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2 • SEPTEMBER 2016


The Splash

The Park Bench

Blueprint for success – Tainio oversees city’s design, development efforts By Craig Howard Splash Editor It is probably safe to say that no one knows the city of Liberty Lake better than Amanda Tainio. The native of Tacoma has the distinction of being one of the city’s inaugural 10 employees hired in December 2001, only four months after Liberty Lake observed its official date of incorporation. She began as a planning technician and, over the years, has worked her way up to Planning and Building Services manager, now overseeing Liberty Lake’s vision for how a community should look and feel. From building permits to specific area plans to signage regulations, Tainio is acknowledged as the city’s design and development guru. When clarification is needed on the latest construction project in Liberty Lake or shedding light on a detail in the comprehensive plan, Tainio typically gets the call. At City Council meetings, she is the standby for most questions related to everything from the layout of parks to the allowed height of new buildings. Tainio has developed a reputation among local contractors and developers for being well-informed, fair and efficient. Her experience with the city serves her well on both historical and practical levels as she recalls projects in the sort of detail that an attorney might draw upon past cases. After seeing so many designs go through City Hall and materialize, Tainio seems prepared for anything.

Amanda Tainio works as the Planning and Building Services manager for the city of Liberty Lake. She was hired in December 2001 as one of 10 original employees of the new city. Photo by Craig Howard Raised in Lakewood, Washington, a suburb of Tacoma, Tainio is the youngest of three children. Her father was a hearing aid consultant who fell sick when Amanda was in the fifth grade. By her senior year at Lakes High School, he had passed away. Tainio’s career path was influenced by her dad’s untimely death. After high school, she enrolled at Washington State University on scholarship. She began in the School of Architecture and Engineering but switched to Landscape Architecture during her sophomore year with options to emphasize planning, real estate, marketing and construction management. The financial challenges brought on by her father’s condition and eventual passing drew her to a goal of designing neighborhoods for low-income families that, in her words, “offered a safe and close-knit traditional neighborhood experience with connectivity and amenities within walking distance.” “I could appreciate what a home means to a family,” Tainio said. After earning her bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from WSU, Tainio worked as

an assistant project manager/ builder representative for two local developers. In late 2001, she interviewed with the newly formed city of Liberty Lake which had just celebrated its official incorporation in August. She was among a group of 10 initial hires and has been with the city ever since. Mentored by former Community Development Director Doug Smith in the early years, Tainio worked her way up to Planning and Building Services manager in 2008. She now serves as the only city planner, overseeing design review, park planning, project permit coordination and more. Tainio and her husband, Marc, are parents of a 3-year-old son, Liam. When not forging the construction grid for Liberty Lake, Tainio enjoys camping, boating and other outdoor activities with her family. Her other interests include movies and music. A drummer in high school, Tainio still dabbles in percussions. She has also carried on her late father’s tradition of decorating for the Christmas season. The Tainio holiday light display is said to rival any illumination in the region. Q: What did you know about the Inland Northwest and the city of Liberty Lake when you

applied to work here in 2001? A: One of my WSU professors talked about Liberty Lake's master planning, but I had only been to the Albertson’s on my way back from Idaho. The chance to help plan for a new city intrigued me. Q: What are some of your recollections of your first year with the city? A: For our department, we had to be able to take in permit applications just a couple days after I started so we were very quickly putting together application forms and brochures. For the city as a whole, we were all a team. Everyone had the same goal and we worked together. The funniest story was when I went out to do our first signage inventory in February 2002 prior to implementing our new city signage standards. I didn't have a city vehicle to use yet, no ID cards and no shirts. All I had was (Community Development Director) Doug Smith’s business card with me in the field. One of the banks had been robbed recently and the manager thought I was casing it. I had to prove I was a city employee. That was fun. Q: How challenging was it

See Tainio, Page 5

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SEPTEMBER 2016 • 3

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4 • SEPTEMBER 2016


City regroups after Town Square vote falls short By Craig Howard Splash Editor The mood was somber at The Fieldhouse on Aug. 2 following the regularly scheduled Liberty Lake City Council meeting. The governing board had gathered at Town Square Park earlier in the evening instead of the normal setting of City Hall and most had ventured over to the nearby restaurant afterward. With the primary election featuring a vote on a $12 million proposal to build a new gathering place for citizens, it made sense to hold the meeting outside on a summer night with the acreage for the proposed site just beyond a makeshift dais. Mayor Steve Peterson even came decked out in his “Meet me at Town Square” T-shirt. As election results rolled in, Peterson, City Administrator Katy Allen, council representatives and Town Square supporters scrolled through their cell phones searching for the latest numbers on Proposition 1, a vote to build a community center/library/aquatic facility. Requiring a 60-percent supermajority, the initiative was stuck in the mid-50s and most in the room understood that it would take a small miracle for things to change. When the majority of the ballots were finally tallied, the measure had earned 56.19 percent of the electorate, 103 votes short of the mandatory mark. “We anticipated a close election as the campaign went on,” Peterson said. “I was extremely disappointed that we did not achieve 60 percent but in the scope of the election we lost by only 103 votes. We did garner almost 57 percent in a record turnout for the election.” While only 34 percent of registered voters in Spokane County returned primary election ballots, participation reached 46 percent in Liberty Lake. There were also nearly 70 “under” votes, Liberty Lake ballots not marked

The Splash

they could not afford it. Some older residents did not feel they would benefit. I, too, live on a fixed income and don't have young children but I still vote for school bonds and levies because I see the greater good. The vibrant community will not only allow for us to further unify Liberty Lake but add to our already solid reputation and home values.” Zilka and other Town Square advocates scoured available election data prior to Aug. 2 and found “the returned ballots were disproportionately from senior citizens.”

Mayor Steve Peterson (second from left) ponders the Town Square election results on the evening of Aug. 2 at The Fieldhouse in Liberty Lake. The proposal to build a community center/library/aquatic facility garnered over 56 percent of the vote but still fell short of the required 60-percent supermajority. Longtime resident Leslie Zilka is pictured at the left. Charmaine Peterson, the mayor’s wife, is to the right. Photo by Craig Howard either way on Town Square. “They turned in ballots but missed the Town Square measure on the back,” Peterson said. “Maybe some people thought that it would pass no matter what and some voted ‘no’ because they had a question in their mind that was not being resolved. One guy said he voted against the project because the pool was not covered. Now he has no pool to cover at a later date.” As the city reviewed the election demographics, Peterson said “the younger voter (under 40) was under-represented yet the benefits truly are in their best interest.” Peterson added that a few more ballots could have made the difference. “Everyone got a ballot in the mail yet we had almost 2,800 not turned in,” Peterson said. “We sure wish 200 more could have gone that extra mile to the library ballot box.” Longtime resident Leslie Zilka was part of the hopeful electionnight gathering at The Fieldhouse. Last May, she joined a citizenbased task force that provided feedback to the city on the type of facility that would best suit the community. “I joined the task force with the hope that our spirit of community would bring us still another gathering/recreating space,” Zilka

said. “Since moving here in 1993, I saw the creation of Pavillion Park and the Transportation Benefit District (a self-taxing district that funded trail construction). I served on the park board for four years and served on the Liberty Lake Transportation District from beginning to end. Both the trails and the parks have served the community well. When the opportunity came to build a community center I jumped at the chance.” Zilka recalled 2008 when a similar bond vote took place. The city went to voters for a $9.8 million project that would have meant a community center/library in the same space on Meadowwood Lane as Town Square. That April, only 38 percent voted in support of the idea. “I felt the time was right unlike the 2008 timing,” Zilka said. “We had also built up a very large core of volunteers that I felt could make it happen. Personally, I, like so many, attended the public meetings, wore the famous green shirt, manned the information booth and spent hours doorbelling.” As she went door to door, encouraging fellow residents to cast ballots for Town Square, Zilka said she encountered a variety of feedback. “Many were in favor of the Town Square Project,” she said. “Of course there were some who said

“We discovered that the same trend continued to the final results,” she said. “I can only conclude that if more young families had voted we would have reached our 60 percent.” Unlike 2008, the city had invested in a “progressive design build” approach to the project, bringing on Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture and Walker Construction to work through a design proposal that voters could consider before the election. Beginning in February up until ballots were mailed out, over two dozen discussions were held, including committee workshops, open houses, stakeholder meetings and council workshops. Over a two-year time frame, the city has budgeted $185,000 for the project and, to this point, spent $147,000. Allen credited the mayor, City Council, the task force, the campaign committee, Graham Construction, Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture and the OAC project manager for their efforts “to pull together the best project with a funding and operations plan that efficiently utilized public resources.” “In short, trying to build a project that supported a broad range of residents needs while getting the most out of every public dollar,” Allen continued. “Our city staff also contributed in many ways including the design and ideas for operating the facility. “ A successful vote would have translated to an increase of 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed property valuation over 30 years to pay for the facility, or around $135 a year on a $270,000 home. As he reflected on the narrow


The Splash



Continued from page 2 to implement planning and building standards in an area that had previously existed as an unincorporated part of Spokane County? A: Our first task was signage. It was the wild west but no one wanted to look like Sprague Avenue, so the businesses worked with us to get all the temporary signage cleaned up and we worked to educate them on the new standards. We used a lot of existing plans and codes as a starting point to craft our own that fit the new city’s mission and vision. It took a lot of teamwork. Q: What was the learning curve like for you in those first few years? A: As a new planner, I had to learn a lot very quickly but I had a great mentor in Doug Smith, our Community Development director. I remember on my first day he showed me the Spokane County Zoning Code, a few hundred pages in an old three-ring holder and he said I needed to learn it by the end of the day. He was joking of course. I didn't even know what a BSP was (binding site plan) or any of the many other planning acronyms but I knew within a few months. Q: People talk a lot about "the look" of Liberty Lake. When you think about pedestrian-friendly amenities to conservative signage to design guidelines for approaches to landscape and building, the city has seemed to distinguish itself from other surrounding jurisdictions. How has your department helped create those expectations when it comes to city aesthetics? A: We worked with the Planning Commission and the City Council to craft balanced standards that could maintain or improve aesthetics, property values and community connectivity while focusing on implementing the state planning goals and our city mission and vision. Spokane County did not have a lot of design standards so we looked to other small cities to create ours. With our update to the city comprehensive plan last year, we established the city as an "urban village" for our design theme. Q: Greenstone had been a

major developer in Liberty Lake prior to incorporation. How much did the influence of Jim Frank and Greenstone help shape the look of the city as we know it today? A: You could not ask for a better start for a new city than to begin as a master planned community. Our job was to work with the development community to maintain or improve upon what they started and plan for Liberty Lake's future. Q: Compared to other cities in this region, what do you think is unique about Liberty Lake? A: Our greenspace, trails and overall clean city. Also our volunteer groups like the Fallen Heroes Circuit Course Committee. They are a great group that worked really hard with us to create a fantastic community asset. The dedicated outdoor exercise equipment stations provide a way to honor our fallen service members while providing a new exercise option for families to do together. Q: We hear about revenue from building permits this year vastly exceeding budget projections. How does the current atmosphere of construction compare to previous years you've seen in the city? A: It is record setting. The past couple years have exceeded anything we saw pre-recession. The challenge has been keeping up with the current project volume with less planning staff. For the first time, we are bringing on a third building inspector to temporarily help out with residential inspections, but the planning and building applications keep coming in. Q: What do you enjoy most about your role with the city? A: I enjoy the diversity of my job. In one day, I can be coordinating a project permit, reviewing a subdivision application, meeting with a potential new business, verifying zoning, writing new proposed language for city code and working on park planning. No day is the same. Q: What do you think Liberty Lake will look like 20 years from now? A: We are making some critical

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decisions right now that will affect our future so I'll have to get back to you on that one. I can tell you our pedestrian connectivity and park spaces will continue to grow and residents of the River District will have their own community park, Orchard Park, within walking distance of their homes. We also have a lot of I-90 frontage left which is becoming a rarity in this area so we will attract more businesses looking for that exposure. Q: The River District development continues to define the burgeoning north side of Liberty Lake. Where is


the River District at in terms of its anticipated growth and how do you address concerns that there is a growing division between the north and south sides of the city? A: The River District is growing very fast but it still has a long way to go until buildout. It is about one-third built out for residential right now and still has a lot of commercial and mixed-use opportunities. I think Orchard Park will provide an overdue amenity for the residents that will give them a gathering place equal to or exceeding Pavillion Park.

6 • SEPTEMBER 2016

Police Report


The following incidents were among those reported by the Liberty Lake Police Department from July 16 through Aug. 22. The report is listed in chronological order. Wallet theft – On July 16 at 7:30 a.m., LLPD responded to the 21000 block of East Mission Avenue for a theft. Complainant reported losing his wallet at the location. The complainant reported he placed the wallet in his back pocket at the counter after paying and a short time later realizing it was missing. He also reported there was a male and female standing behind him at the counter. Shortly after finding his wallet missing, the complainant called his finance agencies and notified them of the loss but was told his cards had already been used at several different locations in Idaho. After review of video surveillance, the detective learned one suspect had picked up the wallet right outside the doors of the location and the subjects then left the location with the wallet. After further investigation, both subjects involved were questioned and charges were forwarded to the Prosecutor’s Office. Police vehicle struck – On July 18 at 10:15 a.m., LLPD responded to a traffic accident at Mission and Madson. A police vehicle was struck by a vehicle pulling out into traffic at the location. No injuries were reported at the scene. Alarm to the rescue – On July 20 at 8:56 p.m., LLPD responded to a vehicle prowl at the 1400 block of North Liberty Lake Road. Complainant reported he was inside the location and heard the car alarm going off. Upon exiting his residence, the complainant observed his vehicle door open. Nothing was reportedly missing as he believed the alarm scared who ever had entered the vehicle away. Vehicle prowl – On July 21 at 10:20 a.m., LLPD received a report of a vehicle prowl at the 24000 block of East Desmet. Complainant reported someone had entered her unlocked vehicle during the night and stolen items totaling $150. Vehicle prowl – On July 21 at 9:07 a.m., LLPD responded to a vehicle prowl at the 1100 block of North Malvern. Complainant reported someone broke out a window of his vehicle causing $190 in damage and stole a bag containing $5 in change. Attempted break-in – On July 21 at 12:31 p.m., LLPD responded

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at the 200 block of North Legacy Ridge. Complainant reported someone had entered her unlocked vehicle and stolen her purse from inside. Complainant also reported her credit cards had been used fraudulently. Total loss is estimated at nearly $520.

to the 1200 block of North Ormond. Complainant reported that someone had tried to gain access to their garage during the night causing $550 in damage. Documents recovered – On July 21 at 10 a.m., LLPD received lost property from East Country Vista Drive and North Molter. Personal documents were brought into the department that were found somewhere in Liberty Lake and were placed in property for safekeeping. Broken window – On July 21 at 6:10 p.m., LLPD responded to the 23000 block of East Settler for criminal mischief. Complainant reported that sometime during the night her vehicle window was broken out. Nothing appeared to be missing from inside, but damage was estimated at $250. Suspect arrested – A man was arrested on July 22 at 7:48 p.m. at the 200 block of Henry Road. The suspect was stopped on his bike after riding in the middle of the roadway and found to have a felony warrant for his arrest. After a search of his belongings, the man was found to be in possession of burglary tools and a controlled substance. He was booked into the Spokane County Jail on all offenses. Weapon report – On Aug. 1 at 3:20 p.m., LLPD responded to North Aladdin Road and East Maxwell Avenue for a person with a weapon. Complainant reported a juvenile walking down the road with what appeared to be a pistol pointing it at houses. An officer arrived in the area and could not locate anyone fitting the description given. Upon speaking to multiple residents in the area, it was reported that others had seen him prior to this incident on different days doing the same thing, but had not called police. Good neighbor – On Aug. 1 at 1:39 p.m., LLPD responded to the 21000 block of East Meriwether Lane for a suspicious circumstance. Complainant reported a door was open of a residence in which the

owners were on vacation. Officers arrived and the home was cleared and secured. Attempted break-in – On Aug. 2 at 4:27 p.m., LLPD responded to the 20000 block of East Glenbrook for criminal mischief. Complainant reported that upon returning home they observed the door wouldn’t close properly. It appeared someone had tried to pry the door open and caused an estimated $400 in damage. Wallet recovered – On Aug. 2 at 12:01 p.m., LLPD received lost property at the police department. Complainant found a black leather wallet and brought it in to the precinct for safekeeping. Suspicious person – On Aug. 2 at 4:28 p.m., LLPD responded to the 300 block of South Legend Tree Drive for a suspicious person. Complainant reported that a male subject was at the location with a weed eater. Subject was advised it was private property and reported he would not walk onto the property again. Car lot theft – On Aug. 4 at 10:35 a.m., LLPD responded to the 21000 block of East George Gee Lane for a theft. Complainant reported that sometime during the night, a vehicle parked outside of the bay waiting to be serviced had its tires and wheels stolen. The estimated loss was $2,200. Noise complaint – On Aug. 5 at 11:11 p.m., LLPD responded to the 1400 block of North Ormond Road for a party. Complainant reported loud noise coming from the location. Upon contact, officers cleared most of the partygoers out of the backyard. Impounded car – On Aug. 5 at 7:47 p.m., LLPD responded to the 1600 block of North Cirque Lane for a vehicle theft. Complainant reported someone had stolen her vehicle. After investigation, it was learned the vehicle had been impounded by a private company. Credit card theft – On Aug. 8 at 5 a.m., LLPD responded to a theft

Sprinkler damage – On Aug. 9 at 4:10 p.m., LLPD responded to East Mission and North Molter for property damage. An officer observed someone had driven into the new planter area causing possible damage to the sprinkler system. Garage break-in – On Aug. 10 at 10:54 a.m., LLPD responded to the 19000 block of East Indiana Avenue for a burglary. Complainant reported that while going through his belongings, he observed $3,000 in items had been stolen from his garage sometime in the past couple months. Recovered keys – On Aug. 10 at 12:10 p.m., LLPD responded to the 24000 block of East Mission for found property. Complainant reported finding two keys that said “do not duplicate” near Rocky Hill Park. Welfare check – On Aug. 11 at 10:26 a.m., LLPD responded to the 24000 block of East Hawkstone Loop for a welfare check. Upon contact, officers made contact with a male at the location who was identified as a missing person. Theft and fraud – On Aug. 14 at 7 a.m., LLPD responded to a vehicle prowl at the 21000 block of East Country Vista. Complainant reported someone had entered his vehicle during the night and stolen his wallet. A short time later, fraudulent charges were found on his credit/debit accounts totaling $175. Identity theft – On Aug. 16 at 10:05 a.m., LLPD received a report of identity theft at the 2100 block of Oakland Lane. Complainant reported someone had used her social security number and personal information in an attempt to obtain four different credit accounts. Reckless driving – On Aug. 17 at 7:39 p.m., LLPD responded to a report of reckless driving at North Corrigan Road and East Mission Avenue. Complainant reported a male had followed her in a threatening manner and she believed it was due to her driving slowly. Complainant reported to officers the subject had left the area prior to their arrival.

The Splash

SEPTEMBER 2016 • 7

The Lookout MEMO from the


By Mayor Steve Peterson How did the Spokane Symphony find its way to Pavillion Park? It relates to the city incorporation 15 years ago! Our active group of citizens that put the incorporation vote forward were guided by Lud Kramer. Lud was a resident of Liberty Lake for many years. He served as Washington’s secretary of state and as Friends of Pavillion Park Board president. He loved this community, this country and its music. The formation of the city was a bold step and the first new city incorporation in Eastern

Washington in 50 years! Our goal was to do it ourselves, not incur debt in the process and define how the new city could best provide services especially law enforcement for our growing community. Lud was very active in setting up our transition teams to do just that by the end of August 2001. The City Council and I worked hard to ensure all 288 items on our new city checklist would be completed by Aug. 31. In late June of that year, Lud posed the question of how could we celebrate this achievement? Of course – have the Spokane Symphony out on Labor Day weekend for the concert in the park. BOLD, never been done; not sure it would happen but

then again, you just couldn’t say “no” to Lud. It was to be a festive occasion celebrating our new city and should include the fanfare of our country’s music. Marches of John Philip Sousa were to permeate the air! Loud and BOLD! That’s the ticket, that was Lud and so it was. This Labor Day weekend, we will celebrate our 15th year listening to the Spokane Symphony and Lud’s favorite marches that continue to inspire us and renew our energy to do more! You too will feel that this BOLD initiative of cityhood has proven successful beyond Lud’s dream. Thanks for the memories! Enjoy the concert at Pavillion Park Sept. 3 in Liberty Lake, “Spokane County’s premier address.”

Talk on the Street - City transportation news

We are continuing work with Ch2M Hill on the traffic study for our main city roads. Once complete, the study will be a valuable tool for helping us plan the future of our streets here in Liberty Lake. We continue to receive many comments regarding the volume of cars on our roads. Planning for the future will help us keep traffic moving for the residents, businesses and commuters.

Garden Notes Checking in on the Arboretum By Joice Cary

City Horticulturist Good news – Nature’s Place at Meadowwod, the city’s official arboretum, has earned an improved report card over last year! Comparing this year’s soil test results against 2015 shows a marked improvement. Healthy soil is the fundamental foundation for a healthy plant. The improved results can be attributed, in part, to the application of pelletized compost throughout the arboretum. Compost adds organic matter to the soil improving its structure by increasing pore space for water and air. Tree rings in the Arboretum have been enlarged as well to reduce competition from grass and to increase the buffer zone between tree trunks and mowers. Root flare excavations are currently being done to certain selected trees. This valuable procedure ensures that the tree is planted at a correct height. Light structural pruning will also begin later in the fall and we have continued with the nutritional plan which started last year.

By Andrew Staples City Engineer The city recently completed the roundabout at Mission and Molter. It was opened on schedule to take traffic from the newly opened Comcast facility. This fall, we will have some smaller transportation projects scheduled, most of which are focused on pedestrian safety. These will include lighting and a few more flashing pedestrian crossing beacons.

September 2016

In the spring of 2017, we will start the reconstruction of Liberty Lake Road from Appleway to Country Vista. This project will give us more capacity at the busy intersection of Appleway and Liberty Lake Road. The condition of the pavement does require the road to be rebuilt, making this one of the more intensive construction projects our city has undertaken. Our funding for this project comes from developer mitigation fees and a grant from the Transportation Improvement Board which is funded by Washington State fuel tax.

Summer vacation is quickly coming to a close and school is about to begin. Please make sure that you slow down for the children crossing our streets and obey the instructions of the crossing guards. Some of the children are walking to school for the first time and have not formed good safety habits yet. Please be patient and give yourself some extra commute time so you can drive slowly through our school zones. Don’t let your questions go unanswered. Please call City Hall at 755-6700 and ask for Andrew Staples. Be safe out there!

Maybe you noticed that two of the Western Red Cedars have dead branches in the middle of the tree. The die-back in these two trees is due to a combination of weather events starting with a cold, dry winter in 2014. I will be working to re-establish a branching system in these trees. It will be an experiment in horticulture, a learning opportunity. I am always amazed at the tenacity of plants and am very interested in the results. The city trees are the largest plants that we care for in Liberty Lake and have the longest life span. The attention given to these plants now will pay dividends in the future. •

8 • SEPTEMBER 2016

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Continued from page 4 defeat, Peterson postulated that “there were some questions out there in voters’ minds that were not answered” including the type of programming that would be at the community center, terms of the bond, reasoning behind the library move, traffic around the proposed site, the definition of “aquatic center” as opposed to a traditional swimming pool and outside vs. local use of the facility. “Personally, I should have done better reach out to the homeowners’ groups and just started to campaign earlier,” Peterson said. Going into Aug. 2, Allen said she “thought the election would be close but wasn’t sure which way the votes would end up until election night.” “The city had a very factually based informational outreach effort, but complex issues and rates based on projections continued to be misunderstood,” Allen added. Meanwhile, the city of Airway Heights passed its own bond vote for a similar facility on Aug. 2 with a much lower voter turnout than Liberty Lake. A project estimated at $13 million featuring an indoor pool, basketball courts, a gym and multipurpose room earned 61.12 percent of the vote. A total of 823 ballots were cast on the proposition (503 voted for the bond) in the city of just under 7,000 residents. The venue is part of a larger 70-acre recreation complex being proposed by Airway Heights. In Liberty Lake, now approaching 9,800 residents, a total of 2,712 ballots (1,524 for, 1,188 against) were cast on Town Square. Allen said a reflection on the vote and accompanying campaign will proceed any decision on the future of Town Square. “I always want to take time after an election and think through the results and strive to understand what the message is from the voters,” she said. “While the majority of our residents supported the project, 44 percent did not. Based on feedback and comments, ideas that come to mind would be to embark on a voter registration campaign and target young adults to get out and vote.”

The Splash

New Stonehill development adds variety to city’s housing stock By Craig Howard Splash Editor Back in 2006, Todd Prescott was trumpeting the potential of a project called “Liberty Village” on the eastern fringe of Liberty Lake. Slated for 100 acres in the area just beyond the Huntwood manufacturing facility, the property would be developed with a “mixeduse” theme, blending residential and commercial components while prioritizing greenspace and pedestrian friendly themes. From street-level stores and offices to senior housing, single-family homes and condominiums, the proposed venture would bring a new layer of development to Liberty Lake. Prescott, president of Whitewater Creek Inc. in Hayden, Idaho, was at the forefront of the design, patterned after Orenco Station in Hillsboro, Oregon, a community known as the gold standard for mixed-use neighborhoods. "Liberty Lake is a very interesting market right now, and I think this type of product would compliment the city very well,” Prescott said in August of 2006. The preliminary plat for Liberty Village was approved by the city of Liberty Lake in January 2007. Things looked encouraging for Prescott and the project until the housing bubble burst and private residential investment slowed to a snail’s pace. The impact of subprime mortgages and their ripple effect on the economy was clear to see. The Great Recession had arrived. Still, Prescott did not give up hope. Within a few years, Whitewater Creek had made a splash in Liberty Lake’s affordable housing market, constructing Talon Hills Senior Complex and First Liberty Apartments on the acreage first set aside in 2006. By 2013, another project – Broadwing – was ready, featuring 50 apartment units defined by “workforce level rents with income restrictions," according to Prescott. The latest Whitewater endeavor involves something known as “Villages at Stonehill,” an


The Splash


SEPTEMBER 2016 • 9


diversity of housing types into the city.”

Continued from page 8

From the city’s standpoint, Peterson said Stonehill offers “an assortment of housing types to fit a growing community,” adding that Prescott is “truly focused on the buyer and a changing demand in lifestyles.”

undertaking that recalls the ambition and variety that defined Liberty Village. The development, just to the west of Broadwing, Talon Hills and First Liberty, includes single-family homes, condominiums, townhomes and 55-and-over housing as well as plans for a commercial presence.

“If you’re single, millennial, starting a family or a senior down sizing, there is a home for you,” the mayor added. “Plus, the plan calls for a core of commercial development appealing to the walkable, alternative transit crowd. It’s great to have a good mix at an affordable price.”

“The planning that we did was for a mixed-use community, for-sale product and a retail, downtown core,” said Prescott. Sales have been brisk in the first few months of Stonehill’s debut on the market, Prescott told Mayor Steve Peterson, City Administrator Katy Allen and representatives of the City Council during a tour of the neighborhood on July 12. Allen made it a point to let council members know that the project had been years in the making. “This is developing under what we call an ‘SAP’ or specific area plan,” said Allen. “(Todd) had everything platted, his design regulations, everything was formulated back in 2007.” While the idea of Liberty Village may have taken a decade to truly take off, Prescott said the multiuse theme had finally proven to be a good fit for Liberty Lake. “We have been validated that this is a product people are looking for, that it is in the correct area and it was done correctly,” he said. “Now after 10 years, we realize we have to get our noses to the grindstone and get the product ready because the demand is here.” Stonehill, which at different stages of development had also been known as “Hawkstone” and later “Lakemore,” will include a trio

Prescott said the blueprint of Stonehill will mean predictability for the neighborhood moving into the future.

The Stonehill development on East Appleway Avenue includes single-family homes, condominiums, townhomes and 55-and-over housing. Photo by Craig Howard of homeowners’ associations and feature various layers of ongoing maintenance. Prescott noted that the 55-plus area will include HOA dues of $199 a month with all landscaping and snow removal covered. The homes range from 1,333 square feet to 1,877 square feet and start at $249,950. Not counting the model rendition, a total of five condominiums are currently in place at Stonehill. The units run from $154,950 to $194,950 and vary in space from 984 square feet to 1,173 square feet. The single-family homes range from 1,408 square feet to 1,982 square feet and begin at $263,950. Townhomes here cover just under 1,500 square feet and range from $209,950 to $239,950. Two-car garages, gourmet kitchens and porches are included with both

townhomes and single-family homes while all properties are within walking distance of a greenspace known as “Emerald Park” and what the Stonehill promotional material refers to as “town center retail shops.” As for the retail aspect of Stonehill, Prescott told city officials occupants are in the works. “The question has come up, ‘Do we have any tenants lined up?’” Prescott said. “We sort of do. We wanted to sit back and see if this was going to work financially. Now that we’re validated, we’re in gear.” The plan is to have upper-scale residential lofts above retail shops. The multi-use approach is currently being emphasized by the city with the moratorium on multi-family housing with the exception of residential projects that include a commercial element. “It’s a pretty Prescott said.



The developer said having Stonehill located in Liberty Lake proper is one of its distinct advantages. “You have everything within walking distance,” he said. “You have golf courses, you have trails. You have everything right here. It’s a nice place to live.”

Representatives of the Liberty Lake City Council and municipal staff took a tour of the Stonehill neighborhood in the eastern section of the city earlier this summer. Todd Prescott (second from left), president of Whitewater Creek Inc., the company developing the property, provided a background of the project to a group of visitors that included Council Member Odin Langford (far left), Charmaine Peterson (third from left) and Mayor Steve Peterson. Photo by Craig Howard

Amanda Tainio, Liberty Lake’s Planning and Building Services manager, said Stonehill is recognized as “the first mixed-use project the city has ever had.” “We’ve worked with Todd for a decade now,” Tainio said. “He’s stayed true to his original (Liberty Village) plan. He’s bringing a

“Each one of these lots has a specific footprint for a specific building,” he said. “It’s not like we have a plat and the lots are 100 by 300 and someone can come in and design a home. With our master plan, we know exactly what’s going to go onto the lot next to this home, what’s going to go next to that home. We know exactly what’s going to be built.” Things certainly look rosier for Stonehill and Prescott than they did just a couple of years ago. It was then that developer was vying to install a geothermal HVAC system that would have powered hundreds of homes in his new development. The idea did not go over as well with the city and the Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District which both expressed concern with the network of 700 ground source heat pumps and its potential impact on the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer. In late 2014, Prescott withdrew his application for the system. In a letter to LLSWD in October 2014 announcing his decision, Prescott wrote, "We are currently reviewing other sustainable options that would provide parallel benefits to the vertical closed loop ground source heat pump system. We will keep you informed as we move forward." These days, Prescott says he has moved beyond the scenario with the city and district, choosing instead to focus on how Stonehill will enhance Liberty Lake. “This community has a personality and you need many different types of housing,” he said. “I think that’s one of the big pulls. The city approved this to be the gateway of Liberty Lake on the east side and that’s happened.”

The Splash

10 • SEPTEMBER 2016

Council reviews Town Square vote, discusses moratorium By Craig Howard

Splash Editor As it has for most of this year, the topic of Town Square took center stage at the Liberty Lake City Council meeting on Aug. 16. This time, the discussion didn’t center around design elements of an aquatic facility, parking lot capacity or the interior design of a proposed library. Instead, those around the dais pondered election precincts, voter demographics and what could have been in the Aug. 2 primary election. Proposition 1 – which would have funded a $12 million community center/library/aquatic facility at the site of Town Square Park – fell short of the required 60-percent supermajority last month, collecting just over 56 percent of the vote. Council Member Dan Dunne, who served on a citizens’ group called “Friends of Town Square” outside his elected role,” provided a Power Point breakdown of the vote, starting with the timeline of returned ballots. By July 25, only 721 voters had turned in their ballots. A total of 632 ballots were delivered on election day. Overall, 46 percent of registered voters in the city voted in the primary compared to 34 percent across Spokane County. Dunne’s presentation illustrated how senior voters turned out in strong numbers while younger voters did not. A total of 521 voters in the 55 to 64 age bracket cast ballots while 780 voters, 65 and over, weighed in on the decision. “I think it’s interesting that senior citizens, who represent only about 10 percent of the community, represented 30 percent of the vote in this election,” said Council Member Bob Moore. “I don’t think there was an effort to concentrate on seniors leading up to the vote.” Only 150 voters in the 25 to 34 demographic participated in the election while 408 voters, 35 to 44, turned in ballots. “This was sort of an eye opener for me,” Dunne said. “I learned that it’s one thing to speak in support of a project but it’s fundamentally more important to participate.”

The Liberty Lake City Council met twice last month with the first gathering of the month held at Town Square Park on Aug. 2. The governing board’s annual retreat took place at City Hall on Aug. 16. Above, from left to right: Council Members Odin Langford and Jessica McGuire, Mayor Steve Peterson, Mayor Pro Tem Shane Brickner and Council Members Bob Moore and Cris Kaminskas. Photo by Craig Howard Out of eight voting precincts in Liberty Lake, half backed the initiative at the supermajority level. Precinct 4307 resoundingly supported the project at 70.15 percent rate although only 28.5 percent of voters in that area cast ballots. Meanwhile, precinct 4304 tallied the lowest affirmative percentage (45.57) with 46.5 percent of voters turning out. Several citizens chimed in on the election results, including Charles Matthews of the Planning Commission who pointed out that the homeowners’ association (HOA) he belongs to had announced a 50 percent increase in dues prior to the vote. Matthews said the timing likely swayed many to vote against the bond. “There is some confusion that the HOA is connected to the city, so this was a double whammy with taxes,” Matthews said. Mayor Steve Peterson said the distinction between the city and HOA’s is “something we really need to address.” Each HOA acts as an independent governing entity and has no connection to the city. Resident Mike Kennedy said citizens had plenty of time to cast ballots and educate themselves about the issue. “These people had three weeks to vote and months prior to that to learn about this,” he said. No decision was made on Aug. 16 regarding the future of Town Square or the possibility of placing the proposition back on the ballot. City Administrator Katy Allen

recommended that council address the future of Town Square in an upcoming workshop. “It sounds like we need to pause for a moment and process,” she said. Moratorium update Gregg Dohrn, a consultant brought on last year by the city to streamline the comprehensive plan, addressed the current moratorium on multi-family housing at the Aug. 16 meeting, billed as the council’s annual retreat. The freeze, passed on June 21, is in place for six months or until late December, with certain types of projects exempted from the temporary suspension – multifamily housing that is part of a mixed-use development, multifamily housing within a cityapproved specific area plan and multi-family housing projects that already have a vested application with the city. Dohrn, who is now working on an update of Liberty Lake’s development regulations, described the moratorium as “a timeout to give council an opportunity to have policy discussions.” Dohrn pointed to the example of Burien, a city on the west side of the state, that had passed a similar moratorium. After considering the impact of multi-family housing on the city, officials realized the issue was primarily about such projects’ adherence to established design standards. “It was not so much about density,” Dohrn said. “You have to

ask yourself, ‘Is it consistent with your vision?’ If not, where are the inconsistencies?” Peterson said the city is attempting to promote mixeduse development featuring both residential and commercial elements. “If you have a commercial component, it creates sales tax,” he said. Council Member Hugh Severs said it would be important for Liberty Lake to establish a clear mission and vision as it moves forward from the moratorium. “If we don’t figure out our mission and vision, there’s no way we can take these stats and figure out where we want to go,” he said. Moore countered by saying the development expectations were put in place not long after Liberty Lake became a city. “This plan was developed 15 years ago when the city was incorporated,” he said. Peterson recommended that council hearken back to the foundational priorities of Liberty Lake regarding development, specifically an ideal to balance residential, commercial and greenspace in equal thirds across municipal boundaries. “That’s why you have all the golf courses, the trails, the parks and everything else – we invested in it,” he said. “What we’re asking now is to help us define what mixed use is, help us find that balance between services and expenses.”

The Splash

SEPTEMBER 2016 • 11

O’Quinn, Biviano learn lessons from primary election By Craig Howard

Splash Editor Shelly O’Quinn and Andrew Biviano both graduated from high school in 1993 – O’Quinn from Central Valley, Biviano from St. George’s. Each has done social services work – Biviano as a mental health case worker and O’Quinn in homeless outreach and through a micro-enterprise program in Honduras. Yet some would say that’s where the similarities end for the two candidates running for Spokane County commissioner in District 2. O’Quinn is the Republican incumbent, having served as one of three commissioners since defeating Daryl Romeyn in the 2012 general election. Biviano is the Democratic challenger, who worked as an assistant U.S. attorney before going into private practice. In the Aug. 2 primary election, O’Quinn captured 59.83 percent of the vote with Biviano earning 39.90 percent. The ballots were open to District 2 voters only last month while all voters in Spokane County will weigh in on the race in the Nov. 8 general election. District 2 encompasses an area that includes the cities of Liberty Lake, Spokane Valley, Millwood and southeast Spokane County. In total, nine jurisdictions are represented – more than any other district – along with sections of unincorporated Spokane County. “The election went about as expected,” said Biviano. “I’m staying pretty neutral about it.” Both candidates knocked on thousands of doors before the primary, an effort they say will continue. Despite being in office for nearly four years, O’Quinn says she is “not taking anything for granted.” “I want people to know that I’m taking this campaign very seriously,” she said. While on the campaign trail, Biviano said he has encountered residents disgruntled with the commissioners’ current approach. He has talked about bringing more transparency to the system and placing more value on citizen input. “I didn’t realize how much frustration was out there,” he said. “The commissioners are not including citizens in the decisionmaking process.”

Shelly O’Quinn

Andrew Biviano

O’Quinn says she is also hearing the grumbling, but about the broader political scene. “Most of the feedback I’m getting this year is that people are unhappy with politics in general, especially on the national level – on both sides,” she said. “When it comes to local issues, I remind them that I’m the local contact for concerns that impact their day-to-day lives.” With his background in criminal justice, social services and other areas relevant to county government, Biviano said he would bring practical, hands-on experience to the role. “It’s not just theoretical,” he said. “People like the idea of having someone from the fields that the county oversees.” While the challenger has chosen not to overtly criticize his opponent – “I’m running for a job instead of running against someone,” he says – Biviano has been critical of what he sees as the county’s “high turnover of employees and low pay.” He also has issues with the trio of current commissioners’ perspective on land use. “We just have different values,” he said. “I want to make the county more inclusive. I’m not going to ignore developers, but I do want the public to have more input.” O’Quinn points the progress the county has made in three areas of emphasis – jobs/economy, public safety and roads/transportation – in the time she has been a commissioner. “In all those areas, I think we have made improvements but we still have a ways to go,” she said. As the co-chair of the Spokane Regional Law and Justice Council the past two years, O’Quinn said she has helped to advocate for significant reforms including a $2 million grant through the McArthur Foundation to fund pre-trial services personnel.

In the other commissioner’s race, Democrat Candace Mumm (38.63 percent) and Republican Josh Kerns (32.52 percent) advanced to the general election. Nancy McLaughlin, who was appointed as a commissioner last February to replace Todd Mielke after he was hired as executive director of Greater Spokane Inc., received 28.64 percent and will not move on. While two of the 4th District delegates to Olympia – Sen. Mike

Padden and Rep. Bob McCaslin Jr. – did not face challengers on Aug. 2, Rep. Matt Shea, the Republican incumbent, was opposed by Democrat Scott V. Stucker on the ballot. Shea, the position 1 representative, collected 60.19 percent of the vote while Stucker garnered 39.45 percent. In the governor’s race, Republican challenger Bill Bryant fared well in Spokane County, earning 44.09 percent of the vote against Democratic incumbent Jay Inslee (39.68 percent). A number of familiar faces on the local political scene ran for precinct committee officer (PCO) positions on Aug. 2. PCOs are responsible for connecting their respective political party to voters in a local election district. Liberty Lake Council Members Cris Kaminskas (PCO 4300) and Jessica McGuire (PCO 4305) won their PCO races. Spokane Valley Mayor Rod Higgins (PCO 4427) and former Council Member Ben Wick (PCO 4416) also emerged victorious. Spokane Valley Council Member Ed Pace lost his bid to represent PCO 4408 by a single vote to Bryce Robbert (109108). Overall, only 34 percent of the county’s registered voters cast ballots in the primary election.


Back to School!

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12 • SEPTEMBER 2016


Liberty Lake’s Triple Crown of Golf By Tyler Wilson Splash Correspondent When Golf Digest described the Inland Northwest as “a hidden gem” a few years ago, the triumvirate of venues in Liberty Lake surely played a part in the discovery. Led by head pros Bob Scott (MeadowWood) Kit DeAndre (Liberty Lake) and Chris Johnston (Trailhead), the community’s three unique venues each offer distinct challenges and rewards for all levels of golfers. So, hop in your golf cart, grab a sand wedge and take a quick tour of the fairways, greens, hazards and driving ranges and comprise the most popular game in Liberty Lake. MeadowWood Golf Course MeadowWood Golf Course is a links-style, 18-hole, par-72 championship public golf course designed by Robert Muir Graves. Opened in 1988, the course is fairly open with strategically placed trees, bunkers, and water features. Multiple tee sets allow for golfers of many skill levels. Bob Scott lauds course superintendent Mike Kingsley with maintaining a high quality course throughout the season. "It's a beautiful golf course that is user friendly,” Scott said. “It's not super hard and people can shoot good scores.” Amenities include an aquatic practice driving range, practice sand bunker, practice green, a full-service pro shop, restaurant, equipment and cart rentals. MeadowWood is located at 24501 E. Valleyway Ave. in Liberty Lake. Call 255-9539 for more information and to book a tee time. MeadowWood is a Spokane County-managed course. For rates and more information, visit and follow the “Parks and Recreation” and “Golf” tab. Liberty Lake Golf Course Liberty Lake Golf Course is an 18-hole championship course redesigned in 2010 by Rick Phelps. The "old school" par 70 includes one par five on the front and one par five on the back, leaving some longer par fours throughout the course for added challenge. "It has a few more rolling hills and they added water in some strategic locations," DeAndre said. "It's a difficult golf course, but that's what makes it so attractive." Amenities include a grass practice driving range with

targets and yard indicators, a large practice sand bunker and chipping area, practice green, remodeled clubhouse with fullservice pro shop and restaurant, equipment and cart rentals, and more. Liberty Lake Golf Course is located at 24403 E. Sprague Ave. Call 255-6233 for more information and reservations. The venue is a Spokane Countymanaged course. For rates and more information, visit www. and follow the “Parks and Recreation” and “Golf” tab. Trailhead at Liberty Lake Golf Course At Trailhead, players have plenty of time to focus on both the short and long game. The course's driving range is open 362 days a year, closed only on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Trailhead is a nine-hole, par33 executive course, a style intended for busy players who want a challenge but may not have the time commitment for 18 holes. The course has four par threes, four full-length par fours and a par five, each with four sets of tees for different skillsets. "People are very surprised when they play. It's not as easy as they think," Johnston said. "But, we can have juniors and beginners play this course and do just fine, then we have people who are pretty skilled who can have a hard time." Johnston credits the city of Liberty Lake for spearheading improvements and advancements to the course since he started in 2011. "Our golf course is in amazing shape," he said. "It's neat to work at a course where people come in and tell you how great it is." Trailhead is generally open for business in the winter months when there isn’t snow on the ground. "In February, if it hits 50 degrees on one of those days, if the sun is out, we are packed," Johnston said. Amenities include three practice chipping/putting greens, driving range with covered, enclosed and heated stalls and much more. Trailhead is located at 1102 N. Liberty Lake Road. For more information and tee times, call 928-3484. Go to and click on Trailhead Golf under the "Our Community" tab for rates and more course information.

Andrew Biviano

The Splash

Keepers of the Green – Liberty Lake’s trio of golf pros known for savvy, fair ways By Tyler Wilson

Splash Correspondent Liberty Lake is golf territory. With three well-kept and challenging courses -- the 18hole Spokane County courses, MeadowWood and Liberty Lake Golf Course and nine-hole executive city course Trailhead at Liberty Lake – Spokane County’s easternmost community is almost overstuffed with golf. Almost. “It's a small Phoenix,” said Trailhead pro Chris Johnston. “You've got carts all over the place, three courses in such a small town and they're all so different.” Along with three terrific golf courses, Liberty Lake boasts three experienced golf pros to go with them. Johnston at Trailhead. Kit DeAndre at Liberty Lake Golf Course. And Bob Scott at MeadowWood. With all three venues within walking distance of each other, you’d think there may be a testy rivalry between the trio of pros, a competition for greens fees, lessons and the latest tournament. A closer look, however, reveals a healthy respect between three friends who have played a major role in turning Liberty Lake into a dynamic golf destination.

The Pro – Bob Scott Bob Scott first picked up the sticks at age 13, playing often at the nine-hole course in Pullman and eventually working at the course. "I just absolutely loved golf," Scott said of his chosen profession. As Scott has learned, being a pro isn't just playing golf. You live every aspect of the game. "You don't become a club pro to play golf," Scott said. "When you're young, you play quite a bit, but it's more of a business. You're making sure everyone has fun and the course is running properly. I think you’ve got to be a people person." Scott's golf career began in 1985, first working in the pro shop, then as an assistant pro at Indian Canyon Golf Course. In 1991, he was hired as head pro at Liberty Lake Golf Course. When MeadowWood pro Kaye Walker retired in 1996, Scott took over that course. A normal day is filled with student instruction, managing the course and maintaining smooth, timely

See GOLF PROS, Page 13

Liberty Lake’s trio of golf courses features three of the area’s top golf pros. From left to right: Kit DeAndre (Liberty Lake), Chris Johnston (Trailhead) and Bob Scott (MeadowWood). Photo by Craig Howard

The Splash



Continued from page 12 rounds. Normal days feel especially good now. A year ago, Scott was forced off the course by a brain tumor. He spent 35 days in the hospital for chemotherapy and 13 sessions of full-grade radiation. Last October, Scott’s staff at MeadowWood organized a golf tournament to support his treatment. It was a day that motivated Scott to push forward. Nearly 400 people signed up for the event. "It was the most humbling experience I've had," Scott said. "It was kind of like I was Jimmy Stewart in 'It's a Wonderful Life.’” A recent MRI was clean, and Scott is now back full time at MeadowWood. “I appreciate everything more,” Scott said. “I savor every day.” The Job Scott teaches a wide spectrum of students, but he's particularly encouraged by MeadowWood's thriving junior program. He believes the golf culture in Liberty Lake has helped to spark interest in young players. "Kids and parents have found it is a very affordable sport, plus they are in a very safe environment," Scott said. Any student, regardless of age or skillset, can benefit from instruction, Scott said. "(A good student) is someone who wants to play the game and enjoys it, and almost every student does. If you can get the ball airborne, you can play." Players encounter all types of technical challenges, but Scott most often sees people struggling to make a complete swing. "They don't move through the ball,” Scott said. “The number one thing I get someone to do is finish the swing. Everyone is thinking about hitting the ball and not swinging through." Simple fixes can also influence a player's attitude about the game, he said. "Once they hit a couple of good shots, they're sold,” Scott said. “They want to keep going.”

and golf cart fleet, organizing leagues and overseeing the overall maintenance and operation of the course.

Course in Post Falls. He became the head pro at Trailhead in September 2011.

"Customer service is a high priority for us,” he said. “We try to make the golf experience the best for anyone that comes to play."

In addition to the usual course responsibilities, Johnston teaches up to seven lessons per day during peak season. Clientele varies, though Johnston stays particularly busy in the summer with junior camps.

Pace of play is especially important for players and DeAndre strives to keep players moving at a fun-but-reasonable pace. The Pro – Kit DeAndre As a kid, Kit DeAndre played golf early and often around Spokane. At Central Valley High School, he was part of the Bears’ golf team. "I never really thought about pursuing it as a career until later in life," DeAndre said. "I enjoy the interaction with people and I enjoy the challenge of running a small business." DeAndre worked under pro Kaye Walker when he managed both MeadowWood and Liberty Lake courses. When Spokane County split the operations, Walker managed MeadowWood, and DeAndre stayed on as assistant to Bob Scott at Liberty Lake from 1991 to 1997. When Walker retired, Scott moved to MeadowWood and DeAndre earned the head post at Liberty Lake. DeAndre said the longtime working relationships between the pros has helped the Liberty Lake courses run smoothly over the years. He has especially enjoyed the stability of working in the same area for such an extended stretch. "It's added stability to my family life and it's allowed my two girls to stay in the same area," DeAndre said. "It is a great place. Not that I don't enjoy traveling, but you come back to Spokane and you really appreciate what you have here." The Job A major misconception about the daily life of a golf pro is how much one actually gets to play golf. "If you love to play golf, don't get in the golf business," DeAndre said. "We get so focused on what we have to do here, we don't get to play that often." DeAndre has a hand in everything at the course, including the scheduling and execution of day-to-day play, overseeing the clubhouse, range, restaurant

SEPTEMBER 2016 • 13

“We know how valuable time is, and if you're counting on a fourhour and 15-minute round and you don't get it, we have failed you," he said. A single group of slow players can domino into an entire day of delays. But DeAndre said it can be managed and that skill level has little to do with maintaining a good pace. "I've seen really, really good golfers who are painstaking slow," he said. "Your ability level doesn't have a relationship on how fast you play."

The Job

"If we don’t have young kids playing golf, the sport dies," Johnston said. "It's about getting the kids involved." He likes working with kids, because it often means he’s starting with a clean slate. In meeting new clients, the most nerve-racking comment he gets is when someone says they have “years of experience.” "It's hard to fix something like that,” Johnston said. “Something has been wrong for 30 years and now I've got to fix it in 30 minutes.” The question he most often gets is, "How do I fix my slice?" "Mostly it's the basic fundamentals of the golf swing, sometimes they're missing one of those,” he says. “If their grip is wrong it can throw everything off, but a lot of people slice for many different reasons." As far as teaching style, Johnston likes to keep things as simple as possible so players can practice the instruction on their own.

The Pro – Chris Johnston

"I get a lot of students who have gone somewhere else where they had a lot of knowledge, but they weren't able to convey it to the student," he said.

Even though his dad was a golf pro, Chris Johnston didn't play golf until age 13.

Johnston, like many pros, believes the key to a good golf game is putting.

"I played everything else," Johnston said. "When your dad is a golf pro, you either love it or it's the last thing you want to do. And that was the last thing I wanted to do."

"There's so much going into it and so much people don't think about when they putt," Johnston said.

Johnston's first golf job was picking the range at Sundance Golf Course in Nine Mile Falls, where his dad was the pro. He worked his way up, earned his pro status, left to work at Spokane’s Birdies Golf Center, then returned as head pro at Sundance for a couple years after his father retired. He worked under Gary Lindeblad at Indian Canyon for five years, then served as pro at the Highlands Golf

It's about balance, Johnston says. Players should put as much effort into their short game as they do in improving their long game. "You may use your driver 12 to 14 times max, but you're using your putter 30, sometimes 50 times (in a round)," Johnston said. "Most people have their driver in their hand at the range, then I've got two people on the putting green,” he said. “Hitting balls a long way is fun, I get that, but if you're trying to be a better player, the priority is a little different.”

The Splash

14 • SEPTEMBER 2016

City study looks at transportation By Derek Brown

Splash Correspondent In an effort to better understand citywide traffic patterns and, ultimately, ways to improve the flow of that traffic, the city of Liberty Lake has commissioned Spokanebased engineering firm Ch2M Hill to conduct a transportation study that is expected to be completed by November. “Essentially they collect data and then they have to do a lot of land use analysis which identifies population and job growth,” City Administrator Katy Allen said. “Then they have to calibrate the amount of trip generations and the times of days of those trips and compare that to where we are. It’s very comprehensive.” The study itself will cost $50,000, while the traffic counts and the application would bring the total up another $10,000. The study is being paid for by the street budget. Some of the funding is also coming from Harvard Road Mitigation dollars, which are helping with the

The city of Liberty Lake brought on Spokane-based engineering firm Ch2M Hill in July to conduct a transportation study that will include the latest traffic counts and other information. The city plans to use the data to improve traffic flow and safety with projects similar to the recently constructed traffic roundabout at Mission and Molter, pictured above. Photo by Craig Howard grants. “Our goal is to make sure we are planning for our future and transportation needs so that we have adequate traffic access throughout the city and onto I-90,” City Engineer Andrew Staples said. The plan, according to Staples, is to look into current and future traffic counts, as well as current

and future land use maps to get a better understanding of which parts of the city needs work. “Everyone can see our traffic is becoming denser and our queue lengths are getting longer,” Staples said. “We want to make sure that we keep traffic flowing for the people that live here seven days a week and those that work and visit

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in our city every day.” For example, the study may show that a particular intersection has a level of traffic that may need require a traffic signal. Or a twoway stop may, in the future, and depending on findings in the report, need a signal installed as traffic in the area increases. "Some of the businesses are expanding and some are interested in the spaces available – employers as well as retailers," Allen said. "But at this point we’re not doing [the transportation study] because of that, we’re doing this so we know what our internal system is like." As the city has grown over the years, congestion has become a problem, especially at key areas in the city. One area in particular, the intersection of Appleway Avenue and Harvard Road, where motorists merge onto Liberty Lake Road, has shown to be difficult to maneuver during high traffic times. “Today getting into or out of Liberty Lake has everyone coming or going through that one intersection,” Allen said. “It also handles Otis Orchards, Newman Lake and a lot of different communities. Do we have the capacity to handle this?” Ch2M Hill was brought in early July to tackle the study. The extra cost for updated traffic counts was justified by the city since the last counts were taken years ago. “They completed traffic counts and they are processing those right now,” Staples said. “They are reviewing land use analysis, and still looking through them and building a model.” As the city grows, it becomes necessary to find the funding to complete road projects, which Allen said are extremely expensive. “You use your traffic analysis to put together grant applications or funding requests from state or federal agencies so you can get funding for them,” Allen said. “And if you don't have a traffic study, you can’t do that. It makes it more difficult.” When the study is completed this fall, the city will make public all the findings and begin to take the next step in securing the funding to complete the projects recommended by the study. “We, as a responsible public agency, need to know the capacity and operational efficiency of our roads,” Allen said. “This is why city of Liberty Lake is undertaking this. It’s not uncommon for cities to do traffic studies on their arterials to make sure they're operating optimally. I consider it due diligence as we grow as a community.”

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SEPTEMBER 2016 • 15

BECU forges community connections as part of regional debut

By Craig Howard Splash Editor The nation’s fourth largest credit

union started with less than $10 in assets during the economic squall of the Great Depression. In 1935, 18 employees of the Boeing Company in Seattle each contributed 50 cents to a fund that could be utilized to purchase tools. The workers had read about the credit union concept in Reader’s Digest and figured it could come in handy since laborers were asked to buy their own implements. The banking system was still tenuous and securing a loan for tools or anything else was an uphill battle. The inaugural treasurer of what

would become Boeing Employees Credit Union (BECU) stored that first $9 in a tin box. The initial loan for $2.50 bought a set of tools that allowed an employee to continue working. “While much has changed in the past 80 plus years this philosophy of people helping people lives on,” said Tom Berquist, senior vice president of marketing for BECU. These days, BECU has over $15 billion in assets and more than 950,000 members, 90 percent of whom live in Washington state. In addition to Boeing employees, all

Candidate Forum Save the Date

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Washington residents and students attending in-state colleges and universities are eligible to join. This month, BECU will literally branch out in Eastern Washington. While the credit union has operated a customer service center in Spokane Valley since February 2004 that employs over 100 people and offered ATMs at Rite Aid locations across Spokane Valley, there has not been a BECU branch in the Inland Northwest

See BECU, Page 17

The Splash

16 • SEPTEMBER 2016

LLPOA annual meeting features insight on a variety of topics

From Splash News Sources A slew of community-relevant questions and answers characterized the annual Liberty Lake Property Owners Association (LLPOA) meeting at Zephyr Lodge on Aug. 18. Topics included aquifer/lake/river water quality, fire safety, boating, county park, city services, traffic, water reclamation and more. Also discussed was the future of the LLPOA. The meeting was preceded by a walking tour of historic Zephyr Lodge and grounds. For over 100 years, the Liberty Lake Property Owners’ Association has been around in one form or another. LLPOA has led the way on many community accomplishments and social events, including electricity, street lighting, policing, Fourth of July celebrations, fire protection, street paving, boating and swimming safety, parks and playgrounds, safe drinking water and a healthy lake. When it comes to lake algae and invasive milfoil, meeting attendees were reminded that both are annual

nemeses requiring long-term attention. Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District (LLSWD) Manager, BiJay Adams and Lake Manager Jeremy Jenkins were there to help with answers. Algae feeds on surface run-off which delivers fertilizer, pet waste, top soil, shoreline and erosion into the lake. Unusually warmer, drier weather in recent years provides more heat, sunlight and time for algae to bloom. Preventing toxic algae blooms is the objective. The recreational guideline for Microcystin is greater than or equal to 6 micrograms per liter. The most recent test result came back as 2.35 micrograms per liter. LLSWD contracts with Washington State University for testing which has been augmented by additional testing and study in search of possible solutions. Adams confirmed that invasive Eurasian milfoil requires annual treatment which LLSWD completed on Aug. 16 and 17. “Weather and conditions for the treatment were very good,” Adams said. How’s our drinking water? The Spokane River? “Both aquifer and river are cleaner than at any time in our lives, and getting cleaner still,” said Tom Agnew, commissioner with the Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District who

also works with the Spokane River Regional Toxics Task Force. “This is also true of Liberty Lake.” Attendees were reminded that the Spokane Valley/Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer is one of the community’s most precious resources. This area enjoys ample supply of top quality water. The lake, river and aquifer all connect and exchange water, one reason all three merit residents’ close attention and respect. is a resource Valley Fire Department’s Deputy Fire Marshall Mike Makela recommended at the meeting. He provided helpful information about how to landscape for fire safety and why open fires are banned. Liberty Lake City Administrator Katy Allen explained the next steps for the Town Square initiative which captured nearly 57 of the vote on Aug. 2 but required 60 percent. She also talked about the six-month moratorium on multi-family housing projects currently underway. Descriptions of ongoing planning and improvements to deal with traffic prompted one attendee to suggest light rail. Turns out that most who live here work elsewhere and most who work here live elsewhere so peak times are busy in both directions and getting busier. An update was provided on a new trail at Liberty Lake Regional Park

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that loops through the cedar grove. In addition, the county park is hoping to acquire 900 acres to connect with Mica Peak if the Conservation Futures process comes to fruition. Currently, this is the top ranked proposal of 38 submitted. LLSWD’s treatment plant is in the midst of a $17 million upgrade. The state requires the upgrades be operational by March of 2018. The result will be removal of over 99 percent of phosphorous along with other waste to further protect and improve the aquifer and Spokane River. Is Wicomico Beach sand disappearing? No answer was given but there was a brief discussion of shoreline erosion, other boat wake problems and state law changes being considered as remedy. Also mentioned were concerns regarding paddle boarders without required gear. As the meeting adjourned attendees were encouraged to ponder the future of LLPOA and the community. LLPOA would like to express special appreciation to the hosts of the meeting last month – Darcie Jernberg, Zephyr manager and Zephyr’s new owner, Dan Spalding, who is known for refurbishing downtown Spokane buildings.

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SEPTEMBER 2016 • 17


Continued from page 15 until now. On Sept. 19, BECU sites will open in Spokane Valley at 615 N. Sullivan and in Spokane at 916 N. Division, just west of Gonzaga University. BECU is also planning a third location here soon. “As the second largest city in Washington, Spokane is a vibrant and connected community,” said Berquist. “BECU is looking forward to providing greater convenience to our more than 5,000 Spokane members and building community partnerships.” BECU has begun to forge those civic connections in earnest well before the doors open. A $62,000 grant to SNAP, Spokane County’s nonprofit community action agency, will translate into a continuation of the agency’s Financial Stability counseling program. “We had reached a point where outside funding cuts had put our Financial Counseling program in jeopardy,” said SNAP CEO Julie Honekamp. “Thanks to this generous gift from BECU, we now know this program will keep going and growing.” Each year, over 800 residents of the greater Spokane area enroll

in the program that addresses areas like credit repair and money management. Staffed by one financial counselor and two volunteers, the program typically has a six-week waiting list. Many clients seeking to start a business or buy their first home utilize the program to improve their credit scores and learn how to more effectively manage their money. “Our Financial Counseling program prepares for and actually gets our clients on a path to build their credit scores and gain control of their money,” said Chris Pasterz, SNAP Financial Stability director. “With the new support of BECU, we are bolstering the program to ensure that we continue to serve our clients and prepare them for the next stages of their financial stability journey.” The Financial Counseling program is comprised of two courses, “Navigating the Credit World” and “Give Yourself a Raise” and includes individual consultation with the agency’s certified financial counselor. When completed by clients, they are eligible for SNAP’s credit builder loan program. One SNAP client named Jeanette suffered a stroke several years ago and was unable to work. During her recovery, she fell behind on her car

payments. Eventually, the vehicle was repossessed. Last September, she enrolled in the credit building workshop with few expectations. Living on a fixed budget from a small amount of disability income, she was facing collections while watching her credit score plummet. The workshop and the credit builder program helped Jeanette navigate her way back to financial accountability. While Jeanette was unable to remove the car payment delinquency from her report, her score still jumped from 0 to 704 in around five months. “Now someone who found herself in a situation many would call hopeless has a huge sense of financial accomplishment,” said SNAP Financial Counselor Jay McPherson. “She also has confidence and peace of mind moving forward knowing she has a downpayment in savings and a credit score that will allow her to purchase a car whenever she is ready.” “BECU has a long history of providing financial education and helping those in need,” said Benson Porter, CEO of BECU. “The credit union ‘people helping people’ philosophy is a cornerstone of our brand and well matched with SNAP’s mission of providing the

Spokane community with access to financial counseling services. With a growing member and employee base here and new branches opening this month, we look forward to supporting this vibrant city and its residents.” Earlier this year, Hearth Homes, a Spokane Valley-based nonprofit that provides transitional housing to homeless women and children, received $10,000 through BECU’s “People Helping People” program. Over 250 nominations were submitted by BECU members with a total of $170,000 awarded to 13 nonprofit organizations. BECU is a consistent supporter of Junior Achievement of Washington, a program that teaches financial literacy to students. Last year, Junior Achievement brought its money management curriculum to Central Valley High School. BECU is also a benefactor of Rebuilding Together Spokane, an organization that provides safe and affordable housing for low-income residents. “We live in a very caring community that looks out for nonprofit causes,” said Honekamp. “BECU fits right in. They are proving that they walk the talk. It’s clear their investment here goes beyond opening some branches. They want to help their neighbors.”











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18 • SEPTEMBER 2016

The Splash

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call 509-499-1112 or email may pay at site on Sunday Stars President Ron Adams is Camp Director. He will be assisted by Stars coaching staff, which includes Lacie and Lexie Hull from CVHS, plus coaches and players of different northwest college women’s teams who will conduct clinics in camp.

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COMMUNITY EVENTS Sept. 3 | The Spokane Symphony presents the 2016 Lud Kramer Memorial Concert, 6 p.m. at Pavillion Park. Free admission. The symphony will perform an eclectic program of hits from the classics, Hollywood and Broadway. The lineup includes classics from Shostakovich and Verdi as well as traditional favorites from Gershwin. For more information, visit Sept. 9-18 | Spokane County Interstate Fair, 404 N. Havana, Spokane Valley. Admission to the Spokane County Interstate Fair is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors 65 and over, $7 for military members, $7 for kids 7 to 13. Children 6 and under are free. Discount tickets are available. For information on those tickets and other fair information, go to interstate-fair. Sept 10 | Central Valley Marching Band Car Wash and Shoe Drive, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., CVHS south parking lot, 821 S. Sullivan Road. Central Valley High School Band and Colorguard programs will be hosting their annual Car Wash and Shoe Drive this month. Accepted donations are paired, wearable shoes, any kind or type. Car wash tickets $5. For information or advance tickets please email: cvmbPublicity@ Sept. 11 | Grandparents’ Day Celebration, 1 to 4 p.m., CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley. Hosted by Greater Spokane Meals on Wheels, the fifth annual Grandparents Day Celebration will feature great food, entertainment, a silent auction and announcement of the 2016 Grandparent of the Year. Tickets are $15; Children under 10 are admitted free. Contact 926-6976 or visit www.GSCMealsonWheels. org for more information. Sept. 17 | Spokane River Clean-Up, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., various sites along the Spokane River. Volunteers will be provided with light cloth gloves, plastic bags for trash and recyclables, and a River Clean-Up backpack. Be sure to dress for the work

and the rugged terrain along the banks of the river. It can be chilly in the morning and warmer in the afternoon, so bring a light jacket or sweatshirt and wear long pants. Please wear supportive shoes with some tread to avoid slips and falls. Also, don’t forget your water bottle. For more information, visit spokanerivercleanup/ for more information. Sept. 17 | National Drive Electric Week event hosted by the Inland Northwest Electric Vehicle and Photovoltaic Group, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Cork House, 1400 N. Meadowwood Lane, Liberty Lake. Meet with electric car owners, solar enthusiasts and electrical engineers. See vehicles from Nissan, Ford, Tesla, Porsche, BMW and more. Learn about the connection between solar power and electric cars. The Rieser and Rawley Acoustic Duo will be playing at the event. For more information, call David Klenda at 253-230-5247. Sept. 23-25 | Valleyfest, Mirabeau Point Park, CenterPlace. The Valley’s signature community celebration has been a late summer staple since 1990. The fun kicks off Friday, Sept. 23 with the Hearts of Gold Parade down Sprague Avenue. The lineup includes music, food, a vintage car show, pancake breakfast, 5K/10K run and much more. Most Valleyfest events are free. For more information and a schedule of all events and how to register, go to Sept. 29 | HUB All Star Breakfast, 7 to 9 a.m., Mirabeau Park Hotel, 1100 N. Sullivan Road. Come meet the HUB All-Stars from staff to community leaders to local youth. Proceeds from the breakfast go to the HUB Sports Center, a 501c3 nonprofit. Funds will be directed by the donor toward programs like HUB 360 (an afterschool program for at-risk middle school students), HUB camp scholarships for disadvantaged youth and/or the HUB capital campaign to secure this facility for the benefit of future generations. Please RSVP to 927-0602 no later than Sept. 16. RECURRING

Liberty Lake Farmers Market | 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Town Square Park, 1421 N. Meadowwood Lane. Market features local food and farm vendors, artisan crafts and baked goods, music and more. Every Saturday through Oct. 8. For more, visit www. ACT 2 senior classes | Affordable classes offered by Community Colleges of Spokane to those who are retired or planning to retire. A wide range of courses from geology and history to exercise and art are offered at CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place, as well as other locations throughout the area. More at ACT2. Military Sobriety Support Group | 10 to 11: 30 a.m., Spokane Vet Center, 13109 E. Mirabeau Parkway, Spokane Valley. Call Steve at 893-4746 for more information. Baha’i Fireside Conversation | 5 to 6 p.m., third Friday of the month. Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. Discussion of Baha’i teachings, history, and perspectives on resolving the challenges facing humanity. All are welcome. More at 599-2411 or Catholic Singles Mingle | meeting times and locations vary. This group, with no dues, is for single adults of all ages. More at DivorceCare Recovery Support Group | Tuesdays 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Eastpoint Church, 15303 E. Sprague Ave. Learn how to heal from the deep hurt of divorce and discover hope for your future. DivorceCare for Kids (ages 5-12) meets at the same time and location. Cost is $25 for workbook. More at 892-5255 or Grange potluck and meeting | 6 p.m., first Wednesday of the month, Tri Community Grange, 25025 Heather St., Newman Lake. A potluck will be followed by a 7 p.m. meeting for this community-based service organization. More at 481-7447 or Liberty Lake Library | 23123 E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake. Various clubs and weekly meetings including book clubs, children’s story times, LEGO

The Splash

SEPTEMBER 2016 • 19


club, computer drop-in class, knitting club, and more. More at Men’s Weekly Bible Study | 7 a.m. Tuesdays. Millwood Presbyterian Church, 3223 N. Marguerite Road, Millwood. The men’s weekly Bible Study meets in the Reception Hall with different members sharing in the leading of the study. All men are invited to join. More at www. Pancreatic Cancer Action Network | 6:30 p.m., the first Monday of each month. Liberty Lake Municipal Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake. More at or 534-2564. Spokane County Library District | Locations include Argonne, Fairfield, Otis Orchards and Spokane Valley. Special events and weekly activities for all ages including book clubs, children’s story times, classes, Lego club, teen anime club and writing clubs. More at www.scld. org

MUSIC & THE ARTS Sept. 3 | Spokane Symphony presents the 2016 Lud Kramer Memorial Concert, 6 p.m. at Pavillion Park. Free admission. (The final event of the Friends of Pavillion Park 2016 Summer Festival.) RECURRING Country Jammers Dance | 1 to 3:30 p.m., first and third Sunday of the month. Newman Lake Grange, 25025 E. Heather Lane, Newman Lake. Free (donations welcome). More information at Drop-in Square Dance Lessons | 7 to 8:30 p.m. (through May 18). Western Dance Center, 1901 N. Sullivan Road. Square dance lessons for $3 per person; no partner needed. More at 270-9264. Pages of Harmony | 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Wednesdays. Thornhill Valley Chapel, 1400 S. Pines Road. If you enjoy singing, you will love the four-part, a cappella harmony of this men’s barbershop chorus. More at Spirit of Spokane Chorus | 6:45 p.m., Tuesdays. Opportunity Presbyterian Church, 202 N. Pines Road. Make new friends by joining this women’s chorus, specializing in

four-part, a cappella harmony in the barbershop style. More at 218-4799. Spokane Novelists Group | noon to 4 p.m., second and fourth Saturday of the month. Otis Orchards Community Church, 23304 E. Wellesley Ave., Otis Orchards. A support/ critique group for writers. Open to anyone with an interest in writing fiction (no memoirs, nonfiction, poetry, etc., please). Participants should bring 5-10 pages to read aloud and 6-8 copies for others to read along and critique. More at 590-7316. Spokane Valley Camera Club | 7:15 p.m., third and fourth Monday of the month (September through April). Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District building, 22510 E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake. All levels of ability— students through experienced photographers—are invited to learn. Social events include field trips and workshops. More at 951-1446 or Spokane Valley Writer’s Group | 6:15 p.m. the first and third Thursdays of the month. Lakeside Church, 23129 E. Mission Ave. This supportive critique group welcomes adult writers. More at 570-4440. Teen Writers of the Inland Empire | 4 p.m., first Thursday of the month (except holidays). Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. Writers (sixth grade and older) meet to write and share their work. More at 8938400.

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HEALTH & RECREATION Sept. 17-18 | Spokane Doubles Pickleball Tournament, 8 a.m to 4 p.m., both days, HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. Call 927-0602 for more information. $30 per team. RECURRING HUB Sports Center 19619 E. Cataldo Ave. Various activities and events occur throughout the week including: • Badminton open gym: 7 to 9 p.m. Tues., $5/person • Basketball open gym: Noon to 1 p.m. Tues. and Thurs., $4/ person

See CALENDAR, Page 20




15, 25, 50MI & CENTURY



9.17.16 9.18.16


20 • SEPTEMBER 2016



Continued from page 19

Honoring local communities and encouraging citizen involvement

Liberty Lake’s Community Newspaper

A Valley-wide Community Newsmonthly

Connect with The Splash and The Current. Send story ideas, photo submissions and event information to For information on advertising options and sponsorship opportunities, email

P.O. Box 363 Liberty Lake, WA 99019

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• Pickleball drop-in: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Mon. through Thurs.; 10 a.m. to noon Tues. and Thurs.; and 7 to 9 p.m. Wed. and Sun. $2/seniors ($4/nonseniors) • Classes including Kenpo Karate, Modern Farang-Mu Sul, and Zumba Aerobics. See website for cost and times.

CIVIC & BUSINESS Sept. 20 | Grand opening of Willow Song Music Therapy Center, 3:30 to 6 p.m., E. 21101 Wellesley #102, Otis Orchards. Carla Carnegie, MTBC, NMT, of Willow Springs is one of only three board-certified music therapists in the Inland Northwest. Call 509-592-7875 for more information. Sept. 27 | Manufacturing Matters EXPO, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Spokane County Fair and Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St., Spokane Valley. The EXPO features a tradeshow with exhibitors representing leading contract manufacturers, job shops, and suppliers. In addition, educational workshops, featuring industry best practices, trends and new technologies are scheduled throughout the day on a variety of topics relevant to engineers, purchasing agents and managers of manufacturing companies. The EXPO begins Sept. 26 with a reception at 5:30 p.m., dinner and keynote speaker, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Mirabeau Park Hotel. Registration is required for the reception and dinner. Tickets are

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The Splash

available for $50 per person or $400 per table of eight. There is no charge for entrance into the EXPO, however, attendees are encouraged to register. For more information and to register, call the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber at 509-924-4994, or visit ManufacturingMatters. RECURRING Central Valley School board | 6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of each month, CVSD administration building, 19307 E. Cataldo, Spokane Valley. Liberty Lake City Council | 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, City Hall, 22710 E. Country Vista Drive. Liberty Lake Library Foundation | Noon the first Wednesday of each month, 23123 E. Mission Ave. Liberty Lake Merchants Association | 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays, Liberty Lake Portal, 23403 E. Mission Ave., Suite 120. More at 999-4935. Liberty Lake Municipal Library Board | 10:30 a.m. the first Thursday of each month, 23123 E. Mission Ave. Liberty Lake Planning Commission | 4 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month, City Hall, 22710 E. Country Vista Drive. Liberty Lake SCOPE (Sheriff’s Community Oriented Policing Effort) | 6:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month, City Hall, 22710 E. Country Vista Drive. Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District Board | 4 p.m. on the second Monday of each month, 22510 E. Mission Ave.

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The Splash

Children's Library Programs Move and Groove Storytime Friday, Sept. 2 at 10:30 a.m. Move, shake, sing, and dance with us at our new Move and Groove storytime! Class will be held the first Friday of every month at 10:30 a.m.

Fall Storytime Schedule Bouncin’ Babies: Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. Toddler Time: Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. Preschool Tales: Fridays at 10:30 a.m. Move and Groove: First Friday of the month at 10:30 a.m. Tween Book Club: Ages 9-12 Join us the one the third Thursday of every month at 4 p.m. to discuss fun and exciting books! This month’s reading selection is: “Ella Enchanted” by Gail Carson Levine. Book club will be held Thursday, Sept. 15 t 4 p.m.Questions? Contact Jandy Humble.

Kid’s Paint Night Thursday, Sept. 22 at 4:15 p.m. Kids will use paints, paintbrushes and straws to create a beautiful fall tree. Followed by some free time to paint what you like. For ages 6 and up. A total of 14 Spots available. Registration required. Sign up here! FTHCF1k1ZetQKQKC2

Adult Summer Reading Wrap-Up By Sharde Mills

Thank you to all our Adult Summer Reading participants. You read so many books this summer. Who says summer reading is just for kids! Congrats to our summer reading grand prize winners, we

Book Reviews

“What Alice Forgot” by Liane Moriarty Reviewer: Cynthia McMahon Five out of five stars “A Gem! What Alice Forgot has just the right balance of sweet, funny, and sad to make one feel quite at home in the reading of it and not ready to leave when it’s over.” “Summertime” LaFaye



Reviewer: Mernie Matthews Five out of five stars “Fiction based on fact. Interesting story about 1935 Florida Keys and the destructive hurricane that hit on Labor Day. Racial tensions,

SEPTEMBER 2016 • 21

hope you enjoy your Fitbit, Kindle, and other prizes. Also, a big thank you to all our Walking Challenge participants who kept track of every step they took for eight weeks. In total, our participants walked 2,944,426 steps. Now that’s exercising your mind and your feet! Thank you all for a wonderful summer!

family drama, and destitute World War I vets, many interesting facts in the author’s notes.” “The Trial” by Robert Whitlow Reviewer: Joan Foster Five out of five stars “Good book that went through the investigation and criminal trial of an innocent man. This book kept my attention.” “Open and Rosenfelt




Reviewer: Cindy Slaton Four out of five stars “First in a series about Lawyer Andy Carpenter and a murder within a murder trial. It is told in the first person, which adds to the motives of the main character.”

Make signing-up for a library card part of your Back-toSchool routine! Anyone who is at least five years old can have a personal library card at Liberty Lake Library. When all the copies are out at your school library, you can get it at the public library or we’ll find a copy for you from the many other resources available to us. Sign-up at the library or apply online at libertylakewa. gov/library, click on Library Card Application, and your card will be ready when you next come in. Please bring identification or, in the case of a minor under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian with identification to claim your card.

Credit & Debit Cards Accepted at the Library

Coming in September We are SO glad to be able to offer this service at last. Beginning September 1, pay your fines and fees easily with your card at the front desk. This service is only available at the library, not online.

New Step-By-Step OverDrive Videos

You can sign-up at the library’s website to download free eBooks and digital audiobooks through OverDrive. On the website page for Digital Downloads you’ll find step-by-step videos on how to download books to your devices, including smartphones, tablets, and kindles. You just need a resident library card, which are all cards starting with #10. For more information, please call the library at 232-5210.


September 29th at 6:30 Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

2016 Spokane is Reading

Events to take place October 27th The Tsar of Love and Techo by Anthony Marra. Reserve a copy at the library today.

Pirate Day

September 15th Watch for details about activities for adults and kids in the Library’s Newsletter and practice yer pirate talk, me hearties!

Family Movie Night Thursday, Sept. 15 at 5:30 p.m. Call the library for more information.

23123 E. Mission Ave. Liberty Lake • 232-2510

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22 • SEPTEMBER 2016

T h e N a t i o n a l l y Aw a r d - W i n n i n g C e n t r a l V a l l e y T h e a t r e D e p a r t m e n t P r o u d l y P r e s e n t s

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International Talk like a Pirate Day

September 19, 2016 started in 1995 but didn’t really get going until Dave Barry wrote about it in his news column in 2002. It’s a silly holiday that celebrates the history and speech from the Golden Age of Pirates. Don’t forget to growl and scowl. Most importantly, Have Fun! Your basic words to learn are: Word Definition Hornswaggle To cheat Scuttle Sink the ship Ahoy Greetings Bucko Friend Addled Crazy or mad Lily-livered Faint-hearted Booty Hoarded treasure Me hearties My friends Scurvy dog Favorite insult Swash-buckling Fighting Smartly Do something quickly Sea dog Experienced sailor Blaggard Liar that you can’t trust Shanty Songs pirates sing while working Davey Jones locker Botttom of the ocean Arrr I agree, I’m happy, that stinks Afeard Afraid Sea legs Funny way pirates walk

Fun Facts

• Port Royal, Jamaica was the buccaneers favorite hideout until it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1692. • Corsairs operated in the Mediterranean and fought with curved swords called scimitars • John Bartholomew Roberts, also known as Black Bart is thought to have captured the most ships making him the most successful pirate. • Dutch pirates were known as “Sea Beggars.” • Blackbeard was the most feared pirate. • The skull and crossbones flag is called a Jolly Roger. •

The Splash

24 • SEPTEMBER 2016

Descendant of William Wallace made famous in Braveheart

He married American actress Patricia Neal in 1953. They had five children.

Scrumdiddlyumptious which means food that is utterly delicious was his first new word to be used mainstream.

He didn’t like the 1971 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory film so he didn’t allow any other of his books to be adapted in his lifetime.

He worked on the screenplays for James Bond “You Only Live Twice” and “Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang”

Author Spotlight


“One of the greatest storytellers of the 20th century,” is just one of the ways Roald has been described. He is one of the bestselling fiction authors of all time, with over 200 million in sales printed in 60 languages. He was born and raised in Wales to Norwegian parents. Undesirable school experiences inspired some of his books. Photography and literature are what he enjoyed most but his teachers didn’t like his writing. In 1939, Roald joined the Royal Air Force and became a squadron leader. After an accident in 1942, he became an attaché at the British Embassy in Washington D.C. While there he worked with MI6 and other spymasters. His first published story “Shot Down Over Libya” was purchased by the Saturday Evening Post. It was based on his war adventures. “The Gremlins” was his first children’s book but it wasn’t until 1961 that he became successful with “James and the Giant Peach”. In total he wrote 19 children’s books, most were told from a child’s point-of-view with a villain and a helpful adult. Creative use of language and his invention of words make his writing very recognizable. He also wrote over 60 short stories for adults most were darkly humorous. He wrote television and movie scripts. During his lifetime, he received many awards including 3 Edgars. His funeral was Viking-like, in that he was buried with pencils, chocolates, wine, a power saw and other favorite things. Since his death numerous monuments, galleries and museums have been established and his estate continues the charity work that he started.

l h a D d Roal

Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary contains over 500 of his invented words and their meanings.

He wrote in his garden shed.

The B.F.G. was his favorite book that he wrote.

His misfortunes motivated him to co-create a WDT valve for neurosurgeons which helped thousands of people and become a vocal advocate for immunizations.

Set of postage stamps based on his books.

He was very tall for his generation, standing 6’6”.

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Alligator Craft 1. Fold your piece of paper into 8 equal strips. Cut out creating piece A. Cut six of these strips in half creating piece B. Cut one of these halves in half lengthwise creating piece C. You should have 2A 11B and 2C. 2. Starting with one of your B pieces, glue ends together to form a loop. Make a chain of ten B pieces. 3. Place an A piece in one end of your chain, glue it a few inches from the end. Cut it at an angle to form the tail. 4. Fold remaining A piece in half. Glue the center only in the opposite end of your chain to form the snout. Cut it into a V shape. 5. Take B piece, fold in half, cut ends into a curved shape for the eyes. Unfold and glue to the underside of the snout right next to the chain. Bend ends up to make the eyes stand up. 6. Fold both ends at an angle on the two C pieces to make the legs. Glue the legs onto the two end sections of the chain. Now you can add teeth, draw on claws, and make eyes or use stickers.

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26 • SEPTEMBER 2016

Animal Facts

Every month we will feature an information on a different animal. Cut them out and collect them all!

Thank you for participating in our coloring contest!

VULTURE - 25-32” 2-5 lbs 2030 years - 51-72” wingspan - 23 species - Carnivore - Can fly 30mph - Solitary - Rats are its favorite - Endangered - Group is a venue, Circling group is a kettle - A clutch of 2, has two eggs at a time usually - Stomachs kill dangerous bacteria - Worldwide except Australia and Antarctica

Vulture Mask Craft

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PACE Trait for September – Respect

By Samantha Gillihan A few weeks ago, my daughter received a lecture about showing more respect at home. It was not the first lecture of its kind. In true pre-teen style, it was met with an eye roll and a bored, “I know, I know …” It was a frustrating moment. With as many times as we had that same discussion, my repeated words were not sinking in. Then I asked myself to define respect. I had a jumble of ideas come to mind, but nothing I could easily put into words. After five years working with Better Business Bureau, I was surprised I had not considered this more. Our eight “Standards for Trust” each embody an aspect of respect further making the practice of it part of my daily life. But that still did not mean I was consciously aware of what that entailed.

Student of the Month In his tenure at Central Valley High School, Jacob Ross distinguished himself as an outstanding leader, scholar, musician and athlete. Ross was named co-valedictorian for the class of 2016. He earned status as a National Merit Scholar and AP Scholar with Distinction. Ross compiled a 4.0 grade point average and was a member of the National Honor Society. He was active in the Leadership program at CV, participating for four years and serving as a board member for three years. In his senior year, Ross was the high school delegate to the board of directors at Spokane Valley Partners, the area’s community center. The recent graduate also wrestled for four years, earning a varsity letter in three of those seasons. He qualified for regionals his senior year. Ross is also an accomplished trumpet and piano player. He will attend Brigham Young University (BYU) in the fall and plans to serve a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after his freshman year.

SEPTEMBER 2016 • 27

I thought about how the concept of respect is often associated with good behavior. Act a certain way to show respect and that is the correct way to act. Within this context, though, without any delineation as to what this behavior entails, it becomes vaguely synonymous with merely ‘being good.’ I realized I was throwing around a word that I was not giving any substance to. While respect is certainly good, it is far more robust than making a choice. Respect needs to be understood as the foundation for acknowledging and appreciating the worth in ourselves and those around us. It is not simply doing the right thing; it is the value that we use to place importance on any given thing. Holding fast to that value is when we make better choices and we make them because we believe in the importance of respect. Later that day, I sat down with my daughter and asked her what respect meant to her. She admitted that she saw it as a parental buzzword that indicated she was messing up somewhere and that she needed to stop. It was not a value in her As the Central Valley girls’ cross country squad vies for another league championship this fall, senior Aubrianne Knudsen will be part of the quest. After playing soccer as a freshman and sophomore, Knudsen participated in cross country for the first time last year. After setting a personal record of 20 minutes, 56 seconds in a 5K (3.1-mile) junior varsity meet, Knudsen became an alternate for CV’s regional and state team. She lettered in track as a junior, setting a personal record of 12 minutes, 28 seconds in the 2-mile run. She threw the javelin her first two years of track. Knudsen also participated in club soccer for seven years. A resident of the Liberty Lake area, Knudsen has participated in the Leadership program at CV, maintains a 3.5 grade point average and is a member of the National Honor Society.

mind, it was an unclear command. I responded by telling her that I admire who she is and how she carries herself, that I see her talents and abilities and I am proud. That she has worth and not only do I see that worth, I hold it in very high esteem. She is important to me. That is what respect meant to me and taking the time to articulate my definition to her in a way that made the concept clear was how I was showing her respect. I went on to tell her that respect is what guides everything I do. For me, it is a reminder to be patient with my headstrong child. It stops me from saying or doing something hurtful in a heated moment. Most importantly, it keeps reverence for the existence of others at the forefront of the decisions I make. All of which is possible when I first admire and hold in high esteem the worth I find in myself. She smiled and nodded, satisfied with this new way of looking at respect. I smiled, too. Pulling apart this word for her made that same word so much more meaningful. Of course respect was already an

important value to me, but I had to sit and ponder for a while before I could explain that importance to someone else. How well was I paying it to others if I was not able to define it? How well was I paying it to myself? I find that I repeat those two questions frequently now, using them to determine my next step. While my daughter is still prone to rolling her eyes, I see her being more thoughtful now in how she acts. The value placed on this previously muddy concept is increasing for her. I hope she sees that same thoughtfulness in me, too. In showing her where I was coming from, she helped to give me a very significant lesson in understanding and action that I hope to never forget. Samantha Gillihan has worked with Better Business Bureau for five years, working with businesses and the community to establish marketplace trust. A busy wife and mother, she combines family time with service as a volunteer and former chairwoman of the Family Readiness Group and volunteer for Idaho Military Youth, both National Guard organizations.

Citizen of the Month If they named royalty for civic involvement in the Liberty Lake area, Linda Dockrey would be awarded a queen’s crown. A charter member of the Liberty Lake Kiwanis

Club, Dockrey was co-advisor of the “K-Kids” program with Pat Lutzenberger for 10 years. The program won three Chase Youth Commission awards for its community service work, including raising funds for local nonprofits, coordinating food drives and supporting an orphanage in Africa. Linda also volunteered at Greenacres Elementary for many years. Dockrey has helped coordinate the Kiwanis-sponsored Father Daughter Dance since it began in 2006. She participated with the Friends of the (Liberty Lake) Library and is now part of the board of trustees. An accomplished gardener, Linda and her husband, Pat, are parents to two grown children. They have lived in the Liberty Lake area since 1976.

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About and for Liberty Lake seniors

Otis Orchards resident drives awareness of electric cars, solar energy

Katy Allen says it was a presentation Rasmussen did for the city council two years ago that prompted the city to look into the feasibility of building a public charging station.

By Jamie Borgan

Splash Correspondent It’s hard to predict what one might wind up doing when spending an afternoon with Jorgen Rasmussen. It could involve flying a restored historic plane over Liberty Lake or driving Rasmussen’s electric car around Otis Orchards. It may be playing badminton at the West Central Community Center or visiting Rasmussen’s large personal solar array. Rasmussen’s eclectic and diverse talents and interests, while perhaps showing a bit of personal whimsy, also serve the important purpose of drawing serious attention to difficult and pressing issues facing our world, such as the effects of fossil fuels on climate change and the need for cleaner energy. Rasmussen, who hails originally from Fyn, Denmark, grew up in

Denmark native Jorgen Rasmussen has lived in the U.S. since 1984 and in Otis Orchards since 2006. An engineer at Frencken American in Liberty Lake, Rasmussen extolls the benefits of electric cars and alternative energy. Photo by Jamie Borgan

The Rasmussen property in Otis Orchards includes an array of 40 solar panels that generate enough energy for the entire household. Photo by Jamie Borgan an agricultural family and learned mechanics from a young age. He studied engineering in Denmark and made trips to the U.S. for study, eventually moving here in 1984. It was during his mechanical engineering studies that an interest in wind energy developed. Denmark is a forerunner in generating power from wind technology and Rasmussen wrote his final thesis on wind turbines. After arriving in the U.S., Rasmussen lived in New Jersey and Portland, Oregon before moving to Otis Orchards in 2006. He currently works as an engineer at Frencken American in Liberty Lake. Rasmussen says that the Spokane Valley is not unlike where he grew up in Denmark, with its rural ethos and slightly laid back pace of life. His homestead, Solar Acres Farm, embodies a pastoral calm, though evidence of his vibrant energy abounds. The central figure of Rasmussen’s property is an enormous solar array of 40 solar panels that can generate more than enough power for an entire household. Rasmussen dug and laid the infrastructure for the entire network himself. Through an incentive program offered by Avista, Rasmussen gets reimbursed by the power company for the energy he generates annually. His farm is a testament to his holistic thinking. Two steers whose meat he’ll eventually sell, graze in the grasses surrounding the solar panels, and a handful of chickens

wander about the field, temporarily separated from the flock of 36 Rasmussen maintains for eggs. A large vegetable and flower garden sit next to a greenhouse (which of course Rasmussen built himself) teeming with huge tomato plants and vining cucumbers. The effect, while bucolic, is also pragmatic and generates healthy food and clean energy. We tour Rasmussen’s farm in his Nissan Leaf. Electric cars are a particular passion of his and his energy for the subject has driven him to organize community events and opportunities for electric vehicle owners and Valley citizens to learn about alternative transportation and energy. Rasmussen’s enthusiasm is palpable. He’s been instrumental in organizing an upcoming event on Saturday, Sept. 17 in Liberty Lake as part of National Drive Electric Week, which will gather electric vehicle owners and residents curious to learn about solar energy and electric cars. The event, which also features a live band, takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. near the grounds of the Liberty Lake Farmers Market on Meadowwood Lane and is part of a large number of events occurring around the country during that week, including one in Palouse on Saturday, Sept. 10. Rasmussen’s dedication has even prompted the city of Liberty Lake to look at ways of accommodating electric vehicles. City Administrator

The city subsequently applied for a grant from Avista to put in a public charging station accessible and available to all residents. Though Allen anticipates that a large number of golf cart drivers will use the station, she says it was really Rasmussen’s enthusiasm for electric transportation that pushed the city to look at it. She describes Rasmussen as “a very dedicated man” who she “admires a great deal,” adding that it really takes the effort and energy of citizens like Rasmussen to move cities forward on these types of issues. Rasmussen engages issues he cares about in a very hands-on way. He tries to live in a manner that minimizes his footprint, believing that we can’t just talk about changing or wait for large scale efforts at change, but must take action as citizens to address the problems facing our world. Yet, he manages to do it without heavyhanded rhetoric or dire predictions for the future of our planet. When speaking about the coal trains that pass 100 yards from his house, Rasmussen says, “I went to the coal train hearings to testify.” With a wry smile he continues in his slight Danish accent, “I told them it’s a real problem when all that steel of the passing trains interferes with our television reception while my wife wants to watch ‘Downton Abbey.’” Although Rasmussen’s primary motivation for his interest in alternative energy and electric vehicles may center on the pragmatic, it’s obvious that he enjoys the novelty of them as well. “Have you ever ridden in a Tesla?” he asks smiling, as we watch one drive down the road, “Now that’s a hoot.” Herein lies the beauty of Rasmussen’s approach to pressing environmental problems – while the sheer scope of them can seem daunting to an individual, Rasmussen’s keen knowledge, applied with such a focus on inclusion and community, makes approaching these issues seem not only achievable, but fun.

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SEPTEMBER 2016 • 29


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CV hopes new leadership leads to traditional gridiron success By Mike Vlahovich

Splash Sports Editor Ryan Butner wandered around the Bears practice field with watchful eyes and orchestrated the practice with his players broken into separate position groups overseen by their new assistant coaches.

and took on the role of offensive coordinator. Travis Harmon arrived from Lake City in Coeur d’Alene where he was a defensive coordinator and finalist for the head job there. Another veteran coach, Brian Spencer from Bothell, is the third significant hire. “All three of those guys are phenomenal,” Butner said. “I’ve been able to pick up some really, really good coaches.” One constant is Rick Giampietri, who may have resigned as head coach, but he’s back coaching the defense.

It was a new role for the coach who was experiencing his baptism of fire when practices started in mid-August. He liked what he saw.

New in the CV backfield is Tre’von Tuggles who came over from U-Hi after leading the GSL in rushing last season.

“We’ll go game-by-game, weekby-week and be the best coaches we can be,” Butner had said earlier of his philosophy. “And encourage the kids to be the best players they can be.”

“He is very talented,” Butner understated, aware that people are thinking he might have been recruited. “He showed up (at semester) before people had applied for jobs, ran track and went to camp with us.”

Much of the team that reached the post season last year is back. “Our senior class right now, many have started since they were sophomores,” Butner said. But – players meet your coaches – most of the coaching brain trust is new. Dave Myers left his head coaching job at Interlake in Bellevue moving to Spokane for his area native wife’s new job. He had applied for the open head job at CV

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The Bears return 14 starters and enough talent to two-platoon. Conner DeGeest inherits the quarterback spot. Back with AllGSL credentials are BYU-bound kicker Ryan Rehkow, second in the nation in punting, linebacker Travis Hawkins, a four-year starter, junior Jase Edwards at safety and lineman Jordan Talafili, who wreaked havoc on defense, plus a host of honorable mention returnees.

The Bears return several All-GSL honorees from last season, including lineman Jordan Talafili. Photo by Mike Vlahovich Other starters on offense from last year are seniors Rhett Foley and Braedon Orrino at wide receiver, center Ryan Terriff and guard Trystian Arnold. Junior Correy Quinn is a returning tight end and defensive end. Other potential offensive starters are Micah Mason at receiver, Cody Anderson at tackle, Peyton Gibbs or Skyler Aguilar at guard and Michael Vose at right tackle. Defensive vets are seniors Terrell Harrison at defensive end, Chase Gilbert at linebacker, Christian Williams at a corner and

Tre’von Tuggles, the Greater Spokane League rushing leader last season, will be the focal point of the Central Valley running game after transferring from University. Photo by Mike Vlahovich sophomore Wyatt Wickham, a second year starter at nose guard and who could start on offense. Other possible starters are Jacob Lewis, Jase McCammond, Austin Tomlinson and Braydon Hamilton in the defensive backfield. “We have a lot of experience from a playoff team, especially on the defensive side of the ball,” Butner said. “Our depth at the skilled positions is as good as it’s been in recent years.” How they fare will determine if the Bears make a playoff return.

You are The Splash Want to see your name in print (for all the right reasons, of course)? Or maybe you just want to help point out great ideas for content worth sharing with your neighbors? The Splash is a community newspaper, so if you are part of the Liberty Lake community, we want to know what’s important to you. We like to say there are eight of us, and there are more than 100,000 of you. Maybe one of the questions below applies to you? If so, you can help us out.  Do you go on vacation? Maybe you’re heading somewhere fun (and warm) for spring break. If so, pack a copy of The Splash and pull it out to snap your photo in front of your favorite destination or landmark. When you return to the Liberty Lake, drop us a line with the pic, and we’ll share it with readers. Call it “Splash Travels.”  Are you part of a club or service organization? Well, what do you know? Let us add you to our list of recurring Liberty Lake events in the near future that will be well-suited for clubs and organizations

that have regular meetings. Send us the info.  Do you celebrate? We want people to know about everything from your new baby, to your upcoming wedding or anniversary, to your incredible office or sporting achievement. Photos, announcements, honors — please send!  Did you capture a shot? Shutterbugs, unite! If you are capturing great Liberty Lake moments, whether while out and about or in your backyard, e-mail us your photo so we can share it around the neighborhood. Send along names of those pictures and complete caption information as much as possible.  Are you a local freelance journalist? The Splash sets aside a budget and great assignments for people like you. Send some clips our way, and we’ll be in touch.  Do you eat? We thought so. Perhaps you have a favorite order at

a Liberty Lake eatery? Before you clean your plate, get your picture taken with your order and send it to us. Include the place, order, cost and why you love it. It’s just one more way we can point one another to all the best Liberty Lake offers.

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Local trio qualifies for state junior golf tourney From Splash News Sources

The 40th annual Washington State Junior Golf Association Championship was held Aug. 2-4 at Bellingham Golf and Country Club. In all 258 boys and girls competed over three days to determine boys’ and girls’ state champions in age divisions of 8-11, 12-13, 14-15 and 16-17. The field is cut to roughly 85 total players after two rounds. Local golfers qualifying for the tournament included Zach Stocker and Issac Emerson in the 16 to 18-year-old division and Riley Hadley in the 14 to 15-year-old division.

Final Point By Mike Vlahovich

Splash Sports Editor Wandering about the football fields during early season practices, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between the new coaches at Central Valley and University that go beyond their demeanor and style. Both have nearly identical shaved heads. It was 95 degrees out when I went up to CV, perspiration rolling down my face at the third stop of the day. Ryan Butner’s pate begged cover. Indeed, all of his assistant coaches were attired with broad brimmed hats, resembling those worn in the Australian outback. Butner allowed that he, too, has one, but in the bustle of practice left it in the school. Adam Daniel had his baseball cap on when I looked in upon the Titans, on a pleasant cool morning. Both had an introspective approach. They let their assistants instruct while they checked in to see how things were going with each group distributed around the length and breadth of the fields – and both found time to stop by


Sports Notebook By Mike Vlahovich Splash Sports Editor

Soccer set to go A year older and more experienced, the Central Valley girls are prepping for better things this year. Spoiled after their five straight state appearances and successive state titles in 2013 and 2014, CV’s young team fell short in the district playoffs, last season finishing with a 10-6 record. There were only four seniors on a team that featured eight freshmen and four sophomores. Virtually all of CV’s scoring came from potential returnees, including double digit scorers, Kaelyn Barnes as a sophomore and Kailyn Labrosse as a freshman. Barnes and freshman goal keeper AJ Crooks, earned All-Greater Spokane League mention a year ago. Can volleyball repeat? What can the volleyball team do for an encore? After winning two state trophies, there’s substantial roster churn. Ten

for a chat with yours truly (who had covered them in their playing days). Both practices were similar. Orchestrated down to the minute, an air horn signaled a move to the next session. Both non-contact practices were upbeat, enthusiastic and intense. Early sessions were without pads so it likely changed. Considerable hitting goes on before the opening game. It’ll be interesting how the rookies fare. West Valley coach Craig Whitney and East Valley’s Adam Fisher have been at it a long time and have refined their workouts. Central Valley continues nonleague games against Coeur d’Alene schools, at the Vikings Sept. 2 and home against Lake City the following week. The Titans are on the road twice, to Sandpoint and Post Falls before facing Greater Spokane League teams. East Valley has an ambitious schedule with games against GSL teams North Central to open the season at home and Shadle Park at Albi Stadium in week three. Sept. 23, the Knights host Lake City. West Valley is home the first two

seniors graduated with only four potential returnees, including seniors Sydney Johnson, a major front row contributor to last year’s success, outside hitter Paige Van Matre and setter Elise Peck. They are joined by junior Paige Wollen. Cross country on the run A year ago, Central Valley boys and girls placed ninth and 10th respectively at the State 4A meets in Pasco. The Bears’ boys were young, with three sophomores, led by Gabe Romney who took 24th overall (17th for team scoring purposes). The team also included a freshman, second highest placer Ryan Cline. The other sophomores were Fielding Demars and Will Grassel, plus junior Isaac Nichols. Like the boys, CV girls team was also young, losing but two state veterans albeit a valuable one, their top finisher Briegan Bester. Kieran Nelson finished 23rd and Gabrielle Ford was 35th at state as juniors. Others on that team were Ashley and Lexi Beard and Taylor Brunett. A year older with another season’s training could move the Bears closer to the trophy podium.

weeks of the season, against the Highlanders and state perennial power Colville, second two years ago in the 1A playoffs. The Eagles also face NC. All games are at 7 p.m. Welcome home Darrell Darrell Pope was a standout multisport athlete at U-Hi, graduating in 1979. I wouldn’t have recognized him – 35-plus years and extra pounds later it’s understandable. But Titans assistant and Pope’s baseball coach Don Ressa (there’s a guy who hasn’t changed in all those years), brought him over and re-introduced us. Pope went on to play football at Eastern Washington University and then had a career in the active military and reserves retiring, he said, as a major. If he’d have taken the promotion to colonel he added, he’d have been sent to the Middle East. Enough was enough He’s found his way back home, hopeful of finding work and taking in practice at his alma mater. That isn’t entirely correct. Pope played at the original U-Hi and he marveled at the spacious facility and updated high school beyond, nothing like the cramped fields and single story facility that is now Valley Christian School.

SEPTEMBER 2016 • 31

From the greens – Local golf results

From Splash News Sources Liberty Lake Women’s Golf Club Liberty Cup and Putting – Aug. 2 Winner: Joyce Skidmore, net 67 Putting A Flight: Joyce Skidmore, 32 putts B Flight: Cheryl Hull, 32 putts C Flight: Gloria Cash, 36 putts D Flight: Idell Jennicek, 35 putts Trailhead Ladies Golf Club Aug. 17 Flight A: Gross, Sammie Fletcher, 51; Net, Bobbie Larsen, Kathie Krestyn, Kay Sharp, (tie) 34 Flight B: Gross, Judi Hander, 53; Net, Hedy Longworth, 34 Flight C: Gross, Karen Fayk, 57; Net, Elaine Lukes. 32 Chip-isns: Shirley Roberts, Sammie Fletcher, Bev Lewis Spokane Valley Women’s Evening Golf League Aug. 24 Flight A Gross- Diane Perry, 48 Flight A Net- Marie Neumayer, 41 Flight B Gross – Gail Bailey, 57 Flight B Net- Evanlene Meltingtallow, 39 Flight C Gross- Terri Schucht, 60 Flight C Net- Marlene Jensen, 42 Flight D Gross- Margo Schmitz, 64 Flight D Net- Patty Bordelon 39 No Handicap- Monica Batts, 86 Chip-ins Evanlene Meltingtallow, #7 Diane Perry, #6

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32 • SEPTEMBER 2016

SVFD Report– September 2016

Spokane Valley Fire Department crews responded to a total of 69 emergency calls in the greater Liberty Lake area* from July 23 through Aug. 16: • Emergency medical service calls - 50 • Motor vehicle accidents – 3 • Fires – 3 • Service calls – 2 • Building alarms – 5 • Hazardous materials - 3

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• Dispatched and cancelled en route – 3 *Service area for SVFD Station #3 in Liberty Lake Outdoor Burn Ban – SVFD and the city of Liberty Lake issued a Fire Danger Burn Restriction on July 29 making unauthorized recreational fires and open burning illegal until further notice. This includes wood-burning backyard fire pits and campfires. Open burning of fields, garbage and yard waste is prohibited at all times. Violators may be fined. If an illegal fire causes another fire, criminal charges may be filed. Service Call – July 30 – A worried mother requested that SVFD crews check on the welfare of her son shortly before 9 p.m. Crews responded to the 19200 block of East Riverwalk Lane to find the man in good condition. He explained that his cell phone had been stolen and he had just sent his mother an email. Motor Vehicle Accident – Aug. 4 – Shortly before 8:30 p.m., SVFD crews responded to a reported twocar accident on eastbound I-90 near milepost 297. Upon arrival, crews found a vehicle had collided with the back of a van, causing it to roll several times up and onto the Centennial Trail south of I-90.

There were no injuries. Good Intent Call – Aug. 6 – SVFD crews responded to the 20300 block of East Mission Avenue shortly after 9 a.m. to check on a man lying near a row of trees. Crews arrived to find a gentleman resting in the grass who stated that he was fine and needed no help. Motor Vehicle Accident – Aug. 14 – A one-vehicle rollover accident was reported at 8:20 p.m. The accident occurred off I-90 near milepost 296. The vehicle was about 60 feet off the roadway in a field and the two occupants were out of the vehicle when SVFD crews arrived on the scene. Both refused treatment and transport to the hospital. False Alarm – Aug. 16 – SVFD crews responded to a building alarm shortly before 8:30 p.m. at 25000 East Hawkstone Loop. They arrived to find the alarm sounding, building tenants evacuated and no smoke showing. The crew was informed that a boy had pulled the alarm. They reset the alarm system and returned to service. About SVFD - Spokane Valley Fire Department serves the cities of Liberty Lake, Millwood, Spokane Valley and unincorporated areas of Spokane County including the communities of Otis Orchards, Pasadena Park, and the area surrounding Liberty Lake, with a combined population of 125,000 across approximately 75 square miles. In 2015, SVFD firefighters and paramedics responded to more than 15,800 emergency calls. Established in 1940, the Department operates 10 stations providing fire suppression, emergency medical services, technical rescue, vehicle extrication, hazardous materials response, swift water rescue, fire investigation, fire prevention, commercial property inspection, CPR and fire safety training. The department also offers free smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. For more information call 928-1700 or visit www.

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The Splash

Wave On – A look back at Liberty Lake’s vintage water sports By Ross Schneidmiller Liberty Lake Historical Society For decades, water sport enthusiasts have welcomed the arrival of the Overton’s catalog in their mail. Pictured in those colorful pages are the latest and greatest from the water sports equipment industry.

ingenuity. The development of boating activities was secondary to the evolution of boats. Liberty Lake’s first motored boat was the Ermine in 1901. A steamboat, capable of pulling a large barge for dancing, but not fast enough to pull a wave rider out of the water up on plane. The first boats capable of doing this would not appear on Liberty Lake for another dozen or more years. The sport of boat racing is what progressed boat design and motor development, as boats gained power and speed the “what if”

Liberty Lake’s pioneering wave riders did not have the convenience of ordering their boards or skis with two-day delivery from Overton’s. In fact, there was very little water sports equipment available commercially to purchase for years. The best these early pioneers had consisted of ideas from a Popular Mechanic’s magazine and their own

began playing in the minds of water enthusiasts. Aquaplanes, similar to a surfboard, were the first single rider tow-ables to appear behind boats at Liberty Lake around 1915. The first aquaplanes were large and resembled a door. Known also as “tied boards” they were connected by rope to the boat and the rider held a handle that was attached by rope to the board. The next generation of aquaplanes were freeboards where the rider held a rope attached to the boat. As the sport evolved, riders modified their homemade boards assisting their

SEPTEMBER 2016 • 33

function while streamlining their designs. Olympic swimmer Mary Lou Petty, who grew up at Liberty Lake from the teens to the 30s, remembered her father added a dowel type fixture to their freeboard, which aided the manipulation of the rope making it easier for the rider to stand up. Aquaplaning was popular here for many years. The 1923 Parade of Mermaids Competition and Water Carnival at Liberty Lake featured an aquaplaning exhibition. Not only did Lois Davenport of Coeur d’Alene perform acrobatic stunts riding the surf, she finished second in the bathing suit completion Next month we will continue with water sports, featuring water skiing and its history in our community.

The First Waterskier According to the USA Water Ski Foundation, Ralph Samuelson designed the first water skis from two pine boards and used a clothesline as a tow rope on Lake Pepin in Lake City, Minnesota in 1922 to become the first known waterskier.

Milton McGoldrick, within view of their Liberty Lake cabin, shows why a rope and handle was a good addition to the tied board aquaplane. Circa 1920 Photo courtesy of Liberty Lake Historical Society

Spokane area aquaplane demonstration. Circa 1928 Photo courtesy of Liberty Lake Historical Society

Mary Lou Petty, 1936 Olympic swimmer who grew up at Liberty Lake, takes her turn on a freeboard. Circa 1933 Photo courtesy of Liberty Lake Historical Society

Longtime Liberty Lake resident Bob Blair and his dog ride a tied board on Liberty Lake’s Westside. Bob’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren are still riding the waves at Liberty Lake. Circa 1931 Photo courtesy of Liberty Lake Historical Society

The Splash

34 • SEPTEMBER 2016

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Safety Scroll Understanding the dangers of carbon monoxide

By Spokane Valley Fire Chief Bryan Collins Most people are aware of the importance of having smoke detectors in their homes to warn them to “get out” in case of a fire. Unfortunately, the same level of awareness does not exist with carbon monoxide safety. The lack of knowledge by the general public about carbon monoxide – what it is, what it does and why it is dangerous – has led to slow implementation and standardization of carbon monoxide detectors in homes, with deadly results. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 400 people die every year from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning not related to a fire; more than 20,000 people require a trip to emergency room and more than 4,000 people are hospitalized. In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to more than 80,000 non-fire related carbon monoxide incidents nationwide in which carbon monoxide was found, or an average of nine such calls per hour. In the aftermath of the severe windstorm that swept through the region last November, the Spokane Valley Fire Department responded to two separate incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning that sent five Valley residents to the hospital, including an infant and mother.

So, what is it? Carbon monoxide, or CO, is a poisonous gas that occurs when certain fuels burn incompletely, including gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil and methane. CO is known for its “invisible traits.” It is odorless, colorless and can build up to unsafe levels quickly in enclosed or semienclosed spaces. Common household sources of CO include vehicles, generators, gas ranges, ovens, furnaces, small gasoline power equipment like weed trimmers and chain saws, boat engines, gas and camp stoves, lanterns and burning charcoal and wood. Recent research has shown that CO can even penetrate drywall at toxic levels, which is why you should never warm up your vehicle in an attached garage, or use a barbeque or generator indoors, in the garage or in a carport. Symptoms of low-level CO poisoning can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are similar to the flu – headaches, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. Breathing in high levels of CO can make you pass out and eventually be fatal. Senior citizens, infants, children, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions are more susceptible to CO poisoning than a healthy adult. CO poisoning can occur by exposure to a small amount of CO over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time. In certain conditions, CO can kill a person in a matter of a few minutes – and everyone is particularly vulnerable while sleeping – which is why early CO detection is so important. Since Jan. 1, 2013, Washington State law requires installation of CO alarms in all existing residences – apartments, condominiums, hotels, motels, triplexes, duplexes and single-family units. The exception to the law is for owner-occupied singlefamily homes built before July 26, 2009; these units must install CO alarms at time of sale. The Spokane Valley Fire Department strongly encourages all homeowners to install CO alarms regardless of regulations. The risks are just too high.

People often believe that they don’t need a CO alarm because they already have smoke alarms in every bedroom, in the hallway, in the basement, etc. While there are some combination smoke/ carbon monoxide alarm units on the market, the majority of alarms in residences, especially in older homes, are smoke alarms only. Smoke alarms work by detecting smoke particulates in the air and are incapable of detecting CO gas. I strongly encourage you to take 10 minutes this evening and do a quick inventory of the alarms in your residence. If you don’t know what type of an alarm you have, twist the unit to remove it from the ceiling and read the back. While you have it in your hand, also check for the manufacturing date. Smoke alarm units expire 10 years after the date of manufacture – no matter when it was installed or when you replaced the batteries. It is important to note that smoke/CO combo units have a shorter shelf life, typically between five to seven years. Luckily, new technology is making home and fire safety easier. Newer models of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms now come with 10-year lithium batteries. The idea is that you never replace the batteries in the new alarms; when the battery fails or the expiration date passes (whichever comes first), you simply replace the entire unit. Additionally, newer alarm models also have a “hush” feature. Gone are the days when you need to yank the beeping alarm off the ceiling every time you burn the toast; you simply push the hush button, which will give you one to two minutes of silence to turn on a fan and air out the smoke. It only takes a few moments to perform a home safety check, but those few minutes could save your life and the lives of your loved ones. For more information, visit the Washington State Department of Health website: CommunityandEnvironment/ Contaminants/CarbonMonoxide or contact the Spokane Valley Fire Department at 928-1700 for assistance. The Valley fire website is

The Spokane Valley—Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer • made up of a thick layer of loose-rock material that ranges in size from gravel to automobile-size boulders, through which water flows easily • needs water from surrounding lakes, mountain streams, the Spokane River and rain to replenish itself AQUIFER • underneath is a layer of clay that acts as a seal • serves as a drinking water source to over 500,000 people in the region

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The Splash

SEPTEMBER 2016 • 35

Drive to collect donations for Food 4 Thought

Items needed for Food 4 Thought Drive – Sept. 17

By Shaun Brown

Splash Correspondent If you peek into the average classroom in Spokane Valley, you may not be able to tell which students are living in a car or going without food most nights. A few years back Spokane Valley HEART (Homeless Education and Resource Team), a collaborative program of Central Valley, East Valley and West Valley school districts, conducted research indicating that over 800 students were living in emergency, temporary or transitional housing situations. Pat Dockrey, founder of the Food 4 Thought program, has come to the rescue with the help of the Liberty Lake Kiwanis, the Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank and several local churches throughout the Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake area. Every week during the school year, Dockrey and his volunteers assemble food packs – made of items such as canned chili and packaged oatmeal – that a child could prepare and would eat. Members from the Spokane Valley Baptist Church, Sullivan Seventh Day Adventist Church, Advent Lutheran Spokane, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints help with the delivery of the food at schools in the Central Valley School District and offices in the East Valley School District. Children in disadvantaged circumstances take the food home on the weekend, many times preparing it themselves and often sharing with their families. In June of 2014, Food 4 Thought was reaching about 185 children per week. Then Sherrie Davies of Liberty Lake approached Dockrey and the Liberty Lake Kiwanis with the idea of a food drive. Volunteers went to work and the first annual Food 4 Thought food drive became a reality. The inaugural event was a great success with area residents pitching in to donate 8,500 pounds of food. In 2015, community members from nine congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day


Fruit and Snacks:

Oatmeal packets

Applesauce cups

Granola bars

Cold cereal bowls

Peach cups

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Canned fruit

Shelf-stable milk

Cheese and crackers Cookies


Fruit roll-ups



Ramen or soup bowl

Pudding cups

Tuna Drinks: Dinner:


Macaroni and cheese

Capri Sun

Ravioli (canned with meat) Spaghetti-Os meat)


Beef stew

Last year’s Food 4 Thought collection day accounted for over 16,000 pounds of donated items. The food is distributed to less fortunate students in local school districts. This year’s drive is scheduled for Sept. 17. Contributed photo Saints turned out to gather food in September. Families walked through neighborhoods in Liberty Lake, Otis Orchards, Newman Lake, Greenacres, and Veradale, placing bags on doors one day and picking them up a few days later. Over 16,000 lbs. of food were loaded in two trucks, one parked at the LDS chapel in Liberty Lake and the other at Central Valley High School.

Chili with meat

The 2016 Food 4 Thought drive is set for Sept. 17. Watch for a flyer and bag at your door or just go to the store. Cash donations are also welcome and barrels can be found at Liberty Lake City Hall and other places around town for drop-off donations.

Desserts: Pop corn Pudding cups

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The 2015-16 school year saw the distribution list double as well with 367 students having food to take home for the weekend on a regular basis. “We are in almost every school in the Central Valley District,” Dockrey said. “And we are delivering in bulk to East Valley School District. They have their own distribution system.”

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City goats provide green solution to grounds maintenance By Mary Anne Ruddis Splash Correspondent The city of Liberty Lake has found an eco-friendly solution to broadleaf and noxious weed control – goats. Yes, goats. A few years ago, the city faced challenges in controlling weeds in unimproved areas – especially areas that were hard to access or near watersheds.

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There were concerns about invasive weeds from residents whose properties bordered the Rocky Hill Park area. The land is steep and difficult to mow and the weeds were taking over. In the steep area, mowing and the use of a Weed Eater were not only difficult but noisy and ineffective. Those traditional methods dispersed seeds and the weeds would come back and spread to the surrounding properties. Wanting an alternative to herbicides, in 2012, the city rented a herd of goats. Municipal staff and the community share credit for the innovative idea that has been a great success,

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even though it has taken some adjustments to optimize the fleet. “The first year, we brought in 28 goats and one year, we had 60,” said City Administrator Katy Allen. “It was too many. It has taken a few years to find the right number that is manageable for staff and effective for our needs.” Currently, the city has settled on eight goats – four owned by the city, two loaned from Parks and Recreation Director Jennifer Camp and two rescue goats, also from Camp. The city purchased their four pygmy goats in 2014. “There are three main benefits,” said Allen. “The first is community enjoyment. The community thinks it’s the best thing ever.” People will come and visit them as they are moved about the city clearing weeds. “The goats are all neutered, quiet, don’t smell, and have a secure pen,” Allen added. The city rotates the goats through unimproved areas at four locations, Rocky Hill Park, Pavilion Park, Nature’s Place Arboretum and Trailhead Golf Course. They have also used them in the past at Town Square Park. All but one of the goats have names and according to Camp, distinct personalities. She is not sure why the one doesn’t yet have a name. “Maybe the residents can

See GOATS, Page 37

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At one point the city kept 60 goats to address scruffy lots around town. That number is now at eight. Photo by Mary Anne Ruddis

The Splash

SEPTEMBER 2016 • 37

Liberty Lake Parks and Recreation Director Jennifer Camp (left) and City Administrator Katy Allen attend a committee meeting with several of the city’s “maintenance” goats. The creatures were brought on in 2012 as a way to clear weeds in certain areas of the city. Photo by Mary Anne Ruddis


Continued from page 36 offer a name,” she said. “This was a smart thing for the city to do,” said Liberty Lake resident Amy Mason, whose property borders Rocky Hill. “There are less chemicals near my house, less noise and one more attraction. People come and see them. And they do a darn good job.” The second benefit is that the goats are environmentally responsible. With a growing awareness of the harm that chemicals do to our environment, goats are a natural way to reduce weeds in non-toxic way. There is also a reduction in pollution from gas-powered mowers and a reduction in noise. The goats love to eat broadleaf and noxious weeds over native grasses. They eat the flower heads and reduce the amount of seeds that would otherwise spread. This reduction in recurring weeds allows the natural grasses to flourish. They will also eat bark and bushes which is why they are penned to contain the area where they work or they may eat ornamental shrubs as well. In addition, the staff supplements the goats’ diet with hay and sweet grass. The goats are in the city for about five months each year and are moved approximately once a month to a new location once the area has been cleared.

Camp, who has a degree from Washington State University in Crop and Soil Science with an option in Turf Management, oversees the goats both during their time with the city and over the winter. According to Allen, Camp “knows all about the goats.” She is familiar with the goats not only by their name but also by their personality traits. Goats are known as pack animals and should never be separated from each other. According to Camp, goats typically live 10 to 13 years. Over the winter, she cares for them at her home. “This truly is a community project,” Camp said, pointing to involvement from City Council Member Dan Dunne who is involved in a recycling program for Christmas trees. Dunne brings the recycled trees to Camp to feed the goats needles and bark. The third benefit is savings on labor costs. The total cost of the program is no more than using herbicides and traditional clearing of weeds. The staff time to care for the goats is concentrated. Eight goats are much more manageable than the initial herd. It takes five staff members about four hours once a month to take down the pens and reconstruct them at the next location. The maintenance is low. The environmental and community benefits are high.


The Splash

38 • SEPTEMBER 2016

Reflections from the Lake By Wendy Van Orman Our 15th anniversary of becoming the city of Liberty Lake brings back fond memories of a community that worked together for a common goal. We sought to have control over how our community was to build out, the services that needed to be fulfilled and the laws that needed to be put in place for the land use protections that would last a lifetime. How did all of the neighbors do it and has the work paid off? Armed with newspaper articles, memories and experiences, I hope to capture what was being felt by the community before we became a city. Back then it was a lot of unknowns, but several groups of individuals came together to make the puzzle pieces fall into place.

To find the needs of your fellow neighbors in the community we live in is relatively easy – complete a survey and ask. Surveys went to each household and identified into distinctive neighborhoods within the surrounding area of the lake. Once the neighborhood had been identified, the issues were identified and corrected through the years. The survey was conducted in 1998 and also helped to identify services that the community wanted and needed. Since then, health services, grocery stores, veterinarians, restaurants, etc. have grown to meet the needs as well as improvements within the library services, roads, parks and public safety for the community. A feasibility study was completed to see if our small community could support itself and provide the necessary services needed for each resident. At the time, one officer covered from Sullivan to the State Line and 44th to north of the River. The winter commute was difficult with snow drifts cutting off neighborhoods; now plows were

scarce if seen at all. We identified the revenue streams as well as the expenditures that would be needed. According to the study, the community of Liberty Lake would be able to stand on its own and keep its identity of becoming the city of Liberty Lake. As part of the eight-person governance study group (Tom Agnew, Jim Frank, Lud Kramer, Anne Long, Sharon Matthews, Stan Schultz, Judy Williams and myself), we put together and implemented the survey and put out the feasibility study to find the best possible options for providing services within the community. On Feb. 24, 2000, armed with paperwork and $100, Lud Kramer filed with the Boundary Review Board to identify the boundaries of the potential city moving quickly to avoid being included into the incorporation bid by the entire Spokane Valley. Once Liberty Lake 2000 formed and established the southernmost boundary for the city in the same location as the Urban Growth

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Boundary drawn by Spokane County which is Sprague Avenue. I became the spokesperson and along with other diligent volunteers, we worked to get incorporation onto the ballot. The establishment of Liberty Lake Splash newspaper by Nathan and Shaun Brown brought the conversation to each household. The pros and cons were discussed and options presented regarding a two-step process. The first step was incorporation of north of Sprague, once the boundary was finalized, the consideration for moving the boundary could not be done until after November of 2001. The second step was the portion surrounding the lake that was already built out for a clear delineation between rural and urban. Necessary protections would need to be put into place to keep the hillsides from becoming built out by implementing building moratoriums while the secondd


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Continued from page 38 step to incorporate south Sprague went into play.


We had several gatherings to get as many people involved as possible to educate the community on the options we had before us for governing options. Out of the five options available, the most feasible step was incorporation. We sent out letters to the homeowners’ associations, attended meetings and gathered signatures door to door to put a vote before the residence. Lots of conversations around the dinner tables of our small community took place. We were identifying what we wanted, how to get there and when the vote was finally taken, a resounding 64.7 percent said yes! The next step was to set up the leadership team that would be willing to put in the time to create this new city and identify the service needs and how to provide them. Six different transition

teams were set up to take on the research needed for services within the community to pass along to the future City Council. My role became the chairman of City/County Service Transition Team. Over 100 residents showed up to be placed onto committees. The very first race/election brought many of the candidates from those transition teams that had done the research needed for services. The first candidates had a fast and difficult education and basically dropped both feet in deep water to swim! Not a lot of time passed before putting our names in as candidates to campaigning and getting elected. We even made our own candidate pamphlet to send out to the residents. For my decision to run, it was a next step to make sure that the necessary ordinances and protections were put into place. Having our first candidate forum in Liberty Lake Elementary Cafeteria in January of 2001 ahead of the February primary allowed all

15 candidates a table and the opportunity to introduce ourselves to the community. None of us were politicians. I remember my one liner of not wanting to become a politician. We were there to make a difference and be able to set up the city with services and serve our community. The first City Council was sworn in on May 7, 2001 and included: Steve Peterson as mayor with Council Members Dennis Paul, David Crump, Judi Owens, Brian Sayrs, Scott Bernhard, Tim Shea and myself. We had a lot of work to be completed before the actual date of incorporation, so we hit the ground running. One obvious point, we had no start-up money. Two of the council members (Dave and Scott) took out a loan and vouched for funding to get a start before the funding from the country road tax arrived. As a City Council member, the most obvious priority in 2000 was to get the ordinances put into place for the blueprints of the city. It





moratoriums into place and getting ordinances written that gave clear expectations of how we wanted the community to look and feel. We also adopted building codes and land use plans. All of the current laws we had been living under were going away on our official incorporation date, even how fast we could travel on city roads. We felt strongly to set up a rainy day fund of 15 percent for a future day that was unforeseen. We implemented several sixmonth moratoriums to give us time to set up ordinances, those included everything from cellular towers, signage, billboards, watershed, architectural Review, lighting and more. We were seizing the day and setting it up the best way possible. We were able to research neighboring cities within Washington State and take the best of the best to incorporate into our blueprints for the laws to be written. Being the first City Council was

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The Splash

SEPTEMBER 2016 • 41

CVSD begins school year in building mode By Benjamin Shedlock Splash Correspondent Liberty Lake Elementary, meet Liberty Creek Elementary. University High School, meet the Central Valley Virtual Learning Center. Five-year-old students, meet full-day kindergarten. Central Valley School District is continuing its expansion this year to keep up with the growth districtwide. The district will continue to apply money from a 2015 construction bond to fund capital improvements. The growth in facilities will decrease class sizes for young elementary school students and create programing opportunities for older ones. CVSD has 11 construction projects underway or on the books. Work will start on the new buildings at North Pines Middle School in July 2017 and Ponderosa Elementary School in July 2017. “The completion of these school projects will move us leaps ahead in providing the appropriate learning and teaching environment,” said CVSD Superintendent Ben Small. “Those schools with open concept designs will see an immediate impacted as those designs have been updated to modern standards.” Two completely new schools will reshape the elementary scene. In March of the 2016-2017 school year, a new school at Mission and Long will begin to form. Construction is slated to finish this year at the new Liberty Creek Elementary School, a new K-2 site just across the road from Liberty Lake Elementary. The new elementary school at Mission and Long and Liberty Creek represent the way the district is responding to the fast pace of local population growth. The region’s increasing density is felt acutely in the schools. According to CVSD spokesperson Marla Nunberg, University and Central Valley High Schools were both built to accommodate 1,488 students, but now University High School hosts 1,800 and Central Valley is North of 2,000. While the high schools biggest buildings, most district’s 13,000 students elementary and middle

are the of the learn in schools.

The renovation of Evergreen Middle School is one of several capital improvement projects underway in the Central Valley School District. Photo by Craig Howard To plan for this challenge, Central Valley adopted a capital facilities plan that included building four new schools and renovating several more by 2033. It was in part due to the growth projections that the district asked voters to pass a $121.9 million bond in February 2015. It was the first school funding bond that passed in the district since the vote that passed in 1998 and funded new campuses at CV and U-Hi along with other building improvements throughout the district. Along with a new comprehensive high school that is being planned, Liberty Creek was slated to be built with the bond money and groundbreaking took place in January. The bond also paid for the planned school renovations, the first of which was completed February at the renamed Mica Peak High School. According to Nunberg, disruption to students will be minimal. Evergreen Middle and Chester, Greenacres, Sunrise, and Opportunity elementary schools will be undergoing renovations. Students at Sunrise Elementary will be housed at the old Liberty High School, along with some students from Evergreen. Other Evergreen students will share space with current Opportunity and Greenacres students. “We’ve planned carefully to keep students separated from construction work to preserve the educational environment as much as possible,” said Greenacres Elementary Principal Lindsay Kent. A construction sneak preview tour

was held on Aug. 25 and the district is providing booklets to residents based on that tour and describing the changes. “By being cognizant of funds and planning carefully, we’re able to get the projects done,” Nunberg said. All bond-related construction is planned to wrap up in 2018. With its current projects moving forward, the district realized that it was making significant progress on its 2033 strategic plan for growth. With local bond money backing up the district’s growth plan, Central Valley made a winning case for additional state funds and received a state Class Size Reduction Grant worth more than $20 million. In total, the state match is worth 85 percent of the bond money. The class size grant is opening up opportunities for new programming, Small pointed out. “Maybe the biggest impact is that we will be able to offer full-day kindergarten and meet our class size reduction requirements of 17-1 in kindergarten through third grade at all of our elementary schools in our district by the fall of 2017,” Small said. Adding capacity to neighborhood schools will mean less bussing of students to schools outside their attendance area, Small added. “As a growing school district, capacity is a challenge for us and this voter-approved bond allows us to address our capacity issues at the elementary level,” Small said. Older students will benefit from increased programming through

Central Valley Virtual Learning, or CVVL. Currently, CVVL is a suite of online courses that allow students to supplement their home school courses remotely with an additional subject. The district bought the old Spokesman-Review building at 13208 E. Sprague Ave. as a brickand-mortar home for the programs, which eighth to 12th graders will be able to access starting in 2018. “Central Valley Virtual Learning will increase the learning opportunities that students can choose at their home high schools,” said CVVL Alison Walton. “Our curriculum is designed to be rigorous, relevant, and personalized to meet the needs of our students. Our dedicated learning space for CVVL will soon offer students and their families an engaging learning environment where they can receive instructional support from CVSD teachers, tutors and student-led study groups.” In addition, four new classrooms will be added at Summit School over the next two years, and Horizon Middle School will get a new roof for its gym. New safety and security systems are also being installed in every Central Valley school. The building blitz will make a big dent in the district’s need for space, but according to Nunberg, it only kept up with current growth. Looking ahead, the district’s capital facilities committee has begun discussing an additional bond for 2018. They will meet more this fall, and any bond must come up to the school board for approval, which would happen in December at the earliest.

The Splash

42 • SEPTEMBER 2016


have done and set it up better than most cities that are over 100 years old, taking the best solutions and incorporate them into our ordinances.

Continued from page 39 one of a kind. We were starting a new city and the white board was clean. Our city valuation was $450,000 and property tax levy was $2.10 per $1,000 and population was 3,654. The county road tax went away so the actual property tax levy went down after we incorporated. We would be able to look at what other cities

With a very short amount of time to accomplish much before the actual incorporation date of Aug. 31, 2001. We were all filled with a sense of pride knowing that services were going to finally be fulfilling the needs of the residents



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all within the current taxes being collected. The next 10 years we experienced a lot of milestones and the following five years have even expanded upon the base years. During that first year of 2001, our City Hall started at Tier Point with free space then rented within the Liberty Square Building. We hired the first group of city employees and purchased our first city vehicle a 1995 Dodge Dakota. In 2002, we purchased three police cars, Trailhead Golf Course and formed the Planning Commission. In 2003, we adopted a comprehensive plan, acquired Pavillion Park for a ceremonial $5 from Spokane County and assumed animal control in-house. In 2004, we purchased the City Hall, our municipal library opened in space provided at the Liberty Square Building, 26 miles of trail system were completed, we hired six police officers under a grant and celebrated our first official tree lighting ceremony becoming a tree city! In 2005, We purchased the 6.4 acre parcel for Town Square and the arboretum site was acquired, Home Depot called Liberty Lake home. In 2006, Itron moves to town, the business incubator space at Liberty Square Building formed, Hawkstone specific area plan was adopted and the city maintenance facility was completed. In 2007, we hired two more officers, the pedestrian bridge was completed, Parks and Recreation was formed, we added the first roundabout in the River District and heated driving range at Trailhead Golf Course was introduced . I transitioned from council member (term 2000-2007) to mayor (term 2008-2011).

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In 2008, we purchased the public safety/library Building and renovated it for under $2 million, paid in full and furnished it with items found on Craigs’ List, the first phase of Rocky Hill Park was completed and our Youth Commission won the Chase Youth Awards. Transparency was

established with ordinances and minutes on the website. Recreation activities were expanded with the CHILL program. In 2009, Skate Park was built with a recreation grant, River District Specific Area Plan was adopted and the five year transportation improvement plan was established. In 2010, Rocky Hill phase two was completed with playground, restrooms, tennis courts, community gardens and picnic shelter thanks to a state grant. Liberty Lake Days was established. At this point in time the city valuation had grown to $1.2 billion, property tax levy had shrunk to $1.55 per $1,000 and our population grew to 7,620. In 2011, arboretum phase one was completed with a monument to Steven La Liberte, trees, community gardens, art bumpouts, irrigation system and pathways were added and the time capsule was buried, Valleyway received a makeover and completed with a transportation improvement board grant, Trailhead golf course paid off. Projects that were designed years ago are now being implemented. The planning that took place years ago is now coming to fruition, making the vision a reality. We have been the fastest growing community in Spokane County. The master plan that was devised 40 years ago for Liberty Lake may not be duplicated. No new tract of that size is permissible with the county urban growth boundary. We had a unique set of circumstances beginning with developer Bill Main, Sr. then on to developer Jim Frank who has continued with the master plan’s goal of accessibility, desirable amenities and buffered growth. Everything is within easy reach. Since that time, we have adopted many specific area plans for the River District and Hawkstone (now Stonehill) to add onto that master plan. Many new businesses have made Liberty Lake their corporate headquarters. Liberty Lake and its surrounding community has all the right stuff to make a beautiful place called “home.” We are the best kept secret and live up to the “premier address” that so many have named us.

The Splash

SEPTEMBER 2016 • 43

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44 • SEPTEMBER 2016

Remembering the Dream By Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich

It is with a heavy heart I write this article. The past month has been emotional for peace officers across our nation. Eight police officers from Dallas and Baton Rouge, collectively, have been assassinated out of hate for the jobs they do for our society and even more sadly, because of the color of their skin. The questions I hear most is why and when will this stop? As a nation, we struggle to make sense of the senseless. The morning after the assassinations of the five police officers in Dallas, I was contacted by various media groups wanting a comment. I struggled to make myself play the role of the “talking head” concerning this issue because I truly believe “talking heads” are part of the “why?” people are asking. The words they use do nothing more than inflame and sensationalize an issue that, in and of itself, has been politicized. Words are very powerful - as powerful, if not more powerful, than any weapon made by man; for it is how we use our words that drives us to use those weapons. I made it very clear that morning I was not going to be a “talking head” about this issue and pointed out what I have been saying for the past two years – the words and politics of fear, anger and hate had led to the assassinations of police officers. It is imperative our leaders start weighing their words more carefully and perhaps live by the Constitutional principles they

About the Opinion Page The Splash opinion page is intended to be a community forum for discussing local issues. Please interact with us by sending a letter to the editor or Liberty Lake Voices guest column for consideration. Letters to the editor of no more than 350 words or guest columns of about 700 words should be e-mailed to or mailed to P.O. Box 363, Liberty Lake, WA 99019. A full name and telephone number must be included for purposes of verification. A photo of the author must be taken or provided for all guest columns. The Splash reserves the right to edit or reject any submission. Business complaints or endorsements will not be accepted, and political endorsement letters will only be accepted if they interact with issues of a campaign. Views expressed in signed columns or letters do not necessarily reflect the views of this newspaper or its staff. Editorials, which appear under the heading "Splash Editorial," represent the voice of The Splash and are written by Publisher Ben Wick.

OPINION all claim to uphold by giving police officers the same due process they demand for others. How, as a people who are governed by Constitutional principles, can we rush to judgment concerning the actions of our peace officers when we do not know any, let alone, all of the facts? Even more, how can we use these events, based on ignorance of those facts, to justify killing anyone, let alone a police officer. To the men and women of our nation who put a badge on every day and go out and do one of the most difficult jobs there is, “Thank you.” To your families, “Thank you.” The toll your job has on you and your families is immense. I’ll never forget the night my 5-year old son ran up to me, grabbing me around the leg, as I walked out the door for my next shift. I’ll never forget his eyes as he looked up at me and said, “Daddy don’t let the bad guy get you tonight.” Why did he do this, you ask? He had heard on the evening news a police officer had been killed by a bad guy. Words can never thank you and your families enough for what you do for us - your willingness to lay your lives down for ours. We saw that willingness when those Dallas police officers came under fire. They were there to protect people protesting them. During the protest, they stood there and listened as the crowd spoke against them and their profession and then the shots rang out. Those same police officers were there to protect the protestors’ First Amendment rights and listened to their harsh words against them. Those officers then began running toward the danger and became human shields for the same protesters who spoke out against them. They threw themselves down on those protesters to protect them from the bullets fired by a man who wanted to kill “white cops.” The men and women of the Dallas Police Department distinguished themselves that night and exemplified to the world and their nation the true nature of those who wear the badge across our great country. Since that time, the “talking

heads” have continued to use words that only divide our nation but yet, something else has happened. There has been an awakening of the silent majority who are coming to the aid of their peace officers. I would like to thank all of the everyday people who have stopped by the Sheriff’s Office at the Public Safety Building and the city of Spokane Valley Police Department’s precinct with cookies, pies, letters and cards. Thank you for your outpouring of support. I ask for your continued help and support in healing our country. I have three people in history who I look towards as examples of how I want to live my life: George Washington, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. They stand out because they were willing to lay down their lives for others and they knew standing for what they believed in could cost them their lives. Washington could have been king, he was offered the title, and he said no. He had all the power and gave it back to us, to the people, in hopes we would build a free and just society. Reverend King knew his stand for true freedom, equality and justice may cost him his life and ultimately it did. He gave his life in hopes that we would not let his sacrifice be in vain, that we would become the great, just, honorable, and united nation we have the potential to be. What are we doing with their sacrifices, other than tearing ourselves apart? I hear from all sides of this issue we need to engage in dialogue and talk about the disparities within law enforcement. I say the time for dialogue is over, it is time for true leadership to step in and pull both sides together; instead of talking about the issues, we need to find the root causes of these disparities which are dividing our nation and solve them. We can do this if we hold onto “the Dream” that is America, where, to paraphrase Reverend King, all men and women are created equally, one where little black boys and girls and little white boys and girls will one day join hands as sisters and brothers. Reverend King gave us a Dream, maybe we should be holding onto it and making it a reality. #HoldontotheDream.

The Splash

Dear Editor:

I would just like to put a HUGE thank you out there to everyone who came, participated and enjoyed Barefoot in the Park (8/5 thru 8/7). This event was yet again how wonderful our city of Liberty Lake really is. Imagine this – six different organizations sitting down together and planning an event that would benefit our community is unheard of, however folks, this is exactly what happened! I definitely was skeptical how this would pan out in the very beginning, however, this group, Barefoot 3v3 Soccer Tournament, Liberty Lake Running Club, Friends of Pavillion Park (FOPP), Liberty Lake Kiwanis, The HUB Sports Center, and the City of Liberty Lake did just that. Jennifer Camp kept this group on point and focused. FOPP brought us great music once again and Kiwanis brought together the car show and beer garden. We were able to showcase our great city with the prep that the grounds crew worked for weeks so diligently on. Not to mention the WHOLE weekend, we had city crews to help at all areas. I know the set up and the car show they were instrumental in its success. I heard comments from visitors wondering what it took to become a member of this awesome community. I also heard comments of, “Can we do this every weekend?” The free games, inflatable slide, petting zoo, pony rides, and bungee trampoline where a huge hit! These were all items the city provided for FREE on Saturday 8/6! The Bubble Ball by The HUB was a hoot to watch! Folks put this on your calendar next year and be sure when you see a city of Liberty Lake grounds crew around town, tell them “Thanks”. See one of our council members or our mayor, say “Thanks!” I know I have a whole new appreciation for who they are and their amazing insight for backing a community event such as this!

Melissa Niece Liberty Lake

The Splash

SEPTEMBER 2016 • 45



Craig Howard



Contact us for Details! CIRCULATION Dean Byrns CONTRIBUTORS

Tom Agnew, Jamie Borgan, Derek Brown, Shaun Brown, Craig Howard, Mary Kate Koch, Staci Lehman, Shardé Mills, Mary Anne Ruddis, Ross Schneidmiller, Mike Vlahovich, Tyler Wilson The Liberty Lake Splash P.O. Box 363 Liberty Lake, WA 99019 Phone: 242-7752 The Splash is published monthly by or before the first of each month. It is distributed free of charge to every business and home in the greater Liberty Lake area. Additional copies are located at drop-off locations in Liberty Lake and Otis Orchards.

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

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Clark’s Tire and Automotive • Family Medicine/Healthy Living Liberty Lake Greenstone • Liberty Lake Family Dentistry • Liberty Lake Orthodontics Thrivent Financial

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A story in the August issue of the Splash mistakenly referred to Ben Craig, a 2016 graduate of Central Valley High School, as the senior class valedictorian. Seniors Jacob Ross and Josh Jenkins were the co-valedictorians. The Splash regrets the error.

Amaculate Housekeeping 18 Banner Furnace & Fuel 5 Casey Family Dental 45 Central Valley Theatre 22 City of Liberty Lake 3 Clark’s Tire & Automotive 3 Coldwell Banker - Rob Brickett 15 Coeur d’Alene Deck 8 Cornerstone Penecostal Church 22 Custom Fit Lighting 20 Donna’s Dance 16 Evergreen Fountain 29 Family Medicine Liberty Lake 11 Friends of Manito 20 Greenstone 17 Inland Empire Utility Coordinating Council16

Jim Custer Enterprises 19 John L Scott - Pam Fredrick 8 Just Chillin’ Eats and Sweets 22 KiDDS Dental 25 Liberty Lake Athletic Club 37 Liberty Lake Centennial Rotary 19 Liberty Lake Community Theatre 40 Liberty Lake EyeCare Center 3 Liberty Lake Family Dentistry 5 Liberty Lake Farmer’s Market 40 iberty Lake Municipal Library 21 Liberty Lake Orthodontics 22 Liberty Lake Sewer & Water District 34 Liberty Lube 32 LIFT 43 Northern Quest Casino 48

Odyssey Sports Ott Knott Used Golf Carts Painting With a Twist Rockin’ B Ranch Salon Capello- Alisha Fenton Sarah Hamilton FACE Simonds Dental Group Spokane Realty- Courtney Hanks Spokane Stars Basketball Thrivent Financial Tracy Jeweler True Legends Valley Hospital Service Directory

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The Splash


Wheelchairs, rugby and lessons in courage from Brazil

By Craig Howard Splash Editor Josh Brewer’s remarkable journey to the Paralympics started on the sweltering asphalt of downtown Spokane in late June of 2009. I was working as a reporter for the Spokane Valley News Herald at the time, looking for features on the 20th rendition of Hoopfest that went beyond goofy team names and the total of sprained ankles sustained over two days of basketball on the blacktop. That Saturday, Josh – part of a threeplayer squad from Team St. Luke’s – became the story. Josh had come to America in late 2007, adopted by Matt and Laura Brewer of Spokane Valley. Originally from Ethiopia, Josh was severely injured at the age of 10 in an accident that claimed both of his legs and his right arm. Many considered the aftermath and figured he would achieve little. Josh had different ideas. “It was tough, but I wasn’t all grumpy all the time,” Josh said. “I was just glad to see another day, the sun’s out and everything. I do have my down times, but for the most part I’m happy about life. So, I’m missing three limbs. I’m going to make the best of it. Whatever you’ve got, you make the best of it.” Josh had not played competitive wheelchair basketball before that first day of Hoopfest seven years ago. He had done his best to practice on the neighborhood hoop in the weeks leading up to the event but this was a different ballgame entirely. Wheelchair basketball is not for the faint of heart. Yet when opponents caromed into Josh and his chair, he simply spun around and glided the ball calmly through the net. By the time the bracket played out, Josh and his team had won their division and inspired all of those fortunate enough to witness their efforts. “I wasn’t sure how well I would play,” Brewer recalls of his first tournament. “It turned out better than I thought it would.” Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden once said, “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” For Josh, the one remaining arm became his foundation. His status as a triple

Josh Brewer attended Bowdish Middle School and University High School before moving to Battle Ground, Washington in 2012. Brewer learned in July that he would be part of the Team USA Wheelchair Rugby roster for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sept. 7-18. Contributed photo amputee defined him for some. Those who knew him best could see that his heart placed him in another elite category altogether. “It just goes to prove you’re never lost,” said Teresa Skinner who coached Josh with Team St. Luke’s and is now the executive director of ParaSport Spokane. “With Josh, I saw the potential, not the disability. Most of us take what we have for granted, but Josh has taken what he has and made the absolute most of it.” Josh attended Bowdish Middle School in Spokane Valley from the sixth through the eighth grade before enrolling at University High School. He was a sophomore at U-Hi when his family moved to Battleground, Washington, a suburb of Vancouver, in the fall of 2012. A few months before the move, Josh was part of a Team St. Luke’s squad that soared to a title at the National Wheelchair Basketball Association Championships in Colorado Springs, defeating a team from Michigan, 50-45 in the final. “It was awesome,” Brewer said of the NWBAC crown. “That last game, the team we were playing was as good as us. We worked like a team to win. It was like, ‘Whoa, I’m a national champion.’”

The skill and savvy Josh brought to the basketball court would eventually land him on another national stage – this time with Team USA as part of the men’s rugby team headed to the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. While visiting the University of Texas-Arlington on a recruiting trip for basketball, Josh met a player on the Team USA rugby squad. Basketball aptitude translates well to rugby for wheelchair athletes who learn to navigate their chairs adroitly across a basketball-sized court. With four players per side, the object of the game is carry the ball across the opponent’s goal line while trying to avoid the blitz of foes crashing in from all angles. The rugby ball, the size of a volleyball, must be bounced or passed at least once every 10 seconds. “Most of the skills I’ve learned on the basketball court carry over into rugby,” Josh said. Josh tackled rugby with the same optimism, ambition and energy he had brought to basketball. In late July, he learned that he would be part of the Team USA contingent competing in the Paralympics, Sept. 7-18. “It was such a blessing to hear my name finally announced,” Josh

SEPTEMBER 2016 • 47

said. “It just feels like the American Dream to be honest. To think that a foreigner like me came here to make America my home and then I have the opportunity to represent this country, it’s like everything you learn in school.” Josh and his Team USA colleagues will be trying to earn back the gold medal they last won in 2008 at the Paralympics in Beijing, China. Australia took gold in London in 2012, defeating Canada in the final. Team USA finished with the bronze. As he dons the red, white and blue in Rio this month, Josh gives credit to those coaches and mentors from Spokane who were there with him on that first Hoopfest court for his inaugural competitive test. “It showed me what you can do in a wheelchair – the big picture,” he said. “I started believing in myself. They put the standard high and let me know that nothing is given to you, it has to be earned. They just never gave up on me.” While millions will be cheering on Josh and Team USA in their quest for gold this month, those who know him best understand that this Paralympian has already scaled a different kind of winner’s podium. “When you’re struggling and you want to get better, it’s in your heart and your mind,” Josh said. “Before, I didn’t think I could become anyone. Now that I’ve been here and seen all the opportunities I have, it makes you realize you can be a somebody. I have one arm, I can type on a computer. You have to find new strength every time. You have to find courage. You can push yourself to so many levels you don’t even know.”

Josh Brewer was part of a national title in 2012 when Spokane-based Team St. Luke’s defeated a team from Michigan in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association Championships in Colorado Springs. File photo

The Splash

48 • SEPTEMBER 2016

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September 2016 Splash  

Knights of the Fairway: From tee to green with Liberty Lake's golf pros

September 2016 Splash  

Knights of the Fairway: From tee to green with Liberty Lake's golf pros