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2 • DECEMBER 2017


The Park Bench

Adroit Administrator – Allen’s career defined by public sector success

By Craig Howard Splash Editor When Katy Allen was hired as the director of public works in San Jose, California, a city of just over one million residents that bills itself as “the capital of Silicon Valley,” she was tasked with building a new City Hall, renovating an airport and crafting a capital improvements plan. “When I applied, I never expected to get the job,” Allen recalls. “My first 18 months there, I was sure they were going to ask me to step aside.” Allen arrived in San Jose in 2002 after working for the city of Spokane for 25 years. In California’s third largest city, she worked alongside 5,000 municipal employees. Adding to the uphill trek, each one of San Jose’s deputy directors departed within a year of Allen’s arrival. “It was a steep learning curve,” she said. “I didn’t know the city, the projects or the people.” Allen proved fit for the test. During her tenure in San Jose, she delivered around 1,500 projects on time and on budget. When the city needed someone to revive an employee recognition program, they turned to Allen who came through again, earning accolades from administration and generating enhanced enthusiasm among her colleagues. “I made a lot of great friends during my time in San Jose,” Allen said. Allen left Northern California in early 2011, beginning a retirement phase that would not last very long. She signed with the Western Washington city of Bremerton as public works director in January 2012 – but heard rumblings that the city of Liberty Lake may be hiring a city administrator. Allen and her husband Randy moved to the Liberty Lake area in 1983 and had been there ever since. While in San Jose, Allen commuted each week from her Inland Northwest address. In 2011, Allen was part of a panel brought on by the city of Liberty Lake to secure an interim

Longtime Liberty Lake resident Katy Allen has worked as the city administrator in her adopted hometown since June 2012. She was previously the director of public works in San Jose, California and Bremerton, Washington. Photo by Craig Howard city administrator. The role had not been filled at City Hall since 2005. Eventually, Mike Cecka, former city manager in Cle Ellum, among other Washington jurisdictions, was brought on as part of a process that would lead to a full-time hire in 2012. The city received close to 50 resumes for the city administrator position in February 2012. The field was eventually narrowed to three with Allen emerging at the top pick that April. She stayed on in Bremerton for two more months, starting in Liberty Lake on June 4, 2012. “Even though I had no experience as a city administrator, I thought I could help and add value to this city,” Allen said. Allen brought a wealth of public works experience to her new post as well as layered insight working with municipal staffs, mayors and City Councils. “I like a collaborative approach,” she said. “I see part of my job here as being a liaison between the mayor and City Council.” Allen may have been in a new role, but she had the advantage of working in a community that was very familiar. She knew the culture and priorities of Liberty Lake, had traveled its roads and utilized its parks and trails. Allen and her husband raised their two sons, Paul and Jeff, in Liberty Lake. Both sons graduated from Central Valley High School and earned college scholarships – Paul in basketball at Carroll College in Montana and Jeff in football at

Eastern Washington University. Allen earned her degree from EWU in 1976 with a double major in math and economics. She and Randy married in 1974 when both were students at Eastern. When Allen entered the job market after college, Spokane was in the midst of post-World Expo doldrums. She managed to latch on with the city in 1977 as an entry level engineering technician on a survey crew and ascended quickly. She went back to school to earn a degree in civil engineering from Gonzaga University in 1996. The next year, she was named Spokane’s director of engineering services. While with the city, Allen was responsible for the planning, design, scheduling and construction of capital projects, ranging from the widening of Indian Trail Road to the extension of a water system into the West Plains. She returned to school again, securing a master’s degree in public administration from Eastern in 2000. Allen’s trio of college degrees were par for the course in her family. She came from a home with two collegeeducated parents, including a mother who graduated from Boston University and went on to teach nursing at the college level. Her dad was an electrical engineer. Allen’s parents had met on a Navy ship when both were serving in World War II. Allen was born and raised in the Oak Harbor area on Whidbey Island in Western Washington, one of three children. She was always a good

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student and was adept at building projects. She remembers learning early on from her parents that “you live by the decisions you make.” Allen graduated from high school in three years before moving onto EWU. When not helping to lead the city she has called home for the past 34 years, Allen enjoys reading, gardening, traveling and biking. Q: When you and your family first moved to the Liberty Lake area in 1983, what were some of your impressions of the community? A: In 1983, the Liberty Lake community was beautiful and safe with easy access to I-90. It was full of families with a long history and tradition of summer outdoor activities like swimming, golfing and hiking. We didn't have a gas station or any stores, so you had to plan ahead before you headed home. There were no homes north of Sprague except for the Heights neighborhood. It was beautiful and peaceful with natural beauty surrounded by scenic mountains in the background. In many ways, except for the addition of services, these same traits exist today. Q: How closely did you follow the campaign for incorporation that passed in the fall of 2000? Did you support the idea of Liberty Lake becoming a city? A: In the fall of 2000 we moved from south of Sprague to north of Sprague, so I was tracking the discussions related to where the city Limits would be drawn. When the master plans were presented in the mid-1980s, the community was growing at a pace and in line with these plans. It was no surprise that with this new development and growth, public services would need to be aligned with new and increasing demands for services. It was my opinion that county services could not keep up with this increase in demand for more city-like services and so for me it made sense that incorporation could bring the public safety, parks and street maintenance services that the residents desired. In addition, revenues generated in the city could be kept in the city to pay for these services. Incorporation was a logical next step. Q: You've worked for cities like Spokane and San Jose that are on a much larger scale than Liberty Lake. There are some obvious differences that exist, but what are some of the parallels that you've seen between those cities and current professional home? A: City government is in the business of providing public service.

See ALLEN, Page 3

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Continued from page 2

I have found that all cities, large and small, value responsive, efficient and affordable services. Each city may have differing priorities but there is a common thread whereby all residents want a local government that respects public input, feels engaged in the decision-making process and appreciates a City Hall that is approachable and accessible. City residents also want to be kept informed of how their tax dollars are being spent. Q: What are some of the skills and approaches from your background in public works and engineering that have carried over to your role as city administrator? A: I have had the fortune of working and learning from some incredibly talented individuals. Problem solving, focusing on outcomes, delivering services and finding solutions while keeping open and honest communication flowing has been a skill that I hold in high regard. In the course of everyday events, there are always differing opinions and perspectives therefore, I have learned to focus on fairness, equity and thoughtful solutions. I have learned to value leveraging resources and building connections with other professionals in order to expand my experience and knowledge. Q: Before you joined the staff here in 2012, there had not been a full-time city administrator on the payroll in Liberty Lake since 2005. In what ways do you think that role is valuable to the success of the city? A: This question could be better answered by the mayor, council, city staff and/or residents. Hopefully, I have brought ideas, solutions and unity to Liberty Lake and the city has benefited from my contributions. Several years ago, I was in a position that needed to improve constructive relationships among the electeds and attention to the delivery of productive/efficient services. As the city administrator, I hope that this experience has served the city well. Q: You've been a citizen of this city much longer than you've been city administrator. What have been some of your impressions of the level of interest and involvement among your fellow Liberty Lake residents in their local government? A: Liberty Lake’s residents are amazing. They seem to always step up, be involved and volunteer their time. Whether we are looking for volunteers to help at the library,

DECEMBER 2017 • 3

at special events, Easter Egg hunts, Memorial Day veterans’ breakfast participation, the planning commission, to shovel snow for those needing assistance or to be part of our City Council, our residents are very generous in donating their time and resources. Residents in our community are very visible and can be seen out and about whether it’s going to Pavillion Park summer events, attending the Farmers Market, walking the trails, joining service clubs, volunteering at the local schools or raising money and donating time for worthy causes. Q: How is it different working for a city you reside in as opposed to being more of a commuter? A: You’d think there would be a difference but there really isn’t. Over the last 40 years, I have worked for four different cities with Liberty Lake being my home base. My loyalty and allegiance is placed with the city that I work for regardless of where I lived. Q: You're now in your sixth year as city administrator. What have been some of the most rewarding aspects of your time here? What about some of the challenges? A: The most rewarding aspect of my time as city administrator is working with Mayor Peterson and City Council. No doubt there are challenges and many different opinions but that goes with the territory of local government. We have many lively conversations and I find it rewarding to work with such dedicated public officials. Working with our police chief, directors, managers and all city employees is also very rewarding. Liberty Lake is fortunate to have such a vast array of professional talents dedicated to public service and being responsive to assisting our residents and businesses. Finally, it is very rewarding to frequently see, hear and witness a sense of pride in our community and in all neighborhoods. City Hall is just one dimension that perhaps has an impact on building community pride. Other dimensions include our family values, respect for others and working hard together to make Liberty Lake a better place. Q: Finally, what is the best part about living and working in the city of Liberty Lake? A: More time each day and hours in each week to enjoy my family. Also there is great convenience to swing by City Hall after hours or on weekends because something came up that needs to be taken care of. I wish I could say that it made it possible to go home for lunch each day but unfortunately this rarely works out.

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4 • DECEMBER 2017


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Langford, SVFD commissioners retain seats in election By Craig Howard Splash Editor

The Nov. 7 general election ballot featured a handful of challengers vying for seats on the Liberty Lake City Council and Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) Board of Commissioners.

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Council Member Odin Langford retained his Pos. 4 seat, earning 57 percent of the vote to 43 percent for Jeanette Nall, a veteran of the Air Force who has been active with the Liberty Lake Community Theatre. Langford first appeared on a ballot for City Council in November 2003, losing to incumbent Joanna Klegin by a mere 17 votes. He was later appointed to the same council seat in October 2007 after Klegin moved with her family to Texas. In 2009, Langford defeated contender Jason Adelmann to remain on the governing board. He won again in 2013 against hopeful Mike Tedesco, collecting 53 percent. “I was honored to have the electorate's vote of confidence and support,” Langford said following last month’s election. “I would like to say a big thank you to the voters and those who worked so tirelessly on my campaign.” Langford said the city needs to prioritize certain projects moving forward.

“The loudest complaint I heard during the campaign was concerning traffic congestion,” Langford said. “I am looking forward to getting the Harvard Bridge done. Also, we need to make some important decisions about Trailhead Golf Course and building out Orchard Park in the River District. Even as important as these goals are, the council really needs to figure out how we are going to fund the city. If our sales tax slows. I am afraid that we are not prepared if there were to be a substantial downturn in auto or RV sales.” In the two other council races, Mike Kennedy, a former member of planning commissions in both Liberty Lake and Spokane, collected 79 percent of ballots to defeat Dylan McGuire for Pos. 6. In early September, McGuire announced that changes in his job duties would mean stepping away from his campaign. The announcement came too late to remove his name from the general election ballot. Kennedy said it was rewarding to have all of the hard work pay off in an election victory. “We set a goal to give information flyers to every registered voter who consistently voted,” Kennedy said. “With that in mind we went to over 2,500 residents. I personally went to over 1,800 homes myself. By doing so I was able to visit with many people and hear their concerns and suggestions how Liberty Lake could continue to be the great city it is.” As far as his first term on council goes, Kennedy said he would like to “set priorities and long range strategic goals to manage the growth we will experience over the coming years and live within our budget by being good stewards of our resources.”


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Odin Langford

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DECEMBER 2017 • 5


Continued from page 4

“By making these priorities visible to everyone we will be less likely to be distracted by non-essential matters that will cost us money in our future,” Kennedy continued. “I encourage the council, the mayor and city staff to identify these priorities and work together as a team.” Council Member Hugh Severs ran unopposed in his bid for reelection to Pos. 2. Severs, a Central Valley High School and Washington State University grad who works as a financial advisor, first arrived on council after winning on the November 2013 ballot, overcoming Jeff Sitton with 56 percent of the vote. In other election decisions related to Liberty Lake, Tom Dingus was re-elected to the Central Valley School District Board of Directors as the Dist. 2 representative. In Dist. 5 – the area that includes Liberty Lake – Mysti Reneau was elected to replace longtime Liberty Lake resident Amy Mason who did not run for re-election. Mason – who was appointed to the CVSD Board in June 2011 – will serve out her the reminder of her current term this month. Both Dingus and Reneau ran unopposed. On the ballot for Spokane Valley Fire commissioner Pos. 1, incumbent Patrick Burch faced longtime Central Valley High School teacher and Liberty Lake resident Stan Chalich who retired from CV this summer after 49 years. In a race decided by just over 400 votes, Burch held his office with 51 percent of the vote. Burch, co-owner and business manager of Neurotherapy NW, began volunteering with SVFD’s Community Emergency Response

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Burch will now serve the reminder of Hanson’s unexpired six-year term through December 2019. The other fire commissioner race featured two former SVFD employees – incumbent William (Bill) Anderson and challenger Larry T. Rider. Anderson, who has served on the board since 2000, collected 52 percent to earn another six-year term. The SVFD Board of Commissioners consists of five elected representatives. Mike Pearson, Joe Dawson and Ron Schmidt round out the board. On the judicial side, Tony Hazel earned 62 percent of the electorate in a victory against Jocelyn Cook for Spokane County Superior Court judge Pos. 6. Hazel was appointed in April by Gov. Jay Inslee to replace Judge Sam Cozza who passed away in January. Following his victory, Hazel will now serve through 2020.




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6 • DECEMBER 2017

The Splash

The Liberty Lake Needlework Society is conducting a silent auction to benefit the library. Fancy hand knit mittens and crocheted characters from fairy tales will be up for bids at the library from November 25th – December 16th.

Books ‘n’ Brew

Thursday December 28th 6:30 pm Book Club

CHILDREN EVENTS Christmas Move & Groove Monday December 11th 10:30 am

Santa’s Kitchen

Join us for our Christmas themed Move and Groove! Sing, dance, and jingle bell along to several of the classic Christmas songs.

Tuesday December 5th 4:00 pm

Stop by Santa’s Kitchen and build a gingerbread house. Registration required. All ages welcome.


professional baker and maker of sweet treats Nicole Staples, of “Just Chillin,” show you how to up your game. Nicole will help you create perfect cookies for the holidays with hands on demonstration and help. Nicole has several years of baking experience and interned with Great Harvest Bakery. She now co-owns her own bakery and frozen yogurt store here in Liberty Lake. Don’t miss out! Register on Facebook or at the library.

Hour of Code

Thursday December 7th 4:00 pm

Spend an hour learning basic coding with Code.org’s Hour of Code. Variety of coding activities and games to choose from.

Winterbration Playtime

Wednesday December 13th 10:30 am - 11:30 am

Join us for winter activities and crafts. Ages 0-5.

Family Crafts

Saturday December 2nd 2:00 pm

A perfect time to make holiday cards for all your friends and family. Music and hot chocolate provided.

Family Crafts

Saturday December 16th 2:00 pm

Christmas cookies. No professional this time, just lots of frosting, sprinkles and fun!

Adult Crafts

Thursday December 14th 6:00 pm

Cookie decorating class. It’s time to wow your friends and family. Let

Saturday with Santa

Winter Reading Program

Come visit Santa at our annual event! Crafts and activities while you wait your turn to see Santa. Take your photos or purchase them from Bugaboo Photography. Everyone who arrives by 1:30 pm sharp will get to see Santa.

Our winter reading program is open to library users of all ages. Children ages 0-18 may choose to read 4 books or 4 hours to enter our prize drawing. Cozy up with a good book over the holiday season and you just might win one of our fantastic prizes!

Saturday December 9th 10:30 pm - 1:30 pm

December 18th - January 31st

Storytime Winter Break

Storytime will be cancelled December 18th- January 5th. Storytime will resume Monday January 8th with Move & Groove.

facebook.com/libertylakelibrary/ • 509-232-2510 • www.libertylakewa.gov/library

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DECEMBER 2017 • 7

The Lookout MEMO from the


By Mayor Steve Peterson

In 2017, the city of Liberty Lake property tax assessment was $1.69 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. At the formation of the city in 2001 it was $2.10. In comparison to the city of Spokane Valley, whose assessment is $1.91, we are much lower. The city of Liberty Lake property

tax in 2018 will be $1.63 per $1,000 which includes a 1-percent increase. This still is a reduction of 6 cents per thousand from 2017 even after taking the 1 percent allowed by law. A $270,000 home will see a savings of $16.20 on the “city” portion of their tax bill. The lion’s share of services you see and depend on, i.e., police, library, roads, parks, planning, permitting, animal control, etc., are all supported by our city! It truly is where the rubber meets the road yet we are only 12.5 percent of your tax bill. The other 87.5 is

fire, state, county, schools, school bonds and county futures. Why am I telling you this? I want the public to fully understand we work to provide all of your services in a very efficient and effective manner at the lowest possible cost. The increases you see in property tax are driven by others – not the city. Again, most of what you see and depend on is provided by the city property tax rate of $1.63. For over 17 years, you’ve received outstanding service, good roads, continued trail improvements, a

City Council meetings will now include scheduled agenda items featuring reports from the library board, planning commission and Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District. While representatives from each of those entities have contributed in the past to council discussions, a designated time on each agenda will allow time for updates.

Time for citizen comments is designated near the beginning and at the end of each council meeting.

Park and Commission


The city is looking for individuals to join the inaugural Parks and Art Commission. This commission will provide guidance and make recommendations to city staff and council on policy and planning related to parks, public art, Tree Board and recreation. Applications are being accepted through Nov. 30. Call City Hall at 755-6700 for more information.

safe, clean and green community which you can be proud of and in 2018 – and you’ll pay 6 cents less per thousand than you did this year! It is a record of good stewardship for which I’m proud to relate. I wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year with your family and friends. For us at the city, Santa has already brought some new snow plowing equipment for you to see working as we maintain our roads during this winter season. Just another reason “Liberty Lake is Spokane County’s premier address!”

City keeps residents informed with “Notify Me”

Changes at City Council meetings

Meetings will also now hold fast to the three-minute limit for public comments. “We really want to promote fairness and consistency when the public speaks,” said City Administrator Katy Allen. City Attorney Sean Boutz will be in charge of monitoring the time for each speaker.

December 2017

Looking for the latest news from City Hall, emergency alerts, current weather conditions or volunteer opportunities? The city of Liberty Lake has you covered.

Tis the season for community gathering

Now that Thanksgiving is over, the halls are being decked, streets are being illuminated and the spirit of the holidays is in the air! The trees along Country Vista will be lit up as in years past, the City Council chambers will be sparkling with decorations and the community will be gathering together once again to bring in the season with cookies and hot cocoa.

Our Liberty Lake family has outgrown our modest council chambers so this year we are all meeting at Pavillion Park at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 4, for tidings and cheer. Our old friend St. Nick might even be there! This event is being sponsored by the local churches and Yoke’s Fresh Market. This is always an enjoyable event and we look forward to seeing our neighbors as a reminder of just how lucky we are to live in such an amazing community. Bundle up the kids and bring the whole family! We will see you on the first Monday in December at Pavillion Park!

By going to www.libertylakewa/gov and clicking on the “Notify Me” link, residents can sign up for a variety of lists that provide information via email or text. The feature also allows residents to receive the library newsletter, an events calendar, bid postings, employment opportunities and more. “Just go to our website and watch for the banner that says “Notify Me” and sign up,” Council Member Dan Dunne encouraged those in attendance at the Nov. 7 City Council meeting. The city has made it convenient to subscribe, unsubscribe or manage a subscription to Notify Me by customizing the alerts they receive. While only around 130 people are signed up currently, Dunne expressed hope that the city’s modern-day town caller would catch on. “This is a great resource,” he said.

https://www.facebook.com/libertylakewa • www.libertylakewa.gov

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8 • DECEMBER 2017











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Skipworth departs after decade with LLSWD

By Craig Howard Splash Editor When he was appointed to the Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District (LLSWD) Board of Commissioners in February 2007, Steve Skipworth replaced Harley Halverson, one of the utility’s most respected pillars. Now, after a move to a home west of Cheney, Skipworth leaves a similar void with the district’s triumvirate of authority. Similar to representatives of the Liberty Lake City Council who must reside within municipal boundaries, LLSWD commissioners are required to live within the district’s service area. Skipworth and his wife Jill had been residents of the Liberty Lake area for the past 20 years. The transition brings the couple nearer to one of their two sons and his family. “It was a tough decision but it’s an opportunity to be closer to family,” Skipworth said. “There are so many positive things about the Liberty Lake community that we’re going to miss.” The Skipworths closed on their Liberty Lake home on Oct. 16, the same day as the monthly LLSWD board meeting. The district passed a resolution acknowledging Skipworth’s “invaluable contributions…and expressing gratitude to his service to the community of Liberty Lake.” “Steve is a very experienced and influential professional in the water industry,” said LLSWD General Manager BiJay Adams. “His experience and knowledge were invaluable to the district.” When he joined LLSWD a decade ago, Skipworth became the first resident of the city of Liberty Lake to serve as a commissioner since the incorporation in 2001. Others on the board, past and present, have lived within the LLSWD service area but outside municipal borders.

DECEMBER 2017 • 9


Skipworth brought a wealth of utility experience to LLSWD – particularly on the water side. He spent 32 years at Spokane Valley-based Vera Water and Power, retiring in 2006 as the director of operations. At the time of his district appointment, Skipworth was serving as chair of the Washington Water Utilities Council and in the same role with the Spokane County Water Utility Coordination Committee. He also donated time as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. Liberty Lake Mayor Steve Peterson remembers Skipworth being the right person at the right time for district. “Steve Skipworth was an outstanding choice as a sewer commissioner,” Peterson said. “He had a depth of experience and was wellrespected by our legislators for his knowledge of local and state issues. I hope he stays involved in water and treatment policy.” Skipworth ran alone on the ballot in the fall of 2008 and again in 2013, also unopposed. He had two years remaining in his most recent sixyear term. The district is expected to interview applicants to replace Skipworth at its meeting this month and make an announcement regarding a new commissioner in January. LLSWD Commissioner Tom Agnew said Skipworth brought a “thoughtful, respectful, soft-spoken and articulate” approach to his role on the board. “Steve continued to build his excellent regional, state and national reputation in public water and power circles as LLSWD added lake protection and wastewater reclamation to his resume,” Agnew said. “He also chaired the LLSWD board and stayed the course during some of the most turbulent regulatory and environmental challenges.” Agnew also recalled Skipworth making valuable contributions to the Washington Association of Sewer and Water Districts as a board member and chair, “deftly leading a difficult time of transition in WASWD's leadership.” Skipworth’s tenure with LLSWD also included no shortage of change. Longtime Commissioner Frank Boyle

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– a knowledgeable part of the board for over 20 years – passed away on Sept. 28, 2012. That next spring, Lee Mellish, who had led the district as general manager since 1993, retired. Skipworth said being part of the efforts that brought on Kottayam Natarajan to replace Boyle and Adams as the successor for Mellish will be remembered as among the most rewarding aspects of his time as commissioner. “We’ve been really proud that we’ve been able to bring on some real quality people,” Skipworth said. Skipworth was also part of the planning and budgeting strategy for phase two of the water reclamation plant upgrade, currently underway. A rare rate increase became part of the blueprint to help cover the project’s costs. Skipworth said the district pursued as many grant options as possible but Liberty Lake’s higherthan-average median income made outside funding assistance a challenge. Skipworth said he is proud of the exemplary role LLSWD continues to play in the arena of environmental stewardship. “It was amazing to me to see what our plant is capable of,” he said. “I wanted people not to worry about water and their river and lake, just knowing that we were protecting things.”

LLSWD seeks replacement on board of commissioners

The Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District (LLSWD) Board of Commissioners request interested district residents to submit their name to be considered for the unexpired board position recently vacated by Steve Skipworth. Individuals requesting appointment must be a resident within the boundaries of LLSWD. The successful appointee will be required to run for election in November 2018. Send requests along with background and qualifications to Kottayam Natarajan Jr., Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District, 22510 E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake, WA.,99019 or electronically at info@libertylake.org. The LLSWD Board of Commissioners intend to conduct interviews at the December board meeting and make an appointment in January. For additional information contact LLSWD General Manager BiJay Adams at 922-9016.

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10 • DECEMBER 2017

Council hears report on widening of Harvard Bridge

of the project. The design work includes input from a hodgepodge of consultants and companies.

Splash Editor

The time frame for the project is expected to be around a year with five to seven months for the design phase and construction taking the same amount of time. Cost is anticipated to be in the range of $4.5 million in 2020 dollars. Utilizing an existing structure in the bridge is expected to be an advantage in the bidding/funding process.

By Craig Howard

City Engineer Andrew Staples has heard the rumblings from Appleway all the way from his office at Liberty Lake City Hall. The traffic bottleneck on the east/ west arterial is the main reason the city is looking at adding an additional northbound lane on the Harvard Road Bridge. While the project is still at least two years away, the wheels have already started rolling. “Everyone’s seen the backup we have every day trailing down Appleway,” Staples said. “It causes a lot of wait time that can be avoided.” David McMullen, principal with Seattle-based KPFF Consulting Engineers, appeared at the Nov. 7 City Council meeting with an update on the preliminary phase

“The priorities we’re looking at in the design process is maintenance of traffic along the bridge,” McMullen said. “There will be two lanes of traffic along the bridge throughout construction minimizing the impact on I-90.”

“We do not have full funding for this project at this time,” said City Administrator Katy Allen who added that Staples is looking at “all the funding sources the city will be applying for.” Allen said the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has indicated it would contribute $850,000 if the project goes construction by 2020. “I know that will be a challenge

but it is still doable,” she said. McMullen also made mention of Liberty Lake’s growth rate, noting that the latest design will not present issues in the case of a fourth lane being added in the future. Backups now regularly go all the way past Signal Drive to the east. Allen added that some residents of Liberty Lake are now taking the Barker Road exit to avoid congestion at the Harvard juncture. The bridge currently has a curbto-curb width of 29.5 feet. The plan is to add another 11.5 feet bringing the total to 41 feet. The preferred option among consultants is to widen the bridge on the east side of the roadway. Mayor Pro Tem Shane Brickner asked what sort of impact the project might have on the westbound I-90 ramp. Allen said the WSDOT is looking at “the shortness of the merge and the visibility” in that area. When Mayor Steve Peterson brought up the question of a surface overlay on the bridge scheduled for the next year or two, Staples said consultants had assured him that the widening and resurfacing work

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should be viewed as two separate undertakings and “there will not be any tearing up of any work we’ve just put down.” “The last thing we want to do is expend public dollars and then have new pavement torn up,” Staples said. “We don’t want to throw away funds we’ve just spent.” An open house on the Harvard Bridge project was held Nov. 8 at City Hall. Staples said the next step is to receive and evaluate the final report from KPFF and “begin more serious discussions with WSDOT about how the project is going to proceed from here.” Development update Planning and Building Services Manager Amanda Tainio gave a report on city development activity noting that total building permits issued through the third quarter of this year are only slightly behind the same time last year when construction continued to flourish. The majority of single-family home construction shifted in the third quarter as projects south of I-90 like Stone Hill, Rocky Hill and Legacy Ridge slightly overtook the River District. Commercial permits included the Country Vista retail project and two additional buildings with carports in the Legacy Villas apartment complex. Meanwhile, specialty or senior housing projects have been defined by construction in Trutina, Stone Hill and Guardian Angel developments. “Permitting is currently at a record pace,” Tainio said when referring to a slide that showed planning and development trends in the city going back to 2002. Total property valuation increased $20 million from the second to third quarter, raising the total difference in 2017 to nearly $66 million, split between commercial and residential. In staffing news, Zach Johnson, who had served as the city’s permit technician, left in October for a job with Parametrix in October where he now works as a land designer and planner. Barbara Barker has been hired as the new permit technician. She has an extensive background in construction and project management. Budget hearing and property tax hike

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Finance Director R.J. Stevenson presided over the second public hearing on the 2018 budget Nov. 7, noting that a 1-percent increase in the property tax rate next year

See COUNCIL, Page 11

The Splash

DECEMBER 2017 • 11


$16.20 in 2018 on the property tax collected by the city.

Continued from page 10

would generate nearly $24,000 for the city. The current property tax rate in the city is at $1.69 per $1000 of assessed property value with the city of Liberty Lake collecting just over 12.5 percent of that total. The remainder of funds go to entities like the Central Valley School District, Spokane Valley Fire Department and Spokane County. Stevenson added that increases in assessed valuation “don’t always mean that your property tax will increase…it’s all proportional.” With increased in overall property valuation, the city’s tax rate is expected to drop to $1.63 per $1,000 in 2018 – even with a 1-percent hike. Stevenson pointed out that the city has a lower rate than neighboring cities like Spokane Valley ($1.90 per $1,000) and Millwood ($2.10 per $1,000). Cheney and Spokane check in on the high end with both around $3.50 per $1,000. Council Member Bob Moore – who voted against the 1-percent increase last year – pointed out the city has experienced a budget surplus the past three years, including a $900,000 surplus last year. “I don’t think we should increase taxes just because we can,” Moore said. “I think you increase taxes when you need the revenue for operations.” Stevenson countered by bringing up the city’s big financial picture. “I would say, in the long-term, we’re going to need this revenue or we’re going to be taxing citizens when times are tough,” he said. As he has in past budget discussions, Stevenson brought up the potential volatility of sales Looking for a great way to improve your child’s self-confidence, self-esteem, and overall fitness? Check out NWTKDA. First class is always free. Register for one month before Dec. 31, 2017 and receive a FREE uniform.

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Vehicles head north on Liberty Lake Road with the Harvard Road Bridge in the distance. The city of Liberty Lake is working with a group of consultants on a project that would add an additional northbound lane to the span. Photo by Craig Howard tax revenue, currently dominated by auto and RV retail activity and construction. “Why the 1-percent increase in property tax? It’s to maintain a level of service,” he said. “Sales tax tends to be elastic. It’s very driven by how the economy is doing.” Prior to the hearing on the budget, Council Member Hugh Severs gave a report from the finance committee, noting that sales tax revenue trailed off slightly in October but is still $300,000 ahead of 2017 budget estimates with auto and RV sales comprising 33 percent of that revenue. “That’s wonderful and healthy but we might want to think about some diversification there,” Severs said. During the budget hearing, Severs continued the theme. “We’re so fortunate to have those businesses and the sales tax we have coming in today,” he said. “It seems to me that auto and RV sales would be one of the first things hit by tough economic times. Then we talk about increasing taxes on citizens when they’re probably needing that money more than at any other time. I strongly support

the (1-percent) increase.” Peterson hearkened back to the start of the city in 2001 when residents were paying $2.10 per $1,000. He said the city is looking at significant costs for upcoming capital projects and should do its best to avoid the “structural deficit” currently faced by Spokane County. “We try to run a very efficient ship,” he said. “Our property tax goes to the police department and the library. You’ve got good service in this community – and in 2018, even adding in this 1-percent increase, you’ll pay 6 cents less. Our goal is to make sure this city is protected, or at least wellmanaged, for the future.” When the vote was finally called, Brickner, Dunne, Severs and Keith Kopelson voted in support of the property tax levy for 2018 with the 1-percent increase. Langford and Moore were opposed. Council Member Cris Kaminskas missed the meeting with an excused absence but sent in a written comment opposing the increase. The rate of $1.63 will mean a home valued at $270,000 will save

• In response to a citizen comment about traffic safety concerns on Appleway in the eastern part of the city, Staples indicated that funds have been set aside in the 2018 budget to restripe the road in that particular area, resulting in one center turn lane and one lane in each direction, east and west. “Right now, it is not as clear as it should be with the lines on the road and how the traffic perceives what’s going on,” Staples said. “We want to have clear directions for the cars and what they’re supposed to be doing.” • Christian Brothers Automotive was featured in the business spotlight at the Nov. 7 meeting. The business, which opened last year on Appleway and is owned by Kris and Anne Kramer, works on all makes and models of vehicles, specializing in diagnostics and addressing everything from oil changes to engine replacements. Kris was born and raised in the North Idaho area. “I’m thrilled to be back home,” he said. • Police Chief Brian Asmus has been named chair of the regional emergency communications board for 2018. • A ribbon cutting for the new Spokane Valley Fire Department Station No. 3 on Country Vista Drive will take place on Dec. 4 at 11 a.m. • A post card was mailed by the city in early November indicating the breakdown of “snow zones” throughout Liberty Lake and how street clearing is prioritized. The city will also help coordinate volunteer efforts among residents who wish to clear sidewalks and driveways of neighbors who may not be able to do so. Those interested in volunteering can call City Hall at 755-6700.


12 • DECEMBER 2017

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The Splash

Calendar of Events COMMUNITY EVENTS Dec. 2 | Friends of Pavillion Park 19th annual Holiday Ball, 5 p.m., Grand Pennington Ballroom at the historic Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane. Please consider supporting Friends of Pavillion Park (FOPP) by attending this year's Holiday Ball. This event is the Friends of Pavillion Park sole fundraiser. It is through the generous support of the community that FOPP is able to sponsor free events such as The Band Dawes, Robert Cray, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, the Spokane Symphony, Annual Outdoor Movie Series and more. You can support the cause by attending the Holiday Ball, becoming a sponsor or making a donation. To find out how to get involved, help or support the Liberty Lake Holiday Ball, contact Laura Frank @ pavillionpark@yahoo.com. Dec. 2 | Santa’s Breakfast, sponsored by Newman Lake Fire Auxiliary, 8 a.m.-noon, TriCommunity Grange, 25025 E Heather Lane, Newman Lake (onehalf block north of Trent on Starr). Stop by and have pancakes with all the fixings (a cash contribution is appreciated). Pictures with Santa are just $2. The Kids’ Gift Shop will be stocked for kids to buy presents for their family and friends. Nothing is priced over $3 and most everything is $1 or less. Elves are available to help wrap. Call Deb Davis at 2260187 for more information. Dec. 4 | Ribbon cutting for Liberty Lake Fire Station No. 3, 11 a.m., 21300 E. Country Vista Drive. Construction on this station began in March 2017. The station is being relocated from 2218 N. Harvard Road to help assure that response coverage keeps pace with development and growth, while maintaining the fast response times communities rely upon. Dec. 4 | City of Liberty Lake holiday celebration, 7 p.m., Pavillion Park. This free event will feature holiday lights, complimentary cookies and hot cocoa as well as an appearance by Santa Claus. This event is being sponsored by the local churches and Yoke’s Fresh Market. Dec. 9-12 | Reindeer Games and Christmas Cheer, noon to 3 p.m., Honor Point Museum, Felts Field 6095 Rutter Ave., Spokane. This community event will feature cookies and hot cocoa, holiday crafts and games and appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus. Admission

is $5 for kids; free for ages 2 and under; adults $10, seniors/military $7. This is also a Toys for Tots dropoff center. For more information, call 244-0244.

RECURRING ACT 2 senior classes | Affordable classes offered by Community Colleges of Spokane to those who are retired or planning to retire. A wide range of courses from geology and history to exercise and art are offered at CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place, as well as other locations throughout the area. “Focused Fitness on Dishman Mica,” a yoga class, is now part of the schedule. More at www.sccel. spokane.edu/ACT2 Military Sobriety Support Group | 10 to 11: 30 a.m., Spokane Vet Center, 13109 E. Mirabeau Parkway, Spokane Valley. Call Steve at 8934746 for more information Baha’i Fireside Conversation | 5 to 6 p.m., third Friday of the month. Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. Discussion of Baha’i teachings, history, and perspectives on resolving the challenges facing humanity. All are welcome. More at 599-2411 or www.bahai.us Catholic Singles Mingle | meeting times and locations vary. This group, with no dues, is for single adults of all ages. More at www.meetup.com/ Catholic-Singles-Mingle DivorceCare Recovery Support Group | Tuesdays 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Eastpoint Church, 15303 E. Sprague Ave. Learn how to heal from the deep hurt of divorce and discover hope for your future. DivorceCare for Kids (ages 5-12) meets at the same time and location. Cost is $25 for workbook. More at 892-5255 or eastpointchurch.com Grange Meeting and Dessert | 6:30 p.m., first Wednesday of the month, Tri-Community Grange, 25025 Heather St., Newman Lake. The public is welcome for this community-based service organization. For more information call 226-2202 or see us on Facebook Liberty Lake Library | 23123 E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake. Various clubs and weekly meetings including book clubs, children’s story times, LEGO club, computer drop-in class, knitting club, and more. More at www.libertylakewa.gov/library Men’s Weekly Bible Study | 7 a.m. Tuesdays. Millwood Presbyterian Church, 3223 N. Marguerite Road, Millwood. The men’s weekly Bible Study meets in the Reception Hall with different members sharing in the leading of the study. All men

are invited to join. More at www. milwoodpc.org Pancreatic Cancer Action Network | 6:30 p.m., the first Monday of each month. Liberty Lake Municipal Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake. More at www. pancan.org or 534-2564 Spokane County Library District | Locations include Argonne, Fairfield, Otis Orchards and Spokane Valley. Special events and weekly activities for all ages including book clubs, children’s story times, classes, Lego club, teen anime club and writing clubs. More at www.scld.org Toastmasters, Liberty Lakers #399 | 5:45 to 7 p.m., Wednesdays at the Liberty Lake Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake. This is a speaking and leadership development club. Spokane Valley Quilt Guild | Meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of February, April, June, August, October and December at Valley Assembly of God Church, 15618 E. Broadway, Spokane Valley. Open to all interested in sharing ideas and skills of our quilting craft. Participants have can access a comprehensive library, can engage experienced teachers and participate in community service projects. More at www.svqgspokane.com

MUSIC & THE ARTS Nov. 30-Dec. 3. | The Nutcracker, Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox, 1001 W. Sprague Ave. A cherished family tradition signaling the start of the holiday season. This production features 75 local dancers and live music composed by Tchaikovsky and performed by the Spokane Symphony. Hours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25-$82/ adults, $17.50-$57/age 12 and younger. For more information, call 624-1200 Dec. 2 | Holiday Craft Fair, Spokane Community College, 1810 N. Greene Street, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This event is free to the public and will feature over 100 vendors. Sparky’s Subs will be on-site for lunch. Free parking. For more information, call 533-7000. Dec. 6 | A Christmas Story, The Musical, 7:30 p.m., Spokane Civic Theatre, 1020 N. Howard Street. The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with a reception and auction. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. Proceeds will

The Splash

DECEMBER 2017 • 13


support the Northeast Community Center in their mission of improving life for residents of northeast Spokane. Tickets are $35. For more information, call 487-1603.

RECURRING Drop-in square dance lessons | 7 to 8:30 p.m. (through May 18). Western Dance Center, 1901 N. Sullivan Road. Square dance lessons for $3 per person; no partner needed. More at 270-9264 Pages of Harmony | 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Wednesdays. Thornhill Valley Chapel, 1400 S. Pines Road. If you enjoy singing, you will love the fourpart, a cappella harmony of this men’s barbershop chorus. More at www.pagesofharmony.org Spirit of Spokane Chorus | 6:45 p.m., Tuesdays. Opportunity Presbyterian Church, 202 N. Pines Road. Make new friends by joining this women’s chorus, specializing in four-part, a cappella harmony in the barbershop style. More at 218-4799 Spokane Novelists Group | noon to 4 p.m., second and fourth Saturday of the month. Otis Orchards Community Church, 23304 E. Wellesley Ave., Otis Orchards. A support/critique group for writers. Open to anyone with an interest in writing fiction (no memoirs, nonfiction, poetry, etc., please). Participants should bring 5-10 pages to read aloud and 6-8 copies for others to read along and critique. More at 590-7316 Spokane Valley Camera Club | 7:15 p.m., third and fourth Monday of the month (September through April). Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District building, 22510 E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake. All levels of ability—students through experienced photographers—are invited to learn. Social events include field trips and workshops. More at 951-1446 or www.sv-cc.org Spokane Valley Writer’s Group | 6:15 p.m. the first and third Thursdays of the month. Lakeside Church, 23129 E. Mission Ave. This supportive critique group welcomes adult writers. More at 570-4440 Teen Writers of the Inland Empire | 4 p.m., first Thursday of the month (except holidays). Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. Writers (sixth grade and older) meet to write and share their work. More at 893-8400

HEALTH & RECREATION Wednesday mornings | Mindful Music & Movement class, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Specifically designed for those living with chronic health issues such as:

Parkinson's, dementia, COPD, MS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, cancer. Supporting body, mind and soul. $10 donation suggested. Facilitated by board-certified Music Therapist, Carla Carnegie. Willow Song Music Therapy Center. 21101 E. Wellesley #102. Otis Orchards. For more information, visit www. willowsongmusictherapy.com or call 592 7875.

RECURRING HUB Sports Center 19619 E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. Various activities and events occur throughout the week including: • Pickleball drop-in: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Mon. through Thurs.; 10 a.m. to noon Tues. and Thurs.; and 6 to 8 p.m. Wed. and Sun. $3/seniors ($5/ non-seniors) • Classes including Kenpo Karate and Zumba Aerobics. See website for cost and times Tuesday afternoons | Decreasing Anger Group, 3 to 4:30 p.m., the Vet Center, 13109 E. Mirabeau Parkway, Spokane Valley. Eligibility: Combat veteran from all eras, military sexual trauma survivors, Contact Steve at 893-4746 to make an intake appointment.


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RECURRING Central Valley School Board | 6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of each month, CVSD administration building, 19307 E. Cataldo, Spokane Valley Liberty Lake City Council | 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, City Hall, 22710 E. Country Vista Drive Liberty Lake Library Foundation | Noon the first Wednesday of each month, 23123 E. Mission Ave. Liberty Lake Merchants Association | 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays, Liberty Lake Portal, 23403 E. Mission Ave., Suite 120. More at 999-4935 Liberty Lake Municipal Library Board | 10:30 a.m. the first Thursday of each month, 23123 E. Mission Ave. Liberty Lake Planning Commission | 4 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month, City Hall, 22710 E. Country Vista Drive Liberty Lake SCOPE (Sheriff’s Community Oriented Policing Effort) | 6:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month, City Hall, 22710 E. Country Vista Drive Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District Board | 4 p.m. on the second Monday of each month, 22510 E. Mission Ave.

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The Splash

14 • DECEMBER 2017

Gee Automotive expands with Mercedes-Benz dealership By Staci Lehman

Splash Correspondent You could say 2017 has been a banner year for Gee Automotive Companies, headquartered right here in Liberty Lake with another dealership in Coeur d’Alene. CEO Ryan Gee said the company tripled in scale last year. That’s because Gee Automotive acquired one local dealership over the last year and 16 stores in Oregon. “With acquisition of the Tonkins family of dealerships based in Portland, we became the largest family dealership in the Northwest,” Gee said. In addition to the Tonkins acquisition, the Gee brand also recently purchased the Mercedes


the upcoming year. “We should do $1.2 billion in revenue in 2018,” he said of the entire company of dealerships, which sell Hondas, Subarus, Buicks, GMCs, Cadillacs, Kias and Mercedes across the region, as well as a variety of used cars and trucks.

Liberty Lake-based Gee Automotive Companies recently purchased the Mercedes Benz dealership in Liberty Lake from Lithia, situated next door to the Gee campus off Interstate 90. Photo by Staci Lehman Benz of Spokane dealership in Liberty Lake from Lithia. Located immediately next door to the existing Gee campus on the north side of Interstate 90, the acquisition was ideal for the company as far as location. Gee is excited about the new store for a different reason though. “We’d like to get the word out that Lithia is once again locally owned,” he said. The Mercedes dealership’s name will stay the same and staff at the location was retained as well. The addition of that store brings the number of current Gee Automotive

employees to 1,600, with plans to hire more in the near future to keep up with projected sales for 2018 and beyond. “We’re hiring,” said Gee. “We’re looking for more great people.” Besides new employees companywide, another change in the works is for the look of the Mercedes-Benz store. There are plans to remodel it going into the new year. “Just a refresh and modernization,” said Gee. “We’re still in the design process right now but that should be complete about mid-2018.” Gee also has plans for expanding sales, with some big goals set for

The increased size of the company will mean not only an increase in revenue but a boost in impact Gee Automotive has on the area’s economy, something Gee takes pride in. “I’m born and raised in Spokane,” he said. “I think it’s cool to have the largest family owned dealership in the region right here.” Gee was also raised in the car business. His parents opened a single Pontiac dealership in Spokane in 1983 and the company took off from there. Through hard work and a mindset that many companies don’t have any more, Gee Automotive Companies has continued to grow. “We’ve had a family-based culture,” he said. “We’ve worked to keep that family feel.”

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The Splash

DECEMBER 2017 • 15

City snow plan taps new equipment, contractor

By Tyler Wilson Splash Correspondent The city of Liberty Lake is focused on improving snow removal and road maintenance this winter with a number of changes, including the purchase of its own de-icing vehicle. In the past, Liberty Lake relied on outside contractors and vehicles to handle snow removal. Now the city is working towards longerterm solutions that will speed response time, said Liberty Lake City Administrator Katy Allen. “What we’ve found over the years when we used outside resources, there was a challenge in the consistency of service and it really limited us to respond to our community’s needs and be flexible,” Allen said. The de-icing truck, which is currently being outfitted and will be available by mid-December, will be kept in the city, allowing for city staff to respond to road conditions faster. Allen said the city researched comparable size communities in the area and Liberty Lake stood out as one of the few that didn’t utilize their own equipment. The de-icing truck is the first step in becoming more autonomous and saving money on snow removal in the long term. “This equipment has a 25-to 30year life on it and while these are large investments, in the long run, we will have a better service at an ultimately lower cost,” Allen said. Street section lead Stephen Williams was hired by the city earlier this year to manage the snow removal and road maintenance process. He recently spent nearly 12 years handling road maintenance in Idaho’s Shoshone County. “It is a new position - we knew at the end of last winter we needed to rethink snow removal services,” Allen said. “After speaking to other cities, we knew we needed to turn a corner and the first step was to hire Stephen.” Alongside city officials, Williams looked at its response time with prior contractors and found areas for improvement. He said previous contracting relationships often resulted in as much as a four-hour delay between service requests

The city of Liberty Lake is taking a new approach to snow removal and street maintenance this winter, including rental of its own snow plow trucks and the hire of a new street section lead. Contributed photo and the start of plowing. “We can (now) be out there in a matter of an hour,” Williams said. “Our time frame has been cut down considerably, so we can be more responsive to our citizens.” The city hired contractor Poe Asphalt to handle snow removal this year. Additionally, the city rented its own snow removal equipment for the season to be stored within the city. “Once we call them to start plowing, we can have all the equipment fired up and ready to go, then the contractor can get going right when they arrive,” Williams said. Allen said the equipment the city rented this year is “street-scale” equipment better suited for major snow removal. “Last year we used landscapescale (equipment),” she said. “This is heavier equipment than what we used before.” Williams added that after some number-crunching, the use of the new contractor and rental equipment is comparably priced to last year’s services. The city rented a de-icing vehicle to fill the gap between the season’s first icy conditions and the arrival of the in-house vehicle. Williams is

one staff member with the city who drives the vehicle and has made it a priority to stay on top of conditions. “I always plan for the worst and hope for the best and I monitor the weather several times a day,” he said. “If it looks like it’s going to get icy, we’re going to go out and de-ice.” Allen said the city is also working toward finding and purchasing property within city limits to permanently store the de-icing vehicle and future snow removal equipment. Road maintenance will also be a high priority for the city this winter and Allen said city staff work diligently to repair potholes in a timely manner. “If we have a pothole in Liberty Lake, someone calls us immediately,” Allen said. “We usually can get out there that day. If it’s the weekend, it will be Monday.” Winter road repair requires a cold mix that is only most effective on bare, dry asphalt. Depending on weather conditions throughout the season, some potholes may need more than one repair. Allen said the city will also work to keep the public informed about snow removal plans. A post-card mailer was sent out to residents

indicating neighborhood zones, when the city plows and where and what residents need to do beforehand. The plan calls for arterials and collectors to be plowed at 2 inches and residential streets plowed at 4 inches. The city plans to announce when zones will be plowed via email, text and the city Facebook page. The city website also includes plowing zones for the season and more information. Visit www. libertylakewa.gov or call 755-7514. Residents can sign up for text or email alerts by going to the city website and clicking on the “Notify Me” banner.


The Splash

16 • DECEMBER 2017

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The Splash

DECEMBER 2017 • 17

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The Holiday season is upon is. It feels like it snuck up on us – but what an exciting time of year.

This is the time of year to take some extra time to recognize and say “thank you” to all the people that surround and impact us in our daily lives. Whether it’s sharing a meal with close friends and/or family, giving a gift to someone to show your appreciation, or enjoying some holiday cheer (maybe with Santa). It is with that thought that we have pulled together our annual “Eat, Shop and Be Merry” guide this year, complete with local businesses to check some of these items off your holiday list. From the team here at The Splash and The Current, we want to thank you, our readers for taking the time to read our publication and advertisers for partnering with us to share their stories. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed taking the time to meet all of these friends and neighbors and help with some ideas for making your holiday the best one ever. We encourage you to pause from your busy everyday routine to appreciate all of the wonderful people around us and help spread the holiday cheer! Ben Wick, Publisher

18 • DECEMBER 2017

The Splash

The Splash

Holiday Gift Guide

When you go out shopping this holiday season check out these local businesses and support members of our community while finding unique, eclectic, personal or elegant gifts for anyone on your shopping list. Pricing key $ – $0 - $50 $$ – $50-$200 $$$ – You really like this person Adorkable Flowers and Gifts

This longtime Valley florist has over 30,000 square feet of greenhouse space in which to showcase their bouquets and special arrangements. They also have a large selection of candles, plush, balloons and gift items. Throughout the year, special events are also hosted here such as pictures with Santa and the Easter Bunny. $ Our Choice: Plush toys. Large assortment that are sure to capture anyone this season.

DECEMBER 2017 • 19

Gourmet goodies readily available for your consumption. Here you can find delicacies ranging from fudge and chocolates to caramel apples and ice cream. You can usually find a sample of one of their tasty treats to try. $ Our Choice: Chocolate covered caramel apple. Choose from a large assortment of flavors such as “apple pie,” “turtle pecan,” and the holiday special “peppermint stick.” The Bike HUB

Artistry in Gold

891-1999, 14222 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley At the BrickHouse, you’ll step away from your stress and indulge in some of your favorite things. Whether you are coming in alone, with your sweetheart or with a group of friends, we have the spa package to fit your needs. Give us a call to schedule your perfect BrickHouse spa day today! $-$$ Our choice: Gift Card. They have a vast variety of services. Give the gift of relaxation and pampering to anyone on your list. Bruttles

922-6300, 21950 E. Country Vista Drive, Suite 500, Liberty Lake The welcoming shop owners have vastly expanded their inventory over the last year. The store atmosphere is still welcoming, eclectic and creative, all things that you are sure to find in the arrangements and gifts that here. Purchase custom or prearranged flowers, candy bouquets, potted plants, balloon arrangements, local artist work, and more. $ Our Choice: Metal ornaments that are beautiful and versatile. Choose from animals, angels, Christmas letters and more. Hang them on your tree or hang on the rearview mirror in your car. $ Our Choice: An assortment of wonderful stocking stuffers to delight both the young and young at heart. Appleway Florist and Gifts

924-5050, 11006 E, Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley

228-9509, 12609 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley 927-4569, 13817 E. Sprague Ave., Suite 7, Spokane Valley This quaint jewelry store specializes in custom design and superior quality craftsmanship with their own on-site goldsmith. They pride themselves in personalizing their customer service to the needs of their customers to ensure that every client leaves happy and never regrets a purchase. They also carry a generous assortment of jewelry and gifts ready to take home and wrap. $ Our Choice: Silver ring holder. Perfect to set next to any sink and keep your rings safe while washing your hands. Big Bear Chocolates

891-2662, Located near the food court in the Spokane Valley Mall

443-4005, 12505 E. Sprague Ave. #101, Spokane Valley A friendly, full-service bicycle shop in the heart of Spokane Valley. Go in and let the friendly staff help you, or browse their catalog online. Either way you are sure to find cool gadgets or just the right bike for you. $$ Our choice: Rechargeable bike light. This time of year it gets dark fast. Help keep your loved one safe with this light, that conveniently recharges.

Fresh, grade A ingredients go into the making of these confections using recipes that have been passed down for over 60 years. Originally a turn down service at the Davenport Hotel, these delicacies can now be found in Spokane Valley. Along with the original soft peanut brittle, you can find salt water taffy, caramels, butter toffee and chocolate bark. $-$$ Our choice: Original soft peanut brittle. Its “soft” texture make it a great choice for those with a sweet tooth of all ages. The Butcher Block at Hay J’s

Brickhouse Massage & Coffee Bar

928-4530, 21724 E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake The Butcher Block at Hay J’s is committed to offering the finest

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20 • DECEMBER 2017

selection in Beef, Pork, Poultry, Seafood, Artisan Cheese and Deli Meats along with the friendly service of an old time neighborhood butcher shoppe. $-$$ Our choice: Meat rubs. Unique flavors to choose from that will suit any cooks taste. And maybe it will get you an invitation to dinner to test it out?

wheel” for a prize, which includes geodes, rocks, worry stones and other treasures to choose from. $$ Our Choice: Rock tumbler. For any child or adult that enjoys rocks these tumblers make an ideal gift for decades of polishing capabilities for treasures found on the ground. Liberty Lake Eyecare Center

Coin Corner

$ Our Choice: 2016 silver eagle dollar coin. Great gift for the collector or to use as a stocking stuffer. Hallett’s Marketplace and Cafe

927-8206, 11806 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley

Since 1934, Peter’s has been helping customers find solutions to problems and repair broken parts. They also give advice on projects. With widely stocked shelves, their friendly service can help you with anything you need.

What originally started as a home-based gift basket service is now a gift boutique with fullservice website with local delivery. They offer the ability to choose, or have them create, unique gifts for any family member or friend this holiday season and all year round.

$ Our Choice: Real garden tool. $ Our Choice: Powersmith LED work-light.

928-0860, 9215 E. Trent, Spokane Valley For over 35 years and through three generations, the Coin Corner has been buying and selling investment coins and collections. They also deal with historical memorabilia, maps, documents and military documents. Excellent place to explore if you have been collecting for years or are just starting out.

926-3646, 12118 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley

Silver Bow Fly Shop

509-893-7574, 2207 #100, Liberty Lake


Chocolates made from tradition, these are sure to find a part to play in yours. For over 100 years this company has been providing us with Murphys, mints, caramels, nut clusters and other treats. Although we have listed their main store in downtown Spokane, Spokandy selections can be found at Big Bear Chocolates, Simply Northwest, and other establishments throughout the Spokane Valley area. For your convenience, place your order and have it delivered to your door.


With improved hours for more convenient scheduling the staff takes providing excellent eye care seriously. They have a wide range of brands for you to choose from for both clear lens and sun protection. $$-$$$ Our Choice: Sunglasses. With an abundance of choices this is the place to go for classic, colorful, and unique sunglasses.

926-4076, 14109 E. Sprague Ave., #2, Spokane Valley

Irv’s Rock and Gifts 924-5464, 11907 E. Trent Ave., Spokane Valley For over 50 years Irv, and now his daughter Liz, have been educating the community on the intricacies of jewelry, rocks, stones and gems. Irv’s offers ways to learn about rocks and gems for adults and children. Every Saturday, children under the age of 18 can “spin the

$ Our Choice: Snowman. There are tons to choose from in multiple price points ranging from $ 6.99 - $39.99. You are sure to find a treasure that someone will cherish. 624-1969, 1412 W. Third Ave., Spokane

924-9998, 13210 E. Indiana Ave., Spokane Valley

$$ Our choice: Gift basket. Premade or do it yourself, this basket is the perfect gift for the host of the Christmas party you’re attending or your mother-in-law. Completely customizable, they can cater to any foodie or buy local enthusiast on your shopping list this holiday season.



Pawpular Companions

The marketplace section of this unique business offers a generous makeup of soup mixes, jams, candles, beverages, dips and the largest variety of huckleberry items, all made in the Pacific Northwest. Not to mention Hallett’s chocolates, a local favorite for over 30 years. There is always something new and local to be found here.


927-8890, 21950 E. Country Vista Drive, # 100, Liberty Lake Although the square footage of their store may be small, these pet lovers have managed to have a plethora of food and treats, toys, beds, dishes, collars and other pet supplies available. The owners, Carl and Mara, and their staff are friendly and knowledgeable and take the time to help you make choices that are best for you and your furry family. $ Our Choice: Collars. The variety of rolled leather, sparkly and studded collar choices is unparalleled. Peter’s Hardware

With a goal of “making fish nervous,” this business focuses on carrying gear that is tried and true for all those who wish to try the art of fly fishing. They are available to offer advice based on knowledge from their own time on the water during store hours and at the numerous classes and community events they host throughout the community. $ Our Choice: Fly tying kit. For the fisherman that wants to start being a little more adventurous. If they need a little extra help, there are fly tying classes available as well. Simply Northwest

$ Our Choice: Mints. Buy an assorted pack, available in holiday variety or pastels and you are sure to make a good impression on whomever you gift them to. The Trellis Marketplace


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yo 928-6158, 4102 Spokane Valley



A veritable smörgåsbord of gift options awaits you at this destination gift boutique. They have items to inspire, amuse, paper, comfort and charm all. They believe that building relationships with their customers inspires loyalty and support in order for visitors to leave as friends. $ Our Choice: Ornaments. They have lots of different choices to choose from that are certain to meet anyone on your lists taste. This Old House 892-3099, 10619 E. Trent Ave., Spokane Valley

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DECEMBER 2017 • 21

HOLIDAY GUIDE Halletts Market & Café, Inc Eat, Shop & Be Merry this Holiday Season at

14109 E. Sprague #2, Spokane Valley, WA 99216 509-926-4076 www.halletts.com

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seasonal beer (over 80 to choose from) while you eat & shop!

EAT: Home of our famous Mac & Cheese,

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SHOP: Tasteful Holiday Gifts for Everyone on your list; Family, Friends, Employees, Business Associates - we specialize in corporate gifts

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1431 N Liberty Lake Rd, Ste B Liberty Lake 99019 www.healthyLivingLL.com

“We have the largest selection of local and NW products in the Valley. Hand-made Chocolates, Holiday Wine & Beer packs, Huckleberry everything, Smoked Salmon. Come in and let us show you what we have to offer.”

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22 • DECEMBER 2017

10% OFF Find the perfect new toy and enjoy our large selection of pet clothing to keep them warm and dry this season *Expires 12/24/17

Happy Holidays

We have the largest assortment of


21950 E. Country Vista Dr. #100 Liberty Lake, WA 99019

(509) 927-8890


Flowers & Gifts

Find the perfect gift this holiday season to help celebrate lifes precious moments!

Check Out Our Unique Holiday Gift Selection! Find one of a kind gifts such as air plants, personalized handmade cards, gift baskets, succulents, blown glass, handcrafted soap and jewlery, plushies, seasonal and housewarming gifts and more! 21950 E Country Vista Drive Suite 500 Liberty Lake WA 99019


Veteran Owned Business Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 :00 am - 6:00 pm

ade and e!

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DECEMBER 2017 • 23

The only second-hand store on our list, these crafters re-purpose and refashion vintage furniture into one-of-a-kind treasures. Throughout their three store spaces, cleverly retrofitted from old houses, you will find exclusive yard and garden decor, holiday decor, kitchen items, jewelry and more.

for the seasoned player or starter boards for those just beginning. They will even give you a lesson! Valley Candles

$-$$ Our Choice: ???? Spend an afternoon wondering through all they have to offer. You are sure to find something to cross off your Christmas shopping list or go home with a treasure for yourself to spruce up the house for the holidays. Tracy Jewelers Found at Hallett’s Marketplace and Simply Northwest - You can also purchase on Amazon

893-2929, 106 Spokane Valley



Although their slogan may be “where Spokane gets engaged,” engagement rings are far from the only items carried here. They stock a broad selection of diamond and colored gemstone jewelry along with offering jewelry repair, custom design, restoration and appraisal services.

A hobby that turned in to a love and now a thriving business. These candles are crafted with US Soy grown wax that is non-GMM and scented with oils that do not have any harmful chemicals. You will enjoy the “smooth, long lasting burn with an exceptional scent throw off the candle.” $ Our Choice: 14 Oz Candle. Burns 70 hours. Choose any scent and the recipient is sure to think of you each time they light it up. White Elephant

Give the gift of care for your loved one in the coming new year Visit us anytime for a tour

Assisted Living | Retirement Apartments Independent Cottages Secured environment for Alzheimer’s & Dementia • Nursing Care • Diabetic Care • Pet Friendly

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New Independent Duplex Homes Under Construction Now!

$$ Our Choice: LaFonn earrings. Featuring a variety of style selections, all sure to please the recipient. Uncle’s Books and Games

FROM 924-3006, 12614 E Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley 891-7620, Located Spokane Valley Mall



Locally owned shop featuring board games, puzzles, books and more. Most night there is a “game night” event hosted at their location. Having trouble understanding a board game? They will help. Check out their full calendar on their website for details. $ Our Choice: Chess board. Excellent choices of unique boards

Our area’s most iconic discount toy and sporting goods store. You are sure to find the best prices on quality products, often not carried anywhere else in town. $ Our Choice: Spicy Farkle. A great family game that is easy to travel with. $ Our Choice: Hydroflask Water bottles. Keeps your drink warm or cool for hours. We all need to stay hydrated, so give one to everyone on your list.

A Beautiful Neighborhood of Award Winning Homes

23102 E. Mission Avenue Liberty Lake, Washington 99019

509-893-9300 www.guardianangelhomes.com

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24 • DECEMBER 2017

Fares to Share

We, here at The Splash and The Current have been gallivanting around the area in search of tasty morsels to tantalize your taste buds this holiday season when you need a break from the kitchen. Here are our favorite bites from our local eateries that we couldn’t wait to share with you.

Max at Mirabeau Restaurant and Lounge 1100 N. Sullivan, Spokane Valley Spokane Valley’s finest dining experience! So good we couldn’t pick just one. Grilled King Salmon with huckleberry glaze, steamed jasmine rice, vegetables Center cut fillet mignon (10 ounce) served with a Yukon mash

Barlows 1428 N Liberty Lake Rd, Liberty Lake Go to enjoy traditional American fare. Our favorite is the apple harvest pork chop that they serve

Ding How 1332 N. Liberty Lake Rd., Liberty Lake Sushi is all made fresh in front of you by a Japanese trained sushi chef. The lobster roll and the Washington roll are yummy.

with an apple compote.

The Cork House 1400 N. Meadowwood Lane, Liberty Lake Serving amazingly fresh food, spirits and coffee suitable for every palette. We enjoyed the grilled ribeye cipollini in balsamic, arugula, Point Reyes bleu and served with mashed Yukon gold potatoes.

The Well 21980 E. Country Vista Drive, Liberty Lake A locally owned coffee house that serves delicious lettuce wraps to accompany your favorite beverage. Or go for breakfast and try one of their amazing Acai Bowl. Oh and did we mention they cater?

Ferraro’s 11204 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley Family owned and operated Italian restaurant. The penne with pesto Sauce is perfect after a hard day of retail therapy

Ambrosia 9211 E. Montgomery, Spokane Valley Simply put, the Ambrosia Bistro is delicious. We thoroughly enjoyed the Orange ginger glazed salmon. Palenque 1102 N. Liberty Lake Rd., Liberty Lake Local Mexican restaurant overlooking the Trailhead golf course. We shared a tasty combination platter while enjoying a lovely view.

True Legends 1803 N. Harvard Rd. Liberty Lake We love their burgers, but they also have Prime Rib Friday Nights. Yumm!

Hallett’s Market and Café 14109 E. Sprague Ave. Spokane Valley A longtime Valley favorite for shopping and eating After eating a grilled mac and cheese, you can find the perfect candy for dessert. Caruso’s 2314 N. Argonne Road., Spokane Valley Known for making pizza dough




TICKETS: 509.624.1200

Enjoy best-loved works from the Baroque period at Spokane Valley Church of the Nazarene.


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DECEMBER 2017 • 25

from scratch daily Our favorites are the Hawaiian and when you’re not in the mood for red sauce try the Legit

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Vintage Vines 106 N Evergreen, Spokane Valley Enjoy a relaxing night out with that special someone or the girls sipping wine or learning about beer as you enjoy a nice BLT or some of their other tasty offerings.

Conley’s 12622 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley Offering American fares with an Irish twist. Whether you visit them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner you are sure to leave with a full, happy stomach. During holiday seasons they usually have specials, so go try something new!

Longhorn Barbecue 2315 N Argonne, Spokane Valley A longtime family favorite in Spokane Valley. We love their sandwiches (beef, turkey, ham, or pork) - which can be eaten in the restaurant or picked up and taken back to your home to enjoy with family and/or friends. Don’t forget their juicy steaks and yummy ribs too!

Rancho Viejo 14201 E. Sprague, Spokane Valley Enjoy a bit of Mexican? Try this family friendly locally owned establishment. Great for large groups. Friendly service with yummy choices. Don’t worry they will let you take home the left overs.

LaLozy 13917 E. Trent, Spokane Valley If you haven’t yet discovered this unique establishment, get ready! Although they are a coffee shop, they also serve fresh made from scratch Asian food that you will sure enjoy and be coming back for more. All of their dishes are made to order, so that means cutting up fresh vegetables, using their signature sauces that are made from scratch, using NO MSG. This has quickly become one of our favorite lunch and dinner spots. To save a little time you can call your order in advance before going to pick it up.

Mongolian BBQ 15416 E Sprague, Spokane Valley Family owned and operated, roomy establishment. Go in, choose all your own fruit, vegetables, meats, noodles, and sauces. Watch them cook it up and then enjoy!

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Santa is Coming toandTown... here is where you can find him It’s that time of year again when Kris Kringle takes a shuttle sleigh to sites across the great Spokane Valley. So keep an ear out for the jingle bells, Santa is coming to town and here is where you can find him: SPOKANE VALLEY MALL 14700 E. Indiana Ave., Spokane Valley Call: 926-3700 Come to the lower JC Penney court to see Santa or make reservations ahead of time to save some time. Plus, save 30 percent on your photos by pre-ordering a package online. Visit before Dec. 9 to save an extra $5. Reservations and photo purchases are not required to visit Santa. Reservations and photo purchases are not required to visit Santa. Regular Hours: Monday – Saturday: 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM Sunday: 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM Special Hours:

12/16 – 12/23: Reg Hours: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM 12/18: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM Christmas Eve: 9:00AM – 6:00PM (Break: 1:00PM – 2:00PM) *Santa may take occasional breaks to feed the reindeer. Photos with Santa is sponsored by Tiny Prints. RB PHOTOGRAPHY SANTA’S WORKSHOP 9335 N. Division, Spokane Call: 822-9056 Tired of the long lines in the mall? Want to include the fourlegged members of your family in the picture on your time? Then RB Photography Santa’s Workshop is for you. Come and sit in Santa’s sleigh with the entire family. Enjoy the nice quiet setting, personal quality time and the best Santa photos you will ever have. No appointments necessary just drop on by. Come in early for the shortest wait times the week before Christmas is busy, busy, busy. Traditional to fun, it’s

up to you!! BREAKFAST WITH SANTA CenterPlace Regional Event Center - 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley Call: 688-0300 Saturday, Dec. 2 $5 per person Registration Information: Registration to this event is required. Space is limited. Call 509720-5200 or visit spokanevalley. org/santabreakfast This year there will be no photographs with Santa provided by the Spokane Valley Parks and Recreation staff. Please take your own photos if you like. Sponsored by Rotary Club of Spokane Valley and the City of Spokane Valley SPOKANE VALLEY FIRE STATION #8 2110 N Wilbur Rd., Spokane Valley Call: 892-4155 Spokane Valley Fire Department invites the community to join us Dec. 2 from 10 am - 2 pm for a free family fun with Santa! Meet your firefighters and paramedics, check out both fire engines housed at Station 8 and take pictures with Santa! Tour the largest fire station in our Department and try on firefighter gear. Enjoy holiday treats and cool giveaways. And, get a free Operation Family ID child safety kit. visit www.spokanevalleyfire. com. CABELA’S 101 N. Cabela Ave., Post Falls Call: 208-777-6300 Take your own photos with Santa or receive one free keepsake photo per family. Line closes at 1:45 p.m. Saturday Nov. 25, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday Dec. 2, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday Dec. 9, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday Dec. 16, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. LONE WOLF HARLEYDAVIDSON 19011 E. Cataldo Ave., Spokane Valley

Call: 927-3306 Saturday Dec. 2, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Come on down to get your picture with our Harley Santa! Always a fun event. Pictures include complementary picture frame while supplies last. Also, $5 donations or a toy for Toys for Tots are appreciated! HONOR POINT MUSEUM HOSTS SANTA Felts Field, 6095 Rutter Ave, Spokane Valley Call: 244-0244 Fly in & Join Us for Reindeer Games and Christmas Cheer Cookies & Cocoa with Santa and Mrs Claus Christmas Crafts and Games. Saturday December 9th 12 – 3 PM Kids $5, 2 & under free, Adults $10, Seniors /Military $7 Toys for Tots Drop Off Center HEIDI PRATT - GLIMPSE PHOTOGRAPHY 201 W. Riverside, Spokane Call: 869-4488 Saturday Dec. 2, 201 W Riverside, Suite 201 in Spokane Why stand in line at the mall, when you can reserve your spot at Glimpse Photography Studio? Packages start at $35. The background will be Simple, Merry and Bright and of course Santa with Mrs. Claus. Santa is going to have a real white beard none of that fake itchy stuff. Hope you love it as much as I do!! Sessions include one digital file with a print release for unlimited printing and a gift from Santa. There is the option to upgrade to multiple poses/images if you have the desire to do a family pose or something more creative. Plus, this year I am also offering beautiful photo Christmas tree ornaments!! Sweat pea and the Pauper and I have teamed up to offer these amazing photo ornaments. They are stunning!! You will be able to purchase them the day of the session. Sign ups are now live! You can

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choose your session time. Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas!! MAX AT MIRABEAU 1100 N. Sullivan Road, Spokane Valley Call: 922-6252 Annual Breakfast with Santa. Reservations are recommended. Call for details, unavailable at time of print HIGH COUNTRY ORCHARD 8518 E. Green Bluff Road, Colbert Call: 238-9545 Skip the mall and find Santa at High Country Orchard from 11am3pm. Have a sleigh ride and take your picture any Wednesday Saturday before Christmas. Cost is $8/child or $25/family. Images delivered online with a full release of copyright. Pre-purchase tickets online or walk-on set with no reservations needed! No Amex cards please, Visa and Mastercard great! APPLEWAY FLORIST AND GREENHOUSE 11006 E. Sprague, Spokane Valley Call: 924-5050 Appleway Florist and Greenhouse is ready for Christmas and the winter holiday season with poinsettias, festive centerpieces, creative fresh and artificial bouquets, plush

animals, plants, balloons and much more. Photo buttons are available in two sizes for $5 or $7. The 5 x 7 inch pictures are $7 or nine wallet size pictures on a sheet for $7. Or bring your own camera and use the fabulous backdrop! REAL LIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – RACHELLE FLATT 707 W. Seventh Ave., Spokane Call: 280-4420 Dec. 2 & 3 Each child gets a photo individually and in a sibling or family group each reservation is either 5 or 10 min depending in which space is reserved. The cost is $45 payable via the sign-up link. There is a letter writing to Santa station and cookies for all participants as well as a candy can from Santa himself. Each reservation receives 1-5 images this varies on family size... All other details and disclaimers are posted in the sign-up link The event is December 2 & 3 Possibly Dec 9th & 10 will be added soon. To sign up for a reservation there is a link for each date https://m.signupgenius.com/#!/ showSignUp/20f0f4daea92ca2fd0-2017 https://m.signupgenius.com/#!/ showSignUp/20f0f4daea92ca2fd0-20171

CHRISTI LANE PHOTOGRAPHY 511 S. Sullivan Apt 124, Spokane Valley Call: 216-9448 Nov. 28 to Dec. 8. I’m doing photos with Santa. A half hour for $40 or a hour for $100 kids will help Santa decorate a tree have cookies and even play with some of Santa’s toys with Santa and receive a special treat and of course tell Santa what they want for Christmas as well feel free to message me if your interested SANTA’S BREAKFAST HOSTED BY THE NEWMAN LAKE FIRE AUXILIARY Tri-Community Grange 25025 E Heather Ln Dec. 2, 8 am – 12 pm Come have pancakes with all the fixin’s (just make a cash contribution). Pictures with Santa are just $2. And the Kids Gift Shop will be stocked for kids to buy presents for their family and friends. Nothing is priced over $3, and most everything is $1 or less. Elves are available to help wrap so gifts can remain secret until the big day. Any proceeds benefit Newman Lake Fire and Rescue, but we really just want this to be a great community event.


Brought to you by LCM

If you would like to donate cash, breakfast makings, or gifts, please contact Kelli Lemley (990-8797), Dawnell Geller (723-6064), or Deb Davis (226-0187). SANTA’S BREAKFAST HOSTED BY THE NEWMAN LAKE FIRE AUXILIARY Tri-Community Grange 25025 E Heather Ln Dec. 2 - 3, 11 am – 3 pm Santa will be stopping by Sat Dec 2nd 11-3 and Sunday 113,for free family pictures in our new workshop! We will also have a professional photographer on hand to offer a beautiful custom photo for a small donation to the Green Bluff Lions Club. Stop by at the Gingerbread Barn and see Santa! SATURDAY WITH SANTA AT THE LIBRARY 23123 E Mission Ave, Liberty Lake (509) 232-2510 Dec 9, 10:30 am - 1:30 pm Come visit with Santa at our annual event! Crafts and activities while you wait for your turn to see Santa. Take your own photos or purchase them from Bugaboo Photography. Everyone who arrives by 1:30 pm sharp will get to see Santa.

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Holiday Desserts you can serve with pride

DECEMBER 2017 • 29

Why not take something off your list this year to give you some extra time to share with friends and family? Here are some excellent desserts that you can pick -up or order last minute to finish off your holiday table with the same tradition and flair, but without all the time and clean-up. We hope you will try out these tasty treats th

Cash & Carry 211 S McKinnon, Spokane Valley (509) 535-7710 Take your Christmas dessert game to a whole new level. This decadent chocolate mousse cake is rich and delicious. Comes frozen so you can buy way in advance and thaw to serve.

Conley’s 12622 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley (509) 924-5411 You won’t go wrong with any of the wide flavor selection of cream pies, fruit pies, or sugar free pies. Your guests will be wowed by their beauty, and you will only have to wash up empty plates! Go to their website for a full list of flavors available. http://www.conleysplacerestaurant.com/

Rocket Bakery 5601 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley (509) 842-0003 With a day of notice you can have them whip up a delicious carrot cake, devils food fudge, German chocolate. Date Nut Bread or pumpkin Ginger Bread and Cranberry Orange Bread. Wine and Cheese Bread

Just American Desserts 213 S University Rd., Spokane Valley (509) 927-2253 If cheesecake suits your fancy for the holiday season, they carry two different kinds that can be picked up freshly made daily. If you would like something more specific, with 24 hour notice they can accommodate your taste buds.

Rosauers 10618 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley (509) 924-3700 Christmas cookies are must for most households. Try these gingerbread men and/or shortbread Christmas cut-outs. You can pick them up frosted or ready to decorate with the kids.

Fred Meyer 15609 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley (509) 921-5350 Want something beautiful, that makes you feel like your being healthy, but is tasty too? Try picking up a fruit tart. They have two different sizes to choose from so you can get one to feed all or one to place with an array of options.

30 • DECEMBER 2017

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DECEMBER 2017 • 31

A Dozen to Deck the Halls

Valley personalities ring in with holiday sentiments

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DECEMBER 2017 • 33

Student of the Month Central Valley junior Ryan Kline was in a hurry last month. So much so that he ran a 5K course at the state 4A cross country championships in 15 minutes, 11.3 seconds. The time was good for first place, a whisker ahead of the runner-up. The junior was one of the keys to CV’s Greater Spokane League title this season, breaking a 10year run by North Central. CV placed second at state. Kline also competes in track, running the mile and 2-mile. Last year, he won districts in both events before catching bronchitis and missing out on regionals and state. Kline maintains a 3.87 grade point average and is a member of the National Honor Society. He plans to run in college and attend medical school. Kline and his fellow Bears will compete at Nike Cross Nationals in Portland on Dec. 2.

Citizen of the Month

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When she’s not studying for AP classes in English or statistics, Central Valley senior Katie Hawkins is running cross country, skiing or playing basketball. The 4.0 student is a member of National Honor Society and participates in DECA, a business marketing program. The Greenacres resident is also part of Project Management, CV’s capstone business class. Hawkins has lettered in basketball for two years and contributed to the Bears’ state championship in 2016. In track, she runs the 100, 200 and 400 meters and relays. She was part of CV’s secondplace state 4 x 400 meter relay squad as a sophomore. She has lettered in track since her freshman year. This fall marked her first season participating in cross country.

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Athlete of the Month If there is an event or cause being coordinated by the Liberty Lake Kiwanis, chances are Melissa Niece will be part of it. Melissa and her husband John – both certified optimal health coaches for the past decade – joined the service club shortly after moving to Liberty Lake from Oregon in 2010. She has served as past president and treasurer and helped with a variety of efforts, including Community Yard Sales and the Father/Daughter Dance as well as the concession stand at Pavillion Park. Niece says that raising funds for Kiwanissponsored scholarships is one of the most rewarding parts of her volunteer work. “I think it’s important to make an impact and leave a legacy,” she says. Melissa has also donated time to church, youth sports and school organizations. Melissa and John have three kids and three grandchildren.

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Valley Quilt Guild a patchwork of friendship, good causes

“We accept everybody from anywhere or any place within driving range,” said Judi Owens, guild vice president, who will be president next year. The Spokane Valley Quilt Guild meets on the first Tuesday of the even months of the year at the Valley Assembly of God Church, 15618 E. Broadway, with about 100 members who are a part of the program. Generally, the meeting consists of a guest speaker who is a prominent quilter from within or outside the



“Occasionally we get a letter from someone who was touched and it’s nice,” Senechal said. The fabric is donated mostly from elderly folks that have passed away and stores donate once in a while. The group also offers classes for beginners. “We would love younger people to join, also, and it’s a wonderful way to get together with other women and I find that it’s something that we need,” Owens said.

Splash Correspondent

In these parts, it’s known as the Spokane Valley Quilt Guild.


hospice organizations, too.

By Michelle Valkov

What do you call a group of women who meet every even month of the year, accepting anyone who is interested in learning how to quilt while voluntarily quilting for a variety of charitable causes?


Marlene Montgomery, the communications service chair who has been with the group for about five years, says it’s a fun group.

From left to right: Bonnie Rae, Marlene Montgomery and Nina Hall are among the members of the Spokane Valley Quilt Guild who gather at the Valley Assembly of God Church every other month. Photo by Michelle Valkov area. The list of presenters includes authors as well. “It sparks inspiration in quilters and makes us feel good,” Owens said. Sometimes instead of a guest speaker, three guild quilters are picked and have a “Round Robin.” “Members go from spot to spot to spot demonstrating techniques,” Owens said. Owens happens to be a member of five quilt groups, including the

Washington State Quilt Guild, Idaho State Quilters, the CV Crazy Quilters (a group of mostly retired folks that once worked for Central Valley School District) and Tuesday Thimble group, where they do handwork on Tuesday mornings at Pines Lutheran Church.

Montgomery said she also appreciates how the group shares ideas and members help each other learn new techniques.

The guild makes quilts for charities such as Camp Good Times, Spokane Valley Partners, Daybreak, Crosswalk, and a new mission group that has just been assigned to their list.

In celebration of National Jelly Roll Day on Sept. 16, quilters came together and made quilts out of rolls of fabric strips. Senechal said it was her theme as she was working on a quilt.

Camp Good Times is a camp for kids who have been diagnosed with cancer, from 7 to 17 years old, which the guild provided quilts for recently. The new mission group is a group that provides families in the Valley with daily necessities such as bedding, foodand clothes. The group serves about 20 families a week. The guild also has a sew day which is the third Saturday of every month where the ladies get together and create quilts. “I really like doing the charity quilts the most,” said quilt member Jeannine Senechal. “We give them to so many diverse groups and people are always so happy to get them and it’s fun to do.”

Becky Anderson works on a quilt at one of the Spokane Valley Quilter Guild meetings last month. The group donates quilts to a variety of local nonprofits. Photo by Michelle Valkov

“My favorite part is the fellowship with like-minded quilters and we’re always looking to expand the membership,” Montgomery said.

Senechal, who has been with the group for about six years, also mentioned that the group often gives to churches, veterans and

Montgomery, who has been quilting for about 24 years, said she really started quilting when she retired.

Bonnie Rae, who has been with the guild about 11 years, was originally part of the larger Spokane Quilt Guild. When she quit that group, she said she missed the camaraderie so she was glad to find that with the Spokane Valley Quilt Guild. Rae has been quilting since 1982 and said her favorite pattern to quilt is the star design. “It’s good to use your creativity, quilts are probably the only thing that’s both useful as well as an art form and it’s something that gives me a lot of satisfaction,” Rae said. Rae also mentioned the Spokane Quilt Show this month that is considered the event of the year for the Spokane Valley Quilt Guild. The 38th annual Spokane Quilt Show will take place Oct. 14-16 at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center. Admission is $8 for three days.

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DECEMBER 2017 • 37


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HUB celebrates of decade of positive impact, growth By Steve Christilaw

Splash Correspondent There was a time, not so long ago, that the odds were running well against the HUB Sports Center reaching a 10th anniversary. In fact, when Phil Champlin came on board as the facilities executive director, he had to go to his board of directors and urge them to give him a guarantee so that he could book events a year out. “It wasn’t the best sales pitch,” Champlin laughed. “Have your event here – we may still be here.” So, there is a great sense of pride, and relief, in the fact that the HUB has not only survived, but is on solid footing as it launches into its second decade. When the HUB Sports Center made its “second” debut in 2007 after first opening in 2004 as Sports USA, the folks that worked there would joke that HUB stood for “Huge, Ugly Building.” Now, 10 years in, that joke has changed. They now refer to the building as the “Huge, Unique Building.”

“We were struggling to figure out if this place could make it on its own. We had groups in here and we had people participating in events, but the question we were asking ourselves was if there was enough need for a facility like this in the community. I was praying that the answer was ‘Yes.’” Once Champlin got his assurance that the place would stay open, he began pulling in events and activities that put the facility on stable ground. By 2011 it hit a milestone – the HUB began to have a positive, monthly cash flow. “That allowed us to start doing more positive outreach,” Champlin said. “Suddenly we were able to not just bring events here, we were able to begin to get creative and create our own events. That gave us a tremendous amount of flexibility.” Along the way, there has been plenty of community support, from the generosity of property owner Garco Construction to the efforts of a group led by Ian Robertson that rallied for the revival of the facility in 2007 after a two-year hiatus. Once the HUB began to pay its own way by bringing in more money than it was spending, Champlin moved to insure its longterm viability by launching a capital

campaign property.





able to pay that off without any trouble.”

“We had so many people that we were crazy to start a capital campaign,” Champlin said. “The timing wasn’t great, but you don’t always get to choose when the time is right. We needed to raise money.”

From the beginning, Champlin says the HUB has had no trouble filling its calendar during peak times – the winter months. Basketball, volleyball and Pickleball keep the space in demand when the weather turns inhospitable.

The HUB needed to raise $3.2 million to purchase the property, but set a goal of raising $3.9 million so that the facility would have working capital to make repairs and improvements without having to go into debt. That campaign is now in its end stages. “We’re in a good position,” Champlin said. “Like a lot of nonprofit organizations, we’re dependent on the state’s capital budget. We’ve gotten great support from our legislators here in the 4th Legislative District as well as the ones in the 3rd and the 6th, our surrounding areas. We’re expecting about $800,000 from a number of spots in that budget and that will make a big difference. The Northwest Community Foundation has been a really strong supporter.” Champlin said the HUB is “right at the cusp” of buying the building. “We may need to take out a small loan to provide some bridge money to make it all work, but we will be

“The challenge has always been to fill the valleys,” he said. “There were summers where I was the only full-time employee here on a day-to-day basis. Thankfully, we’ve been able to change that. Now we have something here 360 out of 365 days per year.” It’s taken some outside-the-box thinking, but it’s worked. There is even a regular event for fans of radio-controlled airplanes, using the airspace above the gym floor. And there is always more room for more programs and more events. “My favorite thing is to welcome people in here and to give them a tour,” Champlin said. “We’ll be walking through the building and they will stop and say, ‘You know, have you ever thought about …’” “I love to hear their ideas,” Champlin said. “They inspire us.” To learn more about the HUB Sports Center, call 927-0602 or visit www.hubsportscenter.org.

“We have spruced things up a little bit,” Champlin said of the venue that spans nearly 67,000 square feet. “We have a great mural on the outside that shows what we can do.” For the many and varied programs that make the HUB home, the building is beautiful for its flexibility. Its multi-use abilities are unique in their range. It’s become home to AAU programs, club volleyball, YMCA programs and its own “HUB 360” programs for at-risk youth. The HUB – located in west Liberty Lake off I-90 and the Barker exit – has played host to plenty of allstar basketball games and recently expanded to offer, for the first time anywhere, all-star volleyball games as well. “When I was hired, at the end of 2009, we’d already been open for a few years,” Champlin recalled.

The HUB Sports Center in Liberty Lake celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2017. Programming at the venue has increased over the past decade, including a “Dads and Dudes” event each year for fathers and sons. Photo by Craig Howard

The Splash

Splash Sports Notebook By Mike Vlahovich

Splash Sports Editor By the time our December issue goes to press, Central Valley state soccer and football squads were still competing during a fabulous fall November. Boys distance runners brought home the second-place state trophy and had the individual champion in cross country; girls soccer reached the state Final Four seeking a third title and the football team played in the state quarterfinals and perhaps beyond. Herewith is a recap before winter sports begin: Led by individual champion Ryan Kline, Central Valley’s cross country team finished second in state for the second straight year, losing by a mere point to Greater Spokane League rival Lewis and Clark in November’s first weekend.


afterwards. They will face much tougher things.”

Senior standout Gabe Romney, nursing an illness, finished 12th and Evan Peters was 14th. Fielding Demars, Tyler Hunter, Sheamus Mahoney and Joey Nicholls rounded out the lineup. Kline became just the second CV state champion. He was recognized at the team’s end-of-season fete by the first, Pete Whitford , who won half a century ago. Kline won state by 0.2 seconds in 15:11.30, second fastest among all classifications. Romney and Peters staked the Bears to a 27-46 lead over LC early on. Where the Tigers made the difference was the gap between the schools’ number four competitors. Mahoney talks about the process and while he and his runners were naturally disappointed with the narrow state loss after being ranked No. 1 all season, there were bigger fish to fry.

Peters 30th. In the girls 4A state race, CV had two runners – Erica Pecha finished 36th and Olivia Sine was 43rd. Soccer back in race for crown CV’s soccer team was back where it belonged playing in the state Final Four and seeking a third state title on the weekend of Nov. 17-18. But it took good fortune to get there. Following an easy playoff win, 4-0 against Walla Walla, the Bears (17-0) needed an own goal to force overtime and win in a shootout over Richland. In its state opener, the Bears needed a marathon shootout over Sumner and advanced to play rival University for the second time in post-season. CV defeated the Titans 3-0 in a state qualifier and faced them again in the second round of state, winning 1-0, on Megan Robertson’s second period goal. Besides penalty kick scores in overtime, Robertson scored four goals and had two assists and Kailyn Labrosse scored three times and had an assist during the set. Goalkeepers Jenna Lauer and AJ Crooks did not allow a goal in regulation and overtime.

The loss to the Tigers, a team the Bears traded wins with in several races throughout the season, was disappointing, but not the end of the world, coach Kieran Mahoney said.

His team shook off the disappointment and won the Nike Cross Regional in Boise a week later. “They raced to their full ability. They ran hungry, angry,” Mahoney said.

“Athletes are not always going to win,” he said. “It gives them an opportunity to practice being a good sport, offer congratulations and not pout. Life is full of tough marks and the true mark is life

On Dec. 2, the Loyal Sons of Ireland (CV’s unattached nom de plume) will compete in the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Oregon.

Fall sports post-season format needs upgrade

Thus, GSL soccer rivals Bears and Titans were seeded to play each other twice in post-season – first for state seeding and then, after opening wins, in the state quarterfinals. A 1-0 Bears win put them into the Final Four. U-Hi was left home.

Four were on one side of the bracket, two on the other providing an opportunity for four semifinalists. I don’t think it would take much imagination to rectify the situation by putting three teams on each side and splitting the other districts as best they can.

Likewise, football District 8 Bears and Bullpups could potentially have faced off in the semifinals of a bracket that included five Eastern Washington regional teams. They couldn’t have reached the finals either.

The argument about CV and U-Hi in soccer is reinforced by what happened in 2014. Central Valley beat Mead in the semifinals en route to the state championship. It could be argued that if the Panthers were on the other side of the bracket it could have been an All-GSL finale.

By Mike Vlahovich

Splash Sports Editor When it comes to the prep sports post-season this fall, I admit to being perplexed. What if Central Valley and University were the best two girls’ soccer teams in state? Unfortunately, we didn’t have an opportunity to find out. And what if fellow Greater Spokane League football foes Central Valley and Gonzaga Prep were able to complete unfinished business in the state finals? Couldn’t happen either. State draws paired Eastern Washington schools on the same sides of one bracket who could meet no later than the state semifinals.

Kline finished 13th overall in Boise. Romney took 26th and

Curiously, GSL champion CV represented District 5 by beating defending state champ Camas in its football opener. Last year’s state runner-up, Richland, was considered District 8 No. 1 for whatever reason and was pitted against the District 8 No.2 Bullpups in the other quarterfinal game. The two GSL rivals could have met in the semifinals, but not for the title. The quandary doesn’t end there. District 3 has six state qualifiers.

Football team among top eight The opportunistic Bears had a penchant for second-half rallies on the gridiron this season and it took them awhile to get going in their

Somehow volleyball got it. The tournament differs in that it is at one location over a weekend. The way brackets were set up there could have been all-Eastern Washington semi-final and championship matches, Richland vs. Moses Lake in one quarter final, Mead vs. Walla Walla in the other. But like volleyball and soccer, East Valley and Pullman from the Great Northern League were on the same half-bracket and couldn’t play each

DECEMBER 2017 • 39

first playoff victory. Not so against defending 4A champion Camas. The Bears scored 14 points in the first quarter and a touchdown and two-point conversion to hold off the Papermakers 22-15 and improve to 9-1 for the season. They faced Skyline, a perennial westside power, Nov. 18 for a trip to the semifinals. CV succeeded on the ground against Camas, rushing for 221 yards and all three touchdowns. Grant Hannan accounted for the first and last score and Hunter Chodorowski the third, all on 1-yard runs to finish with victory. Chodorowski gained 156 yards on 21 carries. The team had earlier defeated Hanford 43-17, scoring five unanswered points after trailing 3-0. Hannan rushed for 100 yards and threw for 185 more, amassing five touchdowns either on the ground or through the air. Not counting pre-season games and the playoffs, Chodorowski was fifth in GSL rushing with 647 yards and eight touchdowns. Hannan rambled for 273 yards and scored eight times on the ground. He was second in passing with 1,213 yards on 66 percent completions and a dozen TD passes and was second in total offense with 1,486 yards. Austin Tomlinson was second in receiving with 37 catches for 434 yards and three touchdowns. other for a championship. Same held true in the case of Freeman and Lakeside from the Northeast A League. There is a wealth of complex criteria for state bracketing, but it breaks down as thus: “Due to the desire to prevent teams from travelling across the mountains, westside and eastside teams shall not meet until the finals when possible. The eastside teams will be placed in the same quarter and/ or half bracket when possible.” The logic, I suppose, is defensible. But this November, Lewis and Clark and Central Valley finished first and second in boys’ cross country. In an idyllic playoff world, I hope for a scenario in which Eastern Washington team sports from the same leagues are provided equal opportunity, resulting in Bears vs. Titans for the state soccer crown or a CV-Gonzaga Prep football state final. My gut feeling? Fat chance.

The Splash

40 • DECEMBER 2017




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An enlargement of a Christmas card from Sig’s Wicomico Beach Resort on Liberty Lake’s westside. (circa 1950s) Typically, winter was a slow season in the resort business, but Sig’s stayed open year-round. When there was a good sheet of ice on the lake and skaters to enjoy it, the resort would be busy. Thelma, Sig’s wife, was there to address customers’ hunger with tasty hamburgers and take their chill off with a cup of hot chocolate. Photo courtesy of Liberty Lake Historical Society

The Splash

42 • DECEMBER 2017

Request to vacate Wicomico Beach access withdrawn

“One neighbor was trying to tell us we were trying to close the access and that’s the opposite of what we were trying to do,” Kosanke said.

Splash Correspondent

About 300 homes in the Wicomico Beach area have deeded access to the lake through 10 community accesses, including the one that runs between the Kosanke and Chalich homes and ends at a piece of beach owned by the McHenrys; a piece they say is environmentally fragile. The couples decided to seek the vacation after a neighbor repeatedly used the access as a boat launch, driving over that beach area.

By Staci Lehman

A request to Spokane County Commissioners to vacate a piece of property that serves as an access to Liberty Lake’s Wicomico Beach area has been withdrawn by the petitioners. “There was a misperception about what we were trying to do,” said Karolyne Kosanke, one of the petitioners, along with her husband Rick Kosanke and neighbors Stan and Leslie Chalich and Delbert and Darlene McHenry.

Kosanke said what they were trying to do by transferring the approximately 20-foot wide piece of property into private ownership was protect the environment.





intended by legal designation to be used by vehicles. To discourage vehicle traffic but allow foot traffic, they approached Spokane County about putting a gate across the access. Because that isn’t allowed on public property, they were told the best way to move forward with a gate would be to have the access vacated. This concerned neighbors who worried that converting the access to private ownership would be the first step in denying community access to the lake. Kosanke says that was never the plan. She and her husband were prepared to pay legal costs to file private easements to maintain access to everyone with a deeded right. But neighbors weren’t convinced. A formal opposition to the vacation request sprang up, with community members forming

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a nonprofit to fight it: Friends of Wicomico Beach. The Kosankes and Chaliches say the neighborhood’s campaign turned personal, with county signs put up to announce the vacation hearing being vandalized and inaccurate and reportedly abusive, information being circulated in flyers that were put into mailboxes. “With that misperception out there we just didn’t feel it was right to proceed,” said Kosanke.   For now, the Kosankes, Chaliches and McHenrys aren’t sure what, if any, their next steps will be. “We don’t have any future plans right now,” said Kosanke, of additional efforts to acquire the property. “We’re just not sure what we’re going to do.” Phyllis Ambrose, one of the main organizers of the opposition to the vacation, said she doesn’t feel the controversy is over, despite the request to vacate being withdrawn. “I’m happy about it but nothing is solved and it was filed without precedents and that means they can re-file and start all over,” she said. “As of right now with all the holidays, we’re still waiting to see what happens, we have our nonprofit still. We’re not disbanding.”

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44 • DECEMBER 2017

New decorators at Yoke’s take the cake By Staci Lehman

Splash Correspondent No need to go to a fancy bake shop for holiday desserts this year, the Yoke’s Fresh Market in Liberty Lake has two new cake decorators who are walking the talk in the creation of unique dessert specialties. “I have probably two of the best cake decorators in all of Spokane, Washington,” said Yoke’s Store Manager Dan DiCicco. Diana Tesdal and Courtney Bajadali are new to the Yoke’s bakery but not to making fabulous cakes. Tesdal owned Happy Cakes in Spokane Valley for 19 years and Bajadali was an employee there for seven of those years. The shop was sold recently so Tesdal could retire. That didn’t work out like she anticipated – so both are back in the decorating game. “I was a little bored in my retirement,” said Tesdal who decided to return to work part time. Yoke’s seemed the natural choice as that is where Bajadali had recently started working again, also part time, after having a baby. Bajadali started in June and Tesdal followed not too far behind, in October. As for why Bajadali chose Yoke’s, she says it was a no-brainer after talking to DiCicco. “Really it was Dan,” she said. Both Tesdal and Bajadali said DiCicco worked diligently to have them join the Yoke’s team and make them feel welcome. While Tesdal had worked in grocery store bakeries before starting Happy Cakes, it is a new setting for Bajadali, and one that she is enjoying. “The response we’ve gotten from customers has been amazing,” she said. “I love the smiles when people order cakes and we bring it out. I live for the smiles.” Tesdal is enjoying the change too because she says it gives her more time to actually decorate cakes. “I love not being responsible for

Yoke’s Store Manager Dan DiCicco now calls the cake display area the Yoke’s bakery “the Cadillac Case” in honor of the uniquely decorated cakes that are featured. Contributed Photo the administration (of running a business),” she said. “A lot of times at Happy Cakes I couldn’t do the cakes because I was so busy with everything else.”

Surprisingly, neither woman has formal training in cake decorating. Tesdal fell into it when she started working in bakeries years ago and Bajadali had plans to be something

else entirely. “I’ve been doing it ever since I was going to college,” she said. “I was going for an art degree. Who knew I’d be doing this kind of art?

Both women say they love to design and decorate cakes, but Bajadali says her favorites are ones that she “carves” into shapes you wouldn’t normally think of when it comes to cakes. “She made one that was in the shape of a turkey with stuffing,” said DiCicco. Bajadali has also made cakes that look like a stack of pancakes with butter and syrup on top. The only thing either Tesdal or Bajadali can’t make is cakes showing famous characters or logos. “Copyright is our only limitation,” said Bajadali. DiCicco says that hasn’t seemed to matter. “Their skills are unbelievable,” he said. “I call this ‘the Cadillac Case” now,’ he said of the display case where the decorator’s cakes are featured.

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Diana Tesdal (left) and Courtney Bajadali are new cake decorators at the Liberty Lake Yoke's Fresh Market bakery. Photo by Staci Lehman If you would like to order a cake for the holidays or any special occasion, keep in mind that it takes time to make art, even from food. Tesdal and Bajadali ask that you order carved cakes at least two to three days in advance. Other kinds of cakes generally need to be ordered just a day before they can be picked up. The Liberty Lake Yoke’s is located at 1233 N. Liberty Lake Road and can be reached by calling 927-0300.

The Splash

DECEMBER 2017 • 45


Ben Wick

Danica Wick

ben@libertylakesplash.com CO OWNER



Craig Howard

craig@libertylakesplash.com OFFICE MANAGER GRAPHICS

Paula Gano


Hayley Schmelzer


CIRCULATION Larry Passmore circulation@libertylakesplash.com CONTRIBUTORS

Steve Christilaw, Bryan Collins, Craig Howard, Staci Lehman Ross Schneidmiller, Michelle Valkov, Mike Vlahovich, Tyler Wilson The Liberty Lake Splash P.O. Box 363 Liberty Lake, WA 99019 Phone: 242-7752; Fax: 927-2190 www.libertylakesplash.com The Splash is published monthly by or before the first of each month. It is distributed free of charge to every business and home in the greater Liberty Lake area. Additional copies are located at drop-off locations in Liberty Lake and Otis Orchards.

The Splash is brought to you by

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Announcements, obituaries, letters to the editor and story ideas are encouraged. Submit them in writing to editor@libertylakesplash.com. Submissions should be received by the 15th of the month for best chance of publication in the following month’s Splash. Subscriptions Liberty Lake residents receive a complimentary copy each month. Subscriptions for U.S. postal addresses outside of the 99019 ZIP code cost $12 for 12 issues. Send a check and subscription address to P.O. Box 363, Liberty Lake, WA 99019. Subscriptions must be

received by the 15th of the month in order for the subscription to begin with the issue printed the end of that month. Correction policy The Splash strives for accuracy in all content. Errors should be reported immediately to 242-7752 or by email to editor@libertylakesplash.com. Confirmed factual errors will be corrected on this page in the issue following their discovery. Advertising information Display ad copy and camera-ready ads are due by 5 p.m. on the 15th of the month for the following month’s issue. Call 242-7752 for more information. Advertising integrity Inaccurate






knowingly accepted. Complaints about advertisers should be made in writing to the Better Business Bureau and to advertise@libertylakesplash.com. The Splash is not responsible for the content of or claims made in ads. Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved. All contents of The Splash may not be reproduced without written permission of the publisher.

A holiday message from Spokane Valley Fire Department By Chief Bryan Collins

As the holidays approach, we, at the Spokane Valley Fire Department, are urging residents to think about safety while celebrating. This year, the message has been given an added festive twist:

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Stockings, cards and presents well away from the fire, Christmas lights unplugged, before the family retired. The family were asleep, snug in their beds, Doors in the house shut, harder for fire to spread. Safety in this house could be commended, No lighted candles were left unattended. A smoke alarm hung in the hall, gleaming white, Keeping the family safe during the night The alarms on each floor, were checked every week, By pressing the test button and awaiting a “beep.” The kitchen is a place where many fires start, But in this Spokane Valley home, the family was smart. Cooking was never left on its own, Young children never entered the kitchen alone. Plans had been made before Christmas began, Party guests would be given a fire escape plan. Enjoy festive fun, but make sure you think, Fire risks can grow if you've had a couple of drinks. Firefighters work at a station nearby, Ready and waiting, on that you rely. But their messages above, you should remember, To avoid seeing a fire engine at your home this December. This is a festive poem, but the message is very serious. Doing simple things like installing a smoke alarm and testing it regularly could save your life. Greater Spokane Valley residents should also ensure they have considered how they would leave their home in the event of a fire. If a friend or family member doesn't have a smoke alarm, buy them one as a gift this holiday season – it could be the most important present you ever give. Better still, why not contact the Spokane Valley Fire Department and take advantage of a free home fire safety check. We will check your home for risks and install free smoke alarms if you need them. Call 892-4153 for more information. Happy Holidays!

Love The Splash? Support our partners. The Splash is committed to serving Liberty Lake through excellent community journalism. We can’t do it at all without you, our readers, and we can’t do it for long without support from our advertisers. Please thank our business partners and look to them when offering your patronage.

Our sincere appreciation to the following businesses for their foundational partnerships with The Splash and its partner publications:



Evergreen SE



lifestyle Fountains








New homes in Spokane, Spokane Valley, Libe Gus Johnson Ford • Stateline Plaza Fieldhouse Pizza • George Gee Automotive

g re e n s t o n e h o m

Kiwanis • Liberty Lake Family Dentistry • Liberty Lube

Index of advertisers

Following are the local advertisers in this issue of The Splash. Adorkable Flowers and Gifts 22 Amaculate Housekeeping 15 AutoCraft 13 Avista 10 Banner Furnace & Fuel 8 BECU 8 Coldwell Banker - Rob Brickett 16 Cornerstone Pentecostal Church 8 European Wax Center 30 Evergreen Fountain 37 Family Medicine Liberty Lake 33 Fieldhouse Pizza 43 Friends of Pavillion Park 43 Guardian Angel Homes 23 George Gee 14 Greenstone 8 Hallett’s Market and Gifts 21 Healthy Living Liberty Lake 21, 25

John L Scott - Pam Fredrick 4 Kiwanis of Liberty Lake 35 Liberty Cross Ministries 27 Liberty Lake Baptist Church 11, 18 Liberty Lake EyeCare Center 4 Liberty Lake Family Dentistry 5 Liberty Lake Municipal Library 6 Liberty Lake Pet Sitters 5 Liberty Lake Sewer & Water District 42 LIFT 28 Mary Sloan 33 NAI Black 40 North Idaho Dermatology 13 Northern Quest 32, 48 NW Taekwondo 11 Pawpular Companions 22 Premera 16 Sarah Hamilton FACE 28

Simonds Dental Group 48 Small Engine Repair 31 Spokane Gymnastics 18, 35 Spokane Symphony 24 Spokane Symphony Associates 29 Stateline Plaza 46 Stauffer and Associates 3 Stephen Howard 9 Tracy Jeweler 31 True Legends 28 Union Gospel Mission 32 Uplift Church 9 Valley Real Life 22 Waste Management 3 Windermere 5 Service Directory 46

Of note: This thank you message was produced by The Splash’s advertising team, which works its tail off on behalf of partner businesses, helping them share their messages through advertisements. This is an independent function from The Splash’s editorial team, which has its own evaluation process to determine the community news stories and features it pursues. For more information about a win-win partnership that expertly markets your business to thousands of readers (while making this home-grown community newspaper possible), email advertise@libertylakesplash.com. With story ideas, contact editor@libertylakesplash.com.

The Splash

46 • DECEMBER 2017




Take exit 299 off of I-90, Just West of Cabelas

- With Drive Thru -

nwvideoprotection@gmail.com 99212 7210 E. Fairview Ave. Spokane, WA 99212



You’ve got it “Maid”


Gail King, OWNER

Upcoming Events: December 9th: AJ Fernandez and Twelve String Brewing Company

Helping protect your assets! 10% Discount on all installations Valid until 12/31/17

Dale McLaughlin: (509)220-6062


Licensed, Bonded & Insured

* Tickets on sale now

A1- Smoke Shop (208)777-7778


*Open Thanksgiving Day

509 481 5800

• Honest & reliable • Great references • Competitive rates • Move ins & move outs • Free estimates

SNOW REMOVAL PROMPT AND COURTEOUS SERVICE Walks, drives, parking areas. Steps, decks, patios, roof-raking. One time, anytime, or keep clear services. Let us do it right and be safe! Free estimates and consultation Call RJ 509-499-8096

Please call and ask for Gail




300+ Wines & 40+ Microbrews

New spa covers starting at just $350. Leaky Spas repaired, full line of accessories. Ask us about alternatives to chlorine.

The Cigar Loft (208)777-8110


WA Business License#CC OPPORPM890MG

facebook.com/LittleItalysWineBar *Closed Thanksgiving Day Cigar Lounge

Little Italy’s Wine Bar (208)777-8110


Simple but Tasty Menu

10 rotating taps & 14 HD TV’s

The Tri Community Grange Event Hall is an affordable location for parties, receptions, dances, reunions and meetings. Full kitchen, stage, piano, tables and chairs, NEW AC, handicap accessible, large parking lot and free signage Meeting Times: 6:30 pm the first Wednesday of every month. Phone: 509-270-6089


Want you business to be part of our Service Directory? Contact Danica at 242-7752 or advertise@libertylakesplash.com We look forward to hearing from you!

Cozy Up to a Brand New View. Did you know that bad, foggy or broken glass can be replaced in almost all vinyl windows? That’s right! It is a huge savings compared to replacement of the entire window, frame and all! We also replace and repair screens too!

Window Works LLC

*Closed Thanksgiving Day


• Low Idaho Prices • Family Owned since 1982 • Discounted Cigars and Tobacco • Stateline Plaza Gift Cards Available • Hookah and E-Cigs


Off of any purchase of $40 or more including fuel.

Valid at Liberty Stop N Go, Bear Necessities, A1 Smoke Shop, Little Italy’s Wine Bar, The Cigar Loft

Fast and Friendly Service Every Day!

Expires 12/31/2017. Coupon must be present. Not valid on lottery. Some additional conditions may apply.

Insulated Glass and Window Replacement Specialist

Call or E-mail for FREE Quote Today! Chris Tucker - Owner



Contractor# WIDON*844PQ


The Splash

DECEMBER 2017 • 47

Gus Johnson Ford Homeless Veterans Drive www.gusjohnsonford.com/homeless-veterans See website for donation needs and information.

Snap Energy Assitance www.snapwa.org Make your donation on-line today!

Toys for Tots

https://spokane-wa.toysfortots.org See website for donation locations and on-line donation information.

Meals On Wheels

www.gscmealsonwheels.org Make your donation on-line today!

Tree of Sharing

www.treeofsharing.org See website for donation locations Until December 17th.

Union Gospel Mission

www.uniongospelmission.org Make your donation on-line today!

Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank

www.svpart.org Make your donation on-line today!

The Splash

48 • DECEMBER 2017

THE ONLY THINGS SMOKING ARE THE JACKPOTS. Our newly renovated smoke-free gaming room is open. Come enjoy all the latest slot titles, a brand-new poker room, and a full-service bar with bar-top gaming – all in a beautiful nonsmoking environment.


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December 2017 Splash  

Eat, Shop, and Be Merry- Our shop local holiday guide.

December 2017 Splash  

Eat, Shop, and Be Merry- Our shop local holiday guide.

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