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2 • SEPTEMBER 2013

The Current

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Small begins sixth school year as CVSD superintendent By Craig Howard

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There was a time when Ben Small spent more time flipping burgers than coordinating the business of a school district. The superintendent of the Central Valley School District first arrived in Spokane back in 1982 as a fresh-faced college student from Oroville, a town just a few miles from the Canadian border in the north central part of Washington state. Small lived in an apartment on Trent Avenue in those days, riding his bike to Spokane Falls Community College before he was fortunate enough to inherit his brother’s 1973 Chevy Vega. Tasked with putting himself through school, Small worked at Burger King and rose to the rank of assistant manager. There was even a time when he stepped away from college, working full-time before returning to SFCC to earn his associate’s degree in 1988. “It was a great experience,” Small says of his days in the restaurant business. “I learned a lot about developing a work ethic,

being part of a team. I think those experiences made me a better educator, a better teacher.” In Oroville, a community where apple orchards and farming serve as the foundation for the local economy, Small was one of 74 students in his graduating class. He participated in sports, drama and leadership in high school, all the while maintaining what he describes as a less-than-spectacular grade point average. After SFCC, Small headed out to Cheney, where he enrolled at Eastern Washington University and walked away with a bachelor’s degree in education. A move to Walla Walla followed, where Small began teaching at a middle school. He stayed there for six years, during which time he earned his master’s in curriculum administration through EWU.

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The Current

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4 • SEPTEMBER 2013


The Current

City weighing bid for Painted Hills opportunity Property may cease being a golf course, even if city is top bidder By Steve Christilaw


Sitting on 86 acres where its south border meets Dishman-Mica Road, Painted Hills Golf Course is the lone golf course within the city of Spokane Valley. This season, the course has sat behind padlocked gates in a forced state of neglect. Whether those gates open again for golf is an open question. The property is scheduled for auction on the steps of the Spokane County Courthouse Sept. 13 in a trustee sale. Depending on the number and type of bidders at such an auction, the price could range anywhere from pennies on the dollar to “ouch.” The city is taking a good, hard look at the property, and the City Council will likely take up the issue at its first meeting in September. Spokane Valley Parks and Recreation manager Mike Stone said the Painted Hills property represents an opportunity that will not come along again. “We’re not going to see another property of this size ever again,” he said. “Fifty or 100 years from now, we would look back on this opportunity and regret not at least looking into purchasing it.” Stone has spent the past year preparing a master plan for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. The Painted Hills property, he said, would fit nicely into that longrange plan. How it would fit may not be popular with all area residents, however. A vocal group of area residents want the city of Spokane Valley to step in to ensure Painted Hills remains a public golf course, and they’ve asked the City Council on numerous occasions to purchase the property and reopen it for golf. Stone said that while his department is examining the financial costs and benefits of maintaining a nine-hole golf course, he’s not convinced that it’s in its best interest to get into the golf business. “I have 20 years of experience running golf courses, and I think a nine-hole golf course is going to be a challenge in such a golf-rich area,” he said. “I think the whole topic of how we utilize the property will have to be looked at if the city does decide to go forward with a bid. But that part of town currently is underserved by parks and recreation opportunities.” Painted Hills Golf Course opened in 1989 as a privately owned public course with an


Geese have replaced golfers at Painted Hills this season. The future of the property has become a discussion point as it heads for public auction Sept. 13. At right: Painted Hills Golf Course has been closed this season, and many residents hope the city of Spokane Valley will give consideration to bidding for the course at auction. expansive driving range wrapped around a patch of preserved wetlands. It later expanded with the addition of the Chester Creek par 3 course. By design, Painted Hills was a 3,244-yard, par 36 course with wide, forgiving fairways. It attracted a range of golfers, from beginner to advanced, and hosted both a men’s and a women’s club. In 2006, the course was purchased by IWILL70 Properties LLC. That group filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in August 2012, listing debts totaling $1.4 million, with $1.3 million owed on loans related to the real estate purchase. Neighbors point out that city-owned golf courses are not only common in the greater Spokane area, they’re a major draw for outof-town golfers and tourists. The city of Spokane operates four such courses: Downriver, Esmeralda, Qualchan and Indian Canyon. Spokane County operates three more: Hangman Valley, Liberty Lake and MeadowWood. Deer Park owns an 18-hole course and contracts out its operation. And the city of Liberty Lake purchased what was

then Valley View Golf Course in 2002, renovating and renaming it Trailhead at Liberty Lake, an executive-length course with an expansive driving range that is popular with youngsters just taking up the sport and area high school golf programs. “I think it would make a lot of sense to maintain the driving range and the par-3 course to serve that segment of the community,” Stone said. “But we might be better served to go another direction with the golf course area, whether we go with a skate park or athletic fields remains to be seen.” Some of the most vocal area residents who have testified at recent City Council meetings say they’re holding out hope for the golf course, arguing a ready-made course like this can pay for its own operation and benefit nearby businesses.

Budget figures published online by the city of Liberty Lake show 2010 revenues for Trailhead at Liberty Lake totaled $455,592.37 vs. expenditures of $439,835. The 2011 budget shows revenues of $380,042.66 against expenditures of $378,862. Stone said there would be plenty of time to discuss how exactly to best use the property when, and if, it can be purchased. The issue becomes moot if the city cannot or does not make the purchase. “We’re scheduled to discuss the property at the first council meeting in September,” Stone said. “If they do choose to go forward, there’s not a lot of time since it’s already scheduled for auction.” The city ultimately would be just another bidder for the property Sept. 13.

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The Current

6 • SEPTEMBER 2013


SMALL Continued from page 2

After Walla Walla, Small accepted his first administrative role as principal of Columbia Middle School in the town of Burbank, near the Tri-Cities. After seven years as principal, Small served as the superintendent of the Burbank School District for five years. He made the transition to the Central Valley School District before the start of the 2008-09 school year, replacing Mike Pearson. Small now oversees a district that includes 22 schools, three learning centers and a new facility called Spokane Valley Tech, a collaboration between CVSD, East Valley, West Valley and Freeman school districts that offers careerpath training in fields like engineering, bio-med, sports medicine and cosmetology. The Current caught up with Small a few weeks before the start of the 2013-14 school year to talk about capital facilities funding, character building, the state of education and growing up in smalltown America.


So, take us back to Oroville in the late 1970s and early 1980s. What kind of kid were you in high school?


I think I was wellrounded. My grade point average was not great, but I was ASB president, played football, wrestled, played baseball, track — but also, my senior year I participated in a play and didn’t do track. I tried to participate in a lot of things. Leadership was important to me in school. I was always involved in some form of student government. With leadership, I got the sense that you’re giving back if you’re in it for the right reasons. If you’re doing it for yourself, it’s pretty hollow and pretty lonely. Overall, I had a great high school experience in small-town America. Q: You were one of around 20 hopefuls who applied to replace Mike Pearson as Central Valley superintendent. Why did you apply for the job after achieving a nice comfort zone in a place like Burbank? A: For one thing, the reputation of the district. Another was the opportunity to have an impact on a system-wide level. Part of it

was the challenge for me, both personally and professionally, of leading a larger school district. People asked me how could I go from the Burbank School District to Central Valley. I used the word “lead” a lot. If you want someone to manage, that’s not my focus. My goal is to lead. Q: You stood before a group of supporters back in February 2011 and delivered the news that the latest capital facilities bond for nearly $70 million had failed with less than 50 percent of the vote. It was the first request to voters in a 25-year capital facilities plan patterned after the success of Spokane Public Schools. The district has not appeared on the ballot for buildings since. What is the latest on the capital facilities front? A: We’ve reconvened our capital facilities committee and they’ve taken a look at that 25-year plan. They think it’s very solid. We’ve added new committee members — we took them to the schools. I think the committee has said the plan will need some tweaking. As you look at state funding for fullday kindergarten and then just continued growth in the district, it affects the discussion. The capital facilities committee has met on a regular basis. Full-day kindergarten means we’ll need more classroom space. The state funding covers the teachers and the materials and supplies. This year, the district will add seven portable classrooms. So, getting back to it, the 25-year plan has to be adjusted, then we have to figure out a way to get our message to voters. Q: What do you think District 81 is doing right with their capital facility funding requests? As other districts in the area fail to capture that supermajority, this is a district that has passed their last two bond votes and seem to always have construction or renovation projects either under way or ready to begin. A: Spokane Public Schools has done a really nice job building on momentum. That 25-year plan has led to buy-in. I think what people have seen over the last two bonds they’ve run is they say they’re going to address certain schools and they do. Now Ferris is rebuilt. When folks voted for the modernization of Shadle, guess what happened? We haven’t had that in this district. We’ve got to get that momentum started and then follow through with what we say to vot-

Ben Small takes a seat in Spokane Valley Tech. The Central Valley School District superintendent was one of the lead visionaries behind the facility, which was jointly pursued by the Central Valley, East Valley, West Valley and Freeman school districts. CURRENT PHOTO BY CRAIG HOWARD

ers. Q: What are the keys to gaining that support and building that momentum? A: What I point to is our word to the voters in the levy. We told folks that we would roll back taxes that we could have collected. When (state) levy equalization was funded, we rolled it back. We had a flat levy. We told our voters that we would collect $27.1 million. That money is local support and levy equalization. Our authorization and the amount that the voters approved would have us collecting more than that, but we didn’t. I think that’s the kind of thing that points to how we’re going to operate in the Central Valley School District. We have to be good stewards. We have a solid track record of managing the money our taxpayers have given us in an appropriate way. We’ve maintained a solid financial position during this recession and did that without a reduction in force for our teaching staff. We’ve got a three-year budget plan, and we can say, “This is what we can predict.” We’ve got a work group that started last year to say what’s in the best interest of our students to be learning, and then we’ll look at programs that best fit that. Q: Going back to capital facilities, the last bond CVSD passed was in 1998 for $78 million. The money meant new high schools for Central Valley and

University, with state matching funds covering major renovations at other schools. Over the years, there has been concern expressed by some that the high school projects may have been a little extravagant, that the dollar amount itself was over-the-top. Do you think that the funds approved in 1998 have had any impact on the subsequent votes? A: Absolutely, I hear that. The thing I struggle with is, at some point, if you look at those two schools and what it costs to build two new high schools today, for the amount of money our taxpayers invested, they’ve got two solid schools that will stand for a long time in the future. The perception of this extravagance, I don’t know how to deal with that. What I see when I walk into those schools is solid cinder block walls. They look nice. We do have very nice theaters, but those theaters create a community environment. The thing about our district is we’ve created prototypical ed specs, so when we go to build schools, there’s some commonalities. What you end up doing is ordering a lot less inventory. We’re talking a lot of efficiencies. Our entire mission is to build practical schools. Q: Looking back at some of the bonds that ran after 1998, the district collected rates of 55 percent in 2003, 57 percent in 2006 and 54 percent in an election later in 2006. Around

that time, the state changed the requirement for levy passage from a supermajority (any margin above 60 percent) to a simple majority (any margin above 50 percent). Do you ever think that will happen for bond votes or do you think it will remain at the supermajority? A: I think we have to operate as if it will be a supermajority. It will be tough work but we’re not afraid of that work. I think what it will come down to is what do we expect as a community? What kind of educational environment do we want for our students in Central Valley? Q: The levy that you ran last year earned a 58-percent approval rate. You appeared at a series of informational meetings before that vote last February. Why did you feel it was necessary to be accessible to the public like that, especially when voters were asking pretty tough questions? A: I think that accessibility is accountability. It’s that ability to ask questions. One of the things I think is important is me being out there as a leader and people hearing me say, ‘This is what we’re going to do’ and the community looking back and saying, ‘This is what they did in the Central Valley School District.’ Q: You’ve been integral to a character-building program

See SMALL, page 7

The Current

SEPTEMBER 2013 • 7


In case you missed it Sullivan Bridge gets funding The news was good at Spokane Valley's Aug. 20 City Council meeting. That is when City Manager Mike Jackson announced that the necessary funding has been finalized to replace the aging southbound Sullivan Road Bridge across the Spokane River. The bridge is the westernmost of the two that cross the river at that location. State Sen. Mike Padden (R-Spokane Valley) was on hand for the announcement. He worked with other 4th district lawmakers and Washington State Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) Co-Chair Sen. Curtis King (R-Yakima) to gain TIB support. "All of us together here know how important the Sullivan Road Bridge is to our area, not only for economic development in the future, but for jobs right now," Padden said. Funding for the approximately $15.3 million modified estimate for replacing the bridge includes $8 million from the federal bridge program, $1.5 million from the Washington State Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board, $3.5 million from the TIB (including a commitment of up to $500,000 in contingency funding); and $2.3 million from the city of Spokane Valley.

SMALL Continued from page 6

called P.A.C.E. (Partners Advancing Character Education) that started in 2010 and includes all four Valley school districts (plus Valley Christian and Pioneer School). Can you tell us a little about the origins of the idea and how you think it has benefited students? A: We reached out to the cities of Liberty Lake, Spokane Valley, the faith community, the (Greater Spokane Valley) Chamber of Commerce and the business community. What happened is I think people started to realize that this was a good idea. To me, it’s about how do we, as a community, communicate our values, the importance of character as an entire community. We had over 370 people in the last P.A.C.E. awards. What we’re really saying is that side of you matters — the side with integrity, the side that says ‘I’m respectful, I’m honest.’ It’s about a student saying, ‘thank you,’ being polite. The community has been great with this — that P.A.C.E. column that you see regularly in The Splash, The Current and the Valley Herald has had an impact. Q: Spokane Valley Tech has been a real innovative project that is preparing students across the Valley for the transition into thriving fields like engineering and aerospace. The district recently received $1.5 million from the state to support

Replacement of the 62-year-old bridge became a priority when the 2009 annual bridge inspection rated the bridge as "structurally deficient" due to cracking in the girders and deterioration of the concrete driving surface.  Weight restrictions were posted in June of 2011 to help prolong the life of the bridge, and the Spokane Valley City Council authorized temporary repairs that were completed in early 2012, allowing the bridge to remain open without weight restrictions until it could be replaced. The bridge carries about 26,000 vehicles each day, according to a city press release, including heavily loaded trucks traveling to and from the industrial area north of the bridge. The project is expected to go out for bid in January 2014 with a construction likely to begin sometime in 2014. 

“Wellness is our passion, life enrichment is our goal”

Watch for The Current’s 2013 election preview With local municipal and school board elections plentiful this fall, the October issue of The Current will feature a special preview of items on the local ballot. Informed voters won’t want to miss this special edition, which will hit newsstands Sept. 25 and be viewable online at ongoing construction. Where are you at on the overall project? A: We’re right at about a third of the way. We’ll build out about 8,500 square feet of classroom space with this next phase. That will mean even more opportunities for our students. Spokane Valley Tech is a launch pad. If they want to be an architect or an engineer, they can launch themselves to a four-year university from here. Same thing with aerospace. The new phase we’re building out will add a second bio-med lab. We’ll add computer science and sports medicine. We had over 300 students here this summer. It’s about offering programs that give our kids opportunities.


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8 • SEPTEMBER 2013


The Current

Valley’s early economy bloomed from the apple tree By Bill Zimmer


In the late 1800s, serious attempts were made to grow apples in the gravel of the Spokane Valley. Between 1900 and 1910, the first commercial orchard was planted near the Idaho border by the Otis Orchards Cooperative Association. In 1908, the Valley hosted its first National Apple Show. Within a few years, the Valley ranked ahead of all fruit-growing districts in Washington with over 1 million apple trees planted on 24,453 acres. In support of the orchardists and farmers, who made up most of the Valley population, the townships of Greenacres, Otis Orchards, Opportunity, Vera, East Spokane, Mica and Chester were all developed as irrigation districts. Many people with no experience as orchardists were attracted to the Valley through an onslaught of advertising promoted by realtors. Some in this group were successful, while others lost all of their investment. Initially, growers were led to believe that local markets could use all of the fruit and vegetables that Valley orchards and farms could produce. However, as more and more acres of apples came on the market, more outlets were needed. The Spokane Fruit Growers Association and the Spokane Valley Fruit Growers Association were organized to find and develop markets in the East and Midwest. The increasing production of apples necessitated packing and storage facilities. Land was procured through long-term leases with the Northern Pacific Railroad. Four large buildings were built next to the railroad main line. The Northern Pacific then built spur lines to serve other warehouses. Companies which controlled the warehouses included the Spokane Valley Fruit Growers Association, Earl Fruit Company, Associated Fruit Company, White Brothers and Crum, H.J. Shinn Company and Kroll Company. The Spokane Fruit Growers Association contracted with the Northern Pacific for shipping the first carload of apples to Rockford, Ill. The Spokane International Railroad serviced the warehouses of the East Farms and Otis Orchards area, which included Frank Shinn, the Otis Orchards Cooperative Association and the H.N. Segerstrom Fruit Company, which used the “Redskin Brand Northwest Apples” label. In 1930, John Gillespie, one of the largest fruit growers in the Valley, built a packing house in Veradale, which he operated with his son, Paul. The packing house burned

in 1945 for a loss of $100,000, including 20,000 boxes of apples. Edward Pierce, an attorney and also a Valley orchardist, served as president of the Spokane Valley Growers Union for a time. In 1932, he was elected to the State Senate, and in 1935 served as President Pro Tem of the Senate. The Otis Orchards Cooperative Association not only planted the areas first commercial orchard but, in 1932, provided the first export fruit which was shipped to Bremen, Germany, via the Panama Canal. Valley apples were shipped throughout the United States as well as to markets in Great Britain, Australia and Holland. The success of the apple industry had a major impact on the economy of the area since it meant employment for thinners, pickers, sorters, packers and box makers. At harvest time, schools generally released students for about three weeks to help with the picking. Transient workers were also hired. Homemakers provided meals for harvest workers. Larger companies provided a boarding house with bed and board. Indians who were employed brought their tepees to live in. Efforts to develop additional markets for Valley apples were ongoing into the 1920s as apple production continued to exceed demand. During one three-year period, the harvest in Washington state was triple what it had been the previous year. As apple trees lined Sprague Avenue, it was renamed “The Appleway.” In as much as northwest railroads were making an estimated $18 million annually from the orchard industry, they were quick to respond when growers demanded more exact shipping schedules and the use of refrigerated cars. The harvesting of apples was always under a timeline in order to avoid freezing weather. Different varieties of apples ripened at different times. First to ripen were the Winter Bananas, followed by Jonathans, Rome Beauties, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Wagners, Baldwins and Winesaps. There were several other varieties that were consumed locally and were not sent to packing plants. The apple industry in the Valley peaked within about 25 years. Increasing costs of production, severe frosts, disease, cost of meeting government regulations and competition from Wenatchee and Yakima all contributed to the decline of the industry. In 1926, about 200,000 trees were pulled


The Gillespie Apple Pickers collect the annual harvest on land that included the present-day site of Progress Elementary School.

A VALLEY OF OPPORTUNITY A monthly series on the heritage of the greater Spokane Valley


Orchardists in the Opportunity district of Spokane Valley sort through their crop in this 1908 photo. out, and by 1945, only about 50,000 trees remained. Many orchardists turned to truck farming, growing strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, beans, peas, watermelons, asparagus, squash, cucumbers and thousands of acres of Hearts of Gold cantaloupes. Those who managed to stay in the orchard business were hit again by severe frosts in the early 1950s. By 1969, Otis Orchards, the final Spokane Valley fruit-packing operation, had closed. Following World War II, a population boom replaced most of the remaining orchards with tracts for housing. Population increases continued with an influx of retirees, primarily due to inexpensive living. The last large-scale irrigation for orchards ended in the late 1950s. According to George Pierce, a longtime Valley resident, a 10-year apple warehouse superintendent and owner of the Valley Growers Supply Co., “The soil of the Valley was not deep

Jan. Missionaries and Indians Feb. Bridge Builders and Ferrymen March The Lake Men April The Real Estate Developers, Land and Power May Immigrants claim their Valley June Irrigation July Depots and Platforms Aug. Purveyors of Leisure Sept. Commerce Oct. Ladies of the Valley Nov. Veterans of the Valley Dec. Old Timers’ stories enough or rich enough to support a grown bearing apple tree. As trees grew larger, the apples grew smaller.” Bill Zimmer is a retired educator and longtime West Valley School District board member. He is a volunteer at the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. Sources for this article included “Otis Orchards: the First Fifty Years,” by Bergland; “Spokane Valley: History of the Early Years” by Boutwell; “History of the City of Spokane and Spokane County” by Durham; “Apple Era” by the Spokesman-Review’s Valley Voice; “Apples” by Griffith and Blair; “Valley of the Sun” from the Spokane Chronicle; and Google. For more about his 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

SEPTEMBER 2013 • 9







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10 • SEPTEMBER 2013

The Current

All’s FAIR in

September No shortage of fun between trio of festivals Stories by Aubrey Weber CURRENT CONTRIBUTOR

Ridin’, Rockin’ and Livestockin’ at Interstate Fair The largest fair in the Inland Northwest will return once again to Spokane Valley for an exciting 10-day stint of carnival rides and exhibits, grandstand concerts, deep fried lasagna and chocolatecovered bacon. The Spokane County Interstate Fair first made its grand entrance to the corner of Broadway and Havana in 1952. This September, more than 200,000 people are expected to be “Ridin’, Rockin’ & Livestockin’” (the fair’s 2013 theme) — or at the very least Attendin’. The fair will pay special homage to the state’s agricultural heritage as the Washington Department of Agriculture celebrates its 100th anniversary. Many of the booths and almost all of the livestock exhibits will have posters and displays to educate guests about local farming history.

The grandstand entertainment is expected to be more popular than ever as a Fall Concert Series will feature live music on almost every night of the fair. A “Salute to the Eagles” show will kick off the week of music on Sept. 8, followed with performances by MercyMe, the Eli Young Band and The Band Perry, to name a few. “The Band Perry currently leads ticket sales, but the staff has done an excellent job in securing entertainment from almost every genre,” Fair Coordinator Jessica McLaughlin said. The festival will also host approximately 30 new commercial vendors with products, services and unique food items. There will two nights of rodeo to kick off the fair and a number of carnival rides from Butler Amusements, one of the largest carnival companies in the West. “I can’t even begin to share with you all of the fun we are going to have,” McLaughlin said. “One of the fun exhibits we have coming is a large 90-foot trailer complete with a grill brought by Johnsonville.” One of the most recent exit surveys done by local families that attended the fair in the past re-


More than 200,000 people are expected over the course of the 10-day Spokane County Interstate Fair. The Fair & Expo Center at the corner of Broadway and Havana has been home to the event since 1952.

vealed that the top three reasons to attend the Spokane County Interstate Fair each year are the entertainment, farm animals and food. “For me, one of the greatest sights to see each year is the first carnival ride rolling in,” McLaughlin said. “That indeed tells us that the Interstate Fair is almost ready to open and that the

Valleyfest adds to lineup with 2013 rendition


Events that parents and children can participate in together have always been part of the Valleyfest fabric. This year, a robotics demonstration Sept. 21 will provide families a chance to program a robot together.

The kettle corn will be popping and caramel apples will be devoured while the sound of live country music fills the air at the 24th  annual Valleyfest.  More than 40,000 people are anticipated to attend the three-day festival, with travelers coming from all over the northwest to enjoy a weekend with family and friends. Valleyfest was started in 1989 to bring parents, children and the community closer together by providing a venue for fun activities that people of all ages

party is just about ready to begin.” McLaughlin describes the atmosphere of the Interstate Fair as “electrically charged” and is looking forward to seeing many of the same vendors and exhibitors back for another fun year. “With the sights, sounds and smells that come with a fair, it is a true treat to all of your senses,” she said. could enjoy. This year, there will be more than 200 booths, including specialty food vendors, arts and crafts stations, a jumping castle, farm animals and a beer and wine garden. “There’s something for everyone to do,” Valleyfest Executive Director Peggy Doering said.  “It’s so pretty and nice to walk around, visit, enjoy the scenery, eat and leave at the end of the day feeling good.” Those who have frequented Valleyfest in the past can expect a return of the most popular events, including the “Hearts of Gold” parade to kick off the weekend on Sprague Avenue, a 5K/10K run and the Step Up for Down Syndrome walk.  The

IF YOU GO ... Spokane County Interstate Fair When: Sept. 6-15 Where: Spokane County Fair and Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St., Spokane Valley For more:

IF YOU GO ... Valleyfest When: Sept. 20-22 Where: Mirabeau Point Park, 13500 E. Mirabeau Parkway, Spokane Valley For more: highly anticipated car show and hot air balloon launch will also return in full swing. There will be some exciting new additions to the lineup as well.  A boat, bike and run triathlon will take place on Sunday. Participants

See FAIR, page 11

The Current

SEPTEMBER 2013 • 11


FAIR Continued from page 10

will kayak or canoe on the Spokane River as a replacement to the traditional swim. From 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, festivalgoers will be able to enjoy a unique free event featuring robotics. Local engineering students will be showcasing robots they have designed to throw Frisbees,

Camaraderie, tradition mark SE County fair The Southeast Spokane County Fair will be celebrating its 69th birthday next month. Although the festival is the oldest in town, it has proven to be a favorite of the locals time and time again with its old-world charm and smaller setting. Originally housed in a single tent in the city of Latah, the fair moved a few years after its debut to the town park in Rockford. With the help of the Rockford Lion’s Club, buildings have been added with time to accommodate more attractions, but part of what makes this particular fair so beloved is its consistency. “We try to make changes to keep the fair interesting, but our greatest goal is to not change it very much,” said Carrie Roecks, this year’s fair secretary and cosuperintendent for fine arts. Roecks has worked for the fair in one way or another for more than three decades. She was the manager and parade chairman at one point and also served as president for three years. One thing about the fair that has remained the same since before Roecks started volunteering is the lack of an admissions fee. It’s a free event, but those who attend are able to make donations at the exhibit building if they so choose. “We would rather you got to see our

and attendees will have the opportunity to program their own robots. The Valleyfest Board of Directors hopes the new robotics demonstration will bring parents and kids together in teams while working on a hands-on project. “We always try to change things up a bit at the fair and have different activities for kids and families,” Doering said.  “It keeps the festival interesting and fun to do more

challenging things.” Three kendama professionals will also be in attendance to put on a show for the kids.  Intricate and skilled tricks are done with a kendama, which is a traditional Japanese wooden dowel that has recently gained popularity in the U.S. Valleyfest remains a free festival, and everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.  Shuttles will be provided for easy

transportation to and from the fair for those who wish to avoid traffic and park at the mall. “The great thing about it is you’re not having to pay a cover charge,” Doering said.  “The environment is wonderful, and the benefit of this whole extravaganza is seeing happy people feeling connected to their community. You can stop and listen to the music and just enrich your life.”

IF YOU GO ... Southeast Spokane County Fair When: Sept. 20-22 Where: Rockford Park and Fairgrounds, South 1st Street, Rockford For more: hard work and all that the community has on display for free than not going into the building because there is a fee,” she said. It is estimated that about 5,000 people will attend the fair over three days. Some of the main events include a carnival, parade, pancake breakfast at the fire station and a highly popular three-on-three basketball tournament for people ages 10 and up. “In the 1970s, there were go-carts that raced around town on a track made on the streets,” Roecks said. “After that, the three-on-three basketball tournament was started and remains strong today. The main street in town is closed for two days for the games.” The festival will also have multiple bingo games, non-profit food vendors and a magic show for the kids, as well as a horse show and community worship service on Sunday. There will also be plenty of live music performances by regional bands throughout the weekend. “We have everything to offer that the


The Rockford Park and Fairgrounds transforms each September in celebration of the Southeast Spokane County Fair. Events include a carnival, parade, pancake breakfast, basketball tournament and plenty of animals and vendors on display. big fairs have, only on a smaller scale,” Roecks said. The more intimate size of the festival means fewer crowds and fewer expenses. Guests are welcomed to the fair with

open arms, while regulars come to mingle with neighbors and friends in the fun environment of the Southeast Spokane County Fair, an event they have come to love dearly since 1945.


Barlows has broken ground! Ask about the Hard Hat Special changing weekly in September We proudly support the Corner of Meadowwood Lane & Mission in Liberty Lake


78 Annual Greek Dinner Festival th

September 26, 27, 28

Get your tickets here! $12 for adults, $6 for children under 12

Excellent Patio seating overlooking Farmers Market • Beer, Wine & Liquor served

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Back to the books Valley kids serve as school presidents By Brenna Holland WAVE CONTRIBUTOR

Sharpen those No. 2 pencils and set the early-morning alarms — school is just around the corner. To embrace the academic season, The Wave decided it would be fitting to sit down with a couple Associated Student Body (ASB) presidents from Spokane Valley elementary schools. Pasadena Park Elementary student Mason Dobney, 10, ran for ASB for the first time this year under the catchy slogan, “Vote for me, Mason D, and you’ll see how great Pasadena can be!” His slogan, admirable actions and dedication to making the school a better place garnered him the vote as the school’s ASB President. Cody Brinkman, 10, won last year’s ASB elections for historian at University Elementary. At the end of his speech, unbeknownst to even his own mother, Cody promised that if he won he would shave half of his head and dye the other

Festival of fall fun Compiled by Tammy Kimberley WAVE STAFF WRITER

Valleyfest, which is celebrated the third weekend of September, brings a lot of activities and events that local kids can enjoy for little or no cost. Check out these opportunities to see or try something you don’t get a chance to do on just any given day.

side hot pink. The look lasted until the end of the school year. Cody’s humor and self-title of class clown clinched him the presidency this year. In a recent meet up at a local park, both fifth-grade boys shared with The Wave how they hope to make their respective schools a happier, kinder and better place for all students.

MASON DOBNEY Parents: Eric and Heather Dobney School: Pasadena Park Elementary Favorite subject: Writing Q: Why did you decide to run for president? A: I wanted to be involved in helping the school. Q: Was it a lot of work to run? A: Not that much. I had to make posters and had to do a speech about why I wanted to be president. Q: How often does your ASB meet during the school year? A: Every Friday afternoon after school. Q: What are your responsibilities for ASB and as president? A: I have to organize skits at assemblies and teach about character traits like respect, responsibility, honesty and citizenship. Q: What’s the best thing about your school? A: The kids and teachers. Q: How do you hope to change the school? A: I want to help everyone be more kind and better citizens.

Look to the sky for balloons. Sept. 19-22, 6 a.m. sunrise glow followed by 6:40 a.m. launch, CenterPlace Regional Event Center If the wind is calm and the skies are clear, brightlycolored hot air balloons will take to the skies each morning just after sunrise from the northwest lawn of CenterPlace. A “night glow” is also scheduled for 8 p.m. Sept. 21.


Mason Dobney and Cody Brinkman are two Valley kids selected to serve as Associated Student Body (ASB) presidents of their elementary schools. Mason will be a fifth grade student at Pasadena Park Elementary, and Cody will be in fifth grade at University Elementary.

CODY BRINKMAN Parents: Jason and Kristy Brinkman School: University Elementary Favorite subject: Math Q: Why did you decide to run for president? A: I thought I would be good for the job because I am comfortable talking in front of a lot of people. Q: Was it a lot of work to run? A: I had to make posters and make a speech. I played the drums and my friend yelled in the middle of my speech, “Don’t even be thinking, be Brinkman.” Q: How often does your ASB meet during the school year? A: One to three times a month.

Q: Are there any qualifications to be president? A: Your teacher must sign off on a form to allow you to run. Q: What are your responsibilities for ASB and as president? A: I am more responsible as a leader, and I talk more to the school at assemblies. I also close the ASB meetings. Q: What’s the best thing about your school? A: The teachers. Q: How do you hope to change the school? A: I want the school to be more funny and more happy. I want everyone to be happy. I’ve always been the class clown. When someone’s sad, I tell them to just say “poppy.” No one can be sad when they say the word poppy!

Watch the Hearts of Gold Parade.

the Spokane Astronomical Society.

Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m. along East Sprague Avenue (between University and Pines) Get the chairs in place early for this evening parade full of decorated and lighted floats. This event kicks off the Valleyfest weekend of activities.

Play with your dog in the park.

Search for planets and stars. Sept. 21, 7 to 10 p.m., Mirabeau Point Park Enjoy the night sky while viewing Saturn, Jupiter and lot of beautiful stars through telescopes of all sizes courtesy of

Sept. 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mirabeau Point Park Get ready for a “doggone fun day” as Valleyfest and Spokane Kennel Club host families and their canine companions to Responsible Dog Ownership Day. There will be demonstrations by dogs, disc dog competition, children’s safety course and more. For more on any of these events, go to

The Current

SEPTEMBER 2013 • 13


The scoop on school supplies Compiled by Tammy Kimberley WAVE STAFF WRITER

Before the first bell rings to summon kids back to the classroom, brush up a bit on your history — of school supplies,

that is. Many of the items on that back-toschool list have a colorful history of how they came to be or evolved over time. Sources:,,

Crayola Crayons

Backpack This word was first coined in the U.S. in the 1910s, although the cloth bags were often referred to as “moneybag” or “packsack.” Besides storing books, backpacks are used by athletes, soldiers and travelers.

Kids used to get sick from wax crayons, so the Binny & Smith Company developed new, nontoxic pigments in 1903 and called them Crayola (made from the French words, “craie” for chalk and “oleaginous” meaning oily). While the original box only contained eight colors, there are now over 150 different shades.

Crude versions of scissors from around 1500 B.C. have been discovered in Egypt. Most scissors are best-suited for use with the right hand, but some companies create pairs for left-handed people in order for the users to better see what is being cut.

Mechanical Pencil Patented back in 1822, this writing utensil was first called a “propelling pencil” by its creator Sampson Mordan. Designs and decorations on the cylinder varied over time, and the push-button type is now the most common type of mechanical pencil.

What is your favorite memory or activity from the summer? “Driving down the Oregon Coast to Disneyland!”

Charlise Hogsed, 10

“Going to the Air Force base.”


“Seeing my grandma and grandpa in the Tri-Cities.”  

Symphonie Carlson, 10

Lunch Box


Compiled by Brenna Holland at Valley Mission Park

Many children in the early 20th century took their lunch to school in an empty cookie or tobacco tin. In 1950, the first successful box and thermos combination featured the popular TV and radio cowboy Hopalong Cassidy and led to a slew of boxes featuring cartoon characters and comic book heroes.

“Going to my auntie's wedding.”

Passion Carlson, 8 

“Camping for the whole summer!”

Lily Kuespert, 4

Going to the dentist can be fun and easy! We’ve got convenient hours to fit your family’s schedule. Evening, early morning, and Saturday appointments available.

Call to schedule an appointment today!

Paper First invented by the Chinese during the second century A.D., paper is produced by pressing together moist fibers and drying them into sheets. Legend has it that Thomas Holley of Massachusetts first had the idea to collect paper scraps and stitch them together to sell, leading to the invention of the notepad in 1888.

“Going to my best friend’s house.”

Pearl Turner, 5 

“Going to Discovery Park with my dad.”

Molly Kuespert

509.891.7070 New patients welcome

Check out our Facebook page for contests and events.

“Playing baseball!”


1327 N. Stanford Lane, Suite B Liberty Lake, WA

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14 • SEPTEMBER 2013 Brought to you by

About and for Valley seniors

Flatware could Senior Circle fetch cash provides Collecting column by Larry Cox KING FEATURES SYNDICATE

Q: I have inherited a set of sterling flatware in the Acorn pattern. When was it made, and should I keep it? — Lorene, Lavaca, Ark. A: Your flatware was crafted by Georg Jensen, who opened his first silver shop in Copenhagen, Denmark, in about 1904. A later company opened in the United States in 1941 and ceased operations about a decade later. Your particular pattern was introduced in 1915. Typical prices per piece include a table fork, $180; a fruit spoon, $130; a teaspoon, $80; and a luncheon knife, $140. Q: I recently purchased a 2-gallon crock marked "Union Stoneware Co." and "Minnesota Stoneware Co." What do you think it is worth? — Charlie, Mason City, Iowa A: I think your crock might be worth in the $50 to $150 range, assuming there are no chips, cracks or other problems. Crocks have become extremely popular with collectors in recent years, which has caused prices to soar. For example, recent auction prices include a N. Clark, Jr. jug from Athens, N.Y., from about 1850, $220; a 2-gallon Monmouth pottery crock with molded rim, $175; and a chicken feeder made by the Western Stoneware Company, $75.

Q: I have several World War II-era editions of the Cherry Ames Student Nurse series. Do they have any value? — Joan, Pueblo West, Colo. A: I contacted several book collectors, and they seem to agree that your books should be worth about $20 each, assuming they are in good condition and have their original covers. The first three titles in the series are "Cherry Ames, Student Nurse"; "Cherry Ames, Senior Nurse"; and "Cherry Ames, Army Nurse." All three were written by Helen Ward, originally from Danville, Ill., where many of her stories are based. Write to Larry Cox in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to Due to the large volume of mail he receives, Mr. Cox is unable to personally answer all reader questions. Do not send any materials requiring return mail.

education, discounts By Brenna Holland


To be a healthy person means to not only be physically fit and follow dietary standards, but also to be educated about one’s personal health and what one can do to prevent any illness. Enter the Senior Circle, a nationwide organization committed to enhancing the lives of adults over the age of 50. About 1,500 members are served by Senior Circle in the greater Spokane area, including 390 who live in Spokane Valley, said Stephanie Wells, who organizes the program for Valley Hospital and Medical Center. For an annual membership of $15, members gain access to discounts on prescriptions, activities, events, exercise and wellness classes, a chapter newsletter, in-

Medicare changes merit extra research this year By Matilda Charles


Medicare's annual open enrollment period begins in a month: Circle Oct. 15 on your calendar. This is one year you'll

hospital privileges and other bonuses. The Senior Circle, which boasts more than 120 chapters nationwide, hopes to encourage a healthy lifestyle for seniors through education, wellness and health classes, and social programs. “We do two to three health talks a month, and lunch is included,” Wells said of the local program. “Joining Senior Circle includes many benefits, including if you are in the hospital and we have an open room, you can be upgraded to a private room. Whoever is your caregiver, whether it be your child or spouse, is given a free meal every day you are there. Through Senior Circle, you can also obtain free parking at Deaconess.” There are also local merchants who offer discounts to Senior Circle members. National benefits include discounted prescriptions and hearing aids. Wells encourages anyone who is craving more information on personal health to join. “The senior population really loves the information,” she said. “They thrive on these health talks, and there are usually 8090 people (in attendance). Everyone enjoys talking to the doctors and absorbing the information.”

want to start your research early. The plans might not be the same this time. From Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, you can enroll in or change your Medicare Part D drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan, if you currently have Parts A and/ or B. You'll also have an opportunity to change to Medicare Advantage with or without drug coverage, or back to the original Medicare. If you currently have Part D

and Medicare Advantage and don't make any changes during the enrollment period, your plan will stay the same. Beware if you have Medicare Advantage, and check carefully: Costs (premiums and co-payments) and levels of coverage might change as plans work to meet all the new health-care law requirements. Take a close look at your annual plan notice when it comes in the mail. Call Medicare if you have questions (1-800-633-4227) or compare plans on the Medicare. gov website. If you turn age 65 and become eligible for Medicare at a time other than the enrollment period, you have seven months to get signed up: three months before your birthday month, your birthday month, and three months after your birthday month. If you don't sign up within that time, you could incur penalties that will last the rest of your life. Suggestion: Call Medicare six months before you're going to need it. Ask lots of questions, especially if you're still working.

Be ready to sign up at the right time. To enroll or ask questions, call Social Security (they handle the signups) at 1-800-772-1213. Beware: If you want to read about Medicare on the Internet, be sure you go to — the .gov is for "government." Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible. Send email to

The Current

SEPTEMBER 2013 • 15

Where Wellness Is A Way Of Life

Free move-in service

Come join us for

GermanFest TRIVIA TEST 1. GEOGRAPHY: Where are the Maldive islands located? 2. COMICS: What is Superman’s dog named? 3. TELEVISION: When did MTV go on the air? 4. MOVIES: What movie features a character named Popeye Doyle? 5. ENTERTAINERS: Which comedian came up with the character called “the hippy dippy weatherman.” 6. SCIENCE: What is the softest known mineral in the world? 7. ADVERTISING: What company used Elsie the Cow to promote its products? 8. U.S. PRESIDENTS: Which president

pledged a “New Deal” for the United States? 9. LITERATURE: Who wrote the novel “Dr. Zhivago”? 10. ANATOMY: What is a sarcoma? © 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

Answers to Trivia Test 1. Indian Ocean; 2. Krypto; 3. Aug. 1, 1981; 4. “The French Connection”; 5. George Carlin; 6. Talc; 7. Borden; 8. Franklin Roosevelt; 9. Boris Pasternak; 10. A malignant tumor in connective tissue, bone or muscle

SATURDAY, SEPT. 14th 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. • German Dancers & Live German Music • Bratwursts & Sauerkraut • Community Tours! • Independent Living • Light Assisted Living • Walking Trail • Wellness & Fitness Center • Gourmet Chef • Cottage Homes • Swimming Pool & Spa • Assisted Living • Bistro

Locally Owned and Operated by the Arger Family

16 • SEPTEMBER 2013


The Current

Calendar of Events COMMUNITY EVENTS Sept. 2 | Labor Day Sept. 6-15 | Spokane County Interstate Fair Spokane County Fair & Expo Center, 404

N. Havana St. Carnival, 4-H exhibits, rodeo, entertainment and more are part of this yearly event. For a complete schedule and more: www.

Sept. 7 | Vintage Car Show 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mirabeau Park, 13500 E. Mirabeau Parkway. Sponsored by the Hassie Car Club, this show will feature original and restored vintage vehicles from 1900 to 1983. There will also be a special presentation of vintage movie cars that have been in recent as well as older movies. Admission is free. For more: 924-9470 or 922-3431 Sept. 7 | Neighborhood Street Fair 10

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 • 4pm-10pm & SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 • 10am-8pm Mix Pig Out & the State Fair, you get Harvest Fest at Riverstone Village Coeur d’Alene I-90, Exit South on Northwest Blvd., Right on Lakewood


a.m. to 2 p.m., Valley Assembly Church parking lot, 15618 E. Broadway. The event will include activities and entertainment for the entire family, as well as exhibits to help attendees learn about the community. For more: 924-0466

Sept. 20-22 | Southeast Spokane County Fair Rockford Town park. The theme of the

69th annual fair is “All Roads Lead to the Fair.” Admission to the fair and all exhibit buildings is free. For more:

Sept. 20-21 | Riverstone Street Fair & Harvest Fest 4 to 10 p.m. (Fri.) and 10 a.m. to

8 p.m. (Sat.), Riverstone Village, Coeur d’Alene. There is free admission and parking for this event which will include 160 vendor booths, food court, shopping and live entertainment. For more:

Sept. 21 | Car show 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., CenterPlace Regional Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place. Registration is from 9 to 11 a.m. with a $10 entry fee. Judging will be from noon to 2:30 with the awards presented at 3:30 p.m. For more:

3 p.m., Spokane Valley Mall food court, 14700 E. Indiana Ave. Free family fun for ages 2 to 12 including face painting, crafts, games and prizes. For more:

Sept. 21 | Step Up for Down Syndrome 10 a.m., CenterPlace Regional Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place. This easy, one-mile walk will help raise awareness celebrate ways those with Down syndrome contribute to the community. To register or for more:

Sept. 10 | Spokane Valley Day at the Fair Spokane County Fair & Expo Center, 404

Sept. 21 | Fallen Heroes Circuit Course dedication ceremony 4 p.m., Rocky Hill Park,

Sept. 7 | Back-to-School Kidsfest Noon to

N. Havana St. Stop by their booth to visit with council members and vote for favorites in the “This is Spokane Valley” photo and video contest. For more: 720-5411

Sept. 12 | Balfour Park/Library Conceptual Site Plan On-site Open House 4 to 6 p.m., corner of Sprague and Herald. For more: 720-5400 or

Sept. 14 | Canine Carnival & Pet Blessing in the Park 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Pavillion Park, Liberty Lake. Enjoy live music, raffles, face painting, bounce houses, giveaways, competitions, K9 fashion show and more. For more:

Sept. 14 | GermanFest 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.,

corner of East Mission and Winrock, Liberty Lake. The public is invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony, demonstration of the equipment and fun run around the park. It will be dedicated in memory of Marine Corporal Joshua Dumaw, a West Valley graduate who died at age 23 in Afghanistan while serving during Enduring Freedom. For more: 755-6726

Sept. 22 | Responsible Dog Ownership Day 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mirabeau Point Park,

13500 E. Mirabeau Parkway. Valleyfest and Spokane Kennel Club invite families and their canine companions to this event. For more:

Sept. 22 | Sustainable Preparedness seminar 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Spokane County

Evergreen Fountains, 1201 N. Evergreen Road. German dancers, music, bratwursts and sauerkraut and community tours will be available. For more: 922-3100 or www.

Fair & Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St. This third annual event will feature a wealth of information in preparedness, homesteading and sustainable living. Cost is $12. For more: www.

Sept. 18 | Book Club 2 p.m., Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. Attendees are encouraged to bring a favorite poem to read aloud. For more:

Sept. 23 | Chris Crutcher Banned Books 7

Sept. 19 | Free Food Bank 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., 13009 E. Broadway. Attendees are asked to bring boxes and/or grocery bags.

Sept. 20-22, 27-29 | Corn Maze 5 to 8 p.m.

(Fridays), 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Saturdays) and noon to 5 p.m. (Sundays), HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. Cost is $ 9 for adults, $6 for children (ages 5 to 12) and seniors (60+). For more: CornMaze

Sept. 20-22 | Valleyfest Mirabeau Point Park

vendor booths and more. The “Hearts of Gold” community parade is 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20 along East Sprague Avenue between University and Pines. For more:

and CenterPlace Regional Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place. Events include car show, hot air balloon launch, various races, family activities,

p.m., Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. This event for teens will feature Chris Crutcher speaking about banned books, censorship and the power of telling the truth through fiction. For more:

Sept. 25 | Savvy Social Security Planning

7 p.m., Argonne Library, 4322 N. Argonne Road. This free workshop will cover what Baby Boomers need to know to maximize their retirement. The workshop will also be presented 7 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. For more:

Sept. 27-29 | Just Between Friends Sale 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Spokane County Fair & Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St. This seasonal sales event allows people to come together to buy

See CALENDAR, page 17

The Current

SEPTEMBER 2013 • 17


CALENDAR Continued from page 16 and sell gently-used children’s and maternity items. For more:

Sept. 27 | Stop Violence Against Women Day 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Coeur d’Alene Resort

& Casino Event Center, 37914 S. Hwy. 95. Tickets are available for $75 and include lunch, dinner, seminars and women’s health and resource fair. For more: 928-9664

Sept. 28 | Beyond Books 2 p.m., Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. Bonita Gilbert will share about her book “Building for War” about a group of civilian workers and their families who were forever changed by the events on the U.S. island of Wake during December 1941. For more:

Recurring Spokane County Library District Valley

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, LEGO club, RLM women’s group, beading club, computer drop-in class, knitting club. For more: library

7:30 p.m. (Fri. and Sat.), 2 p.m. (Sun.), Ignite! Community Theatre, 10814 E. Broadway Ave. Advance tickets are $14 or $15 at the door. For tickets or more:

Sept. 28 | Artist Showcase Art Auction 5 to 6:30 p.m., CenterPlace Regional Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place. Wine, food and music will be a part of this annual event sponsored by the Spokane Valley Arts Council. A quick draw demonstration will begin at 5 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person and are available at Pacific Flyway Gallery. For more: 747-0812 Sept. 28 | Liberty Lake Community Theatre Gala Event Liberty Lake Community

Theatre, 22910 E. Appleway Ave. This fundraising event will include performances by Cross My Heart and the one-act play “Well Written.” For more:

Recurring 2013 Summer concert series Arbor Crest

Wine Cellars, 4705 N. Fruit Hill Road, Spokane. Arbor Crest offers Thursday Performers on the Patio and Sunday Concerts on the Cliff. For more:


9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1421 N. Meadowwood Lane. The market runs through mid-October. For more:

Millwood Farmers Market Wednesdays, 3

Sept. 20 | Hiring Our Heroes 10 a.m. to 2

to 7 p.m., Millwood Presbyterian Church parking lot, 3223 N. Marguerite Road. The market runs each through Sept. 25. For more: www.

Rockford Crochet Class Saturdays, 10 a.m. to noon, 229 S. First, Rockford. Join others at the weekly Crochet class held in the Rockford Community Center. Other types of craft, sewing, needle work are also enjoyed. Stop in and stitch and visit with others. For more: 291-4716 Spokane Valley Eagles 16801 E. Sprague. Breakfast served Sundays 9 to 11:30 a.m. For more: Spokane Valley Writer’s Group 6:15 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 Aug. 31 | Spokane Symphony: Lud Kramer Memorial Concert 6 p.m., Pavillion

Park, Liberty Lake. The free performance concludes the Friends of Pavillion Park Summer Festival Series. For more:

Sept. 6-15 | Interstate Fair concerts

Spokane County Fair & Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St. A wide range of performers will be on the stage including The Band Perry (Sept. 10), Eli Young Band (Sept. 11), the Carnival of Madness concert (Sept. 12) and MercyMe (Sept. 13). For a complete schedule, prices and more:

Sept. 6-8, 13-15, 20-22 | Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple (Female Version)”

Greenacres Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

A traditional, family oriented church.

Sunday Worship Service 10:00 AM 18010 E. Mission - 926.2461 Established 1902 Member of CUIC

p.m., Spokane County Fair & Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St. This free job fair is for veteran job seekers, active duty military members, guard and reserve members and military spouses. An employment workshop focusing on military skill translation, effective interviewing techniques and resume writing will be offered at 9 a.m. For more:

Sept. 26 | Business After Hours 5 to 7

p.m., Liberty Lake Portal, 23403 E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake. A networking event sponsored by Greater Spokane Incorporated, come get a peek of available space in the building. Free to members; $10 for non-members. Register at For more: 343-0103

HEALTH & RECREATION Sept. 5 | R.I.P. (Run in Pines) 5K race 6

p.m. Pines Cemetery, 1402 S. Pines.

Sept. 6-7 | Interstate Fair PRCA Rodeo

Spokane County Fair & Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St. Ticket prices start at $5 (plus gate admission). For more:

Sept. 15 | Rotary in Motion Ride the Rim 7 a.m. (first start time), Meadowwood

Technology Campus, 2100 N. Molter Road, Liberty Lake. This bike ride includes routes of 100 miles ($45 registration fee), 50 miles ($45), 25 miles ($35), 15 miles $35) and a 5-mile family ride ($15). Early registration is due by Sept. 1. For routes and more:

Sept. 15 | Pickleball clinic 4 to 6 p.m., HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. The clinic will cover the skills and strategies necessary for competition. Cost is $5. For more:

• Strong Academic and Moral Foundation • Preschool and Kindergarten Programs • Community and Service Focus • Before and After School Care

Preschool-Eighth Grade Scholarship Joining Values Over 50 years of academic excellence


Saturday Vigil - 5 p.m. Sunday - 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Weekday Masses - 8 a.m., except Wednesday which is 8:15 a.m. adoration Reconciliation

The last Wednesday of every month 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

9:30 a.m.

WorShip Service 10:45 a.m.

Saturday, 4-4:30 p.m. or by appointment

Pastor Fr. Joseph Bell Assoc. Pastor Fr. Charles Skok Deacon Kelly Stewart

Sunday School

Sept. 20 | Greater Spokane Valley Chamber Business Connections Breakfast 6:30 to 8:30 a.m., Mirabeau Park

Hotel, 1100 N. Sullivan. Grant Forsyth, chief economist for Avista, will present a program on “Mid-Year Economic Update.” Coffee and conversation begin at 6:30 a.m., program begins at 7 a.m. Cost is $25 for members and guests, $35 for non-members. For more: www.

Liberty Lake Farmers Market Saturdays,


St. John Vianney Church 503 N. Walnut | Spokane Valley 99206 926-5428 |

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509-926-9552 905 N. McDonald Rd. • Spokane Valley Sunday Service: Traditional 8:30 a.m. Contemporary 10:30 a.m. 924-3705


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 about the Church Directory: 242-7752 or

Sept. 16 | 4v4 Coed Volleyball League

6:30 to 10:30 p.m., HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. Match play will take place on Mondays Sept. 16 through Oct. 28. Teams must register with $150 team fee by Sept. 6. For more:

Sept. 22 | Centennial Trail Ride Noon, Mirabeau Point Park, 13500 E. Mirabeau Parkway. The route starts and finishes at the Mirabeau Point Park North Centennial Trailhead. Registration is $15 for adults and $5 for ages 10 and under. To register or for more: www.

Sept. 21 | Valleyfest 5K/10K run 8 a.m., Mirabeau Point Park, 13500 E. Mirabeau Parkway. A kids run for children 7 and under will take place at 8 a.m. followed by the adult race at 8:30 a.m. There is a $15 entry fee with all proceeds benefitting education, research and advocacy programs for people with Down syndrome. For more:

Sept. 28 | HUB Family Fun Festival 2 to 5 p.m., HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. Celebrate the facility’s 6th birthday with a free open house offering fun activities for the entire family including fitness opportunities, jump house, face painting and food. For more:

Sept. 21-22 | Slamma Jamma Pickleball Tournament 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., HUB


Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. The tournament features men’s, women’s and mixed doubles in different age groups over two days of play. Cost is $20 per person plus $5 per event. Registration deadline is Sept. 6. For more:

Sept. 22 | Boat/Bike/Run Triathlon 8 a.m.,

CenterPlace Regional Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place. This inaugural Valleyfest event will include a 1.5-mile kayak/canoe course from Plantes Ferry Sport Complex, followed by an 11-mile bike course and then a 3-mile run along the Centennial Trail. For registration and more:

Liberty Lake Running Club 6 p.m. on Thursdays, Twisp Café & Coffee House, Liberty Lake. Gather with others for a 3-mile route. For more: 954-9806 or

Sports opportunities HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. 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

18 • SEPTEMBER 2013

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The Current

SEPTEMBER 2013 • 19


Friends holding Millwood sale to help boy with cancer By Jocelyn Stott


Bonnie Harrington describes her 8-yearold grandson, Canyon Morris, as “spunky.” So when she noticed a bump on the sandybrown haired boy in April, she assumed it came from playing hard at school. Not long after, a lymph node showed some swelling behind his left ear. By the end of the month, the family’s worst fears had come to pass. A tumor was discovered on Canyon’s skull and in his abdomen. The diagnosis: neuroblastoma. The cancer is one that begins in the neuroblast cells of the nervous system and spreads through bone marrow. The survival rate: 50 percent. Ten years ago, doctors say, the cancer was incurable. Harrington recently moved from the Spokane Valley area to Boise, where her daughter Jenny (also originally from this area) lives with son Canyon. Harrington’s Spokane Valley-area friends have been so moved by Canyon’s battle with the disease that they have put together an Arts and Crafts Sale/Fundraiser for 8 a.m. Sept. 14 at 8611 E. Dalton Ave. in Millwood to raise funds to help the family pay for the costs of treatment. In a matter of weeks, Canyon has

transformed from a bike-riding, soccerplaying Star Wars fan to struggling with brutal treatments for his cancer and the isolation that comes with being physically vulnerable. “He was a healthy, happy, loveable kid,” Harrington said of the sudden arrival of the cancer. “It’s just surreal.” Today, Canyon has endured five of six scheduled rounds of chemotherapy, each cycle requiring a two-week stay in Salt Lake City. Next up: Surgery to remove the tumor in Canyon’s abdomen, where doctors believe the cancer began. After that: three months of more chemotherapy cycles and bone marrow stem cell transplants and antibody injections to ward off potential relapse, which is more common in children with this disease. Harrington says despite it all, her grandson remains a trooper of “iron will.” “Canyon is well-spoken, he understands a lot of what’s going on and he is very mature about what he’s having to deal with,” she said, adding the hardest part seems to be missing out on being a kid. “Whenever he’s well enough, he always asks if he can play with his friend Thomas,”

IF YOU GO ... What: Arts and Crafts Yard Sale When: Sept. 14, beginning at 8 a.m. Why: To help Bonnie Harrington’s family with costs associated with cancer treatment for her grandson, Canyon Morris Where: 8611 E. Dalton Ave., Millwood How: Donate arts, crafts or miscellaneous items to sell; donate directly or come by and make purchases. Donate directly or learn more by calling 998-0314. Harrington said. The nights away from home, gas and food costs and lots of time off work for Canyon’s parents, Jenny and Kermit, represent a load alone in non-medical expenses. The Spokane Valley group hopes the yard sale will help the family pay for the expenses not covered by insurance and other costs of living in another town away from home for Canyon’s treatment. “You never know just how many wonderful, caring and loving people you have in your life until something like this happens,”


Canyon Morris is shown here this past Easter, just a couple of weeks before he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Jenny Morris said. “My mom's community of friends in Spokane have been overwhelmingly supportive.” For more about Morris or to make a donation call 998-0314 or visit

Community Briefs Career clothing drive this month “Best Foot Forward,” a career clothing drive to provide men and women with professional clothing for job interviews and white-collar jobs, will be held Sept. 6-15 at a pair of local Safeway stores. Drop of professional clothing, including shoes and accessories like ties and belts, at either Safeway’s Sprague and Evergreen or Liberty Lake locations. To receive a tax donation form, take the items directly to the clothing bank at Spokane Valley Partners, 10814 E. Broadway Ave. between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Spokane Valley Partners houses many social service providers, including the Valley food and clothing banks. Volunteers are always needed; for additional information, call Cora at 927-1153. With questions about the drive, contact Sharon Jayne at 255-6758.

Whitworth students qualify for Laureate Society The following Whitworth University students have been named to the Whitworth University Laureate Society for spring semester 2013: Heather Walzer, Katherine Waltar, Dominique Armstrong, William Hattamer, Alexander Archuleta and Kallee Hart of Greenacres; Dakota Kliamovich, Karly Rasmussen Christina Kirkpatrick and Krista Ranno of Liberty Lake; and Sarah Savino and Shiloh

Sawyer of Spokane Valley. The students qualified for the academic honors society by maintaining a grade point average of at least 3.75 during the semester.

WWU names honor roll, celebrates graduates Several local students were recently recognized by Western Washington University. Named to the school’s spring quarter honor roll, which includes students in the top 10 percent of their class, were Spokane Valley’s Christian Olsen, Marye Scott, Ashley Renz and Erin Benson. Scott and Renz received special recognition for receiving a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Scott was also awarded a diploma upon graduating following the spring quarter, as was Julie Flerchinger and Drew Miller of Liberty Lake; Benjamin Johnson of Otis Orchards; Gabriel Rice-Erso of Valleyford; and Cristopher Akeroyd, Jessica Arp, Brandon Bademian and Ryan Miller of Spokane Valley.

Ron’s Drive-Inn has served the people of Spokane and the Valley proudly for 55 years — here’s to another 55!

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20 • SEPTEMBER 2013

Sale supports fire department


The Current

Turning tabs into altruism


It was a busy bargain hunting day at the TriCommunity Grange in Newman Lake on Aug. 10. The Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary, who sponsored the event, also sold its cookbooks and annual T-shirts to raise funds for the department.

In early August, area Kiwanis clubs met in Millwood Park to gather together pull tabs for the Ronald McDonald House. Kiwanis clubs brought 605 pounds, and 52 pounds were brought by the public. Kiwanis had already collected 803 pounds, so 1,460 pounds of tabs were turned in for recycling (that’s more than 2 million tabs), and a check for $1,000 was sent to Ronald McDonald House.

Balloons, balls and business The 17th annual Scramble Golf Tournament was held August 8 at MeadowWood Golf Course by the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Instruction in the fields

Dave Blodgett, pictured here with Chamber President Eldonna Shaw, was the winner of the $500 ball drop. His ball fell closest to the pin when dropped from a hot air balloon promoting Valleyfest. SUBMITTED PHOTOS BY GARY ROBERTO PHOTOGRAPHY

Hot August Nights


Kids from East Valley High School and Opportunity Christian Fellowship help harvest green beans and learn about how wheat is made into bread. About 10 bushels (or 600 pounds) of wheat was recently harvested which, when milled by ADM, will be returned to East Valley District kitchens as approximately 300 pounds of flour.


The Rockford Lions’ Club held a summer celebration in August that included a drive-in movie, music, barbecue and car show. The show, held in conjunction with the Rockford Farmers Market, featured a nostalgic look at cars from the past.

The Current

SEPTEMBER 2013 • 21

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22 • SEPTEMBER 2013

The Current

Tribute to a ‘Treasure’

Remembering Halpin’s, a Valley icon for 64 years By Valerie Putnam


The iconic giant “H” on the corner of Bowdish and Sprague now marks part of Spokane Valley’s past as opposed to its present. Halpin's Pharmacy and Treasure Room closed its doors after 64 years in August. "I come in here, and I'd like to cry," said Cecilia Larkin, a customer for 54 of those years, while shopping last month’s liquidation sale with her husband, Jim. "It's sad. We couldn't believe it." The Larkins learned about the store after receiving a postcard for a free ornament for their new baby. That was 1959. They have been loyal ever since. "After I got that card, if we needed any medication, this is where we always came," Cecilia Larkin said. "I've never gone any place else for my prescriptions but here." Co-managing partner Rick Ericksen, who began working at Halpin's in 1966 as a delivery boy and janitor, said the strain of the economic downturn forced the closure of the employee-owned Valley icon. "We are the last independent pharmacy in Spokane," Ericksen said. "The last three years have been very challenging to meet the daily needs of the business."

THE HALPIN’S LEGACY Ownership 1949-1969: Ed Halpin 1969-1992: Frank Terhaar and Gary Christensen 1992-2013: The employees, through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), led by co-managing partners Rick Ericksen and Ron Gill Fun Facts Rick Ericksen started his career at Halpin’s in 1966 at the age of 16. He met his wife,

Earlier this year, Rite Aid Company, the operator of a pharmacy on the corner of Pines and Sprague, made Ericksen and the other co-managing partner, Ron Gill, an attractive offer to take over Halpin's list of pharmacy customers. As part of Rite Aid’s offer, the store agreed to purchase Halpin’s over-the-counter pharmacy inventory, Hallmark card department and to continue the specialized customer service Halpin's pharmaceutical staff gave its Valley customers. Once the agreement was finalized, a liquidation sale began in June. Halpin's closed its doors for the final time in August. More than just a pharmacy, Halpin's provided Valley residents an eclectic selection of merchandise over the years. At different times in its history, Halpin’s sold electronics such as televisions, cameras and radios, as well as grandfather clocks, lamps, garden accessories, cosmetics, baby and bath items, collectibles, gift items, holiday decor, women's clothing and accessories and even was home to a watch repair shop that for the past 36 years was owned by Larry Verhaag (Larry’s Watch Repair has moved to Artistry in Gold, 13817 E. Sprague Ave.)

The early days Ed Halpin founded Opportunity Drug store in 1940 on the corner of Sprague and Pines (current location of Rite Aid Drug). He later purchased the land where the Halpin's store is now located, at the corner of

a pharmacist at the store, in 1975. They began dating six months after meeting and were married in 1978. The couple continued to work together until the store closed this past summer. The store delivered prescriptions to Valley customers from its founding in 1949 until its closing this year. Also delivered: grandfather clocks. When the Spokane Valley Mall opened in 1997, Halpin’s changed its operating hours and began closing on Sundays due to a decrease in traffic on Sprague.


Above: From left, Halpin’s employees Hollie Ritchie, Lisa Keon and Rick Ericksen (four, 14 and 47 years of service, respectively) pause for a photo during the store’s August liquidation sale. At left: While Rick Ericksen, center, started working at Halpin’s as a University High School student in 1966, Jim and Cecelia Larkin have been associated with the store even longer. The Spokane Valley couple began shopping at Halpin’s in 1959. Sprague and Bowdish, and opened Halpin's Pharmacy in 1949. He sold Opportunity Drug to Vern Bromling, who renamed the business Bromling Drug. Halpin's original building was about oneseventh of the space it eventually grew to occupy. Upstairs from the original store is an apartment where the Halpin family lived. "The apartment is still there," Ericksen said. "It hasn't been used for the last 15 years." Selling the typical drug store fare, such as toothpaste, cosmetics, deodorant, magazines and books, Halpin also dedicated a small portion of the store to gifts and cards. The store was a Hallmark Card retailer since its inception in 1949. Halpin was a proponent of providing outstanding customer service. He kept the store open every day of the year until 10 p.m. Ericksen recalled the pharmacy stayed open late so customers coming from the

Valley Hospital Emergency Room could get their prescriptions filled. Beryl Forney, an employee for the past eight years, has fond memories of the customers she served. She recalls several customers, such as the Larkins, would bring in baked goods and other food items for the employees. "The Larkins are just a joy every time they walk in," Forney said. "They're like family." In his earlier years at the business, Ericksen remembers driving a station wagon delivering prescriptions. "The Valley was a lot smaller then," Ericksen said. "We would deliver about 10 prescriptions a day."

in estate planning and elder law. He received his law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law and also holds a master of Laws in Taxation from the University of Florida. Ropp is an active member of the Washington State

Bar Association, Spokane Estate Planning Council and National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He is a frequent lecturer on estate planning topics. Spokane attorney Timothy R. Fischer has also joined Winston & Cashatt.

Growing beyond a pharmacy As the store grew, Ed Halpin added a small addition called the Treasure Room.

See HALPIN’S, page 23

Biz Notes Banner Bank adds home loan officer


Banner Bank has hired Michael Adams to join its residential loans division, serving the communities surrounding Spokane Valley.

Adams has 18-plus years of experience in the residential and construction lending industry. He is based out of Banner Bank’s Home Loan location 25 N. Mullan Road.

EV grad joins firm Jeffrey Ropp is one of a pair of attorneys recently added to the downtown Spokane firm, Winston & Cashatt, Lawyers. Ropp, a 1977 graduate of East Valley High School, has practiced for more than 25 years


Did your business recently open, receive recognition or experience some other noteworthy milestone? What about a new hire or promotion? Submit the information to Biz Notes at

The Current

SEPTEMBER 2013 • 23

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the state of Washington," Ericksen said. "It was a huge revenue generator for the store."

Continued from page 22

When Washington state opened its own facility in the late 1970s, it closed the Halpin's liquor store.

In 1969, Halpin sold the store to two employees, Frank Terhaar and Gary Christensen. Also that year, Halpin's added Howard Miller clocks to its inventory — an item that remained popular for the remainder of Halpin's history. About that time, the Washington State Liquor Board approached Terhaar and Christensen to open a liquor store within the store. For more than 10 years following, Halpin��€™s sold hard liquor. "It became the biggest liquor agency in




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In 1972, Ericksen was promoted to manager. He did all the buying for the store and researched trends in merchandise, including collectibles and gifts. As larger corporate pharmacies moved into the area, Terhaar and Christensen moved away from focusing on traditional drug store merchandise and expanded the gift department selection. "They couldn't compete with the prices of

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the bigger drug stores," Ericksen said. "So they moved into the gift and collectible area that the bigger stores didn't stock."

nationally published catalog to Valley residents as a means to bring customers into the store.

This proved to be a good move for the store, as the collectible and gift markets grew throughout the ’80s and ’90s. According to Ericksen, Beanie Babies were the hottest collectible item the store sold. He recalls customers lining up outside store doors on delivery days.

"It was very successful," Ericksen said. "We did it for over 30 years."

"It was a phenomenon in this industry," Ericksen said. "We would have over 500 people lined up outside when we received a shipment." In 1982, Halpin’s began mailing out a

The catalog featured merchandise purchased from Ideation, a company based in Ann Arbor, Mich. It contained specialty items such as women's clothing, purses, scarves and sweaters. Halpin's mailed its final catalog this past spring. During their 23 years of ownership, Ericksen estimated that Terhaar and Christensen renovated the building seven times.

See HALPIN’S, page 30

24 • SEPTEMBER 2013


The Current

2013 Football PREVIEW By Mike Vlahovich



Questionable due to an injury this summer, quarterback Adam Chamberlain (left) was nevertheless ready to work on the first day of football practice Aug. 21. CURRENT PHOTO BY MIKE VLAHOVICH

Jeff Beaty, who quarterbacked U-Hi to the State 3A semifinals last year, is back for his senior season.

Young U-Hi roster developing taste for encore University caught lightning in a bottle last year, finishing among the top four 3A teams in state. What can the Titans expect for an encore? “I don’t know,” coach Rob Bartlett said. “What we’ve been preaching from spring ball is to continue the tradition. It’s a new group of kids, but they’ve kind of got that taste.” In order to repeat, callow replacements must grow up in a hurry. The most veteran part of this team is its intact coaching staff. The roster is senior-thin, and Bartlett said sophomores must grow up quickly and play big roles if the Titans are to reach the postseason again. Most of U-Hi’s 2012 offensive statistical leaders graduated. Compounding things, multi-purpose contributor Garrett Schmerer didn’t turn out for the 2013 season. That said, quarterback Jeff Beaty, thrust into the position by necessity, had a tremendous rookie year and is one year older and comfortable in the offense. “We have our returning quarterback,”


This is the first installment of monthly features planned about prep athletes in the greater Spokane Valley area during the 2013-2014 school year. Check out future issues of The Current for coverage of all the various boys and girls sports. Bartlett said. “That’s not something we had last year. We’re secure with Jeff. We are going to hang a lot of what we do around Jeff.” Trevor Martin returns at wideout, and four of five Titans starting offensive linemen — state wrestling placer Tate Orndorff, Kendle Barnard, Austin Ruiz and Kyle Bush — provide vital experience at positions where a team can hang its hat. Michael Prothero and sophomore Bryce Williamson are vying as running back/receiver replacements. Expect several players to go both ways until five or six sophomores, beneficiaries of strength and conditioning, can be called upon to provide depth as the season goes on, Barlett estimated. “We’ve got to get some of that green rubbed off them and plug them in as soon as we can,” Bartlett emphasized. Followers with a keen eye will notice adjustments in the offense. “On the surface, it is pretty similar,” Bartlett said, “but it’s going to change quite a bit.” U-Hi faces Mead at Albi Stadium in the season opener. The Titans have but three home games — defending champion Gonzaga Prep, 3A contender Shadle Park and “Greasy Pig” rival Central Valley — and play a lot of early games at Joe Albi Stadium.

made a lot of saving type tackles,” Giampietri continued. “He’s as good a two-way player as there is in town.” Fortunately, all but the center returns on the offensive line. Veterans include the whole right side — tight end Beau Byus, first-team All-GSL tackle J.D. Boden and guard Shayne Riordan. Hunter Wardian started the last seven games at left tackle following injury to a senior starter, and guard Zach Millard was All-GSL on defense. “We have to rely on the offensive line,” Giampietri said. “We should be able to run the football. That’s kind of the idea.” Giampietri said junior running back Spencer Miller had a good summer’s training, running a 4.6 40, and Jackson Axtell and Hayden Wolrehammer add depth. P.J. Bowden, J.P. Benson and Tucker Stout are in the mix as receivers. “It looks like we have people who can catch it and run decently, so I think we’re OK,” Giampietri said. Such depth comes in handy since the bulk of them also play defensive positions. The Bears, he said, can stack up “really well” in the GSL. A healthy Chamberlain is vital if CV is to challenge, as usual, for the postseason.

A healthy Talented receiving Chamberlain key corps sets pace for 2013 Bears for East Valley Central Valley football coach Rick Giampietri didn’t need to hear this bit of news. Do-all athlete Adam Chamberlain, the returning Bears quarterback, strained an Achilles tendon playing basketball this summer, was put in a protective boot and there was uncertainty of his football status. But the boot came off and there he was, much to Giampietri’s relief, the first day of practice on Aug. 21 as if nothing had happened. Giampietri had said he hoped he’d be ready for CV’s season opener Sept. 6 at home against Ferris, a pre-season Greater Spokane League favorite. “Things took off when we got him in the lineup last year,” Giampietri said of Chamberlain, who became eligible the last half of the season. “He’s one of the better athletes in town (and) just makes things happen — by accident if nothing else — with his legs as much as anything.” The Bears won five of six games with him behind center, including an upset victory over league champion and then unbeaten Gonzaga Prep. “He’s as valuable in the secondary and

Two of the finest all-around athletes in Spokane are the cornerstones of East Valley’s football team that last year was part of a rare four-way tie for first place in the Great Northern League. Multi-sport standouts  JT Phelan and Gage Burland are dangerous receivers and defenders on a Knights team hoping to return to the state playoffs. This year, two GNL teams advance directly to the State 2A round of 16. “They are the two best we’ve had,” said coach Adam Fisher, in his 14th year as coach at EV. “They’d start for any school in Spokane.” Phelan was co-offensive player of the year in the GNL, pressed into service as quarterback for two games following an injury to the starter, as well as all-league at defensive back. Burland was first-team all-league at receiver. They’re the targets of a new quarterback, likely junior Colton Ramm (“he’s one of the strongest players on the team,” Fisher said), when the season begin Sept. 6 at home

See GRIDIRON, page 25

The Current

SEPTEMBER 2013 • 25

COVER STORY ON THE COVER Current design by Sarah Burk Photography by Mike Vlahovich (Beaty, Chamberlain, Jackson and Phelan) and Richard Slover (Laib)

state via tiebreaker criteria — expect balance again this year. “Ours is the second best 2A league in the state of Washington,” Fisher offered. “I don’t think anybody is head and shoulders over the rest. Top to bottom they maximize their talent. If we get the most out of our guys, we can beat anyone.”


Three-sport standout and reigning GNL football MVP JT Phelan drills during practice at East Valley.

GRIDIRON Continued from page 24

against Sandpoint, the first of three successive non-league games. Senior running backs William Nixdorf and Isaac Jordan gained plenty of experience after being pressed into duty when the incumbent at that position quit the team. The offensive line, although primarily new, could be as good as last year’s, Fisher said. Hunter Mullin, just a junior, earned all-league mention, and Lucas Caston, who also plays linebacker, returns after missing last year with an injury. “He’s healthy and chomping at the bit,” Fisher said. “I feel the guys coming in will fill in nicely. Some who played one side of the ball will now play two. We have a lack of depth like everybody.” Even with receivers the quality of Phelan and Burland, Fisher said, the team needs to run the ball efficiently in order to succeed. When four teams go 4-2 — EV missed

Young Eagles hope to reach familiar heights West Valley may have taken a hit through graduation, but coach Craig Whitney didn’t sound too concerned. “We’re young and got to get a lot of kids experience,” he said. “Pretty much everybody graduated, but the freshman and sophomore levels were phenomenal.” Naturally, he considers the early season nonconference schedule a blessing. The Eagles travel to Ellensburg, host Moscow and travel to Sandpoint on successive Fridays before opening the Great Northern League season Sept. 27 in Colville. The young newcomers “can develop and figure out the speed of the game,” he said. “This is one of our pretty good groups. There’s a lot of firepower with these guys.” The biggest concern is replacing quarterback Tyler Stavnes, who passed for 1,515 yards on his way to being last year’s coleague MVP. “A few kids are still vying for it,” Whitney said. “We haven’t solidified the position.” Back is first-team All-GNL tight end and linebacker Marcus Jackson, who his coach said is as good as there is in the league. “He’s a rangy guy with a great knack on

All-GNL linebacker/tight end Marcus Jackson (right) and lineman Jace Malek lead the way for the Eagles. CURRENT PHOTO BY MIKE VLAHOVICH


During his senior football season, returning all-league player Max Laib is expected to play both sides of the ball as well as return punts for the Freeman Scotties. defense for finding the ball,” Whitney said. Plus, he’s added almost 20 pounds. Jace Malek, a junior lineman who last year earned all-league mention, is some 30 pounds heavier and is “going to be as good a lineman as there is in the league,” Whitney said. Austin Lee, a junior, returns as free safety. Carter Bergman, also a junior, is a 245-pound line veteran. “He had a tremendous summer in the weight room,” said his coach. Then there are newcomers Alex Eiffert, a junior lineman who tips the scales at 285; sophomore inside linebacker Brennen Folkins; and sophomore Kevin Duke, every bit as dangerous as his graduated standout brother Terrynce in the backfield. “He’s just got to figure out the speed of the game,” Whitney said. If the young Eagles do so, perhaps they can contend like last year, when they were part of that four-way first place tie along with East Valley, Cheney and Pullman. At their annual meeting, coaches kiddingly figured out a scenario where the

whole league could tie for first place. Hardly likely, although Whitney said the GNL as a whole graduated a lot of talent. “You’ve got to (see which) young kids step up,” he said. Preferably, the coach surely hopes, they’re his.

Balanced Freeman preps for another playoff push The Freeman Scotties have made a habit of playing in the postseason. They’ve reached the State 1A playoffs six times since 2002 and were a regional playoff team last year, when they compiled a 7-3 season record. “The year before, we lost in the first round to Connell, the eventual state champion,” coach Jim Wood said. It was the third time they were beaten by

See GRIDIRON, page 26

Fall 2013 Schedules UNIVERSITY TITANS


Sept. 5 Sept. 15 Sept. 20 Sept. 26 Oct. 4 Oct. 11 Oct. 18 Oct. 24 Nov. 1

(All games, 7 p.m.) Sept. 6 Sandpoint Sept. 13 at Lakeland Sept. 20 Post Falls Sept. 27 at Clarkston Oct. 4 Colville Oct. 11 Cheney Oct. 18 at West Valley Oct. 25 Pullman Nov. 7/8* at Deer Park *Finalized day of game schedule pending at press time

Mead at Joe Albi, 7:15 p.m. Gonzaga Prep, 7 p.m. Shadle Park, 7 p.m. L&C at Albi, 5:15 p.m. Rogers at Albi, 4 p.m. Central Valley, 7 p.m. Mt. Spokane at Albi, 5 p.m. Ferris at Albi, 4 p.m. North Central at Albi, 7:30 p.m.

CENTRAL VALLEY BEARS Sept 6 Sept. 13 Sept. 19 Sept. 27 Oct. 3 Oct. 11 Oct. 18 Oct. 25 Nov. 1

Ferris, 7 p.m. Rogers at Joe Albi, 7:30 p.m. Mt. Spokane at Albi, 7:15 p.m. North Central, 7 p.m. L&C at Albi, 4:14 p.m. at University, 7 p.m. Mead, 7 p.m. Shadle Park, 7 p.m. at Gonzaga Prep, 7 p.m.

WEST VALLEY EAGLES (All games, 7 p.m.) Sept. 7 at Ellensburg Sept. 13 Moscow Sept. 20 at Sandpoint Sept. 27 at Colville Oct. 4 Clarkston

Oct. 11 Oct. 18 Oct. 25 Nov. 1

at Deer Park East Valley Cheney at Pullman

FREEMAN SCOTTIES (All games at 7 p.m.) Sept. 6 at Colville Sept. 13 Pullman Sept. 20 at Bonner’s Ferry Sept. 27 at Newport Oct. 4 Riverside Oct. 11 at Lakeside Oct. 18 Chewelah Oct. 25 at Kettle Falls Nov. 1 Medical Lake


26 • SEPTEMBER 2013

Next time I sleep in Rusty golf skills don’t justify early tee time

By Chad Kimberley CURRENT COLUMN

I used to be an avid golfer when I lived in the Midwest. I read the golfing magazines, sought out better golf clubs, played numerous rounds, hit the driving range with frequency and dreamt about the day I would nail my first hole-in-one and willingly buy rounds in the clubhouse. Then I came out west, and for some reason I don’t golf much anymore — one scramble each summer, and that is about it. I no longer worry about my handicap, buying a hybrid club, or scanning Craigslist for my very own golf cart. So it was with a bit of longing for the past I headed out recently with my fatherin-law, brother-in-law and a friend to play 18 holes at Liberty Lake Golf Course. We scheduled a 6:37 a.m. tee time and decided to play a little two-man scramble. My inlaws vs. me and my buddy. In hindsight, it might have been wise to stay in bed. Or maybe play some pickle-

ball. I have never played pickleball, but it probably would have gone better than this round of golf.

Holes 1 and 2 We decided to play two mini games within our head-to-head battle of teams. We were going to track match play and total score. We were quickly down two holes and seven shots … seriously, seven shots after two holes. My partner and I were spraying shots all over the course. The famous radio announcer Paul Harvey once said, “Golf is a game in which you yell ‘fore,’ shoot six and write down five.” We were yelling “fore,” shooting nine and writing down seven. This was going to be a long day.

Hole 3 My moment of redemption. A par 3 using my 5-iron. Struck beautifully, the commentators would be whispering excitedly as I landed safely on the green, preparing for birdie. We two-putted and halved the hole. Without realizing it, this hole was going to be our last moment of glory.

Hole 4 I have driven by this hole literally hundreds of times and have always wondered how many cars are dinged by errant slices heading down Molter Avenue. Thankfully, my drive landed on the correct side of the fence, protecting the walkers, runners, bikers and drivers. My buddy’s drive had other plans. In fact, he landed nicely right by a gentleman heading out to get his morning paper. Thankfully, this is best ball, so we played mine and proceeded to hit the ball towards what seemed to be British Open style grass and a building that housed a metaphor for my golf game — yep, the toilet. While my

in-laws were progressing down the middle of the fairway, I was preparing for the dramatic shot which would sail over the facilities and nestle in closely to the pin. Clank. Woosh. &*$#*@. Translation: that would be us hitting the building, swinging and missing and debating on leaving the wedge in the tall grass in which it lay. I was starting to feel like Billy Graham when he said, “The only time my prayers are never answered is on the golf course.” I was starting to consider jumping religions if it would allow my shot to fly straight.

Holes 5-9 We dropped a couple more shots, halved a couple of holes and limped into the turn down 5 holes and double-digit shots. But, hey, I am a coach. It was time to give an inspirational speech to my partner. I would talk about digging deep, focusing on the next shot and not letting me be completely humiliated by my family.

Holes 10-13 The halftime speech was working. We came out strong. We won a hole, and we were both hitting straighter. I quietly laughed to myself — and of course out loud at my in-laws — as they both sprayed shots toward Valleyway off the 12th tee. Suddenly, as we aimed toward the homestretch, we were within shouting distance of the lead and playing with momentum. Then we came to the turning point of the round.

Hole 14 We decided to play from the elevated back tee box. I strode confidently to the tee box and let rip with probably one of the best tee shots of my life. It shot out of there and headed down the middle of the

GRIDIRON Continued from page 25

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eventual champs in the playoffs, including in the 2004 state finals. With half its starting lineup back, Freeman hopes to continue the tradition. “I think we’re going to be alright,” Wood said of this Northeast A League season. “We’ll definitely be in the mix.” The most critical position to replace is quarterback, where junior Preston Hoppman is the apparent heir. “He shows a lot of potential,” said his coach. The line is in good shape with 6-foot-5, 305-pound Jordan Rose, who has attracted the attention of Washington State, and Teigan Glidewell, a junior second-team all-leaguer and state-placing wrestler. Rose, said Wood, “has got the tools — what he does with the tools is the question.”

The Current

fairway. I spun my club just right and held the pose for the extra second required of one who is attempting to show off. My second shot was equally as smooth and put us about 12 feet below the hole aiming for a birdie, while our opponents were duffing it up the tree line and finally landed 65 yards from the hole, hoping for a par. We were looking at another hole and a potential two- to three-shot swing. Then it happened. The realization of why I quit playing golf. Because the golf gods don’t like me. My father-in-law chipped in from 65 yards out; my partner and I three putted from 12 feet. I hate this game.

Holes 15-18 I was simply going through the motions, one of those motions being the waving of hands and the yelling of fore as my drive on 18 sailed over a pond and onto the 10th tee box, just missing a group of golfers heading out on the back nine. Former President Gerald Ford said about his golf game: “I know I am getting better at golf because I’m hitting fewer spectators.” Unfortunately, my game is going the wrong way because I keep nearly hitting more fellow golfers. Mercifully, this round came to an end. And the final tally was, well, if you have read this far you can probably guess yourself. As I took the losers walk to my car to unload my golf bag, I tried to find the silver lining of this early-morning excursion. Yeah, I got nothing. Chad Kimberley is a teacher at Valley Christian School, where he coaches boys soccer. He was recently named coach of the Freeman High School girls basketball team. Marcus Goldbach plays tailback. Kian Genteman is a two-way first-team all-NEA linebacker-receiver who is also drawing college interest. Max Laib, recognized on the all-league team, Conner Rubright and Brady Unfred are keys to the defense. “To be truthfully honest,” Wood said, “This is the most balanced team we’ve had in awhile. We have no great speedster, but two guys who run well and have an above-average line.” Balance, he added, makes it difficult for opponents to defend. “I feel the potential is there,” Wood said, after ticking off the strengths of league opposition. “But you can’t tell what’s going to happen.” The Scotties open against tough 2A opponents, at Colville and home against Pullman, prior to their six-game league slate.

The Current

SEPTEMBER 2013 • 27

Now moving here can be as rewarding as living here. We have reduced our rates! Come see how affordable our senior living community can be. To hear more about our newly reduced rates, call (509) 924-6161.

All faiths or beliefs are welcome. 13-G0988

here can be as rewarding N ow movingas living here. We have reduced our rates! Come see how affordable our senior living community can be.

more about our newly reduced rates, call (509) 924-6161.

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28 • SEPTEMBER 2013


The Current

Remember what respect is — and isn’t By Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich CURRENT GUEST COLUMN

It is a real honor to have been asked to write about the PACE trait for the month of September. I have great respect for PACE and its mission of education to not just students, but for the whole community about the importance of having a strong character and the traits that build character. The trait for September is respect. Respect is defined as: “To hold someone or something in high esteem, regard or honor. To admire, appreciate or esteem qualities,

abilities, skills, traits or character possessed by another.” An important concept associated with the word respect is that respect has to be earned. It is not something that should be given lightly. There are those in history who earned the right to be respected — George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to name a few. These were men of great character. They were willing to sacrifice everything, including their lives, to stand for the freedoms and rights of others. President Lincoln and Dr. King paid with their lives for what they believed to be right. They believed that all people have the right to be free and to live their lives free from fear. The one thing that respect is not is fear. Many mistake being feared as being re-

Letter to the Editor Mork will be missed I just finished reading the article on our outgoing mayor, Dan Mork (“Pillar in Millwood,” August Current), and I think a more personal perspective from a longtime resident of Millwood needs to be included. My wife and I purchased our home on 1 acre inside the city of Millwood in 1981. Over the years, I have come to know Dan Mork, who lives a stone’s throw from us, not only as one of the political hierarchy in our city, but also as a friend. Attending City Council meetings in the early stages of Dan’s career as a council member, I was always amazed that he could take the continuous criticism bestowed upon the council and turn it into something positive, then send the disgruntled complainers out of the meetings with a smile on their face. How did he and the council do that? The only answer was that they truly cared about the city and the residents, not their own political careers. When Dan became the mayor, I saw

in him a devotion to not only advancing Millwood as a city, but also maintaining its roots. He was always inspiring others to jump in and lend a hand, then he practiced what he preached by attending our annual “Millwood Clean-up Days” with work gloves on. He was directly responsible for us putting in our 2-inch irrigation system, my purchasing a new tractor and cultivating our land, then growing a crop to be donated to 2nd Harvest Food Bank to feed those less fortunate than ourselves. I’m right in the middle of harvesting and delivering the first crop of more than a ton of potatoes for that program. When I get tired and run out of steam, I simply remember my mayor and friend, Dan Mork, and his dedication to helping others. Then I am inspired to carry on! Thank you, Dan Mork. You will be sorely missed!

Jim Youngman Millwood

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

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spected. I cannot count the number of times I have heard someone demand or threaten that another person "show them respect" or, "You will respect me!" Respect does not work that way. A person cannot force another to truly respect them out of fear. If they try, the best they can expect is that the person will comply with their demands out of fear. At worst, they can expect to be held in complete contempt and hatred. One last thought about respect. Why do we give it? Do we give it because of a person's skill on the football field, because they are a good actor or singer or because they have really tried to make someone’s life better? Did they earn our respect because they took a stand for that which is right, even if it means it may cause them to be ridiculed by others?

As you go about your first month of school this year, or for us adults in our busy lives, let's consider what respect really means to us. Are we giving our respect to those who are really trying to make a difference in the lives of others? Ozzie Knezovich was appointed sheriff of Spokane County on April 11, 2006. He was first elected to the position that fall and is currently serving his second term. The 20year law enforcement professional serves on local boards including the United Way, Daybreak Youth Services, The Salvation Army and Frontier Behavioral Health. He wrote this column as part of a series celebrating the PACE (Partners Advancing Character Education) trait of the month.

The Current

SEPTEMBER 2013 • 29


30% OFF 3/8-page ads in the Oct. Current and

Oct. Splash, distributed beginning Sept. 25 Ad reservation deadline: September 15

(509) 242-7752 •

Introducing Dr. Anthony Weber to the Spokane Valley Communities! Anthony Weber, DDS graduated at the top of his class from the University of Southern California School of Dentistry, Magna Cum Laude with his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Weber received the highest honors and maintained his name on the deans list during his four year curriculum at USC. Prior to dental school, he attended Washington State University and received Bachelor of Science degrees in both Neuroscience and Zoology. He is a graduate of Odessa High School.

I am so thankful to my aunt Sue for encouraging me along the way and I am looking forward to being a part of her team who DOZD\VSXWWKHSDWLHQWVÀUVW - Dr. Anthony Weber

Dr. Weber was recognized by faculty and collegues by receiving senior awards in anesthesiology and endodontics. He is a member of the American Dental Association, American Dental Society of Anesthesiology, American Association of Endodontists, Academy of Osseointegration, California Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry.

During dental school, Dr. Weber was actively involved in community service, providing free dental care to hundreds of children and adults in the Los Angeles area, he also traveled throughout central America and Africa on numerous dental mission trips. When not treating patients, Dr. Weber values quality time with family and friends. He is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting and fishing, while showing his strong support for wildlife conservation. His services include general and esthetic dentistry, oral surgery, intraveneous sedation, implant surgery and prosthetics, endodontics, guided bone and tissue grafting, and pediatric dentistry.

Chamber explores China, a trip of a lifetime at an affordable price Take in the sights, sounds, cuisine and culture that China has to offer!   The Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce is offering a trip to China March 24 to April 2, 2014  for only $2,300 per person.  Travelers will take the morning charter bus on March 24 to Seattle International Airport to board a flight to Beijing.  There they will begin ten days and eight nights touring such treasures as the Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.  In Shanghai, see Yu Garden, a maze of marvelous pavilions, ponds, rocky works and arching trees as well as the Bund, a famous waterfront park.  Then travel on to Suzhou to visit the Lingering Garden, Tiger Hill and Hanshan Temple, as well as the National Embroidery Institute followed by an evening dinner show of traditional Chinese music.  In Hangzhou, marvel at the centuries-old Lingyin Temple, with a camphor-wood carved Buddha over 64 feet tall.  There will also be time to relax on a boat cruise seeing pagodas, tea houses and serene landscapes. Business persons wishing

Chamber events in September Sept. 3, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Government Action Committee meeting,  Valley Hospital Education Center, 12606 E. Mission. Cost is $20 (includes lunch). Register at Sept. 5, 4:30 to 6 p.m., Pines Cemetery Open House, 1402 S. Pines. Ribbon cutting at 5:30 p.m. R.I.P. (Run in Pines) 5K run from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 6, 9:30 a.m., Spokane County Interstate Fair ribbon cutting, 404 N. Havana St. Sept. 20, 6:30 to 8:30 a.m., Business Connections Breakfast, Mirabeau Park Hotel, 1100 N. Sullivan. Program will be “Mid-Year Economic Update” with Grant Forsyth, chief economist for Avista (formerly of EWU). Coffee and conversation begin at 6:30 a.m.; program 7 a.m. Cost is $25 for members and guests; $35 non-members.  Register at

Enhancing Lives with a Friendly & Professional Experience 509-922-3333

Highlights from your Chamber

to export to China may find the visits to several Economic Development Zones during the trip to be interesting.  The trip includes bus transportation from Spokane to Seattle, round trip airfare from Seattle, 4 and 5-star hotel accommodations, all taxes and fees, three full meals of traditional Chinese food per day, professional drivers, Englishspeaking guides, motorcoach transportation, admission to sightseeing per itinerary and baggage handling. Deposit of $300 per person is due by Sept. 30 with the balance due  Dec. 16, 2013.  Download the brochure on our home page at Sept. 26, noon, Transportation Committee meeting, Longhorn Barbecue, 2315 N. Argonne Rd. Sept. 26, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Cancer Care Northwest Grand Opening of new Valley office, 1204 N. Vercler Rd.  Ribbon cutting at 5:30 p.m.

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: B & B Business Services, LLC Coldwell Banker Tomlinson – Abbey Parsons Fire Protection Services Goodale & Barbieri Company Hacienda Las Flores Jimmy Johns Liberty Lake MMEC Architecture & Interiors OnPOINT Imaging PacifiCAD, Inc. PARR Lumber Co.

Dr. Sue Weishaar

Dr. Anthony Weber

I am thrilled to have Dr. Weber join our team in taking great care of our patients! - Dr. Sue Weishaar

1421 N. Meadowwood Lane • Liberty Lake, WA 99019 • Phone: 509 924-4994

The Current

30 • SEPTEMBER 2013


Josh Johnson


Tammy Kimberley



Sarah Burk

Sandy Johnson Mike Wiykovics


Steve Christilaw, Brenna Holland, Craig Howard, Chad Kimberley, Valerie Putnam, Jocelyn Stott, Craig Swanson, Mike Vlahovich, Aubrey Weber, Bill Zimmer On the cover: Current design by Sarah Burk


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Correction policy

HALPIN’S Continued from page 23

Each renovation expanded the store further south. Eventually, the men added additional rental space beyond the store, along with separate buildings for a restaurant and an apartment complex.

Employee ownership In 1992, Terhaar and Christensen sold the store to the employees, who formed an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Being the longest tenured employees at the time, Ericksen and Gill, a pharmacist since 1972, became the managing partners of the ESOP. Always looking for ways to keep Halpin's offerings unique to the Valley, Ericksen opened the Kincaid Gallery in 1995 that displayed and sold Thomas Kincaid paintings. In 2004, the ESOP sold the land and buildings to an investor, with Halpin's becoming an anchor tenant. During the nationwide recession of the mid-2000s, the collectible and gift market began declining. Though Halpin's was able to get through the recession, in 2010 things began to get tough. "No one has disposable income," Ericksen said. "The last three or four years, the gift world has shifted to more utilitarian personal items that are affordable." The loss of business finally began to become too much of a financial strain, causing the hard decision to close Halpin's doors. Ericksen attributes Halpin's long history of success to its commitment to good customer service. "Our biggest asset was our customer service," Ericksen said, recalling that the staff knew many of the customers by name. "We had such wonderful customers. You get to know them." The sentiment was reciprocal. "The people who work here are all so friendly and helpful," reminisced Cecilia Larkin. "We became friends."

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SEPTEMBER 2013 • 31

Valley to benefit from renovation of historic building Author once operated night club at location


(509) 496-4250 Lessons available in your area.

By Craig Swanson


Mark Baier and his partner David Birge deserve a medal for what they are doing to the old historic building at the corner of Sprague and Vista. I would actually call it important to the Valley as it preserves a small piece of the past, while at the same time promising enjoyment in the present and future. For a while there, I would have bet that corner would have gone the way of the old Ethan Allen building and others throughout the neighborhood that got flattened into car lots. The building sat vacant for months, stripped of its equipment, for sale and unwanted. Because of the state the building was in after years of neglect, and other issues, nobody wanted to touch it even for the land-only price of $160,000. Demolition of a 10,000-square-foot old building just to get the land apparently did not pencil out. Gus Johnson has a pretty good head on his shoulders, and I know he looked at it. I also know a guy named Jesse who looked at it seriously with the idea of bringing it back to life as a night club, which it had been for decades. He said mold and asbestos issues made remodeling a losing proposition. I myself thought about the possibilities and even had someone who was thinking about buying the building if Elaine and I wanted to go back in as the Rock Inn, the night club and restaurant we had run years before in that beloved location. Unlike Jesse, I knew the night club business and so I did not need to look at the building. That building’s demise was set in stone decades before when it was doubled in size, adding what was back then called a dance hall to the established restaurant and bar. It might have been a good move back in the ’50s or early ’60s, when the cops told drunk drivers to pour out their drinks on the side of the road and drive straight home. And back when there were likely few, if any, hopping nightspots that size in the Valley. Our landlord, Jack Riley, used to tell me about the good old days when his aunt, Rose Townsend, ran the place. “Craig,” he said a dozen times as we sat and had a few drinks at the bar, “this place is a goldmine.” That is what I and a very long line of

Located in Otis Orchards!!

Free, High-quality Preschool for children 4 yrs. old by Aug. 31st. Transportation and meals provided. Income qualifications. Younger children will be put on a waiting list. Call East Valley ECEAP



The Plantation Restaurant once operated at the corner of Sprague and Vista. A pair of developers are currently preserving and renovating the historic building. risky business owners thought when we signed his lease. The goldmine soon revealed itself as the money pit. What I took away from my four years is that the building was too big and the business you had to run there was too big as well. It should never have been anything more than just the restaurant and bar. That is how it should have remained and how it is now returning. And I say kudos to them and congratulations to the Valley. The land itself was historic long before the building was built. The rock pyramid in front is a commemorative marker to the Mullan Trail. It was a special place on the old trail where the Walla Walla wagon road intersected, and many travelers ended the day’s journey and camped for the night. Slowly, the Dishman business area grew around it, and the storybook stone building was built to house a zoo, with rodeo grounds in the back. Continuing the location’s destiny as a public gathering spot, the stone buildings were eventually remodeled into the restaurant and bar. It was a place worth keeping and preserving way back in the ’40s, and even moreso 70 years later. It is one of those odd-looking places that you have no idea what you are getting into as you enter — and once you are in you are still not sure. You just know that whoever dreamed up the design and built it out of native stone and virgin logs was a creative and skilled craftsman. Longer than anywhere else that I am aware of in the area, Valley folks have been eating and drinking and enjoying

a few moments of their allotted time in this warm and impressive and unique dining room. Now Mark and David have rescued this castaway from cremation. They own the two adjoining parcels west of the old Plantation building, and they originally planned to demolish it. Luckily, they realized that it was too unique and beloved and historic to reduce to a pile of rubble. Mark said he does not want to even advertise for a tenant until he restores it according to his vision as close as possible to its original glory.

(ECEAP Director)





(Trentwood) (Trent)

(East Farms)

(Otis Orchards)

“ IT’S


In WASHINGTON Click or Call Two Business Days Before You Plan To Dig Craig Swanson and his wife, Elaine, operate a blog and newsletter called Spokane Valley Scoop. A graduate of University High School, Craig is a lifetime resident of Spokane Valley. Together, the Swansons owned and operated the Rock Inn for four years at the location referenced in this column. The Spokane Valley Scoop can be read online at

1-800-424-5555 or dial 811 Inland Empire Utility Coordinating Council

32 • SEPTEMBER 2013

The Current

The September 2013 Current