Thursday, October 12, 2017

ENTRÉE: Dry Fly celebrates 10 years, plus some fun beer events for the weekend

Posted By on Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 2:48 PM

Dry Fly has been distilling hyper-local spirits since 2007.
  • Dry Fly has been distilling hyper-local spirits since 2007.

One of the region’s pioneers in the “drink local” movement is celebrating a full decade of bringing award-winning, ultra-local libations to bars near and far.

Dry Fly Distilling marks its big 10-year milestone officially this Friday, Oct. 13, but the party is happening all week with special events, small-batch, barrel-aged releases and discounts on purchases made at its East Spokane headquarters and tasting room, open Mon-Sat from noon-8 pm.

Lest you’ve forgotten, Dry Fly became the first distillery to open in Washington state since Prohibition (which ended in 1933) when founders Kent Fleischmann and Don Poffenroth pooled their retirement savings to open the craft distillery in 2007.

While festivities kicked off earlier this week, you can still join the celebration by stopping by the distillery’s tasting room between now and Saturday, Oct. 14. If you’re reading this information the day it’s released, Thursday, Oct. 12, you can still catch a pro bartender competition at the tasting room, taking place this evening from 6-8 pm.

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Zika virus could fight brain tumors; step up to help prevent suicide

Posted By on Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 12:03 PM

The Zika virus, spread by mosquitoes, may carry an unexpected health benefit: combating the growth of brain tumors.
  • The Zika virus, spread by mosquitoes, may carry an unexpected health benefit: combating the growth of brain tumors.

Mosquitoes vs. brain tumors
By now you’ve heard of the dreadful Zika virus, spread by mosquitoes, that impairs growth of the developing fetal brain, leading to babies being born with undersized, misshapen heads. But the virus may have a surprising positive side: It seems that the same properties that cause Zika to impair growth in the developing brain may also allow it to impair growth of glioblastomas — the type of brain cancer that Arizona Sen. John McCain has, and one with an especially grim prognosis. Research is still preliminary, but brain tumors in mice shrank significantly when the mice were injected with the virus.

“Our research shows it also selectively targets and kills cancer stem cells, which tend to be resistant to standard treatments and a big reason why glioblastomas recur after surgery and result in shorter patient survival rates,” wrote one of the study’s authors.

The new issue of InHealth is out now, on stands and online.

Video games prepare brain to learn

Playing video games at least 15 hours a week may enhance learning, according to a fairly small but tantalizing new study. MRIs of brain activity of 17 regular gamers were compared to 17 non-gamers, as they completed a task that involved synthesizing and analyzing new information. “Our study shows that gamers are better in analyzing a situation quickly, to generate new knowledge and to categorize facts — especially in situations with high uncertainties," says one of the study's authors.

Playing video games seems to facilitate activity in the hippocampus, a brain region involved in learning and memory, and notably an area affected by age-related changes. Researchers speculate that someday video gaming might offer help to combat those changes.

Suicide: Step up and help out
Join with others to learn about how to help prevent suicide at a training session offered by Spokane-based FailSafe for Life. Participants will receive two hours of comprehensive training on how to recognize someone in crisis, what to say to help and where to turn for additional help, as well as information on stress and depression. A resource guide will be yours to keep; sandwiches and light refreshments will be served: Tickets are available here

FailSafe for Life was founded by Sabrina Votava, who not only has a degree in public health and a decade of work in suicide prevention, but has also experienced the tragedy of suicide through the loss of two brothers. The training session takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 18 from 6-8 pm at Providence Holy Family Hospital (5633 N. Lidgerwood), HEC Room 1.
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Weinstein under criminal investigation, and more morning headlines

Posted By on Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 9:59 AM


How two Whitworth University students are standing up for their rights, as well as those of other undocumented people.

SLAMMER: Two key members of Spokane's slam poetry scene are featured in the newest "Meet the Makers" video series by Spokane Arts.

RAPPER: Eminem joined the list of artists who've excoriated President Trump with a freestyle rap shown during the BET Hip Hop Awards:

“And any fan of mine / who’s a supporter of his / I’m drawing in the sand a line / you’re either for or against / and if you can’t decide / who you like more and you’re split / on who you should stand beside / I’ll do it for you with this,” he says with a middle finger to the camera. "F—- you." (via New York Times)


End run around Obamacare
President Trump signed an executive order today that will allow small businesses to join unregulated insurance plans and offer less coverage at lower cost. One of the most significant impacts of Trump's order is that people with pre-existing conditions could now be charged higher rates under the unregulated plans. (BuzzFeed)

“It would have a very negative impact on the markets,” Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler tells the New York Times. “Our state is a poster child of what can go wrong. Association health plans often shun the bad risks and stay with the good risks.”

Big-ass pumpkin
A Washington state man's 1,910-pound pumpkin took home top prize in the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off. (Bellingham Herald

Weinstein under criminal investigation
Police in New York City and London have launched criminal investigations into Harvey Weinstein, a longtime movie mogul who (allegedly) wielded fame, power and money to sexually assault women, then cover it up. (BuzzFeed)

Drugs, sex and a Seattle Police detective
Seattle Police Det. Philip Wall was fired after admitting to using cocaine, eating marijuana-infused candy (which is against the rules for Seattle cops) and associating with a sex worker. (Seattle Times

Meet the 'Riot King'
Meet the controversial St. Louis police sergeant pulling the levers in the department's response to public demonstrations. Protesters call Sgt. Brian Rossomanno the 'Riot King.' (Riverfront Times)
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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Spokane Arts' new "Meet the Makers" video showcases two local poets

Individual World Poetry Slam starts today in Spokane

Posted By on Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 2:43 PM

The latest video in Spokane Arts' "Meet the 
Mark Anderson is featured in the new Spokane Arts video. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Mark Anderson is featured in the new Spokane Arts video.
video series introduces viewers to two of Spokane's forces in the local poetry scene: Mark Anderson and Fitz Fitzpatrick.

The video is particularly timely, given Wednesday's opening of the Individual World Poetry Slam in venues throughout Spokane. You can read our story about the event here.

Both poet/performers are familiar faces to even the most casual of poetry fans, with Anderson hosting the BootSlam at Boots Bakery, Fitz hosting Broken Mic at Neato Burrito. The video gives a concise, entertaining background on both Fitzpatrick and Anderson and the evolution of the local poetry scene. Watch it here:

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FILM: What's hitting movie theaters on Friday

Posted By on Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 11:46 AM

Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan in The Foreigner.
  • Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan in The Foreigner.

We're in that weird limbo between blockbuster season and Academy Award season, when most of the films hitting screens are mostly genre exercises and probably-not-Oscar-worthy odds and ends. This week's cinematic offerings including a couple of biopics, a dark Jackie Chan vehicle, and a teen slasher movie just in time for Friday the 13th.

DOLORES (at the Magic Lantern)
A documentary about the life of civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, best known for founding California labor unions in the 1950s and ’60s alongside César Chávez. Huerta, still active at 87, discusses adversity and gender inequality; other interviewees include Hillary Clinton, Gloria Steinem and Angela Davis. Not rated.

Jackie Chan is an immigrant restaurateur whose daughter is killed in a terrorist bombing, and he seeks revenge on the people responsible for the attack. It's an OK action-drama, says Seth Sommerfeld in his 2½-star review, but its tone is inconsistent and its moral compass is all out of whack: "Seeing Chan back in action delivers a decent supply of thrills, but ultimately The Foreigner tops out as a decent run-of-the-mill action flick with the real fun swapped out for an attempt at gravitas." Rated R.

A slasher version of Groundhog Day (or Edge of Tomorrow), wherein a popular college girl is offed by a masked killer, wakes up that same morning alive and well, then gets killed all over again. The only thing that will end the cycle: She needs to uncover the murderer’s identity. Rated PG-13.

Biopic veteran Chadwick Boseman (42, Get on Up) stars as Thurgood Marshall, the Supreme Court’s first African-American justice, who's assigned to represent a black chauffeur accused of raping a white woman in 1941. Rated PG-13.

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NorCal wine country torched, former Empire player slain, U.S. men Cup-less, morning headlines

Posted By on Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 9:21 AM


NEWS: Washington's auditor says the state needs to do a better job verifying self-reported incomes for Medicaid recipients, or risk losing $110 million by 2020.

NEWS: A South Korean lawmaker claims North Korean hackers stole a cache of classified military documents — reportedly containing U.S.-South Korean plans for a "decapitation" strike against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un —from the South. (via New York Times)

NEWS: Continuing his ongoing public feud with the National Football League, President Trump threatened the NFL and attacked African-American ESPN host Jemele Hill, who previously referred to Trump as a "white supremacist." (via New York Times)


'Devastation' in NorCal wine country

Firefighters in Northern California's wine country continue battling to halt the march of wind-whipped, fast-moving wildfires that now cover 170,000 acres and have claimed at least 21 lives — with more than 500 people missing in Sonoma County alone — incinerated more than 2,000 structures, and forced thousands to evacuate. (San Francisco Chronicle)
• Santa Rosa blaze: How a sudden firestorm caused devastation in the Sonoma County city of 175,000. (San Jose Mercury-News)
Apocalyptic images from wine country reveal total destruction. (Washington Post)
• An updated list of Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino county wineries that have burned. (SFC)

Former Empire player killed downtown
Former Spokane Empire wide receiver Carl Sims, making a catch in a 2016 game, was shot and killed downtown on Sunday night. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
  • Young Kwak photo
  • Former Spokane Empire wide receiver Carl Sims, making a catch in a 2016 game, was shot and killed downtown on Sunday night.

Carl Sims, a wide receiver for the Indoor Football League's Spokane Empire for parts of the past two seasons, was shot and killed early Sunday morning in front of the Monterey Cafe. Sims, 31, was an IFL veteran who played in all nine of the league's seasons with eight different teams. (Spokesman-Review)

Spokane: No place for hate
Police charged two Spokane men, one with a "White Power" tattoo, with first-degree assault and malicious harassment yesterday; Jason Cooper, 32, and Donald Prichard, 36, are accused of punching a 66-year-old African-American man in the face and firing several rounds of bullets into his North Spokane house on Sunday night. (Spokesman-Review)

That's a Corker
Who's the most liberated man in D.C. these days? That would be Tennessee GOP Sen. Bob Corker, who's not running for re-election and is finally free to speak his mind on President Trump and — in his view — the White House's ongoing reign of error. (Boston Globe)
• Corker's 12 most damning quotes regarding Trump. (CNN)
• Trump's Twitter war with Corker is threatening his legislative agenda. (New York Times)
• The president is blaming Corker for the "failed" Iran nuclear deal. (New York Times)

Rexit: Just a matter of time
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has reached the breaking point regarding his fraught relationship with President Trump, writes the New Yorker's Dexter Filkins.
• Trump, stung by news reports that Tillerson referred to him as a 'f—-ing moron," has proposed an IQ-test competition with his Secretary of State. (GQ, Washington Post)
• Filkins — who won a Pulitzer for his coverage of the war in Afghanistan — on rising tensions between Trump and Tillerson and the looming threat of war in North Korea. (NPR)

Would you want to go to Russia?
The U.S. men's national soccer team, which had qualified for the previous seven World Cups, won't be in Russia next June and July for an eighth, missing the globe's biggest tournament for the first time since 1986. Needing only a draw to qualify, the Americans were upended 2-1 at Trinidad and Tobago,  a tiny, twin-island nation of 1.3 million off the coast of Venezuela, and a last-place team the U.S. had beaten without drama four months ago. Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl calls it the most embarrassing failure in U.S. soccer history.
• How the U.S. men missed the World Cup, minute by minute. (New York Times)
• The U.S. men failing to make the World Cup is a disaster for Fox Sports. (Sports Illustrated)
• With a 12th consecutive World Cup berth on the line, Lionel Messi's hat trick vs. Ecuador led 2014 runner-up Argentina to qualification. (Sports Illustrated)
World Cup 2018: 23 of the 32 teams have now qualified; who's in (Iceland, Panama), who's out (Chile, the Netherlands), and who still has to play their way in (Italy, Ireland).
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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Audit: Washington needs to verify Medicaid incomes sooner or risk losing $110 million by 2020

Posted By on Tue, Oct 10, 2017 at 1:02 PM

A backlog created by more people signing up for Medicaid insurance coverage has meant that people who weren't actually eligible for coverage received it for an average of five months before their income was verified by a state agency, according to a recent report by the Washington State Auditor.

A performance audit of Washington's Health Care Authority found that the state could save millions by verifying self-reported income levels sooner, and booting those who don't qualify off the free coverage faster, but it will take more staff members to do so.

Part of the reason a backlog was created is that when Medicaid coverage was expanded to more low-income people under the Affordable Care Act in 2014, the state authority did not hire a proportional number of additional employees to help verify income, according to the report. While the state expected that another 237,000 adults would enroll that year, the state actually saw an additional 511,000 sign up.

This June, the state had a backlog of 112,000 cases to verify, the audit reports, and for fiscal year 2017, "HCA purchased about $15 million to $19 million in state-funded benefits for people who ultimately did not qualify, which could have been avoided with adequate staffing."

Some verification processes have already been improved, and should decrease the backlog of cases, according to the audit, but it could take four years to get through all current cases.

But if the Legislature were to approve additional verification employees starting next summer, as the audit recommends, the state could get through the backlog by spring of 2019 and save $13 million, even after the costs of paying for the new employees.

"Unless [HCA] hires 30 more verification staff and additional managers to supervise them, HCA will spend an estimated $110.2 million more on Medicaid benefits for people with ineligible incomes for the two years ending June 2020," the audit found.

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Google discovers Russian-bought ads, Northern California ravaged by wildfires, morning headlines

Posted By on Tue, Oct 10, 2017 at 9:25 AM


NEWS: Yesterday was either Columbus Day or, depending on where you were, Indigenous Peoples' Day. Here's a list of local cities that have made the switch.

NEWS: A student at Lake City High School was threatened on social media for refusing to send a nude photo, according to Coeur d'Alene Public Schools.

NEWS: The state Supreme Court, examining cases from Spokane County, ruled 5-4 that judges can restrict people from consuming drugs and alcohol, but can't give a pee test without suspicion.

SPORTS: Red Sox rookie third baseman Rafael Devers, just 20 years old, brings to mind memories of the youngest baseball-playing Brett brother, Ken.


Woman charged with vehicular homicide for Safeway crash
Brittney Moen, the 24-year-old woman who allegedly ran over three people on the sidewalk near a North Spokane Safeway on Sunday morning, was drunk at the time of the crash, court documents say. One man was killed; he has not yet been identified. (KREM)

Free speech
A federal judge has ruled that the Spokane Transit Authority violated the First Amendment when it refused to allow an ad from the union that represents its own bus drivers. (Spokesman-Review)

A mother's concern

Parents in the Mead School District are calling for the district to review its bullying and harassment policy after a student sent one parent's daughter a picture of a gun with the caption, "this would look nice next to your guys' heads." (KXLY)

California inferno

Wildfires in Northern California have now killed 11 people and burned 100,000 acres. Officials hope the winds will lessen, allowing firefighters to get a handle on the fires. (Los Angeles Times)

Fake news, comrade
Google has found evidence that Russian operatives used its platforms to try and spread disinformation and interfere with the 2016 election, sources tell the Washington Post. The company discovered that tens of thousands of dollars were spend on ads by Russian agents.

Weinstein's accusers speak out
The New York Times broke the story last week that film producer Harvey Weinstein was accused multiple times of sexual harassment; the women are now sharing their harrowing accounts of sexual assault and harassment with the New Yorker.
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Monday, October 9, 2017

Here's who has made the switch from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day

Posted By on Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 3:02 PM

Depending on where you're reading this from, today's lack of parking enforcement and U.S. Postal Service presence is either in recognition of a federal holiday celebrating someone dubiously credited with discovering America, or is an updated recognition of the people who were there before 1492.

Christopher Columbus did sail across the Atlantic multiple times, though he didn't even set foot on the North American continent (he landed in the Caribbean, and Central and South America). It's clear he wasn't discovering the land, as there were already people on the islands and shores where he did arrive, not to mention that Norse explorer Leif Erikson sailed to Canada hundreds of years earlier (today is also considered Leif Erikson Day).

In recent years, city governments around the country 
  • Wellcome Collection photo
and in Washington state have felt compelled to recognize that actually, there were people here well before that. Many of them have dropped Columbus Day for Indigenous Peoples' Day or Native American Day, honoring the people who were already there, and whose lives were often destroyed after increased contact with Europeans.

The pattern of dropping Columbus doesn't sit well with everyone: Italian Americans have spoken out against moves to drop the celebration, as the eventual federal holiday was initially started as a celebration of Italian-American culture and the 300th anniversary of Columbus' first sailing.

Here's a list of PNW cities that have made the switch:

Moscow: Just last week, the Moscow City Council voted to be the first city in Idaho to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day in lieu of Columbus Day.

Spokane: The city celebrated its first Indigenous Peoples' Day in 2016.

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Devers' clouts for the Red Sox bring back memories of a Brett brother

Posted By on Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 2:30 PM

Rafael Devers
, the 20-year-old Red Sox rookie third baseman who belted a two-run homer Sunday as Boston (temporarily) stayed alive in Game 3 of the American League Division Series against Houston, then hit an inside-the-park solo homer in the ninth inning of today's series-clinching Game 4, is the third-youngest Red Sox player to appear in the postseason.

The youngest? Ken Brett, the second of the four 
baseball-playing Brett brothers — John, Ken, Bobby and George — who pitched for the Red Sox in the 1967 World Series, tossing 1⅓ innings of scoreless relief against the St. Louis Cardinals, and at age 19 became the youngest player to pitch in a World Series game.

George, the youngest Brett brother, is a first-ballot Hall of Fame third baseman who spent his entire 21-year career with the Kansas City Royals. You might be more familiar with Bobby as a longtime Spokane resident and owner of the Spokane Indians and Spokane Chiefs.

Ken, a first-round pick out of El Segundo (California) High School in 1966, less than 10 months before making his major-league debut in the middle of a torrid, four-team American League pennant race, pitched in relief in Games 4 and 7 of the World Series vs. St. Louis.

Known as "Kemer," Brett was far from a flash in the pan, pitching three more seasons in Boston and playing for the Brewers, Phillies, Pirates, Yankees, White Sox, Angels, Twins, Dodgers and Royals over the course of a 14-year major league career; he was George's teammate in Kansas City for the final two seasons.

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