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Wednesday, March 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Features

Spokane police history chronicled in ‘Badge’

By Dan Webster

Everyone from Tony Bamonte to Jess Walter has written about Spokane law enforcement.

Bamonte wrote about the Spokane Police Department as part of his nonfiction book “Sheriffs 1911-1989: A History of Murders in the Wilderness of Washington’s Last County.”

That book led to Timothy Egan’s “Breaking Blue,” which remains an essential read for anyone interested in Spokane police history.

On the fiction side, Walter’s novels “Over Tumbled Graves” and “Land of the Blind” revolve around Spokane cops. So, too, do the novels of Frank Scalise, an SPD lieutenant whose books “Under a Raging Moon” and “Heroes Often Fail” are published under the pen name Frank Zafiro.

Now comes an official history. “Life Behind the Badge – The Spokane Police Department’s Founding Years, 1881-1903” is a production of the Spokane Law Enforcement Museum.

According to a press release, the 176-page book “commemorates the history of the Spokane Police Department from its inception at the time the city was incorporated in 1881 up to 1903.”

Cost of the first volume is $26.95. Other volumes are still being written. For order information, call (509) 477-6449.

Learn to write

Spokane author/filmmaker Wayne Spitzer will offer a couple of writing workshops during the fall semester at the Corbin Art Center, 507 W. Seventh Ave.

The six-week Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Workshop begins Oct. 1. The class, which will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Nov. 5, is for writers 14 years and older (fees are $52).

Spitzer also will offer a one-day workshop titled Getting Published, Read and (Maybe) Getting Paid from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 8 (fees are $27).

For registration information, go online at Or call (509) 625-6200.

Reader winners

Shawna Warehime of St. John, Wash., and David Yu of Colfax both won iPods for participating in the Summer Reading program held by the Whitman County Library.

Warehime and Yu were among some 90 young readers who turned in more than 300 book reviews to the county.

For information about upcoming Whitman County Library activities, call Erica Wilson at (509) 733-3375.

Books for free

Like free books? Who doesn’t?

That’s exactly what Clifford the Big Red Dog, the Public Television character, will be giving away on Monday at the Spokane County Interstate Fair.

Monday is National Literacy Day, and – thanks to KSPS, Spokane Public Television – Clifford will appear at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St. Call (509) 477-2785.

Admission to the fair is free on Monday.

Sci-fi high

Spokane sci-fi author James C. Glass, who will sign copies of his novel “The Viper of Portello” on Tuesday at the North Side Hastings (see below), received a good review from Publishers Weekly:

“Torn between avenging his companions through assassination and pursuing art on distant planets, reluctant to confront (his father) Armando but begged by a friend to help the disenfranchised poor of Nova Brazilia, Eduardo (Cabral) is a compelling protagonist whose conflicts and determined sense of honor will keep readers engaged in his story from start to finish.”

Book talk

•Auntie’s Morning Book Group (“The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel,” by Diane Setterfield), 11 a.m. Tuesday, Auntie’s Bookstore, Main and Washington. Call (509) 838-0206.

•Auntie’s Evening Book Group (“The Book of Air and Shadows: A Novel,” by Michael Gruber), 7 p.m. Tuesday, Auntie’s Bookstore.

The reader board

•James C. Glass (“The Viper of Portello”), signing, 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, North Side Hastings, 7706 N. Division St. Call (509) 483-2154.

•Lawney L. Reyes (“B Street: The Notorious Playground of Coulee Dam”), reading, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Auntie’s Bookstore.

•Glenda Burgess (“The Geography of Love: A Memoir”), reading, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Auntie’s Bookstore.

•Mike Denny (“Birds of the Inland Northwest and Northern Rockies”), signing, 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Auntie’s Bookstore.

•Wendy Williams (“Cape Wind: Money, Celebrity, Class, Politics and the Battle for Our Energy Future on Nantucket Sound”), reading/signing, Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon, BookPeople, 521 S. Main St., Moscow, Idaho. Call (208) 882-7957.

Dan Webster can be reached at (509) 459-5483 or by e-mail at
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