Page 1

APRIL

2019

GREATER SPOKANE VALLEY

FREE

A VALLEY-WIDE COMMUNITY NEWSMAGAZINE

Cele brati f o ng 50 Years Valley Hospital Page 10

STATE OF THE CITY BRINGS GOOD NEWS PAGE 4

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

VALLEY FARMERS MARKET SET TO DEBUT PAGE 25

MICA PEAK NORTH LAND SECURED PAGE 26


2 • APRIL 2019

NEWS

The Current

The Park Bench

Coach of Character – Owen built U-Hi wrestling into powerhouse By Craig Howard Current Editor There was no elementary school gymnasium in the town of Lolo, Montana when Don Owen was growing up. The humble suburb of Missoula – best known for world-class fly fishing on the Bitterroot River – was where Don and his eight siblings were raised by parents who taught and exemplified values like hard work and integrity. Everyone was expected to pitch in on the family farm, bailing hay, milking cows or cleaning out the barn. Owen’s dad was a mill worker and the family budget was lean. When Don and his brothers said they wanted to join the wrestling team at school, their father was skeptical, thinking it was somehow connected to the dramatized – mostly fake – version of the sport popular on TV at the time. “He thought we would be breaking chairs over each other’s heads,” Owen recalls. “He wouldn’t let us wrestle at first.” Eventually, everyone in the Owen household developed an appreciation for the real sport of wrestling. Owen recalls his parents never missing a match as he and his brothers emerged as standouts at Missoula’s Sentinel High. As the youngest of nine, Owen learned to fend for himself. The approach carried over to the mat as he placed second at state as a freshman and sophomore and won the crown as a junior. He also excelled in other sports, including baseball and football where he earned all-state honorable mention. In track, he tackled the high jump, hurdles and pole vault. An undefeated senior season in wrestling at Sentinel was derailed by a knee injury but Owen’s prep career was impressive enough

Longtime University High wrestling coach Don Owen is retiring after leading the program to state titles in 2005, 2010 and 2013. Owen, who was hired at U-Hi in 1989, steps down after 39 years of coaching, including time at Coeur d’Alene High and North Idaho College. Photo by Craig Howard to earn him a place on the North Idaho College roster where he became an All American. “I prided myself in not being outworked by anyone,” Owen said. Division 1 wrestling followed on scholarship at Brigham Young University. Owen had been recruited by a bevy of other schools out of NIC, including Oregon State, Utah State and perennial national power Oklahoma State. Owen also played baseball at BYU as an outfielder and shortstop before a serious shoulder injury interrupted his hopes of becoming a major leaguer. A two-time Western Athletic Conference champion, Owen lost only two matches his senior year, one to the eventual national champion at 158 pounds by a single point. He went into the Western Region of the Olympic Trials as one of the country’s best wrestlers, but Team USA would sit out the games in Moscow in 1980 as part of a political boycott. Owen began his journey as a coach after graduating from BYU. He spent a year as an assistant at the University of Montana before moving on to his alma mater NIC in the same capacity. He earned his first head coaching role at Coeur d’Alene High where he stayed from 1983 to 1989.

Owen was hired at U-Hi before the 1989-90 season and led the Titans to second place in the Greater Spokane League his first year. Three straight GSL titles followed. Turnout for wrestling also took off during Owen’s tenure, what many say was a ripple effect of how the program’s leader treated every student-athlete who signed on.

Q: You grew up in humble circumstances with no shortage of work for everyone to tackle on the family farm. How do you think that environment helped shape the person you became?

“My goal was making sure every kid was a priority,” Owen said. “That every kid felt like a champion. I wanted to make all of our wrestlers felt like they were part of something positive.”

Q: In what ways did the work ethic you learned early on translate into your approach to wrestling as a competitor and a coach?

Owen led the Titans to state championships in 2005, 2010 and 2013. He coached 127 state placers and won 11 GSL team titles. As an assistant coach, he was also a key contributor to the U-Hi softball program which won a state crown in 2003. Owen announced last month that he would be retiring after 39 years as a wrestling coach. He will continue to teach government and civics at U-Hi, topics he has taught for nearly as long as he has been a coach. Don and his wife Jennifer are proud parents of three kids – Megan, Molly and Tim – all U-Hi grads.

A: I learned to milk cows by hand and boy can that improve a young man’s hand strength. I never had my hands ever broken when I locked up a cradle.

A: We learned how to work on a farm but really learned to never give up. My mom and dad grew up during the Great Depression and had a toughness that was far greater than any of us kids could comprehend. My parents taught us to never give up, to not show your pain, to battle even if the odds were young. These are great gifts that they imparted on us but especially things that help in a wrestler’s tool kit. Q: How would you define a trait like determination? A: The person that can take a gripping loss and still wander back into a wrestling room and have his best practice on a Monday. The

See OWEN, Page 3


The Current

OWEN

APRIL 2019 • 3

NEWS

Continued from page 2 guy that continues to battle in a match long after he knows defeat is imminent. I have loved coaching those kinds of kids. Q: When you first arrived at U-Hi and took over the wrestling program, what were some of your goals? A: I always wanted to win a state title as a coach. I was bent on that and after I won one I knew I had to keeping busting my hump and win another and then another. I was also focused on building character in kids. Teaching them how to do things the right way; teaching them how to act and carry themselves as champions in life; to always have a moral code and think of others. Q: You have always been a proponent of making sure all of your athletes felt valued no matter if they were state champions or brand new to the sport. Why was this important to you and what was the impact on those you coached? A: This is how you build something that is worth the effort. It has a lasting impact to show every kid that they are loved and valued. To coach the freshman just as hard as the state champion in your program makes your team a true team. The kids would run through a wall for you if you showed them that kind of passion. Q: In the classroom, you have taught government for decades. What is it about this topic that you find rewarding to teach? A: I love the whole idea of building kids into better citizens. It is so uplifting seeing kids open their eyes to the world and find

meaning in voting and doing the things that good citizens have to do if we are going to remain a great nation. What a lucky man I have been to be able to love the job that I have done and feel that every moment was spent in a virtuous vocation. Q: Tell us about the concept of 24/7 A: This was a motto I developed around 10 years ago that we chanted every time we came together. It was our mantra that meant we were striving to be good wrestlers, good students, good sons, good brothers, good teammates and so on – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We broke in this mantra and it was a reminder of what our program was about and what we were striving to accomplish. I told them that if we could do that, winning and losing would take care of itself. And it truly has. We have very few kids in the principal’s office and few kids that break training rules and a whole bunch that are better people because of it. Yes, and we won a couple of state titles along the way. Q: What do you think you will miss most about coaching? A: My friends and treasured memories will always be somewhere where a mat is rolled out. I will probably never be too far from that but it has been a home for me and I will always treasure what wrestling has given me. Q: Finally, when you look back on your tenure as U-Hi wrestling coach, what are you most proud of? A: I built men out of boys and did it with the help of some great assistant coaches and parents and administrators. I helped build a family I am very proud of.

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4 • APRIL 2019

Plenty to celebrate in Valley’s State of the City

NEWS

The Current

By Keith Erickson

Current Correspondent From 40,000 feet, it looks pretty much the same today as it did in 2003. Tree-topped mountains flanking a winding river. Crisscrossing roads. Railroad tracks hugging busy highways. No tangible signs of a new city emerging. The overhead view of the city of Spokane Valley in 2019 might look pretty much the same. But times have most definitely changed. Since being incorporated as the state’s ninth-largest city nearly 16 years ago, this fledging municipality – once a conglomeration of undefined small communities, farmland, a pristine river and an Interstate that dissected it – has been transformed. Today, the city has become a force in nature, while embracing the nature that surrounds it. During the annual State of the City address last month, Spokane Valley Mayor Rod Higgins and Deputy Mayor Pam Haley reflected on how this town of 100,000 people has emerged to be one of Washington state’s most vibrant cities. As Spokane Valley prepares to celebrate its Sweet 16, Higgins and Haley said the best is yet to come. At a presentation attended by a standing-room-only crowd of 242 people at CenterPlace Regional Event Center on March 22, the two municipal leaders outlined past accomplishments as well as the incredible leaps forward the city will continue to make on numerous fronts. Highlights included: Industrial growth. “Business is indeed booming in Spokane Valley,” the mayor said. “We have been strategically developing industrial areas for growth and it’s paying off.” A prime example of this is the city’s northeast industrial area, where 277 acres of developed land and another 563 acres of undeveloped land is ready and waiting. Spokane Valley, Higgins said, “is at the epicenter of new industry and a magnet to attract new businesses.” Business investment. On every level, the mayor said, businesses are looking to expand

Spokane Valley's State of the City address took place on March 22 at CenterPlace Regional Event Center with a standingroom-only crowd in attendance. Mayor Rod Higgins (at podium) and Deputy Mayor Pam Haley provided an overview of the achievements over the past year as well as objectives for the future. The city of Spokane Valley incorporated on March 31, 2003, becoming Washington's ninth largest city. The vote for cityhood appeared on the ballot in May 2002, passing by a margin of 51.3 percent. A total of four previous incorporation attempts had failed leading up to the successful vote. Photo by Ben Wick or relocate to the Spokane Valley. An exciting aspect of this is the aerospace industry. Washington is a world leader in aerospace and advanced manufacturing. “We are very well-positioned to attract more aerospace industries,” Higgins said. “We have the right combination of skilled workforce, available land and supportive business environment to meet their needs.” Small business growth. Haley emphasized that small business is the backbone to the community. “We have created a series of lunch-and-learn workshops in partnership with StartUp Spokane,” she said. “At City Hall we are now hosting the free workshops quarterly. They focus on topics of interest to small businesses and entrepreneurs such as social media, market research, accounting, public speaking and financing.” Trails and parks. With more than 191 acres of unique parks and open area, the city is investing in parks to enrich the quality of life. “This past year the city has completed improvements in a number of our parks,” Higgins said. “We are embarking on an update to our parks master plan this year. It has been a key goal of the council to pursue funding to enhance amenities and features at

our parks and continue acquisition of park land.” Traffic safety. One of the top priorities in Spokane Valley continues to be an effort to separate vehicle and train traffic at key rail crossings within the city. “By replacing at-grade crossings and essentially bridging the Valley, we will not only enhance traffic flow, public safety and our economic development efforts but reduce those annoying train horns,” Higgins said. “We are currently in the design phase, expecting construction to begin in 2021.” Community venues. The first phase of the CenterPlace West Lawn and North Meadow Master Plan was fulfilled recently, expanding outdoor venue space, helping accommodate activities such as concerts, weddings and the Valleyfest car show, Haley pointed out. Municipal efficiency. Spokane Valley takes a conservative approach to adding new staff, the officials said. With just 93 employees, the city continues to have the lowest per-capita employee count of any Washington city with a population of 50,000 or greater. “By all comparisons, the city of Spokane Valley is a lean, productive city government,” Higgins said.

“We stay lean by contracting for services when it makes sense, such as with public safety, park and street maintenance and partnering with outside organizations and other jurisdictions to accomplish our goals.” Family friendly. Spokane Valley is a great place for all ages to live, Haley said. The city is proud to be partnering again with the chamber for the second annual Lemonade Day on May 18. This program seeks to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs as they develop lemonade stand businesses throughout the community. Healthy living. Valley Hospital and Medical Center has again earned the distinction of being a five-star hospital. “The number of those holding that certification are very few, and it’s a real honor to have MultiCare’s Valley Hospital as our own,” the mayor said. Higgins closed with a vision for the Valley. “Yes, we have lots more work to do,” he said. “We have numerous projects that need the community’s support, but I’m confident that together, we’ll get the job done. It’s a great time to be in Spokane Valley and together we’re making this community better and stronger.”


The Current

APRIL 2019 • 5

NEWS

SVFD Report – April 2019

From Current News Sources Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) crews responded to a total of 1402 emergency calls from Feb. 12 – March 15. Incidents included: Structure Fire – Feb. 17 – Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) units were dispatched at 3:05 p.m. for a residential structure fire in the 13900 block of East 16th Avenue. A 911 caller reported seeing a plume of black smoke coming from a neighbor’s home with an adult and children standing in the backyard. The homeowner said he had just briefly left to drive down the street and returned to see smoke coming from his home around the same time the neighbor was calling 911. Engine 7 firefighters arrived within minutes of being dispatched to heavy black smoke from the rear of the house and all occupants safely outside. Engine 7 pulled a fire hose to the back door and with backup from Ladder 10 firefighters advanced down the stairs of the home to attack a working basement fire. The fire was controlled within 10 to 15 minutes of the first dispatch with several other fire crews remaining on scene to assist with checking the walls for fire extension, performing a search to verify no occupants were still inside, picking up equipment and helping the fire investigator. No injuries to occupants or firefighters were reported, and Red Cross was called to help with the displaced family of two adults, two children and two dogs. The fire cause appears to be electrical with extensive damage to a basement living room. Commercial fire – Feb. 17 – SVFD units responded at 6:33 p.m. to a commercial structure at Rodda Paint, 6818 E. Sprague Ave. in Spokane Valley. This was SVFD’s second working structure fire of the day. A passerby on Appleway Boulevard noticed significant smoke coming from the southwest corner of the building, pulled his vehicle over and flagged another driver to call 911. Rodda Paint’s owner stated that the business is closed on Sundays and no employees were reported to have been inside the building. Firefighters with Engine 6 arrived first on the scene to a large commercial building with heavy fire and smoke conditions. Combined with firefighters from Engine 1, Engine 2, Spokane Engine 14 and other arriving apparatus, hose lines were pulled in an attempt to enter the building. Heavy fire conditions instead forced firefighters into a “defensive” strategy to apply water from the outside of the building.

Using “ master stream” devices from three ladder trucks and several larger handlines, firefighters applied water from the outside of the building for approximately two hours until the fire was under control. Firefighters then entered structurally safe portions of the structure to finish extinguishing the fire. Throughout the incident firefighters also dealt with freezing temperatures and toxic smoke from large amounts of burning paint. Firefighters working directly in the smoke wore SCBA airpacks to avoid inhalation. There were no reported injuries to civilians or firefighters. In total, 14 fire department vehicles including command vehicles responded with approximately 35 firefighters. Multiple fire engines and ladder trucks from the Spokane Fire Department and a support unit from Spokane County Fire District 8 through automatic aid agreements, along with traffic control from the Spokane Valley Police Department and a standby ambulance from AMR were also part of the response. Firefighters remained on scene through the night to ensure the fire did not reignite. Structure fire – March 13 – SVFD responded at 9:36 p.m. to a residential structure fire in the 1500 block of North Grady Road in Spokane Valley. Homeowners reported they were heating cooking oil to prepare food and left the room. After they heard a smoke detector alarming, they returned to the kitchen to see large flames coming off the stove. All four residents evacuated the home and ran to a neighbor’s residence to call 911. Ladder 10 was first on scene and reported a mobile home with active fire conditions, followed closely by the arrival of Engine 3. Ladder 10 firefighters pulled a fire hose from Engine 3 and made entry into the home for fire attack, backed up by Engine 3’s firefighters. Engine 4 soon arrived and was able to establish a water supply from a fire hydrant to Engine 3. Firefighters worked to successfully control the fire over the next 20 minutes with further support from additional arriving fire companies. Firefighters remained on scene several hours to extinguish hotspots. Extensive damage was noted to the kitchen and living room areas, with back bedrooms largely untouched thanks to their doors being closed. Four adults were displaced from home with Red Cross called to assist. Additional support was provided by the Spokane Valley Police Department, AMR and Avista. No injuries of civilians or firefighters were reported. Ladder 10 A-Shift responded to this home last October for an event unrelated to the fire, noticed the

See SVFD, Page 6

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6 • APRIL 2019

The Current

NEWS

SVFD

Continued from page 5

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The Current

APRIL 2019 • 7

Introducing the

Safety Awareness Channel

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Deputy Chris Johnston and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office/ Spokane Valley Police Crime Prevention Unit would like to take a moment to give you some tips about vehicle prowling prevention: -Upon arrival at your destination, choose a parking spot that is close to other people/activity. If you won’t be returning until after dark, look for nearby lighting sources and try to keep your car well-lit. -Before exiting your car, scan the area around you. Pay attention, and look for anything that seems out of place. -Be sure that all windows on your vehicle are completely closed, and doors are locked.

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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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Prepared By: Regional Intelligence Group 9 Spokane County Sheriff

-Vehicle security systems are an excellent theft deterrent. -Last but not least, don’t leave ANYTHING in your vehicle that you’re not willing to part with! Enjoy the newly found sunshine and warmer weather. Be safe, everyone!


8 • APRIL 2019

Spokane Valley City Council Report – April 2019 By Bill Gothmann Current Correspondent Use of City Hall grounds The Spokane Valley City Council voted to prohibit use of the external grounds at City Hall for certain thirdparty special events. The resolution states: “The City of Spokane Valley prohibits the use of the external City Hall grounds for special events by third parties pursuant to chapter 5.15 SVMC, including commercial, campaign-related, and religious events, when such events and parties are not related to the primary use of the City Hall facility and to the City functions.” Staff and council emphasized that this is not a prohibition of citizens expressing their constitutional right to express their opinion “as long as people can come into and out of the building.” Rather, it applies to such events as car shows, political meetings and religious meetings, all of which would

NEWS

require a special event permit to use city facilities. Staff noted that both CenterPlace Regional Event Center and city park facilities are already available for such events. Events that are related to city business are permitted, with the city manager making the decision. The vote was 6-1, with Council Member Ben Wick dissenting. He indicated that there are some special events that should be permitted. City Hall Chambers settling Staff has been investigating why the east curved wall along the council chambers appears to be settling. They have discussed the problem with the contractor, Meridian Construction, and have filed a claim against them “pursuant to the contract to work toward resolution.” The city contacted a structural engineer whose analysis shows that the “chambers are safe to occupy while this issue is addressed.” Arts Council agreement reached Staff and the Spokane Valley Arts Council (SVAC) have reduced to writing an agreement that meets the needs of both parties. The city will make available space for a yearly fundraising event for SVAC, make available at CenterPlace cabinets for

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display of small art pieces, provide access to additional funding at the discretion of the council, fund the location of sculptures and provide any promised funding in three installments. The Arts Council will make reasonable efforts to fund sculptures, provide advance notice so council and the public can comment on projects and provide one-year notice about possible locations of sculpture placement so the city can budget for such placement. Council authorized the city manager to finalize and execute the agreement. Arts Council reviews possible sculpture gifts to city Dr. James Harken and Jim Sullivan from the Spokane Valley Arts Council presented three possible sculptures for the city to consider. “Indomitable Spirit” was created as “a tribute to man’s strength of spirit and determination to never give up.” It shows three figures. One encased in stone, one bound and kneeling and one who has finally broken free. The artist is Jerry McKellar, a well-known sculptor responsible for “Coup Ponies,” Dance of Sun & Moon” and “Working the Line” for Spokane Valley. The second sculpture is “Huckleberry Daze,” a bronze bear sculpture, also by McKellar. Many of these bears appeared in fiberglass on Spokane streets. The third sculpture is “Rock Star” by Bob Wilthong, that of a very stylized guitar player. Harken suggested the city could come up with approximately $33,000 for all three pieces for 2019. As a final suggestion, Harken is generously giving his own sculpture from his front yard to the SVAC, “Ascent,” and they could donate it to the city. The sculpture shows two figures ascending a rock wall, with one helping the other. No action was taken at this time. NW Winterfest proposed Event organizer Charity Doyl and Sam Song, who was involved with the Washington Chinese Lantern Festival at Riverfront Park in Spokane, are proposing a somewhat similar winter festival for 2019 that would occupy Mirabeau Meadows between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This multi-lighted event would take over the park for about two-and-a-half months for setup, the festival and teardown. The Lantern Festival exceeded attendance predictions by 60 percent, providing a $4.6-million benefit for the region. Song noted that “Mirabeau was even a better location than Riverfront Park.” The event’s theme would be Christmas, with a giant, five-story Christmas tree, a multicolored entrance featuring Santa and reindeer, Christmas villages, a lighted

The Current

interactive tunnel maze for kids, several large Santa displays, a 200foot gallery of several displays, a 160-foot dragon and a castle. The entrance fee would be in the $15 to $20 range with the expectation of breaking even the first year. One of the goals is to involve minorities within the region. The festival would occur yearly with different displays each year. The city would not support the event directly but would provide snow plowing and other services. There would be food vendors. Parking options are being explored, either using the parking lots of neighboring businesses or providing bus service to the Valley Mall. Council unanimously supported continuing to pursue the festival and developing appropriate contracts which would be brought back for final action. Alcohol use on city property Alcohol use is prohibited on city property except when the city has granted an event permit to the event sponsors. Council approved a resolution expanding where alcohol can be used with such a permit. It will include CenterPlace, certain areas north as far as the springs, west and east of CenterPlace, an area at the southeast corner of the CenterPlace parking lot and undeveloped portions of Balfour Park. When Balfour Park is developed further, council will revisit this policy. The vote was 6-1, with Council Member Linda Thompson dissenting, preferring to prohibit alcohol from all city parks, including Balfour. Agreement reached with water district for full-width paving January’s Issue of the Current reported that an agreement was in the works to permit full-width paving on segments of a Spokane County Water District 3 (SCWD#3) project – Valleyway from Marguerite to Mullan, Farr from Appleway to Eighth Avenue and Woodruff from Ninth Avenue to 10th Avenue. Spokane Valley will pay the cost of extending these portions of the work to full width. On March 13 council approved the agreement and authorized SCWD#3 to award the contract for the portion to be paid by Spokane Valley to Halme Construction for $262,376.88, about $30,000 under the engineer’s estimate. Halme’s bid for the SCWD#3’s work on the project was $3,927,107.44, the lowest of the bidders. SCWD#3 approved the bid for their portion of the work. Centennial Properties contributes $1.5 million to Garland project Council approved an agreement

See COUNCIL, Page 9


The Current

NEWS

The Spokane Valley Arts Council is working with the city of Spokane Valley on three potential sculpture acquisitions. Two of the sculptures are by Jerry McKellar whose works “Coup Ponies,” “Dance of Sun & Moon” and “Working the Line” are already showcased in the community. The other sculpture under consideration is by Bob Wilthong. Dr. James Harken of the Arts Council suggested that the city come up with $33,000 to purchase the sculptures this year.

COUNCIL

Continued from page 8 with Centennial Properties whereby they will contribute 50 percent of the $3 million cost for constructing Garland from Flora to Barker. The future road will provide access to Centennial’s industrial property, provide connectivity between Flora and Barker, act as a detour while the Barker Grade Separation Project (BGSP) is being constructed and will provide a detour for the expected closure of the Flora crossing upon completion of the BGSP. Centennial will fund construction of the sewer and water lines, design all the utilities, provide drainage plans, plus the subgrade of the road. The city will fund the design and construction of the roadway, bid the project and award the construction bid. Midilome paving project presented Staff is planning to reconstruct Midilome streets, generally bounded by Bowdish and Pines between 32nd and 37th streets. Presently, the streets are in poor condition with a Pavement Condition Index of less than 50 on a scale of zero to 100. There is significant cracking, pedestrian ramps do not meet American Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and minor upgrades are required for the stormwater structures. Crews will pulverize the base, treat it with cement and then lay 3 inches of asphalt on top. Because of the extensive treatment required, all streets within the work limits will be closed except for local access. Estimated cost for the project is $1.8 million with funding coming from the Waste Management street wear fee authorized in January of this year. This is a fee assessed on Waste Management for the wear

and tear on city streets by garbage collection trucks. Construction will start in mid-June and be completed in mid-August. Drywell retrofit program Spokane Valley is resurrecting a Department of Ecology drywell retrofit program designed to increase water quality. The city received a $682,500 grant in 2015 and can proceed now that the legislature has funded the grant. The program is intended to increase water quality by improving pre-treatment, basic treatment and enhanced treatment of drywells. The city will provide $227,500 of its own funds. Council decided to move this to the consent agenda of a future meeting. Amendments to 2019 budget A public hearing was held to discuss amendments to the 2019 city budget. The main amendments consist of $62,456 to fund council salaries and benefits implementing the findings of the Independent Salary Commission, $143,744 in increases negotiated with the employees union, $16,300 in election costs to pay for postage for ballots distributed to city voters, $120,000 to replenish the Winter Weather Reserve Fund for higher than expected snow removal costs and $7,109,300 transferred from the General Fund to the Capital Reserve Fund representing the 2017 yearend fund balance in excess of 50 percent of recurring expenditures. A total of $4,267,300 of the Capital Reserve Fund will then be used for the Barker Road Reconstruction Projects and the Garland Avenue Construction Project. There are sufficient funds for all these transfers and expenditures. Council advanced these changes to a second reading. Accomplishments of the city

Contributed Photos recounted City Manager Mark Calhoun and his staff reported on the accomplishments of the city within the past year, too numerous to list here. Funding for the $25 million Barker Grade Separation project has been secured with the addition of $15 million in grants. The $29 million Pines Grade Separation is well on its way due to an additional $764,000 from the General Fund and $1.89 million from Spokane Regional Transportation Commission bringing the total set aside to $5 million. An additional $3.4 million may be available through an inactive, year 2000 grant. A total of $1.16 million was set aside for improvements to Browns Park and $764,000 for Balfour Park. Additionally, $648,750 was shifted to the EvergreenSullivan section of the Appleway Trail, expected to be completed in 2020. (See Council Briefs update below). This will complete the trail from University to Corbin. The first phase of CenterPlace landscaping was completed. Events such as Crave, Octoberfest, Valleyfest, and Hot Summer Nights were held. The Northeast Industrial Area is being developed with the construction of Katerra, passing a new Planned Action Ordinance and development of the Barker Corridor and planning for Garland Avenue. City Council held 53 meetings, passed 11 resolutions and 26 ordinances. The Traffic Division installed 30 new traffic signal controllers while stormwater workers cleaned over 2,300 storm structures and Public Works placed 4,800 tons of asphalt. Geiger work crews removed 130,260 pounds of garbage and vegetation from city right-of-way. Parks staff provided 1,438 swim lessons and deputies responded to 28,982 calls for service.

APRIL 2019 • 9

Council Briefs: • Mayor Rod Higgins appointed Jean Kindem to the Eastern Washington Area Agency on Aging Planning and Management Council as Spokane Valley’s representative • Council Member Sam Wood reported that the Department of Ecology is taking over water rights of water companies that have not yet been exercised. Such rights are necessary to water districts in order that they may grow as the use and population of such districts grows • Council passed the Planned Action Ordinance discussed in last month’s issue of the Current. This ordinance would pre-plan what facilities are needed to accommodate full development of the Northeast Industrial Area, easing the time and effort for each individual permit applicant from about six weeks to about two weeks • Council approved an agreement with Washington State Department of Enterprise Services whereby they can provide surplus services for the city, including public auction, for a fee. The city is still free to use other methods of disposal • Staff presented a potential Federal Highway Bridge Grant opportunity. The city’s northbound Sullivan Road Bridge over Union Pacific Railroad is the only eligible project • City Manager Calhoun reported that State Labor and Industries has addressed the 320-percent increase of prevailing wage of landscape laborers by creating a new labor classification which better describes caring for landscapes. This prevailing wage for this new classification is $12 per hour • A confusing bill in the legislature would permit cities to increase local sales taxes by 0.02 percent to fund affordable housing, with the state giving 0.01 percent back • Council Member Arne Woodard announced that the Spokane Regional Transportation Commission has moved funds around so that the city’s final Appleway Trail segment, from Evergreen to Sullivan, may be completed in 2019 instead of 2020


10 • APRIL 2019

COVER STORY

Valley Hospital celebrates a half-century of healing

By Nina Culver

Current Correspondent The name and affiliation may have changed over the years, but MultiCare Valley Hospital celebrates its 50th anniversary this year as a community hospital focused on serving the residents in the neighborhoods of Spokane Valley. Spokane Valley General Hospital opened on Jan. 26, 1969, but there was a problem. An epic snowstorm shut down the roads. The first patient at the 95-bed hospital wasn’t actually seen until Feb. 6 of that winter. The first hospital administrator was Tom Markson, who is now

Markson said. The hospital was founded by the same people who ran the Woodland Park Hospital in Portland. “They mustered the money to come and build a 95-bed hospital,” he said. One doctor, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jack Watkins, was so eager to start seeing patients that he arrived on horseback during the snowstorm, Markson said. “You couldn’t move with a car very well,” he recalls. Records show that Bessie Haley from Opportunity was the

Valley Hospital became the first hospital to offer an emergency room staffed by doctors 24 hours a day. In 1970, it opened the first medical helicopter pad. “We were first in many respects,” Markson said. Many of those firsts were driven by the staff, Markson noted. “The medical staff was always very important at Valley in terms of what happened at the hospital,” he said. Ground was broken on a 24bed addition in 1971. The hospital has 123 beds now, but Markson said he always thought it would grow to 300 at least beds like other hospitals in the area. “The bed demand started to shrink a little bit and it never happened,” he said. Markson was the administrator for four years, then took a job in

MultiCare Valley Hospital first opened as Spokane Valley General Hospital on Jan. 26, 1969 although the first patient was not admitted until Feb. 6 due to a snowstorm. The idea of opening a hospital in the Valley gained traction due to the fact that so many residents faced the hurdle of driving into downtown Spokane for hospital care. MultiCare purchased the hospital in 2017. Photo by Nina Culver retired but still lives in the area. He arrived in 1968 from St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, to oversee construction of the hospital. “I was the first employee,” Markson said. “I wasn’t pounding nails, but pretty close.” The hospital happened largely because doctors with offices in Spokane Valley were tired of driving downtown all the time to see their patients in the hospital,

first patient admitted to the new hospital. The hospital had obstetrics, pediatric, surgical and emergency departments when it opened. “Those were the basic tenants then,” Markson said. “Now they’re more highly specialized.” After the hospital opened, things happened quickly. The emergency room, the only one in Spokane Valley, was immediately busy. In September of that year,

Portland for two years. However, he missed the area and came back, serving as the hospital’s administrator again from 1974 to 1977. “This was the place to be,” he said. “It was a great adventure. If I look at my work life, it was the best job I ever had.” Now the hospital is headed by Greg Repetti, the facility’s current president who has been there since 2014. He’s heard the stories of the

The Current

hospital’s early days and has been able to reminisce with Markson. “At the time it was just a routine community hospital, which we still are in many ways,” said Repetti. “The complexity of things we can do here has increased.” The hospital has carved out a niche in the area of joint surgeries and performs more than 800 a year. The facility was the first in the state to earn the Joint Commission’s advanced certification in knee and hip replacement, Repetti said. “That’s a lot for a small hospital,” he said. And of course, there have been babies. There are some 750 babies born at Valley Hospital every year now. Records show that the first baby born at the hospital after it opened was JoEllen Ann Prickett. The first twins were born at the hospital in April 1969, Markson said. Last year 44,000 people visited the hospital’s emergency room and there were 52,000 outpatient procedures, with another 6,000 people admitted, Repetti said. “We just continue to grow the services,” he said. The hospital has also been providing cardiac catheter procedures and is creating a new cardiac catheter lab that should be up and running by the end of the year. “We have just kind of grown as the community is grown,” Repetti said. “Our job is to try to meet the needs of this incredible community we are a part of.” The hospital’s emergency room is a Level III Trauma Center, which is enough to handle most car crashes and injuries. More complex cases are sent to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, which has the area’s only Level II Trauma Center. “It’s the right level for us,” Repetti said of the Level III rating. The hospital had three operating rooms when it first opened and now has six surgical suites. There are limits on what the hospital can handle and Repetti is conscious of that. “We don’t do things we’re not capable of,” Repetti said. “You won’t have open heart surgery here.” The list of services and specialties available at Valley Hospital is still lengthy. Nearly 600 doctors either work at the hospital or are affiliated with it. They treat patients for a wide

See HOSPITAL, Page 11


The Current

HOSPITAL

Continued from page 10

variety of medical needs, including dermatology, allergy, infectious disease, oral surgery, cancer treatment, dialysis, intensive care, nutritional counseling, occupational medicine, rehabilitation and internal medicine. Repetti worked at hospitals in Colorado and Illinois before arriving in Spokane nine years ago to become the chief operating officer at Deaconess Medical Center. He worked there for three years before working as the COO at the Rockwood Clinic for one year. His family enjoys Spokane and Repetti said he has no plans to leave. “We love it here,” he said. While Repetti is focused on running the hospital well, he also likes to have a bit of fun. He wears wild socks every day and every Tuesday he dons a bowtie, bringing some colorful character to the medical surroundings. “It’s a man’s expression of defiance,” he said of the unique socks that show from beneath his suit pants. “I have a plethora of them.” The hospital already held one anniversary celebration in January, but more events are planned. Repetti hopes to organize a reunion in July for people born at Valley Hospital over the last five decades. “We find ways to party,” Repetti said. He thanked the community and his staff during a speech he gave at the January anniversary event. “ Our doctors, nurses, staff and, dare I say, administrators strive every day to make the world a better place for those that we serve,” he said. “I know

COVER STORY

that I speak for all of us at MultiCare Valley Hospital when I say, we are here to make a difference in this community by giving of ourselves, one patient at a time.” The hospital has changed hands several times over the years. It was purchased by St. Luke’s Hospital and Humana in 1980. St. Luke’s merged with Deaconess Medical Center to create Empire Health Services in 1984. The Empire Health Services system was purchased by Community Health Systems in 2008 and then by MultiCare Health System in 2017. Repetti referenced that history during his speech as well. “No matter what its name or ownership, MultiCare Valley Hospital has endeavored to meet the needs of this incredible community by providing the highest quality care,” he said. “We are dedicated to continuing that legacy. Most important, we thank the Spokane Valley community for their trust and confidence. We will never take for granted your support and we remain dedicated to serve you in your time of need.” The hospital seems to be doing something right at it celebrates its 50th anniversary. It was recently awarded a five-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the only hospital in Eastern Washington to earn such a high rating. The rating is based on seven areas, including safety of care, effectiveness of care and patient experience. “Our patients give us good

APRIL 2019 • 11

Greg Repetti is the current president of MultiCare Valley Hospital. He began his tenure in 2014 when the facility was still owned by Community Health Systems. The hospital was recently honored with a five-star rating from Centers from Medicare and Medicaid Services, the only hospital in Eastern Washington to receive such a distinction. Photo by Nina Culver marks,” Repetti said. “We work hard at it.” Only 6 percent of the 4,500 hospitals rated nationally received a five-star rating. “It’s an affirmation,” Repetti said. “I’m thrilled to get that honor. Our drive is to stay there.” He points to the hospital’s employees as a key reason for the hospital’s success. Everyone from the nurses to the housekeeping staff are excellent, he notes. “They’ve made the big difference here,” he said. Repetti said his mission is to continue serving the community while providing high quality care. “I like what we’re doing here,” he said.

Top Rated Hospital in Eastern Washington MultiCare Valley Hospital is proud to be the FIRST & ONLY hospital in Eastern Washington to receive the HIGHEST SCORE for overall hospital quality from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services!

multicare.org/valley-hospital

He said the community trusts his staff to be there in their moments of joy and moments of sorrow. “We are invited to be a part of those special times,” he said. “It’s humbling, candidly, to fill this role. I think we all work very hard to never forget that.” Markson said that when he served as administrator he liked giving back to the community and developing the growing hospital to meet the community’s medical needs. “It’s sustained for 50 years,” he said. “The Valley is their own community. It kept that warmth factor. Your neighbors are your patients.”


COMMUNITY

12 • APRIL 2019

The Current

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Each Friday – March 8-April 12 | Fish Fry, each Friday during Lent, Parish Hall at St. Mary’s Parish, 304 S. Adams Road, Spokane Valley. Serving 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. Cost: $10 suggested donation per person at the door. Menu includes baked or fried fish, French fries or baked potato, clam chowder or “Soup of the Week,” bread bowls, cole slaw, rolls, garlic bread and more. April 13 | Earth Day Celebration – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Balfour Park – 105 N. Balfour Road, across from Spokane Valley City Hall. This year’s theme is “Save the Species.” The event is a fundraiser to benefit Spokane Valley, Spokane and North Idaho’s surrounding communities’ natural environment. Learn how to celebrate Earth Day every day and how planting one seed can make a difference in saving our planet and protecting our environment. Event will feature an art walk, petting zoo, pet adoption drive, food trucks, farmers market, artisans, hobbyists and local resources. April 20 | Liberty Lake Easter Egg Hunt – 11 a.m., Pavillion Park, 727 N. Molter Road. Register toddlers up to fourth grade on April 15 from 3 to 6 p.m. or April 18 from 3 to 8 p.m. at Liberty Lake Municipal Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave. Must register to participate. Cost is $2 per child (cash or check only) or six plastic eggs filled with wrapped candy per child. April 26-28 | Shrine Circus – New location across from the at Spokane Valley City Hall next to Balfour Park located in the Spokane Valley on the corner of East Sprague Avenue and Herald Road. The El Katif Shriners are excited to announce the return of the annual Shrine Circus. The circus is celebrating its 64th year. The festivities begin Friday, April 26 with shows at 3 and 7 p.m. and continue Saturday the 27th at 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. The circus will conclude on the 28th with shows at 1 and 5 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the box office on site beginning at 9am each day of the show. General admission is $10 per person. Reserved seating is $15, VIP tickets are $20 and ringmaster seats are available for $25 per person. The Shriners are about helping children. The Shrine Circus provides operating funds for the El Katif Shriners, so they can continue to support the Shrine Hospitals. Spokane is fortunate to have one of the 22 Shrine Hospitals in the U.S. April 27 | Spring Tea hosted by the Women’s Ministry of the Otis Orchards Community Church – 1 to

3 p.m. All are invited to this event featuring delicious food, a program with a speaker and music, auction baskets/gifts and door prizes. Come and celebrate “spring” for a joyful time of fun and fellowship. Call Milly Kropp at 928-1979 for further information or to reserve your place.

RECURRING Free Last Sunday lunch | Spokane Valley United Methodist Church, 115 North Raymond Road, Spokane Valley - 12:30 p.m. in the church’s Fellowship Hall, Room 115 ACT 2 senior classes | Affordable classes offered by Community Colleges of Spokane to those who are retired or planning to retire. A wide range of courses from geology and history to exercise and art are offered at CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place, as well as other locations throughout the area. “Focused Fitness on Dishman Mica,” a yoga class, is now part of the schedule. More at www.sccel. spokane.edu/ACT2 Baha’i Fireside Conversation | 7 to 8 p.m., third Thursday of the month. Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. Discussion of Baha’i teachings, history, and perspectives on resolving the challenges facing humanity. All are welcome. More at 599-2411 or www.bahai.us. Inland Empire Blues Society monthly meeting | Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m., Bolo’s 116 S. Best Road Café Card Club | 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesdays. On Sacred Grounds, 12212 E. Palouse Hwy., Valleyford. Play pinochle, cribbage, or hearts. More at www.onsacredgrounds.com Catholic Singles Mingle | Meeting times and locations vary. This group, with no dues, is for single adults of all ages. More at www.meetup.com/ Catholic-Singles-Mingle. DivorceCare Recovery Support Group | Mondays 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Eastpoint Church, 15303 E. Sprague Ave. Learn how to heal from the deep hurt of divorce and discover hope for your future. DivorceCare for Kids (ages 5-12) meets at the same time and location. Cost is $25 for workbook. More at 892-5255 or eastpointchurch.com. Military Sobriety Support Group | 10 to 11: 30 a.m., Spokane Vet Center, 13109 E. Mirabeau Parkway, Spokane Valley. Call Steve at 8934746 for more information Grange Meeting and Dessert | 6:30 p.m., third Wednesday of the month, Tri-Community Grange, 25025 Heather St., Newman Lake. The public is welcome for this community-based service organization. For more information call 226-2202 or see us on Facebook.

Men’s Weekly Bible Study | 7 a.m. Tuesdays. Millwood Presbyterian Church, 3223 N. Marguerite Road, Millwood. The men’s weekly Bible Study meets in the Reception Hall with different members sharing in the leading of the study. All men are invited to join. More at www. milwoodpc.org. Rockford Crochet Class | 10 a.m. to noon, Saturdays. The Harvest Moon, 20 S. First St., Rockford. Free classes. We have crocheters, knitters, embroidery, quilting and needlepoint. Come and share with us what you are doing. Call 2913722. Rockford Historical Society | 11:30 a.m. second Friday of the month (Feb. to Nov.). Harvest Moon restaurant, 20 S. First St., Rockford. More at 291-3193. Spokane County Library District | Locations include Argonne, Fairfield, Otis Orchards, and Spokane Valley. Special events and weekly activities for all ages including book clubs, children’s story times, classes, Lego club, teen anime club and writing clubs. More at www.scld.org Spokane Valley Eagles | 16801 E. Sprague Ave. Breakfast served Sundays 9 to 11:30 a.m. Lunch served Thursdays 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. followed by bingo from 1 to 3:30 p.m. More at www.foe3433. com. Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank | Weekly distribution takes place Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10814 E. Broadway by appointment. Appointments are available during the following days/ times: Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Thursday (reserved for advancedage seniors — age 60 and over — and/or physically-handicapped people with limited mobility): 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Address verification is required. To make an appointment, call 927.1153 ext. 10, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m Spokane Valley Quilt Guild | Meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of February, April, June, August, October and December at Valley Assembly of God Church, 15618 E. Broadway, Spokane Valley. Open to all interested in sharing ideas and skills of our quilting craft. Participants have can access a comprehensive library, can engage experienced teachers and participate in community service projects. More at www. svqgspokane.com

MUSIC & THE ARTS


The Current

April 25 | Free concert featuring East Valley High School Strolling Strings – 1 p.m. at Spokane Valley Church of the Nazarene, 15515 E. 20th Ave., Spokane Valley. April 13-14 | Spokane Symphony Classics 9: Russian Virtuosity – 8 p.m. and 3 p.m., Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox. Music Director Finalist Jayce Ogren is the Spokane Symphony’s guest conductor with guest cellist István Várdai who takes on Prokofiev’s breathtaking “Symphony Concerto,” once considered “unplayable” and one of the most challenging works in the cello repertoire. Get to know Conductor Jayce Ogren at a Q & A from The Fox Theater stage one hour and 15 minutes before each performance, followed by a preconcert talk by Ogren with guest artist Várdai. Tickets range from $19-$60, and are available at www.spokanesymphony.org, or by contacting the box office at 6241200.. Through Dec. 2019 | “As Grandmother Taught: Women, Tradition and Plateau Art” – Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, 2316 W. First Ave., Spokane. A unique display featuring coiled and twined basketry and beaded hats, pouches, bags, dolls,

APRIL 2019 • 13

COMMUNITY

horse regalia, baby boards and dresses alongside vintage photos of Plateau women wearing or alongside their traditional, handmade clothing and objects, with works by Leanne Campbell, HollyAnna CougarTracks DeCoteau Littlebull and Bernadine Phillips. Hours are Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and until 8 p.m. the third Thursday of the month.

RECURRING Pages of Harmony | 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Wednesdays. Thornhill Valley Chapel, 1400 S. Pines Road. If you enjoy singing, you will love the fourpart, 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 218-4799. 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

HEALTH & RECREATION April 4 | Quit for Good – Tobacco Cessation class. Have you tried quitting smoking before without success? INHS and Providence Health Care are teaming up to provide a free four-week program designed to help you have longterm success in quitting tobacco. Tobacco cessation tools will be available to you as well as tobacco cessation experts. The class includes Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) while supplies last when NRT is not covered by participant’s health insurance. This is a live, interactive webinar. Log in information will be emailed with your registration confirmation. For more information, call 232-8145 or visit www.inhs.info. April 5-7 | Breakthrough Basketball Skills Camp – HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. In this threeday camp led by University of Windsor head coach Chris Oliver,

middle school and high school students will improve their overall skills like dribbling and shooting. Players will learn when to pass, when to shoot, when to dribble, when to drive, angles to take, how to be more aggressive and more. A big emphasis of the camp will be “decision making.” The camp is for serious basketball players who want to get better. Cost is $245. Call the HUB at 927-0602 for more information. Inland Northwest Soccer Association | Sign up now for men’s or women’s leagues. Season starts in April. Leagues include men and women’s open (over 18 old years), men’s over 30 and 40 and co-ed. Free agents (people who are not on a team already) can sign up via the free agent tap on the INWSA website. Visit www.inlandnorthwestsoccer. com for more information or email Inland Northwest Soccer Association directly at president@ inlandnorthwestsoccer.com or call 599-5769. April 10 | Know Your Numbers: Risk Factor Screening, INHS

See CALENDAR, Page 14

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The JAKT Foundation. Enhancing a Vibrant Spokane Valley Community Through Local Events.

Spokane Valley CenterPlace • July 11 – 13, 2019 • CraveNW.com

CALENDAR

Continued from page 13

Community Wellness Center, 501 N. Riverpoint Blvd., Spokane. Do you have hidden risks to your health? Sign up to get immediate results for cholesterol, blood glucose, waist circumference, blood pressure and more. For more information, call 232-8145 or visit www.inhs.info April 17 | Pre-diabetes screening, INHS Community Wellness Center, 501 N. Riverpoint Blvd., Spokane. This simple blood test provides information about a person’s average levels of blood glucose, also called blood sugar, over the past three months. Immediate results are provided and can be discussed at the time of appointment with a registered dietitian and/or a certified diabetes educator. For more information, call 232-8145 or visit www.inhs.info.

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. Each Friday | Vets Day – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Hospitality House, 216 S. Washington, Newport. Veterans are invited to drop by with questions about the V.A. and other issues. Complimentary snacks and coffee will be served. For questions, call Brad Hanson at 509-671-3585 or the Hospitality House at 509-4473812

Spokane Valley CenterPlace • September 27- 29, 2019 • SpokaneOktoberfest.com

Wednesday mornings | Mindful Music & Movement class, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Specifically designed for those living with chronic health issues such as: Parkinson’s, dementia, COPD, MS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, 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.

Spokane Valley CenterPlace Parking Lot Fridays, 5 - 8pm, June 7th - September 13 th • SpokaneValleyFarmersMarket.org

HUB Sports Center 19619 E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. Various activities and events occur throughout the week including:

• Pickleball drop-in: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Mon. through Thurs.; 10 a.m. to noon Tues. and Thurs. and 6 to 8 p.m. Wed. and Sun. $3/seniors ($5/non-seniors) • Classes including Kenpo Karate, Taekwondo and Zumba Aerobics. See website for cost and times

CIVIC & BUSINESS April 23 | Job Fair hosted by Career Services and Community Colleges of Spokane – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Spokane Community College, 1810 N. Greene, Building 6. Meet with multiple businesses in one day. Bring resume. For more information, call 533-8855 or email norma.cantu@scc.spokane.edu. May 2 | Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce 2019 Business Showcase – 2 to 6 p.m., Mirabeau Park Hotel and Convention Center, 1100 N. Sullivan Road, Spokane Valley. This annual event will feature over 70 exhibitors from all industries are on hand for the biggest business-tobusiness showcase in our area. For more information, call 924-4994 or visit www.spokanevalleychamber. org.

RECURRING Spokane Valley City Council | Regular meetings are held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers at Spokane Valley City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague Ave., Ste. 101. Council study sessions are held the first, third and sometimes fifth Tuesdays at 6 p.m., also in Council Chambers. Millwood City Council | Regular meetings at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at Millwood City Hall, 9103 E. Frederick Ave. Spokane Flag Museum | Sponsored by the Sons of the American Revolution and the Fairmount Memorial Association, details the rich history of the American flag, Mondays-Fridays, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Pines Cemetery, 1402 S. Pines Road, Spokane Valley. For more information: 926-2753 or www. fairmountmemorial.com/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.


The Current

APRIL 2019 • 15

brought to you by Student of the Month

Athlete of the Month

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Samantha Donaghue has made the most of her time at East Valley High School. The 4.0 student is a member of the National Honor Society and contributes to community service projects as part of the chapter. She was recently named a Spokane Scholar for math and is also the recipient of the Spokane Regents Scholarship. The senior has lettered in tennis and volleyball at EV and has also played club volleyball. She has been a Vacation Bible School teacher at Redeemer Lutheran Church for five years and also speaks to eighth graders at Continuous Curriculum School about transitioning into high school. “I love helping kids feel safe and helping them learn,” Samantha said. Donaghue is considering several colleges, including the University of Washington and Portland State. She would like to pursue a career in the medical field.

Trevin Larsen was a freshman letter-winner on East Valley’s varsity soccer squad that upset top-seeded Selah 3-0 in last year’s 2A regional championship game to earn a trip to state. Larsen has also been a standout in club soccer, playing for a Spokane Sounders squad that won its league title three years in a row before moving up a level. A center defender/midfielder, Larsen grew up playing soccer and once scored five goals in a game for FC Spokane. In 2017, Larsen was a member of the East Valley football squad that won the Great Northern League freshman crown. He played cornerback, receiver, punter and kicker. In the classroom, Larsen maintains a 3.5 grade point average and is part of the Washington Drug Free Youth program. He volunteers through his church and would like to become a marine biologist.

You might say Bobbie Beese is synonymous with Millwood history. Beese has called Millwood home since 1971 and is a founding member of the Millwood Historic Preservation Committee and Millwood History Enthusiasts. She was a catalyst in the Millwood Historical District being named to the National Register of Historic Places and the Washington Historic Registry and wrote a book on the community’s history with her brother that served as the guide to a walking tour. She has also served on the city’s Planning Commission since 2005. Beese graduated from West Valley High School and Gonzaga University. She also has a degree in electronics from Spokane Community College. She taught elementary school and worked as a communications technician. She has owned the Corner Door store in Millwood since 1997. Bobbie and her husband Todd are parents of two daughters.

PACE Trait for April – Trustworthiness By Naomie Meredith Growing up in a big family has had a huge impact on me and who I have become. In my family, there are seven of us living in a fourbedroom house and I am one of the five kids in my house, so needless to say it can get pretty chaotic, but home is where the heart is, right? Between getting from point A to point B, cooking, cleaning and taking care of kids and animals, you always have to rely on each other. Those are some of the simple things that we have to worry about but, more importantly, trustworthiness comes into play when someone needs you. If they’re going through something drastic, or something that they don’t understand, they will need someone to talk to. For my brother, Jamison, that’s me. I have three brothers and a sister that mean so much to me; however, I have always been the closest with

Jamison. We are only three years apart, both now in the same small high school, and we have grown up liking a lot of the same things. Once Jamison reached seventh grade two years ago, he joined me in our high school where seventh through 12th graders all share the same building, teachers and small-town atmosphere of our school. More than ever, we connected, watching each other’s sports teams, and bumping into each other all through our days at school. However, life can throw you some difficult events. When Jamison started hitting some tough spots in his physical health, it turned out to have a detrimental effect on his mental health. If you got to know him, you would know that he would do anything to play basketball; however, when he was diagnosed with scoliosis, he was challenged with restrictions on his athletics. When he wasn’t able to get out and play sports, his mental health

began to deteriorate. He changed drastically. He was always so sad and he always felt tired and worn out. He went from this happy, joke-cracking, 14-year-old to a completely different person. He became closed off and silent, which was very unlike himself. I am the only one that he is really close to in my house. Therefore, I am the most trustworthy person to talk to when he is feeling down. When the tough times came for him, all the years I have worked so hard to build this trust with him became invaluable. It was always important for me to keep trust in our relationship but now it was for his health. I’m not sure what he would have done if he hadn’t had someone to talk to on hard days, or someone who checked up on him each and every day. Each evening after school and practice, I see how his day was and just to talk to him. We share some of my favorite moments just talking about life and telling each other stupid jokes just to make each other laugh. He is such an amazing person to be around when

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he’s having good days, so I try to make sure he is OK no matter what. Even if I am not having the best day and I just want to be alone, it is all worth taking the time to make sure all is well with him. Everything that has kept our relationship strong has relied on the foundation of this trust that he has put in me, which is why trustworthiness is so important to me and my family. In fact, it seems to me like a lot more people rely on trust than we would ever know, so I am forever grateful that I built mine. Naomie Meredith is a senior at Tekoa High School. Last year, she was the first Tekoa junior ever nominated for the PACE Character Award. She is an active person, involved in sports, class leadership, FCCLA as well as maintaining the highest grade point average in her class. Students and teachers often cite Naomie’s kindness and ability to deal with challenging situations with calmness. This makes sense as Naomie plans on entering the nursing profession.


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APRIL 2019 • 17

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18 • APRIL 2019 Brought to you by

Evergreen

Valley Farmers Market set for premiere this summer

About and for Valley seniors

By Benjamin Shedlock Current Correspondent

Mark your calendars. This summer, the very first Spokane Valley Farmers Market has your Friday nights set. The market’s inaugural year promises a vibrant social gathering at the CenterPlace Regional Event Center lot near the Discovery Playground. The farmers market will run Fridays from June 7 to Sept. 13 from 5 to 8 p.m. The market’s organizers hope to boost the sense of community in Spokane Valley. They envision the market as a place neighbors look forward to coming each week to connect with each other and with Spokane Valley’s farming history. In addition to produce, there will be food trucks and family activities like crafting.

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“The market is really about Spokane Valley’s farming heritage and getting people to know their (own local farming history),” said market manager Katy Ryder.

of Abundance Farm.

produce is created equal,” he said.

According to Ryder, the market is working with the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum to find creative ways to bring history to the market. Exhibits may include vintage photographs or farming equipment.

“My farm is a mile away from where the market is,” said Gerard, who is also working alongside Ryder as a market manager. As a vendor, Gerard is no stranger to farmers markets. He appreciates that they offer more than just commerce and give people a personal stake in their food production systems.

The Spokane Valley Farmers Market is working hard to make sure that stereotype about wealthy customers does not deter anyone from accessing and enjoying the market.

Ryder hopes that including local vendors in the market will remind the community that the Valley’s farming heritage is also living history. She wants patrons to ask vendors to share the history of their family farms and where their food comes from. “Usually, you never get to meet your farmers,” Ryder said. “We feel grateful to create that opportunity.” One of the farmers whom customers will have the chance to meet is Brandon Gerard, who will be selling vegetables from his Peak

“As a farmer, I want to be challenged on my growing practices,” said Gerard.

“It’s absolutely a priority to include low-income families,” said Stebbins. The market is working with Catholic Charities to operate two programs that provide a bonus to customers who use EBT cards.

He creates relationships with customers to help combat stereotypes about farmers markets. For example, he points out that many people associate farmers markets with wealthy customers.

“I think that everyone should have the opportunity to come to a farmers market,” Ryder said.

But Gerard counters that his produce will be competitively priced and fresher than what people will find at grocery stores.

According to Jesse Hansen, a program coordinator for Catholic Charities’ Food For All program, Census data show 17.4 percent of households in Spokane Valley receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits and slightly more than 20 percent of children here live below the federal poverty level.

“It gets people’s wheels turning when you understand not all

“We chose Friday night to have a place where people can gather as they head into the weekend, get fresh produce, meet neighbors and enjoy live music,” said Tom Stebbins of the JAKT Foundation.

She learned about the Catholic Charities programs through her work with the Inland Northwest Farmers Market Association.

One of the programs, KERNEL (Kids Eating Right Nutrition and Exercise for Life), provides children’s activities that introduce them to healthy eating and lifestyle habits. Any children who visit the booth and participate in the activity receive a $2 voucher to use on produce at the market.

The farmers market is one part of the foundation’s efforts to increase the culinary profile of the Valley. JAKT also produces Crave! and the Spokane Oktoberfest.

The Fresh Bucks program will increase the buying power of EBT cards at the market. For every $5 customers spend on produce, they will receive a $2 bonus to spend. The market will include a centralized location where EBT users can buy wooden tokens to use like cash at the produce stalls.

JAKT Foundation is partnering with the city of Spokane Valley to develop the farmers market. The 2016 Spokane Valley Tourism Strategy identified a farmers market as an opportunity to develop the economy. According to Stebbins, it will create a sense of community to help the city attract both employers and employees. The market’s vendor list is being tailored to its host city.

Ryder likes the programs because they provide an easy way for lowincome families to access fresh, healthy food.

“It’ll be very distinctly Valley,” Stebbins said.

“It’s just like using the EBT card in a grocery store,” she said.

This year, 30 vendors will sell a variety of fresh produce, processed items like beverages and baked goods and artisanal craft items such as jewelry, clothing and personal care items.

The Spokane Valley Farmers Market will make its debut June 7 joining other community markets in Spokane, Liberty Lake, Kendall Yards and Cheney, among other areas. The market will run through Sept. 14 and be held in the parking lot at the CenterPlace Regional Event Center. The market will honor the Fresh Bucks program, increasing the value of EBT cards for produce shoppers. File photo

Her colleague, Gerard, notes the programs benefit more than just the customers. By selling his produce to people who use EBT cards, “it allows me to operate,” he said.


The Current

APRIL 2019 • 19

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The Current

20 • APRIL 2019

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Sports Notebook – April 2019 By Mike Vlahovich Current Sports Editor There was one roadblock for East Valley during this year’s state 2A girls’ basketball tournament – Washougal. The No. 7 ranked team knocked off the Knights 52-45 in the tournament qualifying round forcing No. 2 EV into the elimination bracket. The Knights subsequently won three straight games, including two by 38 and 41 points, to reach the championship game against – Washougal. The Knights nemesis prevailed in overtime 49-40 and denied EV the trophy they’d worked three years to attain. “It’s a little bittersweet sometimes, I guess,” said coach Rob Collins, who has had nothing but success at EV. “We did not play good in the game, shooting 42

Recollections from a Knight of the Keyboard

By Mike Vlahovich Current Sports Editor When I was in high school and deciding on an elective to round out semester schedule, my mother suggested typing. It was as if she was prescient. It took 60 words per minute without error on that old manual typewriter to earn an “A” and proved more valuable than math, science or history combined. Pounding the keys became my life’s work and also proved vital in keeping me out of harm’s way in Vietnam when I got drafted after college at Washington State University. They say never volunteer in the Army, but I raised my hand when the sergeant asked if anyone could type and wound up the battalion clerk. I spent more time in Bohler Gymnasium than in the classroom at

percent from the free throw line.” Hannah Rowland, who scored 15 points in the tourney opener, got hurt in the first quarter of the title game after scoring five points. The Knights, who were making their sixth straight state appearance, shot an uncharacteristic 42 percent from the free throw line. One more make and they wouldn’t have needed overtime where they were outscored 14-5. EV finished third last year, third in 2016, fifth in 2015 and sixth in 2014. Genesis Wilkinson and Faith Adams completed their fourth seasons as major contributors to Knights’ basketball. During the final games of their careers, Adams averaged 13.5 points and Wilkinson scored at a 13 points per game clip. Another senior, Holly Flynn added 7.5. All three will play in college. “Hannah’s in the same group

and has been a big part day in and day out,” Collins said. “They’ve been a pretty big part in two thirds and a second.” Seven players return, including 5-foot-10 Brie Holecek, who averaged more than nine points per game in post season and 6-footers Elle Stowell and Mataya Green. Lack of depth is Collins’ concern. “It was in our grasp,” he said of the title trophy. “It was pretty special, but hard (finishing second). When you’re third, you come home with a winning spirit. It’s hard finishing second and coming home with a loss. But second is the best in school history. They earned every bit of what they accomplished.” Bears take sixth Central Valley is no stranger to state basketball over the decades. Seeded fourth this year, the Bears made their fifth state straight appearance bringing home the sixth-place trophy. The Bears opened the tournament with a 59-44 win

over Glacier Peak but suffered a heartbreaking loss in the round of eight and were knocked out of title contention 46-44 by Bellarmine Prep which subsequently finished sixth. The Bears beat Inglemoor 5241 but lost 58-53 in the game for fourth place. During the playoffs, Tomekia Whitman was a constant, scoring double figures in most every game. Camryn Skaife turned in a 26-point game against University. MJ Bruno was among six girls who had at least one double figures game. Scotties win once Tenth-seeded Freeman reached the round of eight in the state 1A girls tournament, opening with a 62-42 romp over Connell. The Scotties lost to ultimate fourth placer Bellevue Christian 50-43. Sydney McLean scored 18 in that game. Jordyn Goldsmith had three double figures outings and Ellis Crowley had a 21-point game in district play.

WSU. I hadn’t declared Journalism as my major when someone called, out of the blue, and asked if I would be sports editor of the Daily Evergreen student newspaper. To this day I wonder how he got my name. Sports writing must have been my destiny (at least, it gave me an excuse for taking every sports coaching class for PE majors.) I have no idea why I became enamored by sports. I devoured the sports pages of the Spokane Daily Chronicle from the time I could read. Marv Ainsworth, my fifthgrade teacher who would go on to be a successful basketball coach at University High, assigned us to write an application letter to a business. I chose the Boston Celtics. Red Auerbach didn’t reply. When I got out of the Army in 1968, I began a career that has spanned half a century. A weekly newspaper has its own charms. Since there are no deadlines after a game, I could digest the event before writing. I wandered the halls of the Valley schools during the week, chatted with coaches and got to know the athletes personally who I befriended over the years and played recreation sports with after

they graduated. Every Valley schooled accused me of favoring the others. Late Ferris basketball coaching legend Wayne Gillman took the Herald to read presumed “home cooking” stories but said I was fair. Someone once opined I was the first to give equal coverage of girls’ sports. Jeff Jordan was a student at East Valley and already stringing for the Valley Herald when I arrived home in the fall of 1968. Twenty-one years later Jordy, by then a preps writer at The Spokesman-Review, became sports editor. In 1992, my dad sold the Valley Herald. Jordy was sports editor at The SpokesmanReview and my wife, Tambra, in no uncertain terms said I was going to apply at Spokane’s daily. I was hired at age 48 and spent another 17 years there expanding horizons before “retirement.” Out of the blue, some guy named Josh Johnson wanted to meet and pick what remained of my brain. Next thing I knew I was writing sports for the Liberty Lake Splash and later for the Valley Current. We still find time to meet for coffee. From my first state tournament trip, when by brother Jerry spilled a chocolate milk shake down the

seats of my envied yellow Dodge Charger with the black landau roof, to driving with Jordy when Central Valley baseball reached the state finals (it became a running joke when we were unable to get waited on not once, but twice), traveling with the late broadcaster Dick Wright and wading through water on the bathroom floor after he had showered, with CV basketball coach Terry Irwin and his wife, years making state trips mini-vacations with my wife on the Valley Herald’s dime, covering East Valley’s state champion football team replete with a cannon’s boom that our weekold son Jared slept through (and panicking a few years later when we were at a state basketball tourney and he decided to take an elevator up 21 floors without us at the Westin Hotel.) These are memories that will never be replaced. But “now’s the time, the time is now to be gone.” For perspective, the earliest athletes I wrote about are in their 60s, some even on Social Security and the latest are in their teens. It’s been a heckuva ride and I owe a debt to my mom who must have seen into the future and insisted I learn to type.


The Current

Valley Hospital has rich history of serving community

The official dedication for Spokane Valley General Hospital with American Medicorp, Inc., took place on Jan. 26, 1969 with the Valley Chamber of Commerce President, Alan V. Carlson and Miss Spokane Valley Katey Finney participating in the ceremony. Due to a snow storm the public open house was rescheduled to Feb. 2. Finally, on

HISTORY Feb. 6 the hospital took in its first patient, Mrs. Bessie Haley from Opportunity, WA. In September of that year Valley General became the first hospital in the Spokane area to staff its emergency room with physicians on a 24-hour schedule. In 1970 a cooperative nursing program was started with Spokane Community College, with an opening enrollment of 30. This would be the start of the hospital expanding. Over the course of their history some of the amenities would include Radiology equipment, a new chapel, a 34 bed wing, a CAT scan and would also include a new design

APRIL 2019 • 21

thank to the Careage Corporation out of Bellevue, WA. Construction completed in Sept. 14, 1984. The hospital would also partnered with North Pines Junior High in that same year under the PARTNERS program, a cooperative effort between the business community and school districts. On June 20, 1994 disaster struck Fairchild Airforce Base. Deaconess and Valley Hospital Medical Centers used their disaster recovery plans to provide care and ease the pain of those affected. One example of the hospital striving to serve the community.

Valley Hospital has always strived for excellence. In 1990 the hospital earned first place in the Washington State Safety Contest for the third year in a row. They received this award for several years, and in 2019 achieved a 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). MultiCare Valley Hospital is the only hospital in Eastern Washington to earn the highest overall quality score. For more information on Valley Hospital see page 10. For a full list of compiled events at Valley Hospital check out our website at Valleycurrent.com.

Over its 50-year history, MultiCare Valley Hospital has served the community in a variety of areas, including introducing the area's first computerized heart monitoring equipment in its intensive and coronary care units in 1980. Two years later, $15.5 million was secured for a three-story, 71,000-square-foot addition to the hospital. Groundbreaking for the project took place in April 1983. In 1984, Valley Sports Medicine was introduced as the hospital's newest program, featuring the latest in sports therapy equipment such as hydrafitness exercise stations. Contributed images

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The Current

22 • APRIL 2019

Communityminded WSECU opens new Valley branch

amenities.”

By Emily McCarty

“The great thing about Spokane is it’s a really amazing credit union town and the region has consumers that seem to really recognize the difference in the values of a credit union,” she says. “We have great and friendly relationships with STCU, Numerica, and Spokane Federal. There’s a ton of great credit unions.”

Current Correspondent Washington State Employees Credit Union (WSECU) has branched out with a new site in the Spokane Valley. The new location sits in a prime location at 5211 E. Sprague Ave. in front of the Valley Costco.

CONNECT.

EMPOWER.

the 2019

BUSINESS

SHOWCASE

The Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce Business-to-Business Trade Show highlights regional businesses. Attendees can get information on new products and services while businesses can generate leads and network. Featuring: • 70+ exhibitors representing marketing, financial services, business products and services, health care, employee benefits, higher education, transportation/storage, janitorial and more! • ‘Fireside Chat’ with local business leader • Complimentary appetizers & no-host bar from 4:30 p.m. to 6 pm. • Great networking & opportunities to make new business connections • Tons of door prizes • No charge for admission or parking

INNOVATE.

Business Showcase Thurs., May 2nd, 2019 Mirabeau Park Hotel Exhibit hours: 2:00-6:00 p.m. Fireside Chat at 5 p.m. No-host bar & appetizers at 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission is Free! New Members: FEBRUARY Copiers Northwest DeVries Moving Packing Storage Empire Eye Physicians Gravis Law, PLLC Sculley’s Automotive

Lemonade Day May 18th

Sponsored by:

Registration is FREE for kids K - 12. lemonadeday.org/spokane-valley

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

Ann Flannigan, WSECU vice president of Public Relations, says the credit union has a long history in the county and the opportunity for the move was too good to pass up. The branch also includes extra features that the past location didn’t offer. “The building brings a huge benefit, something members have been telling us about, which is safe deposit boxes,” Flannigan says. JJ McClinton, branch manager, says they couldn’t pass up the beautiful location and needed the extra space. “We were growing at the other location,” McClinton says. “If you came in on a Friday or Saturday, the lobby would be completely jammed. So we want to have more space and offer more services and

WSECU had almost 5-percent growth in the past year. Spokane metro consumers really value credit unions, Flannigan says, and it’s not just WSECU, either. They have positive relationships with the other credit unions in town.

She says compared to other communities, Spokane and Spokane Valley consumers recognize the differences between using banks and using credit unions. There’s a value there, she says. “The reality is, 90 percent of Americans are banking with the big banks but I also think people can read some of the headlines about the nation’s biggest commercial banks and see that keeping their money local, keeping the money with a cooperative where they are member owners, has a value,” she says. “And they see what we’re doing in the community.” The credit union works locally with organizations to give back. Flannigan says the organization

See WSECU, Page 29


The Current

Money Smart Week delivers lessons in financial literacy By Stacey Goddard Current Correspondent When it comes to personal finance, I haven’t always been the (mostly) responsible adult I am today. Growing up, no one in my family ever talked about money. Ever. Financial literacy concepts weren’t taught in school. All I had to go on was observing my parents and how they handled money. They both worked full time and routinely used credit to purchase items if there wasn’t enough cash on hand. This seemed like a great system to younger me – buy stuff now and worry about paying for it later. As a result, my early adult years were spent (pun intended) getting and using as many credit cards as I could. It took me a long time to understand the importance of interest rates and paying more than the minimum payment each month. I was nearly 40 years old before I

Giving Day supports museum, cultural pass programs By Erin Dodge Current Guest Contributor The symphony is a wonderful experience that I hope everyone gets to have at least once in their life. The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture is another great experience that changes from exhibit to exhibit. The Mobius Children’s Museum and Science Center are amazing places for kids and families to explore, play and learn. I’ve been lucky enough to experience all three with my children, family, and friends – all because of the Family Museum Pass and Spokane Symphony Pass

LIBRARY

APRIL 2019 • 23

got my credit under control and consistently paid off my balances each month. It’s wonderful that financial literacy concepts are now taught in schools and that kids are encouraged to start conversations at home about spending, saving and more. If you’re looking for ways to expand your family’s understanding of these concepts, Money Smart Week has lots of opportunities to do so! Money Smart Week, March 30– April 6, is a campaign designed to help consumers increase their knowledge and confidence when managing their personal finances. The Spokane County Library District is offering workshops and activities for all ages. We’re kicking the week off with our ever-popular Free Shred Day, at North Spokane and Spokane Valley libraries on Saturday, March 30, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Protect yourself from identity theft by making sure your personal documents are disposed of properly. In addition to our monthly Homebuyer Education Seminars and budgeting workshops, we’ve got some special workshops about investing in store. You can learn about “Online Investing,” see an “Investment Club Meeting” in action and have “Investment Terminology

Demystified” for you. Kids will want to check out our “Swanky Swine Showdown,” coming to 10 libraries, March 28 to April 4. Not only can kids decorate piggy banks to take home, they learn about spending, donating and saving money with our “Spend or Save” activity. Get the details about all of our Money Smart Week programs at www.scld.org/moneysmart-week-2019. Even if you can’t make it to any of the special Money Smart Week programs, check our online events calendar for future financially empowering programs at www. scld.org/events-financial. Whether you’re considering buying your first home, need to build your credit score or want to make a household budget, our monthly workshops can help you meet your goals.

programs offered by Spokane County Library District. And I’m grateful that the library offers those passes to customers because cultural experiences can be expensive – especially for a family of four or more. For the first time, the Friends of the Spokane County Library District are holding a donation drive to support the museum and cultural passes programs on and before Library Giving Day on April 10. The Friends are looking to raise $10,000 to keep these wonderful museum and cultural pass programs available to the public throughout 2019. Individuals, organizations, and businesses can donate for Library Giving Day at www.scldfriends.org/ library-giving-day. The Friends are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, so monetary donations are tax deductible. When I think about how that fundraising goal can be reached, I’m fascinated (plus I like math problems). One hundred people could donate $100. One thousand people could donate $10. Or just

a few companies and individuals could donate $1,000 each and lots can donate $20, or even $5. In fact, the Diane E. Zahand Fund has sponsored the Family Museum Passes for the Mobius Children’s Museum and Science Center for all of 2019. Development Manager Jill-Lynn Nunemaker shared that the Friends are open to accepting donations from individuals and organizations who would like to fully fund a current or brand-new cultural pass program. Those interested can contact her by phone at 509.893.8238 or by email at jnunemaker@scld.org. What I really like about the Friends is that they are a community-based volunteer group and are passionate about life-long learning and investing in their community libraries. And those investments in turn serve everyone in our community. I’m planning on donating. I hope you join me. Let’s help the Friends support the museum and cultural pass programs, so library customers of all ages can continue to experience the enriching cultural institutions throughout our community.

food FINES

Food for Fines for the win! Donate food at your local library during NATIONAL LIBRARY WEEK April 7–13, 2019 Reduce your overdue fees: $2 forgiven for every non-perishable food donation, up to $20 per cardholder account. That’s a win for you and a win for households and children facing food insecurity. Plus, you don’t need fines to donate! Look for the food bins at your local library. All food donations go to regional food banks serving Spokane County.

www.scld.org


The Current

24 • APRIL 2019

Concerned About Falls ? Don’t let concerns about falling keep you from doing the activities you love. Join a FREE A Matter of Balance fall prevention class and regain your confidence. Registering for Spokane Valley classes now! Presented by Aging & Long Term Care of Eastern Washington

Call 509-458-2509 altcew.org/preventingfalls

SVP gets the word out about April diaper campaign By Jamie Borgan Current Correspondent A year after Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank and Family Services (SVP) absorbed Inland Northwest Baby diaper bank, the program is running smoothly and fulfilling its goal to help keep babies “clean, dry and healthy,” says Cal Coblentz, executive director of SVP. Founded in 2010 by Central Valley High School student Jesse Sheldon, Inland Northwest Baby’s original mission was to provide diapers to agencies serving infants and toddlers in the Spokane area. Modeled after diaper banks in larger cities, the program grew to providing around 100,000 diapers annually to over 20 agencies in the Inland Northwest. Shortly after Coblentz took over as SVP executive director in July of 2017, Inland Northwest Baby asked if the community center would be willing to take the program on. Coblentz recounts the story with a little laugh. “We were in the midst of doing some forecasting and planning for the organization and our goal was to not take on anything new,” he said. SVP recognized the value of the program and the alignment with their mission and took on the cause anyway. “The mission of Spokane Valley Partners is broad,” Coblentz says. “It’s really about resource distribution.” Seeing as how cost of diapers and wipes can top $80 a month for one child, SVP understood that being able to help families bridge that gap by supplementing their diaper budget would be a tremendous help. The name changed slightly from Inland Northwest Baby to Inland Northwest Diaper Bank, and SVP began distributing diapers in March of 2018. The newly named diaper bank gave away 10,000 diapers that first month and 85,000 for the remainder of 2018. The diaper bank works directly with agencies that serve families with infants and toddlers as opposed to direct distribution of diapers. As

Coblentz says, “Those agencies are serving those families really deeply” and sometimes struggling just to pay their own overhead, so that providing supplies like diapers and wipes can be something of an afterthought. Coblentz sees that the diaper bank can help those agencies reduce their expenditures or provide a service they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. As part of a national diaper network, Inland Northwest Diaper Bank is also able to buy diapers wholesale for local agencies at tremendous savings. This leveraging of funds can go a long way to furthering the mission of those agencies to help people get out of poverty. April brings a unique opportunity for the community to support the diaper bank. The program’s annual “Stuff the Bus” event runs this year from April 24 through April 27. Through a collaboration between Safeway, Albertson’s and Durham Buses, 14 different stores around the region will collect diapers and wipes. The event is a little different this year, in that local churches have also partnered with SVP to collect diapers throughout April. Coblentz says the drive is one of the major ways the program acquires diapers and annually collects around 50,000 diapers. Diapers of all sizes are welcome, though the agency’s largest need is for sizes 4,5 and 6 (the bank does not distribute pullup style diapers). Additionally, the program is always in need of wipes, as it gives wipes out with all of its diaper donations. Coblentz says the drive is a great way for the community to support the program, which in turn fills a critical need for people in our community struggling to make ends meet. “It’s a great way to help the whole community help these babies,” he says. To learn more about Inland Northwest Diaper Bank and other programs at Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank and Family Services – located at 10814 E. Broadway in Spokane Valley – visit www.svpart. org or call 927-1153.


The Current

APRIL 2019 • 25

Firefighter Cruger remembered fondly by colleagues By Emily McCarty Current Correspondent The Spokane Valley Fire Department said goodbye to one of its retired captains at a funeral service on Feb. 9. Tim Cruger died on Christmas Eve due to illness stemming from exposure to toxic smoke, which the Washington state occupational disease laws considers a line-of-duty death. A procession wound through the streets, starting at Cruger’s Fire Station No. 7 and ending with a service at the Spokane Valley Assembly Church. The procession was shortened due to inclement weather – icy temperatures and a harsh wind kept most inside on this day – although SVFD Deputy Chief Shawn Arold said the turnout was still significant. “We did have a really warm and hearty turnout at the services,” he says. “We had multiple agencies there – law enforcement, other fire departments and the city of Spokane.” Assistant State Fire Marshal Chad Cross presented the Washington state flag during the ceremony. Members from the International

Ombudsman program rallies to support area seniors

By Craig Howard Current Editor When Sharon Baum’s mother moved into assisted living facility, she and her four siblings made it a priority to stop by on a regular basis. Others at the facility weren’t so fortunate. “My mom would always say, ‘Some of these people don’t have anyone who visits them,’” Baum recalls. When a series of health challenges resulted in Sharon’s mom transitioning into a different care center that was not the best fit, concerns were raised by the family. While the consensus was to move their mother back, there seemed to be no clear path to get there. “I remember my siblings saying, ‘Isn’t there anything we can do?’” Baum said. Turns out that help was available through the Eastern Washing-

Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) were also present, including Seventh District Vice President Ricky Walsh who presented the IAFF Medal of Valor. “It was a really beautiful service,” Arold says. “Our honor guard did a great job doing the ceremony and the traditional aspects – the ringing of the bell, last alarm and guarding him while waiting for the service.” Cruger, who passed at the age of 67, served for 29 years with SVFD where he worked through the ranks as firefighter, engineer, lieutenant and eventually captain. He also led the water rescue team. He was diagnosed in 2015 with kidney cancer which eventually spread throughout his body, eventually ending up in his lungs and brain. He is survived by his wife, five children and 16 grandchildren. Arold, who worked with Cruger for six years at Station 7, says his friend and colleague was known for his meticulous care of the station. He says Cruger was lighthearted and a joy to be around but he took his duties seriously. “He was a little bit of a practical joker to lighten up the mood but when it came time to work, he was ton Long-Term Care Ombudsman (LTCO) program. Mandated by state and federal law, the program provides direct advocacy and complaint resolution services for residents of long-term care facilities. In the case of Sharon’s mother, the support came at the perfect time, resulting in a return to a place where she felt at home. A collection of dedicated volunteers keeps the LTCO engine running. Around 30 folks donate their time under the direction of full-time staff at SNAP (Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners), the local nonprofit that administers the program. For Baum, the benefit of LTCO to her mom served as a catalyst for her becoming a volunteer in 2010. “I saw the good they are doing,” she said. “These people look to you for an answer or just someone to talk to. As volunteers, I think we get as much back as we give, maybe more.” From dehydration to medication issues to family conflicts and more, LTCO volunteers mediate resident concerns by working with facility administration and social workers. Issues that require further intervention are referred to organizations like Adult Protective Services and

all business,” Arold says. “He took pride in the station and a job well done. We always had projects to maintain the station and keep it in tip-top shape.” Cruger was also an easy person to confide in. Arold choked up speaking of him. “If you had an issue, you could go talk to him,” Arold said. “He would respect your privacy and give good advice. He was just a great mentor. He helped me out when I was a probationary lieutenant when I first went and worked for him at the station. He guided me through that process and helped me get to where I am today.” According to his obituary, Cruger was also a board member for 20 years at the Spokane Valley Assembly of God. Arold says faith was an important part of his life. The family kept in mind Cruger’s giving spirit, requesting donations be made to the Union Gospel Mission in his memory. Arold says Cruger enjoyed the outdoors and staying active and especially enjoyed water skiing. He also played softball for the Spokane Valley Fire Department team and was known for doing crossword puzzles in the station during his downtime. Unfortunately, Cruger was not the only recent death for SVFD. Residential Care Services. The Eastern Washington program – which serves Spokane, Pend Oreille, Ferry, Stevens and Whitman counties – is one of 13 throughout the Evergreen state. Last year, the local program accounted for 1,504 facility visits and 4,055 volunteer hours. Baum, who moved from Colfax to Liberty Lake last year, recruited one of her neighbors, Pat Johnson, to become an ombuds volunteer. “I like being able to talk to people and really show an interest in what they say,” Johnson said. “It’s more about just caring for people. They feel heard.” SNAP LTCO oversees a region that includes 27 nursing homes, 71 assisted living facilities and close to 200 adult family homes. Of that total, 40 assisted living facilities, 10 adult family homes and two skilled nursing centers are located in Greater Spokane Valley. With such a considerable territory to cover, it’s no wonder the program is always looking for more volunteers. The next four-day certification training begins May 23. Volunteers are provided with monthly ongoing training and access to a support group, peer mentoring and technical

The department had also said goodbye to former captain David Phay, who died from cancer just a week before Cruger. The department said they are investigating whether the cancer was also caused from toxic smoke. Arold says more care is now taken to ensure the safety of firefighters. Decontamination starts before they even leave the scene. “There’s an emphasis on how we clean up after going on fire calls,” he said. “Everyone has a second set of what we call ‘turnouts,’ or bunker gear, so they can bag up their soiled things and have a clean set ready to go.” SFVD also has specialty washing machines, called extractors, that clean their gear and pull out toxic chemicals. Arold says they have extractors at every station with only Station No. 6 left, but it has one in the works. It used to be a badge of honor to have a sooty face but that’s all changed, Arold says. There’s now pride in cleaning up and protecting themselves so they can have a healthy career and retirement. “Gone are the days of having dirty gear and smelling like smoke and having them in the fire engine cabs,” he said. “We don’t do that anymore. Departments are invested in our health and well-being.”

assistance. Mileage is also covered. Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman Aaron Riley says those who join as volunteers “become part of a unique network of colleagues.” “The success of this program hinges on volunteer support,” Riley said. “We’re fortunate to have a great group but we could definitely use more.” There is a priority on placing volunteers at facilities near their homes, Riley said. A one-year commitment is asked. He added that the program makes it a point to be flexible with those who travel or leave for warm weather locales during the winter. Current volunteers range in age from 37 up to 90-year-old Edith McNinch, who signed on to help in 2004. “I like what I’m doing,” McNinch said. “I listen to people and find out how I can help them.” Want to find out more? To learn more about SNAP’s Eastern Washington Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, call 4567133. The next four-day certification training begins May 23. Those interested are advised to call as far ahead of the training start date as possible.


The Current

26 • APRIL 2019

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See MICA , Page 27

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On Nov. 30, the amount of land set aside for conservation purposes in the Liberty Lake area increased by 900 acres, as Spokane County’s Conservation Futures Program closed on the purchase of the Mica Peak North property. The property, while valuable in its own right, is particularly significant because it abuts the Mica Peak Conservation Area and Liberty Lake Regional Park, joining the two to create 5,300 acres of connected land in the county. The 911-acre Mica Peak Conservation Area was acquired by the Conservation Futures program in 2013 and Liberty Lake Regional Park is owned and managed by the county.

30

Current Correspondent

– that it’s a significant habitat and recreational property,” said Paul Knowles, Special Projects manager for Spokane County Parks. The land was purchased from Inland Empire Paper Company for $2.3 million dollars. The county will attempt to leverage that funding by seeking reimbursement for up to $1.2 million of the purchase price through a Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program’s Urban Wildlife Habitat grant in the upcoming 2019 state legislative session. The state grant program specifically seeks to preserve “urban wildlife,” defined as habitat within five miles or inside a city or town. “This property is a perfect example of how the Conservation Futures Program can not only acquire and preserve the special places we love, but do so in a

.6

In keeping with the mission of the Conservation Futures program, Mica Peak North will be managed to preserve wildlife habitat, maintain and enhance forest health and provide non-motorized recreational opportunities for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. “The Mica Peak North location is a unique property that will add to our region’s quality of life and will also help attract new businesses and investment to our area,” said, Josh Kerns, chair of the Spokane County Board of Commissioners. The Conservation Futures Program was created in 1994 to acquire and preserve open spaces in Spokane County through a voter-approved property tax. From 1994

By Jamie Borgan

through 2018, the program has acquired more than 8,500 acres. Every five to six years, through a public process Conservation Futures accepts nominations for property acquisitions, prioritizing lands with high conservation value. In 2016, the program received 38 nominations for properties to be acquired. A committee evaluated and ranked the properties, establishing a prioritized list of acquisitions. The Mica Peak North property was the top ranked property on the list. The Mica Peak North property is the third acquisition in 2018 for the Conservation Futures Program and one of the largest single acquisitions to date. “As a grant application in a highly competitive process, the Mica Peak North acquisition was the top-ranked local project in this program, which helps reinforce what we already knew

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The Current

APRIL 2019 • 27

MICA

Continued from page 27 way that maximizes our local tax dollars by leveraging them to obtain outside funding,” said Spokane County Parks Director Doug Chase. The acquisition comes after a long and somewhat complex process between Inland Empire Paper Company and the county and both are pleased with the result. Knowles, lead negotiator for the purchase, says the acquisition is a significant boon to the Conservation Futures program. He is particularly excited about the magnitude of the property created by the joining of the Mica Peak Conservation Area and Liberty Lake Regional Park, stating that the “bigger property can accommodate more uses,” citing hiking, snowshoeing, and potentially even skiing as possible uses of the property. Inland Empire Paper will assist the county in putting together a management plan for the site by donating resources in a collaborative effort to achieve the county’s forest management goals. “This piece of forestland is truly unique and sits right in the community’s back yard,” said Inland Empire Paper President and General Manager Kevin Rasler. “It should be accessible to the public and the

Late last year, Spokane County’s Conservation Futures purchased 900 acres of the Mica Peak North property. The acquisition bridges the previous gap between the Mica Peak Conservation Area and Liberty Lake Regional Park (owned and managed by the county) to create 5,300 acres of contiguous protected land. File Photo

Conservation Futures Program was the right vehicle to make that happen. Spokane County has been an excellent partner throughout this process. Their patience and assistance as we worked through a complicated property exchange process was a key element in getting this

The newly acquired Mica Peak North land will be managed in accordance with the mission of Conservation Futures to preserve wildlife habitat, maintain and enhance forest health and provide non-motorized recreational opportunities for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Conservation Futures was established in 1994 to acquire and preserve open spaces in Spokane County utilizing funds from a voter-approved property tax. File Photo

land into the program.” In addition to its recreational value, the property boasts significant value as wildlife habitat and forestland, with areas of late successional forest (known in parlance as “old growth”). Knowles says the varied terrain and altitude changes of the property allow wildlife “to migrate up and down, not just laterally.” Having spent significant time on the property, Knowles says there is evidence of all kinds of wildlife, including large fauna, such as moose and elk. The property is great for hiking, exploring and experiencing nature, all within just a few miles of town. Currently, the Mica Peak North property can be accessed by parking at the Belmont Road Trailhead located at 20002 E. Belmont Road and hiking through Mica Peak Conservation Area’s trail system, which is currently under development through a partnership that includes Washington Trails Association and Evergreen East chapter of Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance. More information on Spokane County’s Conservation Futures Program can be found on the

Spokane County Park website at www.spokanecounty.org/parks/ by clicking on “Conservation Futures.”

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APRIL 2019 • 29

EDITOR/PUBLISHER

Ben Wick

Danica Wick

ben@libertylakesplash.com CO OWNER

danica@libertylakesplash.com

EDITOR

Craig Howard

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Paula Gano

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Hayley Schmelzer

hayley@libertylakesplash.com

Larry Passmore circulation@libertylakesplash.com

CIRCULATION

CONTRIBUTORS

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

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

be received by the 15th of the month in order for the subscription to begin with the issue printed the end of that month. Correction policy The Current strives for accuracy in all content. Errors should be reported immediately to 242-7752 or by email to editor@valleycurrent.com. Confirmed factual errors will be corrected on this page in the issue following their discovery.

Continued from page 22 dedicates 4 percent of net income back into the community each year. That includes nonprofits, education and institutions. The proceeds go into two distinct programs. One is education and the other is self-sufficiency which includes basic needs such as food banks or other programs that can help people gain financial stability. She says each branch can submit a list annually and then a committee goes through the feedback to decide where the money will go. Branches get the opportunity to help out in their immediate neighborhoods, too. “Local branches do find some unique things right in their area,” Flannigan says. “Spokane Valley has a relationship with Spokane Valley Parks and Rec where we sponsor a movie in the park a few times a summer, that’s very hyperlocal.”

5 p.m. on the 15th of the month for the following month’s issue. Call 242-7752 for more information. Advertising integrity deceptive

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knowingly accepted. Complaints about advertisers should be made in writing to the Better Business Bureau and to advertise@libertylakesplash.com. The Splash is not responsible for the content of or claims made in ads. Copyright © 2019 All rights reserved. All contents of The Current may not be reproduced without written permission of the publisher.

Our sincere appreciation to the following businesses for their foundational partnerships with The Current and its partner publications:

ENRI

THE

Evergreen SE

NI

OR

lifestyle Fountains

LIVING COMMU

NI

YO U WAN T

TY

It’s not only their nonprofit work that attracts members, Flannigan says. It’s the personal touches that make a difference, too.

quality

One of their member consultants has been there over 20 years and has served multiple generations of families.

Healthy Living Liberty Lake • Liberty Lake Family Dentistry THE

“This move is a physical move but these supportive member relationships go back a long way,” she says. “It is the people that make it work.” Although the new features and bigger space have the team excited, Flannigan says the heart of the branch is the people. “We try to take care of customers really well, and that team does a great job.” Correction

An error on the property tax rate appeared last month in a story on passage of the Spokane Valley Fire Department’s maintenance and operations levy that will fund salaries, equipment, fire engines and capital projects – including a new fire station. The levy will mean an increase of $10 per year over four years on a home valued at $100,000. The new rate is $1.90 per $1,000 of assessed property value up from $1.80. The Feb. 19 levy vote passed by a 74-pecent margin and will replace an expiring four-year levy that voters endorsed in 2015.

YO

Jim Custer Enterprises • Spokane County Library District New homes in Spokane, Spokane Valley, Libe

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

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

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24

Inland Empire Utility CC

12

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Jim Custer Enterprises

28

Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce 22

5

Spokane Valley United Methodist 30

Banner Fuel Central Valley Theatre

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They’ve also worked with Spokane Boys and Girls Club, EWU and Spokane Community Colleges.

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Stateline Plaza

24

Naomi 28

Valley Hospital/Multicare

11

Northern Quest

32

Vision Marketing

14

Greenstone 15

Revive a Roof

21

Healthy Living Liberty Lake

Simonds Dental Group

Evergreen Fountain

3 19

8

12, 32

Service Directory

30

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


The Current

30 • APRIL 2019

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The Current

ON THAT NOTE

Royal Closet, Daybreak team up for unique cause

By Jamie Borgan

Current Correspondent

Since its inception, the Royal Closet has been a community effort. It started as a small, homegrown project in the basement of a Liberty Lake resident. Envisioned and founded by Spring Goode, the project began as a prom dress exchange of sorts, where young women could bring dresses and exchange them for others or check out dresses for special events. Goode and her daughter were motivated to collect dresses and start the project to ensure young women of all income levels could afford fancy attire for any special event. Residents from all over the city donated dresses to get the project going. Fast forward a year later and the project was literally bursting at the seams. That’s when Daybreak, a residential treatment facility for youth struggling with substance use, agreed to take it on. The connection came about because of Catherine Reynolds, Life Enrichment director at Daybreak. “Some of the girls in the facility were talking about not getting to go to prom,” Reynolds recalls. Because Daybreak is a residential in-patient facility, youth don’t attend school outside the facility while they’re receiving treatment. Hearing the girls lament about missing prom inspired Reynolds to try to hold a similar event at Daybreak. Reynolds quickly realized she’d need to find dresses and began looking to local thrift stores. Someone told Reynolds she needed to contact Goode, who was just starting the Royal Closet. The connection proved incredibly fruitful. Reynolds’ prom project was just the kind of effort the Royal Closet wanted to support. Reynolds remembers it clearly. “She brought 150 dresses for the girls to try on,” she says. Reynolds says it was amazing

to see young women find dresses that fit them well and that were of such high quality. In addition to the dresses, Reynolds got a DJ and food and Daybreak’s prom tradition had begun. It is now held three times a year. So, when the Royal Closet outgrew Goode’s basement, Daybreak felt like a natural partner. The Royal Closet donated its hundreds of dresses to Daybreak, a donation that Reynolds says is worth thousands

of dollars. The mission to serve girls of all income levels fit well with the ethic of Daybreak. The transition wasn’t entirely smooth. Last summer, the storage area that held the dresses was broken into. The perpetrators of the break-in destroyed many of the dresses with fire extinguishers. Reynolds said that the project had about 300 dresses at the time of the break-in, and less than half were salvageable. However, the community again stepped in to support the project. Thompson’s Cleaners cleaned the dresses that weren’t too badly damaged and Believe

The Royal Closet began as a way to ensure that young women of all socioeconomic backgrounds could have formal attire for proms and other events. Spring Goode of Liberty Lake founded the program which receives donations from community residents. Royal Closet recently began a collaboration with Daybreak, a local organization specializing in personalized recovery for youth with addiction and mental health challenges. Contributed Photo

APRIL 2019 • 31

Bride (formerly Celestial Selections) donated dresses to build the inventory back up. Teresa Akers, owner of Believe Bride, says they’ve “always been 100-percent behind” the Royal Closet, believing that “every young woman should have the opportunity to feel amazing.” Akers said the break-in at Daybreak again became an opportunity for the community to support the project. Not only did she donate dresses from the store, but she also collected donations from the community, giving customers discounts if they brought in dresses to donate. Akers says supporting the Royal Closet is something her whole team supports and they love being able to provide such a unique experience for the residents of Daybreak. The inventory of dresses in the Royal Closet now tops 400. With the generous support of community businesses as reinforcement, the Royal Closet continues growing to serve the entire Spokane community. At the end of January, the project held a fashion show at CenterPlace Regional Event Center to raise funds for Daybreak, but also “to raise awareness about the project,” says Reynolds. The event was very successful and another is planned for April in Coeur d’Alene. Reynolds said she is excited about the direction of the Royal Closet. She hopes that people will come to see the project as being a community resource for everyone. She says she would love it if women in the community who had a special event that they didn’t want to buy a dress for would come to the Royal Closet to borrow a dress. In the process, they could make a donation to Daybreak, she says. For those involved with the Royal Closet, the benefits are patently clear. “There’s nothing like watching a lady’s face light up in a gown,” says Akers. “It can literally change how they feel about themselves.” Dresses for the Royal Closet can be donated at Capri Salon and Believe Bride. For more information on the Royal Closet, follow them on Facebook.


The Current

32 • APRIL 2019

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