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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

June 19, 2020, 5 a.m.
Section 129 of the Spokane City Charter is where the sunshine of optimism shines most brightly with regard to police oversight.

June 17, 2020, 5 a.m.
Spokane’s police officers are four years overdue for a raise.

June 16, 2020, 5 a.m.
Midway into a new ombudsman's report on the now-infamous profanity-laced rant of a still happily employed Spokane police officer, a word appears that is crucial in considering where we’ve been, where we are, and where we going with police and accountability.Culture.

June 7, 2020, 4 a.m.
The virus threatening the health of the population is also threatening the health care system. In Spokane – where a large part of our population relies on government health insurance and a large part of our workforce is employed in health care – that means a lot of added pressure on hospitals that have already been losing money.

June 5, 2020, 4 a.m.
Most of us understand that the coronavirus presents a health crisis, an economic crisis and a social crisis. But for those at the bottom of the economic scale, it could also turn into a legal crisis.

News >  Spokane
June 2, 2020, 5 a.m.
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
June 1, 2020, 5 a.m.
The line that is cracking the foundation of the country ran through a parking lot in downtown Spokane on Sunday.

May 31, 2020, 5 a.m.
Mail voting improves voter turnout. It does it among both parties, too.

News >  Spokane
May 29, 2020, 5 a.m.
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

May 24, 2020, 4 a.m.
For years, when an infectious disease reared up in Spokane, there was a simple but important reaction: Call Dorothy MacEachern.

May 22, 2020, 4 a.m.
Everywhere you look right now, with the announcement that Spokane County can move cautiously down the road toward reopening the economy, you see people racing across the coronavirus finish line, arms raised, cheering. Which risks putting us back at the coronavirus starting line.

May 20, 2020, 5 a.m.
With video conferencing, courts are trying to fit an in-person process into a no-contact world and trying to balance justice with safety in unprecedented ways.

News >  Spokane
May 17, 2020, 4 a.m.
A Spokane woman and her daughter walked to New York City on the promise of a $10,000 payment in 1896, while an infectious tragedy played out back at home.

May 17, 2020, 1 a.m.
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.

News >  Spokane
May 12, 2020, 5 a.m.
Lots of people have been demanding that Spokane County be allowed to move most quickly down the path toward reopening the economy than the rest of the state. But there’s really only one voice who can truly ensure that the move toward reopening is based on good, sober science and a concrete plan to build a testing regimen into the process.

May 9, 2020, midnight
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.

May 6, 2020, 4 a.m.
Dr. Bob Lutz is getting ready to try and put the coronavirus in a box. That, he says, is ultimately how we will reopen public life safely – by having a strategy to quickly identify, trace and quarantine new cases of the coronavirus.

News >  Spokane
May 4, 2020, 5:23 p.m.
Good for you, the thousands of residents who are responsible, thoughtful, informed, impatient, hurting, unselfish, decent people who did not participate in an ill-fated and selfish protest last week in Spokane.

May 3, 2020, 4 a.m.
Has the Idaho Freedom Foundation – the faux charity that strives to be the king-maker and king-slayer of Gem State politics – caught a serious illness? Or just a seasonal bug? Either way, the sicker the IFF is, the healthier Idaho politics will be.

May 1, 2020, 4 a.m.
The possibly good news is that the cop who kicked a handcuffed suspect in the nuts has been fired.

April 29, 2020, 4 a.m.
Tommy Ahlquist, a former emergency room doctor and gubernatorial candidate, knew what was needed: testing. He didn’t want to wait around for the government, and he knew the economy couldn’t be responsibly opened without much more information.

April 26, 2020, 4:30 a.m.
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.

April 24, 2020, 5 a.m.
People have picked apart and criticized the governor’s approach, but Inslee’s aggressive, health-first standards seem likely to look wiser and wiser in the rearview mirror, especially when set against the national response.

April 22, 2020, 4 a.m.
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.

April 19, 2020, 5 a.m.
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.