Page 1

APRIL

2018

GREATER SPOKANE VALLEY

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A VALLEY-WIDE COMMUNITY NEWSMAGAZINE

Spokane Valley's long-awaited transportation upgrade receives funding boost, page 12 MORGAN MOVING ON FROM CHAMBER PAGE 10

HALLETT’S CELEBRATES 40 YEARS PAGE 31

SALUTING THE SPOKANE FLAG MUSEUM PAGE 39


2 • APRIL 2018

The Park Bench

Total Titan – U-Hi alum VanSickle shines as dean of local ADs By Craig Howard Current Editor When Ken VanSickle lost his dad in the summer of 2009, there was little question where the service would be held. Kenneth “Bud” VanSickle was a World War II vet and longtime employee of Conoco Oil who raised Ken and his sister Jenneth to be authentic University High School Titans. Bud – who lived to be 81 – and his wife Marie were part of a group of U-Hi parents who originated the Titan Booster

NEWS Club and Senior All Nighter. The VanSickle home was just across the street from the school and rooting for the maroon and gold was engrained in family culture. Ken and Jenneth both graduated from U-Hi after excelling as studentathletes. So, on June 20, 2009, friends and family gathered for a celebration of Bud’s life at Titan Central, the new U-Hi campus that Ken now called his professional home. Each day at U-Hi, VanSickle greets students across the intercom, reminding them of the privilege of being a Titan, something he learned from his dad many years ago. VanSickle has worked at the school since 1986 and for last 19 years, served as assistant principal and athletic director (AD). He has been at his post longer than any AD in the area and is recognized as an insightful mentor to colleagues who may have questions about everything from scheduling to eligibility to tournament coordination. A past president and conference chair of the Washington Athletic Directors Executive Board, VanSickle is acknowledged for his

The Current

layered administrative expertise. He has been named the District 8 Athletic Director of the Year twice and, in 2014, was honored as the Washington state Athletic Director of the Year.

Community College where he met his future wife Lisa who was part of the volleyball team. It was at SFCC that he faced a quandary about his career path. Bud was there again with some wise counsel.

“Ken is very well-respected,” said East Valley Athletic Director Alec Vermaire. “He’s thought of as ‘Mr. U-Hi.’”

“It was the best advice I ever got,” VanSickle said. “I was trying to decide what to go into and my dad said, ‘What do you like to do?’ I told him I liked to play sports and he told me to go into coaching.”

Born and raised in Spokane Valley, VanSickle was a three-sport standout in football, basketball and baseball as a Titan. His senior year included being elected to the Titan Hall of Fame and serving as Homecoming King. He also made fellow students – and even some teachers – laugh. His fellow seniors voted him as having the “Best Sense of Humor” in the class of 1978. VanSickle’s achievements went beyond athletics. He graduated with a 3.5 grade point average and developed a real grasp of history, a subject he would teach later at his alma mater. “I had fantastic teachers who inspired me to be a teacher,” VanSickle said. VanSickle went on to baseball at Spokane

play Falls

A broken hand at the start of VanSickle’s second baseball season at the Falls turned serendipitous when he took on some duties of an assistant coach. After SFCC, Ken and Lisa moved on to Eastern Washington University where he majored in education. He would later earn his master’s in education and a degree in education administration. VanSickle has spent all 36 years of his career in the Central Valley School District (CVSD), the first 17 years as a teacher and coach (he was named GSL Coach of the Year in softball four times) and the last 19 as assistant principal and athletic director. Ken and Lisa – a CVSD teacher – have been married 36 years and have two children and four grandchildren. Their sons – Casey and Kenny – are U-Hi alums and part of the Titan Hall of Fame with their dad. Q: When you were a studentathlete at U-Hi, did you ever think you would someday work at the school in some capacity? A: No, I didn’t think teachers made enough and I wanted a job where I could make “big” money. Q: What lessons and/or experiences as a studentathlete have you been able to carry over in your role as an administrator that have helped better equip you for this kind of work?

Ken VanSickle graduated from University High School in 1978 as a three-sport standout. He went on to play baseball at Spokane Falls Community College and earn a degree in education from Eastern Washington University. VanSickle has worked at U-Hi since 1986 and has spent the last 19 years as assistant principal and athletic director. Photo by Craig Howard

A: I loved teachers and coaches who taught me skills but made it fun at the same time. Those same people showed passion for what they were teaching and coaching and genuine concern for me as a student-athlete. Teaching me life lessons, how to work hard, how to work with a team and how to accept my role on the team. But the most important thing I learned from my many great teachers and coaches was to care about your students and athletes and let them know that you love them. Throughout my career I have always tried to put

See VANSICKLE, Page 4


The Current

APRIL 2018 • 3

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4 • APRIL 2018

VANSICKLE

NEWS

Continued from page 2 my student-athletes first and show them how much I truly care about them. Q: What do you think are some of the main traits of Titan Country that are same from when you were enrolled there. In what ways has the environment changed? A: Some of the main things are still that sense of Titan Pride. Every day I do the announcements and remind students “It’s another great day to be a Titan.” We have a wonderful community that takes pride in our schools and I feel our “community” is still the best in the area. I graduated from U-Hi, both my boys graduated from U-Hi and my four grandkids live in the district. The main thing that has changed for me is attendance at sporting events. I believe the reasons are two-fold. We have so many students today that work, back in the day I can only remember one of my friends that worked. I also believe students have other interests than sports. We have so many clubs and activities here at U-Hi that we never had when I went to school. I feel we do a great job of offering alternatives for students. Q: You've had some exceptional athletes graduate from U-Hi over the years, some like Angie Bjorklund, Tyler Olson and Brad Walker who have gone on to distinguished careers in college and professional ranks and, in Walker's case, participated in the Olympics. What are some of the commons traits you see among these standout athletes? A: All have been outstanding students as well as athletes. They are goal oriented and have incredible work ethics. Most were quiet leaders that led by example and were very coachable. They were respectful towards teachers, coaches and their teammates. Outstanding athletes who were modest and always gave credit to someone else. I remember one night after a football game seeing Angie Bjorklund in our gym and she would shoot two free throws then run a set of lines. I finally had to ask her what she was doing. She told me she was trying to get tired then make free throws to replicate playing in the fourth quarter. All of our star athletes have practiced with a purpose. Tyler Olson is another great example of hard work and dedication. Tyler would

The Current

students from both schools hugging each other, talking and laughing. Our kids compete hard but when the game is over we come together as one strong caring community. There is no other rivalry like the Bears vs. the Titans! Q: A small percentage of high school athletes earn college scholarships and far fewer go on to a career in professional sports. As an administrator, how do you forge a balance between athletes taking their sports seriously but also prioritizing academics and setting goals that will stand them in good stead well beyond high school?

Ken VanSickle has been named the District 8 Athletic Director of the Year twice and the Washington state Athletic Director of the Year in 2014. The Spokane Valley native has also served as past president and conference chair of the Washington Athletic Directors Executive Board. Photo by Craig Howard not be pitching with the Cleveland Indians without his drive and determination. Q: What did the move to the new campus in 2002 mean for U-Hi? A: It has meant everything to our students and staff. We left a building that was built in the early 60s with the famous California style, all one level and you had to walk outside to get to your classes. We were blowing circuit breakers daily when we moved to electric typewriters! The facility we have here has moved our instruction forward and puts our students and teachers in position to excel academically. Our students also have first-class athletic facilities where we have three softball fields, two baseball fields, batting cages, 10 lit tennis courts, a great football/ soccer stadium, excellent track, the list goes on and on. Q: The latest CVSD bond victory will mean funds for a third traditional high school. How do you think that will change things on the sports side? A: I am so thankful to our community for supporting all of our bonds but this latest victory has changed the course for our high schools. The third high school will open the door for so many

more student-athletes to compete and grow through our athletic programs. I see new opportunities for students to get engaged in our schools and be a part of a team or group. I am excited for the new high school to open and know that so many more young adults will be able to experience the great things you get being a part of something greater than yourself. Some people worry that our sports teams won’t be able to compete and win championships. I know that will not be the case as our community will continue to support athletics. People said the same thing when U-Hi was built in the early 60s and I think CV and U-Hi have done very well over the years. Q: Central Valley and U-Hi have a well-recognized and layered rivalry that goes back many years. How would you characterize the competition between these two Valley schools with campuses just a few miles apart? A: Obviously we have developed a great rivalry with CV and we have some type of trophy for almost every sport. With the exception of the “Stinky Sneaker” which is based on the spirit competition all other trophies are awarded to the winner of the game. I believe it is one of the healthiest rivalries I have ever seen. After every game I see

A: I believe it is always important to set high goals and reach as high as you can. We have always stressed academics as athletes can’t get into Division 1 schools without the classes and grades. When athletes aspire to play in college we always make sure they understand that the academic piece has to be there as well. In the question you asked before about our top athletes they all had grades to play at the University of Tennessee (Bjorklund), Gonzaga University (Olson) and the University of Washington (Walker). Q: Finally, what have you enjoyed most about living in Spokane Valley and being part of Titan Nation? Growing up across the street from the old U-Hi has given me a rare opportunity to be a part of the history of University High School. I was born in 1959 before the school was built. I have had the privilege to watch, teach and coach many outstanding student-athletes. I have worked with some incredible teachers and was coached by some of the most legendary coaches in Titan history. Dave Holmes was my football coach, Marv Ainsworth my basketball coach and Dan Iyall and Don Ressa my baseball coaches. All four coaches are in multiple Halls of Fame. I have been blessed to be a part of University High School and the Central Valley School District. Because University High School has given me so much I hope I have been able to give back and maybe I have inspired a former student or coach to come back to our community and continue to make it a great place to live. But the thing I will always cherish the most is the relationships I have developed with my students and athletes. They have touched my life and my heart and I will always be thankful for the memories of being a Titan!


The Current

APRIL 2018 • 5

NEWS

Reflecting on a budget, recreation and a SCRAPS standout By Mary Kuney

Spokane County Commissioner I’ve had the honor of representing Spokane County and District 2, which includes the citizens of Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Rockford and other communities, on the Spokane County Board of Commissioners for the last six months. Over the course of this time, the Board of County Commissioners has tackled some big issues, but none more important than the county budget for 2018. I’m pleased to say that after several months of presentations from department heads, testimony from the public and input from county employees, we were able to deliver a balanced budget on Dec. 4. This was not a perfect budget by any means, but I am proud of the work we did because the 2018 budget maintains public safety, successfully delivers essential services and maintains infrastructure. A significant challenge in the development of the 2018 budget was keeping quality of life programs as well as services and community programs. Ultimately, we were able to preserve funding for our quality of life services, such as our world-class parks system. Spokane County Parks, Recreation & Golf offers numerous recreational opportunities in the Liberty Lake area. In addition to two 18-hole championship public golf courses both located within the city of Liberty Lake, Spokane County’s Liberty Lake Regional Park, located at the south end of the lake, includes more than 3,500 acres of forest, wetlands, lakeshore and improved parkland. Other features of the park include a campground, swimming beach, play equipment, large picnic shelter, barbecue pits, sand volleyball court, an amphitheater and miles of backcountry trails with access to viewpoints, waterfalls, old growth forest and other points of interest.

The park is open year-round with a day-use fee of $2 for ages 6 years and older collected from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. Backcountry hikers and equestrian users can also access the park free of charge from the Idaho Road Trailhead. Reservations for campground stays can be made online at http://www. spokanecounty.org/1383/Parks. Other hiking and cycling opportunities managed by Spokane County in the area include the Centennial Trail which can be accessed near Liberty Lake at Harvard Road and from Gateway Park near the state line, as well as the Saltese Uplands Conservation Area which has a trailhead on South Henry Road. Over seven miles of trails wind through the Saltese Uplands property and offer expansive views of Liberty Lake, Mt. Spokane, and the Saltese Flats from the top of the ridge. For those interested in adult recreation leagues, Spokane County has softball and volleyball programs in the area with spring leagues and tournaments . Register online for the “pring Fling Softball Tournament at Plantes Ferry Sports Stadium by April 6 (men’s/women’s teams) and April 13 (co-ed) and for the Spring/ Summer Softball League by April 20. To register for programs, schedule a special event or learn more about Spokane County Parks, Recreation & Golf, please visit www.spokanecounty.org/ parks . One of the most important things I can do as commissioner is to collaborate and partner with elected officials and municipal governments throughout Spokane County. As elected officials, our responsibility is to find solutions to our community’s most pressing public policy issues. In the short time that I have been a commissioner, I have made it a priority to gain a greater understanding of how this county operates and the assistance our partners in cities like Liberty Lake need. A great example I often use of how well regional municipal governments can collaborate is the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS). When the city of Spokane came on board in January 2014, joining

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The Current

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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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1 2 3 4+

Prepared By: Regional Intelligence Group 9 Spokane County Sheriff

1 2 3 4+

Prepared By: Regional Intelligence Group 9 Spokane County Sheriff

Safety Tip of The Month:

The Spokane Valley Police Departments has seen a significant increase in mail theft. Criminals are stealing out going checks, washing them, changing the payee and dollar amount prior to them cashing them. The raised flag on the mailbox makes it easy for criminals to identify which mail boxes to hit. If possible pay bills on line or drop off outgoing mail inside in a blue postal box.


8 • APRIL 2018

Spokane Valley City Council Report – April 2018 By Bill Gothmann

Current Correspondent Barker Grade details discussed

Separation

With six presenters, the Spokane Valley City Council received a detailed briefing on the Barker Grade Separation project. The project replaces an at-grade railroad crossing with an overpass and improves the Trent/Barker intersection. With considerable traffic and 17 accidents since 2012, this intersection is now rated “F” on a scale of A to F. Therefore, state law prevents further development within the northeast industrial area unless a plan is in place to improve the intersection. Studies show a $2 billion economic benefit and 9,800 added jobs if this area is developed. Developed in 2004, the first plan was to provide a diamond-shaped intersection such as the one at Sullivan and Trent. However, later traffic studies showed no need for a six-lane configuration. Furthermore, new standards mandated increased ramp lengths, driving up the cost to $45 million in 2020 dollars. As a result, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), the city and consulting engineers developed six alternatives to be considered based upon the future traffic needs of the area. At a public meeting with 123 attending, most people favored Alternative 5. Council later concurred. This alternative provides an intersection just north of the present Barker/ Trent intersection. The next question was whether this

NEWS

intersection should be a traditional intersection or a roundabout. Studies show a roundabout has 37 percent fewer collisions, 40 percent fewer pedestrian collisions, 75 percent fewer injury collisions and 90 percent fewer fatalities. Based upon analysis of this particular intersection using 2040 traffic estimates, a signalized intersection will have 3.7 crashes per year resulting in 1.3 fatal and injury crashes whereas a roundabout would have 2.3 crashes per year resulting in 0.3 fatal and injury crashes. Furthermore, a roundabout would result in an A or B level of service, whereas a signalized intersection would result in a C level of service. Annual maintenance for the roundabout would be $5,000 to $10,000 less and air pollution and noise would also be less.

Studies show that initial reaction to roundabouts is negative, but nearly all opinions are neutral or positive after its construction. At the March 13 council meeting, 10 citizens spoke in favor. Bryan Meyer observed, “Traffic is about movement. Traffic lights are about stopping traffic.” Jack Costell, developer of Highland Estates, objected to excluding the development from the plan. Since Highland Estates is outside the city, staff assured council that they could be added if the county wanted to fund it. John Harding expressed concern about large trucks negotiating the roundabout. Engineers assured council that the roundabout is designed so that even the largest trucks can easily negotiate it. Because of the recent award of $9 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grants (TIGER), the $19 million project has secured $24,970,149 in funding. City to apply for grants for Argonne and Barker

The Washington State Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board (FMSIB) has issued a call for projects for grants, primarily to address freight transportation. Staff recommended applying for two grants. The first would call for the reconstruction of Argonne from Indiana to Montgomery using concrete, estimated to cost $5.8 million with $1.16 million of this coming from FMSIB. The second would be a widening of Barker Road to three lanes from the Spokane River to SR-290 (Trent), estimated to cost $8.4 million, with $1.68 million of this coming from FMSIB. Staff pointed out that often, FMSIB is the first to provide grants for a project, later followed with grants from other agencies. For photos and further information see the cover story on page 12. City to concentrate on Evergreen-Sullivan section of Appleway Trail Two segments of the Appleway Trail have yet to be built; the portion between University west to Balfour Park and the section from Evergreen to Sullivan. The University-Balfour section is shy by $900,000 of full funding and the Evergreen-Sullivan section is shy by $698,000. Staff recommended concentrating city funding and existing grants on the EvergreenSullivan section so that 5.2 miles of continuous trail can be completed. Doing so would bring funding within $57,000 of what is needed for this 5.2-mile stretch. The city would then look for more grants for the University-Balfour section. Council agreed to staff’s recommendation. New cell tower technology on the way Faced with providing more service to more customers, cellular phone providers are building small cell receiver/transmitters, called micro-cells, that will collect traffic from the local area and relay it to

The Current

existing macro cell towers. The antenna of these micro cells would be small units located on existing utility poles. The accompanying power equipment would be at the base of the pole, within the base of the pole or underground. City staff has been working with providers and developed regulations to accommodate this new technology and presented these to the Planning Commission. For example, vertical projections are limited to 15 feet above the pole and antenna and antenna enclosures are limited to 3 cubic feet. Base enclosures shall be no larger than 17 cubic feet and shall not interfere with normal use of the pole or right-of-way. The new regulations also specify how providers apply to the city for use of its right-of-way. Regulations were developed to permit small cells in all zones. A separate chapter of the code was written to detail small cell regulations. These would permit a vendor to apply for up to 30 sites at once after their franchise has been approved. Council approved the first reading of these regulations. Flood plain plans for Painted Hills will take years City staff reviewed the requirements by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for flood plains. Any city that permits flood plain insurance has to comply with these regulations. The objective is to permit water from a 100-year flood to flow to its destination without raising the flood elevation significantly. To accomplish this end, flood maps have been developed identifying the stream channel and the specific elevation of the 100-year flood along the banks of the channel. These maps may be refined by cities or developers to provide alternative ways of accomplishing this end. In July of 2015, Black Realty

See SV COUNCIL, Page 9

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The Current

NEWS

also improves sight distance by widening the Pines sidewalk on the southwest corner, moving the curb two feet to the east. The project will also include stormwater improvements. The tentative schedule is to start construction on June 19 and complete the work in mid-August. While under construction, at least one lane will be open each way at all times on Pines. The west side of Grace will be close for project duration. One the east side, Grace will be flagged alternating one-way traffic during working hours and have at least one lane open each way during non-working hours. City plans Carnahan intersection revision

SV COUNCIL

Continued from page 8 submitted plans for a 580-unit Planned Residential Development (PRD) on the previous Painted Hills golf land. The city’s regulations permit such PRDs. The city is requiring an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) be completed by the developer. They must also determine how they can accommodate the flood plain on which most of the project lies. Because of its complexity in working with the city and FEMA, this is expected to take years.

then created a new design that would have prohibited left turns from eastbound Grace traffic to northbound on Pines. At a June 12, 2017 neighborhood meeting, this design met opposition because it would increase traffic on local roads and merely move the problem from Grace Avenue to other streets. The city then went back to the drawing board and came up with a new design that provides left turn lanes by narrowing the lanes to 11 feet from 12 feet. It

There have been a number of accidents at Eighth Avenue and Carnahan because Carnahan takes a “jog” at Eighth. To remedy the situation, the city purchased property at 707 S. Carnahan for $185,000. However, because the city intends to apply for federal funds, WSDOT advised the city to comply with the federal Uniform Relocation Act. This act requires the buyer to reimburse the seller for moving costs, closing costs, the price differential for replacement housing and incidentals, amounting to $56,761.46. Since the sum of purchase and reimbursement

City staff’s role in this is to examine whether the developer meets the city’s code. At the end of the process, a public hearing will be held by the hearing examiner who will determine whether all regulations have been met and what mitigation may be required. Note that the City Council is not involved with the decision-making process. Further information on this application can be found on the Community and Public Works page of the city’s website, www. spokanevalley.org. New design for Pines-Grace intersection The Pines-Grace intersection has been under scrutiny by the city since 2012 because of it many accidents, primarily from northbound traffic attempting a left turn and colliding with southbound traffic and southbound traffic attempting a left turn and colliding with northbound traffic. The solution is to provide left turn lanes. However, this requires additional right-ofway. The first design required acquisition of property on the west intersection. However, the city and the property owner could not reach an agreement. The city

The city of Spokane Valley is working to make the intersection at Pines and Grace safer through a redesign. The initial solution to provide left turn lanes ran into a hurdle due to right-of-way challenges. The new design would prohibit left turns from eastbound traffic to Pines northbound. Image courtesy of city of Spokane Valley

APRIL 2018 • 9

exceeds the authority of the city manager, staff came before council requesting consensus to bring forward a motion for approval at a future meeting. They granted consensus. Eighth planned

Avenue

sidewalk

Having received a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for $435,895, the city is planning to construct a sidewalk from Dickey to Thierman. Stormwater improvements will also be made, bringing the total cost of the project to $594,333. Eighth Avenue will have to be closed to through traffic, bus routes will be temporarily re-routed and driveways will be temporarily closed. The city is working with affected residents. Although traffic is planned to be rerouted to Sixth and 11th Avenues, council members pointed out that Sixth Avenue is a private road so staff will have to reexamine the reroute plans. Construction is expected to start in mid-May and be completed by mid-June. The project must be completed by June 30 to comply with the CDBG grant. City’s Transportation updated

Plan

Council approved amendments to the city’s 2018 Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) that updates dollar amounts, adds projects carried over from last year and adds new projects because of grants they have received. Projects updated with dollar amounts include the Sullivan-Wellesley Intersection, Argonne Pavement Preservation, Barker Road/BNSF Grade Separation and the Pines/ BNSF Separation. Projects carried over to this year include Euclid Reconstruction, Sullivan/Euclid Concrete Intersection, Citywide Reflective Signal Backplates, Appleway Trail (Pines to Evergreen), Appleway Trail (Sullivan to Corbin), North Sullivan Intelligent Traffic System, 32nd Avenue Sidewalk, Eighth Avenue Sidewalk Project, Pines-Grace intersection, Intelligent Traffic System Infill Project, Sullivan West Bridge and Wellesley Sidewalk Project. Many of these are projects near close-out. Projects added include Broadway (Argonne and Mullan), Eighth Avenue/Carnahan, Mission Sidewalk (Bowdish to Union) and project engineering of Barker Road (Euclid to Garland). This year’s moves ahead

Crave

contract

Council consented to move ahead on funding this year’s Crave food event for a second year after a

See VALLEY, Page 11


The Current

10 • APRIL 2018

Valley Chamber

HIGHLIGHTS

Morgan departs Valley Chamber after dynamic tenure By Craig Howard Current Editor In several ways, March 15 was a memorable day for Katherine Morgan.

CONNECT.

EMPOWER.

INNOVATE.

Young App Inventor’s Journey Join us for a Business Connections breakfast program featuring a whiz kid entrepreneur who is having big success with his big idea. “Young App Inventor’s Journey / Tips To Make Your Business More Inclusive and Accessible” Alex Knoll from Post Falls, Idaho, creator of the Ability App, is a 13 year old who loves helping people and is developing an app to help people with disabilities and their caregivers navigate public spaces and find safe, reliable services and employment opportunities. Winning state, national and international competitions, his success eventually led him to be featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, as the photo above shows. (Photo credit: Michael Rozman/ Warner Brothers) Join us to hear more about his exciting journey as a youth entrepreneur. Sponsorships are available. More info at spokanevalleychamber.org

Business Connections Breakfast Friday, April 20 7-9:00 a.m. Spokane Valley Event Center Spokane Valley, WA New Members: FEBRUARY A & B Motors Associated Agents Group Inc Block Advisors Cascade Defense Crave! Cutco Cutlery – Blades by Tara DexYP Fletcher Financial Group – Robin Walter Jacob’s Photography InSpirit StudioZ McDonald’s Pinnacle Investigations Revel Spokane Rivercreek Wellness Spine Team Spokane The Rayce Rudeen Foundation YMCA of the Inland Northwest

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

The effervescent president and CEO of the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce (GSVCC) cheered her beloved Gonzaga Bulldogs on to victory in an NCAA tournament basketball game that evening, part of her routine to follow every step of the distinguished program representing her alma mater. Earlier that day, Morgan announced she would be resigning from her post at the chamber after three-and-a-half years to take a job with Bank of America. Morgan took over the chamber reins in September 2014, succeeding Eldonna Shaw who served as president and CEO for 13 years. “This transition is bittersweet as I remain passionate about the accomplishments and momentum of the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, its leadership, its team, each and every one of you,” Morgan wrote in an email to chamber members. Morgan went on to express her gratitude for the “extraordinary dedication, passion and heart of the most incredible team of staff, the leadership of today and those before and most especially each of you.” A resident of Liberty Lake, Morgan will leave the chamber early this month to become senior vice president and local market manager for Bank of America in the Spokane/Boise region. She noted in her message that the bank has been a GSVCC member since 1948. “If there is one role in this chamber I would be more privileged to have, it would be like that of yours – proud member,” Morgan wrote. Morgan has been a catalyst in increasing chamber membership by over 300 while at the helm. The ranks at GSVCC now include nearly 770 members. “Katherine has been such a positive force in our community,” said Kelly Fukai, vice chair of the chamber board. “She has a real ability to pull people together and make them feel part of something.

Katherine Morgan She has been such an effective collaborator, convener and facilitator.” Frank Tombari, longtime chair of the Valley Chamber/GSI joint transportation committee and a former chamber board chair, said Morgan was recognized for her dynamic leadership. “She provided a lot of energy to the chamber,” he said. “She grew membership as well as cemented the view of the chamber as a leader in the business community and an advocate for business, small or large.” Morgan said leading the chamber brought the challenge and opportunity of “responding to the needs of a fast-growing community while also planning and building internal infrastructure to serve those needs.” “Recognizing these challenges are all too similar to the majority of our membership and small businesses in the community has helped challenge our leadership and team stay true to prioritize and add value to the membership in the programs and services we have grown and provided,” she said. In 2015, the chamber introduced its “Big 5” initiative with Morgan leading the charge. The program focused on a quintet of priorities integral to the present and future of a thriving Valley community – outdoors, goods, learning, cures and vision – all with an emphasis on making each area “greater.” “The campaign began with incredible success providing credibility and setting up the chamber for its next chapter to serve as an organization set to convene leaders and execute big ideas to serve the greater good,” Morgan said. From the success of the Manufacturing Matters Expo to chamber scholarships that removed barriers and created avenues to

See MORGAN, Page 11


The Current

APRIL 2018 • 11

MORGAN

VALLEY

career tech education programs, Morgan said chamber leadership and membership have leveraged the campaign “to create a legacy of opportunities.”

glowing report given by staff. More than 40 chefs participated in last year’s event resulting in over 2,000 attending representing 11 states and Canada. There were 235 hotel stays reported and a significant amount of local and regional publicity with 931,678 Facebook impressions reaching 158,678 different people. The 2018 event will be held in June with about 60 chefs participating. Sales are ahead of last year. In January, Crave received $30,000 from the city’s lodging tax so they are applying for only $20,000 in city economic development funds, down from the $50,000 awarded last year.

Continued from page 10

Morgan grew up in Post Falls and Spokane Valley after her family moved to the Inland Northwest from Southern California. She went on to graduate from Gonzaga with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus in marketing. Prior to the chamber, Morgan served as marketing director for the Home Builders Association of Kansas City. She returned to the Inland Northwest in 2012. Locally, she has worked as marketing director for Greenstone Homes, project manager for Greenstone’s Kendall Yards development and director of marketing for the Spokane Home Builders Association. When she took over GSVCC at the age of 31, Morgan says she leaned on the wisdom and experience of the chamber board and staff. “The fears from a lack of experience and the weight of such a role were quickly diminished being surrounded by some of the very best leaders in the region,” she said. “I recall the faith of the membership, both existing and future, who were grateful for the opportunities they received from their chamber before and were ready to offer insight, guidance and support.” The chamber board will meet early this month to discuss the process of an executive search for Morgan’s replacement, Fukai said. “We will work through what the transition plans look like,” she said. “The good news is Katherine built a great team here. We have an excellent staff in place that will continue to deliver the same quality of service as if Katherine were still here.” Morgan said she feels assured leaving the chamber “in the best hands.” “I take this opportunity this with the confidence knowing the chamber is now in one of the grandest positions it has ever been with some of the very best members, the best team on staff, the strongest financial position and some of the region’s finest leaders on the board,” she said. “It is an outstanding organization of influence and demonstrated results ready for this team to take it to the next level.”

Continued from page 9

False alarm approved

amendment

As discussed in the March issue of the Current, the city started up a new false fire alarm system on March 15. The purpose of the system is to reduce the cost to the city of responding to false fire alarms. The new system does not require registration of an alarm system and makes police response to an alarm trip voluntary for the alarm system owner. The customer may opt out of the service with the alarm monitoring company. Council added an amendment to the ordinance to clarify the duties of the alarm administrator, including the ability to mitigate a cost recovery fee up to 25 percent if he believes the facts and circumstances warrant it.

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Council Briefs • Council Member Arne Woodard stated that, although Spokane Valley usually receives $270,000 in grants through the Spokane County’s Housing and Community Development from federal grants, they received over $600,000 this year for two city sidewalk projects: Wilbur, Broadway to Boone, and Knox, Sargent to Hutchinson. • Council Member Sam Wood expressed concern about the opioid epidemic and asked if the city can do something. The city manager will contact the Spokane Regional Health District and ask for a presentation. • Council gave final approval to renew the Spokane Housing Authority agreement, discussed in last month’s issue of the Current. • Council approved street standards that eliminate future acquisition areas, require sidewalk maintenance and ease traffic studies, as detailed in last month’s edition of The Current.

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12 • APRIL 2018

Gathering Steam – Bridging the Valley gains momentum with key grant

By Keith Erickson Current Correspondent Ear-splitting horns. Irritating traffic delays. Major commerce challenges. Dangerous motor vehicle encounters. The common denominator – railroad crossings. Locomotives and autos mix like oil and water and the scenario has prompted a decades-old pursuit aimed at paving the way for vehicles to steer clear of trains. Bridging the Valley (BTV) involves a diverse cross section of officials representing the public and private sectors from both sides of the Washington-Idaho state line. It began in the late 1990s when a bistate initiative was put into motion to eliminate the number of “atgrade” railroad crossings along a heavily used set of tracks stretching

COVER STORY from downtown Spokane, 42 miles east to Athol, Idaho. While there is no proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel,” it appears momentum for the massive endeavor—with an ultimate pricetag in the tens of millions of dollars – has picked up steam recently with the approval of a $9 million federal transportation grant to the city of Spokane Valley. The funding will improve the railroad intersection in the Valley through construction of a bridge over the crossing at Barker Road. The project also includes reconfiguration of the intersection at Barker and Trent Avenue to significantly improve traffic flow and ease congestion. A top priority of the Spokane Valley City Council for several years, the Barker Road project will improve safety while providing an enormous shot in the arm to the economy by opening the door for industrial development, officials say. According to the Spokane real estate investment firm Centennial Properties, the Barker Road exchange project – and the industrial development it is expected to attract – will provide “northward of 700 jobs over the next 18 months.” The $9 million federal Transportation Investment

Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant will support the development of 600 acres of industrial, mixed-use, and commercial land which is currently available but difficult to access due to the combination of rail and truck traffic. City of Spokane Valley Deputy City Manager John Hohman said the estimated 700-plus jobs, cited by Doug Yost, director of real estate development for Centennial Properties, is based on the anticipated development of land that will be sold to companies providing the well-paying manufacturing jobs. The federal funds will help shoulder construction of an overpass, eliminating the at-grade crossing at Barker Road. Two options are under consideration for the reconstructed intersection – a traditional signalized interchange and a roundabout, Hohman said. Should the city opt to pursue a roundabout intersection, the project is expected to cost between $19 and $21 million. Matching state and local funding sources have already been identified. Construction of a diamond interchange, however, would double the cost to over $40 million. Hohman said the council is still in the information gathering stage but is leaning toward the less-

A $9 million federal transportation grant recently awarded to the city of Spokane Valley will go toward construction of a bridge over the railroad crossing at Barker Road. The intersection at Barker and Trent Avenue would also be addressed in the project to improve traffic flow. Image courtesy of city of Spokane Valley

The Current

expensive roundabout option, which is statistically safer than a controlled intersection, according the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. As The Current went to press the council decided to go with the round about option. In choosing this option, Hohman said the federal award from March 6 means the project is “fully funded.” Under that scenario, design would start later this year with construction to begin sometime in 2020. The project would take 16 to 18 months with completion in late 2021 or early 2022. Todd Mielke, CEO of Greater Spokane Inc. (GSI), the region’s business development organization that advocates for initiatives to improve the regional economy, said the industrial-zoned property is primed for growth. “The area is critical to our region for industrial development,” Mielke said. “Manufacturers are looking for larger parcels of land with water, sewer and transportation.” The proximity to Interstate 90, plus an intercontinental railway served by Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific railroads, along with the vast land availability make it a trifecta for manufacturing opportunities, Mielke added. Frank Tombari, chairman of the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Transportation Committee, echoed Mielke’s optimism for industrial growth in that sector and the importance of federal funding to make it – and other BTV projects – a reality. Shrinking or flat federal gas tax revenues in recent years, mostly the result of more fuel-efficient vehicles, boosts the reliance on highly competitive federal aid like the TIGER grant recently awarded to the city of Spokane Valley. “That’s a huge area for economic growth opportunity,” Tombari said. “Look around Spokane and it’s only industrial park area that is served by two Class A railroads. That’s a big economic seller for development and we’re seeing a lot of activity out there right now.” According to a press release issued by Sen. Patty Murray, the TIGER grant will “improve the safety and efficiency of freight and rail movement in Spokane Valley, and increase access for emergency responders, residents, and businesses.” Advocating safety A presentation provided by the city of Spokane Valley, shows an

See BTV, Page 13


The Current

APRIL 2018 • 13

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BTV

Continued from page 12 average of 56 trains rumble through the BTV corridor every day with 5,500 vehicles crossing the tracks at Barker Road. Taking into account the numerous other railroad crossings along the 42-mile stretch, the delays imposed by trains are not only an inconvenience to commuters, it can cause critical roadblocks to emergency responders. Melanie Rose, community affairs officer for the Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD), said the department is constantly updating response strategies to maximize safety and work around the railroad tracks. “At one point, we counted 33 crossings in our service area so it definitely impacts our response,” Rose said. While the department strategically positions fire stations on both sides of the tracks, it has a limited number of resources and delays are sometimes inevitable due to trains. Rose recalled a double-fatal plane crash into the Spokane River in May 2015. “There was a train that delayed part of (SVFD) response and the sheriff’s dive team was also delayed,” she said. “In situations like that, seconds are critical.” A longtime supporter of the Bridging the Valley program, Rose said the department is “always

looking to see where the gaps in coverage are and moving our resources accordingly.” In Idaho, which has a disproportionately higher ratio of train vs. vehicle collisions, the focus on railroad crossing safety is also an ongoing process. Travis Campbell, state coordinator for Idaho Operation Lifesaver, a nonprofit public safety education program designed to eliminate railroad crossing collisions, deaths and injuries, said he’s seen more than his share of avoidable accidents. According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), there were 29 highway/rail collisions in Kootenai County between 2007 and 2017. Spokane County, with a much higher traffic volume, also recorded 29 collisions during the same period, according to the FRA. A Boise-based locomotive engineer, Campbell conducts numerous train patrols with Idaho State Police officers throughout the state to identify drivers who are not observing warning signals and crossing arms. “The last time I was in Kootenai County we had over 90 traffic stops,” Campbell said. “Most of the people are doing what they’re supposed to be doing, but there’s that certain percentage of the population that forgets flashing red lights mean ‘stop,’ not ‘speed up.’” Glenn Miles, executive director of the Kootenai Metropolitan Planning

Organization, has been involved with the Bridging the Valley program since its inception in 1997. Although he said BTV project is moving at “glacial speed,” Miles is encouraged with the progress that ultimately will alleviate accidents and save lives. “Every time you read a news article and somebody got killed at an at-grade crossing, you know it could have been avoided,” Miles said. “Many of the traveling public sees one of these trains that are probably 7,700 feet long and they don’t realize how long it takes to stop. When there’s a collision, the train always wins.” But Bridging the Valley is more than improving safety and convenience for the motoring public, Miles said. “You consider a semi-truck carrying a product and it’s costing around $35 to $40 an hour with driver and transportation costs,” he said. “When you spend 20 minutes sitting at a railroad crossing and count that over a year, that’s not just an inconvenience, it’s a big economic cost.” On the Idaho side of the BTV corridor, Miles said plans are moving forward for a new railroad crossing and interchange at Pleasant View Road about three miles east of the Washington border on State Highway 53. Expected to cost around $18 million, the project would include construction of a signalized controlled intersection and

Bridging the Valley at a Glance

• Railroads: Burlington Northern Santa Fe/Union Pacific (BNSF accounts for approximately 80 percent of the train traffic). • Corridor: 42 miles – Latah Creek (near downtown Spokane) to Athol, Idaho • Total railroad crossings: 72 • Average daily train traffic: 56 • Average daily train whistles (per crossing): 112 • Existing grade separations (to be modified and improved): 10 • Construction of new grade separations: 10 • Washington priority: Barker Road off Trent Avenue (State Route 290) • Idaho priority: Pleasant View Road off State Highway 53

elimination of the at-grade crossing. Miles expects a request for federal funding to be submitted later this year. If the funds are allotted, it will likely be at least three years before

See PROJECT, Page 28

An average of 5,500 vehicles cross the railroad tracks each day at Barker Road. Design of the Barker Road/BNSF Grade Separation Project is expected to start later this year with construction slated to begin sometime in 2020 and completion anticipated by late 2021 or early 2022. Images courtesy of Spokane Regional Transportation Council


COMMUNITY

14 • APRIL 2018

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509-599-2411

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Calendar of Events COMMUNITY EVENTS March 30-April 1 | Journey to the Cross, times vary, Spokane Valley Adventist Church, 1601 S. Sullivan Road, Spokane Valley. The Spokane Valley Adventist Church presents the 10th Annual “Journey to the Cross” outdoor walk-through event on Easter weekend. You won’t just hear the story, you’ll be in it as you are surrounded by a cast of 250. Dates and times are: Friday, March 30, from 6 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, March 31, from 4 to 9 p.m.; Sunday, April 1, from 4 to 8 p.m. Tours start every 15 minutes and last approximately 30 minutes. This event is free of charge. April 14 | Benefit for Naomi – Red Carpet Gala Masquerade – Doors open at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 7, Mirabeau Park Hotel & Convention Center, 1100 N. Sullivan, Spokane Valley. All funds from this event go back to Naomi, a Spokane Valleybased nonprofit providing single mothers recovering from abuse, dependency and homelessness with a transformative community, equipping them with the skills needed to build a secure and lasting foundation for their children. Single tickets: $75; Couple: $130; Table of eight: $500. For more information, call 926-6492 or email info@naomicommunity.org. April 28 | Frog Regatta Festival – 1 p.m., Primeland Park, Rockford. The agenda for this fun community event begin at 1 p.m. with free hotdogs in Primeland Park followed by kids’ games from 2 to 3 p.m. The Frog Regatta starts at 3 p.m. down Rock Creek with a grand prize of $300 for the winning frog; $200 for second place and $100 for third, plus other prizes. Purchase frogs for $5 at FredNecks, Harvest Moon, Banner Bank, Inland Northwest Bank or from any Rockford Lion. The festival supports the Rockford Lions Club and benefits youth and community activities. April 28 │Liberty Lake Fire Station #3 Open House – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 21300 E. Country Vista Drive. The Spokane Valley Fire Department invites the community to this event featuring free family fun. Tour our brandnew station, try on firefighter gear, take pictures, meet the firefighters, get an Operation Family ID child safety kit and enjoy tasty treats. Call 892-4155 or visit www. spokanevalleyfire.com for more

information. May 4 | Valleyfest Auction and Dinner – 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., CenterPlace Regional Event Center, 2426 N Discovery Place, Spokane Valley. This year’s gala theme is “Under the Big Top.” Come dressed as your favorite carnival or circus character or in semiformal/business attire. Single ticket: $50; sponsor table (eight included): $500. Donations are accepted at info@valleyfest.org or call the Valleyfest office at 9223299. Volunteers are welcomed and needed to be part of the fun that evening or prior to the event. Valleyfest 2018 is Sept. 21-23. More at www.valleyfest.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 | Mondays 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. 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 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 |


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APRIL 2018 • 15


The Current

16 • APRIL 2018

CALENDAR

Continued from page 16

registered dietitian and/or certified diabetes educator. Cost is $15. To register, please visit www. courseregistration.inhs.org. Call 242-8145 or visit www.wellness. inhs.org for more information. April 11 | Kickoff meeting of Spokane Valley Women’s Golf League – 6 p.m., Liberty Lake Golf Course, 24403 E. Sprague Ave. All levels welcome. Those interested are welcome to join the league anytime during the season. League play every Wednesday night from April 25 to Aug. 29 with tee times from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Membership fee: $55 and includes GHIN handicap fee. Green fees: $24 without county discount pass or $20 with county discount pass. For more information, email spokanevalleywomensgolf@gmail. com. April 17-May 8 | Blood Pressure Self-Management Class – 5:30 to 7 p.m., Tuesdays, INHS Community Wellness Center, 501 N. Riverpoint Blvd., Suite 245, Spokane. Learn how to monitor and manage your blood pressure for a healthy heart. This four-week

class will give participants the tools to take control of cardiovascular health. To register, please visit www.courseregistration.inhs.org. Cost is $40. Call 242-8145 or visit www.wellness.inhs.org for more information.

RECURRING Yoga in Rockford | 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Rockford Park, 20 W. Emma Street, Rockford. In case of inclement weather, classes will be held at Dave’s Autobody, 8 W. Emma Street. 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, 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. 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.

CIVIC & BUSINESS Mondays in April | Financial Literacy with Dycelia Weiss – 12:30 to 2 p.m., STCU Community Education Kitchen and Classroom at Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank and Family Services, 10814 E. Broadway, Spokane Valley. Call 927-1153 or visit www.svpart.org/ food-bank/ for more information.

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. Millwood City Council | Regular meetings at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at Millwood City Hall, 9103 E. Frederick Ave. Spokane 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/ south-pines-cemetery Spokane Valley Kiwanis | 6:45 a.m. Tuesdays. Valley Hospital Education Center, 12606 E. Mission Ave. More at www. spokanevalleykiwanis.net. Greater Spokane Valley Rotary | Noon to 1 p.m., Wednesdays. Darcy’s, 10502 E. Sprague Ave. More at www.svrotary.org.

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Food for Fines steps up to the plate

LIBRARY

APRIL 2018 • 17

FEEL THEIR TRUTH

By Erin Dodge

Current Guest Contributor During the celebration of National Library Week, the Spokane County Library District (SCLD) is collecting food donations for local food banks. This means that you can support our community and reduce your overdue library fines with a donation of food at your local library. This year is the sixth annual “Food for Fines” event during National Library Week, April 8–14. Your donations go to the Second Harvest Food Bank and other regional food banks serving Spokane County. For every donated non-perishable food item, $2 will be forgiven from a cardholder’s account, up to a maximum of $20 per library account. Food for Fines are applied to overdue and/or damaged items fees and cannot be applied to lostitem charges or accounts referred to collection.

Money Smart Week features sound financial advice By Erin Dodge

Current Guest Correspondent Money Smart Week is all about acquiring the knowhow to best manage your money for now and your future and to keep your money safe from scams. Mark your calendar for a free Shred Day at Spokane Valley Library, in partnership with DeVries Business Services, on Saturday, April 28, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Shredding your sensitive and financial documents, once you no longer need them, will help protect you from identity thieves. Leading up to Shred Day, you can attend an active investment club to learn more about investing and get new investment ideas. The Inland Empire Chapter of Better Investing welcomes both new and experienced investors to their Investment Club Meeting at Argonne Library on Saturday, April 21, at 1 p.m. Buying a home can be a dream come true and an overwhelming

You also don’t need a fine to donate food. Anyone can bring in a nonperishable food item to help households and children facing food insecurity. Food insecurity occurs when people run out of food, eat less, skip meals and go hungry – or when they subsist on a nutrient-poor diet because they cannot afford to buy food. This is especially critical for children and directly impacts their ability to stay focused during the school day and succeed academically. The generosity of library customers never fails to inspire.

process at the same time. If you’re in the market for real estate, the free Homebuyer Education Seminar explores the major aspects of the homebuying process in an unbiased format with instructors from SNAP – Spokane County’s nonprofit community action agency – certified by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. The seminar takes place over two evenings on Tuesday, April 24, and Thursday, April 26, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and requires registration. You can register directly with SNAP by sending an email to wrenn@ snapwa.org or calling 319-3026. Struggling to make ends meet is stressful. SNAP is here to help with ways to succeed with your budget and avoid money troubles. In the

Over the past five years, library staff have welcomed thousands of customers who have donated during Food for Fines week. Over the years, SCLD has collected over 19,000 pounds of food and forgiven thousands of dollars in fines. In many cases, generous library customers contributed much more food to the collection barrels than what was needed to pay their fines. Some had no overdue fees at all and still contributed food throughout National Library Week. This April watch for the food bins at all District libraries. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Dollars & Sense: Give Yourself a Raise workshop, you’ll learn how to take control of your money, make achievable goals and recognize scams. The workshop is at Spokane Valley Library on Tuesday, April 24, at 6 p.m. and no registration is required. The educators from STCU offer the Prevent Fraud & Identity Theft workshop to protect your hardearned money from financial scams. The workshop is at Spokane Valley Library on Thursday, April 26, at 6 p.m. and you can register for it at www.stcu.org/workshops. To learn about additional Money Smart Week programs, visit www. scld.org or pick up a copy of the library district’s programs and events guide, ENGAGE.

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18 • APRIL 2018

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501 N. Walnut Road, Spokane Valley, WA (509) 926-7987 www.st.johnvianney.com Activities Include:  Chili Tasting Contest  View Science Fair Projects  Tour Classrooms and meet teachers  Opportunity to meet SJV families


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The word raisin comes from the Latin racemus which means “a cluster of grapes or berries”. Historians believe that grapes were discovered dried on the vine but that humans set grapes out to sun-dry as early as 1490 B.C. The color of raisin varies upon the method of drying. Dark raisins are sun-dried. Medium brown are dehydrated in special tunnels. Golden are treated to retain color and mechanically dried. Green raisins are air dried in adobe houses. In 1873, an unusually hot spell dried the grapes on the vine in California. A San Francisco grocer sold them as “Peruvian Delicacies” and the rest is history. In the late 1800’s Armenians began to really cultivate grapes in the San Joaquin Valley in California. Now half of the world’s supply is grown in California. Today most raisins are made from Thompson seedless grapes. It takes four tons of grapes to produce one ton of raisins. Fresno, California is the raisin capital of the world. Within a 60 mile radius of Fresno there are about 3,000 raisin growers that produce 350,000 tons annually. One-third is exported to nearly 50

countries. The remainder are sold throughout the United States and Canada. The most sought raisins come from Malaga in Spain. They are made from Muscat grapes. In the 11th century Crusaders introduced raisins to Europe when they returned home from the Mediterranean. In the 14th century Raisins became so important in Europe that physicians prescribed them for many ailments, or you could trade two jars for a slave. In the 1800’s Spanish missionaries came to California and started growing grapes for wine. In 1873, an unusually hot spell dried the grapes on the vine in California. A San Francisco grocer sold them as “Peruvian Delicacies” and the rest is history. William Thompson, a Scottish immigrant, grew Thompson seedless grapes creating a new variety of raisin. Raisins have high levels of catechins which are antioxidants that help prevent cancer. They are high in copper, calcium, iron, boron and potassium and are believed to reduce hypertension.


20 • APRIL 2018

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

Makes 18 -20 You’ll need : ¼ c. Butter ¼ c. Oil ¾ c. Brown Sugar 1 egg 1 tsp. Vanilla ¼ tsp. Salt 1 tsp. Baking Soda 1 tsp. Apple Pie Spice 1 c. Flour 1 ½ c. Rolled Oats 1 c. Raisins (we like to hydrate them first) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Mix butter, oil and brown sugar well. Add egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients, when almost mixed, add raisins. Drop by large spoonfuls and lightly flatten with your hand. Bake about 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned but not set in the middle. **A tasty substitution is fresh blueberries for the raisins, when doing you may wish to omit the apple pie spice.

OAT PLAYDOUGH

Materials: 2 C Oats 1 C Flour 1 C Water Stir all ingredients together until a dough forms. We found this to be a small amount for more than two children. Expand the recipe as needed. Use same as traditional play dough. * Store in the refrigerator for up to a week before discarding.

The Current

National Oatmeal Cookie Day April 30 Oats are one of the oldest known grains and are naturally gluten free. They are processed to keep all of their whole-grain goodness. Steel cut oats are just thinly sliced while oldfashioned oats are steamed and then rolled to make them flatter. America produced about 65 million bushels of oats in 2016, however most of what we eat is imported from Canada. Only 5% of oats grown are eaten by humans, the rest is used for livestock feed. Quaker Oats was the first U. S. breakfast cereal to receive a registered trademark, supply a recipe on the package (the first was for meatloaf) and the first to hand out free samples (starting in Portland, OR)


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APRIL 2018 • 21

509-315-5433 2515 N. Locust Road Spokane Valley 99206

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F By Emily Valla Better Business Bureau Start with trust. It’s Better Business Bureau’s tagline and, consequently, the first of eight of BBB’s “Standards of Trust.” Trust is a buzzword, easily tossed around and much harder to define. But it is at the core of much of what we do on a daily basis. Consider this: It’s Tuesday, and you’re driving around, rushing between work, errands and family commitments. Suddenly, that dreaded check engine light pops up. Inevitably, you think you do not have the time, and possibly the money, to deal with this. Nonetheless, you drop by the mechanic the next day and ask him to check things out. How do you know you can trust him to do the right thing, to diagnose your car correctly and only do the necessary work? How do you know if he will charge you fairly? Or perhaps you have hired a cleaning service to visit your home, but you need to be away while they work. How can you trust a complete stranger in your home? There are endless examples: from contractors to accountants, restaurants to health services – there is an inherent need for trust in another party to do the right thing. Yet, trust isn’t a given. In fact, trust is often lacking. Consider the Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual effort to measure the state of trust in our world. According to the 2018 results, trust among the general U.S. population dropped year after year, with drops in trust in government, businesses and media. In a climate of declining trust, how can you build it? At BBB, “Build Trust” is defined as establishing and maintaining a positive track record in the marketplace. Author Stephen M.R. Covey uses a tangible approach to building trust in his book, “Speed of Trust.” He offers a few challenges: First, make and keep commitments. This is where habit is crucial. Make and keep commitments first to yourself. If I commit to waking up at a certain time and I set the alarm, I must get up at that time – and not hit the snooze button. If I commit to exercising, I must do it. Making and keeping commitments starts small,

but when the habit is created, it carries out to every area of my life. Next, be a person of your word, especially when it’s hard. Agreements don’t have to simply be in writing. People shouldn’t resort to “technicalities” to get out of a promise. A person’s word should be their bond. Finally, be transparent. True transparency is a tremendous trust builder. Any attempt to appear open while hiding something will quickly see the light of day and destroy credibility. Covey’s ideas align in several ways with the remaining BBB Standards of Trust: Advertise honestly Adhere to established standards of advertising and selling. Tell the truth Honestly represent products and services, including clear and adequate disclosures of all material terms. Be transparent Openly identify the nature, location and ownership of the business and clearly disclose all policies, guarantees and procedures that bear on a customer’s decision to buy. Honor promises Abide by all written agreements and verbal representations. Be responsive Address marketplace disputes quickly, professionally and in good faith. Safeguard privacy Protect any data collected against mishandling and fraud, collect personal information only as needed, and respect the preferences of consumers regarding the use of their information. Embody integrity Approach all business dealings, marketplace transactions and commitments with integrity. The bottom line is a lack of trust is not a government, legislature or business problem – we all own it. The only way to rebuild trust is through our actions. Making and keeping commitments, being true to our word and being transparent are the quickest ways to turn a crisis of trust into a trust renaissance.

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

Ninja Zone • Bitty Bee Academy and Flippin’ Fun Movie Night • Parent’s Night Out • Open Gym for All Ages • Parkour and Breakdance Classes • CompetitiveTeams • Gymnastics Birthday Parties

Animal Facts

Cut them out and collect them all! PRONGHORN - Central North America - 3’ to 5’ tall, 90 to 150 pounds, 9 to 10 years - Band or herd - Five species, two are endangered - Second fastest land mammal, first in North America - Over 50 mph - Can see three miles away - Sheds their antlers after every mating season


22 • APRIL 2018

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Author Spotlight n Karma Wilso Growing up in Northern Idaho with a mother who was a professional writer, Karma did not set out to become one. She did love books and read daily. Finally, after she was married she took the plunge and spent the tax return on a computer. After teaching herself to type she wrote Bear Snores On. It was repeatedly rejected before being published in 2001. It was a hit and quickly appeared on several bestseller lists for children’s books. Now living in Montana, she continues to write and has had thirty books published. Her books have won many awards and have been translated into dozens of languages for children around the world to enjoy.

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Never Ever Shout in a Zoo Hello, Calico! A Frog in the Bog AFROGINTHEBOG ANIMALSTRIKEATTHEZOO BABYCAKES BABYILOVEYOU BEARSNORESON BEARSTAYSUP Outside the Box Hilda Must Be Dancing Animal Strike at the ZooDUDDLEPUCK BEAUTIFULBABIES HELLOCALICO HILDAMUSTBEDANCING HOGWASH IWILLREJOICE Princess Me Hogwash Baby Cakes LETSMAKEAJOYFULNOISE MAMAWHY MOOSETRACKS MORTIMERSFIRSTGARDEN NEVEREVERSHOUTINAZOO OUTSIDETHEBOX The Cow Loves Cookies I Will Rejoice Baby, I Love You PRINCESSME THECOWLOVESCOOKIES TRICKORTREATCALICO Trick or Treat, Calico! Let's Make a JoyfulWHOPPERCAKE Noise Bear Snores On WHEREISHOMELITTLEPIP WHOGOESTHERE Where is Home, Little Pip? Mama, Why? Bear Stays Up Created by Puzzlemaker at DiscoveryEducation.com Who Goes There? Moose Tracks! Beautiful Babies Whopper Cake Mortimer's First Garden Duddle Puck

The Cow Loves A Frog In The Bog Hilda Must Be Dancing Never, Ever Shout Cookies 2010 ages 2003 ages 3 -8 2004 ages 3 – 8 in a Zoo 2004 ages 3 -8 The very small frog Hilda loves to dance 3 – 8

With fun rhymes we follow the farmer making his rounds to feed the farm animals. Always the cow loves cookies. The illustrator has done a great job with the watercolors adding to the humor of the book.

enjoys eating bugs on his log until he discovers the log isn’t a log at all. Will the bugs be digested? What happens to the frog? Mysteries to be solved in this fun counting book.

but it isn’t a pleasant experience for her friends and neighbors. Follow Hilda as her friends try to help her find a different hobby. Will they be successful? Another fun rhyming book with lots of sounds kids like to make.

This book has a few new words that may help expand vocabulary. It does teach cause and effect, sometimes things happen when we don’t follow the rules. The kids found it hilarious.


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Student of the Month You could say Julia Hayes is soaring to great heights. The junior at Valley Christian School is one of the top high jumpers in the region. As a sophomore, she was a regional champion and placed second at the state B meet and was fifth in the long jump. Last summer, she finished sixth at a USA Track and Field event, featuring the best high school athletes in the nation. This winter, Hayes placed first at two indoor meets featuring both high school and college competitors. In the summer, she is part of the Legacy Track Club which includes athletes from schools like Central Valley and University. In the classroom, Julia maintains a 3.76 grade point average and is part of the Scholar’s List. She is also a class spiritual representative. Hayes hopes to continue with track in college.

Citizen of the Month

Thanks you for all you do in our community

APRIL 2018 • 23

Academics, athletics and achievement are part of the agenda for Veranica Alexeyenko, a senior at Valley Christian School (VCS). She maintains a 3.8 grade point average and is part of the school’s Scholar’s List. She serves as the Student Council treasurer and was picked as the salutatorian for the class of 2018. A first-generation American whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from the Ukraine, Veranica was selected as a Spokane Scholar in English. She has also participated in volleyball, basketball and track at VCS and been a co-captain in track and basketball. She competes in the 800-and 1,600-meter runs. She has contributed to a number of community service projects with her fellow VCS students, helping causes like Women’s Hearth and Operation Christmas Child. She hopes to attend Northwest University and pursue a career in the medical field.

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The Current

24 • APRIL 2018 Brought to you by

Evergreen

About and for Valley seniors

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Hafner continues giving back as health board chair

• Chuck and his wife Janet have been married 65 years and have two children and four grandchildren • Served as principal of Mead, Central Valley and University high schools • Member of the Spokane Valley City Council from May 2011 to April 2016

Given a long career in education and involvement in a multitude of community organizations, Hafner’s competence extends to a broad range of fields and keeps him busy even in his alleged “retirement.”

“I’m about working with people to make things better,” he says. His passion for the district’s mission is palpable; he remains thoroughly impressed with the multitude of programs SRHD offers and loves the broad reach of the district’s efforts, from dealing with infant health issues to clean water to tackling the local ramifications of the nation’s opioid problem. “Public health is about all of us,” he says. Hafner says the importance of the health district’s holistic approach is obvious to him after spending most of his working life in education where he saw the difficulty children had in school when they were struggling with other issues in their environment, such as poverty or hunger. Hafner cites some of the difficulties he faced in his own childhood as teaching him that children need generous and consistent care, an

TY

• Resident of Spokane Valley for over 50 years

For Chuck Hafner, the reason for his community involvement is straightforward. In his own words, “If there’s a situation where I can be of help and I have the competence, I’m going to.”

The district board is the latest stop in Hafner’s extensive resume as a civic advocate and skilled networker.

NI

• Graduate of Eastern Washington University

Current Correspondent

“Somehow, I get to be chair of everything I’m involved with,” he says with a slight chuckle.

LIVING COMMU

Being Chuck – Hafner at a Glance

By Jamie Borgan

Hafner’s latest charge in the community consists of serving as chair for Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) board. Hafner has served on the health board for several years and, not surprisingly, has been chair before.

Fountains

• Catalyst in the campaign to restore Crime Check in 2008

Longtime Spokane Valley resident Chuck Hafner has had a distinguished career in education and the civic sector. He has served as principal of three high schools, been a member of the Spokane Valley City Council and chaired the boards of the Spokane Regional Health District and Sheriffs Community Oriented Policing Effort (SCOPE). Contributed photo approach he always tried to instill in the teachers he oversaw while an administrator. After many years as first an elementary school teacher, then a principal at Mead, University and Central Valley high schools, then assistant superintendent of the Central Valley School District, Hafner is very aware of the many challenges children face outside of the classroom and is proud of the work done by the “unsung heroes” at the district to address those issues. Hafner is one of 24 SRHD board members and sees his role as helping the group figure out “how we’re going to be able to continue with the absolutely excellent programs” run by the district. Hafner’s numerous administrative roles over the years, including several years on the Spokane Valley City Council, have given him the knowledge and aptitude to be an effective leader. His current role at the health district is one of many that he’s taken on since officially retiring in 1991. Hafner makes a point of visiting departmental meetings within SRHD, so he can understand how the budgets and policies he’s working with are affecting staff and

clients served through the agency. “I don’t want to pass policy from the dais without understanding how it affects the programs,” he says. In addition to his role as SRHD board chair, Hafner’s also chairs the Sheriff Community Oriented Policing Effort (SCOPE) board, a collaboration with the Spokane County Sheriff’s office to recruit and manage volunteers to assist the sheriff’s office in handling non-emergency situations and supporting a variety of public safety programs. Hafner says the program has over 350 volunteers and is working out of 18 stations all over Spokane County. With his keen eye toward administrative efficiencies, Hafner notes that in addition to keeping the community safer, the program saves the county $1.5 to $2 million a year through volunteer efforts. Hafner and his wife Janet have been residents of the Spokane Valley since 1955, when they met as teachers at Trentwood Elementary School. Hafner says that these days he does have a little bit of free time that he spends with his grandkids. He’s quick to add “I’m an extremely hyper person” and that if he tried to stop serving his community, his wife would tell

• Longtime member of Sheriff’s Community Oriented Policing Effort (SCOPE) board and current chair • Current chair of Spokane Regional Health District board • Named 2015 Citizen of the Year by the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce him to get out of the house and contribute to something. At 86, Hafner has no intention of curtailing his community involvement. With such a wide array of skills and knowledge of the community, this exceptional volunteer keeps seeking out opportunities to serve. “The community’s been great to me,” he says.

Chuck Hafner was named 2015 Citizen of the Year by the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce. Hafner is pictured above with Marti Hollenback. File photo


The Current

APRIL 2018 • 25

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The Current

26 • APRIL 2018

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Dingus, Kennedy lead resurgence of U-Hi basketball

By Mike Vlahovich Current Sports Editor It’s a presumption to think that Claire Dingus would go on to run track and cross country beyond high school, even though her record of success might indicate as such. In all four years at University, she’s trekked to Pasco and run at the state 4A cross country meet, last fall placing seventh in a career best 18 minutes, 24 seconds, the secondbest finish by a Greater Spokane League runner at the event. Dingus is also among the better middle-distance runners in track, a sport this spring that wraps up her illustrious Titan athletic career. But Dingus’ heart belongs to basketball, a sport she played for four varsity seasons as a Titan and will continue her basketball career at St. Martins University, a Division II school in Lacey, Washington, a suburb of Olympia. The Saints finished 8-20 this season in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. There she will join Emma Kennedy, whose father Jay took over as new head coach this year at U-Hi and led the upstart Titans to an 18-10 record this year. The Titans ended a fouryear state 4A tournament drought and finished among the top eight in state, within one win of bringing home a trophy in March. “I told the girls (several weeks ago) we had the ability to get to the dome if we work hard and do what we need to do,” said Jay Kennedy of his first year as a high school head coach, though not his first in coaching. “Once you get them to believe that they deserve it, it takes a team a long way.” Kennedy’s vocation is that of Country and Western radio personality. His avocation was coaching basketball at the club level, including his children. His son, Lane, a 6-foot-3 junior, plays for the Titans boys’ varsity. “I always wanted to coach high school,” Jay said. “The job opened up, I applied and fortunately I got it.”

The self-professed “basketball junkie” fits his coaching style to the strengths of the players rather than the other way around. “If you ask them to believe in their selves, you as a coach have to believe in them and work with them,” he explained. Kennedy replaced Mark Stinson who led U-Hi for 18 years before retiring last March with a career record of 285-175. The Titans lost their first four games to begin the 2017-18 season. They then went on an 18-4 run (5-1 in post-season) before dropping their final two games at state. Three of the losses came against state champion Central Valley, third-place Moses Lake and sixth place Kentlake. “We were the underdog in all but one,” Kennedy marveled.” The season was a throwback to the glory days of U-Hi hoops when the Bjorklund sisters – Jamie and Angie – propelled the Titans to recognition as one of elite programs in the state. Jamie went on to play at Gonzaga and Angie, state Player of the Year as a junior and senior, started as a freshman for the University of Tennessee after leading U-Hi to a runner-up state trophy in 2007. In her four years with the Titans varsity, Dingus the second leading scorer for Titans each year. As a senior she upped her scoring average considerably to some 12

points per game during the regular season trailing sophomore teammate Ellie Boni’s nearly 17-point average. During the post-season, Dingus upped her average to 14 points. Boni put up 18 a game in the playoffs. “Ellie is one of the most competitive kids I’ve ever met,” Kennedy said. As for Dingus, he said, “You’d want a team full of her. She’s got a motor that just won’t quit. She had 18 rebounds in our last game at state.” Claire says she loved cross country but was motivated to play basketball more. “I didn’t expect I would be as good as I was in cross country and track,” she says. “I think it’s mostly I really like to push myself.” But it was basketball she likes most. When she played her first competitive team, she was sold on the game. Knowing three teams would qualify for state from this region motivated the Titans. I don’t want to think we were surprised we won but it was really exciting because we weren’t supposed to win,” she said. “I think everyone on the team knew we could win if we played our best. It was fun to have hat be my senior year. I hope to carry that to success in college next year.” the Titan three-sport star said.” The Titans, led by returning standouts Boni and Kinsley Barrington, hope this is the harbinger of good things to come.

University High senior Claire Dingus averaged 12 points a game this season for a Titans squad that finished among the top eight at the 4A state tournament. Dingus, who will continue her basketball career at St. Martin's University, raised her average to 14 points in the post-season. Photo by Bridget Mayfield

Valley Sports Notebook

By Mike Vlahovich Current Sports Editor How else can you describe Central Valley girls’ basketball season, the likes of which we may never see again? By way of example, the 27-0 Bears held teams to 17 and 16 points and blanked foes in quarters – at the state 4A tournament – for heaven’s sake. “We’re looking at possibly five to seven state records,” coach Freddie Rehkow remarked. Along with the aforementioned two, they clearly kept state qualifiers away from the rims, limiting them to 88 combined points throughout the tourney and beat one team by 45 points, the largest margin of victory in a tournament. “The crazy thing about is, it could have been worse,” Rehkow said. Rehkow had nothing but praise for players, saying they approached the season and state in a way that allowed unquestioned superstars Lexie and Lacie Hull to combine for 30 points per game during the year and score 83 points at state – a combined 27.7 per game average. Tricia Whitman and Hailey Christopher both approached double figures. ”I think last year was really hard,” said the coach given emotional distractions when Rehkow’s young son Cameron was battling cancer and the girls were upset at state, denying them a three-peat. “This year Cameron being a lot better,” Rehkow said, “We were in a better place than last year.” Eight times this year the Bears held opponents below 20 points, including a victory over Shadle Park which trailed 44-1 after three quarters and finished with five points. They only allowed more than 40 points five times. In the state semifinals, they won 51-33 against Moses Lake which, like the Bears, came into the game undefeated. CV wrapped up the season outscoring Woodinville 7039 in the final. CV averaged more than 70 points per game this year and outscored

See NOTEBOOK, Page 27


The Current

NOTEBOOK

Continued from page 26 the opposition by more than 45 points per outing. “Nobody’s been this dominant,” said their coach. “They’re scary.” End of an era There was obvious disappointment when Freeman boys came home without the state 1A championship trophy. Freeman, in coach Marty Jessett’s swan song, finished one win away from a title for the third straight year with what likely was the finest collection of players in Scotties’ history. Not winning a title hurt, but most teams would gladly have traded places with Freeman. On the way to the finals they defeated the teams that beat them in the two previous state title games, King’s and Zillah. “Obviously it’s difficult to get into that position three years,” said Jessett, who is retiring from coaching. Obviously, we had great kids who believed in what we are doing. It was heartbreaking to not

Final Point Net Gain – Area schools establish elite hoops legacy

By Mike Vlahovich Current Sports Editor A half century of writing about the athletes and personal experiences have etched memories on what’s left of my mind. Although I wasn’t as close the teams and players as back then, this still holds a place in the medulla and reinforces the idea that this is a basketball town. Central Valley’s girls, naturally, won their second state title in three years, Freeman boys finished second for the third straight year. East Valley girls took third, University’s underdog girls reached the final eight in their first state trip in four years and Freeman’s girls qualified. Not only that, but Gonzaga Prep boys went undefeated and won the state 4A crown and Lewis and Clark boys were third. My first official year at the Spokane Valley Herald (where I spent 24 years with my dad’s newspaper) followed a two-year

SPORTS

APRIL 2018 • 27

get there because so many of these kids were seniors and devoted the entire year to get back in this position.” Not winning hurt, still it was a remarkable effort. Who, asked Jessett, can say they played in three championship games in their high school careers? Not many, but six senior Scotties can. Michael Coumont, Rhys McVay, Quin Hopkins, Ryan Crosswhite, Jarett White, Jimmie Pierce, Zach Trumble and Jackson Clark have memories that will last a lifetime, their names indelibly etched in Freeman lore. Coumont averaged 17 points per game during regular season and 20 at state, including a 32-point effort. Hopkins had a big state tourney, averaging 15 points with a 23-point game and McVay nearly 12. Junior Dylan Oja carried a double figure average during regular season and at state. Over the course of their careers, Freeman’s seniors won 70 of 77 games and after a league loss, won their last 48. “Once the sting wears off our kids are going to have an unbelievable

source of pride for what they accomplished,” Jessett said. EV places third Two years ago, after East Valley placed third in state, coach Rob Collins was asked if the returnees, mainly freshmen and sophomores, joined by incoming players, could duplicate what the seniors had done. As if with a wink, he indicated they could be much better. He wasn’t wrong. A team with just two seniors and ranked No. 1 or 2 among class 2A schools most of the season, reached the state semifinals for the second time in three years and after an agonizing loss, bounced back for a second third-place finish in three years. “We had our eyes set on playing in the championship,” Collins said. “But we lost to Archbishop Murphy and didn’t want to do that again.” The Knights parlayed early hot shooting and had a couple double digit leads, he added, but missed free throws and, outsized, their foe rallied. “I think part it was we came

out pretty hot and our shots fell,” Collins said. “When they didn’t we kind of panicked.” EV rebounded the next day and finished the season 22-2. The Knights were making their fifth straight state trip that included fifth and sixth places. The careers for seniors Sydney Moore and Emily Fletcher came to an end. For the rest, there’s always next year. “The seniors have been here four years,” Collins pointed out. “We lose two really good captains.” He gave kudos to freshman point guard Ellie Stowell and sophomore Brie Holecek, Collins said, “knows the game and got better as the year went on.” Holecek was EV’s second leading scorer. Collins pointed out that scoring leader and junior Genesis Wilkinson, is a year younger than her grade indicates. She was the team’s go-to player, averaging more than 12 points per game. “She’s obviously a great player and we count on her,” he said. “Honestly, I don’t see a letdown for next year,” Collins said.

stint in the Army that meant missing the CV boys state title in 1968. But University would qualify for state in 1969 and finished third. The trip to Seattle was memorable. I was driving my new Dodge Charger (yellow with a black vinyl roof) and my brother Jerry spilled a milkshake between the seats (not sure if I ever got all the chocolate ice cream out of there; the Charger is a memory in itself, but that’s a story for another time). U-Hi, CV and West Valley were annual qualifiers so we got a lot of working “vacations” until I moved to The Spokesman-Review and went it solo for 17 more years. Thus began virtually annual state tournament trips with memories of their own. After marriage, those trips became vacations for my wife Tambra and I. (My dad didn’t pay much but, but maybe unbeknownst, he funded those trips.) Probably the best recollection was when we took our young son Jared to Seattle. He was about 4 years old the time and we were staying at the Westin Hotel. The Bears and Titans each had qualifiers where CV grad Ron Spellecy was manager and gave the fans a discount. We were like on the 21st floor and took the elevator to the lobby. Jared stayed in the back of the elevator as we got off and the doors closed and elevator headed skyward. All we heard was his plaintive scream,

“M-O-M-m-m-m!” Tambra jumped on the adjacent elevator and ascended pushing every floor button on the way up, drawing stares. I stayed in the lobby reasoning someone might find him and bring him to the desk. Luckily there was a teacher’s conference there at the time and a caring instructor returned him to me. That wasn’t his first trip. He was a week old and slept through East Valley’s state championship football win in Tacoma (but he was awake all night in the motel room afterwards). Another time he had swollen tonsils, but good taste prevents me from telling what happened. Our “daughter” and babysitter Jeanne Hauenstein (whose sons J.D. and Devin are/were soccer stars at CV), had her learner’s permit and my wife had her drive, ultimately, in the snow heading over into Snoqualmie Pass on a trip to basketball. We made it. Space doesn’t allow for more stories, although underdog CV’s boys state runner-up sticks in my mind. Barring failing math skills, combined Central Valley boys’ and girls’ basketball teams have made a combined 46 state appearances, the girls won their fifth title in eight finals appearances and the boys won in 1968, Between the two

programs, they have compiled 20 top four finishes, 13 by the girls. University boys and girls have teamed up for 22 state tournament trips, six top four finishes including the girls’ finalists of 2007. West Valley’s girls were state champs in 1997 and finished third twice. Since 1931 Eagles boys have made 30 state trips and placed 12 times. East Valley’s girls have nine state appearances since 1997 earning five trophies including a pair of third places. The boys? You’d have to go back when the school was in Otis Orchards. The last time a Knights’ team went to state was 1968. Greater Spokane League girls’ teams in general have long been a statewide force, begun by legendary Shadle Park pioneer Linda Sheridan at the beginnings of Title IX, who annually trekked to the west side and won two titles. The torch passed to Jeanne Helfer at Mead that was a perennial state placer and won two of the Panthers’ three titles. Jim Redmon, whose Lewis and Clark’s boys took third in state last month, won four state titles between 2006 and 2011 before he took on a his latest challenge. Mike Arte had two state titles at Gonzaga Prep. They are but a part of the experiences I wouldn’t trade for a million bucks (well, let me mull that over).


The Current

28 • APRIL 2018

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

PROJECT

Continued from page 13 the money is awarded. Staci Lehman, communications coordinator for the Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC), said Bridging the Valley has been a priority for the agency from the beginning. “Funding is limited and (BTV) projects are being considered for construction as money becomes available,” Lehman said. “SRTC’s long-range transportation plan, Horizon 2040, includes a list of projects and programs recommended to be completed by 2040. This list includes BTV projects that are considered regionally significant.” Another factor often overlooked when it comes to at-grade railroad crossings is noise pollution. “It’s definitely an issue,” Lehman said. “Over the years, we’ve had a lot of calls and emails about the noise.” Karren Morris lives about four blocks from the tracks off Park Road west of Barker Road. She said she avoids the at-grade crossings near her home because of the unpredictability of train delays. Not long ago, Morris said she

Romeo &

Juliet

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16, 17, 18, 19 23, 24, 24, 26

encountered a train blocking the road that was not moving. “It was just stopped there on the tracks,” she said. “I was stuck. I knew eventually it was going to move, but you never know when. It was frustrating.” As for the blaring train whistles, Morris has become accustomed to it, but says, “I can only imagine the people who live right next to the tracks, what it’s like for them.” An ongoing challenge While the dilemmas that arise from mixing trains with vehicles are being addressed, the conflicts will never be eliminated altogether. As an advocate of the business community, Mielke said autos and locomotives must learn to coexist. The demand for rail services, he added, will continue to grow exponentially along the BTV corridor. “This is a primary railway route that connects the West Coast to Chicago and it all comes through Spokane,” Mielke said. “I’ve looked at a number of studies for rail traffic over the next 20 to 50 years and there’s a geometric progression for an increase. There will be more trains and they will be longer and that means more delays with atgrade crossings. It’s a challenge that will not go away. We’ve got to figure out a solution to that challenge.”

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The Current

Catching up with the Valley’s ‘Lake Men’

By Jayne Singleton Spokane Valley Heritage Museum The “Lake Men” were very early pioneers in the Spokane Valley. Three of them, Daniel Courchaine, Steven Liberty and William Newman, settled at Saltese, Liberty and Newman lakes, respectively. Peter Morrison, who arrived in the Valley about 20 years later, was equally influential. His property is still being developed today. Daniel Courchaine (1837-1897) The family patriarch arrived about 1866 with other French Canadians from Quebec. He bought a section of land in the Saltese area from the Native Americans and soon became a friend of Chief Andrew Seltice. Daniel built a house with lumber hauled from Walla Walla by team. At this time, there wasn’t a saw mill closer. James Glover did not begin to develop Spokane until after 1872. Daniel married Mary Barnaby, one of the daughters of Joseph Barnaby. Mary’s mother was Native American Joseph had settled at Rathdrum and was at one time a prefect for the Hudson Bay Trading Co. The Courchaines were farmers but were primarily interested in raising cattle. There was a large spring on the property which supplied enough water to provide grass for the cattle. The milk house was located at the spring. The cool water helped keep the milk from souring. Daniel donated the land for the Saltese Schoolhouse, built in 1891. He was also one of the incorporators of the Saltese Cemetery. The Courchaine place was a favorite camping spot for miners, freighters and others traveling the Kentuck Trail. Members of the Coeur D’Alene Tribe frequently visited the ranch. Daniel’s son, George Courchaine, met his wife, Annie, when she was hired to teach at the Lone Fir School. She was boarding at the home of Herman and Henrietta Linke. George had lost both parents by age 10 but continued to improve the ranch, though he sold off half the land during the Great Depression. George lived there for more than 75 years. In the 1940s, George’s son, Bob, started the family dairy business on Harvard Road north of Trent. The family continued in the business until a few years ago when it was closed as milk prices fell and

HISTORY

APRIL 2018 • 29

costs increased. There are many descendants of Daniel Courchaine still living in the Spokane Valley. Daniel passed away after being kicked in the head by a horse. He is buried at the Saltese Cemetery. A monument stands in front of the house Daniel built, a legacy to this early pioneer.

William 1887)

Steven Liberty (Etienne Edward Laliberte) (1842-1911) Steven Liberty was a French Canadian who settled in Rathdrum. In 1871 he settled on the west side of Liberty Lake (named for him). Joe Peavy, who came west on the same train as Liberty, became a close friend. Peavy settled on the northwest side of the lake. They carried mail together across the Pend Oreille Lake to Rathdrum and also along the Mullan Road through Rathdrum. Liberty first met Chief Seltice, Pierre Wildshoe and Chief Quinnemose while carrying mail. Liberty and Seltice had similar religious beliefs. Liberty had studied to be a priest and Seltice formed his beliefs from Catholic missionaries. Liberty married Joseph Barnaby’s daughter, Christine, in 1886. Barnaby was a Hudson Bay factor in charge of a post at Newman Lake. Another of Barnaby’s daughters married Daniel Courchaine and another was wed to William Newman. As a good friend of Chief Seltice, Liberty was consulted any time a tribal area was threatened. He and his family were also recognized and treated by the chiefs and head men as members of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe. In 1887, Liberty was one of a delegation of five (including Seltice) who went to Washington, D.C. They met with President Grover Cleveland and other officials (Liberty served as interpreter) and were successful in securing a rightof-way for a road to Wardner and the mines through the reservation. Both the city and the lake bear his name.

Newman

(1835-

William Newman was born in Liverpool, England. He arrived in New York in 1857 where he enlisted in the U.S. Army at age 22 serving for approximately five years. While still in the military, he came to Spokane County as an escort to the Northwest Boundary Survey crew establishing the boundary line between the U.S. and Canada. Newman first came to the lake, named after him, in 1860. In 1861, he established a station for travelers and government animals near the present site of Sprague, Washington, providing a watering place for freighters from Walla Walla. In 1865, he returned to the lake where his original homestead was 160 acres – later increased to 320 acres – on the south part of the lake. His nearest neighbors were Steven Liberty and Daniel Courchaine. In 1872, he married Elizabeth Barnaby, daughter of Joseph and Mary Barnaby. They had eight children. After 1880, homesteaders began settling in the Newman Lake area. Pioneers in the area began catching fish in Liberty Lake and transferring them to Newman Lake in buckets. William Newman died in 1887. Newman Lake is his legacy. Peter Morrison (1855 -1923) Peter Morrison came to Spokane in 1886 and began a hay, grain and feed business known as the O.K. Livery stable. In 1892, he purchased land in the Saltese area including Saltese Lake, named after Chief Seltice of the Coeur d’Alene tribe. The lake, which was very shallow, was comparable

Peter Morrison in size to Liberty Lake. Morrison planned to drain the lake and raise Timothy hay. The drainage began by making a ditch through the natural outlet at the north end of the lake. It was accomplished by cutting channels with large scoops pulled by two horses each, using about 10 teams. Morrison made wooden shoes for the horses to keep them from sinking in the muddy lake bottom. The effort was successful and resulted in a wide meadow that has provided for more than a century of farming and cattle raising. After the lake was drained, squatters moved in and set up shacks on the fertile lake bottom, claiming “squatter’s rights” on about 100 acres. They believed that since the lake bottom had never been surveyed as real estate, it could be claimed under the U.S. Homestead Act. After 12 years in the courts, including two appearances before the U.S Supreme Court, the case was decided in favor of Morrison. Morrison’s “reclaimed” land provided the first Timothy hay this side of the Mississippi River. According to Kim Linke, the greatgranddaughter of Herman Linke, the Linke and Courchaine families were supportive of Morrison’s efforts. As a community, they established three schools, the Lone Fir, Saltese and the Quinnemossa. They also had community barn dances. In the early days, the ranch had several barns and a bunkhouse for hired men. Bud Morrison, Millar’s son, has operated a portion of the ranch in the modern day. Spokane County is working to restore a portion of the area as wetlands. Draining Saltese Lake is the legacy of Peter Morrison.


The Current

30 • APRIL 2018

Spokane Valley deputy honored for DUI prevention From Current News Sources

Last month, Spokane Valley Deputy Todd Miller was recognized for his exemplary service by the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council (GSSAC) for his work with the nonprofit organization to address impaired driving and help educate and reinforce their message of: “There is no safe way to drink/use and drive.” The GSSAC Board of Directors, volunteers and staff honored Miller by presenting him with a letter of recognition for his exemplary work partnering with GSSAC to promote health, safety and prevention of DUIs in our community. GSSAC emphasizes that impaired driving is caused by alcohol as well as

2018 Central Valley Citizens for Education Bond Campaign Steering Committee Marty Dickinson, Co-Chair Kim Pearman-Gillman, CoChair Kerri Ames Vicki Arnold Brooke Baker Spink Brandon Deyarmin Kelly Fukai Keven Frandsen Meagan Garrett Lynda Hall Rustin Hall Jessie Hardt Eric Hoglund Deb Howard Jim Howard Jan Hutton Gary Johnson Lance Kissler Kent Martin Amy Mason Lindsay Miller Tim Nootenboom Marla Nunberg Jerrol Olson Cindy Sothen Julie Van Wormer Alison Walton

Paid for by Central Valley Citizens for Education PO Box 14716 Spokane Valley, WA 99214

www.CVSchoolsCVPowered.com

substances like marijuana and prescription drugs like opiods. In the letter signed by GSSAC Executive Director Linda Thompson and Steve Lunden, president of the GSSAC Board of Directors, Miller was specifically recognized for his work with court ordered offenders attending the GSSAC Spokane County DUI Victims Panel where they hear from victims/survivors and offenders about the crashes that have altered their lives. Miller was also recognized for his willingness, even off-duty, to be a source of information for GSSAC’s 24-hour DUI Education Jail Alternative program. When asked about GSSAC’s honoring of Miller and his work in keep our community safe, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich stated, “Deputy Miller has not only worked to enforce DUI laws, he’s dedicated his time trying to prevent them.” Referencing the training of new deputies, Spokane Valley Police Chief Mark Werner said, “Deputy Miller’s willingness to pass on his

Spokane Valley Deputy Todd Miller (third from left) was honored recently by the Spokane Valley-based Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council (GSSAC) for his efforts to prevent impaired driving. Also pictured, from left to right: GSSAC Board Chair Steve Lunden, GSSAC Executive Director Linda Thompson and Spokane Valley Police Chief Mark Werner. Contributed photo knowledge and his professional attitude toward DUI enforcement and prevention has been invaluable.” The GSSAC letter to Miller states,

“We are grateful for his dedication to protecting our community” while noting, “we are a better program” for having him as part of the impaired driving prevention team.

THANK YOU CENTRAL VALLEY VOTERS & SUPPORTERS Special Thank You to Central Valley Citizens for Education Supporters • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

ALSC Architects Architects West Baker Construction Better Spokane Political Action Committee Central Valley Education Association Central Valley Public School Employees Chester Elementary School Parent Teacher Association City of Liberty Lake Coffman Engineers David Evans & Associates DCI Engineers Marty and Reid Dickinson Dingus, Zarecor and Associates Ron Duggan DuPree Building Specialties Jason Francek Garco Construction Geo Engineers Graham Construction Greg Thomas Consulting Rustin and Lynda Hall David and Kelli Hawkins Horizon Middle School Parent Teacher Association Greater Spokane Incorporated Greater Spokane Valley Chamber Inland Paper Co Kilgore Architectural Products Liberty Creek Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization Lydig Construction Mackin & Little Ryan, Sarah, Randy & Janet McNeice

Together, we passed the 2018 CVSD Construction Bond with 70.28% approval to support our students—our future! • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Ed Mikesell Sharon Mikesell MMEC Architecture & Interiors MSI Engineers MW Consulting Engineers NAC Architecture Numerica Credit Union OAC Spokane Kim and Rick Pearman-Gillman Ponderosa Elementary School Parent Teacher Association Jack Pring River Crossing LLC Rocky Hill Homes LLC Rocky Hill LLC Cindy Sothen Spilker Masonry Co Spokane Area Workforce Development Center Spokane Home Builders Association STCU Stevens Clay PS Sunrise Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization SPVV Landscape Architects Karen and Skip Torenson Trindera Engineering Kara Twining TW Clark Construction Umpqua Bank Alison and Todd Walton WLK Joint Venture And many more…


The Current

Halletts celebrates 40 years By Staci Lehman

Current Correspondent A Spokane Valley mainstay is celebrating a special anniversary this month. Halletts Market & Café Inc. turns 40 years old in April. If you remember Halletts from four decades ago, you know that it was an entirely different business when it began. “My husband and his brothers started with a strawberry and raspberry farm in Otis Orchards,” said Cindy Hallett of their original fruit-selling operation. “And then they decided they needed something to keep them busy in the wintertime so we started shipping Washington apples and pears.” That was in 1978. Tom was an engineer for the BurlingtonNorthern Railroad and Cindy had just started dating him. Both worked their regular jobs, Cindy as a clerk at district court for a couple years before she was able to quit and work at Halletts full time. Tom did the same later. Today Tom is semi-retired, not involved in the day-to-day details of the business

BUSINESS

APRIL 2018 • 31

but taking care of maintenance and upkeep on weekends while Cindy runs the business, working six days a week and acting as a jack-of-alltrades. “I usually try to be here at 4:30 or 5 a.m. every day,” she says. “Everything is made fresh, so it takes a lot of time. We make our own pasta salads down to the dressings. We do it all around here – I even clean bathrooms too!” Halletts’ first store and café was convenient to their strawberry and raspberry growing operation, located in the A-frame building at the old Holiday Hills Ski Resort just south of Interstate 90 near Liberty Lake. They stayed in that location for six years. “There was nothing at Liberty Lake at the time,” said Hallett. When they lost the lease there, the store and deli moved to its current location at 14109 E. Sprague Ave. in Spokane Valley. From there, the business has expanded and branched out to distributing products to other businesses. “We were actually the first ones in Spokane Valley that had espresso,” said Hallett. “One of our first accounts was the first Starbucks in Seattle.” Today, one of Halletts’ best-selling

Halletts Market & Cafe Inc. is celebrating its 40th anniversary this month. The iconic Spokane Valley business began in 1978 with a strawberry and raspberry farm in Otis Orchards, expanded to shipping Washington-grown apples and pears and a retail site. Halletts' first shopfront was in a building at the old Holiday Hills Ski Resort where the Legacy Ridge neighborhood in Liberty Lake now stands. The business eventually moved to its current site on East Sprague Avenue in Spokane Valley. products is corporate business gift baskets, along with foods specific to the Northwest such as

huckleberry products, chocolates, honey and cheese. Their soups are also big sellers and the fudge-filled eggs are a big hit during the Easter season. Halletts also makes other candy, such as peanut butter crunch and almond toffee and offers specialty beer and wines. This month, Halletts is offering several anniversary specials. “We’re going to have cake and raspberry champagne on April 21 to celebrate how we started,” said Hallett, from noon to 4 p.m. Halletts’ popular peanut butter crunch will be 40 percent off that day also and there will be specials on Halletts’ House Blend coffee, customized by another local company, DOMA Coffee. You can also win T-shirts and have your picture taken in the Happy Camper Photo Booth, literally a photo booth on wheels in a vintage Shasta camping trailer that travels around the Northwest. Hallett was excited to book it so that others can have memories of Halletts hopefully another 40 years in the future.

Halletts Market & Cafe Inc. offers a wide variety of locally sourced products that includes an assortment of wines, spirits, soup mixes, sauces, and more. These unique products can be purchased individually or used to build baskets or easily shipped care packages. Photo by Hayley Schmelzer

“We want people to share in our memories,” said Hallett. “I love what I do. I’ve had employees over 10, over 20 years. And they still come back and help out. I have wonderful, talented people that work here.”


The Current

32 • APRIL 2018

SVFD Report – April 2018

Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) crews responded to a total of 1,401 emergency calls from Feb. 20 to March 22. Incidents included: • Mobile home fire – Feb. 25 – SVFD crews responded to a single wide mobile home fire in the 4100 block of North Kenney Road shortly before 2:30 p.m. Firefighters arrived to find the mobile home almost completely involved in fire and quickly began an aggressive fire attack. High winds helped fuel the fire, especially in hard to reach places. Six people inside the home at the time of the fire escaped safely, along with a parrot. The home and contents were a complete loss, valued at $19,200. The cause of the fire was an overloaded power strip with two chest freezers plugged into it on the back deck that caught on fire and quickly spread, fueled by the high winds. • Hazardous materials response – Feb. 28 – Shortly after 4:15 p.m., SVFD crews

responded to a report of a natural gas leak in the 12200 block of East Broadway just west of Pines Road. Upon arrival, crews made contact with the operators of an underground boring machine, which had punctured a gas line under the roadway. The hiss of gas was clearly audible. Firefighters blocked Broadway Avenue and evacuated nine adjacent commercial buildings, several with detectable levels of natural gas. Power was disconnected to those buildings to prevent any possible explosions. Firefighters deployed fire hoses and sprayed down the street where the gas was escaping and continued to use the fire hoses to protect Avista crews for several hours while they worked to shut off the gas leak. If you smell a natural gas odor, hear the hissing sound of gas escaping or see other signs of a leak, immediately evacuate the area and from a safe location, call 911. Do not smoke, light a match, candle or any other flame. • Water rescue – March 3 – The SVFD water rescue team and firefighters responded to the Washington State Fish and Wildlife

boat launch at Liberty Lake to a report of an animal or person in the lake, shortly after 12:30 p.m. The first crew on the scene determined a water rescue was not needed. It was just a buoy frozen in the ice. • Motor vehicle accident – March 4 – A motorcycle collided with the back of a semi-truck in the 3400 block of North Pines road shortly after 4 p.m. Responding SVFD crews arrived to find a 60-year-old man lying on the ground in severe pain. Paramedics treated the man and continued treatment as he was transported to the hospital. Witnesses said the motorcycle appeared to be going 80 mph on Trent prior to the crash. The driver of the semi-truck was unaware of the collision. The motorcyclist admitted to alcohol use and was placed under arrest pending medical treatment. • Service call – March 6 – Shortly before 1 a.m., SVFD crews responded to a request by law enforcement for a ladder to check for intrusion at the Toys R Us store, 15505 E. Broadway Ave. Officers had found a man inside the store after hours who was handcuffed

Let's talk school boundaries! CVSD is growing! Thanks to passage of the 2018 construc on bond, our school district is able to respond to growth within our community. This spring we will break ground on a new middle school which will open in the fall of 2019. As we move forward, we need to review and revise school boundaries for all middle schools. Want to get involved? We’re accep ng applica ons to join our Boundary Review Commi ee. Apply at CVSD.org today!

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when firefighters arrived. • Vegetation fire – March 11 – SVFD crews responded to a report of vegetation on fire and power lines down shortly before 3:30 p.m. in the 26700 block of East Ante Road. Upon arrival, firefighters found the fire had been put out by the homeowner with a garden hose. Several tall shrubs had been lit on fire by the homeowner’s 4-year-old son. The fire had melted overhead power and cable lines which had fallen next to the burned shrubs. Firefighters notified utility providers and surrounded the area with warning tape. They also completed a medical assessment of the residents. • Vehicle extrication – March 11 – SVFD crews safely extricated the driver of a small SUV after the driver failed to negotiate a turn on the off-ramp of I-90 near Sullivan Road and Indiana Ave, shortly after 11 p.m. Firefighters first stabilized the car and then used extrication tools to remove the trapped, conscious driver who was transported to the hospital. Law enforcement said the car flew about 80 feet, cartwheeling across the field several times before coming to rest on the driver’s side of the vehicle. The driver was not wearing a seat belt when firefighters arrived. • Apartment fire – March 14 – A resident who was smoking and using oxygen sustained seconddegree burns to his face and knees when his apartment caught fire, just after 9 a.m. in the 9400 block of East Montgomery. The resident was rescued by two maintenance workers and treated by SVFD paramedics while firefighters quickly put out the fire, preventing its spread to adjoining apartments. Investigators determined the fire was caused by lighted, discarded smoking materials that ignited paper and trash on the floor of the apartment. They also noted that the maintenance men wisely closed the apartment door after rescuing the tenant, cutting off oxygen to the fire. • Unauthorized burning – March 16 – SVFD crews responded to the intersection of Barker and Mission, just after 4 p.m., in response to a school bus driver’s report of heavy smoke in the area. Upon arrival, firefighters observed smoke coming from

See SVFD REPORT, Page 36


The Current

County moving toward five commissioner system

APRIL 2018 • 33

COMMISSIONER DISTRICTS

395

2

Deer Park

District #1 Josh Kerns

By Craig Howard

291

Current Editor It appears Spokane County’s top administrative team will be expanding its roster in the nottoo-distant future. Last month, word came from OIympia that the Legislature had approved Substitute House Bill (SHB) 2887 calling for expansion of the Spokane County Board of Commissioners from three to five. The legislation, introduced by Rep. Marcus Riccelli of Spokane’s 3rd District, earned bipartisan support in the House and Senate and awaits a signature from Gov. Inslee to become official. The bill has been introduced in various forms for three straight years.

206

District #3 Al French

Millwood Airway Heights

The process of electing a commissioner would also change. Currently, commissioner candidates run in their own respective districts during the primary election; those who advance appear on a countywide ballot in the general election. The new setup would have commissioners running in their own districts on both the primary and general election ballots. Riccelli points to other heavily populated counties such as King, Pierce and Snohomish that all have a higher number of commissioners representing residents. Spokane County is currently the most populous county in Washington to operate under the state’s original three-commissioner system. “We’re almost at half a million people here,” Riccelli said. “It doesn’t make sense to have only three people representing us. I think it’s a good move for our

Spokane

290

Liberty Lake

90

Spokane Valley

2

Medical Lake

902 27

195

90

District #2 Mary Kuney

Cheney 904

Eight of the nine legislators in the 3rd, 4th and 6th districts – the only districts whose boundaries sit entirely in Spokane County – supported the bill. Sen. Mike Padden, longtime leader in the 4th, was the only omission. The change would not take place until after the 2020 census and a redrawing of district boundaries in 2021. The first ballot featuring the five-commissioner format would appear before voters in the 2022 primary election.

the general election for all three county commissioner positions,” she said. “Under SHB 2887, voters would not have the ability to vote on all five county commissioners in the general election but only the one county commissioner with whose district they reside. This has the effect of diminishing voter representation from 100 percent under the present form of Spokane County government to 20 percent under the form of county government set forth under SHB 2887.”

SPOKANE COUNTY

Rockford 278

Spangle

Fairfield

Waverly

Latah

In the most recent state legislative session, a bill was passed by the House and Senate that will increase the number of Spokane County commissioners from three to five. Current district boundaries (shown above) would by redrawn under the new system and the election process will change, with each commissioner candidate running in their own respective district for both the primary and general elections. The first election under the new format would take place in 2022. Image courtesy of Spokane County

county. The people will have a better voice in government.” In November 2015, voters in Spokane County rejected a proposal to increase the board of commissioners from three to five. Just over 52 percent cast ballots against the idea. On March 6, a letter to Gov. Inslee signed by the three sitting commissioners – Al French, Mary Kuney and Josh Kerns – referenced that vote and encouraged Inslee to veto the bill. The letter states that the legislation “would cost an estimated $500,000 annually to implement” as well as an estimated one-time expenditure of $500,000 for offices, equipment and related costs. “I joined my fellow commissioners

in opposing this bill and asking the governor to veto it,” said Kuney, who represents District 2 which includes Liberty Lake and Spokane Valley among other jurisdictions and unincorporated areas. “In 2015, the voters of Spokane County rejected a ballot measure to create a five-commissioner board. If the electorate in Spokane County wanted to increase the number of county commissioners from three to five, they can initiate this form of government under the Home Rule process.” Kuney said she also wasn’t happy with the changes the bill would make in how commissioners are elected. “Under the present form of government, voters get to vote in

Spokane Valley City Council Member Arne Woodard said he was “less happy with the terms of the election than the number.” “I don’t like commissioners being elected from a specific district,” he said. “Under this system, commissioners don’t have that accountability to the entire populace. It will be about what your district needs or wants. It’s going to pit neighborhoods against each other.” Riccelli said the argument about commissioners being beholden solely to their district constituents under the new system doesn’t hold water because some of that is already occurring. “I’m not saying commissioners aren’t looking out for the broader good of the county but if you ask them how they divide up their work now and they give you their honest answer, they’re focusing on issues within their district,” he said. Liberty Lake Mayor Steve Peterson said the voters have already spoken on the issue. “The voters turned it down just a short while ago because of cost and the current commissioners and past commissioners don't think it is needed,” he said. “I agree with them and do not think that it will add anything positive to our county governance.” Millwood Mayor Kevin Freeman expressed “support with reservations” for the change. “The legislation has passed,” he said. “Our biggest concern is how this redistricting is going to work. As a citizen, I’m not really sure what the benefit is other than more direct representation, but Millwood is very concerned about how the districts will be drawn. I would hope other small jurisdictions would be concerned with how we are going to be included in what districts and where. For us, the key is what would that landscape look like?”


The Current

34 • APRIL 2018

AutoCraft maintains quality service with new owners By Mary Anne Ruddis Current Correspondent AutoCraft has been providing auto repair service in the Spokane Valley since 1988. With its local roots, the family owned operation continues that tradition with a new owner, Miles Vierck. He and his wife Tayler took the reins from Dave Jeffries last June. Vierck was not a stranger to the auto repair business. His father owns an auto repair shop in Portland, Oregon and Vierck was practically raised in the industry, growing up around his dad’s shop. He worked as an apprentice technician for several years before moving to Spokane to attend school at Eastern Washington University.

AutoCraft on Sprague Avenue has been providing high-quality auto repair and maintenance since 1988. The business changed hands last June and has a new logo: "We want to be your ally for automotive repair." Contributed photo Integrity, honesty and a high level of service are important.

After college, Vierck recognized what a treasure Spokane was and decided to stay. He went to work in the hospitality industry and worked for Best Western Hotels managing a few properties for about 10 years. “I was at the point that I wanted to purchase a business,” Vierck says. It was always a dream of the Viercks to work together in a family business. It eventually all worked out, thanks to a few connections. Jeffries and his father know each other and Vierck was a customer at AutoCraft for several years so when he learned of Jeffries plan to retire, it seemed a great opportunity and natural fit. “We planned very carefully about how the transition would work,” Vierck says. “It was important to him to find the right buyer.” Jeffries said he felt confident turning over the operation on East Sprague Avenue to someone like Vierck. “Miles came from an automotive family and he has a degree in business,” Jeffries said. “He is talented and when he approached me to buy the business, I knew he was the right person.” The transition smooth.

was

extremely

“We put together a plan for the transition and retaining the employees was one of our top

Miles and Tayler Vierck are the new owners of AutoCraft in Spokane Valley, taking over from longtime owner Dave Jeffries last summer. Contributed photo priorities,” Vierck said. “Another priority was making sure the customers were comfortable with the transition.” Vierck tries to meet all the customers and assure them that he is committed to the same excellent service and quality of work they have come to expect. He is also quick to give credit to his service advisors, Herb Templin and Chuck Jones, for helping to make customers feel comfortable and at ease with the new ownership. “It really helps to have all the same technicians and the same service advisors,” Vierck said. The continuity provides a source of comfort for the customers who have been coming in for years, Vierck points out. He wants customers to know they can place their trust in the shop and work.

“We can show them failed parts, we can walk them out to the shop and show them their car from the underside,” he says. “We will tell them if something can wait. Sometimes new customers will come in with estimates they received elsewhere and we will tell them, ‘Yes, that looks good,’ or if not, we can give them an honest assessment. We also will do a full inspection for customers who are considering buying a car. It’s not just about the bottom line, we want to retain customers.” The shop offers courtesy shuttle rides that are not limited to a specific number of miles. “Our philosophy is, if you’re willing to make the drive to us, we’ll make the drive for you,” Vierck said. It was during one of these shuttle rides that Vierck came up with their new tagline. While giving an elderly long-term customer a ride, she remarked, “At my age, I feel like I need to have an ally to get my car worked on and that’s you guys.” The company’s new motto is: “We want to be your ally for automotive repair.” The shop’s specialties are domestic and Japanese vehicles. They also specialize in hybrid vehicles. ”We do a lot of hybrids – we can rebuild the hybrid battery packs

and rejuvenate them at a much lower cost that replacing the entire battery,” Vierck said. “We can do new batteries as well.” To diversify and expand their customer base, the business is working to create a welcoming atmosphere for female customers who might not be as comfortable at auto repair shops. The upgrade includes making improvements to the waiting areas. “Cleanliness is extremely important to us – the lobby, bathroom, the customer’s car,” Vierck says. “We vacuum every customer’s car, wash the windows, we use floor mats, we always do a full walk-around the vehicle to check for any grease.” The business is also reaching out to Milliennials by ramping up social media advertising along with their traditional marketing to reach a new demographic that may not have been aware of them in the past. You can find them on Facebook at AutoCraft and on Instagram at AutoCraftSpokane. They also use an AutoCraft hashtag – #AutoCraftCares. “Dave built an extremely reputable business and I feel honored to be able to carry on his legacy,” Vierck said. “That’s my goal as well as continue to grow it.” AutoCraft is located at 16911 E. Sprague Ave. in Spokane Valley. To learn more, go to www. autocraftspokane.com or call 9248738.


The Current

APRIL 2018 • 35

SVP absorbs cause with Inland NW Diaper Bank

By Tyler Wilson Current Correspondent The mission of Inland Northwest Baby (INWB) will continue through the efforts of Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank and Family Services (SVP), which acquired assets from the local diaper bank after the nonprofit dissolved in December. SVP Executive Director Cal Coblentz said the decision was an easy one after the INWB board approached Valley Partners late last year with the proposal. “It’s been a great service not just for Spokane Valley, but for the entire county,” Coblentz said. The entity is now known as Inland Northwest Diaper Bank (INWDB) and is a program of SVP. The newly formed diaper bank currently provides diapers, supplies and children’s clothing to over 20 partnering nonprofit agencies. Since 2010, INWB collected, stored and distributed diapers and children’s clothing. Rather than provide these items directly to individual families, the group worked with social workers and existing agencies to dispense them on a broader scale throughout the community. INWB was founded by Jesse Sheldon, who was just a freshman at Central Valley High School when he launched the nonprofit. He read an article in Time magazine about the out-of-pocket costs of diapers for families, which inspired him to research and establish a Spokanearea diaper bank. Through community drives and monetary donations, INWB worked with agencies and programs over the next seven years to distribute hundreds of thousands of diapers to families in the region by fulfilling more than 7,000 requests throughout Spokane, Stevens and Grant counties. With INWB dissolved, Valley Partners will continue those efforts, bringing over one staff member from INWB, as well as their existing stockpiles of diapers and clothing. “Though we’re not Inland Northwest Baby, we want to honor them,” Coblentz said. “This Spokane diaper bank is not going away. Right now we are concerned about getting the diapers into the hands of mothers and fathers that need them.” Clothing assets from INWB are already being utilized by

Stuff the Bus Diaper Drive – benefiting Inland NW Diaper Bank

The Inland Northwest Diaper Bank is located at Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank and Family Services on Broadway Avenue in Spokane Valley. The effort to provide local families with diapers, supplies and children's clothing at no cost began when Inland Northwest Baby was incorporated in April 2010 through the work of Jesse Sheldon, a Central Valley High School student at the time. Photo by Craig Howard other services at Spokane Valley Partners, which works to provide food, clothing and other basic needs to low-income families in the community. The diaper bank will continue to operate as a wholesale outlet, meaning agencies that utilize it can put in requests to replenish their own diaper closets for the people they serve. Lower income homes with young children often have a diaper deficit, in which they are not able to buy the sufficient number of diapers necessary per month, per child. “If you’re struggling financially with other things, then diapers are going to be a commodity,” Coblentz said. “Our intent is never to provide every diaper for a family, but to subsidize and give them that extra breathing room.” Coblentz said SVP started with about 20,000 diapers in their inventory, though the group is in dire need of larger sizes (3-5). Larger sizes aren’t donated nearly as often as infant sizes. Diaper donations are accepted at the SVP office, and the group will continue with diaper drives, including INWB’s biggest event, the annual “Stuff the Bus” Community Diaper Drive, which takes place April 21 at local Albertsons and Safeway stores. Coblentz said SVP can assist with individuals and businesses who want to collect donations. “We can provide barrels and customers can fill them up and we’ll come to pick the barrels up and we’ll also give them social media coverage,” he said. Monetary donations are also accepted by SVP and donors can allocate their donation to the program of their choice. “We can buy a lot more diapers for the dollar – we can get massive purchasing discounts,” Coblentz said. Started by 10 Protestant churches,

SVP began as United Church Welfare of Spokane in 1951 to direct a collaborative church effort to care for the needy. The scope expanded over the years, with a clothing bank that began in the 1960s, a food bank in 1972, followed by the incorporation of all the separate charitable organizations as the Spokane Valley Center in 1990. In 2001, the Spokane Valley Center moved to its current location at 10814 E. Broadway Ave. and, in 2007, the group was renamed Spokane Valley Partners. As the name indicates, Coblentz said SVP is about collaboration and working with other agencies to fulfill the needs of the community. “We provide resources,” he said. “We want to support the elevating agencies and programs in the community.” Even with its broad network of services, Coblentz said SVP spends less than 8 percent of its fundraising on administrative expenses, leaving about $9 of every $10 going directly to causes. For more information on Spokane Valley Partners, or to make a donation, visit www.SVPart.org. SVP is located at 10814 E. Broadway Ave. in Spokane Valley and can be reached by calling 927-1153.

From Current News Sources Bring your diaper donations to any area Albertsons and Safeway on Saturday, April 21 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. for the annual “Stuff the Bus Community Diaper Drive” benefiting Inland Northwest Diaper Bank (INWDB) Volunteers are also needed. Call Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank and Family Services at 927-1153 to find out more. Each month, the Inland NW Diaper Bank (INWDB) distributes over 10,000 diapers, helping over 300 babies and toddlers. The diaper bank works directly with partnering agencies that are already doing a great job elevating families with infants and toddlers. INWDB acquires the funding, diapers, supplies, and infant clothing and distributes the resources directly to partner agencies. The goal is to ensure all of the nonprofit agencies in greater Spokane that serve children have an ample supply of diapers to keep the babies they serve dry and healthy. INWDB policy is to provide a maximum of 50 diapers per child per month. Because the diaper bank can purchase diapers at a quarter of the cost of retail, when regional nonprofits partner with the diaper bank they are able to multiply their diaper resources by four times. This partnership helps all the agencies spend less money and do more for the babies in need. Inland NW Diaper Bank is a member of the National Diaper Bank Network.


The Current

36 • APRIL 2018

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SVFD REPORT

Continued from page 13 a nearby residence, where the homeowner was burning leaves. The homeowner was advised that it is illegal to burn all types of yard waste and extinguished the fire. New Liberty Lake Fire Station #3 open house – April 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. SVFD invites the community to join us for free family fun at our new fire station located at 21300 E. Country Vista Drive in Liberty Lake. Tour the new fire station, try on firefighter gear, take pictures, meet your firefighters, get an Operation Family ID child safety kit and enjoy tasty treats. Visit www.spokanevalleyfire.com for more information. By the numbers: • Fires* - 68 • Emergency medical service 1,155 • Motor vehicle accidents - 82 • Hazardous materials - 12 • Building alarms - 62 • Service calls - 15 • Vehicle extrication - 2 • Water rescue - 4 • Rescue Task Force - 1 *Brush, commercial, residential, rubbish, vehicle fires and unauthorized burning About SVFD - Spokane Valley Fire Department serves the cities of Liberty Lake, Millwood, Spokane Valley and unincorporated areas of Spokane County including the communities of Otis Orchards, Pasadena Park and the area surrounding Liberty Lake, with a combined population of 125,000 across approximately 75 square miles. SVFD firefighters and paramedics responded to more than 17,280 emergency calls in 2017. Established in 1940, SVFD is an Accredited Agency by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI), one of only a handful in the state of Washington. SVFD operates 10 stations providing fire suppression, emergency medical services, vehicle extrication, hazardous materials response, special operations rescue, fire investigation, fire prevention, commercial property inspection, CPR and fire safety training. SVFD provides free fire safety inspections and installation of free smoke detectors. For more information call 928-1700 or visit www.spokanevalleyfire.com.

COMMISSIONER REPORT Continued from page 5

jurisdictions like Liberty Lake already under the auspices of SCRAPS, we had a truly regional model of animal protection. The transition came about after months of collaboration with area elected officials and experts in the field of animal control. In June of 2014, SCRAPS moved into a newly retrofitted building in the Spokane Valley. The organization, which started as a simple animal shelter, has become so much more. Over the last few years, it has become a shining example of a community resource made possible by intergovernmental communication and cooperation. Now, SCRAPS is a nationally recognized haven for the region’s stray, homeless, abused and abandoned animals. While there were many citizens, volunteers and elected officials involved in forming SCRAPS, none were more pivotal than SCRAPS Director Nancy Hill. Nancy started as an animal control officer in 1986. In 1995 she was promoted to the role of director. Throughout her career, she always had the vision of creating a regional animal protection program. Through hard work, tenacity and a lot of negotiation Nancy’s vision became a reality. Her latest vision was the establishment of an in-house vet-clinic at SCRAPS. As of March 1, the vision to has become a reality. Unfortunately, Nancy’s 32year journey with the County is coming to an end. Effective March 22, Nancy embarked on her next adventure – retirement. Please join me in thanking Nancy for her commitment to the people and pets of Spokane County. I am committed to making Spokane County a safe and prosperous community where people choose to live, raise a family and grow a business. As commissioner, my promise to you is that I will always promote a transparent environment regarding the work being done by the Board of Spokane County Commissioners. I want to hear from the community about the public policy issues that are most important to you. My door is always open and I’m only a phone call or email away. Please feel free to contact me anytime at 477-2265 or by email at mkuney@ spokanecounty.org.

EDITOR/PUBLISHER

Ben Wick

Danica Wick

ben@libertylakesplash.com CO OWNER

danica@libertylakesplash.com

EDITOR

Craig Howard

craig@libertylakesplash.com OFFICE MANAGER GRAPHICS

Paula Gano

paula@libertylakesplash.com

Hayley Schmelzer

hayley@libertylakesplash.com

CIRCULATION Larry Passmore circulation@libertylakesplash.com CONTRIBUTORS

Jamie Borgan, Erin Dodge, Keith Erickson, Bill Gothmann, Craig Howard, Staci Lehman, Mary Anne Ruddis, Jayne Singleton, Mike Vlahovich, Mark Werner, Tyler Wilson 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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The Current

OPINION

Bridging the Valley is more than Grade Separations

When you hear the phrase “Bridging the Valley” most people think about the grade separation projects such as Barker, Pines and Park where the plan is to take the roadway either over or under the existing railroad tracks (hence separating the road onto a different grade when crossing the railroad tracks) similar to that on Argonne and Trent. However, the vision was much larger than the individual projects. Bridging the Valley’s vision is one that looks at the entire region between Spokane, Washington through Athol, Idaho and proposes a major redesign of the existing rail corridors focusing on traffic safety, economic growth, mobility improvements and train whistle noise reductions. The backbone of the proposal revolved around a consolidated rail corridor in which Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) and Union Pacific Railroads (UPRR) would be aligned into a single corridor (within the Burlington Northern right-of-way) and that corridor then be improved with a series of grade separation projects, road closures and railroad track improvements. While exact train traffic counts vary, the BNSF corridor has 19 atgrade crossings on this 42-mile stretch. Just two to six miles south is Union Pacific’s Spokane International Mainline with an additional 56 atgrade crossings. • Virtually 100 percent of the BNSF domestic import and export rail traffic to and from Chicago to Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, and Vancouver, B.C., passes through the Spokane Valley along the BNSF’s Great Northern Corridor. All three BNSF corridors serving in the Pacific Northwest — Stevens Pass,

Stampede Pass and the Columbia River route – converge as they pass through Spokane and Spokane Valley before continuing east. • Nearly all of UPRR’s burgeoning North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) traffic between the U.S. and Canada passes through the Spokane Valley. UPRR’s only Western U.S. connection to Canada converges at Spokane and goes through Spokane Valley. The original Bridging the Valley study, conducted between 2000 and 2002, included participation from both Union Pacific Railroad and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and featured some level agreement on the project. Sometime between then and now, however, the two railroads have gotten into conflict with each other over projects elsewhere and are no longer willing to consider the consolidating into a single corridor. Consider the costs – the Barker grade separation projects are estimated at $19 million and the Pines grade separation project is expected to be a little more than $20 million. Consolidating the UPRR mainline with the BNSF corridor will result in an immediate reduction of 56 mainline at-grade crossings; doing the simple math, the costs of attempting grade separation projects along a second mainline would exceed $1.1 billion. The BNSF and UPRR already operate together on a single viaduct through the city of Spokane, so this concept isn’t new, it is simply an extension of what already exists. We can do this if we believe again that it is possible. We need to do this, the concepts are still valid, the premise is still true, the traffic is only getting worse and the costs are only getting higher. I challenge you to keep the hope alive! We need to push for not only completing the grade separation projects but also for the corridor consolidation. This isn’t “a nice to have,” for many reasons, this is “a need to have” for our community! Ben Wick, Publisher

APRIL 2018 • 37

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ENRI

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g re e n s t o n e h o m

Index of advertisers

Following are the local advertisers in this issue of The Current.

Amaculate Housekeeping

14

Greenstone 16

Spokane County Library District 17

AutoCraft 15

Gus Johnson Ford

40

Spokane Gymnastics

Bahahi Fireside

14

Ignite! Theatre

11

Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce 10

Banner Fuel

37

Inland Empire Utility CC

14

Spokane Valley Kiwanis

18

St. John Vianney School

18

Central Valley Citizens for Education 30

Jim Custer Enterprises

23

Central Valley School District

32

Kiwanis Spokane Valley

18

Central Valley Theatre

28

Leonard Christian for Assessor

8

Liberty Lake Baptist Church

8

Cornerstone Pentecostal Church 35

Liberty Lake Family Dentistry

5

Eagle Rock Rv and Boat Storage

15

Naomi 18

Evergreen Fountain

25

Northern Quest Simonds Dental Group

Friends of Mary Kuney

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Clark’s Tire and Automotive

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The Tree Nurse

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Valley Real Life

11

Valley Synthetics

23

Valleyfest 28 Waste Management

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13

Wish Upon a Star Events

40

Service Directory

38

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 • APRIL 2018

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The Current

History, patriotism unfurled at Spokane Flag Museum

ON THAT NOTE

APRIL 2018 • 39

By Brandon Brown

Current Correspondent A decade ago, Stan Wills, a Navy veteran and active member of the historical group, Sons of the American Revolution, was working a booth at a fair. While showing artifacts to visitors, he started asking kids trivia questions about the American flag. “I’d ask them simple questions like ‘What colors are our flag?’ or ‘How many stripes are on the flag?’ or ‘How many stars are on the flag?’” Wills said. “And they couldn’t answer. The sad part was they would turn around to their parents and say ‘Mom, what is the answer because I want to get a prize?’ And their moms would say, ‘We learned that in school but I don’t remember what it is any more.’” After that Wills decided to start a program to re-educate the youth of Spokane about the American flag.

Stan Wills is the proprietor of the Spokane Flag Museum on Pines Road in Spokane Valley. Wills, a Navy veteran, founded the museum as a way to educate the public about the American flag. Photo by Brandon Brown

Wills bought half-a-dozen historic flags and started providing presentations in schools where he would teach the history of the American flag. Pretty soon people made donations and he would go out and buy more flags.

Wills had between 30 and 40 flags, but he kept getting more of them. He needed a bigger space. So the Fairmont Memorial Association offered him 20 by 30-foot garage at the Pines Cemetery in Spokane Valley. He has been there for the last four years.

World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

There are flags everywhere in the museum. They are draped from the walls and attached to flagpoles. Most of them are variations of the U.S. flag that everyone is familiar with. But Wills has a variety of state flags and flags from other countries.

“All of the flags tell a story and you can learn American history through the flags,” Wells said.

Today Wills has more than 125 flags and they can all be seen for free at the Spokane Flag Museum, located at the Pines Cemetery, 1402 S. Pines Road, in Spokane Valley. Wills said there are only three museums in the U.S. that are solely dedicated to the flags and his is the only one in the western part of the country. When Wills was acquiring flags and delivering presentations, he wanted a place where he could house the flags and make a more permanent display. In 2009, Wills went on a radio program and asked the community if there were any organizations that would donate a building for a flag museum. The Fairmont Association first gave old building to use at Cemetery behind the Administration Hospital. there for four years. At

Memorial him an Fairmont Veterans He was the time

Wills has the museum set up in a way that tells the history of America through its flags. The first flag he shows is Spain’s flag, representing Christopher Columbus. He then has a series of British flags and then early U.S. flags. “The American flag evolved how most flags evolve,” he said. “Our first flag just had 13 stars and then they took a flag that had 13 stripes and married them to give us a flag that had 13 stripes and 13 stars. And then Betsy Ross came along and made the Betsy Ross Flag.” Wills also displays flags that commemorate the wars the U.S. fought in, including the Civil War,

Since Wills was young, he said he has been a fan of history, especially American history. In his later years he has found that he loves teaching others about history and thinks flags are a great way of doing it.

Starting the first of November, the Spokane Flag Museum will be open every Saturday. It is also open for all of the military holidays and Wills will open it up for school classes, scout troops, other community groups or families. Wills is trying to collect every version of the U.S. flag that changed when new states were added. “When Washington State became a state, the flag had 43 stars on it,” Wills said. “Now I have a 43-starred flag.” Wills said it is difficult for him to choose his favorite flag. Yet he said he loves the Lewis and Clark trade flag that they gave to the Native Americans. It has the 13 red and white stripes like the regular U.S. flag, but in the blue area it has an eagle that is holding an olive

branch. Besides displaying flags and teaching history, Wills offers flag related services including flag retirements, old flag appraisements and can answer questions regarding the Flag Code and the proper ways to display it. When it comes to retiring flags Wills does not take it lightly. With scout troops he has retired hundreds of flags. He performs the ceremony at the cemetery and brings in wood from Mt. Vernon (George Washington’s home) or from Arlington Cemetery. “We always retire the flag in the name of a veteran,” Wills said, “And if they are available I’ll get a bagpiper or a bugler. Sometimes we even do a musket salute.” While the Spokane Flag Museum is free to visit, Wills notes that it runs on donations. Almost all the flags inside were either donated or bought with donated money. He said he could see a day where the museum buys its own building – but that will take a lot more donations. Stan Wills and the Spokane Flag Museum can be contacted by email at bjwills@webtv.net. You can also call 926-2753 for more information.


The Current

40 • APRIL 2018

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April 2018 Current  

Bridging the Valley; Spokane Valley's long-awaited transportation upgrade receives funding boost

April 2018 Current  

Bridging the Valley; Spokane Valley's long-awaited transportation upgrade receives funding boost

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