Friday, March 30, 2018

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2018 at 5:20 PM

Make Easter brunch reservations soon so you and your family don’t miss the chance to dine together for the holiday this weekend, on Sunday, April 1. Here are a few local restaurants’ special menus that have caught our eye so far:

click to enlarge COEUR D'ALENE RESORT
Coeur d'Alene Resort

315 Martinis & Tapas
Served from 9:30 am-1:30 pm; $25.75/person
The buffet-style menu includes Florentine benedicts, omelets, creme brulee French toast, spring salad, honey and butter-baked ham, fresh-baked pastries and more.
Reservations: 208-667-9660 ext. 1

The Coeur d’Alene Resort
Served from 8 am-4 pm (Dockside) and 9 am-3 pm (Beverly’s); $60/$47 adults, $31/$24 ages 5-12
In addition to two brunch buffets, the resort is also offering an Easter Sunday lake cruise with a full brunch buffet. Departures are at 11:30 am and noon and prepaid reservations are required. Cruise tickets are $51 for adults, $47 for seniors (55+) and $31 for ages 6-12.
Reservations: 208-765-4000 or

Bistro on Spruce
Served from 9 am-2 pm; $27/adults, $15/ages 6-12
The buffet menu includes roasted wild salmon, honey ham and Mediterranean lamb, as well as meat and veggie stratas, warm fruit cobbler, eggs benedict and more.
Reservations: 208-664-1774


The Barrel Steak & Seafood House
Served from 9 am-3 pm; menu items priced individually
The North Spokane restaurant’s a la carte menu includes crabs benedict, a southwest burrito, scramble, chicken-fried steak, French toast and more.
Reservations: 467-5490

Twigs Bistro & Martini Bar
Served from 9 am-2 pm; $29/adults ($36 with champagne), $14/ages 6-12
All four Spokane-area Twigs locations (South Hill, Spokane Valley, Wandermere, downtown) will serve an all-you-can-eat brunch with all the brunch standards, from omelets to benedicts and a carving station with prime rib, wild Alaskan salmon and smoked ham.

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Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2018 at 9:19 AM

click to enlarge The Riverfront Park Sky Ride returns. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
The Riverfront Park Sky Ride returns.


NEWS: Terrain is looking to hire an actual executive director.

FILM: Nathan Weinbender reviews Ready Player One, Steven Spielberg's adaptation of the bestselling exhaustive list of 80's references.


Schoolkids grill congresswoman

Spokane Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers both oppose most gun-control measures. But both answered questions from students about how gun violence could be prevented. (Spokesman-Review)

A cleaner river, faster
A lawsuit between the Spokane Riverkeeper and the Department of Ecology is forcing the state to refine its plan for cleaning up Hangman Creek. (Spokesman-Review)

Suicidal thoughts
Spokane Public Schools held a suicide-prevention symposium at North Central High School yesterday. (KXLY)

Sleazy tabloid has sleazy owner

How the chairman of the company that owns the National Enquirer used his access to Donald Trump try to make money. (New York Times)

The leadership vacuum's clogged filter
Why the White House is so bad at recruiting qualified appointees. (Washington Post)

Never again
France takes a stand against anti-Semitism after a Holocaust victim is murdered. (The Atlantic)

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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2018 at 9:58 AM

Ten years after launching as a one-night Spokane-centric art festival and celebration of local talent, what we know of as Terrain has grown into a multipronged beast of creativity and innovation, incorporating everything from a permanent art gallery, pop-up shop, concert and event space, to promotion of events throughout town and throughout the year.

With hopes of not just maintaining its current offerings, but finding ever more ways to support local artists, Terrain's board made the decision to hire a full-time executive director. The position is funded with help from the Inland Northwest Community Foundation and will focus on development (i.e., fundraising) as well as community outreach.

"We've always been powered by the efforts of tons of really incredible volunteers, and that's not going to change," notes Terrain co-founder Luke Baumgarten, via email. "But as the organization matures and we take on more and more programs to support artists and culture creators, our staffing hasn't kept up."

Indeed, Baumgarten notes the Terrain organization only has one full-time employee (program director and co-founder Ginger Ewing), one half-time operations director in Jackie Caro and a half-time manager of the Pop-Up Shop. Finding a full-time executive director capable of raising funds, he says, will help establish a professional structure capable of greater supporting Terrain's creative endeavors.

"We can't hire people without money, and development is one part of the organization that has never been as robust as our programming and other work," Baumgarten says.

Interested parties can find a full job description and apply for the position through the job posting at LinkedIn, Facebook and Express Employment's website. The job will pay between $46,000 and $50,000 annually.

"We're all tremendously hopeful that getting this piece in place is going to make an immediate impact on Terrain, and that, in couple years, we'll all look back and say, 'Damn, that was smart. Why didn't we do that sooner?'" Baumgarten says.

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Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2018 at 9:28 AM

Lindsay Fox Photo


NEWS: Despite opposition from Spokane County commissioners, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a  bill that will expand the number of commissioners from three to five by the 2022 election. Voters will elect commissioners according to districts, rather than county wide.

NEWS: To build up or out? That is only one of the questions facing Spokane's development plans. Another question: What about the neighbors?

DRINK: A once popular bar in east Spokane reopened with a new name, and new owners. The old Scotty's Doghouse is now the Logan Tavern.


Butt out
Spokane received a $5,000 award to clean up discarded cigarette butts around the courthouse and downtown. (Spokesman-Review)

'He threatened to burn down my house with me in it'
A top financial advisor at Morgan Stanley has for years been accused by at least four Portland area women of threats, violence and intimidation. Executives reportedly knew about Douglas E. Greenberg's behavior, but only put him on administrative leave after reporters started asking questions. (New York Times)

Fire and jail riot in Venezuela
At least 68 people are dead after a fire sparked during a jail riot in Venezuela. Sixty-six of the victims were men. Two were women who were visiting the police station where the jail was located. (NPR)

Conversion therapy illegal
Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill that outlaws sexual orientation conversion therapy for minors. (Seattle Times)

Football player tackles building
An Eastern Washington football player reportedly crashed his truck into an apartment building — causing an estimated $100,000 in damage — and then fled. Defensive end Keenan Williams is now looking at a misdemeanor hit-and-run charge after turning himself in the next morning. (Spokesman-Review)

Boys of summer
At long last, they're back. Today is Major League Baseball's opening day. (ESPN)

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 5:01 PM

click to enlarge Marcus Riccelli, D-Spokane, and Jeff Holy, R-Cheney, celebrate Gov. Jay Inslee signing a bill to expand the Spokane County Commission. - COURTESY OF WASHINGTON HOUSE DEMOCRATS
Courtesy of Washington House Democrats
Marcus Riccelli, D-Spokane, and Jeff Holy, R-Cheney, celebrate Gov. Jay Inslee signing a bill to expand the Spokane County Commission.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill today that will expand the current three-member Spokane County Commission to five, despite objections from current members.

The bill will increase the Spokane County Board of Commissioners to five by the 2022 election, and it will mean members are elected only by voters in their district instead of from all around the county. It saw bipartisan support from local legislators, including Democratic Rep. Marcus Riccelli, who crafted the bill.

"For larger counties like Spokane, moving to five commissioners ensures citizens get a more responsive government that matches growing populations," Riccelli says in a statement. "District representation gives citizens a more direct voice in government."

But current commissioners Al French, Josh Kerns and Mary Kuney opposed the bill. Earlier this month, each signed a letter that was sent to Gov. Inslee asking him to veto the bill. They argued that it went against the interests of Spokane voters, who rejected a proposal in 2015 to increase the number of county commissioners from three to five. And they argued it would be costly to implement.

"We would urge you to veto [the bill] and in so doing recognize the voters' decision in the Nov. 3, 2015, general election," the letter states.

All three commissioners are Republicans. But they were mostly alone in their opposition to the bill — even local Republican legislators supported Inslee's decision. Their support, however, stemmed from the assertion that the Voting Rights Act, which is soon to be signed into law and aims to give minority groups better representation in local government, will likely lead to a lawsuit forcing the county to go to a five-commissioner entity anyway. Republican Rep. Jeff Holy, a co-sponsor of the bill, argues the bill will help sidestep a legal challenge.

"We brought this legislation forward in hopes of preempting the court from inserting itself in this process," Holy says in a statement. "This bill will allow for philosophical and political diversity, and is in the best interest of Spokane County."

In a phone call, Holy explains that he understands the concerns from the current county commissioners from a policy perspective, but he called that a "moot point" because of the Voting Rights Act.

"The rules of engagement have changed with the Voting Rights Act," Holy says.

Republican Rep. Mike Volz offered a similar statement.

"This was a great opportunity for us to reach across the aisle and help the county prevent an inevitable lawsuit," he says. "We don't want to get into a situation where the court is determining district boundaries, and the county is left footing hefty attorney fees."

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Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 9:37 AM


MUSIC: Northern Quest Casino released the lineup for its summer concert series on Tuesday and some big names will be rolling through the Inland Northwest, including ZZ Top, Alison Krauss and Train, to name a few.

Check out the lineup here.

EVENTS: Looking for something to do tonight? The Commodores are scheduled to perform tonight at 7:30 at Northern Quest Casino & Resort and the INB Performing Arts Center will host a Nat Geo Live! session with NASA astronaut and photographer Terry Virts.


Sacramento protests over death of Stephon Clark
Protests in Sacramento, California, continue after the police shooting of Stephon Clark. Hundreds of protesters blocked the entrance to a Sacramento Kings' game on Tuesday night. (Sacramento Bee)

Suing the census
Twelve states have signaled that they would attempt to block the Trump administration from adding a question regarding citizenship to the 2020 census. Washington is among them. (New York Times)

Inslee sides with unions Gov. Jay Inslee has sided with public-sector unions in a showdown with Republicans and anti-labor groups after approving a bill that will change the way home and health care workers are contracted.  (Tacoma News Tribune)

A direct line?
The Washington Post reports that special counsel Robert Mueller has drawn his most "direct line to date" between President Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Kane Brown, John Fogerty, Train and Willie Nelson also on tap

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2018 at 11:45 AM

click to enlarge Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Cheap Trick play with Joan Jett in September.
Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Cheap Trick play with Joan Jett in September.

Whether your taste runs toward classic rock or '90s pop, country or comedy, Northern Quest Resort & Casino's summer concert series has a little something you might be interested in.

Alison Krauss, Brad Paisley, John Fogerty, Train, Kane Brown and Joan Jett are among the headliners announced Tuesday for this year. The venue added 1,000 seats in the offseason, raising its capacity to 5,000 for a lineup that's the biggest in the eight years Northern Quest has delivered the Pepsi Outdoor Summer Concerts.

Here's a breakdown of the shows, their starting ticket prices and on-sale dates; visit Northern Quest's website for more info:

June 18: Little Big Town with Jameson Rodgers, tickets start at $69, on sale March 31

June 28: I Love the '90s with Salt N Pepa, Vanilla Ice, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Color Me Badd, and Young MC, tickets start at $39, on sale March 31

July 10: Incubus with Minus the Bear, tickets start at $49, on sale March 31
click to enlarge Brad Paisley headlines July 27.
Brad Paisley headlines July 27.

July 17: John Fogerty, tickets start at $49, on sale March 31

July 27: Brad Paisley with Brown & Grey, tickets start at $69, on sale March 31

July 29: ZZ Top with Robert Cray, tickets start at $49, on sale March 31 (EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS SHOW HAS BEEN CANCELLED)

Aug. 3: Alison Krauss and Willie Nelson, tickets start at $59, on sale April 7

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Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2018 at 9:27 AM

click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo


NEWS: Ever wonder why ArtFest can sell alcohol at Coeur d'Alene Park, but Elkfest can't? You're in luck, because reporter Daniel Walters has the answers

Check out these models showcasing outfits they put together from Global Neighborhood Thrift to benefit refugee programs.


Documents released in Pitcher investigation
Weeks ago, the Inlander broke the news that former Spokane Falls Community College President Darren Pitcher resigned after an investigation that he exposed his penis to a colleague and coerced sex from subordinates. Yesterday, the college released more documents from the investigation, which shows how claims of sexual improprieties followed Pitcher for years. (Spokesman-Review)

Officers not charged in shooting of Alton Sterling

"This decision was not taken lightly," says Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry about the decision to not criminally charge the officers who shot and killed a man named Alton Sterling who was selling CDs outside of a convenience store. (Washington Post)

Making sense of census
The 2020 census will have a question asking respondents if they are United States citizens, the Commerce Department announced last night. The decision has sparked outcry and at least one lawsuit against the Trump administration. (New York Times)

Washington man arrested for packages sent to D.C.

A Washington state man has been arrested after a series of suspicious packages was sent to military installations in Washington D.C. He's currently in jail in Snohomish County. (WUSA9)

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Monday, March 26, 2018

Posted By on Mon, Mar 26, 2018 at 5:21 PM

click to enlarge There's a good reason why Elkfest is held in front of the Elk instead of Coeur d'Alene Park. State law. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
There's a good reason why Elkfest is held in front of the Elk instead of Coeur d'Alene Park. State law.

Last week, we published a story about the hoops and hurdles the Elk has had to jump through to try to put on the Elkfest music festival this year, including fire code regulations and police costs.

After the article was published, city officials objected to one claim of Elkfest organizer Marshall Powell: that he wouldn't be able to hold the event in nearby Coeur d'Alene Park instead of in front of his business, because then he wouldn't be allowed to sell alcohol.

City officials objected to the claim, arguing that beer gardens can be held in city parks, they just have to apply for the proper permits. The city would far prefer for Elkfest to take place in Coeur d'Alene Park, instead of on Cannon Street. And ArtFest, just one week earlier, will have a beer garden in Couer d'Alene Park, featuring beer and wine from River City Brewery and Townshend Cellar.

But that event is put on by the Museum of Arts and Culture, a nonprofit. Elkfest is put on by the Elk, a for-profit business.

And that makes all the difference. The Spokane Parks' alcohol policy prohibits alcohol from being sold or consumed in the park, but makes occasional exceptions for "nonprofit organizations" with a "license from the Washington State Liquor Control Board."

Note the word "nonprofit."

Elkfest's traditional beer garden location, in front of the Elk, works as essentially an extended patio under the Elk's existing liquor license. But moving to Coeur d'Alene Park would require getting permission from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.

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Posted By on Mon, Mar 26, 2018 at 4:40 PM

Global Neighborhood Photo

When Jen Landis isn't on stage as a dancer for the band Super Sparkle or jamming out with her band Mama Doll, she's often preoccupied with helping refugees in the area through her employer Global Neighborhood, a local nonprofit that aids in employment of refugees. Part of her job involves coming up with creative ideas to raise more proceeds for Global Neighborhood. Her most recent endeavor is a dance party fashion show on Friday, March 30, at the Bartlett.

If you want to support Global Neighborhood in a tangible way — besides shopping at their thrift shop — buy tickets and show up to dance. Although Landis says there is no apparent theme for the show, everyone can expect a killer playlist. Drinks and snacks will be available at the open bar.

The models strutting are all locals whose style Landis admires for one reason or another. Most fashion shows have a designer whose work is showcased, but here the models have more liberty and autonomy. Their task is to put together an outfit from Global Neighborhood Thrift. Landis will play the role of emcee and host, as she'll be making a commentary about the models' ensembles. The runway portion will run for a half hour and then everyone can groove to the music together.

Landis explains that two-thirds of GN's operating costs are covered through the thrift store and the remaining third comes from fundraising. The money that's raised will go towards keeping the store open, such as paying rent and salaries.

The aim is to also raise awareness of Global Neighborhood and local refugees.

"We want to expand the knowledge of what refugees are going through — that they live in this community, and that they're as much of this community as anyone else," Landis says.

Refugees employed at GN are usually on a six-month employment duration, or a job training program, while they take ESL classes. Most of the employees at GN don't speak English. Having experience at GN prepares them for other jobs by helping them build various skills and understand workplace customs and dynamics. Sudan, Somalia, Ukraine, Syria and Afghanistan are just a sampling of the countries where the refugees at GN come from.

Landis wants to encourage people to imagine life as a refugee by mentally putting oneself in their shoes and trying to fathom what it would feel like to leave one's life and home country behind, especially not of their own volition.

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Witness to Wartime: The Painted Diary of Takuichi Fujii @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 16
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