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2 • FEBRUARY 2018

NEWS

and runner, he says completing a marathon is one of his post-career goals.

The Park Bench

While Millwood may no longer be Richardson’s professional home, he says he will certainly be back to visit.

Millwood’s Mr. Magnanimity – Richardson known for generosity, insight

“Millwood is one of those unique places I’ve worked where you can be at a grocery store or coffee shop and people will recognize you and say “hello,’” he said. “That’s pretty rare.” Q: People often talk about the close-knit fabric of Millwood. Having worked there for almost a decade, what do you think makes this community special?

By Craig Howard Current Editor

Last month, Tom Richardson dropped by Millwood City Hall to chat with a local reporter. He had officially retired from his post as city clerk and planner at the end of 2017 but a visitor to the town’s headquarters had some questions as Richardson’s media interview was wrapping up. True to his tenure as a calm and considerate city employee for nearly a decade, Richardson patiently listened and responded to the citizen’s concerns while politely adding a footnote that he was, in fact, no longer on the municipal payroll. While he doesn’t mind answering the occasional question related to his former job, Richardson said he also wants to make sure folks in Millwood know that Christina Janssen – his successor as city clerk/planner and a longtime city of Spokane Valley employee – is well-suited to step in and tackle his former responsibilities. Millwood Mayor Kevin Freeman said Richardson’s adept customer service was just one of many attributes he brought to the town of 1,700 residents when he was hired on in 2008 after working 28 years for the city of Cheney. “I really think Tom brought us to the next level with his experience and long-range vision,” Freeman said. “Whether it was grant funding or municipal development, he really helped the city have the ability to participate in that larger, regional realm.” As for Richardson’s mellow, Bob Newhart-like demeanor – unruffled during even the most strained City Council discussions – Freeman said

The Current

Tom Richardson recently retired as Millwood’s city clerk and planner. He was hired in 2008 after working 28 years for the city of Cheney. Photo by Craig Howard his former colleague had a ripple effect on fellow employees. “I never saw Tom get frustrated at a person, just a situation,” he said. “He’s just a very low-key guy who was very receptive with the public, with City Council, with everyone.” Richardson was raised in a family with five siblings, a father who worked in school administration and a mother who was a nurse at Sacred Heart Hospital. He was 9 years old when his parents moved the family to Spokane from Rosalia where his dad had been working as a high school principal. Richardson played baseball and basketball in high school and enrolled at Gonzaga University after graduation. He went to GU for two-and-a-half years before transferring to the University of Washington where he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. After receiving his master’s in urban planning from UW in 1977, Richardson latched on with the city of Deer Park in an assistant administrative role – even before “community development” was part of the lingo. “There was some urban renewal back then with the block grant programs but it was still pretty new,” Richardson recalls. “My first three jobs, I was the first person in that position.” By 1980, Richardson had moved on to the city of Cheney as planning coordinator. His first major assignment was to help

coordinate the clean-up of volcanic ash that had drifted over from Mt. St. Helens. Richardson later took on the lead role with Cheney’s electric utility, serving as light director for a decade. The experience would serve him well in Millwood as he offered insight to the town’s water and sewer operations. Richardson made the transition from Cheney to Millwood in 2008, initially starting as city planner then adding the clerk role a year later following the passing of Eva Colomb, a well-respected fixture as clerk/treasurer for 17 years. Richardson was thrown into a busy mix early on with the major renovation of Argonne Road in 2009. Over the years, he has played an integral part in many critical projects, including Millwood’s Shoreline Management Plan, the blueprint for the Millwood Trail and coordination of groups like the Millwood Historical Preservation Commission and the town’s Tree Board. “I’ve been impressed with the quality of people in Millwood,” Richardson said. “People here are invested in their community.” Richardson turned 65 last September. He and his wife Michelle reside in north Spokane and will celebrate 20 years of marriage in August. They are parents to two children. As for transitioning into retirement, Richardson plans to keep a steady stride. A cyclist

A: In many ways Millwood is a small town surrounded by a big city. There is a tremendous level of community identity among Millwood residents compared to other parts of the Valley and the greater Spokane area. I am surprised how many multi-generational families there are in Millwood, people whose grandparents or greatgrandparents lived or still live in Millwood. Q: What were some of the main differences between working for a city like Cheney compared to Millwood? A: Cheney city government is much larger with its own police and fire departments, a municipal electric utility, wastewater treatment plant and a parks department with a large recreation program. So the government organization was much larger and the staff was mostly unionized. Q: A year after you started, Millwood began an extensive renovation of Argonne Road. What do you think are some of the keys to making this busy corridor -- which also doubles for part of the way as Millwood’s main street -- work for motorists, pedestrians and business owners? A: Argonne Road must serve two functions – as a regional arterial and as local access for businesses and nearby residential areas and these two functions don't often mesh well together. We are forced to make trade-offs and compromises to try to maximize the road for both functions. In the past I think the regional arterial function has predominated and the needs of pedestrians and bicycles have not been addressed. We

See RICHARDSON, Page 3


The Current

RICHARDSON

FEBRUARY 2018 • 3

NEWS

Continued from page 2 have begun to change that in the past few years starting with the sidewalks and corner bump-outs that were installed in 2009. Q: What are some of the benefits and challenges to a city operating its own utility? A: Having the city operate its own utility helps to keep the service delivery as close to the customer as possible and makes it easier for the customer to interact with the people running the utility. It also creates a broader base of services within the city government to spread out the costs of managing the various city services. A challenge is not being large enough to have engineering and other such specialty skills onstaff, so these kinds of skills and knowledge need to be found from outside. Q: What sort of addition do you think the Millwood Trail will be for the community? A: The Millwood Trail will be a great improvement for pedestrians and bicyclists moving through the community. The best way to increase people's activity and reduce the dependence on cars for short trips is to make the experience feel safe. When people feel safe as they walk and bike there are more likely to participate. The trail will provide a safer path for people who walk to complete their short trips either on foot or bicycle. Increasing physical activity is a key component of improving public health. Q: You helped put together the ordinance that established the Millwood Historical Preservation Commission. What has this group meant in terms of preserving and celebrating the heritage of this town? A: The Millwood Historic Preservation Commission has increased the awareness of the value of preserving older properties and neighborhoods. Well-maintained older homes are really attractive to people who want to live in a neighborhood with a unique character, not just a bland and usually tree-less modern subdivision. The HPC also has created the opportunity for property owners to take advantage of tax incentives for rehabilitating eligible properties. Q: How would you describe the juggling act of being both a city clerk and a city planner?

A: The two positions have a lot of overlapping skill areas – preparing for meetings, publishing notices, understanding statutes and contracts, public speaking, writing reports, etc. It felt to me that both areas have short-term, urgent matters that frequently emerge which causes important longer-term priorities in both areas to be put off. Q: What do you feel are some of the main challenges Millwood will face over the next 10 years? A: Argonne Road continues to be a major concern for the community, for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists, but also in terms of the Union Pacific at-grade crossing. Funding for these improvements from outside sources will be critical, since the city of Millwood should not have to fund these improvements themselves. Also, developing community leaders to serve on the City Council and various city commissions is important. Opportunities arise frequently as officials retire or move out town. I would encourage citizens to read the monthly newsletter and to sign up for the city's email service to receive announcements and meeting agendas so they can keep up with what is happening. People could attend a meeting every once in a while.

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The Current

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The Current

NEWS

Millwood City Council Report – February 2018

By Mary Anne Ruddis Current Correspondent Effective Jan. 9, the Millwood City Council passed Resolution 201801 that raises 2018 water rates to $27.75 per month for 1,000 cubic feet. Rates for usage above 1,000 cubic feet per month remain the same. From 1,000 to 2,000 cubic feet, the rate is still $0.20 per 100 cubic feet and usage above 2,000 cubic feet is still $0.30 per 100 cubic feet. The council made two appointments at the Jan. 9 council meeting. Christina Janssen was officially appointed as the new city clerk to replace Tom Richardson. Shaun Culler was appointed mayor pro tem for the next six months. RCW4256580, a provision of the Washington State Public Records Act, requires the city to publicly identify a public records officer to oversee public records requests and processes. Janssen was also appointed as the public records officer for the city. Richardson retired at the end of 2017 as city clerk and planner. He had worked for Millwood since 2008. Janssen previously worked for the city of Spokane Valley as an assistant planner for nearly 12 years. She has a degree in urban and regional planning from Eastern Washington University and is the daughter of Eva Colomb, who worked as Milllwood clerk/treasurer for 17 years before passing away in 2009. A representative of Welch Comer presented a supplemental agreement to acquire a temporary construction easement from West Valley School District on the Interurban Trail Project. Hiring a right-of-way specialist will ensure compliance with all federal regulations. The purpose is to create a bus turnaround on the West Valley parking lot. Water samples in December produced a positive coliform result. The Department of Health was notified as required. Subsequent testing came back satisfactory. New tests in January also came back satisfactorily. The issue appears to have been resolved. The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) will fund the portion of the estimate that went over on the Marguerite crossing project. After the grant funding with WUTC was closed out,

the city received a bill from Union Pacific Railroad for an additional $44,000 that was well above the estimate previously provided. In the month of December, cases handled by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office in Millwood totaled 10. Three of those were crimes against persons and seven were property crimes. Comparing crimes from December 2016 to December 2017, burglary was down, forgery was up, damage/destruction was up, theft from vehicle was down and overall theft was down as well. Mayor Kevin Freeman will be scheduling time later in January or February to meet with the Sheriff’s office to discuss the report and a new 2018 contract. South Riverway Property Public Participation Process documentation indicated map locations that corresponded to comments made during the public participation process. The color-coded map created a visual of where the opposition, supportive and openminded comments came from. Most but not all of the opposition comments were from property owners on South Riverway. In that same area, several comments indicated that residents are keeping an open mind and are following the planning process. Overall, the majority of the support came from residents further away from the river, although there was some support closer to the river. The process is still ongoing and awaiting the City Council’s decision on whether or not it will follow the planning commission’s recommendation of creating a park. In other city news: • The winter road work was a bit challenging with the snow, thawing and deicing. The heavy wet snow was cleared as best as possible and removed to prevent refreezing. • Welch Comer is preparing to design the sidewalks for the park area. The conduits are in for electrical updates to City Hall. An access gate was installed on the South Riverway property. • The city truck had some mechanical issues that required several trips to the repair shop to resolve an oil leak. It appears to be functioning properly. • Training for council members is being scheduled in the coming weeks. • Lisa Castles was hired as the administrative assistant for the city and will work at the front counter. • Millwood City Council meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at Millwood City Hall. 9103 E. Frederick Ave.

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

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Safety Tip The Month:

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The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office continues to receive reports of scammers trying to lie, intimidate, trick and threaten people into giving up their hard-earned money or personal information, leaving them vulnerable to identity theft. The following have been reported; Summons, Jury Duty or Failure to Appear Scam, Utilities Company Scam, and Publisher’s Learning House Scam. We, law enforcement (IRS, any sheriff’s office, police department or state patrol) will never call and threaten your arrest “unless you pay us right now.” If you get a call like this, it’s a scam. Hang up and report the phone call to Crime Check at 456-2233. Don’t be victimized by these predatory criminals. Check their stories out. Understand once you give this type of information or access to anyone, you are taking a huge risk with your money and identity.


8 • FEBRUARY 2018

NEWS

Spokane Valley City Council Report – February 2018

By Bill Gothmann Current Correspondent Northeast industrial area producing jobs The city established its economic development committee in 2012 with members representing citizens, tourism, business, youth, and City Council. Because industrial properties are more resistant to economic downturn, one of its goals was to expand sewer and water to the undeveloped industrial lands between Euclid on the south, Trent on the North, Flora on the west and Hodges on the East. This opens the area to large manufacturing businesses, providing the opportunity to produce many jobs. Council received the report that this effort has been highly successful, drawing both Katerra and another yet unrevealed large firm. Katerra will occupy a 52-acre site with a 250,000 square foot, $35 million mass timber manufacturing facility providing 150 direct jobs and over 1,000 indirect jobs. They produce Glulams and crosslaminated timber (CLT). Glulams are the beams whereby several wood beams are glued together to form a large beam. A CLT panel consists of several layers of kilndried lumber boards stacked in alternating directions, bonded with structural adhesives and pressed to form a solid, straight, rectangular panel. CLT panels consist of an odd number of layers (usually, three to seven) and may be sanded or prefinished before shipping. Katerra expects the plant to be in operation this year. The second company is expected to provide an additional 150 jobs

The Current

The Spokane Valley City Council welcomed five winners from last fall's general election to the dais. Rod Higgins (far left) and Ben Wick (far right) were sworn in at the Jan. 2 council meeting while Brandi Peetz (middle) was sworn in Nov. 28. Photos by Danica Wick within a 100,000 square foot facility in this same industrial park. The city worked with Greater Spokane Inc. (GSI), the area’s economic development agency, to recruit these businesses. There were many obstacles. Sewer had to be provided by Spokane County and water by the water district. Roads needed to be improved by the city to handle large trucks. Yellowstone Pipeline and natural gas distribution lines had to be respected and contracts honoring a seller’s right of first refusal had to be honored. A rail spur had to be provided. They designed four different routes from BNSF and each met a large obstacle. Finally, they designed one from the Union Pacific and were successful. The Department of Ecology had discovered a wetlands in the middle of the plot which turned out to be non-existent and had to be extinguished. The federal Bureau of Reclamation had an easement for the entire Spokane River to be diverted to a canal in the middle of the property, which was never used. This had to be extinguished. Ultimately, the city’s goal is to ease the burden on recruited businesses by having the property ready to meet the needs of the firms. The city has received a $114,500 grant from the Department of Commerce to examine environmental permitting concerns. Garbage contract savings may be used for streets

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The new garbage contract with Waste Management will save consumers about $1.5 million each year. Since garbage trucks contribute to wear and tear on city roads, council is considering whether to use this savings for road preservation. The new contract goes into effect in April so the decision must be made very soon. If the city keeps the rates as negotiated, the average bill will be $2.67 per month less than county residents pay. If the city renegotiates the rates and takes the full $1.5 million, all customers would pay a rate at or below current levels except for 81 commercial customers with detachable containers who would see a slight increase. Spokane Valley customers would still pay 90 cents less per month than county customers. Staff noted that this would be a fee and, as such, can only be used to respond to the impact of trucks. This differs from a tax which would go to the city’s general fund and could be used for any purpose. They proposed three different fee levels: $1.5 million, $700,000 or $585,000. There was consensus to have staff prepare a resolution for council consideration that would consider the entire $1.5 million. Staff will also be examining the precise cost of damage to streets by garbage trucks. Chronic nuisances, noise and yard sales addressed

Working with the county, a new ordinance was passed by the council prohibiting chronic nuisances. These are defined as a property that has numerous, ongoing criminal activities. Such activities are indicated by search warrants, arrests or active crimes such as drug crimes or burglary. At the request of the city, Superior Court could declare the property a chronic nuisance if it has four qualifying criminal events, plus at least one regular nuisance such as garbage, junk vehicles or noise within a 12-month period. Alternately, it could be declared if the property has five qualifying criminal acts within a 12- month period. Once so declared, the property owner would be required to clean it up. Upon failure to do so, the property could be boarded up for up to one year. Thirteen citizens testified about ongoing criminal activities at nearby houses preventing them from being safe in their own neighborhoods, preventing their children from moving about their neighborhood, disturbing sleep and reducing their property values. Council changed the city’s noise ordinance to exempt many activities such as properly operated motor vehicles, construction noises, public works projects, military projects and organized school and park activities. Some

See SV COUNCIL, Page 9


The Current

FEBRUARY 2018 • 9

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SV COUNCIL

Continued from page 8 activities are limited to daytime only. Additional limits were placed on sites near residences such as some construction sites and mineral extraction. Under the city’s existing yard sale ordinance, such sales are limited to no more than seven consecutive days, or no more than two consecutive weekends. Council added a provision limiting the number of yard sales to three per year and changed the ordinance to apply only to residential areas. Unfit structure ordinance approved If a homeowner will not remove a nuisance, the city may be required to do so and a lien is placed on the property. Under the present law, only the first $2,000 of that lien is considered a priority lien and anything over that value goes to the end of the line of liens for that property. However, there is a provision in state law that allows full cost recovery for an unfit structure, such as a burned out structure. Council approved an ordinance that allows the city to recover the costs of demolishing such unfit structures. This would only be done when the owner refuses to demolish it. The city manager would appoint an “improvement officer” who would conduct preliminary investigations to determine unfitness, issue complaints, conduct initial hearing and issue final administrative orders if the officer finds the structure unfit for use. The ordinance designates the hearing examiner as its “appeals commission” with authority to hear appeals of the improvement officer’s final order. The ordinance also defines the criteria for unfitness, prescribes the process to use, and the manner in which the city can recover its costs. Appleway Trail bid awarded In 2017, all four bids on the 1.3 mile, Sullivan to Corbin portion of the Appleway Trail exceeded

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the engineers’ estimate so the bids were rejected. Staff revised the project, changing many of the required amenities of the original bid to alternate amenities. These included the boulder play area, decorative trail signage, orientation/interpretative signage, restrooms, floating stone area, site furnishings and a 400-foot trail extension east of Corbin. The base bid included trailhead parking, landscaping, irrigation and lighting in addition to the trail itself. The city received a $970,000 grant from the Washington Department of Commerce and an $813,000 grant from the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office. Low bid with a 5 percent contingency fee totaled $1,974,988. With current funds of $1,842,400 available, $132,588 of additional funding is needed. Since restrooms were the greatest need expressed at community meetings, adding a $99,915 cost for restrooms means the city will have to come up with $213,503 more dollars than budgeted. If additional grants cannot be obtained, the city can still cover the cost from its Parks Capital Projects Fund which has $280,714, and its Paths and Trails Fund which has $54,928. Council approved awarding the contract for the base bid with the restroom to the Wm. Winkler Company in the amount of $1,972,690. Any funds left over in the contingency fund can be used for additional amenities. Argonne Preservation Project scope reduced A 2014 project received a federal grant of $553,600 and a match of $86,400 to upgrade Argonne from Broadway to Indiana. Since that time, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) repaired the bridge deck and placed asphalt on the road and its ramps. As required by the state, the city reimbursed WSDOT for this work. Subsequently, in 2016, the city placed asphalt from Indiana to this WSDOT project. Because the section from Mission to Indiana is now in very good condition, there is no longer a need to pave this

section. Therefore, the city is requesting a change in the scope of the original project to reduce it to paving from 270 feet north of Broadway to Mission only. There was consensus to amend the plan. Annexation explained Council received a briefing on how annexation can occur. There are three methods, beginning with the voter initiated approach that requires a petition by 10 percent of the voters in the area to be annexed. Council then approves or disapproves the petition. If approved, a vote is held at which a majority of votes is required to annex. In the second method, council can call for an election in which a majority of votes is required for the annexation to occur. The third method, direct petition, is the one most commonly used. Owners of at least 10 percent of the assessed value of the land to be annexed notify council of their intent to annex. Council can accept, reject or modify the proposal. If accepted, a vote is held and property owners of not less than 60 percent of the assessed value of the property or property owners representing a majority of the area to be annexed can approve the petition. City Council will then hold a hearing and take action to approve or disapprove the annexation. In other city news:

• By twin 4-3 votes, the council elected Rod Higgins for mayor and Pam Haley for deputy mayor. • Staff reported that, although snow plows clear less snow onto sidewalks by going slower, they produce a bigger berm and the process takes more time, resulting in higher costs. • Staff conducted training for the council on the Public Records Act and the Open Public Meetings Act. • Council was briefed on water banking, a method by which the county buys unused water rights and then sells them to developers. • City Attorney Cary Driskell introduced the city’s new Assistant City Attorney Rachelle McFetridge, who will concentrate on nuisance code violations. • Council approved hiring a maintenance employee for City Hall when figures showed it about the same cost as using a contractor. The employee can also help maintain other city sites. • Council member Brandi Peetz suggested handing out keys to the city recognizing the extraordinary accomplishments of selected citizens. • An all-day council workshop will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at City Hall from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is open to the public although no public testimony will be taken.

Paid for by Friends of Mary Kuney P.O. Box 13103 Spokane Valley, WA 99213


10 • FEBRUARY 2018

COVER STORY

The Current

Stories from the Heart – Keeping pulse with life-saving cardiovascular care By Craig Howard Current Editor It is a miraculous instrument with four chambers, four valves, three main arteries and a simple conduction system. It keeps us alive and has been referred to in centuries of literature as the basis for our mettle, our moral fiber and emotional disposition. It is the heart – and this month, we celebrate the wonder of its role and the importance of keeping it well. Heart Health Month has been officially observed in the U.S. each February since 1964. In the past 54 years, research and insight into cardiovascular well-being has improved by leaps and bounds. Considering major advances in areas such as heart medication, surgical approaches and the science of nutrition and exercise and it’s no wonder there is plenty of optimism in the field. In medical circles, heart disease is recognized as the leading – and most preventable – cause of death. The Current took a wholehearted approach to this topic in hopes that readers will glean helpful insight into pathways and platforms of wellness. As a tribute to the quartet of chambers and valves so vital to our featured subject, we look at four local stories that shed light on keeping a positive pulse. So, take heart – there is no shortage of support out there for your ticker.

Home is where the heart is When he’s not gardening or downhill skiing, Al Hulten of Spokane Valley keeps in shape by going to the gym five days a week. He does it for his heart, his family and his peace of mind. “You do what you can,” says Hulten, now 76. In 2005, Al was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rate that causes weakness and shortness of breath. He began walking on a treadmill with a goal to cover the distance from Spokane Valley to Seattle and back. After he achieved that, he set out for a round trip from his home to New York City, 2,550 miles each way. The simulated cross-country journey took several months but Hulten could feel a difference. “I know that it had a great effect on my heart health,” he says. Al credits his wife, Mary Ann, with keeping him on task in the exercise and nutrition department. She dealt with her own challenge of pre-diabetes in 2004 and, soon after, made significant changes to the household diet, including the addition of more whole grains, fibers, legumes, fruit and vegetables. At the same time, the couple cut back on sugar and red meat. Heart challenges are not uncommon in the Hulten family. Al and Mary Ann lost their son, Craig, to a massive heart attack four years ago. He was only 43 years old. “It’s made me even more diligent

My Life Check provides simple steps to heart health

the hope to live a long, productive, healthy life.

Courtesy of the American Heart Association “My Life Check” was designed by the American Heart Association with the goal of improved cardiovascular health through education. These measures have one unique thing in common – any person can make these changes; the steps are not expensive to take and even modest improvements to your health will make a big difference. Start with one or two. This simple, seven-step list has been developed to deliver on

Manage Blood Pressure High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. When your blood pressure stays within healthy ranges, you reduce the strain on your heart, arteries and kidneys which keeps you healthier longer. Control Cholesterol High cholesterol contributes to plaque, which can clog arteries and lead to heart disease and stroke. When you control your cholesterol, you are giving your arteries their best chance to remain clear of blockages. Reduce Blood Sugar

A healthy approach to food -- including plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein -- is recognized as a significant benefit to heart health. Heart disease is the leading -- and most preventable -- cause of death in the U.S. File photo about taking care of myself,” Al says. Al had a heart stint installed in 2008 and has dealt with other health issues, including prostate cancer and a lung disorder. Despite the trials, he maintains an outlook of optimism and gratitude, grounded primarily in his faith. “God has been very good to me,” he said. “I thank Him for my doctors, my surgeons, my medications and always say, ‘He is my great physician.’” The Hultens have lived in Spokane Valley for 32 years and will celebrate 54 years of marriage in September. A typical morning starts out with orange juice and flax seed and a trip to SNAP Fitness

Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose (or blood sugar) that our bodies use for energy. Over time, high levels of blood sugar can damage your heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves. Exercise Exercising in some form is one of the most rewarding gifts you can give yourself and those you love. Simply put, daily physical activity increases your length and quality of life. Eat Better A healthy diet is one of your best weapons for fighting cardiovascular disease. When you eat a hearthealthy diet, you improve your chances for feeling good and staying healthy – for life.

on 32nd Avenue. “We’re here working out unless we feel really, really crummy,” said Al, who points out that, like many insurance plans, their policy covers gym membership. Mary Ann, who has lost 40 pounds since embracing the changes in nutrition and activity, says viewing exercise in a positive light – instead of punishment or drudgery – is a key. “It’s a celebration of what you can still do,” she says. Healthy for Good Each September, the local chapter of the American Heart Association (AHA) hosts the “Heart

See HEART HEALTH, Page 11 Lose Weight When you shed extra fat and unnecessary pounds, you reduce the burden on your heart, lungs, blood vessels and skeleton. You give yourself the gift of active living, you lower your blood pressure and you help yourself feel better, too. Stop Smoking Cigarette smokers have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health. For more information on this program, visit the American Heart Association’s website at www.heart.org or call toll-free, 1-800-242-8721.


The Current

HEART HEALTH

Continued from page 10 Walk” beginning in the University District on the fringe of downtown Spokane. The 5K course winds along the Centennial Trail and ends up in Mission Park where all participants – regardless of their times – are celebrated as winners. The theme of the race puts the purpose in perspective – “Healthy for Good.” Ted Duncan, executive director of the Inland Northwest AHA office, is familiar with the cheerful scene at Mission Park and well-versed in the ongoing cause of an organization that works to keep people alive and healthy. “The mission or the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans and reduce deaths from cardiovascular diseases,” Duncan said. “We have a goal to meet people where they are and provide tools and resources to help them live their healthiest life.” Events like the Heart Walk and the annual “Go Red for Women” lunch, set for Feb. 21 at the Spokane Convention Center, generate funds and awareness for critical research and advancements that have become AHA’s trademark. Over the years, the agency has invested more than $4 billion in research, leading to the first artificial heart valve, cholesterol-lowering drugs, heart transplantation and CPR techniques. “Spokane-area residents benefit from these scientific breakthroughs,” Duncan said. The reinforcement from AHA comes in many forms, including “My Life Check” (see sidebar), a

COVER STORY

goal-setting system that features seven fundamental steps to cardiovascular wellness. AHA also offers an online support network where heart attack and stroke survivors can connect to share advice and encouragement. AHA also collaborates with local businesses on workplace wellness, maximizing what Duncan calls “an effective workplace culture of health.” A recognition program is offered for companies who prioritize the approach with their employees. “The role of the Spokane division is to work in concert within our community leaders and volunteers to support our mission,” Duncan said. That prevention starts with some basic, accessible steps. “We encourage everyone to learn their family health history, to find out their important health numbers which includes blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and body mass index (BMI) and make simple lifestyle changes to improve health,” Duncan says. Eating healthier and adding exercise are excellent places to start, Duncan emphasizes. He refers to a study that shows just 25 minutes of brisk walking a day can result in seven additional years of life expectancy. Yet, in the U.S., an estimated 45 percent of adults still fall short in getting enough exercise to experience health benefits. “Small changes do make a big impact,” Duncan said. “We want everyone to know that

cardiovascular diseases and stroke are largely preventable.” To learn more about ways improve your heart health, visit the AHA website at www.heart.org or call 1-800-242-8721. Constructive Cardiologist In his nondescript office at the Rockwood Heart and Vascular Center near Valley Hospital, Dr. Ian Riddock waxes enthusiastically about avenues to a reliable heart. Riddock has seen the reallife benefits in his own family, particularly his father who underwent angioplasty – a procedure that opens blocked arteries and veins – when he was 46. Riddock’s dad – who quit smoking as part of his upturn in wellness – turns 76 this year and occasionally calls his son for cardiovascular counsel. Riddock is also aware of the other side – a grandfather and grandmother who both died from heart disease. “I come from the belief that coronary disease is entirely preventable and reversible,” he says. “I fully subscribe to that.” Unassuming and congenial, Riddock says he remembers setting a goal to be a cardiologist as far back as junior high. He attended the University of Washington for an undergraduate degree in biology, then moved on to Uniformed University of the Health Sciences, a specialty medical school in Bethesda, Maryland. After becoming a doctor, Riddock served at Travis

Dr. Ian Riddock is a general cardiologist at Rockwood Heart and Vascular Center near Valley Hospital. In addition to his work as a heart doctor, Riddock is a certified lipidologist, studying the effects of cholesterol on cardiac health. Photo by Craig Howard

FEBRUARY 2018 • 11

Air Force Base in California. Before coming to the Inland Northwest, he worked in Bend, Oregon. Along with general cardiology and skills such as installing pacemakers and defibrillators, Riddock is also a certified lipidologist. “In other words, I get into the weeds with cholesterol,” he says. LDL or “bad” cholesterol contributes to fatty buildups in arteries that can lead to heart attack, stroke or peripheral artery disease. Meanwhile HDL or “good” cholesterol breaks up the LDL content, dispersing it away from the arteries. Along with cholesterol screenings, Riddock advises the shift toward a more “plant-based” diet to combat high LDL levels. “I want people to work toward that,” he says. “You don’t need to eat animal meat for every meal. It’s more along the lines of red meat twice a month, fish twice a week.” High fructose corn syrup – common in soda and preserved foods – is another trap that piles on the calories, Riddock says. “It’s more of a lifestyle change,” Riddock says of transitioning nutritional priorities. “Let’s add that lean protein and more vegetables. You’re eating to live.” In an automated society, Riddock sees those who struggle to incorporate exercise into their routine. Start simple, he says, by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking further away at the grocery store to add more steps. “Just moving helps,” he says. While most of his patients are older, Riddock has seen some in their 30s and even 20s who have suffered heart attacks. He emphasizes the comeback trail, focusing on the resilient nature of the heart itself. “If we recognize things sooner, the heart can recover,” Riddock said. “Heart disease is not a death sentence. We just need to protect it. If you take care of your heart, you’re not only going to live longer, you’re going to feel better.” A Heart for the Community Like the rest of her colleagues at the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD), Paige McGowan is dedicated to promoting wellness. As the agency’s Tobacco, Marijuana and Vaping Device prevention coordinator, McGowan does her part to educate residents about the health dangers associated with practices that can become trivialized in everyday life.

See HEALTHY, Page 24


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The Current

Calendar of Events COMMUNITY EVENTS Feb. 3 │ Love Your Heart – Liberty Lake Municipal Library, 12 to 3 p.m., 23123 E. Mission Ave. The Spokane Valley Fire Department is celebrating American Heart Month by offering free blood pressure checks in local libraries. Stop by for a free check, timely heart information and to say hello. More at 892-4155 or www. spokanevalleyfire.com. Feb. 6 | Sprague preservation/ Appleway Trail meeting, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Greenacres Middle School, 17409 E. Sprague Ave. Learn more about the Sprague-Sullivan to Corbin street preservation project and the Appleway Trail-Sullivan to Corbin project. Representatives from the city of Spokane Valley will address improvements on the way, anticipated traffic impacts during the projects and other topics as well as fielding feedback from residents. Feb. 8 | Regional Panel Supporting Victims of Sexual Violence, 5 p.m., Northeast Community Center, 4001 N. Cook St., Spokane. Area leaders and professionals working with survivors of sexual violence will share their thoughts on working for health, justice and hope for survivors of sexual violence. Panelists will share their thoughts, then respond to questions and concerns from attendees. Sponsored by Lutheran Community Services. Call 7478224 or visit www.lcsnw.org for more information. Feb. 17 │ Love Your Heart --Spokane Valley Main Library, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 12004 E. Main Ave. The Spokane Valley Fire Department is celebrating American Heart Month in February by offering free blood pressure checks in local libraries. Stop by for a free check, timely heart information and to say hello. More at 892-4155 or www. spokanevalleyfire.com. Feb. 23 | Smiles for Veterans – EWU Spokane campus, 310 N. Riverpoint Blvd. The EWU Dental Hygiene department will provide limited services such as cleanings, X-rays and exams for only $15. EWU and WSU Health Sciences programs will provide free health screenings for hearing loss and sleep disorders. Call 828-1309 for times and more information. Feb. 24 │ Love Your Heart – Otis Orchards Library, 11 a.m.

to 1 p.m., 22324 E. Wellesley Ave. Sponsored by the Spokane Valley Fire Department, this event includes free blood pressure checks and timely heart information. More at 892-4155 or www. spokanevalleyfire.com.

RECURRING ACT 2 senior classes | Affordable classes offered by Community Colleges of Spokane to those who are retired or planning to retire. A wide range of courses from geology and history to exercise and art are offered at CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place, as well as other locations throughout the area. “Focused Fitness on Dishman Mica,” a yoga class, is now part of the schedule. More at www.sccel. spokane.edu/ACT2. Baha’i Fireside Conversation | 5 to 6 p.m., third Friday of the month. Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. Discussion of Baha’i teachings, history, and perspectives on resolving the challenges facing humanity. All are welcome. More at 599-2411 or www.bahai.us. Inland Empire Blues Society monthly meeting | Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m., Bolo's 116 S. Best Road. Café Card Club | 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesdays. On Sacred Grounds, 12212 E. Palouse Hwy., Valleyford. Play pinochle, cribbage, or hearts. More at www.onsacredgrounds. com. Catholic Singles Mingle | Meeting times and locations vary. This group, with no dues, is for single adults of all ages. More at www. meetup.com/Catholic-SinglesMingle. DivorceCare Recovery Support Group | Mondays 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Eastpoint Church, 15303 E. Sprague Ave. Learn how to heal from the deep hurt of divorce and discover hope for your future. DivorceCare for Kids (ages 5-12) meets at the same time and location. Cost is $25 for workbook. More at 892-5255 or eastpointchurch.com. Military Sobriety Support Group | 10 to 11: 30 a.m., Spokane Vet Center, 13109 E. Mirabeau Parkway, Spokane Valley. Call Steve at 8934746 for more information. Grange Meeting and Dessert | 6:30 p.m., first Wednesday of the month, Tri-Community Grange, 25025 Heather St., Newman Lake. The public is welcome for this community-based service organization. For more information call 226-2202 or see us on Facebook.

Men’s Weekly Bible Study | 7 a.m. Tuesdays. Millwood Presbyterian Church, 3223 N. Marguerite Road, Millwood. The men’s weekly Bible Study meets in the Reception Hall with different members sharing in the leading of the study. All men are invited to join. More at www. milwoodpc.org. Pancreatic Cancer Action Network | 6:30 p.m., the first Monday of each month. Liberty Lake Municipal Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake. More at www.pancan.org or 534-2564. Rockford Crochet Class | 10 a.m. to noon, Saturdays. The Harvest Moon, 20 S. First St., Rockford. Free classes. We have crocheters, knitters, embroidery, quilting and needlepoint. Come and share with us what you are doing. Call 2913722. Rockford Historical Society | 11:30 a.m. second Friday of the month (Feb. to Nov.). Harvest Moon restaurant, 20 S. First St., Rockford. More at 291-3193. Spokane County Library District | Locations include Argonne, Fairfield, Otis Orchards, and Spokane Valley. Special events and weekly activities for all ages including book clubs, children’s story times, classes, Lego club, teen anime club and writing clubs. More at www.scld.org Spokane Valley Eagles | 16801 E. Sprague Ave. Breakfast served Sundays 9 to 11:30 a.m. Lunch served Thursdays 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. followed by bingo from 1 to 3:30 p.m. More at www.foe3433. com. Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank | Weekly distribution takes place Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10814 E. Broadway by appointment. Appointments are available during the following days/times: Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 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


The Current

FEBRUARY 2018 • 13

COMMUNITY

of our quilting craft. Participants have can access a comprehensive library, can engage experienced teachers and participate in community service projects. More at www.svqgspokane.com

MUSIC & THE ARTS Feb. 9 | Sweethearts of the Blues/Valentines Show featuring the Rae Gordon Band, 8 p.m.,Roadhouse N. 20 Raymond Road, Spokane. Cost is $15 for Inland Empire Blues Society members/$18.00 for nonmembers. Call 999-1145 for more information. Feb. 9 | Beyond Words: Songs of Communication, 6:30 p.m., St. Joseph’s Church, 4521 N. Arden Road, Otis Orchards. This 12th annual benefit concert will benefit Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank and Family Services. Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for kids. Call 926-7137 or go to www.eventbrite. com. Feb. 17 | “The Music of Star Wars: The Symphony Awakens,” 2 and 8 p.m. at Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox. Resident Conductor Morihiko Nakahara will lead these two identical concert featuring selections by awardwinning composer John Williams from the legendary “Star Wars” film series scores, including “The Force Awakens” and “Rogue One.” Preconcert activities start 90 minutes before each concert and will include memorable photo opportunities with “Star Wars” characters and planet-themed activities. Concertgoers are encouraged to wear “Star Wars”-themed costumes. Tickets are available at: www.spokanesymphony.org, Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox Box Office at 1001 W. Sprague Avenue, by calling 624-1200 and all TicketsWest outlets.

RECURRING Drop-in Square Dance Lessons | 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (through May 18). Western Dance Center, 1901 N. Sullivan Road. Square dance lessons for $3 per person; no partner needed. More at 270-9264. Pages of Harmony | 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Wednesdays. Thornhill Valley Chapel, 1400 S. Pines Road. If you enjoy singing, you will love the four-part, a cappella harmony of this men’s barbershop chorus. More at 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

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HEALTH & RECREATION RECURRING Yoga in Rockford | 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Rockford Park, 20 W. Emma Street, Rockford. In case of inclement weather, classes will be held at Dave’s Autobody, 8 W. Emma Street. Wednesday mornings | Mindful Music & Movement class, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Specifically designed for those living with chronic health issues such as: Parkinson's, dementia, COPD, MS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, cancer. Supporting body, mind and soul. $10 donation suggested. Facilitated by board-certified Music Therapist, Carla Carnegie. Willow Song Music Therapy Center. 21101 E. Wellesley #102. Otis Orchards. For more information, visit www. willowsongmusictherapy.com or call 592 7875. Tuesday afternoons | Decreasing Anger Group, 3 to 4:30 p.m., the Vet Center, 13109 E. Mirabeau Parkway, Spokane Valley. Eligibility: Combat veteran from all eras, military sexual trauma survivors, Contact Steve at 893-4746 to make an intake appointment. HUB Sports Center 19619 E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. Various activities and events occur throughout the week including:

See CALENDAR, Page 14

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The Current

14 • FEBRUARY 2018

CALENDAR

Continued from page 13 • 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 Feb. 3 - March 10 | Photo editing class, 10 a.m. each Saturday, Otis Orchards Community Church, 23304 E. Wellesley Ave., Otis Orchards. Call 926-9552 for more information. Feb. 24 | Cane Self-Defense Workshop – 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., The Mat, 21651 E. Country Vista Drive, Liberty Lake. Cost is $100 and includes practice cane, a $60 value. There are also opportunities to sponsor those who cannot afford the cost of the class. Call 939-5280 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. Flag Museum | Sponsored by the Sons of the American Revolution and the Fairmount Memorial Association, details the rich history of the American flag, Mondays-Fridays, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Pines Cemetery, 1402 S. Pines Road, Spokane Valley. For more information: 926-2753 or www. fairmountmemorial.com/southpines-cemetery Spokane Valley Kiwanis | 6:45 a.m. Tuesdays. Valley Hospital Education Center, 12606 E. Mission Ave. More at www.spokanevalleykiwanis.net. Greater Spokane Valley Rotary | Noon to 1 p.m., Wednesdays. Darcy’s, 10502 E. Sprague Ave. More at www.svrotary.org.

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80% of all mined diamonds are used for industrial purposes. Diamonds are formed around 100 miles below the earth’s surface. Volcanic eruptions have moved many closer to the surface. In 1477, Archduke Maximilian of Austria is thought to be the first man to gift a diamond ring when he proposed to Mary of Burgundy. Romans believed that Cupid’s arrows were tipped with diamonds. Diamonds were thought to be tears from the gods according to ancient Romans and Greeks. In ancient times diamonds were worn to promote strength, courage and invincibility. As early as 400 BC diamonds were traded in India. “Diamond is the most valuable, not only of precious stones, but of all things in this world.” Pliny, 1 AD Middle Age Healers prescribed diamonds as a

cure for a wide range of issues; mental illness, fatigue, infections, nightmares, skin diseases and an antidote for poison. Diamonds will burn between 1290 and 1650 degrees Fahrenheit. Natural colored diamonds are usually clear but also come in yellow, brown, blue, green, orange, and red. A law in thirteenth century France decreed that only the king (Louis IX) could wear diamonds. Diamonds were discovered in North America in the 1840’s. America buys more than 40% of the world’s gem quality diamonds. In 1905, the Cullinan diamond was discovered. Weighing in at 3,106 carats before being cut and polished, it is the largest diamond that has ever been found. It was cut into 105 diamonds. The two largest stones are mounted in the British crown jewels. Queen Elizabeth II has eight other stones in her private collection.


16 • FEBRUARY 2018

Find the two pieces that produce pattern 5

The Current

Never Too Little to Love by Jeanne Willis 2013 all ages

This beautiful watercolor book is one of our favorites, not just for Valentine’s Day. The interesting page cuts add to the story of Tiny Too-Little and his quest for love. The surprise pop-up ending is a sure-fire hit.

I Loathe You by David Slonim 2012 ages 4-8

For a monster, loathing is the ultimate compliment. This book is for all who aren’t after a mushy book to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Great illustrations that match the humorous text perfectly.

Love Bugs by David A. Carter 1994 ages 6 – 10

A favorite pop-up that is great to share with your favorite love bug since you only have to turn the page, no tabs. Another one of our favorites.

ANSWER: 2, 8


The Current

FEBRUARY 2018 • 17

Out t h g i N s t Paren

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PACE Trait for February – Honesty By David Milliken Hutton Settlement Children’s Home Growing up as a child in Spokane Valley in a large family of six siblings, sincerity and love for the truth didn’t always win out. With the occasional sibling scuffle and subsequent blame and denials that followed, I must confess the drive of my own selfinterest stretched the truth at times. Fortunately for me, my parents modeled patience, understanding and accountability. Over time, I realized that telling the truth was not only the right thing to do, but it just felt better. This development was not much of a stretch since much of my childhood was secure and supported by engaged and caring parents in a safe, supportive community. Today, I serve as the campus director of the Hutton Settlement Children’s Home in Spokane Valley. My work is immersed in the lives of children who didn’t have the family stability that I had growing up. With many experiencing various forms of trauma, most formed survival behaviors that were necessary to cope and adapt to insecure environments. Some of those survival behaviors involved dishonesty in order to protect themselves from being vulnerable and harmed. These survival behaviors often persist even when one’s environment has shifted to become healthier and safe. I realized early on at Hutton that if I wanted honesty from another it required a reciprocal relationship of understanding, patience and safety. After all, how many of us are honest with another when we sense they may be dismissive, disrespectful or unsafe? After 20 years of service at Hutton, I’ve seen what consistent patience and safety can produce. As the youth at Hutton cross the threshold into a more secure world view, they tend to be more truthful in their expression of needs. This honesty requires courage – another notable character trait – as one steps out in vulnerability to disclose a need for comfort, encouragement, guidance or accountability. It’s been said that you can tell a healthy person by whether they can honestly express their true needs to another. If that is

the case, how healthy are we really? A number of years ago, a teenager soon to be graduating from high school met me in the hallway to talk about his next steps into young adulthood. I asked him how he was doing with moving on to college and I didn’t expect the response I received. He noted that we had taught him how to be a great student, work hard, stay active, lead others and set a vision for himself. He was graduating with high grades and was accepted with a full scholarship into a great college. He earned enough money at a local coffee house to purchase a car and save some money. He led others in student government and was a model for our younger residents. Yet, he looked me in the eyes tearfully and noted that on the outside he looked successful, but on the inside he had a big hole in his heart that he didn’t know how to deal with. It was at that moment that I had a much stronger appreciation for this young man and the courage that it took to share something so personal and important. It was his honesty that allowed me to then assist him on a more substantial journey of healing that may have never occurred without the truth. This is one story of courageous honesty of many that could be told at Hutton. I’ve been humbled by so many children over the years who were willing and able to authentically talk about their needs despite the personal risk of shame and judgment. With a relational blend of patient availability and courage, honesty can thrive and be the difference between an authentic life and one that is paralyzed from hiding from the truth. David Milliken joined the Hutton Settlement Children’s Home in June 1997 and has since served in various child welfare related positions, including case management, education and organizational leadership. His formal education in psychology and leadership provides the foundation for his work in youth development and community resilience. Specifically, David focuses on fostering lifelong connections with youth who have faced family challenges and displacement in the Inland Northwest. David currently serves as the campus director at the Hutton Settlement Children’s Home with a focus on developing a transformational community of care.

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The Current

18 • FEBRUARY 2018

SVFD Report – February 2018

Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) crews responded to a total of 1,754 emergency calls from Dec. 19, 2017 to Jan. 22, 2018. • Fires* = 81 • Emergency medical service =1,438 • Motor vehicle accidents = 116 • Hazardous materials = 19 • Building alarms = 68 • Service calls = 28 • Vehicle Extrication = 3 • Confined Space Rescue = 1 *Brush, commercial, residential, rubbish, vehicle fires and unauthorized burning • Unauthorized burning – Dec. 28 – Shortly after 4:30 p.m., SVFD crews responded to the 21500 block of East Wellesley Avenue to investigate a report of unauthorized burning. Upon arrival, firefighters found a downed smoking tree stump in the front yard of the residence. The homeowner stated that the fire was out and that he was trying to burn the stump and some other yard waste but was done for the evening. The homeowner was

informed of the burning rules – yard waste is always prohibited – and was instructed to take his yard debris to the dump instead. • Apartment fire – Dec. 30 – SVFD crews responded to an apartment fire in the 12500 block of East Third Avenue, shortly before 6 p.m. Firefighters arrived at the apartment building as occupants were evacuating. Crews entered the apartment to find water flowing from the sprinkler system which had extinguished the fire in the kitchen area. The fire started on the stove. A large cardboard box was sitting on the stove top and the lights indicated the burner was on. Firefighters made sure the fire was out and helped ventilate smoke from the building. • Patio fire – Jan. 2 – SVFD crews responded to a report of an apartment fire shortly after 5:30 p.m in the 15400 block of East Fourth Avenue. Upon arrival, firefighters found a pile of burned patio furniture in the yard next to an apartment at the complex. Bystanders reported using a fire extinguisher on the blaze. Firefighters checked inside the apartment and exterior patio area to make sure the fire was extinguished and had not spread into the apartment. The occupants

were not home at the time of the fire. Investigators determined the most likely cause of the fire was an extension cord failure. • Motor vehicle accident – Jan. 7 – Shortly after 1:15 p.m., SVFD crews responded to a report of an auto-pedestrian accident in the Winco parking lot at 9718 E. Sprague. Firefighters arrived to find a 51- year-old woman, conscious and lying on the ground. She said she was trying to get out of the way of an oncoming car and twisted her ankle in the process. She was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. • Dryer fire – Jan. 10 – SVFD crews along with firefighters from Spokane County Fire District 8 and Spokane Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire at the Clocktower Apartments, 15719 E. 4th Avenue shortly before 2 p.m. Firefighters arrived to find evacuated residents apartment building and fire coming from a firstfloor unit. Crews quickly entered the apartment and extinguished the fire. Crews assigned to the second and third story apartments above the fire unit reported smoke but no fire extension. • Hazardous materials response – Jan. 15 – Shortly

before 2:15 p.m., SVFD crews responded to a report of a severed natural gas line next to a home in the 8400 block of E. Alki Ave. The resident reported hitting a small natural gas line next to his gas meter as he was digging by the house. Firefighters tested for gas inside the home and found none. Avista arrived and secured the gas line while firefighters stood by with a hose in case of fire. • Vehicle Extrication – Jan. 21 – SVFD crews were assisted by Kootenai County Fire & Rescue firefighters in responding to a minivan vs. semi-truck crash at 25104 E. Trent Ave near Starr Road, shortly after 8 p.m. The mini-van’s engine compartment was disintegrated in the crash and firefighters at first believed the driver was trapped in the vehicle. However, the 82-yearold man, who was wearing his seat belt, was able to get out of the car without extrication assistance. He was complaining of chest and shoulder pain from the seat belt and was transported to the hospital. The semi-truck driver was unharmed. The impact caused a fuel leak of about 60 to 70 gallons next to the roadway. For more information call 928-1700 or visit www.spokanevalleyfire.com.


The Current

Student of the Month Three-sport standouts in high school are not too common these days. At East Valley, KaiLee Hance-Brown has been one of those versatile and outstanding athletes. The senior lettered all four years in soccer and was part of the Knights’ All Great Northern League championship this season as one of several co-captains. She was named to the All-GNL second team as a midfielder. In track, KaiLee placed sixth in state 2A competition as a junior in the triple jump and is third on the school’s all-time record list for the event. She also competes in the long jump, 100-meter high hurdles and 300-meter hurdles. She also participates in wrestling at EV. When she graduates, KaiLee will have earned seven varsity letters. She plans to continue her soccer career at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene.

Citizen of the Month

Thanks you for all you do in our community

FEBRUARY 2018 • 19 When it comes to success in academics, Matthew Mason is a noteworthy Knight. The East Valley senior maintains a 4.0 grade point average and is a member of the National Honor Society. He has been part of the College in the Classroom program and will have earned 35 college credits by the time he graduates from EV. Matthew is part of Key Club, a student-based organization that volunteers at events like Valleyfest and contributes to community service projects. Mason was named a Spokane Scholar in English recently. He also participates in wrestling and track. Last season he was part of a 4 x 100-meter relay team that placed second at the state 2A meet. He runs the 100-and 200-meter sprints as well. After graduation, he hopes to attend either the University of Washington or University of Idaho.

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March 2-3-4, 2018 Athlete of the Month Community catalyst, dedicated man of faith, cancer survivor, civic innovator – all these words and more describe Craig Goodwin, pastor at Millwood Community Presbyterian Church since 2004. Goodwin has been a key in efforts that have become staples in the West Valley community like The Crossing Youth Center, Pumpkin Patch Community Garden, Millwood Farmers Market and Millwood Community Center. He is an accomplished photographer and author of “Year of Plenty,” a book about eating healthy and local. A native of Pullman, Goodwin is a graduate of the University of Washington and the Fuller Theological Seminary. Craig and his wife Nancy are proud parents of two children. “He certainly has a communityfocused ministry,” said Arlene Koth, a member of Millwood Community Presbyterian with her husband, Frank. “He’s not just reaching out to the congregation here, he’s reaching out to all of the neighbors around us.”

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20 • FEBRUARY 2018 Brought to you by

Evergreen

About and for Valley seniors

SE

NI

OR

Meals on Wheels shifts gears with retirement of Almeida When Pam Almeida began as executive director of Spokane Valley Meals on Wheels in 1999, the organization included a staff of two and a mission of delivering 125 meals each weekday.

As 2011 was leading revised name County Meals substantially responsibility.

dawned, an effort – Greater on Wheels expanded

Almeida with a Spokane – and a level of

Through all the changes, Almeida has maintained her emphasis on the personal nature of the task – dispersing nutrition, friendship and support to homebound senior residents as well as those with disabilities. Whenever she felt the administrative side of her role was weighing her down, Almeida would drive one of the meal routes herself, connecting with people and recharging her enthusiasm for the cause. “It reminded me why we do this,” she said. “You see the gratitude with which people receive each meal. They realize that others are taking the time to care for them.” Sen. Mike Padden of the 4th Legislative District has been a supporter of Meals on Wheels, both

NI

TY

As she starts a new chapter, Almeida says she still has concerns about the agency’s funding challenges, particularly on the government level where she describes vital Community Development Block Grants as being “in peril.” There is also on ongoing need to supply enough volunteers to address 44 routes and 13 “Silver Café” meal sites sprinkled throughout the county.

Current Editor

Almeida has guided the mission here through some major changes, including the transition to a countywide program starting in 2011. For nearly 30 years, the Spokane Regional Health District facilitated the senior nutrition agreement through Aging and Long-Term Care of Eastern Washington. That changed in late 2010 when Almeida and her team were awarded the contract.

LIVING COMMU

house. “This is my opportunity to give back.”

By Craig Howard

Nearly two decades later, Almeida is retiring from an agency that is home to over 30 employees and provides food to around 1,000 folks five days a week.

Fountains

“That’s been the downside – worrying about money and how people are going to be fed,” she said.

Pam Almeida (left) retired last month after 19 years as executive director of Greater Spokane Valley Meals on Wheels (formerly Spokane Valley Meals on Wheels). Also pictured is Almeida’s successor, Marta Harrington, who now guides an agency that provides 1,000 meals to residents each weekday. Photo by Craig Howard as a lawmaker and a volunteer. He says Almeida has been recognized as the face of a program that he described as “a tradition in our district.”

gerontology with a goal of working with patients who experience dementia. Pam and her husband Jim are parents to three grown children.

“Pam has a great heart for seniors,” Padden said. “She’s been an excellent administrator and led the program through a lot of growth. They’ve been able to help a lot more people.”

Over 60 applications were received during the process to find Almeida’s replacement. The decision was made late last year to hire Marta Harrington who brings an extensive background in the food industry and has also been involved with various nonprofit causes including Second Harvest.

Over the years, Almeida has seen the positive impact the effort has on volunteers, some of whom have delivered meals for close to three decades. “The people on their routes become like family,” she said. Almeida described those who donate time to the cause as “some of the best people in the world.” “I’ll miss the people here,” she said. “These are people who really care.”

An open house was held at the Meals on Wheels office in Spokane Valley on Sprague Avenue near Pines Road on Jan. 24 to honor Almeida. Volunteers and employees from over the years came to bid farewell and thank her for nearly two decades of service. “The community has been very supportive,” Almeida said. “Anytime people know you work at Meals on Wheels, they will say, ‘Thank you for what you do.’” Want to help? To learn more about ways to support Greater Spokane County Meals on Wheels as a volunteer and/or donor, call 924-6976 or visit www.gscmealsonwheels.org

Harrington called Almeida “a visionary” and acknowledged “there is a lot to learn.” “I am Pam 19 years ago,” Harrington said. “We will always be working to fine tune what we do but I don’t expect any major changes over the next year.” Harrington said it will be important “to keep talking about the stories.”

After earning a degree in psychology and sociology from George Fox University in Oregon Almeida began her career working with people diagnosed with developmental disabilities. She spent nearly 20 years in the mental health field before accepting the job at Meals on Wheels.

“I want people to see the magnitude of what we do here,” she said. “This work is about people.”

A native of Colorado who grew up in Coeur d’Alene, Almeida is now pursuing her master’s degree in

“I’m in a different stage of life right now,” said Harrington, whose two grown kids are out of the

Like Almeida, Harrington brings a degree in sociology (from Sonoma State University) to her role as executive director. Growing up, she remembers her mother donating time as a Meals on Wheels driver.

Pam Almeida (center) attended the Spokane Valley City Hall open house last year. On Almeida’s right is Sen. Mike Padden of the 4th Legislative District, a Meals on Wheels volunteer and Rep. Bob McCaslin, Jr., also of the 4th District. Photo by Craig Howard


The Current

FEBRUARY 2018 • 21

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22 • FEBRUARY 2018

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Cohesive Scotties hope third try brings state crown By Mike Vlahovich

Current Sports Editor The best way to describe Freeman High School boys’ basketball success can be summed up in a single word – togetherness. These Scotties have played basketball with each other since fourth grade, so long they have a sixth-sense when a teammate makes a move on the court. They’ve played in back-to-back state 1A championship games with eyes on a third trip to Yakima in this, the senior season for nine teammates. Heading into February, Freeman had compiled a 46-6 record over the past three seasons with seven league games and the playoffs remaining. “In their first year (as freshmen) these seniors started something and it’s not ending,” Freeman head coach Marty Jessett said. Part of it is tradition, part of it has parental support for coaches coaching and many parts are the athletes who have spent years honing their craft.

Four others, Dylan Oja, Quin Hopkins, Jarrett Wright and Jackson Clark are third-year players. Unbeaten through 13 games, the Scotties’ average margin of victory was more than 26 points, including 50- and 41-point drubbings. They beat four Great Northern League 2A foes, including Pullman by two in their season opener. Leading scorer Coumont has been a straw that stirs the drink. He’s replaced graduated Ryan Maine as the go-to guy averaging more than 14 points per game, including a 38-point outburst against Chewelah. He’s averaged double figure scoring the last three seasons and surpassed 1,000 points in his career through 13 league games and has the postseason ahead. Oja was averaging nearly 14 points per game, his second year in double figures. Clark was approaching doubles. “I was a little nervous,” Coumont said of his introduction to the varsity. “Once I started playing I knew I could play with them so (the nervousness) went away pretty quickly.” Two players were injured, forcing him to play point guard. If there has been a change in his game over the years it’s been his willingness to absorb contact. Jessett said the squad continues to look out for each other.

Since 1973, the Scotties have made 18 trips to state and brought home nine trophies. Since 1999, they have produced seven trophies.

“This group really has a feel for the back cut,” he said. “This group is really unselfish. They just know when to go.”

But the latest incarnation, under fourth-year head coach Jessett, is likely the best collection of players (even if old timers might argue that 1975’s class B runner-up deserves recognition).

Jessett discovered early the quality and togetherness of this year’s team.

“As soon as I got the job, I saw them play and knew it was going to be a fun group,” Jessett said. “The frosh stayed together and they were 19-1 playing junior varsity. They had a good sense where one or another would be. They were savvy and created a lot of turnovers.” Half of this year’s roster has played at least three years on varsity including Michael Coumont and Rhys McVay, who were brought up late in their freshman seasons.

Valley Sports Notebook By Mike Vlahovich

Current Sports Editor The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s foray into the RPI ranking concept was a catalyst for change in Greater Spokane League basketball. Those who kept touch during the season may have noticed that instead of playing 18 league games, schools altered their schedules enabling teams to play non-league schools, enhance schedules and earn higher ratings. “We just looked at it from the standpoint of what was best for our kids,” U-Hi activities coordinator Ken VanSickle said. “I think it was really on the girls’ side of our league that drove it.” Particularly in the case of Central Valley’s girls who last year drew a low seed despite being defending champions and with virtually the same lineup returning. The change paid dividends for Valley teams with RPI coordinators taking in the whole body of work and not relying strictly on league standings. CV girls are ranked number one in the 4A classification where they probably should have been last

season. Gonzaga Prep boys are top-rated among 4A boys. East Valley’s girls are the topranked 2A school and Freeman boys are rated number two in State 1A. VanSickle considers it a winwin for all concerned pointing out even struggling GSL squads can help improve their programs by scheduling teams with comparable abilities outside the league. Teams like CV girls proved worthy of their ranking by beating non-GSL foes Bellarmine Prep, Stanwood, Lake Stevens and Kentridge, plus Post Falls in Idaho, which came closest to the Bears, losing 59-48. Freeman boys played four Great Northern League schools to enhance its ranking. “What it did is give us a better measuring stick where we are versus the rest of the talent in state,” VanSickle added. The GSL and Mid-Columbia Conference pits four boys’ and four girls’ teams each that leads to an eight- team tournament at the Spokane Arena and qualifies three teams to state. Much has been made how special the Bears girls are. At last count they had lost but a single game while winning 71 the past three seasons. Four-year players conceivably could finish with 100

See NOTEBOOK, Page 23

“That group always meshed,” he explained. They were coached by parents who had basketball backgrounds, played together on AAU teams and traveled to numerous tournaments. Once in high school is merely adapting to the new coach’s style. Now everything is second nature. “My first year I told these seniors they definitely started something,” Jessett said “I don’t think it will end with (them). They’ve been ambassadors. I think it’s going to continue.”

The Freeman High School boys’ basketball team has placed second in the 1A state bracket the past two years. The 2017-18 Scotties are undefeated this season. (Back row from left to right): Jimmie Pierce II, Dylan Oja, Quin Hopkins, Michael Coumont, Jackson Clark and head coach Marty Jessett. (Front row, L to R): Jarett Wright, Rhys McVay and Ryan Crosswhite. Contributed photo


The Current

SPORTS

NOTEBOOK

had some spectacular efforts with games of 32, 26, 25 23 and 22 points.

victories against six losses.

U-Hi leaders were Tanner Christianson with a 17.2 scoring average and Boston Tacke at 13.5

Continued from page 22 It’s the final go-round for the ballyhooed Stanford bound Hull twins, Lacie and Lexie as well as fellow senior Hailey Christopher who have played all four years. Combined they averaged 39 points per game and three others – Mady Simmelink, Cameron Skaife and Tomekia Whitman – had double figures outings during the season. University girls had plenty of fire power as well while finishing third in the GSL. Sophomore Ellie Boni led the team in double figures while averaging 16 points per game. Fellow soph Kinsley Barrington, and seniors Jasey Ramelow and Claire Dingus provided plenty of double figures efforts along the way.

GNL hoopsters look ahead The East Valley girls took a big step toward playing for another state trip after beating Clarkston last month and taking two of three games from the Bantams for undisputed first place in the Great Northern League. Genesis Wilkinson averaged nearly 13 points per game and Emily Fletcher added 11 per outing.

The Freeman boys remained unbeaten through 16 games and are a good bet to reach the state 1A tournament and perhaps their third straight trip to the state finals. Michael Coumont was scoring over 17 points per game and Dylan Oja more than 11. Both Jackson Clark and Quinn Hopkins were approaching double figures. Nearly every girl on the Scotties’ roster scored in double figures in one game or another while placing third in the Northeast A League. Schools grapple with state A number of Valley wrestlers were looking to return to state.

West Valley boys were part of a three-team battle for second place. The trio of Cletis Hydrick, Collin Sather and Connor Whitney were double figure scorers, accounting for 43 points per game.

Among them were University’s Caleb Thomas, who took fifth, Neftali Lopez who was sixth, Terrell Sanders who placed seventh, Hunter Gregerson and Tim Westbrook.

Feisty double figure senior scorers on a young team, Zach Stocker, Jase Edwards and Grant Hannan carried the weight for CV boys’ basketball. Stocker, in particular,

The Eagles girls were paced by Hailey Marlow and Jill Tayor who averaged 16 and nine points per game respectively.

CV state fifth placer John Keiser returns with a chance to finish higher. Senior state veterans Wyatt Wickham, Bradley Wiggs and newcomer Luke Grisafi were

EV comeback story eclipses any feat on football field

continue to keep progressing, the story can impact others.”

By Mike Vlahovich

Current Sports Editor Adam Fisher tendered his resignation as East Valley’s football coach in December, walking away from the family business after nearly two decades of leading Knights’ football. The tenure included five state appearances and a state semifinal berth. Despite back-to-back losing seasons, the last two are likely his most successful and certainly the most gratifying after he and wife Jolene took in Rodrick Jackson off the streets, mentored and eventually adopted him. Rodrick is the reason the coach stepped down in this rags to riches saga. The youngster left the nest in early January, high school diploma in hand, and enrolled at Washington State University. He was given the chance of a lifetime – to play football for the Cougars. “You hope and pray he can stay on this course,” says Fisher as the family stepped off the metaphorical Silverwood roller coaster after it reached its destination. “If he does

Scotties seek return trip to state

Fisher’s dad, Ed, is a high school coaching legend, leading South Kitsap to 16 straight trips to state, winning one title and finishing second, in 1997 to underdog Central Valley. It was something Ed said during a practice that ultimately reinforced Adam’s decision to take on a rare challenge. Adam was assisting his dad one day while his younger brother was on a football road trip to Wisconsin. “My father looks over at me and goes, ‘What are we doing? We should be watching him in Wisconsin right now. You can’t take back time.’” “I want to be there for Rodrick and experience those things,” Adam says. “It’s just the best for everybody.” Rodrick’s story has been well documented for those who follow high school sports. From the street to college recruit, the Fisher family took on the challenge to mentor him. Adam says he was content with a family of four, his wife Jolene and two daughters. But Jolene swayed him to take Rodrick in. “(Rodrick) came to me and wanted to play spring football,” Fisher recalls. “I asked, ‘Are you really going to school?’ He told me he was taking online classes. It

turned out he wasn’t.” Rodrick’s grades were virtually non-existent. Desperate, he came to Adam for help. If Rodrick were to fulfill his dream of going to college for football, he was told that academics would have to come first. Adam told Rodrick if he missed one day of practice or school he’d have his equipment pulled. Fisher says it was then he broke down sobbing and said he wanted to change his life. Adam says some were taking side bets on how long he’d last. Rodrick was enduring the horrors of homelessness and life on the street and barely on the EV radar. The Fishers became strict surrogates. Inevitably, there were ups and downs and necessity for tough love. But the thing Rodrick discovered was that although there were consequences for back sliding, the Fishers discipline didn’t mean they were about to abandon him. Rodrick didn’t become eligible to play football until five games into his junior season. A grade point of 0.3 improved to 2.3 overall by the time he graduated, buoyed by the 2.84 maintained during the time he caught up on his core classes. The NCAA cleared Rodrick to enroll at WSU on Dec. 21. The December before – on the same day – the adoption had become final. Last year, Rodrick was a state

FEBRUARY 2018 • 23

constants for the Bears all season long. East Valley returns state finalist Winston Scott, seventh placer Brennon McDermott and qualifier Landon Hofstee. Freeman returns a number of quality grapplers, including defending champion Hunter Nees, Logan Holt, who finished third, Brandon Iris, Garrett Trevino and Nathan Werner. Gymnasts rise to occasion CV, under coaches Brittney Schmidt and Lizzie Roberg, swept through GSL gymnastics. They weren’t necessarily individual stars, but the group effort made the difference. Among the leaders were senior Chloe Robbins, sophomore Victoria Axtell, and freshmen Rebekah Ross and Claira Reiman. U-Hi standouts were seniors Anna Johnson and Pam Styborsky, plus juniors Stacey McNeely and Autumn Gallagher.

sprint champion with times comparable to the nation’s best high school marks. He was named to an all-star team and played in a football bowl game featuring the top-ranked prep football college prospects in the nation. He was Great Northern League football MVP last fall. He’s now in Pullman beginning the next phase of his journey. The Fishers, like any caring parents, keep their fingers crossed and are hoping for the best. “There are many stars that align like this”, Adams says. “There are bumps along the way, but that’s life. It’s been a whirlwind. I said to Rodrick, ‘Just take it a day at a time.’” He also reminds incredible journey.

him

of

his

“I say, ‘Let’s go back four years,’” Fisher says. “’You turned 13 and where were you? Things I’m guessing weren’t going well. Let’s fast forward four years from now. You’re a senior at WSU and playing a bowl game. You graduate and possibly are getting ready for the NFL draft. How cool is that?’ He got a huge grin on his face.” Fisher had applied for other coaching jobs and been a finalist but never hired. Looking back he realizes a higher power meant for him to remain at EV. Coaching football doesn’t get any better than this.


The Current

24 • FEBRUARY 2018

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HEALTHY

Continued from page 11 When it comes to smoking, McGowan points people to a new program called “Done My Way.” “We recognize that quitting is different for everyone,” she says. “People don’t want to be told to quit, they want to find out how. We want them to feel like their part of a friendly community that’s stopping smoking.” The program features stories from Spokane-area residents who have had success in leaving tobacco behind. An Army medic was impacted by those he saw in the service who lost their lives to smoking. A father quit when he realized the risks to his family of second-hand smoke. Done My Way includes an extensive resource guide that helps smokers find counseling, nicotine replacement therapy, self-help materials, web-based cessation programs, helplines like 1-800-QUIT-NOW and other support. “It’s a safe place where you can come and learn and be a part of something good,” McGowan said. While McGowan works to educate residents about one threat to heart health, Julie Bongard and Natalie Tauzin are part of SRHD’s efforts to combat another. As part of the district’s Healthy Eating program, Bongard and Tauzin coordinated a sodium reduction grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that ran for the past three years. The pair worked with universities and hospitals in the Spokane area on ways to reduce sodium by modifying recipes, finding lower sodium products for consumers and encouraging scratch flavorful cooking with the use of sodium alternatives. Reducing sodium means decreasing the risk of hypertension or abnormally high blood pressure – one of the risk factors for heart disease. “Keeping our hearts healthy has become increasingly important in Spokane because the incidence of hypertension is now at 30 percent,” Bongard said. “High-sodium diets have been shown to have direct links to hypertension. Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure.” To learn more about tobacco cessation, sodium reduction and other programs to improve your health, visit the SRHD website at www.srhd.org or call 324-1500.


The Current

Workshops help seniors navigate financial terrain By Erin Dodge

Current Guest Correspondent Financial planning can be tricky and overwhelming. An abundance of information exists for consideration. Yet looking ahead allows you to outline your wishes, care for your family and make the best decisions for your future. If you’ve been putting off planning for your senior years – whether already a senior or not – now is the time to dive in with local, professional help. Elder Law Group, PLLC, based in Spokane and Kennewick, will lead a six-week workshop series called “Legal Voices for Seniors” on Mondays, from 4 to 5 p.m., at the Argonne Library, starting Feb.

Taxes less dreary with free AARP Tax Aide By Gwendolyn Haley

Spokane County Library District I find that the shiny New Year starts to lose some of its sparkle about this time. The days are still short and dark and the snow has changed from fluffy, light ice crystals to a half frozen, half slushy, gray mess. The only thing this season doesn’t need is the stress and confusion

LIBRARY 5. Each workshop covers different social and legal issues that affect seniors and their families. You will get the tools to help make key decisions in advance, including valuable information for individuals, families and caregivers to plan for life and end-of-life, giving you more control and peace of mind. These workshops are based upon the Handbook for Washington Seniors published by www.legalvoice.org. In the first workshop “Money and Authority” on Feb. 5, the discussion is about managing money for seniors, wills and trusts, powers of attorney and healthcare advance directives. The second workshop on Feb. 12, focuses on the benefits of home care and paying for longterm care services. The following Monday is Presidents’ Day, so there is a break before the third workshop. On Feb. 26, “Downsizing, Moving and Asset Protection” takes a brought on by tax season. Alas, we get those as well. Fortunately for all of us, AARP volunteers are ready and able to help all of us with free Tax Aide at locations around the greater Spokane area, now through April. Spokane Valley residents have two libraries to choose from when seeking tax help. At Argonne Library, appointments are needed and can be made for Tuesdays, 4 to 7 p.m., and Thursdays, 1 to 4 p.m., through April 12, by calling Washington Trust Bank at 353.4851. At Spokane Valley Library, help is available on a firstcome, first-served basis through April 14 on Mondays from 4 to 7 p.m. (except Feb. 19), Fridays, 1

close look at how to downsize a home, the important things to consider when moving and how a supplemental needs trust can protect assets. During “Probate and Funeral Planning” on March 5, you’ll learn about the pitfalls of funeral planning and gain knowledge to help you understand probate. The presenters from Elder Law Group will review estate planning options and provide legal resources for seniors on March 12. On March 19, the series wraps up with a review of Medicaid and long-term care strategies. Anyone interested in financial planning for their senior years is welcome to attend this workshop series. The series is also presented at Moran Prairie Library, on Tuesdays, from 4 to 5 p.m., starting Feb. 6. For more details and additional programs offered by Spokane County Library District, check out the events and programs guide, Engage, at www.scld.org/ engage. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Here’s a tip from library staff: Tax Aide at Spokane Valley Library can get really busy, so it is definitely worth it to set an appointment at Argonne Library and make the trip if you’re able. This second tip can save you lots as well: Library staff are able to help you find and print tax forms and locate resources at www.irs.gov. For actual help preparing and filing your taxes, the AARP volunteers with Tax Aide are well trained and the best local, free resource. Along with the programs at Spokane Valley and Argonne Libraries, you can find AARP Tax Aide program information for Cheney and Moran Prairie Libraries at www.bit.ly/taxaide-2018 . The full online list of Tax Aide locations can be found at www.spokanecash.org/free-taxpreparation.html. To help with your appointment, be sure to bring your 2017 tax documents, valid photo ID, and Social Security cards for yourself and all household members. A copy of your completed 2016 tax return could be helpful as well, if you have it available. If you know which tax forms you’ll need, you can download and print them from www.irs.gov. With a little help from the Tax Aide volunteers, you can weather tax season – and the rest of our wintry weather. Here’s looking forward to spring!

FEBRUARY 2018 • 25

DR. SEUSS CELEBRATION honoring

America’s most famous reading teacher Read stories, play games & make crafts with us!

“We can have lots of good fun that is funny.” –Dr. Seuss, from The Cat in the Hat

FOR ALL AGES SPOKANE VALLEY LIBRARY Tuesday, Feb 27, 4–5pm OTIS ORCHARDS LIBRARY Thursday, Mar 1, 3:30–5pm ARGONNE LIBRARY Friday, Mar 2, 3:30–4:30pm Visit www.scld.org for additional locations, dates, and times.

www.scld.org


The Current

26 • FEBRUARY 2018

Growing Opportunity – Vets on the Farm succeeds from ground up By Tamara K. Williams Current Correspondent Just over three years ago, while attending a screening of a unique documentary, Vicki Carter felt compelled by a sense of urgency. The film, “Ground Operations – Battlefields to Farm Fields” offers an insightful look at returning war veterans who are transitioning from military life to civilian life and more specifically to the world of farming. By bringing veterans and agriculture together with the goal of teaching former soldiers to become sustainable farmers – giving them a new mission and sense of purpose – the effort also addresses the growing decline of American farmers. With the U.S. Department of Agriculture calling for a million new farmers in the next decade, the decrease of farmers is rapidly becoming a major concern for national security and food supply. According to national statistics, there are twice as many farmers over the age of 65 as under 35. Carter, who serves as director of the Spokane County Conservation District, decided to form a program called “Vets on the Farm” as a way to make a difference. The cause is designed for veterans “seeking a new mission and a way to transition back into civilian life through careers in agriculture, farming, ranching or other conservation based industries.” Coming from an extensive military background – with 11 family members, including her own son, either currently serving or having served in different branches of the military, Carter felt personally motivated. “With a new generation of vets post-9/11, coming out of Afghanistan or Iraq and no backfill to fill the gap of retiring farmers, I thought, ‘What could I do to get involved?’” Carter says. “I knew this was speaking to my heart. I work in this industry and at SCD, we’re working with agricultural producers every day. I just wasn’t sure where to start asking.” As her idea began to bloom, Carter spent months digging around, looking for groups or organizations that could help pull farmers and veterans together only to come up empty, other than a small group in Linden, Washington called “Growing Veterans,” who were using agriculture as a way to help address veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

This donated 1954 Farmall-300 tractor helps promote Vets on the Farm, a program started three years ago to help war veterans transition into careers in agriculture. The program is now in place in Spokane County and seven other counties. Contributed photo “Although this group has done related careers as their new mission

great things for vets with PTSD, I knew they had a focus different from mine,” Carter said. “I was looking more for a way to turn our veterans into farmers that would not only help the vets but also solve the decline in our farming industry.” Speaking one evening at a Farm Bureau meeting for Spokane County, Carter found the breakthrough she was seeking. There for a screening of the same documentary that started it all, Randy Emtman of Emtman Bros. Farms of Valleyford, Washington, heard Carter’s impassioned appeal for a new project to help local vets and benefit local farming. The day after that meeting, Carter received an email from Emtman who, after speaking with his wife, offered to donate 3 acres of unused farm land along with a dilapidated old farmhouse situated on it – throwing in a 1954 Farmall-300 tractor to complete the package. Carter, overcome with gratitude, was delighted as the first of many doors began to open – and just like that, Vets on the Farm was in business. Since that day, the program continues to gain momentum. Carter worked closely with Wendy Knopp, vice president of Northwest Farm Credit Services who had developed another program called, “Young and Beginning Farmers.” The two collaborated to develop Vets on the Farm from the ground up, teaming up with Washington State University and Spokane Community Colleges. “WSU already had this amazing curriculum called ‘Cultivating Success,’” says Carter. “We wanted to create a program designed to give veterans an opportunity to look at agriculture and conservation

coming out of military service. When you combine the skill set and work ethic of a military veteran with an industry like farming, you have a recipe for success. It’s a natural fit into providing national security to our food systems.” Most of the veterans applying for the program have fought in Afghanistan or Iraq and are around 30 years of age, although there are a few who fought in the Gulf Wars and Vietnam as well. “The post-9/11 vets are the ones transitioning out right now, so they are the ones typically looking for that next mission,” says Carter. To apply, vets fill out an application and see what’s available. “We pair our vets with local producers, with someone we know has a good solid handle on their industry, whether it’s ranching, farming, beekeeping or anything having to do with food, even transportation of food,” Carter explains. “We work with the farmers to become mentors for the vets.” When vets enter the 12-week program, they must go through the “Cultivating for Success” class, taught by Pat Munts, WSU’s Extension agent. The curriculum is designed to help them identify and refine their ideas to formulate a business plan. “As they define their ideas, we help them with resources, whether its financial or technical resources or even furthering education resources,” Carter says. “It helps them move into our American food system and that is our goal – to get them into conservation or into agriculture. Two years into this and without a doubt, this class is the cornerstone piece of

our program.” Carter delivers presentations at the Vets Club at Spokane Community College and for TAPS (Transitional Assistance Program) at Fairchild Air Force Base that run every six weeks for those retiring or separating from service. Additionally, she works with the National Guard and Reserve program for those who are searching for educational opportunities in agriculture or conservation. “There are so many opportunities out there – we’re not just placing them on our farm,” says Carter. “I get emails every day asking for more vets. I’ve been working with the Ritzville Grain Elevators, who last summer, wanted as many vets as I could get out there. We have farmers needing drivers, so if I had anyone with a CDL (commercial driver’s license), I could place them in that capacity.” Carter says the country is “losing that institutional knowledge of our farming practices and the whole goal is to increase the farming community to fill that gap in our agricultural system.” “We can take as many vets that want to participate.” Carter emphasizes, “Not all will be farmers, but many will stay in some sort of agricultural career or conservation effort which supports our soil, which then supports our agriculture. Whether they stay in it as a career or not, they are still able to grow food to provide security for their families.” The first two years of Vets on the Farm have proved fruitful. In the first year, after hearing about the donated

See FARM VETS, Page 27


The Current

FARM VETS

Continued from page 26

tractor from Emtman Bros. Farms, St. John Hardware of Fairfield, took to task of mechanically restoring the tractor to its original working condition, which then led to it being beautifully refurbished by Borth Restorations. Today, Carter calls it her “spokesperson,” as it makes the rounds to local farming communities and small- town parades, bringing more attention to the cause. In 2016, Vets on the Farm was the beneficiary of the Dan Kleckner golf tournament, Northwest Golfers for Warriors. The gift of $10,000 allowed the program to buy a greenhouse – and it didn’t stop there. After giving a presentation to Rotary 21 Club of Spokane, Vets on the Farm was selected as one of Rotary 21’s education programs for veterans, providing 15 scholarships in the last three sessions of the program. As more and more service clubs and businesses hear about the program, it seems the floodgates have opened. After hearing a speech given by Carter last year, Home Depot, which has a national program that puts vets to work, called Carter to ask how they could help. “We needed a deck on the house at the farm and now we have one,” Carter says. Last year, Home Depot stores in Spokane and Liberty Lake teamed up with Vets on the Farm for an extreme home makeover. Last October, over 50 volunteers from Home Depot and Northwest Farm Credit Services, along with a team of veterans from Vets on the Farm, put in a new bathroom, new flooring and a brandnew kitchen at a local home. On Veterans Day, the Northside-Shadle Lions Club held their annual auction and crab feed with Vets on the Farm will be the recipients of that auction. Vets on the Farm has now been established in eight Washington counties in Washington and continues to grow. Northwest Farm Credit Services uses the model to develop more programs like it for veterans in Oregon, Idaho and Montana. “We are homegrown in Spokane but when Wendy (Knopp) and I developed this, we developed it to be transferrable and transportable,” Carter said. “It wasn’t just for Spokane. It’s going to look different depending on the resources available but it’s a model that can work anywhere.” Currently Carter estimates Vets on the Farm program has impacted close to 200 vets locally, with many resource professionals showing up to their meetings monthly wanting to help. The 2017 vegetable production on the farm was contracted by Mama Torrez Salsa, a small family-owned

FEBRUARY 2018 • 27

salsa company which generated a small amount of capital to be reinvested in new equipment and capitalization of the farm. When asked what the next stage for the farm will be, Carter says the goal is to expand. With just under an acre in production now, the other acres will be turned into an “incubator farm,” where the acreage is divided into plots and leased out for a nominal amount of money to the vets, to grow and try things out on their own. “They get all the instruction and the advantage of having the equipment there,” she said. “They don’t have a huge capital layout and we set them up for success. As they grow in their skill, they can scale up. Our goal is to help them find their own ground to purchase or lease to take into production. The beauty of us being able to offer the plots of land to our vets are so that we can share our resources with them. They can come in, start small, make a few mistakes and it’s not going to cost them the farm.” The farm is considered naturally sustainable and Carter says they working as close to being organic as possible - using as few chemicals as necessary. “The land hasn’t been farmed for years,” she said. “The marketplace is demanding organic and we’re moving in the direction of certified organic.” Soon, Carter says, they will have other marketing tools available such as the national chapter of Washington state’s “Homegrown by Heroes” labeling. “We’d also like to add a Farmers Market stand to be able to include those with disabilities,” Carter says. “We’re only 2 years old and definitely a work in progress.” Even though the 2017 growing season is over, winter is a busy time on the Vets on the Farm property, located out along the old Palouse Highway. The winter is spent doing repair work, getting the greenhouse put away, strategic planning, consulting on plantings and looking at production schedules. “We have a little more down time compared to the long days of summer, but it’s a time for lots of education and workshops as we regroup, refresh and plan for our next season,” explains Carter. “We’re right back in the greenhouse in February getting our seedlings in.” For Carter, working long hours on behalf of the program is a labor of love. “It has been my honor and privilege to do this work for our vets,” she says. “Like those who are called to serve in our military, I feel called to this.” For more information on how to help or donate to Vets on the Farm, visit www.sccd.org/votf or contact Vicki Carter at vicki-carter@sccd.org or 535-7274 ext. 213

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Time is now to support CVSD bond and WVSD Replacement Levies

It was three years ago this month that the Central Valley School District was feeling super about a supermajority at the ballot. For the first time since 1998, the district earned enough votes to pass a capital facilities bond, eclipsing the required 60-percent margin. The 17 years that passed between election victories meant that certain seniors at Central Valley and University high schools had gone their entire lifetimes without their district earning enough voter support to build new schools and upgrade existing ones. It was a troubling drought. After the votes were official in 2015, CVSD did yeoman’s work leveraging state dollars to maximize the benefits of the win. When all was said and done, the district was able to add $103.8 million in state matching funds to the $121.9 million bond. It meant for every $1 of local money, CVSD has received 85 cents from the state. Now, CVSD is asking voters to step up again. The $129.9 million

OPINION bond on the Feb. 13 ballot will bring new buildings but not new taxes. The current rate of $1.79 per $1,000 of assessed property value would not change with passage since the previous voter-approved bond will be paid off. That means a third high school, new middle school, HVAC upgrades and a renovation of Horizon Middle School – all vital to the district’s priorities of keeping up with increasing enrollment, maintaining safe, efficient schools and addressing critical infrastructure needs – will all be accomplished without a tax increase. CVSD had remarkable foresight in 1980 to purchase acreage in the Henry Road/16th Avenue area for a future high school. Those who made that decision knew the Valley was growing and students would eventually need more classroom space. Nearly four decades later – with both U-Hi and CV far surpassing enrollment ceilings – the time to build is now. Borrowing a line from early settlers to the region, CVSD Superintendent Ben Small has said “a community is known by the schools it keeps.” West Valley School District is seeking a three-year replacement for their School Programs and

Operations Levy as well as the Technology, Safety, Security, and Facilities Capital Projects Levy which combined provide the difference between the state and federal funding and the actual costs of providing the programs students have come to rely on. The levies pay for teachers, technology, safety and security, classroom para-educators, bussing, nurses, and extra-curricular activities like sports, band, robotics, drama, art, and much more. WVSD has also been able to leverage state dollars through the Local Effort Assistance Funds (LEA) which matches up to $2 million of levy collections annually for qualifying districts. Without the renewal of these levies these additional funds could also expire at the end of this year. This month, the community will have an opportunity to support schools that will be the catalysts for our future and represent the legacy we leave behind. Let’s hope ballots reflect this profoundly crucial investment. Ballots are due back on or before Feb. 13. Please support our local community schools and vote today! Ben Wick, Current Publisher and Craig Howard, Current Editor

The Current

EDITOR/PUBLISHER

Ben Wick

Danica Wick

ben@libertylakesplash.com CO OWNER

danica@libertylakesplash.com

EDITOR

Craig Howard

craig@libertylakesplash.com OFFICE MANAGER GRAPHICS

Paula Gano

paula@libertylakesplash.com

Hayley Schmelzer

hayley@libertylakesplash.com

CIRCULATION Larry Passmore circulation@libertylakesplash.com CONTRIBUTORS

Bill Gothmann, Craig Howard, David Milliken, Mary Anne Ruddis, Mike Vlahovich, Tamara K Williams The Valley Current P.O. Box 363 Liberty Lake, WA 99019 Phone: 242-7752; Fax: 927-2190 www.valleycurrent.com The Current is published monthly by or before the first of each month. It is distributed free of charge to every business and home in the greater Spokane Valley area. Copies are located at drop-off locations in Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake and the surrounding area.

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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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The Current

FEBRUARY 2018 • 29

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The Current

Gem of the Valley shines spotlight on community builders

By Tamara K. Williams Current Correspondent On Jan. 19, Mirabeau Park Hotel and Convention Center played host to the annual Gem of the Valley Awards Gala presented by the Greater Valley Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce. The Valley’s economic development catalyst presented the prestigious awards to “those honored businesses, individuals and organizations who display a commitment to growth and excellence in the community, making the city of Spokane Valley a better place to live, work and do business.” The evening’s events carried a festive air with the light and lovely sounds of the Strolling Strings ensemble of East Valley High School, a talented group of young men and women, serenading the audience with violins as they circulated throughout the venue, while guests enjoyed a lovely steak and salmon dinner. A lively auction followed, featuring Gonzaga basketball tickets, a stay at Sun Mountain Lodge, a day of sailing on Lake Pend Oreille and many more fun experiences, going to the highest bidder. Awards were presented following the auction with Liberty Lake Mayor Steve Peterson being honored with the Harry E. Nelson Citizen of the Year Award. Peterson, who has served as mayor of Liberty Lake for all but four years since the city was incorporated in 2001, admits he was “surprised and pleased to be bestowed such an honor.” Peterson was acknowledged as a “City Builder” by the chamber for his dedicated work in Spokane County’s easternmost jurisdiction, now approaching a population of 11,000. “Mayor Steve Peterson has been a visionary leader in our region for many years embodying the three facets of criteria for the honored Harry E. Nelson Citizen of the Year Award,” said chamber President and CEO Katherine Morgan. “Most notable was his heart of experience and passion to serve the needs of a growing community within the Spokane Valley, as leaders in the community explored the path of incorporation, just shortly after the city of Liberty Lake incorporated.”

ON THAT NOTE

Liberty Lake Mayor Steve Peterson was honored as the Harry E. Nelson Citizen of the Year at the annual Gem of the Valley banquet last month. The Jan. 19 event at the Mirabeau Park Hotel and Convention Center was hosted by the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce and recognized the area's best in business and civic leadership. Contributed photo Peterson – known as a community ambassador who can be found engaging with citizens at City Hall as well as venues like the Liberty Lake Farmers Market and Pavillion Park – was humble in his comments, comparing the experience to something out of a holiday classic. “It feels like the movie, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’” he said. As for as his legacy, Peterson said he hoped people would understand his unwavering commitment to making Liberty Lake great. “I want to be remembered as a man that cared about this community,” he said. “That I worked hard to ensure we have a safe, clean and green community, that is vibrant for our residents and businesses because I love where I live and want to see our city successful beyond our expectations.” The evening’s other winners were announced following the auction. In order to be considered, each nominee must be a current chamber member and not be a recipient in the past two years. The process begins with a nomination from community members. After each nominee’s name is proposed, a ballot is sent out and is voted on by the over 700 chamber members. Contributing members receiving Awards of Excellence at the gala for their volunteer service and representation of the community were as follows: Chamber Volunteer of the Year: Courtney Johnson Chamber Ambassador of the Year: Garth Trimble Nonprofit of the Year Award went to Naomi (formerly Hearth Homes) whose mission is “transforming the lives of homeless women and their

children through Christian love, hope and faith.” Executive Director Angela Slabaugh said, “Our vision is that every family would be free from isolation and poverty. There are families struggling with homelessness, domestic violence and addiction right here in our community. My hope is that recognition like this will encourage local businesses and companies to get involved at a local level whether that’s philanthropically or volunteering because I believe that is what changes our awareness and the compassion we feel for others.” Heart of the Community is awarded to an individual, business, nonprofit, municipality or government program that has made significant changes and improvements in the community as a result of their volunteer service. This year the chamber awarded the distinction to Valley resident and chamber member Dusty Wetzler. After receiving his award, Wetzler said he was “so flattered and honored just to be nominated.” According to the chamber, the companies honored in the

FEBRUARY 2018 • 31

respective Business of the Year categories demonstrate within the community “exceptional leadership, initiative and recognized success in their day-to-day operations. They are outstanding in customer and community service and contributions to economic development, job creation and uniqueness of product or service to the community.” The following businesses were awarded: Small Business of the Year: Proactive Health Chiropractic. Accepting the award was Dr. Sam Nelson, owner. Medium Business of the Year: Baker Construction & Development. Barry Baker was there to receive the honor, with his unrehearsed acceptance speech leaving the audience in stitches. Afterward he said, “Our family has lived in the Spokane Valley for 46 years. I don’t have just a love for the city of Spokane Valley, I have a love for the whole region. We believe in giving back.” Large Business of the Year: MultiCare Valley Hospital Entrepreneur of the Year: Dr. Sam Nelson – Proactive Health Chiropractic Lifetime Achievement Award: Judi Williams, co-founder of Telect Educators of the Year: Central Valley School District: Heather Speziale (University High School) East Valley School District: Kasey Pitts (Trentwood Elementary) West Valley School District: Joni Chambers and Candi Jordan (Spokane Valley High School) Freeman School District: Special Acknowledgement For more information on how to join the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, go to www. spokanevalleychamber.org or call 924-4994.


The Current

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February 2018 Current  

Do your part for your heart; Stories from fours chambers of cardiovascular health

February 2018 Current  

Do your part for your heart; Stories from fours chambers of cardiovascular health

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