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Yesteryear is Here Celebrating Liberty Lake’s history in contemporary culture, page 10




2 • FEBRUARY 2018

NEWS Lake and the region.”

The Park Bench

Visitors here can stroll through a gleaming showroom at the front of the building, well-appointed with state-of-the-art kitchen displays. An adjoining area features walls of cabinet samples in all types of wood and styles.

Keeping the Faith – Hunt humble about role with cabinetmaking giant

Hunt currently works as director of business development, helping to coordinate efforts in areas like marketing and customer service. He’s out in the plant several times in a typical week and will show up at a Liberty Lake City Council meeting to represent Huntwood when issues affecting the company arise.

By Craig Howard Splash Editor

When contacted about the possibility of being featured in a local newspaper profile, Brandon Hunt swiftly changed the subject. “Did you know Huntwood is celebrating our 30th anniversary this year?” he asked. While self-promoter, Hunt has nonetheless become a recognizable symbol of Huntwood Custom Cabinets, one of Liberty Lake’s leading employers and the most prolific cabinetmaking business in the Western U.S. An estimated 60 to 70 percent of new home construction in the greater Spokane area installs Huntwood cabinets while the company’s influence stretches far beyond the Inland Northwest. Around 500 employees call the manufacturing site on East Appleway their professional home while another 100 or so are sprinkled in retail sites from Bellevue to Alberta. Bargain Hunt,

The Splash

Brandon Hunt works as the director of business development for Huntwood Custom Cabinets, the largest cabinetmaker in the western U.S. The Liberty Lake-based company employs around 500 people at the 567,000-square-foot site it has occupied since early 2006. Photo by Craig Howard an overstock specialty store, is part of the Huntwood chain, also located in Liberty Lake, a few miles north of the production facility. Hunt’s father, Tim, started the business three decades ago, coming to the aid of a struggling local cabinetmaking operation while working as an investment broker. With a background in woodworking and crafting custommade cabinets, Tim soon found himself leaving the financial world to run the company under a new brand – Huntwood. Faith is a guiding force in the lives of Tim, his wife Resa, and their children. Christian principles continue to serve a catalyzing role with both the family and the cabinetmaking enterprise – and Brandon is no exception.

The expansive showroom at Huntwood Custom Cabinets in Liberty Lake includes several display kitchens. The business will celebrate its 30th anniversary in March. Contributed Photo

He is one of four siblings who latched on with the family business, beginning part-time in high school and continuing through college. After graduating from Central Valley High School in 1999, Hunt earned a bachelor’s degree in operational management from Eastern Washington University in 2002. He would go on to receive his MBA from Eastern in 2004. Hunt excelled in track and field at CV, throwing the shotput and discus. He earned an athletic scholarship to EWU and competed against a slew of elite NCAA Division 1 throwers, some of whom went on to compete in the Olympics. Hunt fared well, placing as high as third among shotputters in the Big Sky conference one season. At one time, Hunt considered pursuing a career as a teacher and coach. He recalls never sensing any pressure from his parents to go into the cabinetmaking industry, starting out at Huntwood covering for employees at the reception desk and sweeping up offices. His first workspace consisted of a corner in his dad’s office. Later, he began taking on some accounting duties. After being based in the Spokane Business & Industrial Park since 1988, Huntwood moved into a sprawling space on East Appleway in late 2005. By early 2006, around 700 employees occupied the 567,000-square-foot space that was producing 2,000 cabinets per day. Mayor Steve Peterson called the move “a big positive for Liberty

“Liberty Lake is awesome compared to most places,” Hunt says of the company’s home base. Brandon and his wife have been married since 2005 and are parents to three kids. Q: What are some of your thoughts regarding Huntwood's 30th anniversary this year? Does the company have any special events scheduled to commemorate the occasion? A: It’s exciting to see where we’ve come, because I can remember when my folks were first talking about doing the cabinet shop when I was a kid and knowing how hard my folks worked through the years to make this happen. I can also remember working in doubled up offices and having desks in closets for people to work out of. At this point we don’t have any official plans for an event but the official date is in March and I’m sure we’ll come up with something once we are a bit closer. Q: What do you think are some of the key's to Huntwood's success over the years? A: First of all we give credit to Jesus for giving us the strength to work hard and persevere through all of the ups and downs over the many years and the ability to stay focused on what we do best. We try out new concepts from time to time but the majority of our push is to provide a durable cabinet that you can be proud to have in your home that will last you the life of your home. Q: When you first started working for the business years ago in the industrial park, did you have any inkling that Huntwood would develop into

See HUNT, Page 3

The Splash


Continued from page 2

the large-scale operation it is today? A: It would have been hard to imagine at the time what it would become. We never put limitations on where we would go or how we would do it, but also we never felt unsatisfied with where we were at the time. We are very humbled by the success Huntwood has had over the years, but it came with many challenges along the way. With each challenge God gave us the grace to make it through and now looking at some of the old challenges they don’t seem as hard as when we first went through them. Q: You were a standout track and field athlete at CV and later at EWU. Are there lessons and skills you learned in sports that have carried over to your professional career? A: One of the biggest lessons probably was that hard work alone isn’t what makes you succeed – you also have to be working on the correct thing. It wasn’t always the strongest people that were the best at their events, it was the ones who combined their strengths with the proper techniques. Similar to the workplace, you can be busy all day long but not actually accomplish much. Q: Huntwood has been one of the largest employers in Liberty Lake for many years. Why has this community been a good fit for the company? A: It has been a good city to be located in. We have close access to I-90, Spokane and Coeur d’Alene and we still have space for growth. Additionally, I am easily able to get ahold of any of the city’s employees and talk out any issues or concerns I have.

FEBRUARY 2018 • 3

meal together every week. Q: You've appeared at several Liberty Lake City Council meetings over the years to address issues like the utility tax, traffic on Appleway and the sign code. Overall, how would you characterize the city's approach to business? A: For the most part, Liberty Lake is business friendly. It has been a good place to be located at. Obviously we wished there wasn’t a utility tax as we use a lot of power in manufacturing, but overall the city has been run well by the council and city staff. One point I would mention for the city would be to control costs now so when it slows down in future we don’t have to come back to taxing everything again. Q: On the marketing front, how have things changed since you've worked at Huntwood? A: We have a lot of great builders that use our product and much of our marketing is aimed at servicing builders well, so on that front not much has changed. But over the last 15 years we have also transitioned into doing a fair share of sales direct to consumers in our showrooms and our Huntwood outlet Bargain Hunt. In that regard we do more self-promotion through websites such as houzz and Facebook.


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Q: Finally, I'm guessing you took shop class at some point in school. Is it fair to say you were a little ahead of the curve? A: My dad taught us a lot about how to safely use most woodworking equipment and yes shop class was not that hard. More importantly though my folks were more concerned that we knew about business in general, read our Bibles and did well in school.

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Q: Some say that business and family don't mix. How has your family been able to make this blend work? A: For us, it is definitely that we are all Christians with similar values and goals. Yes, we have arguments and disagreements but then we also reconcile nearly always the same day. Growing up, my folks never let us stay mad at each other whenever there were fights, we couldn’t go on until there were apologies. Besides working together, we also see each other at church and usually have a family


The Splash

4 • FEBRUARY 2018

Thrivent Financial emphasizes blend of business, community ideals By Derek Brown

Splash Correspondent For well over 100 years, Thrivent Financial has operated with community-minded standards. In that time, it has acquired a reputation as a generous company with priorities that transcend profit margins. “We like to give back to the communities to give them the opportunities they're passionate about,” Steven Egland, financial advisor at Thrivent Financial in Liberty Lake. Egland has been working for Thrivent for over 10 years. Just over three years ago, Egland and his partner decided to move their office to Liberty Lake, where they’ve been ever since. “I love doing this, it's fun,” Egland said. “You know a lot of people wake up in the morning and go to a job that they say, ‘Gosh, I can't wait ‘til the day is done and I can go home.’ But it's just fun to open up opportunities and allow people to say, ‘I can make my goals, there is a pathway to do this.’” Thrivent is a not-for-profit company, which affords them the ability to work for their members rather than worry about stockholders in some far-off city.




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“Most of our competitors are forprofit companies,” Egland said. “In other words, they are satisfying stockholders. Also they're paying taxes and we aren't. Because of our structure, we are required by that same law that gives us the opportunity to be not-for-profit to give back to the community. And it's not just a requirement, it's just part of our DNA.” Thrivent gives its members the opportunity to receive two $250 gift cards every year. Egland states that it's another way that members can support causes in their community – another way of giving back. “Every year our clients also have an opportunity to give money to organizations of their choice,” Egland said. “We have some people here that are involved in the community theater that use those gift cards to put on their ‘Play of the Day’ so they can lower the price for the kids that come here, and they could be part of the ‘Play

of the Day’ program.” Since the beginning, Thrivent has been a faith-based company. What began as a Lutheran-based organization has since grown to one of the largest companies in the nation. Thrivent is, in fact, a Fortune 500 company that serves people of faith in all their financial needs. Thrivent is the largest corporate sponsor for Habitat for Humanity and works extensively with Second Harvest Food Bank. They give a lot, but in order to do that they have to stay true to what Thrivent is all about, particularly when it comes to certain products such as life insurance, disability insurance, long-term care insurance or annuities that are available to faithbased clients. “That's what keeps our not-forprofit status intact,” Egland said. Yet when it comes to brokerage accounts, mutual funds or other investable assets it doesn't matter if the individual is faith-based. Thrivent has a wide diversity of services, too, which enthuses Egland because he is always willing to sit down with people and listen to their needs. “We deal with everything from investments to insurances, managed accounts to brokerage

See THRIVENT, Page 5

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Continued from page 4 and all types of insurances like disability, long-term care and life insurance,” Egland said. “When it comes to the financial world, we do everything.” For financial services, both Egland and his partner are certified financial planners and offer fullservice financial planning. For people who just want a financial plan, they provide fee-based financial planning. “We have all the different products that people might want, whether it’s Social Security planning, retirement planning, college planning, assisting families trying to wrap their mind around things like FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid),” Egland said. Thrivent’s pricing is something Egland believes in. Whether it's life, disability, or long-term care insurance, he says Thrivent’s prices are highly competitive. Egland points out that Thrivent has been in business for a long time for a simple reason – its employees know what they are doing. “Go ahead and compare us and you will discover our fees our low,” Egland said. “We are memberowned. We don't have to satisfy stockholders. We don't have to

FEBRUARY 2018 • 5

try to produce a profit outside of somebody but ourselves. Why? Because if you have a policy, you are part owner of the company. There's a tremendous benefit for that because we've been the top of the most ethical company list for a number of years now.” But why use a financial planner? Egland says not everyone can do it. “Everyone can change their own oil but not everybody can fix something under the hood,” he said. “And so sometimes it's worthwhile to have the conversation. It doesn't cost anything to have a conversation that's what people don't realize.” In the end, Egland believes in the value of community and says Thrivent truly helps the communities in which they do business thrive – a priority that ties directly into the company’s trademark name. “I think what sets us apart is that we, as a not-for-profit, truly align our company's goals of helping people be wise with money and generous to the community around them,” Egland says. “That's a special place because those are some of the conversations we have. What do you want to do? How do you want to spend your money? How do you want to be generous to the community around you? I think that makes us unique.”





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FEBRUARY 2018 • 7

The Lookout MEMO from the


By Mayor Steve Peterson

Can you believe that Valentine’s Day is here already? Seems we just celebrated the New Year. How are you going to remember this day? In my grade school days many, many, many years ago, we took construction paper and made a paper mailbox, taped it to our desk and waited for the Valentines

to flow in. You know the ones that are small, came in a box of 30 (before smaller class sizes) at the store, had funny characters and a very simple message – “Would you Be My Valentine?” It was fun and you sure wanted to include everyone. Well as our city grows, it’s important to remember this Valentine tradition but not just on Valentine’s Day but year round. We need to be inclusive of all of our neighbors. Reach out and meet a new face, say “Hello” in the store, invite someone to coffee, drop a note to say “Hi”,

maybe bake a treat to share or like my wife Charmaine does, set the dining table for Valentine’s Day with festive napkins, flowers and plates and invite a few friends for dinner. That is one of my favorites because the Valentine decoration sparkle lasts the entire month! So, the message is clear in February—share yourself with others and enjoy new and old friendships. As our city grows -- the more we meet, mingle, share, do favors, be kind and help others -- the better

Maintaining aesthetics in wintertime

The city is committed to keeping the community looking new and clean. Therefore, we encourage citizens to clean up around homes and businesses to clean up around their property. Code enforcement will be keeping an eye out for “sores” that can be improved to maintain the beauty of Liberty Lake. Let’s find opportunities to go the extra mile to help those neighbors who may need support in keeping yards clean. We can all do our part to keep Liberty Lake looking great.

we can maintain the small-town feel and friendship we felt when we came here years ago. Our community will continue to feel and look better as our pride in it grows. Enjoy Valentine’s Day by spreading the neighborly love but at home, don’t forget the flowers, candy and cards that go with this special celebration. Make sure you BUY LOCAL! Have an awesome day! Isn’t all this what makes Liberty Lake Spokane County’s premier address?

Let it snow – City tackles road clearing with purpose

This winter, Mother Nature has not been very consistent. We have had a couple good snowstorms, but with a lot of time in between. Enough time for all of the snow to melt and anything that got caught in the storm to be revealed. With the leaves gone from the trees and the bushes, there aren’t many places for trash, forgotten toys, destroyed yard art, leaves and other debris to hide. Liberty Lake has a fantastic reputation for being a clean and beautiful place to live; a place where residents take pride in their homes and property and the community works together to keep it that way.

February 2018

The in-house version of snow clearing in Liberty Lake has generated some positive results this winter. The city spent nearly $22,000 to plow streets following two snowfalls the end of December. The previous contractor approach to snow maintenance would have run the city around $35,000, according to City Administrator Katy Allen.

Council begins new approach to meetings

City Council will be moving away from separate committees and instead meet collaboratively at 5:30 p.m. for workshop discussions every first and third Tuesday of the month, before the regular City Council meetings. The workshop discussion will take the place of the finance, public safety and community

development/public works committees. Staff will prepare topics of discussion for the workshop that would have taken place during one of the committee meetings. The reason for the change is for all council members to hear and participate in the discussion during the workshops, as opposed to the committee meetings that did not allow more than three council members attending at any one time. Workshops are open to the public just like the previous format for committee meetings.

“I think our crews have been very responsive,” Allen said. “When events happen, they’re able to get out there very quickly.” The city received a thankyou from a resident last month, commending crews for their work clearing the walkways along Valleyway. De-icing all streets now takes around two-and-a-half hours as opposed to six hours last winter. The city also keeps a list of volunteers who can help residents needing help with clearing driveways and sidewalks. Call City Hall at 755-6700 for more information. •

The Splash

8 • FEBRUARY 2018

Council disbands committees, approves new meeting format

By Craig Howard Splash Editor The New Year has brought a new approach at Liberty Lake City Hall. Since the early days following incorporation in 2001, municipal operations in Spokane County’s easternmost jurisdiction have included a committee format with areas like public safety, finance and community development being addressed in detail by small groups comprised of three council members, an alternate and representation from municipal staff. A designated council representative would then deliver a summary of that discussion at the next City Council meeting. As of this month, the governing board will bid adieu to the committee system. The discussion about changing the structure was first brought up at the Dec. 19 council meeting with City Administrator Katy Allen bringing up the options of a revised

schedule that would include the entire council gathering on the off weeks of normal meetings to discuss topics traditionally brought up in committee. “It would allow for more indepth conversation, research and questions,” Allen said. “The goal is for every council member to have access to the same information and get their questions answered.” Mayor Pro Tem Shane Brickner called the proposed transition “a fabulous idea.” “I think it provides for complete transparency,” he said. At the Jan. 2 council meeting, Allen offered a slightly revised version of the plan that would feature the entire council discussing committee issues and additional city business before each regularly scheduled council meeting on the first and third Tuesdays of each month while adding another meeting on the second Tuesday. Allen said finance, public safety and library could be addressed the first Tuesday of each month. The second Tuesday would be devoted to workshop discussions and tie into larger themes like the new long-term strategic plan. The third Tuesday would feature a focus on finance

(again), community development and public works. Voucher review would also be addressed as part of the new format. Council Member Cris Kaminskas was one of several around the dais on Jan. 2 to support the new format beginning at 5:30 p.m., prior to the council meeting at 7. She noted that finance committees typically go around an hour. “At least to start, I think we should go with 5:30,” she said. On Jan. 16, council voted to amend council rules and procedures to allow for the format change effective at the Feb. 6 meeting. Allen said the new format would mean the mayor pro tem or that person’s designee conducting voucher review, going over city expenditures “because we wouldn’t do that in committee anymore and it’s difficult to do in a public meeting.” On Jan. 2, Council Member Odin Langford nominated fellow Council Member Bob Moore while Kaminskas nominated Bricker. Langford then encouraged Brickner to defer the nomination based on previous council protocol. “I appreciate the fact that Shane wants to be mayor pro tem again,

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however, it’s breaking our customs and traditions,” Langford said. “The way we normally do it is we go by rank and people who are ready to move. It’s been a different mayor pro tem every two years.” Kaminskas brought up the example of former Council Member Dave Crump who held the office for consecutive two-year terms. Bricker was eventually approved as mayor pro tem by a 5-1 vote, with Langford in the minority. The vote was actually held twice with the same result after Langford pointed out that the mayor pro tem decision was originally scheduled for the Jan. 16 meeting. Folyer, Sahlberg confirmed to planning commission Under general business on Jan. 2, council was asked to confirm the mayor’s appointments of Phil Folyer and Tom Sahlberg to the planning commission. Peterson appointed Folyer, a resident of the Legacy Ridge neighborhood, as a full-time voting member and Salhberg to fill the remaining term of adjunct member No. 2 in a non-voting capacity. Folyer’s appointment went unconfirmed by council last year, with some members expressing concern about a potential conflict of interest based on his background in the development field. Peterson spoke up for Folyer before the latest vote. “He represents a different portion of the city,” Peterson said. “Phil Folyer has all the qualifications to be part of the planning commission.” Council Member Mike Kennedy, who was not part of the council when the governing board declined Folyer’s appointment last year, said Folyer’s experience in the building industry – not the fact that he resides in Legacy Ridge – would earn his support. “It’s an advantage when we have someone who has a building background or a business background,” he said. Council Member Hugh Severs, another supporter of Folyer, pointed out the appointee had donated time as a volunteer with the Spokane Home Builders Association. Moore, who voted against Folyer’s appointment previously, said he would vote the same way again. “I don’t think we should have builders and developers running the city from a planning perspective,” Moore said. The appointments of Folyer and Sahlberg were ultimately confirmed by a 4-3 vote with Langford, Kaminskas and Moore in the minority.

The Splash

Council discusses priorities for long-term strategic plan By Craig Howard Splash Editor At one point during the Liberty Lake City Council’s Jan. 23 strategic planning workshop, it appeared council chambers may end up blanketed in a layer of jumbo PostIt notes. City Administrator Katy Allen adeptly kept up with feedback from the governing board on a wide variety of municipal priorities with a marker and easel pad but soon found room was growing scarce near the podium. The takeaway was simple – the city has no shortage of goals, concerns and themes to pursue in its long-range agenda. “We’re trying to produce something that is a little more manageable,” said Allen of the effort to create the city’s first longterm strategic plan. “We really want to hear from all our council members to see what our strategic initiatives are.” The city’s urgency in generating a tangible outline of priorities has been germinating for a while. From necessary upgrades to the clubhouse at the Trailhead golf course to the uncertainty of how to develop the Town Square property after two failed bond votes, council frequently mentioned the need for long-term planning over the past year. Council Member Bob Moore has led the charge. On Jan. 9, the city welcomed Rick Romero, former utilities director for the city of Spokane who was hired by his former employer in 2016 to develop a strategic plan to spur economic development and improve the quality of life in Spokane County’s largest jurisdiction. Romero provided an overview of Spokane’s efforts that will span six years and address areas like public safety, improved streets, optimizing public assets, criminal justice reform, reducing homelessness and more. The workshop on Jan. 23 kicked off with a review of Liberty Lake’s vision and mission statements that both contain plenty of references to preserving the environment, supporting economic vitality and sustaining a sense of community. A central theme around the dais

FEBRUARY 2018 • 9


focused on diversifying revenue sources by bringing in retail businesses that add to the tax base. Also mentioned was the goal of developing the city into more of a destination place. Council Member Hugh Severs said one of his hopes for the strategic plan is “to use it as a tool to market Liberty Lake.” Council Member Odin Langford said that while Liberty Lake has a stellar reputation in the region, the city needs to do a better job promoting itself. “We’re already a cool place, we just have to figure out how to advertise it,” he said. “We need people coming in to support our city. We’re not going to make it just supporting ourselves.” Several council members referred to a 10-year financial projection compiled by Finance R.J. Stevenson that showed an anticipated downward trend in revenue each year.

“How to pay for things yesterday, today and tomorrow is where we’re at,” Langford said. Council Member Mike Kennedy rattled off a list of municipal properties that included City Hall, Town Square, Trailhead, Orchard Park, the library, Upland Trail

and land north of Liberty Creek Elementary that he said, “should all be on a priority list because they all need funding.” Spurring sales tax revenue will help, said Council Member Cris Kaminskas. “What can we do, long-term, to bring people here during the day to spend money?” she asked. Moore referred to Romero’s presentation and Spokane’s approach to several initiatives “that crossed department lines.” “I think we should be looking at public safety, public health and public welfare in our city,” he said. “I would like the city to be the focal point to get people help and assistance.” Mayor Steve Peterson was one of several to mention the need for better communication with residents as part of the plan. “We need to make sure people understand the change that Liberty Lake is going to go through in the next 10 years,” he said. Mayor Pro Tem Shane Brickner and others said the city needs to keep emphasizing the aesthetic qualities that have become its trademark. He noted that some

of those standards seems to be slipping of late. “I’m seeing bags of garbage that are just not being picked up,” he said. “That shouldn’t happen here.” Council Member Dan Dunne returned to the theme of financial stability and balance during his comments. “When I tell people what makes Liberty Lake successful, it’s economic vitality and a balance of the appropriate combination of residences and businesses.” Summarizing what emerged as the central theme of the meeting, Brickner encouraged his council colleagues to look ahead with a strategic vision. “We’re very fortunate to have great tax revenue coming in now,” he said. “But when build out happens, how will we be prepared for that? We need to have transparency and have an open line with residents.” Council agreed to continue the strategic planning conversation at another workshop set for Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. at City Hall. “We need to identify the city’s highest priorities and where we allocate our resources,” Moore said.

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10 • FEBRUARY 2018

History as Art – A closer look at the Barlows’ mural

By Staci Lehman Splash Correspondent Barlows is a genuine Liberty Lake restaurant with a unique Liberty Lake centerpiece – a 24foot mural that depicts the history of the area from the Native Americans who first called this area home to themes from the modern-day community. “It’s one of those things that we did on purpose,” said Beaux Dodd, co-general manager of the restaurant with his brother Brad Dodd. Dodd’s mother, Alicia Fry, owns Barlows. “We grew up in the area, a real sandlot story, and wanted to pay tribute to the community,” Beaux said. Dodd says the mural idea came up when members of his family were staring at a blank wall and asking each other “What do we want to put here?” After deciding on a painting, Liberty Lake historian Ross Schneidmiller and local artist Joel Rabe were contacted to come up with a design and finished product. “He said, ‘What I’m looking for is people – people in the community,’” said Schneidmiller of his collaboration with Rabe. Schneidmiller dug through his collection of local historical photos to provide those people and Rabe painted them, working daily from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. “It was a surprise to come in every morning and see what was

COVER STORY new,” said Dodd. It has also been a surprise for people to see themselves immortalized in paint. “One gentleman I had employed, he’s probably 18 now, said ‘That’s my brother!’ of the kid in the mural in the pie-eating contest,” said Dodd. “So he brought the picture from the newspaper, I think it was The Splash, in to show me.” Longtime Liberty Lake resident Leslie Chalich was also surprised to find out she is featured in the mural. Chalich is one of the water skiers balancing in a pyramid. Someone told her she was on the wall so she went into the restaurant to see it. “It was a little weird,” she said of seeing herself in a painting. Chalich said that growing up on the lake, there was a group of very good skiers when she was in high school. “We did shows and tournaments,” she said. “We did jumping and trick skiing and slalom.” As for the reaction of people seeing the mural for the first time, Dodd says it has helped them make some regular customers. “People are surprised first of all to see a chronological depiction of Liberty Lake history to modern day,” he said. “It makes them feel at home, then we start a relationship with a lot of these people and they become our regulars.” Dodd himself can be seen in the painting, along with his twin brother, sister, mother and stepfather. “Once we started to get done, we had a couple blank spots,” he said. “So he painted my family in.”

Museum at Every Turn – Liberty Lake community embraces unique history By Staci Lehman

Splash Correspondent In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said “We are not making history, we are made by history.” Fiftyfive years later, that sentiment is becoming increasingly visible throughout the Liberty Lake community. It is a unique area that includes a vibrant Native American heritage, abundant recreational opportunities and varieties of music – and the merchants and community leaders here are celebrating that character putting it on display. “The story to me is how the community embraces the history,” said Ross Schneidmiller, unofficial historian for Liberty Lake and founder of the Liberty Lake Historical Society. “It’s not a hard sell for me.” Schneidmiller was born and raised in the area and graduated from Central Valley High School. He remembers hearing about local history from Mildred Brerenton, co-author of “Memories of Liberty Lake,” a popular book in the 1950s. Ross’s wife Kelli can trace her Liberty Lake roots back to 1888 and some of the first white settlers to the area. Ross took Kelli’s grandfather along when he first started interviewing longtime residents of Liberty Lake years ago. Several businesses and municipal properties in Liberty Lake have jumped on the bandwagon of integrating local history pieces into their décor through collaboration with Schneidmiller. Probably the most extensive example is the mural at Barlows, a popular restaurant on Liberty Lake Road. The 24-foot painting covers an entire wall and depicts Liberty Lake’s history from when Native American tribes gathered on the lake shore in the mid-1800s to today’s recreational options of sailing, playing at the splash pad and kayaking the Spokane River. Schneidmiller collaborated with local artist Joel Rabe on the mural, which the restaurant’s management

The Splash

calls a nod to Barlow’s commitment to the community. “We want to be the neighborhood place for families in Liberty Lake,” said Beaux Dodd, Barlows’ cogeneral manager along with his twin brother Brad. “It’s all about being part of Liberty Lake.” In addition to the mural, Barlows features around 30 black and white historical photos. The local theme prompted customers to contribute some pieces of their own. “We’ve had a couple guys bring in old signs,” said Beaux. “We started getting gifts like that from customers.” Other locals have also made donations to the historical inventory. One of the most notable can be found at Liberty Lake Elementary School – a carousel horse from the original Herschell-Spillman merry-go-round. The Liberty Lake landmark was carved in 1913 and stood for 35 years at Liberty Lake Park. Schneidmiller said the horse is on loan indefinitely from a local family and will always have a home in Liberty Lake schools. Former Liberty Lake Elementary Principal Linda Uphus said the horse and the display at the school that Ross and his wife Kelli change out every year was a great conversation starter with both students and parents when she was there. “It became a teaching tool,” Uphus said. “It wasn’t unusual for parents and grandparents to stop by the (display) window. There were enough staff that grew up around here that they could fill in more history.” The new Liberty Creek Elementary that opened this school year also features an area for historical items. The focus of this year’s display is the 1915-16 football season of Washington State College (WSC and now WSU), which started at Liberty Lake. Captain-elect “Ace” Clark of the 1915 team spent time that summer researching resorts around the Spokane area for a place to hold the school’s first training camp. His requirements included a good field and close proximity to Spokane. At that time, Liberty Lake was connected to Spokane via the electric Spokane Inland Empire Railway that ran roundtrips to Liberty Lake bringing people to picnic, swim and dance at Liberty Lake Park. Clark saw the advantage in this

See HISTORY, Page 11

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FEBRUARY 2018 • 11



Continued from page 10 transportation connection and the WSC started practicing there. Perhaps not coincidentally, the team went on to win the 1916 Rose Bowl. Something that Liberty Creek’s principal, WSU alum Kim Kyle, says she wishes had happened this year. “I had to downplay it at the Apple Cup because we have a few Huskies and I was hoping we’d win,” she said. Despite the loss, Kyle says the display gets significant attention from the adults that pass through the building. “We have a lot of graduates from WSU who think it’s cool that it started here and they practiced here,” she said. The park where that team practiced has also been emulated in a modern park. “When they were planning Pavillion Park, Sam (Angove, director of Spokane County Parks at the time) said, ‘Let’s have the whole theme of the park be community history,’” said Schneidmiller. One of the major draws of Liberty Lake Park was the dance pavilion that stretched hundreds of feet out over the water. The architect working on Pavillion Park in recent years patterned the picnic shelter after the historic dance pavilion. As for how the park got its slightly unorthodox name – ‘Pavillion” spelled with two L’s – Schneidmiller had a hand in that too. “I have an old dance ticket from the pavilion and it had two L’s,” he said. “When they called and asked how it was spelled that was the first thing I looked at.” Other municipal properties have also embraced the heritage theme. Liberty Lake City Hall has framed vintage photos hung throughout the building, particularly in the City Council Chambers. The Liberty Lake Municipal Library has some antique framed postcards on display. The community’s post office was the first location to display Schneidmiller’s photos, starting in 1988, but since remodeling, has not featured vintage pictures. The Meadowwood Technology Campus on Mission Avenue also got on board with the historic theme. Expanded versions of 36 postcards from the area cover several large panels in one of the hallways and a wall painting pays tribute to the train line that ran from Spokane to Coeur d’Alene, stopping regularly at Telido Station in Liberty Lake.

The Meadowwood Technology Campus on Mission Avenue is one of several sites in Liberty Lake that features tributes to the community’s unique history. Along with a montage of vintage photos in post-card motifs, the campus includes a salute to the old Spokane to Coeur d’Alene Railroad and Telido Station. The most popular stop along the railway was Liberty Lake, also known as “Spokane’s Inland Seashore.” Photo by Craig Howard The Albertson’s store on Liberty Lake Road has historic pictures throughout as well. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though. After over 30 years of collecting photos, postcards and knowledge of the area, Schneidmiller has enough artifacts to support dozens of additional displays. “I probably have between 400 and 500 hundred photos,” he says. “Except for my college years I’ve always been here.” Schneidmiller gathered most of his artifacts from local families who contact him when elder members pass away but in recent years,

other resources have been helpful. “I say on eBay it takes two fools to really bid something up and I’ve been one of those fools,” he laughs. With all these reminders of history sprinkled throughout the community, Schneidmiller says there have been frequent questions about building a permanent place to showcase them. “One thing that always gets asked of me is are we ever going to have a museum,” he says. While a museum has been considered, Schneidmiller says after some research, he realized that the pieces are viewed more in public places. Plus, while it may

be possible to secure funds for a museum, the costs to maintain a building and keep it going are prohibitive factors. Instead, Schneidmiller will continue his “unofficial” mission of preserving and celebrating Liberty Lake’s past. “Our goal is to continue to be able to facilitate the distribution of art going into public spaces in our community,” he says. The effort is something that residents like Uphus certainly appreciate. “Thank goodness someone had the passion and energy Ross and Kelli did to do whatever it took to keep history alive,” she said.

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12 • FEBRUARY 2018

The Splash

Calendar of Events Liberty Lake’s Newest Breakfast and Lunch Option!

Conveniently located at the corner of Liberty Lake Road and Appleway Ave (Inside the Liberty Lake Business Park)

Open Monday-Friday 7am-2pm

Mention this ad for 25% off your purchase *See cafe for complete details

Saturday March 24th 2018

Cabin Fever Gardening Conference Centerplace Regional Event Center 7:30 a.m.-3:15p.m. Tickets $75 online at: or by phone at: 1-800-838-3006

COMMUNITY EVENTS Feb. 3 │ Love Your Heart – noon to 3 p.m., Liberty Lake Municipal Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave. The Spokane Valley Fire Department is celebrating American Heart Month in February by offering free blood pressure checks in local libraries. Stop by for a free check, timely heart information and to say hello! More at 892-4155 or www. Feb. 8 | Regional Panel Supporting Victims of Sexual Violence, 5 p.m., Northeast Community Center, 4001 N. Cook St., Spokane. Area leaders and professionals working with survivors of sexual violence will share their thoughts on working for health, justice and hope for survivors of sexual violence. Panelists will share their thoughts, then respond to questions and concerns from attendees. Sponsored by Lutheran Community Services. Call 7478224 or visit for more information. Feb. 20 | Family Bingo Challenge, 4 p.m., Liberty Lake Municipal Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave. Feb. 24 │ Love Your Heart – Otis Orchards Library, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., 22324 E. Wellesley Ave. Sponsored by the Spokane Valley Fire Department, this event includes free blood pressure checks and timely heart information. More at 892-4155 or www. March 3 | Liberty Lake Kiwanis Father Daughter Dance – 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Mirabeau Park Hotel and Convention Center, 1100 N. Sullivan Road, Spokane Valley. For tickets and more information, visit


Valentines Baskets

Friends of the Library Fundaiser

of the Liberty Lake Municipal Library of the Liberty Lake Municipal Library P.O. Box 427 Liberty Lake, WA 99019

Silent Auction •

P.O. Box 427 • Liberty Lake, WA 99019

Come by to bid January 27th-February 11th

Silent Auction winners will be contacted by phone on Sunday February 11 and can be picked up on Monday February 12 and Tuesday February 13 23123 E Mission Ave.

ACT 2 senior classes | Affordable classes offered by Community Colleges of Spokane to those who are retired or planning to retire. A wide range of courses from geology and history to exercise and art are offered at CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place, as well as other locations throughout the area. “Focused Fitness on Dishman Mica,” a yoga class, is now part of the schedule. More at www.sccel. Military Sobriety Support Group | 10 to 11: 30 a.m., Spokane Vet Center, 13109 E. Mirabeau Parkway, Spokane Valley. Call Steve at 8934746 for more information

Baha’i Fireside Conversation | 7 to 8 p.m., third Thursdays 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 www. DivorceCare Recovery Support Group | Mondays, 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 www. 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 Toastmasters, Liberty Lakers #399 | 5:45 to 7 p.m., Wednesdays at the Liberty Lake Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake. This is a speaking and leadership

development club. Spokane Valley Quilt Guild | Meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of February, April, June, August, October and December at Valley Assembly of God Church, 15618 E. Broadway, Spokane Valley. Open to all interested in sharing ideas and skills of our quilting craft. Participants have can access a comprehensive library, can engage experienced teachers and participate in community service projects. More at

MUSIC & THE ARTS Feb. 9 | Sweethearts of the Blues/Valentines Show featuring the Rae Gordon Band, 8 p.m.,Roadhouse N. 20 Raymond Road, Spokane. Cost is $15 for Inland Empire Blues Society members/$18.00 for nonmembers. Call 999-1145 for more information. Feb. 17 | “The Music of Star Wars: The Symphony Awakens,” 2 and 8 p.m. at Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox. Resident Conductor Morihiko Nakahara will lead these two identical concert featuring selections by awardwinning composer John Williams from the legendary “Star Wars” film series scores, including “The Force Awakens” and “Rogue One.” Preconcert activities start 90 minutes before each concert and will include memorable photo opportunities with “Star Wars” characters and planet-themed activities. Concertgoers are encouraged to wear “Star Wars”-themed costumes. Tickets are available at:, Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox Box Office at 1001 W. Sprague Avenue, by calling 624-1200 and all TicketsWest outlets.

RECURRING Drop-in square dance lessons | 7 to 8:30 p.m. (through May 18). Western Dance Center, 1901 N. Sullivan Road. Square dance lessons for $3 per person; no partner needed. More at 270-9264 Pages of Harmony | 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Wednesdays. Thornhill Valley Chapel, 1400 S. Pines Road. If you enjoy singing, you will love the 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

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FEBRUARY 2018 • 13


Road. Make new friends by joining this women’s chorus, specializing in four-part, a cappella harmony in the barbershop style. More at 2184799 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 Teen Writers of the Inland Empire | 4 p.m., first Thursday of the month (except holidays). Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. Writers (sixth grade and older) meet to write and share their work. More at 893-8400

HEALTH & RECREATION Wednesday mornings | Mindful Music & Movement class, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Specifically designed for those living with chronic health issues such as: Parkinson's, dementia, COPD, MS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, cancer. Supporting body, mind and soul. $10 donation suggested. Facilitated by board-certified Music Therapist, Carla Carnegie. Willow Song Music Therapy Center. 21101 E. Wellesley #102. Otis Orchards. For more information, visit www. or call 592 7875.

RECURRING HUB Sports Center 19619 E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. Various activities and events occur throughout the week including: • Pickleball drop-in: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Mon. through Thurs.; 10 a.m. to noon Tues. and Thurs.; and 6 to 8 p.m. Wed. and Sun. $3/seniors ($5/non-seniors) • Classes including Kenpo Karate and Zumba Aerobics. See website for cost and times Tuesday afternoons | Decreasing Anger Group, 3 to 4:30 p.m., the Vet Center, 13109

E. Mirabeau Parkway, Spokane Valley. Eligibility: Combat veteran from all eras, military sexual trauma survivors, Contact Steve at 893-4746 to make an intake appointment.

Are You Tired of Pain?

CIVIC & BUSINESS Feb. 3-March 10 | Photo editing class, 10 a.m. each Saturday, Otis Orchards Community Church, 23304 E. Wellesley Ave., Otis Orchards. Call 926-9552 for more information. Feb. 13 | Liberty Lake City Council workshop to discuss priorities for a long-term strategic plan, 6 p.m., City Hall, 22710 E. Country Vista Drive. Feb. 24 | Cane Self-Defense Workshop – 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., The Mat, 21651 E. Country Vista Drive, Liberty Lake. Cost is $100 and includes practice cane, a $60 value. There are also opportunities to sponsor those who cannot afford the cost of the class. Call 939-5280 for more information.

Join Us for A Stem Cell Therapy Educational Seminar January 17th from 6:00pm-8:00pm

Learn the latest applications of stem cells and how they can improve your health: Joint Paint/Arthritis • Tendon Injuries • Bursitis • Lower Back Pain To Reserve Your Seat Call: (509) 924-6199 Healthy Living Liberty Lake

1431 N Liberty Lake Rd, Suite B Liberty Lake, Washington 99019

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 Lions Club | Noon to 1 p.m., every first and third Wednesday of each month. Meetings are at Barlow's Restaurant, 1428 N. Liberty Lake Road. 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.

March 4-5-6, 2016 | Spokane Fair & Expo Center | Spokane, WA

March 2-3-4, 2018 41st Annual Spring


Spokane Fair & Expo Center 404 N Havana Street Spokane, WA | FREE PARKING Admission $7

Friday 10AM—8PM Saturday 10AM—6PM Sunday 10AM—4PM

Kids 12 and under free!


The Splash

14 • FEBRUARY 2018

BRING IN THE AD FOR 20% OFF Wholesale to the public. HUGE selection to choose from of Abstract, Modern, Still Life, Florals, Landscapes, Portraits and more! Over 1,500 oil paintings in stock.

13th Annual

Father Daughter Dance 2018

Tuesday - Saturday 10AM to 5 PM 208-930-1904 6491 E Seltice Way Post Falls, ID 83854 SALES@ANDRUSFINEART.COM WWW.ANDRUSFINEART.COM

Kathrine Olson, D.D.S. • Gentle

Family Dentistry Patients Welcome • Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry • Teeth Whitening • Preventive Care • Relaxed Environment • Over 20 Years in Practice • New

Member American Dental Association & Spokane District Dental Society

210 S. Sullivan Rd. Spokane Valley



See us at

7 TO 9 P.M.

(509) 924-8738

Doors open at 6:30pm @ The Mirabeau Park Hotel Dancing, Prizes and Fun for Everyone!

Space is Limited - Reserve Your Tickets Now! Dance: $50 Per Couple Additional Daughters $20 Each

Dance and Dinner at the MAX: $100 Per Couple Family Fun for Everyone: $180 Overnight Stay and Breakfast for 4 Dance and Dinner for the Couple

To Purchase Tickets Visit:

16911 E. Sprague Ave. Spokane Valley, WA 99037

This time of year we count our blessings! We are thankful for all of our customers, new and returning! Friendly staff, cozy waiting room, courtesy shuttle vehicle, free loaner cars and more will make having your car serviced a breeze! Autocraft is one of just a few shops in the Spokane area to service hybrid and electric vehicles and do battery pack rejuvenations

Slow Crank or No Crank?


Battery Install with Battery Purchase

One coupon per visit. Not valid with other offer or special. Coupon must be presented in advance. Expires 02/28/2018.



$25 off service totaling $100 or more One coupon per visit. Not valid with other offer or special. Coupon must be presented in advance. Expires 02/28/2018.

Brought to you by

The words diamond comes from the Greek word “adamas” which means “unconquerable and indestructible”. This is perfect for the hardest natural substance on earth. It is believed that the oldest diamonds were formed 3.3 billion years ago. Early mines were in South Africa, Brazil, India, Angola, Congo, Botswana and Namibia. 80% of all mined diamonds are used for industrial purposes. Diamonds are formed around 100 miles below the earth’s surface. Volcanic eruptions have moved many closer to the surface. In 1477, Archduke Maximilian of Austria is thought to be the first man to gift a diamond ring when he proposed to Mary of Burgundy. Romans believed that Cupid’s arrows were tipped with diamonds. Diamonds were thought to be tears from the gods according to ancient Romans and Greeks.

In ancient times diamonds were worn to promote strength, courage and invincibility. As early as 400 BC diamonds were traded in India. “Diamond is the most valuable, not only of precious stones, but of all things in this world.” Pliny, 1 AD Middle Age Healers prescribed diamonds as a cure for a wide range of issues; mental illness, fatigue, infections, nightmares, skin diseases and an antidote for poison. Diamonds will burn between 1290 and 1650 degrees Fahrenheit. Natural colored diamonds are usually clear but also come in yellow, brown, blue, green, orange, and red. A law in thirteenth century France decreed that only the king (Louis IX) could wear diamonds. Diamonds were discovered in North America in the 1840’s.

16 • FEBRUARY 2018

Find the exact mirror image pairs.

The Splash

Never Too Little to Love by Jeanne Willis 2013 all ages

This beautiful watercolor book is one of our favorites, not just for Valentine’s Day. The interesting page cuts add to the story of Tiny Too-Little and his quest for love. The surprise pop-up ending is a sure-fire hit.

I Loathe You by David Slonim 2012 ages 4-8

For a monster, loathing is the ultimate compliment. This book is for all who aren’t after a mushy book to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Great illustrations that match the humorous text perfectly.

ANSWER: 1 & 5, 2 & 7, 3 & 6, 4 & 12, 8 & 9, 10 & 11.

The Splash

FEBRUARY 2018 • 17

ht Out g i N s t n e r a


509-315-5433 2515 N. Locust Road Spokane Valley 99206

PACE Trait for February – Honesty By David Milliken Hutton Settlement Children’s Home Growing up as a child in Spokane Valley in a large family of six siblings, sincerity and love for the truth didn’t always win out. With the occasional sibling scuffle and subsequent blame and denials that followed, I must confess the drive of my own selfinterest stretched the truth at times. Fortunately for me, my parents modeled patience, understanding and accountability. Over time, I realized that telling the truth was not only the right thing to do, but it just felt better. This development was not much of a stretch since much of my childhood was secure and supported by engaged and caring parents in a safe, supportive community. Today, I serve as the campus director of the Hutton Settlement Children’s Home in Spokane Valley. My work is immersed in the lives of children who didn’t have the family stability that I had growing up. With many experiencing various forms of trauma, most formed survival behaviors that were necessary to cope and adapt to insecure environments. Some of those survival behaviors involved dishonesty in order to protect themselves from being vulnerable and harmed. These survival behaviors often persist even when one’s environment has shifted to become healthier and safe. I realized early on at Hutton that if I wanted honesty from another it required a reciprocal relationship of understanding, patience and safety. After all, how many of us are honest with another when we sense they may be dismissive, disrespectful or unsafe? After 20 years of service at Hutton, I’ve seen what consistent patience and safety can produce. As the youth at Hutton cross the threshold into a more secure world view, they tend to be more truthful in their expression of needs. This honesty requires courage – another notable character trait – as one steps out in vulnerability to disclose a need for comfort, encouragement, guidance or accountability. It’s been said that you can tell a healthy person by whether they can honestly express their true needs to another. If that is

the case, how healthy are we really? A number of years ago, a teenager soon to be graduating from high school met me in the hallway to talk about his next steps into young adulthood. I asked him how he was doing with moving on to college and I didn’t expect the response I received. He noted that we had taught him how to be a great student, work hard, stay active, lead others and set a vision for himself. He was graduating with high grades and was accepted with a full scholarship into a great college. He earned enough money at a local coffee house to purchase a car and save some money. He led others in student government and was a model for our younger residents. Yet, he looked me in the eyes tearfully and noted that on the outside he looked successful, but on the inside he had a big hole in his heart that he didn’t know how to deal with. It was at that moment that I had a much stronger appreciation for this young man and the courage that it took to share something so personal and important. It was his honesty that allowed me to then assist him on a more substantial journey of healing that may have never occurred without the truth. This is one story of courageous honesty of many that could be told at Hutton. I’ve been humbled by so many children over the years who were willing and able to authentically talk about their needs despite the personal risk of shame and judgment. With a relational blend of patient availability and courage, honesty can thrive and be the difference between an authentic life and one that is paralyzed from hiding from the truth. David Milliken joined the Hutton Settlement Children’s Home in June 1997 and has since served in various child welfare related positions, including case management, education and organizational leadership. His formal education in psychology and leadership provides the foundation for his work in youth development and community resilience. Specifically, David focuses on fostering lifelong connections with youth who have faced family challenges and displacement in the Inland Northwest. David currently serves as the campus director at the Hutton Settlement Children’s Home with a focus on developing a transformational community of care.

coaches are passionate about gymnastics and focus on ENROLL Our teaching quality gymnastics in a safe, fun and encouraging environment. Classes run year-round with three 13-week sessions TODAY! (Fall, Winter and Spring) and one 10-week summer session.

Ninja Zone • Bitty Bee Academy and Flippin’ Fun Movie Night • Parent’s Night Out • Open Gym for All Ages • Parkour and Breakdance Classes • CompetitiveTeams • Gymnastics Birthday Parties

Animal Facts

Cut them out and collect them all! JAGUAR - Found in Central and South America - 5’ to 6’ long, 100 to 250 pounds, and lives 12 to 15 years. - Largest cat in South America, third largest cat in South America - Solitary and Nocturnal - Males will share their territory with several females - Adults have no predators other than man - Good swimmers

The Splash

18 • FEBRUARY 2018

Safety Scroll How a simple behavior change could save lives

By Chief Bryan Collins Spokane Valley Fire Department As consumers, we have come to expect speed. We order a book on Amazon and it’s delivered to our front porch the next day. You order your coffee on a cell phone app and it’s waiting for you at the coffee shop. But speed can also be fatal to people in their homes. The speed at which a fire races through a home has increased at a deadly rate. Forty years ago, people had an average of 17 minutes to escape a house fire after the activation of the smoke alarms. Today, you only have about three minutes to escape. Research tells us that both the heat and speed of fire growth have increased. This is due in part to the

fact that the materials used to build and furnish our homes have changed. While natural materials were used in the past, synthetics are now more common – and they burn faster. Add to that the open floor plans popular in today’s homes and it creates a “perfect storm” for a quick escalation of a fire. The results have been devastating. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that fire departments across the U.S. respond to an average of 357,000 residential fires each year, resulting in an average of 2,470 civilian deaths and 12,890 civilian injuries each year. When smoke alarms alerted John Bailey and his daughter Kasey to a fire in their Spokane Valley home last summer, they were able to escape safely with the family cat. Less than three months earlier, Spokane Valley firefighters had installed those smoke alarms during a one-day “Home Fire Safety Visit” campaign with the Red Cross. Five of the 305 smoke alarms installed that day were in Bailey’s home, which didn’t have working smoke alarms. The fire broke out in Kasey’s unoccupied bedroom. The bedroom door was closed at the time of the fire, giving Kasey and her father more time to escape and helping to contain the fire and limit damage to the rest

of the home. We know that during a fire, the average temperature inside a room with a closed door is less than 100 degrees and carbon monoxide levels average less than 100 parts per million (ppm). Compare this to an open-door room where temperatures can quickly climb to more than 1,000 degrees with carbon monoxide levels over 10,000 ppm. Each week, Spokane Valley firefighters respond to a variety of fire calls. Often, residents have escaped themselves prior to our arrival. Sometimes residents are trapped inside their burning home. This is why we are encouraging our community to change a simple behavior. In partnership with United Laboratories Firefighter Safety Research Institute, we are promoting “Close Before You Doze” to encourage every household to make sure they close all of their doors – bedrooms, bathrooms, basement – at night to starve the fire of the oxygen it requires to grow and to give you more time to escape. There are simple steps you can take to increase your chances of survival in fast-moving house fire: • Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms are in working condition. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and

outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound. Test them monthly. Replace them every 10 years. • Close all your doors at night – bedrooms, bathrooms, basement. • If a fire occurs and you can get out of a burning structure, get out and close doors behind you as you exit. If you can’t exit immediately, put a closed door between you and the fire to buy yourself valuable time. Don’t ever go back inside a burning home. • For parents worried about not hearing their children in the middle of the night with a door closed, simply place a baby monitor in your child's room. If you can’t get to your children’s room because you’re cut off by smoke, the closed door will provide a safety barrier allowing them a longer period of breathable air until help arrives. • Have an escape plan. Identify multiple escape routes from every room and practice them as a family at different times of the day and night. Once a fire starts, there's little time to think. Think now so that you can act then. Take these fire safety and prevention steps today and you'll sleep easier at night – with your doors closed.

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Student of the Month Basketball fans once referred to Jerry West as “Mr. Clutch.” The next version may be here with Central Valley senior Jase Edwards. His three-pointer against U-Hi on Jan. 19 sent the game into overtime where he scored six more points and led the Bears to a 63-60 win. Edwards finished with 23 points and seven assists. The three-sport standout was an All-Greater Spokane League football selection as a safety the past two years. He also played wide receiver. Edwards had two interceptions and a touchdown catch in a playoff win against Hanford. He hit .411 as an All-GSL first team shortstop last season and was a second team pick as a sophomore. Edwards maintains a 3.65 grade point average and is a member of the National Honor Society. He plans to study pre-engineering and play baseball at Spokane Falls Community College.

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When she’s not studying for AP classes in calculus and chemistry or leading the Spanish Club as president, Sarah Nichols is in the pool. The Central Valley senior competes for a swim club out of Coeur d’Alene and has participated in the 2016 Olympic Trials as well as other national events. Raised in Liberty Lake, Nichols will continue her academic and athletic endeavors on scholarship at the University of Notre Dame. She maintains a 4.0 grade point average and is a member of the National Honor Society. She has also been part of the NHS board at CV, helping to organize events. She compiled a mark of 1,440 out of a possible 1,600 on the SAT. Nichols attends St. Joseph’s Church in Otis Orchards and volunteers there. She hopes to compete in the NCAA swimming championships and the 2020 Olympic Trials.

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Athlete of the Month When he was appointed to the Liberty Lake planning commission in 2005, Stan Jochim talked about his goal of “developing an identity for the city.” Many who have known Jochim over the years identify him with class, character and the kind of leadership that has a genuine impact. “Stan has been a real catalyst,” says Mayor Steve Peterson. “He’s brought indepth research on issues, great leadership and continuity.” The current chair of the planning commission, Jochim grew up in Yakima and spent 10 years in the Navy between active and reserve duty. He was a longtime pilot for Northwest Airlines and has also worked in real estate and construction. He and his wife Karina have lived in the Liberty Lake area since 1983 and will celebrate 50 years of marriage next year. They have two grown children and three grandchildren.

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Mogen to retire as librarian, address next chapter

Linda Dockrey is a longtime volunteer with the Liberty Lake Library. She served on the Board of Trustees, the policy and hiring arm of the library, for 10 years and is now the president of the Friends of the Library, the fundraising branch of the library. She says Mogen has been a driving force in making this


Mogen’s all-time favorite book is “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen. She loved the repartee between the main characters Elizabeth and Darcy. Pamela’s love for that book has served her well. In 2003, she published a series of books based on the characters in Austen’s story. She was one of the first to write and publish stories based on the book in what is now a crowded field of Jane Austen fan fiction books.

It’s the only job Pamela Mogen has had since graduating from college and she will be 65 in October. That’s a lot of years roaming aisles lined with book shelves full of treasures in genres like drama, action, mystery, romance, travel, health, history, self-help and more. You name it she’s read it, researched it, cataloged it, ordered it or likely had some connection with it.

“I think what I will miss most is when I come into the library in the morning and it’s so quiet,” Mogen said. “It’s like I’m tiptoeing around waiting for the doors to open and anticipating how we will make people’s lives better through their visit to the library.”


“You need to be widely read to be a good librarian” says Pamela. “I love information, I love ideas.”

Splash Correspondent

Mogen has been the director of the Liberty Lake Municipal Library since 2004. She will be retiring in October, not only from the Liberty Lake Library, but from her career as a librarian spanning 43 years.


college, hospital, university and school entities.

By Julie Humphreys

Books have been the lifeblood of Mogen since even before she became a librarian. In her youth, she cherished the Nancy Drew series her mother had saved since her own childhood. Her father bought a set of Collier encyclopedias from the traveling door-to-door encyclopedia salesman. They came with a junior series which Mogen savored. Since she didn’t have access to a library until junior high school, the books her parents had at home were sheer gold.


Mogen’s books did exceptionally well – so much so that publishing giant Simon and Schuster contacted her to publish them. Pamela and her husband had already formed their own small press, published the books themselves, and sold more than 70,000 copies. Under Simon and Schuster, an additional 350,000 have sold to date.

Pamela Mogen will retire this fall after serving as the head librarian at the Liberty Lake Municipal Library since 2004. Mogen has worked in the library field for the past 37 years and plans to continue her work as a published writer after retirement. Photo by Craig Howard library strong and viable. “The library is her legacy,” Dockrey said. “It was just a collection of books in a room before she got there. Pamela took our library from an all-volunteer library where we made up our own checkout system, with all donated books, and turned it into a modern library.” Indeed the library is now an important part of Liberty Lake’s landscape serving as an ad-hoc community center. Under Mogen’s leadership, the library tripled in size when it moved into renovated space in what was the Northern Technologies building in March of 2009. There is now a children’s space, a meeting room and parking, three things that were missing from the library Mogen inherited. “This is my dream job” says

Mogen. “It’s the capstone of my career. The opportunity to grow something from scratch and try out my ideas about how to build a library has been very satisfying.” Mogen started out pursuing a history major in college in the early 1970s. She says at that time there wasn’t much of a future for women history teachers in high schools unless you could also coach a male sport. So instead she pursued a new experimental degree in school librarianship. She graduated with that degree in 1975 and that fall took her first job as a school librarian. Mogen would go on to get her master’s degree in library and information science while raising three boys. She’s worked in both public and private library settings, encompassing city, community

Mogen has also received a top state award for librarians. In 2011, she was awarded the Washington Library Association Merit Award for Advances in Library Science, a high honor for any librarian, let alone one from the smaller sized library. Mogen dismisses the idea that libraries are a dying entity. Instead she says they are evolving alongside technology. In many ways, she says the Internet has broadened a library’s reach. Libraries now offer online courses on everything from how to take better digital pictures to medical transcription. Libraries also offer subscription-based e-reference books. You still have access to the classic Encyclopedia Britannica, but it’s online rather than on the book shelf. Mogen has seen many changes in libraries over the years. In October she will experience her own life change, retirement from a job she has loved for nearly four decades. What will she do in retirement? Pamela says she is looking forward to more writing. Look for her handiwork on a library shelf near you.

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FEBRUARY 2018 • 21


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Bears tracking their way to another state hoops crown

By Steve Christilaw Splash Correspondent We’ve all seen star basketball players who treat the prospect of lacing up their sneakers and playing defense the same way some people treat seeing a penny on the sidewalk. They just can’t be bothered to retrieve it. They don’t raise star players that way at top-ranked Central Valley. Fans take significant pride in their girls’ basketball program at CV. It’s won four state class 4A titles, the last in the 2015-16 season. And they laud the accomplishments of nearly identical twins Lacie and Lexie Hull of

Liberty Lake, who have set the tone for the Bears since they walked on the court as freshmen and continue to set the pace as 6-foot-1 seniors on a mission. The Hulls use all of their athletic wingspans to wreak havoc on opposing offenses – long arms that can disrupt an opponent’s dribble or extend to block their shot. Lacie wears a shoe once size smaller than her sister, but she’s also roughly a half-inch taller. But despite that discrepancy, they have quick feet that serve them well in the press and the post. That these sisters, who committed early to play their college basketball at Stanford, are so committed to playing stellar defense sets the tone for a team that can flat-out humiliate an opponent. “We work hard on defense every single day,” coach Freddie Rehkow says. “In a lot of ways, offense is an afterthought. That’s the thing about

good defense – when you concentrate on playing good defense and being in the right position to play defense, there isn’t a lot of time to think too much about offense. It kind of takes care of itself.” In the week before the annual Stinky Sneaker game on Jan. 19 in the Spokane Arena, the Bears limited Shadle Park to just five points. For an entire game. The Highlanders are hardly alone. CV held Mead to just 18 points in the season opener, 34 in the return match. Ferris managed just 10 points and Rogers 12. Gonzaga Prep scored 26. In the arena they checked rival U-Hi on two points in the first quarter and six for the first half. “I told them that bad teams don’t play defense,” Rehkow said. “Good teams play defense sometimes, but great teams know it’s important to play defense all the time. You can have a bad day on offense. You can’t have a bad day playing defense. I tell the girls

Bears' fans celebrate the CV boys' basketball team's 63-60 overtime win over University in the annual Stinky Sneaker game at the Spokane Arena on Jan. 19 with Superintendent Ben Small. The CV girls also defeated the Titans 62-35 in their rivalry game to remain undefeated on the season. Photo by Erik Smith

that if you lose a game 2-0, you’ve given up two points too many.” If it seems that the Bears have a bit more of an edge to their play this season, an extra motivation to prove themselves, it’s because they do. “Three years in and this group is now 70-1,” Rehkow said following the 6235 win over University. “I don’t think we’ve peaked yet. I think we can still get better. If we keep going, we have another 10 or 11 more games to see how good we can be. That’s what we talk about. When they lost a game last year they felt like they let everybody down.” Rehkow has done his best disavow his team of the idea that they let anyone down a year ago. How can a team that loses only one game, no matter where that one game comes, be a disappointment? “There was a lot of pressure on them last year,” Rehkow said. “I don’t know that they’ll admit that, but it was. We talk about being as good as we can be. If that gets us a state championship so be it. If not, we’ll deal with it.” A year ago, the Bears were such a pre-state tourney favorite that one west side publication dubbed it “the Central Valley tournament.” Instead, CV was upset by Bellarmine Prep in the quarterfinal round when Shalyse Smith scored on a layup with 30 seconds left for a 56-55 upset of the No. 1-ranked Bears. For the record, CV beat Bellarmine Prep in a rematch, 67-31. Interestingly enough, the same script is playing out again this year. CV is the top-ranked team in the state and the Bears have already staked their claim being the state tournament favorites. Central Valley walloped No. 5 Lake Stevens, 71-50, then defeated defending state champion and No. 4 Kentridge 57-39 during a weekend trip west of the mountains. The Seattle Times noted, “the two impressive victories leave little doubt the Bears are the team everyone is chasing this season.” Further, Kentridge coach Bob Sandall had this to say: “They’re talented, they’re experienced, they’re well-coached and they have a lot of confidence,” he said. “They run their stuff really well and they defend really well. They’re a tough out. I told my kids, ‘I think we can be better.’ But they’re the team to beat right now in the state.”

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Splash Sports Notebook

been. At last count they had lost but a single game while winning 71 the past three seasons. Fouryear players on this roster could finish with 100 victories against six losses.

Splash Sports Editor

It’s the final go-round for the ballyhooed Stanford-bound Hull twins, Lacie and Lexie, as well as Hailey Christopher who have played all four years.

By Mike Vlahovich

Central Valley’s winter sports athletes are on their various paths toward qualifying for state tournaments. Boys’ and girls’ basketball teams are among the top four Greater Spokane League finishers headed on to post-season. State is Feb. 27 through March 2. Wrestlers and gymnasts seek their state medals Feb. 16 and 17. Like volleyball, the top four teams each from both the GSL and Mid-Columbia Conference will vie for three berths to 4A state. Games this year are at the Spokane Arena. CV girls look to wear state crown again Much has been made how special the Bears girls basketball team has

EV comeback story eclipses any feat on football field By Mike Vlahovich

Splash Sports Editor Adam Fisher tendered his resignation as East Valley’s football coach in December, walking away from the family business after nearly two decades of leading Knights’ football. The tenure included five state appearances and a state semifinal berth. Despite back-to-back losing seasons, the last two are likely his most successful and certainly the most gratifying after he and wife Jolene took in Rodrick Jackson off the streets, mentored and eventually adopted him. Rodrick is the reason the coach stepped down in this rags to riches saga. The youngster left the nest in early January, high school diploma in hand, and enrolled at Washington State University. He was given the chance of a lifetime – to play football for the Cougars. “You hope and pray he can stay on this course,” says Fisher as the family stepped off the metaphorical Silverwood roller coaster after it reached its destination. “If he does continue to keep progressing, the

Combined they average 39 points per game and three others – Mady Simmelink, Cameron Skaife and Tomekia Whitman – had double figure outings during the season. Michaela Laabs is the fourth senior on the team. The Bears won by an average 37 points per game this season and that included victories over six nonleague foes from across the state. This year they are ranked no. 1 in the WIAA ratings RPI. Bears rally late

and his undersized charges. But with four straight wins late in the season, the CV boys finished fourth among 4A schools in GSL hoops and played the fifth-place team for the fourth GSL playoff berth (after press time) with the winner traveling to play the MCC champion. Eight district teams returned to the Spokane Arena to send three teams to state. The team faced stern competition in its final games against state topranked Gonzaga Prep and No. 5 Ferris. The work of feisty double figures scorers on a young team, seniors Zach Stocker, Jase Edwards and Grant Hannan carried the load. Stocker, in particular, had some spectacular efforts with games of 32, 26, 25 23 and 22 points. All three averaged in double figures average a combined 33 points per game.

It was an uncharacteristic season in some ways for coach Rick Sloan

Edwards hit a clutch three-pointer in the waning seconds of the Stinky

story can impact others.”

non-existent. Desperate, he came to Adam for help. If Rodrick were to fulfill his dream of going to college for football, he was told that academics would have to come first.

Fisher’s dad, Ed, is a high school coaching legend, leading South Kitsap to 16 straight trips to state, winning one title and finishing second, in 1997 to underdog Central Valley. It was something Ed said during a practice that ultimately reinforced Adam’s decision to take on a rare challenge. Adam was assisting his dad one day while his younger brother was on a football road trip to Wisconsin. “My father looks over at me and goes, ‘What are we doing? We should be watching him in Wisconsin right now. You can’t take back time.’” “I want to be there for Rodrick and experience those things,” Adam says. “It’s just the best for everybody.” Rodrick’s story has been well documented for those who follow high school sports. From the street to college recruit, the Fisher family took on the challenge to mentor him. Adam says he was content with a family of four, his wife Jolene and two daughters. But Jolene swayed him to take Rodrick in. “(Rodrick) came to me and wanted to play spring football,” Fisher recalls. “I asked, ‘Are you really going to school?’ He told me he was taking online classes. It turned out he wasn’t.” Rodrick’s grades were virtually

Adam told Rodrick if he missed one day of practice or school he’d have his equipment pulled. Fisher says it was then he broke down sobbing and said he wanted to change his life. Adam says some were taking side bets on how long he’d last. Rodrick was enduring the horrors of homelessness and life on the street and barely on the EV radar. The Fishers became strict surrogates. Inevitably, there were ups and downs and necessity for tough love. But the thing Rodrick discovered was that although there were consequences for back sliding, the Fishers discipline didn’t mean they were about to abandon him. Rodrick didn’t become eligible to play football until five games into his junior season. A grade point of 0.3 improved to 2.3 overall by the time he graduated, buoyed by the 2.84 maintained during the time he caught up on his core classes. The NCAA cleared Rodrick to enroll at WSU on Dec. 21. The December before – on the same day – the adoption had become final. Last year, Rodrick was a state

FEBRUARY 2018 • 23

Sneaker game against U-Hi on Jan. 19 to send the game into overtime where CV won 63-60. Gymnasts rise to occasion The Bears under coaches Brittney Schmidt and Lizzie Roberg swept through GSL gymnastics. They weren’t necessarily individual stars but the group effort made the difference. Among the leaders were senior Chloe Robbins, sophomore Victoria Axtell and freshmen Rebekah Ross and Claira Reiman. Grappling with post-season Following a top four finish in the GSL, CV’s wrestlers were tournament bound with the final goal of reaching Tacoma. State placer fifth placer John Keiser returns with a chance to finish higher. Senior state veterans Wyatt Wickham, Bradley Wiggs and newcomer Luke Grisafi were constants for the Bears all season long.

sprint champion with times comparable to the nation’s best high school marks. He was named to an all-star team and played in a football bowl game featuring the top-ranked prep football college prospects in the nation. He was Great Northern League football MVP last fall. He’s now in Pullman beginning the next phase of his journey. The Fishers, like any caring parents, keep their fingers crossed and are hoping for the best. “There are many stars that align like this”, Adams says. “There are bumps along the way, but that’s life. It’s been a whirlwind. I said to Rodrick, ‘Just take it a day at a time.’” He also reminds incredible journey.




“I say, ‘Let’s go back four years,’” Fisher says. “’You turned 13 and where were you? Things I’m guessing weren’t going well. Let’s fast forward four years from now. You’re a senior at WSU and playing a bowl game. You graduate and possibly are getting ready for the NFL draft. How cool is that?’ He got a huge grin on his face.” Fisher had applied for other coaching jobs and been a finalist but never hired. Looking back he realizes a higher power meant for him to remain at EV. Coaching football doesn’t get any better than this.

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24 • FEBRUARY 2018











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Reflections from the Lake By Shaun Brown When my husband Nathan and I brought our four young children to Liberty Lake, we stopped and drove through the only stoplight and past the newly constructed McDonald’s Playland that seemed to signal a family friendly community. Having come from New York, where family and friendly were not always part of the experience, we were hopeful. Over the years we have discovered again and again how family and friendly truly are woven into the fiber of this community. We arrived in mid-December and the community was barely starting to recover from the Ice Storm of 1996. At church, we heard stories of neighbor helping neighbor when the power outages threatened Thanksgiving plans for many. As we hunted for a home with our Realtor and new friend, Mike Balogh, we began to learn about the community; A Fourth of July Parade at Alpine Shores, fireworks funded by community donations, a Yard Sale to beat all yard sales and more. We found a home for our young family, just down the street from the soon-to-be completed Liberty Lake Elementary and within walking distance of our church. As we settled in and began to get acquainted with the community, Liberty Lake revealed her true colors. Time after time, the people who called this place home came together to make good things happen. The trails you ride, traversing the community from one end to the other and connecting to the Centennial Trail, came about with the hard work of Tom Specht and the Trails Committee. I remember the Trails Committee mantra – “If every family can give the price of a pizza” – we can build these trails. And families did, and we enjoy the trails today. The Easter Egg Hunt came to life with the dedication of Wendy Van Orman. The Yard Sale expanded and flourished with the leadership of the Liberty Lake Kiwanis. The Summer Concert Series and movies in the park provide family

FEBRUARY 2018 • 25

entertainment thanks to Friends of Pavillion Park and strong local business support. Some really good things came and went, like the annual Halloween Festival the Liberty Lake Community Church hosted at the elementary school. And some good things grew and expanded. Pavillion Park was joined by Little Bear Park, Five Fingers Park and Rocky Hill Park. As the parks expanded, so did the churches. Liberty Lake Community Church (now called Liberty Lake Church) was joined by Cornerstone Church, Lakeside Church, Uplift Church, Liberty Lake Baptist Church and three congregations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Within the churches, along the trails, in the parks and in the neighborhoods, you find families enjoying the beauty and bounty of this community and you find good, friendly people willing to help, show kindness and come together to make a difference for good. We have lived in the Liberty Lake community for 21 years, raising our five children and becoming more intimately acquainted with the fiber

of this community during the years we published the Liberty Lake Splash (which I consider my sixth child). Rocky Hill neighborhood was home to moles and marmots when we came, but now houses some of the most wonderful people we know. Thanks to the vision of community members like Jim Frank, Ludlow Kramer and others, Liberty Lake has grown gracefully, strengthening the fiber that makes this unique community a place so many want to call home.

District, Greater Valley Support Network and Food4Thought. She and Nathan raised five children, all CV graduates. She is the author of the 2014 book “Seven Steps to Scholarship Success.” Shaun currently works at Itron in Liberty Lake.

It is my view that in the years ahead, the vision and dedication of good people and strong families will preserve, protect and prosper the things we love about our community. Woven together as neighbors, we can shape the future of our home and may we continue to do so is my hope. Shaun Brown co-founded the Splash with her husband Nathan in 1999 and served as co-owner/ publisher/editor until the newspaper was sold in 2004. The Idaho native has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. She has volunteered for a variety of local causes including the Liberty Lake Trails Committee, Central Valley School

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26 • FEBRUARY 2018 T h e N a t i o n a l ly A w a r d - W i n n i n g C e n t r a l V a l l e y h i g h s c h o o l T h e a t r e D e p a r t m e n t P r o u d ly P r e s e n t s

SVFD Report – February 2018


From Splash News Sources

Spokane Valley Fire Department crews responded to a total of 123 emergency calls in the greater Liberty Lake area* from Dec. 18, 2017 – Jan. 21, 2018: • Emergency medical services – 88 • Fires - 2 • Motor vehicle accidents – 8 • Hazardous material – 2 • Building alarms – 7 • Service calls – 4 • Dispatched and cancelled en route – 12 *Service area for SVFD Station #3 in Liberty Lake Incidents included: Hazardous material – Dec. 27 – SVFD firefighters responded to a reported natural gas leak outside Healthy Living, 1431 N. Liberty Lake Road, just before 5:30 p.m. Upon arrival, the crews found the faint odor of natural gas near the outdoor meter. Avista was notified and the building manager was advised to stay away from the meter until it had been repaired. Motor vehicle accident – Dec. 29 – Just after 12:15 a.m., SVFD crews responded to a reported one-car motor vehicle rollover accident near 1 S. Lakeside Road. Upon arrival, firefighters found a mid-sized sedan resting upside down off the snow and ice-covered dirt road. Law enforcement was already on the scene talking to the two 17-year-old males who had been inside the vehicle. They had both been wearing seat belts. Firefighters evaluated the medical condition of the two patients and found one with a minor hand injury. The two were not transported to the hospital.


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Electrical smell – Dec. 31 – SVFD crews responded to a report of a burning electrical smell in the top two floors of a home in the 23300 block of East Kamiakin Avenue at 7:45 p.m. They arrived on the scene and found an electric plug in the front room that was warm to the touch but no electrical or smoke smell. The owner said he had a heater plugged into the plug prior to calling 9-1-1. Firefighters measured the temperature of the plug again, which had cooled. They advised the homeowner to avoid using the heater and have an electrician check the home’s wiring,

due to the age of the home. Service call – Jan. 4 –Shortly before 11:15 p.m., law enforcement arrived at SVFD Liberty Lake Fire Station #3, 21300 E. Country Vista Drive, with a 56-year-old male in custody on suspicion of DUI. They produced a search warrant for a blood draw and asked firefighters to perform the procedure. The patient was compliant so firefighters performed the blood draw and gave the two vials to law enforcement. “Love Your Heart” blood pressure checks – During American Heart Month in February, SVFD will be providing free blood pressure checks in local libraries. SVFD representatives will be in the Liberty Lake Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave., on Saturday, Feb. 3 from noon to 3 p.m. Stop by for a free check, timely heart health information and to say hello. 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. SVFD firefighters and paramedics responded to more than 17,280 emergency calls in 2017. Established in 1940, SVFD is an Accredited Agency by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI), one of only a handful in the state of Washington. SVFD operates 10 stations providing fire suppression, emergency medical services, vehicle extrication, hazardous materials response, special operations rescue, fire investigation, fire prevention, commercial property inspection, CPR and fire safety training. SVFD provides free fire safety inspections and installation of free smoke detectors. For more information call 928-1700 or visit

The Splash

FEBRUARY 2018 • 27


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For the first time since 1998, the district earned enough votes to pass a capital facilities bond, eclipsing the required 60-percent margin. The 17 years that passed between election victories meant that certain seniors at Central Valley and University high schools had gone their entire lifetimes without their district earning enough voter support to build new schools and upgrade existing ones. It was a troubling drought. After the votes were official in 2015, CVSD did yeoman’s work leveraging state dollars to maximize the benefits of the win. When all was said and done, the district was able to add $103.8 million in state matching funds to the $121.9 million bond. It meant for every $1 of local money, CVSD has received 85 cents from the state. It’s clear that residents within the 80 square miles of district boundaries are making an investment in schools, students and the future of this community – and the district has been an exceptional steward of citizens’ trust. Now, CVSD is asking voters to step up again. The $129.9 million bond on the Feb. 13 ballot will bring new buildings but not new taxes. The current rate of $1.79 per $1,000 of assessed property value would not change with passage since the previous voter-approved bond will be paid off. That means a third high school, new middle school, HVAC upgrades

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.

Borrowing a line from early settlers to the region, CVSD Superintendent Ben Small has said “a community is known by the schools it keeps.” This month, the community will have an opportunity to support schools that will be the catalysts for our future and represent the legacy we leave behind. Let’s hope ballots reflect this profoundly crucial investment. Craig Howard Splash Editor

The Central Valley school community will soon have an opportunity to vote on a replacement levy and construction bond. The district has asked for citizen input. The district’s priorities are to reduce over-crowding in our high schools, middle schools and to continue to develop programs that prepare our students for careers after graduation. A facilities planning committee is proposing a plan that will address these needs. Their recommendation is for a new high school, middle school and the remodeling and expansion of Horizon Middle School. This bond and levy is designed in a manner that will not increase taxes. We all take great pride in our local school system. It is a first-class district that continues to produce first- class students. A yes vote for the bond and levy is how we can thank our students and staff for a job well done. We believe in you; we value you and we appreciate you. Strong schools build strong communities. Jay and Kay Walter

“Honoring local communities and encouraging citizen involvement” 509.242.7752 | PO Box 363 | Liberty Lake, WA 99019 |

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FEBRUARY 2017 • 9


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CVSD had remarkable foresight in 1980 to purchase acreage in the Henry Road/16th Avenue area for a future high school. Those who made that decision knew the Valley was growing and students would eventually need more classroom space. Nearly four decades later – with both U-Hi and CV far surpassing enrollment ceilings – the time to build is now.

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It was three years ago this month that the Central Valley School District was feeling super about a super-majority at the ballot.

and a renovation of Horizon Middle School – all vital to the district’s priorities of keeping up with increasing enrollment, maintaining safe, efficient schools and addressing critical infrastructure needs – will all be accomplished without a tax increase.


Time is now to support CVSD bond

The Splash

Farme r

28 • FEBRUARY 2018









soaring to national and international acclaim.



mu Com







from Josh. The new owners live in Spokane Valley, are invested here and understand what matters to their neighbors. As handoffs go, the two papers could not have landed in better hands.

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next five years, the future looks brighter than ever. Readership is growing, advertising is up and the stories keep generating talk.

The Current now has a 25,000 copy Current founder circulation with 15,000 being direct weighs in on formative days of paper mailed to households across the Spokane Valley area in addition to the 10,000 copies being available for pickup at over 250 business locations. About 9,000 copies of The Splash are distributed around the end of each month, 5,500 of those through direct mail to every home and business in the greater Liberty Lake community.

accounts of the human spirit overcoming adversity from U-Hi grad Mitch Carbon’s remarkable triumph over cancer to the feats of Spokane Para Sport athletes

In late 2015, Ben Wick – known by most for his service on the Spokane Valley City Council – stepped up with his wife, Danica, to purchase the Current and Splash

“Close, but that’s an interesting story in itself. You see, our agricultural heritage means many of our community place names and identities were formed around a patchwork of irrigation districts …”

By Josh Johnson

He was the stereotypical inky wretch, grizzled and grumpy. Coffee: black and bottomless. Blood type: CMYK. His opinion from decades in the business: Publishing a community newspaper was challenging enough on its own without doing it for Spokane Valley.

“What do you have, like three city or town councils in the greater Valley?” he asked me.

“Four, because we want to cover Rockford, and of course there are thousands of unincorporated residents governed by Spokane County, so keeping tabs on the commission will be important, too.” “And four or five high schools?”

“Four school districts, six high schools to report on.” “Shoot, you have like a billion water districts.”

“Yeah, yeah,” he interrupted. “The bottom line is that community newspapers thrive because of a shared sense of community. With such a mishmash of overlapping jurisdictions and loyalties, that’s a challenge in Spokane Valley.”

And it was. And it is. But to this day, I remain convinced that even if I’m a Central Valley Bear and current owner and publisher Ben Wick is an East Valley Knight, our common interests far outweigh a couple miles of geography. And so, five years ago, when I led a team made up of greater Valley folks like myself to launch The Current, the name itself was intended to be a reflection of what holds us together, like the Spokane River winding its way through our neighborhoods.

We wanted to build a community newspaper for everyone in the greater Spokane Valley, whether their kids attended East Farms or Seth Woodard, whether they rose

As the Current embarks on its

early to see the hot air balloons off at Mirabeau or floated frogs down Rock Creek in the annual regatta.

As for dealing with all the jurisdictional dividing lines, we employed twin strategies. One, we would hit the high points. In the early years, we did a “3 Up, 3 Down” feature to give “at a glance” news from around the community and we always made a point to dig deeper into the most important jurisdictional items. But mostly, we relied on strategy two: Write about the issues we have in common, because there are an awful lot of them.

I wrote the cover story for the very first issue of The Current about homeless students in the greater Valley. This is an issue we should continue to address as a community, because suburban homelessness is a growing problem nationally, and it is one that isn’t always effectively fought with the same tools we would deploy downtown. By issue 12 (January 2013), we shared what we called our “One Valley Initiative.” These were four “topic threads” – Growing Business, Poverty in the Valley, Healthy Valley and Innovative Education – we used to help us focus and plan our

Thank you for the support, greater Spokane Valley. This is your paper. coverage.

Of course, we also had so much fun along the way. There was our annual food bracket placing Valley eats in a single elimination competition. The idea here was to advance great Valley menu options through a bracket while sitting on couches watching the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Not a bad gig. Indeed, owning and publishing The Current through its first 48 issues remains a highlight of my life, but I am certain I couldn’t say that save for one qualifying factor: We covered the greater Spokane Valley, my home and yours. And it’s the home of current owners Ben and Danica Wick, who beautifully share the heritage of this now 5-year-old publication: a commitment and love for the Valley. The Wicks share this, I share this and I am going to take an educated guess that you are reading this right now because you do, too. And that, Mr. Grizzled Newspaper Publisher, is why this works.

Advertise With Us and Let Us Help You Fine Tune Your Message

The Splash

FEBRUARY 2018 • 29


Ben Wick

Danica Wick




Paula Gano

Days ononMarket Days Market

Hayley Schmelzer

Larry Passmore



21% 21% 21% 21%

Days on Market

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

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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.

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Service. Information reliable butless notthan guaranteed. For Single Family Homes deemed and Condos, site built 1 not guaranteed. For single family *Information obtained from the Spokane Multiple Listing acre, Spokane County, YTD through May. For Single Family Homes and Condos, site built less than 1 homes and condos, site built less

Fieldhouse Pizza • Spokane Gymnastics

Service. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. acre, Spokane YTD through May. than 1 acre,County, Spokane County, YTD through December. Correction policy For Singleobtained Family Homes andthe Condos, site built less than Listing 1 *Information from Spokane Multiple The Splash strives for accuracy in all content. Errors acre, Spokane County, YTD through May. should be reported immediately to 242-7752 or by

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Amaculate Housekeeping 3 Andrus Fine Art 14 AutoCraft 14 Ava Medical Center 9 Avista 28 Banner Fuel 27 BECU 6 Banner Furnace & Fuel 27 Cafe 19 12 Casey Family Dental 8 Central Valley Theatre 26 Coldwell Banker - Rob Brickett 29 Corkhouse 22 Cornerstone Pentecostal Church 30 Eagle Ridge Painting 19 Eagle Rock RV and Boat Storage 4

For Single Family Homes and Condos, site built less than 1 ROB BRICKETT acre, Spokane County, YTD through May. R E A LTO R

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

Kiwanis • Liberty Lake Family Dentistry • Liberty Lube

of that month.

email to Confirmed

Index of advertisers

Following are the local advertisers in this issue of The Splash. Evergreen Fountain 21 Family Medicine Liberty Lake 13 Fieldhouse Pizza 27 Friends of the LL Library 12 Friends of Mary Kuney 27 GraceSon Housing Foundation 31 George Gee 6 Greenstone 24 Hallett’s Market and Cafe 6 Jim Custer Enterprises 4, 13 John L Scott - Pam Fredrick 19 Katharine Olson, DDS 14 Kiwanis of Liberty Lake 14 Legacy Church 24 Liberty Lake Baptist Church 6 Liberty Lake EyeCare Center 3

Liberty Lake Family Dentistry 5 Liberty Lake Sewer & Water District 11 Master Gardeners 12 North Idaho Dermatology 27 Northern Quest 32 Ott Knott Used Golf Carts 30 Pioneer School 19 Simonds Dental Group 32 Spokane Gymnastics 17 Stateline Plaza 30 True Legends 3 Windermere 5 Service Directory 30

made in ads. Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved. All contents of The Splash may not be reproduced without written permission of the publisher.

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


New homes in Spokane, Spokane Valley, Libe Gus Johnson Ford • Stateline Plaza

From 1.83 months YTD 2016 to 1.49 months YTD 2017*

Information deemed reliable but


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

The Splash

30 • FEBRUARY 2018


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The Splash

Valley firefighters give back with Benevolent Association By Tyler Wilson

Splash Correspondent As if extinguishing fires and protecting lives wasn’t enough, Spokane Valley firefighters are also helping the community without any flashy lights. Established in 1999, the Spokane Valley Firefighters Benevolent Association (SVFFBA) is a 501c(3) nonprofit cause dedicated to rescuing residents experiencing different kinds of peril. The mission statement of the organization describes how the association “is committed to helping members of our community, region, nation and beyond in times of hardships, sickness or need. We will strive to provide a helping hand in times of distress, benefits in times of financial hardship and fellowship among firefighters and citizens in all times, good and bad.” Much of the funding for the effort comes from donations by the Spokane Valley firefighters themselves. Eric Swanson, president of the SVFFBA for the past couple years, has been with the board of directors since its inception. He said the idea originally stemmed from local firefighters who wanted help their neighbors without getting bogged down in too many administrative steps.


FEBRUARY 2018 • 31

“If we’re on the scene of a devastating house fire and there is a need, we can get them money faster than other groups,” Swanson said. “It’s not just fires. Whenever we hear a compelling story, we take it to the board and we vote.” The board meets monthly and consists of a mix of firefighters and citizens. Swanson said board members are in communication with each other so they can also approve requests in between meetings when necessary. “It just happened the other day,” Swanson said. “We have an email chain and we can put out the request and approve it through that.” The association relies on donations from firefighters and the community as Swanson said the group has more recently scaled back public fundraising efforts. “We used to have a big fundraiser – it took all year long to work on, cost $15,000 to put on,” he said “We didn’t have enough people. It was a huge stress, so we stopped doing that.” One hundred percent of the money taken into the organization goes to the people in need, and while the association occasionally contributes to causes outside the region, Swanson said about 98 percent goes out to members of the greater Spokane Valley community. “We just try to help people,” Swanson said. “We find horrible stories everywhere we turn.” Swanson recalled a recent effort to help a construction worker who was living out of his car and in despair. “He did construction work and had all his tools in the car,” Swanson

The Spokane Valley Firefighters Benevolent Association was established in 1999 to help residents dealing with a variety of challenges. A nonprofit organization that relies on donations, the group is facilitated by a board that includes firefighters and citizens. Contributed photo said. “The car was towed and he didn’t have the money to get his car out.” A social worker had left a message of the association’s voicemail, a message that was received just after the conclusion of a board meeting. “I just went back to lock up the office, all the board members are either going home or back to work,” he said. “The problem was the next morning the car was going up for auction.” With a little scrambling, the board negotiated the purchase of the car just prior to auction. “He couldn’t have been happier,” Swanson said of the man. “He couldn’t speak.” Swanson said the association is working to anticipate needs and to help people more on the spot. In some situations, the group has established a program in which firefighters on the scene of fires and accidents can occasionally provide immediate assistance at their discretion. The



has helped with things as small as providing a taxi ride, motel accommodations or replacing essential medication to supporting broader causes for sick or injured kids and adults in the community. The association also holds an annual Christmas party for underprivileged children in the area. “We’ve been able to help a wide variety of our community members who have suffered losses due to fire, vehicle accidents and terminal illnesses,” said Jared Bradford, a Valley firefighter since 2015 and a member of the SVFFBA Board. “We’ve also had the opportunity to assist with sending kids to special camps related to their particular condition and situation.” Swanson said there are currently opportunities for citizens to join the board. Interested parties can inquire by utilizing the contact form on the association’s website. Donations can also be accepted on the website via PayPal. The website also has an assistance request form. Visit www.SVFFBA. org for more information.

The Splash

32 • FEBRUARY 2018

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February 2018 Splash  

Yesteryear is here; Celebrating Liberty Lake's history in contemporary culture

February 2018 Splash  

Yesteryear is here; Celebrating Liberty Lake's history in contemporary culture