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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Shawn Vestal

Stories by Shawn Vestal

Current Position: columnist

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

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All Stories

News >  Spokane

Shawn Vestal: Us vs. them gets us nowhere right now

Us is all of us, like it or not. At this moment of extraordinary national tension, so full of the potential for violence, so fractured at the core, so full of venom and incitement radiating from the White House, and so vilely attended by bigoted online calls to shoot protesters or run them over, us versus them is a disastrous formulation.

News >  Spokane

Shawn Vestal: The race isn’t run, but we may already have a winner in coronavirus foolishness

A repeat drunken driver who works at Spokane’s coronavirus hot spot just put six city cops – and who knows how many others – at risk of contracting COVID-19. From the jail to his job at a Hillyard pasta factory to a crowded sedan full of fellow partiers, he has done his best to be our gold-medal super spreader, while giving the city an example in what not to do
A&E

Summer Stories: The Thick Darkness by Shawn Vestal

UPDATED: Sun., May 24, 2020

It came as Father said it would come, a shroud over the sun, a night in the day, a black pall upon the earthly coffin of the wicked. At the campground, the Forest Service man came and asked for $16.
Opinion >  Column

Shawn Vestal: Projects that connect restaurants to the hungry nourish bodies, hearts

UPDATED: Sun., May 10, 2020

For about 90 minutes almost every day, Mandi Ibarra-Rivera is a meal wrangler. Working from home, Ibarra-Rivera, a Spokane writer, contacts restaurants and coordinates orders from hungry families to help produce the home food deliveries that have been the core of Spokane Food Fighters – an emergency response system for the hungry that sprang to life on March 22, as the state shut down to thwart the coronavirus.
Opinion >  Column

Shawn Vestal: Creative community faces ‘catastrophic’ challenges to survive

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have been harsh in many parts of the community, and especially so for many arts organizations. Across the board, large stalwarts like the Spokane Symphony and Civic Theatre, the smaller operations and performing arts venues, and individual artists are changing how they’re doing business and worried about the future.
Opinion >  Column

Shawn Vestal: Spotlight is on county as it decides how to dole out $90M in federal relief funds

UPDATED: Wed., April 22, 2020

Some $90 million in federal emergency funds with almost no strings attached are headed toward Spokane County – and with it are coming criticisms of County Commissioner Al French’s initial signals that he wants to use the money not to offset financial emergencies such as rent or child care, but to develop a longer-view plan to boost the economy and support businesses.
Opinion >  Column

Shawn Vestal: Aggressive efforts to thwart the virus in the shelter system appear to have worked

It’s 7 p.m., and the line of weary men trails back from the front door, along the fence that surrounds the House of Charity and down the sidewalk lining Pacific Avenue. Five at a time, the men enter the shelter with their backpacks and walkers, their suitcases and overcoats. At the entrance, health district workers check every man’s temperature and ask a series of questions.
News >  Spokane

Shawn Vestal: As supplies dried up, artists created a ‘hidden jewel’ on the bluff

In ordinary times, Ava Barany and Sarah Edwards use leftover flowers and natural materials to create works of art that lie in wait, in parks and public spaces, to delight anyone who might stumble upon them. But the two artists, who call themselves The Botanical Alchemists, rely heavily on florists to give them unused flowers for their creations, and during the coronavirus shutdown, the supply of unused flowers has dried up.