Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Fog 34° Fog
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.

Twitter
Twitter

All Stories

News >  Spokane

EWU faculty group rebukes trustees

The Faculty Senate at Eastern Washington University voted Monday to pass a motion of censure against the school's board of trustees, as faculty discontent over stalled contract negotiations escalated. The move is an expression of faculty displeasure with increasing workloads and stagnant salaries, growing class sizes and the effect of those changes on EWU's quality, several professors said Monday afternoon at a meeting of the Faculty Senate. The body also voted to send copies of their motion to Gov. Christine Gregoire and the state's Higher Education Coordinating Board.
News >  Spokane

Soon-to-be college graduates finish up last, wistful week

PULLMAN – The next wave of architects, teachers, engineers and grad students will cross the commencement stage here today, dressed identically in caps and gowns. But in their last week of school, everyone in the Washington State University Class of 2006 took their own path.
News >  Spokane

Tech transfer 101

Jim Fleming was a biology professor at Eastern Washington University when he and some colleagues had the idea that would change their lives. They developed a chemical process to identify the presence of bacteria quickly, something useful in everything from cheese making to screening for terrorist threats.

News >  Spokane

Applications slip at region’s public colleges

Applications to the region's public universities are down significantly this spring, and officials are trying to figure out why. Though next fall's enrollments may still catch up with past years, as of right now, applications are down at Eastern Washington University, Washington State University and the University of Idaho.
News >  Idaho

Assisted-living residents safe after fire

An early morning fire put 15 elderly and disabled people out of their Post Falls group home Sunday. No one was badly injured in the fire at Garden Homes assisted-living facility, 820 N. William St., and the residents have been given temporary shelter in other facilities, said Ruby Stoker, owner of Garden Homes.
News >  Spokane

EWU faculty contract talks reach impasse

Negotiations between the faculty union and administration at Eastern Washington University broke down this week and will move into mediation, stalled over salary and workload issues. It's the first time a mediator has been brought into the negotiations in the union's decade of existence, and it represents a long-simmering frustration, said Tony Flinn, president of United Faculty of Eastern.
News >  Idaho

Animals’ scat is scientist’s treasure

MOSCOW, Idaho – DNA comes in all kinds of packages. The boxes that fill Lisette Waits' work space contain stuff most people can't imagine saving: wild poop. But the test tubes of bear, fox and snow leopard scat may hold answers that help endangered animals. As genetic science has mushroomed, wildlife biologists like Waits are using newfangled genetics to learn more about rare and remote species.
News >  Spokane

EWU battles for edge

Eastern Washington University's newest degree program in game design may sound like a lot of fun. But slackers need not apply.
News >  Spokane

EWU pulls privacy guidelines

Eastern Washington University has withdrawn a controversial confidentiality "expectation" it asked employees to sign, after professors raised criticisms about it. The document outlined information EWU employees are not supposed to disclose under state and federal law or university policy, ranging from student grades and addresses to the Social Security numbers of employees. Administrators said it was an attempt to make sure all employees are familiar with recent privacy laws.
News >  Idaho

UI engineers a driving force

MOSCOW, Idaho – A group of engineering students at the University of Idaho has been learning some new formulas. Such as the inexact and unscientific "rule of pi" – which grad student Jacob Leachman translates as: "Whatever time you think it's going to take to make something, multiply it by about three."
News >  Features

Baum Shelter

Everybody's heard of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." You have to dig a little deeper to find "Zauberlinda, The Wise Witch." Zauberlinda was a very Oz-like story published in 1901, replete with an Oz-like scene on the cover and an Oz-like story inside. Instead of Toto, there's a cat. The knock-off shows just how popular the land of Oz was, decades before the 1939 movie drilled it into the cultural consciousness. A copy of Zauberlinda sits on a wooden bookshelf in Currie Corbin's South Hill home. It's part of his extensive collection of items related to writer L. Frank Baum, from his Oz books to the titles Baum wrote under pen names to the authors who flattered him with imitations.
News >  Spokane

Game’s a science at WSU bat lab

PULLMAN – With spring comes baseball and softball. With baseball and softball come statistics: batting averages, runs batted in, earned run averages. But when Lloyd Smith puts bat to ball, he's looking for different information. The coefficient of restitution. The mass motion of inertia.
News >  Spokane

Regional teachers’ college loans add up

About a third of college graduates in Washington and Idaho are too indebted to afford working as a teacher or social worker, according to a new report that argues student loan debt is exacting a growing cost in public service. Meanwhile, "Over the next decade, America will need to recruit 2 million new teachers to fill our nation's classrooms," according to the report, titled "Paying Back, Not Giving Back."
News >  Idaho

UI supersizes Internet access with ‘fat pipeline’

MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho has expanded its Internet "pipeline" by more than 50 times, increasing the possibilities for research and collaboration with other schools and agencies, UI officials said Monday. The increased bandwidth makes it possible for researchers to download lots of data quickly and collaborate in real time with other scientists around the globe, officials said. It makes the UI part of a network set up through a federal grant to expand high-tech communications and biomedical research in Western states. And it should make it faster for a student in the dorm to download the latest song.
News >  Idaho

University Place fight settled

The University of Idaho and other parties associated with an ill-fated, multimillion-dollar attempt to expand into Boise have settled most of the legal claims surrounding the project. The key piece of the mediated settlement announced Friday is the repayment of trust funds used to finance the University Place project – in transactions investigators described as improper and possibly illegal. In the economic and legal fallout after the deal collapsed in 2002, the university found itself cutting budgets, programs and jobs, though that kind of budget pain is past.
News >  Spokane

Eagles eye new view

Eastern Washington University is moving ahead with efforts to shift its Spokane programs to the Riverpoint campus it shares with Washington State University. The school has received state approval – awaiting the governor's signature – to sell its downtown center and put the proceeds toward a new facility. EWU is stepping up efforts to find a buyer and considering options at the Riverpoint campus, spokesman David Rey said.
News >  Spokane

The beauty of wet paint

Who would paint a house on a damp March day in Spokane? About 50 college students on spring break who are painting 10 West Central homes for free this month as training for starting their own businesses.
News >  Voices

Protest in Peaceful Valley fits the name

It was a Peaceful Valley kind of protest – laid-back, low-key, potluck. Neighbors gathered in a back yard, sharing snacks and talking about writing letters in opposition to a proposed 17-story condominium tower about a block away. And, while they're focused primarily on that project, they share a general concern about the speed of development in their valley and their neighborhood's future.
News >  Idaho

College plan sparks NIC debate

Efforts to create a statewide system of community colleges have exposed a debate about work force training and tax fairness at North Idaho College. Two North Idaho chambers of commerce have issued statements of support for a statewide, state-funded community college system to replace the current system, in which schools like NIC are independently run and get a significant portion of their budget from property taxes. A legislative proposal for a statewide system was derailed in Boise, though supporters expect the idea to return as Idaho looks to expand community college offerings around the state.
News >  Spokane

Fight with police injures man

A Spokane man was in critical condition late Saturday after a "very horrific fight" with several police officers in a Division Street convenience store, said Jim Nicks, acting Spokane police chief. But the nature of the man's health problems was not immediately apparent Saturday night. Nicks said the man began having trouble breathing several minutes after police subdued him, and he did not have obvious injuries that would explain the reaction.
News >  Spokane

Suspect sought after body found in river

A 45-year-old Spokane man missing for more than a week was found dead in the Spokane River on Saturday afternoon, and police were searching the Northwest for one of two suspects in the possible killing. Donald Lynn Smiley-Lyle, 17, is being sought on a warrant for first-degree murder in the case, said Cpl. Tom Lee of the Spokane Police Department. Another suspect, Robert Allen Entel Jr., 18, was arrested in Salem, after a day of feverish developments around the region.
News >  Spokane

Washington law fights cost of textbooks

Sometimes a textbook is not just a textbook. In more and more cases, it comes shrink-wrapped with a CD, computer program or supplemental text – extras that critics say drive up the price but frequently go unused.
News >  Spokane

Seminar focuses on tribal issues

Carrie Dann's battle with the United States has played out on Nevada rangeland and in the chambers of the Supreme Court. It's reached from tribal councils to Congress. But her efforts to claim property rights for ancestral lands of the Western Shoshone tribe have run into roadblock after roadblock. The federal government has pointed to years of court rulings and a multimillion-dollar trust payment as evidence that the land in question is government property.
News >  Spokane

Collegians spring into action

Scores of regional college students are headed south for spring break, but their antics probably won't wind up on any sensational videos. Girls Gone Kind? Boys Gone Charitable?
News >  Spokane

Students spring to action

Scores of regional college students are headed south for spring break, but their antics probably won't wind up on any sensational videos. Girls Gone Kind? Boys Gone Charitable?