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FEBRUARY

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2 • FEBRUARY 2019

The Park Bench

Bridge Builder – Developer Frank honored as Citizen of the Year

By Craig Howard Current Editor

Jim Frank builds homes and neighborhoods – not bridges. Yet ask anyone who has followed the career of the principal and CEO of Greenstone Homes and they will tell you he has a unique gift for constructing connections that bring people together and make neighborhoods thrive. “Jim has been able to see a community beyond a tract of homes,” said former Spokane County Commissioner Mark Richard, now executive director of the Downtown Spokane Partnership. “He’s recognized as one of the best developers in our region for the way he is able to deliver.”

NEWS meet and communicate, building social connections within the neighborhood,” Frank said.

18, Frank expressed his trademark humility when acknowledging the distinction.

Some of Frank’s contributions are less known but just as significant. As a young lawyer, he worked with Mike Padden on the legislative side to remove a sales tax on food that was being levied on (now Greater Spokane County) Meals on Wheels. Without fanfare, Frank and Greenstone have also provided technical and financial support to nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity and Spokane Housing Ventures, helping to increase the local stock of affordable homes. He established the Greenstone Foundation to support additional causes.

“I am honored by this award,” Frank said. “Others are more deserving, but nonetheless I am honored that my peers respect the work we have done in the community.”

Occasionally, the spotlight catches up with Frank for his many contributions. The latest honor came last month when the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce named him as the latest Harry E. Nelson Citizen of the Year, joining a notable list of honorees. Frank was informed while at his winter home in New Zealand. Although he was unable to accept the award in-person at the Gem of the Valley Awards on Jan.

A Spokane native, Frank graduated from Gonzaga Prep and put himself through Gonzaga University, working a variety of part-time jobs at restaurant, bakery, clothing store and Kaiser Aluminum. His father supported his family as a brick mason, teaching his four children the value of a consistent work ethic. After graduating from GU with a degree in chemical engineering, Frank worked for Monsanto in Idaho but eventually returned to his Lilac City roots, enrolling at Gonzaga Law School. Upon earning his law degree, Frank latched on with Spokane County Air Pollution Control Authority, working there four years before establishing his own legal practice with a focus on land use and environmental law. By 1983, he

Frank’s spanning effect includes establishing pedestrianfriendly residential areas known for flourishing trees, abundant sidewalks and enriching greenspace. He is one of the founders of the Liberty Lake Farmers Market with his sister Susan Parker and was a catalyst in the creation of the Summer Festival in the same community, a free, family-friendly series of movies and concerts at Pavillion Park that has become a staple on the regional warmweather calendar.

“We wanted to create a community gathering place, an opportunity for neighbors to

had launched Greenstone Homes. Liberty Lake became Greenstone’s oyster with neighborhood pearls like Meadowwood, Rocky Hill and the River District forming the foundation for one of the region’s fastest growing communities. Frank has always been quick to point to the vision of fellow developer Bill Main Sr., who laid the groundwork for Liberty Lake in the 1980s with an inspired blueprint. Frank, meanwhile, was one of the key organizers of the Liberty Lake 2000 campaign that led to a successful vote for cityhood and the community’s official incorporation in August 2001. The Current caught up with Frank via phone from New Zealand for his thoughts on the chamber honor and some reflections on being a community – and bridge – builder. Q: What was your first reaction when you were learned you had been named Citizen of the Year? A: You have the wrong person. The Spokane Valley has a history of very strong leaders. I’m honored to be considered with this group. Q: Some may not know that the Valley Chamber office is actually headquartered in the Greenstone Building in Liberty Lake. How do you think this group has benefited the community and our local economy, particularly in your field of development, over the years? A: The chamber provides the opportunity to address communitywide issues like affordable housing and regulatory reform and provides business with voice in local and state government. Just as important, the chamber provides the opportunity for education and learning from other business and community leaders.

The roots of the Farmers Market – which will celebrate its 18th season this year – go back to Frank’s youth when his family would travel from their home in Spokane’s West Central neighborhood to visit the produce stands and rustic farms of the Spokane Valley. Later, he would raise his own kids in the Valley as the composition of the area shifted from rural to suburban. Along with supporting local agriculture and providing fresh fruits and vegetables to surrounding residents, the market has served as a civic bridge.

The Current

Q: It’s been said that successful developers are gifted when it comes to seeing the potential of an area. In the case of you and Greenstone, what have been some of the keys to identifying and building upon that potential?

Jim Frank, founder of Greenstone Homes, was honored as the Citizen of the Year by the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce last month. The Spokane native is known for his pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use developments that foster a sense of community. He has also helped establish both the Liberty Lake and Kendall Yards Farmers Markets. Contributed photo

A: We have always believed that creating value is the key to business success. As markets change, you have to adjust, looking for those factors such as location, plan design and neighborhood amenities that provide the most value to customers. Q:

You are often associated

See FRANK, Page 3


The Current

FRANK

FEBRUARY 2019 • 3

NEWS

Continued from page 2 with the growth and development of the Liberty Lake community which you’ve called home for many years. Yet your influence spans beyond to neighborhoods like Ponderosa Ridge in Spokane, Morningside Heights in Spokane Valley, Coeur d’Alene Place and others. In your view, what are some of the most important characteristics of a thriving residential area? A: Over the years, we have found that economic and social diversity are important to great neighborhoods. This means having a variety of product types and price ranges. The other key is having a quality streetscape that features street trees and a focus on pedestrian access. Q: What are your recollections of developing two Valley neighborhoods - Bella Vista and Dishman Commons? A: Bella Vista was one of our early projects and the first project we developed in the Spokane Valley. It was a difficult site and provided a challenge dealing with grade and surface rock. However, those challenges provided a project with unique building site and great views. Dishman Commons was a joint development with two nonprofit housing developers – Spokane Housing Ventures and Community Frameworks. It provided a unique opportunity to combine market rate and subsidized affordable homes integrated in a planned design. Q: Kendall Yards, just north of downtown Spokane, is probably the most visible example of mixed-use development that Greenstone has developed in recent years. Do you see opportunities for this kind of blended commercial/ residential approach in parts of the Greater Spokane Valley? A: More customers are looking for the opportunity to live in more “urban” environments with neighborhoods that are walkable and with mixed uses nearby. I think we will see the “urbanization” of some suburban areas. I think we will see some denser mixeduse areas develop in Liberty Lake and Spokane Valley in the coming years. Q: You made the transition from law to land development fairly early in your career. Do you ever look back and think what your professional journey

would have been like as a fulltime attorney? A: I knew early on I was not going to make a good lawyer. I have never looked back. Q: The demand for affordable housing continues to be a hot topic throughout the state. Multiple bills are being proposed in Olympia during this legislative session to address the shortage as well as Washington’s increasing homeless population. As a developer, what do you think should be some of the priorities in growing the inventory of safe, affordable housing?

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A: The number one priority at the state level needs to be amendments to the Condominium Act. We have one of the most restrictive condominium laws in the country and it has eliminated a very important affordable housing tool. Q: You and Greenstone have quietly gone about doing good over the years, supporting a wide variety of nonprofit causes in ways that have had a significant impact. Why has this been important for you both personally and on a corporate level? A: Our company will be stronger when we work in communities that are thriving. It is part of our commitment to create value in the communities where we work. Q: I realize you’re not one to seek the spotlight or obsess about your reputation but what would you hope your legacy in this community might be after all is said and done? A: Building and land development is important work. For better or worse, it will define the quality of the places where we live and work. My hope is that our work will pass the test of time.

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4 • FEBRUARY 2019

Current SVFD Report – February 2019 From Current News Sources Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) crews responded to a total of 1634 emergency calls from Dec. 10 – Jan. 15. Incidents included: • Structure Fire – Dec. 27 – SVFD units responded to a reported structure fire in the 18600 block of East Courtland Avenue at 7:36 p.m., with 11 SVFD units and one unit from Spokane County Fire District 8. Initial reports stated that two people were trapped in a bedroom and the manufactured home was fully involved in fire. Once on scene, fire crews learned that the report of people being trapped was not accurate. Firefighters fought a defensive fire preventing the fire from spreading to the surrounding homes. Despite adverse weather conditions, the fire was under control in 15 minutes after crews arrived on scene. It was reported that some of the windows of the home were broken out before fire crews arrived on scene in an attempt to see if anyone was in the

NEWS

home. • Single Engine Fire – Dec. 31 – SVFD Engine 2 responded to a reported possible fire in the 3500 block of North Elton Road just before 5 p.m. Upon the fire crew arrival, a neighbor on scene instructed the crews that they had put the candle in the bathroom sink to extinguish the fire. The candle had started approximately a foot of the wall on fire and the fire was completely out. The fire crew used the thermal imaging camera and checked for any extension and exposure in the wall. Nothing was found and the units returned to service. • Structure Fire – Jan. 1 – SVFD units responded to a reported commercial structure fire at 12903 E. Sprague Avenue shortly after 3 p.m. The first SVFD unit on the scene observed smoke coming from the two-story apartment building and upgraded the incident to a working fire, bringing more resources to the scene. Firefighters took an offensive approach, working inside the structure to quickly extinguish the fire. The fire was contained to the bedroom of one unit in a sixunit building. The resident was inside when the fire started and was alerted to a problem by the smell

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of smoke. There were no working smoke detectors in the apartment. The resident also attempted to use a fire extinguisher before calling 911 and evacuating. • Vehicle Fire – Jan. 3 – SVFD Engine 5 responded to a reported vehicle fire in the 4900 block of North Bannen Road at 8 p.m. The owner of the vehicle was on scene and reported that while attempting to re-wire his taillights, the wiring caught fire. It appeared that the fire quickly went out after a fuse had blown. The Valley Engine 5 crew pulled some of the interior body panels to check for extension. The fire did not extend to any other areas of the vehicle and the crew disconnected the battery. Valley Engine 5 returned to service. • Structure Fire – Jan. 4 – SVFD units responded at 4:39 a.m. to a residential structure fire at 302 N. Argonne Road. Engine 1 arrived first on scene to a twostory residential home with smoke inside the interior of the home and fire around the living room fireplace and inside the nearby walls. A resident of the home woke up to use the restroom and noticed smoke inside the home, as well as a glow coming from the walls around the fireplace which was being used as their primary source of home heat. The resident woke up the other occupants to evacuate while calling 911. Smoke detectors in the living room and kitchen area were missing or had the batteries removed and smoke detectors in the bedrooms were inoperable or more than 10 years old and did not alarm. Five adults, one child, and two dogs inside the home were displaced with Red Cross called to assist. No injuries were sustained by occupants or firefighters and the fire was contained to the living room area around the fireplace. A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement. Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound. The National Fire Protection Agency reminds people that smoke alarms with nonreplaceable (long-life) batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, a warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away. For smoke alarms with any other type of battery, replace batteries at least once a year. Test all smoke alarms at least once a month by pressing the test button. For information on free smoke alarms through SVFD, call 928-1700.

The Current

M & O Levy - On Feb. 12, Voters in the areas served by the Spokane Valley Fire Department will be asked to replace the expiring fouryear Maintenance & Operations (M&O) levy approved in 2015. The four-year levy provides essential funding for the continued delivery of high-quality fire, rescue and emergency medical services to a growing population of more than 125,000 citizens across the Greater Spokane Valley including Liberty Lake, Millwood and Otis Orchards. The renewal of this levy would be in place for a four-year period (2020-2023). The levy accounts for approximately 54 percent of the SVFD annual budget and provides for both operational and capital needs that allows for SVFD to continue to provide the high levels of emergency response that our communities have supported for nearly 50 years and have come to expect. For more information call 928-1700 or visit www. spokanevalleyfire.com. By the numbers: • Emergency Medical Services 1349 • Fires* 48 • Motor Vehicle Accidents 100 • Building Alarms 44 • Dispatched and cancelled en route 54 • Hazardous Materials 7 • Service Calls 15 • Vehicle Fires 7 • Auto vs Pedestrian 7 • Technical Rescue 3 *Brush, Commercial, Residential, Rubbish, Vehicles and Unauthorized Burning About SVFD - Spokane Valley Fire Department serves the cities of Liberty Lake, Millwood, Spokane Valley and unincorporated areas of Spokane County including the communities of Otis Orchards, Pasadena Park and the area surrounding Liberty Lake, with a combined population of 125,000 across approximately 75 square miles. SVFD firefighters and paramedics responded to more than 17,280 emergency calls in 2017. Established in 1940, SVFD is an Accredited Agency by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI), one of only a handful in the state of Washington. SVFD operates 10 stations providing fire suppression, emergency medical services, vehicle extrication, hazardous materials response, special operations rescue, fire investigation, fire prevention, commercial property inspection, CPR and fire safety training. SVFD also provides free fire safety inspections and installation of free smoke detectors. For more information call 928-1700 or visit www.spokanevalleyfire.com.


The Current

NEWS

Millwood Council approves new utility taxes By Nina Culver

Current Correspondent The Millwood City Council has completed its work on the 2019 city budget, including creating new utility taxes on telephones and solid waste. The new taxes are 2 percent each, which is significantly less than the 6 percent allowed by law. The city already has utility taxes of 6 percent on electricity and 2 percent on natural gas usage. Mayor Kevin Freeman said the new taxes were necessary because of a budget shortfall in the city’s street fund, which pays for street repairs and other tasks such as leaf pickup, de-icing, street sweeping and trail maintenance. “Even with a deduction of up to 25 percent of property taxes, we are still falling short,” Freeman said. “We’re in a deficit on that. We are looking for added revenue to make our street fund sustaining.” The city simply doesn’t have many funding options available and sales tax revenue is too “fickle” to depend on, Freeman said. The city also has only two stores that could be considered high volume – Albertson’s and North 40. “Sales tax changes so much,” the mayor said. The new taxes are expected to take effect in March after a review by the Utilities and Transportation Commission, said Freeman. All of the revenue collected will go straight into the street fund but Freeman said no one is sure how much revenue the new taxes will generate. “We’ve not sure,” he said. “It is very difficult to get estimates from anybody on utility taxes. We kind of have to see what’s going on, how much those revenues are and then revisit that.” That uncertainly is one reason why the taxes were set at 2 percent instead of the allowed 6 percent. “This may be sufficient,” Freeman said. “If we find ourselves still in the hole, we’ll have to look at that.” Council Member Shawna Beese was the only one who voted against the new utility tax. She previously

expressed concern about having a tax on telephones, including cellular phones, which she thought could be a financial burden to people who rely on their phones. In November, Freeman had proposed an ordinance that would apply term limits to the mayor, City Council members and those serving in appointed positions. At the time Freeman said that he believed if people serve in elected office too long they begin to think about what benefits them and not what benefits the community. “It does create an opportunity for new blood, new opportunities and new ideas on the City Council,” he said. However Freeman said that discussion has been tabled after he heard concern from the community about applying term limits to appointed positions such as the Planning Commission. People are concerned the city won’t be able to fill those appointed positions if there are term limits and not enough people step forward to be considered for those roles. Freeman said he may try to make some changes to the ordinance and bring it back for consideration, but he’s not sure when that might happen. “It’s definitely not dead,” he said. The city was recently notified that it has received a Spokane Regional Transportation Council congestion mitigation/air quality program grant for $1.27 million to help fund construction of the Argonne Congestion Relief Project. The project is currently in the design phase and it hasn’t yet been determined what it will look like, Freeman said, though it will probably include widening parts of Argonne Road. There will not be a cost estimate prepared for the project until it is designed. Construction is tentatively planned for 2020, Freeman said. The city has received three comprehensive plan amendment requests that will be considered in the coming months. The first is a city-filed amendment to change the zoning of city-owned land on South Riverway to public reserve. The other two amendment requests involve to separate pieces of property on East Empire Avenue. The lots are currently zoned residential and the owners want to change the back half of their properties to light industrial. Both properties currently back up against lots on Trent Avenue that are already zoned light industrial.

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CALL OR REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT ONLINE The city’s Planning Commission got a preliminary look at the proposed amendments during its January meeting. A public hearing on the amendments is set for the commission’s meeting on March 27, which will be the public’s last chance to give public testimony on the proposed changes. The Planning Commission is expected to finalize their recommendations to the City Council on the proposed amendments during their April 24 meeting and forward the amendments to the council for consideration at the May 14 council meeting.

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6 • FEBRUARY 2019

NEWS

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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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8 • FEBRUARY 2019

Spokane Valley City Council Report – February 2019 By Bill Gothmann

Current Correspondent Council eliminates open space requirement for mixed-use zones City Council held a public hearing and then deleted all requirements for open space in mixed-use zones. There had been a requirement for 210 square feet of open space for every dwelling unit in a mixed-use zone where there were more than nine dwelling units. However, the requirement had been waived for developments within 1,300 feet of a park or trail, thus excluding about 60 percent of mixed-use zone space from the obligation. Another option had permitted a fee to be paid in lieu of the open space. The council action deleted all of these requirements, even though the Planning Commission recommended keeping the open space requirement for many mixed zone developments. Five citizens testified against the change. The council vote was 4-3, with Council Members Ben Wick, Linda Thompson and Brandi Peetz dissenting. Those in favor touted the economic feasibility of opening more space to development along city arterials. Those against argued the need of having open space available to apartment dwellers in these developments. Council members emphasized that this action only affects mixed use zones, not residential or commercial zones. Payment to publication explained

Current

Because he owns the Greater

NEWS

Spokane Valley Current newsmagazine, Council Member Ben Wick recused himself from any discussion of payment by the city to the publication for ads placed by the city. There had been some discussion about making this payment an administration decision not requiring council action. However, City Attorney Cary Driskell, after studying the issue, recommended Wick continue to recuse himself during such payment consideration. State Law permits the city to contract with a council member’s business for up to $1,500 per month. However, the city must maintain a list of all contracts under this provision. The city stated, “Given this, the city may continue to occasionally use The Current to provide various public notices, but only up to $1,500 per month.” In addition, they will maintain a public list of such payments. On Jan. 8, council, without Wick present in the chamber, unanimously approved $350 be paid to The Current for their latest ad. Council awards contracts for street sweeping and storm drain cleaning The city let a contract in 2015 to AAA Sweeping that included four renewals. The contract is up for its final renewal in 2019 and council approved $490,200 to AAA Sweeping to continue the service. The average increase will be 2.3 percent and, instead of increasing funds, the city is decreasing service to keep the dollar amount the same as in 2018. However, they have improved efficiency in past years.

AAA Sweeping’s storm draining service contract was also renewed for $202,587.50, which includes a 2.3-percent hourly increase. The city intends to re-evaluate future needs for these services this year. Street and stormwater repair contract let The city approved the fourth contract renewal with POE Asphalt for $1,366,663 for street and stormwater repair. This includes an increase of $10,000 to accommodate the state’s recent increase in its required prevailing wage. Agreement reached with Water District 3 for full-width paving Spokane County Water District 3 is planning a 3-mile water transmission project resulting in 10- to 12- foot trenches within the affected streets. However, on several road segments in poor pavement condition, the city would like to have the road repaved from curb-to-curb. The segments are: Valleyway from Marguerite to Mullan, Farr from Appleway to Eighth Avenue and Woodruff from Ninth Avenue to 10th Avenue. Council unanimously approved $375,000 for this contract to be paid from the Pavement Preservation Fund. Mayor makes council member committee assignments Mayor Rod Higgins approved the following committee assignment for council members: Aging & Long Term Care of Eastern Washington – Higgins; Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce Board – Arne Woodard; Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency – Higgins; City Finance Committee: Higgins, Pam Haley, Sam Wood; Growth Management Steering Committee

The Current

of Elected Officials – Higgins, Wood; City Governance Manual Committee –Woodard, Wood, Linda Thompson; Greater Spokane Inc. – Higgins; Housing and Community Development Advisory Committee – Woodard; Health District Board – Thompson, Ben Wick; Lodging Tax Advisory Committee – Wood; Mayors’ Association of Northeast Washington – Higgins; Spokane County Continuum of Care for the Homeless – Woodard; Spokane Regional Transportation Council – Woodard; Spokane Transit Authority – Haley, Wood, and Woodard as alternates; Tourism Promotion Area – Brandi Peetz; Visit Spokane – Wick and Thompson as alternates; Wastewater Policy Advisory Board – Woodard, Higgins. Transportation Improvement Plan amendments presented Last June, council approved a 2019-2024 Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP). Since that time, a number of grants have been received and projects rescheduled. Council proposed 2019 updates for the plan. The Pines/BNSF grade separation project remains the same. Closeout projects consist of: Broadway Avenue intersections; Argonne to Mullan; Mission Avenue reconstruction, Flora to Barker; Euclid Avenue preservation, Sullivan to Flora and Appleway Trail, Sullivan to Corbin. Updated and carry-over projects include: Barker Road/ BNSF Railroad grade separation, project engineering (PE) and rightof-way (ROW) only; Argonne Road preservation, Broadway to Mission (carryover); Sullivan / Wellesley intersection project (PE/ROW only); Evergreen Road resurfacing, Mission to Indiana;

See SV COUNCIL, Page 9

The 2019 Spokane Valley City Council (from left to right): Council Member Sam Wood, Council Member Brandi Peetz, Council Member Arne Woodard, Mayor Rod Higgins, Deputy Mayor Pam Haley, Council Member Ben Wick and Council Member Linda Thompson.


The Current

NEWS

SV COUNCIL

Continued from page 8 Wilbur Road sidewalk, Broadway to Boone; Mission Avenue sidewalk and street preservation, University to Union; Wellesley Avenue sidewalk, McDonald to Evergreen; Knox Avenue sidewalk, Hutchinson to Sargent; Barker Road reconstruction, Euclid to Garland; Appleway Trail, Evergreen to Sullivan (PE only); and North Sullivan ITS, I-90 to Trent (carryover). Street preservation projects Include: 2019 local access streets, Midilome (street wear fee projects); Indiana Avenue preservation, Evergreen to Sullivan (PE only); Valleyway Avenue preservation, Marguerite to Mullan; Eighth Avenue preservation, Sullivan to Progress (PE only); Farr Road preservation, Appleway to Eighth; Broadway Avenue preservation, Havana to Fancher; Mullan Road preservation, Broadway to Mission (PE only); Woodruff Road preservation, Ninth to 10th; Argonne Road preservation, Valleyway to Broadway and University Road preservation, 16th to Dishman-Mica, New Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) award. Added Projects Include: Barker Road reconstruction, Garland to Grade Separation Project; Barker Road reconstruction, Spokane River to Euclid (PE only); Sprague and Barker intersection Improvement (PE only); Adams Road sidewalk, 16th to 22nd (PE only), New TIB award; Barker Road westbound interchange, Boone to I-90 (PE only); Citywide reflective signal backplates phase. 3, new City Safety Plan (CSP) Award; Citywide reflective post panels, new CSP Award and Garland Avenue construction – Flora to Barker. Browns Park improvements in 2019 Staff presented a plan for spending the $1.16 million budgeted for improvements to Brown Parks in 2019. Improvements include a loop trail and lighting, large restroom and utilities, large picnic shelter, fence, renovated storage building, skate dot (a small skating area for three to five people) and a small shelter. Since 2014, the city has added 16 new sand volleyball courts including a championshipsized court, a basketball court and a splash pad at a cost to the city of $623,000. These were financed with $68,000 of lodging tax dollars and $555,000 of general fund

FEBRUARY 2019 • 9

Council Briefs • Council approved a 10year franchise with Level 3, a subsidiary of Century Link, to continue to provide fiber within the city rights-of-way. Time Warner Telecom previously operated these facilities.

Previously donated statue, “Berry Picker,” stands outside City Hall to greet all that enter. Contributed Image money. plan.

Council agreed with the

Gambling Examined

Tax

Revenue

City staff noted that revenues from gambling taxes have decreased from $727,000 in 2009 to an estimated $371,000 in 2018. By far, the bulk of revenue comes from card games and it has decreased the most. Revenue from amusement games has increased from $9,000 to an estimated $13,000. Staff compared the city’s tax rates and found Spokane charges a 2-percent tax on card games, whereas Spokane Valley charges 6 percent. The two cities charge the same rates on amusement games, bingo and raffles. Staff also noted that the city has only one utility tax, a phone tax of 6 percent, whereas Spokane taxes all utilities, some as high as 20 percent. Possible city sculpture project changed The Spokane Valley Arts Council requested $103,150 in city outside agency funds for a sculpture entitled “Rock Star” by Bob Wilfong, to be presented to the city. However, since the $24,105 grant awarded was much less than required, they requested that the funds apply to a smaller sculpture entitled “If I Could Fly” the same artist. Council approved the change. City formally sculptures

accepts

The Spokane Valley Arts Council has supplied the city with six sculptures. However, only one, “Walking the Line,” has been formally accepted. Council approved a motion accepting the other five. They are “Harvest Time on the Big Missouri,” also known as the “Berry Picker,” “Dance of Sun and Moon,” “Coup Ponies,” “Woman with Horse” and “Heart of the Valley.” Council given records and open public meeting training Staff

annually

reviews

the

Washington Public Records and Open Public Meetings Acts with council. The law is very specific, stating, “The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies that serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may maintain control over the instruments they have created.” In practice, any written information relating to the conduct or performance of government is a public record, including emails, tweets, text messages and even the data about the message (date, time, author, etc.). For example, if someone sends the city their address or phone number as part of a letter, it is considered a public record and can be accessed by anyone. Records concerning the city kept on a personal computer that relate to government kept by a council member are considered public. When a public record is requested from the city, it is common for the city to ask present and past council members if they have any such records on their personal computers relating to the requested subject of the request. Records requests demand a fiveday maximum response and there are penalties for failing to comply. The city has adopted the state auditor’s best practices to assure that they satisfy the letter and intent of the law. The Open Public Meetings Act requires that all meetings of the governing body, the council, be open to the public. What this means is that if a majority of council members are discussing city business, the meeting must be announced to the public and be open to the public. Physical presence of council members is not required to be considered a meeting. Serial phone calls from council member to council member are considered a meeting if a

• Council approved regulations permitting the city to negotiate with any available contractor should there be no bidders on a public service contract exceeding $300,000. The city already has this provision in its code for certain small contracts • Council approved moving the 45-minute public comment period during council meetings from its current position preceding the consent agenda to immediately following new business. This places it later in the meeting. Peetz voted against this provision, preferring two comment periods • Council added “reforming the [Washington State] Department of Children, Youth, and Family oversight program” to their legislative agenda. Haley recused herself, since she owns several day care businesses • Council agreed to a revised contract with Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) whereby the city will design a roundabout north of I-90 at the Barker westbound intersection. WSDOT will reimburse the city monthly for its costs instead of providing a lump sum as previously discussed • Higgins appointed James (JJ) Johnson, Timothy Kelley and Robert McKinley to the Planning Commission for threeyear terms • Wood suggested that the city should partner with water districts about their landscaped property for possible use as small parks. Council agreed and staff will look into this majority of the council (in the city’s case, four) are involved. This also applies to emails and social media. If a majority of council members are discussing a subject on line, it is considered a meeting. Exemptions to the act include meetings at which no city business is discussed such as social occasions and executive meetings at which land purchase, job performance of an individual, or litigation related matters.


COVER STORY

10 • FEBRUARY 2019

Naturopathic medicine a viable and increasingly popular option

By Keith Erickson

Current Correspondent Chronic abdominal pain had taken a toll on Amanda Abrams. It was impacting virtually every aspect of her life and traditional medical care just wasn’t delivering the results she desperately needed. She was running out of options. Then Abrams turned naturopathic medicine.

to

“I was absolutely skeptical but I was looking for relief anywhere, so I went in willingly but I didn’t have faith,” she said. “I didn’t think I’d stick with it.” That was over two years ago. Today, the 35-year-old analyst with a local credit union says the holistic approach (she is treated with acupuncture and herbal remedies) has been life-changing. “I’m a 100-percent a believer,” Abrams said. “It’s made a huge difference. I can tell the days I take (herbal meds) and the days I don’t. It’s a pretty remarkable thing they’ve got going on with Eastern medicine.” Abrams is not alone in her enthusiastic endorsement of the naturalistic approach. Over the past decade, health care has changed immensely. While it’s true that there has been an uptick in patients seeking traditional prescribed medications to address their health problems, the number of people seeking holistic healing is also rapidly rising.

states, including Washington, must complete a rigorous, sciencebased, post-graduate education in an accredited naturopathic medical college, recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. So, what’s all the growing interest about? The Current recently spoke with several Spokane Valley naturopathic doctors to learn more about their approach to medicine, why the alternative health care field is growing in popularity and how they work to diagnose and treat acute and chronic illness. Point of Origin Acupuncture and Herbal Clinic With a doctorate degree in acupuncture, Naturopathic Doctor (ND) Coleen Smith is a highly skilled medical professional who spent 17 years as an emergency room registered nurse before changing her career path to pursue holistic medicine. Specializing in fertility, Smith says medical research validates acupuncture to overcome infertility. For instance, acupuncture may stimulate the release of a hormone that influences the menstrual cycle, ovulation and fertility. Smith, who has been an Eastern Asian medical practitioner for more than eight years, says she has had many positive results

using acupuncture for women with fertility challenges by using a process known as Assisted Reproductive Technique (ART). “I had one couple who had been trying to conceive for 11 years,” Smith said. Offering no guarantees, she performed ART. “And she got pregnant,” Smith said. “My services improve the odds of success by addressing hormone regulation, pain and anxiety issues and it’s science-based.” While acupuncture balances the body’s energies through an external force, Smith says, herbal Chinese medicine treats disease by altering the body’s internal energies. “By way of a thorough diagnosis, Chinese medicine will analyze your body’s individual disharmonies and develop an intricate prescription to restore your delicate internal equilibrium,” Smith said. As a medical professional, Smith is quick to emphasize that naturopathic medicine is not a cure-all. It can be effective, but mainstream medicine should never be bypassed if it is deemed necessary. In one case, Smith said a woman came to her for fertility assistance. She had been seeing another naturopathic doctor with no results. Smith realized right away her patient may have a serious health issue and referred her to a traditional medical doctor who diagnosed her with ovarian cancer.

According to the Institute for Natural Medicine (INM), there are approximately 6,000 licensed naturopathic doctors practicing in the U.S., an increase of nearly 20 percent from 2008.

According to the INM, certified naturopathic doctors in most

It was treated and years later, the woman contacted Smith to thank her for possibly saving her life. “Naturopaths can get a really bad reputation when somebody shows up in the emergency room and tells the doctor they were told by their naturopathic doctor they could be healed naturally,” Smith said. “Sometimes people just don’t use common sense.” Smith said her change in career paths began about 10 years ago when she was looking into pursuing a master’s degree in nursing and discovered she could actually earn a master’s in Oriental medicine. “I was really intrigued because of my own interest in holistic medicine,” she says. “I started with a couple classes to see if I would like it and never looked back. My new career has allowed me to understand and help others in a more holistic and complete way.” Dr. Smith adds, “It has been interesting, rewarding and allows me to keep learning. Chinese medicine is a vast field that has so much history and information.” To learn more about Point of Origin Acupuncture, visit www. spokaneacupuncture.com. Rivercreek Wellness Naturopathic specialist Dr. Julie George says she integrates traditional healing methods with modern medical science to a provide holistic and safe approach to health care. With an extensive background in environmental medicine, George says that as a society we are exposed to an increasingly dangerous array of thousands of toxic substances – both indoors and outside – such as chemicals, pesticides, food additives, solvents and pollutants. “It’s overwhelming our systems – we’re not accustomed to having our bodies exposed to all these foreign chemicals,” she says. “Toxins affect the physical body, mental sharpness and acuity and our emotional well-being.”

Americans spent more than $30 billion out-of-pocket on naturalistic treatment and remedies last year and that figure is substantially higher considering the growing number of health insurance companies that cover treatment from licensed naturopathic professionals. Trained to treat the whole person, naturopathic doctors diagnose and treat acute and chronic illness. Stereotypes of fly-by-night healers with little knowledge of medicine are greatly exaggerated and mostly untrue, holistic practitioners say.

The Current

Dr. David Graves (right) is a licensed naturopathic physician who specializes in hormone imbalances and thyroid and gastronomical issues. Graves works out of the Naturopathic Med office on Dishman-Mica Road in Spokane Valley. Photo by Keith Erickson

To eliminate toxins that can exasperate auto-immune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, colitis and Crohn’s disease, Rivercreek offers several treatments, including a far infrared sauna that uses heat to cleanse the body of toxins such as heavy metals. “Cleansing is one of the most

See WELLNESS, Page 11


The Current

WELLNESS

COVER STORY

FEBRUARY 2019 • 11

Continued from page 10 important things you can do for detoxification,” George said. Unlike traditional saunas which warm to around 180 degrees, infrared saunas use a lower temperature over a sustained period (30 minutes) to penetrate tissues and then mobilize toxins from fat storage directly into the sweat, removing heavy metals, solvents and pesticides. “The far infrared saunas use a ceramic infrared heater, which allows for a deeper penetration of the skin of about 1.5 inches,” George said. “This heat penetration allows for a lower temperature setting than the conventional sauna thus allowing for a longer duration.” The procedure, she added, benefits the auto-immune system, reduces toxics and heavy metals and reduces solvents in the body. “A far infrared sauna is probably one of the most important things you can do for detoxification,” George said. Beyond her focus on environmental medicine, George offers holistic approaches to address a wide range of issues including fatigue, food allergies, chronic pain, digestive disorders and insomnia. George said she and other NDs place a heavy emphasis on getting to know their patient’s medical history and health concerns as they formulate a care plan. In order to take your thorough history, initial visits can last an hour or more and include a complete health history intake, any appropriate physical exams and any laboratory testing that is deemed necessary. “It’s important to have an indepth (consultation) with patients to find the root causes of their illness or disorder,” she said. “Nutritional and herbal medicine can often address these issues but treatment for chronic health problems begins with identifying the underlying cause of illness.”

Acupuncture began as a key aspect of traditional Chinese medicine and is most commonly used to treat pain. According to the Mayo Clinic, the practice is being increasingly used to promote overall wellness, including stress management. In Spokane Valley, Dr. Coleen Smith practices the approach at Point of Origin Acupuncture and Herbal Clinic. Smith spent 17 years as a registered nurse before becoming a naturopathic doctor with a doctorate degree in acupuncture. File Photo Naturopathic Med Specializing in natural therapies to treat hormone imbalances, thyroid issues and gastrointestinal conditions, Dr. David Graves, like many of his holistic peers, has an impressive educational resume. With a doctorate in naturopathic medicine and a bachelor of science in nutrition, Dr. Graves addresses issues, typically faced by older people, such as weight gain and low libido, through hormone treatments. “Hormones are responsible for the way our bodies function and these levels naturally decline with age,” Graves said. “Research shows that women start to lose estrogen and men start to lose testosterone in their 40s. With imbalances, we may face a variety of health issues.”

“For most of us it took time for the disease to manifest, therefore it takes time to regain your health,” she said.

Although studies show that hormone therapy is effective in treatment these issues, Graves said, a comprehensive patient consultation is necessary to determine the underlying cause of the medical condition and how to address it.

To learn more about Rivercreek Wellness, visit www. rivercreekwellness.com

Sometimes lifestyle changes can alleviate the issues, such as a change in diet and exercise.

George said the practice “is focused on providing individualized treatment programs.”

Naturopathic medical treatment is also an option. Either way, it can be an involved process. “There is no magic bullet or quick fix to hormone imbalances,” he said. “There are a cluster of problems that plague our modern society and much of it can be addressed by changes in the way we live our lives. Hormone deficiency is a chronic problem in some people because of the stress in our world. It can actually cause our bodies to age faster.” Depleted hormone levels can trigger low libido and infertility. And while these symptoms may be issues for younger people, Graves said the impacts are more farreaching in all age groups. “People with low sex hormones can experience weight gain, reduced muscle mass, higher levels of fatigue and disrupted sleep patterns,” he said. To address the imbalance, Graves performs a simple blood and urine tests to identify deficits and prescribe appropriate hormones. While some traditional (and sometimes controversial) treatments involved pharmaceutical

levels of hormone – amounts higher than the body would normally produce, which can cause the body to stop producing hormones altogether – Graves prescribes natural levels that actually allow the body to start producing hormones again. “Through lifestyle counseling, diet analysis and individualized optimization, I strive to improve quality of life for my patients on all levels,” Graves said. To learn more about Naturopathic Med, visit www.natdocmed.com. While there are many different options to holistic healing, naturopathic doctors subscribe to this simple theme: Effective naturopathic treatment requires patience and good communication. Most patients know what is wrong and what needs to be done but they don’t necessarily know how to translate this into an action plan. Through a comprehensive approach, naturopathic physicians can translate the patient’s story and assign priorities among the several options that may emerge.


COMMUNITY

12 • FEBRUARY 2019

The Current

Calendar of Events COMMUNITY EVENTS Feb. 5 | The Spokane Compass Club will be holding the ladies luncheon at 11 a.m. at the Kress Gallery in Riverpark Square. The program will be provided by Inland Northwest Honor Flight and catered by Tomato Street. Cost is $25 per person and reservations are required by Jan. 31. Please email compassres@gmail.com to sign up. The Compass Club began in 1948 when seven women decided to form their own club to provide more opportunities to meet people and to get to know friends better through hobby groups. Feb. 14 | Bring your sweetheart to Shari’s on Sullivan for a nohost Valentine’s Day Breakfast at 9:30 a.m. Celebrate food and fellowship. For more information, call Episcopal Church of the Resurrection at 926-6450. Feb. 23 | Veterans Ski Day – 49 Degrees North – If you are a veteran of the U.S. military and have served in any war zone you and a guest are invited to join Veterans Community Response and the Spokane Vet Center for a day of skiing at 49 Degrees North. Tickets, gear and lessons will be provided. Space is limited so please call to sign up. Transportation from the Vet Center to 49 Degrees North will be provided on a case by case basis. Call Andrea Rehfeld 893-4752 to sign up or for more information. Feb. 23 | Newman Lake Fire Auxiliary Open House – 10 a.m. to noon. Fire Station #1, 9324 N Starr Road, Newman Lake. Come find out what the auxiliary is all about. It’s the same group that hosts successful events like the Fourth of July Hot Dog Sale, Santa’s Breakfast, and more. Discover how to join this great auxiliary to support your volunteer fire department and community while having fun. We will have treats and tours of our wonderful fire station. Any questions, call Deb Davis at 226-0187. Ongoing in winter | Ice skating at Riverfront Park – 507 N. Howard, Spokane. The ice ribbon at Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane consists of a 16-foot wide and 650-foot long pathway with a 3,500-square- foot attached pond. Skaters can experience slight inclines and declines as they make their way around the path of ice with large, cozy fire pits for spectators and skates alike to sit around and enjoy a cup of hot

cocoa. There is a café with a variety of food and a large windowed dining area. Fridays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sundays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Helmets available free of charge. Cost: First hour: $6.95/general, $4.95/ages 3-12, additional hour at half off; skate rental is $4.50/hour. For more information, call 625-6601 or visit www.spokaneriverfrontpark.com.

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-SinglesMingle. DivorceCare Recovery Support Group | Mondays 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Eastpoint Church, 15303 E. Sprague Ave. Learn how to heal from the deep hurt of divorce and discover hope for your future. DivorceCare for Kids (ages 5-12) meets at the same time and location. Cost is $25 for workbook. More at 892-5255 or eastpointchurch.com. Military Sobriety Support Group | 10 to 11: 30 a.m., Spokane Vet Center, 13109 E. Mirabeau Parkway, Spokane Valley. Call Steve at 893-

4746 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 advanced-age seniors — age 60 and over — and/or physicallyhandicapped people with limited mobility): 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Address verification is required. To make an appointment, call 927.1153 ext. 10, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m Spokane Valley Quilt Guild | Meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of February, April, June, August, October and December at Valley Assembly of

God Church, 15618 E. Broadway, Spokane Valley. Open to all interested in sharing ideas and skills of our quilting craft. Participants have can access a comprehensive library, can engage experienced teachers and participate in community service projects. More at www.svqgspokane.com

MUSIC & THE ARTS Feb. 2 | Spokane Symphony Pops: Michael Cavanaugh – The Music of Billy Joel – 8 p.m., Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox. Handpicked by Billy Joel to star in the Broadway smash hit, “Movin’ Out,” Cavanaugh wowed audiences for three years, culminating in both Grammy and Tony Award nominations. In this concert, he performs Billy Joel’s greatest hits, backed by the full Spokane Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Resident Conductor Morihiko Nakahara.Tickets start at $39 and are available at www. spokanesymphony.org, or by calling the box office at 624-1200. Feb. 15 | Spokane Symphony Master Class taught by pianist Haochen Zhang – 3 to 5 p.m., Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox. This master class is free and open to the public to observe. No reservations are required. When available, Symphony guest artists lead master classes for advanced local and regional students. Students are auditioned by a Symphony musician, and four are selected to play in the class and receive instruction. This provides students the opportunity to work with a world-class artist. In today’s class, pianist Haochen Zhang will give the students feedback about their technique and performance style. The public is welcome to stay for any or all of the class. Enter the theater at the box office entrance at 1001 W. Sprague Avenue. Feb. 22 | Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live! – 6:30 p.m., Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox. If you love Daniel Tiger on PBS-TV, you can see Daniel Tiger “live” on stage at Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox. The hugely popular musical has delighted live audiences across the country. There will be new songs to sing along with, and surprise guests. It’s a show that’s filled with fun, while teaching the valuable lessons of kindness, helping others, and being a friend. Tickets start at $25, and a VIP package is available for $75. Tickets may be purchased by calling 800-325-SEAT; they are also available online at www.


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Color, 4.83” x 5.66” ($375) Submitted January 15, 2019

FEBRUARY 2019 • 13

COMMUNITY

foxtheaterspokane.org, and at all TicketsWest outlets. Note: Children ages 1 and up require a ticket for entry. Feb. 23-24 | Baroque 2: Handel’s Journey – Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. at Westminster Congregational United Church of Christ in downtown Spokane, and Sunday, Feb. 24 at 3 p.m. at Spokane Valley Church of the Nazarene. Take a musical journey in the Baroque tradition with Handel, Corelli and more. Half of the Spokane Symphony will perform under the baton of Assistant Conductor Jorge Luis Uzcátegui, along with members of the Spokane Symphony Chorale. These concerts take place in the lovely settings of local churches. Tickets are $30 and are available online at www. spokanesymphony.org, or by calling the box office at 624-1200. Tickets are also available at each church an hour before the concert. 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, 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

| 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 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.

Spokane Novelists Group | Noon to 4 p.m., second and fourth Saturday of the month. Otis Orchards Community Church, 23304 E. Wellesley Ave., Otis Orchards. A support/critique group for writers. Open to anyone with an interest in writing fiction (no memoirs, nonfiction, poetry, etc., please). Participants should bring 5-10 pages to read aloud and 6-8 copies for others to read along and critique. More at 590-7316.

Feb. 4 | Know Your Numbers: Risk Factor Screening, INHS 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 Feb. 5 | 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. Feb. 11| 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

Spokane Valley Camera Club

See CALENDAR, Page 14

RECURRING Pages of Harmony | 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Wednesdays. Thornhill Valley Chapel, 1400 S. Pines Road. If you enjoy singing, you will love the four-part, a cappella harmony of this men’s barbershop chorus. More at www.pagesofharmony.org. Spirit of Spokane Chorus | 6:45 p.m., Tuesdays. Opportunity Presbyterian Church, 202 N. Pines Road. Make new friends by joining this women’s chorus, specializing in four-part, a cappella harmony in the barbershop style. More at 2184799.

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14 • FEBRUARY 2019

CALENDAR

be held at Dave’s Autobody, 8 W. Emma Street.

educator. For more information, call 232-8145 or visit www.inhs.info. Feb. 14 | Energy assistance through SNAP – Spokane County’s nonprofit community action agency can help make heating your home more affordable this winter. Call 242-2376 for more information. Income guidelines vary. Visit www. snapwa.org to learn more. Program is ongoing. Feb. 15 | Blood Pressure SelfManagement Class. Learn what you can do to monitor and manage your blood pressure for a healthy heart. This four-week class series will give you the tools you need to take control of your cardiovascular health. Topics include: healthy eating; how to reduce salt in your diet; physical activity for heart health; how and when to take your own blood pressure. Participants who attend all four weeks will receive a free digital blood pressure monitor at the final class. For more information, call 232-8145 or visit www.inhs.info.

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

Continued from page 13

RECURRING Yoga in Rockford | 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Rockford Park, 20 W. Emma Street, Rockford. In case of inclement weather, classes will

Wednesday mornings | Mindful Music & Movement class, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Specifically designed for those living with chronic health issues such as: Parkinson’s, dementia, COPD, MS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, cancer. Supporting body, mind and soul. $10 donation suggested. Facilitated by board-certified Music Therapist, Carla Carnegie. Willow Song Music Therapy Center. 21101 E. Wellesley #102. Otis Orchards. For more information, visit www. willowsongmusictherapy.com or call 592 7875. Tuesday afternoons | Decreasing Anger Group, 3 to 4:30 p.m., the Vet Center, 13109 E. Mirabeau Parkway, Spokane Valley. Eligibility: Combat veteran from all eras, military sexual

trauma survivors, Contact Steve at 893-4746 to make an intake appointment. HUB Sports Center 19619 E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. Various activities and events occur throughout the week including: • Pickleball drop-in: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Mon. through Thurs.; 10 a.m. to noon Tues. and Thurs. and 6 to 8 p.m. Wed. and Sun. $3/seniors ($5/non-seniors) • Classes including Kenpo Karate, Taekwondo and Zumba Aerobics. See website for cost and times

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

RECURRING Spokane Valley City Council | Regular meetings are held on the

second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers at Spokane Valley City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague Ave., Ste. 101. Council study sessions are held the first, third and sometimes fifth Tuesdays at 6 p.m., also in Council Chambers. Millwood City Council | Regular meetings at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at Millwood City Hall, 9103 E. Frederick Ave. Spokane Flag Museum | Sponsored by the Sons of the American Revolution and the Fairmount Memorial Association, details the rich history of the American flag, Mondays-Fridays, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Pines Cemetery, 1402 S. Pines Road, Spokane Valley. For more information: 926-2753 or www.fairmountmemorial.com/ south-pines-cemetery Spokane Valley Kiwanis | 6:45 a.m. Tuesdays. Valley Hospital Education Center, 12606 E. Mission Ave. More at www. spokanevalleykiwanis.net. Greater Spokane Valley Rotary | Noon to 1 p.m., Wednesdays. Darcy’s, 10502 E. Sprague Ave. More at www.svrotary.org.


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18 • FEBRUARY 2019

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FEBRUARY 2019 • 19

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Student of the Month

Athlete of the Month

Julianna Paulsen is known for her dynamic diversity at University High School. The senior maintains a 4.0 grade point average, participates in Knowledge Bowl, plays viola in the chamber orchestra and is part of the Titans’ tennis squad. This year, Paulsen turned out for marching band and played the marimba. She was also a member of the school’s mariachi ensemble last year and can play the piano and guitar. As a sophomore, she won first place in the Spokane Valley Tech Science Fair for a project that focused on increasing the efficiency of bacterial transformation. Paulsen has also been a member of U-Hi’s Crochet Club that has created hats for newborns. She is a member of the National Honor Society and scored a 1,450 on her SAT. She would like to study medicine and biology in college.

Lane Kennedy was cool in the clutch for University in the 25th annual Stinky Sneaker rivalry game against Central Valley on Jan. 16. The senior tallied 18 points to lead the Titans to a 58-48 win over the Bears and into the lead for 4A Greater Spokane League second seed. Kennedy hit back-to-back three-pointers in the third quarter to give U-Hi a 35-34 advantage after CV had gone on a 9-0 run. He finished with five threepointers for the game to go with nine rebounds and four assists. For the year, the senior is averaging six points, five assists, two steals and two blocks per game. Kennedy maintains a 3.85 grade point average and is part of Crimson Crew. He has volunteered as a teacher at Vacation Bible School through Redeemer Lutheran Church for the past seven years.

People for Effective Government works to bridge political divide By Keith Erickson

Current Correspondent Concerned with an escalating political gridlock gripping the country, a nonpartisan Spokane coalition is working at the grassroots level to alleviate the “Us vs. Them” mentality it says is fueling government inefficiencies. Formed long before the recent federal government shutdown, members of People for Effective Government (PEG) say the political divide in this country is nothing new, but the dysfunction must be addressed. “We’re frustrated with the partisanship that we see and the fact that it limits the effect government can have,” said PEG steering committee member Scott Malone. “The idea is simply that we think partisanship has led to ineffective government.”

Citizen of the Month Kay Bryant has been making a difference in Spokane Valley for decades now. Many remember her as a dedicated member of the Central Valley School Board, going out of her way to collect feedback from staff, students and parents. She joined Spokane Valley Rotary in 1992, becoming only the second woman to be part of the local service club. In 2009, Bryant started the Rotary’s “Books for Kids” program which last year provided over 2,500 free books to half-a-dozen schools in the Greater Valley area. She is also a board member with Soul to Soles, a nonprofit group that delivers free shoes and socks to children in the Head Start and ECEAP programs. Bryant worked as Human Resources manager for Community Colleges of Spokane for over 26 years. Her family includes five children, six grandchildren and two greatgrandchildren.

As its name would imply, Malone adds, “we’re not about partisanship or nonpartisanship – it’s really about effective government.”

“The role of the media is fostering stability and discourse that will lead, hopefully, to more effective governing,” Newbold said.

Organizers say the refusal by politicians to allow themselves to be open to ideas from “the other side” threatens the cornerstone on which our country was built – democracy.

According to PEG’s website (www.pegnow.org), “Under the current political climate our two major parties have become increasingly polarized. This results in a lack of compromise that leads to political gridlock and/or policies that swing radically from left to right, or right to left, depending on which party holds the majority.”

“We’re definitely concerned with the fact that because of the current situation, there’s no consistent long-term strategy for addressing the challenges we face – and there are some significant challenges facing our nation, both in the near-term and long-term,” said committee member Mark Newbold. PEG’s strategy is to engage the community by sponsoring or participating in events that encourage “sincere and civil debate about the challenges that our communities and our nation face and about effective solutions to those challenges.” Most recently, PEG sponsored a Freedom of the Press public forum featuring veteran Spokane journalist and author Shawn Vestal, who addressed truth, balance and the free press.

PEG seeks to promote political candidates who support bipartisan approaches to governing. “We would happily endorse a candidate from either political party if they expressed and demonstrated a willingness to engage in political compromise and dialogue with members of the other party as a way of achieving effective government,” Malone said. Hoping to garner “serious influence” both locally and regionally, PEG members are realistic and realize change will not happen overnight. A small but diverse core group

See PEG, Page 29

Come visit your Spokane Valley Neighborhood Financial Center located at 615 N Sullivan Road

800-233-2328

Thanks you for all you do in our community PEG hosts upcoming public forums

Free public forums sponsored by People for Effective Government provide citizens with an opportunity learn more about effective government, accountability and the importance of bipartisan approaches to governing. Up next: • Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. • Moran Prairie County Library, 6004 S. Regal • Topic: FairVote Washington, a nonpartisan champion of electoral reforms that give voters greater choice, a stronger voice and a representative democracy that works for all Americans. • May 6 (time and location TBA) • Speaker: Ryan Crocker, former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan and dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. (Topic, TBD). To learn more about People for Effective Government visit www. pegnow.org.


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20 • FEBRUARY 2019 Brought to you by

Evergreen

About and for Valley seniors

Community catalysts shine at Gem of the Valley By Nina Culver

Current Correspondent Spokane Valley businesses, business owners and educators were honored recently at the annual Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce Gem of the Valley gala.

Longtime local businessman and developer Jim Frank of Greenstone Homes was named the 2018 Harry E. Nelson Citizen of the Year (see Park Bench feature in this issue). Previous Citizen of the Year winners select each year’s recipient. The award was presented by Liberty Lake Mayor Steve Peterson, who won the award last year. “You can take the boy out of the neighborhood but you can’t take the neighborhood out of the boy,” said Peterson of Frank.

Among those honored at the Jan. 18 occasion at the Mirabeau Park Hotel & Convention Center were educators from each of the four Spokane Valley school districts – East Valley, West Valley, Central Valley and Freeman. Each school district chose their respective honorees as Educator of the Year.

Frank, who is currently in New Zealand, prepared a video expressing his gratitude. “I’m honored by it,” he said.

The Educator of the Year from Central Valley is Victoria Pau, a language arts resource room teacher at North Pines Middle School. Superintendent Ben Small said Pau works long hours and is devoted to her students.

“Let’s get out there and do it,” he said. “Let’s get out there and make Spokane and Spokane Valley

Frank, who has handed the Greenstone reins to his son, Joe, encouraged other business owners to continue their work in the community.

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a better place to live, a better place to work, a better place to raise our families.”

don’t like structured bouquets. I think flowers should have room to bloom.”

Andrea and Josh Wallgren and their Liberty Lake business, Adorkable Flowers and Gifts, were up for several awards. They were nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year and their shop was nominated for best small business and Andrea Wallgren was nominated for the Heart of the Community Award.

Her arrangements feature everyday objects like candies. She also likes to put her arrangements into usable items instead of a standard vase. “You could put flowers in a crock pot if you want,” she said.

Wallgren said she wasn’t sure why people thought she was deserving of so many awards. Her shop has been open since 2016 and for two years before that she ran it online and provided arrangements for special events. The word “Adorkable” comes from her high school nickname, Wallgren said, and it seems appropriate because she likes to create nontraditional arrangements. “I like things you wouldn’t normally think of,” she said. “I

At the end of the evening Wallgren won one of the three awards, taking home the Entrepreneur of the Year award with her husband Josh. A surprise honor was given out at the end of the evening, a Lifetime Achievement Award presented posthumously to former Republican state representative Lynn Schindler, who passed away Dec. 5 at the age of 74. Peterson, who presented the award to one of Schindler’s daughters, said the well-respected legislator was “a wonderful person, a wonderful friend and a good servant to this community, especially the 4th District.” Schindler’s daughter said the family is grateful for the support they have received from the community since her mother’s death. “My mom would be so humbled to get this award,” she said.

“Victoria is a learner, an innovator, a make-the-world-better kind of person,” Small said. In an interview before she received the award, Pau said she didn’t know who nominated her for the honor.

Other winners during the evening were Wanda Buddrius, Chamber Volunteer of the Year; Ted Schmidt, Chamber Ambassador of the Year; HUB Sports Center, Nonprofit of the Year; Mary Anne Ruddis, Heart of the Community Award; Arbor Crest Wine Cellars, Small Business of the Year; Sportsman’s Warehouse, Medium Business of the Year; and Numerica Credit Union, Large Business of the Year.

“It was a complete shock,” she said. “I was speechless when I found out.” Pau is a Central Valley High School and Eastern Washington University graduate and said she was inspired by her first teachers. “I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was in the third grade,” she said. When her little brother was born deaf, she changed her goal to becoming a special education teacher. “There were a lot of people who helped him and I wanted to pay it back and help kids reach their potential,” she said. “My goal in life is to make a difference.” The other Educators of the Year are Brenda Gaver, a Spanish and student activities teacher at East Valley High School; Heather Wright, a science and math teacher at Centennial Middle School, and Cis Hyndman, library director at the Freeman School District.

Fountains

Andrea and Josh Wallgren, owners of Adorkable Flowers & Gifts in Liberty Lake, were nominated for three awards at the Gem of the Valley gala hosted by the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce last month. Andrea and Josh, both military veterans, were eventually honored as Entrepreneurs of the Year. Contributed photo

Those nominated for awards and named runner-up were: Elevations and the Wishing Star Foundation, Nonprofit of the Year; Andrea Wallgren and Linda Thompson, Heart of the Community; Adorkable Flowers and Gifts and Secure Pacific Corp., Small Business of the Year; Specialty Group LLC and Spokane Gymnastics, Medium Business of the Year; Dishman Dodge and Katerra, Large Business of the Year; and Christine Avery of SNAP Fitness and Morgan Johnson of MOJO Cyclery, Entrepreneur of the Year.


The Current

FEBRUARY 2019 • 21

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The Current

22 • FEBRUARY 2019

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WV’s Drynan experiences net gain after transfer By Mike Vlahovich Current Sports Editor Sometimes a change of scenery can do someone good. Case in point is West Valley senior guard Nick Drynan, whose electrifying basketball season has sparked the Eagles since his arrival from Gonzaga Prep. In Drynan, WV got one player for the price of three that proved to be a fortuitous investment. Last year’s Eagles reached post-season on the

shoulders of three since graduated players who combined for 73 percent of the team’s scoring. Out of the blue, enter point guard Drynan who alleviated the loss of those points and put WV in the thick of this year’s taut Great Northern League playoff hunt. The left-handed transfer brought with him a scorer’s mentality. He was averaging 21.5 points per game at presstime with the regular season winding down and had

season highs of 29 points twice and 28 once. He had scored in double figures in every game, accounting for 38 percent of WV’s scoring. Drynan was educated in Catholic parochial schools his entire live and, with his twin brother, Noah, enrolled at Gonzaga Prep. Both were on varsity last year and Noah remains with the Greater Spokane League champions. Nick seldom played. He’d hit an occasional three-point shot when he did see time. But there was something missing and it had little to do with his bench time. “From what I’ve heard, he originally wanted to (transfer) to St. George’s, but they don’t take seniors, I guess,” said WV coach Jay Humphrey. “A couple days later he was at West Valley.” Drynan, who lives within Mead School District boundaries, had to go through hardship hearing hoops, was released from Prep and cleared to enroll at WV. He found West Valley and is thriving in his comfortable new shoes, a different player who has blossomed as a person in his new environment. “I just didn’t fit there,” he said of the reason for his transfer. “I just wanted to go where I’m wanted, a place where I could develop my leadership skills and I found it here. This school has made me mature as a person.”

The toughest part of leaving Prep is missing playing with Noah. “He’s my best friend,” Nick said. “But we work out together and almost makes us closer as brothers. We think alike, look alike and people think we have twin telepathy. There could be some truth to that. Also coming here, I get to be the point guard, which is what I wanted to be and needed to be because I’ll be playing at the next level.” Humphrey said the transfer has blended well with the program. “He’s obviously a good player but what’s special to me is he fit in so well at West Valley,” he said. “It could easily be for the kids on our team to be jealous. There’s none of that. He fits in. It just worked out really well.” “Playing against them is just different for people to defend,” he said. Drynan runs the point or plays off-guard depending upon the opposition. He’ll shoot the three, take it to the rack or dish to teammates. “I knew we lost our top three scorers last year and were going to have to manage the best we could,” Humphrey understated. “He came and helped us out quite a bit.” In return Drynan has become the person and player he wanted to be.

Wrestling edict rings of shear puzzlement By Mike Vlahovich Current Sports Editor As “Mr. Rasslin” for all these years, I’d never seen anything like this. At least not to my recollection. Hair today, gone tomorrow, as it were. Perhaps wrestling fans out there, who read the story or saw it on social media, saw that a high school wrestler was asked to cut his locks in front of the crowd before a match at the referee’s insistence lest he forfeit.

West Valley senior Nick Drynan has been a floor general for the Eagles this season after transferring from Gonzaga Prep. The tenacious guard is averaging nearly 22 points a game, helping WV remain in the hunt for a Great Northern League crown. Photo by Dirk Linton

There was the expected uproar about connotations of racism by the ref who had been sanctioned before for a variety of reasons,

not the least of which was his late arrival late to that match before issuing the edict. There was an outpouring of support for the wrestler on social media who could at least have been allowed to shear his locks in the locker room instead of suffering embarrassment in front of an audience. By the way, he won his match. All it would have taken was to have applied the rule regarding hair length and the furor could have been squelched. Except there is nothing directly specified by rule. As

University

High

assistant

See FINAL POINT, Page 23


The Current

Sports Notebook – February 2019

SPORTS

At presstime, all five Valley high schools were teetering on the playoff edge in the middle of their respective league standings.

Current Sports Editor Central Valley and University girls’ basketball teams were state qualifiers a year ago. Though the defending 4A state champion Bears are going through a transition, both teams have enough firepower to get back to Tacoma when the tournament plays out in March.

U-Hi swept CV in regular season games. The Titans have firepower, led by Marcus Lenker’s near 19-point per game average. Logan Phillips and Logan Dreher were scoring with nearly identical 12plus averages. Behind Nick Drynan (see feature story), who scored at a 22-point average and Brian Andrews at more than 13 points per game, West Valley was in the playoff mix. EV had but a single win.

The Bears swept the Titans during the regular season, their second meeting at the annual Stinky Sneaker going to the wire.

The Bears (15-2 overall, 10-1 in league at presstime) then dismantled previously unbeaten Mt. Spokane 68-45 to reverse the second of two previous losses and lock up top seed for the postseason. U-Hi had three averaging double figures. Ellie Boni led the way with 16 points a game, followed by Kinsley Barrington at 12. Combined, the McCliment-Call duo – Tyler and Jacksen – produce another 20 points per contest. The Titans have but three seniors on the roster. East Valley, third at state last year, is seeking yet another trip

FINAL POINT

West Valley students celebrate after the Golden Throne basketball rivalry with East Valley on Jan. 11. The West Valley boys defeated East Valley 64-52 while the EV girls were victors against their WV counterparts, 53-38. West Valley took home the prize in the spirit competition. Contributed image to the 2A as well out of the Great Northern League. West Valley will join them in the post-season. The Knights lost games to nemesis Clarkston and were upset by Cheney late in the regular season. Scoring leaders and seniors Genesis Wilkinson (14) and Faith Adams (11.5) were consistent double figure scorers and Holly Flynn was just shy of averaging 10

Continued from page 22

guards. Certainly it wasn’t like NFL football players whose dreads spill well down their backs from beneath helmets.

“Does braided hair that is nonabrasive need to be contained in a legal head cover?”

One local head coach I reached out to was West Valley’s Geoff Hensley who said he had better things to deal with than worrying about length of hair, specifically hassling with the hair nets his female athletes must wear. They can tend to pull off.

coach Jay Jordan noted when we crossed paths in a grocery store and conversed about the incident, that the rule seems vague.

The answer: “If the hair in its natural state is longer than allowed by rule, then it must be contained in a legal hair cover.” I came up empty in my Internet search of a specific such rule interpretation that actually determines what constitutes hair longer than legal or if there’s such a penalty. The wrestler in question had braided locks, but they didn’t seem unduly long and probably could have fit easily beneath the ear

Pheobe Trigsted at Valley Christian School who was averaging nearly 27 points per game, scoring 30 or more six times. Boys post-season

By Mike Vlahovich

Tomekia Whitman was averaging 14 points and Camryn Skaife 11, with three others approaching double figures with three games left in the season.

FEBRUARY 2019 • 23

Like I mentioned before, in four decades sitting by mats covering duals, district, regional, state tournaments and the NJCAA college nationals, I can’t remember a time when a match was halted over a hair hassle. Although my failing mind tells me I did see it once. Ultimately the burden falls on coaches. Most I know make sure that the rule never comes into play. Their charges keep their hair

per game. West Valley’s Hailey Marlow (15.7) and Nevaeh Sherwood (11) were leading the Eagles. Freeman’s girls were the epitome of balance in compiling a 13-4 record and sharing first place in the Northeast A League. Half a dozen Scotties averaged between nine and seven points per game. The least heralded but most profilic player on the local scene is

trimmed before and during the season avoiding the embarrassment of public shearing. Certainly it wouldn’t have been an issue if I wrestled today. Given the state of my hair – gone for all these years – I admit I wouldn’t mind today having been called out for having unruly locks.

Freeman, under new coach Kyle Olson, had balanced scoring in its bid to reach post-season led by Dylan Oja (12.4 points a game) and Kaleb Ohler (11.4). Wrestling post-season West Valley has enjoyed its best dual meet GNL season in a while, including a victory over rival and perennial GNL champion East Valley, which was uncharacteristically winless in the GNL. Besides the improvement, the Eagles boast the state’s top girls’ wrestler and last year’s state finalist Jasmine Fryer. University and Central Valley couldn’t compete with juggernauts Mead and Mt. Spokane in the GSL. Several wrestlers were among the best in their respective league weight classes including Bears’ veterans and returning state placers Zack Stratton (third) and junior Braxton Mikesell (fifth). U-Hi standouts during GSL matches have included transfer Drew Roberts, whose dad is a former Titan state champ, veterans Cam Domke, Andrew Schafer and Keyson Wallick. The Knights bring back state veterans Avery Sundheim, Brennan McDermott, Jacob Kessinger and Jacob Halvorson. Gymnasts bid for state Wrestling and girls’ gymnasts compete in state the weekend of Feb. 15-16. The Bears have been led by sophomores Rebekah Ross and Hanna Michaelis. They are among three sophomores and eight sophomores who comprise the majority of the team. U-Hi’s key gymnasts are Allina Helbling and Stacey McNeeley.


The Current

24 • FEBRUARY 2019

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS of dedicated service to the Spokane Valley community.


The Current

Share stories, memories through words, music, art

By Erin Dodge Current Guest Contributor Telling stories can be very personal. It can also be scary, exciting, cathartic and eye opening. I’ve taken the stage a time or two to tell a story and, for me, it was all of those things. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. You can, too. Pivot Spokane and Gonzaga University’s Department of Organizational Leadership lead an “Oral Storytelling Workshop” for adults and kids 12 and older at Spokane Valley Library on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 3:30 p.m. The presenters work with kids, grownups and seniors on shaping a story, choosing the details and delivering a story with perfect timing. After the workshop and some practice, you can take the stage to share your family-friendly story at the “Storytelling Open Mic” at The Bartlett (228 W. Sprague Ave., Spokane) On Thursday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. We anticipate a wonderful

Get free tax help at your library

By Gwendolyn Haley Spokane County Library District Librarian My parents have always assured me that there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes. Fortunately, there’s help available to navigate the often complicated and confusing maze of tax forms, schedules and numbered boxes. For a long time now, the Spokane County Library District has partnered with AARP to provide free tax aid at libraries around the county. The volunteer tax preparers for this program are trained to be accurate and specialize in helping low- to mid-income taxpayers get every penny owed if a refund is to be had. Your tax return will be electronically processed as quickly as if you processed it yourself or at a paid site and you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that your tax forms have been reviewed by someone knowledgeable.

LIBRARY evening of storytelling for all ages, so come out to hear some tales. Some stories are sung. Explore the folk singers and songwriters of the late 1950s and 1960s, who rediscovered artists and songs from the 1920s and 1930s that they then reintroduced to national audiences. During “The Great Folk Scare: American Folk Music Revival, 1958–65,” Brad Keeler and Linda Parman perform music celebrating this watershed moment in American cultural history. Catch this show at Otis Orchards Library on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 6:30–7:30 p.m., at Argonne Library on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2–3 p.m., and again at Spokane Valley on Tuesday, April 9, 7:30–8:30 p.m. Other stories are seen. Celebrate Women’s History Month with “Spokane Women Together: Portraits and Stories,” the photography exhibit that is a collaboration between portrait photographer Rick Singer, community organizer and graphic artist Hilary Hart and the women who are portrayed. The exhibit combines photography and personal stories that illustrate the quiet diversity of women from nine countries, who speak 14 languages with 11 religious affiliations from 20 different professions, all living in Spokane. This exhibit will be on

display throughout the month of February at Spokane Valley Library. Like most things worth their salt, creating stories takes practice. The same is true for art and its various media. Catch a live art demonstration of “Wool Spinning and Fiber Arts with Rosanne Anderson” at Spokane Valley Library on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2–3:30 p.m. Sometimes a shared story that’s remembered can bring us closer together. “Random Fandom Trivia” at Spokane Valley Library brings you the story of the 1990s on Friday, Feb. 22, at 6:30 p.m. Just thinking about TV shows like “In Living Color,” “Home Improvement,” “Blossom” and “Wings” makes me want to grab a Zima or Fruitopia and deploy the dial-up modem to hear the beeps, squeals and static sounds just before the very satisfying “You’ve got mail.” The 1990s saw the rise of boy bands and girl groups, such as the Spice Girls, Boyz II Men, Backstreet Boys, and En Vogue. I wonder how much popcorn was consumed watching “Forrest Gump,” “Dumb and Dumber,” “Titanic,” and “Fight Club.” Bring your knowledge of the 1990s, your own eats (or have food delivered), and even a costume (props to you for being dope). It’ll be all that and a bag of chips.

This year, you can find tax help at the following library locations: • Argonne Library (by appointment only), Feb. 5–Apr. 11, Tuesdays, 4–7 p.m. and Thursdays, 1–4 p.m. • Cheney Library, (by appointment only), Feb. 8–Apr. 12, select Fridays and Saturdays; times vary (for day and times, visit www.scld.org/tax-aide) • Moran Prairie Library, Feb. 1–Apr. 13, Fridays, 2–6 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. • Spokane Valley Library, Jan. 28–Apr. 15, Mondays, 4–7 p.m. (except Feb. 18), Fridays, 1–4 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. At Argonne or Cheney Libraries, you can make an appointment through Washington Trust Bank by calling 509-353-4851. Help at Moran Prairie and Spokane Valley Libraries is available on a firstcome, first-served basis. If you are able, I recommend a location with appointments for faster service. This program gets very busy and can have longer wait times at Spokane Valley and Moran Prairie Libraries, especially in February and April. Either way, before you go, there

are several things to gather to be prepared. You will need valid picture identification, your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for each family member, taxpayer and working adult. You will need all income statements, such as 2018 W-2s, 1098 forms, and/or 1099 forms. And you will also need your 1095 tax form(s) for health care. If you are able, it would be good to have your 2017 tax return with you for reference. In addition, you may need some other forms, depending on your situation. If you have a side job, like an Etsy or eBay seller’s site, then prepare and bring proof of that income. If you have child in childcare, then bring the total you spent on childcare and the childcare provider’s name, address and tax ID. If you or a child were in college, you’ll need form 1098T from the college or university and a list of education expenses. If you’re a homeowner, you’ll need the property tax and mortgage interest information. In order to include a payment or receive an electronic tax payment, be sure to bring your bank routing and account number for your checking or savings account.

FEBRUARY 2019 • 25

Imaginations soar Literacy skills grow stronger When we share stories!

Storytime AT THE BOOKEND Saturday, Feb 9 10:30–11am Families are invited to come listen to entertaining stories from some of our favorite books. Event is for all ages. THE BOOKEND Spokane Valley Mall

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The Current

26 • FEBRUARY 2019

Rockford approves upgrades for park, streets

the city park.

don’t have to walk down the hill.

“It is not that much different from last year, which is really nice” said Mayor Carrie Roecks about the budget. “It was an easy process.”

The budget also includes two pavement preservation projects being paid for by a grant of nearly $100,000 from the Transportation Improvement Board. The grant will resurface Sprague Street between Third Street and Stringham Road and the entire length of Stringham Road within the Rockford city limits.

The park upgrades include improvements to the bathrooms.

Current Correspondent

“Those have been there 25 years and we’ve never done a thing,” Roecks said. “They’re not in bad shape, but they’re tired.”

The town of Rockford has approved a budget for 2019 that includes some improvements to

The town also plans to put in stairs leading from the sidewalk on First Street into the park so people

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The town has a limited number of grant-funded projects planned for 2019. “It’s nice to just calm down and see how things shake out,” the mayor said. Rockford recently completed a sewer line replacement project near Emma Street along Rock Creek. At one point, the sewer line went through the creek and excess water was getting into the system, Roecks said. The town is already seeing improvement at its wastewater treatment plant, she said. “Preliminary reports show it has definitely made an improvement in infiltration and inflow into the lagoons,” she said. “Water was getting into the lines and into the pond and creating more water that we had to treat.” The sewer line project was largely paid for by a $200,000 grant.

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The council has discussed the changes and will soon vote to approve the plan update and submit it to the state for approval, Roecks said. It includes minor zoning changes downtown to Emma Street and First Avenue. “Things are going to be a little more flexible,” she said.

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The Town Council has been working for the last couple of months on a comprehensive plan update that includes zoning and regulation changes. All jurisdictions in Spokane County are required to complete a comprehensive plan update every eight years as required in the Growth Management Act. Rockford was granted a two-year extension of the 2017 deadline with the updated plan now due in June.

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Other small changes are also included in the update. “We’re trying to simplify some of the requirements for landscaping and parking,” she said. The council has also discussed lowering the minimum residential lot size from 8,700 square feet to 5,000 square feet. Most of the older residential lots are 5,000 square feet and the change would make it more financially feasible for people to build, Roecks said. “People

are

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in town and we’ve had a couple of new homes,” she said. “More development is coming. We’re watching that and making sure everything is in compliance.” No large developments are planned but a few more singlefamily homes would be a welcome addition to the city’s property tax revenue, Roecks said. “We’re looking forward to some small development going on,” she said. “There will be a lot of focus on making sure it’s done right.” The council has also been discussing zoning changes in the city, particularly along Highway 27 within the town limits. All the land along the highway is currently zoned commercial. “We felt that probably wasn’t going to happen,” Roecks said. There is currently a mix of commercial and residential uses on the property lining the highway. The council believes zoning the land as mixed use makes sense since there is a blend of uses already existing, Roecks said. There are also some changes coming to the Southeast Spokane County fairgrounds, including the replacement of the livestock barns. “They’re kind of a lean-to,” said Roecks. “They’re been around a long time.” Heidi Johnson, Rockford city clerk and vice president of the Southeast Spokane County Fair board, said the Department of Agriculture gave the fair board an $80,000 grant to pay for new barns. The work needs to be completed by June, so it will be ready for the 75th annual fair in September. “It’s pretty cool to have a couple new buildings on our diamond anniversary,” Johnson said. The fair board also received a $15,000 grant to replace the play structure in the city park adjacent to the fairgrounds. The current structure is 30 years old, Johnson said. “It’s lasted, but it’s definitely due,” she said. “Hopefully that will be completed by the summer.” There are plans to reconfigure the play area and move some things around and the town’s public works crew has volunteered to help with that. Johnson said she’s grateful that the town is willing to work with the fair board on the project. “When that can happen it’s a very positive thing,” she said. Roecks said she’s pleased that the fair board was able to get funding for its projects. “Things are happening and it isn’t always the town doing them,” she said.


The Current

FEBRUARY 2019 • 27

BECU puts out call for scholarship applications From Current News Sources

The BECU Foundation is currently accepting applications for its annual scholarships. This year, the BECU Foundation is recognizing and awarding $2,500 scholarships to full-time high school seniors and undergraduates currently enrolled in an accredited two-year, four-year or technical college or university, who play an active role in giving back to their community. BECU is a not-for-profit credit union with locations throughout Washington, including four branches in the Greater Spokane area. This year, each awarded scholarship is renewable for two years ($5,000 total). With the

help of its business partners, member donations and fundraising activities, BECU awards a minimum of 25 scholarships each year. In 2018, the BECU Foundation awarded 80 student members either $2,500 or $3,500 scholarships each to use toward their post-secondary degree programs. Scholarships recognize the student’s service in their school or community, leadership potential and academic achievements.

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

Since 1995, the BECU Foundation has awarded more than $2.6 million in scholarships to over 1,000 student members. Volunteer activities have included science interpretation for the Pacific Science Center, mentoring elementary students and providing food to homeless youth, to name a few.

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For more information on eligibility and to access the online application form, please visit www.becu.org/ m e m b e r s - m a t t e r / c o m m u n i t yinvolvement/scholarships. Note that applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28.

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The Current

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The Current

FEBRUARY 2019 • 29

EDITOR/PUBLISHER

Ben Wick

Danica Wick

ben@libertylakesplash.com CO OWNER

danica@libertylakesplash.com

EDITOR

Craig Howard

craig@libertylakesplash.com OFFICE MANAGER GRAPHICS

Paula Gano

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Hayley Schmelzer

hayley@libertylakesplash.com

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CIRCULATION

CONTRIBUTORS

Nina Culver, Keith Erickson, Bill Gothmann, Craig Howard, Mike Vlahovich

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Continued from page 19 representing all sides of the political spectrum formed PEG in the summer of 2017. While they hope to grow their following, the decision makers will remain a relatively small panel making up PEG’s steering committee. “All we would ask of anybody who really wants to get involved is that they embrace the kind of openmindedness and compromise that we’re looking for,” Malone said. “Anybody with a litmus test of any kind is not going to be a good fit.” Founding members have formulated position statements representing PEG’s best and most current understanding of effective policy that achieves a reasonable balance between the extremes of far-left and far-right politics.

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Found on the group’s website, the position statements include policy recommendations and background on issues including economic development, education, the environment, immigration and the national debt.

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

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“We fully recognize that these position statements are not detailed road maps for solving our problems – they are a 10,000foot view,” Malone said. “We’re not experts in any of these topics. This is a starting point for a conversation about how we might go about solving some of these challenges.” While the recent federal government shutdown and a strongly divided Congress exemplify what PEG hopes to counter, Malone said the extreme polarization in government is nothing new. “The tone is becoming increasingly more strident but there’s really been significant partisanship leading to ineffective government going back 20 someodd years,” Malone said. Despite their differing political leanings, PEG members have been open and respectful in listening to each other as they formulate their positions on a myriad of issues, Newbold said. “Something I’m very pleased about is we’ve been able to sit down and work through different policy statements as the result of really thoughtful, purposeful discussions,” he said.

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YO

Waste Management • Spokane County Library District New homes in Spokane, Spokane Valley, Libe

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

Index of advertisers

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

Aging and Long Term Care

27, 28

Amaculate Housekeeping Banner Fuel

Ignite! Theatre

18

Spokane Gymnastics

3

Jim Custer Enterprises

28

Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce 18

27

Kiwanis of Liberty Lake

32

BECU 19

Liberty Lake Family Dentistry

Central Valley Theatre

Liberty Lake Orthodontics

13

30

5

Clark’s Tire and Auto

3

Meals on Wheels

13

Cornerstone Pentecostal Church

3

Pursel Advertising

14

Simonds Dental Group

32

Evergreen Fountain

21

Greenstone 28

Spokane County Library District 25

Stateline Plaza

18

26

The Clark Company

4

Valley Hospital

24

Vision Marketing

27

Service Directory

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.


30 • FEBRUARY 2019

ON THAT NOTE

The Current

SERVICE DIRECTORY EVENT & MEETING FACILITY HAVE AN EVENT COMING UP? The Tri Community Grange Event Hall is an affordable location for parties, receptions, dances, reunions and meetings. Full kitchen, stage, piano, tables and chairs, NEW AC, handicap accessible, large parking lot and free signage Meeting Times: 6:30 pm the first Wednesday of every month. Phone: 509-270-6089

PILATES TRAINING ON EQUIPMENT PRIVATE DUETS WITH LARKIN BARNETT M.A.

Award winning author featured in the November Splash! Strength • Balance • Fitness • Wellness CALL FOR AN APPOINTMENT: 509-842-4321 www.larkinbarnett.com 22401 E. Clairmont Ln., Liberty Lake, WA

YOUR BUSINESS HERE ADVERTISE WITH US

Want you business to be part of our Service Directory? Contact Danica at 242-7752 or advertise@libertylakesplash.com We look forward to hearing from you!

How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying March

13, 14, 15, 16 20, 21, 22, 23


The Current

ON THAT NOTE

HEART program offers refuge for homeless students By Keith Erickson Current Correspondent Think the plight of homelessness is pinned only on struggling adults living day-to-day without a permanent place to call their own? Think again. The Central Valley School District students in this story are also without a place to call home in the traditional sense. But there is hope, thanks to a federally mandated program administered locally with the sole purpose of providing students and their families with the resources necessary for self-sufficiency. Most living with their parents, some without, the kids benefitting from the HEART (Homeless Education and Resources) program reside in shelters and transitional housing units, bunk with friends or relatives, stay in motels or even hunker down in campers. And while their living arrangements may be in flux, these CVSD students have at least one routine they can count on – school. The HEART program ensures “unsheltered” students at CVSD receive educational stability so they feel supported and encouraged while they secure permanent housing, said Leslie Camden Goold, master social worker for the school district. The program is also administered in the West Valley and East Valley school districts and in school districts statewide. The latest count shows over 800 students within Valley schools classified as homeless. Of the school districts in the city of Spokane Valley, 9,366 of 21,678 students – or 42 percent – received free or reduced lunches based on their family income level based on numbers from 2016. Mandated by the federal McKinneyVento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987, HEART over the past several years has assisted between 480 and 540 students annually at CVSD, from pre-school through 12th grade. The program helps eliminate barriers to enrollment while assisting financially with classroom fees and other costs associated with school, Camden Goold said. It’s a critical program that offers essential assistance to a segment of the student body that, unfortunately, is growing. “Student homelessness has continued to increase and as a school district we continue to provide services to support students in enrolling, succeeding and participating in school,” said Camden Goold, who serves as CVSD’s liaison

to the McKinney-Vento Act. HEART also works to provide transportation for students and allows schools to register homeless children even if they lack normally required documents, such as immunization records or proof of residence. And it provides financial assistance with meals and fees associated with extracurricular activities, Camden Goold said. These services are provided in a manner that does bring attention to the assistance students are receiving, alleviating the stigma that is often associated with being homeless, she said. “Homelessness is a complex issue filled with stereotypes, assumptions and restrictions,” Camden Goold said. “It can brutally shape a person’s self-worth. With HEART, supports are in place to make sure that there are no barriers to school success.” Many of the students who are positively impacted by HEART may otherwise have opted not to attend school at all, compounding their problems later in life. “Without this assistance, they get overwhelmed and then they stop coming to class or never make it to class in the first place,” she said. “And then they don’t graduate, and problems become worse.” Working with parents and guardians to provide a stable home life outside

the classroom, the HEART program is focused on making sure students’ basic needs are met, including food, shelter and medical assistance when necessary. “We work with various community resources to assist parents in earning a living wage and having access to safe and affordable housing and support services,” Camden Goold said. As a social worker, Camden Goold has nurtured strong contacts and works closely with community resources, including entities that focus on housing and employment opportunities, to help get families back on track. “I spend a lot of time building relationships so we can help these families,” Camden Goold said. “We work together to ensure educational stability for students in shortterm, while seeking temporary and transitional housing (opportunities) so they feel supported.” The HEART Program works with the Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank & Family Services, area shelter and housing providers, the Spokane Homeless Coalition, Greater Spokane Valley Support Network, area community resources and the city and county of Spokane. Parents/guardians are encouraged to contact the HEART liaison should they find themselves facing homelessness or if their circumstances change and they need assistance connecting with community resources that can help. Camden Goold can be reached at 558-6014.

FEBRUARY 2019 • 31

HEART’s vision for compassion

Supporting the educational rights of students who are living in emergency, temporary and/or transitional housing situations, the HEART program helps children and youth who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. The programs goals are to: • Support and meet the educational needs of students in short-term or temporary housing situations • Maintain consistency of the educational process while living in transitional housing

• Provide the same educational opportunities to students in temporary or transitional housing situations as other students receive • Ensure the same opportunity to meet high academic standards as all students • Engage parents, school, and the community as full partners in the educational process of students who are in transitional situations • Provide a connection between school and home

The most recent count of students classified as homeless in school districts within the Greater Spokane Valley totaled 800. In that same area, 42 percent of overall student qualify for free-or-reduced lunch. In Washington state, the number of homeless residents rose by 5.6 percent last year, the fourth highest increase among any state in 2018. File Photo


The Current

32 • FEBRUARY 2019

For you and yours.. .

a beautiful smile! FREE Whitening for LIFE! With Purchase of a New Patient Exam, Necessary X-rays & Recommended Cleaning. Offer expires 02/28/2019.

CALL TODAY!

Dr. Erin Merrifield • Dr. Cliff Cullings • Dr. Ross Simonds • Dr. Amanda Roper

Save the Date for Something

Sweet!

Liberty Lake Kiwanis is inviting you for a Father Daughter Dance at the Chocolate Factory! On March 2nd, present your golden ticket at The Mirabeau Hotel for a dancing affair! Hotel/Dinner/Dance/Breakfast Available More information to come! To Purchase Tickets Visit: www.libertylakekiwanis.org

Fath

er Daugh Dance

ter

$55 early bird, $65 after Feb 14, and $70 at the door. $20 for each additional daughter. Photographs by Stolen Images

Questions? Call: Dana 995-4043 or Linda 951-3573

Profile for The Current

February 2019 Current  

Holistic Health; Alternative medicine offered in the Valley

February 2019 Current  

Holistic Health; Alternative medicine offered in the Valley

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