Pot, Tents and a Moose

A proposed tent city for the homeless; plus, a TV reporter chases a moose.

K2 Spice
K2 Spice

Doc and Becky, two people familiar with life on the streets of Spokane, made a stop by City Hall Monday during the City Council meeting to propose a return of a tent city for the homeless.

More people are turning up on the streets, the pair say. They know this firsthand, after once again finding themselves homeless in recent weeks. It’s anecdotal, but there appear to be more people sheltering under Interstate 90 at Division than there have been in the last several years — ever since the Otis Hotel shut down.

The numbers of apparently homeless people camped on the slopes above Peaceful Valley also appear to have risen.

And now that temperatures are plunging at night, Doc and Becky say it’s time the homeless had a place to camp — a tent city — where they could be in touch with social services.

City Council President Joe Shogan, while noting establishment of a tent city is more complicated than perhaps the couple realizes, was receptive, inviting them up to his office after the council meeting to review the city ordinance on the matter.

The ordinance was forged in the heat of conflict three winters ago when a tent city near Stevens Elementary created much tension with neighbors. (Kevin Taylor)


KREM’s Othello Richards chased a roaming “wayward moose” across the South Hill this weekend.

“Here he comes and he’s pissed,” an unknown man behind the camera blurted out during the newscast as the moose came trotting their way.

From the Southside Sports Complex, through neighborhoods and to the Manito Country Club, the moose ended up trotting down Hatch before jumping over a fence.

“That’s the last we saw of it,” Richards intoned. But it probably won’t be the last time we hear of a moose frightening urbanites. It is, after all, that time of year.

Earlier this month, Rich Landers told a few moose tales in the Spokesman-Review. Most memorably, there was the story of Gary and Lisa Marks, who were walking their small dogs near Lake Coeur d’Alene in September.

They came across a moose cow, and it charged, likely to trample the little dogs, the article said.

Gary, who was carrying a pistol in case of bears, took aim at the 600-pound beast. The “one in a million” shot went straight into its heart, killing it and stopping it just five feet from where Lisa stood.

“We know we’re lucky,” Gary Marks told Landers. “But we feel as though we survived a plane crash and everybody else but usdied.”

Still, how many cities have moose running through? Not many. And everyone likes a good moose tale. (Nicholas Deshais)


Marijuana, as supporters of a recent failed initiative know all too well, is still very much illegal in Washington.

But take an herbal plant mixture, soak it in a cocktail of chemicals and you get some “incense” that, essentially, mimics the effects of cannabis. It’s called “Spice” and you can purchase some right now at Spokane’s Herbal Discoveries.

Not so in Idaho. Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter approved a temporary rule from Idaho’s State Board of Pharmacy, joining 13 other states banning the concoction. A series of Idaho municipalities had already banned it. Seven of the chemicals used to make spice are now considered “controlled substances” in Idaho.

“We’ve received a number of calls,” Otter’s spokesman Jon Hanian says. “There have been concerns that have been raised by first responders. We’ve had people that have gone to hospitals that have had problems with this stuff.” “Spice,” in other words, occasionally resulted in some awful side effects.

Since “spice” is still legal in many places, including Spokane, it comes packaged with sleek logos and slick brand names like “K2” “Genie” “Ultra” “Summit” “Blonde,” “Yucatan Gold,” “Bombay Blue,” and “Black Mamba.”

“We’re trying to be proactive and nip it in the bud,” Hanian says. (Daniel Walters)

Summer Parkways @ South Hill

June 14-20
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About The Authors

Nicholas Deshais

Nicholas Deshais is a former news editor and staff writer for The Inlander. He has reported on city, county and state politics, as well as medical marijuana, transportation and development. In May 2012, he was named as a finalist for the prestigious Livingston Award for an Inlander story about (now former) Assistant...

Kevin Taylor

Kevin Taylor is a staff writer for The Inlander. He has covered politics, the environment, police and the tribes, among many other things.

Daniel Walters

A lifelong Spokane native, staff writer Daniel Walters is the Inlander's City Hall reporter. But he also reports on a wide swath of other topics, including business, education, real estate development, land use, and other stories throughout North Idaho and Spokane County.He's reported on deep flaws in the Washington...