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ou hold in your hands our annual BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST issue, the biggest one ever in our 27 years of publishing it. No, it’s not an antidote, a vaccine or a bunch of sanitizing wipes, but I think it’s a little of that. In this scary moment when the coronavirus is spreading uncertainty and fear, among other things, it’s vital that we remind ourselves of what we have, our strengths, our assets, the vitality and resiliency of the community we call home, that while doctors and others may prescribe “social distancing” and “self-quarantines,” we are not alone. We will get through this moment together. We are strong and joyous, and this week, with this massive issue celebrating the best of us, we are reminded of those essential qualities. We are not pretending the world isn’t upside down right now. Fundamental, everyday things we have taken for granted have been taken away, at least for the moment, little things like hugs and handshakes and the excitement of watching the Zags dunk on the giants of college basketball. Already, it’s been likened to the terror attacks of Sept. 11. I lived and worked LETTERS in Manhattan at the time and can Send comments to recall vividly how my previously firstname.lastname@example.org. acknowledged sense of invincibility was ripped apart. But then, in short order, those reassuring rhythms of American life — eating out with friends, shopping, laughing, dancing, celebrating — returned to the city. At first, embracing those small things felt like an act of patriotism and defiance, showing ourselves and the rest of the world that being alive also meant living. Then, quickly, we stopped waxing poetic and it was just life. That will come soon for us, too. In the meantime, we at the Inlander will be here, a part of the community, bringing you thoughtful, fun and important stories about the world around us, supporting our readers and local businesses in the ways we always have. Our mission has perhaps never been clearer: to keep the people of the Inland Northwest informed and connected. Readers are seeking out our journalism in greater numbers than ever before — not just pandemicinspired articles, but the cheery stuff, too. And we plan to continue delivering lively, urgent coverage day after day, week after week. I’m not sure what surprises tomorrow may reveal, but I know this: We will be there to cover it for you, and no one will be left alone in the dark. — JACOB H. FRIES, Editor
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I’m a caregiver for my dad. He’s 96, so I just go from our home to his home and back and try to stay out of the mainstream of people. We live in the country so we’re out and away from people anyway. We’re just handling it as we need to.
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We’ve set up an at-home schedule because [the kids] don’t have school — which includes going for a walk or getting some kind of exercise. Are you anxious at all? No, because I just don’t allow that to bother me. I feel like that’s bad for your immune system if you get all worked up and stressed out about it.
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I think we’re coping well. We feel anxious like everybody else because of the uncertainty and the unknown, and the more things close down, the more sort of fearful I think people become. How is your TP supply? TP supply is fine. We did not panic. We only purchased when we needed to.
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Today is St. Patrick’s Day and everything is closed … which also happens to be my birthday. Kind of a whatever day. No restaurants. No bars. Do you think it’ll blow over? Yeah. I’m thinking once it starts warming up and everyone starts getting outside and moving and we’re not clogged up inside, it should clear itself up.
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I’m not really that worried. I feel like if you just wash your hands and stay away from big crowds you’ll be fine. How old are you? I’m 11. Do you like staying at home? I’d rather go to school because even at home you can’t really go anywhere or do anything except homework.
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The coming weeks will be a marathon; let’s run it together BY TED S. McGREGOR JR.
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s we set out into the coming weeks of disruption, oddly enough my mind turns to Don Kardong running his Olympic marathon in Montreal back in 1976. The marathon is among the most challenging of athletic contests — for its sheer physical endurance, but even more so for the mental toughness it demands. I think of this beloved Spokane citizen because I have long admired Don’s calm, cerebral approach to life in general. He shared the story of that run with me last spring, and it was a tale of brains as much as brawn. Here was a skinny kid from Bellevue going stride for stride with a badass (believed to have been doping) from East Germany. It was the most important race of his life; he stayed calm and followed his plan. Don needed to be at his best, and he was: He told me he had the best run of his life that day. That story keeps coming back because I feel like we’re all starting a marathon together right now. The road back to normalcy is not going to be a sprint; it will be a long, often solitary road, with uphills, hopefully some downhills to catch our breath, and eventually a finish line. We need to be at our best, too. Right now, our minds are racing as we’re adjusting to this new, temporary reality. But we need to think like a marathon runner. We need to channel our inner Kardong. Create a strategy to get through the whole race. Exude calm and patience. Pace ourselves. Keep our eyes on the finish line. Wuhan had just one new case Tuesday. South Korea is mopping up. We’ll get there, too. But let’s all understand that we just started Mile One.
ne foot in front of the other. Mile by mile, day by day. As we start this run, there’s a simple, guiding principle we all must commit to: Do your job.
Of course it’s impossible to ignore that our national leaders have failed to do their jobs to prepare us. The federal government has so far mostly left us on our own. That makes it harder, but we can manage. The ranks of our state and local leadership are filled with seasoned veterans like Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and Washington Governor Jay Inlsee — leaders we can trust. Honest, frequent communication will be crucial to staying on course together; the Spokane Regional Health District has a particularly important communications role to play. We need all our local leaders to be at their best, and we need to support them however we can. But it’s not just up to them: We all need to be heroes in our own way. Every citizen has a responsibility to take care of him or herself and their family — and then to see how they can help. Perhaps that’s just staying out of the way, not buying all the toilet paper or just being kind. Panic and selfishness will only make this worse. Many will be called to the front lines, especially our brave health care workers. We have built one of the great health care communities in the nation here, and we’ll need to support it however we can. It’s comforting to know that we’ve been through challenges like this one before. My grandparents lived through the decade-long Great Depression. It did not crush them. In the end, it made them great. Many of us lived through 9/11. It connected us as Americans in new and profound ways. History is a comfort and offers us perspective and wisdom — it tells us this will be a moment we will all be proud of one
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Olympic runner Don Kardong and Spokane’s patron saint, Aloysius Gonzaga (facing page), both offer inspiration in these turbulent times. day. If we do our jobs. We have a couple blessings to count, too. Technology connects us like never before, which gives us a partial antidote to the isolation to come. We can talk to our grandparents, connect with friends all over the country and laugh at the memes. And like a beach town with a tsunami warning system, we have been given the head start our friends and family in Puget Sound were not. We have a little more time to lessen the impact of this wave, to get our lives back to normal a little sooner — if we do our jobs starting right now.
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nother ace in the hole is in our character: We all know that the Inland Northwest is a generous place. As this unfolds, our instinct to help will kick in. Here at the Inlander, we will continue to connect you with stories of people in need, businesses that could use a lift and citizens being heroic in small but important ways. If you would like us to shine a light on areas of need, please reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ve been publishing the Inlander continuously since 1993, and here in our time of need, we will continue to publish in print every week, with daily updates online at inlander.com, where you can even see an electronic version of the printed edition. One crucial task everyone can participate in is helping to keep commerce rolling however we safely can. Consider yourself deputized to the cause. Commerce will continue, in new and different ways. Restaurants and other impacted businesses will tell you how they will continue to stay open, and as you can, you need to find ways to support that. Displaced workers will need the charity of those who can share, and you will no doubt be presented with ways to pitch in. You could say that the spirit of giving and selflessness that marks our community comes down to us from 16th century Italy and our patron saint, old Aloysius Gonzaga. The namesake of one of Spokane’s founding institutions — Gonzaga University — and godfather to the mighty Zags, Gonzaga was born to the leading family of Mantua, Italy. Destined to live a comfortable life in that wealthy city, the young Gonzaga turned his back on his family’s riches and chose to join the Jesuits. Then fate intervened. When the plague came to Italy in 1591, he did not hesitate to care for the sick. In a reminder of how serious today’s challenges can be, the 23-year-old contracted the disease and died. Today, all these years later, the one member of the House of Gonzaga the world remembers is our beloved St. Al and his devotion to healing. In the tough times these next few weeks will bring, you can say a little prayer to him or just be moved by his example to dig a little deeper into the powerful, mysterious reserves of the human spirit. The way we take on this race over the coming weeks could define who we are as a community for years to come. Spokane and the Inland Northwest were poised for greatness before last week, and we’ll come back stronger than ever when this gets over. We need to all be at our best and do our jobs so that when life returns to normal, it will be sweeter and more precious than ever. n Ted S. McGregor Jr. is the publisher of the Inlander.
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COMMENT | CULTURE
Black History 2.0
CALEB WALSH ILLUSTRATION
The ABCs of black history BY INGA LAURENT
lavery was so long ago, can’t we just move on?” In all honestly, I promise, so many of us yearn to be free from those past atrocities, but leaden chains do bind, burdening us until we acknowledge all that we carry. Slavery was never the soul (sic) method of dehumanization, just one weapon in supremacy’s vast arsenal. Dynamics of hierarchy never die, they just morph into something different. Voter suppression — gerrymandering ourselves into the unrecognizable — mirrors the three-fifths compromise. A systemized breaking down, bargaining over representation. The origin of a pernicious myth that people can somehow be less than whole. School-to-prison pipelines leading to mass incarceration. A warehousing in public and private holdings built to subsidize corporations that profit from the labor inside, reminiscent of servitude and sharecropping. Segregated schools haunt us like George Wallace’s words “segregation now, segregation forever.”
8 INLANDER MARCH 19, 2020
A de facto system persists, though Brown v. Board of Education made it de jure illegal. Pseudoscience underneath stop and frisk, the war on drugs, thugs and superpredators placates. A justification of debunked theories — eugenics, craniometry and higher “pain tolerance” — masquerade as legitimate, creating hyper-criminalization. Countless deceased. In streets — Mike, Freddie, Rekia. From cars — Philando and Sandra. On playgrounds — Tamir. Inside (often redlined) homes — Atatiana and Botham… Gross and deadly mischaracterizations. Till. The Central Park Five. Kidd, Hinton, McMillian… Lists so long, multiple columns couldn’t recreate them. Lynching. Charlottesville. Confederate flags, memorabilia, statutes and rhetoric. Contorted overreaches of constitutional interpretation for free speech and bearing
arms, producing the need for “Hatewatch.” Constant vigilance is constricting, how can we ever thrive if we can barely breathe? Also consider the seemingly less malignant but ultimately damaging complicity of tears, fragility and savior complexes. “You’re so insert adjective here ‘exotic, articulate, smart.’” “I’m not racist but…” “I don’t see color.” “I don’t care if you’re black, white, red, purple or polkadot.” “Can I touch your hair?” Tokenizing. Supremacy’s yolk permeates everything in endless iterations. Insidious. Infectious. Illusory. Whether state-sanctioned or merely tolerated, individual prejudice (implicit or otherwise) and systemic policies and practices all operate in service to one master. Divest. Devalue. Devastate. Disenfranchise. Dehumanize. Disempower. Dilute. Destroy. We can never get over that which is unceasing. Black history is not a month, or a monolith, it’s simply a choice: Stay mired in false narratives of greatness or grow. If open to learning, shame is unrequited/necessary/ productive. In this space, we are a collective, learning to exercise true shared responsibility and agency. And admiration of genuine greatness, flourishing despite all the above, is welcome here. #BlackExcellence, resilience and magic does exist in lists so long… Alvin Ailey, Arie, Adichi, Ali, Angelou, August, Angela Davis and allies Liuzzo, Drs. Maucione and DiAngelo. Baldwin and bell. Black Twitter. Booker T. Crenshaw, Chisholm, Cullors, Camesha and Chad Little. Dessalines, DuVernay, David Boone and Dr. Jeanne Baynes. Our Ellas — Baker and Fitzgerald. Fred Hampton, Fannie Lou and Frederick Douglass. Guy and Ginger. Harry Belafonte, Hendrix and Henrietta. Ida B., Jesmyn Ward and James McBride. Kendrick, King, Killer Mike, Kehndi, and Dr. Kellie Carter-Jackson. Laverne Cox & Lorde. E. Murphy, Mary Mcleod Bethune, Mandela, Michelle Alexander and Marsha P. Johnson. Nipsy Hussle and Nicole. Omari. Pastor Shon and Porter, the Billy. Queen B and Quincys. Robinson (42). Ms. Scott, the Shakurs (Tupac and Assata), #SayHerName, Shantelle, Stevie, Stevenson’s EJI and Sojourner Truth, TaNehisi, Tubman & Toni. Usain. V. Williams, also Sandy, Whitehead, Walker(s) and W.E.B. DuBois. X (Malcom). Young Thug, M.A, Jezzy and Zora. We are living history — socialized, shaped, influenced and impacted — only when we lift every voice, in recognition rather than repression, do we stand a chance of moving on, together. n Inga N. Laurent is a local legal educator and a Fulbright scholar. She is deeply curious about the world and its constructs and delights in uncovering common points of connection that unite our shared but unique human experiences.
WEâ€™VE EXPANDED MORE THAN OUR RESORT. Over the past 19 years, the Kalispel Tribe has also expanded its commitment to charitable giving with over $19 million in donations to date. This has helped hundreds of charities grow their programs, providing critical services to even more people throughout our region. And together, weâ€™ll continue that kind of expansion, building a safer, healthier and brighter future for everyone. kalispeltribe.com
MARCH 19, 2020 INLANDER 9
10 INLANDER MARCH 19, 2020
COMMENT | FROM READERS
CALEB WALSH ILLUSTRATION
MUST BE THE MONEY was puzzled by George Nethercutt’s column in last week’s Inlander
(“Voter’s Rule,” 3/12/2020). Term limits is hardly a subject that people are talking about much these days. There is far more concern about voter suppression, partisan gerrymandering, dark money and the prohibitive cost of running a campaign these days. Of these, Nethercutt just made a passing reference to the last item. Most voters nowadays understand that the levers of power are controlled by large corporations and a very few billionaires that provide the majority of the cash for these obscenely expensive campaigns. So it really doesn’t matter whether the puppet in the congressional seat has been there for two years or 20. When they leave that seat, willingly or not, the odds are they will be replaced by someone approved by the wealthy few. People who dispute this will point out successful campaigns by those who buck this line, and such cases draw a lot of press attention. But that is really beside the point: Moneyed interests do not need to win all the contests, only a comfortable majority. And this they certainly do. The result is that LETTERS popular opinion has been demonSend comments to strated to have an insignificant effect email@example.com. on the policies and legislation of our federal government, and yet those policies track very closely with the preferences of wealthy interests. This will not change until we correct the Supreme Court-induced fallacies that money is constitutionally protected speech, and that corporations have the same rights as people. TED HENSOLD Spokane, Wash.
WISE AND COMPASSIONATE RESPONSES n times of crisis, let’s make wise choices about how we respond. Do we
pull together to support our larger community? Or do we narrowly focus on getting our needs met at the expense of others — such as hoarding toilet paper and other supplies? As Gandhi reminded us: “The world has enough for everyone’s needs, but not everyone’s greed.” Sadly, our current president models an ego-centered approach. When timing was critical, he refused to cooperate with the World Health Organization to access effective coronavirus testing kits. Instead of accepting responsibility for bungling his response to the coronavirus outbreak, President Trump consistently blames others. He continues to give confusing messages that contradict expert medical advice. His priorities are clear: businesses get tax breaks; but ER nurses, such as my daughter, lack access to sufficient face masks to safely do their jobs. Instead of inspiring collaboration to end a global pandemic, President Trump makes unilateral decisions without consulting other nations. A German government source recently confirmed that President Trump tried to secretly make a deal with German scientists working on a vaccine to be exclusively available to only people in the United States. Worldwide problems require international solutions — not the hoarding of private resources. In this election year, we have a clear choice about the country’s future. As voters, carefully evaluate how our president is behaving during this time of crisis. Let’s elect a new leader who inspires wise and compassionate responses — nationally and internationally.
“THE KALISPEL TRIBE CARES ABOUT FEEDING OUR COMMUNITY.” Jason Clark, President and CEO, Second Harvest
Since opening Northern Quest Resort & Casino in 2000, the Kalispel Tribe of Indians has donated more than $19 million to local nonproﬁts in Spokane and Pend Oreille Counties. This includes Second Harvest, a valued organization that has been building healthier communities through food since 1971 and currently helps feed more than 55,000 people a week in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. “Collectively, we’ve decided hunger is unacceptable,” says President and CEO Jason Clark. “Our community works together to feed those in need, especially our children. Through our Bite 2 Go weekend elementary program alone, we feed more than 5,000 kids each week. With the help of 8,000 volunteers, we distribute 31 million pounds of food each year where it’s needed most. That’s food for 70,000 meals a day for our neighbors in need. “I sense a real, genuine concern about communities and people from the Kalispel Tribe. Those values align closely with our mission, and the Tribe is extra special to me.” If you’d like to help make a diﬀerence, learn more at www.2-harvest.org.
SUSIE LEONARD WELLER Liberty Lake, Wash.
MARCH 19, 2020 INLANDER 11
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HATE BY PROXY Last week, Innovia Foundation CEO Shelly O’Quinn initially refused to say whether the foundation would stop contributing to the alt-right website VDare.
The Innovia Foundation’s former president has finally won his three-year battle to stop the organization from donating to a racist website BY DANIEL WALTERS
here’s one thing the Innovia Foundation can never say: That it hadn’t been told. Mark Hurtubise, the outgoing president of the foundation — then known as the Inland Northwest Community Foundation — was first alerted by his grants department in late January of 2017 that his organization was being used as a middleman to help fund VDare, a racist alt-right website. So way back in February of 2017, Hurtubise says, he sent a six-page letter to the foundation’s board members, warning them that the institution’s integrity was at stake, and laying out a number of noxious statements that had been published on VDare. There were articles accusing black people and immigrants of having lower IQs, arguing that America was founded explicitly as a “white nation, for white people,” blaming Jews for “weakening America’s historic white
majority,” and a quote, from VDare’s founder, that “Hispanics do specialize in rape, particularly of children.” A wealthy donor wanted to use the “donor-advised fund” he’d set up with the community foundation to donate thousands of dollars to VDare. Legally, the ultimate destination of his money was solely controlled by the community foundation. But the foundation’s board chair at the time, Bob Bishopp, argued that they had “no legal basis” to not send the money to the hate group, although he also noted that, in the near future, the board should revisit the issue, and potentially rewrite their policies. Hurtubise refused to sign the check, but the board — which included community figures like Patricia McCrae, president of KHQ, Inc., and Sandi Bloem, former mayor of Coeur d’Alene — went forward with the donation anyway. For the next three years, Hurtubise repeatedly pleaded with the foundation’s leadership to officially commit to no longer funding hate groups. But records suggest that Hurtubise was rebuffed, accused of trying to hurt the foundation and told he might need to consider getting a lawyer, all while Innovia continued lavishing increasingly large sums upon VDare. Since Hurtubise stepped down as the foundation’s president in June of 2017, the group has sent an additional $34,500 in donor-advised funds to VDare. “I had concluded there was no empathy, no real concern for people who were being affected by these grants,” Hurtubise says. “It’s not moral.”
YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
But last week, the Southern Poverty Law Center, an anti-hate group, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations released a white paper on how charities contribute to hate groups. It starred Innovia under a section titled “Donor Recommends a Grant to a White Nationalist Organization.” Within six days, Innovia announced that they would no longer support VDare, and that a new anti-hate policy would be passed next month to ensure they “never again provide grant funds to organizations that promote hate.” Innovia says that they’d spent years laying the groundwork for the new policy. “The community has taken the foundation out behind the woodshed and we got spanked. We did,” acknowledges Spokane City Councilwoman Betsy Wilkerson, a black woman who rejoined the Innovia Foundation board in 2018. “We were slow in responding. But we had to work through the process.”
TRUTH OR VDARE
Named after “Virginia Dare,” supposedly the first white child to be born in America, VDare’s mission goes beyond the rhetoric of a typical anti-immigration group and into claims that changing the country’s racial balance threatens the very survival of America’s identity. “VDare.com also regularly publishes articles by prominent white nationalists, race scientists and anti-Semites,” notes the Southern Poverty Law Center in an article labeling VDare a “hate group.” ...continued on next page
MARCH 19, 2020 INLANDER 13
NEWS | NONPROFITS “HATE BY PROXY,” CONTINUED... Conservatives often reflexively dismiss the SPLC, accusing them of tarring even mainstream conservative groups by calling them bigots. But many of those conservative groups also accuse VDare of bigotry. Conservative pundit Ben Shapiro, for instance, calls VDare a “white supremacist” website. In 2018, the Trump administration fired speechwriter Darren Beattie just for speaking at a panel with the founder of VDare. And when conservative outlets exile a right-wing figure as too beyond-the-pale for their views to be even published, VDare welcomes them with open arms. The conservative National Review magazine fired John Derbyshire for writing a piece for another publication urging parents to tell their children to avoid “events likely to draw a lot of blacks.” But he found a home at VDare, where he quickly wrote that “white supremacy, in the sense of a society in which key decisions are made by white Europeans, is one of the better arrangements history has come up with.” The conservative Canadian outlet Rebel Media fired commenter Faith Goldy after she celebrated a “rising white racial consciousness” at the infamous 2017 alt-right rally in Charlottesville and then appeared on a neo-Nazi Daily Stormer podcast. Today, Goldy publishes podcasts with titles like “Whites Have Rights: It’s Time to Get Serious About Secession” on VDare. While VDare founder Peter Brimelow denies he’s a white nationalist — he’s said that his “heart is with civic nationalism,” but his “head is with racial nationalism” — he’s repeatedly celebrated the fact that VDare publishes white nationalists. Fifteen years ago, Brimelow was publishing a far-right figure named Jared Taylor, praising him as “the most brilliant and accomplished figure among white nationalists.” The month before the 2017 rally in Charlottesville, one of the organizers had penned a VDare article titled, “Yes Virginia (Dare), There Is Such a Thing as a White Genocide.” When a woman was killed by a white supremacist in the rally, even the online payment service PayPal refused to process donations to VDare. But for two and a half years after Charlottesville, donor-advised funds continued to support VDare. In 2018, the Inland Northwest Community Foundation spent $90,000 and held numerous meetings with around 50 different stakeholders to rebrand itself as “Innovia,” but continued to shell out increasing amounts of funding to VDare on behalf of its mystery donor. Their tax records released that year show that during the first year of the foundation’s new CEO, former County Commissioner Shelly O’Quinn, donor-advised grants to VDare cracked the $5,000 threshold for the first time. In June of 2018, Hurtubise wrote about his frustrations in Alliance, a magazine about the philanthropic world: “In my long career,” he wrote, without naming Innovia, “I believe passive racism was ratified over my objection when the board unanimously favored the biases of a wealthy donor instead of supporting the advancement of all races.” In September of 2018, he sent a letter to the board and O’Quinn. He cited the Alliance article and pleaded with them to explicitly guarantee that foundation funding would not be used to support “racist/and or discriminatory endeavors.” But Innovia quadrupled down. Between the summer of 2018 and the summer of 2019, it quietly channeled $22,000 more in donor-advised funding to VDare. Hurtubise had no idea it was that much. But he kept pestering the board to change their policies. “I even said to the board, ‘I’m assuming most of you are Christian,’” Hurtubise says. “‘It’s easy to say that
14 INLANDER MARCH 19, 2020
Betsy Wilkerson, recently appointed to the Spokane City Council, rejoined the Innovia board in 2018. you’re a Christian if you’ve never had to be one.’” By June of 2019, legal action was being discussed. “As I am reading through emails you have sent to others over the past six months, including this weekend, I have to ask: What is your motivation?” O’Quinn wrote to Hurtubise. “Is it to: Destroy the foundation? Indict certain board members? Right a perceived wrong? If this is the case, then perhaps we both need to ‘weigh seeking legal counsel.’” In the email, O’Quinn stressed that she didn’t want to get lawyers involved, but also that she refused to discuss what happened in the past. Today, O’Quinn tells the Inlander that Hurtubise first raised the prospect of legal counsel and that she’d invited him to work with Innovia to change their donor-advised fund policy. Hurtubise disputes that characterization and says O’Quinn’s email was the final straw. In August of 2019, he sat down at a symposium about nonprofits funding hate groups that included the Southern Poverty Law Center and shared his story. Still, the Innovia spigot continued flowing to VDare, with Innovia donating an additional $7,500 between September and November of last year. It was only this week that Innovia was willing to say they’d no longer fund VDare. O’Quinn, however, claims the board hadn’t been ignoring the issue. Instead, she says they’d been on a “journey over the last two and a half years” to change the board’s policies. “We did take action. It was not as fast as I would have liked,” O’Quinn says. “It’s not as simple as simply adopting an anti-hate statement.”
But Hurtubise says it was as simple as telling the donor “no.” For wealthy donors, donor-advised funds offer an appealing deal: They can donate assets — including money, stocks and land — to a community organization, get a big, immediate tax write-off for it, and get to suggest how the funds should be spent. The catch? According to the IRS, the community organizations “must have the ultimate authority over how the assets in the funds are invested and distributed.” But O’Quinn says that, in the case of the donor recommending Innovia donate to VDare, he had the “expectation” that Innovia would donate to whatever 501(c) (3) nonprofit he recommended. O’Quinn argues Innovia
DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
had to consider issues like avoiding potential litigation. (Some donor-advised fund providers have been sued by donors who accused them of breaking promises.) Hurtubise, however, notes that the attorney’s law firm for the foundation was also the attorney’s law firm for the donor. “There’s obviously an appearance of a conflict of interest,” Hurtubise says. But it’s complicated, O’Quinn says. During her halfhour interview with the Inlander on Monday, O’Quinn uses the phrase “legal complexities” or “legally complex” nine times. “Do you realize that of the 750-plus community foundations in the country, there’s only a handful that actually developed anti-hate policy statements and we are going to be among them?” O’Quinn says. “Most of them have not, because it is not a simple issue.” Indeed, in a 2019 article in Sludge, a left-leaning journalistic website, investigative reporter Alex Kotch calculated that two of the largest donor-advised fund providers, Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund and Vanguard Charitable, donated a combined $46,100 to VDare over a three-year period. And as Kotch argues, these foundations aren’t just giving the donors the right to donate to controversial organizations, they’re giving them the power of anonymity. The IRS doesn’t know who the donor is sending his money to VDare through Innovia. Even VDare doesn’t know. “The new white hood is the anonymity that is provided by foundations to facilitate the awarding of millions of dollars going to hate organizations,” Hurtubise says. For all his brashness, even Hurtubise isn’t willing to identify the name of the donor, feeling bound by his fiduciary duty to the organization he just led. But, increasingly, nonprofits are pushing back against the issue. Last year, the Amalgamated Foundation launched a “Hate Is Not Charitable” campaign to urge nonprofits to promise to no longer allow donor-advised funds to go toward hate groups. And, next month, Innovia will officially be making that promise, part of what Wilkerson and O’Quinn characterize as their larger commitment to diversity and racial equity. Hurtubise says that, at least, is a cause for celebration. “It can be a model for what other community foundations can do,” he says. “This is exactly what I thought the foundation should have done back in January of 2017.” n firstname.lastname@example.org
NEWS | BRIEFS
Bagging It Paring down plastic
tarting in January 2021, customers in Washington state will no longer be able to get single-use PLASTIC BAGS for their purchases at grocery stores and retail outlets. This session, lawmakers passed a statewide plastic bag ban meant to encourage the use of reusable bags by shoppers. Similar bans had previously been passed by cities like Seattle and Bellingham. Stores will still be allowed to provide paper bags but must charge customers 8 cents per bag. They will also be allowed to continue using any previously purchased plastic bags for up to a year after the ban starts. After that, they would also have the option of providing thicker “reusable” plastic bags that contain recycled content, also for an 8-cent fee that goes up to 12 cents in 2026. Low-income individuals who qualify for food assistance will not have to pay the fees. By way of history, legislative staff noted that plastic bags didn’t come into popular use in American grocery stores until 1982. Soon after, single-use bags took over nearly the entire market, which previously had favored paper. Grocery store associations were on board with the changes, as were recyclers, who often deal with wishful recyclers’ plastic bags (which are not recyclable at most centers) getting caught up on spinning equipment and slowing down the sorting process. Environmental groups also cheered the measure for its potential to prevent plastic pollution in the state’s waterways. The bill still needs to be signed by Gov. Jay Inslee to become law. (SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL)
A bill that would ban transgender girls and women from playing SPORTS that align with their gender identity has passed the Idaho Senate. The bill doesn’t apply to transgender boys or men. Instead, it prohibits transgender girls and women from joining women’s sports teams at K-12 schools, public colleges and universities in Idaho. The House had already approved a version of the bill that required a pelvic exam and other ways to prove their gender if someone challenged it. The Senate amended the bill to say that when gender is in dispute, it should be resolved by a student going through a health examination to look at their reproductive anatomy. As of press time the House would have needed to approve the amendment before it was sent to the governor’s desk. If approved, this would be the first of its kind to pass any state legislature in the country. The Idaho Human Rights Campaign says the bill “invades the privacy of Idaho’s youth.” Alphonso David, president of the HRC, says in a statement that the law is “retrogressive, invasive and patently anti-transgender.” “These elected officials and the groups backing them are proposing a solution in search of a problem — and using transgender kids as pawns to stoke division at a time when our elected leaders should be finding ways to unite us,” he says. Currently, Idaho schools can compete as long as they’ve been on testosterone-blocking drugs for at least one year. The Idaho Attorney General’s office has said that such a bill could be “constitutionally problematic” and lead to a court battle. (WILSON CRISCIONE)
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MARCH 19, 2020 INLANDER 15
NEWS | HEALTH
Protecting Their Own Homeless and isolated, a North Idaho family tries to shield everything from a 1-year-old “bubble boy” BY WILSON CRISCIONE
eather and Frank Darby have grown accustomed to avoiding germs at all costs. With their three kids, they isolate themselves at home, only going out for essential needs like grocery shopping. If they must leave, they use hand sanitizer each time they touch a strange surface. When they come back, they strip their clothes for disinfecting. They’ve been doing this for nearly two years. If they don’t, the consequences could be lethal. Their 20-monthold son, Rayden, was born with complete DiGeorge syndrome, an extremely rare condition that effectively causes an immunodeficiency disorder, or what’s commonly known as “bubble boy disease.” That means any germ — not just coronavirus — has the potential to kill their baby. If they do have to take him outside for an appointment, he’s placed in a stroller with a clear fabric cover surrounding him like a bubble. “Every person is pretty much looked at as a HAZMAT situation for us all the time,” Heather Darby says. And to make matters worse, as a new pandemic sweeps across the country, the Darbys have lost their home and are now living in a hotel in North Idaho. Plus, it’s now harder to get things they need, like toilet paper and disinfectant wipes. They’re part of a small group of families across the country trying to keep their child alive as they wait for a procedure that can only be done in one place in the United States, at Duke University. They hope that now, at least, people will take their situation seriously. “People are finally getting the slightest idea of what we go through every single day,” Heather Darby says. Their daily life previews what’s to come for Americans due to coronavirus: A life in isolation, and constant anxiety that they’ll infect a loved one.
eather and Frank met in the eighth grade. They got together soon after and were married in Plummer, Idaho, in 2007, before either reached 17 years old. They had a daughter, who is now 13, and then another daughter eight years after that. When Heather was pregnant with Rayden in 2018, they knew early on there could be complications. Days after he was born in Spokane, the results of the newborn screening came back. “The doctor didn’t even know what to do with it,” Frank says. As it would turn out, he had DiGeorge syndrome. It is a defect in chromosome 22 that can cause a wide range of disorders including heart defects, cleft palate and immune deficiencies. Those with an immune deficiency have an underdevelopment of the thymus, an organ of the immune system that develops T cells. There are fewer than 200,000 cases a year of Di-
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Most kids with complete DiGeorge syndrome, like Rayden (pictured), don’t live past 1 years old. George syndrome in the United States. And of those cases, about 1 percent have complete DiGeorge syndrome, in which they have no thymus. What’s known as bubble boy disease is a lack of T cells in the thymus. But for children like Rayden, the thymus isn’t there at all. “Most of these children never make it to 1 year of age,” says Maria Teresa de la Morena, an allergy and immunology doctor at Seattle Children’s Hospital. The Darbys knew everything had to change when Rayden was born. They stayed in Seattle, where they had easy access to Seattle Children’s. They’re unable to work by doctors’ orders, but they only get roughly $700 a month through Social Security. Their top priority was to keep the family together and their baby safe, and when he first got out of the hospital, they had to take him back
to a tiny one-bedroom apartment. When they did, Heather came down with a cold. She was terrified. Frank kept Rayden in the other room, but Heather thought for sure she was going to kill her baby. She remembers wearing two masks at a time, looking at her son from the other room and crying because she couldn’t even hold him. “It was just breaking my heart,” she says. “But it was just like, I can’t risk it.” Rayden later did get a common cold, and he’s had it for nearly his entire life now. From day one, he’s had problems with his skin — “it’s fighting itself,” says Frank. And he has an infection from an ingrown toenail that’s been there for six months. But he’s like any other baby. He’s starting to crawl,
and could maybe walk soon if not for his clubfoot. He climbs, throws things and grabs. He loves hot dogs and chicken nuggets. The one thing that could save Rayden’s life in the long term is a thymus transplant. But it’s not yet FDA approved, and only Duke does it in the U.S., so the waitlist is long. Dr. Louise Markert, who investigates thymus transplantation at Duke, says the thymus is like a schoolhouse and the T cells are like students. In patients with complete DiGeorge syndrome, the prospective students, or T cells, are out looking for a school but can’t find one. Once a thymus transplant is done, then the T cells can find the thymus, and in six to nine months they “graduate,” meaning antibodies are being produced. The first transplant was done in 1993 and over 100 have been done since then. But Markert is hopeful that by joining with the bone marrow transplant folks at Duke, those numbers will soon rise.
“You can live beyond two years, but this is not what you would call a life.” It’s no guarantee: The survival rate for those transplant patients is about 72 percent. But it’s better than the alternative of trying to prevent any virus from sneaking in. “You can live beyond two years, but this is not what you would call a life,” Markert says. “Your family’s in isolation. It’s really challenging, and it’s challenging to keep infections away.” It’s even harder without a home of your own. A month ago, the Darbys were evicted from their Seattle apartment right after the house manager tried to take away their handicap parking spot. Heather says she called the manager a “bitch,” and shortly after they were served an eviction notice — that the Darbys provided to the Inlander — citing “verbal abuse.” They took their family back to North Idaho.
met with Heather and Frank Darby where they’re now staying, at the Coeur d’Alene Casino Hotel. They drink coffee out of plastic cups, and Heather sanitizes after each time she touches hers. At a large round table above the hotel lobby — away from people — they make sure to stay 10 feet away. They have no tolerance for anyone being reckless with spreading germs. If someone coughs towards them, Heather will give a death glare. “It’s like somebody fired a gun towards me,” Heather says. The last two years have changed their outlook toward those who are medically vulnerable. They used to not get flu shots, because they figured if they got sick, they’d be OK. Now, they’re thinking of other people who may get sick, and of course they’ll get flu shots. They wish people were as careful about not going out during any flu season as they are now. “It’s hard to tell people to not go out when you’re sick,” Frank says. “But, I mean, you’re saving somebody.” The practicalities of living like this — cleaning the room twice a day, sanitizing all the groceries — are difficult. And they can’t cook in a hotel room, so they have to leave more often, putting their son in more danger. So far, they’ve been able to pay for the room with help from family and donations. Anyone who wants to help the Darbys can donate at gofundme.com/f/help-terminally-illrayden-overcome-homelessness. But just as hard, or harder, is the mental part of it. They miss their friends and family. They run out of things to do. And their teenage daughter can only see her friends virtually — she goes to school online, and her friends aren’t always willing to quarantine for days each time they want to see her. “It’s hard, and it does mess with your head,” Heather says. “You’re literally locked in a very small box.” But it can be done, she says. The Darbys have done it for almost two years. “The only reason we’ve been able to keep Rayden alive,” Heather says, “is because we’ve given up everything.” n email@example.com
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MARCH 19, 2020 INLANDER 17
NEWS | HEALTH
Rapid Response Officials call for massive closures across the country as health care systems brace for more coronavirus patients BY SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL
ll of us have to recognize for the next several weeks, normal is not in our game plan,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said this week, as he framed his most drastic measures to combat coronavirus yet. Following steps taken by other states over the weekend, and advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention not to hold gatherings over 50 people, Inslee restricted gatherings and shuttered nearly all food and beverage establishments starting at midnight, Tuesday, March 17, with the closures set to last until at least the end of the month. Inslee asked all people over 60 to stay home at all costs, and said the measures were meant to save lives and severely slow the spread of novel coronavirus COVID-19. “This is bigger than all of us, and I am fully confident that Washingtonians will rise to this challenge to get back to a normal state of our life as soon as humanly possible,” Inslee said during a Seattle news conference Monday. Inslee’s emergency order closed many food and beverage locations, including bars, taverns, restaurants, coffee shops, food courts, ice cream and doughnut shops, and alcohol tasting rooms, with the exception that takeout orders and drive-thrus could continue operating. Grocery stores, pharmacies and banks are exempt from the measures. Other shops impacted by the closures included hair and nail salons, tattoo parlors, museums, theaters, event spaces, gyms, art galleries, bowling alleys and more. Retailers were asked to ensure adequate cleaning and social distancing within their premises. Many Inland Northwest restaurants expect to offer take-out, but some closed down indefinitely. The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest disaster loans to affected businesses, at an interest rate of 3.75 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for nonprofits. Affected workers who are temporarily laid off can apply for unemployment through the state’s Employment Security Department.
The closure of nearly all public gathering spaces came shortly after the announcement last week that schools statewide would be closing for six weeks. Spokane Public Schools were open Monday, March 16, for a last day of transition as families and students planned for the closure, lasting through at least April 24. Starting Thursday, March 19, all students in the district will be eligible to pick up breakfast and lunch daily (the two will be picked up together) between 11 am and 1 pm at 16 different schools: Arlington, Balboa, Finch, Garfield, Hutton, Lidgerwood, Lincoln Heights, Longfellow, Moran Prairie, Mullan Road, Ridgeview, Roosevelt,
18 INLANDER MARCH 19, 2020
Shaw, Rogers, Shadle and Ferris. Parents can visit the one that’s most convenient to get those meals. Child care in schools was expected to be provided for the children of first responders and medical workers, though the district hadn’t yet solidified those plans either. There will likely be at least 10 sites, with a maximum of 25 students each to maximize social distancing, the district noted in a letter to parents. Meanwhile, Coeur d’Alene schools were closed March 16 through at least April 6. That district planned to make meals available to students starting March 18, with pickup sites to be announced to parents.
Officials for the largest health care providers in Spokane held a press conference Monday to share their plans to significantly shift to online-only medical care as the best first option. Rather than have patients continue coming in for checkups, Kaiser Permanente announced that by Wednesday, March 18, its staff would be offering virtual appointments 24/7 by phone, text or a secure email system attached to patients’ medical charts. If it’s determined during that virtual visit that a patient needs to be seen in person, only then would they be invited to come to the Kaiser Riverfront campus. The pharmacy remains open, and medications can be mailed to patients. Additionally, MultiCare and Providence were both limiting visitors to the hospitals. MultiCare is specifically limiting elective surgeries that can be safely delayed, in order to preserve the masks, face shields and other personal protective equipment that’s in short supply nationwide and necessary for those caring for COVID-19 patients. CHAS health clinics were strictly limiting dental appointments to also save face masks for doctor’s visits, and patients with respiratory issues were being directed to separate waiting rooms.
Other Spokane County officials called for a calm response from the public, with Spokane County Commissioner Al French noting during a joint press conference with the city on Monday that people should continue grocery shopping at normal rates and not stock up, as that’s causing stocking issues for items like toilet paper and other necessities. At the conference, officials with Spokane County and the cities of Spokane and Spokane Valley announced they were signing emergency declarations. Airway Heights, Cheney, Deer Park, Liberty Lake, Medical Lake, Millwood and Rockwood planned to follow suit. Together with law enforcement, they opened the Emergency Operations Center to coordinate the community’s response to COVID-19. Avista has announced it will not be shutting off service to people who fall behind on their electricity and gas payments right now. Spokane has likewise suspended late fees and won’t be shutting off water for those who fall behind on water/sewer/garbage until further notice, though customers would still be responsible for paying their bills. Water customers can call 311 to make repayment arrangements. “Today, we are helping to ensure that our citizens will have access to clean and safe water for drinking, hand washing and keeping their families safe,” Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward says in a news release. “Our lives have become very different in the last few days, and at the city, we recognize that our families may face financial hardships as a result of the changes being implemented to slow the spread of this disease.”
Back in October, in the last three months of Mayor David Condon’s administration, the city of Spokane decided to
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee
YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
make a big change: They’d leave the Greater Spokane Emergency Management system to launch their own city-run emergency management system. The coronavirus was just such an emergency. On Monday, as the mayor delivered an emergency declaration, the Spokane City Council approved $151,800 to hire an emergency management director. “It’s something that we had intended to do and I think the position was accelerated because of the COVID virus,” Spokane City Councilwoman Candace Mumm says. The council was supportive of creating the city’s own emergency management department last year, she says. “We felt that the city was large enough that we need to have our own office to manage that,” Mumm says. For now, however, much of the city’s emergency management response duties have fallen to Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer. “Like many of our employees, I have had to take on dual roles,” Schaeffer says. “I’m serving as an incident commander for the city’s response to COVID-19.” That response, he says, includes creating a system to coordinate with the county, provide timely and complete information to the community, mitigate the spread of the disease, establish child care for the local workforce, and provide sheltering with enough space to prevent the virus from proliferating in the homeless community. “We have been through wind storm, ice storm, and fire storm,” Mumm says. “We know that this region is resilient, but needs to prepare.” (DANIEL WALTERS)
JAIL & COURTS
The Spokane County Jail expanded its screening of inmates and staff, ensuring that no one who presents symptoms would be allowed into the building. Suspects who haven’t been booked will be sent to the hospital for evaluation if showing symptoms, while staff members would be told to go home for 72 hours before returning to work. Various city and county courts also announced they’d be stopping many normal operations. In Spokane County District Court, which handles misdemeanor criminal cases and matters like domestic violence protection orders, judges won’t be issuing bench warrants for people who fail to appear for “non-priority” hearings, while hearings LETTERS in traffic violation cases that Send comments to are contested or in mitigation firstname.lastname@example.org. will only proceed if they can be done remotely, per an emergency order. Criminal cases involving a defendant held in the jail will proceed as scheduled, including bench trials. Protection order hearings will also continue. Similar action is being taken in Spokane Municipal Court, which also handles misdemeanors and minor infractions. Community Court, the innovative model that connects defendants cited with nonviolent misdemeanors with services instead of booking them into jail, is suspending hearings at its downtown location while the branch at the Northeast Community Center is on “hiatus,” according to a recent news release. Spokane County Superior Court is suspending all jury and bench trials in civil and criminal cases, as well as almost all outof-custody criminal hearings, per an emergency order. (Pretrial hearings in civil cases will be held telephonically or rescheduled.) However, all in-custody proceedings in criminal cases will proceed as scheduled, and the court will continue to hear motions, guilty pleas and sentencing hearings in criminal cases. “Our goal is to keep people away from the courthouse if we possibly can,” Spokane Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno tells the Inlander. “Everything that is in-custody is basically going to continue to run.” Moreno acknowledges that the changes will lengthen the jail stays of some pretrial defendants who are locked up. “We’re very, very aware of folks that are sitting in jail and the impact that this will have on them,” Moreno says. “We are going to try our best not to hold people.” (JOSH KELETY) n
MARCH 19, 2020 INLANDER 19
NEWS | TRANSIT
Left Behind Dozens of low-income and disabled tenants at an affordable housing apartment complex say that Spokane’s bus system is leaving them stranded BY JOSH KELETY
or Laura Kinchler, a 59-year-old formerly homeless resident at El Estero Apartments in Northeast Spokane, just getting groceries is an ordeal. Years ago, when she was still living in Seattle, she fell over a railing and tumbled over 15 feet and broke her back in three places. Now, she suffers from a variety of health conditions, including osteoporosis and cyanosis. “I’m in constant pain,” Kinchler says. “It’s hard for me. It’s really hard for me.” The nearest Safeway is on East Mission Avenue, about a 20-minute walk from the apartment complex. Since there’s no bus that can get her there, Kinchler routinely walks there, sometimes making multiple trips because she can’t carry all her shopping. But it’s painful and dangerous, especially in the winter, when the sidewalks get covered with snow and ice. Her doctors have warned her that another fall could leave her paralyzed. “In the winter I hardly get out because I’m so afraid that I’m gonna fall,” Kinchler says. “If I hit it in just the right spot back there, I’m gone.” And that’s not the end of her travel needs. Kinchler has to ride the bus to access Frontier Behavioral Health services and get to various medical appointments. And it’s her only transportation option since she doesn’t own a car and lives on a fixed income of $800 per month from disability benefits. But the nearest bus stops to the complex are around 20 minutes away by foot — another arduous and potentially dangerous walk for someone in her condition. “We really need a bus stop,” she says. “A lot of us on our incomes can’t afford a car. I’ll never be able to afford a car.” The lack of accessible transit options is a concern shared by dozens of other tenants at the El Estero Apartments, a 123-unit complex owned by Spokane Housing Ventures that primarily serves low-income and disabled people. That’s why Spokane City Councilman Michael Cathcart, who represents Northeast Spokane, sent a letter in late February to Spokane Transit Authority board members and staff demanding that they improve transit options for El Estero residents and hold a community meeting on the issue. He also submitted dozens of signatures from tenants at the complex. “For many of those residing at El Estero, a lack of personal mobility is a serious barrier to regular or even occasional transit access,” Cathcart writes. “The apartment community is located 0.8 miles from the nearest bus stop and no services of any kind exists between their home and that bus stop. Walking 0.8 miles is a huge burden for those with small children or senior citizens and it’s simply an impossibility for those who are physically disabled.” “For a lot of those residents, access to transportation is like freedom, that ability to go out, to go places, to get groceries and shop, to live their life,” Cathcart tells the Inlander. “And for many, they’re kind of stuck.” In an email responding to Cathcart’s letter, STA Chief Executive Officer Susan Meyer writes that the agency
20 INLANDER MARCH 19, 2020
Jacquelyn Robinson, left, and Laura Kinchler want better transit access in their neighborhood. would be “pleased” to meet with residents of the El Estero Apartments. She adds that the complex is located within the service area of paratransit, STA’s door-to-door shared ride van service for people whose disabilities prevent them from using normal buses. To be eligible for paratransit, people have to show that their disability prevents them from getting to and from a bus stop, on or off the bus, or completing a trip with a regular bus, according to STA’s website. “Some of the residents who signed the letter are current or past users of paratransit,” Meyer writes.
her GED, her church, as well as various medical appointments. “I’m not eligible for paratransit,” she says. “My disability is not severe. They say I don’t have enough disability.” “Even with my problem with my foot and my back, it’s still not enough,” Robinson adds. “We need a bus. It’s overdue. It’s overdue.” Like Kinchler, Robinson also stays home frequently during the winter months for fear of slipping on the icy sidewalks. Cathcart says that he’s had an initial meeting with Karl Otterstrom, STA’s director of planning and development, regarding the issue. However, any plans for a follow-up community meeting have basically been put on ice due to the COVID-19 threat and regional efforts to limit large-scale public gatherings. “It might be something that has to be put off or held with a smaller group to start,” he says. Ideally, STA would add a new dedicated bus stop that serves El Estero and the neighboring apartment complexes, Cathcart says. But some sort of interim service that would shuttle people in cars or vans to and from the nearest bus stop would also work. “Basically like a really cheap Uber-type option but instead of taking [you] where you want to go, it takes you to the bus stop,” he says. “Not a perfect solution but a really interesting one. That might be a stop gap until they can find another way to make it work.” Any kind of interim shuttle service would be appreciated, El Estero residents say. “It will be a blessing for us that don’t have a car [to] have transportation to get to a bus or another bus stop,” Robinson says. n email@example.com
“We really need a bus stop. A lot of us on our incomes can’t afford a car. I’ll never be able to afford a car.” As of press time, STA spokesman Brandon RapezBetty was unavailable for comment, citing the rapidly developing COVID-19 pandemic. “Our priority right now is addressing the public health emergency created by COVID-19,” he writes in an email. Some tenants at El Estero say that they can’t rely on paratransit to get around even if they have disabilities. They point to the criteria limiting who is eligible for paratransit. Kinchler says that she contacted STA about paratransit service but was told that she “didn’t qualify.” Similarly, 58-year-old Jacquelyn Robinson — who is recovering from substance-use disorder involving longterm crack and alcohol use and struggles with medical issues with her back and foot — says that she also isn’t eligible for paratransit. She uses the bus to get to classes at Spokane Falls Community College where she’s earning
JOSH KELETY PHOTO
RAINBOW LANE WIN!
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14300 W SR-2 HWY AIRWAY HEIGHTS, WA 99001 (509) 818-1500
MARCH 19, 2020 INLANDER 21
COMMENT | ELECTION 2020
How to use
Q&A ED WOOD
We talk with the chair of the Spokane County Democrats about why Biden beat Sanders this time in Washington, and what he would need to do to beat Trump BY DANIEL WALTERS
ack in 2016, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders dominated Washington state’s caucuses with over 72 percent of the vote. Sure, Hillary Clinton won the nonbinding primary a few months later, but the overall impression was clear: Washington state was Bernie country. This year? Not so much. Washington state Democrats switched to a binding primary, and Sanders may have suffered as a result. With some early voters choosing candidates who dropped out, like Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden is leading Bernie Sanders by 2 percentage points. Biden is winning Spokane County, too. We talked with Spokane County’s Democratic Party Chair Ed Wood on Wednesday of last week — while the vote was still being counted — about what changed and what Biden, who increasingly appears to be the likely nominee, would need to do to bring the country together. Our interview has been edited for space and clarity. INLANDER: Sanders dominated Hillary Clinton in Washington state in 2016, but got beat by Biden this year. What changed? WOOD: That has surprised me — especially due to the fact that Joe Biden really didn’t have much of a campaign in this state, and Bernie did. I actually attribute that to the difference between the caucus and the primary, because a primary allowed far more people to be involved. A caucus is kind of restrictive: You have to be able to get there. It doesn’t account for babysitting. It doesn’t account for people who have to work. This way, they have a chance to vote. The more people who have a chance to have a say-so, the better it is. You have to remember, there’s still going to be a caucus — it’s going to be on April 26. How have you seen the divide between Sanders supporters and Biden supporters play out in Spokane County? There’s a large contingent of Sanders supporters, a very organized group. On the Biden side, I think they’re just getting organized now in Spokane. There hadn’t been, coming up to this primary, much from Biden to be honest with you. As far as I know, he didn’t really have any campaign people here, other than people like [local Democratic Party legend] Sally
22 INLANDER MARCH 19, 2020
Jackson who is a Biden supporter. I think you’re seeing that ramp up now. The white working-class voters and Midwest voters who were in favor of Sanders in the 2016 election seem to have been more supportive of Biden this time. What do you attribute that to? Biden, I think, is closer to the center. He’s more moderate, especially to the people in the center of this country. They tend to be a little bit more conservative than, say, the people who live and work in Washington and California.
Pull down then out
It’s NOT the Best Local Breakfast.
If Joe Biden asked you for some advice, what would you say to him? Make sure you talk to the people who are the base of the Democratic Party. Go back and talk to the union workers — the people who work for a living in this country who have walked away from the Democratic Party and get them back. That’s how we will win this election. The base of the Democratic Party are not radical voters. Is there anything that you see as a distraction that the Democrats shouldn’t be talking about? When you go to talking about your right to bear arms? That’s an issue you shouldn’t be talking about. The ruling by the Supreme Court says we all have the right to bear arms. I happen to own weapons myself. That shouldn’t be a subject we should scream and yell about. It’s a done issue. I call for talking to the voters about the bread-and-butter issues that affect their families. Can you make your house payment? Can you buy food? Can you afford your health care? That’s the kind of stuff we should be talking about. Those are the kinds of issues we need to be talking about, not talking about guns. n
NOT the best Local Cider
NOT a phone.
YES! A handy guide to the BEST OF The Inland Northwest!
Now you know how!
PULL-OUT & KEEP! BEST OF
DEREK HARRISON PHOTO
THE INLAND NORTHWEST READERS POLL RESULTS
2020 BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST INLANDER 23
STCU-ON-THE-STREET. INLANDER READERS VOTED STCU BEST CREDIT UNION FOR THE 15TH YEAR IN A ROW. YEAH, CRAZY — WE KNOW. IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT STCU MEMBERS? ANNMARIE D.
Member Service Assistant I’ve gotten to know so many over the years, and consider many personal friends. Of course, I get to hear a lot of great, funny stories — it’s all part of making members feel at home at STCU.
Contact Center Fulfillment Officer The best thing about our members is their willingness to learn and grow alongside STCU. That, and all the characters I get to speak to, like the member who referred to us all as “munchkins.”
Branch Manager Our members aren’t just here for products and services; they’re community-minded, generous people. And they put up with my singing. In fact, when I sing to them, some of them sing back!
Community Relations Officer I love our members’ perseverance. Whether saving for a trip of a lifetime or to pay off a car loan, or battling through hardships to regain stability, they never fail to inspire me!
THANK YOU, INLANDER READERS!
Insured by NCUA. (509) 326.1954 | stcu.org
INTERVIEWS BY GAWAIN F. 03/04/20, STCU BRANCH LOCATIONS
Thanks for your Votes!
Best Breakfast in North Idaho
CELEBRATE! The 27th annual Best of the Inland Northwest reminds us of all that’s great about this precious place we call home
CONTENTS FOOD.............................26 NIGHTLIFE......................42 SHOPPING...................... 48 PEOPLE..........................62 ARTS..............................70 DRINK LOCAL................. 78 SANDPOINT................... 90 MUSIC............................92 THE PALOUSE............... 100 RECREATION................ 102
CONTRIBUTORS EDITOR: Jacob H. Fries ART DIRECTOR: Derek Harrison PHOTOGRAPHERS: Young Kwak, Alicia Hauff, Jacob Jones WRITERS: Wilson Criscione, Connor Gilbert, E.J. Iannelli, Jacob Jones, Josh Kelety, Scott A. Leadingham, Arcelia Martin, Will Maupin, Dan Nailen, Jordan Satterfield, Morgan Scheerer, Chey Scott, Carrie Scozzaro, Riley Utley, Daniel Walters, Nathan Weinbender, Quinn Welsch, Macie White, Samantha Wohlfeil
t feels like a completely different world from back in February when we collected your votes on how much you love all your favorite places. One thing that’s different is that we appreciate it all more than ever. The people who make our pizza, from those judged the best to those with just a handful of votes, are even heroic now. Our way of life has been put into perspective in recent weeks, and we can all agree that what we’ve had to put on hold is a beautiful thing. We’re ready to get back to enjoying it all. We’ll get there. So while this may seem a frivolous escape, it’s far from it. This is a compendium of who we are and a lot of what we hold dear. A tasty local brew. An amazing donut. A crucial charity event. These are the pieces of our lives — where we make our marks on the world, the sources of our joy, the places where we gather to laugh. We’ll come back strong from this challenge, and it will be because so many of us are making sure this place is great — from Spokane to North Idaho to all the neighborhoods and towns in between. So support our winners as you can — in fact, support any and every favorite local institution you love. And stay tuned to the Inlander, where we’ll continue to keep you connected to all of it. — TED S. McGREGOR JR., PUBLISHER
Open every day! 6am - 2pm
208-676-9049 • MichaelDs.com 203 Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive • CDA
THANK YOU FOR
VOTING FOR US! Serving breakfast and lunch items all day featuring seasonal local products and producers.
BEST EGGS BENEDICT
days a week
1248 W Summit Parkway | Kendall Yards | 509.290.5952
2020 BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST INLANDER 25
FOOD Best Pho
While pho, thankfully, has become easier to find throughout the Inland Northwest, you can’t do better than Pho Van on Division in Spokane when you need a fix of noodles and deep, rich broth. Whether you prefer steak, meatballs, even chicken, Pho Van knows how to deliver, along with all the fresh accouterments the pho form requires — from basil to bean sprouts, Sriracha to jalapenos. (DN) 2nd PLACE: Vien Dong; 3rd PLACE: Vina Asian Restaurant; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Pho Thanh & Cafe, Coeur d’Alene
Best Italian Food
If your idea of Italian is all checkered tablecloths and spaghetti and red sauce, you’re missing out on what Inlander readers know is Italian food elevated to greatness. Delve into Italia Trattoria’s squid ink fettuccine and spicy wild shrimp, or their wild boar or lamb ragu dishes, and you’ll be amazed at your ability to put away a full serving. Add in one of the friendliest staffs in the local restaurant scene and a killer weekend brunch, and you have the best Italian spot in the Inland Northwest. (DN) 2nd PLACE: Tomato Street; 3rd PLACE: Luigi’s; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Tito’s Italian Grill, Coeur d’Alene
26 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
Best Mexican Food
DE LEON’S TACO & BAR
De Leon’s excellence goes far beyond tacos, although I don’t think I’ve ever made it out of there without getting at least one Holy Taco (marinated skirt steak, cilantro and onions, named for Jesus the cook. So simple, so delicious). Quesadillas to burritos, torta sandwiches to tamales and fajitas, De Leon’s covers pretty much everything one could want out of a Mexican restaurant, and does it with fresh ingredients and great flavors. The hangover-curing, weekend-only menudo and pozole dishes make it a place where you’ll also want to recover from late nights, too. (DN) 2nd PLACE: Tecate Grill; 3rd PLACE: Rancho Chico; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Taco Works Food Truck, Coeur d’Alene
Quality counts, and the ingredients chef Travis Dickinson brings to his delicious array of tacos helps make them the favorite of Inlander readers. Of course, if Dickinson didn’t have serious skills, people might not flock to Cochinito for specialties like the lamb birria, octopus or “20 Hr Carne Asada” tacos. Whether dressing them up with housemade salsa, pickled veggies or the perfect spice blend, Dickinson has clearly struck a chord with Spokane’s taco-loving masses. (DN) 2nd PLACE: De Leon’s Taco & Bar; 3rd PLACE: Gerardo’s Authentic Mexican Food; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Taco Works Food Truck, Coeur d’Alene
Tacos from Cochinito.
YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Best Vegan Options Best Veggie Burger
RÜT BAR & KITCHEN
Located in the former location of South Hill fave Picabu Bistro, Rüt opened and immediately was a hit with the region’s vegan and vegetarian diners. Even meat eaters found plenty to love on a menu that explodes with flavors from Asia, Mexico, even Germany. (Their bratwurst bowl is amazing.) Cauliflower is turned into buffalo wings and a spicy kung pao bowl, and their crispy Brussel sprouts are some of the best around. Burger lovers don’t go hungry, either, thanks to the Rüt Burger made with a Beyond Meat burger patty and the Jalapeno Mushroom Burger, which uses an Impossible Burger patty and is served on a pretzel bun. (DN) BEST VEGAN OPTIONS 2nd PLACE: Boots Bakery; 3rd PLACE: Cascadia Public House BEST VEGGIE BURGER 2nd PLACE: Cascadia Public House; 3rd PLACE: Incrediburger & Eggs; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Sweet Lou’s, Coeur d’Alene and Ponderay
HOW DOWN TOWN
INLANDER “B E S T O F ” E DITION
Start your own “best of” list. Really, there’s no wrong way to downtown. Get your foodie fix at dozens of restaurants. Shop nonstop at 100+ retailers. Be seen at all the cool scenes with First Friday, music, festivals and more. It’s everything you heart, in the heart of the city.
Best Gluten-Free Options
COLE’S GLUTEN FREE BAKERY & CAFE
Sandwiches, pancakes, burgers, pizza — all of these things are delicious, and they can all be hard to find if you can’t eat gluten. But Cole’s Gluten Free Bakery & Cafe makes it easy to pick from some seriously tasty options, whether you’re avoiding gluten, dairy, meat or a combination of things. Sit down for a good breakfast or lunch with friends in the cafe, or buy one of their many pastries, breads or baking mixes to enjoy at home. (SW) 2nd PLACE: Cascadia Public House; 3rd PLACE: Wild Sage Bistro; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Cosmic Cowboy, Coeur d’Alene
Find a complete list of all downtown destinations and events at www.downtownspokane.org
2020 BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST INLANDER 27
Pennelope, left, eats lemon cake ice cream as her sister, Brooklyn, orders from Scooperista Jordan Shook at the Scoop.
YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Best Ice Cream
inning Best Ice Cream in the Inlander’s Best Of competition is a somewhat bittersweet victory for Jennifer Davis, owner of the Scoop. The last time the Scoop won Best Ice Cream was in 2014, and it was in conjunction with their wholesale ice cream provider at the time, Brain Freeze. That same year, Brain Freeze announced they were opening up their own shop. “We were their largest retailer that same year they announced they were going to Kendall Yards,” Davis recalls. “That’s when I realized I had to make my own ice cream.” Learning how to do everything from scratch in their 100-year-old building on the South Hill was a difficult process, she says. Now, the Scoop (1001 W. 25th Ave.) offers more than 150 of its own flavors, including the off-beat blueberry jalapeno, cheese plate, spicy cinnamon, “banoffee pie”
28 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
(that’s banana, toffee bits and cookie butter), as well as the usual staples like chocolate, strawberry, Oreo — even a selection of vegan flavors. As for Davis’s favorite flavor... it’s a hard decision, but she goes with the “pistachio pineapple marshmallow.” “It’s like your grandma’s pistachio delight salad,” she says. The Scoop had been a popular after-school hangout for Davis and her daughter, who were loyal customers before she took it over in 2011 when she heard the former owners were moving away. Although the Scoop never earned the title of Best Ice Cream after 2014, Davis says she was content with the strong customer support she received, “title or no title.” Brain Freeze, meanwhile, would continue to make a name for itself each year in the Inlander’s Best Of competition (2015-19), even opening a second shop on the South Hill in 2016.
The customer base was split, Davis says, and the Scoop was the underdog. “We have such amazing customers. The last three years I didn’t even care,” she says. “We have lines out the door in the summer. Not just from 6-9 at night but at 1 in the afternoon.” But in 2020, the title goes to the Scoop, and it feels good to finally get some recognition, Davis says. Brain Freeze shut its doors last summer, relinquishing the title of Best Ice Cream. And who’s moving into its old Kendall Yards shop? None other than the Scoop. Davis says she plans to open the new location later in March. — QUINN WELSCH 2nd PLACE: Sweet Peaks; 3rd PLACE: Pete & Belle’s Ice Cream Shop; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Roger’s Ice Cream & Burgers, Coeur d’Alene
Best selection of high quality furniture in our experience. Lynne was such a pleasure to work with; pleasant, knowledgeable, and very helpful with suggestions and advice. Couldn’t be happier with our purchases.
— Donal H
We’re local, like you. My grandfather started our business 75 years ago. While we’ve seen many changes to our business over the last three generations, our commitment to providing exceptional products that make a positive impact on our customers’ lives is what we do best. From the first radio my grandfather sold to the ergonomic leather reclining sectional we delivered last week, we’ve spent three generations and seven and a half decades delivering top notch service and superior products. We want to help you create the most comfortable and beautiful home possible; an environment to enjoy for years and years. Our showroom is filled with curated products selected not only for their beauty, but also for their functionality, durability and quality. Manufacturers like Flexsteel® and Bassett®, with deep roots in quality and furnishings made in America. From our family to yours, thank you for voting our locally owned business as “the best” and we look forward to continuing to serve our community.
Call or Text 509-535-1111 1727 E Sprague Ave Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm @tinrooffurniture
VOTED BEST HOME DECOR SHOP
VOTED BEST FURNITURE SHOP
SHOPPING FROM HOME? FIND EVERYTHING LOCALLY. www.TinRoofFurniture.com You can explore our products on our website and chat with our designers online. You can shop on our social media pages, both Instagram and Facebook. We offer local delivery as well as convenient pick up. We have financing available to make those dreams a reality. Need an answer? Text us at 509-535-1111
2020 BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST INLANDER 29
FOOD Best Asian Food
GORDY’S SICHUAN CAFE
Sitting in a South Hill strip mall, Gordy’s Sichuan Cafe packs in big flavors and an extensive menu of authentic cuisine into a small shop. The Sichuan restaurant has a longtime patronage, voting Gordy’s the Best Asian Food in Spokane time and time again. (AM) 2nd PLACE: The Red Dragon; 3rd PLACE: China Dragon; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Rokkos Teriyaki and BBQ, Coeur d’Alene
TTs won Best New Restaurant and Best Barbecue.
Best Place to Wait for a Shake
DOYLE’S ICE CREAM PARLOR
Until I moved to West Central, I had no idea Doyle’s Ice Cream Parlor existed. This seasonal gem is only open a few months each year, has been making its own ice cream since 1939, still has an old-school functioning soda fountain and is a killer spot to get a banana split, milkshake or float. And while they make it, take a gander at the crazy vintage toy collection filling the walls of the tiny spot on the corner of Boone Avenue and Nettleton Street. (DAN NAILEN)
You can order delicious Churchill’s sauces to go with your ribeye — béarnaise or peppercorn cream sauce, for starters. But with steaks these good it almost seems a shame to try to improve them with even the finest of sauces. Let the meat be its own star, accompanied only by Churchill’s default seasoning, finishing butter, crisp onion straws and unparalleled crispy sear. To this day, I’ve never chomped into a bite of steak with a better sear than the ribeye I had at Churchill’s. (DW) 2nd PLACE: Wolf Lodge Inn, Coeur d’Alene; 3rd PLACE: Masselow’s at Northern Quest Resort & Casino
25 E. 3rd Ave. | SPOKANE
lumberbeardbrewing.com 30 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
of Zona Blanca, High Tide Lobster Bar, TTs Old Iron Brewery Just as the Inlander was wrapping up vote tallies for the Inland Northwest’s best chef, Chad White was announced as a Northwest region semifinalist for the James Beard Awards, one of the top accolades for culinary pros. It’s no coincidence for this Top Chef alum. With three diverse and accessible Spokane-area restaurants under his belt — a ceviche counter, lobster bar and barbecue pit — local foodies are eager to see where White heads next. (CS) 2nd PLACE: Tony Brown; Ruins, Eyvind, Hunt; 3rd PLACE (tie): Tanya Broesder, Masselow’s Steakhouse, Tyler Schwenk, 1898 Public House; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Adam Hegsted; Honey Eatery & Social Club, Farmhouse Kitchen, Republic Kitchen & Taphouse
Thanks for Voting!
Best Barbecue Best New Restaurant (Opened in 2019-20)
TTs OLD IRON BREWERY & BARBECUE
Beer and barbecue is the name of the game at this South Spokane Valley spot that debuted to much acclaim and anticipation last summer. A collaboration between brewery owner Travis Thosath and chef Chad White, TTs offers a mix of Texas and Kansas City-style barbecue staples — brisket, turkey breast, pulled pork, burnt ends, ribs and more — with more than a dozen choices of beer to wash it all down. Joining White in the kitchen is esteemed pitmaster Colin Barker; on the beer side, experienced brewmaster Rachel Nalley is leading the team. (CS) BEST BARBECUE 2nd PLACE: Outlaw BBQ & Catering Market; 3rd PLACE: Longhorn Barbecue; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Drummin Up BBQ, Coeur d’Alene BEST NEW RESTAURANT 2nd PLACE: Rüt Bar & Kitchen; 3rd PLACE: High Tide Lobster Bar; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: The Crown & Thistle, Coeur d’Alene
CHAPS DINER AND BAKERY
Chaps is no secret. A decade ago, the cozy restaurant received a visit from Guy Fieri on his show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and it continues to be celebrated as the Best Breakfast in town. With farm family recipes like blueberry muffin French toast and baked oatmeal, it’s a tasty and trusty place to start your day. (AM) 2nd PLACE: Frank’s Diner; 3rd PLACE: The Cottage Cafe; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: (tie) The Garnet Café, Michael D’s Eatery, both in Coeur d’Alene
BEST ICE CREAM
Taste the quality! At Rogers we’re committed to serving you Quality! • Our Burgers-We start with fresh 100% vegetarian • Our Shakes & Malts-Made the old fashion way using fed Country Natural Beef. It is raised sustainably and premium hand scooped ice cream & whole milk naturally, with no growth hormones or antibiotics blended to order. ever. When ordered we season and sear the beef to a • Healthier Options-Garden burger, turkey burger and rich brown and serve it with fresh cut lettuce, tomato, you can substitute bun for lettuce wrap on any burger. onions on a butter grilled bun with our house made • Our Prices-Better than our competition for comparable burger sauce. menu items and our food is 100% REAL food. • Our Fries & Kettle Chips-Cut Fresh daily with Idaho Potatoes fried in 100% Rice bran oil.
1224 E. Sherman Ave. CdA, ID • 208-930-4900 155 W. Neider Ave. CdA, ID • 208-664-0696 Moving this Summer to 2420 Government Way
403 N Spokane St. Post Falls, ID • 208-773-6532 8833 Hess St. Hayden, ID • (Opening April 2019)
Voted Best Women’s Boutique On Trend Fashion for Women of Every Shape & Size
OPEN: Monday - Saturday • 10am - 5pm • 509 321-2330 • 613 S. Pines Rd • Spokane Valley 2020 BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST INLANDER 31
“We’ve been gluten-free since the beginning,” Cosmic Cowboy Grill founder Steve Eller says.
BRETT FONTANA PHOTO
North Idaho’s Best Gluten-Free Options
COSMIC COWBOY GRILL
eing a Texan, where cattle is a $12 billion industry, you wouldn’t expect Cosmic Cowboy Grill founder Steve Eller to be vegan. And he’s not. But if you are, that’s fine. More than fine. It’s cosmic, man. “We’ve been gluten-free since the beginning,” says Eller, who saw an opportunity to niche-market a vegetable-forward menu that catered to practitioners of vegetarian, vegan and even low-carb eaters. “It’s pretty easy to find one of those items on our menu,” says Eller, who relocated to North Idaho and began building the Coeur d’Alene restaurant in 2016. He recently opened another location in River Park Square in downtown Spokane. GF applies to many standard items on the menu: numerous salads, like the “over easy” Cobb; rice bowls; anything with corn chips like guacamole and the hummus platter; and many animal protein
WORTH THE DRIVE TO COEUR D’ALENE! COME SEE US.
ALL THINGS OUTDOORS SINCE 1975
THANKS, INLANDER READERS! BEST OUTDOOR RECREATION SUPPLIES
3534 N. GOVERNMENT WAY | CDA • ID | 667-7831 BLACKSHEEPSPORTINGGOODS.COM
32 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
LOWEST PRICES GUARANTEED! BEST SELECTION! AWARD WINNING CUSTOMER SERVICE!
entrees, including the tri-tip, their most popular dish. Wraps and buns for the burgers they recently added to their menu both have a gluten-free option, as does the dessert menu: chocolate decadence cake. Because Cosmic Cowboy meals are made-to-order, says Eller, the staff can be more flexible with customer requests. They’re trained, for example, that if someone orders anything gluten-free to be especially attentive to the whole order, prompting with options like lettuce wraps in lieu of a tortilla. If someone wants the tortilla, however, they can get it at Cosmic Cowboy and it’s not going to taste like cardboard. Sourcing it was a challenge, admits Eller, but worth it. “That tortilla is like a unicorn; it’s so hard to find,” he says. — CARRIE SCOZZARO
FIND US ON YOUR FAVORITE
HAND FORMED MEAT PATTIES 100% FRESH, NOTHING IS EVER FROZEN All toppings free - your burger exactly the way you like!
Call in or order online www.FIVEGUYS.com 9502 N. Newport Hwy Phone: 509-928-2921
10 N. Sullivan Road Phone: 509-927-2840
Hours: 11am-10pm Every Day
TRY OUR MILKSHAKES WITH FREE TOPPINGS!
THANK YOU FOR
VOTING FOR US! Our ground beef is locally sourced
and grilled to order. Sauces and relishes are
made in house.
BEST VEGGIE BURGER
Wisconsinburger wins again!
YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Best Cheap Eats
If you’re looking for a bite of the Midwest, look no further than Wisconsinburger. Tucked away in the South Perry District, the large dining room and patio allow for many mouths at once. From burgers named after cities throughout the Badger State to cheese curds to house-made frozen custard, the craft food eatery has all the components you need for a delicious and authentic Midwestern meal. (AM) 2nd PLACE: Durkin’s Liquor Bar; 3rd PLACE: Waddell’s Neighborhood Pub and Grill; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Messy’s Burgers, Spirit Lake
You can’t beat a $1.77 cheeseburger. Well, in 1969 the fast-food drive-up eatery was serving burgers for 21 cents, but regardless, it’s a steal. Through its long residence in Spokane, Dick’s has continued its cult following, bringing in diners for fries and a shake. (AM) 2nd PLACE: Atilano’s; 3rd PLACE: Zip’s
909 W 1ST AVE | SPOKANE | 509.443.4215
THE MOST AMAZING CARE
PEDIATRIC ORTHOPAEDIC SPECIALISTS
for nearly 100 years!
2020 BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST INLANDER 33
FOOD “Fast Friendly Service!”
# 1 Best Burger around the Palouse
# 3 Best Restaurant around the Palouse
N. 760 Grand, Pullman, WA (509) 332-7829
Best Live Music Club
Best Place to Dance
Best Brussels Sprouts
It’s been more than a year since the glazed Brussels sprouts at Fleur De Sel first blew me away. Sure, I knew Brussels sprouts can be better than the cafeteria-lady reputation that they’d been saddled with — especially if you roast them in duck fat — but these? These were magical. French chef Laurent Zirotti, who runs Fleur De Sel with his wife, let me in on the secret: If you’re a French chef, it’s nothing magical. The glazed Brussels sprouts, he says, are classic glacer à brun. Obviously. “You cook your Brussels sprouts with water, butter, sugar, salt and pepper until the water evaporates,” Zirotti says. “It creates caramelization with the butter and the sugar.” The result? The Brussels sprouts become almost little candies, with a glazed outer shell that bursts when you bite into it to reveal a creamy center. The sugar, he says, is the perfect counterpoint to the Brussels sprouts’ bitterness. It’s a technique that works equally well with mushrooms and turnips, he says. Yum yum yum. (DANIEL WALTERS)
Flying Goat mixes the flavors of Naples with local flavors and ingredients to create unique and classic pizzas fired in a Wood Stone oven. As the weather gets warmer, the Audubon neighborhood joint is the place to enjoy a slice and a beer with friends out on their patio. Our readers clearly agree. (AM) 2nd PLACE: Veraci Pizza; 3rd PLACE: Republic Pi; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Embers by the Lake, Hauser
FLEUR DE SEL
LIVE MUSIC EVERY NIGHT
Flying Goat mixes the flavors of Naples with local ingredients. YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
34 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
THE FLYING GOAT
They keep it simple. With hefty sandwiches and meat and cheese available by the pound, this family-owned sandwich shop has topped the lists for decades as the best place to grab a sandwich in Spokane. (AM) 2nd PLACE: The High Nooner; 3rd PLACE: Stella’s Cafe; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Caruso’s Sandwiches
Thank you for your support of SVST!
2020 Tickets on sale now! Regional Premiere
June 19 – 28
Anthony’s serves up seafood — with a spectacular view.
NUDO RAMEN HOUSE
There’s a lot of places out there serving up bad ramen. And Nudo Ramen House in downtown Spokane ain’t one of them. Swing by this casual yet aesthetically pleasing joint and choose from an impressively large ramen menu. If you’re not in the mood for broth and noodles, they’ve got you covered: An assortment of rice bowls, appetizers and “ramen burgers” should cure your hunger. (JK) 2nd PLACE: King of Ramen; 3rd PLACE: Midtown Monarch, Coeur d’Alene
With over 50 rolls on the menu, it’s a safe bet that this authentic Japanese spot in the heart of downtown has something to offer everyone. Not to mention the ramen, udon, yakisoba, teriyaki, sashimi and miso soup offered. Don’t forget the chopsticks. (MS) 2nd PLACE: Umi Kitchen and Sushi Bar; 3rd PLACE: The Wave Island Sports Grill and Sushi Bar; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Syringa, Coeur d’Alene
“Sawasdee. We’re here for you,” greets all who visit Thai Bamboo’s website. The sentiment is reflected at the restaurant, too, with friendly staff and quick service. All the expected dishes such as pad thai and pad see ew are offered, but that’s where similarities to other Thai restaurants end. Round out your meal with Singha, a beer imported from Thailand, for the full authentic experience. (MS) 2nd PLACE: Bangkok Thai; 3rd PLACE: Kuni’s Thai Cuisine
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Best Outdoor Dining Best Seafood
With the Spokane Falls cascading right next to this restaurant and fresh seafood served daily, Anthony’s offers both great seafood and a batch of outdoor tables with unparalleled views of the Spokane River and downtown. While Spokane may not be located by an ocean, Anthony’s seafood does not disappoint, a match in every way for the Spokane Anthony’s dining environment. (RU) BEST OUTDOOR DINING 2nd PLACE: Clinkerdagger; 3rd PLACE: Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Cedars Floating Restaurant, Coeur d’Alene BEST SEAFOOD 2nd PLACE: High Tide Lobster Bar; 3rd PLACE: Clinkerdagger; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Fisherman’s Market, Coeur d’Alene
Best Fine Dining
When people are looking for the best place for a nice date, family celebration or swanky business party, Clinkerdagger is the place to go. Located on the Spokane River, this restaurant provides incredible steak and seafood with the added bonus of amazing river views. So, take the opportunity to get dressed up and saunter over to this historic restaurant that’s one of Spokane’s favorites for a reason. (RU) 2nd PLACE: Wild Sage Bistro; 3rd PLACE: Churchill’s Steakhouse; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Beverly’s, Coeur d’Alene
July 10 – 26
August 7 – 16
www. svsummertheatre.com 509-368-7897 | At Central Valley High School, Spokane Valley Presented by
Mirabeau Park Hotel
David and Christina Lynch
Thank you for your votes!
Come visit us today at one of our two locations: Family Friendly Brewpub
312 N First Ave.
and our Beer Hall & Brewery
SANDPOINT’S SANDPOINT’S BEST BEST RESTAURANT live music
220 Cedar St.
2020 BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST INLANDER 35
Spokandy’s huckleberry, peanut butter and salted caramel chocolates. YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Best Hidden Gem in the West Plains
This bakery took off in Spokane 28 years ago and has gone on mission after mission to place lovely additional branches all over the city. Serving coffee, pastries, cookies, bagels, soups, salads and much more, this bakery is the place to go for a hearty meal and heartwarming conversations. With multiple locations and lots of room to sit, these bakeries have something for everyone. (RU) 2nd PLACE: Boots Bakery; 3rd PLACE: Bakery by the Lake, CdA
What better place to buy candy in Spokane then Spokandy? Their website boasts of the “finest chocolate produced in the Pacific Northwest,” each piece made with tradition and love. They have been in business for over 100 years and use their deep knowledge and modern innovations to create the best candy around. Just like the city of Spokane, this candy shop is always working to honor its history and look to the future via decadent sweets. (RU) 2nd PLACE: Bruttles Gourmet Candy; 3rd PLACE: Halletts Chocolates; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Mrs. Honeypeeps Sweet Shop, Coeur d’Alene
Located off of Highway 2 in Airway Heights, this humble and cozy restaurant packs a culinary punch. With a mouth-watering array of dishes from Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and elsewhere, co-owner and chef Jeannie Choi makes sure everyone is happy and feels at home. I ordered Nasi goreng, an Indonesian fried rice dish topped with a runny egg that I used to frequently buy from street vendors during my time as an exchange student near Jakarta, Indonesia. And with only one bite, I was instantly transported back. Go eat at this restaurant, when you can. (JOSH KELETY)
THE ROCKET BAKERY SPOKANDY
36 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
D’BALI ASIAN BISTRO
A sparkling aesthetic, popular theme weeks and delectable mini donuts are what make Hello Sugar so popular with readers. This little shop has made a big impact on the Spokane community almost immediately upon opening near the Spokane River Centennial Trail. After only being open a couple years, it’s hard to imagine Spokane without Hello Sugar serving up some of the best and most creative donuts in town. (RU) 2nd PLACE: Amy’s Donuts; 3rd PLACE: Casual Friday Donuts; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Gross Donuts, Coeur d’Alene
Order and Pay Online for Pick Up go.Lavutogo.com/qqsushi
Best Eggs Benedict
Hello Sugar, we love you! YOUNG KWAK PHOTOS
Every month Frank’s Diner uses “30,000 jumbo eggs, 2.5 tons of fresh hash browns [to make] one breakfast at a time priceless,” according to their website. A portion of this gargantuan number of eggs is used to make the city’s best eggs benedict. With seven types of benedicts to choose from, including unique creations like Great Nana’s Meatloaf Benedict and an Irish Benedict served on grilled rye, every Frank’s train car offers a trip to benedict nirvana. (RU) 2nd PLACE: The Yards; 3rd PLACE: Bene’s, Cheney; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Belle’s Brunch House, Hayden
to the Inlander voters for picking us as the BEST SKI SHOP in Spokane 5 years in a row!
1902 W. Francis Ave • Spokane • 509-279-2721
Wait until you meet our new employee!
12505 E SPRAGUE AVE SPOKANE VALLEY, WA 509.924.2330
COMING THIS SUMMER Locally Owned & Operated
2020 BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST INLANDER 37
Got Scrap? Get Cash FAST TOP PRICES • HONEST WEIGHT
WE PAY FOR: Aluminum Cans & Scrap Copper Brass Radiators
Insulated Copper Wire Stainless Gold Silver & much more!
SEE HOW MUCH WE PAY AT:
* In accordance with WA state law
911 E Marietta Ave • Spokane WA
South of Foothills Dr. / East of Hamilton
Spring & Easter Gifts are in! The family-run pizzeria Embers is located in Hauser Lake.
North Idaho’s Best Pizza
EMBERS BY THE LAKE Ladies Night
March 26th • 6-8pm
Supporting Girls on the Run of Spokane County.
*Online orders available!
3017 S. Grand Ave. by Manito Tap House
OPEN! YOU BREAK IT,
WE FIX IT
southernspecialtiesspokane.com 509 838-7699
PHONE & TABLET REPAIR • Cracked Screen Replacement • Battery Replacement • Housing Repair • Chargers
Metro PSC Prepaid Month to Month Service - No Contracts! • Accessories / Phones / Tablets • Affordable Prices • Great Customer Service 13218 W. Sunset Hwy, Airway Heights • 509-866-2825 • luckysphonerepairs.com
40 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
hen Allison Burnett saw one of the owners of Embers by the Lake out walking a few years ago, she was through the door and inquiring about whether or not the popular Hauser Lake pizzeria might ever be up for sale. To her surprise, Jane Hammons, who opened the place in 2014 with husband Chris, said yes. “Six weeks later it was ours,” says Allison, who had been a regular customer at Embers since moving to North Idaho in 2019 for husband Rob Burnett’s job with Sysco. They lived just across the lake from Embers with their three children, the older of which frequently help out at the restaurant since the Burnett’s purchased it last year, reports Allison. “It couldn’t have been better timing,” says Allison, who credits employees with the success of the restaurant, recently named best in Idaho by Yelp and Money magazine. “I think that if there’s one secret to our success, it’s our staff,” Allison says. Another key component, adds Rob, is they haven’t monkeyed with the formula from the prior owners: made-to-order pies at competitive prices in a family-friendly environment. Although summer is their busiest time, they have remained steady through the winter, Allison says. The only changes have been to increase menu options, mostly based on customer requests, with things like the wood-fired chicken wings, blistered shishito peppers and meatballs. And they’ve added pizzas, like the Father Guido — sausage, pickled peppers, shaved parmesan — and the Allison Wonderland. The original name for the pizza, which includes a blend of roasted forest mushrooms, was “Alice in Wonderland.” Unbeknownst to her at the time, Rob changed the spelling, and she decided to leave it. She loves coming to work, says Allison, who can see across the lake when her husband’s headlights turn towards home after closing up for the evening. And she would happily eat pizza every single night given the variety of Embers’ menu. And above all, she feels really connected to the community, which has been amazingly supportive. “It’s funny how much richer our lives are because of Embers,” she says. — CARRIE SCOZZARO
SPOKANE’S PREMIERE GIFT SHOP GARDEN CENTER & NURSERY
SPECIAL! SPRING PLANTING and receive 1 FREEE. For starters, Liberty Lake has, well, a lake.
Voters’ Best Reasons to Visit...
ow did Liberty Lake get its name, you ask? Was it something in the way the sun sparkled on the forest-rimmed lake one day that inspired a then-infant Matt Shea to first utter “libewty,” forever memorializing the place with what would become his all-consuming mantra as its controversial lawmaker? No, no, turns out “Liberty” is in honor of some pioneer named Steve. Seriously. Regardless of the history, the small city’s namesake waterbody is far and away the most popular reason readers said to come visit. From “lake has the best beach” to “lake is a great spot to swim” to the succinct “lake,” fans overwhelmingly oriented their answers toward that shining body of water. When they weren’t giving kudos to the Fourth of July fireworks show or the fishing, the next most popular answers had to do with what’s around the lake: the woods. Just southeast of the lake, hundreds of acres of park and conservation land waits ready for hikers, bikers, horseback riders and campers. Close to the Idaho border, Liberty Lake Park connects with the Cedar Grove and Mica Peak conservation areas, and between all of them there are miles of hiking trails that take users through thick forest to waterfalls and vistas.
But don’t forget Hay J’s Bistro.
Buy 10 bedding plants ing Baskets. Huge selection of Hang cor • Gift Items & Home De • Garden, Backyard, Pa
tio Supplies & Accessor
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Featuring the work of Local Artisans 15614 E Sprague Ave • Spokane Valley • 509.290.6866 • www.Sculptured-Gardens.com
April-July: Mon-Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 10am-4pm Aug-March: Tue-Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 10am-4pm
YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
But don’t forget the urban folk! First-time visitors to Liberty Lake might double-take at an unusual set of vehicles zipping around the city: golf carts. All city streets with 25 mph speeds or lower are open to golf carts, which makes sense for golfers traversing between the three golf courses (Trailhead, MeadowWood and Liberty Lake) that sit north of the lake. Hungry? Other popular mentions included farmers markets, Pentagon Bistro, Ding How and, of course, Hay J’s Bistro. And if that’s not enough to sell you, maybe listen to the Inlander reader who said you should visit Liberty Lake because “you might make friends.” — SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL
2020 BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST INLANDER 41
NIGHTLIFE Best Sports Bar
24 TAPS BURGERS AND BREWS
Welcoming. Casual. Packed and lively during a sporting event. Those are a few ways to describe this downtown Spokane sports bar. With a friendly serving staff, robust food and drink menu, and an arsenal of massive flatscreen televisions, they’re always ready for game day. Even if you’re not a sports fan, there’s a place there for you. They’ve even got a separate room geared for large parties or meetings happening over beers and food. Don’t let the sports bar label scare you away. (JK) 2nd PLACE: The Ref; 3rd PLACE: Epic at Northern Quest Resort & Casino; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Capone’s, Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls, Hayden
If there’s a better way to spend a night out then wailing your favorite throwback song into a microphone while everyone in the crowd pretends you sound just as good as the real deal, we haven’t discovered it yet. Monterey Cafe is the place to do just that. Drink deals every night offer the liquid courage sometimes needed to pick up that mic. (MS) 2nd PLACE: The Star Restaurant and Lounge; 3rd PLACE: nYne; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Corner Bar, Coeur d’Alene
Best Place to Dance
Patrons at nYne are no strangers to dancing shoes and flashing lights. This late-night bar plays musical jams of every variety, from pop to EDM, rap to country (also, karaoke!) — so dancers with every taste can boogie on the large dance floor. (MS) 2nd PLACE: Lucky You Lounge; 3rd PLACE: ZOLA; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Nashville North, Post Falls
42 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
We're proud to offer the best with all of our menu options! Thank you for voting for Sweet Lou’s!
Sweet Lou ’ s Restaurant & Bar Hwy 95 N Ponderay | 208.263.1381
Show off your pipes at Monterey Cafe.
YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Best Movie Theater
AMC RIVER PARK SQUARE
Most multiplexes are the same, but the AMC inside River Park Square isn’t your average mall theater. Sure, they’ve got all the latest Hollywood blockbusters, projected on their towering IMAX screen and booming through Dolby speakers. But it’s just as easy to see a subtitled foreign film or a documentary, and their AMC Stubs app makes it easier than ever for you to indulge your inner cinephile. (NW) 2nd PLACE: Garland Theater; 3rd PLACE: Movie & Dinner at Northern Quest Resort & Casino; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Hayden Discount Cinema
Come hungry, Stay late, Eat well! www.sweetlousidaho.com
Sweet Lou ’ s Restaurant & TAP HOUSE 601 Front Ave. 208.667.1170 | DOWNTOWN Cda
Thanks Spokane FOR VOTING US BEST PIZZA!
WI SAND PIZZAS R D E R I E -F T BE WO O D CRAF
Best Live Music Club Best New Nightspot
LUCKY YOU LOUNGE
The local music scene was collectively bummed when all-ages venue the Bartlett closed its doors last year. But owners Karli and Caleb Ingersoll had an ace up their sleeve in the form of Lucky You Lounge, a Browne’s Addition hangout that has, in a short time, carved out a place for up-and-coming indie bands, touring legacy acts and local artists. Their downstairs bar, meanwhile, also offers up lots of free shows, DJ dance parties, storytelling hours and comedy nights. With its mid-century design, eclectic food menu and welcoming stage setup, it’s no wonder Lucky You snagged the top spot in both Music Club and Nightspot categories. (NW) BEST LIVE MUSIC CLUB 2nd PLACE: Zola; 3rd PLACE: The Bar at Bridge Press; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Nashville North, Post Falls BEST NEW NIGHTSPOT 2nd PLACE: Flatstick Pub; 3rd PLACE: Cease & Desist Book Club; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: The Bee’s Knees Whiskey Bar, Hayden
3318 W Northwest Blvd, Spokane
MANITO SHOPPING CENTER 611 E 30TH AVE, SPOKANE (509) 863-9196
Best Place to Expand Your Artistic Horizons
THE MAGIC LANTERN THEATER
Look, I love a dumb, extravagant Hollywood blockbuster as much as the next mindless consumer. But in between watching big-screen car crashes and universe-hopping battle scenes created by an army of overworked and underpaid CGI artists, I like to cleanse my palate with smaller, more intimate movies about real life in the real world. That’s when the Magic Lantern Theater comes in real handy. The arthouse first started bringing indie, offbeat cinematic offerings to the Inland Northwest in the ’70s, and give or take a few closures and a move to the Community Building, they’re still at it. You could randomly pick any movie on the theater’s lineup at any given time, and I’d guarantee you’d walk out two hours later wanting to discuss what you’ve just seen. (NATHAN WEINBENDER)
Planning some D.I.Y. projects that involve digging?
DON'T DIG INTO TROUBLE! Call 811 two business days before to alert utilities.
2020 BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST INLANDER 43
NIGHTLIFE Best Casino
NORTHERN QUEST RESORT & CASINO
Hoping to turn a nickel into a dime? Northern Quest Resort & Casino is the place to be, with 94 jackpots a day. The luck doesn’t stay at the slots, though. With restaurants, bars, concerts, arcades, spas and shows of all varieties, this casino doesn’t have to be a risky gamble. (MS) 2nd PLACE: Coeur d’Alene Casino; 3rd PLACE: Spokane Tribe Casino
Best Bar to Sing Drunk Karaoke with College Kids
Ask anyone in Spokane’s University District and they’ll tell you that Thursday nights at Star Bar are a sight to see. Just a few minutes walk from campus in the Logan neighborhood, where most upperclassmen call home, Star is uniquely situated to service the Gonzaga student body with $5 Long Island Iced Teas and karaoke well into the early morning hours. Thursday nights at Star make for an excellent precursor to weekend festivities. (MACIE WHITE)
Northern Quest Resort & Casino was readers’ top choice for visiting the West Plains.
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Voters’ Best Reason to Visit...
THE WEST PLAINS
irway Heights has made some strides in the last couple decades, and a lot of that can be attributed to the growth of Northern Quest Resort & Casino. It was easily the most popular response from our readers, and that’s likely because it’s an all-in-one entertainment zone: Even if you’re not the gambling type, the sprawling casino space offers several restaurants, a luxury spa and a kids’ arcade. The A-list entertainment schedule is worth the trip alone, and Northern Quest’s impressive outdoor stage is set to feature acts like Weezer and Ice Cube this summer. Or simply kick back at Movie & Dinner, where you can sip a cocktail while watching the latest Marvel
extravaganza. Eastern Washington University was also a popular answer among our readers — no doubt by students who make the trek out to the campus five times a week — as was the Spokane International Airport, for when you need that quick weekend getaway, or you just want to catch up with your favorite TSA agent. Among the funniest and downright bizarre answers, some of our favorites were “to contemplate existence” (how zen), “to marry your cousin” (as far as we know, incestuous marriages aren’t legal in Spokane, but maybe this reader knows something we don’t), and “there’s a Dairy Queen in Airway Heights” (amen!). — NATHAN WEINBENDER
Attend the Gala and be entered to win your own !
Visit cceasternwa.org/gala for more information. 44 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
15 2020 5:30 P.M.
THE DAVENPORT GRAND
Thank you readers for voting Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre’s production of Beauty and the Beast as the Best Musical of 2019 - 2020!
“Trivia Monday has kind of become a staple” at Steel Barrel.
YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Best Trivia Night
STEEL BARREL TAPROOM
t’s raucous at the Steel Barrel Taproom in downtown Spokane, where their weekly Monday night trivia is kicking off. And this isn’t your average low-key trivia event. It’s loud, vulgar and energetic. The night’s trivia topics include biopics, “who said it,” and “anatomy music,” according to Mike Duke, the 31-year-old host. And with loud music bumping, Duke working the crowd up, attendees whooping and hollering, it’s lively from the start. “This one, I think, is a little more party atmosphere than other trivias,” says Joe Potter, one of the co-owners of Steel Barrel Taproom. “We are a 21-and-over establishment, so that’s good in some ways in that we can get a little risque with the topics and Mike can swear over the microphone.” “I’m very social with the crowd,” Duke says. “Being able to be R-rated kind of helps, especially when you get some of the knuckleheads that think that they’re funnier than I am. It helps to be able to dish it back and take the heckling.” The trivia nights first got going roughly two years ago, Potter says, after they started opening up the taproom on Mondays. They also got connected to Duke, who had recently moved
to Spokane and had experience running trivia nights on the west side of the state. “We wanted to ... make it a destination day of the week and pull people in on Mondays,” Potter says. Now they’ve typically got four to five teams that show up every Monday. Potter says that Mondays have also become their busiest weekday. “Trivia Monday has kind of become a staple here, a mainstay,” he says. “It’s really built to be a good experience whether you win or don’t.” Duke says that he tries to put creative spins on the various trivia topics. For instance, for President’s Day, he ran with a “TV and movie presidents” topic. He also lets the third-place team pick a topic-set for the following week — so long as they commit to showing up. “I consider it a performance art more than a job,” Duke says. “I genuinely want everyone to have a good time and I think it shows.” — JOSH KELETY 2nd PLACE: The Backyard; 3rd PLACE: Iron Goat Brewing; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Growler Guys, Coeur d’Alene
FURRBALL 2 0 2 0
TH NOVEMBERIN14 JU LY TIC KE TS ON SA LE
her it’s the 21st time we gat l ma for s thi at animal lovers dinner & silent auction
Sponsorships still availab 509-467-5235 ext. 211
Thank You for voting FurrBall for Best Charity Event in Town!
2020 BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST INLANDER 45
NIGHTLIFE Best Tiny Bar
ersonal, unpretentious, cozy — whatever the reason we love their small spaces, tiny bars are becoming more and more prominent as the drinking culture in downtown Spokane continues to evolve. We can now call it official: We have enough tiny bars in Spokane to warrant them their own Best Of category. Unsurprisingly, one miniscule libationary still holds the crown amongst locals as the prime example of the genre. Enter the Baby Bar, a slight but powerful drinkery, conveniently located in the middle of downtown Spokane. Its moody red lighting is flattering to all, its jukebox is unparalleled, and it’s attached to its own burrito restaurant. Beyond any of its atmospheric quirks or culinary treats, the Baby Bar has amassed a deep and colorful clientele thanks to an abundance of one particular trait that we all admire when we’re settling in for a drink — reality. “I don’t think anything shocks me anymore,” says Patty Tully, head bartender and co-owner of said establishment. Honestly, nothing should. She’s been bartending for the better part of two decades, and that’s enough to give anyone an up-close-and-personal glimpse into a community’s most sensitive and vulnerable moments. But where the Baby Bar sets itself apart from other bars is how it handles that responsibility. “It’s like you’re going to your grandma’s house for
“It’s like you’re going to your grandma’s house for your family reunion,” says Baby Bar’s co-owner Patty Tully. your family reunion,” Tully argues, using an analogy that would make anyone with half of a family cringe. “It’s inevitable that some shithead is going to show up, but you still feel safe, because it’s your place.” She’s right, and even though she’s on the other side of the bar, she understands the environment that such a close-quarters building inherently provides. And that’s
what the Baby Bar thrives on. “Not trying to sound corny, but just because I’m bartending doesn’t make it my space, necessarily,” Tully explains. “It’s as much your place as it is my place.” — JORDAN SATTERFIELD 2nd PLACE: Tiny Tiki; 3rd PLACE: Bon Bon
YOU TO THE COFFEE AFFICIANADOS, PASTRY CONNOISSEURS, BARISTAS, BAKERS, DELIVERY DRIVERS, LOCALS, OUT-OF-TOWNERS... FOR VOTING ROCKET BAKERY THE INLANDER’S
22 years in a row! 7 Locations | rocketspokane.com | @therocketbakery | 509-927-2340
46 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
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48 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
WASHINGTON TRUST BANK
“What’s your awesome?” runs Washington Trust’s latest advertising tagline. Well, it turns out that a lot of people’s awesome is Washington Trust Bank itself. That’s why they singled out this longstanding (118 years young!), community-minded and proudly privately owned Northwest financial institution as their No. 1 pick for all things banking. (EJI) 2nd PLACE: Banner Bank; 3rd PLACE: Mountain West Bank
JEWELRY DESIGN CENTER
Jewelry has the potential to be about a lot more than glittering gems and precious metals. It can also have tons of sentimental value. Whether you’re restoring an heirloom that’s been in the family for generations or creating something entirely new, the skilled craftspeople at Jewelry Design Center don’t overlook that important emotional component. Maybe that’s what makes this family-owned business a repeat favorite in its field. (EJI) 2nd PLACE: Pounder’s Jewelry; 3rd PLACE: Veda Lux; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Clark’s Diamond Jewelers, Coeur d’Alene
The Davenport has a history of winning.
Spokane Thank you for voting us Best Med Spa
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THE HISTORIC DAVENPORT HOTEL
Let’s face it, the Historic Davenport Hotel is going to be awfully hard to beat when you’re talking top local hotels. Like the Monroe Street Bridge and the clock tower in Riverfront Park, it’s an iconic landmark that’s pretty much inextricably linked to Spokane’s identity. The clincher is that it’s also known for its uncompromising approach to quality — from its signature mattress to its namesake soft peanut brittle. (EJI) 2nd PLACE: The Davenport Grand Hotel; 3rd PLACE: Northern Quest Hotel; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: The Coeur d’Alene Resort
Best Pet Groomer Best Pet Boutique
THE YUPPY PUPPY
Pet parents trust the Yuppy Puppy for always having their fur kids’ best interests at heart, from stocking the best quality, all-natural food, supplies and toys, to hiring the area’s best groomers and doggie daycare handlers. The one-stop shop has two Spokane locations, downtown and north side; both have self-service dog wash stations and everything else your beloved pets need (or don’t need, but get spoiled with anyway). Make sure to follow the Yuppy Puppy on Instagram (@theyuppypuppy) for photos of the goodest boys and girls around. For the cat people, both locations have resident shop kitties: Princess Gwen (north) and Boinks (downtown). (CS) BEST PET GROOMER 2nd PLACE: Dapper Dog Pet Parlor; 3rd PLACE: Bark and Snip; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST (tie): Laundramutt, Star’s Pet Grooming, both in Coeur d’Alene BEST PET BOUTIQUE 2nd PLACE: The Urban Canine; 3rd PLACE: Prairie Dog Mercantile; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: GoodDog, Coeur d’Alene
510 W Riverside Ave Suite 100 | Spokane, WA 509.443.3594 | craftedbeautyspokane.com /craftedbeautyspokane
2020 BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST INLANDER 49
Best Cannabis Brand
ne of the greatest success stories in legal cannabis has been taking place right in our backyard. Spokane Valley’s GrowOp Farms, founded in 2014 by Robert and Katrina McKinley, has been on the cutting edge of cannabis production since the early days of the legal marijuana market in Washington. Their Phat Panda brand has become one of the most recognizable and top-selling lines in the state. Having grown from an initial crew of 30 people, Phat Panda is now home to over 550 employees. The self-styled “large scale boutique” has helped create jobs and bring respectability to the local cannabis production. In 2016, an Inlander writer joined Spokane Valley elected officials on a tour of the Phat Panda facility. They were there to see first hand how the marijuana industry works, and they decided to learn from the best. Two years later, the McKinleys were named to High Times’ 100 Most Influential People in Cannabis, alongside names like Willie Nelson and Cory Booker. Their commitment to excellence has translated to their wildly popular products. Walk into any dispensary around town and you’ll immediately notice Phat Panda. The distinctive logo, with a panda wearing pot-leaf sunglasses, shows up everywhere, and the playful and bold packaging is eye-catching. Plus, Phat Panda products pop up in every section, be it flower, concentrates, cartridges, pre-rolls or edibles. The brand is thoroughly entrenched in the market. For good reason, it’s good. Their Golden Pineapple one gram pre-rolls have become one of my go-tos when I’m looking for something strong (22.49% THC) but not spendy ($5 to $7, depending on when and where I’m shopping). It speaks to the beauty of Phat Panda; it’s everywhere and has something for everyone. — WILL MAUPIN
Phat Panda’s Katrina and Robert McKinley. YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
2nd PLACE: Fire House Productions; 3rd PLACE: Blue Roots Cannabis
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50 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
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Thank you Spokane!
Fringe & Fray stocks clothing, jewelry and trendy home-decor pieces.
YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Best Retail Cannabis Shop
Best Consignment Boutique
The inaugural Best Of in this category went to Cinder back in 2015, and the local chain with three locations — downtown, the northside and the Valley — has won it three times since. Professionalism, convenience and familiarity have helped Cinder set the standard for retail cannabis in Spokane since the very start. Their great selection and sleek in-store design doesn’t hurt, either. (WM) 2nd PLACE: Lucky Leaf; 3rd PLACE: (tie) Satori, TreeHouse Club
For a decade this downtown boutique has been an eco- and price-conscious fashion lover’s dream, offering a curated mix of vintage and modern brands. Make an appointment to sell your gently worn duds to earn a little extra cash, although chances are high you’ll spend it right away on a new-to-you piece fresh off the racks. Along with clothing, shoppers love F&F’s inventory of locally made jewelry and a section stocking trendy home-decor pieces. Follow the shop on social media for outfit flat lays and previews of new inventory. (CS) 2nd PLACE: Echo Boutique; 3rd PLACE (tie): Garland Resale Boutique, ZipperZ on Garland; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Beau Monde Clothing Exchange, Hayden
FRINGE & FRAY
7 BEST FINE DINING
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BEST OUTDOOR DINING
Best Place to Get Framed
RIVER RIDGE HARDWARE/ FRAME IT TODAY
I returned from a trip last year with a cool poster I’d picked up at a Southern art museum, one I liked enough that I wanted to get it framed. It’s an unusual shape, so I knew it would be a custom job. When I started asking various spots how much it would cost to frame my $30 print, most estimates I got back were north of $200. Uh, hard pass on that. Then I stopped by the framing shop known as Frame It Today inside River Ridge Hardware, and they proceeded to do the job beautifully for less than half that. Customer for life, right here. (DAN NAILEN)
W. 621 Mallon St 509.328.5965 clinkerdagger.com
Congrats on the top spot Thomas Hammer.
2020 BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST INLANDER 51
SHOPPING Best Home Decor Shop
THE TIN ROOF
Since 1945, Tin Roof owners the Hanley family have been helping local homeowners stylishly furnish their spaces to look like spreads straight from the pages of Better Homes & Gardens. A visit to the Tin Roof’s East Spokane showroom offers clear evidence of why, with thousands of square feet filled with quality furniture brands in a range of contemporary styles. A team of expert interior decorators are always on hand to help customers pick pieces that best fit their home, budget and lifestyle. (CS) 2nd PLACE: Boulevard Mercantile; 3rd PLACE: Lucky Vintage and Pretty Things; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Midtown Market, Coeur d’Alene
The Tin Roof has been serving local customers since 1945.
YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Best Credit Union
Best Hair Salon
Since beginning as the Spokane Teacher’s Credit Union, STCU has become the state’s third-largest credit union and a mainstay in our Best Of editions — and for good reason. STCU’s growth has continued at a yearly tick, but their commitment to personal touch and service to the community has yet to dissipate. (CG) 2nd PLACE: Numerica; 3rd PLACE: BECU
Getting a new look shouldn’t be a day-long commitment, but it also shouldn’t be done carelessly either. Oasis Hair touts “VIP treatment and expert services” along with reasonable rates that keep locals coming. Locations on the north side, in the Valley and on the South Hill make getting a trim all the more accessible. (CG) 2nd PLACE: House of POp; 3rd PLACE: Luxe Salon & Spa; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Bling Salon, Hayden
Best Furniture Store
Walker’s may be a growing local chain that’s been around for four decades now, but don’t be mistaken: They don’t compromise on customer service or price just for a wide selection. Shopping for furniture should be as comfortable and easy as sitting on it, and Walker’s offers the best of both worlds. (CG) 2nd PLACE: The Tin Roof; 3rd PLACE: Dania; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Runge Furniture, Coeur d’Alene
Thank you for voting Epicurean Delight the Best Charity Event!
Friday, November 6, 2020, 6:00 p.m. to Midnight Spokane ConventIon Center
2020 Grand PrEsentIng Partner
52 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
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Brickyard Barbershop, with its location on North Monroe, came out on top.
Best Medi Spa
If you’re trying to get some cosmetic work done, you don’t want just anyone messing with your face. Go to Sarah Hamilton FACE, where you can get top quality and personalized care in a state-of-the-art modern facility. Turn back time and get wrinkles relaxed, dermal fillers and redefine your jawline with a kybella treatment. (JK) 2nd PLACE: Crafted Beauty; 3rd PLACE: Odara Medical Spa; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Beyond Beauty, Coeur d’Alene
Brickyard isn’t just a clever name — it’s a mission statement. The rugged, exposed-brick interior says all you need to know about the group’s studious approach to hairdressing. But it’s the personal atmosphere that keeps them in the top spot. These are the barbers you trust beyond your own doctors. (JS) 2nd PLACE: The Man Shop; 3rd PLACE: Smoov Cutz; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Bulwark Barber, Coeur d’Alene
SARAH HAMILTON FACE
54 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
HECTOR AIZON PHOTO
We’re Here for You. Don’t judge Veda Lux by its size. It’s bigger than it looks.
Best Vintage Clothing
No one is above a spa day. Our voters have made it clear that La Rive is far more serviceable than your average casino spa. The convenient location doesn’t hurt, though. What better way to come down from the excitement of gambling than hitting the spa? (JS) 2nd PLACE: Spa Paradiso; 3rd PLACE: Davenport Spa and Salon; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: The Coeur d’Alene Resort Spa
its remarkable eccentricity and one-of-a-kind pieces. Don’t let the small size fool you — it’s bigger on the inside. (JS) 2nd PLACE: Chosen Vintage; 3rd PLACE: Boulevard Mercantile; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Marmalade Underground, Coeur d’Alene
LA RIVE AT VEDA LUX Get up close and personal with decades worth of fashion NORTHERN QUEST trends at Veda Lux, which our voters no doubt heralded for
The Inlander is committed to keeping people informed and connected throughout the coronavirus outbreak. Pick up the paper - available at most of your favorite grocery stores, among other places, and check Inlander.com for the latest.
2020 BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST INLANDER 55
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Owner Jani Davis, left, and Manager Janae Madsen, who is also Davis’ daughter.
YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Best Women’s Boutique
JEMA LANE BOUTIQUE
trip to Jema Lane Boutique is more like trying on clothes from your stylish sister or best friend’s closet than flipping through rack after rack at the mall. Offering a personalized approach to shopping is what owner Jani Davis has aimed for since opening the women’s clothing boutique in Spokane Valley 10 years ago. The shop has been in its current location inside a historic, 1909-built former house at 323 S. Pines Rd. — just minutes from I-90 — since late 2018. Throughout the building’s original firstfloor layout are tables stacked with denim and shoes, racks of dresses and tops, and displays of accessories and jewelry. “When I first opened, my goal was that there wasn’t anyone who came in and left feeling bad about themselves,” Davis says. “We go from size extra small to 3XL. I want everyone to feel good when they come in, and the girls who work for me are amazing at customer service. We want everyone to feel like they have a personal shopping experience when they come here.” The store’s name is a tribute to the first initials of Davis’s four daughters: Janae, Erin, Megan and Ashley. Davis also has three sons, and says all the kids help out in various ways.
Daughter Janae Madsen is Jema Lane’s manager. Styles stocked at Jema Lane reflect casual, contemporary trends in women’s fashion; nothing too formal, fad-driven or high end, but rather pieces that can be mixed and matched, or dressed up or down. Think, a chunky, cozy sweater over a drapey tank worn with jeans and ankle booties, accessorized with statement earrings. New pieces arrive weekly, along with one featured sale item called “Jem of the Week.” In 2017, Davis expanded Jema Lane’s reach online, offering a selection of its inventory to customers anywhere, and for local customers to purchase and pick up in store. As a small local business in an industry that offers countless choices to consumers, Davis says Jema Lane’s success all goes back to the business’s personalized customer service. “Our customers become friends,” she says. “We get to know about their lives and we spend time with them when they come in, and they feel comfortable here.” — CHEY SCOTT 2nd PLACE: Swank; 3rd PLACE: Veda Lux; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: T-Blue Boutique, Coeur d’Alene
G N I R B WE M E XI C O U O Y O T
9 BEST MEXICAN FOOD
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SHOPPING Best Florist
LIBERTY PARK FLORIST
The neighborhood of Liberty Park was essentially cut up when Interstate 90 came to town. Above it on the basalt cliffs sits the greenhouses of family-owned Liberty Park Florist. The business has been there since 1928, essentially the original Spokane hipster, considering it liked the South Perry neighborhood before it was cool. Now the neighborhood boasts breweries, bike shops and hot real estate prices. All along there’s the glass buildings of Liberty Park Florist, where staff will soon crank out seemingly countless bouquets for Mother’s Day. (SAL) 2nd PLACE: Appleway Florist; 3rd PLACE: Bloem; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Hansen’s Florist & Gifts, Coeur d’Alene
Best Organic/Natural Foods
HUCKLEBERRY’S NATURAL MARKET
Go ahead. Go on your rant about how terms like “natural” and “organic” have become almost meaningless buzzwords marketers deploy to try to get you to pay more. But even you skeptics can’t deny the awesome selection and quality of Huckleberry’s Natural Market, where you can get everything from locally grown produce, to bulk Spiceologist spices, to more obscure ingredients like molecular gastronomy thickening agent agar agar. And the bistro, which whips up beloved dishes like smoked salmon hash and Sicilian chicken salad, is worthy of a trip in its own right. (DW) 2nd PLACE: My Fresh Basket; 3rd PLACE: Main Market Co-op; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Pilgrim’s Market, Coeur d’Alene
It’s hard to deny the awesome selection and quality of Huckleberry’s. YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Best New Car Dealership
If you need a gag gift like a flask disguised as a sunscreen tube, Boo Radley’s is your place. If you need a hilarious adult-themed birthday card, it’s your place. If you need a sasquatch or “Spokanistan” T-shirt (and who doesn’t?), it’s your place. Really, any Spokane/Inland Northwest pride item is there, complete with chatty sales staff to make it a worthwhile experience. It’s an experience that all out-of-towners need to have when they ask, “What’s there to do in Spokane?” The answer: “Check out Boo Radley’s.” (SAL) 2nd PLACE: Atticus; 3rd PLACE: Simply Northwest; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Mix It Up, Coeur d’Alene
Deciding which new car to buy can be overwhelming, but Larry H. Miller makes it as easy as possible. The family-owned dealership in Spokane has all the Honda, Toyota and Lexus cars you need, and the sales staff there knows they don’t always need to push you into one. (WC) 2nd PLACE: Wendle Motors; 3rd PLACE: Dave Smith Motors
VA L L E Y 12505 E S PRAGUE 509.443.4005
58 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
D O W N TO W N 1403 W 1ST 509.747.223 1
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Voters’ Best Reasons to Visit…
“Listing with Patrick was “Listing with Patrick was more comfortable than more than I couldcomfortable have imagined. I could imagined. highlyhave suggest listing Iyour highly suggest listing home with Patrick.” your homeTobie!!) with Patrick.” -Tobie (thanks,
aters might hate (seriously, though, we got plenty of less-than-creative suggestions from would-be jokesters) by pushing dated, inaccurate and negative stereotypes of this working-class part of northeast Spokane, yet Hillyard packs a ton of history and character into a fairly small package. Take voters’ No. 1 reason to head up Market Street: antique shopping. Long before thrifting and buying vintage was considered hip, Hillyard was a destination for all sorts of funky finds, from vintage furniture to authentic antique relics of Spokane’s past. These things and more can be found, for example, at the United Hillyard Antique Mall, a longtime business offering two stories packed with more than a dozen vendors. Nearby, Market Street Antiques is also two stories and filled with vendors specializing in all manner of eras and goods. (See if you can find one of several resident store cats while you’re there!) While you’re in the neighborhood, pop into Vintage Mercantile & Auction, B&B Junk Co., Hillyard Variety/ Spokantiques and Dr. D’s Treasures. You never know what you’ll find. After several hours of shopping, you’ll probably be hungry, so why not grab a bite at readers’ second go-to spot in Hillyard, Red Dragon Chinese? Newly opened as of this year, another
-Tobie (thanks, Tobie!!)
Hillyard... the home of antique shopping.
YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
already popular spot for a bite is the familyfriendly Barnwood Social Kitchen & Tavern. For those who prefer to head outdoors instead of in, the Esmeralda Golf Course, Beacon Hill and Hillyard skatepark all were shared as favorite reasons to head to Hillyard. — CHEY SCOTT
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THE RUB, conjure vinyl, heavy-footed grooves, martini dance steps, stereo-up-windows-down drive-bys, coffeehouse head-hums and anthemic lighter-lit halls
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St. Patricks Day Lucky’s Irish Pub Spokane March 27 March 28
April 1 April 3/4 April 10 April 11 April 17 April 24
May 1/2 May 5 May 22 May 23
Bridge Press Cellars Spokane 315 Martinis & Tapas Cd’A
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60 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
July 10 Up North Distillery Post Falls July 11 219 Lounge Sandpoint July 17/18/19 The Iron Horse Cd’A July 31 Taste of Coeur d’Alene August 14/15 Nighthawk Cd’A Casino August 21 Bridge Press Spokane August 28 Hood River OR September 9 Live After 5 Cd’A September 25/26 The Iron Horse Cd’A
October 10 October 31
Bridge Press Cellars Spokane redrub II
Readers long to have a Ikea nearby.
Best Boat Dealer
HAGADONE MARINE GROUP
You know you’ve reached the next level in life when you’re out shopping for a boat. And there’s no better place to do that than Hagadone Marine Group, the class of boat sales. It features a fully-customized showroom experienced with what they say is the largest boat inventory in the country. (WC) 2nd PLACE: Elephant Boys; 3rd PLACE: Trudeau’s Marina
Best Business the Inland NW Needs
Ikea, the land of Swedish meatballs and puzzle piece furniture, is a one-stop shop for all things furniture. Yes, Spokane is desperately lacking this Scandanavian home improvement warehouse, with the nearest Ikea five hours away on the west side of the Cascades. (MW) 2nd PLACE: Chick-fil-A; 3rd PLACE: Whole Foods
THANKS FOR VOTING!
Spokane's Best Candy
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PEOPLE Best Athlete
KILLIAN TILLIE, GONZAGA BASKETBALL
For a high-level college basketball player with NBA potential to stay in college for four years is increasingly uncommon. Zag fans appreciate Tillie for his longevity in Spokane, even if they know injuries are the main reason he’s still here. The perseverance he’s shown in overcoming setbacks to lead the Zags as a senior only endeared him to the fans even more. (WM) 2nd PLACE: Corey Kispert, Gonzaga Basketball; 3rd PLACE: Michael Chiesa, UFC
Best Elected Official
BREEAN BEGGS, SPOKANE CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT
There are politicians who achieve popularity by making their enemies look like monsters and then there are politicians who achieve popularity by portraying themselves as the Most Reasonable Person in the World. Breean Beggs is the latter — willing to present his opponent’s arguments in rationalenough terms, but then explaining, in lengthy detail, why his preferred position is, in fact, even more reasonable, and don’t worry he’s got a complicated plan to make everybody happy. And now that he has the City Council gavel, he has the privilege of listening to hours of citizens scream at the council about taxes, homelessness and abortion. But like a Zen master, Beggs remains unflappable, almost serene, betraying no reaction to the chaos but an occasional soft word of correction and a hint of a half-smile. (DW) 2nd PLACE: Nadine Woodward, Spokane Mayor; 3rd PLACE: Kate Burke, Spokane City Council; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Steve Widmyer, Coeur d’Alene Mayor
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BEST BEER BAR
Gonzaga’s Killian Tillie.
ERICK DOXEY PHOTO
Best TV Sportscaster
SAM ADAMS, KHQ
All sports all the time can’t be that bad, right? Since helping launch the region’s only all-sports and weather channel over at SWX, Adams has continuously earned the trust of Spokane’s sports-rabid population. Whether it’s local prep sports or nationally known teams like Gonzaga basketball, he’s your man. (CG) 2nd PLACE: Keith Osso, KXLY; 3rd PLACE: Alyssa Charlston, KXLY
Best TV Weathercaster
TOM SHERRY, KREM
Spokane weather gives few guarantees and even fewer bright spots, but it feels like Tom Sherry giving the forecast on TV is one of them. An Inlander Best of Hall of Fame inductee in 2007, Sherry is always reinventing himself and keeping the weather fun and energetic, even when everything around him is changing. (CG) 2nd PLACE: Leslie Lowe, KHQ; 3rd PLACE: Kris Crocker, KXLY
Best Radio DJ or Team
DAVE, KEN & MOLLY, KZZU
For some, the wafting aroma of ground coffee gets them out of bed in the morning. But for music fans of the modern Top-40 variety, starting the day with Dave, Ken & Molly on KZZU does the trick. Hosting daily from 6-10 am, this trio is a bottomless pit of jokes, games and banter galore. (MS) 2nd PLACE: Jay, Kevin and Slim, Coyote Country; 3rd PLACE: Gary Allen, Rock 94.5; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Victoria Frederick, KPND
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VOTED BEST SUSHI FOR 9 YEARS
ThankYou! FOR VOTING FOR US YEAR AFTER YEAR! 1710 N. 4TH ST. COEUR D'ALENE, ID • SYRINGASUSHI.COM • 208-664-2718 2020 BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST INLANDER 63
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The guys behind a popular beer-focused YouTube channel.
Best Local YouTube/Internet Star
f you think about it, the art of brewing beer is as visually interesting as it is delicious — the way the hops and the yeast and the grain all swirl together to create that sweet ambercolored goodness. Spokane’s Genus Brewing has taken full advantage of that, and they’ve taken their passion for beer to the internet with great results. The business was started by Peter McArthur as a bottle shop, and he and Logan Cook have since developed it into Spokane Valley’s primary destination point for anybody who’s interested in brewing beer at home. You can still grab a pint while you’re there, and the available taps usually feature some of Genus’ more experimental small batches with unexpected flavors. McArthur and Cook are also the two dudes you see on Genus Brewing’s YouTube channel, which handily won in our readers’ poll for best local internet stars. They’ve racked up more than a million views and 14,000 subscribers in the three years they’ve been posting videos, which is no doubt a consequence of their easygoing style and variety of content. It’s true that you can teach yourself how to
64 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
do just about anything by finding video tutorials on YouTube, and Genus’ posts could inspire you to finally turn your garage into a makeshift brewery. Their how-to guides walk you step-bystep through the beer-making process, they chat with other brewers and beer aficionados, they try out outlandish and elaborate brewing techniques and they review other craft beers. Easily their most popular video (with 65,000 views) is a helpful walkthrough of the “myths” of home brewing, and they’ve done several more in the series since. McArthur and Cook have a casual rapport on camera and an entertaining, low-key charm, delivering advice with authority and usually with a craft beer in hand. They don’t dumb down their content, but they also don’t talk to you like a couple of above-it-all beer snobs. There’s something there for casual drinkers as well as more refined home brewers. — NATHAN WEINBENDER 2nd PLACE: Jessica Root, @jayyroot; 3rd PLACE: (tie) Dan Cummins, Kumiko Love (The Budget Mom)
Thank you Spokane for voting us
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66 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
2020 BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST INLANDER 67
Best TV Anchorperson
STEPHANIE VIGIL, KHQ
With a smile of gold and not a hair out of place, Stephanie Vigil delivers news weekdays at 5, 6 and 11 pm. Her welcoming and inviting demeanor accompanied with a true passion for storytelling make her hard to take your eyes off of when she’s behind the desk. Did we mention she’s won a few Emmys? (MS) 2nd PLACE: Kalae Chock, KHQ; 3rd PLACE: Sean Owsley, KHQ
Best Activist/Activist Group
PEACE AND JUSTICE ACTION LEAGUE (PJALS)
Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane is a grassroots community organizing group that frequently speaks up in local politics. The anti-war group seeks to build a nonviolent world, and it does so by coordinating community events and engaging the public. (WC) 2nd PLACE: Spokane Riverkeeper; 3rd PLACE: (tie) Fuse Washington, The Lands Council, Spokane Community Against Racism (SCAR); NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Kootenai Environmental Alliance (KEA)
Best Pop Culture-Inspired Painter
Activists with the Peace and Justice Action League.
YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Voted BEST BREAKFAST in Sandpoint!
O OUR CUSTOMER T S K N S! Loyalty and Friends f o s r THA a e y 4 hip or 2 F
I’m no art snob or connoisseur. Nor do I know much about art history or styles; I’d like to think I can accurately describe impressionism, but don’t test me. But I also like to hang quality paintings, drawings and photographs in my home. They’re nice to look at. And if I could afford it, I would buy all of local Spokane artist Travis Chapman’s paintings (or at least prints of them). Frequently comical and inspired by pop culture, his work makes bizarre concepts like Edgar Allan Poe dressed as a cop look like age-old classical masterpieces. (JOSH KELETY)
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The Valley may not have a downtown, but it’s got most things you need at the mall.
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Voters’ Best Reasons to Visit…
isiting Spokane Valley is a little like when a child visits their grandparents’ place: At first you don’t understand why you’re there, but after you leave with new toys, clothes and a full stomach, you can’t wait to go back. And the Spokane Valley Mall has all of that. It’s why voters overwhelmingly chose it as the best reason to hang out in the Valley. In the reader’s poll on why to visit the Valley, responses about the mall ranged from enthusiastic (“The numerous places to eat and shop”) to nonplussed (“mall, I guess”). But as much as malls elsewhere may be going
out of style, Spokane Valley Mall remains cool. The Valley may not have — or even want — a traditional downtown, but in terms of a community gathering place, the mall might be the closest thing, with excellent shopping, food and fun all in one area. Coming in a distant second was Mirabeau Park, with one reader putting special emphasis on the turtles. In third was TT’s Old Iron Brewery, chef Chad White’s barbecue joint. And I’m sorry, reader, but while I’m sure it’s a great place to spend some time, your “boyfriend’s house” sadly didn’t place in the top three reasons to visit the Valley. — WILSON CRISCIONE
Proud to be...
Best Place to Walk your Dog
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THE ARTS Best Local Play or Musical of 2019-20
THE SOUND OF MUSIC, SPOKANE VALLEY SUMMER THEATRE
For three weeks last July, the Valley was alive with The Sound of Music. Local actors like Jennifer Tindall, who starred as the governess to the preternaturally mellifluous Von Trapp children, performed songs that have long since transcended this classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical: “Do-Re-Mi,” “Edelweiss” and “My Favorite Things.” Though it stopped short of sparking a sudden vogue for lederhosen and dirndls, there’s little doubt that this memorable production wowed audiences. (EJI) 2nd PLACE: It’s a Wonderful Life, Spokane Civic Theatre; 3rd PLACE: Young Frankenstein, Spokane Civic Theatre; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Beauty and the Beast, Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre
Best Charity Event
EPICUREAN DELIGHT, BLOOD CENTER FOUNDATION
This formal food-based fete sells out year after year, and for good reason. Pairing a friendly culinary competition between 30 regional restaurants and 30 libations purveyors, Epicurean Delight raises funds to support Vitalant’s regional blood center, offering life-saving transfusions. In 2020, Epicurean will host its 39th event on Nov. 6; watch for tickets to go on sale sometime in August if you plan to return or check out this popular benefit for the first time. (CS) 2nd PLACE: Beyond Pink Bra Fashion Show; 3rd PLACE: Furr Ball, Spokane Humane Society; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: The Showcase, Community Cancer Fund
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Best Arts Festival
ART ON THE GREEN
It’s going to feel like Groundhog Day for the region’s arts festivals as Coeur d’Alene’s Art on the Green takes top honors again this year. File it under “if it ain’t broke…” because for 51 years, this three-day festival on North Idaho College’s lovely lakeside campus has been one of the highlights of summer. Artisan goods, food booths, live entertainment, a juried art show and more awaits. (CAS) 2nd PLACE: ArtFest; 3rd PLACE: Terrain
Best Tattoo Parlor
Anchored Art is celebrating its third consecutive year snagging this award. The downtown Spokane parlor has been operating for nearly a decade, and their no-nonsense attitude continues to win the hearts of tattoo fans. Tattoos are fun, but they’re also permanent. It’s best to see a team who takes the artform seriously. (JS) 2nd PLACE: Mom’s Custom Tattoo; 3rd PLACE: On the Level Tattoo; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Bleeding Hearts, Sandpoint
Best Giant Yard Spider
Time was, we would have given this prestigious award to the spider out front of a quirky little house on Bridge Avenue in West Central. But, tragically, the spider-woman has moved, and the spider has disappeared. (We cannot discount the possibility that it’s in your bedroom as we speak.) Fortunately, Tyler Henthorne, the Halloween-obsessed owner of the historic Dwight House in Browne’s Addition, hatched an equally ominous spider: Fluffy, a 9-foot-tall Home Depot prop he set up on his front lawn this fall. But Henthorne, who used to turn an abandoned mall into a giant haunted house when he lived in California, didn’t stop there: He painted the kind of netting used by butchers to contain cow carcasses, turning them into cobwebs. By the time an early October snow blanketed the city, the spider — dubbed “Fluffy” by Henthorne’s wife — looked genuinely terrifying, like something that Conan the Barbarian might battle. (DANIEL WALTERS)
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You’ll find history and art at the MAC.
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Best Art Gallery
NORTHWEST MUSEUM OF ARTS AND CULTURE (MAC)
Tucked into the Browne’s Addition neighborhood, the MAC, as it’s affectionately known, is the kind of regional arts and culture hub that would leave an unfillable hole if it ever left. That’s true physically as it takes up a lot of space. But the kinds of exhibits it brings — from arts to Northwest history to science and the natural world — make it more than a place to simply “view” art. It’s a space to experience lifelong learning. (SAL) 2nd PLACE: Marmot Art Space; 3rd PLACE: Art Spirit Gallery, Coeur d’Alene
Grim and Fischer by WONDERHEADS THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 7:30PM
The Grim Reaper’s got a schedule to keep. He’s about to fall behind. 2020 BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST INLANDER 71
The booklovers’ paradise that is Auntie’s.
The news of local, independent bookstores’ death has been greatly exaggerated. That’s certainly true at Spokane’s iconic downtown and much-loved bookstore (where classic Mark Twain novels are indeed for sale). For over 40 years, it’s been a haven for word lovers to melt into its shelf-lined aisles and ascend a grand staircase to overlook literary joy. It changed hands to local businessman John Waite several years ago, but they’re the hands of an owner who carries on the grand tradition of what a strong local bookstore means to a community. (SAL) 2nd PLACE: Giant Nerd Books; 3rd PLACE: The Well-Read Moose, Coeur d’Alene
Best Public Art Piece
Best Cutest Public Art Piece
Among the many positive things Expo ’74 left Spokane, the Garbage Goat has to be the quirkiest — and perhaps most memorable. An artist nun, Sister Paula Turnbull, made the public art piece to coincide with the world’s fair that transformed Riverfront Park. And it’s since transformed the must-see list visitors to the city have to check off their list. (SAL) 2nd PLACE: Riverfront Park Pavilion; 3rd PLACE: Red Wagon; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Mudgy & Millie sculptures, Coeur d’Alene
He’s little but fierce, and obviously very, very brave. This adorable bronze lion cub sculpture by artist G. Alan Wright has been delighting passersby who discover his imposing pose in an alcove at the Lincoln Building, 818 W. Riverside Ave., in downtown Spokane since being installed in July 1963. I always give little Bronzo a pat on the head or stop for a selfie with him whenever I’m passing through the area, and you should, too. (CHEY SCOTT)
THE GARBAGE GOAT
YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
BRONZO THE BRAVE
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Since its first year in 2014, the Showcase — a benefit for the Community Cancer Fund — has raised $17 million.
MYK CRAWFORD PHOTO
North Idaho’s Best Charity Event
he Showcase celebrity golf tournament attracts big-time athletes and pop stars each year. But for Showcase Director Jerid Keefer, the coolest thing about seeing all those celebrities is figuring out they’re real people who have been affected by cancer like anyone else. “Keith Urban has been affected by cancer. [NFL legend] Marcus Allen has been affected by cancer, no different than you and I have been affected by cancer,” Keefer says. Since its first year in 2014, the Showcase — a benefit for the Community Cancer Fund held at the Coeur d’Alene Resort golf course each summer — has raised $17 million. And all that money stays right here in the Inland Northwest to help cancer patients and their families. Keefer, a co-founder of the Community Cancer Fund, says they started the Showcase six years ago out of a desire to do something a little different. “We had some relationships and contacts that helped us get off the ground in the first year,” he says. “And it’s just steadily grown.” Within the first few years, it brought in names like Adam Levine, Wayne Gretzky, Sheryl Crow, Mark Few and Mark Rypien. Keefer says it’s probably one of the largest fundraisers on the West Coast. You can buy a general admission ticket to follow celebrity golfers
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around the course with food, drinks and music throughout. The money raised all goes toward fighting cancer in the region and supporting cancer patients. One way it does that is by creating a $3 million endowment fund for Camp Goodtimes at Camp Reed, a free week-long summer camp for children with cancer. “They get to be a kid for a week,” Keefer says. Community Cancer Fund also collaborated with Kootenai Health and Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Inland Northwest to open a hospitality center for Kootenai patients. The center provides patients and their families a place to stay while receiving care. The 20-unit lodging facility is now open at a low cost to adults, and it’s free for pediatric patients and their families. Keefer calls it the “signature project” of Community Cancer Fund. And to help finish the fundraising on the new addition to the Spokane Ronald McDonald House, CCF will match donors’ 2020 contributions up to $1 million, doubling the effort. That’s why Keefer is never starstruck, no matter how many celebrities show up to the Showcase. Because when it comes to fighting cancer, everyone is in the same boat. — WILSON CRISCIONE
Woodland Montessori School
is now accepting applications for 2020-2021 school year! We are an AMI-trained program for children 3 to 6-yrs-old. We proudly accept Working Connections Childcare and other WA State subsidy payment options.
Contact us now to schedule a visit! (509) 924-1324 402. S. Coleman Road | Spokane Valley, WA 99212 Woodlandmontessori.com Admn.email@example.com
NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY
Woodland Montessori School encourages diversity and happily admits students of any race, religion, national or ethnic origin. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, or gender in any of our policies or programs.
FROM LEFT: SpoKast co-hosts Brennon Poynor, Andrea Williams and Nate Martin.
DANIEL WALTERS PHOTOS
ou could say that SpoKast winning Best Podcast was about quality, about personality and charisma, about the chemistry the three hosts have, about the way they capture what’s so great about Spokane. But you could also credit something that’s as much a part of podcasting as murder mysteries and mattress ads: shameless self-promotion! An entire special episode of the SpoKast was titled “PSA #VoteForMe,” all about how you loyal SpoKast listeners should definitely vote for SpoKast as your “favorite, best, greatest local podcast.” It was marketing. But marketing works. After all, while SpoKast co-host Nate Martin works at Bliss Hair Studio, the other two hosts, Brennon Poynor and Andrea Williams, both work for the Woodshop, a local marketing agency. In one sense, SpoKast operates as your typical hang-out show, a shaggy space where a couple of affable friends riff on the news together and share their thoughts. Think of it as the millennial version of a morning radio show like Dave, Ken & Molly. Martin describes Poynor as the technically savvy but “deliciously awkward” and himself as irreverent, a tad racy and sometimes dumb. Williams, who has 13 years of radio experience, is the one with the bubbly personality and the very loud, very exuberant laugh. Poynor says, “We’ve had multiple comments about Andrea’s laugh and how much they love it —” “— or how much they hate it,” Martin interjects.
On stands April 9th Over a decade ago, Williams ran a local music blog that covered the launch of an upand-coming music and art event called Terrain. It’s fitting then that SpoKast hosted Terrain cofounders Luke Baumgartner and Ginger Ewing as their first real guests. Podcasts are what blogs were a dozen years ago: A way for people who truly love talking about a thing — or a place — to come together and share what makes it special. Sometimes their experiments fail. When SpoKast recorded a “high AF” special to celebrate getting 420 fans on Instagram, the result was such a mess they ended up pulling the episode. But other times, like when they interviewed Lilac City Live host Ryan Tucker, it crackles with a kind of enthusiasm about what Spokane offers. “[The goal] is just to shine the light and recognize the community and the magic of the city,” Williams says. “If you get your ass outside of your house and you go be social, there’s something to do every single night.” So, yeah, SpoKast is marketing. It’s just they really believe in their product, and their product is Spokane. They want to go beyond #SpokaneDoesntSuck hashtags and showcase all the cool things that make Spokane great. Fittingly, that’s also what Terrain is about. That’s what Lilac City Live is about. Hell, that’s the Inlander Best Of is about, too. — DANIEL WALTERS 2nd PLACE: I Don’t Know Her; 3rd PLACE: The F.A.N. Show
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2020 BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST INLANDER 75
THE THE ARTS ARTS
The NorthTown Mall and the Garland District (above) were readers’ top picks.
YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Voters’ Best Reasons to Visit…
THE NORTH SIDE OF SPOKANE
t’s not surprising the most popular destinations for Inlander readers in North Spokane involve shopping — NorthTown Mall and the Garland District were the top vote-getters in this year’s poll — but looking at the overall results, one quickly realizes the region north of the river has a lot going on. Riverside State Park and the Little Spokane River were popular picks, too, along with Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park; clearly people love to get outside up
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north in between their trips to Bon Bon or Buffalo Wild Wings. The area’s rough-and-tumble spots got a couple of votes in the form of “meth,” “becoming ghetto,” and “the thrilling rush of possibly being robbed,” while one voter is definitely looking hungrily to the future by voting “checking to see if Chick-fil-A is actually coming to Spokane,” as has been rumored
for, oh, ever. Many voters chimed in in favor of spots way north, like Green Bluff, Big Barn Brewing, 1898 Public House and Wonderland Family Fun Center. Our favorite vote, though, comes from a reader who truly values his or her family, writing in that their best reason to visit the North Side is “mom lives there and lets you do laundry for free.” — DAN NAILEN
Our Customers are the BEST! THANKS FOR VOTING US ONE OF THE BEST
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LOCAL Best Wine Tasting Room
The first thing you notice when you walk into Kendall Yards’ Maryhill Winery tasting room is the view — a sprawling patio overlooking downtown Spokane’s gorgeous river gorge. The second thing you notice are three displays littered with more wine-competition medals than a Texas football coach’s trophy case. The third thing you notice, if you’re not already concentrating on drinking their award-winning Malbecs and Albariños, might be the furniture and wine racks, most of which is handcrafted by winery owner Craig Leuthold. (DW) 2nd PLACE: Barrister Winery; 3rd PLACE: Arbor Crest Wine Cellars; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Coeur d’Alene Cellars
Best Local Winery
ARBOR CREST WINE CELLARS
A great wine is as much about context as flavor. So for a moment, set aside the fine wine and take a gander at the winery. When my parents took me to the Arbor Crest Winery as a kid, I wasn’t allowed to sample the latest Malbecs, of course, but I thought to myself: “This just might be the fanciest place in the world.” Perched on Spokane Valley cliffside, 450 feet above the winding river, the Cliff House is a three-story mansion that features a giant-size checkerboard, like some sort of queen would play with her servants. It’s a great place to get married, and an even better place to get a wee bit tipsy. (DW) 2nd PLACE: Barrister Winery; 3rd PLACE: Maryhill Winery; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Coeur d’Alene Cellars
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Thank you Spokane for voting us best of 3 years in a row!
Best Bike shop
300 bikes in stock, largest selection of bikes and accessories in one location. 10503 N Division St. Spokane, WA | 509-467-2453 | northdivision.com STORE HOURS: Mon-Fri 9:30-6:00 Sat 9-5 Sun Gone Riding
Maryhill Winery’s patio overlooks the Spokane River.
ALICIA HAUFF PHOTO
Best Craft Cocktails
Ten years after opening as one of Spokane’s first craft cocktail bars in the modern revival, Bon Bon is still going strong. The tiny bar tucked in the front of the Garland Theater’s historic building is the perfect spot to grab a seasonal drink before or after a movie — staff regularly debut fun moviethemed cocktail menus for the theater’s Tuesday night rerun series — or any other time. Bon Bon also boasts one of the best happy hours in the region (Mon-Thu from 4-7 pm, Fri-Sat from 10 pm-close, all day Sunday), with $5 featured cocktails. (CS) 2nd PLACE: Hogwash Whiskey Den; 3rd PLACE: Durkin’s Liquor Bar; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: 315 Cuisine, Coeur d’Alene
Best Local Brewery
No-Li Brewhouse continues to raise the bar every year. The brewery recently won the People’s Choice Award at the Washington Winter Beer Festival in Seattle. It launched a small-batch, experimental brewing series with great success. And its contributions to the community don’t stop with beer. In the past year, No-Li has helped raise money for Ignite Basketball, Odyssey Youth Movement, St. Margaret’s Shelter and several other local organizations. (DH) 2nd PLACE: Post Falls Brewing; 3rd PLACE: Iron Goat Brewing
Best Local Cidery
ONE TREE HARD CIDER
Hard cider starts with apples, but it certainly doesn’t end there for One Tree. The cidery has become a local favorite known for its core lineup of flavors that are all both sweet and crisp. It also boasts an impressive seasonal rotation of ciders — like last years’ Strawberry Rosé and Peach Tea — and a downtown cider house serving creations from all over the region. (DH) 2nd PLACE: Trailbreaker Cider; 3rd PLACE: Liberty Ciderworks; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: North Idaho Cider, Coeur d’Alene
First Runner Up
BEST LOCAL BREWERY Just 30 min east of Downtown Spokane on Exit 5!
112 N SPOKANE ST, POST FALLS, ID POSTFALLSBREWING.COM
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FROM LEFT: Roastmaster Jared Veselits, corporate trainer Chris Anderson, CEO Thomas Hammer, director of sales Amanda Millican and vice president of retail Janet Williams.
YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Best Local Coffee Roaster & Best Local Coffee Chain
THOMAS HAMMER COFFEE
uring the late ‘80s, Thomas Hammer got a job at the mobile coffee bar outside Nordstrom in downtown Spokane. “There were only, like, four espresso machines in Spokane at the time,” he says, “so it was really cutting edge.” Back then, Hammer was still a teenager preparing to study business at Gonzaga University. His parents suggested that he might be better off with a different job. But he was too much in thrall to that hard-to-define quality that all high schoolers yearn for: coolness. “It was the coolest job to have. I was this 18-year-old guy getting introduced to the coolest artists, the coolest musicians, the coolest hairdressers.” After a few years, he was hired by Nordstrom’s coffee supplier, 4 Seasons, and launched a coffee bar in the back of what’s now Atticus Coffee and Gifts. “The owners gave us a lot of freedom to experiment,” Hammer says, and he seized that opportunity to learn how to roast while pursuing his second degree from GU, an MBA. “I liked the idea of controlling the quality from the roasted coffee down to the cup.” Before long, another opportunity arose. This one involved a vacancy left by a coffee franchise in NorthTown Mall. With help from his longtime strategic partner Bud Barnes, Hammer took over their former space and equipment. That more or less marked the birth of Thomas Hammer Coffee. “We almost went bankrupt a couple of times,” he chuckles. “Usually, when you have an MBA and you open a business, bankruptcy isn’t supposed to happen. But we learned from our mistakes. After a couple years of up and down sales, we finally got our groove on.”
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By 1995, Hammer had opened a second shop at EWU. “And then one store started to follow the next. And the next.” Guided by the notion of being a “junior Starbucks” with proud local roots, Hammer soon went all-in on distinctive visual branding that capitalized on his surname. “I lucked out that it looks pretty good in print,” he jokes. He hired executive staff with the chops to help the operation grow. Locations spread across the Inland Northwest, as did the reputation for quality roasts and top-notch customer service. These days, Thomas Hammer Coffee has 20 stores between Boise and Fairchild Air Force Base. At least two new locations are scheduled to open this summer. Though there are far more than four espresso machines in Spokane by this point, Hammer says they’ve been able to stand out in an increasingly competitive field by maintaining a hip public face while being serious about consistency. “I think the claw hammer logo is really cool, but every day our employees go in and we try to make the best drink and we try to take care of the customer the best we can, just as I did when I made drinks in front of Nordstrom. And that, to me, is what the claw hammer represents.” — E.J. IANNELLI BEST LOCAL COFFEE ROASTER 2nd PLACE: Doma Coffee Roasting Co.; 3rd PLACE: Roast House Coffee BEST LOCAL COFFEE CHAIN 2nd PLACE: Indaba Coffee; 3rd PLACE: Wake-Up Call
Voters’ Best Reasons to Visit...
he days of Post Falls being merely an exit you point out to your restless kids to assure them you’re almost to Coeur d’Alene are over. In the next 20 years, the little town is projected to explode to 100,000 people. But even before Post Falls becomes the bustling metropolis of the future, voters gave plenty of reasons to visit. The most common suggestion? The Post Falls Brewing Company, situated on the banks of the Spokane River. “Grab a beer at Post Falls brewing and enjoy the sunset,” one voter writes. The next most popular recommendations were the White House Grill and the Oval Office, two restaurants that have successfully converted the universal respect and admiration Americans show the presidency into high-end cuisine. Also in the top: Q’emiln Park, all 78 acres of it, with trails, a beach and numerous rockclimbing walls; and Cabela’s, the outdoorsy store I go to when I want to feel insecure about my masculinity. Other answers ranged from the geographic (“get to Coeur d’Alene”), the profane (“go to the damn”), the backhanded (“downtown is finally getting great food”), the economical (“buy cheap cigarettes”), to unvarnished state-pride (“Cuz it in Idaho”). One voter just wrote, “Todd’s house.” Todd, if you’re reading this, get ready to have 100,000 Inlander readers banging on your door, demanding to hang.
All the reason you need: Post Falls Brewing. But the most mysterious answer given for the best reason to visit Post Falls? “David Condon.” Maybe a Best Of voter put down former Spokane Mayor David Condon in the wrong category. But my preferred theory is that Condon simply couldn’t keep up the charade any longer, and the tearyeyed former mayor broke down, grabbed the voter by the
DAN COUILLARD PHOTO
lapels and poured out the truth: “Don’t you see, man?!” Condon might have said. “Spokane was never the real ‘City of Choice!’ It was never the Best of the Northwest. That’s Post Falls. It’s always been Post Falls. I love Post Falls.” — DANIEL WALTERS
THANK YOU FOR 24 YEARS!
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DRINK LOCAL Best Mixologist
OF RUINS, HUNT AND EYVIND
rystal Bertholic has been a leader in the region’s craft cocktail revival since the beginning. Before she got her start shaking, stirring and straining mixed drinks, Bertholic was steaming milk and roasting coffee; then pouring craft beers. No matter the role, she was always digging deep into each respective industry to learn as much as possible. Her first foray into cocktails was behind the bar at Bon Bon, one of the area’s first focused craft cocktail spots, shortly after it opened in 2010. “I remember reading an article about Bon Bon opening, and I went, ‘That sounds super rad. I want to work there because I think I can learn everything about spirits and classic cocktails,’” she recalls. Bertholic took on the role of bar manager for chef Tony Brown’s restaurant Ruins about six years ago; now she also manages the drink program at Brown’s two newly opened spots, Hunt and Eyvind. Like many others in the industry, Bertholic learned on the job by creatively collaborating with colleagues, many of whom still tend bar alongside her, including her younger sister Suzie Bertholic. “We were all learning at the same time,” Bertholic recalls. “We’d come to work and say, ‘Look what I found and learned!’ It was such a group effort.” Bouncing ideas around is a method she still uses to hone a creative edge in an industry influenced by fast-moving trends.
“We’d come to work and say, ‘Look what I found and learned!’” YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
“Whenever I find myself in a rut, I am lucky that I work with such an exciting staff of people. All I have to do is start talking shop with bartenders or cooks in the kitchen or with Tony,” she says. Being challenged to create new drink menus to complement monthly cuisine rotations at Ruins also helps Bertholic and her team stay sharp. A rising interest in nonalcoholic mixed drinks is another trend she welcomes, as it pushes bartenders to deliver something new using non-boozy ingredients from the bar, like syrups, juices and bitters. Both for herself and her staff, Bertholic stresses the importance of self-care for everyone’s benefit, customers included. “The people we work with are very thoughtful and want to do the best they can when they make a drink, just like with food,” she explains. “So coming to [work] with a good mindset, you pay attention to the little details and extra care that goes into making a drink really good, and people can taste that.” — CHEY SCOTT 2nd PLACE: Simon Moorby, Hogwash Whiskey Den; 3rd PLACE: Joey Gates, Remedy; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Jake Hill, Whispers Lounge, Coeur d’Alene
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2020 BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST INLANDER 83
Voted Spokaneâ€™s Best Steaks Eight Years Running Thank you to all who voted for us! We are honored to again be recognized as the restaurant serving the best steaks in all of Spokane. We are confident that our dry-aged prime steaks are also the finest steaks available anywhere on the West Coast and beyond. We look forward to providing you with your next exceptional dining experience.
Community Pint’s customer base? “Anybody who loves craft beer.”
DEREK HARRISON PHOTO
Best Beer Bar
t’s all right there in the name: “Community Pint.” As a no-frills, yet cozy, beer-focused watering hole located on East Sprague Avenue featuring over 20 taps of beer and cider (as well as a hefty canned and bottled selection), this staple of Spokane’s beer scene aims to bring people together. “We’re not a sports bar by any means,” says TJ Wallin, who co-owns Community Pint with his wife, Sarah. “We’re just a place where you can come and play some board games and hang out or talk about somebody else over your shared love of craft beer.” When asked who Community Pint serves, he says: “Anybody who loves craft beer. That’s kind of the only barrier of entry. We see all kinds of folks.” Wallin and his wife founded Community Pint
roughly three years ago. They drew inspiration from Portland’s beer culture and wanted to import it to Spokane. Wallin says that he’s also been brewing beer at home for over 10 years. “I was really inspired by the beer scene in Portland, so we kind of brought that to Spokane,” he says. “It was about the community that comes with our name, but just how friendly the beer community is. It’s one thing you can have in common and then you start talking with somebody and find that you have a lot more in common.” Wallin says that when they first opened, they were basically the first to open up “a beer bar and a bottle shop” in Spokane. Now, the market is a little more crowded: “Now there’s a couple places that kind of do
the same thing.” But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still novel selling points to Community Pint. “We make trips to Portland and we bring back exclusive beer from Portland that nobody else in town would get,” Wallin says. “Nobody else is doing that yet.” And they aren’t done yet. Wallin says that they’re planning to open up a brewery called Project Craft Brewing at a different location in June or July. Stay tuned. — JOSH KELETY 2nd PLACE: The Viking; 3rd PLACE: Manito Tap House; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST; Crafted, Coeur d’Alene
Thanks, Spokane, for awarding us The Best
SPOKANE FOR VOTING US
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86 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
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ER G R U B T S E B VOTED ank You! We Th
Brick West opened its doors just two months ago.
Best New Brewery (Opened in 2019-20)
BRICK WEST BREWING
Brick West Brewing opened just two months ago in downtown’s west end, yet it’s quickly made a name for itself throughout the Inland Northwest. A project of owners Matt Goodwin and Jordan Tampien, the popular taproom features 13 beers on tap and a small kitchen that serves gourmet hot dogs. Goodwin and Tampien have built quite the team backed by head brewer Sam Milne, formerly of Kulshan Brewing in Bellingham, and general manager Brian Carpenter, a veteran in the local beer scene. (DH) 2nd PLACE: For the Love of God Brewing; 3rd PLACE: Lumberbeard Brewing; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Lone Mountain Farms, Athol
DEREK HARRISON PHOTO
Best Local Lager
WHISTLE PUNK BREWING HELLES
As trends continue to push more adjuncts into our beers, it’s nice to take a break from it all and enjoy a refreshingly crisp lager to reset your palate. That’s when I head to Whistle Punk’s downtown tavern and order a couple pints of the Helles Lager. The German-style beer is hopped with Hallertauer Mittelfrüh and boasts a near-perfect malt balance. If lagers just aren’t your thing, this nanobrewery excels in trendy styles as well. I’d suggest the Key Lime Pie kettle sour with vanilla, lactose and cinnamon or the Citra Sabro hazy IPA. (DEREK HARRISON)
Open daily at 11:30am • wisconsinburger.com 916 S Hatch St Corner of 9th and Hatch in the Perry District
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DRINK LOCAL Best Local Distillery
DRY FLY DISTILLING
Spokane’s own Dry Fly Distilling has it all: bourbon, whiskey, vodka, gin. If you’re into craft liquor and distilleries, then this local distillery has something for you. Nestled near Gonzaga University and right off of the Spokane River, swing by their tasting room to hang out and sample liquors, craft cocktails, or buy spirits in bulk. (JK) 2nd PLACE: Warrior Liquor; 3rd PLACE: Up North Distillery; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Bardenay Distillery
Best Spot to Discover Yer Inner Texan
LIL SUMTHIN’ SALOON
Blue jeans welcomed at Lil Sumthin’.
If you’re fixin’ to get yourself a drink, I’d suggest the newly opened Lil Sumthin’ Saloon. Some of the house special libations include the Jolene, Golden Pony and Bless Your Heart — peach-infused whiskey with lime juice. The good times don’t stop there. I’m talkin’ free pinball, y’all. Daily happy hour until 7 pm. A michelada and Bloody Mary bar with bingo every Sunday. Heck, they even have free line dancing on special nights. (DEREK HARRISON)
DEREK HARRISON PHOTO
Best Single-Location Coffee Shop
Browne’s Addition gets sleepy pretty early most nights, but El Que does its best to keep the neighborhood’s lights on late. But regardless of the time, the tiny taqueria is always a destination point for a killer margarita. Go with an old reliable — on Wednesdays, a standard marg with their well tequila is only $5 — or consider branching out with a beet-infused or spicy serrano tequila. (NW) 2nd PLACE: Borracho Tacos & Tequileria; 3rd PLACE: Cochinito Taqueria; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Casa Lopez, Moscow
Mosey down to this little shop that is filled with all the class and taste of Atticus Finch himself. Inspired by the classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird, this classic coffee shop is a staple for coffee lovers. Located in the heart of downtown Spokane and serving as both a coffee spot and gift store, this shop is a must see and taste for all. (RU) 2nd PLACE: Vessel Coffee; 3rd PLACE: Revel 77; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Vault Coffee, Coeur d’Alene
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88 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
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ow cool is it that for every Sandpoint category, there were three amazing entries? There are plenty of similar towns — larger even — that might not be able to boast such a thing. Not only great restaurants that voters recognized over three distinct types of eateries, but live music venues, and top-notch ski shops to go with over-the-top outdoor options, like hikes with Instagram-worthy views. Lake or mountain, take your pick in Sandpoint. Or have both when you enjoy SCHWEITZER MOUNTAIN, voter’s choice for Best Hike. With nearly 3,000 acres of terrain, it’s a year-round destination for winter skiers and summer explorers alike. During warmer months, the mountain is alive with flora and fauna. Explore 40 miles of maintained trails, many with lake views,
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Readers said Schweitzer was the best spot for hiking. or make the climb to the mountain’s Lake Colburn, a hidden gem. Voters selected the ALPINE SHOP for their favorite mountain outfitter, which has two locations: one in town and the other in Schweitzer Village. When it comes to tuning bindings or recommending gear, generations have counted on the Alpine Shop, which dates to 1966, for sales, rental equipment and maintenance. Since then, they’ve added support for summer sports, from boating and wakeboarding to kayaking and paddleboarding. It isn’t just outdoor activities that make Sandpoint such a draw; the arts are alive in this charming town, especially music. Almost any night of the week you can catch live performances, ranging from an acoustic guitar duo to full-fledged mini concerts, especially at voter’s
SCHWEITZER MOUNTAIN RESORT PHOTO
choice for Best Live Music venue, THE HIVE. Its first iteration was as a place for after-Festival at Sandpoint events. When it finally debuted in 2014, after years of renovation, this First Avenue fave earned rave reviews for its small-club feel and big-time acoustics. Dining in Sandpoint might mean a stroll to any number of downtown eateries, or an easy drive out of town. That’s where the HOOT OWL CAFE has been serving up big platters of hearty food and endless cups of coffee for more than 25 years. A repeat Best Breakfast winner — they won in 2017 — the Hoot Owl is a folksy place full of owl-themed décor where everything on the menu is cooked to order and abundant like the biscuits and gravy or the vegan potatoes, crispy hash browns topped with just about every vegetable you can think of.
INSERT YOURSELF HERE
1ST PLACE: SCHWEITZER MOUNTAIN 2nd PLACE: Scotchman Peaks 3rd PLACE: Gold Hill
BEST SKI SHOP 1ST PLACE: ALPINE SHOP 2nd PLACE: 7B Board 3rd PLACE: Schweitzer Mountain Resort
Thank You For Voting Us
BEST LIVE MUSIC CLUB
1ST PLACE: THE HIVE 2nd PLACE: 219 Lounge 3rd PLACE: (tie) Eichardt’s Pub, MickDuff’s Brewing Company
BEST BREAKFAST 1ST PLACE: HOOT OWL CAFE 2nd PLACE: Joel’s 3rd PLACE: Connie’s Café
1ST PLACE: SECOND AVENUE PIZZA 2nd PLACE: Powder Hound Pizza at Schweitzer 3rd PLACE: Bab’s Pizzeria
20 Ciders On Tap + New Fresh Sheet. Open 7 days a week
BEST RESTAURANT 1ST PLACE: MICKDUFF’S BREWING COMPANY 2nd PLACE: Joel’s 3rd PLACE: Beet and Basil
111 S MADISON ST @ONETREECIDERHOUSE
IE’S AUNT SHOP CAL RT LO SUPPO
BEST LOCAL HIKE
26 YEARS RUNNING!
402 W. MAIN AVE. ON THE CORNER OF MAIN & WASHINGTON, ACROSS FROM THE GRAND HOTEL
(509) 838-0206 • AUNTIESBOOKS.COM
Thank You Spokane For Voting Us
One Of The BEST!! The Hive has been Sandpoint’s destination for live music.
MIKE McCALL PHOTO
Another local favorite, SECOND AVENUE PIZZA, earned the Best Pizza vote, with pies that pay tribute to the best of Sandpoint: the Schweitzer Ski Flake, the Second Avenue Chunky Supreme and, of course, the Carolyn Special in honor of longtime owner Carolyn Gleason — the woman who also created Sandpoint’s annual Lost in the ’50s weekend more than 30 years ago, which is only slightly longer than she’s had Second Avenue Pizza. MICKDUFF’S BREWING COMPANY was a labor of love for two brothers who started with a modest dream of brewing great beer 14 years ago, added food, became the hub for live music and other events, then added a community gathering place known as the Beer Hall. They’ve since embarked on refurbishing a treasured historic building into a newer, larger facility and restaurant. So look for more beer, of course, but also a bigger place to enjoy their fresh-cut fries, juicy burgers, tasty salads and appetizers, and most of it featuring local vendors. Add that to your list of one more reason to visit Sandpoint. — CARRIE SCOZZARO
Made in Spokane
1419 E Holyoke Ave | 509-484-6454 • 1025 W. 1st Ave | 509-487-3238 2020 BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST INLANDER 91
MUSIC Best Touring Broadway Musical of 2019-20
After being nominated for multiple Tony Awards, the 2014 Broadway revival of Les Mis hit the road three years later, allowing audiences far beyond New York City to get swept up in its gripping, tragic tale of romance and revolution. And get swept up they certainly did. This musical’s six-day run in Spokane last August left such an impression that you can probably still catch someone humming “I Dreamed a Dream.” (EJI) 2nd PLACE: Miss Saigon; 3rd PLACE: Jesus Christ Superstar
Best Concert Venue
There are only three Knitting Factories in the country: one in the heart of Brooklyn, the other in the booming music city of Boise, and then a third right here Spokane. The 1,500-capacity room fills the gap between venues that hold a couple hundred folks and the Arena, and last year brought a diverse lineup — from GWAR to Pete Yorn, the Offspring to Spokane semiresident Tech N9ne — to the Inland Northwest. (NW) 2nd PLACE: Northern Quest Resort & Casino; 3rd PLACE: Spokane Arena
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Best Cover Band
The three guys in the Rub can approximate sounds new and old, from all different genres. Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder — they’ll cover it. The former Elkfest regulars play all over town, from free outdoor shows to private parties, and they recently headlined a benefit show that helped raise $10,000 for Coeur d’Alene’s Schmidty’s Burgers, which was closed due to fire. Rockin’ and charitable! (NW) 2nd PLACE: Dragonfly; 3rd PLACE: (tie) GSB, Royale
SPOKANE THE MONTEREY
Karaoke every night 9pm to close 7pm to close on Friday & Saturday Drink and Food Specials Every Day 9 N. Washington St., Spokane. • 509-868-0284
Stay calm and rock on at 4,000 Holes!
DEREK HARRISON PHOTO
Best Record Store
Continuing a multiyear hot streak of snatching this award, 4,000 is making the case that having the records people are looking for is only half of the equation. The other half, as it turns out, is having a face behind the counter that remembers what you bought last time and is always game for a long conversation about when Pink Floyd actually jumped the shark. (JS) 2nd PLACE: Resurrection Records; 3rd PLACE: The Long Ear, Coeur d’Alene
Best Local Music Label Helping Spokane Get a Little Filthy Since 2018
Whether you’ve joined the moshing (and swooning) crowds at an Indian Goat show, head-banged to “Year of the Slut” by Itchy Kitty (or swayed to its punk ballad counterpart “Year of the Goth”), or joined the raucous dance floor at a Vanna Oh! show, you’ve got some love for Corporat Records. The hyperlocal independent label continues to work with Spokane’s best rock artists to bring you all the records, CDs and swag you can snag without spilling your Rainier. They’re here to rock, and we salute them. (SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL)
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No one does it like Snoop.
Best Outdoor Concert
SNOOP DOGG AT NORTHERN QUEST
nticipation for the show by West Coast rap legend Snoop Dogg was clearly high (pun totally intended), since he sold out his gig at Northern Quest Resort & Casino so quickly that they added a second night. All told, Mr. D-O-Double-G sold darn near 10,000 tickets to his two shows that, combined, had him on stage for roughly two hours. Granted, Warren G opened the shows and was pretty entertaining himself, but the crowd was definitely in Airway Heights to see the guy who made “Gin & Juice,” “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?” monster hits. What they saw was pretty entertaining, to be sure.
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94 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
With nary a break in the beats, Snoop touched on hits he made as a teenager working with Dr. Dre, his solo career, collaborations with the likes of Wiz Khalifa, Katy Perry and Akon, and tributes to fallen peers like Tupac and Eazy-E. There were women pole dancing, a cartoonish and adults-only “Nasty Dogg” running around the stage and an audience that seemed to know every word to Snoop’s songs. While Snoop Dogg topped Inlander readers’ list for outdoor concerts, a couple of other Northern Quest shows came in second (Sammy Hagar) and third (Judas Priest), so clearly the venue that was expanded to 5,000
seats with a new grandstand a couple years ago has made a good impression so far. And with announcements for the summer of 2020 already coming out — including Ice Cube, Weezer and Barenaked Ladies — it wouldn’t be shocking to see a Northern Quest show top this category again. — DAN NAILEN 2nd PLACE: Sammy Hagar at Northern Quest; 3rd PLACE: Judas Priest at Northern Quest; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats at the Festival at Sandpoint
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from Frank’s Diner
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Chef / Owner Adam Hegsted
HONEST FO OD, SIMPLY SERVED
Travis Tveit, left, and Garrett Zanol have struck a chord with Spokane audiences.
The Cannabis Issue ON STANDS APRIL 16 The Inlander’s annual issue on the local cannabis scene for everyone from the experienced to the cannabis curious. Promote your businesses unique products and deals in this special edition.
to advertise in this issue: email@example.com 509-325-10634 ext, 215
96 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
ALICIA HAUFF PHOTO
t isn’t often that you see a local band selling out most of their gigs, but Indian Goat does. The duo of Garrett Zanol and Travis Tveit formed a few years ago and almost immediately struck a chord with Spokane audiences: Their live shows are usually raucous, sweaty, beer-soaked affairs, with rooms crammed full of people rocking out in unison. Zanol and Tveit have a locked-in musical chemistry as they barrel through their setlists of ’70s-inspired, hook-heavy rock, typically with an American flag stretched out behind them. It was at the Inlander’s Volume Music Festival in 2018 that they first really knew their sound was connecting with people, drawing a late-night audience that filled the Red Room Lounge and spilled out onto the sidewalk. “It’s nice to see your hard work pay off,” Zanol says. “We could play multiple gigs in a month, and a lot of the same people would be at every single one,” Tveit adds. Indian Goat’s first two albums — appropriately titled 1 and 2 — came out about a year apart, LPs that were recorded quickly and captured the buzzy, riff-heavy energy of their concerts. Zanol and Tveit are currently working on their third album (see if you can guess what it’ll be called) that will be released on Corporat Records sometime this year.
That LP is set to steer the band in a slightly different stylistic direction. The duo says they didn’t want to repeat themselves the third time around, but they also didn’t want to completely reinvent the wheel. It’ll have a “heavier” sound than its predecessors, with tunings and playing styles that weren’t present on the first two albums, and it will be recorded in a studio rather than on borrowed mics in Zanol’s basement. “It definitely still sounds like Indian Goat,” Tveit says, “groovy and rock ’n’ roll-y and riffy. We just really want to take a lot of time on this third album and make it exactly how we want it.” “I think it’s important to branch out a little bit,” Zanol says. “We want to come out swinging with this third album.” They’ve also been branching out as a touring act, playing around the West Coast the last couple summers. A contingent of fans have even followed them from Spokane and on to several other states, but that following doesn’t begin and end with Indian Goat’s hometown. “Seattle’s rad. We’ve got a pretty fun following,” Zanol says. “Weirdly enough, we played Sacramento and there were a few Indian Goat shirts in the crowd.” — NATHAN WEINBENDER 2nd PLACE: Super Sparkle; 3rd PLACE: Blake Braley Band
Voters’ Best Reasons to Visit…
MIDTOWN COEUR D’ALENE
Best Indoor Concert of 2019-20
SLAYER, PRIMUS, MINISTRY, PHIL ANSELMO AT SPOKANE ARENA At face value, this show on Slayer’s farewell tour seemed like an odd mish-mash of a lineup, what with the headliners’ thrash-metal riffage, Primus’s off-kilter prog-rock, Ministry’s industrial crunch and Phil Anselmo’s shout-y dive into his Pantera past. Collectively,
though, they nearly filled the Arena for a massive night of bombastic showmanship that clearly pleased fans of loud, fiery rawwwwwk! (DN) 2nd PLACE: Luke Combs, Spokane Arena; 3rd PLACE: Dirty Heads, Knitting Factory
idtown Coeur d’Alene. The pedestrian-friendly strip of restaurants and shops that runs northsouth along Fourth Street in between Garden and Harrison avenues. Friendly people. Artsy streets. Local vibes. What’s not to love? We asked Inlander readers about their favorite part of this district in Coeur d’Alene. Their response? The lake. Yes, it’s hard to compete with the Lake City’s namesake — despite the fact that Lake Coeur d’Alene is in an entirely separate section of the city… Alas, a few hundred people voted for the lake as the No. 1 part of Midtown, and you can’t deny the will of the people. But you know what? Maybe they have a point. Coeur d’Alene City Park’s beachfront is a mere 1-mile walking distance from Midtown’s northernmost avenue, Harrison, which makes for a fairly short trip, from wherever you are, to the lake. Plus, you get to check out all of the restaurants, shopping boutiques and bars along the way, all of which our trusted Best Of voters collectively ranked as the second, third, and fourth best reasons to visit Midtown, respectively.
Che ers To Yo u! d. lled. thrirille w , re th e’ us r w , ng us ti fo r vo r ng fo ti vo r an ks fo Th Than
Best Craft Cocktails
Best Movie Theater
Mon-Sat 4pm to close | Sunday 10am-2pm
924 W Garland Ave | Spokane garlandtheater.com 98 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
50 2 $ EDNESDAYS
PLACE For Best Casino in the Region The lake might not be in Midtown, but it’s still a draw.
ANNIE KUSTER PHOTO
There’s the Bluebird (a new personal favorite of mine), with its funky Old West decor, casual-yet-upscale entrees and occasional live music. And of course, there’s Capone’s Pub & Grill, a favorite among voters, with its laid-back atmosphere, 40 beers on tap and alleged “best pizza in town.” Coeur d’Alene is a fun town. But if you’re an outsider, it’s hard not to feel like a tourist everywhere you go. That feels like less of a problem in Midtown. — QUINN WELSCH
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he line of customers stretched out the door, around the corner of the building and down the block when the Cougar Country Drive-In reopened last fall after a change in ownership for the iconic 47-year-old Pullman restaurant. Now a few months into the new endeavor, owner Mike Wagoner says he has received a fantastic response from the community. Readers voted COUGAR COUNTRY DRIVE-IN the Best Burger on the Palouse this year. “It’s been great,” he says. “We’ve had a tremendous outpouring of support. People are relieved that it’s back.” Wagoner says he has focused on making subtle improvements to the menu while preserving the burgers, fries and milkshakes that have kept locals and visiting
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Home of readers’ favorite burger on the Palouse. Washington State University alumni coming back for generations. He notes they have switched to locally sourced Angus beef in all their burgers. “To me, that’s a big difference,” he says. Wagoner says he has also worked to streamline service by introducing new technology on both the front and back end of the restaurant. Customers will notice new touchscreen kiosks and menu monitors at the counter. But Wagoner says he does not plan to make any dramatic changes. His kids grew up with regular stops at Cougar Country for shakes, fries and some pretty good burgers. He treasures those memories. “Cougar Country means sharing good times,” he says. “We just want to keep that going and going and going.”
JACOB JONES PHOTO
Visitors to Pullman often find themselves packing home a couple cans of famed Cougar Gold cheese from FERDINAND’S ICE CREAM SHOPPE, which readers named the Best Gifts on the Palouse. WSU Creamery Manager John Haugen says they often sell out of the aged white cheddar over the holidays. In 2019, they produced 40,000 more cans of cheese than the previous year, he says, in hopes of increasing inventory for this year’s sales. They plan to try to bump production this year another 40,000 cans to prep for 2021. “We should last longer,” he says. The creamery has also introduced smoky, dill garlic, basil, spicy “Crimson Fire” and other varieties of cheese. Customers stopping by the ice cream shop in Pullman
1ST PLACE: COUGAR COUNTRY DRIVE-IN, PULLMAN 2nd PLACE: South Fork Public House, Pullman 3rd PLACE: Humble Burger, Moscow
1ST PLACE: FERDINAND’S ICE CREAM SHOPPE, PULLMAN 2nd PLACE: The Bookie, Pullman 3rd PLACE: Neill’s Flowers and Gifts, Pullman
BEST PROFESSOR 1ST PLACE: DAVID JARVIS, WSU 2nd PLACE: Dan Bukvich, University of Idaho
1ST PLACE: PARADISE CREEK BREWERY, PULLMAN 2nd PLACE: Hunga Dunga Brewing, Moscow 3rd PLACE: Moscow Brewing Co., Moscow
BEST RESTAURANT 1ST PLACE: SOUTH FORK PUBLIC HOUSE, PULLMAN 2nd PLACE: The Black Cypress, Pullman 3rd PLACE: Cougar Country Drive-In, Pullman
BEST HAPPY HOUR 1ST PLACE: BIRCH & BARLEY, PULLMAN 2nd PLACE: Stubblefields Bar, Pullman 3rd PLACE: Etsi Bravo, Pullman
YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
can also find other WSU products such as honey from the entomology department as well as chocolates and cookbooks from the hospitality department. Across campus at the WSU School of Music, professor DAVID JARVIS has taught and performed percussion for 32 years. Readers voted Javis the Best Professor on the Palouse this year. Growing up in Detroit, Jarvis says he learned to love a wide variety of music from jazz to punk to Motown. “I try to inspire and push my students to listen to everything,” he says. After many years of mentoring young musicians, Jarvis says seeing them carry on their passion for music as performers and teachers still serves as the greatest reward. “It’s great to see students grow,” he says. “No paycheck can even come close.” Pullman’s PARADISE CREEK BREWERY has also continued to grow with a recent expansion of its Trailside Taproom brewing facility as owner Tom Handy knocked out a wall to more than double the seating space. Handy has also installed a new sound system to host live music and regular trivia nights. “We’re excited to get our patio open again,” he adds, taking a break from putting up new cafe lighting outside the taproom. Paradise Creek, which readers voted the Best Brewery on the Palouse, also continues to host beer pairings and other community events at its downtown restaurant in the city’s historic post office. Handy says he plans to continue experimenting with new varieties of their popular “pucker” beer series to include raspberries or other styles, but he thinks it’s the consistency of the quality of beer that keeps people coming back. “We just try to make them good every time,” he says. As far as consistency, SOUTH FORK PUBLIC HOUSE in Pullman continues its streak as perennial winner for Best Restaurant on the Palouse. With upscale pub food and an extensive rotating tap of regional beers, South Fork has become a local favorite for business lunches and casual drinks with friends. Customers flock to the Cougar Gold mac and cheese. The restaurant also hosts regular tap takeover events with breweries from around the Pacific Northwest. Just down the street, college students settle in alongside their professors from 3-6 pm daily for the Best Happy Hour on the Palouse at BIRCH & BARLEY. Co-owner and general manager Jill Bielenberg says their bar area offers several of their regular menu items and beer at reduced prices. “It’s the same quality of food you would get always,” she says, “but at a really great price.” Bielenberg says a favorite is the Cougar Burger, topped with Cougar Gold. But she also loves the artichoke dip and their Pullman Poutine of fries smothered in housemade Guinness gravy. Birch & Barley’s Beer Brigade mug club also enjoys an extra discount on drinks during happy hour, she says. Families will also be able to enjoy the happy hour offerings later this spring when the all-ages patio opens again. — JACOB JONES
For Voting Art on the Green 1st Place Best Arts Festival! Mark your calendars for the 52nd Annual
Art on the Green July 31-August 2, 2020
On the grounds of North Idaho College For more information, go to
Citizens’ Council for the Arts
2020 BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST INLANDER 101
Best Golf Course
Best Bike Shop
Best Summer Camp
Originally built in 1916, Downriver Golf Course hits that sweet spot where duffers of a wide range of expertise can feel at home on its 18 holes abutting the Spokane River and adjacent to Riverside State Park. A round at Downriver offers some great views of tree-lined fairways, almost guaranteed encounters with curious wildlife, and typically great conditions all the way through. As a city course, it’s also a pretty screaming deal. (DN) 2nd PLACE: Indian Canyon; 3rd PLACE: (tie) The Creek at Qualchan, Hangman Valley; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Circling Raven, Worley
If you’re into peddling, the Bike Hub is hard to miss. With three locations throughout the city (downtown, Spokane Valley and Perry District), it’s a great place to pick out a new ride with experienced and friendly sales staff, but also a solid choice for learning more about local rides and events. Even newbies can get involved, with plenty of rentals available and staff who are always willing to send you in the right direction. (CG) 2nd PLACE: Wheel Sport; 3rd PLACE: North Division Bicycle; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Vertical Earth, Coeur d’Alene
The Inland Northwest YMCA prides itself on the transformative experiences of its youth camp on Fan Lake. Just ask camp counselor Crissy “Puzzle” Lubke, who’s going on her fourth summer working there. “Growing up going to Camp Reed, and now getting to work there, I have been able to have the firsthand experience of just how special it is to so many people,” she says. “It really is the best.” Clearly, the readers agree. (CG) 2nd PLACE: Camp Spalding; 3rd PLACE: Lutherhaven
102 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
THE BIKE HUB
REASONS WHY Swinging into action at Camp Reed.
Best Mountain Bike Trails
TRAIL OF THE COEUR D’ALENES
A 72-mile paved flat route alongside plenty of lakes and wildlife, the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes is a versatile path that works well for both taking it easy and for spandex-clad speedsters. Nearby Harrison and Cataldo Mission are also solid spots to stop and catch your breath, but the beauty of this route is that you call the shots. (CG) 2nd PLACE: Camp Sekani/Beacon Hill; 3rd PLACE: Mt. Spokane
Best Outdoor Rec Supplies
Gear up for your next outdoor adventure at our local REI. Whether it’s snowshoeing, backpacking, cycling, skiing, jumping in lakes or rivers or simply trying to bundle up for the winter, they can get you ready for it with physical equipment or staff expertise. Be sure to check out their sale racks for any discounted — yet high quality — goods. (JK) 2nd PLACE: North 40 Outfitters; 3rd PLACE: The General Store; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Black Sheep Sporting Goods, Coeur d’Alene
Best Contrived Spokane Brand
If Spokane were to have a brand, there are a lot of options to choose from: Marmot Town, USA; Craig T. Nelson Town, USA; Guys Going Shirtless When it’s 60 Degrees Out Town, USA. But what about Hooptown, USA? That’s the brand for Spokane that Hoopfest has come up with. And it makes sense — we do have the largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the world. And with new basketball leagues and other events centered around hoops, Hooptown, USA hopes to use that collective identity to enhance the community. (WILSON CRISCIONE)
Locally-owned businesses are good for our economy They create more local jobs They add character to our community They use fresh, quality ingredients Local tastes delicious
SUPPORTERS OF THE 2020 DRINK LOCAL CAMPAIGN
Dry Fly, No-Li, Townshend, One Tree and the Inlander are working together to spread the word that drinking local has a very positive and lasting effect on our community.
2020 BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST INLANDER 103
“I’m addicted to skiing — that’s for sure,” says Katrin Pardue.
DEREK HARRISON PHOTO
Best Ski Instructor
KATRIN PARDUE, MT. SPOKANE
atrin Pardue, as she says it, is “not your average kind of sports person.” Pardue’s been skiing since she was 2. She keeps busy in the off-season with mountain biking and surfing behind boats. She even dabbles in whitewater kayaking. “My parents would take me up to [Mt. Spokane] daycare,” Pardue recalls. “And all I said when I was in daycare is ‘I want to ski with you guys! I want to ski with you guys!’” She credits her parents for all of her outdoor interests. Her mom is a Mt. Spokane ski patroller and her dad works at REI. When I met up with Pardue on a recent snowy Saturday at Mt. Spokane, she was already on her 80th-something day skiing this season. “I’m addicted to skiing — that’s for sure,” she says as we ride up the mountain on Chair Three. Now 25, she is a weekend ski school supervisor, outdoor recreation major at
104 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
Eastern Washington University, and hopes to eventually run her own ski school. Six years into ski instructing, she’s taught all ages — from an 18-month-old toddler to an 89-year-old senior. Pardue says she enjoys it all. “I really like the little ones because you can tell them silly things, and they’ll completely believe you,” she laughs. She says teaching adults is fun, too, because she can speak in technical terms and they understand it. With preteens, she says it’s best of both worlds because she can talk to them like an adult, but still act ridiculous with them. As I spent the morning skiing with Pardue, it became obvious why readers voted her best ski instructor. It seemed like everywhere we went on the mountain she knew someone and they certainly knew her, too. “Thanks again, Katrin,” one instructor says as we head to Chair Three. When we get there, Pardue makes sure to greet the lift operator. He replies with a smile, “Hey
Katrin!” At the top of the lift, before we can even make our first run, she runs into a group of friends. One man tells her about the great mid-season deal his wife got on her new skis. We take a run toward Chair One, and once there, nearly have a repeat experience. This time the liftie greets her first, and they have a quick chat. We pop onto the chair and she jokingly yells back to him, “Stay dry! She has to head back to the Ski School, so we finish our meeting with a quick run via Northwest Passage. We hit some deep powder on our way down and she kindly shouts back a quick tip: Keep your arms out in front of your body, keep your toes up to balance your weight and just take it foot by foot. — DEREK HARRISON 2nd PLACE: Andy Fuzak, Mt. Spokane; 3rd PLACE: Spencer Huender, Schweitzer
best tacos! thank you for voting us spokane's
Riding scooters in Riverfront Park. YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Best Place to Ride Your Lime Scooter
Best Place to Walk Your Dog
Zip along the maze of paved paths and bridges that make up inviting and gorgeous Riverfront Park for a stellar scooting experience. Nighttime riding is also an option, given that most of the park’s pathways are well illuminated. Imagine scooting through the pavilion during one of their eye-popping light shows. Just remember to keep your eyes on the road and avoid colliding with pedestrians. (JK) 2nd PLACE: The Centennial Trail; 3rd PLACE: Kendall Yards
With nearly 40 miles of paved pathway, it’s no wonder the Centennial Trail is readers’ favorite spot to take the pooch for a stroll. Views of the Spokane River, historic downtown, and Ponderosa pine forests make it easy to wander along the Centennial Trail all the way to Idaho. (MW) 2nd PLACE: Manito Park; 3rd PLACE: Kendall Yards; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Tubbs Hill, Coeur d’Alene
(and for loving our margaritas)
for takeout, call us at (509) 474-9618 delivery via treehousespokane.com / (509) 290-6218
THE HOUSE THAT LOVE BUILT
Congratulations to our community partner, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Inland Northwest, on their new campus expansion...the ribbon has been cut and is officially ready for families!
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Eighteen holes at Circling Raven will have you crisscrossing bridges through wetlands, dodging trees in woodlands and finally cruising through lush Palouse grasses.
BRIAN OAR PHOTO
North Idaho’s Best Golf Course
or people who love playing, a day on the worst possible golf course is better than any day not swinging the clubs. But you can really tell when you’re playing somewhere special, and Circling Raven Golf Club in Worley is one of those places. That’s why Inlander readers named it their favorite golf course in North Idaho. Much of what makes Circling Raven a must-stop for weekend hackers and low-handicappers alike is the incredible landscape. Circling Raven Golf Club Director Dave Christenson notes that the Coeur d’Alene Tribe dedicated an incredible amount of land for the course when they opened it 16 years ago. “A course is normally
140 or 150 acres, and we have 620 acres out here,” Christenson says. “The reason they did that is they wanted to be able to access some of the special land we have.” Eighteen holes at Circling Raven will have you crisscrossing bridges through wetlands, dodging trees in woodlands and finally cruising through lush Palouse grasses, and “you rarely see another hole except the one you are playing,” he notes, adding that while you won’t see houses or condos lining the fairways, you might see a moose cruising through. When you consider the pristine condition of the course, the complimentary driving range to get warmed up, and plenty of options for 19th hole
libations at the clubhouse and nearby Coeur d’Alene Casino, you have an incredible day in store any time you visit. Barring a major shift in weather patterns, Circling Raven will open this year before the end of March for the first time. Another first? The arrival of the Symetra “Road to the LPGA” Tour stopping at Circling Raven Aug. 24-30, bringing 156 women golfers who are vying to join the top echelon of women’s professional golf. This will be the tour’s first stop in Idaho, and first time playing a No. 1-rated course in its 40 seasons to date, Christenson says. — DAN NAILEN
Thank You...Again! Our sincere thank you to all our friends who again voted us North Idaho’s best coffee shop. Check us out on Facebook and Instagram or better yet, stop by and see why we’re voted best.
El Que’s margarita is only slightly better than ours.
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Bloomsday: 44 and still running.
Best Way to Get a 26.2-mile Tour of Spokane on Foot
THE SPOKANE MARATHON
You’ve crushed your 5Ks, dominated your 10Ks and rocked your half-marathons. The only logical next step forward is the Spokane Marathon. (Well, maybe “logical” is the wrong word.) It’s a beautiful route that covers the city’s urban core, as well as the surrounding forest and riverbanks. Expect some brutal slogs uphill, including Bloomsday favorite Doomsday Hill. There’s nothing casual about running 26 miles, but participation last year was modest for those of you trying to avoid the crowds. (QW)
AMC River Park Square Anthony’s Arbor Crest Winery Art on the Green Auntie’s Bookstore Azteca Boo Radley’s Clinkerdagger Dave, Ken and Molly Davenport Hotel & Tower David’s Pizza Dennis Patchin Dick’s Hamburgers Domini Sandwiches Dutch Bros. The Elk Finders Keepers Frank’s Diner Thomas Hammer Hastings Huckleberry’s Jaazz Salon Jewelry Design Center KZZU Liberty Park Florist Luigi’s Manito Park
YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Best Running Event
Open to runners, joggers, wheelchair racers, walkers and more, Bloomsday has been a Spokane institution for 44 years. Support a local charity and sweat with friends while running the 12-kilometer course through town for the 2020 run. (MW) 2nd PLACE: Windermere Marathon and Half-Marathon; 3rd PLACE: Ironman 70.3, Coeur d’Alene
Mizuna Mt. Spokane Mustard Seed Nordstrom Northern Quest Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture Pig Out in the Park Red Robin REI Rocket Bakery Satellite Diner Schweitzer Tom Sherry Riverfront Park Spa Paradiso Spokane Arena Spokane Civic Theatre Starbucks STCU Swinging Doors Thai Bamboo Twigs Stephanie Vigil Value Village The Viking Washingtown Trust Bank Wendle Motors Wheel Sport
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RECREATION Best Ski/Snowboard Shop
Besides the mountain, there’s no better place for an avid powder hound than the local ski shop. Sports Creel is Spokane’s ski bum haven, providing all the services a skier/snowboarder could need and then some. Open since 1954, this local business has been supporting outdoor gearheads for three generations. (MW) 2nd PLACE: Shred Sports Outlet; 3rd PLACE: Spokane Alpine Haus; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: The Ski Shack, Hayden
Capturing Manito Park’s good side.
Voters’ Best Reasons to Visit...
Best Place to Ski Best Place to Snowboard
MOUNT SPOKANE Just one of the many things that makes the Inland Northwest so special is the proximity to outdoor recreation. Throw your skis in the back of the car and an hour later you’ll find yourself at the top of Mount Spokane. In operation since 1933, and the first ski resort in the world to run a double chairlift, this local ski area is a favorite for night skiing, weekend adventures and “sick days” off work. (MW) BEST PLACE TO SKI 2nd PLACE: Schweitzer Mountain Resort; 3rd PLACE: 49 Degrees North BEST PLACE TO SNOWBOARD 2nd PLACE: Schweitzer Mountain Resort; 3rd PLACE: 49 Degrees North
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he people were unequivocal: The South Perry District and Manito Park are the most popular reasons to visit the South Hill, and for good reason. Manito Park is sprawling and beautiful, with 78 acres of native and cultivated landscape and 20 acres of botanical gardens. The Japanese Gardens are especially tranquil in the summertime. The massive park has enough room and various attractions for all types of people, including live-action role-playing enthusiasts, bird watchers, flower experts and kids. And there are free concerts in the park as well during the summer season. Meanwhile, South Perry District is flourishing and
vibrant, with a diverse array of hip bars and eateries, like Perry Street Brewing and Wisconsinburger. Otherwise, there are thriving community events, like Thursday Market. All in all, the neighborhood is a looker and has some pretty stellar food, drink and businesses in it. But those two areas aren’t the only reasons why you should visit Spokane’s South Hill, according to our beloved readers. One jokester cited “sneering at the plebes and peons below with their little lives” as a selling point. Another pointed to the “thrilling rush of possibly being robbed,” while one person wrote “dangerous driving in the winter.” Obviously, not everyone views South Hill the same way. — JOSH KELETY
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110 INLANDER BEST OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST 2020
MANY SHINING MOMENTS SPORTS
Gonzaga was denied a run for the national championship, but highlights from this season will live on forever
Senior Killian Tillie saw his final season come to an abrupt end. ERICK DOXEY PHOTO
BY WILL MAUPIN
he ultimate goal for every team is to end the season with a win. For the Gonzaga Bulldogs that’s exactly what happened, except nobody wanted it to be this way. When the Zags wrapped up a dominant win over Saint Mary’s in the West Coast Conference Tournament championship March 10, the excitement level went through the roof. Preseason question marks had been answered and midseason adversity overcome. The Zags owned a gaudy 31-2 record — only five times in program history had the Zags won more games in a season — and they weren’t even done yet. Of course, that’s what we thought at the time. Two days later, on March 12, the NCAA Tournament was canceled. It took less than 48 hours for all of the air to drain out of one of the more exciting and improbable seasons in Gonzaga history.
It was a season that opened with a tempered optimism. The Zags were ranked eighth in the preseason AP Poll, but would have to replace four starters from last year’s team. Surely, there would be some bumps in the road. But there weren’t. By the seventh week of the season Gonzaga sat atop the AP Poll; the Zags were the No. 1 team in the country once again. The Zags avoided the early season hiccups, but they never really came together until the very end. Killian Tillie missed the first games of the year due to injury, and just as he came into the fold Anton Watson began a slow, painful and premature exit due to repeated shoulder dislocations. It took until mid-February for the Zags to solidify as fully healthy a roster as possible. With it, they won the WCC regular season title and took home the conference tournament trophy as well. They spent most of the season rating as the most
efficient offensive team in the country, a title they held at season’s end by averaging 1.20 points per possession over the year. A suspect defense had steadily improved as well, and the team rounded into form at exactly the right time. Bracket prognosticators expected the Zags would find themselves as the one-seed in the West Region of the NCAA Tournament. That meant a trip a few blocks from campus to Spokane Arena for the first two rounds of March Madness, then down to Los Angeles for the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight. An early-April weekend in Atlanta for the Final Four seemed almost assured. Now, we’ll never know what would have happened with this team. It’s more maddening than the Madness itself. Seasons this successful are now commonplace at Gonzaga, but they’re not guaranteed. This could have been the year, and we won’t get to see it. ...continued on next page
MARCH 19, 2020 INLANDER 111
CULTURE | SPORTS “MANY SHINING MOMENTS,” CONTINUED... That’s not to say this team didn’t provide countless moments, though. The Zags always do, so maybe this is just recency bias at work, but this team may have provided more than any who came before, even if the ultimate one was lost to a pandemic. On the first night of the year Zag fans were apprehensive. As had been the case the season before, now-senior Tillie, arguably the team’s best player, would miss the opening game due to injury. But in his stead was Watson, a freshman who had made his way over from Gonzaga Prep. The Zags have built a reputation for finding elite international talent, like Tillie, and loading up on it every single year. In Watson, though, they had the opposite. A Spokane kid starting for Spokane’s team for the first time since David Stockton way back on March 23, 2015. Watson made way for Tillie upon his return, but we’ll never lose that moment. Flash forward to the very end of the season, to the very last on-court moment of the year, and you see Tillie making way for another Zag. As champions always do, the Zags cut down the net at the WCC Tournament. Tillie, a senior with no idea his Gonzaga career had just come to an end, climbed the ladder last. As he removed the net from the rim he gestured for a teammate. Joel Ayayi walked over to the base of the ladder and Tillie, the 2018 WCC Tournament MVP, crowned Ayayi, the 2020 WCC Tournament MVP, by placing the net over his head and draping it around his neck. An all-time Gonzaga great anointing the next generation. It was powerful and heartfelt at the time, and even more so now, knowing Tillie’s career has ended abruptly. The team gave us very public moments, like on senior night when manager Mac Graff ditched his wheelchair and walked to center court during a pre-game celebration. They gave us more private ones, too. Graduate transfer guard Admon Gilder came to Spokane from Texas A&M for his final collegiate season. It was a sacrifice, though, as Gilder had to leave behind his family. On Feb. 27 against San Diego, when Gilder brought down the house with a thunderous dunk, he pointed into the crowd. It wasn’t a gesture to the fans generally, it was to his 4-year-old daughter, Kailey, who was finally reunited with her father. After the game, in front of an empty arena, the two played together with a basketball on the court. Every season brings moments like this, which show Gonzaga is about more than just winning games — though they’re normally overshadowed by the winning Gonzaga tends to do in March. This year though, that’s not happening. The tournament can be taken away, but what this team gave us can’t. We have to wait another year for the big moment, but all the little moments from this season might well be worth even more. n
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112 INLANDER MARCH 19, 2020
Sophomore Joel Ayayi blossomed this season and will help lead next year’s loaded Zags roster.
ERICK DOXEY PHOTO
SPOKANE, WA FIRST INTERSTATE CENTER FOR THE ARTS
MARCH 26th, 2020
CULTURE | DIGEST
WHERE’S THE TP? If the end is near, we might be getting a sense of what that looks like: Empty aisles where the toilet paper is supposed to be at the grocery store. I went to four different stores over the weekend, and there was no toilet paper to be found anywhere. This is happening around the country. I get wanting to be prepared as you isolate yourself from others, but there’s really no reason to hoard this much toilet paper. (WILSON CRISCIONE)
HISTORICAL SURREALISM Season three of Babylon Berlin, a high-budget crime noir TV series set during the tail end of 1920s, is just as stellar as its previous installments. All the best elements are back: an intriguing murder mystery that simultaneously depicts the volatile political and economic climate that nurtured the rise of fascism, surrealism, and lavish and decadent Great Gatsby-esque party scenes. In this season, police inspector Gereon Rath grapples with a serial killer while his new deputy inspector, Charlotte Ritter, struggles with sexism in the male-dominated Berlin Police Department. Meanwhile, the growing presence of the Nazi Party forebodingly looms over the story. Watch it now on Netflix. (JOSH KELETY)
Space Jam Is Everything We Need Right Now
BY WILSON CRISCIONE
here’s an invisible force imprisoning everyone, stirring panic and taking away our favorite sports stars.
THE BUZZ BIN
THIS WEEK’S PLAYLIST Some noteworthy new music hits online and in stores March 20. To wit: ALICIA KEYS, Alicia. Keys takes a break from hosting award shows to get back to business. THE WEEKND, After Hours. Hot off his primo role in Uncut Gems, The Weeknd is back! MOANING, Uneasy Laughter. The trio trades guitars for a lot of synths on the new one, and it works on album opener “Ego.” (DAN NAILEN)
But what if this alien force lives in a cartoon? What if all the characters from your childhood are there to fight it? And what if one unafraid leader, the greatest sports star of them all, dunks all over the aliens until they’re no longer scary? This is Space Jam, the 1996 classic starring Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny. It’s easy to interpret it as a reimagining of the problem we face today with coronavirus, only in a world where anything is possible and you know the good guys will win. And it might be the perfect movie to lift your spirits in a time when that’s desperately needed. I watched it last Thursday, a night when I’d usually be watching the Los Angeles Lakers on TV. But seeing as sports have been canceled, I was looking for a different sort of escapism. When Space Jam popped up on my Netflix, I instantly knew it was time to watch it again for the first time in at least 15 years. It’s not just the parallels to coronavirus that make this a worthy pick in your social distancing days. The nostalgia helps, too. It takes you back to a simpler time, when people my age were kids with the whole world in front of them, when Bill Murray was in his prime. [Editor’s note: Bill Murray is always in his prime!] It’s a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The plot is breezy. It doesn’t run too long. And you can laugh at how bad NBA players like Jordan and Charles Barkley are at acting. We’re all probably going to be spending more time than we’d like to at home for the next few months, so add Space Jam to your list to watch. You don’t have to be a hoops junkie like me to enjoy it. n
MURAL FROM HOME! Hooptown USA and Spokane Arts have the perfect opportunity for artists who currently find themselves tucked inside far more than they’d like to be — an open call to design murals at three high-profile basketball courts in Peaceful Valley, Chief Garry Park and Thornton Murphy Park. They’ll be taking online applications and design ideas through April 23, and three artists will earn an $8,500 stipend and the chance to create a cool new large-scale work. Visit spokanearts.org for details and a link to the online application. (DAN NAILEN)
THE BEST BEARDS For most ’80s kids, ZZ Top are forever associated with their distinct facial hair and videos full of classic cars and pretty girls. Their music from that era made them hugely famous, but the story told in new Netflix doc ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band From Texas is basically everything that came before massive, MTV-fueled fame. And the movie is better for it, because hearing about the trio’s predilection for psychedelic drugs, tours with Jimi Hendrix, Hawaiian cocktail benders with the Rolling Stones and concerts featuring all manner of Lone Star State livestock as stage props is way more fun than any casual fan has a right to expect. Their blues-rock sound is still kicking after 50 years — and this movie shows just what a miracle that is. (DAN NAILEN)
MARCH 19, 2020 INLANDER 113
Pizza Rita is offering free delivery to customers over 60.
YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
LOCAL RESTAURANTS RESPOND TO COVID-19 No in-person dining allowed for foreseeable future; take-out and pickup OK BY CHEY SCOTT
ith events and gatherings canceled en masse, and dine-in service prohibited at all Washington state restaurants starting early this week, local restaurants and bars are bracing for the worst. The Inlander is compiling an online database of information about restaurants offering take-out service as communities across the U.S. shut down to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from spreading. (This resource should be available by the time this story is published in print.)
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Beyond placing orders from favorite food spots, diners can support local restaurants in other ways. Tip generously if you can, even though you’re not getting the same service you would when dining in. The next several weeks will be incredibly stressful and scary for small business owners and their employees. A large number of service industry workers, many already living paycheck to paycheck, will not just lose hours — a significant percentage are likely to be laid off. “This will have a huge impact on both” front and
back of house staff, notes chef Adam Hegsted, who owns multiple restaurants in Spokane and North Idaho. “Delivery and takeout is not enough business to sustain our staff. We are working to keep as many people employed as possible, but will most likely need to put most of our staff on standby. I expect a 90 percent drop [in business].” Purchasing gift cards to redeem when all of this is over is another way to support struggling restaurants right now. If you can’t stop by in person, many busi-
nesses are selling gift cards online or can take payment by phone to then mail you the physical certificate. Some are even offering discounts on these purchases. To encourage support of small businesses during these trying times, Uber Eats is waiving delivery fees on all orders from independent restaurants in the U.S. and Canada. Restaurants included in the promotion are noted in the app. The Inlander will be covering the pandemic’s impacts on restaurants and hospitality workers in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, we’ve put together a brief list of what some local establishments are doing to ensure customers can still access their services during the shutdown. Based on what we’ve seen so far, most restaurants in the area are offering take-out service in some form, meaning a quick search should pull up details for any not listed here. u Pizza Rita is offering free delivery for customers age 60 and over through April 4.
u No-Li Brewhouse is giving away special decorative tins to the first 200 customers who stop by its brewpub on the same day with a receipt showing they’ve purchased a $25 gift card from a local business, restaurant or brewery. The brewpub is also offering its food menu to go. u For all Spokane locations of Adam Hegsted’s Eat Good Group restaurants — The Wandering Table, Yards Bruncheon, Incrediburger & Eggs, Gilded Unicorn, Eat Good Cafe — customers can order by phone or online for curbside pickup. In addition to its regular menus, the company is offering family-size meals. Links to menus can be accessed at eatgoodgroup. com/restaurants. u Restaurants in the Goodwin Group — Backyard Public House, Remedy, Barnwood Social Kitchen & Tavern, Brick West Brewing — are offering free kids meals with all to-go orders, along with discounts on gift card purchases and growlers/crowlers to-go.
We offer take out & room service! Open every day for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner from 6am to 11pm for To-Go orders during this time. closing times may vary
Same great food, Same great taste
509.922.6252 Call for details
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Sate your cravings for a juicy burger by ordering to-go from Incrediburger & Eggs. u Prohibition Gastropub is open from 11:30 am to 6:30 pm for take-out orders. The full, regular menu is available for pickup or delivery. Customers can order family-size meals for pick up one day in advance for $45 (feeds seven) or $75 (feeds 14). Call 474-9040. u Central Food in Kendall Yards is serving a take-out breakfast and lunch menu, with daily options posted on the restaurant’s Facebook and Instagram. Central Food’s artisan bread program is also ramping up daily production. Call 3158036. u Downtown fine dining spot Gander & Ryegrass launched a pickup menu, including family-size meals, cheese platters and sandwiches and a “quarantine kit” with frozen, fresh meals, wine and more. The restaurant is also offering free deliveries to customers within Spokane city limits. Call 315-4613 to order starting at 10 am each day. Details on Facebook. u Cochinito Taqueria is open Monday through Saturday for pickup and delivery orders and is offering free kids’ meals for each full adult meal purchased ($10.95) from its regular menu, accessible on its Facebook. Call 474-9618. u Garland Sandwich Shoppe is offering curbside order pickup and is including free grilled cheese or PB&J sandwiches for kids with each sandwich or meal order.
YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
u Italia Trattoria has a pickup menu, along with to-go wine pairings. Call 459-6000. u Hello Sugar’s two locations (Kendall Yards, Spokane Valley) remain open for take-out coffee and donut orders; the Valley store’s drivethrough is open daily from 7 am-7 pm. u Toro Sushi offers free delivery for orders of $30+ to addresses within 7 miles of the Spokane Valley restaurant; orders under $30 deliver for $5. u Both locations (Browne’s Addition, Spokane Valley) of Ladder Coffee & Toast remain open for carry-out orders only of food and drink. The Spokane Valley location has a drive-through. u The Airway Heights location of Longhorn Barbecue is offering free delivery for orders of $20 or above. Call 838-8327. u In Cheney, NorthStar Taps is offering its current craft beer tap list in growlers to-go. Call for preorders: 498-4052. u Cascadia Public House at Five Mile is offering its menu to go from 12-8 pm, or for delivery by Uber Eats and Postmates. For call-in/ pickup orders over $30, the restaurant is including $5 gift cards. n
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A Pandemic Film Festival In a self-imposed quarantine? Here are some movies to suit any mood, from the macabre to the escapist BY NATHAN WEINBENDER
n moments of panic and confusion, a lot of people turn to popular art to assuage our fears. It’s scary out there, so let’s hunker down and watch a nice romantic comedy! But then there are those of us who, in moments of panic and confusion, turn to popular art about panic and confusion. As long as the human race has been writing down stories, narratives about death, destruction, violence and mayhem have appealed to the basest instincts of our dumb lizard brains. Is it merely morbid curiosity? A side effect of our own fear of mortality? A means of experiencing the worst-case scenario at arm’s length? A weird form of catharsis?
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In Groundhog Day, Phil Connors lived through a certain kind of self-quarantine. Except it was funny. Case in point: As coronavirus continues its circulation, Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 thriller Contagion, which exhaustively details the spread of a global pandemic that indiscriminately kills millions, is climbing the iTunes rental charts. It’s still sitting pretty in the top 10, edging out newer (and slightly less horrifying) titles like Frozen II and Knives Out. Meanwhile, the 1995 disaster film Outbreak, about a virus transmitted via a rogue capuchin monkey, is listed amongst Netflix’s most-streamed titles. This shouldn’t come as a shock: We’re weirdly drawn to the possibility of our own demise. Of course, not everyone is so macabre, and not everyone wants to sit through films as alarmist as Contagion or Outbreak right now. But as we all prepare for a quarantine situation, and as movie theaters around the country are closing, we’re gonna need some home entertainment options. So here are some rental and streaming selections catered to three separate groups of people — those who want to freak themselves out with a good pandemicthemed film, those who crave escapism, and those who want a little of both at the same time.
WANT TO SCARE YOURSELF?
MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (1964)
In the early ’60s, low-budget legend Roger Corman made a string of campy, garishly-colored films based on Edgar Allan Poe stories and starring Vincent Price. This is arguably the best of the bunch, a gothic mystery about a libertine whose castle serves as refuge for the rich as a plague ravages the nearby peasant villages. Because this is Poe, you just know the tables are about to be turned. For rent on Amazon.
THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN (1971)
I read Michael Crichton’s novel The Andromeda Strain when I was a kid attracted to genre literature that would inevitably freak me out, and, well, it freaked me out. It’s about a peculiar virus, seemingly from outer space, that has wiped out an entire desert town, and the scientists attempting to understand and contain it. This film adaptation is clinical in style and told with a Kubrickian
emotional distancing, and for all its technological datedness, it’s still pretty creepy. For rent on Amazon and YouTube.
Themes of infection and paranoia run throughout this sci-fi puzzle-box, which begins with the discovery of an extraterrestrial warp-zone, locks us away in a military quarantine with a team of soldiers and scientists, then follows them inside as they search for the previous explorers who have vanished. Writer-director Alex Garland exploits both the fear of a body being infested and the disorientation of a world sliding off its axis. Streaming on Amazon Prime.
WANT TO CALM YOURSELF?
GROUNDHOG DAY (1993)
So maybe claustrophobic, biological horror isn’t your cup of tea right now. In that case, consider one of the all-time great comfort-food movies: Harold Ramis’ classic 1993 comedy starring Bill Murray as a sardonic weatherman who must inexplicably relive the same day over and over and over and over again until he gets it right. If you think about it, his predicament isn’t unlike being under government-mandated quarantine for weeks on end. Except, you know, it’s funny. Streaming on Netflix.
STOP MAKING SENSE (1984)
Don’t trust anyone who doesn’t believe this is one of the very best concert films ever made. Directed by the late Jonathan Demme, it documents the Talking Heads at the peak of their performative ability, reimagining the rock concert as an art installation with moving parts. From an explosive, aerobic rendition of “Burning Down the House” to frontman David Byrne’s iconic solo performance in an oversized suit, it’s a burst of good feeling and unbridled energy. Turn it up loud. Streaming on Amazon Prime.
SUPPORT THE GIRLS (2018)
This charming indie flew under the radar a couple years ago, and I often find myself recommending it to anyone who will listen. It stars Regina Hall as the harried
manager of a Hooters-style restaurant in suburban Texas, engrossing us in her daily routine as she tries to keep her scantily clad employees safe and happy. An ebullient comedy, a moving character study and a sharp exploration of economic anxiety, all at once. Streaming on Hulu.
WANT A LITTLE BIT OF BOTH?
SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004)
If we were to make a Venn diagram of those previous two categories, Edgar Wright’s ingenious horror-comedy would be right in the middle. His breakout feature stars co-writer Simon Pegg as a heartbroken slacker who hardly even notices the zombie endemic around him, and the film’s breakneck pace keeps jokes coming thick and fast. But it actually deals with the violent consequences of an outbreak, and even sneaks in a few emotional moments. Streaming on Hulu with a Starz subscription; for rent on Amazon Prime and YouTube.
DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978)
A decade after his watershed film Night of the Living Dead, George A. Romero mixed bloody, flesh-ripping horror and dark satire in this story of survivors locked in an abandoned shopping mall that’s overrun by the undead. For my money, this is the greatest zombie film ever made, and yet it has always been difficult to track down: It’s not streaming anywhere, and a DVD copy will cost you a pretty penny. Luckily, several different versions of the film (it was re-edited several times during its initial release) have been uploaded to YouTube; I’d recommend the 127-minute theatrical cut.
THE NINTH CONFIGURATION (1980)
One of the damnedest films you’re likely to see, a bizarre descent into isolation and madness set in an abandoned castle-turned-asylum, where war veterans in various stages of psychosis coexist in a strange social experiment. Adapting his own novel, William Peter Blatty (The Exorcist) blends broad comedy ala Catch-22 with hysterical violence, existential dread and religious skepticism. And while there’s no pandemic per se, the strange energy seems almost contagious. Streaming on Amazon Prime. n
MARCH 19, 2020 INLANDER 117
EDITOR’S NOTE: A couple years ago, Jenny Don’t and the Spurs were en route to the Inlander’s Volume Music Festival when their tour van broke an axle, forcing them to cancel. They’ve made it to the Inland Northwest since, but this week provided yet another hurdle for the Portland band as they prepared for a Spokane show: Business closures due to coronavirus concerns mean their March 26 show at Berserk isn’t happening. This interview with lead singer Jenny Don’t was conducted when the show was still a “go,” and we decided to run it anyway because 1) they’ll no doubt be back and 2) they’ve just made their first two albums available for free on their Bandcamp profile (jennydontandthespurs. bandcamp.com). Give ’em a listen, and then prepare for their inevitable return to Spokane. — NATHAN WEINBENDER
Portland’s Jenny Don’t and the Spurs are back with new music after a quiet 2019
SHAUN ASTOR PHOTO
BY BEN SALMON
enny Don’t and the Spurs were right in the middle of recording their third full-length album when a vocal polyp put a halt to the process. “It pretty much decimated my voice. I could limp through live performances but when it came to recording it just wasn’t able to happen,” says the Portland band’s singer, songwriter and namesake, Jenny Don’t. “My voice was really thin and kept cracking all over the place, and then at certain points I wasn’t able to make any sound at all.” There is light at the end of every tunnel, however. One vocal cord surgery and a recovery period later, Jenny Don’t and the Spurs are back with a handful of new releases coming out this spring and summer, including that suspended third album, to be released on the excellent Portland-based label Fluff & Gravy Records. Longtime fans of the band can expect more of what the Spurs do best: traditional country music with a tinge of Southwestern desert noir and a heavy dose of outlaw attitude fueled by their extensive backgrounds in punk rock. The past few years have seen more than a few former punks shift toward rootsier styles, but few have the kind of credibility of the Spurs, whose members have played in Portland punk bands since the 1980s. Drummer Sam
118 INLANDER MARCH 19, 2020
Henry manned the sticks for the legendary Wipers, and in the mid-2000s, bassist Kelly Halliburton started Pierced Arrows with the equally legendary Fred and Toody Cole of Dead Moon. (Lead guitarist Christopher March rounds out the Spurs’ lineup.) But all that punk rock prompted Halliburton and Don’t to shift gears in 2012 and form the Spurs. Before long, they were covering country classics and writing their own tunes, which are equal parts catchy, twangy and slightly off-kilter. Since, they’ve played hundreds of shows around the world. We caught up with Jenny Don’t to talk about her music, her band and the clothes they wear. INLANDER: How did you all settle on traditional country music for this project? What was the draw of this sound? JENNY DON’T: We’ve all been listening to this style of music in some form or another for most of our lives. Our drummer, Sam, actually cut his teeth playing a regular gig with a country band as a teenager in the early 1970s. He talks about how, since he was too young to actually be in the bar, he’d have to hang out hidden away in a storage closet between sets while the other band members took smoke and beer breaks. But fundamentally, besides just not wanting to form another punk or garage
band, we also felt that this style of music was so rich in possibilities and so fun to play. There’s such a wonderful legacy of songwriting within the genre, such a deep well from which to draw musically and aesthetically. And, on top of all that, it’s a style that’s fun as hell to play. Are there any similarities between punk and country in terms of songwriting? Performing? Attitude? As much as purists from both camps might vehemently deny it, there are a lot of similarities between the two styles. Both are pretty much working class styles of music that came from the margins of society, and in a lot of ways the origin stories of both styles have a lot of similarities, whether it was music that came from the industrial British Midlands or the Oklahoma oil fields, whether it was played in smoky honky-tonks or seedy punk bars, it was all kind of the same stripped-down, bare-knuckles, gritty music that came from similar emotional sources. On a more basic level, though, we’ve tried to take elements of both those styles of music — as well as some others that have shaped us as musicians and listeners — and combine them to form a style that we’d like to listen to. If other people like it, great. But at the most basic level, it’s about combining everything that makes us happy to play, and as long as we can accomplish that we’ll keep playing.
When I listen to your albums, one word that comes to mind is “timeless.” Why do you think country music seems to withstand the test of time? Well, I guess that it seems timeless because it is timeless, in a large sense. We draw from sources that are centuries old. American country and folk music comes from European — mainly Irish and Scottish — musical traditions that were imported across the Atlantic with the waves of immigrants that came to the new world starting nearly 400 years ago. Add to that some of the truly ancient elements of African music that found their way into the rockabilly and rock ’n’ roll sounds of the American South and you’ve got the foundation upon which we’ve built a lot of our sounds. If we can even come close to capturing some of that spirit then that’s great. I just watched the Ken Burns documentary on the history of country music, and they spent a good chunk of time on the clothes the performers wore. Are you still making the band’s clothes yourself? If so, why is that important to you? I am! I’m making all of my own show clothes and just started making jackets for the guys. Kelly has one from me, and Christopher’s and Sam’s are coming soon. I always really enjoy when a band looks like “the band.” I don’t want to be on stage looking like I should be hanging out on the couch at home. I want to show that what I’m doing is important enough to dress up for. I also read a quote in a book about Nudie suits and it said, “You catch their attention with what you’re wearing and you keep it with what you’re playing.” That really resonated with me and I took it to heart. Plus, I can’t afford to have custom outfits made for me so I just became my own custom designer. DIY all the way! Anytime I get stuck I can pretty much find a YouTube video tutorial for anything to solve the issue. n
Now on Inlander.com: National and international stories from the New York Times to go with the fresh, local news we deliver every day MARCH 19, 2020 INLANDER 119
MUSIC | CANCELLATIONS
Pushing Pause Coronavirus concerns have put our live music scene on hold. What do we do now? BY NATHAN WEINBENDER
O Do you or a loved one have: • Parkinson’s Disease • Multiple Sclerosis
• Dementia/Alzheimer’s • Huntington’s Disease
We also have genetic screening for many neurological diseases
n any other week, this would be the section in the paper that you’d turn to for information on live shows happening in Spokane and North Idaho, or to read about the artists and music festivals that we think are worth your time. But as you know, this isn’t like any other week. And as you can no doubt see, we’ve foregone printing information about local music events, for reasons that should be obvious. The dominoes started falling last week: The instructions went from “practice social distancing” to “avoid groups of 250 people or more” to “stay home if you can” to “all venues must be closed for the foreseeable future.” Of course, public safety should be a priority, and the more cautious we are now, the quicker we can recover. Still, it’s sad and it’s scary and it’s hard not to feel defeated. For those of us who love live music, it’s going to be a less vibrant time. But that’s nothing compared to the people whose very livelihoods depend on us loving live music: artists, venue owners, audio engineers, technicians, stagehands, servers, bouncers, bartenders, bookers, publicists — they’re all going to feel it.
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120 INLANDER MARCH 19, 2020
Local venues won’t be looking like this for awhile.
YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
So what can we do in the meantime? Well, if you have the means to support your favorite local artist, do so. Stream their music, yes, but purchase digital copies of their albums if they’re available — through the artists’ own personal sites or marketplaces like Bandcamp, Discogs and CD Baby, on iTunes or Amazon. If you’ve already got their entire discography, consider buying a T-shirt or any other merch. And if you can reach out to your local record store of choice about their business hours or online ordering options, I’m sure they would appreciate folks throwing some money their way. If you got tickets for a show that has been canceled, be sure to purchase tickets for another event at that same venue once it’s back up and running. If you know said show will be rescheduled, hang on to those tickets. Buy a gift card in the meantime. When venues finally do reopen, patronize them twice as often as you might otherwise, as long as you’re healthy and financially stable enough. And if you’re able to imbibe, order some top-shelf booze while you’re there, and don’t forget to tip your bartenders. We’ll do our best to keep you updated as things return to normal, as businesses reinstate regular hours and stages are occupied again. If nothing else, this sudden deprivation of public art should make us appreciate even more the joy that is experiencing live music as a collective, how uplifting and inspirational and straightup therapeutic it can be when an artist and an audience are all in the same room, locking into a groove and moving together as a single organism. The show will go on. Eventually. n
Cancellation Chaos The coronavirus pandemic has decimated local event calendars — here’s what to know and how to keep up with any new changes BY CHEY SCOTT
ublic spaces across the U.S. have become eerily quiet and dark. No one can guess for sure when they’ll come back to life. On Sunday Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced updated measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus: All gatherings with more than 50 participants are prohibited until further notice, while events with less than 50 people are prohibited unless public health safety measures were previously enacted. Restaurants, entertainment and recreation venues are also temporarily closed to customers with no known date for a return to normal business hours. The Inlander is working to keep our calendar of community events updated to reflect local cancellations and reschedules as soon as we hear of them. To see what’s been canceled or postponed so far, visit inlander.com/ events and enter “canceled” or “postponed” into the event search bar. For those looking for something to do while the kids are home from school, please note that some of the more than 1,200 events in our online calendar may have been canceled without us being informed. In the event you see something not marked as canceled, check with the organizer or venue before leaving the house. It’s a pretty safe bet that almost everything’s been postponed until at least the end of March. Event organizers who need to note future cancellations, date changes or other details for an event should email our events account, email@example.com. We will update information as soon as possible. While many venues have canceled events scheduled through the next month, others have already announced rescheduled dates. Cher’s Spokane tour stop previously set for May 2, for example, has moved to Oct. 10. Although the Fox Theater is closing until April 10, attempts will be made to reschedule all affected events, including three Spokane Symphony concerts. In addition to large concerts, closures of public spaces have also impacted smaller-scale programming, like services at area libraries, and including the following public spaces:
LIBRARIES, LEARNING & LITERATURE
u Closures of all Spokane Public Library branches remain in effect until at least April 13. u Branch operations for the Spokane County Library District are suspended through April 24. Due dates for any items currently checked out are extended, and accrued late fees waived. u Spark Central, the education center in Kendall
Yards, is closed through April 24, and all programming is suspended. u The Coeur d’Alene Public Library is closed until further notice, but is allowing patrons to place material holds for curbside pickup. Due dates and overdue fees are suspended. u The Whitman County Library system is closed until further notice. Patrons can check out materials to be delivered by mail, and can access library wifi from branch parking lots. u Libraries of Stevens County remained open as of Monday, but are only allowing in-and-out privileges, with no computer access or programs. Library-provided wifi is accessible to users in the parking lot. u Auntie’s Bookstore has canceled several upcoming readings, but remains open. Customers can place orders over the phone for curbside pickup or online for delivery by mail. u Eastern Washington University has canceled its annual Get Lit! literary festival, April 16-19.
u Gonzaga University has closed the Jundt Art Museum, currently showing two exhibits, and is postponing the start (new date TBA) of the traveling exhibit Americans and the Holocaust, originally slated for March 19-April 24 in the Foley Library. u Ignite Community Theatre is postponing the remainder of its 2019-20 season, which includes performances of The Unexpected Guest and All My Sons. u Richmond Art Collective is suspending gallery hours until further notice, and is rescheduling its grand reopening from May 2 to May 17. u Spokane Civic Theatre is suspending performances of all productions through at least March 31, but plans to reschedule affected shows, including Cabaret, The Humans, Exile and Funny Girl. u The Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture remains closed through at least March 31, affecting galleries, archives and events. u In Moscow, the Kenworthy Performing Arts Center is closing through April 9, affecting performances and film screenings. u While much of April’s First Friday details have yet to be determined, expect much of the art showcase to move from a downtown crawl to an online virtual tour. Spokane Arts’ planned opening reception at Chase Gallery will instead be the centerpiece of “Virtual First Friday.” u All upcoming events at the Jacklin Arts & Cultural Center in Post Falls, including cooking classes and concerts, have been canceled.
Lucky You Lounge is closed and all concerts through the end of April have been canceled. YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
MUSIC, MOVIES & ENTERTAINMENT
u Lucky You Lounge is closed and all concerts through the end of April have been canceled. u The Knitting Factory has canceled or postponed several concerts on its calendar through May 7. Some shows are being rescheduled; see the latest at sp.knittingfactory.com. u All movie theaters are suspending operations until further notice, including AMC River Park Square 20, the Northtown and Spokane Valley Regal Cinemas locations, and the Village Center Cinemas in Wandermere and Airway Heights. The Garland Theater and Bon Bon bar inside are closed through at least March 31. The Magic Lantern Theatre is also closed. u The 50 Hour Slam film competition, originally set to kick off March 20, is now being postponed to April 17. u The Kalispel Tribe of Indians is closing its facilities for at least two weeks, or until the end of the month, including Northern Quest Resort & Casino, Kalispel Casino, Kalispel Golf & Country Club and Fatburger restaurant at Five Mile. u Until the ban on restaurants and bars offering dinein service is lifted, consider any weekly trivia nights, open mics and bar games listed in our online calendar as effectively suspended.
u Programs offered through Spokane Parks & Recreation, including adult and youth sports, art classes at the Corbin Art Center, spring break camps, personal interest classes, therapeutic recreation and other outdoor events, are all suspended through April 24. Events at Riverfront Park, including this year’s Easter Egg Hunt, are also canceled. u Spokane Shock, the city’s returning arena football team, has suspended its 2020 season, originally set to kick off March 26, following a league-wide suspension for the Indoor Football League. u Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park has suspended all operations for what is likely to be the remainder of the season. n
MARCH 19, 2020 INLANDER 121
very friendly and chatted with me about the current sh*tshow unfolding, and were authentically concerned with how it was affecting my livelihood. You shared you were involved with disaster relief, to which I wasn’t entirely surprised, as you two were so kind. At the end, you handed me the check presenter... and were gone before I could run out of the kitchen to thank you when I discovered the $100 inside! I was so absolutely overwhelmed with gratitude I teared up. What you didn’t know is that I had no groceries at home. And what neither of us knew was that my job would become obsolete the following day. I truly can’t thank you enough, there just aren’t sufficient words... But you guys are real heros, and you deserve to know that.
I SAW YOU TOOL DANCER You stood in the aisle on the edge the whole show dancing with your blonde friend. You shared your vape with me after you thought you lost it. I should have asked you if you were single but you shared your vape with me (lol). You are petite and a good dancer. You were super nice. If you read this and you are single let me take you out.
CHEERS TOOL REVIEW... Cheers to the good review. We are lucky to have them come to our town. What the hell does “Tool’s music is not only not for everyone, it’s such a challenging polyglot of oft-derided musical styles that it risks not being for anyone” even mean though? They wouldn’t pack every show they perform at if this was true... Is the Inlander in need of more concert critics? Haha! Tool makes their own rules and has always had their own unique sound. I was impressed, as was the packed arena! Not many bands can sound as good as the album during live performance... that’s real talent! GOT PAPER? Cheers to the toilet paper shortage! Finally - a reason to subscribe to the Spokesman. THANK YOU I served you breakfast yesterday (Saturday the 14th). You were
BAD TIMING Due to the long running messages between us that seem to be misleading, I’ve decided to roll the dice just one more time in hopes that you get this message and show up. It has been a journey and don’t stop believing plays over and over in my mind daily. I hope you are well I think of you often. Meet me at my old running spot at the park on April 3rd around 7pm. We both drive white vehicles now and I used to drive a blue car and so did you. Mine was not a girly tiny car like yours. I would like to converse in person come see me at that location here in Spokane on the north side. This is ME reaching out one last time. My feelings are still real. Red’s not your color and pleated tan pants should be outlawed. I hope this gets printed in time. Last time you reached out it got printed to late so I couldn’t show up. I’m giving this one last shot because if they come back then it’s meant to be. SAFEWAY CUSTOMER HELP I was struggling to pay my bill, I thought I had enough in line but came very, very short. I was putting things back, it was a humiliating experience. Something like that has never happened before, and I just wanted to shrink into a hole and never come out again. I’ve been having a hell of a time this month, I had to cancel a very important surgery because I got sick and to top it off I almost lost a best friend to an illness (they are doing better) and I’ve been struggling with my own mental
health. Leaving my apartment has been a task. When I got to the line and started putting things back, the gentleman behind me gave me $25 to help pay for my food, and wouldn’t take the change back. He just smiled at me, I came nearly to tears over the kindness shown. I want
thanks to the mainstream media for inciting the COVID19 hysteria when in reality you could have just said wash your hands and stay home. Second, thanks to all the complete idiots who are lining up in endless rows to buy shopping carts full of toilet paper. Your ALL IDIOTS. Your
I get playing the safety card but don’t talk to all of Spokane like we can just take a solid week or two off and stay home without it causing a major financial burden on our lives.
you to know that you helped me more than just with my food. I’ve been sitting in my apartment feeling sorry for myself for weeks, your actions gave me hope for the future. We always hear these stories about corruption, cruel people but we don’t hear enough about the good that people do and that there are great people out there. So thank you, for everything, you helped me feed myself and my mother for a month and you helped me see the good in people again.
JEERS CENSUS 2020 I feel this question on the census 2020 is strange in asking are you opposite sex married husband and wife or same sex married husband and wife. If we’re tolerant of same sex marriage would it not be same sex married husband and husband or same sex married wife and wife? THAI BAMBOO, 3/12 Hey cool chickie... no one wants to hear your conversation with your mom on speaker phone at volume 11 while we’re enjoying our meal. Get a clue and be obnoxious somewhere else. THANKS FOR THE HYSTERIA First,
1. Visit Inlander.com/isawyou by 3 pm Monday. 2. Pick a category (I Saw You, You Saw Me, Cheers or Jeers). 3. Provide basic info: your name and email (so we know you’re real). 4. To connect via I Saw You, provide a non-identifying email to be included with your submission — like “firstname.lastname@example.org,” not “email@example.com.”
the blind leading the blind. When was the last time TP prevented you or anyone from getting sick? That’s right, never! Give it a break people. CORONAVIRUS Jeers to the coronavirus and all the CHICKEN LITTLES!!! CORONA PANIC Ok people, I know the coronavirus is nothing to laugh at, it’s very serious. But hoarding bleach and toilet paper? You know hospitals need those too. And stop believing all the rumors, learn the facts. The only reason this particular strain of the virus is so scary is because it’s new. The facts according to the world health organization and the CDC are what you should focus on. Look up those organizations on line. Just some food for thought; according to those organizations, over 4,000 people have died from the coronavirus worldwide since October. But over 52,000 people have died from the flu in the same time span. Know your facts and be smart and we’ll all be a lot safer. SOCIAL DISTANCING I have a whole host of sarcasm for our esteemed mayor. The term social distancing made me laugh, however aside from that thanks for telling Spokane elite how to stay healthy. It was clear in your press statements that
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it causing a major financial burden on our lives. HOARDERS AND SHEEPLE! Jeers to the jerks buying up every damn hand sanitizer and Lysol spray in Spokane! Then selling dollar store items online for 30x the price! Don’t be sheep. Wash your hands. Stop being part of the herd mentality and making it impossible for others to be safe as well. More folks die from influenza, but control the media and you control the sheeple! n
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you had no helpful advice for the average Spokanite. Sally and Jim-Bob who work a solid 9-5 in a minimum wage job can’t just telecommute to work. I get playing the safety card but don’t talk to all of Spokane like we can just take a solid week or two off and stay home without
EVENTS | ON THE HORIZON
Advice Goddess CALLOUS IN WONDERLAND
At family gatherings, my sister-in-law makes critical remarks about my appearance, like my shirt’s very low-cut or I might want to lose weight before wearing the dress I have on. She only does this in front of others, and she says she just tells me because she cares about me. It doesn’t feel that way. I’d really like her to stop. —Feeling Attacked When you’re female, junior high never ends. The Hello Kitty knife in your back just gets upgraded to one by Cuisinart. Women are said to be the “gentler sex,” because we rarely see one drag another out of the bar by her ponytail for a parking lot beatdown. But women aren’t better people than men. Female-on-female aggression just plays out differently — less visibly, less identifiably — than the male-on-male kind. Psychologist Anne Campbell explains that women evolved to avoid direct confrontation — physical fights or calling somebody out to their face — and instead compete with other women through sneaky “indirect aggression.” This is aggression that doesn’t quite read as aggression, like the public shaming that wears the plastic nose and glasses of concern. Another popular form of woman-on-woman sneaky sabotage is spreading mean gossip to knock another woman down the social ladder and maybe even get her ostracized. There’s also “constructive criticism” — supposedly well-intentioned remarks meant to stress a woman out, make her feel bad about herself, and get her to dim her shine. Campbell believes women’s tendency to use indirect aggression is “a result of their higher parental investment” — the fact that they’re the home and ground transportation for the developing fetus and are children’s primary caretakers. A physical fight (or more male-style fighting words that led to a punchout-fest) could damage a woman’s reproductive parts or kill her, and an ancestral woman’s survival was key to her children’s survival and to her passing on her genes. People like you, who are repeatedly victimized by another person, often don’t realize they never set any boundaries, never told the abuser to stop. This effectively sends their tormentor a message: “OPEN SEASON ON ME FOREVER! Keep doin’ what you’re doin’!” Whenever your sister-in-law turns a family gathering into a forum on your weight or outfit, calmly assert yourself, saying only these words: “No more comments on my appearance, please.” Be prepared for her to insist you’re crazy, oversensitive, and unfairly accusing her. This is bait. Do not take it. Getting into any sort of debate allows her to cast you as neurotic and mean and cast herself as the victim. Be prepared for her to “forget” and attack you again. Simply reiterate your mantra, in a cool, calm voice: “No more comments on my appearance, please.” You’ll shut her up without looking like the bad guy, but you’ll both know what you really mean: “Inside me, there’s a skinny person longing to get out, shove a Tide Pod and load of socks in your mouth, and put your head on spin.”
Drive-By Truckers visit this summer for the first time in 12 years.
A Little Optimism?
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While the coronavirus decimated Spokane’s spring concert season, there’s hope for summer BY DAN NAILEN
ou’ll be forgiven if, during the daily deluge of COVID-19-related updates, you didn’t notice that some seriously great musicians recently booked shows in and around Spokane for later in the year. Granted, only a fool would pretend to know what lies ahead, but when so many shows in March and April are canceled — and, more importantly, local venues are feeling the pinch of going dark — it’s nice to at least imagine getting back to “normal,” when we can gather together by the hundreds or thousands and celebrate amazing artists. Here are some of the shows that went on sale in just the last week. Maybe buy a ticket now — consider it an investment in your own hopes about the future.
won’t regret witnessing the storytelling of coleaders Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley. $25, available at sp.knittingfactory.com
TEGAN & SARA
SEPT. 20, FIRST INTERSTATE CENTER FOR THE ARTS Perhaps best known for his devotion to the “Bakersfield sound,” Dwight Yoakam has spent decades straddling the line between country and rock. He wears tight jeans and a cowboy hat and can honky-tonk with the best of them, but he’ll also drop a Queen or Cheap Trick cover that kills every time. I saw him last summer, and he knows how to put on a show. The man has skills. $58-$88, available at ticketswest.com
MAY 18, KNITTING FACTORY The Calgary natives have spent a couple decades exceeding expectations, moving from indie heroes to full-on pop stars, even performing the insanely catchy Lego Movie anthem “Everything Is Awesome” along the way. A May show seems … optimistic as of right now. But let’s hope it happens. $36, available at sp.knittingfactory. com
JULY 15, KNITTING FACTORY One of America’s best rock bands, the Drive-By Truckers play an electrifying brand of politically potent Southern rawk. I’ve been fanboying them for about 20 years now, and after living in Spokane more than five years, I finally get to see them in my adopted hometown. You should, too — you
AUG. 6, FIRST INTERSTATE CENTER FOR THE ARTS A double-bill consisting of alt-country royalty Wilco and riot grrrls-turned-experimentalists Sleater Kinney should make for one dreamy night out. On the surface, it might look like an odd coupling, but both bands are rooted in the indie/punk scene. And both have consistently delivered amazing live shows as their respective sounds have evolved. Too bad it’s not outside, but I’ll take it! $35-$90, available at ticketswest.com
These are just a few of the new announcements we had as the crisis sunk in. Keep an eye on Inlander.com for updates and the eventual return of life to venues from the Fox Theater to the Bing, Lucky You Lounge to Big Dipper, and beyond — including any changes to previously announced shows. n
WAKING THE DAD
My boyfriend and I recently discussed having children. I want them, but he’s a little on the fence. He says he needs to be in a better financial place before thinking about kids. I wonder whether that’s just an excuse to put off the topic indefinitely. —Worried Children bring their parents a lot of joy — and it helps to remember that as you’re jazzwalking to the office so you can put your gas money toward your kid’s fourth round of dental work. Children are seriously expensive, so maybe your boyfriend just feels a serious sense of responsibility to support the little buggers while being unsure of exactly how many million bajillions that could take. Economist Daniel Ellsberg observed that we humans are deeply disturbed by ambiguity — a lack of information about how things could turn out. Some people are so ambiguity-averse (aka uncertainty-averse) they’ll opt for an immediate sure loss over the possibility of a future gain. It’s why people sometimes sabotage a new relationship: They can’t stand not knowing whether the thing’ll tank, so they blow it up themselves. To figure out where your boyfriend really stands, replace the ambiguity with information. Together, add up the costs of having kids (factoring in health care, emergencies, grad school, rehab, etc.). From that, project the date of his financial readiness. You might also ask him about any fears he has about having kids. Discussing them might shrink them — or make it clear that he isn’t daddy material and that you should start looking for a man who is. Though retailers allow you to return many items, even if they’re slightly used, maternity wards don’t work like that: “Excuse me, Nurse...these three kids turned out to be unexpectedly loud, sticky, and expensive, but I don’t see your return policy on the receipts.” “Sir, those are birth certificates.” n ©2020, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. • Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405 or email AdviceAmy@aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com)
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Weed Worries Coronavirus is impacting Washington’s industries, and that includes cannabis BY WILL MAUPIN
Y Got weed?
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ou’ve seen it, either in person or on the news. Shopping carts overflowing with toilet paper as people hoard supplies. Events canceled as people are asked to stay home. In some places, there are more people than ever, like checkout lines, and in others like meeting rooms, there isn’t a soul to be seen. Yep, it’s coronavirus. And it’s impacting the cannabis community as well. In the immediate term, business is booming. Consumers are stocking up on cannabis just like they are with hand sanitizer and nonperishable foods. Stories from ...continued on page 128
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BE AWARE: Marijuana is legal for adults 21 and older under Washington State law (e.g., RCW 69.50, RCW 69.51A, HB0001 Initiative 502 and Senate Bill 5052). State law does not preempt federal law; possessing, using, distributing and selling marijuana remains illegal under federal law. In Washington state, consuming marijuana in public, driving while under the influence of marijuana and transporting marijuana across state lines are all illegal. Marijuana has intoxicating effects; there may be health risks associated with its consumption, and it may be habit-forming. It can also impair concentration, coordination and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. Keep out of reach of children. For more information, consult the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board at www.liq.wa.gov.
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MARCH. 20TH-22ND COVID-19 “WEED WORRIES,” CONTINUED... WGBH in Boston, the Los Angeles Times and New York Magazine, tell of a run on marijuana. In Boston, there are photos of people queueing up in winding lines outside of dispensaries, which is not ideal in this time of social distancing. In Spokane, things haven’t, as of press time, become that extreme. Local dispensaries are largely stocked up and seem about as busy as normal. Gov. Jay Inslee’s emergency proclamation issued on Monday ordered the closing of numerous types of businesses across the state, though it did not include dispensaries. But like every other industry in America, things are changing for weed. The state Liquor and Cannabis Board rescheduled a public forum on proposed changes to “true party of interest” regulations — a true party of interest is the person ultimately responsible for a business, they’re the one named on the marijuana business license. The forum was scheduled for March 17 before being postponed until the 26th and moved to a virtual setting. As this piece is being written, news has come down from the LCB that the forum is now postponed indefinitely. Other events have fared worse. A board meeting as well as a public hearing on quality control testing regulation, both scheduled for March 18, were outright canceled. The LCB made that decision five days prior to Gov. Inslee’s emergency proclamation. While these measures aren’t, at least yet, as dire as those being seen in other industries, they will have an impact on the marijuana market. This was evident as far back as early February, when Marijuana Business Daily published a story on supply chain disruption. Their reporting showed that coronavirus “is expected to impact marijuana vaporizer companies that depend on Chinese suppliers by interfering with the flow of hardware and other products.” It’s no longer just a problem coming from China, though. Coronavirus is here, and our state’s cannabis market is starting to feel the first effects. n
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MARCH 19, 2020 INLANDER 129
COEUR D ’ ALENE
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Coeur d’Alene’s Tubbs Hill features miles of hiking trails with spectacular lake views
i n d oo r
Head for the Hills Social distancing doesn’t mean you need to stay inside As news of the COVID-19 pandemic persists, it’s easy to feel panic starting to creep in. Schools have been closed. Large meetings have been cancelled. Now, more than ever, it’s important to take care of our bodies and minds. Take time to breathe. Get outside, move, and get some sunshine. Here are five North Idaho hikes that might just soothe your spirit.
208.783.1547 130 INLANDER MARCH 19, 2020
UBBS HILL is a classic Coeur d’Alene hike, with hiking options from easier to more strenuous (or you could run the trails!). Access is from either Tenth or Third streets with restrooms and picnic spots on both ends. Do a leisurely perimeter hike or climb up for priceless view at 2,500 feet. It’s 165 acres of publicly held land right in downtown Coeur d’Alene, close to the library, dog park, playground, shopping, restaurants and with plenty of parking.
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CANFIELD MOUNTAIN is maintained by the Forest Service and tucked into a residential neighborhood on the east end of town at 2305 E. Mountain Vista Drive. Although the larger Canfield trail system was designed for motorized bicycles, mountain bikers and hikers are welcome on the smaller, mile-and-a-half of moderately challenging trails with epic views clear across the prairie. Head to MINERAL RIDGE for a 3+ mile, moderately challenging hike overlooking Beauty Bay — a popular eagle-watching spot during the late winter when the majestic birds’ feed off the local salmon. In the spring, it affords spectacular views of sparkling Lake Coeur d’Alene. Maintained by the Bureau of Land Management, the trail includes 22 marked interpretive signs describing native plants and animals, as well as a picnic spot,
potable water and a rustic restroom. This is a must-do during the off-season. Nearby in Post Falls, the 78.5 acre Q’EMILN PARK combines a swimming area, picnic tables, pavilion, restrooms, parking and play areas, with numerous hiking trails. Located at 12365 West Parkway, Q’emiln Park provides access to both the Q’emiln and Riverview trailheads, which meander along the Spokane River and provide unparalleled views of the falls. If history is your thing, walk in the footsteps of those who created the PULASKI TUNNEL TRAIL, located south of Wallace, Idaho. This is the route taken by firefighters fleeing the inferno that devastated the nearby town in 1910. The well-maintained 2+ mile trail, the first 725-feet of which are wheelchair-accessible, is surrounded by forested slopes and dotted with interpretive signage.
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Coeur d’Alene Blues Festival MARCH 20-22
The Coeur d’Alene Blues Festival returns to the Lake City, featuring the best talent from local, regional and national blues artists. It’s a soulswingin’ weekend celebrating the best of modern blues through a variety of events, from cruises and gospel brunches to a rooftop blues party. For a complete event schedule and weekend packages with discounts on lodging, visit cdaresort.com/play/
This touring series of award-winning and juried films celebrates the human-powered experience, while at the same time supporting the Sandpoint based nonprofit Selkirk Outdoor Leadership and Education. $7-$25; 6 pm; the Innovation Den.
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