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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sandpoint Fest A Little Leaner And Smaller

The box office is humming along quite briskly at this year’s leaner, meaner Festival at Sandpoint.

In fact, if you want to get tickets for the Doobie Bros. concert on July 30, you shouldn’t wait around. Only a few hundred tickets are left for this show.

Tickets are also selling well for John Prine on Aug. 7, and for John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers on Aug. 8.

The size of each crowd will be restricted to 2,500 at all shows this year, a thousand or more fewer than in some concerts in past years. Call G&B Select-a-Seat, 325-SEAT or (800) 325-SEAT, or the Festival office toll-free at (888) 265-4554 for tickets.

Gunther and Ludwig Van

The biggest disappointment this year is a cutback in the Festival’s symphony series.

Which is all the more reason to attend the one symphony concert on the schedule, on Aug. 9. It should be marvelous: Gunther Schuller conducting the Spokane Symphony in Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2, Griffes’ “White Peacock,” Chadwick’s “Jubilee,” and a world premiere of Schuller’s orchestration of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata, Op. 54.

No institute this year

Unfortunately, there will be no Schweitzer Institute of Music to complement the Festival at Sanpoint this year.

Gunther Schuller is taking a one-year sabbatical from the institute, which is a training program for young professional musicians.

The Schweitzer Institute will return next year.

The Old Fogerty

Speaking of hot concerts, The Gorge has booked John Fogerty for Aug. 23. The big draw, of course, will be Fogerty’s old Creedence Clearwater Revival tunes, which he hasn’t performed publicly since the demise of the band 25 years ago.

But I’m looking forward to hearing tunes from his outstanding new CD “Blue Moon Swamp.” This disc has been in my CD player almost constantly for the last three weeks. His new songs are Southern swamp-flavored, and as well-written as ever.

Fogerty tickets go on sale Saturday at 9 a.m. only through all Ticketmaster outlets.

Ty Ray on the way out

Ty Ray, a KHQ-6 sports reporter and anchor, called this week to clarify his status at KHQ: He’s being let go.

He said he has known since March that the station would not be renewing his contract. He said he was given no reason for the decision.

Ray will be on the air at KHQ until his contract runs out in mid-August. Meanwhile, he’s on the lookout for another job.

Ray has been with KHQ since August 1994. The station announced last week that it had hired three new sportscasters.

More hours for The Babe

Relax, all of you fans of the Fabulous Sports Babe. Her show will be expanded to two hours, 9 to 11 a.m., beginning Monday on KTRW-AM (The Score, 970).

The KXLY empire

Meanwhile, you may have already seen that KXLY is expanding its radio empire by two more stations.

KXLY announced last week that it is buying two Coeur d’Alene-based stations, KHTQ-FM (94.5) and KVNI-AM (1080). These two stations are being sold by North Idaho Broadcasting, owned by B. Todd Hagadone. KHTQ is a contemporary hits station with a signal that covers the entire Spokane market, while KVNI airs a mix of news, sports and adult contemporary music, with a more localized signal.

This means that KXLY will soon own seven radio stations in the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene market, assuming the Federal Communications Commission gives final approval to the sale in early 1998. Those stations are: KXLY-AM, KXLY-FM, KZZU-FM, KTRW-AM, KKPL-AM, plus the two new acquisitions.

Evening Under the Stars

Don’t forget about one of the most elegant annual events in Spokane: An Evening Under the Stars, a benefit for KPBX-FM high on a cliff overlooking the Valley at the Arbor Crest Wine Cellars, Friday starting at 5:30 p.m.

The Pamela McGuire Jazz Quartet will play music for dancing, and hors d’oeuvres will be available. The Polka Band and the Concordia Choir of the German American Society will also perform.

Tickets are $22.50, available through Tuesday by calling 328-5729. Admission includes a glass of Arbor Crest wine; you must be at least 21.

The Renaissance Festival

Just when I was beginning to wonder if the Renaissance was dead, here comes the Northwest Renaissance Festival, reborn for another year near Nine Mile Falls.

For the third straight summer, a cast of 60 lords, ladies, knights, jousters and joustees (all volunteer actors) will re-create the era of Henry VIII at a wooded site 20 minutes of north of Spokane on Nine Mile Falls Road (SR 291) between mile markers 18 and 19.

The festival opened Saturday and remains open today and every Saturday and Sunday through Aug. 24. The opening ceremony every day is at 11 a.m.; gates close at 7 p.m. You don’t have to be there for the whole day, but if you do, you get the full show. This is interactive theater, and nothing is repeated.

Among the cast of characters: Kindred Spirits, a singing group; Matthew VanZee, a magician; Mar-Cher, a singing duo; and the Gypsies of Pleasance, a riding group. There will also be a live chess match, sword-fighting, and of course, the joust.

Food and crafts are available.

Admission is $9.50, $5 for seniors older than 60 and for children ages 6-12. Children younger than 5 get in for free. Call 276-9169 for information.

The story of Burke

A locally produced documentary, “Burke: The Story of a Frontier Mining Town,” airs on KSPS-7, Saturday at 8 p.m.

Writer-producer Irv Broughton recounts the history of this North Idaho mining boomtown, when gold and silver lured thousands almost overnight.

Nothing remains now, except a ghost town.

“In Whose Honor?”

Speaking of documentaries, public television’s “P.O.V.” presents a documentary this week about Charlene Teters, a Spokane Indian artist who mounted a campaign against Chief Illinwek, the University of Illinois’ team mascot.

Teters’ campaign began when she was a graduate student at the school. Today some people are referring to her as the “Native American Rosa Parks.”

The documentary, titled “In Whose Honor?” airs on KSPS-7 Wednesday at 2 a.m. and 5 a.m., and repeats next Sunday at 2 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Not exactly the most convenient times, but it sounds like it might be worth setting your VCR for.

, DataTimes

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