Inlander 12/09/2021

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have a neighbor who runs his own deck-building business, and the guy works incredibly hard. Morning ’til night, seven days a week, I hear his saws buzzing. Occasionally we chat over the fence, and he’ll inevitably mention that he can’t find enough workers to keep up with demand. More often than not, he attributes that to “the government” handing out too much “free money.” Being an indoorsy journalist type, I can only imagine some folks don’t want to work in insane heat and smoke in the summer, or sub-zero temps in the winter. Who’s right? Who knows, but all of us can recognize the WORKER SHORTAGES happening across the country right now. Our news team shines a spotlight on four industries in this week’s cover story (page 12), exploring the employment crisis in agriculture, health care, public safety and trucking. Also this week, senior investigative reporter Daniel Walters delves into firefighter overtime pay in Spokane (page 8), Madison Pearson revisits the ongoing Tiffany show at the MAC (page 36), and Part II of our annual Gift Guide will help you check some interesting friends and family members off your list (page 20). — DAN NAILEN, editor

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Where the Treetops Glisten The modern Christmas carol was arguably born right here in Bing Crosby’s Spokane BY WILLIAM STIMSON

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pokane’s Bing Crosby Centennial celebration in 2003 put me in a somber mood. The celebration itself was fun — the flattery of hearing that people came from as far as England and South America to see Spokane, and so on. But for me it brought on the churn of emotions one feels at a wedding in the family: Despite all the fun and smiles, you can’t shake the sad feeling that someone is leaving home. Until he died in 1977, Spokane could claim Bing himself. He grew up in the yellow house up the street. He mentioned Spokane in interviews. Lots of people in town had known him and could tell funny stories about him. Now time has passed. No matter how you package 100 years, it only connotes remoteness. I brooded about this for months after the centennial celebration. Then finally I had a thought that made me feel better. We have been focusing on how a hometown boy made good. What gets a lot less attention is the other side of the equation, and the part that might be most instructive to a town of a famous son, namely: How a hometown makes a boy good.

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ne cannot read Gary Giddins superb biography Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams without being impressed by how this average Spokane kid was coddled by his community. Crosby’s father was a low-paid bookkeeper. Yet his family lived in a roomy house of their own on a wide street that connected all seven Crosby kids with almost unlimited opportunities. Spokane and the Gonzaga neighborhood were so organized as to give a kid like Bing Crosby any kind of future he should aspire to. One of Bing’s close pals, Ralph Foley, for example, went on to be a judge and father of a speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Another of Bing’s gang, Frank Corkery, would become president of Gonzaga University. Yet another friend, Ray Flaherty, became one of the great stars of the National Football League. Bing himself took a liking to the stage and elocution. As he said himself, he had endless opportunities in school functions and other contests to flex these talents. “I won a couple of awards with Horatius and Spartacus,” Crosby recalled in his autobiography. “I took those eloquent lines in my teeth and shook them as a terrier shakes a bone.” He took part in plays and debates, but “the elocution contests were the big events. They were held in the parish hall and everybody in the parish came.” There’s a good example of how a community stands behind its youth. It sits patiently in front

of them while they make their awkward attempts to develop skills. Notwithstanding the fact that he had little money and no scholarships, Crosby could aspire to a college education and a career in law. This was a present of the Jesuit fathers and many a protestant local booster who had helped them open Gonzaga three decades earlier. As a consequence, Spokane sent forth a certain type of entertainer. According to Giddens, Bing Crosby was “the only major singer in American popular music to enjoy the virtues of a classical education. It grounded his values and expectations, reinforcing his confidence and buffering him from his own ambition. As faithful as he was to show business, his demeanor was marked by a serenity that suggested an appealing indifference. He had something going for him that could not be touched by Hollywood envy and mendacity.” His philosophical education went on beyond the classroom. Bing was rambunctious and occasionally rebellious — the kind of liberty-seeking adolescent portrayed in his 1940s movies Going My Way and The Bells of St. Mary’s. In Spokane, Bing was corralled by a tolerant and wise network of neighborhood parents, coaches, once or twice by policemen, and especially by the very sort of Fathers O’Malley that Bing had portrayed in the movies.

GONZAGA UNIVERSITY CROSBY COLLECTION PHOTO


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he most remarkable thing about the celebrity Bing Crosby, aside from his singing, was his humor. This, too, surely owed something to the old neighborhood. Many of the people in the neighborhood were, like Crosby himself, Irish, second and third generation mostly, and there is just something about the Irish personality that wants to smirk. I can testify to this because I grew up in Crosby’s neighborhood — four decades later — and I saw it and suffered from it 10,000 times. Spoofing and chiding were the tone of the neighborhood. The simplest thing, ordering a hamburger, say, becomes the occasion for verbal byplay over whether one’s onions were a shame to the human race. I remember being in the University Drug Store and watching as the proprietor, Bill Stevens, rang up a line of purchasers. “Thank you, Mr. Stevens,” said Mr. McGinn, taking his package. “And I just hope this time you gave me the right medicine! Boy was I sick that last time!” I was the only one who could see Mr. McGinn grinning as he headed for the door. It was in Bill Stevens’ drug store that I first discovered that the singer of “White Christmas” was thinking of the old neighborhood. I picked up a magazine from the rack and read one of those “The Stars Tell of Their Favorite Christmases” articles, and Bing recalled snow-filled trees and sledding down Sharp Avenue hill. That was where I had just been! After Crosby sang “White Christmas” in 1942, according to The Great American Christmas Almanac: “Snow… became more important to the general Christmas scene than it had ever been before; it became essential. And that is why you have to have it annually in Puma, Ariz., simulated in rolls of white cotton… It no longer looks incongruous to anyone; we will have our White Christmas‚ no matter where we are or what the weatherman says.” Of course, Irving Berlin had New York City in mind when he wrote the lines of “White Christmas.” But the sincerity in Crosby’s voice when he sang of Christmases “just like the ones I used to know” certainly came from Spokane. This is significant because “White Christmas” became “the anthem of Christmas sentiment,” as one critic put it. It became the favorite Christmas song of 1942 and never lost that position. Before “White Christmas,” Crosby’s 1935 record of “Silent Night” and, on the flip side, “Adeste Fideles,” were the best-selling Christmas carols. He considered these sacred songs and refused to record them for commercial distribution until he eased his conscience by ceding all profits to charities. “Bing was downright cowed by ‘Silent Night,’” according to Giddins. Perhaps that was because he had first heard it intoned by 100 voices under the high dome of St. Aloysius Church at midnight Mass. I suspect so because as a kid I walked down the same street as he did on Christmas Eve to go to midnight Mass. To me, “Silent Night” will always be that experience of stepping into the mysterious winter night and walking under snow or a roving winter moon toward the church steeples, past the mute nativity scene outside the church, then into the cavernous church, alive with incense, candles and otherworldly voices, “…all is calm, all is bright…”

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ince he first recorded “Silent Night” in 1935, Bing Crosby has remained the undisputed chief caroler of American Christmas. Why is that? No one can say what makes an aesthetic difference. Possibly, though, Bing Crosby, like many artists (including Charles Dickens and Mark Twain and Robert Frost), searched for deeper meaning in the wells of childhood experience. If so, there’s a satisfying role for a hometown. Crosby did something to add to Christmas and — by doing something to improve Crosby — so did Spokane. n First published in the Inlander on December 25, 2003, and also appears in Inlander Histories, Volume 1, available at Auntie’s, Atticus and Boo Radley’s. William Stimson is the author of Spokane: A View of the Falls. The Bing Crosby Film Festival is Dec. 19 at The Bing Crosby Theater.

DECEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 7


PUBLIC SAFETY

Unattended Fire COVID isn’t the only culprit to blame for Spokane Fire Department’s massive spike in overtime BY DANIEL WALTERS

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Longstanding vacancies in the Spokane Fire Department are costing the city. YOUNG KWAK PHOTO

8 INLANDER DECEMBER 9, 2021

t was the citizens of Spokane who came to the rescue of the Spokane Fire Department. After an expiring federal grant put dozens of firefighter jobs in jeopardy, voters in 2019 approved raising $5.8 million annually in taxes to save 40 firefighter jobs and hire 20 police officers. But last month, with the deadline for the city’s budget looming, the fire department was asking the Spokane City Council to shell out nearly that much — an additional $5 million — to deal with just one skyrocketing last-minute bill: department overtime. “All of a sudden, a suckerpunch of $5 million,” City Council member Betsy Wilkerson says. “There’s something going on here. We need to unravel this.” With a month to go, the city had already racked up $7.7 million in overtime, $1 million more than 2020’s huge total. While about $1.4 million of that relates to fighting wildfires and will be reimbursed through the state Department of Natural Resources, that can’t explain the scale of the increase. It’s double the overtime the city budgeted for, twice the overtime spending in 2019, and nearly six times higher than what overtime spending was a decade ago in the depths of a recession. For the first time in his career, Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer was saying back in August that he was forcing firefighters to take overtime. Why? He had 27 positions open in his department, he said, and that was before the governor’s October vaccine mandate took out nearly 40 additional staffers. It’s easy to look at the fire department’s overtime and explain it as the symptom of a natural disaster: COVID sent fire department calls soaring and sparked waves of quarantines. But like the staffing crisis in the city’s human resources department, like the failure to hire a planning director, like the exodus from Community, Housing and Human Services, the crescendo of the overtime crisis in the fire department isn’t just the result of the pandemic, it’s also a consequence of decisions made — and decisions delayed — by city leadership across the past decade. “What we’re faced with is we don’t have enough bodies,” City Council member Lori Kinnear says. “And we have vacancies that should have been filled, starting last year.”

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his summer, it was one of Mayor Nadine Woodward’s former mayoral race opponents who was ringing the alarm: firefighter Shawn Poole. Poole had criticized the city’s overuse of overtime as evidence of mismanagement back when he was running for mayor in 2019, but the situation had grown far more dire this summer. He’d repeatedly reached out to City Council members, leaking estimates of how rapidly the city’s overtime bill was growing. “Another 27k in overtime for tomorrow,” he wrote to Karen Stratton on Facebook messenger in July. “It was a running joke in the department,” says Poole, who retired in October and has moved to Texas. “If you’re hired under Brian Schaeffer, you’re going to make millions, because you’re going to get as much overtime as you can.” That’s not entirely fair: The fire department overtime bill during Schaeffer’s first three years as fire chief — 2017 through 2019 — was about the same as the three years before he took the helm. During City Council member Candace Mumm’s first year in office, all the way back in 2014, she stood at the West Central Community Center decrying how much the city was spending on police and fire department overtime. Spokane Fire spent nearly $3 million on overtime that year, the highest it had been in more than a decade. But every year since has been even worse. There’s a simple way to reduce overtime: Dedicate more firefighters to a “relief pool.” Since employees on overtime are a lot more expensive — getting paid an additional 50 percent of their hourly wage — theoretically, a relief pool can pay for itself. “We would love to have a relief pool,” Schaeffer says. But when the city got the massive federal “SAFER” grant to hire 48 firefighters in late 2016, it didn’t task any of those new firefighters to a relief pool to alleviate overtime. Schaeffer argues the grants wouldn’t allow it. “The grants were only about improving service, period,” Schaeffer says. ...continued on page 10


DECEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 9


NEWS | PUBLIC SAFETY

NEWS | HEALTH

“UNATTENDED FIRE,” CONTINUED... And while the department went on a hiring spree, holding multiple fire academies a year to add new staffers, the fire department was also offering longtime higher-paid employees incentives to retire sooner. But when two high-level battalion chiefs left as a result, Battalion Chief Chad Childears says, their spots took months and months to fill, while the department racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime as a result. And despite those staffing challenges, Spokane Fire didn’t hold a new fire academy of recruits in 2019 at all. As the SAFER grant funding was threatening to run out in 2019, Schaeffer didn’t want to invest more in staffing when funding wasn’t assured. “The mayor at the time didn’t support the levy, so it wasn’t a sure thing,” Spokane Firefighters Union president Randy Marler says. But the levy passed in February 2019. It isn’t clear why the department waited until 2020 to try to hold another academy. And in 2020, Schaeffer argues, the pandemic had made holding an academy effectively impossible. Yet other departments, like Boise, Seattle and Spokane Valley did hold their own recruiting training academies in 2020. Spokane Valley has had the same kind of massive turnover and waves of retirements that other departments had — the difference is that they’ve been able to hire enough to compensate, so they’ve had to use only a fraction of the overtime that Spokane has. “We don’t really have a staffing shortage,” says Andy Rorie, division fire chief of the Spokane Valley Fire Department. Since 2019, Spokane has brought on only 10 new firefighters — and one of them was ousted because of the vaccine mandate. But Spokane Valley, a smaller fire district, brought on 28 staffers by holding more frequent and larger academies. Even in fall 2020 as COVID cases were accelerating. But there was a cost: Spokane Valley had sent several recruits to the state’s Fire Training Academy in fall 2020. But the state’s academy shut down after COVID outbreak swept through their dorms, and the Valley had to finish training locally. “It seems like every community is dealing with it differently, and interpreting the science differently,” Schaeffer says. “It really put us in a really challenging position.” And that difference in approach particularly mattered when it came to responding to Gov. Jay Inslee’s vaccine mandate for health care workers, which was intended to apply to fire departments. Mayor Woodward had taken a hard line, initially arguing in a statement that finding a way to keep on the fire staffers who refused a vaccine would present “an undue hardship and too great of a risk to the public” and the department. Yet, Spokane Valley accommodated their staffers with exemptions, requiring n95 masks, social distancing and daily testing for their vaccine-refusing firefighters, but still allowed them to go on medical calls. “I started getting phone calls from the public upset that we were sending people that weren’t vaccinated into people’s homes,” Schaeffer says. “I had to tell them that we were not the Valley.”

10 INLANDER DECEMBER 9, 2021

The Spokane Fire Department has managed to reduce their initial losses of 39 firefighters — 14 decided to get fully vaccinated, for example, and five were accommodated in the fire dispatch center. But Spokane Valley didn’t lose anyone to the mandate. The cost of the vaccine mandate for Spokane may be even higher than that: The Woodward administration ordered a forensic audit after finding a suspicious spike in sick leave. While Marler, the union president, says his “gut feeling” is that there has “been no abuse of sick leave,” the city’s data shows that sick leave skyrocketed in October, when Inslee’s vaccine mandate hit, then fell sharply in November.

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n Monday night, the Spokane City Council agreed to shell out $3.5 million to the fire department in levy funds to compensate for the extra overtime, calculating that they could use some of the funding for vacant positions to reduce the total from $5 million. But the council was clearly frustrated. They’d funded a comprehensive external study of police and fire overtime more than a year ago, but it hadn’t been completed. City administration waited over seven months — until July 21 — before even putting it out for a bid. By late AuLETTERS gust, the city’s chief financial Send comments to officer assured editor@inlander.com. frustrated City Council members that they were about three or four weeks away from selecting a firm to conduct the study. By mid-September, a city panel had graded all the applicants, giving the Matrix Consulting Group the highest overall score. But the city waited until November to tell Matrix they’d been chosen. “In my opinion, the delay cost the citizens millions of dollars,” says Council member Candace Mumm. In the spring, the city had first conducted its own internal overtime audit of the fire department. But the audit only examined a single year. Schaeffer says “it was significantly missing what we were looking for” and the City Council was never shown the results. The council struggled to understand how the fire department hadn’t been aware of how big their overtime problem had grown until the last minute. “How is somebody’s computer not flashing bright red and screaming at you, ‘You’re over budget. Fix this now’?” City Council member Michael Cathcart asks. This year, the city has indeed been focused on replacing the archaic budgeting and scheduling software. And going forward, Schaeffer says he plans to try to recruit a wave of new staffers, including by potentially holding multiple fire academies next year. But he’s still dogged by uncertainty. “What I’m struggling with is we don’t know a lot about omicron,” Schaeffer says, referring to the most recent COVID variant. “What is going to happen when I bring these people in from all over the country for an academy? I can’t put their lives at risk.” n danielw@inlander.com

The cuts keep coming at Spokane Regional Health District: Two more leaders were fired Monday, Dec. 6. YOUNG KWAK PHOTO

District Restriction

Further cuts at Spokane Regional Health District include two leaders heavily involved in pandemic response BY SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL

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pokane Regional Health District is further tightening its belt after the passage of its 2022 budget. As part of that process, at least two more management positions were unexpectedly eliminated Monday morning, Dec. 6, including the highest-level leader of the division that’s been most involved in the district’s pandemic response. Three out of five division director positions at the district have been empty for months. District Administrative Officer Amelia Clark explained to Board of Health members in recent months that her proposed budget would combine some of those roles to save money. But Monday morning, district staff learned that the new structure also includes the elimination of two more managers, which came as a shock to many. Two leaders were escorted from the building on Monday after being informed they were being placed on paid leave until Jan. 1, 2022, when they will no longer work for the district. Concerned staff members shared video recordings of an allstaff meeting with the Inlander, in which Clark explains who was let go and which divisions will be combined. One of the people fired Monday was Tiffany Turner, the associate director of disease prevention and response. Turner had been serving as the de facto head of that division since former division director Lyndia Wilson retired earlier this year. Without a division director in place, Turner’s leadership has been viewed by some staff as especially key as another longtime supervisor in that division geared up to retire last week. Turner declined to comment when a third party reached out to her on behalf of the Inlander.


The other person fired was Donna Oliver, the manager of the district’s Healthy Neighborhoods program. In that role, she oversaw community health workers who are helping respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those workers conduct community outreach for vaccinations and testing, and previously helped with the district’s isolation facility. Oliver did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The move left some staffers not knowing who they should report to, though Clark assured staff in the districtwide call that they would be informed who their managers are by the end of the day. “This is such a shock to all of us, that the lack of transition, is... it just sucks. I don’t know what else to say about it,” one staffer said during a recorded clip of the meeting that the Inlander viewed. The staff member asked why the women couldn’t be allowed to work over the next few weeks to at least ease the transition. “Yeah, it sucks... I think ‘It sucks’ is a great way of saying it. It sucks,” Clark responded. “I think that we have to look at all the different angles and in terms of transition and in terms of how we figure out next steps, I have to do things based on the information that I have and that I can process.” Clark also said she was frustrated she wasn’t able to start the process sooner. SRHD spokeswoman Kelli Hawkins tells the Inlander that the two positions were cut, and a health equity manager position was created in the Community Health division, following decisions by the Board of Health’s budget and finance committee. “I think all the decisions being made have been about cost savings and also keeping that focus on equity within the community,” Hawkins says. There was a lot of effort to make as small of an impact as possible, she says. Health board Chair Mary Kuney, who is also a Spokane County commissioner, did not respond to a voicemail seeking comment. The health board approved the final $47.8 million budget on Dec. 2, and the district is waiting to hear if Spokane County will approve a budget ask of $1.98 million toward that total. As part of the new structure, Clark told staff that Health Officer Dr. Francisco Velázquez will now oversee the Disease Prevention and Response division, in addition to his duties as health officer. Wilson, who used to oversee that division, was surprised to hear about the changes from staff on Monday and questioned how it’s possible for the health officer to also oversee the day-today responsibilities of that role. “Who’s doing the day-to-day contracts management, grant management, budgets, hiring, IDENTIFYING personnel reviews, all of that?” OMICRON Wilson asked. “He’s not going to Omicron, the COVID-19 variant have time to do all of that.” causing worldwide concern The Disease Prevention and due to its many mutations, Response division also saw the has been found in Washington. retirement last week of Susan Check out Inlander.com to learn Sjoberg, the program manager how it was identified, and how who oversaw communicable disconcerned health officials are. eases, epidemiology and immunizations within that department. “So they have nobody in management overseeing emergency response, STDs, HIV, communicable diseases and immunizations, in the middle of a pandemic,” Wilson says. “I’m just so stunned about the whole thing.” Hawkins says the district is in the process of hiring Sjoberg’s replacement, and they have full confidence Velázquez can handle overseeing the division. “He’s managed large companies and organizations in his career,” Hawkins says. “I have every faith he’ll be able to manage this disease prevention and response group as well.” She says that multiple other well-qualified managers are still in place in that division. n samanthaw@inlander.com

KNOCK OUT THE FLU WITH ONE SHOT It’s more important than ever to get vaccinated against the flu. The flu vaccine can keep you from getting the flu and spreading it to others. This is critical during the COVID-19 pandemic to help keep our hospitals from being overwhelmed.

DID YOU KNOW? The Department of Health recommends a flu vaccine for everyone aged six-months and older every year, including pregnant and nursing women. Most insurance plans, including CHIP and Medicaid, cover the cost of flu vaccine for children and adults. Children aged 18 and under can get recommended vaccines at no cost.

CONTACT US TODAY! (509) 340-9008 healthykids@betterhealthtogether.org www.BetterHealthTogether/HealthyKids This printed material is supported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $250,000. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CMS, HHS or the U.S. Government.

DECEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 11


HELP WANTED W

hen the COVID-19 pandemic began, millions of workers were put out of a job. Unemployment spiked. Employees started working from home. Now, nearly two years later, the labor market continues to see widespread changes. It isn’t a shortage of jobs available, but of workers to fill those jobs. There are some 10 million job openings in the United States, according to the most recent U.S. Labor Department’s monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. Meanwhile, the quit rate is the highest in decades, leading to a popular term for current conditions in the labor market: The Great Resignation. Locally, it’s easy to see the impacts on everyday people. Drive around town, and you’re likely to see a “We’re Hiring” sign on seemingly every corner. There are supply chain issues. There are bosses desperately trying to recruit new workers. Our local sheriff’s office even put an ad in Times Square to attract new deputies. In one way or another, the labor shortage affects every industry. In this section, we at the Inlander zoomed in on four industries in particular: local agriculture, health care, law enforcement and trucking. What we found is that the reasons for the worker shortages can vary widely, yet they’re also interconnected. Many of these issues existed years ago, yet were made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. And experts in these industries are struggling to come up with solutions. — WILSON CRISCIONE, news editor

12 INLANDER DECEMBER 9, 2021


BAD TO WORSE Pandemic burnout exacerbates the serious worker shortage at local hospitals

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BY WILSON CRISCIONE

Y THE TIME JESSICA ABEL BEGAN as a Certified Nursing Assistant just over a year ago, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center was just getting hit with an influx of new COVID patients. And Abel, 23, was put right into the COVID unit. Abel enjoys taking care of people, but she acknowledges that the emotional toll has been hard to handle at times in the past year. She’s worked 12-hour, sometimes 16-hour shifts. She’s worked days where multiple people she cared for — helping them go to the bathroom, changing their bedding — died. And through the whole thing, the hospital has been short staffed, which only makes the employees still there wanting to leave more. “We have so many people who are leaving to either go to other places, because other places are paying more, or they’re leaving just to get a break because they’re overwhelmed with everything that’s been going on at the hospital,” Abel says. The health care worker shortage isn’t only a problem at Sacred Heart. It’s affecting hospitals across the region and the country at all levels, including medical staff, nurses and physicians. While it’s been an issue for years, the burnout from the pandemic has only exacerbated the issue at a time when health care workers are needed the most, says Staci Taylor, Providence chief human resources officer. “It’s been really sparse in health care for about 10 years, and it’s really getting worse,” Taylor says. “The pandemic took a huge toll on health care workers. It’s the greatest shortage we’ve ever seen.”

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Jessica Abel, a nursing assistant, says the pandemic’s emotional toll has caused burnout among employees. YOUNG KWAK PHOTO

y 2034, the United States could see a shortage of up to 124,000 physicians, according to a report released in the summer by the Association of American Medical Colleges. Demographics play a major role. The population is growing and getting older, causing demand for doctors caring for older people to increase while, simultaneously, more physicians near retirement age. In Washington particularly, there’s a lack of general surgeons, says Anjali Kumar, a surgeon and director of clinical education for surgery at Washington State University’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. The state ranks in the bottom third of all states in general surgeons per capita, according to the AAMC. Kumar says that’s an embarrassment that can mean some Washington residents, especially in rural areas, don’t have good access to advanced care. “If you have a cancer diagnosis that is discovered, then where do you go to get your care and is it a nationally accepted standard of care?” Kumar says. “You might have to go to a center that has more high volume, and those centers are few and far between on the eastern side of the mountains.” What makes Kumar hopeful is that a quarter of WSU medical students are interested in pursuing surgery, which is much higher than the national average. The students are being put in hospitals in Washington with a high need for surgeons, and students are seeing that, she says.

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or nurses, there’s been a national shortage for years. Unions have called for higher pay to address the shortage in hospitals, pointing out that a staff nurse can quit and become a traveling nurse and get paid much more, often in the very same hospital. And because of what hospitals spend on traveling nurses — one who typically jumps around hospitals — those hospitals’ ability to spend on new physicians may be diminished, Kumar says. Health care systems know this is a problem. Matt Allore, Multicare’s executive director of human potential, says traveling nurses can help fill gaps due to retirements or other transitions, but they hope to reduce the reliance on them by retaining their own employees. That isn’t only about pay, he says. While market competitive pay and benefits are “entirely essential” in order to maintain a good workforce, Allore says, other employers can adjust rates of pay to match each other, so it won’t ultimately solve a national shortage of workers. Both Providence and Multicare have offered hiring bonuses, wage increases or retention bonuses. But the health care systems also say it’s crucial to create an environment supportive to employees in other ways. Taylor says Providence is making sure caregivers are able to take time off, have easy access to behavioral health services and are given financial benefits and support for child care services. Likewise, Allore says Multicare tries to focus on having a good working environment coupled with employee support programs. “When you’re looking at burnout, you’re looking at the depletion of energies, the depletion of the passion of health care workers,” Allore says. “We need to be able to support them in a way that allows them to continue to provide that care to our community in a meaningful way.”

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OVID may have had the greatest effect, however, not on physician and nurse staffing, but on staff to support providers, Kumar says. That includes coders, schedulers and nursing assistants. And that has a direct impact on patient care, too. “I may be interested in doing all kinds of colonoscopies and surgeries, but we may not have the staff to support it,” Kumar says. The state vaccine mandate has played a role in workforce challenges, with a small percentage quitting because of the requirement. But Allore says it had “less of an effect than we anticipated” and did not cause significant disruption at the hospital. Abel, the nursing assistant at Sacred Heart, says she appreciates the mental health support and other services Providence has offered employees, but she thinks the biggest thing that could retain more workers is paying them more or offering retention bonuses that equal new hiring bonuses. Still, she wonders if there is any amount of money that can make up for the burnout caregivers experience during the pandemic. “There have been times I’ve been like, oh my gosh, how am I going to keep handling this with the amount of death we’re dealing with?” Abel says. n

DECEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 13


ROUGH

ROADS With thousands more truck drivers needed, America is realizing how much we rely on them BY SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL

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EOPLE IN THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY are proud to say that if you ate it, bought it, or saw it at a store, it most likely got there by truck. Nearly three-quarters of America’s freight (by weight) is shipped to its final destination by truck, according to data compiled by American Trucking Associations, a national organization that includes all 50 state trucking organizations. “Factually, 80 percent of communities in Washington rely solely on trucks to deliver their goods,” says Sheri Call, president and CEO of Washington Trucking Associations, which includes underlying “conferences” of niche groups, from dump truck drivers to common carriers. “You don’t see a train parked behind your grocery store.” So when there’s an estimated shortage of about 80,000 drivers, the nation feels the crunch. West Coast ports have also seen a 30 percent increase in shipments, with Seattle and Tacoma working through a backlog that’s currently keeping seven container ships at any given time anchored and waiting for the chance to unload, explains Melanie Stambaugh, spokeswoman for the Northwest Seaport Alliance, which manages marine cargo there.

Mercer Trucking owner Steve Hanning tries to make sure his drivers can get home each weekend. YOUNG KWAK PHOTO the Washington trucking organization for 18 years and says the topic comes up nearly every year. Many drivers currently on the road are aging. The majority of drivers are between the ages of about 49 and 54, Call says, and there aren’t enough young people clamoring to fill those jobs. “Those folks, as they’re retiring, are not being replaced by incoming drivers,” Call says. One issue is that young people who want to start a career in truck driving are limited. If you’re 18 to 20 years old, you can get a Commercial Driver’s License and haul loads within your state, but you can’t cross state lines. That makes for the odd scenario where a 19-year-old could haul goods from Coeur d’Alene to Twin Falls, Idaho, but not from Coeur d’Alene to Spokane, says Allen Hodges, president and CEO of the Idaho Trucking Association. Many in the industry hope that particular federal regulation will soon change. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act included a pilot project to train 3,000 young drivers between 18 and 20. The young truckers will be allowed to drive across state lines so long as there are certain safety measures on their trucks and mentor/ apprentice guidelines are followed. “It’ll be a much more intense mentoring program to prove that the right 18-year-old can operate safely. It’s not for everybody, we agree,” Call says. “The DRIVE-Safe Act was developed and created in collaboration with the insurance industry.” Hodges says he also hopes to encourage more high school students to consider a career in trucking by touring to different schools with a simulator so students can see what it feels like to be behind the wheel. “The industry is trying to let people know that the

“Those folks, as they’re retiring, are not being replaced by incoming drivers.” Truck drivers are also waiting in long lines to get in and out of the marine loading areas, she says, even though other loading locations are being added to reduce the congestion. “Where a trucker has been able to, in years past, do three or four turns or pickups in a day, they’re now only able to do two,” Stambaugh says. That can make a big difference for drivers who are paid per load. Really, the whole supply chain is stressed. Some warehouses don’t have enough forklift drivers to help load and unload trucks. Some manufacturers weren’t able to keep pace with demand until recently, and now they’re competing for the same trucks and equipment to get their goods to customers. But while the pandemic has exacerbated issues across the board, the trucking industry has had issues with driver shortages for decades, Call says. She’s been around

14 INLANDER DECEMBER 9, 2021

image of trucking is way different nowadays,” Hodges says, noting that more women and minorities are drivers than in the past. “It’s more welcoming and, I would say, accommodating all around.” In the past, some truckers have struggled with the commitment to be on the road for long periods of time, while others have seen a lack of support at larger companies. Steve Hanning, owner of Mercer Trucking Company, says he’s run the company with an eye on supporting his drivers. They operate about 15 flatbed trucks out of Spokane Valley, working across the western U.S. and Canada. “I make sure my employees are home every weekend and don’t have to work,” Hanning says. “I want them to be involved with their family as much as they can.” He thinks one of the reasons it’s sometimes hard to find people with at least three years of experience to join his company is that some companies make promises they don’t keep. “I think there’s a lot of trucking companies out there that have told their drivers they’re going to get this or that and it doesn’t happen,” Hanning says. “So when a guy comes in here, and we tell them all the stuff I think they walk out the door sometimes and go, ‘That can’t be true.’” But there really are a lot of incentives to get into the industry, experts say. On top of competitive pay and sign-on bonuses being offered right now, more and more companies are moving to shorter trips to enable that work-life balance. “I think what we’re seeing is trends in hauls getting shorter,” Call says. Overall, Call says she hopes that other people see the professionalism of the workers within the industry and remember the importance of trucking to their lives. “Without trucks, society would fail to function,” she says. n


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DECEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 15


CALLS FOR POLICE Three local law enforcement agencies grapple with why it’s become increasingly difficult to recruit officers

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HE TIMES SQUARE AD was part of Spokane Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich’s plan. A Times Square ad that spelled “Washington” as “Washinton,” to be clear, was not. But combine the two — the $12,000 two-day Times Square billboard and a typo Knezovich blames on the ad company — and the result was the sort of cascade of free advertising that marketing executives could only dream of. It was featured on local TV news segments across the country. It appeared in articles in newspapers like the Miami Herald and on right-wing websites like the Daily Caller. Knezovich was interviewed by CNN and on Fox and Friends. And they all communicated the same message: Spokane County was seeking to hire dozens of deputies away from other agencies, and were offering $15,000 hiring bonuses. “You see people leaving the profession. You’ve read all the articles. Google them up. Record levels of retirements at the same time that the application pool is almost nil,” Knezovich says. “Our strategy: Let’s go after good cops in areas that disrespected them. That’s what we did. Targeted Portland, Seattle, I-5.” In some cases, he says, that’s meant putting up billboard ads directly across from police precincts. His department could use the extra help. As a share of the population they serve, Spokane County Sheriff’s Department staffing levels are about as low as they’ve been in at least 35 years. Law enforcement agencies across the country have reported similar challenges. In September, vacancies forced the Spokane Police Department to put their traffic unit on hold. “Ten years ago, we would have had multiple hundreds of people on our hiring list,” Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl says. “Now we typically have less than 100.” The issue isn’t new, however, and fixing it isn’t simple. Even in left-leaning Seattle, voters have rejected politicians who’ve run on “defund the police” rhetoric. But it’s one thing to fund the police. It’s another to convince them to come work for you.

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n a sense, the City of Spokane has defunded the police before. It eliminated dozens of police positions thanks to a budget deficit in 2004, and it defunded another 19 vacant police positions due to the Great Recession in 2012. The number of Spokane County sheriff’s deputies plunged during the recession too, and never fully recovered. Even as the economy improved, the Washington State Patrol was shedding as many as nine officers a month. Chris Loftis, the agency’s communications director says WSP salaries were so low they were leaving for other agencies.

16 INLANDER DECEMBER 9, 2021

BY DANIEL WALTERS Finally, in 2016, Loftis says, “the Legislature came through and brought our pay scale up pretty substantially.” Meanwhile, the City of Spokane’s leaders had slowly restored the number of police positions, culminating with a 2019 voter-approved tax measure to pay for 20 more officers. But by the end of that year, Meidl was telling the City Council that they were having trouble recruiting to fill the spots they already had. When the Inlander asked then what was driving the recruiting challenge, he cited negative media coverage and generational cultural shifts as factors. But the biggest issue? The economy, he said. It was too good. It made it hard to attract workers to exhausting, sometimes dangerous police jobs. “Now there’s so many other options out there, they’ll go with those options,” Meidl said. If anything, the strange pandemic-era 2021 economy is even more challenging. Labor shortages mean everyone is fishing for the same workers, and spiking inflation means those workers may be looking for higher salaries as a result. “Unemployment is the lowest it’s been since 1997 in Spokane,” Council President Breean Beggs says. “People are rethinking what they want to do with their lives.”

All levels of law enforcement are feeling understaffed. ERICK DOXEY PHOTO

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alaries are lower in the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office than in the City of Spokane, but Knezovich doesn’t think that’s the biggest issue. “What it really comes down to is, are you willing to get into a profession that on a daily basis is under constant fire?” Knezovich says. Sometimes he means that figuratively — referring to the later-disproven “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” claim from the Ferguson, Missouri, protests, to the “All Cops Are Bastards” rhetoric by some protesters in 2020, to media outlets and politicians “demonizing an entire profession,” to the “lunacy” of Washington Legislature’s recent police reform measures, to the perception that the state’s attorney general is “hellbent on arresting police officers.”


But at other times officers actually are under fire: In the summer of 2016, two mass shooters — one on the far left and another on the far right — targeted police officers. “Five Dallas cops died because of radicalized hate,” Knezovich says. “Ten days later, three more in Baton Rouge.” Knezovich describes a 25-year-old female deputy and a 15-year-veteran both shaken enough by the events to want to quit entirely. Meidl and WSP’s Loftis hit many of the same notes in their own comments — the last eight years have been destabilizing for some officers. “I think respect is part of the currency of the profession,” says Loftis. “If you’re being paid in dollars and not in respect, this is a dangerous and lonely job sometimes.” Against this backdrop, 542 law enforcement officers across the country have died of COVID-19 — more than every officer in the country gunned down on duty in the last 10 years combined. But it’s not fear of the virus that triggered a big exodus from the Washington State Patrol last month: It was opposition to Gov. Jay Inslee’s requirement to get vaccines. Inslee’s vaccine mandate was cited in the departure of 159 WSP employees — about 7 percent of their workforce. “I think the vaccine mandate was a period at the end of the sentence that had already been written for some,” Loftis says. “For a lot of folks, it’s a culmination of a tough few years.” Combined with the already existing empty positions, WSP has 256 vacancies. But Knezovich is willing to give those departed employees a shot, too. The sheriff’s office added the phrase “NO Mandatory Vaccinations Required” to their ads. Knezovich brushes off concerns that hiring officers who resigned or were terminated from other agencies because of COVID mandates or frustrations over police protests might be “malcontents,” saying he’s still very selective about who they hire. “We had 143 applicants. We’ve only hired 16,” Knezovich says. “There are agencies in this area that will hire people we won’t.”

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“The vaccine mandate was a period at the end of the sentence that had already been written for some.” Meidl says standards in the Spokane Police Department are just as selective. He says the department is trying to adapt. They’ve been offering testing opportunities more frequently, recently loosened the department’s college education requirement, and have obtained a $56,000 grant to try to recruit from more diverse populations. Despite the turmoil of the past two years, Meidl says the police department actually had slightly more applicants during its last round of applications compared with 2019. Beggs, a police reform advocate, notes that anti-police rhetoric isn’t new. He says the public’s trust in their police department has improved significantly from where it was 15 years ago, when a Spokane police officer beat developmentally disabled janitor Otto Zehm and lied to investigators about it. Today, he says, the officers themselves may have the best sales pitch, and he suggests Spokane send them “out on the road recruiting,” “I think life in Spokane for police is pretty darn good compared to other parts of the country,” Beggs says. The challenge is, right now, almost every career field is struggling with their own staffing shortages. “We’re not the only ones offering $15,000 bonuses,” Knezovich says. “You have a trucking company out there offering $15,000. I just had one of my deputies retire and go to work for them.” n

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DECEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 17


The shortage of farmworkers isn’t new, and the challenges are compounding. UFW PHOTO

‘A MORAL QUESTION’ Farm labor was in short supply for decades: The pandemic presented new challenges BY NATE SANFORD

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ARLIER THIS YEAR, the Washington State Employment Security Department doubled down on efforts to find U.S. farmworkers and spent thousands of dollars on posters, flyers, radio ads and recruitment at job fairs. The end result: one referral and zero hires. Dan Fazio, executive director of Washington Farm Labor Association, says he doesn’t blame the Employment Security Department for not finding any workers; he faults them for not telling people it was a fool’s errand. “It’s basically impossible to find U.S. workers,” Fazio tells the Inlander. The shortage of local farmworkers in Washington predates the pandemic by almost three decades, Fazio says. Farm work — especially the labor-intensive type needed to harvest berry and fruit crops in the Columbia Basin — is physically demanding. The hours are long, and the wages aren’t great. Young people are leaving

18 INLANDER DECEMBER 9, 2021

small towns for cities with better-paying jobs in restaurants, construction and warehouses. Agricultural work is seasonal, which can dissuade people looking for stability. None of this is new, which is why some growers and farm owners in Washington have increasingly turned to labor from other countries. The H-2A program lets farmers who can’t find domestic workers bring in foreign workers on temporary work visas. A majority of H-2A farmworkers come to Washington from Mexico and other countries in Latin America. There’s no shortage when it comes to H-2A workers. The number of foreign workers applying to the H-2A program is generally higher than the number of workers requested by farmers, Fazio says. About 25,000 farmworkers came to Washington on H-2A visas in 2020, and the number is on track to be even higher in 2021. But despite the availability of H-2A workers, Fazio says farm owners will frequently tell him they can’t use

the program. There are three main complaints. The first, Fazio says, is that farmers are worried about being subjected to regulatory and political scrutiny. The second is housing. Farm owners who use the H-2A program are required to provide housing for the migrant farmworkers they employ, in addition to transportation and other amenities. The third reason is wages. The H-2A program requires farmers to pay workers an hourly wage based on estimates for the average hourly wage in the area. A November report from the Department of Agriculture puts the hourly wage for next year at $17.41. “If you use the legal worker program, you have to pay a higher wage than if you hire undocumented workers,” Fazio says. “Kind of nonsensical, but it is what it is.” The Department of Labor estimates that about 50 percent of the U.S agricultural workforce is undocumented. Elizabeth Strater, director of strategic communications for the United Farm Workers, pushes back on the argument that the high costs of the H-2A program encourage farmers to hire undocumented workers. Many growers are already doing that, she says, and are more than willing to look the other way. The guardrails built into the H-2A program are necessary because migrant workers are especially vulnerable to exploitation and wage theft, Strater says. She notes that the costs associated with the H-2A program pale in comparison to the physical toll farm work takes on migrant workers. “These are folks that do not have easy choices when it comes to providing the bare minimum for their families, and that is really easily exploited,” Strater says. Strater says that lack of choice is why so many migrant farmworkers have continued to work throughout the pandemic, floods, wildfires and other hazards of the past two years. Fazio says the financial strain — which was made worse during the pandemic because of supply chain issues — is leading some smaller farmers to sell to larger corporate farms, or switching to grain crops that are less labor-intensive. Jeff Emtman is one of the owners of Emtman Brothers Farms just outside Spokane. He says the lack of local farmworkers isn’t as severe in the eastern part of the state where less labor-intensive grain crops are more common. Emtman’s farm has been doing all right when it comes to finding seasonal workers, and he hasn’t had to rely on the H-2A program. During the peak of the harvest season, Emtman typically employs about 16 farmworkers, sometimes from local high schools. “The equipment is pretty efficient, so we’re able to get by with a limited amount of labor producing the crop,” Emtman says. But Emtman is struggling with a different type of labor shortage. His farm typically employs around six truckers to help transport crops to buyers during harvest season, but he says finding truckers has been especially difficult this year. The trouble finding truckers is especially challenging for Emtman’s hay crops, which need to be moved quickly after being harvested. Emtman said it’s a source of concern and that he has talked about potentially scaling down the hay harvest in favor of grain crops, which don’t need to be transported immediately after harvest. In the long term, Fazio worries that the rising cost of the H-2A program will lead more farmers to pull out of the business entirely, driving inflation and outsourcing food production to other countries. Strater doesn’t buy it. She says the hardships faced by migrant farmworkers far outweigh the cost of proper compensation. “This is not an economic question that we’re necessarily asking,” Strater says. “This is a moral question.” n


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DECEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 19


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I FT E D I U

GIVING THE BEST, AGAIN I know what you’re thinking. “Wasn’t there a gift guide in the Inlander last week?” Indeed there was, friendly reader. But you’re a popular sort, I can tell, so we’re back to help you with some of the tougher assignments on your gift-giving lists. Need a low-budget white elephant present? We got you covered. Have a friend who just hates stuff, but loves experiences? Delve on in. Got a buddy who was fired from an extremely high-profile job coaching a favorite local college football team? Even he deserves something this year. Enjoy the season knowing giving to others is the best gift you can give yourself — but go ahead and pick up something you’ve always wanted, too, while you’re shopping local. — DAN NAILEN, editor

GIFTS FOR

Pets & Pet Lovers

Toys and treats for furry friends, and wearable swag for their paw-rents

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BY CHEY SCOTT

ets are just as important as the people on your holiday list. But if you’re shopping for an animal-loving human, we have a few suggestions for them, too. Impress those folks even more by gifting something to them and their fur baby.

20 INLANDER DECEMBER 9, 2021


KITTY CANTINA SWAG

Cat people like to show off their feline loyalty loudly and proudly. The edgy and stylish designs featured on a collection of T-shirts, stickers, hats and more from Spokane’s first and only cat cafe, Kitty Cantina, fit that bill purr-fectly. Among some of the sassy styles is a shirt screenprinted with a cat in a litter box and the phrase “trying to get my shit together,” and the “Cat MILF AF” baseball raglan. Other items like mugs and cat toys are also sold in-person at the shop. Gift cards for a visit to the cafe and its connected cat room are also easy-peasy gifts for the cat peeps in your life. Even shop online for some of the aforementioned Kitty Cantina gear. Best of all? A portion of all proceeds helps sponsor adoption fees for “disadvantaged” kitties at the cafe! $3.50-$48 • Spokane Kitty Cantina • 6704 N. Nevada St. • kittycantina.com

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FLUFF & TUFF TOYS

Many dogs have never met a stuffy they didn’t want to immediately destroy, filling the house with puffs of snowy white polyester in the process. This line of toys, however, might make that a pretty steep challenge, according to the savvy staff at Urban Canine. Made with super sturdy fabrics, fillings and construction, these cute buddies should last longer than usual. With various sizes and adorable designs to choose from — turtles, sharks, penguins, kangaroos, dinos and more — you’ll be tempted to get a backup or two. $10-$20 • Urban Canine • 6320 N. Ash St. and 2915 E. 29th Ave., Spokane • theurbancanine.com

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Dogs aren’t known for being picky eaters, so that’s where wellmeaning pet parents need to have their best interests and health in mind. For a special holiday treat (and any other time of the year), local Fetch Barkery offers a range of scratch-made goodies, like doggie biscuits, pup-friendly “donuts,” “pupzels” and even festive “reindeer poop.” Custom dog cakes are also a year-round specialty at Fetch. Find Fetch’s 1958 treat trailer named Doty this holiday season at several area markets: Riverfront’s Winter Market (Dec. 15 and 22 from 3-7 pm), the Wonder Building’s Winter Market (Dec. 11 and 18 from 10 am-2 pm) and in Manito Park near the Mirror Pond every Sunday from 9 am-1 pm. $3-$38 • Fetch Barkery • Preorder at fetchbarkeryspokane.com

SUNDAY, MONDAY & THURSDAY | 10 AM – 6 PM TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY | 10 AM – 4 PM FRIDAY & SATURDAY | 10 AM – 8 PM BABOR cosmetics, NuFace products, Miracle Hair Oil, Spa Ssakwa’q’n Spa Scents Eucalyptus products and leading professional skin care lines such as BABOR, Farmhouse Fresh, Blue Beautifly, Naturopathica, and more! The spa closes at 4 PM on December 24TH and is closed on December 25TH.

CUSTOM PET NECKLACE

Cats, dogs, chinchillas, hedgehogs, horses, hamsters, bearded dragons, ducks, pigs, ferrets and more — Spokane-based custom jewelry maker Ivy By Design has a necklace pendant for all these species and even more. With options for every price point, and the choice to customize a piece by getting your pets’ name engraved on it, these special pieces are keepsakes to be worn for years to come. Each necklace (pick your metal finish, chain length, pendant size, font and more) is made in the 11-year-old jewelry studio’s Hillyard shop, says owner Ivy Presho, and while local pickup isn’t available, all orders ship the next business day — a boon for last-minute shoppers. $34-$93 • Ivy By Design • etsy.com/shop/IvyByDesign n

W E LC O M E H O M E .

CASINO | HOTEL | DINING SPA | CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF 3 7 9 1 4 S O U T H N U K WA LQ W • W O R L E Y, I D A H O 8 3 8 7 6 1 800-523-2464 • CDACASINO.COM

DECEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 21


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GIFTS FOR

Exploited Workers

Help your essential worker friends and family de-stress with some much-needed self care

H Peanut brittle, the white elephant gift everyone else will try to steal.

YOUNG KWAK PHOTO

GIFTS FOR

White Elephant Participants Here’s what to get if you have a $10 budget

H

BY WILSON CRISCIONE

ave a white elephant gift exchange coming up with a $10 limit? Or do you want to show someone you care without breaking the bank? It’s always possible to find a cheap gift, but it can be difficult to find cheap gifts that carry real value or that you know someone won’t just throw away after a couple weeks. But I have a secret: Find something done by a local artist or maker. That way, the gift recipient knows you put some thought into it, and they’re unlikely to see it anywhere else.

LEATHER CORD-KEEPER SET

If you’re a human living in the 21st century, you have cords. They’re entangled on your desk. They’re hanging off your nightstand. They’re falling off the couch. Sure, you could go on Amazon and buy a generic cord keeper, but why not something with a little style? That’s where this handmade leather set comes in. Its small slits ensure you won’t lose track of the cords, and they’re small enough to use on the go. Be sure to check out the other gifts made by local artists at From Here as well. $9 • From Here • 808 W. Main Ave. #251

PEANUT BUTTER BRITTLE

First, make sure the person receiving this gift is not allergic to peanuts. All good? Then this eight-ounce box of soft peanut brittle from Bruttles Gourmet Candy Shoppe is a perfect gift for someone who has a sweet tooth. This isn’t any ordinary candy you

22 INLANDER DECEMBER 9, 2021

can find at the store. This is a step above. The brittle is soft and flaky with a rich flavor, which is why it’s a candy Bruttles has been made famous for. $8 • Bruttles • 828 W. Sprague Ave.

WILDFLOWER TRINKET PLATE

BY MADISON PEARSON

ave you checked up on your “essential worker” friends lately, or are they too busy being drained of their life force at minimum wage jobs to reply? Whether you know someone in the health care field who’s constantly on their feet or a fast-food worker who deals with insufferable customers all day, they need a well-deserved break this holiday season. So as long as they aren’t being forced to work over the holidays, you can hand deliver them a gift to take their mind off their tyrant manager, customers who make them pull their hair out and the workplace they dread walking into.

GOOD NIGHT TEA

After coming home from a closing shift, every worker needs a little something to wind them down. This tea from Heavenly Special Teas is calming, sweet and relieves those nasty tension headaches your friend might endure after weeks of nonstop chaos. This should give them at least 30 cups of tea to help rid them of the memories of their shift from hell and put them right to sleep. (Until they wake up the next day to do it all over again.) $12 • Heavenly Special Teas • 1817 N. Division St.

MASSAGE

There might not be anything better at relieving stress than some good old elbow grease. Not only could recurring massages help your burned-out friend feel human again, but they could give you some major brownie points with them and possibly the title of best gift-giver ever. Everyone loves to be pampered, so shelling out for an hour or two of massage for your giftee will put them on the train to the relaxation station for a much needed getaway. $109 for one hour • Elements Massage • 3209 E. 57th Ave.

HANDMADE SOAP

If you’re like me, your kitchen counter or coffee table always ends up with a bunch of clutter. And it’s always small things — my wife’s earrings, or eye drops. This trinket plate is a great landing spot for those small items or whatever you want to put on it. It could even be a tea bag! But this isn’t just any trinket plate. Each is unique, with a wildflower impressed into it. $9 • Pottery Place Plus • 203 N. Washington St.

Sometimes the only way to forget a hellish day (or year) is to wash away those memories, literally. Kizuri has an outrageous selection of handmade soaps in every scent under the sun and is Spokane’s premier fair-trade goods store; every purchase made contributes to fair and liveable wages for each artisan that the store supports. Seems like a good way to support exploited workers and exploited artists. A double whammy? $8/bar • Kizuri • 35 W. Main Ave.

PILL AND TRINKET BOX

It’s safe to say that sometimes we all need a breather. The Kalm Box made by Spokane-based company Kalm Learning is a perfect gift box for the stressed-out worker in your life who could use a bit of time to clear their head. Packed with three items that can help ground a person in times of panic, the leather pouch is inconspicuous and portable. Great for calming down on-the-go or at your place of work. The “worry stone” and felt ball are great distractions from tense situations, whereas hand-pressed essential oils provide a calming escape from overstimulation and feelings of worry. $130 • Kalm Learning • kalmlearning.com n

OK, so maybe your gift recipient is someone who wants a place for their trinket but who wants something a bit smaller and more easy to keep in a bag or a purse. That’s where something like this pill/ trinket box comes in. At Mix It Up in Coeur d’Alene, you can choose from more than a dozen different styles. These boxes also contain a mirror on the inside and three removable compartments that allow it to be one larger space or several smaller ones. $9 • Mix It Up • 513 E. Sherman Ave., Coeur d’Alene n

THE KALM BOX


DECEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 23


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GIFTS FOR

A cozy firepit to get basement-dwelling family members out into some fresh air.

FULL NAME PHOTO

Long-Lost Relatives

Perfect presents for those family members you love, or barely remember

I

n holiday times we like to think of the tight-knit warmth of family units, but the truth is that sometimes families drift apart. The reasons for this can vary, but even if it’s been eons since you’ve last seen each other, a thoughtful gift can bridge the gap and attempt to rekindle that bond. ♫ They’ll be home for Christmas, if only in these things… ♫

PAMPEANA NIGHT LIGHTS

Are you an estranged grandfather who the nosey, booby trap-setting neighbor thinks is actually a shovel-wielding murderer? Even if you don’t have the best relationship with your son, you can shine a little light in your granddaughter’s life by giving her a PamPeana Night Light selected from the vast array available at Kizuri. Handmade and crafted from recycled glass, these soft illuminators feature paintings of snowflakes, flowers, exotic animals, cats sitting on the moon, and more. Kizuri boasts an impressive towering display that showcases over 20 designs, so there’s bound to be something to suit that special youngster. Let one of these be a literal beacon of light in the darkness of your distant relationship (also, as that neighbor kid suggested in church, why not just give

24 INLANDER DECEMBER 9, 2021

BY SETH SOMMERFELD your son a call and try to mend things up?). $22 • Kizuri • 35 W. Main Ave. • shopkizuri.com

D12 SOLID FIRE PITS

Lost a relative to the eternal basement-dwelling life of Skyrim, watching others play Dungeons & Dragons on Twitch, and Game of Thrones fanfic boards? Perhaps a Solid Fire Pit can get them to emerge from their caves. Forged by local artist Scott Shumake Jr., these hanging fire pits look like 12-sided D&D dice and are a marvel of art and function. If this gift can’t force them to get outside and invite their digital pals for an irl gathering around the dragon’s breath, nothing will. $500-$2,000 • shumakedesigns.com

TWINKLE N TWILIGHT WEDGE BAGS

It’s easy to feel lost and distanced when your doting niece or nephew becomes a teenage goth, but there’s still a chance to be the cool aunt or uncle by giving them a Twinkle N Twilight wedge bag. The Spokane Etsy tailor makes ultra-cute but macabre 10-by-13-inch wedge bags. With dozens of pattern options that include bats, black cats, spiderwebs, tarot cards, glow-in-the-dark

fangs, and even The Nightmare Before Christmas characters (all of which boast delightful matching zipper charms), there’s sure to be something to momentarily warm their black hearts. $30 • etsy.com/ shop/TwinkleNTwilight

CUSTOM PRINTED GLASSES

OK, but what if your long lost relative is still lost? Have the missing notices printed on milk cartons proved ineffective because nobody drinks from milk cartons anymore? Why not take a more practical drink-based approach? Try slapping their missing poster on some beer glasses. Spokane-based Custom Painted Beer Glasses can assist with that very specific request. Provide the one-color, oneside design, and CPBG can slap it onto American-made glassware — pints, tallboys, Belgians, rocks, even wine glasses — with no minimum order. If someone’s seen your family member who’s been MIA for years, wouldn’t it be more likely to be some grizzled patron at the end of the bar? The true gift is really the person being found, but also they’ll probably enjoy snagging a couple of the glasses with their mugs plastered across them to serve as souvenirs from their time away. $40 setup fee + $6-$9 per glass • customprintedbeerglasses.com n


GIFTS FOR

Local Arts Lovers Picture yourself supporting the local visual and performing arts community with these fun gifts

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Stan Miller Exhibition

BY CARRIE SCOZZARO

Watercolor and Egg Tempera Paintings

f you’re an arts supporter, you already know the benefits of supporting the visual and performing arts, including your network of like-minded friends and family. Shopping for them is like shopping for yourself, with plenty of events, memberships, subscriptions and art-centric items throughout our region. You’re not an arts supporter? Don’t miss out any longer! Check out these suggestions for ways to support — and enjoy — our local arts scene.

Dec 10 | 5-9 pm Dec 11 | noon to 6 pm Dec 12 | noon to 4 p.m

FOX THEATER MUG

If you’ve ever attended one of the amazing performances of the Spokane Symphony, then you know how special the Fox Theater is. As the Symphony’s home base, the Fox has been Spokane’s favorite downtown venue for 90 years! Help the music and event lover on your list start the day off on an “up note” with a commemorative Fox mug designed by another of Spokane’s faves: artist and printmaker Chris Bovey. $12 • Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox • 1001 W. Sprague Ave. • foxtheaterspokane.org

hallettschocolates.com

1419 E Holyoke Ave, Spokane • 509-484-6454 Locally Owned & Operated • In Store & Online Shopping

3138 E. 17th Ave. Spokane, WA FOR MORE INFO:

509.768.9354 stan@stanmiller.net stanmiller.net

ARTSY MASK

If the person on your shopping list is of the mask-wearing variety (which we hope, because we need all the help we can get to end this freakin’ pandemic), the MAC’s reversible art masks (in the gift shop) make every day an art day and allow the wearer to express themselves accordingly. Channel the tranquility of Monet’s water lilies or embrace the struggle of Frida Kahlo’s doublesided self-portraits. And for outings that inspire increasing the decibels, do so artfully with a mask depicting Edvard Munch’s iconic 1893 painting, The Scream. Include a museum membership with that mask ($35-$50) so the wearer can attend cool events like Thursday Night Live for free. $19 • Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture • 2316 W. First Ave. • northwestmuseum.org

Enjoy Holiday Shopping while supporting local artists, creators, craftsmen, jewelers & more!

MEL McCUDDIN PLAYING CARDS

Not many artists in our region are as prolific as Mel McCuddin, who’s been painting for more than 50 years and recently completed a solo show at Coeur d’Alene’s Art Spirit Gallery. Priced by size, McCuddin’s paintings sell anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. You, however, could start your very own McCuddin gallery (in miniature) with a set of Mel McCuddin playing cards. The deck features 54 of the beloved octogenarian’s artworks (52 standard cards plus two jokers). $10 • The Art Spirit Gallery • 415 Sherman Ave., Coeur d’Alene • theartspiritgallery.com

COEUR D’ALENE SUMMER THEATER SUBSCRIPTION

For some people, it takes a few solid months of cold weather to begin dreaming about sleeveless tops and sunshine. For the theater fan on your list, a 2022 season pass to Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre adds not just one but three more reasons to think warm thoughts. The CST season, which runs July-August, includes three productions. Mamma Mia! will have everyone singing ABBA tunes, while Little Women, The Broadway Musical is a contemporary twist on a classic coming-of-age-story. CST’s 2022 season concludes with hilarity from the holy Little Sisters of Hoboken in none other than Nunsense. $131-$153 • Coeur d’Alene Summer Theater • 4951 Building Center Drive #105 • cdasummertheatre.com n

More Vendors Welcome!

Sign up at BeyoutifulLocalMarket.com

Spokane’s Local Market is located in the Northtown Mall every weekend from 11am - 5pm DECEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 25


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SPOKANE’S ONLY COMPLETELY GLUTEN-FREE RESTAURANT Dairy Free, Vegan and Keto options also available.

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Meet the People Who Shaped the Inland Northwest

GIFTS FOR

Recently Unemployed Unvaccinated Football Coaches

What do you get for the football coach millionaire who has everything but a vaccine card and a job?

S

BY DANIEL WALTERS

ome people are hard to shop for. Say you have a football coaching friend, and you tried to give them a downright miraculous gift that could save their life and the lives of others, but — whether because they’re scared or read bad reviews online — they refuse to take it. So you beg and you plead, and you literally threaten to fire them if they don’t take it. And then they literally sacrifice a $3 million a year job instead of getting vaccinated. Even if you’re the Washington state governor, Christmas shopping is hard. So what do you get for that unvaccinated, unemployed football coach on your Secret Santa list?

SAT. DEC. 11 10AM-6PM SUN. DEC. 12 12-4PM FREE ADMISSION!

Inlander Histories Volume 1 & 2

On Sale Now

SUPPORT LOCAL ARTISTS!

5 MILE GRANGE 3024 W. STRONG • SPOKANE URBANARTCOOP.ORG

BLOOD BOWL: SECOND SEASON EDITION

Inlander.com/books

Uncle’s Games has a slew of great ideas, including games with titles like Funemployed and Pandemic and a 1,000-piece Martin Stadium puzzle. But what better way to channel all of that untapped coaching energy than by getting really into Warhammer tabletop strategy games? Blood Bowl is all the majesty of football combined with all the fun of board games and all the pointy teeth of orcs. Eventually, he can even buy a team aligned with Nurgle, the Chaos God of corruption and disease. $140 • Uncle’s Games • 404 W. Main Ave.

GRAVESTONE IDEAS PENCIL

The death rate for unvaccinated people is 13 times higher than for vaccinated people. Your unvaccinated football coach has heard that all before. But the last thing he wants to think about on his deathbed is what to put on his tombstone. Thankfully, this set of pencils with gravestone slogans can help. Yes, a lot of people who get COVID never die, so he may not get personal use from the gravestone idea pencil set. But since unvaccinated folks are a lot more likely to contract and spread the virus — he could always regift it to a friend. $10.95 • Boo Radley’s • 232 N. Howard St.

26 INLANDER DECEMBER 9, 2021

“THIS IS US” WSU SIGN

Your unvaccinated football coach may not get WSU swag for free any more, so let him show the tattered post-Apple Cup victory remains of his Cougar pride. “This Is Us,” the wooden sign says, above a crimson Cougar logo. “Our Life. Our Story. Our Team.” If “This Is Us” reminds him too much of that TV show where the beloved football-loving dad dies after doing something really stupid, toss in a can of red paint so he can alter the slogan from “This Is Us” to “That Was Me.” $40 • The General Store • 2424 N. Division St.

GET WELLNESS HERB TEA FOR IMMUNITY

“With bright orange notes, it’s a tasty way to protect yourself,” Republic of Tea says about the Get Immunity tea in their bundle of three Be Well teas. “Energize and protect. Arm your body’s defense system with nature’s best.*” Sure, when you follow the asterisk, you get a lot of disclaimer mumbo-jumbo about how that claim hasn’t “been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration” and the product isn’t “intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.” But what does the FDA know? What do they know of the healing power of elderberries? What do they know about aromatic cardamom and pungent cloves? Plus, Moderna tea tastes terrible. $17.95 • Atticus Coffee & Gifts • 222 N. Howard St.

SUPPORT FROM THE BOOSTERS

Obviously, an unvaccinated football coach can’t get vaccinated without destroying his entire brand. But they never said anything about not getting a “booster shot” from Pfizer or Moderna. And at Walgreens, it’s easier than ever to schedule a booster shot, and crucial with all these new COVID variants. Just because he’s not a college football coach anymore doesn’t mean he can’t join the booster club. $0 • Walgreens • 2105 E. Wellesley Ave. n


NOW OPEN Take to the skies via zipline.

TIMBERLINE ADVENTURES PHOTO

GIFTS FOR

People Who Value Experiences

How to satisfy someone who really doesn’t want any more stuff

I

New to downtown Spokane Washington, Roses & Thread is a locally owned women’s boutique. We provide a personalized shopping experience by offering only the most current and classic fashion brands & pieces.

1407 W. First Ave, Spokane, WA 99019 + rosesthreadboutique.com +

Tuesday-Friday 11-5pm Saturday 11-6pm Sunday 11-4pm Monday Closed

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s your loved one a minimalist who frustratingly lives in a spotless apartment that’s ready for a TV crew to show up at any moment? Or are they just someone who enjoys adventures more than trinkets? Wherever that person falls on the spectrum of people who don’t like “things,” there are still many Inland Northwest gifts they can appreciate. Whether they like hot or cold weather, easy or vigorous exercise, there’s something for everyone in the region’s bountiful outdoors.

ZIPLINE BY LAKE COEUR D’ALENE

From testing out the aerial experience of ziplining on a four-line tour ($79), where most lines are closer to the ground, to an epic seven-line tour ($109) that has you soaring over a valley with a beautiful view of Lake Coeur d’Alene, Timberline Adventures has thrilling choices to push you out of your comfort zone and up into the trees. Other tour options include lunch or snacks. Ewok costumes not included. $79-$139 • Timberline Adventures • ziptimberline.com

KAYAK LAKE PEND OREILLE

Kayak rentals from Outdoor Experience in downtown Sandpoint are a great way to get out on breathtaking Lake Pend Oreille before committing to a boat of your own. Rent your adventurer a kayak for two hours ($40) or the whole day ($65) and give them the gift of sightseeing from an angle you won’t find anywhere but on the water. $40-$65 • Outdoor Experience • 314 N. First Ave., Sandpoint

SNOWSHOE THE INLAND NORTHWEST

With tours that include transportation, snowshoes and poles, along with excellent guides to lead the way, Spokane Parks and Recreation helps beginners and intermediate snowshoers alike get out into the wonderful Inland Northwest. Tours range from $29 to $49 and vary in length from several hours to daylong adventures. Pretty much every trip involves going somewhere that’s a fair distance outside of the city (via provided transportation), so plan for the day to be filled with fun in the snow as well as fun with good company on the bus. $29-$49 • Spokane Parks and Recreation • my.spokanecity.org/recreation

FOSSIL HUNTING

Do you have a wannabe Indiana Jones on your hands? Plan a trip to hunt for fossils near the Stonerose Interpretive Center in Republic, Washington, next summer. You can hunt all day for fossils ($15 for adults) and, if needed, the center also offers hammers and chisels for rent ($5). Don’t worry about this trip cluttering up your home as you’re only able to take home up to three fossils that you find. But, should your loved one happen upon a fossil the center has never seen before, the find will be kept at the site and catalogued, with your loved one potentially getting credit in a scientific journal for the discovery! $15 • Stonerose Interpretive Center • 15 N. Clark Ave., Republic n

Vinegar Flats Farm, Spokane, Tarawyn Waters

Eat Local First for The Holidays Buy local, eat local and support local for the holidays with Eat Local First and the Washington Food & Farm Finder. With over 1,700 listings including farms, markets, CSAs, restaurants and locally made goods for all your holiday festivities including our Holiday Food & Farm Finder and enter to win with gift certificates from LINC Foods and more! Visit eatlocalfirst.org today and celebrate the holidays with a farmer!

Get your farm or local business listed and connect with consumers across WA. Visit eatlocalfirst.org/register or email info@eatlocalfirst.org for more information.

DECEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 27


Downtown Spokane for the Holidays

EUROPA

EUROPA

QUEEN OF SHEBA

T

Welcome to the Flavors of the World

he Spokane dining scene has exploded over the past decade, with much of that centered on downtown Spokane. One of the tastiest developments has been the growing community of international dining options — Thai, Mediterranean, Irish, Mexican and more. One that’s been a mainstay, and located just steps from the Steam Plant and Davenport Hotel Tower, is EUROPA RESTAURANT & BAKERY (125 St. Wall St., europaspokane.com) — a local favorite for nearly 40 years. Pop in for happy hour and shared appetizers (3-6 pm, and 9 pm to close). Reserve a table for a delightful Italian dinner of homemade pizzas and pastas like the manicotti with basil pesto cream. Treat yourself to their decadent desserts baked daily on-site (try the tiramisu), or order ahead for a selection of mini-desserts or celebration cake for your holiday plans. Buon appetito! Experience the tastes of Ethiopia at QUEEN OF SHEBA inside the Flour Mill (621 W. Mallon, queenofshebaspokane.com), where chef/

28 INLANDER DECEMBER 9, 2021

owner Almaz Ainuu is happy to greet you. “I’m a people-person and love talking with people and teaching them about my culture and food.” she says. Try traditional Ethiopian dining: a communal table and a shared platter of food. Or grab a standard table (and silverware). Either way, enjoy hearty, comforting dishes like lamb sautéed in rosemary, or fragrant vegetarian stew. Can’t decide? Try the combination platter and experience all that Queen of Sheba has to offer. Irasshaimase! If you’ve ever entered a Japanese restaurant and heard this, it means “Welcome!” And you are welcome at SUSHI.COM (430 W. Main, mainsushi.com), where the service, the décor and especially the meals are all prepared with artistry and excellence. Try the sushi, made from the freshest seafood and ingredients, or an entrée like spicy barbecue pork or any number of noodle, rice and other dishes. Big groups, date night, families with kids, your gal pals for cocktails and a bite — all are welcome here. 


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C E L E B R AT E W I T H SUS TAINAB LE GIF TS

Skating Through the Holidays

I

t’s not just the holiday season — it’s also hockey season! What better time to cheer on the SPOKANE CHIEFS (spokanechiefs.com) as they face off against their tough regional competition? On December 17 and 18, the team hosts the Portland Winterhawks at the SPOKANE VETERANS MEMORIAL ARENA (720 W. Mallon Ave.). Their next home game is on December 30 against the Seattle Thunderbirds. On January 1, the Chiefs ring in the new year in Spokane by going head to head with the Tri-City Americans. That’s followed by another game on their home ice versus the Everett Silvertips on January 7. 

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DECEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 29


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Downtown Spokane for the Holidays

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30 INLANDER DECEMBER 9, 2021

A Festive Tasting Room Tour

D

rinking beer to benefit society? It might sound too good to be true, but that’s the aim of the GOLDEN HANDLE PROJECT (111 S. Cedar St., goldenhandle.org), a social purpose corporation dedicated to raising funds for biomedical research and education through top-quality craft beer. You can feel extra good about sampling brews like the Kelly Fay Vaughn Blonde, the Teufelhaus Helles or the Bright West Coast IPA knowing that a portion of all proceeds are directed toward scientific research in areas like neurodegenerative disease and cancer. If the mind-boggling array of award-winning craft beer weren’t reason enough to drop in at MOUNTAIN LAKES BREWING CO. (201 W. Riverside Avenue, mountainlakesbrewco.com), maybe the chance to win your own refreshment dispenser is. Each time you visit their taproom between now and New Year’s Eve, you earn a raffle entry toward a dual-tap kegerator worth $800. As a bonus, you get one extra entry for every 2021 Holiday 4-Pack you order, three extra entries for every 2021 Holiday 4-Pack

Beanie Bundle and five extra entries for every 2021 Holiday 4-Pack Ultimate Gift Pack — all of which can be conveniently ordered online at the Mountain Lakes website. Around the holidays, WHISTLE PUNK BREWING (122 S. Monroe St., whistlepunkbrewing.com) has “great beer, a great atmosphere and even more great beer,” says manager Chris Harnett. They’re getting into the spirit of the season with a limited fresh-hop brew known as the Merry Making IPA. “In the wintertime, a lot of places focus on heavier stouts and lagers,” says Harnett. “This is more of a classic IPA. It’s not a fruit bomb, but it’s sweet, lightly malty and very refreshing.” The brewery is also planning to release a muchanticipated doppelbock lager on Christmas Eve. Both the doppelbock and the Merry Making IPA will be available on tap and in to-go cans. If these three are just getting you thirsty, you can find even more downtown breweries and tasting rooms to visit this holiday season at INLANDNWALETRAIL.COM. 


AUNTIE’S BOOKSTORE

EXPERIENCE THE OF THE SEASON

ECHO ANNEX (1033 W. 1st Ave., echoconsignment.com) and FRINGE & FRAY (1325 W. First Ave., fringeandfray.net). If home décor is more your thing, A MODERN PLANTSMAN (110 S. Madison St., amodernplantsman.com) is opening soon at the sidewalk level of Hotel Indigo, and makes it easy to find just the right botanical accent. For now, you can find their plants at Boulevard

Mercantile. THE BIKE HUB (1403 W. 1st., thebikehubspokane.com), on the other hand, has everything you need for pedalpowered sports and commuting. Coming soon to the area is SPOKANE REFILLERY (110 S. Madison St., spokanerefillery.com), a zero-waste, bring-your-own-container shop that carries eco-conscious skincare and cleaning products. For now you can

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DOWNTOWN SPOKANE AT MAIN & POST

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From Pets to Chefs, Great Gifts Abound Downtown

Y

ou don’t have to have a die-hard Dungeon Master on your list to shop at UNCLE’S GAMES (404 W. Main Ave., unclesgames.com). Sure, this emporium of puzzles, games, models, brainteasers and timeless toys has lots aimed at the jigsaw aficionado or role-playing enthusiast. But there’s also a huge selection that will appeal to anyone who likes to have fun — whether it’s building a Lego set, assembling

a 3D puzzle or playing a quirky new board game with friends. And if you find yourself stumped, the staff is happy to place special orders or offer personal recommendations. Likewise, THE KITCHEN ENGINE (621 W. Mallon Ave., thekitchenengine.com) isn’t just for aspiring chefs and culinary experts. It’s the best place to find basic gear along with clever, time-saving gadgets that you never knew existed.

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32 INLANDER DECEMBER 9, 2021

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KITCHEN ENGINE “Even if someone’s not really into cooking, we have something for them. Everyone has to eat, right? There are so many people who come Christmas shopping here every year, especially to pick up stocking stuffers,” says owner Eric Frickle. This year the Kitchen Engine has expanded into more fully stocked retail space with new displays, including what Frickle describes as “far and away Spokane’s largest selection of cutlery.” A special offer on gift cards — buy $100 worth, get a $15 bonus — continues all the way up to Christmas Eve. That credit can be used toward one of the store’s acclaimed cooking classes that will be resuming next spring. THE YUPPY PUPPY (830 W. Sprague Ave., yupCheck out even more that Downtown pypuppyspokane. Spokane has to offer this holiday com) is the ideal season in next week’s edition of CITY one-stop shop for SIDEWALKS inside the Inlander. Find any recipient with out when you can meet Santa, where a pet. From handto find great locally made gifts and picked toys and how you can put yummy sweets on all-natural treats your holiday table. to professional grooming services, you’re bound to find the perfect item to help owners pamper and care for their fur babies. An extra special gift is the Bougie Box, a one-time or ongoing subscription full of snacks, supplies and surprises delivered right to their door. 

Take a break from Downtown Shopping

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To celebrate the holidays, the Wonder Building hosts its inaugural winter market with activities including live music, movies, arts and gifts, Christmas trees, complimentary hot cocoa and more. Saturdays from 10 am-2 pm through Dec. 18. Free. The Wonder Building, 835 N. Post St. fb.me/e/1T4pVlbVM (509-606-8900)

CRESCENT HOLIDAY WINDOWS

Enjoy a holiday stroll down Main Avenue and step back in time with five classic window scenes featuring vintage holiday decor rescued from the basement of the former Crescent Department Store. Each of the windows were designed and installed by local artists Stephanie Bogue, Melanie Lieb, Derrick Freeland, Jazmin Ely and Mallory Battista under the creative direction of Tiffany Patterson. Through Jan. 2; windows are lit Fri-Sat 12-10 pm and Sun-Thu 3-8 pm. Free. Davenport Grand Hotel, 333 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. davenporthotelcollection.com(800-918-9344)

SARANAC ART PROJECTS: ANNUAL SMALL WORKS SHOW & SALE

This annual show features small, affordable, original works of art by Saranac members and invited guests. Participating artists: Ann Porter, Chris Tyllia, Jenny Hyde, Josh Hobson, Kurt Madison, Lisa Nappa, Mariah Boyle, Posie Kalin, Reinaldo Gil Zambrano, Tobe Harvey, Margot Casstevens, Roger Ralston, Dan McCann, Mary Farrell, Harry Mestyanek and Dustin Regul. Fri-Sat from 12-8 pm through Dec. 31. Free. Saranac Art Projects, 25 W. Main Ave. facebook.com/ events/437957524590018 (509-350-3574)

ENCHANTED GARDEN DRIVE-THRU

This event transformed the decades-long Spokane tradition of holiday lights in the Gaiser Conservatory into a more COVID-friendly experience by moving outdoors to become a drive-thru format. Dec. 10-19. Donations accepted. Manito Park, 1800 S. Grand Blvd. thefriendsofmanito.org/ holiday (509-456-8038)


NORTHWEST BACHFEST WINTER CONCERTS

Santa Express

BachFest’s opening winter concert on Dec. 11 represents a time in the 19th and early 20th century when it became popular to hear musical masterpieces with piano accompaniment. Complete orchestras were not available in smaller communities, but pianos in homes were becoming increasingly present, and parlor concerts became popular. The second concert on Dec. 12 features rare musical gems, familiar and unfamiliar, presented by exciting, virtuosic soloists. Dec. 11 at 7 pm, Dec. 12 at 3 pm. $15/students; $45/general. Barrister Winery, 1213 W. Railroad Ave. nwbachfest.com (509-465-3591)

T

urn your Christmas shopping into a tradition for the whole family at SANTA EXPRESS (808 W. Main Ave., santaexpress.org), located in the former Mobius space in the lower level of River Park Square. Accompanied by one of the many helpful volunteer ‘elves,’ kids aged 4–12 will get the chance to browse a wide selection of affordable gifts priced between $1 to $10, then wrap their purchases so as not to spoil any surprises. In the meantime, parents can visit the gift boutique, which features items like home and holiday décor as well as stocking stuffers. Best of all, gifting via Santa Express counts double by helping a good cause. All proceeds from the store benefit Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery. Prefer to shop virtually? You can do it right from the Santa Express website. Both in-person and online shopping run until Dec. 23. 

SPOKANE SYMPHONY POPS 1: HOLIDAY POPS WITH THE SWEEPLINGS

Holiday Pops is an annual favorite with Christmas music, carol singing and a visit from Santa. This year’s special guests are Spokane’s Cami Bradley, finalist from America’s Got Talent, and her musical partner in the Sweeplings, Whitney Dean. Dec. 18 at 8 pm and Dec. 19 at 2 pm. $43-$73. Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, 1001 W. Sprague Ave. spokanesymphony.org (509624-1200)

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Terrain’s winter arts marketplace showcases locally handmade goods and artwork just in time for holiday shopping. Dec. 18, 10 am-8 pm. Free. River Park Square, 808 W. Main Ave. terrainspokane.com (509-624-3945)

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ARTS

Shining Through the Holidays Detail of Tiffany’s “Floriform Vase” (left) and the “River of Life” window (right).

Over 60 objects created during Louis Comfort Tiffany’s career are on display at the MAC

JOHN FAIER/DRIEHAUS MUSEUM PHOTO

BY MADISON PEARSON

R

emember that lamp that your grandmother loved? The one with the stained glass flowers? Well, it’s currently on display at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture. OK, maybe not that exact lamp. The MAC is currently showcasing Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection with over 60 objects created by the masterful designer, spanning over 30 years of Tiffany’s prolific career. Louis Comfort Tiffany embraced almost every artistic medium in his lifetime, starting as a painter before moving to others. From stained glass to pottery, Tiffany was not only a multifaceted artist, but an inventor. He experimented with techniques unheard of in the 19th century, making him an innovator for all designers that came after him. “This one is actually blown glass,” says Wes Jessup, the MAC’s executive director, showing off a vase shaped like a jack-in-the-pulpit plant, the delicate stem holding up an iridescent petal structure. “It probably wasn’t designed to hold anything, but that’s the mastery of Tiffany at play. He made decorative objects that were so highly sought out.” Of course, the vases are just a stepping stone of Tiffany’s brilliance. Much like the vases, the famous Tiffany lamps weren’t designed to be functional or to illuminate a room; they were designed to be the centerpiece of any space they inhabited. Tiffany brought many aspects of the natural world into his work. His stained glass windows contain vibrant scenes of rivers, trees and sunsets that act like a portal to another world for the viewer. He famously said that “nature is always right … nature is always beautiful,” and that’s evident throughout the entire exhibit. Flowers, insects and trees are the focal point in many pieces.

36 INLANDER DECEMBER 9, 2021

“He was so inspired by nature,” Jessup says. “He was drawn to natural organic forms like flowers and different plants. When he was working from his spirit, he was inventing things. He was inventing processes that would capture nature in a different way than other artists at the time.” Not only did he create breathtaking scenes of nature, but he created a narrative to go along with his pieces. The stained glass window dubbed The River of Life tells a common biblical tale that was portrayed in churches around the world in the 19th century. “It tells a story of passing from life to death,” Jessup explains. “It’s a very rosy picture of that, but his storytelling through something as seemingly simple as a window is just something to admire.”

T

iffany’s work was hastily collected by art museums and private collectors during his lifetime, and continues to be sought out to this day. Richard H. Driehaus, the late owner of these Tiffany pieces at the MAC, saw the innovation Tiffany brought to the art world and became the most prolific Tiffany collector of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Driehaus collected Tiffany’s work for over 40 years, amassing more than 1,500 pieces. “If he didn’t feel a connection, he would pass it up,” Jessup says. “He wanted the world to be able to speak to people — that was the standard by which he collected, and it made for an extraordinary collection.” When Jessup booked the Tiffany exhibit in Spokane, he knew of an underlying Spokane connection to the artist just two blocks from the MAC itself. At the top of the grand staircase of the Patsy Clark Mansion sits an immense Tiffany window. In fact, all of the beloved stained glass windows in the mansion are of

Tiffany design. “Tiffany’s career and his rise to success kind of mirrors the early 20th century rise of Spokane,” Jessup says. “There were so many beautiful residences being built around here, and of course including Tiffany in their designs, interior and otherwise, made them that much more magnificent.” With the holiday season in full swing, the MAC is expecting an increase in traffic — especially through the Tiffany exhibit. “It’s a great holiday show,” Jessup says. “It’s beautiful, accessible work, and it’s just perfect for families. So far there has been an incredible response from the community. I truly do think it’s the most beautiful show we’ve ever had, and it’s not every year that you have an exhibition that lends itself to the holidays so well.” The MAC will be operating under regular hours throughout December and decorating the famed Campbell House with winter window displays and lights. If you’re bringing a group to see the Tiffany exhibit, Jessup recommends reservations, but walk-ins are always open for spontaneous visits. The exhibit runs through Feb. 13, 2022, giving ample time for Spokane residents to experience the craftsmanship of Tiffany through his many artworks. “Tiffany was all about innovation, experimentation and, most importantly, creativity.” says Jessup. “I hope that our community is drawn to it in the same way that I was.” n Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection • Through Feb. 13; open Tue-Sun from 10 am-5 pm • $7-$12 • Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture • 2316 W. First Ave • northwestmuseum.org • 509-456-3931


DECEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 37


CULTURE | DIGEST

THE BUZZ BIN

South Park goes to the future in its latest special.

NEED SOME ALONE TIME? Six new series to stream through the holidaze BY BILL FROST

M

erry War on Christmas season to us all! Just another couple of weeks until you can shut your idiot anti-vax/MAGA/Fox Snooze relatives out of your life for another year — hang in there. In the meantime, should you need a distraction from the latest “Muh freedums!” rant from Grandpa Truck Nutz, here are six stream-worthy new series and movies that premiered over the past month or so that you might have missed. Consider it my gift to you, even though you got me nothing (it’s fine, whatever).

THE FREAK BROTHERS (TUBI)

The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers was a ’60s underground comic about hippies, counterculture and drugs — now it’s Fox-owned Tubi’s first original series, so it looks like The Man won. The Freak Brothers follows Freewheelin’ Franklin Freek (voiced by Woody Harrelson), Fat Freddy Freekotowski (John Goodman), Phineas T. Phreakers (Pete Davidson), and their cat Kitty (Tiffany Haddish) as they wake up from a 50year, magic weed-induced “nap” in 2021. This cartoon is even more of a ramshackle mess than the average Adult Swim show, as it absolutely should be.

MARVEL’S HIT-MONKEY (HULU)

Didn’t know there was a Marvel Comics character named Hit-Monkey? Hey, they can’t all be Avengers. The animated Hit-Monkey is the journey of a determined Japanese snow monkey (voiced, well, grunted and screeched, by Fred Tatasciore) out for revenge against the Tokyo Yakuza for the slaughter of his family. Aiding his vengeance quest is Bryce (Jason Sudeikis), an American assassin-turned-ghost mentor. Hit-Monkey is a bloody, violent ride with the occasional emotional flourish, but it’s Sudeikis’ nonstop comic monologuing that puts it over the top.

HAWKEYE (DISNEY+)

Speaking of Avengers, Disney+ continues its impossible streak of turning the team’s dullest links into viable action-comedy stars: Scarlet Witch, Vision, The Falcon, The Winter Soldier, Loki, and now … Hawkeye? Believe it. Super-archer Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) mentors/teams up with aspiring super-archer

38 INLANDER DECEMBER 9, 2021

STUDENT MURAL IS SOMETHING ELSE! Notice something different about Something Else Deli? The Spokane eatery at Sherman Street and Second Avenue has a new mural, courtesy of nearby Innovation High School students. Twelve of Rebecca Clinard’s art students created the mural to illustrate “Bringing the Community Together.” The high school juniors and seniors are in the Osiris project, with curricula that explores arts-based careers like digital media, fashion design and visual arts. The mural is one of the most recent student-led projects from Innovation High School, which is part of PRIDE Prep Charter. (CARRIE SCOZZARO)

Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) to take down a criminal conspiracy. Also, Clint has to wrap it up in time to get back to the fam for the holidays — like Die Hard, Hawkeye is a Christmas story (even though there are Easter eggs galore here).

COWBOY BEBOP (NETFLIX)

A long-awaited adaptation that has fans mumbling “Actually …,” Cowboy Bebop has the added challenge of moving from anime to live-action (which is problematic — see 2017’s Ghost in the Shell). This Cowboy Bebop stars John Cho, Mustafa Shakir and Daniella Pineda as galaxy-tripping, snark-quipping bounty hunters trying to stay one step ahead of their pasts, set to an aggressively jazzy score (hence, the Bebop). There’s some serious drama at play underneath the hilarious dialogue and splashy visuals — pay no attention to the anime-allegiant haters.

ARMY OF THIEVES (NETFLIX)

Screw Red Notice — Army of Thieves is the Netflix heist movie of the year (and screw Red Notice again, for good measure). A pre-zombie-outbreak prequel to last spring’s Army of the Dead, Army of Thieves is a snappy safecracker caper that follows the origin story of Dead’s Ludwig (Matthias Schweighöfer), known here as Sebastian. When he’s recruited into an elite team of criminals, Seb asks, “Is it like a movie film, where each one of us has a different skill set, and it’s only working together that we can pull off that which needs the pulling off?” Exactly.

SOUTH PARK: POST COVID (PARAMOUNT+) Movie special South Park: Post Covid goes somewhere the veteran animated series has never gone before: the future, where Stan, Kyle, Kenny, Cartman, and the gang are 40-something adults muddling through … another wave of Covid (sigh). Loaded with wall-to-wall land-of-tomorrow gags (like mandatory cryptocurrency, woke comedy, and the hysterically stupid new-wave song “In the Future”), South Park: Post Covid is the It Chapter 2/Da Vinci Code conspiracy thriller that Stephen King and Dan Brown never hatched. Spoiler: They killed Kenny (the bastards). n

CORRECTION OF SORTS If you saw last week’s Inlander cover, you saw Kraken fans Sean Allen and his daughter, Hazel, who we described as the “family’s youngest hockey fan.” A lot can change in a week: Sean’s wife, Clare, gave birth Nov. 30 to Finn, making our cover star, Hazel, the family’s second-youngest hockey fan. Thanks to proud Aunt Sacha Allen for the heads-up, and congrats to the whole hockeyloving family! (DAN NAILEN)

THIS WEEK’S PLAYLIST Noteworthy new music arriving in stores and online Dec. 10: NEIL YOUNG AND CRAZY HORSE, Barn. Despite this being his 41st album (FORTY-FIRST!!!), Neil Young still knows how to tug at the heart strings with little more than some folk guitar chords and warbling vocals. Juice WRLD, Fighting Demons. The rapper’s second posthumous album since his accidental overdose in 2019 — the first being the chart-topping Legends Die — extends his short-lived legacy. TEEN DAZE, Interior. Take a sonic bath in the soothing synthetic sounds found on Vancouver electronic producer’s new French house music-inspired album. (SETH SOMMERFELD) n


The Scoop offers many seasonal beverage treats. YOUNG KWAK PHOTO

HOLIDAYS

A CUP

of Cheer W

inter is here with frosty weather that has us craving the warm and nostalgic tastes of traditional, festive holiday drinks. Check out these recommendations for where to locally find your favorites, or get inspired to create your own.

THE SCOOP

1001 W. 25TH AVE. AND 1238 W. SUMMIT PKWY.

You’ll find: Hot buttered rum, eggnog latte, chaider, hot chocolate, affogato Hot buttered rum is traditionally a mixed drink containing rum, butter, hot water or cider, plus a sweetener and spices. Local ice cream shop the Scoop sells its own drink mix called Butter-My-Rum so customers can create their own versions of the holiday favorite at home. The mix consists of vanilla ice cream, butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange rind. “I chose to make the mix with citrus flavor to cut through some of the heaviness of all that butter and cream,” says the Scoop owner Jennifer Davis. “You can add a scoop to hot water, coffee, or apple

Where to warm up with a mug of hot buttered rum, cider, hot chocolate and other seasonal beverages BY LEANN BJERKEN

cider,” Davis continues. “My favorite variation is putting a scoop in with hot apple cider and a little bit of rum.” Popular with customers, Butter-My-Rum is usually available by the pint ($12) at both locations from Thanksgiving through December. “Butter-My-Rum has the feel of a holiday drink, and it’s something I definitely look forward to each year when the snow arrives,” Davis says. For the holidays, the Scoop also offers eggnog lattes, chaider — chai tea and apple cider — and, of course, hot chocolate. Customers can add any scoop of ice cream to their hot chocolate or coffee to create an affogato. “An affogato is usually a coffee dessert, our version being a scoop of ice cream with two shots of espresso poured over it,” says Davis. “So far we only offer coffee affogatos at our South Hill location as we don’t yet have an espresso machine at the Kendall Yards shop.” Popular flavors to add to coffee include seasonal favorites like peppermint and eggnog, as well as salted caramel and vanilla.

THE BLIND BUCK 204 N. DIVISION ST.

You’ll find: Peppermint hot cocoa, rum toddy Perhaps one of the best-loved wintertime drinks is hot chocolate. While simple enough to make in the comfort of home, when you’re out and about this season, the Blind ENTRÉE Buck offers a boozy — and Get the scoop on local minty! — version on its winter food news with our weekly menu. The bar’s peppermint Entrée newsletter. Sign up hot cocoa contains Rumple at Inlander.com/newsletter. Minze peppermint schnapps, crème de cacao, hot cocoa mix and chocolate bitters in a mug topped with whipped cream. Nathan White, head mixologist and front of house manager at the Blind Buck, says the bar also offers a twist on hot buttered rum with its rum toddy, a mix of Bacardi Anejo rum, honey simple syrup, cinnamon and lemon. ...continued on next page

DECEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 39


FOOD | HOLIDAYS “A CUP OF CHEER,” CONTINUED...

CEASE & DESIST BOOK CLUB

UP NORTH DISTILLERY

You’ll find: Chocolate eggnog Eggnog is a rich, chilled and sweetened, dairy-based beverage that’s traditionally made with milk, cream, sugar, whipped egg whites and egg yolks. While it’s maybe not to everyone’s taste, a good eggnog is certainly a holiday staple. Downtown Spokane’s Cease & Desist Book Club makes a can’t-miss chocolate eggnog with cacao nib-infused cognac, vanilla liqueur, heavy cream, egg, chocolate bitters, cinnamon and nutmeg. “We did these as kits last year, and they were extremely popular, so we’re going to try it out as a regular item this year,” says owner Bryan Harkey. “It can be made nonalcoholic, in that someone can buy just eggnog, but this particular drink is designed to be quite boozy.”

You’ll find: Christmas punch cocktails, brandy eggnog, apple cider mule, buttered rum Idaho’s Up North Distillery makes a variety of craft spirits, including barrel-aged honey spirits, an apple brandy and hard cider (the latter is a combination of its apple brandy with fresh cider), plus a single malt whiskey and pine liqueur. While Up North makes several fun twists on traditional holiday drinks, if you’re set on Christmas punch — usually a combination of cranberries, oranges and pomegranates with vodka or rum — owner Hilary Mann suggests trying its Merry and Bright margarita ($10). The drink is served at Up North and its sister location, The Bee’s Knees Whiskey Bar, in Hayden. “For the Merry and Bright we combine our honey spirits, lime, simple syrup and pomegranate juice,” Mann says. “Add ice cubes with cranberries and rosemary, and you’ll have a nice punch for Christmas gatherings.” Other Up North holiday cocktail delights include brandy eggnog, buzzed buttered rum, apple pie mimosa, hot toddy and apple cider or chai mules. “We also do a hot drink called Sweater Weather that a lot of folks enjoy,” she says. “It combines our Big Kid Cider with floating cranberries in a mug with a caramel rim.” Mann’s favorite holiday cocktail is Up North’s Applejack old fashioned, which combines barrel-aged apple brandy, cinnamon simple syrup and bitters. Because Up North products (except for its pine liqueur and whiskey) are available in most Idaho liquor stores, it’s easy to buy and try making your own versions at home. Several of Up North’s drinks can also easily be made nonalcoholic, particularly the Sweater Weather and Chai mule. Learn how to make all of the above during the Bee’s Knees next monthly cocktail class ($50) on Dec. 15, a session focused on holiday cocktails. n

108 N. WASHINGTON ST.

BOOTS BAKERY & LOUNGE 24 W. MAIN AVE.

You’ll find: Chaider, peppermint mocha, boozy coffee, hot buttered rum, qishr Another seasonal drink, apple cider is made from raw apple juice that hasn’t undergone filtration to remove coarse particles of pulp or sediment. Some are made into “hard” ciders when they’re fermented. Jessica DeVore, front-of-house manager at Boots Bakery & Lounge, says a favorite among the shop’s regulars is its chaider, a combination of apple cider and chai tea steamed with cinnamon and nutmeg, and cardamom sprinkled on top. “This drink can also have an adult twist when bourbon and orange liqueur are steamed with the chai and cider to create a boozy chaider,” she says. “Another holiday favorite is our peppermint mocha, which features our house-made vegan chocolate syrup, peppermint syrup, locally roasted Doma espresso and steamed milk of your choice.” DeVore says one of Boots’ most popular alcoholic drinks during the holidays is its boozy coffee, made with chocolate vodka, coffee liqueur, espresso and steamed milk. Boots is also known for making a vegan hot buttered rum, which features nondairy, soy-free butter with cinnamon, ginger, clove and cardamom. Dark rum rounds out this warming drink, garnished with orange zest and a cinnamon stick. “Hot buttered rum is pretty popular during the holiday season as it pairs well with one of our most popular items: the pumpkin spice waffle!” DeVore says. For those looking to try something new, she says Boots recently added a traditional Yemeni spiced coffee drink called qishr to its lineup.

40 INLANDER DECEMBER 9, 2021

846 N. BOULDER CT., POST FALLS

The “Merry and Bright” at Up North Distillery is a twist on traditional Christmas punch.


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DECEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 41


Even Meryl Streep can’t prevent Don’t Look Up from being a disaster.

REVIEW

DISASTER MOVIE Adam McKay delivers a smarmy, star-studded lecture in Don’t Look Up BY JOSH BELL

A

t the end of Adam McKay’s 2015 film The Big Short, a title card declares that the real-life inspiration for Steve Carell’s character resisted the urge to say “I told you so” after the 2008 financial crisis. McKay himself, however, has exhibited no such restraint. Since pivoting from goofy comedy to political satire with The Big Short, the filmmaker has been in full-on “I told you so” mode, first about the financial crisis in The Big Short, then about former Vice President Dick Cheney in 2018’s Vice, and now about climate change in Don’t Look Up. While The Big Short and Vice were based on true events, Don’t Look Up is ostensibly science fiction, although its central metaphor is as blunt and obvious as the comet that a pair of astronomers discover hurtling toward Earth. The early scenes of Don’t Look Up play like the openings of dozens of disaster movies, as Ph.D. student Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) observes a previously unknown comet in outer space, and her adviser, Dr. Randall Minsky (Leonardo DiCaprio), calculates, with mounting horror, that in six months the comet will strike Earth and destroy all human life. From there, Kate and Randall alert the authorities, starting with NASA scientist Dr. Teddy Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan), and soon they’ve been granted an audience

42 INLANDER DECEMBER 9, 2021

with U.S. President Orlean (Meryl Streep). Randall is nerDiCaprio are known for comedy, and they play things vous, and Kate is confrontational, and President Orlean mostly straight. doesn’t take their presentation seriously. They’ve warned McKay attempts to give both Randall and Kate indiher of the imminent extinction of the human race, but vidual character arcs amid the chaos, as Randall becomes she’s more concerned about poll numbers. an unlikely celebrity and falls into an affair with a glamDon’t Look Up could end right after that scene, orous TV host (Cate Blanchett), while Kate is eventually because nothing in the subsequent two hours cleverly ostracized from the planetary rescue effort. The personal or meaningfully expands on the point that McKay has drama never registers, especially as it’s surrounded by already made. For all their annoying smugness, both such broad absurdity. The Big Short and Vice were at least informative about There are more overtly comedic performances in real people and events, but other than a single signature the supporting cast, most notably from Jonah Hill as McKay freeze frame with an infographic early in the President Orlean’s douchebro son and chief of staff. Hill movie, Don’t Look Up does not enlighten or gets the most laughs, while other side educate the audience. The climate change DON’T LOOK UP characters, including Mark Rylance as an allegory is heavy-handed but not insightful, avuncularly sinister tech billionaire and Rated R and the secondary parallels to the pandemic Directed by Adam McKay Ariana Grande as a vapid pop star, are are similarly unsophisticated. more baffling than funny. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, If Don’t Look Up were more successful as Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep McKay seems to be aiming for somecomedy, it wouldn’t matter as much whether thing like Dr. Strangelove or Wag the Dog, it was saying anything substantive. McKay could have but Don’t Look Up isn’t as sharp or outrageous as those created a parody of disaster movies like Michael Bay’s Armovies, plodding along toward its predetermined outmageddon or the recent Gerard Butler apocalypse thriller come, filled with flashy special effects and big-name stars Greenland, but Don’t Look Up is only mildly comedic, and in small parts. Like the government’s misguided efforts its two main characters are depicted with the seriousness to stop the comet, it’s an expensive, unwieldy distraction that their message would warrant. Neither Lawrence nor that accomplishes nothing. n


IC LANTERN THEATER MAG FRI, DEC 10 - THU, DEC 16 TH

TH

NOW SHOWING:

DON'T LOOK UP (145 MIN) 3X FRI/SAT: 2:00, 4:45, 7:30 SUN: 2:00, 4:45 MON-THU: 3:00, 5:45 BEING THE RICARDOS (125 MIN) 2X FRI: 1:00, 5:30, 8:00 SAT/SUN: 1:00, 5:30 MON-WED: 1:45, 6:15 THU: 1:10, 3:30 THE FRENCH DISPATCH (108 MIN) WEEKEND ONLY! SAT: 11:50am SUN: 10:50am C'MON C'MON (108 MIN) MON-WED: 4:15 BELFAST (93 MIN) FRI-SUN: 3:30 MON-THU: 1:00 TO WHAT REMAINS (91MIN) THU: 6:00

For all rental information email: MagicLanternEvents@gmail.com 25 W Main Ave #125 • MagicLanternOnMain.com

ALSO OPENING

HOME OF THE SPOKANE SYMPHONY

THE FOX THEATER Whitworth University

CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL CONCERT: A BRAND NEW MORN Sat., December 11, 8pm • Sun., December 12, 3pm Spokane Symphony

HOLIDAY POPS WITH THE SWEEPLINGS

Morihiko Nakahara, conductor Sat., December 18, 8pm • Sun., December 19, 2pm

ARTISTRY IN MOTION: CHRISTMAS NIGHTS, CITY LIGHTS Tues., December 21, 7pm • Wed., December 22, 7pm Spokane Symphony

NEW YEAR’S EVE: BEETHOVEN’S NINTH James Lowe, conductor Fri., Dec. 31, 7:30pm

BEING THE RICARDOS

Writer/director Aaron Sorkin takes audiences beyond the comedic veneer of I Love Lucy to show the drama that existed for the show’s star couple: Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem). At the Magic Lantern. (SS) Rated R

Spokane Symphony MASTERWORKS

ECKART RETURNS

Eckart Preu, conductor Sat., January 15, 8pm • Sun., January 16, 3pm Fox Presents

NATIONAL CHAMPIONS

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LIVE: THE SECRET LIFE OF BEARS Wed., January 26, 7pm

The drama takes place off the gridiron when a Heisman trophywinning quarterback tries to upend the NCAA system — which doesn’t pay players — by attempting to organize a boycott of college football’s national championship game. (SS) Rated R

WEST SIDE STORY

♫ Tonight, tonight, you can watch Stephen Spielberg’s totally unnecessary but probably expertly crafted remake of the classic cinematic musical retelling of Romeo and Juliet set against 1950s New York City street gangs, tonight... ♫ (SS) Rated PG-13 n

Spokane Symphony POPS

PINK MARTINI

Sat., January 29, 8pm

MORIHIKO NAKAHARA, CONDUCTOR 9th ANNUAL

SAT, DEC. 18 8PM December 10–22, 2021 KROC CENTER, COEUR D’ALENE

SUN, DEC. 19 2PM

WITH

THE SWEEPLINGS featuring

Cami Bradley & Whitney Dean A family-friendly Spokane Symphony holiday celebration with Christmas music, carol singing and a visit from Santa! PRODUCED BY LAURA LITTLE THEATRICALS JAMES LOWE, MUSIC DIRECTOR

Rachel Zegler in West Side Story

Tickets: TraditionsofChristmasNW.com 208-261-2388

Box Office 624-1200

SpokaneSymphony.org • FoxTheaterSpokane.org DECEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 43

2021 Inlander Ad Revised Clean.indd 1 12/5/21 9:19 PM


YEAR END

In Defense of Ranking Music A case for the value of year-end lists BY SETH SOMMERFELD

W

elcome to list season! Every year as the calendar turns to December, publications begin their unending onslaught of Best of the Year articles. While no one’s ever surprised by the arrival of these collections of top albums, songs, movies, etc., not a year goes by when I don’t see many musicians take to social media to decry the mere existence of such things. Their objections generally carry the same core points. Music is inherently subjective! Hence, any ranking of artistic outputs is ludicrous. Music isn’t a competition! We reject your making our creativity something that one can “win” at, besides how can you really compare things that aren’t really alike? Making best-of lists is reductive and exclusionary! Honestly? Hearing these same talking points ad nauseam on an annual basis gets exhausting. As a critic, I find the arguments absurd if you give them even momentary examination. So let’s actually take that moment and look at why year-end lists are really a wonderful part of the cultural tapestry. First and foremost, year-end lists are some of the most actionable service journalism that exists. You know what most people don’t have time to do? Listen to hundreds upon hundreds of new albums released every year. Sure, lotsa folks will check out the new Adele and Taylor Swift albums, but they’re not digging for deeper gems. Time is a finite and precious resource for people, and they want to maximize the moments they have for leisure. Even if they had the time, most people wouldn’t know what to choose to listen to next. That’s exactly what best albums lists provide. They’re a guidebook that can help listeners choose what sonic flavors they want to sample. I have friends scattered across the country who tell me on a yearly basis how they discover new acts by listening through my year-end album lists. Heck, I’m a music editor by trade, and even I miss albums every year. Reading others’ lists will occasionally lead to blissful discoveries (for example, I was late to Dogleg until I saw the band on multiple lists last year). My pals have gone on to become big fans of bands like Deep Sea Diver and Charly Bliss after reading me sing their praises, and now they support said bands financially whenever they tour through their towns. That’s service journalism turned into actual financial results for the artists.

44 INLANDER DECEMBER 9, 2021

O

f course music is subjective. Life would be boring and bland if everyone enjoyed all the same things on equal levels. “And the Grammy goes to… every album released in the past year. Congratulations!” Literally everyone discusses music in ranked terms in their day-to-day lives, they just often don’t realize they’re doing so. When someone asks you what you’ve been listening to recently, they’re inherently asking “Rank the best things you’ve heard recently.” Nobody responds to such inquiries by saying, “Well, I heard some elevator music in a drug store; my co-worker sent me a link to their folk hip-hop Soundcloud page; I heard the new Drake and Lucy Dacus albums; and I wandered by some carolers downtown. They were all equal because they are all music.” Ranking such things isn’t exclusionary — it’s necessary to have an actual conversation and not sound like a robot regurgitating data. In fact, musicians are among the people who rank music the most in their daily lives, because that’s the world they inhabit. They fawn over the things they love, but the subculture can also be incredibly catty, with peers shit-talking each other all the time. So the idea that turning the things you gush about into a consumable list seems more like transcribing those conversations than anything. While it’s understandable that many push back against a perception of making personal creativity a competition, they’re lying to themselves if they’re

Ranking isn’t rank. DEREK HARRISON PHOTO ILLUSTRATION

ignoring how the whole job of a musician is a capitalist competition. Saying people should check out certain albums is a mere sidestep from bands trying to get people to come to their concert instead of other ones happening across town or spending time on a T-shirt design so more people will buy it and serve as their walking billboards. There also tends to be a geocentric response to being included in such lists. The more artists see themselves and their friends pop up on lists, the less they tend to complain. Cheering your sold-out show or your friend’s Grammy nomination, while discrediting ranking lists, is just disingenuous. There’s also a wonderful time-capsule element to such lists. They’re artifacts you can go back to and discover new treasures or laugh at the past. Sometimes the contextualization they provide can be fascinating. Rolling Stone ranked Michael Jackson’s Thriller as the 51st best album of 1982? SPIN picked Teenage Fanclub’s Bandwagonesque over Nirvana’s Nevermind in 1991? Nobody’s list is ever going to be “right,” and that’s the beauty of it. Music is a fun, messy, overcrowded space. Embrace that. Year-end best of lists celebrate the cacophony of sound while trying to distill the overwhelming din into something that’s easy for every ear to hear. n


L ive ’Snow’ like there's tomorrow

Snow or no, winter in Sandpoint, Idaho doesn’t mean only

And our lively downtown is a destination unto itself. Live

the great skiing and snowboarding at Schweitzer. In our

music abounds, with more than 40 excellent restaurants

great outdoors, the cross-county, snowshoe and fat-biking

and taverns. The eclectic shops, galleries and sumptuous

trails are superb at the new Pine Street Woods, the Pend

spas give new meaning to the idea of the Great Indoors. This

d’Oreille Bay Trail and Western Pleasure Guest Ranch.

winter, head for Sandpoint. We’ll see you here!

WIN A WINTER GETAWAY!

DECEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 45


Jango

SEAN GRAY PHOTO

MUSIC HOLIDAY ANTIDOTES

When the calendar turns to December, it can be hard to find any legit non-holiday concerts to serve as a counterbalance to the excess holiday cheer. Thankfully, Jango can rectify that issue. Coming off his first headlining show in Seattle, the continually rising Spokane rapper brings his energetic live show home. Jango’s voice is distinct and recognizable from the jump, thanks to the pairing of his gravelly tone with an effortless flow. But this isn’t any one-act bill. Local fuzz rock duo Indian Goat co-headlines the show, bringing even more grit to the proceedings. And don’t sleep on Seattle’s ever-buzzy The Black Tones, who merge the spirit of the true Black originators of rock with punk tenacity. — SETH SOMMERFELD Jango, Indian Goat, The Black Tones, Karma • Fri, Dec. 10 at 8 pm • $15-$20 • Lucky You Lounge • 1801 W. Sunset Blvd. • luckyyoulounge.com

46 INLANDER DECEMBER 9, 2021

ARTS ART MARKET MERRINESS

MUSIC VOICES SING, BELLS RING

Emerge Holiday Market • Sat, Dec. 11 from 11 am-6 pm • Free • Emerge • 119 N. Second St., Coeur d’Alene • emergecda.com

Gonzaga Candlelight Christmas Concert • Sat, Dec. 11 at 7 pm and Sun, Dec. 12 at 3 pm • $7-$14 • Myrtle Woldson Performing Arts Center • 211 E. Desmet Ave. • gonzaga.edu/events

Emerge’s one-day maker’s market has lots of fun stuff for everyone on your gift list: woven works of wearable art, fired clay pieces that are fun and functional, original ornaments for the tree, and of course, assorted artworks from many of our region’s coolest creatives. While you’re there, check out all the good things Emerge has to offer, including events, art exhibits and artmaking classes (they have gift cards!) Can’t make it? Check the online shop, and pick items up at your convenience. Or make a day of it in Coeur d’Alene, kids included. Children can create a Scandinavian ornament to take home that day. — CARRIE SCOZZARO

“Ring Out, Ye Bells!” during the return of Gonzaga’s yearly candlelight Christmas concert. Featuring the Gonzaga Concert Choir, Discantus Treble Chorus and Glee Club alongside pianists Annie Flood and Garret Heathman, plus guest musicians from Spokane Brassworks, the program features familiar carols and an exploration of musical traditions from around the world. This holiday tradition from GU is a symbolic, uplifting celebration of “the season of light and the ringing of hope,” and with its return to in-person after a two-year hiatus, that’s something else we can all feel hopeful about after this long year. — CHEY SCOTT


GET LISTED!

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

COMMUNITY TWINKLE, TWINKLE

For the second year in a row, Manito Park’s annual holiday lights display, usually held inside the pleasantly warm and steamy Gaiser Conservatory, is again spreading out across the park. The outdoor setting was chosen last year to keep everyone safely distanced, and for 2021 it’s once again car-friendly. New this year, those who’d rather enjoy the sights on foot can attend during one of three pedestrian-only nights. For the display’s first six days of drivethru-only viewing, entrance to the half-mile route through the park is from 25th Avenue, and then south down Tekoa Street or Manito Boulevard. The nonprofit Friends of Manito, which organizes this annual event, also has a super handy FAQ posted on its website with event maps and more. — CHEY SCOTT Manito Holiday Lights • Dec. 10-16 from 6:30-9:30 pm (drive-thru) and Dec. 17-19 from 6:30-8:30 pm (walk-thru) • Free • Manito Park • 1702 S. Grand Blvd. • thefriendsofmanito.org/holiday

YOUR FINANCIAL SUCCESS FAN CLUB At Idaho Central Credit Union, the most important thing to us is helping our members succeed. We’re here to help you with a full range of both personal and business financial services like checking, loans, mobile banking, and more. Come visit your local ICCU branch and see for yourself how we can help you achieve your financial success.

MUSIC BRINGING BACH THE CLASSICS

You either love it or you hate it, but classical music is called “classical” for a reason. Led by cellist Zuill Bailey, Northwest BachFest Live is back with two special December performances. The first concert includes music from the 19th and 20th centuries when piano music was just starting to become mainstream. The second showcases diversity, anniversaries and virtuosity. From musical masterpieces to rare gems, the soloists at these concerts present their virtuosic excellence and honor classical musicians all throughout time. — MADISON PEARSON Northwest BachFest December Concerts • Sat, Dec. 11 at 7 pm and Sun, Dec. 12 at 3 pm • $15/students; $45/general • Barrister Winery • 1213 W. Railroad Ave. • nwbachfest.com

• Ranked #1 in the Northwest for member giveback* • 1 in 5 Idahoans are ICCU members • Helping members achieve financial success for over 80 years • Over 40 branches throughout Idaho to serve you • 24/7 access with eBranch Mobile and Online Banking

Become a member today.

*Callahan & Associates’ Return of the Member value.

WE BELIEVE being rich has little to do with wealth.

DECEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 47


fantastic use of color (pastels) and Jfashion! Your attire is fantastic :)

I SAW YOU NOBODY LOVES ME BUT MY MAMA Wallace Idaho, July 11, 2015, blues festival weekend. Charlie Butts was playing at the Red Light Garage/Cafe. You: long hair, long dress, slender, very pretty. Me: long curly blonde hair, ivy cap, blue eyes, jeans. We danced! WOW!!! We danced like we had been dancing for years. Your name Deby, sax player. My name Gary. I lost your business card. Let’s dance again!!! Unclemac@email.com CHRISTMAS TREE AT GREENBLUFF You and your son talked with a friend of mine on Friday, Nov. 26. I believe you were there to get a Christmas tree. She had such a nice time and a huge smile when she talked about it, that it just seems like maybe you guys should meet up for a coffee. She wouldn’t think to post this or look, so I’m doing it. If you think this is about you, please respond to the email address provided. mclaude@ mail.com KAWAII AESTHETIC AT CANDY WORKS Hey there! No idea if you even read the Inlander but just wanted to shout out to one of the people who work at this shop! Thank you for your

BILLY IDOL CONCERT I was on duty working the concert when you (pretty female) and your male friend (Sergei?) approached my coworker and began to talk to him. I thought you were his date so I didn’t pay attention to you. You (pretty female) stepped in front of me and said hello. You closed the distance and told me it was your 28th birthday. I wished you a happy birthday, and I mentioned that you were still quite young. You asked me my age and then asked if I was single. I confirmed I was single, and you asked me out. I was not expecting someone as pretty as you to ask me out, and I got nervous and turned you down. I suck, I know. But I thanked you and told you I was flattered by your gesture. When you walked away, I immediately regretted turning you down. If it means anything, and the offer is still good, I’d like to get to know you. You know where I work.

JEERS NEAR RIVER NEAR GARBAGE Let me be the first to ask an insenstive question. Why does Spokane tolerate filth along the Spokane River? I’m fairly certain that if I were driving down the road and threw a bag of trash out the window, I’d be ticketed for littering (assuming law enforment witnessed it). However, at various spots along the river, people live there in tents and throw their garbage all over the place. Arguably, one of the worst spots is just east of Spokane Community College (directly across the river from the Avista substation on Upriver Drive). Currently, there are perhaps as many as 30 tents set up along the river (with one on a large rock in the river). From Upriver Drive, you can observe all of the tents as well as their voluminous garbage all around the tents in what would

otherwise be just beautiful pine trees. How long is this deposition of filth going to be tolerated? These tents should disappear (along with the garbage), and the river and foliage be allowed to recover. DOWNTOWN DOG OWNERS We love

the store by an old man trying to find her mother! I can’t believe a mother is so stupid not to notice her little girl was lost and missing & ignored her crying and screaming for you! It really pisses me off! Maybe you wanted to leave her on purpose! Really downright irresponsible.

they are to blame. Tell us, where is that invisible line in the dirt where COVID goes away? First off, stop your complaining. If you can’t handle your job, quit and save us all the whining. Many have done as much or more without lashing out like a child. Second, review your facts before you

your dogs, but for the love of our beautiful city and all that’s good, could you please pick up after them. Next time it might be you who steps in their stinky remains. KILLING MORE HISTORY Please quit killing history. Bad enough we lost a statue, the Patsy Clarke house and a Native American culture center, and the old Spokesman building you want to take this too? Why is it we adopt things from Europe like roundabouts, but we can’t seem to keep our historical buildings with our modern ones? Why can’t you keep the building as a museum and charge people to see it? Load it up with art from local artisans and help the community that way. Your plan to knock down a historical building for new “affordable” apartments is silly. By the way “affordable” is not $1,000$1,100 per month. Do you know how hard it was to make ANYTHING 100 years ago? Quit trying to kill history, and make it into a museum full of local art to sell. Splash it on travel sites & watch the cash roll in. VALLEY AFTERNOON To whom it will concern! To the irresponsible mother today, whose terrified 2-yearold toddler was screaming for her Mommy and was being carted around

DOORDASH When ordering Doordash, keep in mind the price of gas is through the roof. After three hours of dashing, including tips, made less than $25 dollars. Won’t be dashing anymore in the Spokane area because every delivery gave a five-star review and zero tip, so jeers to the nontippers—when it says they can’t find a driver, this is why. THE DIVIDED STATES Obviously we are not the United States, but the Divided States. It’s fascinating to me; there was a time when one was being responsible for wearing a mask. If one was not wearing a mask, they were selfish and you get what you deserve. People like me — fully vaccinated, and I still mask up, everywhere — are looked at with such disdain; people shake their heads and make comments under their breath. And yet, non-mask-wearers are welcomed and smiled upon; they’re the best. Can you tell when someone has been vaccinated, or isn’t? Didn’t think so. DON’T BUY THE DIVISION In the Sept. 23 edition, Inlander took it upon themselves to highlight the post of a fed-up medical employee who is tired of treating COVID patients. The poster goes on to berate our neighbors in Idaho in a very negative way, as if

open your mouth. The U.S. stands at 54 percent FULLY vaccinated... I’ll say it again, FULLY. That means two shots if required. Idaho stands at 45 percent FULLY vaccinated, a 9 [percentage point] difference. Many Eastern Washington counties have the same vaccination rate or lower than Idaho has as a whole... for example, Whitman/42 percent fully vaccinated. Adams/46 percent fully vaccinated. Grant/48 percent fully vaccinated. Pend Oreille/35 percent fully vaccinated, Stevens/34 percent fully vaccinated. Where to you think these folks are being treated? I am sick and tired of this mindless division that is pumped at every level to pit one person against another, or one state against another, or one group against another. Grow up and stop buying the division being fed to you! n

THIS WEEK'S ANSWERS B E E F S

B A N A L

T C A A C F O K R S E U P

SOUND OFF

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

48 INLANDER DECEMBER 9, 2021

Why does Spokane tolerate filth along the Spokane River?

C T V R E R G D E O B B I O B R A A T T S H E O R T Y A S I S T S T E H E R

H A Y D E N O F F W H I T E

U N D E R F O R M S

D E R N L U R I E A J A R

K O R E A

C R O N Y I S M

C E L E B S

O P H E S E N H A A R J L T O E S T

L I E T O O V E R S E A

A M P N E R O L E O R G A N

T S O E L E L

A R R A Y

T A B L E

E S S E N

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.


EVENTS | CALENDAR

BENEFIT

CHRISTMAS TREE ELEGANCE Spokane Symphony Associates hosts this annual 13-day event that attracts more than 100,000 attendees around the PNW and features the raffle of 15 decorated trees on display at the Historic Davenport Hotel and River Park Square. Through Dec. 12. Raffle tickets: $1. spokanesymphonyassoc.org HUTTON SETTLEMENT’S ANNUAL CHRISTMAS TREE SALE Offering a wide selection of pre-cut wild and farmed trees, u-cut options, fresh garland and wreaths for purchase. All proceeds fund Hutton’s youth-led education programs. Mon-Fri 12-6 pm, Sat-Sun 10 am-6 pm while supplies last, through Dec. 17. Hutton Settlement Children’s Home, 9907 E. Wellesley Ave. huttonsettlement.org SANTA EXPRESS This locally organized holiday retail store is for kids ages 4-12. With the assistance of an elf, kids shop for everyone on their list from a selection of gifts priced from $1 to $10. Online shopping also available. Proceeds benefit Vanessa Behan. Open Mon-Fri 11 am-7 pm, Sat 10 am-7 pm, Sun 11 am-5 pm through Dec. 23. River Park Square, 808 W. Main Ave. santaexpress.org (509-415-3506)

COMEDY

HA!MARK HOLIDAY SPECIAL The BDT players improvise a holiday movie full of twists, turns and romance. Fridays in December (Dec. 10 and 17) at 7:30 pm. $8. Blue Door Theatre, 815 W. Garland Ave. bluedoortheatre.com (747-7045) SAFARI Blue Door’s version of “Whose Line,” a fast-paced improv show with a few twists and turns added. Saturdays from 7:30-9 pm. $8. Blue Door Theatre, 815 W. Garland Ave. bluedoortheatre.com (509-747-7045) JOSH BLUE Following his groundbreaking win on NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2006, Blue has risen to become a well-established headliner. Dec. 16-18 at 7:30 pm; Dec. 17-18 at 10:30 pm. $15-$23. Spokane Comedy Club, 315 W. Sprague. spokanecomedyclub.com JO KOY Koy is fresh off the release of his Netflix special “Comin’ In Hot” with all-new material. Dec. 17, 8 pm. $39.50-$79.50. First Interstate Center for the Arts, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. firstinterstatecenter.org/event/jo-koy/

COMMUNITY

CRESCENT HOLIDAY WINDOWS Five window bays on the south side of the Grand display scenes featuring refurbished figurines rescued from the basement of the former Crescent Department Store. See more found display items in windows at the Fox Theater and the MAC. Through Jan. 2. Free. Davenport Grand Hotel, 333 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. (800-918-9344) THE FESTIVAL OF TREES Cast a vote for your favorite tree in-person or online for the “People’s Choice” award. Mon-Fri 10 am-6 pm, Sat 1-5 pm through Dec. 28. Free. Colfax Library, 102 S. Main St. whitcolib.org/events/ JOURNEY TO THE NORTH POLE A lake cruise across Lake Coeur d’Alene while viewing more than 1.5 million twinkling holiday lights, and a visit with Santa Claus and his elves.

Daily departure times are 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 pm, through Jan. 2. $10.50$26.50. Coeur d’Alene Resort, 115 S. Second. cdacruises.com LIGHT UP THE NIGHT Riverfront’s holiday tree walk shines a light on Spokane’s nonprofit, community-centered organizations. Groups were invited to decorate a tree highlighting their organization’s mission. Through Jan. 2. Free. Riverfront Park, 507 N. Howard St. riverfrontspokane.org LOUIS COMFORT TIFFANY: TREASURES FROM THE DRIEHAUS COLLECTION A celebration of the artistry and craftsmanship of the Tiffany artworks from Chicago’s distinguished Richard H. Driehaus Collection. TueSun from 10 am-5 pm through Feb. 13. $7-$12. Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, 2316 W. First Ave. northwestmuseum.org (509-456-3931) MAKING SPIRITS BRIGHT Every year, the Extreme Team lights up Cowley Park for the kids at the Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital. This year, a few additional trees were decorated, and inspirational messages fill the sidewalks. Through Jan. 31; site music daily from noon-9 pm. 31, 2022. Free. Cowley Park, Sixth Ave. and Division St. kxly. com/features/extreme-team/ NORTHWEST WINTERFEST A holiday lantern display and cultural celebration featuring dozens of lighted holiday lantern displays and immersive experiences in holiday cultures of the world. Open daily from 5-9 pm through Jan. 2. $12-$18. Spokane County Fair & Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St. northwestwinterfest.com (509-477-1766) MANITO HOLIDAY LIGHTS This event transformed the decades-long Spokane tradition of holiday lights in the Gaiser Conservatory into a more COVID-friendly experience by moving outdoors. Dec. 10-16 (drive-thru only) from 6:30-9:30 pm and Dec. 17-19 from 6:30-8:30 pm (walk-thru only). Donation accepted. Manito Park, 1800 S. Grand Blvd. thefriendsofmanito.org WHEATLAND BANK HORSE & CARRIAGE RIDES Enjoy an 8-minute loop through scenic Riverfront Park. Preregistration required. Through Dec. 24; Fri from 3-8 pm, Sat-Sun from 12-5 pm. Special Christmas Eve hours are 12-3 pm. Free. Downtown Spokane, n/a. downtownspokane.org MUDGY & MILLIE BOOK GIVEAWAY During a drive-thru giveaway of the new “Mudgy & Millie Adventures: Africa” book, Mudgy & Millie, author Susan Nipp, Santa and library helpers give each child a paperback copy of the new adventure. Dec. 11, 9:30-11 pm. Free. Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave. cdalibrary.org PARADE OF LIGHTS An event coordinated by Elizabeth Ophardt, a sophomore at University High School, as part of her Girl Scouts Gold Award. At Pines and 32nd Ave. in Spokane Valley. Dec. 11, 4:30-5:30 pm. facebook.com/ paradeoflights.net SANTA PAWS Get a photo of your pets with Santa for a donation benefitting Spokanimal. Dec. 11, 10 am-2 pm. The General Store, 2424 N. Division. spokanimal.org/events/ (509-444-8005) WINTER WONDERLAND A winter market with live music, movies, arts and gifts, Christmas trees, hot cocoa and more. Saturdays from 10 am-2 pm through Dec. 18. Wonder Building, 835 N. Post St. fb.me/e/1T4pVlbVM

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EVENTS | CALENDAR A CONTEMPLATIVE CHRISTMAS... THROUGH TREES Walk through an indoor forest of decorated live Christmas trees. Includes Christmas music, hot cocoa and cookies, and a welcoming ambiance. Dec. 15-19 from 4-8 pm. Free. Undercliff House, 703 W. Seventh Ave. contemplativechristmas.com WINTER MARKET AT THE PAVILION Shop from more than 35 local vendors and artisans offering handmade items, prepared food, gifts and more. Wednesdays from 3-7 pm through Dec. 22. Free. Pavilion at Riverfront, 574 N. Howard. riverfrontspokane.com THURSDAY NIGHT LIVE! December’s event features the Riley Gray Trio, playing piano jazz from 5:30-7:30 pm. Purchase a drink (water, beer, wine available), wander the galleries, see the Crescent displays and enjoy an artist reception for Jeff Weir and Tanden Launder. Dec. 16, 5-8 pm. $6; free for members. The MAC, 2316 W. First Ave. northwestmuseum.org

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50 INLANDER DECEMBER 9, 2021

GINGERBREAD BUILD-OFF The 17th Annual Gingerbread Build-off is the largest fundraiser of the year for Christ Kitchen. See the chefs in action as their creations come to life, vote for your favorite, and purchase your own cookie decorating kit to take home. Pick up a kit anytime through Dec. 23. Northern Quest Resort & Casino, 100 N. Hayford Rd. northernquest.com (877-871-6772) PERFECT APPETIZERS FOR ANY PARTY Make Christmas canapes, including stuffed mushrooms; pear, cambozola and bacon bruschetta; baby potato canapes and a sundried tomato and goat cheese bruschetta. Dec. 9, 6-8 pm. $69. Spokane Community College, 1810 N. Greene St. campusce.net/spokane/ course/course.aspx?c=1096 BREAKFAST & PHOTOS WITH SANTA Have breakfast with Santa and get professional photos. Also includes activities and gifts for children, and live Christmas music by Taylor Belote on steel drums. Dec. 11 and 18 from 9 amnoon. Prices vary. Southside Community Center, 3151 E. 27th Ave. soutsidescc. org (509-535-0803) SUDS & SCIENCE Dr. Andrés Aragoneses, PhD Asst. Professor of Physics, EWU, presents “Science in the paintings of Salvador Dalí.” Dec. 11, 7-8 pm. Free. The Golden Handle Project, 111 S. Cedar St. goldenhandle.org COOKIE DECORATING CLASS Tickets include cookies with decorating supplies, light refreshments for kids, mimosa or beer for the accompanying 21+ adult and a souvenir gift. Dec. 12, 1:30-3 pm. $25. Tavolata, 221 N. Wall. (509606-5600) PANETTONE: ITALIAN CHRISTMAS BREAD Learn to make panettone, an Italian bread that, according to legend, originated in 15th century Milan. Dec. 12, 1-3 pm. $40. Dahmen Barn, 419 N. Park Way. artisanbarn.org (509-229-3414) YAYA BREWING BEER DINNER An evening with Jason Gass of Yaya Brewing Co. with a multi-course menu by Chef Scott Siff of Tavolàta Spokane, paired with Yaya beers. Reserve online or by phone. Dec. 14, 6 pm. $60. Tavolata, 221 N. Wall St. ethanstowellrestaurants.com (509-606-5600) COCKTAIL CLASS An evening with the Tavolàta bar team to learn three new

recipes, with appetizers. Dec. 16, 5:307 pm. $65/person; $120/pair. Tavolata, 221 N. Wall St. (509-606-5600)

MUSIC

CHORALE COEUR D’ALENE: A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER A Christmas concert by Coeur d’Alene’s classical chorale, performing music both sacred and secular; old and new. Dec. 10-11 at 7 pm, Dec. 11 at 2 pm. $15-$30. Trinity Lutheran Church, 812 N. Fifth St. trinitylutherancda.org (208-664-5743) DJ NIGHT ON THE ICE Get your ‘skate’ on with DJ A1 for themed nights, music, lights, contests and more every Friday from 6-9 pm (excluding 12/24) in December and January. Numerica Skate Ribbon, 720 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. riverfrontspokane.com (509-625-6600) HOLIDAY JOY Celebrate the season with musical festivities, including student and faculty performances, caroling, games, treats and more. Dec. 10, 6-8 pm. Free. Music Conservatory of Coeur d’Alene, 627 N. Government Way. cdaconservatory.org (208-901-8190) MIRACLE AT THE TOY EMPORIUM The Spirit of Spokane Chorus performChristmas favorites, Disney songs and other popular songs in award-winning barbershop harmony style. Dec. 10 at 7 pm and Dec. 12 at 3 pm. $11. Opportunity Presbyterian, 202 N. Pines Rd. opportunitypresbyterian.org GLORY, HALLELUJAH! The Palouse Chorale and Chamber Choir perform Handel’s Messiah and other favorites under the direction of guest conductor David Klement. Dec. 11 at 7:30 pm and Dec. 12 at 4 pm. $8-$20. St. Boniface Catholic Church, 207 S. St. Boniface St. palousechoralsociety.org SPOKANE FOLKLORE SOCIETY’S 41ST CHRISTMAS DANCE All dances are taught, newcomers welcome, no partner is necessary. Includes live music by Banna Damhsa, a Scottish/Irish band; dances called by Nora Scott. Dec. 11, 7-10 pm. $8-$11. East Spokane Grange, 1621 N. Park Rd. (509-928-0692) SPOKANE JAZZ ORCHESTRA HOLIDAY CONCERT The annual SJO holiday concert features the cherished Christmas music of Nat King Cole, as well as other holiday classics, played by a 17-piece ensemble. Dec. 11, 7:30-9:45 pm. $17-$30. Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave. spokanejazz.org GORDON MOTE CHRISTMAS CONCERT A holiday concert featuring Gordon Mote, a blind Christian country/ southern gospel singer, piano virtuoso and worship leader. Dec. 12, 6 am-7:30 pm. Free. Spokane Valley Assembly Church, 15618 E. Broadway Ave. valleyassembly.org/events BOGDAN OTA: HALLELUJAH The winner of Norway’s Got Talent’s one-night concert celebrates the season with traditional holiday music and original compositions. Dec. 14, 7:30 pm. $21$30. Kroc Center, 1765 W. Golf Course Rd. kroccda.org (208-667-1865)

OUTDOORS

CROSS COUNTRY SKI LESSON Learn the basics during lessons from Spokane Nordic Ski Association’s certified instructors. Additional info emailed after registration. Sessions offered on select dates Dec. through March. $34/$59. Mt. Spokane State Park, 26107 N. Mt. Spo-

kane Park Dr. spokanerec.org EAGLE WATCHING CRUISES A twohour cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene to view American bald eagles on their annual migration. Offered Sat-Sun from 12-2 pm between Dec. 4-19, and daily from 12-2 pm Dec. 26-Jan. 2. 1 $16.50$22.50. The Coeur d’Alene Resort, 115 S. Second. cdacruises.com SANTA’S SACK STUFFER RUN Run to as many “Elf stations” as you can in 45 minutes to complete a task and enter a drawing for goodies. Hosted by Negative Split. Dec. 11. $35. Plantes Ferry Sports Complex, 12308 E. Upriver Dr. nsplit.com (509-456-5812)

THEATER

ELLEN TRAVOLTA PRESENTS: SAVING CHRISTMAS Ellen Travolta, Molly Allen and Abbey Crawford read and tell stories, sing songs, and bring a little brightness to the holidays. Thu-Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 5 pm through Dec. 19. $30. The Coeur d’Alene Resort, 115 S. Second. Cdachristmas.com BABES IN TOYLAND Enjoy characters Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary; Tom-Tom, the Piper’s Son; Jack and Jill; Little Miss Muffet in this Christmas classic. Fri.-Sun (times vary) through Dec. 19. $12-$16. Spokane Children’s Theatre, 2727 N. Madelia. spokanechildrenstheatre.org TRADITIONS OF CHRISTMAS A Radio City Music Hall-style show for all ages with favorite Christmas classics brought to life in song and dance. Dec. 10-22; shows are Fri-Sun (times vary). $23$36. Kroc Center, 1765 W. Golf Course Rd. traditionsofchristmasnw.com A CHRISTMAS CAROL A holiday theatrical event that’s family-friendly and nostalgically new, in a world premier stage adaptation by Kendra Phillips. Dec. 11 at 7:30 pm, Dec. 12 at 2 pm. $6$22. Hartung Theater, 875 Perimeter Dr. uidaho.edu/theatre (208-885-6111)

VISUAL ARTS

HAPPY FESTIVUS A wild and wacky holiday art show featuring work by Travis Chapman, Roch Fautch, Jesse Swanson, John Thamm, Matt Wolf, Darrell Wilcox, Audreana Camm, Hank Chiapetta and Rick Davis. Dec. 10, 5-9 pm and Dec. 11, 1-4 pm. Free. Shotgun Studios, 1625 W. Water Ave. facebook. com/events/607832950267903 STAN MILLER: HOME ART EXHIBITION Miller exhibits new watercolor and egg tempera paintings at his home studio on Spokane’s South Hill. Stan is an internationally-recognized, award-winning artist. Dec. 10 from 5-9 pm, Dec. 11 from 12-6 pm, Dec. 12 from 12-4 pm. Free. Stan Miller Gallery, 3138 E. 17th Ave. stanmiller.net (509-768-9354) HOLIDAY ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT WORKSHOP Join artist Hannah Charlton to create beautiful, illuminated manuscript pages, the way all books were made before the introduction of the printing press. Dec. 11, noon. $40/$44. The MAC, 2316 W. First Ave. northwestmuseum.org (509-456-3931) LIVE AT THE LIBERTY Take a free selfie with Santa, who also hosts a kids’ storytime. Pottery Place Plus hosts an ornament tree to benefit the Ronald McDonald House, and artists Christina Deubel and Nate O’Neill paint live. Dec. 11, 1-5 pm. Free. Liberty Building, 402 N. Washington. fb.me/e/1nkD2Hgi8


It’s always good to know exactly what you’re putting in your body.

FENTANYL

Scare-Laced News Beware what might be in your cannabis — and your news BY WILL MAUPIN

I

n recent weeks, news outlets around the country have been running stories about the dangers of fentanyllaced cannabis. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. It is perhaps best known as a substance used to cut other illicit drugs to make them more potent, and as a result more dangerous. Which is to say, fentanyl-laced cannabis would be a real problem. The thing is, it might not be a real problem. In November, there were reports from Vermont of a cannabis consumer who overdosed on fentanyl despite only consuming cannabis. WCAX-TV in Burlington, Vermont, published a six-sentence article on Nov. 21 stating that local law enforcement agencies were warn-

ing people about fentanyl-laced cannabis after that one alleged overdose. On Dec. 3, WXMI-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, ran a story about Wayne State University’s Michigan Poison & Drug Information Center issuing a public health warning regarding fentanyl-laced cannabis being found outside Michigan, even though there had been no confirmed samples of laced cannabis in Michigan. In response to these reports, VTDigger, an independent news outlet in Vermont, ran a story on Dec. 5 headlined “Weed dealers don’t put fentanyl in cannabis.” That story referenced pieces from Buzzfeed, Snopes, Forbes and High Times that debunked the myth of fentanyl-laced

7.4” wide by 2.6” high

cannabis. VTDigger’s story, along with those it referenced dating back to 2017, contends that the idea of fentanyllaced cannabis is essentially a law-enforcement scare tactic that is not supported by facts. Law enforcement’s relationship with fentanyl, and its use of the drug as a scare tactic, is long documented. In August, for example, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department in California put out a video purportedly showing an officer overdose by simply being in the presence of fentanyl. It was widely debunked, and ultimately the department issued an apology. Could fentanyl-laced cannabis be a real thing? Yes. Would it be incredibly dangerous? Absolutely. Is it fair to question the validity of these warnings considering law enforcement’s history with fentanyl, and recreational drugs in general? Certainly. The extent to which it is actually a problem, a realworld problem, is unclear. What is clear, however, is that Washington is home to a highly regulated legal cannabis market and that products bought from that market are tested and safe for consumers. If there is a risk out there, and there may not actually be one, it certainly does not exist within legal markets. n

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

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BE AWARE: Marijuana is legal for adults 21 and older under Washington State law (e.g., RCW 69.50, RCW 69.51A, HB0001 Initiative 502 and Senate Bill 5052). State law does not preempt federal law; possessing, using, distributing and selling marijuana remains illegal under federal law. In Washington state, consuming marijuana in public, driving while under the influence of marijuana and transporting marijuana across state lines are all illegal. Marijuana has intoxicating effects; there may be health risks associated with its consumption, and it may be habit-forming. It can also impair concentration, coordination and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. Keep out of reach of children. For more information, consult the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board at www.liq.wa.gov.

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At a dinner, a woman asked how my husband and I met. He says he spotted me in the campus dining hall, deliberately bumped me and spilled my drink on my tray, and used getting me a refill to ask me out. This never happened. (We met in class, and he asked me out.) What does it mean that he has such faulty recall about the entire origin of our marriage? —Disturbed There is uch a thing as “total recall,” and it’s what automakers rush to do after they sell a car that is not only self-driving but self-destructing: dropping parts like breadcrumbs as it tools down the highway. What total recall is not is a feature of the human mind — despite the widely believed myth that memory is a form of mental videotape: faithfully preserving our experiences for playback. Ideal as this would be for spouses with prosecutorial tendencies, our minds are, in fact, hotbeds of fragmented, distorted, partial recall. We create this mess ourselves, simply by remembering — and remembering again. “Using one’s memory shapes one’s memory,” explains psychologist Robert Bjork. Basically, the more we tell a story, the more we believe it — along with all the embellishments (aka big fat lies) we added to funny it up and otherwise impress (so social situations feel less like reenactments of being picked last for dodgeball). And when I say “we,” I mean me. When I lived in Manhattan, I’d brag about my response to a street-corner flasher: “Looks like a penis— only smaller.” I’m now pretty sure this never happened. I did see an escaped trouser snake or, uh, five on the subway. (New Yorkers think of this as “Tuesday.”) That was probably my sourdough starter for the cleverbrag I trotted out endlessly at parties — till I was snidely informed that my “original” circa mid-’90s line appeared in the 1978 movie “Bloodbrothers.” Consider that your husband’s memory might not be the only one that’s been, um, redecorated. Also consider (see my cleverbrag above) that we tend to “remember” events in self-serving ways. Any guy can ask a girl out after class, but in your husband’s version, he goes on a mini-quest to get a date with you. Not exactly the stuff Sir Lancelot was made of, but modern men must make do with the heroics available to them: “I won her love — after a bloody battle with a cafeteria tray and a glass of 2% milk.”

AMY ALKON

THE INCREDIBLE SULK

I hang with friends about twice weekly and also like my alone time. The guy I’m seeing not only wants to be together constantly but seems to need that. He’s upset and anxious on nights I’m not with him. The first time I said I couldn’t get together, he was annoyed. He now complains I’m “dependent on” my friends, meaning unhealthily. He claims a great relationship is two people who are always together (a la “you complete me”). I don’t want to hurt him, but I won’t give up my friends or myself for a relationship, and I don’t know how to tell him. —Conflicted Dating sites work very hard to be inclusive in the type-of-partner options they list — “man seeking woman,” “man seeking man,” and even “man seeking genderbeige” — yet they omit a checkbox for “man seeking hostage.” That appears to be the model for your man’s ideal relationship (as an adult who gets “upset and anxious” on nights his boo’s away). Though he paints his longing for nonstop togetherness as the height of romance, his “You complete me!” is not so much a romantic declaration as an accidental disclosure of extreme neediness. It also makes him a poor match for any woman whose relationship goals are best summed up as: togetherness, yes; conjoined, no. As a woman, you’re likely on the high end of the spectrum of a personality trait called “agreeableness.” On a positive note, this plays out in being “kind, considerate, likable, cooperative, (and) helpful,” reports psychologist William Graziano. On a less positive note, it often leads to prioritizing these lovely behaviors over one’s own needs. A personality trait is not a behavioral mandate. You can shift out of auto“pleaser” mode by pre-planning to assert yourself -- “Here’s what I need!” -- and then doing it, no matter how uncomfortable it feels at first. The more you do it, the more natural (and even rewarding!) it’ll feel -- till your default position becomes standing up for yourself instead of rolling over for everybody else. Guesstimate how much weekly togetherness and apartness works for you, and make it clear to men you date — starting by informing your current guy that your social world will continue to extend beyond being his human binky. In short, the sort of relationship that works for you is one in which you’re bonded but not zip-tied. n ©2021, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. • Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405 or email AdviceAmy@aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com)


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28. “Comprende?” 30. Pulitzer-winning novelist Alison 32. More despicable 37 33. Much paperwork 34. Like maritime trade 40 routes 35. Street food choice 43 36. Cream or eggshell 46 47 48 49 37. Warm up the crowd 38. Half-____ (request to 51 52 a barista) 42. Seafood in a “shooter” 56 57 43. Quarter deck? 45. What kitsch lacks 59 60 46. Oil-bearing rock 47. Wide variety 62 63 48. Put on ice “TATTOO REMOVAL” 49. German steel city 51. Slightly cracked 18. Renaissance, literally 53. The Wildcats of the Big 12 Conf. 24. Dory, e.g. 54. One ab crunch, say 25. Home of the boy band BTS 55. “Eh, give or take” 26. Instrument with stops 57. Quickly note (down) 27. Travel expense 33

38

53

11

THIS WEEK ANSWERS ’S O I SAW YOU N S

30

35

44

10

22

24

41

9

19

18

32

53. Skating great Yamaguchi 56. Poppycock coming from a “Star Wars” character? 58. Six-line stanza 59. Tina Turner, vocally 60. It might be brown or pale 61. Cry from a balcony, maybe 62. Common medical advice 63. Kyoto dough

8 16

29

30. Clark’s crush at the Daily Planet 31. Landmark 1973 Supreme Court case, informally 32. Nursing ____ 33. PETA pet peeves 34. It’s not a good look 35. What some lasers are used for ... or what’s seen in 17-, 25-, 44- and 56-Across 38. Alternative to Venmo 39. Like refreshing agua 40. “The tongue of the mind,” per Cervantes 41. Flexible blackjack card 42. John Legend’s “All ____” 43. Self starter? 44. Something you get when purchasing 20 Scrabble sets? 46. Having feelings 50. Volcanic ____ 51. “THERE you are!” 52. Timeline spans

7

15

23

ACROSS 1. Original airer of “Doctor Who” and “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” 4. Heavy-landing sound 8. Woodworker’s vise 14. Big part of a dachshund 15. Barn topper 16. Rob who directed “The Princess Bride” 17. Phys. for someone suffering from ennui? 19. Repeated cry in Buster Poindexter’s “Hot Hot Hot” 20. Tapered hairstyle 21. Study 22. It’s at the center of some court battles 23. Drool 25. Line of footwear sold by a company known for its personal lubricant? 29. Na+ or Cl-, in NaCl

6

34

DECEMBER 9, 2021 INLANDER 55


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