Page 1

TOWERING MAKING SENSE OF 9/11 AFTER 20 YEARS PAGE 6

HERE THEY COME Q&A WITH THE MONKEES’ MICKY DOLENZ PAGE 37 OUTSIDE THE BOTTLE

THE RISE OF CREATIVE WINE-BASED DRINKS PAGE 30

SEPTEMBER 9-15, 2021 | LIBERTY, EQUALITY AND FREE PAPERS

Local families try, mostly in vain, to rescue their loved ones left behind PAGE 14

FLEEING BY DANIEL WALTERS


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VOL. 28, NO. 48 | COVER DESIGN: DEREK HARRISOIN

COMMENT NEWS COVER STORY CULTURE

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EDITOR’S NOTE

G

one but not forgotten: Throngs of people running for their lives, pleading to escape, flesh pressed against barbed wire and barricades, the perfect target for a suicide bomber who will kill dozens, others cling to the wheels of departing planes only to drop to their death, the difference between those who escape and those who don’t will be as slim as a piece of bureaucratic paper. The final days of AMERICA’S LONGEST WAR were marked by chaos, violence and a valiant, behind-the-scenes effort to save as many as possible. The rescue effort was conducted informally around the world, including here in Spokane where, on a Sunday in late August, a group of Afghans gathered in a public park to make a list: people they wanted to save. One name after another was tabulated until it ran more than 2,500 long. Most will be left behind. Don’t miss staff reporter Daniel Walters’ riveting, heartbreaking account of the local effort to save friends, family and allies (page 14). It’s a story you won’t soon forget. — JACOB H. FRIES, editor

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

WHERE WERE YOU WHEN YOU LEARNED ABOUT THE 9/11 ATTACKS? CHRIS CAVANAUGH: On my way to work. Burst into tears because my son was in the 82nd Airborne stationed at Fort Bragg. Figured he would be heading that way soon.

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BRIAN CORNELIUS: Watching coverage of smoke coming from the first tower. Then the next fireball occurred, and I said out loud, “We’re under attack!”

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AMI ELSTON: I was in sixth grade. My dad called us, and we turned on the TV. My mom made us stay home from school. We watched the news all day. PATTY WHEELER-RADEMACHER: Sleeping, then my son, who was in the Navy, called and said, “Mom, turn on the TV.” Within a minute, the second building was hit. My son then said, “Mom, we are going to war.” My heart sank, and I could not turn off the TV. A very sad day for all of us.

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DIXIE NORDNESS: At home with my husband watching on TV, and we couldn’t believe what was happening. Our trip to NYC with the Corbin Senior Center was scheduled to leave on Nov. 1, and fortunately we were able to go, but there were a few changes in activities planned. Won’t ever forget what we saw, including Ground Zero from a distance. LOUISA MAY: I was at school. We went home early that day. I remember being scared. I kept looking at the sky, wondering if a plane would hit my house. I was 8 years old.

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CHERYL PETERS: I was getting ready to go to the airport. I was scheduled to fly to New York that day. JOSEPHINE KEEFE: I was a junior at Gonzaga Prep and getting ready for school. We watched the news throughout the day. My mom was on Capitol Hill in D.C. at the time and was in the midst of being evacuated when the Pentagon was hit. The day was surreal, out of body, and horribly tragic. We’ll never forget. n

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THESE FLOWERS HAVE A LOT OF FIGHT IN THEM.

COMMENT | 9/11

The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is full of flowers, each carried by someone committed to ending the disease. It’s time to add your flower to the fight. Take the first step and register today!

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Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021 | 7:30-9 a.m. Spokane Convention Center

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As secretary of state under President Bill Clinton, Albright reinforced America’s alliances, advocated for democracy and human rights, and promoted American trade, business, labor and environmental standards abroad. For these efforts, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. A professor, diplomat, businesswoman and Portrait by: Lauren Bulbin bestselling author, Albright recently released a new memoir titled Hell & Other Destinations. Tickets available at whitworth.edu/leadershipforum.

6 INLANDER SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

Why the Sept. 11 attacks aren’t really like Pearl Harbor BY LAWRENCE B. A. HATTER

9

/11 changed everything. Or so was the oft-repeated mantra at the time. As we approach the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, it is necessary for Americans to reflect on the memory of that day and the long shadow it has cast over the 21st century. Everyone remembers where they were on Sept. 11, 2001. For those who lived through it, 9/11 is one of those touchstone moments in American history. People compared it to other monumental historical events, like the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 or the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Pearl Harbor, heralding the entry of the United States into the Second World War, seemed like an apt analogy in 2001, as NATO mobilized to attack Osama Bin Laden and alQaida in Afghanistan. No historical analogy is perfect. While we might identify commonalities between historical events, history never actually repeats itself. The attack on Pearl Harbor did not play out in real

time for Americans in 1941 in the same way that 9/11 did on network television in 2001. While there were civilian casualties at Pearl Harbor, the main Japanese target was a military installation; 9/11 deliberately targeted civilians. The Japanese military were the conventional armed forces of a nation-state; the terrorists of 9/11 were the secret operatives of a transnational organization. For all these differences, though, the attack on Pearl Harbor and 9/11 occupied a similar place in the American popular imagination in 2001. Both attacks hit unsuspecting Americans hard. Pearl Harbor and 9/11 revealed the innocence and vulnerability of the United States in 1941 and 2001. And, in the immediate aftermath at least, both events galvanized the American people to prosecute righteous wars to avenge our dead.


B

ut what about 20 years later? How does the way we remember 9/11 in 2021 compare with how Americans remembered Pearl Harbor in 1961? The answer reveals how our memory of these two events is inextricably linked with our understanding of the conflicts that they spawned. The early anniversaries of Pearl Harbor mobilized the collective memory of Americans to drive the war effort against the Axis powers. Pearl Harbor served as a rallying cry for Americans to ensure that the United States would “never again” face such an embarrassing military disaster by exacting a terrible price from Japan for its “sneak” attack. By 1961, the scene had changed. The Second World War was long over. Japan was now an important strategic ally of the United States in East Asia in the global fight against communism. The memory of Pearl Harbor changed to reflect these new geopolitical realities. President Kennedy’s speech commemorating the 20th anniversary reminded Americans that they would always remember where they were on Dec. 7, 1941. But he also assured his audience that “we face entirely different challenges on this Pearl Harbor Day.” Americans had moved on.

W

e remember where we were on 9/11 because we’re still there, stuck in a frozen conflict that was still ongoing up until a few days ago. For the first time since 2001, it seems likely that Americans will reflect differently on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Polls suggest that the majority of Americans support the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. But the heartbreaking scenes of Afghan people climbing onto U.S. airplanes in their desperate bid to escape from Kabul inevitably make us question whether the war was worth the immeasurable suffering and sacrifices of the past 20 years. Americans in 1961 had no such qualms about the United States’s participation in the Second World War when they commemorated Pearl Harbor Day. The Allies had won. Nationbuilding projects in West Germany and Japan had proved wildly successful. Victory had come at the cost of American lives, but no one seriously questioned the value of that great sacrifice. It was easier for Americans to commemorate Pearl Harbor Day in 1961 because it seemed like the past. They felt that the United States had been on the right side of history then and that it was now engaged in an equally important global venture to protect democracy from Soviet aggression. It is unclear how long a shadow the withdrawal from Afghanistan will cast on our collective memory of 9/11. The end of the NATO mission may mark a turning point in our relationship with the Sept. 11 attacks. America’s longest war had turned into a frozen conflict long ago. The withdrawal was probably the only feasible conclusion for the Western powers at this stage.

I

n 2021, the comparison between Pearl Harbor and 9/11 seems much less powerful than it did 20 years ago. The Pearl Harbor analogy created unrealistic expectations about the kind of war that the United States was about to fight and the sort of victory that it might achieve. There was no political will under either Republican or Democratic administrations to fight a total war in Afghanistan. Indeed, a conventional conflict was not a viable option for fighting terrorist organizations, which did not rely on state infrastructure or popular will to mobilize their campaigns. The stories we will tell about the War on Terror will not be as straightforward, or as celebratory, as those we have told about World War II. There is no apparent victory. Nation-building failed in Afghanistan. There is no obvious new global mission for Americans to rally around. But until we begin to reckon with the difficult history of the War on Terror, it will be impossible not to see the tragic scenes at Kabul airport as the continued unfolding of that nightmare day 20 years ago. n

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Lawrence B. A. Hatter is an award-winning author and associate professor of early American history at Washington State University. These views are his own and do not reflect those of WSU.

SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 7


COMMENT | FROM READERS

Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody cocktail can be effective against the delta variant.

Readers react to last week’s report on Washington state’s use of monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19. TIFFANY SKYE: We have been using it in Tacoma! I’ve seen more and more doctors ordering it lately. Not sure if I’ve seen a benefit yet personally, but anything that will help our sickest patients is worth a try!

SHAWN PRITCHARD: It’s nice that this treatment is working. Hopefully it will become readily available. NAOMI HANVEY: Really hope this reduces the number of hospitalizations, vents, and deaths.

STEFANIE MATTHEWS: I arranged for this treatment for my husband four months ago. Hospital declined. My husband died 12 days later. So frustrating. It could have been shipped overnight. n

The most courageous governor in the nation?

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR PHOTO

Readers react to guest columnist Gary Crooks’ praise of Gov. Jay Inslee’s response to the COVID-19 pande​​mic. TONI LODGE: Great article! Agree!! LITERALLY ANNE PERKINS: Thank you, Governor Inslee. JOE SAFER SMITH: I’m glad I’m not the governor right now, that’s for sure. BLAISE BARSHAW: All the Washingtonians still griping about Inslee

8 INLANDER SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

have had a lot of time to move to Texas or Idaho or Mississippi to rid themselves of his evil reign. JIM HARALA: He’s as good for Washington as Newsom is for California. CHARLES U. FARLEY: All Republicans in WA should move to a better state like Idaho, or Wyoming. You’re not

wanted here anyways. Stupidity kills. JERRY GOERTZ: All you Inslee followers can follow him right off the cliff. SEAN MCCARTNEY: Were you grateful when Inslee blew ya off when windstorm 2015 left you without power for several days? Inslee has been awful long before his mishandling of COVID. n


SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 9


EDUCATION

TERMS OF FREEDOM Masks are no longer required on North Idaho College’s campus.

North Idaho College tried to impose a mask mandate. The right-wing board of trustees nixed it after four days BY WILSON CRISCIONE

I

n North Idaho, where the delta variant is ravaging the community and the regional hospital is overflowing with severe COVID-19 patients, masks are a relatively rare sight. There is no state or regional mask mandate in place. Children in Coeur d’Alene are returning to public schools with no face coverings, no contact tracing and no quarantine protocol. In the name of individual freedom, government agencies at all levels have declined to impose any measure that could prevent the deadly virus from running free. North Idaho College, then, was a notable outlier when it announced last month that it would begin the school year with an indoor mask mandate. “While not the least bit desirable, we know, based on information from state and local health experts, that wearing face coverings improves our chances of being able to stay open this fall,” the college’s president, Rick MacLennan, wrote to campus. Just four days into the semester, however, the board of trustees voted 3-2 to rescind the mask mandate. The board’s new majority, which gained control in the November 2020 election by riding a wave of right-wing distrust of higher education, took advantage of a new Idaho law that appears to give elected trustee members the authority to dictate operational decisions in response to the pandemic — an authority that previously was held by the college president. And now, MacLennan’s future at the college may be in jeopardy, as the board won’t renew his contract and keeps delaying an ominous discussion of MacLennan’s

10 INLANDER SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

employment. The situation is a shining example of the steep challenges school leaders in deeply conservative areas like North Idaho face in trying to take measures against the delta variant. But at North Idaho College, it’s just the latest episode in a tumultuous power struggle between the board’s far-right majority, led by board chair Todd Banducci, and the public community college’s president, MacLennan. Longtime trustee Christie Wood — who supports MacLennan — suspects the board majority may fire him. “It’s just complete chaos,” says Wood, one of two trustee members who support MacLennan. “There’s no sense of good governance going on whatsoever.”

POWER STRUGGLE

For MacLennan, the board taking authority over the college’s COVID-19 decisions doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Banducci, a longtime trustee, was appointed board chair as soon as two newcomers, Michael Barnes and Greg McKenzie, won seats. Both are members of Kootenai County’s Republican Central Committee, but had little experience in education; Barnes worked in computer security, and McKenzie is a research engineer. They beat out candidates with extensive experience in education. Immediately, Banducci indicated to MacLennan that he intended to change COVID-19 operating decisions, according to an email MacLennan wrote to the full board in January, reported on by the Coeur d’Alene Press. The college, at the time, had a mask mandate in place.

NORTH IDAHO COLLEGE PHOTO

When MacLennan explained that he as president has authority to make operating decisions, Banducci said, “the board only has one employee — I guess we can go down that road,” according to an email MacLennan wrote to the board. “I understand this to mean that he would seek to terminate my employment if I did not cooperate with him,” MacLennan wrote. The email contained other accusations against Banducci: that MacLennan witnessed Banducci assault a female employee, and that Banducci was “disparaging” MacLennan’s wife as a Hillary Clinton supporter. Wood, seeing the email, called for Banducci to resign. Banducci did not respond to a message seeking comment for this article. Eventually, the conflict played a role in local human rights task force boards filing a complaint with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, bringing the college’s accreditation eligibility into question. If NIC were to lose accreditation, it could lose federal funding, students may not be able to keep credits when they transfer to another institution, and the college may be unable to offer certain courses. But on campus, MacLennan says things were going well, considering they were holding in-person classes during a pandemic. He says he’s only aware of one case of COVID transmission that occurred at the college last year — and he credits mask buy-in for the success. “Overall, our students, our faculty and our staff 100 percent bought into this idea that it was a tool we had to get us back to normal as soon as we possibly could,” MacLennan tells the Inlander. “I could not be more proud of what this college community did to get us through that.” As the new school year approached this summer, he’d initially hoped that with three-quarters of faculty and staff


vaccinated, masks wouldn’t be necessary. The delta variant upended that idea. The local hospital, Kootenai Health, was being hit with a surge in patients and grew concerned that it would soon be unable to provide care for everyone who needed it. Several days before classes began, MacLennan wrote the letter to campus, mandating mask wearing for at least two weeks in campus buildings with multiple people there. That set the stage for the heated board of trustees meeting on Aug. 26. By then, Banducci, McKenzie and Barnes felt they had the law on their side to seize control of COVID-19 decisions. That’s because the state Legislature earlier in the year passed a law calling for college boards to adopt a policy for measures and procedures “to prevent the spread of contagious or infectious disease.” Once adopted, the board — not the administration — has the authority to implement shutdowns or other measures to prevent disease spread. MacLennan and trustees Wood and Ken Howard tried to stop them from shifting COVID authority and rescinding the mandate by arguing that the board had not gone through proper procedure, that the board’s action had not been legally vetted and that the board may have violated open public meetings laws. The policy hadn’t gone through a draft Rick MacLennan process, and it was precisely the kind of problem that the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities would consider a governance issue, risking accreditation, MacLennan argued. It passed on the votes of Banducci, Barnes and McKenzie anyway. As McKenzie would say during the meeting, it was not just a debate about mask efficacy. “This is a debate about who gets final say,” he said. Days later, the board had another meeting. This time, the agenda included an action item titled “President’s employment.” Howard and Wood successfully pushed the item until the next meeting, Sept. 22, but Wood guesses Banducci wants to fire MacLennan. If so, she thinks it’s at least in part due to the email back in January. “Here we are, 10 months later, with it looking like this board, led by this chair, wants to take some sort of action against this president,” Wood says.

A TOUGH CROWD

Rescinding the mask mandate is a decision that health professionals in Kootenai County strongly oppose. Throughout the entire mask debate at North Idaho College, the COVID-19 situation has only gotten worse at Kootenai Health. One of 20 Department of Defense medical response teams in the nation is being deployed to North Idaho to help handle the surge in patients. This week, Idaho activated “crisis standards of care” at Kootenai Health, warning that the the hospital

may not be able to provide patients care they’d normally expect due to all the hospitalized COVID patients. An open letter signed by 140 medical professionals, printed in the Coeur d’Alene Press, describes a hospital in crisis. The letter asked both the boards for North Idaho College and Coeur d’Alene Public Schools to take steps to make campuses safer. One of those steps: universal masking. “It is simply the most important thing we can do right now to ensure our schools and colleges are safe and remain open,” the letter says. The argument that Banducci, McKenzie and Barnes presented against the mask mandate is one that’s become standard in conservative circles: People can wear masks if they want, but it’s a personal choice. Barnes is against any government entity mandating masks, even though he had COVID last October and is “still dealing with the aftereffects.” McKenzie said he’d heard from students who would drop out if the mask mandate was in place because they apparently had a medical condition preventing them from wearing one. He said rescinding the mask mandate was about “equity” for those students. Banducci insisted that he does, in fact, want what’s best for students and faculty. “I would hope we would not shame someone for their personal choice, whatever their decision,” he said. The problem is that research shows cloth masks don’t protect an individual as much as they protect people around them. In that sense, the personal choice becomes less personal. Molly Michaud, chair of the faculty assembly at North Idaho College, says she’s noticed many students and faculty on campus opting out of wearing a mask since the mandate was rescinded. And just as medical experts are against the board rescinding the mask mandate, the faculty at the college would oppose an ouster of MacLennan. Michaud says the faculty assembly unanimously passed a resolution in support of him last month. “The college has been very successful during his tenure,” she says. “I’m concerned about the student experience and the employee morale.” That support was shown during the public meeting last month. The crowd of college employees raucously cheered at various points when MacLennan spoke in opposition of Banducci, McKenzie and Barnes — and the three trustees were visibly frustrated about it. McKenzie tried to silence the cheers against them at one point by shouting, “I got work to do after this still!” Banducci, meanwhile, repeatedly pointed out that those in the crowd cheering — often faculty and staff — were not the people who voted for him. It came to a boiling point when MacLennan asked to read a letter from Kootenai Health urging universal masking. As he started reading, Banducci interrupted, trying to stop it from being read and questioning the motive of Kootenai Health. An audience member asked for the letter to be read. Banducci fired back at the room. “If you voted for me, raise your hand,” Banducci said. “Because I bet there won’t be anyone here.” n wilsonc@inlander.com

M A R T I N T H E A T E R

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Spokane Symphony with State Street Ballet

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NEWS | HEALTH

Planning for the Long Run Washington’s first-in-the-nation long-term care program starts in January, with opt-out deadline soon BY SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL

W

ashington workers will soon start paying a new payroll tax to fund a first-of-its-kind longterm care program. The WA Cares fund was created by the Legislature in 2019 as a safety net for the seven in 10 people who will ultimately need professional or personal care at some point in their lives. The only opportunity to opt out of the program is fast approaching, raising questions for workers who may be deciding whether getting a private policy is better or worse. Here, we lay out answers to some of the common questions.

WHY IS THE PROGRAM NEEDED?

Part of the motivation for creating the worker-funded program is the fact that private long-term care insurance policies can be too expensive for retirees to keep paying premiums on until they need to use them. What’s more, some companies offering those policies have failed in recent years, partly because of high usage by customers, explains Ben Veghte, director of WA Cares, which is housed in the Department of Social and Health Services. “The people most likely to experience the risk are the most likely to buy the product,” Veghte says. “If your mom has Alzheimer’s or you have deteriorating health, you’re more likely to buy it.” But insurance relies on more people paying in than taking out claims, and without enough “healthy” people paying in who don’t draw benefits, things haven’t penciled out. “For 40 years the long-term care insurance market has been trying to extend its reach, but it’s utterly failed,” Veghte says. “Today there’s only 10 companies selling private long-term care insurance in Washington.” With WA Cares, the intention is to provide a benefit like social security or Medicare, which you pay into while you work, so you can receive moderate assistance when you’re older, he says. “Half of households have no retirement savings whatsoever, so people end up having to spend down whatever they do have and then go on Medicaid and then to a nursing home. I doubt that’s your vision of how you want to age,” Veghte says. (Medicare doesn’t pay for long-term care, but Medicaid, the health insurance program for lowincome people, may). “The goal of this program is really to allow people to stay in their homes as they age.”

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

Starting in January 2022, workers will be charged a payroll tax of 0.58 percent, or $0.58 per $100 they earn. For someone working full time at Washington state minimum wage, which is now $13.69 and will be higher next year, the annual cost works out to about $165, or

12 INLANDER SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

A new long-term care program in Washington aims to make it easier to age at home without breaking the bank. less than $14 per month. For someone making $50,000 a year, the annual cost is $290, or $580 per year for someone making $100,000. Unlike private long-term care insurance, you only pay into Washington’s fund while working, rather than paying every month or year until you need to use it. Assume a worker who is 30 in 2022 makes $40,000 per year, receives a 3 percent raise each year and retires at 65. By the time they are done working, when they’d be earning $112,554, they will have paid a total of about $14,680 into the program. Someone in the same scenario who starts out making $100,000 per year will have paid $36,700.

HOW MUCH WILL IT PAY OUT?

Starting in 2025, the first eligible people could start drawing their benefit from the program, which can be used for care if you need help with three aspects of daily life, such as cooking, bathing and getting around. You do not have to be elderly. The lifetime benefit is slated to start at $36,500. Originally the benefit was defined as a maximum of $100 per day up to that amount, but now there is no daily limit, just the overall cap. Though it is not set in the law that created the fund, it is expected that the benefit will be increased each year for inflation. An actuarial report solicited by the state to make sure the fund will remain solvent assumed that the benefit would increase by 2.5 percent each year.

Under that assumption, for someone who is 30 in 2022, the benefit could be more than $80,430 by the time they are 65. However, most people don’t use long-term care until they’re in their 80s or 90s, Veghte says. By the time that person hits their 80s the benefit could be more than $116,000. Currently, the program is expected to cover one year of in-home care, or it can be used for nursing home care (which is more expensive) or other long-term care needs.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

To fully vest in the program, you need to pay in for 10 years at any point in your life, without a break of employment (and payments) of five or more years within that 10-year period. Or, by the time you apply for benefits, you need to have paid into the program for three of the last six years before your application, and must have worked at least 500 hours each of those three years. So, unless they go back to work, current retirees won’t qualify. There are still questions about whether the program should be extended so people could draw on it if they don’t still live in the state. Currently, the program is only going to be accessible to those who live in Washington. Workers who commute from Idaho, for example, will be paying in but won’t be allowed to draw on the program, unless “they decide to retire in the beautiful state of Washington,” Veghte says. But, every state will soon be facing a similar crisis


of an aging population that will rely more on Medicaid, he says. As this program is expected to save Washington state taxpayers more than $1.9 billion in the first 30 years in reduced Medicaid expenditures for those in need, it may soon appeal to other states to start their own programs.

CAN YOU OPT OUT?

The deadline to opt out is soon. In order to be eligible for an exemption you need to have a qualifying long-term care policy with a private insurance company by Nov. 1, 2021. Then you need to apply for an exemption. Applications for exemptions open on Oct. 1 and will only go through Dec. 31, 2022. After that, no one can exempt themselves from the program. Anyone who gets an exemption can never draw the benefit from the program. However, it may be difficult or impossible to secure a private policy before Nov. 1 if you haven’t already started the process. Insurers are wary of Washingtonians who want to apply and then quickly cancel their plans once they get an exemption, according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. Some insurers such as Mutual of Omaha won’t consider applicants who haven’t been to a doctor in the last two years, and National Guardian Life was requiring people to choose a plan that would pay at least $100 per day and increase with inflation (which raises the annual premiums), the association reports. “Many are looking into long-term care insurance as a way to avoid the tax,” explains Jesse Slome, director of the long-term care insurance organization, in an online post. “Insurers realized that many individuals were likely buying low amounts of coverage and others intend to drop coverage once they achieve their goal of tax exemption.” For a 45-year-old Washington man, a $100 per day policy with a 3 percent inflation option would cost $794 per year, Slome says in the post, and the same policy for a 45-year-old Washington woman would cost $1,304. Women are more likely to make claims on long-term care policies.

“I would say that $125,000 to $150,000 in annual income is the minimum threshold where considering private long-term care insurance makes sense.” “The new insurer rules have changed what we share with consumers,” Slome says in the post from late May. “I would say that $125,000 to $150,000 in annual income is the minimum threshold where considering private long-term care insurance makes sense.” But as of Aug. 19, the association reported that the companies they know of have either stopped taking applications from Washingtonians, can’t ensure a policy would be issued by Nov. 1, or the plans being offered are very expensive. The association doesn’t sell insurance but sometimes forwards requests for quotes to agents, though it’s stopped doing that for Washington agents who are overwhelmed with applications.

WILL THE PLAN WORK?

Ideally, Veghte says, voters would have allowed the fund to be invested in equities. But a ballot measure asking for permission to invest the fund in riskier things than allowed under the state constitution failed at the November 2020 ballot. For now, the fund can only be invested in fixed-income securities like government bonds. Still, with no changes to the tax rate or investment opportunities, the fund will be solvent through at least 2075. If voters had allowed the fund to be invested in stocks and private business, the fund would have been solvent through at least 2098. Voters have allowed similar trust funds, like state pensions, to be invested in more diverse portfolios, and Veghte says he thinks the question will likely be put before voters again at some point. n samanthaw@inlander.com

SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 13


14 INLANDER SEPTEMBER 9, 2021


Numerous family members of Spokane-area Afghan refugees have been left in Kabul, a capital larger than any other American city but New York.

LEFT BEHIND As Afghanistan falls to the Taliban, Spokanites try, mostly in vain, to rescue their Afghan friends and family BY DANIEL WALTERS

I

t’s a Sunday in late August, eight days before the last American soldier will leave Afghanistan.

Kazim Abdullahi, a community ambassador for the World Relief refugee resettlement agency, is camped out at a picnic table at Friendship Park in Spokane. At least 50 Afghan families surround him, pulling up information on their phones, showing him IDs, feeding him vital details on the ones they love. A few weeks earlier — as the American military began pulling out of Afghanistan, as a weakened Afghan government rapidly collapsed, as a resurgent Taliban regime swept across the country — Kazim sent out a rallying cry to the local Afghan community to join him at Friendship Park. “We started writing down the names of the family members left behind,” Kazim says. Four other staff members from World Relief come to help. One local family gives them the names of four relatives. But another has a list of 90 — families run big in Afghanistan — all trapped in Kabul. Kazim is typing, translating it all into English, converting dates from the Islamic to the Gregorian calendar, and feeding it into an Excel spreadsheet. First name. Last name. Date of birth. Place of birth. Passport number. Reasons their lives may be in extra danger. The hope is that if they get the list to the right people, at least some of those people could still be rescued. As the sun sets, as his laptop battery drains away, as President Joe Biden’s Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline draws closer, they finish a list of 2,000 names. Kazim returns the next two days, and they come up with 500 more. “I’m just trying to save as many as possible,” Kazim says. “That’s what I believe my job is.” Across two countries, countless refugees, veterans, politicians and former contractors were all trying to save friends and family who faced Taliban checkpoints, airport mobs, a perverse bureaucracy and an impossible deadline. And in most cases, for all their efforts, those friends and family members didn’t get out. Even before that last flight lifted off from the Kabul tarmac, Kazim knew it was too late for many. Five days before the American military left, he got a call: A suicide bombing had targeted the throngs of Afghans crowded outside the gates of Kabul’s airport. Thirteen Americans and over 160 Afghan civilians were dead. “I have pictures, videos, of those bodies, that people are sending me,” Kazim says. Some of those bodies, he says, were names on his list. And he believes those deaths were only the start. Days before the withdrawal, he worried that those left be-

hind — including some of his own relatives and Afghans like him who’d helped the American military — will be left with only one option. “Wait for the time to come and literally the Taliban will kill them,” Kazim says. “That’s all.”

THE ENDLESS WAIT

It’s 2017 — 15½ years into America’s longest war — and then-state Sen. Michael Baumgartner is writing a letter of recommendation with life-or-death consequences. His former co-worker, Baumgartner writes to the U.S. government, was “an exemplary, talented” member of the team who provided crucial operational support “as they fought against the opium poppy that is so destructive for Afghanistan.” Now, Baumgartner writes, this colleague “fears for his life and his family.” In 2009, Baumgartner had been a civilian counternarcotics adviser in Helmand province, one of the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan and one of the world’s biggest producers of illegal opium. Sayed — to protect him, the Inlander is not using his real name — was the team’s office manager. He was “positive, enthusiastic and warm,” Baumgartner says. He’d offer tweaks to the graphic design of the team’s anti-poppy PSAs. He’d blast Pakistani pop songs on lazy Thursday afternoons. He had strong opinions on WrestleMania. When Eleanor Mayne, the team’s other civilian adviser, had a birthday, he commissioned a cake — complete with Afghan-flag-colored frosting squiggles and the message “The-31-Birthday-Miss-Eleanor.” Like many people in Helmand, Sayed had grown up deeply poor. While the Afghanistan government only paid $100 to $200 a month, Sayed got $600 for working on Baumgartner’s team, a lifeline for the young man who proudly showed off his infant son to his office. But the big salary came with crosshairs: The Taliban’s punishment for working with a non-Muslim government was death. Baumgartner left Afghanistan after seven months. He married Eleanor, got elected to the Washington state Senate, and in 2011, wrote an op-ed titled “Time to leave Afghanistan,” declaring that the “bipartisan embarrassment is costing lives” and was doomed to fail. And Sayed? In 2012, a car bomb went off at Sayed’s office in the Helmand capital of Lashkar Gah, killing multiple co-workers and injuring others. He couldn’t just leave. Without a visa to another country, he couldn’t even get on a plane. ...continued on next page

SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 15


“???,” CONTINUED... World Relief Community Ambassador Kazim Abdullahi, who came to Spokane on a Special Immigrant Visa eight years ago, says America’s withdrawal does not mean the end of the violence. “It’s the beginning of the war,” he says. YOUNG KWAK PHOTO

“LEFT BEHIND,” CONTINUED... Yet just as his work put his life in danger, it also gave him an escape route: If you could prove he’d been working with the Americans long enough and that his life was in danger, he could get a Special Immigrant Visa — SIV, for short — and he would be able to flee Afghanistan for America. After all, that was how Kazim came to Spokane. He’d spent five years helping the Americans in Kabul as a translator and computer expert. But eventually, he started getting a lot of anonymous threats and needed to get out. Thanks to the SIV program, Kazim says, he arrived in America nearly eight years ago. Sayed applies for the same program in 2017, which requires an elaborate series of government-mandated hoops — like including letters from Baumgartner and other past supervisors, and proving his life is actually in danger. In sometimes-broken English, he exhaustively details the threats he’d faced on his application: the “huge car bomb explosion”; the drive-by shooter who fired on his car; the menacing phone calls from unknown numbers; the fact that his home village was a Taliban stronghold while the city he worked in was “under the attacks of insurgents every day and night.” “I have the right to live with my family in a safe location,” Sayed writes. “Otherwise they will kill me.” And then all he can do is wait. Months go by. Years go by. He hears nothing. He goes about his life, a death sentence looming. By 2020, a report from the State Department’s inspector general, or internal watchdog, had revealed just how busted the SIV approval process was. The backlog was bad — over 10,000 applications — before President Donald Trump took office. It got worse under Trump. The official in charge of overseeing the program left and was never replaced. Emailed applications sat unopened for 30 days. Even as the applications piled up higher and higher, additional staff members were never hired. And when COVID-19 hit, the process went from

16 INLANDER SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

convoluted to downright Kafkaesque: Completing the process almost always required an in-person interview at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. But with the coronavirus rampant, they weren’t doing in-person interviews in Kabul. Sayed submitted his SIV application in the first summer of the Trump administration. It’s only at the very end of Trump’s tenure — October 2020 — that he gets a response. It’s a rejection. The contract number he’d submitted, the letter stated, “was unverifiable in U.S. Government databases.” Yet, another co-worker with the exact same contract number got approved, Baumgartner says. “They were making a lot of dumb denials,” expert immigration attorney Margaret Stock says about the SIV process. “Like somebody who couldn’t read very well was reading the packets.” Instead of being eager to make the program run smoothly, Stock says some in the State Department didn’t seem to want local Afghan staffers to be able to immigrate to America too easily. If a local Afghan interpreter at the Kabul embassy, say, moved to the United States, the State Department would have to go searching for a replacement. Whether the problem was illiteracy, apathy or antiimmigrant antipathy, politicians across the aisle decry the flaws in the SIV program as one of the biggest failures of the withdrawal. “When it means life or death for our trusted allies, we can’t let bureaucracy and red tape stand in the way,” Democratic Sen. Patty Murray says in a statement. Still, the Trump administration had made major headway on another priority in Afghanistan. In February 2020, Trump struck a deal. Trump, who thundered

against the U.S. for swapping five Taliban prisoners to free “traitor” soldier Bowe Bergdahl, signed a treaty with the exact same exchange rate — 5,000 Taliban soldiers freed in exchange for 1,000 Afghan prisoners. The Taliban swore not to support terrorism. In turn, the United States promised to start pulling out of Afghanistan. To a man like Kazim, the notion of trusting the Taliban’s word is deeply insulting.

“When it means life or death for our trusted allies, we can’t let bureaucracy and red tape stand in the way.” “If they say that ‘we are not going to kill you,’ the first person they’re going to kill is you,” Kazim says. “They’re not humans. They’re monsters.” He was a child in 1989 when the Soviets left his country. But he knows what happened next: The Taliban rose up and seized power, outlawing music, banning women from school, holding public executions and massacring civilians. “We are back almost 30 years ago,” he says. What has happened before in Afghanistan, Kazim predicts, is “going to happen again and again and again.”

THE ESCAPE PLAN

For all the Trump policies that Joe Biden tore up upon setting foot in the Oval Office, leaving Afghanistan wasn’t one of them. While he delayed Trump’s proposed timeline by four months, his withdrawal would be total. This June, World Relief, the agency that resettles


refugees in Spokane, joined 56 other faith-based organizations in a letter pleading with the government to have a plan to evacuate the more than 17,000 pending Afghan SIV applicants. Fly them to a country like Guam for processing, they propose, before pulling out the bulk of our military. “We’ve been making that request to the Biden administration for months, and frustratingly, they didn’t act upon it,” says Matthew Soerens, World Relief’s national director of church mobilization. Some Afghans, including a few of Kazim’s family members, were in denial. “I called them, begging them, ‘Please leave the country,’” Kazim says. “‘You have the option to go now. Don’t miss it.’” But others know exactly what’s happening. On July 21, Eleanor — now Eleanor Baumgartner — heard from an old friend: In an email titled “need your help,” Sayed alerts her that his city of Lashkar Gah was under siege by the Taliban, and he desperately needs support for his SIV application appeal. Her husband, Michael, now Spokane County’s treasurer, makes one last appeal to the State Department, writing that the “rapidly deteriorating security situation in Lashkar Gah” had put Sayed in terrible danger. The battle in Lashkar Gah rages for weeks, and on Aug. 13 falls to the Taliban. They take Kabul two days later. As the Baumgartners start to circulate Sayed’s case, it gets shared with not just politicians like Spokane’s Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, but with the ad hoc organizations — ones with names like Team America and Task Force Dunkirk — that have sprung up to help rescue efforts. On Aug. 21, Sayed gets an email from a stranger. “My name is Michelle,” she writes. “I’m here to help you get out.” Sayed is wary. His friends have received fake emails making similar claims. But this one is legit. It’s from Michelle Ruehl, an Air Force Academy instructor who once flew 800 combat hours over Afghanistan, but now is volunteering with an organization called Allied Airlift 21. Started as some West Point graduates trying to get their friends out of Afghanistan, Allied Airlift 21 had evolved into something more ambitious, executive team member Adam DeMarco tells the Inlander. Like Kazim, they’d put together a long list of names. They put more than 50,000 Afghan names on their “Afghan Ally Register” and set about trying to rescue them. First step? Get them to the airport. “I know this is hard,” Ruehl writes to Sayed in an email. “Please keep faith.” But if he can get to the Kabul airport, she has a plan: Have enough supplies to hold out for 48 hours. Go for the North gate. Hug the southeast wall. Keep on the south side of the road. “You will have to push your way through the mob and get to where you can physically see the Marines,” she continues. “Make eye contact with the Marine and HOLD UP THAT BLUE passport.” Sayed weighs the risks. He has a wife. He has five kids. He has a friend telling him about gunfire in Kabul. Then again, when he sees a Facebook rumor that Special Immigrant Visas had already been canceled, the fear of being trapped overwhelms him. “I can’t live anymore in Afghanistan,” he writes. “I think [we were] left behind. Please sister, I really need your assistance.” On Aug. 25 — less than six days before the last cargo jet lifts off in Kabul — Kazim sits down with McMorris Rodgers to share the list of names he’d compiled with World Relief. He’s not as worried about SIV holders or Americans as much as all the other family members of the Spokane Afghans who don’t have anyone lobbying for them. But there are only so many airplane seats and only so much time. Kazim says that McMorris Rodgers tells him that if Biden delays the withdrawal, they might have a better chance of being rescued. But for now? It’s mostly too late. ...continued on next page

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“LEFT BEHIND,” CONTINUED... That same day, Sayed gets a message from Ruehl with a change in instructions: Don’t go to Kabul. “I am so sorry my friend but they are only taking US passports,” Ruehl writes to Sayed. “I just don’t want you to take the risk of going all the way to the airport and then they turn you back. … We are begging our government to change what’s happening.” But he also gets the message he’d been waiting on for four years: His SIV appeal had finally gone through. And this time, it worked. He’d been ruled eligible for a Special Immigrant Visa. He still didn’t have official approval to get on a plane, but he’d cleared the biggest legal hurdle to legally stay in America. The problem was getting there. He decides to risk it. “Eleanor, my wife is saying hello to you and your family,” Sayed writes in a WhatsApp message before he departs. “She is saying ‘Thank you so much for all the kindness….’ There [are] no words to express.’” It’s over 430 miles from the Helmand province to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. Google Maps says it’s at least a 14-hour drive on National Highway 01. And Sayed’s family, as war ravages their country, plans to take the bus. There are Taliban checkpoints all along the way. The documents he and his family are carrying — potentially their ticket out — could get them killed if discovered. But Sayed hangs on to hope. “Inshallah, there will be no problem on the Kabul highway,” he writes. For a full day, Eleanor doesn’t hear anything from Sayed. Finally, he pops up on WhatsApp. He explains their bus had been damaged in Ghazni Province — about halfway to Kabul — but he was once again on his way to the airport. He’s still on the road when the airport bomb goes off.

THE GAUNTLET

Hamid Karzai International Airport, three miles from the center of a city packed with more people than Los Angeles, has a single runway. The crowds of Afghans outside are large enough to be visible on satellites. Only three main gates lead into the part of the airport controlled by American troops, and after the bombing, the military begins welding some of those shut. Even before, getting in could feel impossible. Kazim says his brother-in-law and his mother tried three times to get through the mob at the airport, even as the Taliban would literally beat the crowd back. “They had a freaking cable — like an electricity cable, one of those huge power cables — and they would start hitting everyone who tries to get close,” Kazim says. But finally, those family members got through. The flight lifts off. Kabul shrinks into the horizon. He calls them while they’re in Amsterdam. “He showed me his back, all the signs of bruises caused by that cable,” Kazim says. “He said, ‘Kazim, I’ve been there three days… but it was like three years.” His older sister tries, too, but never makes it through. “‘Kazim, I went there,’” he recalls her saying. “‘They use gas. They use [rubber] bullets. I got hit. I got bruises.’” For an Afghan woman, Kazim says, being stuck in a crowd with so many men pressed against her was a particularly violating experience. And for a father like Sayed? “This one video he shared, there was a 2-year-old, who was crushed to death — crushed and covered in blood,” Eleanor Baumgartner says. For him, there’s no dramatic last-minute rush for the airport. Even if the former office manager, with his wife

18 INLANDER SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

TOP: Michael Baumgartner (center) before he was a state senator, flanked by an Afghan elder and police officer; BOTTOM: Civilian counternarcotics advisor Eleanor Baumgartner (right) with Brigadier General Khatool Mohammadzai, the first female paratrooper in Afghanistan. PHOTOS COURTESY OF ELEANOR BAUMGARTNER

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Walters, born and raised in Spokane, has been writing for the Inlander since 2008. In that time, he’s written about the fight against President Donald Trump’s travel ban, President Joe Biden’s hesitance to raise the refugee cap, and Spokane’s insane lack of housing. Imagine being a newly arrived refugee without any rental history and limited English skills competing with dozens of others for the one, single room available out of every 200 apartment units.

and five kids in tow, somehow managed to push through the crowds, around the Taliban, and past the gates, to place a fully completed Special Immigrant Visa into the hands of the exact right American official, it wouldn’t have mattered. When the evacuations began, a government memo had gone out, using the same authority wielded to evacuate the South Vietnamese during the fall of Saigon, that meant that as long as Sayed managed to get on the plane to the United States, he could finish processing his SIV application while living in America. But toward the end, even Afghans carrying fully approved SIV-stamped passports who’d risked their lives to help America were being turned away at the airport. Stock, the expert immigration attorney, says she heard that “somebody said they were only supposed to let citizens on.” Even many American citizens weren’t getting through. Stock says a contact of hers at the State Department was telling her that “the White House is deciding who lives and who dies right now,” but she also says “nobody knew who the magic person” actually was. In the chaos after the bombing, World Relief called for the withdrawal to be delayed past Aug. 31 “if that’s what it takes to save lives and keep our nation’s commitment to our allies.” Biden doesn’t budge. In fact, the Americans leave earlier than many expected. The last American plane lifts off a minute before clocks in Afghanistan tick over to Aug. 31 — a full 24 hours before the deadline passed. The early departure is a tactical choice, the New York Times explains, intended to avoid the risk of both terrorist attacks or a surge of Afghans trying to board. “I was not going to extend this forever war,” Biden said in a speech last week. “And I was not going to extend a forever exit.” On the one hand, the withdrawal had been a remarkable achievement: Over 122,000 Afghans and Americans had been airlifted out from Kabul in only a few weeks. But the New York Times estimates that as many as 300,000 of our allies had been left behind. “This is heart-wrenching,” McMorris Rodgers tells the Inlander. “We are leaving behind Americans and Afghan interpreters and other allies, behind enemy lines. This is fundamentally wrong.” Before the withdrawal, Kazim said, he helped at least 20 get out. But there are still thousands on his list remaining. McMorris Rodgers’ office had helped seven of the Afghans they were trying to assist get to Washington, D.C., including a pregnant woman and her husband. But 120 of the others her office had hoped to help remained stranded in Afghanistan. Diplomatic efforts to rescue Afghan allies will continue, the Biden administration stresses. But for now, it’s demoralizing. On Twitter, Allied Airlift Executive Director Mike Jason writes that “my friends and I just emerged from two exhausting harrowing weeks where we tried our damnedest to help terrified Afghan families run for their lives — mostly without success.” As for the paperwork that Afghans once hoped would save them? “If people have documents, the majority of people, they’re burning them,” DeMarco says. “They’re getting rid of any ties to the U.S. government.”

THE BORDER

Sayed is left with a difficult choice: Since he couldn’t escape Afghanistan by air, should he try to flee by land? ...continued on page 20


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The Registan Desert between Helmand and the Spin Boldak border crossing into Pakistan.

ELEANOR BAUMGARTNER PHOTO

“LEFT BEHIND,” CONTINUED... Millions of refugees, after all, fled to Pakistan after the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. One of the Baumgartners’ other Afghan contacts tried. He set out for the border crossing at Spin Boldak, a town southeast of Kandahar bordering Pakistan. But hundreds of thousands had the same idea. The crowds were even worse than in Kabul. And without a Kandahar-based National ID card, he couldn’t cross. “He says he’s now deleting all English WhatsApp messages as he reads them,” Eleanor says. Being caught communicating with foreigners was too dangerous. Kazim, however, says his oldest sister successfully got through. Speak Pashto, the language of the Taliban, and pay off the right people and you may have a chance. “It’s 50-50,” Kazim says. “Either they will let you go, or they will kill you.” But DeMarco, with Allied Airlift, is certain. “Whoever is still talking to Afghans directly, I forcefully tell them, ‘Do not send them to the borders,’” he says. Pakistan’s borders are closed. If you go north, toward Uzbekistan, you risk hitting “the frontlines of what is a pending civil war,” as the rebel forces try to strike back against the Taliban. Even if they make it, being a refugee can be brutal. “Refugees have waited a decade or more in a camp setting — or living in a city in a neighboring country without legal status — before they get resettled,” Soerens says. The psychological toll of what they’ve gone through is immense. They’ll face culture shock, post-traumatic stress disorder, survivor’s guilt, fear for those still left behind. Baumgartner says one Afghan woman he helped get out was so afraid for her sons — one of them is in hiding from the Taliban — that she’s talking about trying to go back to Afghanistan to help them. Finally, Sayed makes his decision. He sends one more email to Ruehl: He thanks her. He says he’s not going to try to run for the border. He has children, he says, and doesn’t have the kind of money to wait out the glacial

20 INLANDER SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

SIV process in a foreign country. He knows exactly what it’s like to grow up in harsh impoverished conditions far away from home. In his SIV application, he wrote about how, when was a child, the Taliban regime’s oppression forced his father to relocate to Pakistan. Instead, he plans to stay in Afghanistan, he tells Ruehl, but to seek out a different location “so that the Taliban [doesn’t] reach and find me.” DeMarco’s personal advice? Stay with Kabul. For now, the eyes of the world are laser-focused on the Afghan capital, and — oddly enough — the Taliban seems to want respect from the international community. “Ironically, the further away you get from the flagpole of the Taliban, the more lawless it gets,” he says.

THE LESSONS

Fifteen SIV applicants were already sent to Spokane in August, Soerens says. Hundreds more Afghans are likely on their way. For them, the good news is that there’s a fair amount of bipartisan political support for Afghan refugees in Washington state. While Idaho’s far-right Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin and former President Trump cast Afghan refugees as potential terrorists, Washington state Democrats have found Republican leaders a lot more agreeable. In Washington state, Republican state legislative leaders J.T. Wilcox and John Braun enthusiastically called for Washington state to welcome “duly vetted” Afghan refugees with “open arms,” tying pro-refugee sentiment to a classic Republican value: respect for the troops. “I don’t think there’s anything more conservative and Republican than standing up for our service people,” Wilcox tells the Inlander. “And you do that by standing up for the people who stood with them.” But the end of America’s longest war will continue to be debated for years. Biden’s supporters scoff at suggestions that the evacuation could have been conducted any better than it had

been. To Michael Baumgartner, withdrawal was the right policy, “but horribly, foolishly executed.” McMorris Rodgers speaks with more idealism about what America’s occupation had accomplished. She recalls visiting a girl’s school on a trip to Afghanistan a decade ago, seeing the kind of education that the Taliban would never have allowed. “These high school girls had dreams of becoming a teacher and a doctor and a lawyer,” McMorris Rodgers says. “I think those dreams have been shattered.” There’s an argument that if we had just stayed longer, maybe even indefinitely, we could have continued to help Afghanistan while fighting terrorism in the region. “We’ve left troops in South Korea all this time,” McMorris Rodgers says. “We left troops in Japan.” But there’s a darker counterpoint, outlined by those like Stanford history professor Robert Crews: that the United States had stayed too long. That every U.S. drone strike, every nighttime raid carried out by our Afghan military allies, fed the Taliban and starved the Afghan government of credibility. The American military provided one last bloody case study for that view before they left: The U.S. hit what they claimed was a car bomber vehicle with a drone strike. The explosion killed 10 Afghan civilians, survivors say, including at least six children. Kazim shares the photos of the dead on Facebook. “Mr. Joe Biden, you have destroyed a family,” he writes on Facebook. It captures the complicated anguish of many Afghans — horrified by the damage done by the Americans’ leaving, but also the damage that had been done by America’s staying. Kazim had worked side-by-side with the American military for years. But he still can’t truly fathom what the Americans were doing in Afghanistan for so long. “You never helped Afghan families. Look what you’ve done,” Kazim says, thinking about how many had been killed in the airport bombing. “One day, over 100 people are killed. Look what you have done right now.” n


Savvy

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Muralist Joshua Martel and his team braved record-setting heat to finish his artwork by the June 26 grand opening.

HOOPS

The People’s Court Even though Hoopfest 2021 has been canceled for health and safety reasons, you can get that hoopin’ feeling at the brand-new Hooptown USA court complex in Riverfront Park BY JAY McGREGOR 22 INLANDER SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

I

YOUNG KWAK PHOTO

n early 2019, Matt Santangelo, executive director of the Spokane Hoopfest Association, was approached with a proposal. Riverfront Park had planned to include a basketball court in its renovations, and they wanted help. Spokane Hoopfest Association, which runs Hoopfest, Hooptown USA, AAU and other year-round programs, was the obvious choice. After all, over the years they’ve installed 33 basketball courts around the region. Santangelo and his team were game, but they thought even bigger, wanting to “make it something special,” he says, “a highlight for the basketball community.” Those courts — now a complex of two full courts, or five half-courts — opened in June and have quickly become community favorites. The complex would have ...continued on page 24


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Hooptown USA signature courts and you’ll see you’re playing on a giant piece of art. And it’s all the work of local artist Joshua Martel Believe it or not, Coeur d’Alene native Martel hasn’t been painting his whole life. As a kid, he never thought about art much. But at 18, he suddenly had the urge to get into it. One day, Martel asked his friend to drop him off at the art supply store. He started painting on canvas but knew immediately he wanted to go bigger. Soon he found a free wall in Seattle to paint — thus making him a muralist. Before he was approached by Hooptown USA to try out for the Riverfront Park courts mural, he’d painted several murals in the Spokane area, including working with the Hoopfest Association to paint the Chief Garry basketball court. After a call for artists from Spokane Arts, and factoring input from the neighborhood council, all agreed on Martel’s “Over the Heart” design for the signature courts. From the street, the vibrant mural is abstract, but from a bird’s eye view, it takes on a whole different form. It displays a player holding a basketball over their heart. Martel said his motivation for this mural was to “create his own individual mark in Spokane.” And he needed all that motivation, as he painted the court in grueling, 90-plus-degree heat back in June. He and his assistants would work early mornings and late nights — sometimes pulling all-nighters to escape the heat. Anybody would be proud of such a huge accomplishment, and Martel admitted that, “I’m not an emotional guy, but seeing everybody on the court was making me tear up.” — JAY McGREGOR

The new “Over The Heart” mural from high above Riverfront Park’s newly renovated north bank. EDWARD RICHARDSON PHOTO

“THE PEOPLE’S COURT,” CONTINUED... been a centerpiece of Hoopfest 2021 before its cancellation due to COVID concerns. Hoopfest organizers announced last week they would offer full refunds to participants while encouraging people to donate all or part of their registration fees to help defray costs incurred trying to pull off the event this year. Back in 2019, the Hooptown team wasn’t sure where to start. “We didn’t exactly know what we were building towards,” says Santangelo, “but we had a vision.” That vision relied on four initiatives: building new community courts; maintaining some courts that needed work, and enhancing others by commissioning murals; creating a Hooptown USA Hall of Fame; and introducing citywide branding to solidify the Hooptown USA identity. So Hooptown brought their vision to MultiCare Health System, Hoopfest’s official medical sponsor. The meeting was set for 10 am on the Saturday of Hoopfest 2019. Santangelo, hot and sweaty from already traversing downtown Spokane for a few hours, made his way to the Davenport Grand Hotel for the meeting. Santangelo, along with colleagues Rick Betts and Kristi Hanson, delivered their presentation. You could say it went well, because later that day MultiCare pledged $1 million, spread over 10 years, to Hooptown USA as part of MultiCare’s continuing efforts to improve the health of the Inland Northwest community. “After 30 years, Hoopfest has proven themselves as an ideal teammate in partnering for healing and a healthy future,” MultiCare CEO and President Bill Robertson remarked after the announcement in 2019. “We look forward to positively impacting health together in the Inland Northwest.” Then the Hoopfest Association team went to work.

F

or the last two years, Hooptown has delivered on that vision. They’ve enhanced existing courts by commissioning murals, via their Community Court Project. They’ve maintained the courts with their annual “Net Day,” when a team of volunteers is assigned ladders and nets, and heads out to replace the net on any hoop they spot. Hooptown even lets visitors know, right at the airport, that they’ve landed in Hooptown USA. Another vision was to create a Hooptown USA Hall of Fame. And the most visible and enjoyed project of this Hooptown/MultiCare initiative: Hooptown USA’s new signature courts, part of the City of Spokane’s $70 million-plus renovation to Riverfront Park that’s just wrapping up. Just east of the new playground on the north bank of Riverfront Park, you can drop in on these signature courts any time, day or night, courtesy of the impressive overhead lighting. Even after 10 pm, over this past summer there were often more than 50 players laced up. One player, Charlie Markham of Spokane’s South Hill, recognizes the impact of this new complex: “It brings everyone together,” he says. “The runs are really good. It allows random people to team up and become friends.”


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THE MISSION CONTINUES hile Hoopfest 2021 has been canceled for health and

W

safety reasons, the Spokane Hoopfest Association and Hooptown USA offer other programs throughout the year to spread the joy of basketball, from AAU youth leagues to new outdoor leagues. The Inlander is a longtime media sponsor of Hoopfest, and we were preparing our annual Hoopfest Event Guide when Hoopfest was canceled; check out the cover created for Hoopfest by Propaganda Creative, featuring now-NBA player Corey Kispert photographed by Christopher Sean Gray. The mission continues for Hoopfest, including the donation of more than $2.5 million to local charities over its history. And, since 1994, the Spokane Hoopfest Association has funded and built more than 30 basketball courts around the region, including the new signature courts on Riverfront Park’s north bank. Stay tuned for ways you can continue to support the mission, as Hoopfest will look for new opportunities to celebrate the spirit of basketball throughout the year. Teams might consider donating their registration fees for 2021 rather than requesting a refund, and you could always buy an official 2021 ball or some Hooptown merch to support the cause. And pencil it in, Hoopfest 2022 is set for June 25-26. For more information, check out spokanehoopfest.net. — TED S. McGREGOR JR.

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Outside of pickup basketball, Hooptown will host basketballinspired fitness classes and events with various area nonprofits on the new courts. They are also hosting women’s pickup games as they hope to grow the women’s game. In addition to MultiCare, other local institutions are finding ways to support Hooptown USA all year long. Embrace WA, for example, has kept connectivity through basketball alive during the pandemic. And the Kids Play Free by Avista initiative works with local youth to build their skills on and off the court. During Hoopfest next year, on June 25-26, 2022, the new courts will be bustling — Hooptown even helped design the parking lot nearby so it could house 14 more courts. As Santangelo puts it, “There’s not one thing that unites us as much as basketball.” n

SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 25


CULTURE | DIGEST

THE BUZZ BIN

Beers with friends near and far drive this app.

BEER-SCROLLING

Beer Buddy is really dumb, and everything social media should have been BY NATE SANFORD

I

t’s Thursday evening. My phone buzzes with an alert but instead of a ding it makes the sound of a can being opened. “silas [sic] is drinking beer” the notification reads. I open the app and am greeted with a blurry selfie of my friend on a patio, an IPA in hand. Seemingly by accident, the photo has been flipped upside down. “Nice,” I think to myself. “I’m glad my friend is having a fun night.” I then close the app and continue living my life. When a friend suggested I download the Beer Buddy app this spring, I thought it sounded incredibly stupid. It’s a social network, with likes and comments and a scrolling feed of posts that looks kind of like Instagram. But instead of beach photos and infographics, each post is just a grainy selfie and a caption that denotes the type of alcohol you’re drinking. The feed is chronological and only shows posts from people you follow. You can tag the location or friends you’re with, but that’s pretty much it. There’s no greater substance or meaning. Several months later, I still think Beer Buddy is stupid. It’s also kind of genius. I don’t post on Beer Buddy often. I’ll go weeks forgetting it’s even installed and then randomly decide my followers — nine at time of writing — might appreciate a photo of the IPA I’m drinking. If it gets more than two likes I’ll consider it high engagement and call it a day. There’s a map feature some use to connect with other party-goers, but I stick to people I know IRL. The app feels liberating because nobody is trying to impress anyone. The photos are blurry, the angles unflattering. No care is given to lighting

26 INLANDER SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

or filters. The captions are short, cryptic and full of typos. The app itself has a user interface both glitchy and counterintuitive, but the clunky design just adds to the charm, like an old-school Polaroid camera passed around at a house party. Unlike Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, when I post on Beer Buddy I don’t feel like I’m performing for an audience or creating content — I’m simply existing. The feed isn’t algorithmically tailored to show your biases, and if there are Beer Buddy influencers I have yet to see them. There are no quirky brand accounts or options for monetization. Beer Buddy doesn’t have trolls, hot takes, bad faith arguments or an endless biblical scroll of dopamine-milking content that keeps you wired in long enough to extract your advertising data; it’s just beer and good vibes. There is some misinformation, but it’s usually because a friend tagged a post as beer when the accompanying selfie clearly shows a mixed drink. I’m 22, and only kind of remember life pre-platforms. Using Beer Buddy, I finally understand what made Facebook feel so revolutionary when it launched in 2004. There is something intoxicating (I’m sorry) about seeing your friends having a good time, liking it and thinking nothing more. It raises broader questions. Why do we post? What does it mean to be social online? Too often, posting feels like marketing or self-branding — with personhood increasingly tied to the logic of platforms designed by wealthy nerds in Northern California. Beer Buddy isn’t the solution, but it offers a hoppy, carbonated escape. n

A HELPING HAND Local literary press Scablands Books, founded by author Sharma Shields (pictured) and home to a pretty incredible collection of Inland Northwest literary talent, had to cancel their annual inperson fundraiser due to the delta variant being a total asshole. But you can help the press chug along, including the printing of their new tome, Evergreen: Grim Tales and Verses from the Gloomy Northwest. Head to donorbox.org/scablands-donation and get in on the cool autographed goodies you get for supporting a great cause. (DAN NAILEN)

CHOICES NOT MADE Mix the metaphor of the fig tree in The Bell Jar, where the viewer wastes away looking up at all the possible life paths (figs) they could possibly take, with the mind-bending thought experiment of Schrödinger’s cat, and you’d get pretty close to Blake Crouch’s book Dark Matter. Full of multiverse twists centered on the idea of “What if you could live the life you always dreamed of,” the book keeps you guessing at just what might happen until the very end. It offers a lesson in loving the life you’ve made rather than pining for what you could have had, while offering a fascinating look at the consequences when you can’t let go of the past. (SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL)

THIS WEEK’S PLAYLIST There’s noteworthy new music arriving in stores and online Sept. 10. To wit: KACEY MUSGRAVES, Star-Crossed. Hard to follow up a classic, but Musgraves is uniquely skilled. SLEIGH BELLS, Texis. I dare you to not get a surge of adrenaline listening to their first album in five years. ANDREW W.K. God Is Partying. If anyone could know that God is partying, it would be Andrew W.K. (DAN NAILEN)


CULTURE | CLASSICAL

Bach Is Back The Northwest BachFest’s September Series is celebrating the resumption of live performances — and Beethoven’s 250th BY E.J. IANNELLI

O

ver the past 18 months, the ways in which we mark special occasions have had to change. Commemorations of milestone events that would have otherwise taken place in person have been muted, virtualized or shuffled. For Northwest BachFest, it’s been a little bit of all three. The festival’s celebration of the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth, technically a 2020 affair, ended up being adapted to the protracted pandemic era though two separate video series, Postcards from Spokane and Across the Miles. It’s also been extended into late 2021 as a part of the festival’s official return to live performances September 9. “A pause, in hindsight, is always a good thing — to survey what’s going on and how you’re doing it, what the purpose and the motive is, what you appreciate and what you take for granted,” says cellist and festival Artistic Director Zuill Bailey. “At the Northwest BachFest, we are very lucky in that we’re a highly flexible organization that has prepared so many different ways to reach people. So when all this went down, we had already been working on a virtual element for years, not knowing that it was going to be so usable and so useful during that time.” Bailey’s referring here in particular to Postcards from Spokane, a video project that began in mid-2019 along with an early kickoff of his organization’s recent Beethoven-inspired programming. The project involved recording performances of Bailey, violinist Kurt Nikkanen and violist Scott Rawls performing Beethoven’s String Trio No. 1, Op. 3 in various iconic locations around the city. Each of the five movements was then broadcast or streamed as a kind of individual “postcard.” Supported by funding from Spokane Arts, city-level marketing budgets and generous amounts of pro bono work from Hamilton Studio, the same production house that would later help the Spokane Symphony in its own shift to digital media, BachFest was able to transition fairly smoothly to a virtual format even as COVID-19 cases were peaking. Follow-up research has indicated that Postcards’ TV and online viewership numbered in the hundreds of thousands. But as successful as initiatives like Postcards have been, Bailey is eager to reconnect with live BachFest audiences and his musician peers — “my people” is the phrase he keeps using as a collective shorthand — to wrap up the Beethoven anniversary festivities. At the first concert of the September series, joined by pianist Elizabeth DeMio, he’ll be performing Beethoven’s complete sonatas for cello and piano back to back. “So many people are fatigued by sitting in front of their computers and their screens for so long that we wanted to make this a singular, special week of concerts,” he says. “Those who go to it get to experience something that they know is theirs and theirs alone. It’s thrown in the air and it’s gone, and that in itself is the magic of a live concert. I want the audience to know that, as they’re sitting there and they look around, that’s it! It’s for them.

The Eroica Trio visits to help Northwest BachFest celebrate Beethoven. They’re the ones who get this; and when they leave, they’re the ones who take it.” And, as he points out, the five chronological sonatas lend themselves to this kind of intimate, evanescent experience. “The five Beethoven sonatas are interesting because they span his life. The first two were composed together, and the A major, the third one, is right in the middle, and then the fourth and fifth come a little later. They likewise span the time before his hearing issues, during his hearing issues, and right when he’s losing his hearing. By the last slow movement of the fifth sonata, you feel like you’ve not only witnessed the story of Beethoven’s life but the evolution of a genius and what age and maturity do to perspective.” The other two concerts in this BachFest series, scheduled for Sept. 13 and 14, feature the acclaimed Eroica Trio. Although the all-female ensemble took their name from Beethoven’s Third Symphony, dubbed the Eroica, the composer will fade from the program in favor of works by the likes of Astor Piazzolla, Johannes Brahms and Franz Schubert, as well as the festival’s primary namesake, Johann Sebastian Bach. They’ll also be performing a virtually unknown string trio by contemporary composer Adolphus Hailstork for the first time. “In the first movement [of the Hailstork], there is a contrapuntal feel that’s reminiscent of Bach,” says Eroica Trio cellist Sara Sant’Ambrogio. “It’s interesting. If you took Bach and then dropped him in the 21st century and then said, ‘What do you hear?’ I feel like this is the sort of thing he would write. There’s also a very folkmusic-ish feel to it, a very jazzy feel. It’s really a strong

piece, and I hope we’re able to get it the attention that it deserves so that it can start to make its way into the core repertoire.” Echoing Bailey’s enthusiasm for the resumption of live concerts, Sant’Ambrogio says that each performance has a unique dynamic that feeds on the interplay between the musicians themselves as well as with their audience. Given that she’s been playing alongside her two bandmates, pianist Erika Nickrenz and violinist Sara Parkins, since elementary school, that interplay is especially refined among the Eroica Trio. “As a gifted performer, you can sense where the audience is getting the most pleasure, and that starts to shape how you perform the pieces for that specific audience. It will be different every night. And one of the most exciting things about going to an Eroica Trio concert is that there’s an unbelievably high level of spontaneity that’s happening onstage. It’s like we’re locked in with ESP. The pianist, she sees me tilt my head a certain way, and she’ll say, ‘Whoa, get your seatbelts on!’ She can catch me like we’re doing a high-wire act,” she says. “Our purpose, our motivation for this series was to get people back together in a safe, beautiful way. To make it like it used to be, but evolved,” Bailey says. “I think people are going to be very emotional, and this is something they’re going to look back on and never forget. We missed the last portion of Beethoven’s birthday, so now we’re finishing it off in super style.” n Northwest BachFest September Series • Sept. 9, 13 & 14; 7 pm • $20-$55 • Proof of vaccination required • Barrister Winery • 1213 W. Railroad Ave • nwbachfest.com

SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 27


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WINE

Thinking Outside the Bottle Local wineries and restaurants get creative with wine-based drinks that change with the seasons

A Tinto de Verano at Craftsman Cellars

YOUNG KWAK PHOTO

BY LEANN BJERKEN

G

enerally speaking, there are two kinds of wine lovers; those who enjoy wine as-is, and those who like to experiment. For the latter, and depending on the season, wine can be iced or heated, and bubbles, fruits or spices can be added to create an entirely new drink. Luckily for us, Spokane area winemakers and restaurants that serve these locally made libations are aware of this trend and have some delicious options ready to taste, including the following.

red wine,” she says. “They came up with the recipe, and it’s been a hit at our tasting room ever since.” Shelman says Craftsman’s Tinto de Verano includes four ounces of their Right Bank Bordeaux Blend and four ounces of San Pellegrino sparkling water (blood orange or limonata flavor) over ice and garnished with a lemon slice. “It’s not overly sweet, and not too dry,” she says. “Just a nice, balanced, cooling drink.”

CRAFTSMAN CELLARS

HUCKLEBERRY D’LATAH, SANGRIA WINES

TINTO DE VERANO

Kendall Yards-based winery Craftsman Cellars jumped on board the wine-based drink trend two summers ago, when it began offering its own Tinto de Verano, which is Spanish for “red wine of summer.” This wine drink is said to be similar to sangria, but simpler, and is traditionally made up of one part red table wine and one part Gaseosa, a Spanish brand of lemon soda similar to Sprite or 7-Up. Margo Shelman, who co-owns Craftsman Cellars with her husband, Greg, says the drink was the brainchild of her son and daughter-in-law. “Craftsman makes red wines, so I’d asked them to experiment with ideas for a cool summer drink that uses

30 INLANDER SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

LATAH CREEK WINE CELLARS

Spokane Valley-based Latah Creek is one of few local wineries that produces and bottles two wine-based drinks. The Huckleberry d’Latah is its riesling with huckleberry juices added, and its sangria is a cabernet blended with huckleberry juices. Owner Mike Conway says the Huckleberry d’Latah is Latah Creek’s most popular wine, although the sangria is quickly gaining in popularity. “We only just started experimenting with the sangria, but our first batch that we made last fall sold out in two months,” he says. “We bottled a new batch in early August that’s available at our tasting room now.” Latah Creek’s sangria is, Conway says, “sweet with

some tartness; refreshing and delicious. You can serve it with chilled berries to keep it cool without watering it down, or add any other citrus fruits you’d like.” TOWNSHEND CELLARS

SPRITZERS, VARIATION ON THE FRENCH 75

Though it specializes in red wines, Green Bluff’s Townshend Cellars also produces white and sparkling wines, some of which its owners say can make a refreshing treat when iced or paired with soda water. Although Townshend doesn’t make or offer any special wine-based drinks at its tasting room, owner Michael Townshend says the winery occasionally creates wine spritzers for visitors using sparkling water or seltzer. “It’s a delicious, low-alcohol option on those really hot days,” he says. Townshend’s sparkling wine varieties can also be used to make a variation of the French 75, a cocktail traditionally made from gin, champagne, lemon juice and sugar. “We can’t offer it in our tasting room because we’d need a liquor license for that, but folks can definitely play around with their own versions at home,” he says. “The version we’ve tried just on our own uses Townshend sparkling wine in place of champagne.”


ARBOR CREST WINE CELLARS

FROZEN ROSÉ, SANGRIA

Arbor Crest owner Kristina van Löben Sels says the Spokane Valley winery offers a frozen rosé option — aka the Frosé — at its tasting room during the summer. “It’s a bit sweeter and a nice, cooling drink,” she says. “As a winemaker, I’m a bit of a purist, so I prefer wine as is, but I love that others are experimenting with wine.” One such experiment occurred during this year’s Inlander Restaurant Week, held last month, when SmokeRidge BBQ featured Arbor Crest’s rosé on the menu in its house-made sangria. “Our sangria is definitely not wimpy,” says SmokeRidge BBQ owner Julie Sherwood. “It definitely has more of a liquor taste, with orange juice, five different fruit liqueurs and brandy added, too.” Sherwood says the restaurant offers some local wines, but prefers to stock a wide variety of wine from all over the world. “We do still like to support local wineries and use locally made liquor in our cocktails, but overall, we like to bring in stuff you wouldn’t otherwise be able to get,” she says. “We’re always doing something a bit different than your typical ‘beer-and-cheer’ barbecue place.” While van Löben Sels hadn’t heard about SmokeRidge’s sangria offering prior to Restaurant Week, she wasn’t surprised to hear the restaurant had chosen an Arbor Crest wine to create it. “Our wines do go pretty well with barbecued meats, so I’m sure it tasted great,” she says.

BRING THE NUMERICA BRANCH TO YOU WITH VIDEO BANKING.

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BARILI CELLARS

SPRITZERS, MARGARITAS, WINE COCKTAILS

Downtown winery Barili Cellars also occasionally tries its hand at wine spritzers — wine poured over ice and mixed with soda water and lemon or lime — during the summer months, says owner Russ Fiest. “We have done spritzers with our white wines like sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio and white port,” he says. “Sweet white wines work well as spritzers because you can cut that sweetness with the citrus and it turns out pretty tasty.” Feist says that several local restaurants that carry Barili Cellars’ wines use them to make other drinks and cocktails. One of them is Mamma Mia’s Italian Restaurant in North Spokane, which offers two seasonal drinks featuring Barili wines. The first is a margarita that uses Barili’s Red’ass Red wine, and that’s been dubbed the “Red Ass Rita.” The second is a spiced wine served during winter holidays that showcases Barili’s Double Barrel wine with mulled spices. Mamma Mia’s owner Kristi Heaton says the restaurant introduced the Red Ass Rita drink as a kick-start to summer this year and plans to offer the spiced wine this fall. “Wine-based drinks are kind of a fun experiment, and we’ve been talking about doing more of that kind of thing with Barili’s [wine],” she says. Heaton says wine-based drinks aren’t necessarily super popular with customers, simply because of their experimental nature. “I think most people who drink wine do so because they enjoy wine as is,” she says. “So yes, wine-based drinks are fun to try, but they’re not really a regular thing.” Barili Cellars also custom-created two house wines for South Perry Lantern, a popular Perry District venue that reopened under new ownership this summer. The restaurant’s general manager Garrett Wellsandt says Barili’s wines are used frequently in its spritzers, as well as a cocktail he describes as a spinoff of a traditional whiskey-based old fashioned. “We do a red wine float over an old fashioned, which gives it the wine taste up front, followed by the fruit notes of orange, then the vanilla and oak of the whiskey below,” he says. “The red top layer also makes for some fun color variation.” Wellsandt says the restaurant is still working on building its new fall cocktail menu, which should debut in early September. “We’re brainstorming lots of new ideas, some of which could definitely make creative use of wine,” he says. n

Federally insured by NCUA SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 31


REVIEW

A LOSING HAND

Writer/director Paul Schrader punishes his characters and his audience in The Card Counter BY JOSH BELL

T

he man who calls himself William Tell drifts from one regional casino to the next, winning just enough money to get by without raising the suspicions of vigilant pit bosses. The life of a gambler in Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter is far from the glamour of movies like Ocean’s Eleven, or even the artful sleaze of Robert Altman’s California Split. It’s a relentless, monotonous grind, with no more passion or excitement than working on an assembly line. That approach to professional gambling and the network of largely interchangeable backwater casinos that sprawl across the United States could make for a fascinating movie. But, frustratingly, that’s not what The Card Counter is really about. As played by Oscar Isaac, William is another of Schrader’s men on the edge, barely containing their trauma and fury as they make their way through a damaged, imperfect world. He could be Pastor Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke) in Schrader’s First Reformed, or small-town cop Wade Whitehouse (Nick Nolte) in Schrader’s Affliction, or even Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) in Taxi Driver, which Schrader wrote for director Martin Scorsese. Scorsese is credited as an executive producer on The Card Counter, and Schrader carries on the seriousness of First Reformed, which marked a comeback of sorts for him after several years in the B-movie wasteland. This is an

32 INLANDER SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

ambitious, challenging film that fails in most of its ambipoker manager who represents various wealthy backers. tions, but is still fascinating in its missteps, as Schrader’s Both Haddish and Sheridan seem out of place in their failures usually are. As confounding as Schrader’s choices roles, although Cirk carries heavier emotional burdens, can be, they’re all uniquely his. And even when the giving Sheridan more opportunities to stumble. The writing and the filmmaking choices let him down, Isaac relationship between La Linda and William, both profesis consistently compelling to watch as William, delivering sional and eventually romantic, is slight and underdevelSchrader’s overripe narration with convincing solemnity oped, never as powerful or passionate as Schrader seems and wistfulness. to think it is. Rather than gambling, The Card Counter is mainly The gambling scenes are mostly perfunctory, and interested in the guilt that William carries from his time there’s never any suspense to whether William will in the military, when he was one of the guards win or lose. There’s not much at the notorious Abu Ghraib detention center. suspense to the revenge story, THE CARD COUNTER either, which culminates in William spent time in military prison for his Rated R actions at Abu Ghraib, and when he pops in to multiple anticlimaxes. Maybe Directed by Paul Schrader see a corporate lecture by his former commandthat proves Schrader’s point Starring Oscar Isaace, Tye Sheridan, ing officer, Major John Gordo (Willem Dafoe), about the futility of vengeance, Tiffany Haddish he’s approached by the mysterious Cirk (Tye but it makes for underwhelming Sheridan), who presents him with a revenge plan drama, especially in a setting against Gordo. As a civilian consultant, Gordo was never with so much high-stakes potential. charged with any crimes, and Cirk (whose late father Even the visual style of the movie seems designed to served alongside William and Gordo) wants to hold him drain it of any excitement or appeal. As in movies like accountable. Michael Mann’s Blackhat or Steven Soderbergh’s Unsane, William tries to steer Cirk away from revenge, takthe deliberately harsh digital cinematography draws ing the young man under his wing as he makes his way attention to its own ugliness. For William, gambling is through World Series of Poker qualifying events. William grim, punishing business, and Schrader takes the same is bankrolled by La Linda (Tiffany Haddish), a sort of approach to making this movie. n


SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 33


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OPENING FILMS THE CARD COUNTER

Written and directed by Paul Schrader, this thriller features Oscar Isaac as a military interrogator turned gambler haunted by his past. (DN) Rated R

MALIGNANT

Director James Wan (The Conjuring) gets his gore on in this tale of a woman haunted by shocking dreams that just might be real. (DN) Rated R NOT YOUR TYPICAL YARD SALE Fine art to fun art - reasonably priced

Saturday, September 11 Noon - 6 pm

CDA Chamber Visitor Center (105 N 1st Avenue, CDA) artsandculturecda.org/yartsale A FUNDRAISER FOR THE CDA ARTS & CULTURE ALLIANCE

MOVIE TIMES on

BLACK WIDOW

FREE GUY

CANDYMAN

JUNGLE CRUISE

A flashback in the Marvel Universe in which the title character (Scarlett Johansson) is overshadowed by her spunky sister (Florence Pugh) in an action-packed affair. (DN) Rated PG-13 This sequel to the 1992 thriller has Jordan Peele (Get Out) on board as a co-writer and the hook-handed killer back in effect, this time in a gentrifying neighborhood in Chicago. (DN) Rated R

CODA

Teenage Ruby is the only hearing member of her family, and joining the choir club at school soon has her struggling with obligations to her deaf family and her hopes for a bigger life in this Sundance favorite. At the Magic Lantern (DN) Rated PG-13 A sequel to the surprise 2016 hit about home invaders encountering surprising resistance takes place a few years later as the Blind Man lives with his past misdeeds. (DN) Rated R

ESCAPE ROOM: TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS

The original Escape Room movie was a lot less fun than actually going to an escape room, but was enough of a hit to warrant watching six new contenders try their luck. (DN) Rated PG-13

F9 THE FAST SAGA

The long-awaited ninth episode finally hits theaters, bringing Vin Diesel’s Dom back into action to foil a plot hatched by his long-forsaken brother Jakob (John Cena). (DN) PG-13

FLAG DAY

Sean Penn plays a real-life counterfeiter whose daughter (played by Penn’s daughter, Dylan Penn) has to come to terms with his past. (DN) Rated R Every Theater. Every Movie. All in one place.

34 INLANDER SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

This documentary/theater Valentine offers a contemporary history of Broadway through a ton of voices who love the stage, including Hugh Jackman, Christine Baranski, August Wilson and more. At the Magic Lantern (DN) Not Rated

NOW PLAYING

DON’T BREATHE 2

SEARCHABLE by Time, by Theater, or Movie

ON BROADWAY

Ryan Reynolds and Jodie Comer (Killing Eve) star in this action comedy about a video game background character taking charge of the game’s narrative. (DN) Rated PG-13 Disney taps Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt for a river adventure based on the famous ride in which they journey down the Amazon and search for an ancient tree with healing powers. (DN) Rated PG-13

MOGUL MOWGLI

The brilliant Riz Ahmed plays a British Pakistani rapper who must face a sudden illness on the cusp of his first tour. At the Magic Lantern (DN) Not rated

THE NIGHT HOUSE

Rebecca Hall carries this tale of a widow visited by horrific nightmares in the house her husband left her, dreams that lead her to discover he wasn’t exactly who she thought he was. (DN) Rated R

NINE DAYS

Winston Duke stars as a mysterious figure tasked with determining which souls deserve a trip to live on Earth. (DN) Rated R

OLD

M. Night Shyamalan is back with a tale of a secluded beach that makes its visitors age rapidly, reducing their entire lives to one day. (DN) Rated PG-13

PAW PATROL: THE MOVIE

The animated adventures of heroic dogs who have to save the citizens of Adventure City from the dogs’ rival, and Adventure City’s new mayor, Humdinger. (DN) Rated G

THE PROTEGE

Raised from childhood to become a contract killer, Anna (Maggie Q) finds herself in a rivalry and potential romance with a brutal fellow killer (Michael Keaton). (DN) Rated R

Malignant

RAGING FIRE

A Chinese action-oriented thriller involving a cop and a former protege turned bad from director Benny Chan Chi-Shun. At the Magic Lantern (DN) Not rated

SHOW ME THE FATHER

A religious documentary on the evolving roles of fathers in society. (DN) Rated PG

REMINISCENCE

Hugh Jackman plays a private eye of the mind who helps clients find their lost memories, but a new client (Rebecca Ferguson) leads him into a potentially lethal new case. (DN) Rated R

RESPECT

Aretha Franklin gets the biopic treatment she’s long deserved, with Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson in the title role. (DN) Rated PG-13

SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS

The latest Marvel flick stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, a young man born to confront the sins of his father when he’s drawn into the mysterious Ten Rings organization. (DN) Rated PG-13

SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY

Hey look, it’s another reason for people to argue over who is better, the Michael Jordan of the original Space Jam or Lebron James in this new version. (DN) Rated PG

STILLWATER

Matt Damon plays a working-class Oklahoman who has to travel to France in hopes of exonerating his daughter from a murder charge while navigating the obvious cultural barriers. (DN) Rated R

THE SUICIDE SQUAD

Director James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) takes the realm of this team of violent ex-con supervillains including Harley Quinn, Bloodsport, King Shark and more on a mission to save the world. (DN) Rated R

WILD INDIAN

Years after fleeing his reservation, Michael (Michael Greyeyes) has part of his violent past show up, threatening the quiet life he’s established with his wife (Kate Bosworth). At the Magic Lantern (DN) Not Rated n


ROCK

Rolling S

urreal. It’s really the only word that accurately describes the past year and a half for Deep Sea Diver, the Seattle rock quartet led by singer/guitar ace Jessica Dobson and her husband, drummer Peter Mansen. Sure, we’ve all gone through the nightmarish trying times of the COVID era, but true surreality is marked by both the fantastical and unbelievable lows and highs of dream states. And Deep Sea Diver has experienced both in spades. When the band was tapped to do an at-home version of NPR’s wildly popular Tiny Desk YouTube concert series, they naturally decided to set it in the surreal place they hold closest to their heart — the Red Room from David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. So with a little elbow grease — and about $180 worth of duct tape applied to the floor — they transformed their basement practice space into that iconic TV setting to differentiate from the other athome Tiny Desks, stand out from the thumbnail algorithm monotony, and just feel like they were escaping the place they’d been stuck for the past year. “I’m sick of this place,” Dobson says. “And the Red Room is a place where anything can happen. It’s mystical, and it draws you away from reality. The whole year has been wanting to escape.” In a lot of ways, 2020 was Deep Sea Diver’s biggest year to date. It saw the release of the group’s third LP, Impossible Weight, which received an outpouring of critical and fan approval. The instant standout aspect of Deep Sea Diver has always been the band’s stellar musicianship, and the album is a 10-song tour de force of thrilling guitar solos, perfectly placed drum fills, and a melodic sensibility that works equally well on songs that are dreamily atmospheric and anthemic tracks propelled by chunky riffs. All the while, Dobson lyrically explores feelings of insecurity and mental burdens with a resonant personal candor. The album is a winner, but how does one go about hyping up an album in a time of no touring or even leaving the house much? That’s literally unprecedented waters. “One of the strengths in our band has always been the ability to pivot pretty quickly and trying to look at a pretty dire situation with a positive spin,” Dobson says. “It’s just like, ‘OK, what does it look like to release an album in the middle of a pandemic? What does it look like to do that well?’ And there aren’t many examples. So it was kind of more like an exciting adventure. ’Cause I

in the

Deep How Deep Sea Diver had to get creative releasing its breakthrough record in pandemic times BY SETH SOMMERFELD

could focus on the negative and just be sad about it, but that really wouldn’t do much for us.” The adaptation included things like turning the earlypandemic trend of livestream concerts into an Instagram variety show complete with fake sets of chain restaurants, comedy bits and, of course, the new tunes.

N

ot being able to properly tour behind an album is actually nothing new for the band. Deep Sea Diver couldn’t tour behind its debut album, History Speaks, because Dobson was in The Shins at the time (she’s also been the touring guitarist for Beck, among others). Right when the band’s second album, Secrets, was about to be released, DSD was dropped by its booking agent, leading to scrambling together a run of self-booked shows. So Dobson and Mansen were well prepared for a “can’t tour” gut-punch. “It just felt like another Deep Sea Diver release,” jokes Mansen. Impossible Weight’s most notable accolade came when it was picked by listeners of Seattle indie tastemaker radio station KEXP as the No. 1 Album of 2020, placing it in the class of artists who were past No. 1 picks such as David Bowie, Arcade Fire, Courtney Barnett and Lizzo. As the countdown was announced on the radio, it seemed too… surreal… to be true. “It’s very strange for me to be amongst the list of people who I really respect and put out phenomenal records like Fiona Apple and Phoebe Bridgers,” Dobson says. “I didn’t think it would be up there with that caliber. We’ve always floated slightly under the radar, and I’ve been really grateful that we’ve grown beyond just being considered a Seattle band. I think a lot of Northwest bands can kind of get landlocked up here, and it’s hard to grow beyond that.” One key to Dobson and Mansen’s sustained sanity throughout the pandemic comes from their aforementioned basement. Tucked away in a relatively sleepy part of north Seattle, the couple’s home boasts the nearly ideal practice space set up with home recording capabilities. In a city where practice space is tight and usually not ideal, having a home setup was a lifesaver during lockdown. ...continued on next page

Deep Sea Diver’s Jessica Dobson

SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 35


MUSIC | ROCK

Is refinancing rigHt for you?

e ot m H home e e w

s

“ROLLING IN THE DEEP,” CONTINUED... “We are very grateful of the resources we have in our own home. Being on lockdown and having the ability to record things on the fly, to rehearse, play, write — it was all here,” Dobson says. “I don’t know what the hell I would’ve done without that stuff.” “It gave us some sort of sanity to have projects amidst the sort of fear, especially early on in the pandemic when we didn’t know what the nature of it was,” Mansen adds. “It gave us purpose.” Now finally heading back on the road (including dates opening for Death Cab for Cutie), Deep Sea Diver feels most refreshed and anxious. Dobsen’s The Shins bandmates keyboardist/singer/percussionist Patti King and bassist/multi-instrumentalist Yuuki Matthews are joining the core band — which also includes Elliot Jackson (guitar and synthesizer) — for this run of shows to expand the DSD sound with a five-piece arrangement. But the core of Deep Sea Diver will always be Dobson and Mansen’s married musical life, which isn’t always easy, but the results are worth it in the end.

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“It’s funny because it’s easier to [openly collaborate] with other people outside of a normal relationship, but it’s a lot harder to do it with someone you’re with every day,” Dobson says. “Because the comfortability level — sometimes you can drop your professional cloak and turn into the relational, turmoil-based environment. It takes a lot of work for us to do the thing that we love, but it’s worth it.” n Deep Sea Diver with Cathedral Pearls • Tue, Sept. 14 at 8 pm • $12 • 21+, proof of vaccination or negative test within 48 hours required • Lucky You Lounge • 1801 W. Sunset Blvd. • luckyyoulounge. com • 509-474-0411


MUSIC | FAREWELL

Here They Come

of responsibility. I think I’m probably just the only one that never turned down an offer! Davy and I were also in every configuration until Davy passed. And Peter and I did some shows, just the two of us. But you see, the Monkees is not just a group, it’s this banner. It was this television show. The Monkees was not a group initially, it was a television show about a group. About a group that wanted to be the Beatles. And we never were on the television show. We never got any work and we were struggling for success. We lived in this Malibu beach house trying to get a job, trying to get noticed, trying to get a recording deal, but we never got anywhere.

The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz on farewell tours, John Lennon’s opinion and the L.A. bubble

It’s pretty remarkable what getting roles in the Monkees led to for you guys: a hit television show, pop hits on the radio, a psychedelic workout in the movie Head. Was it gratifying to go in so many directions under the Monkees name and have most of it work? The operative word is “most.” But yes, I feel blessed to have been part of it, to have been cast in it. But remember, it certainly was not just the four of us. It was the writers, producers, songwriters, record producers, directors, engineers, costars, musicians. A whole lot of people were involved in the Monkees project. John Lennon was the first one I heard make the comparison that the Monkees were like the Marx Brothers. And he was absolutely right. The Marx Brothers made those movies, and they sang and danced, and they did shtick and had adventures. And that’s what the Monkees did.

BY DAN NAILEN

T

he Monkees were never a “real” band. That’s a point that Micky Dolenz makes repeatedly and emphatically over the course of a short conversation. They were actors, he says, hired to play a band — and an unsuccessful one at that. Funny thing, though. That fake band formed by four random guys who showed up to a casting call might have been failures on the Monkees TV show, but they soon were wildly successful in real life with the music they made on the show. Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Davy Jones and Peter Tork landed the Monkees gig in 1965, and soon after the TV show hit American screens they had a No. 1 hit (the Dolenz-sung “Last Train to Clarksville”) and a No. 1 self-titled album in 1966. The Monkees TV show ended in spring 1968, but not before the not-real band released three albums in 1967, all of them hits and featuring songs like “I’m A Believer,” “Daydream Believer” and “Pleasant Valley Sunday.” In a little more than two and a half years, they sold 16 million albums, and when the show ended they continued working together as the Monkees, including in a classically weird acid trip of a movie, Head, co-written by Jack Nicholson, and tours that included various combinations of the quartet. In the mid-1980s, MTV reran the series and gave the Monkees a second burst of popularity. Jones died in 2012 and Tork in 2019, leaving Dolenz and Nesmith as the surviving Monkees, now on the road for a “farewell tour” of sorts. The Inlander talked to Dolenz about the group’s legacy, history and more. The following has been edited for length and clarity. INLANDER: Do you still get nervous when you’re starting a new tour? DOLENZ: I don’t get nervous in concert, for a rock and roll kind of show, in the same way that I would, say, doing a Broadway musical. That? Yeah, I get nerves every night. It’s a very different sort of kettle of fish. And a rock and roll concert is a bit more forgiving. A little bit laid back. You guys are calling this a “farewell tour.” Does that evoke anything different from you emotionally, knowing this might be the last real trip you guys do together? It will, I’m sure, especially toward the end when we do the last one. But I intend to still go out and do my solo shows. Mike (Nesmith), I don’t know what his intentions are. It’s just that we felt with David (Jones) and Peter (Tork) having passed — that’s why we call it “The Mike and Micky Show.” Or rather, “The Monkees Present the Mike and Micky Show.” A little bit of closure, a little bit of putting the Monkees banner to sleep.

The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz. Back when the show was originally on, the Monkees put out several albums over a couple of years in addition to making the TV show. It was intense. And since I became sort of the de facto lead singer, I would film the television show, eight to 10 hours a day, and then go and record two or three lead vocals every night. With all the work, did you even realize how popular you guys were at the time? No, not until we went on tour, because up until then we were just ensconced in the film studio and the recording studio in Los Angeles. And in Los Angeles, celebrities and famous people are kind of like furniture, so you don’t really get that walking-down-the-street response. But when we went on the road and started touring in other cities around the country, then it became very apparent. It was just insane. You’re the only member who’s been out there in every iteration of the Monkees. Do you feel some responsibility as the keeper of the flame, the one unifying figure of this rotating cast of characters? I don’t know that I ever had that feeling of any kind

As different opportunities arose over the years, did you find yourself having to talk the other guys into trying things like new music, or going on another tour? After the show went off the air and the show was canceled, the production company disbanded, the four of us basically went our separate ways. Much like the cast of any show. And sometimes you stay in touch with different cast members. I did stay in touch with David a lot, and everybody to some degree. I can only speak for myself, but over the years a manager or agent would track me down and say “I have a Monkees TV thing I’d like to put together.” And I would say, “Yeah, sure, make me an offer.” And I don’t just mean an economic offer. What’s the project? What’s the goal? What is the material? If it’s an album, what are the songs? Who is the producer? That’s always been the way it was for me. I was exposed to the Monkees when MTV started rerunning the show in the ’80s, and that led to a whole new burst of popularity. All the Monkees albums charted again. Did it feel out of the blue to have such a renewed popularity with a new audience? I was a television and film producer and director, mostly doing sitcoms for the BBC, and I’d been doing that for years, since the mid-’70s. A manager/promoter guy tracked me down in England and asked, “Would you like to get back together for a brief summer tour for a reunion of the Monkees?” I probably asked, “Is David interested? Is Peter?” And it turned out Peter and David signed on. I was certainly surprised at how successful and how long it lasted. It was supposed to be two or three months, and it turned into years. I had no idea what impact the Monkees show and music had made on the American cultural landscape. n The Monkees Farewell Tour • Fri, Sept. 10 at 8 pm • $47.50-$95 • First Interstate Center for the Arts • 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. • firstinterstatecenter.org • 509-279-7000

SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 37


YOUNG KWAK PHOTO

COMMUNITY ‘MORE FUN IN ’21’

If anything’s certain in these uncertain times, it’s probably this year’s Spokane County Interstate Fair slogan, “More fun in 2021,” considering that last year’s festivities were entirely canceled. And while we’ve seen plenty of soapbox stances that this year’s fair should be, too, alongside Hoopfest and Pig Out, it’s still on, and organizers have created a rigorous safety and cleaning plan to keep everyone safe. A full FAQ on mask mandates and other guidelines can be found on Spokane County’s website, but the key takeaway is this: Masks are required in all indoor venues, during Grandstand events and while on any rides, and are recommended when outdoors. So whether you’re heading to the demolition derby, PRCA rodeo, or to catch Billy Currington (Sept. 14) or Vince Neil (Sept. 15) as this year’s music headliners, don a mask, and maybe just consider it a privilege that this community event is actually happening at all. — CHEY SCOTT Spokane County Interstate Fair • Fri, Sept. 10 through Sun, Sept. 19 • $13/adults; $10/ages 7-13, 65+ and military • Spokane County Fair & Expo Center • 404 N. Havana St. • spokanecounty.org • 509-477-2787

38 INLANDER SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

ARTS ROLL WITH IT

COMEDY MYSTERY MAN

INK! Print Rally • Sat, Sept. 11 from 1-7 pm • Free • All ages • Emerge • 112 N. Second St., Coeur d’Alene • emergecda.com

Creed Bratton • Sun, Sept. 12 at 7 pm • $27-$32 • Bing Crosby Theater • 901 W. Sprague Ave. • bingcrosbytheater.com • 509227-7638

What do asphalt rollers, printmaking, music, art, food trucks and a community block party all have in common? Answer: They’re all part of this year’s fifth annual INK! Print Rally hosted in midtown Coeur d’Alene by arts nonprofit Emerge. Head on down to partake in all-ages printmaking activities at booths hosted by local artists and makers, then head to the beer garden for a pint and grab a bite from a food truck. The main attraction of this annual printmaking fest is a super-scaled-up printing demonstration utilizing an asphalt roller to transfer designs from 4-foot-by-5-foot carved wood panels onto huge pieces of fabric. INK’s theme this year is “Things That Go Bump in the Night: Monsters, Creatures and Urban Legends,” so expect, perhaps, some artistic homages to famous Northwest cryptids and more. Funds from the rally help Emerge continue to offer free and affordable arts education to local youth and adults. — CHEY SCOTT

There are a lot of characters on the Office who could qualify as my favorite depending on the day, but Creed certainly ranks up there. Between his weirdo one-liners and occasionally menacing presence, he certainly was unlike anyone else at Dunder Mifflin. Of course, that was just acting by the real life Creed Bratton, a guy who first made a name for himself as a musician in the 1960s as a member of the Grass Roots. Bratton wrote songs for the band and sang lead on a few tunes, too, but eventually left the Grass Roots to find solo success — finding it in acting rather than on concert stages. Now he mixes both artistic pursuits, delivering concerts that veer a bit into comedy. His latest album, 2020’s Slightly Altered, has Bratton back on the road, and playing Spokane for one night only. Proof of vaccination or recent negative test required, as are masks. — DAN NAILEN


GET LISTED!

Submit events online at Inlander.com/getlisted or email relevant details to getlisted@inlander.com. We need the details one week prior to our publication date.

MUSIC BETTER NOT (MISS IT)

Some people hear the description “EDM” or “DJ duo” and immediately lose interest in what you’re saying, certain that they don’t like “that music.” But if ever there were a duo to prove the mainstream appeal of a lot of modern electronic music, Louis the Child is it. They found success stupidly young, collaborating with The Chainsmokers on 2016’s mass hit “Closer” when they were still in high school. Now, they’re only just hitting their mid-20s as they tour with hits under their belt like “It’s Strange” and “Better Not.” Come join the fun dance vibes at the Pavilion for this midweek show and find some upbeat songs that will help keep the summer vibes going strong. — SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL

ADVANCING NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH IN THE INLAND NORTHWEST AND AROUND THE WORLD

Do you or a loved one have:

• Parkinson’s Disease (PD) • Huntington’s Disease • Essential Tremor • Multiple Sclerosis

We also have genetic testing available for Parkinson’s Disease Please call: 509-960-2818 to learn more about our clinical research trials

Louis the Child with Jai Wolf (DJ set) and Evan Giia • Wed, Sept. 15 at 6 pm • $30/advance, $40/door • All ages • Pavilion at Riverfront Park • 574 N. Howard St. • spokanepavilion.com

MUSIC THE OFFSPRING

For music fans of a certain ilk, the Allman Betts Band won’t need an introduction, given that Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts are Southern rock royalty, and this new band led by their sons Devon Allman and Duane Betts doesn’t fall far from the Allman Brothers Band’s sonic tree. Both famous sons play guitar and sing, and while they’ll certainly be doing some familiar tunes of their dads’, the Allman Betts Band is developing their own sound as they age. Their sophomore album, Bless Your Heart, arrived mid-pandemic and revealed some serious maturation since their debut. If a night of slippery slide guitar workouts and rock ’n’ roll you can actually dance to sounds like your thing (and of course it should be), give the Allman Betts Band a spin and consider stopping by their Spokane gig. In Marc Ford, formerly of the Black Crowes, they have a seriously kicking opener on tap as well. Proof of vaccination or negative test required, as are masks during the show. — DAN NAILEN Allman Betts Band with Marc Ford and River Kittens • Sat, Sept. 11 at 8 pm • $38-$60 • Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox • 1001 W. Sprague Ave. • foxtheaterspokane.org • 509-624-1200

restaurant week market week

visit whatcom county

Farm week seafood week

sustainableconnections.org SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 39


south down the right side of the road. You just couldn’t wait for our meet cute to begin. You rushed through the intersection near Garry Middle School and jumped from the right to the left side to sweep me off the street. Maybe it was my headlamp in your eyes or maybe it was the six-foot blind spot in front of your hood, but when I blew a soft kiss your way, you didn’t respond. Before I could get your name and tell you all the things that I’ve been dreaming of, you were gone. I guess it was all a big joke. It’s OK, though because I get it now. It’s funny because it’s attempted murder.

I SAW YOU DWIGHT MERKEL DOG PARK I saw you… Dwight Merkel complex almost a few times a week. Usually evenings. You’re walking your dog alone. Big dog, some type of hypoallergenic poodle mix. Think you called her Ruby once. Maybe not. My dog insists on smelling yours. I think Ruby, if that’s her name, has a goodlooking dad, and I’d like to say hello and that you’re cute and hoping also single! If this sounds like you, send a pic of you and your dog to aliciro1@icloud.com

I SAW YOU AGAIN I saw you, and against my better judgment went with you and heard you talk, and we had fun again; but when you left back to the valley, I fell in love with you again, and we talk but you’re so stuck on the past and you believe so many lies and some of the things you think about me are so bad and so far off anything real I barely believe you can agree that it’s even possible. I’ve only ever loved you and somehow you have led yourself to use this belief against me and for your compromises in life so I’m still so much in love with you and confused?

CHEERS

MY MAN OF STEEL To the hunk at Spokane Valley Fitness Center every day. I’m not sure the gym has enough weight for you and with those LuLu Lemon shorts you were wearing, they may just need to put out a wet floor sign. With everything you lift every day, why haven’t you ever tried to pick me up?

THANK YOU To Kendall Yards Residents: Thank you for not ignoring the homeless. For recognizing our humanity. For smiles and hellos. For seeing a need and putting in a porta potty. Bless you all.

HIPSTER BAR BARTENDER From the moment you walked in the door, I knew you are my kinda people. You bought a nectar collector, and your name started with an S. Super cute, you collect toys, and I showed you my newest creation/ toy. Email me @ fixedonflow@gmail.com if you’d like to get to know me.

MOTORCYCLES AND FOUR-WHEELERS Tonight on my WALK on the Centennial Trail through Kendall Yards — LITERALLY (LOL!!!!) at the Inlander office — I almost got mowed down by two motorcycles and a four-wheeler on the trail! I’ve written about the speeding bikes (15 mph limit —again lol!!) that use the paved trail as a “Velodrome,” weaving in and out of pedestrians who are taking their lives in their hands to walk. However, the Inlander has STEADFASTLY REFUSED

I GET IT You: going north on the right hand side of north standard in your black extended cab pickup. Me: riding my bike

JEERS

SOUND OFF

to include those submissions of concern in the weekly rag. Not PC to talk about loss of life because of a speeding bicycle. After all, Bikes = Good. No matter WHAT they are doing. When the last small business closes down in this city if it’s up to the short sighted Citizens at least we’ll have 81 MILLION Dollars worth of Bike

OPINIONATED VACCINE POSTINGS Jeers to the pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine opinions. It seems like increasingly those who have the strongest opinions have no education or experience in the fields of infectious disease, public health or immunology. So, why don’t you focus on anything that you actually know

Worst road maintenance in the state. Washboard roads are beyond belief.

paths. OH! MORE places for motorcycles and four-wheelers to ride! Pedestrians? Watch out!!! CATHY MCMORRIS ROGERS You and your party have been lecturing us on the horrible burden Social Security and Medicare are to our country. You whine constantly about any social program that helps people in need. However, it is perfectly OK with you to shit 2.6 TRILLION dollars of our national treasure down the drain on a God Forsaken War for 20 YEARS. That is 3 MILLION dollars every damned day. 2.6 trillion...$2,600,000,000,000.00..... that’s a lot of zeros, Cathy. Your party got us into this stupid war, and you were OK with all the waste it created, so I don’t want to hear one damned word about Social Security going broke again...GOT THAT? You and the American Taliban (REPUBLICANS) can go to hell! COUNTY COMMISSIONERS IGNORE ROADS Worst road maintenance in the state. Washboard roads are beyond belief. Calling 477-3600 to report terrible road conditions gets nowhere. The road crews must be doing ‘yeoman’s work if you ask Al “Washboard” French. Vehicles are taking beatings, and it’s a disgrace and an embarrassment to have guests from out of state. Consider your vote in November. MASK YOUR BOOTY!!! So I go into store

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

Please Join Us for The 17th Annual

with no mask and was quickly told to put one on by a teenage girl with no bra wearing a white wife beater with your nipples sticking out. Also your pants were so low that I could see your butt crack when you turned around. Shouldn’t you focus on the basics like wearing a bra and put some underwear? I believe more

nastiness comes from your butt than your mouth...just saying. BLAME, BLAME, BLAME To everyone who keeps blaming non mask wearers, and those who keep blaming people who haven’t been vaccinated, do yourself a favor, and stop watching Cuomo and Lemon and MSNBC. I have taken the mask wearing very seriously, still do. I most certainly stay away from people, and make sure people don’t get too close to me. I will be 50 in a few months; my mommy taught me the importance of hand washing some 45 years ago. I am fully vaccinated, and guess what? I still got infected with COVID! And then there are those who say, “if you don’t vaccinate, then you have no business going to the hospital.” Really? By that logic, the same thing should be said to those who eat saturated fats, processed foods, go through the fast food drive-thru multiple times a week, get zero exercise. Hey, you have diabetes, bad heart, need help putting your shoes on and wiping your own butt, that’s your fault. Heart attack? Too bad. You should have known better. OWNING THE LIBS As the anti-vaxxer, anti-maskers who lie intubated fighting for their life in the ICU suffer from COVID19, I wonder how many of them are thinking about how they really owned the libs. Id-i-ot-ic!!!

POWER TOOL GUY ON WEST EIGHTH Hey guy on W 8th Ave who uses loud power tools every single weekend: You are forever robbing us of pleasant weekends! No nice walks, no breeze through our windows... just loud sawing/grinding all the time from you! WE HATE YOU! Sincerely, all of your neighbors. n

THIS WEEK'S ANSWERS T E C A T E S

B R A I S E D

Y A R N G S A M U A T D Z Y E V E A N S

S O L E

H A I R

O M R A E H G E R M A N

I K O I K O

A T O I

M E N N E A N L U M L O L L

O N I N

M O R E

U S N H S O E V E L I D A P R B L E C A E S S E F O R R D A O T C

T O W R O P E

A L L Y A L L

T I S R E O

O N E P A G E

D E M I L L E

D O E E Y E S

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

ONLINE

Our largest fundraising event for the American Childhood Cancer Organization Inland NW. Open for anyone to view, donate, and bid online to win silent auction items. The “Home Event Sponsor” package is $500 or individual tickets $75. visit the event website at: one.bidpal.net/accoin/welcome

40 INLANDER SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

O Z Z F E S T

I P A D I Z I L K S A W N B S E A U R N

Light the Way Aucо

Let’s shine our lights so bright that they will be seen from the moon!

something about? Reading/watching the opinions of others and rehashing it doesn’t make you an expert. It just makes you a foolish parrot. Leave the opinions to those with the education and experience to actually know what they’re talking about. Instead, maybe you can write a treatise on a subject you know well: The best way to retrieve lint from the belly button. Here is the answer in advance to your pathetic driveling rebuttal. “Duh!”

For additional information, please contact Leslie Woodfill at 509-995-5431 or lesliewoodfill@accoinlandnw.org

Sept 25th 7pm


EVENTS | CALENDAR

BENEFIT

ROCK THE RUNWAY The Arc of Spokane hosts its annual fashion show featuring its clients as models in clothing from The Arc Thrift Store. Also includes live and silent auctions, raffles and more. Sept. 16, 6 pm. $100. Historic Flight Foundation, 5829 E. Rutter Ave. arc-spokane.org 16TH ANNUAL CVR POW/MIA RIDE The Combat Vet Riders host the 16th annual POW/MIA Ride (open to the public; AMA sanctioned). The event includes breakfast at 9 am, kickstands up at 11 am for a 2 to 3-hour ride, dinner at 5 pm, silent and live auctions, door prizes and live much starting at 8 pm. Register at combatvetrider.org or at the door. Sept. 18, 9 am-9 pm. $25/rider; $30/couple. Combat Vet Riders Outreach Center, 2405 N. Dick Rd. combatvetrider.org (509-270-3061 or 509-599-0484) POST FALLS HISTORICAL SOCIETY SPAGHETTI DINNER Enjoy food, a cake walk, raffles and auctions to support the Post Falls Historical Society and the Post Falls Museum. Sep. 18, 3-6 pm. $10/ adults; $5/ages 12 and under. Tilly’s, 212 E. Seventh Ave. (208-262-9940)

COMEDY

MATT MCCLOWRY Matt has been gaining national exposure recently with club, college and festival appearances from coast to coast, including a third place finish at the “World Series of Comedy” in Las Vegas. You might never know he had Asperger’s Syndrome if he didn’t talk about it onstage. Sep. 9, 7:30 pm. $8-$14. Spokane Comedy Club, 315 W. Sprague. spokanecomedyclub.com/shows/147425 DAVE LANDAU Cutting his comedic teeth as a teenager in Detroit in the Second City’s Conservatory, Dave Landau has risen to become one of the most in-demand headliners working today. He’s appeared 5 times on Comedy Central’s and AXS.TV’s “Live At Gotham” and was a finalist on season 8 of “Last Comic Standing” on NBC. Sept. 10-11 at 7:30 and 10:30 pm. Sep. 10 and Sep. 11. $22-$30. Spokane Comedy Club, 315 W. Sprague. spokanecomedyclub.com/events/46367 PREDICTABLE Technology constantly suggests what we should watch, who we should follow and even autocompletes what we we were going to say. So why not what we should improvise? The BDT players combine your suggestions with the whims of a predictive algorithm to generate hilarious improv situations. Fridays in Sept. at 7:30 pm. Rated for general audiences. $8. Blue Door Theatre, 815 W. Garland Ave. bluedoortheatre.com SAFARI Blue Door’s version of “Whose Line,” a fast-paced improv show with a few twists and turns added. Rated for mature audiences/ages 16+. Reservations recommended. Saturdays from 7:30-9 pm. $8. Blue Door Theatre, 815 W. Garland Ave. bluedoortheatre.com CREED BRATTON Mysterious, eccentric, good-hearted and downright talented are all words that have been used to describe actor and musician Creed Bratton over the years. Creed may be best known for starring as a fictional version of himself on nine seasons of the award winning, critically acclaimed NBC series “The Office.” Sept. 12, 7 pm. $27-$32. Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave. bingcrosbytheater.com (509-227-7404) THE SHINDIG SHOW WITH JIMMY SHIN Jimmy has performed on The Tonight Show, and has also appeared on the

HBO Series “LUCK” The Carson Daly New Year’s Special 2015 and most recently released the comedy special “Wok of Shame” on Amazon Prime. Sept. 12, 7:30 pm. $20. Spokane Comedy Club, 315 W. Sprague. spokanecomedyclub.com

COMMUNITY

DROP IN & PLAY Join staff, volunteers and other members of the creative community to play board and card games together in a relaxing, positive environment. Thursdays from 12-2 pm. Free. Spark Central, 1214 W. Summit Pkwy. spark-central.org (509-279-0299) WILD THINGS This show in the Campbell House targets the personal histories behind period clothing made from leather, fur and feathers to interpret the social fabric of the Campbell family’s era and tracks historical relationships with living creatures, from subsistence to fashion. Through November 2021; open Tue-Sun from 10 am-5 pm. $7-$12. Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, 2316 W. First Ave. northwestmuseum.org (509-456-3931) WSU GATEWAY PROJECT KICKOFF Learn about a project designed to connect and enhance the WSU campus and downtown Pullman. Sept. 9, 4-6:30 pm. Free and open to the public. WSU Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center, 405 SE Spokane St., Pullman. research.wsu.edu/innovation/gateway (509-335-2584) INLAND NORTHWEST PERMACULTURE CONVERGENCE Learn more about permaculture, a design science for creating sustainable human habitats. The threeday conference includes the keynote “Permaculture in Semi-arid & Summer Dry Landscapes” by Michael Pilarski, with live music, workshops on topics such as biochar, composting, plant walks, gardening and much more. Sept. 10-12. At Casler Farm in Clark Fork, Idaho. inlandnorthwestpermaculture.com ENDLESS SUMMER NIGHT MARKET & STREET FAIR An outdoor block party and market with live music and performances, art, food and drink, local vendors of clothing, art and more. At Second and Lakeside, downtown Coeur d’Alene. Sept. 10, 5-10 pm. (208-415-0116) UNDERSTANDING THE LATEST IPCC CLIMATE REPORT Recently the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the first comprehensive update to our understanding of climate science (Assessment Report 6 or AR6) in seven years. For this event, Gonzaga Biology Professors Hugh Lefcort and Betsy Bancroft share some of the key findings from this latest climate science report and its significance. Attendees are encouraged to come with questions and ideas for discussion. Sept. 10, 12-1 pm. Free. Gonzaga University Hemmingson Center, 702 E. Desmet Ave. gonzaga.edu/ center-for-climate-society-environment/ events (509-313-6942) VINTAGE HALLOWEEN OPEN HOUSE WEEKEND Celebrate the changing of the seasons and the arrival of fall and Halloween decor and more during this annual event. Sept. 10 from 4-8 pm, Sept. 11 from 11 am-6 pm. Two Women Vintage Goods, 2012 E. Sprague Ave. twowomenvintagegoods.com (509-624-4322) DOZER DAY A community event where kids can hop in the driver’s seat and drive dozers, loaders, excavators and much more while learning about building sustainable communities, industry opportunities and public safety. Sept. 11 and 12 from 11 am-4 pm. $9-$10. Cabela’s, 101 N.

Cabela Way. (208-777-6300) LOCAL AUTHOR STORYTIME Bring your family to the Sandpoint Library as talented local authors read their stories, lead a children’s craft project, and answer questions. Book signing to follow (bring your copy; copies available for purchase at the event). Sept. 11, 10 am. Free. Sandpoint Library, 1407 Cedar St. (208-265-9565) BUILDING COMMUNITIES IN A DYING CIVILIZATION The civilization we have known is dying, posits speaker Dr. John B. Cobb, Jr. He says, “Sadly, it is not transforming itself into something that could survive. Accordingly, the death of the civilization will also be the death of billions of people as well as the extinction of thousands of species. Given that it is too late to prevent losses, what can we do? My judgement is that we can build sustainable local communities many of which can survive. If we made this global policy, even now, our losses would be greatly reduced.” Sept. 13, 4-5:15 pm. Free. gonzaga.edu/center-for-climatesociety-environment/events THE NORTHWEST BEYOND COAL: THE FIGHT TO CLOSE COLSTRIP In efforts to stop climate change: the focus has been on coal, gas and oil. Coal was always presumed to be retired first. How did we get here? Where are we now? What is next? Presented by Doug Howell. Sept. 13, 4-5:15 pm. Free. gonzaga.edu/centerfor-climate-society-environment/events KHQ/WORKSOURCE VIRTUAL JOB FAIR The annual job fair is virtual this year through Premier Virtual, WorkSource Spokane’s online job fair platform. Register to discover your next great career opportunity. Sept. 14, 11 am-2 pm. Free. spokaneworkforce.org THURSDAY NIGHT LIVE (TNL) This summer the MAC remains open late once a month with half-off admission (members free). TNL offers a fun, engaging mix of live music, gallery cruising, scheduled guided exhibit talks led by museum staff, public talks, artist workshops and/ or demonstrations and periodic exhibit openings. The Museum also sells bottled water, soft drinks, beer and wine (21+), and the MAC store is open. For an updates on monthly TNL programs and events, check the MAC’s website or Facebook page. Third Thursday of the month from June through Sept. $6. Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, 2316 W. First Ave. northwestmuseum.org ART, ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES SALE EVENT An art and design-focused estate sale with antique oak furniture, 20th century original American artwork and highquality prints, Arts & Crafts style lighting fixtures and décor, art glass shades, slipper shades, lamps, lighting fixtures, jewelry, watches, designer apparel and vintage fashion. Masks required for admittance. Sept. 17 and 18 from 8 am-3 pm. Moran Prairie Grange, 6006 S. Palouse Hwy. moranprairiegrange.org DUNGEONS & DRAGONS FOR TEENS Play a virtual game of Dungeons and Dragons with other teens in the Spokane area. All skill levels are welcome. Your dungeon master will have several pregenerated characters for you to choose from. We will meet in the DnD voice channel and/or DnD general channel in Discord. Sessions on Sept. 13 and 17 and Oct. 1 and 15 from 3:15-5:15 pm. events. spokanelibrary.org/event/5469775 TRIVIA: AARDMAN ANIMATIONS Answer trivia questions about favorite stopmotion claymation films from Aardman Animations, including Wallace & Gromit,

Shaun the Sheep and Chicken Run and more.Sept. 17, 6:30 pm. Free. Online; register at scld.org CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE RE-DEDICATION & RAFFLE Celebrate the anniversary of the 2004 Mayor’s proclamation with toasts, a drum and bugle corps salute, reading of the Proclamation and guest dignitaries — including the last stoplight on I-90. Enter the raffle to win a car and scores of prizes. Sep. 18, 10 am-8 pm. Free. Wallace, Idaho. wallaceid.fun DROP IN & RPG Bring your curiosity, imagination and thirst for adventure and experience the unique form of role-playing games. First and third Saturday of the month from 1-3:45 pm. Free. sparkcentral.org NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION DAY (VOLUNTEERS NEEDED) Spokane County Library District is helping make sure every citizen has the opportunity to vote. On National Voter Registration Day, volunteers and library staff are available at all branches to help update voter registration and register to vote. Event is all day during library hours on Tue, Sept. 28. Online volunteer training (required to assist) for this event is Sept. 18 from 2-3 pm and Sept. 21 from 11 am-noon. scld.org SISTER CITIES OF SPOKANE REDEDICATION CEREMONY New features in the Sister Cities Garden at Riverfront Park include a monument to Spokane’s newest Sister City, Cagli, Italy, as well as a new Kokanee statue representing the city of Spokane. Event includes speakers, music, food and more. Sept. 18, 11 am. Riverfront Park, 507 N. Howard St. spokanesistercities.org (509-625-6600) SPOKANE HERBAL FAIRE The 6th annual fair to promote the culture of herbalism to the Spokane community via education, vendors and a socially engaging platform. Includes a marketplace of artisan vendors, herbalists and knowledge. Other programs include children’s activities, a prize drawing, classes on salves, tinctures, essential oils, plant identification and more. Sept. 18, 10 am-4 pm; Sept. 19, 10 am-3 pm. $3; children free. West Central Episcopal Mission, 1832 W. Dean. spokaneherbalfaire.org

FESTIVAL

SPOKANE COUNTY INTERSTATE FAIR The Spokane County Interstate Fair is back with “More Fun in 2021” for its 70th anniversary celebration. Sept. 10-19; complete schedule of events and performances online. $10-$13. Spokane County Fair & Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St. thespokanefair.com (509-477-2787) 50TH ODESSA DEUTSCHESFEST The community festival offers attractions for all ages, including authentic German food made from recipes passed down through generations, a biergarten, live music, parade, kids zone, street vendors and more. Sept. 16 from 6-11 pm; Sept. 1718 from 7 am-1 am; Sept. 18 from 7 am-2 pm. Free admission. Odessa, Hwy 21 and Hwy 28. deutschesfest.com

FILM

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN A special family movie night under the stars in the museum’s amphitheater. Showing is Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, the second movie in the fantasy-comedy trilogy starring Ben Stiller and based on the children’s book The Night at the Museum by Milan Trenc. The MAC café and exhibits also have extended hours until

7:30 pm (regular admission applies). Kids five and under free; advance registration is encouraged. Sept. 10, 8 pm. $5. Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, 2316 W. First Ave. northwestmuseum.org “THE S WORD” SCREENING FOR WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY To celebrate World Suicide Prevention Day, FailSafe for Life is screening the “The S Word.” The film was made to encourage open discussion about suicide without judgement, shame or discrimination, and to get the community thinking about suicide in a different way. Sept. 10, 7-9 pm. Free; donations welcome. Magic Lantern Theatre, 25 W. Main. theswordmovie.com DRIVE-IN MOVIE NIGHTS: JURASSIC PARK The HUB’s outdoor drive-in movies run through the fall. Admission is per car, and local food trucks are on site selling snacks and concessions. See website for complete schedule and COVID-19 safety policies. Sept. 11 at 7:15 pm (The Flintstones) and 9:30 pm (Jurassic Park). $20. HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave. hubsportscenter.org

FOOD & DRINK

FOOD TRUCK FRIDAYS Downtown Spokane shuts down Wall Street every Friday this summer to offer a variety of local food trucks and entertainment. Appearances by: Mixed Plate, Skewers, Crate, One Night Stand, D. Lish’s, Mangia, Mac Daddy’s, Toby’s BBQ, Tacos Camargo, Crepe Cafe Sisters, Daily Bread, Farmer’s Daughter, Ben & Jerry’s and Bombshell Sweets. Fridays from 11 am-2 pm through Sept. 24. Downtown Spokane, n/a. downtownspokane.org FRIDAY NIGHT MARKET & OPEN MIC The weekly market features area food trucks on site, along with an opportunity for local musicians to sign up for an open mic session. Also includes lawn games, crafts, and other all-ages activities. Fridays from 5-9 pm through Sept. 24. Hillyard Food Truck Pavilion, 5108 N. Market St. facebook.com/Hillyard-FoodTruck-Pavilion-100232218924654 ROCKET WINE CLASS Rocket Market hosts weekly wine classes; sign up in advance for the week’s selections. Fridays at 7 pm. Call to reserve a seat, or register online. Price varies. Rocket Market, 726 E. 43rd Ave. rocketmarket.com NORTH IDAHO ENOLOGICAL SOCIETY 40TH SEASON KICKOFF PARTY The 2021-22 season is the 40th Ruby Anniversary for the society, and after a 19-month hiatus NIES resumes in-person events. Events are open to anyone, age 21+, who enjoys learning about and tasting new wines. RSVP by Sept. 6. Sept. 11, 2-5 pm. $30. Lake City Center, 1916 N. Lakewood Dr. facebook.com/pg/enologicalsociety (208-699-0209) KILL THE KEG & SERVICE INDUSTRY NIGHT This weekly special includes $2 off select GHP beer taps, and $1 off select guest beer taps, along with a 20 percent discount for service industry patrons. Tuesdays from 3-9 pm. The Golden Handle Project, 111 S Cedar St. goldenhandle. org (509.868.0264) HISTORICAL TOURS Take a guided stroll around the estate’s grounds while hearing tales of its early days. Tickets include a beverage (glass of wine, beer, or choice of non-alcoholic drink). Sept. 15 and 29 at 4:30 pm and 5:30 pm. $15. Commellini Estate, 14715 N. Dartford Dr. commellini. square.site/ (509-466-0667)

SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 41


EVENTS | CALENDAR MEDICAL PERSONNEL APPRECIATION NIGHT All medical and healthcare personnel, students, staff and professionals receive a 20 percent discount off all GHP beer and food. Wednesdays from 3-9 pm. 3-9 pm. The Golden Handle Project, 111 S Cedar St. goldenhandle.org

MUSIC

CHAD MITCHELL TRIO BOOK SIGNING Celebrate the publication of a book about the group whose music had a profound influence on the social and political awareness of a generation. Includes video of performances during the peak of the 60s folk music era, and during their reunion years. Meet members Mike Kobluk and Chad Mitchell. Sept. 9, 5-7:30 pm. Free. First Interstate Center for the Arts, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. mikemurpheybooks.com (993-3319) COMPLETE BEETHOVEN SONATAS FOR CELLO AND PIANO This program caps off BachFest’s 2020 celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, featuring Zuill Bailey, cello, and Elizabeth DeMio, piano. Sept. 9, 7 pm. $20/$55. Barrister Winery, 1213 W. Railroad Ave. nwbachfest.com (509-465-3591) MUSIC ON MAIN Music on Main happens in Pullman’s Pine Street Plaza each Thursday evening from 6-8 pm through September. Enjoy local artists and bands; follow the Pullman Chamber’s Facebook for updates. Free. pullmanchamber.com BRIDGES HOME Tami Belzer Gunter and Dave Gunter deliver a captivating array of musical styles: High energy Celtic, oldtime and bluegrass; Delta blues; footstomping roots music; haunting Irish ballads and finely crafted instrumentals. Sept. 10, 7-8:30 pm. By donation. Harrington Opera House, 19 S. Third St. facebook.com/events/431801604826217 FACULTY ARTIST SERIES: JULIE WIECK, SOPRANO Featuring Julie Anne Wieck, soprano, with Sophia Tegart, flute; David Turnbull, trumpet; Jacqueline Wilson, bassoon; Jill Schneider, organ; Elena Panchenko, piano. Sep. 10, 7:30 pm. Free. Bryan Hall Theatre (WSU), 605 Veterans Way. events.wsu.edu/event/faculty-artist-series-dr-julie-wieck MUSIC AT THE WINERY Doors open at 5 pm; reservations required. Bring a picnic dinner or order a grazing box from Beacon Hill Catering (orders must be placed by noon the day before). Find updates on who’s playing each week on the winery’s Facebook page. Music happens Wednesdays and Fridays from 7-9 pm. Free. Barrister Winery, 1213 W. Railroad Ave. facebook.com/BarristerWinery ANA POPOVIC The award-winning, hard-touring, guitar slinger and singer is back on the road promoting her new album ‘Like It On Top’, that focuses on empowered, successful, inspiring female role models. Sept. 11, 7 pm. $27. Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave. bingcrosbytheater.com (509-227-7404) NORTHWEST BACHFEST PRESENTS: EROICA TRIO Artistic Director Zuill Bailey performs with Eroica Trio members Sara Parkins, violin; Sara Sant’Ambrogio, cello; and Erika Nickrenz, piano. Sept. 1314 at 7 pm. $20/students; $45/general. Barrister Winery, 1213 W. Railroad Ave. foxtheaterspokane.org (509-465-3591) STARSHOOTERS SQUARE DANCE LESSONS Beginner-friendly square dance lessons and dancing; open to all ages and skills. Sept. 15, 7-9 pm. $5. Western Dance Center, 1901 N. Sullivan Rd. SquareDanceSpokane.org (509-329-8825)

42 INLANDER SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

SPORTS & OUTDOORS

CLASS & A GLASS A special evening of yoga and Pilates, live music and wine on the MAC campus’ grand lawn. Appropriate for all skill levels. The class is led by respected author and Pilates industry innovator Larkin Barnett. Live music is provided Chris Kohut and Danny McCollum. After yoga, wind down with a “wine down” social hour in the museum’s amphitheater. Ticket includes first glass of wine (21+) or bottle of water during the social hour. Sept. 9, 5:15-8 pm. $35. Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, 2316 W. First Ave. northwestmuseum.org CHAFE 150 Sandpoint Rotary presents the 14th Annual CHAFE 150 Gran Fondo, named one of the top charity rides in the U.S. The 150 mile route is a grand loop around the Cabinet Mountains. There’s also 100, 80, 40, and 25 mile routes for riders of any level. Proceeds support literacy programs in the Lake Pend Oreille School District and other community efforts. Sept. 11. $50-$75. chafe150.org BACK TO NATURE TRAIL RUN Mt. Spokane is partnering with Negative Split as a host site for its Trail Run Series. The event is open to all levels of runners. After the race, relax with a beer and enjoy views from the Mt. Spokane Lodge 2 deck. Sept. 12, 8 am-1 pm. $50-$85. Mt. Spokane State Park, 26107 N. Mt. Spokane Park Dr. nsplit.com (509-238-2220) CLASSIC VW CAMPER VAN & BUS SHOW The Spokane and North Idaho Volkswagen Van and Bus Meetup invite the community to stop by REI Spokane and take a close up look at members’ classic 30-40 year old campervans. Volkswagen vans/buses are showcased on the REI Patio. Peek inside, meet van and bus owners, and get to know van-Life and “living small.” Current Covid guidelines will be followed. Sept. 12, 1-4 pm. Free. REI, 1125 N. Monroe St. rei.com GOODBYE SUMMERTIME! FAMILY MOUNTAIN DAY Celebrate the changing seasons with a fun family day on the mountain. In addition to the Mt. Spokane Trail Run, enjoy live music at the bar, pick up your season pass, take a hike, sit in the new PistenBully Snow Cat and more. Sept. 12, 10 am-4 pm. Free. Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park, 29500 N. Mt. Spokane Park Dr. mtspokane.com THE BASICS OF ORIENTEERING Members of the Eastern Washington Orienteering Club present the basics of map and compass navigation, using their own detailed maps of Manito Park for illustration. The lecture is delivered online via Zoom; sign up at link. Sept. 18, 11 am12:30 pm. Free. thefriendsofmanito.org COEUR D’FONDO A breathtaking course around Lake Coeur d’Alene with fully stocked aid stations. This year’s event offers five distances from 15 miles up to nearly 120 miles. Sep. 18. $55-$120. nsplit.com

THEATER

HOLE IN THE SKY: A 9/11 DRAMA This drama by Reed McColm reveals the story of people trapped above the point of impact in the North Tower of the World Trade Center, on the morning of September 11, 2001. Showcasing the very human nature of the lives lost and the shattering of memories, hopes and love, this play keeps alive the memory and humanity of all whose lives were lost in the attack.

Directed by Rebecca Cook, this drama streams live on Zoom. Sept. 11, 7-9 pm. Free. StageLeftTheater.org/tickets THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES A special one-night-only reprisal of Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre’s 2021 production of this off-Broadway hit, set during the 1958 Springfield High School prom. Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy and Suzy are four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts. As we learn about their lives and loves, the girls serenade with classic ‘50s hits including “Lollipop,” “Dream Lover,” “Stupid Cupid,” and “Lipstick on Your Collar.” Sep. 11, 7:30 pm. $25. Kroc Center, 1765 W. Golf Course Rd. kroccda.org (208-667-1865) TERROR IN TRANSYLVANIA All of the underworld is invited to Dracula’s 500th birthday celebration! During the night of spooktacular fun, one of the party-goers ends up in a grave they’ve dug for themselves... Perhaps the murderer will be bewitching with a cross to bear? Sept. 11, 6-9 pm. $29-$49. Crime Scene Entertainment, 1701 N. Fourth. (208-369-3695) STAGE LEFT SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT PARTY Stage Left reveals its 2022 season. Guests can also see changes made to the theater. Includes an open bar and snack foods, plus musical guest Robby French. Proof of vaccination required. Sept. 12, 7-10 pm. $40 (limited to 50 guests). Stage Left Theater, 108 W. Third Ave. stagelefttheater.org

VISUAL ARTS

AMERICAN ORIGINAL: THE LIFE AND WORK OF JOHN JAMES AUDUBON An exclusive selection of original prints, paintings, manuscripts and personal possessions that together tell the incredible story of a man who overcame so many obstacles to attain international recognition through his creativity and initiative on projects such as the ubiquitous “The Birds of America.” Through Sept. 19; TueSun 10 am-5 pm. $5-$12. Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, 2316 W. First Ave. northwestmuseum.org (509-456-3931) BLACK LIVES MATTER ARTIST GRANT EXHIBITION This showcase celebrates and showcases 20 Washington artists using their voices, experiences, and artistic expression toward social justice efforts in response to systemic racism. Sept. 7-Dec. 18. Free. Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU, 1535 NE Wilson Rd. museum.wsu. edu (509-335-1910) OPENING RECEPTION: PASTEL EXHIBIT The JACC hosts its second annual pastel exhibit, featuring beautiful paintings and refreshments. Show on display Sept. 10Oct. 2. The Leon Atkinson classical guitar concert follows the reception; tickets are available online. Sept. 10, 5:30-7:30 pm. Free. The Jacklin Arts & Cultural Center, 405 N. William St. thejacklincenter.org SECOND FRIDAY ARTWALK Join the community to stroll the streets of downtown Coeur d’Alene and enjoy locally and nationally acclaimed artists, along with local shops, restaurants and businesses. Sept. 10, 5-8 pm. Free. (208-415-0116) INK! PRINT RALLY Enjoy interactive printmaking booths with activities for all ages, local artisans and makers, live music, food trucks and a beer garden. In the center of the parking lot, large-scale prints are created using 5’ x 4’ carved wood panels, an asphalt roller and fabric. Sept. 11, 1-7 pm. Free. Emerge, 119 N. Second St. emergecda.com SECOND ANNUAL YART SALE Enjoy an afternoon of shopping through a collec-

tion of pre-owned art, including originals and prints of landscapes, abstracts and more in a variety of mediums. Many pieces are framed and ready to hang. Sep. 11, 12-6 pm. Free admission. Coeur d’Alene Chamber Visitors Center, 105 N. First St. artsandculturecda.org SECOND SATURDAYS Downtown Palouse welcomes visitors to enjoy its community, shops, restaurants and park. This monthly event is an opportunity for safe gathering, live music, celebration, shopping, and socializing. Second Saturdays from 10 am-2 pm through Nov. 1. Palouse, Wash. visitpalouse.com DEDICATION OF HAROLD BALAZS LITURGICAL COLLECTION The Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d’Alene was recently given the opportunity to steward a collection of 1956 liturgical works by the late Harold Balazs. The collection represent the stations of the cross, and were in a church that was set to close its doors. Another local church undergoing renovation had the opportunity to redesign a wall to fit the entire collection. The public can now see these works be dedicated in their new home. Sept. 12, 8, 9:30 & 11 am. Free. St. Luke Lutheran Church, 9706 N. Division St. sllcspokane.org ACRYLIC PAINTING WITH TOM QUINN Students are introduced to the highly forgiving, versatile medium of acrylic paint. Meets Wednesdays from 10 amnoon, Sept. 15-Oct. 20. $120. Spokane Art School, 811 W. Garland Ave. spokaneartschool.net ART HISTORY WITH TOM QUINN A slideshow and lecture series on the history of art, mostly European and American. Meets Wednesdays from 3-5 pm, Sept. 15-Oct. 20. Sep. 15, 3-5 pm. $120. Spokane Art School, 811 W. Garland Ave. spokaneartschool.net (509-325-1500)

WORDS

AUNTIE’S BOOK CLUB: NEW FICTION Auntie’s employee and host of this monthly book club Claire was a secret under-the-covers reader as a child and a secret between-rehearsals readers as a grown up ballet dancer. She started at Auntie’s in 2018 and hasn’t had to read anything in secret since! Some of her favorite writers are Marilynne Robinson, Alice Munro, Graham Green, Elif Batuman, Ben Lerner, Otessa Moshfegh, and Miriam Toews. Meets monthly on the second Thursday at 6 pm; see Auntie’s website for current title. Auntie’s Bookstore, 402 W. Main Ave. auntiesbooks.com AFTER THE BLAST: MOUNT ST. HELENS 40 YEARS LATER Ecologists have spent decades studying life’s resilience in the face of seemingly total devastation. Through their work, the eruption of Mount St. Helens has become known as the greatest natural experiment in Pacific Northwest history. In this talk, Eric Wagner takes you on a journey through the blast zone. He explores not just the surprising ways plants and animals survived the eruption, but also the complex roles that people have played, all while showing how fascinating Mount St. Helens still is 40 years after the blast. Sept. 10, 2 pm. Free. Online at humanities.org THE ANCIENT ART OF MADHUBANI PAINTING Having practiced this style of art since childhood, artist Deepti Agrawal explores the changing forms, trends, and mediums of Madhubani painting over time, while also exploring the hidden tales behind some of its most popular artworks from the early 1900s. Agrawal provides a demo and a work-along ses-

sion where participants practice the Madhubani style and learn more about its rich heritage. Sept. 11, 3 pm. Free. Online at humanities.org PURA’S CUENTOS: HOW PURA BELPRÉ RESHAPED LIBRARIES WITH HER STORIES A celebration of the publication of “Pura’s Cuentos: How Pura Belpré Reshaped Libraries with Her Stories.” This kid-focused event with author Annette Pimentel features an interactive storytime and treats. Pimentel writes true stories about real people from her home in Moscow. Sept. 11, 11 am-noon. The Kenworthy, 508 S. Main St. bookpeopleofmoscow.com (208-882-4127) DROP IN & WRITE Aspiring writers are invited to be a part of a supportive writers’ community. Bring works in progress to share, get inspired with creative prompts and spend some focused time writing. Hosted by local writers Jenny Davis and Hannah Engel. Tuesdays from 5:30-7 pm. Free. Spark Central, 1214 W. Summit Pkwy. spark-central.org TUESDAY GALLERY TALK Each second Thursday of the month, MAC staff host 20-minute guided tours of a currently showing exhibit offering a chance for visitors to more deeply engage with the art and artifacts on display. Tours are included with museum admission. Sept. 14 at 11 am. $5-$12. Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, 2316 W. First Ave. sales. northwestmuseum.org (509-456-3931) BROKEN MIC Spokane’s longest-running weekly poetry open mic. All ages, however, this is a free speech event. Food and drink specials available. Wednesdays from 6:30-9 pm. Free. Neato Burrito, 827 W. First Ave. (509-847-1234) HOW AUDIO TECHNOLOGY CHANGED THE WORLD Veteran broadcaster Ross Reynolds explores the impact that audio transmission has had on society and storytelling, beginning with the first century of radio up to the modern age of audiobooks, internet streaming, podcasts, and smart speakers. Sept. 15, 1 pm. Free. Online at humanities.org TREVOR BOND: COMING HOME TO NEZ PERCE COUNTY A celebration of Bond’s new book “Coming Home to Nez Perce Country” with selected readings, images and a Q&A. Books available in-store and online from Bookpeople of Moscow. Dr. Bond is the Associate Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collections at the Washington State University Libraries. Sept. 15, 7-8 pm. Free. The Kenworthy, 508 S. Main. bookpeopleofmoscow.com THE CONDORS OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST Spokane teacher, naturalist and author Jack Nisbet, who’s written several collections and books that explore human and natural history, provides Pacific Northwest context for John James Audubon’s famous condor painting; as well as others of Audubon’s works. Sep. 16, 6:30 pm. $10. Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, 2316 W. First Ave. northwestmuseum.org DYING TO EXPLORE: THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF SIR JOHN FRANKLIN’S 3RD ARCTIC EXPEDITION Dr. Robert Park (University of Waterloo, Ontario) presents on the centuries-long challenge of finding a navigable sailing route through the Canadian Arctic that drew European explorers into that daunting region, culminating in 1845 with Sir John Franklin’s third, ill-fated expedition. Sept. 16, 6:308 pm. Free. Online at us02web.zoom. us/j/85928497857 (509-313-6691) n


Headlines Buzz Oregon marijuana raid, Schedule I research recommendations and psilocybin make news BY WILL MAUPIN

L

ast Thursday, Sept. 2, was a rather busy news day in the cannabis and drug policy space, around our region and nationally. Here are three big stories you might have missed.

DRUG RAID IN OREGON

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office in Central Oregon concluded a long-term investigation with the raid of a large, illegal cannabis grow operation just outside Bend last week. The sheriff’s office said in a statement that the operation had nearly 50 greenhouses, nearly

Some in Washington state would like patients to have the “right to try” psilocybin. 3,000 pounds of processed cannabis and more than 9,000 individual plants. The sheriff alleges that a Mexican cartel is behind the operation and was using migrant workers at the site as a source of involuntary labor. This is not the first cartelaffiliated cannabis grow operation to be busted in recent months. Officials in California seized $1.19 billion in cartel-grown cannabis this past July.

WHITE HOUSE EYES RESEARCH

The White House Office of National Drug Control

Policy presented to Congress recommendations on, well, drug control policy last week. Mostly focused on fentanyl, a synthetic opioid considerably stronger and more dangerous than heroin, the recommendations also concern cannabis. Specifically, research into cannabis and other substances listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. The office is asking Congress to simplify the process researchers must follow in order to legally study substances listed in Schedule I. “The Biden-Harris ...continued on page 46

SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 43


GREEN ZONE

NOTE TO READERS Be aware of the differences in the law between Idaho and Washington. It is illegal to possess, sell or transport cannabis in the State of Idaho. Possessing up to an ounce is a misdemeanor and can get you a year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine; more than three ounces is a felony that can carry a five-year sentence and fine of up to $10,000. Transporting marijuana across state lines, like from Washington into Idaho, is a felony under federal law.

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Advice Goddess THE CAMERA SUTRA

I really like the girl I’m dating, except for one thing. On every date, she asks me to take photos of her for Instagram. Afterward, she consults me repeatedly on which will “get the most likes.” I’m starting to get really annoyed, and I find it cuts into my enjoyment of our time together. She even did this on my birthday! —Irritated

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“HEADLINES BUZZ,” CONTINUED... Administration strongly supports expanding the research of Schedule I substances to help advance evidence-based public policy,” the statement says.

PSILOCYBIN ON THE NINTH CIRCUIT

Psilocybin, the active chemical in most psychedelic mushrooms, was on the docket for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week. Lawyers from the Seattle-based Advanced Integrative Medical Science Institute, along with Washington Deputy Solicitor General Peter Gonick, argued that terminally ill patients should have access to psilocybin under so-called “right to try” laws.

46 INLANDER SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

Those laws allow terminally ill patients access to treatments that are experimental or not fully approved. Washington is one of 41 states to have a right-to-try law on its books. Interest in psilocybin therapy has grown in recent years. Last fall Oregon voters passed a ballot measure legalizing psilocybin mushrooms in regulated, therapeutic settings. Psilocybin has shown promise in treating anxiety and depression, two issues often seen in terminally ill patients. The court did not rule on the case at that time. n

Psychologist Erich Fromm wrote, “Mature love says: ‘I need you because I love you.’” He died in 1980, 30-some years before Instagram-infused love: “I need you, love, because my telescoping selfie stick won’t fit in my cute purse.” This girl’s far from alone in turning every occasion short of stints on the toilet into a photo op. Social media (and Instagram especially) transformed fishing for compliments into a business model. #admirationvampires Some young women — especially 20-somethings with a still-murky sense of identity — might feel they don’t exist in any meaningful way if they don’t post pix and videos of themselves to score likes and gain followers. #KeepingUpWithTheInstadashians There’s also the lure of easy money for those who can rack up an audience: potentially making big “influencer” bucks just by showing up to events in some pop-up shop’s dress and striking a bunch of poses they copied off Beyonce. Chances are you went on Tinder or Hinge or whatever in hopes of landing a girlfriend, not unpaid work as a photographer. Saying yes to taking this girl’s pic the first time — before you realized it would be an every-date thing — probably seemed like a one-off request and thus not a big deal. But now you’re annoyed that you’re constantly being pressed into photo slavehood. Even your birthday got co-opted into a #MeMeMeMe #takemypicture celebration of her personal “brand.” The problem is not that she’s asking but that you keep going along with photographing her. There’s a way out of this — and a way to get women to respect you instead of seeing you as a chump they can use and eventually lose — and it’s assertiveness. Social psychologist Daniel Ames and his colleagues define assertiveness as “the degree to which someone stands up” for their own needs and interests “when they are faced with someone else who does not want the same outcomes.” Assertiveness allows you to be in charge of your life instead of becoming the tool of anyone who wants to use you: basically living like an insect that gets batted around by a cat. People who default to a passive approach — just doing whatever’s asked of them, no matter how they dread it — often have a deep fear of rejection. They act on the mistaken belief that “the way to be accepted and appreciated by others is to give and give,” explains clinical psychologist Randy Paterson. This isn’t to say you should live like an accountant, calculating to the penny or the calorie whether the give and take between you and another person is exactly 50/50 at all times. What matters is your motivation: giving to a woman because it feels good to make her happy or, say, safer (like if you install burglar-frustrating thingies on her windows). That’s healthy giving — in contrast with emotionally indentured Boy Scout-hood: fulfilling the terms of a contract that exists only in your head, in which you re-sod a woman’s lawn, rotate her tires, and/or become her pro bono “palace photographer” so she won’t kick you to the curb. This “chore-bribe your way to love ’n’ sex” model tends to work about as well as my attempt, as a lonely, picked-on little kid, to geek my way into having friends. In second grade, two girls approached me, worksheets in hand, and said they’d be my friend if I did their math homework during recess. I got to work with my thick No. 2 pencil. Maybe 10 minutes later, I finished — and they immediately succumbed to childhood amnesia. Neither girl even spoke to me again — all the way through the end of 12th grade. The willingness to assert yourself is a reflection of self-respect: the belief that you have value and have a right to be treated as if you and your needs matter. But say your current level of self-respect is on the low side. You can still act like a person with strong self-respect: Explain what you want — in this case, to retire from fashion photography and post-date photo selection. Be prepared. It’s possible she’ll ditch you for expressing the inconvenient need to quit as her Instagram documentarian. But if your needs and feelings are of little interest to her, maybe you can view getting yourself dumped by her not as a tragedy but as a point of pride: the first day of the rest of your living with self-respect. Carpe diem! (By way of carpe scrotum!) n ©2021, 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)

AMY ALKON


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