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Monday, May 25, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stories tagged: shawn vestal


Shawn Vestal: When the call to fight COVID-19 arrived, Dorothy MacEachern came out of retirement to answer it

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


Shawn Vestal: We shouldn’t act like Phase 2 is the finish line

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, …


Shawn Vestal: Coronavirus and the courts mean delays, distancing and Zoom, of course

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.


Helga Estby’s long, long walk was almost lost to history

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.


UPDATED: Sun., May 24, 2020

Summer Stories: The Thick Darkness by Shawn Vestal

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 …


Shawn Vestal: Lutz is far from the first to seek an early reopening, but he’s the most important

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 …


UPDATED: Sun., May 10, 2020

Shawn Vestal: Projects that connect restaurants to the hungry nourish bodies, hearts

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 …


Shawn Vestal: Health officer says key to safe, successful reopening is to ‘box in the virus’

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 …


UPDATED: Mon., May 4, 2020

Shawn Vestal: Hundreds protested, but the thousands who didn’t will be our saving grace

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 …


Shawn Vestal: Idaho business leaders took on the testing challenge themselves, to support reopening

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 …


Shawn Vestal: If we move too fast because we’re sick of the stay-home order, we’ll be sicker in the end

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 …


UPDATED: Wed., April 22, 2020

Shawn Vestal: Spotlight is on county as it decides how to dole out $90M in federal relief funds

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 …


Shawn Vestal: Aggressive efforts to thwart the virus in the shelter system appear to have worked

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 …


Shawn Vestal: As supplies dried up, artists created a ‘hidden jewel’ on the bluff

In ordinary times, Ava Barany and Sarah Edwards use leftover flowers and natural materials to create works of art that lie in wait, in parks and public spaces, to delight …


UPDATED: Wed., April 15, 2020

Shawn Vestal: An existing force for good in northeast Spokane becomes a coronavirus lifeline

Amy McColm is a family resource coordinator assigned to Lidgerwood Elementary for The Zone Project. She’s also just someone who, when hearing that a family needs food, works whatever angle …


The Spokesman-Review’s Shawn Vestal reads “Where the Wild Things Are” for Storytime from the Tower

Columnist Shawn Vestal gets the wild rumpus started by reading “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak.


Shawn Vestal: Shutdown gives us a picture of what might happen if we reduced jail population

The coronavirus is creating a real-time experiment in Spokane jail reform.


Shawn Vestal: Disruptions at testing center suggest online conspiracies may be creeping into real life

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said an incident at the Spokane County fairgrounds testing site was one of three “very odd” disruptions there on April 3 and 4 – the weekend that …


Shawn Vestal: The ignorance epidemic is nourishing the coronavirus pandemic

Many people have been and continue to be dismissive of the coronavirus without bothering to pretend to be smart about it.


Shawn Vestal: Will anything ever be the same again? Pondering life after coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic and efforts to thwart it have brought changes large and small, many of which are coming so fast we can’t yet understand them. But it will end …


Shawn Vestal: NC sophomore puts 3D printer to work making protective masks

Connor Duncan, a 16-year-old sophomore at North Central High School, is using his 3D printer to help make frames for masks to protect health care workers.


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 …


Shawn Vestal: As the strange renders the normal invisible, our people will carry us through

I finally viscerally felt that these eccentric days, which had done such violence to routine, would lurch into another gear: Not normal, but suffused at last with a sense that …


UPDATED: Fri., March 27, 2020

Shawn Vestal: ‘That’s what life is all about. You’re supposed to be a good neighbor’

When Laura Fish-Leat saw the images of empty shelves everywhere, she thought of her neighbors. Many of the people in her Chief Garry Park neighborhood are older and have health …


UPDATED: Wed., March 25, 2020

Shawn Vestal: Little ideas become major force for good as community comes together

It starts with people donating five or 10 bucks each from the healthy, socially distant comfort of home. It ends with scores of hot meals going to the neediest people …


UPDATED: Sun., March 22, 2020

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

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 …


UPDATED: Fri., March 20, 2020

Shawn Vestal: Want to help, but don’t know where? United Way website tells you where the need is

The United Way is ready to connect organizations in need of help with volunteers.


UPDATED: Thu., March 19, 2020

Shawn Vestal: People stand ready to help each other during coronavirus pandemic

If there’s anything we know about Spokane in times of crisis, it’s that people step up.


UPDATED: Tue., March 17, 2020

Shawn Vestal: No-Li Brewhouse exemplifies the spirit of helping each other during coronavirus outbreak

No-Li Brewhouse turned its kitchen into a sack-lunch production line Tuesday, and volunteers at Logan Elementary handed out lunches to students and parents.


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 …