Arrow-right Camera

Staff news stories

Shawn Vestal

Shawn Vestal

Shawn Vestal joined The Spokesman-Review in 1999. He currently is a columnist for the City Desk.
(509) 459-5431


Shawn Vestal: McMorris Rodgers’ vow against Social Security and Medicare cuts rings hollow

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers protests too much about claims she would vote for Social Security and Medicare cuts. Not only is it utterly credible to believe she might vote for such cuts – which would certainly be, like last year’s failed Trumpcare effort, swaddled in claims that the cuts are not cuts – but she’s already voted to do so. More than once.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 23, 2018

FRIDAY, SEPT. 21, 2018


TUESDAY, SEPT. 11, 2018

SUNDAY, SEPT. 9, 2018

Federal court ruling adds new twist to enforcement of Spokane’s ‘sit-lie’ ordinance

Robert Martin no longer lives as a homeless man in Boise, as he once did. But Martin, now a North Idaho resident, visits that city several times a year to see his son. And when he does, he doesn’t have a place to sleep. Martin’s experiences, along with those of a handful of other homeless people, are at the heart of last week’s ruling by the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that it is unconstitutional for a city to prosecute a homeless person for resting on public property when there is no shelter available.


Shawn Vestal: Monroe ‘road-diet’ exceeded expectations

A couple years back, Katy Azar looked at the road construction in downtown Spokane – streets torn up, deadlines blown, costs overrun – and feared for the future of her well-known Greek restaurant. The city was moving toward a major renovation project on North Monroe Street, where her restaurant is located. She and other business owners there feared they couldn’t outlast an extended construction project.

TUESDAY, SEPT. 4, 2018

Shawn Vestal: There’s a California connection to Northwest white supremacy

UPDATED: Tue., Sept. 4, 2018, 9:47 p.m.

We’re entering a new era in the Northwest’s long, depressing tango with racist extremists, and there’s a lot about this era that’s new – from the methods to the mediums these morons are using to spread their poison. This fresh class of robo-calling, YouTubing white supremacists is different from the last generation, with their compounds and annual rallies and parades. But there’s one piece of it that’s very familiar: A California connection.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 2, 2018


WEDNESDAY, AUG. 29, 2018

THURSDAY, AUG. 23, 2018

TUESDAY, AUG. 21, 2018

Shawn Vestal: Will smoke wake us up to climate change?

While some politicians are trying very hard right now to remain blind to the role of climate change in wildfires, the fact that global warming is driving the growth of Western wildfires is not a matter of debate among the people who study it.

SUNDAY, AUG. 19, 2018

Shawn Vestal: The Six-Figure Club threatens to weigh down Spokane City Hall

Six-figure salaries could mean sustainability problems for the city’s budget. Numbers crunchers have talked for years about the consequences of possible “structural gap” between salaries and revenues. That pressure has eased lately, due to stronger economy and an absence of big increases, but it hasn’t gone away.

SUNDAY, AUG. 12, 2018

FRIDAY, AUG. 10, 2018

Shawn Vestal: Ruckelshaus reminds us what Nunes and company have forgotten

Forty-five years ago, the president tried to fire an independent special prosecutor who was investigating him. Two men of principle – the attorney general and his deputy – refused. They quit rather than carry out President Richard Nixon’s clearly improper order, an order later ruled illegal.


SUNDAY, AUG. 5, 2018

FRIDAY, AUG. 3, 2018


SUNDAY, JULY 29, 2018

FRIDAY, JULY 27, 2018

TUESDAY, JULY 24, 2018

Shawn Vestal: McMorris Rodgers’ offensive campaign ads and flyers undermine her call for political civility

UPDATED: Wed., July 25, 2018, 10:18 a.m.

Our divided nation needs to heal, Cathy McMorris Rodgers says. We are heartbreakingly riven by political divisions, Cathy McMorris Rodgers says. We can no longer disagree without being disagreeable. We demonize those with differing political views. We must regain a sense of shared purpose and unity for the good of the nation, and each and every one of us must do our part.

SUNDAY, JULY 22, 2018

SUNDAY, JULY 15, 2018