Inlander 11/26/2020 by The Inlander - Issuu

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NOVEMBER 26-DECEMBER 2, 2020 | HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

COLLEGE BASKETBALL THE ZAGS ARE STARTING THE SEASON RANKED NO. 1 PAGE 18

CONTACT TRACING

WHY IT’S FAILED TO CONTAIN THE SPREAD OF COVID PAGE 16

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INSIDE

yeehaw!

COWBOY $

VOL. 28, NO. 7 | COVER DESIGN: DEREK HARRISON

COMMENT NEWS CULTURE HOLIDAY GUIDE

5 13 18 23

FOOD FILM MUSIC EVENTS

60 64 66 68

I SAW YOU GREEN ZONE ADVICE GODDESS BULLETIN BOARD

70 71 78 79

13

LG

Order at PapaMurphys.com

EDITOR’S NOTE

F

or my money, the best/worst part of the holidays has always been the peer pressure and guilt. We feel compelled to rise to the occasion, show up, do our best, turn the other cheek, listen to our better angels, give more than we really want, hug and love everyone. This year, of course, doing our best — and following public health guidelines — requires something different. We have to resist our normal impulses to gather together, to host everyone and their mother, for the sake of keeping people safe during this pandemic. It sucks, for sure, but this week’s HOLIDAY GUIDE (page 23) hopefully shows that there’s still plenty to look forward to. Besides, as our writers reflect on throughout the guide, we’ve all faced tough holiday seasons before and figured out how to make the best of them. Here’s to making the most of the season! — JACOB H. FRIES, Editor

20-5529-PRNT-COW12 ©2020 Papa Murphy’s International LLC

Offer valid for Large Signature Cowboy pizza on Thin or Original crust only. No substitutions. Additional charge for additional toppings. Available at participating locations for a limited time offer. Not valid with any other offers.

909 W 1ST AVE STE. 11:00am-8:00pm 7 days a week

IT’S TIME TO SPEAK UP PAGE 6

SECURING THE SAFETY NET PAGE 60

#EatINW

A DEEPER LOOK PAGE 13

DAYS OF KEVIN PAGE 64

home for the holidays NEW HOMES AVAILABLE THROUGHOUT THE INLAND NORTHWEST | Visit HAYDEN-HOMES.com

• dining • • shopping • • culture •

PAGE 10

INLANDER

SPOKANE • EASTERN WASHINGTON • NORTH IDAHO • INLANDER.COM

1227 WEST SUMMIT PARKWAY, SPOKANE, WA 99201 PHONE: 509-325-0634 | EMAIL: INFO@INLANDER.COM

THE INLANDER is a locally owned, independent newspaper founded on Oct. 20, 1993. It’s printed on newsprint that is at least 50 percent recycled; please recycle THE INLANDER after you’re done with it. One copy free per person per week; extra copies are $1 each (call x226). For ADVERTISING information, email advertising@inlander.com. To have a SUBSCRIPTION mailed to you, call x213 ($50 per year). To find one of our more than 1,000 NEWSRACKS where you can pick up a paper free every Thursday, call x226 or email frankd@inlander.com. THE INLANDER is a member of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia. All contents of this newspaper are protected by United States copyright law. © 2020, Inland Publications, Inc.

Hayden Homes are marketed by New Home Star Idaho, LLC., New Home Star Washington, LLC., and Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty WA-HAYDEHL937BH ID-RCE-29144

IGNITE YOUR HOLIDAY

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NOVEMBER 26, 2020 INLANDER 3


Holiday the INW WaY Our new business directory and marketplace is the perfect way to discover a new local business and find the perfect gift.

SHOP THE MARKETPLACE

L I V E LO C A L I N W.C O M

This program is funded by the City of Spokane with CARES Act dollars.

4 INLANDER NOVEMBER 26, 2020


COMMENT STAFF DIRECTORY PHONE: 509-325-0634 Ted S. McGregor Jr. (tedm@inlander.com) PUBLISHER

J. Jeremy McGregor (x224) GENERAL MANAGER

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SIDE DISH OR MOST UNUSUAL SIDE YOU’VE HAD AT THANKSGIVING?

EDITORIAL Jacob H. Fries (x261) EDITOR

Dan Nailen (x239) MANAGING EDITOR/ARTS & CULTURE Chey Scott (x225) FOOD & LISTINGS EDITOR Nathan Weinbender (x250) FILM & MUSIC EDITOR

Derek Harrison (x248) ART DIRECTOR

Chris Frisella

COPY EDITOR

Wilson Criscione (x282), Daniel Walters (x263), Samantha Wohlfeil (x234) STAFF WRITERS

Young Kwak

PHOTOGRAPHER

Caleb Walsh

ILLUSTRATOR

Amy Alkon, Bill Frost, Will Maupin, Carrie Scozzaro, Steven A. Smith CONTRIBUTORS

EDITOR’S NOTE

Normally, we ask our question of the week of people we randomly encounter on the street. But with the coronavirus pandemic, we instead asked our followers on social media to share their thoughts.

The holidays can be the hardest time of year for families living in critical conditions.

YOU can help! Rachel & Ike are dedicated to building

BRIDGET FREEMAN: When my girls were small we’d get real cream and put it in a clean Pace Picante jar, seal it up, and they would shake it until butter was made! They loved contributing to the meal as well as watching the butter solidify in the jar.

a better life for their

CHRISTIE PEARSON: By far the most unusual side dish I’ve encountered was porcupine feet. Thankfully that hasn’t become part of our family tradition.

that families can

children.

YOUR DONATION helps Habitat build safe and decent homes in Spokane afford to buy!

JARA DEAUGUSTINO: Sweet potato casserole is always the top fave. ALI DASCHBACH: Favorite is mashed potatoes, hands down. Strangest is pumpkin purée soup.

donate!

509.534.2552

habitat-spokane.org

ERIC EATON: Zip’s tartar.

Lauren Gilmore INTERN

ADVERTISING Kristi Gotzian (x215) ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Carolyn Padgham-Walker (x214), Emily Walden (x260) SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Mary Bookey (x216), Jeanne Inman (x235), Rich McMahon (x241), Autumn Adrian Potts (x251) Claire Price (x217), Wanda Tashoff (x222) ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES

Kristina Smith (x223) MARKETING DIRECTOR Houston Tilley (x247) EVENTS & PROMOTIONS ASSISTANT

PRODUCTION & SUPPORT Wayne Hunt (x232) DESIGN & PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Ali Blackwood (x228) CREATIVE LEAD

Derrick King (x238), Tom Stover (x265) SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNERS

Jessie Hynes (x231) GRAPHIC DESIGNER Frank DeCaro (x226) CIRCULATION MANAGER Travis Beck

CIRCULATION SUPERVISOR

Sydney Angove (x242), Jess Kennedy (x212) ADVERTISING SUPPORT

OPERATIONS Dee Ann Cook (x211) BUSINESS MANAGER Kristin Wagner (x210) ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE

AMANDA HUTYLER: My favorite side dish is green bean casserole! My sister usually makes it, but since we’re doing a Quaransgiving this year I’ll have to make it myself. I hope it turns out as good as hers. LESLIE JEAN AMLAND: Spinach madeline has become a T-day staple since I met my husband over 11 years ago. His parents are from the South and I had never had it before I met them. MIRANDA LARSON: Mashed potatoes for sure are my fave. Weird one (I don’t like) is baked canned yams with marshmallows on top, or cooked carrots with brown sugar on them? JOANNA NEWCOMB: My mom always makes cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. And she’s insistent that they are not dessert. They are part of the dinner. It goes on your plate with the turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, etc. And the melty brown sugar goo adds a little something nice when it mingles with the other dishes. TRICIA ADAMS: My favorite Thanksgiving item would be pumpkin pie. Love the smell of it baking. n

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NOVEMBER 26, 2020 INLANDER 5


COMMENT | ELECTION 2020

FAMILY LAW Divorce Spousal Maintenance / Alimony Child Support Modifications Parenting Plans

Craig Mason

AUTO INJURY • CIVIL LITIGATION

W. 1707 BROADWAY, SPOKANE, WA | 509443-3681

The author once thought that Cathy McMorris Rodgers was a person of principle. Lately, not so much.

Volume 1, 2 & 3: restaurant Guides VOLUME 4 & 5: SHOPPING guide

ERICK DOXEY PHOTO

Congresswoman, It’s Time to Speak Up An open letter to Cathy McMorris-Rodgers BY STEVEN A. SMITH

D

AVAILABLE AT:

AN INLANDER COMMUNITY CENTER AT THESE AREA GROCERY STORES

LEARN MORE OR CHECK OUT THE DIGITAL EDITION AT:

BTB.Inlander.com

6 INLANDER NOVEMBER 26, 2020

ear Congresswoman McMorris-Rodgers: I hope this open letter finds you well. We heard last week that yet another senior Republican member of Congress, Washington’s own Dan Newhouse, has tested positive for COVID-19, yet another in a string of documented congressional infections since Congress returned from the election recess. This COVID thing is truly insidious as it tends to single out legislators from one party while generally passing on the other. Could it be Republicans are somewhat less likely to wear masks and practice social distancing as required of congressional Dems? But I digress. I am not writing to attack you for your COVID response. Time and the mounting death toll here and nationally will offer all the criticism required. I am writing today about the election, a subject that I know must concern you. After all, you were President Trump’s state campaign chairman. You and I have talked politics before. You may not remember our first meeting. I was editor of the Spokesman-Review when you first ran for Congress in 2004. You came to the paper’s downtown offices for the requisite editorial endorsement interview, something we all took seriously back in the day. You had held important positions in the Washington House, but still you seemed quite

nervous meeting the editorial board, a bit shaky even. Most of us on the board thought your knowledge and understanding of national issues was a bit thin. But you impressed us with your sincerity. You were known as a religious person, a person of strong moral character. And you talked at some length about taking those important personal values to Congress. You won, of course. This is a safe Republican district, after all, and your opposition has never been able to dent the party’s hold. In subsequent endorsement interviews, as you ran for re-election, your mastery of issues and understanding of internal congressional politics was on clear display. You grew in the office. But what happened to that strong moral center on which you initially campaigned? Since 2016, you have been willing to set your moral and ethical values aside to serve the interests of an adulterous, misogynist, racist and, though it may seem trifling to say so, boorish con man. There is nothing about the president that the Rep. McMorris-Rodgers I met those several years ago would tolerate. If he were still a reality-TV charlatan and not president, would you expose your husband and child to this man?


Would you host him in your home? Your support has been transactional, I suppose. You set aside moral and ethical misgivings to win conservative judgeships, to remake the Supreme Court, to weaken government environmental and business regulations, all in keeping with your conservative political principles. But in your private time, do you ever wonder if in some way you sold your soul to the devil — if you’ll pardon the religious reference — or at least to some sort of secular devil in a blue suit and overlong red tie?

W

hen we last met, for coffee at the Davenport shortly after I left the Spokesman, you spoke of the enormous responsibility you felt representing our district and how you believed people representing the widest range of views should be represented in your office. But now the rubber has met your road. The president you have served is trying to steal the fairly won election of his Democratic opponent. You know this because you know elections. You understand as well as anyone how elections work, how ballots are counted and — you surely know this — how rarely we see election fraud of any kind. You knew the president was falsely claiming fraud before the elections, and you can see his doubling down on his outrageous lies afterward. Furthermore, you must see the president’s efforts to persuade battleground state legislatures to elect Trump-friendly electors to replace those representing the legitimate winner as nothing short of a coup. It must not surprise you that most of the voters who would be disenfranchised under this strategy are Black. What outrageous actions will it take, Rep. McMorris-Rodgers, before you live up to the values you once championed? When will you call him out? Your seat is safe, even from the anger of a man who, assuming the rule of law wins out, will be gone from the White House in two months. You can finally speak your mind. The experts, and history for that matter, tell us the president is not likely to prevail in the substitute elector strategy. But what comes next? He now has total control of the Pentagon having placed in positions of authority some of his most outrageous, conspiracy-prone sycophants. Same with the Department of Homeland Security. He just fired his own election security chief who said publicly there was no widespread election fraud. Will it take the president mounting a military coup built on a last-minute declaration of martial law before you say something? Do you think I am alarmist for suggesting as much? Do not listen to me if it makes you uncomfortable. Listen to the nonpartisan commission on election integrity, which has war-gamed that precise scenario.

MAC’s

Ho-ho-holiday

Steven A. Smith is a former editor of the Spokesman-Review. He is now clinical associate professor emeritus in the School of Journalism and Mass Media at the University of Idaho, having retired from full-time teaching at the end of May 2020.

Vintage Crescent Department Store window display

Celebration

Scavenger hunt

Saturday, November 28 4-6 pm

Kick off the season with a holiday celebration at the MAC!

Campbell House Holidays video along with the cook’s pre-packaged sugar cookies Museum store open for holiday shopping

Repeats every Saturday in December from 4-6 pm. Register in advance. Suggested donation $5.

northwestmuseum.org

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would like to think you and other Republican lawmakers would balk at a banana-republic style coup. But I am not confident. Your transactional support for this tin-pot demagogue has not wilted in the post-election environment. Keeping Trump in office indefinitely through illicit means is sure to give your party time to further pack the courts, weaken regulatory standards and forestall action to fight climate change. And I almost forgot, more time to let the COVID pandemic sweep through the population as you hope for that mythical herd immunity. Rep. McMorris-Rodgers, I once thought of you as a person of principle, of strong ethical and moral values. And I came to see you as smart and informed. If there was ever a time to demonstrate those qualities, it is now. Coming from you, a statement accepting the election outcome and decrying illicit efforts to overturn it would mean a great deal. Now Congresswoman. And if not now, when? n

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NOVEMBER 26, 2020 INLANDER 7


COMMENT | FROM READERS

Readers respond to last week’s news that Washington Gov. Jay Inslee was issuing a new lockdown order shuttering indoor dining and restricting retail capacity:

AMANDA JONES: Now we are all going to be grounded again because no one followed the rules … again. BOB GOERTZ: Maybe if all had taken this pandemic seriously and had worn masks correctly, including over their noses, and followed social distancing, these measures would not have been necessary. PACO ZEE: Having the death states like Iowa, the Dakotas and Idaho close enough, there was nothing we (WA) could really do but try to keep it to a minimum … and we did a good job. But the spread became too much with too few cooperating, within our state and beyond. ALISHA REINBOLT: Half of us doing all the work, while others blow it off. So frustrating. DALE DAMRON: Thanks to everyone who is following the masking and social distancing recommendations, deeply appreciated! GENE BRAKE: Many of us have been screaming all summer to please wear your damn masks as your failure to do so would hurt businesses. Now that it’s happening again, you want to blame anyone but yourselves. Thank you, Governor, for taking common-sense action to save our citizens.

WASHINGTON GOVERNOR PHOTO

KEITH HOLT: Can we split Washington down the Cascades already? I’m over having Olympia tell us what we can and can’t do. JERRY GOERTZ: Remember to thank Savior Jay Inslee and all the people who voted for him. It was the first shutdown that was supposed to save us, then it was the masks, now this. Next time you go to Target or Walmart think about all the small businesses that have closed for good or going to close this time. CODY WIENCH: This is ridiculous. Limiting site capacity is not going to do anything. LISA BARTON: Heartbreaking news for the businesses that will be affected, and no matter what restrictions are put in place, the virus is going to run its course in spite of all the restrictions. SMITH ROBBIE: Same sheep crying about this are the direct descendants of the sheep that caused shirts and shoes to be mandatory in restaurants. n

8 INLANDER NOVEMBER 26, 2020


NOVEMBER 26, 2020 INLANDER 9


dining • shopping • culture Businesses are working hard to serve customers and stay safe: Support them and you support our region’s recovery.

NORTH MONROE IS ADDING MURALS ALL OVER THE DISTRICT, INCLUDING THIS ONE BY KARLI INGERSOLL.

Pictures of Progress When BRICKYARD BARBERSHOP reopened in the wake of the first statewide pandemic lockdown, the popular men’s grooming salon was greeted with a flood of appointments. “It was really crazy,” says owner Chris Banka. “Everybody was wanting to get a haircut. They’ve never been more in demand in the history of barbering, I’m sure.” The chance to get a professional haircut came as a relief to Brickyard’s loyal customers, whose hair and beards had grown out for 11 unruly weeks during that initial closure. Their support was also a relief to Banka and his team, who soon learned of other local barbershops that hadn’t been as fortunate. “We’re getting new people saying that their usual barbershop had shut down. It’s sad to see anything close. I don’t wish that on anybody,” he says. Out of concern over the impact of another closure on his own shop, Banka has been strict about enforcing face coverings. He and his staff have been diligently sanitizing all

high-traffic surfaces, too, and limiting customers to appointments only. And as Brickyard prepares to enter this unusual holiday period, and tighter restrictions again, they’re grateful to be seeing another rise in bookings. Social gatherings might be on hold, but their patrons still want to celebrate the season with a fresh shave and a haircut. Afterwards they can score some giftable vintage finds at nearby 1889 SALVAGE CO. or get a locally roasted latte at the new LADDER COFFEE location across the street. On Brickyard’s south-facing exterior wall, a large mural welcomes shoppers and visitors to the North Monroe corridor. As of mid-November, that mural has been officially joined by at least five more within this revitalized business district. That effort was part of a recent arts-oriented push by the district’s advocacy group. “Adapting to COVID, this is a pivot away from our annual Cruise on Monroe car show. So it’s less about a big gather-

BACK TO BUSINESS PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS

10 INLANDER NOVEMBER 26, 2020

SPONSORED CONTENT

ing and more about creating this lasting beautification and positivity, supporting local artists and enlivening local interest in some older buildings,” says Megan Kennedy, owner of ROGUE HEART MEDIA and current chair of the North Monroe Business District (NMBD). Even under the reintroduction of stricter statewide mandates, the NMBD — better known by its #meetonmonroe social media hashtag (also at meetonmonroe.com) — is looking to sustain the momentum that’s brought new shops and energy to the area over the past few years. As a perk for Small Business Saturday on Nov. 28, the organization is distributing over 500 free tote bags to shoppers. The bags feature a print of a mural painted by local artist Karli Ingersoll on the side of the Lloyd Building, home to ELLIOTTS - AN URBAN KITCHEN and the HI-NEIGHBOR TAVERN, and a short walk from home décor mecca CHIC & SHAB. “We’re very proud of the fact that we’ve had the totes made right here in the district. They were printed at ATOMIC THREADS, which is a totally new business line for them and a great story of adapting during COVID. They have these amazing new transfer printers where they can work with a variety of designs and materials,” she says. To make a walking tour of the other new murals (outdoor time!), be sure to visit BLOSSOM'S ANTIQUES (artist Mallory Battista), MARILYN'S ON MONROE (Desmond Boston), NAILS WITH PZAZZ AND PARAMOUNT SPA (Jiemei Lin) and TUNE TECH (Amber Hoit). And if you’d prefer a virtual shopping experience, Kennedy says that many North Monroe businesses are now vending on the Live Local INW marketplace at livelocalinw.com. “We have a commitment to keeping our customers comfortable and safe, and we love getting people out to explore,” Kennedy says. “But it’s wonderful to know that there’s a way to support our shops online as well. Whether customers want to show up on Small Business Saturday or they prefer to shop at home, there are many ways to keep the money flowing locally.” ◆ Brickyard Barbershop is at 2802 N. Monroe St. You can book appointments online at brickyardbarbershop.com or by calling 324-CUTS. More info about the North Monroe Business District itself is at meetonmonroe.com. For a virtual tour and video of the new North Monroe murals, head to https://vimeo.com/479130646/6032292990.


Fresh sheet deals • specials • updates

ADORKABLE FLOWERS AND GIFTS FLORIST | LIBERTY LAKE Adorkable Flowers and Gifts is Veteran owned and operated. Everything in our store is a suggestion of someone in our community. We don’t have a website because gift giving should be as unique as the person receiving the gift. We are so much more than flowers, plants, balloons and gifts. Contactless residential delivery, curbside pickup, in-store purchases and limited contact commercial delivery. Adorkable delivery drivers wear a mask, wipe down with a sanitizing wipe the container and anywhere they come in contact with a surface such as a doorbell, door handle, elevator button. 1326 N. Liberty Lake Rd., 922-6300, facebook.com/ Adorkableflowers

COTTONWOOD CREEK BOUTIQUE BOUTIQUE | CHENEY Bold, classic and beautifully feminine, Cottonwood Creek Boutique is western chic meets bohemian relaxed vibes. Much like owners Marianne and Rachel (mother and daughter), their lifestyle on the farm and as fashion-forward businesswomen drives and influences the unique and beautiful pieces that you will find in-store and online! 317 First St., 288-2311, cottonwoodcreekclothing.com

THE HOOK & NEEDLE CRAFTS | NORTH SPOKANE We are a haven for fiber artists! You will find hand-dyed yarns, alpaca fleece and yarns from local farms, roving and batts for spinning, and weaving threads. We also sell spinning wheels, looms (both table and floor models), as well as spinning and weaving accessories. Need a class? We teach classes in knitting, crochet, spindle spinning, wheel spinning and weaving. Not to worry about Covid-19 here; we sanitize every morning and between customers. We provide masks, hand sanitizer and easy spacing for our customers to stay safe. 1508 N. Monroe St., 368-9527, thehookandneedlenook.com

JEWELRY DESIGN CENTER JEWELERS | DOWNTOWN First and foremost, we are jewelers. We began as a manufacturer for other outlets and have since become the largest independent supplier of diamonds in the Northwest.

MADLO'S RAMEN HOUSE SPOKANE [ NORTH ] Try our angus ramen burger with a side of rice for $10 and our all white meat orange chicken for $10. Delivery available. 5919 Hwy 291 #8

BARGREEN ELLINGSON INC. SPOKANE [ DOWNTOWN ] Overstock Face masks. Several styles, re-useable and disposable, wipes, and sanitizer. Great stocking stuffers! Clearance priced. 509324-2939 223 W. Boone Avenue

JEWELRY DESIGN CENTER Because we are jewelers, we make better buying decisions — this means better quality, better pricing, and knowing we can maintain and guarantee anything we sell for a lifetime. We remain a family business with our community in mind. At Jewelry Design Center every purchase comes with a free lifetime guarantee against manufacturer defects and craftsmanship. We offer ethically sourced natural and lab created diamonds, engagement rings, wedding bands, and quality gemstone jewelry. We also carry high-end brands, such as Breitling, Swiss Army Victorinox and more. 821 N. Division St., 4875905, jewelrydesigncenter.com

THE MIX SALON • SPA BEAUTY | SPOKANE VALLEY Nestled in the heart of the Ponderosa Village, the Mix Salon and day spa offers an elevated experience coupled with a staycation-like atmosphere! The Mix Salon and Day Spa is making beauty beautiful again. Our skilled professionals pride themselves with keeping you looking and feeling your BEST! We are committed to the well-being of our clients and team. We have taken extra measures of social distancing, sanitation, masks and temperature checks to ensure the safety of our environment. 11205 E. Dishman-Mica Frontage Rd., 315-4651, facebook.com/ themixsalonanddayspa

THE RUSTY MUG VINTAGE | SPRAGUE UNION DISTRICT Here at the Rusty Mug, we are always working to create an upbeat, inviting and fresh environment full of oldies and oddities from every era and for every age group! Multiple vendors, all with a passion for vintage, and each with a unique style, are consistently bringing in new merchandise. To top it off, we have a wide variety of old-fashioned candy and an espresso bar opening in the upcoming weeks. Our customers’ health and safety comes first. Routine cleaning of all equipment, surfaces and merchandise has been implemented. Additionally, we are continuing to require face masks, as well as enforcing social distancing guidelines. 1916 E. Sprague Ave., 309-3805, facebook.com/TheRustyMugSpokane

WILLIAM GRANT GALLERY & FRAMING HOME | DOWNTOWN William Grant Gallery & Framing has been framing Spokane for 36 years. Customer service and quality picture framing are our top priorities. We guarantee our work is to your satisfaction. We are taking orders now for the holidays. Due to Covid we are taking design appointments: Call us today and set up a time for us to work with you. 1188 W. Summit Pkwy., 484-3535, williamgrantgalleryandframing.com

ABOUT Back to business • These weekly pages are part of a local marketing effort in support of the hospitality

sector brought to you by leading institutions and businesses to help promote the Spokane County economy, supported in part by Cares Act funding. With the goal of balancing commerce and public safety, you can follow along here in the Inlander, and via the links below, as local restaurants, shops and more share their stories and invite your support.

PROHIBITION GASTROPUB SPOKANE [ NORTH ] 20% discount for all to-go orders. Stay tuned for outdoor dining with heaters and wind breaks. 1914 North Monroe Street

REPUBLIC PI SPOKANE [ SOUTH ] New hours! To-go from 11 am-9 pm Sunday-Thursday and 11 am10 pm Friday Saturday. Curbside pickup available. 611 East 30th Avenue

WILEY'S BISTRO SPOKANE [ DOWNTOWN ] We will be doing 20% off all to-go orders! Come by and check it out 115 North Washington Street

PERRY STREET BREWING SPOKANE [ SOUTH ] Indoor dining prohibited, but we will be open regular hours this week for to-go orders, growler fills and limited patio seating! 1025 South Perry Street

FRESH SHEET CONTINUES ON THE NEXT PAGE

more to come • Through the end of the year, watch

the Inlander for special Back To Business guides, along with special sections, sharing more recovery stories and community business features.

Safe business practice resources KindnessNotCovid.org • Financial resources for businesses InlandBizStrong.org

NOVEMBER 26, 2020 INLANDER 11


Fresh sheet deals • specials • updates IRON GOAT BREWING

BRUNCHEONETTE

SPOKANE [ DOWNTOWN ] Carry-out or takeout from 11 am10 pm 7 days a week! 1302 West 2nd Avenue

SPOKANE [ DOWNTOWN ] Bruncheonette will now be offering Breakfast for Dinner takeout on Friday’s from 4:30 pm-8 pm. Brunch Platters now available! 1011 W Broadway Ave

QQ SUSHI SPOKANE [ NORTH ] Treehouse delivery right to your door, or swing by for takeout! Monday-Sunday 11 am-9 pm. 1902 West Francis Avenue

SOUTH HILL GRILL SPOKANE [ SOUTH ] We are continuing to do takeout, either by phone or through our online system. 2808 East 29th Avenue

wear a mask.

ARBOR CREST WINE CELLARS SPOKANE [ EAST ] Arbor Crest is open for curbside pick-up and outdoor experiences! Order online and pick up at the Tasting Room. Takeout menu coming soon! 4705 North Fruit Hill Rd

ATOMIC THREADS CLOTHING BOUTIQUE SPOKANE [ DOWNTOWN ] Storewide sale beginning 11/25. Items will have color stickers ranging 15%-50% off. Local artists are having flash sales. Free T-shirt giveaways! 1925 N. Monroe Street Suite A

be safe for all of us. #KindnessNotCOVID

DOMA COFFEE ROASTING COMPANY

RŨT

WILD SAGE

SPOKANE [ SOUTH ] We will be transitioning to takeout during our regular hours for now from 11 am-9 pm. 901 West 14th Avenue

SPOKANE [ DOWNTOWN ] We will resume takeout through our website or online ordering system, Monday-Saturday from 4 pm-8 pm. 916 West 2nd Avenue

INFUSED WELLNESS SPOKANE [ NORTH ] We have expanded our store hours: Tues-Sat 9 am-11:30 am; siesta 11:30 am-2:30 pm; open 2:30 pm-6 pm. Closed Sun and Mon. 413 West Hastings Road

THE FLYING GOAT SPOKANE [ NORTH ] New hours for curbside to-go and outside dining:Sun-Thu, 11 am-9 pm; Fri-Sat, 11 am to 10 pm. 3318 West Northwest Boulevard

ITALIAN KITCHEN

DEZINING SHEARZ SALON & BOUTIQUE

SPOKANE [ DOWNTOWN ] Family Pasta Pans and individual orders at 30%-50% off normal menu prices. TEXT “tell me mor” to (509) 435-5915 for details. 113 North Bernard Street

SPOKANE VALLEY We have a clearance rack of women’s clothing and jewelry. We will be open for small business Saturday and offering specials. 6630 East Sprague Avenue

POST FALLS Coffee Lab Sale! 20% Off All Retail Merchandise. Free Shipping on Online Orders Over $25. Open 8-5 Monday-Friday. 6240 East Seltice Way

SQUARE WHEEL BREWING CO SPOKANE [ EAST ] Growlers available for curbside pick up at the Arbor Crest Wine Cellars Tasting Room and Estate. Order online at arbocrest.com 4705 North Fruit Hill Rd

SPENCER'S FOR STEAKS AND CHOPS SPOKANE [ DOWNTOWN ] Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops is now open and offering curbside pick-up! Please call 509-7442372 between 5 pm-8:45 pm to place your order. 322 North Spokane Falls Court

BOO RADLEY'S

THINK SMALLER

The Shop Small movement keeps growing. While here in Spokane we’ve understood for years the power of supporting our locally owned and operated businesses, the movement went national in 2010; last year, an independent study showed that nearly $20 billion was spent on the Saturday after Thanksgiving at small, local businesses. And 67 cents out of every dollar spent at a local shop stays in the local community, bolstering our economy. This year, it may be a bit harder to shop local, but the need is greater than ever. That’s why local leaders are urging that every Saturday during the holiday shopping season, starting on Nov. 28, is SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY. Look for the “Shop Small” logo, either in person or online, and show your support.

MORE FRESH SHEET follow up-to-date info at btb.inlander.com 12 INLANDER NOVEMBER 26, 2020

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Geologist Ward McDonald checks the water level on a system designed to break down PCBs found in the ground at Kaiser Aluminum. YOUNG KWAK PHOTO

ENVIRONMENT

BREAKING DOWN

A LEG ACY

Kaiser Aluminum experiments with a new way to break down toxic chemicals BY SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL

A

few years ago, environmental staff at Kaiser Aluminum were faced with a big decision: Keep filtering contaminated water through a less-thanperfect walnut-shell system, and scale that up to a larger size, or search for a better solution. While more steps remain in a pilot test pitting one advanced technology against another, it appears that they may have found one that’s far more efficient at the longterm goal of eliminating contamination. For years, the company’s Trentwood location in Spokane Valley has been dealing with a massive groundwater plume contaminated with toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The legacy contamination built up over decades of operations at the plant, which was originally built by the U.S. government during World War II. Over the more than 75 years since, the plant has been used to manufacture everything from aluminum sheets and plates used for airplanes and aerospace technology to aluminum

products used to make beverage cans, cars and other consumer items. Although they haven’t been used in decades, PCBcontaining additives were for years put in machinery oils to reduce flammability and create a safer working environment. Some of that oil leaked over time and contaminated the site. Other manufacturers in the area used similar PCB-containing materials, so the groundwater under Kaiser’s plant also gets added contamination as water flows through surrounding soil. To deal with the problem, Kaiser has conducted multiple interim cleanup projects removing and capping soil and then setting up a pilot water treatment plant under an agreement with the state Department of Ecology. The first pilot filtration system, which has been running since 2015, uses castor oil (created from castor beans) and walnut shells to grab PCBs out of water that’s pumped up from the plume.

But while the walnut-shell system captures about 70 percent of PCBs, it really moves the problem from one medium to another, from the water to a solid waste product, explains Brent Downey, Kaiser’s environmental affairs manager. The contaminant-covered walnut shells then have to be taken to an approved landfill (currently Waste Management’s Graham Road Recycling and Disposal site in Medical Lake). So before building an even bigger walnut-shell system on the scale needed to treat water for years to come, Downey says the team at Kaiser researched a literature study and proposed to Ecology that they test a new theory using ultraviolet (UV) light. Researchers had shown, on paper, that UV light in combination with hydrogen peroxide could actually break down PCBs. ...continued on next page

NOVEMBER 26, 2020 INLANDER 13


NEWS | ENVIRONMENT

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14 INLANDER NOVEMBER 26, 2020

“BREAKING DOWN A LEGACY,” CONTINUED... So since late 2019, Kaiser has been working to test the theory, with a small custom-built system and a shelf-ready system treating contaminated water at the plant. With about 103,000 gallons going through the UV system so far, the results have been so promising (with potential to break down more than 90 percent of PCBs) that it’s gaining attention at Ecology. “When I shared this with my colleagues at Ecology across the state, their eyes and ears perk up, and we’re all very excited about its potential to degrade PCBs and possibly other concentrate compounds,” says Jeremy Schmidt, Ecology’s site manager for the Kaiser cleanup. “We couldn’t possibly be more excited.”

PROMISING NEW USE OF OLDER TECHNOLOGY

Technically speaking, it’s not a novel idea to use either hydrogen peroxide or UV light to treat contamination. After all, one of the UV units now treating 25 gallons per minute of water at Kaiser’s pilot plant was available on the market, and Schmidt notes that his master’s thesis was on adding hydrogen peroxide to soil to break down chlorinated solvents. However, it’s the combination of both high-intensity UV and the “advanced oxidation process” using hydrogen peroxide that makes this pilot unique. “The technology isn’t that different than some of the technologies we used in the past in some ways, but then it’s very different — it uses hydrogen peroxide and UV which creates a radical,” Schmidt says. The radicals then break down other compounds. After a small 5-liter batch test in a lab in fall 2019 confirmed the academic theory that UV could be used to break down PCBs, Kaiser got approval from Ecology this spring to test a new pilot. The company invested in an off-theshelf UV unit and commissioned its own UV system created by ecoSPEARS, which for now treats about 3 to 5 gallons of water per minute. The UV systems came online in June and have continued through this fall as workers figure out each system’s potential efficiency. The way Kaiser’s treatment works now, contaminated water is pulled up from the plume, run through either the walnut shell or UV treatment, then pumped back to a small area at the north end of the site to naturally infiltrate back through soil and rock into the groundwater. From there, it will eventually be treated again. Ecology doesn’t want any cleanup to take forever, Schmidt says, which is why the agency asked Kaiser what the full-scale plan should be after the first pilot with walnut shells had been going on for a few years. A full-sized treatment process that can more quickly address the underground plume needs to be in place on the roughly 60-acre property by 2023. While Kaiser refocused energy on testing the promising UV technology, it’s still not clear yet which option the company will go for when it comes to that permanent option. Downey says the options are still being considered and the cost considerations of each haven’t been determined yet. It’s also not clear yet exactly which com-

pounds the PCBs are breaking down into, though in theory it’s likely biphenyls, carbon dioxide, water and some salts, Downey says. Ecology will require a clear picture of exactly which compounds are created as a byproduct, as well as analysis of their toxicity, before this technology could be selected as the final option. “They’re at such low levels that we’re unable to see all of them,” Downey says. “What we can actually see is the fingerprint of the PCBs going downward.” On average, the amount of PCBs going into the pilot systems has been between about 200,000 and 300,000 picograms per liter or parts per quadrillion (ppq). Coming out, the threshold they’re trying to hit (until one is set in an official legal document with Ecology) has been under 44,000 ppq, which is allowable for drinking water. With some removal of PCBs over time already thanks to the walnut filtration, the UV system saw an average of 210,000 ppq coming in, and the water going out was below that 44,000

“We’re all very excited about its potential to degrade PCBs.” threshold, Downey says. That figure is still significantly higher than the rules for surface water, such as the Spokane River, which are much more restrictive, and require that water flowing into the river from polluters contains no more than 170 ppq, since the chemicals bioaccumulate in fish over time. Multiple polluters into the river (including a different permitted system Kaiser operates) are working on long-term plans to come into compliance with that very low threshold. Still, the promise to destroy PCBs rather than just move the problem from one place to another appeared promising to some in the environmental community when the project was up for public comment this spring. “This approach has shown a good potential to destroy [PCBs], which is superior to capturing and removing the [PCBs],” Mike Petersen, executive director of The Lands Council, wrote to Ecology on April 19. “We appreciate the willingness of both Kaiser and the Department of Ecology to try this new treatment and believe that it has the potential to be used in many other settings across the country.” Kaiser staff didn’t want to say yet if they’re planning to share or market the UV technology should it prove highly effective at destroying PCBs, but Jason Walsh, senior vice president of manufacturing, says the company is exploring lots of options. Background information has been shared with other entities looking to address legacy contaminants. “We need and want to be a vibrant member of the community here, so we need to work on these actions and be a responsible citizen here in the Valley and beyond,” Walsh says. “We’re working on the cleanup, and we know it doesn’t happen overnight, and we’re prepared to keep continuing.” n samanthaw@inlander.com


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2020 Inlander Insiders Adam Shanks, Adam Wilkening, Alayna Becker, Amanda Hansen, Amy Biviano, Angela Hayes, Angela Lalonde, Angela Lalonde, Barb Awbrey, Barry Geraghty, Bobbi Konshu, Brian Johnson, Brian McClatchey, Carey Eyer, Carol Hunter, Casey Cowan, Catherine Shipley, Cathy & Mark Doerr, Christopher Ivie, Connie Wasem Scott, Dan Nailen, Dani Witte, Daniel Messina, David Boose, David Green, David Koch, Debra O’Donnell, Dennis Liming, Diane MeredithGordon, Don Hamilton, Eileen Dittman, Elisabeth Hooker, Elise Azara, Elizabeth Cox, Ellen Welcker, Emily Clark, Emily Kinsella, Emily McCarty, Eric Wesselman, Erick Doxey, Gala Knowles, Grace Leaf, Hank Greer, Henry Salzano, J Dudley Youman MD, Jacob McCann, Jacob Reidt, James Miron, James Palm, Janet Yoder, Jefferson Coulter, Jen & Levi Westra, Jen Lott, Jennifer Adams, Jennifer Calvert, Jennifer Gill, Jesse Zumbro, Jessica Diettrich, Jim & Kate Jones, Jim Carollo, Joan McConnel, Joanne Fleming, Joe Mama, Joy Luck, Kandee Sabo, Karl Otterstrom, Kate Johnston, Kate Rau, Katie Rickard, Kelsey Jordahl, Kent Kumura, Kevin O’Connor, Kim Zentz, Kristina Morehouse, Larry Cebula, Laurie Powers, Lisa Fairbanks-Rossi, Lisa Simpson, Logan Camporeale, Lori Remz, Madeline Bishop, Marci Schreiber, Mark Cuilla, Mark Turner, Mary Douthitt, Mary Lou Reed, Matt Seiple, Maureen Pescaia, Megan Petersen, Melissa Huggins, Michael Nelson, Mika Maloney, Mimi Rorie, Mitch Ryals, Mitchell Harper, Morgane & Damon Roth, Nancy Avery, Nicole Gustavsen, Rebecca Long, Rebekah Mason, Rich Erwin, Ryan Oelrich, Ryan Pitts, Ryan Warzecha, Sahan Fernando, Sandra Holtzheimer, Sarah Bain, Scott Aylor, Seth Sommerfeld, Spokane Be Running, Steven Rau, Susan Ashe, Tara Dowd, Teresa Juneau-Simon, Terri Fortner, Theodore Teske, Ticia Wisniewski, Tiffany Funk, Tina Burnett, Tom Flavell, Tom Robinson, Tony Dinaro, Trace Kerr, Trenton Miller, William Dittman, and William Sattelmeyer. Become an Inlander Insider! Details at

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Spokane Folklore Society Presents

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Fall Folk Festival Celebrating Our Cultural Diversity, Virtually

Since the start of the pandemic, the Spokane Regional Health District hired dozens of contact tracers.

Out of the Box

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Why contact tracing failed to control the spread of COVID-19 in Spokane BY WILSON CRISCIONE

I Available online at

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t was supposed to be the best weapon against another COVID-19 surge. That’s what public health officials said, at least, when discussing plans this spring to ramp up contact tracing — the process of calling people with a disease, urging them to take precautions that would prevent further spread and determining who else that person might have already exposed. Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House coronavirus adviser, in April called contact tracing an “extraordinarily important” tool in flattening the curve and a way “to get our arms” around an outbreak. Former Spokane Regional Health Officer Bob Lutz told the Inlander in May that contact tracing is how health officials hoped to “box in” COVID-19. Like health districts across the country, the Spokane Regional Health District hired dozens of contact tracers. And Washington Gov. Jay Inslee had the state train more than 1,000 people to do the work. But within weeks, it became evident that contact tracing was no match for COVID-19. “It’s not going well. I have to tell you, it’s not going well,” Fauci said in an interview in late June. Indeed, despite the investment in contact tracing, it has not proven to be enough to contain COVID-19. Some cities have given up on tracking cases. Other places, like Maine, are loosening contact tracing guidelines to only investigate when there’s a positive test, instead of assuming symptomatic close contacts are probable cases. The move is intended to preserve resources, since the flu presents similar symptoms as COVID-19. David Line, program director for EWU’s public health program, suggests local health officials should do something similar as infection rates continue to surge. Contact tracing, he says, remains valuable in notifying people who have been exposed and saving lives. “But if you’re looking at it from the perspec-

tive of the community, seeing this sub-surge, it’s failed,” Line says.

THE PROBLEMS

The nature of the novel coronavirus puts contact tracers at a disadvantage. That’s because it spreads easily when an individual has no idea they might be sick. Studies have indicated that around 40 percent to 50 percent of COVID-19 cases may be asymptomatic yet still able to spread SARS-CoV-2. Those asymptomatic people may not get tested. And that makes it difficult for health officials to identify cases. “It’s the challenge we can’t figure out,” Line says. “We can’t figure out how to bridge that issue.” Equally challenging for contact tracing teams is an inadequate testing infrastructure. Early on in the pandemic, only people with symptoms of COVID-19 were eligible for testing, and results took way too long to get back. “We wouldn’t get results for five to six days, or even as long as 10 days,” says Mark Springer, epidemiologist with the Spokane Regional Health District. “At that point, most people are well into their exposure and developing symptoms.” It was valuable time that made it impossible for contact tracers to do their work. And while testing capacity has increased since the spring — allowing close contacts of cases to get tested without symptoms — results can still take days to come back. Surveillance testing is one way to address the issue of asymptomatic transmission. Local colleges have used that strategy of regularly testing a sample of the population, identifying cases before an individual becomes symptomatic. Springer says that rapid tests that churn out same-day results could be more effective for surveillance testing purposes in workplaces — testing everyone once a week could prevent outbreaks. But there still aren’t enough rapid tests available.


And then there’s another glaring problem with contact tracing: compliance. The Washington Department of Health has said it’s goal is for contact tracers to reach 90 percent of confirmed cases and 80 percent of their close contacts within two days. But the state’s contact tracers keep falling short of that goal. The week of Oct. 11-17, for example, they reached only 58 percent of cases within one day. State health officer Kathy Lofy says sometimes the listed phone number for a person who tests positive is wrong. But another major barrier is that people simply aren’t responding — and when they do, they don’t want to share crucial information. “Many people with COVID who we interview are not willing to reveal the names of contacts to public health,” Lofy says. Even when they do freely share contacts, they may not remember everyone. Springer says this is partly why case investigators can more easily trace infections in structured settings like schools, where they know who was in a classroom with a student, for example. But restaurants present a challenge. Someone who tests positive may have dined in a restaurant, but they probably don’t know the people who sat at the table next to them. Restaurants are likely linked to more cases than health officials know about for that very reason. Despite all these issues with contact tracing, Line reiterates that contact tracing remains valuable. It still has saved lives by urging those who may have COVID-19 to isolate. “It makes sense to do contact tracing,” Line says. “It doesn’t make sense to do the tracing we have been doing.”

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TAKING A STEP BACK

Contact tracing can go two ways. It can go forward by identifying cases and tracking whom those cases might have exposed to the virus in hopes of cutting off further spread. This is how public health officials have approached COVID-19 thus far. Or it can go backward. That would involve identifying a positive case and attempting to identify the source that gave that person COVID-19. By doing so, contact tracers can potentially find other people infected by that source who may not know it yet. Line believes health officials should be changing how they do contact tracing — but not by going backward in tracing. Instead, he says contact tracers should go the route that Maine has, which involves only doing contact tracing with known confirmed cases. It may not significantly slow the spread of COVID, he says, but it can still save people’s lives. It’s not practical to go backwards, he says, because there will be a high number of people with flu symptoms mirroring those of COVID-19. Contact tracers won’t be able to tell everyone with symptoms to quarantine for 14 days. That would simply impact too many people, Line says. Other health departments are rethinking their strategy in the opposite direction. For example, the Ohio Health Department announced last month it would start tracking new cases back to the source. Recent studies have suggested that backward tracing may be a more effective way of outbreak control. With rapidly rising case counts, however, Spokane isn’t prioritizing contact tracing going backward to identify the source. “From our perspective,” Springer says, “the most important role is moving forward.” To be sure, the health district has identified certain superspreader events that have been the source for widespread infections — such as weddings or outbreaks in congregate settings — but Springer says it’s more important to make sure infection is not spread beyond a known positive case. These decisions become more difficult with the level of community spread currently. With hundreds of new cases per day in Spokane, and only around 50 contact tracers, tracing backward would be highly difficult to do. In other words, the virus has long been out of the box. It’s more like a wildfire. Contact tracers have passed the point of being able to extinguish it at the source, but they can try to create a fireline preventing it from spreading further. “Staffing resources aren’t unlimited and scalable,” Springer says. “As we move forward into these higher numbers, we have to prioritize where we’re going to be able to interrupt transmission.” n

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COLLEGE HOOPS

READY FOR TIP-OFF After an abrupt end to last season, the region’s college basketball teams look to make the unusual 2020-21 season unforgettable as well BY WILL MAUPIN

F

or Gonzaga, this season starts like no season ever has before. And it might just end in a way it has never ended as well. The AP Top 25 tabbed Gonzaga, for the first time in program history, as the number one team in all of college basketball entering the season. The Zags have been ranked atop the poll before, of course, as recently as last season, but they’ve never had a team so respected that it earned the honor before stepping onto the court. Another season with another set of lofty expectations, and another round of wondering if this year’s squad is the best Spokane’s ever seen. Nice to have some normalcy in this

otherwise unsettled year. That said, Gonzaga’s not immune to the strangeness of 2020. It was on full display No. 12 at Kraziness in the Kennel, the team’s annual preseason scrimmage. Normally a sold-out affair with festivities inside the building and out, this year was a subdued experience with only a few dozen people — players, staff and media — in the building. “In this particular year, in these particular situations, it’s going to be a huge advantage for those teams that can bring that collective effort and energy, and make it palpable, so it does help you out,” head coach Mark Few said of the experience. Fortunately, Gonzaga is one of those teams.

Corey Kispert (left) and Joel Ayayi will lead the Zags. ERICK DOXEY PHOTOS

18 INLANDER NOVEMBER 26, 2020


Senior forward Corey Kispert, junior guard Joel Ayayi, sophomore forward Drew Timme and freshman guard Jalen Suggs were all named to the Naismith Award preseason watch list, which will ultimately be handed out to the best player in the country at season’s end. No other team has four players on that list, and only one other team has more than two players on the 50-man list. Kispert has been a steady presence for the Zags since his freshman season, whether as a reserve, “glue guy” or team leader. Ayayi blew up last season with his electric and effortless scoring ability. Timme emerged as a stud coming off the bench before being anointed on national television by ESPN’s Dick Vitale during the final game of the season. “A star is being born here today,” Dickie V said enthusiastically. Suggs is the one fans might not know much about just yet, but they surely will soon. The highest-ranked recruit in program history, according to 247Sports, Suggs is a 6-foot-4 point guard with great size and scoring ability. ESPN considered him to be the fifth best high school player in the country last year. Apparently, he’s still getting better.

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“He’s a quick learner, and he’s aggressive by nature,” Few says. “I would say he would be one of those guys who made a big jump this past week. Hopefully we’ll still be getting great improvement from him going forward.” The Zags will need that out of all their players, no matter how good they already are, because the team is set to run through a gauntlet the likes of which they’ve never seen. Never one to shy away from a challenging schedule, Few was forced to put together an absolutely brutal one this season. In August the Pac-12 Conference announced it wouldn’t start its season until January — a decision later reversed — causing Gonzaga to lose some marquee nonconference games against Western rivals. So, Few went out and found even bigger marquee games to fill those holes. The Zags will face No. 12-ranked Tennessee, No. 6 Kansas, No. 5 Iowa and No. 2 Baylor, all before Christmas. In part due to the pandemic, none of those games will take place at campus sites. There will be just six games in the Kennel before the start of conference play. They won’t play a true road game until Jan. 9 when they travel to conference rival Portland. “I really think it’s a huge disadvantage for those of us who have just phenomenal home courts,” Few says. “It’s a situation where we’re going to have to create our own energy.” The Zags went 31-2 last season. They finished the year No. 2 in the AP Poll and No. 1 in the NCAA’s NET rankings. A top seed in the NCAA Tournament was assured, and a second trip to the Final Four seemed distinctly possible. But they didn’t even get the chance to play in March Madness. When Corey Kispert announced in August that he would return for his senior season, the short video he shared included the words “unfinished business.” It’s safe to say they won’t have any issues creating their own energy this season, no matter the circumstance. ...continued on next page

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CULTURE | COLLEGE HOOPS “READY FOR TIP-OFF,” CONTINUED...

EASTERN WASHINGTON EAGLES

Like Gonzaga, EWU is coming off a successful year and expected to do even better this season. The Eagles went 23-8 last season, and their 14-4 mark in conference play was best in the Big Sky. They were a favorite to win the league’s bid to the NCAA Tournament, but the coronavirus cancellations came down before the Eagles could take the court in their conference tournament. “A lot of teams would’ve felt good about winning the league last year,” head coach Shantay Legans said. “I think there’s a lot of unfinished business for this team, at least that’s how we’ve been going about it since last March.” To accomplish that unfinished business they’ll have to replace the Big Sky most valuable player from last season, Mason Peatling. Replacing a star player is nothing new for the Eagles, though. This will be the third time in four seasons the Eagles have had to replace the MVP — they did so in 2017 when Jacob Wiley graduated and again a year later when Bogdan Bliznyuk did the same. Having three MVPs in a four-year span — and potentially four in five as senior Jacob Davison is an early favorite to win this year — shows just how strong of a foundation has been laid in Cheney, and this year they can really start building on it. Peatling is the only starter lost from last season, and he didn’t lead the team in any of the major stats. Davison was the leading scorer, averaging 18.4 points per game;

20 INLANDER NOVEMBER 26, 2020

junior Kim Aiken Jr. led the team in rebounds with 9.7 per game; and sophomore Ellis Magnuson was the assists leader with 4.1 per contest. Senior Jack Perry, who has started two-thirds of the games he’s played in his career, is back as well. There’s a ton of roster continuity for Legans’ squad. “Obviously the camaraderie and the chemistry with the team knowing each other is great. Now we just need to start defining roles,” Legans said. “I think they pretty much understand each other’s games, and now it’s just my job to make sure I’m pushing them in the right direction and they’re getting everything done in the right manner because I do think we have a pretty good ball club.”

WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS

Last year, in his first season on the Palouse, head coach Kyle Smith led the Cougars to a strong 9-4 record before entering Pac-12 play. As the Cougars often do, though, they stumbled through their league and ended the year with a 16-16 record overall when the season came to an abrupt halt. This year, the Cougars might not even get to enjoy a similar start. Their leading scorer and rebounder from last season, all-Pac-12 sophomore forward CJ Elleby, declared for the NBA Draft and was picked by Portland. Then, the week before the start of

the season, Smith announced he had tested positive for COVID-19. Once Smith returns to courtside, he’ll have his work cut out for him as he continues to try to rebuild from the Ernie Kent era in Pullman. Last season, WSU won more games than it had since 2012. Smith’s analytics-focused approach paid some dividends in year one, and now he’s able to bring his own recruits into the fold. There are seven freshmen and four sophomores on the team, compared to just four total upperclassmen. Fortunately, one of those upperclassmen is senior guard Isaac Bonton. The team’s second-leading scorer (15.3 ppg) and leader in assists (four per game) a season ago, Bonton is an explosive player capable of filling up a box score on any given night. As a junior he was held below double figures scoring just three times. On Jan. 18, with elite NBA scorer and WSU alum Klay Thompson in the house, Bonton dropped a career high 34 points. He’s got all-Pac-12 potential. That said, the Cougars had one player with all-Pac-12 potential last season, and they finished in 11th place. They’re picked to finish 11th by the media once again this season. The Pac-12 was down relative to its standards for a few years but bounced back last season. It’s expected to take another step forward this season. Which means even with improvement, WSU could struggle to keep up. n


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NOVEMBER 26, 2020 INLANDER 21


CULTURE | TV

How to use

Sit Down, Lock Down, Watch This 11 new TV series to help fill your days stuck at home BY BILL FROST

A

h, November. By the time you read this, ’Merica could be in flames and under siege by obese militia rednecks while I’m stowed away on a flight to Any Other Damn Country in search of journalistic asylum. I’ll let you know how it shakes out. [Editor’s note: We have not heard from Bill in a couple weeks. Just sayin’] Anyway: Here are 11 series premiering in November to enjoy (or tolerate) in the bunker.

MOONBASE 8 (SHOWTIME)

THIS

PULL-OUT SECTION

The race for space-based televised gold continues with Moonbase 8.

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF SALT LAKE CITY (BRAVO)

So far, so garbage—the quality’s going to turn soon, promise! Before then, however, there’s the 10th(!) installment of the Real Housewives franchise/cancer to attend to. The latest victim of the White Claw of reality shows is Salt Lake City, which introduces six new Botox repositories who are indistinguishable from any other RH coven. The Housewives aren’t “real,” nor is a millisecond of this “unscripted” bullshit bazooka, but who cares? Idiocracy accomplished.

THE LEGO STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL (DISNEY+)

After Netflix’s Space Force and HBO’s Avenue 5, is there room for another surreal astronaut comedy? Only if it’s from Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim (Tim & Eric) and Jonathan Krisel (Baskets). Moonbase 8 follows three bros (Heidecker, Fred Armisen and John C. Reilly) training for their first lunar mission in an isolated Arizona moon base simulator, and slowly losing their minds (not that they had much to spare). Don’t think too hard—Moonbase 8 doesn’t.

“Lego” is a mashup of the Danish phrase “leg godt,” which means “play well.” Nice, but that doesn’t mean you get to insist that your brand name is always all-capped as LEGO when it’s not a damned acronym! Can I demand that I am henceforth FROST? No, because it stands for nothing … and neither do I. Except for this grammatical atrocity — I will die on this hill! Oh yeah: The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special is a Lego reenactment of the infamous 1978 original. Should be fun.

INDUSTRY (HBO)

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS

If you’ve ever wished Showtime dad-rock drama Billions was less old and white, but sexier and angsty-er (and British), Industry might be for you. New to the shiny world of London high finance, New Yorker Harper Stein (Myha’la Herrold) is thrown in with a pack of hungry, ridiculously goodlooking grads looking to claw their way to the top. Do they do drugs and screw? You bet. Do they deal with class, gender and race issues? Between the drugs and the screwing, sure.

(NETFLIX) The Office’s Rainn Wilson produces and narrates this docuseries about hyper-niche competitions around the world. Episodes chronicle the low-stakes gamesmanship of chili eating (by heat, not quantity), cheese rolling (downhill cheese-wheel races), fantasy hairstyling (over-the-top ‘dos), yo-yo-ing (self-explanatory), dog dancing (ditto) and frog jumping (ditto-ditto). Sound ridiculous? Playing videogames has somehow been elevated to an “esport,” so step off.

A TEACHER (HULU)

ANIMANIACS (HULU)

Speaking of sexy angst, here’s a teacherhooks-up-with-student “miniseries” (10 episodes isn’t mini, Hulu) pretending not to be a supersized Lifetime movie. The imaginatively-titled A Teacher stars Kate Mara as a married high-school teacher in a torrid (and illegal, because Texas) romance with a senior (Nick Robinson). Because A Teacher is under the usually prestigious FX on Hulu banner, it’s presented as premium cable-level art. Really, it’s just eight episodes too long.

22 INLANDER NOVEMBER 26, 2020

One of the most insane cartoon series to ever air on normie broadcast TV is back, so 2020 isn’t a complete wash. Animaniacs, which originally ran 1993-98, followed “Warner brothers” Yakko and Wakko, as well as “Warner sister” Dot, as they wreaked pop-cultural hyper-havoc on the Warner Bros. Studio lot. Most importantly, the ‘tooned-up sketch/variety show introduced the world to Pinky & the Brain (also returning), two mice bent on world domination. Take it, P&B.

BELUSHI (SHOWTIME)

How has there never been a decent biopic about John Belushi? The rightfully hated Wired, a 1989 film dramatization of Bob Woodward’s equally reviled book, doesn’t count. Belushi finally recounts the former Saturday Night Live star’s rise (Animal House, The Blues Brothers’ movie and music) and fall (death by drug overdose at 33 in 1983). He claimed he’d “rather be an anarchist than a professional,” and Belushi shows the highs and lows of killing yourself for art.

Pull down then out NOT a phone.

BLACK NARCISSUS (FX)

In 1934, a group of nuns, led by young Sister Clodagh (Gemma Arterton), are sent to the high Himalayas to establish a mission in a palace donated by an Indian general. The catch? The palace was previously a harem house (or sex palace, if you will). Will the Sisters of St. Faith overcome their erotic surroundings? Can Sister Clodagh resist the sexy swagger of soldier Mr. Dean (Alessandro Nivola)? Black Narcissus is predictable, but it’s also gorgeous to look at.

NOT a hat.

SAVED BY THE BELL (PEACOCK) Picking up decades after the 1989-94 series, this Saved by the Bell sequel centers around the political machinations of California Gov. Zach Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and … does the plot really matter? Zach, A.C. (Mario Lopez), Kelly (Tiffani Thiessen) and Jessie (Elizabeth Berkley) are back; Screech (Dustin Diamond) was not invited. A new Saved by the Bell makes about as much sense as a Dexter revival (don’t get me started), but at least Zach Morris is still the worst.

YES a resource you keep and share with friends.

THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT

(PREMIERING THURS, NOV. 26; HBO MAX) Big Bang Theory escapee Kaley Cuoco (currently the titular voice of HBO Max’s Harley Quinn) is The Flight Attendant, a woman who wakes up in a hotel next to her onenight stand—problem is, he’s a bloody, dead mess. A brisk, back-tracing murder mystery unfolds from there, balancing raw tension and dark humor with Cuoco dominating the lead. The Flight Attendant is either too smart or perfect to drop on Thanksgiving Day — anything makes sense in 2020, so just roll with it. n Visit billfrost.tv for more trenchant television coverage.

Now you know how!

PULL-OUT & KEEP! HOLIDAY GUIDE

2020


SUPPLEMENT TO THE INLANDER

NOVEMBER 26, 2020 INLANDER 23


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RIVER PARK SQUARE GARAGE: COVERED PARKING MADE EASY IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN. 24 INLANDER NOVEMBER 26, 2020


JAN, THE TOY LADY, IS PLEASED TO OFFER PROMOTIONAL ANIMALS FROM AURORA AGAIN THIS SEASON

How about a sloth? Or a unicorn? Or...

River Park Square (509) 456-TOYS Spokane’s Premier Gift Shop, Garden Center & Nursery

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T

Holidays on Hold

he holiday season of 2020 will be a time like no other. One to really remember and tell our wide-eyed grandkids about someday… or one that we’d rather forget ever

happened. Sadly, COVID-19’s lasting grip on the world, country and Inland Northwest means that most of us will have to forgo travel, large gatherings of family and friends, and the enjoyment of countless activities and events out in the community. It’s a sacrifice being made without hesitation, and with determination that a year from now things can carry on as before: the festive holiday parties, concerts, local theater productions, crowded stores and streets, sitting on Santa’s lap, and cozying up with

CONTENTS

MARK YOUR CALENDAR 26

loved ones from near and far to exchange gifts. In the meantime, this holiday season offers something else: plenty of downtime to pause, reflect and count our blessings. It’s also an opportunity for those of us who can to reach out with a warm heart and helping hand to the members of our community who need it most: first responders and health care workers, smallbusiness owners and their staffs, the homeless and jobless, teachers, seniors, postal workers and delivery drivers, retail and grocery workers, and many more. So please, mask up, stay home, and have a joyous holiday.

STORIES OF THE SEASON 34

— CHEY SCOTT, Holiday Guide editor

HOLIDAYS AT HOME 46

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ROUND

CUSTOM POTTING

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GIFT WRAP

Garland Mercantile is a specialty store located in the heart of the Garland District and is now under new ownership! We carry many items you would find at your local farmers market and more. We source our products and produce from the Pacific Northwest, while keeping quality and freshness in mind. When you support us, you support local farmers and artisans. So come on in to try a few samples, find a unique gift, pickup some Greenbluff produce, and say hello. We can’t wait to meet you!

823 W Garland Ave • Spokane • 509-315-4937

NOVEMBER 26, 2020 INLANDER 25


Mark

Your

Calendar It won’t be a typical holiday season, but there is still plenty to look forward to BY INLANDER STAFF 26 INLANDER NOVEMBER 26, 2020

Possessed to skate? You might have to wait.

YOUNG KWAK PHOTO

OPENING DATE TBA

SKATE RIBBON AT RIVERFRONT

COVID got you itching for some activity? Stretch out your calves and achilles tendons and get your ice skates ready, because the Numerica Skate Ribbon at Riverfront Park is gearing up for another season of gliding, balancing and — maybe — twirling. No one wants to get sick, so serious safety precautions will be taken on the ice. All guests are required to wear a mask and gloves, household groups will be spaced apart from each other, and capacity is limited. Additionally, guests will be able to purchase their tickets on their phones to avoid contact, and surfaces that do get touched will be regularly sanitized. As of our press deadline, the venue’s opening date was still to be determined, dependent on the weather. Riverfront Park, $5.25-$7.25/hour; $29.95-$34.95/unlimited passes, my.spokanecity.org/riverfrontspokane (LAUREN GILMORE) ...MORE EVENTS


SEASONS GREETINGS, EATINGS, AND THEN SOME.

Make a visit to Northern Quest a part of your holiday tradition with festive decorations and events to get you in the spirit of the season. Have a sweet time supporting our community with the annual Gingerbread Build-off. Grab some swag along with a La Rive Spa-lidays shopping experience. Find the perfect gifts at Windfall. Celebrate at your favorite restaurants and lounges. Get in on all the casino giveaways featuring more than $100,000 in cash and prizes. And don’t forget to pick up a few Northern Quest gift cards for the best stocking stuffers around.

NOVEMBER 26, 2020 INLANDER 27


THROUGH JAN. 1

WINTER GLOW SPECTACULAR

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Calendar

Since 2014, this annual holiday display has been making spirits bright as it’s hopped from venue to venue before ending up in its current home in Liberty Lake. Opening a week earlier than usual in 2020 — because we can all use a little extra spark and joy this trying year — Winter Glow has returned to Orchard Park, offering a social distancing-friendly way for families to escape for a little extra holiday magic. Thanks to dozens of dedicated volunteers who’ve spent the past weeks setting up the massive display of twinkling trees, trains, snowmen, animals and other festive forms, as well as local business sponsors, the display remains free to enjoy. Donations are also gladly accepted online. Open daily, free, winterglowspectacular.com (CHEY SCOTT) THROUGH JAN. 1

COEUR D’ALENE RESORT HOLIDAY LIGHT SHOW

No fireworks this year, but the Coeur d’Alene Resort is still lighting up the holidays.

28 INLANDER NOVEMBER 26, 2020

COEUR D’ALENE RESORT PHOTO

The pandemic means things at one of the Inland Northwest’s most festive hubs of holiday cheer won’t be quite the same this year, but there’s still plenty of holly jolly fun to be had at the Coeur d’Alene Resort this season. While the venue won’t be hosting a fireworks show in conjunction with turning on the lights, rest assured the annual million-plus-lights display is on through the season, and available to check out from one of the resort’s Journey to the North Pole lake cruises running through New Year’s Day. The boats this year are running at reduced capacity and require masks and temperature checks for all on board to keep everyone safe. The resort also offers a variety of special holiday-themed overnight packages, including milk and cookies delivered to your room, and a fireside story time with Santa’s elves. Cruises depart daily at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 pm, $8.50$24.25, cdaresort.com (DAN NAILEN) ...MORE EVENTS


STCU COMMERCIAL AND BUSINESS SERVICES

“It’s important for people to have ownership.” - Brett and Susan Sommer, owners, Figpickels Toy Emporium in Coeur d’Alene.

A family-owned toy store. A member-owned credit union. A partnership built on spreading joy, encouraging imagination, and serving the community. STCU Commercial and Business Services provides support at every step, with the tools you need to manage your business, and the loans you need to help it grow. Call STCU at (509) 344-2200 or explore stcu.org/business. Insured by NCUA.


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Your

Calendar

THROUGH JAN. 2

NORTHWEST WINTERFEST

A spark of light in the darkness is the resounding theme of this year’s holiday season, and this new-in-2020 event offers just that. It’s also a familiar throwback to a popular event first hosted here five years ago, the Chinese Lantern Festival in Riverfront Park. Northwest Winterfest features a collection of fabric-covered lanterns inside the Mirabeau Park Hotel, arranged in a way to allow for proper social distancing. Visitors encounter a fearsome dragon, playful pandas and a collection of holiday trees hand painted by local multicultural groups, with the latter also up for auction. Families can also partake in a scavenger hunt to find Rudolph and seven of his reindeer friends. This new event intends to become another lasting local tradition, with plans to return in 2021 to Mirabeau Meadows Park, where organizers had originally envisioned hosting the bright and festive display. Mirabeau Park Hotel & Convention Center, free, details at northwestwinterfest.com (CS) NOV. 27-28; DEC. 5, 12 AND 19

FESTIVAL OF FAIR TRADE

Shopping local for gifts this holiday season carries even more economic significance due to the past nineplus months of pandemic setbacks disproportionately impacting small businesses. Among the many events

Northwest Winterfest aims to start a new Christmas tradition. to encourage shoppers to (safely) check loved ones off their holiday gift lists is the annual Festival of Fair Trade, usually hosted across one single weekend at local shop Kizuri Spokane, which is committed to selling only fair trade items. This year’s festival is stretched out across several Saturdays, and kicked off back in October. The additional days on the calendar (subject to change if needed due to public health guidelines) allow for vendors to spread out across Kizuri’s floor, and give customers more time to make plans to leave the house, keeping all as safe as possible. Kizuri Spokane, 12-5:30 pm, kizurispokane.com (CS)

COURTESY OF NORTHWEST WINTERFEST

NOV. 27-DEC. 13

TREE OF SHARING

For nearly four decades, the Tree of Sharing has served as a community conduit to bring holiday cheer and kindness to local residents in need (currently about 8,000 people each year), and for whom the holidays otherwise might not feel so joyful. While the nonprofit typically sets up volunteer-run information tables at the region’s three malls (NorthTown Mall, River Park Square and Spokane Valley Mall) for shoppers to pick up a tag from an individual’s wishlist, this year’s operations are different. Instead of offering in-person gift tag pickups, community members

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Gift Guide

who want to help out will need to visit the organization’s website to claim a tag for any age or gender identity. After purchasing gifts, donors can still bring items for dropoff at mall tables, staffed the day after Thanksgiving through Dec. 13. Details at treeofsharing.org (CS) NOV. 27-DEC. 24

RUBY RIVER LIGHTS

While initial plans for this event (it was envisioned to be more interactive; organizers hope to relaunch those features next year) have since shifted due to Washington state’s recently enacted set of COVID-19 restrictions, families can still enjoy a festive holiday lights walk along the banks of the Spokane River. Swing by any time to take an evening stroll along the river, and perhaps grab dinner to-go from the hotel’s Osprey Restaurant to take home afterward. The restaurant’s patio remains open for parties of five or less from the same household, with heaters and fire pits to ward off winter’s chill. Ruby River Hotel, free, rubyriverlights.com (CS) NOV. 27-DEC. 24

HORSE & CARRIAGE RIDES

As far as COVID-friendly holiday events go, the horse and carriage rides in downtown Spokane have been one of the easiest to reimagine. After all, you spend the whole experience in a carriage bubble with just your party, floating through 2020 in a time machine that momentarily takes you back to a pre-car wintry adventure. Additional measures have been taken, including plexiglass that separates passengers from the carriage operator, and hand sanitizer on board. Also, all reservations must be made online ahead of time to eliminate time spent in line. As always, these holiday carriage rides are free and an excellent way to celebrate with your loved ones. Riverfront Park; Fri from 1-8 pm, Sat-Sun from 1 pm-5 pm, also Dec. 24 from 1-3 pm; free, downtownspokane.org (LG) ...MORE EVENTS

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Mountain Lodge Gift Shop MONDAY – THURSDAY | 9 AM – 11 PM FRIDAY & SATURDAY | 9 AM – 11 PM SUNDAY | 9 AM – 10 PM Open 7 days a week, all year.

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Circling Raven Pro Shop NOVEMBER 27 TH – DECEMBER 23 RD WEDNESDAY – SATURDAY | 10 AM – 6 PM SUNDAY | 10 AM – 4 PM

Closed Monday – Tuesday. The Circling Raven Pro Shop is closed December 24TH and 25TH.

Shop the award-winning Pro Shop to find unique gift items. Our Circling Raven Advantage or Player Development Cards make the perfect gift. Purchase these and other golf accessories at cdacasino.com/shopping.

Spa Ssakwa’q’n Boutique SUNDAY & MONDAY | 10 AM – 6 PM TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY | 10 AM – 4 PM THURSDAY | 10 AM – 6 PM FRIDAY & SATURDAY | 10 AM – 8 PM

The spa closes at 4 pm on December 24TH and is closed on December 25TH.

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Black Friday hours 10AM-midnight NOVEMBER 26, 2020 INLANDER 31


108 N. Washington St, Suite 104, Spokane, WA • 509-838-5837 • cuesclothing.com

OUR STORE IS FULL OF HOLIDAY TREASURES,

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Jim Brickman, as synonymous with Christmas as Santa.

Your

Calendar NOV. 27-JAN. 3

CURBSIDE PICKUP AND PRIVATE SHOPPING APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE

A LOCALLY OWNED DECOR & LIFESTYLE BOUTIQUE 10-4 pm Wed-Sat 509.598.8581 www.savvyhomespokane.com @savvyhomespokane

HOLIDAYS AT RIVERFRONT PARK

Downtown Spokane has a lot to offer holiday lovers even during this strange year, so bundle up and get ready to get outside. The Numerica Lights Up The Night Holiday Tree Walk dots the park with no fewer than 40 fully decorated Christmas trees, each dressed up by a different local organization. The traditional tree-lighting ceremony is moving online to avoid crowds, streaming on Friday, Nov. 27. The Rotary Fountain is the site of a singing sculpture, the U.S. Pavilion presents a holiday-themed light show nightly, and the Clock Tower showcases the season with lights as well. Details at my.spokanecity.org/riverfrontpark (DN) NOV. 30-DEC. 22

Hand-Poured Soy & Botanical Oil Candles

4918 N Evergreen Rd • Spokane Valley Fridays 12-4 & Saturdays 12-3 • 509-201-7667 • ValleyCandlesSpokane.com

32 INLANDER NOVEMBER 26, 2020

ELF ON THE SHELF

Do you know a child who’s dying to be recruited by Santa Claus? Good news. Santa is looking for a competent team of “Scout Elves” to participate in a downtown Coeur d’Alene scavenger hunt, beginning on Nov. 30 and continuing each weekend until Dec. 22. To participate, stop by one of the many participating businesses in the downtown corridor and pick up a passport. Then, carry this passport with you and any time you find an elf — hiding behind a mug of hot cocoa, sleeping in the soft fabric of a sweater — get your passport stamped. If the joy of finding hidden elves weren’t enough, finding them also increases your chances of winning prizes. Find six or more elves, and you’ll be entered into a grand prize drawing taking place Dec. 23. Locations vary throughout downtown Coeur d’Alene, free, details at cdadowntown.com (LG)

DEC. 4

JIM BRICKMAN: COMFORT & JOY AT HOME

Acclaimed pianist and radio host Jim Brickman had planned to bring his Christmas-themed concert to the First Interstate Center for the Arts, but the world had other plans. So Brickman made the pivot that so many other artists have and is instead bringing a little yuletide cheer to his fans’ living rooms with virtual performances that encourage social distancing and support music venues. The more expensive ticket packages offer more than just the concert — you’ll receive a gift package in the mail and access to pre- and post-show Zoom hangouts with Brickman — and a portion of the proceeds benefits the First Interstate Center for the Arts. Online at 7:30 pm, $40-$125, jimbrickman.com/spokane (NATHAN WEINBENDER) DEC. 4-13

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

It wouldn’t be the yuletide without some version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the story of holiday-hating miser Ebenezer Scrooge and the spirits who spark his change of heart. The University of Idaho’s theater department is staging its own take on the timeless tale, complete with elaborate sets and professional lighting setups, and featuring a cast of undergraduate and graduate students. It’s also presented live via Zoom, so you can bring a little slice of theatrical magic into your own home. Register online to receive a ticket to any of the scheduled showtimes. Dec. 4-5 and Dec. 12-13 at 6 pm; Dec. 5-6 and Dec. 13 at 2 pm, $10-$20, uidaho.edu/theatre (NW)


LET US HELP YOU

DEC. 5, 12 AND 16

HOLIDAY MURDER MYSTERIES

Although you might normally associate them with the Halloween season, Coeur d’Alene’s Crime Scene Entertainment is offering up a series of Christmas-themed escape rooms and solvable murder mysteries throughout December. First up is “Bad Santa Murder Mystery” (Dec. 5 at 6 pm), which has you trying to break out of a killer Saint Nick’s creepy estate. In “Homicide at the Tacky Sweater Shindig” (Dec. 12 at 6 pm), a small town’s ugly sweater party turns violent. Finally, there’s a family-friendly mystery called “Who Kidnapped Santa?” (Dec. 16 at 3 pm), wherein you and your kids can search for an AWOL Kris Kringle. You’ll need to buy tickets in advance to register for a spot in each room. Crime Scene Entertainment, $10-$75, crimesceneentertainment.com (NW)

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DEC. 11

A CHRISTMAS CAROL RADIO PLAY

University of Idaho isn’t the only theatrical outlet producing its own unique take on A Christmas Carol. Spokane Civic Theatre, one of the Inland Northwest’s mainstays for great onstage entertainment, is producing a version of the Charles Dickens story and broadcasting it as an old-fashioned radio play, using nothing but transformative vocal performances and evocative sound effects to get you involved in the drama. The program airs on Spokane Public Radio at 91.1 FM on the evening of Dec. 11 (airtime has yet to be announced), and you can curl up next to your living room radio and pretend you’re living in a time before television and WiFi were household conveniences. Broadcast on 91.1 FM, spokanecivictheatre.com (NW)

Thank you to our customers who have been so supportive during this crazy covid nightmare.

We appreciate you! LIMITED ON-PREMISES SERVICES

TO GO SERVICES Offering full lunch & dinner menus as take out.

Service currently on patio only

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(509) 862-4852 • storminnormansshipfacedsaloon.com DEC. 18-20

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA

For two decades Trans-Siberian Orchestra has taken its prog-rock holiday show on the road in the months leading up to Christmas, and inevitably Spokane would be part of the tour. For a certain cross-section of headbangers and Christmas lovers, the group is a holiday tradition at this point as revered as caroling or screening Christmas Vacation. Obviously the pandemic is keeping band leader Al Pitrelli and his crew off the road this year, but TSO is putting together a livestream performance of their debut album, Christmas Eve and Other Stories, a holiday-themed rock opera they’ll deliver with all the flashy lights and pyrotechnics fans have come to expect. This time, though, you’ll have the best seat in the house, because it’s your house. The live performance happens on Friday, December 18, but ticket buyers will be able to watch the show through Sunday, Dec. 20. Online live at 5 pm Friday, Dec. 18, $30, trans-siberian.com (DN) n

A weekly email for food lovers Subscribe at Inlander.com/newsletter NOVEMBER 26, 2020 INLANDER 33


Long Journey Home Taking the very, very, very long route to be at home for a snowy Christmas BY SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL

B

arring any tricky weather or traffic, it normally takes 6½ hours to get from Bellingham to Pullman (or vice versa) if you allow for one pit stop in Ellensburg for gas and a Wendy’s chicken sandwich. I know this because I went to college at Western Washington University and made the drive home to my parents’ house four or five times a year for holidays. I kept up the tradition after I got a reporting gig at Bellingham’s daily newspaper and stayed in town a few more years. But I knew the drive home for Christmas in 2015 would be longer. I would be dropping my coworker Wilson off in Spokane (we both later landed gigs at the Inlander) and also planned to pick up a high school classmate who was living in Seattle, and her little pup. With

Sometimes driving requires a kung fu grip. my boyfriend at the time also along for the ride, it would be a full car with each stop requiring we forgo shortcuts. That was OK. We all only had a short time to see our families, but we’d decided it was worth the drive, even if it took a long time, because seeing family is what makes the holidays special. What we didn’t expect was that week’s massive snowfall in the mountains, with winter storms dumping more than 9 feet of snow. When we took off on Christ-

mas Eve, I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass was closed. See, it’s great wishing for a white Christmas when you’ve already arrived. But by the time we hit Seattle, White Pass was our only option to traverse the mountains east. We weren’t the only ones, which is how we found ourselves on a two-lane mountain pass moving at a crawl in traffic that felt like it stretched on for eternity. Adding to my self-pitying Odyssean remembrance of this trip is that I drive a manual, and no one else in

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the car knew how. Even as we enjoyed the midwinter brightness of the snowy road reflecting the light from all our vehicles, the constant stop, go, stop, go was exhausting. All told, by the time we made it over the pass to Yakima, back up to I-90 to Spokane, then down to Pullman, I’d driven for more than 13 hours before finally collapsing in my childhood bedroom. The next two days, we celebrated Christmas with my parents; relaxing, watching movies, playing games and eating delicious food. Adult beverages and good company helped ease the strain of the long journey, reminding us it was worth it.

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Shortly, it was time to turn around and do it all again in reverse. It took another 12 hours to get back to Bellingham in the holiday traffic. But for all the exhausting travel, the endless changing of mix CDs we’d already listened to, the many pit stops for snacks and bathroom breaks, it was worth it. We all got to be home with our loved ones. This year, that long haul might look like two or more weeks of quarantine before travel to keep the family safe. For others, it might look like braving the long, trying journey of waiting an entire year just to get home for Christmas. It may be exhausting. You might get cranky. Your legs might cramp and your butt might hurt and you might wish that everyone around you were doing a better job at whatever they’re doing. But be patient. It will be worth it. n

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Do not try this stunt from A Christmas Story at home.

rowing up in a military family, one tends to embrace the fleeting nature of, well, everything. Changing schools every couple years, moving all over the country and having a parent or two disappear for weeks at a time on assignment makes a kid resilient, even when it comes to things like celebrating holidays. The last time my two sisters, my parents and myself were all in one place for Christmas was probably the early ’90s, and that was a random one-time occasion when my oldest sibling briefly lived in Alabama. Upside: I got to pay tribute at Hank Williams’ grave. Downside: I had to spend Christmas in Alabama. But I digress.

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I never had a holiday gathering with my grandparents when they were alive, nor with my array of East Coast cousins, aunts and uncles. Since reaching adulthood, my sisters and I spread out across the states, three different time zones, and while we enjoy visiting each other, none of us embraces the hell of flying during the holidays. So we don’t see each other for Christmas. And you know what? It’s fine. Better than fine. We exchange gifts. We talk on Christmas Day and catch up with each other’s kids. We compare notes on our holiday meal choices. And then we get back to our lives, and the traditions we’ve forged with our own little families.

For me, that means a low-key morning opening presents with my partner, her daughter and sometimes her mother. It means snacking on cinnamon rolls, drinking too much coffee, perhaps mixing in a little NBA action between screenings of A Christmas Story and Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas. There might be nachos. A nap is always good, as is an evening whiskey poured into one of the “good” cocktail glasses. Being a newspaper guy pretty much since the mid-’90s, I’ve worked my share of Christmas Day shifts. I’ve definitely worked more Christmas Eves and day-afters than I’ve had off. Maybe that helps me appreciate the simplicity of a Christmas spent at home with just my immediate family. COVID-19 demands such behavior this year, and I’m happy to oblige. Because even when we’re not in the midst of a pandemic, if I can get away with only wearing pajama pants all day, Christmas is a success. n

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A shining city worth a death-defying drive — sometimes.

Driving Blind One Headlight. No Snow Tires. A New Year’s Eve Journey BY DANIEL WALTERS

38 INLANDER NOVEMBER 26, 2020


N

ew Year’s Eve is the worst. It pours all my least favorite emotions — the ache of yet another 12 months of failure, the yearning for what I can’t have, the weight of the inexorable progression of time, the loneliness of having nobody to kiss at midnight — into single cocktail glass, swirls it around, and adds eggnog. But misery also pushes us to take risks. So on a New Year’s Eve a decade ago, for once in my predictable life, I chose spontaneity. I wanted to break free from the snowglobe of Spokane. I wanted to spend the holiday in Seattle — land of Frasier and Grey’s Anatomy, fish and chips, and traffic jams! On a whim, with no more preparation than Facebook messaging a friend to crash on his apartment floor on New Year’s, I set out on an unexpected journey. My trusty steed? My ’97 Buick LeSabre. I didn’t have snow tires. I had a headlight — but just one. Someone, whether motivated by profit or pure anarchical mischief, ripped the other light from my fender, leaving the automotive equivalent of its optic nerve dangling gruesomely. Prudence would suggest I not drive this car to Seattle. Prudence wasn’t behind the wheel that night. Stubbornness was. When my windshield fogs up and messing with the heater doesn’t fix it, I improvise, rolling

down my side windows and hunching down to navigate through a clear spot near the windshield wipers. I can see emergency flashers flicker faintly through the winter mists — fellow pilgrims who’d also set out to meet the west, but met misfortune. And then it starts to snow. With the semi-truck ahead of me spitting out snow, I try to pass. And there I am: Hands squeezed white on the wheel, shoulders aching from the tension, tires shaking in the fresh snow, flurries whipping past my windshield, 40 tons rumbling on 18-wheels beside me, my night vision lost in headlights glare. In moments like these, all you can do is turn off your targeting computer and hope like hell the force stays with you. You just follow, follow, follow the road to the Emerald City, and hope that your heart and your courage can compensate for your lack of brains. You take a deep breath; you hold it for 500 miles. Finally, the Seattle skyline lit up my horizon, and I could exhale. I did it. I’d Mr. Magoo’ed my way across the entire state. Seattle’s New Year’s Eve celebration, it turns out, was even lamer than Spokane’s. But it hardly mattered. For once, New Year’s felt like a triumph. Some journeys — like some years — are meaningful simply because you’ve survived the trip. n

We are still here for holiday shopping! Let us send your loved ones special gifts from your heart!

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CO

EUR D’ALENE FOR THE

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For a dose of the holiday spirit, take a short drive to Coeur d’Alene, where the Christmas spirit is on full display. More than 1.5 million lights sparkle aside Lake Coeur d’Alene and the largest floating Christmas tree lights up the night. A fleet of merry cruise boats depart every night from the Coeur d’Alene Resort and provide spectacular views of the Holiday Lights display as they journey to Santa’s workshop and more elaborate light displays across the lake. Beverly’s, Dockside and Whispers all offer front row seats to take in the lights or bundle up, grab a hot chocolate and explore the display on foot from the Resort boardwalk or the banks of the lake. This year, a Holiday Marketplace at The Coeur d’Alene Resort Nov. 27-29 will provide a full weekend of holiday cheer showcasing local handcrafted goods, live food and drink demonstrations, a beer garden and a special appearance from Santa. Continue crossing names off your holiday gift list in charming downtown Coeur d’Alene, where more than 100 local shops and restaurants are within easy walking distance. Send a little bit of Idaho to family and friends who can’t join you this year. You’ll find hats, t-shirts and other items showcasing local pride at Escape

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40 INLANDER NOVEMBER 26, 2020

COEUR D’ALENE

Outdoors, the CDA Idaho Clothing Store and Coeur d’Alene Resort Logo Shop. During the entire holiday season, Art Spirit Gallery, the region’s premiere art gallery, is featuring small works by the area’s most-esteemed and emerging local artists — perfect for gift giving. And no visit to the Lake City during the holiday season is complete without a visit to Christmas at the Lake, where a bevy of themed trees will inspire you to deck your halls.

Let It Snow!

With its history of epic snow totals, it’s no wonder that Idaho’s Lookout Pass was the first ski resort in the West to open in midNovember. This holiday weekend, brings the official start of ski season at Silver Mountain Resort. Ride the world’s longest gondola to experience the mountain’s signature glades and bowls, then stay overnight in their vibrant village and soak away any soreness in a hot tub in Silver Rapids Indoor Waterpark. Thanksgiving weekend is also opening weekend at Schweitzer Resort. Some new procedures are in place as a result of COVID-19, so make sure you check out each resort’s website in advance. A Safe Celebration A mask mandate is in place in Coeur d’Alene. Visitors will also notice safety protocols at local shops and events to maximize physical distancing and promote a safe environment,

For more events, things to do & places to stay, go to cdawinter.com

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Holiday Marketplace Nov. 27-29

The first annual Holiday Marketplace will feature local vendors showcasing their handcrafted goods, entertainment, live food and beverage demonstrations, concessions, festive cocktails and a special appearance from the big man himself — Santa Claus! Admission is free and open to the public. Fri 4-6 pm; Sat 9 am-6 pm; Sun 9 am-3 pm; Coeur d’Alene Resort Convention Center.

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Every year, hundreds of magnificent bald eagles return to Lake Coeur d’Alene to feast on Kokanee salmon. View these spectacular eagles up close from the lake aboard a two-hour eaglewatching cruise. For tickets and times, visit cda4.fun.

Taste The Quality

At Rogers we’re committed to serving you Quality!  Our Burgers-We start with fresh 100% vegetarian fed Country Natural Beef. It is

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NOVEMBER NOVEMBER26, 26 2020 INLANDER 43


A Christmas to Forget

A blur can be best.

Sometimes, the best holidays are the ones you don’t remember at all BY WILSON CRICIONE

T

here’s plenty I remember about 2008, the last year I lived in the home of my childhood. I remember high school. I remember going into my senior year hoping that my crush would like me, that I’d make new friends, that I’d be accepted into the college I wanted. I remember my parents losing their jobs. I remember

the whispered conversations they had behind closed doors. I remember being a bad driver. I remember that I backed my mom’s car into a parked truck. I tried to hide it, but there was a dent on the rear bumper the size of a beach ball. I remember my mom’s face when she found out, knowing they didn’t have the money to fix it.

I remember getting a job at Subway. I remember the relief I felt when I no longer needed to ask my parents for money before going out with friends. I remember the stock market crash. I remember the faces and the graphs on the shows that always gave bad news and I had no idea what any of it meant. I remember my parents telling me we would soon

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lose the house. It was the house I had lived my entire life in. I remember feeling angry that we were being forced out because I wanted to leave on my own terms, after I graduated. I remember the presidential election, a sense of hope things would change soon, a feeling that this economic downturn would pass. I remember my mom coming up with a plan for us to give gift cards she’d found to those in need. I remember how she told my older sister and me that in order to receive, we needed to learn how to give. I remember thinking it was dumb — we needed charity.

I remember the sinking feeling that everything was going to change without knowing if it would be for the better. But I don’t remember Christmas. I have an idea of what probably happened. I assume that, one last time, I rushed down the stairs of the home I grew up in and ripped open my presents. I assume that I spent the day watching NBA basketball, and that my mom made a ham for dinner. I assume it was a normal, good Christmas. It had to be, because I don’t have any memory of it. Today, the world is entering the strangest holiday season of my lifetime. Family gatherings are discouraged. People are losing their jobs. Relatives are dying. And I find myself hoping for something most unlikely. I hope that a decade from now, when I look back at 2020, I won’t remember this Christmas at all. n

Support Small and Local - Safely Here we are in the 2020 holiday season, and along with trying to feel that annual glow, we all have a job to do. The Christmas season is when many small, locally owned businesses need to be busy to survive. With new restrictions put in place until at least Dec. 14, that is going to be tricky. Still, there are ways to help keep our economy going while staying safe. It’s going to take a little more effort and attention to detail. For restaurants, the biggest challenge is no indoor dining through Dec. 14, meaning they will have to rely in large part on takeout sales. Many local restaurants have spent the past eight months dialing in their takeout chops, so they are ready to serve you safely. But they need you to step up. Here are some ways you can pitch in: • Buy takeout meals regularly — adopt a local restaurant, or try some new places! • Buy gift cards now for use after the restrictions end — they make great gifts! • Bundle up and, if offered by the restaurant, eat outdoors — it’s fun! • Don’t forget to tip — and if you can afford it, be generous! Local shops will be challenged, too, as their in-store capacity will be limited to 25 percent of normal. Again, our local entrepreneurs and our region’s economic future are counting on you to come through. You’ll need to shop smart this year; here are some tips: • Don’t wait until the last minute — shop early. • Plan your visits for less busy times of day, or days of the week. • If you prefer, take advantage of local shops’ e-commerce options. • Call ahead — your favorite shopkeeper might recommend a great gift without you needing to ever go in the store; many even offer curbside pickup. Wear a mask. Stay six feet apart. Don’t gather indoors. It’s the same advice as ever, but following it is more urgent today as COVID caseloads are spiking and our health care system is struggling to keep up. The best way to get businesses back to being fully open is to flatten the curve, and that’s going to take everyone. Together we can give the 2020 holiday season more meaning than ever — by supporting local businesses safely and keeping our own families healthy ◆ SPONSORED CONTENT

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Crafting through Christmas.

Holidays at Home

CHEY SCOTT PHOTO

Recommendations, recipes and other advice from your favorite Inlander writers

PRETTY PET PRINTS

We really lucked out that our dear cat Dellie (she’s about 9 years old now, and was adopted in 2016) has mostly been a very good girl when it comes to the Christmas tree. To her credit, she’s only broken a single glass ornament. She’d rather sleepily gaze at its warm glow. Near her bed beneath its festooned branches, I always hang a small grouping of ornaments symbolic of her, including a little white mouse and a heart-shaped impression of her paw print. I made a set of salt-dough ornaments with Dellie’s tiny foot impression during her first Christmas with us. Those, along with another set of her predecessor, Maddie, hang in spots of honor on the tree. My childhood cat

46 INLANDER NOVEMBER 26, 2020

BY INLANDER STAFF Alice (she just turned 17!) and my sister’s four-member clowder have also had their sweet feet eternally preserved in rock hard dough. Fellow pet owners should know the hardest part about making salt dough paw print ornaments — you only need three basic ingredients — is getting your pet to cooperate. None of the aforementioned cats were very happy to have their paws handled, so making multiples is key, too. While the steps are simple, options to personalize your pets’ prints are infinite when using paint, glitter, ribbon or permanent markers to decorate. The ornaments themselves should last for untold years; ours show no signs of age — however, you’ll still want to be careful

handling and hanging them as they could shatter or crack if dropped. (CHEY SCOTT)

SALT DOUGH PAW PRINT ORNAMENTS

INGREDIENTS 1/2 cup hot water 1/2 cup salt 1 cup flour

INSTRUCTIONS Mix together water, flour and salt. Knead dough together with your hands until it forms a ball. If it’s too sticky, add some flour. Roll out the dough to about a half-inch thick and


use cookie cutters, cups or a knife to cut out whatever shape you wish that’s big enough to fit your pet’s paws. (I used a vintage heartshaped cookie cutter with scalloped edges.) Gently press your pets’ paw into the center of the ornament to leave an imprint. (Pro tip: Lay your cut-out shapes onto a cookie sheet first and space them out well. If your pet isn’t very thrilled with their role during this step, reward them with a treat afterwards. Don’t force it if they’re not.) Place the paw print shapes on a lined (silicone mat or parchment paper) baking sheet and bake at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 to 3 hours, or until dried out. After cooling and making sure they’re dry, you can decorate and glue loops of ribbon or string to the backs to hang. These handmade ornaments also make great gifts!

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I had kind of forgotten the joy of just taking a walk in the neighborhood in the six years I went without a dog in the house. Often during those six years, I’d hit a treadmill and walk, determined to be at least a little “healthy” no matter what my dietary habits. But let’s face it, treadmills kind of suck, and they certainly don’t encourage interaction with the neighbors. Ever since our family adopted a puppy in May, I’ve been out cruising the neighborhood, often twice each day, and during those walks I’ve met a lot of really nice folks (and other dogs, of course). I’ve enjoyed more morning waves, and more stunning sunrises and sunsets. The country might be divided politically, and that was emphasized by the yard signs seen through the recent campaign season. But there’s something nice about seeing a Trump sign next to a Biden sign. And it will be even nicer to see all those signs replaced by Christmas lights and inflatable Rudolphs and Frostys. (DAN NAILEN) ...MORE RECOMMENDATIONS

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Holidays at Home

DANIEL’S MOM’S CHOCOLATE NO-BAKES RECIPE

I’ve had your no-bake cookies, and I’m just going to be honest here: They kind of suck. I pretend I like them because I’m polite, but I can’t keep up the charade any longer. But don’t worry. I’m going to share an old secret family no-bake recipe (that my mom stole from a college roommate who literally had the nickname “Cocoa Chris”) that will blow your sawdust-dry embarrassments out of the water.

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INGREDIENTS 2 cups of granulated sugar 1/2 cup of butter 1/2 cup of milk 1/3 cup of cocoa powder 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter 3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal

DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO

INSTRUCTIONS Mix together sugar, butter, milk and cocoa powder. Bring the mixture to a soft boil, stirring and adjusting the heat for exactly three minutes. (Be very precise, because here’s where your cookies could go off the rails. Boil too long and you’ll just have chocolate granola. Boil too little and you’ll have a big gooey blob that refuses to become a cookie no matter how much you yell at it.) Remove from the heat, mix in vanilla and peanut butter. (Warning: Peanut butter may contain peanuts.) Finally mix in the oatmeal and plop the mix onto wax paper a teaspoon at a time. Stick it in the fridge until they’re firm enough for you to eat them all in one sitting. (DANIEL WALTERS)


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Krampus

SCREEN SHARE

There’s always that moment on Christmas when everyone hits a proverbial wall and ends up sitting around the TV, watching whatever old movie or animated holiday special happens to be on. Consider programming your own miniChristmas film festival for such an occasion, but do your best to avoid the obvious choices. That means no It’s a Wonderful Life, no Love Actually, no Rudolphs or Jack Skellingtons or John McClanes. Try a Christmas-set horror movie with the silly scares of Krampus (2015) or the slasher classic Black Christmas (1974). Go the so-bad-it’s-good route with one of several Christmas-themed episodes of the cult movie-riffing series Mystery Science Theater 3000 — perhaps the demented Mexican family film Santa Claus, or the sci-fi kitsch of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. The comic thriller The Nice Guys (2016) sets its tale of noirish intrigue in the days leading up to Christmas, as does Stanley Kubrick’s erotic brain-twister Eyes Wide Shut (1999). Whatever weird stuff you choose, set up a Zoom hangout, share your screen and freak out your friends. (NATHAN WEINBENDER)

SUPPORT FOR THE GWORLS

Where did the party go? Oh right… Well, in a normal year, For the Gworls, a mutual aid organization founded by Asanni Armon, would be hosting huge parties to raise money for Black transgender people’s rent and gender-affirming surgeries. While COVID has changed the restrictions on parties, Black transgender people still need community support and rent assistance. If you’re looking for places to extend your holiday giving spirit, consider providing financial sponsorship to this excellent program. All donations made at forthegworls.party are secure and tax-deductible. Make clicking the donation button your own, personal party with photos from past events for inspiration for your outfit. Put a feather boa on your cat, pour yourself a glass of champagne, and give what you can. Or, place a donation in a loved one’s name as a holiday gift. (LAUREN GILMORE) ...MORE RECOMMENDATIONS

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The best thing you can do this winter — and really, any time of the year — is to go outside and look at some damn birds. It’s an excuse to get outside, where you can worry less about that virus that seems to be going around. In particular, go to Wolf Lodge Bay at Lake Coeur d’Alene this December and witness one of the Inland Northwest’s most awesome annual

WILSON CRISCIONE PHOTO

traditions: hundreds of bald eagles swarming the lake to feed on the abundance of spawning kokanee salmon. You know how you get that flutter of excitement when, out of the corner of your eye, you see an eagle flying above your head? Sure you do. Well, here in the winter, eagles will be all around you doing things that eagles do. They will soar above your head. They will dive for fish. They will look down at you from a tree and contemplate tearing your eyes out. It’s quite the rush! (WILSON CRISCIONE) n

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C

OVID is the perfect cover for people like me: no kids, small family (getting smaller) and an inner circle stretched across time zones. An iconoclast, I usually give gifts when I feel like it, not when the calendar decrees. And I’m happy to putter at home. Alone. (Thankful I’m not stuck in any number of past relationships.) But to travel or get together in large groups? Not likely; not this year, although I wasn’t always this way. Coast-to-coast on the redeye into snowstorms that shut down the Eastern Seaboard in December, midnight Mass and Polish pierogi for dinner, or my aunt and uncle’s basement for her lasagna and meatballs regardless of the date: Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas. Been there, done that. Roasted chestnuts at Rockefeller Center and Times Square when the ball drops, but also sledding on the farm and offthe-grid holidays at a friend’s lake cabin. Festive parties from high heels and black velvet to dive bars and whatever I wore to work that day. Gift exchanges. Friendsgiving potlucks. Volunteering to serve food. Did all that. For many years, I made everything: gift cards, ornaments, house decorations, huge meals

for other people’s families. I stayed busy avoiding the discomfort that holidays increasingly engendered, all those forced intimacies and focus on material abundance — a rebuke to my cactus-like persona. All told, I’ve rarely done holidays the same year-to-year, the consumption of turkey dinner notwithstanding. My tradition, if you can call it that, is to be untraditional. This year, I’ll call/text/email/Facetime/Skype/ Zoom loved ones, using the cover of COVID to bypass banal topics for substantive things that need to be said “just in case.” I’ll give gifts from local artists and businesses, a win-win that appeals to my pragmatic side. And I’ll spend time in the studio, my gift to myself. This year, however, I won’t have to hedge when someone asks my plans. I don’t have to go anywhere, couldn’t if I wanted to, and can’t (won’t) feel bad about it. Besides, I’m not alone this year; I’m in good company with much of humanity hunkering down, hoping for better tidings next year, and looking to improve things in our respective arenas. United by hope, facing fears head on, spreading kindness (not COVID) in whatever small way we can. Sounds like a good tradition to me. n


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Home for the Holidays After years of holiday indifference, I’m dreaming of a familiar Christmas BY NATHAN WEINBENDER

I

have never been much of a Christmas person. I’ve never put up my own Christmas tree. I’ve never once turned on Pandora’s Christmas music station. I’ve never gotten all that much joy out of jingling bells or roasting chestnuts on an open fire. Sure, I looked forward to the season when I was kid, but that was strictly because of the presents, which were typically ripped from their wrapping paper before the sun had gone down on Dec. 24. As an adult, the only thing I particularly like about this time of year is finally rescuing my thrift store sweaters from the back of the closet. I guess eggnog is pretty good, too. It helps, then, that I married someone who shares my antipathy toward the alleged most wonderful time of the year. My wife’s birthday happens to fall on Christmas Day, which means she’s had to contend with sharing a special day

We’re suddenly longing for a normal Thanksgiving dinner. with Baby Jesus for years now. It’s a curse (an admittedly minor one) that Christmas babies everywhere understand: Your friends are too busy with their own family stuff to celebrate your actual birthday, and you usually have to contend with your birthday presents getting thrown in with all your Christmas presents, as if they’re somehow interchangeable. The horror! Even so, we nonetheless get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays: Either we’re traveling to California to visit her family, or we’re scrambling around the kitchen to make a dish to bring to dinner at my parents’ house in Spokane. Or we’re pushing through crowds at a downtown retail store because we’re participating in a gift exchange that we’ve put off until the last possible minute. This year, though, we’re both really going to miss Christmas. Obviously the holiday itself will come and go, but the traditional idea of Christmas isn’t a reality in 2020. My family has already made plans to gather over Zoom and cook Thanksgiving dinner in our respective kitchens, and we’ll play some virtual party games on Christmas. It’ll be fun, but it won’t be the same. I know it’s the right thing to do — even small indoor gatherings can be dangerous — but it’s still a tough call to make. And just like that, I’m suddenly longing for Christmas — for the comfort of gathering in a living room after eating my weight in mashed potatoes, of emptying my stocking while a football game buzzes on TV in the background, of drinking one too many beers while fumbling to put together my newest electronic gadget. All it took was an unparalleled pandemic and a statewide quarantine for my Grinch heart to finally grow three sizes. But better late than never. n

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Tidings of Comfort and Joy Getting into the Christmas spirit super early is helping curb this winter’s drear and the pandemic blues BY CHEY SCOTT

I +

t began to look a lot like Christmas in our little house four weeks ago when I decorated the tree the earliest ever. Based on plenty of friends’ social media posts, I’m not the only (or even the first) tree decorator to give the holiday season an extra early jumpstart this year. 2020 has been one heck of a trial, and we’re doing our darndest to scrounge up joy anywhere and everywhere we can. For me, that’s being able to enjoy my sparkling (artificial) Christmas tree as much as possible, an easily attainable goal since I never leave the house anymore. Each time I round the corner from the office, its beacon of warm light and color emits a little jolt of joy, propelling me

through the next hour, another day. As someone who’s been taking the pandemic’s restrictions deeply seriously since March, it feels good to rebel in some small way, joining the ranks of those people who start into Christmas well before Thanksgiving has begun. Growing up, we were under strict protocol not to put up the tree until the day after Thanksgiving. It always came down on New Year’s Eve. Now in my own house with my own holiday rules (and a partner who, frankly, wouldn’t care if the tree stayed up year-round if it made me happy), I’m able to fully and rebelliously embrace my Christmas tree obsession. The same day I decorated the tree, I began listening to one of many holiday playlists, a

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Is pre-Thanksgiving Christmas decorating allowed? It is in this house. mostly instrumental mix of classical carols and choir arrangements. A few favorites include “The Holly and the Ivy” and “Coventry Carol” performed by the King’s College Choir. I can also listen to the Nutcracker Suite (the George Balanchine/New York City Ballet Orchestra version) on repeat nonstop for weeks. Soon I’ll break out the Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Bing Crosby and Ella Fitzgerald holiday mixes. (It’s best to ease in with Christmas music so as to avoid burnout over the long haul.) While we avoid cozy-scented candles due

to our long-haired cat, who has access to almost all horizontal surfaces in the house, I’m also so basic now that I can’t do Christmastime without Bath & Body Works’ air freshener plug-ins in the “Winter” scent. The matching hand soap in the bathroom, too. (I dread the day it’s discontinued.) Christmas is unquestionably hampered by the global pandemic in myriad ways this year, but the virus absolutely cannot — will not — dim the holiday’s scents, sights and sounds for me. Instead, it’s done the opposite. n

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BY LAUREN GILMORE

I

t’s morbid, but I keep thinking: My dad would have loved this version of the holidays. When he was alive, my dad liked old movies and jazz and smoking Camels while wandering around Browne’s Addition. At night, his insomniac brain kept him on the couch rewatching noir commentaries and documentaries about Nazi Germany until the caffeine shakes wore off, or were replaced with the heavy exhaustion that bled from one day to the next like a lingering shadow. He did not like the holidays. Something about the stiff formality and pressured photographs of joy and long, heavily choreographed meals made him even more anxious than usual. At Christmas, we piled into my Grandma Rain’s little living room on Five Mile Prairie, and the youngest of us, my brother and I, would deliver gifts to each family member’s chair. We opened in order from youngest to oldest. Uncles argued about their ages. Cousins laid on the floor, tossing crumpled up wrapping paper toward the ceiling, playing catch with the air. Everyone talked about the weather, how incompetent Bush was, my grandfather’s garden. We ate too much and played cards and drank tea; those

rituals seemed like they would never end. When I was 15, my dad lost his lifetime battle against chemical dependencies. Shortly after, both my grandparents died, then an uncle. Pockets of family members started their own little traditions, and it’s morbid, but I keep thinking, this would have been the year my dad’s holiday dreams came true. Everyone stays home. It doesn’t matter when you wake up, what you wear, how long it takes you to eat. No mandatory music or thrift store gifts cinched together with newspaper and twine. My dad was morally opposed to owning a computer, so he wouldn’t be on Zoom for any of this. Since I can’t see him anyway, I like to imagine he’s out there, celebrating in his own way: watching a seasonally inappropriate horror movie, eating undercooked freezer cookies instead of handmade pies. This year, I’m thinking a lot about loss. Not just mine, but the many, many deaths that punctuate each new set of COVID restrictions. Just in this country, a loss the size of the entire population of Spokane. This winter, I will be toasting to them, all the missing voices that never quite wrapped comfortably around a Christmas carol. They are still singing. n


keep washing your hands. (it's icky not to!)

NOVEMBER 26, 2020 INLANDER 57


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CULTURE | DIGEST

YOUNG KWAK PHOTO

Bad Apples THIS IS FORTY I didn’t know the name Radha Blank a couple weeks ago, but now that I’ve seen her debut feature, I’m a big fan. She not only wrote and directed The Forty-Year-Old Version (now on Netflix) but stars in it as a fictionalized version of herself, a once-promising playwright at the tail end of her 30s. As she navigates the institutional racism and microaggressions of the art world, she looks on helplessly as her newest work is compromised to cater toward white audiences, all while dabbling in the world of underground hip-hop. Shot in black-and-white in New York City, Version channels the livewire energy and scrappy style of early Spike Lee, and it announces the arrival of an exciting new voice in independent film. (NATHAN WEINBENDER)

C

BY DAN NAILEN

ougar and Husky fans, I can feel your pain. The cancellation of this year’s Apple Cup, the first time the game won’t be played since a World War II-induced pause in 1943 and 1944, is a gut punch for college football fans looking forward to a sense of some normalcy the day after Thanksgiving. Now you’re left to shop Black Friday online and maybe watch the Oregon-Oregon State “Civil War” game while you chow down on leftovers. COVID-19 cancellations have become commonplace during this strange sporting year, and while clearly real tragedies happen every day due to this disease that’s killed roughly 260,000 in the United States and 1.4 million worldwide, the loss of a rivalry game right now is just another steaming load added to a seemingly endless stream of shit that is 2020. The fact this is the first cancellation since America was off fighting the Nazis (remember when Americans fought Nazis?) shows how significant a moment we’re

THE BUZZ BIN

THIS WEEK’S PLAYLIST Some noteworthy new music hits online and in stores Nov. 27. To wit: BILLIE JOE ARMSTRONG, No Fun Mondays. The Green Day singer has been knocking out some pandemic pop cover tunes by the Bangles, the Clash and more. MILEY CYRUS, Plastic Hearts. Speaking of covers, Cyrus includes cuts by Blondie and Cranberries on her latest. SMASHING PUMPKINS, Cyr. If you’re wondering if we need a new double album from Billy Corgan and Co., the answer is “probably not.” (DAN NAILEN)

living through. I often question why colleges across the country were hell-bent on playing football in the midst of a pandemic (TV money, duh), but I understand that the players want to play and the coaches want to coach. That’s the “normal” for them, and they’re navigating this year just like we fans, grasping at anything positive we can. And yes, playing a football game can be that positive thing for many. This year’s Apple Cup was shaping up to be more interesting than the last several years, when former WSU coach Mike Leach would routinely get crushed by UW-led Chris Petersen. This year, both the Cougs and Huskies have new head coaches after Petersen retired and Leach got lured away by Mississippi State (see, 2020 isn’t all bad). Now the Cougs are led by Nick Rolovich, who brought a fun style of offense from Hawaii, and the Huskies are led by Jimmy Lake, a North Central High School grad. Rarely do you get two new coaches starting jobs at rival schools at the same time, so this Apple Cup had a little added intrigue. My alma mater, the University of Utah, has a rivalry game every year against BYU, and it also took a pause during World War II. Then, due to conference realignments (money-driven, of course), the so-called “Holy War” was interrupted for 2014 and 2015. For a rabid fan, it was like a year without Christmas — albeit a Christmas with a lot of swearing, drinking and missionary jokes. Thankfully, the teams made a deal to continue their series that goes back to 1896. But, naturally, it’s not happening this year. There’s some talk of trying to reschedule the Apple Cup for later this weird year. That offers some hope for fans, but like most things in 2020, don’t bet the house on it. n

BRAKE FOR THIS BOOK It’s not news that lurking in many comedians’ hearts is a darkness belying the laughter. Denver-based comedian Sam Tallent does a remarkable job uncovering that darkness in the protagonist of his novel, Running The Light. His Billy Ray Schafer is complex, turning a misspent youth and prison sentence into a meteoric comedy career. In Running The Light, the reader joins Schafer on the downhill slide toward irrelevance, working third-tier markets and trying to reconnect with his kids and ex-wife through a haze of drugs and booze. Tallent reveals the heart as well as the darkness in Schafer, and in doing so also delivers an eye-opening look at the life of a road comic. (DAN NAILEN)

MAN (NOT) ON THE MOON My only complaint about new comedy miniseries Moonbase 8, streaming via Showtime, is that its first season is a mere six short-but-sweet episodes. Starring the hilarious all-star trifecta of Fred Armisen, Tim Heidecker and John C. Reilly, the show follows astronauts hoping to be selected for a lunar mission after a trial run at NASA’s “Moonbase 8” in the Arizona desert. Hijinks ensue, including when the crew encounters a super-hip team of millennials working nearby for SpaceX, and have a Cliven Bundy-esque showdown with guntoting cattle ranchers. (CHEY SCOTT)

DARING DESTRUCTION I May Destroy You is an intense journey about a sexual assault survivor’s trip through trauma and recovery, and it’s a testament to the incredible skills of show writer and star Michaela Coel that it works so well. As young London novelist Arabella, Coel manages to tackle issues involving race, class, social media and gender politics all through Arabella’s bumpy ride, and she makes that trip at turns hilarious and horrifying. The pilot makes this HBO streamer seem like a Memento-style show about cobbling together the shards of memory from a blackout assault, but I May Destroy You turns out to be so much more. (DAN NAILEN)

NOVEMBER 26, 2020 INLANDER 59


FailSafe for Life president and founder Sabrina Votava

YOUNG KWAK PHOTO

MENTAL HEALTH

SERVICE INDUSTRY

SAFETY NET Local nonprofits team up to provide critical mental health resources to the hard-hit hospitality industry BY CHEY SCOTT

T

he coming weeks could be an incredibly dark time for hospitality industry workers, compounding what has already been a profoundly challenging year. The holiday and post-holiday season is already considered a high risk period for mental health crises and substance abuse among restaurant workers. Experts are now worried how this trend, paired with lasting, high stress caused by the pandemic and another round of layoffs as Washington restaurants cease dine-in service through at least Dec. 14, will disproportionately impact an already vulnerable population. Before Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s shutdown order issued Nov. 15, restaurant employment in the state was down about 27 percent compared to pre-pandemic figures, according to the Washington Hospitality Association. Nationally, unemployment in the food service sector

60 INLANDER NOVEMBER 26, 2020

is hovering around 38 percent based on data from the “With the current restrictions and changes, and National Restaurant Association. the likeliness of depression and anxiety and upticks of With all of these concerns front of mind, two Sposuicide, that is all hitting right about now in this area,” kane-based organizations recently teamed up to help raise says Chris Deitz, city director for Big Table Spokane. awareness and offer support. Big “When you put those two things Table, a nonprofit offering yeartogether, it becomes this combinaround aid to hospitality workers tion of heartache, of people in the SEEK HELP in crisis, and suicide prevention industry who have already been on If you are contemplating ending your nonprofit FailSafe for Life have the margins for so long figuring out life, these crisis lines are staffed 24 compiled several resources for what to do next.” hours. If you are facing an immediate restaurants, accessible at Big Unprecedented physical and emergency, call 911. Table’s website, big-table.com/ emotional isolation caused by the hope. FailSafe is also hosting pandemic as more people are stuck National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: two upcoming online workshops in their homes, both those working 1-800-273-8255; or text 741741 (both open to the general public) there or those who’ve been laid off, on how to spot signs of suicide is yet another layer of increased risk. Inland Northwest Behavioral Health in others and take action. 24/7 crisis line: 509-992-1888 ...continued on page 62


providence.org/staysafewa

This holiday season will be different, yes. Still, we wish you and yours a healthy and peaceful season, and look forward to what we hope will be a better new year. NOVEMBER 26, 2020 INLANDER 61


FOOD | MENTAL HEALTH “SERVICE INDUSTRY SAFETY NET,” CONTINUED...

What can you give this week? VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES LETTER WRITERS WANTED - THE ANGEL CARD PROJECT Loneliness at Christmas has always been an issue, but the worldwide pandemic has increased the number of people struggling with isolation and desolation. The founders of The Angel Card Project felt it was important to find a way to reach out to those in need this year. The organization encourages volunteers to sign up to write as many cards as they wish from a database of lonely individuals, nominated by the public. These could be elderly people, alone because of the pandemic, army veterans or simply people who have fallen on hard times and found themselves without a support network. The intention is to send love, one Christmas card at a time. To sign up, all you have to do is put your name and email into the Angel Card website and you’ll be contacted. theangelcardproject.com/volunteer-to-send-cards

DONATE Gift and Book Drive

- BENEFITING THE CHILDREN’S VILLAGE AND BOOKS FOR TOTS Every year, the Hagadone Marine Group teams up with the community to gather gifts for a local nonprofit organization. This year, Hagadone Marine is hosting a gift drive benefiting the Children’s Village as well as a book drive for Books for Tots. This is a great way to make sure the holiday spirit reaches every child in our Coeur d’Alene community. Hagadone has set up three Children’s Village trees in its lobby and decorated them with an ornament tag that includes a child’s gender and age range and an item they need or want. Grab the tag, purchase the item, and then simply return it unwrapped by Dec. 10. Shop in person or online at The Well Read Moose, and you’ll get a 20 percent discount on your book donations using the code BFT20.

Blood Donors - VITALANT During the holidays, blood donations can drop by as much as 25 percent. Donors are needed now to ensure hospital patients have the blood they need so they have a chance to celebrate with loved ones. To show their appreciation to blood donors who give Nov. 25 to Dec. 1, Vitalant is offering a $5 Amazon gift card or 200 reward points at their donor store. Donation appointments must be made in advance. Register to donate online. vitalant.org

EVENTS/BENEFITS Wishes & Wine Virtual Event - THE WISHING STAR FOUNDATION Wishes & Wine is an annual fundraising event benefiting the Wishing Star foundation. This year the event has gone virtual, but guests will still enjoy live music, a live auction and great wine. The excitement begins at 6:30 pm on Dec. 5 with the live music by the Chris Austin Martinez band out of Houston, Texas. Chris has worked with music industry greats like Willie Nelson and Toby Keith. The auction begins at 7 pm and includes exclusive items like an African safari, a handcrafted wine bar and several “staycations.” Admission to Wishes & Wine is free, but guests are asked to register online. Wishing Star is offering a special VIP experience for $50, which includes a bottle of Arbor Crest wine and two Wishing Star wine glasses. Wishing Star supports local children who are battling a terminal or life-threatening illness. wishingstar.org/wishes-wine

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62 INLANDER NOVEMBER 26, 2020

“I think that is one of the biggest parts of this — people feel isolated,” says Karri Szymanski, Big Table’s communications director. “They have lost their purpose and employment, and they have no community, because that was their community when they were working.” The partnership’s debut was aptly timed with Washington’s recent shutdown order due to COVID-19 cases skyrocketing around the state and nation. The collaborative efforts began months ago, in part prompted by the recent death of a high-profile local chef, which Big Table believes was “a death of despair,” a phrase often used to refer to suicide. “Now we have a second layoff, with no increased unemployment or [a second] Paycheck Protection Program to try and bridge that gap,” says Jill Lemon, Big Table’s associate executive director. “I was just at Azteca [before the shutdown] and my server was the supervisor, and he said, ‘Thanks for coming in the last night we’re open. I have to decide tonight who I’m laying off and who I’m keeping on.’”

B

ig Table has seen record demand this year for its services, which mostly include direct financial assistance for hospitality workers struggling to put food on the table, pay rent or face other hardships. Most recipients are directly referred to the organization by their peers, and nearly all of 2020’s requests for aid are linked to the pandemic. In addition to its Spokane headquarters, Big Table operates branches in Seattle and San Diego. “Overall, our care referrals are up 413 percent year over year,” Szymanski says. “That is significant and that is across three cities. The growth is exponential in all of them.” As crises for dining industry workers have continued to intensify as the pandemic wears on, Big Table reached out to FailSafe for Life for help to educate local restaurant employees to spot warning signs of suicide and other mental health problems among their peers. An eight-minute video on Big Table’s website features FailSafe president and founder Sabrina Votava and Big Table Executive Director Kevin Finch in conversation about how to start a supportive conversation with loved ones, colleagues or neighbors who might be suffering. “The keys I would really want someone to take from any sort of education around suicide prevention is to not disregard someone as not having thoughts of suicide for whatever reason,” Votava says. “Any one of us can come to the point of being in crisis, and if you notice signs it’s important to step in and ask questions, and to ask if they are having thoughts of ending their life.” Big Table’s “Mental Health First Aid” landing page also offers other industry-specific resources such as a printable mental health check-in tool that restaurant managers or owners can put in break rooms for daily emotional wellness check-ins. Community members not directly connected to the hospitality industry can help, too, Big Table’s leaders say. Order takeout in the coming weeks and tip well, or consider making a donation to the nonprofit’s direct support fund. “We’re all going through the grinder,” Deitz says, “but knowing this population has already been on the frontline and has taken the brunt of it already, for us to go in as customers, we can shower love and say, ‘Hey, we’re here. We see you.’” n cheys@inlander.com

QPR GATEKEEPER TRAINING QPR stands for “question, persuade, refer,” the three steps that can help prevent suicide. FailSafe for Life founder Sabrina Votava is leading two free online workshops to educate others to recognize warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to refer someone for help. Upcoming sessions: Mon, Nov. 30 from 2-4 pm and Wed, Dec. 16 from 10 am-noon. Both free sessions will be held online. Register at failsafeforlife.org.


FOOD | COVID-19

FOOD | TO GO BOX

Cran in a Can Dry Fly launches new holiday-themed canned cocktail; plus Up North Distilling debuts whiskey BY CHEY SCOTT

J Osprey Restaurant’s patio has heaters and fire pits to keep guests warm.

Braving the Cold

YOUNG KWAK PHOTO

More heated outdoor dining options open around Inland Northwest as indoor dining is prohibited BY SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL

“W

ell, here we go again” was the resounding message from Inland Northwest restaurants as they took to social media last week to update customers on their winter plans now that indoor dining is once again prohibited. Through at least Dec. 14, indoor dining and drinking won’t be allowed in Washington as Gov. Jay Inslee reinstated restrictions on indoor activities to reduce the growing spread of COVID-19. But restaurants and bars are expanding on the creative solutions many of them came up with this summer to encourage more diners to safely enjoy a meal together outdoors. Limited outdoor dining with good airflow and no more than five people per table is allowed under the orders, which means many places are keeping their patios open for those willing to brave the cold. Igloos, pods or tents can stay open if windows and doors remain open while people are inside and ample sanitation is provided between groups. Enclosed outdoor structures should not use carbon monoxide-producing heating, like propane, and have adequate airflow. Here’s a list of outdoor patios where you can still get that in-person meal or beverage service (it’s impossible to capture every place that’s open, but we tried to include a variety). n NORTH SPOKANE Prohibition Gastropub The Flying Goat Bigfoot Pub and Eatery 5 North Brewing Company Jackson St. Bar and Grill Happy Trails to Brews

EAST SPOKANE Checkerboard Taproom Red Wheel No-Li Brewhouse SOUTH SPOKANE South Perry Pizza Luna Press Perry Street Brewing Remedy Kitchen and Tavern

ust ahead of the Thanksgiving weekend, Dry Fly Distilling added another premixed, canned cocktail to its growing lineup. The Hooked on the Holidays Spice Cranberry debuted Nov. 20, and is available for purchase at the distillery’s tasting room in east Spokane, at 1003 E. Trent Ave. The tasting room remains open for retail purchases, but the bar there remains closed under current COVID-19 restrictions. Retail hours at the tasting room are Monday through Wednesday from noon to 4 pm and Thursday through Saturday from noon to 6 pm. The new, 12-ounce spice cranberry cocktail features Dry Fly’s signature vodka and measures in at 5.7 percent alcohol by volume. Other drinks in the Cocktails on the Fly line include huckleberry lemonade, Moscow mule, spicy lemonade, and gin and tonic, all of which can often be found at local grocers in addition to Dry Fly’s headquarters.

LOCAL CHEF WINS BIG IN NATIONAL PIZZA COMPETITION

Spokane’s Ricky Webster has done it again. Last week he was named the grand prize winner of the second annual Real California Pizza Competition, taking home a total prize package of $15,000. The chef and owner of the newly opened west downtown bakery and cheese shop Rind & Wheat entered his version of pizza homage to San Francisco, made with a sourdough crust topped with white clams, fennel, potato, bacon, onions and garlic. In addition to taking home the grand prize for his pie, dubbed “The Wharf,” Webster also took first place in the “Real Californian” category. The national, annual competition is organized by the California Milk Advisory Board. More at pizzacontest. realcaliforniamilk.com.

SPOKANE VALLEY / LIBERTY LAKE True Legends Grill Millwood Brewing Co. Charlie P’s Stormin’ Norman’s Shipfaced Saloon DOWNTOWN Osprey Restaurant Globe Bar and Kitchen Borracho Taco and Tequileria Brick West Brewing Browne’s Bistro Pacific Ave Pizza Davenport Grand Bark, A Rescue Pub (coming soon) Saranac Public House Nectar Wine and Beer (coming soon) Veraci Spokane CHENEY Wild Bill’s Longbar PULLMAN Merry Cellars

UP NORTH DISTILLERY LAUNCHES FIRST WHISKEY; WINS AWARDS FOR OTHER SPIRITS

DEREK HARRISON PHOTO

The Post Falls distillery recently launched its first whiskey, a North Idaho single malt, after several years waiting for the spirit to barrel age. The whiskey is made from malted Northwest barley, and customers can sample the new release at the distillery’s tasting room at 846 N. Boulder Court in Post Falls, where bottles from the first batch are also for sale. In addition to the long-awaited launch, Up North has other good news to share: It was awarded several medals at the Best of the Northwest Spirits Competition, hosted by Seattle-based Sip Northwest Magazine. Up North’s apple brandy took home a double gold, while its barrel-aged apple brandy took silver. The distillery was also awarded a double gold and a gold for its honey spirits. Up North was in good company alongside two other local distilleries in the region that took home awards in the annual competition, Dry Fly Distilling (gold for its gin) and Warrior Liquor (double gold for its peanut butter cup whiskey). n

NOVEMBER 26, 2020 INLANDER 63


ANNIVERSARY

Days of Kevin Released 30 years ago this month, Home Alone tapped into childhood fantasies to become a Christmas classic BY NATHAN WEINBENDER

I

t’s every kid’s fantasy: Your parents leave the house and let you stay behind, and you have the entire place to yourself. You can watch whatever you want on TV, you don’t have to pick up after yourself, and you can order as much pizza as your adolescent heart desires. Home Alone, released 30 years ago this month, channeled those childhood fantasies into a predictable family-friendly package, and in doing so, it became one of the most successful movie comedies of all time. Written by John Hughes, who was coming off such sacred Gen X texts as The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the film centers on the precocious Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin), who’s left at home while his massive extended family hops on a Paris-bound plane. It’s a free-for-all at first, but then two crooks known as the Wet Bandits (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) show up, taking advantage of the empty neighborhood and robbing houses. They meet their match in little Kevin, who reveals himself to be a mini sadist as he sets up a series of hilariously elaborate booby traps to take them out. Meanwhile, Kevin’s harried mother (the great Catherine O’Hara) tries desperately to get home in the midst of the Christmastime travel rush. It would be an understatement to call Home Alone a commercial success. Opening the week before Thanksgiving 1990, it topped the American box office for 12 straight weeks and remained in the top 10 until April of the following year. Culkin, who had stolen scenes in Hughes’ Uncle Buck, became an instant superstar. Director Chris Columbus, whose biggest hit prior to Home Alone was 1987’s Adventures in Babysitting, would go on to more blockbusters, including Mrs. Doubtfire and the first couple Harry Potter films. Like just about every ’90s kid, I loved Home Alone when I was a part of its target audience. I aspired to be as resourceful as Kevin McCallister. I was jealous of his collection of gadgets. I wondered if I would be as capable in a similar situation. I related to the fact that, despite being the most intrepid kid in all of cinema, he was still afraid of the boiler in the basement. Home Alone’s popularity, of course, demanded a sequel. 1992’s Home Alone 2: Lost in New York found Kevin getting separated from his family again, this time in the Big Apple, where he uses his father’s credit card to book a suite at the Plaza Hotel (then owned by Donald Trump, who famously makes a cameo). It’s the same movie, albeit in a different city. Kevin is left behind, manages to elude capture by using his wits, encounters a creepy adult who turns

64 INLANDER NOVEMBER 26, 2020

out to be friendly (in this case, Oscar winner Brenda Fricker as a Central Park pigeon lady), inexplicably crosses paths with Pesci and Stern again, slapstick violence ensues, etc. Lost in New York was, predictably, a big hit, but it grossed a fraction of the original’s take (its domestic gross was $173 million compared with the first film’s $285 million). It simply couldn’t eclipse its predecessor. Hughes continued to ape Home Alone’s success for the rest of his career, pivoting from teen films to more kid-centric fare and regurgitating his own formula multiple times: His scripts for Beethoven, Dennis the Menace and Baby’s Day Out all featured scrappy tykes outsmarting bumbling crooks. Surely it was kids who drove Home Alone’s enduring box office success in the first place, though a number of grown-up critics at the time of its release were baffled by its success. When Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert reviewed the film on their popular TV show, they panned the movie and suggested it would have been better if it had been a whole lot more realistic. A few months later, they’d revisit the film to examine the movie’s unexpected popularity. “We’re living in troubled times right now,” Ebert suggested, “and Home Alone offers the exact opposite of the headlines on the news.” How often have you heard that exact sentiment during the hellscape that is 2020? And yet Home Alone doesn’t really work for me as an adult. In fact, I now agree with Siskel and Ebert: The burglar scenes, the parts I enjoyed most when I was a kid, are more painful than funny, as a psychotic Joe Pesci has a swinging paint can smashing into his face. It’s filled with maddening implausibilities, too: You’re telling me that the police were notified about a little white boy living alone in a giant suburban house and they essentially just leave him be? But it’s that sense of wish fulfillment — the idea that you, as an 8-year-old, could function as your own babysitter — that made Home Alone such a sensation in the first place, and why it’s still a touchstone for millennials. It’s a movie for kids that happens to be written with kid logic. n


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f you call yourself an Inlander, you need to know the stories. Do you remember those ancient ivory tusks pulled from a farm down on the Palouse? What happened after fur trappers set up their first trading post on the Spokane River? Or how a local basketball team captivated the nation? What about “The Biggest Thing That Man Has Ever Done”? A World’s Fair? Those are just a few of the tales that define the rich history of the Inland Northwest — stories that were first retold in the pages of the Inlander newspaper starting in 1993. In Inlander Histories, you’ll meet Nell Shipman, the silent film star who launched her own studio on the shores of Priest Lake. You’ll hop a flight over Mt. St. Helens on a particularly memorable day. And you’ll learn how Walt Worthy kept the dream of Louis Davenport alive in downtown Spokane. Noted local historians Jack Nisbet, Robert Carriker and William Stimson join Inlander staff writers, including Sheri Boggs, Andrew Strickman and Mike Bookey, to take you on a tour of some of the most important moments in the region’s past. Collected together for the first time, Inlander Histories pieces together the tapestry of Eastern Washington and North Idaho culture, creating a rare document of life in the “inland” part of this corner of the continent. $14.95

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On Inlander Stands Now! NOVEMBER 26, 2020 INLANDER 65


ROOTS

The

Deep Cuts Country-rock pioneer Dave Alvin talks life off the road and his first solo album in 11 years BY DAN NAILEN CHIP DUDEN PHOTO

D

ave Alvin last visited Spokane in the summer of 2016 on one of his Roots on the Rails tours. The roots-rock legend would gather a bunch of ace musicians, hop on a set of vintage train cars and barrel around the country performing shows both on the tracks and in cities along the way. At the Spokane show, Alvin and friends memorably had to hotfoot it from the Flour Mill basement to the train station, risking missing their “all aboard!” call for the sake of one more tune for a room full of folks who love Alvin’s blend of rock, folk, country and blues. Sadly, the economics of Amtrak later made Roots on the Rails a cherished memory rather than an ongoing affair. “It’s strange in this year of COVID-19, of no gigs for musicians,” Alvin tells the Inlander from his Southern California home. “I miss playing live. I miss touring. I miss being in the band. But I really miss the trains.” “I’m going to sound a little railroad-cosmic here,” he continues with a laugh. “On the long runs, you would get into a transcendental state because you’re seeing all these places that you’ve been to before, St. Louis or Chicago or Oakland, but you’re seeing them differently. You’re seeing them from a different point of view. And there was a cocoon element. It was just so relaxing. Then you go play music all night.” While those train tours were typically just a few weeks long, Alvin is one of the true road dogs in American music. He tours constantly, as a solo artist and on projects with other musicians. The COVID-forced closure of the music industry marks a serious lifestyle

66 INLANDER NOVEMBER 26, 2020

change for the guy who formed his band the Blasters with his brother Phil nearly a half-century ago. “I remember the night in 1980, the Blasters, we borrowed a van, and we lined up gigs in Texas, Louisiana and Georgia, and we went on our first road trip,” Alvin says. “It was so exciting. And this is the longest I’ve been off the road since 1980.” In 2019, the 65-year-old Alvin was on tour for 10 months, and this year started with big plans for the Third Mind, a new jammy collective he formed with singer/ songwriter Jesse Sykes and members of Camper Van Beethoven and Counting Crows. That tour was canceled, of course, and now the next thing on his calendar is an outdoor show in Northern California with his friend Jimmie Dale Gilmore next June. Even planning on that seems a little optimistic, Alvin says, but he’s hopeful about the vaccine news of recent days. The forced pause felt welcome in the early days of the pandemic after a hard year on the road, Alvin says, but months later, “if there was a gig tonight, anywhere, I’d go and play it.” The pandemic’s sprawl has him worried for the future, for venues where artists like him can play, and specifically in smaller cities. “The Rolling Stones and U2 and Beyonce and Bruce Springsteen, they’ll have gigs,” Alvin says. “For artists like me, my guess is there will always be a venue in places like Chicago and New York City. But I don’t know about everywhere else. And it’s those ‘everywhere else’ shows that make it financially feasible to do New York … That’s kind of my main concern: Can the actual clubs and promoters make it through this period?”

S

ome have suggested doing streaming shows, and Alvin says, “I’m not resistant, but I’m hesitant,” both because of the cost involved in putting on a good show, and because an online show can’t deliver the connection between audience and performer that he craves, a connection he believes is more important for roots musicians than those working in the mainstream. “Roots music shouldn’t be oddball music, but it kind of is,” Alvin says. “Any traditional American music was outsider music to begin with, whether it was blues, or bluegrass, or the regional music that existed for communities outside the mainstream.” There are occasional bursts in popularity for an O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack or a blues artist, he adds, but “in general, this is music for a wide variety of people, but it’s limited in scope just because you don’t hear it on the radio. And this community of fans, you feed off them [with the live shows], and they feed off you, and then you all get enough to get up the next day. You get a reason to get out of bed the next morning.” For fans, Alvin’s new album From an Old Guitar: Rare and Unreleased Recordings offers a pretty good reason to wake up and turn up the stereo. The 16-song collection is a vibrant, blues-leaning mix of covers and originals that Alvin recorded during one-off sessions between tours over the past couple decades. He recorded Mickey Newbury’s “Mobile Blue” back in 2000, and the newest recording is Bill Morrissey’s stirring “Inside” from 2016. “Peace” is a Willie Dixon blues tune Alvin first performed in the Blasters days, and Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited” gives Alvin a chance to scorch some of his trademark guitar sounds on a tune by one of his favorite songwriters and oc-


casional on-stage collaborator. In whole, the collection of old tunes, covers of his contemporaries like Peter Case (“On the Way Downtown”) and Chris Smither (“Link of Chain”) and his own songs hangs together remarkably well. “Sequencing it was a bit of a challenge,” Alvin says. “Transitioning from a thing like the Willie Dixon song ‘Peace,’ a slightly abstract Chicago blues, then going into a Mojave Desert song by Marty Robbins … sometimes those eclectic juxtapositions can be jarring, and yet pleasant.” Alvin’s guitar and his deep rumble of a voice make everything on From an Old Guitar feel distinctly his, and Alvin considers some of it among the best work he’s ever done. It’s easy for an artist to say that about an album of new material, but gathering shards of magic recorded in fits and starts with a rotating cast of other musicians gives Alvin a unique perspective on the 16 songs that made the cut. He’s particularly fond of the instrumental “Variations on Earl Hooker’s Guitar Rhumba,” because it captured his band at a particularly strong moment in time. Alvin attributes the success of the recordings to the fact they were done “with no pressure. They were just done for fun.” “I try to keep pressure out of situations when I’m trying to be creative,” Alvin says. “Back in the day when I was in the Blasters and we were signed to Warner Brothers, that was a lot of pressure. And when I was in a band called X, and they were signed to Elektra, there was a lot of pressure on them. And my first solo album was on Epic Records, and there was a ton of pressure on me. And so after all that, my goal as a creative artist, if I am that, is to have the least amount of pressure possible. Because I don’t work really well under pressure. “I felt relaxed, and when I feel relaxed, I do my best work.” n

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NOVEMBER 26, 2020 INLANDER 67


WORDS SHOP SMALL

Have you been wracking your brain for some direction on a holiday gift for a bookworm in your life? In past years, you might have gone into Auntie’s (above) on Small Business Saturday to spot your favorite local author guest starring as a bookseller. Good news! This year, the celebration is being adapted for Zoom. Guest authors — including Kris Dinnison, Jess Walter, Shawn Vestal and many, many more — rotate throughout the day, making book recommendations. All you have to do is click a link and take advantage of living in such a talented, literature-inclined city. Auntie’s staff are on hand to manage the waiting room and give virtual attendees a special, 15 percent off coupon for any books our literary stars convince you to order. — LAUREN GILMORE Small Business Saturday at Auntie’s • Sat, Nov. 28 from 12:30-3:20 pm • Free • Online; details at auntiesbooks.com

68 INLANDER NOVEMBER 26, 2020

OUTDOORS WINTER WANDERING

MUSIC LIVE & DISTANCED

Free State Park Day • Fri, Nov. 27 from dawn to dusk • Free • Various locations; details at discoverpass.wa.gov

Virtual Baby Bar concerts • Fri, Nov. 27 and Sat, Nov. 28 at 8 pm • $5 • Details at babybarneatoburrito.veeps.com

Is the world starting to feel as small as your apartment? Does walking into the kitchen for a glass of water account for 90 percent of your daily exercise? If you desperately need fresh air, consider taking advantage of Free State Park Days in Washington and explore the scenic perfection of the PNW without a Discover Pass. The next one is Nov. 27 (Autumn Day). If you love it and want to come back for another icy excursion, the next two days are in January, on New Year’s Day and Jan. 18 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Free entry applies only to daytime stays, and doesn’t cover overnight or camping. Also, check the state park website to stay up-to-date on any COVID closures at specific locations. — LAUREN GILMORE

The beloved downtown institution Baby Bar has been hosting virtual shows for the last few months, simulcasting the performances of local artists from its attached Neato Burrito restaurant. Now that new lockdown restrictions are in place, the broadcasts won’t be coming from Neato for the foreseeable future, but the show must go on. This Friday night, you can check out the garage-rock trio Big Raffle, which features Neato owner Tim Lannigan as a member. The following evening, post-rock Dark White Light performs its mix of screaming guitar and overpowering drums. Purchasing a $5 ticket not only gives you access to the live shows but access to view the rebroadcast for 48 hours. — NATHAN WEINBENDER


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Among the more creative efforts to keep the community’s theatrical artists engaged is the Spokane Civic Theatre’s Community Voices program, in which veterans of the theater’s past shows and classes are invited to record “a scene or song with a message that either speaks to you as a performer, offers a point of view that inspires you or reflects an element of our community that you find important or interesting.” The submissions are pulled together and edited into a seamless piece for an online “performance” on the “virtual main stage” that is truly what community theater is all about, created by and for the region’s audience by the region’s artists. The first edition was dedicated to youth performers, and now the grownups take over for round two. — DAN NAILEN

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The holidays kick off with a boom in Spokane’s Kendall Yards with the first of three consecutive weekend fireworks shows. Organizers had originally planned to pair the festive display with an artisan market, which has unfortunately been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. The fireworks are still on, however, stretched across three weekends to allow for proper social distancing. Spectators are asked to enjoy the pyrotechnics from the safety and comfort of their homes if they have a good vantage, by heading closer and watching from their car, or setting up away from others at Olmsted Park. The fireworks are likely to be visible from as far away as the Five Mile Prairie and South Hill, and certainly many more around the city will hear their thundering presence. — CHEY SCOTT

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NOVEMBER 26, 2020 INLANDER 69


deepest poems I have ever read. You are a deep soul and are very talented. God bless.

much gratitude and Blessing to you all! HAPPINESS and SUPPORT to SPOKANE!

Tamera, might there still be a chance? Hi Tamera, you used to live behind grocery outlet up north. We talked a few times doing laundry, and I enjoyed it. It made me nervous though because I was attracted to you to, but you had a boyfriend at the time. If you’re single now, stop by for a cup of coffee. I wish you the best. Steve

PERFECTION - OR PRETTY CLOSE TO IT! Four years ago we met in the waiting room of Perfection Tires while we got our snow tires put on for the pending winter. You, tall gentleman - me, short lady. And regardless of what you tell all your friends,

GRIEVANCES I saw you looking for stuff to buy at Pistole. I’ve never seen anyone before. .. you looked good.

CHEERS I SAW YOU TO THE SECRETARY AT A LOCAL LAW FIRM I came in Tuesday morning to sign some excise tax paperwork. When I walked around the corner you took me by surprise. You were so beautiful. I told you I was there to sign some papers and you asked who my lawyer was. I stumbled when trying to tell you that I was not represented by any lawyer there, I just needed to sign papers. When I was leaving I saw you come out through the side doors that were not being used at the time and you went and put change in the meter. I stood and watched you as I made a phone call. I wanted to talk to you but couldn’t muster up the nerve. If you see this, I would love to take you to lunch or dinner. STILL POPPING UP I don’t come by because you told me not to but you started popping up as a suggested chat on my messenger and friend on my Facebook. Did you unblock me? TO THE LADY LOOKING IN THAT MIRROR... I know your tired and that light at the end of the tunnel has gotten rather dim lately, but I wanted to let you know that YOU DO MATTER and I hope that by reading this you feel the peace and love sent from my heart to yours. Hang in there, Earth Sister, you are more than good enough and very much so loved by the universe. RE: IN THE MIRROR That is one of the

SOUND OFF

LIBRARY SUPERHEROES YOU make a difference Spokane library team!! We are so lucky to have you!! With every curbside pickup my spirit is lifted and my therapy costs go down. When you added the ability to add extra items by genre/interest, my mind was blown! Such careful consideration has gone into the additional items you’ve selected for me. You’ve supported me through my covid cooking phase, my language learning phase, my Wes Anderson phase, and my f-ed up memoir phase. Without judgment or delay you’ve provided a weekly lifeline in a tied white grocery bag. I’ve laughed with Bridget Jones, cried with Dickens and cooked with Martha. Sanity saved. Thank you for all you do dear library staff, you are truly Spokane treasures. DANCE Just keep dancing... anywhere... any moment... any time... just dance... we got this COSTCO GIRL To the shorthaired girl at the Valley Costco exit door! Thank you for keeping the line moving and catching different receipt issues! Not only did you catch an overcharge, but your smiling face and happy attitude were an improvement to my day! It makes life easier when you know that someone is watching out for you! THANK YOU! MERRY CHRISTMAS! BOY SCOUT FOOD DRIVE To ALL of the help and support for the Boy Scout Food Drive! You guys make Spokane GREAT! We couldn’t have done it without you! May you enjoy the rest of your year! So

learn something, from a simple man who’s lived a lot. The learned are often those trudging through life finding a peaceful path, all while blazing a clear trail for those who follow. Maybe you’d be more comfortable being the “one” with the wisdom in the conversation. That appears to be the competition you’re seeking. Find that, or better help. Don’t forget that perhaps

recommend you Google search your new person in your life. Some flee across the country and move away from their old life because of the horrible things they have done on many counts... Be careful out their single people... Even snakes have kind blue eyes... TO THE ANEMIC TRUMP “PARADE”... ...

When I walked around the corner you took me by surprise. You were so beautiful.

(and mine as well, now that I think of it,) YOU asked me for my phone number!! (Not vice versa.) That was the BEST thing that could have ever happened to us, and now we’re celebrating our first year of marriage! (COVID-19 and double knee replacements be damned!) I love you so much, and I love being loved by you! We are blessed! MASK WEARERS Cheers to all of the people wearing masks because it’s a “rule.” Despite nearly everyone in public wearing a mask while out and about, there still seem to be some people that just don’t agree with the policy and so don’t wear one. While I doubt the efficacy of them myself due to the surge of cases across the area and others that have imposed the measure, I do so because some people think it’s a good idea, and it seems to make the public feel safer. To those who don’t want to abide by the temporary rule, why don’t you stay home instead? ...

JEERS DEAL The disdain you have for the teachers in your life “should” be handled sooner than later. Mommy issues?!...Daddy issues?!..Transferring your anger and angst with a huge dose of disappointment onto those who have something to add to the narrative doesn’t help the move forward. “They” aren’t all know-it-alls, nor do they require the many letters of degrees that you seem to be fighting!! Perhaps you can

1. Visit Inlander.com/isawyou by 3 pm Monday. 2. Pick a category (I Saw You, You Saw Me, Cheers or Jeers). 3. Provide basic info: your name and email (so we know you’re real). 4. To connect via I Saw You, provide a non-identifying email to be included with your submission — like “petals327@yahoo.com,” not “j.smith@comcast.net.”

YOU are the know-it-all.. Remember to remember...you’re not an architect. That hasn’t kept you from building, has it? IMHO Seen the opinion pages in our local newspapers lately? I’ll save you the time and summarize all the letters to the editor. 1. I hate you if you don’t look, talk or think like me; 2. Any event, thing or person who came along after 1960 is evil; and 3. Go back to California, Seattle or Portland. I moved from there myself a couple years ago, but only to get away from “your kind,” so that’s different! BLACK MOLD AND LOW INCOME HOUSING Black mold growing inside the walls of anyone’s home in Spokane, or in the USA anywhere, needs to be dealt with seriously and professionally. Black mold exposure over time will harm your mind and body significantly. There needs to be a public assessment and mold remediation service in Spokane. Jeers to Spokane County for not providing enough help to those who can’t afford a private mold assessment/ remediation service. What is a tenant in Spokane who barely makes ends meet supposed to do when they discover black mold inside their apartment walls? Do you think that every landlord understands how insidious black mold in the home can be? FOOL ME ONCE... Jeers to the pompous, overrated, schmuck that lied to my face continuously, and took advantage of my kindness. Ladies & Gentlemen, I

that menaced Lincoln Heights by driving up and down the streets honking your horns on the afternoon of Sunday, November 22nd. “Your candidate lost, get over it.” “DON’T BE A KAREN” To the lady in my neighborhood below Franklin School. You made friends with my neighbor next door. He loaned you his pressure washer. He helped you trim your trees. You asked the neighborhood girl that is friends with him if he would go out on a date with you. He told her the only dates he goes out on are with his dog. And then he put out his Trump signs and his anti BLM signs saying All Lives Matter. You turned into a Karen. You even wrote a letter to this publication bashing him for his beliefs. .. He is the type of person that would do anything for anyone. I’m pretty sure you burned that bridge. ... n

THIS WEEK'S ANSWERS C A S I B E C A C R I M B M T M A R E Y N I N A Y O U H C O Y O T E

A T O M I C

S M A L I L C U K

U N I E

I R A D M E G R A N Y O U H E E A N D M E O R E O I N O N R O W S

M E R V

N A M E

D D E D A T A R P O B O M B A

O L A Y O E I N S H E R M E E T H E A R Y S S

U N S U N G

N E W M O M

C H E E S E

L E N T

L A O S

O R W E

N T O S O N A Y S

NOTE: I Saw You/Cheers & Jeers is for adults 18 or older. The Inlander reserves the right to edit or reject any posting at any time at its sole discretion and assumes no responsibility for the content.

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Head to the Border

Mexico is poised to all-out legalize recreational cannabis BY WILL MAUPIN

T

his has been a wretched year by almost every measure. But as the year enters its waning days, cannabis policy reformers are doing everything they can to salvage the historical reputation of 2020. In the Nov. 12 edition of the Inlander, the Green Zone section was dedicated to the wins cannabis delivered around our country on election night. In brief: Every cannabis policy reform ballot measure passed, and the number of states with legalized recreational markets jumped from 11 to 15. Forget about individual states for a moment, because our neighbors to the south are on the brink of doing something even bigger. On Nov. 19, Mexico’s Senate voted 82 to 18 to legalize recreational cannabis and open a regulated market in the country. Mexico would become the third country on Earth to fully legalize recreational cannabis, joining Uruguay, which did so in 2013, and Canada, which did so in 2018. Mexico would also become by far the world’s largest legal market by population. This news is just the latest in what has been a rapid series of developments in Mexico’s cannabis policy over recent years. Medical marijuana has only been legal in Mexico since

2017 — California, by comparison, became the first state in the U.S. with legal medical marijuana way back in 1996 — and then, in October 2018, Mexico’s Supreme Court drew a line in the sand on the issue of recreational cannabis in the country. As the court saw it, there was precedent in the law giving Mexicans the right to consume cannabis. “That right is not absolute, and the consumption of certain substances may be regulated, but the effects provoked by marijuana do not justify an absolute prohibition of its consumption,” the court’s ruling stated. With that, the other branches of the Mexican government were compelled to end prohibition in the country. Two years later, they’ve almost done it. The legislation still needs to pass through the lower house of Congress and then make its way past the president, very much like how things work in the United States. Fortunately for reform advocates, the party that advanced the legislation in the Senate, Morena, is also the party of the president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, and holds control of the lower house as well. There is a deadline of Dec. 15 for lawmakers to comply with the Supreme Court’s 2018 decision ruling that cannabis prohibition is unconstitutional in Mexico. n

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Advice Goddess SON OF CLAM

Getting my boyfriend to talk to me about his feelings seems impossible. I know guys tend not to be super emotive, but trying to get a read on what he’s feeling is like trying to understand a foreign language. How can I get him to open up to me? —Distressed If only the Rosetta stone had included a fourth language: Heterosexual Male. The Rosetta stone, for those who ditched history class AMY ALKON to smoke pot behind the dumpster, was a tabletlike rock fragment that turned out to have the same message in three languages: Egyptian hieroglyphics (long considered undecipherable), another equally mysterious form of Egyptian writing, and ancient Greek. The Greek words were the key, finally allowing scholars to translate hieroglyphics (the ancient Egyptian version of texting somebody a slew of emojis). Getting back to your own translation issues, it’s understandable you’re frustrated by the language barrier, or rather, the lack-of-language barrier in your man’s continuing adherence to Mute Boyfriend-ese. Shouldn’t two adults in a relationship be able to engage in open discussions about their feelings? Unfortunately, if they’re male and female, maybe not. Men and women have some major differences in what I’d call “emotional literacy”: the ability to read emotions, both in oneself and others. Men are not the unfeeling louts they’re too often made out to be. However, women tend to show more emotion than men and be better at guessing others’ feelings. (Compared with most men, they’re practically emotional psychics.) Research by psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen suggests that women are the emotional specialists of our species, driven from childhood on to identify others’ emotions “and to respond with the appropriate emotion.” Men, in contrast, basically “major” in engineering from childhood on. BaronCohen explains that they’re driven to decode the workings of machines, math, objects in motion, and other “rule-governed” (and thus relatively predictable) systems. A boy will take a screwdriver to a radio to see how it generates sound; a girl will mentally take apart her cousin to figure out why she’s suddenly gone all Bummerella. These differences come not from “the patriarchy” or Disney princess movies but from millions of years of evolution. Differences in male and female physiology carved out differences in psychology and divisions of labor along male-female lines. Women, whose bodies are baby food dispensaries and who are children’s primary caretakers, evolved the emotional makeup to suss out the needs of infants, who lack the spokenword skills to yell, “Hey, Ma, gimme a beer!” Men, who evolved to be the warriors of our species, benefit in combat situations from being less in touch with their emotions — ­ especially fear and sadness — explains psychologist Joyce Benenson. This would allow a man to storm into battle and get up close and spear-y with the enemy instead of doing what I, as an emotionally aware woman, would probably do: freeze, cry, and wet my pants. Of course, many individual men and women don’t fit neatly into the “men tend to”/“women tend to” boxes. For example, I’m not surprised by a recent archeological finding suggesting ancestral women (and not just men) were hunters. (Of course, a hunter-gatherer lady would’ve spent much of her life pregnant or breastfeeding, and it’s hard to spear a wild boar while clutching a hungry baby drinking his lunch.) I’m likewise not surprised to encounter men who can lay their feelings out like cold cuts on a platter. As for men who can’t, there’s this notion that people who have trouble identifying and thus expressing their emotions can improve through study and practice. One tool for this is a poster with cartoon faces showing various emotions, each labeled with the particular emotion. (Google “how you feel today poster.”) Realistically, however, the person best equipped to put names to your boyfriend’s feelings is probably you. Consider that men tend to express their emotions through their actions: slamming cupboard doors (mad), sulking (bummed), etc. In keeping with that, ask him not about his feelings but about events — “What happened when you talked to your boss?” “Did that jerk or that jerk of a mountain lion show up on your hike?” — and you might notice some feelings slipping out. Ultimately, though, you should consider whether your being happy with this man is contingent on his expressing himself like a woman. If you stay together, you’ll probably need to meet him more than halfway, meaning rely way more on guessing his emotions than his putting them into words. Meanwhile, focusing on how men communicate through action should help you see the beauty in, say, your being startled by clanging metal and yelled profanities some Saturday afternoon. You go out to your garage and discover your boyfriend rotating your tires unasked. It’s not exactly how Hugh Grant communicates in chick flicks, but if you understand real-life manspeak, you’ll respond perfectly: “You had me at #$&%*! worthless tire jack!” n ©2020, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. • Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405 or email AdviceAmy@aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com)


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Down 1. Network with its HQ in Ottawa 2. ____ Lingus

3. Chem. or biol. 4. Poetic measure 5. Palindromic 1976 greatest hits album 6. One of two in a vacuum 7. Together, in France 8. Griffin who created “Wheel of Fortune” 9. April, May or June 10. Nivea rival 11. Like some heroes 12. One reading up on infant care, maybe 13. It’s often said with a smile 21. ____ factor 22. Wine: Prefix 23. A bajillion 24. Huey, Dewey and Louie, e.g. 25. Clickable list 29. “You betcha!” 30. Goodnight woman of song 31. “Breaking Bad” org. 32. Insecticide whose 1972 ban led

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THIS W ANSWE EEK’S I SAW RS ON YOUS

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46. Question asked by Paul Marcarelli in Verizon Wireless ads 53. Chiwere-speaking native 54. Raven’s fan? 55. Mao ____-tung 56. Podcast launched by Hillary Clinton in 2020 ... and this puzzle’s theme 62. “Srsly?!” 63. It debuted four years after Hydrox debuted 64. Mistreating 68. Hermana de la madre 69. Privy to 70. “A Walk in the Woods” author 71. Prefix meaning “outer” 72. Spreadsheet parts 73. Tests, as ore

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1. Brand-name watches 7. “That’s ... never gonna happen” 11. Chapel Hill sch. 14. “Don’t panic” 15. Best Actress Oscar winner Patricia 16. Book after Ezra: Abbr. 17. Black Sea peninsula 18. Hogwarts librarian ____ Pince 19. Nor. neighbor 20. “... and that’s no joke!” 23. “Lou Grant” production co. 26. Cousin of “Inc.” 27. Only ape to orbit the earth (1961) 28. “Really?!” 34. Ricci of fashion 35. Great American Ball Park team 36. #52 on AFI’s list of the 100 Greatest Movie Quotes of All Time 44. “____ Torino” (Clint Eastwood movie) 45. ____ admiral

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ACROSS

7

LOCAL, INDEPENDENT AND FREE SINCE 1993!

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“YOU AND ME”

to the comeback of the bald eagle 33. “Kinda sorta” 37. Back in the day 38. R&B’s ____ Hill 39. ____-jongg

40. Afore 41. It begins on Ash Wednesday 42. Golden Triangle country 43. “... ____ can share it like the last slice”: Drake

46. South Dakota’s state animal 47. Word before age or number 48. Part of a Snickers bar 49. House call? 50. Alert from the commish 51. iRobot floor cleaner 52. They’re fed by the street 57. Genre of crime fiction 58. Early Bond foe 59. Copy cats? 60. Many millennia

61. Makes bale? 65. Only account Edward Snowden follows on Twitter 66. Play (with) 67. Carry-____ (travel bags)

NOVEMBER 26, 2020 INLANDER 79


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80 INLANDER NOVEMBER 26, 2020

Profile for The Inlander

Inlander 11/26/2020  

Inlander 11/26/2020