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Tuesday, December 10, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stories tagged: shawn vestal


Shawn Vestal: From the Palouse to the Puget Sound, new book delves into Washington’s lost literary history

In his fascinating new book “Salmon Eaters to Sagebrushers: Washington’s Lost Literary Legacy,” Peter Donahue exhumes the state’s deep literary history from the late 1800s through the 1960s.


Shawn Vestal: Mitchell and Jessen, with waterboards and PowerPoints, stand at center of new film

Film about post-9/11 torture program paints Spokane psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen as the bad guys.


Shawn Vestal: The political shift in the Valley isn’t quite the left turn the far right thinks it is

If you’re still wondering how a lawmaker who pals around with people who fantasize about “skull-stomping” commies online continues to be re-elected, and whether that trend will continue, consider a …


Shawn Vestal: Jailing people is expensive. Let’s look at all the options before building more cells in Spokane.

It costs $298 to book someone into the Spokane County Jail and $134 a day to keep them there. Meanwhile, it costs $25 to start someone on an electronic home …


Shawn Vestal: Depths of Spokane history lie beneath fading downtown ghost signs

Our city’s historic brick buildings wear the faded history of painted advertisements all around downtown. The more you look, the more you see.


Shawn Vestal: New red-flag gun laws are being used to prevent violence

Twelve extreme risk protection orders have been issued by Spokane courts since a new law took effect that allows courts to temporarily remove guns from people who are threatening themselves …


Shawn Vestal: Rep. Matt Shea saw ex-WSU GOPer James Allsup not as a bigot but as an ally

James Allsup would be a natural fit on Matt Shea’s team – that circle of loose screws, online tough guys, racist ignoramuses, Islamaphobes and homophobes, violent fantasists, Trump cultists and …


Shawn Vestal: Beggs will play crucial role after supposed change election idles

After all that time, all that argument and all that Realtor money, the landscape at City Hall will be strikingly similar to the one we’ve had for eight years. Given …


Shawn Vestal: Spokane should be proud of program that combats family homelessness

More than 100 families, and nearly 300 children, were either placed in housing or stabilized and prevented from becoming homeless as part of the program. Of those, 95 percent remain …


Shawn Vestal: Obituaries provide a picture of what has made Spokane such an interesting city

Recent obituaries in The Spokesman-Review tell stories of Fuller Brush men and decorated Vietnam heroes, truck drivers and part-time ministers, businesswomen and piano players. The following was summarized from those …


Shawn Vestal: Tim Benn’s candidacy ran counter to deluge of special-interest spending

If you are of the view that our politics is too controlled by big money, and that democracy is disfigured by the influence of the money-is-speech brigade, you weren’t disabused …


UPDATED: Fri., Nov. 1, 2019

Shawn Vestal: Initial internal reviews, watchdog assessment raise serious concerns about exoneration in K-9 arrest

Chief Craig Meidl and Capt. Tom Hendren said they believed that the context of the arrest led them to conclude the use of force was appropriate. They did not mention …


Shawn Vestal: Use of K-9, incendiary threats in arrest show the need for outside oversight of Spokane police

This moment is precisely why the ombudsman’s office exists. The police department has essentially signed off on everything in the video but Lesser’s demeanor. But we’ve got to have more …


Shawn Vestal: Plaza project helps erase the boundary between river and city

The plaza and these other riverfront projects are part of a thoroughgoing revitalization of the relationship between the city center and the Spokane River.


UPDATED: Sun., Oct. 20, 2019

Shawn Vestal: Family pushes parish to change course, after decision to stop allowing girls as altar servers

“I started to cry,” Emily Leonard said about her reaction hearing why girls could no longer be altar servers. “Before we left, I said, ‘Please let the girls who are …


Shawn Vestal: The chill between cops and watchdog deepens, as controversial case approaches public release

The relationship between police chief and ombudsman – always bound to have some inherent tension – has devolved into a chilly estrangement, growing partly from criticisms regarding a still-secret case …


Shawn Vestal: New project puts torture program, and its Spokane architects, on silver screen

“The Report,” a new film that aims to be in the tradition of 1970s political thrillers like “All the President’s Men,” is set for a theatrical release in November.


UPDATED: Tue., Oct. 8, 2019

Shawn Vestal: Students will turn out to see astronaut and Spokane native Anne McClain this week – but some schools are staying away

Gonzaga Prep invited students from several local schools to attend a presentation by Anne McClain. But some schools passed on the chance, including Cataldo Catholic School. The reason? Some upset …


Shawn Vestal: There it is again – the center of Spokane is the state’s poorest district

These figures are new, but the phenomenon isn’t. But incomes in the city are not just low compared to booming Seattle – they are hovering near the poverty line, indicating …


Shawn Vestal: Another winter without a plan, as mayor’s commitment to shelter system appears to wane

This week’s announcement that the city would again pursue temporary solutions, almost all of which still have yet to be identified, for sheltering the homeless during winter put an exclamation …


Shawn Vestal: Be the hero the republic – and Republicans – truly need, Representative

Preserve some honor, Congresswoman. Support the impeachment inquiry. Use whatever influence and leverage you have to set an example. Be the leader your words would have us believe you are.


Shawn Vestal: A helicopter pilot for LBJ. A Harlem Globetrotters opponent. An expert on J.R.R. Tolkien. Recent obituaries share our stories.

One obituary is a portrait of an individual. Bring several together and you have a portrait of a place.


UPDATED: Fri., Sept. 20, 2019

Shawn Vestal: Realtors and other rich interests are pouring money into funds to back Nadine Woodward and other Spokane candidates

As special-interest money pours into local elections, do donors with $50 to contribute deserve 100 or even 1,000 times less free speech than the deep pockets? What about people without …


Shawn Vestal: Matt Shea’s bad ideas aren’t the only bad ideas behind the bad idea of Liberty State

Don’t hold your breath waiting for bike lanes in the Liberty State.


Shawn Vestal: Spokane should expand its successful community court program

If we wanted to be smart about the nexus of homelessness, addiction and crime, we’d double the city’s community court program tomorrow.


Shawn Vestal: A sad end to a difficult life provides a ‘miracle’ for five families

Joshua Conklin was more than his worst times. More than a John Doe OD. He was Kirsten Zurfluh’s friend and special charge, and she has worked to give his life …


Shawn Vestal: Union membership is growing again in Washington

On this Labor Day, amid a longtime downward trend in national union membership and following a recent Supreme Court decision celebrated by union busters, it’s interesting to note that it’s …


Shawn Vestal: The new ‘Curing Spokane’ video is an inaccurate and shallow report on Spokane’s homeless

Spokane is sick, apparently. And the snake oil has arrived.


Shawn Vestal: Absence of body-cam footage leaves questions about January police shooting

An important question looms following last week’s decision by Prosecutor Larry Haskell that the shooting of David Novak by Spokane police was justified: Where is the body-cam support?


Shawn Vestal: It’s up to Matt Shea’s voters to do the right thing – and they haven’t done it yet

If anything, the growing condemnation of Matt Shea by local officials, in response to the latest details about our region’s foremost conspiratorial, paranoid, gun-worshipping, anti-government zealot, will just fuel his …