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Monday, December 16, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Staff > News > Shawn Vestal > Stories
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

News >  Column
Dec. 15, 2019, 5 a.m.
In June, as the election campaign was grinding into life, the city’s CompStat crime-reporting system showed that the number of crimes reported citywide were trending downward from the previous year. They were 13% below where they’d been at the same time last year.

News >  Column
Dec. 13, 2019, 4 a.m.
They were billed as Drag Queen Story Hours. But they’ve turned out to be more or less endless as outrage fuel for those whose devotion to a sense of themselves as mighty, persecuted Christian martyrs is bottomless.

News >  Column
Dec. 11, 2019, 4 a.m.
Spokane native and retired diplomat Ryan Crocker’s sobering interview on our efforts at rebuilding Afghanistan and Iraq is that they were poorly planned, haphazardly initiated and practically unsuccessful, and they fostered massive corruption in an impoverished country that was simply not structurally prepared to handle billions of dollars in U.S. aid.

News >  Column
Dec. 8, 2019, midnight
In his fascinating new book “Salmon Eaters to Sagebrushers: Washington’s Lost Literary Legacy,” Peter Donahue exhumes the state’s deep literary history from the late 1800s through the 1960s.

News >  Column
Dec. 6, 2019, 5 a.m.
Film about post-9/11 torture program paints Spokane psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen as the bad guys.

News >  Column
Dec. 4, 2019, 4 a.m.
If you’re still wondering how a lawmaker who pals around with people who fantasize about “skull-stomping” commies online continues to be re-elected, and whether that trend will continue, consider a pair of recent comments from the Spokane Valley mayor and the former county treasurer. And wonder no more.

News >  Spokane
Dec. 1, 2019, 5 a.m.
It costs $298 to book someone into the Spokane County Jail and $134 a day to keep them there. Meanwhile, it costs $25 to start someone on an electronic home monitoring device and $4 to run the device each day afterward, according to new statistics from a local criminal justice task force.

News >  Spokane
Nov. 28, 2019, 4 a.m.
Our city’s historic brick buildings wear the faded history of painted advertisements all around downtown. The more you look, the more you see.

News >  Column
Nov. 24, 2019, 5 a.m.
Twelve extreme risk protection orders have been issued by Spokane courts since a new law took effect that allows courts to temporarily remove guns from people who are threatening themselves or others. The case files suggest a process that is careful, methodical and fair.

News >  Column
Nov. 22, 2019, 4 a.m.
On Saturday night, Shalom Ministries will host its annual holiday concert and auction to help raise money. If you’re without plans, you could do worse than buy a ticket to help this organization while having an enjoyable evening.

News >  Column
Nov. 17, 2019, 4 a.m.
James Allsup would be a natural fit on Matt Shea’s team – that circle of loose screws, online tough guys, racist ignoramuses, Islamaphobes and homophobes, violent fantasists, Trump cultists and gun lovers who orbit Shea like planets circling a dying sun.

News >  Column
Nov. 15, 2019, 4 a.m.
After all that time, all that argument and all that Realtor money, the landscape at City Hall will be strikingly similar to the one we’ve had for eight years. Given that, it’s quite possible that the single most consequential elected official – the strongest one, you might say – will be the one sitting in the council president’s chair.

News >  Column
Nov. 13, 2019, 4 a.m.
More than 100 families, and nearly 300 children, were either placed in housing or stabilized and prevented from becoming homeless as part of the program. Of those, 95 percent remain stable and housed today, based on monthly check-ins with community health workers.

News >  Spokane
Nov. 10, 2019, 5 a.m.
Recent obituaries in The Spokesman-Review tell stories of Fuller Brush men and decorated Vietnam heroes, truck drivers and part-time ministers, businesswomen and piano players. The following was summarized from those obituaries.

News >  Column
Nov. 6, 2019, 4:31 p.m.
“I’ve had people asking me, ‘Why did you concede?’ ” Stuckart said. “Because it’s mathematically impossible for me to win. Barring a miracle, I lost.” Still, the decision took a lot of people by surprise, and his supporters seemed particularly stunned by it.

News >  Spokane
Nov. 6, 2019, 5 a.m.
If you are of the view that our politics is too controlled by big money, and that democracy is disfigured by the influence of the money-is-speech brigade, you weren’t disabused of that notion this year. Benn’s candidacy ran counter to all of that.

News >  Column
Nov. 1, 2019, 4 a.m.
Chief Craig Meidl and Capt. Tom Hendren said they believed that the context of the arrest led them to conclude the use of force was appropriate. They did not mention earlier conclusions that raised serious concerns about Officer Dan Lesser’s use of his K-9.

News >  Column
Oct. 31, 2019, 5 a.m.
This moment is precisely why the ombudsman’s office exists. The police department has essentially signed off on everything in the video but Lesser’s demeanor. But we’ve got to have more than their word for it. Because it just doesn’t look right.

News >  Column
Oct. 30, 2019, 4 a.m.
The plaza and these other riverfront projects are part of a thoroughgoing revitalization of the relationship between the city center and the Spokane River.

News >  Column
Oct. 27, 2019, midnight
Income in Spokane over the past five years has grown remarkably overall – more than the rest of the county, the rest of the state and the rest of the nation.

News >  Spokane
Oct. 25, 2019, 5 a.m.
By pretending she is nonpartisan, mayoral candidate Nadine Woodward is attempting to win in Democrat-leaning Spokane.

News >  Column
Oct. 22, 2019, 7:41 p.m.
Gen. Jim Mattis is speaking in Spokane on Thursday night. The appearance by the former Secretary of Defense comes in the wake of a growing chorus of observers calling upon him to raise his voice and make a clearer case for his obvious concerns about the president he briefly served.

News >  Column
Oct. 20, 2019, 5 a.m.
“I started to cry,” Emily Leonard said about her reaction hearing why girls could no longer be altar servers. “Before we left, I said, ‘Please let the girls who are being confirmed the chance to serve once. … It’s a different way to connect to God. You are joyful and happy.’ ”

News >  Column
Oct. 18, 2019, 5 a.m.
The relationship between police chief and ombudsman – always bound to have some inherent tension – has devolved into a chilly estrangement, growing partly from criticisms regarding a still-secret case in which an officer reportedly heaved a police dog into a car with a suspect.

News >  Column
Oct. 16, 2019, 5 a.m.
“The Report,” a new film that aims to be in the tradition of 1970s political thrillers like “All the President’s Men,” is set for a theatrical release in November.