April 2019 Splash

Page 1





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



Driving the City Economy

Municipal revenue keyed by RV, auto sales PAGE 10




2 • APRIL 2019

The Park Bench

Enthusiasm Broker – Daines off and running with new venture By Craig Howard

Splash Editor Walking through the halls of the Liberty Lake Portal with Steven Daines is a bit like strolling through Disneyland with Uncle Walt himself – or at least one of the park’s beloved mascots. Before he decided to start his own commercial real estate business a year ago, Daines served as director of operations at the Portal and still knows many of the tenants. His new venture – Daines Capital – is housed here and the building’s former proprietor is at ease greeting folks with his signature smile and no shortage of enthusiasm. Steven’s dad – Ethernet pioneer Bernard Daines – purchased the first portion of the Portal in 2000 and worked with his son to establish it as one of the region’s business hubs before passing in 2014.

NEWS Known as one of the world’s leading computer innovators, Bernard started companies like Worldwide Packets and Linus Networx and was named by Newsweek magazine as one of the top 100 people to watch for in the first decade of the 21st century. President George W. Bush once appointed Bernard to serve on a federal Information Technology Committee. While several of Steven’s siblings – he is the youngest of six born to Bernard and his wife Marsha – wound up pursuing careers in technology, Steven chose a different path. “I like technology but I prefer people,” he says. “I like to bring people together. I wasn’t really into computers growing up and my dad made it really clear – he said, ‘You don’t have to be a geek like me.’” Steven relishes the memories of working together with his dad on expanding the Portal into what it is today. When the effects of diabetes relegated Bernard to a care center, Steven would visit his father regularly to talk shop. “I definitely grew closer to my dad,” he said. “I don’t speak binary and am not a computer guy but I was able to work on real estate with him. We both spoke that language.” Steven was born in Union City, California and moved to the Inland Northwest with his family when he was 11. He played soccer growing

Steven Daines, former director of operations at Liberty Lake Portal, launched his own commercial real estate company – Daines Capital – last year. The Central Valley High graduate is the son of the late Bernard Daines, acknowledged as one of the pioneers of the Ethernet. Photo by Craig Howard

up and graduated from Central Valley High School in 2001. At CV, Daines was vice-president of his senior class and a standout on the debate team. When he won the Superintendent’s Award as a senior, he gave the award to a fellow student with developmental challenges. Daines recalls his athletic history in high school with self-deprecating humor, noting that he was “MVP of the C squad” in soccer and “won the first lap of the 800 meters” in track. After earning his diploma from CV, Daines headed to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah where he majored in Business Management with an emphasis in Finance. After one year in college, he served a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Washington, D.C. Daines met his future wife Cassie at BYU. The couple married in 2006. After college, Daines returned to the Spokane area and started working part-time at the Portal, leasing out office space. In 2008, he latched on with Paul Mitchell, working in admissions for the company’s Valley training site. That lasted until 2013 when he transitioned into a full-time role at the Portal. Daines said he has savored the challenge and pace of commercial real estate so far. When not in his Portal office, he keeps business hours at the Tapio Center off I-90 near the Thor/Freya exit. “I enjoy the negotiating process and the strategy part,” Daines said. “I just love talking to people.” When not buying, selling or leasing buildings and land, Daines enjoys spending time with his wife and their five kids. He is an avid snowboarder and competes in Spartan races. The Splash caught up with Daines recently to chat about his career, family, computers, people and his famous dad. Q: You’re about a year into this new venture with Daines Capital. How have things gone so far? A: Amazing! I’m busier and having more fun than I thought I could. It’s one of those things that if I had known how much I’d enjoy it, I would have done it much sooner. But of course, I had 10 years of preparation that were essential. I’ve been able to work with so many great people and mentors that I’m learning more every day about the field and possibilities. Q: How much did the current robust real estate market affect your decision to go into this business? A: Not much actually. I chose the field because it was the absolute

The Splash perfect fit for me. Bringing people together, working with numbers and making everything come out a win. Q: Your dad had so much success starting businesses of his own. How has his example of entrepreneurship influenced your own approach? A: So much. My dad would tell people, “Go try” and “Go do it” and one time when I had a particularly outlandish dream he told me, “See how far you get.” He was always encouraging us to do what we had passion for. He used the example of Henry B. Eyring, a leader in our church, whose father told him, speaking of chemistry, “Don’t you think about this stuff all the time?” And Henry didn’t, so it wasn’t the path for him. He wanted me to find my own path, whatever it was. Q: As the son of Bernard Daines, you must get a lot of people who ask why you didn’t pursue some sort of high-tech career. Why wasn’t this the best fit for you? A: I’ve destroyed more computers than my dad ever built! Not really, I just get so much more joy out of connecting with people. It also helps that I swallowed the Blarney Stone. My mom once told me when I was leaving the house, “Now, remember to let your friends talk.” In college, my cousin and roommate said, “You’re either talking or sleeping... and you talk in your sleep.” Q: How do you think your experience of managing the Liberty Lake Portal may have helped you prepare for your latest professional journey? A: Hugely! Seeing first-hand what businesses need from their office space, what helps, what detracts and what makes a community. It really has shaped how I approach helping people buy/sell/lease space. It’s a deep well I can draw from when advising people on these major real estate decisions. Q: As you look at the Portal now, what do you think it has meant to Liberty Lake both in terms of a business hub and a community landmark? A: Good question! I really hope it’s a sense of pride for the community. I think it’s a beautiful building and we really strive to have happy tenants. So I hope those who drive or walk by view it with a sense of, at least passing, pleasure. Q: Your dad was a generous philanthropist, at one point giving $1 million to Central Valley High School, your alma mater, for technology upgrades. Why do you think making a difference was so important

See DAINES , Page 3

The Splash

APRIL 2019 • 3


Continued from page 2

to him and has it affected the way you would like to leave an impact in your community? A: That’s a deeper one. That specific giving example was one of the very few that was publicly shared. He stated that he and my mom were only giving publicly to encourage others to give as well. Living simply and being generous people was/is just a way of life for my parents. I hope that lives on in me and that I can pass it on to my kids (and theirs). I had an (LDS Church) mission president say, “We won’t know how we did in leading you until we see how your grandkids turn out.” That’s powerful stuff. What really matters in the end? Clayton Christensen wrote a great book called, “How Will You Measure Life?” and it talks about that in-depth. Q: What has been the most rewarding part of owning and operating Daines Capital so far? A: On a client level, my favorite moments are when we are working on a strategy and the client looks at me and says, “I trust you, let’s do it.” I don’t know if there’s anything better than that. My goal is to build

a high-trust brand where clients know that I have their best interest at heart. On a business level, I can’t describe it and I know it will sound silly to some people, but it’s the sense of personal pride and accomplishment to build something and create something that is my own. Q: You have been around the Liberty Lake business community for a good decade or more now. How has it changed in the time you’ve been here? A: We have seen real growth and we are only touching what we’ll see in the next three years. With the school(s) and other developments in the works, hold on to your hats and your lake property. Q: Finally, where would you like to see Daines Capital 10 years from now? A: Just about everywhere, the New York Stock Exchange, you know, the works. But really, in 10 years some of my children will just be becoming old enough to work with me professionally and I really look forward to that. I’m striving to build a high-trust brand where my clients know that I have their best interest at heart and a place where I can work on fun projects with fun people.


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4 • APRIL 2019

Sign code changes translate to limited impact By Benjamin Shedlock Splash Correspondent

Two years after the Liberty Lake City Council signed off on a significant code revision designed to allow more electronic reader boards, the signs are still – well – off. The code revision was part of Liberty Lake’s careful, ongoing balancing of its natural, outdoors aesthetic standards against the need to accommodate daily life, safety and commerce. The new rules, which were the result of extensive research, debate and public involvement, allow electronic changing message signs (ECMS) for businesses along I-90 and public entities along Appleway and Country Vista. By enacting the changes, the city hoped to give local businesses an even playing field with their competitors in neighboring municipalities by allowing them to use modern advertising methods. The city also recognized the need to make sure citizens could receive important information while maintaining the understated, bucolic atmosphere that Liberty Lake has so carefully cultivated since its incorporation in 2001. The new code has not substantially changed the landscape. Only one Liberty Lake business, R n’ R RV, has placed an ECMS along I-90. Public entities have added a few small monument ECMS signs at government and school buildings “Having a sign that we can change the message on is important so that we can put seasonal specials up or announce clearance sales,” said Jerry Wagner general manager of R n’ R RV. “Or even doing a public service and putting the time and temperature up.” Wagner says he is happy with his company’s new sign, but reaction from the public to his and the city’s public information signs has been muted. “The response has been somewhat limited,” said Lisa Key director of Planning and Engineering Services for Liberty Lake. A limited response Since the council adopted the code changes in 2016, a lull has come over the signage issue. By now, signs were expected to line


the freeway in Liberty Lake, and debate was expected to sharpen to the question of allowing ECMS in the city core. Mayor Steve Peterson believed interest would be piqued especially if ECMS along I-90 proved successful. His speculation was fueled by intense interest from the wider business community in the signage code, including high-profile companies like Consign Furniture, Huntwood Custom Cabinets and the MasterCraft boat dealership. Despite support from the city, Wagner’s dealership has been the only business to sign on. “Mayor Peterson did a very good job in helping us get the approval to get the sign,” Wagner said, adding that he city was “really good to work with.” Wagner cautioned that assessing the effectiveness of any kind of advertising is difficult but he is confident the investment will pay off for his company. “The sign has definitely had a positive impact,” Wagner said. R n’ R RV went for a high-end sign with sharp resolution and good clarity. Interviewed by shortly after the new code went into effect in 2016, Wagner identified the price of good signs as between $100,000 to $200,000. Wagner sees the value of such a sign in terms of the flexibility

it provides his company and the relationship it helps build with customers. City Administrator Katy Allen was planning to see how the community reacted to the changes, but according to Key, residents haven’t had much to say, but the few comments have been positive. “Generally speaking, people like the city’s reader board, which is limited to monument signs,” said Key, referring to the subdued ECMS allowed for public entities along Appleway Avenue and Country Vista Drive. The only subsequent changes have been implementing the code changes in planning documents, according to Key. The 2016 code amendments were made to the city’s master plan and the city has had to amend the specific area plans, or SAPs, governed by the master plan to bring them in line. “When we changed to allow public entities to have monument-style reader board signs, we didn’t amend the River District SAP regulations,” Key said. As a result, schools in the River District SAP could not put up ECMS, but the city has since updated the SAP. “This is a planned change to the code that is in line with the intent of the 2016 change,” Key said. More changes to come

The new electronic changing message sign at R n’ R RV allows the business to more effectively promote seasonal specials and clearance sales. R n’ R RV moved to Liberty Lake in 2001 after being located on Auto Row in Spokane Valley. Photo by Craig Howard

The Splash

R n’ R RV in Liberty Lake once promoted itself with the above sign along Interstate-90. A change to the city sign code allowed for a new electronic changing message sign (below). Photo by Craig Howard The future of the debate looks different than it did in 2016. The lack of demand for signs may prompt fewer changes to the code in the business district. However, recent court decisions and trends in zoning suggest changes regarding content neutrality may be on the horizon. “That would involve a pretty big overhaul,” Key said. The concept of content neutrality holds that municipalities cannot regulate a sign based on its content. According to Key, the city began examining content neutrality in 2018 but decided to wait to act on it until conflicting case law resolves itself. “As many municipalities are, we’re in a holding pattern to get some additional clarification from the courts as to the applicability of this,” Key said. For now, Liberty Lake residents can expect to see one more monument ECMS at Selkirk Middle School once it is built. If the annexation of land for the new high school goes through, a sign will also be part of that landscape. The city will partner with the Central Valley School District to place their messaging on the schools’ signs. As for the retail side of the ECMS discussion, Wagner thinks businesses still don’t have access to the resources they need for the signs they would like. “Monument signs are nice looking aesthetic signs,” Wagner said. “They just don’t always serve the purpose.”

The Splash

APRIL 2019 • 5


New LLPD officers stay close to home By Linda Ball

Splash Correspondent The city of Liberty Lake has two new police officers, with deep roots in the area. Tuan Nguyen, 32, was born and raised in Spokane and Stephanie Scheurer, 24, has lived in Liberty Lake since she was an 8-year-old who always wanted to be a cop. Liberty Lake Police Department Sgt. Darin Morgan said the agency had the two openings due to one officer leaving to join the Cheney Police Department and the other opening as a result of a resignation. Another new position has been opened this year and the department is still looking to fill that one. Nguyen, a newlywed of one year, has been in law enforcement for six years. After graduating from Gonzaga Prep High School in Spokane, he attended Washington State University, earning a degree in Fire Science Technology with

the intention of pursuing a career in firefighting. That career course changed when he decided to attend the police academy in Burien, Washington. He worked for the Spokane County Sheriff’s Department, Spokane County Corrections and the Kalispel Tribal Police before joining the Liberty Lake force. Nguyen said he likes Liberty Lake even though he resides in the Five Mile Prairie area. “The community has a good relationship with the Liberty Lake department,” he said. He also cited the supportive work environment, training and understanding of personal issues. His wife works on the domestic violence unit with the Spokane Police Department, so law enforcement is a family affair in the Nguyen house. He will be a patrol officer with LLPD, answering 911 calls, being proactive as far as crime prevention and keeping an eye out for anything that looks suspicious. Scheurer, who is a mom to a 13-month-old, started her career in law enforcement when she was 21. Truly a hometown girl, she

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Everything from RARE TO RETRO

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Spokane Fair and Expo Center 4 0 4 N H AVA N A S T | S P O K A N E , WA







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The Splash

6 • APRIL 2019


Continued from page 5

went to Liberty Lake Elementary School, Greenacres Middle School and Central Valley High School graduating in 2012. In fact, Liberty Lake Police Chief Brian Asmus was her fifth-grade instructor at LLES in the D.A.R.E. program that educates kids about the dangers of drugs, violence and gangs.

Friday, June 21, 2019 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday, June 22, 2019 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sign up by June 13 to list your sale and information in the official guide. Registration fees go to the Kiwanis Club Foundation and will be utilized as sponsorships for local graduates.


Four registration options


Online: $15

Submit your registration and secure credit card payment at www.libertylakekiwanis.org Take advantage of add-on options like a highlight color, a black border or a bold title to help your sale stand out from the rest. Online ads can also exceed the 20-word maximum for a small, per-word fee.


Mail-in form : $20


Commercial Vendors: (online only): $250.00

Complete the registration form below and submit it along with your fee. Remember, registration must be received by June 13 to be included in the official guide.

Join the festivities in the middle of it all at Pavillion Park by being a vendor. Commercial vendors are welcome and receive a 12-foot by 12-foot section at the park. This registration option is available at www.libertylakekiwanis.org , and it includes a listing in the official guide. Double the space is available for $500.00 Registered Pavillion Park sellers who decide not to come must notify organizers at least five days in advance in order to receive a refund. Contact information is at the bottom of the page.


Artisan Vendors: (online only): $75.00

Join in the fun at Pavillion Park and showcase your handcrafted goods. Artisan Vendors are welcome at the $75.00 price and receive a 10-foot by 10-foot section in the park. This registration option is available at www.libertylakekiwanis.org. Registered artisan vendors who decide not to come must notify organizers at least 5 days in advance in order to receive a refund. Contact information is at the bottom of the page. Name Phone

Scheurer attended the police academy in Spokane and then went to work for the police department in Toppenish, Washington. She moved back to Liberty Lake to be closer to her family. Scheurer will also be on patrol looking out for the community using the same tactics as Nguyen. When asked about being a young woman in such a dangerous occupation, she said she relies on being smart in her actions and tactics and relying on backup when needed.

Organized by

Liber ty Lake

WHAT DOES YOUR REGISTRATION PAY FOR? A supported event: The sales will be advertised and publicized through regionwide outlets, and the Kiwanis Club is working with local authorities and strategic vendors to ensure a safe and well-supported event. Restrooms: Portable restrooms are provided throughout the community for attendees’ convenience. Thousands of shoppers: Liberty Lake is flooded with shoppers for this event every June, so timing your yard sale to correspond with the annual sales is just smart business. Please pay the registration fee to ensure the future of the yard sales. After expenses, all proceeds from the event will be reinvested by the Kiwanis Club into the community. A listing “on the map”: Attract customers before the sale even begins by featuring your sale in the official event guide. A 20-word description of your sale is complimentary with your registration fee, and 10,000 copies of the guide will be distributed to not only every address in Liberty Lake — but at businesses and newsstands throughout the area in the days leading up to and during the sale. Returning this year will also be the interactive map, for easy access to listings on your mobile device! 2018 PRSRT STD ECRWSS

Address Description (Not to exceed 20 words)

U.S. Postage Paid Permit #010 ZIP CODE 99019

Feature your business in the guide!


A limited number of advertising placements are available in the annual event guide. Call 242-7752 or email advertise@libertylakesplash.com to put your business and organization in front of thousands of eager shoppers in what is one of The Splash’s most dog-eared and poredover publications of the year. Celebrating

25 Yea

rs! Over 150 Participatin Artisan and g Hand CrafteHomes d Vendors in

Payments should be made out to the Kiwanis Club of Liberty Lake. Mail them to The Splash, PO Box 363, Liberty Lake, WA 99019 along with the completed registration form. No phone or in-person registration is available. All proceeds will be used as scholarships for local graduates.

Questions?  For registration-related inquiries, contact The Splash at 242-7752 or advertise@libertylakesplash.com.  For general yard sale inquiries or with vendor questions, contact Liberty Lake Kiwanis member Melissa Niece 509-850-0845. Publishers of the official 2018 Yard Sale Guide

Pavillion Park

Liberty Lake

Advertising Deadline: June 1, 2019

Both of the new officers are still training with a field-training officer (FTO). They drive and do the heavy lifting, with the FTO riding along for the first eight weeks, before being turned out on their own. Neither Nguyen nor Scheurer has had to use their service weapon to date. Currently the Liberty Lake Police Department has eight patrol officers, two sergeants, one detective and Chief Asmus. The department relies on the Spokane County Sheriff’s Department for K-9 units and the state lab for most forensic work. However, it does have its own SWAT vehicle, interrogation rooms, training areas and a workout room for the officers. Asmus, who has been LLPD chief over the entire history of incorporated Liberty Lake going back to 2001, started the department with two officers out of a small space at the Meadowwood building. They city has grown to over 10,000 residents since that time. “We’re glad to have these two on board,” Asmus said of Scheurer and Nguyen joining the force. Along with the ongoing recruitment of additional officers, LLPD is also looking to fill chaplain and commissioner positions. The department shares the concern of understaffing with many agencies across the country. The Police Executive Research Forum recently surveyed 400 police agencies in the U.S. and found that 66 percent had seen a decrease in applicants. The same survey showed that one-third of first-year officers left within their initial year while 40 percent left after fewer than five years. “It continues to be a challenge,” said Asmus of keeping the agency fully staffed.

The Splash

APRIL 2019 • 7

The Lookout MEMO

plan” is the saying. The city budget which began in January now has been in effect for three months. At ourFINANCIAL last council meeting, Finance CITY OF LIBERTY LAKE - MONTHLY DASHBOARD Director RJ Stevenson presented CITY OF LAKE - MONTHLY FINANCIAL DASHBOARD For LIBERTY General Fund (001) and Street Fund (110) - February 2019 the “Dashboard” of operations thru CITY OF LIBERTY LAKE MONTHLY FINANCIAL DASHBOARD By Mayor SteveForPeterson General FundCurrent (001) and Streetassessment Fund (110) - February 2019 financial February. The results are as follows: For General Fund (001) and Street Fund (110) February 2019 Extreme Bad Very Bad Bad and High Concern Concern Mild Concern Fair Good Very good Excellent Current financial assessment “Create your plan work your

from the


Very good


Very good


Greatly Greatly Greatly Exceeding Exceeding Exceeding Expectations Expectations Expectations


Exceeding Exceeding Exceeding Expectations Expectations Expectations

Mild Concern

Meeting Meeting Meeting Expectation Expectation Expectation


Some Concern Some Some Concern Concern

High Concern

Revenue Stress Revenue Revenue Stress Stress

High Concern Concern Mild Concern Fair Current financial assessment

Revenues Revenues Revenues Revised Revised Revised


Short-Term Short-Term Short-Term problems problems problems


Very Bad

Revise Budget Revise Revise Budget Budget

Very Bad

Extreme Bad

Fundamental Fundamental Fundamental Fiscal Fiscal Stress Fiscal Stress Stress

Extreme Bad

Long-Term Long-Term Long-Term Problems Problems Problems




1,016 1,016 1,016

8,485 8,485 8,485

2,275 2,275 2,275





Other Revenue Other Revenue Other Revenue

Liberty Lake Library Director At the Liberty Lake Municipal Library, we’re happy to announce that library cardholders can now access two new online resources, Lynda.com and Gale LegalForms. These resources are free to patrons, so if you have an account with us all you need is your library card number and password. Just be sure to connect through the library’s website: www.libertylakewa. gov/435/library. Lynda.com offers more than 12,000 online educational courses taught by industry experts and designed for any skill level. Available courses range from computer programming to project management including instruction on various computer software,

With Gale LegalForms cardholders can access thousands of Washington-state specific forms. There are categories like Small Business, Wills and Estates, Landlord Tenant, Divorce and Power of Attorney (among others). You simply choose a category and then choose from a list of available forms. Each form gives a full description to help anyone choose what they need. With one click, the form opens with spaces to click and fill in your own information like your name, city and even case number. The library is now also offering patrons the option to receive text message notifications rather than phone or email notices. Cardholders can set this up online with My Account or by informing library staff the next time they visit.

Budget Actual Actual

Total Total Total

As you can the location Publicsee Safety by Parks and Rec Streets of the arrow, we are in the green “Meeting Expectations.” This data is now available to everyone on the city website (www.libertylakewa. gov) and you can track our progress through the year. Working this budget plan, verifying our metrics and results ensures that we are making progress on our goals outlined in the city’s strategic plan.

All Others All Others

8,678 8,678 8,678

Total Total

Budget Budget Actual Budget Actual 1,243 1,243 1,243

Streets Streets


Parks and Rec Parks and Rec

2,754 2,754 2,754

Public Safety Public Safety

64 64 64

1,000 0

Utility Tax

1,093 1,093 1,093

7,000 6,000 5,000 6,000 5,000 4,000

3,000 2,000 1,000 2,000 1,000 0

Sales Tax


9,000 8,000 7,000 8,000 7,000 6,000

5,000 4,000 3,000 4,000 3,000 2,000

Utility Tax Utility Tax

Total Budget for Snow YTD Exp for Snow Equip= $170K = $83K Does not include City Staff Time Total Budget for Snow = $170K YTD Exp for Snow Equip = $83K Does equipment lease costs not include City Staff Time Total include Budget for Snow = $170K Does include equipment lease costs not include City Staff Time Does include equipment lease costs


9,000 9,000 8,000

Sales Tax Sales Tax

Budget Budget Actual

By Jocelyn Redel

programming languages and business topics as well as creative arts like 3D animation, video editing and photography.

General Fund/Streets Expenses thru 2-28-19 General Fund/Streets Expenses thru 2-28-19 General Expenses thru 2-28-19 YTDFund/Streets Exp for Snow Equip = $83K

2,388 2,388 2,388

Thousands Thousands Thousands


3,200 3,200 3,200

7 7

Property Taxes Property Taxes Property

2,443 2,443 2,443


Permit Revenue YTD = $109K Zoning & Planning Rev = $4K Permit Revenue YTD = $109K Zoning & Planning Rev = $4K Permit Revenue YTD = $109K Zoning & Planning Rev = $4K

2,200 2,200 2,200

9,000 8,000 9,000 7,000 8,000 9,000 6,000 7,000 8,000 5,000 6,000 7,000 4,000 5,000 6,000 3,000 4,000 5,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 1,000 2,000 3,000 1,0000 2,000 1,0000

General Fund/Streets Revenue thru 2-28-19 General Fund/Streets Revenue thru 2-28-19 General Fund/Streets Revenue thru 2-28-19


Thousands Thousands Thousands

COUNCIL ACTION ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION NORMAL COUNCIL ACTION ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION NORMAL Key Indicators: COUNCIL ACTION ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION NORMAL - YTD 2019 Sales Tax = $550K, 2018 YTD = $526KKey Indicators: - Total Revenue collected for 2019 = $1,015,751 - Reserve is $1.27M - Total Expenses for 2019 =for$1,242,855 YTD 2019Fund Salesbalance Tax = $550K, 2018 YTD = $526KKey Indicators: Revenue collected 2019 = $1,015,751 -2-28-19 General Fund Cash Balance = $3,460,000(per policy minimum is $1,700,000) - Reserve Fund is $1.27M - Total Expenses for 2019 =for$1,242,855 YTD 2019 Salesbalance Tax = $550K, 2018 YTD = $526K Revenuebalance collected 2019 = $1,015,751 -2-28-19 Fund Cash Balance = $3,460,000(per policy minimum balance is $1,700,000) - ReserveGeneral Fund balance is $1.27M - Total Expenses for 2019 = $1,242,855 -2-28-19 General Fund Cash Balance = $3,460,000(per policy minimum balance is $1,700,000)

Library announces new online resources

April 2019


Please take to view All Others Total time Liberty Lake’s website to see our Dashboard and strategic plan. Sign up for Notify Me to be “in the know” for all of the upcoming events and construction activity. We want to make sure you have a complete picture of what’s happening in our city. It is our goal to make sure Liberty Lake remains Spokane County’ premier address!

Residents can track community events on website

We’ve all been there before. You hear about a fun local event that has occurred and wonder why it wasn’t on your calendar.

Website visitors can go to www. libertylakewa.gov, then click on “Our Community” at the top of the page. The “Community Events” tab is included under “Parks and Recreation” and now includes a thorough listing of upcoming events such as the annual Easter Egg Hunt (April 20), Spring Cleanup Day (April 27) and more.

The city is trying to do its part to make sure residents don’t get left out. Liberty Lake Operations and Maintenance Director Jennifer Camp gave a report at the March 19 City Council meeting, describing recent updates to the city website that feature a more comprehensive listing of activities and events.

If you’re looking ahead, events like the opening of the Liberty Lake Farmers Market (May 18) are also listed along with individual links providing more information. Residents can also sign up to receive reminders about events which will be sent seven days prior to the occasion.

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

The Splash

8 • APRIL 2019

City moves ahead with emergency repairs on Mission By Craig Howard Splash Editor City Engineer Scott Bernhard began his report last month on proposed emergency street repairs with a question to City Council

members. “How many of you have been out to Mission?” he asked. Motorists who have navigated Mission Avenue this winter – particularly after the meltoff from heavy February snow storms – are being introduced to a phenomenon known as “frost heave” characterized by water seeping into cracks in the road. That water works its way down to the subgrade, freezes and lifts the pavement up. By the time the ice unthaws, the surface has dropped down and the street ends up looking like scattered pieces of peanut brittle.

“There’s really Bernhard said.


Splash Editor • The city celebrated 16 years as a Tree City USA last month. The designation is bestowed by the Arbor Day Foundation • Spokane Valley Fire Chief Bryan Collins gave a report on AEDs (automated external defibrillators) at the March 5 council meeting. AEDs are portable devices that deliver an electric shock to the heart that can prompt the return of a normal rhythm following cardiac arrest. Collins said SVFD is trying to get AEDs into more locations and promote the use of those that are already in place. In related news, the agency continues to get the word out about PulsePoint, an app that alerts residents to incidents of cardiac arrest so they can respond. Collins said registering AEDs into the PulsePoint network “is as simple as taking a picture of the AED and getting it into the system.” For more information, call SVFD at 928-1700 • SVFD is hosting a new program for apartment managers about fire protection safety, focusing on smoke alarms and other safety measures. Mayor Pro Tem Shane Brickner suggested that SVFD have a booth at this summer’s Barefoot in the Park event to promote CPR, PulsePoint, AEDs, smoke alarms and other safety practices • City Council members had a 75-percent turn-in rate on a survey commissioned by the newly convened Salary Commission. Follow-up interviews with each council member are next in the process as well as a compensation study. The Salary Commission is evaluating the pay for mayor and City Council positions • The city once again received the Well City grant which will

translate into a 2-percent decrease in insurance coverage for city employees • February started strong from a sales tax standpoint, led by the construction of the Selkirk Middle School, according to Finance Director RJ Stevenson. Revenue from RV and auto sales as well as additional construction also helped boost the numbers • Planning Commission Chair Phil Folyer said the group will hold public hearings on the proposed amendments to the food truck ordinance and design review code amendments at its next meeting on April 10 • The Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District will be conducting tours of the newly expanded water treatment plant this spring • The city will hold a dedicated training day for municipal employees on April 23. City Hall and the library will be closed that day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. • City Administrator Katy Allen said both Harvard Bridge and Henry Road projects continue to be included in recommended funding as part of the latest legislative session in Olympia • A public hearing was held on proposed amendments to the city’s street tree ordinance on March 19. Director of Planning and Engineering Services Lisa Key said the goal of revising the document was to simplify and consolidate various policies to protect the city’s greenscape and provide clearer guidance on street trees. “We want to better facilitate compliance with the code,” said Key. City Council, the Planning Commission and the Parks and Arts Commission all had input in the amendment process as did outside consultants brought in by the city. The city plans to have a brochure with the new street tree guidelines available in time for


Bernhard told council that the city brought in experts from the asphalt industry to come out and survey the damage. Meanwhile, city crews have been going out regularly to remove the fractured portions of the roadway but Bernhard expressed concern about ongoing costs of such an approach. “It’s about 1,000 feet of road that’s really coming apart,” he said. Option 1 would be to do nothing for now, Bernhard said. Waiting for a full rebuild means the road wouldn’t be completed until 2021. Option 2 would consist of select

City Council News and Notes – April 2019 By Craig Howard


spring tree planting • Police Chief Brian Asmus said this year’s Polar Plunge event was “very successful” but “very cold.” Participants waded through Liberty Lake to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics. Asmus said there around 1,500 Special Olympics athletes in the region. Over $30,000 has been raised to this point by LLPD • Mayor Steve Peterson awarded Dennis Scott with a belated Employee of the Year plaque for 2018 on March 5. Scott served as interim city engineer after Andrew Staples departed for the city of Spokane. Peterson pointed out Scott’s achievements in areas like code enforcement and the first phase of Orchard Park construction. “This is a very special award and I’m humbled and honored by it,” Scott said • The Library Board report from the meeting on March 5 included an update that requests for proposals have come in for the library needs assessment and master plan. The library is also revising its welcome brochure. Friends of the Library had a silent auction for Valentine’s Day baskets which raised $900 • An update on snow removal March 5 included word about issues with ice causing potholes on local roads. Stephen Williams of the city’s maintenance team commented that February “was quite a month” for snow. “We’re only a year into taking over this snow removal process as a city,” said Brickner. “I think these crews have done an incredible job.” • Council authorized the mayor or the city administrator to sign the task order from Parametrix in the amount of $4,250 for electrical design of the parking lot lights for the north field near Liberty Creek Elementary

patchwork. The last option would feature emergency repairs or a partial rebuild which Bernhard said would add two to three more years of life to the street. “We’re just going to try to get it back to what it was before,” he said. “It’s a minimal cost approach.” Bernhard said the estimate for Option 3 is around $200,000. A request for a quote was sent out to five paving companies. Four of the five will be submitting a quote, Bernhard said. Asphalt plants are supposed to open around April 15, Bernhard noted, meaning the project could start in the May 1-15 range and take one or two days, depending on the method. The emergency repair plan received unanimous support around the dais with council passing Resolution 19-246 to approve necessary funding. “The only thing I would encourage is to give notification to the residents who live in that area to let them know they need to go another direction,” said Mayor Pro Tem Shane Brickner. Trailhead update Finance Director RJ Stevenson gave a report on financing options related to the proposal to overhaul the clubhouse and pro shop at the Trailhead golf course, identified as a top priority by the council for 2019. Stevenson said various approaches would begin with looking at what funds the city has on hand to go toward the project. Secondly, options like selling an asset or borrowing money could be utilized. There is also the option of funding such a project through something called “council-matic” bonds which can be approved without a public vote. A traditional debt service proposal would need to go before voters to gauge whether taxes should be raised to cover the project. Certain fees could also be raised at the course to help address the costs. A 15-year, $2 million bond would mean annual average payments of $176,000. A 20-year, $2 million bond would translate into a $145,000 annual payment while a 30-year, $2 million bond would run $117,000 a year. Stevenson also gave of higher dollar bonds same timelines. Council presented with six-year in other funding areas,

examples over the was also forecasts including

See COUNCIL, Page 9

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APRIL 2019 • 9



Continued from page 8 general fund and streets operations, the street capital fund, Harvard Road mitigation fund and REET (Real Estate Excise Tax) funds. “I think what we’re trying to identify is what kind of community opportunity there is at Trailhead and then come back and see how we want to fund that,” said Mayor Steve Peterson. “There is a business component to this other than green grass.” Council Member Bob Moore expressed concern that it was too early in the process to talk about paying for Trailhead, “when we don’t know what the project is going to look like.” “Ultimately, my biggest concern is what is the debt service going to be,” Moore added. Council Member Cris Kaminskas said it would be important for the city to consider need before want at Trailhead. “We should be looking at what function do we need to fill,” she said. Council Member Odin Langford

This traffic roundabout on Mission Avenue and Harvest Parkway is one of the latest infrastructure improvements on the north side of the city. Last month, the City Council approved emergency repairs on Mission in response to the impact of winter weather. Photo by Craig Howard encouraged the establishment of a budget for the project with an eye toward other necessary expenditures that may arise in the city.

cheap,” he said. “I’m just saying we’re a city and there are other needs that come up.”

“I’m not saying do this on the

“There’s nobody in this room

No action was taken Stevenson’s presentation.


that has bought a car or a house without looking at the payment,” said Council Member Mike Kennedy. “It’s the same situation with our city and a project like this.”

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10 • APRIL 2019


Economic Engines – Auto, RV dealers steer LL economy By Tyler Wilson

Splash Correspondent You could say that RV and auto sales drive the economy in Liberty Lake. The community’s lineup of RV and automobile dealerships contribute a significant chunk of sales tax revenue each year and have since the city incorporated in 2001. Those funds support vital municipal services across Spokane County’s easternmost jurisdiction. Liberty Lake Mayor Steve Peterson said those businesses have made a major impact over the years. “These dealerships have not only made tremendous contributions in services and sales tax revenue, they have also contributed to the creation of jobs, community and business leadership,” Peterson said. City Administrator Katy Allen looked at the last two years of tax revenue to provide a general picture of the impact. “We bring in about $3.1 million in sales tax annually and about a

third of that comes from RV and auto sales, so that’s about a million dollars,” Allen said. Those numbers don’t include additional tax revenue brought in from the dealerships via service and repair centers, Allen added. “We value our dealerships in a lot of different ways,” Allen said. “We really view this as a partnership and we want them to be successful. They allow us to provide quality services to our residents.” All the businesses specializing in RVs and autos in Liberty Lake are close to Interstate 90, with convenience and proximity to the freeway being a major contributing factor to their presence and sustainability, Allen said. “The visibility from Interstate 90 is a major factor,” she said. There is room for more businesses too. Allen said that additional property zoned as I-90 commercial is available, though nothing is being actively pursued at the moment. Liberty Lake City Council Member

Dan Dunne said that available commercial property is just one way the city works to create opportunities for businesses to choose Liberty Lake as a home. That includes partnering with Greater Spokane Inc. and the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, regional business development organizations thatadvocate for the area and drive strategic growth. “It is imperative that the city has some representation in actively recruiting and retaining businesses,” Dunne said. Strong RV and auto sales certainly help the bottom line for Liberty Lake, but the city also takes steps to protect itself should an economic turndown or recession occur. City Finance Director RJ Stevenson said property taxes and other sources of revenue factor into a balanced approach to tax spending. “We do look at sales tax as kind of the last source of revenue to plug into programs,” Stevenson said. Stevenson said a reserve fund, which is currently holding about $1.3 million, can be used by City Council in emergency situations, including significant tax revenue loss.

The Splash

“A lot of it would depend on how deep and how long of recession,” he said. Allen said a backup plan is also in place that would result in cutbacks to nonessential services, such as landscaping and park services and seasonal employment. From a policy perspective, Dunne said he believes taxes should be established by what policy makers think are reasonable and appropriate regardless of prevailing economic conditions. “Economic recession does not warrant a change in the tax rate,” Dunne said. “It means we at the city need to adjust spending.” As of now, talks of recession are purely hypothetical. Stevenson said the city of Liberty Lake is nowhere near that situation now, as the local economy in general has been good. Still, the city is always looking ahead to any potential changes. “You watch it and you make decisions along the way,” Stevenson said. “We do a monthly dashboard of how we’re doing.” That idea was brought up several years ago by Council Member Bob Moore who brought an extensive history of managing money and budgets in the private sector to his role at the dais. Stevenson said this area typically experiences a lag behind national economic markers. For example, the 2008 economic downturn wasn’t fully felt locally until about a year later. That downturn resulted in the city introducing a 6-percent utility tax on garbage, phone, cable and electric bills to make up for the shortfall. The tax is still in place although at a lesser rate. “We do lag long enough that we can see situations coming,” Stevenson said. The broader impact of Gee Automotive Kevin Riordan, general manager of Gee Automotive in Liberty Lake, said the city and its residents have been supportive partners in the dealerships’ broad success over the years. George Gee moved his long-established GMC dealership into Liberty Lake back in 2000 from Auto Row in Spokane Valley, a move that was considered a risk at the time.

Gee Automotive offers a diverse array of vehicle brands, including Buick/GMC, Kia and Porsche, from its Liberty Lake locations. In 2017, Gee added Mercedes Benz of Spokane to its Liberty Lake lineup. The business relocated from Auto Row in Spokane Valley to Liberty Lake in 2000. Photo by Craig Howard

“When George built the dealerships out here, it was seen as kind of a leap of faith,” Riordan said. “There was research on the market and they predicted the growth out here. I’ve seen a

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APRIL 2019 • 11

Continued from page 10

tremendous increase in our sales volume and our services volume. And our business has grown. In the past five years we’ve almost doubled our parts and service business.” The Gee lineup of dealerships includes Buick/GMC, Kia and Porsche, as well as Mercedes-Benz of Spokane, which was acquired by Gee Automotive in October 2017. Riordan cited the visibility from the freeway as one reason for success but also credited the residential growth, including the River District, as well as an increased lineup of businesses and services on the north side of I-90. The dealerships have responded to that growth by boosting staff and adding services. For example, Gee offers quick lube services and employs mechanics who can work on all types of vehicles, including those outside of their sales offerings. “We’ve tried to make it more convenient for people who live here; we have expanded our fleet of support cars and shuttle service,” Riordan said. Much of their new business in the service department comes from people who have recently moved into the community, Riordan said. “Every time Greenstone opens up another section, we get a few more service customers,” he said. “We’ve seen the growth and so we hope to do a good job servicing their car and (retaining that business).” Riordan said up to about 60 percent of auto sales for GMC and Kia come from the dealerships’ primary market area, which runs into the Valley to the west and into Post Falls to the east. The Porsche and Mercedes dealerships cast a wider regional net, extending well into Montana, but Riordan

RVs and campers, from vintage to modern styles, are part of the inventory at Freedom RV in Liberty Lake. Just down the street, Camping World offers its own collection of similar products while R n’ R RV is located a mile or two to the east down Interstate-90. Photo by Craig Howard said affordable new options from Porsche have led to a significant boost in local sales. “We’re extremely optimistic about the growth in this area,” Riordan said. “The economy in Liberty Lake and Spokane Valley continues to be strong.” Gee Automotive has also provided considerable support to numerous local causes and programs, including Friends of Pavillion Park, Second Harvest and Post Falls Food Bank, local school programming, Coaches vs. Cancer and many more.

RVs in Liberty Lake - a brief history A trio of RV dealerships live inside the city limits of Liberty Lake - Freedom RV, Camping World and R’n’R RV. Freedom RV, located at 19605 E. Cataldo Road, moved from its Spokane Valley location in 2006. The company was known previously as Milestone RV before a change of ownership in 2003. They also have a clearance center on North Division in Spokane. Camping World, a nationwide retailer, moved into the former

Mastercraft space in Liberty Lake in 2012. They’re located at 19651 E. Cataldo Road. Camping World started in 1966 in Bowling Green, Kentucky nd now has more than 130 stores nationwide. Camping World sells RVS, travel trailers, vehicle supplies, camping accessories and more. R’n’R RV, located at 23203 E. Knox Ave., moved to Liberty Lake in 2001. The company launched in 1991 under the McCollum Auto Group and was located on Auto Row in the Spokane Valley before moving here. They also have North Spokane and Lewiston locations.

RV and auto sales represent around one-third of sales tax revenue in the city of Liberty Lake each year, or approximately $1 million. From left to right: Gee Automotive, Freedom RV, Camping World and R n’ R RV (not pictured) comprise the city’s robust retail foundation. Each business benefits from visibility along Interstate-90, the region’s main corridor. Photos by Craig Howard


12 • APRIL 2019

The Splash

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April 13 | Earth Day Celebration – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Balfour Park – 105 N. Balfour Road, across from Spokane Valley City Hall. This year’s theme is “Save the Species.” The event is a fundraiser to benefit Spokane Valley, Spokane and North Idaho’s surrounding communities’ natural environment. Learn how to celebrate Earth Day every day and how planting one seed can make a difference in saving our planet and protecting our environment. Event will feature an art walk, petting zoo, pet adoption drive, food trucks, farmers market, artisans, hobbyists and local resources. April 18 | Home Organization with 'Reclaimed Spaces' – 6 to 7:30 p.m., Liberty Lake Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave. Spring is a time of new growth. For some, new beginnings. Some of us look forward to gardening and flowers and yard work. Some look forward to spring decor. Some new clothes. And some even look forward to spring cleaning. This presentation and training can help with that. April 20 | Liberty Lake Easter Egg Hunt – 11 a.m., Pavillion Park, 727 N. Molter Road. Register toddlers up to fourth grade on April 15 from 3 to 6 p.m. or April 18 from 3 to 8 p.m. at Liberty Lake Municipal Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave. Must register to participate. Cost is $2 per child (cash or check only) or six plastic eggs filled with wrapped candy per child. April 26 | Arbor day celebration - Liberty Lake ballfields 23606 E Boone Ave, Liberty Lake, WA 99019 Time TBD for more information call Liberty Lake City Hall (509) 7556700 April 26-28 | Shrine Circus – New location across from the at Spokane Valley City Hall next to Balfour Park located in the Spokane Valley on the corner of East Sprague Avenue and Herald Road. The El Katif Shriners are excited to announce the return of the annual Shrine Circus. The circus is celebrating its 64th year. The festivities begin Friday, April 26 with shows at 3 and 7 p.m. and continue Saturday the 27th at 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. The circus will conclude on the 28th with shows at 1 and 5 p.m. Tickets

may be purchased at the box office on site beginning at 9am each day of the show. General admission is $10 per person. Reserved seating is $15, VIP tickets are $20 and ringmaster seats are available for $25 per person. The Shriners are about helping children. The Shrine Circus provides operating funds for the El Katif Shriners, so they can continue to support the Shrine Hospitals. Spokane is fortunate to have one of the 22 Shrine Hospitals in the U.S.

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

April 27 | City of Liberty Lake Spring Cleanup Day – 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Town Square Park, 1420 N. Meadowwood Lane. This event is a partnership between the city of Liberty Lake and Waste Management. For more information, call City Hall at 755-6700.

Catholic Singles Mingle | meeting times and locations vary. This group, with no dues, is for single adults of all ages. More at www.meetup.com/CatholicSingles-Mingle

April 27 | Spring Tea hosted by the Women’s Ministry of the Otis Orchards Community Church – 1 to 3 p.m. All are invited to this event featuring delicious food, a program with a speaker and music, auction baskets/gifts and door prizes. Come and celebrate “spring” for a joyful time of fun and fellowship. Call Milly Kropp at 928-1979 for further information or to reserve your place.

RECURRING Work Source employment assistance | Work Source of Spokane offers help with resumes, one-on-one employment coaching, job referrals and support services. For more information, call Marcia Jones at 532-3010 or visit www. worksourcewa.com. ACT 2 senior classes | Affordable classes offered by Community Colleges of Spokane to those who are retired or planning to retire. A wide range of courses from geology and history to exercise and art are offered at CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place, as well as other locations throughout the area. “Focused Fitness on Dishman Mica,” a yoga class, is now part of the schedule. More at www.sccel. spokane.edu/ACT2 Al-Anon family meetings | Mondays, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., Liberty Lake Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave. No meetings on holiday Mondays. Is there a problem of alcoholism with a relative or a friend? Al-Anon family groups can help. For more information call 456-2125

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 www.bahai.us

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 eastpointchurch.com Grange Meeting and Dessert | 6:30 p.m., third Wednesday of the month, Tri-Community Grange, 25025 Heather Street, Newman Lake. The public is welcome for this community-based service organization. For more information call 226-2202 or see us on Facebook Men’s Bible Study | 7:30 a.m. each Saturday at Spokane Valley United Methodist Church, 115 N. Raymond Road, Spokane Valley in the Fireplace Room. Liberty Lake Library | 23123 E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake. Various clubs and weekly meetings including book clubs, children’s story times, LEGO club, computer drop-in class, knitting club, and more. More at www.libertylakewa. gov/library Men’s Weekly Bible Study | 7 a.m. Tuesdays. Millwood Presbyterian Church, 3223 N. Marguerite Road, Millwood. The men’s weekly Bible Study meets in the Reception Hall with different members sharing in the leading of the study. All men are invited to join. More at www.milwoodpc.org Toastmasters, Liberty Lakers

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APRIL 2019 • 13


#399 | 5:45 to 7 p.m., Wednesdays at the Liberty Lake Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake. This is a speaking and leadership development club. Spokane Valley Quilt Guild | Meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of February, April, June, August, October and December at Valley Assembly of God Church, 15618 E. Broadway, Spokane Valley. Open to all interested in sharing ideas and skills of our quilting craft. Participants have can access a comprehensive library, can engage experienced teachers and participate in community service projects. More at www.svqgspokane.com Free Last Sunday lunch | Spokane Valley United Methodist Church, 115 North Raymond Road, Spokane Valley - 12:30 p.m. in the church’s Fellowship Hall, Room 115

MUSIC & THE ARTS April 25 | Free concert featuring East Valley High School Strolling Strings – 1 p.m. at Spokane Valley Church of the Nazarene, 15515 E. 20th Ave., Spokane Valley. April 13-14 | Spokane Symphony Classics 9: Russian Virtuosity – 8 p.m. and 3 p.m., Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox. Music Director Finalist Jayce Ogren is the Spokane Symphony’s guest conductor with guest cellist István Várdai who takes on Prokofiev’s breathtaking “Symphony Concerto,” once considered “unplayable” and one of the most challenging works in the cello repertoire. Get to know Conductor Jayce Ogren at a Q & A from The Fox Theater stage one hour and 15 minutes before each performance, followed by a preconcert talk by Ogren with guest artist Várdai. Tickets range from $19-$60, and are available at www.spokanesymphony.org, or by contacting the box office at 6241200. Through Dec. 2019 | “As Grandmother Taught: Women, Tradition and Plateau Art” – Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, 2316 W. First Ave., Spokane. A unique display featuring coiled and twined basketry and beaded hats, pouches, bags, dolls, horse regalia, baby boards and dresses alongside vintage photos of Plateau women wearing

or alongside their traditional, handmade clothing and objects, with works by Leanne Campbell, HollyAnna CougarTracks DeCoteau Littlebull and Bernadine Phillips. Hours are Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and until 8 p.m. the third Thursday of the month

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 www.pagesofharmony.org Spirit of Spokane Chorus | 6:45 p.m., Tuesdays. Opportunity Presbyterian Church, 202 N. Pines Road. Make new friends by joining this women’s chorus, specializing in four-part, a cappella harmony in the barbershop style. More at 2184799 Spokane Valley Camera Club | 7:15 p.m., third and fourth Monday of the month (September through April). Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District building, 22510 E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake. All levels of ability—students through experienced photographers—are invited to learn. Social events include field trips and workshops. More at 951-1446 or www.sv-cc. org 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

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HEALTH & RECREATION April 4 | Quit for Good – Tobacco Cessation class. Have you tried quitting smoking before without success? INHS and Providence Health Care are teaming up to provide a free four-week program designed to help you have longterm success in quitting tobacco. Tobacco cessation tools will be available to you as well as tobacco cessation experts. The class includes Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) while supplies last when NRT is not covered by participant’s health insurance. This is a live, interactive webinar. Log in information will be emailed with

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your registration confirmation. For more information, call 232-8145 or visit www.inhs.info. April 5-7 | Breakthrough Basketball Skills Camp – HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. In this threeday camp led by University of Windsor head coach Chris Oliver, middle school and high school students will improve their overall skills like dribbling and shooting. Players will learn when to pass, when to shoot, when to dribble, when to drive, angles to take, how to be more aggressive and more. A big emphasis of the camp will be “decision making.” The camp is for serious basketball players who want to get better. Cost is $245. Call the HUB at 927-0602 for more information. Inland Northwest Soccer Association | Sign up now for men’s or women’s leagues. Season starts in April. Leagues include men and women's open (over 18 old years), men's over 30 and 40 and co-ed. Free agents (people who are not on a team already) can sign up via the free agent tap on the INWSA website. Visit www.inlandnorthwestsoccer. com for more information or email Inland Northwest Soccer Association directly at president@ inlandnorthwestsoccer.com or call 599-5769. April 10 | Know Your Numbers: Risk Factor Screening, INHS Community Wellness Center, 501 N. Riverpoint Blvd., Spokane. Do you have hidden risks to your health? Sign up to get immediate results for cholesterol, blood glucose, waist circumference, blood pressure and more. For

more information, call 232-8145 or visit www.inhs.info


Each Friday | Vets Day – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Hospitality House, 216 S. Washington, Newport. Veterans are invited to drop by with questions about the V.A. and other issues. Complimentary snacks and coffee will be served. For questions, call Brad Hanson at 509-671-3585 or the Hospitality House at 509-447-3812


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

RECURRING HUB Sports Center 19619 E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. Various activities and events occur throughout the week including: • Pickleball drop-in: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Mon. through Thurs.; 10 a.m. to noon Tues. and Thurs.; and 6 to 8 p.m. Wed. and Sun. $3/seniors ($5/non-seniors) • Classes including Kenpo Karate, Taekwondo 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

April 23 | Job Fair hosted by Career Services and Community Colleges of Spokane – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Spokane Community College, 1810 N. Greene, Building 6. Meet with multiple businesses in one day. Bring resume. For more information, call 533-8855 or email norma.cantu@scc.spokane. edu. May 2 | Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce 2019 Business Showcase – 2 to 6 p.m., Mirabeau Park Hotel and Convention Center, 1100 N. Sullivan Road, Spokane Valley. This annual event will feature over 70 exhibitors from all industries are on hand for the biggest business-to-business showcase in our area. For more information, call 924-4994 or visit www. spokanevalleychamber.org. Mondays in April | Financial Literacy with Dycelia Weiss – 12:30 to 2 p.m., STCU Community Education Kitchen and Classroom at Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank and Family Services, 10814 E. Broadway, Spokane Valley. Call 927-1153 or visit www.svpart.org/ food-bank/ 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

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Liberty Lake Kiwanis | 6:45 a.m. on the first through third Wednesdays of each month, City Hall, 22710 E. Country Vista Drive. Fourth Wednesday, the club meets at noon at Barlows restaurant, 1428 N. Liberty Lake Road Friends of Liberty Lake Municipal Library | 2 p.m., the last Wednesday of each month, Liberty Lake Municipal Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake 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. For questions, call Mary Jo at 558-5426 Liberty Lake Centennial Rotary Club | Noon to 1 p.m., every Thursday at the Liberty Lake Sewer and Water building, 22510 E Mission Ave. For more information, go to www.LibertyLakeRotary.org 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.

The Splash

APRIL 2019 • 15

PACE Trait for April – Trustworthiness

By Naomie Meredith

Growing up in a big family has had a huge impact on me and who I have become. In my family, there are seven of us living in a four-bedroom house and I am one of the five kids in my house, so needless to say it can get pretty chaotic, but home is where the heart is, right? Between getting from point A to point B, cooking, cleaning and taking care of kids and animals, you always have to rely on each other. Those are some of the simple things that we have to worry about but, more importantly, trustworthiness comes into play when someone needs you. If they’re going through something drastic, or something that they don’t understand, they will need someone to talk to. For my brother, Jamison, that’s me. I have three brothers and a sister that mean so much to me; however, I have always been the closest with Jamison. We are

only three years apart, both now in the same small high school, and we have grown up liking a lot of the same things. Once Jamison reached seventh grade two years ago, he joined me in our high school where seventh through 12th graders all share the same building, teachers and small-town atmosphere of our school. More than ever, we connected, watching each other’s sports teams, and bumping into each other all through our days at school. However, life can throw you some difficult events. When Jamison started hitting some tough spots in his physical health, it turned out to have a detrimental effect on his mental health. If you got to know him, you would know that he would do anything to play basketball; however, when he was diagnosed with scoliosis, he was challenged with restrictions on his athletics. When he wasn’t able to get out and play sports, his mental

health began to deteriorate. He changed drastically. He was always so sad and he always felt tired and worn out. He went from this happy, joke-cracking, 14-year-old to a completely different person. He became closed off and silent, which was very unlike himself. I am the only one that he is really close to in my house. Therefore, I am the most trustworthy person to talk to when he is feeling down. When the tough times came for him, all the years I have worked so hard to build this trust with him became invaluable. It was always important for me to keep trust in our relationship but now it was for his health. I’m not sure what he would have done if he hadn’t had someone to talk to on hard days, or someone who checked up on him each and every day. Each evening after school and practice, I see how his day was and just to talk to him. We share some of my favorite moments just talking about life and telling each other stupid jokes just to make each other laugh. He is such an amazing person to be

around when he’s having good days, so I try to make sure he is OK no matter what. Even if I am not having the best day and I just want to be alone, it is all worth taking the time to make sure all is well with him. Everything that has kept our relationship strong has relied on the foundation of this trust that he has put in me, which is why trustworthiness is so important to me and my family. In fact, it seems to me like a lot more people rely on trust than we would ever know, so I am forever grateful that I built mine. Naomie Meredith is a senior at Tekoa High School. Last year, she was the first Tekoa junior ever nominated for the PACE Character Award. She is an active person, involved in sports, class leadership, FCCLA as well as maintaining the highest grade point average in her class. Students and teachers often cite Naomie’s kindness and ability to deal with challenging situations with calmness. This makes sense as Naomie plans on entering the nursing profession.

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APRIL 2019 • 17

The Splash

18 • APRIL 2019

SVFD Report – March 2019 From Splash News Sources

Spokane Valley Fire Department crews responded to a total of 100 emergency calls in the greater Liberty Lake area* from Feb. 12 – March 15: • Emergency medical services 74 • Motor vehicle accidents


• Service calls


• Building alarms • Fires • Service calls • Hazardous materials

5 1 1 1

*Service area for SVFD Station #3 in Liberty Lake Alarm system – Feb. 18 – Engine 3 was dispatched to 2327 N. Madson Road to respond several fire alarms throughout the day and evening at Quality Inn & Suites. The crew noted the system had a problem communicating with the monitoring company and there was no alarm. Engine 3 discussed the situation with the manager

and they were calling to get the system serviced. The following day the Fire Prevention division followed up with management and placed Quality Inn & Suites into a fire watch until the repairs could be made on Feb. 21. The system is now back in working order and the fire watch has been canceled. Service call – Feb. 18 – Engine 3 was dispatched to 1500 block of Aladdin Road and upon arrival, the crew found a broken water pipe in residence. The owner could not locate the main water shut off. Engine 3 crawled under the house to locate the shut-off but was unsuccessful in finding it. Engine 3 contacted dispatch and had them contact Consolidated Water to respond to the area. When Consolidated Water arrived, they were able to use their maps and locate the shut-off and secure the water to the residence.

Motor vehicle accident – Feb. 27 – Engine 3 was dispatched around 7 a.m. to a rollover accident on Interstate-90. Upon arrival, the crew determined a car had slid off the interstate around state line. They investigated and discovered there were no injuries

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and were able to cancel the ambulance and the WSP. No one transported to the hospital and no one had any injuries. Engine 3 returned to service. Alarm system – March 4 – Shortly after 5 p.m., Engine 3 was dispatched to the 22000 block of East Eaglebend Lane to a fire alarm sounding throughout the house. Dispatch informed the responding crew there was no smoke or flames in the house. Engine 3 checked out the house and determined nothing was wrong and upon further investigation of the smoke detector that was activated, it was determined the smoke alarm had gone bad and needed to be replaced. This is a reminder that smoke alarms need to replaced every 10 years and smoke alarm batteries should be replaced twice a year. Structure fire – March 13 – The Spokane Valley Fire Department responded at 9:36 p.m. to a residential structure fire in the 1500 block of North Grady Road in Spokane Valley. Homeowners reported they were heating cooking oil to prepare food and left the room. After they heard a smoke detector alarming, they returned to the kitchen to see large flames coming off the stove. Ladder 10 was first on scene and reported a mobile home with active fire conditions, followed closely by the arrival of Engine 3. Ladder 10 firefighters pulled a fire hose from Engine 3 and made entry into the home for fire attack, backed up by Engine 3’s firefighters. Firefighters worked to successfully control the fire over the next 20 minutes with further support from additional arriving fire companies. Ladder 10 A-Shift responded to this home last October for an event unrelated to the fire, noticed the house needed smoke detectors

and installed multiple smoke detectors while on the scene. Approximately two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke detectors. Smoke alarms should be installed in the living areas on every floor of your house, including the basement, outside any sleeping area, inside each bedroom and kept no longer than 10 years before being replaced. If your home needs smoke detectors or your detectors are more than 10 years old, smoke detector installation can be requested at no cost to residents of the Spokane Valley Fire Department by calling 892-4153 during regular business hours or by visiting our website at www. spokanevalleyfire.com. About SVFD - Spokane Valley Fire Department serves the cities of Liberty Lake, Millwood, Spokane Valley and unincorporated areas of Spokane County including the communities of Otis Orchards, Pasadena Park and the area surrounding Liberty Lake, with a combined population of 125,000 across approximately 75 square miles. SVFD firefighters and paramedics responded to more than 17,280 emergency calls in 2017. Established in 1940, SVFD is an Accredited Agency by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI), one of only a handful in the state of Washington. SVFD operates 10 stations providing fire suppression, emergency medical services, vehicle extrication, hazardous materials response, special operations rescue, fire investigation, fire prevention, commercial property inspection, CPR and fire safety training. SVFD also provides free home fire safety inspections and installation of free smoke detectors. For more information call 928-1700 or visit www.spokanevalleyfire.com.

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APRIL 2019 • 19

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Student of the Month Central Valley senior Shawn Barnett is a regular at the Science Olympiad state competition. Not only is he president of CV’s team, he helps as an assistant coach with the Greenacres Middle School squad, also a consistent Science Olympiad state qualifier. Barnett maintains a 4.0 grade point average and is president of CV’s National Honor Society chapter. This year he was a catalyst in revamping the chapter’s data collection process for community service projects. Barnett has competed in DECA, an association of marketing students, for four years and is president of the CV Future Business Leaders of America squad, qualifying for state with both clubs. He has also participated in the CyberPatriot program, a national cyber-defense competition for high school students. Barnett is currently enrolled in a quartet of AP classes – physics/mechanics, calculus, literature and U.S. government.

Athlete of the Month

Citizen of the Month

It’s a long way from an orphanage in China to the top of the podium in Switzerland but Hannah Dederick has been on such a journey. As a child, Dederick was paralyzed from the waist down after surgery to repair spina bifida. Now a sophomore at Central Valley, Dederick is a standout athlete who earned four gold medals and one silver at the 2017 World Para Athletics World Championships in Notwill, Switzerland. That same year, she recorded the sixth fastest 400-meter time of any female para sport athlete in the world. Dederick competes for ParaSport Spokane in track and field and basketball. She has also participated in the elite wheelchair field at Bloomsday. Dederick was named a 2018 High School Para Olympic All American last year and would like to compete in the 2020 Para Olympics in Tokyo.

Tom Sahlberg has called Liberty Lake home since 2012 and made community service his calling for much longer. Sahlberg is a member of the Planning Commission, Friends of Pavillion Park and the Parks and Arts Commission. Tom says he is about “helping build bridges to a better future for this amazing community.” He also helped city staff during the recruitment of the new director of Library Services. He has been a volunteer with Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery since the agency opened in 1987. “There is nothing more important than protecting and nurturing the lives of little ones,” Tom said. Sahlberg spent over 40 years in public service, including law enforcement, crime victim advocacy and the Washington State Parole Board. He is a founding member of the Safe Kids Coalition and supports Volunteers of America and Spokane Law and Justice Council.

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20 • APRIL 2019 Brought to you by


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Liberty Lake Needle Arts Group weaves positive impact By Linda Ball Splash Correspondent Every Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon, 13 dedicated women meet at the Liberty Lake Municipal Library to work on whatever project they are currently undertaking and share ideas as they knit, crochet, embroider, sew or quilt. Any of these skills are welcome and even if you don’t know have any of these skills, come anyway and these ladies will make sure you feel part of the social tapestry. Elaine Stanley, who passed away in 2017, founded the Needle Arts Group in 2007 and it has carried on as part of her legacy. In addition to the skills listed above, there are members who cross-stitch, do needlepoint and hairpin lace. Participants have even brought in coloring books to express themselves. Each of the members has their preferred skill. Karen Caines, a long-time knitter, got involved because she wanted to learn to crochet. She said it is a challenge because she is left-handed and all of the books are geared to righthanded people. Joanne Kerbs on





the other hand, is the crochet guru. Whereas with knitting you use two needles, a crochet artist uses one crochet hook. Kerbs said she likes to crochet because it’s faster and she’s impatient. All of the yarn the artists use is donated, including a beautiful array of colorful yarn from online vendor Knit Picks. The Friends of the Library, a local group that raises funds for library causes, paid for the postage to have the yarn from Knit Picks sent to Liberty Lake, so any yarn used from the donation is in turn used only for projects to benefit the library. They also have several tubs of yarn stored at the library that came from another long-time member who passed away. Many of the items the group creates are sold in a silent auction format at the library. They hold an auction every February for Valentine’s Day and have made gift baskets with proceeds from their sales going to benefit the library. The group’s silent auction last November brought in $428, with 11 items created by Gail Dameworth, who Caines called “prolific.” Caines said Dameworth works with very

The Liberty Lake Needle Arts Group was founded in 2007 by Elaine Stanley. A group of around a dozen members meets each Saturday at the Liberty Lake Library to sew, knit, embroider, quilt and more. Stanley passed 10 years after the group was formed. Photo by Linda Ball complex projects and patterns. Sally’s House of Spokane, a branch of the Salvation Army, has received hats, scarves and gloves from the Needle Arts Group for the benefit of those who are homeless as well as holiday bell ringers. The ladies also make baby blankets, quilts and small clothing items for the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery, which in turn gives them to families in need or for sale in its annual Christmas shop with proceeds going to the nursery. In Liberty Lake, the library is the main focus. Every summer the group make prizes to reward kids for the summer reading program with themes recommended by the librarians. Mary Brandon enjoys knitting dolls and little figures, which are popular for the reading prizes. Mernie Matthews is the embroiderer in the group. She also makes dolls in addition to embroidering clothing and decorative items.

Items created by the Needle Arts Group go toward a variety of worthy causes, including fundraisers for the library, Sally’s House and Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery. Photo by Linda Ball

Linda Frandsen made Star Warsthemed characters for Halloween with the others making pumpkins, bats, spiders and ghosts to decorate the library. Caines said they all

took turns knitting a prayer shawl for longtime Library Director Pam Mogen when she retired last year. Men are certainly welcome to join this group but right now they don’t have any on the roster. They did have a 14-year-old male resident stop by for just under two months but his family was military and was transferred out of the area. He fit right in the ladies said – and he learned how to knit. Anyone is welcome and it’s free to join in. If you don’t come every Saturday, no worries as there is no obligation to attend every week. One member, Linda Richter, saw Kerbs crocheting on the bus when they were riding on the same route and wanted to learn how to do it, so that’s how she got involved. They all said that needle arts are relaxing and therapeutic in addition to being creative. Other members are Pam Chalpin, Cindy Fetters, Linda Frandsen, Nancy Olson, Maryann Pearce, Pauli Snyder and Joanne Weirich. For more information on the Liberty Lake Needle Arts Group, contact Mary Bragdon at 496-2983.

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APRIL 2019 • 21

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22 • APRIL 2019

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CV Unified Sports squad nets state hoops title By Mike Vlahovich

Splash Sports Editor Central Valley High School has a history of boys and girls state basketball success. Now make room for one more. The Bears’ Unified Sports team, comprised of special education and conventional students, brought home another title trophy last month. Under the aegis of Special Olympics, the basketball team traveled to Wenatchee where they competed and won the Tier II state tournament. Overall the squad finished unbeaten in 10 playoff games,

five in the state tourney, beating Mariner 35-20, Enumclaw 46-32 and finally Roosevelt 40-32 in the championship game. “Kids were telling me and some of the students, ‘Hey, we won state. We’re the champions!’” said an enthused Todd Padget, manager of the team that is coached by Sondra Willman, Anne Weisbeck and Kyrstin Desjardins. The basketball games, like in college, are played in two 20-minute halves. The five players on the court are made up of three “athletes” who are special education students and two “partners,” general education players who coordinate things on the court (and provide offense when needed).

“Other teams might have their partners getting the most points than CVs partners,” Willman said. “Our partners did an awesome job of passing the ball.” The teams play in regulation gym and shoot at 10-foot baskets. There are different rules that accommodate the differing athleticism of the athletes. University High, for instance, had a blind player who located the basket by tapping the rim with his cane before shooting. “It allows kids with special needs to play in an environment that is competitive and nurturing,” Padget said. Central Valley wasn’t sure what to expect when they traveled to Wenatchee for state. But the outcome couldn’t have been better. The team won its first two games relatively easily, winning both by

double digits. The title game was closer. “We showed our second-half team,” Willman said. “We were able to pull ahead during the second half of the games we played. I’m extremely proud of the team and all of their hard work his season.” Team members are: James Bowers, Matthew Corbin, Michael James and Scott Howard (athletes). Partners are Karson McKinney, Chase Malone, Eric Chandler, Ben Lamoreaux, Maci Young and Nicole Livingston. How would Willman sum up CV bringing home the trophy? “When it came to the actual state games, I would say disbelief because we went against some pretty good teams,” she said. “I wasn’t sure, but as a couple partners said, ‘We’re a second half team.’ We always came around.”

The Unified Sports basketball team from Central Valley High School captured a state championship in Wenatchee last month after going undefeated in 10 playoff games. The Bears defeated Roosevelt 40-32 in the title game last month. The squad is comprised of special education and conventional student-athletes.

Contributed photo

The Splash

APRIL 2019 • 23

Sports Notebook – April 2019 By Mike Vlahovich Splash Sports Editor There was one roadblock for East Valley during this year’s state 2A girls’ basketball tournament – Washougal. The No. 7 ranked team knocked off the Knights 52-45 in the tournament qualifying round forcing No. 2 EV into the elimination bracket. The Knights subsequently won three straight games, including two by 38 and 41 points, to reach the championship game against – Washougal. The Knights nemesis prevailed in overtime 49-40 and denied EV the trophy they’d worked three years to attain. “It’s a little bittersweet sometimes, I guess,” said coach Rob Collins, who has had nothing but success at EV. “We did not play good in the game, shooting 42 percent from the free throw line.” Hannah Rowland, who scored 15 points in the tourney opener, got hurt in the first quarter of the title game after scoring five points. The Knights, who were making

Recollections from a Knight of the Keyboard By Mike Vlahovich

Splash Sports Editor When I was in high school and deciding on an elective to round out semester schedule, my mother suggested typing. It was as if she was prescient. It took 60 words per minute without error on that old manual typewriter to earn an “A” and proved more valuable than math, science or history combined. Pounding the keys became my life’s work and also proved vital in keeping me out of harm’s way in Vietnam when I got drafted after college at Washington State University. They say never volunteer in the Army, but I raised my hand when the sergeant asked if anyone could type and wound up the battalion clerk. I spent more time in Bohler Gymnasium than in the classroom at WSU. I hadn’t declared Journalism as my major when someone called, out of the blue, and asked if I

their sixth straight state appearance, shot an uncharacteristic 42 percent from the free throw line. One more make and they wouldn’t have needed overtime where they were outscored 14-5. EV finished third last year, third in 2016, fifth in 2015 and sixth in 2014. Genesis Wilkinson and Faith Adams completed their fourth seasons as major contributors to Knights’ basketball. During the final games of their careers, Adams averaged 13.5 points and Wilkinson scored at a 13 points per game clip. Another senior, Holly Flynn added 7.5. All three will play in college. “Hannah’s in the same group and has been a big part day in and day out,” Collins said. “They’ve been a pretty big part in two thirds and a second.” Seven players return, including 5-foot-10 Brie Holecek, who averaged more than nine points per game in post season and 6-footers Elle Stowell and Mataya Green. Lack of depth is Collins’ concern. “It was in our grasp,” he said of the title trophy. “It was pretty special, but hard (finishing second). When would be sports editor of the Daily Evergreen student newspaper. To this day I wonder how he got my name. Sports writing must have been my destiny (at least, it gave me an excuse for taking every sports coaching class for PE majors.) I have no idea why I became enamored by sports. I devoured the sports pages of the Spokane Daily Chronicle from the time I could read. Marv Ainsworth, my fifth-grade teacher who would go on to be a successful basketball coach at University High, assigned us to write an application letter to a business. I chose the Boston Celtics. Red Auerbach didn’t reply. When I got out of the Army in 1968, I began a career that has spanned half a century. A weekly newspaper has its own charms. Since there are no deadlines after a game, I could digest the event before writing. I wandered the halls of the Valley schools during the week, chatted with coaches and got to know the athletes personally who I befriended over the years and played recreation sports with after they graduated.

you’re third, you come home with a winning spirit. It’s hard finishing second and coming home with a loss. But second is the best in school history. They earned every bit of what they accomplished.” Bears take sixth Central Valley is no stranger to state basketball over the decades. Seeded fourth this year, the Bears made their fifth state straight appearance bringing home the sixth-place trophy. The Bears opened the tournament with a 59-44 win over Glacier Peak but suffered a heartbreaking loss in the round of eight and were knocked out of title contention 46-44 by Bellarmine Prep which subsequently finished sixth. The Bears beat Inglemoor 5241 but lost 58-53 in the game for fourth place. During the playoffs, Tomekia Whitman was a constant, scoring double figures in most every game. Camryn Skaife turned in a 26-point game against University. MJ Bruno was among six girls who had at least one double figures game. Scotties win once Tenth-seeded Freeman reached the round of eight in the state 1A girls tournament, opening with Every Valley schooled accused me of favoring the others. Late Ferris basketball coaching legend Wayne Gillman took the Herald to read presumed “home cooking” stories but said I was fair. Someone once opined I was the first to give equal coverage of girls’ sports. Jeff Jordan was a student at East Valley and already stringing for the Valley Herald when I arrived home in the fall of 1968. Twenty-one years later Jordy, by then a preps writer at The Spokesman-Review, became sports editor. In 1992, my dad sold the Valley Herald. Jordy was sports editor at The Spokesman-Review and my wife, Tambra, in no uncertain terms said I was going to apply at Spokane’s daily. I was hired at age 48 and spent another 17 years there expanding horizons before “retirement.” Out of the blue, some guy named Josh Johnson wanted to meet and pick what remained of my brain. Next thing I knew I was writing sports for the Liberty Lake Splash and later for the Valley Current. We still find time to meet for coffee. From my first state tournament trip, when by brother Jerry spilled a chocolate milk shake down the

Calling All Local Graduates The Splash is featuring Liberty Lake high school graduates in the June issue. This invitation extends to all graduating seniors who live in the community, regardless of where they attend high school. In order to participate, simply submit a photo with the following information to danica@libertylakesplash.com: Graduate’s name, high school, parents’ names and plans after graduation Information must be received by Friday, May 12th. Contact 242-7752 or danica@libertylakesplash.com with any questions.

a 62-42 romp over Connell. The Scotties lost to ultimate fourth placer Bellevue Christian 50-43. Sydney McLean scored 18 in that game. Jordyn Goldsmith had three double figures outings and Ellis Crowley had a 21-point game in district play.

seats of my envied yellow Dodge Charger with the black landau roof, to driving with Jordy when Central Valley baseball reached the state finals (it became a running joke when we were unable to get waited on not once, but twice), traveling with the late broadcaster Dick Wright and wading through water on the bathroom floor after he had showered, with CV basketball coach Terry Irwin and his wife, years making state trips mini-vacations with my wife on the Valley Herald’s dime, covering East Valley’s state champion football team replete with a cannon’s boom that our week-old son Jared slept through (and panicking a few years later when we were at a state basketball tourney and he decided to take an elevator up 21 floors without us at the Westin Hotel.) These are memories that will never be replaced. But “now’s the time, the time is now to be gone.” For perspective, the earliest athletes I wrote about are in their 60s, some even on Social Security and the latest are in their teens. It’s been a heckuva ride and I owe a debt to my mom who must have seen into the future and insisted I learn to type.

The Splash

24 • APRIL 2019

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Liberty Lake continues legacy of Good Roads

By Ross Schneidmiller

Liberty Lake Historical Society The “Good Roads” movement in America originated with bicyclists. In the late 1800s, prior to automobiles dominating the roadways, “wheelman,” as they were called, pursued the cause. In Spokane, a popular ride was to Liberty Lake for the day. First by horse or buggy and then bicycle. The MacKenzie family who operated a ranch on the lake’s west side accommodated these riders – renting a rowboat or two and providing meals for charge. As cycling became popular, demand grew to where they added more rowboats and built a restaurant onto their home. Charging 35 cents for a chicken dinner, their eatery profited enough to warrant building a hotel. In the Inland Empire, the Spokane Wheel Club was very active in

HISTORY improving riding conditions. Working with local government, club members raised money and helped construct bicycle paths made of cinders. By 1903, plans were made to construct a path from Spokane to Coeur d’Alene. Enthusiasts from the Lake City raised funds to help with the Idaho portion and farmers along the way were willing to donate labor and equipment. Four years earlier (in 1899) the Washington State Good Roads Association was formed. Its origins were unlike nearly two decades before when wheelmen around the nation led the charge. This state’s catalyst for good roads was not a group or club – it was one man and his name was Samuel Hill. Harvard educated, Sam Hill was an employee of JJ Hill, chief executive of the Great Northern Railway. Though they shared a last name, they were not related until Sam married JJ’s eldest daughter, Mary. Sam Hill was once described as a “Colossus of Roads.” He experimented with, promoted and built roads. Residing in Seattle in 1899, Hill invited a group of

like-minded individuals to join him in Spokane to form a state organization promoting the building of good roads. The Washington State Good Roads Association adopted Hill’s message that an organized system of quality roads was necessary for farmers and the overall economy. Because some prominent farmers and businessmen were suspicious of the organization’s intent, progress was slow. Eventually their lobbying efforts began to pay off when the state legislature created a highway department in 1905. By 1907, the association had succeeded in getting the state to pay for a dozen state highways and half of the approved county roads in Washington. Good Road advocates in Spokane County formed an association as well. Under their direction, 32 miles of state highway running through the county and city of Spokane, comprised of Sunset Boulevard from the west and Appleway from the east, were completed by November of 1912. Known as “The Great Appleway,” its name came from the thousands of apple trees

APRIL 2019 • 25

through which it ran through the Spokane River Valley. Appleway was 60 feet wide lined with apple trees placed 40 feet apart on both sides of the roadway and alternated with English elm trees for shade. The trees were planted by orchardists living along the line of the road who also agreed to care for the trees. Every mile of the road had fountains for human, dog and horse. The fountains were made of a concrete and granite filings mixture, making a beautiful finished stone effect equal to granite. The road was a joint effort between Good Road advocates in both Spokane County and Kootenai County in Idaho. When all 34 miles were completed, a highway connected Spokane to Coeur d’Alene. Our nation, Washington state and Spokane County have all benefitted from trail and road advocates. Today at Liberty Lake we have beautiful roadways and trails. Many are responsible for this but a special thank you should be afforded Greenstone’s Jim Frank and Trails Committee founder Tom Specht.

Horseless carriages in front of the MacKenzie Hotel Bathhouse on Liberty Lake’s west side, circa 1908. Overlay images of bicyclists, 1904. Photo courtesy of Liberty Lake Historical Society

26 • APRIL 2019


Liberty Lake mom rallies for crosswalk

By Linda Ball

Splash Correspondent Laura and Jereme Roodhouse and their four kids moved to Liberty Lake four years ago and settled into their home in the Vistas at Meadowwood. At the time, Liberty Creek Elementary had yet to open. What they quickly learned was that what was once a neighborhood of mostly retirees was transitioning into a neighborhood with many more young families – thus the need for a K-3 school. A proponent of kids walking to school, Laura sent her two youngest kids off to school the first day. When they came home, they told her there was no way for them to cross Country Vista Drive – one of the busiest roads in Liberty Lake – without heading straight into traffic. There was no crosswalk and not even a sidewalk. She walked with her kids the next day to see precisely what the issue was and determined it clearly wasn’t safe. There are 71 homes in the Vistas at Meadowwood and they are filling up with more and more families and children. With the opening of Liberty Creek, it seemed rational to have a crosswalk across Country Vista installed at North Eagle Street, which would safely get students across the street to both Liberty Creek and Liberty Lake Elementary Schools from the Roodhouse’s neighborhood. Laura noted that the north side of the campus has several crosswalks across Boone Avenue. She talked to the principal and vice principal at Liberty Lake Elementary who said they in turn would speak to the administrators at Liberty Creek.

interim engineer was hired. Allen said that when sidewalks need to go in around schools, the city works closely with the school district starting with a field inspection. With no sidewalks on Eagle Street, the project did pose problems. Geometry, visibility and technical review all have to be taken into consideration. Allen said that when a new crosswalk is in the works, the city needs to coordinate with the school for crossing guards as well. The city agreed a crosswalk was warranted because of the proximity to the school and the fact that Country Vista is an arterial. Although it may have seemed to the Roodhouse’s that nothing was happening, wheels were turning on the city side, Allen said. All city projects must be designed, put out for competitive bids, awarded and then scheduled. Then they had to wait until the weather allowed for the crosswalk to be built, so it was constructed when school let out at the end of the academic year in 2018. Each year the city sets aside significant funds for

such improvements as part of an ongoing commitment to pedestrian safety In the meantime, Laura Roodhouse was frustrated when an automated crosswalk was installed to get people across Country Vista from the new apartments, Legacy Villas, to Home Depot and nearby businesses. Why was it more important to get folks to Home Depot than to school she wondered? At that time it had been 10 months since she started her campaign, with no resolution. She said Rowell was great, but she felt that the city didn’t own its role in the project. To this, Allen said that the city’s project manager should have been in contact with Roodhouse. Roodhouse said at one point someone in the city messaged her through Facebook messenger. She delivered an ultimatum: If they didn’t build a crosswalk at Eagle and Country Vista, she would go out in the middle of the night and paint it herself. She felt that got the city’s attention. But Allen said that all that time, work was being done. The design had to include ADA ramps on either side of Eagle as well as truncated domes, which are bumps to let folks in wheelchairs,

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or those who are visually impaired, know that they are approaching a road. Additionally, Allen said they did put in concrete pads for pedestrians to wait as well as curb cuts for bikes and wheelchairs. The crosswalk doesn’t have automated flashing signs and Roodhouse said a crossing guard does not attend to it when school is in. “It’s the second busiest road in Liberty Lake when school is in,” Laura said. The latest winter weather also means stripes on the road not being visible due to snow. Nonetheless it was a small victory for a concerned parent, but more needs to be done. The next step Roodhouse wants to take is to get a right-of-way between two homes that are at the end of Broadway, to have a sidewalk and gate installed to access Molter Road where there is a path to safely get people to Molter. Jereme Roodhouse is on the HOA board and it will be addressed he said. The Roodhouses said they are not even advocating for their own kids anymore, because they now attend Genesis Preparatory in Post Falls. They are advocating for the neighborhood, young and old, to keep walkers and bikers, young and old, safe.

As it turned out the two schools weren’t prepared to deal with it, so Laura took her case to Jay Rowell, deputy superintendent of Central Valley School District. After discussing the options, he referred her to the city of Liberty Lake, assuring her the district would work with the city. This was all occurring in the fall of 2017. Nothing was happening she thought, and after the Christmas break Laura said staffing changes at the city had made communication a challenge. City Administrator Katy Allen said there was indeed a staffing change, but the crosswalk issue was never dropped. The original engineer had to take personal leave for a month and eventually moved on, but an

The pedestrian crossing at Country Vista Drive and North Eagle Road was made possible by a collaboration between a concerned parent and the city of Liberty Lake. The crosswalk has made conditions safer for kids at nearby Liberty Creek Elementary. File Photo

The Splash

Liberty Lake projects received well in Olympia By Linda Ball

Splash Correspondent Liberty Lake is the 10th fastestgrowing jurisdiction in the state and with only one road – Harvard Road – crossing Interstate-90, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to grasp the enormity of the city’s growing traffic problem. Right now, it is estimated that there are 22,000 daily trips on Harvard Road. Adding to the urgency is Central Valley School District’s (CVSD) new middle school, expected to be home to 600 students, on the north side of the interstate due to open this fall, and a new high school on the south side of I-90 which will be home to 1,600 students, opening in the fall of 2021. The traffic is only going to get heavier. The decision was made last year to hire professional lobbyists to represent Liberty Lake in Olympia this legislative session, specifically to address transportation issues. The city, CVSD and Spokane Valley Fire Department joined forces to hire Jeff DeVere, a retired Washington State Patrol officer, who was the liaison to legislators, the governor’s office and local governments for WSP. He and Jennifer Ziegler, who worked for former Gov. Christine Gregoire, have been working diligently with the Senate and House transportation committee chairs to accelerate these projects. In July 2016, Connecting Washington, a 16-year, $16 billion program, funded primarily by an 11.9-cent gas tax increase, was implemented to improve Washington’s multi-modal transportation system. DeVere and Ziegler are working to accelerate funding of $26.9 million from Connecting Washington from the 2027-29 and 2029-31 biennium to the 2019-2021 and 2021-2023 biennium because of the urgency of the situation. Design for the Harvard Bridge widening will be completed in November. DeVere said the legislature appropriated the bridge widening and extension of the westbound on-ramp to I-90 last year. Originally it was in the 202729 and 2029-31 plan but with the passage of the school levies and additional congestion, the project should be completed by November 2020. He said the school district

APRIL 2019 • 27

wouldn’t even let its buses use the westbound on-ramp because it doesn’t allow for enough room for the buses to safely gain speed. As far as the Henry Road project, $9.85 million of funding is needed in the 2019-21 biennium for design and to acquire the right-of-way, followed by $4.15 million of needed funding in the 2021-23 biennium to complete construction. So far, concept design is completed but there is no funding. “We’ve got a legitimate need with schools and traffic congestion,” DeVere said. “And it’s documented.” He said that both the House and Senate transportation chairs are very familiar with these projects and in fact toured the area last summer with some of the other committee members. Sen. Steve Hobbs of Lake Stevens, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, included both Liberty Lake projects in his committee revenue package. Rep. Jake Fey, chair of the House Transportation Committee, who did tour the area this past summer, has yet to commit. Barker Road is considered part of the same project, although it is technically in the city of Spokane Valley. Barker does have an overpass and, at about 5 miles from Harvard, provides the only other nearby crossing over I-90. Soon that will become much busier than the current 15,000 average daily trips since Menlo-Park based Katerra, a company that makes engineered wood products, plans to open a 250,000- square-foot manufacturing facility near Barker and I-90 early next year. With plans to employ 150 people, it will only add to the congestion. Barker Road improvement project value for design and construction, possibly with a roundabout, is $2.3 million. The total remaining funding request required for the Harvard and Henry Road projects is $20.8 million. Liberty Lake City Administrator Katy Allen said that the city is “cautiously optimistic,” but a lot can happen through April when the legislative session typically ends. She said District 4 Sen. Mike Padden, the legislative sponsor, is moving forward with accelerating the funding. DeVere said these projects are competing with others across the state. For example, $3.2 billion is needed for fish culverts and other issues of general maintenance. He said what can happen, for example, is a competing project comes in under budget or a project gets delayed. Suddenly money is loosened up for another project. He said more will be known by the end of the session, but added that Liberty Lake is in a good position.

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Correction An error on the property tax rate appeared last month in a story on passage of the Spokane Valley Fire Department’s maintenance and operations levy that will fund salaries, equipment, fire engines and capital projects – including a new fire station. The levy will mean an increase of $10 per year over four years on a home valued at $100,000. The new rate is $1.90 per $1,000 of assessed property value up from $1.80. The Feb. 19 levy vote passed by a 74-pecent margin and will replace an expiring four-year levy that voters endorsed in 2015.

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


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Banner Furnace & Fuel


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Liberty Lake EyeCare Center

Central Valley Theatre


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Cornerstone Pentecostal


Liberty Lake Sewer & Water District 18

Sunshine Health Services


Demars Financial


Liberty Lake Smile Source

Valley Hospital


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Northern Quest

Inland Empire Utility CC


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APRIL 2019 • 31

New scholarship program to honor academy alums By Michelle Valkov

academy’s students go there.

Splash Correspondent

This is the 15th year the school has been in business. Ages of students are 3 to 5 and up to 6.

As the saying goes, “They grow up fast.” The “littles” as Teri Finch, Liberty Lake’s Children’s Academy owner, calls the students from the school, are now eligible to receive a scholarship, once they graduate from high school. “To think that these little baby faces will be wearing graduation gowns just chokes me up,” Finch said. Students who attended the academy and will graduating this June can send in an essay to Finch to apply for the scholarship. This year they will be offering $500 and hope to make this an annual program, increasing the amount to $1,000 next time. The essay must address what students remember during their time in pre-school and what their plans are for the future. Finch also hopes students stay connected to their first alma mater, whether it’s visiting the school or through social media. Finch has sent out the scholarship information to Central Valley High School, because most of the

The school is an academic playbased pre-school where they prepare for kindergarten, socially, emotionally, cognitively and physically. There are 10 different class options and classes are from twoand-a-half hours to four hours, anywhere from two to five days. Finch and the teachers here call the approach “purposeful play” where the students set up for success. Over 175 children attend the school. “The staff sticks with me and we don’t have much of a turnover, so that helps with the growth and stability of the school and the success from day one has been the teachers and their passion,” Finch said. Kathy Schaefer, who has been a teacher at the academy for eight years, said that seeing students develop a love for school is the most rewarding part of working here. “It is my job to give them a positive and fun experience,” she said. “We are their first introduction

Over 175 kids attend Liberty Lake Children’s Academy, now in its 15th year. The school’s owner, Teri Finch, recently announced a new scholarship program for former academy students preparing to graduate from high school Contributed photo to school. It has to be dynamic and fun.” The curriculum begins with journal entries, arts and crafts, students writing their name, and students knowing what to do so they don’t feel lost when their parents drop them off. Kids also get to learn how to listen to their peers rather than just the adults, where they become the teacher and get to lead the

group during ‘job helpers,’ which is among one of the students’ favorite activities. “We’re trying to teach the respect of leadership as well as fellowship,” Finch said. Finch also mentioned the family connections being her favorite part of the academy. “I love it,” she said. “About four years ago, I was at the grocery store and I saw one of my past preschoolers who was about 14 years old. I saw him with his buddies and I didn’t want to embarrass him and didn’t know if he’d remember me and as we were approaching each other, I smiled and he goes, ‘Mrs. Finch!’ and ran over and hugged me and I thought, ‘How cool.’” Carlee Marshall, whose kids, Cooper and Camryn, have both gone to the school, said that she even put her 7-month-old on a wait list. “This place is that good,” Marshall said. “When both my kids started pre-K with Mrs. Teri, I questioned how on earth either of them would be ready for kindergarten in nine short months but I can honestly say that by mid-year, they were both ready. She and her team are amazing. As for Teri herself, you can’t ask for a more caring, warm, loving individual as a teacher.”

Liberty Lake Children’s Academy was founded in 2004 and prioritizes a goal of developing students’ confidence in their physical, emotional, cognitive and language development as they prepare for formal education. Contributed photo

Finch hopes to present a scholarship to a past student at one of the school’s graduations and have the recipient share their story and stand up with the current students on stage.

The Splash

32 • APRIL 2019


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