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Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

First Taste of Spring

In Knife & Fork on March 30, 2009 at 3:47 pm

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The sweet, tender stalks of asparagus placed temptingly just inside the front door of area grocery stores are the first dependable sign of spring. Bundled in bunches, wrapped in string or rubber bands and displayed upright, like a box of tulips or daffodils in the flower market, they herald a return to sunshine and blue skies. Whether the vegetable is served as a side dish at Easter dinner, grilled with steaks for the first meal on the patio, or chopped and blended into eggs for a Saturday morning omelet, the taste is unique. In the coming weeks look for fresh asparagus at your area winter farmers’ market:

Community Building Winter Farmers’ Market: Organic artisan breads, pastries, fruits, vegetables, and free-range eggs and beef, plus local arts and craafts and live music. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursdays. Community Building Lobby, 35 W. Main Ave.; 509.232.1950

Community Roots Winter Market: This monthly winter market is the second Sunday of each mont, and will transition to a weekly Sunday market in late spring. Brouth to you by PEACH/People for Environmental Action & Community Health, a non-profit dedicated to creating a “Buy Local” economy by connecting local foods and goods with local people. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. April 19. Fresh Abundance, 2015 N. Division; 509.533.2724.

Local Market CdA: Kosher beef, lamb, chicken, wild caught salmon, fruits and vegetables, homemade bread and pasta, tofu, salsa, coffee, tea, honey and eggs, plus arts & crafts. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays through April. Inside the Plaza Shops at 210 Sherman ave., Coeur d’Alene; 208.659.4213.

Millwood Farmers’ Market: Locally raised chicken, beef, winter vegetables, artisan breads and pastries, and local craafts. Noon-5 p.m. Wednesdays. Crossing Youth Center, just east of the Millwood Presbyterian Church parking lot, 8919 E. Euclid Ave.; 509.924.2350.

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This is Not a Pipe

In Here & Now on March 30, 2009 at 3:03 pm

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Yes, it looks shockingly like a pastel drawing, but don’t be fooled. The chicanery of Spokane über-photographer Dean Davis may resemble fine art, but it is, in fact, a very fine photograph (pictured above) that Davis snapped at Zola (a local hot spot with one of the most deliciously filling happy hours around). See Davis’ remarkable photo technique applied to a bevy of local landmarks in the April 2009 issue of Spokane Metro Magazine. And don’t miss the larger series, dubbed “Spokane Interiors,” on display now through the month of May at Barrister Winery. Spokane Metro invites you to join our staff and to meet Dean Davis during a reception at the winery on Friday, May 1, 5-10 p.m. Barrister Winery, 1213 W. Railroad Ave.


Just In

In Here & Now on March 30, 2009 at 2:43 pm

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4/2 • Spokane Metro‘s April issue: It is here, it is gorgeous, and if you’re not a subscriber, it is available at a newsstand near you. Also, don’t miss our amazing April 2 magazine release party at The Lincoln Center just north of downtown Spokane. We’ll have decadent delicacies from Simply Gourmet, two no-host bars provided by Downriver Grill, and free Mountain Dome sparkling wine for Metro subscribers. Musical guests Cris Lucas and Karli Fairbanks will be on hand, and Metro‘s April cover artist Ed Gilmore will create a “live” painting during the event. Also, Metro shooter Jed Conklin will debut his new project, The Northwest Photo Booth, offering free snapshots for party goers. 6-9:30 p.m. Free. The Lincoln Center, 1316 N. Lincoln Street.

Where in the World

In Show & Tell on March 22, 2009 at 10:21 am

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Metro Editor Cheryl-Anne Millsap was in China this past week. For those of you not keeping up with her on Facebook, here’s a glimpse into her experience.

Symphony on The Edge

In Here & Now on March 20, 2009 at 1:07 pm

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3/20 • Don a t-shirt, grab a beer and enjoy the scintillating sounds of the Spokane Symphony as they rock the Knitting Factory tonight. Conductor-in-Residence Morihiko Nakahara will lead the orchestra in an invigorating collision of progressive symphonic music by several modern composers, including Huang Ruo, Ingram Marshall, Derek Bermel, Steve Reich, Aaron Jay Kernis and Michael Daugherty. 7:30 p.m. Knitting Factory, 919 W. Sprague Ave.

Three Ways to See k.d. lang

In Here & Now on March 20, 2009 at 12:21 pm

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3/21 So you snagged a pair of tickets to the k.d. lang show March 21 at The Fox. But a twangy Canadian alone does not an evening make—you still have transportation, dinner and post-concert drinks to plan. Since you’ve already shelled out a few dollars for the seats, why not skip your date-night standard and try something new? We’ve got a few tips for making it a night to remember—on any budget.

k.d. lang plays The Fox Saturday, March 21. 8 p.m. $33-$66. Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, 1001 W. Sprague Ave.; 509.624.1200; 509.325.SEAT.

After Dark

In Show & Tell on March 19, 2009 at 2:51 pm

brettdennenWhat do we do here at Spokane Metro once the whistle blows? Last Monday, it was the Brett Dennen show at Knitting Factory. Click here to see video from the show.

New Deli in The Garland

In Knife & Fork on March 18, 2009 at 8:45 pm

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The Corner Store Deli and Espresso has been open for about a month, in the former Andy’s Teriyaki location inside the Price Rite on Garland and Post. It’s too bad the Price Rite isn’t a little more ambitious—it’s a great location and the store itself reminds us of neighborhood bodegas in cities on the East Coast: Crowded corner stores started by Puerto Rican and Dominican entrepreneurs in the 60s and 70s. They typically offer just enough of a selection for neighborhood residents to get by without hopping on the bus or hoofing it to a larger chain grocer. This one even offers a very limited assortment of fresh produce, although the bananas were a tad old and the tomatoes weren’t overly ripe.

Back to the deli: We stopped in the other day and picked up the special: Reuben on marbled rye with a cup of chicken-n-rice soup for $6.75. Definitely one of the better Reubens we’ve tried. And the soup was pretty good — homemade, white meat chicken, with fresh-cooked carrots, a nice addition. The menu also offers Black Angus beef burgers, hot and cold sandwiches, sodas, hot and iced tea, and coffee. We’ll have to go back and check out the espresso bar. They serve Boyds. Corner Store Deli and Espresso, 733 W. Garland Ave.; 509.327.1025. Hours: Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Free delivery on Garland between Howard and Monroe streets.

The Others

In Urban Affairs on March 17, 2009 at 6:06 pm

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Is it just us, or does the new Wells & Co. development in Hangman Valley bear a strong resemblance to the suburban-like village of houses inhabited by “The Others” on ABC’s Lost? Given that the starting price for these one-bedroom, one-bath dwellings is $119K, perhaps not. But the 10 single-family homes situated around a common green-space (or at least it will be once the landscaping goes in) are similar to cottage-style infill developments in Portland and other cities. Several of the 550-square-foot homes include porches, and there’s plenty of outdoor space for socializing with neighbors. Maybe some of that open green space will be set aside for a community garden?

When we dropped by the other day, some of the dwellings were still under construction. Peeking through one or two windows gave us a rough idea of the layout. The bathroom/laundry room/closet area is only accessible through the bedroom. The kitchen includes a small space for a table and a couple of chairs. Each home has at least four good-sized windows. And the porches are a nice touch, though not every home has one. Other details include:

10 single-family 1-bed, 1-bath cottages

2 2-bed, 2-bath town houses

Granite kitchen counters

Ceramic tile floors in bath and kitchen

Home price includes full washer and dryer

Off-street parking

Energy efficient vinyl windows

Low-maintenance vinyl siding

Landscaping/snow removal provided by owners’ association

High frequency sonic fence to keep out the smoke monster

Located five minutes from downtown, if that.

100% Sustainable by 2030 – Update

In Urban Affairs on March 17, 2009 at 5:01 pm

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Spokane Mayor Mary Verner’s much-anticipated Sustainability Task Force report is hot off the presses and on its way to city council members this week. Sources familiar with the long-range strategic plan say the document contains broad policy recommendations, rather than step-by-step mandates for addressing how climate change and peak oil will affect city government operations, services and programs.

Led by Roger Woodworth, Avista’s vice president of sustainable energy solutions, the study was funded with a one-year, $75,000 state grant and incorporates input from a dozen local sustainability experts. With the task force recommendations complete, the city is expected to work with the public over the next few months to determine which recommendations to implement and how.

On Wednesday Woodworth said the report consists of about 20 pages from cover to glossary, summarizing the task force’s package of recommendations that include four core principles to consider moving forward, eight strategies on which to focus core tactics, and some 50 ideas spread across them.

Woodworth says the report offers the city an invitation to look at rules and regulations in updating its comprehensive planning, though it is framed to lead with incentives, rather than mandates. “The idea for the city is to model the behavior you’re hoping to achieve yourself,” he said. Those behaviors could include:

Set goals for continuous improvement across all categories (renewable energy, clean mobility, etc.).

Emphasize renewable energy

Support clean mobility by directing the comprehensive plan accommodate mass transit center and corridors, the electrification of transit and alternative fuels.

Enabling optimal land use – the city has a lot of land that it doesn’t put to any particular use, so this could mean pea-patch gardens or other larger applications.

Conserve water. Pumping water, treating water, pumping it some more – all of this consumes extraordinary amounts of energy that could be put to other use.

Maximize energy efficiency

Optimize operating practices – everything from supply-chain management to bundling different services, perhaps electronically, so city staff isn’t driving around to make things happen.

Prepare through planning – although the city can’t anticipate the future, if they are thinking about it in terms of climate change and peak oil, it can minimize risk and maximize opportunities for what the future might bring.

According to one source familiar with the document, the task force recommends the city obtain 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, increasing the percentage of renewable energy use each year until that goal is achieved. Although 50 percent of the city’s current energy use is drawn from hydro power, the study suggests other sources as well. These could include everything from buying green tags or renewable energy credits to purchasing wind power, photovoltaic energy and bio-fuels.

With the task force’s work nearing completion, it will be up to elected officials and the public to set implementation goals. City staff will conduct a financial, technical and legal review and develop implementation guidelines, and Mayor Verner and the city council will determine how to fund them. In the meantime, public input on the process is welcome, beginning with the presentation of the recommendations during the March 30 city council meeting. We’ll post a link to the report as soon it becomes available online in the next couple of days. For more information visit www.greenspokane.org

Urban Farming in Hillyard

In Uncategorized, Urban Affairs on March 16, 2009 at 11:11 am

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The city of Spokane Water Department is proposing a new initiative that will allow neighborhoods to use otherwise idle city property to cultivate community gardens. Community gardens transform empty lots into green, living spaces through a collaborative process in which residents contribute to the garden’s maintenance and reap its rewards.

Last year the department proposed two unused city lots at Crestline Street and Hoffman Avenue on Spokane’s north side for a neighborhood gardening effort. The site incorporates the North Spokane pumphouse, a landmark city building with a lawn and several trees. Adjacent to a Spokane fire department station and at the junction of the northeast Spokane neighborhoods of Bemiss, Hillyard and Whitman, the two lots have been otherwise unoccupied for years.

With the pumphouse on site, water would be available to the garden for no additional costs. The department already provides irrigation to keep trees and grass alive, plus labor and equipment to tend the property. Partnering with neighborhood residents to cultivate the land would benefit area families while reducing the city’s maintenance costs. “It’s a very positive idea for the poorest urban neighborhoods in Eastern Washington,” says J.R. Sloan of the Greater Hillyard Business Association. “Neighbors literally reap the benefits.”

Dubbed the Pumphouse Community Garden, the project will join several community gardening efforts in Spokane, including the highly successful Northeast Community Center’s north side garden project. The Pumphouse Garden, a collaborative effort between the Hillyard, Whitman and Bemiss neighborhood councils, will be managed by a permanent planning committee proposed by local gardening expert Pat Munts. The committee will develop guidelines for tending plots and maintaining order and site cleanliness using standards from other similar projects as a guide.

Interested gardeners can participate by applying for a plot, attending committee meetings and contributing to the effort. Local people with gardening expertise will be especially valuable to the project, and donations of tools, weather-resistant building materials (like salvaged redwood or cedar deck timbers), usable compost, and volunteer rototiller work are welcome.

The Pumphouse Community Garden Committee will meet April 2 at 6 p.m. at the Northeast Community Center, 4001 N. Cook St. The group hopes to form a planning committee, identify resources and find finding, determine rules,  prepare and develop the site, and more. Contact Donna Fagan at 509.475.2180 or Donnaf34@gmail.com; or Pat Munts at  509.998.9769 or srmunts@mindspring.com for more information.

The Pipe Band Plays On

In Here & Now on March 12, 2009 at 9:55 pm

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3/14 & 17 • Bill Thomas moved to Spokane from Ellensburg in 1958 with the sole purpose of joining the Angus Scott Pipe Band—one of the oldest existing bagpipe bands in the Northwest. Around the same time, Thomas founded the Shadle Park High School Pipe Band.
That’s where Kenyon Fields first encountered Thomas, as a student in the pipe band in 1970. Today, Fields leads the Angus Scott Pipe Band and Thomas, at age 77, still plays in the pipe band and works with students.
And marching with the Angus Scott Pipe Band is no walk in the park—especially on Saint Patrick’s Day.
After leading the parade, the ASPB takes one of the most grueling pub-crawls known to Spokane. If there is a restaurant or bar in town with even an inkling of Irish flair, chances are high that the ASPB will be there between parade day and St. Patrick’s Day proper, often several times in one day.
The Angus Scott Pipe Band—which, incidentally, is Scottish—marches through downtown, the North Side and Spokane Valley. Their first excursion was St. Patrick’s Day 1979, and they now constitute a tradition that the most spirited St. Patrick’s Day celebrants in Spokane have come to expect.
Thomas’ fondness for parade-day memories and the post-parade madness that ensues on the pub crawl is visible.
“One of the great experiences we had was in 1997. We were marching in a blizzard. It was blistering cold and the bagpipes require nimble fingers–that made it difficult for the band,” Thomas said.
When the Angus Scott Pipe Band enters a bar on parade day, the eruption from the crowd is often louder than the music. Fields said, “The funny part is, we might have one beer the whole weekend. After running around and doing all of these performances, we’re more interested in drinking water.” — IJ

Click here for a list of St. Patrick’s Day hotspots to catch the Angus Scott Pipe Band.