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2 • JULY 2017


Q: You bring up Scouting as an important influence in your life. What did the program teach you?

The Park Bench

A: We were a Boy Scouting family and Scouting taught us ideals that were different than the ones the gangs were teaching. Scouting taught us that it was cool to be ethical. It taught us that we could be leaders instead of followers. The people I hung out with in Scouts were, for the most part, some of the better kids and we all know the effect peer pressure has on us.

Bringing Character to Reality – Fossum stays grounded after TV show success

Q: After high school, you move on to a prestigious university in Texas A&M where you earned a degree in mechanical engineering. What were some of the main motivators for you in college?

By Craig Howard Current Editor

With a background in the Air Force, Scouting and as a thriving entrepreneur, it made sense that Terry Fossum emerged as a winner with his teammate in a new TV reality survival show earlier this year. What’s surprising is that Fossum didn’t build a community center on the island, set aside meals from the crew for a makeshift food bank or break into a motivational address to inspire fellow competitors who were falling short of their potential. The attention from appearing on the Fox-TV premiere of “Kicking and Screaming” hasn’t changed Fossum much at all; if anything, it may have made him more humble. The Spokane Valley resident thought it was a joke when the inquiry first came. Turns out a participant from one the leadership courses he teaches called the network and told them Fossum would make a good contestant. A native of the small border town of McAllen, Texas, Fossum grew up in a modest home where his parents taught him the value of a consistent work ethic and traits like honesty and integrity. At one point in his youth, a neighbor told Fossum’s father that Terry and his two brothers “would never grow up to be anything.” The words stuck with Fossum and served as motivation as he earned his college degree, became an officer in the Air Force and established a thriving business career. The accomplishments are even more impressive considering that his father – who served as his mentor and example – died in a plane crash when Terry was 16. After graduating from Texas A&M University with a degree in mechanical engineering, Fossum embarked on a career in the Air Force. He’d hoped to serve in his home state but was transferred

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Spokane Valley resident Terry Fossum was a contestant on a new reality survival show called “Kicking and Screaming” that aired on Fox-TV earlier this year. An Air Force veteran, author and motivational speaker, Fossum is now retired from a successful business career and dedicates time to a variety of humanitarian causes. Photo by Craig Howard to Spokane in 1988 where he was assigned to lead a new program called “Operations Management.” In his time at Fairchild Air Force Base, Fossum was named Officer of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year for all of Strategic Air Command and Distinguished Graduate of Squadron Officers’ School.

is great year round and the food is off the charts. That being said, as a small Texas/Mexico border town, there were a lot of drugs and gangs.

As an entrepreneur, Fossum had the same ambition. He started his own direct sales company and established teams in various parts of the world. Fossum stepped away from the business when he got married seven years ago. His wife Michelle, a local attorney, had three sons and Fossum thought it was best to dedicate his time to being a dad.

A: My parents always believed in us. They made going to college an expectation and worked hard and were extremely frugal to help make that happen. Dad went from being a poor farm boy in small town South Dakota to working his way up the ladder in the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture). Mom became a nurse and worked extremely hard and became an associate professor of nursing for a small college in south Texas. They cut corners wherever they could. Dad could fix anything, so there were no repair expenses at our house. Mom was a nurse and took care of a lot of our health needs. They saved wherever they could. We had powdered milk instead of real milk. We went fishing and ate a lot of fish, which I hated. My first car was a piece of junk. We saved every penny they could, so we could afford to go to college. I see too many families these days saying “We can’t afford college” when they’re wasting money left and right on eating junk food, going to the movies, smoking cigarettes or buying expensive coffees. They can afford it, they’re choosing not to by the decisions they make.

Now with his stepsons grown, Fossum is writing books and appearing as a motivational speaker. He devotes time and money to causes here and abroad, including projects in places like Malawi and Rwanda that emphasize health and education. A man of faith, Fossum talks often about seeking out God to find direction in his life. Whatever that next route may be, chances are Terry Fossum will tackle it with the sort of enthusiasm that could move an island. Q: You talk about growing up in "the poorest city in America." What was life like for you as a kid in McAllen, Texas? A: First of all, I love my hometown. There are some of the best people you’ll ever meet there, the weather

Q: What motivated you to achieve in school and life when you were a kid growing up in tough conditions like that?

A: I was in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M and I loved it. I knew I wanted to be an officer in the Air Force and that was my key. Admittedly, I enjoyed the Corps of Cadets much more than I enjoyed my engineering studies, but that worked out perfectly when I received my first assignment in the Air Force. I asked for an engineering job in my home state of Texas. What they gave me was spearheading a brand new career field in the Air Force, Operations Management, in some place called “Spokane, Washington.” What I didn’t realize is that it was the best thing that could have possibly happen. I loved spearheading a new career field in the entire Air Force, and ended up being the executive officer for the entire group of Nuclear B-52s at Fairchild Air Force Base. And, I fell in love with the Inland Northwest and now would never want to live anywhere else in the world. Q: When did you first decide to pursue philanthropy and why is it important for you to give back? A: My father was the board president for our church, and the committee chairman for our Boy Scout troop. He taught me, through his actions, to serve others. Mom was the head nurse for a nursing home, and I went there and helped with the residents there frequently. We were very active in our Lutheran church. There is nothing more important than the example a parent sets. Whether they know if or not, their kids are watching every single thing they do and emulating it. One of my phrases is “Be the kind of man you want your son to

See FOSSUM, Page 2

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JULY 2017 • 3


Continued from page 2

be, because he will.’ And that goes the same for daughters. And again, Scouting taught me selfless service to others. Q: I’m figuring most people who meet you see a successful, confident person and don’t necessarily realize the odds you overcame to get where you’re at. What do you tell people about scaling challenges in their own lives?

A: The past does not equal the future, it can only hold you back if you let it. You have complete control over your future, because you have complete control over your attitude. No one else can take control of it – you have to give them that control. Your attitude is the most important thing in the world. Guard it like your life depends on it – because it does. Q: Who are the heroes in your life? A: My parents, my brothers, both amazing men, Baden Powell (the founder of Scouting), and leaders who peacefully inspire like the Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mother Theresa. On a more personal level, every single person out there who gives of themselves to help others; every person who spreads love instead of hate; every person who stops making excuses and takes action to make the world a better place. A kind word can change a life. A smile can brighten a day. Kind actions can inspire the world. Q: You've been pretty humble about appearing on a national TV show. What did you take away from that experience? A: The TV show is something I did – not who I am. I’m a guy whose main mission in life is to help as many people as I can before I die. You do that by putting others before yourself – not the other way around. I called my going into the show “blind faith.” But there’s one thing I know for sure – it’s not about me. It’s about using this win and the notoriety that came with it to be able to reach out to more people and help them overcome the obstacles that have been holding them back, so they can finally reach those goals they’ve had for so long, even if that goal is simply to have a happy, healthy marriage, or save up for retirement or overcome an addiction. Or, maybe it’s to be extremely successful in business and make a few million dollars – as long as they give back and use part

of that to help make the world a better place. Q: You recently spoke at a business lunch hosted by the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, one of many speaking engagements you have throughout a typical year. What are some of your goals when you speak to a group? A: Depending on the talk, my goal is to help everyone listening to be a better person. That could mean different things to different people, so I try to give them not just the motivation but the tools to do exactly that. Most everyone has tried for a goal and failed. The question is “Why?” Why did they fail and what can they do differently next time. The answer may seem simple – try harder; but it’s not that simple at all. I help them identify the things that have held them back in the past and use a completely unique goal setting system, “the Oxcart technique,” to finally give them the power to overcome their challenges and, once and for all, achieve those goals. Q: You've had a lot of success in life, from your business career to your family to being honored with various awards. How do you define success? A: There are many different definitions of success as there are people in the world. Success means a different thing for every person. Obviously, financial status could be part of that. It varies depending on your goals. Another part of success – and very important one – is success with the relationships in your life. Let’s face it, no matter how much money you make, if your relationships with people close to you are going poorly, you’re probably unhappy. But even that means different things to different people. Another factor of success is the need to make a difference in the world. “Will the world be a better place because I was in it?” Even that can vary from “I raised my children well” to “I created a nonprofit that’s going to affect a cause that’s very important to me all around the world.” There are many factors that lead to someone feeling successful and only they can define that for themselves. I try to help them come up with those definitions, define the actions it would take to reach a level they feel as successful then show them how to produce the long-term motivation it will take to see it through.


Join us for Summer Movies at Mirabeau Park This summer the Spokane Valley Parks and Recreation Department will host three Friday nights of free summertime family fun. Join the local Waste Management team as we host the movie Sing on Friday, July 28. Activities for children, including the WM recycling challenge, will start one hour before sunset. GET THE LATEST ON LOCAL RECYCLING & GARBAGE SERVICES

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4 • JULY 2017


Valley Hospital part of transition from CHS to MultiCare

“I would be honored to have your support. Together we can take back our community and make the City of Spokane Valley a place to be proud of again!”

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By Derek Brown Current Correspondent Valley Hospital, along with Deaconess and the Rockwood clinics, is preparing for the transition to new ownership under the MultiCare Health System. Previously owned by Tennesseebased Community Health Systems (CHS), the trio of local sites will soon begin changing its signage to include the Tacoma-based company's name, MultiCare. Along with new signs, not much else on the outside will change. "There probably won't be significant changes," Marce Edwards, director of Media and Digital Communication at MultiCare, said. "The patients will still get the care they get from the same providers in the same locations." The employees will go largely unchanged as well. However, service for patients will begin to change for the better immediately, according to Edwards. "One of the first things were going to do is bring a full electronic health record to these three entities so they will be better connected and that will help improve the health care coordination for the patients that seek treatment at Valley, Deaconess and Rockwood Clinics," Edwards said. The company also plans to evaluate the services they provide and will try to identify places where they can expand access. The idea is that the organizations will learn from each other during the transition by sharing information to improve the quality of service while lowering the cost. “At a basic level I think one of the big difference is CHS is for-profit while MultiCare is a non-profit,” said Kevin Maloney, spokesperson at Rockwood Health System. “And I think that changes quite a few things just in and of itself. I think that previously the Empire Health System, which is who CHS purchased, what we know as the Rockwood Health System now, was a non-profit as well. So I think when CHS came in as a for-profit it definitely changed some things.” And because MultiCare is a nonprofit, Edwards believes that its

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focus on community will make its service superior to that of Community Health System's. "We are a community-based asset so our responsibility is to the community that we serve," Edwards said. "Our primary goal is to make sure that families have access to high-quality care. That's part of our charitable mission that we're committed to." According to Edwards, MultiCare wants to make sure everybody has access to the health care they need and for this reason they have financial aid programs that help families get access to services. Already the company plans on doing far more charity work than CHS did in the Spokane area. "We are bringing immediately a much more generous uncompensated charity care policy," Bill Robertson, current president and CEO of MultiCare, said. "We are a non-profit as you know and we have one of the most generous charity care policies in the state of Washington. It clearly has a positive impact on individuals who might otherwise have difficulty with their bills." Robertson stated that patients that are 300 percent below the federal poverty guidelines will get charity care provided for them for the uncovered portion of their bills. If a patient has insurance but not a deductible, it will be written off. And they work with other major non-profits in the region to help people get insurance. "We jointly help individuals be able to afford insurance if they might not otherwise be able to afford because maybe they don't qualify for assistance on the exchange or they don't qualify for Medicaid but have other reasons and we are able to get them help as well," Robertson said. Recently CHS was forced to sell off some of its assets due to high debt that it accrued over the years. And the three assets in Spokane were on the chopping block. MultiCare stepped in and purchased the three hospitals for $425 million. It was during the transition in the last few months that allegations have been made regarding CHS’s lack of charity care, causing Empire Health Foundation to open a lawsuit against CHS claiming the company failed to provide $110 million in charity care promised to low-income patients during its time in Spokane. Edwards says the lawsuit will not affect the transition or the rates. Although there isn’t any concrete information regarding rates just


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Continued from page 4 yet. "Our goal is to be competitively priced so it's not a burden on the economy or the community that we serve," Robertson said. "We're very sensitive to that. We recognize that our mission is to take care of the community in a positive and healthy ways and that includes price." Robertson said that they will work with employers and insurers to make sure that that their care is priced appropriately. He added that MultiCare will start with whatever rates are already in the system here and will evaluate them over time. MultiCare has been able to reduce some rates and Robertson says he is looking forward to working with the community. "We work with insurance companies to make sure that those kinds of savings get passed back to the people who are buying the insurance so we're very committed to doing that," Robertson said. "It is not our intent to use how much we charge patients as some kind of tool that maybe they would be used by the CHS organization." With a history that dates back to 1882 in the Puget Sound area, MultiCare has a long track record of providing quality health care and has partnered with many wellregarded companies. The company has also done a lot of charitable work, which is already being seen in the Inland Northwest. MultiCare donated to Tom’s Turkey Drive when it first acquired Rockwood back in November of 2016. And the company was part of Hoopfest this year. “That's about health if you think about it, a vibrant community,” Robertson said. “And that's what we're interested in – being an active part of creating and collaborating.” Already Robertson said MultiCare is interested in working with the University of Washington and Washington State University research facilities in downtown Spokane’s burgeoning U-District. “Our best quality is that we have amazingly engaged people, advanced practitioners, clinicians and staff who are committed to making a huge difference in the community,” Robertson said. When asked why he thinks MultiCare will be a valuable addition to the Spokane region, Robertson said the company will be all about “helping create a vibrant community and a vibrant future that Spokane and the region deserves.”

Community to unify against crime at National Night Out From Splash News Sources

On Aug. 1, an estimated 38.5 million people nationwide will celebrate the 34th annual National Night Out. The free event is a community rally against crime and drugs and will include participation from residents, law enforcement, fire fighters, businesses, city and county officials. Participants will gather at a variety of sites throughout Spokane County to promote awareness, safety and neighborhood unity. To help bring together the community that evening, parties will be held at churches, parks, Target stores, apartment complexes and in neighborhoods. There will be food, bands, vendors and plenty activities for adults and children at various locations. Would you like to throw a National Night Out party on your block and have law enforcement, fire department or city or county officials attend? If so, please contact the Neighborhood Watch coordinator at 477-3055 for more information and to register. Stop by these free events and celebrate a night out in support of public safety and community unification: Theodore's Thicket, 7420 E Bernhill Road, Colbert, 5:30 to 7 p.m. This will be a fun ice cream social with pop and water provided. Bring your picnic basket, blankets and lawn chairs. Target Store, 13724 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley, 1 to 3 p.m. – Event will take place in the Target parking lot and include soda and a hot dog lunch. Many vendors and participants will be in attendance with information and activities for all. Neighborhood Watch, Poison Control, Spokane Valley Fire Department, the Spokane County Library District, Poison Control and Riverfront Park Rangers will be represented. Edgecliff SCOPE Station, 522 S. Thierman Road, Spokane Valley, 5 to 7 p.m. – This event will feature

See NIGHT OUT, Page 7

JULY 2017 • 5

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6 • JULY 2017

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Continued from page 5 free barbeque, hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon and more. Listen to a live band, meet your neighbors and speak with local officials and law enforcement officers. Valley 206 Apartments, 2400 N. Wilbur Road, Spokane Valley, 4 to 6 p.m.– The event will include sign-ups for Operation Family ID, a program that helps authorities locate and retrieve missing children or vulnerable adults. Law enforcement representatives will also speak on “See Something, Say Something.” Hot dogs and cake to be served and program will be held on the patio and in the community room. The community needs its neighbors to help protect our families and neighborhoods against crime and drugs. One way to do that is to join together for National Night Out. Another is to contact Crime Check (456-2233 or www. if you see or suspect something suspicious. Do your part to keep your community safe.

JULY 2017 • 7


Millwood Council to revisit rezoning recommendation

$24,914.04 bid to Inland Asphalt for asphalt patching after determining there was no conflict of interest for Council Member Brian Ellingson who is employed by Central PreMix, the parent company of Inland Asphalt. The council also awarded a low bid of $11,487.80 to Fly Fab for two metal fabricated leaf boxes.

Current Correspondent

The Department of Health conducted a sanitary survey of the water system in May. Two significant deficiencies and three significant findings related to screen sizes on vents and air-gaps were received. The rest of the marks were good. There were no deficiencies in operations or maintenance and the deficiencies will be addressed in the 45-day timeframe. All tests to determine bacteria came back satisfactory.

By Mary Anne Ruddis

At the June 13 Millwood City Council meeting, the council decided to continue the public hearing on Ordinance No. 487 – the Becker rezone – to the July meeting. The ordinance is requesting a rezoning from a multi-family residential to a low-density commercial/mixed use for a parcel at 9016 Frederick Ave. The Millwood Planning Commission reviewed the proposal and recommended approval. After public comments opposed to this change, the council voted to gather more information before adopting the ordinance. Fire Chief Bruce Kroon reported that the fire department has a new motorized rescue boat for the Spokane River. The new boat will assist in rescue and medical emergencies. The council awarded a low bid of

The Grace sidewalk project is scheduled to begin in this month. The planning commission is continuing the South Riverway Property public participation process with a discussion of potential uses on June 28. Most of the previous public comments are against using the property for a park and are in favor of selling it. Residents do not want the traffic or

the disruption into their residential neighborhood. The vacant City Council position is still pending. The city is waiting to hear if the county is willing to consider it. Council meetings are always held the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at Millwood City Hall, 9103 E. Frederick Ave.

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This is the Spokane Valley Kiwanis’ major fundraisier which supports our scholarships program and all of our annual communtiy projects. Show your support by visiting us at events such as Early Ford V-8 Swap Meet (July 7th - 9th), Spokane Highland Games (Aug 5th), Goodguys Rod and Custom Show (Aug 18th - 20th), and the Spokane County Insterstae Fair (Sept 15 th- 24th).

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8 • JULY 2017


Spokane Valley City Council Report – July 2017 By Bill Gothmann

Current Correspondent 2018 budget to increase less than 2 percent

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On June 13, there was an allday budget meeting, one of eight presentations to be made before adopting the 2018 budget. The city has two major goals: revenues should exceed recurring expenditures, and the fund balance (reserves) should be at least 50 percent of recurring expenditures. The 2018 budget meets these criteria while increasing expenditures by 1.45 percent during a time when the Consumer Price Index increased 2.9 percent. The budget keeps property tax revenue the same as last year except for new construction. The number of full- time equivalent employees is kept constant at 88.4. Sales tax revenues are expected to increase by 5.19 percent next year over 2017. The new City Hall annual bond payment is $399,508, 8 percent below the present lease payment of $434,000 per year. The bond payment will remain the same each year, whereas a lease would increase each year. The city is looking into having all municipal buildings maintained by the same firm. In addition, municipal vehicles will be maintained by city staff starting in 2018 due to the fact that staff is already in place to maintain its snow plows. Vandalism at city parks is an increasing cost. With the availability of $3,003,929 in excess funds from 2015 and an expected $2.5 million in excess from 2016, staff requested the City Council to consider a number of expenditures in addition to the regular budget, including: $110,000 for crossing signals along the new Indiana bus route, $600,000 for land acquisition for Sullivan Park (including the portion of the park now owned by the state), $152,858 to supply a water line to Sullivan Park, $2,346,000 for Barker Road improvements in anticipation of an eventual railroad underpass, $30,300 for improved software to process citizen requests, $100,000 for a generator for the police precinct, $160,500 for park and trail maintenance and $400,000 for construction of a large-venue area near CenterPlace. In addition, council was asked

The Current

to consider funding for a half time code enforcement attorney ($49,862), a commercial vehicle enforcement officer ($167,332) and a retail recruiter ($50,000). The funding of street maintenance and preservation has been a problem in every budget since 2005 and city studies show the street quality continues to decline. The 2017 budget states, “While pavement preservation is one of our highest service and budget priorities we find that sustaining historic levels of service is becoming more of a challenge with each passing year.” The 2018 budget describes“balancing the cost of pavement preservation against other transportation and infrastructure needs” as a challenge. Deputy City Manager John Hohman and his staff are studying the streets issue and will report back to council. Hohman indicated, “We have been relying on inaccurate information.” Deputy Mayor Arne Woodard admonished, “Be careful, for we have over 400 miles of streets. If you let them go a few years, we will be in a noncatch-up position. The minute we let go of street maintenance, we go backwards.” City considering four-way stop at Eighth and McDonald Hohman and Senior Traffic Engineer Ray Wright reviewed work done by David Evans and Associates concerning crashes at the intersection of Eighth and McDonald, noting that eight occurred last year and two so far this year. Three have occurred since improvements such as larger stop sign and the clearing of brush were completed. Motorists heading west on Eighth are colliding into drivers heading south on McDonald. Staff is looking at three possible alternatives: making the intersection a four-way stop, reducing the speed limit to 30 mph and, at the suggestion of Woodard, installing a four-way beacon – those placed above and in the middle of an intersection. Council Member Mike Munch suggested rumble strips, but others noted these make noise and fill up with ice in the winter. Council Members Ed Pace and Pam Haley favored the four-way stop. Woodard favored both a beacon and the four-way stop. Mayor Rod Higgins suggested lowering the speed limit. Staff wanted time to further study the problem and monitor the intersection. They will bring back recommendations at a later meeting.

See SV COUNCIL, Page 9

The Current


Continued from page 8 Spokane Valley to continue with county for Community Development Block Grants Spokane Valley Council members decided to continue being a part of Spokane County’s consortium for distribution of federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grants. Chas Bates, Economic Development specialist with the city noted, “It saves money and staff time and gives us more bang for the buck.” Under the system, cities (except Spokane) gather public input and then submit grant applications to the county for evaluation to assure HUD compliance. The 17-member Housing and Community Development Advisory Committee (HCDAC), representing entities within the county, selects which grants are funded. According to Housing and Community Development Division Manager Tim Crowley, since each member represents a county entity (except for the at-large members), each has a conflict of interest. HCDAC rules do not permit a member to either make a motion in favor of or advocate for his/her application. All members, however, can vote on all motions. If, for any reason, an entity returns its funds, the HCDAC selects what to do with those funds based upon the county’s needs. Last year, the committee followed this procedure when Spokane Valley City Council decided to pull the Blake sidewalk project from HCDAC. This returned $300,000 of federal funds to the committee for allocation to other county projects. Since the city of Spokane Valley is so large compared with other cities within the county outside the city of Spokane, an agreement between the city and the county

JULY 2017 • 9


gives Spokane Valley a carve-out of 20 percent of the funds received from the feds. The rest of the HUD grant goes to other cities/ entities, including water districts within Spokane Valley. According to Woodard, this results in Spokane Valley residents or entities receiving 34-36 percent of the funds. 2017 budget amendment details city expenses

At its second reading, Finance Director Chelsea Taylor presented changes to the 2017 budget that were approved by the council. Major expenses include a $55,000 increase due to the passage of the new minimum wage, $114,200 for a consultant concerning the city’s northeast industrial area, $30,000 for Brown’s Park related to closure of the well at that location (does not include $25,555 expended in prior years), $258,000 to replenish the Winter Weather Reserve Fund for last winter’s snow removal, deletion of a $200,000 traffic signal replacement program due to reduced phone tax receipts, $193,000 for purchase of land for transportation at Eighth and Carnahan, $483,000 for rightof-way for a future Pines Road underpass, $138,000 for snow plow accessories and $3,003,929 transferred to the Capital Reserve Fund – funds “left over” after paying expenses from 2015. Council candidate Al Merkel questioned the cancellation of the traffic signal replacement and Woodard noted they would be dealing with this during the June 13 budget meeting. It has now been included in the 2018 draft budget. Should Spokane Valley have a Farmers Market? Although Spokane Valley is surrounded by cities that have Farmers Markets, Spokane Valley has none, according to Parks and Recreation Director Mike Stone.

Discovery Park near the CenterPlace Regional Event Center is one of several parks and recreation improvements made by the city of Spokane Valley since 2006. In that time, the city has also added eight acres for Greenacres Park, renovated three swimming pools and installed eight volleyball court at Browns Park, among other upgrades. Contributed photo Staff looked at five possible locations: Horse Arena at Valley Mission Park, Valley Mission Park south parking lot, Balfour Park, City Hall parking lot and Castle Park. They examined criteria such as visibility, water, power, parking, neighborhood proximity, public transportation and restrooms. For many of these locations, providing a gravel parking lot was a major expense, although staff was not certain that gravel parking lots were permitted. They then evaluated each of the five locations and concluded that Valley Mission Park South parking lot met most of the requirements and was one of the least expensive to establish. Staff recommended that the city avoid running the market, that it should be run by another entity, such as Spokane Valley Partners. Rules must be created, vendors contacted, permits obtained and insurance secured. Staff will continue to examine the issue. City plans park development

Stone presented an update from 2013 to the 2006 Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The plan provides the framework for the operation, acquisition and development of parks and recreation resources. This plan prioritizes park needs and helps us obtain grants. The update provides for a priority in land acquisition and in developing facilities to accommodate user groups – dog lovers and disk golf participants are examples. Available land continues to shrink, although, since 2006, the city has added eight acres for Greenacres Park, another possible eight with the extension of Balfour Park, renovated the three swimming pools, created Discovery Park, created Appleway Trail, built the off-leash dog park and installed eight volleyball courts at Browns Park. The city has 183 acres in parks, but a city this size should ideally have 500-1,000 acres. This is somewhat mitigated by the

See PARKS, Page 24

Fair Tickets on Sale July 10th! • Carnival Wristband with Fair Admission only $30! • (This promotion valid for the month of July)

Grandstand Entertainment featuring Gary Allan, Fifth Harmony, Comedian Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, PRCA Rodeo, Demolition Derbies, Monster Truck Show, and Truck & Tractor Pulls.

10 • JULY 2017


The Current

History among the Clouds – Felts Field soars as one-of-akind aviation landmark By Staci Lehman Current Correspondent Stearman biplanes, a Boeing B-40 biplane, Grumman Goose, Sherman Speedmail, a 1928 Stinson SM-2. Did you know that If it’s an antique or difficult-tofind plane, you are more likely to find it right here in Spokane than anywhere else? That’s because Felts Field, a Spokane institution, is also a hidden treasure trove of aviation history. “We have some of the coolest planes on the face of the earth right here at Felts Field,” said local pilot Larry Tobin, vice president of the Spokane Airport Tenants Association. Tobin is also a volunteer at the Honor Point Military and Aerospace Museum located at Felts Field (as well as being on the museum’s board) and owner of a hangar at Felts where he renovates vintage Stearman Biplanes. Located on the south bank of the Spokane River on the edge of the city of Spokane Valley, Felts Field has been supporting the Spokane

flying and the community in general for over 100 years. Before that though, it was home to Tobin’s family. Literally. “The airport sits on my grandparent’s homestead from 1890,” he said. “I grew up in the neighborhood. I finished learning to fly here.” Spokane County purchased the land that houses Felts Field from Tobin’s family in 1913, but had a different plan for it. “Their hope was to establish a golf course,” said Jayne Singleton, director of the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. For reasons that haven’t been preserved by history, that didn’t happen and aviation activities started taking place there instead, as early as 1911. Today, the 400 acres of Felts Field comprise a “reliever” airport for Spokane International Airport, meaning it provides relief or additional capacity. Home to almost 200 planes of varying types and ages, and nine commercial tenants, Felts Field

Pilots like Jack Fancher and Nick Mamer once flew out of Felts Field. Now those monikers are known more as street names in SpokaneValley. Charles Lindbergh once landed his iconic "Spirit of St. Louis" at Felts, greeted by a cheering crowd. Photo by Ben Wick

For over a century, Felts Field has been the Inland Northwest's unique home to aviation. The 400-acre site once was known as Parkwater Airstrip but was renamed to honor pilot James Buell Felts who died in a plane crash in 1927. Photo by Ben Wick consists of two paved runways, a turf landing strip and an area designated for water landings on the adjacent Spokane River. While not on the level of the Spokane International Airport, Felts Field is still an important economic driver in the area – but it was an even bigger deal in its early days. “It was only the third federallydesignated airport in the nation,” said Singleton. That was in 1926 when the field was known as the Parkwater Airstrip after community it bordered. Even before that though, Felts Field was setting aviation standards. In 1924, Spokane beat out other Washington cities to become the headquarters of the state’s Air National Guard 116th Observation Squadron. It was also home to one of the first successful air shows, the National Air Derby and Air Races, which brought about 30,000 spectators to Felts Field. Major Jack Fancher, the first commander of the Washington Air National Guard, helped to bring the event to Spokane but is best remembered because of the road named after him. Fancher is in good company when it comes to local pilots honored with naming rights to a landmark. The air strip’s name was changed after the death of James Buell Felts. “He died in a crash near the field in May 1927,” said Singleton and the Parkwater Airstrip became Felts Field. The Spokane Valley Heritage Museum today has a log book that Felts, Fancher and other local flyers signed, as well as Felts’ Bible. “His mother gave it to him when he was a young lad and one of our early supporters saved it from being taken to the dump,” said Singleton. Nicholas Mamer was also a local flying celebrity. He flew in Fancher’s air derby in 1927 and won $3,000 for his third-place finish, an impressive amount for those days.

Mamer went on to set several national records when he flew his plane over 7,200 miles, staying in the air for 120 continuous hours and refueling a plane in flight for the first time. “It wasn’t as sophisticated as how they do it today at Fairchild,” said Singleton. “It was more like using ropes and milk cans.” Mamer was killed when his plane went down near Bozeman, Montana. The clock tower that still stands at Felts, known as the Mamer Memorial Clock, was built and dedicated to him in 1939. Amazingly, Mamer, Fancher and Felts all survived flying in World War I to die in plane crashes later. Another war pilot made a famous stopover in Spokane. Before he ever fought in World War II, Charles Lindbergh landed his “Spirit of St. Louis”at Felts Field to large cheering crowds and speeches by local dignitaries. It wasn’t just men setting new precedents in Spokane’s aviation field. Women, excluded from the races and derbies, started their own “All Women’s Air Frolic” at Felts Field in 1936. Female flyers from all over the Northwest competed in races and stunt flying. The event was marred by several crashes but no one was killed. Local female participants included Edith Bogert and Jean Smith. “Jean Smith got her pilot license and went on to become a WAF (Women in the Air Force),” said Singleton. “She graduated from Central Valley High School in 1934 and was posthumously given the Congressional Medal of Honor.” Behind the scenes, less glamorous, but equally important, activities were happening at Felts Field. It was the site of both the first airmail service and first commercial flights in and out of Spokane in the early 1930s. Felts was also home to businesses

See FELTS FIELD, Page 11

The Current


Continued from page 10 like the Inland-Eaglerock Sales Company, the Bigelow Johnson School of Aviation, Mamer Air Transport and Flying Service, the Spokane Aviation Company, Spokane Airways (still there today) and more. A terminal building was constructed in the art deco style in 1932 and is still used today. In 1942, the north runway was added. That same year, Tobin, the local pilot, was born. “As a kid in the 40s, there were no fences (at Felts Field),” he said. “I lived two blocks away. This was our playground and there was a footbridge across the river to the Minnehaha rocks. There were lots of old hulks of planes we played on.” Felts Field is also where Tobin discovered his lifelong love for flying. Things were already starting to change at Felts by that time. By the late 1930s, the Spokane Chamber of Commerce had recognized the need for a larger, modern airport and county commissioners purchased land to the west of Spokane. The Washington Air National Guard moved from Felts Field to Geiger Field at the start of World War II and, after the war, all passenger service was located at Geiger; renamed Spokane International Airport in 1960. Felts Field persevered through the years though as a regional hub for private and small plane aviation. A new control tower was added in 1968, along with the Skyway Café. In 1991 the entire airfield was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In recent years, many improvements have been made without undermining the historic aspects of the property. “Felts Field has undergone substantial airside improvements totaling approximately $16 million worth of work,” said Lisa Corcoran, project manager with the Spokane International Airport Planning and Engineering Department. “These improvements included rehabilitating the ramps, constructing a new electrical regulator building, modifying the airport terminal roof, HVAC system and restrooms, reconstructing the seaplane dock and turf runway and rehabilitating Taxiways B, D and E and 15 taxi lanes,” Corcoran said. Tobin, the local pilot, says the updates benefit the entire community. “The management and the Airport


Board the past five or six years has been very pro-Felts Field,” he said. “They saw the need at Felts Field. It’s helped the whole economy. It brings in people like Addison (Pemberton, another local pilot with a vintage plane collection). He had a San Diego business and it got too hard to do business there. It was between here and another place and Spokane won because of the old planes.” Tobin says Felts Field’s collection of vintage planes provide their own kind of economic stimulus. “The antique airplanes bring in a lot of six figure big incomes,” he said. “They bring in people who buy houses and cars.” The planes are also used for leading off the annual Lilac Torchlight Parade and flying the missing man formation over the Washington State Veterans Cemetery every year on Memorial Day. “We do community service with these planes,” said Tobin. “It draws people in to Felts Field because they see them and are interested in them.” So many people have interest in the planes as well as the aviation and military history of this region, that the Honor Point Military and Aerospace Museum opened at Felts Field in 2016. Today, Felts Field has over 300 aircraft based there, according to an Airport Economic Profile, along with cargo service, a control tower, an airplane parts manufacturing

company, medical transport, air ambulance, civil air patrol and flight training. Felts employees 161 people and has an estimated $1.7 million impact from visitor spending. Those numbers continue to grow and airport officials are working to determine how to keep up with that growth. A Felts Field Master Plan is currently being developed. “This master plan is intended to provide the framework to guide future airport development to meet short-term (0-5 years), mediumterm (5-15 years), and long-term (15-30 years) aviation demands,” said Corcoran. “The Airport Master Plan will include an aeronautical survey and will identify existing conditions, aviation forecasts, facility requirements, land use and zoning plans, environmental considerations, alternatives for improvements and a financial feasibility analysis,” he added. Another plan in the works is to improve the approach to Felts Field through the neighborhood surrounding it. The Felts Field Gateway Study is looking at improvements to the main entrance on Fancher Road, from Trent to Rutter Avenue and along Rutter, including the airport terminal parking facility. Under consideration as part of the study are signage, kiosks, lighting and monuments that reflect Felts Field’s history as the birthplace of aviation in the Northwest. While flying isn’t the novelty today that it was in the heyday

JULY 2017 • 11

Felts Field for the tourist

Not a pilot? Not a problem. Even civilians can access parts of Felts Field. The Skyway Café is a popular breakfast and lunch option with live entertainment watching planes take off and land. The Honor Point Military and Aerospace Museum features regional military and air space items dating as far back as the Civil War. “A lot of our collection came from Fairchild (Air Force Base) when the museum there closed,” said Sharon Howard, volunteer and Honor Point Board member. The museum also has a display devoted to Felts Field history. More information can be found at The Spokane Valley Heritage Museum has an extensive collection of Felts Field history and currently has an exhibit on the 1927 Air Races. Information on location and hours can be found at http:// www.valleyheritagecenter. org/.

of Felt Field, it still gets the same reaction says Tobin. “There are always people on a sunny day sitting on the grass by the fence watching the airplanes.”

In addition to planes of all kinds, Felts Field is known as a tourist attraction featuring the Skyway Cafe and Honor Point Military and Aerospace Museum. The location brings in an estimated $1.7 million in visitor dollars each year. Photo by Ben Wick


12 • JULY 2017

The Current

Calendar of Events




6004 N McKinzie Road, Otis Orchards

“ IT’S


In WASHINGTON Click or Call Two Business Days Before You Plan To Dig

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

COMMUNITY EVENTS July 4 | Liberty Lake Fireworks, 10 p.m. over the lake. To support the display, go to www. July 4 | Friends of Pavillion Park Fourth of July concert featuring Robbie Christmas, 6 p.m., Pavillion Park, 727 N. Molter. A fireworks display sponsored by the city of Liberty Lake will follow at 10. July 15 | Italian Festival at Liberty Lake Farmers Market, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1421 N. Meadowwood Lane, Liberty Lake. For more information on the market, go to www.libertylakefarmersmarket. com Aug. 1 | National Night Out, times and locations vary. The 34th annual nationwide rally against crime and drugs will include participation by law enforcement, fire fighters, county and city officials at locations throughout Spokane County. Sites will feature free games, food, music and familyfriendly activities. To find out more about hosting a National Night Out event in your area, please contact the Neighborhood Watch coordinator at 477-3055 for more information and to register Aug. 4-5 | Barefoot in the Park, Pavillion Park, 727 N. Molter, Liberty Lake. The third annual summer event facilitated by the city of Liberty Lake will feature barefoot soccer in the park hosted by the HUB Sports Center, a food truck rally, live music, bubble soccer, a bouncy house, vintage car show and activities for animals hosted by Pawpular Companions. For more information about the two-day agenda, call Liberty Lake City Hall at 755-6700 Wednesdays through Sept. 13 | Millwood Farmers Market, 3 to 7 p.m. Located in front of Millwood Presbyterian Church, 8910 E., Dalton off Argonne. Featuring food and farm vendors, artisan crafts, music and more. Market accepts token System, WIC, senior vouchers, EBT and Fresh Bucks programs. For more information, visit market.


ACT 2 senior classes | Affordable classes offered by Community Colleges of Spokane to those who are retired or planning to retire. A wide range of courses from

geology and history to exercise and art are offered at CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place, as well as other locations throughout the area. “Focused Fitness on Dishman Mica,” a yoga class, is now part of the schedule. More at www.sccel. Baha’i Fireside Conversation | 5 to 6 p.m., third Friday of the month. Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. Discussion of Baha’i teachings, history, and perspectives on resolving the challenges facing humanity. All are welcome. More at 599-2411 or Inland Empire Blues Society monthly meeting | Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m., Bolo's 116 S. Best Road. Café Card Club | 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesdays. On Sacred Grounds, 12212 E. Palouse Hwy., Valleyford. Play pinochle, cribbage, or hearts. More at www.onsacredgrounds. com. Catholic Singles Mingle | Meeting times and locations vary. This group, with no dues, is for single adults of all ages. More at www. DivorceCare Recovery Support Group | Tuesdays 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Eastpoint Church, 15303 E. Sprague Ave. Learn how to heal from the deep hurt of divorce and discover hope for your future. DivorceCare for Kids (ages 5-12) meets at the same time and location. Cost is $25 for workbook. More at 892-5255 or Military Sobriety Support Group | 10 to 11: 30 a.m., Spokane Vet Center, 13109 E. Mirabeau Parkway, Spokane Valley. Call Steve at 8934746 for more information. Grange Meeting and Dessert | 6:30 p.m., first Wednesday of the month, Tri-Community Grange, 25025 Heather St., Newman Lake. The public is welcome for this community-based service organization. For more information call 226-2202 or see us on Facebook. Men’s Weekly Bible Study | 7 a.m. Tuesdays. Millwood Presbyterian Church, 3223 N. Marguerite Road, Millwood. The men’s weekly Bible Study meets in the Reception Hall with different members sharing in the leading of the study. All men are invited to join. More at www. Pancreatic Cancer Action Network | 6:30 p.m., the first Monday of each month. Liberty

Lake Municipal Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake. More at or 534-2564. Rockford Crochet Class | 10 a.m. to noon, Saturdays. The Harvest Moon, 20 S. First St., Rockford. Activities include hairpin lace, knit, embroidery, needlepoint, and arm knitting of infinity. More at 8924412 or 291-3722. Rockford Historical Society | 11:30 a.m. second Friday of the month (Feb. to Nov.). Harvest Moon restaurant, 20 S. First St., Rockford. More at 291-3193. Spokane County Library District | Locations include Argonne, Fairfield, Otis Orchards, and Spokane Valley. Special events and weekly activities for all ages including book clubs, children’s story times, classes, Lego club, teen anime club and writing clubs. More at Spokane Valley Eagles | 16801 E. Sprague Ave. Breakfast served Sundays 9 to 11:30 a.m. Lunch served Thursdays 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. followed by bingo from 1 to 3:30 p.m. More at www.foe3433. com. Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank | Weekly distribution takes place Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10814 E. Broadway by appointment. Appointments are available during the following days/times: Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Thursday (reserved for advanced-age seniors — age 60 and over — and/or physicallyhandicapped people with limited mobility): 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Address verification is required. To make an appointment, call 927.1153 ext. 10, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.

MUSIC & THE ARTS July 5-20 | Music is Fun, class for children 8-12 Wednesdays, 12:301:30 p.m. July 5-30. Class includes musical games, drumming, a variety of instruments, singing and songwriting. $40 per student. Taught by Carla Carnegie, Whitworth Music and Composition grad. Held at Willow Song Music Therapy Center. 21101 E. Wellesley #102. Otis Orchards, WA 99027. To register, contact Carla.carnegie@ or call 592-7875 June 29-July 27 | Singing for Wellness and Joy for adults,

The Current

JULY 2017 • 13


Thursdays, 6:30-7:45 p.m. Come sing together in community just for the fun and health of using the voice! Learn pitches, reduce stress and increase respiratory function. Includes a wide choice of genre and song selection. No experience needed or ability to read music. $40 per person for the entire program. Drop in rate $8. Held at Willow Song Music Therapy, 21101 E. Wellesley #102. Otis Orchards, WA 99027. To register, contact Carla.carnegie@ or 592-7875

RECURRING Drop-in Square Dance Lessons | 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (through May 18). Western Dance Center, 1901 N. Sullivan Road. Square dance lessons for $3 per person; no partner needed. More at 270-9264. Pages of Harmony | 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Wednesdays. Thornhill Valley Chapel, 1400 S. Pines Road. If you enjoy singing, you will love the four-part, a cappella harmony of this men’s barbershop chorus. More at Spirit of Spokane Chorus | 6:45 p.m., Tuesdays. Opportunity Presbyterian Church, 202 N. Pines Road. Make new friends by joining this women’s chorus, specializing in four-part, a cappella harmony in the barbershop style. More at 2184799. Spokane Novelists Group | Noon to 4 p.m., second and fourth Saturday of the month. Otis Orchards Community Church, 23304 E. Wellesley Ave., Otis Orchards. A support/critique group for writers. Open to anyone with an interest in writing fiction (no memoirs, nonfiction, poetry, etc., please). Participants should bring 5-10 pages to read aloud and 6-8 copies for others to read along and critique. More at 590-7316. Spokane Valley Camera Club | 7:15 p.m., third and fourth Monday of the month (September through April). Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District building, 22510 E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake. All levels of ability—students through experienced photographers—are invited to learn. Social events include field trips and workshops. More at 951-1446 or org

July 8 | Liberty Lake Loop, starts at Pavillion Park, 727 N. Molter. Adult race begins at 8 a.m. (4-mile run/walk/stroller friendly course on scenic course with paved roads, several hills.) Aid stations at miles 2 and 3. Kids’ race following adult race, (1/4 - 1 1/2 mile, dependent on age). Course in and around Pavillion Park. Registration is $20 with a shirt; $6 without. Sign up at liberty-lake-loop.html or contact with any questions July 18 | Do-it-yourself class featuring essential oils sans chemicals, summer skin cream made with essential oils, laundry fabric softener and bug spray, $9 per person. All materials provided. Bring a friend for drawing for a lovely prize. Willow Song Music Therapy – E. 21101 Wellesley, #102, Otis Orchards. For more information, call 592-7875 or visit www.willowsongmusictherapy. com. New Nia classes continuing with the next five-week series beginning June 27 and running until July 27; Tuesday 6:30-7:30 p.m., Thursday, 1 to 2 p.m.. Cost for five-week series $32. Drop-in rate is $10. June 30-Aug. 4 | Pediatric Special Needs Group Music Therapy class for ages 5-15 to work on areas of appropriate social behaviors, increase attention span, areas of physical function through music and movement, areas of emotional regulation. Register by emailing Carla.carnegie@gmail. com. More info by calling 5927875. Provided by board-certified music therapists, Carla Carnegie, Kim McMillin. Classes at Willow Song Music Therapy – E. 21101 Wellesley, #102, Otis Orchards. For more information, call 592-7875 or visit www.willowsongmusictherapy. com.

Spokane Valley Writers’ Group | 6:15 p.m. the first and third Thursdays of the month. Lakeside Church, 23129 E. Mission Ave. This supportive critique group welcomes adult writers. More at 570-4440.

Each Wednesday in July | Mindful Music and Movement, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This class is designed for those living with health conditions such as Parkinson's disease, in stroke recovery or coping with chronic illness. Addressing areas of function, supporting the body, mind and soul. Caregivers welcomed. Cost: $10 per person. Classes at Willow Song Music Therapy – E. 21101 Wellesley, #102, Otis Orchards. For more information, call 592-7875 or visit www.willowsongmusictherapy. com


Aug. 12-13 | Volleyball Skills Camp with Olympic gold medalist Pat Powers, Saturday,

See CALENDAR, Page 14

2017 Cruise

Please join us as we salute the men and women of law enforcement who serve each day to protect our communities.

Wednesday July 26, 2017 $55.00 Per Person • Includes Dinner • No Host Bar

On the Mish N Nock at Coeur d’Alene Resort The Boat Will Leave Promptly at 6:30 pm Purchase Tickets Online At:

#supportblue The Thin Blue Line

FARMERS MARKET L i b e r t y

L a k e

Every Saturday 9am -1pm



JULY 15TH Visit us at or find us on

The Current

14 • JULY 2017


Continued from page 13

at Central Valley Performing Arts Center

Aug. 12, 9 a.m -4 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 13, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. HUB Sports Center, 19619 E Cataldo Ave. Designed for novice through advanced levels, youth and adults. The registration fee includes 12 hours of instruction and T-shirt. Register at http://www.vbclinics. com/register.asp?lid=124 or call the HUB at 927-0602 for more information.

RECURRING HUB Sports Center 19619 E. Cataldo Ave. Various activities and events occur throughout the week including: • Pickleball drop-in: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Mon. through Thurs.; 10 a.m. to noon Tues. and Thurs. and 6 to 8 p.m. Wed. and Sun. $3/seniors ($5/non-seniors) • Classes including Kenpo Karate and Zumba Aerobics. See website for cost and times. Yoga in Rockford | 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Rockford Park, 20 W. Emma St., Rockford. In case of inclement weather, classes will be held at Dave’s Autobody, 8 W. Emma St.

July 21 – August 6 Yvonne A. K. Johnson Music Direction by David Brewster

Directed by

August 2 | 7:30 P.M. ONE NIGHT ONLY! Directed by

Yvonne A. K. Johnson

July 1 – 9

Yvonne A. K. Johnson Music Direction by Drew Olsen

Directed by

State-of-the-art theatre • Free parking 509-368-7897

David & Christina Lynch

CIVIC & BUSINESS July 18 | Science Open House, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., West Valley Outdoor Learning Center, 8706 E. Upriver Drive. This fun event for kids will feature simple science activities teaching about properties and matter. Learn about the birds and animals at this unique venue. Suggested donation is $5.

RECURRING Flag Museum | Sponsored by the Sons of the American Revolution and the Fairmount Memorial Association, details the rich history of the American flag, Mondays-Fridays, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Pines Cemetery, 1402 S. Pines Road, Spokane Valley. For more information: 926-2753 or www. Spokane Valley Kiwanis | 6:45 a.m. Tuesdays. Valley Hospital Education Center, 12606 E. Mission Ave. More at www. Spokane Valley Rotary | Noon to 1 p.m., Tuesdays. Darcy’s, 10502 E. Sprague Ave. More at www.

Brought to you by




Competitive Teams • Parkour, Brea and Hip Hop Classes • Parent’s N • Bitty Bee Academy & Flippin’ Fu Night • Open Gym for All Ages • Gym Birthday Parties • Nin


National Build a Scarecrow day

Our coaches are passionate about gymnastics and focus on teaching quality gymnastics in a fun and safe environment. Classes run year-round with three 13-week sessions (Fall, Winter and Spring) and one 10-week summer session.

july 2

This is always celebrated on the first Saturday in July. It has been celebrated for over a century in America and has been spreading internationally to parts of Canada and the UK. Traditionally, scarecrows are made from straw and then covered in old clothing. They are then placed strategically

in the garden to scare birds away from seed and crops. You can personalize it with your favorite school or team apparel and then even if it doesn’t scare any birds away it with still be a great yard decoration. Celebrate by creating the perfect scarecrow for your garden.

Scarecrow Mosaic Craft

Why did the Scarecrow win a Nobel Prize? He was outstanding in his field.

What is a scarecrow’s favorite fruit?


What new crop did the scarecrow stand over? Why doesn’t a scarecrow eat?

Beets me!

He’s already stuffed!

You’ll need: A large sheet of paper Torn Scraps of Paper Strips of paper for straw Glue Instructions: Start by drawing the basic shape for your scarecrow face and hat. Use torn paper to create your face background first and then the hat. Next, add eyes and mouth. Finally, use your strips to add straw for the neck. Voila, your creation is complete.


16 • JULY 2017

The Current

Cut out the squares and glue them in the square to complete the garden.

The Current

JULY 2017 • 17

PACE Trait Generosity

Unselfish giving and sharing of resources, time and talents with others.

Enjoy these books


Join us at one or all of our weekly summer camps with a different focus each week. In addition to our gymnastics and trampoline camp weeks we’ll have Adventure camps, Ninja Zone camps, Cheer camps and Parkour/ Breakdance camps for children ages 3 and up!

Plantzilla by Jerdine Nolen, 2005 ages 4-7

Who knew that caring for the classroom plant over the summer would be the catalyst for a summer of hilarity? David Catrow’s artwork is FULL of hilarious details. The cursive writing on some of the letters may be a little difficult but it’s perfect for sharing.

Over in the Garden by Jennifer Ward, 2002, ages 4-7 A new version of “Over in the Meadow” that’s full of ugly bugs in the garden. The over exaggerated cartoons magnify the bugs in such a manner that kids love. There’s a hidden number on each verse so take the time to find it.

Weslandia by Paul Fleischman, 1999, ages 4-8

This is such a thoughtful book where creativity flows. Most kids want to spend the summer playing but Wesley is going to garden and through his gardening he’s going to change the world. There is so much to enjoy in the story and the wonderful artwork that is packed with details.

Camp pricing starts at $129 (half days) or $229 (full days) for the week, daily rates also available. Registration is now open and can be done in person or by phone.

315-5433 2515 N. Locust Road Spokane Valley 99206

Animal Facts

Cut them out and collect them all! CROW - Found Worldwide - Up to a 20” with wingspan - Lives up to 30 years - Multiple crowa is called a murder - 40 species - Largest songbird - Use at least 250 different calls - Females lay 4-7 eggs at a time and males help incubate them. - Migratory birds - Is considered on of the worl’s smartest animals. - Originated in central Asia

The Current

18 • JULY 2017

East Valley Choir shares spotlight with Eric Church By Tyler Wilson

Current Correspondent On a cold winter afternoon earlier this year, East Valley High School Choir Director Andrea LaPlante received a perplexing email. It was an invitation for her choir to perform alongside one of the biggest country music acts in the world. LaPlante just didn’t know it at the time. “I was thinking, ‘I don’t know who this guy is,’ so I asked the choir and all the kids of course knew him,” LaPlante said. That “guy” was Eric Church, the singer-songwriter, country/ southern rock performer with seven Grammy nominations and numerous chart-topping hits, including “Give Me Back My Hometown,” “Springsteen” and “Raise ‘Em Up.”

show’s opening song. Even though they practiced onstage earlier in the day, senior Laurel Weberg said the excitement amplified once they saw the lights and the crowd.

The East Valley High School Choir had the rare experience of appearing at the Spokane Arena with headliner Eric Church of country music fame earlier this year. The opportunity arrived through the Grammy Foundation which had sponsored a music workshop at EVHS in 2016. Contributed photo The invitation came courtesy of the Grammy Foundation, a prominent educational institution dedicated to broadening the historical and cultural significance of music. East Valley High School received a grant from the foundation after it hosted a regional workshop sponsored by the group last year. Church, a vocal supporter of the foundation, then reached out to local choirs in every city of his current tour, tapping East Valley as the featured choir for his March 17 concert at the Spokane Arena. LaPlante offered the opportunity to her top concert choir first, then filled the rest of the 24 spots with other choral students at the school. On the day of the show, Church’s

tour arranged for the students to be picked up that afternoon and bused over to the arena. They had a short rehearsal with vocalist Joanna Cotton, practiced with Church’s band and got accustomed to the stage. The tour provided dinner, then the choir split in half to line up on opposite sides of the stage just before the start of Church’s performance. “We were standing in the hallway waiting for the concert to start, and (Eric Church) walked by, I didn’t even recognize him,” LaPlante said. “He said, ‘Hey guys, have fun out there,’ and one of my kids said, ‘Yeah, you too!’” The choir, dressed in robes, sang the background vocals to the

“It’s one of those once-in-alifetime experiences to be on a stage in front of that many people,” Weberg said. Weberg could barely hear the notes she and the rest of the choir were singing. She said the choir also spent time with Church’s two sons backstage. “The littlest boy (Hawk) wanted to hear us sing,” she said. The tour made tickets available for families who wanted to see the choir onstage. After the song, the lights came up, and Church acknowledged East Valley High School and introduced the choir to 15,000 screaming fans. LaPlante, who assisted students on one side of the stage, said the kids “sang their hearts out” and were exhilarated by the experience of taking the spotlight on one of the country’s biggest tours. “It was a short moment, but it still felt very special,” LaPlante said.











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Student of the Month As Ryan Leifer begins a new chapter after recently graduating from West Valley High School, he can look back to a multitude of highlights on the basketball court and football field. Leifer was part of a Eagles’ gridiron squad that advanced to the state quarterfinals last season. As a co-captain, Leifer played safety and wide receiver, catching two touchdown passes in the state playoff game against Lynden. Leifer was a three-year letterman in football and a twoyear letter winner in basketball. He was co-captain of the West Valley five as a senior guard and scored a season-high 12 points on four three-pointers against Lakeside. In the classroom, Leifer maintained a 3.66 grade point average and was a member of National Honor Society and Washington Drug Free Youth. He plans on attending Eastern Washington University in the fall.

Citizen of the Month

Thanks you for all you do in our community

JULY 2017 • 19 As ASB president at West Valley High School during the 2016-17 academic year, Savanah Parkey helped her fellow students appreciate the value of community service. Parkey was part of a team that coordinated a project to raise money and package food for Generation Alive, a local nonprofit that supports at-risk youth. Another effort included reinforcement for Retrieving Freedom, an organization that provides service dogs for veterans. Parkey graduated with a 3.9 grade point average while participating in WV’s chapter of Washington Drug Free Youth and Link Crew which mentors younger students. She was part of the school’s dance team for all four years, serving as captain her senior year. The squad qualified for state each year, earning third this season. Parkey is leaning toward attending Whitworth University in the fall.

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Athlete of the Month A 25-year resident of the Spokane Valley, Donna Goff is known for her positive impact with the Spokane Community Oriented Policing Effort (SCOPE) according to SCOPE Director Rick Scott. Goff began volunteering with the agency since 2009 and has contributed over 4,800 hours to the cause. She currently serves as West Valley SCOPE president. She has also helped with the Latent Print program, lifting fingerprints off vehicles that have been prowled. Goff also volunteers with Spokane County Department of Emergency Management, Valley Mall Crime Prevention Office and the Spokane Valley Fire Department Fire Corps. A previous business owner of two antique stores, Goff is also a catalyst in organizing the West Valley SCOPE Millwood Parade and Carnival each year. Goff has three daughters and has raised a grandson. “Donna is a team builder and a true asset to SCOPE,” Scott said.


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About and for Valley seniors

Nonprofit group supports, celebrates local widows

By Staci Lehman Current Correspondent Nearly 700,000 women will lose their husbands this year in the United States. The average age when women become widows? Just 56 years old, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Yet even with those large numbers, there is little public acknowledgement or recognition of widows, even sometimes by widows themselves. “Somebody said ‘You’re a widow’ and I said ‘I guess I am,’” said Betty Starr, a board member with Widows Might, a local nonprofit agency focused on empowering women who have lost spouses. “It’s not something you want to think of yourself as,” offers Lee Tatman, another local widow who, like Starr, never remarried. “In 2001 there was an accident on the ocean and it was my husband and grandsons,” said Starr. “My oldest daughter lost her two sons and my son lost his son. They both lost their father.” Starr’s husband, well-known local pastor Tom Starr, had taken three of his grandsons fishing off the

Founder and president of Widows Might, Wes Teterud, speaks at a recent luncheon hosted by the nonprofit at CenterPlace. Photo by Staci Lehman

coast near La Push, Washington, just like every year. When their boat capsized, no one survived. “But we know they’re better off in heaven,” said Starr. Tatman’s husband Max died the same year. “We lost so many friends that year,” she said of herself and Starr. But having that in common didn’t make the transition from wife to widow any easier after being married for 58 years. Tatman has stayed in her home since Max’s death and recently celebrated her 95th birthday. Tatman and Starr were joined by about 75 other widows from around the area for a recent lunch at CenterPlace Regional Event Center hosted by Widows Might. The organization holds four lunches a year to provide a warm nutritious meal to women who might not cook for themselves.The events also provide an opportunity to socialize and learn about a variety of topics. Each lunch includes a program of music and educations. The April lunch featured performances by Spokane Symphony Chorale singer Gary Canavello and presentations by a local electrician, computer expert, and a handyman. Each talked about services they can help widows with, sometimes for free or a discount. Connecting widows in need with reputable businesses is just one of the services Widows Might offers. “Widows can be taken advantage of,” said Wes Teterud, founder and president of Widows Might. “Once they’re widowed, their life changes. We’re not a bereavement group. We’re more for the long haul. We want to empower women to live alone again.” That can require emotional support, resource referrals and more. “If they don’t have family or faith-based support, we’ll try to help them with financial support,” said Teterud. Widows Might has helped with many financial expenses since being established in 1998. The “Widows Fund” has paid for things like replacing roofs and furnaces and recently bought a power lift chair for a widow with severe hip problems that put her in too much pain to sleep in a bed or easily get out of a chair.

Members of Widows Might, a nonprofit formed in 1998 to provide support and advocacy for local widows, gather for quarterly educational lunches at the CenterPlace Regional Event Center. Photo by Staci Lehman Money comes to the fund through a variety of sources, including grants from the city of Spokane Valley, Spokane Valley Rotary, New York Life Insurance Company and private donations. Some widows who participate in Widows Might activities even make donations. Men make contributions too, many in-kind. Adrian DaSilva is not only on the board of Widows Might but is also a widower. He married his second wife, Dona DaSilva (also on the Widows Might Board), also a widow. DaSilva also serves as the organization’s webmaster. Winton “Wink” Jorgens’ sisterin-law is a widow who participates in Widows Might. He donates time helping to set up computers for the women and troubleshoot computer problems they may have. Teterud for the most part didn’t include men when he started Widows Might with his wife, Adrienne, because he says he didn’t want to start a “lonely hearts” club and he noticed that men didn’t tend to stay single after losing a spouse. “Statistics show that widows grieve and widowers remarry,” he said, “I had one gal who said, ‘You know Wes, I hear when you remarry after 60 your name turns to ‘Nurse’.” The majority of the widows at the luncheons haven’t remarried but have each adapted in their own way to widowhood. They use the opportunity to chat about senior living homes, prayer groups, people

they know and family. Betty Starr shares that she was at a baby shower the day before for a family member who wasn’t sure she could get pregnant due to health issues. “They feel like this is a gift from Grandpa Tom,” she says, referring to her deceased husband. “They’re naming him after Tom.” You can find more information on Widows Might at If you know a widow who needs help or would like to participate, contact Widows Might at 928-4176 or widowsmightspokane@gmail. com. If you would like to help Widows Might, a certified 501c(3) nonprofit, there are a couple ways: • Contact the organization at the phone number or email address above to arrange for a monetary donation. Donations are tax deductible. • When shopping on, log on to smile. to use the “Amazon Smile” option that donates to charities. Designate Widows Might as your charity of choice and every time you make an Amazon purchase, half-a-percent of your purchase price will go to Widows Might.

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JULY 2017 • 21


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U-Hi, CV coaching tandem specializes in hammer throw tutelage By Steve Christilaw

Current Correspondent It sounds more like a carpenter’s tantrum than an event at a track and field meet – and it’s not even that at the high school level in 47 states. But for Elizabeth and Alan Wardsworth, it’s been both a priority and a sidelight for a good

many years. Liz Wardsworth is the head girls’ track coach at University High School. Her husband is an assistant track coach at Central Valley. They each have a knack for coaching high jumpers. But once practice lets out, the pair turn their attention to an event that has sent dozens of their athletes on to compete in the college ranks, an event that you won’t yet find sanctioned on the high school level here. The hammer throw. How popular is the event? Drop by a high school throwing pit during a track workout. You’ll see throwers working out with the shot put and

practicing their discus throw. In between challenges, many will haul out a simulated hammer – often 4 kilos of heavy logging chain attached to a cable with a handle at one end. For a meet, the chain gives way to a steel ball, which flies better. For Liz, the hammer has been around for a long time. She competes in the event herself in masters-level track meets. In fact, it runs in the family. The Wardsworth’s oldest daughter, Kelsey, took up the event as she recovered from Graves’ disease, a type of hyperthyroidism that threatened her eyesight. Throwing the hammer, as well as competing in both the shot put and discus for her mom at U-Hi strengthened the mother-daughter bond. Youngest daughter, Katie, won a state championship in the hammer with a throw of 148-feet, 5 inches to edge Central Valley teammate Dakota Kliamovich on her final attempt. Katie went on to throw the hammer for Washington State advancing to the NCAA West Regional in Austin, Texas last month. Kliamovich earned All-America honors throwing the hammer for Whitworth before graduating last year.

Benton James of Central Valley High School (right) practices the hammer throw with help from Alan and Elizabeth Wardsworth, two of the area’s leading coaches of the emerging event. Elizabeth is the girls’ track coach at University High School while Alan is an assistant track coach at Central Valley. Contributed photo

Sports Notebook

By Mike Vlahovich Current Sports Editor There’s no rest for the weary for returning high school athletes who spend their summers preparing for next year on travel teams, summer league and tournaments and school camps as June quickly turns into September. Last fall, West Valley football

coach Craig Whitney pointed out that smaller schools in particular can’t afford to specialize as they split time as coaches compromise to have time with multi-sport athletes like his three-sport son. There are not enough hours in the day. But it’s not too late to recap spring’s various state championships results. Strength in numbers Team depth meant a trophy for

“What is so cool is that these kids don’t even look the same way the kids did when we started out teaching the hammer,” Wardsworth said. “We know so much more about it than we did when we were starting out that it isn’t even funny. It’s amazing how far we’ve come.”

with their hammer throwers, even though their events can often fly under the regular track-and-field radar. You will find the hammer toss during the indoor track season, which features events at Washington State, the University of Idaho, Eastern Washington and Spokane Community College. Liz said ideal spring weather is not a prerequisite for improving in the event. “With the hammer, we don’t have to worry about it. We can get a lot of work in over the winter.” The current crop of throwers gathered at Central Valley a day after the state track and field meet ended to compete for a state championship. “We’re not sanctioned, so we can’t compete for a state championship at the state meet,” Wardsworth said. “It’s pretty impressive to see the lengths some of these kids go to compete. A lot of these kids had long bus rides coming back from the meet and they were back out there to compete in the hammer.” That kind of dedication to an extracurricular event is impressive, but it’s also part of the impressive thrower’s culture growing throughout the area. “There are a lot of retired, world-class throwers who have retired to live quiet lives in the area,” Wardsworth explained. “A lot of them do some coaching and mentoring. Along with top-quality coaching, Wardsworth notes that the Ironwood Thrower’s Camp in North Idaho has become a destination point for those looking to improve.

College coaches keep a close eye on what the Wardsworths do

“This is a good spot to be a thrower.”

Central Valley’s girls’ track and field squad. The Bears scored points from 13 different competitors while bringing home the third place team trophy with 55 points. Distance runner Kearan Nelson accounted for 13 with second and fifth places in the 3,200 (10:51.69) and 1,600 (5:02.23.) Six girls in various combinations produced second place finishes in the 4 x 200 and 4 x 400 relays

adding another 16 points. Anna Fomin was in both relays joined by Katie Hawkins, Hayden McAuliff, LacieHull, Erica and Anna Pecha. Anna placed second in the 800 and fifth in the 400 in 58.89 seconds The other points, nearly half the Bears total, came from field events. Sydney Johnson set a school record, clearing 11-feet in the pole vault and finished seventh.

See NOTEBOOK, Page 23

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Continued from page 22

Samara Nelson was second in the shot put with a personal record 4110¾ throw. Also second was Hailey Christopher sharing the lead at 5-feet, 6 inches, but missing a high jump title based on criteria. Sierra Brady finished seventh in the javelin. CV’s Erik Fitzgerald took fifth in the boys’ javelin at 191-3 for boys and U-Hi’s Nathania Strebel took fourth in the 100-meter wheelchair division. Fisher in limelight East Valley’s Rodrick Fisher, who is headed to Washington State on a football scholarship, completed his track career as a two-time sprint champion and part of a second-place 4 x 100 relay finisher at the class 2A meet. His times in the 100 and 200 meters were comparable to or better than those of any other classification. He won the 100 meters in 10.49 and 200 in 21.27. The 4 x 100 relay team featuring Issaiah Ervin, Matt Mason and Andre Mouadir timed 43.35, half a second away from a title. During the 2A girls’ competition, Knights Chloe Chalfant finished second in the javelin at 145 feet, 3 inches, Kailee Hance triple jumped 34-5 for sixth and Genesis Wilkinson was seventh in the shot put at 34-5.

Final Point

Miller remembered as tough, caring mentor By Mike Vlahovich

Current Sports Editor Charlie “The Bull” Miller made it very clear in decades of coaching at West Valley and East Valley high schools – success as an athlete is great, but you better take care of business in the classroom. In other words, don’t mess with The Bull. Learning of Miller’s passing brought back the memory of that no-nonsense approach that emphasized accountability and tossed short-cuts and scapegoats out with the garbage. Over 50 years ago, I walked the halls at West Valley as a student and knew of Miller’s influence. It is still felt to this day. Judging by the social media tribute posts by former wrestlers and students over his 30 years coaching and teaching, the tough lessons in responsibility steeled them to face grown-up realities. “If you competed for him you knew you were ready,” said


Eagles score points West Valley boys had their share of success as well at state 2A, with two second place finishers. Caleb Simpson was runner-up in the 300 hurdles just half a second away from the title. He also ran on the second place 4 x 400 relay team with Tyler Mays, Jake Jordan and Garrett Morton, just a lean away from the title. Jabriel Davis tied for fourth in the high jump; Jacob Nicholson was sixth at 1,600 meters and Cody Skay took eighth in the 3,200. Eagles girls middle distance runner Madeline Liberg finished seventh in the 400. Busy Scotties weekend Freeman girls picked up 18 points during state 1A track by placing in three relays. The capper was a state title in the meet-ending 4 x 400 meters. Earlier they finished fourth in the both 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relays. Tessa Gilbert and Alyssa Zimmeran ran in all three races. They were joined by Taylor Cobb and Ysabella Panzeri in the 400, Panzeri and AnnaBelle Schweiger in the 800 and Megan Rubright along with Schweiger in the 1,600. Andrew McGill was third in the 300 hurdles and sixth in the high jump for the Scotties boys. Riley Langston took fifth in the discus.

Leaps of faith Valley Christian athlete Julia Hays had a monster effort in the 1B meet finishing second in the high jump and triple jump and fifth in the long jump. Phillip Croft won three wheelchair races, the 100, 400 and 800. Third time, fourth place It was merely a matter of which soccer team, Central Valley or Pasco would win the rubber match and advance to the state 4A final. The Bulldogs had won the first match early in the sesaon, the Bears took a regional game. Sadly, it was Pasco that prevailed in a shootout and CV wound up fourth in their third straight trip to the state semifinals. Maine Man Freeman’s Ryan Maine, a cog in the Scotties second-place state basketball finish, ended his high school career with a third place finish in 1A state golf. He had rounds of 71 and 72, one stroke off the lead. It was Maine’s fourth trip to state. He finished second the previous two years. Ryan Crosswhite and Tyler Haase made the cut and played on the second day to finish among the top 41 and earn a sixth place team

Rory McDonald, who wrestled for and coached with Miller. “To say we practiced hard was an understatement. He truly gave merit to the phrase ‘after you’ve wrestled, everything else is easy.’ ’’

heart surgery later he was back to teaching at rival East Valley from 1985-94, taking up where he left off, mentoring four more individuals to six state titles. Son Myke was a rival of his dad and champion at EV in 1978.

Chuck (Charlie) Miller died last month at age 77. Although he wasn’t faint of heart, it was ultimately his heart that failed him. A memorial tribute will be at West Valley High School, Saturday, July 29. Miller had just come aboard WV as a young teacher and coach in 196061 when I was a junior. He assisted in football and was charged with developing a wrestling program, a sport in its infancy among area high schools. When I began my sports writing career a half dozen years later, our relationship grew as peers. Chuck would be the man responsible for my one day being nicknamed “Mr. Rasslin’ ” by sports writing colleagues. Miller’s coaching career was twofold. He spent 21 years at West Valley, until 1982 and produced eight individual champions – three in 1972 when the Eagles won the state 3A championship. He left education for private business, but two years and a

Myke and brother Mark – who teaches and coaches at Shadle Park – had Facebook pages filled with condolences and tributes to their dad, some hilarious, others a testimony to Chuck’s influence; a blending of tough love and soft heart. If you messed with the Bull, you heard about it, but he also was a shoulder to lean on. Denny Jordan lived across from the Millers and transferred from East Valley to West Valley as a junior. “He was my surrogate dad for many years,” Jordan said. “He taught me about being a man and accepting responsibility and made me into a pretty good high school wrestler.” Back to the “Mr. Rasslin’ ” nom de plume: Chuck approached me one day and asked why I didn’t cover wrestling on the same scale I did basketball when at the Spokane Valley Herald. I joked (or at least

JULY 2017 • 23

finish. Isabelle Miller shared 12th among girls; West Valley’s Alyssa Amann placed 25th in 2A. Scotties third in baseball Freeman’s run through the state 1A baseball tournament ended with a third-place finish. The Scotties dreams of a state title were quashed with a 6-1 loss in the semifinals. They bounced back with a 5-3 win over Cashmere for the bronze. At the net Claire and Lily Sinner, mainstays on West Valley’s girls’ basketball team, doubled up in tennis and brought home the 2A fourth-place award. They opened with a straight set victory, but were beaten by the eventual champions in the quarterfinals. The duo battled back with two straight wins, 6-3, 6-4 over Sehome and took fourth by the identical score against Quincy. University’s Katie Smithgall and Randy Murock won their way into the semifinals but were beaten by the eventual 4A champs and ousted in their next match. In 1A, Kendra and Krystal Gady also were quarter finalists, but lost their last two matches.

thought it or I’d probably be extinct) because basketball was more important. Truly, I had no answer, but pondered his words. It didn’t take long to be sitting beside a wrestling mat pen and camera in hand for nearly 50 years. Lo, these many years later I still get called to cover a match or tournament for The Spokesman-Review. Charlie Miller was one of a kind, not only as coach, but friend and ambassador who made wrestling a big deal in Spokane.

Chuck Miller’s state wrestling highlights

WV state champions (one team, 13 individuals) 1971 – Mike Reed, 129 (eventual national collegiate champion at EWU); 1972 – Team title; individual champs: Tim Parcher, 148; Steve Gannon, 158; Jeff Doud, 168; 1976 – Jeff Kochman, 168; 1979 – Rudy Pazer, 190; 1980 – Todd Gaston, 129. EV state individual champions 1987 and 1989 – Ray King, 122-129; 1987 – Nick Nastri, 108; 1993-94 – Chad King, 108; 1994 – Sofiane Hansen, 115.

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Continued from page 9 recreational opportunities in the surrounding areas. Three questions about port districts Port districts are special purpose local governments with the power to finance long-term investments such as infrastructure needed for growth. Port districts use taxes, service fees, bonds, rental income, and grants or gifts as revenue sources. Council noted that Greater Spokane Incorporated has actively been looking into the county forming a port district. Although the council is opposed to port districts because they compete with private markets, staff returned with answers to three questions recently posed by the Council: Question 1: May the city opt out of a county port district? The short answer is “no.” If, however, it appears on the ballot, the council may take a position on the issue if it holds a hearing where both sides are presented. Question 2: May the city create its own port district? It cannot, however, groups of citizens can

petition to establish a less-thancounty port district.

donor, or which reasonably creates an appearance of impropriety.”

Question 3: The council also had a question about the compensation for port district commissioners. This position is not necessarily a full-time position. Pay varies from zero to $1,000 per month.

Report on human trafficking

Donations to the city can now be accepted City Attorney Cary Driskell stated that, according to state law, if a city wants to accept donations, it must adopt an ordinance. Under a new ordinance developed by staff and unanimously passed by council, the city manager can accept cash donations up to $200,000, but must seek approval for larger donations. The manager can, at his discretion, accept or reject any non-monetary donations. However, all donations would be reported to the council. Merkel questioned donations with strings, but City Manager Mark Calhoun noted that this is addressed in the ordinance, stated as follows: “The city manager shall not accept any donation which creates a conflict of interest, is given in return for financial favors, business with the city, or other city-business related benefit to

Police Chief Mark Werner and Sergeant Aaron Myhre of the Sexual Assault Unit of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) reported that prostitution does occur within Spokane County, but no more frequently than it did 10 years ago. SCSO has worked with federal partners in two operations of human trafficking and with King County Sheriff’s Office in another, large case. Council Member Caleb Collier said he would welcome the opportunity to work with the SCSO to address this issue in Spokane Valley. He asked that they return with some ideas about how the council can help. Representatives of The Jonah Project, which works to get both men and women out of prostitution, told council they would like to collaborate with the city to develop a strategic plan to address the problem, noting that prostitutes are reluctant to contact law enforcement. The Jonah Project offers a 24-hour rescue line at 6557886. More information at www.

City Hall is on schedule Construction of the new City Hall is on schedule, having completed 83 percent of the project by June 6. Substantial completion is scheduled for Aug. 31, with final completion on Sept. 30. Council members were asked to try out and then choose from chair options in the reception area. Council Briefs: • The law enforcement contract with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is presently being negotiated. • City Hall at the Mall may move from Spokane Valley Mall to the new City Hall next year • Look for the county’s Law and Justice Committee to report to the council on strategies to increase efficiencies and reduce costs of public safety. • Pace asked staff to report on costs and selection of the city’s official newspaper • Pace also wants staff to examine and report back on credit card fees. Should we or should we not pass these fees through to users?

The Current

Dragon fat, Shakespeare and the Renaissance headline SCLD summer

By Vanessa Strange Spokane County Library District Most everyone knows Harry Potter but few may know the roots of his magical world. Harry Potter’s spells, herbology, and alchemy have origins in Renaissance traditions that not many of us have studied. You probably know that aloe vera is good for sunburn, but did you know that dragon fat was once believed to be effective against “creeping ulcers”? That’s according to 16th century Swiss naturalist and physician Konrad Gesner. He and other physicians, naturalists and herbalists believed there were dragon-like creatures with an incurable bite and catalogued their medicinal uses, along with countless other creatures and

Books and the Bus – Summer storytime takes to the road

By Erin Dodge Current Guest Contributor When the bus driver says, “Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus!” what happens? What if driving the bus is the lifelong dream of the pigeon? Will the driver let the pigeon drive the bus? You can find out when a Spokane Transit Authority bus driver reads Mo Willems’s humorous story “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” and other entertaining stories. Kids and parents can get the wiggles out between stories with some movement activities. Then the bus

LIBRARY plants. The National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, has pulled some of the most interesting images depicting the early origins of western science from the Renaissance along with Harry Potter’s world into an exhibit that will be on display at the Spokane Valley Library from July 3 to Aug. 12. The exhibit is called “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine.” So many people, young and old, admire the writing of J. K. Rowling that created Harry Potter’s world. This exhibit offers a glimpse into the sources of information that authors draw from to inform their novels. Archives exist all over the world, many now digitized, which are a wealth of inspiration for researchers and fiction writers alike. The origins of modern science stemmed from the study and experimentation of the Renaissance era. Alchemists, herbalists and early physicians laid the foundation with their search for knowledge through nature. We’re also celebrating the 20th anniversary of the U.S. release of the first Harry Potter book with a celebration, called “Happy Birthday,

Harry!” Have a blast at our all-ages Harry Potter birthday party with lively games, a costume contest, crafts, snacks and Potter trivia. The big day is Tuesday, Aug. 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Spokane Valley Library. Spokane Valley Library is also hosting a “Harry Potter Magical Trivia Night” for grown-ups only on Friday, Aug. 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. Are you Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Gryffindor? Don’t miss this chance to fly your house flag. Speaking of the Renaissance, you may want to take a trip out Cheney Library in the West Plains for another exhibit, titled “And There's the Humor of It” - Shakespeare and the Four Humors,” also from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, and on display from July 3 to Aug. 12. You can explore Shakespeare’s use of the four bodily humors to reveal a person’s temperament and personality and the modern interpretations of the four humors in contemporary medicine. On July 6 -8, you can even apply the theory yourself to create a visual depiction of your personality.

driver leads everyone outside to explore a Spokane Transit Authority (STA) bus! “Touch-a-Bus Storytime” takes place at the Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E Main Street, on Wednesday, Aug. 30, at 10:30 a.m. This engaging family storytime is for all ages and in partnership with STA. The Spokane County Library District has four more opportunities for books and a bus: at Airway Heights Library on Thursday, June 29; Cheney Library on Thursday, July 13; North Spokane Library on Thursday, July 27 and at Medical Lake Library on Wednesday, Aug. 16. All storytimes start at 10:30 a.m. Here are some entertaining books about busses that may be read at these special storytimes. You can also check one out at the library to enjoy at home or on the bus as you travel this summer.

• “Are We There, Yeti?” written and illustrated by Ashlyn Anstee • “Maisy Drives the Bus,” written and illustrated by Lucy Cousins • “Last Stop on Market Street,” written by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson • “Seals on the Bus,” written by Lenny Hort and illustrated by G. Brian Karas • “The Bus is for Us!” written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Gilliam Tyler • “My Bus,” written and illustrated by Byron Barton • “The Babies on the Bus,” written and illustrated by Karen Katz • “I’m Your Bus,” written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Evan Polenghi

JULY 2017 • 25

Magic, medicine, & THE

humor of it

Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine

A summer exhibit at SPOKANE VALLEY LIBRARY July 3–August 12, 2017

“And there’s the humor of it”: Shakespeare and the four humors A summer exhibit at CHENEY LIBRARY July 3–August 12, 2017 For details about these exhibits & to see related programs, visit

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Valley Chamber





Safety Scroll Be smart and aware in avoiding scams By Deputy Chris Johnston

21st Annual Golf Tournament Network with other business professionals in a fun and relaxed setting: • Sponsor a tee or green and join the fun! $300 per tee/green includes signage. • Register your team - invite your team or business partners for a fun and memorable day on the golf course! Registration includes green fees, cart and dinner. $400 team/$100 per player. Top team awards presented for men’s, women’s and mixed teams. Individual awards given for longest drive (men and women), closest to the pin (men and women), and hole-in-one. For more information or to sign up, visit: MAJOR SPONSORS: Underwriting Sponsor: Modern Electric Birdie Sponsors: Banner Bank Canon Solutions Sunshine Disposal Valley Hospital Wells Fargo Eagle Sponsor: George Gee Automotive Clubhouse Sponsor: Dave’s Bar & Grill

Aug. 3, 1-7 p.m. 1 p.m. Shotgun start MeadowWood Golf Course, 24501 E Valleyway, Liberty Lake

New Members: MAY Escape Entertainment Evergreen Elder Law Hunter’s Denture Studio of Spokane Johnston Engineering Just Chillin Eats & Sweets Malinka Euro Market & Bakery My iPat Northwest Business Development Assoc. Northwest Center Primum Healthcare Solutions Summit Success Strategies Valley Electric Services subsidiary of Opportunity Industries Inc. Vision Marketing

1421 N. Meadowwood Ln. Liberty Lake, WA 99019 | 509-924-4994 |

Spokane Valley Police Department In the recent past, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and Spokane Valley Police have received many reports from citizens regarding phone scams. These scams vary somewhat in execution, but the end goal is the same: to use fear tactics to coerce innocent people out of their hard-earned money. This is being done in a very heinous and illegal manner, as scammers are posing as representatives of law enforcement. Yes, you read that correctly. Here is a general synopsis of how these calls work: The victim receives a phone call. On the other end of the phone is a person who has introduced themselves as “lieutenant soand-so,” or “district attorney soand-so,” or used another officialsounding title, such as “officer,” “deputy,” “captain,” “sergeant,” “chief,” etc. They can also claim to work for the IRS, The sheriff’s office, the police department, the U.S. District Attorney’s Office or a similar law enforcement agency. Then, they inform the victim that they have an unsettled warrant or have committed a crime, such as missing jury duty or failing to respond to a certified letter. This begins the process of inciting fear into the hearts of otherwise law-abiding, hard-working citizens. Then, the scammers begin making their demands, which include telling the victims to acquire gift cards, money orders, MoneyPak cards, and even cash wired via Western Union to settle the debt. Victims are told that failure to respond as instructed will result in larger fines and/or arrest. These scammers are aggressive, threatening, and unrelenting in their pursuit of free money. Also, I’m troubled to admit this, but they are quite cunning, as several

people have fallen victim to these cowardly scammers and their tactics. In a recent incident, one of the potential victims began asking basic questions the caller could not or would not answer. After the call ended without the victim falling prey to the scam, the victim called the number back which went to voicemail with a message stating the victim had reached the sheriff’s office. This was a very well-thought out attempt to authenticate the scammer’s story. So, what can you do to protect yourself and others from these types of scams? It’s as simple as being educated and spreading the word to everyone you know. This is the message: law enforcement, to include The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, Spokane Valley Police, Spokane Police Department, the IRS or any other government agency will not contact you via telephone and threaten you with arrest or demand that you pay fines over the phone. We will not ask you to provide banking information or ask for a credit card to settle debts. If this happens, simply hang up the phone. If possible, call your local law enforcement agency to report the incident (in Spokane County, call Crime Check at 456-2233). Try to provide the number from which the call was received, if available. Also, your local law enforcement agency can verify (or dispel) whether or not you owe money or have any outstanding warrants for your arrest. Most importantly, do not follow instructions to acquire any of the above mentioned payment methods and send them to people that you’re unfamiliar with. Consider anyone calling you and demanding money over the phone for any reason to be fraudulent, unless you are able to prove otherwise. Consider this, as a matter of perspective: there are laws in place that govern the methods used by actual debt collection agencies. Under these laws, they cannot use threats or tactics of fear to intimidate debtors into paying fines, for any reason. Keeping this in mind, I’d just like to stress one more time that law enforcement does not engage in those types of debt collection or as a way to settle outstanding arrest warrants. When in doubt, and I mean even an inkling of any doubt, end the call, and do your own research into the matter. Spread the word, and be safe everyone!

The Current

JULY 2017 • 27

Fall ballot to feature two SVFD commissioner races

due to work obligations. Challenging Burch is Stan Chalich, who retired last month after 49 years as a teacher and coach at Central Valley High School.

Current Editor

In addition to his time at CVHS, Chalich has been active in a number of community causes in the Liberty Lake area he calls home, including the effort to clean up the lake through the Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District and a citizenled coalition that help establish the community’s trail network.

Burch is the co-owner and business manager of Neurotherapy NW. He began volunteering with SVFD’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in 2008 and went on to serve as team leader and member of SVFD Fire Corps.

By Craig Howard

Voters in the greater Spokane Valley this fall will be asked to retain two representatives of the Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) Board of Commissioners or seek a change. The November general election will feature some familiar names on the ballot for fire commissioner, beginning with the race for Pos. 5, pitting incumbent William “Bill” Anderson against Larry T. Rider who retired in February 2015 after 35 years with SVFD.

The SVFD Board of Commissioners consists of five elected representatives. Mike Pearson (board chair), Joe Dawson (vice chair) and Ron Schmidt round out the board. In other election news, the Aug. 1 primary will narrow down the candidate field in two contests for Spokane Valley City Council. On the Pos. 1 ballot, Mayor Rod Higgins faces competition from Al Merkel and Chris Jackson. Council Member Pam Haley, appointed last June, is being opposed by three challengers for Pos. 5 – Ingemar (Lloyd) Woods, Angie Beem and Robert (Rocky) Samson.

Rider served in a number of leadership roles with Valley Fire, including lieutenant and training division chief. In 1994, he was part of the department’s first technical rescue team. Rider was promoted to deputy chief in 2001 where he served until his retirement. The other contested board seat is for Pos. 1 where Patrick Burch will attempt to keep the post he was appointed to last July, replacing Kolby Hanson who stepped down

The top two candidates in each race will move on to the November general election.

FEBRUARY 2017 • 9

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“What do you have, like three city or town councils in the greater Valley?” he asked me. “Four, because we want to cover Rockford, and of course there

LIBERTY LAKE: E. 23505 Appleway Ave. Ste. #204 LINCOLN HEIGHTS: E. 2420 29th Ave. Ste. #200

Eric M. Tyler, MD “I owe the man that I am to all of the wonderful women in my life and consider it a privilege to take care of mothers, daughters, and grandmothers.”











soaring to national and international acclaim.

In late 2015, Ben Wick – known by most for his service on the Spokane Valley City Council – stepped up with his wife, Danica, to purchase the Current and Splash

from Josh. The new owners live in Spokane Valley, are invested here and understand what matters to their neighbors. As handoffs go, the two papers could not have landed in better hands.

next five years, the future looks brighter than ever. Readership is growing, advertising is up and the stories keep generating talk.

“Yeah, yeah,” he interrupted. “The bottom line is that community newspapers thrive because of a shared sense of community. With such a mishmash of overlapping jurisdictions and loyalties, that’s a challenge in Spokane Valley.”

As the Current embarks on its

Thank you for the support, greater Spokane Valley. This is your paper.

early to see the hot air balloons off at Mirabeau or floated frogs down Rock Creek in the annual regatta.

As for dealing with all the jurisdictional dividing lines, we employed twin strategies. One, we would hit the high points. In the early years, we did a “3 Up, 3 Down” feature to give “at a glance” news from around the community and we always made a point to dig deeper into the most important jurisdictional items. But mostly, we relied on strategy two: Write about the issues we have in common, because there are an awful lot of them.


Of course, we also had so much fun along the way. There was our annual food bracket placing Valley eats in a single elimination competition. The idea here was to advance great Valley menu options through a bracket while sitting on couches watching the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Not a bad gig.

Advertise With Us and Let Us Brainstorm New Ideas for Your Business His opinion from decades in the business: Publishing a community newspaper was challenging enough on its own without doing it for Spokane Valley.




“Close, but that’s an interesting story in itself. You see, our agricultural heritage means many of our community place names and identities were formed around a patchwork of irrigation districts …”

By Josh Johnson

Make Your Appointment Today

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The Current now has a 25,000 copy circulation with 15,000 being direct mailed to households across Current the Spokane Valley areafounder in addition to the 10,000 copies being available for pickup at over 250 weighs in on formative business locations. Aboutdays 9,000 copies of The Splash are distributed around the end of each month, of paper 5,500 of those through direct mail to every home and business in the greater Liberty Lake community. He was the stereotypical inky wretch, grizzled and grumpy. Coffee: black and bottomless. Blood type: CMYK.

Here at our office we believe a confident, healthy, beautiful smile can help you accomplish anything. Come in and let us give you a smile that will take you where you want to go.

To schedule an appointment call: Downtown 509.838.4211 Valley 509.928.2866

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Reach 25,000+ Readers!

Continued from page 8

accounts of the human spirit overcoming adversity from U-Hi grad Mitch Carbon’s remarkable triumph over cancer to the feats of Spokane Para Sport athletes



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The winner between Burch and Chalich will serve the reminder of Hanson’s unexpired six-year term through December 2019. The top vote-getter in the Anderson/Rider race will serve a six-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

Anderson has served on the board since January 2000 after spending 29 years with SVFD. He retired as captain of Station 2 in Millwood in 1999 and has been an active leader of Spokane Valley Firefighters Local 876. He has served as a trustee on the Washington Council of Firefighters for 25 years.

The Current

You can be anything with a


And it was. And it is. But to this day, I remain convinced that even if I’m a Central Valley Bear and current owner and publisher Ben Wick is an East Valley Knight, our common interests far outweigh a couple miles of geography. And so, five years ago, when I led a team made up of greater Valley folks like myself to launch

I wrote the cover story for the very first issue of The Current about homeless students in the greater Valley. This is an issue we should continue to address as a community, because suburban homelessness is

Indeed, owning and publishing The Current through its first 48 issues remains a highlight of my life, but I am certain I couldn’t say that save for one qualifying factor: We covered the greater Spokane Valley, my home and yours. And it’s the home of current owners Ben and Danica Wick, who beautifully share the heritage of this now 5-year-old publication:

Shelley L. Northern, ARNP

“I am passionate about women’s health and enjoy guiding patients through the various phases and challenges life can bring, both physically and emotionally.”


The Current

28 • JULY 2017

Greetings, Inland Northwest. We’re excited to be here. Rockwood Clinic, Valley Hospital and Deaconess Hospital are now a part of the MultiCare family. MultiCare is a not-for-profit health care system dedicated to the health and well-being of the communities we serve. Thank you for welcoming us into your hospitals, clinics and homes.

The Current

JULY 2017 • 29


Ben Wick

Danica Wick CO OWNER



Paula Gano

Hayley Schmelzer


Derek Brown, Steve Christilaw, Bill Gothmann, Craig Howard, Staci Lehman, Mary Anne Ruddis, Mike Vlahovich, Tyler Wilson The Valley Current P.O. Box 363 Liberty Lake, WA 99019 Phone: 242-7752; Fax: 927-2190 of each month. It is distributed free of charge to every business and home in the greater Spokane Valley area. Copies are located at drop-off locations in Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake and the surrounding area.

The Current is brought to you by

Wick Enterprizes

Publishing House

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

be received by the 15th of the month in order for the subscription to begin with the issue printed the end of that month. Correction policy The Current strives for accuracy in all content. Errors should be reported immediately to 242-7752 or by email to Confirmed factual errors will be corrected on this page in the issue following their discovery. Advertising information Display ad copy and camera-ready ads are due by 5 p.m. on the 15th of the month for the following month’s issue. Call 242-7752 for more information. Advertising integrity Inaccurate






knowingly accepted. Complaints about advertisers should be made in writing to the Better Business Bureau and to The Splash is not responsible for the content of or claims made in ads. Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved. All contents of The Current may not be reproduced without written permission of the publisher.

Love The Current? Support our partners.

From Current News Sources The Current is committed to serving the Greater Spokane Valley Free meals will again be part of the area through excellent community journalism. We can’t do it at schedule in Central Valley, West Valley and East Valley school districts this all without you, our readers, and we can’t do it for long without summer. support from our advertisers. Please thank our business partners Central Valley School District and look to them when offering your patronage. is sponsoring free summer meals for children at McDonald Elementary, 1512 S. McDonald Road; Adams Elementary, 14707 E. Eighth Ave. Our sincere appreciation to the following businesses for their and Mica Peak High School 15111 E. foundational partnerships with The Current and its partner publications: Sprague Ave. The program runs June 26 – July 20, Mondays through Thursdays (excluding July 3 and 4) with breakfast from 8 – 8:30 a.m. (8:30 – 9 a.m. ENRI CHED LI VI NG. LASTI NG VALUE. only at Mica Peak High School) and lunch from 11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. In the East Valley School District, the summer meal schedule is as follows: THE THE YOU WANT East Farms Elementary: Breakfast 8:45 – 9:15 a.m. Lunch - 11:30 a.m. – noon Otis Orchards Elementary: Breakfast - 8:45 – 9:15 a.m. Lunch 11:30 a.m. – noon East Valley High School: Breakfast 7:45 – 8:15 a.m. Lunch - 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Parkside at Mirabeau Apartments: Breakfast - 8:30 – 9 a.m. Lunch 11:30 – noon Trentwood Elementary: Breakfast: INSTRUCTIONAL CLASSES 8:30 – 9 a.m. Lunch: 11 – 11:30 a.m. Custom FitOFFERED Lighting • Family Medicine/Healthy Living Liberty Lake MORNING, AFTERNOON, EVENING AND WEEKENDS THE YO U D ES ERVE This site serves Tuesday - Thursday FOR ALL GOALS & ABILITIES and ends Aug. 3. LibertyTODDLER Lake Family Dentistry • Liberty Lake Orthodontics THROUGH ADULT EVSD collaborates with Spokane Competitive Teams • Parkour, Breakdance Financial • Spokane County District Valley Parks and Recreation and in Spokane,Thrivent and Hip Hop Classes • Parent’sLibrary Night Out New homes Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Post Falls & Coeur • Bitty Bee Academy & Flippin’ Fun Move provides summer meals at the Night • Open Gym for All Ages • Gymnastics following locations: Birthday Parties • Ninja Zone Edgecliff Park: Lunch only - 11:30 gr e e n s t o n e h o m e s . c o m a.m. - noon Index of advertisers Terrace View Park: Breakfast - 9 – Following are the local advertisers in ENROLL 9:30 a.m. Lunch - 12:15 – 12:45 p.m. this issue of The Current. TODAY! Valley Mission Park: Breakfast – 9 – Our coaches are passionate about 9:30 a.m. Lunch – Noon – 12:30 p.m. and focus on teaching Amaculate Housekeepinggymnastics 12 Liberty Lake Family Dentistry 5 Spokane Transit Authority 6, 24 Valley YMCA: Breakfast - 8:30 – 9 quality gymnastics in a fun and safe BECU 8, 19 Liberty Lake Farmer’s Market 13 a.m. Lunch - 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce 26 315-5433 environment. Classes run year-round with three 13-week sessions (Fall, Citizens to Elect Ben Wick 4 Liberty Lake Orthodontics 26 All of these sites serve Monday – 2515 Locust Road SpokaneN. Valley Summer Theatre 14 Winter and Spring) and one 10-week Thursday, ending Aug. 3. Clark’s Tire and Automotive 3 Michael’s Berry Farm 12 Spokane Valley 99206 summer session. Stateline Plaza 30 In the West Valley School District, Cornerstone Penecostal Church 4 Republicans of Spokane County 13 The Business Center 8 summer meal locations include: West Courtney Hanks 5 RIM Ride 19 Valley High School, Dishman Hills High Valley Hospital 28 School, Centennial Middle School, Evergreen Fountain 21 Simonds Dental Group 32 Orchard Center Elementary and Ness Valleyfest 6 Greenstone 18 Spokane County Interstate Fair 9 Elementary. The program began June Waste Management 3 Gus Johnson Ford 32 Spokane County Library District 25 19. Remaining dates are: July 10-27 (WVHS, Centennial and Ness); July Inland Empire Utility CC 12 Spokane Gymnastics 17 11-27 (Orchard Center) and July 5-6 Kiwanis Spokane Valley 7 Spokane OBGYN 26 Service Directory 30 and 10-13 (Dishman Hills) Breakfast is served at WVHS, Centennial and Ness from 8:30 – 10 Of note: This thank you message was produced by The Current’s advertising team, which works its tail off a.m. and 8:30 – 9 a.m. at Dishman on behalf of partner businesses, helping them share their messages through advertisements. This is an indeHills Lunch is provided at all sites from pendent function from The Current’s editorial team, which has its own evaluation process to determine the 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. community news stories and features it pursues. For more information about a win-win partnership that For questions or more information, expertly markets your business to thousands of readers (while making this home-grown community newscall WVSD Nutrition Services at 232paper possible), email With story ideas, contact 6092.



The Current is published monthly by or before the first

Submitted materials

Valley school districts offer free summer meals


The Current

30 • JULY 2017



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The Current

Paper Weight – The value of preserving community journalism By Craig Howard Current Editor “The newspaper is a greater treasure to the people than uncounted millions of gold.” - Henry Ward Beecher In the days before computers, printers and scanners, my grandfather Ed Howard published a weekly newsletter that was produced on a rudimentary handfed printing press. The power for the machine was generated by a foot pedal. Content was translated from scrawled text on a notepad to the press where a patient typesetter – in this case, my dad Nathan – placed each letter, upside down and backwards. Ultimately, the columns were ready and a page emerged – but not without meticulous concentration and uncommon effort. As far as I know, they met every press deadline. I still have some of my grandpa’s newsletters, albeit those that were published later on a modern copy machine. His words of advice and wisdom still resonate. The copy typically featured a lesson or two, bolstered by scripture passages, anecdotes from his life and references to authors ranging from Shakespeare to O. Henry. For a well-respected concrete engineer, my grandpa understood the art of writing. After I graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, my grandpa gave me a small plaque that read “Future Editor.” He lived out the final 25 years of his life in Spokane Valley, walking faithfully each day to a post office on Sprague Avenue to pick up his mail. He loved print, whether it was a newspaper or a letter from a friend. While my grandfather passed in 2004 at the age of 90, I’m grateful he lived long enough to read some of the stories I wrote in my 10-year tenure with the Spokane Valley News Herald. One week, I honored him with a column about his work helping to build the Hoover Dam. If Ed Howard were still here, he would be a dedicated reader of the


JULY 2017 • 31

Valley Current and Liberty Lake Splash. He trusted newspapers and knew he could learn about his community and what mattered to his neighbors by reading the printed word. He would have agreed with Henry Steele Commager, the American historian and author, who once said, “The newspaper is the raw material of history; it is the story of our own times.” That story is being told today in Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake because Ben and Danica Wick stepped up in late 2015 to purchase the Splash and Current from longtime publisher Josh Johnson. While nearly everyone agreed that the publications were of value to the community, only Ben and Danica came forward to keep them running. The Splash has now been published without interruption since September 1999 while the Current celebrated its five-year anniversary in February and added another 15,000 direct mail copies this year to go with 10,000 already on the racks. Readers and advertisers continue to see the value of both papers which cover a civic niche in a way that can’t be found in any other publication. Those who pick up our papers also know they can trust the content. You won’t see any ads for marijuana retailers or inserts promoting pot shops. Parents can rest assured that the complimentary Current and Splash issues on stands at area businesses will always contain family-friendly material. Both papers promote the good that is happening – from featured students, athletes and citizens to nonprofit causes that are having an impact. At the same time, we understand the watchdog role, keeping an eye on local government and issues that affect our neighbors’ quality of life. “The whole adventure of being a publisher has been all about keeping it local and getting the news out about the community,” said Ben, a graduate of East Valley High School and Eastern Washington University. “Whether it’s politics, schools, business or other topics, it’s important to let people know what’s going on.” Last fall, before the general election, the Current featured a comprehensive voters’ guide. In the June 2016 issue, senior pages produced by every greater Valley school appeared as part of a tribute to seniors. When the city manager in Spokane Valley was abruptly dismissed last year, the Current

Being a community newspaper magnate may not be as glamorous as many think. Above, Splash/Current Publisher Ben Wick tackles a mammoth stack of papers on delivery day. Ben and his wife Danica purchased both publications from Josh Johnson in late 2015. Contributed photo

quickly shifted gears on our cover story shortly before press time to feature the latest coverage and inform citizens of the change. It also turns out that grandparents don’t comprise the entire readership of print publications. A recent report by Media Audit showed newspapers in the U.S. reach 46 percent of the adults in local markets. Adam Strunk is one newspaper advocate who knows a thing or two about local markets. The managing editor of Newton Now, a community paper in central Kansas, recently penned a column about the acquisition of several similar publications in his state by a large media conglomerate connected to a New York hedge fund. In referring to the resulting layoffs and dropoff in local stories, Strunk wrote that those who bought the papers “have never sold an ad or picked up a pen.” He also emphasized that local news is best covered by reporters, editors and publishers who are invested in the community in a

way that goes beyond their bank accounts. “How do you write about the news people care to read?” Strunk went on. “That’s simple – care about the community and have ownership that cares about the community enough to invest resources to cover it.” In less than two years, Strunk and his colleagues started Newton Now from scratch, grew subscriptions and advertising and earned a place of trust among a growing readership. “Journalism isn’t dying in Kansas,” Strunk added. “We’re the community’s voice, watchdog, friend and chronicle.” The scenario sounds remarkable similar to the last 18 months of the Splash and Current where new owners have brought innovation and energy to both papers. To those cynics who still say it’s time for print journalism to turn the page, we invite you to pick up these community-rich publications and do just that.

The Current

32 • JULY 2017

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July 2017 Current  

World of Wings: Behind the scenes at Felts Field, the Valley's historic ariport

July 2017 Current  

World of Wings: Behind the scenes at Felts Field, the Valley's historic ariport