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FROM THE EDITOR SPOKANE • EASTERN WASHINGTON • NORTH IDAHO also at inlander.com/health&home

Stay Connected Email Health & Home Editor Anne McGregor at annem@inlander.com. The conversation continues on the Inlander Facebook page, and stay in touch with us at Inlander.com/Health&Home.

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MANAGING EDITOR Jacob H. Fries ART DIRECTOR Ali Blackwood EVENTS EDITOR Chey Scott

Shared Wisdom BY ANNE McGREGOR

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e are indebted to the wonderful women who provided us with beautiful tables and shared their professional hints for festive entertaining during the fall season (page 20). Our vintage table was created by Gerri Johnson, owner of Farm Salvation in Medical Lake, and it features her mother’s china. At the photo shoot, I asked Gerri if she actually uses the beautiful, hand-painted pieces — she does — and if it would upset her if someone broke a dish during a gathering. After all, her mother had painstakingly searched for and purchased them after her original set was lost in a fire. “No, it wouldn’t,” she replied. “The day is the important thing. Relationships are fragile and may break and never recover,” she firmly told me, but plates or cups — “it’s just stuff.” In fact, all our contributors stressed the importance of remembering that the point of a shared meal is really what happens around the table, not on it. Also in this issue, we explore alternatives to deal with chronic aches and pains (page 14) and find there are so many things to try that don’t involve addictive medication or unpleasant side-effects. And we delve into one of the most vexing issues of parenthood: sibling rivalry (page 46). Why do kids fight, and is there hope they’ll ever stop? We have answers. Cheers!

CONTRIBUTORS Sheri Boggs, Tuck Clarry, Wilson Criscione, Erick Doxey, Don Hamilton, Jonathan Hill, Jacob Jones, Young Kwak, Robert Maurer, Mitch Ryals, Carrie Scozzaro, Blythe Thimsen, Matt Thompson, John R. White, Quinn Welsh, Samantha Wohlfeil PRODUCTION MANAGER Wayne Hunt ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Kristi Gotzian MARKETING DIRECTOR Kristina Smith ADVERTISING SALES Autumn Adrian, Mary Bookey, Julia Broderson, Claire Price, Carolyn Padgham-Walker, Wanda Tashoff, Emily Walden EVENTS & PROMOTIONS Emily Guidinger Hunt SALES COORDINATION Camille Awbrey, Andrea Lorentz DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Jessie Hynes, Derrick King, Tom Stover

CONTRIBUTORS

DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Justin Hynes BUSINESS MANAGER Dee Ann Cook CREDIT MANAGER Kristin Wagner PUBLISHER Ted S. McGregor Jr. GENERAL MANAGER Jeremy McGregor

WILSON CRISCIONE has been a staff writer for the Inlander since January 2016. He was born in Spokane and attended college at Eastern Washington University, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in English. As someone who has reported on opioid addiction in the past, he was fascinated to learn the science behind alternative ways to manage chronic pain.

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JACOB JONES Jacob Jones is a freelance writer and father of two toddlers. He has previously worked as a reporter for the Inlander as well as other regional newspapers and magazines. He occasionally teaches journalism, plays folk music and fly fishes. In this issue, he reports on how parents can manage sibling rivalry.

Health & Home is published every other month and is available free at more than 500 locations across the Inland Northwest. One copy free per reader. Subscriptions are available at $2.50 per issue: call x213. Reaching Us: Editorial: x261; Circulation: x226; Advertising: x215. COPYRIGHT All contents copyrighted © Inland Publications, Inc. 2018. Health & Home is locally owned and has been published since 2004.

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Meat Management BY CHEY SCOTT Small Planet, Big Impacts

The number is pretty staggering: More than 87 billion animals are raised on Earth each year just to feed us. How will that number grow and its impacts be felt as human population on the planet pushes 9 billion people by the middle of the 21st century? This complicated question is explored by Gonzaga University professor and philosopher Brian G. Henning during a discussion hosted by Humanities Washington and the Spokane Public Library. We already know animal-based agriculture is a leading polluter and contributor to climate change, but meat-heavy diets might also be making us sick. Find out more and some possible alternatives to the current model at this insightful conversation. Mon, Oct. 29 at 6:30 pm. Free. South Hill Library, 3324 S. Perry. humanities.org TEDxSpokane: Beyond Ourselves A day of local inspiration and insight comes in the form of 2018’s TEDxSpokane, featuring presentations from 12 unique local perspectives. This year’s talks center around the event tagline “Beyond Ourselves: Creating practices and processes that take us out of our everyday perspectives and attachments.” Hear from 2018 National Teacher of the Year Mandy Manning (pictured), of Ferris High School, as well as local transgender activist Robbi Anthony, Spokane Interfaith Council’s Skyler Oberst, along with many other recognizable and rising community leaders and innovators. Sat, Oct. 6 from 9 am-4 pm. $34. Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague. tedxspokane.com Into Africa Spokane-based nonprofit Partnering for Progress’s 11th annual dinner and auction features an evening of African-themed food along with success stories on how the nonprofit is helping to change lives of people in rural Kenya. This year, Partnering for Progress, or P4P as it’s also known, has focused on ongoing goals to improve nutrition, access to education, clean water, health care and economic development opportunities. Founded in 2008, P4P has since worked directly with residents of Kenya’s Kopanga region to help them improve quality of life and break the cycle of poverty and disease. Funds raised at the benefit directly support projects and initiatives in Kopanga, as volunteers cover their own expenses to travel there twice a year. Sat, Oct. 11 at 5:30 pm. $75/person. Mirabeau Park Hotel, 1100 N. Sullivan, Spokane Valley. partneringforprogress.org

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The Extra Mile Help empower young girls to realize their full and limitless potential. Girls on the Run Spokane County pairs girls in 3rd through 8th grade with volunteer coaches who not only lead them in running-based physical activities, but also offer valuable mentorship and guidance through the many ups and downs along adolescence-hood’s rocky path. During each session of the 10-week program, girls build confidence and character, make connections with each other and learn how to value their emotional, social and physical competencies. To help provide scholarships for local girls in the Spokane School District to join Girls on the Run, the local chapter is hosting a fundraiser with raffle drawings, food and more. Sat, Oct. 11 from 5:30-7 pm. $15. All ages. Nectar Catering & Events, 120 N. Stevens. gotrspokanecounty.org Farm & Food Expo Winter may be on its way, and that means there’s plenty of time to start planning ahead for next year’s growing season at the Spokane Conservation District’s annual Farm & Food Expo. The two-day event hosts a variety of workshops, panels and presentations that cover topics such as water conservation, “lean” farming, plant nutrition, raising urban chickens, soap and salve making, plant pest and disease management, controlling noxious weeds, helping pollinators and more. The event is designed to be accessible to everyone, whether you’re a casual or aspiring home gardner or a small farmer. Nov. 2-3. Spokane Community College, 1810 N. Greene St. $25-$100. sccd.org (535-7274)


GET DRESSED

Inspired Fashion

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eekingsunshine.com offers up clothing and accessory tips, along with loads of engaging photos, courtesy of Spokane FASHION BLOGGER ANNESSA SMITH. Smith finds photogenic locations around town and easily inhabits them (like here in Riverfront Park), modeling her tastefully curated, approachable styles. Smith, who makes her home in Spokane during the spring and summer months, says she often scores featured clothing from local shops. Her blog offers a way to express her creativity, but also lends continuity to a peripatetic life. Married to a professional hockey player, Smith usually spends fall and winter months traveling in Europe. “It’s nice to talk to people through blogging because we are gone so often,” she says. As for the name, “Seeking Sunshine,” Smith says it is holdover from her university days in upstate New York. “The climate is very gray and rainy so I was always needing the sunshine.” Readers may just find that little ray of sunshine in Smith’s twice-weekly posts. — ANNE McGREGOR

LOVE HISTORY?

Power Couple Perils

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arly on in THE DREAMER AND THE DOCTOR, the reader emerges from a gorgeous description of North Idaho as Swedish prospector John Leiberg must have found it — wildflowers, grazing deer and silver-rich geological formations — to arrive at a rather startling place: Leiberg, married with two sons, is the object of a young woman’s tenacious affections. The woman in question does, in fact, get her man. As spicy as this beginning sounds, however, Spokane author Jack Nisbet’s account of their subsequent marriage is actually the story of a quiet and devoted partnership between two public-minded people. John Leiberg, a self-taught naturalist, became a special field agent for the U.S. Forest Commission and was one of the first to speak out about the need to preserve public forest lands. Carrie Leiberg practiced medicine at a time when house calls were made on horseback and disease (diphtheria, measles) ran unchecked. Together the two built a life on Lake Pend Oreille: Carrie running an orchard and her medical practice while caring for their son and contributing to scientific journals; John documenting everything from mosses to petroglyphs all over the Pacific Northwest. In Nisbet’s hands, their story is relatable — consisting of long periods of hard work interspersed with moments of discovery, peril and doubt. In the end, this is the story of two flawed, extraordinary people who contributed to our understanding of the Northwest, both of their time but remarkably forward-thinking. — SHERI BOGGS Jack Nisbet will read from The Dreamer and the Doctor on Thursday, Nov. 1 7, at 8:30 pm at Auntie’s, 402 W. Main Ave. Sheri Boggs is a librarian with the Spokane County Library District.

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ALI BLACKWOOD PHOTO ILLUSTRATION

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TAMING the

PAIN How to manage chronic pain without the use of addictive opiates BY WILSON CRISCIONE

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hen it comes to dealing with chronic pain, one thing is becoming clearer and clearer: Opioids are not the answer. Sure, opioids can provide quick relief for acute pain for the first couple weeks. But research shows that opioids for longterm use may not work at all in treating non-cancer chronic pain. That’s without mentioning how opioid use is contributing to a pervasive drug epidemic in America. But what’s the alternative? In fact, there are plenty of options, says Scott Spendlove, co-founder and chief medical officer of Lynx Healthcare, a local medical provider focusing on pain management. As a teenager, Spendlove was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, a type of arthritis that mostly affects the lower part of the spine. Even then, Spendlove knew opiates weren’t the answer for his chronic pain. “Ever since, I’ve had a passion and life vision of finding ways to treat chronic pain without opiates,” Spendlove says. At Lynx, Spendlove says they often see patients who have been on a high dose of opiates for 15-plus years, and yet they still experience pain, though sometimes, it actually improves when they are weaned off of the drug. ...continued on next page


Dr. Scott Spendlove uses his own experiences managing chronic pain to assist others in coping without addictive medications. ERICK DOXEY PHOTO

“TAMING THE PAIN,” CONTINUED... “Opiates in general are very ineffective at treating chronic pain,” he says. “It’s not a long-term treatment. It’s not sustainable. It’s one of the tools in the toolbox that is overutilized.” Instead, Spendlove offers a multidisciplinary approach to chronic pain. It’s a topic gaining more attention. People are becoming increasingly desperate for alternatives, says Marian Wilson, an assistant professor at Washington State University College of Nursing. “Every pain is different,” Wilson says. “There’s a hundred different things people could try.”

MOVING ON

It seems counterintuitive: When you feel like you’re in too much pain to get up and move around, the best way to fight that pain is to, well, get up and move around. “Through evolution, we have pain to tell us to stop,” Spendlove says. “They feel that pain and they are automatically restricted and stop movements and assign themselves to the couch. But it’s actually

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counterproductive.” To get moving, swimming and aqua therapy can be particularly effective, as can other forms of exercise and physical therapy. Spendlove says he tells patients to look up yoga on YouTube, or take a class if the structure will keep them motivated. Yoga’s simple positions can be effective by helping to strengthen and lengthen muscles. Strengthening exercises can also help, Spendlove says. “The best back brace for your spine is a strong core,” he says. Sometimes even just going out for a walk or a bike ride can make a difference. “I don’t expect you to run a marathon tomorrow,” he says. “Go out and enjoy the outdoors, and that will improve pain significantly.” Wilson says yoga and Tai Chi are two of the most highly studied physical forms of pain intervention, and she says there’s plenty of research supporting them. They can especially help with muscular pain and fibromyalgia. Yet it’s not all physical. They can also

help with the emotions of chronic pain. After all, it’s hard not to feel discouraged if pain is a constant companion. “Things like yoga and Tai Chi are not only working muscles building strength, but help with mood disorder,” Wilson says.

MIND THE BRAIN

No, Spendlove tells patients. It’s not “mumbo jumbo.” Mindfulness and meditation techniques can be highly effective for pain management. At the very least, these techniques can help people not get as stressed out over the pain they’re experiencing. “What I try to get [patients] to wrap their minds around is that pain is a sensation that they themselves can turn the thermostat up on, and they can also turn that thermostat down,” he says. In other words, the more you focus and pay attention to the pain, the more prominent it becomes. Training your brain to not focus on it and to better manage the stress it produces can make a huge difference. A more technical term for this is

...continued on page 14


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“TAMING THE PAIN,” CONTINUED... Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT. It includes addressing negative thought patterns that go along with pain and make pain worse, Wilson says. It can include relaxation techniques, controlled breathing exercises, music, art, prayer, imagery and numerous other things. “These are not new things, but there is more recent evidence showing they can be helpful for people,” Wilson says. One randomized clinical trial, published in JAMA Neurology, found that patients with chronic spinal pain experienced reduced pain and improved function using “neuroscience education.” Essentially, they were taught how pain works in the nervous system, and they concentrated on functionality in movements, exercising despite the pain. Compared with a group that received a common program of physical therapy and exercises, the neuroscience education group had higher pain thresholds, more reduction in disability and improved physical and mental health. Wilson’s line of research focuses specifically on online pain management tools and tips people can do on their own. One recent study, published in the journal Addictive Behaviors, found that online self-management does, in fact, reduce symptoms for people with pain and opioid use disorders. Spendlove agrees that these techniques can be helpful. “I think it’s starting to catch on,” he says.

MOVING THE NEEDLE

Opiates work by hijacking the endorphin system. It seems counter-intuitive, but the drugs make your brain think you’re experiencing a traumatic episode, temporarily stopping the perception of pain. But the problem is that the body needs increasingly more opiates to achieve the same effect over time. With acupuncture, says local acupuncturist Jacob Godwin, nonaddictive needles can stimulate the same effect as opiates, manipulating your system to reduce pain. “It’s kind of like tricking the brain into doing what the brain might do in a case of traumatic shock,” Godwin says. Godwin says he gets plenty of patients who were on opioids and need to dramatically reduce their dosage. He says a third of the patients at Godwin Acupuncture are veterans. Often, he says, acupuncture proves successful. The treatment options vary depending

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EMERGING TRENDS A TENS UNIT (transcutaneous electrical nerve ttimulation) sends an electrical current through the skin via stick-on electrodes, stimulating nerve pathways to produce a tingling or massaging sensation that decreases the perception of pain. Specifically, it helps with nerve pain. The battery-operated device can be bought for a reasonable price. Washington State University is also leading a study to understand the relationship between SLEEP and chronic pain. Marian Wilson, WSU assistant professor, is leading the study, in collaboration with University of Washington’s Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. It could help answer several questions: Does pain get worse with less sleep, or does pain cause lack of sleep? Can relaxation techniques alleviate pain? — WILSON CRISCIONE on what kind of pain it is. Pain related to a single event from which your body has trouble recovering would be treated differently than, say, arthritis or disc problems. Still, the goal isn’t just to manage the pain. Acupuncture treatment can eliminate it over time, Godwin asserts. He stresses that acupuncture isn’t just some magic ancient tradition to treat pain. It’s based on science. He says there’s a “Hogwarts side” and a “Harvard side” — the latter being real evidence to support acupuncture for pain. Indeed, a study published in the May edition of the Journal of Pain found that acupuncture is effective in treating chronic pain, and that it’s not just a placebo effect.

“We know as much about acupuncture for pain as we do about the drugs we use to treat pain… it’s very well rooted in science,” Godwin says.

RUB IT ON

When it comes to cannabis products like topical cannabidiol oil, Godwin is less sure of the science behind it. “But I know a lot of patients are using cannabis products, edible and topical, and having pretty good results,” he says. Still, right now, much of the evidence for CBD oil is anecdotal. CBD, for those who don’t know, contains little to no THC, the chemical compound that makes you high from smoking marijuana. It’s legal in


many states, with people reporting it can help with things like fibromyalgia, epilepsy and diabetes. A few studies have found that topical CBD oil can help with arthritis pain or multiple sclerosis. One report published in the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found that adults with chronic pain experienced a “significant reduction” in pain symptoms with CBD oil. Still, more research needs to be done, Wilson says. She welcomes people to explore and try it for themselves. “The research is not as robust as we’d like it to be,” she says. “It is a definite area of interest.” And there are always other ointments, creams and rubs that can help with pain. Spendlove recommends balms containing lidocaine. There’s little risk, he says, other than potential irritation of the skin.

OVER THE COUNTER

And then there are pills. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) can both work to treat pain, often more effectively than opioids. Still, there are some risks with these over-the-counter drugs as well. Anyone with liver disease needs to be careful about using Tylenol, as it can be damaging to the liver. And people with a history of gastric ulcers need to be careful about ibuprofen as well. “Any medicine in high dose can be potentially dangerous,” Wilson says. Amy Doneen, an associate professor at the WSU College of Medicine and the medical director of the Heart Attack & Stroke Prevention Center, says multiple studies have revealed a significant risk with ibuprofen for patients at risk of stroke or heart attack. “Long-term use of ibuprofen increases stroke and heart attack risk, which is why we don’t put our patients on it,” Doneen says. It’s why Doneen recommends other ways to address pain that do not affect blood pressure or kidney or liver health. Unsurprisingly, she mentions mindfulness, acupuncture, physical therapy and other nonmedical ways to manage pain. “I’m a huge fan of all of it,” she says. “It’s the whole idea of getting to the root of the pain.”

A NEW NOVEL BY

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OF THE INLANDER

"Buckle up, gentle reader, Sam Ligon is about to take you on an outrageous road trip across American history and hysteria." — JESS WALTER

Pick up the Inlander every week for the latest installment of Miller Cane.

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Jails might be the best places to fight the opioid crisis BY MITCH RYALS

T

here are approximately 47,700 Washingtonians addicted to opioids, according research from University of Washington professors Marc Stern and Lucinda Grande. More than half of those people, about 25,500, will exit the doors of a Washington jail this year, Stern and Grande estimate. “The numbers showed us that the jails are the epicenter of the opioid crisis,” Stern says. “So in some ways, the jail is unfortunately the perfect place to address this problem. It’s where you can change behaviors and turn someone’s life around.” Stern and Grande’s research — a survey of 33 jails across the state of various locations and sizes — shows a “high level of interest” for medication-assisted treatment among jail administrators. A lack of resources, as in doctors legally authorized to prescribe the drugs, and in money available in jails’ budgets to pay for them, as well as gaps in knowledge, were among the biggest barriers, Stern says. The Washington State Opioid Response Plan calls for “jails and prisons to initiate and/or maintain incarcerated persons on medications for opioid use disorder.” Fourteen of the 33 jails surveyed in the study offered at least one of the three drugs approved to treat opioid dependence, the most common being buprenorphine (one of the active drugs in Suboxone). None of the smaller facilities included in the survey (with an average population of less than 50 people) offered medication-assisted treatment. “It’s the smaller places that are really challenged in resources and knowledge,” Stern says. “It’s disproportionately harder to provide good health care in a small jail.” Indeed, throughout Washington, there is a patchwork of medication-assisted treatment in jails — from Spokane County’s methadone program, to Ferry County’s complete lack of providers, to Whatcom

County’s refusal to provide such treatment, to Island County’s full-tilt support. In Spokane, eight people have died in the jail since June 2017, including one woman on Aug. 25. Several of the deaths are suspected to be drug related. The state has just applied for a federal grant worth about $21 million to increase access to medication for opioid treatment in jails and the community generally, says Charissa Fotinos, deputy chief medical officer for the state Health Care Authority. “Many jails in the state are interested in starting people on medication-assisted treat-

…throughout Washington, there is a patchwork of medicationassisted treatment in jails… ment or continuing it,” Fotinos says. “One challenge jails have had is the medication is expensive. People’s Medicaid is suspended, and jails don’t have a way to pay for buprenorphine.” Fotinos says one of the state’s priorities is to target people released from jails and prisons “because they’re at the highest risk for a fatal opioid overdose.” Aside from the life-saving potential, Stern points to data from the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) showing that drug treatment in prisons, and in the community after a person is released, have huge cost-saving impacts. Additionally, a 2006 report from Washington State Institute for Public Policy shows that in-custody drug treatment can reduce crime by 5.7 percent and save nearly $8,000 per patient, when considering crime victims, benefits to taxpayers and the cost of providing the treatment. “For a moment, you have your hands on 50 percent of the opioid dependent people in the state… when they’re malleable,” Stern says. “If you invest money in this problem, including outside the jail, you can actually make your money back.”


NEED NOTICE

Finding Your Place A

n organization in Spokane can use your help. You’re ready to share your gifts. So how can you find each other? One way is through the United Way’s VOLUNTEER SPOKANE website, which lists opportunities from 346 local organizations, offering up nearly 400 opportunities. Once on the website, users can create a profile to receive emails for postings that dovetail with their interests. Or, they can begin browsing the listings, which are regularly updated and include both long-term and immediate needs, by searching for keywords and using various filters. For example, say you’re a teen who needs to do some community service. Plugging in your age will produce three pages of listings, including needs for everything from dog huggers to food packers at the food bank. If you’re a 40-year-old looking for an outdoor opportunity, an urban farming and community development need might be the perfect fit or maybe an emergency fence repair can fill a free afternoon. “The website can also work great for companies looking for group opportunities, and it is not limited to just United Way organizations,” says Lisa Curtis, director of communications and marketing for Spokane County United Way. With more than 8,500 users already finding opportunities on the site, “It’s been wonderful to watch everyone get engaged,” she adds. That engagement can also pay health dividends for volunteers. A 2017 survey by United Healthcare and VolunteerMatch found 93 percent

Healthy Aging for Women

Volunteers sort donations at 2nd Harvest.

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of respondents reported volunteering improved their mood, while 70 percent reported decreased stress and 88 percent reported improved self-esteem. — ANNE McGREGOR

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WONDER TOYS

Poems and Play T

reat yourself to a few perfect minutes each day by taking time to listen to Spokane Public Radio’s “Poetry Moment.” Each “moment” features a local poet reading a poem — sometimes their own work and sometimes works of others. An archive of previous moments is available online at spokanepublicradio.org. Recently, the program featured Spokane poet Emily Gwinn reading her poem, Drawings for the Zoetrope at Mobius, a work with a distinctly local flavor, but one that explores a feeling common to all mothers: The days of childhood pass all too quickly. While it’s surely memorable to explore Mobius with kids, what if, on a lighter note, you could actually play with all the gadgets yourself without interruption? You’ll have your chance at the annual MOBIUS GALA. It’s a fundraiser — just think of all the future poets and inventors your donation may inspire — so come ready to bid on auction items or raise a paddle, all while enjoying hors d’ouevres and adult libations. — ANNE McGREGOR Mobius Gala • Fri, November 2, from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm • $50 per person; cocktail attire • Mobius Science Center, 331 N. Post • mobiusspokane.org

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Depressing Side Effects I heard that a recent study found that one out of three adults in the U.S. is taking a medication that is causing depression. Is that true?

N

o. However, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that one out of three adults in the United States was taking at least one medication that has depression as a side-effect. This list included more than 200 commonly prescribed medications — drugs used to treat acid reflux, high blood pressure, anxiety, seizures and pain. While this does not mean that all people or even the majority of people taking these drugs will develop depression because of these medications, these individuals may be at a slightly increased risk. The more of these medications that you are taking, the greater the risk. For example, researchers found that about 15 percent of those who were taking three or more of these medications were depressed. In those taking only one of the medications linked to depression, 7 percent were depressed. This is in contrast to only a 5 percent depression rate in those who took none of the medications linked to depression. Those taking multiple medications not linked to depression did not have any elevated risk. If this is something that you are concerned about, you should talk to your prescriber or pharmacist. — JOHN R. WHITE John R. White is chair of the Department of Pharmacotherapy in the College of Pharmacy at WSU-Spokane and the author of two books.

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Floral stylist Caroline Signer set this table with a spreading bouquet of roses and mums, adding fall grass fronds for a feathery accent. DON HAMILTON PHOTO

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How to entertain with grace and style this season without busting your budget BY BLYTHE THIMSEN

E

leanor Roosevelt said, “True hospitality consists of giving the best of yourself to your guests.” Easy to do as the first lady of the United States, but how does that translate to a normal, daily life? Is it possible to entertain and provide true hospitality in a time when days are rushed, calendars are filled and budgets aren’t graced with wiggle room? Yes! Several local experts share their tricks and tips to help you create a welcoming and hospitable experience when you entertain.

PURPOSE

“Remember why you’re doing it,” says Caroline Signer, owner and designer at Caroline Signer Floral Design, in Spokane, offering one of the most important components for successful entertaining. “When you entertain, hopefully it’s in some way or form to love or honor someone. Let this reason drive the event and help you stay focused and balanced on the overall picture.” ...continued on next page

OCTOBER – NOVEMBER 2018

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Make your votive holders sparkle by using multiple tealight candles in each one. “YOU’RE WELCOME!,” CONTINUED...

Signer employs basic tableware to make sure flowers get all the attention on this rustic table, which was crafted from salvaged planks by the homeowners Justin and Tarah Gray. DON HAMILTON PHOTOS

For Meghan Mollahan and her best friend Ginny Taylor, creating a special haven in their homes for entertaining is not just a passion, but a business. The two friends launched the Spokane-based Haven + Pine, a company that focuses on creating moments and spaces where people can feel special and seen. “Through our own experience in entertaining, we’ve learned that sometimes we lose sight of the reason we are hosting… to love and celebrate people in our homes,” she says. They recognize the importance of not getting more caught up in all the details than in blessing the people who are gathered around your table. “We believe that being a good hostess begins in your heart,” says Mollahan. “Finding joy in serving others, having a warm welcome, and making it more about the people than the party makes it feel extra special.” That extra special feeling brought on by entertaining is something Gerri Johnson has purposefully cultivated in her life. “My mother-in-law was the hostess of Medical Lake; her door was always open,” she says, “but my upbringing was the stark opposite. So, now I want to be like her and for my guests to always feel welcome.” ...continued on page 24

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On vintage china: “The more you don’t use it the more likely it is to get broken. It gets the oils from your hands and the food. You want to use it to help preserve it.” – Gerri Johnson

Farm Salvation’s Gerri Johnson’s vintage china feels fresh and friendly when combined with earthy elements — above, a fruit bowl and a scattering of gourds offer an autumn touch. YOUNG KWAK PHOTOS

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“YOU’RE WELCOME!,” CONTINUED...

That has become Johnson’s mission both at home, as well as at Farm Salvation, her vintage boutique and community gathering spot, in Medical Lake. Being a host or hostess with a love for your guests and the desire to care for them and make them feel special is the foundation for a wonderful evening of entertainment, upon which the following building blocks can be placed.

SETTING THE TABLE

Starting with a beautiful table will provide a statement spot around which guests can gather. “Functionality first,” says Signer. “I prefer florals on the table instead of food if there isn’t room for both. If possible, serve the guests’ plates or go buffet style, and the flowers can provide interest and beauty to the table.”

...continued on page 26


YOU BELONG WHERE MEMORIES GROW

OCTOBER – NOVEMBER 2018

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Use kraft paper or the back side of wrapping paper as a table runner, adding guests’ names with a chalk pen.

“YOU’RE WELCOME!,” CONTINUED... Mollahan and Taylor recommend decorating with a neutral place setting, tablecloth or runner; candles, fresh flowers and natural elements. “Having a centerpiece helps to anchor the table and brings a nice ambience with the glow of candlelight.” For Johnson, vintage items and family heirlooms are essential pieces in creating a warm and inviting table. Not just showcasing the pieces, but also sharing their history makes a unique experience.

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“Knowing is important,” she says. “It is important to ask for the story behind an item.” Over 40 years ago, her mother’s house burned down, and she lost everything. In the early 1980s, her mother found an antique store that had her lost china pattern, and she purchased the set through layaway so she could pass it on to her daughter. Today, Johnson uses pieces of this china when she entertains, bringing the story of her mother to the table.

FLOWERS

“Flowers shouldn’t be stressful,” says Signer. “Be resourceful and creative… It’s too stressful to follow a precise floral recipe found on Pinterest and run around town searching for exact flower types.” Having a small, simple bouquet at the entrance to your home and at the table creates ambiance. “You want most of the blooms in the arrangement to be reaching their peak in


Orange slice napkin rings: Slice an orange into 1/2 inch slices, sprinkle with sugar (for a more amber color) and bake for twoand-a-half hours at 200 degrees.

beauty at the time of the event,” says Signer. “I’ve even placed lilies in my bathroom and used the steam from running hot shower water to get them to open.” Flowers are not the only living items that are making their way onto table tops. “I’m seeing more fruit being placed in centerpieces and garlands,” says Signer. Seasonal apples or pomegranates, even tomatoes give a great abundance and earthy feel.

COST-EFFECTIVE

For most people, shortages are not found in ideas, but in the pocketbook. How do you make a memorable experience without disrupting your budget? “Over my lifetime, family has been my inspiration for setting a fun, inviting atmosphere,” says Johnson. “It was often on a limited budget, so I’d use things around me. I learned to utilize natural environmental decorations and seasonal design.”

Haven + Pine’s Ginny Taylor (right) and Meghan Mollahan prefer to keep center of table decor low so that guests can see each other. YOUNG KWAK PHOTOS

...continued on next page OCTOBER – NOVEMBER 2018

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EASYGOING ENTERTAINING A Week Ahead

• Think through the details about the specific person or celebration that is taking place and consider ways you can honor the guest or occasion. • Set up generational photos throughout your space. They provide decor as well as a legacy and conversation starter. • Deep clean the house and try to keep up the maintenance throughout the week. • Spread chores, grocery lists and “to do’s” out over days leading up to event, so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Bake ahead and put it in the freezer.

Day Before

• Set the table so you can focus just on the meal and entertaining. • Place flowers in warm water or near ripening fruit to get them to open.

Day of the Party

• Have large drink dispensers set up throughout the space for water, tea, punch, etc. • Cut up some fruits or vegetables and put them in your water. Cucumbers and oranges together are inexpensive yet look beautiful and taste refreshing. • Buy clear cups and have a black sharpie tied to the dispenser so guests can write their name on the cup. • Don’t forget the music! It helps set the mood you want to create and helps guests relax. • Intentionally seat guests where you think they will enjoy conversation and feel most welcomed. • Don’t be afraid of asking a friend or family member for help. We are made for community and don’t need to go it alone! — BLYTHE THIMSEN

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Take advantage of “found” items. Scavenge your yard for branches and greenery.

YOUNG KWAK PHOTO

“YOU’RE WELCOME!,” CONTINUED... “One of our favorite budget friendly ideas is using brown kraft paper as a tablecloth,” says Mollahan. “We’ve written ‘Happy Birthday’ down the center, or people’s names by their place setting, or ‘Merry Christmas’ on the ends. It’s kid friendly and makes for an easy cleanup.” Natural elements from your own backyard make great accent pieces — think fresh clippings of pine at Christmas, pine cones and leaves at Thanksgiving, and flowers and greenery in the spring and summer months. Dried oranges and cranberries make things festive and add beautiful color

and texture. “We suggest investing in a set of white napkins because they are timeless and you can bleach them,” says Mollahan. “You can tie string around the napkins, instead of napkin rings, and add a craft tag with your guest’s name and tuck a leaf, piece of pine, or flower inside for a special touch.” Though she is a professional floral designer, Signer is not beyond shopping her house for design pieces she already has. “Use a random bowl or forgo a container and simply lay greenery as a garland down the table,” she says. “Forage your own yard


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before buying foliage or blooms.” Making memories that are cherished is the essential goal. “One of my favorite things to do is to sit back and watch my family and friends talk around the table to each other about the deep and real things of life,” says Johnson. “We have so much to be thankful for and counting your blessings every day is a real thing.” Giving the best of yourself to your guests includes counting your blessings, cultivating a feeling of love around the table and creating memories to last a lifetime. Put those together and you have true hospitality indeed.

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The open concept floor plan featured in this Greenstone house in the Fall Festival of Homes has a walk-in pantry to banish the “messy kitchen.”

Home Making Inspiring ideas are everywhere you look during the Northwest’s home show season BY ANNE McGREGOR

W

atch any HGTV show and it won’t be long before someone announces, “Let’s take out that wall and open this up.” Indeed, open-concept floorplans offer things homeowners love: long vistas, options for spacious entertaining and unlimited togetherness for the whole gang. What they don’t like, however, are panoramic vistas of the “messy kitchen.”

The solution? A behind-the-scenes area to accommodate all those blenders, coffee makers and mixers. Like a mini-kitchen, these zones, which appeared in numerous homes offered in regional shows this year, can incorporate shelving or cabinetry, countertops and even additional dishwashers and refrigerators. Stephanie Link, marketing director for Spokane’s Greenstone Homes, describes

a prototype the company is testing in its Kingston floorplan in Greenacres, featured in this year’s Fall Festival of Homes: “It’s double the size of the typical pantry and runs the full width of the kitchen. There are lots of plug-ins and a counter, and it’s all hidden behind a door.” The idea that form should serve function was foremost in designer Wendy O’Brien’s mind as she developed the plan ...continued on page 32

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Health& Home


Five Trends You Can Use

WOOD “Wall and ceiling treatments are a great way to spice up any space,” says Portland designer Wendy O’Brien, who used peel-and-stick mosaic wood panels to add interest and warmth in her Portland show home’s dining room. “Play with direction — vertical, horizontal, diagonal. If cost is an issue, install on one section of a wall or build a framework with trim and install the treatment inside the frame to reduce the amount of material needed.”

LIGHTING Light fixtures are an easy upgrade to an existing home. “Lighting can be the focal point of a room and make a bold statement,” says O’Brien, who incorporated finishes ranging from a dark bronze in public areas to a soft silver-leaf fixture in the master bedroom to a hammered chrome industrial fixture in the laundry room. “Play with scale. Most rooms can handle larger fixtures than most people think.” SMART HOME TECHNOLOGY Concerned the garage door might have been left open? Stephanie Link of Greenstone in Spokane says they are offering a smart technology package that allows homeowners to remotely monitor garage doors, including opening and closing them, as well as the ability to tweak thermostats to adjust heating and cooling from afar.

FLOORING “Wood flooring is still the most expensive and probably perceived as the most luxurious,” says Link. However, there are other options that offer the look of wood, without the hassle. “There are some great benefits to the luxury vinyl plank,” says Link. Unlike wood, when exposed to water, “It won’t bubble up and get damaged, and it can be laid in different patterns. We experimented with gray plank set in a herringbone pattern, and it was just stunning. Kind of like an art feature.” If the floor does get damaged, ‘It is so easy to replace just one plank.” — ANNE McGREGOR

MAKE IT YOUR OWN “I really had fun curating, printing and framing a collection of vintage photos,” says O’Brien. “The wreaths, I hand made. Adorning the home symbolizes the way we connect to each other and ourselves. That is the real heart of the home.”

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“HOME MAKING,” CONTINUED...

Greenstone’s Stephanie Link says builders use home shows to figure out what consumers want in new construction. You can see this home (above), at 1824 S. Ridgetop Drive in Greenacres, during the Fall Festival of Homes.

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Health& Home

for her professional and people’s choice award-winning entry featured in this year’s recently concluded NW Natural Street of Dreams in Portland. “When you walk in the door, the home says, ‘Come and sit for a while with family and friends,’” she notes. In the Portland home, O’Brien utilized another solution for the messy kitchen. “Walk-in pantries use a lot of square footage. I designed the kitchen with a vertical pullout pantry compartment and a bank of


pullout shelves instead.” Another trend in regional home shows is energy efficiency. Link says Greenstone featured its first “net zero” home in last year’s home show. In fact, the company exceeded its goal, creating a house that actually produced more energy than it used. The response to the house, which was visited by more than a thousand people, was so positive that Link says, “Now we are offering starter solar panel packages that are expandable. Eight panels can get bills down to $20 instead of $200.”

Exterior styling trends lean toward the unfussy, but that can take a variety of forms, from a modern farmhouse to an angular, sleek midcentury modern revival. Home prices in this year’s Spokane show range from $279,00 to $949,900, but the majority are in the $325,000 to $550,000 range, says Joel White, executive officer of the Spokane Home Builders Association. A new feature for this year’s show is a Habitat for Humanity home recently completed in Deer Park that will be available for tours. While it is easy to be seduced, it’s best not to fall in love with a home in this year’s Festival; most of them have already been sold. “The market is extremely hot, and we just don’t have a lot of inventory,” says White. But he adds, “You could build a similar house in our community on a different lot.” Visit any or all of five host sites at the Spokane Home Builders’ Fall Festival of Homes, which concludes Oct. 5-7, from 10 am-5 pm daily. Free. Visit spokanefestivalofhomes.com for details.

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Each photo in this gallery represents a different travel memory for Raevyn West. ALI BLACKWOOD PHOTO

Art of Experience Fill empty walls with mementos of your travels BY ANNE McGREGOR

S

ummer’s long gone, but the happy memories from travels don’t have to fade away. Displaying photos from vacations and voyages is a fun way to tap into those experiences, and it creates a unique display — after all, those images on your camera and phone are one-of-a-kind. “I am not artistic at all and for me this is my own way of having something that is mine,” says Raevyn West, who crafted a display in her Kendall Yards apartment using frames she found online and the template that accompanied the set. The expense was minimal — about $60 for the

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frame set and a few dollars for printing the photos. A friend digitally adds a location stamp to each photo. “This is a nice way of showing my creative side in a controlled way,” West says. She chooses to pick one photo from each of her travels — in her case that’s one photo per country — to create a grid. She recently added new photos to the display. “It is sometimes impossibly hard to pick just one photo, but I try and pick the one that really brings me back to that place,” she says. Originally, she planned

to swap out photos, but that has proven difficult. “I love them all so much!” The display is a good conversation starter, too. “I work remotely sometimes and I have video conferences and everyone always comments on it,” she says. West also brings back other types of art from her travels — maps are a favorite item. And she tries to get an original piece of art from each country as well. Her next destination? Peru. “I’ve traveled for a long time, and that’s my passion point. It is the best art I can think of,” she says.


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PRO TIPS

When SHOOTING PHOTOS, Health & Home photographer Don Hamilton suggests shooting in HDR mode on your phone if you can: “The increased dynamic range will pay great dividends in your final print.” And it is best to avoid the zoom feature. “Get as close as you can to your subject and shoot full frame,” then crop the image as needed later. If you are shooting with a digital single-lens reflex camera, choose the RAW setting to obtain the highest resolution. “You get fewer images on a card, but the ability to choose white balance after the fact is well worth it.” In CHOOSING PHOTOS, Inlander and Health & Home photographer Young Kwak says to silence the inner critic: “Choose photos that look good to you. If there are a few photos that you absolutely love but aren’t necessarily the best, don’t be afraid to display them. You have to live with them, so you should be happy.” In PHOTO DISPLAYS, Hamilton and Kwak agree: The best way to display photos is in a black frame with a white matte. Be sure to choose acid free, archival mattes. “This suits me for both black and white, and color,” says Hamilton. “Your work will look better if it’s finished as it would be in a museum or gallery.” For smaller photos, Kwak recommends the same framing treatment, with the photos organized in a “random, puzzle-like design.” He adds that using a level and a chalk line or string can be helpful in making sure multiple photos are in line and level. “I also like canvas prints, self-framed on stretcher bars,” says Hamilton. For a sample of this technique, check out his canvas print portraits displayed in the Musicians Gallery in Spokane’s Fox Theater. — ANNE McGREGOR

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To add a focal point to this kitchen, Shaleesa Mize specified a unique light fixture crafted from reclaimed wood by Spokane’s Dare Designs. SHALEESA MIZE PHOTO

Lighten Up From bulb types to fixtures, lighting choices can elevate the look and feel of any interior space BY CARRIE SCOZZARO

F

ew things alter your interior environment the way light does. So let’s start with light bulb basics. Incandescent bulbs were industry-standards since their invention in the mid-1800s and have improved over time to last up to 1,000 hours. Incandescent light comes from a filament inside the bulb that also generates heat, giving these bulbs qualities that remind people of real sunlight. The downside is incandescent bulbs are not very energy efficient, giving off lots of heat as well as light. After some less-than-optimal attempts at energy saving bulbs that gave off green or bluish light and cast people in an unattractive glow, there are at last acceptable substitutes for incandescent bulbs. Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, use

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tiny semiconductors to create light very efficiently and for a long time — a single bulb can last up to 10,000 hours. And while these little powerhouses are brighter than incandescent lighting, they also come in a range of sizes and options: they’re dimmable, fit in most fixtures and use less energy. A bonus? Since one bulb lasts 10 times as long as its incandescent counterpart, they even save landfill space. COLOR YOUR WORLD Lighting can vary in temperature, from warm to cool, qualities that can affect color perception and mood in a given space. “For homes, I typically recommend LEDs with a warm white color temperature,” says Little Pacific Design Studio founder and designer

Shaleesa Mize. They offer “a more relaxed and comfortable feel, similar to what we are used to with incandescent bulbs.” Mize likes to layer the lighting in the work she does, which is mostly residential — spanning the process from design support to space planning, construction, selecting finishes, fixtures and furnishings. Her rule of thumb: “Each room should include three layers of lighting: ambient, task and accent.” In a kitchen, for example, recessed cans or overhead lights provide ambient or generalized lighting. Task lighting is function-specific: under a cabinet, over a workspace. “Accent lighting best sets the mood, so in a kitchen, some unique pendants or lighting in glass cabinets would achieve this goal,” says Mize. A recent project involved coordinating several styles of lighting — schoolhouse, vintage and more modern — throughout a residence, unified through the fixture’s finishes. She worked on the project with Ferguson Bath Kitchen and Lighting Gallery in Spokane. “It’s often the smallest details that make the biggest design impact,” says Ferguson showroom manager Dara Olson. “However, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the details and design choices, such as finishes.


We work with both designers and homeowners to choose coordinating finishes for all the appliances, lighting, faucets and fixtures throughout the home, ensuring a streamlined and beautiful look. For this project, a warm brass finish was chosen and carried throughout the home.”

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LIGHT TRENDS •• Lighting is more than just a functional element, says Mize. She likes to incorporate unique fixtures that provide accents or even an artful focal point. Chandeliers can obviously add interest to a high-ceilinged areas, like entry ways, but may create even more drama when used in unexpected areas, such as the master bedroom. •• Integrated technology is also a popular option. Why bother with light switches when you can have lighting that “learns” your behavior or motion sensors that automatically turn lights on and off? •• Just when lighting went all high-tech and modern, consumers fell in love with those old-fashioned Edison bulbs — funky-shaped clear bulbs with glowing filaments. The good news is the bulbs are now available in LED format. Another trend is the “schoolhouse” look — industrial, pendant lighting — that also can be accomplished with those efficient LEDs. •• Finally, says Mize, bigger can be better, as larger-sized fixtures are replacing rows of smaller ones, such as over kitchen islands and counters.

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Jianjun “JJ” Lu, aka Chef Lu, serves family style, authentic Chinese cuisine at his South Hill Asian Bistro. YOUNG KWAK PHOTO

All Fired Up Creating an authentic Chinese stir-fry with the help of an expert chef BY CARRIE SCOZZARO

I

t’s just before opening hour at Chef Lu’s Asian Bistro, and the clink of tables being set mingles with chopping and other kitchen sounds — a pleasant buzz at this new South Hill restaurant opened by Jianjun “JJ” Lu and his wife Monica Zhang earlier this year. Then Lu flicks a switch and the real power of the place roars to life: fire. High heat is essential to seal in mois-

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ture, making vegetables crisp and meat tender during so-called stir-fry cooking, says Vincent Cai, translating for Lu, who began his professional chef training in Tianjin, southeast of Beijing, at age 16. After cooking at various hotels in China, Lu emigrated to the United States, settling in Eastern Washington around 10 years ago. He worked for several restaurants and ran Chinese Gardens in Cheney before

opening Chef Lu’s. At Chef Lu’s, the range-top has been modified to accommodate several woks — the familiar dome-shaped pan that dates back several thousand years. Chef Lu’s largest is 18 inches across and surprisingly lightweight for cast iron. Elevated rings over the gas burners provide a snug seat for the wok, directing flames up and outward. Heat is vital to wok hay (aka wok hei), the breath of the wok, which author Grace Young details in her 2004 book, Breath of a Wok. In it, the American-born food writer traveled to China, returning with advice for those interested in wok cooking. Chinese-made cast iron is preferable, although it can be fragile if over-handled, while carbon steel is a good alternative, including modern woks featuring flat bottoms to allow for cooking on electric stoves. The wok is only one part of the equation, however. The sauce is the key, trans-

...continued on page 40


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hile caramels are a worthy indulgence any season of the year, they seem to go especially well with fall weather. A little stash of MOON CREEK GOURMET SWEETS’ handmade caramels will come in handy for a hostess gift or a ‘just because’ treat. Available in a traditional plain butter caramel, and of course a salted variety, there are also versions studded with roasted pecans, or wrapped around a dried cherry. Each flavor comes in a colorful wax paper wrap, hand-twisted by caramel master John Linstrom, who is staying busy during his retirement by running the business and cooking the caramels according to his wife Jean’s recipe in small batches right here in Spokane. — ANNE McGREGOR You can find Moon Creek caramels at Garland Mercantile at 823 W. Garland, or at buygourmetcaramels.com.

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Great care for life’s tough breaks Life happens. Usually when you least expect it. At Spokane Urgent Care, we’re here for what life throws your way. When an illness, minor injury, or health question can’t wait for your primary care provider, we are here to provide quality care, without an appointment. Our services include x-ray and on-site pharmacy.

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“ALL FIRED UP,” CONTINUED... lates Cai. “In real Chinese cooking, sauce is not pre-made.” Often it is mixed and added to the dish on-the-fly as the dish is cooking, not just poured on top afterward; a process that allows the complexities of the sauce flavors to become infused into the other ingredients. In Lu’s kitchen, a three-shelf sauce cart is crammed with ingredients: several types of soy sauce, including one infused with mushroom, containers of salt, sugar, cornstarch (for thickening sauces), chicken bouillon, chili sauce and oyster sauce, as well as onion-infused oil and orange sauce, both scratch-made. Lu also uses cooking wine, which is made from fermented rice and can vary from sweet to dry and from pale to amber to red, Shaoxing being the most popular brand. In Spokane, Asian market sources include Best Asian Market, Vina Asian Market and Asian World Food Market, but some ingredients might also be found in higher-end grocery stores and, of course, online. Chef Lu’s menu is a mixture of contemporary dishes, like those one might find in a conventional Chinese home; traditional, somewhat Americanized dishes; and spicy Szechuan cuisine. A separate area is dedicated to sushi. In addition to introducing local audiences to more authentic Chinese wok cooking, says Cai, Chef Lu’s offers a more social, relaxed way of eating for interested diners. Because dishes have different cooking times and are all scratch-made, he says, they are ready at different times, which encourages ordering multiple dishes and sharing them. Unfortunately, Cai notes, the chef has to remain in the kitchen tending the woks over their flames, so he rarely gets to enjoy his food while it’s hot.

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TWO LOCATIONS 40

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YOUNG KWAK PHOTOS

TRY IT FOR YOURSELF

Kung Pao Chicken

F

lavor is sealed in quickly in this dish, which allows for many variations: remove chicken to make it vegetarian; add or change vegetables depending on your taste and what is available. Even the heat level can be adjusted according to how many peppercorns and peppers are used. Serve as is or add rice for a hearty meal. SAUCE 1 teaspoon Chinese cooking wine, Shaoxing (available in specialty markets or substitute pale sherry) 2 teaspoons soy sauce 1 teaspoon white sugar 1 teaspoon cornstarch Salt to taste •• Mix together with a little water and set aside. CHICKEN MARINADE One large skinless, boneless chicken breast, cubed 1 teaspoon vegetable oil 1 teaspoon Shaoxing 1 teaspoon cornstarch •• Mix oil, wine and cornstarch together in a container. Add cubed chicken and stir to coat. Let rest while you assemble ingredients for rest of the stir fry. STIR-FRY INGREDIENTS Selection of vegetables, chopped into similar size pieces: carrot, zucchini, celery, onion, water chestnuts 1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns (also known as prickly ash and available at specialty market, or use Sichuan pepper oil in place of vegetable oil and omit peppercorns) 4 green onions, white and green parts, chopped 8 whole dried chili peppers (found in Mexican, Thai and Chinese cooking

section of grocery store) Vegetable oil for wok 1/2 cup shelled, unsalted peanuts, fried in oil to brown lightly

ASSEMBLING THE DISH •• Heat cooking oil in the wok until it is shimmery but not smoking. Add chicken cubes and cook, stirring, until color is golden (3-5 minutes). Remove chicken cubes from the wok and set aside. •• Add a little more oil to the wok, then add the vegetables and stir fry for a minute or two. (Tip: Put vegetables like carrots that take longer to cook in first.) Remove vegetables and set aside. •• There should still be a little oil in the wok. Toss in the Sichuan peppercorns, which will infuse the oil with heat. Remove these after a minute or so; they are only used to add heat to the dish and are not eaten. •• Add green onion and dried peppers to the wok and stir fry for a minute or two. Add the sautéed chicken cubes and vegetables and stir fry a bit. •• Add the sauce, turn up heat and cook while stirring for a minute or two. The sauce will thicken and coat everything nicely. •• Add peanuts to finish, stirring and turning off heat to serve the dish. — SHARED BY JJ LU OF CHEF LU’S ASIAN BISTRO OCTOBER – NOVEMBER 2018

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STEP AWAY FROM THAT PLASTIC

Bee-Based Food Savers

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ou’ve heard the oceans are filled with discarded plastic. And you’ve felt the guilt from unspooling a big length or plastic wrap only to discard it the next day. Fortunately a delightful solution is available. BEE’S WRAP food savers are crafted from colorfully printed organic cotton that’s sealed with beeswax, organic jojoba oil and tree resin. Warmth from your hands helps secure the wrap around most containers and almost any type of food (except meat); the beeswax and jojoba oil have antibacterial properties to keep things safe. After use, the wrap can be washed in cool water with mild soap. Rectangular wrappers in the small size are prefect for a lemon or snack; medium size can cover a bowl or encase a hunk of cheese, while the large size wraps can hold fresh greens or cover the top of a half-melon. There’s even a long skinny baguette wrap and a square sandwich wrap. With proper care, the wraps will last a year. — ANNE McGREGOR Available in Spokane at the Rocket Market and Natural Grocers; find more at beeswrap.com.

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A QUICK READ

Temp Testing

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ant to know if a steak is cooked medium rare? Instead of pressing on the flesh on the back of your hand and comparing the firmness to the “feel” to your steak, why not get a number? Experts agree that 130 to 140 degrees will result in a perfectly cooked piece of beef. Maybe you don’t eat a lot of meat — a loaf of bread is done when it hits 190 degrees. Playing kitchen scientist requires a good thermometer, and Spokane’s Bargreen Ellingson Foodservice Supply and Design has a robust selection of digital thermometers for local amateur and professional chefs to choose among. Features vary from the range of temps the thermometer can accommodate to how rugged the instrument is. There are lots of ways to destroy a thermometer. Here are some I’ve tried: melting it in the oven, melting it from sitting too close to the stovetop, drowning it in dishwater and destruction via dishwasher. Among the offerings at Bargreen, TAYLOR’S SLIM-LINE WATERPROOF DIGITAL THERMOMETER stood out. It offers one of the larger temp ranges — from minus 40 degrees to 500 degrees. Caveat: It’s not exactly waterproof; a careful read of the fine print on the packaging

notes, “Do not completely immerse thermometer in water or put into dishwasher.” And the company acknowledges the thermometer will melt if left in the oven, grill or microwave. But in spite of all that, this is a great little thermometer. It leaves a discreet hole in the food, thanks to a 1.5 mm tip; the time to register a temp is, while not instant, pretty darn quick. It turns itself off to avoid battery drain, and the ability to read the display while looking down on the thermometer is surprisingly helpful, especially if your oven is under the rangetop. — ANNE McGREGOR

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Van Chiu has made Best Asian Market one of the big draws in the Sprague Union District. YOUNG KWAK PHOTO

Importing Good Taste Best Asian Market is helping home cooks import exotic flavors into their kitchens BY QUINN WELSCH

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he shelves of Best Asian Market are stocked full of noodles, cans, sauces and other brightly packaged goodies printed with characters that are unfamiliar to non-native speaking customers. It all seems to jump out at you inside the building that was first built as a grocery store more than 80 years ago, located in Spokane’s newly rebranded Sprague Union District. The market is big — nearly 6,000 square feet — offering its mostly Asian

customer base a little bit of everything. But even though owner Van Chiu is from Vietnam originally, the market doesn’t focus on any one nationality or product. Chiu and his family emigrated from Vietnam to a refugee camp in Thailand in 1979 and ultimately landed in Los Angeles, where he grew up. Chiu would later study civil engineering and earn his Ph.D. from UCLA. The firm he was working for after college eventually closed shop, so Chiu decided to take a year off to be with his

siblings in Spokane. The break didn’t last long, though, as Chiu soon saw a business opportunity at Best Asian Market, formerly Bay Oriental Market. He purchased the market in May 2003 as a business venture for his family. He didn’t plan to stay for long, but he’s kept busy 15 years later. The real reward of the business has been the opportunity to give back to the community: Almost all of the market’s 10 or so employees are immigrants or refugees from Asian countries, Chiu says. The market also regularly makes in-kind donations to benefit St. Anthony’s in Spokane, a church with a large Vietnamese population, as well as the Spokane Buddhist Temple. “I come from an immigrant family,” says Chiu, “[and] one thing we pride ourselves in, we hire other immigrants who [are] fleeing persecution. Quite a few of them work for us.” Find Best Asian Market at 2022 E. Sprague Ave., 534-9300.

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Inland Northwest Food

Family

People

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MARKETS SHOP THE WORLD

ODESSA DELI

11415 E. Trent, 928-4272 This market offers a wide selection of meats, sweets and branded, imported products from Russia, Germany, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Israel.

A selection of the international markets of the Inland Northwest ALPINE DELI

CASSANO’S ITALIAN GROCERY

LA MICHOACANA MINI MARKET

ASIAN WORLD FOOD MARKET

DAMAS MIDDLE EASTERN GROCERY STORE

LIENG & PHANE ORIENTAL MARKET

417 E. Third, 455-5148 This German, Austrian and Bosnian grocery store sells a variety of foods from those countries, and makes all its desserts — even marzipan and baklava — from scratch. 3314 N. Division, 327-2899 Here you’ll find plenty of pantry staples for Japanese and Korean cooking, along with a wide selection of vegetables, noodles and kimchi.

2002 E. Mission, 747-3888 This longtime institution specializes in cured meats and hard cheeses imported from Italy. Cassano’s also operates an inhouse deli counter and a catering kitchen.

21 S. Thierman Rd., 703-7677 This local mini mart is stocked full of Middle Eastern delights like dried dates, baklava and traditional ingredients, such as fava beans, olive oil and halal foods.

DE LEON FOODS

102 E. Francis, 483-3033; 15530 E. Sprague, Spokane Valley, 926-5009 De Leon Foods stocks a massive variety of traditional Mexican and Latin American products — cheese, milk, yogurt, sour cream and Mexican sodas.

GOOD CHOICE

9512 E. Sprague, Spokane Valley, 927-3962 This Russian market with shelves full of treats and products from all over Europe also has a bakery that serves fresh-made cabbage, potato and meat-filled piroshkis.

INTERNATIONAL FOODS STORE

3021 E. Mission, 466-4784 Here you’ll find all the essential ingredients for cooking many traditional Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, such as Greek yogurt, halal meats, lentils and more.

KIEV MARKET

3716 N. Nevada, 4823 E. Sprague and 16004 E. Sprague; facebook.com/kievmarket This market sells traditional ingredients and brands from Russia and nearby countries, along with a variety of breads, herbal extracts and vinegars.

Magnolia Blossom, 1925 © 2018 Imogen Cunningham Trust. All rights reserved

YOUNG KWAK PHOTO

ORIENTAL GIFTS & FOOD

4270 W. Riverbend Ave., Post Falls, 208-773-4757 A one-stop-shop in North Idaho for organic and natural Korean, Chinese, Thai and Japanese ingredients, the shop also offers teas, energy supplements, Asian diet food products and spices.

9907 E. Sprague, 926-8251 This authentic Mexican restaurant also houses a mini mart stocked with traditional Latin ingredients so you can try your best to replicate the restaurant’s flavors at home.

ORIENTAL MARKET

13124 E. Sprague, Spokane Valley, 922-0924 This family-owned and operated Asian market opened back in 2004 and has become known for offering hard-to-find items commonly used in authentic Asian cuisine.

3919 E. Trent,, 535-3936 Locally owned since 1977, this Asian foods market sells a variety of specialty produce, including persimmons, pomelos and lychee and other ethnic products, such as ramen noodles.

MALINKA EURO MARKET & BAKERY 9564 and 18203 E. Appleway Blvd., Spokane Valley, 321-7479 This is a popular go-to for fresh fish, ice cream treats, hummus, cheese, milk, baked treats and other products from all across Europe, including bread and meat.

PHUNG-MART

317 W. Sixth St., Suite 103, Moscow, 208-892-0938 This Asian grocery store serves the Moscow area with fresh vegetables and other traditional ingredients, like spicy pickled bamboo, sesame paste, tofu and kimchi.

MARIAM INTERNATIONAL FOODS

116 E. Wellesley, 489-4961 This Middle Eastern store sells a variety of foods, meats and Mediterranean dairy products, like Gaimar and Valbreso brands.

PNW HALAL MEATS

1045 N. Grand Ave., Pullman, 339-6294 This Palouse vendor sells Middle Eastern, Persian, Indian and Bangladeshi pantry items, including halal meats, vegetables and dairy products.

MARIUPOL EUROPEAN BAKERY & DELI

3329 E. Sprague, 535-4426 Here you’ll find smoked fish, imported sausages, jars of pickled eggplant, cheeses and dumplings, along with freshly baked rye, cakes, chocolates and specialty food from Russia.

SHIN’S ASIAN MARKET

1475 S. Grand Ave., Pullman, 339-6084 This Asian market on the Palouse stocks goods needed to make a variety of authentic dishes, including samyang spicy cheese noodles, kimchi and butter chips.

MILLER’S COUNTRY STORE

VINA ASIAN MARKET

1326 Baldy Mountain Rd., Sandpoint, 208-263-9446 This market, deli and bakery sells bulk ingredients at wholesale prices along with specialty products such as Amish rolled butter, raw milk and farm fresh eggs.

1715 E. Francis, 315-9478 This grocery is filled with Asian fruits and vegetables like dragon fruit, bitter melon, kohlrabi, and breadfruit, along with staple ingredients including fish, rice and noodles.

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www.northwestmuseum.org OCTOBER – NOVEMBER 2018

45


JONATHAN HILL ILLUSTRATION

Unravelling Rivalries Brawling siblings can test even the most patient parent. Here are some ways to cope. BY JACOB JONES

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raig and Karin Kupp love competing. As two high-performing athletes, they believe sports help reinforce teamwork, discipline and personal achievement. Their four children, including Eastern Washington University football standouts Cooper and Ketner, have grown up in a world of winners and losers. “It doesn’t matter if we’re bowling or playing putt-putt,” Craig says with a chuck-

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le, “it can be pretty competitive.” “It’s friendly competition,” Karin notes. Both Craig and his father played professional football. Cooper, now a wide receiver with the Los Angeles Rams, marks the third generation of Kupps to compete in the NFL. After playing soccer in college, Karin moved on to marathon running and bodybuilding. She now works as a personal trainer.

Raising their children, the Kupps say they have seen many of the tensions and conflicts common to sibling rivalries — the arguing, the button-pushing, the tears. But building family support around sports and other shared goals has also helped turn those spats into opportunities for growth. Many experts contend that while sibling rivalries can strain family dynamics, they can also provide key lessons on how to


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SAT, DEC 22 8:00PM SUN, DEC 23 2:00PM resolve disputes and get along in the world. “It’s more about where you put the focus” Craig says. “We’re big on team first and you’re part of something bigger than yourself.”

K

J Dell’Antonia, former editor of the New York Times’ Motherlode blog and author of How to Be a Happier Parent, encourages parents to accept some level of bickering or jockeying as natural. Family members serve as safe and convenient foils for children as they test boundaries and absorb social norms. “They’re learning to sort of live with other humans,” she says. “It’s not just normal, it’s actually good for kids to do this jostling.” Balancing when to get involved is often

...continued on next page

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OCTOBER – NOVEMBER 2018

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Former EWU player Cooper Kupp, who graduated to the NFL, honed his competitive nature at home with his three siblings. YOUNG KWAK PHOTO

“UNRAVELLING RIVALRIES,” CONTINUED... the hard part, Dell’Antonia says. Many parents feel like they have to jump into the middle of arguments to impose a solution. Others will ignore disputes to let kids work it out themselves. (My own parents actually bought boxing gloves so my brother and I could “work it out.”) Dell’Antonia says parents can help make fighting more productive by calling timeouts when arguments escalate and giving children words to communicate their frustrations. Helping younger kids articu-

late their feelings moves them away from hitting or stealing, so they can talk out issues and seek compromises. “It’s really important that you don’t take sides,” she adds. “It often looks like there’s a right side by the time you walk in … but you don’t know what just happened, or what happened yesterday.” Elisabeth Lindsey, who leads a connection-based parenting group in Spokane and blogs at meditationmama.com, says competing for parental attention often begins

TIPS FOR PARENTS Encourage children to take the lead in solving disputes. Work with them to talk through feelings or make amends. Give them ownership of the conflict resolution process. Steer clear of comparing siblings to one another. Recognize the individual and unique strengths of each child. Avoid taking sides. It may look like one child was clearly at fault, but it can be hard to know how far back the dispute goes. And you may add to a pre-existing power imbalance. Explain to children that “fair” is not always “equal.” Older kids get special privileges, but also more responsibility. Some kids may need more attention as they cope with medical or developmental issues.

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Make tasks cooperative instead of competitive. Have kids work together to clean up messes instead of racing each other. Remember to acknowledge good behavior. Parents often ignore the actions they consider normal. They come swooping in for conflicts, but focus on those times when kids cooperate or share toys. Schedule quality one-on-one time with each child to nurture that personal connection and check in on their relationships with other siblings. Rotate who gets to make decisions or receives special privileges. If one child picked the family movie yesterday, someone else picks today. — JACOB JONES

early. She says her children — now ages 10 months, 3 years and 6 years — may act out when they feel insecure about their place in the family. Lindsey says she tries to empower her children by teaching them skills for positive interactions with younger siblings, like helping with diapers or soothing the new baby. They discuss feelings and how a child can advocate for his or her own needs while recognizing siblings’ needs as well. “We talk about how our actions can make another person feel,” she says. “We try to build empathy and respect. We encourage finding solutions to problems. We have them participate in coming up with ideas.” Her family uses a “Take Two” strategy where both children take a short break from each other and then come back to try to explain their frustrations or make amends for inconsiderate behavior. Anna Pearson, another mom with the Spokane group, emphasizes the importance of making one-on-one time with each child. She makes an effort to maintain emotional connections with each of her sons as an individual. Experts suggest asking each child about how they feel about siblings to help monitor their relationships. Pearson says she also notices more arguing and acting out when they get hungry, tired or stressed. “When my children are happy and healthy and have their cups full,” she says, “they are significantly more thoughtful and collaborative with each other.”

S

ome parents say it can be easier to have kids spread out in age, but others say a large age difference creates a power imbalance where older siblings manipulate younger ones. Some parents say different genders have more or less fighting, but that’s likely a matter of personal perception. What seems to matter most is how parents model positive conflict resolution and work to make children feel validated outside of their roles as a siblings. Encourage siblings to empathize and look out for each other. Maybe skip the boxing gloves. The good news? The Kupps, and many other parents, say sibling rivalries tend to fade as children become more comfortable with their own identities and more selfaware in their relationships. Karin Kupp says while parents can teach children how to challenge themselves without comparing themselves to others, it does take time. “Being your best self does have to be learned,” she says.


PLATE MANAGEMENT

Simple Steps Add Up

B

y now, you have heard of many diet plans and probably tried a few. There is bad news and good news. The bad news first: According to the best research, no one diet is superior to any other, and most people who try them do not succeed. The good news is that they all work if… one can stay consistent, and that is a big “if.” So what is the way to eat healthy? The answer is simple: Make very small steps to develop habits that will last a lifetime. A few suggestions for achieving success: •• Learn to eat more slowly. The mechanism by which the stomach tells the brain “I’m full!” is slow, so fast eaters go from being starved to being stuffed. •• Put the fork, the spoon and the sandwich down between bites. •• Eat your meal on a salad plate. If you are a visual eater, if you grew up in the “Clean Your Plate Club,” then you eat what is in

front of you, so reduce the amount your eyes are feasting on. In restaurants, split a meal with someone or ask the waiter to box half the meal before it is brought to your table. Even if you have made poor food choices, you are limiting the damage. •• Space your eating out during the day. The body can more efficiently digest and burn calories if you are not making dinner your biggest meal, and as a bonus you will sleep better. Developing healthy eating habits is the best path and ultimately the easiest path to managing weight. — ROBERT MAURER Robert Maurer is a Spokane psychologist, author of several books, including One Small Step Can Change Your Life and Mastering Fear, and the founder of the Science of Excellence consulting firm.

spokanecenter.com OCTOBER – NOVEMBER 2018

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Looking for Patterns Though a diagnosis of autism can take time, treatment for symptoms shouldn’t wait BY MATT THOMPSON

T

he word autism translates from Greek as “self-ism.” The term was first used in the early 20th century to describe withdrawn patients presenting with thought disorders. In the 1940s, a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Leo Kanner, began using the term to describe patients displaying a particular set of features associated with social and communication deficits. Autism as we know now it is a neurodevelopmental condition seen in children with varying degrees of “differences” compared to typically developing peers. In particular, these children exhibit difficulty with social interactions, often without the back-and-

forth exchange we expect to see in typically developing children; a tendency to have rigid and repetitive behaviors, inflexibility and often difficulty adapting to change; and a different sensitivity to sensory experiences. There is wide variability in challenges and strengths possessed by those with autism, so it is considered a “spectrum” of differences. Many roads can lead to autism, reflecting an array of combinations of different genetic and environmental influences. The functional impact of autism can vary from relatively mild difficulties with

social interactions, to being nonverbal and dependent on others for the person’s lifetime. About one-third of children diagnosed with autism also have intellectual impairment. In some cases, features of autism may be identified within the first year of life, but more often differences begin to show up between 2 and 3 years. Early intervention focusing on these “differences” is key because often a formal diagnosis isn’t reached until the child is 4 or even 6 years of age. There are currently a number of screening tools and checklists available to try to identify kids who are at risk.

For parents, the crucial information is that help is available once delays or deficits are identified. More and more research is directed at finding reliable biomarkers to diagnose autism and to predict severity at an early

WITH

ANNUAL REPORT EDUCATION ARTS FOOD & DRINK

SHOPPING

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THE INSIDER’S GUIDE TO THE INLAND NORTHWEST

ANNUAL MANUAL

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THE INLANDER’S 2018-2019 THE INLANDER’S

NIGHTLIFE SHOPPING GREEN ZONE RECREATION ANNUAL REPORT EDUCATION ARTS FOOD & DRINK NIGHTLIFE SHOPPING GREEN ZONE RECREATION ANNUAL REPORT EDUCATION ARTS FOOD & DRINK NIGHTLIFE SHOPPING

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age. Some researchers are looking into measuring differences in patterns of eye movements. Some are looking at functional MRI differences. And some are looking at patterns of EEG (electroencephalogram) activity. These studies are exciting, and promising, but for them to be useful as screening tools, they need to be precise, accurate, easy to administer and inexpensive. None of those methods fulfills all of that criteria yet, but there is hope for what the future holds. For parents, the crucial information is that help is available once delays or deficits are identified. Birth to Three programs, funded by the federal government, provide physical, speech and occupational therapies as well as special education services. Early intervention services can also include additional evaluation by specialists, such as a psychologist, developmental pediatricians, pediatric psychiatrist or pediatric neurologists. When kids turn 3, they can receive therapy services at their local school. As the national organization Autism Speaks emphasizes, the key is what is done at the time the first concerns arise. Their

POSSIBLE SIGNS OF AUSTISM AT ANY AGE: •• Avoids eye contact and prefers to be alone. •• Struggles with understanding other people’s feelings. •• Remains nonverbal or has delayed language development. •• Repeats words or phrases over and over (echolalia). •• Gets upset by minor changes in routine or surroundings. •• Has highly restricted interests. •• Performs repetitive behaviors such as flapping, rocking or spinning. •• Has unusual and often intense reactions to sounds, smells, tastes, textures, lights and/or colors. mantra is 1) learn the signs, 2) screen the child, 3) access services. They have put together a First Concern To Action toolkit that can be found on their excellent website: www.autismspeaks.org.

IN BABIES AND TODDLERS: •• By six months: no social smiles or other warm, joyful expressions directed at people; limited or no eye contact. •• By nine months: no sharing of vocal sounds, smiles or other nonverbal communication. •• By 12 months: no babbling, no use of gestures such as pointing, reaching, waving, to communicate; no response to name when called. •• By 16 months: no words. •• By 24 months: no meaningful, two-word phrases. Also a sign: any loss of any previously acquired speech, babbling or social skills. — SOURCE: AUTISM SPEAKS.ORG

Dr. Matt Thompson is a pediatrician at the Kids Clinic in Spokane and the medical director of Spokane Guilds’ School and Neuromuscular Center.

OCTOBER – NOVEMBER 2018

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CBD zone NOTE TO CONSUMERS

CANNABIDIOL-BASED (CBD) PRODUCTS in this advertising section come in two varieties. There are CBD products made from hemp (aka CBD Hemp Oil) that are federally legal for sale in all 50 states. There are also CBD products made from cannabis that are only legal to purchase where allowed under specific state laws, as in Washington’s retail cannabis shops allowed under RCW 69.50, RCW 69.51A, HB0001 Initiative 502 and Senate Bill 505t2. (For more information, consult the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board at liq.wa.gov.) Neither CBD product contains the psychoactive properties of cannabis flowers and extracts.

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Cannabidiol Gains Traction By Tuck Clarry

A

s cannabidiol (CBD) continues to become more common and profitable — estimated to become a $1 billion industry by 2020 — companies and medical professionals are seeking ways to implement and introduce the multipurpose product.

CBD Coke?

According to Bloomberg News, the beverage juggernaut Coca-Cola is looking to add CBD-infused drinks to its product line. The company is in talks to begin a partnership with Aurora Cannabis, a Canadian cannabis producer that is seen as a major player on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Coca-Cola spokesman Kent Landers says in a statement to Bloomberg News, “We are closely watching the growth of nonpsychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world.” The move would fit into the company’s efforts in the wellness-beverage game after the drop off with Vitaminwater and would certainly signal a new level of mainstreaming, should Coca-Cola move into the CBD business.


From Ohio to Idaho

Many misconstrue the Food and Drug Administration ruling on a CBD prescription drug as proof positive that CBD is legal in all 50 states. While the compound itself is approved, some of the ways that the compound is derived are not. A product made from hemp should have no problem passing all states’ tests for admittance, considering that THC levels in the plants are usually around .3 percent. However, CBD derived from cannabis plants usually are dealing with upwards of 30 percent THC, which would be considered illegal in nonlegalized states. Ohio, which recently passed medicinal laws for cannabis, is in a legal mess over whether to allow cannabis-derived CBD as it struggles to set up dispensaries in the state. On top of that, the Pharmacy Board of Ohio is now stating that CBD products in general are illegal if they are not being sold in a licensed dispensary. The state is now demanding that CBD oils go through the same testing and compliance protocols that products containing THC face. Closer to home, Idaho remains one of the states where cannabis-derived CBD oil is considered illegal.

A Good Night’s Sleep

Consumers with inflammation and chronic pain have found relief in CBDs, but more and more studies are also showing that the oil also can help those dealing with stress and anxiety. Considering the drug’s reputed ability to positively impact the neural pathways of the body and reduce inflammation, those dealing with oxidative stress could see impactful benefits with application or ingestion for stress, studies show. Some suggest a morning regimen could improve function throughout the work day, and a nightly regimen could impact the quality of sleep you’re having if you’re dealing with sleeping disorders or are a known light sleeper. OCTOBER – NOVEMBER 2018

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Roger Fruci’s vision of a community united by a garden is coming to fruition in the Bella Terra townhouse development. YOUNG KWAK PHOTOS

At the Heart of the Garden With visions of a gorgeous garden, Roger Fruci set off to develop a new kind of community BY SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL

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t the heart of a growing garden being built on Spokane’s South Hill, Roger Fruci leans against a piece of columnar basalt, listening as water trickles over carefully placed landscaping rocks inside a semi-hidden grotto. Like ocean waves or a breeze through the trees, this type of sound, he notes, is special. Noises that are both familiar and constantly changing are enticing to people, he says. They help create that feeling of a peaceful, natural presence. “There’s something about a confined space like this,” Fruci says. “A lot of people, to try and get the experience of nature, they buy acreage, which is fine. They go

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out and they buy five or 10 acres. But most people can’t do that, and most people can’t afford a garden like this.” But with his new development, Bella Terra, his hope is to make that natural access feasible in the city, and on a much smaller chunk of land. Bella Terra sits on 15 acres at 23rd and Havana, and Fruci’s plan is for all 87 planned townhomes to have a view of both running and still water, with fruit trees and edible and decorative plants accessible to all. In a sense, Fruci says, you could call the project a form of infill. Rather than providing acres of land per family, everyone will

share the benefits of the large garden at the heart of the entire project, which will be kept up through homeowners’ association fees. Walking paths and stones mark the way through the landscaping, surrounded by lush green grass and filled with water features and native plants. Fruci strolls through the property on a sunny late summer day, pointing out a pond that crews dug deep into the property so it could hold trout under one of the large trees salvaged for the project. The “contemplative grotto” at the garden’s core, that place where the water trickles, will serve as a private space among the shared, natural environment, he says. “Sometimes in a garden,” he says, “you want seclusion and privacy so you can really settle in.”

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alking past several already-finished, modern townhomes, Fruci shows off the planters topping the community wall, where there are tomatoes, chard, cucumbers and a host of other veggies and fruits that residents can freely pluck and enjoy. Everything being planted now will continue to mature as the property ages. “When we finish a townhome, they’re completely wonderful, they’re beautiful, they’re done, but the garden is just a baby,”


Fruci says. “But you can see even now, in its infancy, it’s so gorgeous.” There may be just a touch of irony that for Fruci, the garden is the key to everything. “Oh I don’t garden at all, I just like being in gardens,” Fruci says. “It’s like someone who likes to eat, but doesn’t cook.” But through the years Fruci has shown that he’s no stranger to taking an interest in

erty needed to be drawn up, the designs made with building and landscape architects, contractors and an interior designer. Infrastructure came first, and then, the real structural work. Now, several units are complete and a few are already home to the first residents. Designs in the community range from single-floor plans to three-story homes. Each is highly customizable, with options

Sightlines from each residence include vistas of both still and running water. things he didn’t necessarily have experience in. Originally from Spokane, Fruci studied English composition at the University of Washington and Western Washington University. But just after college he opted to train himself in accounting by reading the textbooks on his own. He passed the test and became a certified public accountant. After years of working in accounting and as a financial consultant, he decided he wanted to do something more creative and got thinking about diving into development. So, seven or eight years ago, his garden-centered idea for Bella Terra was born. “If I was gonna do something, I wanted to do something really beautiful and cool that incorporated what I like about gardens and nature,” Fruci says. “No one had ever done it as far as I knew. So I started inquiring around and finding out what are the obstacles and why people aren’t doing it, and decided it was feasible, not easy, but feasible to do it.” It didn’t all happen at once. The prop-

for high-end kitchens, floor-to-ceiling backsplash tile, fireplaces and more.

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ith all the privacy desired, and all the community when it’s wanted, Fruci says the homes are meant to appeal to all sorts of people. One of the biggest perks, Fruci says, is the ability to easily create a separate living space for a live-in caregiver or family member. Many residents will want to buy this as their “forever home” and age in place, he says, so the designers also left room for optional elevators to be added in as requested. In fact, he might choose to retire there himself. “When I thought about what kind of development I wanted to do… I thought, ‘I want to live in the Japanese garden [at Manito Park], but they won’t let me,’” he says. “So I thought, ‘How can we create something that has that kind of feel and energy, that kind of environment, with beautiful homes?’ Yeah I’d live here, because it embodies the kind of things I’d be drawn to in a community.”

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Profile for The Inlander

Health and Home 10/1/2018  

Health and Home 10/1/2018