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Safe at school A year after Newtown, what Valley districts have done — and what they wish they could do PAGE 6

ROCKFORD OPTS FOR CHANGE IN MAYOR’S SEAT PAGE 8

NO HOLIDAY BREAK FOR MEALS ON WHEELS PAGE 12

LANDMARK HOTEL MARKS 10 YEARS AS INDEPENDENT PAGE 24


2 • DECEMBER 2013

Historical marker

Singleton celebrates local heritage with Valley Museum By Craig Howard

CURRENT CONTRIBUTOR

Nearly every day, Jayne Singleton presides over a history lesson. The tutorial began back in 2000 when Singleton was working for the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce and put together a retrospective for the organization’s 80th anniversary. Soon, she had an idea for a kiosk at the Valley Mall that would feature an historical overview of the entire community. Although the mall site fell through, Singleton found an ideal home for her reservoir of heritage at the old Opportunity Township Hall on Sprague Avenue near Pines. The building, constructed in 1912, once served as the gathering place for local government but, over the years, had gone through a slew of commercial occupants.

NEWS The city of Spokane Valley saw the value of Singleton’s efforts and gifted the building to the museum group in 2004 for a symbolic $1. A massive renovation effort would transform the building into a landmark of a different variety. Signs were put up on the freeway and on local streets directing residents and outof-towners to the stucco structure that many knew as the “Alamo building.” Over the years, the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum has hosted thousands of visitors and chronicled a wide range of topics, from Apollo 11 to the roll call of antique barns that still dot the Valley. A traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institute called “Between Fences” set up shop at the museum in 2005. This fall, the venue received a community recognition award and the Key to the City from Spokane Valley for its role in utilizing history to educate and entertain. Through it all, Singleton has remained humble, directing the credit and attention to local historians like Florence Boutwell and a considerable cadre of volunteersof volunteers that include Chuck King, responsible for building a search-

The Current

able history database and a digital archive of the Spokane Valley Herald. A native of Indiana, Singleton has lived in Spokane Valley since 1983 and has three grown children. She grew up for the most part in southern California after her family migrated from the Midwest and developed an appreciation for her Belgian heritage while storing away heirlooms from a bygone era. Today, Singleton collects everything from old high school yearbooks to a vintage windmill that was recently installed on museum grounds. The Current caught up with the Valley’s leading history major recently to talk about the beginnings of the museum, Valley incorporation, tourism and importance of keeping history alive.

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irrigation ditches, or what used to be where, and how the Valley has grown. They are all glad there is a museum to visit, research questions or purchase old photos. Q: You have had plenty of museum volunteers over the years, from folks who have helped you renovate the building to people who help build and install the exhibits. What have volunteers meant to this effort? A: The volunteers are the biggest blessing; without them we would not have an historic building preserved or archives and photos saved for future generations. They have brought the skills and expertise we needed to lead group tours, research questions for visitors, build exhibits and so much more. Q: You were active in the campaign to incorporate Spokane Valley that led to the passage of the vote in May 2002. How do you think incorporation has impacted this community and what effect do you feel it will have on its history? A: Interestingly, I was initially opposed to incorporation, but after I learned the facts and recognized an opportunity for more representation and control over the Valley's destiny, I came on board and helped with the campaign. Historically,

See HERITAGE, page 4


The Current

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NEWS

The Current

HERITAGE Continued from page 2

incorporation was a goal in the 1920s. I hope that having a city will continue to be a benefit to the community. I would like to see more green space preserved and less high-density development. Q: The museum received the key to the city from Spokane Valley in October. What did that mean to you? A: The museum staff, volunteers and board were very, very honored to receive the award and happy that the museum team was recognized for the contributions to our community. It was a great confirmation of the valued role the museum plays in the community; we have schools, businesses, citizens looking for ancestors. The vision for the Valley Museum included establishing a center of identity, a sense of belonging and an extraordinary introduction to our story. We are a smaller museum with a big vision, and we have achieved incredible milestones. People can open the door and step back to a time when neighbors knew each other and really connected without cell phones and the Internet. Q: You have been such an integral part of this community for so many years. Have you ever thought about running for Spokane Valley City Council? A: I have been asked to consider running for City Council. At this time, my heart, my passion and time are devoted to the preservation and interpretation of our community's history. One never knows what the future holds. Q: Talk about the museum as a tourist draw. Do you have quite a few visitors from outside this area? A: The museum has hosted thousands of visitors from all over our country and other countries as well. The signs on the freeway, the Internet and the interest in family history are some of the reasons. Other out-of-town guests are here for business or leisure and are looking for something interesting to do. The museum

CURRENT PHOTO BY CRAIG HOWARD

Jayne Singleton is executive director of the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. plays a vital role in economic development as well as tourism. The museum serves as a gateway and welcome center to our community. Q: One of the unique aspects of the museum is something called "Drive Your History." When did this start and what's it all about? A: The museum has a very active outreach program to bring history to life. The “Drive Your History” program is an opportunity for the community to get to know the history of the Valley and to embrace the heritage — how the Valley developed, who left the legacies and the whys get answered at these visits to historical sites. We have done tours to the Hutton Settlement, the Saltese area and Spokane Bridge — 2014 tours will include historic

cemeteries, Felts Field and more. Q: You have some exciting projects coming up in the next year. Can you tell us about what's going on with both the museum grounds and future exhibits? A: We are always involved in some exciting plans, events and exhibits. The windmill exhibit will be completed in the spring. It will include a water feature and a large storyboard will explain the significance of windmills to the survival of early pioneers and how they worked. We are also completing an exhibit on Luke Williams Jr. He was born in Pinecroft (Mirabeau Park area) graduated from CVHS and gave so much time and energy to this region. I am most excited about the new building project. Our current space has been manageable both physically and fi-

nancially. Our size has kept us true to our mission to change exhibits fairly often, but we would like meeting space and room that would allow larger traveling exhibits to come to the Valley Museum. Storage space has never been a problem with two off-site large facilities. We have donation commitments for an additional building out back. We will launch a Building Fund Campaign soon. We are in the early phases of development, have an architect who will donate the site plan drawing and volunteers ready to participate. Initial talks include a two story, 60- by 30-foot building with space for a history lab for students to utilize. And there is always the surprises, the unknowns that come from community which add to our collections, funding or make us say, “Another Lo and Behold!”


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6 • DECEMBER 2013

COVER STORY

The Current

Increased signage throughout the Central Valley School District helps to direct visitors to the main entrance, where most schools have a direct line of sight from the office to the front doors.

CURRENT PHOTO BY KELLY MOORE

One year after Newtown … How a faraway tragedy influenced — and inspired improvement — among Valley districts By Kelly Moore

CURRENT CONTRIBUTOR

Last December, shots fired at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., echoed throughout communities worldwide. In the second deadliest mass shooting by a single person in U.S. history, a shooter took the lives of 20 children and six staff members before taking his own life. Locally, school district staff and administration followed the news of the incident with a somber spirit. “That shook everybody to the core because it involved young students,” Freeman School District Superintendent Randy Russell said. “I don’t think it’s anything we’ll ever forget in our lifetime.” While they won’t forget the Sandy Hooks and Columbines of history, representatives of local school districts all agreed of the responsibility to translate the far-away tragedies into local action steps. “It’s incomprehensible, but you have to stop and take time to learn from it,” said East Valley School District Assistant Superintendent Tom Gresch.

Newtown hit home In every district, the Newtown incident spawned anxiety and questions among the community. “It was a Friday when it happened,” Central Valley School District Public Information Officer Melanie Rose said. “I remember word started to spread, but we did everything we could to keep it a normal day.” Some parents showed up at local elementary schools to pick up their children early. In the remaining two school days before the holiday break, Rose said Central Valley administrators were present at as many schools as possible and sent home a letter to parents addressing questions and concerns. Freeman sent out instant alerts to all parents to let them know the students would hear about what happened at school and encouraged families to discuss the incident at home. Additionally, the district made school counselors available to all students, staff and families. “We heard a lot of ‘why?’ questions and ‘could that happen to us?’” Russell said. “Those are legitimate, heart-felt questions from kids. They all want to know they are safe, secure and significant, and sometimes those questions lead to the best conversations.” West Valley School District Public Relations Director Sue Shields said her district took a similar approach to managing the initial reactions of the community.

“Because we communicated right away, I think that mitigated a lot of the questions we were getting,” Shields said. “I know that open communication really helped with a lot of the anxiety people had after this. We also followed up afterward letting parents know what we did to update things in our schools.”

Tightening security Immediately after the shooting, school officials in the districts began an inventory of safety measures, and when staff returned from the holiday break, an in-depth evaluation of each school began. At CVSD, every principal was asked to do a self-audit, looking at issues that could be solved through either maintenance, procedure or training. By mid-January, a safety committee was formed to prioritize requests and recommend procedural actions. WVSD and EVSD both took a similar approach, taking inventory and asking school officials to review lockdown and emergency procedures the Monday following the incident. Freeman already had a regularly scheduled safety committee meeting in place, and many safety concerns had already been addressed on the relatively new campus. The most common issue noted in these evaluations determined that a direct line of sight from the main office to the school entrance was necessary. In the past year, nearly every school in the Valley without this has been modified to either relocate the main office or redirect visitors straight from

the entrance to the office. In buildings where remodeling offices wasn’t possible, CVSD installed stanchions (most often seen at movie theaters to regulate and direct lines of people) that lead from the entrance of the school to the office. “The biggest thing we did was reengineer the entrances so that our staff can immediately see who is entering our building and keep tabs on who is coming and going,” Rose said. To designate a main entrance for every school, many districts implemented procedural changes that included locking all external doors during school hours and increasing signage to direct visitors to the main office. “We also had to make sure our kids knew not to open doors for people trying to get in,” Rose said. “We have really nice kids who are usually willing to pop open the door to let someone in, but we have signs posted on the inside now to make sure everyone knows to point people outside toward the main entrance.” Additional procedural changes included keeping close tabs on all visitors entering schools. “In all of our K-8 schools, there is a check-in procedure that was pretty informal before,” Gresch said. “Now, every adult in the school — whether it’s kitchen personnel or teachers — has a name badge on, and

See NEWTOWN, page 7


The Current

DECEMBER 2013 • 7

COVER STORY

NEWTOWN

to crouch in — essentially hiding,” Rose explained. “In these open concept schools, they have to modify their emergency plan because there is no door to the room for them to lock. They are a lot more vulnerable.” These schools include Greenacres, Ponderosa, Chester and Sunrise elementary schools. Horizon Middle School is similar, with movable temporary walls, but less open and more secure, Rose said. “That is the biggest thing we can’t do anything about right now,” Rose said. “Truly securing these schools would take significant capital reconstruction. That’s just not something we have available right now.”

Continued from page 6

if you’re walking through the halls without one on, you better bet you’re going to be escorted to the office.” CVSD is in the process of installing name badge printers for each building to standardize the district badge system. The new badges, as recommended by the district’s school resource deputies, include large and visible employee pictures on the front and back. Another popular security addition in Valley schools in the last year was an increase in video surveillance. The entire Freeman campus is under surveillance, and other districts are researching grants and adjusting budgets to provide for updated equipment. West Valley has added 60 additional cameras to its existing system with the use of grant money. “If you look at the Boston Marathon bombings, within hours they were able to track down and identify the subjects because of surveillance systems that were in place,” Gresch said. “Right now, we have security systems here and there, but if we could cover more, that would be so much better.” In July, the Central Valley School Board approved a number of additions to the current school year’s budget, allocating $450,000 toward security upgrades. This includes an updated camera system with higher quality and resolution. In addition, a new server will be placed at each high school to help run and store information from all district cameras. Other CVSD improvements include an emergency notification system for which administrators are still researching options, and emergency supply kits. The kits are housed in backpacks and provided to every classroom in the entire district. They contain a stockpile of essential supplies for teachers to use in the event of an onsite lockdown or offsite evacuation. The kits include things like first aid supplies, reunification plans, emergency procedures, lighting devices and emergency blankets. “We’re all in this together,” Gresch said. “In business, when you have a great idea, you want it to yourself. In education, it’s different. If we come across something that works, we share that and make sure everyone knows about it.” On the website for Washington state’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, a virtual school safety center pools successful ideas and resources and ideas for school security — including a FEMA course for how to deal with an active shooter. The site also includes a full safety planning manual and an emergency plan checklist. The safety planning manual defines and explains emergency drills and exercises while illustrating options for lockdowns and emergency drills.

Peace of mind

CURRENT PHOTO BY KELLY MOORE

The Central Valley School District Safety Team includes two Sheriff Deputies and two resource officers available through local law enforcement. While school districts have taken advantage of available resources from local agencies for years, additional procedural and structural changes have heightened security in local schools over the last year. In addition to relocating main offices, many districts, like CVSD, implemented procedural changes like locking external doors during school hours.

“We all have the same goals here, and we’re working together,” Gresch said. “Everyone is doing their best when it comes to this issue.” Since the initial push this time last year, all districts continue to evaluate their safety procedures, looking for room for improvement on a regular basis.

‘You can always do more’ Despite proactive efforts, all districts have items on the safety wishlist that are currently unattainable — largely due to financial constraints. “Ultimately, you can always do more,” Russell said. “You have to constantly ask yourself, ‘What can we be doing better?’ You can never stop, never get to a point where you’ve done all you can.” Russell explained that while Freeman has implemented a number of safety upgrades in the last year, the sky was the limit when it came to protecting children. “I would love to transport kids in a tank from where they get off the bus to the school entrance, but we have to be realistic,” Russell said. East Valley’s Gresch explained that in addition to considering the district’s budget, administrators also try to keep in mind a

balance with safety and keeping the environment at school welcoming and conducive to learning. “There are some people who want us to really barricade the place and put up barbed wire,” he explained. “But we have to balance that with kids’ educational needs. Schools need to be a welcoming place for kids. Parents give us their most prized possessions — their kids. That’s a huge responsibility and we take suggestions for safety, but we have to be realistic and make sure we’re able to budget those possibilities.” While some districts have considered arming teachers in schools as a means of protection, no Valley districts are interested in implementing the idea. Rose noted law that make weapons on school property illegal and also weighed how safe parents and teachers would feel with educators in that role. A significant safety challenge pointed out by Rose is the lockdown procedure in CVSD schools designed with an open concept. In these schools, classrooms walls that don’t go all the way to the ceiling separate rooms, and few doors exist from one classroom from another. “In a true lockdown, teachers will close the blinds and lock their door, and in some cases, actually find a corner of the room

Despite ongoing challenges, most district officials expressed a sense of peace regarding school safety. “When you take a proactive approach with anything, you’re not going to feel helpless,” Russell said. “The entire community here at Freeman is committed to safety and seriously tackled this issue from every angle. That’s been the mindset for as long as I’ve been here, and I really feel like every school district does that.” Despite procedures in place nationwide, many attacks seem to be unpredictable and indefensible — akin to terrorist attacks. Many administrators keep an optimistic outlook when it comes to their schools. “Those folks in Connecticut did everything they could have,” Gresch said. “I would never question what they did, but we can look at that incident and learn from it. We can look at what we’re already doing, think creatively, and try to find ways to improve our schools. When you know you’re doing everything you can do, you aren’t going to feel helpless.” According to a recent survey, about 90 percent of students in the Central Valley district report feeling safe at school — a statistic Rose is proud of, but doesn’t find surprising. “We live in a great supportive community,” Rose said. “Ultimately, you want to create an environment where kids feel safe and then continue to keep them safe. That’s what we do, and we know we’re doing everything we can.” Gresch noted the community support his district, like other districts, feels for its mission of supporting students in their educational journey. Assistance from local law enforcement and community volunteers help make moving on from incidents like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting possible, he said. “As human beings, we can continue to dwell on those horrible things, or we can live,” Gresch said. “In education, we get to give a future and hope to our community and our kids. The sooner you learn from something like this, the sooner you are able to heal.”


The Current

8 • DECEMBER 2013

NEWS

Rockford prepares for change after Meyer defeats Harnois in mayor’s race By Craig Howard

CURRENT CONTRIBUTOR

Last month, 107 of Rockford’s 273 registered voters cast ballots for Steve Meyer in the town’s race for mayor. Incumbent Micki Harnois received only 57. These days, Harnois is still trying to make sense of the margin. “I was very surprised and disappointed,” said Harnois, who served eight years on Rockford’s Town Council before becoming the town’s first female mayor in 2010. Since his victory, Meyer has been quick to admit he “doesn’t have all the answers” and maintains the general election vote was less about personalities than it was about citizens wanting a new direction. He was also expecting a closer vote. “If that election would have been won by either side by 10 votes or less, I wouldn’t have been a bit surprised.” Meyer said. “People didn’t vote the way they did just for me. It was a vote of change. It’s not a vote against any one person, and Micki shouldn’t take it personally.” A retiree from the Washington State Department of Transportation, Meyer had served on the council for more than seven years when he walked away from City Hall this May. “I didn’t resign because I was mad or anything else,” Meyer said. “I just felt like I could do something better than sit on that council.” Part of Meyer’s frustration involved Rockford’s most recent contract with the Spokane County Sheriff ’s Office. Toward the end of last year, Meyer and his colleagues on council resolved that they did not want to renew the agreement with the department for 2013. Meyer said council asked Harnois to write a letter to Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich indicating the governing board’s decision. Harnois said she was scheduled to meet with Knezovich three days into the New Year. By that time, it was too late — the contract was in place.

NOV. 5 ELECTION RESULTS City of Liberty Lake

Council Position No. 1 Debbi J. Haskins 43.17 Lori Olander 56.13 Council Position No. 2 Hugh Severs 56.27 Jeff Sitton 42.99 Council Position No. 4 Odin Langford 53.36 Mike Tedesco 46.09

City of Millwood Mayor Kevin M. Freeman Dennis Hamlin

70.25 28.79

Town of Rockford Mayor Micki L. Harnois Steve Meyer

33.73 63.31

Council Position No. 1 Steven Lyle Christman 29.73 David Thompson 68.92 Council Position No. 5 Robert Tollefson 71.07 Chuck Collison 28.93

City of Spokane Valley Council Position No.1 Rod Higgins 51.64 Linda J. Thompson 47.50

CURRENT PHOTO BY CRAIG HOWARD

In November, Steve Meyer was elected to serve as the new mayor of Rockford. He will take office in January. “People are saying that’s most of the reason I didn’t win,” Harnois said. Meyer has expressed concerns about the cost of the contract compared to the coverage. He has raised the idea of the town hiring a constable while keeping judicial ties with Spokane County, similar to what the town of Rosalia does in Whitman County. “We’re paying around $30,000 a year for the Sheriff ’s contract,” Meyer said. “From what I see, we have not gained any better protection with the contract. Our taxes already pay for a certain amount of protection without a contract. I have talked to Ozzie quite a bit and basically told him, ‘I’m not against it. We just can’t afford it.’” Meyer has been critical of the way Harnois has approached the

budget, especially the way the town has tapped into its savings. For her part, the mayor says, “it hasn’t been like we were spending left and right.” Earlier this year, council and mayor compensation was eliminated as a way to save money. “The staff and council have been very conscious of spending,” Harnois said. As residents of the town prepare for the adjustment from Harnois to Meyer, many, like Mary-Lou Benson, are emphasizing a wait-and-see approach. “I’m going to withhold any opinions until I attend a few council meetings,” said Benson, who serves on the board of the Rockford Community Center. “I have high hopes. I just want to wait and see what Steve’s philosophy is in running the town.” Robert Tollefson, an appoin-

tee to the City Council in October, defeated Chuck Collison in the general election. He said Harnois is “well-respected” and deserves credit for the time she dedicated to the town. As for the transition in the mayor’s office, Tollefson said, “it really shouldn’t be a big deal.” “Micki and Steve are both good people,” he said. “They just have different management styles.” Meyer will face a few uphill battles when he takes over in January, starting with the need to repair the town’s wastewater treatment system. Even with the state Department of Ecology offering to help fund the $1.6 million project with a low-interest loan and a grant, the project will likely mean an increase in utility rates.

See MAYOR, page 10

Council Position No. 4 Ed Pace 51.03 Gary Schimmels 48.02 Council Position No. 5 Chuck Hafner 65.35 Donald (Don) Morgan Jr. 33.53 Council Position No. 7 Bill Bates 64.81 Fred Beaulac 34.01

East Valley School District

Director District No. 3 Heidi Gillingham 47.72 Justin Voelker 51.21 Director District No. 4 Fred Helms 58.63 Kerri Lunstroth 40.30 Director District No. 5 Deanna L. Ervin 45.34 Mike Novakovich 53.56

Spokane Valley Fire District

Commissioner Position No. 2 Michael DeVleming 49.17 Ronald (Ron) Schmidt 49.73


The Current

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In case you missed it

Continued from page 8

Six vying to replace Crouse

“Quite frankly, there are a lot of people in this town who can’t afford that,” Meyer said. “We’re going to have to come up with money to cover that, but, in my estimation, this town cannot afford $1.6 million.” Harnois has been working with local legislators and the governor’s office to include a budget line item that would help with the upgrade and reduce the financial impact on residents. A longtime employee with the city of Spokane Valley’s community development department, Harnois said she hopes to remain civically involved after she leaves office. “I still want to help Rockford because I live here, and I care about the community,” she said. In her time with the town, Harnois was integral to campaigns that led to Rockford becoming a Tree City and being added to the Palouse Scenic Byway, a tourist draw that showcases the area’s rolling hills and pastoral farmland. She was also one of the catalysts in the formation of the South Spokane County consortium, a regional think tank that meets quarterly and includes representatives from Rockford, Waverly, Spangle, Latah and Fairfield. “I would like to continue being part of that consortium so I can take the information back to Rockford,” Harnois said. Meyer said his background with WSDOT will help as he addresses goals of improving Rockford’s infrastructure and, in his words, “cleaning up the town.” As far as changes to municipal personnel, the mayor-to-be says he has no major plans. “There are some changes I’d like to make in house, but they are simple,” Meyer said. “They are changes in procedure. I’m not going to fire people. Why would you do that? You’ve got people down there that are doing a good job. There are people in there who know what they are doing.” As he prepares to move into the mayor’s office, Meyer said he hopes to collaborate with the council as well as the leader he is replacing. “I’m just going to have to prove that I’m not going to be against the council at every turn,” he said. “I hope we can work together. As far as Micki goes, there are a lot of things that she’s been involved with as mayor that are going to come up, and when they do, I’m probably going to need her feedback. This has got to be a team effort. If we start throwing stones, all it’s going to do is hurt the town.”

A crowded and somewhat loaded field of six candidates has emerged for the right to follow Larry Crouse in representing the 4th District in the Washington State House of Representatives. IF YOU GO ... Crouse, the longtime ReWhat: Candidates publican repforum for those resentative, anseeking to replace nounced this retiring State Rep. fall he would Larry Crouse leave his term a year early for When: 6:30 p.m. health reasons. Dec. 2 By state law, Where: Spokane the process Events and Catering for filling the Center, 10514 remainder of E. Sprague Ave., Crouse’s term Spokane Valley falls first to his party’s precinct For more: committee of879-4614 ficers in the 4th District. Those officers are scheduled to meet Dec. 7 to vote and narrow the field of six candidates down to three finalists. Those finalists will then interview before the Spokane County Board of Commissioners, who will select one to serve until they can face election in November 2014. The six candidates who have expressed interest include former Spokane Valley Mayor Diana Wilhite, outgoing Spokane Valley Mayor Tom Towey, current Liberty Lake Mayor Steve Peterson, Spokane Valley Planning Commissioner and public school teacher Bob McCaslin Jr., Spokane County Jail Medical Director Cris Kennedy, and Leonard Christian, a Realtor and retired United States Air Force master sergeant.

Padden recognized by MADD Mothers Against Drunk Driving honored state Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, as one of its two “2013 Legislative Champions” Nov. 19 for leadership within the Washington Legislature to stop drunk driving.

Students go blond after goal-defying food drive Six Central Valley High School students bleached their hair blond Nov. 15 to deliver on a promise after an especially successful CV food drive. One of the largest food drives in the region, CV raised $12,000 in cash and 26,500 pounds of food over a two-week span. The proceeds benefit the Spokane Valley Food Bank. The six students are Braden Corligiano, Daisy Daines, Lowell Kovacich, Gerardo Ramirez, Tucker Stout and Hayden Wolrehammer.


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12 • DECEMBER 2013

COMMUNITY

The Current

A portable holiday Volunteers deliver meals, cheer to homebound residents — even on Thanksgiving and Christmas By Craig Howard

CURRENT CONTRIBUTOR

This Christmas Day, a group of local volunteers will leave the warm comfort of their homes before the lunch hour. They will forfeit time with family and friends to drive a maze of empty streets, stopping only to venture out into the cold a half a dozen times or more. It will be the highlight of their day. For more than 40 years, Greater Spokane County Meals on Wheels has been delivering food and encouragement to homebound residents, many of whom are alone for the holidays. Since the organization took on the countywide Senior Nutrition program three years ago, it distributes around 25,000 meals a month. As a major holiday approaches, clients are asked whether or not they will need a home-delivered meal that day. While many do gather for dinner with family or friends, around half remain on their respective routes. “I think the majority of people who get the meal that day are alone,” said Jane Seaboldt, the agency’s assistant director. “For Thanksgiving, we had 150 on their own. Having someone drop by brings a little bit of cheer. It’s a smile from someone during the day, someone who says, ‘We know you’re here and we care.’” One Christmas, a volunteer discovered that she was a meal short with one person remaining on her route. Refusing to strand the client without a dinner, the volunteer combed the Valley until she found a Chinese restaurant with its lights still on. “It took her awhile to find a place that was open on the holiday,” Seaboldt said. “But it was important to her. She didn’t want that client to go without for Christmas.” Another year, a volunteer and his family took time to sing carols to a World War II veteran who had lost his sight decades earlier. The man sat quietly for most of the visit before unexpectedly joining in on the last verse of “Silent Night.” He later recounted how Christmas songs had been one of the few reminders of the season when he was fighting the enemy in Europe. “A lot of people make it a family tradition — this is what they do for Thanksgiving or Christmas,” said Volunteer Coordinator Holly Chilinski. “They call us and want to spend part of their holiday delivering meals.” Volunteer John Myers began driving a route in Spokane Valley two years ago. He

said giving up part of his holiday to help others is well worth the sacrifice. “I get so much back in return for the short time that I spend,” Myers said. “It just takes about 45 minutes out of your day. There’s one person on my route who is always so thankful, like it’s the best thing in the world — and it’s just a meal.” Clients receive a special entrée for the holidays, usually turkey for Thanksgiving and roast beef, ham or chicken for Christmas. A number of local organizations also donate gifts that range from placemats to blankets. “Sometimes the present we bring is all they’ll get,” said Pam Almeida, Meals on Wheels executive director. The winter Almeida began with the agency, a resident stopped by the Valley office with a $500 donation. “He just said, ‘Use it to help the folks,’” Almeida recalls. “It was amazing. That started it — we’ve been giving out some kind of present for Christmas ever since.” That was 15 years ago. Clients also receive a card for their birthday and, often, a small gift. One Thanksgiving, Almeida filled in for a driver. Several people on the route were not aware it was a holiday. “It can really make a difference for someone to stop by,” Almeida said. Wayne Reeder has been volunteering with Meals on Wheels for a decade now. The Air Force veteran and retired mail carrier said those on his route have become like extended family. “You do get to know these people,” said Reeder, now 80. “If they are not home, you wonder about them. You ask about them.” Reeder typically has seven or eight stops on his route in the area of Park Road and Broadway. Whether it’s a holiday or just a normal day during the week, Reeder said clients appreciate the meal — and the chance to visit. “I saw that when I was carrying mail, people would say, ‘You made my day by stopping by,’” Reeder said. “That’s why, with the meals, I take some time to talk to them. It’s good to give back to people.” In addition to the home-delivered meals, the agency also sponsors 13 meals sites throughout the county. While the communal dining rooms are not open on days like Thanksgiving and Christmas, the holiday is always celebrated at some point during the week with a party and special menu. Sites in the greater Valley area include Opportunity Presbyterian Church, Spokane Valley Senior Center, Appleway

CURRENT PHOTO BY CRAIG HOWARD

Volunteer John Myers delivered a birthday gift and card to a Meals on Wheels client last month. Those on the route typically receive a special meal and a present for Christmas. Court and Talon Hills in Liberty Lake. The festive atmosphere that surrounds each meal site during the holidays can also be seen at the Meals on Wheels office on Sprague Avenue near Pines, Almeida said. “That’s what makes the holiday — people taking the time to give back,” she said. “It makes their holiday better. There’s a special camaraderie when all the volunteers gather here. They are all in the holiday spirit and they’re all very happy.” After Wanda Woodbury retired several years ago, she was talking to a friend who worked in the Meals on Wheels office. “She asked me what I was going to do,” Woodbury recalled.” I told her I was just going to sit in my yard. She said, ‘No you’re not.’” Soon Woodbury was delivering meals to homebound seniors and residents with disabilities in a neighborhood along Bowdish Road. She has now been volunteering for 15 years. “It’s fun; you get to talk to people,” Woodbury said. “You get characters. Then you get people who hardly say anything. They have stories to tell, and they want to know what you’ve been doing. They want to know what’s going on outside in the world. Sometimes you’re the only contact they have with the world.” While the agency is set for volunteers

this holiday season, Almeida said there is still a need for community support throughout the year, especially in the area of donations. Due to budget cuts, Meals on Wheels will now charge for liquid nutrition and install a sliding scale for meal payment for those under 60. “We’ve never had to do that before,” Almeida said. “We are in desperate need of donations right now. We need the community to step up and claim senior hunger as the community’s problem. It’s not just Meal on Wheels’ problem. For half the people on the routes, the meal they get is their only meal of the day.” Whether it’s a donation of money or time, Almeida says those who support Meals on Wheels during the holidays and year-round discover the reward is theirs. “It’s interesting how it works,” she said. “You think you’re doing something special for someone, but you actually get the blessing out of it.”

WANT TO HELP? To learn more about Meals on Wheels or to help as a volunteer or donor, call 924-6976 or visit www.gscmealsonwheels.org.


The Current

HISTORY

DECEMBER 2013 • 13

Valley has long history of holiday merriment By Tyler Robbins and Jayne Singleton

In this 1907 photo, workers harvest logs to use for firewood. Canfield Gulch is located near the presentday intersection of Campbell Road and Trent Avenue.

SPOKANE VALLEY HERITAGE MUSEUM

To picture Spokane Valley during holidays past, one must only picture the 1983 holiday classic, “A Christmas Story.” Children wandering from snow bank to bank tightly wrapped in giant coats with stocking hats and mittens by mothers trying to prevent a winter cold. Families packed shoulder to shoulder in front of department stores, lustfully eyeing display windows at the season’s must-haves. The winter season in Spokane Valley brought snow, wind and cold temperatures, but that never stopped the holiday spirit among the city’s patrons. There was work to be done and fun to be had. Before the snow fell, the fall kicked off the holiday spirit. Starting in October, children in the Valley would begin scavenging in the apple orchards. Harvest had ended, and the kids were in search of the apples that were tossed to the side, had fallen from the trees or were forgotten. The castaway apples were put into a press and brewed into delicious cider. Cider became the beverage of choice from Halloween through Christmas. Sports were also a big part of the fall season. Football was winding down, while basketball was starting up. Every Thanksgiving, the greater community would gather to watch a football game between North Central and Lewis and Clark high schools. At the time, Valley teens were given the choice of four high schools to attend: North Central, Lewis and Clark, Central Valley or West Valley. As many students’ parents commuted to work within the city, many Valley kids and their parents were a part of this game. By the time Thanksgiving had passed, the basketball season was getting ready to kick off, and the Valley was excited to follow their powerhouse CV Bears into battle. The coming of the basketball season came with community bonding and snow — lots and lots of snow. As the snow began to fall, children and teens took to the outdoors. The Valley became a winter wonderland, and the area youth knew just what to do. They would sled, ski, ice skate, snowball fight, etc. This free entertainment was invaluable at times like during the Great Depression, when many families were struggling to make ends meet. A hill frequented by Valley youth in the winter was Blanchard Hill, on the north end of Harvard Road in Otis Orchards. Before the sledding began, children would build a bonfire at the base of the hill for much-needed warmth. Once the fire had been built, the kids would hike the hill to a comfortable height and hang on until their sled or toboggan reached the bottom. Some of the more daring children would hike the near mile to the top before heaving themselves back toward the warmth of the fire. Another Valley hill is still somewhat in

Below: An unknown family takes to the sled during this circa 1910 Greenacres winter.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF SPOKANE VALLEY HERITAGE MUSEUM

use today. The steep side of Bowdish, on the south end, was a favorite hill of Valley children. Even after Bowdish Middle School was built and traffic increased drastically along Bowdish, neighborhood kids made use of the natural slope, just moving off to the side of the road next to the tennis courts. Once the snow came, sledding races and competitions would begin. No matter how much technology and entertainment improve, nothing can beat a winter day as a kid flying down a snow-covered hill with no brakes. Skiing was another activity enjoyed throughout the Valley. In the early 1930s, the Valley’s own ski resort was built by William Schafer and his son-in-law, Orrin Torrey. It was called Ski Mor. The two men decided to open the resort on Browne’s Mountain (known by many today as Tower Mountain due to all the cell towers at its peak). The resort was located at the end of present-day 44th Avenue, just off of Schafer Road in the Ponderosa neighborhood. Ski Mor boasted an Olympic ski jump; it hosted the Northwest Ski Championships. It was also child friendly, with a bunny hill, outdoor skating rink and wooden chute used as a toboggan run. The resort also had the area’s first rope tow to pull skiers back to the top of hills. The tow was Torrey’s idea and was powered by a Chevy engine. As Ski Mor opened during the Great Depression, not many neighboring kids could afford the entry fee, so the Schafers would allow kids to enjoy the resort free of charge. All the kids had to do was some chores like scraping ice, shoveling snow, cooking,

cleaning, etc. In return, the kids would receive a burger, Coke and admission to the fun. Ski Mor would close nearly a decade later, but that was enough for the Schafers and resort to be firmly imprinted in the memories of many Valley residents. Another ski resort opened in the 1970s in Liberty Lake called Holiday Hills. It had its own chair lift, snow-making machine and hosted what was billed as the northwest’s largest snowmobile race, but it, too, only lasted the better part of a decade. Ice skating was another popular recreation for Valley residents. Some would go to Ski Mor, others froze over their backyards or had standing water in farm fields, but the place to be was Liberty Lake. Lakes like Newman and Hauser also froze over, but in winter time, as in summer time, Liberty Lake was the social meeting place for Valley youth. The Pavillion and resorts were closed for entertainment, but that didn’t stop people, young and old, to taking to the lake for a day of skating. Ice would get up to 18 inches thick. In the dead of winter, the ice would become so thick that people would drive cars onto the lake and tow skaters and skiers around. Unfortunately, this usually led to at least one car a winter breaking through the ice and sinking to the bottom. Another popular winter activity on the ice of Liberty Lake was fishing. Ice fishing was very popular on the lake, producing numerous species of fish, including bass, perch and trout. Other lakes, like Newman and Hauser, also provided great fishing — and with fewer skaters.

A VALLEY OF OPPORTUNITY A monthly series on the heritage of the greater Spokane Valley 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. Holidays in the Valley Area churches were very involved during Christmas. Many had stages and seating areas for plays and pageants. They also organized nights of caroling for their congregations. To keep warm during caroling, large rocks would be placed in a fire for a while then placed in the bed of a truck. The rocks would then be covered in straw and blankets, and the choirs would sit with their feet next to the rocks as they paraded through neighborhoods bringing Christmas cheer. There was some work to be done, however, during the freezing months. Besides chopping firewood, shoveling snow, etc., a common job in the area was harvesting ice from the lakes. Blocks of ice would be cut out of the lakes and preserved in sheds, covered in sawdust until it was possible to put them in ice boxes for use in the hotter months. The Pavillion on Liberty Lake would use ice cut off the lake in the winter to cool food and drinks sold in the summer. The holiday season throughout Spokane Valley was a beautiful and joyous time of year. Who remembers the big red bells that were attached to the light poles in the parking lot of University Mall? The Spokane Valley Museum puts them up on the museum building when decorating for Christmas. Even during record-breaking winters (just ask any Valley residents about the winter of 1949-1950), the spirit never died, and the Valley remained as alive as ever. Tyler Robbins is a history graduate from Eastern Washington University and an intern at the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum, where co-author Jayne Singleton serves as executive director. For more information about this article or other aspects of the history of the Spokane Valley region, visit the museum at 12114 E. Sprague Ave. or call 922-4570.


The Current

14 • DECEMBER 2013

COMMUNITY

Author embraces art of learning from mistakes ‘Trial and Error’ is Greenacres woman’s first non-academic book By Eli Francovich

CURRENT CONTRIBUTOR

When Melissa Lowdon’s daughter was diagnosed with cancer, she wasn’t allowed to visit. It was the culmination of years of miscommunication. Amanda had always been rebellious. She never quite fit in — tattoos and piercings. In short, she was everything Lowdon was not. “When she was diagnosed and going through treatment, I wasn’t allowed to come see her because the stress could inhibit her healing,” Lowdon said. “So it was a very trying time. I think I was numb.” It’s these moments, the moments where seemingly everything has gone wrong, that fill the Greenacres resident’s first nonacademic book, “Trial and Error … Then Repeat,” which was published in July. In it, Lowdon relates the twists and turns that her life has taken — sprinkled liberally with personal reflection. Ultimately, they are simple stories that anyone can relate to, she said. Everything in the book in some way supports Lowdon’s general premise that the mistakes we make in our life fundamentally shape and form the people we become, if we’re able to internalize and learn from them. “Some people get stuck, ‘Well I did this so that must mean I’m one way, and I can never change,’” she said. “Just because you try one thing doesn’t mean you're going to be that way for the rest of your life.” This general motto has continually guided her life. She said the inspiration to write the book came first while sharing her stories of turmoil with a good friend. Afterward, her friend told her she had resonated with

OTHER RECENTLY PUBLISHED VALLEY-AREA AUTHORS Jess Steven Hughes Otis Orchards “The Sign of the Eagle” Hughes was a detective sergeant long before he started writing. But then, at the age of 40, he decided to write a book. Thirty years later — he’s done just that. “The Sign of the Eagle” is a historical novel set in the year 71 A.D. and follows Macha, the wife of a Roman tribune. Hughes’ minor in Ancient Mediterranean Civilization lends authenticity to the novel.

the stories — and had gotten something out of it. That inspired Lowdon and continues to inform how she views the usefulness of her writing. “My book is not the greatest American novel,” she said. “It’s not the greatest thing. It’s just a tool ... for others really to expand and see themselves differently and accept themselves.” Lowdon certainly has the experience from which to draw. Growing up, she lived in 11 different cities and attended nine different schools. When she graduated high school, she enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Boot camp shaped her profoundly, she said; however, not in the way you would think. She realized that she had to stay fluid and open to new experiences. In some way, she’s had no choice. Lowdon works two and a half jobs. She teaches leadership studies in Gonzaga’s graduate program and communication in the undergraduate program. In addition to that, she works at Hollister-Stier Laboratories as a training associate. She’s been homeless twice — once immediately following a divorce and the second time after a house fire. Both times, but particularly the house fire, reinforced the importance of not becoming so set on how things are supposed to be. Also, since the fire she said she’s never put too much energy or attention into material things. “I say try not to hold on to anything because you close yourself off to everything,” Lowdon said. Still, it’s not easy. There is an evolutionary drive to solidify ourselves, to establish who we are and block everything else out, she said. “I would have many women come to my office and tell me about all the horrible mistakes and the shame they felt, embarrassment and all of that,” she said. “And I just would listen to them and tell them, at some point, ‘You are where you are today

Dr. Blake McKinley Jr. Spokane Valley “Happy Tooth and Sad Tooth” It’s about tooth health. No, really. In this animated children’s story written by a local dentist, two teeth adventure around. Happy tooth and sad tooth go to the dentist, where they both learn about the importance of proper dental hygiene — and what it takes to be a happy tooth.

Jennie Bradstreet Spokane Valley “Devotional Stories for Wives” Bradstreet is a contributor to this most recent in-

Community Briefs Lilac’s ‘Fab 14’ named

MELISSA LOWDON because of those mistakes, and if you can just learn from them that’s what separates people who stay stuck in a rut ... from those who learn and move on.’ ” She doesn’t know exactly why she’s been able to continually learn — maybe it was her childhood spent moving around, maybe her experiences in the Navy or maybe something else. Either way, she’s stayed fluid, and her book reflects that. “You can hear the young person (in the beginning of the book),” she said. “The author’s voice changes as I move through life, and toward the end you can see more reflection.” As for the future, she doesn’t know. As of late, she said she’s felt the urge to settle down; however, almost in the same breath, she talks about moving away. Whatever she does, she will make mistakes, and learn from them. “Make mistakes and embrace them and learn from them and don’t get stuck. Don’t get stuck in your mistakes,” she said. “(The book is) just simple stories that hopefully can help people accept themselves and others.” stallment in the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series, adding a short devotional called “Serving Love” to the compilation. The piece recalls a real-life story of love as she helped her husband, Erik, as he battled tongue cancer.

Andrea Hartmann Spokane Valley “3, 2, 1 … Blastoff!” Hartmann shares the true story of her firstborn child’s time in the NICU. Promise Michael weighed 3 pounds, 15.1 ounces at birth. After three long weeks of “astronaut training,” she was able to bring Promise home with them, bringing a close to her initial “welcoming” into parenthood.

Several Spokane Valley seniors were among the high school students named Nov. 16 as part of the “Fab 14” — finalists narrowed down from 29 eligible high schools to compete for scholarships and a place on the 2014 Spokane Lilac Festival Royal Court. Mackenzie Claeys of Freeman High School, Olivia Woehrlin of West Valley High School, Rebekah Fields of Valley Christian School and Madisen DeGeest of Central Valley High School are among the candidates. The Royal Court will be named in January and will represent Spokane youth during the May 17 76th Anniversary Armed Forces Torchlight Parade and across the Inland Northwest throughout the summer. For more, visit www.spokanelilacfestival.org or call 344-2204.

Vote for movies The city of Spokane Valley is asking residents to vote on the two movies that will be shown in Mirabeau Meadows Park on July 25 and Aug. 15, 2014. The candidates include Mary Poppins, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, Despicable Me 2, Frozen, The Lego Movie, Planes, E.T., Thor, Wizard of OZ, Monsters University and The Smurfs 2. To vote, click the link at www.spokanevalley.org/parksandrecreation or call 720-5408 by Jan. 31.

Greenacres pair named to Dean’s List Nathan Jarvis and Steven Schneidmiller, both of Greenacres, were among 1,422 students named to Biola University's spring 2013 Dean's List for academic excellence.

SCOPE honors volunteers John Baldwin of University SCOPE received the 2013 Spirit of SCOPE Award, the community policing organization recently announced. Baldwin has contributed more than 17,000 hours to SCOPE, according to a news release from the Spokane County Sheriff ’s Office. Various SCOPE station Volunteer of the Year Awards were also given out in November. Winners included Lynda Fralich (Central Valley); Judy Rigby (East); Pam Cole (Edgecliff); Duane McInturf (Liberty Lake); Daralyn Dee Denison (mounted patrol); Scott Christiansen (Southeast Spokane County); LeeAnn Hanke (Trentwood); Margaret Asbell (University) and Rhonda “Ronnie” Gore (West Valley). In addition, SCOPE awarded 2013 Letters of Appreciation to Linda Thompson, Esther Larsen and Christine Hamilton.


The Current

DECEMBER 2013 • 15

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Lighting up the Capitol

Trimming the tree

By Tammy Kimberley

CURRENT STAFF WRITER

WV students make ornaments for national tree By Kelly Moore

CURRENT CONTRIBUTOR

West Valley School District students got in the holiday spirit early this year, by decorating holiday ornaments earlier this fall to hang on the Capitol Christmas tree in Washington, D.C. “The kids were all really excited to know their ornaments were going to be on the tree in Washington, D.C.,” WVSD Public Relations Director Sue Shields said. “It is such a unique opportunity for Washington to send the tree and we get to tie in all of our communities for this project.” Students from Centennial Middle School, Pasadena Parks Elementary School, West Valley City School, and Spokane Valley High all took part in the project, sending more than 150 ornaments. To participate, the students designed ornaments that had to be 8 to 10 inches wide and able to handle all kinds of weather. The decorations were also meant to represent the nature of Washington state. “The students did a great job of thinking about what makes us special as a state and sharing that on their ornaments,” Shields said. “The idea is that when people see this tree decorated in Washington, D.C., they’ll know it’s from here just by looking at these ornaments.”

SUBMITTED PHOTOS

A West Valley student paints an ornament for the Christmas tree on display at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. Below, students from West Valley City School show off their creations for the tree. Students at Centennial Middle School created ornaments by bending wire coat hangars into round shapes and then covering them with fabric. The middle-schoolers then studied state symbols to come up with ideas for what to paint on their ornaments. “I think they learned something here,” Centennial Middle School art teacher Dorothy Patchin said. “It was a great project that connected their social studies with art.” Many of Patchin’s students painted the ornaments with pictures of the Washington state flower, the rhododendron. The state fruit, an apple, was also a popular choice

Kids Tell It Like It Is “Our veterans.” Harrison Arnold, 5

“My dog, Zoe.” Maia Frederick, 5

“Turkey and bacon and sausage.” Thatcher Hemphill, 6

among students. “Personally, I liked the ones of Mount St. Helens,” Patchin said. “I could tell the students took extra time to put lots of detail into the explosion on those.” Other students found artistic inspiration in the state mammal — the orca whale; the state insect — a dragonfly; and the state fossil — the mammoth. At other schools, teachers created wooden cutouts of apples and fish for students to paint. “I particularly liked the whales and the

Did you know that the Christmas at the nation’s capital this year is from our very own state? It recently traveled over 5,000 miles from Colville National Forest in northeast Washington to Washington, D.C. During the holidays, the 88-ft. Engelmann spruce will serve as the centerpiece on the lawn at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. In addition, 80 companion trees will be used in designated offices around the Capitol. Washington youth decorated ornaments to show this year’s theme of “Sharing Washington’s Good Nature.” Those who submitted ornaments also were entered in a contest to win a trip to light the tree. Giovanni Gayner, a six-year-old kid from Colville, was selected to light the 2013 U.S. Capital Christmas tree alongside Speaker of the House John Boehner on Dec. 6. The tree will be lit nightly from early December throughout the holiday season. To learn more, go to www.capitolchristmastree.com. trees,” Shields said. “The fish were also very artistic. I could tell the students really put a lot of thought into each ornament.” According to the Capitol Christmas Tree website, students from around the state sent in more than 6,000 ornaments to decorate the Engelmann Spruce from the Colville National Forest. This year’s tree is the first to come from Washington since 2006.

What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving? Compiled by Tammy Kimberley at the Central Valley Kindergarten Center “A new house.” Addyson Putz, 6

“My toys, especially Spiderman.” Anthony Mello, 5

“Cranberry sauce.” Troy Slack, 5


The Current

DECEMBER 2013 • 17

COMMUNITY

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The Current

18 • DECEMBER 2013 Brought to you by

About and for Valley seniors

Senior doubles partners keep active with pickleball By Valerie Putnam

CURRENT CONTRIBUTOR

Wearing Khaki shorts, white t-shirts and holding large paddles, 93-year-old Jess Glouser and 75-year-old Don Smithgall took to the court this past September to compete in the Slamma Jamma Pickleball tournament at the HUB Sports Center. “We did OK,” Smithgall said of their first tournament experience. “We didn’t win any matches, but we had fun.” Glouser and Smithgall were two of the oldest players competing in the two-day tournament. They played eight games in a younger doubles division. “I don’t think they did as well as they would have liked according to the scoreboard, but they had a great time and left with smiles on their faces,” HUB Sports Center Executive Director Phil Champlin said. “I can only hope to be as active and full of life as these two as I get more along in years.” Over 80 participants from six different states competed during the tournament sanctioned by the USA Pickleball Association. “There weren’t any competitors in our age bracket,” Smithgall said. “They moved us to the 65 to 75 age bracket. It was more difficult.” Smithgall and Glouser each took home a gold medal, but not for their performance. “They decided because they had a division for our age group, we were going to be awarded our medals,” Smithgall said, laughing. Smithgall and Glouser both attribute staying active to making a difference in their lives. “Being active is real important,” Glouser said. “I’m not so bothered by physical pains.” On the days he doesn’t play pickleball, Glouser plays tennis or walks two to four hours. “I take my time,” Glouser said about his long walks. “I like to mosey, stop when I want to.” “The more we can exercise, it’s only going to enhance our strength and our ability to keep on keeping on,” Smithgall said. Besides pickleball, Smithgall stays active traveling, playing tennis, gardening and participating in church activities. Beginning at a young age, both have remained active throughout their lives,

PLAY PICKLEBALL The HUB Sports Center is located 19619 E. Cataldo Avenue in Liberty Lake. Pickleball is offered Monday through Thursday from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and Sundays from 6 to 8 p.m. Cost is $4/person or $2 for participants 50 years old or older. For more information, call the HUB at 927-0602 or visit www. hubsportscenter.org/pickleball To learn more about the sport pickleball visit www.usapa.org/ whatis_pball/

playing various sports. Glouser began playing tennis 74 years ago in high school. He continued playing throughout his life, including playing with his wife and four children. Working as a soil conservationist for 21 years, Glouser retired after having his first of two open heart surgeries in 1980. Following his retirement, Glouser took his love of tennis and began teaching others to play. Eventually, he plans to start a program to teach children 10 and under to play tennis. “I’m trying to get an opportunity to do that,” Glouser said. “It’s in God’s grace if I do anything.” Smithgall lettered in football and tennis in high school and college. His exposure to the game of pickleball came when his wife and four boys vacationed at Gold Bar Nature Trail near Monroe, Wash., in the early 1970s. He has been playing ever since, except for a time in the early ’90s when Smithgall had to stop for a time after having surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon that occurred while playing against his son. Pastoring churches in his home state of Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa and several cities in Washington, Smithgall has served the ministry for more than 51 years before retiring in January. Upon moving to Spokane earlier this year, an article in the newspaper prompted him to check out pickleball at the HUB. Glouser discovered pickleball after moving to Colorado in 2007. He visited a local recreation center, where they were playing the game.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

93-year-old Jess Glouser and 75-year-old Don Smithgall were the oldest doubles team competing in September’s Slamma Jamma Pickleball tournament at the HUB Sports Center. “There, they gave me a free pass,” Glouser said. “They said at his age, give him a free pass, so they did.” When he moved to Spokane in 2012, his daughter, Pamela, took him to the HUB to play pickleball, and he’s been playing weekly ever since. “It’s a great way to meet a lot of neat people,” Smithgall said about the sport. “You don’t have to move around the court so much. That’s what’s neat for seniors.” Pickleball can be played in singles, doubles or mixed doubles, using two to four players on a small 20- by 44-foot court. The smaller court enables seniors to get a good workout without over exertion. “I highly recommend it to seniors looking for a sport that isn’t difficult to learn,” Smithgall said. Playing the game entails using lightweight paddles, slightly larger than a pingpong paddle, to volley a perforated wiffle type ball back and forth. The ball is served underhanded and the first to 11 points wins. “It’s a game you can do a lot with the ball off the paddle,” Glouser said about what he likes about the game. “You can spin it, bounce it sideways or back, stop it in the air.”

Smithgall and Glouser each try and play pickleball a couple times during the week. Glouser even works with new students, teaching them how to play the game. “Jess is amazing for his age,” Smithgall said of his teammate. “He covers the court better than I can a lot of times.” Both men plan to participate in the Slamma Jamma again next year. “My whole philosophy at our age: It don’t matter if you win or lose; it’s how you play the game,” Smithgall said.


The Current

DECEMBER 2013 • 19

TRIVIA TEST 1. U.S. PRESIDENT: Who was the only president to be married in a White House ceremony? 2. ANATOMY: How many chromosomes do human beings have? 3. TELEVISION: What popular 1970s U.S. sitcom was based on an earlier TV series in the United Kingdom called “Till Death Us Do Part”? 4. LITERATURE: What is the name of the family in John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath”?

Unique desk is difficult to date ‘Collecting’ column by Larry Cox KING FEATURES SYNDICATE

Q: I have what I think is a Queen Anne desk. Even though it does seem similar to this style of furniture, I can’t find a date on it. Where would it be imprinted? — Patrick, West Warwick, Ill. A: It probably would not have a date actually on the piece. This was seldom done by cabinetmakers. The Queen Anne style of furniture was developed during the reign of Anne, Queen of Great Britain (1702-1714). Cabriole legs and curving lines often are found in furniture from this period. Most of the pieces I’ve seen were made during the early years of the last century. To determine if your piece is antique and genuine, you need to consult with an expert. Don’t rely on a neighbor, unless the neighbor is a certified appraiser. Q: I have a glass bowl that is signed “Chippendale.” According to what I’ve been told, the bowl was a wedding gift in 1925. I can’t find the mark in any of the reference books I own. Can you help me? — Susan, Deland, Fla. A: One of the better references is “Miller’s Antiques Marks,” compiled by Judith

COMMUNITY 5. LANGUAGE: What is a carapace? 6. MOVIES: Who played the dead friend in “The Big Chill,” although his scenes were cut from the final movie? 7. INVENTIONS: Who invented the cowboy hat? 8. GEOGRAPHY: What is the ancient name for Japan’s capital Tokyo? 9. COMICS: What is the name of the news correspondent in “Doonesbury”? 10. ENTERTAINERS: What famous actor’s last words were, “I’ve never felt better”? © 2013 King Features Syndicate Inc. Miller. This portable, pocket-size book helps identify and date such items as silver, bronzes, ceramics, glass, costume jewelry, dolls and even teddy bears. Each mark is labeled with the name of the factory or designer that used it, its location, dates of operation, plus additional information when available. Your mark, for example, was used by the Jefferson Glass Company of Follansbee, Wyo., from 1900 until 1933. This reference, distributed by Hachette Book Group, is $9.99 and available at amazon.com. Q: I have a copy of “You’ve Had It, Charlie Brown,” by Charles M. Schulz, published in 1969. Is it valuable? — Ada, Sioux Falls, S.D. A: I’ve checked with several used book dealers, and they seem to agree that your book is probably worth about $15. Q: I have service for eight in Spode china, the fleur-de-lis pattern. What is the current value of this set? — Barbara, Brighton, Mich. A: You probably can find this pattern referenced at Replacements, Ltd., inquire@ replacements.com, and 800-737-5223. The company specializes in retired patterns of both crystal and china. Write to Larry Cox in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to questionsforcox@aol.com. Due to the large volume of mail he receives, Mr. Cox is unable to personally answer all reader questions.

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The Current

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The Current

DECEMBER 2013 • 21

COMMUNITY

CHURCH DIRECTORY

Calendar of Events COMMUNITY EVENTS Nov. 28 | Thanksgiving

and receive a grocery-store voucher. All recipients must bring current proof of identity, proof of residence and proof of dependents in residence.

Nov. 28 | Free Thanksgiving dinner

Dec. 12 | Otis Orchards Book Club 4:30 to

11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Otis Grill, 21902 E. Wellesley Ave., Otis Orchards. The restaurant will be accepting donations to help local families who are in need. For more: 922-9136

Dec. 1 | Santa Claws welcomes pets and people Noon to2:30 p.m., The Lincoln Center

Monroe Ballroom, 1316 N. Lincoln St., Spokane. Participants are encouraged to bring dog and cat canned foods to stock the pet pantry of Meals on Wheels Spokane. Photos with Santa are $5. For more, find “Santa Claws Event For People & Pets!” on Facebook.

Dec. 2,3 and 5 | West Valley School District focus groups 5:30 to 7 p.m. (also

11:30 to 1 p.m. Dec. 5). WVDS is seeking community input related to the renewal of their 5-year strategic plan. To RSVP or for more: 3407204

Dec. 6 | Winter Festival 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.,

6 p.m., Otis Orchards Library, 22324 E. Wellesley. Join fellow book lovers to discuss “Digging to America” by Anne Tyler. For more: www.scld.org

Dec. 14 | Blessings Under the Bridge Winter Event Noon to 2:30 p.m., 4th and

Browne, downtown Spokane. This 7th annual event will provide brunch, hot beverages, clothing, winter gear and more to the area’s homeless. The Liberty Lake-based organization welcomes volunteers and donations. For more: www.butb.org

Dec. 18 | Spokane Valley Book Club 2 to

3 p.m., Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. Join fellow book lovers to discuss “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” by Helen Simonson. For more: www.scld.org

Dec. 18 | WA Health Benefit Exchange Workshop 6 to 8 p.m., Spokane Valley Library,

City Hall, 22710 E. Country Vista Dr., Liberty Lake. Mark your calendars for the city’s annual tree lighting ceremony and other festivities including hayrides, live music, games, mini golf, vendors, pictures with Santa and more. For more: 755-6726 or www.libertylakewa.gov/winterfest

12004 E. Main Ave. The public is invited to learn about the new online marketplace where you can compare health plans, learn eligibility for tax credits or financial help and enroll in a plan that fits your budget and needs. For more: www.scld. org

Dec. 6 | Millwood Tree Lighting 6 p.m.,

Dec. 25 | Christmas

Inland Empire Co., 3320 N. Argonne Road. For more: 924-1911

Dec. 7 | Breakfast with Santa 8:30 to 11 a.m., CenterPlace Regional Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place. Presented by the Spokane Valley Rotary and the city of Spokane Valley, this event includes a pancake breakfast, games and crafts along with the opportunity to have a picture taken with Santa. Cost is $5. For more: www. spokanevalley.org/santabreakfast Dec. 7 | Christmas on the Palouse

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Santa Claus, gift bazaars, lunch, Christmas trees and more can be found at various North Palouse locations including On Sacred Grounds, Freeman Store, Harvest Moon Restaurant, Rockford Methodist Church, Rockford Community Center, MeeMaws Attic, SE Spokane County Historical Museum, the Community Center and Pinewood Cottage. Maps available at any of these locations.

Dec. 7 | Happy Howl-i-day Party Noon to

3 p.m., SCRAPS, 2521 N. Flora Road. During the SCRAPS open house, enjoy s cookies, cocoa and a tour of the kennels and cages. The day also includes special treats for cats and canines at 2 p.m. For more: 477-2984

Dec. 10 | Kids Explore and Discover Club

4 to 5 p.m., Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. Architects from AIA Spokane will be on hand to help kids build architecture out of marshmallows and other materials. Also offered Dec. 12 at the Argonne Library, 4322 N. Argonne Road, and Dec. 17 at the Otis Orchards Library, 22324 E. Wellesley. For more: www.scld.org

Dec. 11 to 20 | Spokesman Review Christmas Bureau 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

(excluding Sundays), Fair and Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St. Anyone who thinks they need help during the Christmas season can come to the Bureau to pick out a toy and a book for children

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: www.scld.org

Liberty Lake Library 23123 E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake. Various clubs and weekly meetings including book clubs, children’s story times, LEGO club, computer drop-in class, knitting club and more. For more: www.libertylakewa.gov/library Rockford Crochet Class Saturdays, 10 a.m. to noon, 229 S. First, Rockford. Join others at the weekly Crochet class held in the Rockford Community Center. Other types of craft, sewing, needle work are also enjoyed. Stop in and stitch and visit with others. For more: 291-4716 Spokane Valley Eagles 16801 E. Sprague. Breakfast served Sundays 9 to 11:30 a.m. For more: foe3433.com

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

first and third Thursdays of every month, Liberty Lake Municipal Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave. This supportive critique group welcomes adult writers. For more: 570-4440

MUSIC & THE ARTS

quest for a Red Rider BB gun. The set will include original “Crescent Christmas Window” animated figures! Reserved tickets are on sale now for $10 each. For more:  www.CVTheatre.com 

December 5-8, 12-14 | “Shrek the Musical” 7 p.m. (except for 2 p.m. matinee

on Dec. 8), University High School, 12420 E. 32ndAve. This family-friendly production will include a 24-foot, 75-pound smoke-breathing dragon. Tickets are on sale now for $15 in the ticket office. For more: 228-5240

Various show times, Liberty Lake Community Theatre, 22910 E. Appleway Ave. In this continuation of a Christmas classic, Tim finds himself in a similar situation as Ebeneezer, but this time Scrooge is the hearty Ghost of Christmas present who leads Timothy through his past, present and future. Cost is $12 per ticket. For show times and more: www.libertylaketheatre. com

Dec. 7 | Funky Christmas Craft Fair 9 a.m.

to 3 p.m., Kaleo Church, 404 N. Argonne Road. There will be handmade crafts and gifts, treats and pictures with Santa. Proceeds will be given to Piti Piti, a local non-profit organization focused on education, land renewal and job creation in northern Haiti. For more, find “Funky Christmas Craft Fair” on Facebook.

Dec. 7 | Spokane Community College CraftArtFood Fair 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Spokane

Community College, 1810 N. Greene St., Spokane. For more: sites.scc.spokane.edu/ArtCraftFoodFair/

Dec. 7 | Country Bazaar 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.,

Rockford Methodist Church, 217 S. First St., Rockford. As part of the Christmas on the Palouse event, this event will occur with a lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more: 291-3444

December 7-8 | EV Winter Craft Fair

10 a.m. to 5 p.m., East Valley High School, 15711 E. Wellesley. Crafters will be selling handmade items, with proceeds benefitting the East Valley High School Band. Admission is $1. For more: www.evsd.org/evhs/documents/craft_fair_ flyer_2013.pdf

Dec. 18 | Holiday Harmony 7 to 8 p.m., Otis

Orchards Library, 22324 E. Wellesley. Ignite your holiday spirit with the musical talent from East Valley High School’s ensemble group Viva La Noche. For more: www.scld.org

Dec. 21 & 22 | “The Perfect Christmas”

6 p.m. (Sat.) and 10 a.m. (Sun.), Lakeside Church, 23129 E. Mission Ave. With their parents gone, a family encounters multiple disasters as they attempt to recreate childhood memories of the “perfect” Christmas. This one-act drama is free to the community. For more: www.lakesidechurch.cc

Dec. 21 | Improv comedy show 7 p.m.,

6:30 p.m., Valley Assembly of God, 15618 E. Broadway Ave. Progress Elementary School invites community members to help sing in the season.

December 5-8, 11-13 | “A Christmas Story” 7:30 p.m. (except for 2 p.m. matinee on

Dec. 31 | New Year’s Eve Mirabeau Ballroom Bash Max at Mirabeau Restaurant

Dec. 8), Central Valley High School Theatre, 821 S. Sullivan Road. The CVHS theatre department will showcase this holiday classic about Ralphie’s

9:30 a.m.

WorShip Service 10:45 a.m.

Dec. 6-8, 12-15 | “Tiny Tim’s Christmas”

Ignite! Community Theatre, 10814 E. Broadway Ave. This live, family-friendly show is improvised on the spot based upon suggestions from the audience. Admission is $5, and the proceeds from this show will be donated to the Christmas Fund. For more: www.ignitetheatre.org

Dec. 5 | Holiday Sing-a-long Spectacular

Sunday School

and Lounge, 1100 N. Sullivan Road. This event will feature the Martini Brothers. For more: www. maxatmirabeau.com

23304 E. Wellesley, Otis Orchards, WA

509-926-9552

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

Recurring Mirabeau Blues 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Max at Mirabeau Restaurant and Lounge, 1100 N. Sullivan Road, Spokane Valley. Fall into the House of Blues during the month of December with Laffin Bones (6-7), Martini Brothers (13-14), Bobby Bremmer (20-21) and Usual Suspects (2728). For more: www.maxatmirabeau.com Spirit of Spokane Chorus Tuesdays, 6:45 p.m., Opportunity Presbyterian Church, 202 N. Pines. Make new friends by joining this women’s chorus, specializing in four-part, a capella harmony in the barbershop style. For more: 218-4799

CIVIC & BUSINESS Dec. 1, 7-8, 14-15 | Pictures with Santa

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Saturdays) and noon to 6 p.m. (Sundays), Residence Inn by Marriott, 15915 E. Indiana Ave. In addition to photos, enjoy a hot cocoa bar and craft corner. Cost is $10 which includes a CD with two photos. Proceeds benefit Toys for Tots and Meals on Wheels. Space is limited, so make your appointment by calling 892-9300.

Dec. 3-15 | Christmas Tree Elegance

Davenport Hotel and River Park Square, Spokane. Presented by Spokane Symphony Associates, this raffle provides a chance to win a custom-decorated tree and its gifts or Father Christmas sculpture. A variety of special events occur as well. For more: www. symphonyassociates.org

Dec. 4 | Inland Empire Nonprofit Summit 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Mirabeau Park Hotel, 1100 N. Sullivan. The two-hour interactive presentation is for non-profit professional executive and staff who work with boards and volunteers. It will feature Patrick McGaughey’s “157 Rules for Executive Success in Organization

See CALENDAR, page 23


The Current

Highlights from your Chamber When you need a business or service, think of the Valley Chamber

©2012 Anytime Fitness, LLC

22 • DECEMBER 2013

Heading out for the holidays?  Need new tires or a tune-up? Shopping list as long as your arm? Soon the wheels will be spinning and the charge cards chachinging as you jet around in preparation for the holidays.  Not only this season, but throughout the year, think of the Valley Chamber when you need a business or service. From insurance to inlays and web design to wings, our members are ready to serve and appreciate your support. Please consult the directory on our website at  spokanevalleychamber. org. Just hover over “Members” where you can click on the Directory tab that drops down, or call the Chamber at 509-924-4994 for a referral.  Printed directories are also available at our office at 1421 N. Meadowwood

Chamber events in December Dec. 3, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Government Action committee meeting, Valley Hospital Education Center, 12606 E. Mission. Program: Spokane Urban Growth Area (UGA), speaker Dave Andersen, Interim Managing Director, Growth Management Program for the State of Washington Department of Commerce. Cost: $20 (includes lunch). Register at spokanevalleychamber.org. Dec. 4, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Inland Empire Non-Profit Summit, Mirabeau Park Hotel, 1100 N. Sullivan. The summit is a two-hour interactive presentation for non-profit professional executive and staff who work with boards and volunteers featuring Patrick McGaughey’s “157 Rules for Executive Success in Organization Management.” Registration includes lunch, an audio CD ($49 value) of the 157 Rules, and a bonus keynote by Patrick titled, “They Didn’t Hire Us to Break Even.” For registration cost and information, call the Chamber at 924-4994 or check our website, spokanevalleychamber.org. Dec. 6, 4 p.m., Ambassador Social and Ornament Exchange, MAX at Mirabeau, 1100 N. Sullivan. Dec. 12, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Holiday Social, Valley Chamber office, 1421 N. Meadowwood Lane, lower level of the Liberty Square Building. Join us for light refreshments and holiday cheer.

Get in a workout.

Get on with your life. Lane in Liberty Lake.  We’re in the lower level of the Liberty Square Building and will welcome you with a friendly word anytime you’d like to drop by. Dec. 20, 6:30 to 8:30 a.m., Business Connections Breakfast: Season of Sharing, Mirabeau Park Hotel, 1100 N. Sullivan. This breakfast will be focused on our area nonprofits sponsored by our members. Cost is $25 members and guests and $35 for nonmembers. We appreciate the support of our December breakfast sponsor, Inland Power & Light. Register at spokanevalleychamber. org. 

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Dec. 23-27, Valley Chamber Office closed for the Christmas holiday.

Be sure to check our website at  spokanevalleychamber.org 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: BWS Accounting Services California Closets Chamberlain Contracting Services, LLC Community Link Consulting Fairmount Memorial Association Inland Northwest Construction Company Inland NW PC iSold it on eBay Jordan Hatfield LLC Kenworth Sales Company Larry H. Miller Hyundai Liberty Lake Magazine Northwest Mailing, Inc Professional Investigators International Pure Barre The BMGordon Edge

Give Your Kids the Lifetime Gift of Dance Register Today! NEW classes beginning January 6th

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

509-922-1011 11707 E. Sprague Ave. Spokane Valley www.DonnasSchoolOfDanceWa.net


The Current

DECEMBER 2013 • 23

COMMUNITY

CALENDAR

and $35 for non-members. For more: www. spokanevalleychamber.org

Continued from page 21

HEALTH & RECREATION

Management.” For registration cost and more: 924-4994 or www.spokanevalleychamber.org

Dec. 7-9| Spokane Gun Show & Flea Market Fair and Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St. For more: 208-746-5555

Dec. 14 | K9 Country Club grand opening 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., K9 Country Club, 19223 E. Appleway. Drop by to check out this new facility that offers dog training, hydrotherapy, pet boarding, doggie daycare, pet grooming and supplies. Enter to win free dog food for a year or other giveaways. For more: 893-3543

Dec. 20 | Business Connections Breakfast: Season of Sharing 6:30 to 8:30 a.m., Mirabeau Park Hotel, 1100 N. Sullivan. This breakfast will focus on area non-profits. Cost is $25 for members/guests

Nov. 28 | 2nd annual Turkey Trot 8 a.m.,

Trailhead Golf Course parking lot, Liberty Lake. Join the Liberty Lake Running Club for a 3-mile walk/run. Runners are asked to bring donations for Blessings Under the Bridge. Items needed are socks, mittens, gloves, hand warmers, toiletries and cocoa mix. For more: 954-9806 or kathyawhybrew@msn.com

Nov. 30-Dec. 1 | Turkey Shoot-Out Futsal Tournament HUB Sports Center,

19619 E. Cataldo Ave. For more: www. hubsportscenter.org

Dec. 2 | Veterans Yoga Project 1 to 2:15

p.m., The Mat, 21651 E. Country Vista Dr., #B, Liberty Lake. This free mindful therapy yoga class is for active duty personnel from all branches of the service, veterans from all eras of conflict as well as their spouses or significant others. The class is designed

specifically for individuals suffering from ongoing stress, trauma and/or PTSD. For more: 939-5433 or slindsay@zagmail.gonzaga.edu

Dec. 14 | 2nd Jingle Bell Run 9 a.m.,

Trailhead Golf Course parking lot, Liberty Lake. Join the Liberty Lake Running Club for a 3-mile walk/run with stops at the Liberty Lake Athletic Club for a candy cane and at Just Chillin’ for hot chocolate. For more: 954-9806 or kathyawhybrew@msn.com

Dec. 14-15 | AAU Santa Slammer Tournament HUB Sports Center, 19619 E.

Cataldo Ave. For more: www.hubsportscenter.org

Dec. 27-28 | Tri-State Girls Basketball Tournament HUB Sports Center, 19619 E.

Cataldo Ave. For more: www.hubsportscenter. org

Dec. 28-29 | Snowball Shoot-Out Futsal Tournament HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave. Boys and girls teams U7 through U14plus high school age are invited for some indoor futsal action. Registration is $250 per

team (if registered by Dec. 6). For more: www. hubsportscenter.org

Recurring Medicare Open Enrollment Tuesdays,

9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Aging & Long Term Care of Eastern WA, 1222 N. Post St., Spokane. Those wanting to change their Medicare Advantage of Medicare Part D plan must do so by Dec. 7. For free, non-biased advice, bring your list of medications with dosages and your Medicare card. For more: 458-2509

Sports opportunities HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. Badminton, basketball open gym, pickleball, Zumba and other recreational options available. For more: www.hubsportcenter.org 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 calendar@valleycurrent.com.

Corner of Meadowwood Lane & Mission in Liberty Lake 509-924-1446

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Well, what do you know? Our calendar features a list of recurring Valley events for clubs and organizations that have regular meetings. Send us the info.  Do you celebrate? We want people to know about everything from your new baby, to your upcoming wedding or anniversary, to your incredible office or sporting achievement. Photos, announcements, honors — please send!  Did you capture a shot? Shutterbugs, unite! If you are capturing great Valley moments, whether while out and about or in your backyard, email us your photo so we can share it around the neighborhood. Send along names of those pictures and complete caption information as much as possible.  Are you a local freelance journalist? The Current sets aside a budget and great assignments for people like you. Send some

clips our way, and we’ll be in touch.  Do you eat? We thought so. Perhaps you have a favorite order at a Valley eatery? Before you clean your plate, get your picture taken with your order and send it to us. Include the place, order, cost and why you love it. It’s just one more way we can point one another to all the best the Valley offers.

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24 • DECEMBER 2013

BUSINESS

The Current

Mirabeau marks decade as independent hotel By Valerie Putnam

CURRENT CONTRIBUTOR

Visible from Interstate 90, the Mirabeau Park Hotel location has been a beacon for weary travelers for more than 40 years. This year, the Mirabeau moniker commemorates its 10th anniversary as an independently owned establishment, a feat in itself in the chain-dominated hotel industry. Mirabeau is currently in the midst of a year-long celebration of its completed decade. “We thought about doing one big event, but we decided to thank the community for the past 10 years with doing special things for a whole year celebration,” owner Lee Cameron said. In August 2003, Cameron and his partners, the Sombrowski family from Canada, purchased the hotel after Cameron got a tip the night before the hotel was slated to go on the market. At the time, Cameron was negotiating for another property in the Seattle area. Working all night, Cameron and his real estate broker drafted an offer for the property that was accepted by the real estate trust that was the owner at the time and was operating the facility under the Doubletree brand. “We had to determine whether we stay as a Doubletree, take a different brand or become independent,” Cameron said. “We decided we wanted to start fresh.” Part of the motivation for becoming independent was to position the hotel as a community property. Cameron uses community resources for services instead of having the revenue go out of state. “(Being independent) affords the opportunity to put our resources back into the property and the community,” Cameron said. “We like that part.” Another reason for the decision to go independent was the hotel didn’t fit into a specific franchise model.

“I think our product is unique enough that it doesn’t necessarily fit in a structured box,” Cameron said. “We treat the hotel like a large boutique hotel, and that doesn’t fit into a franchise product.” After purchasing the property, Cameron and his partners began renovating the facility immediately. “When we bought the hotel, it was very clean, but it had been let go,” Cameron said. “I would call it quite dated.” The owners upgraded the interior with a retro art deco northwest contemporary design featuring elements of stone, metal and glass. “It was the combination of design and core elements, varying styles and blending them together,” Cameron said. A noteworthy aspect of the lobby renovation is the half round-shaped front desk suspended on a single steel rod, a design that makes a gravity-defying impression. “It ‘floats,’” Cameron said. “We say it’s the only one in the world.” Cameron designed the 8,000-pound furniture piece and hired Huntwood Cabinets to custom-build it using African mahogany. The owners also renovated one of the four wings, stripping everything down to the bare walls, upgrading the infrastructure and installing all new electrical and plumbing. Over the course of 10 years, the restaurant, lobby and two entire wings of guest rooms have been renovated, costing approximately $4 million. Mirabeau Park’s maintenance staff completed most of the renovations with assistance from subcontractors. Today, the full-service hotel located at 1100 N. Sullivan Road features 237 guest rooms, convention and meeting facilities, catering and the MAX at Mirabeau restaurant. But the work isn’t done.

CURRENT PHOTO BY VALERIE PUTNAM

Owner Lee Cameron (right) and General Manager Andy Rooney stand in front of a large classical reproduction in the lobby of the Mirabeau Park Hotel, which is currently celebrating 10 years of operation as an independent hotel.

PHOTO COURTESY OF WASHINGTON STATE ARCHIVES

The Lamplighter Lodge, pictured here, opened at 1100 N. Sullivan Road on Dec. 1, 1969. Today, the facility is celebrating its 10th year as the independently operated Mirabeau Park Hotel.

A hotel’s history

The modern-day Mirabeau Park Hotel traces its history to the opening of the Lamplighter Lodge at the Sullivan location in 1969. The original facility featured 120 rooms, a 24-hour coffee shop, heated pool and color TV. In 1974, business partners Tod McClaskey and Ed Pietz purchased the Lamplighter and renamed it Red Lion Motor Inn, a Thunderbird Inn. McClaskey and Pietz were co-founders of the original Red Lion Hotel chain. Under the partners’ ownership, the hotel underwent two major renovations. In 1976, they added a wing with 40 additional rooms, constructed the exterior canopy and renovated the convention facilities. In 1978, they added another 82-unit wing. In 1985, McClaskey and Pietz sold the privately held hotel chain — some 57 properties — to a leading investConstruction began in October to renovate the third wing of guest rooms. Cameron anticipates it taking a year to complete. That will be followed by renovating the fourth and last wing of guest rooms. The two projects are estimated to cost more than $2 million. Between all the larger projects, small upgrades have been made, including upgrading all the television sets to large flat screens with internet capabilities and upgrading the hotel’s wifi capabilities. The target for finishing the entire interior renovation is 2015, Cameron said. “We have put a lot of money back into the hotel,” he said, stating the result of the renovations is a facility with higher standards than the room rates reflect. “Being independent has afforded us the opportunity to do that.” Once completed, Cameron plans to develop an acre of land the company owns

ment firm, Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co., for a reported $600 million. Following the purchase, the hotel saw a succession of ownership changes. Red Lion Hotels was sold to Doubletree Corporation in 1996. In 1997, Promus Hotel Corporation and Doubletree Corporation merged, and Promus Hotel Chain was purchased by Hilton in 2001. According to current owner Lee Cameron, the Spokane Valley hotel did not meet Hilton’s specifications and, as a Doubletree Inn, was sold to a real estate trust in the Midwest. The trust put it on the market to sell the property, but after the tragic events of Sept. 11, the hotel was taken off the market and continued to operate as a Doubletree Hotel. Cameron and partners formed Spokane Hospitality Inc. and purchased the property in August 2003. —Valerie Putnam on the east side of the property. “It’s been a real passion coming together,” Cameron said of the extensive renovation project. “I look forward to its completion.”

Many staff served multiple owners Since purchasing the hotel, Cameron has found value in a continuation of the hotel’s staff, including longtime employee My Schmitt, 62, who first began working at the hotel in 1978. She started working part-time as a banquet team member, where she still works today. “I started working here when my middle son was 6 months old,” Schmitt said. “My husband said, ‘No, you need to stay home.’ I said, ‘Let me get out of the house for a break,’ so I just worked part time.”

See MIRABEAU, page 30


The Current

DECEMBER 2013 • 25

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Biz Notes Valley Young People’s Clinic joins Providence group Valley Young People’s Clinic — a group of pediatricians located in Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake — will join Providence Medical Group effective Jan. 1, Providence announced in a Nov. 22 news release.  The group includes six pediatricians and three nurse practitioners who will continue seeing patients at their two current office locations — in Spokane Valley at 1414 Vercler and in Liberty Lake at 23813 E. Appleway Ave. 

Cafe Rio to open in January Jan. 14 is the scheduled opening date for Café Rio at the Evergreen Crossing Shopping Center, located at the corner of Indiana Avenue and Evergreen Road west of the Spokane Valley Mall. Part of a Mexican restaurant chain, the Utah-based company has more than 57 restaurants in 10 states. For more, visit www.caferio.com.

Elderly care service opens Owners Jered and Katy Fross opened Hearts and Hands Homecare earlier this year at 205 N. University Road, Suite 1. The business provides a wide range of services from transportation to meal preparation for seniors. For more, call 475-7540.

Valley Chamber holding nonprofit summit

Chamber of Commerce presents “157 Rules for Executive Success in Organization Management” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 4 at Mirabeau Park Hotel, 1100 N. Sullivan Road. The event features acclaimed business consultant and certified professional facilitator Patrick H. McGaughey as the keynote speaker. Scholarships are available. Register online at www.spokanevalleychamber.org or learn more by emailing info@spokanevalleychamber.org or calling 924-4994.

Buffalo Wild Wings employing 160 Touting 21 signature sauces and seasonings, Buffalo Wild Wings opened its Spokane Valley location this fall at 14702 E. Indiana Ave. The franchise recruited 160 employees for the opening. Service Manager Brian White said all employees — including managerial staff — were “from the ground up” local recruits. For more on the chain, visit www.buffalowildwings.com. 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 editor@valleycurrent.com.

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26 • DECEMBER 2013

Love in the lineup for fourth year

SPORTS

Money invested in youth sports doesn’t always pay dividends

WV senior aims for another taste of state By Mike Vlahovich

CURRENT CONTRIBUTOR

Three basketball seasons ago, West Valley was locked in a gut-wrenching struggle that would go into overtime against Clarkston for the Great Northern League’s district championship. In the middle of the fray was post Jake Love, holding his own on the boards and contributing 10 points in what would be a 71-68 Eagles victory. A week later, he scored 19 points in the rematch win during the first round of 2A state and finished the tournament with a four-game total of 59 points for the sixthplace finisher. Not bad for a freshman. Not bad for anyone. It’s not often a ninth-grader has the maturity to start for a varsity high school team, let alone become a vital cog in the operation. But Love, given his West Valley family pedigree, was an uncommon frosh. “It’s pretty simple. He was about as good as any person we had,” says his coach, Jay Humphrey. “First of all it’s his toughness. And his competitiveness — he just wants to win, and not in a selfish manner.” Plus, the family legacy. His brother, Tyler Hobbs, starred at West Valley in both basketball and football, playing the latter at Montana. His sister, Hannah Love, was a major cog for West Valley and is looking to continue playing beyond her two years at North Idaho College. His uncle, Kevin, and dad, Dan, were Eagles athletes. “I guess it came from my brother and sister, who obviously were good basketball players,” said Jake Love, who watched them growing up. “So I just followed in their footsteps because they were always some of the best players.” He never felt pressure at home. “(Dad) never says anything to me about my game other than ‘good job’ when we win,” Love said. “If we don’t happen to win or I have a bad day, he only says, ‘Get ‘em next time.’” Love has played basketball most of his life. By fourth grade, he was on a fifth grade AAU team, playing against older foes and traveling to tournaments in the

The Current

By Mike Vlahovich THE FINAL POINT

CURRENT PHOTO BY MIKE VLAHOVICH

West Valley senior Jake Love returns to the basketball court this winter for his fourth year as an Eagles starter. offseason. “The older kids were more advanced, which made me have to improve my game,” Love said. Starting for the varsity despite his youth “was definitely unexpected. I felt I had a chance to make the team, but when I was starting it was, ‘Wow, this is quite an accomplishment.’ It gives me chills just thinking about it.” Love averaged about eight points a game as a freshman, 15 points as a sophomore and improved to nearly 19 last year as he transitioned to guard. He has excelled despite battling through injuries — a torn ankle ligament that necessitated surgery causing him to miss several games his freshman year, a nagging hamstring injury and lower back issues. Today, with the 2013-14 season under way, he begins his final campaign as a 6-foot-2 guard far removed from when the post was grinding it out inside. The name of one of Love’s summer teams was “Pump ‘n Run,” which pretty much describes his game. “I like to take it to the hoop,” he said. His weakness is his outside shooting and defense, his coach assessed. “He’s working really hard on his pe-

rimeter game,” Humphrey said. “He’s decided he hasn’t had to lower his head and go to the basket all the time.” When the Eagles qualified and placed at state his first year, he said it was one of the best years of his life. He laments that the Eagles have not returned since. This year, even more will be expected of Love. He’s one of three seniors on a team peopled mainly by members of last year’s unbeaten junior varsity. The Eagles face a formidable task if they are to make state his senior year. Clarkston and Colville return their entire teams. Defending state champion Pullman is another to watch. Throughout the travels that have taken him to tournaments in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Love honed his game against Division I college recruits and drew college interest. A sub-par summer, he said, hasn’t resulted in offers. His 3.8 GPA assures him a spot in college. He wants to go where he can play while studying to become a physician’s assistant. Outgoing and personable, Love knows his performance this year will determine where he plays. If past performance is an indicator, he’ll land on his feet.

West Valley four-year varsity player Jake Love has spent a good deal of his basketball career on traveling teams playing tournaments at venues as far-flung as California and Nevada. He wouldn’t have it any other way. “First off, I want to say a lot of people think that they’re good,” said the athlete who first hit the road as a fifth-grader. “You never know how good you are until you go to tournaments like that. The first time I went down there, it was, ‘Wow! This is the real deal.’” He improved his game playing against teams sometimes manned with five Division I recruits and considers the expense of doing so money worth paid. The money doesn’t personally come out of his pocket, the personable Love admitted, “But I think it’s definitely worth it for what I got out of it.” Having gone through it on a minor scale, I understand that athletics today consume society, and demands are great. The allure of college scholarships has bred ever more entrepreneurs selling the idea by forming clubs. Yet I can’t help wondering: Do the clubs make the athletes, or vice versa? Is the monetary cost truly worth it? The daughter of my wife Tambra’s boss was selected to join a club volleyball team this year that comes with a $1,300 fee. She’s an eighth-grader. It was an eye-opener for this tightwad, but probably shouldn’t have been, since we paid $800 for my son, Jared, soon to be 32, to play American Legion Senior League baseball back in 2000, which included trips to Kalispell, Mont., Wenatchee and Olympia. His paid coaches held one or two practices to figure out who was who and what position he should play and showed up on game days. Contrast that to the late Ron Jackson. The ex-professional player coached Amer-

See MONEY, page 27


The Current

Freeman makes deep state run By Mike Vlahovich

CURRENT CONTRIBUTOR

Freeman’s running back tandem of Max Laib and Marcus Goldbach needed a catchy nickname after running roughshod over visiting River View 55-19 in the first round of the State 1A football playoffs. “Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside” had been taken. So too, “Thunder and Lightning.” Laib suggested “Mutt and Jeff ” considering their size disparity, but that wouldn’t do. As the post-game interview wound down, they settled on “Shake and Bake.” “Shake” is Laib, generously listed at 5-foot-10, but compact and speedy. He specializes in burning foes with outside speed and quick bursts up the middle. “Bake” is Goldbach, a punishing northsouth runner and Laib’s primary blocker, who takes over rushing duties to give his teammate a blow. “He blocks for me, so I’ve got to give him a little loving,” Laib said with a laugh after the slaughter was completed. “I’ve got

MONEY Continued from page 26

ican Legion baseball for 23 years beginning in the early 1960s. He wasn’t paid a cent, got little sleep because of his early morning work schedule, and never considered taking it. Drawing at various times players from every Valley high school, he was an excellent teacher and strategist and coached his share of future college and professional baseball players without excessive travel. American Legion commissioner, the late Al Jackson (no relation), presided over the gate every night at Shadle Park, the field which today bears his name, taking tickets and insisting the player fee not exceed $40. Inflation has taken a toll, and I understand that the highest-powered traveling clubs have become a showcase for exceptional athletes at national tournaments and a major source of college recruiting.

DECEMBER 2013 • 27

SPORTS was wiped out in the state to let him get his carries.” CV NOTEBOOK opener during a loss 25-20 At Current press deadOthello. The Knights talline, the Scotties were 12-0 ONLINE to lied points on two touchand the remaining Valley down passes by quarterback Looking for area football team in the Connor Ramm, including an update postseason, preparing at the one to Dan Keplin-Jensen, on Central time for a state 1A semifinal who also scored on an interValley High School fall matchup against Cashmere. ception. sports? Contributor Freeman advanced past Mike Vlahovich wrote Cross Country longtime nemesis Royal an all-Bears report for City 33-14 Nov. 23 in the Class 2A The Current’s sister quarterfinal matchup. A East Valley junior Chad publication, The Splash. win over Cashmere on Stevens continued his Thanksgiving weekend View it online at www. amazing late-season jourwould earn a place in the libertylakesplash.com or ney, going from second on championship game at check out the full issue his team to second in state. Gridiron Classic Dec. 7 in at issuu.com/thesplash. Stevens had run behind the Tacoma Dome. teammate Scott Kopczyn“Since day one back in ski most of the season, but nearly became summertime when we were lifting weights, the State 2A individual champion in his we knew this was our goal,” Goldbach said. first trip to Pasco. He finished second in “Every single game we had to give 110 per- 15:38.16, nine seconds away from the cent because we want to be in the Dome. title. Unbeaten in 12 games, the win over RivKopczynski placed fourth, and Skylar er View was par for the course. Freeman’s Ovnicek from West Valley was 10th. EV victory margin was nearly 32 points per was seventh as a team. game this fall, and wins included a 40-14 Eagle McCall Skay finished fourth and pasting of 2A Great Northern League PullKnight Brittany Aquino seventh among man. The closest call came 14-7 against 2A girls. Colville’s GNL postseason 2A qualifier. Laib and Goldbach are both 1,000-yard Class 1A Freeman girls finished seventh in the rushers behind a domineering line that 1A meet led by Alyssa Zimmerman and bowled the opposition over. sophomore Tati Foster who placed 17th “We split their carries, because when and 18th respectively. you pack the ball as many times as these All the runners return next year. guys do you have to rest them,” coach Jim Wood said. “It doesn’t matter who has the Volleyball ball in his hands”

Knights drop state opener East Valley’s 2A football playoff hopes were dashed when a first-half 20-7 lead

A current local coach of a traveling basketball team told me the cost was worth it for the guarantee of a college scholarship. Many aren’t told that scholarships are renewable and may be guaranteed only one year at a time. Depending upon the sport, some are only partial. And not every athlete willing to subsidize his club will go beyond high school. A high school coaching friend half-jokingly offered to take the money paid out to travel, invest it, and it would pay a goodly portion of their college fees. My daughter, Linse, played two years of club volleyball; we paid the cost and she never made varsity at University High. She never played on a high-powered traveling team in softball. We didn’t involve her in the club scene locally until relatively late compared with other players. Actually, my wife’s “select team” was simply a group of Bowdish Middle School youngsters she coached to prepare them for high school. The opposition teams

Class 3A

University’s stay at the State 3A volleyball tournament was abbreviated. The Titans lost twice 25-12, 25-16, 25-19 to

had hand-picked players. The upshot was, some of hers were later cherry picked by other club teams because of their ability. At a tournament, a parent whose daughter pitched on one of those teams patted me on the back after we lost and said Linse did OK, all things considered. The implication was she needed to play on a better team. She didn’t have a serious pitching coach until she was about to become a high school junior, and it was apparent she had some talent. I’ll forever have memories of the bond formed while sitting on a bucket three times a week, catching as she mastered her craft in the dark basement of a building at the defunct University City Mall. The cost was minimal, and she became a two-time All-GSL pitcher and led the league in strikeouts one year while helping University during two of its annual state trips. During her career, Linse won all but one game versus the pitcher whose dad had patronized me a few years

Meadowdale and 25-19, 25-18, 15-25, 25-17 to Timberline. Brooklynn Tacke led the Titans with nine kills and two service aces in the first game. Sydney Schlect had 17 digs and in game two had 10 kills. Both are juniors. Sophomore Daryn Griffith was blocks leader in both, sharing with Tacke in game one. Sarah Carpenter had 17 blocks in the second game. All four return to a team with only two seniors that was making its first state trip since 2004. Class 2A

East Valley opened the State 2A tournament with a hard-earned five-set win over Squalicum, but lost to second-place Capitol and Tumwater, missing by one win a top-six place. Against Tumwater, Shalyn Stack had 14 kills and Elisha Allred paced the Knights in digs and blocks. Class 1A

Freeman had the best tournament, coming oh, so close to winning the 1A state championship. The Scotties took a 2-0 match lead in the semifinals before losing to eventual state champion Cascade in five games. They bounced back to top fellow Northeast A League foe Lakeside for third place in the tournament.

Soccer A late season run came up an agonizing shootout short of the State 3A tournament for University. The Titans lost to state semifinalist Kamiakin. The two were tied 1-1 after regulation and two overtimes and waged a spirited shootout that took a rare seven goals to decide. … West Valley reached the second round of 2A state before losing 2-0 to WV-Yakima.

earlier. Granted, she drew no college interest because she hadn’t traveled the country. It was only when I called Division II Central Washington University on a whim that coaches came to watch and offered on the spot. She received a partial scholarship and had a successful school record setting career. Maybe we were the exception. Maybe I’m a curmudgeon and it takes a club coach and traveling the country to become a high school standout and earn a scholarship. But maybe it reinforces my gut feeling that athletic ability is inherent, and while a diamond needing to be polished, it needn’t take thousands of the dollars many parents can’t afford to be a success. Mike Vlahovich is a veteran Spokane Valley sportswriter. This fall, he was inducted into the Inland Northwest Sports Hall of Fame’s Scroll of Honor.


OPINION

28 • DECEMBER 2013

Current Editorial

Changing of the guard City leadership is difficult and thankless work. Agree with the elected leaders or not, however, it is work. All four Valley municipalities part with significant elected leaders when the calendar turns to 2014. Citizens would do well to offer a heartfelt thank you to the people who were reading through 100page Council packets when the majority of

their neighbors were more concerned with a plot line on “Big Bang Theory.” Thank you to Gary Schimmels and Tom Towey with the city of Spokane Valley, Dan Mork of Millwood, Micki Harnois of Rockford and Josh Beckett of Liberty Lake — and the many others moving off of other elected, nonprofit or community service boards — for your significant service.

Put the care in health care — or whatever you do

When people currently think of health care, some ideas that come to mind are the Affordable Care Act, doctors, the flu and more. But what many forget about health care is the idea of caring that not only helped construct the definition of the word, but an idea that defines an entire field. According to the dictionary, health care is the maintaining and restoration of health by the treatment and prevention of disease especially by trained and licensed professionals. At my company, the level of care we strive to provide includes this definition, but also goes far beyond it. One of the ideas the company is based on is to, “Treat every patient as if they were your own family.” We’ve learned that you can’t just care for someone’s health needs without looking at other aspects of their life. People won’t bother getting their flu shot if they don’t have a safe, secure place to live. They won’t fill their prescriptions if they don’t have transportation to the pharmacy. This is why it is so important for us all to come together as a community to serve those who are in need. One of our recent Community Champions Awards, Spokane native Reese Holford, is a selfless hero who is truly inspiring.

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: editor@valleycurrent.com facebook.com/valleycurrent @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

By Jorge Rivera

CURRENT GUEST COLUMN

For nearly a decade, she has volunteered at the House of Charity, a homeless shelter for men. As someone who briefly experienced homelessness, she understands what the House of Charity residents are going through. She shows respect, compassion, understanding and even a much-needed sense of humor to the homeless people she helps. Reese demonstrates how caring can make a difference in the life of someone and how simple it can be. This is what caring is truly about. It’s not only a physical act of compassion but an emotional act, such as a smile, someone to talk to, which makes a larger impact than a physical act alone. The health care industry is in a state of change, and I hope that through this change, there will be an increased focus on caring for the patient in a holistic manner. Leo F. Buscaglia, a man who was also known as Dr. Love, said: “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Caring is simple, so go out there and make a difference in the life of someone today. Jorge Rivera is the director of community engagement for Molina Healthcare of Washington. He wrote this column as part of a series highlighting the Partners Advancing Character Education (PACE) trait of the month. The trait for December is “caring.” For more on the Spokane Valley PACE program, visit www.pacecommunity.org.

The Current


The Current

DECEMBER 2013 • 29

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The Current

30 • DECEMBER 2013

BUSINESS Volume 2, Issue 12 EDITOR/PUBLISHER

Josh Johnson

GENERAL MANAGER

Tammy Kimberley

josh@valleycurrent.com tammy@valleycurrent.com BUSINESS MANAGER Kim Johnson kim@valleycurrent.com

GRAPHICS EDITOR

Sarah Burk

sarah@valleycurrent.com CIRCULATION Sandy Johnson Mike Wiykovics

circulation@valleycurrent.com CONTRIBUTORS

Eli Francovich, Craig Howard, Kelly Moore, Valerie Putnam, Tyler Robbins, Jayne Singleton, Mike Vlahovich On the cover: Current photo by Kelly Moore

About

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FAST FACTS • Mirabeau Park Hotel is independently owned and operated by Spokane Hospitality Inc., the company that purchased the hotel in August 2003. • The hotel’s 10-year anniversary celebration will include special enhancements to already scheduled events for an entire year, from August 2013 to August 2014. • The hotel has 237 guest rooms, convention and meeting facilities, catering and the MAX at Mirabeau restaurant. • The name “Mirabeau” means “beautiful view” in French. • The hotel currently employs between 130 to 150 team members.

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Liberty Lake

PORTAL at Mission & Molter

MIRABEAU Continued from page 24

Mitch Wilhite, 53, started working at the hotel one year after Schmitt in 1979. He was just 19 years old. The day he applied for a dishwasher position, the manager put him to work. “I told myself I was only going to be here a year,” Wilhite said. “Thirty-four years later, here I am.” Wilhite remembers when the hotel served its weekly Sunday brunch. The brunch buffet was set up in the former restaurant, Misty’s Dining Room, with fruit, meat and assorted breakfast offerings. “It was a madhouse on Sundays,” recalled Wilhite, who would work the brunch line. “We would serve 500 to 600 people every Sunday.” According to Wilhite, the ownership at the time decided to stop the Sunday brunch in the early 1980s because of the recession. Those long-term employees, along with a high percentage of returning guests, have been key to the hotel’s success, Cameron said. Schmitt enjoys seeing familiar faces in groups returning for events. “They say, ‘My, are you still here?’” Schmitt laughed. “I get embarrassed. ‘Yes, where can I go?’ They say, ‘Oh we love to see you.’ I enjoy seeing people over and over again.” Schmitt, who has received several recognitions for her service, plans to work as long as she is able. “I will work until I die, and you guys can bury me back over there,” Schmitt said she has told current ownership. “If anyone doesn’t do a good job in a banquet, I am going to haunt them.”

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

KiDDS Dental Liberty Lake Liberty Lake EyeCare Center Liberty Lake Orthodontics STCU Sunshine Gardens

Index of advertisers Following are the local advertisers in this issue of The Current. Amaculate Housekeeping Anytime Fitness Barlows Restaurant Carver Farms Casey Family Dental Casey’s Place Central Valley Theatre City of Spokane Valley Clark’s Tire & Automotive Cornerstone Pentecostal Church Donna’s School of Dance Evergreen Fountains Guardian Angel Homes

25 22 23 15 15 9 5 25 3 11 22 19 20

Gus Johnson Ford 32 J M Garden Restorations 11 K9 Country Club 11 Kathrine Olson DDS 9 KIDDS Dental 17 Lakeside Church 15 Liberty Lake EyeCare Center 5 Liberty Lake Orthodontics 3 Liberty Lake Portal 29 Maggie Breens 20 MAX at Mirabeau Restaurant & Lounge 10 North Idaho Dermatology 10 Northern Quest Resort & Casino 3

Ron’s Drive-Inn 25 SCRAPS 5 Side by Side Counseling Services 25 Simonds Dental Group 2 Sleep Better Northwest 20 Spokane Symphony Associates 4 Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce 22 Sunshine Gardens 9 Treasure Trove/Pirate Traders 9 Zephyr Lodge & Conference Grounds 20 Church Directory 21 Service Directory 25

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LOCAL LENS

The Current

CVKC honors veterans

DECEMBER 2013 • 31

Shutterbug Snapshot

CURRENT PHOTOS BY TAMMY KIMBERLEY

Central Valley Kindergarten Center students MiKenzie Delaney, Landon Edwards and Gillian Lyon sing patriotic songs around the flagpole.

A flag brought by Major Brad Crockett, uncle to CVKC student Sophie Sine, was hoisted during the Veterans Day sing-along on Nov. 5. It was previously flown over a forward operating base in Iraq.

Candy, candy, candy!

CV pounds out food drive

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Thom Sousa captured this morning sunrise looking out toward Mica Peak and the Saltese Lake flats in Greenacres this fall.

WV’s league champs

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As the result of the annual Great Candy Buy Back held at KiDDS Dental in Liberty Lake, 990 pounds of Halloween candy was shipped to members of the United States military serving overseas. Kids from Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake unloaded their trick-or-treat spoils for $1 per pound, a dental goody bag and coupons from local businesses, and the dentist office shipped the goodies to troops along with hundreds of letters of appreciation. SUBMITTED PHOTO

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Junior McCall Skay of West Valley was the girls cross country champion of the Great Northern League. She placed fourth in the state cross country meet.

A recent food drive at Central Valley High School collected more than 26,000 pounds of food and $12,000 for Spokane Valley Partners food bank. The drive exceeded last year’s total by 11,000 pounds.

Local Lens

Senior night at Freeman

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

Ryan Sousa, pictured with his parents Thom and Jennifer Sousa, was honored at Freeman High School football senior night on Nov. 1.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

The West Valley High School girls soccer team was recently named champion of the Great Northern League. The Lady Eagles are coached by Shelli Totten-Peterson, who was named GNL Coach of the Year.


32 • DECEMBER 2013

The Current


The December 2013 Current