August 2019 Splash

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2 • AUGUST 2019

Passing muster


Eckhardt leads STCU with discipline, generosity By Craig Howard Splash Contributing Editor

Ezra Eckhardt is the first to admit he was “a total geeky nerd” in high school. The president and CEO of Liberty Lake-based STCU is also authentically humble about that same nerd being accepted into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The application he filled out to the prestigious institution was the only college submission he completed while in high school at Gonzaga Prep. “It doesn’t really work that way anymore,” Eckhardt says. Eckhardt was a 4.0 student at G-Prep who competed in track and cross country. For fun, he participated in debate. Glasses were part of his studious fashion statement. The son of a dad who made his living in a sheet metal factory and a mom who worked in retail, Eckhardt learned the value of hard work early. The blue-collar environment included the family’s humble home on the fringe of Spokane’s West Central neighborhood. “I wanted to make the most of my education,” Eckhardt said. “I was not expecting my parents to pay for college. I knew I had to be wellpositioned to get into college.” A Spokane native who can trace his family roots in the Inland Northwest back five generations, Eckhardt didn’t skip a beat when transitioning to West Point, a school in Orange County, N.Y., founded in 1802. He earned a bachelor of science degree in European history after initially considering chemistry as a major. Eckhardt departed college as an airborne infantry officer, reporting to Ft. Benning, Ga., for training. By 1993, Eckhardt found himself in Vicenza, Italy, as an airborne infantry platoon leader, part of the only Army airborne unit to be deployed outside the U.S. at the time. While the early-to mid-1990s did not represent a period of military conflict for American forces,

Eckhardt was called into areas of the world like Rwanda, Liberia and Serbia that were experiencing their share of political and cultural turmoil. In December 1995, he was among the first on the ground at the end of the Bosnian War that had spanned nearly four years, helping to secure an airfield and entry point. “We were constantly on alert to go to Serbia,” Eckhardt recalls. Eckhardt transitioned from enlisted duty to the private sector in 1998, leaving the Army as a captain to begin a successful career that included stops at Microsoft and Honeywell. His foray into the financial world began with Sterling Bank where he rose to chief operating officer and president. After Sterling merged with Umpqua Bank in 2014, Eckhardt became vice president of operations. Eckhardt left Umpqua in June 2015 to become CEO of Oregon-based Wave Form Systems, a company specializing in advanced surgical technologies. When he heard about the CEO opening at STCU in late 2017, Eckhardt had “interest right away.” “I saw it as an opportunity to have an impact in the community,” he said. On Jan. 1, 2018, Eckhardt was announced as only the fourth president/CEO of STCU since the credit union was founded in 1934. As he walks through the hallways of STCU’s sprawling headquarters in Liberty Lake, Eckhardt is quick with a smile and a friendly word to co-workers. While there is an appropriate level of respect, no one stops to salute him or report on the shine on the floors in the cafeteria. His office is sparsely decorated, highlighted by pictures of his wife, Kara, and the couple’s two daughters, Katherine and Claire. Eckhardt met Kara when the two were students at Gonzaga Prep. When he left for West Point, she enrolled at the University of Washington. They married in 1993. When not running a credit union now approaching 200,000 members, Eckhardt can be found snow skiing

with his family or pedaling on a road cycle or mountain bike. Eckhardt, who went back to school to earn his MBA from Gonzaga, has also served as an adjunct professor at GU’s Jepson School of Business. The Splash caught up with Eckhardt recently at the STCU hub on North Signal Drive, home to over 300 employees and the company’s lead geeky nerd. Q: How do you like having your home office in Liberty Lake? A: Liberty Lake is a great place for our headquarters office. We enjoy having most of our core team in a central location to reinforce collaboration and communication. We have five branches in North Idaho, 15 in Spokane and Pend Oreille counties and soon to be three locations in the Tri-Cities. Liberty Lake is a nice central location for all of our branches. Liberty Lake has great access off I-90 and the parking is generally pretty easy, unless you try to park on Signal Drive after 10 a.m. Minus the 4 p.m. traffic on Appleway, there really aren’t any drawbacks. Q: You worked in the commercial banking field prior to your arrival at STCU. How would you describe some of the main differences between a bank and a credit union? A: Credit unions are not-for-profit

The Splash cooperatives. We are owned by our members, and our primary purpose is to create value for our members. At STCU, this is a core element of our “Here for Good” philosophy. Our vision is to become the most loved and valued financial relationship on earth. We find all sorts of interesting and creative ways to give back to our members with community engagement, competitive rates on loans and deposits, uniquely designed products and world-class service focused on the heart of the member. We focus on putting the needs of the member first in every action. In order to keep this at the forefront of our minds, we provide all of our managers with alabaster hearts to remind us of the heart of the member. Q: What aspects of your experience in the military have carried over into your professional career? Are their certain elements that have not translated quite as much? A: Over the years, I have found a few of the basic principles I learned in the Army can be applied in almost every situation. “Mission First, Team Always” applies to our daily focus at STCU. We need to put our members first in every decision, and we need to empower our employees to be

See ECKHARDT, Page 28

Photo by Craig Howard Ezra Eckhardt took over as president and CEO of STCU in January 2018. The Spokane native and graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point worked at Honeywell, Microsoft and Umpqua Bank before taking the reins at STCU. The credit union, with its corporate headquarters in Liberty Lake, has nearly 200,000 members in Eastern Washington and North Idaho.

The Splash

AUGUST 2019 • 3

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4 • AUGUST 2019


Two challenging Burch on SVFD board

By Nina Culver Splash Contributor

Spokane Valley Fire Commissioner Position 1 is currently held by Patrick Burch, who serves as the board chair. Two people have filed to run against him in the August primary, Randall “Randy” Bean and Bradley Mertens. The two candidates receiving the most votes will advance to the general election in November. Primary ballots are due Aug. 6. Following is a breakdown of each candidate in the race. Patrick Burch Age: 56 Education: Graduated from Anaconda (Montana) High School and earned an associate’s degree in industrial electronics from North Idaho College. He earned a bachelor’s degree in operations management and management information systems from Eastern Washington University in 1997 and an MBA from Washington State University in 2010. Occupation: He previously worked as a quality assurance engineer for Advanced Input Devices, as an engineer for Boeing, as a financial controller on the AWACS program in Saudi Arabia and as vice president of operations at MediServ in Hayden, Idaho. He’s been the business manager and co-owner of Neurotherapy Northwest since 2006. He also previously served in the Navy Reserves for eight years. Political experience: Appointed to his current position to fill a vacancy in 2016 and elected to his seat in 2017. Family: Married with two children. Finances: Burch has chosen the minireporting option, pledging to raise and spend less than $5,000. Burch said he’d thought about becoming a fire commissioner years ago, but didn’t want to challenge any of the commissioners at the time. “I liked them all and didn’t want to run against them,” he said. Instead he volunteered with the department’s Community Emergency Response Team and was involved in the volunteer Fire Corps. When a commissioner moved away and resigned from the board, Burch applied for the vacant seat and was appointed. He said he’s proud of the

work the department has done, including becoming accredited and lowering the department’s fire rating, and wants to continue to be involved. “We have great firefighters; we have great leadership,” he said. “We have a really good team of people.” The Spokane Valley Fire Department has become a model department after it went through the stringent accreditation process, which requires regular renewals, Burch said. “It really forces us to look at best practices,” he said. “That’s just great for everybody.” The growth of the area the department serves -- which includes Spokane Valley, Millwood, Liberty Lake, Otis Orchards and portions of unincorporated Spokane County – is creating challenges, Burch said. More people means more calls, and it can be a challenge to keep response times down, he said. “We know where our growth areas are,” he said. “We know where we need to put our stations.” Burch said people sometimes don’t understand that the board of fire commissioners only set policy for the department. “Fire commissioners don’t manage the day to day operations of the department,” he said. “We have a chief for that.” Burch said his experience gives him the needed qualifications for the position. If elected in November, this will be his first full six-year term after being appointed to his seat, Burch said. “I just started,” he said. “This gets to be my six-year term. There’s more going on, more to do.” He said running for re-election has forced him to get out of his comfort zone. “I’m not really a self-promoter,” he said. “I am doing it to serve the citizens of the community. I have no other agenda.” Randall “Randy” Bean Age: 54 Education: Graduated from Deer Park High School and graduated from paramedic school at Spokane Community College in 1999. Occupation: He previously worked for Deer Park Ambulance as an EMT for a year before going to work for AMR in 1997. He retired in 2016 and then worked with Life Flight for three years. He also worked

as a volunteer firefighter with Spokane County Fire District 4 for 24 years. He is currently disabled due to a back injury he received while serving in the U.S. Navy for two years. Political experience: He previously served two terms on the Deer Park City Council. Family: Married with 12 children and nine grandchildren. Finances: Bean has chosen the minireporting option, pledging to raise and spend less than $5,000. Bean, who has lived in the Valley since 2016, said one of the main reasons he’s running for the board of fire commissioners is because he sees a need to improve communication between the command staff and the firefighters. “I think certain things can be improved on,” he said. He said he also wants to focus on fiscal responsibility, particularly when it comes to legal issues. “The department sued the battalion chiefs union, saying they were not exempt,” Bean said. The department ultimately lost, but both sides spent a lot of money on lawyers, he said. “I’m only one voice,” Bean said. “Can I change everything? No. I can sure have an opinion on things. I will do my best to ensure we’re doing what’s right.” Bean said he’s heard people complain that firefighters are paid too much, but said he disagrees. “I believe Spokane Valley Fire offers an excellent product,” he said. “Valley Fire is among the very top. You have to offer good benefits and a good salary to attract people.” Bean said he thinks his experience as a former city council member and his longtime work as a volunteer firefighter and paramedic make him uniquely suited to the job. “I have that knowledge of budget and city government and how that all works,” he said. “I think I have something to offer our community and help our fire department grow and excel.” Bradley Mertens Age: 39 Education: Graduated from West Valley High School and earned an associate’s degree in fluid power from Spokane Community College. He also graduated from paramedic school in Maryland. Occupation: Firefighter with Spokane

The Splash County Fire District 8. Political experience: None. Family: Married with one daughter. Finances: Mertens has given $60 to his campaign and reports no other donations. Mertens grew up in Millwood and returned home three years ago. He said that given his job with Fire District 8, it was only natural to run for a seat on the board of fire commissioners. “I’ve always wanted to be involved a little bit more with the community I live in,” he said. Crews from Spokane Valley Fire and Fire District 8 frequently respond to calls together under a mutual aid agreement, and Mertens said that’s given him a chance to get to know some of the firefighters working for Spokane Valley Fire. “I was asked to run by some of the firefighters to get a different voice on the commission,” he said. “Right now they feel like their voice isn’t being heard.” He said he believes there needs to be better communication between the administration and the firefighters and between the board of commissioners and the public. He said that when the commissioners are considering important issues like building new stations and buying new trucks, the public often doesn’t know about it and is unable to give input. He’d also like the board meeting time changed from 4 p.m. so more people can attend after they get off work. Mertens said he’s concerned about a recent remodeling project to expand Station 8 to make room for a tiller truck, which is longer than a standard fire engine. A tiller truck has a rear steering position that allows the truck to fit into tight spots. Mertens said the department already owns one tiller truck and he’s not sure a second one is needed. “Those are questions that I would bring to the table,” he said. “Is this really necessary?” He also believes that the department should take another look at staffing. “My number one thing is always firefighter safety,” he said. “Staffing is good, but I think it could be better on some apparatus.” Mertens said he’s moved around a lot because his wife is in the Army, but that’s allowed him to work in many different departments and get more ideas about how departments can function better. “I have the experience,” he said. “I’ve seen different fire systems and different EMS systems around the country. I have the understanding of what the firefighters need.”

The Splash

AUGUST 2019 • 5


Windermere Valley/Liberty Lake Welcomes

Business Droplets Ferrero joins ActionCOACH Jennifer Ferrero, a longtime area business owner and community leader, has joined ActionCOACH Business Coaching, Ted Schmidt’s office at the Tapio Center. Ferrero has owned and operated several

News Droplets Ballots due Aug. 6 Ballots for the Aug. 6 primary election can be postmarked by that date or turned in at one of 24 drop box locations countywide, including one at the Liberty Lake Municipal Library. Voters can still register and vote in person up to the date of the election at the Spokane County Elections Office, 1033 W. Gardner Ave. in Spokane. For more, call 477-2320.


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circulation with 16,000 being direct mailed to households across the Spokane Valley area in addition to the 10,000 copies being available for pickup at over 250 business locations. About 10,000 copies of The Splash are distributed around the end of each month, 6,000 of those through direct mail to every home and business in the greater Liberty Lake community.

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6 • AUGUST 2019

SVFD Report From Splash News Sources

Spokane Valley Fire Department crews responded to a total of 89 emergency calls in the greater Liberty Lake area* from June 24 to July 24: • Emergency Medical Services 81 • Building Alarms 6 • Motor Vehicle Accidents 5 • Fires 10 • Dispatched and cancelled en route 2 • Hazardous Materials 2 • Vehicle Fires 2 • Technical Rescue 1 The *service area for SVFD Station No. 3 in Liberty Lake Moving Violation – At 4:16 p.m. July 12, SVFD responded to a moving violation with injuries. A four-vehicle incident occurred at 22600 E. Appleway. One occupant was transported for care. Everyone appeared awake and alert with minor injuries. Water Rescue – At 4:06 p.m. July 19, SVFD water rescue crews responded to a report that a boat

The Splash was sinking on Liberty Lake. People were noted as yelling on the shoreline alerting others to the sinking boat. When crews arrived, the person was out of the water and on the dock. The full response status was cancelled and crews returned to service. Alarm System – At 6:46 p.m. July 5, SVFD responded to an alarm in the area of North Madson/North Molter Road. Once on scene, crews could hear an audible alarm but did not see smoke or flames. The building was a two-story medium sized residential structure. Crews searched the building and with no fire found, reset the alarm and returned to service. Brush Fire – At 12:25 p.m. July 23, SVFD responded to a brushfire that was called into emergency services. The caller identified a riding lawn mower on fire. Valley Engine 3 responded and found a commercial riding lawn mower on fire, with a brushfire that had been knocked down by passersby on the freeway with dry chemical extinguishers. Crews used approximately 250 gallons of water and an appropriate amount of foam to extinguish the mower and wet the surrounding area. Crews also checked

the lawn mower operator for any injuries; finding none, they returned to service. About SVFD — Spokane Valley Fire Department serves the cities of Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Millwood and the surrounding unincorporated areas of Spokane

County with a combined population of 125,000 across 75 square miles. Established in 1940, SVFD is an Accredited Agency by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, one of only a handful in Washington State. For more information about Spokane Valley Fire Department, visit

Police Report

slurring her words. After failing the voluntary field sobriety tests, the driver was taken to the Washington State Patrol Port of Entry BAC processing room, where she blew a 0.119 and was arrested for DUI. Fraud – LLPD responded June 10 to an elderly citizen defrauded of $4,000. The victim received a message on Facebook from someone posing as a friend. This “friend” provided the victim a phone number and advised the victim they could call and obtain a grant for $100,000. Upon calling the number, the victim was instructed to purchase $4,000 worth of Amazon gift cards to cover the fees associated with the grant. The victim purchased the cards and read the numbers to the suspect over the phone. Welfare check -- On June 11, 911 dispatched officers to the area of East Maxwell Avenue and North Oakland Road for a report of a found child. Dispatch advised the complainant located a 2-year-old male riding a bicycle with no adults in the area. Upon contact with the complainant, the officer was advised by another witness that the young boy was seen earlier riding near Mission and Malvern without supervision. The child’s home was eventually located, and the mother advised he had been riding near a busy road. The mother reported that her 4- and 6-yearold children were supposed to be watching him. The case report for this incident was forwarded to CPS for review.

From Splash News Sources The following activity of the Liberty Lake Police Department was reported for the month of July: • Total incidents and calls for service 533 • Traffic collisions 5 • Citations 85 • DUI 5 • Theft 7 • Malicious mischief 6 • Argument/assault 16 • Suspicious vehicles 27 Golf cart DUI – While on a traffic stop June 7, an officer observed a twoseater golf cart on Harvard Road with four occupants. The golf cart stopped near the roadway and began driving south in the Harvard Road bike lane. The officer yelled to the driver, telling her she could not drive the cart on the roadway as it was 35 mph. He then observed the driver disregard his warning and begin driving south on the sidewalk toward Liberty Lake. Officers then located the golf cart near East Wellington Parkway just west of North Harvard Road. Upon contact, officers observed one female sitting on the dash and three occupants sitting in the two-seat bench seat. The driver was advised the golf cart did not have the required seat belts per city ordinance. The officer smelled an obvious odor of intoxicants emanating from the driver and noted she was

The Splash

AUGUST 2019 • 7

The Lookout MEMO from the


By Mayor Steve Peterson

Painting on a blank canvas – the artist tries to visualize what is desired from the viewer. It’s the same thing with a master-planned community. As a city, we try to visualize and engage the public in a process of vision and what they desire. We then organize around “painting that picture.” It’s how all of our parks have

been created starting with Pavillion Park before the city incorporated and now with some of the final touches in progress at Orchard Park. Unlike the artist though, we have a chance to come back later and enhance our picture. We have added Fallen Heroes stations in all of the parks and are planning one for Orchard Park. This one will be dedicated to the firefighters and police. Working with the Fallen Heroes’ group will ensure it matches their vision of a tribute to these brave men and women.

In all of our parks, the Parks and Arts Commission will be concentrating on art wraps and murals, goat statues, story book walks and other things that bring our parks alive and interactive. They and our service clubs – Friends of Pavillion Park, Kiwanis, Rotary and Lions – are focused on adding more events and beautification in those parks. Should you choose to be involved in “this painting,” I invite you to join one of those groups. You also can make suggestions to the city through our website or by emailing Operations

and Maintenance Director Jennifer Camp at on your idea of what you would like to see. During the July 16 council meeting, a group of citizens came forward with a petition of 200 signatures requesting an opportunity to establish a dog park. More paint to add to the canvas! In the end, it’s your visit and experience that will help us make these parks and amenities better. It’s just another reason by working, playing and just being together as a community make Liberty Lake Spokane County’s premier address!

Lud Kramer Memorial Concert set for Aug. 31

Barefoot in the Park brings fun

The city welcomes everyone to the annual summer celebration – Barefoot in the Park – Aug. 2-3 at Pavillion Park, 727 N. Molter Road. The event kicks off with a car show on Friday night, Aug. 2, from 4 to 8 p.m. A golf cart parade will take to the streets from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Food vendors and live music will also be featured that evening. Family-friendly activities will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3. The schedule will also include a dog agility demonstration, drone racing, face painting and a magic show. A talent show will take the stage from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Business vendors, Pickle Ball, Ultimate Frisbee and much more will be part of the agenda this year. For a complete schedule, visit and click on “Community Events.”

August 2019

The Spokane Symphony is headed to Pavillion Park later this month for the Lud Kramer Memorial Concert. The annual adieu to summer will take place Saturday, Aug. 31 beginning at 6 p.m. Admission is free. The Liberty Lake City Council voted July 16 to approve an agreement with Friends of Pavillion Park for reimbursement of concert costs for the Labor Day weekend celebration that has become a community tradition.

Equipping residents to save lives

The city of Liberty Lake is partnering with the Spokane Valley Fire Department to make sure that training is available and AED (automated external defibrillator) machines are available at all of our parks and city properties. The Pulse Point app is available free on the App Store and Google Play to download. It then directs you to the exact location of the emergency, as well as the closest AED. Please contact the City of Liberty Lake for more information.

Kramer became the youngest Secretary of State in Washington history when he was elected in 1964 at the age of 32. He and his wife Patricia moved to Liberty Lake in 1994. Kramer became a catalyst for many key civic projects including the trails network, Pavillion Park, the library and incorporation. Kramer passed away in 2004 but his legacy lives on with a concert and community celebration in his name. In May, the city named a street in the River District “Kramer Parkway” in Lud’s honor. •

8 • AUGUST 2019

The Splash

City Council News and Notes By Craig Howard Splash Contributing Editor

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In WASHINGTON Click or Call Two Business Days Before You Plan To Dig

• Police Chief Brian Asmus told City Council on July 2 that driving while intoxicated includes those behind the wheel of golf carts as well as those on bicycles. A local resident driving a golf cart was arrested on a DUI charge on Harvard Road in June. • Asmus said LLPD will be conducting lateral interviews for two open officer positions. • LLPD has hired a new chaplain. Ron Bauer served as a police chaplain and counselor in the Los Angeles area before moving to the Inland Northwest recently to be near family. “Ron is just a great fit for our organization and our community,” Asmus said. “We’re excited to have him.” • Asmus made a request to the city to purchase a used police vehicle in anticipation of the agency being at full capacity. • The city has been in coversations with Lime Scooter company to bring in the popular transportation device. Asmus said there is an ordinance in place, passed in January 2005, that drastically limits scooter use. He said the ordinance was put in place to address safety issues involving pocket bikes and potential collisions with pedestrians and vehicles. He said the ordinance would need to be adjusted to allow for Lime Scooters. The company has pitched a pilot program to the city, but council has yet to render a decision on changing the existing ordinance. • Library Director Jocelyn Redel said 774 kids signed up for the summer reading program.

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• On the corner of Mission and Madsen, a space has been set aside called the “Easton Memorial Garden” in honor of a resident’s dog who passed away. • Friends of the Library raised $1,600 at a books sale spanning the same two days of the Liberty Lake Yard Sales. A quilt project has raised over $5,000 for the library. • A program called “Wag and Tales” brought a therapeutic dog to the library in July and will host another session this month. The program helps elementary school kids develop confidence by reading aloud to a non-judgmental, nonthreatening dog. • On July 2, Planning and Engineering Director Lisa Key said the city was moving closer to issuing a building permit for Ridgeline High School. • On April 1, the city reached a count of 11,000 residents. • City sales tax numbers are “good,” according to Finance Director RJ Stevenson, although revenue is down about $125,000 from this time last year. He said the city should still reach sales tax revenue projections by the end of the year. Permitting revenue will exceed expectations, Stevenson added. • Stevenson told council that updated six-year general fund forecast revenue estimates are conservative with projected deficits hovering around 10 percent. • Looking ahead to 2020 budget, the city will be hiring another police officer and a part-time administrative employee. There is also the possibility of bringing on an executive IT administrator and two full-time employees on the parks side while reducing some of the parks seasonal staff. The city is currently spending around $40,000 a year on IT consultant help. The first public hearing on the budget will be Aug. 6. • Rates are expected to remain close to the same for city medical benefits in 2020, Stevenson said. • Sen. Mike Padden of the 4th District made an appearance at the July 16 council meeting, lauding the city for capturing state funds in support of key transportation projects. “I certainly want to compliment the mayor and the

council for the Barker to Harvard project that got funded,” Padden said. “There were not a lot of new projects that were funded. I think long-term it certainly helps with public safety and is a huge plus for the Central Valley School District.” • The library has just completed phase one of its needs assessment. Phase two has just started and will included various levels of community involvement. • The next Planning Commission meeting will take place Aug. 14 at 4 p.m. at City Hall. • Council Member Odin Langford brought up a resident request for a pedestrian crossing at Mission and Country Vista. • Planning and Engineering Director Lisa Key told council that recently passed House Bill 1406 created an opportunity for revenue sharing to address affordable housing. The mechanism will draw from 0.416 percent of existing sales tax with cities and counties having the option to pass a resolution to join the program. If county passes a resolution, the city will receive half of the amount to put toward rent assistance, affordable housing, homeless services and other resources. The city could collaborate with other jurisdictions that are working on similar projects. If the county chooses not to participate, the city would need to adopt one of four taxing mechanisms to qualify for full funding. “This is giving local municipalities some tools to deal with the problem of housing throughout the state,” Key said. If the city doesn’t pass the resolution, its portion would go to the county. Cities have until January of 2020 to make a decision. • The city is considering membership in the National League of Cities. The annual fee of just over $1,000 will be considered in the 2020 budget. • Resident DG Garcia requested that the city form a focus group to look at homeowners associations and their corresponding boards as a way to “find out more about what’s happening in our communities.” • Council approved a total of $467,753 to construct north field improvements near Liberty Creek Elementary and authorized the mayor to sign the contract with the excavation company.

The Splash

AUGUST 2019 • 9

Trailhead receives wobbly grade from consultant By Craig Howard Splash Contributing Editor

Add another signature to the virtual petition backing an overhaul of the Trailhead clubhouse and pro shop. While an actual document of the sort has yet to materialize, consensus is building for a robust renovation or complete replacement of the facility that oversees Liberty Lake’s signature executive golf course. The building also includes an adjoining restaurant, Palenque. At the July 2 City Council meeting, Rob Haneline, a business development manager with Ameresco Inc., an energy services company that specializes in asset management, echoed what many have been saying for some time about Trailhead’s aging structure. “This equipment is at the end of its life cycle; it just happens,” Haneline said. “You’re looking at HVAC, windows, paint, carpet, substructure.” The evaluation of Trailhead’s hub was part of an extensive assessment Ameresco compiled of the city’s entire capital facilities inventory that included everything from building sites to trails and playgrounds. “The good news is the city’s facilities are in amazing condition, above what we normally see,” Haneline told council in his report. Ameresco looked at the city’s portfolio over the next 30 years. The city currently dedicates $110,000 each year for deferred maintenance. Haneline said the existing backlog of improvements stands at $787,000. Trailhead comprises $250,000 of that number. “Looking ahead to 2047, if you don’t do anything, you’re looking at $8 million in deferred backlog,” he said. At the current pace, the city would still be facing a backlog of $4.8 million. Haneline referred to a “facility condition index,” a metric used to measure deferred maintenance. The city set a goal of 4 percent and

currently stands at 5 percent. “That is amazing,” Haneline said. “You’re definitely ahead of the curve as far as other cities we see.” Trailhead, meanwhile, is lagging behind at 12 percent. “This building is fortunately your only bad building,” he said. “This is a little bit of a challenge.” Last year, the City Council completed a survey that ranked the priority of capital facility projects. Trailhead topped the list by a significant margin. “I don’t think it surprises anyone about Trailhead,” said Council Member Cris Kaminskas after Haneline’s presentation. “Now we have the data to back it up. This is excellent information. We realize that buildings don’t last forever.” City Administrator Katy Allen thanked Haneline and Ameresco for providing the city with a capital facilities report card that can be referred to moving forward. “I like the fact you took something very complicated and made it understandable based on industry standards,” said Allen. At the July 16 council meeting, City Engineer Scott Bernhard gave an update on the Trailhead project, saying the city had moved ahead with an RFQ (Request for Qualifications) related to a consultant on the master plan. He told council bids are expected by Aug. 30, after which the Trailhead work group will evaluate candidates and bring a recommendation back to the council. Rally for dog park In the public comments portion of the July 16 council meeting, several residents spoke in support of the city developing a dog park. Marla Larson, who has lived in Liberty Lake since 1986, noted that Washington ranks fourth in the nation for households with dogs. She has already gathered nearly 200 signatures in favor of an offleash greenspace for canines. “This is recognized as a significant amenity in communities,” Larson

said. “We’ve had amazing enthusiasm and response for this.” Mara Crowell, who owns Pawpular Companions, a pet supply store on Country Vista with her husband Carl, echoed Larson’s words. “We would like to support and do what we can to help this move forward,” she said. Dr. Shannon Wesche, a local veterinarian, told council that while she was living in Tucson, Ariz., the local Humane Society opened the community’s first dog park. Now there are a half dozen. “I support dog parks,” she said. “Dogs learn to socialize and play and get along with each other.” Mayor Steve Peterson, whose dogs have made regular appearances at City Hall, commended the idea. “We have parks for people so we should have parks for dogs,” Peterson said. “We’ll see what we can come up with. There are a number of pieces of property that are available.” Parks and arts news The Parks and Arts Commission is working on four utility wrap boxes, including one at Orchard Park. The group is also planning a mural at Pavillion Park and will

soon put out a call to artists for a goat statue at the park. Barefoot in the Park will take place Aug. 2-3 and include new features this year, including an expanded car show, a golf cart parade and talent show. Soccer has been replaced by Pickle Ball, including drop-in play on Friday and Saturday and a tournament organized by the HUB on Saturday. There is also no charge for business booths this year. The Story Walk project has taken another step forward as metal stands have been completed and will soon be installed at Rocky Hill Park. The Parks and Arts Commission is coordinating with the library to pick a book that will be featured on the walk. The stands were made by students at Spokane Valley Tech. The city has agreed to reimburse Friends of Pavillion Park (FOPP) for the cost of the Spokane Symphony at the Lud Kramer Memorial Concert on Labor Day weekend. Council approved the cost of $13,750 on July 16. FOPP will continue to be the lead coordinator for the annual event. “We do really good when we work in the background,” Allen said of the city’s role. “FOPP has the marketing part of it down.”

File photo The Liberty Lake City Council heard a report on the condition of the Trailhead facility from a consultant with Ameresco Inc. at its first meeting last month. The aging building has been identified by the governing board as a capital facilities priority.

10 • AUGUST 2019


The Splash

Photo by Linda Ball Frencken America engineers Andy Bennett, left, and Jerad Park stand in front of a slide showcasing their contribution to a carbon monitoring device that is attached to the International Space Station.

Work that is out of this world Liberty Lake engineers contribute to space experiment studying climate change By Linda Ball Splash Contributor Imagine how exciting it would be to see the launch of a rocket ship going to outer space. Now, imagine how fulfilling it would be to know that something you created was on that ship. That’s exactly what happened for electrical engineer Andy Bennett and mechanical engineer Jerad Park, who both work for Frencken America in Liberty Lake. Frencken is a bit of a mystery in itself, just because of the vast array of projects it becomes involved with. The website refers to the firm as an engineering, procurement, machine shop and manufacturer. Bennett and Park said the company is very diverse, but explained it as a company that focuses on mechatronics, or smart devices that move. A contract company, it has been involved in projects that

range from health care projects to imaging, oil and gas. Or, in this case: a collaboration with NASA. The engineers developed a part for the third iteration of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, the OCO-3. The entire OCO-3 device looks like a big refrigerator. What the OCO-3 does is measure and monitor CO2 in the atmosphere. What makes the OCO-3 different from the OCO-2 or OCO is that this version has the ability to point to one very specific single point on earth and grasp the data. “The earth consumes 50 percent of CO2 we produce on average over the long term,” Bennett said. “But some days it’s only 20 percent, or it could be 80 percent. This is a novel way of measuring carbon using the sun’s rays. The measuring tool is light.” What the two men and their team developed specifically is

the Frencken Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor. There are two of the devices integrated into the OCO-3 that allow a camera mounted on the outside to point to and photograph an area as precise as 50-miles by 50-miles from its perch attached to the International Space Station. The big upgrade from the OCO2 is that the Frencken Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor is able to steer the camera. This tool allows scientists to better identify the biggest emitters and absorbers of CO2, specific to plants, tracking the movement of CO2 from where it’s emitted, which in general comes from cars, coal and fossil fuels. They said the thermal cycles are very disparate depending on where the space station is located over the earth. Bennett and Park said the first preliminary solar-induced fluorescence results came in July 12,

and the OCO-3 and the Frencken motor are doing the job, capturing its first glimpses of sunlight reflected by Earth’s surface June 25. The OCO-3 team was then able to make its first determinations of carbon dioxide and solar-induced fluorescence, or the “glow” emitted from plants during photosynthesis. The mission team expects to complete OCO-3’s in-orbit checkout phase in August, ensuring that all of the instruments and components are working and calibrated correctly. Official carbon dioxide and solar-induced fluorescence data will be released to the scientific community in about a year. Given the quality of the measurements that the OCO-3 is already making, it is likely the data will be reported sooner. The motor works by magnetic force by coils that generate a magnetic field, which interacts with a permanent magnet field on the rotor, allowing for rotation of the camera. Park designed the motor, and Bennett designed the ground support equipment and electronics to control it.

See SPACE, Page 11

The Splash


Continued from page 10 “Half the organization had their hands on it,” Bennett was quick to add. He said it’s more than just the design, as it had to be fabricated. “Every check has to be documented,” Park said. He said they have hundreds of pages of documentation because “when you send something to space, there’s really no one up there to fix it.” Traceability is key. It all started in 2013 when Frencken got the request from NASA to work on the project. After development, Bennett and Park took it to Boeing’s Kent headquarters to test it. Boeing has an airtight chamber that emulates conditions in outer space. The OCO-3 and the camera are mounted on the outside of the International Space Station. The part the engineers developed was finally delivered to NASA in mid-2015 but wasn’t launched until this year. With the contract to carry goods and science experiments to the space station, Space X, Elon Musk’s space program, launched the OCO3 in what is called a Cargo Dragon Payload, mounted atop a Falcon 9 rocket. What’s impressive about Space X is that it has been able to


bring its rockets back to earth to be reused. Once the Cargo Dragon is separated from the rocket, the rocket gently returns to a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

Both men were at the Kennedy Space Center for the launch, which was delayed four times, not unusual for a space launch. The delays were caused first by weather, then by backup power issues with the space station, a helium leak and then a generator malfunction on the drone ship. When it finally launched to a deafening sound with a 10-second delay, Bennett and Park had to scramble to catch the flight back to Spokane. They were thrilled to see the launch. The payload also carried some biological experiments and supplies for the astronauts. The launch timing has to be perfect, because the payload must dock with the space station, which is moving at approximately 18,000 mph, orbiting 250 miles above earth, which is called a low earth orbit. Once the payload docked, a robotic arm grabbed the OSO-3 and put it in place. The space station circles the earth every 90 minutes, but the astronauts don’t feel the G-force because inside they are experiencing zero gravity. The OCO-3 project is managed by Jet Propulsion Laboratories.

AUGUST 2019 • 11

Caltech manages JPL for NASA. Park has worked at Frencken for 13 years, joining the firm after he finished his education at Texas A&M and University of Texas. Bennett has been with the company since 2010 after a career with Hewlett-Packard. Bennett’s dad, who is a retired engineer, worked on the Panama Canal.

Submitted photo This photo points out the refrigeratorshaped OCO-3 as part of the cargo being carried by the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station.

Photo by Linda Ball Liberty Lake-based engineer Andy Bennett holds the Frencken Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor, which was incorporated into the OCO-3 and sent to the International Space Station.

For more

To learn more about the data gathered and the purpose behind the OCO-3 project, visit ocov3.jpl.

Graphic courtesy of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology This infographic describes some of the questions that scientists are hoping to answer with data gained from OCO-3 measurements.

Photo courtesy of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology Since May, the International Space Station has been the home of OCO3, developed with the help of Liberty Lake engineers to monitor earth’s levels of carbon.

Photo courtesy of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology This diagram illustrates the OCO3’s process for gathering data, what engineer Andy Bennett calls “a novel way of measuring carbon using the sun’s rays.”


12 • AUGUST 2019

The Splash

Calendar of Events COMMUNITY EVENTS Aug. 2 | Giant Twister – 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Liberty Lake Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave. Giant Twister game for children of all ages. Aug. 2 | Barefoot in the Park – 4 to 9 p.m., Pavillion Park, Liberty Lake. Car show, beer garden, dropin pickleball and live music from Cover 2 Cover. Aug. 3 | Barefoot in the Park – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Pavillion Park, Liberty Lake. Pickleball tournament, free family activities, dog agility demonstrations, drone racing, Dick Frost Magician Show, Youth Commission talent show, ultimate frisbee, beer garden and live music. Aug. 3-4 | Advanced Driver Training Course – 7:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. sessions each day, Spokane Interstate Fairgrounds, 404 N. Havana St., Spokane Valley. Free classes offered to teen drivers and permit holders by the Ford Foundation. Sign up for free at, or learn more by contacting Bruce Gryniewski at bruceg@gallatinpa. com or 206-409-7138. Aug. 6 | Wag & Tales – 2 p.m., Liberty Lake Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave. Reserve spot for children ages 6 and up to read to a therapy dog. Sign up for a 10-minute session on the library’s Facebook page. Aug. 10 | National Night Out Party – 4 to 7 p.m., Spokane Valley Mall, west side parking lot. Free event includes face painting, helicopter

landing, mounted patrol, K-9 demonstration, border patrol, kids games, vendors, mall rides, free hot dog dinner with beverages and ice cream. Enter to win Silverwood passes with a can of food for Northwest Harvest. For more, call 477-3055. Aug. 10 | “Incredibles 2” – Dusk, Pavillion Park, Liberty Lake. Free movie, part of 22nd annual Summer Festival hosted by Friends of Pavillion Park. For more, visit Aug. 16 | “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” – Dusk, River Rock Park, Liberty Lake’s River District. Free movie, part of 22nd annual Summer Festival hosted by Friends of Pavillion Park. For more, visit Aug. 17 | “Mary Poppins Returns” – Dusk, Pavillion Park, Liberty Lake. Free movie, part of 22nd annual Summer Festival hosted by Friends of Pavillion Park. For more, visit Aug. 22 | Selkirk Middle School Dedication Ceremony – 5:30 p.m., 1409 N. Harvest Parkway, Liberty Lake. Celebrating the opening of the newest middle school in the Central Valley School District. For more, visit Aug. 25 | Paws in the Pool – 1 to 3:30 p.m., Valley Mission Pool, 11405 E. Mission Ave., Spokane Valley. Annual event for dogs 65 pounds and under (1 to 1:45 p.m.) and 66 pounds and over (2 to 3:30 p.m.), $5 per dog. Pre-registration recommended at Aug. 29 | Ridgeline High School Groundbreaking Ceremony – 5:30

p.m., 20150 E. Country Vista Drive, Liberty Lake. Celebrating beginning of construction on new Central Valley School District high school set to open in 2021. For more, visit Aug. 30 | “Black Panther” – Dusk, Pavillion Park, Liberty Lake. Free movie, part of 22nd annual Summer Festival hosted by Friends of Pavillion Park. For more, visit Various dates in August | Storytimes for infants to age 5 -10:30 a.m., Liberty Lake Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave. Includes “Move & Groove” Mondays, “Book Babies” Tuesdays, “Toddler Tales” Wednesdays, “Preschool Tales” Fridays.

RECURRING ACT 2 Senior Classes | Affordable classes offered by Community Colleges of Spokane to those who are retired or planning to retire. A wide range of courses from geology and history to exercise and art are offered at CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place, as well as other locations throughout the area. For more, search for “Act 2” at scc. Baha’i Fireside Conversation | 7 to 8 p.m., third Thursday 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. For more, call 599-2411. Catholic Singles Mingle | Meeting times and locations vary. This group, with no dues, is for single adults

of all ages. More at www.meetup. com/Catholic-Singles-Mingle. Free Last Sunday Lunch | Spokane Valley United Methodist Church, 115 N. Raymond Road, Spokane Valley - 12:30 p.m. on the final Sunday of every month in the church’s Fellowship Hall, Room 115 Grange Meeting and Dessert | 6:30 p.m., third Wednesday of the month, Tri-Community Grange, 25025 Heather St., Newman Lake. The public is welcome for this community-based service organization. For more, call 2262202. 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. Spokane County Library District | Locations include Argonne, Fairfield, Otis Orchards, and Spokane Valley. Special events and weekly activities for all ages including book clubs, children’s story times, classes, Lego club, teen anime club and writing clubs. More at Toastmasters, Liberty Lakers #399 | 5:45 to 7 p.m., Wednesdays at the Liberty Lake Library, 23123

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The Splash

AUGUST 2019 • 13


E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake. This is a speaking and leadership development club. Spokane Valley Quilt Guild | Meetings 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 Ave., Spokane Valley. Open to all interested in sharing ideas and skills of our quilting craft. Participants can access a comprehensive library, engage experienced teachers and participate in community service projects. More at

MUSIC AND THE ARTS Aug. 9-18 | “Mamma Mia!” – Various times, University High School Theater, 12420 E. 32nd Ave. This Spokane Valley Summer Theatre production is billed as “the mother of jukebox musicals.” For tickets and more info, visit Aug. 31 | Lud Kramer Memorial Spokane Symphony Concert – 6 p.m., Pavillion Park. Free concert, part of 22nd annual Summer Festival hosted by Friends of Pavillion Park.

RECURRING Pages of Harmony | 6:30 to 9 p.m., Wednesdays, Thornhill Valley Chapel, 1400 S. Pines Road. Four-part, a cappella harmony, men’s barbershop chorus. More at Spirit of Spokane Chorus | 6:45 p.m. Tuesdays, Opportunity Presbyterian Church, 202 N. Pines Road. Make new friends by joining this women’s chorus, specializing in four-part, a cappella harmony in the barbershop style. More at 218-4799.

HEALTH AND RECREATION Aug. 3 | Picklin’ in the Park Pickleball Tournament – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Pavillion Park, 727 N. Molter Road, Liberty Lake. Friendly, blind draw tournament part of the Barefoot in the Park festivities. For more, visit Aug. 8 | 23rd Annual Valley Chamber Golf Tournament – 1 to 7 p.m. (11:30 a.m. check in), MeadowWood Golf Course, Liberty

Lake. Networking, fun and prizes. $100 per player, $400 per team. Sponsorships available. For more, visit Aug. 14 | Play Unplugged Brag Badge College – 3 to 6 p.m., HUB Sports Center, Liberty Lake. Free event encouraging kids to put down electronics and get out and play. Multiple Brag Badges can be earned at this event. For more, visit Aug. 24 | Liberty Lake Throw Down – 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Orchard Park, Liberty Lake. Cornhole tournament raising funds for Friends of Pavillion Park and the HUB Sports Center. Event at Liberty Lake’s newest park also includes side games, youth activities, beer garden, food trucks, live music and more. Cash prizes of up to $1,000; registration $60 per team. For more or to register, visit Aug. 31 | Baskets for Babies Disc Golf Tournament – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., High Bridge Disc Golf Course, Spokane. Fundraiser for Spokane Valley-based nonprofit. For more, visit

RECURRING Al-Anon 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, call 425344-9280. Al-Anon Family Meetings | Tuesdays, noon to 1 p.m., Opportunity Christian Church, 708 N. Pines, Spokane Valley. Is there a problem of alcoholism with a relative or a friend? Al-Anon/ Alateen family groups can help. For more, call 456-2125. Decreasing Anger Group | 3 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays, the Vet Center, 13109 E. Mirabeau Parkway, Spokane Valley. Eligibility: combat veteran from all eras, military sexual trauma survivors. For more, call Steve at 893-4746 to make an intake appointment. 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

See CALENDAR, Page 14

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14 • AUGUST 2019

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Continued from page 13 same time and location. Cost is $25 for workbook. More at 892-5255 or Family and Friends of Addicts| 6 p.m. Wednesdays, The ONE Church, 15601 E. 24th Ave., Spokane Valley. Support group utilizing tools and principles to help navigate relationships with addicts and finding peace, strength and hope. For more, call 590-2422. 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. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday and Thursday; 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Sunday. $3/seniors, $5/non-seniors. • Classes including Kenpo Karate, Taekwondo and Fit for YOUR Life. See for cost and times. Liberty Lake Community Tennis Association | Rocky Hill Park,

who knew?

A single 1/2" wisp of milfoil can multiply into 250 million new plants in a year. — Washington State Department of Ecology

Milfoil can choke out fish, outboard motors and swimmers. Please check for milfoil when leaving every lake. Pick up fragments from your watercraft (or beach) and place in trash. Thanks!

The district treated the lake for milfoil and curly leaf pondweed 7/10/19. Please continue to remove any plant fragments you find in the lake! Thanks!!

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Liberty Lake. Free tennis clinics through Aug. 10 as follows: Saturday at 9 a.m. (kids 7 and under) and 10 a.m. (8-14). Adults Mondays and Thursday 6:30 to 8 p.m. Ladies Day clinics 10:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays. For more, contact Larry West at or 7241192. Liberty Lake Running Club | Meets at Liberty Lake Physical Therapy, 6:30 p.m. Thursdays through October. Weekly three mile run/ walk. Earn T-shirt after six runs. Military Sobriety Support Group | 10 to 11:30 a.m., Spokane Vet Center, 13109 E. Mirabeau Parkway, Spokane Valley. For more, call Steve at 893-4746. Mindful Music & Movement | 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Willow Song Music Therapy Center, 21101 E. Wellesley #102, Otis Orchards. Specifically designed for those living with chronic health issues such as Parkinson’s, dementia, COPD, MS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, cancer. $10 donation suggested. Facilitated by board-certified music therapist, Carla Carnegie. For more, visit or call 592-7875.

CIVIC AND BUSINESS Wednesdays in August | SCORE Small Business Classes – Wednesday mornings, SBA Training Room, 801 W. Riverside Ave. 4th Floor, Spokane. Cost is $25 if pre-registered. SCORE Spokane offers a variety of low-cost workshops designed to encourage the success of emerging and small business owners. Free business mentoring is also available. For more, visit RECURRING Central Valley School Board | 6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth

Mondays of each month, CVSD administration building, 19307 E. Cataldo, Spokane Valley Liberty Lake City Council | 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, City Hall, 22710 E. Country Vista Drive Liberty Lake 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, 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 Lions Club | Noon to 1 p.m., every first and third Wednesday of each month at Barlows, 1428 N. Liberty Lake Road. For more, 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 District building, 22510 E. Mission Ave. For more, visit Liberty Lake Merchants Association | 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays, Liberty Lake Portal, 23403 E. Mission Ave., Suite 120. For more, call 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 | 6:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month, City Hall, 22710 E. Country Vista Drive. Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District Board | 4 p.m. on the second Monday of each month, 22510 E. Mission Ave.

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AUGUST 2019 • 15

Groundbreaking for new high school Aug. 29 By Nina Culver Splash Contributor

be built by taking dirt and crushed rock from a hill on the property.

The site of the new Ridgeline High School at the edge of Liberty Lake has been taking shape for weeks, but the public is invited to an official groundbreaking for the project at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 29.

The land for the school was purchased from the Spokane Gun Club last year. The club is still operating at 19615 E. Sprague, but will close in July 2021 shortly before the school is scheduled to open. A portion of the land – 60 of the 99 acres – was also recently annexed into the city of Liberty Lake.

Construction of the school at 20150 E. Country Vista Drive is being overseen by its new principal, Jesse Hardt, who was previously the principal at Horizon Middle School for 11 years. He regularly walks the site with the project’s construction manager and consults with the architects on everything from where the electrical outlets should be located to what they need in the locker rooms. The water and sewer pipes and power and data lines are already in and buried. The future site of the school has been graded and work on the Henry Lane access road that connects to Country Vista Drive is well under way. Part of the site preparation work included raising up the spot where the school will

Liberty Lake also recently received funding to build an overpass over Interstate 90 at Henry Road thanks to lobbying by the city, the school district and the Spokane Valley Fire Department. Currently the only routes across the freeway are at Harvard Road and Barker Road. The new overpass will provide a connection that is important to all three, particularly the fire department. The department recently built a new fire station on Country Vista Drive next to where Henry Road, now Kramer Parkway, will be extended to go over the freeway. Selkirk Middle School, currently under construction just

north of I-90 at Harvest Parkway, will also benefit. “That overpass is just critical for us to serve our students on the north side,” CVSD Superintendent Ben Small said. “There are choke points at Harvard and Barker.” Small said the overpass likely won’t be finished before Ridgeview opens, but said he hopes it will be done soon after. The site work is being done by Debco Construction. The construction contract was scheduled to go to bid in July, and construction should begin soon after the groundbreaking, Small said. The district put the site work in a separate contract to save time and ensure the school is complete by the fall of 2021. There will be enough room for 1,600 students in Ridgeline High School’s 240,000 square feet contained in two-story building. There will be four baseball and softball fields in the northwest corner of the site along Appleway Avenue and tennis courts just to

the west of the school. There will be football and soccer fields south of the school. The district held several community meetings to get input on the design of the school and also asked for suggestions for the name of the new school. Over 450 suggestions were sent in and Ridgeline was picked in honor of the mountains to be seen in almost every direction from the site. “Being out here puts it in perspective,” Hardt said as he gazed around on a recent morning. He hoped to see a falcon, which was picked to be the new school’s mascot, but none were in the air that day. After spending so much time on the building plans and making decisions on where everything should go, Hardt confidently walked across the site to lead the way to the exact spot where his new office will be. Then he laughed. “I could be standing in the middle of the cafeteria for all I know,” he said. “It’s big. It’s a big footprint.”

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Photo by Nina Culver Crews work on curbing earlier this summer for Henry Lane, an access road to the new Ridgeline High School.

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16 • AUGUST 2019

Folds of Honor Patriot Golf Day Tournament Friday, September 13, 1-7 pm MeadowWood Golf Course 24501 E. Valleyway, Liberty Lake

Shotgun Start, 1:00 pm Dinner to follow Awards will be presented to top teams and individuals for long drive and close-to-the-pin Various sponsor levels Registration includes green fees, cart and dinner: $500 per team or $125 per individual BEHIND EVERY WAVING FLAG, THERE ARE THOUSANDS FOLDED

Folds of Honor provides educational scholarships for the children and spouses of military men and women killed or disabled in service to America. Since 2007, Patriot Golf Day has been our number one source of financial support. Help us continue to change lives through the game of golf by participating in your courses’ Patriot Golf Day.

The Splash

31st Annual Liberty Lake 4th of July Parade was a wonderful success!! THANKS TO OUR LIBERTY LAKE BUSINESS DONORS for the variety of donations so this event can include special golf carts for our Grand Marshalls, ribbons for all participants, music and sound system capabilities, free parking and all the inventory used for the Games! (eggs, pies, bottled water, prizes, cookies, etc!)

Banner Bank Barlow’s Brother’s Office Pizzeria City of Liberty Lake Crazy Beagle Espresso Epic Hair & Barber Home Depot Jennifer’s Autos Island Grill Liberty Lake Church Liberty Lake Fire Dept O’Reilly Auto Parts Palenque’s

Pawpular Companions Pizza Hut Safeway SCOPE Bob Scott, Meadowwood GC Professional Starbucks The Splash Trail Head Golf Course Umpqua Bank Washington Trust Bank Yoke’s


is our “No Cavity” winner for summer 2019

Winner of a $25 Amazon gift card

THANK YOU to ALPINE SHORES HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION for hosting this annual event for 30 years!

THANKS TO THOSE WHO BOUGHT T-SHIRTS/SWEATSHIRTS/ HATS as this is our only fundraiser We would like to THANK THE COMMUNITY for their participation in the Parade-It shows that our families, friends and neighbors enjoy celebrating this land we love! With Gratitude, 2019 4th of July Parade Committee Annie Tichy, Kathy Chalich, Sue Chapin, Karolyn Kosanke, Gay Mean, Dave Moore, Kelli Schneidmiller, Gen Wimberley, Betty Wolf

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


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Extractions • Nitrous Oxide Crowns (Caps) & Bridges Teeth Whitening •Cleanings Dentures/Partials • Implants Tooth Colored Fillings Porcelain Veneers • Sedation Dentistry


Call us today to register your team: Craig Whiting at (509)869-8650 or Duane Tait at (509)280-2797 Mulitple Sponsorship Opportunities available! Call us today!

NEW PATIENTS WELCOME Cosmetic and Family Dentistry



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AUGUST 2019 • 17

brought to you by

Student of the Month Daisy Schoonover is one of those people that is dedicated to making a difference both at school and in her community. The senior at Central Valley High School has worked for the last year at the CHAS Urgent Care location in Spokane Valley and has volunteered for the past two years at MultiCare Valley Hospital. Schoonover has taken the firefighting class at Spokane Valley Tech and has a goal of becoming a firefighter. “I want to do my best to help people,” Schoonover says. She plans to study biology in college and pursue a career as an Emergency Room physician. Schoonover has been part of GAP Medics, a hospital shadowing program based in the United Kingdom. She spent time in the Dominican Republic with the program. In the classroom, Schoonover maintains a 3.5 grade point average.

Athlete of the Month

Citizen of the Month

Matthew Gabbert will be the field general as Central Valley lines up for the 2019 football season. The senior quarterback returns after a strong junior campaign in which he was rated as a three-star recruit. He threw for 248 yards and three touchdowns in a win over North Central and passed for 158 yards and three touchdowns in a victory over University. Gabbert rebounded after two broken collar bones in his previous two seasons. In baseball, Gabbert is a standout pitcher and third baseman and two-year letterwinner. He pitched the Bears to victory in a district playoff game against Mead and had a key double in a victory over Gonzaga Prep that sent CV to state and the round of 16 for the first time since 2010. In the classroom, Gabbert maintains a 3.0 grade point average.

Bob Schneidmiller quickly immersed himself in community causes after moving to Liberty Lake in 2002. By the following year, Schneidmiller was a member of the local Kiwanis Club and a volunteer with Friends of Pavilion Park. He has served with both groups ever since, playing a lead role in the Kiwanis Liberty Lake Yard Sales and FOPP’s production of the Lud Kramer Memorial Concert. Schneidmiller studied at Eastern Washington University before moving to the west side of the state. He served in the U.S. Army from 1964 to 1966. After graduating from Seattle Community College, he was hired at Boeing and went on to work at Unigard Insurance until retiring in 2002. Bob is an adjunct member of the city’s Parks and Arts Commission. Bob and his wife Sue have been married for 25 years.

& Thanks you for all you do in our community


18 • AUGUST 2019

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AUGUST 2019 • 19

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New location custom-fit for trio of established businesses By Josh Johnson Splash Contributor A dentist, an optometrist and a coffee mogul walk up to a pour over bar. In Liberty Lake, that’s not the start of a joke, but the east end of a modern new building this trio of longtime local businesses have joined forces to build at 22011 E. Country Vista Drive. Liberty Lake Smile Source, Liberty Lake EyeCare Center and Wake Up Call are the tenants dividing more than 12,000 square feet of combined space. Two of the three businesses are already operating in the building, with Liberty Lake EyeCare Center likely to follow in the fourth quarter of the year. Wake Up Call was the first to open on June 10. The Spokane Valleybased coffee chain’s ninth location is also its largest. “In hindsight, we could have built an even bigger lobby,” co-owner Christopher Arkoosh said. “There is a lot of walk-in traffic, which has been fun and more than we expected.” Part of the expanded space is the addition of a pour over bar, which will always feature the house blend and another option on rotation. A honey-processed Costa Rican coffee was featured recently, and Arkoosh said a bold Kenyan roast is next in line. Both are direct trade coffees, meaning Wake Up Call has direct relationships with each and does not purchase through a middleman. “The pour over bar is pretty neat because it allows us to change every parameter possible — temperature, pour rate, spray patterns, volume, pretty much anything we want — so we can profile different coffees in a fun way,” Arkoosh said. He added the pour over coffees are in-house only so as not to slow down Wake Up Call’s traditional dual lane drive thru. Both Arkoosh and co-owner Christi Walsh are longtime Liberty Lake residents, and the first Wake Up Call office was in Walsh’s Liberty Lake basement. The two actually targeted Liberty Lake for their inaugural location and were in

negotiations to build at a prominent intersection before a higher bidder won out: Walgreens. Undeterred, the business partners unveiled their brand at the intersection of Dishman Mica and 16th in Spokane Valley and waited 15 years to open in Liberty Lake. Along the way, Arkoosh said relationships were deepened with his family optometrist, Liberty Lake EyeCare Center owner Dr. Bret Ulrich, and his family dentist and neighbor, Liberty Lake Smile Source owner Dr. Tim Casey. As it turns out, the pairing had been dreaming of partnering in a new space for a while. “Dr. Ulrich and I had talked for about 10 years about the limitations of our current spaces and the idea of doing a joint venture,” Casey said. “Especially with the benefits of him being a Vision Source doctor and me a Smile Source doctor, the synergy really makes sense.” That vision nearly became reality three to four years ago at a site approximately across the street from the new location, but “the idea lost some steam and we decided to hold off,” Ulrich said. Then a year ago, Casey came back with a new plan at the present location designed by Evan Verduin with Trek Architecture in Spokane. Ulrich was intrigued, but was looking for more space to expand the retail eyewear

side of his practice. “They came back with some revisions to the original building that answered all my concerns — and frankly was the best-looking building I had seen in the area,” Ulrich said. “From that point on, I couldn’t wait to be a part of it.” He said his patients are making comments about the building — some even ask about putting off the next appointment a couple months so as to land in the new office — but their move will likely come late in the year. “We expect to be several months behind Dr. Casey and the Wake Up Call group; probably October or November would be the earliest we would be completed and ready to go,” Ulrich said. Ulrich anticipates the wait will be worth it, with approximately quadruple the space for browsing and selecting the latest eyewear brands, added staff to minimize wait times and innovative new checkin and patient flow concepts he says will be unique to the region. The chance to further a reputation for high quality care in an upgraded and expanded space was also a big part of the appeal for Casey, who began operating Liberty Lake Smile Source out of the new digs in midJuly. He said the space also allows them to serve more new patients

AUGUST 2019 • 21

with expanded services. This was made possible in part by the addition of Dr. Brian Macall to the team, who has worked on a limited basis at the practice for the past year in anticipation of the transition. Both Casey and Macall attended Creighton, and Casey said the continuity from having the same professors and training makes their partnership smooth. Casey said the new location will provide everything from laser and cosmetic dentistry to an even greater emphasis on pediatric dentistry than what was already in place for the family practice. The early feedback from patients is also falling in line with what Casey was hoping for. “One patient described the space as modern and comfortable, which can be a difficult combination to achieve,” Casey said. “Being in the dental and medical field, there is always that sterility factor that can make for a more dry, scary environment. With the design of the building with windows and the layout, we were able to achieve the warmth we were striving for. It was great to get that feedback.” Of course, Casey isn’t blind to the fact his new Country Vista Drive neighbors add to the allure. “There’s only so much coolness coming out of a dental office, so it matters who you partner with,” he said. “If I surround myself with a guy like Dr. Ulrich offering cool sunglasses and a gourmet coffee house, it makes it a lot more fun.”

Photo by Josh Johnson From left, Dr. Bret Ulrich of Liberty Lake EyeCare Center, Christopher Arkoosh of Wake Up Call and Dr. Brian Macall and Dr. Tim Casey of Liberty Lake Smile Source, stand before the new building their businesses are occupying at 22011 E. Country Vista Drive.

22 • AUGUST 2019

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Throw Down raising support for HUB, FOPP

Event debuts with cornhole tournament, food trucks and beer garden at Orchard Park By Josh Johnson Splash Contributor From sports to Spider-Man, from the Spokane Symphony to Shakespeare, a pair of nonprofits are behind much of what makes “Recreation” Liberty Lake’s middle name. This month, Friends of Pavillion Park and the HUB Sports Center have another invitation for fun: a cornhole tournament. The Liberty Lake Throw Down debuts Aug. 24, and organizers hope the simple backyard game that is surging in popularity will help them raise funds to support the lineup of free and lowcost community opportunities they provide throughout the year. The tournament and festivities include a live band, side games, beer garden and food trucks. It will be held at the new Orchard Park located at Indiana and Harvest Parkway in Liberty Lake’s River District. For the uninitiated, cornhole is played by throwing bean bags at a raised platform board with a hole in it. Players score points by landing bags on the board or in the hole. The sport has become so popular that tournaments are now broadcast on ESPN. “One thing that’s awesome about this event and cornhole in general, it’s age agnostic,” said HUB Sports Center Executive Director Phil Champlin. He said that not only can all ages play it, but he compared it to curling in that even the most skilled participants look like everyday human beings as opposed to “highly trained, highly skilled athletes.” “Sports like curling and cornhole, you look at and think, ‘Yeah, I can do that,’” Champlin said. “To participate in the Liberty Lake Throw Down, you aren’t going to have to go to the gym.”

Organizers’ dream goal is to recruit 200 teams of two for the event to participate in three divisions: Sand Baggers, an open division competing for a $1,000 winner’s prize; Couple of Baggers, a Jack and Jill division competing for $500; and Mini Baggers, a 12-andunder division competing for $250. Registration is at pavillionpark. org. The cost is $60 per team with the exception of the kids’ division, which is $25 per team. Participants over 12 can participate on a total of two teams, one each in the Sand Baggers and Couple of Baggers divisions. FOPP President Joe Frank said in July that registration was up to 55 teams. At the time, the kids’ division — which will be played at a distance of 12 feet between the fronts of the raised boards as opposed to the 27 feet for adults — was lagging behind the other two in registrations, but not for the lack of a carrot. “$250 for a 12-year-old — holy smokes, that’s like winning a lottery,” Champlin said. Organizers set a guaranteed registration deadline of Aug. 4 but hope to accommodate teams that register through mid-August. The event begins at 11 a.m. Aug. 24, and participants are guaranteed five games. The best teams from round robin play advance to a single elimination tournament to crown the champion. Organizers believe the final matches will wrap up by 8 p.m. There will be plenty to do between games and for spectators, including side games like a long toss, food, the beer garden and live music starting

later in the day. “And the park is amazing, with the splash pad and new trike path,” Champlin said. “There will be stuff for the entire family to do beyond just the cornhole part of it.” Frank agreed that the new park and overall atmosphere provide a perfect backdrop for the spectacle. “It’s a really great park,” he said. “Even if people don’t want to play, come out and enjoy the park and food trucks and celebrate the neighborhood. Just like any other sports tournament, we want it to be more than just a tournament.” In that sense, it fits in well with the Friends of Pavillion Park mission. “I enjoy playing cornhole with friends in the backyard, and that’s kind of what we always wanted these fundraisers to be is friends and neighbors coming together,” Frank said. For many years, FOPP was primarily funded through the Holiday Ball. Frank said the organization realized that event “started to run its course” a couple

Submitted Photos Custom boards are being prepared for the Liberty Lake Throw Down, a fundraiser and cornhole tournament scheduled for Aug. 24 at Orchard Park.

years ago, and the early seeds of the Liberty Lake Throw Down were planted. One advantage to the event is it puts the fundraiser closer to the timeframe of the annual summer festival, helping to connect dots from things like free movies and concerts throughout the summer to the funds that are actually required to put them on. On top of registration fees, the Liberty Lake Throw Down has a host of sponsors who will be featured on the cornhole boards. Local framer Mandere Construction donated the labor to build the cornhole sets. Any funds raised through the event will support both organizations. The HUB Sports Center provides events that have a positive impact on youth and the community. Champlin said money raised will help fund outreach programs, such as the HUB 360 after school program for middle school students or the Police Activity League where elementary students play games with members of law enforcement. “If all we did was provide a space for kids to play, I think we’re worth supporting,” Champlin said. “But in addition to that, we are seeking out ways to benefit our community.” Frank hopes the Throw Down will help support FOPP’s mission of providing free events to make connections. “It’s just that opportunity to come together — no financial commitment, roll out the blanket, hang out and be together and enjoy the community we’re trying to build,” he said. FOPP was founded in 1992, before any of the parks where its events are held were even built. “FOPP predated the formation of the city,” Frank said. “They are the organization that pioneered the building of Pavillion Park as well as the extensive trail system out in Liberty Lake. Through the tradition of creating those amenities, it’s morphed into an organization that activates those amenities and helps people use those amenities and cherish those amenities.”

The Splash

AUGUST 2019 • 23

Sports Scoreboard

Spokane Valley Women’s Evening Golf League June 19 Results Flight A – Gross, Salena Leavitt, 47; Net, Dorene Meltingtallow, 38 Chip In – Salena Leavitt (No. 1) June 26 Results Flight A – Gross, Diane Perry, 48; Net, Nancy Harter, 51 Flight B – Gross, Kathleen Burns, 64; Net, Sandy Nowaski, 64 No Handicap – Dawn Smith, 52 Chip In – Diane Perry (No. 1)

at University High School Theatre

July 3 Results

Flight A – Gross, Salena Leavitt, 47; Net, Barb Byington, 35 Flight B – Gross, Gail Bailey, 54; Net, Terrie Schucht, 36 Flight C – Gross, Eunie Hubble, 59; Net, Becky Schnebly Flight D – Gross, Terra Lawson-Gilbert, 61; Net, Amy Faucheux, 44 No Handicap – Catherine McNamara and Dawn Smith, 56 Chip In – Gail Bailey (No. 7) Birdie – Gail Bailey (No. 3)

July 10 Results

Flight A – Gross, Salena Leavitt, 46; Net, Kaycee Murray, 36 Flight B – Gross, Tracey Lawson, 54; Net, Gail Bailey, 38 Flight C – Gross, Becky Schnebly, 53; Net, Kim Sellars, 37 Flight D – Gross, Terra Lawson-Gilbert, 64; Net, Mellisa Poe, 42 No Handicap - Dawn Smith, 56 Chip in – Kim Sellars

Count Putts

Flight A - Laurie Stewart, Norma Sellers and Rose Mills, 16 Flight B - Tracey Lawson, 17 Flight C - Sandy Nowaski, 17 Flight D - Terra Lawson-Gilbert, 20 No Handicap - Dawn Smith, 18

July 17 Results

Flight A – Gross, Salena Leavitt, 43; Net, Barb Byington, 39 Flight B – Gross, Tracey Lawson, 59; Net, Sue Dotson, 41 Flight C – Gross, Kim Sellars, 61; Net, Eunie Hubble and Sandy Nowaski (tie), 43 Flight D – Gross, Melissa Poe, 67; Net, Nancy Moore, 58 No Handicap – Dawn Smith, 59 Team Blue Ball Score – Nancy Harter and Kaycee Murray, 55 Eagle – Salena Leavitt (No. 8)

July 24 Results

Flight A – Gross, Diane Perry, 46; Net, Kallie McGilley, 33 Flight B – Gross, Colleen Lynn, Kathleen Burns and Sue Dotson (tie), 57; Net, Gail Bailey and Lisa Pounds (tie), 41 Flight C – Gross, Becky Schnebly , 54; Net, Sandy Nowaski, 34 Flight D – Gross, Melissa Poe, 65; Net, Gerri Vance, 39 No Handicap – Dawn Smith, 52 Birdie – Becky Schnebly (No. 16)


August 9 – 18

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AUGUST 2019 • 25


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AUGUST 2019 • 27

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28 • AUGUST 2019

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Will return next month. Please submit your special moments to


Continued from page 2

amazing solution providers. The Nine Leadership Principles directly apply to every business leadership position I have ever encountered: Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions; set the example; build a team and keep them informed; know yourself and seek self-improvement. Hope is not a method. Create a plan, organize your team, set clear goals and make great things happen. Most importantly, improvise, adapt and overcome. Nothing ever really plans exactly like you expect. Stay flexible and give your team the ability to adapt to the changing circumstances. When you have a well-informed, engaged, motivated team, they can accomplish just about anything. I haven’t really encountered any reason to wear camouflage or boots at STCU. They aren’t brand compliant with our jam purple or the dress code. Q: Being accepted into West Point seems like a pretty lofty aspiration for someone in high school. How did you decide this was going to be the goal for you? A: When I was in high school, I wanted to do something a little different that other people. I was inspired by the concept of servant leadership, community service and volunteerism. I also know paying for college would be expensive, so I was looking for an option where I could receive a respected education, have an interesting job and serve a greater cause. At the end of my sophomore year, I came across some information for the Unites States Military Academy. I made a concerted effort to focus on sports, academics and activities. The process was a lot more manual 35 years ago. I don’t recall people really “visiting” their college choices. It was very much a leap of faith. Looking back, I feel like I collected a set of life skills that I have been able to utilize time and again. Q: Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Do what you can with all you

have, wherever you are.” It seems like you have made it a point to do just that in your life. Where do you think your personal motivation comes from? A: In terms of personal motivation, I want to be a part of a winning team that builds something special. I come to work every day at STCU excited about our future and impressed with what we have accomplished. We have an amazing team of people. As we concentrate on empowering, supporting and engaging our employees, they will make amazing things happen for our members. We are approaching 700 employees. We put a lot of emphasis on creating developmental opportunities and connected career paths for everyone. We have an extensive leader training program where we highlight every day personal leadership, good supervisory skills, clear communication and building the heart of the member. Q: STCU has a great slogan, “Here for Good.” As you’ve been

believe that Eastern Washington and North Idaho are special places and we want to do our part to make them better over time. Finally, we have served our communities and members for 85 years. We plan to be around for the long haul. STCU intends to be a fixture across the Northwest for generations to come. Q: Along those same lines, you’ve talked about STCU being a good steward in your administrative home of Liberty Lake. What does that look like? A: We make a concerted effort to stay connected and engaged in Liberty Lake. I don’t have an exact number, but we have close to 150 employees who live in the extended Millwood, Greater Spokane Valley, Otis Orchards, Liberty Lake area. Between our headquarters on Signal Drive and our branch on Appleway, we have well over 300 active employees on site. We love the easy access to shopping and community support. A number of our employees have established walking loops for lunch. We also

“We strive to actively create a stronger more engaged community every day. We believe that Eastern Washington and North Idaho are special places and we want to do our part to make them better over time.” able to assess and lead the culture here as president and CEO, what does that phrase mean to you? A: We love the double entendre of “Here for Good.” First and foremost, we are here to serve our members; to listen to their needs; to believe in our capabilities to create value for them and to deliver amazing financial advice and services to help them fulfill their hopes and dreams. It also means that we are here for our communities. We strive to actively create a stronger more engaged community every day. We

get a lot of use out of the running trails and easy access to amenities. Liberty Lake is a family-oriented community that aligns to the needs of our employees. We hope we are a good neighbor for the stores, coffee shops and restaurants close by. Q: As STCU approaches 200,000 members and celebrates its expansion into the Tri-Cities, what can people expect when it comes to further growth and development? A: Earlier this year, we crossed a special milestone as a $3 billion

credit union. Before the end of 2019, we will have 200,000 active members, almost all of them in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. Our goal is to have over 500,000 members and over $10 billion in assets all here in the Northwest. If you draw a giant circle that starts at the Canadian border, loops around to the Cascade Mountains, extends down to Southern Oregon and Idaho and swings around to the Western Rockies, there are a lot of potential members in that space. We know we can do a great job building community, providing trusted advice and delivering a unique member experience to everyone inside that circle. The continued consolidation of community banks, the desire to work with trusted local organizations and our renewed focus on consistent channels and digital access will help us better meet the members where they want to be met. We are opening new branches in Rathdrum and Pasco later this year, and we have three more remote ATM locations underway. There are lots of amazing opportunities on the horizon. Q: Finally, you were a runner in high school and now a pretty serious cyclist. Give us the major pluses and minuses of exercise via both foot and bike as you see them. A: It is always great to find time to get outside and soak up some fresh air. That is one of the best reasons to live in the Northwest. We have spectacular mountains, trails, lakes and forests. I love to hike and find interesting places that are out of the way. I used to run a little more but I find it harder on my knees and back. As a result, I happily discovered cycling. I am probably less of a “serious cyclist” and more of a suffering enthusiast. It is a great way to explore back roads of North Idaho, test out the trail systems across the region, poke around on the dirt roads of the Palouse and to stretch my legs before work. Running is nice but cycling opens up a lot more options for me.

The Splash

AUGUST 2019 • 29 THE




Ben Wick


Danica Wick


Paula Gano


Randy Edwards


Linda Ball, Nina Culver, Craig Howard, Josh Johnson, Ross Schneidmiller, Michelle Valkov The Liberty Lake Splash P.O. Box 363 Liberty Lake, WA 99019 Phone: 242-7752 The Splash is published monthly by or before the first of each month. It is distributed free of charge to every business and home in the greater Liberty Lake area. Additional copies are located at drop-off locations in Liberty Lake and Otis Orchards.

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Liberty Lake Women’s 18-hole Golf Club President’s Cup and Putting Tournament (June and July) Best two rounds out of three, net results

Ladies’ Low Net - Sherry Leistiko, 77; Jeannine Hill, 80; Shirley Rodman, 82 Ladies’ Low Gross - Sherry Leistiko, 115; Jeannine Hill, 124; Shirley Rodman, 126 Men’s Low Net - Bob Leistiko, 64; Wayne Bass, 68; Dan Dillon, 70 Men’s Low Gross - Bob Leistiko, 85; Dan Dillon, 91; Wayne Bass, 104

July 4

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July 11

Ladies’ Low Net - Jennine Hill, 73; Melody Dillon, 75; Diane Rudnick and Sherry Leistiko, 78 Ladies’ Low Gross - Margie Hathaway, 106; Melody Dillon, 111; Sherry Leistiko, 114 Men’s Low Net - Jerry Rippeteau and Wayne Bass, 59; Dan Dillon, 60; Bob Leistiko and Jim Kappen, 67 Men’s Low Gross - Dan Dillon, 79; Bob Leistiko, 83; Jerry Rippeteau, 94


Fieldhouse Pizza • Stateline Plaza



Windermere • Liberty Lake Family Dentistry

Banner Fuel• Liberty Lake EyeCare Trailhead Ladies 9-Hole Golf Club New homes in Spokane, Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Post Falls & Coeu July 3 Red Tees

July 10 White Tees

The Splash strives for accuracy in all content. Errors



Ladies’ Low Net - Sue Kappen and Helen Norris, THE 75; Anonymous, 79; Sherry Leistiko, 82 Ladies’ Low Gross - Sherry Leistiko, 118; Helen Norris, 119; Anonymous, 123 Men’s Low Net - Ron Rudnick, 65; Dan Dillon, 71; Bruce Billingsley, 73 Men’s Low Gross - Dan Dillon, 90; Bob Leistiko and Bruce Billingsley, 91; Ron Rudnick, 97

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Liberty Lake Couples Golf June 27 Away Game, MeadowWood

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Low Net of the Field - Arty Bartlett, 136 1st Flight - Patty Aunan, 144; Gisue Peters, 149 2nd Flight - Cheryl Hull, 143; Barb Frislie, 145 3rd Flight - Vickie Leavitt, 147; Honey Conlon, 148 4th Flight - Carol Blume, 142; Gloria Cash, 145 5th Flight - Elize Bozzo, 146; Pam Reed, 152 6th Flight - Marilee Codd, 153; Kathleen McGough, 155 Low putts of the field - Cheryl Hull and Patty Aunan (tie), 62

Flight A - Gross, Shelia Kellmer, 47; Net, Mary Ellen Wall and Colleen Kusler (tie), 34 Flight B - Gross, Karen Schuermer, Susan Kinyon and Deanna Hauser (tie), 54; Net, Ann Parman, 34 Flight C - Gross, Jeannine Robillard, 51; Net, Elaine Lukes, 34 Chip Ins - Elaine Lukes and Marilyn Frei Birdie - Marilyn Frei

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Flight A - Gross, Jan Viegas, 49; Net, Jeanne Hamacher, 32 Flight B - Gross, Judi Hander, 53; Net, Ann Parman, 29 Flight C - Gross, Jaelene Leeson, 55; Net, Eleanore Badinger, 38 Chip In - Rosemary Davis Birdie - Jan Viegas

July 17 Red Tees

Flight A - Gross, Shelia Kellmer, 42; Net, Marilyn Lukes, 33 Flight B - Gross, Deanna Hauser, 51; Net, Ann Parman, 34 Flight C - Gross, Elaine Lukes, 56; Net, Rosemary Davis, 35 Chip In - Kathy Zinkgraf



ofe advertisers gr ee n s t o nIndex ehom


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

Amaculate Housekeeping


John L Scott - Pam Fredrick


Spokane Gymnastics


Banner Furnace & Fuel


Kathrine Olson, DDS


Spokane Indians



Liberty Lake EyeCare Center


Spokane OBGYN


Central Valley School District


Liberty Lake Family Dentistry


Spokane Valley Fire Dept



Liberty Lake Farmer’s Market


CV Lacrosse Car Wash City of Liberty Lake

3, 7

Spokane Valley Summer Theatre 23

Liberty Lake Sewer & Water District 14

Stateline Garage Villas


Cornerstone Pentecostal


Liberty Lake Smile Source


Stateline Plaza


Fieldhouse Pizza


Lilac Family Eyecare


Valleyfest 26

Folds of Honor


Northern Quest


Vision Marketing

Fourth of July Thank You


Ott Knott Golf Carts


Windermere 5

Hennessey 20

Pioneer School

Inland Empire Utility CC

Simonds Dental Group


5 16, 32


Service Directory


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

30 • AUGUST 2019

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The Splash

LLCT merges with children’s theater


AUGUST 2019 • 31

By Michelle Valkov Splash Contributor Liberty Lake Community Theatre and Theater Arts for Children are now one and the same. Effective July 17, LLCT and the Spokane Valley children’s theater have merged into one theater, currently known as TAC Liberty Lake Theatre, although the official name is to be determined. TAC will close its current location on Pines and relocate to the present LLCT location at 22910 East Appleway Ave., Suite 2. Kyle Smock, president of TAC for four years, said he believes this merger has the right ingredients to succeed, despite the industry track record. “Typically, theater mergers in Spokane haven’t always gone successfully,” Smock said. “I don’t think there’s been any successful merger, but we felt that by combining our two creative resources and not trying to gather the same audience from the same area we would make a more successful community theater together.” LLCT Founder Jennifer Bergman agreed. “I think we already have an excellent theatre in Liberty Lake. I don’t think having more people involved is a bad thing,” Bergman said. LLCT approached TAC about the merger for reasons such as growth changes and board members either stepping or moving away. Bergman herself desired to spend more time with her kids. TAC was initially hesitant, Smock said, not wanting to jeopardize the community and mission built since its 1995 founding. “After the meeting to finalize the merger, everyone realized that all goals were aligned and we all

Submitted photos Theater Arts for Children was founded in 1995 to give local youth more opportunities to take to the stage. TAC and Liberty Lake Community Theatre announced plans to merge in July.

want the same thing for community theater,” Smock said. “We all see the benefits.” TAC is also excited for the fresh start and the addition of new blood and energy from the younger LLCT, which was founded in 2008. Smock added the Liberty Lake group brings great sponsorship relationships and community support. TAC’s experience will be a plus as well. “We know how to make productions work, what makes them work within budgets and what systems work in place,” Smock said. TAC is also well known for focusing on providing opportunities for young people who haven’t been on stage before, Smock said, with about 30 percent of every TAC show cast new to theater. Over the years, the theaters have been completely supported by ticket sales, fundraisers, donations and sponsorships and are each registered nonprofit organizations. A celebration of the merger and fundraiser for the 2019-2020 season will be held at Trailbreaker Cider in Liberty Lake from 4 to 8 p.m. Aug. 3. The event is free and family friendly and includes fundraising auctions and games.

On Aug. 10, an final event will be held at the 2114 N. Pines Road, Suite 3, location to say goodbye to the old theater and to give up the annual “TACy’s” awards. The new season will begin with “The Music Man” in October 2019 and will feature four main stage shows and three smaller shows. Auditions for the October production were not available at press time but are expected in late August, so check the theater Facebook pages for updates. The news has been well received by many old hands of both theaters. “I think the merger is a great opportunity for our theater,” said Hudson Kahler, 15, vice president of the TAC youth board and an actor for 10 years. “It’s a better location and safer neighborhood. It will be great to have new people to interact with.” Kady Cullen, 15, who has been participating in theater since she was 8 and has been with TAC since she was 9, said she thinks this is a great opportunity. “Two amazing local theaters will come together and create something that will help both communities and more teens. I can not wait to carry on TAC’s spirit and join Liberty Lake,” Cullen said.

Added Kendall Boren, 17, a veteran of LLCT: “Although change can be uncertain and scary at times, I think this is a change we can all welcome and celebrate. I’m excited to see what happens.” Erika Kahler, Hudson’s mom, said the family moved to Spokane eight years ago, and TAC has become an extended family to them. Their kids have learned acting, fundraising, organizational and leadership skills. “We have had kids that are really shy and not real confident, and you give them a script and a show to put on and you have a cheering audience; they come out a totally different kid,” Smock said. Smock moved to Spokane six years ago from Los Angeles, where he worked in many different aspects of the entertainment industry and theater. His daughter wanted to audition for a play, and they auditioned together. It is how he found TAC. It re-inspired his love for theater and what it does for the kids that are ultimately putting on that show. “One thing I would like to see as a result of this merger is an increased partnership with the larger theaters in town,” Smock said.

32 • AUGUST 2019

The Splash

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