Thursday, July 12, 2018

Posted By on Thu, Jul 12, 2018 at 4:36 PM

click to enlarge Bike sharrows on I-90 and 24 other possibly unsound proposals to make Spokane more bicycle-friendly
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial gif
Is Spokane's bicycle infrastructure compatible with extraterrestrial visitors? How about Europeans?

I've been commuting by bike to the Inlander for eight years,  and so far it's been great. I've only been hit by cars twice — both times very politely.

That said, cycling in Spokane could still be even better. After all, there are some people who still drive places in cars. Trucks even!

Yesterday, Councilwoman Kate Burke held a "Bicyclists' Town Hall" to talk about some of the cycling projects that Spokane is working on and to get feedback from cyclists. They talked about the city's plan for a protected bike lane — a lane separated from automobile traffic by physical barriers like planters or posts — on Riverside Avenue through downtown. They discussed ideas like better signage, more bike racks, more trail connections and the fabled "Dutch intersection."

Burke says that attendees were mostly complimentary toward the city's improvements in the last decade, but were still critical of the city's choice to rehab streets like Sprague and Monroe without adding bike lanes. And she says pretty much everyone hates "sharrows," those painted bike-arrow symbols intended to guide cyclists on streets without bike lanes.

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Monday, July 9, 2018

Posted By on Mon, Jul 9, 2018 at 12:36 PM

click to enlarge Seattle roadtrip: Harry Styles proves himself more than a teenage heartthrob
Brooke Carlson photo
Harry Styles headlined at the Key Arena in Seattle on Saturday.

SEATTLE — With a crowd of thousands ranging from young girls with flower crowns to full-grown men in cowboy hats, Harry Styles enchanted all during his performance at Key Arena in Seattle on Saturday.

Though he's touring his first solo album, Styles projected an air of confidence that made it seem like he'd been doing it for decades. Granted, he had plenty of previous experience from his time with boy band One Direction. And honestly, I'd be pretty self-assured too if I could make a crowd of people lose their minds by just flashing a smile.

Ear-bursting shrieks erupted at the sight of Styles, who sported a sheer, sparkly top, high-waisted white trousers and a cheeky grin.

He played the entirety of his self-titled album, but not before expressing his gratitude to the crowd for showing up to support an artist with only 10 songs to his name. In addition to his solo material, he played some new songs as well as a couple of One Direction covers, which pleased the inner 15-year-old in me immensely.

Styles kicked off the show with "Only Angel," a biting, Rolling Stones-esque hit that shows off his vocal range. The 24-year-old not only channeled his inner Jagger through his music, but through his stage presence as well. His dance moves were all hips and flailing limbs, and we couldn't get enough of it.

But the show was more than rock 'n' roll. It was a space where people of all ages seemed to come together to celebrate inclusivity. At the beginning of the show, Styles addressed the screaming fans, saying, "Please feel free to be whoever you would like to be tonight."

Rainbow flags dotted the crowd, and Styles paraded his own around stage during a grown-up cover of "What Makes You Beautiful."

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Friday, June 22, 2018

Pet Issue

Posted By on Fri, Jun 22, 2018 at 2:44 PM

click to enlarge Some of our favorite dog-friendly places in Spokane to eat and drink
Derek Harrison
The author's dog, Millie, particularly enjoys spending her evenings at Community Pint.

With our first ever Pet Issue on stands now, we thought it would be a great time to share some of our favorite dog-friendly restaurants, breweries and bars. While you can’t bring your furry companion inside most places due to standard health codes and such, there’s plenty of options for outdoor drinking and dining.

Little Garden Cafe, 2901 W. Northwest Blvd.

This coffee and tea house with a quaint patio is perfect for a summer brunch. Located across the street from Audubon Park, it’s also a perfect spot for Otis to not-so-patiently wait for you to finish your meal so you can toss the ball a few times.

Community Pint, 120 E. Sprague Ave.

This beer bar is one of the few places in town that actually allows Lassie to come inside. It’s a great spot for both of you to escape the sun and cool off. If you’re a pet lover without a dog of your own, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to get your puppy fix here.

Iron Goat Brewing, 1302 W. Second Ave.

The alley patio at Iron Goat is ideal for spending an evening with old Blue. Take in the urban environment while drinking a pint of local beer. The kitchen serves small plates, pizza and sandwiches and even has beer-inspired treats that are safe for Blue to eat. You can also catch live music on the patio throughout the summer.

Casper Fry, 928 S. Perry St.

If you’re looking for a fine dining spot where Buddy can tag along, this South Perry District restaurant will treat you well. Along with their Southern comfort food and craft cocktails, it features a large dog-friendly patio. After your meal, you can both walk across the street to Perry Street Brewing for a few after dinner beers and a nice bowl of water.

The Scoop, 1001 W. 25th Ave.

What better way to end a long day of adventures with Balto than scarfing down some fresh-made ice cream? This South Hill hideaway features cold creations and baked goods, including their famous liege waffles. Relax at an outdoor table or take a walk through the neighborhood with a cone in hand. Go ahead and give him a small taste, he deserves it.

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Posted By on Thu, Jun 21, 2018 at 11:24 AM

When we asked readers to send us photos of their animal companions for the Inlander's first-ever Pet Issue photo contest, we had no idea we'd receive as many as we did — well over 250 in just one week!

In hindsight, though, why should we have expected any less? Ask anyone you know to tell you about their dog/cat/rabbit/lizard/fish/pig/etc. and the outpouring of love for these special animal friends flows freely. Inlander readers are no different; you all were more than willing to send us adorable photos and heartwarming stories that each illustrate the palpable joys of the human-animal bond. Picking only three winners to highlight in this year's first-ever Pet Issue was really, really hard.

As the issue's editor and creator of this contest, I was truly gleeful each time another submission came through. We received stories of heartrending rescues, loyal best friends and even memorials to companions who've since passed on. The creative pet names I saw were also an absolute favorite. (Shoutouts to Meriwether Lewis, Kylo Rentriever, Noodle Sheets, Baby Godzilla, Lando and many, many more.)

So, to somewhat make up for my and our other contest judges' guilt that we had to make a decision, and to recognize that all pets are special in their own ways, we decided to share some of standout submissions from the 2018 #InlanderPets photo contest. Make sure to meet our three winners — a deaf rescue dog, a pokey, palm-sized buddy and an adventure cat — in this week's issue.

Whiskey, a shaded cream, long-haired dachshund
Owned by Cynthia Schoch of Spokane
"Whiskey deserves to be featured because he is the neighborhood's welcoming committee. He loves every person he sees and wants to meet all of the animals he sees, especially other dogs! He's stubborn and independent, like all dachshunds, but is so sweet and submissive that he goes belly-up to every creature he meets within minutes (begging, of course, for belly rubs), and is so well behaved that he can go for walks off his leash (in safe areas, of course). We have been together since he was a puppy and he is the little love of my life."

Roo, the rex dumbo rat
Owned by Megan Cuilla, of Spokane
"Rats don’t have the best reputation, what with the plague and all, but they make really great pets and are super friendly. 'But their tails.' Okay, okay. Their tails DO take some getting used to, but we humans have weird body parts, too, and our pet rats don’t judge us for that."

Berger Martina Haeger, a short-haired calico
Owned by Joseph Edwin Haeger and family, of Spokane
"Berger should be in the Inlander because she is gorgeous, and as the photo clearly indicates, she has a lot of personality. She’s a proud lady and wants things her way and isn’t afraid to tell it how it is. In her free time you can find her snuggling up with her family or stealing entire sticks of butter from the kitchen. Sometimes you just have to treat yourself. She fancies herself a hunter, but I’ve never seen her catch more than a cat nap. She would be an ideal candidate for the Inlander’s Pet Issue."

Willow, the Nigerian dwarf goat
Owned by Corinne Morse, of Spokane
"This is Willow the Nigerian dwarf goat. She's about 10 years old and has lived all her days in the Spokane area. She deserves to be featured in the Inlander because she has lived a hard life, she has had many babies and was abused early in her life. We have had the pleasure of sharing our farm with her for the last year and could not imagine a sweeter girl. Don't tell the others, but she is my favorite goat."

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Posted By on Wed, Jun 20, 2018 at 3:27 PM

In celebration of our first Pet Issue, check out these previously published animal stories on
Young Kwak
Rescue4All's Jamie McAtee was a featured recipient of the Inlander's annual philanthropy award, the Peirone Prize, last summer for her efforts to rescue and rehabilitate local animals.

We love any opportunity to share interesting stories about local pets and animals, so to mark the publication of the Inlander's first-ever Pet Issue, we thought it'd be the perfect time to reshare some more animal-related features we've published in recent years:

Boomer, an African serval of the Palouse
Boomer is a 1-year-old, 30-lb. African wildcat who lives in the Palouse town of Oakesdale, Washington, at Savannah Exotics cattery, with his owner Anna Spielberg. (April 2018)

Meet 2017 Inlander Peirone Prize winner Jamie McAtee, founder of Rescue4All
McAtee's creation more than four years ago of the local nonprofit animal rescue dedicated to saving the lives of often unadoptable and medically needy dogs has made a difference for hundreds of animals. (August 2017)
click to enlarge In celebration of our first Pet Issue, check out these previously published animal stories on
Young Kwak
WDFW Wildlife Biologist Rich Beausoleil gets a kiss from his 10 1/2-year-old Karelian bear dog Cash, who has worked on more than 500 bears and 140 cougars.

Washington Fish & Wildlife’s Karelian bear dogs
The six working dogs with Washington State Fish and Wildlife's Karelian Bear Dog Program work with their wildlife officer handlers to help mitigate human-wildlife conflicts with bears, cougars and other animals. (May 2016)

Spokane teen volunteers to train a guide-dog-to-be
At the time of this piece, then high school senior Alyson Galow was training a 6-month-old yellow Labrador puppy named Limerick for potential entrance into a training program with Guide Dogs for the Blind. (November 2016)

The tragedy of Arfee

In 2014, a mistaken tip led to a fast-on-the-trigger cop to kill Craig Jones' 2-year-old black Labrador in the parking lot of a Coeur d'Alene coffee shop. After the city of Coeur d'Alene smeared his dead dog as a "vicious pitbull," outrage poured in from throughout the nation. (August 2016)
click to enlarge In celebration of our first Pet Issue, check out these previously published animal stories on
Taima the Hawk, showing off his impressive nearly 5-foot wingspan, leads the Seahawks to football victory at all home games.

The Seahawks’ official live mascot calls Spokane home
This fall will mark the African augur hawk Taima's (tay-ma, which means “thunder”) 13th season leading the team onto the field before every home game at CenturyLink Field. When he’s not rallying fans or players, Taima chills at home on Spokane’s West Plains. (September 2014)

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Posted By on Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 1:20 PM

click to enlarge One brother on Jeopardy!, the other to appear on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek and contestant Jon Brown


t was quite a week for the Brown brothers. On Friday, Jon Brown appeared as a contestant on the long-running quiz show Jeopardy! He was described as a bartender from Los Angeles, but Spokanites may recall him from Stella's, the beloved but now-closed sandwich shop, or as an occasional contributing writer to the Inlander.

His star turn on TV didn't exactly end well. He trailed most the game and bet everything but a dollar in Final Jeopardy. The final clue — "A Portuguese explorer gave this name to an island he sighted off Africa’s coast 40 days after Easter" — stumped all of the competitors. Jon had answered "What is Madiera?" and finished in third with that final buck. (The correct answer, by the way, is "What is Ascension Island?")
click to enlarge One brother on Jeopardy!, the other to appear on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Ruins' chef and owner Tony Brown

Meanwhile, earlier in the week, Jon's younger brother, Tony Brown, was rubbing elbows with Guy Fieri, who was in town filming for his Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Tony, the chef and owner of Ruins restaurant on North Monroe, declined to give any comment to the Inlander, but one of guests present during filming confirms that Fieri was at Ruins for a future episode of DDD. (Fieri visited the restaurant twice: on Saturday, June 9, and again last week.)

Luke Baumgarten, one of the guests at the June 9 filming, gives this account:

"We got there on Saturday around 10. After a little milling around, the crew sent us in the side door. Guy was filming his intro by pretending to talk into the payphone that still sits near the front of the restaurant. He seemed amused to be in a place where pay phones still exist.

"Guy came in a few moments after we’d taken our seat and started off by apologizing. He said there were a couple tiers of places they feature on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives and that Ruins was top tier. The top tier places, he said, get a lot of love on the show, and he said he gets angry emails from locals who find their favorite spots overrun by Triple-D tourists. He said something to the effect of, 'You’re going to need to run people out of this place!'

"When we got to attend the filming at Chaps 8 years ago, Guy methodically went around for over an hour interviewing people. This time he spent about 15 minutes, interviewing only one table — a man and his father who Guy seemed to know personally. After that the crew quickly packed up and we were left to eat our dirty fries, taquitos, gnocchi and a couple other dishes.

"After everyone left, Tony came around to each table, told us he’d gotten to the restaurant at 1 am to prep for the filming and then thanked us for coming."

No word yet on when the episode might be broadcast.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 1:28 PM

click to enlarge Wilco's Jeff Tweedy brings solo tour to the Bing in September; tickets go on sale Thursday
Jeff Tweedy, frontman of Wilco, headlines a solo show at the Bing Sept. 26.

Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy is swinging through Spokane on Wednesday, Sept. 26, for a show at the Bing Crosby Theater.

Tickets for the show, $49 and $60, go on sale at 7 pm on Thursday, June 14, via the Bing's website and TicketsWest outlets.

Tweedy's solo tours have become celebrations of the singer/songwriter's sprawling career that includes nearly a quarter-century fronting Wilco, seven years and four albums with Uncle Tupelo before Wilco's formation and writing and producing for the likes of Mavis Staples, the Minus 5 and others.

His most recent solo album, Together At Last, is essentially a version of his solo shows — it's him in a studio reconfiguring songs from his past Wilco, Golden Smog and Loose Fur releases. Expect to hear those and many more at his show in Spokane this fall.

Here's a clip of Tweedy doing "Sunken Treasure" solo-style:

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Monday, June 11, 2018

Posted By on Mon, Jun 11, 2018 at 6:04 PM

click to enlarge Steve Earle books a fall show in Spokane; tickets go on sale Friday (2)
Steve Earle & The Dukes play Spokane Oct. 1.

A few years back I was watching a Steve Earle concert when I had one of those realizations that comes along every now and again when you're witnessing something special:

"Don't ever miss Steve Earle in concert."

Those are true words to live by for any fans of the notoriously loudmouthed, country-tinged troubadour, and even for folks who aren't privy to his excellence (yet) — so prepare thee to get some tickets for his just-announced show this fall, where he'll be joined by his band the Dukes for a gig at the Bing Crosby Theater.

Tickets for Steve Earle & the Dukes, playing Oct. 1 at the Bing, are $39.50 and $50, and go on sale this Friday at 10 am through the usual TicketsWest outlets and the Knitting Factory website.

Earle, a three-time Grammy winner and 11-time nominee, has released 20 albums over the course of his career. His latest with the Dukes is So You Wanna Be An Outlaw, and it's another fine addition to a catalog that moves between country, folk, rock and blues with ease. I've seen Earle several times through the years, most recently on his tour through Spokane with Shawn Colvin; that show was killer, and he's never disappointed when I've seen him.

In addition to making music, Earle is an actor, novelist, playwright, radio host and activist who works tirelessly in opposition to the death penalty and in favor of removing vestiges of the racist American South. So leave your Confederate flags at home, please.

Here's the title track from Earle's latest album:

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Posted By on Mon, Jun 11, 2018 at 1:02 PM

click to enlarge Rainy, but not gloomy, Spokane Pride Parade draws a crowd in spite of the weather
Quinn Welsch photo
Marchers parade down Spokane Falls Boulevard on Saturday, June 9.

The weather was trash, I was running late and, to be honest, I didn’t expect to see a soul at the Spokane Pride Parade on Saturday, June 9.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I'm a recent transplant to this area. Before I moved from the cozy confines of Western Washington, everyone warned me about what to expect. Well, once again, Spokane has proven the haters wrong.

Thousands of people took to the streets on Saturday afternoon, seemingly in spite of the crappy weather. Bright and bold fashion choices beamed under a gloomy sky — somewhat of a metaphor for the mood of the 26th annual parade.

Holding a sign at the parade that read “Isn’t Hate A Sin?” local artist Rose Shankman says this is just one of eight demonstrations she’s participated in since 2017.

“I have a lot of angst since 'you-know-who' got into the White House, and I have to do something as positive as I can,” she says.

The feeling was echoed by others at the parade, including National Teacher of the Year Mandy Manning, who was OutSpokane’s recipient of the inaugural Stonewall Impact Award.

“I think we can agree that we are in the middle of tough times. There are people with negative opinions and feelings who are feeling emboldened ... and that’s why it is right for us to stand up and fight for what is good,” she told the crowd gathered in Riverfront Park on Saturday.

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Friday, June 8, 2018

Posted By on Fri, Jun 8, 2018 at 3:49 PM

click to enlarge A high school senior in Spokane built a tiny home for a school project and plans to live in it during college
Wilson Criscione photo
Emmett Linklater

Four years ago, Emmett Linklater could have chosen anything for his final project at the Community School. He decided to do something big.

Well, "big" in a tiny sort of way.

Linklater will graduate this month with a tiny home he built for his required independent school project. But Linklater didn't just do it for school credit. He plans on living in it for college at Western Washington University.

"I just like the idea of having a house that I can move to where I want to go," Linklater says.

During Linklater's first two years at the Community School, a project-based high school, he mostly planned out what he wanted the tiny house to look like. It's about 210 square feet — an average size for a tiny home. The interior isn't finished yet, but eventually it will have a bathroom, kitchen and bedroom.

Linklater knew a little bit about woodworking. He had to learn how to weld for the trailer the home sits on, he says. The last couple months, he built the frame and did the exterior work with the help of some family friends. He designed it knowing that one day he would eventually live in it.

"I like living simply and living smaller," Linklater says.

Theoretically, it will save Linklater money. Linklater says his parents helped him with the costs of building the home. They did so knowing that, in college, Linklater would live in the tiny house instead of a dormitory.

"I'm lucky enough to have parents who funded it, they kind of think of it as saving money," Linklater says. "They can pay a couple thousand dollars to build a tiny house, or pay tens of thousands of dollars to room me at college for a couple years."

Linklater plans on majoring in environmental science at Western Washington University. He won't live in the tiny house immediately, because he wants some time to figure out where he's going to put it.

Linklater admits that the project took more work than it needed to for the school's requirements of the independent project. The school lets the students choose almost anything they want to for the project. They can build something, learn a skill, write a story, or do anything else they're interested in. The students just need to have a plan and follow through with it by the time they graduate.

"The idea," Linklater says, "is you get something out of it more than a grade."

And now, the high school senior has a home. 

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Wild Dust @ The Guardian

Sat., Sept. 23, 7:30 p.m. and Sun., Sept. 24, 2 p.m.
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