Page 1

NOVEMBER

2017

G R E AT E R

SPOKANE

VA L L E Y

PRSRT STD ECRWSS U.S. Postage Paid Permit #010 ZIP CODE 99019

FREE

GETTING TO KNOW GUS Page 2

KUNEY APPOINTED COUNTY COMISSIONER Page 4

CANDIDATE FORUM Page 39

Quality Quintet - Honoring Five Local Vets page 12


2 • NOVEMBER 2017

The Park Bench

One Tough Gus – Auto dealer paid dues on road to success

By Craig Howard Current Editor If John Wayne had gravitated toward selling trucks instead of making Westerns, he would have become Gus Johnson. Built like a linebacker with a work ethic to match, Johnson has developed his Ford dealership on Auto Row in Spokane Valley into a local landmark. Radio ads with his signature bass voice and TV commercials featuring his trustworthy image have vaulted the “Gus” brand into celebrity status. Despite being recognized around town, the native of Newport, Washington – a town of around 2,000 in Pend Oreille County – is not one for the spotlight. When he’s at a restaurant and his face appears on a nearby screen, this particular auto dealer would rather hide behind a menu than bask in the attention. Johnson was one of three children born to hardworking parents. His father was a bookkeeper for Jackson Motors in Newport, a Ford dealership. Gus would drop by the car lot occasionally to see his dad but had no interest as a youth in being part of the auto business. “I didn’t have time for that,” he recalls. “We had a lake place with a boat. I didn’t really care about cars.” Johnson was a stellar student and ASB president at Newport High and one of 46 in his graduating class. He is still in contact with some of his friends from those early days. “My buddies stop by the lot occasionally and sometimes they’ll even buy a car,” Gus says. Growing up in Newport, Johnson played all sports but was most adept at his favorite – basketball. He was good enough to earn a spot on the roster as a walk-on at Washington State University when he enrolled as an architecture major in the fall of 1964. A rigorous academic schedule found him leaving basketball aside and he later switched majors to finance and economics, graduating

NEWS in 1969. As a senior at WSU, Johnson talked with representatives of national auto manufacturers who visited campus, recruiting soon-tobe grads for well-paying jobs in the capital of cars, Detroit. Chrysler, General Motors and Ford all came calling. Johnson picked Ford and has never looked back. Gus met his future wife, Colleen, as a student in Pullman. The couple were married before Johnson graduated from college and moved to Michigan after he received his diploma. He crunched numbers for Ford in the finance department until 1976, living with Colleen and their young son in Plymouth, a suburb of Detroit. Johnson remembers those formative years with Ford as “less corporate and more casual” than what the auto industry later became. He recalls meeting then-Ford President Lee Iacocca who would routinely visit the manufacturing plants and chat with employees. “That approach has carried over into what I do,” Gus says. “My door here is always open.” Johnson would leave Ford – at least temporarily – to work in finance for the May Department Stores, living in cities like St. Louis, Chicago and Los Angeles with his young family. In 1979, his professional highway would take him back to the Northwest. He bought a small Ford dealership in Grangeville, Idaho and cut his teeth there, acquiring skills that would one day translate to Auto Row. In 1985, Colleen challenged her husband to climb the career ladder

beyond Grangeville. “She basically said, ‘You need to push yourself,’” Gus recalls. A move to Appleway Chevrolet in Spokane followed. While Johnson wasn’t keen about transitioning from his beloved Ford to Chevy, the change brought him to a larger market and more possibilities. After a year with Appleway, he became general manager of Empire Ford. In 1992, he bought the longstanding McCollum Ford dealership in Spokane Valley, a business that had started as McCollum-Crawford Motors in January of 1946. “Those first few years were tough,” Gus said. “But I’ve never been afraid of failure or a challenge.” In 1998, the business was renamed Gus Johnson Ford and in 2004, it earned the prestigious President’s Award from Ford for outstanding sales and service. The lot would be honored again in 2006 and 2007. Gus hangs his hat – usually of the WSU or Eastern Washington University variety – on customer service. He is rarely gone for extended getaways, preferring to be available in person if someone has a question or wants to talk to the owner. On the community front, Gus is known for his generous heart and support of numerous nonprofit causes. He is a sponsor of the Dan Kleckner Golf Classic each year, an event that benefits local veterans. Each November, Gus hosts a clothing drive for homeless vets, filling Ford trucks with donations throughout the month. “Without veterans, I would have

The Current

never been able to buy a store,” Gus says. “I enjoy that we’re able to help in some way.” When not selling vehicles, Johnson can be found cheering on his alma mater and EWU, golfing or fishing in Alaska – the only vacation that he says can take him away from the lot for more than four days at a time. Gus and Colleen celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary in September. They have two grown sons, Brad and Jason, and three grandchildren. The Current caught up with Gus recently to talk about cars, community, commercials and more. Q: What are some of the values you learned growing up in a small town that have carried with you to this day? A: Don’t judge people on how they look or dress. We are all human beings with different values and ideas. In a small town you create really strong friendships with a lot of different people that stay with you no matter where you live. In small towns, all the people work together to help everyone, no matter what their lot in life is. So as our business continues to grow, we are able to help many people and groups who are not as fortunate as we are. Q: You studied architecture initially in college. Do you ever wonder where you’d be today if you had remained in that field? A: I really don’t think about it often because it was so long ago and I love what I am doing now. I do know this, I would have to

See GUS JOHNSON, Page 3

If there is a “face” of Auto Row in Spokane Valley, many people would point to Gus Johnson. The Newport native and Washington State grad has been in the car business for nearly 50 years and is now in his 26th year of owning his own Ford dealership on Sprague Avenue. Photo by Craig Howard


The Current

NOVEMBER 2017 • 3

NEWS

GUS JOHNSON

Continued from page 2 own my own firm and not work for someone else. I tried that right out college and found it was OK to work for someone, but not in the long run. Q: You’ve accomplished a lot in the car business in a journey that started shortly after you graduated from WSU. What have been some of the keys to success along the way? A: It didn’t happen overnight. During the fourth year at WSU I switched my major to finance and economics. After graduation I went to work for Ford Motor Company in Detroit and later with the May Department Stores Company. The later job required a lot of traveling relocating. We lived in St Louis, Chicago and Los Angeles. Wanting to settle down, I was able to buy into a small Ford store in Grangeville, Idaho. With no prior retail experience, this was a real eye-opener. Although you were part- owner, you had to be the bookkeeper, salesman, service manager, parts manager and janitor. This forced me to understand how the whole business worked. What I didn’t understand, I would call other Ford dealers and ask for help. I was and still am not afraid of failure. You can learn a lot from it. Q: What are some of the main changes you’ve seen in the auto industry in the time you’ve been a part of it? A: I think the biggest change is the creation of large auto groups like Auto Nation, Larry Miller and Lithia to only name a few. just read an article that predicted all dealerships in the U.S. would be owned by one of those groups by 2025. I don’t think this is true, but it is harder and harder to compete against them because of their economies scale. Also, the manufacturers are more demanding of the dealer body. They continue to push their programs on you and try to come up programs and incentives they think will sell more cars. The manufacturers continue to look at areas to expand their business like driverless cars and increased technology and sometimes forget their main responsibility is to produce vehicles with less recalls that we can sell. Q: You started a tradition several years ago of hosting a clothing drive for veterans at your car lot each November. What is it about this cause that is special to you? A: We will hold another clothing

drive for the homeless veterans that will start on Veterans Day and go through the end of November. When we started this, I didn’t know how many homeless veterans there were in the area and it is a lot, more than 800. A lot of these veterans don’t want to be confined and choose this lifestyle. I have to remind myself sometimes there are women veterans as well. I was not in the service, but without them, I would not be able to have what I have today nor the business I have. Q: The row of vehicle dealers along Sprague Avenue has changed a bit since you first took over McCollum Ford 25 years ago. What is positive about Auto Row now and what would you like to see improved? A: Auto Row has changed a lot since I first bought the dealership in 1992. The biggest improvement has been the cleanup along Auto Row. Older buildings have been removed and new ones have replaced them. Sprague became a one-way street and Appleway was added. Some liked it and others didn’t but I think we have all adjusted to it. Over the last five years, every dealership on Auto Row has been remodeled which has really changed the look making it more inviting for the public to do business with us. In the future I think we need to just keep improving the way people shop for cars on Auto Row, making it easy and friendly. Q: Sales tax revenue from auto dealerships is nothing to sneeze at when it comes to its impact on city budgets. Do you think that aspect of your industry is sometimes overlooked? A: I believe 21 percent of the sales tax revenue in the city of Spokane Valley comes just from Auto Row. That is a large number and I think the city fathers recognize that. The city has made a lot of improvements on Auto Row like sidewalks and landscaping. We as dealers need to continue to talk to the city and make sure they know what they have done for us and what we need done in the future. Q: I know you’ve talked about not being a “car guy” but if you had to pick an all-time favorite vehicle from any time period, what would it be? A: I am not a car guy in the sense that I collect cars. I think there are unique and special vehicles that interest me, but have no desire to own one. I look at the vehicles on the lot as big pieces of iron that need to be turned over and over. If there was a car I would want to own, it would be an early Boss 302 Mustang.

WM salutes the heroes among us.

Cody Craig US Air Force F-16 Crew Chief WM Spokane Valley Hauling

Waste Management is among the nation’s top employers of veterans. We value their years of training and experience in leadership, safety and teamwork—the same core values that unite WM employees. We are proud of those who have served our country, and now serve the Spokane Valley community. Join the neighborhood conversation about recycling and WM in the community

ThinkGreenSpokaneValley

Learn about local recycling and garbage services:

wmnorthwest.com


4 • NOVEMBER 2017

Valley Chamber

HIGHLIGHTS

NEWS

The Current

Mary Kuney appointed as county commissioner By Craig Howard Current Editor

Mary Kuney was sworn in as the latest Spokane County commissioner on Sept. 29 at the county Public Works building. CONNECT. CONNECT.

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“This was a very long process,” Kuney said. “I’m looking forward to being out in the community and learning how we can best help our constituents.” Kuney had served as Spokane County chief deputy auditor for the past two and a half years, helping to monitor numerous elections. She noted that the journey to become the commissioner representing District 2 “took almost as long as an election process.”

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Attend our annual meeting in November

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Annual Meeting Friday, November 17 11:30-1:30 p.m. Mirabeau Park Hotel Keynote Speaker: Jennifer Ciccarello Southwest Airlines

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

Kuney’s appointment was announced by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Sept. 27. The decision shifted to Olympia on Sept. 12 when the two standing commissioners, Al French and Josh Kerns, could not agree on a replacement for Shelly O’Quinn who left her role as commissioner in July to become CEO of the Inland Northwest Community Foundation. In a press release after the appointment, Inslee noted Kuney’s background in Spokane and said she was in a position “to bring county employees and stakeholders together.” “Throughout this appointment process she received broad support from the community," Inslee said. Kuney – a certified public accountant who also served in the Washington State Auditor's Office as assistant audit manager and assistant state auditor – said the decision to pursue public office was about making a positive difference. “In the state auditor’s office, I saw a lot of elections in cities, counties and school districts,” Kuney said. “I saw some good elected officials and some not so good. I decided if I had an opportunity to put my name in, I would be one of the inspirational ones.” Republican precinct committee officers (PCOs) voted on a list of

Mary Kuney GOP hopefuls on Aug. 5 that also included Spokane Valley Deputy Mayor Arne Woodard and Devin Samuelson, owner of a Spokane aerospace engineering firm. The group was slimmed down to Chase, Kuney and Guarisco with Chase earning the most PCO votes. Word was that Kerns leaned toward Chase and French supported Kuney, who had once served as his campaign treasurer. The gridlock – which went beyond the designated 60-day period to pick a third commissioner – left many local Republicans wringing their hands. At a minimum, Kuney will serve until the general election is certified next November. A special ballot will be presented to voters in the fall of 2018 to determine a long-term representative of District 2 which includes Liberty Lake, the city of Spokane Valley, Millwood, southeast Spokane County, a section of the city of Spokane east of Perry and parts of unincorporated Spokane County. As for now, Kuney said she will be focusing on the county’s budget for next year as well as “continuing to work on the communication between county departments.” She said she plans to learn more about entities like the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce and visit rural towns to listen to feedback from residents. Originally from Kansas, Kuney has supported a number of local causes as a volunteer, including the HUB Sports Center in Liberty Lake. She is also on the board of the Hutton Settlement which provides safe housing for children and has served on the board of the Boys and Girls Club of Spokane County. Kuney and her husband live in the West Valley area and are parents of two grown children.


The Current

NEWS

SVFD Report – November 2017

From Current news sources By the numbers: • Fires* = 91 • Emergency medical service =1,235 • Motor vehicle accidents = 79 • Hazardous materials = 13 • Building alarms = 79 • Service calls = 17 • Vehicle extrication = 4 • Water rescue = 4 • Confined space rescue = 1 *Brush, commercial, residential, rubbish, vehicle fires and unauthorized burning Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) crews responded to a total of 1,523 emergency calls from September 22-October 25, 2017. Incidents included: • Emergency medical – Sept. 22 – SVFD crews provided emergency medical services at Greenacres Fire Station #10 to a mother and her newborn baby. The father, an off-duty SVFD firefighter, called 9-1-1 and drove toward the station when he realized his wife was about to give birth to their third child in the back seat of their SUV. The family is doing just fine! • Water rescue – Sept. 24 –Shortly after 5:30 p.m. SVFD crews responded to a report of a man in the Spokane River near the dog park at Stateline. The 68-year-old man had lost control of his remote control boat and went into the river, swimming to retrieve the boat. The water was cold and took a physical toll on the man. He yelled for help and made it to shore before rescuers arrived. Firefighters provided a blanket, checked the man’s medical condition and gave him a ride back to his vehicle. • Motor vehicle accident – Sept. 29 –SVFD crews responded to a motor vehicle vs. pedestrian accident in the 1300 block of North Liberty Lake Drive in front of Albertsons, shortly after 12:45 pm. They found an 81-year-old man who was reportedly trying to cross the street in his motorized wheelchair when he was struck by a full-sized SUV. The man was still buckled into the wheelchair that was laying on its side in the street. He was alone, alive but unresponsive. Crews quickly and gently unbuckled the seatbelt and began emergency medical care. The man was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. A SVFD paramedic and firefighter continued patient care in the ambulance until arrival at the hospital. The man later passed away. • Garage fire – Oct. 2 – Just after 5:15 p.m., SVFD crews responded to a reported structure fire in the 13900 block of E. Springfield Avenue. Firefighters found smoke coming from the garage and the homeowner who was attempting to retrieve her

cats from the house. They quickly cut the garage door out of the way and extinguished the fire, preventing it from spreading into the home. Fire investigators determined the fire began on top of the work bench where there were combustibles and chemicals used for cleaning and painting.

• Rubbish fire – Oct. 2-3 – SVFD firefighters responded to a report of an outdoor rubbish fire in the 8500 block of East Cataldo, around 1:15 p.m. on Oct. 2. Firefighters noted a dark grey column of smoke coming from behind the home as they arrived on the scene. The homeowner and others were burning a large, 10-foot diameter pile of garbage and junk. Firefighters told them to extinguish the fire as none of it was legal to burn-it would all need to be hauled away. The homeowner refused the crew’s offer to assist in tearing the large pile apart to ensure the fire was out. At 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 3, the same crew responded to an outdoor rubbish fire at the same address. This time, the fire was unattended and the homeowner was not home. Firefighters used their tools to pull the smoldering pile apart and extinguish hot spots in the pile. They found a sprinkler and left it running over the fire area and returned to service. • Vehicle extrication – Oct. 7 – Shortly before 9:15 a.m., SVFD crews responded to a vehicle extrication call in the 2300 block of North Pines Road. Firefighters arrived on the scene of a small white car rolled on its side in the turn lanes onto I-90. The elderly male driver was moving around inside attempting to get out. Firefighters stabilized the vehicle and then made a smooth extrication of the man out the back window of the vehicle. Bystanders said the man slowly drove up the jersey barrier and the car rolled on its side. The driver was not transported to the hospital. • House fire – Oct. 11 – SVFD crews responded to a reported structure fire in the 11800 block of East Sixth Avenue, just after 8 p.m. A male driver had crashed into the home at the intersection of Sixth and Fox, damaging the gas meter and subsequently igniting the escaping natural gas. Both the home and the vehicle were on fire when SVFD crews arrived on scene. Quick, coordinated action by crews quickly extinguished both fires, minimizing interior damage to the home. Crews closed the gas meter valve and backed the vehicle a safe distance away. Four occupants inside the house safely evacuated and firefighters rescued a dog. Sheriff’s deputies on scene took the driver into custody. • Confined space rescue – Oct. 12 – At 1 p.m., SVFD crews were called to rescue a man trapped in a collapsed trench in the 2100 block of North Long Road. The 30-year-old was inside a 6-foot deep trench behind his house when the dirt partially caved in, breaking his lower leg under the dirt.

See SVFD REPORT, Page 6

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6 • NOVEMBER 2017

NEWS

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The Current

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Free CPR Classes – Second Saturday of every month – SVFD offers free “hands-only” CPR training for friends and families. The two-hour classes cover adult/child or infant CPR using the most current guidelines, as well as how to use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). Classes are taught by SVFD firefighters and paramedics. Register online at spokanevalleyfire.com or call 9281700. Note: This is not a healthcare provider or certification course.

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The Current

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By Spokane Valley Police Chief Mark Werner The maps provided below depict where citizens have reported Vehicle Thefts, Thefts from a Vehicle (also known as vehicle prowling), Burglaries and Thefts. As you view the map each circle will contain a number indicating how many instances Spokane of a particular crime were reported at that location. Thefts from a vehicle is often under reported as people often feel nothing can be done or they only lost a small quantity of loose change. However, the Spokane Valley Police Department and the Spokane County Sheriff’s office analyze this data to determine high crime areas and where to allocate resources. I encourage citizens who have been a victim of crime to call 911, if the crime is in progress, or Crime Check at 456-2233, if not in progress, to report a crime.

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As we are a couple of months into the new school year I encourage drivers to be mindful of reducing their speed when traveling through school zones and to be watchful for children crossing the roadway. With even cooler temperatures we have seen an increase in vehicles being stolen as they were left idling unattended. Please avoid this practice unless you have a remote start feature on your vehicle. Finally, we continue receive reports of the “You have warrants” scam. The first thing to know is ANYTIME someone calls you and demands payment (prepaid credit card, money, personal info) for a warrant or threatens your arrest, it’s a scam. Law Enforcement or other government agencies will NOT do this. Please continue to report these type of scams so we can continue to investigate and get the word out to citizens so they do not become victims of these type of scams.

! (


The Current

8 • NOVEMBER 2017

The results are in!

from our mock election

Last month, on October 4, 2017, the students from East Valley High School, Mica Peak High School, University High School, West Valley High School and Central Valley High School partnered with The Splash to create a candidate forum that featured the Spokane Valley City Council Candidates. All those in attendance were asked to participate in a mock election at the completion of the program. Here are the results.

City of spokane valley - non partisan office council position no. 1 Rod Higgins Chris Jackson

29 73

council position no. 2 J. Caleb Collier Brandi Peetz

40 62

council position no. 4 Ed Pace 35 Ben Wick 68

council position no. 5 Pamela Haley Angie Beem

54 47

council position no. 7 Mike Munch 32 Linda (Hatcher) Thompson 69

East Valley School District - non partisan office Director District no. 3

Nathaniel Rooney Justin Voelker

8 43

Director District no. 4

Fred Helms Emily Provencio

29 17

west valley school district - non partisan office director district no. 1

Dan Hansen Gerald Rosenbaum

21 17

director district no. 2

Keith A. Acord Robert N. Dompier

20 17

Spokane Valley fire department - non partisan office commissioner position no.1

Patrick Burch Stan Chalich

70 83

commissioner position no. 5

Bill Anderson Larry Rider

37 109

Spokane county water district #3 - non partisan office Commisioner position no. 2

Nathan P. Jeffries Kevin McMulkin

28 38

Thank you to all of the students, teachers and our partners who helped make this event possible. we look forward to working with you next year!


The Current

NOVEMBER 2017 • 9

Students also completed a rubiric to get themselves acquainted with each candidate and to determine who they should vote for. The following are the average results for each candidate.

Candidate

First Impression

score on response

charisma

sincerity

last Impression

Total Points

perentage of points

Rod Higgins Chris Jackson Caleb Collier Brandi Peetz Ed Pace Ben Wick Pamela Haley Angie Beem Mike Munch Linda Thompson

5.93 7.21 7.31 7.04 6.49 5.92 5.20 5.51 6.36 7.41

5.58 7.12 7.58 6.87 6.22 7.46 6.47 6.88 6.73 7.75

4.90 7.39 7.58 7.34 5.32 6.22 5.73 6.17 6.27 7.92

5.93 6.95 7.66 7.76 6.25 7.39 6.49 6.97 6.78 7.95

5.76 7.76 7.63 7.71 6.31 7.08 6.30 6.47 6.88 8.15

28.10 36.43 37.75 36.73 30.59 34.07 30.19 32.01 33.03 39.17

56% 73% 75% 73% 61% 68% 60% 64% 66% 78%

There is still time to cast your vote for the official election. Ballots must be post marked or dropped off at one of the following locations by 8:00 pm November 7. If you need a replacement ballot go to https://weiapplets.sos.wa.gov/MyVote to print your ballot. Argonne Library Liberty Lake Library 4322 N Argonne Rd 23123 E Mission Ave Liberty Lake, WA 99019 Spokane, WA 99212 Otis Orchards Library 22324 E Wellesley Ave VOTER SERVICE CENTER Otis Orchards, WA 99027 CenterPlace Spokane Valley Library 2426 N Discovery Place 12004 E Main Ave Spokane Valley, WA 99216 Spokane Valley, WA 99206

Find us on Facebook! GREATER SPOKANE VALLEY

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A VALLEY-WIDE COMMUNITY NEWSMAGAZINE

NOT-FOR-PROFIT AND ALL-FOR-YOU. Ready to try BECU? Learn more about membership at www.becu.org/about. Or, stop in to one of our two locations, including one in the valley on Sullivan. Spokan e River

Spokane Valley NFC 615 N Sullivan Road Spokane Valley, WA 99037

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Spokane Division NFC 916 N Division Street Spokane, WA 99202

EM


The Current

10 • NOVEMBER 2017

Spokane Valley City Council report Current Correspondent

designates one staff member to coordinate with managers, inspectors and contractors to improve quality control. Details of this CAP were submitted to WSDOT in a Sept. 26 letter.

WSDOT finds deficiencies within Public Works

City approves snow removal ordinance

The city of Spokane Valley has been certified since 2006 to approve the administration of federally funded project at the local level through a Certification Acceptance (CA) program. Such projects must conform to the Local Agency Guidelines Manual. On a 2014 review, the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) found paperwork deficiencies in the administration of the Argonne/Sprague Preservation Project and, as a result, WSDOT decided to review the Sullivan Bridge Project.

City Council gave final approval to a new snow removal ordinance that requires all Tier 1 and Tier 2 sidewalks to be cleared of snow within 48 hours, leaving a path of at least 36 inches. Tier 1 sidewalks are those in commercial areas and “Safe Routes to School” routes on the city’s Sidewalk Snow Removal Map. Tier 2 sidewalks are other residential area sidewalks. The ordinance states, “Tier 1 priority areas are the only areas which may be enforced until future action by the City Council to approve enforcement of Tier 2 areas.”

WSDOT required a Correction Action Plan (CAP) and Spokane Valley Public Works developed and submitted the CAP. On May 26, 2017, WSDOT reviewed the Sullivan Bridge Project and found a number of items missing or deficient, including trainee interviews, several payroll items, justification for or incomplete change orders, material acceptance documents and untimely updating of the Record of Materials. After a 30-day grace period, the city was “able to supply or correct most of the items,” according to WSDOT.

Fines for the first violation are reduced from $500 as listed in the existing ordinance to $51.25 for the new ordinance. There are also provisions permitting a defense for those over 65 years old and those with physical disabilities. The city will take action to reduce snow being plowed onto sidewalks and will conduct an educational program to inform the citizens of their responsibilities. The ordinance was approved 5-2 with Council Members Ed Pace and Caleb Collier dissenting because they preferred assessing no fines during the next year.

By Bill Gothmann

WSDOT then required another CAP and have decided to review the Euclid Road Project. Present staff attributes these deficiencies to lack of formal procedures, lack of consistency and inadequate personnel for management of the city’s projects. They have developed a CAP to meet these challenges, one which also

First reading of property tax ordinance approved State law requires that the council adopt an ordinance defining the total property tax to be collected by the city. The tax has two components, the base tax and new construction. The base tax will be the same as last year,

$11,646,122. Note that the city will not take an extra 1 percent permitted by state law. The estimated new construction tax is estimated to be $125,000. When a new building is constructed, the owner pays a property tax based upon the present property tax rate, the assessed value of the building, and what percentage of the year the building was in existence. Thus, the total tax will be $11,646,122 plus $125,000 or $11,771,122. Based upon the county’s Sept. 20 update, the total assessed valuation of the city is about $8.53 billion. This computes to tax rate of about $1.38 per $1000 ($11.8 million divided by $8.53 billion). These figures will change slightly as the county gives the city updated assessed values and estimates for construction. This first reading was approved unanimously by the council. Pines and separation presented

Barker grade alternatives

In May, HDR Engineering and David Evans and Associates (DEA) were selected to design the Pines Grade Separation Project. This project provides an overpass of the BNSF railroad near Trent, increasing safety, reducing horn noise, decreasing wait time, and addressing a failing intersection. The study developed two alternatives. Alternative 1 provides an overpass to an intersection slightly northeast of the present intersection. It would cost $23.1 million for a roundabout or $23.3 million for a signalized intersection. Alternative 2 would move the intersection about two blocks to the northeast along Trent. Connection from Pines would require an underpass and a road between the present railroad

tracks and Trent northeast to meet the new intersection. A signalized intersection would cost $19 million whereas a roundabout would cost $20.2 million, primarily for increased purchase of property. Alternative 2 requires less excavation. Under either alternative, BNSF would want to close either the Vista or the University crossing. In August, DEA was selected by council to analyze five alternatives for a Barker underpass/overpass of BNSF rails and examine the intersection of Wellesley and Trent. Their analysis shows that the five alternatives range in cost from $27.1 million to $11.6 million, with the lowest cost alternative merely moving the problem east to Flora Road. The option that seems most favorable thus far is Alternative 5, costing $18.75 million. It provides a bridge over BNSF in line with the present Barker Rd. to an intersection directly north of the present Barker/Trent intersection. There, a roundabout would service Trent and Barker. Wellesley would keep its present path and bridge. The Flora/Trent intersection would be closed. DEA will now examine the intersection type (signalized or roundabout) and the traffic implications of such a plan. The city has about 50 percent of the necessary funding for the project and has recently applied for two other federal grants. City awards $150,000 outside agency grants

in

Since its incorporation in 2003, the city has annually approved social service and economic development grants to outside agencies. The budget for this year is $150,000. Council approved the following grants for 10 agencies:

See COUNCIL, Page 11


The Current

NOVEMBER 2017 • 11

Join Our Team!

We are recruiting freelance writers and freelance photographers. Send your resume and a sample of your work to publisher@libertylakesplash.com THE

LIBERTY LAKE

COMMUNITY NEWSMAGAZINE

COUNCIL

Continued from page 10

Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, $17,694; Spokane Valley Arts Council, $30,708; Spokane Valley Heritage Museum, $3,500; Spokane Valley Summer Theatre, $2,357; Valleyfest, $28,122; Family Promise of Spokane, $4,607; Greater Spokane County Meals on Wheels, $15,266; Hearth Homes (now Naomi), $20,000; Spokane Valley Partners, $17,623; and Widows Might, $10,123. Painted Hills update City staff gave a summary of the history and the status of the Painted Hills Planned Residential Development (PRD). Prior to 1985, this area was zoned agricultural by the county. The Painted Hills Golf Course opened in 1989 and the property was rezoned by the county in 1991 as UR-3.5 (urban residential, 3.5 units per acre). The city carried over similar zoning in 2007 when most of the area was zoned single-family residential (R3, similar to the county’s UR-3.5). In August 2012, the golf course filed for bankruptcy. Knowing it would be auctioned by the bankruptcy court, the city debated whether to place a bid but was discouraged from doing this when a private group told them they were going to re-open it as a golf course. Council declined to act by a 3-2 vote, with one council member absent and another recusing himself. However, at the auction, Black Realty obtained the property and in 2015 made an application to the city for a 580-unit PRD that included cottages, single-family residential homes, multi-family homes and commercial areas. The underlying zoning dictates the overall density of a PRD. Thus far, traffic currency has been obtained, meaning that,

with the modifications to be made to the roads, each of the intersections will not fail. The city has determined that an Environmental Impact Statement is required addressing such concerns as individual road requirements, the flooding of the area and many other considerations. The applicant is required to devise plans to meet these challenges and the city will review them. The public can comment on the project at a February 2018 hearing. Because the city is the reviewer of the plans, it would now be unethical for the city to try to acquire the property. Final action will be determined by the hearing examiner who may approve, disapprove or modify the project. 2018 budget receives initial approval The City Council has heard five presentations thus far concerning the 2018 budget. City revenue is expected to grow at a rate of 3.67 percent whereas expenses are expected to grow 1.81 percent. Staffing levels will increase by 0.85 full time equivalent employees, although one of these employees has been on staff, paid for by projects, for some time and not formally acknowledged in the statistics. The city carries very little debt. This year, the city’s bond rating increased from “aa3” to “aa2.” Next year will be the ninth year the city has not taken the permitted 1 percent increase in property taxes. Over $4 million is planned for pavement preservation. Public Safety will cost $25,464,251 whereas property taxes will be $11,771,100. On Oct. 24, a public hearing was held and council approved the first reading of the budget. A final public hearing will be held on Nov. 14, followed by council’s final approval of this budget.

GREATER SPOKANE VALLEY

A VALLEY-WIDE COMMUNITY NEWSMAGAZINE First reading of 2017 budget amendments approved Staff presented a number of changes to the 2017 budget. Major expenditures include $77,000 for purchase of network equipment to reduce departmental duplication; $35,000 in park equipment from a donation; $15,000 for an unexpected pool repair; $38,526 for siting sculptures at City Hall; $45,320 for purchase of right-ofway for the Eighth and Carnahan project and $23,671 for the Euclid – Flora to Barker project. There was a decrease of $230,079 expended from the Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) fund for the Barker Grade Separation project, since grant funds will be used before using REET funds, while revised REET revenues are projected to rise by $400,000. Final approval is expected on Nov. 14. City applies grants

for

sidewalk

Spokane Valley is part of a county consortium that applies for and receives grants from the federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) department. These grants are targeted for residential, low to moderate income areas. The city has an agreement with the county to set aside 20 percent of the county’s HUD grant for the city, amounting to about $270,000 this year. The city is proposing to apply for two sidewalk grants: Wilbur, Broadway to Boone (west side), and Knox, Sargent to Hutchinson (south side) with the expectation that only one will be granted. By a 6-1 vote, council approved applying for these grants, placing the Boone project ahead of the Knox project because of its being on a Safe Route to Schools road. Council Member Pace dissented, not wanting to take HUD funds. Council briefs: •

On Sept. 26, Spokane Valley

City Council held their first meeting in the new City Hall’s Council Chamber. • Moody reaffirmed the City’s “aa2” bond rating • Staff reported that the city has a success rate of 42 percent in obtaining grants for which they apply. Occasionally they make multiple applications expecting only one to be chosen. • The city is issuing a Request for Qualifications for a consultant to develop a Continuity of Operations Plan to be used in the event of a natural or manmade disaster. • The City Council sent a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee in support of renaming Highway 27 south of the City as the “Sam Strahan Highway” honoring the late Freeman High School sophomore who is credited for saving lives in an incident at the school in September. • The state is considering permitting home grown marijuana. Council and the police chief sent letters to the state to preserve the status quo which prohibits this. • The Christmas tree lighting is planned for Thursday, Nov. 30 at the south wing of City Hall. • Mayor Rod Higgins appointed Keith James to the Spokane Housing Authority Board of Commissioners for a five-year term that began October 10. • Higgins reported that the Spokane Regional Library Board has accepted the five-year extension plan approved by the City Council, allowing consideration of a new library. • Council Member Sam Wood reported that the Spokane Regional Health Board is investigating the effects of marijuana on various age groups, whether to raise the legal age to use tobacco to age 21, and how to combat the increase in sex trafficking in the region.


12 • NOVEMBER 2017

COVER STORY

Hometown Heroes – Locals make each branch of military proud By Staci Lehman Current Correspondent Since the formation of the United States of America, the nation has been involved in a dozen major wars and many conflicts on every continent. These combat zones have claimed the lives of millions of American service members, left others physically and mentally disabled and many of us mourning loved ones. We can’t know the story of every one of these heroes but we express our gratitude for their dedication and listen when those who fought for our freedoms share their stories. As we observe Veterans Day this month, the Current brings you the experiences of a handful of heroes who live and serve, each in their own way, with us every day in our Spokane Valley community. U.S. Marine Corps – Staff Sergeant E-6 Bob Wiese Bob Wiese may no longer be an

active duty member but he still lives his life by what he learned in the U.S. Marine Corps. “I’ve learned that God is real and that we were all put here for a purpose,” says Wiese. Wiese says his purpose is to honor those who didn’t make it out of the service with their lives. A Staff Sergeant E-6 in the Marines, Wiese served from 1992 to 2000 as a utilities engineer and drill instructor. While he didn’t see combat, this Greenacres resident says he joined the Marines for a challenge. “I wanted the most challenging of the services,” said Wiese. “I value my education more for having had the real-life experience first.” After the military, Wiese was offered a partnership in a company he is still with today, Northwest Tank & Environmental Services, Inc. While living in Western Washington, he met his wife, who was from Spokane, and they relocated here.

Bob Wiese served in the U.S. Marines from 1992 to 2000 as a utilities engineer and drill instructor. Wiese worked with the city of Liberty Lake to establish the Fallen Heroes Circuit Course at five sites. File photo

A native of Colorado, Wiese is the man behind Liberty Lake’s Fallen Heroes Circuit Course, a series of fitness stations sprinkled throughout the city’s parks and greenspace. The course was inspired by a similar one new recruits to the Marine Corps go through. Just like it, each station of the Fallen Heroes Circuit Course is dedicated with a plaque to a military member who gave their life in combat. “One side includes a description of the exercise and sponsors and the other side is a 3D likeness of each hero and a history of where they were killed in action,” said Wiese. A committee painstakingly researched and recommended area service members from every branch of the military to be honored with an exercise station. “Unfortunately, it was easy to find a lot of candidates for the Marine Corps and Army,” Wiese says. Weise said the families of each Fallen Hero have been supportive of the project and he has stayed in touch with many of them. The dedication ceremonies for each workout station were emotional, to say the least. “Corporal (Josh) Dumaw, he died in 2010,” Wiese said. “We had his dedication ceremony in 2013. His son turned 3 on the day of his ceremony. He never met his dad because he hadn’t been born yet but he got to touch his dad’s face on the plaque.” Today there are five stations in place, but Wiese’s work isn’t done. “They (Liberty Lake city officials) came to us and asked if we wanted to expand to firefighters and law enforcement,” Wiese said. Plans are already in place to have a station in Orchard Park, which will be built in the River District on the north side of Liberty Lake in 2018. While the idea for the Fallen Heroes Circuit Course was Wiese’s, he is quick to credit others, including the committee he worked with to make the idea a reality and the city of Liberty Lake for funding the equipment. Money for the plaques was raised by the committee. “The world is bigger than you,” Wiese said. “From the beginning in the Marine Corps we teach teamwork. It does no good to get to the finish line by yourself.” U.S. Army – Sergeant 1st Class Kara Wait Sergeant First Class Kara Wait of the U.S. Army has added a new rank to her name this year – “winner.” The medical recruiter who lives in Newman Lake and is stationed in Spokane, is one of just 11 soldiers awarded the prestigious U.S. Army

The Current

U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Kara Wait was awarded the prestigious U.S. Army Recruiting Command’s Audie Murphy Award this year. Contributed photo Recruiting Command’s Audie Murphy Award this year. Wait was one of two female soldiers to receive the honor. The award’s namesake was one of the most decorated U.S. Army combat soldiers of World War II, receiving every American combat award for valor. Winners of the award must “exemplify leadership characterized by personal concern for the needs, training, development, and welfare of Soldiers and concern for families of soldiers,” according to U.S. Army Forces command code 600-8. Wait does all of that and more. But during the competition, the 35-yearold was a little nervous about one thing. “I was the oldest one there of the entire group,” she said of her 23 competitors in the final round. Wait is an 18-year military veteran who joined the Army at 17. She signed up while in high school in her hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin. Wait trained as a combat medic and in 2010 was deployed to Iraq with a trauma surgical team. “We were very similar to MASH,” Wait said. “We would set up in a tent and do surgery then get them out of there.” She says Iraq was an eye-opener, yet her situation wasn’t as bad as those faced by many soldiers. “Half of my deployment was in a really decent environment where we had resources,” she said. “The second half was the ‘real’ deployment, where we had one meal a day, had to wash our own clothes.” Wait says that experience gave her new appreciation and compassion, especially for others returning from war zones. While Wait she says her adjustment period didn’t take long,

See VETS, Page 13


The Current

VETS

COVER STORY

Continued from page 12 there were some difficult times. “I felt like a foreign exchange student in my own home,” she said. Today Wait’s position in a unit of healthcare recruiters means she isn’t deployable, but she does travel to hospitals, medical schools and medical conferences all over the country, talking to healthcare professionals about joining the Army. Not being in a combat zone doesn’t mean she doesn’t push herself to her physical and mental limits. Training for the Audie Murphy Award had Wait running and reading. She says the mental part of the competition was much tougher than the physical. “It’s based on a whole soldier concept,” Wait said. “It was all memorization of Audie Murphy’s whole life. They could ask you something simple like the day he died, or who is his second wife and what was her middle name.” Judges also asked about leadership and decision-making. Then there was the physical component – situps, pushups and a 12-mile ruck march with 50 pounds of gear and disassembling a rifle, among other things. Despite her major accomplishment, Wait is humble. “I completely am honored every day to be a service member,” she said. “I do believe it painted my path for so much success in my life. I have no idea where I’d be without the military.” U.S. Navy – Seaman First Class Neil Arveschoug Neil Arveschoug spent a year on the Destroyer USS Henley and remembers making “a world cruise of it.” “Five of seven of the world’s oceans, 21 countries, the Suez and Panama canals,” Arveschoug recalls. The Spokane Valley resident, originally from New Jersey, served as a Seaman First Class in the U.S. Navy from 1953 to 1956. While his father was in the Merchant Marines, it wasn’t an inherited love of the ocean that led Arveschoug to the Navy. “I got out of high school and I was 18 and I was going to Korea,” he said. “I didn’t have money for college and I didn’t want to be a ground pounder so I joined the Navy.” Arveschoug’s job aboard the destroyer was to catch the expended brass bullet casings that came out of the guns during shelling practice. “I wore asbestos gloves that went past my elbows,” he remembers.

Spokane Valley resident Neil Arveschoug served in the U.S. Navy from 1953 to 1956, visiting five of the seven world's oceans and 21 countries. Photo by Staci Lehman Despite being peacetime, there were still serious threats the ship’s crew faced. “Our biggest problem was floating mines,” Arveschoug said. The crew of the 300-foot long Henley would watch for mines and alert a nearby Marine ship to detonate them. One day, I’m standing on the fantail and a Mach-31 mine comes floating by,” he said. “Luckily the ocean was flat as a floor that day and there was no wind. It wasn’t 10 feet away.” Arveschoug had two other close calls, both times coming extremely close to being washed overboard. As for life on a boat, this Navy vet says things were pretty straightforward. “If it moved, you saluted it, if it didn’t, you painted it,” he said. After his time with the Navy ended, Arveschoug decided to try civilian life and moved to Hawaii with his family, where his dad was taking a job in radio. Arveschoug followed suit and also got into radio and television. Working as a technical director, cameraman and other positions over the years, he moved all over the country for jobs. He later married and had four children. His family eventually relocated to Spokane where he latched on with KXLY, spending 25 years with the local station before retiring. Arveschoug’s wife passed in 2005 after 49 years of marriage. One of his daughters passed that same year. Today, at 83 years-old, Arveschoug stays active by dropping by the Spokane Valley Senior Center for games of billiards with friends.

As for whether he would serve again, Arveschoug says definitely. “I would do it again in a second,” he said. “Even today I would do it again.” U.S. Coast Guard – Chief Petty Officer Betty Meyers Betty Meyers is just as feisty today as she was 74 years ago when she joined the SPARS, the U.S. Coast Guard Women's Reserve. “I’ve never been one to shy away from things,” she said. And enlisting definitely didn’t scare her. Meyers, originally from Rockford, Washington and now a long-time Spokane Valley resident, was a stenographer in the SPARS from 1943 until 1946. She chose the Coast Guard because a relative was already a member. Her enlistment day became a family outing. “My mom and dad went with me, my little brother and sister too,” she recalls. Meyers went to Palm Beach, Florida for training. From there, she transferred to Long Beach, California to work in Port Security. Part of her job was writing up orders for the ships that would go through the harbor and help organize boats to sweep the harbor. Meyers’ job was land-based, which was fine with her considering she tends to get seasick. In addition to her stenography duties, all Coast Guard members, men and women alike, took turns cooking and serving food and cleaning barracks. It wasn’t all work though. Meyers had a lot of fun and saw many enlisted celebrities. “I saw Paul Robeson and a lot of the movie stars,” she said. There were also many social opportunities once the workday was over.

NOVEMBER 2017 • 13

“We even had a women’s basketball team and we won the championship one year,” she said. Meyers remembers the day World War II ended and people poured into the streets from the nearby office buildings to celebrate. With the war over and her enlistment done, she opted to return to civilian life despite having a skill that was apparently in demand at the time. “They wanted me to stay because I could run a mimeograph machine,” she said. But Meyers decided to return to Spokane. “It was the first time I’d been on an airplane when I flew home,” she said. “Mom and dad and my little brother were at Felts Field to meet me.” Meyers went to work for the John K. Wait Co. where she met her first husband Chuck. She went on to work in civil service and had three children. Today she has four grandchildren and nine great grandchildren, with a 10th on the way. Meyers stays active these days, participating in Rockford’s Historical Society and spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her military stint is far from forgotten though. Meyers has attended many SPARS reunions and kept in touch with other local members. At almost 94 years old though, the gatherings have tapered off. “We used to have a group that was 10 of us,” she said. “We would meet for lunch once a month. Now it’s just one or two of us.” She still remembers the good times though.

See HONOR, Page 30

Betty Meyers of Spokane Valley joined the U.S. Coast Guard Women's Reserve SPARS during World War II in 1943 and served until 1946 as a stenographer. Contributed photo


COMMUNITY

14 • NOVEMBER 2017

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Nov. 3 | Tri Community Grange Spaghetti Feed, 4-7:30 p.m., 25025 E. Heather Lane, Newman Lake, one block north of Trent on Starr Road. Cost: $8 for adults, $4 for children 5 to 12.

The Current, a monthly publication for the Valley, offers visual storytelling, eye-catching ads and community coverage readers have come to rely on. This free newspaper is available at more than 150 high-traffic places around the Valley, including the following locations: Albertsons Anytime Fitness Arby’s Barnes and Noble Barney’s Harvest Foods Brother’s Pizza Bruttles Gourmet Candy Shop Carl’s Jr Dairy Queen Dishman Dodge Hallett’s Maket and Cafe HICO Village Library Longhorn BBQ Maverick McDonald’s Providence Medical Park Rockwood Clinic Yoke’s Fresh Market Wohuld you like to carry The Current in your place of business? Contact us at circulation@valleycurrent.com. NOVEMBER

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Nov. 3-4 | Farm and Food Expo, Spokane Community College, 1810 N. Greene Street, Spokane. Enjoy over 75 classes about food and farming culture, featuring small acreage farmers, garden enthusiasts and foodies. This year’s presenters include Jean-Martin Fortier and Curtis Stone. Please visit http://sccd.org/departments/ small-acreage/farm-food-expo for more information and ticket prices. Nov. 4 | Spokane Valley Heritage 14th annual Heritage Luncheon Fundraiser, 11:30 a.m. This year’s luncheon program is “The 1893 Gold Rush: the Inland Northwest’s Best Kept Secret” presented by Tony and Suzanne Bamonte and held at the Spokane Valley Eagles Hall. Included in this program are the annual Heritage Preservation Award, a Silent Auction, and a themed meal. Tickets available at museum and at the door. Seating is limited. Please support your community museum. $20 ticket includes program and luncheon. For more information call 922-4570 or visit www.spokanevalleymuseum. com. Nov. 11 | Breakfast with the Marines, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., VFW Post 1435, 212 S. David Street, Spokane Valley. All you can eat breakfast for $7. Over 60: $5; Kids under 12: $5. No cost for kids under 3. Nov. 12 | Race to Feed Our Veterans, 10 a.m. to noon, Riverside Memorial Park, 508 N. Government Way, Spokane. Pay tribute to our veterans of the past and present by joining the race to fight hunger at this 5K community run/walk. Cost: $25 per runner. Register at www.mowspokane.org. Nov. 16 | Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) and David’s Pizza will host a Great American Smokeout site to encourage residents quit smoking, David’s Pizza, 803 W. Mallon Ave., Spokane, 4 to 6 p.m. To celebrate the Great American Smokeout and conclusion of SRHD’s Stop Smoking Challenge on Thursday,

Nov. 16, SRHD is grateful to for hosting a community quit event. There will be free pizza for those who are trying to stop smoking, as well as free quit kits. SRHD is also partnering with American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network to host a youth advocacy event the same night in honor of Tobacco 21, an effort to raise the age of sale for tobacco to 21 in Washington state. In addition to the health district’s event, several other organizations are stepping up to host 16 additional quit events and offer quit kits around the county. For more information, call 324-1500 or visit www.srhd.org.

RECURRING 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. spokane.edu/ACT2. 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 www.bahai.us. 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. meetup.com/Catholic-SinglesMingle. 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 eastpointchurch.com.

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.milwoodpc.org. 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 www.pancan.org or 534-2564. Rockford Crochet Class | 10 a.m. to noon, Saturdays. The Harvest Moon, 20 S. First St., Rockford. Free classes. We have crocheters, knitters, embroidery, quilting and needlepoint. Come and share with us what you are doing. Call 2913722. 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 www.scld.org 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


The Current

NOVEMBER 2017 • 15

COMMUNITY

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

Spokane Valley Quilt Guild | Meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of February, April, June, August, October and December at Valley Assembly of God Church, 15618 E. Broadway, Spokane Valley. Open to all interested in sharing ideas and skills of our quilting craft. Participants have can access a comprehensive library, can engage experienced teachers and participate in community service projects. More at www.svqgspokane.com

MUSIC & THE ARTS Nov. 3 | Jazz Clinic with Ellis Marsalis Jr., 5:15 p.m., Whitworth University, 300 W. Hawthorne Road. Marsalis is an acclaimed American jazz pianist and father of accomplished musicians Branford and Wynton. All middle school and high school students who attend the clinic will be given a free ticket to the concert on Nov. 4. Please do not bring instruments to the clinic. Open and free to the public. For more information, call 777-4847. Nov. 3-12 | “A Christmas Carol: The Musical,” Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave., downtown Spokane. The classical holiday tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the spirit of Christmas will be presented at the Inland Northwest’s historic theater. Showtimes are Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 3-12 at 7 p.m., with a 3 p.m. matinee on Saturdays and on Nov. 12. Tickets are $14; $16/ at the door. Call 487-6540 or visit www.cytspokane.org/shows/showdetails.page?show=5 to order.

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 2709264. 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 www.pagesofharmony.org. 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 www.sv-cc. org 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.

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HEALTH & RECREATION Nov. 4 | Finding your Balance, Igniting your Joy, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. - Ladies pamper night. Lose some stress, renew and recharge, to live your most exhilarating life. Hors d'oeuvres provided. $25 per person. Register by emailing Carla. Carnegie@gmail.com to reserve your spot. Held at Willow Song Music Therapy Center. E.21101 Wellesley, #102.Otis Orchards. Nov. 7 | DIY essential oils class, 6:30 p.m. Learn how to use them to change the mood in your house, protect against colds and flu, diffusers, and make and take two to three items to try. All supplies provided, $9 for class. Willow Song Music Therapy Center. E. 21101 Wellesley, #102. Otis Orchards. For more information, contact Carla Carnegie at 592 7875 or carla. carnegie@gmail.com. Wednesday mornings | Mindful Music & Movement class, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Specifically designed for those living with chronic health issues such as: Parkinson's, dementia, COPD, MS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue,

See CALENDAR, Page 16

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16 • NOVEMBER 2017

CALENDAR

Continued from page 15 cancer. Supporting body, mind and soul. $10 donation suggested. Facilitated by board-certified Music Therapist, Carla Carnegie. Willow Song Music Therapy Center. 21101 E. Wellesley #102. Otis Orchards. For more information, visit www. willowsongmusictherapy.com or call 592 7875. Tuesday afternoons | Decreasing Anger Group, 3 to 4:30 p.m., the Vet Center, 13109 E. Mirabeau Parkway, Spokane Valley. Eligibility: Combat veteran from all eras, military sexual trauma survivors, Contact Steve at 893-4746 to make an intake appointment.

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

CIVIC & BUSINESS Nov. 1 | KiDDS Dental 10th annual Great Candy Buy Back, 4 to 8 p.m., KiDDS Dental, 1327 N. Stanford Lane, Liberty Lake. KiDDS Dental will pay $1 per pound for children's unopened Halloween candy. Collected candy will be shipped to Operation Gratitude and included in care packages for troops serving overseas. Parents must be present. For those unable to attend, donated candy will be collected between Oct. 31 and Nov. 9 during regular operating hours. This program is underwritten by Banner Bank. Call 891-7070 for more information. Nov. 5 | Vietnamese-American Senior Association of Spokane Friendship meeting, 2:30 to 4 p.m., Shadle Public Library, 2111 W. Wellesley Ave., Spokane. Veterans

of the Vietnam War are invited to a meeting of this group consisting mostly of South Vietnamese veterans and families who escaped from communism as refugees. For more information, call 444-9822 or email yenvlink@gmail.com. Nov. 8 | Hire a Veteran Campaign, 10 a.m. to noon, Department of Labor office, 600 N. Thornton, Post Falls. This and other hiring events bring together veterans looking for employment. For more information, visit www. labor.idaho.gov. Nov. 8 | Coming Home, 9:30 a.m., Hagan Center at the Spokane Community College Library (Building 16). Author and professor Jeb Wyman will discuss the moral and emotional impact war has on veterans and how studying war through the lens of humanities can help both veterans and civilians heal from the wounds of war. Nov. 12 | Willow Song Treasures – old, new, repurposed, and vintage items displayed by various vendors, stringed instruments by Adagio Strings, baby blankets, antique bottle collection, wedgewood, baskets, fresh eggs, and more. Noon to 4 p.m. Hosted by Willow Song Music Therapy Center. 21101 E. Wellesley #102.Otis Orchards.

For more information call Carla at 592 7875 or Jane 230 2490.

RECURRING Spokane Valley City Council | Regular meetings are held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers at Spokane Valley City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague Ave., Ste. 101. Council study sessions are held the first, third and sometimes fifth Tuesdays at 6 p.m., also in Council Chambers. 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. fairmountmemorial.com/southpines-cemetery Spokane Valley Kiwanis | 6:45 a.m. Tuesdays. Valley Hospital Education Center, 12606 E. Mission Ave. More at www. spokanevalleykiwanis.net. Spokane Valley Rotary | Noon to 1 p.m., Tuesdays. Darcy’s, 10502 E. Sprague Ave. More at www.svrotary.org.


The Current

Medicare open enrollment support at library By Gwendolyn Haley

Spokane County Library District Medicare sounds complicated and a little intimidating, at least when my mom talks to me about it. Every year at Medicare open enrollment time, I watch from the sidelines as my very capable, detail-oriented mom goes through all of the options to select the one that will best suit the needs of her and my dad. Not surprisingly, those needs can change from year to year. Fortunately, my mom has had years of professional experience in close reading of financial and

Reading program brings bestselling author to Valley by Erin Dodge

Current Guest Correspondent Each year, everyone across Spokane County and the surrounding areas is invited to take part in a community-wide read, known as “Spokane Is Reading.” The idea started in 2001 as a way to inspire conversation within our community and to encourage reading by adults.

LIBRARY legal documents prior to retirement and I think she secretly enjoys the complexity and intellectual challenge. This is not true for everyone. If you could use a little help with Medicare open enrollment options, trained volunteers from Aging & Long Term Care of Eastern Washington (ALTCEW) and Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) are available to assist you with personalized help in selecting the Medicare plan that will best meet your needs. Assistance is free and non-biased. To receive advice tailored to your needs, you can bring your list of medications with dosages and your Medicare card. Assistance is provided on a first-come, first-

York Times says it is an “intensely felt and beautifully told story,” and Richmond Times Dispatch hailed it as "a powerfully moving debut that reads as if Cormac McCarthy decided to rewrite Harper Lee's ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’” Wiley Cash has since published two more novels. “This Dark Road to Mercy” and “The Last Ballad.” Kirkus Review shares the following about “The Last Ballad” – “Inspired by the events of an actual textilemill strike in 1929, Cash creates a vivid picture of one woman’s desperation. A heartbreaking and beautifully written look at the

served basis. Representatives will be at the following Spokane County Library District locations: Argonne Library on Friday, Nov. 3, from 1 to 4 p.m. and Spokane Valley Library on Friday, Dec. 1, also from 1 to 4 p.m.

NOVEMBER 2017 • 17

YOU’RE INVITED TO OUR

In order to change your Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D plan for 2018, you must make changes during open enrollment from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, 2017. For more information about this program, you can call ALTCEW at 458-2509. Don’t forget to check out other programs at our libraries on financial literacy and consumer education topics. You can find them online at www.scld.org or pick up a copy of our programs and events magazine, ENGAGE, at a library near you. real people involved in the labor movement.” Wiley Cash reads and discusses his fiction at two Spokane Is Reading events on Thursday, Nov. 9. The afternoon event is at Spokane Valley Event Center, 10514 E Sprague Ave., at 1 p.m. The evening event is at Spokane Public Library, downtown, 906 W. Main Ave., at 7 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public. You can learn more about Spokane Is Reading and how to borrow or purchase a copy of Wiley Cash’s novels by visiting http:// spokaneisreading.org.

Anniversary Celebration FEATURING

HOT CLUB OF SPOKANE Take a step back in time to the 1940s when we opened our first library in Spokane Valley. Listen, dance, & have a piece of cake with us!

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The novel selected for this year’s 16th annual Spokane Is Reading is “A Land More Kind Than Home” by Wiley Cash. The novel is a tale of courage in the face of cruelty and about the power of love to overcome darkness. It has been described as “a mesmerizing literary thriller about the bond between two brothers and the evil they face in a small western North Carolina town.”

Celebrating 75 years of serving the community SPOKANE VALLEY LIBRARY Thursday, November 30 7–8:30pm

If you get a chance to see any of Wiley Cash’s videos on YouTube or listen to his online interviews, you’ll find him to be thoughtful and approachable. He doesn’t take himself too seriously and has a dry, sometimes goofy, sense of humor – a sure combination for an enjoyable author reading. “A Land More Kind Than Home” is Wiley Cash’s debut novel and was first published in 2012. The New

Best-selling author Wiley Cash will read and discuss his work on Nov. 9 at the Spokane Valley Event Center. Contributed photo

www.scld.org


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18 • NOVEMBER 2017

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Sesame Street has been on since 1969. It is aired in 150 countries around the world. Sesame Street is the longest running children’s program in the U.S. Sesame Street has won 198 Emmy Awards making it the most awarded television show in history. Over 82 million kids have been influenced. Toddlers who watch Sesame Street score higher on school readiness tests than those who don’t. Children who regularly watch Sesame Street have better grades, read more books for pleasure and have higher grade point averages in high school. They also recognize STEM terminology over 50% better than ones who haven’t watched. Word on the Street has helped close the gap between children of different economic households language fluency. Over 500 celebrities have visited Sesame Street.

The first was James Earl Jones who recited the alphabet. Cookie Monster was created by Jim Henson three years before Sesame Street for an advertising campaign. The Count’s birthday is October 9, 1,830,653 B.C. Ernie’s “Rubber Duckie” song reached number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970. Big Bird is 8’2” tall. Oscar the Grouch was originally orange. Guy Smiley’s real name is Bernie Liederkrantz. Radar, Big Bird’s teddy bear is named after M*A*S*H* character Radar O’Reilly who always slept with his teddy bear. Aloysius “Snuffy” Snuffleupagus wears size 65GGG shoes. Cookie Monster and Ernie are both left-handed. Elmo never ages. He is always 3 ½. He’s also the only non-human to testify before Congress.

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NOVEMBER 2017 • 21

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The Current

22 • NOVEMBER 2017

Author Spotlight

Tedd was born in Elmira, New York but as a child his family relocated to Gainesville, Florida. After graduation, he attended the University of Florida where he graduated with a fine arts degree and met his wife Carol. He worked in graphic design in advertising and textbook illustration while he wife became a kindergarten teacher. As Carol started collecting picture books for her classroom, Tedd started studying them for inspiration. Their son, Walter, inspired his first book, No Jumping on the Bed. This book was submitted to numerous publishers for six years before it was published in 1987. During this time, the family had moved to New York City where Tedd designed books for a large publisher. With the books success, Tedd moved the family back to his hometown of Elmira where he has written over 60 books and illustrated many more for other authors. He has won numerous awards including the Edgar and two Theodor Seuss Geisel Honors. Though known for his hugely successful Fly Guy series and Parts trilogy,

Ted Arnold

Vincent Paints His House, 2015, ages 3 – 6

We checked this book out at the library and before the first day had ended four kids mostly had it memorized so it was a hit! So much so that we bought it.

Dirty Gert, 2013, ages 4 and up

Gert loves dirt, maybe a little too much. This book is a great read aloud but not really for an early independent reader. There are some great words to expand vocabulary. As always Arnold’s art is fun, bright and thoroughly enjoyable.

Catalina Magdalena Hoopensteiner Wallendiner Hogan Logan Bogan Was Her Name, 2004, ages 3 and up

Tedd’s artwork does a fantastic job of illustrating the song that you may remember from camp. Everyone is happy in the wacky world they live in.

Colored Pencil Painting Ted Arnold uses a mixture of colored pencil and watercolor washes to create his illustrations. You can try this too! You just need colored pencils and rubbing alcohol and cotton balls. Start with your bakcground. Use your colored pencils to lightly rub color. You can create a sunset, a night scene, sunny day, a hillside. Anything your imagination can think of. Then, gently use a cotton ball that you have dampened in rubbing alcohol to blend the colors, create a “wash” of color all over your page. This will be your background for you illustration. After your page is dry go back in with your colored pencils and create your own character. Mr. Arnold like to make larger exaggerated eyes and have fun with their hair, but you can create your character to whatever specifications you wish. Last, an option step, trace your character with a black marker to give more definition from the background. Show us your masterpieces. Send a picture via email to contest@libertylakesplash.com or mail it to us at PO Box 363, Liberty Lake, WA 99206. We will enter you to win a $10 Barnes and Noble gist card.


The Current

Student of the Month Terrell Sanders began the 2017 football season on an extraordinary note and has continued to impress. The University High senior ran for 147 yards and four touchdowns in the Titans’ opening win against Sandpoint. To this point, Sanders – who has only played running back since the end of last season – has rushed for 1,313 yards. Against crosstown rival Central Valley, the senior gained 251 yards and scored two touchdowns. As a wrestler, Sanders has qualified for state every year, earning seventh in his weight class as a junior. He also participates in track, running the 100, 200 and relays as well as competing in the long jump and triple jump. In the classroom, Sanders maintains a 3.5 grade point average and takes AP calculus.

Citizen of the Month

Thanks you for all you do in our community

NOVEMBER 2017 • 23 Whether it’s Belize, Ghana or Spokane Valley, Lydia Lamm strives to make a difference. The University High senior is working to organize a new program at her school called “Team Unity,” patterned after the United Nations and focused on creating awareness and appreciation for cultural diversity. She has been on a service trip to Belize with her church and will be going to Ghana this summer. Lamm maintains a 4.0 grade point average and is a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Club and Washington Drug Free Youth. She is also vice president of DECA, a business marketing club and serves as senior class vice president. She has also been a cheerleader for three years and has applied for a fellowship with the Borgen Project, a national campaign addressing poverty.

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Athlete of the Month Longtime Spokane Valley resident Myrna Gothmann spent many years as a dedicated educator, leaving a lasting legacy in the community. She started as a teacher’s aide at Progress Elementary, then taught Kindergarten, first and second grades for 19 years at University Elementary, Ponderosa Elementary and Opportunity Elementary. She earned her Associate of Arts degree from Spokane Community College in 1973, a Bachelor’s in Education from Eastern Washington University in 1975 and her Master’s in Education from EWU in 1983 along with a certificate in Reading. Myrna has helped students in public, private, and home schools overcome their reading challenges by diagnosing problems and providing paths for solution. Myrna and her husband Bill have three children, six grandchildren and eight greatgrandchildren.

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The Current

24 • NOVEMBER 2017 Brought to you by

Evergreen

About and for Valley seniors

KSPS known for educational, entertaining mission

By Ben Wick Current Publisher If you’ve been in Eastern Washington or North Idaho for any length of time, you’ve seen KSPS. Now occupying five channels of local television, KSPS provides programs and events that entertain, engage, and educate to enrich all the communities they serve. But what is KSPS? How does it relate to PBS? Is it connected to public radio? And aren’t they about to lose their funding? KSPS-TV is the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) public television station headquartered in Spokane. Ite reaches more than 2.3 million households in Eastern Washington, North Idaho, Alberta and beyond. Viewers hail from Calgary, Edmonton, Coeur d’Alene, Kalispell, Wenatchee, Moscow, and hundreds of cities and towns across one of the largest Nielsen Designated Market Areas in the nation. KSPS broadcasts its main signal from a site at Krell Hill or "Tower

Mountain." KSPS’s headquarters, offices and over 4,400 square-feet of studio space are on the Ferris High School grounds in the South Gate neighborhood on Spokane's South Hill. KSPS is licensed to Friends of KSPS, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the state of Washington. History In 1967, the station first signed on the air from the basement of Adams Elementary of Spokane Public Schools (SPS). After a series of school levy failures in the early 1970s forced the station to secure alternate funding, Friends of Seven (later known as Friends of KSPS) was founded in 1972 to provide lasting financial support to KSPS. On July 26, 2012, the Spokane Public Schools board voted unanimously to spin off KSPS to the Friends of KSPS. A day later, the Friends of KSPS board also voted unanimously to move forward with taking full control of the station. The transition from an educational license to a community license was completed in fall of 2013. The station plans to remain at Ferris High School in the short term; the school board has no plans to sell the building in which the station is located. Shortly after the sale closed and the station officially became a community-licensed station, Friends of KSPS changed its name to KSPS

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Public Television. Programming KSPS is the region’s source of top quality PBS programs, including “Frontline,” “PBS Newshour,” “Masterpiece” (which includes shows such as “Poldark” and “Downton Abby”), “Antiques Roadshow,” “NOVA,” “American Experience,” “Great Performances,” “This Old House,” and more. KSPS provides access to research-based children’s programming like “Wild Kratts,” “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Dinosaur Train,” “Arthur,” “Ready Jet Go!” and many more. KSPS also airs high-quality local productions like “Health Matters,” “Northwest Profiles” and KSPS Documentaries. It was the first station to carry Mary Ann Wilson's “Sit and Be Fit” program, and KSPS serves as the primary production studio and distributor of the series since its 1987 debut. Funding About 70 percent of KSPS’s funding comes from donations, contributions and bequests by individuals, foundations and companies which makes individual member donors the most vital financial backers. Another 18 percent is provided by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and 6 percent comes from an NIC grant.

The KSPS-TV station is headquartered in the South Gate neighborhood on Spokane’s South Hill. The history of the station goes back to 1967. Photo by Craig Howard

Fountains

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A new national survey conducted jointly by leading Republican and Democratic researchers reveals that voters across the political spectrum overwhelmingly oppose eliminating federal funding for public television. More than seven in 10 see public television as a good or excellent value for their tax dollars, on par with investments in highways, roads and bridges. A class-leading 80 percent of KSPS’s total expenses are spent directly on the programs and services they deliver. Charity Navigator, an American independent charity watchdog organization that evaluates charitable organizations in the U.S., ranks Friends of KSPS as the numberone nonprofit in Spokane, from among 1,865 such organizations in the community. Its stated goal is "to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace in which givers and the charities they support work in tandem to overcome our nation’s and the world’s most persistent challenges". With a cumulative score of 97.87 of a possible 100--calculated based on financial performance, accountability and transparency, KSPS scored higher than the other two four-star charities in the market, Catholic Charities of Spokane and Second Harvest Inland Northwest. The majority of the station's donations from televised pledge drives come from Calgary and Edmonton. Each of the two Canadian cities have populations which are more than double the entire population of the station’s U.S. coverage area, and most of the station's members live in those two cities. Not only does KSPS take its large Canadian audience into account in its programming, but a significant portion of its donations are in Canadian dollars. Trust For the 14th consecutive year, a nationwide study recently affirmed that PBS and its member stations are rated No. 1 in public trust among nationally known institutions. In addition, the same survey found that parents rank PBS KIDS as the No. 1 educational media brand for children, significantly outscoring cable and commercial broadcast television networks. The national poll was created by the research team at PBS and was conducted by telephone in January

See KSPS, Page 27


The Current

NOVEMBER 2017 • 25

Since before KSPS first groundbreaking it has been known for quality programming for children going back to the early days of the station. Popular shows for kids feature educational components and programs like “Arthur,” “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” and “Martha the Talking Dog.” Photo courtesy of KSPS

KSPS

Continued from page 28 2017 by Marketing & Research Resources Inc. (M&RR). Each year, PBS commissions research to measure its performance and value as judged by its most important stakeholder – the American people. “The public’s high trust in PBS and local stations is of paramount importance to our ability to carry out our mission,” said PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger. “We were founded on the premise that every person, regardless of who they are or where they live, should have access to educational programming and resources that help them lead full and enriched lives. Our service begins with our nation’s youngest citizens, ensuring that children have the skills needed to succeed in life and in school, and we are especially proud that the American people continue to place a high value on our children’s programming.” How to Watch KSPS can be viewed at no cost with an over-the air antenna. For

the hundreds of thousands of Inland Northwest residents within range, KSPS can be found on channels 7.1 (the main channel), 7.2 (KSPS World), 7.3 (KSPS Create) and 7.4 (PBS KIDS 24/7). KSPS can also be seen in highdefinition on channel 107 on Comcast in the Spokane area, and channel 707 in the Coeur d'Alene and Palouse areas. You can also find it on channel 7 on Dish Network and DirecTV in both standard and high-definition. Some KSPS content can be viewed live online at KSPS.org, and programs can be viewed ondemand on their website as well. KSPS donors can gain access to an on-demand library of quality public television programming online and via mobile devices. The Passport library currently offers members more than 1,400 episodes to watch, with new PBS programs being added weekly. To get access to KSPS Passport or to become a supporting member for as little as $4 a month, KSPS can be reached at 800-735-2377 or online at KSPS.org.

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The Current

26 • NOVEMBER 2017

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Former Titans team up on EWU coaching sideline By Mike Vlahovich

Current Sports Editor You could make a case that this tale belongs in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not.” What are the odds that two University High School athletes, who graduated four years apart, would wind up coaching football together at the same university? It might seem beyond belief, but the story is true. Jeff Schmedding, a 1996 Titan grad and Heath Pulver, U-Hi class of 2000, are both coaching at Eastern Washington University;

Schmedding as defensive coordinator and Pulver as tight end coach and special teams coordinator. “He never left Eastern,” Pulver says of his then high school assistant coach and Spokane Valley neighbor. Pulver found his way to Cheney and reunion with Schmedding by a circuitous route. Surprisingly, neither had really aspired to coach, let alone in college, back in the day, although both did assist at U-Hi. For Schmedding, a wrestling state finalist, the bug bit when he came back to his alma mater as a physical education teacher and assistant to Titans then-head football coach Mike Ganey. While there, younger brother who were close 2000 Greater champions.

he coached his Danny and Heath friends on U-Hi’s Spokane League

“That was like a second house,” Pulver says of hanging out with Danny two decades ago. “(Jeff) had graduated from high school and you’re just getting started so there’s a gap. But as you get older you end up sharing the same kind of goals in life and the same personality traits.” “I was probably a better wrestler than football player, but once I started coaching, I got the itch,” Jeff said. “I was fortunate to work summer camps for (then-EWU coach) Paul Wulff. I was 26 at the time and fortunate enough to stay here.” Pulver says he was just playing high school football and dreaming of going to the next level. Schmedding encouraged Heath to continue football at Eastern Oregon University. After a year he left school because, he admitted, of poor money management.

And here’s where things get interesting. “I ran out of money and Coach Ganey allowed me to coach with him,” Pulver says. That happened through another Valleyite, former West Valley standout Ty Gregorak, who would go on to play and coach in college, “I got an opportunity to go to the University of Montana as a manager or whatever, a student coach there,” Pulver continues. After five years in Missoula, he returned to Eastern for four years. Next up was a stint at Colorado State, where he met his wife, Brittany. This spring he followed head coach Beau Baldwin, who departed to California. While there a call came from new Eagles’ coach Aaron Best. “Wouldn’t you rather be here with friends?” Schmedding never played football beyond high school, but has done it all as coach at EWU. “At first it was to get in the door,” Jeff said. “I learned the more you’re willing to do the more you get to do.” He turned down an opportunity to go to Washington State as a graduate assistant, and remained loyal to Baldwin and has been in Cheney the last 14 years. Becoming a special teams coach for seven years was a big move for him, he said. He coached linebackers and became defensive coordinator in 2015. “If you’re willing to work enough and willing to work hard it’s one of those things that you get to move up,” Schmedding says. “I was fortunate to I have had a close relationship with Beau.” Becoming a head coach isn’t out of the question but, he says, “I haven’t pushed too hard to do that with my family and wife’s (Kristine) family being from here. It would have to be absolutely the right situation.”

University High graduate Heath Pulver (center) is part of the Eastern Washington University football coaching staff along with fellow Titan alum Jeff Schmedding (not pictured). The Eagles are 4-1 in the Big Sky Conference this season. Photo courtesy of Eastern Washington University Athletics

And so it came to be, two U-Hi guys from the neighborhood helping EWU remain a Big Sky League power and a national fixture in the Football Championship Series playoffs. Believe it.


The Current

Valley Sports Notebook

By Mike Vlahovich Current Sports Editor Volleyball has its unpredictable side. University entered the gymnasium of Gonzaga Prep, then-unbeaten in the Greater Spokane League and Linda Sheridan Classic volleyball champion and walked out with the stunning upset triumph. The win left the Titans alone in second place. But it didn’t last long. A few days later they were upset by Central Valley and wound up the third seed into post season. At Prep, U-Hi lost the first game 22-25, then won 25-22 25-21 and 27-25. “We just played really consistent all around,” first-year head coach Tony Collins said. “We didn’t panic and continued to play with confidence.” The match featured an incredible effort in the backcourt by Alaina Chester, who had 28 digs. Then there was the league MVP candidate Rachel Schlect. She had 29 kills pounding the ball from backcourt or at the net. The Bears finished fourth among 4A schools and qualified for the eight-team regional which sends three teams to state. CV’s middle blocker Paige Wollen and setter Hannah Wampler, both seniors, led the way. Libero/ defender Sami Smith and fellow juniors, setters Karen Weaver and

Final Point

Revisiting the teaming of patriotism and sports By Mike Vlahovich

Current Sports Editor Rifts increase in this country of ours, with the flag and national anthem in the crosshairs at the kneeling, arm-linking and sitting protests by athletes before professional sporting events. Which causes me to wonder, for what earthly reason do we say the Pledge of Allegiance or sing the “Star Spangled Banner” before sporting events?

SPORTS

Kaitlyn White were key contributors. Eagles football in familiar spot West Valley was a win away from a perfect regular season following its 28-12 victory over rival East Valley. As expected, Collin Sather and Conner Whitney were main targets of quarterback Blake Transue throughout. Marshall Meleney was key at running back WV outscored its opposition 24586 with only one close call, a 1312 victory over Northeast A League leader Colville. If there were doubters Central Valley could beat the likes of Gonzaga Prep or Mead and rally against U-Hi to win the GSL, it wasn’t on the minds of the “Cardiac Kids” or their coaches. The Bears rallied late to defeat the Bullpups and Panthers in backto-back weeks scoring 31 points against Mead in the final seven minutes in a sloppy, turnover penalty filled game before erupting. They trailed U-Hi by two TDs in a back-and-forth game against the Titans and responded as well. Two-dimensional quarterback Grant Hannant and running back Hunter Chodorowski came up huge against U-Hi. Like snowplows, the Titans’ massive linemen cleared the way for Terrell Sanders and nearly got into post-season. The 5-foot-7 inch, 150-pound Sanders has carried the ball some 25 times per game, rushed for 1,313 yards and scored 23 touchdowns with two games remaining. He gained 251 on 40 carries and scored twice against CV. Despite a 3-4 overall record,

EV was 2-1 in the Great Northern League with two games to play and had big efforts from quarterback Christian Johnston, Rodrick Fisher and running back Aledre Bracey. Soccer teams in hunt Nothing could stop the unbeaten CV girls who dominated the league. They finished seven points ahead of second place Mead and allowed but seven goals while scoring 43 and led the league by three matches. A dozen players scored or had assists. Senior Kaelyn Barnes and juniors Maggie Ames, Kailyn Labrosse and Megan Robertson provided the lion’s share of the goals. University was a mid-pack team, relying more on defense than scoring power. Brooke Berg and Kelsey Cosby scored six and five goals respectively. Cosby and Lauren Chester had six assists each. East Valley packed a bunch of firepower in leading the Great Northern League. Chloe Gellhaus had scored 19 points with 11 goals and eight assists. Gracie Montoya had eight goals, Autumn Stewart and Kaitlyn Harvey seven with two regular season matches left. Key players for West Valley this year were Frankie Schade who had 10 goals, Chelsea Koker with eight and Madeline Liberg with five. Freeman’s soccer team, second in the Northeast A League came at you in hordes. Lindsay Balkenbush, Brynn Van Orden, Macey Luhr and Claire Love with six goals each for the 10-3 team. Cross country strong Ranked No. 1 in state, the CV

The question is something I’ve asked myself for several years now and yet have come up with an answer.

the arena, where people tend to be indifferent, if only because sports and the flag aren’t intrinsically linked and seem to do more harm than good. Take peaceable protests elsewhere – sit down at the table and hammer out a solution. But don’t drag sports into the equation.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as patriotic as the next guy and believe in freedom of expression. I spent a couple years in the U.S. Army including one year in Vietnam thinking ours is a noble country trying to do the right thing by aiding a suffering nation. When drafted, I’d just missed the mass college backlash, the protesting and flag burning that rent America. But I was there the year of the Tet Offensive and at a time when homecoming military, fortunately not me, were spat upon, not being told “Thank you for your service.” (Watching the Ken Burns PBS series on Vietnam was an eye opener. Boy, was I naïve.) But I digress. If it were me, I’d take the symbols of freedom out of

I don’t quibble with the raised gloved fists of John Carlos and Tommy Smith that I witnessed from the stands in 1968 at the Mexico City Olympics that stunned the world during the turmoil in our country and further raised awareness of racial inequality during the turmoil following the Civil Rights Act. Half a century later, not much has changed and protests go on. Francis Scott Key's song during battle of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 that became our national anthem was supposedly played at some baseball games

NOVEMBER 2017 • 27

boys cross country team showed why at the Max Jensen Invitational when Ryan Kline, Gabe Romney and Evan Peters finished one-throughthree and Joey Nichols was 10th at 15:28.3. The Bears also broke North Central’s 10-year dominance of the GSL by winning the league title. CV girls finished fourth as a team last year and University’s Rebecca Lehman and Claire Dingus were state competitors last year. West Valley’s Cody Skay, 10th at state last year led the Eagles girls team that took seventh in Pasco with a lineup of freshmen and sophomores. The Eagles will challenge for the 2A crown. Slow-pitch, defense? Slow-pitch softball is a hitter’s game right? Tell that to University which won as much with pitching and defense as its potent offense. The Titans allowed a meager 24 runs (15 by league runnerup Central Valley), Hannah Click hurled 10 shutouts and allowed just one run in five others for the 19-1 team. Its loss was to the Bears in the regular season finale. The Valley schools have been dominant in slow-pitch softball and this year was no different. U-Hi scored 303 runs, eight players had 33 hits or more, led by Gracee Dwyer’s 54, nearly three per game. She had five in one game and drove in eight, hit four home runs and a triple once during the year. Among CV’s standouts were Grace Stumbough and Jaelin Strand who led the Bears’ offense.

during the mid-1800s. But the World Series in 1918 at Boston offered a star-spangled moment of patriotism 17 months — and 100,000 American deaths — after the U.S. entered World War I, “the war to end all wars.” According to on-line articles. It grew from there. Agree or disagree, we won’t solve the problems of this country by putting our hands over our hearts or kneeling while the “Star Spangled Banner” plays before a game. As I’ve written before, I believe athletes of every color who work as team to succeed on the field are our best hope for coming to the table, airing our differences and starting the process of guaranteeing “Liberty and justice for all.” You needn’t have a flag waving in a stadium to get the conversation started.


The Current

28 • NOVEMBER 2017

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Millwood nears decision on debated shoreline project

By Mary Anne Ruddis Current Correspondent Last October, the city of Millwood purchased two parcels of residentially zoned properties on South Riverway with the idea to create a park that would provide residents with access to the Spokane River. From the perspective of the city, when these two parcels became available, they presented a unique opportunity to accomplish one of the main issues addressed in the city’s Shoreline Master Plan (SMP) – to improve and maintain public access to the river. According to Millwood Planning Commission documents, when the SMP was approved, council noted that less than 2 percent of Millwood’s shoreline is publicly owned. “These are the last two undeveloped parcels within the city of Millwood that were available for acquisition,” said Millwood Mayor Kevin Freeman. “All other parcels are either privately owned and developed as residential property with the exception of the multi-unit apartment complex, or are owned by Inland Empire Paper.” “We have been talking about (providing access) for years, ever since I’ve been here,” added City Clerk Tom Richardson who began with the city in 2008. “When the lots became available and they were going to auction, we said ‘Let’s get them before someone else does..’ We didn’t have time to do community outreach. We knew we wanted access, so we decided we would get them and then determine the planning process.” Even with heated opposition that came mainly from the neighboring property owners and the Spokane Upriver Homeowners Association, Freeman thinks they did the right thing in purchasing the parcels. “Access to the river can mean many things and are not necessarily steps down to the river,” he said. “It can mean a river view. The responsibility of the city is to provide for its residents now and in the future. This was an opportunity to provide for our residents, now and in the future. Once those lots were sold for development, the city would never be able to get them back. It was truly a unique opportunity that fit with our (SMP) plans.” The council referred the matter to the Planning Commission to explore site conditions and also to provide a forum for public input and comment. The commission held a series of public meetings to foster public input, educate

the public and gather feedback from the community. “This is how government should work, open government between all parties,” said Kelly Stravins, chair of the Planning Commission. Stravins noted that the SMP was very clear that there was interest for the public to have access points to the river. The Planning Commission was due to deliver its recommendations to the City Council by Aug. 1 but requested an extension to Nov. 1 due to the overwhelming amount of public comment to digest and compile. Many residents were in favor of a public park on the parcels. Strong opposition came from neighbors who feared that the city would create a “Boulder Beach” situation in their residential neighborhood. Boulder Beach, a public beach along the Spokane River, is just outside and across the river from Millwood and can be overflowing with vehicles and disruptive behavior especially in the summer months. Some residents near Boulder Beach reported thefts and drugs and feared that providing another river access point would bring more of the same negative elements inside a Millwood residential area. “A certain set of citizens have concerns over the park,” Freeman said. “As mayor, I understand those concerns. They have question about how the changes would affect the neighborhoods. There are a number of people who have a full right to be concerned.” Freeman said the city wants to make sure the issue is addressed with respect to all those interested in utilizing the shoreline and river. “There were comments that struck hard, like, ‘Well, that is just people without air conditioning coming down to the river.’ For us, that type of comment is contrary to what Millwood stands for as a city,” Freeman said. “Not having air conditioning does not lessen anyone. Just because Boulder Beach has issues, does not mean that Millwood will not do a better job of managing their properties.” Once the Planning Commission delivers its recommendation, the council can then determine what to do. “They want to decide what is best for the city as a whole,” Freeman said. “They have the choice of adopting all the recommendations, a choice of directing the city to do something else. We want real transparency.” If the council decides on public use, there will be opportunities for public comment. In other news from Millwood, the open city council seat was filled by the Spokane County Commissioner’s appointment of Shawna Beese who was sworn in on Sept. 8, bringing the council to full status.


The Current

NOVEMBER 2017 • 29

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30 • NOVEMBER 2017

HONOR

Continued from page 13

“I wouldn’t have given up that service time for anything,” she says. U.S. Air Force – Logistics Management Specialist Robert “Stu” Sturtevant Robert “Stu” Sturtevant has gone from serving his country to serving others like himself. Sturtevant, a Logistics Management specialist in the U.S. Air Force from 1983 to 2006, is now a Veteran Outreach program specialist with the Spokane Vet Center in Spokane Valley. While today he addresses the challenges of fellow veterans, in the Air Force Sturtevant mostly dealt with aircraft parts. He saw combat in Dessert Storm and was deployed all over the world, including Saudi Arabia, Crete and Germany. “Once the wall went down, there was no more Cold War,” he said of his time in Germany, which is why he returned to the U.S. and how he ended up in Spokane. “I was based at Fairchild from 1992 to 2004,” he said. “Being a tanker wing we did a lot of air bridges.” Sturtevant’s last deployment was in Alaska, which he loved. When his

39

Robert “Stu” Sturtevant (second from right) served the U.S. Air Force from 1983 to 2006, He now supports fellow vets as a program specialist with the Spokane Vet Center in Spokane Valley. enlistment ended though, he decided to try something new – civilian life. Instead of returning to his hometown of Greenville, North Carolina, he took advantage of the military’s Transition Assistance program and found a work study position at the Spokane Vet Center. Eventually a position came open at the Walla Walla Vet Center and he commuted there for a year before deciding to move permanently to accept a promotion. Two weeks before the role change, the office manager position at the Spokane Vet Center became available was offered to him. He and his wife decided to move.

“We were ready to go,” he recalls. “We had sold our home and bought a fifth wheel to live in. We’d sold everything.” He and his wife eventually settled in Millwood. Last April, Sturtevant changed jobs to become a Veteran Outreach program specialist. For this position, he drives a large RV around to remote areas to offer a listening ear and support. “I drive a 41-foot RV across 35 counties and four states,” Sturtevant said. “I go out to rural areas and meet vets and help with whatever issues they have.” Those issues range from needing

to obtain discharge papers to the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). No matter what the issue, Sturtevant’s mobile command center is set up to deal with it. “It’s a high-tech communications outpost,” he said of the RV. “I can go out to rural areas and use the satellite dish or Internet to look up DD-214s or if they’re in crisis and need to talk to a counselor I can do a teleconference.” Sturtevant says the most common need he encounters is Vietnam veterans who never filed for benefits and are now experiencing health issues that could be related to their time in the service. He also works with veterans from recent conflicts as well as others from farther back. Last month, he met with two veterans who had served in the Korean War. Despite encountering some of the same issues among those he sees, Sturtevant says every veteran’s experience is different. “Me personally, I just like helping people,” he says. “We just don’t leave a vet behind.” The Spokane Vet Center is located at 13109 E. Mirabeau Parkway in Spokane Valley and can be reached by calling 444-8387.

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NOVEMBER 2017 • 31

Rockford tackles comprehensive plan, code enforcement

By Benjamin Shedlock Current Correspondent Another summer of capital projects and carnivals is in the books in Rockford and the Town Council is making preparations for the coming years. With some recent hires, the completion of construction work and the continued development of the comprehensive plan update and the 2018 budget, the town is moving forward in a wellfunctioning and positive fashion. “We’re gaining, we’re more than maintaining and it’s really nice to be a part of that process,” said Mayor Carrie Roecks. Town Council compensation At the Aug. 16 Town Council meeting, the council voted to provide a per-meeting stipend for each council member. Councilor Clint Stevenson raised this idea at the Aug. 2 council meeting and a motion was carried at the Aug. 16 meeting. Stipends will be $20 per council member per meeting and $40 per meeting for the mayor. Each Town Council position will begin to receive payment after its next election.

According to Roecks, the stipends were a reinstatement of stipends that council members once received The stipends were discontinued several years ago when the town faced a more challenging financial situation. “Every member on the council stated that the money was not why they were serving,” Roecks said. “However, due to the time away from family and their own work, it was understandable why some stipend had been offered in the past. Some research was done and it appears that all other councils are paid some stipend for their time.” Stipends will only be provided for regular meetings and council members must be present to receive the stipends. At the Aug. 2 meeting, Stevenson also recommended that the town look into paying Council Member Micki Harnois for additional work on behalf of the town. Since the spring, Harnois has worked to review and recommend updates for the Rockford comprehensive plan. In response to a public comment at the Aug. 16 meeting asking why the town should pay Harnois for the work, Roecks noted that Harnois has committed significant time to the review and update, including bringing the comprehensive plan in line with current state law, which has saved the town the expense of hiring an outside consultant. At the Sept.6 meeting,

council approved a motion to pay Harnois for her anticipated work, not to exceed $272 for work in 2017 and $736 for anticipated work in 2018. Comprehensive plan update Throughout August and September Harnois continued leading council in its review and update of the comprehensive plan. At the Aug. 2 meeting, it reviewed Chapter 10 concerning open space. At the Aug.16 meeting, council reviewed Chapter 11 concerning economic development, to which Council Member Bill Benson recommended adding a section on compliance for abandoned structures, and Chapter 12 concerning historic preservation. At the Sept. 6 meeting, Harnois discussed the requirements of the state’s Growth Management Act and its new laws and guidelines that must be incorporated into Chapter 13 of the comprehensive plan concerning participation, implementation and evaluation and Chapter 14 concerning land development and evaluation. New hires at Town Hall The town made several staffing moves over the summer with the hiring of Heidi Johnson as clerk/treasurer and Jen Fricke as deputy clerk/treasurer. Kristy Cochrane departed from the town staff, leaving the clerk/treasurer position open. A formal hiring process

was conducted in late August and Heidi Johnson was interviewed and hired for this position, leaving her deputy position vacant. At the Sept. 20 meeting, Roecks announced that Jen Fricke was hired to fill this role. Both positions are part-time, requiring approximately 28 hours per week, according to Roecks. The council approved the addition to the personnel policy of a section addressing the hiring process at the Sept. 6 meeting. Code enforcement Rockford is exploring range of code enforcement mechanisms to apply the nuisance ordinance. At the Aug. 2 meeting, a public comment was made regarding garbage piles in the yards of several residences. The council discussed the possibility of hiring a code enforcement officer or sending official letters from the town’s attorney to the residences. The issue was tabled until the Sept. 6 meeting. Harnois submitted a potential list of duties for a code enforcement officer or committee and the council asked for some research about the city of Spokane Valley’s approach to enforcement. “There has been much discussion as to how best address the code enforcement issues,” Roecks said. According to Roecks, the council had taken no further action as of the Oct. 18 meeting.

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32 • NOVEMBER 2017

YOUR VOTE COUNTS Your selection of the next City Council Members will be critical to the future of the City of Spokane Valley. Ask all questions of all city council members.

SHOULD SPOKANE VALLEY CITY COUNCIL? 1. Spend taxpayers funds to obstruct the law protecting our children against epidemics under the disguise of “parental rights”? 2. Permit livestock in residential yards?

5. Spend taxpayer funds to lobby for a “Right To Work” state? 6. Continue spending taxpayer money to pass a resolution declaring we are NOT a sanctuary city?

3. Spend taxpayer funds for special police car colors?

7. Be more transparent in all dealings including applications for the City Council?

4. Spend taxpayer funds for unique police uniforms?

8. Permit LARGE storage containers in residential areas?

FIVE COUNCIL POSITIONS ARE ON THE BALLOT FOR THE CITY OF SPOKANE VALLEY.

MAKE YOUR VOICE COUNT-VOTE! Spokane Valley Business Association P.O. Box 14402, Spokane Valley, WA 99214 president@svba.us

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Valley Partners rebrands to emphasize food bank By Staci Lehman

Current Correspondent Spokane Valley Partners – the Valley’s nonprofit community center – has rebranded and invited the public in to see the new look at an open house on Oct. 17. The social service agency that offers a variety of assistance options to the public updated their name and logo to read “Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank & Family Services” to better reflect what they do. “Nobody knew who we were,” said Spokane Valley Partners (SVP) Executive Director Cal Coblentz. “The food bank is our biggest service and the one that most people recognized us for.” SVP officials say the new logo conveys the depth of the organization’s roots in the community and emphasizes how it has grown along with the Valley community, partnering with businesses, congregations, civic groups, schools, governments and other nonprofits. In addition to the food bank, SVP supports thousands of families a year through a clothing bank and programs like emergency assistance, Food For Thought, Career Clothing Bank, a payee program and more. “We’re really good at meeting the immediate need,” said Coblenz. This conglomerate of social services is run by 11 full-time employees and an army of volunteers – 180 to be exact. The hours those volunteers contributed is equivalent to 11 or 12 additional full-time employees. The clothing bank is operated entirely by volunteers. Other community organizations that support SVP’s work can be found in the same building as tenants, including SNAP and Valleyfest. There is currently more office space available in SVP’s large converted church building.

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Another amenity of the building is the STCU Community Kitchen, a commercial kitchen where cooking classes are taught through Washington State University and where Community Colleges of Spokane’s ACT 2 classes (continuing education courses for people over the age of 55) will be held in the future. A pottery studio was also added when a former tenant moved out and Coblentz says they are hoping to offer Tai Chi and yoga classes in an open area and some rendition of an after-school program in the future. “We’re looking at more ways to use our space,” he said. Coblentz is a new addition to Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank & Family Services himself. Before joining SVP, he was the executive director for the Sinto Senior Activity Center in north Spokane. He is also retired from the U.S. Air Force after 23 years. At three months on the job, Coblenz is starting to get a handle on just how significant the need is for the services the nonprofit offers and how much the community steps up. “We’re getting great partnerships from almost every church in the Valley,” he said. In addition to partners, SVP relies on grants and donations to operate. They recently received a $25,000 grant from Walmart and $20,000 from Modern Electric & Water Co. for the Food for Thought program that provides food to children on weekends when school breakfasts and lunches aren’t available. All that money goes right back to the community, according to Coblenz. “We’re here to serve these people,” he said. Even with partnerships and grants, Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank & Family Services always needs financial help. Their annual major fundraising event is coming up. The 10th Annual Ladies Night Out is Nov. 9 at Mireabeau Park Hotel. More information is at www.svpart. org or by calling 927-1153.


The Current

SVFD secures federal funds for fire prevention From Splash News Sources

More than 500 homes will receive free Home Fire Safety visits from the Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD), thanks to a new $117,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The grant is being used to support and expand SVFD’s new Community Risk Reduction program. The grant funding will primarily be used to purchase supplies and equipment including 3,000 smoke alarms, 500 carbon monoxide alarms, 100 flashing light alarms and 100 bed shaker alarms (for the deaf/hard of hearing) and 100 combination smoke/carbon monoxide alarms. The funds will also pay for public safety materials and training. “In exchange for the grant funding, we have committed to complete at least 500 free Home Fire Safety visits within one year,” said Elysia Spencer, SVFD’s Community Risk Reduction specialist. “This commitment includes two home fire safety visit “blitzes” in high-risk neighborhoods identified through analysis of fire department data, demographics, the age of homes in the area, and risk factors including fire fatalities within the last 10 years. With nearly 60 percent of all home fire fatalities occurring in residences without working smoke alarms, our goal is to prevent residents from becoming part of that statistic.” SVFD completed the first of the two “blitzes” on Oct. 7 in the University neighborhood (Sprague to Broadway Avenue and University to Mullan Road) in conjunction with National Fire Prevention Week. Teams of volunteers knocked on more than 450 doors. With the resident’s permission, the volunteer teams tested existing smoke alarms and installed 386 new smoke alarms in 99 homes to ensure working smoke alarms are in the right locations throughout each home. In one home housing a family of seven, volunteers found four pre-existing smoke alarms but none were working. They installed eight smoke alarms in that home, alone. Overall, volunteers noted 196 pre-existing smoke alarms, but found less than half were working. In addition to smoke alarms, residents also received information

NOVEMBER 2017 • 33

and instructions focused on the 2017 National Fire Prevention Week emphasis – “Every Second Counts – Plan Two Ways Out!” And, residents received a Home Fire Safety Checklist with important information about cooking safety, smoking, heating, electrical safety and more. SVFD partnered with the American Red Cross and local volunteers to complete the fivehour project. “The infusion of funding into our new Home Fire Safety Visit program will immediately result in safer homes for residents, as well as safer environments for first responders,” explained Spencer. “In the long-term, educated residents will be empowered to continue to proactively improve the health and safety of their residence, resulting in decreased injuries and fatalities from identified risks.” The FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant is in the Fire Prevention and Safety category. Of the $117,000 grant amount, SVFD must match $5,571 with the remaining $111,429 from FEMA. The grant was awarded to SVFD in September 2017. Year to date (including pre-grant), SVFD personnel have visited more than 400 homes and have installed nearly 1,300 smoke alarms, 80 batteries, 10 carbon monoxide alarms, one flashing smoke alarm and one bed shaker smoke alarm. Additionally, 22 smoke and 30 carbon monoxide alarms were relocated within residences for proper function. These visits are performed by prevention staff and by on-duty crews when in homes on emergency calls. All SVFD residents are eligible for a free Home Fire Safety Visit. These visits are scheduled by calling 892-4153 or visiting www. spokanevalleyfire.com.

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34 • NOVEMBER 2017

Pumpkin Patch Community Garden thrives with civic cultivation

By Julie Humphreys Current Correspondent You won’t find the Great Pumpkin at this pumpkin patch but you will find broccoli, tomatoes, leeks, beet, spinach, raspberries, herbs of all kinds and much more. While the name of this congenial site – “Pumpkin Patch Community Garden” – belies patches of the orange squash associated with fall and Halloween, it does keep the history of this place just north of Millwood alive. The garden is located on the southeast corner of Argonne road and Maringo in the Spokane Valley. Its history is rich and many a Valley resident remembers well when this spot was a pumpkin patch. The Millwood Pumpkin Patch came to be in the early 1980s when Elmer Williams turned a vacant lot into a field of pumpkins that young people and families flocked to in search of that perfect pumpkin. Later, Bob Critchfield carried on the tradition until 2004 when the Argonne Bridge was widened and the patch abandoned. The lot sat vacant once again for five years until community members brought back the beloved pumpkin patch with a twist. The Pumpkin Patch Community Garden is just that, a community garden where neighbors, school groups and families can manage a plot of land, grow fruits and vegetables and learn about fresh, healthy foods and organic gardening practices. There are more than 50 garden plots – 10 feet

November 3rd 4:00-7:30 p.m. Tri Community Grange, 25025 E. Heather Lane, one block north of Trent on Starr Road in Newman Lake $8 adults/$4 children ages 5 to 12 Kids under 5 eat free Raffle prizes Money raised goes to support grange activities and operations

The Pumpkin Patch Community Garden may not feature pumpkins anymore but this bucolic space just north of Millwood is home to over 50 garden plots where residents learn about growing local, nutritious food. Photo by Craig Howard by 4 feet wooden boxes – filled with rich soil and accessible to hoses for watering. There’s also a native wildflower border that buffers the garden and the busy roads. The garden is supported by host organizations Inland Empire Paper and Millwood Community Presbyterian Church. The garden sits on an acre donated by the paper company and the church holds the garden’s 501 (c)(3) nonprofit status. Those involved with the garden hope to build community through gardening. Teresa Sadler is the coordinator of the garden. It’s a volunteer job for this woman who has always grown her own food and has a deep appreciation for the process. “It’s so exciting that you can put this little dead thing (seed) in the ground and it becomes food,” Sadler said. “It’s a miracle! t’s counter-culture to how we live today. People have no idea where their food comes from or how to produce their own food.” Sadler believes the community garden is helping to change that. For $20 a plot, people can grow all the crops they want. They must maintain their space with watering and weeding and are encouraged to donate excess food. Some of the plots were originally used for “Plant a Row” for the hungry through Second Harvest, the largest hunger relief organization in this region and it’s still a goal of the community garden to provide for people in need. Today crops are distributed to Second Harvest partner agencies to the tune of about 2,000 pounds a year. Food from the garden also goes to other philanthropic endeavors. This growing season tomato plants

went to West Valley’s City School to sell at the Spokane Community College’s Garden Expo and to Millwood Presbyterian Church to sell at their rummage sale. Students from WSU’s Nutrition and Exercise Physiology program along with students from other programs, maintained six plots this year to grow food for a campus pantry that provides food for students in need and promotes food security. Brajee Green is a senior in the program. “I had never really gardened before and it was an eye-opening experience,” Green said. “The amount of work that goes into gardening is amazing. I learned how to reuse seeds from plants that have been harvested. That showed me that you don’t need a lot of money to grow crops, which can help address our food

insecurity problem. I think every school should have a garden.” Whether it’s a school group or an individual living in an apartment with no land to grow, Sadler says all quickly learn you can’t predict the growing and harvesting process. “The biggest thing people learn when they take on a plot is growing is not scheduled,” she said. “We live in a society where everything is scheduled. So people think I’ll pick my produce next Tuesday. Well, by next Tuesday, the crop may be gone. It’s a natural process, not a factory.” But Sadler adds that’s the true beauty of it. When you take on a garden plot, you learn how to become part of the natural process involving weather, soil, and seasons. The bulk of the growing/ harvesting season is spring through fall but Sadler works the garden all winter. She grows kale and garlic and says winter kale is some of the best around. “It’s not bitter like so much kale is, it’s much sweeter,” she says. “It tastes best if you just move the snow off of it and pick it. In the winter you don’t have to deal with bugs or water your crops.” Sadler would love to see a greenhouse at the garden to extend the growing season. And she would like to see more pumpkins grown at the Pumpkin Patch Community Garden. In the garden’s seven seasons of operation, Sadler says community support remains strong. If bringing back a pumpkin patch is something the community wants, and Sadler gets plenty of inquiries about such, it just may happen. Perhaps someday there may once again be a home in the Valley for that Great Pumpkin.

The Pumpkin Patch Community Garden is the former site of the Millwood Pumpkin Patch. In 2004, it was transformed into a community garden. Photo by Craig Howard


The Current

NOVEMBER 2017 • 35

T h e N a t i o n a l ly A w a r d - W i n n i n g C e n t r a l V a l l e y h i g h s c h o o l T h e a t r e D e p a r t m e n t P r o u d ly P r e s e n t s

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The Current

36 • NOVEMBER 2017

It’s Here

EDITOR/PUBLISHER

Ben Wick

Danica Wick

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CIRCULATION Larry Passmore circulation@libertylakesplash.com CONTRIBUTORS

Bill Gothmann, Craig Howard, Julie Humphreys, Staci Lehman, Mary Anne Ruddis, Benjamin Shedlock, Mike Vlahovich, Tamara K. Williams The Valley Current P.O. Box 363 Liberty Lake, WA 99019 Phone: 242-7752; Fax: 927-2190 www.valleycurrent.com The Current is published monthly by or before the first 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.

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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

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*8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week. You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium. Reservations are recommended at sales meetings, but not required. A sales representative will be present with information and applications. For accommodation of persons with special needs at sales meetings, call 888-868-7767 (TTY: 711). Premera Blue Cross is an HMO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Premera Blue Cross depends on contract renewal. Premera Blue Cross is an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

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The Current

PACE Trait for November – Citizenship By Kimberly LiVecchi

“I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.” -- Abraham Lincoln Citizenship is a combination of character traits resulting from being actively aware of your community and your effect on it. It is actively putting into action all the character traits we value. It is looking at our world, country, community and home and being a positive influence upon it. Why does good citizenship matter? By being aware of our actions in our communities we create a climate of respect for ourselves and for others, which in turn encourages order, higher achievement and better interpersonal relationships. Good citizenship means thinking about more than just yourself; treating others as we wish ourselves to be treated. This practice makes communicating with others and understanding situations easier and more productive. Without a sense of belonging to a community there is a lack of incentive to be aware of and act positively toward the needs of the community. This results in an environment that fosters a lack of care, kindness and order. Practicing good citizenship can take many forms, both big and small. Good citizenship can be practiced through big gestures, seeing a need and actively working to create a positive change to improve concerns or problems. Good citizenship can also be expressed in small gestures. These gestures, while small, add up to create and maintain a positive environment. Small acts of good citizenship can be as simple as picking up a piece of litter off the ground, saying “please” and “thank you” and respecting the rules of the places we are in. It is through actively participating in the world around us that we create a positive impact. If as an individual in a community we practice good citizenship, then the community as a whole will see a positive improvement. The positive actions brought about by a sense of citizenship help bring us together as a community and encourage us to improve our communities and ourselves. Kimberly LiVecchi is committee member for the West Plains chapter of PACE. She works in marketing and business development.

NOVEMBER 2017 • 37

Aid and Assistance supports veterans and spouses

From Current News Sources In 1952, Congress passed Title 38 of the United States Code, creating what is now known as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and authorizing benefits for veterans. One of those lesser known benefits is the Non-Service Connected Pension or “Aid and Assistance.” Aid and Assistance provides support for activities of daily living – home care – to veterans and their surviving spouses. Qualifying hinges on the “3 M’s”: • Military – Active service during wartime with honorable discharge • Medical – A chronic illness or condition • Limited financial resources in relation to medical expenses More specifically, those who qualify must have served a minimum of 90 days active duty, one day during wartime with honorable discharge. A medical condition must be concerned by a physician’s diagnosis and income and assets in relation to medical expenses must demonstrate a need for the pension. Pension amounts can range from $1,149 per month to $2,808 per month depending on how many veterans are in a household. VA-recognized war periods include World War II (Dec. 7, 1941 to Dec. 31, 1946); Korean War (June 27, 1950 to Jan. 31, 1955); Vietnam War (Aug. 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975) and Persian Gulf War (Aug. 2, 1990 with an end to be set by law or presidential proclamation). To learn more about Aid and Assistance call, toll-free, 1-877294-6380 or visit the VA website at www.benefits.va.gov/pension/ aid_attendance_housebound. asp. You can also contact the VetAssist program, toll-free, at 888-908-6797 or visit www. VetAssistUSA.com. (VetAssist is not affiliated with the VA.) Correction The article on last month's outstanding student, East Valley senior Jason Gillingham, included an error in his name. The Current regrets the mistake and congratulates Jason on all of his accomplishments.

Love The Current? Support our partners. The Current is committed to serving the Greater Spokane Valley area through excellent community journalism. We can’t do it at all without you, our readers, and we can’t do it for long without support from our advertisers. Please thank our business partners and look to them when offering your patronage. Our sincere appreciation to the following businesses for their foundational partnerships with The Current and its partner publications:

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Of note: This thank you message was produced by The Current’s advertising team, which works its tail off on behalf of partner businesses, helping them share their messages through advertisements. This is an independent function from The Current’s editorial team, which has its own evaluation process to determine the community news stories and features it pursues. For more information about a win-win partnership that expertly markets your business to thousands of readers (while making this home-grown community newspaper possible), email advertise@valleycurrent.com. With story ideas, contact editor@valleycurrent.com.


The Current

38 • NOVEMBER 2017

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The Current

ON THAT NOTE

Candidate forums illuminate democratic process By Craig Howard Current Editor Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman may have summed it up best on the opening page of the 2017 Voter’s Pamphlet: “Voter participation data in our state shows many people only vote in the presidential election every four years. But often the decisions made in a non-presidential election year like this are more likely to impact your daily life.” Wyman goes on to point out that voters will be called upon this fall to elect leaders who make important decisions in respective communities across the Evergreen State – mayors, City Council members, school board directors and fire and port commissioners. In the spirit of learning more about candidates for such offices, Wyman would have appreciated two events hosted by the Splash and Current last month, two publications that fly under the slogan of “Honoring local communities and encouraging citizen involvement.” Appropriately, both events were led by the next generation of voters. Students from West Valley, University, Mica Peak and East Valley high schools contributed to candidate forums held Oct. 4 at West Valley High School and Oct. 11 at Liberty Lake Elementary. Hopefuls for the Spokane Valley City Council faced off at the West Valley forum while contenders for the Liberty Lake City Council and Spokane Valley Fire Board of Commissioners took to the stage in Liberty Lake. “For me this is all part of educating kids and teaching them about some of the issues that will affect them in their lives,” said Don Owen, a teacher at University High who worked with students to generate questions for the West Valley event. The forums – which also included those running for local school boards, Millwood city leadership and Spokane Superior Court judge – paid homage to the great American tradition of political debates – albeit with a slightly more condensed agenda. Allotted time for summary statements, opinions and rebuttals did not quite hearken back to the series of debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas in the 1858 race for the Illinois Senate seat. Appearing in all seven of the state’s Congressional districts, Lincoln and Douglas participated in a format that featured one candidate being

given one hour for opening remarks followed by his opponent speaking for 90 minutes. The opening speaker then had 30 minutes for a rebuttal. Ryan Roberts, a senior at Mica Peak High School, said participating in the forum was about being an engaged citizen. “It’s a good thing to be involved in your community,” Roberts said. Roberts added that his civics class at Mica Peak has shed light on the complexities of government. “It’s helped me progress and know more about politics and how things work,” he said. Asked if he would ever run for public office himself, the senior had a political savvy response. “If I stay in Spokane, I might, but not for sure,” he said. Senior Bnleo Dahal is part of the AP Government class at East Valley High. He asked questions at Liberty Creek and said his teacher

Lori Merkel has made politics “more interesting.” As for the local races, Dahal said he is “looking forward to the political process – it’s fun to see it in a local sense.” Karin Morris was one resident who attended both forums. She said making the effort was part of being an educated voter. “You really have to be at events like this to see what’s going on, to get a good idea of who these candidates are,” Morris said. “Right now, there’s five of the seven council positions open in the Valley. People need to pay attention. If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.” Keith Kopelson showed up at the Liberty Lake forum to learn more as a citizen. He currently holds a seat on the Liberty Lake City Council and, as a candidate, has participated in debates similar to one held Oct. 11. “I think it’s a good opportunity to put a name to a face instead of going by the signs all over town and actually hear the candidates speak,” Kopelson said. “I just encourage people not to vote unless they know something about the candidate. Just because name recognition is there, it

NOVEMBER 2017 • 39

doesn’t tell you a whole lot.” Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton took part in both forums, helping to coordinate a mock election held toward the end of each event. “The students asked the tough questions,” Dalton said. “I was really impressed with the research they had done to form their questions.” In her 19 years administrating elections in Spokane County, Dalton said candidate forums “are more beneficial to the voter than any of the other processes.” “With these events, you get a real opportunity to ask questions, to interact and to follow up,” she said. East Valley senior Nicole Richardson said she will be following the general election this month. Before the discussion began at Liberty Creek, Richardson said she was “interested in what the candidates have to say.” “It’s a way to educate the public for free,” she said. “Anyone can attend. It’s not very time-consuming and it gives people the information they need to vote.” Now it’s just a matter of returning that ballot.

The Splash and Current sponsored two candidate forums last month – one at West Valley High School (above) on Oct. 4 and another at Liberty Creek Elementary on Oct. 11. Students from local high schools prepared questions for candidates and were part of panels at both events. Hopefuls for the Spokane Valley City Council, Liberty Lake City Council and the Spokane Valley Fire Board of Commissioners took part in the dialogue. Also in attendance were candidates for local school boards, Millwood city leadership and Spokane Superior Court judge. Contributed Photo


The Current

40 • NOVEMBER 2017

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Quality Quintet; Honoring five local vets