Friday, November 17, 2017

Trump's selective outrage, Navy pilot draws a phallus in the sky, morning headlines

Posted By on Fri, Nov 17, 2017 at 9:21 AM


NEWS: A member of the Kettle Falls Five wants Congress to keep states' protection for medical marijuana.

NEWS: Days before regulators will decide whether to grant the final permit needed to begin construction on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, a pipeline constructed by the same company spilled 210,000 gallons in South Dakota yesterday. (via New York Times)


Look up! No, don't...
A Navy pilot thought it would be funny to trace a penis in the sky with an aircraft's contrails above Okanogan County. The Naval Air Station in Whidbey Island is taking the matter very seriously, telling KREM that "we find this absolutely unacceptable, of zero training value and we are holding the crew accountable."

Choose your own outrage
Donald Trump, the president who has been accused by more than a dozen women of sexual harassment or misconduct and has bragged about sexually assaulting women, criticized Sen. Al Franken yesterday after allegations surfaced that the Minnesota Democrat forcibly kissed and groped a woman on a USO tour in 2006, two years before he was elected to the Senate.

Trump remains silent, however, on the allegations that Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore sexually assaulted several underage girls decades ago. (Associated Press)

Lake City HS student arrested
Following a string of threats at the school, a Lake City High School student was arrested yesterday for referencing a gun while verbally threatening another student. (CdA Press)

Tax reform
Republican members of the House passed a sweeping $1.5 trillion tax cut yesterday, despite objections from Democrats that it only benefits corporations and the rich at the expense of the middle class. The Senate is coming up with its own bill. (New York Times)
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Thursday, November 16, 2017

One of the Kettle Falls Five encourages Congress to keep states' protection for medical marijuana

Posted By on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 3:12 PM

Two members of the so-called Kettle Falls Five: Larry Harvey — who died in 2015 — and his wife, Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, on land where they once grew medical marijuana near Colville. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
  • Young Kwak photo
  • Two members of the so-called Kettle Falls Five: Larry Harvey — who died in 2015 — and his wife, Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, on land where they once grew medical marijuana near Colville.

This week Rhonda Firestack-Harvey is back in Washington, D.C., speaking to members of Congress about the budget bill that saved her family.

Firestack-Harvey is one member of a family which has become known as the Kettle Falls Five. They gained national attention in 2012 when federal agents raided their medical marijuana farm north of Colville. Despite the fact that the grow was in compliance with state medical marijuana law, three of the five were convicted in 2015.

One defendant, a family friend, took a plea deal before trial. Firestack-Harvey's husband, Larry, was dismissed from the case after he was diagnosed with cancer. Larry Harvey died in 2015, six months after the charges were dropped.

The three appealed their convictions, and have waited years while the case has lingered in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Late last month, U.S. Attorneys announced in a brief that "the Department of Justice has decided not to prosecute this case further."

The reason the feds were not allowed to spend money prosecuting the medical grow? A budget appropriations bill known as the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which passed in 2014 after Harvey lobbied Congress.

The bill prohibits the federal government from spending money to block states from implementing legal medical marijuana laws, including criminal prosecutions. It has been renewed each year since 2014, but expires next month. It was approved in the Senate for 2018, but it's unclear if it will pass the House.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has been vocal about his disdain for marijuana, earlier this year asked Congress to eliminate the bill.

"It's not over yet," Firestack-Harvey says in a phone interview from D.C. "This is about protecting everybody in the cannabis world."

From Wednesday through Friday, she says she'll be speaking with representatives to tell her story.
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Robert's Rules: Auntie's hosts Inlander columnist's book release

Posted By on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 1:30 PM

Spokane has undergone a great deal of change over the past quarter-century. Robert Herold has weighed in on most of it, registering his take on history and helping to make it happen.

A member of the Inlander family since 1994, Herold has 
been an editorial pillar of the newspaper, a voice of conscience — and prescience — for a then-fledgling weekly finding its wings. His mission mirrors that of the Inlander: to help make Spokane a better place to live. And if there's anything that comes through in his writing, it's how passionate he is about Spokane, how much he cares about this city and region.

The Inlander has published a compilation of some of Herold’s most memorable columns — words that resonate and stand the test of time, that speak to our future, not just our present and past — as the newspaper approaches its own quarter-century of reflecting life in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

Robert’s Rules: Selected Columns: 1994-2007 is an reintroduction to Spokane’s not-so-distant past, to the rise of the strong-mayor system and the fall of Jim West, the rebuilt Riverfront Park and the [thankfully] never-built Lincoln Street Bridge.

Herold, a Gonzaga political science professor for the past 17 years following 31 years as a professor and administrator at Eastern Washington University, reads from Robert's Rules Wednesday, Nov. 29, at Auntie's.

The book’s 87 entries are divided roughly into thirds, with 9/11 as the first line of demarcation and the Great Recession as the second; the book’s latter two-thirds moves beyond Spokane and the Inland Northwest to address national and international politics.

“I hope a kind of panoramic view of recent Spokane political history emerges from a reading of these columns,” Herold says. “Spokane, to some extent in the last 20 years, has benefited from a string of positive unintended consequences.”

Robert Herold reads from Robert’s Rules • Wed, Nov. 29 at 7 pm • Free • Auntie’s Books • 402 W. Main • • 838-0206
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New blood-pressure guidelines; human stem cells heal rats' spinal injuries

Posted By on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 12:53 PM

Get (that blood pressure) down!
Stark new recommendations about optimal blood pressure may have many reaching for a home monitor to see if they're at risk for complications like heart attack and stroke, in a story also reported on, via the New York Times.

Previously, blood pressure was considered high if it 
topped out over 140/90 mm  Hg, but that's no longer the case. Now people with blood-pressure readings of 130-139/80-89 mm Hg will be considered to have high blood pressure. The American Heart Association announced the new guidelines in a statement this week, noting the dangers of blood pressure higher than 130/80.

“We want to be straight with people — if you already have a doubling of risk, you need to know about it. It doesn’t mean you need medication, but it’s a yellow light that you need to be lowering your blood pressure, mainly with non-drug approaches," said the guideline's lead author.

Here are the new categories:
Normal: Less than 120 mm Hg for systolic and 80 mm Hg for diastolic.
Elevated: Between 120-129 for systolic, and less than 80 for diastolic.
Stage 1 hypertension: Between 130-139 for systolic or between 80-89 for diastolic.
Stage 2 hypertension: At least 140 for systolic or at least 90 mm Hg for diastolic.

Learn about how, and why, to lower your blood pressure from our InHealth archives:

Healing spinal-cord injury
Paraplegic rats regained the ability to walk and sensation was restored in their hindquarters after Israeli scientists implanted human stem cells along their severed spinal cords, according to research published this week. The stem cells were obtained from the mouths of human donors:

"Three weeks after introduction of the stem cells, 42 percent of the implanted paraplegic rats showed a markedly improved ability to support weight on their hind limbs and walk. 75 percent of the treated rats also responded to gross stimuli to the hind limbs and tail. In contrast, control paraplegic rats that did not receive stem cells showed no improved mobility or sensory responses," says the study's lead researcher.

Research is ongoing to determine why some rats didn't respond: "Although there is still some way to go before it can be applied in humans, this research gives hope."
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Pot vs. beer, Sen. Al Franken accused of sexual harassment, morning headlines

Posted By on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 9:47 AM


Painful epidemic
Deaths linked to opioids, including prescription painkillers, has become a nationwide epidemic. So why can't we fix it?

Get off the bus!
A disabled woman was taken off a bus and detained at Spokane's Greyhound station by U.S. Border Patrol agents. The woman admitted that she was undocumented, but local attorneys say the incident reflects more aggressive immigration enforcement under President Trump.

"It used to be that criminals were a priority, and now we're snatching disabled women off a bus after spending time with her daughters," says Coeur d'Alene immigration attorney Vanessa Nelsen.

Pot vs. beer
As states legalize cannabis, younger people are turning away from beer to take a few tokes instead. Even Anheuser-Busch's chief marketing director can see the writing on the wall, joining the advisory board for GreenRush Group, a tech startup aiming to become the Amazon of weed.


Franken accused of sexual harassment
Leeann Tweeden, formerly a model and sports commentator, now an on-air personality for L.A.  morning radio show,  accused Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken of forcibly kissing and groping her while she was asleep on a USO tour in 2006 (there's photographic evidence). Tweeden wrote a personal account of both incidents. Franken says he remembers the incident differently, but issued an apology. (New York Times, KABC)

Pricey painting
A long-lost Leonardo da Vinci painting of Jesus Christ commissioned by King Louis XII of France was sold at auction for more $450 million — smashing the previous world record for auctioned artwork. (The Guardian)

Honoring Achebe
Chinua Achebe would have been 87 today; Google honored the famed Nigerian storyteller with a Doodle. Achebe is considered the father of modern African literature. His first novel, 1958's Things Fall Apart, explores the clash between Western colonialism and traditional African society.

"The world has no end, and what is good among one people is an abomination with others," Achebe wrote. (Brain Pickings, The Independent)
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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

FILM: What's hitting movie theaters this Friday

Posted By on Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 1:52 PM

Justice League
  • Justice League

As Oscar season heats up, expect some serious award contenders to start gradually making their way onto Spokane screens in the next few months (we're always a bit behind, movie-wise). The Florida Project is this week's notable critical darling, a festival hit that's been attracting buzz since premiering at Cannes. Oh, and don't forget about that scrappy little indie production Justice League; hopefully it finds an audience.

Here's what's opening this week.

Opening at the Magic Lantern is this vivid snapshot of life in a run-down motel in Orlando, shot on location with a cast of mostly non-actors. Structured as a series of vignettes, our critic Seth Sommerfeld calls it a winsome, bittersweet look at a childhood in poverty. From the director of 2015's acclaimed Tangerine. Rated R.

The latest DC blockbuster from Zack Snyder reunites Batman and Wonder Woman, then teams them up with Aquaman, the Flash and Cyborg to take down world-destroying supervillain Steppenwolf. That the movie runs just shy of two hours will likely be its only form of restraint. Rated PG-13.

This cheap-looking animated film finally answers the question no one has ever asked: What were the animals like at the Nativity? The huge voice cast includes Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey and Christopher Plummer. Rated PG.

WONDER (2 stars)
A little boy with facial deformities (Jacob Tremblay of Room) is sent off to public school for the first time, with his encouraging parents (Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson) looking on. Critic MaryAnn Johanson says this adaptation of R.J. Palacio’s bestselling YA novel has sweetness to spare, but it all but bashes you over the head with its messages. Rated PG.
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Come on down! Whitworth senior appears on The Price is Right

Posted By on Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 12:29 PM

Danny Butler, a senior at Whitworth University, is taking the nondisclosure agreement he signed with The Price Is Right seriously, but his zeal for being on the show is apparent.

A self-proclaimed "superfan" of the long-
Whitworth University senior Danny Butler is at far right.
  • Whitworth University senior Danny Butler is at far right.
running CBS game show (it launched in 1956, running on NBC, then ABC, through 1965, then came back in its current form on CBS in September 1972) — he gave up his eighth birthday party to watch the first Million-Dollar Showcase Showdown back in 2004 — this is the second time Butler has attended a taping and his first time as a contestant in the hot seat.  We spoke briefly over the phone prior to the airing of the show, recounting the process of the day's taping and how he was chosen to be a contestant.

Danny tells me he was homeschooled and would watch the show during a morning break, between 10 and 11, as a kid. En route to California on a family vacation in 2016, Danny managed to get tickets for a taping of the show, telling this family once he arrived in the state. Everyone agreed, and a Tuesday morning void of an itinerary was filled. Danny's sister Bailee would end up as a contestant on this show, winning an Alaskan getaway but eventually losing the Showcase Showdown finale.

On his most recent trip to The Price is Right stage, Danny and his family showed up at 7:30 am, along with a throng of about 300 other people.

Continue reading »

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5 dead in NoCal shooting rampage, coup in Zimbabwe, morning headlines

Posted By on Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 9:19 AM


Today marks the start of Spokane's snow season; get your RVs and boat trailers off the streets, and park your cars on the odd side.

FOR FUN: Hello, winter! Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park opens on Friday.


"Bizarre, murderous rampage" in Northern California
Five people are dead, including the gunman, and 10 others wounded in Tehama County, 115 miles north of Sacramento, in the nation's latest mass shooting. The barrage of gunfire lasted 45 minutes yesterday morning, covering several locations including an elementary school which the gunman tried but failed to enter, where two children were shot. The 43-year-old gunman had been out on bail after being charged with assault with a deadly weapon, and was involved in a domestic violence incident Monday night requiring a police response. (San Francisco Chronicle, Red Bluff Daily News)
Video: "We have a total of seven shooting scenes." Where the Rancho Tehama shootings took place. (Sacramento Bee)
President Trump tweeted his condolences to last week's shooting victims in south Texas, not yesterday's shooting victims in Northern California. (CBS News)

"I had no recollection ... I'm not aware"
An unsteady Attorney General Jeff Sessions endured lengthy questioning by the House Judiciary Committee, taking friendly fire from Republicans as well as stinging rebukes from Democrats. Sessions was unable to recall any Russian influence on Donald Trump's campaign, except when claiming that he acted to block that influence. (New York Times)
Four key takeaways from Sessions' congressional hearing. (Washington Post)
Could Trump fire Sessions and Robert Mueller and still retain GOP support? (The Hill )

"Obviously I've made a few people mad"
Roy Moore angrily denied multiple allegation of sexual misconduct.
  • Roy Moore angrily denied multiple allegation of sexual misconduct.

Embattled Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore addressed the God Save America Revival conference at the Walker Springs Baptist Church in Jackson, Alabama, angrily denying allegations of sexual misconduct after a fifth female accuser came forward, with lurid details of Moore forcing himself upon her 40 years ago. She was a 16-year-old waitress at the time; he was district attorney of Etowah County, Alabama. (CBS News)
Mitch McConnell turns to Trump after defiant Moore refuses to quit. (Los Angeles Times)
The Republican effort to oust Moore is falling on deaf ears in Alabama. (Chicago Tribune)
Arizona GOP Sen. Jeff Flake: "I would run to the polling place" to vote for Moore's Democratic opponent, Doug Jones. (TIME)
How Moore could help Trump dispense with his current nemesis. (Washington Post)

Military coup in Zimbabwe

Tanks and military vehicles are on the streets in the southern African country of Zimbabwe, and the military has taken custody of Robert Mugabe, president for the past 30 years and prime minister for the previous seven; the 93-year-old is the only leader the country of 16 million, formerly known as Rhodesia, has known since declaring independence in 1980. (New York Times)

Eagles soar at Stanford
Eastern Washington's men's basketball team defeated a Pac-12 opponent for the first time in nearly 15 years — when the conference was the Pac-10 — last night in Palo Alto, California. Senior Bogdan Bliznyuk scored 23 points as the Eagles, who hit 11 of 25 shots from three-point range, beat Stanford 67-61. (Spokesman-Review)

Bruins trio returns to L.A. from China
Three freshman basketball players from UCLA arrived back in Los Angeles last night, one week after being arrested in China on shoplifting charges. The trio, including LiAngelo Ball, younger brother of Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, had been held under house arrest in Hangzhou; their teammates left the country one day after playing their season-opening game Friday 110 miles away in Shanghai. (Los Angeles Times)
Trump scolds LiAngelo Ball: "Are you going to thank me?" (San Jose Mercury News)
The UCLA trio should be suspended for the season, writes the L.A. Times' Bill Plaschke.

Proposed Newport smelter draws praise, criticism

A silicon smelter a Canadian company seeks to build in Newport could bring 150 jobs to the economically depressed city in Pend Oreille County, but some question the project's "high-paying" jobs and are concerned about its environmental impact. (Spokane Public Radio)

His silence speaks volumes
One person has had nothing to say about Colin Kaepernick being named "Citizen of the Year" by GQ magazine: the former NFL quarterback himself. (San Francisco Chronicle)
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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Hello, winter! Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park opening Friday

Posted By on Tue, Nov 14, 2017 at 4:38 PM

If your equipment isn't tuned and ready, you're already falling behind.
  • If your equipment isn't tuned and ready, you're already falling behind.

Another day, another announcement of an early-season opening at one of our local ski spots.

And there was much rejoicing.

Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park sent out word that they will open this Friday, Nov. 17, with discounted tickets due to the limited terrain and early season conditions. For $30 for adults and $25 for kids, you can make turns from lifts 2, 3 and 5.

"Coverage is excellent on the groomed runs!" the statement says. "Early season conditions do exist. 10 runs will be open and groomed, and the Terrain Park Crew is hammering down to get a bunch of features built."

You can check out the Mt. Spokane webcam to see the conditions for yourself here.

Maybe that big winter that's been rumored for the Inland Northwest is coming to fruition. Between hitting the slopes, give our latest Snowlander issue a read, on stands now and featuring information on no less than 48 Northwest resorts waiting for you.

And, of course, don't forget the Inlander Winter Party this weekend (Friday, 4 to 9 pm; Saturday, 10 am to 7 pm) where you can get some sweet deals, including free passes, from various ski shops and resorts.
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Get your RVs and boat trailers off the street today, Spokane

And park your cars on the odd side of the street, people

Posted By on Tue, Nov 14, 2017 at 4:33 PM

It's okay to park your RV on the top of a mountain — just not on the streets within the city limits. - ANGELA PONTAROLO PHOTO
  • Angela Pontarolo photo
  • It's okay to park your RV on the top of a mountain — just not on the streets within the city limits.

Today, Nov. 15, is the start of Spokane's snow season and the beginning of the city's glorious new snow plan.

So what does that mean for you? Your boat trailers and RVs need to be off the street entirely.

"They’re going to have to find a storage location," says city spokeswoman Marlene Feist. "If that’s on Grandpa’s 10 acres outside of town, great. If it’s in a covered facility or a facility  that allows vehicle storage outside in or if there’s room in your garage, great."

The city has been hinting at this for a while, dropping off little friendly reminder "bookmarks" on trailers and RVs parked on the street for the last few weeks. Some neighborhood councils have also been spreading the word.

So are you going to get pounced on right away if you're lazy and forget to move them? Probably not.

Feist says that RV scofflaws will likely not be punished immediately. The city's Code Enforcement department will follow up with additional notices.

But eventually?

"We have the option to tow if people don’t comply," Feist says.

And for the rest of you, remember: You're only supposed to park on the odd side of the street. Don't know if you're on the odd or even side? Walk outside, and look at the numbers in front of your house. If it ends in a 1, 3, 5, 7, or 9, then you're in luck.

Feist stresses that Code Enforcement isn't planning on cracking down with an iron fist or anything.

"We’ve asked them to make it a habit to park on the odd side of the street," Feist says. "Use common sense where it makes sense to do so. It’s most critical when it’s a snow day."

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Titanoboa: Monster Snake

Titanoboa: Monster Snake @ Mobius Science Center

Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Nov. 26

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