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Stories tagged: Shawn Vestal


UPDATED: Wed., July 11, 2018, 1:09 p.m.

Wanted: Trust in Spokane police force

It was January 2016, and Spokane police Officer Chris McMurtrey had a man in his cruiser who he had arrested in a domestic violence case. The man taunted and threatened …


Shawn Vestal: Let me tell you about Chicago

When folks arguing against gun-safety measures need a knee-jerk retort, they often deploy just a question: What about Chicago?


Shawn Vestal: Domestic violence is one of Spokane’s biggest public health problems. Time to end the silence.

Hundreds of times every month, someone in Spokane County picks up the phone and calls police to report violence in their home. A husband beat a wife, or a wife …


Summer Stories: Not Too Bad a Guy, by Shawn Vestal

In Week 1 of The Spokesman-Review’s Summer Stories series, award-winning author and newspaper columnist tells the the story of one man’s attempt to get out from under.


Vestal: We need to quit football, cold turkey – but we can’t

If America had some good friends right now – the kind who will tell you hard truths – those friends would be sitting the country down and saying it’s time …


Shawn Vestal: Airway Heights water worse than feared

People living around Fairchild Air Force Base drank water contaminated with a chemical found in firefighting foams, probably for decades. In the year since the pollution was discovered in city …


Shawn Vestal: The myth of the immigration ‘emergency’

A faulty assumption has continually been employed to justify the current anti-immigrant zealotry, and it goes like this: We are being flooded with illegal immigrants. They are coming in an …


Shawn Vestal: Being a parent is all of the above

On Father’s Day, between greeting cards and platitudes, let’s acknowledge the complicated fact that part of what makes parenting so fulfilling is that it’s difficult.


Shawn Vestal: Treatment of SeaTac asylum-seekers shows how far we still have to go

If you’re having trouble imagining just what kind of country we are becoming, vis-a-vis that whole “tired, poor and huddled masses” thing, think of SeaTac.


Shawn Vestal: At graduation, Freeman Class of 2018 remembers, and looks to the future

The celebration of the graduating Freeman High School Class of 2018 was made all the more poignant Saturday by the weight of what they’d been through together, and how they …


Shawn Vestal: Spokane needs more affordable housing and neighbors willing to accept it next door

Spokane rents are rising. The vacancy rate is whisper thin. And the average renter is putting more of her income into housing than in years past.


Shawn Vestal: Modern-day Nazis hide swastikas under sheep’s clothing to sneak into GOP flock

The new crop of Nazis don’t come in uniform. They come in suits and ties, college boys with at least occasional good manners, wearing pocket squares and high-and-tights, spiffed up …


Shawn Vestal: Spokane deserves classier motto, like ‘Keep Spokane Kind of Gross’

From torn-up roads, to large infrastructure and park projects, to that one looming crane, Spokane is entering a construction season that marks the way the city is changing distinctly.


Shawn Vestal: A new generation keeps the spirit of local journalism alive

The third issue of the city’s newest newspaper was put to bed this week, full of stories from the staff of enterprising young – emphasis on


Shawn Vestal: Tim Eyman is still at it

Take that for good or for ill, but among the many things you might say about Tim Eyman you have to give him that.


Shawn Vestal: Eichstaedt steps down, but leaves a legacy of civic improvements

Try and picture the legal and political landscape of Spokane without the Center for Justice. On issue after issue, it is almost impossible to imagine the same results without the …


Shawn Vestal: Between officials and reformers, a growing rift in efforts to improve Spokane’s criminal justice system

We have plenty to be proud of in the city’s push towards a fairer criminal justice system. But two years after receiving an award from the MacArthur Foundation, a significant …


Shawn Vestal: The state of Liberty may not have a shot, but it’s heady fiction

As the concept of an Eastern Washington “Liberty State” – a far-right fantasyland of God, guns and free-cattle-grazing envisioned by Spokane Valley conservatives – evolves from a bad 100-year-old idea …


UPDATED: Wed., May 9, 2018, 10:49 p.m.

Shawn Vestal: The Spokane torture case keeps its secrets about Haspel

Gina Haspel, a CIA officer who worked with the Spokane torture team of James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, has said something about the Bush administration’s post-9/11 interrogation program that few …


Shawn Vestal: Spiering, Spokane’s wagon master, wants new park art to endure

Everyone’s got an opinion, it seems, about the new sculpture commissioned for Riverfront Park. Some think it’s a clever and creative design from an esteemed artist that will eventually become …


Shawn Vestal: Who pays when the patient can’t? Two states, two approaches, but only one answer

As the number of people without health insurance begins to climb again, it’s worth remembering a baseline question in health care: Who pays when the patient can’t?


Shawn Vestal: Before Trump handed her a trophy, she handed him a message

Mandy Manning showed up at the White House with a batch of letters for the president.


Shawn Vestal: New law requires – eventually – more transparency in WSU sports deficits

The new era of transparency in athletics spending is here at Washington State University, sort of, but it’s off to a vague start.


Shawn Vestal: When it comes to budgets, bottom lines don’t lie

Budgets, people in politics like to say, are moral documents. They reveal values clearly when the rhetoric doesn’t.


Shawn Vestal: Rachel Dolezal, back in the eye of the camera

DaShawn Bedford grew up in Spokane, graduated from Rogers High, and taught himself video production. He’s 37, African-American, raising three kids – and his take on Rachel Dolezal is complicated.


Shawn Vestal: Support the North Monroe project – have breakfast or get a haircut

Businesses along North Monroe could use some extra customers during these next few months with the big road reconstruction project now underway.


Shawn Vestal: Nethercutt looks back on his time as a ‘giant killer’

George Nethercutt’s victory over Tom Foley in 1994 was a stunner, and presaged a wave of Republican victories across the country. Now, his successor, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, faces the …


Shawn Vestal: McMorris Rodgers has troubles with the truth on pre-existing conditions

If it’s April, it must be time for Cathy McMorris Rodgers to start telling whoppers about health care.


Preventing teen suicide: How to help

Teens often turn to their peers when thoughts of suicide cross their minds, but everyone has a role to play. Here are some of the warning signs to look out …


UPDATED: Mon., April 2, 2018, 2:46 p.m.

Shawn Vestal: King coverage seems to be a yearly write-up, but the truth on race is deeper

Walter Kendricks remembers that he was at a Boy Scouts meeting in Lorain, Ohio, when he heard. Otis Manning recalls his mother hearing the news in their Seattle home, on …