Monday, May 29, 2017

THIS WEEK: Volume Music Fest, Comicon, ArtFest, Rocky Horror and more

Posted By on Mon, May 29, 2017 at 1:01 PM

The awesome (and hilarious) Chastity Belt are one of this year's featured bands at Volume Music Festival.
  • The awesome (and hilarious) Chastity Belt are one of this year's featured bands at Volume Music Festival.

We're hitting June by the end of the week, and while we're most excited about our Volume Music Festival on Friday and Saturday, there's plenty to do between now and then. You can find all manner of things in our event listings and Staff Picks.

Some highlights of the week ahead:

Tuesday, May 30

COMMUNITY | Join the Humanities Washington Think & Drink gang at a new spot, the Magic Lantern, for a what is sure to be a vibrant discussion about whether or not humans should be able to move freely across the planet and live wherever they want. A little history, a little politics, and a lot of great exchanges of ideas.

COMMUNITY | Girls with musical chops of all levels can join in the Downtown Library's Girls Rock Lab Jam Session at 6 pm. It's for kids in grades 3-7, and you need to preregister to jam.

Wednesday, May 31

COMMUNITY | Grab a Beer with Todd Mielke, the CEO of Greater Spokane Incorporated, who's ready to hear what you have to say over a cold beverage.

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Dispatch from Sasquatch: Klangstof's pre-show warmup

Posted By on Mon, May 29, 2017 at 10:28 AM

  • Samantha Wohlfeil
  • Klangstof

So you didn’t make it to Sasquatch? You missed out on Klangstof, the year-old alternative band from Amsterdam, who took the Yeti stage Saturday afternoon.

The four guys who make up the band are all in their mid-20s and enjoying their time in the U.S., traveling by van from show to show, and taking a little time in Seattle to record their next album.

They’ve each got an easy sense of humor: When asked to write their names down for the Inlander, they labeled themselves:

“Jobo Engh (guitarist, pink blonde hair – it used to be pink, he explains) (23)

Wannes Salomé (synths, fro) (26)

Koen van de Wardt (the rest) (25)

Jun C. Villanueva (drums, bald guy) (25)”

Rather than get amped up before a show, the guys say they like to chill out by playing the board game Munchkin – a parody game based loosely off of Dungeons and Dragons.

“The basis of it is to f—- your friends over,” Jobo says with a laugh.

“It’s a great way to get angry before you go onstage,” Koen says.

Jobo and Koen have been making demos together since they were in high school, but the band as a whole has been together about a year, and released their debut LP Close Eyes to Exit, last year.

Their style evokes Radiohead, a big influence they all bring up when asked who they are inspired by. Fans of Alt J, Broken Bells, and Portugal. The Man, should also take a listen.

Their electronic and indie rock mix makes sense when you consider who they’re touring with: They’ve been on the road with the Flaming Lips, and soon will go out with Miike Snow.

Wannes says their style could be described as influenced by Norwegian music in general.

Their band is named for a city they say captures the vibe of their music – “down and Scandinavian.”

That said, though their songs may be a little dark at times, they are far from that as people.

“People should know we’re not as serious as our music,” Jobo says. “We’re goofy as f—-.”

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Dispatch from Sasquatch: the great Charles Bradley is back!

Posted By on Mon, May 29, 2017 at 10:11 AM

Bradley disappeared for a moment, only to return triumphantly. - SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL
  • Samantha Wohlfeil
  • Bradley disappeared for a moment, only to return triumphantly.

A few songs into his Sasquatch! Music Festival set, soul great Charles Bradley left the stage.

 The set marked his triumphant return to the Pacific Northwest after a stomach cancer diagnosis led him to cancel shows in the area last fall to start treatment and take time to recover.

His Extraordinaires kept the soul music flowing during the Friday set, which was one of the first shows Bradley had taken on after his treatment and recovery. But when the break stretched on past a single song break, people started to filter out of the large crowd gathered at the Bigfoot stage.

Too bad they didn’t wait.
After a few songs (which may indeed have been meant to give the recovering artist a well-deserved break during his set), his keyboardist sauntered to the mic and asked the crowd if they were ready for more.

“You didn’t think that was it, did you?” he asked as the crowd cheered. “Nah, he just went to slip into something a little more comfortable!”

Bradley re-entered in a full-length blue jumpsuit straight out of the ’70s, complete with sparkly belt and flared pants.

With sincere pain and feeling, hope and love, Bradley gave the crowd a strong performance, calling on each and every one of the people there to make positive changes in the world.

“It’s time for you: a new generation, to make a change in the world,” Bradley said, referencing problems in America, and the recent terrorist attack in Manchester.

His most recent album, Changes, released a year ago, is named for his cover of the Black Sabbath song by that name. Bradley said his late mother made him learn the lyrics to sing them to the room.

“I feel unhappy. I feel so sad. I have lost the best friend that I ever had,” Bradley started, voice dripping with emotion.

Later, he addressed the largely white crowd, saying, “In my heart, there’s only one red heart, the heart that you carry in you. We’ve all got to make changes, brothers and sisters, no matter your creed or your color.”

All men and women are created equal, he said, sharing a story about different colored roses, and calling on the crowd to create a beautiful bouquet out of all the different flowers.

Some of those who stuck around were lucky enough to get a rose from Bradley himself, as he walked through the crowd with a large bouquet, handing out red buds to men and women and embracing fans.

He held people in warm hugs for several minutes after the music ended, kissing one man on the cheek, and speaking in another woman’s ear.

During the show, he thanked his fans sincerely for their letters of support after his diagnosis and for the words of encouragement to get back out and perform.

His next stop was Bottlerock in Napa on Sunday, then on to the Brooklyn Bowl in New York on June 1.

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Mayor announces $1 million more to maintain Spokane streets until next year's full-scale overhauls

Posted By on Fri, May 26, 2017 at 3:13 PM

Spokane Streets Director Gary Kaesemeyer and Mayor David Condon are aware of the long road that lies before them. - FORREST HOLT PHOTO
  • Forrest Holt photo
  • Spokane Streets Director Gary Kaesemeyer and Mayor David Condon are aware of the long road that lies before them.

Mayor David Condon spoke from behind a lectern on a Sharp Avenue sidewalk, where the street itself illustrated the progress of Spokane’s roadwork projects. A grassy median with trees splits Sharp’s four lanes down the middle. The two lanes nearest Condon were smooth with a fresh layer of asphalt, while the two on the other side were riddled with potholes and crevices.

On Thursday, Condon announced a new $1 million investment in street maintenance projects. He said the other side of Sharp would be repaired this year, but the roadwork was really intended to hold the avenue together until the city could redo it entirely in 2018. Condon said the especially long, cold and wet winter made it critical for the city to make repairs in preparation for more expansive street development.

The projects will target main roads, called arterials, responsible for most of the city’s traffic, he said.

The city was able to find $1 million for arterial maintenance after finishing other projects under budget and receiving grants that relieved financial pressure in other areas, said Marlene Feist, public works communications manager.

This year’s roadwork is intended to maintain streets slated for total reconstruction next year.

In all, 8.82 miles of new roadwork — in addition to 5.2 miles already planned — will take place over the next year, Feist said. Condon’s plan will also postpone 1.75 miles of “less critical” work on Thorpe Road, Palouse Highway and Altamont Street.

“We are making choices and prioritizing the work that needs to get done,” Streets Director Gary Kaesemeyer said in a press release.

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Montana elects House candidate who assaulted reporter, new fire chief faces challenges, and morning headlines

Posted By on Fri, May 26, 2017 at 9:48 AM

Brian Schaeffer, Spokane's new fire chief, faces some significant challenges.
  • Brian Schaeffer, Spokane's new fire chief, faces some significant challenges.


Some fires to put out
As Spokane's new fire chief, Brian Schaeffer has a few big challenges he'll need to deal with.

The omega-3 code

How omega-3 fatty acids could possibly stave off the impacts of dementia and depression.


Washington's biggest mental health system
A prisoner with a habit of self-harming gets $92,000 from the state resulting from a pair of lawsuits over his treatment. (Spokesman-Review)

It's fun to rebuild on the site of the YWCA
A developer wants to put up multi-use towers in a $60 million project on the north bank of the Spokane River, where the old YWCA building used to be. (Spokesman-Review)

Assault on the free press
Important notice to Montana politicians: You can body-slam a reporter the day before the election, and you'll still be elected. (New York Times)

Turkish thuggery in D.C.
The New York Times goes through a frame-by frame analysis to prove that the Turkish president's bodyguards attacked and beat protesters last week in Washington, D.C.
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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Four big challenges Brian Schaeffer will face as Spokane's new fire chief

Agenda includes training rookies, working with the union and saving 48 firefighter jobs

Posted By on Thu, May 25, 2017 at 4:31 PM

Brian Schaeffer was officially appointed the new Spokane fire chief on Wednesday. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
  • Brian Schaeffer was officially appointed the new Spokane fire chief on Wednesday.

Brian Schaeffer was only eight months old when a flame from a scented candle lit the fire that could have killed him. Schaeffer was in his crib in a mobile home in Freeburg, Illinois, when the candle caused the drapes to catch fire.

And he was alone. His adoptive mother was across the street, borrowing something from a neighbor.

"When I say [my introduction to the fire department] literally started as an infant, it literally started as an infant in every sense of the word," Schaeffer says.

Yesterday, Mayor David Condon — in a widely expected move —  appointed the longtime local firefighter Spokane's fire chief. Schaeffer had been serving as the interim chief ever since the retirement of former Chief Bobby Williams.

In his office, Schaeffer takes the yellowed 1971 Freeburg Tribune newspaper clipping and describes the horror that his adoptive dad, a firefighter himself, experienced while riding on the fire truck that day.

"The fire truck is taking a left. The fire truck is taking a right. And another left. And you're thinking, 'Oh, this is in my area of town. Oh, this is in my neighborhood,'" Schaeffer says. "And then you pull up, and your newborn infant and your wife [are] involved in this pretty significant fire. "

One of his neighbors, John Long, rushed into the mobile home to save Schaeffer. He would later be treated for smoke inhalation. One of the other firefighters suffered a burn from the blaze. And the family wound up homeless.

"The money, the checkbooks, everything was destroyed," Schaeffer says. "It was really a devastating situation."

As he discussed the honor it was to be appointed chief in front of Downtown's Fire Station 1 yesterday, Schaeffer described his 28 years working as a firefighter that brought him to this point.

"The journey hasn't been without great sacrifice for myself and my family," Schaeffer says from the podium, as he begins to break down in tears. "I want to acknowledge and thank my wife for forgiving me for hundreds of missed meals, vacations, races and sometimes even promises, when my responsibilities at the fire department pulled me away. I would never have made it without you."

As Schaeffer officially takes the reins, he'll continue as the head of a department that is in the midst of change. As buildings have become more resistant to fire and as the population continues to age, the profession of firefighting has moved away from responding primarily to burning buildings and toward responding to medical emergencies.

That's true for firefighters across the country. But there are a few issues in Spokane, in particular, that Schaeffer has to grapple with:

1. Save the 48 grant-funded firefighters before the SAFER grant expires

The $9 million Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant the fire department received last September was enough to hire 48 new firefighters. For a department that had been understaffed for years, and was lagging behind the industry standard for response times, the new staffers came with a sigh of relief.

"I feel strongly that that's the minimum," Schaeffer says.

But the grant came attached to a ticking clock; it only lasted two years. Once the two years runs out, the department has to face the prospect of firing those new firefighters.

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Omega-3 fatty acids and better brain function, the power of cinnamon, and 'oral allergy syndrome'

Posted By on Thu, May 25, 2017 at 11:05 AM

Better brains with omega-3s
Want a great source of omega-3 fatty acids? Look no further than seeds and nuts.
  • Want a great source of omega-3 fatty acids? Look no further than seeds and nuts.
By now you’ve heard that omega-3 fatty acids are implicated in better metabolism and improving our heart health. But a new study shows they may also be implicated in warding off a decline in brain function. “This is very important research because it shows a correlation between lower omega-3 fatty acid levels and reduced brain blood flow to regions important for learning, memory, depression and dementia,” said the study’s lead author. Good sources of omega-3s include salmon, tuna and flaxseed oil.

Here's a list of foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids.

Natural help for high blood sugar?
Millions of people are considered “pre-diabetic” meaning their blood sugar runs a little too high, but not quite high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Exercise and diet can often help prevent that progression, and so can some common herbs, and one spice in particular: cinnamon.

Read more about the Spice of Life in this story from our InHealth archives.

Runny nose and itchy mouth?

If you have seasonal allergies, you may find some fruits produce a weird sensation in your mouth during certain times of the year. This “oral allergy syndrome” is the result of ingesting a food that contains a protein similar in structure to the pollens that provoke an individual’s sneezing and red eyes. This cross-reactivity occurs in predictable patterns: spring tree allergies are linked with cherries, apples and pears, while summer grass allergies go with reactions to watermelon and cantaloupe. Cooking or peeling a fruit before eating may help, but check with an allergist if symptoms occur when eating nuts.

For more health-related information, check out the current issue of InHealth.

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A Ben Carson state of mind, Montana GOP House candidate body-slams reporter, and morning headlines

Posted By on Thu, May 25, 2017 at 9:48 AM


NEWS: A demolition ban in the Browne's Addition neighborhood remains in place after a unanimous City Council vote in favor a moratorium.

MUSIC: The Inlander's annual music festival, Volume, is just around the corner. Two days. 100 bands. $25. Click here for a taste.


'You just body-slammed me and broke my glasses'
A Republican congressional candidate in Montana body-slammed a reporter for the Guardian Wednesday night on the eve of the state's special election as the journalist persisted in asking a question about the GOP health care plan. Guardian political reporter Ben Jacobs' account was corroborated by a Fox News crew who witnessed the incident.

Clueless Carson
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson claimed in an interview that poverty is a "state of mind." Seriously. (CNN)

Chief of flames
Mayor David Condon names Brian Schaeffer the next chief of the Spokane Fire Department. (Spokesman-Review)

Plugging the leaks
The New York Times obtained, apparently through U.S. government leaks, photographic evidence of the scene of Monday's deadly terrorist attack in Manchester, England. British Prime Minister Theresa May is not happy about it, while President Trump says he will "get to the bottom" of the leaks and wants those responsible prosecuted. (The Telegraph)  
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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hundreds seek answers about contaminated water at Fairchild meeting Tuesday night

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2017 at 3:39 PM

"Are you positive?" "Have you been tested?" neighbors and friends asked each other as they filed into the bleachers at Medical Lake High School on Tuesday evening.

They weren't talking about some disease, but about their drinking water.

While some there had already had their private wells tested for chemical contamination, possibly linked with firefighting foam used on Fairchild Air Force Base for more than 40 years, others lived close enough to the base that they wondered whether they needed to have their water tested, too.

Many were among the more than 8,000 people whose water comes from Airway Heights, which had two of its main well systems test high for the chemicals last week, and has been providing bottled water for residents while trying to flush the contamination from the city's system.

While waiting for the 6 pm meeting to start, people who'd never met casually compared serious medical issues they'd had in the past. Was their pancreatic cancer linked with the drinking water? What about the mysterious ulcers they couldn't figure out? If they seem to be sick all the time, could that be related? 

With news of the emerging contaminants PFOA and 
Col. Ryan Samuelson, commander of Fairchild Air Force Base's 92nd Air Refueling Wing, speaks to a crowd of hundreds Tuesday night, May 23, about water contamination near the base. - SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL
  • Samantha Wohlfeil
  • Col. Ryan Samuelson, commander of Fairchild Air Force Base's 92nd Air Refueling Wing, speaks to a crowd of hundreds Tuesday night, May 23, about water contamination near the base.
PFOS being found in higher-than-recommended concentrations in their water, every malaise seems subject to scrutiny, and Tuesday's meeting revealed few answers as to whether specific health issues and the chemicals are interconnected.


airchild Col. Ryan Samuelson, Commander of the 92nd Air Refueling Wing, started the meeting with a prepared speech, spending about 20 minutes explaining his commitment to transparency as the process of testing moves forward, giving an overview of what was going on, and trying to combat misinformation.

"You deserve to know what we know, because this is a concern for all of us," Samuelson told the crowd.

While the testing that Fairchild started in April raised questions about how long the Air Force had known the chemicals were an issue, according to other experts at the meeting who have been involved in systematic testing at other bases around the country, Fairchild has been one of the fastest to release information to the public.

Rather than wait for verified results, as soon as preliminary tests showed higher levels than an Environmental Protection Agency health advisory recommends, the base alerted well owners and started providing water for them. Samuelson has committed to getting information out quickly and answering questions.

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As Browne's Addition seeks historic recognition, City Council retains demolition ban

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2017 at 11:58 AM

These townhouses under construction on Chestnut and Second Avenue have become an example, cited by the Browne's Addition Neighborhood Council, as to why the neighborhood needs a demolition ban. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
  • These townhouses under construction on Chestnut and Second Avenue have become an example, cited by the Browne's Addition Neighborhood Council, as to why the neighborhood needs a demolition ban.

Housing developers looking to tear down and build up in the Browne’s Addition neighborhood will either have to look elsewhere or sit tight for the next six months.

On April 10, the Spokane City Council unanimously voted in favor of an emergency moratorium — and a six-month extension at Monday's meeting — on demolition permits for Browne’s Addition after multiple properties have been torn down. Most recently, a house at 201 S. Chestnut St. was demolished and is being replaced with a multi-family residential complex, contributing to the neighborhood council's decision to request the moratorium.

While the moratorium is in place, the city plans to review current demolition regulations, and the Browne’s Addition Neighborhood Council will work to complete an application for historic neighborhood status.

Councilmember Lori Kinnear sponsored the anti-demolition ordinance and pushed to add more support of historic preservation to the city’s budget priorities for fiscal year 2018.

“While we want infill, we don’t want to destroy what we have in our city,” Kinnear said at Monday's City Council meeting.

Rick Biggerstaff, Chair of the Browne’s Addition Neighborhood Council, says it is important to protect neighborhoods’ personalities. He pointed to Perry and Kendall Yards as examples of neighborhoods with contemporary personalities, and Browne’s as one with a more historic personality.

“When you enter our neighborhood, you go back in time,” Biggerstaff says.

Browne’s Addition residents understand that not all of their properties are perfect, he says, but they care about what they have.

“We buy these properties knowing we are going to get our elbows greased and our hands dirty,” Biggerstaff says.

He says the neighborhood does not oppose new housing and development, but wants more communication with developers from the very beginning of the process to maintain the area’s aesthetic.

Biggerstaff says he was particularly disappointed to see the loss of open, green space at the Chestnut Street address when demolition finished and construction began.

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