tasked with other jobs, like helping with scheduling issues, entering data and other tasks unrelated to their expertise in mental health care.

"These are people who are trained to be mental health professionals, but they're being utilized for other work so they're not always able to use their skills," Baylon says. "But if we could catch people earlier and lessen the severity of a mental illness, that could make a really big difference."

Baylon is working as an intern at Eastern State Hospital, where she's seeing some of the most extreme examples of mental illness, which in some cases could have been treated better had it been caught earlier.

"Going through a serious mental illness, there’s a lot of suffering in that," Baylon says. "If we can do something to help people know how to address their symptoms and how to care for that early on, it saves a lot of money and a lot of suffering."

The bill would require large school districts to allow for six hours of professional collaboration between those professionals every year so they can better recognize students who are having problems and focus on how to help them. It also would create a task force to examine other issues in that field. 

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Posted By on Wed, Feb 28, 2018 at 1:45 PM

click to enlarge Doesn't this already look so much tastier than the drive-thru version of a breakfast sandwich? - SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL PHOTO
Samantha Wohlfeil photo
Doesn't this already look so much tastier than the drive-thru version of a breakfast sandwich?

We've all been there. You watch recipe videos on social media over the weekend and feel inspired, but when breakfast time actually rolls around Monday morning, you're running out the door and grabbing a bagel from the coffee shop instead.

Break that cycle and save some moola with this insanely easy breakfast sandwich prep that tastes SO much better than fast food and will run you just over $1 per sandwich. This weekend, throw on an episode of your latest Netflix/TV binge, and by the time the credits roll you'll have six days' worth of breakfast ready to pop in the fridge.


Here's what you'll need:
  • English muffins (roughly $2 for a six-pack)
  • 6 eggs (about $1)
  • Breakfast sausage (four-pack from the freezer section will run ya about $2)
  • 6 slices cheddar or other cheese ($1 to $2)
  • Sliced ham or other deli meat (optional - if you want to do all sausage, great, but this offers some variety during your week)
  • salt, pepper, seasonings
  • one-quarter stick of butter
  1. Heat your oven to 325 F and open the muffins face up on a sheet pan. Put a small pat of butter on each and pop in the oven until toasty. This will only take a few minutes. Set the pan on the stove or nearby for sandwich assembly.

  2. While the buns toast, cook breakfast sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. If using frozen patties, this will take 4 or 5 minutes per side (remember to take your toast out before it burns!). Put a patty on each muffin.

    Pro tip: The patties don't have to be screaming hot, because you're going to microwave the sandwich when you reheat it for breakfast.

    If using deli meat for some sandwiches, quickly sear it in the pan before piling it on the muffins.

  3. Lower the heat to medium-low and melt some butter so your eggs don't stick to the pan.  Fry two or three eggs at a time, seasoning with salt, pepper, garlic powder and other seasonings as you see fit. Cover with a lid to make sure the whites on top cook through.

    If you're eating one of these right away, leaving the yolk a little runny is fine, but for ease of wrapping them up, it's better to cook the yolks until they're just starting to harden.

  4. Start assembling your sandwiches: meat, egg, cheese, wrap in plastic, done.

click to enlarge No, a mouse didn't nibble on the cheese ... I like to rip the edges off so there's less melty cheese mess when you reheat these in the microwave, but do whatever works for you! - SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL PHOTO
Samantha Wohlfeil photo
No, a mouse didn't nibble on the cheese ... I like to rip the edges off so there's less melty cheese mess when you reheat these in the microwave, but do whatever works for you!

If you're not sure what your week is looking like, put two in the fridge and the rest of your tightly wrapped sandwiches should fit in the English muffin sleeve, making for an easy freezer pack.

click to enlarge Easy freezer pack. - SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL PHOTO
Samantha Wohlfeil photo
Easy freezer pack.

When you're ready to eat: wrap in a paper towel and microwave for 1 minute and 45 seconds if fresh and about 3 minutes if frozen.


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Posted By on Wed, Feb 28, 2018 at 11:09 AM

Liz Thomas is an an author who likes long walks. Really long walks. In fact, she’s written an entire how-to book on them.

Thomas’ book Long Trails is an instruction manual for those interested in “thru-hiking,” a long-distance hiking style that often connects end-to-end trails over various terrain that can sometimes take several months to complete. She will be signing copies of her book on March 4, 2-4 pm, at the Outskirts Gallery in Hope; on March 5, from 1-3 pm, at Vanderford’s in Sandpoint and at 6 pm at Bonners Books in Bonner’s Ferry; and on March 6, from 6-7:30 pm at the Well-Read Moose in Coeur d’Alene.

Long Trails is described as a how-to for hikers interested in trying a long-distance trail on one of the growing number of national scenic trails. Her book includes advice on selecting gear, stocking resupply stashes, scheduling, budgeting, trail photography and sneak peeks into some of the lesser-known long trails throughout North America.

Thomas herself has completed 20 long hikes and “broke the women’s unsupported speed record on the 2,181-mile long Appalachian Trail in 2011,” according to her website. She is also is a “triple-crowner,” one of a small number of people who have completed the Appalachian, Pacific Crest and Continental Divide trails; an accumulative mileage of more than 7,900 miles. Liz is also known as the “Queen of Urban Hiking,” having pioneered and completed routes in five cities across the U.S., her website says.

While in North Idaho, in addition to book signings, Thomas, a.k.a. "Snorkel," will attend the American Long Distance Hiking Association-West “ruck” in Hayden, Idaho, on March 3 and is leading a hike for Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness on March 4 on Star Peak (the hike is full).

Thomas’ trail name is "Snorkel," a name she was gifted after she confessed to have slept with her head inside of a down sleeping bag, the resulting humidity causing it to deflate and lose insulation value. Folks at the gear shop where she consulted about this problem told her she needed a snorkel. This could be one of tips in her book.

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Posted By on Wed, Feb 28, 2018 at 9:35 AM


MUSIC: The Northwest Bach Festival continue
click to enlarge Northwest Bach Festival's Zuill Bailey
Northwest Bach Festival's Zuill Bailey
s its 40th celebration this year with a performance tonight at 6 at the Barrister Winery, 1213 W. Railroad Ave. The festival will continue through March 11. Find additional performances here.

MUSIC: Acoustic quintet Punch Brothers have announced plans to headline the Bing Crosby Theater on Aug. 15. Tickets go on sale this Friday.


DICK'S says its done
DICK'S Sporting Goods, a major firearm retailer, has announced that it will no longer sell assault-style rifles in its stores. “We said, ‘We don’t want to be a part of this any longer,’" the company's CEO told the New York Times. (New York Times)

Police officer shot
A Coeur d’Alene Police officer was shot in the line of duty underwent surgery late Tuesday night. (KREM)

Bump-stock ban passes
The Washington State Senate passed a ban on bump stocks on Tuesday night, 31-18. The bill now heads to Gov. Jay Inslee, who is expected to sign it. (Seattle Times)

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Posted By on Tue, Feb 27, 2018 at 10:02 AM

click to enlarge The Punch Brothers
The Punch Brothers

As comfortable tackling traditional bluegrass or classical tunes as they are an expansive Radiohead cover, acoustic quintet the Punch Brothers are simply one of the most entertaining live bands working today.

The instrumental prowess of mandolinist Chris Thile, guitarist Chris Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert, banjoist Noam Pikelny and violinist Gabe Witcher is hard to match, regardless of genre, and it allows the band to head into virtually any musical direction they desire.

It's a trip always worth taking with the band, and you can do that when the headline The Bing Crosby Theater on Wednesday, Aug. 15. Tickets for the show go on sale Friday at 10 am, and cost either $33.50 or $59.50. Tickets are available via the Knitting Factory homepage or Madison Cunningham opens the show.

The band's latest album was 2015's The Phosphorescent Blues, and it's a brilliant collection full of humor and ace musicianship, as one would expect. More recently, Thile took over hosting Live From Here (formerly A Prairie Home Companion), Pikelny released a solo album, Witcher did producing work and Kowart toured with the Dave Rawlings Machine.

Here's a taste of The Punch Brothers:

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Posted By on Tue, Feb 27, 2018 at 9:53 AM

click to enlarge Grammy-winning cellist and Northwest Bach Festival Artistic Director Zuill Bailey. - NW BACH FEST
NW Bach Fest
Grammy-winning cellist and Northwest Bach Festival Artistic Director Zuill Bailey.

The Northwest Bach Festival is turning 40 with this year's celebration, and the action all gets started Tuesday night with a serious amount of musical firepower on stage for the Festival Opening Concert.

The festival's artistic director Zuill Bailey and the Ying String Quartet — Grammy winners all — will team up for a show at Barrister Winery (7:30 pm, 1213 W. Railroad Ave., $35, or $15 for students) to tackle Mendelssohn's String Quartet in Eb Major, Berg's String Quartet Op. 3 and Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata Arranged for String Quintet in A Major Op. 47.

The "Kreuzter" sonata is particularly interesting, Bailey told the Inlander, because the arrangement they'll be playing was done by an anonymous person who took the piece originally designed for one violinist and one pianist and adapted it for five string players. In Bailey and Ying String players, you have the chance to see five such players at the top of their game.

"The first violinist still plays the lion's share of what they would have done in the violin sonata, which would have been just for piano and violin, but the piano part is broken up over four other people," Bailey explains. "That creates a sonic experience that people aren't accustomed to, in that they're all string sounds, and they kind of cover the spectrum of all ranges in a quintet setting."

The opening concert is the beginning of two weeks' worth of classical concerts at venues throughout the Inland Northwest. Pick up the new Inlander Thursday for a story on this year's highlights, including Bailey's internet sleuthing to find rare material to play this year.

For a complete schedule of events and tickets, visit the festival website.

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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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