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2 • MARCH 2014

New House for veteran Realtor Christian replaces Crouse as 4th District representative By Craig Howard


Leonard Christian’s career in the U.S. Air Force spanned more than 20 years and took him to places like Arizona and Australia. These days, the 48-year-old real estate businessman has an address in Olympia. On Jan. 8, the Spokane County Commissioners unanimously selected Christian as the newest 4th District representative, replacing Larry Crouse who had served the greater Spokane Valley area for 19 years. Christian was among a group of three finalists that included former Spo-

NEWS kane Valley Mayor Diana Wilhite and Bob McCaslin Jr., son of Bob McCaslin, the late state senator. Christian’s Republican resume features service as a precinct committee officer and district leader. Since retiring from the military, he has worked as a Realtor. His first official run at public office came in 2010 when he ran for Spokane County auditor, losing to incumbent Vicky Dalton. On Jan. 13, a day after being sworn in, Christian was on the House floor in the state capital, casting his first vote. He will serve on a quartet of committees while representing an area that includes the city of Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Millwood, northeast Spokane County, Mead, Colbert, Chattaroy and Elk. In outlining his political priorities, Christian has said he will focus on limiting taxes, curtailing state spending and “making government more service-oriented.” While Christian and his fellow lawmakers will work their way through a short session at the beginning of 2014, the newest local legislator faces the challenge of retaining his seat later this year. He will appear on the primary ballot this summer,

The Current

vying for a two-year term. Christian graduated from Ferris High School in 1984 and began his tenure with the Air Force less than a month later. He earned his master’s in business administration last December. Christian and his wife, Rima, have been married for 30 years. They have two grown children and one grandchild. The Current caught up with Christian during a rare moment of free time last month to talk about the road to Olympia, 4th District politics and the task of acclimating to his new House.

A Cup of Joe


Tell us a little about the appointment process to replace Larry Crouse. You mentioned somewhere that you didn’t think you had a chance. Why do you think you eventually earned a unanimous vote from the county commissioners?


The Washington State Constitution lays out how to replace a member of the legislator if a member is no longer able to serve in office. I believe our state founding fathers were very thoughtful in creating the process. In an effort to keep

a small group of leaders from simply choosing their friend, the founders created a multi-layer selection process. The precinct committee officers (PCOs) from the same party and district must come together and choose three candidates to send before the affected county commissioners. The county commissioners then must choose one of the three off the list to appoint and serve the remaining term. If the commissioners fail to act, the choice then goes to the governor of the state. I was unsure that I would be chosen because I was not the first person on the list of three, which is not really meant to be a rank order list. In the long run, I think it was my qualifications and many years of my hard work in the Spokane Republican Party that worked in my favor. Q: Even though you lost your bid for Spokane County auditor in 2010, do you think that experience was beneficial as you were interviewing to become a state representative? And how do you think it might help as you campaign to keep your post later this year? A: First, I need to admit that I never dreamed of being the county auditor, but when the Republican Party could not find anyone to run against the sitting Democrat auditor, I stepped up and said I would. That race taught me a lot about how to run a campaign and put me in contact with

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In case you missed it EVSD, superintendent agree to part ways In a move he called a “mutual agreement,” East Valley School District Superintendent John Glenewinkel resigned in February. The East Valley School Board, which includes three new members after a shakeup caused by November’s elections, accepted a severance package for the administrator by a 4-1 vote. Cited as a reason for the transition, the board is pursuing feedback on the district’s current K-8 model of education, which has generated both ardent supporters and opponents in the district. Glenewinkel initiated the change in the district, which he had led since 2008. Another issue was the inability of the district to pass a construction bond to improve aging school buildings and district infrastructure, a problem that has been ongoing in EVSD, which hasn’t approved a bond since 1996.

Man killed after police chase A young Afghanistan combat veteran, 23-year-old Jedadiah Zillmer of Spokane, died near Spokane Valley Mall Feb. 11 after gunfire ended a long police chase. The man was reportedly wearing body armor and had threatened to shoot civilians. The police chase had extended from Spokane, east along Interstate 90 to Idaho, and then back to the intersection of Indiana and Sullivan roads, where he was stopped by police and a confrontation ensued. Press reports following the shooting said Zillmer was seeing a counselor and may have been suffering from posttraumatic stress.

Spokane Valley Rotary’s Books for Kids returns The Rotary Club of Spokane Valley’s Books for Kids program, celebrating its fifth anniversary in conjunction with Dr. Seuss’ birthday and “Read Across America,” is distributing free books to kids at six elementary schools again this year. The event, held Feb. 27-28 and March 3, will provide free books to every child attending Trent, Trentwood, Broadway, Opportunity, Ness and Orchard Center elementary schools. “Last year, over 2,600 free books were distributed,” said Mike Payson, president-elect of the club. “Our club’s ultimate goal is to reach every child in every elementary school in the Valley.” As part of the event, members of the club are joined by local personalities, college students and school officials in reading with the kids.

HOUSE Continued from page 2

many of Spokane's elected and business leaders. I learned a lot about campaigning along the way and learned how to spend money effectively. I believe voters just want to know you are a normal person who is willing to listen. With that said, I am currently doing the job I have always dreamed I would someday. Q: Your first day in Olympia came only one day after you were sworn in. Has it been a pretty sudden and steep learning curve? A: The first three days were a total blur as I was pulled from one committee to another and the 10 minutes between that you thought was a break, turned out to be a meeting in my office. The problem is that it has been more than five weeks, and it still has not slowed down. I usually have a line of people at my door waiting to come in for their 10 minutes to discuss their issue. Any extra time I have that could be spent on little things like sleep, is spent reading bills so I have an idea how to vote on the floor. I am blessed though, because after 30 years of marriage and no children in the home, my wife Rima decided she needed to be by my side here in Olympia to show support and help with research. Q: What have been some of your first impressions of serving in the state capital? A: My first impressions were of being humbled. There are only 98 representatives here in Olympia, and we hold the responsibility to vote on legislation that will affect every person who calls Washington home. Most people forget that every bill creates winners and losers. If you give a pay raise to one group, another group must pay for it. Simply put, no bill pleases everyone. Q: There always seems to be a lot of talk in Olympia about Republicans and Democrats working together or at least finding some bipartisan ground on major issues like the budget, transportation, education, etc. What are some of your thoughts about reaching across the aisle in a way that benefits the citizens of this state? A: Truth be told, the Democrats have been in control of Olympia 55 of the last 57 years, and they do not need us. As the minority party, the best thing we can do is develop relationships with those in power and offer well-crafted solutions to problems when we can. Oftentimes, that means you let the person you are working with take the credit just to get the best solution moving forward. Q: You bring a layered background to your new duties as a legislator. How do you think your experience in the Air Force, as a Realtor and volunteering with the local Republican Party will benefit you in this new role? A: What I like most about my past is that both in the Air Force and as a Realtor I am


State Rep. Leonard Christian, R-Spokane Valley, is getting familiar with his new surroundings in the state Legislature. Christian was appointed to fill the final year of a two-year term vacated by state Rep. Larry Crouse, who resigned for health reasons. in the problem- solving business. In the Air Force, life was just one mission after another. The American people depended on us to keep our country safe. It was not an option, it was my sworn duty and failure was not an option. In real estate, I work with the general public solving one problem after another. Sometimes it is as simple as fixing a bad deck rail to keep the deal alive. Other times it is a stream of contract issues that requires bringing all the parties to the table and negotiating a complex solution. Both jobs are a lot like what I am currently doing. No day is ever the same. Q: As you look at the 4th District, what are some of the major issues facing your constituents? Do they parallel any of the same issues facing jurisdictions across the state? A: The 4th District is more like Idaho than much of our state. People are tired of broken promises from Olympia, and every year brings higher taxes and less services. Our current administration, both federal and state, seems to want legislation that would destroy small business and the middle class. Q: You’ve already hosted a town hall event with your 4th District cohorts Rep. Matt Shea and Sen. Mike Padden. What will be your approach when it comes to community outreach? A: I have decided to put my real estate career on hold and focus 100 percent of my time getting to know the people and business of the 4th District. My personal goal is to personally visit every business, school, community center and doorstep that I possibly can. Next year will be a long session with many more bills to consider, including a new state budget. I want to know firsthand what issues are facing our business owners and residents who call the 4th District home. I believe their personal stories

will help guide me in creating and voting on bills that best match the people that I represent. Q: You have already indicated that you will run to retain your seat later this year. Who do you expect to be running on the ballot and what will be your general campaign strategy? A: You are correct that I will run to keep the seat the commissioners trusted me with. I believe the commissioners took a step of faith by selecting me and I am going to work hard to prove they made the right choice. Currently there are four other candidates who have filed with the Public Disclosure Commission to run in the same race. I view my campaign like another mission that must be completed. Fortunately, many have stepped up to join me on this mission. I am truly grateful for all the support I have received so far. Q: Finally, Larry Crouse was such a fixture in the 4th District for so many years. Have you talked to Larry much during your first month or so in Olympia, and will you rely on him for advice in the future? A: Rep. Crouse served the people of the 4th District for 19 years and was highly respected. Larry and I have spoken many times over the years, starting when I first asked him to lunch back in 2006. Larry and I still talk, and his legislative assistant was willing to continue on as my new assistant. Having his help has made the transition into the office smoother than would have been otherwise. I’ve also had the benefit of being able to refer to Larry’s voting record for guidance on particular bills. I am not sure how anyone can ever fill Larry Crouse's shoes, but I hope to build upon his good example and continue providing the best representation possible for the people of the 4th District.

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6 • MARCH 2014

Turning a new page

The Current

The library capital facilities bond set for April ballot would overhaul Valley library scene By Craig Howard


The plot is a familiar one — a local library district places a capital facilities initiative on the ballot with hopes of rallying the community and adding buildings to an underserved area. In 2008, the storyline took a sour turn for the Spokane County Library District as nearly 55 percent of voters rejected a $33.4 million bond that would have funded a new Valley Library, an extension of the Argonne branch and a new site in the Greenacres area. Proponents say the ballot measure suffered from a perceived connection to a Spokane Valley city center being proposed in the same U-City vicinity of the new Valley Library. This year, SCLD officials are hoping the latest capital narrative ends on a more cheerful note. Next month, voters across the Spokane Valley area will weigh in on the question of forming the Spokane Valley Library Capital Facilities Area as well as passing a $22 million bond. The SVLCFA would be defined by the cities of Spokane Valley and Millwood as well as unincorporated areas of Spokane County that encompass the Central Valley, East Valley and West Valley school districts. The city of Liberty Lake, which has its own municipal library, is excluded from the vote. Ballots for the April 22 election will be mailed out April 2. The SVLCFA needs a simple majority, or any margin over 50 percent, for approval. The bond, however, requires a super majority of at least 60 percent to pass. If approved, it would mean an increase of 14 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value over the next 20 years — or about $21 a year on a home valued at $150,000. If passed, the bond would fund a new Valley Library on part of an 8.4-acre parcel located to the west of Balfour Park on Sprague Avenue near Herald. Proceeds would also mean the addition of a branch on Conklin Road near Shelley Lake in the eastern part of the Valley. With the construction of a new Valley Library, SCLD administration would move to the old site on Main Avenue near Pines Road from their current offices at the Argonne branch, opening that site up for additional library space.


The proposed sites for a new Spokane Valley Library (above) and Conklin Road branch (at left) will see construction if an April 2014 bond passes. The current location of the Spokane Valley Library on Main Street, seen in the late 1960s (below left) and today, would become administrative offices.

Prologue Tim Hattenburg remembers a time in the mid-1950s when there were no buildings between the Valley Library and Sprague Avenue. Now the venue is tucked back behind several layers of commercial structures leading up to the Valley’s main thoroughfare. A member of the SCLD Board of Trustees, Hattenburg said the district researched more than 20 sites when first discussing potential locations for a new Valley Library three years ago. Former SCLD Executive

Director Mike Wirt had the idea of approaching the city of Spokane Valley about purchasing property that the Pring Corporation owned near Balfour Park. SCLD was interested in the land, but did not need the entire 8.4 acres. The city eventually bought the land from Pring in October 2012 for $2.5 million and followed it up with the formation of a park/ library conceptual site plan that featured an extension of Balfour Park and a new Valley Library. The executive summary of the document states that the purpose “was


A new Spokane Valley Library would be built adjacent to an expanded Balfour Park if the April capital facilities bond passes. The rendering pictured on the cover is conceptual, as the library would seek patron input during the building design process.

to develop a master development plan for combining a proposed new branch library with a new city-owned park.” SCLD’s purchase of 2.82 acres from the city in the Balfour area was finalized in January at a price tag of $877,206. “The city has been very helpful and positive,” Hattenburg said. “They’d had plans of expanding their park system anyway, and this would be the ideal area. To be able to purchase that site at this time was just an

See LIBRARY, page 7

The Current

LIBRARY Continued from page 6

ideal time for the board.” While the Spokane Valley City Council has refrained from officially endorsing the vote in April, Mayor Dean Grafos said a new Valley Library “would be a great complement to that area.” “As a representative of the city, I have to remain neutral, but I support this 110 percent personally,” Grafos said. “I think good libraries and schools are part of the infrastructure of our community. I know from attending the informational meetings that there is a tremendous amount of interest. I think it would be a great thing for the community.”

Chapter One: Building ballot buy-in Just ask officials in the Central Valley or East Valley school districts — the majority of local capital facility bonds have suffered dismal defeats at the ballot over the last decade or more. On the bright side, SCLD passed bonds in 1988 and 1996 while earning 55 percent of the vote in 2010 for a levy lid lift. “I think the challenge is people who just don’t know about it,” said Jane Baker, SCLD communications specialist. “Once you tell them about it and tell them what’s happening, then I usually hear a positive response.” Rick Lloyd is serving as chair of a group called Citizens for Valley Libraries that will be encouraging voters to support the SVCLFA and the bond. His wife, Mary, was part of the SCLD Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2013. “It’s about what the issue is and what the perception of the issue is,” said Lloyd, who donated time to the citizens’ campaign leading up to the 2008 vote. Lloyd said the group will concentrate on marketing placement in print media, billboards, yard signs and bus benches while focusing on a “contiguous message.” They also hope to have a one-sheet available to distribute at local retail sites. The key, Lloyd said, is to make sure voters understand “the value of what they’re getting for their tax dollars.” While no official opposition camp has emerged yet, Hattenburg said campaigns such as those spearheaded by local businessman Duane Alton in previous school bond votes might actually help the district’s cause. “I’m looking at it this way — if they do oppose it, I’m thinking it will be a positive because we’ll get more publicity,” he said.

Chapter Two: Location, location, location Purchase of the Conklin property was approved in 2007 by the SCLD board for $455,000, primarily to address the underserved area of Greenacres and east Spokane

MARCH 2014 • 7

COVER STORY “It’s centralized, and it’s only about a mile west of the current Spokane Valley Library,” Baker said. “We’d still have an equal distribution around the Valley as best as we could. The property was too big for just the library, so to be able to work with the city and expand the park was a unique situation.” SCLD’s interlocal agreement with the city was established in October 2012 and includes a condition that the city would recoup the land and SCLD’s money would be returned if a capital initiative does not pass within the next five years.

Valley anthology Longtime SCLD employee reflects on local library landmark By Craig Howard


If voters approve an April initiative to build a new Valley Library, Priscilla Ice says she will wax nostalgic for a short while — then turn the page. Ice has been an employee of the Spokane County Library District for the past 36 years, most of those at the Valley Library. She currently works as the district’s chief information officer, overseeing the district’s automated system and, in her words, “anything to do with computers.” Ice was hired by SCLD in late 1977 and began as the manager of the Valley Library in January 1978. She and her husband, Tim, had relocated to Spokane from Chicago and were looking to move to the Seattle area when Ice discovered the listing for SCLD in the newspaper on the final day applications were being accepted. “They were having a difficult time finding anyone to manage this building,” Ice recalled. Ice’s first impressions of her new workplace were that of “an odd, confused space.” The building on Main near Pines was built in 1955 and included quirks like a book drop in the middle of the parking lot. Employees braved cars and weather challenges to gather the heavy bin of returned materials and haul it back to the building. The terrain changed in 1986 with a massive renovation that added 14,000 square feet to the original 10,000-squarefoot space. Ice said the upgrade also brought 10 times the resources and a new personality to a longtime Valley landmark. “Before, it was kind of a remarkable day when someone walked in and asked for a particular book and we had it,” she said. Over nearly four decades, Ice has seen library support systems transition from card catalogs to microfilm to microfiche Valley. The branch would be 10,000 square feet with room for future expansion. Nancy Ledeboer, who replaced Wirt as SCLD executive director in 2012, said the Conklin branch has the potential to be “a community gathering place serving the surrounding neighborhoods and schools.” “My vision for the library is that it will serve as a community hub where people come to borrow books, share information

Chapter Three: Valley volume CURRENT PHOTO BY CRAIG HOWARD

Priscilla Ice has been an employee of the Spokane County Library District for the past 36 years. She began as manager of the Valley Library in January 1978. and, finally, computers. In 1981, an automated circulation system was installed, running on a computer that filled an entire room. The network was utilized by SCLD, the city of Spokane, Eastern Washington University and Community Colleges of Spokane. “It made a huge difference in how our process worked,” Ice said. “We now knew where books were.” Ice is one of around 30 employees that now call the Valley Library home. Ice says modern technology has impacted the duties of the contemporary librarian. “We used to answer a lot of questions — we don’t have to do that much anymore,” she said. “Our librarians are focused a lot more on community collaboration and programming.” While Ice is sentimental about the Valley site, she says the building has definitely seen better days. The rundown of issues includes creaky floors, poor telecommunication reception, floods in the basement and a shortage of parking that has SCLD renting space across the street for staff vehicles. Lack of quiet study space and a dim lower level meeting room also make the list, Ice said. “This building holds a lot of memories for a lot of people in the Valley,” she said. “But I think we can definitely provide a better library experience in a building that is more efficient.” and participate in community life,” Ledeboer said. “If voters approve funding, we will work with the community and an architect to design a building that reflects this vision.” The Valley site would benefit from being situated on a well-traveled road like Sprague, Baker said. Hattenburg added that the blend of library and greenspace is only in place at the Moran Prairie Library on the South Hill, one of 10 SCLD branches.

When the question of refurbishing the existing Valley Library crops up, SCLD officials point out that an upgrade would cost 80 percent of the price to construct a new building. The site would also be closed for a year during the renovation. Originally built in 1955, the Valley Library was expanded to 24,000 square feet in 1986. Hattenburg notes that the proposed Balfour site of 30,000 square feet has been scaled back from the 50,000-square-foot project proposed in the 2008 bond. An average of 900 library patrons visit the Valley site each day, part of a record 1.3 million visitors to SCLD branches in 2013. More than 700 community meetings were held at the Valley Library last year. While the branch is clearly popular, Hattenburg said the current facility has its share of issues. “Parking is limited — we have to lease parking for staff across the street,” he said. “When it snows and rains, the roof leaks. For the programs SCLD provides, there is not enough space. One small elevator is the only access to the conference room in the basement. There are a lot of longtime Valleyites who get that message and see that.”

Epilogue With the vote approaching, Ledeboer and Baker have been presenting the district’s case to service clubs, business groups and other organizations. The district will also hold community open houses in March at the Valley and Argonne branches as well as Greenacres Middle School. Some architectural drawings are part of the presentations, but Baker stresses that “none of these buildings are finalized.” “These are just drawings of what it could be like,” she said. “We want feedback from the public when it comes to actually designing the buildings.” The $22 million in bond funds would cover design work, construction, taxes and fees for all three sites — a good deal according to library allies like Lloyd. “If we wait, it may well cost more in the future,” Lloyd said. “Prices for land, materials and construction are the lowest they’ve been in years. A library is about people making a marquee investment in their own community.”


8 • MARCH 2014

The Current

Trailblazer Mullan’s mission led him through Valley By Jayne Singleton and Bill Zimmer |


to use Plante’s Ferry to cross the Spokane River. I was satisfied that Antoine Plante was a dependable and responsible individual with regard to upkeep and operation of the ferry, and fees for use of the ferry were established by the territorial legislature. Interviewer: What do you plan to do now that your job is done? Mullan: I plan to resign my commission and try my hand at ranching near Walla Walla.

This is Howard Stegner again. In our efforts to continue reporting on the early history of the Spokane Valley, Seth Woodard and I decided to present the results of an interview with Captain John Mullan done sometime after the completion of the Mullan Road. Interviewer: Tell us about your early years and your qualifications for surveying and building this road. Mullan: I was born in Norfolk, Va., in 1830. I was the oldest of 10 children. My father came to this country from Ireland as a boy. Soon after I was born, my family moved to Annapolis, Md. Though we didn’t have a lot of money, my parents sent me to St. John’s College. I graduated when I was 16 and soon after applied for an appointment to West Point. I was able to get recommendations from some of our influential friends and personally took them to President Polk who, after talking with me, said, “I will see what I can do for you, young man.” I soon got word that I had been accepted. I graduated from West Point in July 1852 as a topographical engineer.

Above: This circa 1930s photo is taken from the Mullan Road near present day Plante’s Ferry Park.


This June 1941 photo shows the dedication of a monument in Spangle marking where the Mullan Road passed through that community. Interviewer: How did you wind up working for Gov. Stevens? Mullan: When Isaac Stevens was appointed governor of Washington Territory, he was also appointed head of the Coast Survey Office and was instructed to survey a route through Northwest Territories to serve as a military road and also serve as a route for a northern railroad. Governor Stevens recruited a number of Army engineers to survey differ-

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 Captain John Mullan, whose Civil War-era Mullan Road passed through Spokane Valley

ent sections of a possible route. I volunteered to be a member of the exploration party and was appointed to identify and survey a route from Fort Benton, Mont., on the Missouri River to Fort Walla Walla on the Columbia River. Interviewer: During what period of time did you work on this assignment? Mullan: We started searching for a route in 1858 and finished the road in 1862. Initially, I was assigned to locate and survey a route and later was assigned to build the road. Interviewer: What were some of the challenges you faced? Mullan: After initial exploration, we actually identified three possible routes, and depending on where we were, we had to deal with various Indian tribes who were threatened by the possible loss of their lands. Governor Stevens had charged us with the responsibility of building and maintaining good relationships with whatever Indians we encountered. We settled on

At left: The Mullan Road went from Fort Benton, Mont., in the east — marked here by a monument — to Fort Walla Walla. a route along the Spokane River, through Coeur d’Alene and on into Montana through the St. Regis area. Much of the area through Coeur d’Alene was marshy and called for long stretches of corduroy road (small logs placed side by side across the road). In August 1858, I was ordered off the job to join Col. George Wright in his campaign against the Indians. I was put in charge of 30 Nez Perce Indians and three chiefs who were to serve as scouts and guides for the Army. They were dressed in U.S. Cavalry uniforms and served very well. When my services were no longer required, I returned to my military road assignment. Interviewer: How difficult was it to build the road through the Spokane Valley? Mullan: Compared to the marshy areas near Coeur d’Alene and the mountains to the east, it was relatively easy. We were able to follow well-established Indian trails through most of the Valley area and were fortunate to be able

Capt. Mullan was shorter than the average soldier of the time and sported the fashionable mutton-chop sideburns of the day. His wife’s name was Rebecca. He was, by all accounts, kind to the Indians. He saved the life of a young Indian boy whom Col. Wright had ordered hung. The young man was about 14 and took the name of “John” in honor of his rescuer. He served Capt. Mullan faithfully on the ranch in Walla Walla for many years. Monuments marking the route of the Mullan Road through this area can be found at the following locations: • Palouse Highway south of 57th Avenue • East 29th Avenue west of Glenrose Road • East 8th Avenue and Coleman Road • East Sprague Avenue and Vista Road • Plante’s Ferry Park on Upriver Drive 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.

The Current

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Fifth graders strengthen skills via Math is Cool By Tammy Kimberley



Members of the Math is Cool team at McDonald Elementary work through story problems on white boards. The students and their coaches meet twice a week to prepare for an area competition on March 7. “They called us ‘McDonald Mustard’ because we had yellow shirts,” Hannah, 11, said with a laugh. In the past, around 30 schools (with multiple teams) have participated in the Math is Cool 5th grade competition. To prepare for the competition, coaches quiz students on what will be asked during the testing. Individual questions vary from multiple choice to open-ended problems, while team events include relays, mental math and college bowl rounds. McDonald fifth grade teachers Mrs. Bertis and Mrs. Johnston took on the role of coaches for the first time this year. Mrs. Bertis had observed how her own children had gained skills at problem solving and wanted to help McDonald students do the same. Mrs. Johnston

was looking for a way to get involved in school activities. “Being a first year teacher, this seemed like a great opportunity to work with our fifth grade students and get to know those students a bit better,” Mrs. Johnston said. The student team members said their coaches help them learn by patiently explaining the problems step by step until they understand. “They motivate us so much and want to help us know all we can,” Brodie said. “It’s nice ’cuz we practice with our same teachers we're learning from every day.” While the students have results they’re hoping for at the Math is Cool competition this month, the coaches feel the number one priority is for the students to have fun. The benefits of being part

Math is Cool 5th grade McDonald Elementary team Gage Churchill, Rylee Elliott, Brodie Garrett, Lyudmila Gnatenko, Morgan Hart, Hailey Kinerson, Adelalyn Kuehl, Aaliyah Lents, Hannah Reinhart, Evelyn Shevchuk Coaches: Marybeth Bertis and Danielle Johnston of the team—learning to work together, practicing perseverance and persisting in the face of difficult problems—will hold as lifelong lessons, they said. “When kids are successful at solving difficult problems, their self-confidence is boosted,” Mrs. Bertis said. “This carries over to all aspects of learning.”

Answers: First question: 5. The multiples are 18, 36, 54, 72 and 90. Second question: 42. The consecutive numbers are 670, 671 and 672.

How many two-digit counting numbers are multiples of both 9 and 6? What is the sum of the digits of the three consecutive counting numbers whose sum is 2013? If the answers to these questions have you stumped, one of the 5th grade Math is Cool team members from McDonald Elementary School could probably explain it to you (answers are at the bottom of this page for those who are curious). Any fifth grader interested in learning more and willing to spend time outside of school on math was invited to be a part of the McDonald team. Since the beginning of January, students and their coaches have met twice a week to prepare for the Math is Cool 5th grade competition on March 7 at Mt. Spokane High School. For the students who invest Diligence: their free time Persistence, in math chaldedication and lenges, they hope hard work their diligence PACE character will pay off with trait for March a strong finish at this month’s competition. Brodie Garrett, who joined the team as a fourth grade student because he wanted to do more than just sit around on the couch and eat Doritos, said he studied really hard for last year’s competition which he described as “nerve-wracking.” “I was fine during practices and on the bus, but when we got there my nerves hit,” the 11-year-old said. Another team member, Hannah Reinhart, said she enjoyed seeing friends from other schools and competing against them.

The Current

Multiplying the March Madness frenzy By Tammy Kimberley SPLASH STAFF WRITER

With the Spokane area hosting the second and third rounds of the Division 1 Men’s NCAA tournament, you can’t help but catch some of the March Madness excitement! Since brackets won’t be available until later in March, now is a great time to start brainstorming activities your family can do together during the big tourney. Even if your parents or siblings aren’t all that interested in basketball, there is plenty you can do to make some memories while cheering on a favorite team (whether that’s decided by location, mascot or color — it’s totally up to you). Just sharing March Madness moments with the family will leave kids and parents alike feeling like it was a win-win! Appetites: For breakfast, convince your mom or dad to help you bake pancakes in the shape of a ball or hoop (it can be done). For lunch or dinner, cut circles out of sandwiches, quesadillas, jello or other soft foods. If you just want a snack, decorate cookies, cupcakes or cake pops to look like basketballs. The creative eating opportunities are truly endless. Art: Design a new jersey for a local team. Create a song, cheer or poem in honor of your favorite team. Sometimes the school mascot is the most entertaining thing on the floor, so why now come up with an idea of a mascot for your family — then draw or sculpt it! Academics: Get a U.S. map and pinpoint the location of teams in the tournament. Practice your math by adding scores, organizing jersey numbers, or calculating the price of admittance and concessions. If writing is more your thing, write an essay on why you want to be a player/cheerleader/coach (or another basketball topic). Athletics: As you settle in to watch a game, be sure to get up and get moving during commercial breaks. Challenge your siblings to dribble a basketball as long as they can without errors. Set up relay races using a basketball. Use a whiteboard or coach’s clipboard to create plays for the family. Above all, remember to work hard and practice good sportsmanship. Source:

MARCH 2014 • 11



Da s ’ k c i r t a St. P

By thers Numbe

2.1 4

Length in miles of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade route

Number of marshmallow designs included in the original Lucky Charms cereal—pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars and green clovers


Babies given the name “Patrick” in the U.S. during the past 100 years

83 40

Percent of Americans who will wear green on March 17 to avoid being pinched

Pounds of green dye used to the turn the Chicago River green for St. Patrick’s Day


Number of places in the U.S. named Shamrock, the floral emblem of Ireland

387 39

The year St. Patrick was born in Britain (not Ireland)

Percent of Americans who say they celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

1762 The year the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade occurred in New York

Sources: www., www.cnn. com/2013/03/15/ living/btn-st-patricks-day/

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12 • MARCH 2014 Brought to you by

About and for Valley seniors

Telect’s first couple enjoying a different chapter Bill and Judi Williams filling retirement with hobbies, generosity and sharing life lessons By Tim Putnam


Bill and Judi Williams had the courage to found a company together, raise three children and pray and trust God with each life decision that came their way. Now, the two are enjoying retirement together as their story has turned the page to a simpler life. “We really try and stay out of the mainstream,” said Bill, who turned 75 at the end of February. “It’s kind of a nice time of life.” Bill keeps himself busy these days with, among other tasks, maintaining their home and cabin up on Priest River. “He has a wood shop,” added Judi, talking with great pride about a chalk holder Bill crafted for a friend’s rustic frame. “He likes to do some woodworking here and there. He’d probably like to do more.” Judi is a quilter who particularly enjoys art quilts. One of a wolf hangs above their fireplace. It’s titled, “Ode to Decker,” a tribute to a now-deceased beloved Akita pet. Last year, she put together a book of recipes, her poems and family photos called “Vittles and Verse.” Together, in 2010, the couple published a book about the Liberty Lake business they founded more than three decades ago: “Telect: A story of faith, family, business.” “In the last three years, I’ve had two knee replacements, a hip replacement and new eyes,” laughed Judi. “A complete makeover, practically.” Celebrating their 51st anniversary this past December, the couple met in Anchorage, Alaska. An Alaska state trooper at the time, one morning Bill accepted the invitation of another trooper to join him and meet a group of ladies. Later that morning, Bill showed up at 10 o’clock sharp,

when the bank where the ladies worked opened, and asked the receptionist out. She said no. “She said she was taken,” Bill recalled. “Then I looked up, and Judi was back there. She looked up and smiled, and I thought, ‘That’s a nice smile.’ It was intrigue at first sight.” “We met Oct. 17, 1962,” Judi said, “and we got married Dec. 15, 1962. Two months.” In 1964, they took their first vacation to visit his parents in Coeur d’Alene. The two-week vacation turned into two months as his uncles, who owned American Sign and Indicator, requested he help them with some company issues. He was then asked to spend some time in California, where the company had gone through three field engineers in a year. “Judi and I prayed about it,” Bill said, “and I said, ‘OK.’” Bill reported back that the company needed a different personality down there that could not only maintain the equipment but also build relationships with the customers. “He said ‘well would you do that?’ I said ‘no,’” Bill recalled, laughing. “We had just bought a house in Spokane,” added Judi. He and Judi talked about it and decided to go, as they were still young, they only had one child, and it was a new experience. After making the decision, Judi discovered she was pregnant. “She’s always been way too willing to pack the bag and go with me," said Bill, reflecting on the fact they moved 10 times in their first five years of marriage. Each time an opportunity arose, the couple followed a similar pattern — they prayed about it together and went the way they were directed to go even if it didn’t seem to make sense at the time. This pattern had him turn down a job with 1st National Bank of Fairbanks after two years in California and return to Spo-


Judi and Bill Williams stand in front of an artistic quilt Judi made in tribute to a now-deceased beloved pet. kane to work with Bill’s uncles, then later accept an offer at VariTronics in 1971. At Vari-Tronics for 11 years, he saw changes coming in the industry and presented a plan to the president of the company about how he saw the industry going. The president responded by telling Bill to relax. “I told Judi, ‘this industry is going to go through transition, and I can’t get anybody to listen,’” Bill said. “We started praying about that.” The result was the formation of their own company, Telect, in conjunction with the Luney family. “We started the company Sept. 10, 1982 — Bill, Wayne and me,”

Judi said. Wayne, their eldest son who is now Telect’s president and CEO, was 19 at the time. “We didn’t have a customer, we didn’t have any employees, we didn’t have product,” Bill added. “After three years we bought out the partnership,” Judi said. “God was with us because no other time could we have ever done it except at that time. The rest is history.” Since Wayne took over the reigns as president and CEO, the Williams have played less and less of a role in the business. “We kind of backed out of things,” Judi said. “We’ve just been enjoying life, really.” For Bill and Judi, enjoying life

includes trips to their cabin up at Priest River. “We’ve only done that like in the past four years,” Judi said. “Before that, we were just busy. We were involved in a lot of community stuff.” The couple has three children, Wayne, Donna and Karen, as well as five grandsons and one granddaughter. During a grandchild’s birthday party a number of years ago, the men were assigned to talk to the grandchildren on a specific topic. Bill was asked to speak on courage. He recounted to the children of a time when, while serving on the USS Los Angeles as a 3rd class petty officer in the Naval Reserve, he was given what many in the Navy viewed as a chance of a lifetime. In 1961, with about a month of service left, he learned he had earned a spot in the Navy’s Electronic Technicians School, an opportunity Bill very much wanted. The Navy gave him three days to decide after he surprised them by saying he needed to think about it. “Here’s something you want so bad, and somebody lays down $10,000, a school, another raise; what would you do?” Bill repeated what he told his grandchildren. He doesn’t remember sleeping for three nights as he prayed about it. In the end, he turned down the offer. “If I had said yes,” Bill said to his grandchildren, “none of you would be here. God impressed on me not to do it. You guys need to understand, every single decision you make in your life is going to change the course of your life. So you think about it: Are you going to let emotion drive your decisions or are you going to let common sense and practicality? And you’d better be praying about it because if you’re just going to go through life making emotional decisions, you’re bumping off a brick wall.”

The Current

MARCH 2014 • 13

Where Wellness Is A Way Of Life

Come join us for a

TRIVIA TEST 1. GEOGRAPHY: Where is the Blarney Stone located? 2. TELEVISION: Who was executive producer of the “Animaniacs” television cartoon show?

9. COMPUTERS: What does the acronym JPEG stand for? 10. LITERATURE: In which novel does the character of Madame Therese Defarge appear? © 2014 King Features Syndicate Inc.

3. MOVIES: What Jon Voight/Dustin Hoffman film won the Academy Awards Best Picture in 1970?

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4. MUSIC: Which Pink Floyd song featured the lyrics, “All in all you’re just another brick in the wall”?

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5. GAMES: How many dominoes are in a standard set? 6. POLITICS: In what year did a Republican run for president on the slogan, “A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage”? 7. FAMOUS QUOTES: What ancient philosopher said, “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet”? 8. MYTHOLOGY: According to some popular accounts, what was the last name of the legendary King Arthur?

Answers to Trivia Test

1. Blarney Castle, Cork, Ireland 2. Steven Spielberg 3. “Midnight Cowboy” 4. “Another Brick in the Wall — Part 2” 5. 28 pieces 6. 1928, Herbert Hoover 7. Aristotle 8. Pendragon 9. Joint Photographic Experts Group 10. “A Tale of Two Cities,” Charles Dickens

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The Current

14 • MARCH 2014


Blessings Under the Bridge moves into new ‘Valley HUB’ By Valerie Putnam

Mike and Jessica Kovac stand outside the framework of a new kitchen at the new Spokane Valley headquarters of Blessings Under the Bridge, 7503 E. Sprague Ave.


A guide exploring

community care

close to home If your business deals with the health of our community, you’ll want to be a part of Healthy Valley – a special pullout to be included in April issues of The Splash and The Current! This supplement will focus on community well-being, healthcare access and opportunities for healthconscious individuals in our area. Articles include information on strides made in the last decade in Spokane Valley healthcare access, opportunities for being active as winter thaws, Valley menu options that are responsible and delicious, a first-glimpse at Providence’s new Spokane Valley facility and more! • Prime opportunity for medical, dental, fitness, wellness, healthy dining and similar advertisers (advertising open to businesses of all kinds) • Distribution begins March 26 to every Liberty Lake home/business, as well as 230+ newsstands throughout the Valley— that’s 17,000 copies! To view a rate card, go to www.libertylakesplash. com/special. AD RESERVATION DEADLINE:

Monday, March 10


Mike and Jessica Kovac are calling it the Valley HUB — as in, “Helping Us Bless.” “It” is a new and more permanent home for Blessings Under the Bridge, the nonprofit organization they founded in 2007. BUTB has a mission to help the homeless, one they believe will be bolstered by their new location at 7503 E. Sprague Ave. in Spokane Valley. "This space gives us so many opportunities," Jessica Kovac said. "We've been blessed." Taking over the facility at the beginning of the year, the HUB gives the organization a convenient location to work from as it is only five miles from BUTB’s downtown Spokane feed location underneath an Interstate 90 overpass — and a short 15-minute commute to the Kovac residence in Liberty Lake. Before moving into the facility, the organization transitioned through several temporary locations since its founding. "We feel like we are starting to function like a normal business now," Kovac said. "The structure of having an office and having it organized, it will make us more efficient." The Kovacs are currently renovating the former 8,000-square-foot Acura dealership and hope to have it completed by the beginning of March. The remodeling plans include building a large kitchen, sitting room/board room, office, bathrooms, a room for children to serve and lots of storage. The couple is leaving a large space empty on the southwest side of the warehouse for the possibility of another nonprofit to use. "We want to help another nonprofit if they need it," Kovac said. "Whatever God wants us to do with it." All the materials and labor have been donated for the project. "It's how Blessings Under the Bridge works," Kovac said. "Just trusting." Kovac knows she can trust. Pointing to very recent examples, she tells of Blessings’ old van breaking down. To help, a local radio station put an advertisement on the radio stating the need. After a short time, the couple received a van donated by a family from Edwall, Wash. After receiving the new van, another organization offered to create a vinyl logo to personalize the vehicle and provide a Blessings sign to put on the exterior of the new building.  "They just wanted two Blessings hood-


ies," Kovac said of the vinyl company. "And they'll do whatever vinyl we want." A man from Elk, Wash., saw a Facebook post about the remodel and donated several power tools. Miller Paint donated all the paint. Other organizations and individuals donated all the lumber, drywall and electrical supplies necessary. A walk-in freezer was donated after a north-side Arby’s restaurant closed. "I can't make this stuff up," Kovac said. "Looking back, God has just done everything." Even the story of the building acquisition is unique.  Before securing the location, the couple prayed for the right location so they could be sustainable. The lease on their former location ended March 1. In December, Kovac spoke with six different people to find commercial real estate agent Rebecca Usai from John L. Scott in Liberty Lake. Usai sent an email on their behalf to other agents. An hour later, the owner of the old Acura building responded and offered them the facility for a mere $100 a month.  The Kovacs plan to have their very first open house after completing the renovations. "We've never had an open house," Kovac said. "This is our home for a while." Having a permanent location gives the couple opportunity to grow the organization in different ways.  They hope to secure more donations and volunteers, serve more people with the introduction of a second weekly feed day, and possibly support another non-profit organization. "We're working on our second feed day," said Kovac, who plans serving either a breakfast or lunch on Saturdays. "The need is definitely there." The couple hopes to have their first Saturday feed within the next three months.

BE A PART OF THE MISSION The mission of Blessings Under the Bridge is to serve the homeless — “Live, Love, Serve.” The organization’s new Valley HUB is located at 7503 E. Sprague Ave. in Spokane Valley. Tentative hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Blessings serves meals Wednesday evenings beginning at 6 p.m. The feed location is downtown under Interstate 90 — in the tennis courts area bordered by 4th, Browne and McClellan streets. To volunteer or donate, visit www.butb. org or call Jessica or Mike Kovac at 869-6584. Currently, Blessings is in need of a large van to transport tables to and from the feed site. Currently, they provide a feed day every Wednesday at 6 p.m. They set up the meals downtown under the I-90 overpass. At the Wednesday feeds, Blessings serves more than 250 men, women and families. Six different stations are set up offering resources such as a hot meal, beverages of choice, treats, clothing and the signature blessed brown bag. Paul Mitchell offers haircuts twice a month.  This year, Blessings hopes to add pedicures and manicures as a separate station. Fresh from a 2013 move to Liberty Lake, Utah-based Vivint Inc. was the first to become an exclusive sponsor of a Wednesday night feed once a month. "They are having it catered," Kovac said, "with over 100 employees serving."

See OUTREACH, page 26

The Current

MARCH 2014 • 15

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The Current

16 • MARCH 2014

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The Current

Cub Scouts visit Current

MARCH 2014 • 17

Driving a demo Members of Cub Scout Pack 481, which meets in Otis Orchards, visited The Current office in February to learn more about the role of newspapers in the community. Members of the pack, led by Janet and Wayne Yocom (pictured in the back row), are, from left, Ryan Applegate, Darren Shelley, Jayson Burns II, Lane Applegate, Alex Yocom, Christian Schueller, Daniel Shelley and Brayden Windhorst.

West Valley High School engineering students demonstrated their robots for the Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Education Committee during a recent meeting.


Posing as presidents SUBMITTED PHOTO

WVSD educator of the year

Haley Murray, educator of the year for the West Valley School District, was honored at the Spokane Valley Chamber Gem of the Valley Gala on Jan. 25. Seth Woodard Elementary Principal Tad Heinen (middle) is also pictured.


Students from Freeman Elementary School put on a presidential wax museum on Feb. 14. The second grade students researched presidents and became the characters to share their knowledge with schoolmates and visitors.


Students make meals for food bank Spokane Valley High School students bagged meals for 2nd Harvest Food Bank during a partnership with Generation Alive. The project also included a class competition in fundraising to purchase and package meals for the food bank. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Education Briefs Colleges honor local students The following Valley-area residents were recently recognized by colleges for their Fall 2013 academic performance. Information was provided via press releases submitted from schools. Arizona State University (Tempe, Ariz.) Dean’s List (3.5+)

Parker Phillipson, Spokane Valley; Sydnee Scofield, Liberty Lake; Mackenzie Via, Liberty Lake

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

Caleb Hood, Greenacres; Emily Orenstein, Liberty Lake

Creighton University (Omaha, Neb.) Dean’s List (3.5+) Nicholaus, Johnson, Liberty Lake

Gonzaga University Dean’s List (3.5 to 3.69)

Taylor Kelley, Matthew McCauley and Parick McNeil, all of Liberty Lake

President’s List (3.7+)

Cory Ames, Spokane Valley; Christina Davis, Liberty Lake; Benjamin Sauther, Spokane Valley; Lucas Schneidmiller, Liberty Lake; Ande Seines, Liberty Lake

North Idaho College Dean’s List (3.75+)

Claire Alves, Spokane Valley; Natalie Miller, Spokane Valley; Brian Neil, Spokane Valley; David Roth, Newman Lake; Kellie Watson, Liberty Lake

Seattle Pacific University Dean’s List (3.0+)

Emily Kaye Barkley, Spokane Valley; Sarah Suzanne Fridley, Otis Orchards; Ashley Ann Underwood, Spokane Valley; Emily Joy Winter, Spokane Valley

Spokane Community College Honor roll (3.0+)

Greenacres: Erik Buechler, Clerie Calvo, Nichole Hennings, Svetlana Kasyuga, Kieran Kennerson, Alex Killingsworth, Rusty Kramer, Angelina Lavrova, Kai Marks, Seth Merritt, Miranda Morden, Kristie Parham, Denys Petrunin, Cody Sherrodd, Wendy Simonds, Mackenzi Taylor, Sydni Thomas, Andrew Upton, Chad Walters, Kelsey Williams, Evan Zeutschel Liberty Lake: Gregory Benzel, Elena Blackburn, Kelsey Bliss, Rachel Butler, Danielle Cosper, Chris Cote, Chanse Cramer, Jared Fincher, Jacqulyn Fletcher, Brandon Garcia, Rebecca Grealy, Jamee Hart, David Hunton, Mallory Jones, Alexandra Kelly, Matthew Kienbaum, Michael Marcus, Paula Mcewen, Sara Mower, Sheena Moya, Stefanie Obrien, Stephanie Ofarrell, Chad Ohl, Allie Oleynik, Randy Paul, Taylor Pippenger, Kevin Ruiz, Stephanie Scheurer, Joseph Staples, Heather Sutton, Sarah Vogel, Michael Weimer

Spokane Valley: Rebecca Adamson, Siti Ahmad-Rudebaugh, Maya Anger, Laurie Burgess, Madison Connole, Angelina Dedkov, Tyeson Desautel, Courtney Dixon, Anh Duong, Frankie Evans, Brenna Francisco, Shenice Gillespie, Kyle Haugen, Breezy Honican, Vicki Jensen, Eric Johnson, Zoe Johnson, Bryan Jones, Artem Karptsov, Yelena Karptsov, Cally King, Peter Knowlton, Grigoriy Kravtsov, Nikita Lavrov, Mitchel Lawler, Demontate Lopp, Casey Mertens, David Morrison, Brittany Nix, John Pearson, Taelynn Phillips, Jada Poshusta, Susan Quintana, Corey Rudd, Antony Sizov, Kristina Sizov, Philip Sizov, Samantha Slinkard, Adrian Spencer, Kathrin Suprunchik, Nataliya Tarasiuk, Valeriy Titov, Daniel Valley

University of Wisconsin—Stout (Menomonie, Wis.) Chancellor’s Award (3.5+) Paul Smith, Greenacres

Whitworth University Honor roll (3.75+)

Greenacres: Adam Blyckert, Ashley Rennick, Emily Walzer Liberty Lake: Nicole Kallestad, Dakota Kliamovich, Karly Rasmussen

The Current

18 • MARCH 2014


Mirabeau, Symphony combine to bring rare performance to Valley By Amy Busek


The Spokane Symphony is coming to the Spokane Valley for the first time in 68 years — and they’re riding into town with bells and whistles. In collaboration with the staff of the Mirabeau Park Hotel, the symphony is hosting an Americana-themed evening on March 26, complete with wine, hors d'oeuvres and dessert paired with the music. Led by Resident Conductor Morihiko Nakahara, the full orchestra will be performing in the hotel’s recently renovated ballroom. The set list includes a wide spectrum of music over the last century — selections from "West Side Story," "The Sound of Music," "Porgy and Bess" and "Star Wars" are anticipated. According to Brenda Nienhouse, executive director of the Spokane Symphony, this is also the first time the entire 50-plus musician orchestra, rather than a handful of chamber performers, will perform

for a show that includes aperitifs. It will be “quite a spread,” according to Audrey Overstreet, the director of marketing and public relations for the symphony. “[We typically have] smaller ensembles in a restaurant setting,” Overstreet said. The Mirabeau Park staff is in charge of the catering, and General Manager Lee Cameron considers the event a “big deal for the Valley.” From the beginning to end of the event, which lasts from 7 to 9:30 p.m., guests will be receiving star treatment. “We made it special,” said Larry Davis, former symphony chair and organizer of the event. “When people arrive, there will be a champagne reception.” He said there will likely be breaks in the program when food and wine will be offered. “The food matches the music,” Davis said. “[It’ll be] really an elegant kind of evening.” The event has been in the planning stages for several years, Overstreet said. It was

initially proposed by the Mirabeau Park administrators as a way for the orchestra to reach out to the eastern edges of the Inland Northwest. “The Mirabeau Park Hotel reached out to the Spokane Symphony and wanted to see if we couldn’t expand their reach and audience into the community,” Cameron said, noting the opportunity to connect with residents of the Valley, Liberty Lake, Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene on a musical level. Both Overstreet and Nienhouse cited the symphony’s dedication to the community via promoting a musical education. The symphony is a nonprofit organization that also does outreach with local high schools, Overstreet said. If ticket sales go as planned, Nienhouse hopes the event could become an annual one. She said the performance is being advertised as a night with the symphony, rather than a concert, because of the multidimensional nature of the event. “It’s more than a performance — it’s an evening of food, wine and music,” she said. Ticket prices will be $49 for general admission, Overstreet said, which includes food and wine. Ticket sales and more information can be found at, or by calling 624-1200.


Outside of the Spokane Symphony’s annual Labor Day weekend concert at Liberty Lake’s Pavillion Park (pictured here), the ensemble doesn’t venture into the eastern part of Spokane County much. A March 26 event at the Mirabeau Park Hotel will be the symphony’s first Valley appearance in 68 years.

IF YOU GO ... A Night with the Spokane Symphony at Mirabeau Park Hotel What: Americana wine, food and music When: 7 p.m. March 26 Where: Mirabeau Park Hotel, 1100 N. Sullivan Road, Spokane Valley Tickets: $49 at or call 624-1200.

Obituary Thelma Mellick Thelma Bernice (Bateman) Mellick, 94, entered into rest on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Spokane. She was a lifetime resident of the area. She was born Oct. 5, 1919, to William and Pearl (Seichepine) Bateman in Spokane. Thelma graduated from Rogers High School in 1937, where she was the salutatorian. She was queen of the first “Spokane Stampede” Rodeo in 1939. She married Fran Mellick in 1941 in Spokane, and they were married for 59 years before Fran passed away. She worked for Tull & Gibbs department store early on and part time at James J. Williams Trucking Company where Fran worked. She worked as a volunteer at Sacred Heart Hospital Gift Shop for more than 35 years. She and Fran enjoyed playing tennis and square dancing and were both avid travelers, having crisscrossed the United States numerous times.

Thelma was known as the pink lady as she always was wearing pink and she was a fantastic pie maker. She and Fran lived their whole married lives in the Spokane Valley, with Liberty Lake being their home since 1975. Thelma is survived by sons: Jerry Mellick, Will (Angel) Mellick, John (Kori) Mellick; daughters: Susan (Randy) Jewett, Patty (Jim) Ewing — all from Spokane; 13 grandchildren: Scott Mellick, Chad Mellick, Joeli Mellick, Kailyn Mellick, Holli Mellick, Chris Mellick, Thomas Hale, Justin Hale, Loren Mellick, Sherrie Orvik Stradley, Steven Orvik, Eric Ewing, Angela Ewing Hubbard; and 19 great-grandchildren. Thelma was preceded in death by her husband, Fran Mellick, her sister, Wilma Moffatt, and her parents, Will and Pearl Bateman. A funeral service was held Feb. 3 at Heritage Funeral Home in Spokane. Interment followed at Riverside Memorial Park. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sacred Heart Gift Shop — P.O. Box 2555, Spokane, WA 99220.

The Current

MARCH 2014 • 19



Calendar of Events COMMUNITY EVENTS March 1 | Tax Aide 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.,

Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. AARP Tax Aide volunteers will be available to answer income tax questions, as well as help people file. Bring all paperwork as well as ID; taxes done on a first-come, first-serve basis. Available at various times and SCLD locations during the month. For more:

March 1 | Heart in Hand fundraiser Noon

to 7 p.m., Spokane Valley Taco Time, 12404 E Sprague. The restaurant will donate 20 percent of sales during this time to help CV students and families through the HEART In Hand Outreach fund. For more: www.cvheartinhand.blogspot. com

March 1 | Father Daughter Dance 2014

7 to 9 p.m., CenterPlace at Mirabeau Point, Spokane Valley. Liberty Lake Kiwanis will present this 9th annual event for girls and their dads or other male role models. Tickets are $25 per person. To purchase tickets or for more: www., 979-6652 or 951-3573

March 2 | A Seussical Celebration 1 to 5 p.m., Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. In honor of Dr. Seuss’s 110th birthday, kids are invited to a party complete with crafts, hats, games and cupcakes! For more: March 3 | WVSD kindergarten registration opens West Valley neighborhood schools. Students must be five years old by midnight Aug. 31 in order to enroll for kindergarten during the 2014/15 school year. Birth certificate, updated immunization records and proof of address are required. For more:

March 4 | Free immunizations clinic

5 to 7 p.m., North Pines Middle School, 701 N. Pines Road. The Spokane Regional Health District will provide a no-cost clinic for children ages four to 18 to provide immunizations needed for kindergarten registration, the Tdap required for students entering 6th grade in September, and immunizations needed to meet college requirements. Parents or guardians must accompany children under age 18. For more: 228-5888

March 5 | Prevent Fraud & Identity Theft workshop 6 to 7 p.m., Spokane Valley Library,

12004 E. Main Ave. Join STCU experts for a free workshop to learn about spotting fraud warning signs and trending scams, as well as resources to help project your finances. Also offered noon March 18 at Liberty Lake Municipal Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave. To register or for more: www.

March 5 | Meet the Principal Finalists 

6 to 8 p.m., Bowdish Middle School, 2109 S. Skipworth Road. Parents, students, staff and interested community members are encouraged to attend this forum that will feature the finalists for the position of Bowdish Middle School principal. Candidates will speak about their qualifications and respond to questions from the audience. For more:

March 6 | CVSD kindergarten registration opens 8 a.m., Central Valley

neighborhood schools. Students must be five years old on or before Aug. 31 in order to enroll for kindergarten during the 2014/15 school year.

Bring up-to-date immunization records, original state-certified birth certificate and proof of residency using a current electric bill. Registration packets are available at schools. For more: 2285400 or

March 6 | EVSD kindergarten registration opens East Valley neighborhood schools. Parents are invited to drop in anytime during the school day to register children for kindergarten in the fall of 2014. For more: www.

March 9 | Daylight saving time begins March 11 | Kids Explore and Discover Club 4 to 5 p.m., Spokane Valley Library, 12004

plants with or without a greenhouse. For more:

March 20, 26 | Informational Open House 4 to 7 p.m., Argonne Library, 4322 N.

Argonne Road. Library staff will be on hand to provide facts about the upcoming bond election. Also on March 25 at Greenacres Middle School, 17409 E. Sprague Ave. For more:

March 12 | “Tweet, Tag, Post & Share” internet safety night for parents 6:15

Spokane County Library District Valley

Elementary, 16th and University. The public is invited to learn about safety concerns and the assets SCOPE brings to the community. Door prizes, refreshments and special speakers will be on hand; donations accepted. To RSVP or for more: or 477-2582

March 15 | Senior Irish Festival 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Evergreen Fountains, 1201 N. Evergreen Rd. Live music, food and community tours will be available during this special event. For more: 922-3100 March 17 | St. Patrick’s Day March 18 | Relay for Life kickoff party 5:30 p.m., Liberty Lake Community

Theatre, 22910 E. Appleway. The event will include games, prizes, snacks and information about how to be a part of the American Cancer Society’s 2014 Liberty Lake Relay. For more:

March 18 | Geologic Crossroads in Central Washington 7 p.m., Spokane

Community College, Lair Auditorium-Bldg. 6, 1810 Greene St. Nick Zentner, geology teacher at Central Washington University, will present a slideshow lecture that will highlight central Washington’s diverse and exciting geologic forces. The lecture is free and open to the public.

March 19 | Spokane Valley Book Club

2 to 3 p.m., Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. Join fellow book lovers to discuss “Mortality” by Christopher Hitchens. For more:

March 19 | Propagation from Seeds & Cuttings 7 p.m., Spokane Valley Library, 12004

E. Main Ave. Master gardener Steve Nokes will share ways you can reproduce your favorite

WorShip Service 10:45 a.m.

Rockford. Rockford Community Center is hosting this free event where Rockford organizations as well as SNAP and DSHS will have information for citizens.

March 27 | Otis Orchards Book Club

March 13 | SCOPE Awareness Fundraiser 6:30 to 8 p.m., University

9:30 a.m.

March 22 | Informational Fair and Chili Feed 4 to 7 p.m., Parish Hall, River Street,

E. Main Ave. Kids will experiment by erupting colors in milk and getting their hands messy by mixing together common household goods to create art. Also offered March 13 at the Argonne Library, 4322 N. Argonne Road and March 18 at the Otis Orchards Library, 22324 E. Wellesley. For more:

to 7:15 p.m., Liberty Lake Elementary School, 23606 E. Boone. This presentation will help parents and educators learn about cyber-bullying, privacy and security, relationships and online communication, information literacy, digital footprint and reputation. Also offered March 25 at Chester Elementary, 3525 S. Pines Road. For more: 228-5543

Sunday School

3:30 to 5 p.m., Otis Orchards Library, 22324 E. Wellesley. Join fellow book lovers to discuss “Room” by Emma Donoghue. For more: www.

Recurring 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, The Harvest Moon, 20 S. First St., Rockford. Join others at the weekly crochet class held in the Rockford Community Center. Hairpin Lace, knit, embroidery, needlepoint and arm knitting of infinity scarves are some of the activities. 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. 28 to March 16 | “The Big FiveOh” 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

March 9-10 | Auditions for Reader’s Theatre version of “Heidi” 1 p.m. (Sunday)

and 6:30 p.m. (Monday), Liberty Lake Community Theatre, 22910 E. Appleway Ave. Ages 8+ are encouraged to audition. No experience or preparation required, but good reading skills are needed. For more: or 342-2055

23304 E. Wellesley, Otis Orchards, WA


THE INTERSECTION CHURCH 905 N. McDonald Rd. • Spokane Valley Sunday Services: 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. 924-3705

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 March 15-16 | Central Valley Arts and Crafts Fair 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Central Valley High

School, 821 S. Sullivan Road. Admission is $2 and benefits CV music programs.

March 20-22, 26-29 | “Once Upon a Mattress” 7:30 p.m. (2 p.m. matinee March

23), CVHS Performing Arts Center, 821 S. Sullivan Road. Tickets for reserved seating are available for $12 at For more: 2285218

March 21-April 6 | “Unnecessary Farce” Ignite Community Theatre, 10814 E.

Broadway Ave. Two cops, three crooks, a cheap motel room, and a sting operation gone horribly hilarious. Admission is $14 for adults, $13 for seniors and students or $15 at the door. For show times and more:

March 22 | DanceFest 2014 entry forms due West Valley High School, 8301 E. Buckeye

Ave. Forms for booths, sponsors and performance groups are due on this day for the 10th annual Dancefest to take place April 19. For forms and more:

March 26 | A Night with the Spokane Symphony at Mirabeau Park Hotel Mirabeau Park Hotel, 1100 N. Sullivan

Road. Enjoy Americana wine, food and music with a special performance by the Spokane Symphony orchestra. For reservations: 624-1200

March 28-29 | Reader’s Theatre: “Heidi” 7 p.m. (Friday) and 2 p.m. (Saturday), Liberty Lake Community Theatre, 22910 E. Appleway Ave. Tickets are $5 per person (max of $20 per family). For more: or 342-2055.

See CALENDAR, page 20

The Current

20 • MARCH 2014


Scarves bring ‘hugs from heaven’ after tragedy By Josh Johnson


Jessica Mott’s favorite scarf is called “Journey.” She once sharpied a tattoo version of the word onto her sister-in-law’s foot. It was by request, mind you. McKenzie Mott loved Jessica’s handwriting. And she loved the word “journey,” even announcing it as the frontrunner for naming a future daughter. Mallory Mott’s favorite scarf is called “Butterfly.” Her sister loved butterflies but was starting to get suspicious about how much they followed her around. “It’s something you’re wearing or something that’s attracting them,” she would tell McKenzie, who as the baby of the family is eight years younger. Today, however, she’s more inclined to share McKenzie’s butterfly wonder — a supernatural gift from God. Connie Mott’s favorite scarf is called, well, “Favorite.” Her daughter liked to call herself that in earshot of siblings, for one thing. For another, the scarf is made of

CALENDAR Continued from page 19

Recurring Spirit of Spokane Chorus Tuesdays, 6:45 p.m.,

KENZIE SCARVES What: “House of Twine scarves was established after the tragic loss of our daughter, sister, auntie and her best friend. We miss Kenzie’s hugs and have attempted to create her hug from Heaven through our scarves. Each knot, each turn, each loop has brought us comfort and is a hug from our home to you. When you wear this scarf, know that the yarn is filled with our love and our piece of Heaven.” (Taken from the online shop’s website.) CURRENT PHOTO BY JOSH JOHNSON

Kenzie Scarves and spools of yarn are a common site in the Motts’ Liberty Lake home.

next trend, this and camo.” But Josie Freier and McKenzie Mott’s young lives were cut short in a tragic Oct. 5 auto accident that caused communitywide mourning. The impact of the loss of the two 15-year-old University High

School students was all the greater because of the caliber of life that they lived. “Those girls did amazing things,” Connie Mott said.

jewelry pieces, functional pottery and more! Admission, which is good for all weekend, is $7 (12 and under free). For times and more: www.

March 27 | Women’s Power Networking: Cowgirl Up 5 to 8 p.m., The Roadhouse, 20

March 15-16 | State Middle School Basketball Championship 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.,

March 8 | Desperate Housewives Shop Hop 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Simply Northwest, 11806

E. Sprague Ave.; The Trellis Marketplace, 4102 S. Bowdish Rd.; and Jema Lane Boutique, 613 S. Pines Rd. Enjoy in-store specials, tasty treats and receive a complimentary gift at each store (while supplies last) during this tenth annual event.


March 14-16 | Inland NW Motorcycle Show & Sale Fair and Expo Center, 404 N.

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.

March 3 | Networking Bootcamp 101

5 to 8 p.m., Timber Creek Grill Buffet, 9211 E. Montgomery Ave. This networking time will address the topic of online social networking and provide tips on developing your personal “elevator speech.” The cost for the seminar is free, but it is requested that attendees support the host restaurant by purchasing food and drinks. For more: or 928-9664

March 6 | Tuscany Trip Information Night 6 to 7:30 p.m., Valley Chamber Business

Center, 1421 N. Meadowwood Lane, Liberty Lake. For more:

March 7-9 | Custer Spring Arts & Crafts Show Fair and Expo Center, 404 N.

Havana St. The show will have a festive spring atmosphere with exhibitors selling items ranging from whimsical birdhouses, one-of-a-kind

Selected online review: “... I read the background story on how this vendor got started and I couldn’t help but purchase something to be a part of all the love this family has to give. I will be thinking of the #9 on Sunday.” (From a fan who purchased Seahawks scarf for the Super Bowl. The included note referenced McKenzie’s Mott’s soccer number — 9.)

flannel, a material McKenzie would have embraced and one her best friend, Josie Freier, already favored. “Josie wore flannel, and McKenzie and I were looking for flannel shirts the weekend before,” Connie Mott said. “It was her

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: 218-4799

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

Where to buy: HouseofTwine

Cost: Most scarves are listed for $23, priced purposefully because that was Josie Freier’s soccer number. All proceeds benefit a University High School scholarship fund established in McKenzie Mott’s honor.

Havana St. Check out what’s new for 2014 along with special show prices, financing and deals on motorcycles and accessories. Admission, which is good for all weekend, is $10 for adults, $5 for children six to 12 and free for age 5 and under. For times and more: www.

March 20-23 | Big Horn Outdoor Adventure Show Fair and Expo Center, 404

N. Havana St. This show boasts a wide array of outdoor-oriented vendors, guides and non-profit exhibitors. Admission, which is good for all weekend, is $9 for adults, $8 for military/seniors/ students and free for age 6 and under. For times and more:

March 21 | Business Connections Breakfast 7 to 9 a.m., Northern Quest Resort

& Casino, 100 N. Hayford Road, Airway Heights. Col. Brian M. Newberry, commander of Fairchild AFB, will share his perspective. Cost is $25 for members and guests; $45 for non-members. For more:

March 27 | Business Show 2 to 7 p.m., Mirabeau Park Hotel & Convention Center, 1100 N. Sullivan. Hosted by the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, this free show is open to the public. For more: www.

N. Raymond. This monthly networking event is open to men and women. For more: charitydoyl@ or 928-9664

March 28-30 | Just Between Friends Sale Fair and Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St.

One of North American’s leading children’s and maternity consignment sales is coming to the area! Admission is $4 (children are free). For times and more:

HEALTH & RECREATION March 1 | Jr. Shock Dance Clinic 8:30 to 11 a.m., HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. For ages 12 and under, this pre-season clinic will include learning a dance routine while interacting with Shock dancers. Cost is $20 which includes a T-shirt. For more:

See SCARVES, page 25

HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave. For more:

March 21-23, 28-30 | Pacific Northwest Qualifier Volleyball HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave. Cost is $15 per person (13 and over). For more:

March 22 | 30th annual Rapid Rabbit Run 10 a.m., East Valley High School, 15711

E. Wellesley. This 5-mile qualifying race for Bloomsday is a fundraiser for the EVSD Senior All-Knighter. Entry fees are $20 with a shirt or $12 without if registered by March 1. For more: www.

Recurring Spokane Youth Sports Association

March 1-2 | Apex Awareness Volleyball Tournament HUB Sports Center, 19619 E.

Register now for spring sports including lacrosse (register by March 13), soccer (March 13) and track and field (March 20). For more: 927-7972 or

March 6 | LLRC first run of the season

Windermere Marathon registration open With routes from Liberty Lake to Riverfront

Cataldo Ave. For more:

6 p.m., Twisp Café & Coffee House, 23505 E. Appleway Ave., Liberty Lake. Liberty Lake Running Club will meet for a three-mile run on Thursdays through October.

March 8 | Hoopster Challenge 3v3 Basketball Tournament 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., HUB

Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave. For more:

March 9 | Shamrockers Volleyball Tournament 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., HUB Sports

Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave. Hosted by Evergreen Region Volleyball Association, this tournament is for U14 and U16 teams. For more:

Park, the sixth annual marathon and half marathon will take place June 1. For more: www.

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 Current


MARCH 2014 • 21

Pryor’s reopens with old faves plus selection of new menu items

SERVICE DIRECTORY Painting Heinz Painting & Handyman BBB accredited, hardworking, honest, and on time. Free estimates! Now is the time to get your house painted. Call today! Dave Heinz, 509-953-8093. Licensed, bonded & insured, HeiNzpH924Bw. Many satisfied Valley customers.

Otis restaurant returned to business Feb. 7 after short period of closing

ThrifT sTore

By Valerie Putnam


Pryor's, the small Otis Orchards neighborhood diner famous for its fish and chips, is back in business. "I'm back," Owner Kevin Pryor said. "We're real excited." Pryor's reopened Feb. 7 after closing for business the beginning of November. Wanda Hoadley was the first customer served during the Feb. 6 soft opening. Hoadley previously owned the restaurant with her husband, William, before it became Pryor's. "I was sad to see it closed for a while," Hoadley said. Featuring his signature hand-cut, handbreaded fish, Pryor's will continue to provide customers other old favorites such as clam chowder and coleslaw. "That's what I'm famous for," Pryor said, who hand breads the fish twice a day. "I sell fish and chips. That's how I've made it for 22 years." According to Pryor, the decision to close was made by a former business partner, who had been operating the restaurant. "I haven't been here since May," said Pryor, who repurchased the business in mid-December. "I had nothing to do with the business." Immediately after Pryor assumed ownership in December, he began renovating the 1960s diner. "The closing of the business was kind of a blessing," Pryor said. "I was able to do some painting, cleaning and changing things around." Spending more than $18,000, Pryor painted the entire interior, installed new flooring and updated equipment. He added a bun toaster to increase his grill capacity and upgraded the 1950s shake machine to a newer industrial model. "It will pump out the ice cream," Pryor said. "No one will have to stand in line." One thing that didn't change was the ambiance. Pryor's decor is made up of small unique treasures hanging on the walls and ceiling. “I’m a picker,” Pryor said of how he acquired the unique antiques displayed throughout the business. “It’s a hobby.”



Kevin Pryor reopened his namesake Otis Orchards restaurant Feb. 7 after it closed in November.

IF YOU GO ... Pryor’s Restaurant is located at 24706 E. Wellesley Ave. in Otis Orchards. The restaurant features inside dining, a drive-thru window and call in orders. All meals are made to order. Hours vary so customers are encouraged to call before coming, 226-3707. With a new start came new menu items, such as a shrimp salad, chicken Caesar salad, grilled chicken and a veggie burger. All items are made to order. "We've added a little bit of option to our menu," Pryor said. "Not everything is deep fried."

Prior to opening the restaurant in 1991, Pryor worked for Inland Empire Paper Company building roads. He never considered operating his own restaurant until the owner of Rob's Seafood and Burgers in Post Falls, Rob Simon, called and offered the restaurant to Pryor via a lease-to-own arrangement. Pryor previously worked three years at Simon's restaurant after graduating from Post Falls High School. “I thought, ‘Why not?’” Pryor said. “It came with a house so I could live behind it and run the business. I went from packing a chain saw to picking up a knife. "He taught me how to cut fish and gave me all his recipes," Pryor said of Simon. "He's like a dad to me." After his recent short hiatus, Pryor has a different reason to open the restaurant

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.

$10 A MONTH = THOUSANDS OF READERS Our service directory offers bang-forthe-buck reach into thousands of Valleyarea homes. Organized alphabetically by category, it’s a simple and convenient way to connect Valley residents searching for the right person for whatever the job may be. Priced simply and affordably, as little as $10 gets a business into 10,000 copies of The Current. Call or email to learn more: 242-7752 •

this time. “I would love to see my children take it over,” Pryor said. “I hope to pass it on and build a legacy.”

The chicken Caesar salad for $9.25 comes with two 4-ounce pieces of grilled chicken breasts.

Bonded and licensed contractors, Larry and Lillie Landry offer quality, affordable installation, repair and remodel work on most surfaces including but not limited to: tile, stone, vinyl, carpet, wood, Formica, granite, etc.

"I did price it heavier," Pryor said of the new salad, "but added more meat, making it more of a meal."

“ I chose Floor Works because I was impressed with the work they did on a friend’s house…” — Hydee R.

Twisters, a new ice cream treat available in 10- and 20-ounce sizes, allows customers to customize a vanilla shake with candy such as M&M's, Heath bar chips or Oreo cookie bits.

The Floor Works

Dessert options include Pryor's new salted caramel brownie, served ala mode.

(509) 993-8814

"It could be a figure changer," Pryor said, laughing about the new dessert. "We warm it up and add a dab of ice cream."

“Best decision we ever made…” — Pam P.

Call us for a free consultation


22 • MARCH 2014

Highlights from your Chamber A Commander’s Perspective Col. Brian M. Newberry, commander of Fairchild AFB, will be the featured speaker at the March Business Connections Breakfast meeting. Join us to hear the commander’s perspective on March 21, 7 to 9 a.m. at Pend Oreille Pavilion at Northern Quest Resort & Casino in Airway Heights. Fairchild is home to a wide variety of units and missions. Most prominent is its air refueling mission, with two wings, one active, the 92nd Air Refueling Wing, and one Air National Guard, the 141st ARW. Other units include the Air Force Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape school, medical detachments, a weapons squadron and the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency.

Col. Brian Newberry, 92nd Air Refueling Wing commander, gives a speech during the welcoming ceremony at the 4th of July Celebration in downtown Spokane.

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Taylor Curry

and the program begins at 7:30 a.m. Cost: $25 members and guests; $45 nonmembers. Register at spokanevalleychamber. org.  Major Sponsor:

March 4, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Government Action committee meeting, Valley Hospital Education Center, 12606 E. Mission. Cost: $20 (includes lunch). Register at March 6, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Tuscany Trip Information Night, Valley Chamber Business Center, 1421 N. Meadowwood Lane, Liberty Lake. RSVP to 924-4994. March 13, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., Business Education committee meeting. Location TBA March 19, 6 to 9 p.m., NxLeveL Spring course begins. More info available at under the Valley Chamber

Valley Chamber goes mobile! Our interactive app will help you connect with us while you’re out and about. In just a couple of clicks… • Save upcoming events to your calendar • Get directions for an event • Find a member to provide a product or service you’re seeking • Refer a Chamber member to a friend or associate • Network with members and more!

Simply go to the browser on your phone and navigate to

Biz Notes STCU announces promotions Spokane Teacher Credit Union announced the promotion of two vice presidents to chief officer positions recently. Ev Hopkins has been named chief administrative officer and Belinda Caillouet has been promoted to chief operations and information officer. These promotions are part of a new senior management structure at STCU. Hopkins joined STCU in 1995 and previously served as the vice president of human resources and organizational development. As CAO, Hopkins oversees human resources, training, administration, facilities and marketing. Caillouet, who joined STCU in 1986, formerly held the position of vice president of information technology. In her new role as CIO/COO, she oversees technology, branches and operations. STCU is headquartered in Liberty Lake.

U.S. Bank moving down the street

Coffee and conversation begin at 7 a.m.,

Chamber events in March


tab and Entrepreneur Training. March 21, 7 to 9 a.m., Business Connections Breakfast, Northern Quest Resort & Casino, 100 N. Hayford Road, Airway Heights. Program: Col. Brian M. Newberry, commander of Fairchild AFB. Coffee and conversation begin at 7 a.m.; program at 7:30 a.m. Cost: $25 members and guests; $45 nonmembers. Register at March 25, 11 to noon, Membership committee meeting, Mountain West Bank, 12321 E. Mission Ave. March 27, noon, Transportation committee meeting, Longhorn Barbecue, 2315 N. Argonne. March 27, 2 to 7 p.m., Business Show, Mirabeau Park Hotel and Convention Center, 1100 N. Sullivan Road. Businesses are encouraged to participate as exhibitors. This free show is open to the public. Be sure to check our website at for more details and updates.

New members

Please join us in welcoming the following members who have recently joined the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce: Haploos, Inc Nerium Pemco Insurance P.S. Janitorial Services, Inc Simply Balanced Finances Stuart Advertising Winston & Cashatt

U.S. Bank opens for business on March 17 at its new Spokane Valley location, 9109 E. Appleway Ave. A grand opening celebration is set for March 26. The bank is currently located at 9208 E. Sprague Ave. at the intersection of Sprague and Mullan Road. “We will have a full business banking operation which we are very excited about, given the dynamic small business community that makes the Spokane Valley such a vibrant city for entrepreneurs and commerce,” said Linda Elkin, U.S. Bank’s Spokane region president. U.S. Bank’s new location was previously the AmericanWest Bank Valley Financial Center.

Display House closes doors After more than 30 years in business, The Display House officially closed its doors Feb. 28. Independently owned since 1970, Display House sold Halloween costumes, party decorations, Christmas ornaments and fake trees. Lagging sales was given as the reason for the closure by the company’s vice president and owner’s son, Nick Jones. The company was founded in the 1970s and in 1981 was purchased by John and Jeanie Jones. The Display House first operated out of the former Montgomery Ward warehouse in downtown Spokane. The business moved to its current location at 6510 E. Sprague Ave. in 2001.

California tech firm Protelligent opens Spokane Valley location 1421 N. Meadowwood Lane • Liberty Lake, WA 99019 • Phone: 509 924-4994

The Current

Protelligent Inc., a Southern California tech company, opened an office in Spokane Valley recently, the firm’s first loca-

tion in the Pacific Northwest. The company plans to offer a variety of technology services for small to midsize companies, including cloud-based backup and recovery services, system monitoring and technology strategy development. Currently, two of the three staff members at the Valley location are engineers.

Chamber announces annual awards The Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce recognized the following businesses, individuals and organizations as winners in the 2013 Awards of Excellence program. Honors were announced in late January at the annual Gem of the Valley Gala. • Business of the Year - Tier I: The Splash/The Current • Business of the Year - Tier II: Telect Inc. • Entrepreneur of the Year: Mark and Steffanie Anderson, Business Cents • Charity/Cultural Services Award: Spokane Symphony • Community Caring Award: Mark Peterson, KXLY Extreme Team • Chamber Member Volunteer of the Year: Julie Van Wormer, ALSC Architects • Educators of the Year: Leanne Donley (Central Valley School District) and Haley Murray (West Valley School District) • Harry E. Nelson Citizen of the Year: Max Spalding More than 250 guests attended the Jan. 25 event held at the Mirabeau Park Hotel.

Local entrepreneur honored Tom Lewis of Spokane Valley’s children’s resale franchise Once Upon a Child was honored with a Sales Excellence Award in January at the franchise’s annual conference and trade show. Located at 14401 E. Sprague Ave., Once Upon a Child sells gently used children’s clothing, toys and equipment and accepts trade-ins.

Faulkner earns certification Industrial Communications employee Tom Faulkner recently received his Professional Engineers certification. Faulkner designs communication and repeater systems, provides telemetry radio system modeling, completes system troubleshooting and performs propagation analysis. The 35-year veteran of the industry also holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering. Industrial Communications, 16610 E. Sprague Ave., is a two-way radio communications company with a 45-year history in the Inland Northwest. The company provides engineering, sales, installation, system design and maintenance services.

The Current


MARCH 2014 • 23

Orndorff dominates en route to state title By Mike Vlahovich


University junior 285-pounder Tate Orndorff scarcely broke a sweat on his way to the State 3A wrestling championship during Mat Classic XXVI in Tacoma. Orndorff pinned all four of his foes, only once going beyond the first period. All told, he spent a mere 5 minutes, 24 seconds out of a potential 24 minutes combined for four matches, including pins in :19 and :54 seconds. Austin Stannard (170) won the title that had eluded him a year ago. He had two second-period pins and two decisions, winning 3-1 for the title. Sophomore Cam Sorensen (126) finished second for the second straight year, losing 3-0 in the title match. State veteran John Fairbanks (160) brought home the fifth place medal. Joining them at state were Forrest Rogers (145), surprise regional finalist junior Dylan Rabideaux (182) and Conner Douglas (170). The defending champion Titans earned a fourth place trophy, 14 points behind Spokane champion North Central. Losing a potential seven more state qualifiers, who each finished a win away at regional the week before, thwarted a possible repeat title. State 2A West Valley junior Jace Malek finished second at 220 pounds for the second straight year, losing to Clarkston nemesis Dylan Beeler. He was one of four Eagles qualifiers, including 285-pound, three-time participant Ricky Miller, who finished sixth after placing third last year. Joining them were freshman Drake

Ferguson (160) and junior The Titans methodically Cameron Conner (120). CV NOTEBOOK handled Shadle Park 63-50 to capture championship After losing in the second ONLINE of the GSL-Mid-Columbia round at 118 pounds, East Looking for Conference sub-regional Valley state veteran Rachael and needed one win for a rean update on Coleck, won four straight turn to the State 3A tournaCentral Valley High School matches to place third in the ment in Tacoma beginning winter sports? Contribustate girls tournament. She March 6. tor Mike Vlahovich wrote won and lost by pins, then The night before U-Hi in succession won twice by an all-Bears report for (14-9) toppled Mt. Spokane decision, by pin and 3-1 for The Current’s sister on Robert Little’s 27-point the medal. Elizabeth Goodpublication, The Splash. water also qualified. outburst. Against Shadle it View it online at www. was a balanced effort. Four The Knights had four boys or players finished in double state placers. Sophomore check out the full issue at figures. Trey Meyer took third at 145 and Tanner Bauman Michael Isotalo and fourth (160). Gabe Meyer Khalil Williams each had (138) finished sixth and freshman Randy 14 points (he had 11 the night before). Little McDonald (113) was seventh. The other and Ben Kuiper scored 11 and 10 respectively. qualifier was Kenny Martinez (182). U-Hi’s girls also returned to regional after State 1A their 62-52 win over Shadle Park, securing An example of the power of numbers, Freeman had but one state finalist, Markus the third spot. Ashley Woods had a single basket the Goldbach, but with nine qualifiers, six of them top-8 placers, the Scotties landed a night before in a loss to Kamiakin but scored 20 points in the win over Shadle. top-five team finish. Goldbach won twice by pin on his way to East Valley girls advance a second-place finish at 182 pounds. Prior to the rubber match between the Lone senior Josiah Thompson (195) was Knights and Clarkston for the double-elima semifinalist and took fourth. Returning ination District 7 2A girls basketball chamstate placer Teigan Glidewell (220) was pionship, Knights coach Rob Collins didn’t fifth. Preston Hoppman (160) finished sev- want to leave anything to fate. enth, Jesse Schmidlkofer (145) and Kon“We’re going to try and take care of businer Forshag (152) were eighth. Other state ness out of the chute,” he said, fearing a qualifiers were Sebastian Hyta (195), Peyrematch with either West Valley, who they ton Smetana and Joey Sims (both 285). beat 55-37 a day earlier, or Colville. Titans chase state berths That they did by piling up 75 points in No strangers to state tournament play, a nine-point victory that left the Knights a the University boys basketball team is on win away from the eight-team state tournament in Yakima, March 6. the verge again.

Alex Rankin (see accompanying story) scored a career high 30 points, nearly double her season average, improving EV’s season record to 19-3. Maddie Bastin pitched in 16 points and Jordan Phelan had 11 rebounds. West Valley’s girls (17-5) and boys (158) both ended their seasons with losses to Colville.

Freeman plays on The Freeman girls basketball team advanced to a game against Lynden Christian March 1, with the winner headed to Yakima March 6-8 to be a part of the final-eight state tournament. Senior Katie Vold led the way in the 1A Bi-District tournament, scoring 20 points and 11 rebounds in a pivotal loser-out matchup against Cascade Feb. 21. The Scotties won that game 62-42 before dropping a 63-52 contest to Okanogan the following day, meaning the team took the fourth and final seed from districts into the round of 16. In boys 1B postseason action, Valley Christian just missed the cut on advancing from the District 7 1B tournament to a regional berth following a 59-56 loss to Wilbur-Creston in a loser-out game. Nick Cox led the way with 21 points and Grant Marchant added 14 in the loss. The Panthers had stayed alive behind 17 points from Bo Piersol in a 52-50 win over Curlew earlier in the district tournament.

Titan state gymnasts Demri Oglesbee led University’s threegymnast contingent to state in Tacoma. Oglesbee competed on uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. She was joined by Shantel Singh on bars. Singh also vaulted. Jaden Stevens competed on beam.

Soccer skills translated well for EV girls bball squad By Mike Vlahovich


East Valley girls basketball coach Rob Collins isn’t necessarily big on soccer. But you’ve got to believe he appreciates what soccer players have meant to his Knights. “I’m not a huge soccer fan, but I’ll tell you what: I’ve been pretty successful with soccer players,” he said. More than half of this year’s roster came from a girls soccer team that shared the Great Northern League championship, three of them first team all-league selections, including MVP Alex Rankin. Well-conditioned from the non-stop nature of soccer, the players transitioned nicely into basketball, where they raised defensive havoc. The result was another GNL regular season title and pursuit of a State 2A berth the first weekend in March.

“They press, get their hands on the ball as much as possible, get in the passing lanes,” Collins said. “I think it goes right along with soccer. They play tough, hard-nosed basketball for 32 minutes.” And they’ve done so with only one senior, Rankin, who is also the Knights’ scoring leader at 15.7 points per game. “She’s a four-year starter, captain, works hard, is a great leader and a great defensive ball player,” Collins said. “At the end of last season, she figured out she could score, too.” Other soccer notables on the roster include junior All-GNL Taylor Morscheck, sophomores Hannah Burland — who scored a shade under 10 points per game in basketball during the regular season but injured a knee and is questionable for the playoffs — twins Skylar and Madison Bastin and soccer all-leaguer Chelsea Love.

The only outlander in the starting lineup is sophomore two-sport standout Jordan Phelan, the Knights’ third leading scorer. “The first three off the bench are the Bastin twins and Chelsea,” Collins said. “We’re a pretty athletic group.” Madison Bastin was the expected point guard, but a dislocated ankle kept her from playing until January. In her stead, freshman Elle Burland, Hannah’s cousin, took over. Elle scored in double figures her first four games and six times overall. At 18-3, EV lost three regular season games by a combined nine points, dropping their first league game to Clarkston at home, but reversing the outcome on the road 75-58. The teams played a rubber match for the district championship Feb. 21, and East Valley prevailed 75-66 be-

hind a career-high 30 points from Rankin. Collins embraces the challenge of sharing athletes in an era of specialization. “At a small school, you can’t put demands and make them choose,” he said. “You fit what’s best for the group, adapt and change as needed.” Because of the talents befitting his roster, the Knights played more man-to-man defense than in previous years and ran more on offense. “Every year, I start by saying we’ll play more man but get stuck doing what we normally do,” the laid-back coach said. “The kids have basketball savvy and like it. They work hard in practice and it carries over into games.” In this case, hustle paid dividends on two sports.

The Current

24 • MARCH 2014

EV and WV to the GSL?

Unpacking the sports classification conundrum

By Mike Vlahovich THE FINAL POINT

It’s a conundrum not easily resolved. How do you pack an equal number of high schools each into six Washington sports classifications without disparity in enrollment? The answer at this point: You don’t. Several years back, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association sought to equalize the number of schools per divisions. There are 65 schools each in the 4A and 3A classifications, 64 each in 2A and 1A, 59 for 2B and 63 in 1B for the next two-year cycle. All well and good. The problem is it doesn’t balance enrollments. Therein lays the rub, as University activities coordinator Ken VanSickle discovered to his chagrin. U-Hi moves from 3A up to 4A for the next two-year cycle, going from having one of the highest enrollments in its classification to one of the lowest. The move caught VanSickle and his coaches by surprise. He says he’d assured them that based on past numbers, the Titans would be unaffected. After all, the school projected 1,285 students. Rival Central Valley’s is more than 1,500. The Bears are projected 21st among 54 schools (excluding 11, like Gonzaga Prep, who opt to be 4A for various reasons despite having comparatively minuscule enrollment). University goes from near the top of 3A to 10th from the bottom in 4A. Naturally, the Titans preferred remaining the big fish in the smaller pond than a minnow in the lake. Certainly they wouldn’t have been a state football semifinalist had they been 4A in 2012. The largest 4A school in Washington is South Kitsap at more than 2,000. Enrollments for 3A schools vary from 990 to 1,252. Even more disparate is the percentage range in the smallest four classifications, where lowest enrollments are half those of the highest. The2A schools, for example, range from 472 to 991. That has also created a dilemma at East Valley and West Valley. Next year a goodly portion of the Great Northern schools drop to 1A. I had a chat with WV administrator John

SPORTS Custer at a local coffee shop and EV wrestling coach Craig Hanson by phone about their plight. Since the Greater Spokane League has decided to split into four-team 3A and sixteam 4A divisions and have separate league champs, both Custer and Hanson said that had they known, both schools likely would have petitioned for a return to the GSL for several reasons. Hanson had a juggernaut mat program while in the league. It was “Welcome to the Jungle” versus “Baaad to the Bone” introductory music when the Knights and Titans duked it out. EV hasn’t been as successful in 2A after winning a state 3A championship and placing second three times, as late as 2004 in 3A. Turnouts have decreased. Fan attendance has plummeted because of long drives to opposing schools. A GSL season pass got you into every league school; in the GNL, each school offers a pass, but you pay when you go on the road. And now the league is getting smaller. “The GSL drew more interest,” Hanson said. “Matches were more exciting. It was just a drive across town. There is no student body that (currently) travels (to GNL away games). You’d be saving a good deal of money on transportation.” And, he believes, the Knights would field larger squads, although the closure of Mountain View Middle School, where Dave Smith seemingly never lost, cost Hanson an incredible feeder program. Could the Eagles and Knights compete? Who knows? But I’m not entirely convinced that larger enrollment assures success. Using Freeman as an example, how can you explain a school at the bottom of the 1A enrollment food chain rolling unbeaten to a state football title with wins over a pair of 2A schools? It makes sense to me for the GSL to invite East Valley and West Valley back. I’m in the minority of one when I believe the decision to realign is misguided. The GSL’s decision to segregate into divisions may do wonders for self-esteem but won’t guarantee more competitive programs. The argument that it will give hope to the have-nots doesn’t necessarily wash. Last fall, the 3A schools had better teams than 4A in football and cross country. The Titans have dominated softball, were near the top this fall in volleyball and recently won wrestling. Having EV, WV and probably Cheney return would give the 3A division cachet. I remember the argument 40 years ago that Valley schools couldn’t compete with the big boys in the city, particularly football. University immediately proved it nonsensical when the GSL formed. Mike Vlahovich is a longtime Spokane Valley sportswriter and member of the Inland Northwest Sports Hall of Fame Scribe of Honor.

Middle school matchup


At right: Dalton Liesse plows through the defense in a recent game between Greenacres Middle School and Evergreen Middle School. Below: Micah Mason faces up against another player on a jumper.

Senior night for Lady Scotties


Freeman High School recognized its senior basketball players in early February. Pictured are girls players Haley Burke, Sierra McGarity, coach Chad Kimberley, Katie Vold and Mikaela Pilant.

OPINION Diligence opens a new world of musical opportunities The Current

By Katy Dolan


Everyone has a dream — whether it’s to become president of the United States or to make a difference in their community. The tough thing about dreams though is that they rarely fall neatly packaged into our lap, ready to be unwrapped and realized. We have to work for our dreams, and that’s what diligence is really all about. When I was 15 years old, I had a simple idea. I looked around at the amazing experiences that I was having in band and wanted to make sure that those experiences were accessible to all youth in Spokane. With this lofty idea in mind, I founded a nonprofit organization with a friend in February 2012. LETEM Play aims to make music accessible

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

SCARVES Continued from page 20

In particular, her daughter’s capacity to love is something she and the Mott family continue to share with the community — through Kenzie Scarves. “We can’t give back everything this community has done for us,” Connie Mott said. “I could not tell you how we wouldn’t have eaten without my sister here to cook meals, and when she left the community took over — and (with each evening there was) food and food and food and food. When I said they are holding us up, they really are. “ Often, those delivering evening meals would leave with scarves, a benefit to the

to all students in Spokane by collecting and distributing used musical instruments and hosting teaching clinics to make music fun for kids. Two years after starting my organization, I can look back at how far I’ve come and conclude that the main cause of my success has been diligence. Specifically, I feel that dedication, hard work and the ability to overcome adversity have been crucial in my journey. Starting a successful movement took a lot of dedication. I have never lost faith in the mission of my organization, and this confidence that I’m doing the right thing has kept me motivated throughout the last two years. I believe wholeheartedly in the power of music, and my goal is to make music a universal part of every child’s education. It’s going to take me a long time to completely realize that goal, but I am dedicated to my work. This is really the key to working toward anything: You must be wholeheartedly invested in your dream. Of course, growing a nonprofit organization from the ground up has taken a lot of hard work. I have balanced working for LETEM Play with my schoolwork and other activities, which has definitely been stressful sometimes. It takes true diligence to accomplish all of the tasks on my plate, but I am so dedicated to work with music that it’s not too much of a burden. Before committing to a task, ask yourself if you are ready to put in the work necessary to make it all worthwhile. Unfortunately, starting LETEM Play has exposed me to a lot of adversity. Society is used to discriminating against young people, and I have fought to prove that I am just as competent as someone twice my age. I have heard “No” a lot, and sometimes it seemed hard to make things happen. However, I decided many times to persevere

work that began as a distraction and a way to process and share as a family. “At first, I was (making the scarves) to just focus on something,” Mallory Mott said. “I could just sit here and do it and didn’t have to talk to anyone — and I think I still do it for that reason sometimes. ... Now we’re doing it because we want people to know about McKenzie.” Or, as Connie Mott puts it: “Originally, they were life scarves because it was keeping me going. And then they turned into love scarves.” Also known by the family synonym: Kenzie Scarves. Tonia Roeder, Kara Twining, Felicia Gumm and even the Mott family men — they are all yarn ballers,” Twining cracked

MARCH 2014 • 25

Letter to the Editor Share Spokane Valley with Iowa class Hi! My name is Chloe P. I am a fifth grader at Harlan Intermediate School in Harlan, Iowa. My class is studying the geography and history of the United States. I am excited that I got the state of Washington! I would appreciate it if you would send me a souvenir, postcard or a map. My and blaze my own trail, and this aspect of diligence has truly made my efforts successful. LETEM Play has distributed more than $14,000 worth of musical equipment and raised $10,000 in two years, and we’re not done yet. Honestly, if there are a lot of obstacles in the way, it just makes the end result a lot more fulfilling. I know better than anyone that sometimes it seems easier to give up than to keep pushing on. However, I challenge you to dedicate yourself again to a goal or a dream. Identify what is holding you back, and make a conscious resolution to defeat those whispers of doubt. When you realize that you can — are among those who have played a significant part in what is now an online store called House of Twine (see breakout box on page 20 for more). Not only are all proceeds from the sale of Kenzie Scarves funding a U-Hi scholarship in McKenzie’s name, but the Motts have found that the business model allows them to share a healthy dose of Kenzie love with others. Jessica Mott’s beloved handwriting is a part of every purchase, as personally crafted notes are sent with each scarf explaining a memory of McKenzie or Josie or the inspiration behind the scarf to the family member who made it. “It’s always a fun fact or a fun memory we hope makes someone smile and remember,” Twining said.

teacher, Mrs. Newlin, would like a car license plate for a school project if possible. I really appreciate your time. Please send to Chloe P., care of Mrs. Newlin's class, Harlan Intermediate School, 1401 19th Street, Harlan, IA 51537. Thank you!

Chloe P.

Harlan, Iowa accomplish anything with a little diligence, the entire world seems full of opportunity. Katy Dolan is a senior at Central Valley High School. She plays flute, piano and dabbles in a few other instruments; she also serves as the senior drum major for CV’s award-winning marching band. Dolan maintains a 4.0 GPA in AP classes, plays soccer, and was named a 2013 Build-a-Bear Huggable Hero for her work with LETEM Play. She’ll be studying at Harvard University this year. She wrote this column as part of a series highlighting the PACE (Partners Advancing Character Education) trait of the month. The trait for March is diligence. The operation works so well in part, Twining added, because “all the women in the family are artsy.” That list includes McKenzie, whose creativity and flare were equal to her “let’s try this” attitude. While McKenzie’s love for soccer was well documented in the days following the accident, her passion for crafts was similarly strong. She loved researching ideas and spending time on Pinterest. And, quite fittingly, she was a fan of scarves. “She would complain, ‘It’s summer, I’m not going to be able to wear my scarves,” Connie Mott said. “She wore scarves. She loved scarves. It’s just like (the Kenzie Scarves idea) is inspired. It’s not just by accident that this all happened.”

The Current

26 • MARCH 2014


Josh Johnson


Tammy Kimberley



Sarah Burk CIRCULATION Sandy Johnson Mike Wiykovics CONTRIBUTORS

Amy Busek, Craig Howard, Valerie Putnam, Jayne Singleton, Mike Vlahovich, Bill Zimmer On the cover: Design concept by Sarah Burk; Submitted park/library rendering


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OUTREACH Continued from page 14

Journey Church also committed to become another exclusive Wednesday night feed sponsor. In addition to serving meals, the Kovacs are currently working with Hoopfest and Gonzaga to establish a homeless basketball league. They hope to have it operating this spring. "Blessings is a little out of the box," Kovac said. Kovac founded the organization with 40 “blessed brown bags” prepared in her sister's kitchen and  a case of water. Each brown bag contained a deli sandwich with fresh meat and cheese, a bag of chips, home baked goods, fruit, toiletries and a napkin.  "I had a revelation in 2007 to help the homeless," said Kovac, who took $50 in tips from her job as a waitress to a supermarket deli to purchase those original items. "It wasn't about the food; it was about the heart." On a Saturday morning that October, she drove around downtown looking for people to give her brown bags to.  "I had no idea where I was going," she said. Her confirmation came while looking in her rearview mirror. She saw an individual she had just given a brown bag to throw himself back onto a dumpster and inhale the meal. After a month of handing out brown bags solo, Mike joined her. That December, they decided to bring Christmas to the living room of the homeless and held the organization’s first large winter event.  "We fed more than 400 people," Kovac said. At last year's winter event, Blessings fed more than 1,000 people. The organization officially became a nonprofit in 2010 and moved the weekly feed night to Wednesday evenings. Blessings held its first large spring event in 2011. "Seven years and no one has asked for one dime," Kovac said of the people they serve. "They don't want that. They want hope."

Corrections An incorrect name was given as the owner of CanAm Body and Paint in the Biz Notes column of the February Current. The owners are actually Jim and Irma Breesnee, who opened the business in 1969 and have owned it since. The honor roll list for Spokane Community College students was incorrectly labeled in the February Current. The press release sent was actually for students’ Spring 2013 academic performance.

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Something for everyone at the Stinky Sneaker


The annual Stinky Sneaker rivalry game between Central Valley and University high schools was, as usual, a colorful and spirited affair. CV fans struck a galactic theme of “Across the Shoe Ni Verse,” while U-Hi opted for “Shoe-rek.” In the end, both sets of fans had something to celebrate, as the CV boys and girls both brought home basketball victories in closely contested games, while the U-Hi fans claimed the coveted Stinky Sneaker spirit award.

MARCH 2014 • 27

The Current

28 • MARCH 2014



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March 2014 Current  

A library's next chapter? Voters weighing the future of Spokane Valley’s signature library.

March 2014 Current  

A library's next chapter? Voters weighing the future of Spokane Valley’s signature library.