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2 • APRIL 2015

Literary life Mogen integral to growth of Liberty Lake Library By Craig Howard


While Pamela Mogen will observe National Library Week, April 12-18, along with the rest of the country, she makes it clear that the celebration of literature and learning is a year-round priority in Liberty Lake. Mogen was brought on as the inaugural director of the Liberty Lake Municipal Library in 2003, charged with guiding an entity that sprang from enthusiastic civic roots not long after incorporation in 2001. A vast community-wide book drive served as the rallying point for the upstart library, originally housed in a humble space on the lower floor of Greenstone’s Liberty Square Building on Meadowwood Lane. These days, Mogen oversees a thriving system that shares a sprawling space on Mission Avenue with the Liberty Lake Police Department. Buoyed by a foundation, a board of trustees and a dedicated volunteer effort that started as the Community Library Council and is now known as the Friends of the Liberty Lake Municipal Library, the

city’s repository of literature is recognized as one of the region’s finest. Mogen bears the distinction of a library director who not only shelves books but also authors a handful of them. Her Jane Austen-inspired collection, “The Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman Trilogy” was originally published by Wytherngate Press, a company founded by Mogen and her husband, Michael. The trio of novels was eventually discovered by Simon & Schuster Inc., one of the world’s five largest Englishlanguage publishers. The New York-based company has also included one of Mogen’s short stories in a Jane Austen-themed anthology. Wytherngate Press, meanwhile, has gone on to publish half-a-dozen books by other authors as well as a novella by Mogen. A native of Pennsylvania, Mogen was born a few months after her father shipped off to the Korean War with his Army platoon. Raised 30 miles outside Philadelphia, Mogen grew up in predominantly suburban surroundings that still featured plenty of the area’s early agricultural and farming roots. The oldest of six kids, Mogen gravitated

The Splash

toward reading despite the fact that there was no library in her small town. She recalls a set of Junior Classics and a collection of Nancy Drew mysteries, published in the 1930s, as her first literary interests. Later, in elementary school, she found refuge in what she remembers as “the wonderful Scholastic book flyers.” Growing up in southeastern Pennsylvania also meant supplemental transportation beyond the automobile. Along with reading, Mogen counted horses as her primary hobby. When she was in high school, she finally purchased one of her own. Mogen attended Millersville State College (now University) near Lancaster, Pa., beginning as a history major with a goal of teaching high school history. When she heard of a new program, offering a bachelor of science in education and credentialing for public school librarians, Mogen shifted her studies and her major. She later added a master’s degree in information science from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. Before being hired by the city of Liberty Lake, Mogen worked in Minnesota, Illinois and Georgia at a variety of public and pri-

A Cup of Joe

vate school, hospital and college libraries. She and Michael have six kids in their combined family as well as seven grandchildren. Mogen also has a musical side, adept on the guitar, piano and hammered dulcimer. When not pouring through books, writing or finding the right note, Mogen enjoys sewing and knitting.

Q. A.

When you were hired as the first director of the Liberty Lake Library, what did you know about the city and the library system here? When I was hired in late 2003, I didn't know anything about Liberty Lake except that it was a new town that wanted a library. I'd only been in the area for about four months when the position was advertised. I didn't know anything about the Spokane County Library District and was only just learning about the Spokane Public Library through getting a position with them as a substitute librarian. I learned about the details of the controversy with SCLD and the decision to leave it after starting the job. Q: Speaking of that controversy, it was determined early on that the city would establish a library that was separate from the Spokane County Library District. Looking back, do you think this was a prudent decision?

See MOGEN, page 4













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MOGEN Continued from page 2

A: I believe it was a visionary decision. I use that word a lot about Liberty Lake. There is much to be said about being part of a large system such as SCLD, but the drawbacks for Liberty Lake were significant. The 20year development plan for SCLD never included a facility in Liberty Lake. The existing plan designated Otis Orchards as Liberty Lake's library. Under SCLD’s direction, the library that the (Liberty Lake) Community Library Council put together would have had the collection updated but at best it would have remained in the Liberty Building on Meadowwood Lane and open only a few days per week. The question remained: How long would it be maintained and would it ever develop? No one seemed to have a firm answer for the longevity of the project. Collection development, programming, if any, and extent of services would be determined by SCLD and only at a drain on resources that were never meant to include a separate facility at Liberty Lake. Q: Was a case made for collaborating with SCLD? A: The argument for staying, and did we hear it for the first four years, was the loss of immediate access to the huge SCLD collection. We did our best to make up for that by establishing inter-library loan agreements area-wide, building the best collection we could afford and purchasing what our citizens requested. As a result of local control, we expanded our operating hours, developed a great children's library and program and were able to pour much energy into exciting summer reading events and great customer service. We quickly outgrew the space in response to community support. In 2011, we joined Community Information Network, a group of 26 libraries using a common computer catalog and courier service and access to 500,000 items. In 2012, we negotiated a reciprocal borrowing agreement with SCLD, adding another 500,000 items available for free to our citizens. We have more than compensated for the initial loss of access and negotiated a position that gives Liberty Lake citizens an enviable array of resources. Most importantly, having our own library meant that local needs would take priority in the way the library was stocked and operated. One of

these needs, which may not have been considered in the city's initial decision, is that of a place for Liberty Lake people to come together as a community. That is happening and we take that responsibility very seriously. Q: What do you recall about the library's original location in the Meadowwood Building? A: The Meadowood location was a mere 3,200 square feet that was essentially full when the Community Library Council deeded it to the city. Adding needed shelving created a circuitous path through the room, book cages were twist-tied together to increase shelf space, office space was extremely limited, my first desk was an old, portable typing table, and programming was hampered. We were able to expand into space two doors down which became the Children's Library, increasing our footage by half. Q: In 2008, the city ran a $9.8 million bond that would have funded construction of a new library and city center. That vote failed by over 61 percent with less than 43 percent of registered voters casting ballots. What were your thoughts about that initiative and the community's response at the ballot? A: The initiative itself was a visionary as well as practical solution to the implications that Liberty Lake's growth continues to present for the future. As such, it was apparently both ahead of its time and at the wrong time. I have reviewed the negative letters to The Splash from those days and point to the economic downturn, an impending school bond, residual animus for leaving SCLD and the confusion about what a library does and what a community center meant for Liberty Lake that combined to create the negative response. Q: After the bond vote failed, the city moved quickly to acquire the site of a former industrial warehouse for a new library and police precinct. What were some of your first impressions when you saw the building and heard about the plan? A: The plan to move the library into the former warehouse was presented to us as a temporary measure of five to 10 years duration. That time frame was later stretched into an indefinite future. I didn't have the creative imagination to see what the concrete and cinderblock could become, but the architects and designers

FOR MORE ‘The sky’s the limit’ Library envoys share thoughts on Liberty Lake Municipal Library. PAGE 22


Pamela Mogen has served as director of the Liberty Lake Municipal Library since 2003. The native of Pennsylvania is also an established author with original works published by Simon & Schuster. at Bernardo-Wills did. They designed a marvelous setting that continues to "wow" newcomers. Q: How do you think the site has worked out as the library's home? A: The current library site has worked out well for the library as a temporary home, but the reason we ran the bond remains. We do not have enough space for the number of people who come to our classes and events, room to grow our collections or space to dedicate to the functions that libraries are being called upon to provide. The library as a community, educational and technical center for all ages is the future that calls us according to library research and what our own citizens are telling us. Q: When you think about programming at the library, what are some of the major changes you've implemented over the years? A: The economic downturn of 2009 and its continuing effects brought more new users into library doors than any previous event. It underscored the need for traditional library service and the development of new, enhanced services for the very specific needs of our community's members. I wrote a grant that funded our

Jobs and Career Center in 2010. To meet the need for digital literacy classes for people updating their computer skills, job seekers and for older adults we've developed classes at the personal, small group, and online level or partnered with others such as Microsoft to provide the portal for free IT education. Early literacy has been expanded beyond "storytime" to include elements supported by early childhood research. We now include joint parent/ child classes on readiness skills for pre-school and Kindergarten, story times on science and math concepts and more opportunities for children to be makers rather than merely consumers by offering classes such as our LEGO club, STEM-tacular Saturdays, Create Space, and kids' crafts. Today, the avenues of learning come in a variety of media, and many are not available privately or are economically feasible for individuals. Our resources and classes have become more concerned with the educational opportunities we can offer all our patrons. Q: The Friends of Liberty Lake Municipal Library is a group that has been around since the beginning. How integral has this volunteer organization been to the success of the library? A: Our Friends are the heirs of

the Community Library Council whose passion and drive organized the original library. Over the years, those same qualities have raised funds that help furnish the library and provide for programs such as summer reading. They are much needed helpers at events like our Halloween Party and volunteers that keep our books shelved. The Friends serve as our connection and ambassadors to the community. We couldn't do what we do without this fabulous, enthusiastic group. Q: How do you see the library's role in the overall cultural context of Liberty Lake? A: I see the library's role in Liberty Lake as two-fold. First, as an essential component of the area’s strong educational system, delivering high quality public education for all ages. Our educational mission is built on three pillars of service: Self-directed education provided by our collection and databases and our reach into area and nation-wide resources. Plus, research assistance and instruction for individuals and groups in our classes and, finally, instructive and enlightening experiences through cultural and community center activities events and partnerships. Our second role is closely related, that of serving as the community's center where cultural and community activities build connections between Liberty Lake residents of all ages, a place where civic identity is grown, where individuals and families are nurtured and community groups can hold meetings and engage in civic and cultural projects year-round, just as we've experienced at Pavillion Park during their excellent summer programs. Q: Finally, what do you enjoy most about being part of the Liberty Lake community? A: I enjoy Liberty Lake's "cando" attitude and the drive to make this the best small town in Washington by some of the most dedicated and creative people I've ever met, both in and out of city government. Thank you for the opportunity to grow a library that supports those inspiring ideals.

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Police Report The following items were reported by the Liberty Lake Police Department from Feb. 23 to March 9 and from March 16-23. No report was available for the week of March 9-16. The report is listed in chronological order. • Rice bowl theft — A 44-year-old Seattle man was arrested at 3:40 p.m. Feb. 23 at the 1200 block of North Liberty Lake Road after he was located walking down the road eating a rice bowl he had stolen from a local grocery store. He was cooperative with officers and was cited for third-degree theft. • DUI and endangerment — A 35-year-old Liberty Lake woman was arrested at 3:45 p.m. Feb. 24 at East Spotted Owl Lane for DUI and three counts of reckless endangerment as three children were in the vehicle she was driving. • Stolen vehicle — At 5:55 a.m. March 1, LLPD assisted another agency at the 4600 block of North Harvard Road with a stolen vehicle call. A complainant reported seeing his vehicle driving away from his residence. A short time later, an officer passed the vehicle as it was pulled over to the side of the road. It appeared the occupant was going through the vehicle. As the officer pulled behind the car, the male driver exited the vehicle and ran west from the vehicle. A female passenger was arrested and later transported to the Spokane County Jail. The male was also found a short time later hiding in the bushes near a fence and was also arrested. • Phone theft — At 4 p.m. March 4, LLPD received a report from the 23000 block of East Mission Avenue that a girl’s cell phone had been stolen from school, but her family had tracked the phone and knew its location. An officer went to the suspected location with the complainant, who was able to identify the cell phone that had been stolen by a friend, who told the officer she took the phone because she wanted a phone of her own. • Stolen vehicle — At 10:55 p.m. March 5, LLPD responded to the 22000 block of East Country Vista Drive on the report of a stolen vehicle. A woman reported after spending time with family all day she came home to find her vehicle had been stolen from her residence. • Possession of stolen vehicle — A 20-year-old Medical Lake man was arrested at 6:04 a.m. March 6 at Holl Road and Nora Avenue for possession of stolen property. He was initially pulled over for a modified exhaust system infraction, but the officer noticed the vehicle had been started using a screwdriver and a butter knife. When asked about the two items, the man reported he had borrowed the vehicle from his aunt, who

had started the vehicle for him using the two tools. Upon further investigation, it was found the vehicle had been reported stolen from the county. The man was arrested and booked into Spokane County Jail for possession of stolen property. • Stolen vehicle — At 7 a.m. March 7, LLPD responded to the 20000 block of East Nora Avenue for a vehicle theft. A man reported he had left his vehicle parked on the road in front of his home with the keys inside. • Marijuana seized — At 12:32 p.m. March 16, LLPD responded to the 22000 block of East Country Vista Drive for a welfare check near an apartment known for drug activity. A citizen approached an officer to say a male was slumped over the wheel of his vehicle at the location. When an officer arrived and made contact with the driver, he reported having no medical conditions. When asked if there were drugs in the vehicle, the subject held up a cookie box with marijuana inside. When the officer asked the driver to step out of the vehicle and provide his identification, several hundred dollars were found to be inside. The subject told the responding officers the marijuana was not his. The marijuana was seized as it was well over the legal limit. Once weighed at the police department, it was found to be over 140 grams. • Desmet vehicle prowls — At 7:30 a.m. March 17, LLPD responded to a series of vehicle prowls at the 24000 block of East Desmet Road. A complainant reported that sometime during the night, both of his vehicles had been entered by an unknown person. Though there was no damage to the vehicle, and nothing appeared to be missing, a backpack was found in the bushes nearby. As the responding officer was clearing the scene, a neighbor approached and reported his vehicle was also prowled after being left unlocked overnight, and while nothing had been taken from the vehicle, a briefcase that did not belong to him was found in his pickup bed. This matched the report of another neighbor who had reported a briefcase with tax information stolen from a vehicle. This neighbor was able to retrieve the briefcase from the officer, and nothing had been taken from inside. However, this neighbor had noticed several USB cords and an iPad keyboard had been taken from the vehicle and had not been located. • Hit and run — At 4:28 p.m. March 18, LLPD received a report of a hit and run at the 1300 block of North Liberty Lake Road. A man reported after returning to the parking lot from shopping, he noticed damage to his vehicle that was not there before he entered the store.

Calls for service Agency assist Alarm Burglary Drug possession DUI Family fight Fraud Fugitive Identity theft Lost or found property Not classified Possession of stolen property Property theft Recovered stolen property Suspicious person/circumstance Threatening Traffic accident Traffic offense Vehicle prowl Vehicle theft Violation of court order Welfare check

1 1 2 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 2 1 7 1 9 1 4 6 4 3 2 4

Citations Defective muffler Driving without license w/ ID DUI DWLS Expired registration Failure to yield right of way Following too close Liability insurance Possession of drug paraphernalia Reckless endangerment Speeding Theft Use of cell phone

2 2 1 7 2 1 1 5 1 1 2 1 1

— Reported by the Liberty Lake Police Department, Feb. 23 to March 9 and March 16-23. Damage to the vehicle is estimated at $1,500. • Hawkstone thefts — At 7:02 p.m. March 20, LLPD responded to the 25000 block of East Hawkstone Loop for what turned out to be a series of reported thefts. The first complainant reported that someone had broken into his storage unit and stolen an estimated $1,200 in items. Upon arrival, officers observed the lock was intact. The man reported he thought those responsible had pulled the gate open wide enough to get items out. A second complainant reported his storage unit had been broken into and a $220 baby jogger stolen. At 7:35 p.m., while investigating the other thefts, an LLPD officer received report from a third complainant that his storage unit lock was missing and an estimated $1,500 in items was stolen from inside.

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Park improvements approved in the end Council revisits, green lights Pavillion Park upgrades, restroom at ballfields By Craig Howard and Treva Lind SPLASH CONTRIBUTORS

At a specially called meeting March 24, the Liberty Lake City Council dipped into the lexicon of the golf course next door to City Hall as it met for an old-fashioned mulligan. The do-over at the dais consisted of two votes on funding proposals that had failed the previous week during a regularly scheduled meeting. With Mayor Pro Tem Cris Kaminskas absent due to illness, initiatives that would have funded improvements at Pavillion Park and construction of a restroom at the Liberty Lake Ballfields each resulted in 3-3 gridlocks on March 17, negating both projects. The only way an initiative can be brought back is when a council member on the prevailing side opts to make a motion for a re-vote. That happened at the March 24 special meeting as Council Member Keith Kopelson made the motion to bring back the restroom project while Council Member Odin Langford revived the Pavillion Park discussion. “Although I do feel that the right decision was made, I was troubled that we lacked a full council vote,” Kopelson said. With a complete council weighing in, both projects earned approval. The restrooms garnered six of seven votes with only Kopelson in the minority while the refurbishing of Pavillion Park earned a narrower victory with Kaminskas and council members Dan Dunne, Shane Brickner and Hugh Severs carrying the measure. In February, council agreed by a 4-3

vote to endorse a budget amendment for an expansion of the women’s restroom, additional storage space, improved power connections and a permanent concession stand at Pavillion Park as well as a restroom at the ballfields. When approval of the contract for the restroom and the second read ordinance on a budget amendment for the park upgrades appeared on the March 17 council agenda, many figured both votes were shoo-ins. The restroom — consisting of just over $67,000 for the building, nearly $40,000 for installation and a $5,300 contingency — raised concerns from Kopelson again on March 24, specifically regarding the lack of a bidding process. The installation work was written up for the city’s on-call contractor, Peplinski Construction. “I’m not comfortable with that,” Kopelson said. “We’re talking about a lot of money and, basically, our on-call contractor can say whatever they want and value it.” Allen said later that putting such a project out to bid would mean additional costs to the city, including design documents from each bidder. Kopelson also expressed apprehension with adding another amenity to the fields when the city may not own the property in the future. The city purchased the land from the Central Valley School District for a symbolic $10 with the understanding that the district could buy back the 20acre plot back and reimburse the city for any renovations made under its ownership. Passage of a $121.9 million construction bond on Feb. 10 means CVSD will build a K-2 school on the land, although Allen has indicated there is room for both the ballfields and a school. “Had we known it was possible within the next year to undo all of this, I don’t

See COUNCIL, page 9

IN THE BOOKS, ON THE DOCKET A look back and ahead at news from City Hall By Craig Howard and Treva Lind SPLASH CONTRIBUTORS

In the Books (March) • Council received a pair of updates on drainage issues at the new Liberty Lake Ballfields, including measures city crews are taking to have the fields ready when practices begin April 2 and games April 14. Jennifer Camp, parks and open space superintendent, told council that the maintenance crew has a goal of April 1 for the site to be playable. One of the main strategies will be to add a layer of soil as well as a red clay particle to condition the now muddy infields. Council Member Shane Brickner reminded staff March 17 that he had raised the issue last September and called for “holding the contractor accountable.” City Administrator Katy Allen said March 24 the contractor was scheduled “to remediate that area of all standing water” on March 27. • Council received a preliminary report on possible expenditures if the city adopts an annual fleet replacement schedule for gradually buying vehicles to switch out with aging ones. • Council awarded a bid for a Liberty Lake Municipal Library tenant improvement to Inline Framing & General Contracting Inc. in the amount of $26,531. • The Council authorized Mayor Steve Peterson to approve the purchase for the city’s new server and software, including the installation, for an estimated $27,940. • The finance committee reported that revenue from the real estate excise tax is up 30 percent through the first quarter of 2015 while the Trailhead at Liberty Lake Golf Course has generated $58,000

already this year, up from $52,000 and $41,000 at the same point in 2014 and 2013, respectively. • Allen reported on the picnic shelter being planned for Town Square Park. A total of five bids for the project came in between $56,000 and $60,000, all above the $45,000 allotted budget. Allen said the city could use funds saved from other capital projects to cover the difference.

On the Docket (April) • The council meeting originally scheduled for April 7 has been cancelled due to spring break. Council will convene next at 7 p.m. April 21. • Council will hear an overview of the city’s parks and recreation programs and activities at its meeting on April 21 and a public hearing will be held on the Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Trails Plan update. Amanda Tainio, the city’s planning and building services manager, gave an overview of this update at the March 17 meeting. She said a survey of residents stressed the need for multi-use facilities and multi-use trails as well as a community center and an aquatic facility, wishes that are reflected in the latest version of the plan update. Citizens also want amenities that are accessible by foot, Tainio noted. The extensive report, available on the city’s website, is divided into a current rundown of facilities and programs along with a recommendation for future venues and activities. The Planning Commission has already recommended the update be approved. • Tainio will also preside over a workshop on the Rocky Hill Master Plan April 21. • Finance Director R.J. Stevenson will conduct a workshop on April 21 detailing the 2014 annual report for a tax mechanism known as the Local Infrastructure Financing Tool (LIFT). • Council will hear the quarterly report from Liberty Lake Muncipal Library.

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The Splash

COUNCIL Continued from page 8

think we would have voted for the ballfields,” Kopelson said. “I’m completely against doing anything financially until we have a solid agreement with the school district as far as reimbursement.” Allen said she has spoken with CVSD Superintendent Ben Small who told her that “the district is not in the business of maintaining ballfields” and would consider having the city maintain ownership of the site even after purchasing the remaining acreage to build a new school. A workshop is scheduled for the April 21 council meeting in which the governing board will discuss the future of the ballfields and potential conversations with CVSD. “I want to know what options you are interested in,” Allen said. “There have been no negotiations to this point.” Council Member Bob Moore said he didn’t anticipate the district buying back the ballfields. “I don’t know what the motivation is for them to buy it back,” Moore said. “They need part of the property to build a new school. I don’t think they want the ballfields. They are something we paid for. We’ve invested over $1 million already. I think it’s in our best interest to approve the restroom right now.” Severs encouraged his colleagues to consider the value of the venue to the community. “Regardless of what happens with Central Valley, this is a pretty awesome amenity for our city,” he said. The community put a lot of work into this. It will need bathrooms whatever the district decides.” Severs applauded city staff for reducing the original cost of the ballfields restroom to clear space for the upgrades at Pavillion Park. Earlier this year, council approved an additional $245,000 for the ballfields. City staff ’s subsequent reduction of the restroom project to $136,000 cleared funding space for the proposed work at Pavillion Park. The new total of $388,000 still required a budget amendment of $143,000. All funds are to be taken from the Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) fund, reserved for capital facilities. Kaminskas pointed out that, unlike construction of a permanent restroom, rental of portable bathroom facilities “would be sunk costs the city won’t get back.” Jennifer Tomlinson, a Liberty Lake resident who led the campaign for baseball diamonds, spoke in favor of the project, emphasizing that no one she has spoken to supports the idea of portable restrooms. “I just want to thank you so much for bringing this topic up for vote again,” she

APRIL 2015 • 9

NEWS said. “We need a permanent restroom. Your constituents think it’s the right thing to do.” Tomlinson added that if the vote failed, she would put together a group of contractors that would address the project. She told council that $5,000 had already been raised for the work. “If you can’t do it, I can,” she said. Allen said based on a typical construction schedule, the restroom would likely be in place by late June or early July, meaning portable commodes would be in place until then. The discussion on Pavillion Park drew debate from both sides, starting with Moore who said he backed the upgrades but not the budgeting process. “I’m in favor of all the improvements,” Moore said. “My objection is that it really wasn’t budget for initially. I’m concerned about excess amendments to the budget. It makes the budget irrelevant. We started on the budget last August and we’re still amending it.” Moore added that there are certain understandable exceptions for amendments such as the repair of the roof at the library and police station last April. Kopelson also expressed concern with the preponderance of amendments, adding that “if it’s something that’s important

to talk about it and make sure we put the right building in. Piecemealing it together is not the answer.” “Although this project might have merit, it certainly wasn’t an emergency two months after the budget was approved,” Kopelson said. “It’s not worthy of a budget amendment at this point.” Dunne said he appreciated the opportunity to the add improvements “that would match, in a very small way, the efforts of Friends of Pavillion Park,” the grassroots group that brings entertainment to the greenspace each summer. “The work of our community volunteers and, specifically those with Friends of Pavillion Park, is epic,” Dunne said. Referring to council’s vote to delete the $85,000 proposed expenditure for the concession stand from Mayor Steve Peterson’s preliminary 2015 budget in December, Kopelson made a motion to remove the concession stand from the latest budget amendment. Before the vote on the revamped funding, Allen noted that the change would likely present construction challenges with a wall and the roof of the renovated women’s restroom. The vote to remove the concession stand failed by a 4-3 count. Allen said a very optimistic timeline would be to have the project complete by

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early July. The city hopes to have the contract awarded at its April 21 meeting.

Council initiates sign code amendment process At its first meeting of the month, March 3, the Liberty Lake City Council voted to initiate an amendment process to the comprehensive plan that would allow for discussion to continue on proposed changes to the sign code, including consideration of electronic changeable signs for some major thoroughfares. Council voted 5-1 in favor of the move, with Moore opposed and Kopelson absent. Before taking action, board members heard from several people attending the meeting who spoke in favor of moving forward with an amendment process. With the vote, a whole new round of public input now will be conducted, culminating again in further recommendation by the planning commission and a final vote by council that could implement some sign code changes and rule clarifications as early as this fall. Council's vote for amendment process considerations are based on the planning commission's recommendations and an evaluation by Studio Cascade, a Spokanebased consulting firm hired to gather public input, research options and offer steps for

See COUNCIL, page 43

The Splash

10 • APRIL 2015


Plans formalizing following bond win Construction meetings, schedules being determined for slate of approved projects By Treva Lind


A series of building projects will roll out soon for Central Valley schools, now that voters approved a $121.9 million construction bond on Feb. 10. The district scheduled public meetings March 16-31 in impacted neighborhoods for initial project information and questions, Superintendent Ben Small said. The projects include big improvements at six schools, construction of a K-2 Liberty Lake school and renovation of a former Yoke’s into a new facility. The K-2 school and a renovation-expansion project for Greenacres Elementary School are now in the design phase, Small said. A tentative timeline now plans for the new Liberty Lake site to open fall 2017. Small said the district currently expects for that school’s construction east of Liberty Lake Elementary to start spring 2016. The GES work likely would begin two to three months after the K-2 site starts and be done in a phased construction, currently set to be completed by fall of 2017 as well. Small said other projects now in the design queue are for Evergreen Middle School and Chester Elementary, under plans to renovate and expand both sites. However, Small cautioned that the schedule for all the projects may have some adjustments dependent on weather and the construction process. “We want to make sure we’re structuring all projects to get the best construction prices, and we have to make sure we’re not competing against ourselves for contractors and subcontractors,” Small said.

“We’re in the beginning stages of designs and timelines, and they will have to be adjusted based on conditions on the ground.” The “Let’s Talk Construction” sessions included introducing some of the project’s architects and construction leaders to give current information about design and construction, as well as rough timelines. “I want people to understand these are not just facelifts,” Small added. “We’re doing total redesigning that will support student learning into the future. We’ll give our architects time to talk about the design process, contractors will answer questions, and we’ll take questions.” Small said the district selected Lydig Construction as the general contractor/ construction manager (GC/CM) for GES and Chester. Garco Construction will be in that role for Evergreen. The GC/CM process allows CVSD to hire the architect and general contractor at the same time to pair up early in the process. The district received state approval to use the GC/CM model for the renovation and expansion of five schools — Evergreen, GES, Chester, Opportunity and Sunrise elementary schools. Other projects will be handled as design-bid-build projects, including the K-2 school, which means an architect first designs it and then contractors submit bids, Small said. The district’s first project will be construction in April to renovate the 63,169-squarefoot former Yoke’s building, 16 N. Progress in Spokane Valley, to house the Central Valley Early Learning Center and Barker High School. The learning center currently is in the old U-High at 10304 E. Ninth. Barker High School, now in the former Blake Elementary, is at 13313 E. Broadway. The new site at the corner of Progress and Sprague is expected to be completed by December, when each program will

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FOR MORE The Central Valley School District will be providing school construction project updates on its website on an ongoing basis. Visit and click on “Construction Update” or navigate to it under the “About Us” tab. move into the refurbished facility. The design includes separate school entries, a shared gymnasium, functional and flexible classrooms, and unique learning spaces for the 220 high school students, 380 preschool students, 75 children in child care and 130 children with special needs. The district purchased the former grocery store and nearly 6-acre lot for $2.4 million in July 2014. For all its projects, the district also is preparing for how student housing may be impacted, although some construction won’t require temporarily moving students. While specific details on how that will work are still being analyzed, the district plans regular updates on its website and with emails. At Greenacres Elementary, the district expects that new portions of buildings can be built while students are housed in older sections, but Small said administrators are still determining what that will look like. “There are different options,” Small said. “We can house on site or we may have some temporary housing offsite. Safety is a top priority, and we’ll make sure our students are in a safe learning environment. We’ll make sure the contractors have safety meetings daily.” “We expect parent questions,” he said. “The questions we can anticipate and have answers for, we’ll answer, but we may not have all the answers initially. We’ll talk about how the community can engage us further, and receive email updates.” Some moves are likely to go a certain way, Small said. Summit, a K-8 choice school, would move during summer 2016 to start that fall at the old Blake. Once Summit moves, the former Keystone facility that held Summit will be prepared to house students during some of the construction projects. Space at the old U-High also will be made ready for some temporary student housing. “We’re working to provide functional, practical schools that will serve our community for 40 years or more, provide a better and safer learning environment, and as we go through construction we want to minimize the disruption but deliver what we promised to the community.” Other projects will be at Ponderosa, Sunrise, and Opportunity elementary schools. Additionally, the district plans construction for a new gym roof for Horizon Middle School, and to add four Blake site classrooms for Summit.

News Briefs Appleway construction begins Road construction on Appleway Avenue began the end of March and is expected to continue until the first week of June. The city of Liberty Lake’s website said the project will include paving, street lighting, median construction, pedestrian crossings and vegetation. The work zone starts at Liberty Lake Road by Walgreens and continues to Fairway Lane near Huntwood. Appleway is open for traffic, but delays are to be expected as some lane restrictions will be in place. For more, call 755-6730 or email

LL named safe city Liberty Lake was recently named the sixth safest city in the state of Washington by ValuePenguin. According to its website, ValuePenguin conducted a detailed study of 2013 FBI crime statistics to compare a variety of crime metrics across 113 cities and towns in Washington. For more, visit www.valuepenguin. com/2015-safest-places-washingtonstudy.

County golf courses open All Spokane County golf courses opened for the season at the beginning of March, including Liberty Lake Golf Course, 24403 E. Sprague Ave., and MeadowWood Golf Course, 24501 E. Valleyway Ave. Tee times are now being scheduled. In addition, many of the clubs and leagues begin play in April. For more, visit www.spokanecounty. org or call 255-6233 (Liberty Lake) or 255-9539 (Meadowwood).

Barefoot in the Park expands in 2015 The city of Liberty Lake is partnering with Barefoot in the Park to bring an estimated 5,000 people to Pavillion Park for an event July 24-26. The event will kick off 5 to 9 p.m. Friday with barefoot 3-v-3 soccer, live music, dance, car show, a fun run, inflatables and a showcase of local businesses and vendors. The Saturday lineup from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. includes games, petting zoo, bubble ball, foot golf, a golf cart show and ends with a talent show and outdoor movie. The weekend wraps up Sunday with the soccer tournament, vendors and entertainment from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Vendor and sponsorship opportunities are available. For more, visit www.

The Splash

APRIL 2015 • 11





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12 • APRIL 2015

The Splash

Calendar of Events COMMUNITY EVENTS March 30, April 2 | Registration for Easter Egg Hunt 5 to 8 p.m., Liberty Lake Municipal

Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave. Liberty Lake’s 19th annual Easter Egg Hunt will be held 11 a.m. April 4 at Pavillion Park for toddlers through fourth grade students. Pre-registration of $3 or six plastic eggs filled with wrapped candy is required. For more: 921-6746 or

March 31 | Kiwanis scholarship deadline

The Liberty Lake Kiwanis Foundation is seeking candidates for its 2015 scholarships. Scholarships will be awarded to graduating seniors or a former recipient who is continuing his/her education. Graduating seniors from Liberty Lake, students related to a current Liberty Lake Kiwanis member, seniors from East Valley, Central Valley or West Valley school districts or other community members deemed eligible are encouraged to apply. For more: 928-8290 or

April 1 | Liberty Lake SCOPE meeting 6:30 p.m., City Hall, 22710 E. Country Vista Drive. The sheriff’s liaison will be sharing how local entities work together for the common good of the community. For more: 602-515-8740

April 17-19 | Shrine Circus Spokane Valley Mall, 14700 E. Indiana Ave. Elephants, acrobats, daredevils and clowns will be part of the action in this old-fashioned big top circus. General admission tickets are only $10. For show times and more: April 18 | Stuff the Bus 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The public is invited to donate diapers to Inland Northwest Baby at local Albertsons and Walgreens. For more: 499-0670 or

April 18 | STEM-tacular Saturdays 2:30 to 4 p.m., Liberty Lake Municipal Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave. This class on soil science costs $5. The class will also be offered on May 9. To register or for more: April 18 | Spaghetti feed and silent auction 5 to 7 p.m., Coeur d’Alene Resort.

Liberty Lake resident Jamie Cornell is helping organize this fundraiser to help a local family with medical bills for their 4-year-old who is battling cancer. For more: events/334282526781090/

April 18 | Denim & Diamonds 5:30 p.m.,

Library meeting room, 23123 E. Mission Ave. Attendees are welcome to bring a sack dinner; popcorn will be provided. For more: 232-2510

Best Western’s Coeur D’Alene Inn, 506 W. Appleway Ave., Coeur d’Alene. This annual event is a fundraiser benefitting Liberty Lake-based Equine TLC. The evening will feature dinner, dancing, auctions and a diamond raffle. Tickets are $65. For tickets or more:

April 4 | Liberty Lake Community Easter Egg Hunt 11 a.m., Pavillion Park. Registration

April 22 | STCU workshop: Organizing Your Finances Noon to 1 p.m., Liberty Lake

April 2 | Movie showing: “Annie” (2014 version) 6 to 8 p.m., Liberty Lake Municipal

is required (held on March 30 or April 2) for this hunt for toddlers through fourth grade students. For more: 921-6746 or

April 4 | Community Easter Egg Hunt 11

a.m. to 1 p.m., 1831 S. Barker Road, Greenacres. This free family event includes games, inflatables, concessions and more. Hunts start at 12:30 for children up to 5th grade. For more:

April 4 | STEM-tacular Saturdays 2:30 to

4 p.m., Liberty Lake Municipal Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave. This class on Bugbots costs $5. To register or for more:

April 5 | Easter April 7 & 9 | Kids STEM project: Make Your Own Seed Papers 4 p.m., Liberty Lake Municipal Library meeting room, 23123 E. Mission Ave. For more: 232-2510

April 8 | Library Gardening Resources 4 to

6 p.m., Liberty Lake Municipal Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave. For more: 232-2510

April 9 | Learn to be a Label Detective 6 to 7 p.m., Liberty Lake Municipal Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave. For more: 232-2510

April 14 | Arbor Day celebration 10:45 a.m.,

Pavillion Park. The public is invited for a program including the planting of a tree and seedlings presented to Liberty Lake Elementary students as part of the Fourth Grade Foresters USA Program. For more:

April 15 | Tax Day April 16 | Movie showing: “Into the Woods” 6 to 8 p.m., Liberty Lake Municipal

Library meeting room, 23123 E. Mission Ave. Attendees are welcome to bring a sack dinner; popcorn will be provided. For more: 232-2510

Municipal Library meeting room, 23123 E. Mission Ave. Join STCU experts for an informative workshop on the benefits of getting your files and money organized. A complimentary lunch will be served. To register: html

April 24 | Arbor Day April 24 | Reigning Cats and Dogs auction Spokane Fair and Expo Center, 404 N.

Havana, Spokane Valley. The SCRAPS Hope Foundation is hosting this event to raise money for homeless, abused and abandoned animals. The event features auctions, pet pageants, raffles and appetizers and desserts. Tickets are $30 (or $35 at the door). For more:

Recurring Friends of the Liberty Lake Municipal Library 4 p.m. the last Tuesday of every month,

Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave.

Kiwanis Club of Liberty Lake 6:45 a.m.

Wednesdays, Liberty Lake City Hall, 22510 E. Country Vista Drive. For more:

Liberty Lake Centennial Rotary Club Noon Thursdays, Meadowwood Technology Campus Liberty Room, 2100 N. Molter Road. For more: 922-4422

Liberty Lake Lions Club Noon on the second

and fourth Wednesdays of each month, Barlow’s Restaurant, 1428 N. Liberty Lake Road. For more: 869-7657

Liberty Lake Municipal Library 23123 E.

Mission Avenue. Toddler and preschool story times, Create space for kids, Baby lap-sit story time, Lego club, Knitting Club, kids crafts and more. For times and more: 232-2510

Liberty Lake Toastmasters 5:45 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District building, 22510 E. Mission Ave. For more: 208-765-8657 Pancreatic Cancer Action Network 6:30 p.m. the first Monday of each month, Liberty Lake Municipal Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave. For more: or 534-2564 Senior Lunch 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday

through Friday, Talon Hills Senior Complex, 24950 E. Hawkstone Loop. Seniors age 60 and older invited; recommended donation $3.50.

Spokane Valley Writer’s Group 6:45 p.m. the

first and third Thursdays of every month, Lakeside Church, 23129 E. Mission. This supportive critique group welcomes adult writers. For more: 570-4440

MUSIC & THE ARTS April 17-18 | “The Velveteen Rabbit”

7 p.m. (Fri.) and 2 p.m. (Sat.), Liberty Lake Community Theatre, 22910 E. Appleway Ave. All ages are invited to this Reader’s Theater family show. Tickets are available for $7 at the door. For more:

April 18 | This, That or the Other 8 p.m., Liberty Lake Community Theatre, 22910 E. Appleway Ave. Tickets are $7 for this PG13 improv comedy. For more:

April 25 | Friends Spring Tea 2 to 4 p.m., Meadowwood Technology Campus, 2100 N. Molter. Hosted by Friends of Liberty Lake Municipal Library, the event includes a silent auction, finger foods, desserts and tea. The theme is “Celebrating our Heritage” and will feature Liberty Lake historian Ross Schneidmiller. Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased at Liberty Lake Municipal Library.

May 1 | Worship service 7 p.m., Lakeside Church, 23129 E. Mission Avenue. Enjoy a time of praise and worship. Nursery is available. For more: 210-9779

April 25-26 | Fair Trade event 2 to 7 p.m.

Spokane Valley Camera Club 7:15 p.m., third

(Sat.) and 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Sun.) ,St. Joseph Parish, 4521 N. Arden Road, Otis Orchards. Unique and handmade gifts will be available at this annual event. By supporting this event, the farmers and workers who produce the goods are paid better prices and wages, work in safe conditions, and protect the environment. For more:

April 30 | Kick the Sugar Habit 6 to 7 p.m.,

Liberty Lake Municipal Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave. For more: 232-2510

Recurring and fourth Monday of the month (September through April), Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District building, 22510 E. Mission Ave. All levels of ability are invited to attend. Social events include field trips and workshops. For more: 951-1446 or

— Digital night is April 20, print night is April 27

CIVIC & BUSINESS April 9 | Economic Update 7 p.m., Thrivent Financial, 22910 E. Appleway Ave, suite 1. The

Greenacres Baptist Church 18620 E. Sprague, Greenacres April 5, 10:30 a.m. For more: 926-8885 or Lakeside Church 23129 E. Mission April 3, 7 p.m.: Good Friday service April 5, 9 and 10:30 a.m.: Easter services For more: 210-9779 Liberty Lake Church 704 S. Garry Road April 5, 8 and 10 a.m.: Easter services Egg hunt for 10 years and younger following 10 a.m. service For more: Otis Orchards Community Church 23304 E. Wellesley Ave., Otis Orchards April 3, 7:30 p.m.: Good Friday communion April 5: Early Easter service at 8 a.m., followed by 9 a.m. breakfast and a later 10 a.m. service For more: St. Joseph Catholic Church 4521 Arden Road, Otis Orchards Holy Thursday, 7:15 p.m. Good Friday, 7:15 p.m. Easter Vigil, 8 p.m. Easter Sunday, 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. For more: 926-7133 Uplift Church 23424 Swing Lane April 5, 9 and 11 a.m.: Easter service For more: — Source: Submitted information

public is welcome to come for an open house at 5:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served. To RSVP or more: 928-2435

April 12 | Liberty Naturals Grand Opening Celebration 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., 21980 E. Country

Vista Drive, #100. Liberty Lake’s go-to destination for healthy food will offer free samples. For more: 473-9108

April 17 | Business Connections Breakfast 7 to 9 a.m., Mirabeau Park Hotel,

1100 N. Sullivan. Jim Frank of Greenstone Corporation will speak on “Urbanism and Building a Healthy Community.” For cost and more: www.

April 17 | Women Executives of Liberty Lake (WELL) 12:45 a.m. to 2 p.m., Liberty Lake Portal, Mica Peak room, 23403 E. Mission Ave. This month’s guest speaker is Gabe from Clearwater Summit Group. For more:

April 24-26 | Custer’s Spring Antique & Collectors Sale 4 to 9 p.m. (Fri.), 10 a.m. to 6

p.m. (Sat.) and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Sun.), Spokane

See CALENDAR, page 13

The Splash

APRIL 2015 • 13


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Liberty Lake Running Club celebrated St. Patrick’s Day during its second run of the season. At left, Paul and Elaine Koga-Kennelly especially got into the spirit of the March holiday.

Continued from page 12 Fair & Expo Center, 404 N. Havana Road. Admission, which is good for all weekend, is $6. For more:

Recurring Central Valley School board 6:30 p.m. on

the second and fourth Mondays of each month, CVSD administration building, 19307 E. Cataldo, Spokane Valley.

Liberty Lake City Council 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, City Hall, 22710 E. Country Vista Drive.


Liberty Lake Library Foundation Noon the

first Wednesday of each month, 23123 E. Mission Ave.

is open for the May 3 12-kilometer race in downtown Spokane. To register or for more:

Liberty Lake Merchants Association 11:30

KidFIT Spokane HUB Sports Center, 19619

a.m. Tuesdays, Liberty Lake Portal, 23403 E. Mission Ave., Suite 120. For more: 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.


Bloomsday registration open Registration

E. Cataldo Ave. This children’s program offers classes in dance (ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop), gymnastics and cheerleading for girls and boys ages 3 and older of all levels. Join anytime. For more: 953-7501 or

Liberty Lake Ladies’ Nine Hole Golf Club

9 a.m. Thursdays, Liberty Lake Golf Course, 24403 E. Sprague Ave. For more: 928-6854

Liberty Lake Running Club 6 p.m. Thursdays, Twisp Café & Coffee House, 23505 E. Appleway Ave. The club meets for a three-mile run weekly through October. There will be a special run for Earth Day on April 16. For more: 954-9806 Realistic Wellness 8:30 a.m. Saturdays,

Lakeside Church, 23129 E. Mission Ave. This co-ed exercise class is for all levels. For more: 210-9779

April 4 | Eclipse Volleyball Tournament

Trailhead Ladies Nine Hole Golf Club Play for this weekly league at Trailhead Golf Course is Wednesday mornings April through September. For more: or 879-7391

April 6-9 | Spring Break Multi-sport Camp

Windermere marathon registration open Registration for the June 7 marathon

8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave. For more: www.eclipsevbcspokane. org 9 a.m. to noon, HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave. Cost is $100 for this camp aimed at boys and girls in grades 4 through 8. For more:

April 11-12 | INK Volleyball Tournament

8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave. For more:

April 12 | Ice Breaker Run 10 a.m., Hauser

Lake County Park, 10702 N. Fay Place. This 10K race benefits Double J Dog Ranch. To register or for more:

April 18-19 | Evergreen Region Volleyball Championships 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave. For more: www.

“Diane and Rob actually helped us buy and sell our houses. They were so patient working with us and the selections to find our dream home. The sale of our existing house went very smoothly and was pretty painless. They have been really excited to help us in the design phase of the new house and they worked for us on every aspect of the transaction. Rob and Diane give great service!”

or half marathon from the Valley area to Spokane is open. To register or for more: www.

HUB Sports Center 19619 E. Cataldo Ave.

Various athletic activities and classes occur throughout the week including badminton, basketball open gym, bootcamp fitness training, martial arts, pickleball, table tennis, Zumba and more. For more: All calendar listings were provided to or gathered by Splash staff. If you would like your event considered for the community calendar, please submit information by the 15th of the month to

— Tom and Janeen Schuon

Call us today!

Rob Brickett 509.570.4095 Diane DuBos 208.449.2224

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The Splash

14 • APRIL 2015






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The Splash

APRIL 2015 • 15


Community Briefs Splash to feature local grads The Splash plans to recognize Liberty Lake high school graduates in its June issue. In order to participate, graduates are asked to submit name, high school, parents’ names, plans after graduation and photo to by May 8. This invitation extends to all graduating seniors who live in the community, regardless of where they attend high school. Contact 242-7752 with any questions.

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FOPP accepting scholarship applications Friends of Pavillion Park will be awarding three $750 scholarships and the $1,000 Elmer Schneidmiller Community Leadership Award to students seeking post-high school education in the 2015-2016 school year. Scholarship application materials are due by May 15. To be eligible, students must be a resident or have a parent, guardian or grandparent who is a resident of the Liberty Lake community. For the $750 scholarships, preference will be given to students who have demonstrated Pavillion Park-related community service and are pursuing degrees or certification in music, drama, visual arts, recreation, physical education, sports administration, horticulture or natural resource studies. The Elmer Schneidmiller award is selected by the Schneidmiller family and is given to an individual who has demonstrated exemplary leadership and service to the Liberty Lake community. Scholarships are paid directly to the institution, and former recipients are not eligible. For scholarship forms, go to or email David Himebaugh at davidh@pavillionpark. org.

FOPP welcomes volunteers Are you passionate about the community? Are you interested in bringing the arts to Liberty Lake? If the answers to these questions are yes or if you have an idea for a local event, the Friends of Pavillion Park invites you to join one of the group’s monthly meetings. FOPP is dedicated to providing opportunities for the community to come together and enjoy events focused around recreation, education, entertainment and the arts. For more, email

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During a heart attack, every minute matters. So, know the warning signs. If you experience them, call 911 and get to the nearest emergency room. And know that Rockwood Health System is here to help when you need us.

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The Splash

The Splash

APRIL 2015 • 17


Education Briefs CV honors meritorious award recipients The Central Valley School Board recently announced recipients of the 2015 Meritorious Service Awards. Recipients included Robin Barnhart, a Central Valley High School teacher nominee for certificated employee, and Liberty Lake-based OpenEye, recognized for its contributions to CVSD in the community member/organization category.

According to a press release, 61 individuals, 18 teams and 43 community members were nominated for district-wide awards this year by colleagues, parents and students. For more, visit

Colleges honor local students The following Liberty Lake students were recently recognized by colleges for their academic performance or meeting graduation requirements. Information was provided via press releases submitted from schools or parents.

Carroll College (Helena, Mont.) Fall 2014 Dean’s List, 3.5+ GPA

Malia Iwalani Listella, Shawna Richardson McDonald, James Edward Pappas, Homa Shaarbaf, Breanne Jackee Stachofsky, Connor James Stephenson, Spencer Kyle Stephenson, Jacob Michael Vanlandingham

Jaclyn Urbanec

Eastern Washington University Fall 2014 Graduates Alyssa Sarah Hemmer, Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Business Management; Emily Erin Hisel, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, cum laude; Brooklyn Lorene Leistiko, Bachelor of Science in Psychology; and Breanne Jackee Stachofsky, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, summa cum laude

Eastern Washington University Fall 2014 Honor Roll, 3.5+ GPA Sophie Marisa Ascas, Hanna Christine Bledsoe, Delaney Nora Dorsey, Emily Erin Hisel, Brooklyn Lorene Leistiko,

Seattle Pacific University 2014 Autumn Quarter Dean’s List, 3.5+ GPA Nicholas Arnold Potter

Troy University (Troy, Ala.) Provost’s List, 3.65+ GPA Megan Hickman

Whitworth University Graduate Emily Hisel, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, cum laude


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18 • APRIL 2015

‘Tango is my mistress’


danced in a close embrace, it’s big enough to hold up to 16 couples at a time. “The best thing about tango is the hugs,” said Deborah Goetze, another local tango instructor and Felipe’s sometimes partner. The second thing, most people would agree, is the music. While most traditional tango music is in Spanish, Goetze says it is tied deeply and emotionally to the tango culture. “You may not understand the words but can pick up the emotion,” she explained. On a recent Saturday night, Felipe’s Club Sin Rumbo had just a handful By Staci Lehman of couples and singles using SPLASH CONTRIBUTOR it, but it was an enthusiastic Philip Lechtenberg blames his tango ob- crowd. Several of the dancsession on a woman. It was 2007 when the ers said what attracted them woman in question asked him to dance at a in the first place was the welmilonga — a tango dance party. Soon after, coming environment. Acanother woman invited him to a local salsa cording to tango etiquette, night. While those women are long gone, new dancers are never critithat was the start of a lasting love affair. And cized. a new name. Like Felipe, most discovPhilip became known as Felipe el Ale- ered tango by attending a man (“Philip the German” in Spanish) for milonga with a friend, then SPLASH PHOTOS BY STACI LEHMAN his love of all things Latin, especially tango. returned on their own lat“Felipe” isn’t the only one enamored with er. Falling in love with the Tango instructors Deborah Goetze and Philip Lechtenberg the dance. The Spokane/Coeur d’Alene “tan- dance is easy. But, for Felipe, enjoy a turn on Lechtenberg’s living-room-turned-dancego community” boasts almost 100 people getting it down was not. floor. who dance on a regular basis. While many “It was very painful learnare committed to the tango lifestyle — not just the dance but the music, the movement ing,” he said. “I went to all the local dances, Felipe also imports experts from around the and the sense of community — most haven’t but I would wait around in the parking lot world to teach locally. gone as far as Felipe and turned their living for someone I knew to go in.” “If you commit to it, tango is more like rooms into nightclubs. His skill — and fascination — with the a journey than a hobby,” said David, one “I thought I would meet a woman who dance grew. In 2008, friends invited him to of the dancers at Felipe’s Saturday night would decorate it,” Felipe says of the empty Argentina, home of the tango. That trip led milonga. living room in his Liberty Lake home. “In to many others to attend tango festivals and While opening your home for dances 2007, I decided to open my home to others take lessons in places like Buenos Aires, Ar- seems like a thing of the past, hosting to introduce them to tango. Now tango is gentina; Bogota, Colombia; Istanbul, Tur- milongas in private homes is common in key; Mexico and all over the United States. my mistress.” large cities and growing locally. The more No matter the travel or years of experi- involved area dancers take turns hosting the The 12-by-13 foot space with a beautiful hardwood floor is known as Felipe's Club ence, tango dancers agree: You never master social nights. In-home milongas originally Sin Rumbo, and is kept free of furniture the dance. Most take hours of lessons, both started in the 1930s and 40s when changes for milongas and lessons. Because tango is at milongas and through private instructors. to political regimes in Argentina forced the dance underground. If you’d rather go out, there are also dances at venues around the area. A milonga every Thursday night at the German American Society building in downtown Spokane Shop for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Weddings, starts with a beginners’ class, taught by a Birthdays, Graduations and early Christmas gifts! volunteer instructor, followed by the actual milonga. You won’t just learn dance moves at these lessons. Felipe also teaches the etiquette of tango. For example, men and women sit on Saturday, April 25 | 2 p.m. - 7 p.m. By supporting this event, opposite sides of the room between dances. you can help build a Sunday, April 26 | 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. This way, dancers can see the signal that more just economy conveys someone is interested in dancing St. Joseph Parish that benefits people with them. The “cabeceo” is an invitation isand the planet — every 4521 N Arden Rd | Otis Orchards | sued via body language, either though eye purchase matters and is Sponsored by the Charity and Justice Committee of St. Joseph Parish. contact or a nod of the head toward a pohandmade with a story. St. Joseph Parish receives no remuneration for hosting this event. tential partner. It is a breach of etiquette to

How the love of dance transformed a Liberty Lake living room into a perpetual milonga

Buy unique items from around the world!

Fair Trade Event

The Splash

Philip Lechtenberg’s 12-by-13 foot Liberty Lake living room has a name, as noted by this sign that greets tango dancers arriving at his home. “Felipe’s Club Sin Rumbo” is kept free of furniture for milongas and lessons.


Also known as Felipe el Aleman (“Philip the German”)

Career Retired

If you could go anywhere in the world Berlin, to dance tango of course

Unique project “Felipe” is translating the lyrics to all his favorite tango songs from Spanish into English and compiling them into a series of six books he plans to sell at tango festivals and online.

engage someone in deep conversation between dances as it may cause them to miss the cabeceo, which began as a way to save face if a dancer is not interested. “If she is interested, she will nod back or smile,” Felipe said. “If not, she’ll go back to looking at her iPhone.” Etiquette also dictates that you commit for the three- or four-song set, or “tanda,” of music if you respond to the cabeceo. “If a dancer says, ‘thank you,’ and sits down after just one or two songs, that means you smell funny or your partner no longer wants to dance with you,” Felipe explained. “It’s a way of being dismissed.” Felipe recommends prospective tango dancers start with lessons at the German American Society building at 25 W. 3rd Ave. in Spokane. They start at 7 p.m. and are followed by the milonga until 10 p.m. Admission is $5. You can also get information on area tango lessons and the dance itself on the Inland Northwest Tango website at But be warned. “Be careful if you’re interested because it’s addictive!” Felipe said.

The Splash

APRIL 2015 • 19



ECONOMIC UPDATE Hosted by: Steven Egland CFP®, RICP®, FIC Financial Associate

Event details: Thursday April 9th 7:00 p.m. Open house begins at 5:30 p.m. Thrivent Financial 22910 E. Appleway Ave., Suite 1 Liberty Lake, WA 99212 Scott Schuldt LUTCF, FIC Associate

Chris Nurvic CFP®, ChFC®, FIC Financial Associate


Please RSVP to Steve or Chris at 509-928-2435 by Wednesday, April 8th. Refreshments and Hors ‘doeuvres will be served. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP ® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in the U.S. No products will be sold at this event. Securities and investment advisory services are offered through Thrivent Investment Management Inc., 625 Fourth Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55415, a FINRA and SIPC member and a wholly owned subsidiary of Thrivent Financial, the marketing name for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Appleton, WI. Thrivent Financial representatives are registered representatives of Thrivent Investment Management Inc. For additional important information, visit

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20 • APRIL 2015


The Splash

Camp�ire stories with the Neyland girls By Karen Johnson



itting around a fire and sharing stories with neighbors is a Liberty Lake tradition. This month, as part of its 2015 “Neighbors and Neighborhoods” series, the Liberty Lake Historical Society invites you to visualize and enjoy a fireside conversation with the Neyland girls. Before we introduce these neighbors, some background on the Neyland family. Daniel and Louisa Neyland came to Liberty Lake in 1901 or 1902. Their son Gage and wife Floy moved into a home still occupied today (across the street from the community beach on the northwest corner of the lake). There began the family’s legacy of resort ownership at Liberty Lake, one that eventually extended to Sandy Beach on the northeast shore. Most of the history traced below comes through the lineage of Gage and Floy’s son, Homer. The memories below are from a recent conversation with two of Homer’s daughters, Mary Floy Dolphin and Betty Trembly, as well as Mary Floy’s daughters, Leslee McLachlan and Denise Coyle. If you are keeping track at home, that’s representatives from fourth and fifth generation Neylands living at Liberty Lake. Let’s listen in … In 1940, “Daddy” (Homer) was living in Seattle with “Mother” (Della, a true blue west-sider) and “us” (Mary Floy, Betty and their sister, Carol). Looking at the prices of Lake Washington’s shoreline, Homer announced to his Seattleite sweetheart that he knew where he could get lake property cheaper than that! He sold his tire business, bought almost two miles of shoreline along the east side of Liberty Lake between Molter Road and McKenzie Bay, and off they went. They moved into “Tarry A Bit,” one of Grampa Gage Neyland’s cabins, for the summer. It was a great location considering it bordered Liberty Lake Park, which often hosted large Elks Club parties. So the young sisters often waltzed over to the parties, joined in the picnics, ate and played as though they belonged, though they knew they were probably not supposed to! Don Becht, a local, ran the carousel. Since it looked better to have people riding it, he often invited Mary Floy and Betty to ride for free. They didn’t know they were being used as the park’s shills, but would that have mattered? After moving for a short time to Lilac Lane, Homer built a house on the northshore hill, which later became the Elks Club. He always had a stack of Popular Mechanic magazines laying around and loved to build things from it, such as the time he built a hovercraft. They had to remove the sliders on the house in order to get it out. Besides the hovercraft, they also had a

Homer Neyland stands next to his jeep with four of his six grandchildren, including Denise, who is the child closest to him. SUBMITTED PHOTO

cow, bantam roosters and a chicken named Henny Penny. One day Henny Penny got run over. That night, they had chicken for dinner. The girls cried, “THAT’S HENNY PENNY!” Della insisted it wasn’t, but nobody ate poor Henny Penny that night. Homer also planted an apple orchard on their flatland south of Sprague Avenue where his grandchildren later built forts and played with friends. Leslee remembers those years (by then the early 1960s), that the kids’ moms each had a specific whistle signal. When the kids heard their mom’s signature whistle, it was time for them to go home. Toward the end of the 1940s, Homer platted roads to extend access down the hill and along the east side of the lake. Now the family was able to move to (and bring about) their longtime paradise known as Sandy Beach Resort. The sisters’ first chore was to pull up all the poison oak…by hand. That was only the beginning of an era of hard work owning a resort. The winters at Liberty Lake were colder than now, and the lake used to freeze thick and solid. Everyone skated — sometimes even on the road. The kids would use the sharp point of their skates to chop a small hole in the ice to drink from. (“You wouldn’t wanna do that today,” Mary Floy quips.) Mary Floy recounts that in their courting years, Howard, her late husband, couldn’t count on Sprague Avenue’s steep hill to be driveable, so he often drove across the frozen lake from the other side to pick her up for a date! For Betty, the lake’s massive ice rink was where she learned to drive! Planes landed and took off every so often. The pilot? Homer! Things were a lot more laid back in those days, and especially in rural areas like Liberty Lake. Betty was slightly too young to drive but not too young to run errands. One day, Della asked her to deliver a home-baked cake sitting prettily on a pedestal. She gave strict instructions for wrapping and boxing it. Thinking that was “stupid,” Betty simply set the unwrapped cake-on-pedestal on the seat next to her. Taking a corner at the top

of the hill, the cake toppled, she reached out with both hands to catch it, and ended up between trees. “We could do that because no one was around,” defended Betty. “I used to drive to the post office all the time.” She described how the occasional police officer would spot her, wait until she went inside, put on his siren, come inside and ask to see her license. “You know I don’t have one,” Betty’d respond. “Then quit driving!” he’d retort. But she never received a ticket. There were plenty of obvious perks about living at the lake, plus the unplanned: As a junior in high school, Mary Floy was one of only two girls who got to drive to CVHS because there wasn’t a Liberty Lake extracurricular bus. There were also a few expected drawbacks living waaaay out here, like winter ice houses for summer refrigeration, no electricity, limited field phones instead of telephones, only one nearby gas station and no major grocery stores for miles. As the years rolled by, Mary Floy, Betty and their husbands raised their families here. “Poppy,” as Leslee and Denise called their Grandpa Homer, would take all the grandkids with him when he’d visit a certain three hermits he knew in the area. The kids loved to ride in his jeep, and on the way back he’d stop at Brownies, the local store that was located on present-day Melkapsi, for penny candy. They’d say, “Oh Poppy ... I just need one more penny!” He’d reach his big hand into his pocket, hold out his change and quietly say, “Just take what’cha need and leave some for next time.” So they took only what they needed. Leslee and Denise also covet memories of walking up the beach every Saturday night with their cousin, Joe (Betty’s son), to spend the night at Mammy’s (Grandma Della’s). Asked why they obviously love Liberty Lake so much, the Neyland girls gave a multitude of responses, including the peaceful lake and the familiarity of home. But Denise and Leslee summed it up pretty well: “It’s

DID YOU KNOW? • Homer Neyland’s initial purchase of land on the east side of Liberty Lake in 1940 totaled just under 200 acres and stretched from the shores at Molter Road southward almost to Starr Road. He also had the opportunity to buy the land where Liberty Lake Golf Course now stands, but he couldn’t think of what for. • Homer’s daughters, Mary Floy Dolphin and Betty Trembly, remember the old Liberty Lake Dance Pavillion, especially commenting on all of the carnival type mirrors. An interesting twist is that Mary Floy’s daughter, Leslee, married into a Pavillion connection. Her father-in-law used to play there. • When Betty’s son, Joe, was around 5 years old, he looked out the window one day and told his mom, “Look! There’s penguins on the baseball field!” Turns out there was a church picnic at the resort and the nuns were playing baseball! • Henny Penny, the family chicken noted in the story, meant more to the Neyland family than a fried chicken dinner. Homer was able to secure gas coupons during the war because he owned farm animals. Both the farm animals and the extra gas were needed commodities since they lived so far out and away from stores. He also received rations for growing potatoes by the baseball field.

partly heritage,” Denise explains. “I think, ‘Great grandmother walked around here!’ Pretty cool feeling.” Then Leslee fast-forwarded to the legacy, “All six of Mom’s grandkids have been married on the beach at Sandy Beach.” Even the in-law kids wanted to be married here. Pretty cool feeling indeed. Karen Johnson enjoyed sitting down with the “Neyland girls” to glean the stories and reflections in this article. Johnson serves on the board of the Liberty Lake Historical Society.

The Splash


Proudly present their Annual Spring Tea

Saturday, April 25 2 to 4 p.m.

Auction opens at 1:30 p.m. Meadowwood Technology Campus 2100 N. Molter | Liberty Lake • Serving traditional scones, finger foods, desserts and tea • Bring your favorite teacup and share its history • Silent auction featuring wonderful items donated by our community

Featuring guest speaker Ross Schneidmiller, Liberty Lake’s own historian. Hear and see our history unfold!

Cost: $20.00 per person All profits will benefit the:

L I B E RT Y L A K E M U N I C I PA L L I B R A RY, Supporting the FREE Adult and Children’s Programs!

Tickets can be purchased at the Liberty Lake Municipal Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave. Or send a check to FOLLML P.O. Box 427, Liberty Lake 99019 Or visit





Antique & ollectors C Sale

April 24 - 25 - 26, 2015



4 pm - 9 pm 10 am - 6 pm


10 am - 4 pm

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22 • APRIL 2015

‘The sky’s the limit’ Library lovers share their perspectives on LLML Help us celebrate National Library Week April 13-18! We are holding a contest:

Guess the number of books, or DVDs, or audiobooks owned by the library and win a prize!


Register at


April 4 • Cost: $5

Down in the Dirt: Soil Science April 18 & May 9 Cost: $5 each YOUTH

Movie Night: Annie (2014) 6 p.m. April 2

Kid’s STEM project: Make Your Own Seed Papers

4 p.m. April 7 & 9 (not part of our STEM-tacular Saturday program) ADULT

Library Gardening Resources 4 to 6 p.m. April 8

Learn to be a Label Detective 6 to 7 p.m. April 9

Movie Night: Into the Woods 6 p.m. April 16

STCU: Organizing Your Financial Records Noon to 1 p.m. April 22

Kick the Sugar Habit 6 to 7 p.m. April 30 23123 E. Mission Ave. Liberty Lake • 232-2510


While many think of the library as a place to just check out books, those closest to it know it is so much more. The opportunities to engage and empower those in the community are limitless, which is reflected in the theme for National Library Week, “Unlimited possibilities at your library,” which will be recognized April 12-18. In honor of this special week, The Splash interviewed three people closely connected with Liberty Lake Municipal Library — Linda Dockrey, Cindy Jonz and Shardé Mills — to hear their thoughts on the future of the library, as well as its value to the community. Dockrey has served on the board of trustees for six years and was involved with the Friends group before that. Cindy Jonz, a retired English teacher, has been a library volunteer for over five years. Shardé Mills, who has been working as adult services and research librarian since December, is one of the newest faces at the library. How does your position respond to the needs of library patrons? Dockrey: The library puts out surveys, and the board talks about the results. While we’re not in the library on a daily basis, we do interact with patrons. When we see something that needs tweaked, we try to move on that. That’s what drives our decisions. Mills: As the adult services librarian, I respond directly to library patrons’ needs. I purchase adult books and DVDs, with suggestions from patrons and with the community’s tastes and needs in mind. I also assist people with research, finding online resources and books that meet their interests, as well as provide assistance with technology. One of the best parts is planning events and activities, like author readings and craft nights. If you have any suggestions, send them my way! Jonz: I’m an avid reader and a retired English teacher, so if people come in and say they’re looking for a good book, I enjoy telling them what I recommend. I enjoy conversations with patrons. What types of things happen “behind the scenes” to keep the library operational? Mills: I’m amazed by the efficiency that goes into operating the library. Every day we pull books from the shelves; they are processed and then shipped across 26 libraries! We track everything, from how many people walk through the door to which books are requested most. A lot of the behind-thescenes stuff is doing our best to provide excellent service and find out what people like. Jonz: The staff is incredibly busy. They ro-

tate through manning the main desk, and there are other personnel working on book binding and cataloging. From children’s programs and book clubs to helping people on the computers or researching problems, the library caters to all in the community. Dockrey: The board deals a lot with policies. People probably don’t realize how much we struggle over these policies. The budget is another a big thing. We have a fiveyear plan, and we’re trying to look into the future to see what people want. We spend hours and hours deciding how to allocate the money in the best way. We put a lot of effort into these decisions. What changes have you observed in recent years regarding patrons’ expectations of and use of library services? Jonz: Computers. With the proliferation of the e-readers and Kindles and Nooks in the past five years, you can now download books from your home with a computer. The staff has to be on top of that. Mills: The most significant changes can be directly linked to technology and neighborhood involvement. We see people daily who are interested in our free eBooks and eAudiobooks, using our computers, and getting assistance with technology. There is also a strong sense of family and community at the library, with families and individuals attending library programs and events. Dockrey: The library is busier every year. It’s being used as a community center with all kinds of clubs meeting there. Our patrons are interested in classes — cooking, gardening, etc. — so the library has become an educational center. People have come to expect that all kinds of services will be available. What do you believe is the library’s future in Liberty Lake? Mills: I really see the future of the library as a place of education, both fun and informative. ... We provide services that open a world of literature, free online classes, and community oriented programs and events. This is the direction I see the library going, providing access to important life skills, especially through technology, and creating community-oriented programming that is educational and entertaining. Jonz: I would like it to continue to be a viable part of the community. I think just staying up to date and current with what’s going on. Dockrey: We need more room. We’ve outgrown our library; there’s virtually no storage space. I don’t know if we need a new building, but I would like for us to reach our potential. I’d like to see the library open on Sundays. Personally, I would like to see a creativity room — with a 3D printer or music opportunities. The sky’s the limit with libraries these days. It’s amazing the creativity that happens in libraries all across the country.

The Splash

Book Review

By Melanie Boerner


“The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate” By Jacqueline Kelly (for grades 4-6) The summer of 1899 finds Calpurnia Tate in the middle of a heat wave. She is slowly moving out of childhood and being forced into womanhood, which means learning to sew, cook and become a good housewife. However, Callie finds spending long summer days with her notoriously cantankerous grandfather much more exciting and interesting. An avid naturalist, Granddaddy brings Calpurnia into the world of scientific method and evolution. Throughout the summer, Callie comes to find her interests don’t coincide with society’s expectations of her. Readers will immediately become smitten with Calpurnia; her spunky attitude endures her to young and old alike. She is a female heroine that young girls will relate to effortlessly, and the relationship between Callie and Granddaddy will resonate with both girls and boys. Jacqueline Kelly gives us a historic novel with attitude in her debut as an author and it leaves readers wanting more from her. Melanie Boerner is children’s and youth services librarian at the Liberty Lake Municipal Library.

Library Briefs Receipts replace stamps Beginning in May, the library will issue receipts for checkouts rather than stamp due dates on each item. This time-saving change will allow consistency among other CIN libraries. In addition, the library is adding a second self-checkout station that will be receipt-only.

Tickets for tea on sale “Celebrating our Heritage” is the theme for the April 25 fundraiser hosted by Friends of Liberty Lake Municipal Library from 2 to 4 p.m. at Meadowwood Technology Campus, 2100 N. Molter. The annual event includes a silent auction, finger foods, desserts and tea. Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased at the library.

Brought to you by

After-school camp allows students to experiment in STEM areas By Treva Lind


Imagine a class that has elementary students design and build a zoo rescue device for a tiger trapped in its enclosure. All materials are provided for the one-hour challenge—ready, set, go! About 40 Liberty Lake Elementary fourth graders got that chance as part of a free afterschool STEM camp at Spokane Valley Tech, 115 S. University in Spokane Valley. The group of students attended Tuesday and Thursday afternoon sessions March 3-19 geared toward STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering and math. Each session ran nearly two hours. One session included hands-on work to keep a raw egg “safe” as it rode on a car down a ramp on a collision course with a wall. For the project, students built the car as well as built, designed and tested the egg restraint. They used an energy chart to measure the results. On March 12, students had a quick activity centered around the difference between energy transformation and energy transfer. Energy transformation is when energy changes from one form to another such as when electrical energy flowing through wires is converted to light and heat energy in a lightbulb. Energy transfer is the process of transferring energy from one body to another, such as heat from the stove burner transferring heat to a pot to boil water. Teams of student got to match illustrated examples of energy transformation versus transfer.

After that, students used VEX robotics kits for more exploring about energy by building the zoo rescue device. Teams of two to six students worked together to solve the problem. The tiger needed a pulley and lever system that would safely lift the animal from a ravine where it had fallen. The device had to support the animal without pulling on the tiger’s neck, tail or legs. “You’ll get your VEX kit, and the iPads have your directions,” said STEM coordinator Camille Nielsen. “Your challenge is to use tools and technology that engineers use.” Nielsen leads the STEM Camp along with one to two teachers and Spokane Valley Tech high school student volunteers. Fourth graders from all 12 CVSD elementary school and Summit School were invited to participate, and applicants were randomly selected, Nielsen said. “It’s cool to see how it works, like an engineer trying to solve a problem,” said Brooke Pederson, 10. She worked at a table with four students, who asked each other where to place a string so it worked best in the system. By the end of the hour, most teams had pieced together a movable pulley device. Other Central Valley School District students from schools that included Chester and South Pines also attended STEM Camp for recent sessions. In April, students from McDonald and University elementary schools will attend. Opened in September 2012, Spokane Valley Tech is a collaborative effort by Central Valley, East Valley, Freeman and West Valley school districts. The school offers 10 rigorous programs for high school juniors and seniors to gain technical skills and experience in STEM industries.


Brock Brito and Carson Snider (above) work on building a zoo rescue device at the STEM Camp held at Spokane Valley Tech. Below, Brooke Pederson, Katelynn Hale, Zoe Stephanis and Whitney Bryant were also among Liberty Lake Elementary fourth grade students who attended the camp in March.

The Splash

24 • APRIL 2015


Game of stones By Tammy Kimberley SPLASH STAFF WRITER

A diamond is the gemstone associated with April, but did you know each month has a special birthstone? It’s true, and it’s popular to give jewelry or other trinkets with these gemstones as gifts. Astrologers used to proclaim supernatural power came from certain gemstones. Today many people believe wearing your birthstone can bring good luck and good health. If you’ve ever wondered where the idea of birthstones came from, it’s actually an interesting tale found in the Bible. When

Moses asked Pharaoh to set the Israelites free, his brother Aaron helped lead the people. Aaron is recorded to have worn a breastplate that held four rows of three stones each to represent each of the 12 tribes of Israel. Biblical scholars were not able to identify the exact stones, but they came to also represent the 12 months in the year and the 12 signs of the zodiac. To learn more about the gems associated with each month, read the descriptions below and match up with your best guess. Answers can be found at the bottom of the page.





Garnet (January)

Diamond (April)

Ruby (July)

Opal (October)





Amethyst (February)

Emerald (May)

Peridot (August)

Topaz (November)





Aquamarine (March)

Pearl (June)

Sapphire (September)

Turquoise (December)

A. Ancient sailors often

carried this gem believed to ward off accidents and illnesses.

B. This rare gemstone is

second in hardness to the diamond.

C. These red jewels were

also used as bullets in ancient times because the stone was said to cause more dangerous wounds than regular bullets.

D. This gem is formed inside

oysters and mussels over a process that can take up to eight years.


Found in Sri Lanka, this gem is mined from the deepest layers of the earth’s crust.

F. This crowning jewel was a favorite of Queen Cleopatra from ancient Egyptian times.

G. Aluminum and fluorine

comprise this gemstone.

H. Australia is the source of the majority of this mineral gem found in a wide variety of rock formations.

I. Usually an olive green color, this gem was once powdered to cure asthma. J. Mined primarily from

volcanic rock in Africa and Brazil, these jewels have adorned British crowns as well as those worn by Egyptian royalty.

K. The Persian word for this

gemstone is “ferozah,” which means victorious.

L. This durable gemstone is a natural choice for wedding and engagement rings. Source:

Discovering the world of diamonds Check out the following fun facts about April’s birthstone Compiled by Sarah Burk SPLASH GRAPHICS EDITOR

✴ Most diamonds are between one and three billion years old. ✴ Ancient Romans and Greeks believed that diamonds were tears cried by the gods or splinters from falling stars. Romans believed that Cupid’s arrows were tipped with diamonds. ✴ The word diamond comes from the Greek word “adamas,” which means unconquerable or indestructible. ✴ Diamonds worn in ancient times were believed to promote strength, invincibility and courage. ✴ A law in 13th century France decreed that only the king could wear diamonds. ✴ Until the 18th century, the only diamond mines were in India. The top three diamond mines in the world currently are in Botswana, Russia and Canada. ✴ Diamond crystals are formed 100 miles below ground and are carried to the earth’s surface through volcanic activity. ✴ In their pure state, diamonds are colorless. Yellow and brown are the most common colors; blue and red are the rarest. ✴ A diamond must be heated to 1,292 degrees Fahrenheit (which is hotter than a typical house fire) to burn, making them virtually fireproof. ✴ Carbon is the main ingredient in a diamond. The only thing that can scratch a diamond is another diamond because they are the hardest natural substance found in nature. ✴ The largest rough diamond ever discovered was called the Cullinan diamond. Discovered in 1905 in South Africa, it weighed in at 3,106 carats, or 1.33 pounds. ✴ Even though the U.S. produces almost no diamonds, America buys close to half of the world’s gem-quality diamonds, making it the world’s largest diamond market.


Answers to Game of stones: 1) C 2) J 3) A 4) L 5) F 6) D 7) B 8) I 9) E 10) H 11) G 12) K

The Splash

APRIL 2015 • 25


Local kids use eggs Kids Tell It Like It Is as contest canvas What do you like most about math, science, engineering and technology? Compiled by Treva Lind at Spokane Valley Tech

Wave announces spring contest winner

“We get to make robots and use wires.” Eryn Lewis, 10

In the March issue, The Wave offered a contest where kids were asked to creatively decorate an Easter egg. We received several colorful entries from local kids who got in the spirit of Easter a little early. Our judges selected Sam Hobbs’ multicolored egg as first prize in the contest. For his prize, the LibHOBBS erty Lake 7-yearold was given an Easter basket full of toys and treats. Thank you to all the kids who entered eggs in this coloring challenge. Be sure to watch for more contests in future issues of The Wave!

Hailey Hale, 9

“I like technology because you can explore stuff and use drones to help people.” Lily ClarkLojek, 9

“I like science because it’s fun to do experiments.” Landon Minnick, 10

Area activities in April With a circus in town, frogs on the loose and plenty of egg hunts, the Valley is the place to be in April! Check out just some of this month’s kid-friendly events below.

Photos with the Easter Bunny April 1 to 4, various times JC Penney Court, Spokane Valley Mall

ONE* Easter Egg Hunt

April 4, 10 a.m. 24th and Sullivan Over 50,000 eggs plus jump castles, a petting zoo, face painting, pictures with the Easter Bunny and an appearance of the Minions at this free event.

Liberty Lake Easter Egg Hunt April 4, 11 a.m. Pavillion Park, Liberty Lake Registration of $3 or six eggs filled with wrapped candy occurs March 30 and April 2 at Liberty Lake Municipal Library.

“I like the math part, probably because I like figuring out problems with numbers.”

Community Easter Egg Hunt

April 4, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Valley Real Life, 1831 S. Barker Road The family event includes egg hunts for children up to fifth grade, carnival games, prizes, inflatables, concessions and more.

“It’s fun and I like the STEM activities. The teachers at Valley Tech are really nice.” Shawn Noon, 9

“I like them all and figuring stuff out. Math is like a language. I like being creative.” Kinnalee Zent, 9

“It’s fun to use the STEM kits to make whatever we want.” Benjamin Eschenbacher, 10

“You get to build and you really get to use your imagination.” Libby Awbery, 10

“I like math with STEM. Math’s always been my favorite.” Aiden Oakley, 9

Congratulations to Canaan! He’s the latest KiDDS Dental No Cavity Club winner! Canaan won a $25 Toys “R” Us gift card and a photo session with

Rockford Easter Egg Hunt April 4, 1 p.m. CHS/Primeland Park, Rockford

Easter Egg Hunt

April 5, 10:30 a.m. Millwood Community Presbyterian Church, 3223 N. Marguerite Road, Millwood

Frog Regatta Festival

April 11, 1 to 3 p.m. Rockford City Park Free hot dogs and games for kids will be available prior to sending frogs down Rock Creek.

Call us to schedule an appointment to see if your child is cavity-free!

Shrine Circus

April 17-19, various times Spokane Valley Mall parking lot General admission tickets start at $10.

509.891.7070 1327 N. Stanford Ln, Ste B • Liberty Lake •

Grow Up Smiling!

Check out our Facebook page for contests and events!

26 • APRIL 2015


Posting Date March 23, 2015 The Splash Posting Date March 23, 2015 Posting Date March 23,23, 2015 Posting Date March 2015

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APRIL 2015 • 27


CHILL is an exciting and healthy summer day camp hosted by the City of Liberty Lake. Children 5 to 11 years old are welcome to register. Campers enjoy numerous exciting activities ranging from arts & crafts, to sports, swimming, games, field trips and more! Come and learn, grow, and have a fun-filled summer with us at CHILL camp!

Spokane Valley Mall

Dates: M-F June 15 to Aug. 21, 2015 Fee: $1,250/summer or $130/week Multi-Child rate $1,150 for summer Hours: 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM Field Trips: Triple Play Family Fun Park, Southside Aquatic Center, Splashdown, Laser Quest, Mobius Science Center, Riverfront Park, CDA Fort Sherman/McEuen Park, the Nerf Zone and Discovery Park! For a full listing of youth and adult classes or upcoming events contact Michelle Griffin, Parks and Recreation Coordinator: 509-755-6726 or Register online today for a facility rental or class at

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About and for Liberty Lake seniors

A Native song

Spotlighting timely needs our community can meet together

Interest in Native American culture leads to flute-making hobby, business

To our friends and neighbors in the greater Spokane Valley:

By Sarah Robertson


Let’s be Partners.

For Howard Ball, one thing just seems to lead to another. His life has been full of exciting ventures, and at 75, he is happy to embark on a new and profoundly personal undertaking. After working in many fields and owning many businesses, Ball enters retirement with an old hobby and brand new adventure ahead of him — Native American flute making. Ball’s interest in Native American culture goes back to his grandfather. He was a Methodist pastor who moved every two years to minister among native tribes. “He thought he could do the most good there,” Ball said. When Ball’s father left home at 14, he eventually landed in Spokane by way of Chicago and a job on the Great Northern Railroad. After 20 years on the railroad, Ball’s father — also named Howard — decided to try something new. He bought a funeral home. It was 1939, and it was the cheapest business he could buy. Ball & Dodd Funeral Home was born. John Bruce Dodd became his partner and major funder. John Bruce Dodd happened to be the husband of Sonora Smart Dodd — famous for founding Father’s Day. Mrs. Dodd was also the younger Howard Ball’s nanny. “Mrs. Dodd was like a mother to me because she was always there,” Ball said.

Two years ago, Spokane Valley Partners was granted $225,000 from the Washington State Legislature to fund three facility improvements critical to the organization’s ongoing work in our community:


1. Replacing the central roof,


Howard Ball and “Asia” prepare for another adventure. Ball, a Liberty Lake resident, is a longtime student of Native American culture. His most recent venture is building and selling Native American flutes. Ball's father remained interested in Native American culture, which led to Ball & Dodd receiving a contract to relocate nearly 1,400 Native American graves. With the work came an education in local burial customs, rituals and what daily life was like for Native Americans living along the Columbia River. Ball's father also bought one of the first color Kodak cameras and took pictures of the entire relocation process. PBS produced a film about the relocation project, “Echoes of Yesterday,” that used many of the photos. “This is where I got a lot of Native interest,” Ball said. Along with the many stories he heard from his father, Ball acknowledges an almost unexplainable pull toward Native culture. “It doesn’t matter if you’re Native or not, it depends on whether you have the Native in your heart," he said. Ball also has interest in many other cultures. After a run-in with some shady characters in downtown Spokane during high school, Ball decided he had to learn to defend himself, leading to taking up jiu jitsu and other martial arts. “I was fascinated by other people," he said. "I love learning about other cultures.” Ball spent 20 years teaching jiu jitsu —

HOWARD BALL Favorite restaurant Twisp

Favorite activity Hiking

Favorite Liberty Lake event Farmers Market

Favorite thing about Liberty Lake “The trails are so close to our home. I can have beautiful experiences in nature. I can play the flute and spend time with animals.”

even owning his own studio. But much of his professional life was spent working for office supply companies selling goods to area businesses — “a good deal for me because I love to talk,” he said. “Howard makes friends wherever he goes," agreed Ellen Fosseen, a longtime friend. "His personality is so big, but he’s one of the most humble and inspiring people I will ever know.” Being a salesman, he was on the road quite often, making family time difficult. Through it all, Ball made a deal with his

See NATIVE, page 29

2. Replacing the heating system boiler, and 3. Upgrading the demonstration kitchen and adjoining classroom. To access the money, the organization needs to match it with $88,000 in private funds. So far, $23,000 has been raised, leaving $55,000 still required to unlock the organization’s ability to meet these basic needs.





Fellow local businesses and residents, please help us bridge this gap before another season passes with this grant untapped. Send your gifts marked “capital campaign” (in the check memo line or on the online donation comment box at to Spokane Valley Partners. Sincerely,

The Arger Family Investing in Spokane Valley since 1979 Local owners of Evergreen Fountains, sponsor of The Fountain senior spread in The Splash and The Current

The Splash

NATIVE Continued from page 28

COMMUNITY is working on setting up a business called Suncrow Flutes to sell his goods through. He hopes to have them available online and at stores around the area. According to Ball, the flute is “the oldest instrument known to man.” He loves to tell of the Native importance of the flute as well. “The story goes that the young man would have a flute and court a woman with that flute," he said. "He played the flute for her parents. If they liked the music, their daughter could date him.” While he’s excited to get his business off the ground, for Ball, native flutes are first and foremost a personal passion. He likes to go into the woods and play the flute — attracting wildlife during his concerts. For Fosseen, these impromptu flute sessions used to annoy her. “I like to really push it and get my exercise when we hike together," she said. "He’ll just stop and pull out his flute. It used to drive me nuts, but now I just enjoy the moments. Stop and enjoy nature — it’s the greatest gift he’s given me.” Of course, it doesn't hurt that the flautist happens to be incredibly passionate about his craft. “Flute music is so strong in my character," Ball said. "I truly believe that flute music comes through your heart. It’s like a prayer. I try to teach people that it’s like a prayer coming out of them.”

SCRAMBLERS solution: 1) Flare, 2) Notify, 3) Calm, 4) Cushion. Today’s Word: Alimony

wife, Phyllis, that he would spend good, quality time with his two children, John and Debbie, when he was home. John’s fondest memories of his father typically revolve around activities. “He was very into doing stuff with his kids," John said. "We always had motorcycles or were skiing and camping. We were always out doing something fun.” Ball owned what is now known as Spokane Pool & Spa Company for 30 years and is in the process of selling it to become “mostly retired” and focus on his flutemaking and other hobbies. Ball has been dancing at pow wows for over 20 years, and his interest in Native American flutes goes back just as far. It started with a visit to a small shop on Spokane’s South Hill with Native American flutes. He picked it up and instantly “took to it.” Ball bought a flute and figured out how they were made. He has been crafting them for about 25 years now. He prefers to craft flutes in a traditional style — measuring the length of a person’s arm and using fingering spacing to figure out where the holes should be. It’s a customized process. Now, Ball makes custom and non-custom flutes from bamboo, cedar and other woods. He

APRIL 2015 • 29


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The Splash

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32 • APRIL 2015

Opening Day catch

The Splash

Accomplished youth Grant Cox of Boy Scout Troop 413 earned his Eagle Scout award on March 26. The CVHS junior, son of Bryan and Ruthie Cox, built shelves at Christ’s Kitchen for his Eagle Project. Greenacres Middle School students Shawn Barnett and Calvin Whybrew prep for the Crime Busters event at the recent Science Olympiad contest at Spokane Community College. Two GMS teams qualified for the state competition in the Seattle area on April 18.


Miranda Kuhlmann was recently awarded a 2015 Chase Youth Award for the middle school division in the arts and creativity category. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Hugh and Jolene Severs sent this photo of their 7-year-old son Jackson with the brown trout he caught on opening day at Liberty Lake.

An evening in Wonderland

Lighting up the school Volunteer Mary Sherrill sold concessions to Greenacres Middle School students during the March 6 neon dance. Money raised provides funds to the scholarship fund, Heart in Hand and the school charity fund. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Liberty Lake Kiwanis celebrated their 10th annual Father Daughter Dance with an action-packed evening of dancing, photos, refreshments and raffle baskets. Organizers said that among the 500 fathers and daughters in attendance were the Mad Hatter, Alice, the Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat, Pink Flamingos and Absolem the Caterpillar. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

‘All you need is a book’

HUB hosts Chamber lunch

The Cat in the Hat visited the Central Valley Kindergarten Center during National Read Across America week, taking time to pose with Mrs. Martins’ classroom. The magical cat delivered books to each kindergarten student, courtesy of Spokane Valley Kiwanis and the Children’s Book Bank.

Local Lens


The HUB Sports Center hosted Spokane Valley Chamber members during a “Play It Forward” luncheon on Feb. 27.


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

The Splash

APRIL 2015 • 33


Obituaries Linda Laurel Garrett Nov. 26, 1940, to March 17, 2015 Linda Laurel (Fleischauer) Garrett was born Nov. 26, 1940, in Lewiston, Idaho. She was the only child of two young aspiring musicians, Charles Fleischauer and Evangeline Fite. The family moved to Spokane where Linda’s favorite memory was spending time with her father fishing or attending circuses. She attended Havermale Junior High and North Central High School where she was active in many clubs and very popular with her warm smile, beautiful looks and kind personality. Linda worked hard in the classroom and attended Washington State University on a chemistry scholarship from Alcoa. On a college break, while working as a waitress at the Ridpath Hotel, she met and later married Dean Wil-

Jennifer “Shea” Wills Dec. 30, 1972, to Feb. 19, 2015 Jennifer “Shea” Wills, beautiful wife, mother, daughter and lifelong resident of Liberty Lake, died unexpectedly on Feb. 19, 2015, at the age of 42 at her home. Shea was born in Spokane on Dec. 30, 1972. She spent many years competing in gymnastics when she was younger, lettering in gymnastics at Greenacres Junior High School, and took third in state competition with Spokane Elite Gymnastics in 1985. She graduated from Mead High School in 1991. Shea lived in Vancouver, Wash., for a brief period after high school, then moved back to Liberty Lake. Shortly thereafter, she started seeing the “boy next door” and longtime Liberty Lake resident, Marcus Wesche. Shea graduated from ITT Technical Institute in 2002 with a degree in Information Technology and received highest honors with a perfect 4.0 GPA. She worked as a producer/director for Fox 28 making commercials and promotional videos.

liams. The couple had three children, Jason, Leslie and Todd. Linda raised her kids in the Spokane and Liberty Lake areas. Upon the early death of her father, Linda inherited his auto dealer supplies business in 1980. She became popular with the dealers, as they always trusted her judgment as to just the right color of pennants to fly over their car lots. Once the kids were raised, Linda’s favorite hobby was to travel the world, especially Europe. Never a fan of the new, shiny and impersonal, she loved all things historical, charming and quaint. Linda faced exceptional challenges due to the premature death of both her parents, her painful scoliosis and later her lung disease. It was heartbreaking for those close to her to see such a good-hearted person endure so much. But her resilience and courage inspired us. She laughed. She loved. She remained so, so pretty through all the years. She was a true gourmet cook and, though you would never know from her petite frame, she loved to eat. She sewed beautiful

clothes, and her tasteful restoration of her 1900-era Liberty Lake home made it a landmark and signature sanctuary.

On Aug. 28, 2004, Shea and Marcus married on the inlet island at Liberty Lake. On June 18, 2005, their daughter Jaelyn Shannon was born, and on Feb. 14, 2006, Marcus officially adopted Shea’s son Bailey, making their family complete.

She loved gardening and cared for her neighbor Marilyn, who had complications of a stroke, for the last several years. She became a great cook and loved to try new recipes. Shea lived life on her terms, but became interested in finding her spiritual side over the last several months of her life. Shea is survived by her deeply saddened family — her husband Marcus Wesche and their children Bailey Wills (15) and Jaelyn Wesche (9); parents Robert and Jackie Wills; her grandmother June Wills, all of Liberty Lake; as well as her brother Tralen Doler of New York City. Also grieving this great loss are her sister-in-law, Shannon Wesche of Tucson, Ariz., and brother- and sister-in-law, Daniel and Maureen Wesche of Flagstaff, Ariz., and her father-in-law Dr. David Wesche of Liberty Lake; numerous aunts and uncles, many nieces and nephews, and halfand step-brothers and sisters. Shea was preceded in death by two step-brothers Scott and Don Harkins, her beloved stepfather Bob Doler, her mother-in-law Jan Wesche, and her grandfather Robert Wills, Sr. A celebration of life was held Feb. 28 at Saint Joseph Catholic Church. Donations can be made in Shea’s honor to JDRF.

An excellent and enthusiastic water- and snow-skier, Shea enjoyed camping and backpacking at Priest Lake, sunbathing at Liberty Lake with her friends, and watching USC games with her father and grandfather. She was an avid reader and loved shopping with her daughter. Shea was highly involved in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Spokane, sitting on the board for seven years and helping to organize the annual Bailey’s Brigade car show to raise money for diabetes research. She returned to school with intentions of studying nursing and received her associate’s degree from Spokane Community College in 2013. Shea was a motivated spouse and mother and helped her husband Marcus with his business early on. She was passionate as a caretaker of other people, and also loved her pets as family.

Linda was a thoughtful person, a great listener and a deep thinker. Her expressions were vivid! When she loved something, she loved it. When she didn’t … well, sometimes you would hear about that too. But the enduring memories are of her warm smile, her hearty laughter, the full attention she paid when you spoke with her, her thoughtful gift-giving, and her love of her children and grandchildren. Linda’s survivors are Jason (Lydja) Williams of Redmond; Leslie (Jay) Filer of Green Bluff; and Todd (Michele) Williams of Green Bluff. Her precious grandchildren (all grandsons) are Ian Williams, Josh Williams, Taylor Williams, Travis Schaaf, Cody Schaaf, Jake Filer, Sam Filer, Craig Williams and Max Williams. Services were held March 26 at the Green Bluff United Methodist Church. Donations in her honor can be sent to the American Lung Society,


Shutterbug Snapshots

Splash Travels

At right: Susie Middaugh captured ducks paddling on a serene lake in early March. Michael Hassett focused in on the sharpshinned hawk below near Trailhead Golf Course on a March morning.


The Richey family took The Splash along when they vacationed in Maui in February.

34 • APRIL 2015


The Splash

Mobile food vendor restrictions remain Ordinance that would have allowed trial run fails in 5-1 vote By Craig Howard

After spending time as a mobile hot dog vendor and hitting some snags with city requirements, Bubbadogz Owner Matt Wasteney transitioned indoors this year. In March, he opened in permanent space inside Liberty Lake Chevron. Wasteney said he is planning special events such as a hot dog eating contest in the coming months.


So much for a food fight. The faceoff between permanent restaurants and mobile food vendors amounted to little more than tranquil testimony at the March 17 Liberty Lake City Council meeting as a public hearing on interim regulations for portable restaurateurs was voted down, 5-1, by the governing board. On the table was a proposal to allow food trucks to operate outside special events with certain limitations such as exclusion from the city’s central business district. City Council had asked municipal staff to revisit the policy during its annual retreat last August. If passed, the ordinance would have translated into an interim zoning amendment allowing mobile vendors to function under a trial run until this September, when council addresses the annual amendment cycle to place standards permanently into the code. At the public hearing, a pair of local restaurant owners — Bobby Taninchev of Twisp Café and Coffee House and Randy Youngdell of San Francisco Sourdough Eatery — spoke out against the potential proliferation of migratory diners. “Personally, I think this could damage our restaurants,” Taninchev said. “These mobile vendors usually have very low overhead. The other thing is they don’t pay the same taxes like we do. We pay property tax, Labor and Industry tax, Social Security. We have very high overhead.” Youngdell told council that allowing more mobile vendors would adversely affect the look of the city. “Let’s say a truck comes in near me that’s a sandwich shop,” he said. “I believe in entrepreneurship and opportunity, but I don’t think that’s the look we want for Liberty Lake.” Youngdell added that brick and mortar establishments are “part of the community,” paying taxes that contribute to the public good while also becoming part of the civic terrain. “A lot of times these mobile vendors are not really a part of the community,” he said. “Even though I might not live in the community, I have a business in the community so I am 100 percent vested in the city of Liberty Lake. I have nothing against mobile vendors, but for a small city like Liberty Lake, I just don’t think it’s the place for it, except for special events.”


Council Member Hugh Severs said he had been in favor of allowing more leeway for mobile vendors until discussing the topic with area restaurant owners. “I’ve been completely for this ordinance all the way along, until recently,” Severs said. “I believe in providing entrepreneurs an opportunity, but I don’t believe it’s the right move for Liberty Lake, the aesthetics and the existing business owners.” Taninchev noted that the walkable nature of Liberty Lake, combined with the fact that many restaurants offer delivery, negates the need for vendors planting near businesses during lunch hour. “We’ve grown in the last two years, mainly because we started delivering to all these offices,” he said. “Most of these employees have many options, they have cafeterias, they have nearby restaurants they can walk to. I don’t think walking distance is an issue for most of these employees.” Taninchev brought a picture of a mobile food truck that he had spotted the day before within the central business district. City Administrator Katy Allen said the city was not aware of the vendor but did confirm that no special permit had been issued. “Going forward, food trucks will only be permitted for special events,” Allen said. “Special events include the Farmers Market, the (Liberty Lake Community) Yard Sales, a grand opening, etc.” Youngdell said additional mobile competition would impact his sandwich shop

and plans for expansion, including a drive-thru and extended summer hours. He also referred to the number of empty commercial properties in the city and the message loosened mobile standards might send to potential business owners. “If I’ve got vending trucks within a half block and up the street, I’m not sure if I can see the potential for growth,” he said. “Also, if we allow that all the time, there’s going to be a lot of people who look at those vacant buildings in the city and say they’re better off just buying a vendor truck and getting a license, instead of being part of the community.” Council Member Keith Kopelson, a successful entrepreneur who owns several businesses, threw his hat into the mobile food field last year but has since decided against it. “After careful consideration, I also came to the conclusion that it’s not really right for Liberty Lake and exited the business,” Kopelson said. Council Member Odin Langford pointed out that the ordinance would run counter to the city’s emphasis on adding establishments that appeal to Liberty Lake’s demographics. “This is not the direction the city needs to go in,” he said. “One of the things we always ask for is more family restaurants. I see this as a direct competition to something we would really like for our city. I also believe that the brick-and-mortar restaurants we have here are staunch

supporters of the city, and I think this is a time we can say, ‘We support you with this.’” Mayor Steve Peterson referred to his experience at the Liberty Lake Farmers Market where he and his wife, Charmaine, sold crepes for six years. “The market is a great way to test concepts for a restaurant franchise,” he said. “I think that’s the appropriate place.” Council Member Dan Dunne, who cast the only minority vote, said a temporary code is set up in such a way for the city to evaluate the impact. “I believe that the nature of the interim amendment and allowing for consideration is a great opportunity,” Dunne said. “Rather than using a permanent amendment, this allows us to understand how this would interact in our city.” Matt Wasteney, owner of Bubbadogz, did not appear at the public hearing, but addressed the council’s decision afterward. Bubbadogz initially set up shop outside the STCU administrative headquarters as a mobile vendor in 2012, then moved outside the Chevron gas station in Liberty Lake before city regulations forced them to close shop. The business now has a permanent site inside Chevron. “I can see both sides of the issue,” Wasteney said. “I do understand trying to maintain the continuity of the town. The Liberty Lake community and the city have both been really good to us. Really, I’m OK with their decision.”

The Splash

APRIL 2015 • 35

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Oregon-based Synergo is building the new zip line tour on Mica Peak southwest of Liberty Lake. Synergo also operates two zip line tours of its own, including the one pictured here near Portland, Ore.

The Splash

Touring at the speed of zip Mica Moon Zip Tours planning May grand opening of adventure business By Hope Brumbach



More than a century ago, Mica Peak, the mountain bordering Liberty Lake to the southwest, was home to a backwoods industry: brewing premium moonshine locally dubbed “Mica Moon.” The peak, known as “Moonshine Mountain,” provided a camouflaged haven for the illicit activity during the Prohibition years. Now a local entrepreneur plans to reinvent the Mica Moon name for a more family-friendly activity. Next month, Rik Stewart will launch a new venture: Mica Moon Zip Tours, which will offer zipline canopy tours on nearly 300 acres of the peak. The grand opening is slated for Memorial Day weekend. The two-and-a-half-hour tour will couple the thrill of zipping with a wilderness experience, allowing guests to sail through forested glens, observe the area’s natural wildlife and view the remnants of historic

moonshine camps, said Stewart, a Liberty Lake resident and president of Mica Moon Zip Tours. “The entrepreneurs who were here at the beginning were illicit, but they were on the edge,” Stewart said. “This will be the natural high.”

The vision At 5,200 feet elevation, Mica Peak, known for its white spherical dome at the summit, offers expansive views sweeping from downtown Spokane to Rathdrum. Almost two decades ago, Stewart’s father-inlaw, Ted Demars, purchased 204 acres on the north flank of the peak for the family’s trust; Stewart’s goal was to build a dream home on a section of it. But then Stewart was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and given six to 10 years to live. In the 17 years since his diagnosis, he’s endured five rounds of chemotherapy and battled back each time. His last treatment was nearly three years ago; it’s been his longest remission yet, Stewart said. In the early years after his diagnosis, he and his wife, Heidi, went on a cruise with cherished friends, an experience that became a yearly tradition to celebrate their

continued life together. On one cruise to Belize, they enjoyed ziplining together for the first time. Two and a half years ago, Stewart, then working as a data center manager, said he had an epiphany. He had been working in an office space of 3,000 square feet with a constant whir of computer fans, and “I wanted fresh air and people,” said Stewart, 54. He decided to combine that thrill he experienced ziplining with the treasure hidden in his backyard. “In the 18 years (we’ve) owned it, I’ve been the marshal,” said Stewart of the property. He frequently ushered trespassers off the family land, but he often felt it was a shame not to share its beauty with others. Stewart quit his job and dedicated the last two and a half years to launching Mica Moon. “I’m totally in,” Stewart said. “This is my life.” He’s leased 294 acres on the peak from the Demars Family Trust and two other neighboring landowners. He’s attended industry conferences. He navigated the Spokane County system to amend the property’s rural conservation zoning to allow for

commercial recreational activity. And he weathered a legal appeal of his conditional-use permit from neighbors — that ultimately was dismissed, Stewart said. Along with his own personal investment, Stewart said he has several financial backers. He’s worked with a geologist, biologist, arborist, historian and experts in experiential learning to create the Mica Moon zip tour experience. Part of the work included a habitat management plan that not only will offer protection of native species but will enhance the wildlife corridor, Stewart said. He’s been hands-on with the land prep, clearing trails and pruning zip corridors. “It’s been a process and a journey getting here,” said Heidi Stewart, 45. On a recent afternoon, Rik Stewart drove onto the Mica Moon property to showcase the views. “It’s all about this,” he said, motioning to the forested surroundings. The property is one of the largest for a zip course in the region, Stewart said. “It’s giving an artist an open palette and getting to do whatever you want,” Stewart said about the opportunity for the course’s builder, Tigard, Ore.-based Synergo. Construction of the course began in mid-March

See ZIP, page 37

The Splash

APRIL 2015 • 37



Zip Tours

Spokane newspaper headlines from more than a century ago often included references to Mica Peak’s illicit activities: “Give the Mica Peak Gang No Rest”; “County Officials Raid Most Up-to-Date Outfit Operated in Spokane County — Nab Two Men”; “Swoop Down on Moonshiners’ Haunt Under Cover of Night.”

Season: Generally, Memorial Day to Labor Day Hours: Daily during peak season; 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. during the week; additional times of 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on weekends Tour: Two and a half hours; eight zips, two treetop bridges Zip Tours Rates: $96 per person on weekends; $86.40 per person on weekdays; $76.80 for youth (ages 6 to 14); group rates available

Mica Peak, often known as “Moonshine Mountain” in the years of Prohibition, was home to “Mica Moon” brewing operations for close to two decades, said Ross Schneidmiller, president of the Liberty Lake Historical Society.

Contact: or 509-587-4020 Pickup location: Liberty Lake Portal, 23402 E. Mission Ave., Suite 100, Liberty Lake


Longtime Liberty Lake residents Rik and Heidi Stewart are opening Mica Moon Zip Tours in May on nearly 300 acres of Mica Peak.

“It was one of the first places that moonshining started in the county,” said Schneidmiller, who is helping provide the historical information for Mica Moon Zip Tours. Families originating from North Carolina, a hub of moonshine production, set up operations on Mica Peak and surrounding areas. The colony was considered ornery and combative, Schneidmiller said. Some local residents recalled seeing flickering lights at night, evidence of the stills often camouflaged on Mica Peak in caves or hidden under brush to evade law enforcement, Schneidmiller said. “That’s part of what allowed these guys to exist is that they became very clever about how they hid their operations,” he said.


This view approximates the placement of the second-to-last zip that tour participants will take, a return across the canyon that is one of the longer of the zips. While exact length won’t be known until course construction is completed, owner Rik Stewart said the tour will include eight zips in total with one canyon crossing in particular extending approximately 1,500 feet in length.

ZIP Continued from page 36

and was scheduled to be completed in five to seven weeks. Erik Marter, Synergo’s executive director, works with 50 zip tours a year. He said the aspects that set Mica Moon apart are the historical aspect that will be woven into the experience as well as the layout of the

course. While some courses can be viewed in their entirety from a single vantage point, this course has a quality of mystery to it that allows it to be experienced one line at a time. “I’m really picky about layout,” Marter said. “I think a zip tour needs to tell a story as it unfolds. People don’t want to just ride zip lines; they want to have an experience.” It’s this complete experience that Stewart

is excited to share. “We’ve taken a beautiful piece of land, and we can share it with (others) on our terms,” Stewart said. “I don’t think the people who live down there know what’s here.”

The tour The Mica Moon experience will certainly appeal to the thrill-seeker, but Stewart

See ZIP, page 38

Some residents also reported the sounds of airplanes at night, Schneidmiller said, and it was suspected that Mica Moon was bootlegged to locations in Montana. Part of Mica Peak’s appeal to moonshiners may have been its remoteness, water source and vantage point, Schneidmiller said. “Also the fact that many of the operations would have taken place in these abandoned saw mills; Mica had some of those,” Schneidmiller said.

The Splash

38 • APRIL 2015


In Biz Liberty Lake realtor named to Diamond Society Julie Kuhlmann, a representative and sales associate for Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Real Estate, was recently honored as a member of the company’s 2014 International Diamond Society. This distinguished membership is awarded to the top 11 percent of all sales representatives/sales associates worldwide in the Coldwell Banker® system. KUHLMANN Kuhlmann, a Liberty Lake resident, can be reached at julie@

LL couple opens travel franchise Liberty Lake residents Penny and Todd Rowell recently joined Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative. As independent franchise owners, the Rowells offer vacation-goers exclusive pricing on a wide range of cruise, land and destination wedding packages as well as private cruise sales. A press release said the business also offers travel upgrades and value-added amenities such as shore excursions, discounted fares and travel gifts.

ZIP Continued from page 37

said he hopes it will be “a family activity, not just the adrenaline junkie.” The closest similar experience is in Wallace, Idaho, where Silver Streak Zipline Tours operates. Mica Moon Zip Tours generally will operate between Memorial Day and Labor Day, with limited hours in the month or two leading up to and following the peak season, Stewart said. Guests will check in at the Mica Moon Zip Tours office, located in the Liberty Lake Portal building. A 15-passenger van will shuttle guests to the beginning of the private road at the base of Mica Peak. From there, three utility terrain vehicles will cart guests to the start of the tour on the west side of the valley that cleaves the north face of the mountain. During the two and a half hour tour, which begins at 3,200 feet elevation, guests will glide along eight proposed zips, Stewart

“Everyone travels, and it’s important to use a trusted travel specialist to help get the most value out of a vacation,” Penny Rowell said in the release. “As a Cruise Planners travel expert, I take the stress and hassle out of planning a vacation for my clients.” Cruise Planners offers special programs for both American Express card holders and non-card holders. For more on this at-home, full-service travel agency, visit

STCU promotes Myhre STCU employee Lindsey Myhre was recently promoted to Vice President of Finance. She has worked for STCU since 2000, most recently as director of accounting and finance, a press release said.


Myhre holds a degree in business administration from Western Washington University and is currently seeking her master’s degree from Western Governor’s University.

For more, visit

Itron announces share repurchase option The board of directors for Itron, a Liberty Lake- based technology and services company, recently authorized a stock repurchase program. The program allows for buying back up to $50 million of Itron common stock over a 12-month period. "The Board's authorization of a new share repurchase program reflects Itron’s confidence in the company’s long-term outlook," said Philip Mezey, Itron President and Chief Executive Officer. "This authorization provides the ability to return capital to shareholders by repurchasing shares while maintaining flexibility to invest capital internally to grow the business and make strategic investments in our future." Repurchases under the program will be made in accordance with applicable securities laws in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions. Depending on market conditions and other factors, these repurchases may be commenced or suspended from time to time without prior notice. For more, visit

Former Chamber president launches Food Flavor Fit Eldonna Shaw-Davis is partnering with

said. Platforms for the zips Certified guides will be the “My goal would be, will be built between 10 and facilitators of the experience, in a very real sense, ensuring safety and also pro75 feet above the ground. The experience also will into turn Liberty Lake viding information about the clude two short hikes, two history, wildlife and ecoltreetop bridges and possi- into the recreational ogy of the Mica Peak area. bly a rappel. Two of the zips magnet that it was in Guests will wear a helmet, crisscross the valley, soarits heyday. It would harness and leather gloves. ing to birds-eye heights and The course is designed with reaching speeds of 25 to 45 be like Spokane’s automatic braking systems, mph, Stewart said. The lonso riders will not have to stop playground. That’s gest will extend in the neighon their own, Stewart said. borhood of 1,500 feet. my goal.” Mica Moon plans to offer The final zip will thread — RIK STEWART specialty and themed zips, an aspen grove, finishing at such as a fall color tour, roabout 2,700 feet elevation. mantic twilight zips with Mica Moon plans to employ about 14 people at the start, including a sunset catered dinner and a Halloween Stewart, his wife Heidi, and at least two of fright zip through the dark. Tours also are their eight children as guides. Most employ- available for large groups, families and corporations. ees will be part-time and seasonal. “I find when people are on the edge of The tour won’t have an age restriction, but riders need to be old enough to under- comfort, that’s where you find the real perstand directions. Guests also must weight son,” Stewart said. “People begin to talk and between 65 and 275 pounds. An adult will you peel back the layers. I’m excited for what’s going to happen with these groups.” pay $96 for a weekend zip tour.

her husband Larry Davis to start a new business dedicated to helping people enjoy good food and good health. Shaw-Davis will offer healthy home cooking classes, health and coaching and blog postings offering original recipes and health tips at The business also highlights Inland Northwest food artisans and restaurants featuring healthy menu items to help promote other small businesses. This new venture combines her passion for cooking and education in home economics. Shaw-Davis retired last year as president and CEO of the Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce. Larry Davis is currently a college professor at EWU, after a successful career as a management consultant to small and large companies. As a couple, the Shaws have successfully lost over 100 pounds together through a sensible weight loss program and attention to healthy food. Last summer Shaw-Davis became a Certified Health Coach through the Center for Obesity Prevention and Education (C.O.P.E.) at Villanova University and Take Shape For Life. In Biz features Liberty Lake-connected business items. Contact The Splash with business news at editor@libertylakesplash. com.

The future Stewart estimates Mica Moon will host around 3,000 guests its first year in operation, but “everyone tells me I’m low on my projections,” he said. The relatively new industry of zipline canopy tours has experienced healthy growth in the United States, according to Stewart. In roughly the last 10 years since its U.S. inception, it’s grown to about 600 canopy tours in the country with $1 billion-plus revenue last year as an industry, Stewart said. If all goes well with Mica Moon, Stewart is entertaining expansion plans in another three years, he said. He’s already investigating additional property for an aerial adventure park, which is like an outdoor playground and obstacle course on steroids. It could include challenge courses with platforms, bridges and zips, as well as mountain biking trails. “My goal would be, in a very real sense, to turn Liberty Lake into the recreational magnet that it was in its heyday,” Stewart said. “It would be like Spokane’s playground. That’s my goal.”



The Splash

APRIL 2015 • 39



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The Splash

This apple didn’t fall far from the tree Like his CV legend father, Thacker finding success as prep basketball coach By Mike Vlahovich


The press breaker and deadly accurate free-throw shooting of the Liberty High School boys basketball team during the State 2B basketball tournament in March produced a flashback to days of yore. You’d have thought the ghost of Ray Thacker — the prickly Central Valley coaching legend from the early 1940s through 1971 highlighted by the Bears’ 1968 state championship — was hovering near the Lancers’ bench. Perhaps it was. After all, Thacker’s youngest son, Mike, is Liberty’s coach. He channels much of his late father’s philosophy and some of the family personality. “Definitely the press breaker is something I brought with me from my dad,” Mike Thacker said. “Some of my out-ofbounds offenses are what my dad ran and definitely all his ideas on shooting are a lot of his stuff. When you’re around a guy that long, a lot rubs off.” He also inherited dad’s legendary fiery temperament. Mike Thacker cut his own swath from more than 30 years of basketball experience as both player and successful coach at four different high schools. The baby in the family and 1977 CV grad played basketball as both Bear and at Eastern Washington University for

New CV baseball coach also following family roots

Mike Amend isn’t a Central Valley graduate, but his dad, Harry, is. And like Mike Thacker, he’s following in pop’s footsteps. Harry Amend, a 1963 alumnus, coached Bears baseball in the decade of the 1970s. Under his guidance, CV finished second and third in the 1974 and

three years. When injury sidelined his career, he began coaching at East Valley while student teaching. The odyssey had begun. Thacker moved to Tonasket from 1981-85. He spent 11 years in Moses Lake, 10 as coach, spent nearly a decade in Freeman and this year completed his fifth year at Liberty. Although he said he probably shouldn’t have taken on Moses Lake given its notoriety as a wrestling state power at the expense of basketball, he did take the Chiefs to their first state tournament in some 35 years. They’ve only made one trip since. “It took years off my life,” he said. At Freeman, the Thacker Scotties, which hadn’t been to state in a dozen years, qualified for the State 1A tournament eight straight, placing five times and finishing as high as fourth. His career record there was 234-91. Then, out of the blue, he was unceremoniously dropped in 2007. It resulted in a contentious and mystifying public airing despite overwhelming support by Freeman parents, a memory Spokesman-Review columnist John Blanchette described prior to this year’s State 2B tournament as a “clumsy and unpopular coup.” Freeman’s loss became Liberty’s gain. The Lancers hadn’t been to state since 2000. They reached the state finals this year. “One of my former players reminded me something I told him a long time ago,” Thacker said, half joking. “If we had taken third place or any place other than second, we probably would have been ’75 state tournaments. He went on to a career in administration in three school districts, including Freeman. That’s where Mike Amend attended school, graduating in 1995. Like Mike Thacker, Mike Amend is following in pop’s footsteps. He is beginning his first year as CV’s new baseball coach. Also like Thacker, his route back home has been circuitous. A 101-pound wrestler in high school, he qualified for state and wrestled for two years at Pacific Lutheran University. “The family’s been in baseball forever,” Amend said. “I participated throughout high school, and I tried out in college, but evidently they didn’t


Mike Thacker stands on the family acreage in Greenacres built by his father, Ray Thacker, years ago. Ray Thacker was also a legendary Central Valley High School basketball coach, a vocation Mike has also aspired to. He led the Liberty High School Lancers to second place in the state 2B basketball tournament held at the Spokane Arena in March. happy. But when you (lose) the championship game, at the time, it’s such a letdown. But it’s a great feeling, don’t get me wrong. Second place is great for the kids and great for the program.” What else would a Thacker do but coach? It’s the family business — along with tending the apple orchard on the family’s Greenacres property. Among those who have followed in the family coaching footsteps include a brother (who won a state basketball title at Walla Walla), sister, cousin and assorted other relatives by marriage. “I was at my dad’s heels since I could walk,” Mike Thacker said. “That was a lot of basketball. He was a wonderful baswant a guy who is 5-foot-nothing and weighed 100-pound-nothing on a baseball team so they told me they would love to have me as a student assistant. “I told them I was not done playing yet and I’d go wrestle.” But it didn’t diminish his zeal for baseball. His journey took him to Eastern Washington University to finish his education; a school in Kansas where he taught and coached three sports, including baseball; to southern California; to Christian ministries and position with Young Life in Spokane and a teaching position at CV from 2006-08. He went to Division II Washburn University in Kansas where he earned

ketball mind long after he retired. I still use one of (the) offense(s) he and I put together. “We were sitting at the kitchen table and arguing over the ins and outs of this offense that I use to this day.” Mike Thacker is a professed basketball junkie and plans to keep coaching as long as it’s enjoyable. Since Ray Thacker was forced into retirement kicking, it could be for a long time. He has a little kids program in place in Spangle and a good sophomore nucleus that contributed to Liberty’s 2B finals run. “We have a good thing going right now,” he said. his master’s degree and did doctoral class work while assisting in baseball. “I finished last fall and it opened up the possibility to move,” Amend said. That led to his return to CV, where he is dean of students half of the day and freshman physical science teacher the other half. Baseball coach Barry Poffenroth retired last year. Amend applied and takes over the job his dad was hired for some 45 years ago. “It’s kind of a new start and a fresh approach for sure,” Amend said. “I’m loving what I’m doing.” Like fathers, like sons. — Mike Vlahovich

The Splash

Great Family Show! $7 Tickets

APRIL 2015 • 41

The Splash

42 • APRIL 2015


New CV baseball staff to Three cheers — and three lean on key returnees tips — for baseball season By Mike Vlahovich


Central Valley’s baseball returnees were not only greeted by a new head coach instilling his philosophy, but basically by an entirely new staff. Mike Amend brings Kevin Stocker on board with the varsity and has added Rusty Shellhorn as pitching coach. Jeramie Maupin will handle the junior varsity, Luke Reynor the freshmen and Jared Lacefield will also help. Shellhorn, a 2008 CV grad, was one of six pitchers who made up perhaps the finest Greater Spokane League mound group from various teams in league history, with all going on to college and professional careers. He pitched at Washington State and Texas Tech and just completed a threeyear pro stint.

It will be a collaborative effort, Amend said. Stocker, a Liberty Lake resident who played in the Major League with Philadelphia and Tampa Bay, is a huge resource. Maupin’s father-in-law is former longtime Cheney High School coach Terry Regnier. “It’s kind of a fresh start and new approach for sure,” Amend said. “What I’ve told (the players) is to play hard, play clean and play fast. We want to apply pressure.” Among key returnees are All-GSL outfielder Colton Peha and pitcher/first baseman Austin Bergdahl, who Amend said can play at the “next level.” Also back are outfielder/pitcher Jackson Axtell, third baseman/pitcher Randy Edwards, shortstop/pitcher Rusty Ford, newcomer infielder Nick McInnes and outfielder Michael Swanson. “(Retired coach) Barry Poffenroth left a lot of good things in place,” Amend said. “We’re excited.” CV’s two non-league games were a 2-1

See NOTEBOOK, page 45

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corner, it is time to introduce my son (and ideally any of you who are ready to join the world of baseball lovers) to the three-prong prep for readying oneself for nine innings of joy.

1. Watch stuff By Chad Kimberley SPLASH COLUMN

“Baseball was, is and always will be to me the best game in the world.” — Babe Ruth I remember it well. In fact, I was about my son’s age when I first experienced it. I walked up the concourse, and my senses were overwhelmed immediately. I could smell the hot dogs wafting up from the lower bowl of the stadium. I witnessed the perfect cut of dirt in the infield and the ivy on the outfield wall, and my ears were ringing both with the pop of the ball meeting glove as well as the colorful language I was learning from the guy who was hoping I would “move it along and get out of his way.” I was at Wrigley Field. This childhood moment created in me a lifelong love for baseball. As my friends around me lose interest year by year and the younger generation refuses to understand why I can sit and enjoy a game for three hours plus, I continue to stay committed to my first sports love. And now that love grows a bit deeper for two reasons: my son is playing baseball for the first time this spring, and I am coaching! I am so excited and have already bought him a bat, new glove and have already gotten together with his buddy and his dad (the head coach of our team) for our first “spring training” workout. Of course, it helps that as I drive around Liberty Lake, I see baseball fields emerging from the dirt behind Liberty Lake Elementary, which gives me even more hope that we can practice and play our games in my own backyard. There is only one slight problem with this baseball-loving, perfect-spring scenario: the team name, “Cubs,” was already taken in our league. The other options included Cardinals (no, no way, and for the love of all things holy, NO!), Brewers, White Sox, Tigers and Royals. The coach and I trust in good karma and chose the defending American League Champs. With both the start of our little league and the big league season around the

I know it might be more practical to actually watch games before the start of a baseball season, but it is easier to instead pop in a DVD and experience all the great things about baseball without the commercial interruptions. The first selection is “Field of Dreams.” Now I may be biased as the movie is set in Iowa, but the story of a farmer plowing down his crop and building a baseball field that allows former (dead) players to come back for another game — and ultimately allows the farmer’s father to come back and have a game of catch with his son one more time — is a tear jerker and shows the power of relationships in baseball. Next up is “42.” This is the story of Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in MLB. There are a couple of scenes that rightfully should make you uncomfortable as you observe the racism that was prevalent during this era, but the story of Robinson’s courage and self-control are truly remarkable and paved the way for some of the great athletes playing professional baseball today. Finally, you have to watch “A League of Their Own,” which focuses on the first professional women’s league that began during World War II. This is not just a movie for the ladies in your life but for all fans of the diamond. The movie is funny, poignant and gives the greatest quote in the history of sports movies. Says the manager to his star player, who is on the verge of quitting because of the difficulty of balancing life and baseball: “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard … is what makes it great.” Amen.

2. Buy stuff I know what you (and my wife) are thinking. You already bought the glove, bat and balls — what more do you need? A few basics make the experience that much greater. You need to buy a pack of baseball cards, you need a bag of Big League Chew bubble gum and you have to purchase a whiffle ball bat and some balls. The baseball cards are the key, as there is nothing quite like ripping open a package and searching for a card from your

See BASEBALL, page 46

The Splash

APRIL 2015 • 43


Grisafi grapples to top

COUNCIL Continued from page 9

Luke Grisafi, a 70-pound middle school wrestler, won the Cyclops Tournament in Butte, Mont., in February. He wrestles for Team Real Life in Post Falls. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Spring Shootout champs


Members of the NBC Stars 5th grade team were named winners of the 2015 Spokane AAU Spring Shootout Classic in February. Pictured are (front row) Joey Neer, Tyler Mumm, Dylan Darling, Isaiah Griffin; (back row) coach Chris Colvin, Braden Schmidt, Colton Marsh, Parker Smith and Tayshawn Colvin.

Girls take tourney title


In March, the SSC Shadow U11 Girls team from Liberty Lake won the 5-A-Side U11 championship. The team included (back row) Carly Imes, Sarah Rogne, Zoe Crockett, Chloe Richardson, Madison Stayton, coach Tom Dimmler; (front row) Savannah Spraggins, Sydney Spraggins, Ally Beaman and Lily Parker. (Liberty Lake residents are highlighted in bold.)

proposed changes to the sign code. They include: • Allow freestanding electronic signs in limited areas along I-90 • Allow monument electronic signs in limited areas along Appleway and Country Vista • Allow electronic signs for community events in limited areas • Develop standards for electronic changeable messages • Clarify standards for location and placement of wall signs Moore said he became very familiar with the sign code as a former member of the planning commission. "Maybe there are some things that can improve the code, but I think some of the things we're looking at with electronic signs, I don't think that enhances," he said. "Some electronic signs can threaten aesthetics." Moore said he favored reviewing options, but "it's going to be difficult for me to approve electronic signs unless someone shows me it's an enhancement." Moore also said he thought electronic signs should be handled on an exception or variance basis. Kaminskas gave a nod to some of the negative comments received when the city put up a temporary, low-tech electronic messaging sign to receive informal responses from the community. "There's a lot of feedback," she said. "We need to consider all of them." She said she personally wouldn't support electronic signs along Appleway and Country Vista, but was "kind of on the fence" about I-90 ones. Dunne said he supported moving the process forward. "We're not approving a specific amendment," he said. "Rather, we're continuing a very public process to consider what we're going to do." Brickner said that while the electronic sign put out in front of City Hall "was obnoxious," others could be acceptable if they meet certain aesthetic requirements. "The one at Liberty Lake Elementary is nice," he said. "We're

not saying put obnoxious signs out like the one that was up at City Hall, so I think those responses were somewhat skewed. I agree the conversation needs to continue." Langford said he supported opening up the conversation and addressing needs to help small businesses. Making changes will be a big task, he said, "but I think we must address the ability of the city to become a ‘yes' city when it comes to business" — and the need to clarify the code's rules. The amendment cycle for the comprehensive plan commences April 1, Allen said. It sparks a public feedback period, and eventually the council has the final say whether or not to accept the amendment considerations and, if so, which parts. Allen also said the city's amendment process could address standards and specifications for electronic signs, such as size and placement, color selection and inclusion of light sensors to control brightness relating to night conditions, cloudiness or bright sunlight. The city is not considering allowance for video displays. Discussion on March 3 also included many references to how Liberty Lake's city sign requirements have helped the city keep a uniform and aesthetically pleasing look. However, Allen said the city also has heard much input about the code's complexity, business community needs and concerns for "wayfinding" or directional signage to help commuters find destinations such as the HUB Sports Center. Some I-90 business representatives also spoke, including Jordan Dummitt of R’n R RV and Kevin Riordan, George Gee general manager. Riordan said that while businesses along I-90 need good messaging to draw customers, he also had perspective as a Liberty Lake resident for three years. "There are places in Liberty Lake we didn't find for six months," he said. "I think opening up this discussion is very important for small business in our community." Phil Champlin, HUB Sports Center executive director, said sign discussions repeatedly come up with people who can't find the regional sports venue that's tucked behind dealerships just off the I-90 corridor. "The discussion needs to be

broader than just electronic signs," he said. "It needs to be about wayfinding and about community messaging." Charles Matthews, a planning commission member, told the council that the board's decision didn't come easily. After listening to businesses and makers of electronic signs, he felt that allowing some changes to the code would help grow commerce. Plus, Liberty Lake will likely double in size in a few years, so the city needs to think ahead, he added. Additional sales taxes will be necessary to pay for additional services. "We're at a crossroads," Matthews said. "If it's done properly, it will be nice. I realize our city is beautiful, but if we're careful with our sign code, we can help our businesses and make our residents happy." Steve Kempf, owner of Liberty Lake’s Mountain Dog Sign Co., said groups such as Rotary need signage to promote community events. Negative responses to electronic signage is often about aesthetics, he added. While that's partially due to lighting, design also is a factor, he said. Katherine Morgan, president and CEO of the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, cited a definite need to look at sign code changes and clarifications. The chamber presented a letter with ideas for collaboration that include the city considering: • Simplify and clarify the code, specifically regarding locations, size and placement of wall signs • Accommodate wayfinding signage to assist city visitors and business patrons • Allow off-site or shared signage for businesses or facilities that are located on secondary lots or not directly located on public rights-of-way • Allow for special signage and rules to help visitors find "public facilities of regional importance" to include parks, libraries, golf course, visitor centers and nonprofit facilities such as the HUB. Wayne Frost of Frost Consulting also urged further discussion and collaboration. During recent dialogue on the topic among chamber members, Frost said 90 percent of it "was on other than electronic signage. It was about clarification, size, placement, wayfinding, the HUB. It was many things.”

44 • APRIL 2015


The Splash

Trustworthiness makes an impact By Dr. Debbie Tully SPLASH GUEST COLUMN

You can trust me; I’m a teacher. One would hope that this statement is true. Historically teachers enjoyed a reputation for being highly respected adults in the community. The trustworthiness of a teacher was assumed in much the same way people believed that they could place their trust in local police officers and city firemen. Although in the United States this profession is not as revered as it once was, the expectation still exists. Teachers can be trusted. This is evident in the reality that parents all across the nation entrust teachers to protect and care for their most prized possessions, their sons and daughters, for seven hours per day, five days a week. Not only is this a matter of trust on the part of parents and guardians, it is backed by a legal obligation on the part of educators to act “in loco parentis,” which is Latin for “in the place of a parent.” In the broadest sense, this means that teachers assume the duties and obligations of the parents while caring for the youth in their classrooms, on the playgrounds, in the cafeteria, in athletic competitions, on fieldtrips and any and all teacher supervised settings. As stated in the 1999 book “Building Character in Schools” by Ryan and Bohlin: “We (teachers) have an enormous obligation to preserve the public trust placed in us by parents, students and community members. There is no question about it — educators bear a special responsibility.” However, commitment to an ethical code of conduct and the maintenance of public trust are not the main reasons teachers place such a high value on modeling trustworthiness. Teachers understand, and research supports, the notion that building trusting relationships with students positively impacts student performance. For example, one three-year research study involving 12 Chicago elementary schools found that “relational trust surpassed money, parental involvement and a whole host of other variables as the number one predictor of positive feelings about school and improved academic achievement.” Likewise, brain research tells us that students need to feel safe in order to take risks, learn new things and collabo-

rate effectively with peers. Ask any educator who has spent time in a classroom working as a substitute teacher — trust matters. When faced with an unknown authority figure, students test the limits to determine if this new person can be trusted to be just that, the authority figure. Students act out in an attempt to quickly surmise whether or not the replacement teacher can be trusted to keep them safe from bullies; to treat them in a respectful manner; and to uphold the classroom expectations consistently. I have seen this to be true in my own work with schools. As a professor whose job includes implementing universityschool partnerships, I often have the pleasure of collaborating with teachers for the mutual benefit of K-12 students and teaching candidates. Recently at a partner elementary school an extensive study of practices and perceptions was conducted. The results indicated that among the myriad issues impacting this school, trust was identified as number one by teachers and staff. This underscores the key role that trust plays in creating learning environments that support the learning of all community members: adults as well as youth. In my work with local schools I have also learned that developing trust takes time and consistency. You need to keep showing up and walking the talk. The good news is that I observe teachers rise to this challenge every day. From student teachers to veteran instructors, educators work diligently to model the behaviors that garner students’ trust. I feel proud to call myself a member of the teaching profession. Collectively teachers are maintaining the public trust, living out their “in loco parentis” duties and positively impacting student learning by modeling the essential PACE character trait of trustworthiness. Dr. Debbie Tully is the Associate Dean of Teacher Education and School Partnerships for Whitworth University’s School of Education. She is member of the Partners Advancing Character Education Executive Board and chair of the PACE Curriculum and Resources Committee. Her research efforts and professional passions include character education as an essential component of educating the whole child for civic engagement and global citizenship. She wrote this column as part of a series highlighting the PACE trait of the month. The trait for April is trustworthiness.

Letters to the Editor assistance in resume building to help find jobs. The supplies from range from groceries to household items that will go directly to the Wednesday night feeds that occur week in and week out. For more information about Blessings, call 949-606-3696 or email

Danny McAndrews

Public Relations Intern Blessings Under the Bridge


Supplies keep Blessings flowing On Feb. 11, Jessica and Mike Kovac, co-founders of the nonprofit Blessings Under the Bridge, received $10,000 from in supplies while appearing on the Rachael Ray Show. As part of Rachael Ray’s “9 Million Meals” campaign, Ray has vowed to help people that are in need by providing nine million meals during the course of her ninth season of being on the air by assisting nonprofits with the help of Feeding America and No Kid Hungry. Blessings is based in Spokane Valley and serves the homeless population of Spokane on Wednesday nights at 4th Avenue and McClellan Street, providing over seven different tables of supplies to the homeless ranging from a warm meal to haircuts. Blessings began with Jessica Kovac in 2007 with 40 brown bags and a case of water. And eight years later, Blessings has grown to a nonprofit recognized by the 2014 Agora Awards for winning for the best small nonprofit in the city of Spokane. In its tenure, Blessings has been providing hope for the less fortunate by giving meals, clothes, haircuts, blankets and even

Encourage the merge This letter is for all the Liberty Lakers that line up on Liberty Lake Road in the morning to get on the freeway, sometimes creating a backup all the way to Country Vista. A controversial topic, I know. The Minnesota Department of Transportation did a study on this and found that the “zipper merge” cuts down backups by 40 percent. Ask yourself — why is the merge lane there if it isn’t supposed to be used? I know you all believe you are doing the correct thing by creating a massive line, and it is a testament to our community’s positive friendly spirit. But it is actually the most inefficient way to load Liberty Lake’s early morning traffic onto the freeway. Until people start to come into the right lane with us, we will continue to zipper merge and kindly let the sometimes angry guy — yelling “no cuts,” flipping us off and revving his engine in the left lane — go first. We just want you to know we actually do the process a favor by following DOT prescribed methods. So come join us on the dark side — the right merge lane!

Luke Richey

Liberty Lake

The Splash

APRIL 2015 • 45

SPORTS Volume 17, Issue 4


Josh Johnson


Tammy Kimberley


Sarah Burk

Dean Byrns Mike Wiykovics


Melanie Boerner, Hope Brumbach, Craig Howard, Karen Johnson, Chad Kimberley, Staci Lehman, Treva Lind, Valerie Putnam, Sarah Robertson, Mike Vlahovich On the cover: Photo courtesy of Cory Rossnagel | Synergo

About The Liberty Lake Splash 23403 E. Mission Avenue, Suite 102 Liberty Lake, WA 99019 Phone: 242-7752; Fax: 927-2190 The Splash is published monthly by or before the first of each month. It is distributed free of charge to every business and home in the greater Liberty Lake area. Additional copies are located at dropoff locations in Liberty Lake and Otis Orchards.

Submitted materials Announcements, obituaries, letters to the editor and story ideas are encouraged. Submit them in writing to or bring them by The Splash office. Submissions should be received by the 15th of the month for best chance of publication in the following month’s Splash.

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Correction policy The Splash strives for accuracy in all content. Errors should be reported immediately to 2427752 or by email to editor@libertylakesplash. com. Confirmed factual errors will be corrected on this page in the issue following their discovery.

Advertising information Display ad copy and camera-ready ads are due by 5 p.m. on the 15th of the month for the following month’s issue. Call 242-7752 for more information.

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Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved. All contents of The Splash may not be reproduced without written permission of the publisher.

NOTEBOOK Continued from page 42

loss to Lake City and 10-10 draw with Coeur d’Alene. The Bears opened the 18game Greater Spokane League season with a 5-1 win at Mead.

It’s all in the pitching Central Valley softball proved last fall it had the hitting. With a team made up largely of the same players who won the district slow pitch championship this fall, it remains to be seen if the offense can carry the Bears this spring. Pitching star Carli Riordan has graduated. Makenna Wasteney and Hannah Anderson are in charge. All-League shortstop Shayla Vegas anchors the infield and provides a big bat, and the team is bolstered by state-placing volleyball standouts Jade and Meghan Rockwood.

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

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

Double dose of Hauensteins When CV’s boys soccer team opened the season with a pair of non-league matches, Eastmont and West Valley received a double whammy. Varsity veteran J.D. Hauenstein, a junior, scored twice during the Bears 3-1 victory over Eastmont in Wenatchee. A few days later, younger brother Davin, moving up from junior varsity, torched West Valley for four goals in an 8-0 romp. “They were both completely different teams,” coach Andres Monrroy wrote via text message. “We played a really weak WV team. I played many JV players during that game.” Monrroy figures CV will contend for a GSL title. “I like our chances of winning it!” he texted.

Barlows Family Restaurant • City of Liberty Lake • Clark’s Tire and Automotive Healthy Living Liberty Lake • K9 Country Club • Liberty Lake Family Dentistry Liberty Lake Orthodontics • Liberty Lube • Spokane County Library District Spokane Spine & Disc • Thrivent Financial

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

Track a numbers game Boys and girls track and field teams are not shy in borrowing from the other sports, which was the reason for last year’s success, and why the girls team is hoping to repeat. A case in point: Freshman basketball standout Lacie Hull turned out, and during the Howard Dolphin Invitational at West Valley long jumped 16 feet, 2.5 inches to finish third in her high school debut. CV’s girls 4x400 relay team had recorded the fourth best state mark of 4 minutes, 19.7 seconds at season’s beginning. League meets begin April 1.

Correction The story, "Liberty Lake Organic Market launches," in the March issue of The Splash referred to the new store by a name it had used as it was being founded. Its official name is Liberty Naturals.

2015 CVHS Grad Night 19 Amaculate Housekeeping 21 Banner Furnace & Fuel 7 Barlows Restaurant 14 Casey Family Dental 21 Central Valley Theatre 7 City of Liberty Lake - Summer Camp 27 Clark’s Tire & Automotive 3 Coeur d’Alene Deck 9 Coldwell Banker - DuBos & Brickett 13 Cornerstone Pentecostal Church 42 Country Homes Power 11 CruiseOne 17 Cullings Family Dentistry 3 Edward Jones Liberty Lake 31 Evergreen Fountains 29 Exercise Institute 31 Family Medicine Liberty Lake 35 Friends of the Liberty Lake Library 21 Garden Plaza of Post Falls 35 Greenstone Homes & Neighborhoods 2 Healthy Living Liberty Lake 35 Inland Empire Utility Coordinating Council 6

Inland NW Baby Intelligent Balance Spinal Care Jim Custer Enterprises John L Scott - Pam Fredrick K9 Country Club Karen Does My Hair Kathrine Olson DDS KiDDS Dental Lakeshore Insurance Lakeside Church Lakeside Vision PLLC Liberty Cross Ministries Liberty Lake Church Liberty Lake Community Theatre Liberty Lake Community Yard Sales Liberty Lake EyeCare Center Liberty Lake Family Dentistry Liberty Lake Family Dermatology Liberty Lake Municipal Library Liberty Lake Orthodontics Liberty Lake Sewer & Water District Liberty Lube Liberty Naturals

41 7 21 14 3 6 10 25 30 16 7 30 13 41 39 5 5 39 22 27 42 14 5

Live Real Estate - Sandra Bartel Northern Quest Resort & Casino OMC Lawn Care Ott Knott Used Golf Carts Ott Knott Used Golf Carts R’nR RV RiversEdge Orthopedics S&L Handyman Sayre and Sayre Shrine Circus Spokane Simonds Dental Group Sleep Better Northwest St Joseph’s Fair Trade Event The Floor Works Thrivent Financial Valley Christian School Valley Hospital Valley Real Life Weishaar, Sue D.D.S. Windermere Marathon

31 48 8 38 46 6 17 39 21 27 48 31 18 46 19 39 15 30 19 41

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

The Splash

46 • APRIL 2015

SERVICE DIRECTORY ARTISTIC PORTRAITS Turn your photos into works of art


Judy Rasmussen

Liberty Lake Portrait Artist 509-991-0684




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OVERWHELMED? Mary Sloan Independent agent specializing in Medicare • Supplements, Advantage Plans, Prescription Drug Plans • Worked with Medicare plans exclusively for 7 years • Liberty Lake resident for 8 years

Phone: 509-842-4116

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BASEBALL Continued from page 42

favorite team. When I was a kid, I spent hundreds of my parents’ dollars on pack after pack of baseball cards in the pursuit of completing that 792-card set. Unfortunately, the price of collecting has risen to a point which makes it less realistic, so I am content buying packs until the Cubbie blue shows up. The gum and whiffle products are key for practicing your pose for your baseball trading card picture you will get in Little League — or for a very awkward selfie you can take of yourself. You must work hard to get that perfect bubble formed as you are taking a mighty swing of the bat (and using a cheap plastic model allows you not to throw out your shoulder practicing). Once you have the perfect picture

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down, you gotta play some Home Run Derby in the backyard.

3. Do stuff The third step of preparing for the season is an active step that has three aspects of its own. First, you need to order tickets to a Spokane Indians game to take the kids or the buddies down to the ole ballpark and enjoy watching the future major league players. Second, you have to go to the batting cages. There is something disgusting and beautiful about putting on a sweaty batting hel-

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met and attempting to hit an 80 mph pitch … before transitioning to the 45 mph cage so that you can actually make solid contact. Lastly and most importantly you have to eat a baseball dinner. Tell the family and the significant other that for dinner you are going to eat hot dogs, nachos and a box of Cracker Jack for dessert. Make sure you sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” about 7/9 of the way through your meal.


Chad Kimberley is a local teacher and coach. He lives with his family in Liberty Lake.


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Advertise in the Service Directory! As little as $10 gets a business into 8,000 copies of The Splash that is delivered into every Liberty Lake home and business. Call to learn more: 242-7752

The Splash

A Liberty Lake upbringing


APRIL 2015 • 47

WSU grad-to-be says community’s values, adventurous spirit helped prepare him for Army path By Sarah Robertson


For Tarik Jensen, growing up in Liberty Lake has shaped his past and continues to influence his future. A 2010 Central Valley graduate, Jensen is about to graduate from Washington State University in accounting. While Jensen is excited to graduate, he is also looking forward to becoming a commissioned officer in the United States Army. “Growing up in Liberty Lake really shaped my sense of adventure and helped me decide to pursue a career in the Army,” he said. Jensen grew up in Liberty Lake before it was a city. He even remembers when there was no elementary school — but just barely. “I remember when it was a dirt road to the Country Vista neighborhood. There was no Safeway or Albertsons or City Hall. It was just farm fields. … There was a lot of space for me to play outdoors and ride my bike. I spent a lot of time playing where the elementary school is now.” Jensen fondly recalls swimming and wakeboarding on the lake, hiking at the county park, riding his dirt bike and fourwheeler and riding his bicycle with friends. For Cheri Jensen, his mom, the decision to settle in Liberty Lake — the same community where she grew up — was deliberate. “My husband and I decided to settle in Liberty Lake because we felt like our kids could play outside and be safe,” she said. “… I felt like we could let him ride his bike and go swimming. Time to play freely is so important. Not every moment of your day needs to be scheduled. … Kids need the ability to think and make decisions and have that freedom.” Cheri credits her husband, and Tarik Jensen’s dad, Gary, for creating in him a love of the outdoors. She remembers countless camping trips, bon fires and days spent at the lake. Her favorite memories are time spent on the beach catching crawdads and sitting around the camp fire. Today, Jensen’s adventurous spirit is focused on a military path. He originally decided to pursue ROTC because he wanted to go into the military and college. Jensen


ultimately enlisted in the Army reserves, went through basic training, and then started school at WSU and joined Army ROTC. His favorite part of ROTC is the camaraderie and the ability to stay active. He will very much miss the friends he’s made through the program. ROTC also afforded Jensen some pretty adventurous experiences as well. In 2013, he attended airborne school at Fort Benning in Georgia. The three-week course focused on parachute training. In 2014, Jensen was part of a leadership development assessment course at Fort Knox in Kentucky. He describes it as a culminating project for ROTC. “It’s a lot of problem solving and taking on different leadership roles,” Jensen said. Participants are assessed on how they perform in given situations and graded on their leadership abilities. “It’s a bit of a vetting process for what you will be allowed to do in the Army later,” he explained. “A higher score gives you a greater chance of pursuing the branch of the Army you would like to be in.” For Jensen, he will be off soon after graduation to pursue explosive ordnance disposal. It is a very difficult program to get into, but Jensen believes in its importance. “It’s a very important skill considering the conflicts we are in … and it allows me to keep my friends safe,” he said. Jensen credits his parents with helping him pursue his dream of joining the Army,


Tarik Jensen (at right in the photo above) believes growing up in Liberty Lake imbued in him an adventurous spirit and an active lifestyle. Now about to graduate from Washington State University and its ROTC program, Jensen looks forward to becoming a commissioned U.S. Army officer. He credits values he learned while swimming, hiking and bicycling in Liberty Lake with influencing his current path.

serving his country and ultimately being accepted into the explosive ordnance disposal program. “My parents pushed me to be active and really helped give me the drive to do what I do now,” he said. “Both are really supportive and very proud of me.” Cheri reiterates what Jensen already knows. “It was tough at first,” she said. “He strongly believed that he wanted to join the military, but I trust his decision now. He’s serving a purpose that he believes in. We are both very proud of him.” Cheri also believes that her son’s love for his community drives him to give back. She realizes too that he understands the importance of belonging to a community, making the best of it and being proud of it. Jensen acknowledges that sense of community that his mother knows is so strong in him, something he experienced growing up in Liberty Lake. “Because it was a small town atmosphere, we had similar values,” he said. “Family was important to everyone, and we all kind of watched out for each other. That was really important.” After his commissioning, Jensen will head off for the first of his two-part training in Fort Lee, Virginia. After 19 weeks there, he will move onto Eglind Air Force Base in Florida to complete the remaining 56 weeks of training. From there, he will graduate and receive his assignment. He doesn’t yet know what that will be.

While Jensen is very excited to move on and experience a “change of pace,” he is also looking forward to moving to the east coast and experiencing something new. He’s always looking forward to the next adventure. His advice for the kids of Liberty Lake? “Get outside! You gain a lot … from getting outside and experiencing life and meeting people.”

Calling all local graduates The Splash is featuring Liberty Lake high school graduates in the June issue. This invitation extends to all graduating seniors who live in the community, regardless of where they attend high school. In order to participate, simply submit a photo with the following information to Graduate’s name, high school, parents’ names and plans after graduation Information must be received by Friday, May 8. Contact 242-7752 or with any questions.

The Splash

48 • APRIL 2015

It's Your Time To Shine... New Patients Enjoy

FREE ZOOM! In-Office Teeth Whitening


A $450 Value With Purchase of a New Patient Exam, Necessary X-rays & Recommended Cleaning. Offer expires 4/30/15.

Dr. Ross Simonds • Dr. Amanda Roper

April 2015 Splash  

Ready. Set. Zip! Beginning in May, tour plans to showcase the beauty and history of Mica Peak — by zip line.