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PRSRT STD ECRWSS U.S. Postage Paid Permit #010 ZIP CODE 99019






2 • JANUARY 2017


whenever any legal questions or matters come up. What's it like to be expected to enlighten everyone on such a wide variety of topics in an instant?

The Park Bench

LL Law – Boutz brings continuity to city attorney role By Craig Howard Splash Editor When a legal question is raised at a Liberty Lake City Council meeting, those seated around the dais turn to the resident encyclopedia, Sean Boutz. Along with matters surrounding ordinance logistics, contractual protocol and themes like land use and public works, the city attorney is also capable of fielding random trivia related to sports programs at his two higher education alma maters – Washington State University and Gonzaga University. Boutz, a self-proclaimed fanatic of WSU football and GU basketball, earned a business degree in hotel restaurant administration from WSU in 1992 and, after a career sojourn that included stops in the hotel industry and insurance, enrolled at Gonzaga. He exited with a law degree in 2003, being awarded honors along the way. “I had always considered law school as an option, but when I was young and impressionable I thought I wanted to see the country and didn’t have any desire to continue school after WSU,” Boutz recalls. A native of Spokane, Boutz grew up on the north side of the Lilac City, eventually attending Mead High School. After receiving his diploma from WSU, he moved to San Francisco where he worked for Hilton Hotels in a management trainee program. After two years in the Bay Area, he returned back to the Inland Northwest but left for Seattle soon after to accept a job with State Farm Insurance. Boutz spent seven years on the west side of the state as a claims

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Sean Boutz has served as Liberty Lake city attorney since April 2007 when he took over for Stan Schwartz. Photo by Craig Howard adjuster addressing cases involving property damage and bodily injury.

curve like for you in those first few years with the city?

“When I made the decision to leave State Farm it was either to attend law school or obtain an MBA,” Boutz said. “I am very happy with my decision.”

A: The learning curve was certainly in place, but it wasn’t anything that was overwhelming. There are many resources within the municipal law area that an attorney can utilize to assist with increasing your knowledge as well as other city attorneys in the local community that were always willing to help me, if needed. Thus, I never felt that I couldn’t locate a resource to help me when something may not have been readily available.

While in law school, Boutz interned with the Washington State Attorney General’s Office in the torts division. He began his career as a counsel at Evans, Craven & Lackie in 2003 after passing the bar exam. He is now a partner at the Spokane-based firm. Boutz handles all legal matters for the city, a task that entails ordinances, resolutions, contracts, legal opinions, land use matters, public works projects, negotiations surrounding city property and more. A team player, Boutz emphasizes that his efforts are in conjunction with the mayor, city administrator, city staff, and where necessary, the City Council. His work at City Hall is only part of a practice that includes a specialty in business and corporate law. In addition to rooting for the Zags and Cougs, Boutz enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons. Golf and running are also on the agenda for Boutz, which may be part of the reason he decided to move to Liberty Lake since taking the job with the city. Q: What was the learning

Q: How did your background in the sort of law you'd been practicing prepare you for your duties when you were hired as Liberty Lake city attorney in 2007? A: Since I have been at ECL, our firm has handled numerous civil matters for municipalities in Eastern Washington and through that experience I was able to gather experience in municipal operations, employment matters, and certain land use disputes. Additionally, with a business and real estate practice that allowed me to be able to handle contract matters and any lease/real estate issues that may arise. So, I felt comfortable with many of the things that could potentially arise as city attorney. Q: In City Council meetings, you are the "go-to person"

A: It is definitely an important responsibility and I am comfortable opining on many issues, but I think the mayor, City Council and city staff know that sometimes an answer may not be immediately available. The law is constantly evolving and there are many facets to it so sometimes I may not have the answer. If that is the case, the best answer is to simply tell the council that I don’t have a definitive opinion, but I will research the issue and provide an opinion at a later date. It is more important to be accurate than to provide an answer that is not accurate for the sake of giving an immediate answer. I see that as a vital role of the city attorney. Q: How would you describe the interaction you have with city staff and council throughout the course of a typical year? A: As one might expect, I have more interaction with city staff on a daily basis than the City Council since the staff are handling the daily operations of the city. However, if there are ever issues that arise, I am readily available for both city staff and the City Council to contact. I speak regularly during any given week with city staff over a litany of issues and provide my opinions to whichever staff member may be contacting me for my opinion. Some interaction is limited to a few minutes while other interaction may require days and weeks to obtain a resolution. I guess this is just a way of saying it varies greatly from day to day, but in any scenario, I believe the interaction works well and is very beneficial to the community. Q: From time to time, staff and council will dismiss into an executive session after the regular City Council agenda. Why are these discussions traditionally closed to the public? A: Executive sessions are very limited by state law and can only occur in certain circumstances. Those discussions are limited due to the potential impact the

See BOUTZ, Page 3

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Continued from page 2 content could have against the city if discussed in an open public meeting. As an example, state law permits the City Council to convene into executive session to discuss a) real estate matters, because if particular negotiations of a potential purchase and sale were made public it could thwart the sale or put the city in a disadvantaged negotiating position, b) matters that involve litigation against the city, that similarly, if disclosed, could be detrimental to the handling of the litigation and the city’s involvement, and c) to discuss the qualifications of people seeking office, which has occurred a number times when the City Council seeks to appoint a new City Council member due to a vacancy on the council. Otherwise, if state law doesn’t permit the city to convene an executive session, all matters are to be discussed in an open public meeting. Q: Has your appreciation of Liberty Lake as a community changed since you began your tenure here? A: Having grown up on the north side of Spokane I didn’t spend much time in Liberty Lake but after I became the city attorney I became much more familiar with the city and the entire community. I appreciated the outdoor activities with the golfing, trails and hiking that ultimately led to me moving here with my family. Working with city officials and representatives

JANUARY 2017 • 3


only increased my knowledge about how things were growing and the future vision for the city.

Flowers & Gifts

Q: Recently, you gave a presentation on ethics at a City Council meeting. In general, what is the goal here when it comes to the approach municipal staff and council have to conduct themselves ethically? A: Much of what people may hear about government involves transparency and the ability for citizens to know what their government, be it local, state or federal, are doing with citizens’ resources. It is a very important responsibility and what comes from that responsibility is to have certain ethical boundaries, which includes having consistency from each City Council at any given time. Along those lines, the City Council is currently considering a code of ethics that will further enhance their responsibilities.

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Boutz consults with Mayor Steve Peterson last month at City Hall. A Spokane native, Boutz earned his undergraduate degree from Washington State University and law degree with honors from Gonzaga University. Photo by Craig Howard

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4 • JANUARY 2017

LL Athletic Club celebrates 20 years of fit priorities


keeping with the demands of its members, the club also introduced cardio equipment with integrated personal television screens. Robin Curtis has been a member at the club since it opened 20 years ago. She typically works out six days a week, utilizing the cardio equipment and weights while also taking in the occasional class. She likes how the club listens to the needs and requests of its members.

By Tyler Wilson

Splash Correspondent Liberty Lake Athletic Club has the one thing all businesses want – staying power. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the club, which has had a few different names over the years. Originally a Stay Fit, the gym became a 24-Hour Fitness, followed by new ownership and another name change. Current owner Grant Bafus bought the club a little more than eight years ago.

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The Liberty Lake Athletic Club is celebrating 20 years in 2017. The site has recently added a new website, logo and outside signage. Photo by Craig Howard facility. Childcare is a big one for us, that’s something we have that a lot of people don’t have.”

The drop-in childcare program has its own dedicated space in the facility and is open 9 a.m. to Today, the Liberty Lake Athletic noon and 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. most Club offers an ever-expanding days. Swim lessons and other range of athletic classes, equipment kids’ programs are available, and amenities that appeal to a wide including the popular Fit Preschool spectrum of community members. program held Tuesday through Thursdays. Here, 4-and 5-year “It’s important for us to be well- old kids participate in a structured rounded,” Bafus said. “Having educational program that utilizes 1 12/13/2016 11:25:32 AM a pool, GraceSon_invitations_2017_back_pr.pdf having a group exercise

the facilities at the club, including the pool and basketball court. Part of the club’s success can be attributed to efforts to expand services and offer the most indemand equipment and classes. Last year, Liberty Lake Athletic Club completed work on a 3,000-squarefoot mezzanine, which houses modern personal equipment and extra space for classes. More recent additions include a new website, logo and signage on the outside of the building. In

“You can go to them and say, ‘Guys, I think we need another pair of 15 (pound) weights,’” Curtis said. “That’s a good business, if you can open your ears and be receptive.” Curtis has long appreciated the progressive direction the gym, even when it meant following Bafus’ advice on trying a new Stride cardio-machine. “You would never think you could get me off that Stair Master, but, he found me a new obsession,” Curtis said. Liberty Lake Athletic Club has also partnered with Therapeutic Associates Liberty Lake Physical Therapy, which has its own dedicated space inside the club. Other amenities at the gym include a 25-yard swimming pool, full-sized basketball court, weight room, full-service pro shop, steam rooms, dry saunas, complimentary day-use lockers, a diverse schedule of exercise classes for all ages and abilities and more. Exercise classes are included in general membership fees. Bafus said the club has worked to make its numerous amenities available in ways that don’t intrude on individual experience.









“If they’ve never set foot in here before, they say, ‘Wow, this a lot bigger in here than I thought,’” he said. “It doesn’t feel crowded. We get a lot of people who are really surprised. The fact this it is not elbow to elbow.” Curtis has always been impressed by how the club utilizes its space and how it contributes to the relaxed atmosphere. “It’s a place where you can look however you want to look and not worry about it,” she said. Liberty Lake Athletic Club typically employs about 44 to 50 employees. Bafus said the continuity and quality of staff here is what speaks most to the club’s longevity. When members walk in, employees greet them more as friends than clients. “We have a great facility and

See LLAC, Page 5

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JANUARY 2017 • 5

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Curtis’ commitment is rooted in how a good workout makes her feel mentally. “There’s maybe a worry here and there, and then I get on the machine and I’m like ‘OK, evenkeel,” Curtis said. “It’s hard to worry when you’re really working out hard.”

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Those who belong to the club also have access to Peak Health and Wellness facilities in Post Falls, Coeur d’Alene and Hayden as well as seven similar clubs in Western Washington and Western Montana. The Liberty Lake Athletic Club is located at 23410 E. Mission Ave. Call (509) 891-CLUB (2582), email or visit www. for more information. Current hours are 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. MondayFriday, and 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.


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Liberty Lake Athletic Club members like Mike Walsh say they enjoy the low-key atmosphere and high-quality customer service of the facility. Photo by Craig Howard

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6 • JANUARY 2017

Check it Out @ Your Library


Art Night at the Library:

Thursday January 12th from 6:00pm-8:00pm Join us and learn to make beautiful Zen-tangles.

Winter Reading for Adults:

January 9th - February 28th Pick up a Bingo board at the library for a chance to win a Kindle Fire, Gift Card, or Basket of Books!

New Years Crafts:

Saturday January 21st from 2:00pm-3:30pm Learn how to make quick and easy shower and bath bombs!

Books N’ Brew Book Club:

Thursday January 26th from 6:30pm-8:00pm Book to be announced.

CHILDREN’S ACTIVITES Winter Reading Program:

January 9th - February 28th Join our winter reading program and enter to win some fantastic prizes! The program is open to library users of all ages. Children ages 0-18 may choose to read 4 books or 4 hours per entry. Sheets will be available online and at the library.

Stem- Tacular Thursday:

Thursday January 5th at 4:00 PM. Build and wire a structure using the Roominate Village kit. Registration required.

New Weekly Music Time:

Our Move & Groove music time has will now occur on a weekly basis beginning January 9th! Come move, shake, sing, dance, with us on Mondays at 10:30 AM. Ages 0-5

Nerf Wars (Ages 7-10) :

Dust off your Nerf gun and join us for an after-hours Nerf gun war. Make the library your battlefield! Ages 7-10. Friday, January 13th drop off @ 5:45 PM. Games from 6:00-7:30. • Participants should bring their own Nerf gun. •The library will provide standard nerf darts. • If you don’t own a Nerf gun, contact Jandy, the Children’s Librarian, to reserve one of ours. *No registration required, however all participants must get a permission slip signed in order to participate.

Family Fort Night:

January 19th from 6:00 -7:30 Grab a blanket or a sheet, and build a fort in the library! No registration required.

Volunteer needed:

The library is seeking a volunteer who would be interested in teaching children to play chess. Interested parties please contact Jandy Humble, Children’s Librarian (509)232-2510.

23123 E. Mission Ave. Liberty Lake • 232-2510

“Local” is the word for 2017 By Pamela Mogen

Director of Library Services As librarians, we know the value of our community services and our patrons appreciate their importance as well. But in an increasingly digital world, we see the role of libraries as community and cultural centers at times undervalued and, occasionally, under fire. These new information processes are changing libraries, library services and librarians. To meet the needs of increasing number of individuals and the community as a whole in the 21st century, our library must not only provide space for individuals to advance their knowledge, skills and access to tangible and digital collections but also serve as a center for building community face-to-face, inspiring and educating patrons about art, literature and music while helping patrons engage in civil discourse as well as an online virtual destination offering an entry point to networked digital services and materials. This new level of interdependence succeeds when libraries and their communities embrace it together. With a view to this interdependence, “LOCAL” will be the word for the library in 2017. This means you’ll be seeing us at more local venues such as businesses,

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schools, events and organizations for the purpose of establishing communication and partnerships that will determine the nature of how the library supports the Liberty Lake community in its many facets. We want to feature local people, history and businesses in our programs and displays in 2017 to better acquaint all of us with our neighbors in this great little city. Technology challenges are steep for a small library but after much planning we will open our new STEM station in February for use by reservation. Located in our Learning Center, the STEM station will offer a high-powered computer loaded with creative software, a scanner capable of digitizing film, a Silhouette Cameo cutter and a 3-D printer. Music and movement as well as early literacy will continue to be the prime focus of our children’s programming, but STEM opportunities will expand as well with the offering of coding classes, OzoBot Club and LEGO Mindstorm clubs, courtesy of our Friends of the Library. We also wish to introduce our newest staff member to Library Lake – Joanne Percy, our new Adult Services associate. Joanne comes to us from England, via Gonzaga University. She has already hosted some very successful events at the library and we invite Liberty Lake to welcome her officially when we begin 2017.

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JANUARY 2017 • 7

The Lookout MEMO from the


By Mayor Steve Peterson

Happy New Year! Now get back to work! That was somewhat the reality of my previous sales life. However, as your mayor it is now time to reflect on our success and disappointments experienced in local government during 2016. High-fiving for the roundabout at Molter, the restructure of our Parks Department, the outstanding performance of Trailhead and the impressive production of our Building Department. In December, we were contemplating

the challenges delineated in our traffic study, finishing the Comprehensive and Development plan, preparing for Orchard Park, passing the 2017 budget and trying to gauge what we all desire in the community center. These were just a few of the sugar plums that danced in my head over the holidays. What else could there be? I have asked each of our staff to focus on the “KAIZEN” in their jobs at City Hall. It is a Japanese word for improvement derived from the SinoJapanese word meaning “change for the better”. What are some things they can do better in their job which will deliver more, cut costs, improve service, etc. for you, our citizens? Government improvement is not

a one-way street; we need you involved in the process as customers. We need your feedback by e-mail, your citizen comments at council meetings, your contact with city social media, your phone call or just a quick suggestion in the store aisle. You are our final inspectors for our service and work. Greater improvement in “KAIZEN” comes through better communication. We truly need you being involved. Finally, we are all in this together. Please include this word in your life, your child’s life or even your neighbor’s life. We all will benefit from a little “KAIZEN” in 2017 and working together, we will continue to make Liberty Lake “Spokane County’s premier address!” Now have a Happy New Year 2017!

Council retreat addresses city-owned properties

By Hugh Severs Liberty Lake City Council “Tis’ the season” is the phrase that comes to mind as I reflect on our council retreat that took place on Dec. 18. By that, I mean “’tis’ the season” to give thanks, to think about how lucky we all are for family, for friends and for the opportunity to live in such a great part of the world. In particular, I’m thinking about how wonderful it felt to gather in an effort to collaborate on the best use of city resources to accomplish the long-term vision for our city. Knowing that most who read this were not in attendance, I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest that you should feel a great deal of pride and respect for my fellow council members. Each of them cares very deeply for your best interests and each of them wants little more than to keep the city of Liberty Lake as great tomorrow as it is today. The time spent at our recent retreat told me nothing otherwise. The main topics at hand were the recent bond vote, the Town Square

property on which the bond was to help make improvements and whether there are opportunities with other city-owned properties to help accomplish the long-term vision of the city. One demand we have heard from you all is the need for some sort of community center. Another is potentially having a cityowned pool. On those topics, I found the brainstorming and collaborative efforts put forth by your council on the 18th to be superb. Though we strongly agreed on the need for a Town Square, we left with no specific details or plans and also found many opportunities to accomplish other goals utilizing existing city-owned properties such as the property adjacent to our new baseball fields and the properties on which City Hall and Trailhead golf course sit. I, for one, left that retreat feeling nothing but excitement for the possibilities of what our city could look and feel like in the years ahead.

City offers utility tax rebate

City of Liberty Lake senior and lowincome or disabled and low-income residents may qualify for a rebate of the utility taxes they were charged in 2016. The utility tax rebate criteria and application form for utility taxes charged in 2016 can be found on the city’s website or by calling the city treasurer at 755-6720. You are eligible if: • You lived within city limits of the city of Liberty Lake in 2016 • You paid household utilities, which are in your name in 2016 • You were at least 62 years old or disabled in 2016 • The annual gross income of your household in 2016 did not exceed maximum allowed per household For more information on the utility tax rebate please visit our website at Administration or call the number above.

January 2017

Groups awarded funds through Lodging Tax

The Liberty Lake City Council approved eight grants that were recommended by the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee on Dec. 20. A total of $73,168.69 was requested by the eight applicants and $63,500 was granted. The committee also chose to grant $2,500 toward the efforts of the city and Barefoot 3v3 to promote Barefoot in the Park again this summer. The city has a tourism facilities program which is funded by a portion of the revenue collected by the city’s lodging tax. Annually, the city, local nonprofits and destination marketing organizations apply for grants to aid in tourism related events and tourism promotion for the upcoming year. The Liberty Lake Community Theatre, requested $2,168.69 and was granted $2,500 to increase partnership efforts with restaurants, businesses and hotels in Liberty Lake; Friends of Pavillion Park requested and received $10,000 to bring the summer concert series back to Pavillion Park in 2017; HUB Sports Center requested $25,000 and received $15,000 to continue hosting tournaments and sports events. Liberty Lake Rotary requested and received $8,000 to use toward the for the Rotary In Motion Bike Ride; Visit Spokane received their requested amount of $15,000 toward their marketing efforts for Liberty Lake; The Kiwanis Club received its requested amount of $3,000 for the Liberty Lake Yard Sales and the Liberty Lake Farmers Market requested $10,000 and was granted $7,500 for the Art at the Market, Pie Festival and Italian Festival. •

8 • JANUARY 2017


City hears results of extensive traffic study

By Craig Howard Splash Editor To the cynics, completing a traffic study in Liberty Lake should be a snap. The task would simply involve interviewing motorists who cope with the gridlock of vehicles each day on Appleway or drivers who now precariously navigate the merger onto Country Vista from the south. The result would be obvious – yes, Liberty Lake is experiencing growing pains and it is affecting traffic, more so on some roads than others. Yet what if the goal was to gather data in a way that could predict the impending traffic demand based on anticipated land use and population growth? And what if you added another layer of forecasting traffic congestion and delays based on predicted vehicle volume? Then you would have yourself a legitimate traffic study that could help guide a city’s priority list of transportation projects with a goal of bringing exponential efficiencies to safety and vehicle flow.

Congestion on Appleway Avenue during peak commuting times was one of many issues addressed in a study of Liberty Lake traffic conducted by CH2MHill. The City Council heard an overview of the report at its Dec. 6 meeting. File photo The Liberty Lake City Council heard a general review of such a study at its Dec. 6 meeting. Utilizing a model already established by the Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC), the engineering firm of CH2MHill prepared an extensive report on local traffic patterns after being commissioned by the city earlier this year. The objective, according to Tony

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Woody with CH2MHill, was to “refine and review” the SRTC document while “adding detail and data” to the information in place. The study looked at a dozen key intersections using something called the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) level-of-service standards to quantify congestion conditions. Letter grades are then applied to each intersection. An “A” grade means traffic is moving briskly with very short delays of less than 10 seconds. A junction receiving a “C” grade translates to minimal delays of 21 to 35 seconds while an “E” mark crosses over into significant delays of 55 to 80 seconds. The intersection of Appleway and Liberty Lake Road, with its predictable trail of cars backed up during heavy commuter times, earned an “F” in the evening peak while the Appleway/Signal crossing also rated low. The interchanges at Appleway and Madson and Appleway and Signal both garnered low grades – “E” or “F” – during the morning peak. The city is planning for signals along Appleway at Signal and Madson as well as channelization and signal upgrades at Appleway and Liberty Lake Road. Yet, in CH2MHill’s estimation, a “no improvement” scenario, in other areas would lead to failing grades at six of the 12 intersections during the p.m. peak – including Harvard/ Mission and Appleway/Country Vista by 2040. The recommendations also point to worsening conditions at Appleway and Liberty Lake Road if additional upgrades are not made in the future. City Administrator Katy Allen said the findings would prompt the city to update its six-year transportation

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plan and look at ways to fund a wider array of future projects. “We need to have a budget and concept so the funding agencies will have something to review,” she said. Allen, who pointed out the city’s strong track record of leveraging transportation dollars, said the city would also seek to bring on a consultant “to get some numbers together for a budget amendment.” Short-term projects to address the trouble areas include construction of a right-turn pocket on Appleway at Liberty Lake Road this year and signals at Appleway/Madson and Appleway/Signal by 2020. The first phase of a widening project along Harvard Road and a northbound lane between Appleway and westbound I-90 on-ramps top the list of midterm projects over the next five to 10 years as does channelization improvements at Appleway and Liberty Lake Road. Long-term approaches include a crossing at I-90 and Henry Road that would connect the north and south section of Liberty Lake and reduce congestion at the i-90/Harvard Road exit. Several intersections along Country Vista – including crossings at Legacy Ridge Drive, Henry Road and Appleway – were also mentioned in the study’s longterm strategy “to monitor signal warrants, mobility standards and safety over time.” Mayor Pro Tem Shane Brickner spoke up about a pedestrian crossing scheduled for Country Vista near the site of a new apartment complex currently under construction. Brickner expressed concerns about the timing of the project, particularly before the traffic signal at Legacy Ridge Drive is in place. “I think it would be a good idea to get that traffic to slow down before we put that pedestrian crossing in,” he said. In responding to a citizen issue about safe sight lines for motorists accessing Country Vista, Mayor Steve Peterson said the traffic study will open the door to further research and responses. “This study was intended as a place to start moving forward,” Peterson said. “There will be some refining.” The mayor added that the city wants to be proactive when mapping out infrastructure for a growing community. “First off, money will never stop us from putting in a traffic signal,” he said. “Our goal should be to build for 20 or 30 years from now even if we’re building right now. We’re trying to have all the pieces in place for safety and efficiency.”

The Splash

City budget for 2017 features support for new initiatives


• Council voted unanimously on Dec. 20 to extend the moratorium on any application or issuance of permits for the construction of multi-family housing for another six months.

Splash Editor In case there was a perception that the municipal budget process is about as stale as last year’s fruitcake, the Liberty Lake City Council approved a financial game plan for 2017 with plenty of new bells and whistles.

“I think it’s a good budget,” said City Administrator Katy Allen at the Dec. 20 council meeting that saw all seven council member vote in support of the plan. “Our economy is strong, our revenue is strong and our budget is strong.” Allen gave credit to Mayor Steve Peterson who first presented his version of the budget in October, municipal staff and City Council for their role in crafting the prioritization of expenditures. As they have in previous years, “Mayor’s Budget Questions” (MBQ’s), from council members played a major role in molding a document that the governing board could support. “It’s really about spending city money on the right things,” Allen said. As usual, the general fund – which encompasses areas like public safety and the library – took up the bulk of the budget at nearly $7 million. Other big ticket items include the street capital projects fund ($1.8 million) and the general street fund at just over $1.1 million. The city will begin 2017 with a beginning fund balance of just over $8 million. Revenues are expected to come in at nearly $14 million with estimated expenditures at just over $16 million. If the numbers fall into place as expected, the city would have an ending fund balance of just over $6 million at the end of this year.

with the caveat of an application process for the funds. Allen said she would consult with Parks and Open Space Manager Jennifer Camp and Police Chief Brian Asmus and report back to council at a future meeting with more details of how the city might distribute the funds. In other city news:

By Craig Howard

The total appropriation of funds for the New Year rings in at just over $16 million, including cash for Orchard Park, a new greenspace slated for the north side of town ($2.5 million), an electronic sign promoting community events ($100,000) and a council advisory fund ($25,000) that will serve as backup in case the city happens to need extra help on the consulting front.

JANUARY 2017 • 9

Mayor Steve Peterson presented longtime City Treasurer Ann Marie Gale with the 2016 Mayor’s Recognition Award at the Dec. 20 City Council meeting. The honor is handed out each year to one exceptional municipal employee. Photo by Craig Howard For all the substantial numbers, it was a line item of $5,000 that generated the most discussion on Dec. 20. Council Member Dan Dunne brought up the possibility of setting aside $5,000 for a special events fund similar to the program already in place for the summer festival known as “Barefoot in the Park.”

Dunne said the idea first came up at a meeting of the Liberty Lake Kiwanis in November. With the shift of the Liberty Lake Yard Sales to the third weekend in June, Dunne proposed the format be expanded to include live music and a beer garden. He mentioned that while Barefoot in the Park has been a well-received event, the focus on local businesses has not been apparent as it was during the jettisoned Liberty Lake Days. “We’d call it “First Weekend of the Summer in Liberty Lake,” Dunne said. The beer garden component did not catch on with Mayor Pro Tem Shane Brickner who said he had troubles with the feature during a family-centered event like Barefoot in the Park. “I don’t think we need another beer garden,” Brickner said. Council Member Cris Kaminskas also chimed in with concerns. “I’m concerned with the alcohol part,” she said. “I realize it wouldn’t be going on during the yard sales but I don’t think it’s a position the city should be promoting. Others around the dais struggled with the funds going toward organizations that would utilize the support to generate additional


“I don’t see the necessity of spending more money on more organizations, especially if they’re using it to make money,” said Council Member Odin Langford. Peterson said he saw the fund covering expenses like renting tables, chairs and canopies to defray costs for an annual event like Mutt Strut hosted by Liberty Lake-based business Pawpular Companions. “I see we have an opportunity to facilitate these types of events,” Peterson said. “These are community events that are being held at our facilities. This is just another way to support events that our community rallies around.” Council Member Bob Moore raised the idea of a “Taste of Liberty Lake” event that would promote local restaurants. Kaminskas said she could support “the idea of having some kind of fund where money could be distributed on an equal basis.” Allen pointed out that a local nonprofit hosting a “low-impact” event at a city property is not charged a reservation fee and is provided with free security and complimentary supportive/ maintenance services through the Parks and Recreation department. “The city already has strong financial ties to these programs,” said Langford. “It may not be a gift, but it has substantial value. I’m not against these organizations but when you starting paying them, that’s different.” Ultimately, council decided to support the $5,000 expenditure but

• Ordinance No. 234 was approved unanimously by council, adding a new title and chapter to the city’s municipal code related to a code of ethics. • The mayor acknowledged employees who have reached marks of five, 10 and 15 years with the city. They included (at five years): Delain Miller (library), Bruce Lennick (Trailhead), Mike Bogenreif (police), Camp (parks), Stevenson (finance), Joan Peters (facilities), Kevin Schmeckpeper (police) and Chris Johnston (Trailhead). At 10 years: Taj Wilkerson (police) and Brickner (reserve police). At 15 years: Ray Bourgeois (police), Wayne Hammond (planning and building), Asmus (police) and Amanda Tainio (planning and building). • Council approved Resolution No. 16-221 adopting the final plat for the Legacy Ridge West Addition. The development consists of 79 single family lots on 44.17 acres. • Prior to the Dec. 20 meeting, a Christmas tree lighting ceremony was held at City Hall followed by the second annual “Walk to Bethlehem,” hosted by local faith groups. • The Liberty Lake Police Department handed out its yearend awards with Sakti Hiatt, records manager, office manager and evidence tech, honored with the Sergeant’s Award and Chief’s Award. Dan Wilson received the Volunteer of the Year award while Officer of the Year went to Bogenreif. • Greg Huhsted, a resident of Legacy Ridge who serves on the neighborhood’s home owners’ association advisory board, addressed council with concerns he and neighbors have for the city’s Uplands Trail project slated for their backyard. He said residents there believe a public trail built on land owned by the city would compromise privacy and security for those living in the area.

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10 • JANUARY 2017

Police Report The following items were reported by the Liberty Lake Police Department from Nov. 15 through Dec. 18 The report is listed in chronological order. Protest – On Nov. 15 at 11:14 a.m., LLPD responded to a trespassing call at the 600 block of North Legacy Ridge Drive. An officer arrived and contacted a female subject at the location holding a sign protesting the business. She was advised management wanted her trespassed and that she could continue to protest peacefully but had to move to public property. Trespassing – On Nov. 15 at 11:54 a.m., LLPD responded to the 22000 block of East Country Vista Drive for an unwanted guest. Officers advised the female subject at the location the residents did not want her there and if she returned she’d be trespassed. Burglary – On Nov. 15 at 6:31 p.m., LLPD responded to a burglary at the 23000 block of East Country Vista. Officers arrived at the location and cleared the house. Subject reported they would contact law enforcement the next day with information on what was taken from the location. Suspicious vehicle – On Nov. 16 at 3:02 p.m., LLPD responded to the 1300 block of North Liberty Lake Road for a suspicious vehicle.

Runaway located – On Nov. 16 at 9:01 a.m., LLPD responded to the 4600 block of North Best Road for a welfare check. Complainant reported her daughter ran away two days prior. Officer made contact with complainant who reported she had been in contact with her daughter and she was fine. Suspicious vehicle – On Nov. 16 at 1:11 p.m., LLPD responded to a suspicious vehicle at the 21000 block of East Mission Avenue. Complainant reported a male subject came into the location and started asking questions and writing information down on an iPad, then left. Officers arrived and advised they call 911 if he returned. Assault – A woman was arrested on Nov. 17 at 7:24 a.m. at the 22000 block of East Country Vista for assault. Upset neighbor – On Nov. 18 at 10:18 p.m., LLPD responded to an argument at the 25000 block of East Hawkstone. Complainant reported someone knocking loudly on the door. Officer arrived and spoke to those involved who reported they were upset as their dog had been hit by a vehicle that day. Abandoned 911 – On Nov. 19 at 3:19 a.m., LLPD responded to a 911 abandoned line at the 1800 block of North Pepper Lane.

Harassment – On Nov. 19 at 10:41 a.m., LLPD responded to harassment at the 25000 block of East Hawkstone. Complainant reported a blocked number continuously called her claiming there was a lawsuit against her. Officers provided the complainant with some suggestions on how to handle the call. Traffic hazard – On Nov. 19 at 4:47 p.m., LLPD received a report of a traffic hazard at East Appleway Avenue and Norths Meadowwood. Officers advised city crews of the hazard. Open gate – On Nov. 19 at 11:47 p.m., LLPD responded to a suspicious circumstance at the 18000 block of East Broadway Avenue. Officer observed a gate at the location to be open. He secured the gate and cleared the location. Fraud – On Nov. 22 at 2:09 p.m., LLPD responded to a fraud at the 1400 block of North Liberty Lake Road Two subjects were arrested after employees at the location called to report two males were trying to cash fraudulent checks. Wrong way – On Nov. 23 at 12:21 a.m., LLPD responded to a suspicious vehicle at the Eastbound I-90 and the Liberty Lake exit. Complainant reported a vehicle was traveling the wrong direction on the exit. Abuse referral – On Nov. 23 at 10:12 a.m., LLPD received a child abuse referral. Theft -- On Nov. 23 at 10:15 a.m., LLPD responded to a theft at the 20000 block of East Glenbrook Avenue. Complainant reported he believed his firearm was either lost or had been stolen from his vehicle. Theft – On Nov. 23 at 10:49 a.m., LLPD responded to the 19000 block of East Cataldo for a theft. Complainant reported over 15 RV’s had been entered at the location and several items taken from inside each. Hurt animal – On Nov. 24 at 11:46 p.m., LLPD responded to an injured animal at North Liberty Lake Road and East Country Vista. Standby – On Nov. 26 at 1:10 p.m., LLPD responded to the 21000 block of East Country Vista for a citizen contact. Officers conducted a standby as a couple who were separating collected items from the residence. Harassment – On Nov. 29 at 7:57 a.m., LLPD responded to harassment at the 1800 block of North Cavalier Road. Complainant reported his estranged wife was following him around and he wanted her to stop. Complainant was provided with information on how to obtain a protection order. Fraud – On Nov. 30 at 1:42 p.m., LLPD responded to a fraud at the 23000 block of East Maxwell Court. Complainants reported someone used

their credit cards fraudulently to obtain $2295.90 in goods and services. Prowl – On Dec. 2 at 12:27 a.m., LLPD responded to the 1800 block of vehicle prowl at the 1800 block of North Pepper Lane. Complainant reported his work vehicle was broken into and $10,000 in tools were stolen from inside. Returned card – On Dec. 3 at 7:14 p.m., LLPD received found property at the police precinct. A debit card left in a local ATM was returned to the owner. Attempted shoplifting – On Dec. 6 at 12:16 p.m., LLPD responded to a shoplifter at the 1500 block of North Liberty Lake Road Complainant reported female subject put a box of hair dye in her jacket, but took it out and left the store with no stolen merchandise after police were called. The subject was advised she was trespassed from the location. Road hazard – On Dec. 6 at 7:33 p.m., LLPD responded to a suspicious vehicle at East Knox Avenue and North Madson Road. A vehicle loading boxes and transporting them from one location to another had lost some of those boxes in the roadway. Burglary – On Dec. 10 at 4:10 a.m., LLPD responded to the 20000 block of East Deschutes Avenue for a burglary. Complainant reported subjects had entered his garage and taken items totaling near $300. Stuck in snow – On Dec. 10 at 7:18 p.m., LLPD responded to a citizen assist. An officer observed a vehicle stuck in the snow and assisted the motorist in getting mobile again. False alarm – On Dec. 12 at 6:49 p.m., LLPD responded to an alarm at the 25000 block of East Stonecrest Court. Officers arrived at the location and found the residence was secure. It appeared the dog was setting off the alarm. Stolen vehicle – On Dec. 15 at 4:54 p.m., LLPD responded to a vehicle theft at the 23000 block of East Appleway Avenue. Complainant reported his vehicle had been stolen by a co-worker the day prior and left in Idaho. Car theft – On Dec. 17 at 6:52 p.m., LLPD responded to a vehicle theft at North Sedge Lane and East Rockrose Lane. Suspicious vehicle – On Dec. 17 at 8:11 p.m., LLPD responded to a suspicious vehicle at the 1400 block of North Caufield Court. Burglary – On Dec. 18 at 3:17 p.m., LLPD responded to a burglary at the 1800 block of North Salmon River Lane. Reckless driver – On Dec. 18 at 11:41 a.m., LLPD responded to East Mission and North Harvard for a reckless driver.

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JANUARY 2017 • 11

Be WELL in the New Year!

The Well brings tasty, healthy grab-and-go fare to LL

By J.R. Conrow Splash Correspondent Natalie Gauvin has spent over 20 years working on a dream – to create a fast, easy way to grab healthy food on the go. On July 7, 2016, her dream came true when The Well Coffeehouse Eatery & Pub opened its doors at 21980 E. Country Vista Drive, Suite 100. “I’ve been a manager, interior designer, contractor, I teach yoga, am a nutrition guide and have worked for many years in these different arenas.” Gauvin said. Now she has brought all together under one roof. “My dream was always to have a family run business, a place where the kids can learn a strong work ethic,” she added. The Well is the first coffeehouse of its kind in Liberty Lake with a unique environment that appeals to individuals, families and groups, while emphasizing its focus on authentic, locally-grown and organic foods and drinks. One example of Gauvin’s intent in creating a unique environment is the fact that her own piano keyboard and classical guitar now reside at the cafe. She welcomes musicians to play any time. In the coming months, she will be adding a music/ art/poetry slam line-up each month. A free concert with a local band and

Live Well. Be Well. A local coffee house serving a healthy grab and go lunch, coffee, tea, smoothies, beer, wine, acai bowls, and more.

Natalie Gauvin opened The Well Coffeehouse Eatery & Pub last July on Country Vista Drive. Photo by Craig Howard video shoot is slated for late January or early February. You can look for weekly posts and coming events at The Well’s Facebook page. Gauvin said she searched for one year to find the right coffee vendor and although she remains open to hosting others, is “pretty set” on using Indaba Coffee Roasters as her mainstay. “After I taste tested others next to Indaba, I realized that he (Bobby Enslow) is just able to come up with the flavor profile I am looking for,” she said. “Plus, Bobby gives back to the community and that reciprocity is one of my passions as well.” Indaba coffee is fair trade, organic, shade grown and naturally processed. Gauvin invites anyone to a free taste test. You can bring in your freshly brewed coffee from another coffee shop and receive a free 8-ounce of comparable drink. With a great Happy Hour,

The Well is the first neighborhood coffeehouse of its kind in Liberty Lake. The Well’s emphasis is on unique menu items made from locally grown, organic ingredients. Photo by Danica Wick

Open Monday-Friday: 7:00am-6:00pm Saturday: 8:00am-3:00pm Closed Sunday 21980 E. Country Vista Drive (509)474-1187 homemade soups, locally brewed Kombucha on tap, local and regional beer and healthier options than what are normally offered in home grown coffee shops, there is something at The Well for everyone. Almost everything is made in-house and from recipes Gauvin has been using in her own home and cooking since her teen years. Gauvin said she has a strong work ethic in all aspects of what she does and she said she expects the same effort from her employees. In hiring her staff she says, “I love to give people a chance and would love to work more with refugees and single moms, but don’t tell me what you can do, show me what you can do,” Gauvin said. “I feel very blessed and have a dream team of staff right now.” But she has been through many employees in the short time she has been open. Brooke Gallaway, one of Gauvin’s employees, has been given the title of “superstar” by Gauvin because of her work ethic. “I met Brooke through my yoga classes, and one day she came into the cafe. I asked her if she had any friends looking for work,” Gauvin said. “She (Brooke) said she was actually looking for a job herself.” Gauvin said she talked to Gallaway and learned she had been on a basketball scholarship and had never worked a “real job” before, but she said she was willing to bring

her in to volunteer and job shadow to see how the opportunity would work. “She has been an amazing asset to the everyday running and the spirit of The Well.” Not long after she met Amy O’Conell, single mom of four. She knew right away that there was symmetry in their intent and work ethic. She brought Amy on in the same volunteer manner and has not regretted a minute of her paid time in employment. “Amy sometimes gets here before 5 a.m. to bake so the rest of her day can be spent with her kids and a few others she nannies. She’s another superstar Well family member!” “When you’re supporting a locally-owned business, you’re not just buying a second or third vacation home for CEO of a larger corporation, you’re helping to support local families,” said Gauvin who is raising two sons of her own. “When you have a dream, it finds you, you don’t find it,” Gauvin said. “It took me more than 20 years to achieve mine, but I never stopped dreaming it. It was that thing that kept nagging at me year after year.” The Well’s hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Friday, Saturday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and closed on Sundays. Drive through is always open. The Well is now partnering with Pantry Fuel, a local online company that specializes in healthy meals developed by Jenny VanCott for busy adults.


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LL personalities focus on wide variety of betterment for 2017 By Craig Howard Splash Editor Last year around this time, the Splash featured a collection of recognizable residents from fields like government, education and business. As part of our first issue of the New Year, the goal was to gather their goals for 2016 – both on a personal (micro) and broader (macro) level. The compilation turned into a fascinating study of priorities and aspirations. On the individual side, some wanted to spend more time with family, others hoped to exercise more or travel. Some, like Wayne Williams of Telect, mentioned spiritual objectives such as reading the Bible over the next 365 days. On the community front, several pointed to upcoming initiatives in the city of Liberty Lake like the Town Square project that would fall short by a mere 103 votes in November. Phil Champlin of the HUB Sports Center focused on the facility’s capital campaign that would generate impressive momentum throughout the year. With 2017 around the corner, the Splash reached out to a new group of goal-setters with the same assignment. What follows is a look at how the movers and shakers of the community view the vast terrain of potential and possibilities inherent in a New Year. Holli Parker – Liberty Lake Farmers Market manager Micro: My personal resolution this year is to get my exercise more consistent. Cliché – you bet it is! I am OK with that. I have worked on eating local, whole foods this past year. Having the market and the surrounding farms helps. t is the exercise portion that I need to work on. We have such amazing walking paths, parks and neighborhoods to walk, run or bike through. I want to get out there and utilize more of them. Macro: The Liberty Lake Farmers Market is such a great place for our community to come eat,

shop and connect. I am proud to be a part of it. My goal for this year is to help bring more farmers in touch with the folks in our area through the market. My hope is that this will increase the awareness of eating whole, local foods through the people that grow it for us. Kevin Stocker – Businessman, Sports broadcaster Micro: My personal resolution for the coming year is to travel more with my wife. Macro: My community resolution for the coming year is to find new ways to support youth sports in the area. Linda Dockrey – Liberty Lake Library trustee, Liberty Lake Kiwanis member Micro: For my personal 2017 resolutions, I want to spend more time with my family and friends. Traveling has always been a passion of mine and I still have five states that I have not yet visited so I’d like to check them off my list this year. I’m also planning to work on downsizing so we can move to a smaller and less demanding home in the future. I also want to learn to bake bread and am looking forward to biking and hiking when the warmer weather arrives! Macro: The city of Liberty Lake is a wonderful place to live and it is my hope that we all, as a community, continue to work together to keep it the great place it is. There are so many volunteer opportunities, including my favorites, Liberty Lake Kiwanis, the Liberty Lake Library and the local schools. I hope everyone will pitch in and do what they can – it is very rewarding!

Reflecting back, looking ahead – Local entities weigh in on 2016, focus on New Year

By Craig Howard Splash Editor Recent Nobel Prize laureate Bob Dylan once said, “Don’t Look Back.” In the case of cities, school districts and nonprofit groups, the theme might well be, “Look Back, Take Pride and Learn as You Move Forward.” In the Liberty Lake community, achievement takes the form of new roads, summer events in the park, graduation ceremonies, successful businesses and much more. Reflecting on these efforts seems fitting as another year turns. In the early days of the city, an accomplishment like purchasing an executive golf course to preserve greenspace and provide recreational opportunities might take time to materialize into a landmark triumph. Yet when Trailhead at Liberty Lake generates nearly $700,000 in revenue, as it did in 2016, a consensus on the decision – and its resulting impact – is easy to find. Worthwhile achievements often begin with the setting of goals, some of which might seem a reach at first. Those in the know will also tell you that the definition of reaching that goal is pivotal. Mike Krzyzewski, Hall of Fame basketball coach at Duke University, said he teaches his teams to strive for excellence, not

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success. “Because when you attain excellence, success just naturally follows,” Coach K said. For the Central Valley School District, that quest may mean campaigning for a capital facilities initiative that finally passes after years of disappointment. For the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, it could translate into carving out the list of “Big 5” priorities that set the stage for dynamic economic development in the years ahead. For the Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District, that may look like a new water treatment plant that will meet the infrastructure demands of a growing community. Learning to never be overly content in your victories is also critical. Again, Coach K: “If what you did yesterday still looks big today, then you haven’t done much today.” With 2017 dawning, the Splash asked a group of local entities to provide us with a highlight from 2016 as well as an objective for the approaching year. The results paint a picture of what our community has become and the potential that lies ahead. Central Valley School District – By Superintendent Ben Small 2016 Highlight We are proud of the many achievements of the students we serve. Most notably, our increasing graduation rate which this year is at 91.8 percent. 2017 Goal One goal the Central Valley School District has for 2017 is to continue to work toward a growth mindset. It


R.J. Stevenson – City of Liberty Lake finance director Micro: I want to see Jesus Second Advent, preferably on a Monday morning, but anytime. I want to see God glorified. Less of me, more of him. How that relates to me going into 2017 – Complete surrender to Jesus. Every day. And every day, my sinful nature will cause me to stumble and

See NEW YEAR, Page 23

Central Valley High School is part of an impressive 91.8 percent graduation rate throughout the Central Valley School District. File photo

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Continued from page 12 is about everyone – including district staff, principals, teachers, nutrition service staff, bus drivers and other support staff – getting clear about what is expected of them and finding new ways, every day, to do what they do, just a little better. City of Liberty Lake – By Mayor Steve Peterson 2016 Highlight There are way too many accomplishments for 2016 to just focus on the most significant or greatest. If you would like to see the list of what the city accomplished in 2016, please visit the “Mayor’s Message” in the city’s budget. However, there is a common theme in all the accomplishments this year which is providing the best level of service to our community from public safety, parks and recreation, improving traffic movement and taking care of our streets and trails. I am very proud of all the city accomplished in 2016 making this “Spokane County’s premier address!” 2017 Goal The city is going to “up the ante” in providing efficient and responsive services in 2017. This includes road and signal improvements to Liberty Lake Road, new traffic signals on Appleway, new pedestrian crossings, development of Orchard Park in the River District, additional resources for the police and improving irrigation at the parks and golf course. A large part of our 2017 initiative is to continue to seek ways to engage and inform our residents, support community activities and promote opportunities to volunteer and participate. Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District – By General Manager BiJay Adams 2016 Highlight The construction for phase two of the district’s Water Reclamation Facility upgrade is approximately 30 percent complete. The district Board of Commissioners awarded the construction contract to Williams Brothers Construction, LLC/Clearwater Construction and Management, LLC as a joint venture. In early 2015, the District was successful in receiving loan funding through Washington State Department of Ecology’s State Revolving Fund. The $15.1 million loan terms are 2.4 percent and must be paid back over 20 years. The district is fortunate to have completed an outstanding complex design, procured an excellent construction contractor and secured low-interest financing to make this

Liberty Lake City Hall continues to be the leadership hub of a ommunity that MayorSteve Peterson has called "Spokane County's premier address." File photo project a success. 2017 Goal On Sept. 12, 2016, the district Board of Commissioners awarded the contract to Caselle for the procurement of an integrated municipal finance software system. Caselle offers a full range of software services specifically developed for municipalities and special purpose districts. The district is excited to announce that we have begun the implementation process, which will improve our billing and allow the us to be more responsive to our customer needs. This system will allow the istrict to offer an improved on-line payment system. The district anticipates this system to go live in the spring of 2017. Liberty Lake Police Department – By Chief Brian Asmus 2016 Highlight The nuisance property ordinance was a great accomplishment in 2016. A specific nuisance property was identified and the challenge was presented on how the community and the police could work together to solve the problem. We quickly researched what was successful in other communities and identified that creating a nuisance property ordinance would be the best solution. The police department, city code enforcement (Dennis Scott) worked with our city attorney (Sean Boutz) and drafted an ordinance to not only address the specific problem house that was identified, but to provide the city a tool to address potential future issues with nuisance properties. The final draft was put together and the city council quickly passed the nuisance property ordinance making it a city law. Almost immediately

after going into effect, the police department contacted the nuisance property owner and described the legal ramifications if the criminal activity occurring at the property was not stopped. The owner worked extremely well with law enforcement and we were able to have the nuisance issues associated with that property removed. 2017 Goal In 2017 one of our goals is to continue our streak of being named one of the top safest cities in Washington State. The only way we can be successful is by partnering with the community and focusing on crime prevention efforts and encouraging the citizens to watch out for each other and to report suspicious activity to the police. As our community population continues to grow, this goal is a real challenge. The city is dedicated to creating a safe environment by committing resources to the police department and encouraging the use of technology to make police operations as efficient as possible. Liberty Lake Library – By Director Pamela Mogen 2016 Highlight(s) In response to survey results in 2016, the library began offering hundreds of online Gale Courses for adults in February, taught entirely online by college instructors and experts in their fields. The courses are high-quality, interactive, and include real interactions with classmates and instructors through discussion boards. Also in response to survey results, the library began accepting credit cards in September. 2017 Goal(s) With the addition of a 3-D printer in early 2017, the library’s Learning Center will offer a STEM Center

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for reservation composed of an advanced computer system with Photoshop software, an all-purpose scanner and a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine. Additional creative software will be purchased based on demand. The library will support the efforts of Liberty Lake City Council in their focus on promoting local and small business in 2017. Spokane Valley Fire Department – By Chief Bryan Collins 2016 Highlight Following a lengthy and rigorous process, Spokane Valley Fire Department again successfully earned accreditation by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) on Aug. 17, 2016. SVFD first earned accreditation in 2011. The department remains one of only three fire departments in the state of Washington and the only fire department in Eastern Washington to achieve this designation. Accreditation is the mark of an agency that understands the importance of continuous improvement. The process promotes excellence through a comprehensive, rigorous selfassessment and evaluation model, leading to higher service delivery levels for citizens. 2017 Goal “Project RISK” (Residential. Inspection. Smoke Alarms. Knowledge) is a new Spokane Valley Fire Department initiative to reduce fire and medical emergencies in our community through targeted outreach and education. It is based on analysis of incident data to identify the frequent causes of fire and emergency medical

See GOALS, Page 23

The Spokane Valley Fire Department once again earned accreditation by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International in 2016. File photo


14 • JANUARY 2017

Model Homes Dreams Start Here!

Calendar of Events COMMUNITY EVENTS Dec. 31-Jan. 8 | Christmas tree recycling – Parking lots at Central Valley High School and University High School. Times are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Dec. 31, Jan. 1, 7 and 8. Home pick-up of a tree (within about 10 minutes of CVHS or U-Hi) is also available. Cost is $5 for drop-off, $10 for pick-up (minimum suggested donation). All proceeds support Boy Scout Troop 400 in Spokane Valley. Jan. 31 | Stinky Sneaker – Spokane Arena, 720 W. Mallon, Spokane. The annual basketball rivalry between Central Valley and University high schools features the faceoff of thematic halftime presentations and awarding of the event’s namesake to the winning school. The varsity girls’ game begins at 5 p.m. followed by the boys’ game at 7:30.


1421 North Meadowwood Lane #200 • Liberty Lake, WA 99019

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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. 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 893-4746 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 Catholic Singles Mingle | meeting times and locations vary. This group, with no dues, is for single adults of all ages. More at 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 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 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 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

MUSIC & THE ARTS Dec. 31 | Spokane Symphony New Year’s Eve: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, 7:30 p.m., Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox, 1001 W. Sprague Ave. Back by popular demand, the more than 140 musicians of the Spokane Symphony and Chorale will celebrate New Year's Eve with a traditional performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with its themes of joy and the brotherhood of man. Tickets are $23 to $28; $16 for youth 17 and under. For more information, visit or call 624-1200.


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 2709264. 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 four-part, a cappella harmony of this men’s barbershop chorus. More at 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 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 Dec. 27-29 | Snowball Futsal Tournament, 4 to 9 p.m. each day. Are you ready for some Futsal? Get out and get moving over winter break with your team. Sign up early for this five aside futsal tournament and don’t miss out. For kids U7 through U14. Registration Fees: $250 per team (if registration and payment received by Nov. 30) Cost is $275 per team (if registration and payment received Dec. 1 or later) Registration deadline is Friday, Dec. 14. Dec. 27-30 | Skyhawks MultiSport Camp and Basketball

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JANUARY 2017 • 15


Camp, the HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo, Liberty Lake. For registration information, visit or call 927-0602. Jan. 1-Feb. 28 | Winter Futsal League. The HUB Sports Center runs a five-aside futsal league for ages 9-14 taking place January/ February each Friday night. Each session is six weeks. Sign up for both sessions online to receive a discount. For more information, call 927-0602 or visit www.


HUB Sports Center 19619 E. Cataldo Ave. Various activities and events occur throughout the week including: • Badminton open gym: 7 to 9 p.m. Tues., $5/person • Basketball open gym: Noon to 1 p.m. Tues. and Thurs., $4/person • Pickleball drop-in: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Mon. through Thurs.; 10 a.m. to noon Tues. and Thurs.; and 7 to 9 p.m. Wed. and Sun. $2/ seniors ($4/non-seniors) • Classes including Kenpo Karate, Modern Farang-Mu Sul, and Zumba Aerobics. See website for cost and times.


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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JANUARY 2017 • 17

CV Key Club, volunteers rally to create layers of support

social studies teacher Jason Allen, his wife and three daughters to the party, where they worked as a team to assemble a Seahawks’ themed blanket. “We have an advent calendar of service and we picked it out,” he said of the event. “Education is more than books and we wanted our kids to be involved.”

By Staci Lehman

Splash Correspondent A total of 287 volunteers, including students, parents, grandparents, younger brothers and sisters, teachers and representatives of the Spokane Valley Kiwanis blanketed the commons area at Central Valley High School last month for a very special project. In a span of three hours, the gathering of cheerful workers managed to create 403 blankets. That was a record for the event – but just narrowly. Seated at a table, Kiwanian Ken Otteman scrutinized instructions on how to make a two-sided fleece blanket. He and other members of the service club took part in the school’s 10th annual Key Club Holiday Service Party on Dec. 7. These seasonal festivities were not about eating and socializing though, they were chance for students and community residents to make blankets that will be donated to area charities. “We made 400 last year so our goal is to at least beat that,” said Key Club Board Member and CV senior Gabrielle Ford. “We were a little short of fleece earlier today but have had a lot come in.” The fleece, in all colors and patterns, was donated by students, teachers and parents while some was purchased with Key Club funds. In 2006, when the party first started, there was a lot less fleece; a total of 22 blankets were made by a handful of students, according to science teacher and Key Club advisor Krista Larsen. The party has since grown into the club’s biggest event and a favorite

Central Valley High School students and guests assembled blankets for Blessings Under the Bridge and Sally’s House on Dec. 7. Nearly 300 volunteers created an event record of 403 blankets. Photo by Staci Lehman for a lot of participants. “I think it’s a fun event because you can just sit down and talk to people while you work,” said Ford. “It’s totally a family event.” Senior Jason Vasquez, another Key Club board rep, measured and cut ribbon used to bundle the blankets together. While doing this, he talked about the impact the project has. “It’s cool to deliver them and see you’re making a difference in someone’s life,” he said. Vasquez and others will drop the blankets off at Blessings Under the Bridge and the Salvation Army’s Sally’s House. Sally's House is an emergency foster care facility for children who have been removed from homes due to abuse, neglect, criminal activity or abandonment. Children are brought to Sally's House by law enforcement or Child Protective Services and often only literally have the clothes on their back when they arrive. The blankets are a comfort during the transition.

near Fourth Avenue and McClellan in downtown Spokane. The people who show up are served food at those stations and provided with clothing and other supplies as well as connections with social services. The blankets will help to keep those people, many of whom sleep outside, warm during the cold weather. It was this service aspect of the Key Club Party that brought CV

The Key Club is all about getting kids involved. The club is a studentled service leadership program that partners with the Kiwanis. Guidance is provided to members by not only a teacher that serves as an advisor, but also a volunteer from the Spokane Valley Kiwanis who attends meetings, helps with ideas, organization and other aspects of the club. The club’s goal is for students to learn leadership skills through service projects. The Central Valley High School Key Club has certainly done that with a variety of projects. Last summer, the group organized and kept a large community garden that provided food for members of the community. In November, members held a hugely successful food drive that gathered 20,000 pounds of food and $13,000 for local food banks to help feed less fortunate residents.

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Piles of fleece wait in a classroom to be assembled into blankets. The service project celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. Photo by Staci Lehman


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It may be a myth that no two snowflakes are alike. In 1988, a scientist found two identical examples from a storm in Wisconsin. The average snowflake falls at 3 mph. Ten inches of snow melts down to one inch of water. Every snowflake has six sides and is made up of about 200 ice crystals. Snow is actually clear and colorless but reflects sunlight to give it its appearance. The highest snowfall ever recorded in one year was 1224 inches at Mt. Rainier, right here in Washington, in 1972. The snowiest place in the US is Stampede Pass here in Washington. It averages 430 inches each year. On March 5, 2015, Capracotta, Italy received 100 inches of snow. The record in the United States occurred in Silver Lake, Colorado in 1921. They received 76 inches. 80% of all the freshwater on earth is frozen as ice or snow. This makes up 12% of the earth’s surface.

The world’s largest snowman was built in Bethel, Maine in 2008. It was 122 feet 1 inch tall and weighed 13,000,000 pounds. The eyes were 5-foot wreaths. At least one septillion snowflakes fall every year. 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. Chionophobia is the fear of being trapped by snow. Some insects prepare for winter by producing more glycerol which makes them more cold tolerant and protects their tissue from ice damage. In 1983, the coldest temperature ever recorded was -123 degrees Celsius at Vostok Station in Antarctica

Snow Fun Where does a snowman keep his money? What is a snowman’s favorite breakfast food? What do you call Arctic?

In a snowbank Frosted Flakes Lost! Penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere


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20 • JANUARY 2017

Make a Crystal Snowflake

MATERIALS: String Wide Mouth Jar White pipe cleaners Boiling water Borax Pencil or small dowel INSTRUCTIONS: Cut a pipe cleaner into three equal pieces. Twist these together in the center Tie string to one end of a pipe cleaner. Attach the pencil to the opposite end. This will hang your snowflake. Carefully fill the jar with boiling water. For each cup of water add three tablespoons of borax, one at a time. Stir until the mixture is dissolved. You may add a drop of blue coloring now if you want your snowflake to have a bluish tint. Put your pipe cleaner snowflake into the jar so that the pencil is resting on the edge of the jar and the snowflake is fully immersed in the borax solution. Leave sitting overnight and in the morning you will have a snowflake to hang.

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The Splash

JANUARY 2017 • 21

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Animal Facts

Every month we will feature an information on a different animal. Cut them out and collect them all! Snowy Owl - Arctic tundra, North America and Asia - 4-5.5 ft wingspan, 3.5-6.5 pounds, 9 years - Diurnal (active furing day and night) - Preferred daily meal 3-5 lemmings that are eaten whole but will tear apart larger animals - Even toes and claws have feathers -Feathers have no pigment so there is more space for air to insulate them - nests are on the ground

The Splash

22 • JANUARY 2017

Student of the Month When not kicking mammoth punts or field goals for Central Valley High School, senior Ryan Rehkow is netting long-distance jumpers for the Bears’ basketball squad. A perennial All-Greater Spokane League pick in football, Rehkow was named All-State last year as a punter. As a junior, he converted a 57-yard field goal. Rehkow will continue his kicking career at BYU but only after serving a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The senior maintains a 3.96 grade point average. On the hoops side, Rehkow had 28 points and 11 rebounds in a game against Lewis and Clark this season and is the only returning starter from last year’s team that placed seventh at state. He scored 21 points in a regional playoff game against Richland and hit a gametying three-pointer that sent the game into overtime before CV eventually won.

Citizen of the Month

& Thanks you for all you do in our community

Whether it’s Knowledge Bowl, Junior Statesmen or Green Team, Central Valley senior Gwyneth Potter not only participates but makes a difference. She serves as co-president of Science Olympiad and has medaled at state competition. The 4.0 student has been on the board of the National Honor Society since her sophomore year and is also involved in the 4-H Club where she has earned honors as a horse handler. In her spare time, Potter volunteers with Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Services (SCRAPS). The senior is also part of TED ED – a high school version of TED Talks – and Skills USA, a technology-based club. She is currently enrolled in four AP classes and is semi-fluent in Spanish. In the fall, she hopes to attend Seattle University and begin a track to becoming a veterinarian.

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JAN 14-15

Athlete of the Month Those who have attended the Liberty Lake Rotary Memorial Day Breakfast at Pavillion Park know the handiwork of Jeff Duncan. As the chair of the popular event that raises funds to send veterans on Honor Flight trips to Washington, D.C., Duncan says his favorite part of the role is “just being able to talk to all the veterans.” Duncan is past president of Rotary and currently serves as treasurer. Duncan owns Vista Window Cleaning LLC, a company that supports local nonprofits like Meals on Wheels and Second Harvest. He and his wife, Mary, will celebrate their 38th wedding anniversary this month. They have two sons, Jeremy and Alex, and two grandchildren. As for his efforts with Rotary and in other areas, Duncan says it’s just part of the responsibility he feels to the community. “It’s important for me to give back,” he said.

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Continued from page 13 calls. Project RISK then pairs fire department professionals with community partners and the general public to proactively target and address these risks. A Community Risk Reduction specialist has been hired to develop Project RISK and has begun offering free home fire safety visits to all SVFD residents (visit to request a visit). This effort has already resulted in more than 100 homes visited with over 200 smoke alarms installed. Our goal in 2017 is to fully implement Project RISK. HUB Sports Center – By HUB Executive Director Phil Champlin 2016 Highlight 2016 was a terrific year at the HUB Sports Center. We finished our sixth consecutive year with a positive cash flow and are on pace to have over 173,000 people visit this year (2016). 2017 Goal The goal of the HUB Sports Center for 2017 is to complete our capital campaign to purchase the facility and secure it as a permanent resource for the youth and community, providing positive events and activities for future generations. Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce – By President/CEO Katherine Morgan 2016 Highlight This year, the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber was proud to embrace our manufacturing community by adopting the local manufacturing tradeshow. The event was rebranded and renamed, the ‘Manufacturing Matters EXPO and featured a dinner with keynote

JANUARY 2017 • 23

address by CJ Buck from Buck Knives, a trade show with more than 55 exhibitors, representing local manufacturers and suppliers and educational workshops for attendees. With a revitalized focus and marketing strategy, the Manufacturing Matters EXPO is well-positioned to grow each year. We are proud to continue on as the show’s organizer and promote the vibrant manufacturing industry in our region. 2017 Goal The Greater Spokane Valley Chamber is proud to sponsor “Lemonade Day,” a national program in over 60 cities across the country. This program directly links to two of the "Big 5 for a Greater Spokane Valley" initiatives: Greater Learning and Greater Vision. Lemonade Day teaches youth entrepreneurial skills through running their own lemonade business. Chamber members have multiple avenues to support Lemonade Day through sponsorship, volunteering and providing locations out front of their businesses for the youth to run their lemonade stands. We are proud to provide opportunities to bring our community together on May 20, 2017 as we empower the talent and leadership of the future. Friends of Pavillion Park – By President Joe Frank 2016 Highlight We had 18 total events in 2016 and did not have to cancel any, which is very rare given the number of outdoor events we run. 2017 Goal We have had the same volunteers for nearly 10 years, so a goal for 2017 will be to look for ways to get better participation from the community.


Continued from page 12

miss this target. And by God’s awesome grace and forgiveness, I can start anew. Where that will lead, I do not know. But I shall not fear. To be able to put my own selfish nature aside. To be close to my Savior. “Loving my Jesus” as a Casting Crowns song goes. This is what I desire everyday 2017 and beyond. Macro: In 2017, I would love to see all of us not be offended by any point of view, to discuss the issues at hand, to agree to disagree without ill will towards anyone and enjoy life, no matter the circumstance. To support each other, to encourage each other, to build up and edify one another. Joice Cary – City of Liberty Lake horticulturist Micro: After a long search for a new home in an area offering golf, hiking, gardening and community, my husband, Chris and I moved to our new home in the Liberty Lake area last June. Beautiful Ponderosa pines surrounded and shaded our previous home limiting gardening to pots of tomatoes on the deck. My goal is to transform our new yard from traditional grass into a bountiful and beautiful garden full of flowers, fruit, and food to share. Macro: For 2017 my goal is to help increase awareness of the importance of beneficial insects and to increase the number of plants within the city that feed and shelter these creatures. Dan DiCicco – Store manager, Liberty Lake Yoke’s Micro: My resolution is to take each day and make the most of it, spend more time with friends and family and remember to be grateful for all I've been given. Macro: Continue to support the many worthwhile local organizations in partnership with Yokes and encourage our community to support the Liberty Lake Theatre. There is so much talent in our community, so be brave and put your drama on the stage – and I will too!

Friends of Pavillion Park hosted 18 events last year including the popular Fourth of July concert. File photo

Tom Agnew – President, Liberty Lake Sewer and

Water District Commissioners



Micro: First of all, best wishes for 2017 to the amazing people who make Liberty Lake such a special place to call home. Personal resolutions include as top priority, spending as much time as possible with wife Steph and family, especially grandkids Emmett, James and Edith, their great grandmother Mary Ann, my 87 years young mother and my siblings. Much of this would be time together in, on and around the lake, which relates to my top community goal, see below. Macro: For community oriented goals, we have an amazing year in store at LLSWD. I'm excited about our water reclamation plant upgrade currently under construction, adding state of the art micro filtration which is due for 2017 completion, a much needed major software billing upgrade and the consummation of consolidation with the eastside water system. In addition, a goal I'm most interested in is our unprecedented deep dig data assessment and analysis to understand what has contributed to recent lake algae blooms. LLSWD is competing for an algae control grant DOE will decide soon. We've retained the foremost limnologists and one of the best companies to assist in our quest for science based conclusions about possible causes and solutions. Bob Wiese – Fallen Heroes Circuit Course founder Micro: I would like to improve balance in my life with God, family, work, education, charity and health. Too often I find myself focusing more on one area resulting in neglect in other areas. Macro: The community support for the Fallen Heroes Circuit Course was overwhelmingly positive. The advisory committee would like to find other ways the community can continue to honor those who gave their life in service of our great country. We are considering an annual fundraiser to benefit the families of the fallen, like a scholarship fund for their children or relatives. Keeping with the theme of the circuit course. We like the idea of a community race to accomplish this.

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24 • JANUARY 2017 Brought to you by

About and for Liberty Lake seniors

Care Cars relies on volunteers to keep wheels in motion

By Craig Howard Splash Editor Once or twice a week, Tom and Norene Green hop into their red sedan and shift gears into safety net mode. The Spokane Valley couple began volunteering for a program known as Care Cars in June of 2015, joining a crew of coordinated chauffeurs who transport residents of Spokane County to and from medical appointments. “It sounded like something we could do that would be of help to people so we signed up,” Norene said. With the latest slew of harsh winter weather, the donated wheels come in even more handy. Most of the appointments the Greens help with are in the Valley but some are on the South Hill or north side. Most outings are in the range of 15 to 20 miles, round trip. “We just go where they tell us,” Tom said. “We have certain responsibilities but we’re pretty flexible. They work it around our schedule.” Since being established in 1984 with half-a-dozen volunteers, the program has accounted for 125,000 trips and covered 1.5 million miles, according to Volunteer Specialist Diane Roberson who has been with Care Cars for the past 19 years. She said those served “greatly

Rita Newcomb of Spokane Valley says serving as a volunteer with Care Cars has been a rewarding use of her time. The program is in need of more recruits to help with the program. Photo by Craig Howard

Care Cars was founded in 1984 with half-a-dozen volunteers. Today, the program is administered through Elder Services, a division of Frontier Behavioral Health. From left to right: Volunteers Tom and Norene Green, Volunteer Specialist Diane Roberson and volunteer Rita Newcomb. Photo by Craig Howard appreciate the kindness and care they receive from the volunteers.” “We receive phone calls and letters all the time, expressing their gratefulness about Care Cars and especially the volunteers,” Roberson. “They state repeatedly to us they do not know what they would do without Care Cars.” The program operates under the umbrella of Elder Services, a division of Frontier Behavioral Health. The rally to start Care Cars came in response to an incident involving an elderly Spokane woman who waited for hours in the cold for a bus in her nightgown and slippers and suffered a subsequent illness. “She needed more assistance than public transportation could provide,” Roberson said. “The need for additional attentive services was recognized and Care Cars was designed to fill that gap in the Spokane community.” Those who benefit from Care Cars must reside in Spokane County, be unable to afford private pay transportation options, be a disabled adult 18 to 54 or a senior (over 55) and have exhausted all other public/private transportation options. Rita Newcomb is a Valley resident who heard about Care Cars through a friend who was already volunteering. Years ago, as a single mom, Newcomb faced the challenge of finding her way to work and other places without a vehicle. “People helped me with

transportation back then,” she said. “This is my way to pay it back and I really enjoy it.” The program provides mileage reimbursement and training. While many volunteers are retirees, Roberson said college students sign on for service learning credits and sometimes stay beyond their required hours. Now a two-year veteran of the program, Newcomb says her experience has been enriching. “I really enjoy talking to them,” she said. “We visit on the way there and the way back. They’re very gracious and very thankful. If you could see the look on their faces, they’re just so grateful. It makes you feel good.” Along with a listening ear, volunteers provide a layer of support during challenging times. “Some of these people don’t get out because they can’t,” Newcomb said. “To have someone to talk to is very important. You can visit with them, it gives them a chance to talk to someone.” Newcomb remembers taking one client with cataract to the eye doctor. The next appointment was scheduled for six weeks away and she remembers the man leaving extremely discouraged. Later that year, Newcomb was dropping off another client at the same office when he saw the client following a successful surgery. “He was so happy, he could see so well,” she said. “That was really rewarding.” As part of the Spokane County

Transportation Plan, Care Cars has had an impact in many areas, Roberson said. “By reducing canceled medical appointments, we are improving the access to quality medical care,” she said. “This helps prevent costly emergency room visits and trips via ambulance. Our volunteers also provide one-on-one time to individuals who may not otherwise have a social outlet in their lives. This support allows seniors to stay in their home and prevent or delay placement in a nursing home.” Flexibility for volunteers is a hallmark of the program. “Even if a volunteer can only go a few times a year, those are appointments that we know people are getting to,” Roberson said. “We appreciate all of it.” Newcomb, who typically drives once a week, says “there’s never any pressure” to help out. “If you can’t drive, it’s not a problem,” she said. Another trademark of Car Cars is the effort made by volunteers to ensure clients get exactly where they need to be. “We’re there for them,” Roberson said. “Some have macular degeneration so they can’t be just left at the door because they wouldn’t find the doctor’s office. Our volunteers take them in and wait in the lobby, in most cases, and take them home. Our volunteers are amazing. It’s a special group of people.” Sometimes, when an appointment runs longer, one volunteer drops the client off and another arrives to retrieve. Arrangements for a ride are typically made a week before the appointment. If Care Cars cannot help with transportation, clients are given plenty of notice. Roberson said around 200 folks are served each year through Care Cars, but that number could be much higher. When asked how many volunteers are currently part of the program, Roberson didn’t hesitate. “Not enough,” she said. “The more volunteers we have, the more people we’re going to be able to serve.” Want to find out more? Care Cars is currently in need of volunteers. To find out more or to sign up, call 458-7450, ext. 3 or email Diane Roberson at

The Splash

JANUARY 2017 • 25


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26 • JANUARY 2017

Work ethic propels CV’s Orrino to success on field, mat

By Mike Vlahovich Splash Sports Editor Braedon Orrino has a tough act to follow – his own. Central Valley football player Orrino was the co-MVP in the Greater Spokane League and rushed for more than 1,100 yards for a 7-3 playoff qualifier. The CV wrestling Orrino wouldn’t mind capping his Bears’ career by joining his two-time state champion brother, Colton, atop the Mat Classic podium in February, making this a senior year to remember. Braedon’s off to an impressive start. During early GSL matches, he’d won by technical fall and pin and added a championship in the Inland Empire tournament hosted by CV with three technical falls (wins by 15 points or more.) Football was a revelation when he

was moved from a slot receiver to running back and went on to lead the league in rushing. Wrestling has been a mixed bag so far during his career. Orrino is a three-time state qualifier and two-time semifinalist. Last year was his first medal by finishing fifth. “I just (haven’t wrestled) very well at state,” he admitted. When pushed to explain why, Orrino’s wry answer was, “That’s a mystery I can’t solve.” But after his breakout football performance and wrestling start, a state title challenge is certainly within reach. “On the mat, I’m trying to change and be a little mean,” Orrino said, the lack thereof prompting his reason for his subpar past state efforts. Determination was evident at the Inland Empire tourney. In four matches on his way to the 145-pound title he worked over his foes, outscoring them 64-11 in four matches, three of the wins coming 17-2 and lasting a little more than 11 minutes of a possible regulation total 18. Hardly prototypical, how does someone who weighs around 150 pounds become an MVP football choice?

“Braedon is so naturally gifted and athletic and so good in open space,” first-year Bears’ football coach Ryan Butner said. “There were games where he had 30-plus carries and never took a direct shot. He had an instinct about him where he would drop down, take a half hit and stay on his feet.” Butner’s observance was made evident in Orrino’s breakout 177-yard game against Mead (he subsequently had two other games that produced more than 200 yards, including 265 against Ferris). It seemed as if Panthers had him cornered and he’d squeeze out between would-be tacklers and suddenly find himself open. Speed took care of the rest. “That game was the first game when I did good,” Orrino said. “I thought maybe I could keep pounding the ball.” Interestingly, he wasn’t even supposed to be CV’s running back. The Bears had a new head coach and staff and planned to use him in the slot where he would catch passes in space. But Tre’von Martin, the University transfer who was expected to carry the running load left school. Orrino had played running back prior to changing positions as a junior and when he moved back it was like he’d

Does my mom have options besides dentures? A patient of mine who wore dentures once told me how she chose what to order from a restaurant menu. Her question was not, “What looks delicious?” It wasn’t even, “What would be healthy for me?” Instead, she was looking to order the few limited items that she knew she could chew. Her life changed dramatically when we were able to replace her dentures with dental implants instead. While dentures give you about 25% the chewing power of normal teeth, implants provide an actual replacement for natural missing teeth and restore over 90% chewing power. Secured in the gum or jaw, this method of placement makes them the most natural tooth replacement system. In short, they look and feel like your own teeth. You even care for them as you would your natural teeth. While dentures can be initially more affordable, their removable nature not only makes them less reliable, but less functional as well. Dentures require maintenance and care that is both time-consuming and potentially costly over time. We would be happy to visit with you or your loved ones about whether dental implants are right for you.

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never left. It was, Orrino says, the position he preferred anyway. “I really feel like this fall really set him up for a successful wrestling season,” Butner said. Orrino agrees. He recalled a state match he was winning last year, but was gassed by the final 30 seconds and gave up a takedown at the edge of the mat and lost. “I’m working harder in the room, waking up sooner and getting in better shape,” he said. “I’m working matches all three rounds and trying to score as many points as I can. I feel a lot more mature and more technically sound and I know what I’m capable of.”

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Sports Notebook

By Mike Vlahovich Splash Sports Editor Central Valley girls took up where they left off last year, adding to a string of consecutive wins, beginning with last year’s 28-0 state championship season and as of Dec. 17, had six straight victories to begin this season and run the total to 34 straight. Most of the team has returned and several are in their third varsity seasons in their drive for another

Final Point Gauge of the gridiron – A look at football from the ground up By Mike Vlahovich

Splash Sports Editor Coaches and athletes at all levels, parents, businesses and others from various walks of life contributed to a recent Sports Illustrated article that devoted nearly the entire issue to dissecting the cult of football. Writers crisscrossed the country questioning believers and non-believers alike in order to understand the sport’s hold on America. Football’s popularity and


JANUARY 2017 • 27

title. Early on, the team had averaged nearly 30 points per win over their opponents including wins by 66 and 57 points. Three players were averaging in double figures, Lexie Hull leading at 15.8 points per game, Lacie Hull at 13.3 and Hailey Christopher with 10.3. The Bears post-publication schedule in December included a rematch against Moses Lake, which was unbeaten last year until the two teams met at state. The second half of the GSL schedule begins Jan. 3. CV boys battle in hoops The Bears brought back just three players from last year’s post-season basketball qualifier, but even with

pretty much a new roster, it hasn’t missed a beat, sharing second place in the GSL with an overall 6-1 record. Veterans Ryan Rehkow and Jase Edwards were double figures scorers, Rehkow leading the way with a near 17-points per game average, scoring in double figures every game. Edwards was depositing nearly 11 per game and seven of nine players had scored in double figures. Among them were Zach Stocker and Billy Ames, whose dads played for state placing teams at CV and University respectively. Slow start for wrestlers First in the Greater Spokane

League and eighth place at state last year, it’s been a different season for CV this season, including a 58-12 GSL loss to Mead. The host Bears finished 13th at the Inland Empire Tournament, but at the prestigious Tri-State tournament did have several topfive finishers: Bridger Beard, Braedon Orrino, Wyatt Wickham and John Keiser. Orrino and Beard were finalists at Inland where Bradley Wiggs was third. Lamoreaux places Anna Lamoreaux finished third allaround as gymnastics got underway. The Bears finished second, five points behind University.

fanaticism were discussed as were topics like violence and the future of the sport. Concussions and its effects on the future of the sport in SI’s study was an area that piqued my curiosity. The protocols at the college and professional level were one thing. Kids who don pads and helmets while playing tackle football as young as age 3 hit closer to home. There were anecdotes of Bear Bryant wannabes taking the fun out of the game, pushing and bullying elementary age players and making them play hurt to toughen them up. In football hub cities, medical personnel are on hand just in case. Overbearing parents and coaches confront one another as if the kids’ game is life and death with a college scholarship on the line. Fortunately, some areas have come to their senses and traded tackle for flag football at least for novice kids. I can’t say that’s a bad thing. I experienced early-on that flag football for youth does not diminish readiness to play tackle in high school and beyond. Indeed, I discovered first-hand that the

fundamentals instilled readied the flag football player just as well when it came time to tackle football in seventh grade. Despite being consumed by sports, I told myself I would never force my kids to play. I told them that until they came to me and said it was time I would say nothing. My first son, Jared, came to me age 6, when he said he was ready. He had to get league permission to play coach pitch baseball with and against older kids. When parents in the neighborhood formed a soccer team, but had no coach, I volunteered and he played one year. The next steps were basketball and wrestling. The sport that grabbed him was football. He began in the YMCA flag football league – no pads, no uniforms, just a pair of flags strapped to their waists. Though I was the de facto coach, it was my “assistant,” Tony Benson, who ran the show. He was a teacher in the Central Valley School District and had played football at Whitworth. He had two sons on our team, Brandon and Chris. Tony taught the players how to

block and came up with the plays. Most important lessons learned were tackling fundamentals even while playing the non-contact game. Instead of futilely grabbing for a flag as the ball carrier whizzed by, Tony taught them how to square up confront the ball carrier and reach for both flags at the same time. No scores were kept, no wins and losses tallied (although I can say, as you might expect from rabid dads, only we knew our team lost but once in two years). No rifts in the stands or between coaches and officials in flag football. There were no injuries, certainly no concussions in flag football. What the kids learned carried over when they began playing tackle at age 12 in junior high. They had a distinct advantage when squaring up, wrapping, head to the side, and driving the ball carrier to the ground. Several continued on through high school on a team that earned a post-season playoff. Tony and Chris Benson ultimately went on to play collegiately at Ivy League schools after beginning with flag football. Their dad had been a good teacher.

28 • JANUARY 2017

The Splash

MultiCare Health System is joining the greater Spokane community A Letter to the Community We recently announced plans to purchase Rockwood Health System, which includes Valley and Deaconess Hospitals and the Rockwood Clinic. We couldn’t be more excited! Many of you depend on these great organizations — and the 3,500 professionals who work there—to provide outstanding care for you and your families. They are places that you trust. Places you rely on. We are committed to upholding and deepening that trust as we come to know this region. MultiCare Health System was founded in the Puget Sound area in 1882, and we remain a locally owned, community-based, not-for-profit health care organization. Our mission is “Partnering for Healing and a Healthy Future” and that’s just what we want to do in collaboration with the greater Spokane community. We’re not new to health care, but we are new to Spokane, and we know that no two communities are exactly alike. So, as we bring Deaconess Hospital, Valley Hospital, Rockwood Clinic and other Rockwood Health System facilities into the MultiCare family, we will be reaching out to learn about your hopes and dreams for a healthier future for your community—and how we can be of service in that journey. I invite you to visit to learn more about MultiCare and the other diverse communities we serve. We look forward to getting to know you and becoming part of your community. Thank you! Sincerely,

Bill Robertson President and CEO, MultiCare Health System

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JANUARY 2017 • 29

The Empire Garage owned and operated by Ed McGoldrick was located at E. 1519 Sprague Ave. in Spokane. The inset photo is of McGoldick racing one of his automobiles. Both photos are circa 1914. McGoldrick and Harlan Peyton, both mentioned in this article, were part of a generation of successful Spokane business families. In addition to racing automobiles they were both active boat racers in the Inland Empire. Photos courtesy of the McGoldrick Family Collection

LL residents among cast in historic Apple Way Races

By Ross Schneidmiller Liberty Lake Historical Society With final arrangements completed at a luncheon in the Davenport Hotel restaurant, everything was set for the Apple Way Road Races of 1914. Organizers held high hopes for the event, being encouraged by

successful races held in Tacoma earlier in the year. “This is but a stepping stone to the establishment of a racing course near Spokane that will rank with the best in the United States and will bring the world’s famous drivers to this city,” said Harry Twitchell, manager of Hawkins Motor Company, one of the leading forces behind the Labor Day races. The main event was a 25-mile course primarily over Sprague Avenue also known then as the “Apple Way.” The racers began one mile east of the city limits and traveled to where the Inland Electric Railway crossed the road

near Liberty Lake Junction and back. The road was heralded as one of the best on the Pacific Coast – broad, smooth, producing little dust in dry weather and not muddy after a rain. Two companies of the National Guard volunteered to patrol the course with special attention to road crossings. Eight cars entered the featured race, but Liberty Lake summer resident Ed McGoldrick’s National was forced to retire at the start due to a broken driveshaft. Another racer’s hopes were dashed when his Detroiter went into the ditch on the return lap. Winning the silver cup and $250 in prize money was Spokane businessman Harlan

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Peyton. His Stutz automobile driven by Herb Anderson averaged 64 miles an hour over the course. The other races held that Monday afternoon were all 100-yard dashes. Each dash had different requirements like three gearshifts, slow speed on high gear or from start with dead engine. The most entertaining race was the tire change followed by 100-yard dash. The Detroiter’s driver and mechanic got a jump on the competition by dispensing with the use of a jack, raising their light car by hand to put the tire in place, redeeming their earlier day mishap. In addition to Ed McGoldrick, Liberty Lake summer resident F.O. Berg acted as starter and Arthur D. Jones, who operated a ranch at Liberty Lake, won the 100-yard race slow speed on high gear. Organizers were pleased with the spectator turnout. Despite a driving rain in the first part of the afternoon about 3,000 people saw the races. The following year, auto races were held at the Spokane Interstate Fair Grounds and a movement had been started to build a 2-mile speedway in Spokane.

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30 • JANUARY 2017

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JANUARY 2017 • 31

SVFD Report – January 2017

Spokane Valley Fire Department crews responded to a total of 63 emergency calls in the greater Liberty Lake area* from Nov. 14 through Dec. 18, 2016 • Emergency medical service calls - 44

• Motor vehicle accidents – 7 • Fires – 2 • Service calls – 1 • Building alarms – 8 • Dispatched and cancelled en route - 1

*Service area for SVFD Station #3 in Liberty Lake Motor Vehicle Accident – Nov. 15 – Shortly after 6:30 p.m., SVFD crews responded to a report of a pedestrian hit by a car near 2224 N. Swing Lane. A male bicyclist had been struck by a slow moving car at the intersection and was walking around when firefighters arrived. He was complaining of minor shoulder pain and also sustained abrasions to his forehead and chin. He refused transport to the hospital. Unauthorized Burning – Nov. 18

– SVFD crews responded to the 700 block of South Idaho Road at 4 p.m. to investigate a reported illegal burn. The property owner possessed a proper burn permit from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Crews contacted Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency to confirm that burning was currently allowed. Lock Out – Nov. 25 –At 1:30 p.m., SVFD crews responded to a report of a child locked inside a car in the 25000 block of East Hawkstone Loop. With no damage to the vehicle, crews quickly unlocked the door of the non-running car. The 2-year-old child inside was unharmed.

a burst sprinkler pipe, presumably due to freezing temperatures. About SVFD - Spokane Valley Fire Department serves the cities of Liberty Lake, Millwood, Spokane Valley and unincorporated areas of Spokane County including the communities of Otis Orchards, Pasadena Park and the area surrounding Liberty Lake, with a combined population of 125,000 across approximately 75 square miles. In 2015, SVFD firefighters and paramedics responded to more than 15,800 emergency calls.

Established in 1940, the department operates 10 stations providing fire suppression, emergency medical services, technical rescue, vehicle extrication, hazardous materials response, water and ice rescue, fire investigation, fire prevention, commercial property inspection, CPR and fire safety training. The department also offers free home fire safety inspections and complimentary smoke detectors. For more information call 928-1700 or visit www.spokanevalleyfire. com.

House Fire – Dec. 9 – Just before 6 p.m., SVFD crews responded to a report of a small single-story home filling with smoke in the 24200 block of East Lakeridge Drive. Following a thorough investigation, firefighters traced the source of the smoke to a malfunctioning furnace. Alarm System – Dec. 18 – SVFD crews responded to an alarm activation at Liberty Lake Elementary School, 23606 E. Boone Avenue shortly before 4:30 p.m. They determined that the water flow alarm was activated by

18th Annual FFrriien end dss Of Of Pa Pavviilllliion on Pa Parrkk

Liberty Lake Holiday Ball

F r i e n d s of P avi llion P a r k would like t o s end a THANK YOU t o y o u , th e L i b e rty L a k e C o m m uni ty for your cont inued s uppor t of t his year 's Holiday Ba ll. It wa s a fa n ta s ti c , e v e nt that further stre ngt hens t he m is s ion of FOPP. We ar e e n e rgi ze d b y y o u r g e nerosi ty a nd a re e xcit ed t o get wor king on our event s c a le n d a r fo r 2017!


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32 • JANUARY 2017

Understanding home heating safety risks By Chief Bryan Collins

Spokane Valley Fire Department This time of year brings thoughts of holidays, family gatherings, special recipes and gift giving. Another topic to be considered as the weather cools down is the proper use and maintenance of heating equipment. Home heating equipment is often the cause of home fires here in our community. The primary culprits in home heating fires are open-flame space heaters, portable electric heaters and wood-burning fireplaces and stoves. Improperly installed or maintained central heating equipment can also be a cause of fire in the home, although not as often. The Spokane Valley Fire Department suggests a few simple precautions to help reduce the risk of a home heating tragedy, either by fire or deadly carbon monoxide (CO).

Open-flame space heaters Maintain at least 3 feet of clearance from the front and sides of the heater to any combustible materials, such as curtains, drapes, furniture and bedding. Make certain they burn with a clean blue flame across the entire burner. If they don’t, a plumber or heating expert should clean the burner and adjust the flame. Avoid, if at all possible, the use of any type of unvented fuel burning heating device and, if absolutely necessary, use only if the space is equipped with both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Portable heaters These should always to be placed on the floor, not in a chair or on other objects. The portable electric heater should have an automatic shut-off device to turn it off if tipped over. Its electrical cord should not be in an area where it will get walked on repeatedly, without being protected by a cord protector, mat, or rug. Fireplaces and wood heaters The same clearance from the front and sides to combustibles should be maintained as would be for an open-flame space heater. The

flue or chimney should be checked periodically (optimally once a year) for creosote buildup, cracked or broken flue tiles, loose mortar joints and corroded or leaking flue pipes. The flue or chimney should be checked before use to be certain it isn’t blocked. These are popular places for birds and squirrels to build nests.

a metal bucket. Hot ashes or coals can smolder for days, and if placed in a cardboard box, or plastic garbage container the results can be disastrous. Homeowners should avoid burning items such as trash or holiday wrapping paper. Also, when leaving a room while a fire is burning, a fireplace screen or glass door should be closed to protect the room from sudden sprays of sparks. By heeding these precautions, it will be a warm, safe season for everyone.

Some fresh air should be allowed into the area where the stove or fireplace is in use. A lack of fresh air can cause incomplete combustion and/or interfere with the unit’s ability to draft properly, either of which can cause carbon monoxide to accumulate in the home. Carbon monoxide is called the "invisible killer," as it is an odorless and colorless gas produced by the incomplete combustion of any fossil fuel, wood, oil, gas or coal.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department recommends following these tips: Install and maintain carbon monoxide (CO) alarms inside your home to provide early warning of CO. Install CO alarms in a central location outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of your home. Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from all doors, windows and vents. Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris. Remove vehicles from the garage immediately after starting.

The type of wood burned in a fireplace or free standing woodstove is important. Your best bet is to use hardwood, such as oak, maple, beech, or ash. It should be properly dried or seasoned for about one year. We also advise removing ashes regularly for maximum air flow. Disposal of ashes should be a non-combustible container such as


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New ordinance, community support quell problem property

legal tool, called a Chronic Nuisance Abatement Ordinance. Law enforcement first became aware of drug activity at the residence in August of 2015, when others living on the street reported many visitors to the house making short stops at all hours of the day and night. Officers started to monitor the home and residents recorded suspicious activities and license plate numbers of people coming and going.

Splash Correspondent

Between August and December of 2015, police responded to the house over 100 times.

By Staci Lehman

A home in Liberty Lake’s River District neighborhood once called a nuisance property is now considered a good neighbor, one year later. “We’ve had zero issues there,” said Liberty Lake Police Chief Brian Asmus. “I’ve run into the homeowner at the house a couple times because he’s doing the work himself and everything is being upkept. He’s even hired a lawn service to keep up the yard.” In late 2015, Liberty Lake Police shut down the alleged drug house at 1605 N. Aladdin Road with the help of neighbors and a little-used

To address the apparent ongoing criminal activity and to protect neighbors, police approached the Liberty Lake City Council, asking them to pass the abatement ordinance to give them a tool to use in dealing with the chronic problem. While it is fairly new to Liberty Lake, other communities have had considerable success using abatement ordinances to clean up problem houses. The ordinance allows law enforcement to evict residents of residences where repeated violations of city code or state or federal law take place, including squatters taking up

residence in empty homes. The ordinance also says these homes can be boarded up for a year’s time to prevent re-entry, although that did not happen in the Aladdin Road case as property owners took steps to deal with the problem. City Council passed the ordinance in October of 2015. Even so, abatement takes time to facilitate correctly and illegal activity reportedly continued even as police moved forward with the process. The owners of the home were contacted and notified of the ordinance. They claimed not to be aware of the illegal activity happening on their property and agreed to cooperate with police, including evicting the tenants, one being their son. Before that could happen though, the son was arrested in late December of 2015 on drug charges and unlawful use of a residence for drug activity. He was released within days and returned to the home. By that time, the abatement process was in effect and he and other tenants had been evicted by his parents and the locks changed.

Even so, the son tried to return to the property last January after leaving jail. Neighbors contacted police who told the man he would be arrested for burglary if he entered the house. He left and there have been no problems since. Officers continue to monitor the home but have had no issues in a year’s time and say the man’s parents have been very cooperative. “I’ve worked with the homeowner and he worked with us greatly, since then he’s been working to fix up the house to get it in shape to sell it,” said Asmus. In the meantime, Asmus says the ordinance worked exactly as it was designed to. “It worked very, very well,” he said. The ordinance has been utilized to deal with other problem properties in Liberty Lake, although not to the same extreme as the Aladdin home. “We have not taken it to that level,” Asmus said. “We’ve had other issues, usually rental properties, where criminal activity is occurring. We’ve let the owners know that we have this ordinance. So far, just mentioning it has worked.”

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34 • JANUARY 2017

LOCAL LENS The last City Council meeting of 2016 on Dec. 20 featured a full and diverse agenda, including a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, "Walk to Bethlehem," led by local faith groups and awards for city employees. Clockwise from upper left: Officer Mike Bogenreif (left) was honored with the Officer of the Year Award by Chief Brian Asmus; the chief delivered gifts and plaques to City Hall; "Pecos," the official city canine often attends council meeting alongside Charmaine Peterson, the mayor's wife; Linda Dockrey (middle) was thanked for her 10 years of service as a trustee with the Liberty Lake Library. Pamela Mogen, library director, and Peterson acknowledged the longtime volunteer; families enjoyed the stroll to Pavillion Park on a chilly night where a Nativity scene was in place. Many returned to City Hall afterward to warm up with hot cocoa; Yoke's provided the complimentary hot chocolate and cookies.

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Local Lens

Share your snapshots for The Splash’s photo page. Email with scenes from around town, community events and Splash Travels.

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JANUARY 2017 • 35

Come see your new gym! NOW UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP Brad and Joni Bailey

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Taxes, other key issues on legislative table By Sen. Mike Padden The buzz about this year’s legislative session is all about education funding, proposals for enormous tax increases and a possible showdown with the state Supreme Court about its proper constitutional role. But those aren’t the only issues on-deck for 2017. Just as important are those with a direct impact on the people of the greater Spokane Valley. The Senate Law and Justice Committee, which I chair, will be dealing with issues ranging from the rising rate of property crime to strengthening our felony DUI laws. Right now, those of us who serve in the legislature are packing up our offices over Christmas and preparing for 15 weeks in Olympia, starting Jan. 9. These are some of the biggest issues for our area: Budget and taxes -- Gov. Jay Inslee set the stage with a proposal Dec. 13 for the biggest tax increase in Washington state history – an astounding $8.7 billion every two years by the time it is fully implemented. The proposal includes an income tax on capital gains, a precursor to a general income tax on every citizen of the state, as well as new taxes on small businesses, manufacturers and energy utilities. Although the governor touts his plan as a response to the Supreme Court’s demand that we spend more on our public schools, the bulk of his proposed spending isn’t for basic education but rather for pay raises. Not only would the proposal drive up the cost of such essentials as gasoline and electricity, it would stifle economic development and job creation. Within four years the state would be $650 million in the red and require additional tax increases. Safe to call this plan a “non-starter.” Yet it signals to the governor’s fellow big government advocates, who are in the majority in the state House, that this is a year to seek higher taxes. Our majority coalition in the state Senate will face challenges as we hold

About the Opinion Page The Splash opinion page is intended to be a community forum for discussing local issues. Please interact with us by sending a letter to the editor or Liberty Lake Voices guest column for consideration. Letters to the editor of no more than 350 words or guest columns of about 700 words should be e-mailed to or mailed to P.O. Box 363, Liberty Lake, WA 99019. A full name and telephone number must be included for purposes of verification. A photo of the author must be taken or provided for all guest columns. The Splash reserves the right to edit or reject any submission. Business complaints or endorsements will not be accepted, and political endorsement letters will only be accepted if they interact with issues of a campaign. Views expressed in signed columns or letters do not necessarily reflect the views of this newspaper or its staff. Editorials, which appear under the heading "Splash Editorial," represent the voice of The Splash and are written by Publisher Ben Wick.

OPINION the line for responsible budgeting. Property crime – A rising number of car thefts, burglaries and other nonviolent crimes have made the greater Spokane area a national hotspot – sixth among metropolitan areas for property crime in 2014, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Last session I partnered with Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane, to obtain $300,000 for targeted law enforcement efforts in Spokane County. We hope to continue the work this session by increasing penalties for habitual offenders. Water for the Valley – One potential source of water for the fast-growing communities of the Spokane Valley are the underutilized water rights that are the legacy of the area’s agricultural past. Unfortunately, changes to state law in 2003 create difficulties in using agricultural water rights for municipal water systems. Last session I sponsored a bill to streamline the process, and will renew the effort in the coming year. Felony DUI – Washington state has the laxest felony DUI law in the country, requiring four misdemeanor convictions within 10 years before the fifth can be charged as a felony and the offender sent to prison. For the last four years my colleagues and I have worked with victims of this senseless crime to allow the fourth offense to be charged as a felony, and we will press the case again in 2017. Property rights – State law makes it too easy for local governments to declare properties to be blighted and take them from their owners using the power of eminent domain. Often the goal is to turn property over to a developer who will increase the tax base. Last session I introduced legislation prohibiting the use of eminent domain for economic development and will resume the effort next year. Corrections issues – Last year the legislature was shocked to learn that the Department of Corrections had improperly released thousands of violent felons early, even after it was notified of the problem. After extensive investigation, our Law and Justice Committee proposed numerous reforms and will consider proposals to improve DOC oversight, protect whistleblowers and prevent similar management failures from recurring. Other big topics include a revision to water rights statutes following a court decision that already has caused many development projects statewide to be put on hold. In addition, I will be working with my 4th District colleagues, Reps. Bob McCaslin and Matt Shea, to fund continued development of the Appleway Trail. All in all, a packed agenda. Sen. Mike Padden represents the Spokane Valley’s 4th Legislative District as a state senator.

The Splash

Dear Editor: Recently, an application to build a cannabis retail store was submitted to the city of Liberty Lake Planning and Building Services. Although marijuana is legal in the state of Washington, as a church body, we feel it is our moral and spiritual duty to oppose the opening of a cannabis store in Liberty Lake because introducing a cannabis store is detrimental to the physical, mental and spiritual health of our community. The negative impact marijuana has on the human body and brain has been expounded on by numerous respected organizations like the American Medical Association and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. That readily accessible information is reason enough to oppose promoting the sale and consumption of marijuana, but there are other compelling reasons we oppose the sale of cannabis in our city. We understand that not everyone ascribes to the Christian faith or moral code, yet Judeo-Christian principles are the bedrock of common law, the Constitution and many state and federal laws. Thus, we wanted to shed light on why our Christian principles demand we oppose this business entering our city. Some folks may argue that since the Bible doesn’t directly condemn the usage of drugs or marijuana, there is no reason to oppose the consumption/sale of it. However, that view directly contradicts biblical principles. Frequently, in the Old and New Testament, God warns people to stay away from intoxication and to be sober. Marijuana produces a chemical “high” that impairs the processing of reality. That is intoxication. Recreational marijuana is specifically used for the purpose of inducing a chemical “high” to escape from or alter reality. Instead of clouding our mind and judgment, we’re told to, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8).” Most of us have a dear friend or family member whose life has been devoured by drug use or abuse. How, then, can we passively allow the tools by which people have destroyed their lives to be sold just around the corner? Still, others may argue that since Washington has legalized marijuana, opposition is a moot point. However, according to Scripture, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any...What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (I Corinthians 6:12, 19-20).” Here, we are reminded that just because something is lawful doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for you. Specifically, we are warned not to be brought under the power of anything because we belong to God – we should be under His influence only. In closing, marijuana sale and consumption is legal in our state, but is it best for our city and residents? Do any purported positives for the retail sale of marijuana outweigh any of negatives? We are of the belief it does not. And we respectfully ask that you join us in opposing the retail sale of cannabis in the city of Liberty Lake. Greg Wilt, Pastor and Friend Liberty Lake Baptist Church




Paula Gano


J.R. Conrow, Craig Howard, Staci Lehman, Ross Schneidmiller, Mike Vlahovich, Tyler Wilson The Liberty Lake Splash P.O. Box 363 Liberty Lake, WA 99019 Phone: 242-7752 Fax: 927-2190 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.

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Announcements, obituaries, letters to the editor and story ideas are encouraged. Submit them in writing to 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 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






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JANUARY 2017 • 37

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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:


Northside Hastings Area


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3 26 35 18 26 40 7 14 16 18 5 25 32 31 4 35

Greenstone 30 John L Scott - Pam Fredrick 8 KiDDS Dental 21 Kiwanis of Liberty Lake 18 Liberty Lake Athletic Club 15 Liberty Lake Community Theatre 27 Liberty Lake EyeCare Center 15 Liberty Lake Family Dentistry 5 Liberty Lake Municipal Library 6 Liberty Lake Orthodontics 5 Liberty Lake Pet Sitters 26 Liberty Lake Sewer & Water District 29 Liberty Lube 35 LIFT in 15 18 North Idaho Dermatology 33 Northwest Painting Solutions 26

Relics 31 Sarah Hamilton FACE 10 Simonds Dental Group 40 Spokane Health & Fitness Expo 22 STA 37 Stauffer and Associates 3 The WELL Coffee House and Eatery 11 Thrivent Financial 16 Uplift Church 33 Valley Hospital 28 Weishaar, Sue Weishaar D.D.S. 30 Whispering Pines 32 Window Works 17 Service Directory 37


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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 With story ideas, contact

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38 • JANUARY 2017


Kiwanis of Spokane Valley Lake City Figure Skating Lakeside Vision PLLC Liberty Cross Ministries Liberty Lake Athletic Club A1 Cleaning Service Evergreen Fountains Liberty Lake Baptist Church Abstract Painting Face Your Beauty by Toby Liberty Lake Centennial Rotary Club Adorkable Flowers and Gifts Family Medicine/Healthy Living Liberty Lake Church Affordable Arborist Tree Care Inc Liberty Lake Liberty Lake Community Theatre Amaculate Housekeeping Franko’s Auto Salon Liberty Lake EyeCare Center American Asset Management Friends of Pavillion Park Liberty Lake Family Dentistry Anne’s Nails Friends of the Liberty Lake MuLiberty Lake Family Dermatology Anytime Fitness nicipal Library Liberty Lake Farmers Market Apollo Spas Friends of Town Square Liberty Lake Fireworks Fund Attn: Caroline Wright Garden Expo Liberty Lake Golf Course Attn: Dave Pehl Gary Keller DDS Liberty Lake Junior Golf Association Avenue Insurance Planners Golf Cars Etc Liberty Lake Orthodontics Avista Utilities GraceSon Housing Foundation Liberty Lake Pet Sitters & Banner Furnace & Fuel Great Clips Pooper Scoopers Barre Belle Fitness Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Liberty Lake Physical Therapy Be Still Kids Council Liberty Lake Sewer & Water District BECU Greater Spokane Valley Chamber Liberty Lake Wine Cellars Bella Crosta of Commerce Liberty Lube Bobby’s Cafe and Catering Greenstone Homes LIFT in 15 Boots and Brushes Hallett’s Market & Cafe Live Real Estate -Thomas McLaughlin Camping World Hay J’s Bistro MailBox Center & Tom’s Barber Shop Casey Family Dental Hearth Homes Martin, Anthony J Central Valley School District Heinz Painting & Handyman MeadowWood HOA Central Valley Theatre Higher Ground Animal Sanctuary Michael’s Berry Farm Chamberlain Contracting Highlands Day Spa Michelle’s Dance Studio Services Holistic Festival Millwood Community Presbyterian Cherry Pickers Trot Holman Gardens Mumm for County Commissioner City of Liberty Lake Horizon Credit Union Nail Palace City of Spokane Valley HUB Sports Center Natural Spine Solutions Clapper, Charles Inland Empire Utility Northern Quest Resort & Casino Clark’s Tire & Automotive Coordinaing Council Northwest Insurance Brokers Coeur d’Alene Deck Inland Northwest Blood Center Northwest Painting Coldwell Banker - Rob Brickett Inland Northwest Health Services Northwest Painting Solutions Community Colleges of Spokane Inland NW Baby Numerica Credit Union Concepts ON Concrete Intelligent Balance Spinal Care Odyssey Sports Northwest Conner Construction Inc Jim Custer Enterprises ONAC - CenturyLink Consign Furniture Joe Dorosh Tree Farm Otis Orchards Community Church CorkHouse John L Scott Real Estate Ott Knott Used Golf Carts Cornerstone Pentecostal Church Liberty Lake PACE. (Part of CVSD) Country Homes Power Jump and Bounce Pacific Northwest Construction Courtney Hanks Just Chillin’ Eats and Sweets Services Inc Creighton Engineering Karen Does My Hair Pacific Northwest Construction Cullings Family Dentistry Kathrine Olson DDS Services Inc Custom Fit Lighting Kealee Giese Donna’s School of Dance & Music KeenKleen East Valley ECEAP Keeve, Jon Edward Jones Liberty Lake KiDDS Dental Kiwanis of Liberty Lake

Painted Hills Preservation Association Painting With a Twist Palenque Mexican Restaurant Paola’s Rainbow Resort Papa Tom’s Christmas Tree Farm Pawpular Companions Pet Supplies Peaceful Paws Massage People for Andrew Biviano Peterson, Bruce Ponti Veterinary Hospital Pristine Lawn Care Relay For Life Republicans of Spokane County Riveira, Julie Riverview Little League Rockin’ B Ranch Rockwood Clinic Ryan Johnson S&L Handyman Salon Capello-Alisha Fenton Sam’s Percussion Studio Santana, Louis Sarah Hamilton FACE Save Your Glass Window Cleaning Sayre Sayre & Fossum Schuts Ray SCRAPS Shelly O’Quinn for Co Commissioner Simonds Dental Group Sloan, Mary SNAP Eastern Washington Spokane County Fire District 10 Spokane County Interstate Fair Spokane County Library District Spokane County Parks, Recreation & Golf Spokane Health & Fitness Expo Spokane Indians Spokane OBGYN Spokane Roofing Spokane Stars Basketball Camp Spokane Symphony Associates Spokane Train Show Spokane Valley Arts Council Spokane Valley Business Association

Spokane Valley Fire Dept Spokane Valley Heritage Museum Spokane Valley Kiwanis Spokane Valley Summer Theatre Squeakies Cleaning Service, LLC Stauffer & Associates Stearns Home Loans Stolp Vision Clinic The Clean Up Bros The Floor Works The Friends of Manito The Mat THE WELL Coffee House and Eatery Thrivent Financial Toe Tubs Organic Spa Tracy Jewelers Tri-Community Grange True Legends Grill Twisp Cafe & Coffee House Umpqua Bank Union Gospel Mission Corporate University High School Instrumen tal Music Parents Association Uplift Church Valley Hospital Valley Medical Aesthetics Valley Parent Co-op Preschool Valley Real Life Valleyfest Waste Management of Spokane Weishaar, Sue Weishaar D.D.S. Willow Song Music Therapy Services Windermere Liberty Lake Windermere Marathon Windermere Real Estate - Bill White Windowworks NW LLC Wish Upon a Star Events Woolsey, Mark Wounded Warriors Project Fundraiser Yoke’s Fresh Markets Zephyr Lodge & Conference Grounds

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Melting social numbness on a single-digit day By Craig Howard Splash Editor Shortly into the 10th Blessings Under the Bridge Event last month, my feet to feel like two chunks of concrete.

annual Winter began frozen

When I took one of my insulated gloves off to reach for a pen, the permeating cold of a 5-degree day in downtown Spokane bit at my fingers and left my hand discolored and stinging. It stung even more to realize that many of the people I talked to that day had no refuge from the sort of weather that freezes water pipes and sends those who are able on the next plane to Scottsdale. Jessica Kovac had her heart unthawed a decade ago when she ventured west from her home and job in Liberty Lake to deliver brown bag lunches to the homeless. Her husband, Mike, joined her a few weeks later and, not long after, a unique nonprofit took form. Over the years, Blessings Under the Bridge has provided around 100,000 meals to those who often feel invisible. Not here. Those who access the resources offered by Blessings are treated royally. The event on Dec. 17 may have been held below a freeway overpass in conditions more suited for the Antarctic but the 500 or so clients who dropped by were treated to prime rib from Northern Quest Casino served on linen tablecloths. Volunteers bussed tables and offered hot cocoa and savory desserts. As with every occasion hosted by Blessings, people felt dignified and valued. Cardboard signs were


JANUARY 2017 • 39

temporarily set aside to make room for seconds. Along with the generous supply of food, tables were layered with blankets, hats, scarves, gloves and boots. Hand warmers and bus passes were received like relished treasures. Those who came through the food line were given homemade holiday cards. Derek Winch has been volunteering with Blessings for the past year. He was ready with a smile for all who passed by him – even if he couldn’t feel his face. One of Winch’s goals for the four hours of festivities was simple -- “to keep from freezing and help other people keep from freezing.” “I’m here to try and help out, to do what I can,” Winch said. “What Mike and Jessica do is unmatched. I’ve never seen anything like it before. I think it has a huge impact on the people they serve. I don’t know what these folks would do without it. Lindsie McDuffie picked the coldest day of the year to contribute to Blessings for the first time. “It’s important to help people who are less fortunate,” she said. “At the end of the day, we know we have somewhere to go that’s warm so we’re trying to provide other people with that same thing, even if it’s just for a day.” The Liberty Lake office of John L. Scott Real Estate was back for its seventh Winter Event with volunteers presiding over the prestigious hot cocoa station. Nicole Decker was one of several employees who braved the chill to bring holiday cheer to those who often feel literally and figuratively left out in the cold. “It’s cold out here today but these people are living in this all the time,” she said. “We’re just trying to give back what we can.” Shelley Harty of Spokane Valley

Employees of the Liberty Lake office of John L. Scott and their family members helped with a hot cocoa stand at the Winter Event. Photo by Craig Howard

Around 500 people enjoyed a prime rib meal at the 10th annual Winter Event hosted by Blessings Under the Bridge on Dec. 17. Photo by Craig Howard brought her three sons – Garrett, Gage and Jackson – out to help and to get outside their comfort zone. “You tend to stay in your stratosphere,” she said. “Something like this gets you out of that. When you serve others, you feel more connected to the community.” Gage, a junior at University High School, admitted the idea of spending part of his Saturday equipped for a climb to Mt. Everest was not his. “Just being out here in multiple layers, I’m still really cold,” he said. “My mom signed me up but I’m glad I’m here. You’re making people’s holidays a little bit better, bring some happiness and making Spokane a better place in general.” The insight from the U-Hi Titan captured the paradox of a memorable day. The 400 or so volunteers who struggled to keep their hands, feet and face from turning into ice

cubes actually felt a warmth that nourished the soul. The process of serving the most vulnerable among us thawed out the numbness that often occurs when we pass the emaciated panhandler on the street corner or hear of a family living out of their car. Because we were frozen, we felt. The temperatures under the freeway may have been jarring but the rewards of that day brought an insulating effect. By bringing humanity and kindness to those who deal with very real threats like hypothermia and hunger, we were able to discard apathy and appreciate the parallels instead of the differences. It was a dynamic reminder of the good that can happen when people set aside their personal agendas and stereotypes and take the time to genuinely care. On this day, the cold never had a chance.

Brothers Gage, Garrett and Jackson Harty of Spokane Valley were among some 400 volunteers at the Winter Event. Photo by Craig Howard

The Splash

40 • JANUARY 2017

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January 2017 Splash  

Reflecting back, looking forward

January 2017 Splash  

Reflecting back, looking forward