Sunday, June 17, 2018

THIS WEEK: Bazaar, Cedric The Entertainer, Little Big Town, Beerocracy's birthday & more

Posted By on Sun, Jun 17, 2018 at 1:01 PM

Neverending Story plays at the Garland Theater Tuesday as part of its summer camp film series
  • Neverending Story plays at the Garland Theater Tuesday as part of its summer camp film series

In just a few days, June 21, summer is going to be all official, so it's time to step up your recreation game. Use our event listings and Staff Picks to help you out.

Here are some highlights from the week ahead:

Monday, June 18

MUSIC | Northern Quest Resort & Casino kicks off its summer concert series with Little Big Town, bringing the country to the newly redesigned amphitheater in Airway Heights.

Tuesday, June 19

FILM | The Garland Theater's summer camp movie series is off and running, and this week it goes full '80s with The Neverending Story on the big screen.

Wednesday, June 20

FOOD | Join chef Adam Hegsted for an exploration of soft pretzels and beer, two of the most important aspects of the bar life.

Continue reading »

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Friday, June 15, 2018

Owners of the Bartlett are opening a new, larger music venue in Browne's Addition

Posted By on Fri, Jun 15, 2018 at 12:14 PM

The Bartlett during this year's Volume Music Festival. - ERICK DOXEY
  • Erick Doxey
  • The Bartlett during this year's Volume Music Festival.

The owners of the Bartlett, one of downtown Spokane's most popular all-ages music venues, have announced they will be opening a second — and bigger — venue.

"We've seen a need in the music community for a larger, high quality space and we are ready to make that happen," reads a Facebook event page titled "Kickstart The Bartlett 2.0." "We have signed a lease on a 10,000 square foot space and we are thrilled."

That location? The former Sunset Junction dive bar at 1801 W. Sunset Blvd., a red and white rectangular building on the edge of Browne's Addition that was most recently a Mexican restaurant. Construction has already begun, though a grand opening date has yet to be announced.

The Bartlett was opened in 2013 by owners Karli and Caleb Ingersoll, who have long been involved in Spokane's music scene and envisioned the venue as a go-to spot for both local and touring musicians. The current space holds 150 people, and though the new location's capacity has yet to be determined, the Inlander confirmed that it will exceed the Bartlett's.

Details about the new venture will be revealed during a fundraising event at the Bartlett on June 28, which has a lofty end goal of $40,000. The evening will be open to the public, and you can buy tickets here for $20.
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Vets Garage searching for new location, Manafort to jail, IG report condemns Comey and other morning headlines

Posted By on Fri, Jun 15, 2018 at 9:42 AM


NEWS: The Vets Garage may have saved lives. But soon it may be losing its home — and it doesn't know where it's going next
The future of the Spokane Vets garage is uncertain - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
  • Daniel Walters photo
  • The future of the Spokane Vets garage is uncertain

The number of Spokane students being placed in group homes from outside of the district has increased significantly.


The Redband rebrand
Glover Field, named after Spokane founding father James Glover, has been renamed Redband Park. (Spokesman-Review)

A second opinion
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers comes out against the Trump Justice Department's decision to not protect the constitutionality of the pre-existing condition protections:

"I strongly disagree with the Department of Justice’s recent argument of the unconstitutionality of pre-existing conditions protections." (Spokesman-Review)

Raúl Labrador kind of hates his job
An exit interview with Raul Labrador, the "angriest man in Congress." (Politico)

From victorious presidential campaign manager to jail
Paul Manafort has been sent to jail until his trial. (CNN)

Getting IGggy with it
The Inspector General report suggests James Comey screwed up royally, but in a way that hurt Clinton, not in a way that benefited her. (New York Times)
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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Trump's charity sued, a new Bartlett in Browne's, Summer Guide and morning headlines

Posted By on Thu, Jun 14, 2018 at 9:42 AM


 The owner of the Bartlett will open a new, bigger music venue in Browne's Addition. More details will come out during a June 28 fundraising event. Tickets are $20.

NEWS: Spokane's Vets Garage, a safe haven for some local veterans, is looking for a new location.

MOVIE: The lovable crime-fighting family is back in the Incredibles 2, right where they left off. Costumed crime fighting is still illegal, but more and more super heroes are brought out of the woodwork in this somewhat predictable sequel, critic Josh Bell writes, as Mr. Incredible juggles stay-at-home dad life with his super hero duties.

SUMMER GUIDE: Summer is here. You need a guide. We got you.


Charity for whom?
The New York State attorney general is suing the Donald J. Trump Foundation for alleged violations of campaign finance laws and self-dealing, including the purchase of a $10,000 portrait of Trump that hung in one of his golf clubs, as well as $100,000 paid to settle a legal dispute with the city of Palm Beach.

On Twitter, Trump denounced the accusations as an attack by "sleazy New York Democrats," and vowed to take the case to trial. (New York Times)

Barred from medical care
An inmate is suing the Washington state Department of Corrections for refusing him gallbladder removal surgery. (Spokesman-Review)

Comey's reckoning
A Department of Justice report to be released later today is expected to fault former FBI Director James Comey for violating DOJ guidelines and mishandling the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails. (NPR)

Un-defense of Obamacare
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers rebuked the Justice Department's decision to stop defending the Affordable Care Act in court. Specifically, McMorris Rodgers pointed to coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, saying in a statement: "This is one of the areas in the Affordable Care Act that was widely agreed upon from both Republicans and Democrats."

Yet last year, McMorris Rodgers voted for the American Health Care Act, which would have allowed some insurers to charge more for people with pre-existing conditions in some cases. (Spokesman-Review)
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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

You can now buy Bitcoin at an ATM in the Spokane Valley Mall

Posted By on Wed, Jun 13, 2018 at 12:00 PM

A new ATM in the Spokane Valley Mall is designed to make it easy for average people to turn their cash into Bitcoin. Eventually, the plan is for the Coinme machine to also enable customers to convert their Bitcoin and pull out cash. - PHOTO COURTESY OF COINME
  • Photo courtesy of Coinme
  • A new ATM in the Spokane Valley Mall is designed to make it easy for average people to turn their cash into Bitcoin. Eventually, the plan is for the Coinme machine to also enable customers to convert their Bitcoin and pull out cash.

A Seattle-based company has put an ATM in the Spokane Valley Mall that allows people to create an account, deposit cash and save it as Bitcoin in a virtual wallet.

"One of the things that we really want to do is provide a low-barrier entry for people who are looking to get into crypto," says Dom Garrett, director of marketing for Coinme, which started in Seattle in 2014.

The company hopes to make it as easy as possible to buy and trade cryptocurrency. While it's just set up for deposits now, eventually the plan is to also allow people to withdraw cash from the machine, Garrett says. Some of Coinme's 50 other ATMs around the country already have that feature, and with the new ATM in Spokane Valley, the company now has 12 across Washington.

Bitcoin is a virtual currency that was created to exchange value with others without needing a bank or central authority to verify transactions, and it's the most popular of hundreds of cryptocurrencies that now exist.

(If you missed it, you can learn all about how "mining" for the digital currency is impacting Central Washington utilities in our cover story from April.)

Part of the reason Coinme was founded is that getting into buying and trading cryptocurrency can seem daunting to many people, as there's a lot of jargon and confusing explanations online, but it doesn't have to be that complicated, Garrett says.

"Cryptocurrency is something that we view as the future of the financial system," Garrett says. "We are really excited to be able to provide that on ramp for people to be able to take part in the system, especially in areas like Spokane."

While Seattle and San Francisco tend to be the places where early technologies are available first, Coinme hopes to bring this technology to rural and smaller urban areas in hopes of helping speed its adoption, Garrett says.


To use the ATM, users need a government-issued ID (say, a driver's license) to start.

The ATM will walk you through the process, including agreeing to terms of use and taking a picture with the built in camera while holding up your license to prove it's you depositing the money — this is an anti-money laundering requirement on the company, Garrett says.

From there, you've got an account.

"What we do is we actually create a hosted wallet for you," Garrett says. "And then just like a vending machine, there’s a little slot with a light and you feed cash into the machine."

As you do so, you'll see what fraction of a Bitcoin you're actually buying, and deposit as little as a dollar and up to $2,500 per day, Garrett says.

"It’s pretty simple," he says. "At the machine it takes about 60 seconds and you’re all set up."

Afterwards, you can go to and log into your digital wallet for the first time, when you'll be prompted to set your password and finish setting up your account. From there, you can trade your Bitcoin on exchanges if you want to and find other information on markets.

The fine print: There's a 10 percent transaction fee (for both deposits and withdrawals), which is in line with other Bitcoin ATMs, Garrett says. The hope is to be able to lower those fees in the future.

As for security, Coinme has an entire team dedicated to keeping user information and digital wallets secure.

With cryptocurrency, there is no federal insurance like there is with a bank, where the FDIC guarantees deposits up to a certain amount.

"We have had an incredibly great track record in our company’s history as far as security," Garrett says. "While there may not be specific assurance there, it’s on the top of our minds. Our team is constantly looking for ways to make sure we are more secure."

He also points out that the company has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

"That is something we do take seriously," he says. "Trust is everything, especially when it comes to people's money."

  • A map that shows where Coinme's Bitcoin ATM is in the Spokane Valley Mall
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June 12 primaries, more Trump and Kim, opioid programs and other headlines

Posted By on Wed, Jun 13, 2018 at 9:28 AM



The ACLU is suing the Whatcom County Jail for letting its inmates who are addicted to opioids go cold turkey. The Spokane County Jail is now considering a program to implement treatment.

MUSIC: Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy is comin’ to town. Tickets go on sale on Thursday.


Primary party
There were primary elections last night in Virgina, Maine, South Carolina and Maine. Vox reports that the “narrative” of politics this year has so far held: more women winning important Democrat elections and Trump critics losing Republican support. Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight writes, “the two most interesting outcomes of the evening featured problems for traditional Republicans and underscored the degree to which the GOP has become Trump’s party.” (Vox, FiveThrityEight)

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

ACLU sues for opioid treatment in Whatcom Jail; Spokane is considering its own treatment program

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 4:00 PM


People who are addicted to opioids and booked into the Whatcom County Jail are denied treatment for their addiction, according to a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by the Washington state chapter of the ACLU.

The lawsuit asks a judge to require the jail to provide medication assisted treatment for inmates addicted to opioids.

As the U.S. is in the midst of an opioid addiction epidemic, the case, if successful, could put pressure on other correctional facilities to provide similar treatment.

In Whatcom County, unless an inmate is pregnant, the jail denies inmates access to medication assisted treatments such as methadone and buprenorphine, which is sold under the brand names Suboxone and Subutex. Now, inmates are essentially forced to go cold turkey, the lawsuit filed against Whatcom County and the Sheriff's Office says.

Whatcom County's refusal to allow such treatment is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to the lawsuit, because opioid addiction, also called opioid use disorder, is considered a disability under the law. The policy to deny opioid addiction treatment subjects inmates to unnecessary and painful withdrawal and increases their risk for relapse and overdose after they're released, according to the lawsuit.

Although opioid addiction treatment in correctional facilities across the country is rare, the Spokane County Jail is one exception.

Spokane County Jail
  • Spokane County Jail
For about the past year, the jail has partnered with the Spokane Regional Health District to allow those already participating in the SRHD's opioid treatment program to continue with treatment while in jail, says Sgt. Tom Hill.

"We've built a system where we can identify who is in the program and notify the health district," Hill says. "We didn't want anybody to miss a dose."

Through the partnership, SRHD employees go to the jail seven days per week to administer medication for opioid addiction, including methadone, buprenorphine and naloxone, says Misty Challinor, interim director of the treatment program. Challinor says they serve 12 to 20 inmates on any given day.

Jail staff will also notify the health district if an inmate is exhibiting withdrawal symptoms, Challinor says, and they work to get that person into the program as quickly as possible.

The health district's treatment program requires daily doses of opioid addiction medication, weekly counseling and a valid ID.

The Spokane County Jail has had a similar program for pregnant women for years, Hill says. Additionally, jail officials are close to implementing a separate treatment program using buprenorphine for those people who qualify.

Both methadone and buprenorphine bind to opioid receptors in the brain, but block the euphoric effects and prevent withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid use disorder.

The delay in implementing the new program, according to Hill, is logistical. An inmate would need to be observed for about 10 minutes after taking the medication, he says, and for a jail operating "at bare minimum staffing," that can present a problem.

"It's a matter of finding a place and a person to supervise the administration of this treatment," he says. "It's only a bump in the road, and we're really close to accomplishing it."

Last month, Patrick Flynn, 36, attempted suicide in the Spokane County Jail, and later died in the hospital. Family members believe he may have been experiencing withdrawal from heroin when he decided to end his life.

Hill declined to comment on Flynn's situation specifically, but says "I absolutely think that people in his position will benefit from this program. You can imagine there's a certain amount of depression from being sick from heroin or opiate withdrawal, and I think that goes to our sense of urgency on this. We really think this can make a difference."

Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo tells the Bellingham Herald that his office has been considering a plan to implement a three to five-day Suboxone treatment program. Elfo told the Herald that he hopes to start the treatment program in July.

The ACLU lawsuit is filed on behalf of two people who were incarcerated in Whatcom County and were denied opioid addiction treatment. ACLU attorneys are seeking class action status, which would include include anyone with opioid use disorder previously incarcerated in Whatcom County Jail, or anyone who will be incarcerated there in the future. 
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Wilco's Jeff Tweedy brings solo tour to the Bing in September; tickets go on sale Thursday

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 1:28 PM

Jeff Tweedy, frontman of Wilco, headlines a solo show at the Bing Sept. 26.
  • Jeff Tweedy, frontman of Wilco, headlines a solo show at the Bing Sept. 26.

Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy is swinging through Spokane on Wednesday, Sept. 26, for a show at the Bing Crosby Theater.

Tickets for the show, $49 and $60, go on sale at 7 pm on Thursday, June 14, via the Bing's website and TicketsWest outlets.

Tweedy's solo tours have become celebrations of the singer/songwriter's sprawling career that includes nearly a quarter-century fronting Wilco, seven years and four albums with Uncle Tupelo before Wilco's formation and writing and producing for the likes of Mavis Staples, the Minus 5 and others.

His most recent solo album, Together At Last, is essentially a version of his solo shows — it's him in a studio reconfiguring songs from his past Wilco, Golden Smog and Loose Fur releases. Expect to hear those and many more at his show in Spokane this fall.

Here's a clip of Tweedy doing "Sunken Treasure" solo-style:

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Trump and Kim make a deal, Seattle reverses course on head tax and other morning headlines

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 9:29 AM


NEWS: Lori Isenberg, the woman facing charges in Kootenai County for embezzlement and who has skipped two court appearances after her husband's mysterious death, made about 75,000 per year as the director of a nonprofit.

FOR FUN: Quinn Welsch, a recent transplant to the Spokane area, went to the Spokane Pride Parade and had himself a good time.

NEWS: In a 4-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Washington state remains on the hook for replacing culverts in order to protect salmon habitat. 

President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un of North Korea greet each other before their meeting on Sentosa Island in Singapore, June 12, 2018. - DOUG MILLS/THE NEW YORK TIMES
  • Doug Mills/The New York Times
  • President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un of North Korea greet each other before their meeting on Sentosa Island in Singapore, June 12, 2018.

Art of the deal

Possibly carrying the fate of two countries in the palms of their hands, President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shared a long handshake before beginning the first summit between the U.S. and North Korea. In the end, Trump agreed to suspend joint military exercises with South Korea. In turn, he says that he is confident Kim would begin dismantling his nuclear arsenal "very quickly." (New York Times)

Keeping it neutral
Net neutrality protections were thrown out the window everywhere but Washington state yesterday. The state law ensures that telecom providers will treat all content equally, preventing them from slowing down certain internet sites. (The Stranger)

Surprise down under
Washington State University and University of Idaho researchers say there may be double the amount of magma underneath the Yellowstone volcano than previously thought. (Spokesman-Review)

Turned on its head
To the dismay of local businesses, Seattle City Council passed a head tax last month to pay for homeless services. Now, the City Council plans to reverse the decision. "We heard you," says Mayor Jenny Durkan. (Seattle Times)
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Monday, June 11, 2018

Steve Earle books a fall show in Spokane; tickets go on sale Friday

Posted By on Mon, Jun 11, 2018 at 6:04 PM

Steve Earle & The Dukes play Spokane Oct. 1.
  • Steve Earle & The Dukes play Spokane Oct. 1.

A few years back I was watching a Steve Earle concert when I had one of those realizations that comes along every now and again when you're witnessing something special:

"Don't ever miss Steve Earle in concert."

Those are true words to live by for any fans of the notoriously loudmouthed, country-tinged troubadour, and even for folks who aren't privy to his excellence (yet) — so prepare thee to get some tickets for his just-announced show this fall, where he'll be joined by his band the Dukes for a gig at the Bing Crosby Theater.

Tickets for Steve Earle & the Dukes, playing Oct. 1 at the Bing, are $39.50 and $50, and go on sale this Friday at 10 am through the usual TicketsWest outlets and the Knitting Factory website.

Earle, a three-time Grammy winner and 11-time nominee, has released 20 albums over the course of his career. His latest with the Dukes is So You Wanna Be An Outlaw, and it's another fine addition to a catalog that moves between country, folk, rock and blues with ease. I've seen Earle several times through the years, most recently on his tour through Spokane with Shawn Colvin; that show was killer, and he's never disappointed when I've seen him.

In addition to making music, Earle is an actor, novelist, playwright, radio host and activist who works tirelessly in opposition to the death penalty and in favor of removing vestiges of the racist American South. So leave your Confederate flags at home, please.

Here's the title track from Earle's latest album:

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Writing in the Margins: Transforming the Stories We Tell About Race

Writing in the Margins: Transforming the Stories We Tell About Race @ Eastern Washington University

Tue., June 19, 12-1 p.m.

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