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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thank you Ron Rector!

Tomorrow, Ron Rector retires as director of the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, the MAC. He's tried to step down several times, but felt he needed to stay on to guide the museum through its most difficult time. It's not a job he was looking for. Ron had long retired from IBM, when, as a member of the MAC board of directors, he was asked to take over the management of the museum. It couldn't have come at a worse time. The museum was in a financial crisis of major proportions. And Ron knew that when he took to job. The first thing he had to do was eliminate the jobs of 17 people.

He inspired the remaining staff to greatness while he led the community charge to Olympia over and over and over and over to save funding for our museum. He made dozens of trips to the capitol, talked to anyone and everyone in a herculean lobbying effort, and ended up saving the MAC.

And to top off that wonderful community victory, the MAC under Ron's management, opened the largest, most important exhibit in its history the beginning of this month, DaVinci, Man Inventor Genius. Ron finally gets to retire (again) and ride off into the sunrise, to his next adventure. Meanwhile the MAC is in the capable hands of Laura Thayer as interim director.

Thanks Ron Rector! We appreciate you!

Everybody loves Vinnie!

Everybody loves Vinnie...and that's the name of the concert party for his benefit this Friday, July 1 at 8 pm at the Knitting Factory. A downtown Spokane legend, Vinnie is the guest of honor at the Everybody Loves Vinnie party, featuring DJs, live music, stand up comedy and more, with 25 percent of the proceeds going to the Arc of Spokane and the remainder placed in a trust fund for Vinnie. The Knitting Factory Concert House is at 919 W. Sprague Ave. Cost: $10 in advance through, $15 at the door, 18 and older only.

25th season kick off for Children's Chorus

The Spokane Children's Chorus kicks of their 25th season with a gala at the Bing Crosby Theater this Friday, July 1 at 6:30. Go to for tickets and information.

Rockin B Ranch to record live radio show Sunday

The Rockin' B Ranch invites you to be part of an old-fashioned radio show, recorded live, Sunday, July 3 at 5:15 pm, to be broadcast at a time to be announced. The House Band includes Kelly Bogan, Dannie Lynn Plummer (members of Molly and Tenbrooks), Pamela Brownlee and Scott Brownlee (members of The Riders of the Rockin' B Ranch).

The Rockin' B Ranch Grassroots and Gospel Music Hour celebrates the wealth of talented, emerging musical groups in the Inland Northwest who currently perform gospel, bluegrass and other forms of folk and grassroots music-music of, by and for the people. The seasoned house band performers, who are also dedicated teachers, join with the guest musicians to present a multi-faceted hour of music and lively interviews to spotlight the development of this concert's special guests, The Wylie Family Band.

The Wylie Family Band is four brothers and sisters who have performed together publicly for the past seven years. They play toe-tapping swing, bluegrass, fiddle, gospel and blues. Because they've lived together most of their lives, they've had plenty of time to come up with pleasing harmonies, interesting breaks and fun songs.

Tickets are $5 and are available at the Box Office only. For information, call 509-891-9016, Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11AM til 5PM. The Rockin' B Ranch, 100 yards south of Interstate 90 at Exit 299. The website is

Fridays mean Live Music at the Park Bench

The Park Bench Cafe in Manito Park continues with its free concert series on Friday evenings. This Friday, July 1, enjoy the music of Union Street, the American folk/rock duo of Kevin Schibel and Nick Straight. Music begins at 5:30pm and runs through 7:30. The Park Bench Cafe is open for great food and cool drinks for the hot summer evening to enjoy with the music.

Drums and bugles at Albi

Sunday, July 3rd at 7 pm go enjoy drum and bugle corps competition at Albi Stadium as the Spokane Thunder Drum & Bugle Corps presents the "Northwest Music Games" For more information go to

A little night music

Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre presents "A Little Night Music" in Boswell Hall at North Idaho College now through July 10. Go to for tickets and information.

Antique car show at Riverfront Park Saturday

On Saturday, July 2 from 10am to 3pm in the Riverfront Park Clocktower Meadow, club members will showcase vintage automobiles from around the nation. The Hassie Club of Spokane is serving as host to the 50th Annual International Antique Car Meet. Club members from Montana, Alberta and Saskatchewan are confirmed to attend.

They call it "Show and Shine" and it's a great opportunity to enjoy some incredible automotive craftsmanship. The Historical Auto Society of Spokane and the Inland Empire was established in 1958. (I have known about the Hassie Club for years but never knew what the name meant!) They continue to seek people who are interested in antique and classic autos. The Club meets every third Wednesday of each month. For more information see The Hassie Club on

A booming 4th at Riverfront Park

Plan your celebration of the 4th of July in Riverfront Park Monday without worrying about the best place to view the spectacular fireworks brought to you by Larry H. Miller dealerships. Get reserved seating and enjoy the fireworks sitting down. Tickets can be purchased at Riverfront Park's Guest Services where you can select your seat -or- online -or- by calling 625-6602 for assigned seats (there will be a $3.50 handling fee for phone transactions).

Practice eating those burgers for Ron's contest

You have about one week to get in shape for Ron's Drive In 1st Annual Rod Show and Burger Eating Contest. It's next Saturday, July 9, 10 am to 5 pm at 12505 East Sprague. Proceeds of the Contest will benefit Valley Meals on Wheels.

Sekani Adventure Day, July 9 a chance to explore new outdoor sports

The third annual Sekani Adventure Day will be held Saturday, July 9th at Camp Sekani Conservation Area, 6707 E. Upriver Drive. Participants will have the opportunity to try a variety of outdoor sports in one day for a single $9 entry fee. Adults and children of all ages and skill levels are invited to attend Sekani Adventure Day. Stand-up paddling, canoeing, archery, geocaching and approximately six other activities will be available at stations staffed with experienced instructors who will adjust small-group instruction to participant skill level. Participants are encouraged to bring their own mountain bicycle and helmet; all other gear will be provided by local organizations and vendors.

Sekani Adventure Day is organized by the Inland Northwest Trails Coalition and City of Spokane Parks and Recreation in partnership with OutThere Monthly magazine. Cost: $9 pre-registration/$15 at the gate. To register go to or call 509-625-6200.

The High Five from by Isamu Jordan

Dinner at the Thompson's - French organic-electronic psych-trip-hop duo Dinner at the Thompson's blend elements of soul, jazz, funk and blues into a distinct sound that is both futuristic and retro. The band's sophomore album, "Off the Grid," is already getting rave reviews since its stateside release last month. And the third album is under construction. You can hear yet-to-be-released goodies as well as tracks from "Off the Grid" when Dinner at the Thompson's headlines a show at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, July 1, at The A Club, 416 W. Sprague. Cost: $5, 21 and older only.

Robert Cray Band - With more than three decades in the game, blues veteran Robert Cray has charted on either the Billboard Top 200 or Top Blues Album charts with 15 of his 17 full-length albums. Always good for a great time live, Cray returns with his quartet at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 2, at The Knitting Factory Concert House, 919 W. Sprague Ave. Cost: $25 in advance, $27.50 day of show, through

Jesi B. and the All Rites - Local soul-funk-rock foursome, Jesi B and the All Rites anchors a show with Ron Greene at 8:30 p.m. tonight, June 29, at Zola, 22 W. Main. Cost: Free.

For local music news, events, mp3s, artist profiles, multimedia and more, visit


"You know, I know some karate. I don't wanna brag or nothin', but I got me a black fan belt"

Name the movie that line appeared in and win a $20 gift certificate to the Cathay Inn. Send your best guess and your phone number to The winner will be selected at random from correct entries and will be announced in next week's e-newsletter. The deadline for entries is noon on Friday, July 1.

Last Week's Winner, Linda Wilson, had a super answer, she correctly identified last week's flick and won a $20 gift certificate to The Cathay Inn. Last week's movie quote was "Can we get another order of fries? My friend here is fat." from Super 8.

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