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AUGUST

2018

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2 • AUGUST 2018

Taking Flight – Cameron builds on success with aerospace publication

By Craig Howard Current Editor As a senior at Mead High School, Dean Cameron recalls “not really fitting any of the molds.” While college and working full-or part-time were options, Cameron decided to forge a different path, starting his own T-shirt printing business not long after earning his diploma. Cameron had worked for a screen printing outfit before starting his company and took good notes along the way. He connected with a friend who owned a machine shop and before long the fledgling business was thriving. One of its niches was producing waterski bags for big-time names like O’Brien and Connelly. “I saw the opportunity and learned the process,” Cameron says of his entrepreneurial success. “Part of it is being in the right place at the right time and part of it is I’m not one to sit around and twiddle my fingers.” Camco Screen Printing flourished under Cameron’s guidance, eventually spinning off into several ventures. By the time he was 28, Cameron was overseeing an operation that was the largest contractor for Seattle -based JanSport, known for its popular line of backpacks. Camco was based in Peaceful Valley, just west of downtown Spokane, and employed nearly 90 people. Cameron eventually sold Camco and went to work for Multifab Inc. in 1990. With a manufacturing site in the Spokane Business & Industrial Park on Sullivan Road, Multifab is known as one of the preeminent pressure and vacuum forming companies in the nation. Cameron was brought on for his skills in marketing and sales. Multifab also provides custom sewn products for a variety of industries, including the aviation field, a connection that would come in handy when Cameron took his next career turn.

NEWS Cameron learned ambitious traits at home from his parents who owned a real estate business. He was the oldest of three kids. “I grew up in a family of sales and marketing,” Cameron says. Examples of dynamic, assertive individuals like Theodore Roosevelt – he of mantras like “Believe you can and you’re halfway there” and “Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground” – resonated with Cameron growing up. “I liked that idea of daring to dream big,” he said. The visionary approach figured into Cameron’s decision to leave the security of Multifab after nearly 30 years and start an aerospace trade publication from scratch. The first issue of Northwest Aerospace News hit the stands in February and has been taking off ever since. At Multifab, Cameron realized that strengthening the connection between the company and its customer base meant bringing clients to tour the premises while “telling our story.” Now, he has transferred that personal methodology to publishing. “We want to tell the story of these aerospace companies,” Cameron said of the magazine with a circulation of nearly 5,000. Cameron was no stranger to publishing prior to this year. He worked with Rebecca Lloyd, founder

of Art Chowder magazine, not long after she started the publication and has served as owner and publisher of the regional arts journal since December 2015. Lloyd has remained as creative director of both publications. In his role as CEO of Top Shelf Media, based on Argonne Road in Spokane Valley, Cameron also specializes in marketing, consulting and public relations. One of his recent projects includes producing a crisp video for social media promoting the Museum of Flight in Tukwilla, just south of Seattle. Dean and his wife Pamela celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary in June and have four kids and four grandkids. They are longtime residents of Spokane Valley, purchasing their first home on what Cameron remembers as “a shoestring budget” of $21,000 in 1983. The couple attends Spokane Valley Baptist Church and have lived in their current residence since 1989. Q: You have been a resident of this area for quite a while now. How has the Valley changed in the years you have called it home? A: Well, that is really dating myself. Growing up we lived in a home on University for a short time. Most of what was east of the then University City Shopping Mall was U-pick cherry and strawberry

The Current

farms. Today, we are a “still young” but growing city. Spokane Valley now has a modern City Hall, an Arts Council, one of the most beautiful park systems with easy access along the Spokane River and is developing into a vibrant sister nestled between Spokane and Coeur d’Alene. While we do not have the maturity yet of Spokane, nor the resort and lake of Coeur d’ Alene, we have easy access to each other and that makes us stronger as a region. Q: Entities like the Spokane Valley Arts Council have brought increased awareness to the arts in our community. How would you characterize the Valley's art scene right now? A: We have seen a significant growth in the public attention to the arts. The Arts Council is made up of all volunteers and through their efforts have brought us several very high-quality bronze statues for public enjoyment. Soon, new public artwork from local artist Richard Warrington called “The Heart of the Valley” will be displayed here. This type of focus on the arts sets the tone for Spokane Valley as people enter our community. Both Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake have been successful with community arts events. I can foresee that becoming a growing trend. Q: Many of us seem to live busy lives with seemingly little time to

See CAMERON, page 3

Spokane Valley resident Dean Cameron is CEO of Top Drawer Media and the publisher of Northwest Aerospace News, a comprehensive trade journal as well as Art Chowder, a publication that covers the regional arts scene. The first issue of his aerospace publication was distributed in February and has a circulation of nearly 5,000. Contributed photo


The Current

AUGUST 2018 • 3

CAMERON

Continued from page 2

notice community art, let alone visit a museum or art gallery. How does pausing to appreciate art benefit us as people and as a society in general? A: There have been numerous studies worldwide that point directly to a strong arts presence in a community fostering a strong and vibrant economy as well as a better quality of life. I can speak for myself that as an art collector, not an artist, my life is enriched by not only the art we enjoy but the artists we know and have met in the process. Art is not what you buy at Target. Art is an experience of the inspiration and emotion brought out in a work as well as the relationship opportunities a person gains by knowing the artist and what inspires them. Q: You publish two successful print publications in a digital era. What do you think the future holds for the printed word? A: I have always tried to be what the new term being used as “a disrupter.” I do not believe that “print is dead.” I believe that in-your-face blatant and repetitive advertising is leading people away. With both Art Chowder and Northwest Aerospace News magazines we put the primary emphasis on content that is engaging, entertaining and worthy of attention. While advertising is a big part of being successful, our primary goal is to benefit both the subject and the reader by getting to know each other in a respectful way both for our content and advertisers. The trends I see are people getting tired of “pop ups” and forced ads. You read a story online and it is followed by a string of advertisements that are intended as “click bait.” Trust and control are the most important offerings you can give to the general public. Give them control to read what they want and put it down if they feel like it and the trust that you are not trying to “gimmick your way into their wallet.” A good print magazine can give the public that trust and control. Q: From your experience as an entrepreneur, what advice would you give to those who are looking to establish their own business? A: One – Research your idea well and with wide open eyes. Two – Be enthusiastic as it will create enthusiasm in others. Three – Hope for the best but plan for the worst – it will keep your dream alive when things get in your way as they often do. Four – Work very, very hard. There is no “easy button” to success. It is your dream and you

See AERO, page 5

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4 • AUGUST 2018

NEWS

Honor Point Museum takes flight, seeks new home By Linda Ball

Current Correspondent In April 2016 the Honor Point Military and Aerospace Museum moved into a hangar on East Rutter Avenue on Felts Field, thinking it had found a permanent location. After getting settled over a span of twoplus years, the museum is closed and preparing to move once again. Executive Board President Elliott Briggs said the hangar’s owner, Tim Gump “has a major investment in the facility and needs to get a return on his investment.” Briggs said the museum has been paying $5,000 per month in rent, below market value, on the 10,000 square feet it occupies in a 40,000 square-foot facility known as the Felts Field General Aviation Flight Center. Briggs said there are no sour grapes or hard feelings; it’s just business. The Honor Point Military and Aerospace Museum originated at Fairchild Air Force Base with the stipulation that it be self-sustaining. Retired Air Force Col. Arne Weinman was the original visionary. He wanted to have a place to welcome veterans home. It was his dream to celebrate the time they put into their service. Weinman is still very involved, building out many of the displays. Briggs said he is the heart and soul of the museum. Then 9/11 happened. With the attack on U.S. soil, all civilians were ordered off limits to military bases, so all of the museum’s artifacts were on the move. The first stop was the old MAC (Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture) where everything was put into storage. When the new MAC was proposed and built, the artifacts were moved to an old missile silo not far from Spokane in Fishtrap. Several missile silos dot the countryside around Spokane, which were armed and ready for launch during the Cold War. Once again, there was no museum, just a place to store everything. The owner of the missile silo decided to convert it into a residence, so once again the board and volunteers had to move the artifacts, this time to Spokane International Airport, then finally the move to Felts Field. Even with 10,000 square feet in the Felts Field hangar, Briggs said 7,000 more artifacts are in storage. They have a plethora of historical items relating to the military and flight. Briggs said there is a push from the city of Spokane to develop Felts Field and prices are going up. He

The Current

has no expectation that they will be able to afford to stay on an airfield. A nonprofit museum isn’t exactly a moneymaker. There has been a military installation in Spokane since 1897, which was called Fort George Wright. Fort Spokane on the Columbia River and Fort Sherman in Coeur d’Alene closed when Fort George Wright was opened. Spokane also has a history in aviation. American pioneer aviator Charles Hamilton, piloted air rides on a Wright Flyer at the Spokane Fairgrounds in the early 20th century. Felts Field is one of the oldest federally designated airports in the country, placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991; it was certified as a commercial airport in about 1923, predating major airports in Spokane or Seattle. “We have a long and proud history of military and aviation,” Briggs said. “In World War II we had Rosie the Riveters working here. When vets come here and tears roll down their face, it’s so fulfilling.” Tony Martin of Liberty Lake, the executive board vice-president of the museum, is in charge of the artifacts. The board really can’t afford 10,000 square feet again, but 5,000 to 6,000 square feet would work as they could change the exhibits around frequently keeping artifacts in storage, rotating them around. Martin said they have thousands of artifacts and only recently organized the museum like they wanted it. But the dream is not dead – they say they will find a place to go, it’s just a question of where. They have contacted a couple of commercial real estate professionals for help. One asset they plan to part with is a Russian built MIG-17 from the Vietnam War era. It is too large to take but there is a market for them, Martin said. He expects a collector would pay around $30,000, which would be seed money for the move and a new facility. Some of the fascinating vintage items in the museum’ collection include the front of a B17 Bomber, the engine from a post-World War II B36 Bomber, a telephone switchboard used from World War II to the early 1990s at Fairchild AFB, a space suit used in the Mercury program - which is priceless - a launch and a console from one of the missile silos and a “Link Trainer,” which was used to train World War II pilots. Martin said there are only 12 of these trainers, that run, left in the world, and this is one of them, rescued from Silverwood. Martin said they also have hundreds of military uniforms in storage from American, German and Japanese troops, all part of an inventory of unique artifacts that are once again looking for a permanent home.


The Current

AERO

NEWS

Continued from page 3

own it. From cleaning the floors to engaging banks, clients, partners and more. It will only thrive to the level of effort you put into it. Q: We seem to hear a lot these days about the aerospace industry and its impact on the economy in the Inland Northwest. How would you characterize that impact in our region? A: Spokane, Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake and North Idaho and more are home to some of the most talented and well-equipped industrial manufacturers in the state. Most of these companies have been here for many years and we have grown accustomed to their presence. They may have roots in electronics or other industries and may not have been known as “aerospace companies.” However, the aerospace industry is starving for this talent and these companies have adapted to the industry well. Our region is what I would term a “quiet giant” with resources to produce a vast majority of the needs of the aerospace industries Tier 1 and Tier 2 aerospace giants. This trend is literally on the launching pad so to speak. The latest projections are that the industry will be building over five trillion dollars in new commercial aircraft in the next 20 years. This does not include military and retrofit industries. I would advise any young people looking for a career choice to look at this industry very closely. These are better than average jobs with a lot of upward mobility. Q: How has your publication been able to effectively cover all the different aspects of this diverse and dynamic industry? A: I am a firm believer in networking. From the beginning concept of Northwest Aerospace News, our intention was to align ourselves with the community in the best manner possible. As such we are members of INWAC (Inland Northwest Aerospace Consortium), PNAA (Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance), PNDC (Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition), AUVSI (Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International), IDAA (Idaho Aerospace Alliance), AFA (Aerospace Futures Alliance), ORAVI (Oregon Aviation Industries) and we are sponsor member to AJAC (Aerospace Joint Apprentice Committee). The above acronyms are what is known as “clusters” whose members network together to learn of ways to improve their business systems and tools and to find new business opportunities. They encompass all aspects of

the aerospace communities in commercial, military, unmanned drone technology, Business Jet and New Space. We attend their conferences, we find article content by learning what is happening in our Northwest backyard we may have been unaware of and we meet some really awesome people with cutting edge ideas and technology. Q: In what ways did working in aerospace manufacturing sales for so many years benefit your insights as a publisher of an aerospace magazine? A: In my 28 years in manufacturing sales I was able to observe a couple of very distinct business traits that seemed to not evolve. The primary tools for a business to reach beyond their neighborhood was to spend a lot of money at a trade show and hope to make a few contacts to follow up on and/ or pay a salesperson to travel and meet potential clients many, many times before a request for quote may even be offered. Advertising and exposure was mostly for real large companies with big marketing budgets. The largest and most important segment the small-tomedium sized suppliers who make up the bulk of parts manufactured in a finished aircraft was getting lost in the big news. There are two needs we are trying to accomplish. First, the Tier 2, 3, and even Tier 4 companies need a cost-effective way to be visible to the greater marketplace. Second, the supplier starved Tier 1 companies who are so backed up they cannot even properly source new potential suppliers need a resource opportunity as well. Northwest Aerospace News magazine is structured to answer both needs. We distribute print magazines to nearly 5,000 industry professionals across the U.S. through mailings as well as personal distribution at conferences and meetings. Our digital version online has seen over 10,000 views from around the world. We are not trying to replace trade shows or sales people on the road, we are trying to add a vehicle that brings additional opportunity for much less cost. Q: Finally, let's say you had the opportunity to create a "flying museum" with a collection of art installed throughout a 747. What kind of art would be best suited for a gallery on wings? A: This would be great fun! I would do a “Walk through the Genre.” Start with Classical and evolve into Impressionism, Abstract Expressionism, Surrealism and more. A transition in the arts that encompasses the many personalities and expands the mind and expression of the arts. Do you have a spare 747 laying around?

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6 • AUGUST 2018

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NEWS

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The Current


The Current

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 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.

AUGUST 2018 • 7


8 • AUGUST 2018

The Current

NEWS

Council Briefs Spokane Valley City Council Report – August 2018 • Council added several roads within Ridgemont Estates to their list of roads prohibiting truck traffic • Staff reported that revenues from the phone utility tax continue to decline. In 2009, the revenue was $3.1 million. In 2019 revenue is expected to be $1.7 million. Studies by a consultant showed that the major cause of the decline is not due to uncollected fees. • Higgins announced commendations to Anna Priebe for her earning the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement and most prestigious award offered by the Girl Scouts • Council sponsored a resolution allowing Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC) to be a member of the Association of Washington Cities Benefit Trust. This permits SRTC to enroll their employees in the benefit trust’s health benefit programs • Deputy City Manager John Hohman stated that damage to the Mullan monument was the responsibility of the city in trying to see how to move/preserve it. The city has since remediated the damage • Avista sought an easement for extension of a natural gas line on city property from 14th to 15th near Bettman Road and council agreed • ExteNet Systems sought a franchise agreement to bring additional small cell technology to the city. Council agreed to advance this to a second reading • Council discussed employing a lobbyist at the federal level, having budgeted $85,000 for that purpose. The firm would be “focused almost exclusively on getting assistance in obtaining additional federal funding for several large-scale infrastructure projects,” such as Pines and Park Road grade separation projects

By Bill Gothmann Current Correspondent Committee reassignments made without public notice During the July 3 City Council meeting with the study format, Mayor Rod Higgins stated, “In the beginning when we made committee assignments, I was attempting to set up a system whereby we would work more smoothly, that would be more cooperative, and that hasn’t worked out that way.” He then proposed a number of committee reassignments: “Mr. (Arne) Woodard, move from Health Board to SRTC (Spokane Regional Transportation Council), Mr. (Sam) Wood, move to Finance Committee, Mr. (Ben) Wick move from SRTC and Finance Committee to Health Board and Visit Spokane, Ms. (Pam) Haley move from Visit Spokane.” Woodard moved to approve the mayor’s proposal. City Clerk Chris Bainbridge noted that, “Usually you do not make a motion unless it has been on the agenda so people know what’s coming up.” However, the motion was permitted by the council. Wick noted that he serves as vice-chair of SRTC, making him chair next year. “This month, in less than a week, we are taking an action on a multi-year allocation of funds, so we are allocating the funds for the next five years for all the major roadway projects,” Wick said. “I am slated to lead the discussion of a whole new process of how we are doing that to better align our projects as a region.” See sidebar for Wick’s full statement. There was an unsuccessful attempt by Council Member Brandi

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Peetz to delay the decision, but it was voted down. After considerable discussion council voted 4-3 to approve the motion, with Wood, Woodard, Higgins and Haley voting in favor and Wick, Peetz and Thompson voting against it. At the July 10 council meeting, there were a number of picketers outside City Hall objecting to the removal of Wick from SRTC. Inside council chambers, many had signed up to speak during the two comment periods, so many in fact that the mayor limited the total time for comments to 30 minutes for each of the two comment periods. A total of 17 people spoke in objection to the council action and two spoke in favor. Rev. Jen Haywood called it “unjust and shameful.” Tim Blake called it “an embarrassment.” Sally Jackson said it was like “dumping Mike Jackson” and “cutting out Chuck Hafner.” Jennifer Calvert called it “shameful” and said “it looked like they decided it before the meeting.” Donna O’Leary stated, “He (Wick) deserved your respect just as you deserve his.” Tim Hattenburg observed it showed a lack of transparency and stated, “We deserve better.” Jeff Beaulac said it appeared the decision was made in secret. Ed Pace disagreed, saying that “any one of you seven are fine on any one of the boards” and it was “no big deal.” Tony Lazanis opined, “The mayor is a good man. Has a lot of authority and sometimes he has to use it.” During council reports at this same meeting, Wick reported he used his IT (information technology) background when SRTC issued a request for qualifications search for IT services. He also reported that SRTC is changing the process of allocating projects for the next five years by focusing on what are the best projects for the area rather than focusing on which projects the federal government is promoting. Council selects signalized intersection for Wellesley and

Sullivan As discussed in July’s issue of The Current, staff was favoring a signalized intersection for Wellesley and Sullivan rather than a roundabout because it was considered safer for the adjacent school, would cost much less and would provide substantially the same level of service. They noted that the county also favored this approach. On July 3, council concurred with staff’s recommendation by a vote of 6-1 with Wick dissenting. Council chooses tourism areas On July 1, 2015, the city of Spokane Valley imposed a lodging tax that would be used for “capital expenditures for acquiring, constructing, making improvements to other capital related expenditures for large sporting venues or venues for tourism-related facilities that generate overnight guests at lodging facilities.” Using a consultant, the city came up with 10 different projects. On July 10 of this year, council whittled the list down to three possible projects: a fairgrounds project, expansion of the CenterPlace Regional Event Center and a sports venue at or near the present HUB Sports Complex. Staff will now study these three and report back to the council. Department of Public Safety abolished When the city was incorporated, a Department of Public Safety was included in the city’s code. In fact, police services are contracted through the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and there are separate agencies for the fire safety and health safety, both of which have their own governing boards. Therefore, the city’s Department of Public Safety was never needed. Upon recommendation by staff, the council agreed to delete parts of the city’s code having to do with this never-used department. Comprehensive Plan

See SV COUNCIL, page 9

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The Current

NEWS

Protesters gathered outside Spokane Valley City Hall before the July 10 City Council meeting to express their disagreement with the removal of Council Member Ben Wick from the Spokane Regional Transportation Council. The move that was made without any prior notice or inclusion on the meeting agenda. Contributed photo

SV COUNCIL

Continued from page 8 amendments considered Once a year, council considers changes to its Comprehensive Plan. This year, there were four privately initiated proposals, one of which was withdrawn and three cityinitiated proposals, one of which was withdrawn. Robin Petrie is proposing changing a parcel of land on the south side of Valleyway east of Pines from R-3, single family residential, to multi-family residential. The Planning Commission (PC) recommended approval of the proposal. Whipple Consulting Engineers is proposing to change a parcel south of Dishman-Mica west of Sands Road from R-2, single family residential, to corridor mixed use. After considerable testimony by the community objecting to the change, the PC rejected the plan by a vote of 6-1. Heather Bryant is proposing to change the southeast corner of Seventh and University from R-3, single family residential, to neighborhood commercial. The PC recommended approving the proposal. The city is proposing removing the split zoning of a large parcel of undeveloped land south of Forker and Progress and removing the split zoning of a parcel at 16205 E. Trent making it all industrial mixed use. Both received PC approval. Council agreed with all these PC recommendations and advanced these to a second reading. Council reviews lodging tax goals Council reviewed their goals for the Lodging Tax Committee, the body that makes recommendations concerning how to spend lodging taxes collected by the city. State law requires the funds to be spent on tourism marketing, marketing and operations of special events and festivals, supporting facilities owned

or operated by a municipality or public facility district or supporting the operation of tourism-related facilities of nonprofit organizations. Other council goals are to recognize that lodging nights are an important gauge while, to a lesser degree they can consider such economic impacts as shopping, dining, and overnight visits. Revenue from other lodging sources should be considered and grants should be capped at the amount requested. Council eliminated the need to set aside 20 percent for innovative projects. Speed zone modifications Council heard recommendations from staff about changes to speed zones around the reconstructed North Pines Middle School and adding speed zones for the new Riverbend Elementary School at Mission and Long. They approved the speed zones. Mission Avenue to be Improved Staff presented plans to improve Mission Avenue from McDonald to Evergreen by resurfacing the road, providing ADA (American Disabilities Act) pedestrian ramps, signal modifications, and stormwater upgrades. This will require closure of Mission east of McDonald to Evergreen for a month and closure of Mission west of McDonald to Evergreen for a week. Construction is expected to start in early September and be completed by early October. Council agreed to award a $713,925 contract to Inland Asphalt. The engineer’s estimate was $723,460. The project will be paid for by the city’s preservation fund and its stormwater fund. Euclid Avenue preservation contract awarded Council awarded a $1,034,025 contract to Inland Asphalt for paving Euclid, Sullivan to Flora. Staff also wanted cable laid for its intelligent transportation system (ITS) to

connect the city maintenance shop into the network. However, the bids came in much higher than expected so, in a statement, “the city will look for other options to provide a hard connection to the city shop with a future ITS project.” Street addressing standard in the works In order to develop a countywide street addressing standard, staff has met with the county’s Joint Addressing Authorities Committee. Police, fire and the Sheriff’s Office want such a standard to improve safety response. Spokane Valley presently meets the standards set by this committee except for three minor points. The city requires addressing when there are two addressable parcels, structures or units whereas the standard requires four addressable parcels. The standard requires accessory dwelling units to be assigned a secondary address, whereas the city does not. The standard allows issuance of a temporary address, whereas the city does not. After considerable discussion, there was consensus among council members to develop a written standard and bring it back for council consideration. Transportation grant requests to be submitted Council approved staff applying to the Washington Transportation Improvement Board for three grants. The city will apply for a $1.875 million grant for the $3.125 million construction phase University Road from 16th to Dishman-Mica. They will also apply for a $1.28 million for the $1.6 million Sprague and Barker intersection improvement. This grant would fund looking at possible configurations and for construction. The city will also apply for $406,000 of the $508,000 required for engineering and construction of a sidewalk on Adams Road from 16th to 23rd. Aging and Long Term Care may be funded Aging and Long Term Care of Eastern Washington (ALTCEW) asked the council to consider the city becoming a member at a cost of $12,026 per year. ALTCEW is the recognized area agency on aging and have a mission of assisting older people to age in their own homes. They serve six Eastern Washington counties, overseeing a wide variety of senior services such as supplying community living connections, providing senior services such as adult day care, bathing assistance, falls prevention and meals, caregiver support and connecting with community services. Most is done through contracts with serving agencies. City staff will prepare a resolution for Council to consider.

AUGUST 2018 • 9

Complete statement from Council Member Ben Wick at the July 3 council meeting:

“I have served very well on the SRTC board. I have been elected vice chair and chair elect for next year to represent the community. This month, in less than a week, we are taking an action on a multi-year allocation of funds, so we are allocating the funds for the next five years for all the major roadway projects. I am slated to lead the discussion of a whole new process of how we are doing that to better align our projects as a region. I think we are going to get stalled out on this if we make a change on this at the last second. The chair will not be there next week and we miss out on a whole rotation. Just thinking of it from a city perspective, not trying to be personal about it myself, I am also up and was nominated for the Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board and selected from the entire cities across the state of Washington to represent all cities on freight and transportation mobility and, pending the governor’s office, which I was just in communications with, and expect an appointment within the next week to that board as well. So now I will be representing our community, our region on that but all the cities across the state and did get nomination and full support from the Association of Washington Cities Board for that appointment so I feel like I’ve got a lot of background and passion for transportation and experience that can help benefit our city from that committee position. I am sorry if I have done something that has made it seem that we are not a team player. I felt that we have been trying to get together; all six of us were there at the association conference. We saw each other; we tried to dialogue as much as we could and so I guess I am not sure where I am entirely not being a team player for that. The Finance Committee, OK. I can see that if you want to make another change there, I’ll give that one up. I don’t see there is a huge risk to the city but I think that the Regional Transportation Board where we’ve got so many large decisions coming up in such a short time and our position there would be greatly lost if we make a change at this short notice.”


10 • AUGUST 2018

Neighbors rally for community safety on National Night Out

By Julie Humphreys Current Correspondent Know your neighbor, thwart crime. That’s the idea behind National Night Out, which takes place locally in the Spokane Valley on Aug. 7. The nationwide campaign brings together law enforcement agencies, Neighborhood Watch groups, civic groups, volunteers, businesses, county and city officials and residents to promote neighborhood unity, safety and awareness. Not aware of National Night Out? Then you really need to get out and participate. Involvement of everyone in a given neighborhood is key to the success of this campaign. “When I grew up neighbors knew neighbors” says Rick Scott, director of SCOPE (Sheriff Community Oriented Policing Effort). “I had several sets of parents because everyone looked after each other’s children. Right now, neighbors don’t know each other. Everyone is so busy. There’s a huge need in our communities to just simply know who lives around you.” The value of knowing your neighbor is, well, invaluable. National Night Out highlights law enforcementbased community programs like SCOPE’s Neighborhood Watch and their impact on neighborhood safety, trust and crime prevention. “We can’t have a deputy on every corner” says Deputy Mark Gregory, Public Information Officer for the Spokane County Sheriff’s Department/Spokane Valley Police Department. “Community policing groups can serve as our eyes and ears on the street. They are invaluable. When people simply exercise vigilance and look out for their neighbors and connect with law enforcement by reporting suspicious activities and such,

COVER STORY we have safer communities which benefits everyone.” The precise impact of community policing efforts on crime statistics is hard to gage. But Gregory says without the help and support of the communities they serve, law enforcement would definitely not be as effective in fighting crime. Theft is the number one crime in the Spokane Valley, mainly vehicle prowling, shoplifting and theft of mailed items. Gregory says with summer here and people out enjoying parks, trails and lakes, prowlers will be looking for their next opportunity to steal someone’s property. We should all be aware of the secure your valuables tips, but Gregory says it’s not just about knowing what to do for your own safety. It’s about being part of the greater effort to provide safety for all which requires the public’s help to stop and catch criminals. “We truly need people to report suspicious vehicles, people skulking around at odd hours of the day or night on bicycles,” he said. “If people know their neighbors and report this type of information, we are safer.” National Night Out reminds us to connect with our neighbors and provides venues to do so. Across the nation, neighbors host block parties, festivals, parades and cookouts with safety demonstrations, exhibits and more. This year, 38 million neighbors in 16,000 communities are expected to take part in National Night Out. In Spokane and Spokane County, free gatherings will be held at churches, parks, Target stores, apartment complexes and in residential neighborhoods. SCOPE and Neighborhood Watch both spend a lot of time coordinating the annual event because they feel it’s a very important way to connect people to each other and to community volunteerism. SCOPE has about 400 volunteers, many of whom are in Neighborhood Watch groups where they live. SCOPE volunteers are dedicated to making our community a safer place to live. They undergo

See NNO, Page 23

The Current

Vital Volunteers – SCOPE provides savvy supplement to law enforcement who he says alleviate the burden By Keith Erickson

Current Correspondent With a new school year just around the corner, law enforcement officers in Spokane County will soon have the monumentally important task of keeping school traffic zones safe. Often oblivious to crossing signs punctuated with flashing lights, drivers sometimes need an official reminder to slow down. And when you mix thousands of cars with countless students hurrying on their way to classes, enforcing speed restrictions can challenge police resources. That’s where SCOPE (Sheriff Community Oriented Policing Effort) comes into play. The volunteer-based unit, boasting nearly 400 recruits in Spokane County, serves as an invaluable law enforcement tool to substitute for sworn officers, freeing them up for higher priority calls. Keeping a watchful eye on motorists in school zones is just one of more than a dozen programs trained SCOPE volunteers provide the community around the clock, 365 days a year. Most of us have probably seen these devoted volunteers patrolling neighborhoods in specially marked cars as part of the Citizens on Patrol (COP) program or ushering vehicles through major traffic accidents or around crime scenes as part of the Sheriff’s Incident Response Team (SIRT) effort. But there’s much more to this robust unit of parapolice than directing traffic. Other duties carried out by SCOPE volunteers include Neighborhood Watch, graffiti control, monitoring disabled parking spots, helping to clear streets of abandoned vehicles and keeping streets safer with mobile radar trailers that indicate vehicle speeds, reminding drivers with a heavy foot to slow down. Since 1994, SCOPE volunteers have provided critical, dependable and professional assistance to sworn officers who are often stretched thin with a steadily growing number of calls for service, says Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. The sheriff is quick to praise the efforts of SCOPE conscripts,

on his officers while boosting the visibility, efficiency and image of law enforcement.

“We really could not provide the services we do without the efforts of SCOPE volunteers,” Knezovich says. “We simply don’t have the personnel to do the things we need to do without them – be it a homicide investigation, barricaded subject, wildfires or accident scenes. They actually free up our detectives to do core police work rather than shuffling paper.” With 15 substations in every corner of the county (excluding the incorporated city of Spokane which has a similar program called C.O.P.S. – Community Oriented Policing Services), SCOPE volunteers work tirelessly, serving as the eyes and ears of officers and substantially improving the connection between the public and law enforcement, says SCOPE Director Rick Scott. Like the sheriff, Scott says SCOPE is a great community relations effort as volunteers tend to more tedious tasks, expediting police work. “As the area becomes more populated, officers have an increasing number of priority calls and situations where things can go bad really quickly,” Scott says. SCOPE volunteers help reduce the burden placed on officers by dealing with less urgent calls like abandoned cars, “cold” property crimes and miscellaneous incident reports. Volunteers also conduct followup phone calls to provide status reports and updates to crime victims. Community-Minded Assistance Reaching beyond the criminal element of policing, SIRT volunteers assist deputies with crowd control measures at major community events like fun runs and street fairs, as well as natural disasters such as wildfires, Scott says. And the county’s popular Neighborhood Watch program is also overseen by SCOPE, whose members keep a watchful eye for suspicious activities at homes and businesses and work with deputies

See SCOPE, Page 11


The Current

AUGUST 2018 • 11

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SCOPE

Continued from page 10

to raise awareness and document problem areas. Citizens can contact the SCOPE office to request added patrols in their neighborhoods and the organization’s user-friendly website (www.scopespokanewa. org), allows citizens to request the unit’s speed radar board to be set up to discourage speeding. To a certain degree, the volunteers even serve the role of detective as some are trained to lift fingerprints from crime scenes, assisting directly in investigations, Scott says. The teamwork does not go unnoticed by the community. “For crime victims to have somebody offering that extra help to officers during a crisis is important to them,” Scott says. “They know their case is still active and that’s huge for their peace of mind.”

SCOPE volunteers are ready on a moment’s notice to help authorities with traffic control around wildfires. “In fire season, we’ve been known to be out there eight, 10, even 12 hours,” Knezovich says. “If SCOPE didn’t have their SIRT squad our deputies would be tied up for a long time when we could be tending to higher priorities.” SCOPE volunteers also help keep the community clean by tagging abandoned vehicles for removal. Scott says many stolen cars have been identified and recovered through the unit’s abandoned vehicle program, helping clear grand theft auto cases. From the streets to parking lots,

SCOPE maintains a high visibility. As the population ages, more people rely on handicap parking permits. Unfortunately, many able-bodied motorists ignore the signage and take those spots from those with legitimate needs. “It gets abused a lot and we’re commissioned to write tickets as part of our disabled parking enforcement program,” Scott says. “We hope it will send a message and reduce those violations.” SCOPE substations are staffed to assist with walk-ins and hours vary depending on the location. The main office at 12710 E. Sprague Ave. in the Spokane Valley is usually staffed weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Having a fixed point of contact

is important, Scott says, but it’s out on the streets where SCOPE makes its biggest impact. “One of the best things that I’ve heard from the volunteers is citizens will wave at them and thank them for what they’re doing,” Scott says. “That makes it so rewarding to (volunteers) when they are called out and told that they’re doing something good out there – that they’re making a difference.” Scott, who has served the SCOPE program for 21 years and been its paid director for nearly 12 years, said his volunteers maintain a high community profile in more than a dozen marked vehicles, most of

See SIRT Page 27

Knezovich says the cooperation between SCOPE volunteers and his deputies is invaluable. “They provide a very strong voice helping us do the things that we need to do in a timely manner,” he says. “The SCOPE volunteers effectively free up our detectives, which is critical to the efficiency in our daily operations.” An aspect of the volunteer policing program that the sheriff is particularly grateful for is the monitoring of repeat offenders. SCOPE members assist law enforcement in keeping track of these individuals to assure their legal commitments and rehabilitation requirements are being met. “That’s just one more example of how the program frees up time for our detectives to investigate crime,” Knezovich says. Around the Clock Assistance With fire season in full swing,

From a program like Citizens on Patrol (COP) that patrols commercial areas to protect businesses from thefts to the Sheriff's Incident Response Team (SIRT) that helps direct and calm traffic in and around accidents and crime scenes, SCOPE continues to provide a valuable supplement to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. SCOPE now includes nearly 400 volunteers. Contributed photo


COMMUNITY

12 • AUGUST 2018

The Current

Calendar of Events COMMUNITY EVENTS Aug. 7 | National Night Out – the annual community event promoting public safety and awareness will feature several host sites in the greater Spokane Valley, including the Target store – 13724 E. Sprague Ave. from 4-7 p.m.; Green Bluff Grange – 9809 E. Greenbluff Road, Colbert, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.; University SCOPE – 2008 S. Balfour Blvd., Spokane Valley, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.; Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2511 S. Pines Road, Spokane Valley, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and Pinecroft Fire Station #8, 2110 N. Wilbur Road, Spokane Valley, from 5 to 7 p.m. For more details on these events and National Night Out, see the feature story in this issue. Aug. 11 | Night at the Nat “fun” raiser for Spokane Valley Heritage Museum – 6-10 p.m., Spokane Valley Heritage Museum, 12114 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley. Enjoy an exhibit that recounts memories of the Natatorium Park on the 50th anniversary of its closing. Take photos in an original stainless steel rocket ship from the Circle Swing. The KSPS documentary “Remember When: Nat Park” will be shown at dusk and copies will be available for purchase. The event will also feature refreshments and music. Call to RSVP by Aug. 4 or email spokanevalleymuseum@ gmail.com. Cost is $5 and donations for the museum are encouraged. Aug. 11 | Friends of Pavillion Park Movie Night, "Wonder" - dusk at Pavillion Park, 727 N. Molter Road, Liberty Lake. Free to the community Aug. 17 | Friends of Pavillion Park Movie Night, "Kubo and the

Two Strings" - dusk at Pavillion Park. Free to the community Aug. 22-26 | North Idaho State Fair, Kootenai County Fairgrounds, 4056 N. Government Way, Coeur d'Alene. This annual event will feature five days of music, entertainment, fair food, carnival rides, rodeo competition and more. For more information, including full event listings and ticket prices, visit www.northidahostatefair.com. Aug. 25 | 10th annual Millwood Daze - the day of activities will begin at 8:45 a.m.with a country breakfast served by the Masonic Lodge at the Millwood Community Center, 3223 N. Marguerite Road. Day includes street fair, food vendors, activities, music by the West Valley High School Band and more. Free movie “Sing!” will be shown at dusk. For more information, visit www. MillwoodNOW.org. Sept. 1 | Lud Kramer Memorial Concert featuring the Spokane Symphony – 6 p.m., Pavillion Park. Free to the community Wednesdays through Sept. 26| Millwood Farmers Market – 3 to 7 p.m. Located in front of Millwood Presbyterian Church, 8910 E., Dalton off Argonne. Featuring food and farm vendors, artisan crafts, music and more. Market accepts token System, WIC, senior vouchers, EBT and Fresh Bucks programs. For more information, visit millwoodfarmermar.wix. com/market. Market runs each Wednesday through Sept. 26 other than July 4. For more information, visit www.millwoodpc.org/ millwood-farmers-market/. Saturdays through Oct. 13| Liberty Lake Farmers Market – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Town Square Park, 1421 N. Meadowwood Lane. This popular open-air market features

local food and farm vendors, artisan crafts and baked goods, music and more. The venue is open each Saturday through Oct. 13. For more information, visit www. libertylakefarmersmarket.com. The Rockford Historical Society’s Pioneer Museum will be open on Fridays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., from Memorial Day until the Southeast Spokane County Fair in September. The museum is located at 10 S. First Street in Rockford. For more information, call 291-3193. 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 | 7 to 8 p.m., third Thursday 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-Singles-Mingle. 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

Liberty Lake Kiwanis Foundation’s Debut Mother/Son Golf Tournament September 8th, 2018

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Seeking Sponsors and Participants

Please visit our website for more information: www.libertylakekiwanis.org


The Current

COMMUNITY

| 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 | Meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of February, April, June, August, October and December at Valley Assembly of God Church, 15618 E. Broadway, Spokane Valley. Open to all interested in sharing ideas and skills of our quilting craft. Participants have can access a comprehensive library, can engage experienced teachers and participate in community service projects. More at www. svqgspokane.com Spokane Valley United Methodist Church Free Sunday Lunch | 12:30 p.m., each Sunday in the Fellowship Hall, Room 115 at Spokane Valley United Methodist Church, 115 N. Raymond Road, Spokane Valley. Call 924-7262 for more information.

MUSIC & THE ARTS Aug. 2-5 | “The Music Man” presented by Christian Youth Theater, Magnuson Theatre at Gonzaga University, 502 E. Boone Ave., Spokane. Showtimes are Thursday-Sunday at 7 p.m. with a Saturday matinee at 3 p.m. Tickets are $12-$16. Through Aug. 11 | Inland Northwest Juried Landscape Art Exhibition, Jundt Art Museum, Gonzaga University, 200 E. Desmet Ave., Spokane. This display features works focusing on Inland Northwest

AUGUST 2018 • 13

landscape-based interpretations from artists from the region. Hours are Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays in August | SCRAPS “Paw Art,” 10 a.m. Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS), 6815 E. Trent Ave., Spokane Valley. This free, family-friendly event will feature local artists leading community art projects with canine participation. For more information, contact Janet Dixon at SCRAPS – jkdixon@ spokanecounty.org or 477-2752. Aug. 11 | Coeur d’ Alene Symphony 40th anniversary celebration, 5 p.m. - Coeur d'Alene Resort, 115 S. Second, Coeur d'Alene. Join North Idaho’s acclaimed orchestra in welcoming new conductor Jan Pellant. The night includes hors d’oeuvres, dessert, exceptional entertainment and an auction. Tickets are $75. For more information, call (208) 7653833, email info@cdasymphony. org or visit www.cdasymphony.org/ shop. RECURRING Pages of Harmony | 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Wednesdays. Thornhill Valley Chapel, 1400 S. Pines Road. If you enjoy singing, you will love the four-part, a cappella harmony of this men’s barbershop chorus. More at www.pagesofharmony.org. Spirit of Spokane Chorus | 6:45 p.m., Tuesdays. Opportunity Presbyterian Church, 202 N. Pines Road. Make new friends by joining this women’s chorus, specializing in four-part, a cappella harmony in the barbershop style. More at 2184799. Spokane Novelists Group | Noon to 4 p.m., second and fourth Saturday of the month. Otis Orchards Community Church, 23304 E. Wellesley Ave., Otis Orchards. A support/critique group for writers. Open to anyone with an interest in writing fiction (no memoirs, nonfiction, poetry, etc., please). Participants should bring 5-10 pages to read aloud and 6-8 copies for others to read along and critique. More at 590-7316. Spokane Valley Camera Club | 7:15 p.m., third and fourth Monday of the month (September through April). Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District building, 22510 E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake. All levels of ability—students through experienced photographers—are invited to learn. Social events include field trips and workshops. More at 951-1446 or www.sv-cc. org

See CALENDAR Page 14

Experience the Difference of Pentecost

Come and Pray with Us! Services: Sunday @ 11am & Wednesday @ 7:30pm Prayer: Monday-Saturday 6am-9am www.spokanecornerstonechurch.org 21326 E Mission Ave, Liberty Lake WA.


The Current

14 • AUGUST 2018

CALENDAR

A single donation can save the lives of up to three people. To learn more, visit www.inbcsaves.org or call 1-800-423-0151.

Continued from page 13 HEALTH & RECREATION Aug. 7 | Quit for Good – Tobacco Cessation class. Have you tried quitting smoking before without success? INHS and Providence Health Care are teaming up to provide a free four-week program designed to help you have long-term success in quitting tobacco. Tobacco cessation tools will be available to you as well as tobacco cessation experts. The class includes Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) while supplies last when NRT is not covered by participant’s health insurance. This is a live, interactive webinar. Log in information will be emailed with your registration confirmation. For more information, call 232-8145 or visit www.inhs.info. Aug. 8 | Liberty Lake Community Blood Drive – Greenstone building, 1421 N. Meadowwood Lane, Liberty Lake, 10 to 11:30 a.m. This event will be facilitated by the Inland Northwest Blood Center which reminds residents that it needs an average of 200 blood donors every day to meet the needs of more than 35 hospitals in the Inland Northwest.

Aug. 2 and 29 | Pre-diabetes screening, INHS Community Wellness Center, 501 N. Riverpoint Blvd., Spokane. This simple blood test provides information about a person’s average levels of blood glucose, also called blood sugar, over the past three months. Immediate results are provided and can be discussed at the time of appointment with a registered dietitian and/or a certified diabetes educator. For more information, call 232-8145 or visit www.inhs.info. Sept. 15-16 | Liberty Lake Rotary RIM Ride. Join Rotary for this elevation ride that explores the beautiful areas of Liberty Lake, Post Falls, Green Bluff and Spokane Valley. Cyclists of all ages and ability levels are welcome. Saturday is the 5-mile family ride. Sunday includes the 15, 25, 50 and 100 mile rides. Routes will be clearly marked, with food stops and medical and mechanical support. Proceeds from this ride support various Rotary Club and community outreach projects. For more information, go to www. RotaryInMotion.com Wednesday mornings | Mindful

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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 boardcertified 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.

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 boardcertified 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 August | 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.


The Current

Primary election includes new voter-friendly features By Craig Howard Current Editor If you happen to be a voter in Spokane County, returning your primary election ballot just got a little more convenient this year. Along with a change to pre-paid postage on all ballots, drop-off boxes have been added outside Millwood City Hall as well as Town Halls in Rockford, Spangle and Latah. The white ballot boxes, property of Spokane County, will also reside outside area libraries as usual. Meanwhile, the traditional blue U.S. Postal Service mailboxes continue to be an option for ballot returns. Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton says she will be interested to see how the prepaid postage feature will influence where voters deposit their ballots. Dalton points to the impact in King County last year where prepaid postage meant going from a 50/50 split between use of blue and white boxes to a 70/30 ratio in favor of blue. White boxes in any county have never required postage. Typically in a non-presidential campaign year, primary elections draw a voter turnout percentage in the low 30s, Dalton said. Not having to worry about stamps may change that. “In King County, the increase was 5 to 10 percent,” Dalton said. “We could see high 30s or low 40s here. I’ll be interested to see how it affects our numbers.”

NEWS

The free postage feature will only be in play for one election cycle with the offices of the Secretary of State and Governor picking up the bill statewide.

The first mailing of primary election ballots took place on July 18. A total of 305,000 ballots have been sent out for the Aug. 7 election. Dalton urges voters to “check the last pick-up time for ballots on election day” to ensure their votes are counted. Even though voters will have nearly three weeks to mark and return their ballots, procrastination is often the byword in elections, particularly during the waning days of summer. The final pick-up time for white boxes is 8 p.m. on Aug. 7 while collection times for blue boxes vary and occur earlier in the day than white boxes. “Plan ahead,” Dalton said. “It’s really important to check those pick-up times. You also have fewer mailboxes around than there once were.” Political pundits will be closely watching the primary election returns in several key races, including the quest for the 5th District seat for U.S. Congress. While Republican incumbent Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Democratic challenger Lisa Brown are both expected to advance to the general election, primary numbers will likely provide some indication of who will represent Spokane County and the eastern third of Washington in the nation’s capital. McMorris Rodgers has been the 5th District’s delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives since 2005. Brown, a former state senator and representative, is attempting to become the first Democrat to represent the region in Washington, D.C., since 1994

AUGUST 2018 • 15

MAIL IN YOUR BALLOT BY AUGUST 7TH

when Speaker of the House Tom Foley was unseated in an upset by Republican George Nethercutt.

In the other Washington race with national implications, Sen. Maria Cantwell has nearly 30 challengers on the primary ballot. The incumbent Democrat who has served since 2001 is expected to face the most serious challenge from Republican Susan Hutchinson, a former state GOP chair. Another race to watch is the unique scenario of two Republicans vying for one of three Spokane County commissioner seats. Mary Kuney, who was appointed last year to replace Shelly O’Quinn, is being challenged by current Spokane County Treasurer Rob Chase for commissioner of District 2, an area that includes greater Spokane Valley. The winner will serve out the final two years of O’Quinn’s unexpired term. The other county commissioner race pits incumbent Republican Al French against Robbi Katherine Anthony for District 3. Voters can only cast primary ballots for commissioner candidates within their own district while the races will be determined by voters countywide in the Nov. 6 general election. A pair of incumbent Republican state legislators face opposition on the ballot in their respective

re-election bids. Rep. Matt Shea, representing the 4th District that includes greater Spokane Valley, is being challenged by Democrat Ted Cummings for Pos. 1 while 4th District Rep. Bob McCaslin Jr. is attempting to retain his seat against Democrat Mary May for Pos. 2. In other county races, Michael Baumgartner (R) and David Green (D) are facing off for treasurer; Tom Konis and Leonard Christian, both Republicans, are vying for assessor and Michael Kirk (D) is challenging incumbent Tom Fitzgerald (R) for clerk. While the primary ballot will determine the top two candidates to move on to the fall vote, over 40 political committee officers (PCO) will be decided this month. PCOs are affiliated with a particular political party and comprise the membership of the county’s Democrat and Republican central committees. One of the committee’s duties is to submit a short list of candidates if a vacancy in a partisan office emerges, such as the scenario with O’Quinn last year. PCO hopefuls who collect a winning margin this month will begin their two-year terms in December. “In order to vote in a PCO race, you have to consider yourself a member of that party,” Dalton said.

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The Current

AUGUST 2018 • 17

Roll a die to determine the features to add to each shape to create your own unique monster! Color and send to us! Contest@libertylakesplash.com Come In, Cool Off!

Summer brings change for our Indoor Playground and Open Gym hours! Indoor Playground Summer Hours: Monday-Friday 1:00 PM- 2:00 PM, Friday 6:00PM-8:00 PM. June 25- August 31, 2018. Open Gym Summer Hours- Fridays 6:00 PM- 8:00 PM June 29- August 31, 2018.


The Current

18 • AUGUST 2018

City tackles extensive road improvements this summer By Nina Culver

Current Correspondent Some of Spokane Valley’s busiest streets have been torn up this summer as part of ongoing road maintenance, including portions of three well-traveled avenues – Sprague, Mission and Broadway. A dozen projects were scheduled this year, but the installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) infrastructure on Sullivan Road at Marietta, Euclid, Kiernan and Trent avenues has been postponed. There are still some right-of-way issues that need to be worked out before the fiber optic cable and conduit can be installed, said Spokane Valley Engineering Manager Gloria Mantz. ITS allows communication

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signals to improve traffic flow. The city is adding ITS infrastructure along University Road between Fourth and 16th streets; along Fancher Road between Sprague and Broadway avenues; and along Broadway Avenue between Fancher and Park roads. Broadway Avenue is completely closed near the intersections of Argonne and Mullan for a project to rebuild the intersections with reinforced concrete. The project also includes sidewalk and signal upgrades and improved stormwater drainage. “If we had Broadway open it would delay the project,” Mantz said. “We’re hoping to be done by the middle of September.” Argonne and Mullan are both reduced to two lanes from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. There will be some occasions, including a threeweek stretch that has yet to be determined, when both streets will be down to one lane of traffic. Once the intersections are complete there will be changes to the traffic flow on Broadway. The street, which currently has two lanes in each direction, will have one through lane in each direction and a left turn only lane at both the Argonne and Mullan intersections. A grind and overlay project is taking place on Sprague Avenue from Sullivan Road to Corbin. Traffic is down to one lane in each direction and no left turns are allowed. Sidewalks and corner ramps are also being upgraded where needed. The project is expected to be complete in midAugust. Another grind and overlay project is on Euclid Avenue from Sullivan Road to Flora Road.

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The city is also finishing another section of the Appleway Trail, this one from Sullivan Road to Corbin. The trail is located south of Sprague Avenue. In addition to building the trail, the city is also installing landscaping, lighting, benches and a restroom. The city only needs to complete the section from Sullivan Road to Evergreen Road in order to have a trail that runs from one end of the city to the other, Mantz said. The final section is fully funded and construction is currently scheduled for 2020. The city also has funding to go back and improve the trail that already exists between University

Road and Pines Road. Plans call for the addition of landscaping, a restroom, a drinking fountain and benches. The improvements are scheduled for 2019. Mission Avenue is currently closed from Flora Road to Barker Road for a complete reconstruction. When finished, the road will have two lanes with bike lanes in each direction. A sidewalk is being added to both sides of the street. Eastbound traffic is being detoured to Montgomery Avenue and westbound traffic is being sent to Alki Avenue. In mid-August, traffic heading both east and west will be detoured to Sprague/Appleway. The project is expected to be complete by the end of October. Mantz said she recognizes that having the road closed is difficult. “We want to have the sidewalks to school open by the fall,” she said. “It’s inconvenient for everybody. We try to avoid full closures when we can.” Pines Road is being widened at Grace Avenue from four to five lanes so a left turn lane can be added for northbound and southbound traffic. The city plans start construction of a sidewalk on the north side of 32nd Avenue between Highway 27 and Evergreen Road in midAugust. Another sidewalk project on the north side of Eighth Avenue between Dickey and Thierman is nearly complete. One project, a new asphalt overlay of Mission Avenue from McDonald Road to Evergreen Road, has not yet begun but is scheduled to be complete this fall. Another planned project, an asphalt overlay on Argonne Road between Broadway Avenue and Mission Avenue, may not happen this year, Mantz said. “We haven’t gone out to bid on that yet,” she said. “We’re kind of getting late at this point. We’re going to try.” Most of the projects are paid for with a combination of state and federal grants and matching money contributed by the city. Mantz said she realizes that road construction can be difficult for residents to work their way through. “It’s that time of year,” she said. “Unfortunately, we have a very small construction period here. When it’s done we’ll have some good roads.”

Outdoor Recreational burn restrictions From Splash News Sources

The Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) Fire Marshal announced July 16 that outdoor recreational burn restrictions are now in place, due to extreme fire danger caused by hot, dry weather conditions. This means that citizens residing in the cities of Liberty Lake, Millwood, Spokane Valley and unincorporated areas of Spokane County must discontinue outdoor recreational fires and open burning until further notice. Unauthorized fires include: • All recreational fires – any outdoor fire without a chimney such as a backyard fire pit or campfire using chopped firewood or charcoal • All open Burning – any open burning of fields and yard waste is prohibited at all times Any person found with a recreational fire or conducting open burning who fails to take immediate action to extinguish or otherwise discontinue such burning when ordered or notified to do so will be charged with a misdemeanor. Citizens may continue to use manufactured portable outdoor devices including fireplaces, chimineas, (freestanding frontloading fireplace or oven), barbeques and patio warmers in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Approved fuels such as clean and dry seasoned firewood, charcoal, natural gas or propane gas must be used in appropriate devices. More information about outdoor burning is available at 928-1700 or www.spokanevalleyfire.com. Visit Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency for updated burning restrictions for the greater Spokane area at www.spokanecleanair.org/currentburning-conditions.


The Current

Student of the Month Ayana Oka has been a pillar for the West Valley High School volleyball team since her freshman year. The senior-to-be has lettered the last three years and was team captain as a junior. As a lobero, Oka is a defensive specialist and last season had 262 digs, including 26 in a win against rival East Valley. She was named to the All Great Northern League second team in 2017. Oka is also a standout in track where she participates in the shotput and discus and is a three-time letter winner. In the classroom, Oka maintains a 4.0 grade point average and is a member of Spanish Club, DECA and Link Crew. She is part of the youth group at Life Center Church and has also donated time coaching kids’ volleyball. Oka would like to pursue a career as a neonatal nurse.

Citizen of the Month

Thanks you for all you do in our community

AUGUST 2018 • 19 Whether he’s studying for an AP class, leading the marching band as a co-drum major or simply practicing his trumpet, Jacob Koestner of West Valley High School strives for excellence. The senior-to-be maintains a 4.0 grade point average and is a member of the National Honor Society (NHS). He is the incoming president of West Valley’s NHS chapter and will also serve as co-drum major of the Eagles’ award-winning marching band once again. The program placed first at two prestigious regional competitions last year and was runner-up at another event. As a co-drum major Koestner helps conduct the band at field shows and parades. Koestner is also part of jazz band at WV which finished second at two regional events last year. As a senior, Koestner will participate in Link Crew and Knowledge Bowl.

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THAT PHYSICS SHOW APRIL 6, 2019, 7pm This eye-popping show brings the magic of physics to the stage where the laws of motion, temperature, friction, density and sound waves do all the tricks.

Athlete of the Month If you have attended a Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce event over the last 15 years or so, you have probably seen Gary Roberto. A native of San Diego, Roberto has called this area home since 1995 and served as the chamber’s official photographer for years. Roberto started Spokane Valley Online in 1999 and has specialized in marketing and public relations, working for many local businesses and nonprofits like Meals on Wheels and Spokane Valley Partners. Quick with a smile and friendly word, Roberto always brings positive energy into a room. He studied business at Pasadena City College and was editor of a trade publication in Portland before moving to the Inland Northwest. “Gary has been an allaround kind and generous soul in our community,” said former Valley Chamber CEO Katherine Morgan. “I feel fortunate to have worked with him.”

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The Current

20 • AUGUST 2018 Brought to you by

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SVFD Board salutes Dawson, seeks worthy replacement By Benjamin Shedlock Current Correspondent The Spokane Valley Board of Fire Commissioners is searching for a replacement for Joe Dawson after his May 29 retirement following two decades of service. The board must fill Dawson’s position by Aug. 29, based on state law. According to Board Chair Patrick Burch, replacing Dawson will be much more difficult than simply filling his position. Burch said his former colleague was part of transformational changes that have improved fire services for the Spokane Valley community. “He was very dedicated to his service as fire commissioner,” Burch said. “That shows with his commitment to it over the last 20 years.” Dawson retired for health reasons. He served on the civil service commission prior to his tenure on the fire board. “Joe worked well with everyone,” Fire Commissioner Bill Anderson said, adding that Dawson “was integral” to improving the collaborative environment when he served on the civil service commission in the 1980s. Dawson was widely considered likable. “He always had a joke,” Anderson said, “He and his wife Joann are terrific.” Dawson also brought attention to detail and knowledge of policy. “That was his unique talent,” Burch said. According to Anderson, Dawson was the board’s informal parliamentarian. He was an expert with Roberts Rules of Order and made sure the board followed proper procedures during meetings. Dawson was also a key part of foundational changes that improved conditions for firefighters and services for the community, Anderson remembered. “He brought a different culture

and made things better for the guys,” said Anderson, who was a firefighter himself from 1970 to 2000. Dawson helped the department upgrade to three-man companies and voted to implement the no-smoking policy for Valley firefighters. As board chair, Dawson was integral to the hiring of former Fire Chief Mike Thompson, Anderson said. Dawson also played an important role in helping the department earn the only Class 2 designation on the eastern side of Washington. When Dawson started, the department was a Class 5. The class designations indicate the level of protection a department provides and depend on a wide range of factors. A lower-class designation indicates more protection and helps lower insurance premiums for businesses and homeowners in the protection area. Designations require a certain number of staff and apparatus, according to Anderson. Dawson helped “get a lot of good support from people in the community” to pass the levies necessary to fund the improvements, Anderson said.

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as chair of the firefighters pension board. Dawson had been serving on the board because of his role as fire board chair, but when Burch took on that role, and Dawson moved to the vice chair position, Burch asked him to remain. “He’d been doing such a fantastic job with that, “Burch said. “I didn’t see any reason to make any changes. The Fire Board’s attention has turned to seeking Dawson’s replacement. The five commissioners each serve sixyear terms that rotate to prevent the simultaneous turnover of several commissioners. The board will make an appointment to the position and the appointee will have to run in a special election this fall to be able to serve the remainder of the six-year term. The position would come up for election again on the regular cycle. At its July 23 meeting, the board formalized criteria for replacement candidates. According to Burch, the tentative requirements include

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experience with managing large municipal budgets and labor relations, as well as understanding the role of the fire commissioner. The board also wants to ensure that candidates have an understanding of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), participate in governance of the district with other commissioners and understand the history of the district. They must also be able to represent the district with professionalism, avoid conflicts of interest and maintain confidentiality of items presented in executive session, according to Burch. “We’re elected to represent citizens and use their tax dollars in the most efficient way,” Burch said, underlining the importance to the residents of the greater Spokane Valley in finding a high-quality replacement for Dawson. “As commissioners, we take that very seriously, that the way we use tax dollars provides the services residents expect,” Burch added.

According to a 1997 SpokesmanReview article announcing his appointment, Dawson served on the Spokane Valley Fire Department’s civil service commission in the 1980s. For more than 30 years, he also served in multiple roles in the West Valley School District, including teacher, principal and administrator. In the same article, Dawson said he had no agenda or suggestions for changes. “The community owns (the department),” he was quoted as saying. According to Burch, his outlook has not changed. “He sees the Board of Fire Commissioners as meant to serve the community and fire district,” Burch said. The board is responsible for evaluating the work of the fire chief, is considered the legislative branch of the fire department and manages its affairs and sets its policies. It meets on the second and fourth Monday of each month. For now, Burch has picked up Dawson’s key duties. At the time of his retirement, Dawson served

Joe Dawson retired from the Spokane Valley Board of Commissioners in May after being appointed in 1997. Colleagues credit Dawson with being part of important changes at the Spokane Valley Fire Department during his tenure. He served with the Civil Service Commission prior to his appointment as a fire commissioner. Contributed photo


The Current

AUGUST 2018 • 21

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The Current

22 • AUGUST 2018

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CV not only school juggling coaching transitions

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Splash Sports Editor

Brunelle is being replaced by her two assistants, Brittney Schmidt and Lizzie Roberg. Schmidt competed for her at CV, has assisted for four years and is also the Bears track and field throws coach. Roberg has helped coach for two years.

So much for easing into her job. As Brunelle put it, “She (Barnhart) told me, ‘This is wonderful. I won’t have to hire a coach.’ She’ll hire more than anybody.” Sloan has been replaced by Mike Laws, a CV graduate and longtime basketball assistant. He told me he will incorporate philosophical additions to the already well-tuned program.

By Mike Vlahovich

When Robin Barnhart took over for longtime Central Valley Activities Director Butch Walter prior to the 2017-18 school year, she told me she figured everything would be in place and the transition would be smooth. Turned out it was anything but. Much of the Bears’ coaching staff, it turned out, would eventually need replacing. Besides the announcement of gymnastics coach Kim Brunelle’s retirement, boys’ basketball coach Rick Sloan was the first to resign. Then national Coach of the Year Freddie Rehkow departed after leading the girls’ basketball program to two state 4A crowns in three years along with a national title. Next it was learned that successful boys’ cross country coach Kieran Mahoney would step down and the girls’ coach Dennis McGuire, who led that program to much acclaim, retired. If that weren’t enough, Andres Monrroy, the remarkably successful soccer coach, gave up leading the girls’ squad, but remains boys’

Doug Pecha, whose University of Idaho-bound daughters Anna and Ericka were standout track and cros country athletes, is new girls’ cross country coach, replacing the retired McGuire who had a long, successful career. Girls track coach Geoff Arte adds boys’ cross country to his busy schedule. Monrroy retains the boys’ soccer job, but has given up the girls team because of the required time commitment. Rob Rowe has replaced him. He has been girls’ coach at Freeman for the past several years taking them to state the last three seasons. It’s the perfect fit since he already teaches at CV. There is a new girls’ soccer coach at West Valley this fall, CC Collins. The Eagles are in the process of filling the girls’ softball post.

Griggs, formerly of North Central, and boys’ basketball coach Jeremy Knee. University named a new girls’ soccer coach, former Titan All-GSL soccer standout, softball player and Washington State athlete Kara (Jordan) Sharpe. Besides a successor for Rowe, Freeman replaced football coach Jim Wood and basketball coach Marty Jessett. Addendum to last month’s Final Point: When I wrote the somewhat tongue-in-cheek column on my introduction to and truce with soccer, I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you I was once a soccer coach. It came when my oldest son, Jared, joined a neighborhood youth team that needed a “coach.” As

fate would have it I got recruited. Unfamiliar as I was with the strategy of the game it was another sport, basketball, that led to success. That first game between 6-yearolds the kids would clump around the ball kicking more shins than anything else. Inevitably the ball escaped from the scrum where a straggler on the outside alone somehow guided the ball in the proper net, the rest of the teams’ players in futile pursuit. Something had to change, a light bulb turned on. I incorporated basketball’s three-on-one fast break as our offensive style. It opened up the field and the players anticipating the scrum couldn’t handle our open-field passing style. We never lost again. I haven’t coached the sport since.

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The Current

CVSD land purchase shifts site for third high school

By Jamie Borgan Splash Correspondent With the purchase of over 99 acres in Greenacres last month, the Central Valley School District (CVSD) is one step closer to delivering on its promise to voters to build a new high school by 2021. CVSD approached the Spokane Gun Club earlier this spring regarding the sale of the land. Club members voted on June 30 in favor of the sale. The decision was approved July 2 by the club’s board. The purchase was approved unanimously by the CVSD Board on July 3 and is set to

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background checks, are interviewed to determine if they are a good fit for the program and are educated on the work of community policing volunteers. “SCOPE volunteers do everything from patrolling neighborhoods in retired law enforcement vehicles to gathering fingerprints for crime

AUGUST 2018 • 23

close in early August, says Central Valley Superintendent Ben Small. Construction on the site should begin in July of 2019. Voters overwhelmingly approved a $129.9 million bond in February of this year to cover costs for construction of a new high school, new middle school, renovation of Horizon Middle School and updates to several elementary schools. A 2015 bond had allowed the district to address some of the overcrowding challenges at the elementary and middle school levels through the construction of several schools. Small says that the burgeoning population of students in the Central Valley School District had also pushed high schools in the district over capacity, necessitating the construction of a third comprehensive high school. The district states that current capacity in Central Valley high schools is 3,187 students, and current enrollment is 4,324

students. With enrollment estimated to grow to nearly 4,500 by 2021, the need for new space was clear to the district. The construction of the 240,000-square-foot high school will expand the CVSD’s capacity by 1,600 students. Originally, the district planned to build the new high school on land it owned at 16th and Henry in the Saltese area. The district changed course when plans for building on the land came in $2.7 million over budget due to cost of infrastructure improvements, including road upgrades and the addition of sewer and water. The land acquired by the district is located northwest of Henry Road and Sprague Avenue and south of Country Vista Drive. The district will end up paying a little over $8 million to purchase the land, but the acquisition should bring the budget for the new school much more in line

with projections. Small says unexpected costs that arose in the planning at the 16th and Henry site prompted the change. He says the land purchase from the club is advantageous for the district for a number of reasons, including easier accessibility than the Henry site, capacity for growth for the schools, including athletic fields and, most importantly, in the ability to “complete this project on time and on budget, delivering on our commitments to the voters.” “The site is better for a growing Central Valley community,” Small says, “it allows the district to maximize and be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.” The district will conduct several open houses to keep the public aware of its plans. Additional information can be found on the CVSD website at www.cvsd.org under the “High School Planning” page.

investigations,” Scott said. “They give talks about crime prevention, home safety, and more, and watch out for the elderly and children in communities. Our volunteers provide all around community help.” And a lot of help it is, in the neighborhood of 75,000 volunteer hours a year. Lately, Scott says, a top concern is speeding through

neighborhoods. Community volunteers can be invaluable in reporting license plates of speeders and managing speed patrols. “National Night Out is also a good time to celebrate” says Scott, who has more than 20 years with SCOPE starting as a volunteer. “Volunteers get thanked and supported and feel empowered to take back their

neighborhoods.” If you would like to host a National Night Out party on your block, you can go to www.spokanecounty.org and search Neighborhood Watch newsletter for more information on registering your party and to request city or county officials or law enforcement to attend. You can also find out about other events and parties happening in your area.

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The Current

24 • AUGUST 2018

SUMMER FAMILY FUN! Armed Forces Appreciation & Fireworks Night Friday, August 24th vs. Salem-Keizer Volcanoes Game Time 6:30 pm Spokane Indians will wear special edition hats honoring service men and women of our United States Armed Forces, veterans, and support organizations to be auctioned off during the game. Plus join us for another great Fireworks Show after the game. sponsored by:

SPOKANE

HURRY! SEASON ENDS SEPT 3rd B UY YOU R TIC K ETS NOW! Tues. 8/14 - 6:30pm vs. Everett

Thurs. 8/23 - 6:30pm vs. S-K

Sun. 8/26 - 3:30pm vs. S-K

Sun. 9/2 - 3:30pm vs. Vancouver

Wed. 8/15 - 6:30pm vs. Everett

Fri. 8/24 - 6:30pm vs. S-K

Mon. 8/27 - 6:30pm vs. S-K

Mon. 9/3 - 6:30pm vs. Vancouver

Thurs. 8/16 - 6:30pm vs. Everett

Sat. 8/25 - 6:30pm vs. S-K

Sat. 9/1 - 6:30pm vs. Vancouver

Future Texas Ranger & Taco Tuesday Fireworks Night & Nurse Appreciation Superhero Night & Team Photo

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The Current

Good times and knowledge await you at the library By Erin Dodge Current Guest Contributor

Good times and knowledge await you at Spokane County Library District. Slow things down to listen to American folksongs, ramp up your competitive spirit with trivia and games or take your financial knowledge to the next level, especially if you’re thinking of buying a home or worried about scammers. Get Nostalgic You’re sure to be inspired to sing along when American troubadour Adam Miller performs “I'll Sing You a Story: Traditional American Folksongs.” Bring the whole family, your friends and neighbors to hear wonderful folksongs and

Summer crescendo includes plenty of family library fun By Erin Dodge

Current Guest Contributor Summer isn’t over for kids and families! You’ll find plenty of entertainment and merriment at Spokane County Library District. Jim Gill Family Concert is an extraordinary good time! Sing, clap, jump, dance and even sneeze along as Jim strums energetic rhythms on his banjo. Everyone in your family can experience his joyful music together. Admission is free. The concert takes place on Saturday, Aug. 25, at 10 a.m. at CenterPlace Regional Event Center, 2426 N Discovery Place, Spokane Valley. Parents and caregivers can get training in our STARS Training workshop “Jim Gill: Joyous Music Play to Promote Literacy, Readiness, Math Development, & Inclusion” to get inspired about

LIBRARY stories. You can catch Adam Miller at Otis Orchards Library on Wednesday, Aug. 1 at 6 p.m., at Argonne Library on Saturday, Aug. 4 at 3 p.m. and at Spokane Valley Library on Wednesday, Aug. 8 at 7 p.m. Get Competitive Crush the competition at “Random Fandom Trivia Nights: The Office.” This event is for grown-ups and happens Friday, Aug. 17, 6:30 p.m. at Spokane Valley Library. You’re invited to bring some snacks and dress up as your favorite character from the show. Teens and adults team up and face off at Game Night on Thursday, Aug. 23, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Spokane Valley Library. You can enjoy the competitive race of “Settlers of Catan” or the cooperative nature of “Pandemic,” or bring a board game to share with others. Amplify Financial Know-how Buying a home can be a dream come true and an overwhelming process at the same time. In sharing a repertoire of songs and playful literacy activities with the children in their lives. The workshop takes place on Saturday, Aug. 25, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Spokane Valley Library and you can register online at www.scld.org/stars-training. Feel the pounding of the Spokane Taiko Drums from the top of your head to the soles of your feet on Thursday, Aug. 2, at 11 a.m. at Argonne Library. After this energetic performance on traditional Japanese drums, you are invited to play a beat or two. If you’re going into grades 3, 4, or 5 this fall, then “Late Night Nerf Battle” is for you! When the library closes, the Nerf battle begins. Between skirmishes, relax with tasty snacks and fastpaced games. The battle takes place Friday, Aug. 3, from 7 to 10 p.m. at Spokane Valley Library. Registration and a permission slip are required and you can sign up at www.scld.org/nerf-battle. The whole family is invited to our “Disney Celebration” on Tuesday, Aug. 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Spokane Valley Library. Costume contests will happen at

AUGUST 2018 • 25

the two-session Homebuyer Education Seminar on Tuesday, Aug. 21, and Thursday, Aug. 23, at 6 p.m. at Argonne Library, you’ll explore all of the major aspects of the homebuying process in an unbiased format with instructors from SNAP Financial Access certified by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. At the end of the seminar, you will be issued a certification of completion, which can be used to apply for downpayment assistance. Registration is required, so sign up on the SNAP education calendar at www. snapwa.org/education-calendar. Being proactive makes great financial sense. Learn how to protect your hard-earned money from predators and scams at the STCU workshop Prevent Fraud & Identity Theft on Tuesday, Aug. 28 at 6 p.m. at Argonne Library. Sign up online at www.stcu.org/ workshops.

Joyful Music & Family Play Sing, Clap, Jump, Dance, EVEN SNEEZE along to the energetic & award-winning rhythms of Jim Gill.

I bet you’re already feeling nostalgic, pumped up and knowledgeable. See you at the library! 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Drop your Disney knowledge during a round of trivia. Play games, eat snacks, and get your picture taken with a Disney character during what will no doubt be a magical evening. Calling all Pokémon card collectors! Experienced and new trainers of all ages do battle at our seventh annual Pokémon Card Tournament on Tuesday, Aug. 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Spokane Valley Library. You can bring your Pokémon cards or borrow a deck from us. Just remember we play for fun, not for keeps. Kids of all ages know not to let the pigeon drive the bus! Meet your bus driver, see the pigeon try to drive the bus and listen to entertaining stories about buses at the “Touch-a-Bus Storytime” on Wednesday, Aug. 29, at 10:30 a.m. at Spokane Valley Library. When the stories have all been shared, you can hop onto a Spokane Transit Authority bus with your family and friends for a ride around the block. I hope you capture some funfilled memories at these library events!

Jim Gill Family Concert Saturday, August 25, 10am CENTERPLACE 2426 N DISCOVERY PLACE ALL AGES FREE ADMISSION

www.scld.org


The Current

26 • AUGUST 2018

10814 E Broadway Spokane Valley, WA 99206

Your theatre in Spokane Valley!

proudly presents our 14th season!

Sept. 7-23 2018

Harvey by Mary Chase

"Have you seen a big white rabbit? - Classic theater at its finest!"

Two Witches, No Waiting

Nov. 9-25 2018

by Pat Cook

"Love potions and Southern charms spell double toil and trouble in this magical comedy."

Feb. 8-24 2019

Life Support by George Tricker "A dramatic comedy where traumatic times cause opposites to attract”

April 12-28 2019

Bloody Murder by Ed Sala "Not just a “who-done-it," but also a mystery that asks "who-wrote-it, who-stops-it, and who's next?"

June 7-23 2019

Bottoms Up!

by Gregg Kreutz "A tropical farce full of vacation ups and downs, where Bermuda shorts and bikinis abound”

And join us for three great“Booklight” Readers Theatre productions! Oct. 19 - 21, Mar. 15 - 17, Dec. 14 - 16, 2018 2019 2018

The Night Of January 16th by Ayn Rand

A Christmas Pudding

King Lear by William Shakespeare

Get tickets and find more information about Ignite! including volunteer opportunities, audition notices, and improv at

igniteonbroadway.org Season Tickets on sale now - just $60!

See all 5 fully produced shows plus our 3 “Booklight” productions and our “Fire Brigade” Improv shows for just $60 per person!

Construction season brings upgrades to Millwood infrastructure By Nina Culver

Current Correspondent Construction is booming this summer in Millwood and when it’s all over, residents will have new sidewalks, better parking and a new trail for walking and cycling. A project to improve the sidewalks and parking at Millwood City Park kicked off in early July. The park is popular and often hosts large events, but there just wasn’t enough street parking, said Mayor Kevin Freeman. “With the fire station there, that gets a little hazardous,” he said. The southern edge of the park is being redesigned. A slope down into the park now has a retaining wall and staircases. ADA accessible ramps are being added on the west and east ends of the park. The curbside parking has been changed to offer nose-in parking, creating 61 parking slots. “That’s way more,” Freeman said. New drainage swales on the south side of the park will be used to showcase a variety of street trees. That will allow people considering the addition of street trees a place to see what the different varieties look like, Freeman said. This summer, crews also took out a few trees, some of them rotted, to make the play field regulation sized for lacrosse and soccer. The project, which is expected to cost $300,000, has been years in the making because the city paid for all of it without any outside grant funding, Freeman said. Construction is expected to be complete by the first week of August. “It’s going to be a really nice enhancement,” the mayor said. Next up is the Millwood Interurban Trail, which will follow the old Great Northern Railroad right-of-way south of Euclid Avenue and south of the existing railroad tracks. It will start at Vista Road near West Valley High School. “They’re actually giving up some parking spaces to do this,” Freeman said of the West Valley School District. A flashing pedestrian crossing signal will be put up on Argonne Road where the trail will cross just north of the Bronzed Beanz coffee shop, Freeman said. The trail will run alongside the northern edge of Millwood City Park, where park access points will be constructed for trail users. The trail will end at the city limits at Trent. The $1.2 million project is being paid for primarily with a $1 million

federal grant. Construction will begin in mid-August. The goal is to make the trail part of a regional trail that will connect at either end to the Centennial Trail, Freeman said. The city of Spokane is currently designing a section that will run on the Great Northern Railroad right-of-way from Spokane Community College to Fancher Road. The sections of right-of-way immediately to the east and west of Millwood are the responsibility of the city of Spokane Valley, which has been reluctant to move forward with the project, Freeman said. All of the rightof-way is owned by Spokane County, which signed a lease agreement with Millwood to allow the trail to be built within the Millwood city limits. Freeman said he hopes to convince the Spokane Valley City Council to at least finish the section from Fancher to Vista. “That would at least connect us to Spokane,” he said. “We would strongly urge the Valley to create a complete trail. I think that would be a win for the area at large.” Improvements are also coming this summer to the railroad crossing at Marguerite and Euclid that had an automated gate installed last year. The gap in the sidewalk on the west side of Marguerite will be filled in. People often park just north of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks in that area and the city recently realized that the parking was taking place on the railroad right of way, Freeman said. The city signed an agreement with Union Pacific to lease a portion of the right of way north of the tracks from Vista to Trent. That lease agreement makes the city responsible for mowing and maintenance, but the city will also put in curbing and parking improvements where it can, Freeman noted. The project is estimated to cost $192,000, which is coming from the city’s budget. The city didn’t plan on all three projects happening at the same time, according to Freeman. “We’ve pursued them and pursued them and pursued them and they all come in at once,” he said. There is another major project coming up – this one will be completed by Union Pacific. The railroad crossing on Argonne Road is severely deteriorated and needs to be replaced but it’s up to the railroad to decide when it is done, Freeman said. “They will completely close Argonne for up to two days,” he said. Those days have now been confirmed as July 31 and Aug. 1. The railroad was required to give the city two weeks’ notice before they began construction and the city has been working to update citizens and businesses about the closure. “We will keep folks informed,” Freeman said.


The Current

AUGUST 2018 • 27

SIRT

10th Annual

Continued from page 11

2018 Millwood Daze

which are retired squad cars.

While volunteer community policing units are not exclusive to Spokane County, Scott says per capita SCOPE stands out nationally for its high level of participation. “At one point, we had a higher percentage of volunteers than much more urban areas like L.A. or King County (Washington),” he says. “I’ve traveled the country and there’s really nothing comparable to what we do in Spokane County in terms of volunteering.” SCOPE is also the only community policing program to provide support on a military base (Fairchild Air Force Base), Scott says. Knezovich says SCOPE’s presence at Fairchild, “just shows the ability for these volunteers to further provide a link to all aspects of our community.” Dedication and Diversity While SCOPE volunteers come from all walks of life, Scott says most of its members of are retired. Such is the case of 81-year-old Larry Gants, who has been with SCOPE for nearly three years and currently oversees the unit’s radar reader board program. “I’ve spent my whole life volunteering and what I find so rewarding is having an immediate positive impact on the community,” Gants says. “I like giving back to the community and doing something extremely worthwhile and personally satisfying – and you can’t beat the pay!” Gants, whose son also volunteers for SCOPE, says his involvement with the SIRT unit is particularly rewarding “because it relieves officers of traffic control and allows them to get out and do significantly more important things.” While he enjoys working with volunteers who are mostly retired like himself, Gants says it would be nice to add a younger element to the SCOPE team. “I would encourage anybody looking for a rewarding experience to volunteer and we could certainly use some young input!” he said. Knezovich says without assistance from SCOPE volunteers, response times to crimes and investigative efforts would be considerably hindered, casting a negative light on law enforcement. “They (SCOPE unit) provide a

SCOPE volunteers monitor disabled parking spaces to make sure they are utilized by authorized motorists. Contributed photo

strong voice for the community,” he said. “So, they really are a lynch pin between us and the public.” All in a Day’s Work Scott says what has kept him active in SCOPE after all these years is the people he works with. “Really, what we’re all about is making the community safer,” he says. “And it’s working with the volunteers that keeps me going. They’re out there every day doing their best to make our community a better place to live.” Gants enthusiastically agrees. “I just loving working with these people,” he says. “It keeps me young.”

Volunteers welcome

To learn more about volunteer opportunities, visit scopespokanewa.org or contact the SCOPE office at 477-3376. Cost-Effective Enforcement

Law

SCOPE receives $258,000 in funding annually. In 2017, volunteers logged more than 73,000 hours. Based on data provided by the county, those hours carry a value of more than $2.2 million (based on an hourly rate of $30.46). A look at where the most SCOPE volunteer hours were logged in 2017: Spokane Valley substations, which include East Valley, West Valley, University, Central Valley, Trentwood and Edgecliff (29,307 hours) Sheriff Incident Response Team (16,084 hours) North hours)

substation

(10,009

Mounted Equine (4,078 hours) Medical Lake (2,658 hours)

Patrol

substation

August 25th, 2018

Country Breakfast by Masonic Lodge (Millwood Community Center) AnyTime Fitness Family Challenge: 9:00am start Entertainment Stage WVHS band kicking off at 8:45 am and all day entertainment Street Fair with activities and food trucks, Street Dance w/ free dance class from 5PM – 6PM and dancing from 6:00pm – 8:00PM Free movie: SING! (behind Rocket Bakery)

Near East Dalton street between Argonne and Dale in Millwood, WA Questions? Contact www.MillwoodNOW.org S

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The Current

28 • AUGUST 2018

SVFD Report – August 2018

From Current News Sources As of July 16, outdoor recreational fires and open burning are restricted due to high fire danger in the cities of Liberty Lake, Millwood, Spokane Valley and unincorporated Spokane County. This means any outdoor fire without a chimney – including campfires and backyard fire pits (with or without screens) – are prohibited. Open burning of fields, yard waste and garbage is always prohibited. Read more at www. spokanevalleyfire.com. Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) crews responded to a total of 1,546 emergency calls from June 22 to July 22. Incidents included: • Grass fire – June 28 – SVFD firefighters responded to a reported grass fire in the 3000 block of North Idaho Road shortly after 1 p.m. The fire was reported to be traveling toward the Upriver Stables about 200 yards away. Firefighters established a wet line around the slow-moving brush fire with assistance from Kootenai County Fire & Rescue and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) crews before extinguishing the fire. Investigators believe fireworks caused this fire. • Duplex fire – June 30 – Shortly

before 10:40 a.m., firefighters responded to a reported structure fire in the 4200 block of North Avalon. The 64-year-old resident was trapped in her bedroom by intense heat and smoke. Firefighters quickly entered the small residence and rescued the woman while additional crews extinguished the kitchen fire. The woman was airlifted to Seattle with life-threatening injuries. The cause of the fire was a range malfunction leaving $25,300 damage. The woman’s dog died in the fire. • Water rescue – July 16 – Firefighters responded to a report of a man yelling for help in the Spokane River just west of the Barker Bridge shortly before 3:45 p.m. The man was too tired to swim and was holding onto a rock. He was not wearing a life jacket. SVFD water rescue teams quickly launched their kayaks while firefighters searched for and found access to the man from shore. They threw a rope and pulled the young man to shore after he said he could hang on but his legs were cramping and he couldn’t swim. He was transported to the hospital. SVFD offers the following recommendations to be safe in the river this summer: • Check river and stream conditions before heading out on your adventure • Know that water temperatures can be deceptive. Air

temperatures may feel hot and the water may feel or appear warm, but temperatures can be extremely cold below the surface Hypothermia can quickly set in and overwhelm even the strongest of swimmers • Never swim or float alone. There is safety in numbers • Always let someone know where you are going and when you will return • Wear a properly fitted personal flotation device (life jacket) for all river activities. Don’t assume you have the swimming skills to keep you afloat – even the strongest swimmers can drown. A Spokane County ordinance requires boaters and floaters to wear life jackets between the Idaho state line and Plante’s Ferry Park • Do not try to stand up if you fall into fast-moving water. The force of the water may push you over or cause your foot to become trapped in the rocks along the bottom of the river. Watch for undercurrents • Avoid using alcohol or other intoxicating substances • Extrication – July 11 – Shortly before 7 a.m., multiple SVFD units responded to a reported collision between a dump truck and a passenger car at Trent Avenue and McKinzie Road. Firefighters provided emergency medical care to the trapped driver and passenger of the

vehicle, which had been hit on the driver side by the dump truck. SVFD also positioned fire engines to safely block traffic. Washington State Patrol reported the 16-year-old female driver pulled out in front of the dump truck and died at the scene. Her 19-year-old sister was airlifted to the hospital. • Brush fire – July 5 – Firefighters were called to the 2400 block of South Zephyr Road just after 2 p.m. in response to a fire reported in the hills above the Off Road Vehicle (ORV) Park. Incoming units noted a smoke column and upgraded the response to the highest level, bringing more firefighting resources to the scene. The slow-moving grass and timber fire began to burn more quickly uphill and was estimated to be about five acres before several aerial water drops stopped the fire. Spokane Valley firefighters were assisted by crews from DNR and water tender trucks from Spokane County Fire Districts 9 and 13. Firefighters noted the remains of a campfire near the fire’s starting point. • Brush fire – July 13 – Firefighters responded to a reported brush fire burning just north of the Granite Point Apartments in the 12900 block of East Mansfield Ave shortly before 10:30 a.m. A smoke column was visible, along with heavy smoke in the trees inside a fenced natural area

See FIRE Page 29

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The Current

AUGUST 2018 • 29

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

Larry Passmore circulation@libertylakesplash.com

CIRCULATION

CONTRIBUTORS

Linda Ball, Jamie Borgan, Nina Culver, Erin Dodge, Keith Erickson, Bill Gothmann, Craig Howard, Julie Humphreys, Staci Lehman, Benjamin Shedlock, Mike Vlahovich 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.

The Current is brought to you by

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

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

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FIRE

Continued from page 28

just west of Mirabeau Point Park. The fire was generally burning in low brush in sloped, rocky terrain. SVFD units worked closely with crews from DNR, Spokane Fire Department and Spokane County Fire District 8 to establish a containment line around the fire just before 12 p.m. One firefighter was treated for heat-related illness. No structures were damaged or lost in the fire. No evacuations took place. The fire burned two to three acres in the natural area. DNR was investigating the cause of the fire. • Motor vehicle accident – July 14 - Shortly before 11:15 p.m., SVFD crews responded to a motor vehicle accident in the 1600 block North Liberty Lake Road. A 31-yearold male riding his motorcycle was attempting to turn and did not see the curb. He hit the curb and was thrown to the ground. Firefighters treated injuries to his knee and shoulder before he was transported to the hospital. • Upriver Beacon fire – July 17 – Spokane Valley firefighters responded to a request from Spokane County Fire District 9 to provide mutual aid to battle a fastmoving wildfire burning north of Upriver Road up Beacon Hill toward the northwest. At the height of the fire, nine SVFD crews, command and support staff were on scene, working to save homes and provide public information. SVFD crews were also supporting neighboring fire districts by responding to emergency calls into the Spokane and District 9 service areas left depleted by the three-alarm wildfire. Early on July 18, firefighting efforts were taken over by a State Mobilization Type 3 Incident Management Team. Fire Commissioner vacancy – Applications are now being accepted from citizens interested in serving the community as a member of the Spokane Valley Fire Department Board of Fire Commissioners. The board will appoint one individual to fill a current vacancy. Applications are due by Aug. 10 at 4 p.m. More at www.spokanevalleyfire.com or by calling 928-1700. By the numbers: • Fires* - 130 • Emergency medical service 1,216 • Motor vehicle accidents - 94 • Hazardous materials - 14 • Building alarms - 53 • Service calls - 23 • Vehicle extrication - 7 • Water rescue - 7 • Rescue Task Force - 2 *Brush, Commercial, Residential, Rubbish, Vehicle Fires and Unauthorized Burning

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

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Ofnote:ThisthankyoumessagewasproducedbyTheCurrent’sadvertisingteam,whichworksitstailoff onbehalfofpartnerbusinesses,helpingthemsharetheirmessagesthroughadvertisements.ThisisanindependentfunctionfromTheCurrent’seditorialteam,whichhasitsownevaluationprocesstodeterminethe community news stories and features it pursues. For more information about a win-win partnership that expertlymarketsyourbusinesstothousandsofreaders(whilemakingthishome-growncommunitynewspaperpossible),emailadvertise@valleycurrent.com.Withstoryideas,contacteditor@valleycurrent.com.


The Current

30 • AUGUST 2018

For our customers. For our communities. For the future. Avista has a long, proud history of serving the Inland Northwest. But we can’t rest on that achievement. Our industry is undergoing a transformational change right now. Consolidation is changing the playing field for smaller utilities like ours. The proposed merger with Hydro One will not only preserve our identity and nearly 130-year-old legacy, but also better prepare us for the future. We believe this partnership is good for you and for us:  We’ll continue to operate as a standalone company under the same name, from the same headquarters in Spokane, with the same employees, overseen by a board of directors with regional representation.  State utility commissions, not Hydro One, will continue to set Avista's rates, which will include only the costs for Avista to serve its customers. Avista will continue to be regulated and operate under the utility commissions' rules.  We’ll continue our philanthropic efforts in the communities we serve. In fact, Hydro One has committed to nearly doubling our current levels of contributions. And the merger means additional funding for energy efficiency and low-income programs.  Teaming up with Hydro One during a time of strength and growth for our company is a unique opportunity to continue to pursue technological innovation, economic development, and community support in an evolving energy landscape. Clean, safe, reliable service at reasonable rates. Enhanced commitment to the communities we serve. A stronger foundation for the future.

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The Current

Chamber event touts many benefits of outdoor recreation By Staci Lehman

Current Correspondent Living in the Northwest, many of us are fans of fishing, hiking, camping, boating and lots of other outdoor activities. As Americans though, we are hardwired to work long hours, drive the kids to school and sports practice, clean the house and keep up with any number of other responsibilities that keep us indoors and busy. Research shows that Americans spend approximately 87 percent of their time indoors. Another 6 percent of our time is spent in a vehicle. If you do the math, that means only 7 percent of one’s time spent outdoors, an average of less than 12 hours a week. Studies also show that spending time outside is extremely beneficial to our mental health, reducing stress levels, and increasing physical health, which is why the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce recently hosted a presentation on the importance of outdoor recreation in our area as part of their Business Connections program.

ON THAT NOTE

AUGUST 2018 • 31

Turns out the impact of playing outside is two-fold for our region – benefitting both the people who get outdoors as well as the regional economy.

RVing, fishing, hunting, boating, ATVing, biking and climbing. That’s 4 percent of the state’s economic output, which brings in $2.1 billion in taxes for Washington each year.

associated with outdoor recreation.

Dave Gilbert, assistant director for Outdoor Programs at Gonzaga University, was the featured speaker at the July 20 event held at CenterPlace Regional Event Center in Spokane Valley. According to Gilbert, the wide-ranging industry known as “outdoor recreation” accounted for $373 billion in economic activity in 2016 and that number continues to grow.

“It’s growing and it’s growing,” said Gilbert. “Faster than the economy overall. We’re a little more outdoorsy than the national average.”

“If you build a park, the properties around it are going to increase in value,” Gilbert said. “Being close to good outdoor areas – trailheads, boat launches – has the same affect but its’ more diffused and over longer timelines.”

“That puts it in the department with some really big industries – mining, legal services, construction, natural gas.”

“These activities are a real good way for money to move from urban areas to rural areas,” Gilbert said. “Folks from Seattle going to Leavenworth or people from Portland going to White Salmon.”

The numbers Gilbert shared are from a study that resulted from the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act passed by President Obama in 2016. While the official report from that study will not come out until this October, preliminary data shows the level of economic impact equals about 2 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product and includes everything from fish hooks to ATVs to campground fees and more. Prior to that survey, Washington State’s Outdoor Industry Association conducted its own study on the impact of outdoor recreation in the state in 2015, according to Gilbert. That report says $20.5 billion comes in annually from rec opportunities such as

The numbers are broken down by category to show that sightseeing and nature activities are the most utilized outdoor recreation options, followed by boating (including kayaking and canoeing).

It’s also a “high velocity” revenue stream, according to Gilbert, meaning money raised from outdoor recreation tends to be circulated by being spent on other services and products, versus going into a savings account where it does nothing immediately to help the economy. Some of that is because people who work in the industry generally are not making large enough salaries to put much in savings. “A lot of people in this industry do it as a passion and tend not to get rich,” Gilbert said of the fishing guides, rafting guides, retail clerks and many others that work in the wide range of businesses

Even if you don’t work in the industry, having outdoor recreation facilities nearby can benefit your personal economy.

Then there are the physical benefits. As a country of people who spend a lot of time sitting at desks, watching TV and playing video games, the U.S. has an unprecedented epidemic of health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and more. Outdoor activities such as bicycling, hiking, skiing, water sports, climbing, and golf are great workouts that help shed extra weight, provide cardiovascular benefits and mental stimulation. Even less physical options such as fishing, gardening or picnicking help with relaxation, stress relief and clarity. “So if you need to do a problemsolving task, go backpacking for a few days,” Gilbert said. And if backpacking isn’t your thing, there are many other options and ways to get started. Gilbert says it doesn’t matter what you do, just find something you enjoy. “Get involved personally,” he said. “Go outside, find a club, find an activity.”

Studies show that outdoor recreation improves physical and mental health, yet Americans spend an average of less than 12 hours a week outside. Last month, Dave Gilbert, assistant director for Outdoor Programs at Gonzaga University, shed light on the topic at a presentation sponsored by the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce. The outdoor recreation industry also benefits the regional economy, Gilbert said. File Photos


The Current

32 • AUGUST 2018

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