Friday, January 19, 2018

Here's Cathy McMorris Rodgers message that won't get played at the Spokane Women's March

Posted By on Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 4:41 PM

The video you won't see at the Spokane Women's #Persistence March on Sunday.
  • The video you won't see at the Spokane Women's #Persistence March on Sunday.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers will not, it turns out, be delivering a video message to the assembled throng of the Spokane Women's #Persistence March this Sunday.

Yes, march organizer Cynthia Hamilton had reached out to Cathy McMorris Rodgers' office a few weeks ago, asking if they'd be willing to participate. She told the Spokesman-Review this morning that McMorris Rodgers would be speaking to the marchers by pre-recorded video.

A number of local progressives, already upset that McMorris Rodgers spoke at the Martin Luther King Jr. rally, were flummoxed by the decision to feature a Republican House leader speaking at an event that had been created, in part, to protest the Republican president.

But this afternoon, McMorris Rodgers team explained the women's march wouldn't allow them to play the video after all.

"Since she can't be there in person, they won't be able to play the video," McMorris Rodgers spokesman Jared Powell says. "I think they had a prior guideline on that that we weren't made aware of."

McMorris Rodgers wasn't able to attend in person, Powell says, because of a prior obligation and because "the government funding situation is currently up in the air, obviously," Powell says.

We've uploaded the video here instead:

On the video, McMorris Rodgers' smiles broadly, her voice cheery and enthusiastic as she describes the gains that women have made recently.

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Independent House candidate Eric Agnew on his plea for moderation — and why he voted for Hillary

Posted By on Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 12:42 PM

Independent candidate for the Fifth District Eric Agnew is still a little uncomfortable having his name on a big button on his chest - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
  • Independent candidate for the Fifth District Eric Agnew is still a little uncomfortable having his name on a big button on his chest

It's a bad time to be a moderate. The difference between the Republican and Democratic parties has diverged ever more sharply. Both parties have been playing to their furious bases.

In most districts, you're more likely to lose a primary by being too moderate than to win crossover votes to succeed in a general election. It seems like nobody, these days, is clamoring for Kumbaya.

Except, perhaps, for Eric Agnew, third-party candidate running against Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Democrat Lisa Brown for Washington state's 5th District House seat. He hates that things have gotten this way.

At a small gathering at Perry Street Brewing Wednesday night, Agnew, a 39-year-old manager at Itron, takes a defiant stand in favor of moderation. And he does it with a little object lesson.

He holds up red and blue strips of cloth tied together, asking volunteers to pull back and forth, showing how the slight shifts in power allow either red or blue to dominate completely.

"It's just this, playing out every day," Agnew says. "People are fed up. They're saying, I don't want to play this extremist game anymore."

Republicans dominate. Democrats dominate. Back and forth.

"Every day for months, I was so frustrated with this tug of war. I felt helpless," Agnew says. "It was always going to be this way. Then I realized, that if you just changed the game..."

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Countdown to shutdown showdown, Straub scandal resurrected and morning headlines

Posted By on Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 9:53 AM

The threat of a government shutdown is a good reminder to make sure to save all your MS Word documents
  • The threat of a government shutdown is a good reminder to make sure to save all your MS Word documents


King's Speech
Controversial columnist/activist Shaun King spoke at WSU last night. Remember how the scandal surrounding former Inlander columnist Rachel Dolezal made her life hell?


The costs of secrecy
$56,000, so far. That's how much lawmakers have spent to protect their special exclusion from public record requests. (Seattle Times)

The Straub scandal, now in reruns

Joe Shogan has revived the Condon ethics complaint. (Spokesman-Review)

Like some big unpoppable bubble!
The housing market continues to be very tight into 2018. (Spokesman-Review)

Red hot John Kelly on Donald Trump action!
The conflict between Donald Trump and his chief of staff, John Kelly, heats up. (New York Times)

Shutdown showdown
Good news! The Washington Post has a red government shutdown counter, so you can watch a dysfunctional Washington put off an agreement until the very last minute. (Washington Post)

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Tonight: live stream Shaun King's speech at WSU

Posted By on Thu, Jan 18, 2018 at 3:29 PM


Shaun King, a journalist, activist and leading commenter on politics and race in America, will speak tonight at 7 pm in Pullman as part of Washington State University's annual program celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.

King has gathered a huge following on Twitter and Facebook as a prominent speaker and writer involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, and regularly uses his platforms to draw attention to injustice, discrimination, police brutality, and to raise money for charity.

His speech tonight, "The New Civil Rights Movement," will be live-streamed, and anyone who can't make it to the speech on campus can register to watch the stream for free here.

Over his career, King has been lauded for his work, including helping uncover the identities of some white supremacists who beat a black man during the protests at Charlottesville last August, and covering Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Missouri, with feverish detail.

King has also at times been at the center of controversy, as when conservative media outlets, including Breitbart, tried to question his ethnicity, which led many to draw comparisons to Spokane's Rachel Dolezal. King spoke out against the claims, sharing more about his family history, and many supporters saw the efforts to question King's race as an attempt to sideline BLM.

He's currently a columnist for The Intercept, which he joined last fall after coming off a stint as writer-in-residence at Harvard Law for the school's Fair Punishment Project, and before that he worked as senior justice writer at the New York Daily News.

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Tyler Hilinski's legacy, cop's son guilty of manslaughter, and morning headlines

Posted By on Thu, Jan 18, 2018 at 9:36 AM


How many Spokane teenagers are having sex?
And what can we do to reduce the higher than average rate of teen pregnancy in Spokane?

'That is a tasty burger'
For the past two weeks, long suffering Inlander staffers have toiled to bring you the first ever Burger Issue. We rank our favorites, explore non-beef options and spotted some killer burger and a beer specials.

Don't argue with the judge
Rogers High School students will square off in a debate against two Spokane District Court judges.


'Miss you Klink'
Washington State backup quarterback Tyler Hilinski was found dead in his Pullman apartment Tuesday of an apparent self-inflected gunshot wound. Current and former teammates, and others in the WSU community, took to social media to remember the 21-year-old. Members of the state House unanimously approved a bill Wednesday that would establish more resources for behavioral health and suicide prevention at Washington colleges. (Spokesman-Review)

Hilinski started WSU's bowl game against Michigan state (a 42-17 loss), and was the presumed starting QB next year. Police found a rifle and a suicide note near his body, and have been interviewing friends to find a motive. (Associated Press)

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Spokane's Citizen Hall of Fame nominations are open, and you're in charge

Posted By on Wed, Jan 17, 2018 at 4:49 PM


The Spokane Citizen Hall of Fame is looking for its next class of inductees. Nominations are open now through Feb. 6.

The fourth annual event will recognize six in categories including arts and letters, economic development and business, education, innovation and leadership, public service and philanthropy, and science, health and medicine.

Winners receive a big-o key to the city (the thing's like eight inches long) and finalists receive a city coin.

You can nominate the same person for more than one category, says Sarah Bain, director of development for the Spokane Public Library Foundation, but nominees cannot be current elected officials. Former elected officials  have to have been out of office for at least five years to qualify for a nomination.

Jeanne Ager, 2016 Public Service and Philanthropy inductee, with City Council President Ben Stuckart (left) and Mayor David Condon. - COURTESY OF THE SPOKANE PUBLIC LIBRARY
  • Courtesy of the Spokane Public Library
  • Jeanne Ager, 2016 Public Service and Philanthropy inductee, with City Council President Ben Stuckart (left) and Mayor David Condon.

Finalists (three in each category) will be announced in March, Bain says. The winners will be announced during a breakfast May 1 in the downtown public library. Tickets are $50/each and will go on sale in February. The event is open to the public.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Watch District Court judges Aimee Maurer and Debra Hayes (probably) get trounced by Rogers High debaters

Posted By on Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 12:01 PM

Then-Rogers High School student James Pearson faces off against Washington state Sen. Michael Baumgartner in 2016. Former Spokesman-Review editorial page editor Bert Caldwell is stuck in the middle. - PHOTO COURTESY OF HAMILTON STUDIO
  • Photo courtesy of Hamilton Studio
  • Then-Rogers High School student James Pearson faces off against Washington state Sen. Michael Baumgartner in 2016. Former Spokesman-Review editorial page editor Bert Caldwell is stuck in the middle.

Generally, unless you're a lawyer, it's a bad idea to start arguing with a judge.

But Rogers High School debaters William Lynch and Katelynn Searls have the chutzpah to do just that, facing off against district court judges Debra Hayes and Aimee Mauer at “Rhetoric in the Ring IV: Kids vs Courts.”

It's the fourth such fundraiser for the Rogers High School debate team, to be held on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at 5:30 pm at the Howard Street Gym.

Fundraisers, whether they be entertainment book deals or door-to-door wrapping paper sales, tend to be among the most miserable school activities. But a few years ago Rogers debate coach Cara Heath says she was discussing the need to pull off a fundraiser with public affairs consultant Jim Hedemark when they came up with an "intriguing idea": Pit the student debaters against local politicians or celebrities. Find local sponsors and ask for donations to support the team at the event.

And so Rhetoric in the Ring was born.

In past years, the celebrity debaters have included City Council President Ben Stuckart and City Councilmember Mike Fagan, Washington state Sens. Andy Billig and Michael Baumgartner and local school board members.

This year, they're taking on the local district court judges.

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McMorris Rodgers booed at MLK rally, Bannon subpoenaed, and morning headlines

Posted By on Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 9:10 AM


NEWS: Mandy Manning, a finalist for the National Teacher of the Year, will use her platform to elevate the voices of her refugee and immigrant students.

SPORTS: The West Coast Conference seems to have no answer for the Zags' Rui Hachimura.


Not much has changed in a year
At Spokane's Martin Luther King, Jr. Rally yesterday, some audience members, like at last year's rally, booed and turned their backs to U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, prompting other speakers to condemn the hecklers. (Spokesman-Review)

State gun legislation gets a vote
A bill that would ban "bump stocks," or devices that allow for the rapid firing of semiautomatic rifles, is scheduled for a vote this morning by the state legislature's Law and Justice Committee. The Las Vegas mass shooter who killed 58 people used bump stocks. (Spokesman-Review)

Hate speech

Police have found a man who is suspected of distributing racist propaganda promoting white supremacy in Sandpoint schools, but he hasn't been charged with a crime. (Bonner County Daily Bee)

Bannon to speak to Mueller
Steve Bannon, President Trump's former chief strategist, was subpoenaed by the special counsel, Robert Mueller, to testify as part of the Russia investigation. (New York Times)

Republicans say they will be unable to reach a long-term spending accord by Friday, meaning that the chances of a government shutdown are growing. (Washington Post)
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Monday, January 15, 2018

Teacher Feature: Teacher of the Year finalist elevates refugee, immigrant students

Posted By on Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 12:41 PM

Mandy Manning works to make her students feel welcome in the United States - WILSON CRISCIONE PHOTO
  • Wilson Criscione photo
  • Mandy Manning works to make her students feel welcome in the United States

Mandy Manning, a teacher of refugees and immigrant students at Ferris High School, knows what she would say to President Donald Trump if she ends up winning National Teacher of the Year.

"I would invite him to visit my classroom," Manning says. "And I would share stories of how beautiful and amazing and wonderful my students and their families are."

Manning, already the 2018 Washington Teacher of the Year, is one of four finalists for National Teacher of the Year, with the winner traditionally visiting the White House for a ceremony in the spring.

Yet what motivates Manning isn't as much the recognition for her job. For her, it's an opportunity to tell her students' stories. That's why she pursued the nomination for Teacher of the Year.

"Considering some of the difficulties we're seeing in our nation right now around refugees and immigrants, and being willing to experience that which is outside of your understanding," Manning says, "I thought this would be an opportunity to share my students' voices."

Manning is a teacher at the English Language Development Newcomer Center at Ferris High School. It's the first class that many refugees and immigrants take when they arrive in the United States, and most come to class speaking little English. It's the only class of its kind at the high school level in Spokane.

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Hawaii false alarm, MLK's great speeches, morning headlines

Posted By on Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 9:42 AM


Saved or skunked

While a new funding mechanism for Washington state schools was meant to ease the burden from local levies and increase spending statewide, some local districts will actually get less money under the new plan and have less flexibility to pay for things outside the scope of basic education, like academic clubs or buses.

Helping hands, understanding poverty
There are a number of donation drives and upcoming events to help people in need and help the wider community better understand issues faced by their neighbors.

Get out, have fun
From Three Doors Down to the second North Idaho Women's March, here's what's up this week in the Inland Northwest.


The wrong button

An employee who was supposed to send an internal training message imitating the missile alert system in Hawaii accidentally sent the actual missile alert out to an unaware public, causing many to panic Saturday morning. (Washington Post)

Washington DOL won't give ICE info without order
Following a Seattle Times report, the Washington State Department of Licensing announced it will now require a court order before giving personal information to immigration enforcement, unless otherwise required to do so by law.  (Seattle Times)

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of MLK's assassination. Today, on the day America honors his life and work striving for a better world for all, here are some of his speeches that you may not be as familiar with. (Boston Globe)

Cheesin' in CDA
The first Mac and Cheese Festival took place in Coeur d'Alene this weekend, and the Coeur d'Alene Press reports it was a hit.

Police ID suspect in slew of racist calls, flyers
A man who Sandpoint police believe was involved in spreading racist propaganda at area schools and making anti-Semitic phone calls has been identified, but it's not clear if he'll be charged with a crime, the Spokesman-Review reports.
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