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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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News >  Spokane

Shawn Vestal: SPD officers, already in harm’s way, negotiate virus challenges to protect the vulnerable

Police officers are the line of last defense when someone falls through the cracks and finds themselves with nowhere to go, a host of chronic illnesses and not a cent to their name. They are on the front lines for the people in crisis in the community, and in this moment that means being out and about among people, putting themselves at risk to help others.
Opinion >  Column

Shawn Vestal: Effort underway to aid bar, restaurant workers shut out of work by virus restrictions

UPDATED: Sun., March 22, 2020

The waiters, bartenders, cooks and others who work in restaurants and bars are one group of workers who are taking a monstrous economic blow as a result of coronavirus and the measures taken to try to stop it. That’s more than 17,000 people in the Spokane area, and their lives are being upended by industry closures that threaten to change the nature of their industry dramatically – even after the virus passes. Many food-service workers were already in a precarious position, living on thin margins in an industry notorious for thin margins.
Opinion >  Column

Shawn Vestal: Documentary series puts a different, more humane spotlight on the homeless

Maurice Smith stopped by the Cannon Street Warming Center the other day around lunch, just as people began lining up for a brown-bag lunch: sandwiches, chips, a Jell-O dessert cup and a drink. Smith, a documentary producer, and his videographer, D.W. Clark, were there to shoot footage for the third in a series of documentaries they are making about homelessness in Spokane.
Opinion >  Column

Shawn Vestal: Let’s keep the region’s history in the region – on the very land where it occurred

Around a century ago, the Uyeji family came to America from Japan, settling in a neighborhood on the outskirts of Seattle known as Pontiac. They lived there and farmed the land, in an area now known as Hawthorne Hills, along with their Japanese-American neighbors. In 1942, when the U.S. government ordered all Japanese-Americans within certain areas along the coasts, known as “exclusion zones,” to be moved to camps in the country’s interior, the Uyejis were taken to first one, then another internment camp in California, according to Discover Nikkei, a website that tracks the histories of Japanese immigrants to America.
Opinion >  Column

Shawn Vestal: Bus searches by Border Patrol an example of why we must insist on protecting our rights

People of color have complained of harassment by border agents on buses not just in Spokane, but all around the country. A Gonzaga student whose family immigrated to the U.S. when she was 8 described being interrogated in a harassing, threatening manner while waiting for a bus home to Seattle, saying she was surrounded by agents and accused of faking her green card before being released.