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91 minutes | Feb 1, 2023
A more perfect voting system
We’re back at you with a whole new podcast episode and it’s only been … five months? We’re still figuring out how to carve a sustainable podcast with all of our reporting work and limited staff, but we’ve missed you — and we know you missed Luke’s buttery podcast voice — so we have a special episode! In November, we hosted our first-ever live podcast recording at the Central Library, where we got a panel together to talk about Ranked Choice Voting, and the attendees got to ask questions. Marilyn Darilek from League of Women Voters Spokane and Trenton Miller from FairVote WA joined Luke on stage to explain the ins and outs of Ranked Choice Voting and share about the process to get it adopted in municipalities all over the state. We even held a mock Ranked Choice Vote election on quality seasonal pies. Given how strongly people feel about pumpkin, apple and pecan, it was remarkably civil! Real quick: what is Ranked Choice Voting? In our current voting system, you get to place one vote for one person in any given election. Your only alternative to voting for one person is to vote for no one. Plenty of political scientists believe this system all but guarantees a two-party dominant system — and that is certainly how it has played out in America. In ranked choice voting, though, as we’ll hear explained in detail, you get to pick several candidates in order from the person you like the most to the person you like the least. And if you loathe someone so much, you can just not rank them at all. If your top choice has a chance of winning, that vote stays. If your top choice gets eliminated, your second choice gets your vote and so on, until one candidate has 50% plus 1 vote. It’s up to each of us to decide if RCV is something we want to fight for, but at the very least we should recognize the shortcomings of our current system. If you hear yourself saying “I like this person, but they can’t win, so I won’t vote for them” — then our system of voting is not working for you. Of course that doesn’t mean your candidate will always win. But shouldn’t we have a system where the best thing you can possibly do as a citizen is say, “I believe this is the best person to lead us, and that’s who I’m going to vote for?” People who study ranked choice voting elsewhere believe that it leads to more pluralistic elections: there’s room for more parties and more political viewpoints when you can rank your favorites rather than voting for just one. And even if the two parties stick around for a while, the immediate benefit of ranked choice voting is that you still get to have a vote be a truer and more nuanced representation of your opinion about a race — and therefore a more nuanced representation of how you think this city, this county, this state, this nation, ought to be run — without feeling like you’re throwing away your vote on a candidate who is too good to be elected. The event went off without a hitch, and we look forward to doing many more. MASSIVE THANKS to our guests Marilyn Darilek from League of Women Voters and Trenton Miller from FairVote WA, and our friends at the Spokane Public Library who made this...
81 minutes | Aug 4, 2022
Agreeing to Be in Community
We’re back with the third installment in our RANGE of Care miniseries on productive disagreements at an interpersonal level and a societal level through the lens of family therapy and restorative justice. This began as a conversation about how to have productive disagreements and quickly became a discussion about how do we change our criminal legal system, and maybe on our way to that needing to change our entire society and how we relate to each other—a small order, right? Meg and Luke are joined again by Inga Laurent, Professor of Law at Gonzaga who studies, theorizes and helps implement restorative justice practices in court systems and schools. Inga and Meg talk about tools we can use in order to reconcile with one another and keep ourselves mentally safe.
39 minutes | Jul 20, 2022
North Idaho is both a place, and an idea w/ Daniel Walters
Today on the pod, we have the second part of our conversation with Daniel Walters. Last week we spent a lot of time breaking down the chronology of how the June 11 anti-Pride event was conceived and initially promoted locally, but how “local” in the case of North Idaho now includes an increasing number of far-right celebrities. This week we discuss how, just as the pot seemed likely to boil over, all sides took a step back — tweaking their plans to de-escalate — and how that might have been the difference between what actually happened and something deadlier. We also discuss the way these things get covered by the media: does the far-right get over-covered? Or do larger outlets only pay attention to the Inland Northwest when people like Matt Shea are involved? Read Daniel’s story here.
72 minutes | Jul 12, 2022
A PR Push for Cd’A’s Anti-PRIDE - Pt. 1
Today on the pod, The Inlander’s Daniel Walters joins us to talk about the many groups, YouTube celebrities, and far-right hype people who brought the June 11 counter-demonstration against Coeur d’Alene’s Pride in the Park near to a boiling point. This event led to 31 Patriot Front members getting arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to riot, including at least two men with ties to far-right pastor Matt Shea. There’s A LOT to unpack here, so we’re cutting the discussion up into two parts. We wanted to go through it methodically as an opportunity to document not just the people actively shaping politics in Kootenai County and the broader Inland Northwest, but the people who are promoting the region to hundreds of thousands of people nationwide. So buckle up for part one of a discussion of all the connections, alliances and squabbles of a region that has real importance for many different ideologies and groups across the spectrum: from conservative to libertarian to far-right. Read Daniel’s story here.
69 minutes | Jun 30, 2022
Don't Got the Beat
At a lot of media companies, the crime beat is new reporter purgatory. This is probably your first job out of college: listen to scanner traffic and when something newsworthy happens, you run out and report it. In one sense, it’s journalism on easy mode — the stories literally come to you — and in that sense, it’s understandable to put a young reporter on it. But that inexperience creates a real imbalance between the journalist and power, asking the least experienced writers to hold their own against career law enforcement bureaucrats and professional communicators. And because there’s so much to cover, new reporters often only have time to get the police account of things, and rarely get a chance to actually follow up to see if the person arrested actually ends up facing trial. You’re going to hear from two different young reporters, Rebecca White from KPBX and Valerie Osier, on the effects of this, and why, for the health of our communities and the mental health of young reporters, the crime beat has to go.
64 minutes | Jun 17, 2022
The Inland Northwest offers a unique glimpse into the future of the rest of the US in light of the expected overturn of Roe v. Wade & Planned Parenthood v. Casey, two landmark Supreme Court decisions that codified the federal right to an abortion. This is because there already aren’t any abortion clinics in North Idaho, so many abortion-seekers as far away as western Montana need to go over the border to Eastern Washington clinics. For years, over 40% of patients seeking abortions at border clinics run by Planned Parenthood have been from out of state. Recently, that number has jumped to over 50%. We talked to friend of the pod & Inlander reporter Samantha Wohlfeil about her recent cover story, "My Body, State's Choice?" what additional work Washington abortion clinics are preparing for the overturn of Roe v. Wade. Follow Samantha on Twitter.
54 minutes | Jun 8, 2022
The Art of Play
Video games obviously don’t just come into being. Like any piece of art, they have creators. And we happen to know one right here in Spokane. A couple weeks ago we talked to Justin Baldwin, Creative Lead & Cofounder at Moonlight Kids. He’s one of the creators of a pretty popular indie game called The Wild at Heart. It’s described as cute and cozy, but it introduces important themes to kids and other users, like working through childhood trauma. Trailer Follow Justin on Twitter: @butttoots Or Instagram: @themoonlightkid Follow Moonlight Kids: @moonlightkids_
81 minutes | Jun 1, 2022
Agreeing to Restore
In today’s RANGE of Care, we’re continuing our talk on productive disagreements. Joining us is Inga Laurent, Professor of Law at Gonzaga who studies, theorizes and helps implement restorative justice practices in court systems and outside of judicial settings like schools. So how does the conversation from our last episode on productive disagreements in interpersonal relationships tie into a legal framework like restorative justice? It’s in the name: restorative. The point isn’t to cast a person out of society or community. The point is to encourage a conversation in which the person or people who were harmed can gain closure and those who did harm can make amends. If you want more of Inga’s insight, she’s an occasional columnist at The Inlander. Don’t forget to share this with a friend and if you’re able, become a member of RANGE for $10 per month.
67 minutes | May 27, 2022
Thinking Outside the [Census] Box
We’re at the end of Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month and hopefully you’ve had a chance to go to one of the many events hosted around town celebrating the rich and almost unfathomably diverse peoples and cultures represented. The majority of those events were put on by a coalition led by two organizations: APIC Spokane, whose mission is advocating for racial, social, and economic justice for Asians & Asian Americans in solidarity with Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and other systematically oppressed communities, and the Pacific Islander Community Association of WA an organization dedicated to establishing a cultural home, centering community power, and furthering the wellness of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities physically, culturally, socially and spiritually. These two partner organizations rallied around using this month to draw attention to their criticisms of the imposed category “Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.” The category groups wildly different cultures that span literally 40% of the globe, lumping together the American diaspora of over 60% of the world’s population – everything from Bangladeshi-Americans to Tahitians — in one category. So it’s like, are we really spotlighting this incredible individual and cultural diversity by smashing them all into one month? And beyond that, you’ll hear our guests, Ryann Louie and Sarah Dixit of APIC talk about how statistical aggregation papers over legacies of colonial violence and completely obscures real disparities in health outcomes and death for many Pacific Islander communities. There is a lot of excess death – unnecessary death, preventable death – happening that is not truly understood because of how we lump people together statistically. In this podcast, you’ll hear about their efforts to push for race data disaggregation and why it’s important. You’ll also hear what you can do to help, like not using aggregated terms, asking aggregated organizations if they do have NH/PI representation and simply following APIC and PICA on social media. ALSO, don’t miss the companion art show called “Hidden in Plain Sight” that is only open for three more days, through May 28 at the new Terrain Gallery at 628 N. Monroe.
59 minutes | May 11, 2022
Injustice by Geography
In the US, it’s supposed to be “innocent until proven guilty,” but it’s a routine part of our criminal legal system to imprison people while they await trial, causing them to lose their jobs, housing, access to transportation and more. This is a problem across America, and we’ve covered it extensively on RANGE (see links below), but here’s a new wrinkle, courtesy of our friends at InvestigateWest. Whether or not you get access to pretrial services, which often requires home monitoring, drug testing and other costly programs, largely depends on the jurisdiction you’re in. Some counties have no services at all. In others, the defendant is responsible for the cost of those services — such as ankle monitors, which can run $500 per month — effectively keeping the most destitute people in jail. Even in counties where services are offered, the costs can be drastically different depending on what part of the county you’re arrested in. That’s the situation in Spokane, where getting arrested in the City of Spokane gives defendants free access to many more services than people arrested for the same crime in other parts of the county. We talked to Wilson Criscione, a reporter from InvestigateWest, who covered this issue extensively in the first article for their project called “Justice by Geography.” In it, he told us the story of Amber Letchworth, a Washington woman who was pulled over and arrested after a police officer found a dirty baggy containing meth on her car floor. She couldn’t pay for bail, so while waiting in jail for the next few weeks, she lost her home and access to a car. She pleaded guilty to felony drug possession in an effort to get out of jail sooner. But she still left jail homeless and lost her financial aid for college because of her felony record. Amber had been mourning the death of her grandmother and was not in a good place. On paper, she was a good candidate for pretrial diversion, but no diversion took place, and she spiraled, for a time, to an even darker place. Had she been diverted to mental health or addiction treatment, her arrest may not have started her on a path to drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness, and more arrests. There are two bitter ironies in this case, one personal, one systemic: The drug charge that set this whole chain of events in motion has since been vacated after State v. Blake — a State Supreme Court decision last year that ruled Washington’s simple possession law unconstitutional. But the real kicker is that Asotin County is one of the counties that actually HAS pretrial services — on paper anyway — but the program administrator had retired and the remote, rural county hadn’t been able to find a replacement. This story is crucial as we examine the disproportionate effects of our criminal legal system and what can be done to lift more people out of it. Wilson and Luke talk about the current patchwork system of pretrial services in Washington and how they play out differently in Spokane compared to the rest of Spokane County. Read the full story, republished with permission from InvestigateWest, here. Previous Coverage of Pre-Trial Inequalities: EPISODE 010 | Independence Day
70 minutes | May 6, 2022
Agreeing to Disagree Again
Today we’re talking about productive disagreements: why we need them, what they look like and how to have them. It’s not whether or not we agree or disagree that is the issue, but how we do it and how we teach the next generations how they can disagree productively and empathetically. Meg and Ingrid talk about some of our first experiences with disagreements from a developmental perspective: toddlers who disagree with their parents on eating their peas or going to bed, kids who disagree with their classmates that pink is the best when they really like yellow, and teenagers who disagree with their parents that 9 p.m. is a reasonable curfew. What we learn at a developmental level at those ages– what our parents teach us on how much our voice matters and how to have empathy– shapes how we approach disagreements on much bigger issues when we’re older. It shapes if we feel safe disagreeing with others or if we feel safe going against the grain. Disagreement is a fundamental part of our government and democracy. And our ability to disagree directly correlates with our ability to advocate. To be clear: we’re not ever saying that people’s humanity is up for disagreement. Nor are we saying that people of marginalized communities and identities need to be doing this work or subject themselves to being the object of someone’s anger. It’s those in the dominant culture– white, cisgender folks– who’s responsibility it is to be leading this bigger change. Meg and Ingrid talk about a few ways to do this on a micro level. Here are a few, but be sure to listen to the episode to get the full picture: Teach your children how to disagree safely and hold space for disagreements. Start monitoring your own physical and emotional reactions to things you disagree with. Start small, with people you already feel safe with. Take a pause if you start to recognize deregulation in your body. References: “The Dying Art of Disagreement” by neo-conservative Bret Stevens https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/24/opinion/dying-art-of-disagreement.html Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown https://brenebrown.com/book/braving-the-wilderness/ RANGE of Care is a series of conversations on the intersections between mental health, the biology of human emotion, our bodies response and the social, cultural and political happenings in our communities. It’s hosted by Meg Curtain Rey-Bear, a Spokane psychotherapist, and Ingrid Price, a Spokane child psychotherapist. Luke usually chimes in too because he can’t help himself. You can support RANGE by becoming a member by going to rangemedia.co and clicking the subscribe link.
59 minutes | Apr 27, 2022
What Is Happening — 2 Years Later
Happy birthday to us! Is that weird to say? We hope not because we’re excited to still be going strong a whole TWO years after Luke decided to start a podcast in his attic. We asked you, dear readers/listeners, to send us your questions for our very first reader mailbag– and you all delivered! We got questions about wildfires, climate change, county commissioners, the housing market, crime, and a lot more. We did our best to answer as many as we could in the time we had, but some will need their own original reporting. In this episode, we also shared with you what’s been going on with RANGE, formally introduced our Audience and Membership Editor Valerie Osier and what the heck she does, and told you all about our hopes and dreams for this fledgling publication. Additional reading/listening: Agtastrophe The More Climate Changes Faith Some More feat. Chris Bovey and Bryce Neusse Housing in Crisis feat. Terri Anderson House Money feat. Ben Stuckart
59 minutes | Apr 20, 2022
The Pastor who ran for Prosecutor
This week on the pod, we talk to Deb Conklin, former Clallam County Prosecutor and current pastor of two churches in Spokane, Liberty Park Methodist in Perry and St. Paul’s United Methodist in West Central. In her almost 25 years as a pastor, Deb has also served rural congregations in Deer Park, Davenport and Rosalia. That’s the sort of resume that Deb had been on our list of people to talk to for RANGE because of her justice work in Spokane, and she got bumped to the front of the queue when she declared her intention late last week to run for Spokane County Prosecutor as a non-partisan candidate. We discussed competing models of justice between retributive and restorative theories of justice, and beyond that, you’ll also hear some pretty big differences between how Deb was trained as a prosecutor – only charging people with crimes you’re certain you can get convictions on – and the way we’re used to we’re used to hearing prosecutorial decisions being made in Spokane. If you think back to our Bail Project episodes and the episode with Cam Zorrozua and Virla Spencer, of the Way to Justice, you’ll remember those advocates talking about prosecutors throwing every charge possible at an accused person as a way of heightening bail and heightening pressure to take a plea. Take a listen and let us know what you think of our first candidate interview.
63 minutes | Mar 30, 2022
Rethinking ADHD w/ Brooke Matson
Poet, Spark Central Executive Director and general purpose badass Brooke Matson joins Luke and special co-host Elissa Ball to discuss the historic (and current) stigma around ADHD and the steps individuals and (hopefully, some day) society itself can take to reimagine and reframe day-to-day life to help people harness and come to love their unique brains, and the tremendous drive for experimentation and incandescent creativity they're capable of, if given the space to flourish. Brooke's recent TEDxSpokane talk is a great primer for this episode. “ADHD Redefined | Brooke Matson | TEDxSpokane” If you want to support Spark Central, April 15th is “Amplify Us,” Spark Central’s annual salon and benefit show. This year’s gala will be a hybrid online and in-person event held at The Knitting Factory. The evening features an interview with best-selling author Jess Walter and a silent auction, plus live musical performances by T.S. The Solution, Atari Ferrari, and other music acts — including one of Spark’s own Girls Rock Lab bands.
62 minutes | Mar 9, 2022
Unpacking from a Pandemic
How in the world do we unpack from a pandemic? It's an important question during a profoundly important time as the world contemplates decisions that when made, will once again shift the ground beneath our feet. “We are tired of change. We are pandemic fatigued, we crave predictability, we want connection unfettered by mandates and limitations. We want to be done. But if the question is, how in the world is everyone at the same time unpack from a pandemic? Then the answer is they don't,” says RANGE of Care host and psychotherapist Meg Curtain Rey-Bear. Meg and Ingrid gather again to chat through this endless pandemic, chronic trauma, how to build resiliency, and the journey back: what happens for all of us when the world starts lifting mandates and shifting from pandemic to endemic. They also talk about how adults with kids and teens, who have had crucial developmental moments interrupted for the past two years, might help hold space for processing this pandemic. This is RANGE of Care, a series of conversations exploring the intersections of our mental health, the biology of human emotion, our body's responses, and the social, cultural, political and environmental happenings in our communities. It’s hosted by Meg Curtain Rey-Bear, co-owner of Wellness Therapy Spokane and a longtime mental health advocate. Meg is joined by Ingrid Price, child psychotherapist and owner of the Giving Tree Wellness. Luke occasionally chimes in too.
58 minutes | Feb 24, 2022
Objections to Evictions feat. Heidi Groover
If you’re about to be evicted in Washington state, what rights do you have? Luke talks to Heidi Groover, who is the real estate reporter for the Seattle Times, about a story she wrote last October about tenant protections in Washington state. These protections give low-income people facing eviction the right to an attorney. This is a first of its kind state law anywhere in the United States and Heidi walks us through how these protections are supposed to work. A landlord can’t file an eviction until they have offered a tenant a chance at mediation through an Eviction Resolution Program with a “reasonable repayment plan.” This program can help connect the tenant with rental assistance programs too. If the case makes it to court, the tenant has the right to an attorney even if they can’t afford one. Most importantly, if you are a renter and need If you need help staying in your home, contact the Tenants Union of Washington.
107 minutes | Jan 28, 2022
Well-Planned Basement Tapes
Listen now (107 min) | Spokane's new Planning Director, Spencer Gardner, chatted with Luke about his planning philosophy all the way back in 2019. Get full access to RANGE at www.rangemedia.co/subscribe
76 minutes | Jan 10, 2022
Mr. Billig Goes to (Olympia) Washington
Starting the year off with a banger: Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig joins us to talk about the legislative year that was, and what to expect from Washington state in 2022 as the legislature tries to pack all its work into a whirlwind 60 day session. Get full access to RANGE at www.rangemedia.co/subscribe
52 minutes | Dec 11, 2021
Spokane Regional Health Dysfunction
This week we speak with Inlander reporter Samantha Wohlfeil, who has been filing the best stories anywhere on the continuing — and honestly, worsening — crisis at the Spokane Regional Health District. She wrote the authoritative piece to date on the steady exodus of staff from the district. It’s vital reading. Since we recorded, more heads have rolled. Here, Sam covers the firing of two leaders heavily involved with pandemic response and the subsequent dismay of staff. Read her at the Inlander and follow her on Twitter Get full access to RANGE at www.rangemedia.co/subscribe
70 minutes | Nov 27, 2021
When the pandemic becomes endemic
Listen now | RANGE OF CARE | Building resiliency in the face of burnout, uncertainty and flux Get full access to RANGE at www.rangemedia.co/subscribe
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