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The story behind Liberty Lake's most dynamic developer, page 12





2 • MARCH 2018

The Park Bench

Ripple Effect – Halverson known for wise, generous influence By Craig Howard Splash Editor Harley Halverson’s westward migration began in Brookings, South Dakota and had more to do with engineering than pioneering. The winding trek would take him to Southern California as part of the Air Force, then to the Bay Area as a student at one of the nation’s most prestigious universities and later as an employee with a technology company known for its groundbreaking research and innovative products. Halverson’s journey would eventually land him in the Inland Northwest with his wife Lorraine and their four children. It was this stop that stuck. Halverson has been a fixture in the Liberty Lake community for nearly four decades, contributing to a variety of civic causes and earning a reputation as a wise and thoughtful voice of reason.

engineering. Halverson was part of the ROTC at SDSU and was called into active duty after college El Centro Air Force Base in California near Mexico. He served for two years as part of a team researching and developing parachute technology. When his time as second lieutenant was done, Halverson took the military up on its offer to pay for his education. He picked Stanford for his master’s and packed his bags for Northern California. “I figured why not choose the best,” he says. Palo Alto turned out to be a fortuitous setting for Halverson. He met his future wife there and latched on with a local information technology company called Hewlett Packard (HP) that would be his professional home for nearly four decades. Halverson recalls his start at Stanford as less than smooth. Being away in the Air Force and catching up on the very latest in complex technical curriculum proved to be an uphill challenge. One class early in his first year left him feeling like he was trying to grasp a foreign language. “They were using words I’d never heard before,” he said. “I went back to my room and cried.” His dejection did not last long. Halverson checked in with his counselor shortly after and decided to enroll in a few undergraduate classes to get up to speed. That summer, he knocked on the door at HP headquarters and asked

for a part-time job. The company – founded by a pair of Stanford electrical engineering grads – was incorporated in 1947 and went public a decade later. Halverson was in the right place at the right time. He worked for Art Fong, one of the developers of the first F.M. radio and found himself toiling away in one of four corners of a lab at HP. Those four corners would later expand into the company’s signature quartet of divisions. Before they were engaged, Harley and Lorraine formed the first Lutheran Student Association at Stanford. Lorraine was there studying education. They were married in 1958, the same year both graduated with their master’s degrees. By the mid-1970s, Halverson was aware of rumblings about his division expanding to the Inland Northwest. By 1981 – with a number of his colleagues already having relocated to HP’s sprawling space in Liberty Lake – Halverson followed suit. He and Lorraine have lived near the lake in the Alpine Shores neighborhood ever since. “We had a chance to buy a home on a lake,” Halverson says. “You couldn’t do that in California.” At its peak, the Liberty Lake HP headquarters was home to 1,500 employees. Halverson worked there until 1991 then, after a brief retirement, returned. He finally retired for good in 1996. Harley and Lorraine became involved in civic causes, weaving

Growing up in Brookings – home of South Dakota State University – Halverson took an early interest in gadgets and was proficient in physics. His dad worked for the Federal Land Bank, a government agency that helped farmers recovering from the Great Depression. His mom was an elementary school teacher with a specialty in English. Halverson recalls miscues in grammar being quickly corrected at home. Other than a two-year detour to Boone, Iowa, Halverson called South Dakota home as a youth. When it came time to enroll in college, he picked the campus in his own backyard. By that time, he was able to translate the complex code required for membership in the radio amateur club. While his family had their own farm – “everyone there had 2 acres back then,” Halverson says – he gravitated toward science instead of soil. He graduated from SDSU in 1954 with a degree in electrical

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themselves into the tapestry of the growing community. Harley has been part of Spokane Valley Rotary for over 30 years while Lorraine cofounded the Liberty Lake Yard Sales and has contributed to Friends of the Library among other groups. They were among the founding members of Valley Bible Church and are currently active at Valley Real Life Church where Harley serves on the mission committee. “When you move to a new community, you don’t expect to see anyone you know,” Halverson recalls of the couple’s introduction to Liberty Lake. “Well, here, it didn’t take long before we started seeing people we knew. I think a lot of it had to do with just trying to make a difference.” Halverson was appointed to the Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District (LLSWD) Board of Commissioners in 1992 and served until November 2006. He was involved in a number of groundbreaking initiatives to improve water quality during his tenure, including bans on dishwashing detergent and laundry soap containing phosphorous, the first restrictions of their kind in the nation. Along the way, Halverson proved to be handy in other areas, designing the map for the leaf and beach clean-up as well as the logo featured on district vehicles. After resigning from the board, he continued to serve with the Liberty Lake Watershed Advisory Committee. Over the years, Halverson has taken stances that were not always popular with certain elements beyond phosphorous. After Liberty Lake incorporated in 2001, he advocated for the city to be represented on the LLSWD Board and got his wish when a city resident, Steve Skipworth, replaced him in 2007. In 2004, Halverson appeared before the Liberty Lake City Council, recommending that the city pursue land acquisition around the lake in order for more residents to have access. He has also brought up the possibility of the area south of Sprague one day becoming part of the city. These days, Halverson enjoys reading and spending time with family. He and Lorraine have traveled to places like Costa Rica, Italy and South Africa – but are always grateful to return home to their haven on Alpine Shores.

Harley Halverson has lived in the Liberty Lake community with his wife Lorraine since 1981. He was part of the migration of Hewlett Packard employees to the Inland Northwest from the Bay Area and served as a commissioner with the Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District from 1992 to 2006. Photo by Craig Howard

Q: Growing up in South Dakota, you were surrounded by agriculture, yet you chose to pursue a career in engineering. Do you ever wonder what kind


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Continued from page 2 of farmer you would have been? A: I grew up in the country surrounded by farms. I could smell the cows whenever I was outside but despite the proximity I was never really interested in becoming a farmer. My dad grew up on a farm and his dad before him but farming was never really an option. You don’t just decide one day to become a farmer. You normally need to inherit the farm and the equipment. Otherwise the cost of getting started is huge. I knew I wanted to be an electrical engineer in the sixth grade. I was always playing with lights, batteries and then radios. I was a ham radio operator in high school. Engineering was just a natural progression for what I was already doing. Q: Your experience at Stanford began with a challenging start. How do you think you were able to turn an intimidating environment into one where you eventually thrived? A: After SDSU and two years in the military, I was ill prepared for graduate school in a state-of-theart school like Stanford. My first day in class they were using words I had never heard such as “complex planes” and “poles” and “zeros.” These were totally foreign concepts to me. I went back to my room and cried. I was expected to know this stuff. How was I ever going to make it? After good counseling, I took some undergraduate courses and was able to get on board. Q: Your determination came into play again when you were able to latch on with Hewlett Packard. How invigorating was it to work for a company like HP that was on the cutting edge of technology at the time? A: HP was just a short distance from Stanford in Palo Alto. My first summer (1957) I went over and knocked on the door to see if I could get a summer job. There were about 200 people in the company then and the receptionist was also the personnel director. She gave me a job. HP had no computers at that time. All the products were electronic measuring instruments like voltmeters, signal generators, power supplies and counters. I worked in the signal generator section which were used, in part, to test radios and radars for the military. I worked for an outstanding manager and stayed for about 35 years. That’s a long time for a summer student. Q:

How daunting was it for

MARCH 2018 • 3

you and Lorraine to leave the Bay Area after all those years and relocate to the Inland Northwest in 1981? A: Spokane treated Californians as enemy invaders. We tried hard to hide our identity. We quickly changed our license plate. We joined a church and of course we had friends at HP. The transition was easy except that we had left some wonderful friends in California. These friends which we made in our 20s and 30s are still some of our closest even after 60 years. Q: I'm not sure many people today realize the ripple effect that this HP location and its employees have had on this area. How would you characterize that impact? A: Because of its size and reputation, HP was able to recruit top engineers from colleges all over the country. This allowed us to maintain our technological lead over the industry but today there is no formal HP in Liberty Lake. We spent many years teaching the Chinese how to do our job, and now they are. There are still about 25 HP employees who work remotely for the Santa Rosa, California division but the local doors have been closed. This has been very painful for many of us but not all the news is negative. Many of these top engineers have found jobs locally and are working for fine companies who are not able, because of their size, to recruit from universities across the country. What was unfortunate for HP has been good for the community.


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Q: When you look back, what are some of the most rewarding aspects of serving with the Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District Board of Commissioners? A: When I first ran for the position of Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District Commissioner there were some who felt I was too tied to HP – my decisions would be what HP wanted. I can say that this was never true. I came with one strong value, that all board decisions should be made unanimously. If we couldn’t agree than we should talk and plan some more until agreement was achieved. That worked, and the board was a team that enjoyed working together. The community is happy when they turn the faucet on and it comes and they flush and it goes as long as it doesn’t cost too much. The job as commissioner is much more than this. As far as I know we are the

See CATALYST, Page 37

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4 • MARCH 2018


Liberty Lake Safeway 2.0 celebrates grand opening

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By Staci Lehman Splash Correspondent

A couple years of rotating grocery stores in Liberty Lake appears to have come to an end last month with the grand opening of the Safeway store that long stood as an Albertsons. On Feb. 4, the community was invited to join in the ceremony as the retail site on the east side of Liberty Lake Road officially became a Safeway and the storewide renovations were revealed. “We want to thank our customers for their patience, support and excitement surrounding this extensive renovation,” said Tairsa Worman, public affairs manager with the Albertsons and Safeway company. The remodel included expansion and improvements to all the store’s specialty departments, including a larger produce department

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with more local, natural, organic, specialty and ethnic options; expanded butcher and bakery departments; an enlarged floral area and, perhaps of most importance to many people, a Starbucks kiosk with a large seating

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“Customers are excited about it,” said Worman of the addition of the coffee chain. Local civic leaders were on hand for the ribbon cutting, including Liberty Lake Mayor Steve Peterson, Spokane Valley Fire Chief Brian Collins, Liberty Lake Police Chief Brian Asmus and Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Katherine Morgan. Safeway has a 15-year history in Liberty Lake, except for the recent stint of a couple years. The former Safeway, located across Liberty Lake Road to the west of the current store, was purchased by Bellingham, Washington-based Haggen Food and Pharmacy in June 2015. Haggen bought almost 150 Albertsons and Safeway stores after the two companies merged and federal anti-trust regulators ordered the sale of some of the properties.






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The acquisition changed Haggen from a regional chain with 18 stores to a company with 164 stores throughout the Western U.S. The former Safeway store closed just a few months after opening as Haggen in late November of 2015. The company filed for bankruptcy and the Liberty Lake site was reopened as a Yoke’s store in March 2016. A number of employees from the original Safeway store, including manager Dan DiCicco, work at the Yoke’s site. Albertsons merged with Safeway in January 2015 for a reported

$9.2 billion. The chain now consists of 2,200 stores and over 250,000 employees, making it the second largest supermarket chain in North America, trailing only Kroger. Even though the former Albertsons store in Liberty Lake was remodeled and renamed Safeway, company officials say that doesn’t mean all Albertsons will be renamed. “We have made the strategic decision to change banners in Liberty Lake only at this time to better serve our customers,” said Worman. “We are constantly evaluating all of our stores and any future decisions will be made on a market-by-market basis.” All 114 employees were kept on in Liberty Lake when Albertsons and Safeway merged and the name changed. Two were even honored at the reopening celebration for their many years at that location. Store Director Warren Fox (who has been at the Liberty Lake location for four years and with the Safeway company for 30 years) recognized Deb Montgomery and Deb Thompson, who have worked for the company for a combined 60 years. Fox also surprised three local social service agencies with checks in the amount of $5,000 each from the Safeway Foundation. Those charities were Blessings Under the Bridge, Feed Spokane and the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS). The Greenacres Middle School Jazz Band provided the soundtrack for the event.

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• If you have a need for immediate police response to a crime.

Safety Scroll

• If you need to report a fire. • If you need to report a medical emergency. • If you need the fire department for a rescue.

Crime Check resource now available to LL residents

Tips for calling: • Know where you are and your telephone number. • Stay calm. • Answer the call receiver’s questions and stay on the line until the call receiver is finished obtaining the necessary information.

By Chief Brian Asmus Liberty Lake Police Department

Since incorporation in 2001, Liberty Lake citizens have not been able to use the crime reporting feature of the regional Crime Check system. This service will now be extended to our citizens starting March 1. Having access to all of the services that Crime Check provides will be a benefit to our community and allow our officers to better serve the needs of our residents, businesses and visitors. Crime Check is a service provided by Spokane County 911 for nonemergency calls. Crime check will now be able to process reports for the Liberty Lake Police Department based on guidelines established by our agency. Residents can call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When to call Crime Check: To file a police report over the phone for a crime that is no longer occurring. • If you witnessed a crime that previously occurred. • If you have information about a past crime. • To add information on previous crime report.


• If you are the victim of a crime that is not in progress. • To report a crime after the fact which does not require an officer at the scene. When to call 911: • If you are the victim of a crime that is in progress or just occurred. • If you are witnessing a crime that is in progress or just occurred. • If you are a victim of a crime and the suspect is still in the area.

• If you are unsure you have an emergency, dial 911 and let the communications center decide what action is necessary. • If you have a general question about a public safety issue or need to request a copy of a police record, you can contact the police department administration office Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (509) 755-1140. You can also visit our website at police.

MARCH 2018 • 5



• Citizens will be able to speak directly with a call receiver instead of having to leave a message. • Crime Check will be able to take certain types of reports over the phone 24/7. • Reports taken by Crime Check will be reviewed by LLPD and assigned for follow up if necessary. • A call receiver will quickly be able to prioritize your call.

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6 • MARCH 2018

The 2018 community yearbook distributes April 2018 I’M A BUSINESS! I’M A RESIDENT!


HOW CAN I GET A COPY? By living in Liberty Lake. Every residential and business address receives a copy in the mail!

SAY THANKS! Are you thankful for that neighbor who always shovels the sidewalks, that volunteer who puts in so many hours at the food bank, that teacher who has invested so much in your kids — or even the local server who always nails your favorite order — then say thanks publicly in the 2018 Yearbook. It’s simple and free to spread the gratitude! Fill out the form at or email a thank you note of 250 words or fewer.

PHOTO CONTEST One of the highlights of our Yearbook is the great community photos, most of which are submitted by residents like you. Do you have a photo of the community to share? You could win $100! Email or visit for more.

ARE YOU LISTED? Every year, we purchase fresh Liberty Lake residential listings from local landline phone providers. If you want to make sure you are in, email Please note, if you are adding or updating a listing, we must hear from you every year. If you have requested in the past to NOT have your listing published, we will remove you again for this year.

“Many community businesses feel like their marketing efforts go out like white noise into a black hole. Our anticipated yearbooks for Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake not only deliver neighborhood business information to the right mailboxes, but they are welcomed inside — so that you can be confident local consumers find value in your message.” — Josh Johnson, Chief Storyteller, Peridot Publishing

HOW WE REACH THEM Unlike spam, junk mail or social media ads, we aren’t trying to trick anyone into a “click” or “open.” By celebrating the community with glossy photos, local stories and ways to give back, this publication is known for its shelf life. Indeed, this is the community’s annual yearbook — a keepsake, not the latest marketing bait. If you are a part of Liberty Lake or the greater Valley area, we would love to spotlight you in our trusted section featuring community businesses and organizations. In addition to the Yearbook for Liberty Lake, we do a second one for Spokane Valley. The combined circulation is 17,000, and about 90 percent of these copies are directly mailed to the best neighborhoods in the greater Valley — including to every address in Liberty Lake.

HOW MUCH Businesses can be a part of the Yearbook for as little as $70. There are great discounts to be in both Liberty Lake and Spokane Valley. Learn more at or contact us today! Advertising Deadline: March 23 | Distribution: April 2018

fast facts about the 2018 yearbooks NEW NAME, SAME GREAT PUBLICATION While these publications have literally been around for years and years, they are being rebranded with the “yearbook” term in 2018 to reflect their longtime role as a community keepsake celebrating local names and faces. 509.999.4567 PO Box 731 Liberty Lake, WA 99019

MENTORS WANTED 2018’s community spotlight is mentoring in local schools. In partnership with Communities in Schools of Spokane County, our yearbooks will provide inspiration and invitation to raise up mentors to work with at-risk students in Spokane Valley schools through this established and respected PrimeTime Mentoring program. If you want more information about how you can invest in local kids over the convenience of a lunch hour, let us help connect you (email for more) — or check out the Yearbook when it comes out in April!

MORE LOCAL CONTENT THAN EVER! While the Yearbooks are trusted for local information, the great local content makes this so much more than a directory. It’s a one-stop, glossy source for photos, food, Q&A, fun, history, quizzes, maps and much more — all original and customized to Liberty Lake and Spokane Valley.

Love your community!

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MARCH 2018 • 7

The Lookout MEMO from the


By Mayor Steve Peterson

Luck of the Irish! I don’t think it’s just luck. It’s planning, hard work and dedication to task that is rewarded for your efforts. For over a decade, we have been pursuing the Henry Road interchange, an expansion to Harvard Road Bridge and additional safe access to the freeway. It started in 2006 with our plans to improve our connectivity across

Liberty Lake earns 15th Tree City designation

By Joice Cary City Horticulturist This April, the city of Liberty Lake will once again celebrate and honor a national tradition that has endured for 133 years – Arbor Day. Mayor Steve Peterson will officially proclaim the day and another community Arbor Day Tree will be planted in our growing urban forest. The city is committed to planting and caring for trees and has demonstrated this by applying to the Arbor Day Foundation for the “Tree City USA” designation. Every year since 2003, the city has been approved for this honor.

I -90 to the River District and its planned retail development called Telido Station. These projects have been heavily dependent on partnerships. First and foremost is the partnership with our local legislators who helped get it on the “Connecting Washington” investment package. Everyone from the 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th legislative districts and the Senate and House Transportation committees helped carry the water but special thanks goes to Senator Mike Padden from the 4th. Now add in our partnerships with the Spokane County Commissioners, the city of Partnering with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of Foresters, the Arbor Day Foundation created the Tree City USA national recognition program in 1976. Early this February, the city learned that it has again been awarded Tree City USA distinction. The Tree City USA accolade is awarded annually to cities that adhere to four recognized standards which include: establishing and maintaining a tree board, having a tree care ordinance, budgeting at least $2 per capita annually to the community forestry program and proclaiming and observing Arbor Day. Statistics compiled by ArborDay. org list benefits enjoyed by citizens fortunate to live in a Tree City USA community such as: reduced energy bills, increased property value, improved water quality and reduction of personal stress. So many benefits from a tree! Only 90 communities in

Spokane Valley, Spokane Valley Fire Department and Central Valley School District who helped add fuel to the urgency to keep it moving forward. They were literally all on the bus last fall with our Washington State Secretary of Transportation and his local WSDOT administration led by Mike Gribner. All came to visit our city to see, first-hand, the need for this addition of improvements to our infrastructure. Katy Allen our city administrator was able to prepare the meeting room with a historical perspective, a timeline of activity and complete traffic studies along with preliminary design work to support Washington state have earned the Tree City USA ranking. We can all be proud that the city of Liberty Lake is one of them.

Meeting changes prioritize transparency, information sharing

By Shane Brickner Mayor Pro Tem You might be asking yourself, "How does the change with City Council committee meetings affect me?" You also may have not heard about the changes. so I wanted to shed some light as to what we are doing. The City Council originally had committees of three council members for finance, community development and public safety. These committee members, along with city staff and citizens if they wanted to attend, would meet once to twice a month depending on the committee. The challenge is that the rest of the council members would not be in attendance and would later hear a very abbreviated version of what was discussed. The other challenge that we encountered revolved

March 2018 this investment! Finally, if it were not for our creation of LIFT (2008), TIF (2006) and Harvard Road Mitigation Fund (1996) we would not have the matching funds available to do added design and road improvements. These were truly the springboard for our future success on Henry Road and good roads in Liberty Lake. All of our partnerships, like the Irish saying goes “provide the wind to be always at our back as the road comes up to meet us” here in Liberty Lake, Spokane County’s premier address! around citizens’ involvement. One of the other items that has been discussed over the past few months among the council is transparency. This transparency is not only for council and city staff, but also for community. So, to resolve these many challenges, the council decided to transition to a format in which we meet at 5:30 p.m. the night of council meetings (the first and third Tuesday of the month). From 5:30 to 6:45 p.m., the topics mentioned above will be discussed all at once so the entire council and citizens who attend can hear what is discussed, creating a format for stronger engagement with greater transparency among everyone involved. The regular council meeting will start at 7 p.m. after this meeting in which citizens will have an opportunity to engage their council members with questions or ideas they have. So, please come to the meetings to see firsthand what we are talking about. We implemented this program at the beginning of February and I have to say it was very impressive to see such involvement and communication. I have to truly commend the City Council and city staff. The council is also meeting on the opposite Tuesdays, sometimes once to twice a month to discuss high level city business in order to create a short-and long-term plans for our city. This commitment of time and effort is a commitment to our future as a city and citizens. •

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8 • MARCH 2018


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Council workshop focuses on revenue sources, priorities By Craig Howard Splash Editor On an election night in Spokane County, the Liberty Lake City Council held a special workshop to cast opinions on municipal priorities and discuss revenue sources that will fund city services in the near and distant future. By the end of the Feb. 13 meeting, the governing board had made one thing clear – the city will need to bolster its funding base and sales tax is the most viable avenue. “How are we going to stay stable providing the same services we are obligated to provide, much less others?” asked Council Member Odin Langford. “The only way we’re going to address that issue is by taxes and it’s got to be sales tax.” Based on revenue projections provided by Finance Director R.J. Stevenson, council is aware that the city’s annual income is anticipated to decline while expenses for services are going in the opposite direction. Stevenson’s forecast looks at years through 2026. “If our expenses are growing at say 3 percent and our revenue is growing at 1 to 2 percent, you don’t have to be a financial genius to see that will turn us upside down,” said Council Member Mike Kennedy. “We just have to be very astute in what we spend our money on.” The meeting opened with City Administrator Katy Allen reviewing categories council has discussed at past gatherings when the topic of priorities has been discussed. The list included: business and economic development; emphasis on family and quality of life; health and welfare; civic pride and aesthetics; financial sustainability; asset management; citizen engagement/ transparency; external factors and a category simply titled “other.” As far as prioritizing services in conjunction with revenue, Mayor Steve Peterson said it boils down to a simple equation. “You have to figure out how to maintain the quality of life and the safety in a city and you set your taxes accordingly,” Peterson said. Currently, the city has three primary sources of revenue: sales tax, utility tax and property tax. In recent years, sales tax has taken up a larger piece of the pie chart, currently ringing in at 60 percent of overall income. “In a perfect world, I would like to freeze the rate for property tax

and utility tax and bring people in to spend more money to generate more sales tax,” Langford said. The most recent numbers show that only 6 percent of the sales tax total is generated from restaurants and hotels. RV and auto sales represent the biggest chunk at 32 percent. Construction comes in at 15 percent. Council has frequently mentioned that leaning too heavily on RV and auto sales may not be the best strategy, considering both have shown to be volatile when the economy is not as strong. “Diverse sales tax revenue and future income sources are going to be big factors of mine,” said Mayor Pro Tem Shane Brickner. “As I’ve said in the past, it’s not just where we’re going to be in the next year or two but where we’re going to be at full growth.” Kennedy said the city needs to be more active recruiting new business into the area. “We need to work with developers to say, ‘What do you see, where would like to see your company expand?’ We can’t roll our eyes at

developers. That’s what builds this town.” Allen said the cost of land and the city’s relatively strict zoning regulations have both been deterrents to some companies relocating in Liberty Lake. She also pointed out that the city is in a difficult position being so close to business-friendly Idaho that presents fewer hurdles in areas like minimum wage and business taxes. Then there is the challenge of making sure roads and other infrastructure can keep pace with the arrival of retail sites that generate more traffic. Stevenson brought up the city of Burlington on the west side of the state that generates 76 percent of its revenue through sales tax. Yet after retail areas were built up, the city has experienced growing issues with traffic and the impact on roads. “We’re also getting older as a city,” Langford added. “We have infrastructure needs that are going to change like the maintenance of roads.” Raising the property tax rate is another option, said Stevenson who reminded council that his revenue

See COUNCIL, Page 9

City Administrator Katy Allen keeps a written record of City Council feedback at a workshop on Jan. 23 regarding priorities for an inaugural long-term strategic plan. Council followed up the discussion with another workshop on Feb. 13 that focused on municipal objectives and sources of revenue. Photo by Craig Howard

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Continued from page 8 projections over the next several years are conservative. The city has a banked capacity of around $150,000 in property tax. “We’re well below limit in property tax rate,” Stevenson said. We could go up to $2.10 per $1,000 (of assessed property value). We’re currently at $1.60 per $1,000.” The city also has the option of returning to a rate of 6 percent on part or all of the utility tax that is currently at 3 percent on gas, electric, garbage, phone, and cable, Taxing water and sewer is also an option. “I don’t want to be in a position where we raise utility tax if we don’t have to,” Brickner said. Peterson pointed out that city’s anticipated growth help fund city services from standpoint of property tax utility tax.

the will the and

“We want to be sustainable,” he said. “I think growth will help keep us sustainable.” Council agreed that the city should focus more on promoting local businesses. “There’s a of people who don’t know the retail we have here,” Brickner said. “We have to do a better job getting residents to shop and eat in Liberty Lake.” Allen suggested a citysponsored workshop consisting of “local business owners to see what they need to do grow their businesses and why they are in Liberty Lake.” Council also agreed that a survey of residents to establish municipal priorities would be a logical next step. With council colleagues Cris Kaminskas, Hugh Severs and Bob Moore missing the meeting with excused absences, no official decision was made but Allen said she would at least start researching some options and establishing criteria for a survey. “You engage the community, that’s the number one thing,” Peterson said. “You ask, ‘What are your values and what are you willing to pay for? We should be engaging the community as to their needs and expectations. It’s a priority to get that engagement started and that information out.” Changing gears on Henry Road project As the legend goes, the mighty John Henry outpaced a steam-

powered hammer in the race to build a railroad tunnel. The timetable to construct the Henry Road interchange has progressed a bit slower.

A topic at Liberty Lake City Hall for a decade or more, it appears the multi-million dollar project has now shifted gears. At the Feb. 20 City Council meeting, Mike Gribner, Eastern Regional director for the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) said the original idea for a new Henry Road connection to I-90 has not yet met the traffic requirements for the design and construction to take hold. A price tag of $26 million has been mentioned for the work. “I think at some point in the future that connection will happen but we’re too early in the process now,” Gribner said. Instead, WSDOT, Mayor Peterson, City Administrator Allen and local legislators have been discussing an alternative approach that would address a handful of smaller projects to improve connectivity and traffic flow along Liberty Lake’s main corridor. Gribner said the talk revolves around not missing the boat on the state funds that are available. “If we’re not careful, that money is going to be lifted out of the region,” he said. “It’s a challenging and difficult conversation but the changes are really healthy changes. This is a start of more political conversation and more change in the project.” One alternate project would involve addressing the congestion on the north ramp terminal at the Barker Road interchange with intersection improvements, most likely a roundabout. Cost is anticipated at $3.9 million. A pair of other projects in the same price range – improving I-90 westbound on-ramps from Harvard Road ($4 million) and adding a third lane as part of the expansion of the Harvard Road bridge ($4.5 million) – would be added to the new capital projects wish list. Finally, the biggest ticket item – a new two-lane street connecting Country Vista Drive to Mission Avenue ($14 million) is expected, in Gribner’s words, to “improve connectivity of the Liberty Lake street system.” Gribner added that the “Connecting Washington” transportation funding program “has not been spending out as fast as we thought it would.” He said that while the powers that be in Olympia had approved the

scope change of the Henry Road work, the funds have not been allotted for the 2019-21 biennium. While $500,000 may be available for a design phase, Gribner said Sen. Mike Padden of the 4th Legislative District that includes Liberty Lake is actively pursuing additional dollars for the newly proposed upgrades. “You want to be ready to pick up that money that has not been spent,” Gribner added. “The idea that you’re ready to go is setting things back up for that conversation.” Peterson – who had a flight to Olympia the morning after the meeting to talk roads with lawmakers – gave Gribner credit for “providing leadership to move this forward.” In other city news: • Council heard a presentation from Phil Champlin, executive director of the HUB Sports Center, the Liberty Lake-based recreation venue that celebrated its 10-year anniversary last year. Champlin said the long road to owning the building is nearly over with a mortgage balance of only $300,000 remaining on the $3.2 million purchase price. An anonymous donation from the Inland Northwest Community Foundation, a $350,000 donation from the Murdock Charitable Trust and a $800,000 earmark in the state capital budget have been keys to the capital campaign. Champlin noted that 2017 was a banner year for the HUB with a record 180,155 visitors and an economic impact of around $7 million. “What you’ve done over the last 10 years has been outstanding,” Council Member Kaminskas told Champlin. • Bill Robinson, owner of Robinson Research, provided an overview of what the city could expect from a potential resident survey of municipal priorities. Robinson, who has conducted around 3,000 surveys since starting his company in 1979, talked about the value of both focus groups and phone surveys in gathering public opinion. • Council was updated on the need for a public works yard that would house the city’s growing inventory of maintenance vehicles and equipment. • Council awarded the base bid to Bacon Concrete Inc. for the Country Vista pedestrian crossing project in the amount of $46,520 with a $2,500 contingency. • Council Member Mike Kennedy will be the city’s next representative on the Spokane Transit Authority (STA) Board of Directors.

MARCH 2018 • 9


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10 • MARCH 2018

SVFD ReportMarch 2018 From Splash News Sources

Spokane Valley Fire Department crews responded to a total of 94 emergency calls in the greater Liberty Lake area* from Jan. 22 to Feb. 19: • Emergency medical services – 72 • Motor vehicle accidents – 4 • Hazardous Material – 1 • Building alarms – 9 • Service calls – 1 • Dispatched and cancelled en route – 7 *Service area for SVFD Station #3 in Liberty Lake Alarm activation – Jan. 22 – SVFD crews responded to a fire alarm activation in the Liberty Lake Town Center at 1332 N. Liberty Lake Road just after 1:30 p.m. Crews arrived to find the sprinkler system discharging water into the Ding How Restaurant. The sprinkler pipe had been broken at the joint after being hit by a ‘man lift’ during a remodel project. Firefighters shut off the sprinkler system

and assisted with the removal of water from the restaurant and two adjoining businesses. A Fire Watch notice was issued for the entire strip mall until repairs could be completed. Service call – Feb. 7 – Shortly before 2:30 p.m., SVFD firefighters responded to the 1500 block of North Madson Lane. The homeowner reported being unable to shut off a fireplace fan that was making an abnormal noise. Firefighters heard the fireplace fan making a seizing noise. They shut off the fan and the natural gas to the fireplace and advised the homeowner to call for repair. Alarm activation – Feb. 8 – SVFD crews responded to a fire alarm at the Meadowwood Technology Campus, 24001 E. Mission Ave. at 12:45 p.m. They arrived to find a crowd of people outside the evacuated large commercial building with no indication of a fire. Firefighters learned that building maintenance crews were doing routine maintenance inside the basement and activated the fire alarm system after disturbing a considerable amount of dust. SVFD crews investigated the basement work area before advising that

the building’s fire alarm system be reset. Hazardous material – Feb. 19 – Just before 9:45 a.m., SVFD firefighters responded to a reported natural gas leak at 23500 E. Sprague Ave. Upon arrival, the crew found an Avista natural gas transfer station overpressure dispersing gas out of the top vent. Avista was notified and arrived shortly to repair the equipment. Important reminder --As daylight savings time returns March 11, be sure to test your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms to ensure they are in good working order. Replace batteries as needed. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month and batteries should be replaced at least once or twice a year. Smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years.

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

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











New homes in Spokane, Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Post Falls & Coeur d’Alene. gr

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MARCH 2018 • 11

Genoway appointed as newest LLSWD commissioner

senior member of the board that also includes Kottayam Natarajan, said Genoway will be a good addition to the mix. “He's retired from city of Spokane, recommended by Katy Allen, lives in the city and is willing to step forward to serve as an elected official, all of which are pretty good qualifications,” he said.

By Craig Howard Splash Editor

As required by the state, Genoway will need to run in this fall’s general election in order to fulfill Skipworth’s six-year elected term through 2019. If he decides to run for his own six-year term, he would have to put his name on the ballot again in the fall of 2019.

With a history that goes back to 1973, the Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District (LLSWD) has featured a roll call of distinguished leaders who have helped steer the utility. The latest addition to the organization’s board of commissioners is no exception. Bill Genoway – who spent 28 years with the city of Spokane’s public works department – was appointed by the LLSWD board on Dec. 11 and sworn in Jan. 8 to replace Steve Skipworth, who moved out of the district boundaries late last year after serving as a commissioner since 2007. Genoway was one of four candidates who applied to be Skipworth’s successor. “All those who applied would have made good selections,” Genoway

Bill Genoway

Contributed Photo

said. “I just happened to throw my hat into the ring and I got it.” Genoway was told about the application process by Liberty Lake City Adminstrator Katy Allen and encouraged to apply. Allen worked at the city of Spokane when Genoway – who rose to the rank of public works finance manager was there. Commissioner Tom Agnew, the

Genoway appeared at the Jan. 16 Liberty Lake City Council meeting as the district’s representative on the agenda but admits he didn’t have much to say after only serving in the capacity for just over a week. “I told them they may have some questions but I probably didn’t have any answers,” Genoway joked. Bill and his wife Gayle have lived in the Liberty Lake area since 2005, initially residing south of Sprague Avenue. They moved within city limits three years ago. Genoway will be only the second commissioner

since the incorporation of Liberty Lake in 2001 to live within municipal boundaries. Skipworth was the first. “I think having a city resident on the board is kind of important, especially when you consider issues like growth and infrastructure,” Genoway said. Genoway says his background in public works should be a plus in his new role. “I have some idea how sewer and water systems work,” he said. “I kind of know the lingo.” A native of Spokane, Genoway graduated from Rogers High School and went on to earn a degree in accounting from Eastern Washington University. He worked as an accountant for a company selling earth movers and later for a mortgage business before latching on with the city of Spokane, his professional home for nearly three decades. Genoway has volunteered with a special education program at Central Valley High School for the past year. He sees being part of the team at LLSWD as another way to make a positive contribution. “It seemed like a good way to give back to the community,” he said.

12 • MARCH 2018

Built to Last – Greenstone known for quality homes, nourishing neighborhoods By Craig Howard Splash Editor

Not long after Liberty Lake became Spokane County’s newest incorporated city in 2001, a conversation began at municipal headquarters about an addition to the community’s extensive trail system. That is, until the design phase hit a snag – or more specifically, a gap. Former Community Development Director Doug Smith remembers the city working with various funding sources on a trail extension that would build upon the established pedestrian-friendly network. The project was falling into place until it was discovered that a patch of property owned by Greenstone Homes was in the future trail’s path and would have to be negotiated to secure an uninterrupted route.

COVER STORY “Jim has been able to see a community beyond a tract of homes,” Richard said. “He’s recognized as one of the best developers in our region for the way he is able to deliver.” Richard applauds Frank for one of his most recent efforts that has nothing to do with moving soil. In appeals to the Spokane City Council, Frank has spoken out on the municipal zoning code and the way it has restricted redevelopment in the West Central neighborhood. Richard said Frank’s ideas would open up more home ownership opportunities for low-income residents. “Jim is smart, fair, honest and just a good guy,” Richard said. The Greenstone Effect With a motto of “Enriched Living, Lasting Value,” Greenstone has been enriching the regional housing market for 35 years. The Liberty Lake-based company has been the catalyst for large-scale residential

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projects like Coeur d’Alene Place, Montrose in Post Falls and Kendall Yards just north of downtown Spokane.

It is in Liberty Lake, however, that the company has made the most impact. From early developments such as Meadowwood and Big Trout Lodge to more recent neighborhoods like Rocky Hill and the burgeoning River District, Spokane County’s easternmost jurisdiction bears the stamp of Greenstone around every turn. “Greenstone’s energy, talent and leadership provided the development standard prior to the city and set the diversity in housing we see taking place today,” said Liberty Lake Mayor Steve Peterson. “They also were there to enhance our business community with the Meadowwood Technology Campus and the business areas that will be developed in the River District.” Whether



Years before incorporation, Greenstone implemented the Harvard Road Mitigation Fund that asks developers with projects in Liberty Lake to contribute to a pool that addresses necessary infrastructure improvements. They are also given the option to conduct their own impact study and pay for any necessary upgrades themselves. The mitigation fund, now overseen by the city, has been a key to ensuring that roads and utilities keep up with the pace of construction. “Greenstone seems to want to offer to help before being told to help,” said Peterson. “It’s very unusual for developers and builders to do in this day and age.” Roots of Greenstone Frank grew up in the Emerson Garfield section of Spokane’s North Central neighborhood, not far from Kendall Yards, an area now characterized by trendy restaurants, boutique retail establishments and Greenstone’s signature walking-friendly grid.

At the time, City Hall was located on the ground floor at the Greenstone building on Meadowwood Lane. Smith headed upstairs one day to talk with Greenstone founder and CEO Jim Frank about the issue and uttered only a few words before Frank let him know the city could count on the land in question being donated – end of discussion.

Frank’s roots are a bit humbler. He was the oldest of four children whose father worked as brickmason. Frank put himself through college at Gonzaga by working part-time jobs. He earned an engineering degree, got a job in air and water pollution control but eventually returned to GU, this time as a law student.

“It was such a generous moment,” Smith recalls. “Here we were working on one of the city’s first public works projects and Jim was there to assist.”

After receiving his law degree, Frank latched on with the Spokane County Air Pollution Control Authority, then started is own legal practice specializing in land use and environmental law. It was in this capacity that Frank worked with developers, business owners, homeowners and neighborhood groups, gaining a unique perspective on the diversity of priorities and opinions related to property development.

Prior to taking over the community development reins in Liberty Lake, Smith crossed paths with Frank and Greenstone while with the Spokane County planning department. “It was always a positive working with Jim,” said Smith. “He’s building communities and doing a great job of it.” Former Spokane County Commissioner Mark Richard has a connection to Greenstone and Frank that goes back some 30 years when he worked in residential real estate. Now president of the Downtown Spokane Partnership, Richard credits Frank for “transforming many communities.”

family homes or multi-family dwellings, Greenstone is known for providing high-quality residential spaces and infusing those neighborhoods with nourishing elements like sidewalks, trees, parks and trails. When working with the jurisdictions where they build, the company is known for collaboration not conflict.

Greenstone Homes is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. The Liberty Lake-based development and property management company now includes around 100 employees. Contributed photo

“I learned that those sides have a lot more in common than people generally give them credit for,” Frank says. “Mostly people who are developing are trying to do the right thing and they're trying to


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River District Rewind – Northside project rings with Greenstone traits

The main office of Greenstone Homes is located on Meadowwood Lane in Liberty Lake. The company is responsible for thriving developments in communities like Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls, Spokane and Liberty Lake that emphasize greenspace, trees and pedestrian-friendly amenities. Contributed photo


with Valley real estate developers Grant Person and Bill Feldman.

follow regulations. And, very often, people who are in a community want to see economic development happen – they just want to have it happen the right way.”

“I thought our chances were slim,” Frank said of bidding for the project. “To my surprise, the golf club liked our proposal and design. It turned out to be a successful project and put us on the map, so to speak.”

Continued from page 12

In 1976, Jim and his brothers, Bob and Jerry, purchased a company in Greenacres that sold gypsum and limestone to the local agricultural industry. They owned the business until 1983, the year Greenstone Homes was founded. When it came time to decide on a name for the venture, the brothers took the “Green” from Greenacres and the “stone” from limestone and Greenstone was born. “Over the years, it’s worked out well,” Frank said of the name. “It says a lot about who we are and what we do.” Garden Springs and a Golf Course Frank’s first real estate endeavor involved the purchase of surplus off-site military housing in the Sunset Hill area of northwest Spokane. He collaborated with real estate businessman Ken Tupper on the project to rehab the homes at a cost of $12,000 each and sell them for between $25,000 to $30,000. “We had this project so we had to form a company,” Frank recalls. After the initial success, Greenstone took on a more ambitious challenge – the construction of a new clubhouse at the Manito Golf and Country Club that included new infrastructure and reconfiguring part of the course. This time, Frank worked

Main Street and Greenstone By the late 1970s, a developer named Bill Main Sr. was working on a far-fetched idea to turn the barren sprawl of Liberty Lake into an urban village. The establishment of the Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District earlier that decade and the arrival of technology giant Hewlett Packard (HP) as the community’s first major commercial tenant signaled a good start. Main envisioned a mixeduse community with a blend of residential and retail characteristics while prioritizing greenspace, sidewalks and trails. His visit to HP’s Stanford Park campus in Palo Alto California added inspiration to the concept. "Bill Sr. was a visionary," said Frank. "He had some great ideas about land use. The original concept of Meadowwood, which we eventually built out, was the concept that Bill initially had." Main bought 1,300 acres of property from longtime Liberty Lake resident Elmer Schneidmiller with the intention of building the residential cornerstone of his blueprint, first called “Homestead” By the mid-1980s, however, a nationwide recession and the

See BUILDER, Page 22

By Craig Howard Splash Editor It’s a special occasion when Greenstone founder Jim Frank appears on a meeting agenda at Liberty Lake City Hall. Such was the case last September when the company’s retired CEO provided the City Council with an update on the River District, Greenstone’s sweeping project that will eventually cover 900 acres with a blend of residential and commercial development, greenspace and pedestrian amenities. Back in 2006, Frank had this to say about the blueprint that some had coined “Liberty Lake 2.0” for its ambitious plans to build up the city’s north side bordering the Spokane River. "This project will set the tone for the future of the economy, the quality of life in Liberty Lake and the entire region," Frank said that August. "There's an enormous amount of responsibility and great stewardship that comes with a project like this. Our goal is to look at the river and create a project that celebrates and honors the river. It will enhance the quality of the river and habitat, provide better access to the river both visually and physically and have an urban style and character." Frank began his report last fall with a salute to the community he’s called home since 1993. “There’s something very special about Liberty Lake,” he said. “A lot of it is the civic involvement. We’ve had remarkable civic involvement for a community that’s relatively small and we’ve had wonderful leadership.” In addressing the “mixed-use” qualities of the River District, Frank said the goal is to establish a closeknit area that is accessible by foot. While the River District already features a variety of homes, townhouses and apartments, the commercial chapter is still ahead. “Mixed-use development is more urban in character,” Frank told council. “There is higher density involved and that creates the opportunity for a walkable neighborhood. The idea of mixeduse development is you can be less dependent on cars and more dependent on bikes and walking.” Frank called River District’s yetto-be-established Town Square “the core of the development” with some office uses as well as residential units. “It will have very much an urban character to it with street fronting,”

MARCH 2018 • 13

Frank said. “You’re bringing uses directly up to sidewalk and putting parking behind it. This makes it more walkable and pedestrian friendly.” Millennials, Frank told those around the dais, “like living in an urban environment.” Greenstone’s transformation of the area just north of downtown Spokane known as Kendall Yards is one of the most relevant local examples of the trend. Townhomes and apartments are located a stone’s throw from restaurants and a variety of retail establishments including My Fresh Basket, a grocery store that Frank helped establish which prioritizes locally grown food. “We’re going to see an urbanization of the suburbs,” Frank said. “They (Millennials) are really the future of our economic growth. In the River District, we’re trying to create a vibrant streetscape along with good connections to Centennial Trail.” Frank said the River District commercial area – named Telido Station after the train stop from long ago that served as the gateway to Liberty Lake’s resort community – will include an artisan district featuring both retail and wholesale enterprises that will “celebrate the agricultural history of the area.” River District terrain will include better parking than its Spokane counterpart – to the tune of four parking spaces per 1,000 square feet of development compared to two spaces per 1,000 feet in Kendall Yards. Trutina, built for the 55-plus crowd, is located east of the Town Center and will eventually feature 500 independent living units with single-family homes representing two thirds of that total and multifamily dwellings comprising the remaining third. About 15 percent of the neighborhood is built out now with some spaces occupied. The residences come with options for various levels of maintenance to keep people securely in their own homes. Addressing a topic that has been at the forefront of discussion in Liberty Lake of late, Frank said Greenstone strives for a balance between single-family and multifamily development. “There’s a balance between rental housing and for-sale housing that we try to maintain,” he said. “So about 30 percent of the community is rental is 70 percent is home ownership. Our goal is to have an economically diverse community and an appropriate balance between multi-family and single-family housing. That’s the goal we try to achieve within the community.”


14 • MARCH 2018

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Calendar of Events COMMUNITY EVENTS March 2 | Liberty Lake Storytelling Club – 2 p.m., Talon Hills Senior Center, 24950 E Hawkstone Loop, Liberty Lake. This is a new venue for anyone who likes to learn about the experiences that other people have had in their lifetime. Held on the first and third Fridays of each month. The March 2 event will feature Stan Inzer, a local Vietnam combat veteran. For more information, email Steve and Julie Craig at steveandjuliecraig@ 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 March 31 | 22nd annual Liberty Lake Easter Egg Hunt – 11 a.m., Pavillion Park, 727 N. Molter Road. Event is for toddlers through fourth graders. Children must be signed up in advance. Registration is Monday, March 26 between 3 and 6 p.m. or Thursday, March 29 between 3 and 8 p.m. at the Liberty Lake Municipal Library. Cost: $2 per child (cash or check only) or six plastic eggs filled with wrapped candy per child. Volunteers needed. Contact: Alisha Davis 921-6746 or Davis72205@

RECURRING ACT 2 senior classes | Affordable classes offered by Community Colleges of Spokane to those who are retired or planning to retire. A wide range of courses from geology and history to exercise and art are offered at CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place, as well as other locations throughout the area. “Focused Fitness on Dishman Mica,” a yoga class, is now part of the schedule. More at www.sccel. 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 March 23-24 | Chorale Coeur d’Alene presents “Requiem,” a concert of two masterworks, Trinity Lutheran Church in Coeur d’Alene. Also on April 8 at Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox in Spokane. The 70-member chorale is accompanied by piano, organ and chamber orchestra. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and active military and $10 for students and are available at Trinity Lutheran Church, Peace Lutheran Church and Northwest Music Center in Coeur d’Alene, (for tickets to the Spokane concert), (for tickets to all concerts). For more information please visit, or call 208-446-2333, or e-mail

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Stop in during the month of March to pick up a free leak test kit!

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22510 E. Mission Ave. Liberty Lake, WA

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RECURRING Pages of Harmony | 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Wednesdays. Thornhill Valley Chapel, 1400 S. Pines Road. If you enjoy singing, you will love the four-part, a cappella harmony of this men’s barbershop chorus. More at Spirit of Spokane Chorus | 6:45 p.m., Tuesdays. Opportunity Presbyterian Church, 202 N. Pines Road. Make new friends by joining this women’s chorus, specializing in four-part, a cappella harmony in the barbershop style. More at 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.

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.

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 2018 • 15

The Splash

16 • MARCH 2018


13th Annual

Father Daughter Dance 2018


SATURDAY, MARCH 3, 2018 7 TO 9 P.M.

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:


(509) 218-1648 | 23424 Swing Lane, Liberty Lake WA 99019 |

The Splash

CV bond victory to fund third high school By Craig Howard Splash Editor It’s official – the Central Valley School District (CVSD) will become the second district in Spokane County with at least three traditional high schools. The passage of a $129.9 million capital facilities bond on Feb. 13 ensured funding for the third campus to be built on land at 16th Avenue and Henry Road, just southwest of Liberty Lake. Needing a super majority of 60 percent or higher, the initiative earned just over 70 percent of the vote. “We are very pleased with the results,” said CVSD Superintendent Ben Small. “With a high bar of 60 percent to reach in order to pass, we are grateful for anything higher. We believe we have built trust with our Central Valley community to deliver on our promises. We will continue to earn that trust in this next phase of projects.” The district purchased property for the high school in 1980. It will be built to house 1,600 students. The timeline for construction is addressed on the CVSD website, stating “school design will begin immediately following voter approval.” The school is expected to complete by 2021. Last month’s bond – CVSD’s second capital facilities vote to pass in the last three years – will also mean a new middle school in the River District area of Liberty Lake near the HUB Sports Center. Renovations to Horizon Middle School are also part of the funding picture, increasing student capacity from 480 to 600. Finally, upgrades to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems at Broadway, Progress and University elementary schools, as well as Summit School, are included. CVSD also passed its School Programing and Operations Replacement Levy by just over 70 percent last month. The levy – representing nearly 12 percent of the district’s budget – will raise roughly $54 million over the next three years and provide funds for technology, textbooks, transportation, sports,

MARCH 2018 • 17

music, drama, textbooks, special education, utilities and more. The levy will mean $1.50 per $1,000 in assessed property value over three years starting in 2019. CVSD’s Facilities Planning and High School Planning committees culled over 9,000 comments from residents leading up to the bond vote. The 20-year note will include no increase in taxes since the district will have retired a prior bond payment. The rate will remain at $1.79 per $1,000 of assessed property value starting in 2019. For a home valued at $171,900, the bond will mean $307.70 per year. “The biggest key to the passage of this bond is that we continue to listen to our community regarding the need to solve overcrowding in our high schools and middle schools without increasing the tax rate,” Small said. “We have asked and received a great deal of feedback through multiple methods and opportunities and will continue to do so as we work through our planning process.” The transition of district boundaries in connection with the new schools is not expected until 2020. A “phased-in” student transition plan for the third high school has been adopted by the CVSD Board of Directors and is included on the district website at “A public process will occur based on guidance from the school board,” said Marla Nunberg, CVSD spokesperson of the steps to establish new boundaries. “The closer the proximity to the school, the more likely students are to attend.” Looking ahead to the fall of 2021, the district has indicated that all incoming seniors will remain at their original high schools. Incoming juniors will have the option of attending the school they were enrolled at the previous school year even if they live within the boundaries of the new high school. The same alternative applies to students with older siblings enrolled at Central Valley or University high schools in the fall of 2021. Small said the new middle school will go out to bid this March with plans to be complete by the fall of 2019. Horizon Middle School will be under design this year and next with an opening set for fall of 2020. “Being able to continue with our 2010 Capital Facilities Plan is

essential to having the safe and appropriate learning environment that our students deserve,” Small said. “This latest passage allows us to complete three more projects, which puts us on track, all without raising the tax rate as our community has asked.” In February 2015, CSVD passed its first capital facilities improvement vote since 1998. The district leveraged the bond three years ago into $103.8 million in state matching funds, meaning 85 cents in state money for every $1 of locally generated funds. The latest bond is expected to include $27.4 million in state matching dollars. “These schools have such a different learning environment,” said CVSD Board Member Keith Clark of the buildings affected by 2015 funds. “I think people saw these projects come in on time and under budget and it built increased community confidence in the district.” Small pointed to the work of a citizen-led committee as “crucial to the passage of this bond.” “I would like to commend the leadership of (committee cochairs) Marty Dickinson and Kim Pearman-Gillman,” Small said. “This citizens committee reached out in a variety of ways to the constituents to ensure that they were well informed.”

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The committee’s approach included doorbelling, phone banks, yard signs, group presentations, bumper stickers and more. “We wanted to make the business case for why this was important, from the standpoint of economic development,” Pearman-Gillman said. “As your schools go, so goes your community. It’s about paying it forward, even if you don’t have kids in the district.” Pearman-Gillman commended Small and Deputy Superintendent Jay Rowell for asking the right questions about facilities and the future.


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“The district did a really good job of listening to voters,” she said. “They have also been very good stewards of the community’s money.” Pointing to the sweep of levy and bond victories by area school districts on last month’s ballot, Pearman-Gillman said the election sent a positive message. “In a general sense, I think it says how important education is to our community.”

Dr. Ross Simonds • Dr. Cliff Cullings Dr. Amanda Roper • Dr. Erin Merri�ield 22106 E. Country Vista Dr. Suite D


The Splash

18 • MARCH 2018

SPOKANE MARKET Days on Market STATISTICS Days on Market Days onon Market Days Market

6% 6% 6% 6% 6% 21% 6% 6%

Days on Market

Days Market Daysonon Market Days on Market

From 54 YTD 2017 to 57 YTD 2018 From 54 YTD 2017 to 57 YTD 2018 From 54 YTD 2017 to 57 YTD2018 2018 From56 54 YTD 2017 YTD From YTD 2016 toto 4457 YTD 2017* From 54 YTD 2017 to 57 YTD 2018

Median Home Price Median Home Price Median Home Price Median Home Price Median Home Price Median Home Price Median Home Price Median Home Price

From 54 YTD 2017 to 57 YTD 2018

From 54 YTD 2017 to 57 YTD 2018

7% 7% 7% 7% 7% 8% 7%

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

— Dr. Timothy J. Casey

Liberty Lake resident Member, American Dental Association


From $195,000 YTD 2017 to $209,000 YTD 2018 From YTD2017 2017toto$209,000 $209,000 From$195,000 $195,000 YTD YTDYTD 20182018 From $195,000 YTD 2017 to $209,000 YTD 2018

From $195,000 YTD 2017 to $209,000 YTD 2018 From $195,000 2016 to $210,000 2017* FromYTD $195,000 YTD 2017 toYTD $209,000 YTD 2018 Months of Inventory Months of Inventory From $195,000 YTD 2017 to $209,000 YTD 2018 Months of Inventory

Months of Inventory Months MonthsofofInventory Inventory Months of Inventory Months of Inventory

33% 33% 33%

33% 33% 33% 33% 18%

From 3.84 YTD 2017 to 2.04 YTD 2018

From 3.84 YTD 2017 to 2.04 YTD 2018 From 3.84 YTD 2017 to 2.04 YTD 2018 From 3.84 YTD 2017 to 2.04 YTD 2018

From 3.84 2017 2.04 YTD 2018 From 3.84 YTDYTD 2017 to to 2.04 YTD 2018 *Information obtained from From YTD 2017 to 2.04Listing YTD 2018 the 3.84 Spokane Multiple

From 1.83Service. months Information YTD 2016 to 1.49 months YTD 2017* deemed

reliable but not guaranteed. For Single Family Homes and Condos, site built less than 1 acre, Spokane County, YTD nformation obtained the Spokane Multiple Listing throughfrom January

rvice. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

or Single Family Homes and Condos, site built less than 1 ROB Bthrough RICKETT re, Spokane County, YTD May. REALTOR -Real Estate Excellence & Expertisewww.

209.660.3650 509.570.4095

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

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

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Rubber Duck Facts

In the late 19th century, rubber ducks were made from a harder vulcanized rubber. These did not float but were used as chew toys. Peter Ganine created a duck sculptor in the 1940’s. He patented it and manufactured it as a floating toy and quickly sold over 50 million. “Rubber Duckie”, a song written by Jeff Moss, sung by Ernie from Sesame Street, was a #16 hit in 1970. Rubber ducks can be found in numerous variations, including just about every type of animal or profession, many famous politicians and celebrities. For the more adventurous, you can also get one that changes color, glows in the dark, or even one that actually swims. According to Guinness World Records, in 2007 the largest rubber duck collection contained 1,439 different ducks. In 2013 rubber ducks were inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame. Rubber duck races are utilized as a creative way of fundraising around the world. The largest race in the United States is the annual Freestore Foodbank Rubber Duck Regatta in Cincinnati, Ohio. It features 150,000 ducks racing to raise one million dollars annually. The world’s largest rubber duck was created by Florentijn Hofman in 2007. It weighed 1,300 pounds and measured 54’ x 66’ x 105’.

Funny Bathtub Laws

Funny Bathtub Laws In Arizona and Brooklyn, New York, donkeys can’t sleep in the bathtub. An old law in Kentucky requires citizens to take at least one bath a year. No singing in the bathtub in Pennsylvania. Do not keep an alligator in the tub in Arkansas. No keeping donkeys in your bathtub in Georgia. Massachusetts says you must take a bath before going to bed. No eating oranges in the tub in California. In Indiana, an old law says no baths from October to March. In Barre, Vermont, bathing is required on Saturday nights. No Horses in your tub in South Carolina. Oklahoma says your donkey can sleep all day in the bathtub but at 7 p.m. they must be removed. No taking a bath before 10 p.m. in Piqua, Ohio. In the state of Virginia and Canton, Ohio it’s illegal to have an indoor tub. Portland, Oregon wants you to bathe while being suitable covered from your neck to your knees. Snoozing in the tub is not allowed in Detroit.

20 • MARCH 2018

The Splash

Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure by Derek Anderson

Pig number one just wants a nice bath with his faithful rubber duck. What could possibly go wrong? There’s not a lot of room when joined by nine of your closest friends in one tub. Each pig has so much personality, the art is perfection for this story.

Big Red Bath by Julia Jarman

This is an award winning funny story with bright art to grab your attention. Kids memorize the rhymes so easily they can pretend to read it to themselves.

Cowpoke Clyde and Dirty Dawg by Lori Mortensen

After making a terrible mess trying to give Dawg a bath, Clyde decides to go relax in the tub. Boy is he in for a surprise. We love the exaggerated cartoon artwork and the surprise ending.

Going for a Sea Bath by Andrée Poulin

A father’s creative way of giving his daughter interesting things to play with in the tub creates quite the chaos in the bathroom. The art is so detailed, you can use it for counting or to learn sea life.

The Splash

MARCH 2018 • 21

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By Aaron Best EWU Head Football Coach To be consistent at anything in life, the characteristic of diligence must be present. To care and act as such, one must have diligence at a foundational level. This characteristic has multiple ways to describe its definition. The partial definition of the word as an “energetic effort” certainly stood out because of its close association with the word “care.” To show or use diligence at a high level, you must care about whatever it is you are attempting to do or accomplish. Diligence is not something you can obtain overnight or even over the course of a week or month. The characteristic of diligence is ingrained in you over the course of many hours, months and even years. This is certainly not a short-term-driven trait. The longer the endeavor takes, the more diligence must be present to exhibit what is necessary to finish the job you started. In the “staircase” of success, diligence is one of the foundational stairs in your climb to success. Diligence is authentic and genuine. It certainly is difficult to be diligent about something that does not motivate you. As a coach, teacher, mentor, parent, friend and family member, diligence is one of the most important traits to exemplify to the people we come into contact with on a daily basis. Those folks know we are passionate about everything that we take on in all of those roles. If it is not something we are passionate about, diligence will undoubtedly be absent based on the low level of “energetic effort.” The student-athletes at Eastern Washington University we are around as coaches on a daily basis are challenged to show high levels of diligence both on and off the field. The fact our student-athletes chose to be part of our special program

is the first step in identifying their individual passion as a student and football player prior to coming on campus. After they find themselves on campus as Eagles, the diligence in which they work will be something we as coaches manage and enhance. We will challenge the coaches’ and players’ diligence at times, but diligence is something we feel is displayed at an authentic level. In other words, diligence can’t be created, just fostered. The desire must first come from the student-athlete and then we enhance their desire by challenging them in other ways. Lastly, diligence is not a characteristic you can turn on and off. You either have it in situations or you don’t. Regardless of what you do in life, you will face challenges and obstacles. Diligence is the best tool in your toolbox to help you navigate these challenges and obstacles, as it will provide you with the ability to care about what you’re doing enough to persist and fight through it and come out the other side as a better person. To be the best at something, diligence must be part of your recipe. Whether it is intrinsic or extrinsic, you can show and present diligent traits in both ways to those with whom you surround yourself with. Aaron Best enters his second season as the head football coach at Eastern Washington University in 2018. He is a longtime Eagle and member of the Cheney/Spokane community: He played football at EWU from 1996-1999, graduated from EWU in 2001 and has been a part of football at EWU for 21 years as a player, student assistant, graduate assistant coach, assistant coach and head coach. Aaron highly values his partnership with PACE, as he will be a part of the upcoming West Plains PACE Awards for the second consecutive year.

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! OSTRICH - Africa - 220 to 350 pounds, 7 to 9 feet tall, live 30 to 40 years - Herd animal - Largest bird that can’t fly, but sprints over 70 mph - Kicks can kill - Eyes are 2 inches across, the largest of any animal - Adults have two pounds of small stones in stomach to aid digestion - One egg is 24 chicken eggs

The Splash

22 • MARCH 2018

goes.” Terrell tells the story of Frank meticulously mapping out the portion of the Centennial Trail that meanders through Kendall Yards, walking the property repeatedly until the layout was just right. From eco-friendly building practices to the promotion of locally grown food through the Liberty Lake Farmers Market that Frank founded in 2002 with his sister Susan Parker, Greenstone is known for its emphasis on sustainability and looking out for the environment. The Greenstone approach has set the standard for development in the region, Peterson says.

Greenstone founder Jim Frank (second from right) worked as a lawyer representing developers and neighborhoods before starting his own development company in 1983. Frank is pictured above at a ribbon cutting in the Kendall Yards area, just north of downtown Spokane, one of several mixeduse neighborhoods Greenstone has developed featuring a mix of commercial and residential projects. Contributed photo


Continued from page 13 collapse of the savings and loan industry had a dampening effect on Main’s ambitious plans. Interest rates soared to as high as 20 percent and the idea of building in Liberty Lake’s open fields was not resonating. “It was a tough time, no one was buying,” Franks recalls. Greenstone came along during the downturn and struck a deal with Main on a 50/50 agreement that would make Greenstone the managing partner. Eventually, interest rates decreased and the economy bounced back. Greenstone began building and the foundation of contemporary Liberty Lake was formed. “Our timing was fortunate,” Franks says. “We gradually just followed Bill’s plan. It was the start of the residential wave in Liberty Lake.” Meadowwood sprang up in a way that reflected the priorities that both Main and Frank believed in. “I had an idea what a good neighborhood was,” Frank says. “I just wanted to build neighborhoods that would get better, not worse. It was all about creating value in the community.” Parks and Priorities Frank moved to a home near the shores of Liberty Lake in 1993.

He was part of resident-led efforts to build Pavillion Park and form a self-taxing district that forged the community’s trail system. In the late 1990s, he paid for a feasibility study to explore the possibility of Liberty Lake becoming its own city, then worked with neighbors like Lud Kramer, Shaun Brown and others to rally support for the incorporation vote that eventually passed in November of 2000. The intrinsic value of greenspace has resonated at Greenstone since the beginning. Growing up, Frank saw how Corbin Park served as a gathering place for his neighbors and a respite from the maze of asphalt and concrete. Like Schneidmiller before him, Frank saw the importance of setting aside property for parks. Greenstone donated land to the city for Rocky Hill Park as well as the soon-tobe developed Orchard Park in the River District. Smaller “pocket” parks also dot the neighborhoods where Greenstone has a footprint.

“Most of our residents have no idea on the positive impact Greenstone and Jim Frank have had on our community and the amenities we enjoy today,” Peterson said. “Providing common area greenspace, the trails that exist 15 feet away from the road, pocket parks and proximity to schools, employment areas and offering a myriad of housing options have become building and development practices not only in Liberty Lake but in our surrounding communities.” Greenstone’s Next Generation Joe Frank’s first job with Greenstone was as a project manager for a condominium conversion in north Spokane. Jim’s son later transitioned to the same role overseeing new multifamily construction and running four apartment projects from design to buildout. By 2007, he was Greenstone’s purchasing manager, helping to implement an original purchase order system that improved budget tracking and translated to timelier payments for vendors.

After serving as vice president in charge of Greenstone’s construction agenda, Joe was named president in 2014, replacing the retiring Jason Wheaton. While Jim is now retired as well, with the exception of special projects and some mentoring, Joe says his dad’s influence lives on. “I believe the vision for the company is the same today as it always has been with Jim,” said Joe. “Our vision is to be more than just a developer, more than just a builder. We are creating communities that take a perspective that goes far beyond when we are on site, building roads and houses.” Jim said the company is in good hands. “I think Joe is better at this than I was,” Frank said. “He’s doing a fabulous job.” Joe is also continuing the tradition of civic involvement, currently serving as president of Friends of Pavillion Park, the group that facilitates the popular summer festival of free outdoor movies and concerts. “Our goal is not only to be a profitable company, but to be a company that creates communities that add to the everyday lives of our customers,” Joe said. “The most rewarding part of working at Greenstone is by far and away the people – not only the employees who give their all every day and completely buy into our vision, but also our customers who believe in our vision and help expand it by adding the everyday activities and social interaction that are so critical.” Spoken like a good neighbor.

Mike Terrell, a Liberty Lakebased landscape architect who first teamed with Greenstone during the phase two work on Pavillion Park in the mid-1990s, said Frank’s attention to detail – right down to the types of trees planted along streets – continues to be Greenstone’s calling card. “It’s a real attention to detail and part of their long-term commitment,” Terrell said. “There’s a careful consideration of the design including where the stormwater

High-quality townhomes are a trademark of the River District, Greenstone's ambitious project on the north side of Liberty Lake. The development includes a blend of singlefamily and multi-family housing and will eventually feature a variety of commercial venues. Photo by Craig Howard

The Splash

MARCH 2018 • 23

Student of the Month Lacie Hull’s balanced contributions to the Central Valley girls’ basketball team may have been summed up best in a regional playoff game last season. Her triple double – 15 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists – led the Bears to a win against Richland. This year, the senior is averaging 10 points, five assists, six rebounds and three steals a game. The fouryear starter had a season-high of 22 against Stanwood for a Bears’ squad that is undefeated and ranked No. 1 among 4A schools and 18th in the nation. She passed the 1,000-point career mark this season. Lacie also played two seasons of volleyball. She maintains a 4.0 grade point average, is a member of the National Honor Society and has participated in the DECA business marketing program for four years. The Liberty Lake resident will continue her basketball career at Stanford University.

Citizen of the Month

& Thanks you for all you do in our community

Taylor Brennecke may not be a valedictorian or have a 4.0 grade point average, but the Central Valley senior has shown the kind of focus and ambition that is characteristic of Ivy League scholars. Brennecke began his junior year with only three credits but has turned things around drastically over the last two years. “He has changed and worked extremely hard and is on pace to graduate this June,” said CV senior counselor Larry Bernbaum. Taking GradPoint online classes in addition to his normal class schedule, Brennecke has made up lost time, elevated his GPA and now is looking ahead to Spokane Community College in the fall. “I just realized how important a high school diploma is,” the senior said. Brennecke’s parents are both CV grads. When not studying, he enjoys working on a 1966 El Camino vintage car that will be his after graduation.

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Athlete of the Month Everyone knew it would take a special leader to step in as the principal of Liberty Creek Elementary in the school’s inaugural year. Kim Kyle was ready for the challenge. Kyle had been principal at the Central Valley School District Kindergarten Center since 2015 before getting the call to lead the K-2 school. “Kim Kyle is a student-centered leader who has worked tirelessly to build a school culture that honors students and teachers,” said CVSD Superintendent Ben Small. “We are fortunate to have Kim in CVSD.” Kyle leads a team of 70 at Liberty Creek. She is a graduate of Washington State University in Elementary Education and has Master’s degrees in Curriculum/ Instruction and Administration. Kim and her husband Jeff are parents of three kids. When not in principal mode, Kyle is an avid hiker, kayaker and cyclist.

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24 • MARCH 2018 Brought to you by


About and for Liberty Lake seniors

Roundtable Recoup – Local vets value friendship, support By Staci Lehman

Splash Correspondent It sounds like the opening line to a joke – a Seabee, two guys from the Army and a former Air Force member sit around a table with a baby drinking coffee. Despite the joking and ribbing that go on however, it’s no joke when these guys, and usually a fifth who couldn’t make it this particular day, get together. The group is comprised of local veterans, well known at the Yokes Fresh Market grocery store in Liberty Lake where they have been meeting weekly for coffee for many years. “We’ve been coming here since (store manager) Dan (DiCicco) was a bagger,” joked Robert Gallegos, who served as a door gunner on Huey gunships in Vietnam while in the U.S. Army.

group of women from a church who also used to meet there. All five members of the informal group are either Spokane Valley or Liberty Lake residents and all saw combat in Vietnam. “None of us were there at the same time,” said Gallegos. Unfortunately, military service isn’t the only thing these men have in common. Four of the members have cancer or other serious health issues thought to be caused by exposure to Agent Orange or other chemicals during the war. And Fridays at Yokes aren’t the only time they see each other each week. The group initially met as part of a combat veterans group at the Spokane Veterans Center in Spokane Valley that they still attend. They started meeting outside of the Vet Center for coffee and conversation and, over the years, the group lost some original members but gained new ones. One of the most recent members, Dennis McDonald, says he went about joining the




group backwards. “I was just wandering through the store one time and saw Loyd,” he said of Loyd Jaskela, who spent seven years in the U.S. Naval Construction Battalions, known as “Seabees.” “I started here with them then joined the Vet Center. They told me I needed help.” All agree that the coffee gettogethers provide their own kind of therapy. “Humor is our therapy – awe try to make each other laugh,” said Gallegos who brings his infant granddaughter to the store. Except for the baby though, the weekly meetings don’t usually involve family members. “I guess wives like to stay away,” joked Jaskela. “This is our time,” agreed McDonald. “They like to get a break from us.” Their time is used to talk about families, politics, religion and anything else on their minds. “Kids, wives, weather. We seldom talk about the war here,”



said Jaskela. “It’s always there though.” Each enlisted for a different reason. Allmon came from a military family where his mom served in the Army; his dad spent time on battleships and three uncles and his brothers all served in various branches of the military. He volunteered but didn’t consider making it a career. “I just wanted to get in and get out,” he said of his three years in the Army. Jaskela said he enlisted for patriotic reasons. In 1968 when he joined the Navy, the spread of communism was a fear the government used to convince many men to join the military. McDonald said he joined the Air Force in 1961 mostly because his brother was part of it. “I was 17 at the time and bored in school, so I primarily went in cause of that,” he says. “They immediately put me into school.” Gallegos said he had to choose between the Army or jail.

Looking back, he says he second guesses that decision sometimes. Each agreed they would support family members if they chose to enlist in the future, although they agree it’s a bad time politically to be in the military.

“He’s always stuffing food in our faces,” said Richard Allmon, who spent three years in the U.S. Army.

“Normally I’d support whatever they wanted to do but not with what’s going on,” said Allmon.

“They’re just a bunch of really nice guys who served their country,” said DiCicco. “They want me to retire and meet with them every week.”

“They just look and keep on moving,” said Gallegos, who claims they scared away a


“I had a choice,” he recalls. “My mom and the police gave me a choice.”

It’s actually been closer to eight or nine year and DiCicco has been taking care of them ever since. He provides them with signs, balloons or some other kind of tribute every Veterans Day, joins the conversation when he can and makes sure there are snacks available.

Other staff members at the store also know the group and wave or say “Hi” as they pass by the table. The vets joke that other customers know better.


A group of local Vietnam War veterans gathers weekly at the Yoke’s store on Liberty Lake Road for coffee and conversation. (From left to right) Richard Allmon, Robert Gallegos and granddaughter, Loyd Jaskela, and Dennis McDonald. Photo by Staci Lehman

The serious and political talk doesn’t last long though. The conversation quickly turns back to kidding. When asked why Jaskela brought an atlas to coffee that day, he says he was going to show the other guys the location of a place they had discussed – but the others say that’s not the real reason. “He gets lost going home sometimes,” jokes Allmon.

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MARCH 2018 • 25


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26 • MARCH 2018

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CV athletes wrap up stellar three-sport careers By Mike Vlahovich

Splash Sports Editor For lack of a better analogy, a group of Central Valley senior athletes are the literary equivalent of the 1840s novel “The Three Musketeers” with Zach Stocker as “Athos,” Jase Edwards as “Porthos” and Grant Hannan as “Aramis,” the protagonists of the book. They would be joined by “d’Artagnan” played by teammate Billy Ames, if not for an untimely injury that cost him his senior athletic season. The remarkable three-sport careers that included this year’s trip to the state football semifinals, league championship in baseball in 2016, a state golf qualifier and overachievers in basketball are coming to an end with this spring’s activities. Hannan plays football where he was Greater Spokane League MVP and excels in basketball and track.

sports outweighs the possibility you’re going to get a scholarship.”

Butner lauded his effort last fall. Sloan calls his story “phenomenal.”

With that introduction, here is an overview of CV’s remarkable triumvirate:

“A senior who worked hard, but looked like he wasn’t going to play, but when the time came he led his team into the playoffs,” Sloan said.

Grant Hannan His is the movie-like story of the athlete who sticks with it and beats the odds when finally getting the chance and making the most of it. The backup quarterback had spent his career on junior varsity until called on when the starter was injured in the early part of last season and went on to become MVP of the Greater Spokane League. Hannan had taken about five snaps with the varsity, but when starter Matt Gabbert went down with injury in the season’s first game, Grant took up the cudgel. “It’s kind of funny,” he said. “I started that first game in Coeur d’Alene as a safety because Jase was hurt at the time so I had to fill in and ended up as quarterback.” More an option signal caller rather than the prototypical passer, Hannan primarily made the biggest plays with his legs and became the league’s MVP on a team that lost to eventual state champion Richland in the 4A semifinals. Coach Ryan

In basketball this winter Hannan had 12 double figure games with highs of 19. In track this spring he has the makings of a decathlete competing in the 400 meters, relays, the 300 hurdles and long jump. He is also taking up the javelin this year and maybe the 110 hurdles. His favorite sport? “It’s kind of hard to say,” Hannan remarked. He’ll probably go forward in track, “But I like basketball the best.” Jase Edwards “If anyone who is built for three sports it’s Eddy,” Sloan said. “He’s full of energy. He got better as the year went on.” His family moved here from Pasco in the eighth grade. This year, football injuries led to a rocky start and could have derailed his season. “I injured my meniscus in summer and did no summer stuff,” said Edwards, ticking off the litany. “In the first practice (in the fall)

I injured the AC joint diving for a (pass) without pads. I missed the Coeur d’Alene game.” He later suffered a concussion against Ferris and was out a week. But he was huge down the stretch, turning in an all-league-worthy effort for the state semifinalist. “At the time it was heart breaking,” Edwards said of the early injuries,” but I look back on it and it was so much fun.” Edwards had 12 double figure games in basketball, scoring over 20 points three times. Last spring he was the AllGSL baseball shortstop and this will be in his fourth varsity year with baseball. It is the sport he’ll play at Community Colleges of Spokane even though, he said, basketball is his favorite sport. “If I could play all three I would,” he said. Zach Stocker Stocker was small growing up in sports – but his dad, former Major League Baseball player Kevin, had some advice for his son. As Zach tells it, “He told me to be a gnat out there and bother

See CV ATHLETES, Page 27

Edwards has competed in football, basketball and baseball and wouldn’t have it any other way. He was All-GSL in football and baseball. Stocker was the scoring leader for this year’s basketball team and now stands out as a golfer after brief stint in baseball. During the 2017-18 basketball season, the trio averaged double figures with a combined 38 double figure efforts, 11 of them 20-plus, including a 32-point game by Stocker against Mead. Ames – with a stellar resume in football, basketball and track – is a story himself. “I’m a big advocate,” said basketball coach Rick Sloan of multi-sport athletes, “because it’s the right thing to do. I think kids that try to specialize are chasing a dream that’s not realistic. I think what you gain is that the social circle involved in multi-

Central Valley seniors (from left to right): Zach Stocker, Grant Hannan, Billy Ames and Jase Edwards all have the distinction of being three-sport athletes. Photo by Mike Vlahovich

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Continued from page 26


Sports Notebook By Mike Vlahovich


Splash Sports Editor

He really didn’t grow to full 5-9 in height until this year.

Did the CV girls’ basketball team cut down the nets?

“He is kind of a late bloomer,” Sloan said. “He was always the little guy, but has an unbelievable competitive spirit. What he doesn’t have in size he makes up for in grit and toughness.” This basketball season, Stocker had games of 21, 25, 32, 26, 22 and 23 points (three times). Golf is his future, however. After a freshman try at baseball, he switched to golf and qualified for state as a sophomore. He estimates he is a scratch golfer with a best of 67 in the summer after teeing off in the first round and slicing it into the grass. “I thought ‘Here we go,’ and it turned out to be a bogey-free round,” he said. Stocker was asked to sum up the closeness and successes of the quartet. “These years have been wonderful, playing with Jase, Grant and Billy. I don’t think I will forget these friendships. They will always be with me.”

Final Point Traveling in Court – The case against the Euro Step By Mike Vlahovich

Splash Sports Editor Just what is the “Euro Step” phenomenon? It’s become the latest offensive weapon passed down from NBA foreigners; a leg-breaking thing of basketball beauty enabling offensive players an advantage and easier access to the hoop. Unless it’s a mirage, in my day the Euro Step would have been called for traveling. So, I took my confusion to Central Valley boys’ basketball coach Rick Sloan and sought validation for my observance. Was it traveling? “No,” he deadpanned. I saw a facetious Mona Lisa look on his face.

You could argue, based on state finishes, that the Central Valley Bears of 2001-03 are the greatest in school history. They finished with two state titles and a second place that denied the trifecta. Last year’s fourth place trophy for the latest rendition of a CV dynasty would be the difference maker in a poll. But with a championship March 3, there will be a legitimate argument. These Bears would have added a second state title, compiled two perfect seasons, a three-year mark of 72-1 and for those on varsity as freshmen, a four-year record of 916. Going into the regional/state playoffs at press time, this year’s Bears were 23-0 with four playoff games remaining. They were averaging 68 points per game and allowing 31. They held seven foes under 20 points and five more under 30. That’s half

I hoped I’d read it right. My take was his tongue was stuffed into his cheek and that he agreed. It wasn’t the only issue he addressed during the brief discussion about the evolving game. A ball handler now will bar his non-dribbling hand against a defender and on a drive subtly or not-so subtly nudge his foe to clear a path to the hoop. It’s a physical move that resembles the way we protected the ball back in the day when basketball was considered a “noncontact” sport. About the only foul of similar consequence was to willingly sacrifice your body nobly taking a charge which at that time was a badge of honor. But that was in the Stone Age (or stone hands age in my case) when high schoolers didn’t or maybe couldn’t dunk. Say you did have the springs to dunk, it was disallowed during games back then, even in college. The game has advanced incrementally since its founding, when you barely moved on the

their games. Senior Lexie Hull remained the main cog scoring at a 21 per game clip. Twin sister Lacie is about 10 points a game and Hailey Christopher leads the rest of a dangerous team with a lot of scoring. Half dozen of the nineplayer roster are double figure threats. Stay tuned. Wrestlers bring home medals CV wrestlers finished 16th at the state 4A tournament with three placers. Junior Zak Stratton, took third at 170 pounds; sophomore Braxton Mikesell was fifth at 220 and senior Bradley Wiggs sixth at 145. Stratton opened his tourney with a 15-3 win, was pinned by Isaac Clark, who ultimately finished fifth. He then won four straight decisions for his place. Mikesell lost 3-1 in his opener, won twice, lost and won 3-0 for his medal. Wiggs was pinned in his opener, then won three including 6-4 in overtime before losing by a point to get into the round for third and fourth and lost in overtime

court and launched one-handed step shots at a hoop made from a peach basket. The game became quicker and the jump shot became standard. Fast breaking became the vogue and the game is played above the rim. The basic fundamentals we learned 50-plus years ago are still the foundation of game – dribbling, defending with your feet, blocking out on rebounds, proper shooting form. The 3-point arc became the next innovation, stretching defenses and adding another threat the outside shooting. Conditioning techniques changed how the game is played. Players are better, bigger, faster, stronger, jump higher, shoot better. The non-contact game is non-existent. Today’s players have taken the game to another of level size and strength and macho posturing. The dunk is ever more spectacular. Bodies are bigger, faster, stronger and the better to knock a foe into the cheap seats. The 3-point shot puts more stress on defenses.

MARCH 2018 • 27

Gymnasts at state Central Valley’s Victoria Axtell finished 12th on vault and was in the top 26 during floor exercise and beam during the 4A gymnastics state tournament. Rebekah Ross and Chloe Robbins also were state competitors, Ross among the top 20 in floor exercise and beam. Robbins in the floor. Third time no charm Central Valley boys’ basketball season came to an end, perhaps sooner than anticipated. They had beaten University twice during the regular season 68-66 and 63-60 in overtime. But in the game to reach district, the Bears lost to the Titans 71-59, also in OT. Coach Rick Sloan wasn’t surprised. The pair was even, he reasoned, the tables turn- about simply happened at the wrong time. Zach Stocker led CV in scoring at 12.5; Jase Edwards and Grant Hannan were double figure scorers, not far behind. The Bears finished 10-11 and were outscored by a total of 54 points, averaging out to a margin of fewer than five points per outing.

According to Wikipedia, the Euro Step was brought from Lithuania by Sarunas Marciulionis who played with the Golden State Warriors and three other NBA teams, although people contend Elgin Baylor and Julius “Dr. J.” Erving used a form of it back in the day. As more and more foreign players come to the U.S. the more it’s utilized. The general definition is that the player picks up his dribble, takes a step in one direction then quickly steps the opposite way. Gonzaga University’s Killian Tillie has it mastered. A New York writer defined as – “a crafty way to distribute the two steps allocated to a player after he stops dribbling and it goes right to the edge of being a traveling violation.” It is a thing of beauty and I thoroughly enjoy it – but today’s athletes are so gifted the defense doesn’t really need one or two other issues to deal with. And I still contend, there’s an extra step in the Euro Step and that, my friends, is traveling.

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28 • MARCH 2018

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Seltice, Liberty forged friendship that left legacy By Ross Schneidmiller Liberty Lake Historical Society

If you are a student of the Splash history page you have learned about Chief Andrew Seltice. The feasts he hosted at Liberty Lake in the 1850s, his learned care in leading the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, taking them from a hunting and gathering society to an agricultural one and his wisdom navigating the white man’s world. You may also know his good friend was Liberty Lake’s namesake, Stephen Liberty. The focus of this article is on their relationship and how their trust and respect for each other was not only a benefit to them but the tribe as a whole. Stephen Liberty was born in Quebec, Canada in 1843. As a young man he immigrated to the United States eventually locating at Cabinet Landing on the Clark Fork River. It was there that he took a contract along with a partner to carry mail from the Landing to what would become Rathdrum, Idaho Territory. While carrying the mail he

HISTORY learned the Coeur d’Alene language. In paraphrasing a document made later in life, Liberty claimed whenever conversing with the Coeur d’Alenes he did so in their native tongue. He enjoyed their utmost confidence from the time of his first acquaintance with Seltice and other head men of the tribe. He and his family were always accorded recognition as friends and treated as members of the Coeur d’Alenes. Liberty was a well-educated man having attended Seminary in Quebec. He had knowledge of law and could speak English and French fluently. With his ability to communicate well with Seltice and others, he started working on their behalf. He became a trusted confidant, ally, legal adviser and interpreter for the chief and the Coeur d’Alenes and was consulted in all tribal matters of importance. Seltice was a skilled public speaker who once gave a speech at a Fourth of July celebration in Farmington, Washington. Though he addressed the crowd in Chinook jargon and many could not understand what he was saying, they were impressed by his gestures, mannerisms and the eloquence in which he spoke. He concluded the speech saying (in Chinook) that his friend Stephen Liberty would interpret through

the medium of the newspaper his speech and kind thoughts towards the people there and the nation. Liberty interpreted for Seltice on multiple occasions, but none was greater than in the summer of 1887. A delegation including Liberty, Seltice and other head men of the Coeur d’Alenes traveled to Washington, D.C. They met with President Grover Cleveland, Secretary of the Interior Lucius Q.C. Lamar and Commissioner of Indian Affairs John D.C. Atkins. An article ran in several papers across the country, in which it was told that the chief made a most pleasant impression on all whom he met. The delegation spent three months in Washington, D.C. They lobbied for a railroad right-of-way and solicited the president’s cooperation in settling their treaty rights, trying to get the boundaries of their reservation legally established. President Cleveland also presented Chief Seltice with an Indian peace medal. The chief appreciated this gesture and at the time of the gift placed importance in it. A bill granting the railroad rightof-way was signed into law and it was not long before railcars loaded with the Coeur d’Alene’s wheat was traveling through the reservation on the way to market. Unfortunately,

MARCH 2018 • 29

there would be more years and more broken promises before issues with the reservation were solved. Alberta Murray’s book “These My Children” states, “He (Stephen Liberty) is given credit for being instrumental in furthering welfare, education and living conditions of the Indians and for helping greatly in making the Coeur d’Alenes one of the most advanced tribes of Indians in the country.” The same and much more could be said of Andrew Seltice. It’s the opinion of this author that because of their relationship, their individual accomplishments were greater. Did you Know? • Coeur d’Alene (Snchitsu’umshtsn) an interior Salish language is the native tongue of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. Many of the Coeur d’Alenes later spoke Chinook jargon, used first by the fur traders. • Much has been written on the long, arduous process The Coeur d’Alene Tribe went through in establishing their reservation. Lost sometimes in that is the unique relationship of Seltice and Liberty. If you would like to read more on that subject or on Seltice and Liberty search the Liberty Lake Splash archives at www.libertylakesplash. com.

Photo courtesy of Ross and Kelli Schneidmiller; map courtesy of Mahlon Kriebel.

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30 • MARCH 2018

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Upgrades, expanded family programs at LLCT By Tyler Wilson Splash Correspondent Support from volunteers and local businesses have helped Liberty Lake Community Theatre make major upgrades in the past 18 months, including new opportunities for theater education and entertainment. Major updates have been made to the lobby of the theater, located at 22910 E. Appleway Ave. New additions include work done to the concessions, as well as a flat screen television, purchased from funds provided by the city of Liberty Lake’s lodging (hotel/motel) tax, that streams performances to the lobby for those needing to exit the performance area. For instance, parents who need to tend to their small children can go to the lobby without missing any of the show. Jeanette Nall, treasurer for Liberty Lake Theatre, said much of the improvements have focused on improving the experience for families and to provide opportunities for youth to get involved. “Liberty Lake is largely a familybased community,” Nall said. “The community Is supportive of shows where the kids are in them, so all of our shows for the next season are geared toward families.”

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Ado About Nothing,” which runs March 9-17. Auditions held in January encouraged ages 13 and older to try out for parts. Tickets are $12, available online at Prior to “Much Ado,” the Readers Theatre show, “Dragnet Double Feature,” brought two episodes of the classic suspense radio show together for a family-friendly evening. The show ran for five evening shows and two matinees in February. The remainder of the 201718 season includes “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” which auditions in March and will be staged May 4-12, and the “Harry Potter” send-up, “Sally Cotter and the Prisoner of Ala Katraz,” auditioning in May with shows July 13-21. Check out the website for information on additional Reader’s Theatre productions and audition schedule for all shows. People performing in and attending shows at Liberty Lake Theatre will notice upgrades well beyond the lobby. Newer chairs have been installed in the past year, and a Mac computer was donated to manage the theater’s lighting and sound. Digital Imaging Solutions donated a $5,000 copier, Zerorez provided cleaning services, Ptera installed free WiFi in the building, and Parr Lumber provided

See THEATRE, Page 31

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The Liberty Lake Community Theatre at 22910 E. Appleway has undergone a series of renovations over the past year including updates to the lobby and concession stand, new chairs and more. Photo by Ben Wick

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MARCH 2018 • 31

Dancers entertain guests attending the theatre for the 2018 annual benefit and auction to support Liberty Lake Community Theatre. The history of the Liberty Lake Community Theatre goes back to the fall of 2008. The first show was presented in January 2009. The troupe’s latest effort will be Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” taking the stage March 9-17. Photo by Ben Wick


Continued from page 30

the wood for the theater’s upgraded stage, to name just a few updates provided by the community. “We couldn’t function without people being as generous as they are,” Nall said. Nall singled out other major supporters, including significant ongoing support from the theater’s next-door neighbor - Thrivent Financial Services. She also cited KIDDS Dental and Greenstone Homes for show and fundraising support, photography by Stefanie Miacolo, the local Pizza Hut, Domino’s and Yokes stores for feeding cast and crew, and many other people and businesses that have kept Liberty Lake Theatre operating and free of debt. Being free-of-debt isn’t an easy task for community-based theaters both big and small. “It’s largely because we have such a great volunteer base in Liberty Lake,” Nall said. Nall also praised the dedication of her board members, which include president Jennifer Bergman, vice president Sandi Wasteney, secretary Angela Hagans, and facilities coordinator Brian Bergman.

She also singled out the expansion of the organization’s Teen Board, which brings middle and high school students together for volunteer opportunities and participation in the theater. They put together their own monthly events and mentor younger children who are interested in learning more and participating in theater.

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The Teen Board hosts a movie series that will continue on April 20 with a screening of “The Lion King.” The very first auditions for the Liberty Lake Community Theatre took place 10 years ago this month. By spring of 2008, the group had formed a four-member board of directors, secured 10 paid memberships and generated interest from over 200 residents. Finding a venue to stage the inaugural show proved to be more of a challenge. The group met in the banquet room of the Trailhead clubhouse and staged its first show – a sardonic take on the Robin Hood legend titled “Hood of Sherwood” – in January 2009 at Guardian Angel Homes in Liberty Lake. Information on the various programs, shows and people involved with Liberty Lake Theatre can be found at www. You can also email info@libertylaketheatre. com for more information.


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Hill retiring from SCRAPS after 32 years

By Staci Lehman Splash Correspondent There are about to be some big changes at Spokane Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS). After over three decades of calling the agency home, Director Nancy Hill is retiring. Sunday, Feb. 4 marked Hill’s 32nd anniversary working for SCRAPS, now located on East Trent Avenue in Spokane Valley. “I like to say I was born there,” Hill says. Hill wasn’t born there, but her love of animals goes way back. “My mom was allergic to cat and dog fur so I never got to have pets,” she said. “I was always taking care of the neighbors’ animals.” Even so, Hill’s original plan wasn’t to work in the animal field. She grew up in Oklahoma and went to school for environmental science, initially working for the forest service in the Idaho panhandle. After being laid off due to budget cuts, Hill was hired by a parks department in Northern Utah and placed at a park that also had a zoo. “Within six months they had an opening for a zookeeper and I said, ‘Can I do that?’” Hill recalls. From there, Hill moved to Connecticut with her husband after his job change. While there, she literally herded cats at a cat sanctuary that had 400 feline residents. The East Coast had little appeal for Hill after having spent time in the Northwest so she and her husband packed up and moved to Spokane. While looking for a job, she saw an ad for an animal protection officer at SCRAPS. Hill started at the agency in February 1986 and spent about 10 years in that position before being promoted to executive director in 1995. Now she says she has accomplished everything she set out to do, so retirement is the next step. “I had a lot of career goals,” Hill said. “The biggest was that I believed we needed regional animal protection.” Hill worked with the city of Spokane and several smaller jurisdictions to sign on with SCRAPS in 2014. Cities like Liberty Lake, Millwood and Spokane Valley had already been under the agency’s umbrella. Today, SCRAPS covers around 99 percent of Spokane County and, to address the expanded service area, moved into a bigger building, another one of Hill’s goals.

She also wanted SCRAPS to have its own veterinary clinic but didn’t have the budget for it for many years. Recently she was able to get an $85,000 grant from the ASPCA to fix that, supplemented with funds from SCRAPS’ Hope Foundation to remodel the clinic interior. Hill’s final goal was to find a suitable successor and feel confident in a succession plan. That started to come together a couple years ago when she met Lindsey Soffes, SCRAPS’ current shelter operations manager. Hill said she first thought Soffes could be a candidate for director when she was interviewing for the shelter job. “In the interview she was so amazing,” Hill said. “I thought ‘This could be the next me.’” Hill believes Soffes is perfect for the role because she has the ideal mix of education and experience, having worked as an attorney until realizing she wanted to make a difference in the lives of animals. “It takes a special skill set for that,” said Hill of the director’s position. Spokane County CEO Gerry Gemmill, one of the people Hill reports to, is also confident in Soffes’ abilities, saying she has the passion to lead the agency – although he is sad to see Hill go. “Nancy has built probably one of the most premier animal control agencies around,” Gemmill said. “And she deserves all the credit. If I could clone her I’d do so in a second.” Hill says her focus on making a difference will live on after her retirement in other kinds of volunteer work but first she wants to have some fun. “All the stuff I never had time to do,” she said of how she plans to spend her time initially after retiring on March 22. And while she is looking forward to this change, it is also hard to leave something she has dedicated her life to. “This has been my life,” she said. “And it’s been a great life. I don’t regret any of it.”

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Curry Mix – City employee maintains grounds, local history

By Staci Lehman Splash Correspondent Mic Curry is your go-to guy if you need something done around the city of Liberty Lake – or if you're interested in its history. "Just cause I'm old and been around a long time," he said of why people are often referred to him for information on everything from municipal building upkeep to boat races in Liberty Lake's heyday. Curry is the superintendent of public works and has been with the city since it incorporated in 2001, but his history in the area goes back much further. Curry first started working for Denny Reger at the Valley View Golf Course (now Trailhead at Liberty Lake) the year after it opened in 1974. He moved to Texas for a while, then returned to Liberty Lake and the golf course in 1993. He was still there when the course was bought by the city in 2002 and transferred from working for a private enterprise to being a municipal employee, mowing the greens and tackling other duties. He says upkeep on the course has come a long way since then. “I was all by myself,” he said. “We had two mowers, a tractor and a greens mower.” Today, the city has substantially added to the equipment inventory and Curry’s duties have expanded as well. "I take care of Town Square Park," he said. "And a lot of other things – mowing, any building maintenance, the library." Curry does much of the street mowing and spends six or seven hours a day at it in the spring, summer and fall. He does all that very early in the day so if you are a late riser you might not even see him some days. "I usually work from 3 or 3:30 'til noon," he said. While getting up that early makes many cringe, Curry enjoys having his afternoons off. He spends time with his wife and goes camping but no longer golfs or water skis like he did in his younger years. Growing up in Liberty Lake, Curry has a lot of historical knowledge about the community and the families

MARCH 2018 • 33

St. John Vianney School

that go back many generations. His grandfather, T.O. Brown, owned the store and tavern near Melkapsi and Wright close to the lake in the 1940s and 50s. At that time, it was unofficially known as “Brownies.” The business continued to operate until the building burned down in the early 1990s. As a child, Curry grew up near there in a house on Liberty Lake Drive that still stands, although it has been extensively remodeled. He learned to water ski on the lake when he was about 5 or 6 and recounts the time he skied behind the Miss Spokane hydroplane when he was about 12. In those days, the 1950s and 60s, hydroplane racing was a popular event at Liberty Lake every summer. Curry went on to attend area schools, including one that is no longer there. "We had a two-room school house at the southeast corner of Molter and Sprague," he said of his elementary days. "I still remember my teachers, Mrs. Anderson and Mrs. Brown." He graduated from Central Valley High School before leaving the area for the first time to join the Air Force in 1964. Curry spent a year in Vietnam and a second year based in Guam supporting operations in Vietnam. Every time he left though, Curry eventually found himself back in Liberty Lake. Asked about changes he has noticed in his coming and goings and time here, he says the general size of the area is the biggest transition. "Just the growth of Liberty Lake," he said. "We used to only have 60 families here all year long." That growth has meant more city facilities and infrastructure and more upkeep duties for Curry. Jennifer Camp, the city’s Parks and Open Space director, has worked with him since she started at the city about seven years ago. “He’s an excellent employee,” she said. “He knows about everything, especially about the golf course. He worked on the golf course way, way, way back.” City Administrator Katy Allen agrees. “Mic is one of our employees that is like a Rock of Gibraltar,” she said. “He’s one of those individuals that we can count on all the time and every time and knows how to get things done.” It is good news for the city then that Curry intends to stay a few more years, saying retirement is at least three years in the future. "I still like coming to work,” he said. “That's the biggest thing."

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LOCAL LENS Far right; Samuel West Baynes, III, a 2008 graduate of Central Valley High School received his Doctor of Pharmacy from Washington State University on Thursday, May 4, 2017 at the Fox Theater. Samuel graduated from the University of Louisiana in 2013 majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry. Far left his sister, Brittany A. Baynes, is a 2003 graduate of Central Valley High School. She graduated from Washington State University in 2008 and received her Masters in Health Administration. She currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia area and works as an Administrative Assistant with the Dekalb County Health Department. Middle: Mayor Steve Peterson receives the Citizen of the Year award at the Gem of the Valley on Jan. 19 hosted by the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce.

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The Splash

MARCH 2018 • 35

Reflections from the Lake By Tom Sahlberg Having lived in all parts of Spokane County throughout the last seven decades, I can honestly say that the Liberty Lake community is my favorite! The “How can we?” approach to collaborative and informed problem solving is refreshing and gives us the opportunity for people to work together, have a say in the outcome and look towards the future. My home in the River District lets me enjoy the vistas of big sky sunrises and sunsets, moonlit and starry nights, as well as inspiring views of Mt. Spokane and clouds rolling over our Liberty Lake hills. Finally retired from public service at the city, county and state levels, this chapter of life allows for time to invest in

helping neighbors and using my experience to help facilitate connections and communication within our community. Serving on the city of Liberty Lake Parks and Arts Committee as well as the city Planning Commission is both exciting and challenging, especially as we look towards growing the north side of our city through the following ways: preserving what works; proper planning that includes input from all who may be impacted and progress that reflects our values while opening doors for future growth. Among my favorite times here have been face-to-face moose encounters while hiking on the Liberty Creek upper trails. The first was with a young bull who didn’t hear me approaching. I started talking to him and he backed out of the succulent leafy bushes he was devouring and began walking towards me. I took the friendly approach and he stepped off the trail so that I could keep going. Another time was on the way back from Mica Peak on a hot day. My wife Jo and I were tired and

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not paying attention, when a big bull was right beside us holding perfectly still until he startled both of us when he spun around and sprinted away, crashing through the thick brush and leaving a U-shaped tunnel that was visible for the rest of the year! The most enjoyable was when we came upon a cow, which blocked the narrow trail for a couple of harrowing minutes. Again, with me telling her that we’d be glad to turn around, she gently lifted her snout and out came two yearling calves she was protecting! She guided her babies onto the trail; then slowly led all of us up to an opening where they stepped aside and watched us as we hiked on. My kids moved here in 2006 and I purchased their first house in 2012. Now, having three grandkids and family moving back soon to Liberty Lake, I look forward to playing with them in our beautiful parks, visiting our amazing schools and library, enjoying our vibrant Farmers Market, supporting our local businesses and walking, biking, hiking, loving life together

in this place we call home. Here is my ode to Liberty Lake: Sun shining bright…snow falling deep…wind blowing brisk Community engagement Parks filled with courses enjoyed


Challenges and opportunities Walking, running, biking, skiing


Children laughing, playing in safety Clouds billowing over hills… lake sparkling…big sky Meeting, listening, understanding, helping, serving Library, Pavillion Park, Farmers Market, City Hall, Trailhead Urban neighborhoods, rural values Schools, businesses, apartments, houses, RVs, golf carts, goats Preserve, unite, grow



Liberty Lake

Paid for by Friends of Mary Kuney P.O. Box 13103 Spokane Valley, WA 99213

The Splash

36 • MARCH 2018

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

The Current

Reach 25,000+ Readers!

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Splash Correspondent Liberty Lake’s Police Department handed out their annual awards for 2017 at the Dec. 19 City Council meeting. The Officer of the Year award went to Mike Bogenrief. Jordan Bowman, new to the Liberty Lake Police Department in 2017, won the Sergeant’s Award, which is decided upon by Morgan and the department’s other sergeant. The Chief’s Award went to Brad Deines. Chief Brian Asmus decides that recipient every year based on community service. “The chief used who did the most for the community to decide,” said Sgt. Darin Morgan. The Volunteer of the Year award was not given out for 2017. The department has eight total officers, including two sergeants, a detective, a chaplain and the chief, along with three reserve officers. The awards have been given for at least the last 10 years, usually presented at council meetings so the winners can be recognized by city officials and residents. Morgan says it is a tough job each year determining the most deserving officers. “I believe every one of our officers deserve these awards,” he said. “All I can say is they are all outstanding officer, but we can only give out a few.” In other city news: • Mayor Steve Peterson presented the Chief Building Inspector Wayne Hammond with an employee recognition award for his 16 years of work with the city at the Jan. 2 City Council meeting. “Our homeowners depend on you, we depend on you,” the mayor told Hammond. • The Liberty Lake Library will host a “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Party” on March 2 from 1 to 2 p.m. The day is Dr. Seuss’ birthday so the free event will have a Dr. Seuss theme with games and activity stations that promote early literacy. All are welcome at our party, even those who have already completed the 1,000 books program. Research shows that reading aloud to your child is the single most

Dear Editor:


By Staci Lehman

important thing you can do to help a child prepare for reading and learning. • Council Member Dan Dunne gave an overview of the selection process for a community flag on Jan. 2. A design by Liberty Lake resident Rebekah Wilding was chosen in December. The process began last April with 65 entries. “It was very difficult to narrow down to this one,” Dunne said. He added that community organizations will now be able to display the flag at their respective locations. Dunne encouraged council to pass a resolution at the Jan. 16 meeting adopting the design as the official community flag. The resolution passed unanimously. • Council Member Cris Kaminskas gave a report from the finance committee on Jan. 2, noting that sales tax revenue year-to-date was up $260,000 or 8.5 percent from last year at this time. Overall revenue was up 14 percent or just over $1 million. • Peterson was selected by the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce as the Harry E. Nelson 2018 Citizen of the Year. Peterson was bestowed with the title of “City Builder” as part of the award. The chamber saluted Peterson’s “investment of time and resources in our region.” Peterson was honored at the annual Gem of the Valley banquet on Jan. 19. • Council voted in support of a resolution confirming the city’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Farme r

Law enforcement honored with annual awards









soaring to national and international acclaim.





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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.










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

I ran out of gas on Country Vista Road. I pulled over close to the curb, called AAA, cold and afraid of the fast traffic that was moving too close to my car. And then I see a Liberty Lake police car, he turned around, stayed parked behind my car until AAA arrived. Also he called AAA as the estimated time of arrival was one hour, after the call they arrived in eight minutes. Funny how the traffic slowed down while he was parked behind me. I want to thank that wonderful man for helping me. My next stop was a gas station.

J. Krogseth Liberty Lake

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.

The Splash

MARCH 2018 • 37


Continued from page 3 EDITOR/PUBLISHER

Ben Wick

Danica Wick CO OWNER



Paula Gano

Hayley Schmelzer


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

The Splash is brought to you by

Wick Enterprizes Submitted materials

Publishing House

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

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






knowingly accepted. Complaints about advertisers should be made in writing to the Better Business Bureau and to The Splash is not responsible for the content of or claims made in ads. Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved. All contents of The Splash may not be reproduced without written permission of the publisher.

only district in the state that is also responsible for the water quality of a lake. We have a full-time lake manager who makes this happen. The board also oversees the hiring of staff as recommended by the manager. We have one of the best staffs in the state. These and others are important responsibilities and make the job fun. Q: Can you share some of your keys to being married for over 60 years? A: I believe that marriage is more than a contract in effect as long as both parties are fulfilled. It is a covenant. It is unconditional, not dependent on personal feelings. Lorraine and I both are committed to this. Divorce is not an option. Our marriage has lasted because we started with the same values. We are both strong believers in Jesus. We have similar backgrounds. In addition, our four children and nine grandchildren also hold to these values. No subjects are off the table. We hold each other accountable to the commitments we have made. Family is supportive and our relationships are a joy.

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

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



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Q: Liberty Lake has grown exponentially since you moved here in 1981. Has the dramatic development of this area affected the way you feel about the community? A: There was no Liberty Lake city when we moved here. Many in the community were not in favor of rapid growth. I have always been in favor of enough growth that our children and grandchildren could find good jobs and stay close by. This has only partially been true. Two of our four children live here but so far none of our grandchildren have stayed. Liberty Lake has developed partly because it is a great city with good schools and infrastructure. Also, an existing sewer and water district has helped. I think there has been a healthy shift in attitude. I am sure there are some who feel that there has been too much growth, but I have not talked to anyone with this view. Q: Finally, what is your favorite part of being a Liberty Laker? A: We live on the lake in a community which is an association. We know many of the people in the association. They have become close friends. We love the view across the lake and the mountains in the background. We love the water activities, boating and swimming. The spirit of people in Liberty Lake has resulted in it becoming one of the finest cities in the area. This is where we live and this is where we will stay.




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

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

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Index of advertisers

Following are the local advertisers in this issue of The Splash.

Amaculate Housekeeping 8 AutoCraft 38 Banner Furnace & Fuel 23 Cafe 19 8 Casey Family Dental 18 Central Valley Theatre 28 City of Liberty Lake 7 Coldwell Banker - Rob Brickett 18 Cornerstone Pentecostal 18 Eagle Ridge Painting 32 Eagle Rock RV and Boat Storage 31 Early Bird Pre-K 18 Evergreen Fountain 25 Fieldhouse Pizza 34 Friends of Mary Kuney 35 Greenstone 10 Hallett’s Market and Cafe 17

Jim Custer Enterprises 31 John L Scott - Pam Fredrick 4 Kiwanis of Liberty Lake 16 Liberty Lake Baptist Church 35 Liberty Lake Children’s Academy 33 Liberty Lake EyeCare Center 3 Liberty Lake Family Dentistry 5 Liberty Lake Sewer & Water District 14 Master Gardeners 18 Naomi 11 North Idaho Dermatology 30 Northern Quest 40 Ott Knott Used Golf Carts 9 Pawpular Companions 3 Peridot Publishing 6 Pristine Lawn Care 32 Sarah Hamilton FACE 15

Simonds Dental Group 17, 40 Spokane Gymnastics 21 Spokane Model Train Show 23 St. John Vianney School 33 Stateline Plaza 38 Northwest Taekwondo 23 Pioneer School 30 True Legends 16 Uplift Church 16 Valley Real Life 32 Valley Synthetics 8 Valleyfest 35 Windermere 5 Service Directory 38

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

38 • MARCH 2018

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The Splash

Cultural mix translates into winning formula for Zags By Craig Howard

Splash Editor Silas Melson is adding more sushi to his routine these days. Corey Kispert can deliver salutations in French despite never studying the language and Rui Hachimura is honing his English between breakaway slam dunks and holding court with a conflux of Japanese media. Welcome to the Gonzaga University men’s basketball cultural diversity program – or, in the vernacular of at least a few Zags on the current roster – “Bienvenue a Zagland.” It has become popular during televised broadcasts of Gonzaga games in the last dozen years or so to include a world map with dots corresponding to the countries represented on the squad. While some call it a mix of sports and geography, Zag fans simply recognize it as a winning combination. The program has qualified for the NCAA tournament 19 straight years and, last season, reached the national championship game. This year’s lineup includes Hachimura from Japan, Killian Tillie and Joel Ayayi from France and Jacob Larsen from Denmark. Just in case there is any confusion, the Gonzaga media guide includes a helpful pronunciation guide with insight for those don’t want to trip up on Larsen’s first name, for instance – pronounced “YOCK-ub” not “JAY-kub.” Ken Katayama is one of several media representatives from Japan assigned to cover Hachimura this season. Some of the Zags’ games have been televised in the Far East and Katayma says there is a growing sense that one of Japan’s native sons will soon be playing in the NBA. There is also anticipation that Hachimura will lead the national team at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. “Last season, I think Rui was just getting familiar with the difference between the U.S. and Japan,” Katayama said. “This season, Japanese people are excited. We are focusing on Rui. I don’t worry about him. He looks like he’s become part of the team.” Melson came to Spokane from Portland in 2014, well aware of the international tenor of the program.

ON THAT NOTE Asked how many languages he’s heard on the practice court over the years, the senior pauses. “Let’s see – Lithuanian, French, Danish, Japanese and there’s more,” Melson says. “I don’t know, maybe around seven?” When Przemek (SHEM-ik) Karnowski, starting center on last year’s national runner-up team, would return to his native Poland during the off-season, Melson recalls his accent being heavier upon his return. Same with Tillie now when he comes back from France. Melson said the melting pot of cultures, dialects and approaches to basketball makes the Zags stronger. “I love that part about this program,” he said. “We get a lot of guys from overseas and they bring different insights and experiences. Like you talk to Rui about experiences in Japan and it’s interesting. “This program is really welcoming.” While Gonzaga featured a handful of foreign-born players like John Rillie and Axyl Dench from Australia in the 1990s, it wasn’t until the arrival of Rony Turiaf in 2001 that the team began to develop a reputation for international recruiting. Longtime assistant coach Tommy Lloyd has led the way, bringing in players like Karnowski, Domantas Sabonis from Lithuania and Canadian standouts such as Kevin Pangos, Robert Sacre and Kelly Olynyk. Kispert, a freshman from King’s High School in Edmonds, has learned a few words in French and says the blend of personalities is a plus.

MARCH 2018 • 39

Gonzaga sophomore Rui Hachimura is the program’s first player to hail from Japan. He continues to draw media attention in his home country as a talent that many say has the potential to play in the NBA. Photo by Craig Howard “It definitely makes us appreciate different backgrounds off the court – it challenges us socially, which is good,” he said. “On the court, European players bring an entirely different element to the game of basketball and I think our offenses cater to them really well.” Redshirt freshman Zach Norvell Jr. came to Spokane from Chicago and, like Melson, has learned to appreciate sushi, now calling it one of his top five foods. When it comes to navigating any language barriers, Norvell Jr. said teammates always pitch in. “I feel like we do a good job of communicating and passing along the message,” he said. “If someone doesn’t understand, we help them understand.” Tillie passed on schools like Utah and Georgia Tech to follow in the footsteps of his countryman Turiaf

Representatives of three continents and four countries are represented in this picture of the Gonzaga University men’s basketball bench from earlier this season. From left to right: Joel Ayayi (France), Jesse Wade (U.S.A. - Utah), Jacob Larsen (Denmark), Killian Tillie (France), Rui Hachimura (Japan) and Zach Norvell Jr. (U.S.A. - Illinois). Photo by Craig Howard

and other Zags from Europe. “The success of other European players at Gonzaga, it was really interesting for me and I think that’s why I chose this program,” Tillie said. “It was the best fit for me and my game.” Freshman guard Jesse Wade is one of 10 American-born players on the roster which includes representation from 10 different states. After having served a twoyear mission in France for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Wade is fluent in the native language spoken by Tillie and red shirt freshman Joel Ayayi. “It’s awesome to be able to talk French with them,” Wade said. “It’s just cool that people from all different backgrounds can come here and form a brotherhood.” Tom Hudson started calling Gonzaga games on the radio in 1996. He says most people underestimate the transition foreign players have when grasping a new lexicon on the court and in the classroom. “From a basketball perspective, I think that gets overlooked a lot,” Hudson said. “It’s not like you’re just asking where to get dinner in English. I mean they’re using terminology that has nothing to do with day-to-day life. It’s a challenging situation. You’re also coming here and you’re going to college-level classes. You’re not just learning how to speak basic English.” Hudson remembers Karnowski’s first appearance on the radio being nerve wracking for the Polish native. “Can you imagine being 19 years old, putting on a headset and talking in your second language on the air like that?” Hudson said. “But you see these players develop as people. I mean look at someone like Shem (Karnowski) who couldn’t speak much of the language when he got here and eventually he becomes an ambassador for the program, the guy who spoke for the team. It’s a pretty neat deal.”

The Splash

40 • MARCH 2018

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March 2018 Splash  
March 2018 Splash  

Greenstone homes and the good homes neighbor effect; The story behind Liberty Lake's most dynamic developer