Thursday, May 25, 2017

Omega-3 fatty acids and better brain function, the power of cinnamon, and 'oral allergy syndrome'

Posted By on Thu, May 25, 2017 at 11:05 AM

Better brains with omega-3s
Want a great source of omega-3 fatty acids? Look no further than seeds and nuts.
  • Want a great source of omega-3 fatty acids? Look no further than seeds and nuts.
By now you’ve heard that omega-3 fatty acids are implicated in better metabolism and improving our heart health. But a new study shows they may also be implicated in warding off a decline in brain function. “This is very important research because it shows a correlation between lower omega-3 fatty acid levels and reduced brain blood flow to regions important for learning, memory, depression and dementia,” said the study’s lead author. Good sources of omega-3s include salmon, tuna and flaxseed oil.

Here's a list of foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids.

Natural help for high blood sugar?
Millions of people are considered “pre-diabetic” meaning their blood sugar runs a little too high, but not quite high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Exercise and diet can often help prevent that progression, and so can some common herbs, and one spice in particular: cinnamon.

Read more about the Spice of Life in this story from our InHealth archives.

Runny nose and itchy mouth?

If you have seasonal allergies, you may find some fruits produce a weird sensation in your mouth during certain times of the year. This “oral allergy syndrome” is the result of ingesting a food that contains a protein similar in structure to the pollens that provoke an individual’s sneezing and red eyes. This cross-reactivity occurs in predictable patterns: spring tree allergies are linked with cherries, apples and pears, while summer grass allergies go with reactions to watermelon and cantaloupe. Cooking or peeling a fruit before eating may help, but check with an allergist if symptoms occur when eating nuts.

For more health-related information, check out the current issue of InHealth.

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A Ben Carson state of mind, Montana GOP House candidate body-slams reporter, and morning headlines

Posted By on Thu, May 25, 2017 at 9:48 AM


NEWS: A demolition ban in the Browne's Addition neighborhood remains in place after a unanimous City Council vote in favor a moratorium.

MUSIC: The Inlander's annual music festival, Volume, is just around the corner. Two days. 100 bands. $25. Click here for a taste.


'You just body-slammed me and broke my glasses'
A Republican congressional candidate in Montana body-slammed a reporter for the Guardian Wednesday night on the eve of the state's special election as the journalist persisted in asking a question about the GOP health care plan. Guardian political reporter Ben Jacobs' account was corroborated by a Fox News crew who witnessed the incident.

Clueless Carson
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson claimed in an interview that poverty is a "state of mind." Seriously. (CNN)

Chief of flames
Mayor David Condon names Brian Schaeffer the next chief of the Spokane Fire Department. (Spokesman-Review)

Plugging the leaks
The New York Times obtained, apparently through U.S. government leaks, photographic evidence of the scene of Monday's deadly terrorist attack in Manchester, England. British Prime Minister Theresa May is not happy about it, while President Trump says he will "get to the bottom" of the leaks and wants those responsible prosecuted. (The Telegraph)  
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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hundreds seek answers about contaminated water at Fairchild meeting Tuesday night

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2017 at 3:39 PM

"Are you positive?" "Have you been tested?" neighbors and friends asked each other as they filed into the bleachers at Medical Lake High School on Tuesday evening.

They weren't talking about some disease, but about their drinking water.

While some there had already had their private wells tested for chemical contamination, possibly linked with firefighting foam used on Fairchild Air Force Base for more than 40 years, others lived close enough to the base that they wondered whether they needed to have their water tested, too.

Many were among the more than 8,000 people whose water comes from Airway Heights, which had two of its main well systems test high for the chemicals last week, and has been providing bottled water for residents while trying to flush the contamination from the city's system.

While waiting for the 6 pm meeting to start, people who'd never met casually compared serious medical issues they'd had in the past. Was their pancreatic cancer linked with the drinking water? What about the mysterious ulcers they couldn't figure out? If they seem to be sick all the time, could that be related? 

With news of the emerging contaminants PFOA and 
Col. Ryan Samuelson, commander of Fairchild Air Force Base's 92nd Air Refueling Wing, speaks to a crowd of hundreds Tuesday night, May 23, about water contamination near the base. - SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL
  • Samantha Wohlfeil
  • Col. Ryan Samuelson, commander of Fairchild Air Force Base's 92nd Air Refueling Wing, speaks to a crowd of hundreds Tuesday night, May 23, about water contamination near the base.
PFOS being found in higher-than-recommended concentrations in their water, every malaise seems subject to scrutiny, and Tuesday's meeting revealed few answers as to whether specific health issues and the chemicals are interconnected.


airchild Col. Ryan Samuelson, Commander of the 92nd Air Refueling Wing, started the meeting with a prepared speech, spending about 20 minutes explaining his commitment to transparency as the process of testing moves forward, giving an overview of what was going on, and trying to combat misinformation.

"You deserve to know what we know, because this is a concern for all of us," Samuelson told the crowd.

While the testing that Fairchild started in April raised questions about how long the Air Force had known the chemicals were an issue, according to other experts at the meeting who have been involved in systematic testing at other bases around the country, Fairchild has been one of the fastest to release information to the public.

Rather than wait for verified results, as soon as preliminary tests showed higher levels than an Environmental Protection Agency health advisory recommends, the base alerted well owners and started providing water for them. Samuelson has committed to getting information out quickly and answering questions.

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As Browne's Addition seeks historic recognition, City Council retains demolition ban

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2017 at 11:58 AM

These townhouses under construction on Chestnut and Second Avenue have become an example, cited by the Browne's Addition Neighborhood Council, as to why the neighborhood needs a demolition ban. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
  • These townhouses under construction on Chestnut and Second Avenue have become an example, cited by the Browne's Addition Neighborhood Council, as to why the neighborhood needs a demolition ban.

Housing developers looking to tear down and build up in the Browne’s Addition neighborhood will either have to look elsewhere or sit tight for the next six months.

On April 10, the Spokane City Council unanimously voted in favor of an emergency moratorium — and a six-month extension at Monday's meeting — on demolition permits for Browne’s Addition after multiple properties have been torn down. Most recently, a house at 201 S. Chestnut St. was demolished and is being replaced with a multi-family residential complex, contributing to the neighborhood council's decision to request the moratorium.

While the moratorium is in place, the city plans to review current demolition regulations, and the Browne’s Addition Neighborhood Council will work to complete an application for historic neighborhood status.

Councilmember Lori Kinnear sponsored the anti-demolition ordinance and pushed to add more support of historic preservation to the city’s budget priorities for fiscal year 2018.

“While we want infill, we don’t want to destroy what we have in our city,” Kinnear said at Monday's City Council meeting.

Rick Biggerstaff, Chair of the Browne’s Addition Neighborhood Council, says it is important to protect neighborhoods’ personalities. He pointed to Perry and Kendall Yards as examples of neighborhoods with contemporary personalities, and Browne’s as one with a more historic personality.

“When you enter our neighborhood, you go back in time,” Biggerstaff says.

Browne’s Addition residents understand that not all of their properties are perfect, he says, but they care about what they have.

“We buy these properties knowing we are going to get our elbows greased and our hands dirty,” Biggerstaff says.

He says the neighborhood does not oppose new housing and development, but wants more communication with developers from the very beginning of the process to maintain the area’s aesthetic.

Biggerstaff says he was particularly disappointed to see the loss of open, green space at the Chestnut Street address when demolition finished and construction began.

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Daybreak Youth Services keeps expanding, moves outpatient facility to Spokane Valley

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2017 at 11:07 AM

Clients at Daybreak Youth Services, now located in Spokane Valley. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
  • Young Kwak photo
  • Clients at Daybreak Youth Services, now located in Spokane Valley.

Daybreak Youth Services has moved its Spokane outpatient treatment facility to Spokane Valley, allowing it to expand its treatment capacity for teens.

It's the second expansion for Daybreak Youth Services just this year, as the nonprofit works to offer more services to kids in Washington with substance abuse and mental health disorders.

"Everything is getting bigger and better across the board," says Alayna Becker, Daybreak communications manager.

The organization's outpatient program previously operated from downtown Spokane, at 960 E. Third Ave., and served about 70 clients per month. The outpatient program moved to its new location in Spokane Valley, at 200 N. Mullan Rd., in April, and enables Daybreak to serve up to 100 clients per month. It also makes it easier to serve teens who go to school in Spokane Valley, Becker says, as Daybreak works closely with those schools.

Last week, Daybreak celebrated the opening of a new 58-bed inpatient treatment center for adolescent recovery in Vancouver, Washington. It has 43 residential treatment beds, three detox beds and 12 mental health evaluation and treatment beds for teens of both genders, ages 12 to 17. Daybreak also operates a 40-bed inpatient facility for girls only in Spokane for teens to recover from substance abuse and/or mental health issues.

Becker says the long-term strategy is to hopefully bring in more transitional housing to serve teens. For its inpatient programs, there's about a 50 percent recovery rate for kids. Many kids leave the facility and either go back into a home where substance abuse is present, or they are homeless or in foster care. That, she says, isn't conducive to maintaining a healthy recovery.

"As a long-term strategy," she says, "we hope to bring more transitional housing."
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Britain on 'critical' alert after terrorist attack, remembering a Seahawks star gone too soon, and morning headlines

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2017 at 9:42 AM


NEWS: The state Department of Ecology is now taking comments on cleanup options for a contaminated former BNSF Railway refueling station in Hillyard.

ARTS & CULTURE: This year's Spokane is Reading book has been announced: it's A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash.

Cortez Kennedy spent  his entire 11-year NFL career with the Seahawks; he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.
  • Cortez Kennedy spent his entire 11-year NFL career with the Seahawks; he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

Britain on 'critical' alert
The country is on edge, anticipating the possibility of more terrorist attacks, after a 22-year-old suicide bomber blew himself up at an Ariana Grande show in Manchester on Monday, killing 22 people, many of them children, and injuring 64 others. ISIS has claimed responsibility; local police say they are investigating a terrorist network. (Vox/The Atlantic)

New fire chief
Spokane will name its new fire chief today; it's expected to be Brian Schaeffer, interim chief and longtime assistant chief. (KXLY)

Trump meets Pope

The leader of the free world and the leader of the Roman Catholic church met for the first time today at the Vatican. (New York Times)

Math is hard
The new Trump budget unveiled yesterday, which slashes spending on social programs in favor of a 10 percent boost in military spending, has a big problem — it's based on a $2 trillion mathematical error, says New York magazine.

See u in the fall! — "Donny"
At the end of his brief-by-design 15-minute stay at Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust Museum, the President of the United States signed the museum's Book of Remembrance as if it was a middle-school yearbook. (New York magazine)

Seahawks great dies at 48
A tribute to Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle and Pro Football Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy, who died in Florida on Tuesday at age 48. (Tacoma News Tribune)

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

2017 Spokane is Reading book is A Land More Kind Than Home

Posted By on Tue, May 23, 2017 at 4:57 PM

With the summer months stretching ahead, and hopefully plenty of time for beach or backyard reading, bookworms of all stripes are already working on their extensive summer reading lists. Here's another title to add to the mix, this year's Spokane is Reading selection, A Land More Kind Than Home, by Wiley Cash.

Published in 2012 as Cash's debut, the bestselling title is narrated by three main characters living in rural Appalachia. On its website, Spokane is Reading describes the book as "a haunting tale of courage in the face of cruelty and the power of love to overcome the darkness that lives in us all."

In a review by the Washington Post, the novel is described as a harrowing tale about the a community whose main moral compass is a fundamentalist church leader who uses his congregation's blind faith as a weapon against them.

Spokane author Jess Walter has said of the book: “Wiley Cash knows how to grab his reader on page one and hang on for dear life as he presents brilliant portraits of desperate people caught up in an underworld where danger, damage, drugs, and fractured families are all clasped in the tight fist of poverty.”

Though not sequels, Cash's bestselling second novel This Dark Road to Mercy has a somewhat similar tone,  examining the limits of love, family bonds, atonement and vengeance. His third novel, The Last Ballad, comes out about a month before Cash's visit to Spokane for two community events on Thursday, Nov. 9.

The 16th annual Spokane is Reading community reading event, sponsored and organized by the Spokane Public Library, the Spokane County Library District and Auntie's Bookstore, includes two free readings and talks with Cash, in Spokane Valley and downtown Spokane. Leading up to the November event, the community can engage with Cash's works through book discussions and other programming at Spokane libraries and Auntie's.
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SIFF 2017: Seattle's biggest film fest kicked off last weekend; we were there to check it out

Posted By on Tue, May 23, 2017 at 3:42 PM

Kyle Mooney in Brigsby Bear.
  • Kyle Mooney in Brigsby Bear.

The 43rd annual Seattle International Film Festival kicked off last weekend, boasting a program that features more than 400 titles from 80 countries. If the recent Spokane International Film Festival sparked your taste for bold, provocative world cinema, seriously consider making the pilgrimage to SIFF. It’s worth the trip.

I drove across the state last week for the occasion, and, as is always the case, the schedule boasted more interesting movies than I could conceivably get to. I plan on going back for more before the festival ends on June 11. Here are some of the biggest titles I managed to see; all of these films appear to have distribution deals, so expect them to show up in theaters or on demand in the coming months.

Beatriz at Dinner

Racism, classism and cultural elitism come to a boil in the newest dark comedy from director Miguel Arteta and writer Mike White (The Good Girl, the TV series Enlightened). Salma Hayek stars as the title character, a masseuse who is invited to an intimate dinner party at a wealthy client’s home and goes toe-to-toe with a real estate mogul (John Lithgow) who represents the opposite of everything she believes in. It’s occasionally biting, and the performances are good, but the characters feel more like representations of ideas than real people.

Brigsby Bear

Saturday Night Live cast member Kyle Mooney plays James, an awkward guy who suffers two rude awakenings: Not only does he learn that he was abducted as a child and raised in an underground bunker, but the only TV show he’s ever seen, an educational program called Brigsby Bear Adventures, was merely the creation of his captor (Mark Hamill). After being returned to his biological family in suburban Utah, James sets out to finish Brigsby’s decades-long saga himself. Despite its premise, this is a deceptively sweet, if majorly formulaic, comedy.

The Force

Documentarian Peter Nicks spent two years following the inner workings of the Oakland Police Department, and he brilliantly captures an organization that publicly presents itself as trustworthy, even as corruption and violence destroy it from within. This was easily the best film I saw all weekend, an unblinking, evenhanded portrait of a city in turmoil, and how people on either side of the thin blue line are impacted.

Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan in The Trip to Spain.
  • Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan in The Trip to Spain.

The Trip to Spain
If you’ve seen the first two Trip movies, you won’t find any surprises here: British comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, playing slightly fictionalized versions of themselves, travel through the Spanish countryside, eating amazing food and trying to outshine one another in endless improv routines. A little of their act goes a long way for me (like its predecessors, this feels like a solid 90-minute feature stretched to two hours), but there’s still some funny stuff in here, including Coogan and Brydon’s dueling Mick Jagger impressions.

The Unknown Girl

Known for sparse but intense dramas like Le Enfant and Two Days, One Night, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne are among my favorite living filmmakers. Their latest, however, is a bit of a letdown, the story of a young doctor (Adèle Haenel) who seeks to uncover the identity of a young woman whose death she feels somehow responsible for. It’s got moments of terrific tension, but the Dardennes’ methodical, fly-on-the-wall approach doesn’t really jive with a plot that sometimes resembles a Law and Order episode.

The Seattle International Film Festival continues through June 11; see a full schedule and purchase tickets here.

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Tinnabulation Music Festival tickets are on sale now

Posted By on Tue, May 23, 2017 at 1:00 PM

The John Butler Trio is one of the headliners of the new Spokane music festival Tinnabulation, coming in September.
  • The John Butler Trio is one of the headliners of the new Spokane music festival Tinnabulation, coming in September.

We're in full geek-out mode over our Volume Music Festival happening in less than two weeks, but we also can't wait for the other music festivals heading our way, from Elkfest to Spokane's new three-day fall music festival Tinnabulation, coming in September.

Tinnabulation announced its lineup a few days ago, and tickets are on sale now for the event going down in Riverfront Park and at the Spokane Convention Center from Sept. 8-10.

The John Butler Trio, OK Go and American Authors headline the inaugural event, and they'll be joined by a diverse lineup of national, regional and local acts, including Frenship, Barns Courtney, Iska Dhaaf, The Dip, Folkinception, Jango and Mama Doll. For the full lineup, visit the Tinnabulation website. More artists are expected to be added to the lineup.

Tickets are $150 for a three-day pass, with a $300 VIP option also available, and are on sale now through TicketsWest outlets.
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State taking comment on cleanup options for contaminated Spokane BNSF site

Posted By on Tue, May 23, 2017 at 10:44 AM

  • Washington Air National Guard photo, Ted Holloway collection
  • The future BNSF Railway Yard in March 1931.

Below a former BNSF Railway fueling station in Spokane, a plume of petroleum roughly the size of seven football fields rests on top of groundwater, according to the state Department of Ecology.

That groundwater is part of the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer, which is the drinking source for about half a million people in Eastern Washington and North Idaho.

The Black Tank site in the Hillyard neighborhood was once occupied by, well, a big black tank, used to store heavy bunker fuel for train engines from about 1910 to 1988. Liquid asphalt and other chemicals were also stored on the site until the tank was removed in 2006 and contaminated soil was removed.

Although the contamination is sitting on the Hillyard Trough portion of the Rathdrum aquifer, Ecology says that the drinking water is safe.

"Because the contamination is a heavy oil, it is staying on top of groundwater with very little mixing occurring," Ecology says in a fact sheet about the cleanup. "Many groundwater monitoring wells are at the site, and we are confident that drinking water is not affected by the contamination at this time. Monitoring will continue until the cleanup process is complete."

BNSF, Marathon Oil Company (which operated the site and whose obligations are now performed by Husky Oil), and the Department of Ecology have an agreed order to clean up the site from 2012.

The site lies right in the path of the North Spokane Corridor, the north-south freeway that the Washington State Department of Transportation is building to connect Interstate 90 to U.S. Highway 395.

WSDOT reported in March that it had worked out a framework agreement with BNSF and Husky Oil to make sure the state still has right-of-way access to the site, can continue designing and building the freeway, and that the "cleanup infrastructure can co-exist with the freeway."

The first phase of the process that will decide how to clean up the site is now up for comment. The parties have created a draft that details a few cleanup options in a report known as a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study.

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