Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Dream Act

Here's an article written by the Spokesman, and picked up by the Seattle PI, on the debate over whether a college degree at an American university is enough to earn someone citizen status. As the article states, EWU has 31 such students.

Seattle PI

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Chatman answers call

Who is Chatman? That's what many NFL teams were thinking until he was invited to their camps and kept making the team. Now, the ex-EWU star has landed in the right spot in Miami after the starting running back went down for the season.
Here's an article from Florida, which was also picked up by the Spokesman.

You might say Jesse Chatman really did start something big at Eastern.

South FLorida Sun-Sentinel


Alum has fine taste - literally

Story out of Tri City Herald on an Eastern graduate who will be joining her parents in the local wine industry.

start something big.

Tri City Herald


Tough Break

Just the other day, we heard about the season ending knee injury to Adam Morrison, the former GU standout hoops player now with the Charlotte Bobcats. Now word that our own star and first round pick, Rodney Stuckey, has been injured in preseason play and will miss the start of the season.
Is there some sort of Inland Northwest jinx?

Seattle PI


Emergency Management

Campus safety has been a hot issue since Virginia Tech. Story in this morning's paper touches on new system Spokane County is looking at, and how Eastern is leading the way in addressing this issue. Here it is:

Spokane County considering 'reverse 911' calling system

John Craig
Staff writer
October 25, 2007

Spokane County plans to join several area organizations that use the sort of electronic notification equipment that has been warning thousands of Southern California residents to flee from advancing wildfires.

Known generically as "reverse 911," systems similar to those used by telemarketers or doctors' offices can send emergency messages to home and cellular phones, e-mail addresses, fax machines, pagers and other devices.

Coupled with computerized maps and databases, the systems allow authorities to send mass or precisely targeted messages, for such events as school closures or school lockdowns.

People at work can be notified if a wildfire is moving toward their neighborhood, and people at home can be warned if a neighbor takes hostages at gunpoint. The gunman can be kept out of the loop.

About a month after a Virginia Tech student shot 32 people to death on the university's Blacksburg, Va., campus in April, Eastern Washington University installed a system that is now widely used on college campuses to send emergency text messages to student, faculty and parental cell phones and e-mail addresses.

Now, EWU officials are working on tying the system to flashing beacons in classrooms and the big-screen television in the Pence Union Building.

North Idaho's five-county Panhandle Health District installed a larger system last month in the Kootenai County sheriff's 911 communications system, and district officials plan to demonstrate it next month to their Spokane County counterparts.

Spokane County's Emergency Services Department obtained $90,000 in federal Homeland Security money last year for a countywide notification system. Program specialist Darrell Ruby said the department received about a half-dozen lease proposals about a year ago, ranging in price from $40,000 to $110,000 a year, but officials decided they needed more information.

"I'm convinced that we're going to get this project completed here soon," but not this year, Ruby said.

Problems still under study include choosing among features and dialing capacities. Also, Ruby said, county officials want to learn more about the EWU system and one operated by Educational Service District 101.

"We want to at least be aware of other systems so we're not sending conflicting messages," Ruby said.

But figuring out how to pay future costs may be the biggest obstacle. The federal grant is for one year only.

"It's difficult to avoid the ongoing charges," he said, citing the need to keep databases, hardware and software up to date.

At minimum, Ruby said, the system would tap into the 911 database, requiring negotiations with the telephone company officials who maintain it. But he hopes to supplement the 911 database of home telephone numbers with cell phones and e-mail addresses.

As in the EWU and Panhandle Health District systems, people would be invited to provide the additional information on a security-encoded Web site that would require verification and passwords.

Panhandle Health spokeswoman Cynthia Taggart said the district's notification system is limited to Kootenai County at present but will be available to Shoshone, Bonner, Boundary and Benewah counties as well as the Coeur d'Alene Reservation.

Taggart said the tribal government put up $4,000 in installation costs, and the equipment was purchased with a $33,000 national Centers for Disease Control grant for bird flu pandemic warnings. Local governments will be asked to share in operating costs in the neighborhood of $9,000 a year.

The system will be used for all sorts of warnings, not just flu advisories. Health-related warnings might involve hazardous chemical spills that poison waterways or spread noxious fumes, Taggart said.

"This takes the place of going down the street with a bullhorn," she said.

However, (EWU Police Chief Tim) Walters said he favors a "multilayered" system that still includes a cop with a bullhorn.

Monday, October 22, 2007


Hoops Preview

In case you missed it, nice story in Sunday's SR about the men's basketball team as it embarks on a new era after a most interesting off season.

Here it is. start something big.


Eagles speak same language on court
Earlywine ready to lead diverse mix of talent

Steve Bergum
Staff writer
October 21, 2007

With Rodney Stuckey having taken his considerable talents to the NBA and only two other players returning from last year's active roster, Eastern Washington's Kellen Williams figured things would seem a bit strange once basketball practice kicked into gear this fall.

But even Williams, a 6-foot-4 senior forward and the sole returning starter for first-year head coach Kirk Earlywine's Eagles, couldn't have imagined how much the winter of upheaval would change the EWU program.

"It's been kind of different not having Rodney around," Williams said of Stuckey, who was a first-round pick by the Detroit Pistons following a stellar sophomore year in which he averaged 24.6 points per game. "But the strangest thing, when I'm out on the court now, is hearing all the different languages.

"The Serbians are talkin,' the New York guys are talkin' Spanish. … I mean, I know a little Spanish, but it's still strange."

Yes, things have changed dramatically at Eastern since Earlywine's predecessor, Mike Burns, was fired last spring following a disappointing 15-14 season and some well-documented compliance issues that landed the program in the crosshairs of an ongoing NCAA investigation. Graduation losses, coupled with Stuckey's decision to turn pro and several defections, left Earlywine – who was hired in mid-June – scrambling to find replacements.

And a roster once built primarily of in-state players has become wildly diverse, geographically speaking.

Along with Williams, who prepped at Seattle's Franklin High School, the Eagles boast five other in-state recruits on this year's roster, including sophomore center Brandon Moore and senior guard Marcus Hinton – the other two returnees from last season.

But included in this year's mix are two players from New York, who were both born in the Dominican Republic, a Canadian native who played his high school and junior college basketball in Florida, a freshman recruit from Stockton, Calif., a Texas Tech transfer from Omaha, Neb., and two Serbians.

Earlywine, who spent seven seasons as an assistant at Weber State before serving in that same capacity at North Carolina Wilmington last winter, said such geographical diversity was not part of his original plan.

"I'm hoping it returns to like it was when Coach (Ray) Giacolletti was here and we have the Alvin Snows, the Brendon Merritts, the Marc Axtons and Matt Nelsons, right down the line," he said. "And I think we can do that.

"Unfortunately, by the time I got the job here this summer, I don't think there was a Division-I caliber player available that had any Washington ties."

So for the time being, Earlywine will try to produce some on-court magic with players from all over the world.

"It's still a little too early to tell exactly how good we are or how well the pieces are going to fit together," he said. "But I really like the makeup of our team, in terms of character."

Earlywine said he passed on what he considered a couple of "All-Big Sky Conference-caliber" recruits because "I didn't feel they were the type of character I wanted, or that they were as committed to academics as I was going to insist they be."

"Going into my 23rd year (of coaching) now, I don't want to wake up every morning and dread going to practice because there's somebody there I don't want to see," Earlywine added. "The 14 guys in our program right now I love being around off the floor, and I enjoy coaching them.

"There are enough talented kids out there that you can get good players who aren't knuckleheads."

Chemistry and leadership problems remain, however, even though Williams – who was appointed by Earlywine as this year's team captain – insists he has been waiting to take charge since he first arrived as a transfer from Highline Community College in the fall of 2004.

"I've been ready to accept this since my sophomore year here," Williams said. "I'm just going to get in everybody's ear and try to help everybody out as much as I can."

Still, Williams admits he is can only advise his teammates on what to expect facing D-I competition. He still has no idea, he said, what Earlywine and his staff will demand.

"It's been weird, even for me, not knowing what's coming next," Williams said. "People have been asking me in practice what we're going to do next, and I say, 'Uh, I really don't know.'

"With a new coach, everything is new, and I don't know how he's going to handle certain situations, so… "

Earlywine recognizes the uncertainty facing Williams, but insists his captain has been "terrific."

"It's been difficult for him, I know," Earlywine said. "A year from now, in practices, the 10 returning guys can pull a new guy aside and say, 'Hey, this is what he's looking for, this is what he wants and this is how we've got to do it.' "

One of Earlywine's new guys is Serbian Milan Stanojevic, a much-traveled guard who spent his freshman year at Dixie State College in Utah before transferring to Northwest Junior College in Powell, Wyo., where he averaged 17.8 points as a sophomore last winter.

Stanojevic, a 6-2, 195-pounder who shot 47 percent (118 for 251) from 3-point range last season, would like to think that he can eventually step up and help Williams with the leadership duties he has inherited.

"I was like captain in Serbia my whole life playing there, at all levels," he said. "But it's kind of difficult here, because of the language."

To which Williams says, "Amen!"

"Milan is a good leader," Williams said, "but he keeps blurting out commands in Serbian, and nobody gets it."

Earlywine is hoping that will change by Nov. 9, when the Eagles open their season against Washington State in Pullman.

"Realistically, I don't think there's any way we can be completely prepared to the extent I would want to by the time we play Washington State," he said. "We have to be completely prepared, though, by the time we start the conference season.

"Hopefully, the work capacity and character of our team can shorten the learning process, but I just don't know."

Friday, October 19, 2007


Riverpoint Kudos

Lots of publicity about Riverpoint, aka the U-District. With Eastern's consolidation of its Spokane programs to Riverpoint and all the growth in that part of downtown, a nice op-ed piece written in Spokane was picked up by the Seattle Times.

start something big.

Seattle Times

Monday, October 15, 2007


Enrollment Time

The numbers for fall quarter enrollment are in, and while we're down a bit at Eastern, overall things still look good. A lot of work still needs to be done to maintain momentum from recent years.
Here's an associated press story that recaps the state institutions. Eastern's increases in graduate studies and diversity numbers get a mention.

start something big.

Seattle Times

Friday, October 05, 2007


Sweet Music for Eastern

The Spokane Symphony plays at the Big Easy Friday night, and it will feature works by two composers from Eastern's Music Dept.
Here's excerpts from a preview in the morning paper.

start something big.

Symphony breaks from tradition
Orchestra lands at the Big Easy as part of On the Edge series

Travis Rivers
October 5, 2007

The times, they are a-changin' – even in the tradition-bound world of classical music.

The Spokane Symphony's Symphony on the Edge concert tonight at the Big Easy Concert House shows the orchestra moving away from the familiar classics into the music of today, and the doorstep of tomorrow.

Morihiko Nakahara, the orchestra's associate conductor, will lead the symphony in short works that go back as far as 1911 and as far forward as 2006 – including pieces by two local composers.

The Symphony on the Edge series started in 2004 to allow the orchestra to venture into unusual repertoire in a venue not tied to the formalities of the concert hall.

"Symphony on the Edge is really a weird infant child," Nakahara says. "People come to these concerts who have been going to symphony concerts for years. But people also come who have never been to a symphony performance in their whole lives.

"My challenge was to create a program that was devoid of standard pieces, but music that people could still listen and drink to."

For tonight's program, Nakahara has chosen works by a group of young composers including two from Spokane: Jonathan Middleton and Don Goodwin.

Middleton is a faculty member at Eastern Washington University, but is on leave teaching at Stanford University. Goodwin received his master's degree in composition at EWU last spring.

"Jonathan has became quite well-known for using algorithms in composing and we will play his 'Reciprocal Refractions,' " Nakahara says.

Middleton has developed a computer program that can convert just about any set of data, from the alphabet to baseball batting averages, into a series of musical notes.

As for Goodwin, Nakahara says, "Don may be better known for having played keyboards in several jazz groups in the area. But he is a pianist, and a bassoonist, and a conductor as well as being a composer of both jazz and classical music.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Connecting with the Community

Being a regional comprehensive university, we talk a lot about connecting with the community, and having the community connect with Eastern.
Here's an article about a new industrial park that will draw on EWU's plentiful pool of students.

start something big.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Industrial park inches ahead

Cheney may use grant to buy land

Parker Howell, Spokesman Review
Staff writer
October 4, 2007

After years of planning, Cheney may be closer to realizing a long-awaited industrial park.

The city wants to use a new $1.48 million federal grant and work with a box manufacturer there to create a 38-acre research and industrial park on the southwest end of town that officials envision attracting new jobs and tax revenues.

City plans call for using the money to install infrastructure, including fiber-optic cable, sewer and roads. Cheney also would buy 21 acres from AE Cheney Building LLC, an organization held by corporate officers of corrugated box maker Allpak Container East LLC, which would work with the city to develop the Cheney Research and Industrial Park.

The company, a subsidiary of Renton, Wash.-based Allpak Container Inc., bought the 38-acre parcel and 113,000-square-foot former Honeywell Corp. building in December, prompting the city of Cheney to change prior plans to buy the building with grant money and subdivide it for smaller manufacturers.

The building, at 1500 W. First St., had sat empty since early 2005. Honeywell decided to restructure and put it up for sale, stinging the city of 10,130. The Economic Development Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, announced the grant last month.

The project could create an estimated 400 new jobs and prompt $64 million in private investment, according to the EDA.

A public development authority would be formed to market and manage the park land, which would be divided for sale to companies, said Don MacDonald, Cheney's public works director.

"Right now, they don't have a lot of commercial, industrial property out there," said Robin Toth, business development director for Greater Spokane Inc. "This is actually the ideal model that we like to see cities investing in."

"It's going to make it easier for us to promote this area."

Total infrastructure costs are estimated at about $1.85 million, and the city and AE Cheney Building will split the amount not covered by the grant, according to the city.

Construction could start in the spring.

Cheney expects to pay $315,000 for its share of the light-industrial-zoned land under a purchase agreement that could be signed in coming weeks, MacDonald said. The City Council still must sign off on the deal.

The goal will be to attract small to midsize manufacturers, said Terry Piger, general manager of Allpak's Cheney plant.

"It's going to be a good thing for everybody," he said.

The Cheney project qualified for the grant because the city has high unemployment and low income levels, said Joe Tortorelli, a consultant for the city.

He said a number of technology clients are already interested in the park, though he declined to give specifics.

The park would access Eastern Washington University's labor pool of students, Tortorelli said.

While MacDonald said the project could bring property and utility taxes to the city, he remains guarded about its potential.

"We're going into this with our eyes wide open," MacDonald said.

"There's no guarantee that (you) build it and they will come."

Allpak Container East's Cheney plant was fully operational by February, Piger said.

The company, which employs 24 there, had outgrown its plant on East Trent Avenue, where it operated since April 2005, when it bought the assets of Lincoln Container & Packaging Inc., Piger said.

The EDA has spent more than $12 million on regional projects since the 1970s, Toth said.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Campus Security

Ever since the V-Tech shootings last spring, campuses across the country have been reevaluating their security measures. EWU's campus police wasted no time purchasing a new software that will allow us to text-message students, faculty, staff and parents who are signed onto the system (free of charge).
Here's the latest of many stories on our system, which is up and running. So far, we have more than 1100 people signed on, with a capacity of 10,000.

start something big.


Monday, October 01, 2007


EWU alum pens when not policing

Monday, October 1, 2007

SPD lieutenant also writes crime fiction

Jody Lawrence-Turner
Staff writer
September 30, 2007

He started putting pen to paper when he was 8 years old, crafting “goofy little stories.” By 12, he was writing “more vignettes than scenes” and that’s when he knew he wanted to be a writer.

“It just felt natural,” said crime novelist Frank Zafiro, now 39. “Sort of like a musician or a carpenter, I was just drawn to it.”

But even in his pre-teen years, the Deer Park native was realistic about a career as a creative writer.

“It’s not like you put a shingle out, and someone just starts sending you a check,” he said.

Two other jobs appealed to him – teacher and police officer. He opted for the latter.

Zafiro is the pen name used by Spokane Police Lt. Frank Scalise, whose first novel, “Under a Raging Moon” was published in 2006.

A follow-up book, also based on the fictitious River City Police Department hits book stores today. “Heroes Often Fail” is published by Aisling Press, a division of Oculus Media Group.

The first book was about a serial robber. The second is about a kidnapping. His third will be about a serial rapist – though not Kevin Coe, he says – and he plans a fourth “River City novel” about Russian gangs. Many of the characters in the novels continue throughout.

River City is a “barely fictional” Spokane. And Scalise said the character of Thomas Chisolm is “loosely” based on a real person – Spokane Police officer Thomas Chapman.

“The scar on the face is the same, the swagger is the same,” Scalise said. So is “the willingness and almost delight he takes to standing up to the brass.”

Otherwise the books are pure fiction. But because Scalise worried that people would think otherwise, he has been quiet about his dual identities. Even the short biographies at the end of his books – and others he’s contributed to – have been vague about his career.

But with the police administration’s blessing, he’s making it recognized.

“I think he’s been given a gift, and he should make it known,” said Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick. “His work is policing, but he’s also an author.”

Cpl. Brad Hallock, who’s known Scalise since they were in the police academy together, said the author is “able to capture the gritty realism about law enforcement” that other writers can’t if they haven’t worn a badge.

“It’s always a pleasure to read and critique his work,” said Jill Maser, a New Jersey writer to whom Scalise often sends stories for an honest opinion.

In addition to his novels, Scalise has also written instructional manuals for ITT Technical Institute and numerous short stories. He’s currently working on a children’s book and one about hockey, he said.

Through his stories, Scalise said, he tries to expose law enforcement’s human side, as well as an officer’s desire to “slap” someone who might deserve it, without suffering the repercussions.

“I think everyone has a dark streak in them,” Scalise said. And for him, “the writing is where it goes, where it comes off the shelf, and goes into the writing.”Scalise graduated from Deer Park High School in 1986 and went straight into the Army. He attended the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., to learn Czechoslovakian then spent 2½ years in Germany, working in military intelligence.

After a time in California, he returned to Spokane in 1992, and took tests to qualify for a job at the Police Department or Sheriff’s Office. He was offered jobs at both and started with the Police Department in September 1993.

While working full time, Scalise took classes at Eastern Washington University and received a bachelor’s degree in history in 1998.

He was promoted to lieutenant this summer and works in patrol. He also plays hockey a couple of times a week. And he has three children – 6- and 15-year-old sons, and a 13-year-old daughter – who spend about half their time with him.

“I write between the time I take my son to school and when I go to work (on graveyard shift), almost every single day,” Scalise said. “I tend to be a little bit obsessive.”

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