Inlander 12/08/2022

Page 1

Spokane is still in a housing crisis.

One way to combat it: Build more apartments.




Ihad some luck growing up, I’m just not sure if it was good or bad.

By the time I was 14, I’d lived in six different homes — apartments, rentals, a single-wide trailer and a small detached house. As a kid, they all felt like home. My family was there with me, and my mom described how Santa would make it to our tree despite the lack of a chimney in every new place we lived. Looking back, I see a family buffeted by near-poverty and the whims of an uncaring economy. Despite it all, my nomadic childhood is something I’m thankful for. When I see an apartment building in my lower South Hill neigh borhood, I think of the families inside. And I see Spokane’s past and future.

As more and more people are realizing, Spokane is a good place to live. Besides the natural beauty surrounding the city and its fair size, part of the reason we love it here is because we can afford to live decent lives. The last few years have endangered that fact, but there are ways to keep Spokane a place for everyone.

This week’s cover section — CITY OF DENSITY — goes into one way to do that: Build more homes closer to the city core. By profiling just a few of Spokane’s great apartments, condos, multifamily homes, whatever you want to call them, we hope to give people a reason to embrace these places where the lucky few live.

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I would love to dance competitively some time. I grew up in a wonderful studio that did not encourage competition; it encouraged personal flourishing, which was great for my mental state and technique as well. But, that’s the side of the dance world I’ve never seen, competitions and dance teams.


I would love to play soccer professionally, ironically enough. I play soccer for Whitworth, so that’s something I’ve always dreamed of. I don’t know if it’s necessarily something that will happen, but it’s a fun dream to have.

Are you following a team in the World Cup? I was following the U.S. team, but they got bumped.


I play lacrosse for Whitworth, but I’ve always been really interested in lacrosse, and I find it to be really unique.

What sports did you play growing up? In high school, I played volleyball, basketball, tennis and lacrosse.


I would like to play golf professionally. I think the environment is fun, and you can travel everywhere, and it’s a warm sport. I like the environment a lot.

Do you currently play golf? Kinda. I work at a golf course, and then I played for two years in high school.


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I’d love to compete for soccer. I played it when I was in college just for a year. I made a lot of friends, and I think it just represents a lot of nations.

Are you following a team in the World Cup? I’m seeing a guy from Ghana, so maybe Ghana.


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Works in Progress

A single Salish word — Snilíʔtn, “The Place You Are From” — prompts a poet’s insight about what home really means

The Spark Central workshop flyer came out, and I instantly committed. This collaboration immediately caught my at tention. Although I’m up to (and arguably over) my eyeballs in responsibility, far exceeding my comfort level regarding this season’s lengthy todo lists, sometimes the soul demands you simply make space. So I signed up.

The topic: “Writing About Home.” The Organization: Spark Central, a nonprofit oasis nestled in Kendall Yards supported by Spokane’s outstanding writers and dedicated to igniting “the creativity, innovation and imagination necessary for people to forge the path to their best future.” The teachers: LaRae Wiley, executive director of Sƛxatkʷ Nsəlxčin Snmaʔmáyaʔtn̓ (the Salish School of Spokane); and Laura Read, Spokane’s former poet laureate and author of “Instructions for My

Mother’s Funeral.”

On two frigid Monday “fall” evenings, after long days of teaching, I traversed icy parking lots to enter another classroom and become a student.

Salish words sound like nothing I’ve encountered. The language feels more ancient, more substantial. The sounds feel almost too slippery to grab hold of. Without baseline familiarity, my ear struggled to pick up subtle distinctions. For an entire class, I thought the word for the number one — naqs — ended with a “ps” sound (like “naps” — perhaps my need for one was evident here) rather than a “ks” sound (like “snacks” — nom nom). My lips

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Learning Salish cultivates the words to describe this place we call home.

tripped over pronunciation. My tongue was confused on whether to land on the roof of my mouth or hover somewhere in the middle to propel proper pronunciation. My cheeks puffed out to perform unfamiliar, soft (rounded?) linguistic expressions.

Challenging is perhaps a word that aptly explains the experi ence. Though by all rights, I’d have partial cause to blame this on the cold or the long days. The disquiet is mine to own.

Iknow many folks who enjoy throwing themselves into chal lenging opportunities, but I wouldn’t consider myself one. I’m more growth-mindset in theory — especially externally — a little less so in practice. I like focusing on what I’m already adept at — pouring energy into refinement, not building skills up from the bottom. I get anxious if I don’t feel confident in a successful outcome or at least in my abilities to maneuver toward one. Intel lectually, I’m aware that micro-adjustments and slow development create impactful shifts. My students teach me this lesson every semester. Internally, it’s still a struggle.

That’s one version of this story. However, attending the workshop unveiled another. I chose and completed the workshop because it was meaningful. Contrary to what my thoughts oc casionally tell me, I do know how to carve out attention, even for incremental improvement, when my heart is in the right place. I am devoted to what matters.

Learning some Salish felt like a way to live in better alignment with this land and its caretakers, honoring those who continue protecting this region and cultivating the words that can describe this beautiful place we call home. Taking classes felt like a way to bring me closer to my students’ realities. Writing alongside those who would risk pouring themselves into words and entrust ing others with them felt like a valuable act of co-creation. The workshop reminded me that despite discomfort, connection can be sacred.

The bigger revelation, however, was the subtle, slow trans formation of my view of home. My first poem on the top ic — written years ago while grieving — was a description of destruction, dark and untethered. But when given the prompt in this workshop, I arrived somewhere entirely unexpected — a place just as real but far safer and filled with more light.

Here’s a sneak peek, though I wouldn’t count on it remaining the same. The poem and I continue to be works in progress:

The world and I begin between these sturdy wooden walls called home. The real me residing within. Inside this shelter, I am most fully known. To myself. And to others who’ve been invited in.

Here, masks get neatly hung up on hooks by the door.

External validation is near meaningless inside a refuge. What does my little, squishable k əkwápaʔ (dog) care about publications or position? Unless we’re discussing the position he’s actually insistent upon — my palm, as it slowly strokes his forehead or my fingers as they tear apart strips of cold, sinewy chicken breast for his supper.

Here, safety begets discovery.

Stay tuned for the upcoming release of Spark Central’s poetry book this spring. In Salish, they do not say goodbye. They only say, “I will see you again.” I find this stunningly beautiful. Some words really make me wonder who we might become if we chose not to use them. So, with that in mind, nem heł wi čtmn — I will see you again. n

Inga N. Laurent is a local legal educator and a Fulbright scholar. She is deeply curious about the world and its con structs and delights in uncovering common points of connec tion that unite our shared but unique human experiences.

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Learning some Salish felt like a way to live in better alignment with this land and its caretakers.


Accommodating two new Spokane County commissioners will take more than finding a new place to sit

In January, two Democrats will join the Spokane County Board of Commissioners’ three sitting, reelected Republicans — bringing the total number of commissioners to five and altering the face of a govern ment body that’s been solidly red since 2006.

Thanks to redistricting, a good chunk of the districts represented by the new Democrats are within city limits. The incumbent Republicans, however, represent districts that are largely within the unincorporated, rural sections of the county.

You can see it on the map: two small, tightly-packed chunks of blue land clustered on the city of Spokane — boxed in on all sides by three large, imposing blocks of red.

Josh Kerns, who was elected to the board in 2016, says he’s especially interested in seeing how that citycounty dynamic plays out. He argues that commissioners generally vote on things like law enforcement, roads, zoning and planning that only affect people who live outside Spokane city limits, which means the two new Democratic commissioners’ constituents will not feel the impact of their votes.

But those two Democrats — Chris Jordan and Amber Waldref — don’t see themselves as representing just the city or just the county. They argue that their positions will allow for better collaboration between the city and county governments, and push the ball forward on shared issues like land development.

“We’ve kind of lived in this world where somehow if you lived in the city you don’t live in the county, but you do — you live in both,” says Waldref, a former Spokane City Council member.

Jordan, who is new to elected office and recently left his job as an assistant attorney general, brings up homelessness as one area that could benefit from better communication and a regional approach.

The new districts don’t just have the potential to alter the relationship between the city and the county — they also have potential to upend the balance of power on the Board of Commissioners itself.

The new structure puts Al French — who was elected to the board in 2011 and is its longest-serving member — in a competitive district. He narrowly won re-election with 51.5 percent of the vote this year.

French, who didn’t respond to an interview request, fought a fierce yet unsuccessful battle to stop the county board from expanding to five districts, arguing that it was a political move designed to tip the scale to Democrats.

His long tenure on the board, his previous eight years on the Spokane City Council and his narrow win could lead some to think French is in the best position to build coalitions and act as a swing vote between Waldref and Jordan on one side and Mary Kuney and Kerns on the other.

Kerns, however, doesn’t think French will be chang ing his tune anytime soon.

“Al’s always been Al,” Kerns says. “I don’t think Al’s going to change the way he is as commissioner.”

Waldref says it’s too early to know for sure, but that she does expect the power center on the board to shift.

“I do think a five-member board is going to change the center of gravity,” Waldref says. “I don’t know if it will be Commissioner French or if other commissioners will step into that. It’s going to depend on how we build relationships.”


The new county board structure French fought so hard to stop is the work of state Rep. Marcus Riccelli, a Demo crat from Spokane who in 2018 helped pass the state’s Responsible Representation Act, arguing that the county’s existing board structure didn’t properly represent the county’s growing population.

He still argues that the Spokane County Board of Commissioners has taken a “monolithic” view of how to run the county in years past. He hopes the two Demo crats will bring a “new voice to the table” — a phrase that Jordan adopted in his campaign.

French and his fellow Republicans have dominated the board for years, often voting in unison. Kerns says the three commissioners have had their debates and disagree ments, but acknowledges that they’re often on the same page policy-wise. Not anymore.

...continued on page 10
The new Spokane County Commission (from left): Chris Jordan, Amber Waldref, Al French, Josh Kerns and Mary Kuney. YOUNG KWAK PHOTO/DEREK HARRISON PHOTO ILLUSTRATION

“I think there will definitely be more debate,” Kerns says. “There’s such a large amount of issues we deal with, we’re bound to have some pretty heated discussions on some of them.”

But the Democrats are in the minority and will likely struggle to sway the vote on partisan decisions. Riccelli, Waldref and Jordan are keenly aware of that, but hope that just having a seat at the table — and platform to ar ticulate an opposing viewpoint — will help move the ball.

“Just to air those things out in public and have that dialogue, I think, will hopefully improve and perfect things,” Riccelli says.

But that all depends on the public actually showing up to hear the dialogue.

Public comment sessions at City Council meetings can notoriously stretch on for hours, well after the council’s 6 pm start. Each member of the public has just three minutes to speak their mind, but they tend to make the most of it.

But even when a contentious issue is up for vote — like whether or not to sue the state over Camp Hope, the city’s large homeless encampment — the public comment ses sions at county commissioner meetings are often empty.

French and other incumbents have defended the board meetings as complying with the Open Public Meetings Act, but critics fault the commissioners for a lack of public transparency. Agendas are often posted late and with little detail on what will actually be discussed. Unlike the City Council, the commissioners hold their meetings in the middle of the day.

Jordan and Waldref both think there’s room for improvement. They say improving transparency is a pri ority they’re interested in pushing when they take office.


It’s hard to overstate just how historic the new board structure is. Spokane County has been run by a board of three commissioners for 143 years. Now that there are five, no one knows exactly what’s going to happen.

“I kinda feel like we’re the guinea pig,” Waldref says. “Everything is going to be new and different, so you just have to approach it with a lot of grace.”

It’s a busy time. Jordan is in Olympia this week for a newly elected officials training, and Waldref is tied up meeting with county leaders and watching videos of old commission meetings.

In the Public Works building on the county campus, construction is underway on three new offices that will accommodate the newly elected Democrats and their assistants. The commissioners are still planning to hold their weekly meetings in the conference room, but with two new faces, it might get a little crowded. Some officials might have to scoot down and find a new place to sit.

Then there’s the Board of Commissioners’ other duties, like the more than a dozen other boards that the commissioners sit on and that have to be restructured.

On Monday, the five commissioners all will sit down together for the first time to talk about who wants to be on what board. Waldref says she hopes the commission ers will wait until January — when everyone is officially sworn in — to vote on board assignments. But it could still happen earlier.

And then there’s the person who will lead the group as the chair. The chair traditionally rotates, but earlier this year, the commissioners voted to change it so the commis sioners vote on who among them will become chair.

The Board of Commissioners is entering uncharted territory, Waldref says. The structures put in place now will define the way county government works for years in the future.

“It’s going to be a year of changes,” Waldref says. n

Contamination Windfall


from Spokane’s Monsanto lawsuit will be small compared to what the city’s already spent tackling toxins, but it could help with more


Spokane has already spent hundreds of millions of dollars tackling pollution in the Spokane River watershed in recent years, but a new settlement with the interna tional corporation behind one of the worst contaminants could add several million dollars to the pot for water cleanup.

The toxins called PCBs (polychlo rinated biphenyls), which are believed to cause reproductive issues and increased cancer risks, were produced by chemical manufacturer Monsanto until the 1970s. The company under stood the health impacts on fish and birds well before Congress banned the chemicals, but it prioritized profits, according to internal company documents obtained through lawsuits. Now, the persistent chemicals, which were regularly used in machinery lubricant and paints, are still found in stormwater runoff that goes into the Spokane River, making its fish inedible.

With a settlement that could include more than 2,500 cities and jurisdictions, Spokane stands to gain more than most.


With a final settlement approved Nov. 19, a federal judge in California decided that Monsanto (now owned by Bayer) has to pay a total of $537.5 million to the many places around the country impacted by PCB pollution.

Because Spokane is one of a dozen named plaintiffs in the class-action settlement, the city estimates it will get several million dollars, and potentially more after applying for money from a $107 million “special needs” fund within the settlement, says Marlene Feist, Spokane’s public works director.

“Our case was the farthest along in the process when we reached a settlement,” Feist says. “We deliv ered about a million pages of discovery as part of this project.”

By comparison, many less-impacted cities not named as plaintiffs may only get settlements in the tens of thousands of dollars, as the general “monitoring fund” within the agreement is only about $42.9 million.


The city will likely get its several million dollars from a $250 million fund within the settlement for com munities that have chemical limits known as a “total maximum daily load” or similar restrictions, such as the ones for the Spokane River.

The settlement may help the city pay for continued upgrades at the wastewater treatment plant and proj ects such as the $4 million Cochran Basin infiltration pond construction that’s already underway. That’s one of several Cochran Basin projects that will address the 350 million to 500 million gallons of stormwater that

come from north Spokane each year, Feist says.

Even with the victory, several million dollars is still a relatively small amount compared to what the city has already spent on improvements to tackle PCBs, Feist says.

Between installing a membrane system known as “next level of treatment” at the wastewater treatment plant (about $126 million), making other treatment plant upgrades (a new chemical building and primary clarifier) and building massive underground combined sewer overflow tanks in recent years (about $190 mil lion), the city has easily spent more than $350 million to tackle contaminants, Feist says.

The combined sewer overflow tanks help prevent untreated stormwater from running directly into the river when there is heavy rain or snow overloading the city’s pipes.

Meanwhile, the membrane treatment adds another layer to prevent microscopic contaminants from enter ing the river through the outflow of treated water. Spokane’s use is among the largest applications of the technology for wastewater — it is more commonly used to treat drinking water in areas that rely on rivers and lakes instead of aquifers, Feist says.


Because parties have until mid-December to say they want in on the settlement, and then an appointed spe cial master will divvy up the funds within the $537.5 million total, it will likely be several months before the city sees any of the cash.

Spokane Valley and Spokane County are also likely to get money from the settlement, Feist says.

“This is about communities getting some control back,” Feist says. “We didn’t make it, we didn’t use it, we didn’t do something specifically with PCBs, but then we became responsible for it. … What’s comfort ing is that someone recognized that this was out of our control and other people have responsibility here.” n

A 2.4 million gallon stormwater tank under construction in 2017, now under a plaza near Brick West Brewing Co. SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL PHOTO

Come at the King

Stefanie Collins had always felt she was risking her career when she challenged her boss, Prosecuting Attorney Larry Haskell, in this year’s election. She was eliminated in August’s primary election, and now Collins thinks her days as a deputy prosecutor in the county prosecutor’s office are numbered. While still employed, she recently changed her LinkedIn status to #OpenForWork. Collins says Haskell had removed her from the high-profile Richard Aguirre murder case, which was reassigned to someone with “significantly less experience.” Collins had been the prosecutor on the case when it ended in a hung jury mistrial last year, but says she was not given an explanation for why she was removed from the case. Another clue, Collins says, was that she was booted from her office so support staff could be lo cated there. “He moved me into a converted storage closet,” Collins says. “No door, no window, no vents. I have a curtain for a door.” Asked about Collins’ fate, Haskell says he refers “all personnel-related inquiries to the County Hu man Resource department,” according to an email. “I can read the tea leaves,” Collins says. “I’m not going to be caught flat-footed.” (DANIEL WALTERS)


On Monday, Gov. Jay Inslee toured Spokane’s Catalyst Project, a new hous ing project for homeless people that the state is funding through its Rights of Way Safety Initiative. The Catalyst Project, set to open in the former West Hills Quality Inn this week, is being managed by Catholic Charities and will have space for roughly 100 people. “This is going to be a big step forward to providing housing so the folks in Camp Hope can go to a better long-term so lution so that place won’t be necessary anymore,” Inslee said, referring to the large East Central homeless encampment on state land that city and county leaders have repeatedly clashed with the state over. The state is funding other housing and shelter projects in an effort to relocate the camp’s estimated 433 residents, but the slow pace has frustrated local leaders. Outside the Catalyst Project on Monday, Inslee was met with a handful of protesters concerned about the project’s impact on their neighborhood. (NATE SANFORD)


When writers here at your favorite weekly rag are curious on a Monday, we sometimes seem a little slow on the uptake by the time this paper gets in your hands on Thursday. But since we asked, we still wanted to share some of the whopping cleanup figures Spokane released about the record-breaking 7.5 inches of snow we got on Nov. 30. In the all-city plow of 2,200 “lane miles,” which wrapped up Saturday, crews spread nearly 182,000 gallons of liquid deicer (about a third of what an Olympic swimming pool could hold) and 66 tons of granulated deicer (that’s like 10 elephants worth of salt! Or 90 cows). They also spread 370 tons of traction sand (the internet says that’s like two Statues of Liberty) and used 53 pieces of equipment (think tractors, plows, graders, and trucks with those shovel attachments your an noyingly snow-savvy neighbor has, too). (SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL) n

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Deputy Prosecutor (for now) Stefanie Collins. YOUNG KWAK PHOTO


The region needs more homes. Here are 11 examples of what to build, rehabilitate and preserve.

Spokane is defined by many things.

A waterfall. Marmots. Actual winters. But when it comes to the look of the city — the built environment — is there one thing that defines Spokane? Is it the almost ridiculous amount of Craftsman homes in the city’s older neighborhoods? The patchwork sprawl of newer homes on the fringes? The random as semblage of historic downtown buildings? Parking lots?

Maybe. But there’s one thing found in every neigh borhood that Spokane has done particularly well at building and preserving: buildings that contain multiple homes. Call them apartments, multifamily residences, condos or whatever you want, there are examples all over the city from every era of the city.

When Spokane was first marked out on a grid, and the region’s forests and subterranean minerals became commodities, housing demand spiked. In 1890, the city’s population was about 20,000. Ten years later, it doubled. Ten years after that it tripled. To meet the demand, de velopers erected single-room occupancy hotels on nearly

every block, which acted as apartments. Many of them remain standing, and lived in, today.

The last decade has also seen a growing population in Spokane. But construction of both single-family and mul tifamily homes has not kept up. Between 2010 and 2020, the city grew by about 20,000 people, or 7 percent. In that same time, only 5,000 housing units were constructed.

Spokane will keep growing. This won’t change. The number of homes needs to keep up. If you look at Post Falls or to the city’s west, you may think everything is under control. But putting aside the hidden costs of building on the city’s fringes — personal costs like owning a car and its upkeep and fuel expenses, communal costs like needing to stretch our water and utility infrastructure even farther out, not to mention the untold environ mental toll of sprawl — the fact is that many Spokanites simply can’t afford a single-family home.

Between 2012 and 2018, the city’s median household income increased 21.2 percent. At the same time, the me dian home price increased by 47 percent, from $174,000

to $256,000. Compared to all of that, the average rent increase is downright modest, going up 11.2 percent for a two-bedroom unit, from $972 to $1,081.

All of this is to say that we have a housing crisis, both in quantity and affordability. A good way to combat it is through the construction, rehabilitation and preserva tion of buildings that contain multiple homes. This may not be the solution everyone favors, but hopefully these stories will help change your perspective.

In this issue, you’ll find 11 examples of Spokane’s wealth of apartments, condos, multifamily homes and other situations where people have shunned the singlefamily home for something that’s perhaps more appropri ate for our day and age.

From a 125-year-old mansion that’s been split into apartments to an office building being renovated into glassy units to a not-yet-open, state-of-the-sustainable-art, multiunit building, we’ve tried to span the gamut. Spo kane is growing. Let’s be smart about how it happens.



ADDRESS: 731 S. Garfield St.

YEAR BUILT: 2020-21


MARKET VALUE: $267,000 to $535,000

OWNERS: Jim Dawson and Mariah McKay are co-founders, but all residents own their properties

This village-like co-housing community is situated in the heart of the South Perry District, a unique inclusion to an already vibrant neighborhood. The 39-unit community is composed of newly built townhouses and apartment buildings.

For the uninitiated, co-housing is semi-communal housing consisting of private residences and, usually, a few shared spaces such as a community building or a laundry room. Don’t confuse the term with communes — the two are certainly not synonymous. Residents of Haystack Heights maintain their own personal belong ings and beliefs while coexisting with one another. Co-housing community residents typically share responsibilities on occasion. Commonplace activities within co-housing communities include making dinner for neighbors or looking after their young children when parents have other things to tend to.

Haystack Heights is the first co-housing community in Eastern Washington. With other co-housing communities popping up in Bellingham, Seattle and Olympia, co-founders Jim Dawson and Mariah McKay began searching for property in 2016 and broke ground in May 2020. Residents started settling into their new com munity earlier this year.

The brightly colored buildings that make up Haystack Heights are arranged in a semicircle, allowing neighbors to walk out their doors straight into a communal area. The common house, which sits in the center, includes a dining room, guest rooms, a kitchen and a laundry space.

The community’s website showcases testimonials from several members of Haystack Heights. Some came from Seattle in search of closeness with neighbors, and others came to raise their children within a close-knit community feel. (MADISON PEARSON)

What affects my energy bill in winter?

During the winter, your energy bill can differ from one month to the next for a lot of reasons.

A sudden cold snap may occur which requires your heating system to run more frequently. Fewer daylight hours mean your lights are on for longer periods. Having kids at home for school vacations and guests stay over the holidays can affect the amount of energy you use each month, as well.

Learn what else impacts your winter bill and better manage your costs using our helpful online tools. Go to



ADDRESS: 508 W. Sixth Ave.



RENT: $1,200 to $1,800


When QualMed Plaza was built in the early 1960s, technology was its friend. The medical office building was on the cutting edge, as evidenced by its steel-reinforced concrete facade and distinctive, Jetsons-esque honeycomb exterior, which was originally painted baby blue. Even more so though, inside the adjoining 14-level parking garage, a valet originally controlled an enormous platform lift that slotted cars into tight spots — bringing efficiency to the space with mechanical brawn. In short, the future was now in 1960s Spokane.

Alas, by 1967 the valet system was abandoned, and the garage sat empty for more than 50 years. Now, thanks to the construction know-how of a Spokanite born decades after QualMed’s construction, the building is getting a second life with a new name: 508 West Building.

Nick Brumback bought the building in 2019 for $1.2 million, after the IRS seized it to pay off some debts by a previous owner. Brumback — who grew up in the construction world thanks to his dad, Donald (aka Gib) — and his partners initially thought they’d simply update a tired medical office building. It didn’t take long for them to decide that Spokane didn’t need more office space.

“What’s really needed? Housing is needed,” Brumback says, describing the building’s new identity as an “urban-style apartment building.”

To get there, Brumback faced a Herculean task. Offices had fallen into ruin by neglect and were completely rebuilt — as studios as small as 350 square feet to units as large as 1,200 square feet. The muffin-tan exterior

was repainted a modern dark gray tone, and the ribbing of each diamond window was highlighted. Penthouses now perch on the top floors. A sky lounge for residents offers panoramic views. Every other floor on the shut tered parking garage — where ceilings were just 6½ feet tall — was taken out to create loft-style living spaces. A crane, the likes of which Seattleites may ignore but cause Spokanites to gawk, was suddenly swinging near the playfield of Lewis and Clark High School.

In other words, the amount of work that had to be done is nearly im possible to grasp. Unless you cite the $16 million it took to do — more than 13 times the cost of the building itself.

“It’s been a momentous challenge, but it’s been a fun, exciting project,” Brumback says, noting that the building’s studios, lofts, one- and twobedrooms, and penthouses will begin leasing early in the new year. “We’re almost two years in, but we see the finish line. Bringing a nice modern build ing to the Spokane skyline was really important to us.” (NICHOLAS DESHAIS)


ADDRESS: 15 N. Grant St.



RENT: $1,150 to $1,340

OWNER: Project^, based in Portland, Ore. As its name suggests, the exterior of this funky railway-inspired apartment building is boxy, eye-catchingly modern and sticks out amid the industrial feel of the se cluded area in which it resides. This sevenstory building is located in the University District, near the district’s namesake pedestrian and bicycling bridge and the railroad tracks. And it looks something like Spokane’s version of the Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo that was recently demolished — thankfully only after a preservationist disassembled and moved about two dozen of the self-contained, prefabricated capsules to a warehouse on the outskirts of the Japanese capital, readying them for reuse or display at museums around the world.


ADDRESS: 1813 E. Fourth Ave.



RENT: Subsidized, for tenants who earn 30-50 percent of area median income

OWNER: Take Up the Cause, an East Central housing-focused nonprofit Unlike other housing in the destructive path of the north-south freeway being built through the heart of East Central Spokane, the Rose Apartments were lucky. The 112-year-old, two-story red brick building didn’t meet its fate at the end of a wrecking ball, but rather atop a lattice of massive steel trusses.

Inch by inch, foot by foot, the Rose was carefully moved in June 2020 to a plot of land located less than a block from where it sat for more than a century. Leading up to this monumental feat that saved the historic building from ruin was more than a decade of waiting, planning and coordination with numerous stakeholders.

Chris Venne, former board president of the East Central Community Organization, which was merged earlier this year into the new equitable housing nonprofit Take Up the Cause, was there for all of the Rose’s long ride to restoration and relocation.

“The reason we went through all of this effort,” Venne says, is because the north-south freeway “eliminated hundreds of naturally affordable houses. They weren’t great, but they were what people of low and moderate income could afford to live in. And now they’re gone. Preserving these eight [units of

the Rose] was pretty important, and we had the opportunity to do so.”

Before moving to its new site near the corner of Fourth Avenue and Pittsburgh Street, formerly home to a community garden, the Rose faced the roar of traffic along Interstate 90 from its vantage on Third Avenue. Built in 1910, it originally served as “luxury” apartments next to Spokane’s famous Liberty Park, which was also ravaged when I-90 carved out its center and took away 18 of its 21 acres.

“When we first came across it, it was derelict and in very bad shape in 2009,” Venne says. “With help of the city, we purchased it at a foreclosure sale off the county courthouse steps, and from 2010 to 2012, we did a com plete gut rehab of the building, and rebuilt it as a modern energy-efficient building on the inside with a historic shell on the outside. We knew it might have to be moved at that time, and we did things to stiffen it up and make it possible to move at a later date.”

Ten years later, that move finally came. Due to a prior agreement stipulating that historic buildings in the path of major road projects like the north-south freeway be given special consideration for preservation, the Washington State Department of Transportation bought the property for about $200,000, and sold it back to its nonprofit owner for $10. The first sale’s proceeds paid for the cost to move the building, Venne says.

“It’s a beautiful building, very classic in its architecture,” he says. “I think it looks really good on the new site, and we were faithful to keep it looking exactly as it had looked historically. The importance of historic preservation and housing preservation don’t come together that often and this was both, so that was pretty neat.” (CHEY SCOTT)

It may not be in Tokyo, but Boxcar is prime real estate for students of Gonzaga University, WSU’s Spokane Campus or for those who attend classes at Eastern Washington University’s Catalyst Build ing. With tenants ranging from college students to hospital employees, the complex offers various amenities aimed at bringing tenants together in communal areas within the building as well as offer ing access to multiuse trails that pass right outside the building.

While the square footage of Boxcar’s largest floor plan doesn’t even break 900 square feet, the units feature hardwood floors, modern appliances (including stacked front-loading washers and dry ers) and impressive views of downtown Spokane from the floor-to-ceiling windows that bestrew the complex.


“Out of Reach” is the Inlander’s occasional series investigating housing in the Inland Northwest. Follow at



ADDRESS: 1224 W. Riverside Ave.



RENT: $1,675 to $4,200

OWNERS: Ann and Dave Martin

First built in 1973, the 11-story Riverfalls Tower Apartments perch on the bluff above Peaceful Valley and the Spokane River gorge, a bronze glass behe moth with floor-to-ceiling windows that give panoramic views of the city, from downtown to the Spokane Falls to Kendall Yards and beyond.

Designed by Warren Heylman, one of Spokane’s best known midcen tury architects (whose work includes the Parkade and Spokane Regional Health District building), Riverfalls Tower was listed on Spokane’s Register of Historic places in 2021, the youngest building to be recognized. It’s the first of Heylman’s to be listed on the registry. Heylman lived in the building until his death this summer at 98, and his daughter, Ann Martin, still owns it.

At the time of construction, this unique midcentury modern building was the tallest in the state to be built using lift slab construction, where each con crete form is poured on site like pancakes and then lifted into place, allowing for the large glass windows.

The most popular units face the Spokane River corridor, where tenants get expansive views toward the city’s urban waterfall. There are a mix of apartments in the building, including 24 studios (featuring one bedroom with a partial wall), 24 units with one and a half bedrooms (the half bedrooms have partial walls and can be used for offices or dens), 12 small two-bedroom units, 24 large two-bedroom units (with two full bathrooms), 12 2½-bedroom units, and four 3½-bedroom penthouses.

The building has been renovated in the last few years to update the units with stainless steel appliances, open kitchen layouts, large counter spaces and new flooring.

Property manager Ryan Bollinger says the building used to attract an older living community, but now there is a good mix of tenants young and old.

“So many people think this is a 55-and-up building because the rents were low when it hadn’t been updated for a long time, and it ended up being that people were living here for 30 years, which isn’t a bad thing,” Bollinger says. “With the remodels, we’ve worked on getting a younger demographic, but it’s still a more mature community. We have about one-third that are medical students and Gonzaga law students, one-third that are working professionals, and about one-third are retirees, so it’s a nice mix, and they’re all respectful of each other.”

Tenants share a community lobby space with a piano and comfort able seating areas, as well as an outdoor pool that’s open throughout the warm months of the year and has gas grills on the patio for barbecues.

Live Music is back at Coeur d’Alene Casino!

Every weekend, you’ll find live music at the Nighthawk Lounge with local bands playing past midnight. For a more relaxed vibe earlier in the evening, choose the option of live acoustic music in the Chinook Lounge.

Jonathan Tibbetts



Jonathan Tibbetts is an Indie-Folk Artist from Spokane Washington whose musical inspiration started in Church. Regardless of the song Jonathan is playing, you can always expect to get his whole heart with every performance!

Eternal Jones



Check out the Nighthawk Lounge to hear Eternal Jones for a night of great music.

Entertainment 37914 SOUTH NUKWALQW • WORLEY, IDAHO 83876
1 800-523-2464


ADDRESS: 1102 W. Sixth Ave.



RENT: Price unavailable

OWNER: Steve

This glassy architectural oddity perched on the steep face of the lower South Hill was built before Interstate 90, which it overlooks, but well after the Cannon Electric Streetcar Line, the route of which it sits on.

The building is one of the first in Spokane done by the well-known firm McClure & Adkison and its architect, Bruce Walker. Though Walker and the firm’s namesake principals would go on to populate the city with modern buildings, when this complex was under construction, newspaper articles questioned if the city was ready for such newfangled archi tecture. The architects said that “modernism should be given a chance.” It was, and modern it is. With Murphy beds and full windows for walls, the building represented the simple and geometric International Style so well it was part of an architec tural exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.


ADDRESS: 2340 W. First Ave.



RENT: Price unavailable

OWNER: Katherine Fritchie

This Georgian Revival-style beauty is located less than one block west of Spokane’s Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Browne’s Addition, an apt location for a building with such cultural and historical significance.

Kirtland Cutter designed and built the mansion in 1897 for John A. Finch, a notable businessman who made his living off of mining and other investments during his life. Accord ing to the 1910 U.S. Census, Finch lived in the home with his wife, Charlotte, and three servants. After Finch’s passing in 1915, it remained a private residence until 1927, when it was renovated into the Virginia Apartments.

The most prominent feature of the building are four Ionic columns that span two stories on the front of the mansion, but it’s what inside the walls that residents should be mindful of, says Amanda Paulson, a member of the Spokane Historic Landmarks Commission.

“When moving into a historic building, there are certain things that tenants need to understand,” Paulson says. “The plumbing is old, it might not be the best. The drainage sys tems aren’t updated, so there’s going to be leaks that occur when they get clogged up.”

Katherine Fritchie, who has owned the historic Garland Theater on its namesake street since 1999, purchased the Finch in 2015 for $470,000.

“She’s so respectful to this building,” Paulson says. “She understands the importance of historic preservation. The building is in such good hands with her at the wheel.”

The inside of the building is straight out of a gothic thriller novel set in the 1800s. The staircase leading to the mansion’s two upper floors creaks and groans with every step, and it’s hard not to do a double take when passing the artwork that lines the walls. Eyes seem to follow your every move, but when morning comes, the mansion is no longer the setting for a whodunit tale. Light pours through the windows into the foyer, illuminating the history that oozes from every nook and cranny of the building. (MADISON PEARSON)


ADDRESS: 3080 N. Hemlock St.



RENT: Subsidized by housing vouchers, no more than 30 percent of resident’s income

OWNER: Transitions, a nonprofit organization focused on women and children living in poverty

Like other midcentury homes, the boxy apartments were built to fit in with the natural surroundings. Knobs of basalt outcroppings frame the southern entrance, as walkways and bridges connect the building to the steep face of the hill. An article in the December 1948 issue of Arts + Architecture magazine noted that the building was in the “transitional zone” of the city, where homes gave way to businesses. Over time, this location changed the nature of the building: In 1981 it was converted to office space.

After the building changed hands a couple of times in recent years, local developer Steve Schmautz bought it in 2020 because he and his wife “really like the midcentury modern look,” says Heather Bryant, construction project man ager for SDS Realty, Schmautz’s company. Though Schmautz has rehabilitated numerous historic buildings in Spokane — notably downtown’s Legion Building and numerous locations on East Sprague Avenue — it’s the first multifamily building he’s taken on.

“It looked like it had some good bones,” she says. “It’s midcentury modern, and there are few of those in Spokane.”

Since purchasing it, Schmautz has led a swift rehabilita tion of the building back to its original living spaces. The upper floor now has two, two-bedroom apartments, and the lower floor has four studios. The Murphy beds have been removed from the top floor apartments, but the view of the downtown skyline remains key to its identity.

“Step inside it at night,” Bryant says. “It’s such a good view of downtown.” (NICHOLAS DESHAIS)

These cottages tucked away in the Audubon-Downriver neighborhood are standalone, 1,000-square-foot units, but denser than typical single-family housing. It offers the resi dents independence and a place to call their own, says Sarah Lickfold, development director at Transitions. Considering many of them have histories of homelessness or disability, this independence is key to the development’s status as permanent supportive housing, which means residents stay there for the long term.

Community is important at the Home Yard Cottages. There are common walkways, shared spaces, a playground and a community building where events are held. The events are organized by case managers like Christian McKinney, who are on-site working to help residents maintain housing and work on goals related to employment, mental health and medical services.

“There’s some really great things going on here,” McKinney says.

The $6.2 million project took years to get off the ground and was built in 2017 on a large grassy lot that sat just south of Transitions’ headquarters. About half of the cottages are energy-efficient and have solar panels, thanks to state funding.

Prospective tenants apply through the Spokane Housing Authority. With low turnover rates, it can be hard to get a unit. The hardest thing about working there, McKinney says, is getting calls from people looking for housing, and having to tell them to sign up for the waitlist. (NATE SANFORD)



ADDRESS: 308 to 316 E. 10th Ave.



MARKET VALUE: $750,000 to $870,000

OWNERS: Private owners for each attached home

Built in a Mediterranean style, these shared-wall, three-story townhouses are high-end living spaces near the towering Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. The median price for all homes sold in Spokane this fall was about $397,000, ac cording to, meaning the current market value of upwards of $750,000 for these homes is still about twice as expensive as the already-booming prices in the area.

Seeing as the homes are located right next to the treelined Rockwood Boulevard and one of Spokane’s most afflu ent, mansion-populated areas, that’s par for the course.

With stone detailing outside and terracotta roofing, each home has living space of up to 2,250 square feet and multiple patios that face north with views of the Mount Spokane foothills from the upper floors. The interiors feature high-end finishes, with one previous listing on Zillow showing stainless steel appliances and ultra-modern white kitchen counters, along with glass-sided banisters and an elevator inside the unit.

The townhouses were built by general contractor Mike Gahvarehchee and his company, Muneris Inc. Gahvarehchee originally hoped to build condominiums there but didn’t due to state regulations that he and other developers have said squelch such dense development. Condo owners have individual units within a larger, communally owned building, whereas townhouse owners may share a wall but generally own the building as well.

Despite complaints from some developers, the sharedwall style of townhouse construction does allow for more housing in a much smaller area than detached, single-family housing requires. (SAMANTHA


ADDRESS: 155 S. Oak St. YEAR BUILT: 1907

NUMBER OF UNITS: 31 RENT: $800 to $1,200

OWNER: Espanola Partners, based in Oakland, Calif.

The Browne’s Addition Espanola Oak Apartments were built in 1907 by Seymour Birch, a New Yorker who came to Spokane and founded a real estate company with his wife’s brother, George Munson. Birch also built the Birch Block on Second Avenue and Wall Street, the Munson Block, and the luxury five-story Tokyo Apartments at Sixth Avenue and Mc Clellan Street. All have been demolished but the Espanola.

The mission revival-style apartments, with stucco detail ing on the exterior and distinct rounded parapets along the roofline, were designed by architect Alfred D. Jones. He also designed several homes and larger buildings in the early 1900s, including the Tokyo Apartments, the still-standing Kempis Apartments and the Fairmont Hotel (now called the Morgan Block), which served as single-room occupancy apartments for decades before a fire in the 1990s.

The boomtime Espanola Oak Apartments were one of many projects built due to the sheer need for housing at the time: Spokane grew from just about 350 people in the 1880s to more than 100,000 by 1910. The recessed, secured entry way in the center of the building gives access to apartments in four wings that still include many historic details, including wood floors in some units and dark wood detailing around the windows, on the interior columns and on the mantles of (no longer functioning) in-unit fireplaces.

Managed by Kiemle Hagood, the apartments are close to grocery stores and parks and walking distance to downtown. The building has a mix of tenants from ages 18 to about 80, says property manager Kelli Harr.

“All the doors are original on the inside and a lot of the units have original hardwood flooring,” Harr says. “It’s kind of nostalgic.”

The apartments are often updated as tenants move out, so there’s a mix of old and new inside, with some units featuring newer appliances, flooring and efficient windows. (SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL)


ADDRESS: 206 W. Riverside Ave.



RENT: $1,200 to $1,725

OWNER: Edlen and Co.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, or you’ve avoided downtown Spokane altogether, you’ve probably noticed the mammoth apartment building being constructed at the intersection of Riverside Avenue and Browne Street.

The Warren, which takes its name from the underground burrows and dens that rabbits create, sits only one crosswalk away from a bustling section of Main Avenue in east down town. Residents are mere steps away from Spokane Transit stops and nightlife, restaurants, coffee shops and live music, making the building particularly appealing to students, young people and those who avoid cars.

Residents began moving in this September. There are 13 floor plans to choose from when choosing your “burrow,” ranging from studio apartments to two-bedroom, two-bath apartments and everything in between. The interiors of the units are unsurprisingly modern with sparkling quartz coun tertops and dark hardwood flooring. Light streams in through the nearly floor-to-ceiling windows.

Along with community spaces, the building has other unique amenities. An outdoor dog run and pet grooming sta tions are a plus for pet lovers. The studio apartments feature a high-tech, robotic furniture system that pops in and out for storage space needs. The building is also seeking to stand out among Spokane’s sustainable architecture. Its owners are considering certifying it LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Previously the site of a small drive-through Umpqua Bank, the property changed hands between various limited liability corporations in recent years. In 2019, it was awarded $100,000 in city grant funding intended to spur development in the city’s core, and qualifies for more than $1 million in other incentives, including the multifamily tax exemption, the urban utility in stallation program and a waiver of the general facility charge. In April 2021 it was purchased for $2.3 million by Edlen & Co., a Portland-based real estate company. (MADISON PEARSON) n



Finding perfect presents for jingle bell rockers and little drummer boys

As music lovers, there are many ways we can interact with the sonic medium. We can listen. We can watch it live. We can play it. We can rep it with artistic and textile rep resentations. If you have some music fanatics in your life to shop for this holiday season, here are a few gift options that rock.


While Seattle was certainly the ’90s grunge capital, don’t forget that the music traveled over to the Inland Northwest, too. Be a total dish when you’re swingin’ on the flippity-flop by acquiring this Vintage Print T-shirt commemorating Nirvana’s 1994 tour stop at Spokane Coliseum. Even if you didn’t attend the show, it’s a cool way to have a more localized connection to the rock legends (the design is also available in poster form). And if Nirvana isn’t your jam, the shop also has print and shirt designs honoring local record store 4000 Holes and all-ages concert hub the Big Dipper. $30-$35 • Vintage Print + Neon • 914 W. Garland Ave. • VintagePrintNW


For thousands of Spokanites, the musical highlight of 2022 had to be Paul McCartney’s tour-opening concert at Spokane Arena. The epic concert was a euphoric life-affirming ex perience for many Beatlemaniacs, and the career-spanning marathon setlist touched on both his timeless Beatles classics and his prolific solo work. If a music lover in your life just has got to have more Sir Paul in their life, head to the vinyl para dise of 4000 Holes and pick up a copy of his new McCartney I II II box set, which features his eponymous solo albums on 180 gram vinyl with photo prints and notes on the records from McCartney. (If you’re more into Paul’s work with that band of loveable lads from Liverpool, 4000 Holes also has the newly released Revolver box set.) $90 • 4000 Holes • 1610 N. Monroe St. • Bob4000Angel



One of the beautiful things about music is its inherent intangibility. You can hear and even feel music’s sonic vibrations, yet you can never actually hold and keep them. But there’s beauty to be found in representing those musical moments we treasure. Enter Spokane artist Steve Whitford of Whits End Wood Works, who hand makes exquisite bowls with musical notations wood-burned around the rims. You can find his versions of songs like “Hallelujah” and “What a Wonderful World” on display and for sale at Pottery Place Plus. He’s also available to commission one of your favorite songs on a custom bowl, making the intangible at least somewhat tangible. Typically $79-$149 • Pottery Place Plus • 203 N. Washington St. • Contact at


You know what music lovers tend to love? Seeing live music. There’s an array of Inland Northwest shows on the horizon that warrant snagging advanced tickets. Spokane Arena offers up ’80s rock hitmakers Journey (April 14) and modern country superstar Kane Brown (May 18). One of the best indie rock bands on the planet, Alvvays will stop at the Knitting Factory in the spring (March 13). For more of an edge, guitar icon Jerry Cantrell heads to the Fox (March 31) and lit-punks Titus Andronicus visit Lucky You (March 8). And if you’re already planning out some summer shows, the Highwomen (June 11), Dead & Company (July 7-8), and EDM festival Beyond Wonderland (June 17-18) already have dates set at the Gorge. Prices vary


As detailed earlier this year in the pages of the Inlander, some of the finest steam-bent drums in the world are crafted right in our very own backyard. Drummaker Micah Doering and his crew create instruments that are works of art. They can make custom kits or single drums that can range from a few hundred dollars for a banging snare to thousands of dollars for a one-of-a-kind kit (they currently have some snares available to buy now at $749). It’s certainly not a cheap gift, but if you have a drummer in your life, it’s a worthwhile long-term investment in quality local craftsman ship. Prices vary • n

Pho-tastic Flavors Local Ingredients 713 W Garland Ave, Spokane • li Try the Pho-ritto! FREE DELIVERY for orders $200+ (nocouponneeded) 20% OFF ENTIRE ORDER – New Customers Only. Single-use code, cannot be combined with other coupons. Valid through January 31st, 2023. Coupon Code: MERRY20 ORDER ONLINE ANGUSMEATSDIRECT.COM BEST TASTING PRESENT EVER THE PERFECT GIFT FOR MEAT LOVERS, FOODIES AND FAMILIES! BEST TASTING PRESENT EVER GIFT CARD


What to get those socially acceptable drug addicts

Praise be to coffee, the caffeinated beverage that made science and democracy possible. The drink that now propels the free world began as kahve — loosely “the drink of Araby” — and let’s remember that the Islamic world invented modern mathematics (ahem, the word “algebra” comes from the Arabic al-jabr). Before the roasted bean made its way to the rest of the world, people lived in a drunken stupor under the thumb of unenlight ened despots. But when London and Paris opened up coffeehouses styled upon the Arab model, people like Isaac Newton and Honoré de Balzac frequented them. It’s no co incidence that the world was soon convulsed by scientific, financial and literary revolutions. So do us all a favor, get your loved ones some of these gifts and change the world.


There was a time when instant coffee was the nastiest of nasty. Bitter, tongue-coating swill. Not anymore. Now, with the simple addition of piping hot water, you can enjoy a smooth cup of locally roasted coffee — instantly! Spokane’s Roast House leads the local pack with its “F Bomb,” a full-bodied, chocolate-y brew. Tell your giftee to hold it in reserve when they’re too tired, or bummed, to mess with a French press. Take it camping. Keep it at work. Whatever they do, they can rest assured (or get jacked on caffeine) that their cup of joe is quality. $15 • First Avenue Coffee • 1011 W. First Ave. •


So you’ve got a coffee quaffer on your list who can never get enough. Let the wizards at North Idaho’s DOMA Coffee Roasting Company help you out with a subscription. Like magic, a bag (or two) of coffee will come straight to your loved one’s door every week (or

two, or once a month), as whole bean (or for cold brew, espresso, French press, etc.). You can specify a roast, or you can let your giftee revel in variety. Alakazam! Starting at $19.50 • DOMA Coffee Roasting Co. • 6240 E. Seltice Way, Post Falls •


Trends in coffee brewing have run the gamut in recent years. Pour over. Cold brew. Chemex. But none have had the staying power like the little cylinder that could, the AeroPress. The BPA-free, nontoxic plastic doohickey has only grown in stature since it was launched at Seattle’s CoffeeFest trade show in 2005 by inventor Alan Adler (who also invented the better-than-a-frisbee Aerobie). Nothing beats the versatile coffee brewer when it comes to consistency, potency and durability. Do you want a shot of espresso? The AeroPress can do it. Do you just want one cup of coffee that’s not super acidic or bitter? The Aero Press can do it. Do you want to take it with you wherever you go? The AeroPress Go can do it. $40 • The Kitchen Engine • 621 W. Mallon Ave. •


Michael Pollan has done for food writing what the print ing press did for literacy. What do I mean by that? Well, just buy his latest book and have your mind blown wide open to the strange relationship our minds and cultures have with plants. This book has three sections, but it’s the middle one — titled “Caffeine” — that will jolt you to vivid awareness of just how drug-addled all of us are. Yes, caf feine’s a drug, and 90 percent of humans love it. That bit about coffee being responsible for science and democra cy? Let Pollan tell you all about it in caffeinated detail. $18 • Your local bookstore, like BookPeople of Moscow • 521 S. Main St., Moscow • n

Join us for the Annual Mac & Cheese Festival on January 14, 2023! BRIE-lieve us, tickets will sell out - get yours now just in QUESO! Visit or scan the QR code to learn more. Dine - Play - Stay Lets get CHEESY! 14th Gift Cards Available (509)326-6794 • 1018 West Francis Ave • Spokane Give the Gift of The Swinging Doors


Thoughtful ideas for climate-conscious friends

Your plastic-averse, Earth-loving, vinegar-drinking aunt is coming to visit and you don’t know what to give her, huh? Or maybe your kid just returned from college with a fresh sense of responsibility to be better to the planet and their body. Thankfully, there are many ways to help support local shops while supporting sustainable lifestyles. From reusable cleaning supplies (Warning: Do NOT give a romantic partner this specific type of gift unless they have explicitly requested it) to tasty DIY beverages, Inland Northwest shops have many options that will make you and your wasteconscious loved one happy.


Emblazoned with the quote “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it,” this notebook offers a mantra for your climate-change fighter to live by. Not only can they fill the pages with their plans to save the world (seriously, we could really use the help) but part of the purchase helps support NatureBridge’s conservation education pro grams. Partnering with the National Park Service, NatureBridge started with educational programs for schools in Yosemite Park, but now they also offer programs right here in Washington at Olympic National Park. $12 • Atticus Coffee & Gifts • 222 N. Howard St.


You may be thinking to yourself, “Wait, ‘reusable paper towels’ just sounds like a rebranding of what we called ‘rags’ when I was growing up.” You’re not wrong. But honestly, when you see the cute patterns and feel the soft material of these grandma-hand-crafted stacks at Spokane Refillery, calling them “rags” feels like an insult. With a dozen reusable cloths per bundle, and many hun dreds of uses ahead, this can help replace those expensive, disposable paper towel rolls with washable options. While you’re inside the cozy shop, check out their plastic-free personal hygiene options such as shampoo and conditioner bars, or consider filling up a reusable glass jar with some of their bulk cleaning products. $41 • Spokane Refillery • 1105 W. First Ave. •


Kombucha has become a fan favorite among the health-conscious foodie community, but honestly, most of us know its flavor is pretty vinegarforward. Sandpoint Soda Company is a new outfit that wants to help you use the same idea for home fermentation to make sweet sodas without the need for another appliance. Instead of the bacteria-yeast “mother” culture used to brew kombucha, you start with a “ginger bug” to brew soda in 48 hours. The starter kit comes with everything you need, including a swing-top bottle, ginger bug, two flavor spice packets (everything from root beer and cream soda to elderberry, strawberry or ginger beer), a glass fermenting jar, muslin cover, thermometer and online materials to help you get started. $100 • Sandpoint Soda Company •


From the in-house Cultured Mama fermented product line (think cashew cream cheese, cherry bomb sriracha, sauerkraut and more) to sustainable food packaging and utensils (beeswax wraps, bamboo straws, etc.) people who are sustainably minded can go wild at Pilgrim’s Market in Coeur d’Alene. The natural grocer’s large bulk food section offers a variety of products with out the pesky packaging that can be confusing or impossible to recycle, and there’s a huge selection of organic produce and healthy food options to feed your whole family. With no minimum or maximum on the amount you can throw onto a gift card, the possibilities are totally up to you and the imagina tion of your giftee. Up to $500 (whatever amount you’d like) • Pilgrim’s Market • 1316 N. Fourth St., Coeur d’Alene • n



What to get the people who love the guy who literally has everything

Everyone needs somebody to believe in. Some worship gods, others worship money. But a very select few worship an odd little rich man named Elon Musk. Musk had it all — he was the world’s richest man, churning out planet-saving vehicles, sending people into space, having children with someone named Grimes, and giving them names that sounded like abbreviations for Final Fantasy games.

And then he went and did something stupid and spent $44 billion for Twitter, which has been plunged into

chaos ever since. But look, you’re not going to convince your friend that Musk is anything less than a genius, so why not treat it the way a self-driving car treats a pedes trian and steer into it?


Don’t count Elon out. If he convinces conservatives to start buying electric vehicles en masse simply to trigger the libs, he could do more than Al Gore and Jay Inslee combined to fight climate change. While your gifting

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budget probably doesn’t allow you to shell out the full price for a Tesla, do the next best thing, and get them a kit that lets them build their own eco-battery vehicle. Add in a roll of aluminum foil and they can convert it to a Cyber Truck. If they want the full Tesla experience, meanwhile, just a squirt or two of lighter fluid can simulate driving a vehicle with a “surprise Viking funeral” feature. $70 • Whiz Kids • 808 W. Main Ave. •


So your buddy is a little stressed because he bought a social media platform, fired most of its staff, and now suddenly all the cybersecurity for his multina tional internet app has been reduced to Darrell, who’s also the only guy who knows how to fix the office printer. Since it can be hard to simply memorize 330 million passwords, your friend might need a little bit of help. Remember, nothing is more secure than writing your passwords down in a notebook and leaving it on your desk. $10 • Atticus Coffee & Gifts • 222 N. Howard St. •


There is no prize more valued than blue checks to an Elon Musk fan. On Twit ter, a blue checkmark used to be reserved only for people who achieved the level of fame at least commensurate with “local TV web producer.” But now, Musk has allowed everyone to just pay for the checkmark, a little like how you can just buy a bowling trophy at Value Village. Fortunately, there is more than one source of blue checks in this world — and with a little bit of sewing prowess, you can make them a full three-piece blue check suit, showing just how notable they are. $14/yard • JOANN Fabrics and Crafts • 15110 E. Indiana Ave., Spokane Valley •


One unintended consequence of letting everyone pay for the symbol that proved you were who you said you were — it made it a lot harder to know who the hell everyone was. Was that really the Nintendo account posting Ma rio making a “Rated M for Mature” hand gesture? Was that really a pharma ceutical company offering to just give away their life-saving drugs for free? Was that FakeDanSavage account the RealDanSavage? Of the thousands of Elon Musk accounts, which one is the real Elon Musk? Can any of us truly be said to be “real,” really? Simulate this kind of mystery and intrigue with the game Guess Who? There are also plenty of other fun and relevant games at Uncle’s like Saboteur, which is all about accusing your coworkers of trying to destroy your vision. $19 • Uncle’s Games Puzzles & More • 404 W. Main Ave. and 14700 E. Indiana Ave., Spokane Valley •


How did a guy like Elon snag someone like musician/suspected simulation Grimes? With his incredible sense of humor, of course! Not a day goes by when you don’t see Elon posting some hilarious meme or reply on Twitter, often one identical to the meme or reply that somebody else posted a few hours earlier. But this kind of wit can’t just be simulated — unless, of course, you buy the “Fickle Pickle.” Ask it anything and it responds with some cut ting rejoinder like “Ask your Mom!” “Dill with it!” and “Umm, Maybe!” Ha ha! Where do they get this stuff!? (You’ll have to include your own “Rolling on the Floor Crying Laughing” emoji.) $19 • Boo Radley’s • 232 N. Howard St. • n

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For flying out loud, grab these gifts for the adventurous soul in your life

There’s an art to purchasing gifts for the person in your life who’s always on the go. It’s impossible to ask them in person what they’d like, and your text messages asking for gift ideas always seem to deliver hours late. (Curse you, airplane mode!) While it may seem like they have their packing routine down pat, they could do with these few extra items that will improve their travel experience and make them wonder why they ever went without them in the first place.


Travelers are always posting photos of sprawling beaches and historical landmarks on their social media ac counts, but what about documenting the trip solely for themselves? Local book artist Mel Hewitt’s “Make It Mine” journals feature 112 pages of paper for the globetrotter in your life to document their travel adventures, woes and excursions. Choose from a multitude of colors, letter styles and paper options in order to make it something uniquely theirs that they can show off to everyone around the world as they fill it with memories from their travels. Choose the first letter of their name or the letter P, stand ing for “Please Come Home For Once In Your Life — Your Family Misses You.” $45 •


Nothing screams “I’m a mysterious out-of-towner” like a piece of fabulous vintage luggage. Give the gift of main character vibes and a killer accessory all in one. Lucky for you, Spokane has myriad vintage stores to choose from

when it comes to picking out the perfect suitcase, so you’ll have no problem finding one that represents your friend’s personality best. Just make sure it can fit in that overhead compartment or the space under the seat in front of them. Prices vary • Local vintage stores to check out: Teleport Vintage + Co., Blue Cat Vintage, Boulevard Mercantile, 1889 Salvage Co., Midtown Home & Vintage Market


With connecting flights, layovers and Uber rides, there are plenty of spots to possibly misplace a wallet. Craft and Lore, an independent workshop out of North Idaho, can’t stop anyone from losing their wallet, but they can make the hunt for it a bit easier. Their Worry Wallet has a space for an Apple AirTag to fit into, ensuring that even if your on-the-go friend misplaces their wallet, they’ll hopefully be able to track it down without too much hassle. $70 •


If this jet-setter is traveling anywhere outside the Inland Northwest, a Spo-Can shirt is going to be a useful tool as well as a fashion statement. They can put on this shirt when they don’t feel like explaining the pronunciation of their hometown to every new person they meet. If they encounter someone who pronounces Spokane like “Spo-Cane,” a nonverbal pointing gesture in the direction of their shirt is all they’ll have to do to get the stranger on the right track. $44 • From Here • 808 W. Main Ave. • n

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Your favorite foodie takes more photos of food than of family, is as enthusiastic about haute cuisine as they are about hole-in-the-wall food joints, and has been known to plan an entire week’s vacation around interesting places to eat. The food-obsessed on your list might be a whiz in the kitchen, in the garden or on the internet scouring the next “big thing” in food. Either way, these gifts will be a tasty treat.


The Idaho Preferred gift box confirms that the Gem State produces a variety of food products besides spuds. Idaho Preferred, a staterun program promoting Idaho agriculture, has two boxes available, with items like Boise’s Starlight Herb and Spice and an Idahoshaped chocolate bar from Weiser Candy Company. While we think North Idaho producers are underrepresented here — what about Athol Orchards syrups, Gem Berry huckleberry items or Snacktiv ist gluten-free mixes? — the inclusion of Northern Latitude Foods’ Coeur d’Alene Wild Rice in one of the boxes is a good start. $65 plus shipping •


Chew on these ideas for the gastronome on your gift list


Christ Kitchen is one of the many Spokane-area organizations whose mission is to help people, particularly women, living in poverty earn vital skills through its many food-related programs. Go online or visit its North Monroe Street location to shop for des sert, soup, snack and other mixes, like the breakfast hotcake mix with organic blue cornmeal. Or, until Dec. 23, visit Christ Kitchen’s pop-up shop inside River Park Square. $6.50 • 2410 N. Monroe St. •


In some ways, baking tools haven’t changed all that much over the centuries. The rolling pin your great-grandma had is probably as good as or better than anything you can buy now. Moscowbased woodworker Ed Krumpe crafts rolling pins with precise patterns of inlaid, multicolored wood that the next generation of bakers will treasure, too. They even come with their own stand.

$300 • The Art Spirit Gallery • 415 Sherman Ave., Coeur d’Alene •


Is the person on your gift list a freak for fermented foods? A believ er in brine? Make a trip to Sandpoint for pickle-related novelties like earrings resembling sliced pickles and clothing like the “I’m Kind of a Big Dill” onesie (adorable!). And for long-lasting pickle flavor you can lick at your leisure, the dill pickle lip balm is guaranteed to make you pucker just thinking about it. $4.95 • The Pickled Kitchen • 312 N. First Ave., Sandpoint,


Before there was Walmart, there were artisan makers like blade smiths whose creations could, with a little maintenance, still do the job several hundred years later. That’s the tradition channeled by Colbert-based Brock Woodson, whose Woodson Knife Co. custom knives feature ornate handles and elaborately formed blades. Ask to see his “maiden’s hair” Damascus cook’s knife at the Kitchen Engine, which also offers a cut-rate knife-sharpening deal. $250$1,375 • The Kitchen Engine • 621 W. Mallon Ave. • thekitchenen • Also at n

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Accessories and tools to elevate the imbibing experience

While a bottle of [insert locally made cider, wine, beer, or spirit here] is one of the easiest gift options for many reasons — not limited to the plentiful options for said goods made right here in the Inland Northwest — their inherent nature is fleeting. When that bottle is empty, it’s gone… forever. We also know most of you don’t need much help to find a great bottle of wine (from Arbor Crest, Barrister, Craftsman Cellars, Latah Creek or Maryhill, et al.) or perhaps some (Dry Fly) spirits, to brighten your booze-appreciating giftees’ holiday (in more ways than one!), so we stretched ourselves a little further to come up with the following suggestions.


If you don’t have a pair of gloves or a koozie on hand and find yourself drinking outside in the cold, as some are wont to do while gathered around a fire pit apres ski, brace yourself for frozen hands. On the flip side, with one of these ingenious koozie-meets-mitten creations by local maker Craftily Concocted, you needn’t worry about a thing! With a variety of super-soft yarn colors to choose from, this hand-crocheted mitten does double duty to keep your giftee’s drinking hand warm and makes sure their beverage — whether in a can, bottle, travel cup or even a wine glass — is both secure and handy. To find these mitts in person, head to the fol

lowing link for Craftily Concocted’s local holiday market schedule. $20-$25 •


Elevate your recipient’s home bar setup with a set of swanky vintage glassware. Nearly endless possibilities for any taste, budget or beverage preference can be found for this one-of-a-kind gift choice. Among the region’s dozens of curated vintage stores, glass ware sets are always in ample supply, whether you seek metallicembellished midcentury highball glasses or tinted tumblers, plus accessories like drink shakers, ice buckets and more. You and your gift recipient will soon be drinking in style, maybe even as soon as they unwrap this ultra-classy gift. Prices vary • Local shops to check out: Tossed & Found, Boulevard Mercantile, Vibe, Blue Cat Vintage, Market Street Antiques, 1889 Salvage Co., Finn Boy


Whether your giftee loves to whip up a simple old fashioned or vodka soda, or prefers the complexity of a multi-spirit concoction, the small-batch syrups from locally owned Side Hustle Syrups do the job beautifully. Classic flavors include orange vanilla and lemon lavender, plus festive favorites such as spiced cranberry. Side Hustle’s alcohol-free lineup can also be used in beverages like tea,

soda and coffee for an extra punch. Find 8-ounce bottles online, at select local retailers (list at link) and at the company’s Spokane Valley flagship bar and retail shop, the Boneyard. $13-$14 each • Side Hustle Syrups •


Give your mixologist the freedom of choice with a gift certificate from locally owned venture Raising the Bar, which offers an array of barware, bartending accessories, DIY bitters kits, and even cock tail classes, tours and private events. Owned by Spokane cocktail expert and hospitality historian Renee Cebula, Raising the Bar is a go-to for anyone seeking to learn more about making cocktails, America’s drinking history and more. She often teams up with fel low bartenders in the area, like the team at Hogwash Whiskey Den in downtown Spokane, to co-host hands-on cocktail classes. Gift certificates available from $25-$250 • n


Sometimes, the best things in life are cheap

Believe it or not, some people just don’t like receiving expensive gifts. If the person you’re buying for has ever responded to a present with “Oh no, you shouldn’t have,” this guide might be for you. This list is for both the buyer who doesn’t want to spend too much money, and for the gift receiver who doesn’t want to feel awkward receiving a $499 automatic kitchen knife sharpener they’ll never use. The gifts on this list are (mostly) practical. No wasteful trinkets that just end up in a landfill. They’re also cheap, but that doesn’t mean they can’t come with the same love, care and thought that goes into something extravagant.


Wool hats, scarfs and gloves are a classic holiday gift. The problem is that they cost money — you’re paying for the wool itself and for some random person or machine to knit it. So why not cut out the middleman and give the cheapskate in your life something they can build themselves? At Art Salvage Spokane, you can find mismatched bags of assorted yarn for just two bucks. It’s a perfect gift for people who love an excuse to do something with their hands. You can even have fun picking out some colors they’ll love. $2 • Art Salvage Spokane • 1925 N. Ash St. •


Sometimes, people have a moral opposition to receiving big, expensive gifts. They cite concern about capitalism, the commercialization of the holiday season, the Western consumerist lifestyle that’s slowly eating away at the environment, etc. That’s why reusable straws are such a great gift idea. They’re cheap, but last for months if not years. Think about how virtuous and thoughtful your loved one will feel each time they order a drink and get to tell the waiter: “No straw please, I’m saving the planet with my own.” Jokes aside, Americans use 390 million plastic straws a day. Turtles choke on them and die. This is something people don’t think

to buy, but they’ll be grateful you thought of it for them. $5 • World Market Spokane • 6125 N. Division St. •


This is another gift that just keeps on giving. Tomatoes from a grocery store can cost you four or five bucks a pound. But if everything goes according to plan, this little bag of seeds can give your frugal loved one the gift of 10 (or more!) tomato plants — for just two dollars! It’s not just the tomatoes, you’re also giving them a fun project, maybe even a new hobby. Tomatoes are also great because they’re fairly easy for a beginner to grow. $2 • Northwest Seed & Pet • 2422 E. Sprague Ave. and 7302 N. Divi sion St. •


Think about how long it takes to go through a pound of chili powder. Unless you’re giving a gift to someone who just loves drowning their taste buds in spice, this gift should be more than enough to stock their kitchen for months on end. Chili is a universal spice that goes great with simple, frugal meals. The right amount of chili powder can elevate low-budget classics like ramen or rice and beans to a dish that feels like it came from a restaurant. This holiday season, give the gift of bulk spice. $10 • Spokane Spice • 130 N. Stone St. •


OK, there’s nothing particularly frugal about this one. But still, six high-quality chocolates for $7.50? That’s a decent bargain. Especially when it comes from a locally owned chocolate factory with a 40-year history of delicious, sweet treats. This sixpack of assorted chocolates comes packaged in a windowed gold box that’s wrapped with an elegant gold bow. It feels fancy, and maybe that’s OK. Sometimes, even the most frugal penny pinchers need a decadent treat. $7.50 • Hallett’s Chocolates • 1419 E. Holyoke Ave. • n

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City Sidewalks

Tasty Ales, IPAs and Stouts

Spokane’s brewery scene has taken off in recent years, and these days it’s hard not to feel spoiled for choice when you’re looking for an inviting spot to enjoy your new favorite beer. Since its opening this past spring, COMMON LANGUAGE BREWING (926 W. Sprague Ave.) has been on a mission — not only to craft beer from locally sourced grains, hops and fruits but also to be a community social hub. “Our biggest focus is creating a welcoming space where people can have fun and bring the entire family, including the dog. We want them to feel comfortable, no matter what holiday they happen to be celebrating,” says Gary Hughes, the brewery’s co-owner and taproom manager. Inside you’ll find a half-dozen taps with in-house brews like German lagers and West Coast IPAs as well as the popular Irish stout along with another half-dozen rotating guest taps.

On the other side of downtown is THE GRAIN SHED – CEDAR TAP HOUSE (111 S. Cedar St.), which is an offshoot of this combined bakery/brew

ery’s main location in the South Perry District. This downtown location offers a convenient place to enjoy the many high-quality beers the Grain Shed of fers, all of which are made exclusively from choice ingredients that are grown in the Inland Northwest and malted here in Spokane. By working closely with a select pool of growers, they’re developing specialized beers like a dry Irish stout or a Czech-style Pilsner that are designed to highlight the grains on which they’re based.

Between the two is MOUNTAIN LAKES BREWING CO. (201 W. Riverside Ave.), a brewery and taproom that gives off a warm, neighborhood vibe while still being close to the downtown core. Families and pets are both welcome, and you can even bring your own food to enjoy alongside Mountain Lakes’ hearty Winter Stout, the intriguingly named Fugglepants Pale Ale or the “Pecan’t Stop. Won’t Stop.” porter, which won the 2022 Best Cure for Cabin Fever award at the Palouse Cabin Fever BrewFest. 


Calling All Kid Detectives!

Calling all eagle-eyed kids! From now through December 18, be on the look out for “hidden” characters with secret words that are part of the HOLIDAY HUNT To take part, pick up an official passport at Auntie’s Bookstore, the concierge desk at River Park Square or print one from Next, use your passport to locate a character at 10 of the 25 par ticipating businesses and organizations. When you find each character, write down the secret word that it contains. Once you’ve identified 10 secret words, return your passport to Auntie’s or River Park Square. Your passport will then be entered into a drawing for an incredible downtown family pack. Kids aged 4-15 are also eligible to win fun prizes by coloring and submitting the official 2022 COLORING CONTEST sheet, which is available from all of the participating locations. The promotion sponsor, STCU, will judge the entries and award prizes. 


It’s been more than a decade since the Spo kane Civic Theatre staged Barbara Field’s much-loved adaptation of A CHRISTMAS CAROL . But this erstwhile Civic tradition is making a grand return for the theater’s 75th anniversary season. Kearney Jordan and Bryan D. Durbin are co-di recting this stage version of Charles Dickens’ classic hol iday tale about miserly, selfish Scrooge (played by Gary Pierce) and the epiphanies he experiences while being visited by three Christmas ghosts — each one a little more ominous than the last! The cast of 27 features a host of young as well as veteran actors, including mainstage newcomer Ruby Krajic as the Ghost of Christmas Past, and Bill Marlowe as both the Ghost of Christmas Present and Fezziwig. And on top of the heartwarm ing story of an incorrigible grouch discovering the true spirit of the season, there are glowing dresses, spectral door knockers and other special effects that should make it a memorable occasion for all ages. Ticket avail ability is already limited for all performances, so be sure to visit or call the box office at (509) 325-2507 today to reserve your seats. The show runs until Dec. 18. 


City Sidewalks

Around Downtown, Gifts Abound

There are toy stores, and then there’s WHIZ KIDS inside River Park Square. The shelves at this locally owned, independent retailer are filled with high-quality, classic playthings that are a little bit special and designed to delight, such as puppets and trains. Along with lots of soft and cuddly plush items, there are also toys with a fun, educational bent, like science kits, flashcards, brain teasers, board games and puzzles. There’s also a wide selec tion of books. Stumped about your options or what would make the perfect gift? The staff is always eager to help point you in the right direction.

Founded right here in Spokane in 2013, THE GREAT PNW , also inside the mall,

(509) 327-6920 203 N. Washington, Spokane, WA 99201 Unique. Handmade. Local. 203 N. Washington, Spokane, WA 99201 Unique. Handmade. Local. Shop Hours: 203 N. Washington Spokane, WA 99201 (509) 327-6920

has grown into a major regional lifestyle brand that’s unapologetically in love with the Pacific Northwest and everything that makes it, well, great. More than just cloth ing that includes T-shirts, hoodies and headwear, much of which proudly states, “Upper Left, USA,” you’ll also find accessories like mugs, stickers, camp chairs, cara biners and blankets. If your giftee is nostalgic, there’s an iconic Smokey Bear line of apparel and accessories. And if your giftee has a wry, playful side, check out their collection of Woodsy gear.

A MODERN PLANTSMAN (110 S. Madison St.) isn’t just for plant lovers. It’s also for folks who would like to have greener thumbs and more botanical décor. The shop carries a large number of plants, containers and related accessories, all of which make unique gifts for the home or office, and what’s more, its staff has the extensive knowledge to help you make an informed purchase. “We have Norfolk Island Pines, which is a species of tropical conifer, and we use a Japanese technique called kokedama to wrap the root ball in moss,” says owner Dominic Villareal. “You can either buy them pre-made and pre-decorated as miniature Christmas trees or take a workshop to make one yourself.” 


Far-Away Flavors

Open for lunch and dinner, kid friendly and located close to the seasonal displays in the windows of the Davenport Grand, THE MANGO TREE (401 W. Main Ave.) is perfect for a drop-in meal when you’re enjoying the festivities and doing some holiday shopping downtown. “We’re all family here, and our customers are treated like family, too. During the winter season, this is the perfect warming comfort food, because you can choose something sweet or savory as well as your spice level: mild, medium or hot,” says comanager Allyson Davis. The menu offers traditional Indian curries like butter chicken, korma, tikka masala and even vindaloo for those who like things extra hot. But there are fusions of the exotic and familiar, too, such as “naanchos,” which is fresh-baked naan bread with

34 INLANDER DECEMBER 8, 2022 City Sidewalks COMING NEXT WEEK Check all things holidays in Downtown Spokane in next week’s edition of CITY SIDEWALKS inside the Inlander. Find out when you can connect with jolly old Santa, or where to satisfy that holiday sweet tooth of yours. OPEN Tues-Sun 620 North Monroe St. 509-315-9946 finnboyrecordsbooks Upscale resale clothing, accessories and gift items. 11 S. Howard St. • Tues - Fri 11am 6pm/Sat Sun 10am 3pm/Closed Mon Holiday Gifts She’ll Love! 816 W Sprague, Spokane · TRY OUR ICONIC PIZZA FLIGHTS, WINGS AND MORE order online! real people cooking up good vibes MANGO TREE Gifts for Gamers & Comic Lovers 15 W Main, Spokane | Open 10-9 Every Day (509) 624-0957 | Books for Book Lovers! Spokane’s Literary Landmark 402 W Main Avenue, Spokane (509) 838-0206 | Puzzles, Games & Toys for the Whole Family 404 W Main Ave, Spokane • (509) 624-4633 • 14700 E. Indiana, Spokane Valley Mall • (509) 891-7620 and Redmond /

nacho-style toppings, or the classic hamburger garnished with fried onions, mint and tamarind chutney.

CHAN’S NOODLE HOUSE & DUMPLINGS (621 W. Mallon Ave.) is tucked away on the lower level of The Flour Mill, which makes it easy to miss at first glance. But once you’ve visited, you won’t be able to forget it’s there. This small family-run restaurant dishes up authentic noodles and from-scratch Chinese dumplings that are both quick and tasty. While a steaming noodle soup made with veg gies, meat or wontons is ideal when the temperature drops, it’s just as easy to be tempted by the many varieties of house-made potstickers or dumplings. If you’re in a hurry to get home, they also do takeout and delivery.

Things operate a little differently at BOIADA BRAZILIAN GRILL (245 W. Spo kane Falls Blvd.). That’s because Brazilian steakhouses, known as churrascar ias in Portuguese, have servers who rotate throughout the restaurant. Each arrives at your table with a skewer of different types of slowroasted prime meats or seafood, and you choose whether you want a slice of, say, the filet mignon, the parmesan pork, the bacon-wrapped chicken, the grilled shrimp or a little bit of all of the above. Alongside the churras co is a salad buffet, wines and Brazilianinspired cocktails. 

Deal of the Day

Growing anticipation as Christmas ap proaches isn’t just for kids. With the COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS , adults can get in on the excitement, too. Starting on December 12 and continuing through December 23, the Downtown Spokane Partnership will highlight a different business each day, as well as a special limit ed-time deal or promotion. When you take advantage of that deal or promotion on that day, you’ll get the chance to be entered into a drawing for a cash prize. It’s a great way to discover new businesses and a fun reason to shop at the ones you love — with the pos sibility of an added bonus! For details on participating businesses, be sure to keep an eye on the DSP website ( The DSP will also be posting about the businesses and related promotions on their social media throughout the 12 days as well. 

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He knows if you’ve been bad or good
Art Elements From Crescent Department Store Coloring Book, 1973


Hannah Charlton’s art is inspired by illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages

Due to history’s patriarchal perpsective, we may not expect feminist viewpoints from a time so long ago as the Middle Ages. Yet women who challenged the status quo have always existed, even then.

One such woman is Christine de Pizan, whose The Book of the City of Ladies was completed in 1405. The book, and the more than 100 historically famous and mytholog ical subjects contained within, is the focus of an ongoing project by Spokane-based artist Hannah Charlton.

“She wrote it because she was really depressed about how men wrote about women,” says Charlton, who’s illustrating the 617-year-old book. “So it’s The Book of the City of Ladies because she’s building this metaphorical city for women to live and defend themselves from these at tacks. She goes through all these ideas like ‘women aren’t good at studying’ or ‘women aren’t faithful,’ and she counteracts each of those with the story of historical or mythological women.”

In collecting each of her subject’s stories, Pizan argues that women are indeed valued contributors to society, and thus should be allowed to seek an education like their male counterparts. Familiar names from Greek and Roman mythology alongside religious icons and actual figures of ancient history — queens and nobles, saints and scholars — fill the book, which was only recently translat ed into approachable English in the 1980s, Charlton says.

“This book was so hard to get for so long,” she says. “You had to know this really weird, archaic French to

read it, and so with a new translation it’s slowly making its way out” into the public sphere.

A 2014 Whitworth University fine art and history graduate, Charlton uses techniques and materials similar to what medieval scribes had access to well before the advent of the printing press. Depictions in original il luminated manuscripts, which are handwritten books or documents, typically include lavish illustrations, borders and other flourishes in addition to a central text.

Charlton uses a modern, plant-based parchment with qualities similar to the animal skin vellum originally used for illuminated texts. After sketching in pencil and tracing outlines in black ink, she paints each image with gouache (an opaque watercolor) and gold pigment, then a final coat of black ink for touch-up and to add details like facial expressions. The resulting images are two-di mensional yet filled with movement, symbolic details and rich color. Each character’s scene is set against contrasting gem-toned backgrounds of blood red, cobalt blue or a bubblegum pink; Charlton uses a color palette similar to what was available in the medieval period.

“In the original Book of the City of Ladies, there are only like three miniatures just for the chapter headings, so it was never really illuminated very thoroughly,” she says. “So another reason I want to do this project is because it has a lot of really cool, interesting characters. Some of them were really familiar, some of them are not, so it’s a way to sort of bring the book and all the women to the public.”

Since starting the project in 2020, Charlton has cre ated 13 paintings featuring women from the City of Ladies, though each piece contains imagery for between two and four related characters, like the mythological witches Circe, Manto and Medea in one grouping, and the chain mail-clad warriors Joan of Arc and Camilla in another. Tragic romantic characters — Thisbe, Hero, Ghismonda, and Lisabetta, each posed in moments of defiance or lamentation — are also shown together.

These and her other paintings of the Ladies’ ladies were recently displayed at Spokane Art School’s gallery in a solo show. Charlton also regularly teaches classes there on the history and technique of illuminated manuscripts, among other local venues such as the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (her Dec. 10 workshop is sold out), public libraries and the Immaculate Heart Retreat Center in south Spokane County.

“I think it’s a great medium to work in, because so much of arts education focuses on realism, and that’s really intimidating, so it’s easy to think, ‘Well, I’m not good at art,’ but there’s thousands of years of art history to choose from, and this is a medium that I think helps people break down barriers a little bit,” she says. “Then at the end you have a painting, and it’s really fun, and it’s shiny and it sparkles.”

In 2020, Charlton received a $2,000 Spokane Arts Grant Award to research characters depicted in The Book of the City of Ladies, all documented on her website.

Hannah Charlton’s art sends viewers way back in time.

“The more I read, the more I realize that the past isn’t how we usually think of it, and also that people haven’t changed as much as we think, which is really reassuring,” she says. “Especially reading about Christine’s writing about her depression and her sadness, and her anger about how women are treated. There were medieval feminists who were upset about these issues.”

Charlton’s discovery of and subsequent focus on illumi nated manuscript style-art happened by chance, but immediately felt like a perfect fit, melding her academic focuses on art and history. She had this epiphany while interning at the Grünewald Guild, a nonprofit art retreat in Leavenworth, and working to reproduce Gothic-style calligraphy.

“I wanted to put everything in practice, and everything just really clicked with the manuscripts in a really interesting way that I hadn’t experienced before. Everything made sense,” she recalls. “So I started learning more — there was always so much more to learn. I heard someone once describe working on a project and say ‘It’s like I was just standing on a bunch of diamonds, and I didn’t even have to dig.’ I was just pick ing them up!”

An invalu able source of reference and inspiration for Charlton’s art comes from the Morgan Bible, a wellpreserved folio of 46 volumes from 1250 that contains more than 380 ornate illustrations of the Hebrew Bible, depicted from a French Christian per spective. The Morgan has been completely digitized for scholarly research, Charlton says, and is viewable for free online.

“I make all the designs myself, but like the heavy outlines, the drapery [of fabric] and the way hair is drawn, I got that from the Morgan Bible,” she says. “It’s been a fantastic tool.”

While Charlton’s series on Pizan’s Book of the City of Ladies is her focus now, she’s also created medieval art homages to other works, including George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, the source material for the TV show A Game of Thrones

“For Game of Thrones, I was taking the scenes and sort of trying to figure out how they would be depicted in an actual manuscript, like the gestures that would be used,” she says. “A fun thing about medieval art is that it’s OK for things to be really unsubtle, so you can have really dramatic hand movements and faces.”

Another series she’s completed is a medieval bestiary-themed alphabet, featuring both mythical and real animals, along with the Nativity, and figures from classic mythology.

When she’s not creating or teaching art, Charlton works as a paraeducator at a local middle school. Besides her recent solo show at the Spokane Art School, she’s had her work displayed at Terrain’s one-night showcase, Pottery Place Plus and the Chase Gallery in Spokane City Hall.

“Growing up, I always wanted to do fantasy art. I think that’s what interested me the most,” Charlton says. “Playing around with this, it’s fantasy, but it’s primary source fantasy. Isn’t it fun?” n

Select prints ($55-$60 each) from Hannah Charlton’s The Book of the City of Ladies series can be purchased at Hannah

We were disappointed to discover a batch of the custom keepsake pint glasses sold at Inlander Winter Party are defective. Some of the artwork on the glass pints isn’t holding up in the dishwasher. That shouldn’t happen, and we want to make this right.

We’ve partnered with No-Li to get you a replacement glass pint. All you have to do is bring a photo of your defective glass and exchange it for a new one.

Available while supplies last

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Switch up your reading habits with these three unusual books

When it comes to books, the world is your oyster. If you can think of it, there’s prob ably a book written about it. At least, that’s what I thought until I picked up these three books that left me wondering how someone could possibly concoct a plot as bewildering. If you need a boost to get out of a reading slump, need to change up genres in the new year, or you’re a connoisseur of odd fiction, these books might be right up your alley.


This book is truly a journey. If you’re a fan of The Chronicles of Narnia, Piranesi is like the grown-up version of that classic tale with a bit of a twist. Almost the en tirety of the story takes place in The House, a mysteri ous system of tunnels and hallways in which Piranesi (our titular character and protagonist) and a few other curious beings reside. Piranesi is confined to a world filled with nothing but statues, which represent a greater reality of which he is simultaneously ignorant. (Ring ring! The Allegory of the Cave is calling!) This entire novel is a lesson in identity. Piranesi begins to piece together a life he once had, and his only friend in The House, named The Other, tries to suppress those memories and keep Piranesi under his control. By the end of this tale, I felt like Piranesi was my friend and became filled with warm fuzzies that only a good book can provide.


follows Hansel and Gretel through time. Drager exam ines how stories during incredibly significant moments in history often go untold. Touching on the AIDS crisis as well as the climate crisis, the book is split up into short, succinct chapters, making it great for binging. It highlights how stories are disseminated, censored and shared in a completely unique way: in 75-year intervals that correspond with appearances of Halley’s Comet over Earth. The celestial phenomenon ties all of the storylines together into a tale that will tug on heartstrings and maybe make you cry over twin space probes in the end. Warning: If you have a sibling, this story will likely cause you to text them a long, sappy paragraph about how much you love and cherish them.



As a Los Angeles jury begins deliberation in the sexual assault trial of Harvey Weinstein, the new film SHE SAID serves as a compel ling example of how diligent journalism can achieve real change. Directed by Maria Schrader, the film narrates the investigative processes that New York Times’ journalists Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) and Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) took to uncover decades of sexual misconduct by Weinstein. The film doesn’t shy from its portrayal of the quiet, yet devastating impact of sexual abuse on victims, nor does it glamorize the journalistic process of locating sources, earning their trust and checking facts. She Said deliberate ly builds a soft, yet gripping suspense even though audiences know the outcome of its narrative. In theaters. (SAMANTHA


First off, this book is hard to find, which makes the ending even more magical and satisfying. I searched local bookstores with haste for months before an East Coast friend finally found a copy at the Strand Book store in Manhattan and snail-mailed it to me. This tale

On the surface, this book is simply ridiculous. The nar rator just decides to take a year off from life in the hope that her outlook and perspective will change. Readers are plopped in the middle of New York City only to be guided by an unnamed, unreliable narrator through her heartbreak-induced bender. The unnamed narrator uses pills like Ambien, Xanax and Seroquel, prescribed to her by a quack of a psychiatrist, to knock herself out and “recuperate” much to the chagrin of her friends and fam ily. Plot-wise, it’s hard to explain what actually happens in this metamorphic tale because of its twisting alleyways and the dreamlike state that the narrator inhabits. I hate to say you have to read in order to find out, but that’s the only way to go into Rest and Relaxation — knowing absolutely nothing. The final page of this book has not left my mind in the three years since I finished it for the first time. I’m offering a money-back guarantee if you’re not completely blindsided by the ending. n


Well before Amazon and other online platforms, brick-and-mortar stores drew shoppers with inventive displays, including inside street-facing window areas. These box-like spaces delighted passers-by — I remember long-ago family visits to midtown Man hattan’s lavish Fifth and Sixth avenue windows — and launched many an artist’s career, including Andy Warhol’s. Our local equiva lent existed at the former Crescent department store, which dates to the 1880s and went through various name changes until closing in 1992. Recapture the nostalgia of bygone holidays at Downtown Spokane Partnership’s CRESCENT WINDOWS at the Grand, which incorporates vintage displays from the Crescent. Local artist Mal lory Battista created whimsical backdrops for five displays on the hotel’s south side, on display through Jan. 2. (CARRIE SCOZZARO)


Entering this season, Gonzaga had three RETIRED NUMBERS hanging in McCarthey Athletic Center: Frank Burgess, John Stock ton, and Adam Morrison. By the end of the season, that number will have doubled. It was recently announced that Gonzaga is soon lifting Kelly Olynyk, Courtney Vandersloot and Dan Dickau’s jerseys to the rafters. Olynyk was a quick turnaround, with a ceremony during Monday’s contest with Kent State. Dickau will be honored at the Feb. 9 game against San Francisco, while the date for Vandersloot (the actual GOAT point guard in GU hoops history) — who originally was set to receive the accolade last season — is still TBA. After this trio, the next likely number retirees are Doman tas Sabonis and current star Drew Timme. Who else will join them in the GU pantheon? Only time will tell… (SETH SOMMERFELD)





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On Nov. 6 — Election Day — most Americans were heading to the polls, but recent Washington State University graduate Cullen Anderson was heading to the airport. His destination: Madagascar, the island nation off Africa’s southeastern coastline. Formerly a French colony, and technically the Republic of Mada gascar, it was historically revered — and exploited — for its timber and spices, like ginger, chiles, black pepper and, especially, cloves and vanilla.

Among these natural resources, pepper is of special interest to the Pullman-based Phoenix Conservancy, founded in 2016 by Chris Duke, who recently completed his doctoral studies in biology at WSU where he met Anderson through mutual acquaintances.

“The Phoenix Conservancy’s mission is to restore endangered ecosystems for the communities that depend on them and for the conservation of biodiversity,” says Anderson, the conservancy’s Madagascar project manager. He also notes the nongovernmental organiza tion’s prior efforts addressed Palouse and Great Plains ecosystem restoration.

Why Madagascar?

“Madagascar’s rainforest met all three of our project criteria,” explains Duke. It’s less than 10 percent intact, highly biodiverse and is a location “where our organiza tion has a pragmatic opportunity to make a measurable impact.”

The voatsiperifery pepper is a focus of the organiza tion’s global conservation efforts. Meaning fruit (voa) and vine (tsiperifery) in Malagasy (the language spoken on Madagascar and how the island’s 29 million or so inhabit ants refer to themselves), the fruit becomes peppercorns when dried.

Like much of Madagascar’s flora and fauna, voat siperifery is unique to the island, like the island’s rare sifaka lemurs or the cougar-esque fossa. It only grows on trees at the edge of Madagascar’s shrinking rainforests, “so demand for the pepper translates closely to direct

demand for [the] rainforest itself,” Anderson says. Voatsiperifery is among the least-consumed peppers worldwide, and the Malagasy themselves do not eat it, according to Anderson.

Most of the world’s pepper consumption — 300,000 tons annually — is from the piper nigrum plant, similar to voatsiperifery, but native to southwestern India and heavily cultivated in Vietnam, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Berries appear in many colors, like green, which are raw. Red and black peppercorn, meanwhile, gain their color from brining and fermenting, respectively. White pepper is like white rice; the darkercolored hull is removed and the white innards finely ground. And if a peppercorn is pink, it’s likely from the Brazilian peppertree or a shrub native to China.

You’ll find black, green, red and even pink pepper corns at local grocers, but probably not voatsiperifery — it’s that rare. To help build awareness of it, the Phoenix Conservancy is collaborating with select culinary entities.

Moscow’s Lodgepole restaurant has been cooking and experimenting with voatsiperifery for several years, including in its shrub-based drinks, says co-owner Melissa Barham, who notes that Lodgepole donates a portion of proceeds from these menu items to the conservancy.

“The peppercorn works wonderfully in vinaigrettes, adding a unique, floral type spice to our dressings,” says Barham, who founded the restaurant with husband and executive chef, Alex, in 2015.

“We currently season our house-made labneh with a spice blend that includes the voatsiperifery,” she says.

The Barhams are working on an event space for the restaurant, potentially launching it with an event high lighting Madagascar, as well as the conservancy’s initial focal points of the Palouse and Great Plains, Barham says.

Voatsiperifery can also be found online, including through Seattle-based World Spice Merchants, which the

conservancy has also partnered with. It sells a 2-ounce portion of voatsiperifery for $14.95, also donating a portion of sales to conservation efforts. Compare that to the same quantity of the more common piper nigrum — the Vietnam variety is $6, and the same pepper from southwestern India, where it’s called tellicherry pepper, is $9.95.

Harvesting voatsiperifery could be a boon to the Malagasy, but it’s not sustainable without a holistic ap proach to rainforest preservation.

“Madagascar’s deforestation crisis is rooted in dire economic circumstances, so any efforts to restore rainfor est must address economic issues to be successful in the long term,” Anderson says, noting that the conservancy’s goals is “pull out and hand the reins off” to Malagasy communities within 15 to 20 years.

In addition to voatsiperifery, the conservancy is di recting the planting of sakua trees onto which the pepper plant’s vines can grow. Sakua nuts produce a valuable oil, and the spent hulls can be used in place of charcoal for cooking rice, the Malagasy’s primary foodstuff, thus pre serving trees ordinarily used to make charcoal. And by creating firebreaks for the trees, intentional fires started by Malagasy farmers to clear grassland for cattle grazing are less likely to burn through the forest.

Combined, this incentivizes further restoration, Anderson says.

And if in the future, Malagasy stakeholders want to harvest and market voatsiperifery pepper on a large scale, a healthy and protected forest could support it. While the Malagasy may choose not to harvest the little peppercorn with the difficult-to-pronounce name, either way they’ll have entrenched processes for protecting and preserving their homelands.

“Our view is that Malagasy are the best stewards for the rainforest and it’s not our place to tell them how they should use the resources that the rainforest has,” Anderson says. n

Pullman-based conservation organization is helping preserve habitat for a rare-yet-pungent Madagascar spice
Cullen Anderson and Chris Duke traveled to Madagascar to learn about the voatsiperifery pepper (below). COURTESY PHOTOS

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With The Whale, Brendan Fraser and director Darren Aronofsky attempt to harpoon grief, faith and wasted lives in small-town Moscow, Idaho

“And I felt saddest of all when I read the boring chapters that were only descriptions of whales, because I knew that the author was just trying to save us from his own sad story, just for a little while.”

Charlie reads this passage again and again when his life-threateningly high blood pressure begins to spike. It’s from an essay about Moby Dick, but the object of Captain Ahab’s obsession isn’t the actual source of The Whale’s title. Rather, it’s a not-so-sensitive way to describe Charlie (Brendan Fraser), an online collegiate English teacher who can barely traverse his own apartment in small-town Moscow, Idaho, because of his 600-plus-pound frame. Un fortunately, Charlie can’t save us from his own sad story.

The Whale is an exceedingly intimate character study written by playwright and Moscow native Samuel D. Hunter (an adaptation of his Drama Desk-winning play of the same name) and directed by Academy Awardnominated director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, The Wrestler). The story picks up as Charlie is teaching one of his classes, notably with his Zoom-like box blacked out so his students can’t take in his appearance. Despite being a fierce proponent of the kids expressing honesty in their writing, he can’t bear to let them see his physical form — one self-created out of tragedy and self-loathing.

After the class, Charlie is watching gay pornography on his laptop and begins to suffer a cardiac event. It just so happens this is the moment when Thomas (Ty Simp kins) shows up on his doorstep to spread the missionary good word of his New Life church. Thomas intervenes and helps lower Charlie’s blood pressure by reading him the aforementioned essay, before Charlie’s seemingly only friend, nurse and caretaker Liz (Hong Chau), shows up

and shoos Thomas away. Liz tells Charlie he’s suffering cardiac failure and will die in a matter of days if he doesn’t go to the hospital, but he refuses, citing the cost of medical treatment. In the following days, Charlie reaches out to his estranged teen daughter, Ellie (Sadie Sink), in an attempt to reconnect despite her showing utter contempt for her father, who left her and her mother to have a relationship with one of his male students when Ellie was a child.



This biographical gay romantic drama follows follows journal ist Michael Ausiello (Jim Par sons) during the final year of his partner Kit’s life, after Kit (Ben Aldridge) receives a terminal cancer diagnosis. Rated PG-13


In director Noah Baumbach’s latest black comedy, a husband (Adam Driver) and wife (Greta Gerwig) in the 1980s must navi gate an apocalyptic landscape after a train accident causes an airborne toxic event. Not rated At the Magic Lantern

Rated R


Directed by Darren Aronofsky

Starring Brendan Fraser, Sadie Sink, Ty Simpkins, Hong Chau

Cinematically, The Whale is intentionally constrained. While Aronofsky often tends to employ surrealistic elements in his films about psychological anguish, The Whale is starkly minimalist and grounded. Apart from the opening shot and a brief, hazy flashback to one of Charlie’s fond memories, the story never ventures farther than the front porch of his apartment. (One can only discern it’s set in Mos cow via little details like the pizza delivery place, the 2016 GOP primary results flickering on Charlie’s TV, and New Life being a not-so-hidden stand-in for Christ Church.)

A tight 4:3 aspect ratio further makes the viewer feel like they are constrained in the small apartment just like Charlie is. Unlike many adaptations of plays for the big screen, The Whale doesn’t inherently feel like a bottle story crafted to minimize set changes, as it makes narra tive sense to never leave this space during what might be Charlie’s final days.

When we’re literally stuck in one place with these characters, acting becomes paramount, and The Whale de livers on that front. Charlie is a deeply complex character

in all his flaws and beauty, and Fraser doesn’t shy away from any of it, delivering a gut-wrenching performance. An optimist, Charlie has a pure love for the world that shines through in his interactions with Ellie and even the pizza guy who drops pies on his porch, but he just can’t see himself as part of that goodness. It’s absolutely brutal to watch the small shifts in Fraser’s face when he’s googling his own health conditions — deciding between positive action or intentionally worsening the problem. The film generated prerelease controversy for the fat suit Fraser wears to embody the role, but the film itself isn’t an exercise in fat-shaming, though it’s easy to see how people can be turned off by symbolic moments of suicidal tendencies expressed through binge eating.

The rest of the small cast also delivers. Sink plays El lie with the angst of a kid who wants to watch the world burn down around her. She’s full of hateful self-centered rudeness but also clearly was broken by her father’s abandonment. Chau’s Liz is vital to convey that someone cares about Charlie — even if he doesn’t — providing both real warmth and exasperated rage when warranted. And Simpkins’ hopelessly naive missionary manages to walk the line between goody-two-shoes and religious fanatic in a way that manages to convey both cluelessness and chilling determination.

The Whale is ultimately a harrowing look at con victions of belief and the ways in which love can be a devastating force. Even when love is beautiful and pure and joyous, it can be taken away by the choices people make. Choosing to love someone can leave a void of love in others, and sometimes that void can ultimately eat you alive from the inside. n

Brendan Fraser delivers a heartwrenching performance in The Whale

Better Kept in the Dark

Mendes overreaches in his disjointed cinematic nostalgia piece Empire of

series of talking points than a detailed depiction of the political situation of the time, when attacks by racist skinhead gangs were on the rise. The portrayal of mental illness is similarly superficial, as Mendes makes his way through a checklist of social injustices in the Margaret Thatcher-era U.K. The anguish that the characters express feels predetermined, rather than a natural re sponse to their individual circumstances.

Although director Sam Mendes’ Empire of Light opens with lingering shots of the title location, a gorgeous vintage movie theater in a British seaside town, it doesn’t really fall into the tradition of the so-called “love letter to cinema.” Despite her job as a duty manager at the Empire, main character Hilary Small (Olivia Colman) doesn’t seem to care about movies and has never even attended a show at her work place. It’s possible that she’s never actually seen a movie, or had any desire to see one, until a latebreaking scene in which she finally opens herself to the power of motion pictures.

That scene is an isolated moment in a movie that has a lot of other, bigger issues on its mind. There are far too many ideas for Mendes — who also wrote the screenplay in his first solo writing credit — to effectively tackle, and the magic of the movies often seems like the least important. The central rela tionship in Empire of Light is a workplace romance between the middle-aged Hilary and her much younger coworker Stephen (Micheal Ward), both of whom have personal trauma to work through. Hilary seems quiet and reserved at first, but as hinted in an early scene with her doctor, that’s partially because she’s heavily medicated after a stint in a psychiatric facility.

Hilary’s mental health difficulties become more prominent as the movie progresses, as does the racism that the Black, working-class Stephen faces in early 1980s Great Britain. It’s more a

Colman and Ward have a sweet dynamic, but the relationship between Hilary and Stephen seems more like a vehicle for Mendes to address his thematic concerns than a genuine human connection. As the movie goes on, Mendes burdens Colman with so much emotional heavy lifting that even an actor of her substantial talent buckles under the weight of the movie’s selfimportance.

For much of the running time, though, Col man’s performance is affecting and understated, as Hilary balances her mental health and finds happiness with Stephen. Although they keep their relationship a secret from their co-workers, Stephen treats Hilary better than her condescend ing married boss (Colin Firth), with whom she’s having a desultory affair at the beginning of the movie. It’s a treat to see Firth play a completely irredeemable jerk, and he provides the ideal contrast to the sensitive, open Stephen.

Empire of Light is disjointed and unfocused, but it has some tender moments, and when Mendes remembers to pay attention to the setting, he evokes some of the wonder of moviegoing. Toby Jones doesn’t get enough screen time as the theater’s dedi cated projectionist Norman, but he’s responsible for the purest tribute to the theatrical viewing experience, when Hilary finally immerses herself in a movie that Norman care fully chooses and projects just for her.


With all the troubles that the characters expe rience, movies would seem to be a perfect escape for them, but once that scene ends, Mendes re turns to the muddled drama. He never quite cap tures the weight of this pivotal historical period, but he briefly makes the movie theater seem like the most wondrous place in the world, for Hilary and for anyone else who’s become overwhelmed by the pressures of everyday life. n

DECEMBER 8, 2022 INLANDER 43 SCREEN | REVIEW December 10 & 11 FREE ADMISSION POTTERY JEWELRY FIBER ARTS PRINTS 2D ART 5 Mile Grange, 3024 W Strong, Spokane, WA Sat. 9-5pm | Sun 11-4pm (509) 370 - 5605 OPEN ENROLLMENT Nov. 1st - Jan. 15th Contact us to get free help with enrolling in or renewing health insurance coverage. Connect With Health Insurance
Sam Rated R Directed by Sam Mendes Starring Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Colin Firth
5:45 SUN: 12:40, 4:45 MON-THU:
Even Olivia Colman can’t turn Empire of Light into movie magic.
FRI/SAT: 7:30


Sound of the South Sound

How Tacoma’s Enumclaw managed to become Seattle’s next big hype band

Aramis Johnson (right) and Enumclaw deliver refreshingly unvarnished indie rock. Colin Matsui photo

If a band creates a buzz in the forest but no one is around to see it play, did it even make a sound?

It was a fair hypothetical question to ask for Tacoma indie rock outfit Enumclaw.

The band made immediate waves in Febru ary 2021 with the release of its first song, “Fast N All.” The tune’s vibe instrumentally dips into the realm of casually loose early ’90s indie rock, but singer/guitarist Aramis Johnson gives the music a slightly different flavor — delivering lyrics about kinda aimlessly trying to find self-identity as time drifts away, with a sort of facade-free unpolished vocal sincerity. Within months the song and the band had already garnered rave write-ups from the tastemakers at KEXP, Pitchfork and Sterogum

There was just one catch. Still in the grips of the COVID pandemic, the band couldn’t play any concerts. In fact, at that point Enumclaw had never played a live show.

But in our digital age, little details like that aren’t momentum killers. And Enumclaw continued to ride the hype wave even after finally playing a gig for some pals in the backyard of a former Tacoma vintage store in June 2021.

Despite being located south down Interstate 5, it’s safe to say Enumclaw is the current holder of a title that’s launched many artists into star dom: Seattle’s buzziest band.

For the extremely confident Johnson, who just turned 27 this week, the band’s quick rise isn’t shocking. It’s a result of him betting on himself. He’d long been a very active player in the Tacoma music scene, but not really in a perfor mance way (apart from some DJing). Despite no real experience singing or playing guitar, he just decided to go for it and start a band.

Johnson brought in Gipson to drum and his pal Nathan Cornell as another guitarist, before eventually looping in his younger brother, Eli Edwards, to play bass. Again displaying no lack of bravado, the band dubbed themselves “The Best Band Since Oasis.” And while the immediacy of the band’s popularity might not have been expected, it was in part because of all the networking Johnson had done over the years, which led him to have deep roots in both the Tacoma and Seattle music scenes.

“I knew a lot of people, but I didn’t really ever have a product to utilize all the people I knew,” he says. “So I did think once I finally put the band out that it would definitely be able to have the right eyes in front of it. I was pretty confident that it’d work, but I don’t think like the first song we put out would do it. ‘Fast N All’ is still our most popular song.”

Enumclaw kept the hype train rolling along in 2022 with the release of its first LP, Save the Baby. Produced by Gabe Wax (who also helmed one of Johnson’s all-time favs, Soccer Mommy’s essentially perfect debut record Clean), the album captures the spirit that initially drew so many folks to the band. The songs on Save the Baby are casually cool in a way that makes the band feel like hanging with your pals, only they decide to put on an impromptu house show.

Heck, the ultra-tender album-closing “Apart ment” is literally the demo version of the song Johnson recorded on his phone’s voice memo app. After many attempts to make it a full band version the guys just decided that bare-bones ver sion was best (even if it doesn’t have the finalized lyrics Johnson settled on). Enumclaw is here for that level of go-with-the-flow. It fosters a feeling of approachability whether folks are listen ing from afar or at their actual concerts.

“It just was something I had always wanted to do,” says Johnson. “Actually, right before the band started, I had started a creative agency with my friends Scooby and Eric. We were trying to do a magazine, and managing this local rap group who was starting to get a little bit of buzz.”

“We were helping out [Enumclaw drummer LaDaniel Gipson] with his solo music,” Johnson continues, “and we had a little office space in downtown Tacoma. I also was toying with the idea, especially toward the end of college, that I was going to move to LA and be in A&R and con sult for some bigger labels. I had taken a meeting with Capital and thought I was going to do that.”

“And one day after shooting a music video for the rap group we were working with at the time, me and Eric went to the bar,” he continues. “And we were talking, and I kind of just realized, like, I don’t want to wake up one day and be like, I spent my whole life helping other people do what I wanted to do. Because I had never put myself first. I had, like, DJed for other artists or I tried to do all this other stuff for my friends. And I was like, I want to see what would happen if I put myself in the driver’s seat, per se. Shortly after that, I parted ways with my friends that I was doing the agency with, and we started the band up.”

“On this last tour, it was really cool to see Black kids start to come out to shows,” Johnson remarks. “And we’re at a stage in the band, where if somebody comes to the show, it’s extremely easy for them to meet us. Half the times we don’t even have a green room, you know?”

More than anything else, the key to Enum claw’s appeal seems to be the band’s utter lack of artifice. While it might be in the same sonic realm as some classic ’90s indie touchstones, there’s a decidedly different heart at the core. While bands like Pavement peddled in too-cool-too-care slacker detachment, Enumclaw is almost achingly earnest without dipping into anything resembling the florid melodrama of emo music. The lyrics John son writes and the rap-inspired sing-talk cadence with which he delivers them are completely unvar nished. In this era of curated social media perso nas, what you see is what you get with Enumclaw. And that feels fresh and real to listeners.

“I think this album has just made a lot of people feel seen,” says Johnson. “A lot of people — especially in rock music — try to hide behind the lyrics with vagueness or, like, different kinds of wordplay. But I think my lyrical writing sounds very up-front. It’s kind of pretty obvious what I’m talking about in my songs. So yeah, I think it’s just made a lot of people feel seen. I feel very lucky to feel like I’ve touched on a universal feeling.” n

Enumclaw, Milly • Fri, Dec. 9 at 8 pm • $15-$18 • 21+ • Lucky You Lounge • 1801 W. Sunset Blvd. •

“I don’t want to wake up one day and be like, I spent my whole life helping other people do what I wanted to do.”


Our Christmas songs may have us dream ing of a white Christmas, but a Hawaiian holiday sounds pretty good too. And the Bing is bringing the festive island spirit with concerts from Anuhea and Jake Shimabukuro. Maui native Anuhea comes to town to share her pop-infused Hawaiian reggae to brighten up our dark December days. As her 2016 holiday EP All Is Bright showcased, both her seasonal originals and her takes on Christmas classics feel warm as a tropical breeze. Ukulele maestro Shimabukuro’s “Christmas in Hawai’i” tour is the first holiday jaunt for the acclaimed “am bassador of aloha,” whose virtuosic playing has transformed what many consider to be a niche instrument into a tool for fresh jazz, blues, funk, and rock sounds.

Anuhea • Fri, Dec. 9 at 8 pm • $29-$49 • Jake Shimabukuro • Wed, Dec. 14 at 7:30 pm

• $37-$67 • All-ages • Bing Crosby Theater • 901 W. Sprague Ave. •


Thursday, 12/8

BOLO’S BAR & GRILL, Theresa Edwards Band




THE MASON JAR, Nathan Bradford

J NASHVILLE NORTH, Jeremy McComb: Christmas, Cowboy-Style J QQ SUSHI & KITCHEN, Just Plain Darin ZOLA, Desperate8s

Friday, 12/9


J THE BIG DIPPER, Jaeda, Lyndsay Lee, Suhanna Cree, The Victress Voice Music Collective BIGFOOT PUB, Karma’s Circle




CURLEY’S, Pastiche








SPOKANE EAGLES LODGE, Stagecoach West TRAILS END BREWERY, Tod Hornby ZOLA, Justyn Priest Band

Saturday, 12/10


BIGFOOT PUB, Karma’s Circle


CHINOOK STEAK, PASTA & SPIRITS, Jonathan Tibbetts CURLEY’S, Pastiche


J THE HEARTWOOD, The Gothard Sisters


MOOSE LOUNGE, Rock Candy NEATO BURRITO, Trash Casket, Grave Depression, Violent Twilight OSPREY RESTAURANT & BAR, Son of Brad

J PEND D’OREILLE WINERY, Tom Catmull ZOLA, Blake Braley

For many families, holiday traditions run deep — like they go back generations upon generations. If you happen to have some of that Celtic blood from your ancestors, then Everdream’s “A Celtic Christmas” might be a perfect seasonal dose of cheer. The Irish trio (formerly known as Affinití) consists of soprano Emer Barry, violist Mary McCague and harpist Teresa O’Donnell are back on the road after two years off due to COVID, so no one can be blamed if folks end up step dancing in the aisles with excitement.

Everdream • Wed, Dec. 14 at 7 pm • $29 • All ages • Kroc Center • 1765 W. Golf Course Rd., Coeur d’Alene •

Coming Up ...

Sunday, 12/11 J DAVENPORT GRAND HOTEL, Steven King
EATERY, Shuffle Dawgs J SPOKANE ARENA, Five Finger Death Punch, Brantley Gilbert, Cory Marks Wednesday, 12/14 J J BING CROSBY THEATER, Jake Shimabukuro HIGHBALL A MODERN SPEAKEASY, Luke Yates & Christy Lee Band J J KROC CENTER, Everdream KNITTING FACTORY, The Grouch & Eligh J PEND D’OREILLE WINERY, Peter Lucht RED ROOM LOUNGE, The Roomates SOUTH PERRY LANTERN, Keanu ZOLA, Runaway Lemonade J = THE INLANDER RECOMMENDS THIS SHOW J = ALL AGES SHOW
J HISTORIC DAVENPORT HOTEL, Eureka Tregenza Moody HOGFISH, Open Mic J NORTHERN QUEST RESORT & CASINO, Queensrÿche, Quiet Riot Monday, 12/12 RED ROOM LOUNGE,
Mic Night Tuesday, 12/13 BING CROSBY THEATER,
Bluhm LITZ’S PUB &
J J SPOKANE ARENA, Holidaze of Blaze: Snoop Dogg, T-Pain, Warren G, Ying Yang
Justin Champagne, Dec. 15, 7 pm.
You Holiday Show, Dec. 16, 8 pm.
J J FIRST INTERSTATE CENTER FOR THE ARTS, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, Dec. 17, 7:30 pm.
J NORTHERN QUEST RESORT & CASINO, LeAnn Rimes - Joy: The Holiday Tour, Dec. 18, 7:30 pm.


219 LOUNGE • 219 N. First Ave., Sandpoint • 208-263-5673

ARBOR CREST WINE CELLARS • 4705 N. Fruit Hill Rd., Spokane Valley • 509-927-9463

BABY BAR • 827 W. First Ave. • 509-847-1234

BARRISTER WINERY • 1213 W. Railroad Ave. • 509-465-3591

BEE’S KNEES WHISKY BAR • 1324 W. Lancaster Rd.., Hayden • 208-758-0558

BERSERK • 125 S. Stevens St. • 509-315-5101

THE BIG DIPPER • 171 S. Washington St. • 509-863-8098

BIGFOOT PUB • 9115 N. Division St. • 509-467-9638

BING CROSBY THEATER • 901 W. Sprague Ave. • 509-227-7638

BLACK DIAMOND • 9614 E. Sprague Ave. • 509891-8357

BOLO’S BAR & GRILL • 116 S. Best Rd., Spokane Valley • 509-891-8995

BOOMERS CLASSIC ROCK BAR • 18219 E. Appleway Ave., Spokane Valley • 509-368-9847

BUCER’S COFFEEHOUSE PUB • 201 S. Main St., Moscow • 208-596-0887

THE BULL HEAD • 10211 S. Electric St., Four Lakes • 509-838-9717

CHAN’S RED DRAGON • 1406 W. Third Ave. • 509-838-6688

COEUR D’ALENE CASINO • 37914 S. Nukwalqw St., Worley • 800-523-2464

COEUR D’ALENE CELLARS • 3890 N. Schreiber Way, Coeur d’Alene • 208-664-2336

CRUISERS BAR & GRILL • 6105 W Seltice Way, Post Falls • 208-446-7154

CURLEY’S HAUSER JUNCTION • 26433 W. Hwy. 53, Post Falls • 208-773-5816

EICHARDT’S PUB • 212 Cedar St., Sandpoint • 208-263-4005

FIRST INTERSTATE CENTER FOR THE ARTS • 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. • 509-279-7000

FOX THEATER • 1001 W. Sprague Ave. • 509-624-1200

IRON HORSE • 407 E. Sherman, Coeur d’Alene • 208-667-7314

IRON HORSE BAR & GRILL • 11105 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley • 509-926-8411

JOHN’S ALLEY • 114 E. Sixth St., Moscow • 208-883-7662

KNITTING FACTORY • 911 W. Sprague Ave. • 509-244-3279

LEFTBANK WINE BAR • 108 N. Washington St. • 509-315-8623

LUCKY YOU LOUNGE • 1801 W. Sunset Blvd. • 509-474-0511

MARYHILL WINERY • 1303 W. Summit Pkwy. • 509-443-3832

THE MASON JAR • 101 F St., Cheney • 509-359-8052

MAX AT MIRABEAU • 1100 N. Sullivan Rd., Spokane Valley • 509-922-6252

MILLIE’S • 28441 Hwy 57, Priest Lake • 208-443-0510

MOOSE LOUNGE • 401 E. Sherman Ave., Coeur d’Alene • 208-664-7901

MOOTSY’S • 406 W. Sprague Ave. • 509-838-1570

NASHVILLE NORTH • 6361 W. Seltice Way, Post Falls • 208-457-9128

NORTHERN QUEST RESORT & CASINO • 100 N. Hayford Rd., Airway Heights • 877-871-6772

NYNE BAR & BISTRO • 232 W. Sprague Ave. • 509-474-1621

PEND D’OREILLE WINERY • 301 Cedar St., Sandpoint • 208-265-8545

THE PODIUM • 511 W. Dean Ave. • 509-279-7000

POST FALLS BREWING CO. • 112 N. Spokane St., Post Falls • 208-773-7301

RAZZLE’S BAR & GRILL • 10325 N. Government Way, Hayden • 208-635-5874

RED ROOM LOUNGE • 521 W. Sprague Ave. • 509-838-7613

THE RIDLER PIANO BAR • 718 W. Riverside Ave. • 509-822-7938

SEASONS OF COEUR D’ALENE • 1004 S. Perry St. • 208-664-8008

SPOKANE ARENA • 720 W. Mallon Ave. • 509-279-7000

SOUTH PERRY LANTERN • 12303 E. Trent Ave., Spokane Valley • 509-473-9098

STEAM PLANT • 159 S. Lincoln St. • 509-777-3900

STORMIN’ NORMAN’S SHIPFACED SALOON • 12303 E. Trent Ave., Spokane Valley • 509-862-4852

TRANCHE • 705 Berney Dr., Wall Walla • 509-526-3500

ZOLA • 22 W. Main Ave. • 509-624-2416



We often gather family around to watch our favorite holiday films, but why not experience them on the big screen? The Garland is here to assist, packing its schedule with Christmas movies from now until the holiday itself. The offerings include stone-cold classic A Christmas Story (Dec. 13) and Elf (Dec. 20), kiddie fare like The Polar Express (Dec. 21) and both the animated and live-action Grinch films (Dec. 17 and 23, respectively), the more adult-oriented Krampus (Dec. 22) and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Dec. 16), and a few outside-the-box picks like Gremlins (Dec. 19) and the Japanese holiday animation film Tokyo Godfathers (Dec. 18). It’s like sweets around the holiday season — pick your faves between candy canes, eggnog and gingerbread cookies… or cinemati cally gorge on them all.

The Garland’s Christmas Movie Series • Dec. 13-24; times vary • $5 • Garland Theater • 924 W. Garland Ave. •


I’m not saying you need to self-medicate to get through the holi day hassle with your family… but… you know… If you’re dreaming of a Green Christmas, the one and only hip-hop icon Snoop Dogg is here to serve as the Virgin Mary Jane. Snoop’s “Holidaze of Blaze” tour brings the D.O. Double G to town along with rap and R&B stars T-Pain, Warren G, Ying Yang Twins and Justin Champagne. While this loaded lineup rattles off the hits, that smell emanating from Spokane Arena that night won’t be pine or gingerbread. So skip the holiday baking and do a little holiday getting baked.

Holidaze of Blaze: Snoop Dogg, T-Pain, Warren G, Ying Yang Twins, Justin Champagne • Thu, Dec. 15 at 7 pm • All ages • $59$650 • Spokane Arena • 720 W. Mallon Ave. •


Calling all naughty listers! If you managed to make it onto the naughty list this year, legend has it you’ll be visited by Krampus, an anthropomorphic, horned goat-like figure who smacks all mis behaving children with birch rods. This event, hosted by Northwest Pagan Fest and Spokane Magical Moot, won’t feature any birch rods but will include Krampus carols, the chance to sit on Krampus’ lap for a photo, and occasional terror as Krampus makes his way around the library greeting all of his adoring fans. All attendees receive a small gift from Krampus just for showing up to his celebration. Donations are not required but are appreciated to help fund next year’s Northwest Pagan Fest.

Krampus Fun for Everyone • Sun, Dec. 11 from 2-4 pm • All ages • Free • Hillyard Library • 4110 N. Cook St. •


Submit events online at or email relevant details to We need the details one week prior to our publication date.


On your marks, get set, go! Race over to the Spokane Arena for an actionpacked weekend of monster truck madness. Witness eight world-class drivers make 12,000-pound Monster Jam trucks soar in the air, perform unbelievable stunts and ferociously fight for the event championship title. It’s kind of like pro-wrestling, on wheels! In honor of Monster Jam’s 30th anniversary, the popular Monster Jam Pit Party also returns, offering a VIP fan experience ($20) to see the trucks up close, meet the drivers and engage in family-friendly activities. With intimidating names like Grave Digger, Velociraptor and Wrecking Machine, these mega-size vehicles make those oft-spotted diesel-powered street trucks of the Inland Northwest look like mere child’s toys.

Monster Jam: Triple Threat • Fri, Dec. 9 at 7 pm, Sat, Dec. 10 at 1 pm & 7 pm, Sun, Dec. 11 at 1 pm • $20-$75 • All ages • Spokane Arena • 720 W. Mallon Ave. •


In one of its many ongoing collaborations with the Art Spirit Gallery, Drawn Together Arts is presenting a radio-adapted version of Frank Capra’s holiday classic, It’s A Wonderful Life. Adapted by playwright Joe Landry, this live production based on the iconic film is a performance twice over: a stage performance of an old-time radio production. Tracey Benson directs the show, which features a who’s who of local acting talent and takes place amid the festive original artwork of the gallery’s annual small works exhibit. Even if you know the film version forwards and backwards, this sound-centric adaptation offers a unique new way to appreciate George Bailey’s epiphanic journey through Bedford Falls.


It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play • Dec. 8, Dec. 10 and Dec. 16-17 at 7:30 pm • $20 • The Art Spirit Gallery • 415 Sherman Ave., Coeur d’Alene •

We put our money where our heart is. 800.433.1837 Federally insured by NCUA


ROSAUERS HUNK To the tall muscular man bagging groceries at Rosauers on 29th. I was impressed by your skills. It’s impressive how careful and gentle you were bagging my groceries. I especially loved the way you made some eye contact with me while putting my preparation H in the bag. I’ll be back stud, just as soon as my hemorrhoids clear up. ;-).

OUR EYES MET AT BENNIDITOS We sat in such a way that eye contact was inevitable and felt a spark and perhaps a burst of “Hmmm, yeah.” You enjoying your beers and dinner, and I in a conversation, you have black hair and black glasses, and I wear glasses and have silver/white hair. As I watched you leave, our eyes met again. I would like to see your eyes again, and maybe I will have the courage to engage in conversation with you.

HOLIDAY BLUES My Christmas wish is that we can work through the trust issues and come back together someday. Let’s take things slower this time. I’ll always be your princess.

WENDY’S DRIVE-THROUGH Friday morning 12/2, I waited impatiently in the drivethrough until you passively put me in my place. You drove a tan/gold SUV. Thank you, and I won’t forget it.

XC SKIER, TIME TRAVELER We stopped to chat while cross-country skiing — I was so impressed with how you kick and glide. You mentioned that you spell your name with an “ie” and joked about a time-machine

you are building for you and your dog Riggins. You glided right into my heart, and I am kicking myself for not giving you my number. Does your time machine have room for one more?

AMBULANCE RIDER’S LOST ITEM Woman fell in street, 5 Mile Rd. and Ash St. on Dec. 3 at 7:25 pm. She cut her head open, and an ambulance came to pick her up, but an item was left behind. I’d like to return to owner.


GOOD PEOPLE I’m happy to see people reconnect again and reaffirm their friendships. Many of us have separated over the years because of political differences. I’ve never seen the fervor we’ve experienced over the last few years in my lifetime. I never really cared about political opinions we differed on and always enjoyed a brief conversation about it. We respected each other. Anyhow, I have returned to that, and many of my friends have to. We’ve only been hurting ourselves and each other. Please step back and realize this, we’re better off working together.

YOU BOUGHT OUR CLAM CHOWDER! Friday, Dec. 2, 5 pm, we were having a GREAT homemade bowl of Clam Chowder at Das Stein Haus at Five Mile Shopping Center. When we were ready to pay, their amazing and friendly staff told us the gentleman that had been sitting at the next table purchased our dinner. What a Very Merry Christmas Surprise. Thank you, You Merry Gentleman, for your generosity! In exchange, we will pay it forward. Merry Christmas!

THANK YOU, ELECTION WORKERS! On behalf of the majority of grateful citizens, thanks to all the election workers who carry out the foundational work of our democracy. You do this despite low pay and the criticism of an obnoxious minority who cast baseless doubt on your integrity. We see and appreciate you!!

THERE ARE GOOD PEOPLE There’s a lot of hatred out there these days, and it truly feels like the good in the world is being sucked on out of it, but there is good in the world. I’m a man living with a brain issue that might end up ending the short life I’ve lived so far, or I might live a long life of suffering; I don’t know yet. I’ve had my fair share of run-ins with bad luck, some nasty people and some horrible situations. Things that I felt like giving up. But my illness

has also provided me something good. The people around me, even folks who don’t know me, reach out to show me the good in them. They don’t ask for anything back, demand anything from me for their

Snow Melt. Plentiful, available and infinitely MORE environmentally friendly. Oh, and you don’t track chemicals into your living area, and your pet doesn’t have to walk in it with sensitive feet (I threw that one in

who don’t appreciate someone buying your coffee for you in the espresso line.

WAIT, WHAT? Wait, wait, let me see if I

kindness. ... There are a lot of good people out there who do good year-round. One of the very best people I know in my life, she’s helped me through almost every stage. Loss, pain, happiness and misery, she was there when I needed her the most. She took time out of her day at work to bring me to the hospital, and came and picked me up. She always makes sure I know how much I’m loved. And the other lady in my life, the one who held me as a baby and loved me, she takes time to be around me every week. How lucky am I to have such amazing people, and see so many amazing acts from strangers on the street?


VOTE I overheard a conversation wherein both parties were lamenting some issue or another and upset about the action or lack of action being taken by elected officials. Fast forward ... both folks said they didn’t vote... EVER. If you don’t vote, not only do you forfeit your only chance to make a change, you give the folks or issues you oppose a better chance of victory. No matter your political or social bent, voting is a right and a privilege, for which our veterans have sacrificed. Don’t sully their efforts because you’re too lazy to fill out a ballot and drop it off.

IT’S ONLY THE AQUIFER All that white and blue Snow Melt chemical on the sidewalks ALL over town. That plus the thousands of gallons of chemicals the city pours on our streets. You think that chemical is made of Unicorn Urine? Where do you think that goes? Yes, if you guessed the aquifer beneath our city or the river running through it, you’d be right. So where is all the hand-wringing and arm waving for THAT pollution? Yet there are those out there that are using silica (sand) rather than the

for the leftist pet owners). We’ve signed up to give money to nations impacted with pollution, and there are VERY militant protests of fossil fuel burning cars but nothing on polluting street chemicals? But if it goes into the aquafer, that’s OK? Hardly!

SHOVELING SNOW INTO THE STREET So it’s that time of year again. Jeers to any of you inconsiderate, moronic neighbors that still shovel snow into the streets! Just push it off to the side into your yard like a normal person and act like an adult who shouldn’t need the Inlander to tell them it’s rude. You look like an ahole who doesn’t care about anyone and probably has manure for brains. Have some respect for yourself. Hopefully you get stuck in your own pile right in front of your house so we can all laugh. Sincerely, The Rest of the World.

GU SCORING @ WARP SPEED Such a small gripe in light of world events, but at all the GU BB games, the scorekeeper changes the score as soon as the ball hits the net. Soon after, I look at the scoreboard, and it’s already been changed (I think...maybe.... having not seen the change). Watch ESPN or any other sports channel, and the scorekeepers wait exactly one second, so we GU fans can have the satisfaction of watching our score increase.

PEOPLE AND PETS If you can’t take care of pets, you don’t deserve to hold their lives under your thumb. For those of you moving up here from warmer climates, please understand that it gets cold here during winter and pets die in the cold. How would you like to freeze to death helpless? Please, PLEASE take care of your pets.

CHARITY IS NOT A CRIME To whoever was upset at Tom’s Turkey Drive, shame on you! Charity & caring are NOT CRIMES!! ... You are probably one of the sour grapes

understand the person who’s upset with Tom’s Turkey Drive. Several big corporations and several banks come together for five minutes for the community & you’re upset?! Did I take crack? No sorry that was you. Who are you? The Grinch? Cobra Commander? The Wicked Witch of the West? Only a supervillian would be this pissed off about so much good being done each year. Maybe you feel guilty you didn’t participate.

YOU MAKE ME SMILE To the selfless, who, without a second thought help push vehicles that are stuck. What, honorable, humble and beautiful people you’ve always been. Thank you — it’s because of you humanity is alive. Happy holidays

WHERE’S THE LOVE? Every week, I find myself looking forward to the I Saw You posts in the Inlander. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of political hate [from both sides]. Turn off the tv, take a break from cyber bullying, and go spend time with people. I bet you’ll find you have more in common with people than you think. Set aside your right to be offended and try to learn from other points of view. You can still disagree...RESPECTFULLY. Work to emphasize the similarities and learn from the differences. You will be pleasantly surprised if you try [not promising it will be easy]. n

S T O R M S U C H S P E D A U D I O A S I A I A T E R E D A I R H E A D E C C E A S S N O A R A R M E D N P R B I T R A T E T O U R D E A I R F R A N C E N O K I A P A N I C T O E S A S A D O L A N A K I W I S A U D I T M O N S T E R S A I R B A L L A G E I S T S S G T B L U T O O H O S C A T L A R A C E N T R A L A I R E L A L A U T O M A R D I Y A L L T R O N I V B A G THIS WEEK'S ANSWERS SOUND OFF 1. Visit 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 “,” not “” “ No matter your political or social bent, voting is a right and a privilege... ” SCARY SPEEDS ART-INSPIRED FOOD DOWNTOWN ADVENTURE AWAITS be In the know FOR ALL THINGS SNOW WINTER SERIES Monthly in the Inlander October – February HIGH LIFE Life at the top is just better HURRY UP AND SEEKING INSPIRATION NEIGHBORHOODS LOOK FORTHE THE BIG SCREEN THEATERS SCHOOL DAZE RESEARCH REGIONAL RESORTS PAGE 21 SUPPLEMENT SPOKANE’S SHELTER 12 BAD SEED’S TASTY BUZZ NOVEMBER 11-17, SHREDDING THE SLOPES SINCE 1993 MOUNTAIN MEMORIES & MORE! PULLOUT
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.



FRED MEYER TOY DRIVE Shoppers can stop by select stores, purchase a new gift for a local vulnerable individual and bring it back unwrapped to Salvation Army’s Angel Tree bin. See list of participating stores at link. Dec. 9, 9 am-6 pm. By do nation. Salvation Army Spokane, 222 E. Indiana Ave.

SKATE FOR A CAUSE: SPOKANE PARKS FOUNDATION A program to support community-centered nonprofits in fun draising efforts. Dec. 14, 4-8 pm. $12. Numerica Skate Ribbon, 720 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.

JINGLE N’ MINGLE Join Emerging Leader Society (ELS) and United Way for a fam ily-friendly event featuring warm drinks, food, unlimited carousel rides and a silent auction. Proceeds benefit the Children’s Home Society of Washington Dec. 15, 5-7 pm. $20. Looff Carrousel, 507 N. Howard St.


SARAH COLONNA The stand-up come dian/writer is a regular on Chelsea Lately Dec. 8, 7:30 pm, Dec. 9-10, 7:30 & 10 pm. $15-$30. Spokane Comedy Club, 315 W. Sprague.

HA!!MARK HOLIDAY SPECIAL A full-im provised satire of heart-warming holiday movies. Fridays at 7:30 pm through Dec. 30. $8. Blue Door Theatre, 815 W. Garland Ave.

THE VIRZI TRIPLETS: THE TOUR IS LAVA Alex, Mitchell and Sea Virzi are identical triplets who perform stand-up as a group. Dec. 11, 7:30 pm. $20-$28. Spokane Comedy Club, 315 W. Sprague.


41ST TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY This event aims to provide a comforting space to grieve, mourn and remember those who have passed away with calming music and a luminary walk around cam pus. Dec. 8, 4:30 & 6 pm. Free. Hospice of North Idaho, 2290 W. Prairie Ave. post (208-772-7994)

CHRISTMAS TREE ELEGANCE This an nual event features 15 decorated trees on the Historic Davenport mezzanine and second floor of River Park Square. Pro ceeds from $1 raffle ticket sales support the Spokane Symphony. Through Dec. 11.

JOURNEY TO THE NORTH POLE A 40-minute holiday cruise across Lake Coeur d’Alene to view the light displays and visit Santa and his elves. Daily at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 pm through Jan. 2. $11.50-$26.50.

WINTER PALAA-ZA Visit a variety of lo cal vendor booths, plus enjoy free crafts and activities for kids. Dec. 8 and 15, 4-7 pm. Free. CenterPlace Regional Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place Dr. face

COWBOY CHRISTMAS VENDOR MAR KET A western-themed shopping experi ence with 25+ vendors. Dec. 9, 4-7 pm, Dec. 10, 10 am-7 pm and Dec. 11, 10 am-4 pm. Kootenai County Fairgrounds, 4056 N. Government Way.

MANITO PARK HOLIDAY LIGHTS Walk or drive to see this year’s holiday light displays. Drive-through Dec. 9-12 from 6-9:30 pm; walk-through Dec. 13-18 from 5-8 pm. Free. Manito Park, 1800 S. Grand Blvd.

NORTHWEST WINTERFEST The Pacific Northwest’s largest illuminated lantern display and cultural celebration. Fri from 5-8 pm, Sat from 4-8 pm and Sun from 3-6 pm through Jan. 1. $10-$15. Spokane County Fair & Expo Center, 404 N. Ha vana St.

CHRISTMAS POSADA This annual event includes local vendors, a COVID vaccine clinic, gifts for children, photos with Santa Sanchez, a potluck and traditional posada activities. Dec. 10, 5-8 pm. Free. West Central Community Center, 1603 N. Belt St.

HOUSE PLANT SWAP Bring your extra plants and propagations to share with others and pick up any you don’t have. Dec. 10, 11 am-3 pm. Free. Shadle Library, 2111 W. Wellesley Ave.

GREEN BLUFF COMMUNITY CHRIST MAS PARTY This annual event features Santa photos and toy bags for children. Dec. 10, 4:30-6 pm. Free. Green Bluff Grange, 9809 Green Bluff Rd. grange. org/greenbluffwa300 (509-979-2607)

HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE Enjoy a holidaythemed exhibit of work by resident art ists along with an expanded gift shop. Dec. 10, 10 am-5 pm. Free to shop. Dah men Barn, 419 N. Park Way., Uniontown. (509-229-3414)

KYRS STUDIO GRAND OPENING Thin Air Community Radio invites the public to celebration the grand opening of its new station inside of the Central Library. The event features DJs, guest speakers, a celebration and remembrance of Sandy Williams and more. Dec. 10, 5:30-9 pm. Free. Central Library, 906 W. Main Ave. (509-444-5336)

PALOUSE HOLIDAY VENDOR FAIR A day of shopping and supporting local small businesses with a silent auction and bake sale fundraiser. Dec. 10, 9 am-3 pm. Free. Palouse Community Center, 220 E. Main St.

PARADE OF LIGHTS Coordinated by a lo cal student as part of her Girl Scouts Gold Award to help boost moods and fend off seasonal depression. At Pines and 32nd in Spokane Valley. Dec. 10, 4:30 pm. Free.

VERY MERRY PERRY A part of the Very Merry Perry neighborhood celebration, Wishing Tree hosts cookie decorating, a holiday market and live music. Dec. 10, 10 am-7 pm. Free. Wishing Tree Books, 1410 E. 11th Ave.

WONDER HOLIDAY MARKET The Won der Building’s winter market features live music, arts and gifts, hot cocoa and more. Sat from 10 am-2 pm through Dec. 17. Free. The Wonder Building, 835 N. Post St.

MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION EVENT Multicultural wellness advocates present on a variety of industries from mental health to marketing. Dec. 11, 3-6:30 pm.

$1. Mad Co Labs Studios, 3038 E. Trent Ave.


Decorate new sheets of wrapping paper and bring wrapping paper to swap with others. Dec. 11, 2-3 pm. Free. Liberty Park Library, 402 S. Pittsburgh St. spokaneli

REINDEER EXPRESS Meet Santa’s rein deer before their big trip around the globe. Dec. 18-23 from 4-7 pm. Free. The Coeur d’Alene Resort, 115 S. Second. (208-765-4000)

SPOKANE AUDUBON MEETING This month’s meeting includes a discussion about wolf conservation and manage

ment in Washington, presented by state wolf specialist Ben Maletzke. Dec. 14, 6:15-8 pm. Free. The Hive, 2904 E. Sprague Ave.

WINTER MARKET AT THE PAVILION Shop local from local farmers, processors, artisans, hand crafters and vendors with the Spokane Tribe of Indians. Wednes days from 3-7 pm through Dec. 21. Free. Pavilion at Riverfront, 574 N. Howard St. (509-625-6000)

WINTER INDIGIQUEER CELEBRATION A celebration of Indigiqueer and Two-Spirit identities, featuring an Indigenous cre atives market, a round dance, Indigenous language learning classes, a premier of a short film about Two-Spirit identities produced by the Spectrum Center and an open mic. Dec. 15, 4-7 pm. Free. Central Library, 906 W. Main Ave. spectrumcen (509-444-5336)


BING CROSBY HOLIDAY FILM FEST A two-day-long screening of Bing Crosby’s holiday films, along with live music from Howard Crosby, Zonky Jazz Band and Af finiti. See site for complete schedule. Dec. 10 and 11, 12-9 pm. $2-$20. Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave. bingcros (509-227-7404)

A CHRISTMAS STORY Ralphie Parker at tempts to convince everyone that a BB gun is the perfect gift. Dec. 13, 7:15 pm. $5. Garland Theater, 924 W. Garland Ave. (509-327-1050)

THIRD THURSDAY MATINEE MOVIE: INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Oscar Isaacs stars in the title role of this Coen Brothers film about the folk music scene in 1960s New York and Chicago. Dec. 15, 1 pm. $7. Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, 2316 W. First Ave.


BREAKFAST WITH SANTA Have break fast with Santa and get affordable, pro fessional photos before he has to leave to go back to the North Pole. Also features live music and gifts for each child. Dec. 10 and 17, 9 am-noon. $5-$10. Southside Community Center, 3151 E. 27th Ave. (509-535-0803)

SPOKANE LILAC FESTIVAL HOLIDAY BRUNCHEON Featuring crafts, pictures with Santa, carols by the Ferris Canter bury Belles and more. Donations to Toys for Tots suggested. Dec. 10, 10 am-noon. $40-$50. Historic Davenport Hotel, 10 S. Post St.

TASTE OF GINGERBREAD Purchase a pre-constructed gingerbread house and shop the candy bar for decorations. Open to all ages/abilities; proceeds make a difference in the lives of those impacted by autism. Dec. 10, 10 am-1 pm. $25. The ISAAC Foundation, 6607 E. Broadway.

COOKING CLASS & WINE DINNER This “chef’s table” style ine dinner is hosted by Haley Black, fine wine specialist for Winebow Imports. Chef Christine Tran pairs each wine with a recipe. Dec. 14, 5:30 pm. $125. Wanderlust Delicato, 421 W. Main Ave.

TRUFFLE DINNER A five-course dinner featuring a menu centered around truf fles from Washington, Oregon, France and Italy. Dec. 14 and 15, 5-11 pm. $250. Gander & Ryegrass, 404 W. Main Ave.

BEVERLY’S SCOTCH DINNER A sixcourse menu by executive chef Jim Bar

rett and sous chef Taylor Wolters featur ing award-winning scotch from various distilleries. Dec. 15, 6 pm. $175. Beverly’s, 115 S. Second St.


THE BEST OF CHRISTMAS Ellen Tra volta’s annual evening of holiday music, laughter and stories, featuring Abbey Crawford, Molly Allen, Mark Cotter and Margaret Travolta. Thu-Sat at 7:30 pm; Sun at 5 pm through Dec. 18. $35. The Coeur d’Alene Resort, 115 S. Second.

JAZZ CHOIRS HOLIDAY CONCERT Area high school singers join faculty and stu dents from the University of Idaho Lionel Hampton School of Music to perform various jazz selections. Dec. 8, 7:30 pm. Free. Idaho Central Credit Union Arena, Moscow.

AWAKING WONDER The Spokane Area Youth Choirs present their December concert along with a silent auction. Dec. 10, 3 pm. $6-$10. Westminster Congre gational United Church of Christ, 411 S. Washington St.

CHRISTMAS CONCERT FOR VOCA TIONS The Saint John Paul II Society’s annual concert with live instrumental music featuring the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes Choir and the Diocesan Youth Choir. Dec. 10, 1-3 pm. $5-$15. Gon zaga Prep, 1224 E. Euclid Ave. (483-8511)

GONZAGA CANDLELIGHT CHRISTMAS The GU choirs reflect on the wonder of the season through holiday favorites and timeless choral melodies. Dec. 10, 7:30-9 pm and Dec. 11, 3-4:30 pm. $15-20. Myrtle Woldson Performing Arts Center, 211 E. Desmet Ave.

HOLIDAY SING-A-LONG WITH MUDGY AND SANTA Children’s author Susan Nipp, creator of the “Mudgy & Millie” book, leads children in singing some holi day favorites. Dec. 10, 11 am. Free. Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave. (208-769-2315)

SPOKANE TUBACHRISTMAS A selection of carols performed by tubas and low brass instruments. Dec. 10, 2-3 pm. Free. Spokane Transit Plaza, 701 W. Riverside Ave.

WHITWORTH CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL: NOWELL SING WE Whitworth choral ensembles and student instrumentalists perform seasonal selections and more. Dec. 10, 8 pm and Dec. 11, 3 pm. $15-$20. Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, 1001 W. Sprague Ave.


FOOTY ON THE BIG SCREEN Watch World Cup matchups on the big screen. Concessions available. Dec. 9, 11 am, Dec. 13, 11 am and Dec. 18, 7 pm. Free. The Ken worthy, 508 S. Main St.

GU BASKETBALL AT THE Watch the Gonzaga men’s team on the big screen with fellow fans. Dec. 9, 6 pm. Free. Gar land Theater, 924 W. Garland Ave. gar (509-327-1050)

RE*IMAGINE CHRISTMAS STOCKING STUFFER 5K A non-competitive 5k fun run/walk with prizes for best costumes. Dec. 10, 1-2 pm. $10. Coney Island Park, 200 E. Lake St.

SANT’A SACK STUFFER RUN Run to as many “Elf stations” as you can in 45 minutes. Dec. 10, 9 am. $35-$40. Plantes

Ferry Sports Complex, 12308 E. Upriver Dr. (509-456-5812)


A CHRISTMAS CAROL Ebenezer Scrooge sees the wrong doings of his life and what happens if he continues his evil ways. Thu-Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm through Dec. 23. $10-$35. Spokane Civic Theatre, 1020 N. Howard St. spokaneciv (509-325-2507)

NATIVE GARDENS A neighborly dis agreement spirals into a war of taste, class, and entitlement. Thu-Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm through Dec. 18. $10$25. Spokane Civic Theatre, 1020 N. How ard St.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL In-house play wright Sam Opdahl presents her adapta tion of the classic story. Dec. 9-10, 7:30 pm; Dec. 11, 2 pm. $40. Gladish Commu nity Center, 115 NW State St. pullmanciv (509-332-8081)

HOLIDAY PUNCH A holiday-themed, family-friendly revue of short works and music by U of Idaho theatre students Dec. 9-11; Fri-Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm. $8$20. Hartung Theater, 625 Stadium Dr. (208-885-6465)

THE SOUND OF MUSIC A heartwarming story based on the real-life story of the Von Trapp Family singers. Fri at 7 pm, Sat-Sun at 2 pm through Dec. 18. $12$16. Spokane Children’s Theatre, 2727 N. Madelia.

TRADITIONS OF CHRISTMAS A Radio City Music Hall-style holiday show. Dec. 9-22, times vary. $23-$36. Kroc Center, 1765 W. Golf Course Rd.

TIS THE SEASON AT STAGE LEFT! Sing holiday songs and see short plays by lo cal authors. Dec. 10, 7 pm. Stage Left The ater, 108 W. Third.


CHRYSALIS GALLERY GRAND OPEN ING A new space supporting local artists, featuring Sadat Nduhira, Debbie Hugh banks, Katrina Brenna, Sheila Johnston and Carol Schmauder. Dec. 10, 9 am-5 pm. Free. Chrysalis Gallery, 911 S. Monroe St. (509-991-7275)

HOLIDAY ART MARKET A juried art mar ket that serves as an outreach event to promote local artists. Dec. 10, 9 am-5 pm and Dec. 11, 11 am-4 pm. Free. Five Mile Grange, 3024 W. Strong Rd. urbanart (509-327-9000)

HOLIDAY MARKET An art market featur ing handmade pottery, jewelry, prints and other art forms. Dec. 10, 9 am-5 pm and Dec. 11, 11 am-4 pm. Free. Urban Art Co-op, 3209 N. Monroe.

HOLIDAY ORNAMENT FUN Make super sparkly holiday ornaments to decorate your home or to give as a gift. Registra tion required. Dec. 10, 9:30-11:30 am. $39. Corbin Art Center, 507 W. Seventh Ave. (509-625-6677)

PRINT TOWN USA: HOLIDAY EDITION This annual sale features new holiday prints by local artists, plus new murals, presses and art demos. Dec. 10, 12-5 pm. Free. Spokane Print & Publishing Center, 1921 N. Ash St.

MELISSA COLE: FIRE & ICE An exhibit inspired by the artist’s recent trips to Egypt and Iceland, featuring dieties and landscapes in oil and acrylic. Dec. 11, 17, 24 and 30 (times vary). Free. Kolva-Sullivan Gallery, 115 S. Adams. kolva-sullivangal n


How We Spend Our Cash on Cannabis

New data shows a strong, if plateauing, cannabis market

After years of consistent growth, cannabis sales in Washington slumped this year, albeit slightly, ac cording to new data from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.

The state’s legal market generated $1.38 billion in sales during fiscal year 2022, which created $509.4 million in ex cise tax revenue for the state. Both numbers are down from 2021, when the state saw $1.49 billion in sales and $533.9 million in taxes generated. Spokane County’s numbers are also down, with $151.7 million in retail sales and $56.1 mil lion in tax revenue, compared with $163.8 million in sales and $60.6 million in tax revenue the previous fiscal year.

While the numbers have dipped, they’re still the secondhighest on record, behind only last year. In Washington this year, $177.86 was spent on average per person through the legal cannabis market — though that number is inflated by sales to out-of-state residents who purchased cannabis in Washington. Spokane County averaged $227.81 in sales per resident. That figure ranked fifth among counties in the state.

The caveat about out-of-state residents is important once again, as border counties continue to lead the way in per-capita spending. Asotin County — home to Clarkston and directly across the Snake River from the larger Lewiston, Idaho — averaged an astonishing $632.47 in sales per resident. Second in the state was Whitman County, home to Washington State University and Pullman, and next to similarly sized Moscow, Idaho, and the University of Idaho. It averaged $264.97 in sales per resident.

Spokane had long held the third-place spot behind those two, but fell last year to fifth behind coastal Grays Harbor County (at $239.44 in sales per resident) and Olympia’s Thurston County (at $228.94).

In terms of total sales, the most populous counties unsurprisingly led the way once again. Four counties topped $100 million in sales, led by Seattle’s King County, by far the state’s largest, at $356 million. The three largest remaining counties — Pierce, Snohomish and Spokane — also joined King in the $100 million-plus club.

On the other end of the spectrum, neither Franklin County nor Garfield County generated a single cent in legal sales or tax revenue. Both counties prohibit licensed dispen saries from operating.

Local counties not already mentioned include Pend Oreille, (averaging $84.01 in sales per resident), Lincoln ($123.90 per resident) and Stevens ($161.91 per resident). n

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