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Monday, October 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Shawn Vestal
COLUMNIST
Shawn Vestal shawnv@spokesman.com (509) 459-5431

Shawn Vestal joined The Spokesman-Review in 1999. He currently is a columnist for the City Desk.


Most Recent Stories

Oct. 26, 2020, 4:55 p.m.
Occasionally, I will write something so outrageously offensive to some readers that they reach out to let me know they are canceling their subscriptions.

Oct. 25, 2020, 4 a.m.
When Maya Zeller was beginning her graduate  work as a poetry student in Eastern Washington University’s MFA program in 2005, she attended a student reading where she saw Jess Walter in the crowd.

Oct. 22, 2020, 1:42 p.m.
On July 17, a group of about 30 anti-maskers gathered on the sidewalk outside the home of our county’s public health officer, Dr. Bob Lutz.

Oct. 21, 2020, 3:30 a.m.
Do you believe global warming is happening?

Oct. 14, 2020, 3:30 p.m.
On a hot June night in 2016, something woke Anne Walter from her sleep.

Oct. 9, 2020, 5 a.m.
In a moment when thousands of Spokane County residents have lost their jobs – and with cuts looming at Eastern Washington University – the wildly prosperous failure of former EWU President Mary Cullinan is a strange story, indeed.

Oct. 7, 2020, 5 a.m.
Every year, tax dodgers and cheats cost the U.S. Treasury more than $381 billion, according to one estimate.

Oct. 4, 2020, 5 a.m.
Margo Hill has been attending the Life Center Church with her family for years.

Oct. 2, 2020, 5 a.m.
At any moment now, I expect our congresswoman, the avatar of civility in American politics, to issue a condemnation of Tuesday night’s debate.

Sept. 30, 2020, 5 a.m.
We were sitting on my back deck, drinks in hand, 6 feet apart, when one of my best friends told me: He and his wife were having a baby!

Sept. 27, 2020, 5 a.m.
After a judge's order this week barring protesters from disrupting services provided at the Planned Parenthood clinic in North Spokane, the Church at Planned Parenthood showed up and seemingly violated the order, anyway. It's another example of the Spokane Police Department not taking action to disperse the crowd, despite the ruling and action from city lawmakers. 

Sept. 25, 2020, 3:45 a.m.
In the mind of Francis Adewale, it’s past time to stop debating whether we need to accept the fact that there is systemic racism in the justice system, or making semantic arguments against trying to achieve equity in the legal system.

Sept. 23, 2020, 3 a.m.
It is a sign of the terrible times that even as the wildfires screamed across the West, another blaze was burning – a conflagration of conspiracies.

Sept. 20, 2020, 5 a.m.
A lot of us remember the case chiefly as one of the most unusual crimes in Spokane – a murder for hire on the South Hill, solved by investigators following the pathways laid down by the discovery of the killer’s dropped glove.

Sept. 18, 2020, 5 a.m.
Breathing all this smoke is similar, in some ways, to contracting a virus.

Sept. 16, 2020, 5 a.m.
I wrote a column last week about a research paper that estimated the Sturgis (South Dakota) motorcycle rally had been a massive COVID-19 superspreader event.

Sept. 13, 2020, 4 a.m.
Knezovich remains devoted to this explanation though it has not, so far, been buttressed by the public evidence. It has prompted a measure of skepticism and scoffing that was ramped up during a recent dispute over his agency’s arrest, at a Black Lives Matter demonstration, of a local Democratic Socialist activist on a seven-year-old warrant from another county.

Sept. 10, 2020, 4:17 p.m.
Campfires and cigarettes. Sparking machinery and fireworks. Slash piles and debris burns that grow out of control.

Sept. 9, 2020, 4 a.m.
In early August, almost a half-million Americans from all around the country gathered at the annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota.

Sept. 6, 2020, 5 a.m.
Mark Wiener vividly remembers the Great Portland Fluoride Battle of 2013.

Sept. 4, 2020, 5 a.m.
I had a pretend gun and a hypothetical badge.


Aug. 23, 2020, 5 a.m.
Two years ago, the investigative news organization ProPublica looked into the algorithms used by courts to assign risk levels to criminal defendants.

Aug. 16, 2020, 5 a.m.
It’s been a season of extra pungency in the pastures of the alt-reality-right.

Aug. 14, 2020, 4 a.m.
One obituary is a portrait of a life. Several obituaries, taken together, form a portrait of a community.