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2 • FEBRUARY 2014

A new voice at EVSD Voelker brings financial background in joining trio of new faces on school board By Craig Howard


As the chief financial officer at Valley Hospital and Medical Center, Justin Voelker is accustomed to crunching numbers. When the final ballots were tabulated in last November’s general election, the Oregon native celebrated a count that found him narrowly defeating Heidi Gillingham by 180 votes for the District 3 seat on the East Valley School District Board of Directors. Voelker’s win — combined with victories by Fred Helms and Mike Novakovich — represents a new wave of leadership for

A Cup of Joe EVSD. The fall vote ushered out incumbents Gillingham and Kerri Lunstroth, while another veteran board member, Roger Trainor, withdrew from the race, opening the door for Novakovich in District 5. New to the school board, Voelker has been an EVSD parent since 2009. He and his wife, Tamie, have two children who attend school in East Valley. The Voelkers moved to Spokane Valley five years ago from southern California, where Justin was serving as CFO with another hospital. They have family nearby in the Tri-Cities, Yakima and Oregon. “We’re very happy to be back in the Northwest,” Voelker said. Voelker, who was part of student government in college, says he first considered running for the board when the district’s cash reserves began to dwindle several years ago. He has expressed concerns with the transition to the K-8 format in EVSD,

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pointing to issues with busing, facilities and declining test scores for students in grades 6-8. At the same time, Voelker has stopped short of calling for an administrative shift, saying Superintendent John Glenewinkel “has done a great job educating our students.” While the newly reconstituted board has yet to make a decision on the direction of K-8, a well-attended meeting on Jan. 14 made it clear that the East Valley community is fairly split on the subject. Around half of the crowd of 75 stood up when asked who supported the current structure. Meanwhile, Voelker and the rest of the board face the specter of how to address the declining state of buildings throughout the district. A defeat at the ballot last February represented the fifth failure of a capital facilities bond since 2008. The Current sat down with Voelker recently to talk about the general election, the K-8 debate and the shifting terrain in East Valley.


What were some of your initial impressions of the East Valley School District from the perspective of a parent when you moved here in 2009?

The Current


As a parent, I would say it was very positive. One thing I’ve noticed over the years is regardless of the facilities, from an educational perspective, if you have teachers who are dedicated, parents who are involved and administrators who care, it’s going to be a positive experience. Q: When did you first think you might want to run for the school board? A: That was probably 2011. I met with the superintendent after the bond failure, but I held off until August when the K-8 was going to have its first implementation that fall. That had some implications and I had some questions. I got some answers and didn’t get other answers. I thought then that I might want to run, but I was just going to see how things shook out. In my district, the election occurred right when we got here so I wouldn’t have had enough tenure in the district to run. Q: When you eventually decided to become a candidate, what was your campaign strategy? A: I thought about how this district is structured. I went through the precincts, I went through the last wins and said, “OK, what is our end goal?” The next step is we’re going to get elected. I solicited for campaign donations and contributed to my own campaign. I got some signs and

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4 • FEBRUARY 2014



Justin Voelker collected just over 51 percent of the vote last November to defeat Heidi Gillingham in the District 3 East Valley School District Board of Directors race.

VOELKER Continued from page 2

put them up all over the place. We printed up flyers, we did door-to-door work. After the primary, when I didn’t do well, we looked at where we needed to improve. It was the area just south of the high school and in the Trent area. So, we doorbelled the area, handed out flyers and then I did robo-calls (recorded voice calls) the last two Saturdays before ballots were due. On election night, it was within 20 votes. It eventually grew to 180, but it was a close vote. I knew it was going to be close — that’s why I campaigned like I did. Q: What did you hear when you were out talking to residents in the district prior to the election? Were there certain topics that emerged more than others? A: I heard three major themes — K-8, superintendent, the bond and, to a lesser extent, I heard about other concerns like test scores, bullying and others. As far as

K-8 goes, I never said in my campaign that it’s a bad system. I think it’s different. It works for some and doesn’t work for others. I think where we have issues with it and where I’m working on it in my new role with the board is the implementation that occurred. I did say in my campaign that I thought the implementation was poorly executed and poorly led. Now I have the opportunity to work with the other members of the board and the administration to see how we can correct this. Q: How do you think the discussion about K-8 will transpire over the next year or so? A: Part of it — and Mike Novakovich and I feel the same way — is that we have to get more input and information. That’s why we had the meeting we did on Jan. 14. We got lots of feedback at that meeting. We have to decide where we’re going as a district. I have a lot of supporters who don’t like K-8. At the same time, as an elected representative, I have to understand the viewpoints of folks who are for it. I want to

understand the pluses and minuses and if this is the best way to provide an education for our kids with the resources we have and give them the best chance to succeed in the outside world. If it’s K-8, it’s K-8; if it’s something else, we’ve got to figure that out. Q: Have you had a chance to talk much with John Glenewinkel? As a parent in the district and now a representative of the board, what is your opinion of the work he has done since taking over in the 2008-09 school year? A: Even if we’ve disagreed, it’s always been in a very respectful nature. I think the superintendent does a great job running the district, of educating students and leading teachers and principals. He’s been very successful with certain things in the district. I think where people find fault is that he can also be very direct, which doesn’t always help things and sometimes there’s been criticism of his leadership and execution of things. Q: The last time this district passed a capital facilities bond was 1996. A total of five votes have failed since 2008. Is there a general consensus that while East Valley schools are well-maintained, it’s time to renovate some of these buildings even if the facilitation of that isn’t exactly clear? A: Some of these buildings are old and we need to figure out what we’re going to do. I think there were a couple of reasons the vote in 2011 failed: K-8, and there was an inconsistent message whether the facilities need to be restructured or repaired or what we need to do. I’ve discussed this with many of my supporters. I know the last bond (in February 2013) there was a lot of criticism. We have to be able to send a message about maybe doing one bond per school or we’re going to do a capital levy. I know when you piecemeal it, there’s concern that you don’t get all the matching funds — but then you also don’t get all the negative rhetoric at once either. Really, it’s a community commitment to the schools. We have to figure out how we can make that different so we are successful. The other thing I’m holding out

hope for is the legislature is to reduce (the bond passage requirement) from a super majority to a simple majority. Q: What’s your take on something like the East Valley Farm and Community Garden? This is a project that basically took a vacant patch of land near the high school and turned it into a resource of healthy food for students and the community? A: It’s an innovative idea. It’s one of the great things the superintendent has done. They actually brought a whole bunch of flour from wheat milled from that garden right after the election. The superintendent has actually reinstituted more of a holistic type of cooking as opposed to the pre-packaged food. It’s been a good thing. Q: Your board started out this year with three new people around the dais. How do you think the addition of yourself, Mike and Fred is going to affect the dynamic of this group? A: We have similar priorities. My emphasis is on fiscal accountability and academic excellence. I know Fred is focused on the district’s relationship with paraprofessionals, busing routes and dietary and Mike is concerned about our image in the district, how are we structured and are our relationships good with our teachers. I know Mitch Jensen is really good with all the legislative stuff and Mike Harris has his own priorities and things he’s worked on over the years. Q: Do you think the board will have a good level of collaboration moving forward? A: I think it will be different. I think we all respect each other’s opinions. From attending meetings, and having met and talked with Mike and Mitch, I have a good professional respect for them. There will be disagreements but the key will be focusing on the main goal of providing the best education for our students with the resources we have. We need to set our board goals, and we have to work together. I think things are going to get better. I think the future’s bright.

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The Current

FEBRUARY 2014 • 5


Grafos takes citizen-centered approach into new mayoral role Council member calls appointment to ceremonial office ‘an evolution of my service’

old Grafos worked summers at his future father-in-law’s resort. In fact, Grafos first met his wife as a fifth-grader in church. After going to Eastern Washington University, Grafos and his wife moved back to the Valley. Grafos has been a local real estate broker and business By Eli Francovich CURRENT CONTRIBUTOR owner ever since. In that time, he’s Dean Grafos doesn't like asking others to seen the Valley go do his job. Spokane Valley’s newest mayor from a series of small prefers to get it done himself. rural communities to In 2010, while spearheading the political GRAFOS a sprawling, almost push to remove the Sprague/Appleway Reurban conglomeravitalization Plan (SARP), then-Councilman tion of communities. This rapid growth is Grafos went door to door asking local busione of the challenges faced by the Valley ness owners how the proposed plan would — and its leaders. Grafos characterizes it as affect their business. He then compiled the the “‘push-pull’ of urbanization.” This forces testimonials and presented them to the politicians and citizens to strike a balance council. Ultimately, SARP was voted down. that, “preserves Valley character and yet po“When he tackled SARP, he would go out sitions our community for the new century.” and get testimonials, real testimonials from It’s this rural background that gives the business owners,” said Brenda Grassel, who Valley its unique character, Woodard said, served with Grafos on the City Council at saying Grafos’ background as a rural kid the time. “He wasn’t sitting up there and gives him a perspective that serves the best saying, ‘OK citizens, go call so and so.’ He interests of Valley residents. Woodard refers would go and do it himself.” to it as “the chewing of the straw,” or a sensiGrafos was chosen by the City Coun- bility that demands plenty of thought before cil as Spokane Valley’s mayor at the Jan. 7 anything is said or done. meeting. His passion and commitment to “We’re just straw-chewing hicks, and the betterment of Spokane Valley makes that’s OK,” Woodard said. “We come from Grafos the perfect choice for mayor, said a very rural background, and I think Dean Arne Woodard, who was among the counis a product of that because he really chews cil members who gave Grafos the nod over on and digests things before he does them.” fellow Councilman Chuck Hafner in a 4-3 In fact, Grafos prefers to stay out of the vote. Woodard was elected deputy mayor at spotlight. Both Woodthe same meeting. ard and Grassel said Like the hands-on Grafos is relatively quiBECOMING SPOKANE information gatheret, preferring to lead ing he is known for, VALLEY’S MAYOR from the background. Grafos’ governing “Well, I think he’s The city of Spokane Valley has a philosophy is citizenkind of shy, which I centered. council-manager form of governappreciate about him,” ment. Residents elect council “I see myself more Grassel said. “He’s not members. In turn, the council as a citizen, entrusted out to make a name for members choose a city manager, for a short time to look himself or to climb the after the needs of my who is responsible for the day-topolitical ladder.” community and their day operations of the city. The city That being said, he tax dollars,” Grafos council also chooses the mayor has integrity and isn’t said in an interview from among its seven members. afraid to confront conducted by email. The mayor acts as the ceremonial those he believes aren’t “One of the dangers head of the city. acting honestly or in of being in political the best interests of life is getting too comPast Spokane Valley mayors: their constituents, she fortable and finding 2002-2004: Mike DeVleming said. yourself in a ‘political bubble’ and forgetting 2005-2007: Diana Wilhite “He wants justice,” who you represent.” Grassel said. “He’s a 2008-2009: Rich Munson very quiet person, but Grafos has grown 2010-2013: Tom Towey he’s going to go afup with the Valley. In ter the truth and call the ’50s, an 11-year2014-: Dean Grafos people out that aren’t

trustworthy.” Grafos first got involved in Valley politics in 2009 when he was elected to complete a vacated term. He was then reelected to serve a four-year term running January 2012 through December 2015. When he first started as a councilman, Grafos said he had no real political ambition — and certainly didn’t plan to become mayor. “Becoming mayor was not at the forefront of my thinking,” Grafos said. “Like many things, it was an evolution of my service and the encouragement of several members of the council and many in the community.” Ultimately, that’s the picture Woodard and Grassel paint of the Valley’s newest mayor. He’s a humble man that is fundamentally concerned with serving the community — the community he’s grown up with and lives in. “The Valley has my heart,” Grafos said. “The people here are amazing. They are strong, hard working and common-sense oriented. They’re outgoing, friendly and very protective of their community and their ‘Valley culture.’”

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6 • FEBRUARY 2014

Saving time,


The Current

saving lives PulsePoint enlists nearby citizens to join heart rescue team By Craig Howard


In 2009, Bryan Collins and his colleagues at the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District decided it was time for some backup in the fight against sudden cardiac arrest. While emergency personnel responded as quickly as possible to such incidents in the northern California community, there was a thought that survival rates could be improved if more responders situated near their neighbors in crisis were recruited to help. It was around that time that PulsePoint went from an idea on scratch paper to a mobile app that would eventually be downloaded by 75,000 people in more than 400 cities across the U.S. and Canada. The app alerts subscribers trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use of the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to incidents of cardiac arrest in the immediate vicinity. “You only have a finite window to help someone who is in cardiac arrest,” said Collins, who took over as chief of the Spokane Valley Fire Department last March. “With each minute that passes, the resuscitation rate drops if there is no one responding. In every community that PulsePoint has been implemented, the cardiac save rates have increased.” Having one of the program’s pioneers now a leader in the community provides a plus as Spokane County becomes the latest PulsePoint community on Feb. 14, when the app goes live out of the Combined Communications Center utilized by area fire and police agencies as well as the regional 911 program. “You have to be at the right place at the right time,” Collins said. “PulsePoint makes that happen. We’re enlisting citizens to help save lives.” The first case of a PulsePoint rescue took place in 2010 at a fitness club in California’s Contra Costa County when a man went into cardiac arrest and was re-

Spokane Valley Fire Chief Bryan Collins gave an overview of the PulsePoint program at the Liberty Lake City Council meeting on Jan. 21. The free app alerts CPR/ AED-trained residents to nearby incidents of cardiac arrest. CURRENT PHOTO BY CRAIG HOWARD

suscitated by a PulsePoint subscriber who knew CPR. An on-site AED device was also utilized. Nearly 2,000 activations have taken place since the app was introduced. “PulsePoint is utilizing technology to save

lives,” said Dr. Jim Nania, medical program director for Spokane County Emergency Medical Services. “Cardiac arrest is the single most common cause of death, and it is often preventable. What we’re trying to do


• Choose foods and beverages that are low in added sugar. If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation.

A healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and reducing the risk of sudden cardiac arrest, coronary heart disease and other heart problems. Here are some dietary tips:

• Aim for a healthy weight by staying within your daily calorie needs. Balance the calories you take in with the calories you use for physical activity. Exercise consistently.

• Choose a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains; half of your grains should come from whole-grain products. • Choose foods that are low in saturated fat, transfat, and cholesterol. Healthy choices include lean meats, poultry without skin, fish, beans, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. • Choose and prepare foods with little sodium (salt). Too much salt can raise your risk for high blood pressure. Studies show that following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan can lower blood pressure.

• For more information about following a healthy diet, go to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI’s) Aim for a Healthy Weight website, “Your Guide to a Healthy Heart,” and “Your Guide to Lowering Your Blood Pressure with DASH.” All of these resources provide general information about healthy eating. Other lifestyle changes also can help lower your risk for sudden cardiac arrest. Examples include: • Exercise. For more information about physical activity, go to the Health

is bridge the gap until EMS arrives.” Survival rates in cases of sudden cardiac arrest decrease by 10 percent with each minute that passes after the initial incident.

See SAVING, page 7

Topics Physical Activity and Your Heart article and the NHLBI’s “Your Guide to Physical Activity and Your Heart.” Keep in mind, some people should get medical advice before starting or increasing physical activity. For example, talk with your doctor if you have a chronic (ongoing) health problem, are on medicine or have symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath or dizziness. Your doctor can suggest types and amounts of physical activity that are safe for you. • Quitting smoking. Talk to your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit. Also, try to avoid secondhand smoke. • Losing weight if you’re overweight or obese. • Treating other health problems, such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and diabetes. Source: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

The Current

FEBRUARY 2014 • 7


THE PULSEPOINT APP Where to get it: The PulsePoint app can be downloaded for free anytime at the Apple app store or Google Play. The full capabilities of the app to work in Spokane County launch Feb. 14. For more: CPR training: To find out more about CPR/AED training through the Spokane Valley Fire Department, visit or call 928-1700. To be certified in CPR, contact Inland Northwest Health Services at 242-4264 or visit For more information about CPR training through AMR as well as a local support group for cardiac arrest survivors, call Cathy St. Amand at 323-8829


SAVING Continued from page 6

The average response time among SVFD crews is just under eight minutes. Around 1,000 people die each day in the U.S. from cardiac arrest. The number is approaching two a day in Spokane County. Nania said being trained in CPR/AED as well as utilizing the PulsePoint app are proven ways to turn the tide. “It takes the entire community,” he said. “You could save the life of a relative, a neighbor or fellow citizen. It’s everyone’s responsibility.” On Jan. 21, Collins provided the Liberty Lake City Council with an overview of PulsePoint as part of a community

outreach effort surrounding the launch. At the meeting, Liberty Lake Mayor Pro Tem Cris Kaminskas related the story of a fellow employee who survived cardiac arrest two years ago after quick response by a CPR-trained co-worker and use of a nearby AED. “The more people who can get trained on this, the better,” Kaminskas said. The AED near the entrance of Liberty Lake City Hall is one of around 400 in Spokane County. Collins said use of the device “is so simple, anyone can use it.” Retail sites like Costco now sell AEDs. “The first life you save with an AED is priceless,” Collins said. “You impact one family, and it’s worth it. Having AEDs available in a community is a big deal.”

In addition to a detailed map directing responders to the cardiac incident, PulsePoint will provide the location of AED devices in the vicinity. In urban areas like Spokane or the city of Spokane Valley, subscribers within a quarter mile of the incident will be alerted. The radius is typically increased in rural communities. Legal standards known as “good Samaritan laws,” protect responders from liability involving rescue attempts. Collins was joined by his former boss, Richard Price, retired fire chief in San Ramon Valley and current president of the PulsePoint Foundation, in pitching the program to local officials late last year. The nonprofit foundation — which steps up to provide financial assistance to agencies without the budget to implement PulsePoint — was formed as a way to distribute the app as widely as possible. “The whole idea behind the app was to get it out there to as many folks as we could, not to make money,” Collins said. PulsePoint in Spokane County will be overseen by an incident management team led by Lieutenant Steve Turcott of the Washington State Patrol. Most of the police and fire departments across the area will have representatives on the team. Spokane County will be the second area in the state to introduce PulsePoint. Clark County in the Vancouver area was the first Washington community to launch the app last year. Overall, about 60 percent of those who have downloaded the app are trained professionals in fields like healthcare, police or fire protection. The rest are average citizens. The Spokane Valley Fire Department offers free CPR/AED training twice a month. Collins said that schedule might ramp up after PulsePoint goes live on Feb. 14. “I think you’ll see an increase in CPR training and, with that, an increase in the survivability of cardiac arrest,” Collins said. Cathy St. Amand is a paramedic who facilitates clinical and education services for American Medical Response. Last year, she was part of an effort that trained nearly 8,000 Spokane County residents in CPR. St. Amand says the latest CPR centered around chest compression can be learned quickly. High school students in Washington state are now required to learn CPR before graduation. “It’s very simple,” she said. “I think most people remember taking CPR a long time ago when it was more difficult.” Collins said getting the word out about CPR/AED training and PulsePoint will be critical to recruiting “all those potential rescuers out there.” “The launch is just the start — the public education piece that follows will be the key,” he said. “The other thing is it’s a way of engaging our community. We’re saying ‘Help us, be one of us.’ We’re responding you to a call.”

In case you missed it Christian chosen for 4th District seat The newest state representative serving Washington’s 4th District is Leonard Christian, R-Spokane Valley. Christian was selected by Spokane County Commissioners over former Spokane Valley Mayor Diana Wilhite and local teacher Bob McCaslin Jr. on Jan. 8. The following Monday, he was in Olympia for the start of the 2014 legislative session. Christian replaces CHRISTIAN longtime 4th District lawmaker Larry Crouse, who resigned with a year left on his term for medical reasons. Christian will need to run for election in 2014 to continue to serve beyond Crouse’s original term, which was set to expire in December. “I’m truly honored to be here and to have this position entrusted to me,” Christian said. “I’m committed to being an effective representative for the people of the 4th District.” Christian has been assigned a place on the following House committees: appropriations, capital budget, government operations and elections, and labor and workforce development. “I think my committee assignments match my experience and will allow me to be engaged in policies that will benefit my constituents,” he said, noting he received an MBA in December and looks forward to tackling budget issues. Christian’s legislative priorities include limiting the tax burden on the public, keeping state spending under control and making government more service-oriented toward the people of Washington. Christian  has been married nearly 30 years to his wife, Rima. They have two children and one granddaughter. Christian graduated from Ferris High School in 1984. He is a retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant and currently works as a realtor.

SV loses Boutwell, Schimmels Two people who have a special place in Spokane Valley history passed away in January. Florence Boutwell died Jan. 9 at the age of 94. She was an educator who taught in the Central Valley School District and historian who wrote a multi-volume series on Spokane Valley’s heritage. Her research and writings are considered foundational to the start of the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. On Jan. 15, Gary Schimmels died at the age of 75. More about the life of Spokane Valley’s longest-serving councilman can be found on page 27.


8 • FEBRUARY 2014

The Current

Plante’s Valley footprints deep as one of original settlers Ferry business just one segment of adventurer’s life By Jayne Singleton and Bill Zimmer |


“Greetings” from your historical tour guides, Seth Woodard and Howard Stegner. This month we will introduce you to Antoine Plante, the first permanent settler-businessman in the Spokane Valley:

Antoine Plante

I was born in Montana in the early 1800s of a French Canadian father and a Flathead Indian mother. I became fluent in English and French as well as several Indian dialects. I worked and explored throughout the northwest learning many of the Indian trails and routes. In 1831 I worked as a trapper for the Hudson Bay Company. I first married a Pend Oreille Indian woman and later, in 1840, married a Flathead Indian woman. I have three children. After living in the Colville country for several years hunting and trapping, my family and I panned for gold in California. We then returned to the Spokane Valley, where I was familiar with a commonly used Indian ford across the Spokane River. We built a log house near the river at Irvin across the river from the cement plant. I built a root cellar and planted an orchard. My property had a natural spring running down from the hills above.

In the 1850s, I built a cable ferry across the river near the Indian ford. At that time, there were no bridges in this area, so business was pretty good. I charged $4 for each wagon with two horses and 50 cents for each additional horse or mule, $2 for a cart or carriage with one horse, $1.50 for each man and horse, $1.50 for each pack animal, 25 cents for loose animals other than sheep or hogs and 15 cents for sheep, goats and hogs. The main reason that I did quite well is that my ferry became part of the Mullan Road and was used by miners, packers and freighters, as well as mail carriers on horseback. Captain Mullan described the ferry as: “A good one, consisting of a strong cable stretched across the river and a boat 40 feet long.” I ferried Territorial Governor Issac Stevens across the Spokane River so that he could continue his journey north to Colville via the Colville Road. After “Spokane Bridge” was built near the state line, my ferry business declined, but I continued to operate it for a few more

years for locals, friends and neighbors. I left the Spokane Valley for the Jocko Valley in Montana and lived out the rest of my life in St. Ignatius. It is always interesting to learn about the explorers, adventurers and settlers who came before us, and we experience all three in the “footprints” of Antoine Plante. Antoine Plante died in 1890 and is buried in the cemetery adjacent to St. Ignatius Mission. This installment of the Footprints in the Valley series was written by Spokane Valley Heritage Museum Executive Director Jayne Singleton and Bill Zimmer, a retired educator and longtime West Valley school board member. For more about this article or other aspects of the history of the Spokane Valley region, visit the museum at 12114 E. Sprague Ave. or call 922-4570.

Dedicated in 1938 (tour guide Seth Woodard is second from left in the photo above), a historical marker notes the location of Antoine Plante’s ferry business, which stands today at modern-day Plante’s Ferry Park. At right, this circa 1925 photo marks the stump remaining from an apple tree, part of the orchard Plante built near his Spokane Valley cabin after settling in the area. The circa 1930 photo below shows the barn Plante built on his property. While these mementos of his property remain, no photo of Plante was ever preserved, according to museum archives.

FOOTPRINTS IN THE VALLEY In this 2014 history series from the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum, “History Heroes” Seth Woodard and Howard Stegner will take readers on a tour of “Footprints in the Valley,” month by month, through photos, documents, articles and treasure hunts. This month: Meet Antoine Plante, Spokane Valley businessman, explorer and adventurer.


The Current

FEBRUARY 2014 • 9

10 • FEBRUARY 2014

Education Briefs CVHS student awarded scholarship Margaret Watson of Central Valley High School was recently awarded a President’s Scholarship worth $22,000 to Pacific Lutheran University. According to a press release, more than 600 incoming freshmen apply for the scholarship each year; 160 were selected for the 2014-15 academic year. The scholarship, which recognizes academic achievement, leadership and service, is renewable for three additional years of undergraduate study. Pacific Lutheran University, located in Tacoma, is a private liberal-arts university.

Colleges recognize students The following Valley-area students were recently recognized by colleges for their Fall 2013 academic performance. Information was provided via press releases submitted from schools. Beloit College (Beloit, Wis.) Dean’s List (3.4+ GPA) Maya Furukawa, Liberty Lake

Eastern Washington University Dean’s List (3.5+ GPA)

Liberty Lake: Max Barham, Kelsey Baycroft, Joel Christensen, Ryan Conley, Garrett Hendrick, Sarah Herner, Madison Hilpert, Emily Hollenbeck, Ryan Hotchkiss, Anne Johnson, Victoria Leichner, Brittany Lorenzen, Alexis Marlatt, Jordan Marlatt, Ryan McCauley, Maria Mccauley, Karen Mcdermott, Iliya Mikheyev, Alise Olson, Shelby Pace, Nathan Paul, Abby Pedersen, Krista Petersen, Oleg Polishchuk, Hannah Robb, Kendra Sherrill, Austin Simpson, Christopher Sturm, Connor Szott, Ashtyn Turnbow, Nicholas Valentine, Ashley Wiggs Rockford: Lauryn Altmeyer, Leaira Anderson, Adam Bortfeld, Kimberly Cook, Meicha D'Auria, Alyssa Doloughan, Andrew Duncan, Cameron Floch, Jordan Freer, Justin Grandinetti, Aubrey Hamilton, Kristal Hansen, Samuel Lewis, Hailie McClure, Chelsea Morgan, Danielle Pace, Casey Phinney, Beth Primmer, Alex Quinnett, Courtney Setter, Rochelle Wakker, Andrea Zimmerman Spokane Valley: James Agen, Blake Albretsen, Stephanie Alexander, Leah Amsden, Natalie Anderman, Levi Anderson, Zachary AndersonWhite, Mckenzie Arnold, Teresa Asbury, Gabriella Avakimian, Mark Avena, Madison Babb, Rebekah Bailey, Max Barham, Michael Barnhart, Breanna Baxter, Kelsey Baycroft, Shelbea Bean, Jamie Belknap, Madisyn Benge, Taylor Berdar, Justine Beschta, Theodore Bickham, Stacey Bilte, Shelby Bollman, Jordan Bonertz, Colleen Bowerman, Taylor Bowles, Mark Boyer, Eric Brazington, Jade Briggs, Christine Buckley, Olivia Budde, Alla Burlakov, Haley Busby, Hannah Calligan, Rayanne Calton, Timothy Carlson, Miranda Caudill, Kiyomi Chadwell, Ethan Chavez, Courtney Choate, Daniel Christensen, Joel Christensen, Jacqueline Churchill, Kassandra Clark, Sandra Cleveland, Tanner Cook, Dylan Cosby, Elizabeth Covillo, Ian Craig-Scott, Chad Creighton, Nicolas Cress, Kendra Crump, Kegan Cunningham, Mika DAmico, Samantha Daniel, Michael Davies, Stephanie Davis, Benjamin Deccio, Brianna Dobson, Justin Donahue, Weston Dotson, Tyler Dotson, Matthew Duddy, James Duncan, Daniel Eik, Yolanda Everette, Alyssa Farrell, Hailey Ferguson, Michelle Ferraro, Cuinn Fey, Michael Filardo, Rebecca Finney, Benjamin Flanigan, Camille Frank, Jarid Gabbert, Timothy Gales, Anna Garbuz, Cailynn Garcia, James Garmon, Carly Garza, Lance Gerber, Taylor Gilbert, Allison Giusti, Rachael Glamp, Alexander Godun, Derek Goehri, Payton Goodwin, Mariya Gorbenko, Hailee Gordon, Maksim Gorkovchenko, Igor Gorkovchenko, Jorin Graham, Samantha Grater, Mashala Guilbault, Rigoberto Gutierrez-Pinon, JD Hall, Jennifer Hammond, Michael Hanley, Cody Hanson, Hannah Harder, Matthew Harper, Austin Hatten, Mike Hays, Caleb Heale, Jonathan Helm, Garrett Hendrick, Sarah Herner, Sydney Hiebert, Madison Hilpert, Kristina Hoerner, Shayla Hogan, Emily Hollenbeck, Steffany Holten, Renee Honn, Donald Horn, Ryan Hotchkiss, Amy House, Arianna Hudson, Kyle Hulce, Derrick Hunter, Chad Imler, David Ivanov, Nicole Jacobson, Alex Jacot, Anne Johnson, Holly Johnson, Stephanie Juhnke, Ilona Kalpakchi, Patricia Karle, Abigail Keenan, Christine Keeton, Tyler Kennedy, Karen Kenny, Tiffani Kittilstved, Wyatt Kittilstved, Giles Knowles, Cassandra Koch, Emily Korotish, Laura Kramer, Steven Langford, Sean Lanphere, Eric Larson, Bryce LeBaron, Shauna Lee, Jordan Lehman, Selena Lehman, Victoria Leichner, Jessie Levno, Haley Lewis, Madison Lewis, Byron Lissy, Jazmyn Long, Angela Lopp, Brandon Lorentz, Brittany Lorenzen, Patrick Loyola, Reilly Lucas, Gabrielle Lucente, Anzhela Mabry, Jacob Madison, Kaitlin Malakowsky, David Malinak, Jamie Manning, Janette Marks, Alexis Marlatt, Jordan Marlatt, Miles Martin, Lindsay Martinez, Taylor Martins, Shelby Marvel, Phillip Mason, Whitney Mayo, Caleb Mazzola, Christen McAndrew, Maria Mccauley, Ryan McCauley, Cameron McDaniel, Karen Mcdermott, Jennifer McGovern, Jobeth Mckoon, Richard Mehlbrech, Myra Menzer, Careena Meredith, Titus Mertens, Iliya Mikheyev, Spencer Millsap, David Mishin, Jacqueline Morden, Danika Morgan, Kelsey Morrison, Ashley Morrone, Rebekah Mulloy, Kaleena Murphy, Benjamin Murray, Alissa Nelson, Polina Nikolayev, Tonya Nimri, MacKenzie Norman, Gwynne O'Hara, Alise Olson, Shelby Pace, Carissa Page, Chelsie Palmer, Austin Parker, Nathan Paul, Abby Pedersen, Michael Pederson, Natalya Peganov, Brandon Pellett, Stephanie Pendleton, Sadie Perry, Krista Petersen, Koryne Plaskett, Nathan Ployhar, Oleg Polishchuk, Jeffry Pope, Magen Potter, Timothy Potts, Chase Powell, Jason Pritzl, Dana Prussack, Johnathan Pryor, Christin Quinn, James Randall, Kaitlyn Ranf, Lindsey Rantzow, Amber Rasmussen, Darallee Rassier, Andrea Rees, Kendra Reilly, Laci Rennaker, Daniel Replogle, Will Richards, Margaret Richerson, Peter Rinne, Hannah Robb, Lucas Rockstrom, Eric Roe, Katie Rolli, Danielle Romero, Paige Salveti, Yana Sarioglo, Dakota Schiermeister, Drew Schlieder, Chase Schmidt, Jacob Schwartz, Elizabeth Seagrave, Joseph Segalla, Hannah Shawen, Kendra Sherrill, Chloe Sholtz, Alexis Sicilia, Lex Silvrants, Ashley Simmet, Emily Simmons, Austin Simpson, Amanda Skogen, Yekaterina Slyusarev, Jennifer Smasne, Nathaniel Snook, Brian Stamer, Shere Stapish, Nicole Stewart, Nathan Stranberg, Christopher Sturm, Robert Swanson, Zachary Szabrowicz, Brittney

See EDUCATION, page 26


The Current

Obituary Dennis K. Waltermire Dennis K. Waltermire, 70, longtime Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake resident, passed away unexpectedly on Dec. 25, 2013. Denny was born Aug. 9, 1943, to Winston and Lorraine (Daily) Waltermire of Terre Haute, Ind., the second of six children. Denny enlisted in the Air Force and was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane. He was later stationed in Japan while serving in the Vietnam War. Denny received his associate’s degree from Northwood University in West Baden, Ind. He began his career in the auto industry at Dishman Dodge, where he spent 30 years rising to the position of dealer principal. He has four adult children, Dee Dee, Mark, Matt and Denielle, with his first wife, Marlene Hollenback. Later, Denny started Hallmark Hyundai, which he operated successfully for 15 years. Most recently, he owned Hallmark Suzuki and On Sept. 25, 1999, Denny married Sally Rasmusson, and they have one daughter, Taylor. He was an amazing father to his five children. He loved being a grandfather and spending time with his six grandchildren.

Festive food drive

He was very proud of each of them. Denny was a successful businessman and was a member of the Spokane New Car Dealers Association and served as president for many years. He also served many years as president for the Western Region Dodge Advertising board. He was a member of the Western Region Dealer Council for Dodge, Western Region Dealer Council for Hyundai, National Dealer Council for Hyundai, Western Region Hyundai Advertising Association, and participated in numerous “20 Group” organizations. Denny contributed to the community through his involvement as president of Spokane Valley Sunrise Rotary, as a member of the Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, Spokane Area Chamber of Commerce, and Valley Hospital Foundation board. He was also a member of the Elks Lodge and was a Mason. Denny was a sports enthusiast both as a participant and a spectator. He loved to play softball and was proud to be one of the first inductees into the Spokane Metro Softball Hall of Fame. Denny was an avid golfer and played on many courses, with Hawaii being some of his favorites during the winter months. Denny was a member of the Meadowwood Men’s Club, Manito Country Club and Big Island Country Club. Denny spent many years bowling in the men’s

league at Players and Spectators. He loved to play cards both locally and in Las Vegas and Reno. He recently joined a horseshoe league and his team won the annual River Fall Classic. Denny lived his life to the fullest. He easily connected with people and was everyone’s friend. He always loved a good joke. He was kind and generous and never let anyone else pay the dinner bill. He was a good listener and knew when to give sage advice. Denny attended Calvary Chapel Spokane Valley and we take comfort he is with his Lord. Denny is survived by his wife, Sally Waltermire and their daughter Taylor of Liberty Lake; his four adult children, Dee Dee (and Carl) Christian, Mark Waltermire, Matt (and Robyn) Waltermire, and Denielle (and Shane) Stuhlmiller, and their mother Marlene Hollenback, all of Spokane. Denny has six grandchildren, Kent, Cadee and Becca Christian; Sami Waltermire; Grayson Waltermire; and Dane Stuhlmiller. Denny is survived by his brothers, Rick Waltermire of St. Louis, Mo., and Gary and Gordy Waltermire of Terre Haute. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Kay Waltermire, and his brother, Ron Waltermire. Services were held Jan. 2 with arrangements by Hennessey Smith Funeral Home.


Local Lens The Spokane Renaissance group dressed up in costume and character to promote the sale of food bags during Liberty Lake Safeway’s holiday food drive. Safeway manager Dan DiCicco said the group added a festive, fun touch to a good cause that resulted in the donation of over 1,100 bags of food by community members during the holiday drive.

Share your snapshots for The Current’s photo page. Email photos@ valleycurrent. com with scenes from around town, community events and group photos.


A visit among local chambers Eldonna Shaw, at center in front of tree, was the guest speaker at the Hangman Creek Chamber of Commerce meeting held Jan. 9 at Fredneck's in Rockford. Shaw, the president and CEO of the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, spoke on the topic of the history of chambers of commerce. PHOTO COURTESY OF RICHARD SLOVER

The Current

FEBRUARY 2014 • 11


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While Abbi Botter may enjoy car races and other “non-girly girl” activities with her dad, this self-proclaimed daddy’s girl said she does get excited to dress up for one special event each year — the Father Daughter Dance. She and her dad have been the first people to arrive at the dance on more than one occasion, while cousin Emily Hanson and her dad have not been far behind. Both the girls and their dads have been attending the event for six years, and they plan to continue the family tradition by attending the Father Daughter Dance on March 1. Abbi, 11, said she enjoys spending time with her mom getting ready before she gets to show off her outfit and makeup to her dad, Steve Botter. “The only thing I don’t like about the dance is the shoes I have to wear,” Abbi said. “By the end of the night, they hurt my feet.” The father daughter duo usually go out to dinner before arriving at CenterPlace for the dance. After getting their photos taken and perusing the raffle baskets, they hit the


DANCE 2014 March 1 • 7 to 9 p.m.

CenterPlace at Mirabeau Point Hollywood Oscar Night is the theme at this event presented by Liberty Lake Kiwanis. Semi-formal attire is recommended; girls with any type of father figure are encouraged to attend. Tickets are $45 per couple ($20 per additional daughter) until Feb. 24. Space is limited. For ticket info, visit or call 979-6652 or 951-3573.

Match each of these numbers to one of the facts below.


Cousins Emily Hanson and Abbi Botter, who have attended the Father Daughter Dance for the past six years, said they enjoy boogying with their dads and playing with the balloons and beach balls at the event. dance floor to kick the balloons around and hang out with friends. “They like to dance and get their groove on,” Steve said. “The girls go off dancing and the dads are left talking.” Emily, 10, said she usually picks out a new dress a couple of weeks before the dance, and then her mom also helps prepare her hair and makeup. Their family takes photos at the house before leaving for the dance, where Emily said she and her dad do fun dance moves such as the “half swing.” “I love everything about the dance,” Emily said. “But I especially enjoy spending time with dad without my little brother around.”

Spending quality time at a classy event This is the 9th annual Father Daughter Dance put on by the Liberty Lake Kiwanis, and months of planning go into the event each year. While the event started out serving about 230 people at Liberty Lake Elementary School, it’s now nearly double that in attendance with the event being held at CenterPlace at Mireabeau Point.

The stars will be out in full force on March 2 for the 86th annual Academy Awards. Movie stars will be dressed up in their best with the hopes of winning the coveted Oscar statuette during the awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. How much do you know about the big night? Take the following quiz to give you some trivia to share when the big night rolls around. You can check your answers at the bottom of page 13.

1 50

6 8 10 100 500

26 3,401

1) Length, in feet, of the red carpet rolled out for the stars that night 2) Seating capacity of Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre 3) Number of statuettes created each year 4) Oscars won by Walt Disney, who also holds the record for most nominations 5) Age of youngest-ever, competitive Oscar winner, Tatum O’Neal 6) Pounds that each Oscar statuette weighs 7) Number of countries that typically televise the Academy Awards live 8) Number of Oscar winners whose names are actually Oscar 9) Age of Shirley Temple when she received a miniature “junior” Oscar


Besides being welcomed by lifesize Oscar cardboard cutouts, organizer Pat Lutzenberger said the photographer will have a Hollywood backdrop for the photos in keeping with their theme of Oscar Night. Each girl will receive a red rose and party favor as part of the ticket cost. She stressed that the event is for people from all communities and for any sort of father figure who would like to attend

with a girl. In fact, the girls said they’ve seen grandfathers and other male family members attend with their special girl. “If your dad can’t make it, invite an uncle or someone else,” Emily said. “Just don’t be shy.” Pat encourages dads to bring cash for the $1 raffle tickets “so we won’t have any sad little girls.” In fact, the smiles from

See TRADITION, page 13

The Current

FEBRUARY 2014 • 13



Girls of all ages enjoy the annual Father Daughter Dance, where they get a chance to spend special time with their friends as well as their dads.

Continued from page 12

the girls is what makes this Pat’s favorite event each year. “I love seeing the girls come dressed up with their dads and with big smiles,” Pat said. “The dance is one of our biggest fundraisers, but all the money raised

got back into the community to fund KKids, Key Clubs and other things in the schools.” Kolby Hanson, Emily’s dad, said Liberty Lake Kiwanis provides an event that few other groups do. And with family time stretched thin during the year, he noted that this event is a great way to spend dedicated time with his daughter. “I know it sounds cliché, but they’re

only young for a short time,” Kolby said. “It’s good to spend quality time one-onone at an event like this to make memories.” Steve agreed that that the event was well worth the time and cost invested. “The room is always set up like a million bucks with nice decorations, and the volunteers are all dressed up,” Steve said. “They put on a great show.”

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1327 N. Stanford Lane, Suite B Liberty Lake, WA Answers to Ode to the Oscars matching activity: 1) 500; 2) 3,401; 3) 50; 4) 26; 5) 10; 6) 8; 7) 100; 8) 1; 9) 6


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14 • FEBRUARY 2014 Brought to you by

About and for Valley seniors

Carver honored for caring for seniors ‘like family’ By Valerie Putnam


Working with the elderly can be a challenging profession. For Arlene Carver, it's her passion. "I fell in love with this business," said Carver, who works at Evergreen Fountains Senior Living Community as a medication tech. "These people are wonderful." Carver's dedication, compassion and sense of humor recently earned her the 2013 Washington Health Care Association's (WHCA) Chapter 10 Caregiver of the Year Award. Carver received the award — which included a trophy, certificate and $500 cash — in mid-December at a dinner held at the Davenport Hotel. "People here love her," said Donna Kembel, Evergreen Fountains director of nursing. "The residents tell me about Arlene and how they feel like it's one of their family taking care of them." Kembel nominated Carver for the award, saying her extensive knowledge and experience in the business as well as her kindness and deep faith set her apart. "I feel every person that meets her gets touched by God," Kembel said. "It is unusual and rare in this day and age." Last year was the first time WHCA gave out this award. "It is a new program to honor those who care for some of our most vulnerable," WHCA’s senior director of member services, Brenda Orffer, said by email. WHCA received more than 25 nominations from the Chapter 10 region, which includes Spokane, Pullman and Colville. "Arlene Carver stood out because her nomination included the fact that almost every thank you card received by her community specifically mentions her name," Orffer said. "They also talked about the creative ways Arlene works with residents.” Orffer recounted an example of Carver reading to a woman who loves books but went blind. "(She) exerts every possible ounce of energy into her work to make the lives of those she cares for the best it can be," Orffer said. Kembel also related a recent example of Carver's compassion as a resident's health was failing. Carver would go in at night to sit and hold her hand. "She would pray for her," Kembel said. "Arlene is one of the few here that will take


Above: Arlene Carver accepts the award for Caregiver of the Year at a December presentation at the Davenport Hotel. At right: Carver takes time to visit with Evergreen Fountains resident Eileen Fisher. CURRENT PHOTO BY VALERIE PUTNAM

the time. It's like this is her family, and that's rare, too. People can say that, but Arlene lives it." For Carver, watching a resident's health fail is the greatest challenge. "They're like family," Carver said. "When something happens, you go through the pain of losing someone." Through each challenge and heartache, Carver keeps a positive outlook on life. She looks for opportunities to inject humor in each situation, whether helping new residents adjust to their surroundings

or brightening a resident's day. "Just to be able to give them a little smile or a little happiness is worthwhile because some of the residents don't have family," Carver said. "A lot of them have lost their spouses and given up their homes." Kembel remembers Carver applying her sense of humor to lift the spirits of a resident restricted to a feeding tube. "She would take his tube feeding up on a silver tray and say, 'We're having chicken Cordon Bleu tonight' — and he would laugh," Kembel said.

As a medication tech, Carver administers medicine at different times during her shift. She also provides general care to residents. "We help people do the things they can't do themselves, and encourage them to do the things that they can to keep their independence," Carver said. Carver got into the health care business in 2005. At the time her mother's health was failing, and she wanted to learn how to care for her. "I was just hoping if she lived a long time and needed my care, I would know how to do it," Carver said. After passing a six-week course for health care professionals, Carver passed the Washington State competency exam to be Nursing Assistant - Certified (NAC). Carver took care of her mother in the mornings and worked at Windriver House, an assisted care facility located in North Spokane, in the afternoons. "It worked out great," said Carver, whose mother passed away in 2007. "She was able to stay home until the last." In 2009, Carver learned about Evergreen Fountains from a former co-worker who was working at the facility. "She said, 'Arlene this is a fantastic place,'" Carver said. "Come check it out. So I did and got hired the same day that I came." Though Carver was honored to win the caregiver award for helping others, she has found something in her work she considers much greater. "It's fun helping people," Carver said. "But in a sense, they're helping me. I don't have my parents anymore, but I have all these other family members."

The Current

FEBRUARY 2014 • 15


Trivia Test 1. LANGUAGE: What does the verb “bibble” mean? 2. FAMOUS QUOTES: Who once said, “Humor is just another defense against the universe.” 3. MOVIES: Which Charlton Heston movie used more than 1 million props? 4. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: About how long is the Iditarod Trail sled dog race? 5. AD SLOGANS: What advertiser urged consumers to “Say it with flowers”? 6. ANATOMY: Of the 206 bones in the

adult body, about one-fourth are located where? 7. LITERATURE: Which book written by Charles Dickens features a young boy named Pip? 8. MUSIC: What was Paul Simon’s first solo to hit the Top 10? 9. MYTHOLOGY: Who was Hippolyta in Greek mythology? 10. FOOD & DRINK: What kind of fruit is the liqueur Chambord made from? © 2014 King Features Syndicate Inc.

Caught overpaying for cookie jar ‘Collecting’ by Larry Cox KING FEATURES SYNDICATE

Q: I have a “Mammy” cookie jar marked McCoy. I paid $300 for it at a yard sale, and I was told it is from the 1940s. It is 10 inches high and in almost perfect condition. — Laura, St. Charles, Mo. A: You purchased a reproduction. An authentic Mammy Cookie Jar from McCoy is a full 11 inches high. Even if it had been an old one, you nevertheless overpaid. Authentic Mammy jars generally sell in the $150 to $250 range depending on condition. Q: I have several dozen View-Master reels that I acquired during the 1950s. Are they worth keeping? — Barbara, Watts, OK A: There is an excellent reference that should be helpful for you to determine values: “Stereo Views: An Illustrated History and Price Guide” by John Waldsmith and published by Krause Books. Most of the View-Master reels I’ve spotted in area shops and antique malls have been priced in the $2 to $5 range. As I often mention in this column, there are exceptions to every rule. For example, a package of 15 reels featuring views of the 1939 New York World’s Fair recently sold at auction for $175. Q: I began collecting glass insulators

about 40 years ago, and I have managed to gather about 200 different ones. Is there a reference so I can begin determining values? — Stan, Longmont, Colo. A: One of the better references is “Insulators: North American Glass Insulators Price Guide” by Donald R. Briel. Briel has more than 600 in his personal collection and is considered an expert in this field of collecting. You can purchase his book at A group for collectors is the National Insulators Association. Contact is Q: I have a movie projector from the 1960s, along with a screen and a few movies. Can you put me in touch with someone who can evaluate these items for me, since I want to sell them? — Norma, Glen Carbon, Ill. A: You left several key facts out of your letter. For example, what is the brand name of your projector, and does it show 8mm or 16mm films? If it is an 8mm projector, it is probably worth less than $50. Write to Larry Cox in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to Due to the large volume of mail he receives, Mr. Cox is unable to personally answer all reader questions. Do not send any materials requiring return mail.

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COMMUNITY EVENTS Feb. 1 | Let There Be Legos Argonne Library, 4322 N. Argonne Road. The entire family is invited to build as the traveling Lego Build Day makes a stop at the Argonne branch. For more: Feb. 8 | Regional Lakes Conference

9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Spokane Community College Lair, Spokane. Topics to be discussed at this free conference include student research, state programs, local stewardship and invasive plants and animals. To RSVP or for more: 922-5443 or

E. Main Ave. Kids are invited to expand their physics knowledge by building a roller coaster for marbles. Also offered Feb. 13 at the Argonne Library, 4322 N. Argonne Road and Feb. 18 at the Otis Orchards Library, 22324 E. Wellesley. For more:

Feb. 12 | Sacagawea Tells Her Story 4 to 5 p.m., Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. This one-woman show is based on journal entries and historical accounts about Sacagawea. For more: Feb. 14 | Valentine’s Day

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Calendar of Events

Feb. 11 | Kids Explore and Discover Club 4 to 5 p.m., Spokane Valley Library, 12004

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schools and communities by fostering respect, acceptance and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities. For more: or

Feb. 25 | Social Security: Strategize to Maximize 6 to 7 p.m., Argonne Library, 4322

N. Argonne Road. A complimentary presentation will provide guidance for when to apply for Social Security and how to maximize your benefits. For more:

Feb. 27 | Otis Orchards Book Club 4:30 to

6 p.m., Otis Orchards Library, 22324 E. Wellesley. Join fellow book lovers to discuss “Fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser. For more:

Feb. 27 | Applying for Jobs Online 6 to 7 p.m., Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. Registration is requested for this technology class to learn about filling our online job applications. For more: March 1 | Father Daughter Dance 2014 7 to 9 p.m., CenterPlace at Mirabeau Point. Liberty Lake Kiwanis will present this 9th annual event for girls and their dads or other male role model. Tickets are $45 per couple ($20 each additional daughter) until Feb. 24. To purchase tickets or for more:, 979-6652 or 951-3573

Feb. 17 | Presidents Day


Feb. 19 | Spokane Valley Book Club 2 to 3

Spokane County Library District Valley

p.m., Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. Join fellow book lovers to discuss “People of the Book” by Geraldine Brooks. For more: www.scld. org

Feb. 19 | Wash. Health Benefit Exchange workshop 6 to 8 p.m., Spokane Valley Library,

12004 E. Main Ave. Learn more about the new online marketplace where people can find a plan that fits their needs and budget. For more: www.

Feb. 22 | Special Olympics Polar Plunge

9 a.m., Liberty Lake Regional Park, 3707 S. Zephyr Road. This fundraiser organized by law enforcement agencies benefits the 10,000 Special Olympics athletes across the state of Washington. For more: or 299-7117

Feb. 22 | White Night of Hope 6 p.m.,

Spokane Convention Center, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. This white carpet event is a fundraiser for GraceSon Housing Foundation and will feature live art and local musicians, The Rub. To register or for more: www.gracesonhousingfoundation. org

Feb. 23 | Marriage Enrichment Seminar

Noon to 4 p.m., Otis Orchards Elementary School, 22000 E. Wellesley Ave. Sponsored by St. Joseph’s Parish, this half-day seminar presented by Kristine Mauss will explore authentic love through the eyes of God. Childcare for age 11 and under will be available at the parish. The event is free, but donations will be accepted. To reserve your seat or for more: or 926-7133

Feb. 25 | Project Unify Youth Summit

9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. This free workshop aims to inspire students to become active participants in making a difference within their

branch 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, teen anime club and writing clubs. For more:

Liberty Lake Library 23123 E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake. Various clubs and weekly meetings including book clubs, children’s story times, LEGO club, computer drop-in class, knitting club and more. Save the date for the annual Friends of the Library tea on April 26! Tickets are $25 and will be available in March. For more: www.libertylakewa. gov/library Rockford Crochet Class Saturdays, 10 a.m. to noon, 229 S. First, Rockford. Join others at the weekly Crochet class held in the Rockford Community Center. Other types of craft, sewing, needle work are also enjoyed. Stop in and stitch and visit with others. For more: 892-4412 or 291-3722 Spokane Valley Eagles 16801 E. Sprague. Breakfast served Sundays 9 to 11:30 a.m. For more: Spokane Valley Writer’s Group 6 p.m. the first and third Thursdays of every month, Liberty Lake Municipal Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave. This supportive critique group welcomes adult writers. For more: 570-4440

MUSIC & THE ARTS Feb. 7 | Jazz Under the Stars 6:30 to 9:30

p.m., Central Valley High School Commons, 821 S. Sullivan Road. This fundraising event includes a dessert and silent auction to benefit CVHS band programs. Performances will be by CVHS, Greenacres Middle School and Evergreen Middle School jazz bands. Admission is $7 in advance or $10 at the door. For more: 999-9880

See CALENDAR, page 17

The Current

FEBRUARY 2014 • 17


CALENDAR Continued from page 16 Feb. 7-23 | “Prelude to a Kiss” 7:30

p.m. (Fri. and Sat.) and 2 p.m. (Sun.), Ignite! Community Theatre, 10814 E. Broadway Ave. At Peter and Rita’s wedding, a mysterious old man kisses the bride, transforming her in ways that expose the couple to the unpredictable risks as well as the exhilarating rewards of love. Admission is $14 for adults, $13 for seniors and students or $15 at the door. For more: www.

Feb. 8 | Auditions for “The Masked Canary” 3 p.m., Liberty Lake Community

Jan. 31-Feb. 9 | National Boat Show Fair

and Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St. The show, now running for 60 years, will feature the latest in boats and boating accessories from dealers around the Inland Northwest. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for youth 12-17 (under 12 are free). For times and more: www.

Feb. 4 | Peters Hardware 80th anniversary celebration 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., 12118 E. Sprague

Ave. Wilbur Peters, the second generation owner, will be in attendance from 10 a.m. to noon. The public is invited to celebrate.

Feb. 14-16 | International Auto Show 10

Theatre, 22910 E. Appleway Ave. Prospective cast members ages 16 and older need to come with a one-minute prepared song and be dressed for dance movement. The musical will be presented April 25-May 3. For more: www.

a.m. to 8 p.m. (Fri.), 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Sat.) and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Sun.), Fair and Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St. Sponsored by the Spokane New Car Dealers Association, the show will be exhibiting the latest in automotive technology. Admission, which is good for all weekend, is $7 for adults and $6 for seniors (12 and under free). For more:

Feb. 28 | Improv comedy show

Feb. 21 | Business Connections Breakfast

7 p.m., Ignite! Community Theatre, 10814 E. Broadway Ave. This live, family-friendly show is improvised on the spot based upon suggestions from the audience similar to “Whose Line Is It Anyway.” Admission is $5. For more: www. or 990-2834

Feb. 28 to March 16 | “The Big Five-Oh”

6:30 to 8:30 a.m., Mirabeau Park Hotel & Convention Center, 1100 N. Sullivan. EWU football coach Beau Baldwin will share thoughts on leadership as well as how to develop a winning team. Cost is $25 for members and guests; $45 for non-members. For more: www.

Liberty Lake Community Theatre, 22910 E. Appleway Ave. This production is a hilarious, yet touching account of a grown man coming to terms with his age, his relationship with his son and his future. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for seniors and children ages 6-12 and free for ages 5 and under. For show times, tickets and more: or 342-2055

Havana St. The show will feature hundreds of displays and demonstrations offering the latest in home and yard-related products, services and improvements including landscape attractions. Admission, which is good for all weekend, is $7 (12 and under free). For times and more: www.



Spirit of Spokane Chorus Tuesdays, 6:45

p.m., Opportunity Presbyterian Church, 202 N. Pines. Make new friends by joining this women’s chorus, specializing in four-part, a capella harmony in the barbershop style. For more: 2184799

CIVIC & BUSINESS Jan. 30 | CenterPlace Regional Event Center Open House 4:30 to 6:30 a.m.,

CenterPlace, 2426 Discovery Place. Tour the facility, sample offerings from the in-house caterer and visit with vendors during this free event. For more: 720-5405

Feb. 27 to March 2 | Custer Home & Yard Show Fair and Expo Center, 404 N.

Jan. 31 | Free screening mammograms

Provided by Inland Imaging, Spokane Valley Center, 12420 E. Mission Ave. and Liberty Lake, 1334 N. Whitman Lane, suite 160. This free service is for any woman over age 40 who does not have healthcare insurance and currently does not have any known breast health issues. To sign up for the free screening mammogram, women may stop by one of the centers prior to Jan. 31 to schedule an appointment. For more: 455-4455

Feb. 1 | Stateline Speedway’s 2014 Kickoff meeting 10 a.m. to noon, Mirabeau Park Hotel & Convention Center, 1100 N.

Sullivan. Registration is $40 for the 2014 season. There will be important announcements, as well as releasing of the 2014 schedule, rules and payouts. For more:


Feb. 2 | Eclipse Volleyball Tournament

Sunday School

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

9:30 a.m.

Feb. 3 | Winter Futsal League begins 4 to

WorShip Service

8 p.m., HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave. U9 through U13/14 teams are invited to sign up for the winter league. Cost is $240 per team. For more:

10:45 a.m.

Feb. 9 | Sideout Volleyball Tournament

7 a.m. to 6 p.m., HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave. For more: www.hubsportscenter. org

Feb. 16 | Sweetheart Shoot-Out Futsal Tournament HUB Sports Center, 19619 E.

Cataldo Ave. U7 through U14 teams are invited to sign up for the winter league. Cost is $100 per team if registered by Jan. 31; $125 if Feb. 1 or after. For more:

23304 E. Wellesley, Otis Orchards, WA


Recurring Sports opportunities HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. Badminton, basketball open gym, pickleball, walking group, Zumba and other recreational options available. For more:


All calendar listings were provided to or gathered by Current staff. If you would like your event considered for the community calendar, please submit information by the 15th of the month to

THE CHURCH DIRECTORY For as little as $7 a month, area churches can share service times, special programs or upcoming events in The Current. Call or email to learn more: 242-7752 or 905 N. McDonald Rd. • Spokane Valley Sunday Services: 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. 924-3705


Father Daughter Dance 2014


ar ight OscN

Saturday, March 1st ✮ 7pm - 9pm Doors open at 6:30pm

CenterPlace at Mirabeau Point 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley Area Wide Event • All Communities Welcome Semi-Formal Attire is Recommended

TO PURCHASE TICKETS: VISIT: to register and pay through PayPal OR MAIL A CHECK TO:

Kiwanis LL Father Daughter Dance, PO Box 384, Liberty Lake, WA 99019 FOR QUESTIONS CALL:

Tickets: $45 per couple Additional daughters $20 each

$25 per person after Feb. 24th Ticket price includes long-stem rose, favors & refreshments!

Raffle tickets $1.00 each Photo packages available by Dorian Studio

Pat 979-6652 or Linda 951-3573

18 • FEBRUARY 2014


The Current

Cats, dogs find ‘Partners’ in SV organization By Valerie Putnam

"We needed to find something," Harthan said. "We wanted to have something Eighteen years ago, Kathy Harthan and before that Christmas so our animals three other women followed their passion could be adopted." The organization secured its current loand embarked on a journey to save animals from being euthanized at area shel- cation, 8901 E. Trent Ave. in the Albertsons shopping mall, and transformed it ters. into a 900-plus square-foot cat sanctuary. "We don't have a 'no kill' in Spokane," "We're the only cat-only shelter in the Harthan explained. area," Harthan said. The four founders began the volunteerRescued cats roam free at the cat-only based, non-profit organization Partners shelter as long as they don't exhibit any for Pets in 1996, after Pet Rescue, the organization they were volunteering for, dis- behavioral issues toward the other feline residents. The shelter can accommodate solved. up to 35 cats and currently has more than "There was a small group of us that 25 cats waiting for forever homes. didn't want to stop fostering and taking Several cages line the walls along with care of animals, so we started up our own group," said Harthan, the only founding scratching posts and kitty toys. Volunteers member still involved in the organization. spend hours every day making sure the cages and environment are clean before The women fostered animals and con- opening for business. ducted adoptions out of their homes. Partners' rescued dogs live in foster Harthan was the only one of the four that homes until adopted. chose to foster cats. Rescued animals come to Partners eiWhen PetSmart opened a Valley store, ther when area shelters call Partners about Partners formed a pet partnership with a specific animal or Partner volunteers them. This gave Partners the opportunity visit shelters lookto keep animals in ing for animals. the store for adopThe organization. IF YOU GO … tion is always lookAfter PetSmart What: Woof, Purr and Wine Valentine ing for volunteers closed in the early to provide foster fundraising event, including a light, 2000s, the group homes for its resthree-course meal with two glasses of approached the cued cats and dogs. wine Spokane Valley Foster home volMall to open up a When: 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 15 unteers choose pets Pet Connection. Where: Nectar Tasting Room, 120 N. to foster and are reThe Pet ConnecStevens, Spokane sponsible for transtion allowed the porting the animals group to occupy an Cost: $30 for tickets through Brown to veterinarian apempty store in the Paper Tickets; Valentine balloons with pointments and mall free of charge gift certificates attached are for sale for ensuring the pets until a tenant was $20 are well socialized found. and trained. For more: Information about this or "We were doing a other fundraisers, including calendars While in foster lot of moving," said homes, volunteer showcasing adoptable pets that are Harthan, who set assess the animals' currently available for $10, can be up and tore down temperament and obtained by contacting Partners for Pets several locations. needs. Using this at 893-9829. "Our poor husassessment, Partbands did all the ners' volunteers work." show the animals Partners negotiated a second Pet Con- regularly and work hard to match animals nection location at Northtown Mall a year with the right home. later. "When you find the right home, it’s speWhen the mall ownership changed in cial," said Joyce Goble, who started volun2002, the agreement with Partners abrupt- teering in 2001. "We try to make a good ly ended. The organization was forced to fit." move all the animals into foster homes. Rescuing an average of 300 to 350 ani"We had to start all over again," Harthan mals every year, Harthan and Goble have said. "We put the animals in several foster witnessed thousands of success stories homes that had room." over the years. At that time, Harthan housed 30 cats in A cat named Junior is one such story. Juher home temporarily until a new space nior was found when he was only 6 weeks could be secured. old. He became blind in one eye and has CURRENT CONTRIBUTOR


Kathy Harnan, left, one of the founders of Partners for Pets, and Joyce Goble, a 12-year volunteer, work out of the organization’s Spokane Valley cat sanctuary on Trent. The 18-year-old organization helps match homeless pets with owners.

PARTNERS FOR PETS What: Partners for Pets is a nonprofit organization matching animals with forever homes. It is located 8901 E. Trent in Spokane Valley at the Albertson’s Shopping Mall. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday, 3 to 7 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. Find an animal: Animals are available for adoption at Partners for Pets’ Trent location, Valley PetSmart, 15615 E. Broadway Ave., and in north Spokane at Petco, 6302 N. only 10 percent vision in the other because of severe eye infections. Because of his handicap, he had less than a slim chance of being adopted from area shelters. Fortunately, a woman living in Tacoma found Junior when he was 8 months old through Partners' use of internet marketing. "The woman had just lost her cat, who was blind." Goble said. "It's a real neat story." At the beginning of this year, the woman drove over from Tacoma to adopt Junior and take him home. A “Happy Tails” bulletin board in the shelter is filled with similar stories and pictures of successful adoptions.

Division. All animals are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, micro chipped and vet-checked prior to adoption. Adopted cats are to be kept as indoor pets and cannot be declawed. To volunteer: Volunteers are needed in a variety of capacities, including fundraising, grant writing, shelter staff and fostering. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer can fill out a form at www.partnersforpets. org and attend a 45-minute orientation the fourth Monday of every month at 6 p.m. "People are now just starting to shop for cats on the internet," said Goble, who raises awareness about animals available for adoption by posting pictures on When PetSmart returned to the Valley, Partners formed a pet connection with the store. As part of this connection, Partners volunteers provide care for the animals waiting to be adopted. Partners hopes to eventually purchase a larger permanent facility to house both cats and dogs. Harthan wants the facility to have separate rooms with windows for the cats to look outside and a place to show dogs. "Animal care is a very passionate thing for people," Goble said. "I love these guys."

BUSINESS My date with the ideal girl — and bottomless bacon The Current

By Josh Johnson


If you are a 5-year-old boy, please turn the page now. You see, I recently confirmed what I’ve intuitively known for a while now: I’m raising the ideal girl. (Shhhh, keep the cat sacked! She’s only in kindergarten, for goodness sake, and I’d really like a few more suitor-free years.) It’s true, though. Jaysa Johnson has it all. She’s smart. She’s cute. She has a big heart. She has a quick and creative wit. I picked her up from school the other day, and her booster seat for some reason appeared to have lost a fight with a Hungarian goose. What she could have said: “Dad, why are there small feathers on my seat?” What she did say: “Dad, did a chicken blow up in the car or something, cause there are feathers everywhere!” My ideal girl. Before you question the criteria I use when making strong statements like “ideal girl,” remember three things: 1. This is a subjective exercise. 2. I am the father of a daughter, and there is no Boy Scout alive who can match the knot used in tying me around her finger. 3. I haven’t even gotten to the best part. The best part is that the girl can seriously eat. I don’t mean she’s a glutton. I mean that if you could only factor in her preferred diet — and not the fact she is a petite 40 pounds — you might mistake her for a Seahawks lineman. Her favorite foods all seem plucked from Super Bowl party menus: chili, meatballs, bean dip, ribs. When we go on a daddydaughter date, it’s two Papa Joes from Zip’s followed by a two-fisted race through a tub of fries. (She usually wins. I think it’s because the amount of fry sauce she uses nullifies the necessity to chew.) So it was with great anticipation that I introduced Jaysa to a con-

FEBRUARY 2014 • 19

cept that only my “ideal girl” could appreciate. On a clear January day, while Mom was away at work and Sister was still at school, I picked up my youngest from half-day kindergarten and took her to lunch. At Timber Creek Grill Buffet. Up to this point, Jaysa had lived a relatively sheltered existence. You see, her mother is 99 parts incredible woman, one part nagging cardiologist. Mention the word “buffet,” however, and it’s more like 50-50. This is the only explanation, of course, to how a child of mine could have lived nearly six years without being taught the sacred arts of “all you can eat.” We arrived close to noon, Jaysa perplexed as to why I wouldn’t let her eat at Zip’s or her other favorite — a fast-food Chinese joint she innocently refers to as “Polar Express.” “Because I love you,” I respond to her attempts to steer lunch a different direction. “So you should trust me.” She never came out and admitted it after the fact, but I’ve got to believe she will never doubt again. For the uninitiated, Timber Creek is all you could want in your local buffet. Rows of options. Rotations of meaty concoctions corresponding to theme nights like Italian, barbecue, Mexican and seafood. And it’s locally owned by the Klinke family, which just may have been responsible for my own inauguration into buffet-dom when they operated Rax Restaurants back in the day (in case you missed the glory days, Arby’s + buffet = Rax). Now it was my turn to pass on the privileges and customs of unlimited eating to a new generation. Like a proper smorgasbord sensei, I taught Jaysa strategy before allowing her to pick up that first plate. There are three S’s to proper buffet protocol: scout, sample, stack. Fail to follow them, and you could end up like my best friend in high school. Ben challenged me to a plate-clearing competition at the former Old Country Buffet one day in 1995 but had to forfeit his apparent victory on the way home when, with sudden inspiration, he “unloaded” a few helpings behind a building off Sullivan Road. As a proven buffet champion, I shared the three S’s with Jaysa:

IF YOU GO … Timber Creek Buffet 9211 E. Montgomery, Spokane Valley For more: 892-6390 or


Jaysa Johnson responds favorably to bacon slice No. 1 at Timber Creek Grill Buffet, as a cheeseburger and cinnamon roll await their turn. 1. Scout: Before touching a plate, step one is to get a lay of the land. Tour every row, taking a mental inventory of anything you will be disappointed to leave un-ladled. 2. Sample: No matter how good something looks, never scoop more than a sample amount (known as “fun size” to you sweet tooths). If it’s worth more than a sampling, consider it alongside your other priorities at your next plateful. Just don’t overindulge on any one item. A generous helping is the easiest way to derail a carefully crafted buffet gameplan. 3. Stack: Think of each trip through the food line as one of those colorful toddler stacking cups. Place your buffet servings in the wrong order, and this tasty tower will crash down prematurely. For grown-ups, the general rule is lighter items before heavier items (hence the term, “starter salad”). Among children, this

phenomenon can be referred to by the term my girls use — “belly button space.” When they are so full they can’t eat another green bean or pea, there always remains — quite inconceivably — a dessert-only navel compartment with a ravenous appetite. Reverse the order (say, dessert first), and food consumption decreases in both amount and variety. (Related bonus tip: By rule, rolls at buffets are intended to be delicious. Stop! It’s a trap! Like a bug drawn to the zapper, these rolls will neutralize your ability to sample widely. You will be halfway home before realizing you could have eaten a similar meal next door at Yoke’s for a buck-fifty.) After my lecture on proper gluttony, it quickly became clear Jaysa was only half-listening. Her eyes passed right through me toward rows and rows of desserts. “Mommy never told me about anyplace like this,” she smiled. The first trip through the line

revealed Jaysa gleaned little from our strategy session. I dished up a salad. She snagged a cheeseburger, cinnamon roll and two slices of bacon. No problem, though. She cleaned the plate and began raving about the establishment. “Why do you suppose you like Timber Creek so much, Jaysa?” “Because they have everything!” “Everything,” as it turns out, is not nearly as attractive as bacon. Second plate: two more slices of bacon surrounded by a decorative garnish of jello. As we ate, we talked about life: Her favorite “centers” in class ... the top recess attractions ... why she is having second thoughts about the bottom bunk. “If the bed breaks,” she confided, “it would be a bumpy ride for Kylie, but then she would just wake up. I would have pieces all over me!” For a second, her eyes flashed the suspicion I might be favoring her older sister. But then a new thought struck her: “Can I get more bacon?” Yes, my Taste-Buddy. Yes you may. Of course, I don’t love my little meatlover on the condition she loves meat. But this jointly enjoyed feast provided ample occasion to connect with a daughter who reminds me of a less healthconscious version of her mother: bright, big-hearted, spunky, fun. After finishing most of a teetering ice cream cone showered with Oreo crumbles, Jaysa was finally ready to tap out. “Daddy, I’m getting a tiny bit of brain freeze,” she explained. Which is where, it turns out, we are quite the opposites. I was getting a hefty serving of heart melt. Josh Johnson is editor and publisher of The Current. Write to him at

20 • FEBRUARY 2014


The Current

Couple opens SV clinic using unique model Optimal Healthcare both independent and physician assistant-owned By Valerie Putnam


Optimal Healthcare, the only physician assistant-owned clinic in the Spokane area, was born out of a conversation during a drive last spring. Kevin Bichler, a certified physician assistant, and Janice Jordan-Bichler, a registered nurse and former clinic administrator and vice president of operations at Community Health Association of Spokane (CHAS), were sharing concerns about an approach to treating patients they feared was becoming the typical business model for present-day healthcare providers. “They would churn patients through,” Jordan-Bichler said. “You were having to rush in there and rush out.” The conversation led to the couple deciding to offer something different: a more personalized, individualized care option. “We took a step back and said, ‘Let’s get to know our patients better, and let’s make them feel like they’re important, that we’re here to serve them, kind of like an old-fashioned type practice where the patient comes first.’” Jordan-Bichler said. Jordan-Bichler resigned her job last March to focus on opening up just such a practice. The couple began by looking for a space and, in July, purchased a former dental clinic for $179,000 at 12418 E. Saltese, near the intersection of Pines and 16th. The 1,500-square-foot building had been vacant for more than seven years. The couple spent about $40,000 and hundreds of hours remodeling the building. Completing most of the work themselves, the couple tore out paneling, installed windows and built walls. “She’s so proud because she built this wall

FAST FACTS ABOUT OPTIMAL HEALTHCARE LLC • Owners Kevin Bichler and Janice Jordan-Bichler met while working at the Spokane Valley CHAS clinic. Their first date came (with supervisor permission) as she was transferring to the downtown office. Bichler asked her to come fly a 6-foot kite with him. The couple was married on Jan. 6 — about the time of Optimal Healthcare’s grand opening. • Bichler is a graduate of West Valley High School and is a certified physician assistant and graduate of the University of Washington’s MedEx Program. Prior to attending University of Washington, he was an anesthesia technician for 14 years. • Jordan-Bichler is returning to a role as a physician assistant, planning to get certified again this spring after a varied career that included work in the Alaskan Bush at Port Yukon for two years, where for a time she was the only PA serving 12 villages. She also holds an MBA from the University of Idaho. • For appointments or more information about the new practice, call 822-7719. right back here,” said Bichler, motioning to a wall Jordan-Bichler built. “We pretty much put everything we had into this, including my retirement; it’s all in.” The couple looked for ways to cut costs during the remodel. For example, they found on Craigslist about $25,000 worth of medical equipment for $8,000 from a clinic that was closing its doors. Jordan-Bichler refinished and reupholstered chairs another office was going to throw away to use in the waiting room.


The team at Optimal Healthcare includes, from left, Certified Medical Assistant Colleen Clure, owners Kevin Bichler and Janice Jordan-Bichler, and Dr. James Mullen, who serves as supervising physician. Bichler left his job as a provider at CHAS at the end of September, and the remodel was completed in November. After a soft opening in December, Optimal Healthcare’s official opening came the beginning of January. The general medicine and family practice clinic offers traditional services such as well child, physical examinations and minor procedures and accepts several insurance companies. The practice has an estimated 60 patients, including patients who followed Bichler from his previous clinic. Their goal is to grow the business to 1,000 patients. In addition to Bichler and Jordan-Bichler, the clinic is staffed by Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) Colleen Clure and two volunteer medical assistants. The owners plan to round out the team with a receptionist. As PAs, the couple requires physician oversight. Dr. James Mullen, who worked with Jordan-Bichler previously, agreed to be their physician.

“I’m doing this because I like these guys,” Mullen said. “I would trust Janice with my life.” In this role, Mullen oversees client charts and is available anytime for the couple to consult. Mullen completed his residency in 1985 and currently practices at Franklin Park Urgent Care Center. “I like the concept,” Mullen said. “They’re not going to get rich off this; they’re not in this for the money. They’re in it to do the right things for the right reasons. How could you not support that?” The clinic is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, but the couple is willing to work around patients’ schedules, such as making appointments before and after hours, even on weekends as needed. Flexibility is part of the couple’s business model, as is allowing more time for the patient. “We’re seeing fewer patients and allotting more time, maybe 15 patients a day as

See OPTIMAL, page 21

Stott hired as marketing director for Splash and Current FROM STAFF REPORTS

Jocelyn Stott joined the Liberty Lakebased Peridot Publishing team last month as marketing director. Her role is to work with businesses partnering with The Splash, The Current or their affiliated publications to help maximize the impact of their advertising. She has more than 20 years of experience as a journalist, photographer and public relations and marketing specialist, primarily in the Inland Northwest.


“Jocelyn is a versatile and creative talent with a proven track record of building quality relationships,” Editor and Publisher Josh Johnson said. “I expect that The Splash and The Current — and our advertisers by extension — will benefit greatly from

her expertise.” A graduate of Michigan State University, Stott most recently worked as a communications consultant for Community Colleges of Spokane and in a freelance capacity helping a number of local businesses and organizations, including as a freelance contributor for The Splash and The Current. Stott moonlights as a therapeutic riding instructor. “While so many other media sources seem

to move further away from the pulse of our communities, I’ve always appreciated the local stories and advertising found in The Splash and The Current,” Stott said. “Not only are we blessed to live in the natural beauty of the Coeur d’Alene-Spokane region, we also have amazing neighbors. It’s so inspiring to hear their stories. I look forward to collaborating with people to promote and prosper the businesses that make our area great.” Stott can be reached at or 999-4567.

The Current

FEBRUARY 2014 • 21


Highlights from your Chamber

TUTORING TUTOR: READING, MATH, ASL Help for your elementary students to stay on track with reading and math skills. In my tutoring, I follow the Title I Program strategy, and I have seen many positive results with students. I also help with elementary math and teach sign language. Contact Sharon Elliott at 924-0336 or cell 280-2279.

OPTIMAL Continued from page 20

opposed to I was seeing maybe 25 a day at my previous job,” Bichler said. “Every initial visit is at least an hour.” After the initial visit, appointments will be scheduled to last 30-45 minutes. “What we would like to do is eventually be able to go out to some of the patients who have a hard time getting in,” Bichler said. “We just need to check with our insurance first to make sure that’s feasible.” The clinic also hopes to offer a few niche services as well. For example, since JordanBichler is a sexual assault nurse examiner, the clinic intends to offer services for sexual assault victims beginning in February, giving victims an alternative to having to go to the emergency room.

Though the response to their vision for a clinic was widely accepted, many people called the decision “crazy” because of the challenge of operating an independent practice when so many others have joined large and deep-pocketed medical groups, Jordan-Bichler said. She compared the modern-day healthcare clinic to a franchise operation, where the workers typically have no connection to the business other than that they work there. “If you go into a place that’s locally owned, they’re out to get your business and make it a pleasant experience for you — they really care about your business,” Jordan-Bichler said. “And I think that’s kind of where we’re at. People are going to come in, and we’re proud of what we’re doing, where we’re at and what we’re able to offer. We’re really proud of this, and we want people who want this to become a part of it.”

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Providing state-of-the-art medicine and timeless skin care, so you can be healthy and feel beautiful.


Photo courtesy of Eastern Washington University Athletics

Eastern coach to inspire at Biz Connections Breakfast Winning coach Beau Baldwin will be the featured speaker at the Business Connections Breakfast meeting on Feb. 21. He will be sharing his thoughts on leadership as well as how to develop a winning team.

Before their 2010 season began, many people didn’t have Eastern Washington University ranked as a top 25 team. But Baldwin took a recurring playoff team to the national championship game. The Eagles finished the 2010 season

Chamber events in February

Feb. 4, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Government Action committee meeting, Valley Hospital Education Center, 12606 E. Mission. Program: Library Capital Facilities Area and Funding. Cost: $20 (includes lunch). Register at Feb. 13, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., Business Education committee meeting, West Valley High School, 8301 E. Buckeye Ave. Program: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Education.


Feb. 21, 6:30 to 8:30 a.m., Business Connections Breakfast, Mirabeau Park Hotel, 1100 N. Sullivan. Program: EWU Coach Beau Baldwin. Coffee and conversation begin at 6:30 a.m.; program at 7 a.m. Cost: $25 members and guests; $45 nonmembers. Register at

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13-2 overall and won the NCAA Division I Championship with a 20-19 come-frombehind victory over Delaware.

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The Current

22 • FEBRUARY 2014


Biz Notes Peters celebrates 80 years The Spokane area’s oldest hardware store, Peters Hardware, is celebrating its 80th anniversary from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 4 at its store, 12118 E. Sprague Ave. New Spokane Valley Mayor Dean Grafos and second-generation owner Wilbur Peters will be part of the celebrations at 10 a.m.

Spokane Discount adds storage Spokane Discount LLC recently acquired a 35,424-square-foot storage facility, 4001 E. Broadway Ave. in Spokane Valley. Owner Steve Waco plans to offer a clearance center at the new location open Friday and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to a press release. Spokane Discount's other two retail locations are located on North Division and Dishman-Mica in the Spokane Valley.

CanAm leases space Don Huddleston, owner of CanAm Body and Paint, a full-service body and repair shop, recently leased 4,672 square feet in industrial space in the Johnson Business Park, 1104 N. Park Road, Spokane Valley. Johnson Business Park is now filled to capacity, according to a press release from Cornerstone Property Advisors. The final vacancy was filled with a 20,190-squarefoot  fenced  yard  lease  to  Blews Construction.

Sam's Stop N Shop opening Owner Jessey Nagra announced plans to open a seventh Sam's Stop N Shop this spring, the latest at 12309 E. Mansfield in Spokane Valley. There are currently two locations in Oregon, two in Western Washington, one in Rathdrum and one in Spokane Valley at the corner of Bowdish and Sprague. Joe Park Construction is building the 10,000-square-foot store facility. Nagra hopes to hire six full-time and three parttime employees. Nagra said the site will offer 24-hour fuel as well as a smoke shop located in adjoining space.

Hooters closes in Valley The Hooters Restaurant at 16203 E. Indiana closed its doors at the beginning of January. The owners stated that the Owl Club, located in the same building, will remain open and two new restaurants will eventually open at the site.

Complete Suite Furniture moves into longtime Halpin’s spot Complete Suite Furniture Store is moving into the 32,126-square-foot space that formerly housed Halpin’s Pharmacy at 11406 E. Sprague Ave., according to a press release from Cornerstone Property Advisors. The building is currently being renovated.

Local bars found religious devotion from NFL fans in 2013 By Craig Swanson


Back in the distant days of my childhood when I first converted to NFLism at the tender age of 10, the congregation was much smaller than it is today. Since time immemorial, games were only observed on the Sabbath, but then in the early ’70s we were given a latter-day night game on Monday evenings. For me, it was always a bad way to start out the week as far as school was concerned, since even the lamest matchups were always more interesting than homework assignments. Unbeknownst to me as I sat in the living room watching Monday Night Football by myself throughout my youth, there were millions of adult followers faithfully attending MNF parties in bars across the land. Local watering holes would try to build their football flock with cheap food and drink specials and giveaways. It was a competitive game, but back then Monday nights were well attended. In the past few years, however, Monday nights have become less special as the powers on high have chosen to give America more of what it craves with Sunday Night Football and Thursday Night Football. So now we have SNF on NBC, MNF on ESPN and TNF on NFL, all of which can be watched from the safety of your living room with just the basic cable package. The odd thing is that while the fans stay home for the most part to watch the night games, they come out in mass on Sundays. At the risk of ruffling the same sort of feathers that John Lennon did, I have to say that the NFL seems to rival the Lord in popularity at least for a few hours on Sundays during the football season. There is neither hyperbole nor hypocrisy in my hypothesis, as I have dropped in at several different local bars this past football season to get a grip on the Sunday gridiron gatherings. One regular season Sunday, when the Seahawks played at 10 a.m., all the good seats at Goodtymes were filled by kickoff. Owner Debi Smith has added two megascreens that occupy a huge portion of the southern wall. At both ends, a trained parrot roots just for the Seahawks. On top of all that, the kitchen puts out a great breakfast buffet for $12. The No. 1-ranked Seahawks have been a huge boon to the Sunday bar business, and while the wily veteran at Goodtymes has built a large patronage with her deft plays, sophomore sports bar, The Ref, seems to have scored most of the remaining Valley Seahawk fans. Somehow, last year in its rookie season The Ref came out of nowhere


Owner Debi Smith of Goodtymes Bar & Grill is for the birds, writes Craig Swanson of the Spokane Valley Scoop. Not only does the bar have a resident parrot trained to root just for the Seahawks, Smith and her daughter raise 42 birds at their home. and became Seahawk Central. That same morning that Goodtymes was packed, The Ref was a sea of Hawk fans from the banquet room across the large bar area and into the family dining room. As far as the eye could see, there was nothing but blue jerseys being stretched a bit further with beer, pizza and chicken wings. You would have thought that everyone was at these two places, but just around the corner from The Ref, Bolo’s had a good crowd of its own. For years, Bolo’s has been serving a breakfast buffet at just $10. Like The Ref, they have the Season Ticket, which lets the bar play any game on any big screen. Debi at Goodtymes, on the other hand, has given up on it because she thinks the $200 weekly price is not worth it. While I can commiserate with her, as a true believer in the power of the game, I see no reason to just watch the Seahawk game when I can watch all the others out of the corner of my eye on several nearby screens at the same time. The Season Ticket is probably the reason the flock ventures from their living rooms on Sunday only. The Season Ticket helps me relate to today’s youth lost in front of their computers playing games. I am thankful that I was not exposed to it as a kid because it would have been a sensory overload that surely would have zapped all of my desire to live in the real world. It is bad enough that as a middle-aged guy it zaps my desire to live in the real world on Sundays from the season opener though the final minute of the Super Bowl. Two more great venues in the Valley to catch all the games are the Sullivan Scoreboard and True Legends. The Scoreboard

is more of a blue-collar, baseball-cap kind of a bar, but that can be a good thing when watching football. True Legends draws a whiter-collared crowd, though no less enthusiastic of one. Both True Legends and The Scoreboard put out great breakfast fare for Sunday football and are actually neck and neck when it comes to their eggs benedict (which is the only thing Elaine likes or understands about Sunday football). True Legends, however, has the Scoreboard and everyone else whooped when it comes to size of their big screenie-weenie — and when it comes to football, size matters. While I highly commend and recommend all of these NFL tabernacles, there is one that I deemed the best place to observe the NFL on Sundays, and that would be the Black Diamond. They are really on their game with breakfast served all day as well as a great normal menu. I have been attending there for the past two years and have seen their flock grow. The Black Diamond is a Valley gem that is gaining in popularity each year — and deservedly so. One Sunday at the Diamond, I watched where grown men in Raiders jerseys cheering for their team in front of one big screen while across the pool hall, a group in Chiefs jerseys watched the same game. The parties erupted with cheers and boos at exact opposite times. If you are a nonbeliever, perhaps staying till when all the games are ending could make you a convert. One Sunday, the end to a game between the Saints and Patriots played on while others ended. Drew Brees threw a last-minute miracle touchdown only to be answered by an even more miraculous last-second touchdown bomb by Tom Brady. If you are lucky enough to see that and still don’t believe, then I don’t know what to tell you, because I’m thinking that is what the original Miracle Man had in mind when he instructed us to find heaven on earth. Craig Swanson and his wife, Elaine, operate a blog and newsletter called the Spokane Valley Scoop, where a version of this article originally appeared. A graduate of University High School, Craig is a lifetime resident of Spokane Valley. The Spokane Valley Scoop can be read online at

The Current


Area loses one-of-a-kind prep sports curator, Ken Eilmes

By Mike Vlahovich THE FINAL POINT

To know Ken Eilmes was to know a guy both prickly and passionate. I knew of him long before I knew him, as a youngster immersed in the sports pages of the now-defunct Spokane Daily Chronicle, memorizing the names of the City League stars. His was among them. I was unaware he knew of me, Spokane-bred as he was and coach of baseball at North Central while I was covering high school sports in the Valley. I found out he lived out here and obviously kept eyes on me by reading the Spokane Valley Herald. The city folk wanted to see if I was a “homer” when I wrote about a game. Having suffered cancer for several years, Eilmes soldiered on before dying last month at age 76. The area lost a vital link to high school sports and its history in Spokane. In The Spokesman-Review obituary written by Tom Clouse, a quote from the archives written back in 1997 sounded familiar. I looked it up and it turns out that I wrote the story for the Valley Voice. I had forgotten. Eilmes forgot nothing. My story’s lead said that he “not only (was) a part of Spokane’s prep sports history, but also its curator.” As time went on, we got to know each other personally. We’d both sit in the bleachers comparing notes at baseball games. He was blunt and didn’t suffer fools gladly. You definitely knew he was old school. He’d slice and dice the game’s nuances, pointing out the mistakes players made, the strategy errors that he wouldn’t tolerate as a coach, the lack of fundamentals. He was a delight. But there was that other side. Like a proud parent who compiles copious scrapbook clips of their children’s accomplishments, we gathered in his basement once and he took me through an amazing historical anthology of prep teams and athletes gleaned from newspapers dating back decades. He discussed with me an ambitious project he was about to undertake: the entire his-

tory of baseball in Spokane. “Right now, my primary concern is from 1937 on up,” Eilmes said. He also had a passion for baseball cards. They ran from the 1970s into the ’90s. It would have been larger had he not OK’d his mother’s request to toss out cards he had amassed prior to 1961, when he entered the Army. “At the time, no one knew the value of cards,” he said, presumably with a touch of regret, although I doubt he collected them as an investment. “I keep them because I love baseball.” Eilmes, small, but feisty, was a threesport, all-conference athlete and allstate in two sports for Rogers at a mere 5-foot-7, 145 pounds in 1956, when the Pirates were a league force. “Maybe I was lucky,” he told me. “Our coaches expected you to work twice as hard as the average person. I probably got by more on determination than anything.” Years later, I witnessed first-hand his intensity. I attended an amateur baseball league game at the behest of thenCentral Valley baseball coach Harry Amend, who was playing. No umpire showed up, so Amend coerced me to get behind the plate. Eilmes was catching and didn’t care for my strike zone. After taking so much of his carping, I went back into the stands and let him call it his way. As time went on, we became friends, particularly in his post-coaching life. It always seemed we were bumping into each other at a baseball game, even when he revealed he had cancer. He had strong opinions on the sport: “Athletes are self-centered today. They are about themselves and that is it.” He taught his son Kenny all facets of baseball; bunting, moving the ball around, advancing runners but he made one concession to the modern game — he’d have stressed power hitting. But he added this caveat: “Recruits are players who have terrible fundamentals, but can hit it 400 feet.” And that quote Clouse had in his S-R story is my favorite: “Today, everybody’s bigger, faster and stronger now — I didn’t say they were better.” Old fashioned, perhaps, gruff and scrappy to the end, Ken Eilmes was one of a kind. Mike Vlahovich is a longtime Spokane Valley sportswriter and member of the Inland Northwest Sports Hall of Fame Scroll of Honor.

FEBRUARY 2014 • 23

U-Hi makes statement at Battle of the Bone and 195 pounds — but nonetheless swept unbeaten through the Great Northern League. The whole was the sum of its parts. By Mike Vlahovich CURRENT CONTRIBUTOR “It’s been an interesting year,” coach Craig Hanson said. “If you’d have told me It wasn’t just the eight weight-class winat the start of the year we’d have this many ners that decided the Battle of the Bone on problems and still survive the season, I Jan. 23 against Central Valley for Greater never would have believed it.” Spokane League unbeaten champion UniThe Knights battled injury, illness and versity. Everyone played a part. grade issues necessitating juggling 21 “Even in our losses, everyone was wreswrestlers among the 14 weight classes. tling hard at the end,” coach Don Owen Except for Trey Meyer at 145 pounds, said. “Even at 145 pounds (where Zach Hanson used two, three and in one weight Martin lost by nine points to a returning state champion), we got the last takedown.” class four different wrestlers in weights to fill holes and create favorable matchups. That tells the tale of the Kenny Martinez was upset victory, by a young perfect at 195 and 220. LoCV NOTEBOOK team that had graduated gan Sundheim went 5-0 nine seniors, over the preONLINE at 113 pounds, but lost a season favored Bears. match at 120. He was one Looking for “I was hoping for seven of several who lost but once an update wins, and maybe we could during the league season. on Central keep from getting pinned,” EV finished with a perfect Valley High School Owen said. “We got a cou6-0 season. winter sports? Contribuple of wins that weren’t ex“Ours is kind of that team tor Mike Vlahovich wrote pected.” where everybody’s pretty an all-Bears report for The Titans prevailed good, ” Hanson said. “That’s The Current’s sister in eight, lost by pin only the thing that saved us. publication, The Splash. once and had pins in four There’s not a giant hole in View it online at www. of the final five matches. the lineup.” or Four were decided by two February is postseason points or came in the wancheck out the full issue month. Districts are held ing seconds, where U-Hi at the first weekend at EV and conditioning was a factor regionals the next at West — Mikey Garrison at 113; Valley, where four per weight qualify for Brandon Clark, a ball of muscle who cut to 126; Cam Sorensen at 132, and John the Mat Classic state tournament Feb. 2122 in the Tacoma Dome. The Knights have Fairbanks at 160. a wealth of potential qualifiers who will “When matches get long,” Owen said, compete to advance from a rugged region U-Hi has an advantage. “Our motto is ‘24 that’s a state meet in itself. -7.’ The kids absolutely live it. This shows Meyer was third at state last year and how far we’ve come.” West Valley finalist Jace Malek also reA master motivator, Owen credits his turns. assistant coaches with getting the Titans battle-ready by studying film, working in Tough go for Titans the practice room and planning strategy. University basketball teams that enjoyed “I am just so blessed,” he said. “They postseason success the last couple of years make me look a whole lot better than I have found the sledding tougher in 2013am.” 14 through graduation and injury. Neither team had a winning GSL record Postseason begins Feb. 8 for the defending 3A state champions with a sub-region- two-thirds through the season, the girls at al in Hanford, regional on the west coast 5-7, the boys at 6-6 (8-6 overall) through the following weekend and Mat Classic in Jan 24. On the brighter side, both Titan teams did have a slight edge for No. 1 disthe Tacoma Dome Feb. 21 and 22. Sorensen and Austin Stannard are re- trict 3A playoff seeds in a wide open chase turning finalists and Tate Orndorff fin- with six games remaining. The boys have been led by Michael Isoished third. talo, who was fourth in league scoring at Knights win Frontier 13.6 points per game, and junior Robert East Valley’s wrestling team had but Little, who was averaging 10.5. two unblemished weight classes — 113 See NOTEBOOK, page 24

The Current

24 • FEBRUARY 2014


Oft-injured Shillam taking latest setback in stride U-Hi standout has torn both ACLs, now recovering from meniscus surgery

Cassie Shillam was averaging 16 points per game during her senior basketball season for University High School before surgery was needed for a lingering meniscus tear. Injury forced Shillam, who has received interest from college basketball coaches, to miss much of her freshman and junior seasons as well.

By Mike Vlahovich


University High School’s oft-injured yet perpetually upbeat basketball player, Cassie Shillam, considers her athletic gift — and shrugs off her balky knees — as products of heredity. After all, her father, Terry, suffered similar maladies. “They keep saying that because I’ve had knee troubles,” said Terry, good-naturedly. “If she wants to believe that, it’s fine.” He’s married to Jill Bittner, sister of his best friend and Cassie’s uncle, Jim. The two starred on a state champion football team at East Valley in the 1980s, so it’s no surprise why Cassie is a talent. But like a frayed guitar string, the anterior cruciate ligaments in each of Cassie’s knees have snapped, costing nearly half of her four-year career as a Titan. Then, in mid-January, after a hot start during which she was averaging 16 points per game in this, her senior season, a lingering meniscus tear necessitated surgery that will sideline her from four to six weeks. Incredibly, she has taken such misfortune with equanimity. “It’s definitely tough,” Cassie admitted. “It’s been three or four years fixing your body and half the time using it. It can be a downer, but I don’t really let it affect me much.” Indeed, she says the injuries have been harder on her family than her. Her Titan career began auspiciously in 2010-11. Then a freshman, Cassie scored in double figures in her first five games, averaging nearly 15 points per outing. She made it through 14 games before tearing her right ACL and cartilage. It happened in warm ups during Senior Night at Gonzaga Prep. Most of the Bullpups are her teammates on their travel

team, she said. At the time, Tia Presley, now a prolific scorer at Washington State, was being honored. “I fell right in the middle of the court, and they had to go around me,” Cassie laughed about the embarrassing moment. Needless to say, she didn’t get to play against her mates, and her season was over. “I’d never done anything like that,” Cassie said of the injury. “As soon as it happened, I heard it pop down there, and I knew I tore the ACL.’” Surgery and rehabilitation took most of the summer, and as a sophomore, she played the entire season for the Titans fifthplace state finishers. It was evident Cassie wasn’t back to full strength. She reached double figures but three times, including one game that highlighted her potential, a season-high 22 points. Last year, in her eighth game, a nonleague contest in Richland, the left ACL shredded.

“The second tore so ferociously,” she said, “the ACL started to disintegrate and was not as painful. The first one was a lot harder for me.” Because of the nature of the injury and what she went through after the first surgery, the rehab was a relative breeze and resulted in her fast start this winter. Then misfortune struck again. Hopefully, she’ll return in time for a happy ending. ACL injuries are common in female athletes because of their anatomy. Cassie’s was a freak occurrence, her doctors told her, because her core strength was so great. So maybe heredity did have something to do with it. Terry Shillam partially tore his ACL in the State 2A football semifinal that Bittner quarterbacked in the Kibbie Dome. With the knee trussed in tape, he played in the Knights championship victory. “It was probably my worst game,” he reminisced. “I fumbled three times I was so nervous. I hadn’t fumbled all year. I didn’t have


East Valley boys and girls basketball teams when they met for the first time this year.

West Valley’s Jake Love, scoring at least 20 points in nearly every game, was finally grounded. He only scored two points in an upset loss to Deer Park.

Continued from page 23

With three of its best players sidelined by injury, U-Hi currently does not have one girl averaging in double figures, although several have had their games, and the team was bolstered by the return of injured veteran Kaitlin Pannell.

WV, EV ‘bout even Not much separated West Valley and


The Eagles boys won by a basket, 62-60, after trailing by 10 points after the first quarter. The Knights girls outscored WV 18-8 in the fourth quarter for a 49-42 triumph. Alex Rankin, EV’s lone senior, and Hannah Burland remain scoring constants for EV. Erin Higbie, Natalie Noble and Rachel McGlothlen make up a potent Eagles trio.

Scotties lead the way Freeman’s girls basketball team, led by Katie Vold, was unbeaten for new coach Chad Kimberley midway through the Northeast A schedule, and Freeman’s wrestlers were on track to repeat as champs heading into the postseason, with state placers Markus Goldbach and

surgery, which was not really good.” Terry went on to play at Montana, where the ligament tore completely, and he finally had surgery. He also had surgery later on the other ACL that was torn in recreational sports and said he hasn’t been troubled since. The doctor who repaired Cassie likened the surgery to building a rope from string. That still doesn’t mean her parents haven’t had moments of despair over their daughter’s plight. “Personally, knowing what I went through, I was sad for her and a little fearful,” Terry said. “After the second one, I was devastated because she went through it before. She has great potential, is a great kid and doesn’t deserve something like that.” Injury is something University coach Mark Stinson has had to endure. Three of his starters — Shillam, Brooke Bailey and Kaitlin Pannell — have been sidelined by various injuries. Pannell returned to the lineup in mid-January, but Stinson was awaiting the others. “I’ve been better,” Stinson said when asked how he’s holding up. When asked about Cassie’s value, he said, “She’s one of those girls who is just fearless. She just sticks out on the floor: Diving on the ball, driving hard to the basket, defensively in someone’s face. She provides the spark.” Getting to the basket has been her forte, although, she said, having the knee injuries has helped make her a better shooter. Division I colleges showed interest, although since the injuries they’ve backed off. Cassie still entertains thoughts of playing after high school, though her D-I goal has been tempered. She’s looking at smaller colleges that can provide the education an advanced placement student deserves. Through it all, Cassie Shillam remains undaunted. “I think everything happens for a reason,” she said. “If there’s a place I’m supposed to be or to be doing, if I was at full strength I wouldn’t have done that. It’s making me a better person.” Teigan Glidewell returned.

Cox carries Valley Christian Nick Cox has been a constant for Valley Christian basketball, leading the team with an 18-point scoring average for the 11-6 team. Included was a 30-point outburst in an overtime win. Bo Piersol, VC's 6-foot-7 post, contributes 13.3 points per game. Regular season ends the first week of February, with the Panthers vying for the Northeast 1B south title, as playoffs loom.

The Current

Is honesty always the best policy? By John Pederson


When I was young, I remember one of my favorite TV game shows was, “To Tell the Truth.” Three contestants would claim to be a certain person (e.g., John Doe), while only one had signed an affidavit to honestly answer questions posed by the celebrity panel. After the questioning, the panel and TV audience would watch as the real John Doe would stand, and it was obvious how difficult it was to choose which contestant was telling the truth. The point is, with a little knowledge and practice, a liar can be quite convincing. Our core values determine what we say and do, or what we don’t say and do. If asked to prioritize our values, most of us would put honesty right at the top. And most us would admit (if we were to be truthful) that there have been times where we may have not told the truth, because we determined that the situation warranted withholding it. In a business sense, it could be that certain information simply could not be disclosed, such as a pending personnel action or other information of a confidential nature. In a more personal vein, we might have justified telling a “white lie” in the interest of tact or politeness like foregoing a negative (but honest) opinion about someone else, such as their new outfit of clothes or hairstyle. Guys, you know what I’m saying here. Where we walk a potentially dangerous line is when we convince ourselves to tell a white lie to be tactful or polite in the interest of someone else, when in fact, we are re-

About the Opinion Page The Current wants to hear what’s on your mind. Interact with the opinion page with a leer to the editor (350 words or fewer), guest column (700 words or fewer; please send a mug) or via Facebook or Twier: @valleycurrent As with all content, opinion page submissions may be edited for space, style or clarity. This is a community newspaper, so be relevant to the Valley for the best chance at publica…on. “In all debates, let truth be thy aim, not victory or an unjust interest. And endeavor to gain, rather than to expose, thy antagonist.” — William Penn

OPINION ally trying to avoid our own accountability. It seems that we have an inherent ability to rationalize our behavior, such that we convince ourselves that “stretching the truth” in our particular instance is justified. However, once we have sidestepped the truth, the situation often remains, such that we feel the need to continue the deception. For those people who command a spot in the public eye, it can become quite problematic. We see it in the news; not only is someone caught in a lie, but once they have tried to cover up the initial discretion, they subsequently found the need to try to “cover up the cover up.” When put on the spot and asked about a certain action on a certain day, they respond with, “I don’t recall.” That statement may or may not be true; however, with technology being what it is today, there will be an archive of emails, phone calls, social media, etc., that will remind them what they said or did. Presidents and companies have fallen into disgrace because of a basic disregard for the truth. Mark Twain said, “Always tell the truth. That way, you don’t have to remember what you said.” The daily decisions we make, in turn, make up the kind of people we are. Sure, there are bad people that do bad things, but most of us are good people, who occasionally do dumb things, and sometimes find ourselves in sticky situations. Being truthful can relieve some of the stickiness. People are generally willing to forgive “honest” mistakes. I believe that being honest is the foundation of ethical behavior, for without honesty, there can’t be integrity. Honesty is also an integral part of trust, which in turn is the basis of all relationships. A person who is perceived to be honest commands respect and enjoys a good reputation. Being genuine and being honest go hand in hand. Being honest at all times often requires courage and a willingness to do the right thing, no matter what. As religious leader, lawyer and politician James E. Faust said, “Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living and truth loving.” I encourage you to sign a mental affidavit with yourself that you will be truthful at all times (be careful with those white lies). Then, as you go about your personal and business activities, people can say, “There goes the real [insert your name here].” Honesty is the best policy. Always. John Pederson is owner and president of Ethics Talks LLC ( His presentations include being a continuing education provider for the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner and the Idaho Department of Insurance. He can be reached at He wrote this column as part of a series highlighting the PACE (Partners Advancing Character Education) trait of the month. The trait for February is honesty.

FEBRUARY 2014 • 25

Editorial Cartoons

Letter to the Editor Cartoon honoring outgoing mayors was a kind gesture I want to sincerely thank Craig Howard for his illustration on Page 28 of the January 2014 issue of The Current. What an honor to be “in the same boat” as Mayor Tom Towey and Mayor Dan Mork. These men are highly respected and dedicated to their communities.

I also want to thank Editor Josh Johnson for including the town of Rockford and Freeman School District in the coverage for The Current. The town was featured in the first issue and has been noted in issues since. We appreciate being a part of the greater Spokane Valley area.

Micki Harnois Rockford

The Current

26 • FEBRUARY 2014



Tammy Kimberley



Sarah Burk

Sandy Johnson Mike Wiykovics


Eli Francovich, Craig Howard, Valerie Putnam, Jayne Singleton, Craig Swanson, Mike Vlahovich, Bill Zimmer

On the cover: Submitted graphic illustration


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EDUCATION Continued from page 10 Szoke, Connor Szott, Danielle Tabish, Mikayla Taylor, Elaine Taylor, Sarah Teichmer, Todd Teller, Gretchen Tempel, Makinzee Thomas, Gabriel Tinder, Stephen Trainor, Justin Trenter, Ashtyn Turnbow, Austin Upmeyer, Nicholas Valentine, Britney Van Winkle, Jacob Varness, Dustin Viall, Morgan Voelker, Kevin Volland, Gregory Waco, Kolby Wade, Robyn Wallin, Sarah Wallis, Madeleine Walsh, Toshick Watson, Shayla Weiler, Colleen Wells, Ashleigh Whalen, Rebecca White, Ethan Whitney, Ashley Wiggs, Britany Williams, Vogan Wohlers, Sarah Yates, Alexander Yoseph, Stephen Zeller

Michigan Technological University (Houghton, Mich.) Dean’s List (3.5+ GPA) Emma Zellmer, Liberty Lake

Montana State University Dean’s Honor Roll (3.5+ GPA)

Michelle Chapel, Spokane; Shannon Coyle, Veradale; Brent Gilliam, Spokane; Sarah Hanson, Spokane; Taylor Hogue, Spokane; James Painter, Spokane; Kylie Parker, Spokane; Emily Paukert, Mica; Kathryn Pintar, Spokane; Matthew Romano, Spokane; Jason Sanders, Spokane; Kathleen Sherry, Spokane; Chelsie Shrope, Spokane; Paige Wanner, Liberty Lake

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President’s Honor Roll (4.0 GPA)

Shannon Metzger, Greenacres; Mitchell Vander Linden, Spokane

Oregon State University Honor Roll (3.5+ GPA)

Nicole M. Craigmile, Spokane Valley; Stephen P. Lucas, Spokane Valley

Ridgewater College (Willmar, Minn.) Dean’s List (3.5+ GPA)

Liberty Lake

PORTAL at Mission & Molter

Marc Garnsey, Liberty Lake

Spokane Community College Honor roll (3.0+ GPA)

Greenacres: Erik Buechler, Jamie Crinion, Brittani Gilbert, Nichole Hennings, Kieran Kennerson, Kai Marks, Joshua Nestoss, Elizabeth Scheck, Cody Sherrodd, Thai-Son Tran, Jacob Williams Liberty Lake: Robert Allen, Allen Baker, Max Barham, Eric Bell, Amy Berg, Jenna Bryant , Jeffrey Christenot, Danielle Cosper, Jeannine Crump, Brooklyn Cushman, Whitney Cushman, Jacqulyn Fletcher, Brian Forstrom, Kelcie Gardner, Jay Jensen, Faith Johnson, Mallory Jones, Matthew Kienbaum, Karis Lake, Ariel Malakowsky, Marissa Lindman, Katherine Medina, Catherine Monsey, Tiffanie Morozin, Sheena Moya, Stephanie Ofarrell, Allie Oleynik, Randy Paul, Kayla Peterson, Kevin Ruiz, Makayla Schild, Robbie Shirley, Ashley Stewart, Casey Strauss, Austin Taylor, Sarah Vogel, Sheree Webb, Stephanie Welzig, Vanessa Wesley, Kenneth Yergen, Curtis Zolman Spokane Valley: Rebecca Adamson, Siti Ahmad-Rudebaugh, Philomena Allen, Nichalas Balcom, Rayanne Calton, Kim Cesal, Sheldon Cole-Kagele, Terry Cluckey, Spence Dassow, Emil Derkach, Tyeson Desautel, Robert Ellis, Frankie Evans, Daniel Fomenko, Heather Fletcher, Holly Flynn, William Fulton, Lily Gadarzi, Jesse Gratton, Breezy Honican, Vicki Jensen, Bryan Jones, Artem Karptsov, Navdeep Kaur, Tatyana Khmaruk, Cally King, Peter Knowlton, Laura Kramer, Grigoriy Kravtsov, Nikita Lavrov, Mitchel Lawler, Jace Mccabe, Richard Meyer, David Morrison, Jada Poshusta, Christina Rohm, Antony Sizov, Philip Sizov, Jori Smith, Brandon Sommer, Nataliya Tarasiuk, Elena Yashchuk, Oleksandr Yashchuk

Spokane Falls Community College Honor roll (3.0+ GPA)

Greenacres: Cristina Burgess, Kevin Cao, Heidi Clark, Paul Duddy, Tyler Erickson, Laura Filardo, Alexander Gaffney, Ayesha Horton, Jeremy King, Kylie Kippenhan, Jason Lesser, Kelsey Loweree, Naomi Moran, Rachel Moran, Francis Olesen,Mikhail Shevchenko, Stefan Thuerk, Kaelyn Yandt Liberty Lake: Bryan Aguilar, Brianna Beckwith, Nathan Brown, Shawn Buck, Trevor Cook, Chris Dixon, Stephen Ertel, Alyssa Garro, Ronda Gimlen,Fay Hulihan, Aaron Kennedy, Natoine Lively Ii,Brittni Ludington, Alexandria Mc Laughlin, Zelpha Miller, Jessica Neihoff, Jordyn Sandford, Micah Seale, Kendyl Spencer, Rosharon Swank, Alex Sweeney, Cody Tibesar, Brooke Wayman, Shayla Williams Spokane Valley: Shawn Dahlin, Bryant Freimuth, Nathan Navarra

Washington State University President’s Honor Roll (3.5+ GPA)

Barlows Family Restaurant City of Liberty Lake Clark’s Tire and Automotive Family Medicine Liberty Lake George Gee John L. Scott Real Estate

Greenacres: Casssandra J Enzler, Jaycob Walter Enzler, Sari Noelle Levernier, Kaci L Matsch, Samantha Jo Pendleton, Mariya Vasilyevna Sichkar, Richard Tyler Simmet, Breanna Daniel Striker, Evany Alexsus Whitson

Otis Orchards: Alicia Aldendorf, Andrew Stanley Bartleson, Samantha LeeAnn Geibel, Rebecca Renae Lonam, Chad Thomas Steenvoorden, Brittany Marie Totland Spokane Valley: Kevin Abercrombie, Rachel Christen Bechtolt, Jamie Lynn Bircher, Rhianna Christine Brady, Ashley Marie Burns, Grace Anne Calhoun, Sabrita A Cohen, David John Covillo Jr, Christopher Bradley Covillo, Katelyn Marie Dowling, Kathleen Ann Dowling, Karst Nicholas Downey, Katerine Jasmin Elvir, Alaina Fray, Oksana Garbuz, Rebecca Diane Granberg, Rachel Elizabeth Hatten, Zoey Maureen Henson, Courtney Marie Herbst, Matthew Joseph Hyndman, Alec Dylan Jespersen, Chris James King, Matthew James Langford, Brianne Krystle Lawler, Shaina Breann Marvel, Anthony Bryce Miller, Haleigh Michal Miller, Kendra Alexis Morscheck, Katelyn Renee Nemitz, Ashley Nicole Nilson, David Khoa Pham, Jenelle Karen Pope, Jennifer A Popp, Lauren Margaret Puhek, Nicholas John Riordan, Brett Elise Rountree, Katie Ann Salmon, Natasha Saric, Jessica Mae Schmidtlein, Josh Raymond Schroeder, Kariann Renee Sells, Andrew Reed Simock, Sterling Smith, Katherine Rose Stewart-White, Brandon Stover, Ryan Sullivan, Michael Zach Varner, Jordan Elizabeth Vuong, Stephen Patrick Wheir, Mary Jeanette Willard, Audreyauna Rachelle Williams, Tatyana Yushkevich, Molly Ann Wakeling Valleyford: Lauryn Altmeyer, Ethan Daniel Coffey, Betty Jo Oja Veradale: Amanda Myles Bridge, Petra Ali Frandsen, Kelly Nicole Lopez, Charlotte S Schmitz, Bryan Stephen Whitacre

Liberty Lake EyeCare Center Liberty Lake Orthodontics STCU Sunshine Gardens

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

Liberty Lake: Brendan Allen Bowman, Delaney Nora Dorsey, Samuel Fosberg, Emily Erin Hisel, Cj Marie James, Mica K Kondryszyn, James Edward Pappas, Homa Shaarbaf, Breanne Jackee Stachofsky, Spencer Kyle Stephenson, Jordan Michelle Stocker, Hayley Rose Windhorn Newman Lake: Tristan Nicole Brown, Jonathan Alec Casebier, Jordan Elizabeth Christensen, Nicholas Christopher Coleck, Joey David Copeland, Deanna L Ervin, Nicholas Dean Faso, Jennifer Rae Kersh, Emmalee Kate Ohlstrom

KiDDS Dental Liberty Lake

Amaculate Housekeeping Casey Family Dental Casey’s Place Central Valley Theatre Department Clark’s Tire & Automotive Cornerstone Pentecostal Church Evergreen Fountains Kathrine Olson DDS KiDDS Dental

4 9 11 9 3 11 15 17 13

Kiwanis of Liberty Lake Liberty Lake EyeCare Center Liberty Lake Orthodontics Liberty Lake Portal Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute North Idaho Dermatology Northern Quest Resort & Casino Providence Medical Park Side by Side Counseling Services

17 5 3 28 4 21 3 11 4

Simonds Dental Group 2 Spokane Spine & Disc 16 Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce 21 Sunshine Health Facilities 11 Windermere RE - Tom McLaughlin 5 Church Directory 17 Service Directory 21

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The Current


FEBRUARY 2014 • 27

Gary Schimmels epitomized Valley’s noble character and benevolent spirit By Craig Howard CURRENT COLUMN

Gary Schimmels would have appreciated the quiet work ethic of the ushers at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Otis Orchards last month. The small crew responsible for seating at the community parish was put to the test as a capacity crowd arrived for the Jan. 21 funeral service of the former Spokane Valley deputy mayor. Folding chairs came in handy when the congregation exceeded the pews. Never one for the spotlight, Schimmels would have also been slightly uneasy with the outpouring of hyperbole before, during and after the mid-morning agenda. An original member of the Spokane Valley City Council, Schimmels was known for a no-frills approach that always placed sincerity above notoriety. “What an amazing class act,” said Spokane County Commissioner Todd Mielke, who worked with Schimmels on several boards over the years. “I’ll remember his integrity, honesty and professionalism. Everyone who knew Gary was better off for having known him.” Schimmels passed away in his sleep on the morning of Jan. 15 from apparent cardiac arrest. He was 75. To the end, the Spokane Valley native did his part to boost community causes. On Jan. 13, Schimmels accepted a volunteer opportunity with the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council to increase awareness in the fight against drugs and alcohol. On the same call, he talked about his intentions to ramp up his support for Greater Spokane County Meals on Wheels. “He was extremely committed to this community,” said former Spokane Valley Mayor Tom Towey. “As a leader, he based his decisions on the merit of the issues. Whenever I wanted an honest opinion, I talked to Gary.” Schimmels won his bid to the inaugural Spokane Valley City Council in November 2002 with 51 percent of the vote. He would be re-elected twice before dropping a narrow decision to Ed Pace last November. To longtime municipal employees like City Attorney Cary Driskell, Schimmels will be remembered as one of the pillars of a jurisdiction that formed from scratch.

Spokane Valley’s longest-serving City Council member, Gary Schimmels, passed away in his sleep on the morning of Jan. 15, two weeks removed from his decade-plus stint on the council. CURRENT FILE PHOTO

“Gary was always honest and respectful of others — just a real gentleman,” Driskell said. “He was also an incredible treasure trove of Spokane Valley history.” A third-generation Valleyite, Schimmels grew up on Broadway Avenue not far from his grandfather’s blacksmith shop in the Dishman-Mica area. He put himself through Gonzaga Prep by working at a Chevron gas station and went on to work 30 years in road construction and utilities development, laying much of the viaduct through downtown Spokane. In his later professional years, he ran a locksmith shop. Gary and Myrna Schimmels were married for 52 years. Gary is survived by his wife, five children and eight grandchildren. “We weren’t wealthy, but we were rich in family,” said Gary Schimmels Jr., who delivered the eulogy for his dad. A tinkerer on cars and all kinds of machines, Schimmels brought a utilitarian, “fix it” approach to the newly formed Valley Council more than a decade ago. Former Spokane Valley Mayor Diana Wilhite said Schimmels’ experience in infrastructure was critical to the new city. “Gary was a man of few words, but he had a wealth of knowledge,” Wilhite said. “I always appreciated his background in construction and public works.”

Much of Schimmels’ work with the city mirrored his life — thoughtful, humble, pragmatic. He toiled away on boards and commissions that addressed less-thanglamorous, but essential, issues like transportation, waste management and stormwater treatment. Outside of City Council, he was a longtime board member with Consolidated Water District No. 19 in Greenacres. He was also a dedicated advocate for animals. “Gary was a kind and caring person — very community-minded,” said Nancy Hill, executive director of Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service. “He loved animals and was a champion for SCRAPS. He understood that animals are an important part of our lives and our community.” Schimmels showed up for his first interview at the Spokane Valley News Herald years ago with a dog alongside. It was soon clear that the new city leader thought the canine deserved more publicity than a politician. When Bill Gothmann decided to run for Spokane Valley City Council, Schimmels was there to offer advice and encouragement. The two had served on the roads committee after incorporation passed in May 2002. “I’d never run a campaign before,” said

Gothmann, who served with Schimmels on council from 2005 to 2012. “Gary did a lot to help me. He was someone who really listened. One thing I’ll miss about him is his ability to bring people together.” When Gothmann lost his mother in 2004, Schimmels made it a point to be at the service. The week Schimmels passed away, Gothmann and his wife, Myrna, received a card from Gary and his wife, offering condolences for the recent loss of Myrna’s father. “Gary was just very thoughtful and compassionate,” Gothmann said. “He will be missed, but he leaves a great legacy for all of us.” Those who rang Schimmels on the phone grew familiar with his trademark greeting — “Schimmels here,” delivered in a kind, gravelly voice that recalled the pouring of concrete. He carved out time for everyone and was, unfailingly, a friend to all. The Valley lost one of its greatest sons on Jan. 15 — but like his signature salutation, Schimmels is still here, at least in memory, reminding us all to be better. Veteran Spokane Valley journalist Craig Howard is a frequent contributor to The Current. He was a longtime reporter and editor at the Spokane Valley News Herald, where he had numerous interactions with Gary Schimmels over the past decade.

The Current

28 • FEBRUARY 2014


Pitch Perfect at the PORTAL ...this is not a singing contest!

and win

FREE RENT 7 in 1 of our remaining new Small Business Suites



looking to start a new business

are invited to register by March 1st. Presenters will advance through rounds of judging. A winner will be selected from the final round in May and will receive FREE RENT at the Liberty Lake PORTAL to help jumpstart their business.


looking for premiere office space

are invited to reserve one of the few remaining NEW small business suites

at the

Liberty Lake

PORTAL 23403 E Mission Avenue

To register or reserve, visit

or contact Steven Daines at 509.343.0103 or

February 2014 Current  

Samaritans with smartphones: What if your loved one suffered cardiac arrest at the mall and you could immediately alert a team of plain-clot...

February 2014 Current  

Samaritans with smartphones: What if your loved one suffered cardiac arrest at the mall and you could immediately alert a team of plain-clot...