Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Posted By on Tue, Jul 3, 2018 at 4:06 PM

click to enlarge At a speech last month about understanding the alt-right, Lindsay Schubiner showcases a grid highlighting the nuances of different manifiestations of white supremacist groups. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
At a speech last month about understanding the alt-right, Lindsay Schubiner showcases a grid highlighting the nuances of different manifiestations of white supremacist groups.

In a lecture last month at Veradale United Church of Christ in Spokane Valley, California-based activist Lindsay Schubiner described different ways to fight against white supremacy.

For one lesson, she pointed to John Tanton, the founder of the modern organized anti-immigration movement. As time had gone on, Tanton's anti-immigration rhetoric had become increasingly racist, even supportive of eugenics.

"There was an organized effort to discredit him and push him out of the mainstream. When folks started going after him, other people said it was impossible. But what they did is really expose his beliefs and bring conservatives on board. Because he's working in Republican spaces," Schubiner said. "They built a coalition of folks who wanted to distance themselves from John Tanton and his influence. Once more conservative folks started going after John Tanton, other people felt they could voice their disagreement."

It all culminated in a New York Times article that resulted in Tanton being largely shunned from the movement.

It's a key lesson: If you want to stop the alt-right's quest to become part of the mainstream, recruit the mainstream right to isolate them and shun them.

Indeed, local Republicans have repeatedly distanced themselves from alt-right leader James Allsup, former WSU College Republicans president. When national news broke that he'd secured a precinct committee officer seat with the Whitman County Republicans, press releases were quickly issued.

“His past statements, affiliations and actions are deeply out-of-step with the values of the Republican Party,” the Spokane County GOP chair Cecily Wright wrote.

"I don’t have a relationship with him, but I know what he stands for. His actions and words do not reflect the values of the Republican party or Eastern Washington," Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers wrote in a statement. "White supremacy, racism, and bigotry are never acceptable and have no place in America or Eastern Washington."

That isn't the first time that McMorris Rodgers has condemned Allsup either.

But for some on the left, allying with the right to fight white supremacy comes with a concern: Are they giving Republicans cover to say that they’re not racist, obscuring what they see as racist Republican ideology?

Last week, Spokane Community Against Racism hosted a talk by Gonzaga lecturer Joan Braune titled "Countering the Alt-Right Threat to Spokane." Mariah McKay, former Inlander columnist and champion of various left-wing causes, reached out personally to some of her Republican friends — the sort she argues with on Facebook — and invited them to attend.

"I think it’s positive that local Republican party leaders do not see James Allsup as part of their ranks,” says McKay. “I would like to keep it that way.”

McKay argues that Republican leaders have an obligation to recognize that they have a responsibility to prevent the growth of extremist movements within their ranks. And the lecture last week wasn't about an opportunity for Republicans to grandstand, she said, it was an opportunity to ask questions.

"I wanted to make sure that they’ve had access to the information I’ve been steeped in," McKay says.

She also says she hoped that they'd ask themselves why the alt-right identifies closer to Republicans.

"Why does James Allsup think he can infiltrate Republicans?" McKay asks. "Why does he think they can get a toehold in the community? Perhaps by learning more about the history of these extremist groups, they can be more self-reflective."

McKay says the event was great.

"People, our Republican friends included, left the room feeling empowered," McKay says. "There is historical precedent for beating these people back."

And when Braune was asked about including Republican allies in the fight, McKay says, she responded that of course conservatives are a crucial part of stopping the spread of that kind of ideology.

Spokane County Democrats vice-chair Jac Archer was fine with accepting Republicans who want to join the movement opposing the alt-right, but wasn't raring to actively recruit them.

"When I see anti-racist movements, I go to them," Archer said. "I don’t have to be convinced. I don’t have to be cajoled."

Wright, the Spokane County GOP chair, meanwhile, says she's not really a fan of pushing back against white supremacy through large “let’s-embrace-everybody kind of get-togethers.”

“That, to me, is phony,” Wright says. She worries about giving the alt-right groups more attention. “It brings more attention to the people who want confirmation that we have racism.”

She resents the idea that she had to issue such a statement against Allsup. That, to be clear, is not because she's anything close to a fan of Allsup's.

“I’d like to go punch the guy in the nose myself,” Wright jokes.

But to her, the idea that Republicans don’t support white supremacy is so obvious that it shouldn’t even need to be said.

"The way I look at it is both parties absolutely abhor racism," says Wright.

She says she marched in civil right rallies back in the '60s and says the more people focus on racism, Wright argues, the more divided the country becomes.

Rallies can throw gasoline on the fire, she says. 

"I don’t really want to honor the nutjobs with something like that," Wright says.

That's one of the big challenges in forming a bi-partisan alliance against racism. Democrats and Republicans can't always agree on what racism even is.

To generalize, on the right, racism is something evil that a person believes in their heart and mind. But on the left, the definition goes much further: Racism is about power dynamics, a toxic ideology embedded deep within societal structures.

Shortly after Trump’s election, the n-word was spray-painted on Spokane’s Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center. U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers reached out to then-NAACP president Phil Tyler to figure out how to respond.

Together, they co-founded the “Peaceful Communities Roundtable,” a group of community leaders from a variety of backgrounds aiming to combating racism and finding solutions. But for some on the left, it was an outrage.

"I remember people being pretty upset," McKay says, "For her to think that because she can shake hands with a black man and take a pretty picture that she's an ally of communities of color is very shallow." 

McKay raises concerns that events like these can be more of a photo-op than productive, that it can mask the actual conversation that needs to happen. 

"It’s easy to demonize one boogeyman and then turn around and pass policies that disproportionately impact [people], and not bat an eyelash about it," McKay says.

But others have been more supportive. In May, Rodney McAuley, a black pastor with Youth For Christ, told the Inlander that he'd attended the roundtables with McMorris Rodgers, and believed that the events have been genuinely influential.

"I have had occasions to be in different settings and personally observed a journey of compassion and heart-shifting in Cathy," McAuley says. "I can state that unequivocally."

Even if they don't see eye to eye, McAuley argues, they can build relationships and combat division together.

click to enlarge Pastor Walter Kendricks wants to restart the Peaceful Communities Roundtables. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
Pastor Walter Kendricks wants to restart the Peaceful Communities Roundtables.

After the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville — attended by Allsup — Trump gave an " unequivocal boost" to the white supremacist movement, according to the New York Times.

White supremacist figures like David Duke and Richard Spencer praised Trump's comments that there are "very fine people on both sides."

And for some on the left, the president who spouts textbook racist comments; who launched his campaign accusing Mexican illegal immigrants of being rapists and criminals; who uses words like "infested" to describe migrants; and who refers to immigrants from Africa as coming from "shithole countries," doesn't just give aid and comfort to white supremacy, he embodies it.

"It is often said that Trump has no real ideology, which is not true — his ideology is white supremacy, in all its truculent and sanctimonious power," writes Pulitzer Prize finalist Ta-Nehisi Coates.

And that complicates any alliances between the left and the right to combat racism: One side supports Trump. The other thinks he's the embodiment of racism.

After the Charlottesville rally, McMorris Rodgers repeated her opposition to white supremacy. But local Unitarian Universalist minister Todd Eklof condemned McMorris Rodgers for being "complicit" in racist violence for not taking a stronger stand against Trump.

In several occasions, McMorris Rodgers has called out Trump on his offensive statements.

But that hasn't, say, stopped McMorris Rodgers from being jeered at by left-wing hecklers at Martin Luther King Jr. events two years in a row.

Pastor Walter Kendricks, the black pastor of Spokane's Morning Star Baptist Church, hosted the "Countering the Alt-Right" event. He considers McMorris Rodgers a friend and has been a part of the Peaceful Communities Roundtables. He says he appreciates the times when she has criticized Trump's offensive words.

“Is it helpful that she condemns the statements? Yes,” Kendricks says. “The flipside to that: I think it was [black novelist] James Baldwin who said, ‘I can’t hear what you say because I see what you do.'"

In other words, Kendricks feels McMorris Rodgers still votes in a way that is not in the interest of the everyday working people. He wants her take a stronger stand, not just with her words, but with her actions.

Kendricks says the Peaceful Communities Roundtables have not been held since the Inlander reported on the long history of domestic violence allegations against Tyler, the Roundtable’s co-founder.

He says he plans on reach out to McMorris Rodgers this week to restart the meetings.

“We have to reach out to the people of good will from every political party from left to right,” Kendricks says.

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Posted By on Tue, Jul 3, 2018 at 9:22 AM


NEWS: A new website — wahealthcarecompare.com — lets patients compare prices for different procedures in their area based on zip code.

NEWS: Get ready. The voter registration deadline for the Washington primary election is fast approaching.


Girl dies in mass stabbing
A 3-year-old girl was celebrating her birthday party in Boise when a man unleashed a stabbing attack on her and eight other refugees. Yesterday, the 3-year-old, Ruya Kadir, died. The alleged attacker, Timmy Earl Kinner, is charged with murder. (Idaho Statesman)

Worth the money
For workers in local businesses during Hoopfest, serving an endless line of sweaty people may not be the best day. But at least it's good for business. (KXLY)

Is the North Spokane Corridor a good plan to alleviate traffic? Or is it, as some groups are saying, a boondoggle? (Spokesman-Review)

Not seeing color
Schools and colleges no longer have to consider race or diversity in admissions standards. The Trump administration has reversed the Obama administration policy, officials said today. (New York Times)

Womp, Womp
Following the lead of former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, a man went to a rally protesting Trump's border policies in Alabama, yelled "womp, womp!" and pulled a gun on the protesters. He was arrested. (Washington Post)

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Monday, July 2, 2018

Posted By on Mon, Jul 2, 2018 at 3:35 PM

If you plan to register to vote in Washington's August primary election the deadline for online and mail-in registration is Monday, July 9.

Barring that, in-person registration can still be done at your county elections office until July 30, and if you miss the deadline, you should contact your local election office for more information.

This week is also a busy week for statewide voter initiatives, which need to turn in signatures by July 6 to qualify for the November ballot. For this year, initiatives need at least 259,622 registered voter signatures to qualify, and the Washington Secretary of State's Office recommends the groups submit at least 325,000 to allow for invalid signatures.

On Monday, July 2, a coalition of environmental, tribal and business groups under the umbrella of Yes on 1631 submitted 370,000 signatures for Initiative 1631, which aims to fight climate change impacts and would "charge 'pollution fees' on sources of greenhouse gas pollutants and use the revenue to reduce pollution, promote renewable energy and address climate change impacts, under oversight of a public board."

The state started preparing those sheets to be counted immediately.

Another group that's been out collecting signatures is Yes! to Affordable Groceries (measure 1634), which is backed by major food companies and industry groups that want to prevent local governments from instituting taxes on things like sugary beverages and other items as the city of Seattle has done. That measure would "prohibit new or increased local taxes, fees or assessments on raw or processed foods or beverages (with exceptions), or ingredients thereof, unless effective by January 15, 2018, or generally applicable."

Groups have until 5 p.m. Friday to turn in their signature sheets.

For other important election dates, Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman tweeted a chart showing upcoming deadlines:

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Posted By on Mon, Jul 2, 2018 at 1:17 PM

click to enlarge Patients can now compare prices for some types of services between hospitals in the area thanks to a new Washington state tool. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
Patients can now compare prices for some types of services between hospitals in the area thanks to a new Washington state tool.

Say you need your knee replaced and you live in Pullman, how do you know whether it'd be a better deal to stay in town or head up to Spokane? What about checking on the quality of care people felt they received after that surgery?

Washington state has created a new tool to help with exactly that type of decision making as part of an effort to make health care more transparent. 

By using the new site wahealthcarecompare.com patients can compare prices for different types of surgery and doctor's visits in their area based on ZIP code and contrast that with the state average. Other information, such as the star-rating of a particular office or hospital, is also provided based on quality measures applicable to that type of facility.

Using the tool, it's easy to find out that a knee replacement would typically run you about $22,282 at Pullman Regional Hospital (based on a typical range from $18,668 to $30,639) while in Spokane it would typically run $26,297 at MultiCare Deaconess or $32,787 at Providence Sacred Heart (also based on ranges), according to 2016 prices.

“Health care can be an enormous expense for many families, and giving people a way to compare the prices and quality will help people be better informed and prepared about their options,” Gov. Jay Inslee said in an announcement about the tool. “It’s also enormously helpful for lawmakers, employers and providers to have increased transparency about the costs related to using and buying health care.”

Not every service or type of surgery has data available on the site.

Here are the prices of some other types of services, according to results on the site, searched using Spokane's 99201 ZIP code:

Delivery by Cesarean Section
Typical price in Washington: $16,004
Typical low/high: $12,564 to $20,137
If you went to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, the typical price was about $11,344 in 2016, while it was $14,191 at Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children's Hospital.

ER Visit
Typical price in Washington: $571
Typical low/high: $437 to $781
It was typically $539 at Providence Holy Family Hospital, $451 at MultiCare Deaconess Hospital, and $349 at Lincoln Hospital in Davenport.

Breast Tissue Sample to Check for Cancer
Typical price in Washington: $2,504
Typical low/high: $1,754 to $3,454

Urgent Care Visit
Typical price in Spokane County: $216
Typical low/high in Spokane County: $164 to $226

People can also use tools on the website to compare quality of care based on area and type of insurance coverage. 

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Posted By on Mon, Jul 2, 2018 at 9:15 AM


The new music venue being opened by the owners of the Bartlett has a name, and lucky for you, it might open this fall.

MUSIC: The new seating area at Northern Quest didn't disapoint as a crowd showed up for some '90s nostalgia last week.

NEWS: How do you fight hate without giving groups attention that can bring their bigotry into the mainstream?


Boise knife attack injures children, adult refugees

After being asked to leave a low income apartment complex in Boise, Saturday, a man is accused of stabbing six children and three  adults, all of whom are refugees, at a 3-year-old's birthday party, the Idaho Statesman reports.

Leftist wins presidency in Mexico
Leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador won the Mexican presidency after running on a platform where he vowed to fight corruption in the government. (Associated Press)

Thousands march across country calling to unite families
"Families Belong Together" marches took place in cities around the nation this weekend, with protesters calling for the reunification of parents and children who were separated at the border as they entered the United States. (NBC)

Somewhere, in our galaxy, far, far, away
A Japanese spacecraft has traveled more than 177 million miles from Earth to meet up with an asteroid, and scientists are now studying the surface from a safe distance with the craft before deciding where to land on it and take samples from below the surface. (NPR)

The last straw
As of Sunday, Seattle food service businesses can no longer serve drinks with plastic straws in them as the market on compostable alternatives has caught up, marking the end of an exemption to a decade-old city rule that required the businesses switch to recyclable or compostable to-go items only. (Seattle Times)

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Friday, June 29, 2018

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2018 at 9:52 AM

click to enlarge A gentleman drags a bicycle and rolling suitcase with lopping shears strapped to the back over Sandifur Bridge on the morning of Friday, June 29. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
A gentleman drags a bicycle and rolling suitcase with lopping shears strapped to the back over Sandifur Bridge on the morning of Friday, June 29.

The Sasquatch music festival has gone the way of Elkfest. There won't be one next year.



After a Spokane home is burgled thrice, the Spokane Police Ombudsman asks how the public's experience with property crime has been. (KREM)

Stripping sheets
After a spate of suicides, the Spokane County Jail is getting rid of bedsheets. (Spokesman-Review)

A highway runs through it
The Spokesman-Review takes a look at the impact of the North Spokane Corridor on businesses and homeowners caught in its path. (Spokesman-Review)

Assault on the free press
Five were killed in a mass shooting at a Maryland newspaper. (New York Times)

Truth deficit
No, the deficit is not decreasing, contrary to the claims of Trump's top economic advisor.  (Washington Post)

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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Posted By on Thu, Jun 28, 2018 at 9:32 AM


Democratic candidate for Washington's 5th district, Lisa Brown, is generally critical of the current administration's immigration policies. And she's quick to call out her opponent, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. But Brown has yet to offer any specifics on her own views.

NEWS: Pullman's revival is in full swing. Now what to do about the rot in the middle?

OUTDOORS: The annual Outdoors issue is on stands today. It's packed with stories about trail-builders, urban wildlife and some breathtaking photography. Here, we compiled some of the best spots to hike, camp, bike, paddle and do pretty much anything else out of doors.


'Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right'
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement yesterday. For the past three decades, Kennedy has spent his time in the court's ideological center, often casting the critical "swing vote."

Kennedy has rejected that moniker. Yet he's sided with more liberal justices on gay rights, abortion and affirmative action. On voting rights, campaign spending and Second Amendment cases, Kennedy went to the right.

Now, President Donald Trump will appoint his replacement, and experts speculate whether precedents set in the 51 decisions in which Kennedy sided with the liberal majority could be in danger. (New York Times)

Pusher man
A longtime Spokane dentist is staring at a federal indictment for illegally writing hundreds of prescriptions for opioid pills, totaling more than 17,000 tablets. Lawyers for Dr. James Shelby say "there are unique and complex circumstances surrounding his management of this particular patient." (Spokesman-Review)

Portland protesters arrested
At least eight people were arrested Thursday after protesting in front of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement building in Portland. Federal agents had previously warned protesters to clear the building's entrance, but they remained there for days, saying they would not leave until ICE was abolished. (Willamette Week)

Tacoma protesters arrested
Ten people were arrested Tuesday outside the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, where people are held while they wait for their deportation proceedings to move forward. (News Tribune)

Replacing Joe Albi
The Spokane Public Schools board still has questions about the proposed downtown spots stadium to replace existing Joe Albi. (Spokesman-Review)

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Posted By on Wed, Jun 27, 2018 at 2:48 PM

click to enlarge What would a comprehensive immigration bill designed by Lisa Brown look like? If she knows, so far, she isn't saying. - YOUNG KWAK
Young Kwak
What would a comprehensive immigration bill designed by Lisa Brown look like? If she knows, so far, she isn't saying.

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers dodges tough questions like a politician.

She'll dodge by answering questions you didn't ask for. She'll seek to return to safe talking points.  ("Donald Trump was elected president... .") Sometimes, you have to ask the same question two or three times to get a straight answer.

But her opponent, Lisa Brown? So far, she seems to dodge tough questions more like an academic — or a college administrator. 

She'll say she hasn't formed a view on that issue yet or doesn't have enough data. She'll call for the creation of a committee to study the topic. She'll suggest she wants to spend time listening before articulating a position.

It's not like Brown hasn't had an opportunity to form detailed opinions on political issues:
Brown first entered politics in the Washington state Legislature in 1992. She spent two decades in the thick of the political debate, rising to become the Senate Majority Leader of the Washington state Democrats.

But on one of the most controversial issues of the day, immigration, Brown offers fiery critiques against Trump and McMorris Rodgers, but says that she hasn't yet developed specific answers to several major questions.

And it's not clear whether she will before the election.

Last week, in an interview with the Inlander in the midst of the national outcry against Trump's family separation policy, Brown joined the chorus of condemnations against Trump, calling his policy "both inhumane and a human rights violation, particularly given that some of these families are fleeing desperate or even violent situations and seeking asylum here."

She called for Trump to end his family separation policy and argued that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program should be reinstated as well.

And then, she says, there needs to be "a comprehensive immigration bill that is negotiated between the House and the Senate and the Democrats and the Republicans. It would be multifaceted and long overdue."

She says that sort of bill should address issues around temporary worker programs, the asylum process and border security. She's critical of Congress' inability to strike a bipartisan compromise.

But when pressed on what her ideal immigration system would look like, she offers few general principles — and even fewer specifics.

"Should border security be increased?" the Inlander asks.

"I think that border security is part of immigration policy," Brown responds.

She declines to elaborate on what that border security should look like, or whether it should be increased or not.

click to enlarge Members of the U.S. National Guard near the border with Mexico in south Texas, April 10, 2018. National Guard troops in four states will not deploy to the southern border, the states’ governors announced the week of June 17, over mounting objections to the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents there. - LYNSEY ADDARIO/THE NEW YORK TIMES
Lynsey Addario/The New York Times
Members of the U.S. National Guard near the border with Mexico in south Texas, April 10, 2018. National Guard troops in four states will not deploy to the southern border, the states’ governors announced the week of June 17, over mounting objections to the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents there.

"I’m not prepared to talk about all the details on all the bills that are out there," she says.

Should we decrease or increase legal immigration?

“I honestly need to review those questions in light of current policy," Brown says. "I’m not prepared to talk about all the different aspects.”

Should Immigration and Customs Enforcement be abolished, as some activists — including a surprise winner of last night's Democratic primary in New York — have demanded?

"I'd have to review that as well," Brown says.

The Inlander asks about a concern raised by some that by not detaining asylum seekers until their hearing that they may disappear and never show up for court.

Brown says that's something she would be digging into — if she were in Congress.

"That’s the kind of thing that were I in Congress, I would be listening to the evidence to be coming forward from law enforcement, the legal justice system, and a whole variety of stakeholders who have knowledge of the process, and then weigh the pros and cons of how to move forward to have the right systems in the right place have a fair system," Brown says. "Really that hasn’t happened. There’s been a logjam in America for quite a long time."

And how about the visa system? What should we do to improve it?

Brown says that she's heard from constituents that there are bureaucratic problems with the system that needs to be reformed.

"I don’t have the details of what that should look like," Brown says.

Brown argues that, as a candidate, she doesn't have the same power to get answers as she would as a policymaker.

"My approach as a policymaker was always to get an analysis of a status quo and the problems that the people in my district are experiencing with it," Brown says. "That is, to understand the lay of the land … and then work on a path forward. As a candidate, I'm not in that position."

She says she'll be happy to comment on specific bills that are introduced or to raise issues raised by her constituents. But don't expect her to come out with, say, a detailed immigration plan.

"I’m not prepared to put out a comprehensive immigration bill," Brown told the Inlander last week. 

In other interviews, Brown has given slightly more hints about her position. In an Inlander interview in May, Brown slammed McMorris Rodgers for using DACA recipients as "bargaining chips" as part of a larger immigration deal, said she was opposed to Trump's wall proposal and also suggested she might be open to a form of amnesty.

"We have people here who are living in the shadows," Brown said. "We need to come up with a process of bringing them out into the open and giving them ways to work towards citizenship."

And in February, a Spokesman-Review questionnaire laid out the general positions of both candidates, with Brown staking out positions supportive of DACA and family reunification, but opposed to Trump's border wall.

But here too, she was vague in several areas. 

“I don’t think an arbitrary number is the right approach,” she said when asked about how many refugees should be allowed in the United States each year. On guest worker visas she said she needs to study the issue more to find out which changes need to be made.

"I don’t have the ideal immigration policy sketched out," she told the Spokesman. "I’ll work on the details of that as we go forward.”

More than four months have passed since.

Immigration isn't the only area where Brown has declined to outline a specific policy on major questions.
click to enlarge Lisa Brown in a 2012 Inlander story. - CHRISTIAN WILSON
Christian Wilson
Lisa Brown in a 2012 Inlander story.

Asked if she'd support a bill to ban AR-15 rifles, Brown doesn't say yes or no. Instead, she says that she'd form a bipartisan committee to study the issue.

"I'm not going to prejudge where that would lead," Brown tells the Inlander. "I don't come into my candidacy for Congress with a 10-point plan. I'm traveling throughout the district and listening to what people have to say."

Contrast that sort of language with a story from 2012, and notice how deeply Brown plunges into the weeds and how specific she gets when talking about her advocacy for an income tax and family leave policies.

Immigration, meanwhile, is a particularly important issue for a candidate who desires to serve on the House agriculture committee. And unlike, say, taxes or education, we don't have a long record of statements and votes from her state Legislature years to understand her views on immigration.

Brown is not the only Democrat reticent to go beyond anti-Trump rhetoric on immigration. On an episode of the liberal Pod Save America podcast last week, former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett lamented Democratic timidity on this issue:

Democrats are afraid of this issue. They're afraid to say 'Here's what I'm for on immigration.'

Not just on pieces of it. Not just on DACA. Not just on children being ripped away from their parents. Not just on asylum. Not just on refugees. But what is our immigration policy as a party? How many people should come in? What should we do at the border? What should we do with people who are undocumented? How long until they can get on the path to citizenship? All of that stuff, we have walked away from it basically completely in terms of what we talk about every single day. ...

The only argument is the Trump argument and the anti-Trump argument, but that is a fraction of the complicated conversation we need to have about the fact that our immigration system is totally broken."

If Brown wants to have that complicated conversation — and talk specifically about what sort of comprehensive bill she'd support and what kind she would oppose — the Inlander will be ready to write about it.

In the meantime, McMorris Rodgers has been in the thick of detailed immigration policy discussions, caught between two wings of her own party. She was part of the leadership attempt to quell the moderates who wanted to push a standalone DACA bill, but also voted in opposition to a hardline immigration bill championed by Idaho's Raúl Labrador.

Yet her own preferred comprehensive bill failed miserably today, 301 to 121.

Now, McMorris Rodgers says she's going to take the lead on a more narrow bill to address family separation legislatively.

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Posted By on Wed, Jun 27, 2018 at 9:27 AM


TV: The Maze was not meant for Wilson. An Inlander staff writer shares his disappointment with the season two finale of Westworld.

BIZ: A local company in State Line is bringing its wood stove, “the Optimum stove,” to a Washington, D.C. competition for “green heat.” The stove design is built to uphold new standards put in place by the EPA by 2020.

MUSIC: The I Love the '90s Tour is coming to Northern Quest on Thursday with Salt-N-Pepa, Vanilla Ice and others. This is either super fresh, or totally lame. Read our review of other '90s acts we think deserve the nostalgia treatment.
click to enlarge Hip-hop pioneers Salt-N-Pepa are among the stars sharing the spotlight during the "I Love the '90s" tour.
Hip-hop pioneers Salt-N-Pepa are among the stars sharing the spotlight during the "I Love the '90s" tour.


30 Days
A judge in San Diego has ordered that children who were separated from their parents by the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy must be reunited within 30 days. For younger children, the timeline is shorter. (Washington Post)

Recognize, Dems
A 28-year-old political novice running a freely liberal campaign defeated incumbent House Democrat Joe Crowley in New York in Tuesday’s primaries. “The community is ready for a movement of economic and social justice. That is what we tried to deliver,” victor Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said. The win shook things up in D.C., as Crowley was considered a potential replacement for Nancy Pelosi. (Associated Press)

The Return of Romney
He’s back. At 71 years, the former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential contender received the GOP’s nomination for Utah’s U.S. Senate race. (Salt Lake Tribune)

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Posted By on Tue, Jun 26, 2018 at 10:52 AM

509 Fabrication's stove burns pressed logs made of sawdust

A fabrication company in State Line is making a new stove that can burn more efficiently and meet strict Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines, and it just might be able to beat out international competitors in a wood stove design challenge in Washington D.C. this fall.

The Optimum stove, made by 509 Fabrication right on the Idaho border, was invented by a friend of the company's owners in Hayden, Idaho, several years ago.

"It’s more like a wood stove than a pellet stove, but it still burns biofuel," says Dusty Henderson, who owns 509 Fab with his father Gary. "Frank Reed built and designed the first model. He had it in his shop. He kind of did it on a dare that somebody told him you couldn’t burn one piece of wood at a time."

Instead of feeding chopped logs into the front of the stove, pressed logs made out of sawdust are placed in a tube on top, stacked end on end to feed themselves into the fire. Depending on the settings, Henderson says that the stove can burn on its own overnight without being stoked.

Part of what makes the stove so efficient is an improved design made after Henderson and his dad bought the right to patent it. In the original design, the feed tube was at about a 70-degree angle, Henderson says, but the new design is at 90 degrees, which makes more space for metal tubes that absorb the heat, which is then blown out to the room by a fan.

"Your logs are stacked on end, and as your bottom log burns, you’re burning about 4 inches at a time," Henderson says. "Your upper logs push it down, so it burns down."

The fuel burns so hot and efficiently that there isn't an ash pen to collect ashes, Henderson says.

"The ash accumulates outside of the firebox and you only have to clean it every 14 days or so," if you're running the stove 24/7, he says.

By 2020, all new stoves have to meet new strict EPA guidelines on how many grams of particulate-matter pollution are created per hour of use. For pellet stoves, that requirement is no more than 2 grams per hour.

"Back in the '80s, wood stoves would put out 60 to 80 grams of emissions an hour," Henderson says. "We came in at 1.49 grams of emissions. The industry's come a long ways."

The 509 Fab stove will be one of a dozen to compete in the Alliance for Green Heat's fourth Wood Stove Design Challenge starting Nov. 9, which is designed to inspire innovation in home heating, where there hasn't been as much advancement as with other tools used in daily life. The teams will compete for up to $50,000.

"Wood stoves are still used by 30 – 60 percent of homes in hundreds of rural and suburban counties around the country," an Alliance for Green Heat announcement of the event states. "Yet, the technology revolution that has swept household appliances in the last 20 years has bypassed wood stove technology."

One part of the competition will include other stove designs that integrate thermoelectric elements to generate electricity for everything from batteries to cell phones or lighting.

For 509 Fab's stove, the competition is about automating the stove heating process.

The stove is currently being sold factory-direct to consumers until the company sets up a base of dealers. 

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