Monday, October 23, 2017

MONDAY MORNING PLACEKICKER: Cougs strike back, Eags' Big Sky streak ends

Posted By on Mon, Oct 23, 2017 at 11:25 AM

Washington State bounced back strong in Pullman after a week to forget, Eastern Washington's Big Sky winning streak ended at 12 at the hands of a new conference power, Idaho absorbed a big road loss and received a big check, and Whitworth got a major boost from its returning star, if only for a half. The Seahawks rode a stout defense and Russell Wilson's strong right arm to victory in New Jersey. Your Monday Morning Placekicker:

A swarming Cougar defense led by Hercules Mata'afa (50) held Colorado star Phillip Lindsay, who had rushed for nearly a thousand yards entering Saturday night's game at Martin Stadium, under 100 yards on a hard-fought 29 carries. - WSU ATHLETICS
  • WSU Athletics
  • A swarming Cougar defense led by Hercules Mata'afa (50) held Colorado star Phillip Lindsay, who had rushed for nearly a thousand yards entering Saturday night's game at Martin Stadium, under 100 yards on a hard-fought 29 carries.

Washington State's defense, which was shredded in last Friday's 37-3 loss at Cal that knocked the Cougars from the unbeaten rankings, made a powerful statement at a cold, soggy, windy Martin Stadium on Saturday night: We're back. WSU, which remains No. 15 in the AP Top 25 poll, pitched its second shutout of the season and first Pac-12 blanking since 1994, methodically dismantling Colorado 28-0.

The Cougs, who bounced back from a week that saw them drilled 37-3 in Berkeley, then lose longtime athletic director Bill Moos to Nebraska, played without leading receiver Tavares Martin Jr., suspended after the Cal game. None of that mattered Saturday at Homecoming; WSU simply outclassed the Buffaloes. The numbers tell the tale: The Cougs outgained Colorado 406 yards to 174, including 194-80 on the ground and 212-94 in the air, as Luke Falk (17 of 34, 197 yards; 9 carries for 41 yards) shrugged off the less-than-ideal conditions, tossing TD passes to Davontavean Martin, Brandon Arconado and Renard Bell.

"That was the worst offensive performance we've had since I've been a coach here," said Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre. "Mainly, they just whipped us." Mike Leach's succinct postgame assessment of his Cougars, compared to the Cal game? "Less pathetic."

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EPA eases rules on chemicals found in water near Fairchild, morning headlines

Posted By on Mon, Oct 23, 2017 at 8:36 AM


With years of experience digging into budgetary details, Spokane County's newest commissioner, Mary Kuney, hopes to help the county deal with a $10 million shortfall.

NEWS: With Spokane voters being asked whether to fine coal and oil train car owners who don't cover their coal or pre-treat their crude oil to a certain pressure before rolling their cars through the city, plenty of money has rolled in to sway voters' decisions. Read how much each side has reported bringing in so far.


And you thought your hike was hard
A pair of "musical mountaineers" from western Washington pack their violin and nearly full-sized keyboard to the top of  mountain peaks in the North Cascades to share their music with the sunrise, craggy peaks, and fans, the Everett Herald reports.

Seizing control in Catalonia
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced over the weekend that the government would remove Catalan regional government officials until order is restored, following an independence vote the region held earlier this month, El País reports.

Suspect in Cheney pot shop murder could be linked with another body
The Spokesman-Review reports that the FBI found human remains on the Yakama Indian Reservation near where the man suspected of killing a Cheney pot shop employee claimed he had killed another man, but hasn't confirmed publicly if they're tied to the same suspect.

Harder to track
With a chemical industry insider now helping call the shots at the Environmental Protection Agency, it may become more difficult to track health impacts like those from the chemicals found in drinking water around Fairchild Air Force Base, reports the New York Times.
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Sunday, October 22, 2017

THIS WEEK: Anthony Jeselnik jokes, Jesus & Mary Chain buzzes, Spokane Oktoberfests & more

Posted By on Sun, Oct 22, 2017 at 1:01 PM

Standup comic Anthony Jeselnik headlines at the Spokane Comedy Club Thursday through Saturday.
  • Standup comic Anthony Jeselnik headlines at the Spokane Comedy Club Thursday through Saturday.

Barreling towards Halloween and November, there's still time to take advantage of October with some of the groovy good times found in our event listings and staff picks.

Here are some highlights of the week ahead:

Monday, Oct. 23

MUSIC | Skate punks rejoice! Old schoolers Agent Orange are still kicking, and they're playing the Pin! Monday night.

Tuesday, Oct. 24

MUSIC | Mastodon are one of the bright lights of modern metal, delivering intricate songs and consistently great albums over the last decade or so. On this tour, they're bringing the joyfully scuzzy Eagles of Death Metal and instru-metal cats Russian Circles along for the ride for their show at the Knitting Factory. Here's a little Mastodon sample for ya from their excellent new Emperor of Sand album:

DRINK | Love you some Crown Royal? The Canadian whisky is hosting a tasting dinner at Twigs Bistro's downtown Spokane location tonight. A tasty four-course meal and whisky samples? Yes, please!

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Friday, October 20, 2017

WSU vs. Colorado: Chastened Cougs return home with a loss, without Moos

Posted By on Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 3:10 PM

Cougar fans would love an outcome at Martin Stadium like 2015, when Washington State throttled Colorado 27-3. - WSU ATHLETICS
  • WSU Athletics
  • Cougar fans would love an outcome at Martin Stadium like 2015, when Washington State throttled Colorado 27-3.

Well, no one saw that coming.

That was the case last Friday night, when Washington State was not just routed but exposed in Berkeley, definitively knocked from the unbeaten ranks in a 37-3 loss that ranked with the worst defeats the Cougars have suffered in 42 trips to Memorial Stadium since 1924.

The numbers seemed fictional, but they were all too real: Luke Falk was sacked nine times and threw five interceptions, both career highs, and more than half of the Cougars' 13 possessions ended in turnovers: seven, to be exact. WSU saw two touchdowns — including freshman Renard Bell's return of the opening kickoff — erased due to penalties, averaged less than a yard per rush on 26 attempts, and was a woeful 4-for-17 on third down.

Cal had only beaten one Top 10 team in Berkeley in the past 40 years, but the Golden Bears did just about everything right against a WSU team that was outplayed, outschemed and outcoached, making a clear statement: We don't deserve to be ranked No. 8 in the nation.

And it was no less true two days later, when Bill Moos, WSU athletic director for 7½ years, with deep connections to Pullman in particular and the Pac-12 in general, bolted to become athletic director at Nebraska — a school where football is, and always will be, king — pulling up roots and leaving in the middle of football season for a school and a conference (the 14-team Big Ten) he lacks any ties to. Moos' base salary in Lincoln is $1 million per year, more than twice what he was making at Washington State.

In the space of less than a week, elements of doubt and uncertainty have crept into WSU's football program and athletic department. A 6-0 start that had Cougar fans dreaming big vanished, and coupled with the Huskies' debacle in the desert the following night, some of the shine — unrealistic though it may have been, in retrospect — is off the Apple Cup.

And there's a Colorado team coming to Martin Stadium on Saturday night, aka Homecoming (7:45 pm; ESPN, KXLY 920 AM) that rallied in the final minutes for an emotional win on the road — even if it was just Corvallis.

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New County Commissioner Mary Kuney narrows focus on solving budget issues

Posted By on Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 12:31 PM

Mary Kuney was sworn in as a Spokane County Commissioner on Friday, Sept. 29. - COURTESY OF SPOKANE COUNTY
  • Courtesy of Spokane County
  • Mary Kuney was sworn in as a Spokane County Commissioner on Friday, Sept. 29.

The details of a county budget may not excite the average citizen. But for a former accountant and state auditor like Mary Kuney, there may be nothing more enticing than the challenge of balancing a budget that has a shortage of revenue.

That's the situation that Kuney has been thrust into since being appointed to the Spokane County Board of Commissioners weeks ago. And it's a challenge she relishes. After all, it was her experience as a Certified Public Accountant and a state auditor for 10 years that inspired her to run for office in the first place.

"When you're doing that, you see a lot of really good elected officials, and you see some bad elected officials," Kuney tells the Inlander. "The good ones definitely inspire you, and you see the ability to have an impact on the community and the future of the community."

Kuney hopes, by focusing on the details, she can be one of the good ones.

Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee chose Kuney as the next county commissioner after a contentious selection process following Commissioner Shelly O'Quinn's departure in June. The Spokane County Republican Party gave commissioners Al French and Josh Kerns three choices to fill the vacant seat. Kuney, then the county's chief deputy auditor, was the second choice of the party. County treasurer Rob Chase was the first, and marketing consultant John Guarsico was third.

It wasn't the first time Kuney faced off against Rob Chase. Kuney lost to Chase in the election for county treasurer in 2014. This time, with Inslee choosing, she got the nod.

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Follow the money on Prop 2: big bucks on one side of coal & oil train initiative

Posted By on Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 10:52 AM

As ballots arrive in mailboxes this week, the Inlander is covering the decisions local voters will be asked to make.

Among the issues Spokane voters will see on their ballot is Proposition 2, which asks whether the city should make it a civil infraction for anyone to bring uncovered coal train cars or rail cars of untreated crude oil through the city, subject to a $261 fine per rail car.

Proponents say the measure is necessary to increase safety as an oil train derailment with explosion could devastate downtown. Opponents say the measure is illegal and unenforceable, and would not only be costly but could eliminate local railroad jobs.

Both sides got to expand on their positions in our story this week, which you can find here.

What didn't make the cut was a look at who has been funding the pro and con campaigns:

Until last week, Safer Spokane’s committee had been wrongly registered with the Public Disclosure Commission as “Proposition 2” instead of “Safer Spokane,” says Safer Spokane chairman Jim Lee. That has since been updated.

As of today, Safer Spokane reported collecting a total of $6,269.68. The largest single donations are $1,000 each from retirees Michael Bell (who donated a total of $2,150 to the campaign over several months) and Candace Schmidt (who donated a total of $1,300).

Other smaller donations came from the United Unitarian Church and other people who mostly listed their occupations as “retired.”

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Violent white supremacists, Hanford, weed & opioid death rates, morning headlines

Posted By on Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 9:46 AM


Give a crap; go vote!
But first, read this year's Election Issue, starting with this story on the City Council race in District 1 between Tim Benn and Kate Burke.

Feds: We lacked authority over Kettle Falls Five
Federal prosecutors acknowledged they didn't have the authority to pursue criminal charges in a case against the Kettle Falls Five, Eastern Washington medical marijuana growers who were complying with state law.

Too deep
Tyler Berens is trying to escape addiction's grasp, yet something holds him back.

Third option
A nonbinary gender option will soon be available on California's birth certificates without a physician's signature. (via New York Times)

A total of 31 workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation's Plutonium Finishing Plant inhaled very small amounts of radioactive material in June, following a take-cover order for a contamination spread.
  • A total of 31 workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation's Plutonium Finishing Plant inhaled very small amounts of radioactive material in June, following a take-cover order for a contamination spread.


Nuclear contamination
Thirty-one Hanford nuclear reservation employees tested positive for small amounts of radioactive material after a contamination spread in June. (Tri-City Herald)

White supremacist violence
Why is the brazen violence from white supremacists drawing so little attention from law enforcement? (ProPublica)

Can weed help the opioid death epidemic?
A peer-reviewed study suggests legalizing marijuana could drive down opioid-related deaths. Although the authors claim no cause and effect between the two, data from before and after Colorado legalized weed for recreational purposes suggests that nearly one fewer person per month died of an opioid overdose. But Colorado officials are skeptical. (Denver Post)
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Thursday, October 19, 2017

ENTRÉE: A roundup of new local places to eat and drink, or coming very soon

Posted By on Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 4:49 PM

A rendering of the forthcoming Maryhill Winery tasting room, opening in Kendall Yards later this year. - MARYHILL WINERY
  • Maryhill Winery
  • A rendering of the forthcoming Maryhill Winery tasting room, opening in Kendall Yards later this year.

It may seem like there’s always a lot going on in the regional food and drink scene — that’s because there is! We’re always on the lookout for the newest local places opening and offering tasty bites to sate all appetites, as well as other interesting developments and news in the culinary community. So, since it’s been a while, let’s round up what to keep an eye on, and what to check out now:

Work to spruce up a former Shari’s restaurant location on the corner of Monroe Street and Northwest Boulevard finally culminated with the opening of the MONROE STREET GRILL last week. The locally owned spot specializes in hand-pressed burgers, seafood and other classic American fare: soups, salads, sandwiches and more. Stay tuned for more on the new spot in the Inlander in the coming weeks.

We’re also aware of a few noteworthy, forthcoming openings on the horizon, including a new sushi spot in Coeur d’Alene, to be located in the former home of Bonsai Bistro on Sherman Avenue, near the resort. MOMO - SUSHI . WOK . GRILL is set to open sometime later this year, and its owners — recent transplants to the Inland Northwest — plan to serve sushi and other pan-Asian fare.

Fans of the cheesy, buttery goodness of local food truck Mac Daddy’s Gourmet Grub can start the countdown for a permanent stand-alone location heading to Spokane’s North Side. MAC DADDY’S GOURMET PUB & GRILL is moving into a space at the Fairwood Shopping Center near Mead High School; follow the location’s Facebook page (previous link) for the latest updates.

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Better vaccinations for babies, artificial intelligence, kids' smartphone use

Posted By on Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 1:53 PM

What if all of a baby's vaccinations could be combined into one single shot? MIT researchers say they've done just that.
  • What if all of a baby's vaccinations could be combined into one single shot? MIT researchers say they've done just that.

One-shot wonder
Anyone who’s watched a baby receive a series of vaccinations at multiple doctor visits over the first year of their life knows it’s no fun for the little ones. What if all those vaccinations, over the course of a year or two, could be combined into a single shot? Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology believe they’ve found a way to do just that. Here’s how: Tiny bubbles called microparticles — created from an FDA-approved polymer — can be filled with the various vaccines, sealed tight and injected. The particles then dissolve at specific times, resulting in “short bursts of medication or vaccine delivered at particular intervals, mimicking the timing of a vaccine series.”

In the developed world, that could mean fewer doctor visits, and reduce the number of kids failing to complete a multi-injection regimen. And in developing countries, it could help solve the complicated logistics of providing vaccines.

Leap forward?
Go is an abstract strategy game, invented in China more than 2,500 years ago. Last spring, researchers announced that a computer program based on data derived from 100,000 human-played Go games was able to defeat the human Go champion. That's cool, but no big deal, right?

This week, Google’s DeepMind artificial intelligence researchers announced that they've created a new program, one that is able to learn, and master, the Go game — all by itself. “We’ve removed the constraints of human knowledge, and it is able to create knowledge itself,” says the project’s lead researcher. Researchers watched as the program, based on human neural networks and given only Go's rules, at first eerily mimicked human learning. “You see it rediscovering the thousands of years of human knowledge,” says one programmer. But 40 days in, it was finding plays previously unknown to humans, and easily defeating previous programs. The developers promise to use this powerful knowledge for good: “One promising area … is understanding how proteins fold, an essential tool for drug discovery.”

But Elon Musk, the brains behind Tesla and SpaceX, isn’t so sure about artificial intelligence.

Real world
Technology can be thrilling — and enthralling — for kids. As any parent knows, a day without a smartphone can be a worst-case scenario for many tweens and teens. But when are kids too tuned-in to tech? Find out how to make the best of our kids’ screen-obsessed world in the current issue of InHealth.
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Feds acknowledge lack of authority in prosecuting Kettle Falls Five for medical marijuana grow

Posted By on Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 12:19 PM


Federal prosecutors acknowledged this week that they did not have the authority to pursue criminal charges in a notorious case against five Eastern Washington medical marijuana growers, known as the Kettle Falls Five, who were complying with state law.

Three of the Kettle Falls Five were convicted in 2015 for growing marijuana. One defendant took a plea deal before trial. Another, Larry Harvey, was dismissed from the case after he was diagnosed with cancer. He died in 2015. The five originally faced distribution and firearms charges, of which they were acquitted.

The three appealed their convictions, and have been out of custody while case lingers in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In a brief filed Monday in the Ninth Circuit (see below), U.S. attorneys acknowledge that "the United States was not authorized to spend money on the prosecution of the defendants after December 2014 because the defendants strictly complied with the Washington State medical marijuana laws."

"I'm shocked that the government is agreeing with us, especially in light of who is in charge right now," says Frank Cikutovich, the Spokane attorney representing defendant Jason Zucker. "I'm hopeful that as far as these defendants are concerned, they'll see they've wasted enough time and money and forget about them."

Zucker took a plea deal before trial, but the conviction appeal still applies to the charges against him.

Although the case is being touted as an "historic" victory for states' rights to legalize and regulate the cultivation and sale of marijuana, Cikutovich is reserving his celebration.

"It's hard to say what we should anticipate next," Cikutovich says. "But it's good to see their filing. My client, as well as the others, have been saying that the entire time."

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Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
An Evening With Angela Davis

An Evening With Angela Davis @ Gonzaga University Hemmingson Center

Wed., Oct. 25, 7 p.m.

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