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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

Jan. 13, 2021, 5 a.m.
The night before the Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol, a face that would be familiar to many in the Spokane area took the stage in Freedom Plaza just east of the White House to rally the crowd to rise up against Satan and a “stolen” election.

Jan. 10, 2021, 5 a.m.
The pandemic has been hell on performers. Anyone whose work requires an audience has had to undergo massive changes – and they’ve had to give up a lot.

Jan. 10, 2021, 5 a.m.
The mob’s takeover of the U.S. Capitol came with a whole symphony of echoes.

Jan. 8, 2021, 4 a.m.
When Joe Hodl died of COVID-19 in August, his wife, Cheri, was left grief-stricken and bereft – and wondering whether there was anything she could do to help fight the virus.

Jan. 6, 2021, 5 a.m.
“Reputation, reputation, reputation! Oh, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial.”

Dec. 27, 2020, 5 a.m.
The first memory that came to Dennis Held, as he began taking notes for an essay that he would title “What I’ll Miss,” emerged from his youth: Riding shotgun while a friend drove down a highway, reaching out into the slipstream.

Dec. 25, 2020, 5 a.m.
It popped up on my phone among the zillions of things that pop up on my phone every hour: A texted picture of my brother, holding our nephew’s infant daughter in his lap.


Dec. 22, 2020, 1:32 p.m.
Due to a reporting error, Shawn Vestal's column in the Sunday Spokesman-Review incorrectly referred to the location of a wedding that has been linked to COVID-19 outbreaks. The wedding was in rural Adams County.

Dec. 20, 2020, 6 a.m.
Surely, the bride and groom – and the families of the bride and groom and all the people who wanted to celebrate their joyous union – convinced themselves they were doing the right thing.

Dec. 17, 2020, 12:30 p.m.
John Hagney was watching CNN last week when he saw a familiar face.

Dec. 16, 2020, 5 a.m.
When the name of George Wright comes down off that road at last, it will be replaced with one that deserves to be there.

Dec. 13, 2020, 5 a.m.
In September 1918, a flu pandemic arrived in Philadelphia.

Dec. 6, 2020, 5 a.m.
Seven years ago, a retired judge, former federal prosecutor and defense attorney produced a report, based on volumes of data and lots of citizen input, recommending ways we could improve our criminal justice system.

Dec. 6, 2020, 4 a.m.
It thrives inside of us, miniscule and hidden, and travels to others on invisible pathways.

Dec. 4, 2020, 5 a.m.
I know a place you can get a real good chicken sandwich on Division Street.

Dec. 2, 2020, 5 a.m.
Has Loren Culp conceded yet?

Nov. 29, 2020, 5 a.m.
Dr. Francisco Velázquez – the hastily drafted interim health officer of the Spokane Regional Health District – showed up the day before Thanksgiving at his third public press conference, 25 days into the worst month of the pandemic and 16 days into his thankless new job.

News >  Spokane
Nov. 29, 2020, 4 a.m.
It starts with the standard 6 feet and grows to include distances impossible to measure.

Nov. 28, 2020, 2:25 p.m.
The mayor has turned the whole city NIMBY.

Nov. 22, 2020, 4 a.m.
In the second installment of this series of highly personal essays by photojournalist Brian Plonka and columnist Shawn Vestal, we consider the mask, and what it tells us about the person wearing it.

Nov. 15, 2020, 4 a.m.
Calpurnia pleaded with Caesar not to go to the Senate on that fateful March day.

Nov. 1, 2020, 3:30 a.m.
Another winter has arrived and with it, another game of catch-up in sheltering the homeless.

Oct. 30, 2020, 3:18 p.m.
“The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies that serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may maintain control over the instruments that they have created.”

Oct. 29, 2020, 1:43 p.m.
It’s time to rename the Panhandle Board of Health.