Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Trout native to the Inland Northwest inspires Spokane Indians' new uniform design

The Indians partner with the city for a river health and awareness campaign

Posted By on Wed, Jun 28, 2017 at 3:37 PM

The unique stripes and spots on the Spokane Indians' new uniforms are styled after those on a redband trout. - COURTESY OF THE SPOKANE INDIANS
  • Courtesy of the Spokane Indians
  • The unique stripes and spots on the Spokane Indians' new uniforms are styled after those on a redband trout.

A native trout has inspired a new uniform design for the Spokane Indians baseball team.

The Indians announced the design on Wednesday, as well as a new partnership with the city of Spokane, aiming to raise awareness of and encourage citizens to participate in maintaining and improving the health of the Spokane River.

Outfielder Kobie Taylor in the new uniform. - SPOKANE INDIANS PHOTO
  • Spokane Indians photo
  • Outfielder Kobie Taylor in the new uniform.
he promotion, called the Redband Rally Campaign, got its name from the redband trout, a distinctive fish only found in the Inland Northwest. Otto Klein, the Indians' senior vice president, says that current trout numbers are down compared to historical counts.

“We can get those numbers back up,” Klein says. “It all starts with a clean river.”

The campaign will be collecting donations — including by text — at games to give to local river cleanup organizations. Five dollars from each purchase of merchandise featuring the Redband logo will also be donated.

Indians players will don the new uniforms five times this season, beginning with the July 8 game against the Hillsboro Hops.

A Redband Trout mascot for the campaign will also make its fir
The Indians' Redband Trout mascot will remain an anonymous mystery until July 8. - SPOKANE INDIANS PHOTO
  • Spokane Indians photo
  • The Indians' Redband Trout mascot will remain an anonymous mystery until July 8.
st appearance at the July 8 game. Fans will get the chance to participate in a name-the-mascot contest, with the winner receiving a Redband jersey, hat and Indians tickets. The team has only released a silhouette of the trout mascot, saying what it will actually look like is under wraps until the game. The anonymous yet anthropomorphic fish will make trips to schools and community locations which support efforts to maintain the health of the Spokane River.

Klein is particularly excited about the new Redband Headbands. To be passed out for free during the middle of the sixth inning on July 8, these headbands feature the same red and blue spots and stripes as the new uniforms, but also include information on the Redband Rally Campaign on the inside of the headband.

The city of Spokane is supporting the Redband Rally Campaign with an initial $25,000 contribution.

In a press release, Mayor David Condon says he hopes the campaign can encourage participation in river cleanup, and draw support for a $340 million investment in water quality improvement projects.

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List of places off-limits to cannabis shops may grow, depending on voters' wishes in November

Initiative to establish stronger zoning regulations awaits verification from City Clerk

Posted By on Wed, Jun 28, 2017 at 10:51 AM

Spokane voters may get to weigh in on how close to a church is too close for a cannabis dispensary when they cast their ballots in November.

A petition to stop dispensaries from locating within 1,000 feet of churches with child care centers was sent by the Spokane City Council to the City Clerk for verification last night.

While the dispute began over a store near a Catholic cathedral, the petition would also stop shops from being within 1,000 feet of synagogues or mosques with child care centers, as well as hospitals and drug-rehabilitation units.

Former Republican State Rep. John Ahern sponsored and gathered support for the initiative, telling the Inlander that dispensaries near the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes and Pilgrim Slavic Baptist Church have attracted break-ins and thefts.

Also, Ahern says, it is inappropriate for children to be exposed to cannabis when entering or leaving nearby child care centers.

John Ahern wants to keep dispensaries away from religious establishments' child centers.
  • John Ahern wants to keep dispensaries away from religious establishments' child centers.
“We have pretty much had our fill of marijuana coming through here,” says Ahern, who spent between at least half a year collecting the 3,266 signatures awaiting verification before the initiative is officially put on the November ballot.

He says it is wrong for current law to keep cannabis retailers 1,000 away from schools and playgrounds, but not childcare centers in religious establishments.

“We just wanted to fill the gap,” Ahern says.

He and a few other supporters of the initiative have picketed in front of Lucky Leaf Co. downtown in protest of its proximity to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes about a block away.

Lucky Leaf would not be forced to move under the initiative, but would not be able to conduct business in the same venue if its license expired or was not renewed.

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Senate Republicans go back to the drawing board on health care, with no help from Trump, and other morning headlines

Posted By on Wed, Jun 28, 2017 at 9:30 AM


NEWS: Spokane Public Schools won't consider a proposed new sex-ed curriculum during tonight's board meeting after pushback from the county Republican Party, which raised objections to the involvement of Planned Parenthood in helping develop the curriculum.

NEWS: Governments and organizations are struggling this morning to contain a cyberattack, employing a type of malicious software known as "ransomware," that struck parts of Europe, the United States and Asia. (New York Times)

NEWS: Three veteran Chicago police officers have been charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and official misconduct for allegedly attempting to cover up events linked to the 2014 shooting of unarmed black teenager Laquan McDonald. (New York Times)

It's back to square one for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and his Republican caucus, who were unable to come up with votes to attempt to pass their deeply unpopular effort at health-care legislation.
  • It's back to square one for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and his Republican caucus, who were unable to come up with votes to attempt to pass their deeply unpopular effort at health-care legislation.


Try, try again

It's back to the drawing board for Senate Republicans, who failed to come up with the votes among their own caucus to force a vote on their attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is being criticized after misjudging the level of GOP support for the deeply unpopular proposal, which would leave 22 million more Americans uninsured, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, while giving millions of the richest Americans a tax cut; it's been referred to by billionaire investor Warren Buffett as the "Relief for the Rich Act." (New York Times / NPR / The Hill)

No help from the White House
President Trump's attempt to play the role of the self-proclaimed "closer" for the GOP health-care bill continues to fall on deaf ears among members of his own party. (New York Times)

Dirty water
Trump's Environmental Protection Agency, led by administrator Scott Pruitt, is moving toward rescinding Obama-era clean water rules, designed to limit pollution in about 60 percent of America's bodies of water. (New York Times)

Commerce Secretary mocked

A German audience reacted with laughter and cheers after a speech by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in Berlin was cut off when he exceeded his time limit. The incident comes as tensions have grown between Trump's White House and Germany, especially on the issue of trade. (The Hill / The Express)

Olympia budget agreement 'in principle'
Gov. Jay Inslee’s office announced this morning that Washington legislators have reached a tentative deal “in principle” on the state's next biennial budget; the agreement that should prevent a partial shutdown of government services July 1. (The Olympian)

Wildfires on the move
Fueled by high temperatures and dry grasslands, rapidly spreading wildfires in north-central Washington's Chelan and Douglas counties now cover more than 6,000 acres, or 11 square miles. (Yakima Herald-Republic)

Malek might run
Idaho state Rep. Luke Malek of Coeur d'Alene, regarded as a relative moderate among the state's Republicans, is considering a run for the state's 1st District seat in Congress; it's being vacated by Rep. Raúl Labrador, who's running for governor. (Spokesman-Review)
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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Spokane Public Schools won't consider sex-ed curriculum during board meeting tonight

Posted By on Tue, Jun 27, 2017 at 4:31 PM

After a months-long process, Spokane Public Schools 
inserted an item into this week's meeting agenda to finish changes to sexual education curriculum for grades 6 through 9. But at the last minute yesterday, the district decided to pull the item out.

Last week, the district put an item on its agenda for Wednesday night's meeting to approve a sexual education curriculum called “Get Real,” developed by Planned Parenthood and published by a nonprofit called Education, Training and Research (ETR) that provides science-based health and education programs. Yesterday, however, district administration decided to remove the curriculum adoption from the agenda, says SPS spokesman Kevin Morrison.

“I’m glad that they pulled it and appear to be open to taking a little bit more time,” says Stephanie Cates, chairwoman of the Spokane County Republican Party. “We hope that they reach out more broadly to the community to get public input.”

Cates says that the Republican Party feels that adopting the curriculum would be an endorsement of Planned Parenthood.

A Human Growth and Development citizens advisory committee, composed of at least 15 members and representing various local agencies, spent months starting at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year to narrow down curricula that would align with state standards. The committee settled on the “Get Real” curriculum for grades 6 through 9. The curriculum, according to the ETR website, focuses on abstinence from sex being the healthiest choice to avoid sexually transmitted disease or pregnancy, promotes relationship skills, and highlights the importance of parents in educating kids.

The current curriculum for middle-schoolers focuses on "human development, the reproductive system, rules and responsibilities of individuals, and aspects of healthy interpersonal relationships," says the district website.

"We went into this process very transparent," Morrison says. "With a normal curriculum adoption for other subject matters, they don't usually raise to this level of concern by citizens, and the board knows that and has a separate committee."

He says the idea is to get as wide a constituency together in support the educational materials since it's a more sensitive subject matter.

When the item was originally added to the agenda to consider the "Get Real" program, it was “widely supported,” Morrison says. But now discussions on adopting a new sex-ed program won't start until fall.

“Nobody was aware of any issues until yesterday afternoon,” he says. On Monday, one member of the committee that recommended the curriculum decided to withdraw support for it. The district administration decided to pull the item from the agenda because there was no reason to rush the process, Morrison says.

On Facebook, the Spokane County Republican Party had urged people to attend the meeting Wednesday and voice opposition to the sex-ed curriculum, saying it would “confuse countless children in our city” and “alienate many people of faith in our district.”

Cates refused to cite any specific part of the curriculum that Republicans objected to, but said the main problem is Planned Parenthood’s influence on it. Even though the curriculum adoption was removed from the agenda, she says some people may show up Wednesday night to speak out anyway.

“We believe that Planned Parenthood really has no place in our schools,” she says.
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City Council: Mumm challenger Brian Burrow goes for softer nuance, rather than fiery denunciation — at least at first

Posted By on Tue, Jun 27, 2017 at 10:49 AM

City Council candidate Brian Burrow is looking to unseat Candace Mumm in District 3 this November. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
  • City Council candidate Brian Burrow is looking to unseat Candace Mumm in District 3 this November.

Of late, it's been easy to split Spokane City Council into two groups: The six left-leaning councilmembers on one side, and lonely conservative Mike Fagan on the other. So while the office is technically nonpartisan, it's generally been easy to categorize the councilmembers ideologically.

When City Council candidate Brian Burrow, a project manager contracting with Avista Utilities, launched his campaign earlier this month to run against City Councilwoman Candace Mumm in District 3, his Facebook kickoff page said he wants to move the city in a "conservative direction."

But as we sit down to talk about his run, Burrow is reticent to explicitly categorize his political philosophy, though many of his views — like his skepticism over minimum wage hikes — lean conservative.

"I don't believe we can accomplish very much when we take a polarized view," Burrow says. "I can't recall any time out there in the workforce when that polarized opposing view has led me to success. I've always found ways to work with people."

Instead, Burrow pushes people to look deeper than pure politics.

"To look at the values that candidates that come in with, and their experience and background and education, is perhaps more important in this race than identifying which camp they fall under," Burrow says. "Running as an economist, rather than a Democrat or Republican, I think is very important to consider, because I understand what it's like to run a business and to recruit businesses."

Beyond his business experience, Burrow knows the struggles of the West Central neighborhood both personally and academically. He grew up in the low-income neighborhood, attending Holmes Elementary, Glover Middle School and North Central High School.

While he was pursuing a master's degree, Burrow returned to examine what happened to his sixth-grade classmates. While he never finished that degree, he saw how many of them became pregnant as teenagers, committed felonies, died before the age of 25 or never graduated college.

"I actually developed an economic formula that helps predict what your lifetime earnings are going to be based on the choices you made," Burrow says.

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Senate plan would cost 22 million Americans their health insurance, fires ignite in central Washington, and morning headlines

Posted By on Tue, Jun 27, 2017 at 9:07 AM


Alice Jacobs, a 90-year-old from Virginia, relies on Medicaid for health insurance. - KHUE BUI/THE NEW YORK TIMES
  • Khue Bui/The New York Times
  • Alice Jacobs, a 90-year-old from Virginia, relies on Medicaid for health insurance.
NEWS: 22 million more people would be left without health insurance by 2026 under the Senate bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. That's slightly better than the 23 million who would be left uninsured in the House health care bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, facing opposition from within his own party, has delayed a vote on the bill. (New York Times)

Check out these photos of NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant coming to Hoopfest on Sunday.

FOR FUN! Twenty-five unproven rumors about Spokane's potholes.

SPORTS: Just when we thought the Mariners were toast, a good month of June has fans' hopes up once again.


Lighting strikes twice (and twice more)
Last night's storm was fun, and beautiful, but the lightning sparked fires in central Washington, burning an estimated 4,400 acres. Together, the fires in Douglas and Chelan counties are being called the Spartan Fire. (KHQ)

You've got mail, if you work for it
Mail delivery to one neighborhood in the Shadle area has been cut off due to safety concerns to the mail carriers. Now, those residents are being asked to go to the post office, something many have trouble with. (KHQ)

Say hello to the future
Washington can now say it has the first electric-vehicle-friendly scenic byway in the entire country, U.S. Highway 2 from Spokane to Everett. (Spokesman-Review)

Travel ban partially reinstated
In a small victory for the White House, the U.S. Supreme Court has permitted a limited version of President Trump's travel ban on those coming from six mostly Muslim countries. The justices will hear the the case in the fall. (Washington Post)
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Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday Mariners Briefing: June's hot bats keeping M's afloat

Posted By on Mon, Jun 26, 2017 at 3:16 PM

Rookie outfielder Ben Gamel, hitting .346, has been a pleasant surprise for the Mariners this season.
  • Rookie outfielder Ben Gamel, hitting .346, has been a pleasant surprise for the Mariners this season.

A month ago, things weren't looking so good for the Seattle Mariners. After five losses in six East Coast games against the Washington Nationals and Boston Red Sox, the Mariners' injury woes seemed insurmountable.

The M's were seven games under .500, in the AL West cellar, and nearly had the American League's worst record. With Felix Hernandez, Hishashi Iwakuma and James Paxton on the disabled list, the back of the rotation — Ariel Miranda and Yovanni Gallardo — was asked to keep the USS Mariner afloat.

With a strong showing in Colorado to finish May and start June, the Mariners went on a torrid 10-4 run, beating the Rockies, Tampa Bay Rays and Minnesota Twins. Mike Zunino has had himself quite a month, hitting nine home runs and driving in 30 runs (most ever in a month for a Mariners catcher). Zunino entered the month hitting an abysmal .190, which has since risen to .247. Over that span, he's nearly doubled his on-base plus slugging percentage to .802 (on average, a dependable everyday player should be around .700).

But the most satisfying part of the Mariners' resurgence has been the trio of rookie outfielders — Ben Gamel, Guillermo Heredia and Mitch Haniger. Last year's outfield was the glaring weakness of a surprisingly average team. Heading into this season, it was hoped that maybe one of the three young outfielders could pair with veteran Jarrod Dyson to make a halfway respectable outfield. Instead, the three are pushing Dyson out of playing time.

In the absence of high-average leadoff hitter, shortstop Jean Segura, Gamel leads the Mariners with a .394 average for the month of June. After an oblique injury sidelined him for more than a month, Haniger was immediately injected into the No. 2 spot and has been regaining his timing on the fly; he hasn't quite seen his average and power return to his hot opening to the season, but has remained a high on-base-percentage guy who becomes a table-setter for power bats Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz.

The Mariners started their homestand with a four-game sweep of the up-and-down Detroit Tigers. They were able to stay in games, proving their lineup's ability to get hot and win games late. The most notable was in the sixth inning against Justin Verlander, who was at the time throwing a perfect game. The Mariners piled on seven runs in the sixth and seventh against  Verlander and the Tigers.

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They say that 33 Chilean miners once got trapped in a Spokane pothole, and 24 other unproven pothole rumors

Posted By on Mon, Jun 26, 2017 at 1:03 PM

They say that local gaming company Cyan filmed a man falling into a Spokane pothole for the intro of their smash computer game hit, "Myst." - CYAN WORLDS
  • Cyan Worlds
  • They say that local gaming company Cyan filmed a man falling into a Spokane pothole for the intro of their smash computer game hit, "Myst."

On Friday, the Spokesman-Review ran a story about just how few of the victims of Spokane's winter plague of potholes were able to convince the city to pay their claims. While the city has committed $1 million as part of "Fix-It-Fest 2017" to repair broken arterials and has a long-term strategy to make roads more resistant to potholes, the pothole struggles this year only solidified Spokane's longstanding pothole-pocked reputation.

Of course, for every fact about Spokane potholes, there are plenty of scurrilous, unsourced rumors. As a service to you, the reader, we've collected these rumors in one place, while recognizing that it's entirely possible that we made every one of these rumors up.

1. They say when you gaze into a Spokane pothole, the Spokane pothole also gazes into you.

2. They say if you put your ear to the edge of a Spokane pothole, and listen closely, you can hear the bloodcurdling screams of the damned souls of children who don't obey their parents.

3. They say that, back in 2010, 33 Chilean miners got trapped for two weeks in a Spokane pothole before being rescued.

4. They say that the only thing that can truly defeat a Spokane pothole is for it be swallowed up by an even bigger Spokane pothole.

5. They say you can't reach the bottom of a Spokane pothole until you truly reach the bottom of... yourself.

6. They say when you pour asphalt into a Spokane pothole, you just make it hungrier.

7. They say if you step on a crack, you'll break your mother's back three weeks later when that crack develops into a pothole on Freya and she drives straight into it.

8. They say that most Spokane potholes were created when the dwarves dug too greedily and too deep, and awoke shadow and flame in the darkness of Khazad-dûm.

9. They say that if you make a wish and throw a coin into a Spokane pothole, your wish will come true, but only if that wish involves significant damage to your tires and undercarriage.

10. They say that 15,000 years ago, a glacial ice dam in Missoula broke, sending two-story-tall water blitzing 60 miles an hour from Montana to the Pacific, ripping canyons in the earth and creating the first Spokane pothole.

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Kevin Durant came to Hoopfest, and it was awesome

Posted By on Mon, Jun 26, 2017 at 10:17 AM

Kevin Durant at Spokane Hoopfest 2017. - WILSON CRISCIONE
  • Wilson Criscione
  • Kevin Durant at Spokane Hoopfest 2017.

It was supposed to be a secret. Nobody announced that Kevin Durant would be showing up at Nike Center Court on Sunday. But when you're as big a deal as Kevin Durant, NBA Finals MVP and champion, word tends to get out.

Early on Sunday, some people had heard the rumor that the Golden State Warriors' star was in Spokane. Friends told their friends, and those friends told their friends, but nobody really wanted to get their hopes up. Kevin Durant? In Spokane? 

The rumor was that he would show up to Nike Center Court around 2:30 or 3 pm. By 2:15, the bleachers were full and the heat was beating down on the court during the men's elite games. People in the stands were whispering to each other — maybe Durant isn't coming. Is it worth suffering in this heat? Was it a false rumor?

When a few security guards gathered in one place, everyone looked over to try and catch a glimpse of Durant. But it was a false alarm. The security guards were just telling people to get off the court.

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NBA star Durant hits Hoopfest, Supreme Court to weigh in on Trump travel ban, and morning headlines

Posted By on Mon, Jun 26, 2017 at 9:27 AM


NEWS: Washington state lawmakers will likely let thousands of high schoolers who failed a "make-or-break" biology test get their diplomas anyway, by passing a bipartisan bill that Sen. Andy Billig (D-Spokane) praised.

NEWS: Less than a week after the Inlander published a cover story about Dr. Suzan Marshall and others who question decisions made by Spokane County medical examiners regarding their loved ones' deaths, Marshall received a letter alerting her that someone had filed a complaint with the state Department of Health, claiming she was "practicing beyond scope of practice."

FOR FUN: NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors surprised Hoopfest fans on Sunday, showing up to share a moment in the world's largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament.

WHAT'S UP: Pulp Fiction, CdA brew fest, the Love Dimension and more are on this week's schedule. Here's what else is happening.

The Supreme Court intends to rule on a case involving Trump's travel ban this fall.
  • The Supreme Court intends to rule on a case involving Trump's travel ban this fall.

Less for more?
A UW study found that as Seattle's minimum wage is increasing in phases toward $15 an hour, workers are getting fewer hours and losing money, and the researchers estimate the city is losing out on low-paid jobs that it would otherwise have, the Seattle Times reports.

Supreme schedule
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review President Donald Trump's travel ban, reinstating it in part until the case is heard this fall. The court also agreed to hear a case involving a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. (Washington Post)
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